Self Talk

Getting caught up in a funk can happen to anyone. I’m anyone! Being on holidays can sometimes take us away from our routines, not exercising as much, not eating as healthy. It was the last day of holidays when I started to feel that funk setting in, a week of little exercise other than a walk here and there, a whole lot of not so good food choices had left me feeling blah, like I’ve really messed up now. I asked myself “what advice would I give a friend if they were feeling this way?” Self talk, it can make you or break you. I always tend to give the same advice because I find from my experience it always seems to help and so I told myself what I would tell a friend. “IT”S OK” … “Always do your best to keep it simple, embrace your life, try to understand it, find a healthy comfort zone, reset your goals, but don’t quit, put yourself first, your self care is important, change up the routine, don’t forget to try something new and being a little spontaneous at times is good for the soul”.

Another piece of advice I swear by is “to head outdoors”. Nature can have a huge positive effect on your brain and lowers stress. Nature stimulates creativity, find a path and take it, sit and enjoy. Journal, or just sit with the sounds and daydream or meditate. Let the creative juices flow. Remember why you started on your journey to health and wellness.
Why you are important. Why you deserve it.

We are only given one life to live, take care of you, find peace within.

On the last day of vacation I took my own advice, jumped in the truck, found myself on a dirt road, taking a dirt path that lead me to this magical place. It was a spectacular spontaneous day! Just what was needed to set the tone for the week ahead.

Next time you’re feeling in a rut go find yourself somewhere out in nature and enjoy the beauty of this universe. Enjoy your week ahead my friends and never stop exploring your surroundings as well as yourself, keep evolving and never settle for less than you deserve.

May your week ahead be all you wish for and more.

Be Well,

Pauline

Time Spent In Nature

Walking in the woods really does mellow you out.

For me time spent in nature decreases feelings of anxiety, and depression. A time to recharge. A source of solace and inspiration.
Being in nature allows both my body and mind to explore, which leads me feeling refreshed.

Researchers believe that it has to do with the wood oils in the trees–the natural aromatherapy. There have even been studies that show that dirt itself contains natural antidepressants.

I post a lot about getting out in nature or just getting outdoors. At a time in my life when I needed something more, nature was my healer. I advise others who come to me feeling down, stressed or out of sorts to seek the same “treatment” I did when it was needed. “GET OUTDOORS!” “MOVE!”

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Being outdoors in nature helps distract your mind from negative thinking, you then become less filled with worry. Life gets put on hold when you’re in the woods.

Get outdoors, exercise, explore, walk, run, listen, sit by the waters edge, take in the beauty, notice the little things. Feel the breeze on your face and you will never be the same again, that’s my promise to you.

My interactions with nature have become a part of my normal lifestyle. I need the woods. Especially when life gets busy. Stressful situations pop up and just like that I’m feeling sour, drained, like I’m slipping away.  I can hear the woods calling me in.

I try to combine my nature outings with my regular exercise when I can. ( I love this the most ) other times it could be a walk, some quiet time by the water and a good book that I’ve tucked away in my backpack.

Eco therapy has become my therapy of choice.

I read a lot and recently I read that in Finland, public health officials now recommend that citizens get 5 hours a month, minimum, in the woods, in order to stave off depression. This is evidence-based. They found that people need this time in order to preserve their mental health. I couldn’t agree more.

Some much needed time in the woods today and I feel like I have come out standing taller than the trees. Nature never disappoints. Refreshed!

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Give it a try! Set a goal to spend at least 30 minutes outside every day. It doesn’t seem like much, but it will make a big difference. Like everything else in our lives, small and simple changes add up and can keep the fire inside burning bright.

DH Lawrence may have stated it best “Nature shows us that the world is full of many more layers than we notice in our day to day lives, that there are always new things to explore.”

I would love to hear your experiences with the healing powers of nature.

