5 Morning Wishes To Start (or Restart) Your Day

Can you make Morning Wishes a part of your day?

I recently came up with a simple list of Morning Wishes that I could make when I am feeling particularly in need of feeling at peace with my day.

Recently, I woke up completely discombobulated.  I could tell I was not myself at all right from the moment my feet hit the floor.  I had been awakened many times during the night with my mind out of sorts.  Random thoughts were coming.  Bad dreams or at least the feeling of the leftovers of a bad dream.  Too hot in the night…and then, of course, too cold.  Dog sounds waking me.  A car racing in the night down the street.

When I awoke, I felt disgruntled and not well-rested.  I was grumpy.

It’s not as though I haven’t felt grumpy before in my life.  Very rare, though, for me though, is to feel this out of sorts upon waking.

I tried to lie back down and say my affirmations.  I was half-hearted…I admit.

I thought a glass of water would help.  I sat quietly on my own.  I slowly drank down the water and felt a little better…but I was agitated.

I spoke particularly carefully.  I was cheery…if you can’t be happy then fake it until you feel happy.

Out to the garden for some therapy.  Coffee in hand, I headed out to my urban sanctuary. My little piece of verdant heaven.  I sat, listening for bird song.  I breathed.  I sat.

Grumpy.

I asked myself to choose an activity that would help to bring me back to peace.

For some crazy reason, everything I chose was making me more irritated.  I tried blogging and ran into nothing but technical difficulties (4 hour delays to fix the problem kind of difficulties).  A craft activity that I was trying to finish went out the door so I headed to the craft store to work it out.  Got home with renewed excitement and dashed again.  On and on, all day long, I seemed to be blundering along at everything I tried.

Ugh! What a day!

I decided, for the next day to have a hope at getting off on the right track, I would write myself a list of 5 Morning Wishes to get my mind set on a better path.

5 Morning Wishes
5 Wishes

I hope they can help you too…if you are ever having the kind of day when you just wake up grumpy.

Love Ingrid x

The end of my day was much better….maybe just writing the list made all the difference.

 

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31 Days of Wonder

Wonder truly is everywhere

Do you think you could add more wonder and magic to each day?  Are you finding it hard to break out of yourself and do new things?

As you know, my motto these days is to start each day knowing that something wonderful is about to happen.  I love this outlook on life because it truly makes me feel that even in the hard times, it is easy to remember that good times are not far off.  Searching for the good times is not hard for me.  I have simply to think about the little wonders that creep into my day and it brings a smile to my face as I prepare to sleep each night.

Earlier this Spring I wrote a quick 5 Positive Actions To Completely Change Your Day and I have been finding it quite useful throughout the summer days so far.

31 Days of Wonder

I decided to put together a handy list of 31 Wonderful Things you can do to brighten up your month.  By no means do I want you to feel that you have to follow along each day but I can assure you, I will be doing some of the following activities to spruce up my next 31 days.

Here they are:

31 Days of Wonder
31 Days of Wonder

I would be delighted if you wanted to follow along with me and share the ideas you’ve been adding to your day.

Let’s make it a great month together.  And as always, thank you so much for tuning into my SOMETHING WONDERFUL blog!

Love Ingrid x

P.S. You don’t have to start your 31 Days of Wonder at the beginning of the month…why not start today!?

 

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Ruby Red Strawberry Lavender Jam

Nothing says “Summer Is Here” like freshly picked strawberries!

Strawberries in my garden

I am fortunate enough to have fresh strawberries growing right in my very own back yard.  A few years ago, we planted two or three tiny rows of plants and much to our delight we had a few handfuls of fresh berries that year.  We kind of neglected to do anything with them. And the following year, we had a disappointing crop.

I never like to spend money on a crop that doesn’t do particularly well with our growing conditions, so I was a little worried about buying more berry plants the following year.

Well…am I ever glad I did!

To our delight the berry plants just kept on sending out more and more shooters and now we have a healthy gorgeous patch of strawberries that give us a great fill for the season of ruby red goodness.  We go out every couple of days and get a nice bunch of berries.

We’ve been adding them to our morning smoothies (as you know smoothies are a popular breakfast around here) and having them with other fruit as a quick snack on the super hot summer evenings.

This past week though, a friend of mine and I decided to make a new (to me) flavour combination for jam.

Strawberry Lavender Jam

The key for me for any kind of homemade jam recipe is to try to keep it simple.  I also like to keep it modest in the sweet department (my next batch I’ll try for 3/4 of a cup of sugar).  I looked around on the internet for recipes and decided on the following which includes a few tweaks on my part.  I am not take credit for thinking this one up on my own because I did change all the recipes I read, to suit my own needs.  So here is the ‘Ingrid Version’ of the recipes I found.

 

Ingredients:

8 cups of strawberries freshly picked (here is a good guide to measuring strawberries)

1 cup of sugar

3 Tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice

2 drops edible lavender oil*

*I used lavender essential oil this time and the taste is delicious but intense.  I have also read that you can make a lavender sachet using cheesecloth. Take 1 1/2 tsp. edible lavender tied in cloth and add to your recipe at time that you add the berries back into your saucepan to reduce the jam.

Materials:

Cheese cloth for straining berries from liquid

Canning jars (cleaned and sterilized)

Large measuring cup

Colander

Instructions

  1. Place your strawberries and sugar in a large saucepan. Bring to a simmer, stirring frequently, and let bubble for 5 minutes.
  2. Pour your berry mixture into a colander set over a large bowl. Stir the berries to release all of the juices. Pour the juice back into the saucepan and set the berries and colander aside.
  3. Bring the juice to a boil and let it reduce to a syrup, stirring occasionally, for 20 minutes (I knew it was ready when it was bubbling much like when you make candy…almost like ruby coloured cotton candy).
  4. Toss in the remaining berries and the lemon juice * and let simmer for 15 minutes until the jam hardens and sticks to the side of the saucepan. At this point add two drops of edible lavender essential oil. (If you are using the lavender sachet, you will add it before the 15 minute simmer and remove when you take it off the heat).
  5. If canning your jam for the year follow appropriate instructions (here are some great canning tips), otherwise, pour into glass jars and enjoy right away. Freezer jam will last for a few weeks without sealing the jar.

A few notes:

This recipe makes 7 small jam jars (these are the minis so each holds 1/3 of a cup of jam or about 4 ounces). That was just perfect for a sampler set of jams.  If you are wanting to make jam to last you will have to double or treble the recipe. That way you can have that fresh picked summer goodness all year long!

Personally, I am looking forward to trying a few different recipes with my strawberries this year, so I was delighted that I still have more jars for new and exciting variations.

I really hope that Strawberry Lavender Jam is SOMETHING WONDERFUL for you to eat and enjoy this summer!

Love Ingrid x

 

 

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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