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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8 Life Lessons From Nature

Have you ever thought about how just as you are dealing with something in your life, you find that nature gives you a clue that you had never realized?  Or maybe you’ve looked at something in nature and all of a sudden it gives you a hint about a problem you’ve been trying to solve?

Nature truly is a giant classroom

I look to nature a lot when I am able to be out in my garden and I have a few lessons I have been thinking about of late.

All of our toughest life lessons can be learned in nature.  We learn about the cycle of life by watching a subtle change in the seasons or when we experience the death of our first pet.  We get medicine from the world outside and we also learn to respect its power and intensity.

I start my day in a particular way these days as I try to strike a balance between not feeling well and wanting to explore and expand my world. You can read about my Flower Meditation in more detail as my primary tool for getting my morning off to a good start.

The following are some of the ideas I have where nature teaches me a gentler way of making it through the day through daily lessons from nature.

8 Life Lessons from Nature

  1. Small things make a big difference: things in nature make incremental changes throughout each day.  The most imperceptible difference can seem insignificant if you look at it from a micro-perspective.  Change the perspective and look at the changes over the course of a week, a month, or a year and you will see that things can often seem completely different.  If you have just joined us on our Month of Gratitutde Challenge, you’ll know that things seem pretty much the same on the first and second day, but as you get going, that subtle shift can spell big change by the end of the month.
  2. Even our enemies make us better: the most pesky creepy crawlies from my garden can make or break my harvest.  Ants make the flowers bloom, they aerate the ground, they get rid of old debris, etc.  The bees that we so feared as children are among the most instrumental in bringing us food to our table.  The next time you encounter an ‘enemy’ maybe you can think of how they help and what purpose they serve beyond what you see.
  3. Perspective is everything: I was looking at my lupin plants and admiring the tall stalks just laden with berry-like petals.  Suddenly, I swiped away a large bug from around the plant and had the opportunity to see it from above.  The flower takes on a totally different look when seen from overhead.  I was just having a conversation with a friend the other day and we saw things completely differently.  She was convinced that someone was acting from ill-intent, and I suspected they were acting from fear.  One perspective poises the observer to act in defense and the other acts in compassion.  Nature offers us the opportunity to see so many things from a variety of perspectives.
  4. Protection is an inside job: nature devises so many ways for plants and creatures to protect themselves.  There are venoms, and colouring,  to distract and discourage predators.  There are sheathings, membranes, and all kinds of materials devised by nature for self-preservation.  It got me to thinking that my boundaries, my self-confidence, my self-esteem, and my actions are my way of protecting myself.  All these have to be nurtured and provided by my inner self.  It made me feel more powerful just thinking of that I have the ability to build these qualities within myself.
  5. It’s all inside you: I was looking at the tiny beginnings of my strawberry plants and I realized that everything the strawberry needs is in the flower that preceded it.  Just like in nature, we, too, have everything we need right inside of us at our disposal.  It is very empowering to realize that we have what we need.
  6. Be patient: nature is very patient indeed.  You cannot imagine that the bean plant is telling its seedling to hurry up an grow so it can make a bean.  The butterfly does not pester the caterpillar to hurry up and create a chrysalis.  Nature works on its own time and it is patient.  The right amount of sun, water, air, and nutrients and the tomato will be produced.  We can learn a lot about patience by daily walking through nature and observing as it all happens in its due time.
  7. Take time to regroup: I have to admit this took me a long time to learn this lesson.  I spent a lot of time in my life preparing for things and then being disappointed when things fall short or when my ideas were not ready to be brought to light.  In nature, a perennial will often come up in the Spring but may offer no flowers.  I think of this as regrouping.  It knows it’s not ready so it prepares its stalks and roots for next year and tries again.  Just like in my post about How I Receive Bad news, there’s nothing wrong with regrouping after a disappointment or when things don’t work out.
  8. Wonders come every day: if you take the time to look, there are wonders all around you.  Practicing gratitude, daily meditations and affirmations, and setting my intentions each day help me to find wonders all around me.  I love being out in nature and I am so grateful that I have the time to see them as they come.

Does nature guide you and help you throughout your day? Do you have tips and tricks you use to make your day brighter that take you out in nature?  I would love for you to leave a comment and let me know what lessons you get from the natural world around you.

I’ve made the helpful graphic to help you remember the 8 Life Lessons from Nature.

8 Life Lessons From Nature

I hope my nature observations are SOMETHING WONDERFUL for you today!

Love Ingrid x

 

 

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Frame of mind

In keeping with my latest blog posts about re-framing my thinking with the use language and how I set myself up for success and growth, I was reminded of another really great word switch that I do to empower myself further.

I had recently noticed myself telling people, ‘I have to go to the doctor on such and such a date’.  “I have to talk to the anesthesiologist”. “I have to go for a consult with this doctor”….you see what I am doing there?!

I am making it a burden to go.  I am setting myself up for an ‘us vs. them’ scenario.

I decided, before my appointment, that I was going to turn the tables on my own frame of mind and you may not believe just how simple it is.

Here’s what I did:

About a week before my appointment, when anyone asked what was up next for me, I said: “I get to meet the anesthesiologist on (date)”.  “I get to talk to the anesthesiologist about a blood patch”.  “Date is the day I get to discuss my options with the anesthesiologist”.

Boom!

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I gave myself the driver’s seat again and put myself back in a position of choice, open-heartedness, open-mindedness, and empowerment.  I have yet to have this appointment, at the time of writing, but I assure you my state of mind has drastically changed.  I am not dreading the appointment nearly as much as I was.  I am researching to give myself a good foundation below me, rather than to give myself enough ‘ammunition’ to state my case.

