Crazyhippiemom’s Weblog

Just an urban hippie with a kid in tow, sharing a little eco-friendly, holistic info with the world.

Thought 4 The Day – 09/28/08 September 29, 2008

Filed under: Family,life,mothers,motivation,Office,Uncategorized,Women — crazyhippiemom @ 6:37 am
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Word of The Day: lacunae: \lə-ˈkü-nə, –ˈkyü-\ noun a blank space or a missing part : gap : deficiency 2. a small cavity, pit, or discontinuity in an anatomical structure
 
Leadership Quote: He makes a great mistake … who supposes that authority is firmer or better established when it is founded by force than that which is welded by affection.
 
Thing To Ponder: Why is bra singular and panties plural?

Philosophical Quote: The human mind is inspired enough when it comes to inventing horrors; it is when it tries to invent a Heaven that it shows itself cloddish.
 
Useless Knowledge: Charles Lindbergh took only four sandwiches with him on his famous transatlantic flight.
 
Inspirational Quote: Hell is the knowledge of opportunity lost; the place where the man I am comes face to face with the man I might have been.

A Motivational Push
 
WHAT TIME IS IT?

There was a wealthy business owner who used to walk to his company every morning.  As was his custom he would proceed through the town and stop at the window of the jeweler’s shop.  He would wind his watch fully and reset it to the exact time on the big clock in the jeweler’s window.  He was very particular about having the right time, as he was the one to blow the steam whistle at his factory, at 5 o’clock, to signal the end of the day.



Inside the shop the jeweler recognized his frequent visitor and, although they had never spoken, was curious about this gentleman.  One day the jeweler decided to step out and greet the man.


“I notice every morning that you stop by and look in my window, but you have never come into the shop.  Is there something I can help you with?”


“No, thank you,” replied the gentleman, “I just stop by to set my watch, I know I can trust your big clock for the right time.”


“You certainly can,” said the jeweler with some pride, “That is a fine clock.”


“And tell me how do you set its time?” the gentleman inquired.


The jeweler replied, “I listen every evening, at precisely 5 o’clock, for the steam whistle at the local factory.”

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Thought 4 The Week – 09/28/08

Filed under: Family,life,mothers,motivation,Office,Uncategorized,Women — crazyhippiemom @ 6:35 am
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Word of The Week: tetchy • \TETCH-ee\ • adjective : irritably or peevishly sensitive : touchy 
 
Leadership Quote: Leadership is lifting a person’s vision to higher sights, the raising of a person’s performance to a higher standard, the building of a personality beyond its normal limitations.
 
Thing To Ponder: Why is the third hand on the watch called the second hand?
 
Philosophical Quote: How often one sees people looking far and wide for what they are holding in their hands? 

Useless Knowledge: The fingerprints of koala bears are virtually indistinguishable from those of humans, so much so that they could be confused at a crime scene.
 
Inspirational Quote: What are these tools, these techniques of suffering, these means of experiencing the pain of problems constructively that I call discipline? There are four: delaying of gratification, acceptance of responsibility, dedication to truth, and balancing.
 
Motivational Push
 
The Journey
 
One day you finally knew
What you had to do, and began
Though the voices around you
Kept shouting
Their bad advice –
Though the whole house
Began to tremble
And you felt the old tug
At your ankles “Mend my life!”
Each voice cried.
But you didn’t stop.
You knew what you had to do,
Though the wind pried
With its stiff fingers
At the very foundations,
Though their melancholy
Was terrible.

It was already late
Enough, and a wild night,
And the road full of fallen stones.
But little by little,
As you left their voices behind,
The stars began to burn
Through the sheets of clouds,
And there was a new voice,
Which you slowly recognized as your own,
That kept you company
As you strode deeper and deeper
Into the world,
Determined to do
The only thing you could do –
Determined to save
The only life you could save.

By Mary Oliver 

If you wish to receive the Thought 4 The Day (simply a daily installment of exactly the same thing), please send me a comment, including your email address (which will not be published).  Thanks.

