12 Powerful Ways Meditation Benefits You

Meditation quiets the mind, opens the heart, and lets the soul speak. It is a place where we can find answers, heal our hearts, souls and minds, and a place where we can find peace away from the chaos of our worlds. 

12 Ways You Benefit from Meditation:

– Helps you with focus and awareness.

– Helps you manage stress and anxiety.

– Increases your energy levels.

– Clears you mind.

– Teaches  patience, discipline, and self-control.

– Can increase your creativity.

– Improves sleep.

– Makes you happier.

– Teaches you how to control your breath.

– Helps you manage pain better.

– Increases self-discovery and self-awareness.

– It strengthens your senses.

Meditation can come in many forms. 

12 Ways I Meditate:

-Sitting still for moments and focusing on only my breath-

-During Yoga-

-Art Journaling-

-Earthing-

-Laying with my crystals placed and listening to meditation music-

-Singing along to my favorite songs-

-Moon Bathing-

-Coloring Mandalas-

-Laying in the grass looking at the sky-

-Guided Meditation Series-

-Mountain Pose in the shower-

-Painting-

Inspiration & Motivation For When It’s Tough To Keep Going

I was browsing through some old posts, doing my monthly reflecting thing, and I came across this one. I wrote it in September of 2014, a true turning point in my life. With Easter soon here, it brings thoughts to mind of hope and new beginnings, a thought of how true pain can bring upon us glorious resurrection. I can’t say that my life became easy, or that heartache stopped to exist in my life after this turning point, and maybe some days I still don’t take it in the best stride, but I do come back from it every time, stronger than I was before. I can’t help but imagine that I am being trained for something so much greater out of this life. In the last three years, I’ve suffered more loss and held greater heartaches but I will not give up hope ever. I refuse to believe that life is anything other than a gift, that our suffering is anything other than lessons. I refuse to roll over and lay. My spirituality has shifted some as I grow but my core beliefs remain the same and I still believe. 

We live by faith, not by sight. (2 Corinthians 5:7)

I have experienced many trials, challenges, and heartaches in my life (so far) but I do not look back at them with regret or resentment.  A couple of years ago when my ex left me three months before our wedding I was crushed, the very center I had built my future around had been shattered. Though I didn’t know it then, I had been saved. When my Grandmother passed away, I was deeply saddened, but with that sadness I found strength and courage. When my son was angry and told me he hated me I felt as if my heart had been pierced but it gave me focus and motivation to show him how much I loved him, to be a better Mother.
We will all have tragedies in our lives. Some we bring on ourselves, some that are dealt to us, but do not look at them as defeat, for there is no such thing as defeat. These are just twists in our path.

If it wasn’t for my heartaches, for the challenges I overcame then I wouldn’t be where I am today, or who I am today (or have the relationships I have today). Some hurdles I soared over, some I barely climbed but I can say with pride and boast that I survived them, I survived. The Universe does not break our lives but will always be there to give us strength to survive. We will be given the tools to rebuild. Life will always have tests – tests of strength,  tests of courage, and tests of faith.
Having faith isn’t about knowing what the outcome will be, it is about trusting that in the end it will all be well. I used to have a close friend that would always say, “It will be okay and if it’s not okay, then it is not the end”. Those words still linger in my mind. I truly believe that we are placed (or sometimes walk ourselves into) situations so that we may grow, that we may better ourselves. Ten years ago I didn’t have that same belief, I thought the world was against me. But then I learned some valuable advice – what makes us strong, what makes us happy, and what makes us wise is not what happens to us but it is in how we  react to it. I choose to be happy, therefore I am.

I don’t know what all will happen tomorrow but I do know that I will have faith to make it through and that I will come out a better person because of it.

I Choose to be, Therefore I am.

9 Reasons I Am In Love With Avocados

With warmer weather in the forecast, Spring finally here, I have been starting to crave those tropical feeling foods. When I was younger, I wouldn’t touch an avocado, fast forward to today and they are one of my favorite foods. Packed with super benefits, tasty, and a great combo to most dishes, avocados have become a staple in my diet.

