Life, Love & Photography :: Self-Care

October 24, 2019

This morning I made a list of all the BIG positive changes that have happened in my life since I made a commitment to myself seven+ years ago. This commitment was to dedicate time just for me. First thing in the morning (no matter what) sitting in silence for 10-20 minutes each day to simply focus on my breath and listen within. Creating a morning practice. No matter where I am in the world or what time I have to be up in the AM, I make time to meditate.

 

Seven years ago I was going through a deep depression. I was an empty nester, working all day every day by myself, dealing with a personal catastrophe (I’ll spare you the details) and then to top it all off, my dad passed away from cancer. He was a pillar in my life, losing him felt like my heart burst open and I had no choice but to listen and make changes. So I started a self-care practice.

 

When I think back about how I went from where I was (seven years ago) to where I am today, I know that a commitment to fiercely loving myself each day made all the difference.

 

For me, that consisted of many small choices that lead to BIG positive changes. Small decisions like choosing to spend time meditating each day, pick-me-up affirmations, eating healthy and being mindful of my thoughts, my words and my actions.

 

Also listening to what my inner child wanted – you know, that small still voice inside that begs for some time outside when you have lots of deadlines to meet.

 

Time in nature, dance breaks, scheduling in movement (yoga, walking, biking, dancing…) and adding more time for fun, way more fun! I began to check in with myself throughout the day to ask questions like, “How are you feeling? Are you having fun?!”. As my Spiritual Coach, Nancy taught me – this commitment gave me permission to listen to and follow my “YES”.  Let me tell you, that has made all the difference in my life. Don’t believe me read below or better yet, test it out! Test it out for 21 days, see if you notice any improvements. Please reach out and tell me if you found this helpful.

 

Around the same time, I read The Happiness Advantage by Shawn Achor. Having spent years studying happiness at Harvard University below are some notes on what Achor had to say.

 

  • Happiness fuels success, not the other way around.

 

  • When we’re positive, our brains become more engaged, creative, motivated, energetic, resilient, and productive.

 

  • 90% of your long term happiness is predicted, not by our external world, but by how our brains process the world! 

 

Below are a few quick ways to help your brain choose happiness and create lasting positive change in your daily life:

 

  • 3 Gratitudes: list out 3 things each day that you are thankful for.
  • Journaling: journaling about a positive experience will help you seek out more positive experiences.
  • Exercise and movement: helps get your blood flowing and your brain releases fun chemicals like serotonin, endorphins and dopamine.
  • Meditation: meditation reduces stress, increases resilience in hard times, produces a deep state of peace /wellbeing, increases happiness/optimism, helps create loving relationships and increases life satisfaction.
  • Random Acts of Kindness.

 

Achor writes that this discovery has been repeatedly supported by research in psychology and neuroscience, management studies, and the bottom lines of organizations around the world.

When you put your happiness first, studies show, you are more likely to have a better secure job, better at keeping your job, superior productivity, more resilient, less burnout, less turnover and greater sales!

20 minute AM Meditation : Find a quiet spot, set your timer, sit in a comfortable position, close your eyes, breathe in/out through your nose and chant in your head a simple mantra: I like “Sat Nam”. In the ancient Sikh language, Sat means truth. Nam means name. Together, Sat Nam translates into something deeper: “I am truth,” or “Truth is my essence.”

Guided Meditation: I’m a fan of the mediations they offer at the Chopra Center: (Click Here)

“If every 8-year-old in the world is taught meditation, we will eliminate violence from the world within one generation.” – Dalai Lama

Our hope for this blog post is that it continues to inspire you to dream, to grow and to create in fabulously authentic ways. May we all deepen our sense of creativity, cultivate change, fulfillment and joy in our lives and take time to acknowledge all that we have to be thankful for!

As always, we truly appreciate your friendship, your continued support and generous referrals.

If you have any suggestions, questions or thoughts please call or email judith@judithrae.com. I look forward to hearing from you!

Cheers!!!

Judith Rae

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