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Finding Peace

If you are reading this today and struggling in some way, I want you to know:

You are NOT an accident! You are here for a very important reason, and the world needs that unique combination of gifts that only you can provide! Your purpose here on this earth is to BE YOURSELF and use those talents to spread love to others. If you choose to do that, the world will be a better place because you were here.

Peace begins with SELF-LOVE! If you want to be at peace, you need to begin by learning how to love yourself unconditionally. Know that you were perfectly created! Stop giving yourself negative labels or believing the negative labels others have placed on you throughout the years. Get to know yourself and learn to be comfortable with who you are, and the world will be a much better place because of it!

GRATITUDE is the secret to happiness! You have SO much to be grateful for! Try to focus on all of the blessings in your life rather than the things you don’t have right now. If you need help recognizing those blessings, please ask someone to help you.  Keeping a gratitude journal might be a good way to help you begin to recognize the blessings in your life.

YOU are the creator of your own reality. If you don’t like the way your life is going, you have the ability to change that beginning right now. Every action you take, every word you speak, and every thought you think is a choice.  Each one can be done out of love or out of fear…if you want your life to improve, choose love every time!

Every situation you have ever experienced in your life has happened FOR you. Try to view EVERY situation as a gift. Know that there IS something good in EVERY situation, so always look for the good! The seemingly unfortunate situations you have been through have made you stronger and shaped you into the person you are today. Some of the toughest situations in our lives turn out to be our greatest blessings. Once you overcome them, you can use those experiences to help others!

You must allow yourself to fully feel your emotions.  There is a time for everything.  When it is time to be sad, allow yourself to be sad, and let the tears flow.  Do not suppress it or try to numb it, or it will remain within you and continue to eat away at you, and eventually it may manifest itself as a physical or mental illness.

YOU ARE NOT BROKEN!!!  You may feel broken, but the REAL YOU can NEVER be broken! You are a spiritual being in a physical body.  In the spiritual sense, you are complete.  You have everything you need inside of you right at this moment, and you do not need anyone or anything else to complete you.  Underneath all of those layers of hurt and pain that have built up within you throughout the years in your physical life, you will find the only part of you that is REAL, and that part of you never changes. It is the place where God resides within you, it is pure LOVE and infinite wisdom, it is the voice that guides you to help others and spread love in the world, and it is the part of you that will go on living forever because what is real can NEVER be destroyed or broken. When you are able to completely FORGIVE (yourself and others) for all of the things that have happened “to” you in your life, you will be able to get through all of those other layers and access that REAL part of you, and then you WILL find peace…and love…and infinite wisdom!

You WILL get through this. Just remember, darkness always comes before the dawn. This will not last forever. Hang in there!

If you want help, please reach out to someone you trust and ASK for it! There are plenty of resources out there and people willing to help.

Know that you are never alone, and you are loved unconditionally for who you are! ♥

A New Year’s Resolution You Can Keep

Are you tired of making New Year’s Resolutions you can’t keep?

This year, instead of focusing on all the things you want to change about yourself, what if you made a different kind of resolution? What if the only resolution you made was to love yourself more, exactly as you are?

You are a perfect creation just as you are!  You were born with so many natural gifts to share with the world, but when you focus on all the things you think are “wrong” with you or that society tells you are “wrong” with you, your precious time and energy will be spent on the wrong areas and everyone will be missing out on the real gifts you have to bring to the world. Instead, why not focus on being yourself, discovering those gifts, and sharing them with those around you?

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When you learn to love yourself unconditionally and live a more authentic life, all of the things you think are “wrong” with you will naturally take care of themselves. For example, if losing weight was going to be your resolution, that will naturally happen when you take the time to love yourself as you are and commit to discovering the emotional cause of your eating habits. Once you are able to deal with and overcome those emotional issues, you will naturally want to care for your body and fuel it with real foods that nature intended us to eat. Then, the weight will fall off naturally. The same goes for any other area of your life that you think might need improvement.  When you begin to live authentically, everything begins to fall into place and your dreams will begin to come true!

If you do want to live a more authentic life and get to know and love yourself more but you don’t exactly know how to do that, The 31-Day Self-Love Challenge was written to help you do just that.  It requires just 15 minutes of your undivided attention each day for 31-Days. You will learn to embrace your uniqueness, discover your priorities so you can spend your time and energy on those things that really matter in life, and recognize your gifts and talents so you can share them with the world and fulfill the purpose that you were sent here to make.

