Thoughtful Thursday – The Magic of Autumn

Featured

Photo taken by Maria Vidaurre

Summer is officially coming to an end on September 22nd as we welcome the Autumn Equinox. Here in South Florida, we don’t really experience a change in scenery. The weather cools a bit but there is no major change in season visually.

This was a photo I had taken while hiking 10 miles on the Appalachian Trail in Shenandoah National Park, Virginia with my husband. The air was cool and crisp on the morning we embarked on our hike and the scent of wet leaves permeated the air. Mother nature had graciously painted a stunning canvas of yellow, red, orange and brown for us to enjoy. The scenery was absolutely breathtaking on the trail.

It was a magical hike where I found myself again and remembered what I was made of. There were parts of the trail where I had to dig deep to find courage and endurance to push on. One section had a small brook covered with leaves which were very slippery. Even though I was super careful, I ended up taking a fall but luckily it was nothing major and just ended up with a bruised knee.

The most treacherous part of the trail was a section that was covered with large boulders from an avalanche that wobbled and moved as we crossed them. This part slowed us down considerably and the sun was setting soon.

To say the least, I wasn’t too keen on the idea of getting stuck on the mountain, at night, out in the cold. I much preferred my warm bed that was calling my name back at the lodge. So with all the grit and determination I could muster, I forged on to reach the end of our hike.

As the sun started to set in the horizon, the temperature began to drop pretty fast and darkness was setting in. Just when I thought we wouldn’t make, we came to the end of the trail. I was so happy and soooo relieved. We did it 😅

Looking back on our hike I felt a sense of accomplishment and pride. It was quite the adventure and I loved every minute I spent with my husband. Time on the trail renewed my energy and sense of wonder. It was a great recharge for my mind, body and soul.

We’re going on another hiking trip on the Appalachian Trail this fall but it will be at a different section of the trail and a shorter hike. Really looking forward to seeing all the beautiful colors again!

What do you like most about autumn?

Thanks for stopping by!!

Share the Happy 💖

“Notice how autumn is more the season of the soul than of nature.” ~Freidrich Nietzsche

Photos taken by Maria Vidaurre

Thoughtful Thursday Vision Boards

Featured

Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com

Vision boards are a way of putting your goals and dreams into one place so you can focus on them everyday and bring them to fruition. There are no rules for creating vision boards. They can be big or small, neat or messy, on a wall or foam board. You fill them with photos, words or both, it’s entirely up to you. Personally I like to use photos from magazines or the internet. They help me visualize my goals more easily.

Think about what you really desire in life maybe it’s better relationships, a better job, more time with the family, finding love, etc. Then find photos that relate to your desires and put them on the board. For example, if I’ve been dreaming about taking a cruise, I’ll look for an ad with a cruise ship and the destination I want to go to and put that photo on my board. If I want to get healthy and in shape, I’ll find a photo of an athlete and put that on my board.

The vision board will help you to attract the right circumstances in your life to make your desires a reality. It will also help keep you focused and on track. The photos will help you to visualize yourself in the circumstances you desire. But what is even more important is that you feel the positive emotion related to your desires whether it be joy, elation, happiness or any other strong positive emotion. And I don’t mean just think about the feeling, I want you to really feel the emotion in every cell in your body. Imagine yourself attaining your goal and think how good you’ll feel when your desire becomes a reality.

You want to keep the vision board in a place where you can see it everyday so you stay focused and have clarity on your goals and desires. The vision board will help keep your passion and energy fueled so you can attain your goals. Imagine the possibilities. The sky’s the limit so dream BIG!

Thanks for stopping by!

Share the Happy!!

“All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them.” ~Walter Elias Disney

Photo by eberhard grossgasteiger on Pexels.com

Thoughtful Thursday – Earl Nightingale on Goals

Featured

Quote of the Week: Earl Nightingale - Authentic Medicine
Earl Nightingale

I was listening to Brendon Burchard the other day when he recommended Earl Nightingale. I hadn’t heard of him before so I did a little research.

Earl was at Pearl Harbor on the Arizona during the attack which thankfully he survived. Shortly after the war, Earl was obsessed with learning how the mind works and how one person can create wealth while the next is penniless and stays that way. In 1956, Earl recorded one of the first ever life coaching sessions called “The Strangest Secret” which can be found on YouTube. There’s also a book on Amazon.

A few weeks ago I wrote a post on Goals. The reason I bring this up again is because Earl makes an excellent reference in his recording about goals. Here’s a snippet of what he says:

“Have you ever noticed that a man who becomes successful tends to continue to become successful? And on the other hand, have you noticed how a man who’s a failure tends to continue to fail?

Well, it’s because of goals. Some of us have them; some don’t. People with goals succeed because they know where they’re going.

Now think of a ship leaving a harbor and think of it with a complete voyage mapped out and planned. The captain and crew know exactly where it’s going and how long it will take. It has a definite goal. 9,999 times out of 10,000 it will get to where it started out to get.

Now let’s take another ship, just like the first, only let’s not put a crew on it, or a captain at the helm. Let’s give it no aiming point, no goal, and no destination. We just start the engines and let it go.

I think you’ll agree with me that if it gets out of the harbor at all, it will either sink or wind up on some deserted beach, a derelict. It can’t go any place because it has no destination and no guidance.”

Earl puts it in very simple terms but he’s 100% correct. Goals are the foundation of your life because without them, how do you know where you’re going? It’s so important to set your goals, focus on them and work towards reaching them however big or small they may be. You don’t want to spend 10 years of your life only to find that you’re still at the starting line and have gone nowhere in all that time.

Think about what it is that you really want out of life. What is your passion? What makes you come alive? What gets you excited and eager to start your day? Then set goals and work towards them. (If you need a little more help on goal setting, you can read my post on Goals and hopefully that will steer you in the right direction.)

Live your life with passion while expanding your mind and soul, and have fun in the process!

Thanks for stopping by!

Share the Happy!!

“Your work is to discover your world and then with all your heart give yourself to it.” ~Buddha

Photo by Skitterphoto on Pexels.com

Thoughtful Thursday – Goals

Featured

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

At the beginning of the year, most of us set goals, our New Year’s Resolutions. Hard to believe that the first half of the year is coming to a close in another week. Where do you stand on your goals? Are you on track, or did you lose sight of where you wanted to be by now?

Life has a tendency to throw you one curve ball after another. But that’s okay as long as you don’t lose sight of your goals. It can get pretty frustrating when you veer off track and if you go off too far, then you may quit. But I’m here to cheer you on! Don’t be so hard on yourself. There’s been so much going on in the world so staying on track towards your goals can be rather difficult.

I know for me, I’ve had my fair share of curve balls thrown my way. But I decided to go easy on myself, it is what it is and I am where I am. I can’t change the past, nor does it do me any good to cry over spilled milk as the expression goes. So I’m looking ahead and making a few changes to help get me back on track. Here are a few pointers:

  • Start by reassessing where you currently are with your goals and where you feel you should be by the end of the year. What do you still need to do?
  • Next break down your goals into smaller attainable monthly goals. Notice I used the word “attainable.” Be honest with yourself on what you can accomplish in the next 6 months. Don’t set yourself up for failure by piling too much on your plate. For example if you’re trying to lose weight, don’t plan on losing 30 pounds in a month. Realistically, women lose an average of 3 lbs a week (12 lbs p/month) while men lose 5 lbs a week (20 lbs p/month). So be realistic with your goals and set yourself up to win, but at the same time still challenge yourself.
  • Next, take it another step further and break down your monthly goals into “attainable” weekly goals and schedule those into your week. Try to schedule 1 hour every day, more or less to work on your goals.
  • Before starting your day, review your schedule and get your mind ready to tackle your goals and cross that finish line victoriously by the end of the day!
  • At the end of the week, you should have made some progress towards your goals. If you went off course, take a look at the why and take action for the next week so it hopefully won’t happen again.

Your schedule will change because that’s just the way life is. So adjust course and keep going. You’re stronger than you thought and you need to give yourself credit for the wins, however small they may be, they all count!!

Thanks for stopping by!

Share the Happy!!!

“The tragedy in life doesn’t lie in NOT reaching your goal. The tragedy lies in having no goals to reach.” ~ Benjamin Mays

Photo by Olenka Sergienko on Pexels.com

Thoughtful Thursday – Keeping a Positive Attitude

Featured

Photo by Min An on Pexels.com

How do you stay on the path of positivity when there is so much negativity around you? How do you find that ray of hope each and every day? It’s hard, no doubt. Not something to be taken lightly either.

I’d like to think everyone starts their day on a positive note but depending on what your day was like the day before, that may be a tough thing to do. You may still be carrying all of that luggage. But I look at each day as a clean slate, a chance for a new beginning and a chance to make a positive change. Leave yesterday’s problem in the past and focus on a better today.