Avocados are considered a SuperFood because of how high they are in nutrients and studies continue to find new health benefits of it.

Avocados are:

  1. High in healthy fats
  2. Contain no Cholesterol or Sodium
  3. Low in Saturated Fats
  4. High in Fiber
  5. High in Nutrients – Vitamin K, Vitamin C, Vitamin B5, Folate, Vitamin B6, Vitamin E, Potassium (contains more than in a Banana)
  6. Also contain Magnesium, Manganese, Iron, Copper, Zinc, Phosphorus, Vitamin A, B1 (Thiamine), B2 (Riboflavin), and B3 (Niacin)
  7. Shown to help lower Cholesterol and Triglyceride levels
  8. High in antioxidants
  9. Some studies show it has anti-swelling properties that can help reduce symptoms of arthritis
  • Avocados are a great addition to salads
  • Make for a great toast
  • Can be an uplifting snack
  • And…well um guac…yum! 

Recipes to Try:

Avocado Deviled Eggs

Avocado Mozza Puffs

Cucumber Tomato Avocado Salad

 

* Disclaimer: I am not a nutritionist or a medical professional. These are healthy suggestions based solely on personal experiences, personal opinions, and light research. 

The Path of Art Journaling – Exploring My Growth

About a year ago, I started art journaling…I found it a wonderful release of the stress that the day had brought. Since then my mind has opened and the creativity and artistic nature of my personality has unleashed so much more. Today I sketch, I paint routinely, and I dive into free drawings with my pastels when I find I’m struggling to sleep. This #artthursday I took a look back at where I started adding art back into my daily routines…this shows that when we start with just a simple step it can unleash us into many wonderful places as we continue to move forward on our paths.

March 2016: So one of my bucket list to-do’s is to make an Art Journal. I’ve always thought they were so beautiful and such a wonderful way to be expressive. I have seen tons of great ideas online, you can check out some of my fave ideas on my Pinterest Board – Art Journaling.  I want my art journal to be fun, push the limits of formality and tradition. I want lots of color and funky doodles. I try not to conform to one set style or structure, just let myself explore and be free. I’ve found this a wonderful way to calm myself, a unique way to add to my meditations, a place to release. Some pages take thirty minutes, some take hours, some pages are part of one project, some a single thought.  I’m still quite a newbie and cannot compare to some of the beautiful creations I’ve seen online but my art journal is mine, not a following of any one else’s, my own creation, part of my artistic and spiritual journey… I’ll share as I go along, as I evolve and grow, hoping to inspire and stir ideas for your own…

I continue to grow more and more each day, some days I produce more art than others. Some paintings take months to finish and some I finish in a day. Each month, I find myself trying a new medium or a new technique. I have become more free in my expression and pushing past boundaries and limitations I used to hold myself to. I have opened myself up to seeing inspiration in so many more places and it has brought beauty to each moment in my days.

2017 Magical Manifesting Diary Review

One of the things I love so much about blogging is the opportunity to meet so many like and loving souls. I met Shan – I felt an instant connection to just in the little bit of time we’ve chatted. I feel like we are kin spirits, aligned in our journeys, with paralleled thoughts. She gave me the wonderful freedom of reviewing her 2017 Magical Manifesting Diary. It really is a magic-making book! 

I absolutely love the theme of this diary, adventure. That is my own theme of life as well, spread love and adventure all throughout your life.

The illustrations are wonderful, simple yet crafty. I truly enjoyed the positive direction of the planner. It is very motivating and uplifting. She keeps the instruction thorough yet simple and easy to follow. I really found myself connecting and relating to what shew was saying. This diary gently guides the reader into a wondrous world of thought and discovery. The poetry of the words make me follow my imagination, feeling like a little kid again filled with enthusiasm and ambition.

I love how she includes great spiritual tips, habits, and practices throughout the diary. They were spread out wisely so not to be overwhelming. This diary is set up perfectly to unleash creativity in anyone, positioning so many great images and space to color and doodle but in a way that creates balance between release and organization. Wonderful list of resources at the end as well for soul-reading throughout the year.