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So, whatever challenge or resolution you decide to make for this New Year, I wish you much success!

Visual Quote: Everything You Need Will Come to You at the PERFECT Time

perfect time

This is one of my favorite mantras.  I repeat this to myself often, and I truly believe in it.  People sometimes ask me how I always stay so calm and relaxed and don’t worry about anything.  This is the reason.  There really is no need to worry about anything.  Everything ALWAYS works out for the best, and everything always arrives in its own perfect timing.  Our only job is to Let Go and Let God take over.  What’s meant to be will happen, and if something is not meant to be, it is for a reason.

This mantra is one that is particularly on my mind this week.  Tomorrow I am going for a job interview for the first time in over 17 years!  But I am not worried or nervous.  If I get the job, that is great!  If not, then I know someone else is more suited for the job, and I will consider it a blessing because I know something else will come along for me that is an even better fit.  I know everything will come to me at the PERFECT time because God is good, and I have complete trust that he takes care of those who strive to do his will.

So, the next time you are feeling nervous or anxious about anything, or you just want something NOW, just remember:  EVERYTHING YOU NEED WILL COME TO YOU AT THE PERFECT TIME! 🙂

What are some of YOUR favorite mantras?

10 Things I Learned in 2013

2013 seasons

As 2013 comes to a close, I have been reflecting on the things I have learned this year and the new habits I have incorporated that have made a positive impact in my life.  Over the past year, I have taken a much deeper interest in living naturally and becoming aware of the foods and products I put into and on my body.  I dedicated a lot of my time learning about those topics, and I also put a lot of good advice into practice in the area of self care.  I have better learned how to honor my true self, and I spend much more time doing things I truly love.  I live a more authentic life because I stopped trying to please others.  I finally feel like I am following my passions and am living each day fulfilling God’s purpose for my life.  Each morning when I wake up, I am so grateful to have another day on this earth and to be able to enjoy all the wonderful blessings God has given me, and I am so excited to see what the day will bring and how I can use my natural gifts and talents to serve others.  Here are 10 things I learned in 2013 that have contributed to improving my overall wellness:

1.  Every person, every thing, and every experience we encounter each day is a gift from God.

There are no accidents or coincidences in life.  Every person we come into contact with and every experience that happens to us each day happens for a reason.  Even the seemingly bad experiences and encounters are a gift.  When something unfortunate happens in my life, I remind myself that it is a gift and it is happening because there is a lesson I need to learn from it.  If suffering didn’t exist in the world, we would not have the chance to grow.  Having the faith that there is a good reason behind everything brings me instant peace.  I try to recognize and appreciate all the gifts that come into my life each day because I have found that the biggest secret to happiness is the attitude of gratitude.  For more of my secrets to happiness, check out my blog post Secrets to Happiness.

2.  Eating REAL food makes a huge difference!

November 7, 2013 159 cropIn October, I took the October Unprocessed Challenge and spent the entire month eating only unprocessed foods.  It was a huge learning experience for me!  During the challenge, I felt terrific and full of energy all day long, I discovered some wonderful new foods and recipes, and I connected with a whole world of like-minded people committed to improving their health and supporting each other.  It became a lifestyle change for me and my family.  I found healthy replacements for a lot of the foods we ate, and I feel great about all the positive changes I have made to improve the health and wellness of my family.  To learn about ALL the benefits and challenges I encountered during this experience, check out my blog post here.

3.  How to Read Ingredient Labels

As part of the October Unprocessed Challenge, I learned how to read the labels of all those foods I had always bought out of habit without really knowing what was in them.  I realized the importance of knowing what ingredients I am putting into and on my body every day, as well as the source of these “foods” and products.  Many of the products we use every day are banned in other countries because they are dangerous to our health.  I came out of the October Unprocessed Challenge with a whole new awareness about foods, and I am committed to learning more in this area and helping to educate my family and others who are interested  in improving their health.

4.  Downtime is not wasted time.

This is something I have slowly learned over the years, but this year I really came to embrace it.  For most of my life, I was very focused on being busy and doing something productive at all times.  When I December 4, 2013 phone 059 cropbecame a mom 11 years ago, I was forced to slow down.  That was the biggest blessing I could have ever received!  I learned that life is about relationships, not productivity.  In the end, our relationships with God, others, and OURSELVES is all that really matters!

