gratitude

Tools For Having Less Anxiety

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Yesterday was one of those, “I just want to lay down and not do life,” one of days. ⠀

My mind was anxious, my thoughts were negative, and I felt trapped inside my own body. ⠀

Here’s the important thing that helped me - I knew I wasn’t the only one feeling that way. I knew that all those feelings were normal for us humans. ⠀

Here are some tools that allowed me to get through yesterday without taking my discomfort out on my children or husband ...⠀

⠀1. I took some time for extra meditation. I kept my faith high that those feelings would pass and tomorrow would be a fresh start. ⠀

2. I wrote out my feelings along with a big gratitude list. In times of fear, I always turn to gratitude. ⠀

3. I made a warm cup of almond milk with coco powder. I sat quietly and put my attention on each sip. ⠀

4. I reached out to a friend and was honest about my experience. None of us have to be anxious alone, ever!⠀

5. I went to bed early. I called it at 8:30 pm and went to sleep.  Today, I started my day with gratitude and meditation. Today, is already better than yesterday!⠀

No matter how you are feeling, know that we all have felt that way too. Today is a new day. Today you can SHINE!

With love,⠀

Laura⠀

Gratitude For Life's Challenges

“I’m 99.9% sure you have this disease ... you will probably die from it,” the doctor told me and my mother as we sat in the wooden chairs of his small office. ⠀

I had horrible stomach pain my senior year of high school. After what felt like billions of tests, the doctors misdiagnosed me with a disease I didn’t have. It was, to say the least, a very difficult time in my life. ⠀

I have learned from that experience, and other challenges life has presented, to look for gratitude in the difficulties. ⠀

Because of that health crisis in my life I have a greater awareness for other people’s pain and health problems, I learned mindfulness and meditation because the pain forced me to seek a healthy solution, and I have gratitude for the many years that I have no longer had debilitating stomach pain. ⠀

Life will always have its difficulties. Looking for gratitude during the tough times gives us freedom and courage. ⠀

“You are the sky. Everything else is just the weather,” Pema Chödrön ⛅️ ⠀

Have a blessed day and Find Your Calm In the Chaos of Daily Life 🌟⠀

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Connections Foster Gratitude

With Thanksgiving comes the topic of gratitude. And although I know we all have so much to be grateful for, I thought I would take today’s post as an opportunity to talk about what we can do when we aren’t feeling grateful.

Do you ever wish you could swap your family with another family? Perhaps a family where the children are better behaved and have good manners ALL the time. Wouldn’t it be nice your new family would also come with a nicer and cleaner home? Sounds lovely, right?!

Unfortunately (and fortunately), unless you are planning on being on the television show Wife Swap, your family (and little rascals) are the ones you have to work with.

So, what can we do to make the best of our current family? How do we find gratitude for the beautiful children in the moments when we just feel way too overwhelmed?

The best way for me to find gratitude for my children is by connecting with them (and I mean really connecting with them - no multitasking, texting or driving). It has to be time that I am really engaged with my kiddos. The good news is that it doesn’t have to be very long before that one-on-one time makes a big impact for me and for them. When I got my Positive Discipline Certification, we learned that 5 minutes of special time with our children will make a big impact.

Yesterday was a perfect example. My son was angry and started cutting an old cardboard box up. Instead of engaging in his anger, I took the opportunity to ask him if he had ever heard of a diorama before. Immediately, his anger gave way to curiosity. Before long, we were on our way to making the coolest dinosaur diorama. That special time turned our entire day around and carried us well into the evening!

An Unexpected Mindfulness Lesson

On our recent trip to Costa Rica, I had the opportunity to take a surf lesson with a man named Walter. The surf lesson ended up being the greatest mindfulness teaching I’ve discovered thus far. I wish I could recount the hour lesson here, but it was more than words - it was the relationship Walter had with the ocean, the way he tuned out his thoughts and placed all his attention on each wave directly in front of him, and the use of his breath as an anchor.  One of the most important things he told me was to only focus on three things in the water at a time (one of the things being my breathing). I have taken that philosophy from the sunset sky of Costa Rica back home to the bright lights of the Bay Area. I will be forever grateful for our trip and the reminder to KEEP IT SIMPLE! 

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