 

The Happier Life Chronicles – Thought 4 The Week August 24, 2008

As the list of life’s stresses increases exponentially, we find ourselves consumed with finding quick fixes while trying to maintain some semblance of normalcy.  Gas, food, health care and education top just about everyones’ list as culprits.  Some hypothesize about the reasons, while others determine to take action.  We look to hybrids, farmer’s markets, foreign pharmaceuticals and alternative modes of education to solve our problems and ease our minds.  It’s a different world than our parents or even their parents grew up in.  This fast paced society, calls for more money, more time, more, more, more…until you’ve given of yourself completely.  However, in the midst of it all, there must be time for a mental revival.  A time dedicated only to renewal of our minds.  A sabbath, if you will.  A time set aside for a specific thing. 

From this mode of thinking, the Thought 4 The Week was born.  I firmly believe that we must start our week, not with an empty canvas, but with a canvas containing a background of inspiration and motivation.  A background, that no matter what is painted on the canvas, the background will permeate and continually hint at the beauty beneath. 

The Thought 4 The Week contains six elements: Word of the Week, Leadership Quote of the Week, Thing To Ponder, Philosophical Quote of the Week, Useless Knowledge, and Inspirational Quote of the Week.  The contents of each of these elements are by no means original, however, when pooled together, they can foment a newness and rev you up for the week to come. 

Thought 4 The Week

Word of the Week
Ambisinister: (am-bi-SIN-uh-stuhr) adjective: Clumsy with both hands.

Leadership Quote of the Week
“If it’s a good idea, go ahead and do it. It’s much easier to apologize than it is to get permission.”
Admiral Grace Hopper

Thing To Ponder
Why is it that people say they “slept like a baby” when babies wake up every two hours? 

Philosophical Quote of the Week
“Our eyes can only see our beliefs. Our beliefs cause us to make assumptions, draw conclusions and cause confusion. Our five senses are very limiting.” White Bison

Useless Knowledge
The name of the first presidential airplane was the Sacred Cow.

Inspirational Quote of the Week
“Whenever you are confronted with an opponent, conquer him with love.” Mahatma Gandhi

To subscribe to my Thought 4 The Day, which is simply a daily installment of the Thought 4 The Week, send me comment listing the email address to which you wish the Thought 4 The Day to be sent.

 

The Happier Life Chronicles – The Journey May 21, 2008

“We are so often caught up in our destination that we forget to appreciate the journey…” Author Unknown

There is a tendency, when striving toward success, to focus on the destination.  We are taught that this is the only way, the recipe, if you will, for success – envision yourself being successful and you will BE successful.  No one can dispute this tidbit of advice, for most successful people you ask will relay, almost verbatim, the exact quote, “I just saw myself being successful at __________, and within ______ years, I’m making more than I ever dreamed.”  Sound familiar? I thought so.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not knocking the ‘success visionaries’.  It is good to maintain a healthy dose of mental directives when it comes to progress in life.  However, and perhaps this might impact you, most people spend so much time concerned with the goal, they overlook how they made it to the goal. 

I’ll take an ethereal/philisophical approach to this subject.  Goals we have set for ourselves or that have been set for us, are truly just markers for the next level of achievement.  The true achievement is what you must learn, apply, fail at, succeed at, and release in order to reach the goal set forth.  It is the character you build by sacrificing your time and energies for a specific purpose.  The person who starts the pursuit of the goal is rarely the same person who attains the goal.  You are different, your thoughts, your feelings, your belief about yourself.  It is in this that we can appreciate what the journey does for us.

“We do not care of what we have, but we cry when it is lost.” Russian Proverb

Could it be that we major in the minors?  The goal, in this scenario, being the ‘minors’.  When character is built and cultivated during a journey, the goal can truly, only be seen as the by-product.  However, in a results-driven environment, where the bottom-line is all anyone cares about, the path you took to get there is nothing more than an after-thought.  That is until another hurdle has to be jumped or deadline needs to be met.  This is when we employ the ‘path’ or ‘journey’, the lessons learned and the character built, to manage and secure that success…to meet the bottom-line.

The journey, whether a stroll in the park, a marathon, or an artist’s sketching, stretches our mind and our constitution.  The journey creates formidable strength and produces all that is needed.  Yes, the goal is celebrated, however, the journey should be revered.

