Body Scan of Appreciation
When is the last time you said thank you to your body? I invite you to do a body scan of appreciation. How do you do it? Well, start at your toes, move to your feet then up your legs to your hips move on to your waist, fingers, hands and arms and say thank you. From there go to your rib cage, back, chest, and shoulders and once again, say thank you. Then move up your neck, face, and to the top of your head and appreciate every inch of you. Oh, and then there is the 60,000 miles of blood vessels that run throughout your body, the 115,200 times a day your heart beats, the 23,040 breaths you take each day, and the 37.2 trillion cells that compose your body. This amazing infrastructure works tirelessly for you each day with beautiful collaboration and communication. And, have you ever thought about how you don’t have to do anything for all these systems to operate as they are supposed to on your behalf?
Take Care of Yourself
Since your body works so hard for you, the least you can do is take good care of yourself. Be mindful of your nutrition. Get the exercise and sleep that you need for your body to function efficiently. And, think good thoughts. You design your life by the way you think. If you think good thoughts you will have good feelings. I suggest a monthly body scan of appreciation. Do it.
A Month of Intentional Living
I have decided to dedicate the whole month of June to Intentional Living. Each day, I will share with you via video an Intentional Living challenge. I hope that you will take it upon yourself to participate in these daily challenges. Because if you do, you will start to notice remarkable changes in your life. I live my life by design, not by default. I want you to start doing the same. Each day we have an amazing opportunity to create a life that we love. So for the next thirty days, I am going to give you some things to do that will assist you in mindfully living your life.
Day 1: Make Your Bed
There’s even a book written about it by Admiral William H. McRaven titled, Make Your Bed: Little Things That Can Change Your Life And Maybe The World. If you want to change the world, start off by making your bed.
On May 17, 2014, Admiral William H. McRaven addressed the graduating class of the University of Texas at Austin on their Commencement day. Taking inspiration from the university’s slogan, “What starts here changes the world,” he shared the ten principles he learned during Navy Seal training that helped him overcome challenges not only in his training and long Naval career, but also throughout his life; and he explained how anyone can use these basic lessons to change themselves-and the world-for the better.
Admiral McRaven’s original speech went viral with over 10 million views. Building on
What Causes Death Among Americans?
I have been doing some research on what causes death among Americans. Here is what I have found:
In the United States, 36% of adults and 21% of children are obese. Each year, 280,000 people die from obesity. Obesity is caused by eating too much and moving too little. These obesity facts come at an annual cost of $147 billion. That is a lot of money. It seems to me that if people took better care of themselves, we could free up a bunch of money for many great causes. The bottom line is that 767 people a day choose to die of obesity. The weapon of choice, food. Do we get rid of food? Think about it.
Every year 88,000 people die in the United States from alcoholism. Divide the annual deaths by 365, and you get 241 deaths per day. The weapon of choice alcohol. Do we get rid of alcohol? Think about it.
Suicide kills 44,965 people each year in the United States. Seventy-one percent of suicide attempts are with drug overdoses; fourteen percent are cuttings or piercing, and six percent are with guns. Over half of successful efforts are with the use of firearms, seventeen percent succeed using hanging, and twelve percent of overdoses are successful. Every day 123 people kill themselves. The weapons of choice, guns, bedsheets, belts, rope, and drugs to name a few. Do we get rid of all of these methods? Think about it.
Every day in the United States between 2500
The Dark Side
The past few weeks have brought with them some challenges. Many of these trials feel like they have a dark side to them. As I was reflecting on the best way to handle each of these tests of my mettle, I remembered a story that I heard many years ago. It is the story of The Legend of Cliff Young. It goes like this.
In 1983 Cliff Young showed up to the starting line of one of the world’s toughest races. Every year, Australia hosts a 544-mile ultra marathon from Sydney to Melbourne. This race has been coined as one of the most grueling endurance races in which someone can compete. This event takes five days to complete and as a rule only world-class athletes who train exclusively for this race dare to enter.
I Can Do This
Cliff Young was a 61-year old farmer who showed up in his Osh Kosh overalls and workboots with galoshes over the top to run the race. Cliff lived with his mother, had never been married, and had never run in any kind of a competitive race before. He was asked by reporters if he had any sponsors or backers. People said he was crazy and that he would never finish the race. Cliff told the reporters that he grew up on a farm with no horses or four wheelers to round up the sheep on the farm. Cliff talked about having to gather the
It never ceases to amaze me that the world gives me exactly what I need, exactly when I need it. Below is an excerpt from my morning “Quiet Time”…
From Sarah Ban Breathnach’s book Simple Abundance
“Maybe you have set aside time to begin the journey of your authentic self.
Then again, maybe you haven’t…
If you wonder why I suspect this, it’s because I’ve been where you are now. I know. I know how days, weeks, months, even years can escape your grasp. I know what it’s like to put everyone else’s needs before your own so that you can’t
find a half-hour a day for yourself. I know how easy it is to find heartfelt excuses for why you can’t begin something new even if you yearn to, desperately. I know how easily the word “tomorrow” slips out unconsciously. Tomorrow you will begin. Tomorrow. All this I know.
But what I know most of all is that learning about a journey is not the same thing as taking one.
Now that I’ve got your attention let me tell you about the rest of the year. Each day from now on we’re going to use the daily grist of our real lives as a cause for celebration. That’s right, celebration. I have learned many lessons on my path. Chief among them is that the details of our days do make a difference in our lives, that no experience is ever just for drill, and that everything can be a springboard for inspiration if we are
Khalil Gibran once said that people would never understand one another unless language is reduced to seven words. What would your seven words be?
