13 Activities To Do For Earth Day

13 Activities To Do For Earth Day

Happy Earth Day 2021!

I hope that you were able to get outside today to enjoy a little bit of our beautiful planet’s natural offerings. I was lucky enough to be able to enjoy a short hike today, which as you may already know, I love doing. I am glad that the weather is warming up and that, albeit slow, we’re all moving toward doing our best to get Covid-19 under control so that we can all get back to our definition of “normal living.”

Going outside to enjoy nature is just one of the things that I do to celebrate Earth Day each year; and I’ve compiled a list of 13 of my favorite Earth Day activities to share with you. These are also great everyday selfcare activities to do during any time of the year as well. Enjoy!

  1. Visit a state or national park (physically or virtually).
  2. Go hiking.
  3. Do a little earthing or forest bathing.
  4. Go for a walk in your neighborhood (solo, with someone, or walk your dog.)
  5. Watch a sunrise or sunset.
  6. Make a herbal face mask or hand scrub instead of buying one.
  7. Take a bath instead of showering to save water.
  8. Turn off your electronic devices for the day to save energy, and digitally detox at the same time.
  9. Enjoy plant based meals all day.
  10. Repot your plants that need it, divide those that have extra growth and start new plants and give them to family and friends as gifts.
  11. Cut flowers from your garden or buy them to bring nature’s beauty into your home space – just because.
  12. Make your own herbal tea with fresh herbs and plants such as chamomile, hibiscus, ginger, or peppermint.
  13. Meditate, do your yoga practice or any other exercise outdoors in the fresh air and sunshine.

You Can’t Always Get What You Want

You Can’t Always Get What You Want

Life is generally good, right? I think that most people would agree that life, even with it’s disappointments, is okay. In fact, more often than not, it can be pretty amazing.

Today might be filled with happiness, joy and excitement; while tomorrow “could” bring sadness or pain – and that’s okay. It’s okay because living isn’t about having everything work out for the best all of the time, as much as it’s about being able to make it through the rough times; and to do so with a healthy mind frame and not allowing our disappointments to define us.

We expect too much sometimes, I think. We also tend to become complacent in our ability to not let our egos get the best of us. It’s easy to believe that things will always be the way that they are – especially when things are going great. Of course, this may not be true for everyone.

Well, 2020 should have taught us a thing or two. It should have reminded us of our lack of control. The control that we tend to thing that we have, when truthfully any semblance of control that we thing we have is actually quite minor.

We should always be open to “other” possibilities. Why? Because that is what helps us transition better when thing do not go our way. At any time, even the healthiest person can suddenly become chronically ill. Or, that well-to-do friend of yours that you thought was so blessed and fortunate can suddenly lose everything. Or that job that you thought that you would retire with could suddenly go out of business.

When disappointments happen they can leave us feeling sad, angry or regretful that we couldn’t have done more to prevent whatever happened from happening. The key though is not to ruminate over disappointments when they occur. As difficult as that might be – just don’t do it. Please don’t do it, unless you’re looking for more disappointment.

We have to be willing to accept the life that we have been given, regardless of whether or not we approve of the outcome. You have to just keep moving forward.

Now, there may be disappointing situations that call for you to contest or dispute, because there are many things in life that we must fight for – but I am not talking about those type of disappointments. I am talking about the ones that we absolutely cannot control.

When life throws a little disappointment your way you don’t have to forget what happened, (you need to remember as that will be connected to your personal growth), but you do have to learn to accept life’s disappointments.

Once you learn to that, then you can conquer anything. When faced with something disappointing I like to remember the phrase “God doesn’t give us anything that we cannot handle.” It always helps me to keep things in perspective. So, if you’re experiencing something less than favorable and you feel that the sky has fallen – try remembering that phrase and see how that works for you. Also, stay strong, keep the faith and know in your heart and soul that all will be well in the end. All you have to do is learn to accept whatever is making you feel that way or, if you are able to change the situation – change it. All else is madness and who wants that?

Thank you for reading.

Until the next post.

Take care and be well.

A Lovely Day

A Lovely Day

Hello everyone!

It’s been a while.

I am in an extremely good mood today. I’m in such a good mood that I felt compelled to make today the day that I would return to the blogosphere after yet another hiatus.

Today is light-filled. But, more than that it is joy-filled for many.

I didn’t expect to see what I observed this morning, which was exactly how much joy is being pushed and rebirthed into the universe until I walked into my family room this morning, turned on the television, and watched the news as people from all walks of life danced and sang in the streets all across America.

