What the World Needs Now

Have you ever had someone in your life (friend, family member, co-worker, etc.) ask you about the delicious-looking healthy meal that you’re eating?  Maybe they asked you for your advice for a more natural way to wash their hair?  They’ve noticed that you’ve been pursuing a more natural lifestyle and it’s piqued their interest.  They are hungry for information!

Doesn’t it feel great when someone asks you for your input to help them on their path to wellness?  I know it does for me.  I get a small but noticeable ‘leap’ in my heart.  That’s the best way for me to describe it.   I honestly think that one of the main reasons we are here on this planet is to help others as much as we can.  If you can teach people about being healthier it gives them some options…something to think about.  You are able to plant a seed and help it to grow.

Some people feel like they’re not able to impart any of their knowledge until they are an ‘expert’.  Before they help others, they need to know everything about everything about being healthy, as well as be in the best physical and mental shape of their lives.  So untrue!  While we should all continue to strive to be our unique best selves, we don’t need to be ‘perfect’ before we help others.  This was a recent revelation for me.  As someone who struggles with self-confidence in general, I thought ‘who am I to suggest ways to be healthier to others, when I’m not the picture of health myself’?

But you know more than you think!  I’ve found that when I’ve been asked for tips/suggestions by others, the information that I’ve learned here and there over the years just came pouring out like a faucet.  I may not know everything about everything (yet!), but I do know a lot about some things.  And I’m passionate about continually learning and sharing those things with others.

So go out there and share what you know!  Please don’t hold back because you feel you’re ‘not ready’ yet.  If not now, then when?  The world needs people who want to help others…now more than ever!

Have a lovely Sunday!

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Taking Baby Steps On Your Health Journey

Sometimes trying to be healthy can be overwhelming.  Especially in a world where everyone’s trying to sell you the latest ‘fad’ diet.  It can get expensive too!

One thing that I’ve found eases the anxiety is taking baby steps.  You don’t need to totally restock your pantry all at once.  That can be both overwhelming and expensive!  If you just try one new thing every now and then (maybe every pay day?) it’s a step in the right direction.  For example, buy some coconut oil (one of my favourite things!).  It’s so versatile (skin moisturiser, hair treatment, cooking oil, baking oil, add to coffee, oil pulling, etc.).  You could also try swapping out your regular fruit/vegetables (for example, apples) for organic ones.  Try some organic high quality dark chocolate instead of regular milk chocolate.  There are so many delicious options!

All of these baby steps will add up to a pantry full of good stuff so that you won’t need to buy much to try out a new recipe.  But there’s no rush.  Take your time.  No need to break the bank or stress yourself out.  You’ll get there.

Now go forth…and try something new!

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Honouring Courage and Sacrifice

Today is Remembrance Day in Canada.  Most provinces recognize this day as a statutory holiday so we are able to enjoy a day off from work and/or school today.  Although it is always nice to get an ‘extra’ day off, it is important to take some time (whether a minute or an hour) to remember the reason why we are able to enjoy this day off every year.

Remembrance Day (originally named Armistice Day) originated in the early 1900’s and marked the end of hostilities during WWI.  The poppy flower is a symbol of remembrance for the events and sacrifices made during times of war.  The flowers often overgrew the mass graves left by battles during WWI.  The well-known poem In Flanders Fields by John McRae helped to solidify the poppy as the universal symbol of Remembrance Day.  The poppy flower pins were originally crafted and sold by disabled veterans.

Today is a beautiful sunny Fall day here in BC and I am enjoying a leisurely day in my sweatpants, sans make-up.  Amidst this day off, my boyfriend and I spent a minute of silence at 11 AM to honour the courage and sacrifice made by so many before us, along with so many current soldiers continuing to fight for our freedom and safety.  Whether you ‘agree’ with war or not, please take some time today to be thankful for the freedoms that we are able to enjoy because so many fight for us to keep them.

I thank you all for your amazing courage, sacrifice, and true love of our country.

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M & M Monday

Mondays.  Bleh.  Luckily, this particular sunny, chilly Monday is a great one for me as I have a much needed day off from work.  In fact, I’m off until Thursday so it’s a great week for me (not to rub it in!).

