10 TOP Tips to Keep You Happy!

Happy Header

With so much going on in the daily life of the average Joe, it is hard to stay motivated.  We sometimes feel beaten down by society and all the things we occupy ourselves with, voluntary or involuntary.

This can range from commuting, work, school runs, to housework, helping the kids with homework, cooking and finding precious time to unwind — which usually ends  up with us watching TV. But how can we manage our time better to incorporate the things we long to do but feel we have no time for?

Here are 10 tips to get you excited and keep you motivated to enjoy living another day:

1. Quality Sleep

New Divine You CoverThis is one of the most important things you can gift yourself and your family with.  Make space in your night-time schedule to start winding down at least 1 hour prior to going to bed.  You can light some calming, soothing essential oils, such as lavender and chamomile — will assist in good, sound sleep.  You can have a warm, milky drink or some herbal tea.  Switch off all radios and TV’s that are keeping you engaged in noise and ‘action’.  Instead, you can read that book you’ve been promising yourself or listen to some relaxing music.  All of these things can aid you into an alpha brain wave state, which allows your mind to relax and disconnect.  You must avoid falling asleep on a full stomach or, even worse, falling asleep with the TV on.  Your mind still takes in everything it hears, even whilst asleep, and having the TV on will not only disrupt your sleep but possibly cause you to have nightmares.

2. Berry Boost

With a good nights sleep tucked safely under your belt, what better way to start your morning off with than a berry smoothie?  This is quick and easy to make and will give your system a boost of sustainable energy.  These smoothies keep me going for about 4-5 hours.  They are great for your skin too, berries have anti-aging properties and the calcium is good for your bones, ladies!  A quick recipe I use is (for one 500ml serving):  Take 2 handfuls of mixed, frozen berries (or fresh if you like, I like the frozen ones because they give a kind of ‘crushed ice’ effect), 2 squirts of Stevia, 4 tablespoons of plain yoghurt and top up with some milk.  Blend and drink your way to vitality and well-being!

3. Time Productivity

Use your time wisely.  If you commute to work by public service, take this opportunity to meditate or read.  Make it ‘you’ time.  If you can, it is great to shut your eyes in the morning and the evening (could be on your way to or from work  if you are traveling by public service) — for just 10-20 minutes at a time — to meditate and clear your mind.  This will benefit you in more ways than you can imagine.  It also gives you a break from the mind chatter or what I like to call ‘white noise’.  This allows more productive thoughts through instead of the useless and incessant worry that can clog up the mind.

4. Breathing

Huh?  Don’t I do this automatically?  Yes, but most people are in the habit of shallow breathing.  You need to oxygenate your body for optimum productivity and chi (vital force).  Try to, at least every hour, breath in to the count of 5, hold it to the count of 5 and exhale to the count of 5.  This will give you a boost during the day.

Read related article:

5 Easy Steps to Meditating (No Lotus Position Required)

5. Let Loose

This is an integral step for you to de-stress after a long day. Explore an activity that is tantamount to letting the ‘inner child’ out to play.  I find it really helpful to put on some upbeat music and have a sing-song and dance around the house.  Get your groove on and invite your family to join in.  You can do this for just 30 minutes and it is a really fun way to get moving and to unwind.  The best part is you also get a great workout — physically and vocally!  Let your inner diva shine!

6. Keep it Clean

This is a macrocosm/microcosm thing — it affects the inside and the outside world.  When you have a neat, tidy and clean home and/or office, you are happier.  When you have a clean, refreshed body, you are happier.  I have to tell you about my dog.  She hates her bath, as do so many of our canine counterparts, but after she has been through this torturous activity, she runs around the garden like a dog-reborn — smiling, barking and just generally frolicking like a pup.  Bath-time also equates to going for a walk (which she does regularly) but when she walks after her bath, she has a spring in her step and a wag in her tail that is much more noticeable.  This is a great metaphor for how we feel when our bodies are bathed (make your bath-time a treat too — get some nice smelly soaps and bubble-bath and make it an event) and our houses or offices are spic-and-span and organized.

7. Eat Well

Another part of keeping it clean, is keeping the inside of your sacred body clean and invest in a detox every now and again.  Or better still, make it a daily habit to eat healthy fresh foods.  You know the kind I’m talking about so I’m not going to go into detail.  This is a no-brainer, you are what you eat.  Keep it fresh, colourful and simple and your system will be alive and vibrant, leaving you feeling energized and ready to take on the world.  Have you noticed how sluggish you feel when you’ve pigged out on a burger and chips?  Yeah?  Well, you need to get real about what you are putting in and perhaps compare that to what you are getting out!  You may have a Porsche but you can’t run it on horse manure.

8. Creative Space

This is really important.  We all need to express ourselves creatively, no matter if it takes the form of art, writing, decorating, drawing, constructing/ building, etc.  It is hugely beneficial to give yourself some time and a quiet space to be creative.  If it is once a day, that is great.  If you can’t fit it in daily then at least allocate yourself a good few days of the week to squeeze in 2-3 hours of creative expression time.  You can even make this a family activity where everyone gets time out to do something fun.  It will teach you and your family the benefit of taking care of your own needs in an unselfish and productive way.

Read related article:

9 Great Reasons for Getting Creative (No Artistic Experience Needed)

9. Gratitude

Take time out, especially with your family, to give thanks for all that you  do have in your life right now.  This can be over a meal, as is commonly practiced in the saying of Grace.  I am not a religious person but I do see the benefits of giving thanks.  This could also be done in your quiet time in the bath, or whilst you are commuting, etc.  You can explain the benefits to your family and encourage them to also find a quiet minute or two to reflect on being grateful.  This feeds positivity and will nurture your good feelings ratio.

10. Reflect

When you find the space to reflect on your life, your goals and your dreams, you can keep the picture of your destiny clear and precise.  When you don’t take time out to ponder and to re-align with your intentions, you may lose sight of where you are headed.  You can sometimes slip into a stream that does not fit the destination of your dream.  Make a vision board where you can pin all the things you desire and all that you would like to manifest in your life experience.  Make sure you hold yourself accountable for taking action towards your goals and keep this board somewhere where you will see it every day.

What is most important of all is that you enjoy your journey, this life is precious and special and you can make each day an enjoyable experience.

If you catch yourself falling into boredom or despair, simply remind yourself that you can make a choice to re-align to a more joyful outlook — run through this checklist and see if there is anything you can do or improve on to bring you into a state of balance and fulfillment.

In the wise words of Eckhart Tolle, you can either be enthusiastic about what you are doing, enjoy what you are doing or accept what you are doing.  When you do not fall into any of these 3 categories you set yourself up for feeling resentment or frustration.

What do you find lifts your spirits?  Please share it in the comment box below. 😀

Original article was written by Cherie Roe Dirksen for Purpose Fairy: 10 Tips Designed to Keep You on Your Toes.

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Gardening Your Way to Zen

gardening-zen

It’s Time to Go Green!

  • Are you a gardener?
  • Do you like to be in nature?
  • Did you know it can be one of the most beneficial things you can do?

I was never really into gardening until we bought our first home. The garden (all 900m² of it!) was a bit of a wreck and there was (and is) much to be done.

“The glory of gardening: hands in the dirt, head in the sun, heart with nature. To nurture a garden is to feed not just on the body, but the soul.” — Alfred Austin

Two years down the line, hubby and I are still landscaping, planting and enjoying our time outdoors.

Instead of slipping into complete overwhelm at the task ahead, I took my father-in-laws advice and began small — doing one square meter at a time. Eating that elephant one bite at a time really worked and the benefits of seeing my garden now — in all it’s glory — are astounding!

6 Reasons to Get Your Shovel On

Not only does gardening give you a sense of:

  • accomplishment
  • joy
  • peace

But it also has several even more outstanding qualities in this helter skelter, fast-paced life we find ourselves fumbling in. Here are some of the main benefits:

  1. Creativity — you get to flex that creative muscle. You get to build garden beds and choose the right colors/plants for it. You get to plan and build water-features, walls, create bird-baths, pathways, stepping stones and a host of other fun things. I’ve started doing recycled garden projects too — you can find some great and easy ideas on Pinterest.
  2. Meditation — gardening is a great form of meditation — you don’t have to don a lotus position to meditate! Meditation can come in the form of weeding (weeding is like cleaning out your house/cupboards/garage — you get a great sense of relief as you declutter that lawn or veg patch), raking and pretty much any monotonous, mind-clearing garden activity. When you’re done clearing the yard — you can make a good, old-fashioned bonfire to burn the debris. There’s nothing more therapeutic than to have a cleansing, trans-inducing fire and watch those flames licking away at they sky. Why not write some new intentions/goals down on paper and offer them to the flames?
  3. Grounding — if and when you can, try garden barefoot or take your shoes off for a minute or two and stand on the grass. You connect with Mother Earth and it’s a great grounding exercise. Read more about grounding and its importance here: 8 Methods of Grounding and Connecting to the Earth’s Frequencies
  4. Exercise — gardening is an absolutely fantastic fitness activity. Heavy yard work (landscaping, moving rocks, hauling dirt) burns about 400-600 calories per hour. Raking and bagging leaves incinerates 350-450 calories per hour. General gardening like pulling weeds, planting flowers, etc. sears 200-400 calories per hour and mowing the lawn: 250-350 calories per hour. Not bad, eh?
  5. Zenning Out — when you’ve finished up your gardening and you relax in a deck chair with a cup of tea, there is a tremendous sense of ‘zen’ that washes over as you look out on your landscaping canvas of creation. You get to know all the creepy crawlies and birds in your space which gives you a real feeling of being in touch with nature and your surrounds. It get’s your heart chakra all riled up and pumping. Read related article: How to Use Your Heart Wisdom.
  6. Nourishment — gardening will not only nourish your soul, boost your vitamin D levels (if you’re lucky enough to have a bit of sun) and sense of well-being but can nourish your body too if you start a veg/fruit patch and/or a herb garden. There’s nothing better or more worth your time and effort than to start growing your own food. Revolution starts with everyone becoming self-sufficient in some form or another.

Don’t have a garden?

Start window box/balcony gardening. Here’s a great way to get you going — READ HERE and HERE. Or why not start a community garden? Go speak to your local representative and start your gardening revolution today!

You can even make use of your friends garden — they’ll love it if you come over and weed their garden! I’m forever inviting my friends to come and weed (haven’t had a taker yet though…don’t know why :/).

CRDCherie Roe Dirksen is a self-empowerment author, multi-media artist and musician from South Africa.

To date, she has published 3 self-help and motivational books and brings out weekly inspirational blogs at her site www.cherieroedirksen.com. Get stuck into finding your passion, purpose and joy by downloading some of those books gratis when you click HERE.

Her ambition is to help you to connect with your innate gift of creativity and living the life you came here to experience by taking responsibility for your actions and becoming the co-creator of your reality. You can follow Cherie on Facebook (The Art of Empowerment — for article updates). She also has just recently launched her official art Facebook page (Cherie Roe Dirksen – for new art updates).

Cherie posts a new article on CLN every Thursday. To view her articles, click HERE.

This article (Gardening Your Way to Zenwas originally written for and published bySUBSCRIBE icon 1 Conscious Life News and is published here under a Creative Commons license with attribution to the author Cherie Roe Dirksen and ConsciousLifeNews.com. It may be re-posted freely with proper attribution, author bio, and this Copyright/Creative Commons statement.


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The Lovers Bench by Cherie Roe Dirksen

“Happiness is an inside job” — William Arthur Ward

“Be happy with what you have and are, be generous with both, and you won’t have to hunt for happiness” — William E. Gladstone

The one thing most humans have in common is the desire to be happy. Although most people seek it as either a future event or something that has passed, never to be recaptured.

Happiness or fulfillment is not something we should really be striving for in some up-and-coming event — it’s something we’ve got to grab right now.

We’re bogged down with the false sense of happiness through attainment — the idea that money and things can buy our bliss.

“Happiness cannot be traveled to, owned, earned, worn or consumed.  Happiness is the spiritual experience of living every minute with love, grace, and gratitude.” — Denis Waitley  

Let’s take a look at some of the prime aspects that I think are worth kicking to the curb in the pursuit of happiness:

  1. Negative Self Talk — You simply cannot thrive on a negative inner dialogue.  Masaru Emoto fluidly demonstrated the effects of positive, indifferent and negative emotion on water (see more HERE).  We are made up of approximately 55-65% water (depending on your age and sex), so can you imagine what negative thoughts are doing to your body?  If you’ve got nothing nice to say to yourself, say nothing at all.  Stop yourself when you notice the negative gremlins popping up.  Ask yourself if there’s something more encouraging to affirm. For example, say you’re thinking ‘I’m such a loser’.  You can redirect that to, ‘I try my best’, or, ‘There are some things I get right’.
  2. Self Loathing — There is no space for anything but self love if you want a fulfilling existence.  The type of self love I’m referring to is anything but selfish or narcissistic — it’s necessary.  You can’t expect other people to love you if you don’t have love, honour and respect for your self.  This kind of love is cultivated from an innate knowing that you are a complete and divine piece of universal energy (or God/the Force/fill in the blank here). It doesn’t need to rehash the past or beat itself over the head a million times for past mistakes or inadequacies — it is the wholeness of self realization (your ‘I Am’ presence). For more on this topic, please read ‘3 Crucial Steps to Self Acceptance’.
  3. Fear —  There are things much more important than fear and we’ve got to wake up and walk through the fear to get to them. Fear is a grand threshold guardian — you can either sit at the gate, dig your heels in and go no further or you can cock your hat as you pass on through. As Jim Morrison so eloquently put it, ‘Expose yourself to your deepest fear; after that, fear has no power, and the fear of freedom shrinks and vanishes. You are free.’  Try to see fear as the rumblings of an earthquake that is about to shake you out of your comfort zone into an infinity of possibility.  When you walk through your fears there is only space left to be — when you are in this state, happiness or fulfillment is all that is left to experience.
  4. Service to Self — The greatest amount of happiness is achieved when we are not only seeing to our own joy but when we are helping others to find their well of happiness — service to others.  Throw out the need to trample on others in indulgence of your own whims.  We’re all in this life together — we should work in symbiosis with each other.  What affects one affects us all.