It didn’t take long for me to begin dancing and singing along with them with happy tears pouring from my eyes and down my cheeks. It was a beautiful sight to see. It was definitely one of the most wonderful feelings I’ve ever felt.

I am probably not the only person who may have felt the stagnation depart from the soul of the United States of America, ( extra special emphasis on the word “united”), because isn’t that the promise of our nation? Isn’t that what we love about it so much even though we have our left and right sides?

Unity is what results when sagacity, impartiality, and the sweetness of empathy are honored and practiced.

And here we have it. Unity wins. Goodness and love prevail. Hope is restored and those who have may have felt as though the sky was falling can feel comfortable enough once again to just close their eyes, take a long deep breath inward, exhale the past and allow their hearts to become lighter again.

Let’s sit with with this feeling for just a moment,

and be grateful for this precious day,

smile,

and let the healing begin.


With love and light,

Until the next post,

Take care.


Happy National Yoga Awareness Month!

Happy National Yoga Awareness Month!

I’m excited this month because September is the anniversary month of my yoga journey. I am also excited because it is also National Yoga Awareness Month. National Yoga Awareness Month is an annual campaign that was created in 2008, by the Department of Health and Human Services that was designed to acknowledge and share the many health benefits of yoga.

During the month of September, there are often an abundance of offerings involving yoga related activities that can be found. As a result, it is a good time to find discounts and promotions on yoga classes, equipment, supplies, clothing, and the like.

Some of my favorite ways to celebrate National Yoga Awareness Month include:

  • Participating in a yoga challenge.
  • Trying a new style of yoga.
  • Making a commitment to your yoga practice.
  • Taking a yoga class. (Many of which, now, can be taken virtually).
  • Purchasing a new item to help you in your yoga practice.
  • Getting to know more about yoga by reading a book covering the topic of yoga.
  • Practicing an asana that you find challenging.
  • Sharing the benefits of yoga with others.
  • Taking or sharing photos of your yoga asana progress.
  • Strengthening the non-asana part of your yoga practice.
  • Practicing yoga with a friend.

For anyone looking to begin a healthier lifestyle that includes implementing a yoga practice, this is a great month to begin.

I hope that one or more of the ideas that I have presented help inspire you to try yoga, if you have never done so.

Or, perhaps assist you in finding ways to strengthen your yoga practice. Namaste.

Thank you for reading.

Until the next post…

Take Care.

Losing a Pet is Like Losing a Child

Losing a Pet is Like Losing a Child

Good Monday to you!

This one is for pet owners.

It’s also for anyone who can’t understand why people grieve the loss of their pets.

We lost our family pet during the first week of January. He was the sweetest, funniest (yes, pets can make you laugh hysterically), “little ham” ever – and a big part of our lives. When you’ve had a pet for 14 years they tend to grow on you and their loss can really “sting”.

Whoever said, “Pets are like Family” obviously owned, cared for and loved one themselves, because they sure knew what they were talking about. We found our little guy , a chihuahua mix, at a local pet store — but he was a shelter dog. One that if not for our youngest child, ( our son who passed away), asking us repeatedly to get a dog, we would not have had. Which would’ve meant that we would have missed out on some very special moments.

Just as with the family members and friends that we have lost, we have memories in the form of photos; but there also the stories. Oh, how I love the stories.

They remind us of the reason why “he” had to be the one to come home with us and become a part of our family.

It hurt having to say goodbye to him forever, not just because we loved him, but because having him around after losing our son allowed us to still have a little bit of our son around.

If you think about it… our pets lives are very much like that of the life that we have with our children, or anyone else that we may be taking care of on a daily basis. Their lives become intertwined with ours as we wake each day, on time, to ensure that they are fed.

We play with them, talk to them (yes, I said “talk” to them), we socialize them with other pets at pet establishments or dog parks; and sometimes we even set up play dates for them. We take them to the veterinarian to keep them healthy, or when they become ill.

Many pet owners, like myself, watch what our pets eat to ensure that they are eating foods that will benefit their health needs and keep their bodies strong.

We make sure that they exercise – usually with a nice walk, and it’s not unusual to hear a “pet-parent” talk about how their pet is often their source of motivation to get off the couch and to get a little exercise.

It’s no wonder that pet owners are considered healthier than non-pet owners, (even though recent research concludes that there is not enough evidence to support that belief). Yet, as a life-long pet owner I believe in the benefits and positive effects of pet ownership; and I challenge you to become a pet owner and judge for yourself!

Our pets keep us going and moving through life, while also adding positively to our livelihood. But, it’s their unconditional love that we probably benefit from the most. As that part of pet ownership has been shown to support emotional health and well-being.

I am sure that every pet owner will agree that there is nothing like the warm welcome and excitement that your pet shows when you walk through the door after being gone for a while.

Here is the thing… A loss is a loss. It doesn’t matter if it is a family member, friend or pet. It’s about how those we lost had an affect on our lives, and how much we will forever miss them.

So remember this the next time that someone thinks you are being dramatic because your pet died and you are grieving their loss; and keep grieving until you feel better. It’s not your fault that they don’t understand. Nor is it your responsibility to make them understand. But, feel free to send them a link to this post in hopes that they may one day learn to understand that pet loss is just as realistic and significant as human loss.

Thank you for reading!

Until the next post…

With love.

Take care,

xo

Welcome 2020!

Hello friends! Well, we’ve officially entered a new decade…and a new year! Happy New Year!

I have not posted in while because I decided to spend time with and focus solely on family this past holiday season. So, since I wasn’t able to wish you a Merry Christmas, I’ll do so now… Merry (belated) Christmas to you and yours! I hope that you had a wonderful holiday season!

We are 6 days into the new year and I have to say…I feel a slight sense of relief that the holidays have ended. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love the holidays, but there has to be at least one person reading this that can agree with me that the holidays, as great as they can be, can also be very, very tiresome. So, it feels quite good to feel a bit of relief from all of the excitement that comes with that time of the year. Now we just have 11 more months to go until we get to create more special memories with those we hold dear once again. That is always definitely something to look forward to. Those cherished moments are the best!

Many of us are returning to work and/or school this week as we ease back into our schedules and personal versions of “the familiar” and the “the everyday.” I for one am looking forward to “getting back into the groove of things”.

2019 was a transformative year for me personally and for Salubrity and Soul. With my having begun a new wellness journey, and the rebranding of Salubrity and Soul, I am very excited about the road ahead!

So stay tuned if you’d like to see what I’ve been up to over the last several months because over the next few weeks I will be picking up where I left off, and delving deeper into the process of sharing my discoveries through a series of daily, weekly and monthly posts.

Before I end this post I have to inform you that there are no words that can fully express the gratitude that I feel towards you- my followers- thank you so much for your readership whether new or old. This has been one rough journey. Thanks for journeying with me…still. You’re amazing! Stay beautiful.

As always, thanks for reading.

Until the next post…

With light + love,

Take care.

Affirmations

Affirmations

Have you ever tried using affirmations as a means of self-help or self-improvement?

An affirmation is a positive statement that is repeated or written until it is believed to have manifested. They are quite helpful in decreasing negative thoughts, and every time that an affirmation is recited it helps to strengthen positive thinking.

My first experience with affirmations was less than favorable to say the least. In fact, the first time that I tried them I was instantly unimpressed and convinced that they were ineffective.

It seems I somehow formed the conclusion that they were just some type of “woo-woo” new age thing that didn’t offer any real inspiration or serve a viable purpose, (not that there is anything wrong with new age concepts…) I am not judging here. At that time it just felt wrong.

I remember I didn’t like the way that saying them made me feel when I recited them. They always left me feeling as though I was sad, incomplete and somewhat pitiful. Which was quite the opposite of how they were supposed to make me feel. Affirmations are supposed to leave you with a sense of empowerment. Why wasn’t I feeling empowered?

I later learned that affirmations, just like anything else that is created for the purpose of self-development and personal growth, work best “if” the person is ready, willing and open to receiving what the self-help task being performed is attempting to help you accomplish. I think sometimes when it comes to self-help activities we often expect them to work in an instant – like magic – at least that was the belief that I had at that time in my life. That is often not the case though. It took me a long time to realize that. Now I say say affirmations daily and I appreciate the gift of mental and spiritual inspiration that they give me each day.

What I like the most about affirmations, is that they work very similarly to gratitude in that they are personal, and they remind you of the positive life affirming aspects of your life. Every affirmation, once spoken, wraps you in your own personal strength and power; and prepares you for a day in which you will be prepared to take on any obstacle. To me, they are like daily “mental rainbows’ that provide you with little shots of extra resilience while also filling your heart with self-compassion and joy.

An affirmation as simple as “I am feeling stronger today” can help provide you with that little bit of encouragement needed to perhaps… get out of bed and face the day ahead when you are in a bereaved state; or experiencing some other type of loss.

In addition, reciting an affirmation such as ” I am feeling stronger today” is considered to be a better affirmation to use than something very simplistic like: “I am strong” because it is more reality based, a little more in-depth and considered to be easier to accept – and therefore apply. This works well for me, but feel free to try this for yourself to see if it works for you.

