Make time for the things you love

Life get so busy sometimes that we forget to make time for the things that we love. Whether it’s family, outdoor activities or just “me” time.

My job is so demanding and time consuming that most times I’m too tired to do anything but sleep. However, all work and no play makes Jill a very dull girl.

At the beginning of 2015 I made a list of personal goals I wanted to achieve. One of them was wanting to read more. So I set the goal of reading 12 books for the year. I also made a plan as to how I would go about achieving this. I decided to make a note in my daily planner to read. I realized that based on my  schedule, the best time for me to read was on the way to work. So I set aside that 15-20 minutes as my reading time. So far, I’m on track to finish my 5th book at the end of October. Unfortunately this is about half-way from where I should be but it doesn’t matter. What matters is, I found a way to make reading a part of my life again – making time for something I love.

Here’s are a FOUR suggestions on how to start doing what you love:

  1. Make a list of things you want to accomplish within a specific time frame.
    This could be that you want to become more fit and healthy in the next 6 months or that you want to be able to play your favorite Christmas carol on the piano by Christmas. Maybe your goal is to have more family activities. Whatever your goal is, write it down.
  2. Make a plan
    You can write in your daily planner or on your daily “to-do” list, what you are doing to do to achieve that goal. For the fitness and health example, maybe you will start jogging everyday and you will drink 2 litres of water daily. For the piano challenge, maybe you will spend 10-15 minutes everyday practicing to play your favorite Christmas carol. In order to increase your family time, maybe you can set aside a specific day(s) that you do something as a family (family game night, crafting, family vlog, weekly family outing). All it takes are small and simple things. DO NOT put too much pressure on yourself. You know what your schedule is like and you know your own capacity. Customize your activities to how you think you will be able to manage.
  3. It’s OKAY if you miss a day
    If your plan was to jog everyday and you missed a day, IT IS OKAY. Just continue doing it the next day. Remember that these are plans not obligations. The world will not end if you do not do them. Things will come up that may cause you to forfeit your original plans. All you have to do is plan to do it the next day and hopefully nothing unexpected happens.
  4. Enjoy the journey, it makes the destination more worthwhile
    Let’s say your goal was to become more fit and healthier in 6 months by jogging everyday and drinking 2 litres of water everyday. Let’s say you missed some days of jogging. Maybe you were only able to jog 3 times for the week and on average you drank 1.5 litres of water daily at the end of the 6 months. Let’s say you didn’t get to have a weekly family outing, maybe it was a monthly family outing and maybe you were only able to do an indoor family activity once every two weeks. So what?! Maybe you didn’t get to execute your goal the way you intended but I’m sure you would be more fit now that 6 months ago when you weren’t even doing any form of exercise and you’re healthier now since you stopped drinking those artificial juices so that you could increase your water intake to 1.5 litres. Also, having a family activity every two weeks and a monthly family outing is a heck of a lot better than no family time at all. At least now you have been able to create lasting memories.

I know that I won’t end up reading 12 books by the end of 2015 but I’m really proud of myself because now I have integrate reading into my daily routine which is one of my favorite past-times. 

Make time to do what you love. You’ll be a happier, more relaxed, more creative and more loving you.

Refiner’s Fire

Gold, like other precious metals, goes through a refining process in order to extract the pure metal from its ore. This process of refining involves extreme heat and extreme pressure. In the end, the impurities are removed and the pure and precious gold is left.

As humans, we can also be resilient like gold. We can undergo very grueling, challenging and painful experiences and end up coming out stronger and better than before. Trials are hard…..really hard. But we have the opportunity to either choose to make the situation break us or choose to let it refine us like gold.

This year has been quite challenging. I haven’t found my passion and as a result I’m stuck in a job I dislike. I have debt to repay and a business to start even though I do not have money to do either muchless both (looking at other viable options with my business partner). I also have to pay for exams I don’t want to take because I don’t want to continue working in my current field. I work until late and I’m tired when I get home and on weekends I have other obligations. I hardly have time to spend with my husband and I almost never have time for myself to just recoup.

All of this sounds like a bunch of complaints but they’re all my personal struggles. I can choose to either let them break me (I must admit I thought they did once) or let them refine me and make me better than ever. We all have our burdens that seem insurmountable to us. But we can either look at them as impossible inconveniences or we can look at them as opportunities for growth.

Let’s summarize:

  1. Challenges/Trials/Burdens = Opportunities for growth (refiner’s fire)
  2. Stay positive and press on with the end goal in sight
  3. Make plans to improve your situation and execute
  4. Remember to have fun

Balance

Especially in recent months, I’ve come to appreciate the importance of living a balanced life. You need to take time to renew your physical, mental/psychological, emotional/social and your spiritual self.

