We are all there for each other;

that is the constant among all the change. -MP50

Embracing New Normals

    Even if the concept, the new normal, weren't all over the place, we would be like, "oh, yeah, that's what I've been living these past (fill in the blank). What I've come to understand is that as we age, these new normals have become pretty common occurrences. As part of the Sandwich Generation, we are all experiencing illness, loss, growth, transition, well just plain change in our lives. Whether it be for the better kind of change or not so much, a new normal begins to take root. 
    
    When my daughter left for eight months in Australia six months ago, ready as we were for this amazing adventure for her, nothing prepares you for a new normal thrust upon you like that. When the holidays rolled around, the new normal became watching Christmas movies via Skype during my evenings her next day mornings. Although we don't want a repeat this Christmas, that new normal became memories we both admit were really nice and we will always remember. What I find is that when we don't fight the changes, when we accept the bad and eventually embrace the good changes, the new normals can effortlessly and seamlessly flow in & out of our lives. No amount of happiness or sadness is forever and the new normals will come and go, rinse & repeat. Rinse with tears at times, repeat with the love and support of those around us. We are all there for each other; that is the important constant among all the change.

    So when the next new normal flows into your life, remember to embrace it. Even with the most difficult change, the loss of a loved one, somehow with faithfulness and hope we can move forward, riding the wave of a new normal. Even with joyful changes in our lives, the embrace we choose to take can cement the happiness we feel so we can call upon it when needed later on. Remember, being there for each other is key... Support others with theirs and embrace the new normals in your own life!

Mindfulness Matters

  By definition: Mindfulness - a mental state achieved by focusing one's awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one's feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations.
    We are being media blitzed by this thing called mindfulness. Yes, it has been around for centuries; and yes if you truly think about it, we are at are happiest when we engage in some form for at least part of our day. We know that it aides in stress reduction which is so important for a healthy, happier life. Stress increases cortisol, which produces belly fat (which is the worst unhealthy fat to have). Those of us that practice yoga can tell you, it is the best hour of the day. Why? When you practice, the focus, the mindfulness is right with you, supporting you in each posture. It is blessed relief from the usual hectic day. Alongside yoga, prayer and meditation have been ever present for centuries; cultures have realized early on that our sanity lies there.
   So stay present, in the moment & embrace mindfulness at times throughout your day. Of course this is easier said than done! The multi-tasking epidemic has infiltrated all our lives, especially for women. I even was the guinea pig of my own blogs on the matter. It is NOT easy, trust me. We are the plate jugglers. But we can start small & simply. The best suggestions are to continue with exercise in any way that suits you. You stay mindful because concentration & a keen focus on breathing are needed to succeed. Some other simple suggestions include watching the rain or snow or birds for a few minutes a day. The next time you have a cup of tea, coffee, wine or an after supper cordial ~ sip, taste & swallow. How often do we miss the tasting part. We can then move on to meals. No distractions (TV, opening mail, etc.) ~ taste every bite and enjoy! This will lead to us eating slower, eating less & enjoying more! Bring out the nice china & stemware; I know I'm talking crazy now!
     Also, check out my Blog Archive for past blogs for ideas: Aaah, The Mindful Bath (Nov. 2014), Yoga - Legs-Up-A-Wall Pose (Jan. 2012), 2 on Multi-Tasking (March 2012), & Dolce Far Niente (Nov. 2012)
    You can start small & simply with these ideas & in no time it will become a part of a day that isn't just about going through the motions. Mindfully Enjoy!