Years ago when I was struggling with some physical health challenges, I went to see a Japanese chiropractor who also performed laser acupuncture. While she was providing her treatment, she asked me what I did for a living and whether or not I felt fulfilled. She must have sensed that I was stressed. I explained that I felt adrift and really didn’t have a clear sense of purpose. I had just come through a serious illness, had temporarily lost my vision and was trying to figure out what to do with the rest of my life. This is what she said. “What did you like to do when you were a little girl?” Without even a moment to think, I knew the answer. “I really liked to write. I made up stories and even wrote some poems when I became a teenager.” I’ll never forget what she said next: “Then go do that.”
Do you feel like your mind has been stretched to the limit by what we’re collectively experiencing these days? Do you feel sometimes like the world is standing still and other days like it’s moving out of control? Are you having difficulty coping with all the unknowns? Well, I’m going to ask you to stretch your mind a little bit further. You’ll be glad you did. When you stretch your mind, you stretch your perspective. And when you experience new ways of operating or when you allow new information to percolate and be absorbed, you actually change. You are not the same person as you were before the new information or experience. You’ve evolved.
What’s one of the best ways to rid yourself of anxiety and worry? Something that can help boost your immune system. Something you can safely share with anyone. A method of intentional distraction? You guessed it. Humour. And I’m a big fan. Today, I’m sharing a list of 36 of my favourite feel-good, funny, quirky movies to help you get through this great big curveball we’ve all been thrown. I’ve also included an excerpt from my book that tells the story of how humour healed a famous doctor from a severe inflammatory disease.
Yup, staying in for long periods of time sucks. Not being able to go out for lunch or dinner sucks. Not having a job really sucks. I get it. I feel it too. The way I see it, you can walk through one of two doors…
With Easter weekend approaching, you may be feeling sad that you won’t be able to spend it with friends or family doing the things you would typically do during the long weekend. I too will miss painting eggs with my grandson and enjoying a yummy meal with my family. So now it's time to get creative! What would a virtual Easter look like for you? You could eat your Easter dinner together via Facetime, Skype, or Zoom. You could watch your grandchildren online while they look for hidden eggs or whatever ritual you would normally do together. You could hang colourful pictures of Easter eggs or bunnies on your windows or doors to lift the spirits of your neighbourhood.
My father once told me that when in crisis do nothing. It seemed so counter-intuitive at the time that I initially dismissed what he said, choosing instead to grumble even louder about the challenge I was facing, trying to defend all the reasons why my panic was justified. But he held firm to his advice. Years later I finally got it. And perhaps today, more than any other time in my life, his words echo with such profound clarity. You see, doing nothing means leaning back, looking at the situation with a clear head rather than through the lens of heightened emotions – never the best time for making decisions. So today, I’m encouraging you to lean back. And once you’re acknowledged your emotions and allowed yourself to grieve the loss of the world as we once knew it, shake yourself off, lean in, and begin to see beneath the disruption.
One of the best ways to relax your mind and body, especially during these unprecedented times of uncertainty, is by being in the presence of beauty. And for me, the most peaceful and relaxing beauty is found in nature. Whether it's through the simple gaze at a bouquet of colourful wildflowers or hearing the crickets or frogs on a warm summer night, nature’s beauty can quell my compulsion to go-go-go, like no other. Today, I’m sharing some images that touch my spirit in such a way as to slow my breathing to let my joy in. I hope they will do the same for you.
Why is it that when we decide to take a few minutes for ourselves to just exhale and relax, sometimes we feel that we should be doing something? That by taking a break we might be perceived as being idle, not caring, or simply not being productive. But it’s actually the opposite. Taking a break enhances productivity, not the other way around. Sure your list isn’t done. Spoiler alert. It never will be. In fact, it’s not supposed to be. We can take ourselves so seriously, giving our “tasks” a much higher degree of importance than they really warrant in the grand scheme of things. No wonder so many people are on anti-depressants.
The use of aromatherapy has been around for thousands of years. But it’s only been within the last few decades that it has reached mainstream popularity and understanding, being used for emotional well being as well as physical health. Without getting into all the science behind the effectiveness of aromatherapy in this blog, I want to focus on my top five favourite scents for promoting relaxation since this month’s joy habit is Be Relaxed. If you’ve read this month’s Joy Matters newsletter, you’ll have read the chapter from my book Being Joy™ that explains some of the benefits of relaxing for your body and mind. I also provided some links to articles that give practical tips for stress reduction, and handy self-assessment tool for determining your level of stress. But today’s blog is about taking time to smell the roses…literally!
I’ve always been a music lover. I listen to all types – classical, country, jazz, folk, hip hop, soul. You name it. Doesn’t matter to me as long as it’s music that makes me feel something loving, or is thought-provoking, or just makes me want to shake my booty. I watch the Junos and Grammys every year. I love to hear music from up and comers, even if it’s not always my cup of tea. It’s about honouring someone who took the time to express their thoughts through music. I love that. But my favourite kind of music is the gentle sounds that soothe my soul. The background notes that don’t try to compete for my attention when I’m working or writing. The notes that lull me to sleep each night. And the tracks that help me relax so that I can deepen my daily meditations.