Celebrate Simplicity

We live in a “get more” world. Have you noticed? Of course you have! We are surrounded by it ! Get more money, get more power, get more recognition, get more STUFF!! In just the relatively short span of a lifetime, consisting of several decades, our world has become obsessed with this”get more” lifestyle.

On average the “debt to income ratio” has completely exploded, and the idea that having more means greater happiness and this idea has permeated our society. But an interesting study was done by a leading university examining the idea of “income” and “happiness. Now everyone says they want happiness and somewhere along the line we got the idea that having more meant being more. We were better, happier, more desireable and worthy as human beings, if we were surrounded by goods.

Strangely enough this is not what the in depth study showed. Once our needs are met for food, shelter, clothing and transportation there is NO increase in happiness in proportion to the amount of money we have or the amount of things we have acquired. None! This study showed conclusively that more money did not equal more happiness. We are happiest when are needs are met but nothing was added to our happiness by having more money or more stuff! This was quite a revalation! Enough was enough!

A new movement of simplicity has emerged in recent years called minimalism. This lifestyle embraces the idea of living with fewer material possessions and removing the excess of things from our lives. Thoe who have adopted the minamalist lifestye ususall have attributed it to the environment and saving the planet. They say they have less stress, more time and actually enjoy what they have much more. They appreciate what things they have carefully chosen to surround themselves with.

Some have even used the idea of Christianity as permission to persue greater wealth and the “prosperity gospel” has become quite popular. Didn’t Jesus say I want to Give you an abundant life? Doesn’t he want us to prosper and be wealthy.

Yes I believe God desires to give us an abundant life and bless us generously!! Does that mean more money and stuff? I don’t think so. Yes, of course God has blessed some with great financial success and His Will is that it support those who are less fortunate and to spread the good news of the gospel throughout the earth. But the greater and more perfect abundance we should seek is of a very different kind.

Do we ask for an abundance of virtue? An abundance of faith, hope and charity? How about patience and generosity? Or Kindness and compassion! This is the “stuff” God wants to bless us with abundantly even more than material good.s. These things bring us peace, happiness and joy. In the end, do youreally think more happiness comes from a trip to Paris or watching your granddaughter eat an ice cream cone with delight? Or is it better to have an expensive car in the garage when it gives you sleepless nights worrying over making the payments? Jesus wants us to live a life of simplicity and peace. I belive this means examining our lifestyle and asking ourselves…why?

Why do I seek to acquire more? What is the purpose?

I have a dear friend who was blessed with abundance and she and her husband asked themselves “do we need a house this big?” Can we live with less?” They sincerly examined their lifestyle and considered selling and moving to a smaller house. They prayed and sought Gods wisdom on this decision and decided to stay where they were but to use their space in a way that glorified God. Every week there are prayer groups, youth groups, pot lucks with discussions of scripture or a video that portrays the life of a saint or blessed. They use their home to bless their large family but also to bless the community of believers in their parish. What a wonderful example of the right use of the abundance God has entrusted to them.

We all know we may be facing difficult times. We are not to abandone hope or have anxiety over any trials that may come our way. We must trust in God’s provision and seek His will in ALL our ways. This includes examining our averice and how well we practice stewardship over our time, money and possessions. God longs to bless us with peace and a sense of His holy presence every day of our lives. Let us cooperate with this goal and seek Him above all else.

Embrace and celebrate a simple life and watch how God embraces your home, family and loved ones with joy and peace. I can tell you from my own experience, never have a enjoyed a greater happiness than sitting in my friends home with other like minded Christians enjoying a meal and taling about our daily walk with God!

Until next time,

Debbie Byrd Smith

Keep The Faith

Life can be hard. This is a reality that has become undeniable in past months, and we continue to adjust to the new “normal.” Persoanlly, I hate that term ‘new normal’ , because nothing about our lives seem normal to me at all. It feels upside down and backwards.

Life has started to look like a crazy quilt with none of the pieces seeming to fit together all that well. Rumors and deception, disease, and even riots in the streets, have left a lot of us confused, discouraged and bewildered about how everything could change so quickly.

