#106 Check Your Posture

Sharing 365 life lessons, tips, or hacks; the things that make life easier, happier, and more productive. I hope you’ll follow along and find them helpful too.

#106

Check your posture

The next time you are watching a talk show of some nature (i.e., the morning news or Ellen), take notice of how tall and straight everyone is sitting. Compare that to everyone seated in the restaurant or the Starbucks you next visit. I suspect the difference is mostly the state of awareness that exists in the personalities on television. Those of us eating in a restaurant or grabbing a latte at the coffee shop aren’t (apparently) paying much attention to our personal posture.

Balance

Posture affects our balance. Balance affects walking, going up and down the stairs, getting up and down from chairs, getting in and out of the car, carrying things, and even turning our head. Hence, good posture is vital to many of the things we organically do throughout our day.

Health

Good posture plays an important role in our mood and in how people interpret our mood. It reduces neck and back pain and helps us look slimmer. Additionally, it helps us breathe more easily by allowing our lungs sufficient expansion room. And, because we are well oxygenated, we may learn more easily and retain information longer (improved memory).

Parameters

When you are standing with good posture, your chin will be parallel to the floor and your shoulders will be even. Your arms will down and your elbows, straight. Your weight will be distributed evenly across both feet on even hips. And it will feel good unless your muscles have already begun to adjust to an abnormal configuration.

Train Posture

Certainly, you can resort to the traditional ‘book on your head’ method of practicing posture. The goal is to find the position that puts the least strain on your joints and muscles. Or, you can imagine a straight line running through your body and it’s connected to the ceiling. Without standing on your toes, make yourself as tall as possible. You can strengthen the ligaments in your back by doing a ‘shoulder blade squeeze’… move your shoulder blades as close together as possible and hold them there for 5 seconds. Repeat ten times.

Upright

There’s also the Upright posture training device (this is not a commercial for the product – just passing along info). It’s a wearable device that vibrates slightly when your posture is out of alignment.  It’s part of the ‘wearable’ technology that monitors our body for optimal health and is a great way to retrain yourself to stay aware of good posture if you’ve gotten a little lazy about it.

The goal is awareness and good health. A simple piece of that is to be diligent and…

Check Your Posture

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

#225 Finger paint

Sharing 365 life lessons, tips, or hacks; the things that make life easier, happier, and more productive. I hope you’ll follow along and find them helpful too.

#225

Finger paint

I write a lot about creativity, imagination, and the simple art of fun as contributing significantly to one’s sense of happiness.  One of the ways to incorporate all three elements is to don an apron, grab some paper, and dig into a pile of finger paints.

Feel It

Finger painting works at increasing well-being because it incorporates the additional sense of touch. Incorporating tactile senses allows more parts of our brain to be engaged in the activity at hand. Not only are we stimulated by color, creativity, and imagination, we are spurred also by the sensation of the paint and our hands on the paper – sliding across the page with color trailing behind.

Artistic Recipe

You’re never too old to get your hands full of color but if you feel better, or more justified… grab a kid, niece, nephew, or grandchild and make some magic. You don’t have to get any special supplies… just follow the following recipe and make your own!

Martha Stewart Homemade Finger Paint

Stir 4 tablespoons of sugar and 1/2 cup cornstarch together. Add 2 cups of cold water and heat over medium heat until the mixture is thick (the mixture will further thicken as it cools).

Divide into four or more containers, and add food coloring as desired.

Plain paper works, but photo paper is best. As a last resort, just for the fun of it, you can use plastic wrap or wax paper. These last two won’t offer a solution to keep your creations permanently but they make clean up a breeze.

Be Present

Take some time to enjoy the experience. Make sure to be present – stay focused on the chance to imagine and create. Use colors – or combinations thereof – to express feelings, whatever they may be as you…

Finger paint.

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

#226 Find Shapes in the Clouds

Sharing 365 life lessons, tips, or hacks; the things that make life easier, happier, and more productive. I hope you’ll follow along and find them helpful too.

#226

Find shapes in the clouds

This may be the epitome of a childhood folly. It’s the thing we did as children with mom that was mostly spontaneous, free of charge, and used complete imagination. We could do it anywhere as long as it was daylight and the sky was filled with clouds.

Everyone wins

It’s a game where there is no right or wrong and everyone is a winner. It’s completely subjective and potentially more fun than charades as our imagination and creativity take root to see faces, animals, and inanimate objects in the vapor swirl collections that dance above our heads. Often, before we can describe our vision in detail an upper level wind moves across the sky to change the configuration completely, forcing us to quickly recalculate the interpretation.

Imagination

Einstein postulated that “imagination is more important than knowledge because knowledge is limited but imagination encircles the world.” Indeed, stimulating imagination at all ages fosters creativity which, when  used, is a leading characteristic of happy people. As you step outside on the next sunny day where puffy, pillowy clouds dot the sky, take a few minutes to ignite your imagination and…

Find shapes in the clouds.

