Everything is tickety-boo

Lots of lovely things this week have made me feel that everything is tickety-boo:

Happy Birthday Chui!


  • A birthday for Chui and two friends this week! 
  • singing at the beautiful, moving, and touching British Legion service for Remembrance Day and Veterans day at Grace Cathedral.  Lots of bagpipes and then red poppy petals floating down from the ceiling of the cathedral as we sing Abide with me.  
  • buying Xmas presents ready to take back to England with me
  • meeting a friend for lunch
  • book club - discussing the sweet book "Mrs Queen takes the train"
  • a fun Food as Medicine class - the photo below is from our Tuesday group, just before we tucked into the fruit of our labors: Green Tea Buddha Bowl, pumpkin gnocchi with sage and cranberries, 'cream' of mushroom soup, followed by Rosehip truffles.
  • getting excited about our trip back to England
  • planting some new veggies in our garden ready
  • eating our first home grown passion fruit
  • continued sunny days
  • A sweet card from my sister
  • hearing about Batkid in SF - so heartwarming

I do hope you are feeling tickety-boo too.

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Strategies for lifestyle changes: Give yourself credit

As mentioned in an email post a few days ago, one of the mottos that I live my life by is "you get more of what you focus on". This means if you focus on good things, you'll see more of them and your life will become attuned to see the positives.


This is important when we are making lifestyle changes.  It's all too easy to get bogged down with the times when we slip or don't eat according to our plan, or forget to exercise.  But focussing on these negative aspects isn't as helpful as focussing on what we are doing right.

It is much better to tell ourselves "good job" or "well done" for those times in the day when we are successful and stick to our eating plan or lifestyle change.  Doing so builds our self-confidence and proves that we can take control and exert self-discipline.


In a study at the University of Pittsburgh, participants lost more weight if they practiced skills that increased their confidence, compared to participants who didn't acknowledge their successes.

Unsuccessful dieters tend to focus too much on their mistakes, viewing themselves as weak, bad or hopeless.  They tend to ignore the small daily successes and consequently don't gain a sense of self-efficacy - which is a belief that they can reach their goals.


It may seem a little odd to praise yourself but these new lifestyle skills we are learning don't come all at once.  It is a process and so acknowledging that you are breaking old habits helps build your confidence.

A nice idea to keep you motivated is to buy a small counter - like a knitting row counter or a counter app for iPhones/Androids (there are plenty to chose from).  Keep it in your pocket and every time you stick to your plan during the day and do something right, click the counter. At the end of your day, you'll see your daily "credit" and know that you've made a real achievement in changing old habits.


It may seem silly, but it does work.  Commit to just giving it a go tomorrow and see if it makes you feel better about yourself.
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Don't let one cloud obliterate the whole sky

 
"Don’t let one cloud obliterate the whole sky."  ~Anais Nin
You know that feeling when you look up to the sky and its clear and that perfect wonderful blue?  What is it about the blue that just shines through our bodies?  Just picture it now in your head and you can feel its effects just through your imagination.


And now think about a sky with a couple of whispy little clouds dotted around....you know that blue sky is still there, and to be honest, sometimes those clouds add a little interest to the picture - if they are small and whispy.



And now think about a cloudy day where the blue is obliterated with clouds.  But the blue sky is still there, it's just hidden for now.  It will show its face again.


Its such a lovely analogy from Anais Nin about how our problems can overwhelm us and we lose sight of the good things in our lives. We end up spending all our time looking at the clouds and not seeing or even imaging the blue sky behind it.

Its along the same lines as one of my favorite sayings that I try to live my life by:
"you get more of what you focus on".  
I don't know who said it originally, but I find it to be so true. If you focus on the negative, you see more negative. Your mind gets tuned to seeing bad things. But if you focus on the positive, you see more positives in all areas of your life.

For example, think of a person who annoys you.  If you only think about those annoying features, you are just seeing the cloud.  Look for the sky in the person instead.  Put the cloud out of your vision - the sky is big enough for you to do that. There are enough good qualities in that person to find and when you start looking for them, you'll find more.


Or what about if you are struggling with problems in your life.  Think about those whispy clouds in your life.  They are all part of life - they add texture to your life, even if they don't seem good - but you don't have to dwell on them.  Look for the sky.


Look for that bit of blue - enough blue to make a sailor's shirt! Do you know that phrase? I can picture my mum in the car, looking for the 'sailor's shirt' - that bit of blue sky -  as we are driving somewhere for the day!  The "sailor's shirt" is enough blue in the sky to be adequate fabric needed to make a sailor's shirt.  If there is enough blue to make a sailor's shirt, the weather is going to clear.

So look for the sailor's shirt in your life - find that all important bit of blue - and if you can't find it some days, just imagine it and it'll come into view.
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