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?’ Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”   — Marianne Williamson

And in parting, here are some beautiful words from John Lennon that wrap this up nicely:

“There are two basic motivating forces: fear and love. When we are afraid, we pull back from life. When we are in love, we open to all that life has to offer with passion, excitement, and acceptance. We need to learn to love ourselves first, in all our glory and our imperfections. If we cannot love ourselves, we cannot fully open to our ability to love others or our potential to create. Evolution and all hopes for a better world rest in the fearlessness and open-hearted vision of people who embrace life.”   

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Finding a Reason to Smile Every Day

Mona by Cherie Roe Dirksen

“You can always alter your reality at any time.”

Owning Your Power

You’re probably familiar with the saying ‘what you think you create’ but how can you seriously filter every bad thought? Surely it’s a struggle worthy of giving up on before you even get started?

Certainly not.

There’s only one person responsible for what you think and do and that’s you. If the thought of being the creator of your reality scares the willies out of you, then read on…

The Freedom to Be Happy

“Emotions back your thoughts into manifestation.”

Can you remember learning how to swim or ride a bike? Can you see how determined you were to succeed because you knew the pay-off was going to be huge?

You may have started off with water-wings, splashing about aimlessly— gulping in water — or peddling your heart out whilst trying to maintain your balance even with the training wheels on! But that child never gave up.

Then what came next once the wheels were removed? Probably scrapes and bruises the first week but did that deter you? Did you give up then? Probably not. You wanted to ride! You were hell-bent on feeling the wind on your face and the freedom that would bring with it.

Same goes for swimming — gliding about in the water refreshes and frees your body of weight. You knew that swimming was going to be the biggest trip ever!

Where am I going with this? Your thoughts need training wheels/water-wings if you want to experience the same freedom from negative thought. And here’s how you’re going to do it…

Getting Real Right NOW

Here are a few things you can start to do today to become more aware and proactive with your thoughts:

  • Morning Motivation — When you wake up, give yourself 5-10 minutes to think about what how you want to see this day play out. See if you can catch any worrisome or negative thoughts before they take hold of the exercise. Put up a STOP sign in your mind and gently kick those blighters to the curb. Then bring your focus back to visualizing your positive day ahead. Try to smile and see/feel yourself enjoying this bright new day. Emotions back your thoughts into manifestation.
  • Mind Mangle Cleanse — During the day (if you are but a mere mortal) you will probably find yourself slipping into worry, blame, anger, despair and an array of other harmful mind banter. You may even find that your head is throbbing because of all the distorted ‘mind mangling’ that’s going on up there. Here’s your chance to hold up that STOP sign again and see if you can look at things from a different perspective. Most of what we worry about never comes to pass and most judgments/situations when seen from a different angle can evoke empathy instead of anger. See if you can alchemize your thinking — in other words, find the treasure in the trash.
  • Marrying the Mind — When you start to get a hold on your thought stream and just how much power you DO have over it, you can start to have a better relationship with your thinking. You are now in control and you can focus your inner dialogue on what serves you instead of calling in all the unwanted experiences. Start your affirmations off with a strong ‘I am…’. For example ‘I am going to have a great day today’, ‘I am going to have a safe trip’, etc. Try avoid the phrases ‘I desire’ or ‘I want’ because it only brings more desiring and wanting for the future. When you use ‘I am’ it is in the present tense and is happening right now not in some future timeline.
  • Re-Member — We often get lost in ‘doing’ and not ‘being’. Try to remember all the things that make you happy and bring you joy. When you smile the world smiles with you. So, remember to feel gratitude for life, nature and the people that make your world spin. Look at every magnificent dawn or sunset as a blessing, every fragrant flower or birdsong as a gift, every smile or hug as a gesture of love and draw on those experiences when you’re in a negative frame of mind. See if you can remove yourself from a negative situation and sit under a tree or listen to some soothing music. Seek out those small but beautiful moments in your life and embrace them. Hold them close to your chest and bring them out when you need to. It’s bound to make you smile. You can always alter your reality at any time. Don’t forget that. If you choose to stay in the gloom, then just know that ‘this too shall pass’.
  • Over and Out — At the end of the day, review what happened and see if you can pick out any situations that you have turned around in reality. Did you manage to have a good day? Did things turn out like you affirmed in the morning? Or close to? Or can you do better tomorrow? Keep trying and if you do see results it’s going to make you more determined — just like that little tike on the bicycle, gearing up for the next day’s practice. Because you know that practice makes perfect!

You will get a grip on your oh-so-powerful thought stream and you’ll be able to eventually steer those thoughts to benefit your life in ways that will make your head spin — in a good way!

Now it’s up to you to give yourself a reason to smile every day.

Article originally written by Cherie Roe Dirksen for Conscious Life News

Conscious Life News

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