What is stress? It is often described as mental or emotional tension or strain resulting from a difficult circumstance. It can be debilitating. Stress can affect everything from our emotional wellbeing, our bodies, environment, and entire lives. Whether it be from the company we keep, our schedules, our material demands, or eating habits. There is a number of ways that self-inflicted stress can enter our lives. One of the problems is that society has taught us that what is best for us is not what is actually the best for us. Through an increasingly materialistic lens, we are becoming less and less present and grateful for our lives and often trade abundance for stress. Some of us however are on the cusp of great change. People are beginning to wake up from this subtle manipulation. People are starting to understand that cars, expensive clothing, and fancy vacations are not what makes an abundant life but it is the people we share them with and our attitude while enjoying those things. There is a small mindful movement happening and slowly people are releasing themselves from stresses chock hold. Check out these simple ways to reduce the influence of stress in your life. Trade in your stress for an abundant, happy and healthy emotional wellbeing. I mean why not? Change your Expectations Before you do anything else, if you want to remove self-inflicted stress from your life you need to change your expectations. Your expectations of results, your family, friends and even yourself fuel the way you perceive failures and your success. The next time you feel disappointment ask yourself is this a result of my own exceptions? It is not fun to take the blame but neither is victim hood. Check out these Ways to Establish Realistic Expectations to help you achieve this balance. Self Care To get the full benefits of self-care we need to make sure we are practicing our self-care routines as nurturing habits and not self-indulging habits. I have lots of self-care ideas on ScaleitSimple that can help get the ball rolling for you. Self-care is a great way to refuel and recharge, helping you to be more relaxed and prepared to deal with potential stress when it does appear in your life. Meditate Meditation has been proven to decrease anxiety and stress. It’s science people. But take it from me personally, meditating at a minimum of 10 minutes a day has helped me better manage stress in my own personal life. Building mindfulness through meditation is possibly the most valuable tool you can use to achieve an abundant and stress-free life. Remove Toxic People Unfortunately, we cannot avoid negative people all the time. However, that does not mean that we need to continue our current relationships with toxic people in the same way we did before. Don’t be afraid to set boundaries, reduce time spent with these people or remove them all together. Life is to short to waste time with people who only take away from the beauty of life through their toxic behaviors and attitudes. An important and often the most difficult first step is spotting a toxic relationship. Practice Gratitude It is easy to practice worry and panic by watching the news constantly or indulging in gossip. However, we should all make more of an effort to practice gratitude in our lives. This could simply mean writing a gratitude list weekly or daily, or by letting the people in your life know how grateful you are to them. Believe it or not, the more you do this the easier it will be. An attitude of gratitude is just that… an attitude. So why not change the conversation with yourself and others? Try ScaleitSimple’s 30 Day Gratitude Challenge and start your gratitude practice today! Clearly Define your Goals How can you truly define your level of happiness or success without first defining what that looks like for you? Grab a planner or notebook and make the intention to yourself and the universe your short and long-term goals Creating goals is a wonderful way to have the abundant life you are searching for, write a plan and take action. You got this! Create new Habits Once you clearly define your goals you will probably need new habits to help you get there. For example, I have a goal of reading 30 books in 2018, the habit I have formed to help me get there is read every single day. For me healthy habits and clearly defined goals help me “not sweat the small stuff”. Because I know what is truly important to me. so there is nothing to really stress about! Get excited about creating new habits with these 15 Habits that will Transform your Life. Find a Hobby or Passion If you do not have a hobby that is just for you that energizes you each time you do it then you may be missing out on a key part of fulfillment. Try a little of everything even the things that you never thought you would ever be interested in. Eventually, you will find that unique activity that speaks to you. Hobbies are what makes us unique, they motivate and challenge us. Isn’t that what life is all about? Reduce your workload There is a balance for any person when it comes to workload. Make sure you have a good balance of the fun stuff and the challenging things throughout your day. Take regular breaks from your work throughout your day and through vacations. Saying no is a small thing that you can do that will have huge impacts on reducing stress. Enjoy the Simple Moments Life is all about the simple things. If we focus all our energy on achieving huge milestones like buying a new car or getting a new house. We will miss all the beauty in the small things. Time spent with friends, the feeling of sunshine on your face. Our life is made up of a million small moment and only a few big ones, so don’t disregard a million smiles and a million laughs for one moment of satisfaction. Try to see the beauty in all the small things. Give more positive feedback to yourself and others Giving positive feedback to yourself more often can over time transform your negative self-talk. Begin with yourself and eventually, you will be able to see the value in spreading that positive feedback to others. Throw a compliment out there every now and then, trust me you will like it. Reduce material needs I am not suggesting you become a minimalist. However, there is a large amount of emotional clutter and attachment that comes from owning a lot of stuff. Your happiness should not be tied to an article of clothing or a piece of makeup. Try to practice letting things go bit by bit and stop yourself from falling into the trap of materialism. Remember the less you own the less you need to worry about maintaining and replacing also. Start by Removing these 89 Things from your Home and your Life. Live within your means Be real with yourself, it is not all about what you can afford. Just because you can achieve owning a huge house or a fancy car does not mean that you need to do it. Living within your means can mean something different, maybe a smaller home or a more fuel-efficient car. Maybe shopping second hand every now and then even though you can afford brand new. You don’t have to stretch every penny out on the biggest and best. Infest in your future self too.
