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.

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.

 

5 Fantastic Ways to Learn Something New and Gain New Horizons in Your Brain.

Fortune Cookie Life Lesson #7

Knowledge is priceless.

Think about all the things we have been able to learn throughout our lives. From the time we were in diapers to being productive members of society. When we were children, we were always taught. We were taught how to tie our shoes, brush our teeth, and read. As we grew older, there was driving and school that we attended. We may have had a job that taught us about the world, and it’s expectations. All throughout our lives, we have gained a vast amount of knowledge some of this knowledge has cost some money, and some of this knowledge was merely given to us. If it were not for all of the experiences we have attained throughout our lives, we would not be where we are today.

Repetitive task every day does not challenge us in any way.  It creates an autopilot, and we go through the same function without ever growing and learning.   By learning something new, we are allowing our brains to build new pathways. Learning lets us grow.  Not only do we grow but each new thing we learn we gain empowerment and are able to conquer new things.  What a boring world, we would live in if we never learned anything. Here are five ways to get out of autopilot and build new horizons.

1. Take Notes and write them out.

Write out the notes old school and see the change in the way you learn.  I feel like when I write notes out versus the other methods I don’t seem to remember as much.  When we write things out, we are using many different things to help us not forget.  We have to look at what we are writing and take the time to write it on paper, and when we are finished, we have to re-read what we wrote.  Every time we focus on our notes we are giving ourselves the opportunity to remember and focus on what is essential.

2. Practice

Among all the many things I do one of them is working on finishing my degree.   I am currently in college working on my Bachelors with a focus on communication.  I am now taking Spanish courses because I would like to one day be a bilingual speech pathologist.  One thing I have had to learn when studying Spanish is that it requires lots of practice and that is precisely what I do.  I practice every day and will even write it in the schedule book just so I know I need to get it done.  Practice makes perfect, and the more you practice, the easier something becomes.  It may take a while to get it down, and there may be some bumps along the way but keep practicing, and you will see how much easier it is to complete.

3. Set up a time to learn and make it short. 

I always thought that if I sat and studied something the whole afternoon, I would retain so much more information but unfortunately, all I did was burn myself out most of the time, and it made it harder to remember what I was studying, to begin with.  Short study sessions are so much better, and I don’t review more than 30 minutes at a time with breaks in between.  Taking breaks in between gives me time to refresh and take in the information that I have just retained.  My tea break usually involves only 10-15 minutes at a time. I love tea and tea takes you away from the world.  In that time I try to stretch or get a glass of water. Take this time to refresh and gain some mental clarity.

4. Teach Someone

When I first learned about this one, I was a bit skeptical, and then I became a homeschool mom.  With homeschool, you are in charge of teaching and at first, it is scary.  My son was getting into Algebra, 1 and I needed to help him, so I felt that I needed a review of this course myself.  Back in my younger days algebra was not my thing and one thing I noticed was this time around things were more clear for me to understand.  I was learning and understanding and that helped me to help my son when he needed the extra help.  A teacher friend once told me that if you want to learn something, you should teach it and that is the absolute truth.

5. Rest your brain.

Rest is vital for most good things.  We need to rest to be our best.  Power naps and meditation are excellent practices for relaxing when you need to learn something.  Don’t forget to be your best you need to take care of your self.  You can always come back to what you are learning, and you will come back with a clear and focused vision.

Being able to learn and master a new skill is essential to our human development.   Taking the time to grow and master a new technique will pay off in the end.  Following these steps will not only get you there, but you will understand and know what you are learning in a clearer and concise environment. Go out today and find something you want to learn. Take your brain to new horizons and do it today.

 

 

5 Ways to Stop a Negative Conversation Before it Begins

Fortune Cookie Life Lesson #2

Keep your goals away from the trolls.

Do you ever find yourself dealing with people who aren’t happy unless they or you are miserable?  You may have an idea that you may want to try and the person you are talking to shuts it down.  Maybe you received a promotion or accomplished a personal goal and you share it and they act like it’s no big deal. Everyone has had these conversations in their life and we may or may have not dealt with these circumstances the best way. If we are lucky we can put an end to these situations before they even begin with these 5 steps.

Know what your hot buttons are so that you don’t end up falling into the trap. 

Many times these situations are placed before us to get a reaction.  If you are dealing with someone who says or does something the best way to handle the conversation is to not react negatively.  if someone is trying to hit your hot button keep in mind that you have control of what you say and do and even though you don’t like what is being said you not letting the other person win.

 

Change the subject to neutral.

Changing the subject in a not so positive conversation takes the light off the resentment and puts it in a different light.  You could even ask how the other person is doing and what they have been up to.  More than likely they will love the idea of filling you in on themselves.

 

“Thanks for your input I will consider it.”

Rather than getting into an argument over what is being said and done end the conversation by thanking them for their input and that you will consider all the options.  Being polite when things aren’t always the most friendly makes it hard for the other person to continue the toxic conversation.  You are ahead if you keep it under control.

 

There may be times you can avoid it altogether.

If you’re at a party or a social situation simply avoiding the one who wants to start trouble will be a way to keep things under control.  You don’t have to talk or visit with someone who wants to send shade your way.  A simple hello or wave is just fine and keeping yourself busy will keep the contact to a minimum.

 

Be confident.

You know who you are and the more confidence you have around those that might think less of you the better your outcome will be.  You don’t have to think you are holier than thou but have confidence in your decisions and actions.  Many times this intimidates the person who wants to shut you down.

There are times in life where we have to deal with those people who don’t have our best interest at heart.  It is easier to handle these situations when we are able to keep control of what is being said and done during the interaction.  When you know how to deal with the trolls these social situations get a whole lot easier.