All ‘Things We Love’ Posts

17 jul

Sneaky Ways to Exercise for Stress Relief

JennaSmithIt’s no secret that exercise is a great way to relieve stress. It works off nervous energy, releases endorphins, and helps you focus on something other than whatever is stressing you out. The problem is that not everyone likes, or is able, to do traditional exercises. For some people exercise itself could be stressful, making them adverse to even trying. For others it could be a simple matter of time and access.

The good news is that there are several activities that supply you with sneaky ways to acquire the stress-relieving benefits of exercise.

Gardening/Yard Work

Yardwork gets you outside in the fresh air and sunshine, and can be one heck of a workout. You do a lot of bending, digging, lifting, and hauling that gets your heart rate up, builds your muscles and endurance, and releases endorphins. Plus, at the end of it, you have a beautiful yard where you can relax and enjoy the scenery.

If you plant food crops, like vegetables or fruit trees, you have the added benefit being able to harvest the produce for your table. If you buy apple trees and other food crops online, you can often get special varieties, such as heirloom plants, that you wouldn’t normally find at your local garden store.

House Work

Cleaning your house from top to bottom is an excellent way to burn a lot of energy. Depending on how thoroughly you clean, you could end up doing a lot of bending and lifting that strengthens your muscles and raises your heart rate. Plus, at the end of it, you have a nice clean house to relax in.

Plus, mess can actually cause stress, so having a clean home can greatly improve your state of mind. You can try cleaning in one marathon session, or stretch it out over days so you can get activity in multiple sessions. You can also include your family in the act so that you can have some quality time, and get more done.

Dancing

The great thing about dancing is that you can do it almost anywhere. You can enjoy a night out at your favorite club or, if you are self-conscious about dancing in public, bust a move in the privacy of your own home. Dancing raises your heart rate, improves your endurance, and releases endorphins. If you want to go high-tech, you can invest in one of those dance video games and play alone or with friends and family.

Playing With Your Kids

Kids are little bundles of energy – wind them up and they can go for days. Play a game of hide and seek or tag and you will get your heart rate going, the endorphins flowing, and spend quality time with your kids. As an added bonus, if you tired them out enough, they’ll probably go right to sleep at bed time.

Walking the Dog

If you don’t already have a dog, you shouldn’t get one just for exercise unless you are also willing to be a good pet parent. However, you can volunteer to walk your neighbor’s dog, especially if your neighbor works earlier or later than you do. If you have your own dog, you can extend the length of your walk, to get more activity. You can also volunteer at an animal shelter that has dog play groups. You might need to get special training, but you would be helping dogs in need get forever homes.

Window Shopping

Whether you walk through an indoor mall, a strip mall, or a street with a lot of shops, window shopping gives you something interesting to look at while also getting you moving. To get more out of your session, consider making at least one circuit of the area before you pause to look at all the shop windows, that way you have a period of continuous movement to really get your heart going and the endorphins flowing.

If you felt moved, inspired, touched, helped, annoyed, or anything after reading this, please let us know. Our wonderful bloggers really do appreciate your comments and feedback. It’s super easy and takes a minute. Click on comments below.

Posted by Jenna Smith on July 17th, 2014 in Diet and Fitness, Health, Things We Love | No comments Read related posts in

26 jun

Up and Coming IOS Game Apps

RobertCordrayIf you are looking for some time to kill with some wickedly fun games, look no further than the iTunes App Store. Here is a glance into the top 10 games in the app store and what makes them so much fun.

Smash Hit

Smash Hit offers beautiful graphics and addicting gameplay where the idea behind the game is to break through glass objects with a ball. Equally as enjoyable as the music is the music, which synchs along with each level that you are at in the game. On top of it all, Smash Hit is free, making it worth your time.

Go Dance

Go dance is a creative use of interactive media. One part dancing game and one part exercise app, it is completely fun. This app uses the songs that you have in your playlist and allows you to take photos of yourself while dancing along. You can also directly buy songs from the app, for the days that you need something new to groove to. Go Dance is surely one of the top up and coming iOS game apps you should check out.

Block Legend

Block Legend proves that there is plenty of room for nostalgic graphics, even with today’s Retina iPhone displays. This game is a puzzle role playing game, and it’s great for players of all ages. There are tons of characters and monsters that you’ll come across, all with their own blocky graphics.