Stopping to be still and spend time with myself was difficult to do at first.  I felt guilty because I felt like I “should” be doing other things.  But I am so grateful that I ignored the “shoulds.”  Focusing on myself helped me to re-evaluate my priorities and get to know myself better so I can spend time doing things I really love to do and share my natural gifts and talents with the world.  This year I made it a priority to schedule “MY TIME” every week.  “MY TIME” consists of a block of 1-2 hours each week where I spend time alone and just let myself reflect on my life and write about whatever thoughts come into my head during that time.  I use the book “Life Makeovers” by Cheryl Richardson as a guide in evaluating the changes I am making or need to make in my life.  I have come to treasure that alone time each week.  It gives me time to recharge, and I feel I am better able to take care of my family and others if I take care of myself first and make that downtime a priority.  Because when mom is happy, then everyone is happy, right? 🙂

5.  Green Smoothies are Yummy!!

October 24, 2013 007 cropAt the beginning of the year, I had no desire to even try a green smoothie.  Now, I can’t imagine a day without one.  They can be absolutely delicious once you find a recipe that works for you (and even my 11-year-old daughter loves them).  I found that green smoothies are an easy way to get more veggies into my diet, they provide lots of nutrients, and they give me lots of energy.  Here is my favorite recipe, but substitute to your liking (really any fruits or vegetables you like will work):

1 orange fresh squeezed from the juicer (or use about 3/4  cup store-bought orange or apple juice, or even water)

3/4 cup organic baby spinach (or other greens…sometimes I use Kale)

1 frozen banana (I buy them from the reduced price section of the produce department…get them with brown spots, take them home, peel them, break in half, then immediately put into the freezer in a freezer bag.)

1/4 cup Plain Greek Yogurt

A handful of fresh pineapple

Blend in any blender.  Mine is over 12 years old, and still works great!  Be sure to blend the greens and liquid first until the greens are dissolved.  Then add the rest of the ingredients.

Check out simplegreensmoothies.com for more yummy smoothie recipes.

6.  The importance of saying NO.

This past year, I got really good at saying no.  I have learned how to set my priorities, guard my time better, and set boundaries.  It is so easy to say yes to all the little requests that people have of my time, but I have found that when I do that, I am left with no time left for me.  Sometimes we need to say no to people to say yes to God.  Saying NO was not an easy thing for me to do because I do want to help others and make their lives easier, but I learned that doing ANYTHING out of guilt or obligation is not an act of love.  I made a promise to myself at the beginning of the year to only do things out of love.  I learned that you can’t please everyone and there will always be people who don’t understand you or the decisions you make, but in committing to love myself more, I started to let go of my need to be accepted and I stopped caring about what anyone else thinks.  One of my favorite quotes is:  “It is none of my business what other people think of me.”  It felt really good to stand up for myself and be truly authentic by living according to my values rather than always following the crowd.  I also realized that the fewer commitments I have, the happier I am and the less stressed I am.  I re-evaluated my priorities, let go of commitments that I didn’t really love, and that freed up a lot of my precious time to spend on things I am passionate about so I can use my natural gifts and talents to help others.

7.  The many uses and benefits of coconut oil. 

Coconut oil has to be my greatest discovery of the year!  I love that stuff!  Before this year, I had never even heard of coconut oil, let alone use it in my daily diet and health and beauty routine.  It has many health benefits and is said to help with weight loss, diabetes, cholesterol, Alzheimers, and many other health conditions.  I can attest to it helping with cholesterol.  This year, I threw out my huge jug of canola oil and vowed to never bring that or any vegetable oils into my house again.  I now use coconut oil in place of butter and other oils in many recipes, and my “good” cholesterol went up and my “bad” went down. 🙂

Coconut oil has many uses for the skin and hair as well.  It is a popular ingredient in many homemade natural products.  I use it daily as a facial moisturizer (as an added bonus, it is naturally an SPF of 4).  I use it as a shave gel, lotion after shaving, and I use it in place of chapstick on myself and my daughters.  There are countless uses for it.  Check out 101 uses here, and check here for a short blog post I wrote about coconut oil containing additional links and more detailed information on the benefits and uses of this natural product.

