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Why the Act of Giving is VITAL

“You have two hands – one to help yourself, the second to help others”

There are so many holidays here in the U.S. and for most of those holidays we find ourselves in stores that are promoting gifts and as my kids walk around stores, they ask for things that they see, they add things to their Christmas list and the focus is so much more on what they want to receive. So it hit me that we are teaching our younger generations more about receiving than we are about the act of giving…

I started to think about I can change that for my boys, starting with myself. Starting by paying attention and giving things that I need to myself. Are you anything like me in that you focus on taking care of everyone else, making sure everyone else’s needs are met, and then you finally think about what you might need? It’s easy to do, but it’s also the worst thing we can do for ourselves because we are not practicing giving to ourselves!

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The older I get the more I realize that there are certain things I need to do for myself in order for me to be able to be there for anyone else. In effect, I am no good to anyone, if I am running on fumes myself.

Here are a few things that I do for myself to make sure that I am practicing giving to myself – and the best part, I get to decide what those things I need are and whether I actually do it.

  1. Exercise – it may sound cliche but I can tell you with 100% certainty that when I skip a day of exercising I am no good to anyone. It doesn’t have to be anything super strenuous, but I like to spend a minimum of 45 minutes a day exercising either doing some kind of cardio (biking, elliptical, walking, running or swimming), and then also a few squats, lunges, sit-ups and curls.
  2. Take a bath – another thing that everyone in my house knows has to happen every night before bed so I am a happier camper. I take in my iPad and watch my latest TV show episode or sometimes a live sporting event.
  3. Coffee or lunch with a friend – I am always revitalized when I spend time with those I care about. Talking and catching up with a friend is one of the most grounding things that I do for myself, especially if I get the chance to serve or give to them too.
  4. Get a pedicure – I had to mention this one because I actually have one scheduled for today and I am meeting a friend…so it’s like combining number 3 and 4!
  5. Go bargain shopping – whenever I am feeling a little down or need a boost of energy, I take myself to a store like Nordstrom Rack or TJ Maxx and just browse for deals. When I have nothing in mind that I want, there is no expectation of buying something for an event, the bargain hunting can become fun.

So, as I start on this quest of giving to myself, and therefore having the energy to give to others, I know that this is where the lessons will be learned by my kids. It is after all, what we see other do that leaves the greatest impact on our lives. I know that if I want my kids to appreciate the act of giving to others and themselves, that I have to make sure that I am showing them how it is done.

A little food for thought to start off this Monday…

Create Your Own Day

 

“Ask yourself – what’s really important and then have the courage and wisdom to build your life around the answer!”

 

I recently came across this concept and I absolutely fell in love with it…

It’s the concept of creating your own day.  What I mean is, other than your birthday, what day do you use to celebrate YOU?  I have found that my birthday, as enjoyable as it is, is never really just about me – not in a bad way, but it involves celebrations, dinners, and very often I have to work.  So when I came across this concept I immediately latched onto it.

Here’s the thought…Make a day your own.  Create a celebration of you and spend time doing whatever it is that sets your soul on fire.  If it’s being alone, then do that, if you prefer to be with friends or family, do that.  Ultimately the goal is to take a day to reflect on where you are in your life, what you’ve accomplished, how you feel about yourself, what you are grateful for and so on.  My theory (I haven’t actually tried it yet) is that I will feel rejuvenated, I will find it easier to handle stresses, challenges, disappointments and it will reaffirm why I love my life.  I know, no matter what, there are always things that aren’t the best that are happening in our lives, but when you start to look at how things are happening FOR you and not TO you, it can change your perspective.

I haven’t decided the date I am going to celebrate my day, but I’ll give you some ideas of what I love to do so that maybe you can come up with some of your own or use some of mine:

  1. I will workout in the morning, that way I know no matter what happens during the day, I feel good about me knowing I am taking care of my body.
  2. I will get a massage, a pedicure or a facial.  Just a few things that are focused on self-care and love.
  3. I will have a lunch at one of my favorite lunch spots with a friend that I know will lift me up.
  4. I will do a little shopping – it actually relaxes me.
  5. I will find the best bakery in town and get myself the most decadent dessert (I have to because there’s no birthday cake 😉 ) And I won’t feel guilty because I worked out already.
  6. I will go for a drive up the canyon and take in all the beauty.  I love to drive different ways, see different things and feel appreciation.  If the weather is warm enough I will trade the drive for a bike ride.  I love taking my mountain bike into the foothills and getting dusty while I am enjoying the view.
  7. I will go to dinner with my lovely husband, because he’s the one that can make me feel the most amazing of all.