Frontline Commando 2

From one end of the graphics scale with Block Legend to the other with Frontline Commando 2, this game is absolutely beautiful and maximizes the iPhone capabilities. This shooting game allows you to build a tactical squad of troops as you go on varying levels to taking down terrorists and other radical criminals.

The Walking Dead: The Game – Season 2

The Walking Dead: The Game Season 1 earned plenty of critical acclaim and awards that the developers decided to come back with a second version. In this game you’ll solve puzzles and meet other stranded people, all while trying to avoid being eaten and turned into a brain-thirsty zombie.

Tanglers Blitz

If you love puzzle gams and all of the old apps on your phone are getting boring, check out Tanglers Blitz. This is a strategic game that requires you line up different aliens in order to clear rounds. Once they are matched up, new rows will be added and the challenge gets harder. You’ll download Tanglers Blitz because it looks great, but you’ll keep playing because it’s highly addictive.

Block Fortress: War

Playing off the blocky character graphics that have taken the iTunes Store by storm, Block Fortress: War is another installment into the genre. In this game you’ll take control of a variety of heroes os you go on campaign battles to take down your enemies. However, don’t get too caught up in your offensive efforts and forget about your own base, which will be under attack. You can even play with and against your friends online, making the game more entertaining.

Mines Of Mars

Mines of Mars is a 2D game where you will fight your way through a variety of different landscapes on Mars. Not only will you continually be surprised by the characters you come across, but you’ll do so while seeing beautiful graphics and listening to a wonderful soundtrack. This game was tagged as one of the most exciting games of the year for 2014 by Pocket Gamer, and it’s lived up to the hype.

8 Dice Skate

Some of the games in the app store aren’t just about what you can do on the screen, but how they make games more fun in the real world. 8 Dice skate allows you to pick up your skateboard and compete in a variety of tricks with your best friends, all while keeping score with the in-game counter. Once you knock off your buddies, you can brag about it on social media for the whole world to see.

Heads Up

if you haven’t played Heads Up yet, you’re missing out on a wildly good time with your friends. Like 8 Dice Skate, Heads Up isn’t as much about what’s on the screen, as it is the fun that will ensue with those you’re with. Heads Up offers a variety of different categories and cards, which you’ll press against your head as your friends give you clues that you’ll have to guess. There is also the opportunity to make your own cards, in case you want to add your own inside jokes to a deck.

Check out these games for non-stop fun from your iPhone and iOS device.

If you felt moved, inspired, touched, helped, annoyed, or anything after reading this, please let us know. Our wonderful bloggers really do appreciate your comments and feedback. It’s super easy and takes a minute. Click on comments below.

Posted by Robert Cordray on June 26th, 2014 in Technology, Things We Love | No comments Read related posts in , , , , , , ,

21 jan

How to Talk to a Crush at Work This Valentine’s Day

JennaSmithCrushes at workplace are common, so if you have one at your co-worker, it’s nothing new. However, if you want to take things a step further and talk to your crush on this special day, then here are few tips that can help you strike that most-wanted conversation…

1. Ask Her to Lunch: Business associates and colleagues often discuss work over lunch. So asking her to lunch is a pretty harmless request, for which you won’t have to venture much out of your comfort zone. However, if you’re nervous about it then invite some of your other co-workers to join you.

2. Give Non-Threatening Compliments: Valentine’s Day is when women are more receptive, so why not show your interest to your co-worker by paying her some nice compliments? The only thing you need to be careful with is your choice of words. Be subtle in your approach and avoid saying anything that may look inappropriate.

3. Walk With Her Through the Building: If your workplace is in a building where you have to move from one place to another, then make use of this time that you travel through the building with her. Even spending a few minutes with her on this special day can do wonders if you don’t do or say anything uncomfortable while you’re walking.

4. Tickle Her Funny Bone: One easy way to begin talking to your crush is to crack some jokes because humor will make it easy for her to let her guard down and connect with you as a person, not just a colleague. However, do make sure your jokes are squeaky clean so that you don’t end up offending her right on Valentine’s Day.

5. Get Her Coffee: Sometimes even the smallest gestures matter a lot. If your crush likes coffee, then why not bring her one on this special day? It’s a great way to break the ice and get a conversation started. She will see your gesture as sweet and not aggressive. If you see her comfortable then you could take things forward and arrange for regular coffee dates.

6. Stop By Her Desk: While there are many indirect approaches you can take to spark a conversation with your crush this Valentine’s, the most obvious and direct approach is to stop by her desk for some official work, and get the conversation going where you try to ask her out.

