To serve or not to serve that is the question?

My pantry had become a mess.  It was way past time for a cleanup. I checked the ‘best before’ date and found one from 1997! I have sorted one shelf and that is a great start.
A couple of my boys helped me and I gave them the job of fitting the spices into the new spice rack which was a lovely hand-me-down from my sister. It took them awhile. Tonight as my husband was putting some shopping away he commented:

“Josiah showed me the new spice rack.  He gave me the full tour explaining what went where and why. He was obviously very proud of what he had done.”

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Serving others is such a beautiful thing.  The researchers in Positive Psychology know that when we serve others, when we put others as more important than ourselves, then all sorts of positive emotions flow!

I came across this quote in my reading today:

“Has there been someone to whom you’ve been meaning to return to serve? Take steps today towards making it happen.”   (There is an interesting story that goes with it, take a look!)

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Photo Credit: mediafactory.org.au

Sometimes we have to purposely think to serve, while at other times it comes more easily.
With children we sometimes have to give them opportunities to serve and to ask them to help.
Serving is great for the soul!

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Photo Credit: Easternhillschurch.com

Bake a cake!

My beautiful Mum sometimes cuts out newspaper clippings that she thinks are of interest to me and she is usually spot on. In the last lot of readings there was one that I want to share with my fellow blog readers. It was in Mum’s local rag, ‘Southern Times Messenger’ on Wednesday October 30 this year, page 25.  It is written by Monique Bowley, titled ‘Baking enjoys its time in sun’.

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Photo Credit: familymealsandcookingtips.com

At the Royal Adelaide Show this year, there was a record number of baking entries, it seems that baking is on the rise! Bowley asks the question ‘why bake when you can just buy it?’

“We’re a wealthy country and frugality or homeliness has never been at the forefront of our frantic minds. We’re too busy getting it done.  Having it all.  Busyness has become an addiction – we wear it as a mark of worth – if I’m busy, I must be achieving.

Every day unconsciously we are filling our lives with a paralysing litany of options and information.  We’re told we can be whatever we want, have whatever we need.  Then whatever we are, we always want more. We’re pulled in a million different directions – we give, take and want of each other and we fill the gaping chasm of life with complexities and busyness and buying stuff.

It’s in the big issues that we feel helpless about and the small ones that wear us down.  We grind through work and life, the chaos of the weekday school run, the reams of mail that pile up, the deadlines and paperwork and forms and bills, the days grate on, and on the weekend we’re supposed to dream big and dance like no one is watching…..

Baking is the voice among the chaos that says: shut up. This gentle art is the perfect antidote to modern life.  It’s warm. It’s frugal. It’s resourceful. It makes the house smell like heaven and the sense of joy and achievement from a warm batch of home-baked muffins is like no other.

It’s simplicity is its strength.  Its requires concentration, yes and focus too…Lick the spoon.  Make a mess.  Put it in the oven and hope it turns out.  If it doesn’t, laugh it off, call it rustic and eat it anyway.”

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Photo Credit: lehighvalleymarketplace.com

Let’s get out the cake tins, the ingredients, the apron and turn the oven on!

Or, is there another activity that does the same for you?

Blow the cobwebs away!

Do you know the feeling? You’ve had a hard day at work, or a hard day at home with the kids, or just felt out of sorts, then you take a walk outside or a bike ride or run and find that things are not that bad after-all?

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Being outside and in ‘nature’ can help to get things back into perspective.

Now, living in a world of so much research, the scientists have proven it!

“According to environmental psychologists, exposure to nature offers a number of benefits:

  • Better health
  • Reduced stress
  • Faster recovery from illness and injury
  • Less aggression and violence
  • Improved memory and attention span
  • Higher test scores and graduation rates
  • More creativity

Richard Louv even coined the term Vitamin N to describe how the mind/body/nature connection can enhance physical and mental health.”