Where is God in all of this? Did He abandon us? Is this the end? I think we sometimes believe our situation is strangely unique and a struggle to decipher but actually, this is nothing new.

If we look back and read the struggles of the early church, the apostle Paul had to advise and encourage a struggling Christian community that was experiencing some frightful rumors and possibilities.

The apostle Paul wrote a special letter to the Thessalonians who were being persecuted and concerned about their future and were confused by false teaching, rumors and disorder among them. Paul reminded them that there was a certain order to Gods’ plan and not to succomb to rumors or twisted prophecies.

Our God is a God or order. Deception and confusion are always the work of the evil one. Paul reminded them that there is a “mystery of lawlessness at work”. God is allowing this for a time but the “lawless one” will be revealed.

Sound familiar? Lawlessness, deception and yes even persecution have come our way but do not be discouraged dear ones. This is not new. Paul gave us instructions…”Hold fast to the traditions that you were taught either by an oral statment or by a letter of ours.”

This is our calling as well dear brothers and sisters. Hold fast. Do not waiver. Stand firm. Yes many strange and confusing thing may present themselves, but the Lord Jesus himself will give us hope to continue. We must never doubt that God has us in the palm of His hand and His plan is perfect.

God has called us to the virtues of fortitude, perseverance and patience. Hope must be our bedrock and faith our guide. Let us pray for one another and the church militant. Let us never forget we were chosen for such a time as this.

Take heart dear brothers and sisters! God is with us.

Until next time

Fiat,

Debbie Byrd Smith

Uncommon Sense

com-mon

adjective

1: occurring, found, or done often: prevelent.

2: shared by, coming from, or done by more than one.

I’ve been aware lately that, more and more ,common sense is hard to find. Common…prevelant, you could even say typical…but not so much anymore.

It seems we have reverted to what would better be called uncommon sense. What should seem obvious and the apparent best answer for the “common” good isn’t even an option anymore.

We need something outrageous, complicated, incindiary!!

It permeates our lives.

I’m proposing a look at the mislaid standard of “common” sense. It’s become uncommon but was it really meant to be laid asid? NO! That is a definite NO!

So where do we find this common sense. Usually among people who are living balanced, stable, moral lives that are guided by something greater than themselves. G0D! Wow what a concept!

GOD!! Remember God? He created the world ? He gave us our lives? Remember?

He even gave us a set of rules to help us on the path to Common Sense!! Just 10 quite simple rules!

Rule #1. Just remember….I AM GOD…you’re not. Don’t try to make something else ME. I AM ME. I AM GOD. I created you and everything around you. I know your past, present and future. I know things you don’t even know about yourself!! OK?

Rule #2. Ok so while we’re on this I AM God topic….Dont try to make some man made thing out to be God. I AM God and trust me nothing any man could make could even come close to what I AM! So don’t belive anything else can be as good as I AM. Just stick with me. I AM worth worshiping!!

Rule #3. Hey be nice. Don”t use my name lightly or in an evil way…Don’t use it to curse or swear something common, or pointless or evil. Use my name with reverance, respect and humility. This will help you remember who I AM and that I deserve respect above all other things. Even my NAME is holy.

Rule #4 I gave you a day to rest. To worship me and spend some time just being. You don’t always have to be a human “doing” : be a human “being.” This day is HOLY. I made it HOLY so you would remember to set aside special time for me without distractions.

Rule #5 I gave you parents. I could have just made you appear or poof…there you are, but no. I gave you parents. Guardians of your life and formation. They gave you life through their love and they deserve your acknowledgement and respect. Dishonoring them is in a way dishonoring yourself because you are part of them. Show some respect.

Rule #6. I alone give life!! I alone decide when it is finished. That’s all. Do NOT Kill!

Rule #7 You should not commit adultery. I gave you the wonderful sacrament of marraige so that you would have a faithful partner through life. When you marry you become one. One flesh, one mind, one heart. This was my plan. Betraying that is betraying me and this beautiful gift I have given.

Rule # 8 Dont’ take what doesn’t belong to you. Don’t take money, or things or ideas. (Also: see rule #7).

