Tag Archives: how to be healthy

Positive Ponderings: Your Last Time?

When was the last time you skipped down the street?
…or enjoyed a good swing?

Wouldn’t you like to do it today?

What are you waiting for?


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A Symbolic Life

Symbols surround us every day. We use them and show them without much thought.

What do the symbols you present say about you? 

Perhaps in this age of texts and tweets and emoticons, symbols are used more than ever before.

We add ‘xo’ and ‘<3’ to the ends of notes to loved ones.

🙂 and 😦 display our emotions which help the reader understand the many non-verbal conversations we have with one another, hoping to ensure that our meaning is not lost in translation.

Are symbols fairly new to us and based on electronic communications?  Many are but in the case of x’s and o’s, these have represented kisses and hugs for generations.

Let’s consider the other symbols that surround us:

Math provides us with a myriad of symbols, both positive or negative. Either adding or multiplying to our experience or negatively deducting from our source.

But what other symbols surround us in our daily existence?

As we age, we develop wrinkles and laugh lines.  Someone meeting us for the first time sees these symbols of experience and make deductions. They start to assess our age and place themselves in relation to us. Are we older, younger, by how much?

One of my favourite lines from the song Happy Baby by Shaye is: “These lines upon my face, I’d be a fool to erase ’cause they show my place in this world.” Yet so many of us, women in particular, are obsessed with hiding our age.  Who are we really trying to deceive?

What about visible scars? Do they symbolize a difficult life?  A serious accident? A birth defect?

Our clothes? Symbols of societal stature?

Cars: Symbols of financial class or moral standing?

Houses: what does the size of our homes symbolize to passersby?

Choice of vacation spots: financial, educational, or a symbol of our stage in life?

The books we read. The movies we watch. Do we play video games or not?

Our lives are full of symbols; symbols that others use to define us and that we use to define ourselves.

As our friend Forrest Gump stated in the video on my post “Life is like a box of chocolates…”, “there’s an awful lot you can tell about a person by their shoes; where they’re going; where they’ve been.” These are images of ourselves that we portray, for the most part, without even realizing it. But you can’t know the whole story until you the know the whole person.

Have you ever thought of the symbols you present to the world? Are they representing the real you?

Enjoy Happy Baby by Shaye – great song, great message, great Canadian group.

Photo credit: http://photopin.com
Video credit: YouTube

“Life is like a box of chocolates.

You never know what you’re gonna get.” Forrest Gump

Life is full of surprises and twists and turns.  Some wonderful, some not.

You may start off in one direction and end up somewhere quite unexpected.

You may meet someone who changes your trajectory. They may present options to you that you hadn’t considered and venture down an unexplored path. Perhaps a promotion offers a career direction that leads you to further challenges.

Some of these twists and turns may end up being the things you look back on and categorize as ‘mistakes’.  Did you learn anything from your so-called ‘mistake’? If so, then perhaps it should be considered a lesson.  Is it a mistake only if you repeat it?

Reaching into your box of life-chocolate, you pull out your favourite one. Do you gobble it up and reach in again for another or do you savour it slowly trying to make it last?

Do you enjoy being surprised by the selections or are you more the type that prefers to check the map and select your chocolate carefully, considering all the options and leaving the unpleasant ones for last, or for someone else?

Some would say that isn’t living; that life should be experienced as it unfolds.

Some would say that is living with intention; you have a plan, desires, and you intend to see that you reach your goals.

Is one method more right than the other? Is one method more right for you?

You may never know what life will throw your way, but if you make a map, there are less surprises; for better or worse, the choice is yours to make.

Are you a read-the-map person or a take-what-you-get sort?

Clip from Forrest Gump

Photo credit: http://photopin.com
Video credit: YouTube

Positive Ponderings: Judgement

Is it only books
that you judge
by their covers?

photo credit: http://photopin.com

8 Signs You Need A Break

8.  You’ve been standing for ten minutes beside the coffee maker waiting for it to brew before you realize that it is not plugged in.

