#321 of 365 Ways to live Easier, Happier, & More Productive

A poem is YOUR heart… YOUR voice… and may promote freedom of expression and emotions where they might otherwise not work. You can use metaphors or describe literally… grab a notebook

Sharing a daily life lesson, tip, or hack; the things that make life easier, happier, and more productive. I hope you’ll follow along and find them helpful too.

#321

Write a poem

Poems stand alone in a variety of forms and sometimes, they are set to music and become song. They rhyme or not… they are rhythmic or not… they are short or not.  They cite heartache, fear, joy, and hope. They are stories and parables.

How would a poem about you begin? What about a poem of your life? Would it be silly and childish like those of Shel Silverstein? Would it be inspiring like Maya Angelou? Would it be tragic or hilarious?

Poetry can be as simple as a collection of your visions and/or inner thoughts, strung together with or without subjects and verbs or punctuation and grammar.

Photograph

I see it there, moving

Me

Reflecting time, gone now-

You

Captured e-lec-tricity,

Us

Colored memory.

Ghost

 

Or they can be more vividly representative…

 

The ONE

The day you left me long ago

The angels came to say

They would take you home to rest

You wouldn’t be far away.

 

I listened to their wisdom

I tried to let it be

And I was looking for the day

When they returned for me.

 

The days and nights are lonely

Now that we’re apart

But I have always saved for you

A piece of my heart.

 

The rest has gone to one so small

You hardly knew

He’s the apple of my eye

He has the best of you.

 

We will live without you now

And try to go on

But rest assured my dear sweet love

You’ll always be my ONE.

A poem is YOUR heart… YOUR voice… and may promote freedom of expression and emotions where they might otherwise not work. You can use metaphors or describe literally… grab a notebook or open a document and give it a try…

Write a poem.

I love hearing your thoughts and ideas. Please share in the comments below.

** both of the poems written above were written by me – the first recently as I observed a photograph of my partner and I kissing the day of his cancer telling PET scan and the second is a poem I wrote more than 30 years ago after the death of my son’s father.

#322 of 365 Ways to live Easier, Happier, & More Productive

They can offer a needed diversion from stress, an opportunity to relax and unwind, and the potential for humor and camaraderie.

Sharing a daily life lesson, tip, or hack; the things that make life easier, happier, and more productive. I hope you’ll follow along and find them helpful too.

#322

Host a party

When was the last time you entertained for no particular reason?? We celebrate birthdays and anniversaries, promotions and retirements, and weddings and babies. We come together for Tupperware, candles, baskets, kitchen knives, bake ware, leggings, and lingerie but when was the last time you had a party for no reason other than you wanted to party with a few of your friends?

We don’t ‘need’ a reason to celebrate friendship or to get to know acquaintances better. It’s as easy as setting a time and date; run the vacuum and swipe a dust rag (if you must); and pick out a great playlist. It can a BYO beverage, chip, app, chair, etc., or whatever you want it to be. It can be themed (think s’mores and a backyard fire), adults only, or a girls night out. I’m sure some of us can even make it totally impromptu – making a same day invitation.

Parties – or lessor defined ‘gatherings – can remind us that we belong; that we have a tribe, that people care. They can offer a needed diversion from stress, an opportunity to relax and unwind, and the potential for humor and camaraderie. If formality is more your thing… send invites, polish the silver, and pull out your most elaborate serving dishes.

Either way, the value is in assembling your peeps, winding down, and engaging in the social interactions that are a deeply rooted in our humanity when you…

Host a party.

I love hearing your thoughts and ideas. Please share in the comments below.

 

#323 of 365 Ways to live Easier, Happier, & More Productive

I’ve never known someone who was sorry they took a yoga class. It’s a generally affordable way (there’s always a Groupon for Yoga classes) to get in shape, relax, mange breath, strengthen cardio, and improve flexibility.

Sharing a daily life lesson, tip, or hack; the things that make life easier, happier, and more productive. I hope you’ll follow along and find them helpful too.

#323

Try Yoga

Unless you’ve been under a rock or tucked away in a cave for the last several decades, you’ve heard – ad nauseum probably – about the benefits of practicing yoga. Kudos if you practice a form of yoga on a regular basis… pass this post along to someone you know who doesn’t and come back tomorrow. If you have wanted to or have been confused about it – read on.