Rule #9 Always tell the truth. Don’t tell something that is a lie. Don’t try to make someone else look bad or cover up something YOU did that was bad. Just don’t lie. Always tell the truth and I promise it will work out better for you.

Rule #10 Don’t feel bad because someone has something you don’t. It’s ok. I will give you everything you need if you just trust me. Believe me when I tell you even if you had it…it wouldn’t make you happy. I know what will and IF you follow my rules..whatever it is you don’t have…you won’t need it anyway.

There…simple rules FULL of common sense given to us by GOD Himself.

One little thing….we’ve all broken the rules. Every ONE of us!!! Some of us have broken ALL the rules.

God says try again. Are you sorry? Will you do better? Can you honor and respect my rules so I can bless you? I WANT to bless you more than you know! Come to me in my cenacle of Mercy. Tell me your sins, make up for them however you can. I will bless you for it and you can start anew! I love doing that…making things NEW. New hearts, new minds, new marraiges, new lives!!!

So, there you have it. My take on common sense. Simple isn’t it? I know we want to make it complicated….But I bet if you take the “rules” and apply them, you’ll begin to see how this works and enjoy all the side benefits of peace, joy, and happiness.

Till next time

Fiat,

Debbie

Mercy, mercy….me?

I grew up a child of the 60’s…the Pepsi generation..tie dye and blue jeans and what we believed were revolutionary ideas.

I must admit I have to laugh at myself a little about that time . We thought we were so forward thinking, rebellious (in a good way of course) and SO much wiser than our poor “old” parents!! Little did I know then, I really had no idea what rebellion looked like.

Many have said, and I can agree, that much of the chaos we see now, really began to brew during that tumultuous time. As standards and morals plummeted we began to feel the results. I suppose, as with any chaotic experience, when your in the middle of it , it’s difficult to see what’s happening clearly if at all.

I was sheltered in many ways from the violence, the deceit and the inequality we witnessed, but watching a war on tv is not the same as seeing the streets and cities burn in your own country.

We heard that God was dead and there really wasn’t any point in looking for Him. He’s left us and we are on our own. Although, thank God, I never totally lost my faith, I did lose the confidence I once felt in my belief. Did God really care? Does He see what is going on down here? Why doesn’t He do something?

And then I found out…oh yes! He’s been paying attention all along.. as an adult I came into the Catholic Church and found an entire army of beings God had created to teach us, guide us and lead us into a new vision. Angels and saints and wise teachers. I found out He still communicates and teaches us… and I discovered a very special saint! A young nun named Faustina in Poland who was commanded by Jesus to tell us about Mercy!!

Her writings in a diary entitled “Divine Mercy in my Soul” tell the marvelous teaching of Jesus about the Mercy of God! Jesus said we need Gods mercy and He LONGS to give it to each of us. He desires to give it to us more than we could ever know, and He describes it as an ocean… an ocean of mercy!

Reading the Diary of Saint Faustina has been eye opening. An enormous waterfall of mercy Is available to each of us no matter how off the rails we have gone.

In recent years St Faustina, a very poor and very ignorant Polish girl, has become one of the most well known and beloved saints of the church. Her complete trust in Jesus and her childlike acceptance led her to unimaginable insights and truths about God and his love for each of us.

One of the great gifts of this private revelation (and there were many) is the great feast of Divine Mercy Sunday, celebrated one week after the greatest feast of the year, Easter Sunday!!

Can you tell I get pretty excited about this great gift of mercy? That’s because, and believe me when I say this, I NEED mercy!! These two wonderful feasts make it abundantly available to me!! ME! Mercy especially for me!

How do we get it? Where do we go? What do we do? More to come on this incomparable gift in my next post as we approach the great feasts of Easter and Divine Mercy Sunday!

Please leave a comment below. I’d love to hear what you think about this Saint and this special gift of Mercy. If you’d like more information and resources on Divine Mercy leave your contact information and I will send you more about this great gift.

Ave Maria

Debbie Byrd Smith

Detach….For God’s Sake

Whew has this been a crazy year or what?? Oh my dear ones….it’s been pretty crazy.

It seems as if everything has turned upside down!!

