100 Awesome Little Things You Forget to Cherish

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Slowing down opens your eyes wider. Do not forget life is filled with awesome little things. Are you taking them for granted ? Enjoy and embrace these awesome little things more fiercely next time one pops up along the way as you are rushing from one thing to the next.
and don’t rush. Like, ever! Go slower to get ahead. Rushing has causes me too much pain and heartache, and you will arrive faster if you go slower.

100 Awesome Little Things You Forget to Cherish in Life

1. The sound of your dog running to greet you after you’ve been gone for 10 minutes.

2. The feeling of clean hot underwear right out of the dryer.

3. The look of wordless pride on dad’s face.

4. The moment you first meet a friend after a long separation.

5. Rescuing a lost animal. Any animal.

6. Making a random recipe that turns out beyond ridiculously delicious.

7. Waking up alert and rested before your alarm.

8. The look of unbelievable love on your mom’s face.

9. When you find yourself rejoicing by default instead of complaining.

10. The first bite on bakery that is just out of the oven.

11. The feeling of fresh new clean sheets on the bed.

12. The sound of the garage door opening. Honey is home.

13. The smell of a home cooked meal when you get home after a long workout.

14. The smell of incense filling up your home.

15. The feel of your own yoga mat under your bare feet.

16. The moment when you sink into a hot bubbly bath tub.

17. That first bite of food when your stomach has been growling for hours.

18. Cuddling with a great novel in front of the fire.

19. Cuddling with a great novel in bed under the sheets.

20. The sound of your favorite song on the radio.

21. The wordless apology that breaks the tension.

22. The feeling of being squeaky clean after a hot shower.

23. The first kiss after you make up with your sweetie.

24. The first autumn breeze after a hot summer.

25. The sound of the rain outside while you work or doze off.

26. The moment you wrap your cold hands around a warm cup of hot tea.

27. Walking on fresh snow.

28. Watching the sun go down.

29. Watching the sun come up.

30. The first few minutes after you get out of the freezing cold.

31. The taste of cool water on a hot summer day.

32. Food after a hard physical workout.

33. The moment you get out of a long drawn-out yoga pose.

34. The day when the old injury finally leaves your body for good.

35. When scars heal without a mark.

36. When the writing flows.

37. Wet dog kisses.

38. Spotting a whale from the shore.

39. When you find the perfect home for stuff you never ever use.

40. The look on your friend’s face as she opens your gift.

41. Holding a quiet happy smiling baby.

42. When your parents brag about you to their friends.

43. When you brag about your parents to your friends.

44. Love. With all its ups and downs and lows and highs. Love in all forms and shapes.

45. When you go deep in your meditation.

46. When your operation goes better than expected.

47. Realizing you are ready to forgive and let go.

48. The feeling of wind on a scalding hot day.

49. Spotting a personal letter in the stack of junk mail.

50. When you hear “I’m proud of you!” from that special someone.

51. The unexpected good news that you’d forgotten you were waiting for.

52. Spotting an old friend at the store.

53. Crying at the movies.

54. When kindness is returned in double.

55. The feeling of giving.

56. Giving a helping hand without being asked.

57. The pleasure of reading. Reading whatever you want.

58. The freedom to choose.

59. Finding a long lost something you’ve declared totally gone.

60. Making soups in the winter.

61. Knowing spring is imminent after winter.

62. Watching trees shed their leaves without regret.

63. When a habit takes hold.

64. The sound of “I love you.”

65. Getting an email from someone you’ve been missing.

66. The accidental photo with your phone that turns out as a piece of art.

67. Instantaneous conversations, no matter the distance, via texting.

68. The quiet and solitude after you’ve been among crowds.

69. The knowing look of love that needs no words, no sounds.

70. Feeling and being understood.

71. Slipping out of your work clothes after a long day.

72. Getting a clean bill of health at your physical.

73. Shopping for something new after a long period of saving up.

74. Watching a snippet of your childhood cartoons.

75. The start of a new movie after the previews finally end.

76. Coffee shops. WiFi.

77. Falling into a deep sound sleep.

78. The muffled sound of your sweet heart talking in another room.

79. Sneaking out for something fun in the middle of a work day.

80. Afternoon naps on cold drizzly winter days.

81. Slipping into an old pair of jeans and feeling even younger.

82. Skin glow and your friends begging to know the secret.