I will admit that I have fallen off tremendously in several of these areas. However, I am trying to work on it. Here are a few things that I think will help to keep the balance in our lives.

  1. Physical – try to work out at least 3 times for the week. It can be as simply as walking or jogging to get your heart rate up. Also eat healthier by minimizing the amount of greasy, salty and sweet foods you consume. Overall you will have more energy and you will feel great.
  2. Mental/Psychological – try to do mind stimulating activities such as reading at least one book per month, learn a new skill and of course practice positive thinking.
  3. Emotional/Social – be helpful and give service. Serving others makes us feel good and of course makes the person being served feel good. We all need some form assistance at some point in our lives so why not pay it forward and start giving love and caring for others.
  4. Spiritual – find meaning and purpose in your life. Take time to reflect and think about your daily routine, your goals (short and long term) and why you do the things you do. The end game should be to live a happy and fulfilling life. Once you figure out the things that will produce that outcome, start channeling your energy into those things.

I hope you will find these tips as helpful as I do. Life is short therefore the time to start living is now. Be happy and love.

This is not a sermon

There’s been a lot going on lately with regards to marriage and rights. I’m not about to speak to any of that. I think as a global population we have missed the mark on things that matter most.

There is so much much contention, hate, violence, greed, lust, prejudice, hate speech in society today that it is hard sometimes to think that there is still love in the world. Whether you are a Christian or not, I truly believe that the realest definition of love is found in the Bible 1 Corinthians 13, in particular verses 4-8  (note: ‘charity’ is used to mean ‘love’):

Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,

Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil;

Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;

Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.

Charity never faileth:

Basically love is just really being completely selfless, being truly humble enough to walk away from an argument and to apologize, really seeking to uplift and help those around you instead of having bad thoughts about others and most importantly, it is unwavering.

That’s the type of love I want to receive and that’s the type of love I want to be known to give.

It is hard and I know I’m not there as yet. But I am trying. I’m trying to see everyone as beautiful even with their broken wings. I’m trying to love unconditionally instead of judging every action. I may not see eye-to-eye with someone but I want to be able to respect their point of view and to be humble and patient enough to try to understand their perspective.

I want to receive a love that will transcend even time and space. But to receive that love I need to be that love. Even in the concrete a rose can bloom though the cracks. Let us be that rose that brightens the monochromatic landscape of skepticism, cynicism, narcissism.

Life is beautiful. You are beautiful. Bloom through the grey.

The angel in the marble

“Art just has to mean something”
Love that!

Cristian Mihai

angel“I saw the angel in the marble and carved until I set him free.” – Michelangelo

Don’t you love it when your mind imprisons a certain image? You have a certain vision, you know exactly where you want to go and what you have to do. An image that has to be set free.

This is one of the most crucial aspects of good art: vision. And heart. I’m not sure you can have one without the other.

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All About Caitlyn

Everyone’s talking about Bruce Jenner’s conversion to Caitlyn Jenner. Let me firstly say that I am a Christian and I firmly believe that we were all created by the same Being. I also believe that we all have different challenges in our lives that we will need to overcome. Furthermore, we were all given the gift of choice (ability to choose).

Based on my religious views, I wouldn’t be telling anyone to get a sex change. However, if someone does make that transformation (like Cait), I will respect their choice and still see them as another human being  just like me, trying to find happiness while enduring the many challenges life throws at me.

With that said, no matter how we feel about transgender individuals or even homosexuals, bisexuals, etc, they are still people who feel pains just like everyone else and who have struggles in life just as we all do.  Therefore, I think we should still provide unconditional love to those around us who struggle with challenges that are “different” to us even if we can’t fully understand it. Let us not judge the choice of others in a negative way. Instead let us try to lift each other up especially when we are struggling.

So my message to Caitlyn and others like her, and just everyone in general is, you are beautiful, you have purpose, you are loved.

Cancer… Not Just an Astrological Sign

Lately, I have been feeling really overwhelmed with events in my life. In a nutshell, there’s some cancer diagnosis, financial woes, sinking or swimming at work.

Things I have learnt from these challenges:-

  • Love and appreciate lifeyou never know when something will come along and threaten it, so take some time to really enjoy life.
  • Work isn’t everythinghaving a good job/successful career is great and a good thing to strive for, but think about the sacrifices along the way. When you look back on your life, will all that time and effort put into work be worth the sacrifices you have made? Will it be worth putting other things (for example, family time) secondary?
  • There is always light at the end of a dark tunnelwe just need to catch the vision and seek it

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