7 Quick Ways To Do An Gratitude Adjustment Today!

Cultivate the Habit of Gratitude

We take so much for granted and often don’t appreciate what’s good in life. That’s where gratitude comes into your life. Practicing gratitude changes the way we look at life. Gratitude is a habit. We can get out of this habit when we concentrate on the negative aspects of life. However, like any habit, you need to practice.

Gratitude will make you happier and healthier. Once you started you’ll find more and more things that you’re grateful for.

Here’s seven gratitude adjustments to help you practice and make your habit stronger:

1. Wake up thinking something wonderful will happen today.
As you think so shall it be.

2. What will you “get” (rather than have) to do today?
Change the way you look at things. Don’t think of what you have to do. Think of everything as what you get to do.

3. Look at the abundance in your life.
I’m not writing about material things! Look at how well you are provided for. Look at what you take for granted; water, air, food, the ability to breathe, walk, rain and sunshine.

4. Give compliments.
Stop thinking about yourself and give compliments to others without thinking of having one in return.

5. Give up complaining!
I did this 30 years ago and never looked back.

6. Say “I am blessed” all day.
You will begin to believe it after saying it.

7. Tonight fall asleep with grateful thoughts for your day.
You will have a much better sleep if you don’t fall asleep thinking about the lack in your life but abundance instead.

If you practice these 7 steps at least 1/2 the week, you’ll find your life begin to change.

For more on gratitude, visit the Greater Good here and read about Robert Emmons, considered to be the world’s authority on gratitude.

“You simply will not be the same person two months from now after consciously giving thanks each day for the abundance that exists in your life. And you will have set in motion an ancient spiritual law: the more you have and are grateful for, the more will be given you.”
~Sarah Ban Breathnach

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Add A Little Hygge To Your Life to Slow Down and Create Joy!

“Hygge was never meant to be translated. It was meant to be felt.”
~ToveMaren Stakkestad

I was at a farmer’s market recently and came across a little booth selling Hygge items! I was intrigued as I’d been hearing about Hygge and had experienced it some when we were in Europe. Alexandra Gove and her husband Koen first travelled through Europe selling their products. Now they have moved from Europe to Colorado and started this little business called Hygge Life. (Read more of their story here.)I bought this wonderful book, called the Little Book of Hygge (and one of their towels that are more like comfy scarves):

For many years, Denmark has been named one of the happiest countries in the world. In fact I recently read this quote, “We should look to countries like Denmark” if we wanted the US to become a happier place.

Many people in Denmark attribute this to “Hygge” pronounced “Hooga”.

What is Hygge? Simply put, it’s about living in the moment. It’s one of those perfect days, usually indoors during the short winter days of Northern Europe, where you’re relaxed, cozy, maybe with a fire, definitely with candles and a hot drink. You might be alone or maybe with friends and family. Time will stand still. There is no agenda, everyone is happy, lights are dimmed an atmosphere that you create. There is no drama by the way. No upsetting discussions. Just interesting conversation. The planning is not very organized. More spontaneous. Hygge is a mental state that you’re in and is very good for the soul. It can be your coziest sweatshirt. A hot cocoa on a cold day with a good book. It’s tea served in a china teapot. You can be by yourself or with others.

When I’ve experienced Hygge most it hasn’t been planned. I even wrote about in a post called A Dark And Stormy Night Miracle. The electricity went out and our family spent the evening by the fire, listening to music. A few months ago we had a fun hygge party with some French friends who lit up their table in honor of the Festival of Lights in the city of Lyon. I’ve even been to a Hygge wedding which was planned in an evening and performed on a dock on a lake. One of the most beautiful weddings ever!

A table just ready for Hygge!

A table just ready for Hygge!

Remember, just as you create your crazy, complicated life, you can also simplify and make a Hygge night which will unwind a little of the complications.

So here’s the recipe for Hygge:

Ingredients:
humor and good conversation
candles
comfy clothes
comfort food that’s easy to put together
warm drinks
a cozy spot
an interesting topic for conversation

Directions

1. Pick the perfect location/homey surroundings and add the candles. A tablecloth, mismatched plates or glasses add charm. A fireside in winter or little lights add to the mood.