 

The Happier Life Chronicles – Appreciate Me! April 30, 2008

Filed under: Family,life,mothers,motivation,Office,Uncategorized,Women — crazyhippiemom @ 1:35 pm
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Apparently this is the time of year when the Big Kahunas show appreciation to the Little Kahunas… in short, it’s Staff Appreciation week.  If your past experiences are anything like mine, you’ve come to expect the ever-so-un-impressive staff appreciation gift. You know the kind – anything with your company’s logo printed on it; $10 gift cards to, oh, say, Target (I mean really, what can a gal get at Target for $10), now a $10 Starbucks card might be cool, but still a little unimpressive.  Okay, maybe I’m asking too much, but dargone it, we get up every morning, don our sleekest business casual attire, arrive relatively on time, and work our gludius maximuses into gludius minimuses to get, yes, a $10 Target gift card, once a friggin year.  As my boss put it (and boy am I hoping he’s not reading this), in this economy, you should be happy to just get a paycheck.  Ouch!  He was right (now I really hope he’s not reading this, because admitting that he’s right opens up a whole new can of worms).  In this economy, looking for a gift that is even remotely in the triple digits, from your place of employment, from your spouse, from your kids, from anybody, is just a little much to ask.  Anyhoo, back to the appreciation thing… I was literally blown away at the lengths my company went to in order to show their staff that we were appreciated.  I mean really!  We had a lunch time movie, we received these awesome umbrellas (for when the rain comes), they even fed us (and me especially with my V/V self) each day of the week!  OMG!

All of this appreciation got me to thinking.  From my statements above, it’s clear that I expect some level of appreciation from the people and entities in my life and I risk to bet you do to.  When I considered what it is that I regard as appreciation from others, it was inevitable that I pondered my own ways of showing myself appreciation.  Do I go out and purchase a diamond trinket for myself?  Do I say “Thank you, me, for picking up those clothes on the floor”?  Do I take myself out for dinner on special occasions?  No. No. And No. Through these answers, it became evident that I don’t appreciate myself nearly as much as I should.  Do you?

As is my custom, I don’t bring up problems unless I have suggestions to fix such problems.  Here on this very page I have assembled a list of, Oh-So-Awesome ways of showing thyself the appreciation thou deserveth!  Pick one, pick them all and if you don’t find anything that suits you, think of something else and send it to me.

Ways to Appreciate Yourself

  • Comparisons are for weenies – As hot as you are, as intelligent as you are, and as funny as you friggin are, there is absolutely NO need to compare yourself to anyone in this galaxy!  Comparing yourself to others only activates insecurities within.  If you do it, stop.  If you don’t do it, don’t start.
  • Don’t fear failure – Part of appreciating yourself is trying things you are interested in.  Yes, you run the risk of failing, but you also run an even bigger risk of succeeding.  Imagine what a boost it would be for you to succeed at something you’ve never tried.  
  • Me Time – If you haven’t checked out my post on Adult Time Joys, you should do that right after you’re done here.  You’ve got to get out there and spend some time with others, enjoying yourself!  There is no better way to appreciate you, than to allow you to enjoy yourself.
  • Get a mantra going – I love these.  You can make up something like, “I appreciate me for being a great mom, for being a great cook, for being a gold-medal wife, and for being a great employee.” Just find something that speaks to the things you want to appreciate yourself for and say it, as often as you want to.
  • Check yourself out, NAKED – Oh yeah! Go ahead baby, check out that badunkadunk! Look at those curves and those legs, go ahead.  It’s all you!  Focus on the parts of your body you hate the most and find something positive to say about them.  Like for instance, that stubborn baby belly fat that still exists 12 years later, just remember how beautifully you carried your son/daughter (even if it was 12 years ago), and what a gift it was to incubate such a joy in your stomach for those months.  This little exercise should be so much fun.
  • Appreciate others – Think about the people in your life who you wish would appreciate you more (spouse, kids, parents, boss, co-workers, friends), and appreciate them.  Don’t just say nice things every now and again, but go out of your way to show them (in ways they understand) that you appreciate them.  You’ll see how soon the actions are reciprocated.  It’s karma, what goes out comes right back around.

So this is my list for how to appreciate oneself.  If you find there are more ways, please, by all means, send me a comment and tell us all about it.

