Category Archives: Fun

Morning Routines: Fun Stuff!


Copyright 2015 Artisans Workshop Designs

 

Yesterday we explored the idea of what if we added “fun stuff” to the serious stuff that we already do such as meditating and exercise. Today, let’s list fun things we can do.

 

~Blow bubbles

As you know, right now this is one of my go-to fun activities.

 

~Singing any old which way you feel like it in the moment

This was offered by a long-time reader of this blog.   This is a great way to oxygenate your system, a fun way to move around and get a little exercise, and you can’t help but feel better after singing at the top of his/her lungs!  🙂

 

~Taking the time to make a delicious breakfast

This was suggested by a friend of mine who enjoys home cooking but doesn’t always take the time to make breakfasts she loves such as pancakes, waffles, and vegetable scrambled eggs.

 

~Sitting outside with a cup of coffee and reading the newspaper

A neighbor offered this one.  He has a small “grove” of pine trees and in it nestled an Adirondack chair.  Now with it lighter in the mornings, he sometimes sneaks out there to read for a few minutes before heading off to work.

 

~Reading in a fun book

A young mother who does a lot of technical reading for her job loves to wake up a little early and read her latest fun book–or mind candy book, as she calls it!  🙂

 

~Doodling

An artist friend of mine enjoys doodling first thing in the morning.  She doodles shapes, symbols, or random strokes; sometimes she uses graphite pencils and sometimes she used magic markers or crayons.

 

~Origami

A friend of mine has a high pressure management position and she likes to fold origami.  In the mornings when she does it, the activity becomes a meditation for her.  And afterward, not only is her soul nourished but she has a pretty flower or animal to show for the efforts, which boosts her spirits.  And the origami also boosts the spirits of the person she gives it away to.  Cool!

 

~Ironing

I know what you’re thinking:  what the heck is ironing doing on this list of fun activities to do in the morning?!  Believe it or not, I have a friend who enjoys ironing early in the morning.  She likes that it lends itself to meditation.  She also likes the smell of the hot iron on the cotton fabric–it connects her to her childhood and memories of her mother.  And she and her family have crisply pressed clothes in the bargain!

 

 

As you can see, there are a variety of different activities. The common thread through them all is pleasure.  Each of these activities weren’t something that the person had to do; they were activities that the person chose to do for the simple fact that it gave them pleasure.

Feel free to share the activities you enjoy doing in the morning. Thanks!  Remember to add them to your morning routine!

Your Friend and Pep Pal,

Lauren

Morning Routines: What If…?

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Last week we talked about James Allen’s recommendation that we get up when our alarm clock first rings. He claimed that this simple act strengthens our will, leading to self-mastery, which is the cornerstone of a successful and fulfilling life.

This got me to thinking a little deeper about morning routines. We all have one, whether it’s something regimented or if it’s a fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants, we all have certain things we do in the morning to get us up and going and out the door, reasonably on time.

When we think of the phrase “morning routine” it conjures up serious activities such as meditating and exercising. These are great activities and they certainly are worthy of being included in our morning routine, but what if we also included some “fun stuff”?

How would it make us feel to give ourselves enough time to sit quietly outside with our morning coffee or tea and watch the sunrise? What kind of a boost would it give our spirits?

How about scheduling in time for us to do something that’s totally indulgent and even frivolous for ourselves: practicing magic tricks, learning how to juggle, playing the kazoo, learning how to do handstands, or my favorite activity of practicing our bubble blowing technique?

Do you think this would put a spring in our steps and get us off to a happy start in our day?

I think so! I also think it’s worth a shot!

Let me know what totally indulgent and frivolous things you like to do. No worries if you can’t think of anything. Tomorrow we’ll talk about a few things you can do.

Enjoy!

Your Friend and Pep Pal,

Lauren

After the Alarm Rings, Add Some Fun!

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We’ve been talking all week about James Allen’s recommendation to get up once our alarm clock first rings. We’ve talked about tasks and activities that would add to getting a great start on the day. Some of the suggestions were to exercise, meditate, study the industry in which we’re employed, and the like.

All the activities don’t have to be serious! We can add fun things, too. If you enjoy knitting, you can spend a little time in the morning looking through pattern books or creating a pattern of your own. You can look at gardening catalogs or woodworking journals if those are your hobbies.

The activity can be totally frivolous, too. Here’s a video of me enjoying one of my favorite past-times, blowing bubbles!


Let me know in the comments below about the fun you’re having!

Enjoy!

Your Friend and Pep Pal,
Lauren

Exciting Week Ahead! How’s it Going!

 

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“…I wonder what’s going to happen exciting today.”  said Piglet.

 

This week we’re meeting the challenge of waking every morning with Piglet’s quote in mind and then keeping on the lookout for the “exciting happenings”.

What fun and happy and exciting things have happened to you so far?  Feel free to share in the comments below!

Here’s how Piglet’s quote is working for me so far:

On Sunday, I was more productive than I thought I’d be. I started out overwhelmed with all that was on my To Do list but I ended the day feeling very good about how much I actually accomplished.  Although there were many things still on my To Do list, I was able to cross off more than I had anticipated.  Yippee!

On Monday, not only did I enjoy Mother Nature’s splendor on the way to and from work, but I had a little bit of down-time that I wasn’t expecting. I filled this with reading a few chapters in a book I’m reading for pleasure.  I was particularly happy about using the free time to read because I usually have to wait for the weekend in order to squeeze in an hour or two.  Yay!

Today, I’m planning to help the “exciting happening” along by treating myself to a small ice cream cone from a local vendor. It’s a delayed May Day celebration treat!  😉  I’m still going to keep open to any happy surprises that pop up today.  WooHoo!

Let me know how you’re doing on your exciting happenings each day. Thanks!

Your Friend and Pep Pal,

Lauren

Irish Blessings and Sayings for a Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

 

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May the blessing of light be upon you,
Light on the outside,
Light on the inside.

With God’s sunlight shining on you,
May your heart glow with warmth,
Like a turf fire
that welcomes friends and strangers alike.

May the light of the Lord shine from your eyes,
Like a candle in the window,
Welcoming the weary traveller.

 

May God give you…
For every storm, a rainbow,
For every tear, a smile,
For every care, a promise,
And a blessing in each trial.
For every problem life sends,
A faithful friend to share,
For every sigh, a sweet song,
And an answer for each prayer.

 

 

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If God sends you down a stony path,
may he give you strong shoes.

 

May love and laughter light your days,
and warm your heart and home.
May good and faithful friends be yours,
wherever you may roam.
May peace and plenty bless your world
with joy that long endures.
May all life’s passing seasons
bring the best to you and yours!

 

Here’s to a fellow who smiles
When life runs along like a song.
And here’s to the lad who can smile
When everything goes dead wrong.

 

 

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May you see God’s light on the path ahead
When the road you walk is dark.
May you always hear,
Even in your hour of sorrow,
The gentle singing of the lark.
When times are hard may hardness
Never turn your heart to stone,
May you always remember
when the shadows fall—
You do not walk alone.

 

May you live as long as you want,
And never want as long as you live.

 

May the saddest day of your future be no worse
Than the happiest day of your past.

 

 

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Double-Rainbow.jpg

Always remember to forget
The things that made you sad.
But never forget to remember
The things that made you glad.

Always remember to forget
The friends that proved untrue.
But never forget to remember
Those that have stuck by you.

Always remember to forget
The troubles that passed away.
But never forget to remember
The blessings that come each day.

 

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Do not resent growing old.
Many are denied the privilege.

 

May the saddest day of your future be no worse
Than the happiest day of your past.

 

May the most you wish for
Be the least you get.

 

 

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Original_caption-_A_couple_of_hearty_characters_roar_at_a_good_joke_Art.IWMARTLD135c.jpg

Grant me a sense of humor, Lord,
The saving grace to see a joke,
To win some happiness from life,
And pass it on to other folk.

 

 

 

May your troubles be less

And your blessings be more.
And nothing but happiness
Come through your door.

 

May you have the hindsight to know where you’ve been
the foresight to know where you’re going
and the insight to know when you’re going too far.

 

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May there be spring enough in your life
to outlast the winters;
May there be guitars (and drums) enough
to lift your spirits whenever you need it;
May you be gentle enough to comfort those who are hurting,
But revolutionary enough to bring heaven to those who need it now.
May there always be a leprechaun near you
to bring out laughter and dance with the child in you.
And may God always have room enough for you in the palm of his hand!

 

I hope you enjoyed these.  If there is one that resonated with you, keep it handy to refer to often.

Your Friend and Pep Pal,

Lauren

 

A Meaningful Life: Self-Actualizing, Purpose-Driven, a Meaningful Life—How they Work Together

https://pixabay.com/en/clasped-hands-comfort-hands-people-541849/
https://pixabay.com/en/clasped-hands-comfort-hands-people-541849/

 

We’ve talked a little bit about self-actualizing versus a purpose-driven live versus a meaningful life. I discovered a book that does a good job of explaining their relationship to one another: The Power of Meaning: Crafting a Life That Matters by Emily Esfahani Smith.

According to the author, purpose is what you’re driven to do—your mission in life. Meaning is the reason why it’s important to you, why you must do it. Self-actualization is fully using your talents, skills, and abilities, as well as delving deeper to discover the hidden treasures within. It’s by these attributes working together that one builds a life that matters, where the person feels that he/she is making a difference in the world.

This thought of leading a purpose-driven and meaningful life seems daunting. We think of Mother Teresa, Martin Luther King Jr., and other notable and famous people involved in great humanitarian works.

