Month: September 2015

Conservative – What Does That Mean?

My parents and I had a conversation the other day, and the word conservative was brought up. Not conservative, as in political parties, but as in a traditional sense. Dictionary.com explains a few meanings of the word conservative as,

  • disposed to preserve existing conditions, institutions, etc., or to restore traditional ones

Religious_Traditions

  • traditional in style or manner; avoiding novelty or showiness
  • having the power or tendency to conserve or preserve

 

In a way this describes being frugal and yet content with conditions. What if being conservative is just living life with what has been given to us, rather than living off debt or wishes? In today’s society, we are inundated with commercials and advertising telling us that we need the biggest, the best, and the latest. What if, instead, we looked at what is really needed to live?

health_handHealth is one thing that is definitely needed. Over the course of a lifetime, living a clean healthy life is less expensive than living a destructive self-absorbing life. Health issues can arise for anyone at anytime (of no fault of the person). However, I know many people who have abused their bodies, (through bad eating habits, smoking, drinking, overwhelming stress, or not caring for their body), only to be paying for this lifestyle later on in life.

healthy-livinFood is needed to survive.  “Clean eating” may be more expensive than eating stuff out of a box, but the medical bills later can often be the real expense.

Water is another thing that we must have. Of course is the one thing that I forget. I think if I drink something liquid that is just as good. Instead of replacing what’s in my body’s natural chemistry, I replace it with chemicals, thinking that my body will react correctly. Sometimes I think that “I’m not thirsty” or “I don’t need anything”….until it is too late. And I’ve practically dehydrated myself.

images-24

Shelter is something that we need. Of course, myself like most American’s think we have the best house on the street. We have to have it immaculately decorated, and have it filled with the best gadgets ever. Why do we feel this way? Don’t we just need a place with a roof for shelter from the elements? Where did we inherit this idea that our “shelter” determined our worth?

dreamstime_xl_22977159Air is another thing that we need. I know people who would pay big bucks to breathe without assistance again. I know how we take it for granted on a daily basis. Maybe we should just take the time to be thankful for this “free” gift.

 

 

Living conservatively can be living abundantly. We are blessed. Let’s start living like we are. Let’s start being happy with what we have been given.

Daily Vitamin C: Live abundantly with what you have.

 

 

 

Mind – Creativity Starts Here

Creativity starts in the mind. It comes from somewhere down deep inside that wants and needs to come out to express itself. It’s from the inner place that wants to give something to the world.

This week I developed a couple of signs for my friend to remember what creativity is:  (the backgrounds are pictures from my garden, God’s creativity)

IMG_2665

“Creativity is piercing the mundane to find the marvelous.” – Daniel Patrick Moynihan

 

 

 

 

IMG_2666

“The artist is not a special kind of person, rather each person is a special kind of artist.” – Ananda Coomaraswamy

 

 

 

As Missy taught me this week, everyone is creative. Everyone has something to share.

What is the one thing you want to create?

Daily Vitamin C: Explore your creativity.

Mind – Giving You a Mind-full Gift

stress-work-400x400

Isn’t it amazing how you will be trying to work on a problem, over and over at your desk, and just can’t find the answer. Then, like magic, as soon as you walk away from it, or even later when you are driving in the car or are in shower, the answer suddenly appears.  How does this work? When you’re concentrating, it doesn’t appear, but when your not concentrating it does?

When I was young, my dad would go from working as a school teacher to working as a farmer.  (I didn’t see any rest time; I just saw the many different things he was doing as chores).  Often he would refer to it as doing something different – breaking up the routine. Maybe he was onto something.  Maybe he was using different parts of his brain, to discover new answers.  In other words, he was routinely stretching his brain.

 

Changing it up causes new stimuli to form. Different parts of the brain have to “wake up” to work. Similar to working different muscles within the body, the brain needs to be exercised. In my interview this week with Missy, she said that she has started creating stained-glass art. This activity is new and is stretching her out of her comfort zone. I think each one of us needs to be stretching and growing and working our brains with new activities and new experiences.

stretching

We become stronger with each stretch. And maybe, just maybe, our needed answers will come to us (almost without effort).

Daily Vitamin C:  Shake it up! Stretch the brain! Discover answers with creativity.

Mind – Learning Patience

I was standing in line at the grocery store to pay for the few items that I wanted to purchase, and the lady in front of me was having trouble paying for her items. (Actually I think the cashier was having trouble processing her card, but I guess that is beside the point).   While both the cashier and the customer were trying over and over to resolve the issue, a line of people started to assemble behind me. As the line grew, the restlessness grew. I started to get restless. My mind started saying things like “can’t they get it together, and get this processed?”, “don’t they see I have just a few items and my time is important?” and “I sure did pick the wrong line! My luck!” (Truth be known, I was not in a hurry and I had time for everything to work out. However, my mind was in “selfish” mode and it “knew” I was better than the customer in front of me. Actually the whole line of people behind me was better than the customer in front of me. Couldn’t they see this?) I’m sure no one else has ever felt like this, but in the rare chance that you have, why?

PatienceToday

My mind has trouble stopping and analyzing entire situations. It’s like the subconscious mind kicks in with my old habits (of looking on the dark side of things), and I lose control. My old upbringing, of complaining and getting restless with situations, becomes the knee-jerk reaction. Instead of an opportunity, it is a crisis.

