Are you stressed?  Do you carry with you tension and negative feelings?  Here’s a tip….Exercise.  All the reading I have been doing lately points to the same conclusion: exercise needs to be a part of your lifestyle.  Not convinced?  Keep reading…

  • Exercise reduces feelings of anxiety and stress
  • New research shows exercise can reduce future stress

“The data suggest that people who exercise in the morning, for example, will have less of an increase in blood pressure and less of a feeling of stress if they are in a traffic jam on their way to work.” (Taken from USA weekend paper, 2012, quotes by John Bartholomew, Professor of Kinesiology and health Ed at U of Texas-Austin)

  • Releases endorphins in your bloodstream creating a sense of well-being
  • Decreases muscle tension
  • Rids your body of toxins
  • Increases alpha wave activity in the brain, allowing you to clear your mind
  • Strengthens heart and lungs
  • Exercise is a building block to overall hardiness
  • “Not only does physical fitness produce stress resilience, but fit individuals are better able to preserve their cognitive functions.”(Lilly Mujica-Parodi, Stony Brook U)

Join a gym.  Buy a treadmill.  Join a Boot Camp class.  Try a Zumba class.  Go for a walk in the woods.  Learn how to ski.  Go for a swim at the YMCA.  Snowshoe.  Jump rope.  Ride your bike.  Do some type of physical activity and make it a part of your everyday life.

The benefits?  A stronger, healthier, less stressed you.

Ladies, rooms are filling up for my March Retreat of Rest and Renewal, sign up today!  If you register in January you will enter to win a spa treatment for further relaxation!  For details check out my NEW website at www.thejoysource.com   Hope to see you there!

 

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Choices.  Happy or sad.  Good or bad.  Go out or stay in. Ride your bike or go for a run.  ChoicesLet life pass you by or be called to action.  Watch your friends enjoy their lives or be compelled to enjoy yours as well.  See those around you take risks and grow or step out of your comfort zone and reap your own rewards.   Sit by idly and passion-less or read some inspiring books and begin your soul-searching.  ChoicesWatch your friends discover love or be in search of your soul-mate and experience it for yourself.  Observe others create and live their lives exactly how they want or go in pursuit of your lost dreams and create your own life.  Sit in the backseat and be still or move forward and make it your time.  It’s your choice.

Standing by on the sidelines without being fully engaged in the game can leave you feeling bored and resentful.  Stir up the passion.  Fully participate in your life.  Ignite your fire from the inside.  Tap into your strengths, we all have them; what are yours?

Oriah states in her book The Invitation: “I don’t want to know how old you are.  Your age tells me how long you have lasted, but not what you have made of the precious time you have been given.  Lasting, enduring, is not enough.  Tell me of the times you have taken a risk, and how you greet your fear.”

Choices.  Give up or keep going.  Overwhelmed by an obstacle in your path or plow right through it.  Cry and retreat, or cry and try again.  Choices.  By not making a choice you’re still making a choice.  It just might not be the right one.

Dream.  Create.  Joy. Passion.  Happiness.  Love.  Experience all of these.  The choice is yours.  Make the right one.

 

It really is your choice on how you see your world.   Glass half empty?  Or half full?  Take a minute to reflect on your thoughts throughout the day.  What do you focus on?  Do you focus on the positive events, thoughts, people, children in your life?  Or do you get sucked into negative gossip, anger, jealousy, and “not good enough” thinking?  I came across this wonderful Native American story and I wanted to share it with you.

Two Wolves

One evening an old Cherokee told his grandson about a battle that goes on inside people.  He said,” My son, the battle is between two wolves inside us all.

One is Evil.  It is anger, envy, jealousy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority and ego.

The other is Good.  It is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion and faith.”

The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather, “which wolf wins?

The old Cherokee simply replied, “the one you feed.”

Feed the good wolf.

PS Ladies!  Rooms are filling up for the March Retreat, sign up now and start feeding that good wolf!  Peace, joy, relaxation, calmness, happiness will all be yours after a weekend at the Spa with other like-minded women.

Tell me about your joys.  Moments of happiness, living in the present time, being truly present in today, not tomorrow or next month; today only.  You are elated.  Excited.  You feel it through your entire body, you are glowing.  These moments, these so very important and wonderful moments can be referred to as “Flow” moments.  According to M. Csikszentmihalyi in his book Flow, he uses the term flow to mean

“joy, creativity, the process of total involvement with life.”

 

What are your flow moments?  When did they occur today?  At work when you were giving a truly prepared, intelligent, words coming out perfectly presentation?  Inside your mind you were shouting YES!!! Or was Flow happening at  home with your family as you  laughed loudly and hugged those little ones tightly?  Maybe you experienced flow while working on your hobbies; feeling energized with creativity.  Or in quiet moments with your lover, sharing a joy of intimacy that nourishes your soul.

 Maybe you have you not felt flow moments in a long time. You are depleted, empty, tired, stressed….not in a joyful or creative mood.  It is easy to get disconnected from your life; there are errands to run, kids to bathe, work to complete, bills to pay.

Moments of flow are necessary to a joyful life.