83. The emails that say you helped change their life for the better.

84. When gratitude fills your heart near to bursting.

85. Road trips.

86. When the conversation is good.

87. Seeing a loved one you’ve lost in a vivid dream.

88. Following your intuition and being right.

89. Listening to your body, and having it thank you in a million ways.

90. When your courage gets stronger than your fear.

91. Stealing away time to catch up with old friends.

92. When you push past your flexibility limits, when the body opens.

93. Moving on and getting over someone who hurt you.

94. When the bad stuff turns out to open doors to better things.

95. The sound of your own breath.

96. Being around those who help your being.

97. Books. Oh my, books.

98. A good neighbor.

99. The miracle of hearing, seeing, moving, breathing, eating, and living in your body.

100. Your beautiful life. All of it. The whole thing is a miracle.

(credit:http://www.prolificliving.com)

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The curse of comfort

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Have you felt the curse of comfort? The feeling of numb inertia which makes sure you repeat the daily cycles. Get up. Switch off alarm. Drink Tea. Go to work. Come back. Sleep. Oh of course you are protesting. You have a far more interesting life. You have a good looking spouse who you can proudly display on Facebook covers. You survey with obvious pride the flat you bought last year.  You drop your kids to school in your brand new sedan. In office you have challenges- the boss likes you and will surely recommend your name for the next promotion. You have an exciting evening planned. Movies and dinner. And of course you are also going with the family to that expensive vacation next month. You have a good life. But why then at the end of the day you feel that gnawing sadness, watching the digital calendar change dates. Why do you desperately search for yourself in that maze of spouse, parent, employee. Why do you curse yourself at not taking the sedan off the highway on the dirt road leading to the village housing the artisans who practice the form of art you always wanted to learn, make the documentary you always wanted to make. At the end of the day with the lights turned off and the incessant sound of your breathing you feel the burden of someone else’s life. The flat; because everyone else has one. The expensive car; because you had to compete with friends. The promotion; because that is the natural thing to aspire for. Things that dig themselves deep into the ground- growing roots from where your only option is to keep watering them. Because if you don’t they will take you down. And you are so entrenched in the comfortable numbness of your life,  that you cannot risk going down. You cannot risk destruction. You cannot risk rebuilding life. You cannot risk seeking glory on the off-beaten track. You cannot risk going on the dirt road. Chances are you are happy in your state of numbness. But if you are not, it is time you start axing the roots. For a while you will shock people around you. After a point you will see the ones who matter will join you- gathering the courage to fight their own ghosts. You may end up all bloody but you would have the liberty to fly. And the roots would lie limp on the ground.

(credit : globeslother.wordpress.com)

Effective Use of Positive Affirmations

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If there are any areas in your life that you want to change and improve, you can make the change or improvement happen more easily with positive affirmations.

Positive affirmations are powerful positive thoughts or messages that are ingrained into the mind, especially the subconscious level, to create a generally positive environment in a person’s psyche. They are now quite popular and are widely used. Here are some effective and helpful techniques that you can try to make your affirmations more effective and more manifest in your life.

 

Techniques for Effective Use of Positive Affirmations

1. Stick to short and simple affirmations. Positive affirmations are quite powerful, so you don’t really need to make them long or complex. In fact, affirmations must be kept short, simple, and straight to the point. Using more complicated sentence structures can reduce the effectiveness of positive affirmations.

2. Know the peak hours of positive affirmations. Affirmations also have what could be called “peak hours”. These are the times during the day when using affirmations is most recommended. The peak hours include the time before you go to sleep and the moment after you wake up. In both instances, you are still and already unguarded, and you have a clearer head in those times than in the middle of your busy days. Aside from that, these peak hours are better because positive affirmations are most powerful when the mind is at its most relaxed state.

