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The Monthly Playbook summarizes how scheduled and spontaneous play has enriched my life. A full and busy life can make finding time to play challenging. However, I have discovered that the more I play, the less stressed I feel. My commitment to chronicle my experience playing each month will help me continue to prioritize play and hopefully inspire you to do the same.
After spending way too much play time on chores last month, I was determined to not make the same mistake in June. I am happy to report that there was lots of play time in June, most of it spontaneous. There was a remarkable difference in my energy and enthusiasm in June. I suspect it was most likely due to not feeling like I was working all the time (chores, even fun ones, are work). June is one of my favorite months of the year. I was happy to spend a lot of time playing.
Birthday Celebration: my birthday is in early June. This year’s celebration was spent out to dinner with a few close friends. The meal was superb but it was no match for the company. Lots of laughs! Receiving a pretty pink flower arrangement also made me feel special.
Cousin Visit: my cousin “S” and his girlfriend “A” came to visit this month. They moved to the East Coast from the Midwest at the beginning of the year but had not yet come “home” for a visit. They were not able to attend the memorial service for my uncle in April so it was great to spend some time with them. We enjoyed a leisurely lunch with his sister and mother and also took our dogs for a walk and swim. A perfectly low key and pleasurable visit.
Paddle Boarding: one of my most favorite recreational activities is paddle boarding. I’ve completely fallen for this sport and have even competed in a in a few charity races over the last few years. Pretty much anything on the water makes me happy. I can’t get enough of the fresh air, sunshine and serenity. I’ve been wanting to get back out there all Spring and was finally able to with a nice long paddle one morning. The conditions could not have been more perfect. It’s no surprise I felt like I was walking on water for the rest of the day.
Trip to See “L”: a few years ago, shortly after I was laid off from my corporate job, I treated myself to a mindfulness retreat. The experience was made tremendously less scary by the amazing group of people that had gathered. I happened to sit next to a woman from the same seaside community where I grew up. We bonded over the week and have kept in touch over the years. About a year ago, after devoting her life to raising her son as a single mother, she left her stable and steady career to become yacht stewardess. When she messaged me to let me know that her yacht was scheduled to be about 70 miles away from where I live and there was no question that I would scoot off for a visit. I am so glad I did. It was such a joy to see her so happy. Spending some time with her was one of the highlights of June for sure.
How did you play this month?
Wondering how to stay calm, cool and hydrated this Summer? Summer is a celebration of the power of life. With the sun seemingly standing still in the sky, we begin to feel the power of its heat with warmer temps and longer days.
Summer is a time to balance intense activity with leisure. The warmth of the sun can have a revitalizing effect but take precaution or get burned.
This seasonal wellness guide has all the information you need to have a power Summer. Learn what seasonal foods will keep you cool and hydrated. Find out what types of activities will keep you calm.
Click on the image below for an instant download of the two page guide. No opt in required.
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Do you have a fixed point of view about how your life should be or how your body should look? Do you imagine what your life would be like if you were able to stop judging yourself and others? Read on to learn how to stop judging yourself and others.
A judgment is a decision that a situation or someone (this includes you) “should” or “must” be a certain way. The mind immediately aligns and agrees with these points of view. Before long we are ruled by these judgments. What if something else was possible?
Say “interesting point of view, I have this point of view” to move out of judgment. This phrase will help shift your awareness. It’s possible to allow these opinions and judgments to exist without being affected by them. We can choose not to believe them.
“Interesting point of view, I have this point of view” is your ticket to freedom. Say it as many times as it takes to shift the energy.
So much happens when you sleep. It’s the time of the day when the brain (and body) processes the experiences of the day. The brain, possibly in its most active state, filters and files. Muscle and tissue are repaired and restored. Hormones regulating cellular growth, reproduction and regeneration are released during sleep. Adequate sleep is linked to increased productivity, improved performance and immunity to common ailments.
With so much at stake while you sleep, it’s surprising that there isn’t more time spent preparing for the most important part of the day. A pre-bedtime routine, not unlike the ones followed by babies, is the secret to a good night’s sleep.
For tips on how you can sleep like a baby, click over to Ebb and Flow to read my guest blog post.
Do you ever feel stuck and are not sure why? Last week I wrote about what’s really happening when you feel stuck and how to shift the energy. I highlighted the limits of using intellect or instinct as a way out. Asking yourself “what do I know” can be a useful tool to connect with and allow your intuition to have a voice. Thoughts and feelings, despite the best of intentions, have a tendency to take over and distract us from our awareness. In an attempt to keep us safe, they deny our being–the part of us that perceives, receives and knows.
The first indication that you know is the absense of conflict. You are no longer in a battle with your thoughts or feelings. There is no questioning, judgment or anxiety. Knowing is uncontested. You know when you know because your brain and belly cannot refute the truth of your heart.
You also know when you know when external validation is not needed. You’ll recognize this when other people share their opinions, fears and judgments (and they will) with you. They do not penetrate or stick to you. You know when you know when you see their questions, care and concern as a projection of their own fears. You don’t have to tell them that but are able to articulate your truth with comfort and conviction. Not needing the validation of others confirms that you know. It’s proof that you have not only moved beyond the limits of your own thoughts and feelings, but those of others as well.
Realize and accept that you are not your thoughts or feelings. They are mechanisms (aka judgments) to keep you safe (and stuck). It’s part of what makes us human. Don’t punish yourself for having them. They may not even belong to you. Notice when you become hijacked by your thoughts and feelings. Recognize how they are a limited point of view. This awareness is a powerful first step in the process.
Go about the business of living. Work, play, laugh, cry. Be you.
Give yourself a break—weekly or daily. Do nothing or enjoy an activity that feels effortless and/or mindless—it doesn’t matter if it is math puzzles or Frisbee. Get your body and mind lost in something as much as you can. This should not feel like work but if you are uncomfortable with the practice of slowing down or devoting time to yourself, it may feel excruciating at first. Keep at it.
Pay attention. You will start to sense things. Or you will just know things and not know why or how. It may happen while in the shower, driving the car or when pouring a cup of coffee. Be patient. These quite whispers will come between the moments of thinking and feeling. This is you as a being—perceiving, knowing, receiving—existing in the space outside your thoughts and feelings and the falsehoods they present.
© Extra Mile Wellness