Yoga is one of those things that you have to try a few different times to find the kind you like, the teacher you prefer, and the environment that is conducive to something you want to do regularly. How do you choose between the 11 different types? Try ‘em all and keep doing the one you like the best. Here are a few of the most popular and easy to find…

Hatha yoga – generally refers to any yoga practice based on the practice of physical movement. It’s generally where people start.

Iyengar yoga – Here the focus is on alignment and precision. A teacher is a necessity for this type of yoga because the workout is in the precise pose with controlled breath.

Kundalini yoga  – combines spirituality with your workout. It’s fast paced and may include meditation.

Vinyasa yoga – Known as the most athletic form of yoga, movement is deeply coordinated with breath and movement is designed to flow from one pose into another.

Bikram yoga – If you like to sweat, this ‘hot’ yoga may be for you. There are 26 poses, performed sequentially in a room that is 105 degrees with low humidity.

I’ve never known someone who was sorry they took a yoga class. It’s a generally affordable way (there’s always a Groupon for Yoga classes) to get in shape, relax, mange breath, strengthen cardio, and improve flexibility. Once you’ve learned the poses and develop good form, participating in a yoga class is as easy as opening a YouTube page or tuning your TV one of the many channels offering a selection of classes.

Why not take the time to treat your body and your spirit to one of the world’s oldest and most helpful forms of exercise…

Try yoga.

I love hearing your thoughts and ideas. Please share in the comments below.

 

#324 of 365 Ways to live Easier, Happier, & More Productive

If it is not life changing, a national security issue, or harming anyone – why not just … let it go? How many ego wins does one person need to feel big or secure?

Sharing a daily life lesson, tip, or hack; the things that make life easier, happier, and more productive. I hope you’ll follow along and find them helpful too.

#324

Let someone else be right

Or, I could say… let go of trying to prove your point. I know for some people – this will be a big challenge. You know – our ego simply gets in the way at times. Ok, maybe more than ‘at times’… and it’s necessary to realize that’s all it is – an ego.

I’m not sure the proportion, but a HUGE percentage of arguments escalate simply because someone is determined to be – right. We need to win. When both (or all) parties in the conversation determine that ‘they’ must prevail, it is likely that someone will eventually be verbally beaten into submission; ending the exchange with feelings of defeat and a sense of failure because they were unsuccessful proving their position.

I ask … “why?”

If we have the knowledge, or perhaps proof to substantiate our point… why must we shove it down the proverbial throat of those who don’t know? Or, perhaps have a valid – but different – perspective? Why is it so necessary to demonstrate the lack of knowledge in someone we converse with?

If it is not life changing, a national security issue, or harming anyone – why not just … let it go? How many ego wins does one person need to feel big or secure? If absolutely necessary… Google it and quietly validate the question/answer for yourself but keep it close… allowing someone else to believe what they believe; assuming it doesn’t overstep the above referenced boundaries.

I wonder how many challenges you’ll save yourself from if you were to …

Let someone else be right.

I love hearing your thoughts and ideas. Please share in the comments below.

#325 of 365 Ways to live Easier, Happier, & More Productive

It’s often served with olive oil and pita, which is the middle eastern equivalent of garlic and spice with hot Italian rolls – really anything that you can dip in flavorful olive oil has me sitting quickly down at the table.

Sharing a daily life lesson, tip, or hack; the things that make life easier, happier, and more productive. I hope you’ll follow along and find them helpful too.

#325

Try Za’atar

I mean… we all have to eat – so why not make eating adventurous and tasty all at the same time? While some of my readers may already know and love za’atar – I’m rather new to this lovely concoction and I thought it necessary to encourage ya’ll to try it.

Za’atar is a blend of spices with a middle eastern origin, popular throughout the Mediterranean. As a spice blend, it is a mixture of dried thyme, oregano, marjoram, toasted sesame seed, salt, and sumac – some or all in various percentages depending on which part of that region you come from. In fact, families often had their own recipes and handed them down through generations; keeping it a secret. I didn’t have any trouble finding a recipe for it on the internet and a bottle was quickly found in the Mediterranean section of my local specialty grocer.