Spend some time with your friends.  I was out with my Boot Camp ladies for dinner in Boston last night, 5 women who come from different backgrounds and experiences,  meeting at the gym at 5:30am weekly for years, over time becoming friends, companions, confidants.  We gather for dinner to laugh, share stories, details of our lives, totally immersed in this circle of friendship.  Flow moments.  Laughing.  Enjoying.  Smiling.  Intently listening and learning.  And eating delicious food.  There are no kids to demand our attention, no pans of food to cook nor to wash.  We sit for hours dining, smiling and relaxing.  There is nowhere to be but right here… together.  In this moment we are not thinking about the kids lunches to be made tonight nor the clothes to wash nor the tiring work schedule this week.  We are just here.  Now.  In the present moment.  Flow moments.

 I wish you flow moments today.  Everyday.  Flow.  Find that joy, the creativity, the process of total involvement with life.

Join me all you wonderful women! Come celebrate joy and creativity at my March Retreat of Rest and Renewal.  It will be a weekend of relaxation, inspiration and fun.  Space is limited and starting to fill up.  Send your deposit to hold your spot today.  Email me with any questions at Julie @thejoysource.com

“Intimacy- closeness to yourself in times of solitude or closeness to others in moments of sharing and connecting- reflects your inner world as almost nothing else does.  And this intimacy begins from the inside; it begins with your own self.”~  Intimacy and Solitude by S. Dowrick

Are you comfortable with yourself?  Do you know yourself well? Or, do you rely on others to shape who you are?  As I read the book Intimacy and Solitude, the constant message is know thyself, know thyself, know thyself.  How can you give to others what you yourself don’t have?  How can you truly love another when you don’t love yourself? 

 NOW IS THE TIME.  Seek out solitude.  Spend time dreaming, setting goals and getting to know  yourself.  A Woman who knows herself fully is emotionally strong, firm in her beliefs and doesn’t get thrown off course when things don’t go her way.  Nor does she engage in harmful gossip.  There is nothing to prove to others when you deeply are connected to yourself, because the belief is

 I AM GOOD ENOUGH.  The rest flows smoothly.  You feel joyful from the inside and it reflects on the outside.  You glow.  It is real and people take notice.  Jump start your journey by spending the weekend with me  and some amazing women in March at a soul nourishing retreat as we inspire you to be joyful and discover your inner beauty.

Moments of solitude are hard to come by in the holiday season.  Parties, get togethers,  shopping malls filled with noise and people… did I mention parties?  Despite the Holiday rush, try your best to slow it down.  Be creative in finding your quiet moments.   Take the time to wake up a little earlier when the rest of the house is still sleeping or turn off the television at night, sit in front of the fire or the lighted tree or in darkness and JUST BE.

S. Dowrick continues to say in her book, ” The person who feels real inside…knows too that when she is alone she is not alone with no one, but is alone with her own imagination, thoughts and feelings, experiences and memories.  In short, she is alone with her own self.”

Know Thyself.

“I want to know if you can be alone with yourself and if you truly like the company you keep in the empty moments” as stated by Oriah in her book “The Invitation”.

Have the courage to sit alone and look deep within yourself.  Sit with your own company and be still.  Await the words of the heart.  What dreams have you put on the back burner?  What do you wish for?  What goals are you ready to pursue?  Do you even know for sure which direction to go in? 

Clear the chatter in your head.  Be Still.  Be silent.  The answers will be revealed if you are patient.  It is time now to create the life you want.  It takes courage to set your dreams in motion; determination to keep them on track; risk to take the first step; passion to fuel your inner fire; joy in living the life created by YOU.  And create it you must!

Get to know yourself, what is it that YOU really want in your life?  Be still.  Turn off the television, shut down your computer, put your phone on quiet mode for one solid moment.  Think.  Dream.  Pray.  Meditate.  Give thanks.  Ask to be lead to where you need to be.  There are signs all around you pointing you in the direction of your dreams.  I truly believe nothing is by chance.  When you stay in tuned with yourself and to your surroundings; answers are everywhere.  All around you are people you are meant to meet, places you need to go but you must stay present.  Don’t be 3 steps ahead of yourself.  Be still.  Pay attention.   Be alert.  Now is the time.  Create your life exactly how you want it to be.   Imagine a life of joy knowing you are living your dreams.  It all started for me sitting in solitude by the ocean.   In silence our dreams are manifested. 

That is my wish for you.

We always attract into our lives whatever we think about most, believe most strongly, expect on the deepest level, and imagine most vividly.”  ~Shakti Gawain

Faith. Strength. Love. Joy. Passion.  All of these I wish for you every day and in every way.  I want you to surround yourself with people who nourish your soul  and  excite you to live your best life.  Seek them out!  Be with them on a regular basis.  Find connection with those who share similar values, and who value you.  I recently began reading one of my favorite books again “The Invitation” by Oriah.  I continue to be drawn to her words.  She asks deep questions and invites you to ponder your answers.  Sometimes the answers are right there in my head and for other questions, well,  I have to take the time, go deep in my thoughts, in silence and wait for the answer to reveal itself.   The one question that I include in my Joy Course when we discuss setting boundaries and taking more time for ourselves is this:

“I want to know if you can disappoint another to be true to yourself“. 

I ask the ladies in my course this very question.  Think about it.   Can you?  Can you really disappoint another to stay true to everything you believe in?  Or is your mission to please others? Do you have every intention to stay true but end up giving in because seeing the disappointment on another is too much to bear?

  Staying true to yourself makes you stronger, more confident and empowered.  When you take the time to truly know yourself, what you want, your goals, your dreams, you make right and clear decisions.  The first one should always be Stay True to Yourself.