Why not go out on a limb?
That’s where the fruit is.
Regardless of faith or religious conviction, it’s easy to get caught up in the commercialism of the holidays and forget what the season is truly about.
Here are 5 ways to renew your faith in the spirit of the season:
There are many opportunities to lend a hand at this time of year. Food banks, toy drives, parades, local concerts, homeless shelters, church collections for needy families to name but a very few. But don’t let your volunteering stop on December 26th. Winter itself provides ample opportunities to flex your volunteer muscle. How about shovelling snow for seniors in your area? Volunteer with Meal-On-Wheels. Join with the local senior’s center and offer your services to drive seniors to appointments. And of course food banks and soup kitchens need volunteers year-round.
2. Start A Drive
Hook up with a charity and host a local drive, be it for food, school supplies, medical supplies, clothing, diapers, what-ever. Get others to help you with collection, packaging and delivery to the charity head-quarters.
3. Donate Items
This is a great one for children. Ask your children to sort through the toys they no longer play with. Take the gently used ones to the nearest donation center. Have your child accompany you to the center and ask them to put the items in the box or give them to the person at the door. Your children will be proud that their toys will go to good homes and be loved by other children.
4. Opt to Give Gifts of Hope
Instead of buying Aunt Marge yet another scarf and Uncle Fred the usual wool socks, donate the money you would have used to purchase those items to a charity. Give Aunt Marge & Uncle Fred a card with a hand-written (or computer generated) note stating that on their behalf, you have given the gift of hope, and in some cases, the gift of life, to someone who needed it most.
5. Focus on Giving
As each of the other points demonstrate, giving of yourself, your time, your gently used items, and/or your money can all be great ways to keep and instill the reason for the season. And if and when you do exchange gifts, always remember that it is better to give than receive. Focus on the joy you get when you watch someone open the gift you have selected especially for them because you wanted to get them something, not because you had to get them something. And focus on the joy they get from receiving it.
Bringing Joy to the World, either close to home or far away, will bring joy to your world.
Before I introduce today’s Bright-Side of the Web, if you celebrate Hanukkah, I want to wish you peace and love and a very
In today’s Bright-Side, National Geographic photographer, Paul Nicklen, shares his awesome (literally, awesome) photographs and his adventures as a wildlife photographer in the arctic and antarctic.
If you can’t spare the time to watch the entire program, be sure to watch the first five minutes, although I’m sure you will have a hard time pulling yourself away.
Our polar ice is melting and something must be done. Paul Nicklen will show you why.
Share your comments on this video.
In keeping with this week’s posts on Simplification and Gratitude, I bring you:
This video has been seen over 21 million times. Why?
Because we humans marvel at nature.
Nature can teach us so many things.
Always amazing, ever breathtaking, be it your first or twenty-first time
and definitely A Bright-Side of the Web:
You avid Oprah.com fans may already know about Soul Pancake but they are a new discovery for me and one I am so happy to have found. I can’t tell you how much time I have spent watching their videos. They are inspiring!
Soul Pancake is a small group of people who set up interesting, innovative and exciting ways for people to share their joy. I want to join their team! How great would that job be?
Here are links to just a few of my favourite projects and seriously, I had a difficult time narrowing it down. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry (in a good way) and I’m sure you will continue to explore the site and discover the rest for yourself. (Sorry, I can’t do anything about the commercials at the beginning of some, but at least they are short).
Soul Pancake: Chatterbox. I love this one!
Soul Pancake: Heart Attack Not what you’re thinking. Trust me, you’ll like it.
Soul Pancake: Good News. My philosophy exactly!
Soul Pancake. A very Bright-Side of the Web! Happy Friday!
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30-Day Challenge – Day 16
We’re half way through the November 30-Day Challenge!
How are you doing? Still sticking with it?
Don’t worry if you had a slip-up or two. Just re-focus and forge ahead!
So far, so good for me. There were a couple of close calls. Habits are hard to break but luckily I remembered about the challenge in time to catch myself. What I have noticed though is there are so many pizza commercials!!
15 days down, 15 to go.
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?
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.
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.
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! 🙂
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?
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!