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Archive for the ‘Enthusiasm’ Category

Take some time out to have some fun with your kids!  Here are some helpful suggestions and ideas!

1. Build an amazing couch cushion fort!

2. Celebrate an eco-friendly Valentine’s day together.

3. Here’s a whole list of fun winter time activities for you to enjoy.

4. Parent Magazine has a large collection of activity ideas for you to pick and choose from.

5. Do you have a tiny chef in your family?  Encourage his/her culinary passion with these baking recipes for kids.

6. Want to play games with your kids and have them learn at the same time?  Check out PBS Kids for a good start.

7. And eHow has an article on how to have more family fun on a small family budget.

What are your favorite ways to have fun with the kids?

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Love it or loathe it, it is Valentine’s Day again this Saturday.  I have collected some places for you to visit whether you are sharing time with someone special or wish Valentine’s Day would crash and burn.  Don’t forget to leave me a comment to say hi and let me know you were here!

1. iVillage/BlogHer present Valentine’s Day and You: A Love-Hate Relationship

2. AskMen.com paired up with Cosmopolitan magazine to bring you the gifts that won’t make him gag.

3. Lovingyou.com’s 7 Days of Long-Distance Relationship Romance

4. One man’s Valentine confession: Why I hate Valentine’s Day- on MSN

5. A Valentine’s Day Guide for Singles- MSN

6. Learn the History of Valentine’s Day from The History Channel

7. Kids’ activities for Valentine’s Day– Kaboose

8. Love Poetry.com- Both classic love poems and submitted love poems

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1. The Secret to Being Insanely Creative- Zen Habits

2. Out-of-Box, In-the-Box, New-Box, Other-Box, No-Box Thinking- Creativity for Life

3. The Imagination Prompt Generator- Creativity Portal

4. Blue boosts creativity, red makes you careful- Globe and Mail

5. Art and the Narrative Gap- Layers of Meaning

6. Introduction to Creative Thinking- Virtual Salt

7. How to Incorporate Creativity into Your Business Practice- SCORE (Counselors to America’s Small Business)

8. Free Sewing Patterns- About.com

9. How to Make Pottery: A Step by Step Look- Out of the Fire Studio

10. Woodcraft.com offers over 1500 woodworking tools, plans and supplies for the passionate woodworker.

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girl-with-bubblesMy Friday was a little on the busy side, so this list is a bit late.  However, better late than never, right! 🙂

This Friday I wanted to focus on creating our dream day.  What would your dream day, or perfect day, look like?  Sound like?  Smell like?  Feel like?  Even taste like?

And, more importantly, what can we do to bring in elements of our dream day into our realities?

As adults, we tend to think about work and then family and then if there is any energy left over we can think about ourselves for a minute.  But we have to remember: you have to take care of yourself before you can take care of anyone else.  This is a lesson I learned the hard way.  As a teacher, I was so busy taking care of my 4- and 5-year-old students that I neglected my own health.  It came back to haunt me.  My health became so poor that I had to quit teaching in order to get back on track.  We have to make sure that we are taken care of before we take care of others because if we get sick there will be no one left to take care of any of us, right?

So, focusing on our five senses, let’s take a moment to figure out how to incorporate some comfort into our hectic lives:

1. Think about the things that make you feel comforted.  Those items, people, and experiences that you crave after your most hellish days.  I discovered my own set of comforts after my father died.  I realized there were certain foods, sounds, activities, people, and thoughts that bring me comfort.  I noticed that my comfort foods were foods I grew up eating- cheese toast, chicken salad, Drumsticks ice cream, white grapes, Granny Smith apples with peanut butter, hot tea.  What foods do you find yourself craving when you need comfort? Try to eat one of your comfort foods this week and see if you don’t feel your shoulders relax when you take your first bite.

2. What about your sense of touch?  Most everyone loves to get a hug when they are having a bad day.  But what can you do to soothe yourself?  After my boyfriend and I broke up, I found my cat to be a great source of not only companionship but she also soothed me when I pet her.  There is something very cathartic about a pet.  And there is research to prove it.  If you don’t have a pet, borrow one for a while and just pet it.  Today I, along with my mother and sisters, received prayer shawls from my mom’s church to help us with my father’s death.  They are beautiful to look at, but best of all they are made of the softest yarn and they are warm.  We were all wearing ours around the house this afternoon, feeling great comfort in this simplest of ways.  Soft fabrics such as wool, silk, and cotton are very relaxing to the touch.  Having a wool or cotton blanket on hand that you can bring out when you need some pampering can do wonders.  Massages are a nice way to relax your muscles, as well, whether you seek the expertise of a professional massage therapist or give yourself a pedicure at home.  Having some thick lotions on hand that you can rub into aching feet and tired hands can make a bad day seem to float further away from your consciousness.

