Let’s reboot an exercise program – physical resilience

I want to build resilience not only in my mind and spirit but in my physical being and I have realized these all go hand-in-hand.

I find the more I try to be more mindful of my thoughts and actions I am also becoming more mindful of my physical self. How much I am moving, what I am eating, how much time I spend sitting, reading and being on my electronics. 

This has lead me to want to reboot an exercise program that I can actually stick to and feel like I am going to accomplish my goals. 

My goals are to tighten up the muscles in my arms and legs and possibly lose some weight while trying it.

I have started exercise programs many times and never really found one that I can stick to. I also find that most start out to strong or aggressive and I loose interest because I feel like I fail.

I recently was told about an exercise program from a friend who was using it. We both love to walk and swim and garden but have never kept up a regular workout routine.

She started this workout and I noticed a change in her overall shape and tone so asked her about it. 

This is the exercise book she is using and I have started using too. It is very easy to read. The exercises are easy to do and they start off with reasonable weights and repetitions. You only need 3 pound weights. I do not have the weight bench but have improvised using a coffee table or an exercise ball. I feel as long as I am trying I am making headway! 

I ordered the book off Amazon but since I have seen it at a used book store so I would definitely try local used book shops first.  

I also added a Yoga program. It is also very simple. I have the book and CD but have found it on YouTube. 

I have found this to be about 20 minutes and it warms my body and loosens the muscles and makes me feel better about myself. Again, no special equipment is required. While you can use a yoga mat or towel and block, I use a regular towel and a small pillow.

After I do the yoga I do either the upper or lower body workout from the Weight Training Made Easy book which takes about 30 minutes.

I have found both of these to be very easy. I just do my best and so far have not felt discouraged. I also find that to do the weight training in front of a mirror helps with form while doing the exercises.

I did take some pictures of myself before I started (which I will not share)  but as a self check to see improvements.

So I have been doing this each day for about two weeks and hope to journal here to keep myself on track.

Inspiration and Mindfulness

New Year

2021 is upon us! Almost one month in! Is it just me getting older that seems to allow time to go faster?

2020 was such a mess.

Within our family we experienced two tragic moments that will forever effect us.

Within the world all of us are coping the best we can with the global pandemic.

Within our minds we deal with all of this daily and try to stay positive, productive and feel useful and purposeful.  

As the world stays home to try and curb this pandemic we have all had to learn to put new importance on things that not very long ago were the unintentional, inconsequential day to day activities. Now they consume us and become the highlight of our days!

Simple things become important. 

Find pleasure in your life, your surroundings, the people you are with.

Become familiar with the technology available to us to learn; keep in touch; explore; share.

Be thankful and allow yourself to relax and breath.


Heirloom Projects

Mom’s Wedding Dress – Re-purposed

Mom’s Wedding Dress – Re-purposed

My parents moved into a retirement home and I needed to clean out their home and one of the treasures I came across was my mom’s wedding dress. She had always kept it hoping one day I or someone in the family might wear it.

She was tiny, much, much tinier than any of us, even her young grandchildren, so none of us could ever wear it. The dress was beautiful. Ivory satin, and it had a long train. I kept it for many years and just could not bring myself to throw it away or pass on to good will. I needed to keep it in the family.

Finally, last year I decided to make the women of all ages in the family a little keep sake bag out of the dress.
I knew what I wanted to do but one of the hardest things I have ever done was make that first cut into that dress!! I had made a small pattern and laid it out on the material and knew I had enough to make everyone a small bag – BUT – that meant I had to actually cut up my mom’s beautiful dress.

Summoning the courage, I made that first cut – felt better – and was finish enough bags to pass along a little piece of family memorabilia  to each of us.

I finished them off by taking a wedding picture and printing it on Avery Printable Fabric and ironing one on each bag. 

I’m not sure what treasurers each bag will hold but I do know they will be special.


Heirloom Projects

Dresden Plate Quilt Block – Re-purposed

Dresden Plate Quilt Block Pillow Cases

I inherited partially completed Dresden plate blocks when my mother-in-law was downsizing.

I held on to them thinking I would make a quilt but when she passed away I hated to keep them to myself. I cut the Dresden plate in half, left all her brown thread basting stitches and made a set of pillowcases for each of my brother and sister-in-laws.

The extras I took to the next family gathering  and offered them to her grandchildren. Many took them to incorporate into quilts, or accent pillow coverings or framed the square as a memory of their Nana!

This is another wonderful way to re-purpose a started but forgotten craft item into something new and heartfelt. 


Building Resilience through Thankfulness

It’s a funny thing about life, once you begin to take note of the things you are grateful for, you begin to lose sight of the things that you lack.”     ― Germany Kent

For me being thankful is a powerful tool to use to help persevere through my tough times.

I have kept a thankful journal for a long time. At times in my life I have written in it every morning. Taking a few minutes to start off my day simply and finding three things I have been thankful for. This helped set my mood and tone for the day. Even when I was working and knew that the day ahead was going to be especially challenging and add family commitments too – just taking the time to think of three things that made me grateful helped.

I shared this experience with a friend who was also struggling with her own challenges. We committed to each other to send our three grateful things to each other daily. No comments, no judgments, just a text ‘I am thankful for . . . . . .’  It was remarkable to both of us how much this helped. It not only set the tone for our own day, but it reassured us that someone else cared and was waiting to hear from us, not passing any judgement or comments.

 I’m not sure how long we did this or why we decided that we could stop but it was after that we talked about how much we gained through the experience.  And still do mention often how being grateful puts things into perspective.

After awhile of consciously taking the time to put the words down I find myself just thinking subconsciously about good things in my life as I start my day or pausing throughout the day if I find I have gotten into some “Mud”.

Although, through particularly thoughtful times it is helpful to still get out that journal and just start again – sometimes reading the written words is also very reassuring.

The author Neil Pasricha in his book ‘The Book of Awesome’ suggests -Every Morning Prompts to help you start your day. 

I will let go of …………………

I am grateful for …………………

I will focus on ……………………..

I made little sheets of these and put them in the front of my journal to use them to help me. 

On days when I feel a particular challenge I complete: 

 I have not …………………………………………… yet. 

I acknowledge something I want to do but telling myself that it is ok that I’m not there yet which gives me the power to leave it and move on. 

The Mud

Grow Through The Mud

The Mud

Firstly, it is important to make the disclaimer that I am not a professional therapist. I have no training in psychology or any other training in the social or behavioral arts. So, everything on my site is my own thoughts and feelings.

So, with that in mind –in the quote that inspires me

Be like the lotus: trust in the light, grow through the mud, believe in new beginnings 

white-petaled flower

The Mud, in my opinion – can be anything, everything and nothing at the same time.

The Mud can be baggage we always carry with us that is in the background – the things, thoughts and memories that influence us.

Or, it can be something that just happened but profoundly made an impact on us.

Or it could be nothing – a thing so trivial but that in the moment made us pause and then passes just as quickly.

Growing through The Mud – is what gets us through all those memories and moments and allows us to get back to a state of calm and be the true, person we are all meant to be.

I feel we grow through The Mud by being mindful of influences from the world around us and persevere in our journey.