On these kinds of days, I really notice the change in my levels of anxiety and stress (as I’m sure you all do in your own lives).  Especially when I don’t need to do anything (errands, etc).  My current job really isn’t that stressful (9 to 5 office job), but I’ve struggled with anxiety for years now.  There could be many contributing factors to my anxiety, including personality, lifestyle, habits, the fast-paced world these days,  etc.

Whatever the ‘reasons’, I’ve found that practising M & M (Meditation and Mindfulness) truly helps to ease my anxiety.  One thing that I’ve learned recently about meditation is that the goal is not to totally clear your mind/make it blank.  If that’s your goal, then you’re setting yourself up for frustration and disappointment.  The goal is to try to calm your mind.  If random thoughts pop up (which they definitely will) then your only job is to notice them as they go by.  To be aware of how many crazy thoughts run through your mind (it can be very enlightening!).  One of the most important concepts of meditation is to be kind to yourself.  There is no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ in meditation.  You do it at your own pace, however it works for you.  For example, counting and noticing your breaths may work better for you than repetition of a mantra.  Figure out what works best for you and go with that (while being open to new ways of practising as well).

I’m truly amazed at how meditation and mindfulness have made a difference in my life so far.  All with only practising once a week for 30 minutes (so far)!  Right now I’m practising during my lunch break at work, which I didn’t think would work when I began, as it’s tough to ‘relax’ while in the middle of the work day.  The biggest thing I’ve noticed is how high and tight my shoulders are at the beginning of the session compared to how low and loose they are by the end.  It’s just awesome!

My plan is to incorporate meditation and mindfulness more often in my week and see what kind of results happen from there.  Remember, whether it’s 5 minutes or an hour, at work or at home, out in nature or inside your home, while sitting or lying down, meditation sessions can do wonders for your soul!

Happy M & M Monday! 🙂

Laura

P.S. – I don’t often like to ‘plug’ specific people/companies, but I feel that this one is warranted.  If you’d like more information about meditation and mindfulness (along with videos & meditation recordings) please feel free to check out www.thecalmmonkey.com and get to know my work associate/meditation instructor Wendy.

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The Morning After

All Hallows’ Eve has come to an end for another year.  Though not my personal favourite holiday, many people tend to overindulge in multiple ways during the festivities.  Something that tends to rear its ugly head ‘the morning after’ said festivities is guilt.  ‘Why did I drink so much alcohol?’…’Why did I eat so much junk food?’…’Why did I stay up so late?’…’Why did I say those crazy things that hurt that person?’…etc.  Sound familiar???

You’re not alone.  We’ve all felt this way at one time or another (myself definitely included!).  The good news?  Every day is a brand new day; a day that we can continue to strive to be our best selves, no matter how the day before turned out.  Really let that marinate for a minute.  EVERY DAY IS A DO-OVER.  No matter what happened the day/week/month/year before, you have another chance every single day.  Doesn’t that feel so freeing and empowering?!?!  It definitely does to me!

One thing that we all really need to consciously work on is how we think about and towards ourselves.  I know, I know…’love yourself’ is pretty cliche.  No matter how cheesy it sounds, how you think about and treat yourself is so important.  For example, waking up today and thinking ‘I can’t believe I ate so much junk last night.  I’m so weak.  I was doing so well and then I just ruined it all in one night.  Why can’t I do anything right…’ just leads you down an unproductive path of negativity and self-loathing.  In contrast, imagine if you were to wake up today thinking ‘I can’t believe I ate so much junk last night.  Well, it happened.  I slipped.  These things happen sometimes.  I’m just going to dust myself off and start fresh today.  Let’s get going on that water to flush things out and a smoothie to get things back on track.  Today is a new day.’  Don’t the latter thoughts make you feel so much better and more positive, even just reading the words in this blog?

Let’s make a concerted effort to be kind to ourselves.  We have to live with ourselves for 80+ years, so can’t we just get along?!  Try it out for yourself and notice the many positive things that WILL happen as a result.  Feel free to leave me a comment and let me know what happens for you personally as a result of the kindness that you show yourself!

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