How to Unplug and Give Your Mind and Body a New Freedom.

Fortune Cookie Life Lesson #43

Unplug

Such a simple thing to do but for so many of us it is impossible.  Remember the days before tons of technology. Many times we find ourselves indulged in the newest game or checking our Instagram and facebook status on the daily.  Technology is a great tool but we need to find that healthy and happy balance so that we don’t become computer zombies.  The next time you find yourself needed a technology detox here are a few ways to reawaken your body and your mind.

1. Create a nightly ritual

Nightly rituals are fantastic.  Take some time doing something other than looking at a screen.  Read a book that is so good you can’t possibly put it down.  Find some time for some light yoga practices or meditation.  Doing this right before bed can give you the best sleep of your life.  Start a journal and write about your day and what you have experienced.  If there is some stress writing it out on paper can help in dealing and will also help you get a better night sleep.

2. Learn a new hobby or skill.

Learn something new and have fun.  Whether it’s taking a class or take the time to practice something that you have been meaning to work on, doing this broadens your horizons.  Doing this helps you grow and can help move you forward into the future.

3. Exercise

Physical activity does a body and the mind well.  We are always so sedentary when we are dealing with technology and to be able to go out and get in some exercise keeps us healthy.

4. Spend time with those you love.

Spend time with family and friends.  They miss you and would love to be able to have your attention.  Go outside together for a walk or play a board game.  Go back to old school and enjoy each other’s company.

There are so many ways to get yourself unplugged.  Pick a day and renew your senses and relationships.  The good thing about technology is that it is always around tomorrow.  Remember life is to short to be plugged in all the time.

Keep Your Cool 100% Better with These 6 Steps

We have all been in a situation where we feel as though we will have a massive volcanic meltdown. Unfortunately, there are times that we actually do explode and may not behave or say these things we should. These times are tricky and it is always best to take the higher road when dealing with opposition. Try these 6 steps the next time you feel like you are about to blow your top.

1.  Breathe
When was the last time you took a nice long slow inhale and a nice slow exhale? Not only will breathing relax your last nerves giving yourself some time to breathe will improve your health overall. An exercise I practice is to breathe in through the nose nice and slow for 4 seconds and out for seven seconds through the mouth. I can feel my body calm down and it gives me time to think about what just happened.

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2. Time Out isn’t Just for Kids
Timeouts are awesome when you find your self in a confrontation. Sometimes you just need a break from the situation to think through what just happened and the best way to deal with the problem. Taking timeouts will save you in many situations and yes there will be times that this might not be an option but if you can do your best to step away and let yourself cool down.

3. Go to a Happy Place
Along with a timeout make sure to go to a place that brings you happiness. This can be any place like a park or maybe even your favorite little shop. Just give yourself time to reevaluate the situation. Happy environments bring happy energy.

4. If You Don’t Have Anything Nice to Say Don’t Say it at All
This is a hard one especially for me. I have had to really try and practice this very valuable lesson. Words hurt and can cause so much more turmoil than if you were never to speak, to begin with. Make sure to think about what you say and choose your words wisely.

5. People Are Human And so Are You
We are all humans and we all make mistakes. If you find yourself dealing with a situation that makes you react in a way that is not most pleasing make sure to apologize for your part. Own it and move forward knowing that this is a valuable lesson for the future. If someone has wronged you and did not handle their situation like they should make sure to forgive them. This helps you by not holding toxic resentment and it helps them by knowing that they can learn from their mistake and move on making better choices in the future.

make a move

6. Go For a Walk
Walks are wonderful things. They give you fresh air and exercise which is fantastic for the body. Walks can give you the time to think about what is important to you and help you make good judgments. The next time you find yourself going out of control walk out the door and soak in some fresh air and burn off some of that steam.

Life and interactions are not always easy. There are many times in our lives we find ourselves dealing with unpleasant situations. Instead of doing or saying something we will have to apologize for or regret later take some time and know that by doing this you are saving yourself and others from unnecessary distress.

6 Ways to Rebuild Trust That Was Lost

Fortune Cookie Life Lesson #31
Trust is earned by many deeds.

Honesty is the best policy. We have heard this statement time and time again but what happens if you have broken that policy and need to repair the damage. Breaking trust is a hard lesson to learn, and it takes lots of time and patience on both ends. Know that if you work hard and stay diligent the trust you once had can be rebuilt and in many times become stronger than it once was. Here are six ways to restore the faith that was thought to be lost.

1. Be Honest.
It might be hard, but please be honest. Not only with yourself but also with the ones that have been affected. The gig is up, and it is time to get real. The more real you are, the better it will be to mend those broken fences.