This is a great diary and I am very much looking forward to diving into it!

Get your own copy here – https://www.etsy.com/au/shop/ErthnAustralia

And check out more beautiful things from Shan at – http://www.erthn.com.au/blog/ or on Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/erthn

 

My Angel of Strength

“Angel of Strength”

She is always here with me, walking beside me and pulling me up when I need her.

She helps me see beauty in every moment, even in painful ones.

As I get ready to enter into the New Year, I sit and think of the blessings that came out of 2016, the challenges that made me tougher, and the joys that made me see clearer, and the new beautiful friendships I have acquired.

I can feel the magic of 2017 creeping in my bones and am filled with enthusiasm to jump into the new year, a year for more growth and discovery and transformation.

“Angel of Strength”, mixed media, Paintings by LAR.

How to Tidy Up for a New Year

Christmas has come and is now on it’s way out…our thoughts turn to entering the New Year, the big 2017. Seen by many as a fresh start, a new chapter beginning. I find myself evaluating where I am in life and where I want to go in the upcoming year, what I need to do to get there, and of thoughts of kicking off with a fresh, new start. I start looking for ways to get things in order for the New Year.

I reached out to my pal Ilka for some tips on preparing for the New Year. She spoke of all the things we accumulate in a year’s time. Though we may not intend to, with our busy everyday lives things get stacked, pushed to the back, and collected. I take a moment just to look around and even though I am one that tries to do a clean-out each month, I can see the stacks of “go-through” stuff still sitting, the box of make-up I’ve been meaning to purge, and knick-knacks and books that have made their way into already filled shelves, so I’m off with Ilka’s tips in hand to do a quick New Year’s tidy-up this week…making room for my Christmas Gifts and new adventures and memories in the upcoming year. 

Here is Ilka’s end-of-the-year tidy up task list for getting ready for the New Year! 

Decluttering At The End Of The Year:

I like my home to be neat and clutter free. But over a year even my house piles up some stuff I actually don’t need in my life or things that are nearly used up. So for a fresh start in a new year, I like to use up and sort out all the thing I don’t need any more and begin the new year with a bare surface.

In these blog post, I share with you, my top tips and categories to declutter for the new year.

Beauty and skin- care

As we all know, beauty and skin-care products are most times only durable for a year or two. So we should have a good sort out and use up every once in awhile. I personally like to check my bathroom staples twice a year. The first time is at the beginning of summer and the second time is just at the end of the year. I make sure nothing broke, dirty or unloved stays with me any longer.

I also use the time to stock up my inventory. Toothpaste, body butter, shower gel etc.

Home

My home is quite minimalistic but over a year I collect a few thing which are not meant to be in my home. For example, stacks of magazines, cloth (that either are not in season anymore or which I don’t like any longer), or bits and bobs around the house.

I also have a look in my kitchen cabinets and use up stockings, which otherwise will go bad soon or sort out goods nobody eats.

Online

Oh yes. A huge part! At the end of every year, I go through my laptop and phone and file images, documents and everything else. I also ‘tidy up’ my social media:

Sometimes I delete a few images or Tweets

Adjust new bio texts and update my profile pictures

I clear the wall on my personal facebook account (I like it to be tidy)

And this year, for the first time, I will also declutter my WordPress. Yes! There are a few posts I really not enjoy and my media center is full of pictures I never used in blog posts. So I’ll clear it out.

Life

And by life, I mean my calendar. I love planning. This year, for the first time ever, I tried to function without an actual agenda and just use the calendar on my phone and laptop. Let me tell you, it did not work for me. I need to write things down, like actually write them down, with a pencil, on paper. Haha.

So at the end of every year, I buy a planner and start to map out my year. Some things I know for sure (like birthdays, anniversary’s, holiday’s … ).

Much love, Ilka x

All About Ilka:

She is a 25-year-old with an obsession for all things related to home and self-care. On her blog, http://ilkaeliseb.com/, she also publishes articles respective to her interests in style and design. IEB is kind of a lifestyle magazine for the everyday girl. Please be sure to check her out, her blog is beautiful and incredibly inspiring! 