3. Make your own voice recording. One great technique in manifesting the positive results of positive affirmations is consistency and repetition. To make it easier for you to stick to your affirmations and affirm them on a regular basis, it would help if you make your own recording of the affirmations you want to apply in your life. According to experts, your own recordings may be more effective than the subliminal products that can be bought around because your mind recognizes your voice more easily and thus will automatically trust you.

4. Let them out. Do not just keep your affirmations to yourself. Make sure to get the word out so that the environment you are in will also be transformed in a positive way. This will cultivate the healthiest environment for a more positive mind. This way, you won’t be tempted to go back to your old negative habits because your environment is already programmed to constantly drive positive messages into your head. Always pursue the affirmations with as much passion as you can. You can also write them down and make stickers so you can put them in key areas where you can see them easily.

5. Repeat them often. Do not let your guard down when you’re on a positive affirmation project. Continuously feed your mind with these affirmations. A mind that is constantly bombarded with these affirmations will naturally be more alert and focused, and will therefore be more effective in manifesting the affirmations in your life. But if you do not repeat the affirmations continuously, you are giving distractions the chance to butt in and poison your mind.

Happiness is a smile next to you.

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Be around happy people.

Let me clarify. Surround yourself with happy people and people that make you happy. Thinking positive and happy thoughts on your own is a great and necessary daily practice. However, being surrounded by people that make you want to do nothing but smile while you’re thinking happy thoughts is revitalizing!

Is there someone you know that always brings a smile to your face? A loved one or a friend? Someone that you want to be around that brings out genuine happiness? Go be with those people! As much as you can. Call them, text them, send a letter or an email. Stay connected with the people that make you happy.

We need community. Humans need each other and innately want to connect with each other. It’s part of our survival! The happy people around us can help us to grow and become happier and healthier people. Smiling, hugging, high-fiving, holding hands, and gentle supportive touches help to release oxytocin in our brains. Oxytocin gives us that feeling of trust and connection with each other. It also helps relieve stress, anxiety, and depression.

The people around us can truly make a difference to our own happiness. Unfortunately, that also goes for our negativity. My plea to surround yourself with positive and happy people comes with another plea: stay away from negative people. Get them out of your life. There are too many people out there wanting to put their own stink on whatever you are happy about.“Ain’t no body got time fo that!” Eliminate those people from your life. You don’t need them.

If I told you to stand on a chair and lift me from the ground onto it with you, you’d have to be very strong to do that. It would, however, be quite simple for me to pull you down off the chair.

Happiness and negativity work the same way. It’s easy sometimes to get brought down and frustrated by someone’s poisonous negativity. You’d have to be pretty strong in your resolve to be happy in order to not be affected by that kind of unpleasantness.

It’s not your job to “fix” other people. You have to remember that at the end of the day you can choose to involve yourself with the negativity or choose to avoid it. You don’t need to get wrapped up in the drama. Sometimes it’s better to slip out of a conversation that’s turning negative than to engage and end up spinning more toxic garbage into the air. If you were to, instead, focus on keeping your smile firmly in place, you’d be better equipped to influence the grumps around you into trying to find an ounce of happiness.

“Daniel, this doesn’t seem very lovey… ‘Eliminate’ sounds pretty harsh!”

I know… I know. What I ask isn’t easy. I’m not asking you to shun all the negative people and run away from anyone frowning. I know how difficult it can be to sever ties that are no longer benefiting your happiness. I’m asking you to focus more on the relationships and connections you make that will bring smiles to your heart. Be aware of people that you like. Enjoy the smile that crawls over your face when you see someone that makes you genuinely laugh. Have fun with those smiling beautiful faces! Be around them so much that you don’t even think about those old negative people from the unhappy days.

Locking your smile and your happiness in place is a process, but it doesn’t have to be a negative process. The smiles I’ve experienced being around people and the honest love I’ve been shown from random strangers is astounding!