3. What about your other senses?  Aromatherapy candles can bring relaxation to your mind or can bring back memories of a time when you were happy.  I love the smell of coconut.  It takes me away to a tropical place where I can imagine lying on the hot sand at the beach, listening to the cool waves of the ocean crash on the shore.  Very dreamy!  Peppermint is a great aroma for times when you want to feel more alert and energized so you can spend the day surfing or playing a pick-up game of basketball.

4. What about sight? Think about the colors you surround yourself with.  Then consider how you want to feel when you are in your home.  Soft blues and muted greens and beiges are good for a relaxing bedroom.  Bright yellows and vibrant reds are perfect for a recreation room.  Bring nature into your home with a potted plant or two or decorating in greens and browns with the occassional hint of color (as long as it is not too bright). If you love the outdoors, get out there more!  Eat dinner on the back porch during the summertime (don’t forget your citronella candle!) and take in all of the beauty of the trees and flowers and sky.  Pencil in time to go skiing one day in the winter and take in the majesty of the mountains covered in white snow.  Take the kids on a hike and try to name as many plants and trees and flowers and forest animals that can.  Take in the beautiful sights that are right there for you, free, anytime.

5. And don’t forget about sounds! Keep some CDs or I-tune playlists on hand that have just the right mix of music for you when you are feeling nostalgic or needing a pick-me-up or just wanting to bask in the happiness that surrounds you.  What songs elicit certain feelings in you?  And if you have trouble sleeping because of traffic noise or noisy neighbors, invest in a white noise machine.  It can help even the lightest of sleepers get some zzz’s.

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This article comes from ineedmotivation.com and is a timely article for me to post since I am in the arena of changing careers.  With the economy the way it is, I thought it might be a timely article for others as well, whether you are actively searching or just looking for a way to increase the passion in your life.  I hope this gives you as much motivation as it gave me! 🙂

According to a recent survey, about 75% of the population do not know what their true passion is. Clearly, almost everyone seems to not be doing what they were meant to do. This is an eye-opener because doing what we really love is absolutely necessary if we want to be fully happy. Perhaps this is why there is so much unhappiness going on in our society, people just aren’t doing what they are here on Earth for. Finding your true passion isn’t as simple as it may seem. For some, yes it does come naturally, but most of the time, you have to ask yourself some questions to pinpoint exactly what you were born to do. Here are my 7 questions that can guide you to finding your ultimate passion:

1. What puts a smile on your face?
Is there a particular event, a particular topic that makes your whole face just lighten up? Whatever it is that makes you smile, and makes you happy whenever you encounter it, this is a sign of something you are passionate about. I truly believe that happiness and passion walk hand in hand. Both require each other. So following what makes you truly happy is a wonderful way to figuring out what you were put on Earth for. Think about something that you do or that perhaps you used to do that brings total peace to you when you do it. Peace is happiness, and happiness is passion.

2. What do you find easy?
Usually, what we find easy for us to do, will be related to what we are passionate about. It’s very hard to hate something that is very easy for us! For example, let’s say you are naturally good at playing the piano, you will find the activity easy, and this ease makes it much more fun for you. Fun leads to happiness and happiness is synonymous with passion ) So assess everything that you do, whatever it is that you find really easy and fun, this may very well be your passion. And don’t think that anything is off limits or silly. Some people have taken their passion for skateboarding, drawing, or collecting to full fledged careers. Remember this, you can make a career out of anything you are passionate about.

3. What sparks your creativity?
One of my passions growing up was hockey. It’s not too surprising, being Canadian and all ;) But I remember playing for hours and hours, and always coming up with different plays, and different methods to score goals. I was always full of creativity when playing hockey. Later in life, I developed similar creativity in business. Think about something in your life where you seem to always expand its horizon, always coming up with new, fun, and exciting ideas relating to that subject. Whatever makes you creative, is probably something that you are very passionate about.