Although Zen is technically a Japanese school of Mahayana Buddhism which mainly focuses on meditation and intuition, for the sake of this post zen will have a slightly different meaning. When we think of Zen in western culture we often think of being calm and relaxed. Maybe you think of flowing water, chirping birds, and minimal living spaces. And in a way that is what we are hoping to cultivate with this Zen ten list. Many people are exploring Buddhist principals in their different forms in the west like never before. Whether it be through meditation, yoga or buying a little Zen garden we seem to be grasping for our own inner sense of calm in this ever increasingly turbulent life we sometimes find ourselves in. Although I do not practice Zen Buddhism, I do value many of their teachings. I have tried in many forms to embrace their gentle way of life and bring more of that intuition into my home and life. In this post, I will share with you my personal Zen ten. A list to help you cultivate a home and life filled with inspiration, calm and Zen! The Zen Ten to Help Achieve a Blissful Lifestyle Mediation No post about Zen would be complete without meditation. When I began to mediate a few years ago I never even imaged the impact that this simple practice would have on my everyday life. After only 30 days of daily sitting meditation, I noticed a dramatic shift in my stress level and anxiety. In order to grow a life filled with gratitude, calm and cultivate stress-free living meditation should be a staple practice in your life. Try it for yourself for 30 days and notice the subtle or strong shifts in your awareness and how it impacts your home and life. Gratitude Gratitude is a muscle. Just like every other emotion. It needs to be worked, and through practicing gratitude it grows and grows. It becomes stronger and starts to impact our lives in ways we could not imagine. This is why gratitude is a key factor in achieving a greater sense of Zen in your life. The beauty of gratitude will begin to infiltrate the way you think about yourself, and the world around you. Beginning a gratitude practice will help you to maintain that sense of bliss you are searching for and will overflow into other aspects of your life as well. Begin your gratitude practice today with this 30 Day Gratitude Challenge. Manifestation Believing in your own inner power to manifest your future is not some kind of hoodoo voodoo weirdo bull. It is the building blocks used by every successful person who has ever walked this planet. Sometimes luck brings us the results we dream of, but mostly it is our own beliefs that get us there. Our belief in what we want is what drives us to pursue those precious dreams. To bring more Zen into your life you, therefore, need to first believe it can be yours and that you deserve it. Manifest the future that you desire and start focusing on what you want and not on what you don’t want. Aromatherapy Aromatherapy is a hot trend right now. However, it has its root in almost all ancient cultures. From Greek bathhouses to street markets in Saudi Arabia, to mountainside forests. Scents have long been a spiritual tool for helping us achieve calm and connect to the part of our brain that controls certain emotions associated with those scents. By bringing candles, incense, and scent diffusers filled with blissful aromas into your home you can set the intention and mood for calm and peace. Eventually once your brain associates with this scent you will automatically think of home and feel that calm no matter where you are. Hot Baths Cleansing in a hot bath has long been a tool for calming our hectic minds and tense bodies. By slipping into a cleansing tub for a 20-minute soak after work you can help your body and mind rebalance. Pairing a bath with aromatherapy is a great way to enjoy both at the same time so grab your favorite essential oils and drop a little in the tub. Hows that for Zen? Minimalism or Downsizing In order to declutter your mind, it is often necessary to first declutter your home. Creating more space in your home will give your mind the space it needs to stretch it’s boundaries and become inspired. With less stuff, there are also fewer worries to concern yourself with. Fewer things to think about upgrading, replacing or outdoing. Minimalism is a key practice in creating a more zen mind and life. You don’t have to banish all of your belongings to begin to experience these blissful side effects. You can start small with these 89 Things to Remove from your Home & your Life. Yoga We store a lot of our stress and worries inside of our bodies. In our chakras, muscles, and joints. By connecting to your body through the ancient practice of yoga you can tackle all three. Take a beginners class or watch a few youtube videos and try yoga at home a few days a week. You will first notice a change in your body and soon your mind will follow with its own set of calming transformations. Connecting your body and your mind in a way crucial for an intuitive Zen lifestyle. Crystal Healing Crystals of all kinds have long been used for their spiritual and healing purposes. We still use crystals and gems today inexpensive jewelry, in cell phones and many other forms of technologies and symbolism. There are proven scientific powers inside of crystals, but what of the lesser known and proven powers? Do a little research on some of the healing properties of crystals and bring them into your home and life. Allow their powers to radiate your space and body. Massage Therapy Perhaps one of the oldest known forms of medicine around, massage therapy has long been a practice to help heal the body from stress, injury, and tension. In the modern world, we easily embrace massage therapy with more people using it as a means for relaxation and recovery. Making massage a great way to achieve Zen in your body and your mind. Connect with Nature The true Zen practice has always been linked to nature. Items such a zen gardens which promote connecting with nature and mindfulness are wonderful additions to any home. Achieving Zen in nature can be as simple as taking a walk in the park, taking care of a houseplant or planting a garden and watching a seed grow into food. Find a special way to connect more with nature in your daily life and enjoy the blissful feelings that will begin to radiate through your life.