I’ve felt very fortunate to be in a relatively small town away from big cities and sheltered from much of the chaos, but the big question of why and what is to come still hangs in the air no matter where you are. It’s certainly led me to contemplate the state of things and all the (up until now) unthinkable possibilities.

What’s going to happen to the economy? Will my income be secure? Are my freedoms disappearing? Can I go to church? Can I even travel freely? What’s going to become of my life.

Now some of you may think this is extreme thinking. I bet some of you are right there with me on this. I even bet some have felt the anxiety I have wrestled with. In all of this, I have come to rely more and more on my faith and prayer.

If Jesus taught us anything it’s to rely on God and not on men. Don’t worry and let ME handle it! He said the flowers in the field are clothed and the birds of the air eat…don’t sweat it. I’ve got this!! He wants to take care of this. Really He does…

But exactly how do you do that? Not worry? Don’t be anxious? He said be anxious for NOTHING??

Detachment.

What does that even mean?

How can you detach from your loved ones; from your home and your stuff? (Yes stuff… admit it, you’re attached to your stuff. )

For me it’s been a process. Learning and understanding what detachment looks like in my life might be a little different than yours but honestly, dear ones, probably not that much different for anyone.

Bottom line….what’s within our control? Me. My will. All else can and might be taken from me. Even my physical life isn’t in my hands. God can take it anytime. So I detach.

Do I love my family…of course. My home? Absolutely. It’s my sanctuary, my safe place. My refuge here on this earth but if it burns down tonight? What then?

So I ask myself… what’s UN changeable? What’s for sure? God and His mercy…that’s for sure!! THAT my dear ones is forever certain! That has and will never change.

We are now in a time of preparation. Lent is our “40 days in the desert” and boy don’t some days feel like we are in that desert! And what are we preparing for?? MERCY!!!

At the end of our desert retreat comes Easter and the resurrection followed by Divine Mercy Sunday. Floods of mercy rain down on us from God Himself! This is great news and the refreshment we need from all the crazy stuff we are enduring.

I’m going to be writing much more in the coming days and weeks about Mercy and Divine Mercy Sunday. I hope you’ll stick with me and learn about this wonderful gift we are all given if we accept it.

Please leave a comment below. Let’s talk about this and let me know… would you like to receive a weekly newsletter from me? We’ll be talking in more depth about this and so much more.

Ave Maria!

Till next time,

Debbie

Creating Your 2020 Vision

So have you done it? Did you start creating your 2020 vision? I know I know, things get in the way. There’s work and kids and the car needs to be washed. But really…you can do this. When last we met I suggested writing about your ideal life, but maybe words aren’t your thing. Maybe you’re a visual kind of planner.

How about a Vision Board. Sometimes you need to see the vision; In living color (or black & white) but in your face, gotta look at it kind of thing. So this week maybe give a Vision Board a try.

List the goals you have for the next year. Here are 4 areas you might want to consider.

Health. Do you have a health goal? Maybe it’s to eat a little more nutritiously. Maybe you want to lose some weight. What about those work outs you’ve been meaning to get to. Do you devote enough time in your week to self care? Rest, recreation and caring for your mental health is as important as physical health. Do you take time for your spiritual well being. Maybe you have been meaning to get back to church or synogogue and you have been procrastinating. They say you have everything if you have your health, and your physical, mental and spiritual health are very important, so consider this area when your thinking of goals.

Financial: Is your bank account a little stressed? Would you like to save more? Pay off debt? Sometimes money issues can seem overwhelming but choose one thing. Just one. Maybe it’s to read Financial Peace by Dave Ramsey or save $1,000, but you will never reach that financial goal if you don’t even know where you need to focus .

Personal: What about relationships? Your family, your kids and spouse, Your friends. Maybe a goal would be to have more time with your bestie. What would that look like? Maybe it’s an hour a week for just the two of you to sit over a cup of coffee at a local coffee shop. Or maybe it’s making sure you spend Saturday afternoon with your kids. One date night a month with your spouse. Whatever your ideal would look like.

Career: What is your goal in your career? Would you like to start a side hustle to help you get that $1,000 dollars in savings and potentially get you into business for yourself. Maybe you have a special project you woud like to be a part of. Maybe it’s to work with more intention and focus.

