Tag Archives: self help

5 Ways to Practice Mindfulness

By: Gloria Marie

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Being mindful allows us to be fully present. When we are fully present, we are truly alive. Worrying about the past or being fearful of the future does not exist when we are living in the present. Try one of these 5 ways to practice mindfulness.

The other morning it was so beautiful outside. I went into my back yard and began pulling weeds out of the grass. Before I knew it, an hour had past. You are probably thinking, her grass must be a mess. It is summer in Florida and weeds are plentiful this time of year.

In that hour, I did not think about what else I needed to do, I just pulled weeds and listened to the birds singing. When I came in and washed my hands, I thought to myself, “That was a mindful activity.” I was fully present and grounded in the moment.

Many times when we think of being mindful, we may think we need to meditate or go off in a cave somewhere. I think meditation is great, but, we can do other things and create the same type of being fully present.

‘Mindfulness means paying attention in a particular way: on purpose, in the present moment, and non-judgmentally.
-Jon Kabat-Zinn

5 Ways to Practice Mindfulness

1. Walking- Go for a walk without listening to music. If you mind is racing, try to recite a prayer silently. Become fully aware of the smells, sounds, temperature and the sky.
2. In your office – Sit back in your chair. Become aware of how your body feels against the chair. Are there some areas that you feel more tension? Now take some deep breaths. Breathe in through your nose and out of your mouth. When you breathe in, silently say to yourself, “Breathe in.” When you breathe out say, “Relax.” Try this for about 2 minutes.
3. Coloring – Adult coloring books are best sellers these days. Get a coloring book of mandalas and spend ten minutes mindfully coloring.
4. Journaling – Begin with an open-ended question like, “What am I feeling now?” Then without judgment, start writing for three to five minutes.
5. Weeding – This one I highly recommend.

Start to become aware of the different way you can incorporate mindfulness into your day.

Inspirational Books for August

By: Gloria Marie

divorce, divorced women, single happy strong

Each month I try to highlight either a new book I recently read or it may be a book that I have had for a while, but, recently reread it. This month, I will feature three inspirational books for August.

“One Minute Wisdom” by Anthony de Mello
Anthony was a Jesuit priest known throughout the world for his spiritual writings. In “One Minute Wisdom” there are more than two hundred parables and lessons about living life fully yet simply. Each anecdote takes only a minute to read and he suggests reading no more than one or two a day. Some topics include: Miracles, Heaven, Presence, Humility and Manifestation. One of my favorite is called Transformation.
“To a disciple who was forever complaining about other the Master said, “If it is peace you want, seek to change yourself, not other people. It is easier to protect your feet with slippers that to carpet the whole of the earth.”

“Zen and the Art of Happiness” by Chris Prentiss
I was given this book as a gift. It is about 140 pages, so, it is a quick read, packed with knowledge. I keep it on my desk and everyday I open to a page to read a few paragraphs. This book will help you learn to adapt to life’s changes, how to deal with stress and how to remain happy in your daily life.
Quote from the book:
“You may discover in reading this book that it is your time to take on a new belief that will bless your life from this time onward. We are the authors of every next moment.”

“The Future of God” by Deepak Chopra
This book provides insights into what God means and gives steps on how to grow in spirit. It is a spiritual book, not religious. He proposes that God lies at the source of human awareness. Therefore anyone can find the God within that transforms everyday life.
Quote from the book:
“The same road that leads to miracles leads to God. We haven’t traveled the road yet. We’ve only made the goal possible. That is the role of faith, to expand the range of possibilities.”

Life as a River

By: Gloria Marie

divorce, divorced women, single happy strong, divorce the divorce

Our life flows and ebbs like a river. There is constant movement. Usually though, we resist the movement. Our distractions and our rigidity to change gets us caught on logs or rocks in the river. We stop the flow instead of going with it. Try to image your life as a river and go with the flow.

A few summers ago, my son and I were on the Snake River. Across the river were a family of otters. It was delightful watching them play, going under water and then popping back up. They followed the flow of the river with trust and abandonment. We could use a lesson from these otters and try to go with the flow of our life like the flow of a river.

The rocks and logs represent our need to control outcomes even though sometimes there is nothing we can do to control them. We can set clear intentions with the Universe, remain focused and stay flexible.

Try these steps to “flow” like a river:

1. Set clear intentions.
2. Stay focused on your desires. Think- The Law of Attraction.
3. Remain non-judgmental and let go of the outcomes.
4. Stay flexible on how your intentions will materialize.
5. When obstacles come up, keep an open mind and work through them.
6. Remain open to receiving.
7. Remember that life, like a river continually flows and changes.

Your intentions will set the process in motion. They may come packaged very different from what you expected. It also may take more time to materialize than you would like. Remain flexible and go with the flow.

Find some music or a You Tube video that gives the sound of a rushing river. Keep it handy and when you feel resistance use that sound as a gentle reminder.

Sleepless Night?

By: Gloria Marie

divorce, divorced women, single women, single happy strong

Normally, I have no problems getting a really good night’s sleep, but, every now and then I find myself awake all night. Have you ever had that problem? For no apparent reason, the clock is at 2, then 3, then 4, 5 and finally at 6 I get up. Well, that happened to me last night and it was a long time since I had experienced it. None of my usual “going back to sleep” remedies worked.

At 6:00, I longed to stay in bed, but, I felt that was not the answer. I was determined to get up and have a productive day and be very loving and kind to myself.
This was my strategy!
1. Upon getting up, I had a glass of water with lemon in it. I limited my coffee to ½ cup.
2. I meditated for 20 minutes. This helped to give me energy.
3. After my meditation, I spent a few minutes thinking about if there was anything I was trying to avoid and perhaps that was why I could not sleep.
4. I sat down and made a list of what I “needed” to accomplish, because I knew without a list and/or an action plan, it would be very easy to let the day slip by. Then, I put stars by the most difficult tasks, so, I would do those first.
5. Instead of complaining about my lack of sleep, I wrote down 10 things that I am grateful for. This is a wonderful way to change your energy.
6. I drank over 8 glasses of water during the day and ate meals that were light and healthy.
7. Exercise – I forced myself to go to the gym. I did a light workout, 30 minutes on the treadmill.
8. No naps.
9. I plan on having a quiet evening and going to bed at my usual time.

Chronic sleeplessness can be serious or can be caused by a medical condition that requires a doctor’s care. But, for a sleepless night every now and then, try my 9 steps.

20 Inspirational Quotes

By: Gloria Marie

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We can learn from the wisdom of others. I love quotes from all sorts of people: mystics, celebrities, a wise children. Sometimes a quote is just the pick me up or encouragement we need at a given moment. This list below contains some of my favorites. You might consider printing it for the days when you need a lift.

1. If you dream it, you can do it. –Walt Disney
2. We become what we think about. – Earl Nightingale
3. Two roads diverged in a wood, and I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference. – Robert Frost
4. The only person you are destined to become is the person you decide to be. –Ralph Waldo Emerson
5. Certain things catch you eye, but pursue only those that capture the heart. – Ancient Indian Proverb
6. When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be. – Lao Tzu
7. Remember that not getting what you want is sometimes a wonderful stroke of luck. – Dalai Lama
8. Remember no one can make you feel inferior without your consent. – Eleanor Roosevelt
9. Change your thoughts and you change your world. – Norman Vincent Peale
10. A person who never made a mistake never tried anything new. – Albert Einstein
11. All that you achieve an all that you fail to achieve is the direct result of your own thoughts. – James Allen
12. The soul cannot smile if the eyes did not cry. – Native American
13. There are no limitations to the mind except those we acknowledge. – Napoleon Hill
14. Whoever is happy will make others happy too. He who has courage and faith will never perish in misery. – Anne Frank
15. Happiness is not something readymade. It comes from your own actions. – Dalai Lama
16. The perfect love is the love within you. – Marianne Williamson
17. Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined. – Henry David Thoreau
18. Follow not others in your life. Follow your heart and each day will be yours, not somebody else’s. – Ron Rathbun
19. Fall seven times and stand up eight. – Japanese Proverb
20. You can’t us up creativity. The more you use, the more you have. – Maya Angelou