 

 

 

It may seem silly, but if there is something I can do to help in the self care department or something that will help me remember that I am important and that ME taking care of ME doesn’t have to mean neglecting anyone else.  in fact, it is necessary to take care of me, so that I CAN take care of others.

What do you think about this concept?  Are you on board?

My birthday is February and I hate that I can’t do a lot of the things I love because the weather is usually cold, so I will probably plan MICHELLE DAY for a day in the spring or summer…stay tuned!  I’ll post some pics 🙂

you can shop some coats similar to the one I’m wearing by clicking the links below…

 

 

The Act of Giving

“You are not required to set yourself on fire to keep other people warm!”

 

Yesterday was a snow day in Salt Lake, it snowed pretty much the entire day, which made Christmas tree shopping last night chilly, but also beautiful.  The boys raced around the lot, hiding, throwing snowballs and having fun.  It was exactly what I needed to fill my cup!

As we have been spending time with our boys this week we have been asking for them to tell us what they each want for Christmas. With only one boy that still believes in Santa we are almost to the point where we don’t need to hide anything anymore, which is kind of sad as well as relief. It seems like I have been doing this for a long time – well, I guess I have because Dalton is 24! It’s so funny that they don’t seem to have a hard time telling us what THEY want, but when it comes to giving gifts themselves it’s a little harder.

It’s a hard thing to teach kids to know that giving is so much more important than receiving gifts – in fact I believe that the only way they truly learn is by watching what we do. I remember there was one Christmas when I was really naughty and I went searching for what my parents had bought me. I was old enough to know better…but still I found the closet that my mum had hidden the gifts. I saw what they had bought and I felt so guilty that it pretty much ruined my Christmas. Since then, I have always loved more giving than receiving. Not to the point where I don’t love getting gifts, I just absolutely LOVE finding unique, meaningful and personal gifts for people and watching their faces when they open the gift.

Christmas can be such a hard time to spend time on things like this, because it becomes a mad frenzy of finding the “right” thing – I swear that toy companies and some other stores only produce a limited amount of things to feed this frenzy and make the season so overwhelming. If you have every been that parent that couldn’t find that ONE THING on your child’s Christmas list because the stores were all sold out, then you know the level of disappointment that comes with it. I remember one year one of the boys wanted a remote controlled car which we bought but what we didn’t realize was that it needed a special battery that it didn’t come with. We were out at Walgreens at 11pm on Christmas eve trying to find one, but of course we couldn’t/. Even though we had bought the gift, the fact that he wasn’t going to be able to play with it until we went to Toys R Us the day after Christmas was enough to cause mass disappointment 🙁

One thing I have really been guilty of is neglecting myself and running around like a crazy person, so when Christmas morning comes and the kids are so excited to get up and open gifts, I am totally exhausted and partly checked out. Seems kind of crazy to do this to myself, especially when Christmas morning is the reward for all the hard work…but it has definitely been done by this girl!

This year I have resolved to get this more organized, but most importantly to take care of myself while I am taking care of others. Any of you guilty of this? You know when the flight attendants tell you to put on YOUR oxygen mask BEFORE helping anyone else…well that applies. In fact, Brandon was talking to a pilot who told him that if you don’t put on the mask first, there is a really good chance that you will pass out and unless someone puts a mask on you, then you’ll probably die. Crazy – I know this is a metaphor, but this goes way beyond self care. It can be so detrimental to our wellbeing to not take care of ourselves because we are too busy taking care of others.

 

 

Over recent years I have become much better at this, and I am able to set boundaries for certain things so that I am not neglecting myself. I started small, just picking one thing that was a “non-negotiable” thing that I was going to do. What I mean by that is, I found one thing that was so important to me, that no matter what, I was going to make sure that I did it. The one thing that I do almost every day is take a relaxing soak in my bath. It probably only takes around 20 minutes, but after those 20 minutes, I feel different. I feel important, I feel loved (by myself) and I am able to tackle so much more. Meditation could be your thing, it could be having lunch with a friend…whatever it is, I promise if you find something and start small, you will enjoy the holidays so much more!

