Kick Start Your Day

Have you ever woken up tired and wondering if you even slept through the night?  Do you get a really slow start to the day and wonder how you’re going to make it til 10 AM let alone make it through the entire day?

Ever Wondered If You Could Change?

I used to have this problem myself and let me tell you…that is not how my day starts any longer.  I will share just 10 easy steps that I have adopted that really help me to set my day off on the right foot.

10 Things To Do To Kick Start Your Day

  1. Body Scan:  I do a quick body scan as soon as my eyes open.  I gently move or wiggle my body from toes to head and back down.  This only takes about 2 minutes but it helps to awaken each part of my body gently.  When I am ready, my body will be ready to move.
  2. Give Thanks:  I spend the next few minutes thanking the Universe for allowing me to make it through the night.  This serves to build on my gratitude right from the beginning of the day and to give me a quick breathing exercise before I even get up.thank you
  3. Intention:  it is now that I set my intention for the day ahead.  Maybe I want to ace an interview, I plan to meet a colleague about an issue, I have a presentation to do…this is when I plant the seed that I want to do the task well.  In my intentions, I state that I thank the Universe for the opportunity and that I know I will have the particular characteristic that I think is necessary for the job.  It sounds a little like this: ‘Thank you for allowing me the opportunity to meet with Sharon about our upcoming event.  Please give me the patience, open-mindedness, courage, and communication skills to put forth my intended ideas with compassion and love’.   You can choose to do this anyway you like but I offer this as an example of the kind of thing that I state out loud to the Universe.  (You may also say it silently if you prefer).
  4. Orient My Thoughts: I sit up in bed and mentally take a quick tally of the next three or four steps that I will take.  Find my husband to say good morning, get the dog, get a cup of coffee, go outside in the garden, water the flowers.  If I mentally make a positive plan to start my day by connecting with my husband, my dog, and nature; I am far more likely to do that, than to turn on the radio, watch the news, or check the internet.
  5. Connect: this is the time I take to actually connect.  Some days I am up first and so it is just me and the dog and we do the circuit in the garden.  I look at all my flowers and say my morning prayers for those in need.  I may sit and drink coffee and then water the flowers (which is a wonderful meditation in itself).  When my husband is up already we go out and assess the growth in the garden each morning.
  6. Meditation: my meditation takes two main forms.  The first is my flower meditation when I go and inspect each new bud in my garden, choosing one for each person I pray for.  I pray for family, friends having an interview, those undergoing medical procedures, people in my life who need a break or a boost of energy, and I pray for the people who have boosted me up the most or those who really have my back.
  7. Plot My Next 3 Moves: as I am finishing up in the garden I like to quickly think through the next three steps.  Make breakfast, put in laundry, make grocery list.  When I was working it was: get dressed, make lunch, pack bag.  If I stick to the next three things to do, I ensure that I don’t feel overwhelmed by my day.  Once I do the first three, I move on to the next three and so on throughout the day.
  8. Let The Day Come: I don’t have any control about what events happen to me in a day.  I have a plan set out for my day with no real idea if I will get one or all items checked off of my list.  I have a little trick so that I don’t get coaxed into negative thinking.  When I meet a challenge, or a challenging idea, I take a breath…I ask if it needs to be addressed right now….and then I wait.  90% of my day is made up of obstacles that come up that do not need immediate attention.  Those are things I need to let go.  It is very easy to think these things are immediate, but when I think and breathe, I often find they can be addressed later.  So, I write it down and keep doing what I was doing.  I can address that item when I have time.  We like to believe that if someone asks us to do something that means they mean now…but really, they mean ‘when you can’. The most important thing for me to remember is if I think it through with a smile on my face when is it right for ‘me’ to do it.  let it go
  9. Evaluate: as I wrote about in “2 Stars and 1 Wish” , I like to evaluate my day using this simple trick.  I name two things that I am most proud of from my day, and I itemize one thing that I think I could do differently should the occasion arise again in the future.  The focus is really on the two good things.  I like to review the video in my mind for these two elements.  I call the latter part “One Wish” because I am human.  Of course I’ve made mistakes throughout the day.  We all have things we’d like to do better.  There is no place in here though to dwell on negative thoughts or bad behaviour.  I state the misstep, I acknowledge my part in the event, and then I offer myself an alternative should a similar event ever come up.  This does two things: it holds me accountable for one big mistake in my day; and it offers me a viable solution for growth the next time I encounter that lesson….And then I stop!  I do not get to say 2 wishes.  I don’t get to berate myself or put myself down for anything else.  What this does for me is it minimizes all the other tiny misses throughout the day.  I get to lament one misdeed and then I have to call it quits!
  10. Give Thanks (again): I like to give thanks to the Universe again for creating a wonderful day for me.  This not only helps me to put my day’s work into it’s true perspective, it also helps to set me up for the next day.  I get to say ‘thank you’ for taking care of all those I prayed for that day and to watch over us for another night.evening

I used to think it was a little hokey to do all this but I can honestly say it makes my day a lot easier.  I sleep very soundly at night and I have a positive outlook most of the time.  Some may argue that I am naturally that way, and perhaps that’s part of it.  I assure you though, I used to lie in bed at night and worry about issues that I had no power over and I would lament my bad choices.  Now, I get to get off one doozey and then I shut it all down.  (Since I started practicing this, there have been very few sleepless nights in my life and I rarely play the ‘then he said….I should have said….OH…I wish I said’ game).