7.  You open your lunch bag and it is empty.

6.  You find the cereal in the refrigerator and the milk in the cupboard.

5.  You eat the discards from your child’s plate then praise them for finishing their entire meal.

4.  In the morning, you put your underwear on backwards and don’t notice until bedtime.

3.  Filling out a questionnaire, you can’t remember your own date of birth.

2.  Someone asks what you take in your coffee and you shout “How in the h*‡# am I supposed to know!”

And the number one sign that you need a break:

1.  Your big presentation is today and you are running late. You race into work and arrive with only three minutes to spare.
Then you realize it is Saturday.

Stress contributes to many health problems prevalent in today’s society.  Continuous stressful situations can lead to heart disease, depression and obesity, to name only three.

You need to put yourself at the top of the list.  Step back and evaluate your priorities.

What can you do to relieve some stress and give yourself a break from the overwhelming chaos that is your life?

  • Try going for a walk in the woods. Studies have shown that walking in nature greatly reduces stress.
  • Go for a run or to the gym. Strenuous exercise can work out some frustrations.
  • Take a long hot bath. Add lavender oil to the water to aid in relaxation and listen to soothing music.
  • Get a massage. You likely have knots that need to be worked out.
  • Meditate. Even just sitting still and breathing deeply will help to relax you.
  • Watch a funny movie. Laughter can lighten the load.
  • Get together with good friends. A sympathetic ear and someone to laugh with will do a world of good.

Remember: there is only one you and someone out there needs you to be around for them. De-stress and increase the time you have together.

Share how you de-stress.

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Positive Ponderings: Excess

What is one excess that you currently have but could live without?

If you gave it up, would you really miss it?

Is it worth trying to live without it now?

30-Day Challenge – November 2012, Day 1

It’s November 1st and time to begin the second of what I hope to become monthly 30-Day Challenges.

For this month’s challenge, I am going to attempt something I have never done before. Something that is bound to be a very, nay extremely, difficult challenge for me.

For the next 30 days, I am not going to eat any bread.

No bread.

I am having a hard time even typing that. No bread.

In the bread category, I am including sandwich bread, bagels, croissants, waffles, english muffins, muffins of any kind, and yes, even pizza – Gasp! (I was going to include pasta too but I fear this will be enough of a challenge. No need to go crazy. One step at a time)

I love bread and cutting it out for a month will definitely be a challenge but one which will bring me a step closer to regaining the healthy eating lifestyle I once enjoyed.

I have already managed to remove it from my breakfasts by drinking smoothies instead – a spill-over benefit from my yoga challenge. One meal down, two meals and snacks to go.

I also intend to continue the yoga practice that I have incorporated into my daily routine from last month’s challenge.

So, are you with me?  Are you going to cut out bread for a month? Or have you decided to challenge yourself in another way?

Share your November 30-Day Challenge below. Misery loves company! 🙂

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30-Day Challenge – Day 30!

Pop the Champagne! Strike up the band!
Today is day 30 of the 30-Day Challenge.  I/we made it!

Thirty full days have passed since I started my first-ever 30-Day Challenge. My task: to do yoga every day for 30 days without fail; without missing even a single day.

Did I succeed in my endeavour?

Yes! Yes I did!

So what does this mean? What’s the significance of all of this?

What it means is that I made a commitment to myself to step toward a healthier lifestyle and I kept that commitment. I chose good health over poor. Activity over inactivity. Flexibility over stiffness.

But perhaps more importantly than any of those, I put myself first.

By focussing on what is a change for the betterment of my overall health and fitness, I was in effect saying, I am important; I value myself and I am willing to do what it takes to ensure I remain on the path that I am trying to lay out for myself.

