Sharpen the Saw

I was reading the book 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. There is a chapter about sharpening the saw, and it really resonated with me. I found this concept to be similar to mindful time. The story behind this is that there was a competition between a younger and older lumberjack to see who can cut down the most trees. The younger one continued to cut the trees without breaks, while the older one took breaks throughout the day. The older lumberjack ended up winning, despite being older, weaker, and less energetic. The reason is because he took breaks to sharpen his saw. A sharp saw will win over a dull one anytime.

This story and concept show how important it is to take breaks to sharpen the saw, meaning to gain clarity. Constant working leads to exhausting and cloudiness of the mind. You will be much more effective when you give yourself space. I have to say my best ideas comes from taking time to breathe and be mindful. When I am journaling, taking walks, reading, watching inspirational vloggers, or on vacations. It is important to be present, and in the moment, so that your mind can breathe and gain insight. Our minds need breaks. The mind won’t work well with continuous work and overload. You may think it is a good idea to keep going, but doing that just weakens your clarity and creativity.

I am staying indoors today, due to another snow storm, thankfully not as bad as the last one, but I wanted to be productive and mindful today. This is where this idea came from. I didn’t want to waste my only day off for the next 10 days on distractions only. This is where mindful practices come in handy. I did some reading, some yoga, some writing as you can see. I even found going outside to clean my car therapeutic. Most may see it as a chore or annoying, and I do majority of the time as well, but today I didn’t mind going out. I put some music on, and cleaned the snow off, it was kind of nice. The snow is really fluffy, so it came off easy, and it gave me a nice workout. It was nice to just do something, rather than just sitting inside.

I know this topic has become a recurring theme of my posts, but that just means how important this concept is, and how it never gets old to be reminded of it. Breaks are really important, sharpen the mind, like you sharpen the saw. This can only come from giving yourself the space to think and relax. To be in the moment and enjoy life as it is. Work will always be there, but the moment will not.

Detach From Thoughts & Emotions

You may think, how can I do this? Isn’t these things part of who I am? Thoughts and emotions are part of our life experiences. They don’t necessarily define who we are.

As taught in spiritual teachings. Attachment creates suffering. Detachment cultivates peace. It is our human nature to attach.

Our souls are boundless, timeless, and limitless. Emotions and thoughts are part of humanity. They are not who we are. They do not define us. It is best to observe our thoughts and emotions.

Tell yourself, I am thinking this thought, or I am feeling this emotion. Be aware and observe. These things are a part of the human experience. They can be difficult at times. They can also be enjoyable.

Just remember that observing creates peace of mind. Attaching to them creates suffering. A thought is a thought. An emotion is an emotion. They just are. Giving them less power creates freedom and peace.

Motivation

Recently I haven’t had much motivation. I was on a high weeks ago, but fell to a low this week. This happens. Motivation to do things comes and go, but what actually motivates us? I am sure we all asked that question. You may think why am I never motivated? You may also ask how do I get motivated? I will try to answer these questions to the best of my ability.

Definition

-the reason or reasons one has for acting or behaving in a particular way.

-the general desire or willingness of someone to do something.

-Motivation is the desire to act in service of a goal.

There are 4 types of motivation:

  • Extrinsic Motivation-Comes from outside of us. We do it, because we feel we have to, or there will be consequences to the decision. It is done for external reasons.
  • Intrinsic Motivation-Comes from inside us. Doing something important or valuable to us. It is done for internal reasons.
  • Introjected motivation-If the action is not done, one will feel guilt.
  • Identified motivation-Where a person knows something needs to be done, but hasn’t done it yet.

What motivates us?

I came up with five, there could be more, but I felt these five were factors that help motivate us to get things done.