I hope this is SOMETHING WONDERFUL for you to bring to your day!

Feel free to let me know in the comments section any of the tips and tricks you think could add to my morning kick start routine.  I am always looking for great ideas from others.

Love Ingrid x

#morningkickstart   #morningroutine  #somethingwonderful

 

Chives Are A Summer Staple In My Kitchen

Chives: a gardener’s delight

Chives are a great herb to grow and they are super easy to care for.  I planted mine a few years ago and every year they come back in greater abundance.  As many of you know, I love spending time out in my garden.  It is a place that keeps me grounded and serves as a meditation space for me most of the Spring, Summer, and Fall.  I am so grateful for all things that come from my garden to my table throughout the growing season.

You can read all about the health benefits of chives in this excerpt Chives nutrition facts.  Chives are filled with goodness and they add tremendous flavour to dressings, summer potatoes, fish recipes, etc.  You can quickly clip a small handful from your herb section and chop them up to add a punch of flavour to your table.

Chives Contain Vitamin A

I do know that they are chock full of Vitamin A as when I was in Rebound High Pressure after my Epidural Blood Patch due to my CSF leak, I was not allowed to eat them for fear of raising the pressure in my head.  I have written about my challenges of having a CSF leak in several previous posts such as 5 Tips For Facing Chronic Illness or Getting Past What ‘Used To Be’.

Chives Are Great In The Kitchen

I have often used ingredients from my garden to flavour oils for winter use.  That added texture and aroma of summer wafts through my cooking all year long.  This year, I thought I would try adding chives and the results have been fabulous.  In a couple of weeks, I should be able to start using the new recipes I developed this year.

Chive vinegar

Enjoy Your Summer Chives

Garden herbs are just a simple way of adding your garden goodness right to your very own table.  If you don’t have space for a garden, they are also very easy to grow in a pot in a sunny window in your home.

However you choose to grow them, they are SOMETHING WONDERFUL!

Love Ingrid x

#junegratitude   #wondersfrommygarden

Save

Visit From A Friend?

A Visit The Other Evening

It was around 7 PM last Sunday, when my husband and I made the terrible discovery out in the garden.  I have written several times about my love for all things in my garden in Meditation Flowers and other posts.  At first we chalked it down to a misstep on the part of our dog or perhaps an errant foot as we were weeding or setting up the rows of veggies.  We had been doing a lot of rearranging in the garden the other day…so had we stepped on a few seedlings?

We had evidence of some earth being disturbed…and frankly…our dog can be rather rambunctious when a visit from squirrels is underway.  I really thought he had been in a few raised beds.

bunny 3

The Evidence Was Mounting

That Sunday night, however, there was no denying…we were not alone!

The tops of a few of our budding heads of lettuce were looking a little more scraggly than before.  As we looked frantically around the garden, we realized that the broccoli family was the most widely affected.  The tops of absolutely every cauliflower and broccoli plant was truncated.  We scoured the area, and yes…the unwanted visitor had even gotten a start on the brussel sprouts (the perp is in need of a serious regime of vitamins)!

The Pride and Joy

My husband and I were equally shocked to see that every single shoot from my beloved sunflowers was now gone…they looked like sticks poking out of the ground…not a leaf in sight.

The Plan

We quickly jumped into the car and raced to the nearest hardware store only to find it was already closed.  Back in the car, dog in the back seat, and we scurried to the next shop.  We grabbed up all the chicken wire they had in stock and ran home to fence in the major portions of our garden. 

It was 9:30 or 10:00 before we were done.  We did feel exhausted but secure in the hopes that our work would pay off and our veggie patch would go unburglarized from an unwanted visit.

The Proof

I awoke the next morning, quite early by happenstance, and as I looked out into the yard, far down the lot to our vegetables. Everything looked quiet in the new day sun.

I stepped out into the yard with my dear fur-baby…even SHE sprinted to the end of the yard to scout out the situation.

Surprise Visit

It was just then….out of the corner of my eye…I saw the rustling….

A darling fawn coloured bunny had found a patch near my lupins and was munching on some dandelion leaves.

 

Vindicated…for now…

Next I better get out there and do something to secure the carrots!

