Unusual way to connect on the NY subway

I was watching PBS this past weekend and caught this story on the Newshour. I thought it was such a beautiful story of how powerful connecting with people is and the act of writing. Enjoy.

Ways to Use Your Journal – Tracking Your Health

diet diaryIt is the World Health Day today. You all know how we read such information on the Internet or they mention it on TV. Then, the day is gone and we all forget about it. Well, it shouldn’t be like that. Especially when it comes to our health. I think that each day should be our own health day.

As with everything that is as important as your health, you have to keep track of things in order to see how far you’ve come and the accomplishments you’ve made (you can always go back and review your results in order to improve them). Your journal will be your invaluable companion along the way of living a healthy life.

Here are some tips on how to use your journal for health tracking:

  • FOOD: set a reasonable goal and track your progress using your journal – note what you eat and when you eat it. Also note how you feel after eating certain foods – what makes you feel happy and satisfied, and what makes you feel guilty. This will help you identify your eating habits.
  • WATER: water is even more important than food when it comes to your health. Make sure you drink enough water every day. It is essential for all of our body functions, so we shouldn’t neglect it! A tip – keep track of the amount of water you drink in your journal throughout the day – it will make it easier for you to adjust the amount of water to drink for the rest of the day.
  • EXERCISE: regular exercise is an essential part of your healthy living. Use your journal to keep track of your exercise regularity and diversity. Make sure you exercise regularly and make it fun by changing the activities (jogging, riding a bicycle, swimming, taking your dog for a long walk, gardening, etc.).
  • WEIGHT: keeping track of your weight is a great idea when it comes to healthy living as neither being overweight, nor being underweight is healthy for you – we don’t suggest that you put down your weight in your journal every day, because that will not only make you feel unsatisfied, but it will also threaten your willingness to succeed. Weighing yourself once a week is a better idea, as it will allow you to see the trend and make the necessary changes in your habits.
  • QUIT SMOKING – I don’t even think I should tell you about the disastrous consequences of smoking… You can use your journal to mark each day of your new life of a non-smoker or use it as a distraction to put down your negative thoughts when you are weak and all you want is a cigarette.
  • DOCTOR’S/DENTIST’S APPOINTMENTS – make sure you put down these appointments in your journal and mark them “done” at least once a year. Remember, your negligence now may result in very serious problems for the future.
  • UNHAPPY THOUGHTS – “journal out” unhappy thoughts: instead of keeping them inside you, let it all out on paper. You’ll see how liberating it feels!
  • COOK – preparing your own meals has so many advantages: a freshly cooked meal has much less additives, preservatives, flavors, coloring agents, etc. What goes in the meal is totally under your control. Use fresh ingredients and healthy food processing like baking, boiling, and steaming and you’ll see the difference.

Living a healthy life should not be a burden. Keep it simple and make it fun. Your body and spirit will thank you on each step along the way!

Time to redo the website again

Well it is time yet again to redo the website. I know I just redid it but with more and more people on mobile devices such as smart phones and iPads, it is becoming clear that I need to have a more mobile ready site. I also want to have a more robust home page where you can find everything without having to hunt through the website. I’m sharing a sneak peak below to you of the new layout. This is a mock up that I designed.

I’m so excited to take this next step. I’d love to know your thoughts on the new design. Be sure to leave a comment below.

sj-website-layout

 

Ways to Use Your Journal – Organizing your to-do lists

TO-DO-LISTSIf you are reading this article, you are probably experiencing some problems organizing your time or you want to get better at it. Don’t worry! We have gathered all the important information you need to know in order to master time management using to-do lists.

To-do lists are actually the easiest way to organize your tasks, events, notes, ideas, etc. Once you learn how to organize and follow your to-do lists, everything else just comes into its place. No more “I totally forgot about this”!

To-do lists are your key to efficiency. If you feel overwhelmed with tasks or you regularly miss deadlines, it is time for you to start using them.

Here are some tips on how to make your do-do lists work for you:

– Make sure that all your tasks are written down in one place! That’s why we recommend that you use your journal for your to-do lists instead of post-it notes or random sheets of paper that can easily get lost or forgotten at your desk while you need them at home. Of course, you can use them, but be sure to always put them in your journals, so that you always know where to find them.

– Break large tasks down – ideally, a task should not take more than 2 hours to complete. Otherwise, you’ll feel overwhelmed just by the thought of it and it will always go to the back of your list.

– Include additional information – that may include phone numbers, names, links, etc. Thus, you won’t have to look this information up elsewhere when you get to the task. Simplify your life!