  • The end goal must be meaningful and important to you-You got to really want this thing to happen for your well-being. My example is, I eat healthier and exercise, because I really want to be healthy as I grow older. This is important to me, and keeps me motivated to stay healthy.
  • You prefer the positives over the negatives-To put it simple, the positives outweigh the negatives of doing something, so you choose to do it.
  • For the sake of your happiness/peace of mind-This is when life is unbearable not taking action, or not doing anything creates suffering and unhappiness. This pushes you to do something. For example, if I don’t write, I feel unaccomplished, this pushes me to write. I think this is one of biggest motivators.
  • Listening, or watching others/Reading-Other people can help motivate you to get things done. I recently watched Amy Landino’s Youtube video on Motivation, which pushed me to write this post, and write more in general. All you may need is some words of inspiration or knowledge to get you moving.
  • Life experiences-Situations that happen in life can get someone motivated to do things. For example, my grandma passed at a young age, due to diabetes, and poor health. This pushed my aunt’s and Mom to live a healthier lifestyle.

How do you get motivated?

It takes two things, effort and action. Motivation doesn’t just come to you. Waiting around for it to strike will do you no good. You got to push yourself to do the things you want to do. It isn’t always easy to start, but once you get going you may not want to stop. I don’t want to go for a run today, but I know how important it is for me to get a workout, so I push myself to do it, which keeps me motivated. The important thing is pushing yourself to take action, and get it done.

Motivation is a wonderful thing, but it takes work. It doesn’t come easy. You don’t just wake up, and become motivated. You got to do the work. You got to push. You got to really want change. The short-term may not be fun, you may struggle, and you may not enjoy it, but you will eventually see a whole lot of benefits in the long-term, which will cultivate a more happier, healthier, and peaceful you. Remember, short-term pains lead to long-term gains.

20 Fitness Motivation Quotes to Break Out of Your Comfort Zone | Goalcast

35 Things That Improved My Life/Things I Appreciate

Today I will be celebrating my 35th birthday. Some people see their birthdays as getting older, but I look at it as celebrating another year of life on this earth. I made it another year! That is something to celebrate. I wanted to make a post of the 35 things that improved my life, or things I appreciate to celebrate 35 years. It is good to put focus on the good, and look at the bright side, so I wanted to make this. The list isn’t in order of anything. I appreciate all these things equally.

1.Becoming aware

2.Practicing mindfulness

3.Appreciating connections with friends and family

4.Drinking more water

5.Eating healthier

6.Consuming less sugar

7.Creating this blog

8.Journaling

9.Learning not to strive for happiness/seek contentment

10.Accepting my flaws

11.Getting a better paying job

12.Having mindful time

13.Taking deep breaths

14.Meditation

15.Getting a dependable car

16.Taking small steps

17.Getting at least 30 minutes of exercise a day

18.Reading

19.Not allowing Social Media to control my thoughts & emotions

20.Learning to accept all emotions

21.Taking nature walks

22.Appreciating the people who love me/like me

23.Not caring about likes and attention

24.Expressing myself without worries

25.Appreciating being in my own skin

26.Taking in the moment as much as I can

27.Looking at the positives

28.Appreciating my strengths

29.Learning happiness comes from within

30.Finding appreciation for the people and things in my life

31.Finding the joys of life

32.Becoming a plant owner

33.Learning patience

34.Embracing the struggles

35.Accepting life for what it is

While writing this I found a couple of other things that I could list as well. You don’t realize how many things you appreciate in life, until you start looking. I implore you all to do a list like this, not just for your birthday, although that would be fun, but just in general to show you how much their is to appreciate in life. Yes, there are negatives and bad things that happen in life, but there is also plenty of good and positives. Putting your attention on the good brings peace and happiness.

Wednesday Random Post

Be proud of yourself. See the light within yourself. Help others see the light. Bring positivity to yourself and others. Show love, compassion, and acceptance for yourself and others. Times are tough right now. It may be easy to fall into the bubble of negativity. Remember life is unpredictable, and things won’t always go the way you want it to. Try to remain positive and accept what is. Always strive to remain empathetic, appreciative and compassionate. Stay safe everyone.

IMAG0386

Feeling Uninspired/Unmotivated

There are times I don’t particularly feel inspired, motivated, or productive. There are days I feel lazy and unproductive. There are times I just want to get lost in distractions. I am sure you have all had these moments. We just don’t always have the motivation spirit.

Lately I have been in a rut, not much in the mood to do much. The one thing you don’t want to do is get down on yourself for feeling this way. Try not to shame or guilt yourself. The one thing I learn from mindfulness practice is to accept all types of emotions and feelings, negative or positive. I know I won’t always be in a productive state of mind, and that is okay. We are not machines. We need some down time to relax.