A few years ago I started listening to podcasts and grew to really love them. I go for the ones that grow my mind and spirit and a few business ones. Brendon Burchard is a life coach and is one of my favorite podcasts. He came up with a mantra that he uses first thing in the morning. I slightly changed it to fit my needs but here it is:

“Thank you God for this opportunity to serve today. Grant me the strength to focus. To be mindful and present. To serve with excellence. To be a force of light and love.” ~ Brendon Burchard

These words when spoken from the heart most definitely have a positive affect on your day. They don’t guarantee nothing will go wrong, but if it does, you can get back on track easier.

The podcasts are free and are a great resource for inspiration and spreading the happy! If you don’t have access to the podcasts on your phone, check YouTube.com, you can find a lot there. I highly recommend trying them out if you haven’t done so already. You may be pleasantly surprised!

A few of my favorites:

  • The Brendon Show
  • On Purpose with Jay Shetty
  • The Highest Self Podcast with Sahara Rose
  • The Marie Forleo Podcast
  • The Design You Podcast with Tobi Fairley

Thanks for stopping by!

Share the Happy!!

“Your life is simply a collection of all your thoughts and actions. Which direction to steer it in, is a choice you make every day and every moment. Be positive, live happy.” ~Unknown

Photo by Jill Wellington on Pexels.com

Thoughtful Thursday

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

The Benefits of Exercise

I wake up groggy like most and go through my morning routine, sometimes half asleep. But before I do any work of any kind, I work my body. I do 30 minute weight training and 30 minute cardio either on the elliptical or outside for a walk, weather permitting. On the days I don’t do my workout, it takes me longer to get going.

My morning workout literally crank starts my engine. It gets my blood flowing and my mind starts to click along. Exercising increases your energy levels too. It also helps you feel better and puts you in a better mood to start your day. Working out tones your muscles and helps build bone density and helps you avoid injuries by maintaining your strength. Plus it helps with weight loss and to get a better night of sleep.

Now I’m not saying you have to workout for an hour a day. For some that’s too much and for others, it’s not enough. You need to create a workout routine that works for you. It doesn’t need to be complicated with lots of equipment. You can do yoga, sit ups, push ups or walk in place to name a few. Make it easy so you’ll do it and stick with it. If you have limitations, there is a lot of information available online for doing modified exercises. Before starting any new exercise routine you should consult with your doctor or health practitioner. Just moving your body for 5 minutes a day will benefit you greatly and make you feel good!

Thanks for stopping by, Share the Happy!

Photo by Cedric Lim Ah Tock on Pexels.com

Thoughtful Thursday

THOUGHTFUL THURSDAY

Confidence

Not sure if you read last week’s Thoughtful Thursday Post but I entered a virtual challenge for the week from Garmin, competing against 9 other runners. The goal was distance. It officially ended on Monday and I walked 33.9 miles and took 1st Place!! That was such a milestone for me. I was never able to do this when I was younger, much less win 1st Place but I was determined. I wanted to throw in the towel a few times but I had to reach down deep and find the courage and perseverance to keep going. Everything in my body was starting to hurt. But I really wanted to win.

I had no intention of walking this much but Jon, who was in 2nd Place was absolutely relentless. Every time I tried to put a little more distance between us he up’d his game and closed the gap. I am very thankful for Jon because he pushed me to do more and more. More than I ever thought I was capable of. Almost 34 miles in 1 week!!! It was unbelievably hard and I’m so glad it’s done because I’m exhausted.

After finishing this race, my confidence in myself definitely went up a few notches. I now know that that I have the drive and ability to tackle what may appear as a monumental task and come out victorious. Even if I don’t know how to go about it, I’m more than capable of figuring it out and that’s a very good feeling.

This wasn’t an official race. There were no trophies, no one cheering you along from the sidelines. It was just me and my Garmin, tracking my miles. But I’m very proud of my virtual win because for me this was so much more than just winning.

What area of your life do you need to boost your confidence in? Take on that monumental task and prove to yourself that you CAN do it!

Photo by Sam Kolder on Pexels.com

Thoughtful Thursday

THOUGHTFUL THURSDAY

Personal Drive

I never thought I would like competing as much as I do. I guess it drives me to do better and that’s why I’ve grown to like it so much. I got a Garmin Watch from my hubby for my birthday a few months ago. I had no idea what missing until I got this watch. I really, really love it! One of the cool things is that you can install the Garmin app on your phone and sync it with your watch. Garmin has different challenges every week and month. So I entered my first challenge last week.