7. Have Flowers Delivered: Flowers and Valentine’s Day go in hand hand, so what you can do is order some good flowers like daisies at Floristexpress.com and have them delivered at her desk. This will let her know that you’re interested in her and will make it easier for you to approach her.

Go ahead and use the tips that we discussed above with complete confidence, and don’t miss out on the chance to talk to your crush and ask her out on this Valentine’s.

If you felt moved, inspired, touched, helped, annoyed, or anything after reading this, please let us know. Our wonderful bloggers really do appreciate your comments and feedback. It’s super easy and takes a minute. Click on comments below.

Posted by Jenna Smith on January 21st, 2013 in General, Personal Stories, Relationships, Things We Love | No comments

13 oct

Parenting Kids Through Times of Change

happier_confidenceWe live in transitional times. Each of us is affected by change, whether it be a job change, a relationship change, a financial change or even a health-related change.

Kids feel these changes, too. They witness them closely. For example, often they are involved in the case of a divorce, a death or a move.

I’ve found a few insights that can really make a difference when parenting children during these types of life events. Plus, my personal belief is that teaching them about change is one of the most fundamental life skills to impart to them to be prepared for the years when they’re growing up.

Parents need to get comfortable with change, then your children will be comfortable, too. Kids are a lot less fragile through change than their parents are. Kids often simply reflect how you are feeling, so if they are acting out, it’s because you may have some emotions that aren’t being expressed. If they are anxious, it’s because you are, too, at some level. Think about it, at any moment, you are either being a warning or an example for your kids, how you eat, how you communicate, how you behave, everything you do. They see and feel everything. So regarding the change you’re going through, are you coming from a place of trust and faith or one of fear? Are you coming from your heart and a loving space or from your head and responsibilities? Be an example for how to navigate change. Be positive, accept the change once it’s happened and stop comparing things to what was. Believe in something greater going on, ask for help so your kids see that there are always people ready to help and they/you are never alone. Take some action. Take care of yourself during times of change so your kids see that just because something has changed doesn’t mean your whole life and especially your health will be affected.

The most important thing your kids want is for you to be happy! This is what your kids are yearning for. They aren’t yearning for their old school after a while, or how things were. They want to be in a home that is filled with laughter and love. Get out of the serious box. Yes, a change may be serious, but it’s not so serious that you want to teach your kids that all change is hard, tough, and worth getting concerned about. So yes, if getting happy and doing what you want involves going away for the weekend, going to the gym, taking a new class, going back to work, do it. Your kids will unconsciously and consciously relax when they know you are OK and doing things you love and enjoy. They’d rather you were happy than at home all the time. They’d rather you be happy alone than unhappily married.

Parents need to wake up and place their trust in their children’s inner-guidance system. So many parents tend to over-parent their kids, do everything for them, show them, help them. This is underestimating their innate ability that the same life force that is flowing through you is flowing through them. Wake up their intuition, their instincts. Believe they can figure things out. Ask them how something feels. It’s easier for you as parents to worry about your kids, when the truth is that you yourself are the one that’s worried. Kids aren’t that worried at their core since they are in the present moment, while we adults feel fear and nervousness when thinking about the past and future effect of a change. Teach your kids that they have access to answers on the inside of them at all times–even more answers than Mom or Dad can provide. Their bodies are always sending them signals about what’s the right thing to do.

Teach them that they have a “change muscle.” Kids love knowing this. That there is a specific muscle to be able to handle changes, that they can flex it, use it and it gets stronger with every change they experience–that the body is made for change and that the best of who they are is going to come out during times of change, that life is always giving them an opportunity to grow, to learn something, to acquire a new set of emotions, such as courage, faith or patience when change comes their way.
Teach them “The Change Guarantee.” Write down the following phrase for them, somewhere visible. “From this situation, something good will come.” Start showing them that good things come from change. Go through previous changes that have happened and the good that eventually came. Teach them that life is on their side, that it’s always coming up with new ways to bring something into their lives.

Allow kids to be human and express their emotions. Teach them that its perfectly OK to be sad, to cry, to be angry, to be anything they are feeling. Make their feelings seem right, not wrong. Don’t impose any deadlines on when they should stop feeling something. The same goes for you. It’s good for your kids to see you have feelings. Do not only be in supermom or superdad mode. When they see you are human, sad, scared for a little while, then they feel much safer being the same. Do not try to change what they are feeling. If they are feeling something, reward it.