Other examples would include the following:

  • Using the affirmation statement “I will be kind to myself today and apply patience through all things that I encounter, ” instead of using a statement such as “I have an abundance of patience.”
  • “It is okay for me to laugh sometimes because laugher is a soul’s expression of joy. Appropriate laughter helps me breathe positive energy into the universe”, Instead of ” I will remember to laugh to foster a sense of joy.”
  • “I am present in my life and open to receiving love and support and good energy from others”, instead of ” I am open to socializing, and trying new things.”
  • “I trust that my ability to create a new story, (or add to the one I already have), is strong when things go wrong in my life, and I repel all doubt of my ability to do so”, instead of ” I can and will beat any adversity.”

A few ways that affirmations are useful include the following:

  • They help you draw on your ability to be open and receive positive energy from source or the universe.
  • They allow you to focus on applying courage because instead of denouncing your fears, they help you climb over them.
  • They help you apply patience, because they help you remain honest about your abilities and intentions.
  • They help with resilience because they make it easier to keep showing up during tough times.
  • They help you maintain your sense of humor and your ability to smile, laugh, not take life too seriously.

If you haven’t already done so, try creating your own daily affirmations, or if you’ve tried and had a bad first experience like I did, why not give it another try and see if it adds value to your life this time around. You’ve got nothing to lose, only something to (hopefully) gain. I wish you luck. Love and light to you.

Thank you for reading!

Until the next post…

Take care + be well.

Contentment

Contentment

Hello and Happy September! In my last post I made a reference about how it is impossible for everyone to do something big or great. Well, I received a little feedback from some of my readers regarding that post and how it appears to denote a defeatist tone and may come off as uninspiring.

Before I go on, I would like to first apologize to anyone who may have found the content in that post offensive or otherwise. Secondly, I would like to say that I can see how the perspective in that post may have seemed counterproductive with regard to maintaining a postive outlook on life, or how it may have come of as being pessimistic. However, that is not the kind of message that I was trying to convey.

“Having compassion starts and ends with having compassion for all those unwanted parts of ourselves.” – Pema Chodron

The main focus on that post was actually about practicing self-compassion, acceptance and more important…contentment. It was not intented, in any way, to share any likeness with self-pity or lacking.

It came from a place of understanding that is more modest than egocentric.

It also came from a place that engenders a less acquisitive perspective towards the achievement of goals and aspirations; while still celebrating one’s achievements, goals and aspirations…whatever those achievements goals and aspirations may be.

“I only seem negative to the fortunate. That is because I show the less fortunate that they aren’t less fortunate after all.” – Criss Jami

In short, that blog post was meant to inspire, encourage – but most of all empower. It was created to support those who may need to feel good about the way that they are choosing to show up and contribute to society, especially if to them – it may not seem like it is “enough”.

It’s no secret that some of us will become very well known and some of us will not. Most of us will not. Some of us will earn PhD’s and some of us will not. Some of us will form corporations. Some of us will not. Then there is the consideration of whether or not we actually want to take on a bigger responsibility and role. Sometimes it’s hard to understand and accept that others aren’t interested in the same things that we are interested in; and that doesn’t mean that something is wrong with them. We forget that as connected as we are, we still, as a society value individuality. It’s our differences that make us beautiful and more important…interesting. Just strive every day to be good at what it is that you do!

It doesn’t matter what you choose to do, or how you choose to do it. The only thing that really matters is that you are trying to do something good – and that you’re not causing anyone any harm while doing so. If you are bringing something good into this universe of ours, then you are doing plenty! No matter how big or small. Besides… I am sure we can all agree that doing something is better than not doing anything at all when it comes to trying to make the world a better place… A more interesting and special place. Love and light to you!

Thanks for reading!

Until the next post…

Take care + be well.

Feeling A Sense of Freedom

When I started Salubrity and Soul a year ago. I had done so to fulfill a personal promise to someone that I would go through with my (long awaited) plans to start writing again and to begin that process with a blog.

It just so happened that I ended up focusing on my experience with loss. That wasn’t my original plan though.

Growing up (which for me was many eons ago) English was my favorite subject and I, (believe it or not), used to be pretty good at writing… but as the old saying goes… “if you don’t use it you lose it.” Boy did I lose it! However, that’s not to say I won’t get it back.

That didn’t sway me from wanting to continue finding a way to bring writing back into my life either, because when you really enjoy something you tend to not just give up on it. You keep starting over until you get it going!

I didn’t start this blog with the intention of “changing someone’s life”, in fact, my hope and intention was to share my story and “if” it “could” help anyone…or “did” help anyone then “Wonderful!”

We all feel good when we are able to give back or make someone feel better right?