Having some distraction time is fine, but things do need to get done. I may have to push myself harder to get the things I want done, because I know it will benefit me in the end to get it done. I may not be in much of a mood to write, or finish my online course, or find inspiration, but I know if I don’t take steps to do it. I would feel like crap for not doing it.

I try to focus my energy on the future implications, and how it will end up helping me if I do these things. That usually pushes me to be productive. I tell myself that it will only take an hour or less of my time, and I would feel much better after it is accomplished.  I always do feel better after doing the productive task.

It is easy to stay in a rut, and get down on yourself. When you have days like these. It is okay to practice self-kindness, and not shame, or guilt yourself for feeling this way, and not getting much done. It is all part of the human experience. We all have these days. It will happen. You just got to learn to push through it, and figure out your own way to get things done, even if it is little steps to get what you want done.

I am not in the mood to get things done lately, but I find a way to push myself to do it, because I know my mind and body will appreciate it. I know it can help make my future brighter and more satisfactory. I know I won’t feel good about my day if I don’t get at least one thing done.

I am not necessarily in the mood to find inspiration, but when I am able to push myself to read, or watch something inspirational. It finds a way to get me inspired again to do the things I want. I know being unproductive all day would make me feel like crap, so it is nice to have these reminders to get me back in the mood. I will say I am not 100% in a motivated, inspirational mood. It takes a bit of work to get the things I want done, but it happens, and that is fine.

It always feels good to finish a productive task, no matter how big or small it is. Try to remind yourself, or ask yourself. “Am I living a living with purpose or meaning?,” or “Is what I am doing benefiting me in any way?” These questions can help push you back to a motivated spirit. Accept these times. Embrace the challenge it brings. Appreciate the steps you take to get things done. Put your energy into the positive, rather than taking in negative energy. You will get things done on your own time, baby steps, productivity mode comes and goes. Try not to stress about getting everything done. You will get there if you keep working at it.

I read this passage in my mindfulness book this morning. It reminded me of this post. It shows no matter how small the step is. It is still progress to what you want to get done. Just take those small steps when feeling unmotivated/uninspired. It may actually get you back in the mood of production. If it doesn’t, you were still able to get something done.

IMAG0342

2019 Yearly Reflection & 2020 Planning

It is close to the end of the year. Yay! Give yourself a round of applause you made it through another year! It is now time to reflect on the year. It is also time to look forward, and start planning for next year.

I know mindfulness is all about living in the moment. But reflecting on the past, and planning for the future cultivates positive energy. It can help build you up, help you learn more about yourself, and help make improvements for you to grow, and develop.

There are a couple of questions I like to think about for my yearly reflection and planning. I thought I share them, and hopefully get you thinking about it as well.

1.Positives of the year?: We got to start positive. I like to think about the positive things that happened this year, or even positive people that were brought to my life this year. Some positives for me would be finally going to the dentist(been meaning to this for years now). Another would be getting a better paying job. Another one would be meeting new people to connect with. These are some things to think about. It allows you to focus your energy on the positives, and show you that the year had some, or many good moments.

2.Challenges of the year?:Now flip to the other side of the coin. I think it is important to look at the difficulties we faced this year. I didn’t really have many this year, compared to last year. One was searching for a new job. Doing something new can be challenging for me. Also, being able to get comfortable at a new job. It is still uncomfortable, but I manage through it. I am proud that I was able to get through it. Challenges are learning experiences, and help us grow. We shouldn’t push these moments aside. Embrace them. They are part of our journey as well. Looking through this can show how far you come, and make you proud for getting through it.

3.Things that benefited me this year?: Now time to focus on the things that benefited me and you. What helped us grow. What helped us physically, mentally and emotionally. For me, eating healthier, exercising more, drinking more water, reducing sugar, and being remaining mindful have been a huge benefit for me.

4.Things I learned this year?:Think about what you learned. Be it educational, life lessons, experiences etc. I learned many things about the universe. I learned that being mindful has made me more aware of myself and my emotions. I learned to embrace challenges. Learning is important in life, so it is good to look at all your learning experiences you had this year.