Just Follow The Path

There’s so much power in the path!
I was thrilled when one of the young men I work with asked me about hiking. He and another employee have been putting in a ton of hours and just wanted to chill and get out to do something different. Instead of just giving them the info on hiking, I offered to take them on a hike with me. I was surprised, they accepted. I had the perfect place. They wanted to spend the day, have lunch and relax. So that’s exactly what we did at McCrae Lake Conservation Area.
I also invited my son and his girlfriend along for the hike because they’ve been wanting to go on a hike as well.
I usually hike solo and this would be my first time leading a hike.
I was a little anxious.
I hope I picked the right spot, I hope the bugs aren’t too bad, I hope it’s not too long, I hope it’s not too hard, I hope everyone enjoys themselves. So many thoughts.
It’s 9:30 a.m. Go time!
We all meet up in the parking lot and just like that all those thoughts disappeared as soon as we hit the path.
The excitement in Hillary’s voice as she spots wild blueberries, lilies, jewel weed, sweet fern, wild strawberries and cuts through a waterlily root was all the proof I needed. This was the right spot. It was such a pleasure to have Hillary sharing all her knowledge on the different plants we encountered along our way.
To watch as her and Eric harvested some plants to take home was more proof and to see Patricio so interested in what they were doing and intrigued by the beaver dams and Lucas saying this place is “Dope” well, I knew it was all good.
It was nice to hear them say they wanted to return with friends and maybe even camp there.
Of course, I was happy, I was in the woods doing what I love, being one with nature.
I was so happy to share my love of the woods and this special place with friends. To have them experience the view from the rock outcropping at Crow’s Cliff, and the beauty and sound of the rushing water at the rapids, the scent of the trees, and the warmth of the sunshine as they all jumped in the river for a swim.
To just chill and lay on the hot rocks as Patricio played his guitar. We couldn’t have asked for a better day. 30 degrees Celsius, bugs not so bad and it’s 5 hours later and we are on our way home.
A full day. So refreshing and restorative.
The land is our oldest and wisest teacher, we can learn so much from walking a path in the woods.
I hope they all return back to this magical place with friends and enjoy the woods for the same reasons I do. A place to go where we don’t have to focus on everyday things that mentally drain us. Instead, we can appreciate the beauty of the woods, the water and observe the plants and animals that thrive in that environment. Become mindful and always leave feeling restored.

Here’s a peak at our day! May be you will be inspired to just follow a path. Get outdoors, recharge!

 

 

 

 

Energize Your Spirit

breathe in the beauty of nature…

If I could take you by the hand, I would take you outside to connect with nature.
It has made a tremendous difference in my life.
I love to spend some of my time each day outside observing what’s happening around me. I am beginning to notice things about the environment that I’ve never seen before, at the same time increasing my awareness of my surroundings while taking in the beauty.
I do enjoy finding the road less traveled. Dirt roads, my favorite.
Although driving along dirt roads isn’t completely natural, I find if you roll down the windows and let the breeze flow through, you enjoy the natural experience just as well.
My favorite place to be to reset or energize my spirit is by water, to watch, to listen, to just sit and be still.
After all, natural bodies of water are absolutely the most beautiful.
I’m sure we would all agree that the sound of water is naturally soothing, but it is all that comes with getting outdoors that lifts the spirit. The beauty of the flowers, the sound of wind and birds, and the feel of the breeze seems all I need to lift my spirits. Everything else at that point and time is non-existent.
The freshness and energy it provides is positive.
I once read “Staying with nature will help you to get rid of all negative thoughts, curiosities and anxieties too. These are the three things which troubles you from leading a happy and healthy life.”
So true! I’ve been hooked with staying with nature ever since.
While nature walks combine exercise with outdoor stimulation, any form of outdoor living will elevate your mood.
It has been proven that walking through a forest will reduce levels of the stress hormone cortisol and reduce blood pressure and heart rate. Three things we all need to keep in check.
So take a daily walk, try your hand at fishing, or simply sit and read on the back deck, or in a park to see benefits.
I strongly recommend, whenever you get some leisure time try to engage your life with nature , not just for a day, a week. Engage in nature daily, explore, wander and continue it until it’s your favorite thing to do. Do it throughout your life, experience the difference and be well!

When coming to a fork in the road – take it (Yogi Berra)

Clutter Free = Mind Free

It’s been awhile since I’ve written a blog, but with a New Year 2015 approaching, thinking of what I would like to accomplish in the New Year I thought I’d share with you my New Year Resolution. I am a pretty organized person to start with, but there’s always room for improvement & this is what my resolution is; maintaining a clutter free lifestyle.

I once read that cluttered spaces and thoughts affect your productivity and overall enjoyment of life? The general idea of decluttering is to get rid of things, thoughts, and ideas that don’t work for you and don’t contribute positively to your life.

It’s like this – when you get rid of clutter, you free up a much needed space not just physically but also in your head (emotionally). Soon, you’ll realize like I have that you’re not so stressed out, overwhelmed, frustrated, or just feeling yucky.

I’ve put together some ideas on how to do this and am sharing with you my friends so you to, can live clutter free and add to your enjoyment of life.

While most dream of being more organized, actually getting that way can sometimes be a challenge! If you struggle with too much clutter try the process I use for myself;

Sizing down the number of things you already have is the first step of the battle. I suggest starting one room at a time. Give yourself permission to only keep the things that are currently useful, despite who gave them to you or how much they cost.  This can be really hard, especially at first. Believe me it does get easier when you begin to realize that freeing your home of clutter frees your mind of clutter. As you begin to sort through your things, ask yourself these questions:Do we use it, wear it, or play with it? If it is clothes, does it still fit?

  1. Is it in good working condition?
  2. Does it enrich our lives in some way?
  3. Does it have sentimental value?
  4. Could someone else use it more?

I also find it helpful to set up 4 categories:

1.) Things to keep in this area

2.) Things to donate (or in my case-sell on my online thrift shop)

3.) Things to throw away

4.) Things to put elsewhere (keepsake box, seasonal items, or things that belong in a different room)

Once you’ve cleared an area and put away all the items that belong elsewhere, move on to the next area.  Repeat. Repeat. Repeat.