The goal of this challenge was to walk 25,000 steps in a week which is about 12.5 miles so you can advance to the next level. I entered it a few days in and was excited to see I was in 6th place out of 10 other people who also entered. I moved up to 4th and sadly dropped finished in 7th Place. The other walkers had way more steps than me, I didn’t even come close. The winner of the group completed about 29+ miles. Very impressive to say the least!!

After losing that challenge, I entered it again for this week. I’m determined to finish in 1st place so I’ve been doing a lot of walking, much more than usual. The hardest part is the South Florida heat. The humidity has been really bad lately. It definitely slows down your pace but I refuse to give up. Today I walked the furthest yet, a whopping 5 miles. It took me 1 hour, 20 minutes. I really started to fizzle in the end but I persevered and reached my goal! I’ve walked nearly 13.5 miles in 3 days which is not bad considering I would normally have anywhere from 6 to 9 miles for an entire week.

As of this moment, I’m still in 1st Place. But the others are closing in fast. It’s going to be a tough challenge but I’m seeing it through. Wish me luck!!

What is something that challenges you and drives you to do better?

Photo by Snapwire on Pexels.com

Thoughtful Thursday

THOUGHTFUL THURSDAY

Power of the Mind

I was on my walk/run the other day and completed my best time ever for 2 miles: 24 minutes, 34 seconds. I was ecstatic and amazed at what I accomplished.

When I was little, I suffered from respiratory illness. The word “running” was not in my vocabulary since my lungs could not handle it. I was constantly told “you can’t do it.” I eventually adopted this mindset and when things would get a little tough, I’d give up because I believed everyone was right.

Fast forward to now, I just read the book “Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself: How to Lose Your Mind and Create a New One”  by Dr. Joe Dispenza. He talked about rewiring your brain to change your body. An idea that sounded impossible but I’ve come to realize is very possible. 

I loved what Dr. Dispenza wrote so much that I’m continuing to read another one of his books titled “Becoming Super Natural: How Common People are Doing the Uncommon.”

I also started meditating this year. I have to say, it seemed odd at first, but the more I practiced, the more I grew to love it. It truly is a wonderful reset!

This morning I went on a walk, and I noticed something. The running segments that I had been doing  were getting longer and easier each time. I also noticed that when I start my running segment my mind switches gears. I go into a kind of meditative state and instead of saying to myself “Oh this is hard, I just have to get to my marker and I can stop.” I now say “This is easy; I got this; no problem.” My focus is no longer on making it from one marker to another, but rather the act of running and the ease of it. This helped me to break my negative thoughts and now I end up running past my markers without realizing it!

I made a decision to silence these negative thoughts because if I can reprogram my mind to make my body stronger (something I was told my whole life wasn’t possible) what else can I achieve? The possibilities are are endless!

What I’ve learned from Dr Dispenza has been mind blowing. I highly recommend you check out his website: drjoedispenza.com and his books. They’re amazing!

What would you like to achieve or change in your life? 

Photo by Maria / Cherry Blossoms, Washington DC

Thoughtful Thursday

I thought I would write a post, once a week about something other than art. I love creating with my whole heart, but if you’re not taking care of yourself, if you’re not happy, it’s a lot harder to get creative. 

One of my New Year’s Goals was to get in better shape so I decided I would go on a 2 mile walk every other day. I knew there would be times when this wouldn’t go according to plan so I promised I wouldn’t be too hard on myself. But I really wanted to stick with this plan as best as I could. 

When I first started going on these walks, my time was about 45 minutes for 2 miles. I was okay with that at first, but it didn’t take long and I wanted more. Over time I’ve become more and more competitive with myself, a part of me that I didn’t even know was there. I kept pushing myself and was able to get my 2 mile walk down to 27 minutes. Sometimes I’d even get into the 26-minute range. But that was it, I hit a plateau. 

To break the barrier, I added a few minutes of running and I was able to get my best time down to 24 minutes, 43 seconds so far. I don’t do a lot of running; it’s primarily walking because I’m so not a runner. Nevertheless, I feel victorious when I beat my best time, even if it’s only by 1 second! It still feels like I accomplished something extraordinary and I’m ready to shout it from the roof tops for all to hear!!! 

Bottom line is, to feel good about yourself or anything for that fact, you don’t need a big win. Sometimes it’s the smallest victories that feel like the biggest and have the most impact on your well being and state of mind. You are your own biggest fan when it comes to personal accomplishments.  So, what is your victory worth celebrating today?

Photo by Maria / Sunset in Key West, Florida