Category Archives: Wisdom
Relaxation Routine For After Work…a.k.a. How I completely and utterly spoil myself 5 evenings a week!
When I get home from work I like to completely unwind so that I am ready and renewed for a new day tomorrow…no aches, no pains, no stress, just a positive attitude and unlimted reserves of energy. Don’t you want this too?
Well if you have young children it may be hard to go to these lengths, but if your children are over 12 years of age or you don’t have any children than there are no excuses, you need to be spoiling yourself too.
Here is what I do to feel like I have just died, gone to heaven, come back again, died again, gone to heaven again, came back again and finally have been reincarnated as a superhuman being.
Drink a large glass of water
Do 10-15 minutes of yoga to stretch out my aching muscles. I am on my feet all day so I need to release all of that tension placed on my legs and back. This is the perfect way to not let that tension build up and prevent you from having no choice but to spend $100 at the massage therapist. Don’t know how to do yoga? I should show you! There are books, free resources on the internet, classes galor, dvds. But I should seriously show you some day.
Massage my feet. This is vital if you wear heels. I saw this on a television show years ago and it stuck with me. A woman was being interviewed because she held a class in New York teaching woman to walk in high heels and keep healthy feet. She told us that if you massage your feet and kind of stretch them out after every heel wearing, you can prevent problems later on such as bunions or other foot issues whatever they may be.
Tea! A whole pot of some non-caffeinated herbal tea. So nice to heat up my body and muscles aiding the relaxation process.
Surround myself with nice smells. Whether I throw a couple of drops of lavender oil on a candle or light incense, aromatherapy is inexpensive, easy and requires no physical time besides lighting a candle and throwing in a few drops. Don’t want to light a candle? Simmer water in a pot and throw 30 drops of lavender oil in until your entire house smells brilliant.
Chant. I am a Buddhist so this is my form of self-reflection at the end of the day. It’s kind of like a form of meditation. When I chant I focus on the wisdom to reflect upon my day and kind of review…what can I do better? where did I perform at my best? what am I appreciative of? what do I want to change about myself? I spend just 15 minutes and feel like all that mental stress completely disappears and turns into an action plan. Super helpful. If you are particularly interested in this, just email me and I’ll tell you more!
Over and out!
I got a lot of sun that day and the whole weekend mind you, but even though the weather is beautiful I am still seeing way to many pale people out there on the streets. So far all of you who are “too busy” or “too tired” or “too (fill in the blank)”, I have compiled a list of really easy ways that you TOO can enjoy the sun!
I believe that it’s important to soak up every second of this goodness because it doesn’t last forever. My body loves absorbing tons of that good-for-ya vitamin D and I end up having more energy on these days. I can wake up very early, as in 7 am early like today, stay up and active all day and than just crash late at night and have the best sleep!
So if you don’t know what to do, follow these directions.
1. Grab your bike, a backpack, a towel, a water bottle and a book. If you are hungry, also grab a snack. Go ride that bike and find some grass somewhere. I guarantee you that there is grass somewhere near where you are. This idea takes no effort and barely any time. Just stay out for an hour if you like…I am sure you would use that hour doing something unproductive at home anyways, like watching television or surfing the web or even reading indoors…take it outdoors people!
2. Have a backyard barbeque. Again, this takes almost no effort. You would usually make and have dinner outside so just move your food and your body in that backyard or balcony and soak up all that energy.
3. Find an outdoor pool. Such a fun thing you can do on a sunny day and pools are relatively easy to find. Maybe it’s at a friend’s house but maybe it’s just a public pool, they are both good. Not everyone has access to the beach, myself included, but don’t let that deter you from putting on that bikini.
4. Go for a run. It’s bathing suit season, there are no excuses!
5. Go garage sale-ing on the weekends. If the weather is nice than there are most likely 4 or 5 garage sales on the weekend where you live. Go find them and check them out. Maybe you will find that perfect decorative plate you’ve always wanted. One time I found an entire box of authentic sewing patterns from the 60’s (the woman was very old). I paid $10 and received 40 patterns and ended up making some very well tailored vintage dresses with any fabric I wanted.