– Use different lists for work tasks and personal tasks. Thus you won’t look at the “to bring the cat to the vet” every time you open your to-do list at work. It is both distracting, and unproductive.

– Prioritize! It doesn’t matter if you will use the alphabet (A for the most urgent task, B for the next one, etc.), numbers, or highlighters. But, it’s a great way to see what to do next without going through the entire list each time you open your journal.

– Cross out! That’s my favorite one. Crossing out a task that’s been done is one of the most satisfactory things I do (both at home, and at work). Here’s a tip – instead of crossing out, use a highlighter in a certain color that you use only for the tasks done. It is easier to go back and see what you’ve done if you highlight the task instead of cross it out.

– Check your list regularly. There’s nothing more annoying than a task that had to be done yesterday. My advice: check your to-do list at least once a day!

– Don’t include “micro-tasks” in your to –do list. Just do the task instead of adding it to your list. Flooding your list with minor tasks will not make you feel you’ve done more than you actually have.

If you want to be inspired by the possibilities of what you can do with your journal and to-do lists, be sure to check out this post for a video I posted a few weeks ago.

Whatever you do, don’t panic. Making (and keeping) a to-do list is intended to ease your life, not to make it harder. Don’t be hard on yourself and know that the sooner you make this a habit, the more productive you’ll be.

Win a Journal From Sheic Journals and Journaling4Faith!

sjFor years I was hesitant about using an elegant, new journal to record my thoughts.  Most times I would use a spiral notebook so I could scribble out my junk and not think twice about ruining a lovely book.  One day as I was ambling around the bookstore, I couldn’t help but be drawn to the colorful journals on the shelves.  I did it!  I just went and bought the one I loved looking at the most.  At that moment I went from a spiral notebook junkie to a fabulous new home for my thoughts and feelings.  I’m worth it and so are my thoughts!

Your words deserve the very best too!  Here is your opportunity to win a yummy leather journal from Sheic Journals. Just two easy steps and you could be writing in this journal by next month.

  1. Sign up on www.journaling4faith.com to receive my weekly POWs-prompt of the week.
  2. Sign up on www.sheicjournals.com to receive a 25% off coupon for yourself or a friend.

That’s it!!  On March 24, 2014 we’ll choose one lucky winner. *Bonus:  If you like our Facebook pages you get an extra entry for each page. I can’t wait to see your face when you hold your new Sheic journal in your hands.  In fact, send us a picture so we can post it on our sites!
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Why I keep a journal? (Guest Post)

Probably like many of you, I started keeping a journal when I was a young girl. Of course, back then we called them diaries. You know, the kind you keep hidden and locked. I kept all my deep secrets and feelings on the pages of those tiny books.

Something about journaling must have clicked inside me, because I haven’t stopped writing those feelings and secrets in my journal as an adult. I love my journal! It’s become a trusted friend, a place of refuge, a secret garden where I meet with God, and a mirror to my true self.

I’ve learned a lot about myself over the years through my writing. Some things I’d rather not discuss (that’s the great thing about journaling—I don’t have to share). At other times, I’ve had much needed insights and clarification regarding problems or decisions.

When I lived overseas for two years, I kept a travel journal to record the numerous unique experiences I encountered. There were times when I’d sketch a picture of an outdoor eatery, a field of sunflowers, or a stray cat I’d seen. No, I’m not an artist, just a gal who so wanted to record my adventure. I carried that journal with me all over Europe.

As a therapist, I’ve learned how journaling can be a valuable tool in my arsenal of techniques to use with my clients. It has provided needed clarity, focus, and inner wisdom for those people who have embraced journaling in their daily lives.

According to MyTherapyJournal.com the benefits of journaling have been scientifically proven to:

– Improve physical health and mental well-being
— Diminish symptoms of depression, anxiety, panic, substance abuse, PTSD, asthma, arthritis, and many other health conditions and disorders
— Improve cognitive functioning
— Make therapy more effective
— Strengthen the immune system, preventing a host of illnesses
— Counteract many of the negative effects of stress
— Finally, journaling is for everyone. It just “feels good” to write

If you haven’t journaled, I suggest you give it a try! It’s easy, free, and there are no rules you need to follow. Journaling has helped me and so many others find answers to those questions we hold inside.

Go for it!!

kathy-bornarth-300x256Kathy Bornarth, principal at Hope Counseling Center in Chantilly, VA, has journaled for more than 25 years. She is a certified Journal to the Self® Instructor, teaches journaling workshops, and equips others to journal online at www.journaling4faith.com. Check out our POWs—‘Prompt of the Week’ —to build your faith through journaling.

I love paper yes I do, I love paper how ’bout you?