5.How Did I grow this year?: Pretty important to see your growth in the year. It really shows how far you have gone. For me, it being able to handle my emotions much better, not being as judgmental or negative. I don’t gossip as much anymore, don’t feel the need to do that. I really love this improvement in my life. It promotes peace, and positivity in my life. Life is all about self-development.

6.Achievements this year?: This can fall into the positive this year as well, but I wanted to have this question on its own. This one just focusing on achievements. I was able to finish a Mindfulness course with a 100%. I was able to see the dentist, overcoming my fear. I was able to get a new job with better pay, and insurance. I spent less money, which promotes my minimalist mindset. I continued to exercise, and eat healthy throughout the year. These are all proud moments of mine. Now I like you to look at your proud moments. Make note to be proud of all your achievements this year.

7.Things I can work on/Improve upon?: I think it is good to look at what can be improved. Something to work towards for the new year? No one is perfect. There is always room for growth. For me, it would be reading more. I didn’t read as much as I wanted to this year. Another is learning more. I used to read, and watch educational stuff all the time, but recently I haven’t been doing that as much. I like to get back to that mindset. Learning, and gaining knowledge is important, so I will work towards that in the new year.

8.Goals for 2020?: Last, but definitely not least. What is you want to do for next year. I have many goals for next year, and I am pretty excited about it. I like to read a book every month. I like to take a course every quarter of the month. I like to pay off my credit cards. I am excited about trying these things out. I wrote all of them down to have a visual, and keep me on task. I think it would be good to try that as well.

This really makes me look forward to the new year. There are so many possibilities in the new year, so take advantage of it, and figure out ways to work towards your dreams and goals. Make sure they are manageable, specific, and simple. This will make it easier to achieve them.

Hopefully these questions were helpful to you, like they are for me. I wish you all a lovely Christmas and happy new year. I love you all, and I appreciate you guys very much<333 Always try to be mindful, positive and compassionate towards yourself and others.

Motivation

Motivation is the desire to act in service of a goal. It’s the crucial element in setting and attaining one’s objectives—and research shows that people can influence their own levels of motivation and self-control(Psychology Today).

There are many things that can motivate an individual. Motivation helps us achieve our goals. It helps us achieve the things that need to get done. It isn’t always easy to get the motivation to do things though. There are so many things we like to do, but just don’t have the push to do so.

I am writing this post to talk about the thing that helps push myself to get what I want done. There are a couple of things I don’t want to do, but know I need to do for my over all health,self-growth and happiness. So what exactly motivates me to do it?

Thinking long term. Yes, while at the moment it doesn’t seem fun to do the thing I want to do. I know that the long term benefits outweigh the short term struggles of getting what I need done.

I know mindfulness is all about focusing on the moment, but when it comes to reaching, or attaining your goals. It is important to remember the long term benefits. This type of thinking helps push me to do what needs to be done. My thoughts, just get it done, and over with. My mind, and body will thank me later. And it is always rewarding to be able to do what needs to be done. It helps promote a positive mindset for being able to achieve what needed to be done.

There a couple of things that I didn’t really want to do. One thing was going to the dentist. It has been awhile, since I went, but I knew I needed to go. I was anxious of what might happen. A small part of me wanted to not go, but the larger part of me knew it was best for my health to go. Thinking of the long term benefits pushed me to go. I went, and things didn’t go as bad as I thought. It wasn’t even a bad experience. I was happy to finally get things fixed, and work on my overall health.

Some other things that I struggle to do is write for my blog post and exercise. It is always a struggle to start, but I know I can get great benefits from doing these things. I always try to remember the lovely feelings I get from finishing these tasks. The benefits of helping others, and getting my thoughts out when it comes to writing. And keeping my self healthy and rejuvenated from working out. I always try to think of what benefits I can get from doing tasks I am particularly not fond of doing at the moment. I do enjoy these tasks once I get into them, but starting it can be rough.

These tasks normally take about 30 minutes to an hour of my time. That isn’t long. These things normally don’t take that long. We got plenty of time in the day to achieve the things we need to get done for our overall health, happiness, and attaining our goals. You just need that push to do it. Mine is thinking long term. Yours may be different. You just got to find the thing that can motivate you. Achieving our goals is important. Being healthy mentally, and physically is important. Finding contentment and happiness is important.

