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By Lauri Mackey — 5 years agoBe Cheerful!Time Traveling, Smiling, ConnectingMy purpose in writing today is to help you establish some guidelines in your life that will bring you peace, enjoyment and cheerfulness. I love the phrase, “Be Cheerful!”. When I picture being cheerful, I picture myself smiling and enjoying the moment I’m in right there. No time traveling to the day or months or even years before or focusing on the days, months, or years ahead. Just being cheerful in the moment. Right now.I’d like to make three simple suggestions that if you commit to today will bring you happiness and cheerfulness into your life.1) No more time traveling. Unless you get a crazy, awesome DeLorean like in Back to the Future, time traveling is not a good idea. I’m not even sure it’s a good idea in Back to the Future, but definitely not good for your thoughts and feelings of today. Yesterday is gone. The mistakes are gone. Tomorrow will never get here so all you can focus on is today. The old adage of One Day at a Time is truly relevant for everyone, not just for those in 12-step programs.2) Smile. Make a conscience effort to smile, even if no one can see you. About a million and a half years ago I had a job as a telemarketer that lasted for about half a second. Part of the training was to smile during your call. Why? No one could see me! That was just silly and ridiculous to me. But it worked! If you don’t believe me, try talking on the phone without smiling and then smiling. Your countenance just changes…for the better. Don’t take my word for it…try it.3) Commit to human connection. And no, sitting in front of your television watching other humans does not count. Interacting with other human beings simply boosts your spirits, even if the connection is you having to call and whine to your best friend, or cry on the shoulder of that friend during a visit, make the connection. When I have been truly down in the dumps my gut reaction is to hole up and disappear like a hermit crab in it’s shell. I block out everyone and everything until I feel better. Not healthy to say the least. I still have that tendency, but have beautiful friends who can break my shell and have me standing upright soon enough.I want to write more suggestions, but don’t want to overwhelm you either. If you have a problem with negativity, sadness, feelings of being a failure, take a minute to acknowledge that moment and ask yourself how you can be cheerful about something else. I’m not saying it’s easy, but it can be done if you focus on these three things. Commit to yourself today. Be in the moment, smile, link arms with your best friend and have a beautiful day!
By Lauri Mackey — 2 years ago
5 #Recess Ideas for Self-Dates!
It wasn’t until I read the book, The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron that I truly embraced self-dates. And to tell you the honest truth, the first one stunk. It was supposed to be for 2 hours and I don’t know why, but I chose to go to the beach and people-watch. I don’t even like the beach. I live 15 minutes away, but I’m more of a mountain girl. I sat on that beach for 2 hours! Doing absolutely nothing! Lame, but lesson learned.
I was so mad about my first date going so horribly wrong that I was determined to make the 2nd one more fun. I planned a trip to Ojai which is about 30 minutes from my home. I went on line and picked two new stores to check out and then had lunch at my favorite vegan restaurant called Hip (highly recommend it!). The first store turned out to be closed, but the second one was an open air bookstore – really! An outdoor bookstore and I bought more Louis L’amour books – it was fabulous!
As of this writing, my 19-year old has now taken herself on her first self-date. She got treats for the movies at the Dollar Store and took herself! Go Mug! Dollar treats, bargain day at our local theater – perfect for the teenage budget!
I truly recommend self-dates! The ultimate would be once a week, but if you can pull off once every two weeks or even once a month consider it a huge accomplishment as you will have gone from zero to something! Here are 5 Self-Date Ideas to get you started. Re-instate #Recess for Adults!
5 #Recess Self-Dates
The 5 Senses Date
#1 One of my favorite self-dates was last month when I decided to enlist the 5 senses and create a date around it. Touch, Smell, Taste, Sight, and Hearing. Start by making a list of your 3 favorite in each category and then pick your favorite from each one. Here is how mine played out: Touch – my favorite comfy afghan my oldest daughter made for me while dressed in my night shirt and slippers. Smell – wild orange essential oil in a diffuser to remind me of the orange blossoms in the local orange groves. Taste – what else? Sweet Potato Fries from Veggie Grill, of course! Sight – sat in my favorite room of the house and grabbed my favorite book by Josi S Kilpack, The Vicar’s Daughter. Hearing – gonna love this one…I ran the dishwasher. Weird? It is a childhood sound that I love because whenever we went to bed, my mom or dad would start the dishwasher – love that sound! Best date ever!
#2 This one was simple. I live on a University Campus with a beautiful library. There was a traveling exhibit featuring this area’s local agriculture history. Other than the one gentleman who talked my ear off for about 30 minutes, it was fascinating and I even toured the library for the first time after living here for the last 6 years! Check your local library or museums to see what’s on exhibit now or coming soon.
Something Old, Something New
#3 When I went up to Ojai, I picked my favorite restaurant Hip because I was familiar with it and then coupled it with something new in visiting the outdoor bookstore. The restaurant made me feel warm and comfy and the bookstore made me feel adventurous. Is there something you can couple with something old and familiar and still taste some adventure?