 

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Let your Inner Light Shine

 

“Aging is not lost youth, but a new stage of opportunity and strength!”

I remember being a teenager and feeling frustrated that I couldn’t do things that adults could and that I had rules that I felt were unnecessary!  It’s so weird, that I was wishing my life away and wanting to grow up so quickly.  Now that I am well into my forties my only regret is that I hadn’t spent my time wishing my years away.  Now I value my time, every minute, and I love who I am today.

I no longer focus too much on things that are going to happen, but rather I like to enjoy exactly what is going on in the here and now.  I realize how valuable time is and that every wrinkle and smile line is there because of the many experiences and the journey I have been on.

Aging is not for the faint of heart though – it is definitely something that is hard as a woman.  I still feel like I am 20 years old, and I want to be able to do all the things I used to be able to do.  That’s why staying healthy, staying in shape, taking care of my skin, my body and my mind are vital to me so that on the day that my kids decide to make me a Grandma, I can be the active, cool Grandma 🙂

 

 

I look in the mirror sometimes and don’t recognize the person I see.  Sometimes I notice more of my flaws and the signs of aging and other times, I truly see what is underneath and recognize my value.  As I already said, this getting older thing is something that needs quite a bit of faith and self love.

There are definitely some things about aging that we can’t control, but there are still some things we can do to ensure that we look the best as we’re doing it!  I am all in favor of doing things that make you feel good – whether that is great skin care, eating healthy, exercising, relaxation or anything else that tickles your fancy!

Above everything else, no matter what, I know that feeling good about myself makes my inner light shine and that is the best anti-aging thing anyone can do!

Have a blessed Sunday!

Take Care of your Body

“Take care of your body.  It’s the only place you have to live!”

 

Does this sound like you…

Made a resolution or plan at the beginning of the year where you would work out more, eat healthier, stick to a beauty regimen, stress less…anything along the lines of taking care of yourself?

I know I did!  I started out the year choosing to exercise more, eat healthier, etc.  Not to lose weight or anything like that, but because let’s face it, I’m not getting any younger and I want to be around for a long time.  I am a very determined person, and I usually stick to plans that I make, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t hard.  For example, this week so far I have had something to do every night, so I haven’t had a chance to work out at all!  I only have so many days left in the week and I am traveling with Brandon this weekend to an event…so my time is VERY limited.  Here are my choices…I could beat myself up about it, quit this week and say I’ll start out strong next week, I could say “well as long as I’m not working out, I may as well not worry about eating healthy either”.  In the past I would have really beaten myself up and essentially made myself feel so guilty about it that I would almost kill myself to make sure I accomplished what I had said I would do at the beginning of the year.

So, I have decided that I can’t change the fact that I haven’t had time so far this week, I will do what I can with the rest of my time, and stick to eating healthy meals and not snacking on chocolate (because I still have some sitting on my desk left over from Christmas).  I have also found that a great way to get your body feeling balanced again is by drinking a healthy, natural juice or smoothie drink.  There are some brands that are sold in grocery stores like Naked and Odwalla, but there is nothing better than one that they make for you as you are waiting.  Vive Juicery in Salt Lake is my absolute favorite.  They of course have the juices, but they also have shots of things like ginger, immunity and turmeric. They also have cleanses, and I can say for sure that doing a cleanse is something that is good for everyone at least once a year – just to clean out the cobwebs 🙂  In fact, right now they have 10% off cleanses booked through January 31st online – just click here

Whatever your goals for 2018 are, try incorporating some natural juices with fruits and veggies.  It is just as important to take care of our insides as it is the outside!  Being healthy is something we CAN influence, so why not take control of something in your life 🙂

If you haven’t been to Vive Juicery, you should really check it out!  Even better, if you live in Utah along the Wasatch Front – they will actually deliver to your doorstep.

Stay Healthy my friends!!

And while your staying healthy- why not shop some similar pieces to my outfit by clicking the links below…