8.  The answers are all within us.

I am passionate about learning about things I am interested in, but when I spend too much time listening to the “experts” instead of listening to my gut, I tend to get very stressed.  I am all for learning and taking advice from those I admire, but sometimes I need to just take a break from the book I am reading or lecture I am listening to and take the time to listen to my inner wisdom instead.  When I do start to feel stressed, I learned that the best thing for me to do is to stop everything I am doing, forget my to-do-list and all the projects I am working on, and spend my time writing instead.  Sometimes I feel like life is so exciting and there is so much to learn and do and there are not enough hours in a day, but I need to remind myself that I am not the master planner for my life.  Everything is happening exactly as it should and will happen in it’s own perfect timing.  Let Go and Let God lead the way…that is the way to peace.

9.  How to eliminate my shampoo and conditioner.

This one took a little while to get used to, but for about 7 months now, I have not used shampoo or conditioner on myself or my 6-year-old.  This is what I do instead:  I mix 1 Tablespoon of baking soda with 1 cup of water (I do this in the shower in a plastic 1-cup measuring cup) and pour it over my head for the shampoo.  I rub it in gently, and then rinse.  It doesn’t take long to rinse out because it does not suds up.  The thin consistency took some getting used to.  For conditioner, I mix 1 Tablespoon Apple Cider Vinegar with 1 cup water, pour over my head, rub in gently, and rinse.  That’s it.  The Apple Cider Vinegar also took some getting used to.  I could not stand the smell at first, but now I am used to it and don’t even notice it.  When my hair dries, the vinegar smell is gone.

This idea was inspired by a blog post from The Art of Simple Blog.  Check it out for a more extensive description as well as reasons why you may want to try it.  It definitely is not for everyone, but it has worked for me and my 6-year-old daughter for over 7 months and has saved me a lot of money in shampoo and conditioner, and gives me peace of mind that we are not exposing our bodies to unnecessary dangerous chemicals.  Many hair products we use all the time in the US are very dangerous to our health.  The last time my daughter had a haircut (before we changed to the “no-poo” method), the hairdresser asked me what type of shampoo we used…I told her and she said to throw it away and don’t buy it again because it is banned in other countries (this is a shampoo I was using for MANY years.)  So many things are done out of habit…we just buy them because that is what we are used to, or we think it’s safe because everyone else uses it.  I think it is so important to become educated about everything we are putting into and on our bodies (this goes for our pets, too).  I’m still searching for a good “natural” shampoo that is inexpensive to use for my 9 and 11-year old daughters.  They could not get used to the consistency of the no-poo method.  As soon as I find a good one, I will post it here on my blog.

10.  Blogging

When 2013 began, I knew very little about blogging.  Having my own never even crossed my mind.  I discovered some blogs that interested me, but I never thought I could make one of my own.  I was very intimidated because I thought blogs were for “real” writers and authors, not for a regular person like me.  As a very private person, I couldn’t imagine everyone being able to read what I write.  But one day while writing in my journal, God opened my eyes and let me know that I need to share all these things I am learning.  So, I decided to listen and attempted to start my own blog.  It was very scary at first (and still is), but I am gradually gaining confidence with each post I write.  I still have so much more to learn about blogging, but it has been a fun experience so far.  I have discovered blogging to be a whole new world of opportunity and a wonderful community of like-minded individuals ready and willing to support each other, and a great way to share what I am learning.   Here are just a few of my favorite blogs:

http://wellnessmama.com/

http://theartofsimple.net/

http://www.diynatural.com/

http://www.eatingrules.com/

Looking Ahead to 2014

As 2014 approaches, I am very excited to continue on my journey to wellness in mind, body, and spirit.  I hope to discover many new unprocessed recipes, natural health care products, and tips to greater wellness.  I am grateful for the opportunity to share it all here on this blog.  I hope you will follow me on my journey and we can achieve better wellness together.  You can join me on my journey by following this blog and by following Journey to Complete Wellness on Facebook.  I wish you a happy, healthy, and blessed 2014!