Before I share my seven words with you, I want to tell you a bit about Khalil Gibran. He was born in Lebanon in 1883 and died in New York City at the age of 48 from cirrhosis of the liver due to severe alcoholism. Gibran is the third best-selling poet of all time, behind Shakespeare and Laozi. His best-known work is The Prophet, a book composed of twenty-six essays. Since first being published in 1923, The Prophet has never been out of print. If you haven’t read the book, do. If you have read it, reread it.
A Foundation to Build On
As I was pondering this question, I remembered Tony Robbins Six Human Needs. Tony identified six basic human needs with the belief that everyone is, or can be motivated by fulfilling these needs.
Here they are:
Need 1: Certainty/Comfort
Need 2: Uncertainty/Variety
Need 3: Significance
Need 4: Love & Connection
Need 5: Growth
Need 6: Contribution
Every day we are reflexively determined to meet these needs. When these requirements are met at a high level, our degree satisfaction and fulfillment in our lives is abundant. If these needs are met at a low level, we will experience life as being unsatisfactory and disappointing. I think that we can agree that Tony’s philosophy of what lies at the root of human aspiration and the extent to which these needs are met make a difference
Are You Wearing A Mask?
Yesterday was Halloween also known as All Hallows’ Eve. It is a celebration observed in many countries on October 31. There is much history with roots in age-old European traditions of lighting fires and wearing costumes to ward off ghosts and remembering the dead. In the second half of the nineteenth century, Halloween became a popular day of celebration in the United States. Today, Americans spend an estimated $6 billion annually on Halloween, making it the country’s second largest commercial holiday after Christmas.
Today as I was driving to work, it occurred me that Halloween is the one holiday when people can dress-up as anything or anyone that they want to and hide behind or play the part of that identity or mask all day long. Now, I have to admit, I have seen some VERY creative costumes over the years, and I take my hat off to those people with such vivid imaginations. But, back to the masks and dressing up; I wonder how many of us go beyond Halloween metaphorically being someone that we are not? How many of us pretend to be someone other than our authentic self? And, why would we? Are we afraid to show up as the real us? If so, what is it that we fear? Is it not being accepted by others? Is it that we don’t feel worthy? Do we think if people knew who we indeed are, they would reject us in some way? Do we lack
I was gathering up my things to leave my house for the day when a thought came rushing to my mind. It was likely brought on by the recent news of terror attacks in the U.K. Not to be morbid because that isn’t my nature, but I thought, “What if I don’t make it back here at the end of the day, for whatever reason. Have I left my home in good order? Would I be OK with a family member or a friend finding things as I left them? A sobering thought in some ways and inspiring and motivating in others.
The sobering part is easy to understand. It is likely that very few people close the door behind them as they step out into the world to “do their day” with the thought of never returning. But things happen, in the United States nearly 1.3 million people die in road crashes each year, this is an average 3287 deaths a day. And over half of them are ages 15-44. An additional 3900 people die each day of a range of causes from cancer to crime. Think about it that means that at least 7000 people each day walk out of their homes never to return.
You might ask, how can any of these statistics be the basis for motivation or inspiration. Well, for me it made me stop and have a closer look around. Was I OK with leaving the dirty dishes in the sink? Was I OK with leaving
Write a Letter to Someone Important to You Who Has Died
Welcome to the second in a series of four suggestions to compose a handwritten letter. If you missed last week’s installment, you can read it here. http://meetmeatthebarn.com/why-handwritten-letters-make-a-powerful-impact/
A Handwritten Letter That Says What Needs to be Said
The first letter that you were invited to write was a thank you note. I hope that you chose to participate in sending a note of appreciation to someone who has had an impact on you. This week I am asking you to scribe a letter to someone who is no longer living. That’s right, this is your chance to say what you might have left unsaid to someone while they were still living. Or maybe you would like to simply check-in with a dearly departed. Whatever the case may be, use this occasion to connect or reconnect with a soul who somehow matters to you.
I think you will find that this exercise gives you the opportunity to get some things off your chest, or to get complete with a person, or maybe have a private dialogue with someone you miss and think of often. You will likely have emotions of recollection, humor, sadness, and joy. Whatever it is that you experience, “be” with it, appreciate the fact that you have taken this opportunity to make amends, to say I Love You, or to merely give a wink and a nod to a beloved and never forgotten friend.
So, what do you do when you
I was blessed with the daily companionship of Porkchop for 11 years. He was given to me on my birthday, but when I first saw him I was disappointed. I wanted an Australian Shepherd, and the dog in my mind’s eye looked nothing like Porkchop.
He wasn’t the cutest puppy, and as a result he was the last of a litter to find a home. To add injury to insult, one of my horses stepped squarely on his face within 15 minutes of our first introduction. That left my new dog with a swollen nose and many restless nights of discomfort and labored breathing.
I took him to work with me every day. I was, and still am (in addition to running Meet Me At The Barn), a co-owner of a San Diego-based physical therapy and wellness company. From the very beginning, Porkchop captured the hearts of our patients. He had an uncanny sense of who needed his love and encouragement. He showed up every day until his last ready to serve, expecting nothing in return while putting smiles on faces and extending genuine comfort to those in pain. Maybe it was long-remembered empathy.
When my house burned down in 2007 Porkchop patiently tolerated the gypsy lifestyle of shuffling to four different temporary homes over two years until we were able to move back into a reconstructed house. During the long and demanding days of construction, he never left my side and he generously allowed