If you would like some wonderful books and resources to use to reinforce your vision ,motivate you and support your efforts leave a comment below and I will send you a list of books and websites that can be a great starting place.

Ok so grab some magazines, find pics on Pinterest, cut out words that inspire you and pictures that motivate you. You can use a poster board, foam board or even make a digital version you can put on your desktop. You can tape pictures to the back of your closet door but make sure it’s somewhere you will see everyday. Get going and make that vision a reality.

2020 Vision

2020 Vision

So here we go! Another year…another decade. Another chance to start again. I love fresh starts. It reminds me of the first day of school when I had a new blue 3 ring binder filled to the max with crisp lined paper, new pencils with big orange erasers and a brand new box of crayons. I had such high hopes. The pages would be pristine, the erasers seldom used and I would draw such beautiful pictures with those 24 colors.

I suppose I haven’t wavered that much from those high hopes. Now I hope for a pristine bank account, an on track career line and a beautiful, organized home where I meditate daily after my exhilerating work out!!

Lets face it, life just doesn’t go in a straight line but the beauty of a new year is maybe we can at least get back on track.

What’s your vision for 2020? Do you want to try the usual; lose weight, get organized and save money. Those are the most common “resolutions” for the new year, but we know resolutions don’t really work. After 30 days they evaporate and we fall into our usual routines.

So I’m going to try something a little different this year. I’m going to try vision. Yes vision. Just using that word makes me feel a little lighter and hopeful. Vision. Maybe we focus on the detail too soon and never really gain sight of the big picture. The vision.

What do you want your life to look like? Who’s life do you admire? Your friend whose house is always in order? The brother who seems to have his financial ducks always in a row? The neighbor who is dedicated to their work outs rain or shine. The woman at work who never seems to get flustered or overwhelmed no matter the situation. What is it you would like to see in your life?

Come along with me and lets try some new ideas to create a new vision; a new way of looking at and executing our daily routines because after all, isn’t it the routines that make up the nitty gritty of our day to day. But first must come the vision.

So whats your vision? Leave a comment about what you would most like to feel in 2020. Peaceful, organized, healthy, content? Why not write about it? Put it on paper and really think about what it is you would like to see in your life. What would it look like if you could have your ideal right now.

Listers Gotta List

Listers Gotta List

Are you a lister? You know who you are. You LOVE to write lists!!

Lists of to dos! Lists of books to read, sites to check out, places to visit and household purchases to complete. There are numbers to track, passwords to document and calls to make.

Listers can write lists ad infinitum

I’m a lister, but I must confess, I have foud there to be several degrees of list practitioners.

First, we have the die hard compulsive lister. This is an uber organized, type A, gotta get it done and done right personality. I suppose Santa would fall into this category and we know he DOES get the job done!! (And if even Santa needs a list what chance do the rest of us have.)

They are detailed. They must write EVERYTHING down. Cleaning lists, grocery lists, self care lists: Die hard listers like to have a tangible record of their lifes’ work they can add and refer to on an ongoing basis. The great thing about this type of lister is they are highly organized and you can depend on their ability to complete tasks and remember details.

Then there is the casual lister.

Casual listers write lists to help them remember the main chores, errands and various to do’s. They use a grocery list and probably can complete a round of errands in one attempt.

Then there is the compulsive lister /casual user.

This is the person who will write a great list; remember to write all the errands, calls and purchases. They will take great care to write it all down and even create a plan!! What makes the Compulsive/casual different?

They leave the list on the counter and promptly forget at least half the list.

This is a category I know a lot about.

I LOVE to make lists!! Short lists, long lists: Lists about this and that. Shopping lists, and errand lists!! I feel so organized and adult when I list. The problem has always been that these lists were on small individual pads of paper, post it notes and the backs of envelopes. I had no system.

I could make great notes at work and had a wonderful and quite elaborate planner system to keep me on track but at home? Not so much

Then I found a planner system I could use and enjoy at home. I love it. It’s easy to use, cheerful, and I have fun planning my week and organizing my appointments, chores and to do’s. I have a small size (mini) planner that fits in my bag and is quite portable.