2. Show You Care.
The actions that you do will speak louder than the words that you use. By showing action to someone, you are indicating that you care and are committed to fixing the problem. If you didn’t care, you wouldn’t act. The action also takes time and effort on your part, and that lets the other person know you are trying.

3. Respect
Respect is earned and not just given. Respect takes hard work, and if you want the same respect, you must work for it especially if you have been dishonest. One way to earn back trust is to think about how to restore what was lost and take the time to work on fixing things. It will not happen overnight and takes a lot of time, but it is well worth the effort to show the person you care how much respect you have for them.

4. Transparency
Be an open book. Honesty also involves you being honest with yourself. If you are hiding things, you are not honest with those around you. You need to be able to be comfortable in your skin and be comfortable with those around you to know who you are and being transparent lets the other person see a side of you no one else does.

5. Take the situation seriously.
Do this by sincerely asking for forgiveness and giving a sincere apology. If you don’t take the situation seriously for what it is, then you show that your commitment to fix what you have done is not there.

6. Don’t be too hard on yourself.
People are not perfect, and everyone makes mistakes. Just know that whatever happens, you can always do better after making a mistake. Don’t judge yourself harshly and think that you need to. Being dishonest to someone can take its toll, and it is better to learn from the mistake and move forward never making a mistake again.

Trust is a very fragile thing when it comes to dealing with relationships. When trust is broken remember to be honest from here on out to rebuild what was lost. Show you care by working hard to fix the damage that was caused. Be honest with yourself and others so that they can see the best of you. Take the situation seriously and carefully as it will be in a very fragile state for a while. Always know that you are going to get through this and see that you can take a bad mistake and make it into a great future by learning the lesson that it taught you.

Celebrate Ordinary Moments With Kids

Fortune Cookie Life Lesson # 26
There are no ordinary moments.

How many of us take the time to celebrate our everyday moments? How many of us do this with our children? Kids grow fast just yesterday I remember the day my son Parker was born, and that was 14 years ago. Time has flown by, and one thing I realized is that life is short and time does not stand still so it is essential to celebrate the most ordinary things and take time to slow down because one day they will be gone. Here are some ways to celebrate everyday moments with your kids.

1. Compliment Kids on the Small Things
What seems so small to us can be significant accomplishments for our children. I remember when my daughter Emma figured out how to tie her shoes and rather than the way we all were taught she came up with her idea, and the look on her face was priceless. She thought she had conquered the world not only tying them but finding a way that worked that was not ordinary. These are the moments that will build who our children are and give them the confidence to move forward.

2. Positive Words and Phrases
Positive words go further when dealing with kids than the negative. I remember growing up sometimes my dad would use negative phrases toward us as were growing up and I think that stuck with me the most. I never remember him congratulating us but only a handful of times and all the rest was a joke, or we were just dumb. I made it a mission when I had my kids was to break this cycle because it did affect how I felt and that I did not think I was capable of doing anything. Fixing this logic took many years and lots of self-exploration to teach myself that I could do whatever I put my mind too, and I am better off than I was years ago. Words can build, or they can destroy and be able to remember this will help you and your child’s relationship in the future.

Here are some phrases to use with your kids
I love seeing you…
I am proud of…
I love you
I am happy that you…

3. Hugs, Notes, and Time
Kids thrive on attention. It doesn’t have to be much and sometimes our lives can get very busy. I try to devote some time throughout the day to both of my kids. When they were younger I left notes in their lunch boxes, and they loved it and if I forgot I was sure to be reminded the next day. Both of my kids love hugs and always have. They need to have some contact at least once a day. When they were younger, it was more than that but as they have grown into teenagers if they get a hug or two that is fine with them. When Emma was younger she loved Play Do and would make food out of play-doh and serve it to my husband and I this was her favorite activity and we always made sure that we took the time to play along.  My kids also love to play board games, and we do try to fit this activity in as much as we can. Since I homeschool game time is part of our curriculum, and they thoroughly enjoy it.  The card game Uno is a family favorite and the kids never get tired of playing.  Spending a little quality time never hurts and doing what works best for your family will build a stronger bond
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4. Acknowledgment of the Good That is Done Today
Whether it be an A on a test or that they did all of their chores kids love support for the things they have done.
When teaching my kids if they are on a subject that is not their particular favorite I make sure to give them positive reinforcement when they have completed what they have done. It is hard to achieve something that is not your most favorite and letting them know that you are proud of them finishing the job will help them to be responsible.