Finding Your Calling

By: Gloria Marie

divorce, divorce advice, divorced women, divorce the divorce

Passion is defined as a very strong feeling about a person or thing. Passion is an intense emotion compelling, enthusiasm, or desire for anything. Finding your passion can help you in finding your calling. This may occur at any time in your life. Some people find their passion at an early age. Others may not find their passion until much later in life. For me, one passion of mine is writing. I never look at the clock and hours could go by because I am lost and in love with what I am doing.

First, find your passion and that may help lead you to finding your calling in life. A hobby may turn into a career.

Reflect on these questions, take your time. It may take a few weeks before you can answer them. Perhaps write your answers in your journal.

1. What activity would you engage in even if you never made money doing it?
2. When you dream, what do you dream about?
3. What do you like to read about?
4. What do you do for fun?
5. What sparks your creativity?
6. What are 3 past life experiences that left you with a sense of fulfillment?
7. What was the best time you ever had?
8. What is your favorite part about life?
9. What activities make you feel like your heart is about to burst?
10. If you could do anything today, what would it be?

Now what? While reflecting on these answers, write down 3 things that bring you passion. They may be small things: watching a good movie, preparing and sharing a meal with friends, time in silence in nature, or dancing. This week, try to incorporate one of your passions into your life.
1. Start with a small thing this week.
2. Make a commitment to yourself to make the time.
3. Journal about how you felt after the experience.

What was your passion?

Homemade Gnocchi

By: Gloria Marie

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One of my favorite hobbies and a favorite way to relax is cooking. It may be from my Italian heritage. In my house when I was growing up, everything revolved around food. I guess to this day, it still provides comfort to me. Cooking is a type of meditation for me. I immense myself in preparing a recipe and feel gratitude for anyone that had anything to do with bringing the food to my kitchen. The April recipe is for homemade gnocchi.
My Mom always made homemade gnocchi. It was a family favorite. She made hers with mashed potatoes. In my recipe, the gnocchi is made with ricotta cheese. They are lighter and more delicate than the ones made with mashed potatoes. What is really great, is that they are so easy to make. You will never buy prepared gnocchi again. This recipe serves four.
1 16 oz. container of whole-mild ricotta
1 large egg
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
½ teaspoon salt
¾ cup flour
1. Set a strainer lined with paper towels over a bowl. Add the ricotta and let the cheese drain for about one hour.
2. In a large bowl, mix the strained ricotta, egg, cheese, and flour. Cover and refrigerate for 15 minutes.
3. Check the dough, it should be a little tacky. If it clings to your fingers, put a little more flour in, one teaspoon at a time. Refrigerate another 15 minutes.
4. Sprinkle a cookie sheet with flour.
5. Get the dough from the refrigerator. Sprinkle your hands with flour and also the counter you are working on. Grab a tennis ball size of the dough and roll it into a log shape. Cut the log into 3/4” pieces. Toss with a little flour on the baking sheet to prevent sticking. Repeat with the remaining dough.
6. You can cook them at this point or freeze them to use later. If cooking, boil a pot of water and add ½ of the gnocchi. Gently stir them, so they do not stick. When they come to the surface, reduce heat to medium and cook for 2 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon. Repeat with the other half and serve with your favorite sauce.
7. If you are going to freeze them. Freeze them on the baking sheet. When they are frozen, put them in a zip lock bag. Cook them the same way.

Full of Fear

By: Gloria Marie

divorce advice, fear, divorce women, single women, divorce

My son was recently home on spring break. He loves watching all sorts of sports and on this one particular day he was watching a soccer match on television. I began to make lunch for us and suddenly I felt full of fear and stressed. Ignoring my own advice, I kept telling myself that it was nothing. What could I be stressed about? My son was home and it was wonderful for us to be together.