2. Gather some people together. They may be your favorite people or ones you’ve just met.

3. Everyone can contribute to the food and drinks. Make it uncomplicated. A great rule when you Hygge is to just bring whatever is in your refrigerator.

4. Everyone, come as you are. No fancy clothes. Remember no controversary or arguments. No snide remarks allowed. Come with interesting conversation. And no judging as well. Bring some humor.

5. Don’t think too much about the time or your schedule while you’re hyggling. Time stands still when you Hyggle. It’s time to live in the moment. The world and your problems will still be there when you go back outside.

6. Feel my favorite form of happiness, contentment, when the evening is over. You should come away from the evening feeling warm, fuzzy and content. A great sleep is often the result.

Candles that are perfect for Hyggling!

Candles that are perfect for Hyggling!

Last winter we spent a week in Amsterdam and guess what? They have their own word for Hygge, it’s Gezillig, pronounced “heh-SELL-ick”. We experienced Gezillig in a wonderful bar/café just when the sun went down around 4:45 pm. Café de Sluyswacht was built in 1695 and is surrounded by canals. Inside the place was lit with beautiful candles. I had a delicious coffee and the Zen Papa a wonderful Dutch beer. We had nowhere to go and just enjoyed the scenery, the moment and all the happy conversation around us.

Hygge cafe

Hygge cafe

Hygge Cafe

The dark, winter season is the prefect time to discover Hygge or Gezillig. But I think summer is, too! I’m going to incorporate these ideas into my life and get togethers! Happy Hyggling!

By the way, I’m going to give away the book I bought, The Little Book of Hygge. Please comment below why you need a little Hygge in your life and I’ll enter you into the giveaway!

I’m thinking of starting a new cooking section to this blog. Would you like that? Here’s what I’m trying this month… homemade yogurt! Yum!!

Posted in Balance, Book Review, happiness, Letting Go, Mindfulness, Positve Thought, Zen Meals | Tagged , , , , | 6 Comments

30 Acts of Random Kindness To Practice

image from justpooh.com

image from justpooh.com

“Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.”
~ Plato

Do you ever think about teaching kindness? It sounds very simple but sometimes I think we expect our children to be naturally kind but in fact, like any other personality trait, only some have kindness as a natural part of their personality. And as most parents know, the best lessons are taught by example. You can model kindness. You can be kind to your children. And together you can do Random Acts of Kindness.

Did you know that this week is Random Acts of Kindness Week? It lasts from February 12th through February 18th. What a perfect week to coincide with Valentine’s Day, to teach kindness and love for people we love and for people we don’t even know.

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21 Ways To Save Yourself From Anger

Save yourself from sorrow!

Save yourself from sorrow!

Kids change your life. We all know that! Before I had kids I imagined all the ways. Was I ever surprised that I often found myself getting angry! I thought of myself as a very calm person. I was never really angry before I had kids but suddenly something would just begin to bubble inside and I’d erupt. Not exactly the best thing for a mother to do to her children. Then I came across this Khalil Gibran quote:

“If your heart is a volcano, how shall you expect flowers to bloom?”

I knew I needed to change. That’s when I decided to become a “Zen Mama”.

What’s the motivation to stop being angry? It’s one of the best ways to happiness for you and the people in your life.

• Anger puts others on the defense.
• It shames and humiliates them.
• It can lead to anxiety.
• Anger can give you health problems.
• Anger causes guilt.

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2 Ingredient Banana Pancakes – A Delicious Zen Breakfast

Yum! The best Zen Breakfast! Easy and good for you!

Over the past two years we have been trying to eat more healthy foods as a lifestyle change, not a diet. It’s amazing how many healthy recipes are still delicious. It’s all about taste. And most of these recipes don’t have too many ingredients. In fact I’ve recently read that if you should find recipes or items you’re buying that have 5 ingredients. These pancakes only have 2! (Minus the toppings)

I cannot believe how easy this breakfast is and how delicious! I am not a fan of pancakes because I just feel too full after eating them. But no this one. I found the recipe on Food Matters TV. Your kids will love them! They’re loaded with protein. They’re quite filling! And only 33 calories minus plus any butter or jam you add. This breakfast has the best of both worlds: they’re tasty and nutritious. It’s idea for your picky eaters.

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Mindfulness and the Five Senses

Mindfulness is an important part of life.