And this my friends is how I stay organized and clutter free. Sometimes it gets away from me and that’s when I go back to the beginning & start again. The Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. is the key. Stay on top of it – easier said than done. After all we are human-not perfect-lol.

declutter-your-mindAn amazing feeling to sit in a room without clutter & just chill.

May your New Year be clutter free and all that you wish for.

Happy 2015 & Thanks for taking the time to read & follow my blogs through out the year.

PC

 

Discovering Ecotheraphy

Have you ever thought that you’re not as happy as you should be in your life?

I’m sure you have. We all have at some point in our lives.

About a year ago that was me. Not that my life is hard, or that I have a lot to worry about, I have a pretty comfortable life. It was just me feeling stuck .Thinking too much about the past, worrying about the future, just not being thankful for the present. I decide it was time to take some steps to enhance my level of well-being. I started on my journey. I took to the World Wide Web and googled well-being. Here I found a number of new activities and practices that I could take up: meditation, singing, running, performing acts of kindness, mindfulness, yoga and so on. I do a lot of these now, but the one thing I was surprised with was that research had shown of all these activities the most effective thing you could do, according to research, is to take up gardening.  flowers
Gardening? No wonder I always felt so much better after a day of working in the yard. I should tell you first of all that I am not a gardener. I have no idea what the flowers in my flower beds are called, with the exception of the Hosta plant. Oh yes, and the impatiens flowers. All I know is that those plants in the back get nice purple flowers and the others in the corner get beautiful yellow ones. Yep, and that’s how I plant my flower beds.
I read in an article that in the UK, gardening has begun to be used as a therapy for individuals suffering from depression and anxiety. As an alternative to prescribing anti-depressants, doctors in a pilot study are signing patients up for 12 week gardening courses. The ‘Grozone’ project teaches patients basic horticultural skills and encourages them to grow their own plants, which they can take home afterwards.
ECOTHERAPHY! Sweet! I love it! I have always enjoyed being outdoors and soaking up the beauty of nature in general, a walk through the woods, sitting on the beach, stopping by a roadside park. I have used all of these to improve the symptoms of anxiety and to improve concentration and well-being.
So although I have been under the weather with a cold I decided to venture out to the flower gardens yesterday. It’s fall here so it’s time to cut back, transfer and weed the few gardens I do have. If you know me, you will know that I have been on a mindfulness journey and have become very wrapped up in practicing mindfulness because it is such a powerful tool that keeps me staying in the now. So as I was digging in the dirt I found myself absorbed in the digging, lost track of time and the restlessness and chattering of my mind just faded away. I felt alert, alive and my mental energy became more intensified.
dirtI was in the moment! Concentrating on the beauty around me, free from the anxieties of the future.
So today I got lost in the gardens again. I have never devoted much time to the activity. But I’m beginning to think that I should start. Not only did it feel great to get out and do some physical activity it kept me focused and in the now, it gave me a sense of accomplishment too. I know I will have to wait until next summer for all my hard work to unfold but I also know once the snow melts and spring arrives and the first sign of bulbs pop through the ground I will be knee deep in my new ECOTHERAPHY.
And for now I will give thanks to mother nature for providing a day of sunshine. Cheers to another wonderful day outdoors.

Flowers always make people better, happier, and more helpful; they are sunshine, food and medicine for the soul.

-Luther Burbank

Mindfulness Slipping Away

Loving the outdoors this time of year.

Took some time out in my day to take in this beautiful scenery near the railroad tracks, some time to think, breathe. Everything is silent. I find myself deep in thought when suddenly I hear a noise in the distance. The sound of the train coming down the tracks brings me back to reality. The faraway place I was becomes no longer important and the moment that matters is now. Sometimes being mindful slips away from me. It’s like ever thing else, we must take the responsibility into our own hands to stay in the present.
The sound of the horn, the buzzing noise of the train on the rails, finds me getting excited! I wanted a picture. I’m pumped to have the opportunity to get this great fall shot-at that moment nothing else mattered to me except for the beauty of the moment I was capturing. Everything else forgotten.

Beautiful fall scenery in Sequin Township, Muskoka, Ontario, Canada

Beautiful fall scenery in Sequin Township in Muskoka, Ontario, Canada

Staying in the present takes time to develop. It is hard work and there are times when I feel like I want to throw in the towel. I know I will face challenges, obstacles, and problems, but I also know that if I am determined, I will get through them.
I do realize that life is not perfect, nothing is perfect or normal and there will always be obstacles. I also realize that these obstacles are nothing but teachers on my journey. Since I started on my mindfulness journey, keeping myself aware of my thoughts and staying in the now, my life has improved. I have reduced stress and I am a lot calmer, more at peace, and happier. I am able to see things in a whole new way and get great burst of insight at times that change my days from blah to WOW!

Look into the future and you see worry, look into the past and you see regret, look into the present and you shall find the purpose of life.