Follow Ilka:

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/ilkaeliseb/

Twitter – https://twitter.com/ilkaeliseb

Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/ilkaeliseb/

Pinterest – https://de.pinterest.com/IlkaEliseB/

2017 is going to be a magical year, I can just feel it! 

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5 Powerful Steps to Reaching Your Dreams & Crushing Your Goals

As you get to know new people, you will find that we each hold our own story of tragedy and sorrow, we each have experienced challenges and trials that have helped shape us into the people we have become (or are becoming). Some stories are longer and more intense than others and some are shorter and more gentle but we each have our own. At the end of each story though, isn’t about what had happened, it’s what we chose to learn, what we chose to make of it all, what we chose to become from it. I recently met a beautiful woman through a Facebook Group named Kylie Travers, she has quite the story to tell, facing many challenges in the past several years, challenges that could have sent her spiraling down but instead she took her obstacles and used them to propel herself to a multiple international award-winning CEO, author, speaker and charity ambassador. When I reached out to her to guest post for www.dofivethingsaday.com, to share her story with all of us, she didn’t come back with a list of all of her challenges, she came back with a focus on action steps on how she became who she was meant to be. It reminded me of how strong we can be, on how if we choose to control and shape our perception then we can make anything possible. 

The past few years have been some of the worst and some of the most successful years of my life. I have gone from a homeless single mother of two to multiple international award winning CEO, author, speaker and charity ambassador, in under 4 years. During this time I also overcame Borderline Personality Disorder, started a new relationship, had paralysis issues for 7 months, a cancer scare, a few surgeries, moved across the country and helped my daughters overcome their learning disorders which were classed as extreme.

Despite facing multiple obstacles, I have a life better than anything I could ever have imagined. Instead of focusing on ‘my story’ (which if you want to know more details about, you can find on my site), I want to focus on what I did to turn my obstacles into opportunities.

1.) Have an attitude of gratitude
As hard as it is when you face issues in your life, being grateful changes your perspective. Find something to be grateful for every day. I keep a gratitude diary where I write in it 3 things I am grateful for every day. Keeping an attitude of gratitude helps maintain a more positive outlook on life, which assists in problem solving the issues you face.

A week after my daughters and I left their dad (my ex husband), we were robbed of everything in our new home, including my underwear. At first, I broke down. It felt like too much to handle with what I had already faced leaving an abusive relationship, being stalked and assaulted.

I managed to pull myself together then wrote a gratitude list outing what I could be grateful for in that situation, what lessons I could learn from it and what opportunities might come as a result of being robbed. I managed to come up with quite a few things including the fact we were not home when it happened, it was only stuff and we had insurance, I hated everything I owned because it was remnants of my marriage, now I was able to replace it with insurance money instead of having to save up my own money and replace things as I could etc. As you can see, once I got into that frame of mind it became easier.

2.) Use affirmations and positive quotes
I used to roll my eyes when people suggested it, until I found myself crumpled in a heap on the bathroom floor sobbing my eyes out and the only thing that seemed to calm me down was repeating my favorite quote “I am not what happened to me, I am what I choose to become.” by Carl Jung. I needed to believe that was true. I needed to know that despite being at rock bottom – abused, robbed and homeless, I could change my life.

I had my favourite quotes stamped on some bracelets for my wrists. I wrote quotes that inspired me in permanent marker on my mirrors (it wipes off with window cleaner) and I kept them as screen-savers on my devices. These constant reminders helped shape my thinking.

3.) Be clear on where you want to go
I have always had goals, but in this situation I got more strategic about it. I worked out my core values, created a personal mission statement, set goals in 7 key areas of my life (family, finances, career/business, travel, health, personal development and organisation), then using those goals I create a vision board.

I would spend time every day envisioning what my life would be like, looking at my vision board and actively taking steps to get me closer to my goals. All the planning in the world will do nothing if you don’t take action. Get clear on where you want to be, write your plan and go after it with pure determination.

