Archive of ‘Blog’ category

How Gratitude Can Change Your Day

Sometimes I wake up afraid of the day.

Sometimes I think it would be easier to pull the covers over my head and go back to sleep than wake up and face the day.

I make time to practice gratitude today

Gratitude

Fortunately for me, I have a strong little voice inside my head that speaks to me when I feel this way.

“Wake up, Jaime,” it says. “Today’s going to be an awesome day,”

“I don’t think so,” I respond. “Not with that thing going on,” – where “that thing” can be anything from a disagreement with a loved one to a fear about a future event or regret for a past one.

The voice is gentle yet firm and gets louder until I get out of bed.

“Start practicing gratitude,” it whispers.

And I do. I mentally go down the list and thank the Universe for all that surrounds me: my bed, my bedroom, my house, the bathroom, running water, my family.

After I get downstairs and prepare my cereal and coffee. Then I open the lid to my Macbook Pro and my fingers begin dancing on the keys, and the words of my daily gratitude list appear on the screen.And before I know it, I’m seeing how gratitude can change my day.

I’ve done this exercise every day for 18 months, which equates to about 5400 items total. I aim to avoid “gratitude fatigue”, meaning I aim not to repeat anything. Nothing is off limits here; whether it’s the grout in my shower, a coffee mug or an experience that taught me something, I find that there are a multitude of things to be grateful for every day.

The impact this activity has had on my life has been immense. And it always surprises me that there are never a lack of things to be grateful for.

Why do I take the time to do this every day? Because it’s easy, fast and it feels good! By the time I type out the 10 items I aim for every day, my mindset has completely shifted from one of fear and lack to faith and abundance. Practicing gratitude doesn’t take long – usually only 5-10 minutes – but it has a significant impact on my life.

Do you practice gratitude every day? What are you grateful for?Leave me a comment and let me know. I love hearing from you. I’ll read and respond to every comment you make.

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7 Ways to Practice Radical Self Care

It used to be difficult for me to take care of myself.

Self care

An affirmation for self care

Sure, I brushed my teeth and dressed nicely. But sometimes, in the rush of taking care of everyone else or getting busy with other things, I put my self care on the back burner.

I never did it intentionally; it usually resulted from what I thought was a lack of time. If my boss needed me to stay late to do a project and I had a haircut that night, I’d postpone the haircut; at that time in my life, I couldn’t possibly think of telling my boss no.

Another time, my daughter got sick and I cancelled my dentist appointment so I could take care of her.

On other occasions, when extra help was needed at home, work or with my family, I was often the first to volunteer – giving up time for myself in the process. Eventually when I got depleted enough, I realized one of the best things I can do for others is take care of myself first. Not in a selfish way, but in a loving, self-caring way. How do I know if I’m taking care of myself? I can ask myself these questions every day:

1. Am I taking time to eat healthy and drink enough water every day?

2. Am I getting physical exercise every day?

3. Do I take time for myself every day to meditate and de-stress?

4. Am I up to date on my doctor and dental check-ups?

5. Do I do something I enjoy – just for fun – every day?

6. Do I take time to appreciate myself and my strengths every day?

7. Do I practice gratitude every day?

When I started practicing these 7 ways of loving self care on a daily basis, my life started to transform. I am hardly ever sick today because I take such good care of myself. My body, mind and spirit thrive. And my relationships thrive, too.  When I am sick, I know today to stop and rest. During times of stress, I double my self care efforts. And the results are miraculous.

Do you take care of yourself every day? What is your favorite self care activity? Scroll down below and leave me a comment. I’ll read and respond to every one.

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A 3-step Secret for Peace

Sometimes it’s hard to focus on the present moment.

Something from the past may be daunting us. Perhaps we wished we’d said something a different way, or not said anything at all.

Present moment

An Affirmation to Focus on the Now

Or maybe it’s not the past that’s bothering us, but the future instead. Around this time of year, the extra tasks of the holidays can leave many people feeling exhausted, anxious and depleted. Our minds can get filled up with getting it all done, making everyone happy and creating the “perfect” holiday.

Although the stories we spin in our heads may real, the truth is they aren’t. They haven’t happened yet, and we have the power to keep them from happening.

One of the best ways to stay out of the guilt and regret of the past and the worry and anxiety of the future is to focus on the now. If you don’t have a lot of experience with this, it may be difficult at first – but don’t give up. The peace and contentment that comes from learning to focus on the now is well worth the effort.

How can you learn to focus on the now? Follow what I call the ABD: Affirm, Believe, Do. It’s a 3-step secret for peace.

1. Affirm. Starting today, begin affirming your new-found ability to focus on the now. Use the affirmation above: “It’s Easy for Me to Focus on the Now.” Say it in front of the mirror in the morning and again at night. Say it during the day today as many times as you remember to.

2. Believe. Affirmations are powerful, but you need to believe them for them to actually work. When you say the words, give them feeling and believe them. If you don’t believe at first, ‘act as if’. In time, you will believe.

3. Do. The last step in the ABD process is to take action and do. One of the easiest ways to focus on the now is to practice mindfulness. What is mindfulness? Put most simply, mindfulness is being present and noticing exactly what you are doing while keeping your mind in the here and now. So if you’re eating, for example, you focus your thoughts on the food – the aroma, the taste, how it feels in your mouth and how it looks. You can practice mindfulness with almost anything in your life, from washing the dishes to talking a walk on the beach. Mindfulness has so many benefits, including lower blood pressure and decreased anxiety, plus it’s free and totally portable!

How will you use this affirmation and process in your life during the holidays? Scroll down and leave me a comment below. I love hearing from you! I will read and respond to every comment I receive.

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