But it doesn’t have to be this way.

http://www.publicdomainpictures.net/view-image.php?image=25734&picture=child-and-books
http://www.publicdomainpictures.net/view-image.php?image=25734&picture=child-and-books

One of the librarians at the town library is well past retirement age yet she’s compelled to keep working at the library. She delights in introducing patrons to new authors or book genres; it makes her feel good to help patrons select books that can comfort them or increase their knowledge or improve their lives. She derives a lot of satisfaction from her job.

It isn’t always easy for her. Sometimes patrons can be a pain in the neck, other times it’s the library board and the hair-brained ideas they want implemented, and then there’s the town with their unending pressure to reduce expenses…. In spite of these challenges and annoyances, she’s happy. She feels useful and that her life matters because she’s helping others enrich their lives. She has a purpose—a reason to get out of bed in the morning; she’s making a difference.

The librarian’s renown is nowhere near that of Mother Teresa’s, however, the librarian is living as rich, as rewarding, and as meaningful of a life as Mother Teresa did.

Copyright 2014 Artisans Workshop Designs
Copyright 2014 Artisans Workshop Designs

I also know of a woman who has a lovely garden every year. She derives a lot of satisfaction and happiness from selecting the right plants for a particular area, coordinating the colors and the blooming times of the flowers she plants so that there’s always something blooming in her garden. It’s only her family and a few neighbors seem to benefit from the results of her labors—she isn’t a member of the garden club, she doesn’t participate in competitions or enter her garden into the annual house and garden tours. But she’s fulfilled and content—her life has meaning and direction. And joy.

Every year, a local father-daughter team has a booth at our local Village Fair Days where they sell their handcrafted birdhouses. Their little business started out as the father’s desire to reconnect with his daughter who was grown with a family of her own. He remembered times he and his daughter fed the birds at home when she was a child and, one thing led to another, and they now have this little business of making delightfully whimsical birdhouses.

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Sialia_sialis
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Sialia_sialis

Whether they make a lot of money or not is beside the point. The point is that they’ve reconnected by rekindling their love of birding. And, they now get to share that interest and love with other fathers, daughters, sons, and mothers. They have meaning, direction, sharing, enjoyment, and lots of love in their lives.

When you think of your own life and how to make it meaningful, don’t think you have to “go big or go home”. You can be like the librarian, my friend the gardener, and the father-daughter team and keep your efforts local.

Are there small ways you can add meaning and purpose to your life? Feel free to share in the comments below. Thanks! Tomorrow we’ll talk a little more about ways to add meaning into your life right here and right now.

Your Friend and Pep Pal,

Lauren

A Meaningful Life: What Does That Mean?!

 

As I mentioned in my first ever video (!!) , this week we’re going to be talking about A Meaningful Life.

You might remember a few months ago we talked about self-actualization as described by Abraham Maslow’s Hierarchy of Need. According to Maslow, humans have needs that can be pictured as a pyramid with the wide bottom level being concerned with fulfilling survival needs such as adequate shelter and enough food to eat, and the top level being all about self-actualization.

I’ve been thinking about this quite a bit and, while I didn’t do any kind of scientific study, my observations have indicated that no matter how successful we are or are not, no matter how old or young, and no matter where we live in the world, everyone is always interested in self-actualization. I’ve come to believe that we’re hard-wired to self-actualize regardless of our life situation, condition, or location. It seems to me that this urge is part and parcel of our survival instinct, which makes it just as important to us as finding enough food to eat, having adequate shelter, and keeping ourselves warm and safe.

https://pixabay.com/en/i-love-myself-text-words-love-me-417267/
https://pixabay.com/en/i-love-myself-text-words-love-me-417267/

All of us, from the moment we’re born until the time we leave this earth, want to live life on our own terms. We want to be individuals—unique, one-of-a-kind, and irreplaceable. When we’re young, we feel ourselves brimming with untapped potential and each one of us wants to go to our grave totally spent—our gifts and talents completely used up—but, oh the experiences…the memories! The depth and richness of them will last us through eternity.

With our ever-present drive to self-actualize, I’ve wondered why Maslow put it at the top of the pyramid. Perhaps he did so because once the “lower” instincts are reasonably satisfied, we don’t have any distractions from this urge. Especially when we get to “a certain age”, typically once we enter the empty nest years, this need becomes nearly a force of nature—we can’t stop ourselves from thinking about it and striving for it, at least on some level.

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http://www.publicdomainpictures.net/view-image.php?image=65126&picture=background-647 & Artisan Workshop Designs

This is why it’s so important that we figure out what self-actualization, being purpose-driven, and living a meaningful life signifies to us.

As I said at the beginning of this post—and in my first ever video!—this is what we’ll be talking about all week. Come back and join the conversation!

As always, feel free to pass this post along to a friend. Thanks!

Your Friend and Pep Pal,

Lauren