 

 

The Happier Life Chronicles – How To Wake Up Happy March 26, 2008

I know you’ve planned a serious ‘beat-down’ for the office perker-upper… you know who I mean – the person that walks around the office every morning greeting everyone and happily encouraging you to have a ‘nice’ day.  It’s tough to wake up each and every morning seizing the day with passion and marked determination, especially when all you really want to do is pull the covers over your head and catch some more “z’s”.   I feel your pain and because of that, I have set out to do what any self-respecting pain-feeling blogger would do for a friend in need.  I’ve assembled a list of 10 tricks to helping you wake up happy.  Check them out, try them out, and if you don’t wake up bright and early with happiness in your soul within a week, switch to the night shift!

How To Wake Up Happy – 10 Steps

  1.  Eat light before retiring for the night.  If you’re chowing down on a double cheese burger w/ x-large fries and a diet coke (to reduce your calorie intake, of course), you’re going to find that your tummy will be a little pissed at you and will have no trouble letting you know throughout the night!
  2. Don’t skimp on your sleep time.  If you need 8 hours, don’t try to shave 1 1/2 hours off, you’ll pay for it – or rather your co-workers and family will pay for it with your grumpy attitude.  And you’ll probably be sleeping out that 6 1/2 hours on the couch till you cheer up.
  3. Wake up w/o assistance.  The blaring sound of an alarm clock is nothing less than annoying (which is why it’s so effective).  But who WANTS to wake up to that every morning.  You can try a CD alarm clock or a Zen Alarm Clock which plays sounds from nature or chimes to gently lift you from your slumber.   
  4. Smile as soon as you wake up.  All I can say about this one is, “Fake it till you make it!”  
  5. Have something to look forward to.  Think about that great cup of coffee you’ll be having in about 10, 15, or 30 minutes.  You could even plan to meet with friends later on in the day, just for a pow wow or perhaps, happy hour.
  6. Open your windows wide.  Let the sunshine in (sorry, but I just couldn’t resist).  There’s nothing like a little sunshine to pull you from your unconscious state.
  7. Have a mantra.  You could say something like, “Wow! I’m awake and boy am I glad about that!” OR “It’s great to wake up to a new day full of promise.”  Just pick something that makes you feel good to be awake.
  8. Sing a song.  Personally I like the Mr. Rogers song… “It’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood, a beautiful day for a neighbor.  Would you be mine, could you be mine, would you be my neighbor.”  Boy, I’m already feeling better.  You can even make up your own ‘good morning song’ and remember, this isn’t American Idol, so you don’t have to sing on key… heaven help us!
  9. Scream good morning to the world.  You may not want to try this little tip if you have ‘company’ in your bed.  In fact, depending on the thickness of your walls, you may want to amend the ‘scream’ part and settle for ‘say’.  
  10. Keep items of beauty by your bed.  Perhaps you like colorful flowers or paintings.  Some people keep photos of family members or pets.  Whatever makes you happy when you look at it… put it right by your bed side, so that when you wake up, it’ll be the first thing you see.

Waking up happy can be difficult for even the greatest optimists.  There is always hope though and as you continue to practice happiness, it’ll get easier and easier to BE happy.  

 

The Happier Life Chronicles – De-tox, De-Clutter, De-Stress March 13, 2008

You probably haven’t realized it, but when you’re full of crap (i.e. toxins, waste, bacteria), your brain doesn’t function very well.  You also probably haven’t noticed that when your space (i.e. bedroom, garage, office) is cluttered you feel a little more on edge and less focused.  The contents of our guts and items within eye-shot significantly affect our mental prowess.  Which is why you need to purge on the regular.  You could practice stellar dietary habits and maintain an office of precision and organization, but at least twice a year, you’ll need to rid yourself of the excess.
 
We’ve heard of all kinds of detoxification  programs and there are more than enough “How To Clear The Clutter From Your Life” articles to mention.  However, when you incorporate both of these, you’ll find a mental clarity that is unsurpassed.  Thousands upon thousands have experienced emotional and physical breakthroughs by de-toxing and de-cluttering their lives.  I’ve assembled a short-list to assist you in de-toxing, de-cluttering and de-stressing your life.
 