For more information on the 9 Principles of Change, be sure to pick up a copy of my book, The First 30 Days: Your Guide to Making Any Change Easier. The change principles equally apply for children of any age.

If you felt moved, inspired, touched, helped, annoyed, or anything after reading this, please let us know. Our wonderful bloggers really do appreciate your comments and feedback. It’s super easy and takes a minute. Click on comments below.

Posted by Ariane de Bonvoisin on October 13th, 2012 in Ariane, First30Days Book, General, New Directions, Spirituality, Things We Love | No comments

04 sep

30-Day Life Re-boot

LimiSoulRadioMy good friend Holly Riddel, invited me to be on her radio show a few weeks ago and I gladly accepted. (She and I met at a small Wayne Dyer retreat at his place in Maui, a few years ago.)

Her show is called LIMI Soul Radio, LIMI stands for Love Is My Intention. Beyond being a great, natural interviewer and host, her passion is also about creating amazing jewelry. Check out her site, www.hollyriddeldesigns.com.

I personally have two of her delightful Inside Out rings, where the stone is actually on the inside of the ring, facing inwards. Only you know it’s there. Every stone represents a divine quality: love, courage, self nurturing, passion….etc.
I’ve worn them to big events, TV shows, and felt like it was a pact I had with myself when i looked down at my ring. She makes each ring herself, putting love and her beautiful energy into them.

She decided to do a 30-day life re-boot and had hundreds of people from all around the world participating. We had a lovely conversation about what makes people really change, how to manage all the different changes we are facing in this special time of the year with so much going on. It’s fun, light, engaging and, yes, very human and a very authentic chat. Enjoy and please share. www.blogtalkradio.com/limisoulradio/2012/07/28/limi-soul-radio.

Posted by Ariane de Bonvoisin on September 4th, 2012 in Health, New Directions, Spirituality, Things We Love | No comments

19 jan

See Beings Not Bodies

RickHansonWhat happens when you look at someone?
The Practice:
See beings, not bodies.
Why?

When we encounter someone, usually the mind automatically slots the person into a category: man, woman, your friend Tom, the kid next door, etc. Watch this happen in your own mind as you meet or talk with a co-worker, salesclerk, or family member.

In effect, the mind summarizes and simplifies tons of details into a single thing – a human thing to be sure, but one with an umbrella label that makes it easy to know how to act. For example: “Oh, that’s my boss (or mother-in-law, or boyfriend, or traffic cop, or waiter) . . . and now I know what to do. Good.”

This labeling process is fast, efficient, and gets to the essentials. As our ancestors evolved, rapid sorting of friend or foe was very useful. For example, if you’re a mouse, as soon as you smell something in the “cat” category, that’s all you need to know: freeze or run like crazy!

On the other hand, categorizing has lots of problems. It fixes attention on surface features of the person’s body, such as age, gender, attractiveness, or role. It leads to objectifying others (e.g., “pretty woman,” “authority figure”) rather than respecting their humanity. It tricks us into thinking that a person comprised of changing complexities is a static unified entity. It’s easier to feel threatened by someone you’ve labeled as this or that. And categorizing is the start of the slippery slope toward “us” and “them,” prejudice, and discrimination.

Flip it around, too: what’s it like for you when you can tell that another person has slotted you into some category? Read more »

Posted by Dr. Rick Hanson on January 19th, 2012 in General, Relationships, Things We Love | No comments Read related posts in , , , , , , , ,

16 jan

Step Into the Clouds

RickHansonJuggling bricks?
The Practice:
Step into the cloud.
Why?

I had a lightbulb moment recently: I was feeling stressed about all the stuff I had to do (you probably know the feeling). After this went on for a while, I stepped back and kind of watched my mind, and could see that I was thinking of these various tasks as things, like big rocks that were rolling down a hill toward me and which needed to be handled, lifted, moved, fended off, or broken into pebbles. As soon as I dealt with one thing-y boulder, another one was rolling toward me. Shades of Sisyphus.

Seen as brick-like entities, no wonder these tasks felt heavy, oppressive, burdensome. Yuch!

But then I realized that in fact the tasks I needed to do were more like clouds than things. Clouds are made up of lots of vaporous little bits, those bits come together for a time due to many swirling causes, and then they swirl away again. Meanwhile, the edge or boundary of a cloud blurs into other clouds or the sky itself. There is a kind of insubstantiality to clouds, and a softness, a yielding.

For example, take writing an email message: It has lots of little parts to it (the points you need to take into account, and the words and sentences), it is nested in a larger context – your relationship to the receiver, the needs that prompted the email – that (in a sense) calls it forth, and it emerges and passes away. This email, this task, links to other tasks, sort of blurs into them. Fundamentally, the email is a kind of process, an event, rather than a thing. It’s like you could put your hand through it.

When I considered my tasks in this way, I immediately felt better: relieved, relaxed. Tasks felt fluid, like streams or eddies I was stepping into and influencing or contributing to as best I could before they swirled on and became something else. Not so weighty or full of inertia; not so resistant, so controlling of me; not bearing down on me, but instead, something I was flowing into. Then I didn’t feel weary dealing with them. They became fun, lighter; there was more freedom in moving through them.

And it’s not just tasks that are clouds. Read more »

Posted by Dr. Rick Hanson on January 16th, 2012 in General, Relationships, Things We Love | No comments Read related posts in , , , , , , ,

06 jan

Pet The Lizard

RickHansonDown deep, do you feel at ease?
The Practice:
Pet the lizard.
Why?

I’ve always liked lizards.

Growing up in the outskirts of Los Angeles, I played in the foothills near our home. Sometimes I’d catch a lizard and stroke its belly, so it would relax in my hands, seeming to feel at ease.

In my early 20’s, I found a lizard one chilly morning in the mountains. It was torpid and still in the cold and let me pick it up. Concerned that it might be freezing to death, I placed it on the shoulder of my turtleneck, where it clung and occasionally moved about for the rest of the day. There was a kind of wordless communication between us, in which the lizard seemed to feel I wouldn’t hurt it, and I felt it wouldn’t scratch or bite me. After a few hours, I hardly knew it was there, and sometime in the afternoon it left without me realizing it.

Now, years later, as I’ve learned more about how the brain evolved, my odd affinity for lizards has started making sense to me. To simplify a complex journey beginning about 600 million years ago, your brain has developed in three basic stages: Read more »

Posted by Dr. Rick Hanson on January 6th, 2012 in General, Health, Relationships, Things We Love | No comments Read related posts in , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

01 jan

Empty the Cup

RickHansonAre you full to the brim?
The Practice:
Empty the cup.
Why?

Once upon a time, a scholar came to visit a saint. After the scholar had been orating and propounding for a while, the saint proposed some tea. She slowly filled the scholar’s cup: gradually the tea rose to the very brim and began spilling over onto the table, yet she kept pouring and pouring. The scholar burst out: “Stop! You can’t add anything to something that’s already full!” The saint set down the teapot and replied, “Exactly.”

Whether it’s the blankness of a canvas to an artist, the silence between the notes in music, bare dirt for a new garden, the not-knowing openness of a scientist exploring new hypotheses, an unused shelf in a closet or cupboard, or some open time in your schedule, you need space to act effectively, dance with your partners, and have room around your emotional reactions.

Yet most of us, me included, tend to stuff as much as possible into whatever room is available – room in closets, schedules, budgets, relationships, and even the mind itself. Read more »

Posted by Dr. Rick Hanson on January 1st, 2012 in General, Health, Relationships, Things We Love | No comments Read related posts in , , , , , , , , , , , ,

23 dec

Give Over to Good

RickHansonWhat is living you?
The Practice:
Give over to good.
Why?

In every moment, you and I and everyone and everything else – from quantum foam to fleeting thoughts, intimate relationships, rainforest ecosystems, and the stars themselves – are each a kind of standing wave, like the ever-changing though persistent pattern of water rising above a boulder in a river.

We are the result of multiple causes flowing through us. As Buckminster Fuller famously said, “I seem to be a verb.”

This fact is amazing, but it’s corroborated by both modern physics and deep ecology. We can get silly-cosmic about it (done this myself – not only as a college sophomore!), but the implications are very down to earth.

As unique standing waves, you and I are constructed each moment by the currents – the forces and factors, both internal and external – flowing through us. We have no choice about being lived by these currents, continually given over to them.

But we can choose to give ourselves over to the good ones. Read more »

Posted by Dr. Rick Hanson on December 23rd, 2011 in General, Health, Relationships, Things We Love | No comments Read related posts in , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,