Is there anything more exciting than the anticipation of a new book release? Seriously, I really don’t think there is. I hereby declare that the year 2018 is the year of books. And this coming summer is setting a pretty exciting mood for book lovers. Thanks to Hachette Group Canada I received some of the best new releases that are coming out this summer. Of course, I had to share them with you beautiful humans! Not to worry dear bookish friends, I have a little bit of everything to offer. Historical fiction, non- fiction, horror, YA and a little in between. So get out your calendars and get ready because there is plenty to look forward too in the world of words this summer. Your next favorite book is just waiting to be discovered and who knows it could be hidden in this list just waiting for you to unearth it. As always happy reading everyone. 7 New Book Releases to add to your Reading List Keep Marching: How Every Woman Can Take Action And Change Our World Author: Kristin Rowe-Finkbeiner This book is now available. I am so excited to dive into this book! This is the time of women! Although there has been a lot of hardship and struggle and I am sure more to come I for one feel fortunate to live during this women’s revolution we are currently experiencing. That is what this book is kind of all about. Strength, resilience, bravery, and women. This is a practical guide for women to build their personal power and shows the current political barriers that hold women back and how we can break through those barriers. The author Kristen Rowe- Finkerbeiner was a speaker at the historic women’s march in Washington 2017. With her own knowledge, inspirational stories and research we can find a way together to take charge like never before like only women can. This is a book that every woman and man should read! The Wrong Heaven Author: Amy Bonnaffons Book release, July 17th, 2018. This book is a hilarious collection of stories that dance between real life and fantasy. Including lots of spiritual undertones, such as talking Mary and Jesus lawn ornaments and a stale love affair with a poster of the Dalai Lama. Its good to have a bit of fun every now and then and read something outside of your usual comfort zone and this book will certainly do the trick for many. If you are looking for a funny, bold and creative book to read than I highly recommend picking this up when it becomes available. Campfire Author: James Patterson Book Release, July 2018. Don’t you just love a good spooky story? Plan on doing some camping this summer? Then you may want to bring this chilling book release along for the adventure. Campfire is a story about Maddie Davenport who decides to go camping with her family and friends. One evening their handsome guide shares a local legend with them around… you guessed it a campfire. Little did they know that the nightmarish story would soon become their reality. Ugh… I am going to stop now. There is no need to scare you any further. If you like spooky reads then you may also like these 5 Spine Chilling Book Recommendations. Devils Day Author: Andrew Michael Hurley Available now. If you like Stephen King then you will love this book! We all have traditions that as communities, towns, and countries we celebrate. But where do these traditions come from? And what if they stem from a more realistic source than you could ever have imagined? In Devils Day, our main character John returns to his childhood sleepy farm in Briardale Valley when his grandfather passes away. A town where nothing ever seems to change and traditions and daily life merge into a never-ending routine. Each year, his grandfather would redraw the boundary lines of the village, with pen and paper in remembrance of the old folk tales and family stories. A timeless ritual which is said to keep the sheep safe from the Devil. John is about to find out how much importance these folk tales really have. Eeek! A Shout In The Ruins Author: Kevin Powers This book became available in May 2018. This story spans 100 years of history on a Virginia Plantation, beginning, during the civil war. I love reading about anything set in the south and I have never read a book about the Civil war so I am excited to start reading this one! Through the span of time on this plantation we discover the complicated and interwoven lives of richly developed characters and, historic upheavals. This book asks some heavy questions about the impact of this history. How do we live in a world built on the suffering of others? And can love really exist in a place where a tradition of violence prevails? Discover in this book the brutal legacy of violence and exploitation in American society. Woah! Seriously, if you are interested in history at all this is a book you will want to pick up. The Summer Of Us Author: Holly Chamberlin Available in June 2018. This is exactly the kind of book I like to read during the summer. Flirtatious, adventurous and light. Follow along with Audrey who has two weeks left in Europe before she goes off to college. From Paris to Prague to Barcelona, Audrey and her best friend Rae explore museums, sip champagne and travel with their friends Clara, Jonah, and Gabe. But this vacation is not without its drama as love circles, heartbreak and bittersweet lessons come into play. This is the epitome of a beach book and if you are interested in a light read set in some of the Europes most beautiful cities than this is the one for you. Just Breath Author: Mallika Chopra Book release, July 2018. Listen up, parents. Finally, a mindfulness book geared towards kids. This is amazing. Discover state of the art mindfulness techniques to introduce to your kids that will help them from a young age develop happier and healthier de-stressing techniques. Help build your children’s confidence, reduce anxiety and maybe learn a little something for yourself along the way. I loved this book and would highly recommend it to anyone with children, teachers or any other childcare worker. Even if mindfulness meditation is not something you yourself practice, this book is a helpful resource to encourage children and parents to find other ways to deal with life’s difficult moments. Want to know what I am reading this summer? Check out my Spring & Summer Reading List. Love books? Enter my contest here!
Has anyone else been hearing a lot about matcha green tea lately? Maybe it is just because I am a tea lover and a healthy food exhibitionist. Regardless, I have seen countless blog posts and youtube videos featuring little wooden whisks and green foamy cups for far too long now. It cant be just me that feels like anything green just set your mind to healthy mode? Anyway, after months of building curiosity, I finally got a chance to join in on the matcha madness and I wanted to share my findings. Thanks to the folks at Tenzo tea I was able to whip together my own cup of matcha and I will never go back. You hear me! My life has been altered. In all the good ways of course. So what is Matcha green tea anyway? Well, it was traditionally used in Japan as part of ancient tea ceremonies, to help with mediation. Some still use this tea for ritualistic purposes, however, more people are now using it for its immense health benefits. I know the term superfood gets thrown around a lot, but if there is any food deserving of the title it is matcha. It is the superest of superfoods. Matcha green tea is essentially the finely ground powder of specially grown and processed green tea leaves. But it is unique in two defining ways, it’s farming and processing. The green tea plants for matcha are shade-grown for about three weeks before harvest and the stems and veins are removed in processing. The tea leaves are then ground into a fine powder, mixed with water or milk and then directly ingested. Yum-eh! Some things I personally enjoyed about matcha green tea immediately were… The light and natural taste (like a very strong cup of green tea) The calming effect Increased energy (great to drink before a workout) The versatility (drink cold, in smoothies, lattes, etc) Fun to make Helped with digestion Helped with stomach irritability Had better sleep on days I drank the tea Outside of my own experiences, there is a huge range of health benefits to discover through matcha. Including… Boost metabolism Improve the skin Slow down aging Decrease cancer growth Improve brain function Protect from brain diseases Reduce heart disease risk Reverse diabetes Of course, these claims are being scientifically tested so do a little research yourself and find a trusted source for more in-depth health information. So how does one matcha? It really isn’t as complicated as you might think. It is as easy as pouring a cup of regular tea, mixing it up, letting it cool and taking a sip. Step one: Get the goods First, you need to get yourself a starter kit. The awesome folks at Tenzo tea have a great starter kit for only $44.99 with free shipping to the US may I add. Their starter kit comes with… Bamboo Whisk Porcelain Whisk Stand Bamboo Scooper Organic Ceremonial Grade Matcha Green Tea This is basically all the essentials that you need for cold and hot matcha beverages. There are similar kits out there which come with special matcha teacups but using your favorite mug is just fine. I like to use a wide mug to help to whisk easier. Step two: Make yo tea (Disclaimer: I am no expert, this is just how I make and like my own tea.) Boil your kettle. As the kettle is boiling place 1 teaspoon of matcha in your mug. Pour in about 2oz of hot water. Start your fancy whisking in an N motion until the tea becomes a weird yet cool green foam. Most people will drink their tea at this point, but I like to fill my mug with a bit more water, give it another stir and then drink up. You can of course experiment to find what way you like to enjoy your matcha. With recipes like lattes, smoothies, brownies, cakes, popsicles and oodles of other yummies there are tonnes of ways to get your healthy dose of matcha in. I just love me some tea, so the traditional hot beverage is what I enjoy best. A little about Tenzo Tea Luckily matcha is kind of trendy right now meaning you can get it in many of your favorite tea places. I get mine from Tenzo tea because I love their brand, prices, and this tea is close to the source. Providing farm to cup products. Tenzos story is just the kind I like, two friends set out on an adventure in search of the perfect clean energy. What they found was Matcha, and after trying this product for themselves they realized that they had found the clean green energy they were looking for. Now they provide this authentic matcha to the world at great prices. If you would like to try Matcha do a little research and find a company that produces the real deal like Tenzo. It will make all the difference! What goes great with a nice cuppa? Books of course! Check out my reading recomendations here and curl up with a hot mug of healthy matcha and a good book!