6. If you have wifi that reaches your backyard or balcony, go out there to do anything you would normally do on the internet.
7. Meet up with friends, sit outside for lunch at a restaurant.
8. If you have to work there just may be a possibility of doing some of it outside. I teach children (or at least I did in Lille). On sunny days our lessons would be done outside. If you meet up with a client then follow step 7…or go for a game of golf!
9. Board games belong outside. So do decks of cards.
10. Buy a bottle of wine and sit somewhere with someone (or a book) and drink it. By far the best suggestion on this list.
My point is, DON’T WASTE THESE PRECIOUS DAYS!
Stay tuned for next weeks post on Natural Sun Care For Skin!! If you enjoy the sun it’s important to do it mindfully and I”ll show you some holistic approaches to sun care so you can rid yourself of those chemicals this summer!
And before you leave this page, please tell me, What is your favourite and easy thing to do to enjoy the sun?
…but I never have to use any of them because I’m perfect *cough*
1. Say it with a note on a gift in a room of the house where you know that the other person will go often. This blogger’s husband to be did this and it made for a very romantic story. He knew he was wrong about what happened earlier in the day and therefore wrapped a cookbook with a note on it and put it in the bathroom. When he arrived home from work he didn’t say anything…she found the little surprise shortly after.
2. Taking the person to do something that they have wanted to do in a long time but haven’t because you’ve been too busy. Has the other person wanted to go out to coffee with you for soooo long but you haven’t had the time? Perfect way to say sorry. Maybe they wanted to see that movie? Perfect way to say sorry.
3. Cook a really delicious meal and dessert. I’m sure whatever it is that you are sorry about will be forgotten pretty quickly.
4. Give them a plethora of affection until they just have no choice but to forgive you and your cuteness. Tons of kisses, hugs, I love you’s and also throw in a few cute little faces of guilt.
5. Wait until they do something really terrible in which they would then need to say sorry to you. Your sorry will cancel out by default. (Not recommended)
6. Stop making mistakes twice. I personally have a huge problem with making the same mistake more than once in which I then need to say sorry for the same thing more than once. Sorry kind of loses its meaning in this case. If you stop making the same mistake than you won’t need to say sorry in the first place.
And with that, all your faults will be forgiven!
Have a great day everyone and thanks for reading!
I have recently been asked this question and want to answer it here on my blog. I am no expert besides the fact that I consider my relationship to be very romantic therefore I am going to answer this question from my personal perspective.
First of all, let’s get some things straight. You absolutely cannot make someone do something. You cannot physically force someone into being more romantic with you or they will quickly see how you are not someone that they want to hang out with anymore. Honestly ladies, what if a man were to make you be, let’s say, sexier with them. If they physically forced you into being this way you would consider it completely inappropriate and would most likely (if you are smart) leave the relationship, in extreme cases of course.
If you want your man to be more romantic than it all has to start with you. Whenever I have friends ask me advice like this, I immediately go to Max. The last thing I want to tell my friends is something that could potentially harm their outcome. He always tells me the same thing, “It’s not personal. They are not doing (insert romantic action here) because they are guys and guys do not think in those ways most of the time.” So we clear this part up. Ladies, it is not personal so stop taking it to heart.
Now, is your man really not romantic? Check your expectations! What do you want from him?
Do you want him to take you out to dinner more often? Yes! Well, is this realistic? In my relationship, this is not realistic. Max is a student and I am an expat and we simply cannot afford to go out to romantic dinners very often. When we do end up going out, it’s usually just for a glass of wine and a dessert and even that doesn’t happen very often but when it does I am very appreciative. Do you want to know how I re-create those romantic moments? I cook a romantic meal with wine and candles maybe once a week or so, at home. I take that romantic initiative because after all, it’s me who wants lots of romance in the relationship. In the end, Max appreciates my gesture so much and that’s more than I could ask for.
Is it flowers you want? First, does he know how much you love flowers? Do your eyes light up and excitement sweep your body every time you pass a flower shop? Are you constantly looking at flower printed items? Are you, yourself always filling your home with flowers, even if it means buying them for yourself? I do all of these things, making my lust for flowers known. Max knows how much I love flowers and therefore he knows that it’s a treat for me is to buy me flowers. And let me tell you, I always have fresh flowers around whether a gift or having purchased them myself.
