Live a Little; with Grace

Live a Little with Grace

Living with Grace

Each week I join Katja Presnal at Skimbaco Lifestyle and other inspired bloggers to write about how we Live a Little using every day pleasures to live life to the fullest.

This week I am focusing on Grace.

I chose Grace this week because I am reading Traveling at the Speed of Love By Sonia Choquette.  Her books and thoughts are inspiring to me and in turn I hope my post will inspire you to reach for grace in your own life.

Sonia Choquette

 

Sonia Choquette describes grace in this way,

 

“Grace is a divine frequency  and an incredible source of infinite love and blessing that is bestowed upon us by God to protect us, carry us, and lift us through life’s challenges. It helps us rise above the fray and the negativity around us and catapults us to higher ground.”

 

This week as I move through each day I am trying to live with more grace. I am trying to invite grace into my life as Sonia describes by being intentionally kind, especially focusing on being kind when someone is not being kind to me. Sonia’s book says,

” if they are rude or impatient or short of goodwill, then it’s all the more obvious they need some kindness…”

So, living my life to the fullest this week means stepping back when I need to, taking a break and moving forward with grace and kindness.

Live a Little: Bringing Spring to Life

Live a little spring

Spring is a time when I feel a sense of joy and renewal. I have a feeling of, “whew winter has passed.”

Sunshine and warmer temperatures have arrived. Life is good. Today I’m sharing a few of my favorite tips; How I Bring Spring to Life in my home. What makes you feel your living a little? How do you Bring Spring to Life?

Join Skimbaco Lifestyle and share your Live a Little Spring experiences.

Spring flowers in a window box
Photo Credit Rkramer62 Flickr

1. One of my favorite things about spring is the fact that there are beautiful flowers. I love seeing window boxes full of blooming flowers; so one of my joys is to buy and plant my favorite hardy spring flowers.

2. I buy a pair of sandals, knowing on the warmest spring days that I can wear them and enjoy going almost bare foot.

3. I spend time with a girl friend; we either take a walk in the sunshine or sit outside in the sun catching up on each others lives.

4. I love a little color on my face and my body. So in the spring I always use a self tanner lotion. I’ve had good luck with Coppertone Sunless Tanning Gradual Tan. Tip: Be certain to wear gloves when you apply it, and apply to all areas at the same time, otherwise you may have varying shades of color.

5. I love sitting outside at a cafe and enjoying the warmth, while escaping from the every day responsibilities with an iced Chai Tea Latte.

6. I enjoy buying a new shower curtain that brings a cheery feeling of spring to the bathroom. This year I chose a blue and white shower curtain with daisies.

7. Spring sunshine and warmer temperatures give me an opportunity to take longer walks with my dog Tanner, which is good for both of us.

8. Spring sometimes brings gray wet days, on those days to appreciate Spring I visit my local botanical garden and take a walk among the tropical flowers or sit and enjoy the waterfall.

9. One of my favorite ways to share spring with friends and family is to cook recipes with fresh, sunshine inspired ingredients. I love salads that include fresh fruit, such as pears and grapes sprinkled with feta. For a sunshine inspired dessert I bake a Key Lime pie.

a slice of key lime pie
Photo Credit TheHungryDudes Flickr

10. The last way I Bring Spring Home is to buy a new lipstick or blush, a product that is in warm weather tones and colors.

How do you bring spring home? Share your Spring inspired post on Skimbaco Lifestyle.

Breathing Deep, What’s Your Walk on the Beach?

Live a little

Fellow blogger Katja Presnal started a new Live a Little Monday Series on her blog Skimbaco Lifestyle She’s encouraging others to share their own blog posts. She asks how we live our life a little fuller, where we go to make decisions and what brings joy to our days and life. I’m taking her nudge and sharing with each of you what brings me the greatest joy and what I rediscovered this week.

Katja asked, what is your beach walk?
My beach walk is just that, A BEACH WALK.
I was reminded what a big part the beach plays in my life during a sponsored trip to Mexico last week. The beach is my haven, it’s the place I’m most myself. I breathe more deeply when I am standing on a beach. As I stood on the beach in Playa del Carmen I felt an immediate sense of peace and a release of all my stress. It was a moment that reminded me, I belong near the ocean. It’s the place I feel happiest.

Mexico beach
My beach view in Playa del Carmen

A couple days later I had an opportunity to walk on the beach in Tulum. Can you say heaven? It was pure pleasure to walk on that beach and absorb the energy of those waves and that stunningly beautiful beach. There are no words to describe how good I feel when I’m on a tropical beach in an exotic locale.

A beach view of Tulum, Mexico

I Felt Free
Later I had thirty minutes to swim and play in the surf. In those minutes as the waves swept over me I felt free. I felt so happy. I felt a strong reminder that the beach is home for me. I let go of everything when I walk in the surf and I play in the waves. Tulum by the way is rated the number three beach in the world. That didn’t hurt either. I like to pray on the beach and feel the sense of how big the universe is and how small we are in relation to the world and the planet and God. The beach is my piece of heaven.

So How Do I Bring the Beach to My Every Day?
That’s a good question. I try to surround myself with small reminders of the beach. Smooth beach rocks I’ve collected around the world, tiny bottles of sand I’ve brought back and post cards. Looking at them as I move through my day brings me pleasure.

Pinterest, Gardens and the Pleasure of My Dog
Lately I’ve discovered that looking at photos on Pinterest is another little pleasure that brings the things I love home to me. Hugging my dog and just spending time with Tanner is another “Bringing the Beach to Me” time. Tanner is a big ball of fur and love and his love for me is unconditional. We all need that in our lives. Lastly every time I walk in a garden of flowers I feel a sense of joy and peace. Flowers emanate beauty and they give me a little bit of the beach in my day.

dog at the park

Katja’s series has made me more aware. It’s the reminder I needed to MAKE time for me. To find a little bit of the beach in my life every day. Sometimes it’s the nudge of someone else that reminds us of what we’d forgotten. Life is about pleasure and joy. I need to bring home my little piece of beach every day. It makes me happy; it’s time to breathe deep and bring happiness home.



Joy in Every Day

As a freelance writer with a flexible schedule, one would imagine I’d have a lot of time to find joy in my life. Not so; with transitions in my life in the last four years joy had been a commodity I’ve had to learn to look for. The first thing I’ve come to realize is that JOY is in every day.

Joy opens our heart.
Think about something that brings you joy. Cuddling with your dog? Snuggling on the couch with your child? Maybe waking on a day off and knowing you can make coffee and drink it while listening to some music? Joy might be smelling lilacs or watching the moon rise. Joy is in our every day moments. Joy is what brings a smile to our face. Joy lights up our hearts.

A Park Bench with flowers

Yes, there are million ways to defer joy
We can spend all our time worrying about every responsibility we have. Will we feel joyful doing that? No, we will feel stressed out and cranky. Trust me, I’ve done that. I’ve been there and I’m not going back. It’s not worth it. Surviving a short sale is not something I ever expected to experience. It cost me emotionally and financially. I will be paying off a couple debts for a while from that period.

I choose now to find joy.
I choose to focus my life in a direction that bring me happiness and joy. I made hard choices. Choices are heartfelt, they are different for each of us. In the end mine have been choices I felt were right for me. Simplifying life is where I started.

The First Steps
Downsizing from the belongings and items that smothered me from my father’s death and estate was a big step. I kept the furniture and treasures of dad’s that I most love. The rest I shared with family, friends and donation centers. In the end I gave away enough to fill a normal house. I chose to purchase a smaller home and that is how I ended up in a short sale situation. My father’s house, large and specialized took three years to sell. Three years of struggle, stress and anxiety for me. If you are in your own financial struggle, your own feeling of gasping for freedom from your financial struggles, I understand.

My Best Advice
Cut your losses and move on. I wasn’t ready for that. My dad’s home held too much emotional feeling for me to let go. Not being able to let go cost me emotionally and financially. It was my lesson and it took time to learn and heal. So how does this relate to joy? Joy is a bi-product of my experience. In releasing myself from what I experienced and accepting my life, I am finding more joy.

Simple Joys
I’ve rediscovered joy in a walk with my dog Tanner. I smile every time he greets me. His joy is infectious. His love and fun are a blessing. Gardening and walks bring joy to my soul. What makes you feel joy? A week or two ago as I worked at my computer I noticed a squirrel outside my window, in the flowerbed. He was eating, watching me and just enjoying the warm sunshine. He knew something valuable. He knew that joy and fun are just as important as being responsible. Yes, he gathers food and provides for his family but he also knows how to find joy. Pay attention next time you see squirrels. They dash up and down trees and chase each other wildly across yards. They know how to let loose and feel joy! That squirrel was the reminder and nudge I needed. He reminded me that feeling joy is a part of every day.

What Joy Does for Us
I’m not a Dr but I would guess that every time I feel joy it does something wonderful for my body. Every time I take a deep relaxing breath and look at the green of the trees and the sun glinting on the grass I feel a measure of joy. Yes, big things feel joyful. But every day moments add up in teaspoons and cupfuls to fill our lives with joy too. We can be way too serious. Sometimes it’s as simple as stepping away from our tasks and spending five minutes reading our favorite book, kissing our kids or hugging our loved ones. Joy is in every day. It’s time to see it and feel it. Feeling joy opens our hearts and allows us deeper happiness.