It is important to spend time alone. For introverts, it allows us much needed time to recharge our batteries. However, for all of us, it is a great time to check in with ourselves and develop healthy relationships with ourselves in the process. Spending time alone is the perfect way to really get to know ourselves, to hear our inner voice and develop a friendship with ourselves. Not to mention doing things alone pushes our comfort zone. In some ways, we are forced to be more social and that can open the door for new relationships to enter our lives. Choosing to be alone is one thing, however, being thrown into it by outside forces such as a divorce, a death, a move or change in friendships can be difficult to get used to. We will all face times in our lives when we have to spend time alone so getting used to alone time is something we should all try to embrace in some way or another. To help you develop more independence in your life here are 70 ideas of ways to spend time alone. Are you ready to push your comfort zone and have some solo fun? Good, let’s do this! 70 Activities to Enjoy Alone to Boost your Confidence Go for a walk in the park Eat at your favorite restaurant Learn to knit Try paint by numbers Volunteer for a cause you love Have a solo picnic Read a book in the park Go to the beach and soak in the sun Try a yoga class Head to a coffee shop and people watch Go to an arcade and play a few games See a daytime movie Binge watch an awesome Netflix series Bake something fabulous for yourself Try meal prepping for your week ahead Start a garden Start journaling Take an online course Try a night class Get a massage Go to the spa Get your hair done Get a manicure or pedicure Go window shopping Have a solo lunch date with yourself and your favorite magazine Check out your local farmers market Go for a bike ride Go swimming Declutter your home Take a road trip Learn about astrology Watch some live music See a play at your local theatre Create a vision board Give yourself a face mask Mediate Do at home yoga Drive somewhere magical and watch a sunrise or sunset Go on a hike Start a gratitude list Watch your favorite movie with some popcorn Head to a local museum Write a list of your monthly or yearly goals Go thrifting Grab your favorite latte and browse in a bookstore Join a meditation or yoga retreat Try solo traveling Take a cooking class Do a DIY project Start a puzzle Go beachcombing Start a home reno project Take a midday nap Have an at-home dance party Color Feed the ducks at the park Listen to a podcast Stargaze Learn a musical instrument Head to the library Learn a new language Play a free online game Get a bubble bath Rearrange your bedroom Fill a photo album Plan a trip Order pizza and stay in Explore a new town Watch your old favorite music videos Try on some new makeup at Sephora
Habits rule our lives. Whether you are aware of it or not everything from our emotional responses to stress to how you get dressed in the morning is a habit. We all have good ones and we all have bad ones. Some are more known to us than others and we all have a desire to develop new habits from time to time. If you have been struggling with making a habit stick than perhaps you are just looking at it all wrong. Perhaps you need to replace a habit rather than start one from scratch. In the book, The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We do in Life and Business one of the key points proven to make habits successful is the habit loop. This is, cue, habit, reward. Meaning that in order to make a habit successful you must also have a clear cue to drive you into habit mode, and a clear reward waiting for you. Keeping this habit loop in mind you can better begin to implement small achievable habits into your day like the ones mentioned in this post. Not all habits need to be huge lifestyle changing ones, they can be small and trickle into your everyday life in ways you would never believe. Like meditation or exercise. These habits cue other habits to develop, like mindfulness and eating healthier. Try to stick to one of these simple habits and see how it transforms your life. Don’t forget to clearly define your cues and rewards. Good luck! 10 Minutes of Meditation per Day I have been raving about the benefits of meditation ever since I began meditating myself 3 years ago. This simple habit and practice have transformed everything about my life in the most amazing ways. I am more mindful, content, aware, calm and have less anxiety than premeditation me. If there is one habit that you should incorporate into your daily routine it is meditation. A common myth is that you need to meditate for hours to see results, but that is simply not true. Consistent short periods of meditation will show you wonderful results in building your mindfulness and improving your wellbeing. A good cue is waking up in the morning, or before you go to bed at night. The reward? How about a healthier and happier emotional wellbeing to start with. Incorporate Healthier Meals into your Life From a losing wight perspective, we often tell ourselves, stop eating this or that. We restrict and punish ourselves to the point of misery. However looking at health changes in a more positive light will give you far better results. Starting small with eating more fresh fruits and vegetables or trying new healthy recipes can spread to other areas of your life. After a few months, you may find your bad eating habits have been replaced with better ones and other diet changes may be easier to implement. This is a habit that can benefit everyone in the long term. Take it from the OG in health and wellness Hippocrates. Leave your Wallet at Home If you are trying to break bad spending habits or are just trying to save this is a get way to help you change those habits. By leaving your wallet at home you are establishing a filter between your impulses and actions. This simple change will make it more difficult to mindlessly spend. And after some time will reshape your spending habits to a need not want basis. Keep an Agenda or Planner