I like to get cozy everyday. Taking time for myself, alone with no other distractions, is something I like to do at the start of the day as well as in the evening. Sometimes I am lucky enough to have some added cozy time after work before I start my nightly routine.
For me, cozy time is sitting in my very comfortable lounge chair focusing on what I want to do. In the morning it’s thinking about my goals and planning out my day. At other times it might be reading, blogging or slowing my mind down by watching a movie on Netflix.
In the above photo you can see the love we have shared over time by the creases in her folds. She has been a dear friend for nearly 2 decades now and if she could read my mind the stories she could tell.
Sometimes it only takes 5 minutes but my cozy time is my favourite way to centre myself.
We have relocated to 14 different homes in 3 different cities during my life. On top of these moves I have also moved back home to my mother’s 3 times with or without my family.
At first moving was daunting. But now it’s a simple process that can be broken down into steps and described as an acrostic poem.
Research the area you are to move to and get excited
Explore your options
Lock in you choices and plan your move
Organise you belongings, what will stay, go or be given away
Collect cardboard boxes and start packing
Ask for help if necessary
Transfer you belongings to your new home
Enjoy sitting in your lounge room with a glass of champagne
Yesterday my life was changed forever. I attended Paul McCartney’s first Australian concert in Perth. Initially, I was unsure how much I would enjoy it. But hey I’m a good wife, so I’ll travel across Australia just so my husband can see his hero on his birthday.
Wow! What a great night it was and Paul even sang happy birthday to him and several others.
Titled One on One, Sir Paul’s plan was to engage with all 23,000 of us individually. Mission accomplished. For 3 hours he played and sang a well put together mix of 40 of his old, new and in between songs. He joked with us about how “he knows what we like” the old songs but he was playing his new songs and “he doesn’t care.”
His segways between songs with historical stories about them fascinated the crowd and gave us great insight into his early life. He was a master at seamlessly switching between instruments bass, guitar and piano as well as a special dedication to George Harrison on his ukulele. His other dedications were to John Lennon, George Martin, Jimi Hendrix as well as his first wife, Linda and current wife, Nancy.
Described by the media as Maccamania, everyone in the audience, young or old , felt touched by his performance. It really was like he was playing to you. The video and other special effects were like nothing I had ever seen at a concert before and for that matter I doubt I’ll ever experience again.
To make the night even more special he allowed a young man to propose to his girlfriend on stage at the end of the concert. The young couple had bonded on a Contiki tour 10 years ago because of their love for Beatles music. The ultimate in intimacy in a sell out crowd.
What I love about family traditions is that they are unique. Every family, even families within families have their own traditions and there is no end to the options. Big or small to start a new tradition the only need to enjoy the experience and do it regularly. My husband and my latest tradition is to prepare breakfast on the weekend and eat it together on the front verandah, watching the world go by. The only thing missing is a newspaper but we haven’t added that to our traditions yet.
Some times of the year like Christmas and birthdays involve more traditions than others. Being part of a large extended family this means the tradition of celebrating is never far away. The hardest part is setting the date, time and place and from there on the organisation of a party for a special occasion isn’t difficult. Everyone knows what to do and our family traditions that always involve FOOD – GLORIOUS FOOD continue.
COLOUR THEMED CHRISTMAS last year you guessed right – GREEN.
My impression of a person, place or thing depends on how they present themselves in the moment. I agree first impressions count, but to me they aren’t the be all and end all. They are often tainted by other issues more pressing at the time. This means I am always ready to change my view should different circumstances prevail.
After consideration, I realise my impression is unconsciously judged and can be explained by the following acrostic poem:
When these values can be seen in a person, place or thing, I leave the experience feeling good and wanting more. The more of these values missing, the poorer my experience. Do you know what drives your impressions?
Last December, after 25 years I was reminded how relaxing it is to go to the beach after work. To lye on my back free floating, totally unmoored to the world —just bobbing around in the waves. Trusting I was safe but keeping an eye out for any bigger waves that could do me harm. Then to keep myself safe, I would simply dive under the wave and avoid its direct impact. Free floating is now my preferred mindful activity for the warmer months.
As I gazed over the horizon watching the random sets of waves, my muscles relaxed and looked for a new way to work. Suddenly, I realised my free floating had turned into the best core exercise I had ever done and with no effort on my part.
Give it a try and say goodbye crunches. Take you feet off the ground and free float. Go with the rhythm of the waves and focus on the horizon. It’s my favourite way to centre myself.
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Retreat is an active word. It’s not a sign of weakness, but a sign that you are in-charge of your reactions. It shows you know when to do something differently. To me, the word RETREAT breaks down into the following powerful actions and helps me to move forward in the direction I need to go even if it’s not the direction I originally wanted to.
Return to a safe space
Experience feelings associated with current stress
Take time out
Recover your strength
Experiment with new ideas
Activate a new plan
Test it out
Have you ever found retreating to be a successful strategy to move forward?
Treasure is something of value. It can come in all shapes and sizes, be shiny and sparkle or be ugly and covered in dirt. Everyone’s treasure and things they value are different. For me, my most valued treasure is my personal values.
S elf Respect
They are how I live my life, raise my family and connect with people. Without any of them my life would be unbalanced. Individually, my values are only part of the picture, but together they form a very strong bond that can get me through any obstacle life throws my way.
Do you have a wish list of dreams you want to achieve? Most of us do and the good news is that with focus we have the power to make them happen.
Like water through peculation turns into amazing coffee, we can focus our energy into achieving our dreams and watch them develop before our eyes. Yes, it takes time. So does anything worth having. Because quality is never thrown together.
Give this, let’s think about how much of our spare time can redirect into focusing on our goals. Most of us could spare half an hour a day with a little tweaking. Do you realise that even as little as half an hour a day, every day for a year turns into 182 hours.
How are you spending yours?
When I think about a sandwich I don’t think about food but a way to deliver difficult feedback. I start by telling the person something they do well. Where possible I try to make it as close to the topic we are discussing. After we have discussed this for a minute or two I then introduce my difficult feedback. Where possible I look at the big picture of the issue discussing how the problem impacts the person and others. If appropriate, I will also give some ideas to help the person to move forward and make the changes required. To complete my feedback I would ask the person if they needed anything from me and remind them of the positives of what they are doing.
Often feedback is very difficult to hear but I find the more open the discussion, the better the outcome. By using the feedback sandwich, the person becomes less defensive because the news has been softened by positive feedback. It is a system that works well and has an overflowing impact of developing respect between the people involved.
A win/win for everyone, the feedback sandwich is: