Spring Forward

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Ah, spring! It’s the season of new beginnings, new hope! Leaves start to grow on trees, flowers begin to blossom, the temperature is warmer and the days are longer. Morning mist greets you early morning as you smell the fresh air and hear the sweet song of birds. After a long winter, you may decide to keep your windows open for a while; closing them for the rain that helps the flowers grow.  Much of nature has spring fever; they instinctively migrate, mate, lay their eggs, give birth, or raise their young. Many new relationships form in spring; couples decide to tie the knot. You may find yourself with a lot to do. It’s the season for spring cleaning and planting seeds.  It’s also a time when you may decide to move, purge, or buy new things – clothing, furniture, cars, and more. Appreciate: Spring has returned; enjoy it and feel renewed.*

*Excerpt from Happy Christmas: 101 Blessings to be Grateful For All Year Round

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Be grateful for winter

winter-3126589_640When temperatures started to fall to below the freezing mark, you may have had a warm nostalgia come over you. The holiday season was approaching.  You may have looked forward to the celebrations and visits with family and friends. You may have been busy decorating, buying gifts, and writing greeting cards. You enjoyed in the festivities, exchanged presents, and created fond memories. Perhaps you rang in the New Year with a sip of champagne and good cheer.  When 2018 came, you may reflected on the past year’s accomplishments and made a New Year’s resolution to do something different.

Now, you might feel lethargic. The weather is cold, the air is dry, and daylight hours are short. You’re often tasked with shovelling snow and have longer driving times. You stay indoors in an attempt to keep warm. You may feel like you are just waiting for spring.

Take time to live in the moment. Remember when you were a kid and you would stick out your tongue during a snowfall, waiting for a snowflake to land on it? Remember the joy you felt when a cold  little flake melted in your mouth?

You can find ways to appreciate the season. You can awe at the beautiful white silhouette of trees that the snow created. You might like to ski or skate with friends or make a snowman with the kids.  You may like to stay indoors, sit by the fire, or drink hot chocolate.  It’s okay to take some time to rest.

Be grateful for winter; that you may have a season of rest, reflection, and time with loved ones.

 

Happy Holidays!

To celebrate the holiday season, I’d love to share with you a few excerpts from my book, Happy Christmas: 101 Blessings to Be Grateful For All Year Round. Enjoy!

1. Christmas

How wonderful it is to be in the holiday season! You might find yourself decorating the Christmas tree, shopping for gifts, putting up lights, eating candy canes, or sipping hot chocolate by a warm a fire on a cold day. Perhaps you’ll spend time with loved ones, visit family and friends, exchange gifts, go to church, and talk about fond memories of Christmases past. Everywhere you go, there may be festive music playing, and you can’t help but sing along. The child in you may reminisce about leaving cookies for Santa and waking up Christmas morning to see what he left you. The holiday season has different meanings for everyone. Whatever it means to you, celebrate it. Appreciate it. Be grateful that another Christmas has come.

Something to reflect upon: What does Christmas mean to you? What are your fondest memories? What are you most grateful for?

39. Laughter

You’ve heard that laughter is the best medicine. It provides benefits to your physical, emotional, and social well-being. It helps cure worry, doubt, and fear, and adds joy to your life. It just feels good. It’s also contagious; when someone else is laughing out loud, you can’t help but laugh too. Watch a baby giggling when you tickle it and you can’t help but feel its joy. Laughter simply connects us with other people. You can bond by sharing humorous stories, telling funny jokes, or watching comedy movies together. Laughter also helps ease the stress of a difficult situation. In tough times, is there something you can laugh about? Children love to laugh; they laugh genuinely and they laugh often. They can find the joy in the simplest things. Spend time with children. Be child-like in how you approach life. Love life; laugh more!

Encouragement: This Christmas, share a light-hearted memory with your loved ones, appreciate your time together, simply have fun and share some laughs.