4.) Meditation

I allocated at least 20 minutes a day to meditation, which I still do. It relaxes you, makes it easier to think and I notice it on days I don’t meditate. I struggle, have less energy and can’t think as clear if I don’t meditate in the morning. Not all mediation is about sitting there and saying ‘Om’. Find the method that works for you and implement it into your daily routine.

5.) Take care of yourself

I allowed myself to get too busy and overwhelmed running a business, doing public speaking, rushing from event to event, taking my kids to school, therapy and extra curricular activities. I said yes to everything anyone asked me to do and in the end my body decided I couldn’t continue. One morning I was getting ready and my back seized up. I thought I had aggravated an old spinal injury and asked my very new boyfriend to take my kids to school, assuming I would be ok the next day. I was unable to walk properly for 7 months. If I stood up or spoke at an event it required nerve blockers, pain killers and resulted in 4 days in bed after the event with excruciating pain and paralysis.

During this time a test came back positive for the cancer my mother died from. After a surgery it turns out I have a rare condition that presents itself the same way and I have to have annual surgery. I had surgical treatments for my spine and the whole year was stressful. My new boyfriend was my carer and immediately a dad to my kids instead of us being able to get to know each other slowly.

By not taking care of myself, I nearly ruined us financially (he was now unable to work as he had to care for me, and I barely worked because of the pain and issues) and nearly destroyed the relationship completely. I was unable to be the mum I had been and that broke my heart, seeing my kids play and having them be sad I couldn’t do things with them anymore.

Put yourself first. Exercise, eat right, get enough sleep, ask for help when you need it, outsource the cleaning or anything else you can to free up your time. Life is too short, don’t make it harder on yourself by overwhelming yourself.

You can achieve anything you put your mind to. How have you turned obstacles into opportunities?

Bio:

Kylie Travers went from homeless single mum of two daughters because of domestic violence to multiple international award winning CEO, author, speaker, marketing specialist and charity advocate in the space of a couple of years. Through all her work she focuses on sharing practical advice on ways to make and save money, turn your obstacles into opportunities, practice gratitude, travel and create opportunities to improve your life and excel in the areas you want to.

Her areas of expertise are marketing, social media, blogging, finance and travel. Her company specialises in digital marketing with influencer programs, marketing strategies, training and consultations. Personally, Kylie likes to focus on public speaking, freelance writing or consults around finance, travel, lifestyle or blogging, along with being actively involved in charities that help end homelessness and domestic violence.

As a result, she has been the recipient of many awards, including The Plutus Foundation Service Award for 2015, Finalist Young Australian Of The Year, ACT, 2015 and winning Best International Personal Finance Blog twice, among other awards.


You can find out more about here at http://www.kylietravers.com.au

Social links: 

http://www.facebook.com/KylieTraversAus

http://www.twitter.com/KylieTravers_au

http://www.instagram.com/KylieTravers_au

 

*all images used in this post of ownership of Kylie Travers.

10 Simple Morning Self-Care Routines for an Amazing Day

The start of the day is the moment when we stage how our day is going to roll out. We can decide in those moments if we are going to make it a good day. Set yourself up for success by practicing self-care rituals to strengthen yourself for anything the day may bring.