4. What would you do for free?
In this society, we are ruled by the almighty dollar. That’s the way the system works, and that’s the game we have to play. The problem is, this leads many people to seek making money first, instead of what makes them happy. I have read countless number of stories about stock brokers and doctors for example, leaving their high paying positions to follow what they really love. There is a reason for that. I truly believe that if you follow what you are passionate about without thinking about if it will make you rich or not, you will end up being successful. Doing what you have a passion for brings out your best, and this leads to greatness. Greatness breezes to success. Do you think that the most successful people in the world got to where they are because they wanted to get rich? Absolutely not, they did what they were so passionate about, and their immense success was just a byproduct of their dedication. So think about something that you would just love to do, even if you were not getting paid. Think about something that you look forward to do, something that you wish you could do all the time.

5. What do you like to talk about?
The topics of conversation we have can definitely tell what we are interested in, and this is a good way to find out what we really enjoy in life. Most of the time, we aren’t totally aware of this. This is why, a very good way to figure this out properly, is to ask your friends. Ask them what they believe you like to talk about the most. Ask them what topic makes your eyes brighten up, and changes your entire behavior. I can guarantee you that some of their answers will be surprising to you. Some of these things weren’t that clear to you, but your friends can see the reaction on your face that you can’t see yourself. Try it out, it’s a very insightful exercise, and one that can direct you closer to figuring out your passion.

6. What makes you unafraid of failure?
When we do what we are passionate about, we have total confidence in our abilities. This makes us not worry about failing, because in our mind, how can we fail when we do what we love? Doing what you love is a success in and of itself, so failure is like an impossibility. Think of something that you just do or want to do, no matter what. Something that you do not have second thoughts about. Think about something that you feel you must do and that failure is not even a concern of yours, because the mere act of doing it is like the journey and the destination all wrapped up in one. This may very well be your true passion.

7. What would you regret not having tried?
We all have these dreams, and somehow, life pushes us in another direction, and next thing we know, we are far from those dreams we used to have. If you were at the end of your life, what would you regret not having pursued? What would you have liked to do, that you didn’t get a chance to? Think about what that might be. Whatever it is that you may experience regret now or later on for not having tried, this is a good chance to be your true passion. There is nothing worse than arriving at the end of the journey and having regret. This is why finding your passion, and following it is so important. Live your life so that you do not have regrets.

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This quick and to the point article is from the blog On Simplicity.

  1. Resign from a commitment you’re not passionate about.
  2. Stop trying to be perfect.
  3. Implement a basic cleaning schedule.
  4. Sign up for automatic billpay.
  5. Automate a portion of your investing.
  6. Clean out your media collection and keep only the items you love.
  7. Plant perennials that will automatically bloom next spring.
  8. Clean out your purse or wallet.
  9. Put a paper shredder next to your mail spot.
  10. Winnow your wardrobe down to pieces that work together.
  11. Delete any social networking accounts you don’t actually use.
  12. Add your number to the do-not-call list.
  13. Create a car maintenance schedule and post it somewhere you’ll see it.
  14. Design a filing system that you can stick to.
  15. Start your day with a healthy meal.
  16. Turn your phone off when you need quiet time.
  17. Invest in a programmable thermostat.
  18. Set one good goal, and go achieve it.
  19. Record your good “shower” ideas and then implement them. (Don’t we all get our best inspirations in the shower?)
  20. Write to a friend with (gasp!) pen and paper.
  21. Set limits on your bad habits, and reward yourself when you stick with them.
  22. Stop trying to be a saint and indulge yourself every once in a while.
  23. Pay off your credit card debt.
  24. Avoid watching commercials and reading advertisements.
  25. Rediscover the pleasure of reading purely for enjoyment.
  26. Plan two weeks of delicious meals ahead of time and skip the nightly grocery run.
  27. Go to your doctor for a preventative checkup.
  28. Remember the joys of doing nothing.
  29. Singletask as much as possible.
  30. Learn to ask for help.

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We’re 3 days into 2009.  I thought I would give you a short list of quotes to inspire you to keep going on those New Year Resolutions.  The first month is the hardest!

1. “The greatest challenge to any thinker is stating the problem in a way that will allow for a solution.” -Bertrand Russell

2. “The first step towards success will be the biggest one.” -Dennis Waitley

3. “Don’t be afraid to take a big step if one is indicated.  You can’t cross a chasm in two small jumps.” -David Lloyd George

4. “We are what we repeatedly do; excellence, then, is not an act but a habit.” -Aristotle

5. “Whether you think you can or think you can’t–you are right.” -Henry Ford

6. “Besides the noble art of getting things done, there is the noble art of leaving things undone.  The wisdom of life consists in the elimination of nonessentials.” -Lian Yutang

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