Empowerment Through Mindful Living

Empowerment is not a topic I often reflect upon

Last month, I wrote an article for Nabalo Magazine.  They offered a number of topics that I could write about and I found myself drawn to the concept of empowerment.  It is not something that I often consider.  As a middle aged person, I feel I have been learning all along my journey how to empower myself and others.  By no means am I an expert at this but I wondered as my fingers brushed the keys if empowerment were truly a priority for me.

It brought up a whole series of questions for me.  Is finding a silent state and moment of calm my way of finding my inner strength?  Does writing about challenges I face through my illness strengthen me from the inside?  Does finding positive ways to handle adversity give me the strength I need to face the next hurdle?

Empowerment Mindful Living
Today is the day!

I’m pretty darn sure, if you’ve been following my blog for a while, that you know where this one is going….

Is what I do ’empowerment’?

As I wrote, I realized, that my meditation flowers that I reach to for guidance each morning, are my form of empowerment.  I gain confidence and resilience through watching them each day as we evolve together.  Using flowers is my assurance that even if I am feeling very unwell, that I’ll have a bright spot in my day (this is often enough to at least get me out of my bed).  More often than not, though, my garden walk helps me to build my strength to face the day.  Another example of gaining energy and motivation from inside myself.

Writing about and sharing my challenges, and connecting with others, helps me to build a fortress of resolve for that day when my thoughts may choose to turn their back on me.  Finding purpose during adversity is teaching me that darkness and light really do have to exist at the same time.  Gratitude is helping me to understand that I have abundance no matter my areas of lack.

So, today is the day.  The August edition is being published ‘for real‘ and I am in it.  I feel exhilarated, and excited, and truly grateful.  I am both proud of my accomplishment and terrified to send it out into the ether!

I also feel empowered!

Love Ingrid x

#nabalolifestylemagazine

I would love for you to read and share the article on their site at http://nabalo.com/the-magazine/

Or via these links:

Nabalo Website : http://nabalo.com
Nabalo Facebook Page : https://www.facebook.com/nabalolifestyle
Nabalo Instagram : https://www.instagram.com/nabalo/

My Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/mysomethingwonderful

My Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ingridsnydal

My Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/snydaling

Thank you always for your kindness.

Gratitude: Our Month of Growing Gratitude

Wonderfriends! You’ve done it!

Gratitude Month A Success

I am so grateful to you all for coming along with me on a journey of Gratitude. I walk my garden today and name each one of you as a part of my last day on this wonderful journey of awareness.  I am so grateful to all the abundance and joy I have in my life today.

This was a particularly difficult month for me as all my symptoms have returned from my CSF leak as well as some added issues that I have not experienced.  It made it extra challenging for me to walk the path of gratitude but I assure you…I stuck extra close to my prompts each day and made it a better month than I could have imagined.

Gratitude grows in you

I hope you managed to add some joy and feelings of empowerment throughout this month and that you can take these lessons with you as you embark on the summer months ahead. You can read all about the Benefits of Gratitude at Happier Human.

I have to thank so many of you for reaching out to me to tell me how this gratitude challenge was helping to refocus during a busy summer month.  I am so grateful that you take the time to read along with me as I journey through a chronic illness and help me along the way.  Your words of encouragement and love are all a huge part of my feelings of gratitude each and every day.

Any day is a good day to feel grateful

If you haven’t been able to follow along for the month of June, there is nothing stopping you from adding these ideas to the next month or any month that you feel ready to accept this challenge. Here is the initial list of gratitude prompts.

That goes for anything in life.  Who says your 24-hour day starts when you wake up and ends when you hit the pillow.  You can restart your day any time you like.  If you don’t like what’s happening, reset the clock and start again!

Gratitude and Thanks

Thank you all for joining in my Month of Gratitude Challenge. It has been such a great experience for me and I hope it’s been a great journey for you too!

I wish for you that each month is filled with Something Wonderful that you are happy to share with the people in your life.

Love Ingrid x

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

 

Gratitude by Fiorenza Rossini

How Fiorenza finds gratitude in the most unlikely places

Fiorenza Rossini – Guest Blogger

The Busy Bee Community

www.fiorenzarossini.com

 

I first met Fiorenza through her Facebook group, The Busy Bee Community. She hosted a 7 Day Happiness Photo Challenge to increase Gratitude for the things that surround us in our everyday lives.

Her vivacious enthusiasm for all things wonderful was contagious. I could just feel the smile in her voice as she wrote to each of us to encourage us to delight in the wonders we were seeing in each day’s photos.

It was later that I discovered she is originally from Italy, was raised in France, and is now transplanted to the UK where she lives and thrives in the light of positivity. She has a business specializing in NLP and Lifestyle coaching. The thing that strikes me the most about her site is her desire to make life better for others and a genuine wish for goodness to prevail in the world. Just the things I love to celebrate at Something Wonderful.

