#177 Dance

Our social interactions can be enhanced and our overall sense of well-being is likely to be elevated.

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.

#177

Dance

If you were ever a Grey’s Anatomy fan, you’ll remember that Meredith Grey liked to ‘dance it out’. It was her way of being emotionally expressive. The truth is, dance is fantastic for emotions – it’s great for your body – and it may help you live longer. Indeed, There was a woman on this year’s America’s Got Talent that took Ballroom dance classes when she was in her sixties and today, after more than 10 years of honing skill… at the age of 71, she is dancing on national television with the grace of a swan.

Benefits

When we dance, we burn calories. We release endorphins. We stretch muscles. We build strength. We build aerobic capacity. Our balance, agility, flexibility, and coordination are improved. Our social interactions can be enhanced and our overall sense of well-being is likely to be elevated.

Something for Everyone

Dance can take so many different avenues that there’s an option for just about everyone. You can disco in the comfort of your living room; take ballroom dancing lessons, spend Saturday afternoon Country line dancing at a local venue. You can enroll in ballet, tap, or modern dance classes at a local studio or community college. Dance by yourself, with someone you know, or with a complete stranger. There really aren’t limits except those that you apply to yourself.

Motivation

Think about your motivation to dance… what is your goal? Fitness? Flexibility? Social connection? Would you prefer a partner? Private Lessons? Potential for competition? Do you want a work out or simple fun? Are you seeking to develop strength, coordination, or flexibility? The answer may dictate the style of dance you may enjoy and the intensity you dive in with.

At the very least, allow yourself to take the opportunities when they arise, to move to music that you enjoy. Whether it’s a series of hip wiggles or spins around the kitchen… when you hear tunes that motivate you to ‘get your groove on’ – let the spirit move you and…

Dance.

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

#179 Learn Sign Language

How many times have you found yourself in a situation where you couldn’t (or shouldn’t) speak but needed to send a message across the room?

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.

#179

Learn sign language

When I was in high school, I played the part of Annie Sullivan in our school play production of The Miracle Worker. She was the woman who taught Helen Keller as a child, how to communicate with the world. As a result of that experience, I learned the sign language alphabet and at that time, became rather proficient at spelling out words. Since I was the only one in my environment who had the skill – it didn’t do me much good. At least until my sisters learned it and then – we had fun discussing things secretly even in a crowded n those skills.

I didn’t have much motivation to broaden my knowledge until I was babysitting him one evening. He kept trying to get out of bed and even though he was trying to signal something to me, I was being quite stern. He wasn’t old enough to write things down and I was tired. Eventually, his persistence wore me down and I indicated that he could get up and do whatever it was he wanted so badly. The poor kid ran as fast as he could into the bathroom and I felt like a rotten Aunt. It was motivation.

Eventually I was in a position to learn American Sign Language (ASL)- the most common type of ‘signing’ in the Deaf community. I was known to be theatrical and so it was a good fit because a lot of the communication is via inference of facial expressions and body movement. By then, my nephew was much older and although I didn’t see him often, it was nice to be able to ‘converse’ and I could comprehend most of what he was conveying to me. Over time and without practice, my ‘signing’ became majorly rusty and barely discernible.

Sign language isn’t just for deaf people. There are lots of occasions where interpreters are needed as the American Disabilities Act requires public and certain private organizations to provide assistance so that the hearing impaired can receive the same information that hearing individuals have access to. How many times have you found yourself in a situation where you couldn’t (or shouldn’t) speak but needed to send a message across the room? I know many of us use texting for this purpose! People who know sign language enjoy an alternative mode of transporting messages.

ASL is widely becoming accepted as a ‘second language’ in the public education space. It is an option now in many foreign language departments across the USA. Some organizations offer classes and many of the people who act as interpreters in churches and synagogues also teach small groups locally. Generally, it’s easy to find an inexpensive and convenient forum to learn.

Earlier this year one of the suggestions I made was to both learn something new and to take a class. This suggestion encompasses both! I hope you’ll consider the overall benefits of creating new neural pathways, setting and reaching a goal, as well as having a little fun as you look for a class and make the decision to …

Learn sign language.

 

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

#184 Carve Something

This is also one of those little thought of talents that can come in really handy when you need something unique and custom…

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.

#184

Carve something

This suggestion is entirely recommended for the creative side of you. It’s something that is probably off your radar and yet it’s fun, challenging, and possible for even the most basic beginner.

To start you need a small knife; preferably a handy-dandy pocket knife with a selection of blades but a small paring knife will also suffice in these early stages. The only other requirement is a bar of Ivory soap or a piece of Balsa wood; either choice is soft and easy to carve with little pressure.

This creative option is often taught to children in scouting programs which, may be the last time any of us made an effort to try this activity. Yet, today your dexterity is far more developed and with a little patience your imagination can transform the soap or wood into an entirely different shape and/or a functional item.

I can imagine a few of you wondering “why?” – thinking that I am stretching this ‘creativity’ piece a little far and yet I’ll reiterate that just ‘trying’ new things is good for your soul. It’s great for building your imagination, your confidence, and your curiosity. It’s a wonderful way to foster creativity and wonder.