If you are a lister, or just aspire to become a lister I recommend finding a system that works for you: one you enjoy and look forward to referring to on a daily basis. There are so many to choose from and I’ve tried a number of styles and brands. I currently use The HAPPY PLANNER.

Shop around and look at different options! There are systems that fit everyones pocketbook and preferences. Believe me, everyone can become a first class lister with a little research, organization and persistence.

So tell me, are you a lister? What kinds of lists do you like to make and use? Do you use a special book or planner? I’d love to hear about it and learn from you how you use your lists or what has helped you become a consistent and accomplished lister..or what you struggle with in your attempts to be more organized and prepared.

I look forward to hearing from you!!

Until next time,

Debbie

The “Soul” of Integrity

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We live in a crazy world.  I doubt there are many who would deny it.

Maybe we learn to ignore the madness ,  or  pass it off as just the way things are.  It can be overwhelming at times watching the news or reading the local paper.

But each one of us contributes to the whole.   In thinking about this, I am convinced that we can make things just a bit better for our community, and for the good of our own soul:  by living a life based on the simple value of  integrity.

     INTEGRITY*  the quality of being honest and having strong moral                                                                principles; moral uprightness.

No need to  panic.  It’s not that complicated.  I considered carefully some of the things that build life that’s more strongly driven by virtue.

We learned them in Kindergarten and Sunday School.  Be kind.  Be patient. Share and put things away where you found them.  Don’t take what isn’t yours. If you make a mess clean it up.   Simple stuff really.

But somehow in the get more world,  some of the simplest values become hazy and overlooked or worse,  rationalized away.  I believe the Bible says something like woe to the fellow who calls evil good.

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We all seek greater peace and contentment.  Peace of mind and peace in our families.  This peace we seek filters out into the world and DOES make a difference.  Living with integrity are the stones that help us build a strong moral compass and brings us that peace of mind.  Of course things happen that can shake our peace at times, but the more solid our foundation of integrity and clarity of conscience, the more quickly we regain that sense of peace.

So I encourage you this next week.  Try it yourself.  Examine your life a little more closely.  Where could you do a bit better?:  Exhibit a little more integrity at work or at home?

Do I give my job 8 hours of solid work?  Do I give them 7 and think I’m doing well?  (After all they don’t really pay me enough for all I have to do anyway.)

If I get something in the mail that belongs to someone down the block, do I put it back in the mailbox for the mailman to pass it along, or better yet take it to my neighbor….or just throw it away.

Put the cart back in the grocery store parking lot or leave for the grocery store employee:  be where I am supposed to be BEFORE I’m actually required to be there or barely make it on time or, oh well, I was only 5 minutes late.

Little things. Simple things.   Putting our neighbors needs equal to our own.

What are one or two things that come to mind that you could do to live a life of greater integrity?  I look forward to hearing your suggestions.

Please comment below and tell me what you have done in the past that helped you grow in integrity.  (Believe me I’m always looking for ideas. )

Maybe this is something we each can ponder:  to grow in virtue, feed our own soul and live in greater peace.    And isn’t that what we all want in this life…..peace?

Until next time.

Debbie

 

5 Habits to Improve Your Day

beverage-caffeine-coffee-612252We all have done it!  Gotten  a terrible start to our day.  It seems to follow us around for all our waking hours, creating anxiety, headaches, mistakes and maybe even a shorter fuse.

A variety of causes contribute to our bad start.  Maybe we slept until the last possible minute or worse , never really got any sleep at all. Then rushing out the door after throwing together an outfit,  and a large container of caffeine, we go into our workplace where we find all the undones we left  from the previous day.

I know, I know…You never do that but on the off chance that someone reading this may have experienced this a time or two read on.

You’ve heard it and know how important a great start to the morning is to a productive and enjoyable day! So here are 5 Habits that help you get through your day with ease.

1.)  A GOOD NIGHTS SLEEP:

 

bed-bedroom-blur-545032We all have been told a good nights sleep is essential to our health.  Our bodies renew and rebuild themselves during our sleep and particularly through our deepest hours of sleep.  Yet even knowing how important it is, we stay up too late, drink too much caffeine, and peruse our phones and ipads to the last possible moment.  (Believe me I know of what I write.)