Find the people that restore your faith in humanity. Be around someone that surprises you with how kind they are. Smile to strangers… They’re people too. Be helpful… Just because something isn’t your “job” doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be done. Do what needs to be done. Be an overwhelming happy force of nature! People should see you and immediately want the happiness you have. You should also be around people that make you feel the same way.

The happier your circle of relationships becomes, the more happiness you will see spreading farther and farther. The outreach for happiness is unending if people are willing to be open to it. It just takes a few small daily decisions to be aware of the smiles around you and to be a smile for someone else.

Connecting with the people around us is a beautiful thing and honestly what I feel like life is truly about. Finding the moments where you can connect with other human beings and find deep, meaningful happiness through that community. People can be wonderful. Focus on those people and the wonderful happiness will overflow.

(credit : thehappydaniel.wordpress.com)

Keep Your Friends Close, And People Who Irritate You Closer. Here’s Why.

This fun video, featuring Amish Shah, shows how changing your mindset about the people you find most irritating can actually bring light to characteristics you find most important and could improve upon, AND help you release beliefs and conditioning that no longer serve you.

Plus, there’s an excellent exercise for you to try (min 3:41), and you’ll be surprised at how simple and effective it is!

Food and your life stages

 

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Our nutritional requirements change as we move through different life stages. Adolescence, pregnancy, lactation, menopause and ageing all place extra demands on the body. These demands need to be met by our daily diet to maintain the best of health. 

To meet your body’s regular nutritional needs, you should consume:

  • A wide variety of nutritious foods
  • Water on a daily basis
  • Enough kilojoules for energy, with carbohydrates as the preferred source
  • Adequate protein for cell maintenance and repair
  • Fat-soluble and water-soluble vitamins
  • Essential minerals such as iron, calcium and zinc
  • Foods containing plant-derived phytochemicals, which may protect against heart disease, diabetes, some cancers, arthritis and osteoporosis.

A varied diet that concentrates on fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, dairy foods and lean meats can meet these basic requirements.

Babies – birth to six months of age

Infants usually double their length and triple their weight between birth and one year of age. Breastmilk generally supplies a baby with the required amounts of nutrients, fluids and energy up to about six months of age. It is recommended that infants be exclusively breastfed up to around six months of age.

Breastmilk is preferred to infant formula where possible, as it contains many protective and immunological factors that benefit the baby’s development. Fruit juice is not recommended for infants under the age of six months.

Breastmilk or correctly prepared infant formula provides enough water for a healthy infant to replace any water losses. However, all infants need extra water once solid foods are introduced.

Food for babies – six to 12 months of age

Solids should be introduced around six months of age to meet the infant’s increasing nutritional and developmental needs. However, breastfeeding should continue until twelve months of age and beyond, or for as long as the mother and child desire.

Different societies have their own traditions about which food is more appropriate to start feeding a baby with. Culturally appropriate foods and preparation methods should be encouraged when these are nutritionally adequate. 

As a baby is gradually weaned from the breast or bottle and new solids are introduced, there may be reduced body stores of iron. To maintain nutrient body stores:

  • Give your baby foods that are rich in iron and zinc, such as iron-enriched infant cereals, pureed meats and poultry dishes, cooked plain tofu and legumes/soy beans/lentils. Iron-enriched rice-based cereals are frequently recommended as the first food to be introduced, as there is the additional benefit of a lower risk of an allergic reaction.
  • Foods can be introduced in any order, provided the texture is suitable for the infant’s stage of development. Foods range from fruits and vegetables (for vitamin and mineral content) to meat, poultry, fish and whole eggs..
  • Do not add salt, sugar or honey to your baby’s food. It is unnecessary.
  • Avoid cow’s milk as a drink in the first 12 months. Small amounts can be used in cereals and custards. All milk used should be pasteurised.
  • Whole fruit is preferable to fruit juice. Avoid juices and sugar sweetened drinks.
  • Put an infant to bed without a bottle, or take the bottle away when the infant has finished feeding to minimise long-term exposure of their teeth to sugar-containing liquids.
  • Avoid whole nuts, seeds or similar hard foods to reduce the risk of choking.
  • Introduce foods one at a time. Offer new foods once every three to four days to avoid confusion and to rule out food allergy and sensitivity.
  • Feed babies during any illness and feed up after illness. Give ample liquids if your baby has diarrhoea.
  • Occasional exposure of the skin to sunlight is usually enough to provide a baby’s vitamin D requirements, but this does vary from season to season and with skin colour.