This is another habit that has does wonders for my life. Keeping an agenda is a great way to keep organized and on top of things. Making keeping track of goals and habits even easier. This is a simple change however very powerful as it will help you to visualize what you are working on and towards. This is a habit that goes beyond scheduling and organization but will branch out to create more productivity and efficiency throughout your day. That is a habit that everyone can benefit from not just us list makers. Make Self Care a Priority It can be easy to get into the bad habit of putting yourself last. When you don’t make yourself a priority you become drained, stressed and altogether empty. This makes being there for the ones you love difficult. Starting some self-care habits is a wonderful way to feel relaxed, unwind and be the best version of you. Something as simple a taking a class you love, going to the spa or getting a relaxing bath is a wonderful way to show yourself the self-care you deserve. The reward is a radiant, vibrant and happier you! What more could you want? Practice Minimizing in Some Way Minimalism has been taking the interwebs by storm lately. It seems like so many people are yearning for a less materialistic lifestyle and are craving alternatives to clutter and materialism. This is truly amazing and the benefits of owning less impact our environment and our lives in so many positive ways. To begin a more minimal lifestyle start with small habits, like buying less clothing, or using recyclable bags when getting groceries. But don’t stop there, continue to push your boundaries until minimizing is more of a habit than materialism currently is. For some minimizing inspiration check out this post 89 Things to Remove from your Home & your Life Read Daily Doctors and scientists agree that learning new things and keeping your mind sharp is key to healthier brains in old age. The benefits of reading are numerous, and if you wish to stretch your brain muscles and learn something new making a habit of this simple hobby is a great way to do just that. Set a goal for each day or year and see if you can reach it. With the use of Goodreads, you can track what your reading and stay motivated by setting yearly goals. Reading can also be a wonderful way to help you reach other goals in your life, by helping you learn the skills you need to get there. Drink a Glass of Water First Thing in the Morning This was a habit that I managed to ingrained into my daily routine this year and I am so happy that I did. Often we feel hungry or crave caffeine first thing in the morning, but in reality, we are just dehydrated. Drinking water takes care of that issue and after my body gets its dose of H2O I can have my coffee and breakfast and often don’t desire a second cup of caffeine. My digestion has improved, my dependence on caffeine has decreased and I am able to drink more water during the day. It’s a triple win really. Eat Breakfast It seems so odd that eating breakfast every morning can help you be healthier, but it is true. By eating a healthy breakfast your body has more energy all day long helping you burn more calories. Not to mention it sets the tone for the day ahead. Prepare yourself a simple breakfast meal, like cereal or a smoothie and after a few weeks see the changes that begin to take place. Start a Gratitude Practice Write down a few things you are grateful for each day and watch as your inner talk and perspectives on the world change to be more gracious and positive. Incorporating a gratitude practice into my life has changed my attitude for the better. Helping me to see the good in every day which is sometimes harder to do then you may realize. The negativity of news and social media can take its toll. But don’t forget there is a lot of good in your life and the world too. Take your Vitamins I know there is a lot of conflicting information about vitamins out there but this is a habit that I follow myself. Keep in mind I am no doctor. However, I will say this, taking vitamins is a great way to prevent a problem before it starts. Wouldn’t you rather take care of your body rather than trying to fix it once it is ill? Vitamins are not the only answer but taking a multivitamin daily regardless of your age is a wonderful way to optimize your health. Do your own research or chat with your doctor or nutritionist to see if taking vitamins is something that would work well for you. Go to Bed at the Same Time Each Night Going to bed at the same time each night regardless of the day of the week is a wonderful way to ensure regular sleep habits. What you may start to notice is it takes you less time to fall asleep at night, you get a more solid sleep and other habits during your waking life are easier to develop also. Take Regular Phone Breaks Many of us are in the terrible habit of checking our phones all the time. We check them in the middle of conversations, while out to dinner, or when we are about to go to sleep. For no reason other than to check them. Giving yourself designated times to check your phone is a great way to break this bad habit. But it is also a wonderful way to get into the habit of living in the moment without your phone. Create Automatic Savings Accounts Saving money is a very necessary habit to get into. If you struggle with bad money habits then setting up automatic savings accounts is a great way to create better money management habits in your life. By passively saving money automatically you can better utilize what money you have left in the bank, which can lead you to more productive money habits as a result. Exercise the Same Time Every day People who work out the same time every day are far more likely to stick to the habit of working out. It may be difficult to build that habit in the beginning, however, if you stick to it, working out the same time every day or week will eventually become second nature. Find what time works best for you and try to optimize that. What kind of habits are a key part of your life? Are there any new habits you hope to start?