One word is an obligation or burden…the other is opportunity and desire!  (My grade 4 English teacher was right….words ARE important!)

I cannot guarantee that the results will be any different at my appointment…but that is the whole point…I will be different and that will make all the difference in the world!

I encourage you to try this for a week or a month, or even just before a big meeting or appointment for which  you are otherwise feeling fearful.  It really does help!

Let me know in the comments if this has worked for you.  I love hearing your successes too!

Love Ingrid x

#loveiseverywhere   #leakweek   #csfleak    #kindnesstag

heart-together

 

To….or for

‘To’ or ‘for’, it is entirely up to you!

The other day, I was able to go out with my fur babies in the car with my Honey for a walk down by the river near where I live.  I had just finished a really nice meditation where I had felt as though I had fallen into a deep restful sleep although all the while knowing that I was awake the entire time.

As is often the case in meditation for me, I emerged with a single thought…I just love when this happens because it really feels as though I have pulled up my most important ‘raison d’être’ of the day and so I listen as hard as I can.

I came out of my meditation with ‘remember the TO or FOR thing’.

Let me explain.

‘To’ or ‘for’ refers to my use of language.  I have always been fascinated by words and how I use them.  I have a cousin, that when we were teenagers, challenged me to stop using the word ‘but’ and to use the word ‘and’ as it completely changes the nature of your discussions.  Rather than countering others during conversations,  it invites greater depth of understanding, on my part, to be inclusive of the thoughts of others at the same time as honouring my own ideas.

In essence, it flips your brain to switch from win/lose to win/win.

A few years ago, I read somewhere a similar idea.  The premise is essentially…what if you thought that life is not happening to you but happening for you?  You see…changing that dialogue (both internal and external) means that you understand that all the things that occur in your life are lessons for you to gain from.

This is a very different mindset when confronting adversity.  Did I get this challenging student to punish and annoy me?  Or did this student come into my life for me to gain insight and understanding of myself? Did this person just get upset with me to make me feel bad or is there something I need to do differently?

If I am to believe, as I firmly do, that all the things that happen in my life are my lessons to learn from, then this CSF Leak is happening for me too.  And I have lots of evidence to back that up.

This CSF Leak has taught me so many things and the list just keeps growing and growing.  Here are just a few of them:

Through my illness I have learned that I am creative and resourceful. This has taught me to be patient and calm during the stormiest days and nights (breathing really helps too!).  I have seen the positive results when I use kindness whenever I can.  I have learned to speak up for myself when I am ready and able, and to hold my tongue when my emotions are too raw.  I have been able to advocate for myself and that makes me feel stronger than when I allow decisions to be made without my input.  I am smart enough to read medical journals…who knew?! I have searched deep within myself and I still like what I see there.  I know, in my heart of hearts, that it is much better for me to be of service to others, even when I could not imagine there being any possible way of doing that.

There truly is an endless list of things I have gained from having this devastating illness.  It is no sunshine and roses over here at ‘Chez Ingrid’ every day and I am carefully navigating that reality too.  The importance for me is to acknowledge the pain and turmoil and to embrace, with everything I have in me, the goodness, the lessons, and the possibilities for growth and understanding.

My lessons happen for me….I can guarantee that!

What SOMETHING WONDERFUL is out there waiting for you, today?

Love Ingrid x

#loveiseverywhere   #leakweek     #csfleak     #choosekindness

The Little Things

I’m not exactly sure when this little delight first came to my consciousness.  It was definitely sometime in my teens that I first remember actually taking note of this little gem that creeps up every year to bring a smile to my face.

Living with chronic illness means that my ‘world’ so to speak has become a LOT smaller.  I spend most, if not all, of my time at home.  Just to put it into perspective…the last time I left the house was one week ago….before that was one week before that (and that was for a medical procedure)…and the time before that was two weeks before that.  And I literally mean…three outings in more than six weeks.

I don’t pop out to the store, or meet someone for coffee.  I don’t just head out to a friend’s house or go for a drive.  All these normal, everyday pleasures, are no longer an option for me as time spent walking upright means I pay for it later.

This being said, I do a lot from home, and it can make me a little stir crazy at times. It also means that I have to find the little delights that are usually ‘hidden’ from me.  In my usual rush to just ‘do’ the daily things I do in my life when I am busy working, there are things that I can now choose to focus on more attentively.

Going back to my teen years…I have always loved the moment I first put on a pair of jeans after spending the entire summer in shorts, skirts, or capris.  The feeling of the now stiff denim on my freshly shaved legs welcomes in that cozy feeling of a change of season.  Time to cozy up.  Sweaters are in the offing and it will soon be time to grab my coat each time I go out the door.  The jeans come on that day when I finally admit that the chill has come and it is time for all of us to slow down the pace and to celebrate the closeness that comes with fall weather.

Fall is not my favourite time of year at all.  I will admit to being a girl of summer.  I love the warm weather, I love being out in the sun, I love long nights and sunsets.  I love being able to just be outside with the sunshine streaming down bringing life and colour to the world…but  there is just something so wonderful for me about pulling on those jeans that very first time each year.  Like connecting with a long lost friend.

Fall does bring us all back indoors.  It means that my having to be inside is not so different than others choosing to be indoors and maybe I just feel a little more camaraderie this year. Maybe that old friend I am connecting with is me.

Love Ingrid x

#loveiseverywhere  #csfleak   #connecting  #ThatOldFriendIsMe