She states “My intention is to empower you in all areas of your life and to give self-care the place it deserves”.

This sounds like Something Wonderful to me!

Please read on as Fiorenza shares a moment of Gratitude she wrote about this week on a trip to NYC!

Header-About-ME-page

 

GRATITUDE

by Fiorenza Rossini

 

It is my birthday week while I am writing these lines, and I have loads of things to be grateful for, as you can imagine.

To start with, I am spending a wonderful holiday week in New York!

This a sneak peek of the things I am grateful for since my holiday started:

  • How easy it is, for us leaving in modern societies, to get on a plane to any destination in the world.
  • The feeling of happiness when I arrive in a city I love.
  • The feeling of connection I get because I’m trying to imagine details about the life of the strangers sitting next to me in the subway. (Do you do that too?)
  • Going to Sandy Hook Beach. I am grateful for that precious moment of peace and sunshine.
  • We are staying in a hotel room with a stunning view of Manhattan. I am grateful for this live picture I get to see when I wake up and while I am writing.
  • I am grateful for the friends I am gonna meet here, so far from home.
  • I am grateful for the birthday card a friend gave me and that I am carrying to open it on my birthday day.

 

 

That’s a good list, isn’t it? You may ask me: what are the things I am grateful for in my everyday life, and not only during my holiday?

That’s a great question.

As some of you may know, I live in London in the UK.

On Saturday evening Eastern time, I was happily enjoying a glass of rosé in Greenwich village when I looked down at my phone and saw that some Facebook friends marked themselves “safe” and were asking if I was safe during the London terror attack. Another one…

In a second I went from a very happy place in my heart to feelings of fear, sadness and I thought, “I’ll never be able to be really happy”.

I am finding it hard these days to feel safe, really safe. There are always been threats, attacks and whatever bad thing, but it has really been only a year since I am feeling it is real and that it can happen to me too.

 

The only thing that helps me alleviate my sad feelings is gratitude. When I think about all the things I have and that I am grateful for in the present moment it helps me realise how lucky I am. The more I focus on the present moment, little things I feel, have or see that make me happy, the more gratitude and happiness kick in and I let go of fear and sadness.

Daily gratitude is how I remember that life is worth it, that love can be all around us, and that there will always be hope.

Fiorenza

 

This is my Something Wonderful for all of you today!  Thank you so much to Fiorenza for writing today and for being my very first guest blogger!

I hope your day is filled with gratitude!

Love Ingrid x

#fiorenzarossini  #gratitude   #gratitudechallenge   #junegratitude

 

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You've Got Mail!

I mean real live mail!

I love MAIL.  I love letters.  I love postcards. I love opening the mailbox and finding something.  I love mail.

When I was a young girl growing up in Ottawa, Ontario, I loved to write letters.  My mother asked me often to sit down and write a letter to my Grandmother or one of my Aunts to let them know how things were going.  I was always required to write a ‘Thank You’ card, no matter how big or how small the gift I received, and I loved creating Xmas cards and sending them off in a huge bundle.

I will admit to being very enthusiastic with the advent of the computer and email.  I would get very excited in those early dial-up days to see that an email message was there awaiting my reply.  I would get the message from a friend from afar (my husband and I were living overseas so it was extra special) and we would read and respond with witty banter or family updates and it held our attention and our hearts for a good portion of the day or week.  Honestly, in those early days, we may talk about our emails at the dinner table.  We might even share insights and giggles from a friend’s email with others.  It really was a novelty.

As with so many things in life, now that email messages are read on the fly, and you have just to pick up your phone and see a one paragraph halted, highly edited version of a message, often with no greetings or attention to context, the email seems just not so special anymore.

In my efforts to stave off depression due to my illness, I decided that I would make it my mission to write letters.  I mean, real live letters.  A few years ago, I started to write letters for fun, just to let someone know I was thinking of them.  The response was incredible.  People went out of their way to thank me and congratulate me on surprising them with words on a page.  I realized the power of GIVING MY TIME IN WRITING.

Writing letters is an activity that takes just a few minutes that can have a lasting impact on the person who receives your love.

When I sit down to write a letter, I think carefully about that person.  I really want them to know about how I feel about them at that moment.  If I take the time to think about them over the course of a few days before sitting down to write, I know my words will flow out of me.  I know I am sending along LITTLE PACKETS OF LOVE and it makes me feel so good.  I love spreading love whenever I can but when I do it in letters it makes it that much more meaningful.

I am encouraging you, if you are at all the kind of person who loves to receive mail, that there are so many of your friends and family who will DELIGHT in finding a hand-written letter at their doorstep, should you decide to write them.  Putting a little packet of love in someone’s day not only does wonders for them…you, too, will find a little hop in your get-along as well.

Writing letters really is SOMETHING WONDERFUL in my day.

Love Ingrid x

#loveiseverywhere #love #littlepacketsoflove #letters #mail