Food for young children

Once a child is eating solids, offer a wide range of foods to ensure adequate nutrition. Young children are often picky with food, but should be encouraged to eat a wide variety of foods. Trying again with new foods may be needed for a child to accept that food. As many as eight to fifteen times may be needed. 

During childhood, children tend to vary their food intake (spontaneously) to match their growth patterns. Children’s food needs vary widely, depending on their growth and their level of physical activity. Like energy needs, a child’s needs for protein, vitamins and minerals increase with age.

Ideally, children should be accumulating stores of nutrients in preparation for the rapid growth spurt experienced during adolescence. Appropriate weight gain and development will indicate whether food intake is appropriate.

Food-related problems for young children include overweight, obesity, tooth decay and food sensitivities. 

Recommendations include:

  • If a child is gaining inappropriate weight for growth, limit energy-dense, nutrient-poor snack foods. Increase your child’s physical activity. You could also limit the amount of television watching.
  • Tooth decay can be prevented with regular brushing and visits to the dentist. Avoid sugary foods, especially if sticky or acidic.
  • Ensure your child has enough fluids, especially water. Fruit juices should be limited.
  • Reduced-fat milks are not recommended for children under the age of two, due to increased energy requirements and high growth rate at this age.
  • Be aware of foods most likely to cause allergic reactions, including peanuts, shellfish and cow’s milk. Be particularly careful if there is a family history of food allergy.

Food for children entering their teenage years

The growth spurt as children move into adolescence needs plenty of kilojoules and nutrients. For girls, this generally occurs around 10 to 11 years of age. For boys it occurs later, at around 12 to 13 years. 

Recommendations include:

  • The extra energy required for growth and physical activity needs to be obtained from foods that also provide nutrients instead of just ‘empty calories’.
  • Takeaway and fast foods need to be balanced with nutrient-dense foods such as wholegrain breads and cereals, fruits, legumes, nuts, vegetables, fish and lean meats.
  • Milk, yoghurt and cheese (mostly reduced fat) should be included to boost calcium intake – this is especially important for growing bones. Cheese should preferably be a lower salt variety.
  • Adolescent girls should be particularly encouraged to consume milk and milk products.

Older teenagers and young adults

Moving away from home, starting work or study, and the changing lifestyle that accompanies the late teens and early 20s can cause dietary changes that are not always beneficial for good health. 

Recommendations include:

  • Make a deliberate effort to keep physically active.
  • Limit alcohol intake.
  • Reduce the amount of fats and salt in the daily diet.
  • Be careful to include foods rich in iron and calcium.
  • Establish healthy eating habits that will be carried on into later life.

Food for pregnant women

A pregnant woman should concentrate on increasing her nutrient intake, rather than her kilojoule intake, particularly in the first and second trimesters. In Australia, pregnant women are expected to gain about 10 to 13 kg during pregnancy. However, this depends on the pre-pregnancy weight of the mother. 

Recommendations include:

  • Not ‘crash dieting’, as this can have a negative impact on the baby.
  • Not ‘eating for two’, as this will lead to unnecessary weight gain. A healthy pregnancy only requires about an extra 850 to 1,100 kilojoules a day during the second and third trimester, which is equivalent to a glass of milk or a sandwich.
  • Concentrate on diet quality rather than quantity.
  • Accommodate cravings, but don’t let them replace more nutritious foods.
  • Nutrients for which there are increased requirements during pregnancy include folate, iron and iodine.
  • Iron is required for oxygen transport in the body. Iron supplements can be advised by your doctor during pregnancy, but do not take them unless your doctor recommends them. Increasing vitamin C intake can help increase iron absorption from foods.
  • Folate is important three months before and in the first trimester of pregnancy to avoid neural tube defects (like spina bifida) in the baby. All women of childbearing age should eat high-folate foods (such as green leafy vegetables, fruits and legumes) or take a folate supplement (remember to talk to your doctor first). It is now mandatory for all bread-making flour to be fortified with folic acid (a form of folate that is added to foods). This will help women reach their recommended intake of folate.
  • Iodine is important for normal growth and development of the baby. Iodine supplements are often advised during pregnancy to meet the increased needs as food sources (such as seafood, iodised salt and bread) are unlikely to provide enough iodine. Speak to your doctor.
  • The recommended intake of calcium does not specifically increase during pregnancy. It is, however, very important that pregnant women do meet calcium requirements during pregnancy.
  • No one knows the safe limit of alcohol consumption during pregnancy. Recommendations are to not drink at all.
  • Pregnant women are advised to avoid foods that are associated with increased risk of the listeria bacteria (such as soft cheese and cold seafood) and to be careful with foods that are more likely to contain mercury (such as certain fish. such as flake).
  • Being physically active has many benefits. If you are active and fit, and are experiencing a normal pregnancy, you can remain physically active during your pregnancy. Otherwise, consult your doctor for advice.
  • Drink plenty of fluids.
  • Do not smoke – both direct and passive smoking is associated with growth retardation, increased risk of spontaneous abortion, stillbirths, placental complications and low birth weight.

Food for breastfeeding mothers

Breastfeeding mothers need a significant amount of extra energy to cope with the demands of breastfeeding. This extra energy should come in the form of nutrient-dense foods to help meet the extra nutrient requirements that also occur when breastfeeding. Vegan mothers who are breastfeeding (and during pregnancy) should take a vitamin B12 supplement.

Recommendations include:

  • Eat enough food – breastfeeding burns through extra kilojoules.
  • Eat foods that are nutrient dense – especially those foods that are rich in folate, iodine, zinc and calcium.
  • Eat and drink regularly – breastfeeding may increase the risk of dehydration and cause constipation. Fluid needs are approximately 750 – 1000 ml a day above basic needs.
  • Women should continue to avoid drinking alcohol while breastfeeding.

Food for menopausal women

Thinning of the bones is common in postmenopausal women because of hormone-related changes. 

Recommendations include:

  • Eat foods rich in calcium – such as milk or, if necessary, take calcium supplements as prescribed by a doctor.
  • Weight-bearing exercises – such as walking or weight training can strengthen bones and help maintain a healthy body weight.
  • A high-fibre, low-fat and low-salt diet – a diet high in phytoestrogens has been found to reduce many symptoms of menopause, such as hot flushes. Good food sources include soy products (tofu, soymilk), chickpeas, flax seeds, lentils, cracked wheat and barley.
  • A variety of wholegrain, nutrient-dense food – whole grains, legumes and soy-based foods (such as tofu, soy and linseed cereals), fruits and vegetables, and low-fat dairy products.

Food for older people

Many people eat less as they get older – this can make it harder to make sure your diet has enough variety to include all the nutrition you need. 

Recommendations include:

  • Be as active as possible to encourage your appetite and maintain muscle mass.
  • Remain healthy with well-balanced eating and regular exercise.
  • Eat foods that are nutrient dense rather than energy dense, including eggs, lean meats, fish, liver, low-fat dairy foods, nuts and seeds, legumes, fruit and vegetables, wholegrain breads and cereals.
  • If possible, try to spend some time outside each day to boost your vitamin D synthesis for healthy bones.
  • Limit foods that are high in energy and low in nutrients such as cakes, sweet biscuits and soft drinks.
  • Choose foods that are naturally high in fibre to encourage bowel health.
  • Limit the use of table salt, especially during cooking.
  • Choose from a wide variety of foods and drink adequate fluids.
  • Share mealtimes with family and friends.