Rabbits really are SOMETHING WONDERFUL….(even if they are living under our shed!)

Love Ingrid x

 

#loveiseverywhere    #junegratitude   #bunnylove

Save

Save

Play! Play! Play!

 

I would love to see some pictures of how you allowed play into your day!  Feel free to post them in a comment here or on the Facebook page ‘Something Wonderful Community’.

 

Love Ingrid x

#junegratitude

A Special Mention

Yesterday, I wrote about my Liebster Award nomination and there was one person who put forth her name for consideration.  Her name is Ana and she writes a fabulous beauty blog in Croatian.  I wanted to highlight her for the award, but to be honest, I can’t read Croatian so couldn’t comment on the content.

I know she works hard at her blog and puts in a lot of time by the detail and professionalism of her site.

Her blog is called Vote Beauty and I am sure it is worth reading if you know Croatian.  The photos are great!  The blog is fresh and youthful and so I wanted to highlight her efforts even though I couldn’t actually nominate her for a Liebster.

Way to go Ana!

Love Ingrid x

Shutter Bugs!

Dust off yourlenses and get clicking

Liebster Award

Wow! Wow! Wow!

I was really pleased to be nominated for this Liebster Award by the lovely Sophie from Pretty Potato A Crochet and Crafts Blog. She said such nice things about my blog and I am so grateful to her for the nomination.

For anyone that maybe unsure of what the Liebster Award actually is, it is a virtual award that is passed on from blogger to blogger as a show of support, and it also helps to promote any fellow bloggers that we enjoy reading.

HERE ARE THE RULES:
You must acknowledge who has nominated you and also share their links.
Share 11 facts about yourself.
Answer all 11 questions asked.
Nominate 11 more bloggers whose blog you would recommend.
Ask 11 questions that you would like those bloggers to answer.
Include an image of the Liebster Award either in your post or in the sidebar of your blog.
Let the bloggers you have nominated know that they’ve been nominated.

liebster-blog-awards-2

My Facts

  1. I love Chinese Sharpeis not just because they are the best at giving kisses but because they have more wrinkles than I do
  2. I have known my husband for more than half of my life and that makes my heart sing
  3. In the Spring, I spend more on gardening than I do on groceries, so that in the Fall, I can spend less on groceries and none on gardening
  4. My favourite thing to do in the whole wide world is swim in the lake where my family has a cottage. The water feels like silk
  5. I love to laugh a big old raucous, obnoxious guffaw at something that is brilliant and keen witted
  6. I like to make up really bad songs and then sing back up vocals for myself…usually in the shower or as I get dressed
  7. I am known to break out into dance at any given moment
  8. Laughing at inappropriate times is a blessing and a curse of mine
  9. I love wine gums…too much (no…they don’t have wine in them)
  10. I prefer being outdoors
  11. A french pedicure in summer makes my toes twinkle and that makes me smile

 

My nominees are:

Thalia and John completely captivated me in the opening video of their travel blog/vlog (I have to say…the music is endearing). The tag line reads “Our Stars Collided, Our Spirits Connected, Our Souls Danced, And We Fell In Love”. Their adventures can be found at The Road To Travel with Thalia and John if you feel like learning a little about the world and watching a love story unfold.

Linda at Tales From The Cabbage Patch who writes a quirky and funny bunch of anecdotes about her life in Ontario Canada. Linda aka Head Cabbage has a humourous slant on her trials and tribulations in this little thing called life.

Fiorenza from Capture Your Happy who is dedicated to coaching others to find happiness and contentment in today’s whacky world.  She is truly a ray of sunshine. You may have caught her guest blog post last week called Gratitude.

Toni a brand new travel writer from her blog Cheers To A Wonderful World just brimming with spunk and enthusiasm for a life of adventure.  Toni is a transplant now making her way around to various places with her partner.  I recommend you give it a read.

Trisha has a blog called Rosewood and Grace with fantastic ideas for making life affordable, stylish, and happy.  Read about her daughter’s First birthday party and you’ll soon see that she writes with honesty, humour, and humility.

Joy from Unbreakable Joy  she is smack dab in the middle of a Kindness Challenge, so you can bet we’re soul-bloggers (if there is such a thing)! Joy writes of kindness and bringing more of it to your life.  I think she may be onto something!

Sophie writes a blog called Life As Mrs. D as she manages her way through motherhood, life, and being mum to little one Isla.  A thoughtful and caring look at being a mother.  She has a 100 Days of Happy challenge posted so a definite lure to my Something Wonderful vibe.

Lucy at Guide to Greeneating who is just starting out a vegan, green living food blog.  Her site is just getting started but it promises to be great if you check out her first post.  The recipe for her buddha bowl looks amazing and the photos are insanely great!