Mindfulness is an important part of life.


I’m a big fan of mindfulness. It always seems like when I’m mindful, I’m happy and content and enjoying life. And one of my goals for this year is to be more mindful.

What is mindfulness? Mindfulness is paying attention on purpose! A lot of us go through life mindlessly. Here are some examples of mindlessness:
• Breaking things, spilling things
• Forgetting someone’s name as soon as you hear it.
• Listening to someone with one ear while doing something else at the same time.
• Being preoccupied with the future or the past.
• Eating without being aware of eating.
• Having periods of time where you have difficulty remembering the details of what happened – running on autopilot.
• Reacting emotionally in certain ways – feeling like an emotion just “came out of nowhere”.
• Daydreaming or thinking of other things when doing chores.
• Doing several things at once rather than focussing on one thing at a time.

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I Resolve To Make 2017 A Happy New Year!

2017 Zen Mama Resolutions

Happy 2017!
My theme for 2017 isn’t just Carpe Diem (Seize the Day) but Carpe Annum (Seize the Year)! Rather than pick impossible goals to accomplish, try these new habits to practice. Resolutions like this make you a happier person. And in becoming happier, the people around you will be happier, too.

1. A Balance of Work, Play and Learning
Balance is extremely important for a healthy mind and body. A balance between work, play and learning. It’s a simple idea that is really hard to accomplish at times. What does being balanced mean to me? It means not rushing, feeling grounded, calm and peaceful, and best of all, excited for my day and for just being alive. It’s feeling awake, mindful, receptive and wise. We all have glimpses of balance in life but not usually on a daily basis. What if you could have this feeling nearly everyday?

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Go Where the Energy Goes…Follow Your Bliss

Follow-your-bliss

This summer my niece visited for 3 weeks. She loves crafts so much that we set up a basement room with sunny windows for “Creative time”. I bought a bookshelf at the 2nd hand shop nearby. All the craft supplies I had in the house filled up the shelves. Everyday at 3:30 we’d head down to the basement and begin our “Creative Time”. We also wrote and cooked together. We watched inspirational youtube videos to figure out how to make interesting crafts. Now, even though she’s back at home in San Francisco, I’m inspired to get down to our creative room every day, even if it’s just for a few minutes.

And then I recently took two incredible cheese making class. I never dreamed I could actually make cheese!

I’m a foodie and a cheese freak! Taking a cheese making class was high up on my list of things to do. For the last year, I’ve put off taking this class. My friend, Amy, who wanted to take the class, too, went ahead and found a class for us taught by the owner of a goat farm.

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Make Gratitude A Habit for This Thanksgiving and All Year Long!

Zen Tips Gratitude Beattie

Looking for Happiness?
Of course you are! We all are.
What is the key to finding it?
Could it be gratitude?

It is amazing we have a holiday that is set aside to be thankful for the abundance in our lives. I love Thanksgiving for just that reason. We celebrate family and the things we are thankful for. No craziness, no buying sprees….just gratitude. It’s become my favorite holiday over the last few years. And now, I want to live Thanksgiving everyday!

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9 Ways To Raise A Mindful Child

Children are naturals at mindfulness

Children are naturals at mindfulness

The moment one gives close attention to anything, even a blade of grass, it becomes a mysterious, awesome, indescribably magnificent world in itself.” – Henry Miller

“To see a world in a grain of sand and heaven in a wild flower, Hold infinity in the palm of your hand and eternity in an hour.”– William Blake

Here are some of my preschool students on a recent field trip to our local gardens. About 10 frogs presented themselves that day. We spent as long as we could just staring at this little frog. Nothing was as fascinating as that frog! It was pure mindfulness. Totally living in the moment. Since then I’ve gone back to study the frogs, bees and fall leaves. I’ve never felt such peace.

Children should be naturals at mindfulness. Yet these days so many children are combating anxiety, having trouble concentrating and controlling anger.

Aniexty is a big problem. I recently read that 1 in 8 children feel some kind of anxiety. Some are depressed, some are worried and having panic attacks. It’s hard to imagine! And with all the technology, sticking to a task for a long time is more and more difficult.

There are several tools to combat anxiety through mindfulness. Kids need more time to be mindful. It’s up to us teachers and parents to give that to them.

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