Motivation allows us to achieve these things. You may want to keep pushing something off, but remember it has to get done eventually. Why not doing it now! The moment is now. You do it now, it is done and over with, and you will feel much better for it.

The present moment is the time to achieve your goals. This can greatly benefit your future self. Try not to let the past deter you from doing things. I feel down from not doing it yesterday, so why bother doing it today? You can always start fresh. It is always about the moment.Motivation is an important tool to get us where we need to be.

Image result for motivation quotes

Finding Stillness

I just want to remind you that we all need a bit, or more of stillness in our lives. What I mostly mean by stillness is mindful stillness. Away from the distractions, noise, busyness of the world. Being in the moment. Doing something that can rejuvenate the mind and body.

Stillness is a difficult concept for most. We have the need to keep moving, or keep busy. Our minds are always buzzing, full of thoughts. We don’t like to be still, because it gives us time to think. People like to avoid their thoughts. But sometimes facing our thoughts. Allows us to become aware of them, which helps us to understand them, and then accept them. This helps us to move on.

I always enjoy finding stillness throughout the day, even five minutes of it can be helpful. It may be difficult to do, but the peace, and calmness that come from it is quite rewarding. I also like to challenge myself to do something that can be uncomfortable. I always need this time to recharge, and gain energy. There is so much freedom in stillness time. The freedom to just be you, the freedom to be, the freedom from constraints of the world.

I like to take a couple of hours to be still. What I usually do that incorporates stillness is sometimes actual stillness, which is meditation. I do a couple of different meditations. Sometimes I close my eyes, and focus on my breath, trying to allow my thoughts to flow. Sometimes I do a body scan, focusing on each part of my body. I also do mindful observation, focusing on things around me. Another one is mindful appreciation, finding appreciation of the things around me, or the different parts of my body.

All of this allows me to focus my energy on the moment. It allows my mind, and body to relax. It gives me the space to appreciate myself, my life, and the things around me. I don’t think most people give themselves that space to do that. It isn’t easy to do this, and thoughts will still come. This can deter people, but you have try to continue to bring yourself back to the moment. It will happen.

I tend to like the challenge of doing this. It is something many can’t do. It shows the strength of my character to continue to practice this, and it is a wonderful thing. It also strengthens patience. Many like to rush through life, sometimes getting upset, angry, or anxious. I was like this. Meditation reminds you to to slow down, and not put so much energy on rushing, or forcing things. Giving yourself  a minute to do this can make a difference.

Another thing I do is mindful stillness, as I mentioned in the beginning. This one is easier to do. This is just being in the moment. It can be any activity away from computers and phones. Recently I have been drawing. I am not the best, but it is fun to try. I also write, and read some inspirational things, during my mindful stillness time. You aren’t exactly still, but still in the moment. When I am immersed in a mindful activity. I don’t necessarily focus on the time. It actually seems to fly by when I am being mindful. It happens when you are immersed in something you enjoy. Time isn’t important, and that is key, since time can sometimes trap us. It can force us to rush, and be busy, and become anxious.

Stillness can be a beautiful thing if you give it a chance. It cultivates motivation, determination, and creativity. It shows you what you are made of, or how strong your will is. It teaches you about yourself. It gives you the space to work on your goals, improve your self, and learn. I learn more about my thoughts and my body, during this time. I learn about my character, personality, and goals through stillness times. It helps strengthen my character, skills, and creativity. This helps me focus on what is important. A lot of good things can come from stillness.

I just like to have a bit of stillness in my life, because the world is full of distractions and noise. Those things can easily cloud the mind with negativity, and it can exhaust the body. I like to give myself the space to clear the mind, and rejuvenate the body. Most people ignore this space, and it is a shame. There is so much to learn from this experience. Try to give yourself that space, even if it is for a couple of minutes. You may enjoy it, and maybe find the peace you need.

Silence goes along with stillness, so I wanted to post these words from one of Mindful books. I thought it went well with my post. Lets try to be still as much as we can in this noisy, and busy world we live in.IMAG0242