Debbie from The Debbie Laughlin Blog who mixes her own brand of beauty and delight to her blog about being a mother in a blended family.  The photography on her site is breathtaking as she explores the world of writing and letting her spirit grow in print.

Tina at Pixels by Tina where she gives terrific advice and encouragement to photographers out there.  If you want to see photos that can actually make your heart sing; the kind of pics that make you realize the Universe is gigantic and warm; I suggest you head on over to her site.

Enzo at Inguaribile Viaggiatore who writes a delightful travel blog from Italy although posts are available in English.  A wonderful world of adventure is always a fascinating way to explore the world when you need a little encouragement to get out and see the world.

 

My answers are:

1. What made you start blogging?

I spent the entire year in bed last year and as a result I joined a number of online support groups.  A friend in one of these groups encouraged me to write as she found that what I had to say could resonate with others with our same challenges.  I decided to start writing about how I was dealing with the same issues and I started to get followers who could identify with what I was saying.  I am so grateful as it really has helped me to find purpose and direction each day as I learn to live with this illness.

2. Other than your blog subject what is your favourite hobby?

My favourite hobby is SCUBA diving which I have not been able to do in a long time.  I love the feeling of floating underwater and there is deep spiritual peace and meditation that goes on under the ocean.  The creatures living underwater are all moving in slow motion so you either slow your own self down or you miss all the action!

3. When was the last time you laughed so hard you cried and why?

The last time I laughed really hard was with a friend in a shopping mall.  I made a funny comment and we both just burst at the seams and buckled over for that kind of laugh where your whole body shakes but little sound comes out.  One of my favourite kinds of laughter.

4. What is your motto?

My motto is the tag line for my blog.  “Wake up every morning knowing that something wonderful is about to happen”.  I have this printed out above my computer as a reminder that life can surprise and delight you at any time.  The best day of your life could be today!

5. What did you want to be when growing up?

I have always wanted to be a teacher and that is what I have been so fortunate enough to do for my adult life.  I am blessed both in knowing what I wanted and being able to do what I love.

6. What is your favourite book and why?

I have so many books that I like but one that I found that really impacted me greatly of late is Audrey Niffenegger’s The Time Traveller’s Wife.  I think it is an absolutely ingenious and delightful love story that just took my breath away.  I couldn’t put it down. A close second is Life of Pi by Yann Martel. I think he’s brilliant!

7. What are your goals for the future?

I hope to travel to as many places as I possibly can in a few years when my health is improved and I am able to handle airplanes and long distances.

8. Where is your favourite place in the world?

My favourite place in the world is my cottage.  My peace is most at home there.

9. If you could instantly learn a new skill what would it be?

I would love to learn how to fly an airplane

10. You get one meal that you have to eat over and over for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Something Japanese

11. You can meet one person from history, who is it and why?

I would love to meet Nellie McClung a suffragette who was instrumental in getting women the vote in Canada. I think it would be fascinating to compare her view of the role of women and to let her know the outcome of her dedication to women in Canada.

MY Questions (for the next nominees)

  1. How did you come to blogging? Have you always been a writer?
  2. What was the first thing you remember writing that made you feel proud?
  3. Who is your favourite author? Why?
  4. Where do you go for inspiration?
  5. What is the one thing that makes you laugh the most?
  6. What do you do to keep focused? What writing rituals do you have?
  7. Favourite junk food?
  8. Best movie you’ve seen in the past 12 months?
  9. Who is the one person who has seen any of your posts before anyone else?
  10. Who are the people who prop you up the most?
  11. What is your life quote that keeps you going?

 

So those are my nominations and questions, please take some time to visit the other blogs and leave them some love! I’d like to once again say thank you to Sophie for my nomination for this award!

Love Ingrid x

3and3quarters.net_-1024x913

Childhood Antics!

Antics with my brother were always good for a laugh.  I laughed a lot as a girl growing up cause he was a veritable comedian.  He really knew how to make my mom laugh and some of those memories are etched in my mind.

Take time over the next few days to share a few of your most cherished childhood memories.  Retelling stories from happy times in the past have been scientifically proven to raise your oxytocin (that’s the feel good hormone) and increase your sense of wellbeing.

We’re almost half way through our Gratitude Challenge!

Love Ingrid x

#junegratitude

 

 

June Challenge Day 12

Day 12…

Keep those compliments coming!

Beautiful-1.jpg

Talk About Gratitude!!

I have just had another story about my CSF leak published to The Mighty!

I am thrilled and grateful to the folks at The Mighty for sharing my story.  I hope others can read and learn about this condition.  So many are misdiagnosed, like me, for months, years, or decades.

I would be most grateful to my readers for sharing and helping spread the word.

Here it is:

When My Pain Turned Out To Be More Than A Headache

It’s my SOMETHING WONDERFUL for today!

Love Ingrid x