Hello everyone, are you ready for another bookish post all about reading? Wintertime offers candles, fireplaces, blankets and snowy nights. Curled up with a good book and some hot tea in a mug. However, as the ground thaws a new arena of reading begins to bloom. I’m talking about sunshine, beaches, campfires, sunsets, smoothies and the gentle chirping of birds, people. The atmosphere that I read in really makes or breaks my motivation to do so. Luckily spring and summer offer the perfect backdrop for any reading venture. This spring and summer I hope to spend as much time as possible indulging my mind, body, and spirit. Because I love that kind of thing and because I hope to reach my reading goal this year of completing 30 books. During the spring and summer the type of books I like to read tend to be more adventurous, light and motivating. I hope my reading list inspires you to read something that motivates you and makes you feel good this spring or and summer. Are there any books you are hoping to read this spring or summer? Do you have any recommendations for me? My Spring & Summer Reading List The 5 Love Languages I picked this up on a whim after hearing about it from a few people, and I am happy that I did. This was the first book I read this spring and I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed it. It is a short read that is filled with lots of unique perspectives about how we as humans love it also holds a lot of insight into how we all give and receive love differently. Although we can not generalize everything about ourselves and others we can embrace our differences by understanding them better. Additionally, if you are in a relationship understanding your partners own love language makes it so much easier to understand them. And give and get what is needed by both. Eat Pray Love: One Woman’s Search For Everything Across Italy, India And Indonesia I know I know, how have I not read this book? After watching the movie a million times I think it is time that I get a deeper look at Liz’s journey through her book. This is a story about an inspirational woman exploring her soul and the world. Which is basically my life in my mind. Meaning this book is meant for me. I have been planning a trip to Italy for a while now and I know this book is going to send me over the edge with inspiration, as part of the book takes place there. I can not wait to lounge in the sunshine, sip some prosecco and read this adventurous and empowering book. The Power Of Habit: Why We Do What We Do In Life And Business I just started this book and I am already totally addicted. This book takes an interesting look at how habits are formed through repetition, routines, and rewards. So far the insights and research in this book are opening my eyes to the power of habits in ways I never expected before. The springtime is a great time to get into new habits.I am hoping the tools in this book will help get me where I want to be. Reading, yoga, hiking and waking up earlier are just some of the habits I hope to engrain into my daily routine. What kind of habits are you working on building in your life? The Book of Questions: Revised and Updated This is an awesome book to have around your home. It is basically jammed full of random, philosophical and intriguing questions. I picked this up to use as a game while at the cabin around the fire. Using some of these questions when guests are over could be a great way to get to know your friends and start some cool conversations. Check it out for yourself and let me know what you think and how you use it. The Five People You Meet In Heaven Based on the reviews I have read from other bookish people I am going to love this book. This book shows an interesting perspective on how the lives of loved ones and strangers can impact our lives without us even knowing it. Showing how we are all connected and how each life and interaction can shape the lives of those around you. The Lost Art Of Good Conversation: A Mindful Way To Connect With Others And Enrich Everyday Life So far this is one of my favorite books I have read this year. It is an easy read filled with tips and tricks to help you build mindful relationships and habits that will benefit you and the people you interact with in everyday life. Good conversation skills go beyond being a social butterfly. It is about being mindful, compassionate and aware of ourselves and others during even our most mundane types of socializing. As an introvert, I can often feel overwhelmed by certain conversations in general. Therefore this book was perfect for helping me bring more skills to that area of my life. I particularly enjoyed the parts about mindful listening and how to deal with disagreements on subjects, such as differing political or spiritual views. If you think yourself as a skillful conversationalist you may be surprised to learn that you too may be lacking the middle ground of conversation in your life. As talking too much comes with its own set of issues. Finding the middle way is the heart of the Buddhas teachings and the Sakyong does a wonderful job in making this balance of conversation available to everyone through this book. Give this book a read and take this social time of year as a time to practice your new awesome skills. Spring and Summer is a favorite time for me when it comes to building my book collection. All those yard sales and farmers markets have a lot of books to offer. So stay tuned for more book recommendations coming your way. Follow me on Goodreads to see what I am currently reading and to check out my reviews. Additionally check out my other bookish posts here. Happy reading everyone.
Hello bookish friends! I don’t know why it took me so long to find out that book subscription boxes are a thing but now that I know my fantastical life is forever altered. And that is what I want to share with you all today. I signed up for the monthly subscription box offered by pagehabit and I received my first one in the mail yesterday. I am in love with all of my goodies and can’t wait to share with you what came in my May pagehabit box Want an exclusive discount? Get $10 off here! About PageHabit PageHabit is a book subscription box that comes to your door each month filled with one book in the genre of your choosing. Including, literary fiction, young adult fiction, mystery, fantasy, romance, historical fiction and more. What makes PageHabit unique is that each box comes with a handwritten letter from the author of the new release featured in that box. Along with personal annotations from the author throughout the entire book. This takes the reading experience up a notch and is a great way to connect with the author, characters and the entire writing process behind the book. Oh, and we can’t forget about the bookish items. There are some of those included as well which is always fun! May Unboxing Bookish Items Pull Light This is a cute bookish goodie that is great to set up in your office, closet, bedside or any other number of little nooks. Another cool feature of this light is that it changes colors. Simply plug in, set up and start reading! Page Habit Bookmark Keeping with the light theme is a cute pagehabit bookmark which is included in each monthly box. The quote on this one is from one of my favorite inventors, Nikola Tesla. the quote reads… “Of all things, I liked books best.” I tend to lose bookmarks a lot so I really appreciate that a new bookmark is included each month. Not to mention I am a sucker for a good quote! Shoemark Bookmark This is a fun and unique design for a bookmark. Just place your surprised little man inside of your book and remember your place by the little feet that will stick out at the end. I for one appreciate this funny little design in a bookmark. Well done PageHabit! Book Socks I don’t think I have ever met a bookish human who doesn’t love a good pair of socks. These adorable socks are perfect for a day spent curled up reading your favorite book. Got to keep those toes toasty. Tote bag Tote bags are not only great for the environment but they are also a wonderful tool for any shopping adventure. I absolutely love the graphic on this tote. Depicting a young lady starting off on a new adventure, the path ahead leading to a library. I think all nerds can agree this is cute as hell. Donation Card Possibly the best thing about Pagehabit, yes better than the books even). Is that from each box purchased PageHabit donates books to a school in need of books. This month PageHabit partnered with Books for Africa to donate a container of books to support two nonprofit organizations. These organizations are engaging the youth in and near Khayelitsha Township outside of Cape Town. helping Molo Mhlaba the first and only girls school in Khayelitsha which offers innovative teaching to girls with a focus on robotics and coding. Each month in your Pagehabit box there will be a card which includes information about where your donation is going. Including lots of facts about the town and literacy rate. This aspect of PageHabits subscription box proves that you can be a conscious consumer and still enjoy the products you love. Which is something I love. The Books The Wolf: Leo Carew Pagehabit often offers promotions for signing up with them and this month when I signed up the promotion was an extra book! Yay. The Wolf by Leo Carew. This book is filled with personally annotated notes about Leo’s inspiration for certain scenes and characters. Which brings you inside the story in a unique way I have not experienced before. What it’s about… Beyond the Black River, among the forests and mountains of the north, lives an ancient race of people. Their lives are measured in centuries, not decades; they revel in wilderness and resilience, and they scorn wealth and comfort. By contrast, those in the south live in the moment, their lives more fleeting. They crave wealth and power; their ambition is limitless, and their cunning unmatched. When the armies of the south flood across the Black river, the fragile peace between the two races is shattered. On a lightning-struck battlefield, the two sides will fight – for their people, for their land, for their very survival. The Ones Who Remain: John Sollitto Pagehabit has been including short stories in their boxes as well. As a writer, you can even send your own short story to pagehabit and have it published and sent in one of their subscription boxes which is pretty cool! What its about… When Agent Dennis heard about the domestic disturbance at the Anderson’s place, he thought it would be a run of the mill assignment. Questions the suspect, find the motive, start rehabilitation. But heather is no ordinary suspect, and she’s not willing to just move on. Will Dennies get her to admit her guilt, or will Heather be trapped by her own inability to let go? Mem: Bethany C. Morrow This is the main book featured in the May fantasy subscription box. It was released in spring 2018. This is a beautiful hardcover copy with lots fo annotations from Bethany hidden throughout the novel. This book was named by BuzzFeed as the number one book to read this spring I am so pumped to get into this one! What its about… Set in the glittering art deco world of a century ago, MEM makes one slight alteration to history: a scientist in Montreal discovers a method allowing people to have their memories extracted from their minds, whole and complete. The Mems exist as mirror-images of their source ― zombie-like creatures destined to experience that singular memory over and over, until they expire in the cavernous Vault where they are kept. And then there is Dolores Extract #1, the first Mem capable of creating her own memories. An ageless beauty shrouded in mystery, she is allowed to live on her own, and create her own existence, until one day she is summoned back to the Vault. Want to sign up for pagehabit? Follow my unique discount code and receive $10.00 off your page habit box. Yes, I want a discount! Speaking of books. Have you entered my self-care giveaway yet?
Happy Anniversary to me! Can you believe it has been 3 years already? I certainly can’t. If you could see me right now you would see a woman totally perplexed with bleeding fingers from writing so much over these 3 years. Kidding about the bleeding fingers by the way. When I began this blog I never imagined that it would go from a little side hobby to pass the time into a full-blown life passion. Seriously, I love writing guys! You truly never know what will happen when you start something new do you? This past year, in particular, I have pushed my own boundaries, took some leaps of faith, dedicated myself to learning, growing and set crazy goals for myself. And I had a blast! What can I say I am a Capricorn through and through. I love me some work. It has been a great year for ScaleitSimple and I am happy that more and more people are interested in simple living, and self-care. We have a sweet little community here and I can not wait to see what this next year will bring. To celebrate this blogiversary I wanted to host a little giveaway. Nothing fancy, just a few of my favorite things. Books, journals and skin care. I will gladly ship to the winner anywhere in the world! Enter below! Thank you all so much for your support and interest in ScaleitSimple, it means so much to me. Email subscribe to ScaleitSimple to get all the updates on this giveaway and future posts.
Ego is one of those words that I would once associate with images of muscular men flexing aimlessly in a mirror while kissing their greasy pecks. Or with earworms like Beyonce’s, “he’s got a big ego” da da da da. Up until very recently my idea of ego was that it was a term used to describe selfish people or tendencies. Certainly not something that could apply to me. Oh no never. Thanks to my Buddhist practice the power and the true meaning of this tiny word (ego) have realistically been infiltrating my life. It turns out that in my constant comparison of myself to others egos was, in fact, my own bloody ego. How embarrassing. Meaning that my ego may, in fact, be just as inflated as mister muscles reflection in the mirror across the way. Hows that for a little slap of reality? In reality, we all have a sense of ego inside of us, that is connected but yet separate from our self-esteem and self-confidence. I have been using ego as a point of reflection lately and I have found some pretty wild ways in which I have been feeding it. My recent shift to Buddhism has allowed me to change a lot of my old ways and now I can focus more deeply on feeding my soul instead and the souls of others. The first step, however, is knowledge, because it really is so powerful. Take a look at the list below and truly ask yourself if you are feeding your soul or your ego. Many of us are so caught up in our busy lives, our habitual patterns and have catchy Beyonce songs stuck in our heads that we don’t even know what we are doing. With a little awareness, you can give yourself a powerful tool. The choice! To feed the bottomless pit that is your ego or to mindfully grow your beautiful soul. Good luck. Gratitude vs Entitlement When you are connected with your soul’s purpose you are connecting with gratitude in all aspects of your life. You feel appreciation for the people in your life and the world around you. Focusing outward with gratitude you easily see the beauty and struggle of many aspects of your life. Leaving you with so much to fill your soul with. When our ego barges into your mind’s eye, entitlement often joins in on the fun. You complain about the weather because you feel entitled to better. “How dare you oh giant spinning ball in the universe, how dare you not make the weather in this exact spot at this exact blink in time be exactly what I want? How dare you!” Your ego needs validation, greed, and upset. Your ego needs to know that it is someone or somethings fault that you did not get what you deserve. Which leads me to my next point. Take scaleitsimple’s30 Day Gratitude challenge. Take Responsibility vs. Blame It takes confidence to take responsibility for the negative things that happen to us. Sometimes things that happen are out of our control, however, we need to be able to take responsibility for our reactions to those upsets. People who are connected to their souls know they may not have control over everything but they always have control over their reactions. In every thought, situation and moment there is a level of responsibility that you can take. I mean why wouldn’t you want to? It is so liberating to take a deep breath and learn from your mistakes or to help someone to learn from there own rather than blaming someone else. The ego needs to blame because she is fragile. She hides behind the idea that she is tough, barking at other “this is your fault”. In reality, she is hurt and cannot handle much turmoil. When you cant take responsibility for things in your life you are failing to learn from mistakes, failing to strengthen your character and only your ego really wins. Compliment vs. Criticize A happy soul is so full of love and positive energy it can not help but spread it to others. Compliments and wishes of happiness are easy to give and receive. However, the ego is not as graceful. The ego decides to criticize more often than sending a compliment. Maybe it feels out of control, maybe it wants attention, maybe it just gets off on making others feel inadequate in order to protect itself. Also, pay attention to the intention behind your compliments, are you complimenting someone for your own personal gain? Watch out because there are lots of ways the ego manipulates our intentions and feelings. Help vs. Gossip When you are living your truest life you have the energy to help others and the desire to see them succeed. This makes you a beautiful friend, enriching your life with wonderful people. This gives you great relationships that are supportive and full of growth. Helping others is part of being human, and it takes a mixture of confidence, gratitude, and responsibility to have that true desire to just help with no strings attached. Oh, but miss thang over here just wants to watch the world burn, your world, everyone’s world. Miss thang being your ego of course. When we gossip we are actively and mindlessly creating our own karma and doing nothing to help the situation or person who is centered around the topic. If you find yourself standing around the water cooler talking about Glenda’s overpriced shoes, or badly behaved children often, then you know deep down it doesn’t feel good, it is pointless, and it is simply not nice. A negative conversation without a solution in mind is feeding your ego not your soul, try to be more helpful instead. Want others to succeed vs. Looking out for number one If you have ever experienced the pure joy and happiness that comes from hearing anothers good news and feeling so happy for them that it may as well be your good news then at that moment you were feeling from your soul. It is such a beautiful human experience to feel joy for others, it lights up our lives and connects us with love. And all that mushy gooey good stuff. On the other side of that, some of my most uncomfortable memories are of having my good news or fortunes be seen as a negative thing by the people I had hoped would be happy for me. When you look out for number one to the extreme, you don’t want others to succeed because you want that to be your success. This might attract more selfish people into your life, hurt others and leave you missing out on that beautiful elation that comes from feeling happiness for others. Ugh, who wants that drama? Read about the differences between self-love and selfishness so you can keep a strong balance in your life. Exudes joy vs. Breeds negativity Have you ever been around someone who just exudes positivity? They are always enriching conversations with the bright side, looking for ways to improve and helping others. I strive to be that person because I love being around those people. The ego, however, needs negativity, so watch out for those negative comments, people and how often you manifest negativity in your own life. The ego needs to feel like it is a victim, it needs negativity to help it achieve that means. Try to retrain your brain by replacing some negative words with positive ones, your soul will love you for it! Victor vs. Victim The power of perseverance is what grows our soul and character. You know that moment where Rocky runs up the stairs and throws his fists in the air all while epic Bill Conti blares? You can have that moment! No, seriously that epic moment is yours for the taking! You can be the victor in your own life, perhaps you already are. All you have to do is stop being a victim and do it. Whatever it is for you! Every time you decide to be a victim, you are listening to your ego. No one person, situation or thing should have so much control over your life that you let it override your epic Rocky moment for a sulky victim moment. Embrace change vs. Fear change Meditation has taught me more about change than I ever thought possible. You really begin to become aware of the impermanence of everything, through meditation practice. Every breath, every day, every relationship, season. They all change. When you connect to change and embrace the lessons and experiences both good and bad in that change you are connecting with your source, your soul, your destiny. Da da da daaaaa. Change is life. If we didn’t change and evolve there would be no life as we know it today. So thank the lucky stars for change, it gave you life! To fear change is to fear life. And your ego would love nothing more than for you to curl up in a ball and miss out on all of that magic, opportunity, and gratitude. Praise and are driven by others vs. Resent and compare to others You know that rocky moment I mentioned earlier? That is a good example of being driven by others, I know Rocky wasn’t a real person, but his story is a real story. There are so many people out there killing it at life, coming from all different circumstances. Look at the girl Malala who fought for women’s education and was shot in the face by the Taliban. She still believes and fights for education and that bravery inspires others in so many unique ways. The ego-driven person might look at someone profound and inspirational and think, how stupid of her? Seriously, people do that. Basically, the ego-driven person spends more time hating on themselves in the mirror because they don’t look like Victoria Beckham instead of googling her workout routine and trying it for themselves. Catch my drift? Looks for freedom in perspective vs. Looks for justification for anger I used to live a very closed minded life until I discovered the blog tinybuddha.com Through reading about other peoples perspectives and life experiences my world began to open up. I started a blog for myself, I began to travel, I began a spiritual journey. It might not be much, but thanks to a change in perspective about what I could want and do, my life became my own. For that reason, I think perspective is the most powerful practice of all. Now when something makes me feel angry, or sad I seek perspective to free myself from its hold. The more you look for freedom in perspective the less you will be trapped by anger. Remeber your ego wants to keep you blind from this freedom, so it will tempt you with anger. Anger is a fools ambition, and looking for reasons to justify toxic behaviors will just further limit your life and mind. Value emotional and spiritual connections vs. Value material possessions Your soul craves connection. To nature, to animals, to other humans. Your soul craves exploration both inward and outward. This could mean traveling to far away places or this could mean connecting to a story through books, or connecting with a dear friend while sipping your favorite coffee. This is true happiness, simple and profound feelings, connections, sounds, smells, tastes. But your ego might tempt you in another direction. Your ego may tempt you with things to fill that connection. Meaning more work to fulfill those ambitions. Meaning, less time experiencing true connections with friends, or distraction when you do have time. Take a step back and think about reducing the materialistic needs in your life and increasing your soulful needs. For tips on helping you reduce the clutter in your life check out these 89 Things to Remove from your Home and your Life. Self-acceptance vs. Self-denial No one is perfect. In fact, it is within our imperfectness that we find strength and personal character. Accepting your flaws, and mistakes and loving yourself anyway is a wonderful way to nourish your soul. Self-acceptance does not mean you cant work to improve yourself it just means you have the strength of character to be real with yourself. When we deny the parts of ourselves that we don’t like so much a messy web of other negative behaviors begin to develop in order to support our self-denial. Things can get out of control pretty fast on that path, so it is best to be real with yourself. Accept the things you cant change, and love yourself enough to try the things you can change. Forgiveness vs. Resentment “Resentment is like drinking poison and then hoping it will kill your enemies.”― Nelson Mandela People sometimes think that by forgiving others you are somehow losing, giving up or admitting wrong. The truth is through forgiving others you are freeing your soul up to experience life without resentment being a constant part of it. Listen to Mr. Mandela and not your ego. Your ego just wants further justification to protect itself. Why not be a little vulnerable and free some space up in your mind and life? There are so many more trigger distinctions between feeding your soul versus feeding your ego but for the sake of this already extremely long post, I will leave it here. I hope you can be brave and show your ego who is the real boss in your life. Dats you!