I do the same for him too. I know how much Max loves a certain little French baked good (pain au chocolat). His face lights up when we pass a bakery, he is always buying them for himself and he talks about them sometimes. It’s a nice little treat for me to give him sometimes.
Please keep this next part in mind…I’m not sure about the country you are living in but in Canada flowers are very expensive. In France, flowers are very cheap. In Canada, I only received flowers on special occasions and I almost never bought myself flowers. In France, I am receiving flowers all of the time and buying myself flowers all of the time. You see what I am getting at.
If you want more romance than you have to be more romantic. Bottom line. Men are not always naturally romantic creatures so you need to guide them. The first thing that you need to do is be more appreciative to things they already do for you. If you are constantly begging for more than they will want to give you less because you cannot even see the multitude of things that they already do for you.
If your man is driving 40 minutes to see you every few days, he is spending a lot of gas money. To him, that is probably more romantic than buying flowers. Thank him for this because, really ladies, driving 40 minutes is a huge effort on his part. Think of those drives as a bouquet of flowers and reciprocate the action (pain au chocolat?). If your man buys you a $6000 engagement ring and therefore holds back on taking you out for dinner for a few months, understand him and be on his side, after all, he has to pay for that ring somehow and soon enough your expenses will be combined. If he calls you and tells you about how hard his day is, feel special that you are the one that he confides in. Once you start noticing these little things he does for you every day, because he really does love you so much, than you can stop expecting those grand gestures that are honestly unrealistic and realize that at heart, your man is already a natural romantic.
If you want to end up with this man because you love him so much than you need to be on his team. That means stop complaining about him, join forces and put your energy towards a common goal. See things from a couple perspective instead of selfishly or it simply won’t work out the way you want it to.
Other ways to bring more romance into your relationship include:
- You running a bubble bath and inviting him in
- Asking for a massage when you need one
- Giving a massage for no reason
- Telling your man you love him every time you think of it even if only in a text
- Saying, “Kiss me!” in a cute voice
I hope this helps and thanks for reading!
The boys I have been teaching English had been huge b.r.a.t.s. last week. I hadn’t been to the family’s place in 3 weeks and when I arrived, the boys had forgotten that I am an authority. They complained, treated me poorly, called me names, etc. etc.
I was so upset after the two days of watching them that I came home and decided that I wouldn’t go back.
Then a million things happened…
1) I visited one of my French Buddhist friends for a weekly little chat that we have because we are friends and I told her about this situation. She told me to think about going back if the family asked me instead of just refusing. She told me it might be something I need to face or not but I need to think about it.
2) The family called me on Monday to see if I could come on Wednesday and in the spur of the moment I said I would come because I decided I wanted to give it another chance.
3) I was supposed to get together with this friend, Nadia, again on Thursday but she had to cancel and reschedule for Friday.
4) I randomly received an email from another Buddhist friend who resides in Canada telling me how proud she was of me that I am teaching young kids and how our mentor says that this is the most nobel job.
5) I go to the sitting with the kids and they changed with me. I changed with them to. For some reason, they were well-behaved, eager to repeat after me in English, understanding when I explained to them why I wouldn’t to do X with them rather than Y…etc. There mom came home and disappeared for a few minutes only to come back with a beautiful bouquet of flowers for me from their garden. Then she asked me to come again tomorrow which was perfect because Nadia cancelled.
And I realized, there are good days and there are bad days and we cannot really make decisions from emotional reactions and we cannot make sole judgements based on people’s bad moods…they happen and that’s cool. They happen with me all of the time and so who am I to judge! Last week was just one of those weeks for not only the boys but also with me.
(I detail my outfits from now on…Jeans: Levi’s, Top: Cache Cache, Scarf: From the market, Shoes: Ross in Seattle)
It was a very rainy day when these photos were taken, so we tried to take them inside (all for the sake of capturing the blazer)…which was frustrating to me because I get super nervous when my picture is taken except when I am outside for some reason. So Max took 62 shots of me inside and they all turned out sub-par, and I was upset that they didn’t turn out and that we couldn’t go outside.
So the day went on and at around 8:30 Max asked me if I wanted wine with dinner tonight and of course I said yes. It wasn’t raining anymore and the sky was blue, so we went for a little walk to the store to buy some wine. The sun was just beginning to set and I was in a great mood at this point so I brought my camera along and we ended up getting really nice shots of the blazer (who cares if the second one is a little blurry).
The point of me telling you this story is that I always get worked up when something doesn’t happen perfectly when I want it to happen…but it did end up working perfectly in the end and even better then I could have asked for…Like come on, dusk, outside, flowers, on our way to get some wine…I could not have planned that! Isn’t this scenario always true?
As for the blazer…I love it. I used to have a thousand blazers but now this is my only one and it really brightens up all of my dark winter clothes, perfectly for spring!
Our problems are catalysts with which can can reveal our unlimited potential.
Life itself has no arms or legs or a voice. The only way for the universe to communicate to us is by handing us problems at the most inconvenient times.
This is because, as humans, we have unlimited potential. There are so many people who are living their unlimited potential as I write and everyone reveals their unique potential in a different way. My mentor in life, Daiskau Ikeda, has revealed his unlimited potential. He has nearly 300 doctorate degrees focused on peace and humanity. He travels the world to speak with world leaders tirelessly. He has dialogued with Nelson Mandela, Rosa Parks and many more historic figures. And although I do not strive to accomplish the exact same things as he has, I really strive to also reveal my unlimited potential in the way that is unique to me while using him as a guide for what is possible.
In order to push us to reveal our potential, the universe gives us problems. It is always those areas of life that we need to focus on to reveal an even greater self.
When I learned this a few days ago, my perspective on my sometimes frustrating circumstance here in France changed. It reminded me to not give up, as I have mentioned that I will never do, and it reminded me that I simply have these challenges so that I may become a better person (stronger, more fearless, ready to take on even greater challenges that life will inevitably throw at me, stronger in faith, etc.). It’s kind of a win-win situation.
What is your perceptive on having problems and how do you deal when life hands you too many lemons at once?
This morning I woke up super early to surprise Max (I really like surprising him as you may have noticed!) by picking him up at the train station. He was arriving from Paris this morning where he stayed over night. So I woke up early, surprised him, went back to sleep when I got home, and then woke up again…
ON THE WRONG SIDE OF THE BED!! (Meaning I was grumpy just in case you have never heard this English expression )
I was complaining to Max and being all grumpy like a grumpy person. Not fun! Not attractive!
But something came to my mind suddenly. I remembered one of my favourite Buddhist passages about relationships and instantly changed my mood. When I first met Max, my friend told me to read this passage, called The Bow And Arrow, and I have kept it close to my heart to reach for whenever I need it. It says,
“It is the power of the bow that determines the flight of the arrow, the might of the dragon that controls the movement of the clouds, and the strength of the wife that guides the actions of her husband. ” -Nichiren Daishonin (WND 656)
(even though we aren’t husband and wife, it completely applies!)
If it my strength that guides the actions of my partner than I have the responsibilty to be stronger and stop complaining and be a cheerful sunflower! That is how world leaders are born!
And with that, I changed my mind.
It’s so easy to sit in my bedroom, whine and complain about not having a job right now. It’s so easy to give in to that negativity, to give up, to pack up and move on to something easier. But am I going to do this? No. This is not the correct attitude to take in searching for a job!
I have been in France for just over five months now and have been job searching the entire time. At the beginning, the search was slow as I tried to improve my French, or at least get confident talking in another language even if I didn’t know much. Then as the benefits of life would have it, I had the opportunity to teach a class about the English TOEFL exam to three students and spent my time focused on preparing lessons and other things I needed to do for that class. Now that class is over and I have cracked down on finding a job.
I am going to tell you how to take the correct attitude in a seemingly impossible job search, so hold on tight!
Set the determination and make the goal! I made a goal to have a job by January 28th (I do realize this date has passed). This job was to have at least 15 hours of work per week, in an environment where I could practice my French. This is specific and it should be exactly what a determination looks like!
I worked hard to find this job. I didn’t just sit back and say, “Ok universe, now you know what I want, I am going to sit back and please bring it to me.” That would be stupid and when no job shows up on my doorstep, I would have no one to blame but me! So I set a plan of action to go to 2-3 places a day to hand in my resume. Some days, this tasked seemed impossible but I would still make sure I would hand in my resume to at least 1 place, planting at least 1 seed, if nothing more!
When January 28th came and went, you would think I would become discouraged but my mind did the opposite, “Ok!! Now I WILL get a job!”
The important thing here, is that I did not get discouraged when things seemingly didn’t go according to plan, but instead I kept on going. Which brings me to my next point…
Clues are in the environment everywhere and it is up to you to pay attention to them and follow through with them!
What are clues exactly? I applied at a hotel the other day and the manager told me that I need to put a picture of myself in the corner of my resumes in France. He accepted my resume without the picture but told me how important it was when I apply at other places. This angered me for obvious reasons (what does my picture have anything to do with my qualifications!!??) but then I remembered that I want a job and so I need to follow the clues. I started handing out resumes with picture after that.
I went to another place and they said to come back with a cover letter and so I started attaching individualized cover letters to the resumes.
I hit another dead-end and Max’s dad suggested I look up tourist groups in Lille and Max confirmed that he saw English tours happening.
I have been following the clues since the beginning of the search which makes my trust that I will get a job, strong. I pay attention to them, follow through with them, and with every step I take I know I am one step closer.
The Voice of Doubt
You will notice that whenever you are so close to achieving any goal the voice of doubt will creep up on you and try to sway you from your determination. This happens every time!
What’s even more interesting is that this voice usually comes from either yourself or from the people who care about you most. It is a function of the negative forces and the negative forces tend to show up in the people we are closest to. Because they show up in these people, it is so important that we realize that these doubts are just the negative functions of the universe trying to sway up from achieving the goal, thank the person for their “helpful” advice and keep pressing forward. Don’t blame the other people but look at the situation from a larger, universal perspective.
If that voice of doubt never comes, how in the world would it be possible for you to realize how BAD you want to achieve your goal!
I cannot even count how many people, people who I never thought it would come from, doubted my ability to get to France! And I’m here! And I am not leaving…therefore I need a job. What a waste it my visa to come here and all that hard work would be even I don’t get a job. It just makes no logical sense (from a universal perspective) that the perfect job isn’t just waiting for me to find it!
As hard as it is, press forward, ignore that negativity and stay confident in yourself. At this point in the game, confidence (in the form of knowing, trust or faith or whatever) is the only thing that will keep you moving!
When do you ever get a chance to have time off of work? Appreciate these precious moments, because as soon as you obtain a job, you will be back at the schedule wanting time off.
I spend my time bike riding, practicing energy healing, teaching myself about natural health, reading, meeting new people, etc.
I say yes to opportunities that I know I may have to decline when I start working.
If I mope around all day about the fact that I don’t have a job, then it will show on my face to employers who want to hire. Employers want spunk, energy, happiness! Not moping! Therefore spend as much of your day appreciating this precious time as you can.
Appreciation For The Job
Even though the job has yet to be obtained, think back on your old attitude at work and how you are going to change it.
I used to go to work and complain about it. Maybe I complained about the pay, or the hours, or something else that was out of my control. Now that I am not working I will take anything and I will be appreciative of it.
This opportunity has given me the motivation to not only have a good attitude in the job search but to have the best attitude as an employee when I do get a job.
It’s Not Only For You
Have a greater mission in achieving this goal. You may think that achieving this goal will only service you. You are wrong! Achieving your goal will service your friends (you can have more fun with them), your family (you can visit them in another country), and everyone else!
When you achieve your goals it truly inspires people who are in the same situation as you. When I set the determination to get a job, I set it with the intention of inspiring the Buddhist members in my organization who are having a hard time overcoming their struggle or achieving their goal. I tell myself everyday, “This is to show them what’s possible!”
Knowing that obtaining this job is not only for me but for everyone else too, amps up the will to obtain the job ten-fold! This is what turned the goal from “I want a job.” to “I WILL GET A JOB!”
Thanks for reading!