And that’s more than enough to make my life worthwhile. Just helping one person is enough – and like my grandfather used to tell me – a small victory is still a victory.

Because the truth is…Everyone can’t and won’t be able to do big things. Not to be a downer, but the reality is this…It’s just not in the cards for everyone or feasible. Some of us will have to make an impact in the world on a smaller (but no less influential or important scale). Otherwise we would all be super stars or become President – But then who would help us at a sales counter? Or help care for an elderly, special needs or disabled person?

Are those jobs no less important? Not at all. They’re very important.

There are many ways to make an impact in this life, because there are so many ways to help people and to be of service.

Maybe the only real concern that many might have is whether or not that impact will be noticed and revered by others, or lead to some type of fame. It’s all a matter of what we’re really seeking in the end I suppose.

All I know is (it seems) that everyone is trying to get on board the fame and noteriety train and to be honest…it can be a bit overwhelming at times.

How is everyone going to help everyone? There is just so much “help” out there. It’s enough to make your head spin. What ever happened to just sharing and leaving an impact with your words or your message?

That’s where I am now. That’s the direction that I seek to move forward in.

I appreciate my followers and readers so much and I am so grateful for your continued presence here on Salubrity and Soul and Instagram, but I am especially thankful for the ability to share our thoughts and stories together as a community. If we can make each other smile, laugh or appreciate another perspective – then GREAT!

That’s what it’s all about!

Until the next post…

Take care + Be well.

What I learned about resilience from hiking in the desert

What I learned about resilience from hiking in the desert

I am always looking for ways to find similarities between life and nature whenever I am out hiking, taking nature photos or just out and about walking my dog.

One thing that I, and other outdoor enthusiasts, can probably agree on is that nature has this glorious way of teaching us about ourselves and life.

The only difference will likely be in perspective and opinion as everyone tends to see different things — and in different places — sometimes where others may not see anything at all…. such is the remarkableness of storytelling! Such is the splendor of our natural world.

When hiking a trail every landscape, for me, seems to have a plethora of lessons. Lessons that may or may not always be immediately noticeable. Sometimes a lesson will catch you off guard right after you just turned a corner or reached a phenomenal trail peak; and at other times it is found in a sunrise or sunset, a wild creature that has just crossed your path, or something as simple as the shape, texture or color of a plant, tree or rock.

The amount of inspiration is, in my opinion, limitless and I would like to share a few of the lessons that I have learned from the natural landscape of the Joshua Tree National Park desert with you on this Wellness Wednesday.

  • Life is hard, but regardless of the conditions and situations you may be faced to live with, you can survive them. [It is possible to survive just about anything]
  • Even though the conditions and situations may seem desolate, every now and then, (usually when you least expect it), a little bit of hope and possibility will rain down on you and give you just the break that you may need to make it to the end of your trail. [With or without hope… with a little patience good things will happen]
  • The rain is necessary! That is…if you want to be able to truly enjoy the full range of the beauty of the desert. [Balance is the key to joy and well-being]
  • Sometimes it will be the trail that you least expected to inspire you that you end up gaining the most from – so try not to pre-judge or worry about the trail that you are on. [Life is always full of surprises – if you’re open to receiving them]
  • Although the flora and fauna residing within the desert may seem strong, (because they have had to endure so much harsh weather), they are actually some of the most delicate, beautiful and treasured items and should be respected and handled with great care. [Strength can be found in many places and expressed in a variety of ways – not in just the most obvious things]
  • Every trip through the desert should be carefully thought out. [Acknowledge what you must face and face it best by preparing for the unexpected – because there is a good chance of something happening that will be unexpected- safety first…always and in all things.]
  • Stunning and amazing thing will spring up from the most unexpected spaces. [Life is full of surprises…Always be prepared for a plot twist]
  • You may have to carry heavy loads through rocky terrain and challenging elevations until you reach the top of the mountain or complete that strenuous trail; but every step you take is one step closer to removing the weight from your back and delighting in pure refreshment. [Allow yourself to be transformed by things that you may find difficult to manage because there will be a reward of some kind waiting for you at the end.]
  • You can journey through the desert trails alone and make it through, but that journey is often more interesting and special with a friend by your side to share it with. [Sometimes a little support can help ease your journey and make the time go by a lot faster.]
  • Just when you thing that you have had enough of the desert, something special will happen to change your mind and you will realize that your pilgrimage through the vast unknown was a gift from above; that is when you will feel as though there is no place that you would rather be. [Accepting all facets of life allows you to remain open to continually finding gratitude and joy!]

Thank you for reading.

Until the next post…

Take care + be well.