One simple habit could vastly improve your sleep cycle

Regular bed and wake up times.  Going to bed at the same time every night and waking at the same time every morning sets are circadium rythym (our sleep and wake cycles).  Getting our bodies into a routine and rythym helps us to fall asleep faster, sleep more soundly and wake feeling refreshed and ready to think and move.

Try setting a reminder on your phone for 1 hour before your dedicated bed time and turn off your electronics and the tv.  Use this time for more sedate and relaxing activities to help your body wind down and begin its journey toward sleep.

Reading is an excellent activity before bed.  A warm shower might also help you to relax. Once these sedate activities have become habitual your brain and body will begin to associate them with sleep. Some music or sounds could also help but be careful.  Loud or aggressive music will only serve to agitate rather than sedate.

2.) Hydration

 

bed-care-comfort-1458684Here’s a simple fact.  Most of us do not drink enough water. ( I know this is one area where I could really step up my game. )  Simply put our bodies need water. Our cells are primarily made up of water and walking around in a dehydrated state all day long depletes us of energy, inhibits our digestion, decreases our brain function and in general makes us feel lousy.  This one simple habit can be a game changer.

8 glasses a day?  That number was determined by a scientist for a specific person of a specific weight and body type.  Maybe you don’t need 8 full glasses.   Maybe 6 would be good for you, but whatevery our optimal number is, I would wager you are not drinking enough.

3.) Self Care

 

aerial-background-beautiful-990830It seems that most women are caretakers.  We make sure everyone in our family eats right, gets to bed on time, has clean clothes to wear and in general are well cared for.

But what about you?  Are you well cared for?  Self care is about attending to yourself.

We may claim we don’t have time for this, but you must make the time.  You wouldn’t say I don’t have time to feed my children or  give them a bath.

You wouildn’t say you don’t have time to check in on your parents regularly ,or listen to your husband when he’s discouraged.  But we routinely neglect our needs that go beyond the most basic.

So here are a few ideas to help you back on the self care track

Simple rituals:  This could be as simple as a cup of tea (decaf please) in the evening before bed or listening to some soothing music.  Whatever gives you pleasure and serenity during your day.

Skin Care: Have you ever been so tired at the end of the day you didn’t take your make up off or simply wash your face?  Most of us have been guilty of this and see it as a small transgression.  It’s not.  Caring for our skin is a way of appreciating that we are worth the trouble to devote time to our own small pleasures.  Some simple cleansing, moisturizer, and sunscreen can go a long way to healthy skin and looking and feeling younger and healthier ,and who doesn’t want that!!  (French women would never DREAM of going to bed with the slightest trace of makeup or mascara left on their face.  They are a great model to follow when it comes to self care.)

Excercise:  Carving out time for excercise( and eating well )is sometimes a challenge when all our other responsibiities are calling our name but 30 minutes a day can help us sleep better, look better and have more energy overall.  30 minutes well spent!!

4.) Prayer and Meditation

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Some type of spiritual excercise daily can help you stay focused, centered and uplift your spirit.  Its easy to lose your way when your head is constantly down and you are on the treadmill of life.  Look up.  Personally, this is the thing that most keeps me on track for all the others.  The old saying “A day hemmed in with prayer seldon comes unraveled,”  is so true.  Knowing the why of life and keeping our awareness on the larger things can help to keep the smaller things in order.

A well known and loved prayer or scripture to meditate on in the morning before everyone else is up and about can help you set your mind above and give you a positive focus for the day.

5.) Planning

I will be talking much more about this in the future but suffice it to say that a plan for the day is a must.

Write it down and prioritize your tasks.  I write down EVERYTHING because if I don’t…well let’s just say it isn’t pretty.

These routines and rituals, practiced faithfully and mindfully can transform your days and nights making your life a little less hectic and a lot more enjoyable.

Please comment below and share your daily rituals and routines that help you stay on track and make your life more productive and pleasant.

Until next time,

Debbie