84. Living your purpose

Do you know your life’s purpose? Do you know your destiny? Here’s a way you can tell: answer the follow four questions as honestly as you can: What do you love to do? What are you good at? What’s important to you? Deep down, what do you feel you’ve been called to do? These answers lead you to know who you are and what your purpose is. Here’s another way of looking at it: Where can you be of the most service? How can you best serve yourself and others? Where are your services most needed? How can your skills, talents, and gifts benefit society? How can you contribute most to the world? The answers to these questions provide more clarity. Only you know the answer to these questions. If what you’re doing now is aligned with the answers you gave, you feel happy and purposeful. If you dislike what you’re doing, you may need to analyze your responses and make different choices.

Discover: Do you feel like you are living on purpose? What will you do next?

I hope you enjoyed reflecting upon these blessings.  More blessings can be found in the book, Happy Christmas: 101 Blessings to Be Grateful For All Year Round.  Order today, just in time for Christmas!

Seasons Greetings, Lourita

Welcome Change

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As autumn approaches, leafs fall, and the colours change, we are reminded that no matter what’s happened in the past, there’s something new in our future.  You can choose whether to have a negative or positive outlook.  It’s your choice.  Your perspective will shape your future.   Great opportunities might be headed your way.  If you’re open and receptive, wondrous new experiences are sure to be expected.  Surely, there may be difficulties in your future, but keeping a positive attitude will help you get through those times.  You are strong and capable.

So welcome change.  Embrace new challenges, experiences, and opportunities.  It’s not what happens to us, but how we react to what happens to us that matters.   Change is inevitable. Your future is entirely up to you.

How Spring Cleaning Improves Your Life

 

It’s that time of year again when you may be revamping your home: cleaning, purging, and organizing your space. In addition to an improved living environment, you may experience some added benefits to your life.  Here’s 3 positive things you might expect:

  1. Emotions uplifted – As you get rid of physical clutter, tidy up, and re-organize, you start to feel a sense of ease. You feel a sense of weight being lifted as you let go of things that no longer serve you and physical objects attached to negative emotions from your past.  You feel a sense of joy as you surround yourself in an environment you find pleasing, functional, and pleasant. You feel happier.
  2. Mental clarity – Spring cleaning keeps you mindful of the present.  As your physical surroundings become more organized, your thoughts also become more organized. You’re less stressed with less clutter to worry about. Less distraction also leads to improved concentration. You become more focused. You’re more productive. Positive thoughts come naturally.  Creativity begins to flow.  You come up with new ideas. Your mind feels a sense of calmness and peace.
  3. Self-esteem – There’s a feeling of satisfaction that comes from a job well done. You feel better about yourself and your ability to accomplish great things. You feel a sense of achievement when you’ve tackled something you had been avoiding.  You decided what you wanted and needed now. You feel in charge of your life and how you desire to live it.

There’s a Tanzanian proverb that says, “Little by little, a little becomes a lot.”  By simply starting to discard a few items, re-purpose some old things, or sort through a small space, spring cleaning can lead to positive changes.  As you build momentum, you might want to challenge yourself even more. It begins with you and a single action that you can do today.

 

Make 2017 Your Best Year

What does 2017 look like for you?  Do you have a clear picture in mind for your future? If so, what steps have you taken to move you in that direction?  Have you made goals? If so, have you been working towards them?  Did you make new year’s resolutions?  If so, have you been keeping them?

You can decide for yourself that 2017 will be happy, healthy, and prosperous.  It doesn’t matter if 2016 had disappointments or setbacks, obstacles or failures; you can move past it.  If 2016 was a great year, you can make 2017 even better!  The biggest factor in your success is YOU!

You decide on what you want for your life and take action steps towards what you want to achieve.  You determine your attitude, commitment, and persistence. You get to make the best choices for you.

Decide right now what you would like to be, do, and have for 2017.  If you’ve already done this, reflect on where you are at now and make adjustments if necessary.