Detoxification
 
There are seven channels in the body from which we eliminate: the liver, colon, kidneys, lungs, skin, blood, & lymphatic system.  To purge your body by cleansing or detoxifying we can choose several means:

  1.  Flush – Colon hydrotherapy is the therapeutic application of water to the colon.  This therapy helps to tone the bowel and assists in resuming normal elimination function.  When the bowel is functioning normally, constipation and other abnormalities of the colon can be eradicated.
  2. Dietary changes – The following items are no friend of yours: refined sugar, refined flour, caffeine, alcohol, artificial colors, refined oils, preservatives, and that hamburger you ate yesterday.  When we eliminate these toxins from our diets, and replace them with nutrients and vitamins, our intestinal health will begin to soar. 
  3. Herbal Cleanse – Herbal cleansing is probably most well-known of all types of detoxification methods.  There are various detoxifying herbs, that when combined, provide the desired effect.  Some herbs provide a mild to medium cleansing mode while others generate a more intense cleansing.  Before initiating an herbal cleanse, consult with a Master Herbalist or other holistic healthcare professional.
  4. Sweat it out – You can maximize your cleansing regimen by frequenting the sauna.  The skin is the largest organ in the body, therefore, it has the capacity to release an enormous amount of toxins through sweat.
  5. Exercise – Physical activity is beneficial in excreting toxins from the lymph.  When you breathe deeply, toxins are removed from the cells and enhances immunity.
De-Clutter
 
I was inspired by an article I read in Zen Habits about becoming an un-clutterer.  An un-clutterer is a person who has systems in place to organize things he/she owns.  There is a place for everything and everything is in its place.  Imagine that!  That little “doo-hicky” that goes on the “thing-a-ma-jig”, has its own special place.  Here are a few tips to purging your space by de-cluttering: 
 
  1. Put a process in place for papers that come into your house or office – If you open mail at your desk, make sure you have a trash can, recycling bin, file cabinet, shredder, sticky notes, pens and pencils within arms reach.  If your “storage” system is walking distance from your desk, guess where those papers will remain.  ON YOUR DESK!
  2. Put a process in place for meals in your home – If you’re the “designated” chef, you’re going to truly benefit from this little tip.  If you’re the “designated” trash-compacter, well you can help take notes.  Create a meal plan.  This saves time, $$, and stress.  Plan ahead (preferably Saturday or Sunday) what will be eaten in your house for the next seven days.  Organize the meals with their assigned days and coordinate any prep time involved.  List the grocery items needed, accounting for snacks and fresh produce life span.
  3. Put a process in place for laundry – If you own more clothes than you can wash at one time, you’ll probably have some instances of clutter.  You will either have to get rid of the excess clothes or implement a more practical laundry routine.  You can purchase clothes that are easily laundered – having to iron or delicately wash clothes is more time consuming and honestly, it’s a drag. You can even try getting your kids in the mix, if they’re old enough to ask for money they’re old enough to do laundry.  You may also try placing a table in your laundry room so you can fold the clothes immediately after drying.
  4. Put a process in place for the cords & cables for your electronic equipment – If you’re a techie, you certainly can appreciate this little tidbit.  How many times must you go through that box of cords and cords, and cords and cables, looking for that one that goes with the monitor?  You spend more time looking for it than you do using it.  Just take a 1/2 day and label those things.  
De-Stress
 
In one of my recent postsThe Happier Life Chronicles – 10 Ways To Reduce Stress, I discuss several ways to reduce stress in your life.  Here’s a short list of what I wrote:
 
  1. Identify the stress culprits – Consider all the things that cause you stress in your life.  Make a long list of just about every darn thing that causes you stress, then make the  short list of those that are most offensive.
  2. Exercise – Physical exercise is always beneficial whether it is to lose weight or to reduce stress, or both.
  3. Don’t procrastinate – Allowing responsibilities to languish until the last possible minute increases stress.  Simply do what needs to be done when it needs to be done and be done with it!
De-toxing, de-cluttering, and de-stressing your life will mean employing significant changes.  You may need to minimalize your life, by perhaps purchasing fewer nick-knacks.  You may want to de-commit on some commitments that just sap your energy and positive attitude.  You may want to clean out your fridge and start purchasing food items that contribute to your health instead of subtract from it.  Whatever the change you make, if any at all, make sure that you are removing toxic, intrusive, negative attitudes as well as toxic, intrusive, negative items.