I guess I need to take a step back and realize that in order to have done that, I needed to have had a vision in the first place. There must have been something that I wasn’t happy with or a will to achieve something more for myself, which I guess isn’t unusual or earth-shattering. I would assume most of us, if not all, have desires for things we haven’t done, things we want to achieve, things we would like to be, things we would like to do.

What this 30-Day Challenge did for me was to make me think about those things; evaluate my priorities, but mostly, it made me get my butt in gear and actually do something about it.  

My daily yoga practice lead to another unplanned and positive change. Upon completion of my morning routine, I followed it up by making a healthy smoothie. Good-bye toast and jam, so-long sugary cereal, sayonara fatty muffins.

Did the 30-Day Challenge teach me anything?

Most definitely.

I learned:

  • I can achieve my goals.
  • Flexibility is gained slowly.
  • I have limitations but can work within them.
  • Small daily changes amount to greater gains.
  • It’s never too late to try something.
  • If at first you can’t do something, keep trying. It gets easier.
  • One small change can spur on others.
  • Learn from the masters.
  • Be patient with your progress and you will see results.
  • Those who are stiff in the beginning can limber up over time.
  • Progress takes time.
  • Habits can be formed and unformed.

Some 30-Day Challenges are meant to be executed, completed and checked-off a list; a fulfilment of Bucket List items. Some are meant as a spring-board. Some are meant to instil permanent change. I am intending my yoga to be the latter of these three.

I intend to continue building on the foundation I have begun; adding strength-building and other methods to my repertoire all working toward my goal of healthy living.

Will I attempt another 30-Challenge? You’d better believe it!

Check back on Thursday, November 1st to see what I am doing next. You may want to join me!

In the meantime, start thinking about what you would try for 30 days.  Just imagine, by November 30th, you may have accomplished something you have always meant to try.

Until next time,

Did you complete an October challenge? Share it below!

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Bright-Side of the Web: Coursera

Free University Education For All!

I mean it.  Everyone.  Everywhere.  No pre-requisites. No matter your income. The only provision is that you have access to a computer.

Coursera is a web-based portal from which to access free online classes offered from universities around the globe.

Have you ever wished you could say that you had a certificate from Stanford, Johns Hopkins, U. of London, or U. of Melbourne?  Well now you can.  Currently there are 33 universities offering a total of 198 courses from eighteen categories, and they continue to add more.

Courses generally range from 4-12 weeks in length and because it’s all online, you can study on your own schedule.

Check it out!  Over 1.6 million people already have!
What have you got to lose? (I’ve already signed up for four!)

Find Coursera’s Course Calendar here. 

Coursera? Definitely a Bright-Side of the Web!

What courses are you going to take?

 photo credit: http://photopin.com

Bright-Side of the Web: Matt Cutts, 30-Day Challenge

I am in love with TED!

When I am with TED, I am inspired, educated, entertained and enlightened.

I am of course talking about TED.com, the place that shares innovative ideas, original thinkers and accomplished speakers. Their tag line, Ideas Worth Spreading, says it all and I am thankful that they do.  It is definitely a bright-side of the web and one which I am likely to share with you frequently, as I have already done – fair warning.

Today’s Bright-Side is a 3 minute and 27 second tidbit from Matt Cutts, a Google engineer who has made a habit of 30-day challenges, and he challenges you too.

October is the perfect month to begin a 30-day challenge. The month starts on a Monday so you can begin the week and month off on a roll without any excuses for delay.

And 30 days isn’t so long.  It’s only:
two 15-day increments
three 10-day stints
4-1/2 weeks
5 Mondays to count
4 Fridays to check off

I have purposely posted this item today since we are approaching the end of September.  Take the weekend to think it over carefully, then on Monday, jump in with both feet.

What would you challenge yourself to do
for the next 30 days?

Let’s keep each other accountable.
On Monday, I’ll share what I will do and keep you posted on my progress and I’d love you to do the same.

Will you take the challenge? What will you try?

Watch Matt Cutts TED talk here.

photo credit: http://photopin.com