Soap carvings make great gifts! Even if you carve small hearts and put them in a box with a little essential oil… what a nice gift for a guest bathroom! Carving little figurines, small toys, or an ink stamps from balsa wood can also make great gifts. This is also one of those little thought of talents that can come in really handy when you need something unique and custom – as in an ink stamp or a unique name.

Try a Google search of ‘beginner wood carver’. Hop on YouTube to watch a demo. Both will get you the basics and begin to satisfy, challenge, or develop a number of little personality characteristics that get stimulated with creative energy! Find an easy project and challenge yourself to …

Carve something.

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

#193 Be Curious

I knew some friends in high school that were curious about their ability to ignite the gas they personally produced. Yes… they tried to light their farts …

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.

#193

Be Curious

Have you heard the phrase “curiosity killed the cat?” I actually grew up hearing that quite often and never paid much heed to it but I find that many people are hesitant to be curious. The  phrase is credited to an English comedy play from 1598 and I can’t help but wonder if it propagated with the simple intent of keeping wandering children or nosy neighbors in line.

New Things

What we know today is that curiosity is one of the fundamental attributes of happy people in part, because when we wonder, we are apt to try new things and when we try new things, there is more novelty in our lives. Novelty keeps things  new and fresh – boredom is rare in curios people. People who are curious are constantly learning, exploring, or trying new things; expanding knowledge and boundaries.

Empathy

When we are curious about people or perspectives, we ask more questions. People who are curious tend to have more friends and deeper relationships because they have – in their curiosity – developed an ability to delve deeper into the conversations that build emotional intimacy even in platonic relationships. As their perspective expands, they are able to have more empathy; a trait that also leads to more consistent reports of well-being.

Personal Growth

Your talent for and desire for curiosity may determine your capacity for personal growth. Researchers have identified a correlation between the two. It seems like a no-brainer because if we don’t ever wonder who we are, why we are, or how to change – then growth simply won’t happen.

Many of the ideas I’ve written about to make your life happier and more productive have been identified as a result of people being curious… “I wonder what would happen if I….” and then a sense of satisfaction, comfort, and/or peace sets in and you feel happy. Trial and error… not everything we are curious about will be something that we really wanted to know. I knew some friends in high school that were curious about their ability to ignite the gas they personally produced. Yes… they tried to light their farts … it didn’t go well.

Other than that… maybe you don’t need to know that… in most other things, your life will be enriched if you find the energy to …

Be Curious.

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

#221 Plan a vacation to somewhere you’ve never been.

Allow the anticipation to build as you imagine yourself in a new vacation spot. It will be new and exciting…

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.

#221

Plan a vacation to somewhere you’ve never been.

Are you someone who goes to the same beach town each year? Do you have a timeshare that you visit every vacation? Do you have a mountain cabin, lake house, or beach bungalow that is your home away from home? Does that mean that you rarely see other parts of the country or of the world?? Perhaps it’s time for you to explore a little and schedule a vacation to somewhere you’ve never been.

Ready for change

What type of landscape attracts you? What city have you always dreamed of visiting? Is there a place of solitude that has been tugging at your interest? If you weren’t tied to your family’s choice, where would you go? Are you bored to tears at the lake, looking for more nightlife than the crickets and fireflies offer or are you fed up with the traffic and city lights?

Where to go

Take a look at your calendar and a good hard look at a map… what part of the world is calling you? Maybe it’s just around the corner and is easily attainable. For destinations halfway around the world, it may take a bit more planning and saving but with dedication to the goal – still attainable. If you can’t decide then write down the top five and draw from a jar or close your eyes and point. If all else fails, try the old fashioned dart throw. After a destination is decided upon, investigate and plan. Take a look at all your options and put together a budget.

Pleasurable anticipation

Allow the anticipation to build as you imagine yourself in a new vacation spot. It will be new and exciting… perhaps a bit strange if you’ve been used to a particular location but discovering new things is responsible for pleasure more often than  not. A fresh location to experience rest and relaxation may be just the thing you need this year so go ahead and…

Plan a vacation to somewhere you’ve never been.

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

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

All too often we fall into the trap of routine and favorites without adding intrigue anywhere in our life. Exploration protects against stagnation. Grab a friend or explore alone…

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.

#349

Explore

This tip is subject to individual interpretation. My favorite type is exploration involves an automobile and a map. Waking up on Sunday morning, packing a snack bag, and heading out to discover treasures on a road never before traveled.

It’s a tradition started by my father and one that I’ve carried on to this day. I’ve found quaint villages, amazing diners, quiet spots, and captivating historical nuggets simply by traveling down a road that I’ve never investigated. It’s true that as time goes by I need to travel further out but the discoveries continue and the pleasure of new information and charming revelations has yet to be exhausted.

Of course, exploration doesn’t have to mean a car – it can be applied to people as in meeting new friends. It can be information as applied to learning something new. It can be an expedition through YouTube.com or a University library. Explore anything that is interesting to you. The point here is to motivate and enhance curiosity and interest so that life doesn’t get stale.

All too often we fall into the trap of routine and favorites without adding intrigue anywhere in our life. Exploration protects against stagnation. Grab a friend or explore alone… step into that little shop you’ve been curious about or stop for desert in that restaurant you’ve wanted to try. Is there a park you’ve been meaning to walk through?

Don’t wait until a moment of boredom overtakes a hot summer weekend. Make exploration a part of your journey in some form. Add this one word to your to do list today…

Explore

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

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