**Today’s photo – See the ‘heart’ shaped pillow tucked in those clouds??

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

#244 Rearrange Your Furniture

Sharing 365 life lessons, tips, or hacks; the things that make life easier, happier, and more productive. I hope you’ll follow along and find them helpful too.

#244

Rearrange your furniture

As strange as it sounds, one of my fondest memories as a child was coming home from school to find that my mother had rearranged the furniture yet again. It was a habit of hers and I’m convinced that she had a personal goal of discovering an unlimited number of placement combinations.

Control

Perhaps it was something unexpected that brought delight and pleasure to my young and spontaneous mind. Maybe it was the anticipation of change, something new and novel.  Maybe it’s just as simple as giving an ‘old’ thing new energy. Sometimes, if the only thing we can find to have control of is moving furniture, then it creates an opportunity to empower.

Creative Energy

Rearranging your furniture also allows you to engage your inner creative. It takes imagination to consider how things may appear in another configuration. It employs our capacity to think in spacial terms; recognizing angles, depth, and size.

Feng Shui

When we move into a space we are sometimes in a hurry, not thinking about the best layout and furniture ends up staying in its original location. Other times we replace furniture that may not fit as precisely as its predecessor. And of course there is the consideration of Feng Shui, the Chinese practice of organizing items in our home in such a way as to create good ‘qi’ – meaning good ‘energy’.  Depending on what elements (wealth, health, love) you want to attract or support in you life, you’ll want to place certain pieces of furniture in specific areas of your room. Additionally, getting rid of everything that you don’t love is imperative – even if Great Aunt Ellen gave it to you.

Take a look at the area you are sitting in now… allow yourself to imagine the space a little differently and then…

Rearrange your furniture.

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

#258 Repurpose Something

Sharing 365 life lessons, tips, or hacks; the things that make life easier, happier, and more productive. I hope you’ll follow along and find them helpful too.

#258

Repurpose something

Have you caught on to the repurpose craze? Are you a DIY’er that would rather spend $10 and ten hours of your time to create something new-to-you versus buying something brand new from a store?  Repurposing isn’t a new idea, or even something that was emphasized when HGTV made it mainstream.

Most of our grandmothers were queens at repurposing. I don’t think mine ever threw out a plastic bread bag – those were her baggies. She definitely never trashed a Styrofoam tray once butchers began using them – they were her paint trays. Necessity made repurposing a household habit perhaps as many years ago as there have been people on the planet. And yet, the concept has taken on new life and now, it’s not just practicality that serves the idea of repurposing – it’s imagination and art.

Thousands of blogs share creative ideas and tutorials. Pinterest is overflowing with photos of possibilities. Resale shops like ReStore run contests to promote the sale and rehabilitation of donated items. Goodwill sells dresser donations as quickly as they are donated.

Yard sale buyers aren’t antique and flea market dealers any more. A stroll through craft fairs and art shows demonstrates all kinds of people who have taken repurposing to an entirely new level.

This is one of the great uses of sites like Pinterest; gathering ideas and inspiration for projects that you’d like to entertain. After an hour or so of evoking your creative potential you’ll be ready to hit a yard sale or resale shop to find the pieces you’ll reinvent.  Whether it is a piece of art, a conversation piece, or something more practical like shelving or under-the-bed storage… you’ll for sure, experience tremendous satisfaction once you…

Repurpose something.

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

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

My goal is to share a daily life lesson, tip, or hack. They are the things I want my children to know and the things that I teach to clients. They are the things that make my life easier, happier, and more productive. I hope you’ll follow along and find them helpful too.

#350

Read Fiction

Yesterday I wrote about keeping a self-help book on your nightstand and incorporate reading them as an integral part of your constant personal growth. Today, I am suggesting that you need to mix it up a little. At the core of my suggestion is the inclusion of ‘trash’ fiction; you know – the stories that may or may not be terribly well written but in a weird way, take you into another mental space free of any daily life stressors. The stories that whisk you away to far away islands or planets in another galaxy.

It may be a national best seller or on an obscure list of sci-fi thrillers. It could be an epic trilogy based on real historical events or an unrealistic saga of Zombie rampage. No matter the genre, fiction has a way of whisking us onto a different plateau where reality is temporarily displaced, and our imagination can run amok.

A good story not only allows for us to step out of our lives momentarily, it helps us to foster empathy as we are transported into the perspective of a character who lives and thinks differently than us. Additionally, it creates a space where we can imagine ourselves interacting with a variety of circumstances and personalities; potentially improving our own relationships.

The brief disruption from stressors allow our mind and body a ‘break’ … a mental nap of sorts. It provides an opportunity for reset, which is proven to increase our overall sense of well-being. It quiets our mind by distracting us from our daily grind. Reading fiction before bed is indicated for people with insomnia. Reading fiction opens our mind to creativity by stimulating our imagination. It fosters our ability to produce mental images and it builds our vocabulary.

Dust off your library card, download Audible, and/or charge your Kindle and spend a little time with this one daily goal…

Read Fiction

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

Photo on Foter.com