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  1. Before you get out of bed, take three deep breaths. Clear your mind of any lingering thoughts before getting up. My rule is that I do not get up until I have breathed and let go and cleared my mind. I tell myself that I refuse to take negativity into my new day.
  2. Get out of bed and stretch. Stand tall and reach up high, elongating your body as much as you can. Reach back and pull your body into an arch, then lean forward and touch the floor. Or do a Morning Yoga Routine – https://yogainternational.com/article/view/graceful-morning-flow
  3. Make your bed. Tidy up your room. Create a clean area for a clean mind, an open mind.
  4. Make a cup of tea. Tea has been proven to be calming and cleansing. Creating a calm atmosphere prepares you for a calm day.
  5. Review your planner. See what is on your agenda for the day, create your thoughts around planning for an efficient and productive day.
  6. Read an affirmation or a Mantra. Read it aloud to yourself, write it down. Here are some I use for my Self-Care:
  7. “May my heart be brave, my mind fierce, and my spirit free.”
  8. “My soul is ready to live the life of my dreams.” ~ Sarah Prout
  9. “Special things are about to happen for me and I am ready to allow it.”
  10. “I am focused and persistent. I will never quit.”
  11. “When we change the way we look at things, the things we look at change.” ~ Wayne Dyer
  12. Be still and just listen. After reading your mantra, take a moment to process it. Listen to the sounds around you, whether it is rain falling, birds singing, or cars bustling by on a busy street, just listen, find peace in the morning sounds.
  13. Write down three things you are grateful for. Write them in your planner so that you can be reminded of them throughout the day.
  14. Give your pup or your kitty a hug. Or child, or parent, or significant other, or your best friend… Feel the unconditional love they have for you fill you. Let that unconditional love stay with you all day. When you become frustrated, think of them.
  15. Before you walk out the door, say to yourself, “I’ve got this. I will make today amazing. No matter what today brings, I can handle it.” Say this as many times as you need to today because you do have this. You are strong enough to handle anything, you just have to believe it.

So go out into the world today and have a wonderful day, not because of what happens to you, but because you choose to.

Believe In Your Blessings. They Will Keep You Strong.

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       I’m sitting in bed with my laptop on my lap, staring at my editorial calendar and the asterisk marking that I’m due for a blog post tonight, thinking what do I write about tonight, coming to the realization that I’m just feeling a bit drained. My thoughts continue on what to write, I search through my list of blog ideas on my Evernote App and I have plenty of ideas, but I’m just not sure my thinking process is there to fill them out… I continue to drift into thoughts of what is all on my mind. These past two weeks have been harder than others, emotionally I’ve been up and down, not sleeping well, but still finding myself driven to chase my dreams through it all, and knowing that I am strong enough to get through all of this. My daily mantra is that no matter what is going on around me, focus on myself, growing myself, focus on the positive things in life and working towards continuing to develop a life I love, and then everything else will fall into place around me. I sat down to review my day for tomorrow in my Happiness Planner and as fate may have it, tomorrow’s quote is “Ego says, ‘Once everything falls into place, I’ll feel peace’, Spirit says, ‘Find your peace, and then everything will fall into place’ ~ Marianne Williamson. The Universe has a way of putting exactly what we need right in front of us. When it comes to people, and to life, truth is that we cannot fix people, we cannot control them, we can only love them. Therefore I choose to be love. I choose to love those around me with all my heart, I choose to love life, and I choose to love myself. I know I will have days that are good, and I will also have challenging days, but I can choose to love each of those days, to cherish the lessons I learn, to appreciate the strength I gain from each and every moment. Tonight, my thoughts are scattered (as it shows in my writing I’m sure) but they will organize themselves, they will become clear in time, tonight I just need to let them go, let them run wild and just be. The holidays stir up all kinds of feelings inside of us, they remind us of what we are thankful for, they remind us of lost loves, and of so much more. I find myself becoming reminiscent, of wonderful moments but also of old emotions but I will continue to remind myself that, happy or sad, they are of my past. I get to live here and now and that is my greatest blessing, having a present to be in and a future to look forward to, wherever that future may take me. I am blessed with so many things, so many wonderful moments, so many great people that are in or were in my life. Initially when I started this post with the confusion of what to write about I was going to create a ‘What Am I Thankful For’ list post but I find that question hard to answer, not because I have a lack of blessings but because I have so many blessings, and that is what I am most thankful for. Several years ago, I may not have had the same outlook but I decided to make a choice to view my life differently. Whether I find myself with a lot or with a little there can always be a lot in my heart if I allow it to exist there and that makes all the difference. So tonight as I lay down to sleep (after I finish my Lifetime Christmas movie of course) I will go to sleep, leaving my scattered thoughts to sit, and replace them with thoughts of love, hope, and faith.  <3