Remember, you are strong, courageous, and well-deserving of good things.  Make 2017 your best year yet!

 

New gratitude book in time for holidays!

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New gratitude book ready for Christmas

Just launched this week…my new book, “Happy Christmas: 101 Blessings to Be Grateful For All Year Round.” We hope you will be inspired by this and share it this holiday!

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Abuse – Facts for DV Awareness Month

November is National Domestic Violence Awareness month in Canada.  Here are some facts about abuse taken directly from the Ontario Women’s Directorate.  Please share the information and help raise awareness.

What is domestic violence?

Domestic violence is a pattern of behaviour used by one person to gain power and control over another person with whom he/she has or has had an intimate relationship.

The behaviour may include physical violence, sexual, emotional, and psychological intimidation, verbal abuse, stalking, and using electronic devices to harass and control.

Who is affected by domestic violence?

Anyone can be a victim of domestic violence, whatever their age, race, economic status, religion, sexual orientation, or education.

While men can be victims of domestic violence, women represent the overwhelming majority of victims of such violence. It is consistently identified as one of the most common forms of violence against women in Canada. It robs a woman of her health, her dignity and the confidence to realize her full potential.

Most abuse occurs in intimate heterosexual relationships; however it can occur in gay and lesbian relationships as well.

Why is it important to address domestic violence?

Everyone has the right to live in safety and with dignity, free from intimidation and the threat of violence.

While 80 per cent of domestic violence victims tell family or friends of their situation, only 30 per cent report the abuse to the police.

The warning signs:

  • Is she apologetic and does she make excuses for his behaviour or does she becomes aggressive and angry
  • Is she nervous talking when he’s there
  • Does she seem to be sick and/or miss work more often
  • Does he check up on her all the time, even at work
  • Does he try to keep her away from you
  • Does he act as if he owns her?

How to help:

  • Talk to her about what you see and assure her that you are concerned. Tell her you believe her and that it is not her fault.
  • Encourage her not to confront her partner if she is planning to leave. Her safety must be protected.
  • Offer to provide childcare while she seeks help.
  • Offer your home as a safe haven to her, her children and pets. If she accepts your offer, do not let her partner in.
  • Encourage her to pack a small bag with important items and keep it stored at your home in case she needs it.
  • Know that you or she can call the Assaulted Women’s Helpline, your local shelter, or, in an emergency, the police.

If you are the victim of domestic violence:

Remember it is never your fault. You’re not alone. Tell someone you trust. Help is available.

Source: http://www.women.gov.on.ca/owd/english/ending-violence/stop-domestic-abuse.shtml

 

Moving forward when it seems too hard

Sometimes our struggles can seem bigger than we can handle.  Perhaps you had a sudden loss in your career, health, finances, or relationship and getting through it has been difficult.  Or perhaps you’ve been enduring a struggle for a long time and it doesn’t seem like the situation will ever improve.  Here’s 5 ways to help you get through it.

  1. Acknowledge your feelings. You may feel grief, frustration, or anger. You may be feeling sadness, shame, or regret.  You may find yourself feeling a little better one day, and then feel a little worse the next.  Know that it’s okay to feel the emotions you are feeling and allow yourself to experience it.
  2. Remember how strong you are.  You’ve experienced tough times before and got through it.  You will get through this too.  Everything you’ve gone through in the past has made you stronger and more resilient.
  3. Be kind to yourself.  Treat yourself with empathy and understanding during this difficult time.  Do whatever is necessary to take good care of you as you go through the process.
  4. Reach out to others.  You’re not alone.  If you need time to yourself or would like time to deal with your struggles on your own, it’s perfectly okay.  Know that if you need help in any way, it’s courageous to ask for help.
  5. Believe that everything is happening a reason.  It may be hard to believe right now, but there’s something positive about going through this difficulty. Know that things will get better in time and that this too shall pass.

You are a strong person.  You are capable.  You will endure this.  Be good to yourself.

 

 

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