Time to be Still

December 4, 2013 phone 059 cropThere is a time for everything.  A time for work, and a time for play.  A time to be busy, and a time to be still.  With the holiday season upon us and so many things to do in such little time, it is sometimes difficult to make the time to slow down.  But that is when it is especially important to find the time.  And today I did just that.  I went on a mini-retreat from 9:30am-1:00pm.  The timing was perfect for me, a mom who needs to be around to get the kids on the bus and also be there when they get home.  And it was just the amount of time I needed to recharge.

During the retreat, I connected with other women who were also there to get away from the distractions of everyday life and to find peace and to just listen to God speak to them.  Because God is ALWAYS speaking to us.  We just don’t always pay attention or stop to listen.

While walking around the gardens outside, I saw this beautiful message on this stone.  December 4, 2013 phone 003 cropwebI love the way the sun is beaming down on the stone, and if you look closely, you can even see a beautiful rainbow in one of the beams of light.  This message reminded me how important it is to get out into nature every day and recognize and appreciate the blessings that are always surrounding us. God is always speaking to us through nature, but we don’t hear until we stop and pay attention.  And when we do, we become like a child again, in awe of the beauty that is all around us.  Heaven on Earth happens in those moments.

Here is another picture I captured of the geese living on these beautiful grounds.  I love that nature is always available to us to offer us peace if we just stop to appreciate it.

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I am so glad I took the time to slow down today and recharge.  I feel clearer, more at peace, and filled with love.  And I also find that when I do take time to be still, it actually makes me more productive.  It just helps me to see my priorities more clearly and it makes me focus more on what’s really important in my life.

I hope you are also able to make the time to slow down during this season.  You deserve it.  You are worth it.  And if you do, you will be amazed at the difference even 5 minutes a day can make in improving the quality of your life.  Take a 5 minute walk outside and just admire all the blessings in nature that are available to us every day.  Or if you celebrate Christmas and have a Christmas tree, maybe give yourself the gift of 5 minutes a day just sitting in silence admiring it.  That 5 minutes may just turn into the time of day you look forward to the most.  Give yourself the greatest gift possible at this time of the year…a little bit of downtime to just “be” and listen to what God has to say to you.  Enjoy this beautiful season of Advent.  God Bless!! 🙂

What Really Matters

I came across this beautiful poem this week, and it really spoke to me:

“When I’ll be dead, your tears will flow, but I won’t know…Cry for me now instead!
You will send flowers, but I won’t see… Send them now instead!
You’ll say words of praise, but I won’t hear…Praise me now instead!
You’ll forget my faults, but I won’t know…Forget them now, instead!
You’ll miss me then, but I won’t feel… Miss me now, instead!
You’ll wish…you could have spent more time with me…Spend it now instead!!”  ~Author Unknown

I feel so blessed to have spent two days of this Thanksgiving holiday weekend with my 4-year-old niece, Mya.  I am thankful for having the opportunity to play with her, listen to her laugh and sing, and watch her run around like any other 4-year-old, for what might be the last time.  She reminded me of what really matters in life…

November 28, 2013 050 crop web

Mya was diagnosed with a brain tumor one year ago, in November 2012.  She survived 6 rounds of chemotherapy and was in stable condition as of June 2013.  She spent 100 days in isolation while she began to gain her strength back.  Her hair began to grow back, her appetite came back, and everything was looking great.  Tragically, on November 6 she went back for an MRI and it showed the tumor had spread to different parts of her brain as well as her spine, and it is now in a very aggressive state.  The doctors estimate she has 6-12 months to live.  You can imagine how devastating this news was to her parents.

Until this past week, Mya was feeling fine with no symptoms.  On Tuesday, she started to experience headaches.  While at my house on Thanksgiving, she was experiencing headaches, vomiting, dizziness, and loss of balance.  There was nothing she wanted more than to join in and play with her older cousins, but the pain was so bad she could not concentrate, even with the medication.  Mya spent Thanksgiving night and most of Friday in the hospital.

This was the first time I had ever witnessed her with any symptoms.  Living this experience was much more difficult than just hearing about it or reading about it.  I wanted to take away her pain so badly, but there was nothing I could do.  I can’t imagine what her parents have been going through for the past year, wanting to take away her pain, but feeling so helpless.

On Saturday, we saw Mya again at another family gathering.  This was a much better day!  She had no pain at all and spent the day laughing, singing, playing, and running around playing with her cousins.  Knowing this might be the last time I see her, I focused on being truly present with her and really paid attention and appreciated seeing all those beautiful smiles, hearing her sing and laugh, and watching her play with my kids.  Mya loves having her picture taken, and she loves being behind the camera.  It was great watching her run around the house with my camera taking pictures of everyone and everything.  I am thankful she had a good day and we were all able to see her in a good state.