It’s often served with olive oil and pita, which is the middle eastern equivalent of garlic and spice with hot Italian rolls – really anything that you can dip in flavorful olive oil has me sitting quickly down at the table. My ah-ha yum yum moment came with za’atar smothered all over a roasted chicken. Just thinking about it now – my mouth is watering.

I would be ever-so-happy to hear of your special recipe or standard inclusions for this lovely new addition to my flavor cabinet; or even a quick story of how and when you decided to…

Try Za’atar

I love hearing your thoughts and ideas. Please share in the comments below.

 

#326 of 365 Ways to live Easier, Happier, & More Productive

We ‘know’ that there are ‘different strokes for different folks’ and yet we often struggle with the reality that the way I think or what I think is vastly different than someone else.

Sharing a daily life lesson, tip, or hack; the things that make life easier, happier, and more productive. I hope you’ll follow along and find them helpful too.

#326

Embrace difference

Similar to acceptance, embracing differences is a specific contributor to feeling better about yourself and about the world in general. Embracing differences requires us to step out of our comfort zones, to ‘accept’ that our worldview is only one perspective.

We know this intellectually of course. We ‘know’ that there are ‘different strokes for different folks’ and yet we often struggle with the reality that the way I think or what I think is vastly different than someone else.

The solution, or the strategy for embracing differences is directly correlated to the concept of ‘right’ and ‘wrong’. If we simply let go of the notion that what I think is ‘right’ – by definition, making the other ‘wrong’ – then we can see other forms of thought as merely different. The struggle comes with our belief that I may not be ‘good enough’ if I am not ‘right’.

In reality, there are perhaps dozens of ‘right’ viewpoints – all contextually unique. Consider the act of burping. The act of belching loudly while sitting around a dinner table would be regarded as quite rude in most of North American households, particularly if you were a guest or at a business function. However, in India – it is a demonstration of having enjoyed a good meal.

Instead of thinking of someone or something as being right or wrong as a general principle, explore the idea that it is simply different. This uncomplicated distinction eliminates a lot of judgment and unnecessary degradation. Over time, even the most extraordinary variations of our personal likes and dislikes can be appreciated as we…

Embrace differences.

I love hearing your thoughts and ideas. Please share in the comments below.

#327 of 365 Ways to live Easier, Happier, & More Productive

Some of us spend way too much time thinking about how the world or people in it ‘should’ be or what ‘could’ have been done and far too little time seeing things as they ARE so that we can make a difference where it is possible.

Sharing a daily life lesson, tip, or hack; the things that make life easier, happier, and more productive. I hope you’ll follow along and find them helpful too.

#327

Acceptance

My mother used to say “It is what it is.” She said it so much that it became rather like fingernails running down a long chalkboard when I heard it. Almost simultaneously, she would quietly recite the Serenity prayer, “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.” Each time I heard either phrase, I imagined her throwing her hands in the air as if she was surrendering and it infuriated me because I wanted to have more control than that.

For anyone with ‘control’ issues – accepting our inability to create the reality we want to have is challenging. It is imperative therefore, to learn acceptance. It took me decades to realize that courage and determination were instrumental in learning how to ‘accept’ that I am powerless to change some things; other people for example.

Some of us spend way too much time thinking about how the world or people in it ‘should’ be or what ‘could’ have been done and far too little time seeing things as they ARE so that we can make a difference where it is possible.

If I have a yard sale planned and it is raining – ANY time I spend lamenting about the rain and its effect on my plans is a WASTE of ENERGY. I can be disappointed for sure but anything outside of that is non-acceptance.  If I’ve made a mistake and feel embarrassed or ashamed, moving forward from it requires acceptance – not avoidance of what is.

And… in order to change anything we have the power to change – we must see it clearly AS IT IS – not worse or better than it is – in order to change it accurately and reliably. If we want to turn sadness into something different, we have to stop resisting the sadness and accept its presence. The first step to anything is quite simply…

Acceptance.

I love hearing your thoughts and ideas. Please share in the comments below.