Raising kids can be quite an adventure. Time does not stand still, and before you know it, they are taller than you, looking for work, and living on their own. Take the days you have with them and cherish every one. Create memories and help build them to be the people you want them to be. Even the little things can mean the most when it comes to our children. Giving positive words and phrases will build them into healthy individuals that can conquer the world. Spending time with them lets them know that you are making them a priority. Acknowledging the good that they work on helps them to become responsible adults. Just like when we plant a seed, we need to care for it to grow and the same goes for our children.

 

How to be Tolerant in an Intolerant World

Fortune Cookie Life Lesson #20

Tolerance is a virtue few have.

I will be honest when I picked up this one I had to chuckle a little. Like I said when I started this project that these fortune cookie papers had significant meaning to them and I knew I would be learning valuable lessons from these little phrases. How can we be more tolerant around others and in situations that we may not agree with and be able to keep things healthy? Tolerance is something that we all have to work on at some point in our lives and the more we can grasp understanding the better we can be as human beings. Here are six ways we can work on being a more tolerant world.

1. Empathy Please

Empathy is the way that we can understand feelings and share them with each other. If we are empathetic with those around us, we have the awareness to care. One way to be more empathetic is to look at the perspective of the other person. A good example is siblings. Unfortunately, my siblings and I are not very close. I remember as a child having the hardest time getting along with my siblings. We would fight regularly, and usually, there was a consequence for our fighting behavior. I often wonder if our parents would have sat us down as children and had talked about what we thought was right and take time to listen to the other, I think we could have put a stop to the constant fighting and would have been able to build better relationships with one another. We each would have been taught to empathize with the other and learn to communicate with one another in a manner that would have built our relationships rather than each one of us continually attacking the other. Empathy causes us to be compassionate, and it takes away the “I am always right, and you are still in the wrong mentality.

2. Ask the Opposition For an Explanation

Let the other party explain their point of view. It is okay to have your viewpoint but taking time to listen to the one you don’t agree with gives a sense of respect and can make a tense situation and lighten it up a bit. I think as a whole many of us are taught to be right, and we need to understand this is a big world with tons of different perspectives and even though we don’t agree doesn’t mean that everyone else is wrong. When giving the other person a chance to answer don’t be aggressive when you hear something that you may not like and don’t dismiss their side of the story. Take this opportunity to learn from them and gain some understanding of why they believe the way they do and embrace the difference that you both have with one another.

3. Ignore the Differences

I think that if you can ignore the differences that you may have with one another and embrace the relationship you share that is a fantastic experience. Many individuals are in my life that share different opinions and views, and that’s okay with me because we are different. I value my relationships more than I appreciate the differences I have with them. Many of these things that we have differences on will come and go, and as long as we can get through the conflicting opinions, we get to keep the people that we love and appreciate.

4. Don’t Accuse or Assume

Anyone ever heard the phrase “Assuming makes an ass out of you and me.” In my life, I have found this out many times, and every word of it is valid. Accusing people is something that should not be done especially if you are valuing that relationship. No one likes to be accused of being something that they are not. The same thing goes for assuming. Assuming someone is just going to jump on board with whatever you expect is not only dangerous but pretty unrealistic. We are independent people with independent thoughts, and we can’t force people to think and act the same way we do it is just not going to happen. When dealing with different opinions, it is better to keep the accusations and assumptions out of the conversation.

5. Address the Problem and Try to Solve

Compromise is excellent when it comes to addressing a problem. By making sure to understand all points of view and showing acknowledgment of someone else’s viewpoints will get you further than if you just shut them down. Use negotiation to your advantage and keep calm so that the environment doesn’t get uncomfortable. Something to do when addressing an issue is using the “I” statements. Instead of saying you think this or you believe that state them as your viewpoint. Using comments that start with you can lead to people feeling like they are being accused of something especially if the conversation you are having has anything to do with disagreements.

6. Remember the Value of Difference

The difference is what makes our world great. It gives us an opportunity to grow and learn. We can still have our beliefs and opinions but understand that there is more than one belief or idea out there in this world. Even though you may not agree you can always agree to disagree and keep the clam before it becomes a storm. Take time to learn about the other points of view.

tolernace

We may not all think alike, and that’s okay. If we can try to remember to be empathetic with those we don’t see eye to eye with it will get us a lot further along in this world. When in a conversation that is getting heated take time to ask the other party for their explanation and gain understanding into why they think the way they do. Sometimes we can get past the differences by just ignoring them and focusing only on our relationships. Make sure not to accuse or assume something of someone else. Doing this never ends well and will leave you both unhappy. You can always address a problem and try to come up with an adequate solution by learning to make compromises. Remeber that difference is great and that we can learn something we may not have known about that other person before. Next time you come across someone or something that needs tolerance take a look at the situation and ask yourself is this argument worth this relationship?