November 30, 2013 100 cropweb

Right now I don’t understand why this is happening to Mya and her family, but I trust that God has a reason for this and over time people will be brought together and many good things will happen because of her existence.  I know God doesn’t make mistakes, and everything happens for a reason for the overall good, but that doesn’t make it easy to watch Mya and her family suffer.

My time with Mya this weekend reminded me of a few things.  We all have little day-to-day problems, but when we change our perspective, we realize we are beyond blessed to simply be here.  Every person and experience we encounter each day is a gift.  We take so many things and people for granted each day and waste so much time worrying about the little things.  In the end, the only thing that matters are our relationships– with ourselves, with God, and with others.  We need to spend our time on what really matters, make the most of each day, and be truly present in everything we do.

Please pray for Mya as she begins radiation in the coming weeks to give her a little more time, and especially pray for her family as they prepare for something no parent should ever have to prepare for.

For the most recent updates and to view her entire story, visit http://www.fightformya.org.  Thank you and God Bless!!

Begin Each Day with Gratitude

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Gratitude is one of my favorite topics because I have found it to be the secret to my happiness.  When we focus on what we are thankful for, we can’t possibly be unhappy.  I love this season because it is the time of year when many people turn their focus toward gratitude.

I think one of the best ways to ensure you have a great day is to begin it in a state of gratitude.  Whether it be writing in a gratitude journal, just thinking about what you are grateful for when you first wake up in the morning, or beginning your day with a guided gratitude meditation, they are all ways to make sure your day is started in a positive light, and that sets the tone for the rest of the day.

I believe every person and experience we encounter each day is a gift.  When I first wake up in the morning, the first thing I do is write in my journal and write about some of the things I am most thankful for (a new day, my health, family, etc.).  I also pray for help in recognizing and appreciating the gift in each person and experience I will encounter that day.

For the past 17 days, I have also added a new gratitude exercise to my daily routine.  I have been doing a guided meditation called “21 Days of Gratitude”.  Each day has a different theme and mentor.  The mentor for today’s meditation (Day 17) is Panache Desai, who is one of my favorite spiritual teachers.  His voice is calm and relaxing and is a meditation in itself.  There are 4 days left in the program, but you can go back and listen to the meditations from some of the previous days as well.  You need to register with your e-mail address, but it is free.   The meditations each day are about 12-13 minutes, and in my opinion, certainly worth the time out of my day to ensure the day begins in a positive way and is filled with gratitude.  I highly recommend checking it out!  🙂

Peace & blessings! 🙂

“If the only prayer you ever say in your entire life is thank you, it will be enough.” ~ Meister Eckhart

Secrets to Happiness on the Lifelong Journey to Complete Wellness

Our Journey to Complete Wellness is one we are on for our entire lives.  Since none of us are perfect, there is always room for improvement and growth in different areas of our lives.  Here are some secrets I have found to happiness during the past 38 years of my journey so far…

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1.  The attitude of gratitude will ALWAYS bring you happiness.  Find something to be thankful for.  We are all constantly surrounded by so many gifts and blessings.

2.  View every encounter and experience as a gift.  Even the seemingly bad situations are a gift in the end.  Try to recognize and appreciate these gifts every day.

3.  Be kind to everyone, but spend the majority of your time with like-minded, positive people who are also committed to improving their personal and spiritual growth and are willing to support you on your journey.

4.  Fill your mind with only positive, inspirational and uplifting ideas and thoughts.  Turn off the news and leave the disturbing books at the library.  “Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” ~ Philippians 4:8 (my favorite bible verse)

5.  Eat real food!! (It’s amazing how much energy you will have!)

6.  Do not multitask.  Do one thing at a time, give it your all, and be fully present in everything you do.  Heaven on Earth happens in the moments when you are fully present.

7.  Do not judge others.  You have no idea what anyone else is going through.  Everyone has reasons for their beliefs and actions.  We are all unique and just want to be allowed to be ourselves and be accepted for who we really are.  Only then can our true gifts shine through.  “If God is infinite, then nobody is wrong.” ~ Panache Desai

8.  Think before you speak.  Is it true, helpful, inspiring, necessary, or kind?  If not, keep it to yourself.

9.  Forgive.  Holding onto anger never hurts the other person.  It only hurts yourself.  Let it go and let God take it from there.