It’s Elementary, My Dear
#4 This one seems silly at first blush, but it is oh so fun once you’re into it. Collect at least 10 magazines and grab your scissors and a piece of poster paper from Michael’s or Target. Cut out anything that you like or strikes your fancy and then paste them with a glue stick on to the poster paper. Proudly hang it up in a prominent place in your home for as long as you can!
#5 Sometimes you just need a solid time-out #Recess. What is your sacred space? A temple, synagogue or church? Perhaps the library or a special place on your favorite hike? There is a choice of a couple of things you can do. One is that you just go sit and be. Take this time to simply be still, quiet, and savor the silence. Two is that before you head out to your sacred space, write down a burning question to take with you. Write it down on a piece of paper and put it in your pocket. Once in your sacred space, open it up and lay it beside you. Don’t overthink this. Don’t make yourself think about it, just knowing it’s there will help. Is there a solution or at least a next step that comes to mind? I will tell you that the times I’ve done this, I either think of a solution or a next step OR I get a feeling of peace that I just need to be patient and that the answer will come in time. Either way, I feel immensely better for having taken this time for myself.
Pick a date, set the #Recess time on your calendar, fulfill the date, then come back here and comment to let me know what you’ve done. Others will appreciate hearing back from you and get more ideas – remember, we are all out to help each other!
By Lauri Mackey — 5 years agoAnalogies I Learned While Riding My Bike This MorningFancy’s Neptune’s Net Ride1) Enjoy the Moments My bike ride this morning took me through neighborhoods, long stretches of farmland where they were growing artichokes, bell peppers in yellow and red, celery, and acres of sod. It went past a naval station, a shooting range, hiking and camping areas, and miles of beach along the Pacific Ocean where people were walking their pets or out in the water surfin’ it up. Don’t forget to look up every once in awhile and enjoy your surroundings. We get so busy with life that we forget to look up and enjoy these little moments of beauty that surround us daily.2) Share the Road This morning found me on a lonely 30-mile ride and while it was beautiful, it’s much more fun to bring a buddy. I enjoy riding with my husband or friends or my daughter. Due to different levels of fitness, I highly recommend a tandem. It evens up the odds in a hurry and it’s easier to visit. While tandems are certainly fun, you have to work “in tandem” or it’s literally a train wreck. Which foot to have on the pedal when you start, which foot you will put down first when you stop, shifting your weight carefully so you don’t weeble-wobble and fall right over. Share your life. It is much more fun when you have a buddy to share the road or to simply go “in tandem”.3) Think Happy Thoughts Let’s face it, this life can be a cess pool of negativity. Here’s an example of that on my ride this morning…it was 46 degrees and I hate the cold. My Garmin wouldn’t work so I wasn’t able to see how far I went, how many calories I had burned, what time it was, and how my heart rate was doing. There was a horrible head-wind that made me work much harder on the way home. It took ten minutes longer than my ride out. My fingers were freezing and at one point I couldn’t feel my toes. Some of the drivers definitely are NOT observing the 3-foot rule and made me nervous coming so close. And some parts of the beach ride just smell plain fishy…and I don’t like fish! Why did I do this by myself? I should have just stayed home. Here’s what actually happened…I was cold for awhile, but reminded myself of how blazing hot it had been this summer and was glad for the change in season that finally appeared. My Garmin didn’t work so I decided to just enjoy the ride and not worry about my heart rate or how long it would take me to finish. I was cold during spots, but enjoyed the morning sunshine as it warmed me up to get through the next cold spell. The headwinds are a blessing in disguise as while I’m slower, they make me stronger. I was grateful for good health that allowed me the opportunity to ride my bike and for the quiet time it provided me to think of all these analogies!4) Embrace Your Own Journey While there were not a lot of other cyclists out as early as I was this morning, I passed a few. And then one passed me! My initial reaction is always, “Man, I’m slow” or “Speed up! Quick! Don’t let this guy pass you!” Why? Why do we compare ourselves to others so often? I’m enjoying my Garmin-Free bike ride over here moving like molasses through this headwind…I don’t need to compare myself to the rest of the world. Embrace your own journey in this life. There is no one else like you, period. So why would you want to take someone else’s journey? This is yours…own it.5) Always Another Hill My tooshie is sore after all the hills. I admit it. But there is always another hill. Those hills build character, strength, resolve, and tighten my rear end. That’s a huge benefit! I ride with a group of guys on Thursday afternoons and one hill in particular is called “Power Line”. It is insanely steep and it takes just plain power and grit to climb. A few weeks ago, one of the guys told me he’d never made it up so I climbed with him and became the best little cheerleader you could imagine (without pompoms of course). He made it! And you know what? Last week we went to that same hill and he did it again and it wasn’t as hard as the first time. Those hills make you stronger and give you the confidence to tackle it again. In life there is always another hill. I enjoy the downhill and the coasting, but I know that hills are just a part of my life. Just as in my bike riding (whether mountain or road), they are building muscles, creating experiences, and giving me confidence to tackle even bigger hills in the future.