After a few more minutes, I realized that the soccer game on the television was really annoying me. It made no sense. We ate our lunch and after lunch, I decided I needed some quiet time to “be” with my feelings of fear. What was it about the soccer game that I was reacting to?

After a few minutes, it dawned on me. The light bulb went off in my head. Several summers ago, I was not working and money was really tight. We were living in Florida and it was a very HOT summer. Because money was tight, I kept the air conditioner on about 80 degrees, really not comfortable. That summer was difficult for many reasons. It was also the summer of the world championship for soccer. Whenever my son was not working, he was watching soccer.

Fast track to this spring break, when he was watching soccer, my mind and my body reverted back to that challenging summer several years ago. It was a relief when I figured it out. It reminded me of the behavior modification work of B.F. Skinner and the rats that I learned about in college. However, I am not a rat and I can change the way I react.

I vowed to change that pattern. The past was over and we now have our air conditioning on a very comfortable level and life is really good!

Self Help Books for April

By: Gloria Marie

self help books, divorce advice, divorce, single women, single happy and strong.

 

Spring is here, a time for renewal.  This is a great time to read some new inspirational books.  I have picked out three to recommend this month.  One of them, I actually reread again.  “As A Man Thinkekth”, I never get tired of the wise words of James Allen.  Try these self books for April.

As You Think”

By James Allen

 The original classic was written in 1904. It reveals to us that the keys to success are within our own minds, it show us how to use these keys to unlock the greatest fulfillment we can imagine. “As You Think” is a simple yet powerful reminder that “all we achieve and all that we fail to achieve is the direct result of our own thoughts.  We are the master of our desires.

“How to Survive the Loss of a Love”

By Harold Bloomfield, Melba Colgrove, and Peter McWilliams

 One of the most directly helpful books on the subject of loss ever written, the first edition of this comforting and inspiring book, published in 1976, sold nearly two million copies. This completely revised and expanded edition encompasses not only the medical and psychological advances in the treatment of loss, but also the authors’ own experiences.  This is a handbook of inspiration, ideas, poems and encouragement.  The authors state, “This is a book to be used not just read.”

 

“The Law of Divine Compensation: On Work, Money and Miracles”

By Marianne Williamson

In The Law of Divine Compensation, she reveals the spiritual principles that help us overcome financial stress and unleash the divine power of abundance. A guru to anyone interested in spirituality, Williamson’s words ring with power and truth as she assures us that, with faith in God’s promise of prosperity for all, we need never fear the future.  This book has suggested activities, prayers, and meditations.

Happy Spring!  What are some of your favorite self-help books?

 

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Vision Board for Love

By: Gloria Marie

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My theme for February has been love and romance. To continue with that theme, let’s make a vision board for love this month. Having a “visual” to look at helps employ an extra modality. It supports the feeling of giving and receiving love to permeate your entire being. My first career was as an exceptional education teacher. I taught multiply handicapped children. My lesson plans involved using as many modalities as possible to teach a concept. For example, if I was introducing a letter of the alphabet, I would employ touch, taste, visual and auditory stimulation. To introduce the letter “A”, I would have them say “A” out loud, show the letter “A”, touch the letter “A” in sandpaper or clay, and taste an apple.

“Lovers don’t finally meet somewhere,
They’re in each other all along”
-Rumi

Follow these steps to design your vision board for love.
Materials Needed:
1. Gather together a poster board, scissors, glue, and colorful markers. I usually like to use a foam board. There are no rules for the size of the board
2. Search the Internet and magazines for photos that you feel represent love and romance.
3. A photo of yourself looking happy.
Making the Vision Board for Love:
1. Put the photo of yourself in the middle of the board.
2. Surround your photo with photos from magazines and the Internet that illicit the feeling of love in your heart. This is a very personal decision. Look for photos of happy couples and couples in love.
3. Use the colorful markers to write quotes about love and romance.
4. Decorate the poster with other fun things: stars, airline tickets (if you want to travel), ribbons, and flowers.
5. Leave some room for other photos or quotes you may find in the future.
6. Place this vision board where you can see it every day.
Did you have fun doing this project?  Where are you going to put your vision board?