10.  Do not gossip or spend your time consumed with other people’s lives.  Put your time and energy into improving your own.

11.  Practice acceptance.  Everything happens for a reason, and always for the overall good.  Even the most tragic situations result in more good than bad over time.  Unfortunately, sometimes it may take years to see the good, but just trust that it is for a reason.  God doesn’t make mistakes.

12.  Go for a walk every day.  Outside!

13.  When you’re feeling stressed, go outside.  Take a deep breath, look up at the sky, admire it’s beauty, and say “Thank You!”  An instant moment of peace!!

14.  Spend some time alone every day.  God speaks to you in the silence.  “The morning breeze has secrets to tell you, do not go back to sleep”~ Rumi

15.  Do less.  Downtime is NEVER wasted time. (It took me a very long time to learn this!)

16.  Do something creative every day.  Write, draw, cook, paint, anything.  Just create!

17.  The answers are all within you.  Stop looking outside of yourself for them.

18.  Focus on cooperation rather than competition.  There is an infinite supply of love and abundance in the world.  Collaborate with those who have common goals rather than competing with them.  Working together will benefit everyone!

19.  Stop trying to mask your true self.  Learn to fully love and accept yourself as you are.  If you NEED makeup to feel good about yourself, or you NEED substances (like drugs, alcohol, coffee, or even sugar…yes, sugar is a drug) to keep you going or wake you up each day, those things need to be eliminated from your life.  Your passion for life should get you out of bed each morning, not coffee!

20.  Embrace who you are and stop worrying about what others think.  Once you do this, others who are like-minded will enter your life.  You are never alone. (Although you may feel like you are for a while…just hang in there.)

21.  Go on dates with those closest to you (your mom, your spouse, each of your children individually, etc.)  Let them know they are special and worthy of your time and undivided attention.  Remember that the best gift you can ever give anyone is your full, undivided attention.

22.  Remember, you do not set the master plan for your life.  Embrace distractions and view them as gifts.  Everything is happening in its own perfect time, so stop trying to rush everything.  Stop trying so hard and just let go and allow God to work through you.

23.  Don’t do anything out of guilt or obligation.  Only do things out of love.

24.  Have no expectations.  You will never be disappointed, and you will begin to view everything in your life as a gift and blessing.  Every day is full of wonderful surprises!

25.  Recognize that the best things in life are free!!

26.  Treat others the way you want to be treated.  We are all connected.  If you love yourself, that love will pour out onto others.  If you hurt yourself, you hurt others.  The opposite is true as well.

27.  Every action is a choice toward love or away from it.  Always choose the path toward love.

28.  Guard your time.  Only spend it on things that are truly important to you.  Don’t ever feel guilty for saying no.  Doing something out of guilt or obligation is not an act of love.

29.  Dedicate one day a week to rest and to be fully present with those you love.  Turn off the technology on this day and enjoy your time together creating, exploring God’s wonderful creations, and just enjoying life and making memories together. (For me, that day is Saturday and is ALWAYS my favorite day of the week and always filled with love, blessings, and gratitude!)

30.  Let go of your attachment to your possessions.  Nothing really belongs to you.  Rather, view everything you have as a temporary gift from God that can be taken away at any moment.  Stop to appreciate those gifts often.

31.  Don’t sweat the small stuff.  In the end, nothing really matters except your relationships…with yourself, with God, and with others.  Spend time on what really matters.

32.  Listen to music!  Dance!  Sing!

33.  Keep a journal.  Write in it as often as  you can.  You will be amazed at the wisdom inside you.

34.  Never stop learning.  Read, read, read!  And take advice from those you admire.

35.  Clear out the clutter in all areas of your life.  Clutter drains energy.

36.  Get adequate sleep so you wake up feeling fully rested each morning.

37.  You are not an accident.  You are here for a purpose.  Turn within, learn to love and accept who you are and identify the gifts within you.  Use those gifts to make the world a better place.  🙂

If this list resonates with you and you want to learn to implement some of these ideas in your life, check out my book, The 31-Day Self-Love Challenge.