I do this same thing whenever I am in a line, in traffic, or even when my computer doesn’t work fast enough for my liking. Why? Why do we do this? Are we all wired with this flaw?

images-22

When I was in grocery line and started to feel the restlessness bubbling up, I should have stopped and really looked at the big picture. First, I chose to be in line. I was not forced to stand there. It was actually my responsibility to be there and even how I felt about it. Second, why was I in line? Now I believe that God puts us in certain places at certain times. Was I supposed to learn something from the situation? Was I supposed to be doing something? Was there a way to help someone else? Did someone need an encouraging word? Was I supposed to be using my mind in some way – other than to complain? Could I have taken the time just to pray?

6477009555_b919e54cefIf I had spent my time trying to figure out the answers to these questions, I would have been much more productive than my complaining and being upset. I think that maybe, just maybe, I made the situation worse than it was – by being negative and subconsciously giving the situation more negative energy – instead of making it an actual positive situation. And the worst part, I probably missed a great opportunity. (Either with someone else, or just myself.)

So the next time that you (or me) are waiting in line, and those “restless” feelings come up, take the time to ask these quick questions:

  • Is there something to learn from this?
  • Can I help?
  • Can I help someone else?
  • Is there a compliment I can give?
  • Is there a way to use my mind right now – remembering something, brain games, planning?
  • How about saying a quick prayer?

tumblr_l80p5w87LD1qazj2jo1_500

 

Take time to look at the whole situation. Life is too short, and lines are too long, to spend our time complaining and “wishing” for something else.

 

Daily Vitamin C: Wait. And use this time to make life better.

Mind – The Power of My Hero

Today, I am so excited because I get to share with you my “hero.” Now truth be known, I consider all my friends heroes, and I get so excited to interview each and every one of them. But this particular friend can hold a plank for 8 minutes. Yes, a plank – elbows and feet on the ground and everything else suspended in the air as flat as a board (like being levitated by a magician). Her plank is not the normal plank, where the body gets fidgety and moves around. She has the perfect plank where a cup of tea (filled to the brim) could be placed on her back the entire time.

Her name is Missy.IMG_2653

This lady has something that is rare and delightful (besides being able to hold an amazing plank). Something that I wish she would bottle up and sell to all of us who do not have it, but so want it. She is the most joyful and energy-filled person that I have met. No matter what, she is excited about life and the task at hand. She fills the room with the joy, to the point where you’re trying to decide if you desperately want to drink whatever she’s having, or slap her because she’s not sharing her secret. I look at her sometimes (in our strength training class) and wonder what is in her magic pill? How can I get some? How do I become more like my hero?

Well maybe through a few questions and answers, I can learn just some tidbits of what makes Missy tick. Maybe learn a few insights that she has been blessed with from God.

What does happiness mean? According to Missy, it is something born in you. Being filled with positivity, you wake up that way. If you are positive, have a good life, then that is true happiness.images-21

What makes Missy happy? The answer is being comfortable in who she is. She is comfortable saying I am who I am. She has actually trained herself to do this. (Another thing that I think she should bottle up and sell).

Missy is happy when she is able to ignore the negativity around her and create the environment she desires. She loves going the extra step and sharing her happiness with others. (Anyone can see this). Either by noticing the person in the room that needs a little extra attention, or the person who could use just a little positive word, Missy acts. She notices the person that no one else notices or gives the unexpected compliments (you know, the ones where you say, oh, I wish I had said that).howtobehappy

Another statement that Missy often uses is “it could always be worse.” Missy does not sway from being positive and living a happy life, no matter the circumstances or odds. She has even planted this seed in her son. Despite her son having a multitude of medical issues that most people cannot even relate, she has taught him how to greet each day with happiness. She has done this by showing him affection and by just being a friend. (What she would do with anyone around her).

What makes Missy, Missy (my hero)? Missy feels she is a good person. (Understatement). She never meets a stranger. She wants just that one person in the room to feel welcomed, warm, and comfortable. Somehow, someway, she makes it feel like you are the most important person in the room.

Missy, even though having these magical powers, is down to earth. And without selfish pride, she is actually proud of who she is. (I think we all should feel that way, being children of God). She also states, that we should not feel as if better than others. We are all special in our own way.

calmer-school-happy-kids_-13

I asked her what made it possible for her to do an 8 min. plank. (This was in a competition, by the way. One I got to witness). She chalked it up to having learned to train her mind. She’s self-taught on how to control this tool (her mind) rather than letting it rust in the corner, or even control her. I asked her if during the competition she truly told herself, “I am going to win this competition” or “I want to win this competition.” I asked her this, because of some words by Andy Shaw, in Using a Bug Free Mind. (“…that to achieve a goal we have to have vividly imagined the goal achieved.” To want, says that we lack this, and puts it somewhere in the future). She stated, with some hesitation on how it might sound, that she knew she was going to win. She had planted that seed in her mind. And her trained mind (and body) reacted

What one lesson would she teach me or someone else?

Be creative. Missy went on to tell me that her mom can take any tool and make anything. (I guess something that Missy has desired within herself). Missy is now developing her “creative” side. She has started making stained-glass works of art.

If creative – teach. She thinks everyone is creative. There is talent in everyone. Don’t be scared. Pull the bull by the horns and just try. Mistakes can always be fixed. Just allow yourself to create.

open-white-box

Missy desires to help with opening the box of creativity in each one of us. She sees it. She knows it’s there. The mind is creative, powerful, energized, and willing to help us live a truly happy life. Know what Missy knows. Know the power of the mind.

Daily Vitamin C: Know.