If you are interested to read more, here is the link  from Positive Psychology News Daily

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Photo Credit: wallaad.com

So, next time you feel overwhelmed or you notice that your kids or class need some ‘fresh air’, take the opportunity to get out and enjoy the sun on your face, the wind in your hair and take some deep breaths to help your general well-being.

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Photo Credit: dailyburn.com

Thought for the weekend.. number 2

This weekend I had a little trouble with my publishing! (Purely human error).  One blog got published which means the email subscribers received it and then I decided to change the photos and that blog then got lost! Thus, a second blog was written which I am now publishing!

Thank you so much, you email followers I really appreciate your support, and may you enjoy 2 thoughts for this weekend.

 

“Enjoy the little things in life for one day you will look back and realise they were the big things. (an anonymous saying)

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a thought for the weekend

This is the time I got up this morning! It wasn’t in my schedule but it still happened!

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It is grainy because it was so dark!!

It might not be that early for some, but it was 30 minutes earlier for me! I have started small and I felt quite proud of my small achievement!

How about you, have you started small on some habit you want to break?

I want to introduce a new idea to my blog – ‘a weekend thought’.

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Of all the positive emotions, love is the strongest one. May you be the giver and receiver of much love this weekend.

Only floss one tooth to start!

Yesterday I enjoyed an open conversation with a great teacher who is finding it frustrating to have a child in class who continually says no to doing school work.  As one would expect it is a complicated situation where the teacher is trying so many things. The thought came to me that there is little positive emotion happening when there is no sense of achievement for a child.

Last night I was doing some interesting reading on breaking habits (Transform your Habits – ebook –  jamesclear.com/transformyourhabits-2nd-edition) – a great read if you have time.  The book carefully looked at the need to start small.  The example was given if you want to start flossing your teeth, then you start one tooth at a time. This to me seemed ridiculous, but then the longer I thought about it, the more it made sense.

In my family I am always the last out of bed in the mornings and I have been badly wanting to change this. I keep telling myself ‘this week I will start to get up earlier’, but it never happens. After reading this e-book, I know I need to start small and plan it in my schedule. Thus I am planning to get up earlier on Wednesdays only (there, now I have committed to it publicly!) and then I will move on from that start.

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photo credit: library.thinkquest.org

Back to the child who is saying no to work. I wondered today if it might be a habit of not working and if so, what would happen if he was faced with a very small amount of work to do? Interesting.  Just a thought. If anyone is in a situation to try it, I would love to know if it works?

Habit breaking is a difficult thing, but starting small is a great idea. Bad habits we know we are caught in, can really effect our outlook on life.

It takes time to develop habits and it takes time to break them, but often we want it instantly. We need to hang in there, start small and schedule the change into our days.

 

slow down and give thanks

I recently started reading a blog by Jeff Goins.  This week he has been blogging each day and setting the challenge to slow down. His blog today was all on gratitude. Please check out his blog if you are interested in reading more!

http://goinswriter.com/gratitude/

Below are some direct quotes from him, with photos that I took when I visited my local beach!  It was a windy, icy day but I was so thankful to be there and it was spectacular!

“One of the curses of living in such a fast-paced society is that we tend to take things for granted. We overlook everyday blessings, oblivious to the fact that life itself is a gift. And if we’re not careful, we can find ourselves rushing through each day, less and less grateful, which is no way to live.”

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slow down and notice nature…

“Part of the reason we learn to say “thanks” for the seemingly small things is that it helps us appreciate the “big” things in life when they do come.

And the other reason is that as we learn to appreciate the small, we realize it is all big.”

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Notice the small (not that the sun is small!) everyday things.

“We learn to stop waiting for tomorrow or a better break and finally embrace where we are, right now. Which hopefully by now we can say is a very good place.”

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“Be grateful for the moments that slow you down, the ones that cause you to take your time. Use these opportunities to appreciate what you already have and tend to miss. As you do, see how much better life looks, and actually is, when you approach it with gratitude.”