Cultivating gratitude in my life has made a huge difference. It wasn’t that all of a sudden I decided to sit down and become grateful for everything in my life, then poof, it was better. The word “cultivate” infers that it will take time and many baby steps to travel on the journey toward gratitude.
One of the easiest ways I can think of to help on this gratitude journey is to begin a journal. I know, you have heard this before, and you probably have journals that you have started and stopped, scattered throughout the house. Don’t buy a new one thinking this time will be different. Instead, open up to the last page you wrote and jot down these three simple ideas:
1st Think Kindness – This simple act of becoming aware of how you might be able to serve people that crosses your path today will begin your journey. Maybe it will be a simple smile or holding open the door. Just having in your heart, the thought that, “Yes! I choose today to serve and do so with joy in my heart” will get you started on this journey.
2nd No Judgement – This one is a little more challenging and I will be honest, some days are better than others for me. Really see the people you come into contact with as a Child of God, or a fellow Spirit traveler in this world that falls and stumbles just like everyone else. It sometimes helps me to visualize them as a child, because innocence is hard to judge negatively.
3rd Ask Questions – Now this one might throw you off but let me explain. One of my favorite sayings is “No one cares how much you know until they know how much you care”. Be sincere and ask questions, be interested, and listen. Time is valuable and when we spend it being interested in others, it will in turn bless us and we will become more grateful.
Now remember, no going to the store to buy a nice shiny new journal with pretty flowers or a cool design. Pick up from where you left off in an old one. Just doing this simple act will bring gratitude to your heart.
One of the things I love when it comes to traveling is having time to catch up on some reading. Getting ready to board the plane to a convention, I realized I had forgotten to bring a book with me. Walking into the bookstore I passed by the new arrivals, and per usual, I gravitated toward the self-help corner. There I found a book titled The 5 Choices by Franklin Covey Co.
There are many great takeaways in this book.
The 5 Choices is a wonderful tool to help create a more productive day. I highly recommend it, especially if you are an old-time Steven Covey fan like me. Now for some reason, this little sentence stood out to me. Probably because I was looking for it, but I have to share:
“In order to be truly productive, we need to gain the habit of being conscious and intentional about everything we do.”
Amen! As I am striving to live a more conscientious life this sentence has begun to speak more truths than I could possibly describe. By doing the little things in life that you can barely see a return on each day, you choose to make intention a priority, and great things begin to emerge over time. Be patient with yourself and don’t forget to be patient with others. We are all on a journey in becoming present in the moment, intentional decisions will, over time, make your life fall into Harmony.
About a month ago I was talking to a fellow massage therapist and he was sharing information he had read in a book titled “Quench”. A discussion began after I had mentioned that I was thinking I might be dehydrated, even though I drink at least a gallon of water a day, actually I might be diluted, but I digress.
A few points stood out that truly resonated with me, and after reading its reviews, I decided it was something I needed to explore further. It was informative and provided me answers to some of my issues. There were takeaways that I felt ready to include in my regular routine. This book isn’t just a sit down and read, then shelve, kind of book. It’s more of a “sit down, highlight, and take notes” kind of book. It’s a great wealth of data and information such as recipes.
Here are my top 4 takeaways from the book “Quench” By Dana Cohen, MD and Gina Bria:
Oil and water do mix – The water we take in needs to break through our cell’s membrane in order for us to actually hydrate that cell. That membrane is made out of oil. If we are not consuming enough healthy fats the water will not be able to replenish our cells. So, all those bathroom breaks might be due to the fact that you are avoiding fats!
Gel water – If you truly want hydration it will take more than those 8 glasses a day. Gel water, aka living water, is essential to your hydration. Think the Sun and Plants, or hydration with an electrical charge. By simply adding a tablespoon of Chia seeds to your water in the morning with a squirt of lemon or adding a green smoothie to your day with cucumber, kale or spinach in it, Or a fantastic bone broth recipe (thereby getting true gel: collagen) you super-charge your body’s hydration.
Time to Twist – Micromovement throughout your day is another key factor to hydration. Just because you hit the gym doesn’t mean you are off the hook for this one. Think of it as a little stop in your day to think and then move. These little movements, like turning your neck to look behind you, are important for keeping your joints lubricated and helping your body eliminate waste. It’s not all about keeping it in but cycling the bad stuff out.
Love me some Fascia – It’s our body’s superhighway of connection. Fascia covers everything from our muscle to organs to bones. Keeping hydrated is key to increasing flexibility and even healing faster after a sprained ankle. One way to help the fascia is dry skin brushing.
Side note: From a massage therapist’s point of view, moving the fascia is key in a good massage. So do your massage therapist and yourself a favor, stay hydrated. You will get more from your massage, because your therapist can do more for your skin and muscle.
Another piece of good information that I feel was helpful in the book was about things to avoid, like foods that will absorb water and not in a good way. Think of a piece of bread in a cup of water, absorbing it. Now if you are 8 glasses of water a day gal, or guy, don’t just stop, instead add a few of the hydration tips above to it and let your thirst, dry skin, or tight fascia thank you.