I’m not a huge Si-Fi person but I will admit I love watching Star Trek: The Next Generation. I was glued to that show as it was a great mix of mystery, forward thinking, thought provoking and enlightening. I still watch the re-runs now with my hubby, who I turned on to the show when we were dating. As I watch the show now, it is so amazing that a lot of the technology that we saw then wasn’t even around but it is now. I mean the tri-corder is very easily our smart phones and their tablets they used are iPads.

As we continue to advance in technology, there is that debate of paper verses electronic. For many years the buzz word was to become a “paperless” society. However I have to say all these years later, I think my sales receipts are even longer than before the digital era came to be. Certainly we have seen the digital age usher out some great paper companies such as the magazine industry, however, there are some magazines that are thriving with an actual hard copy version. There are just some things you need to hold in your hand and be able to view and flip back and forth.

For me there is something much different about writing on a blank piece of paper. The possibilities that are in front of you on that blank page. As you begin to put pencil or pen to paper, you are becoming the master of your own art. No one else will write those same words in the same way you can. You are leaving your own unique mark on the world. There is nothing like feeling the texture of paper and the way your writing instrument glides across it.

I came across these great videos below that will help you think twice about ditching the old paper mentality. As always, I’d love to know your thoughts. What do you think about the paper vs. electronic or do you see both playing an equal role in your life? Leave a comment below or on Facebook.

 

 

This post was part of the PaperLove Blog Hop, a celebration of all things paper! Follow the links below to discover more bloggers who love paper and use it to inspire and delight. And if you want to explore a whole world of paper, and stretch your paper passion further with a host of creative projects, why not join the innovative new online course PaperLove (starts March 31). Led by book artist Rachel Hazell, PaperLove is a five week creative adventure for paper lovers. Find out more here.

Majo Bautista / Tona Bell / Louise Best / Cathy Bluteau / Jennifer Bomgardner / Giova Brusa / Lindsay Buck / Beka Buckley / Joanna Caskie / Jonathan Chapman (Mr Yen) / Halle Cisco / Sarah Clare / Cathryn Clarge / Dawn Clarkson / Rhiannon Connelly / Jenny D’Fuego / Molly Dhiman / Ian Dudley / Ayisatu Emore / Akmal Farid / Monika Forsberg / Claire Fritz-Domeney / Louise Gale / Chrissy Gaskell / Julie Hamilton / Emma Hawman / Rachel Hazell / Holly Helgeson / Claudine Hellmuth / Kim Henkel / Sarah Hoffman / Joanne Hus / Paula Joerling / Beth Kempton / Julie Kirk / Eos Koch / Katie LaClair / Kristy Lankford / Michelle Manolov / Doreen Marts / Rosie Martinez-Dekker / Tori Mears / Maria Mederios / Lise Meijer / Debbie Miller / MaryJane Mitchell / Suzy Naidoo / Grace Noel / Hannah Nunn / Camilla Olsson / Jo Packham / Rachelle Panagarry / Monette Pangan / Melanie Paul / Nicole Piar / Jen Pitta / Liz Plummer / Julie Reed / Michelle Reynolds / Lisa Rivas / Angee Robertson / Natalie Ryan / Aisling Ryan / Elisabet Sapena / Kyrrha Sevco / Jamie Sprague / Elizabeth Steele / Terri Stephens / Juniper Stokes / Mary Tanana / Maike Thoma / Linda Tieu / Gabrielle Treanor / Tammy Tutterow / Deborah Velasquez / Jordan Vinograd Kim / Cat Whipple / Brooke Witt / Katie Wood / Amelia Woodbridge

National Day of Unplugging

national-day-of-unpluggingOn March 7th and March 8th 2014, we celebrate The National Day of Unplugging. Its main purpose, as its name implies, is to “switch off” from cyber space (and all forms of technologies for that matter). I admit this is a challenge. But it is a challenge each of us will find the proper motivation to accept and enjoy.

The roots of this event lie in the Jewish faith, but it makes sense to all of us who live in the reality of Internet, Facebook, tablets, smart phones, kindles, etc. (the list is practically endless). At first, it may not actually make sense to those of you who are so used to technologies being a major part of their life that you feel the urge to tweet a thought from this post as you read it. But, I promise, it makes perfect sense, so, please, give it a chance by following these useful tips:

  • Say “No” to technologies. I know we all rely on technologies too much. Heck my consulting business is built around it. A little preparation is a good practice to follow – arrange your tasks a day or two before The National Day of Unplugging, so that you are ready to give your best on the actual day of unplugging. As you know, even God stopped to take some rest on the seventh day after he created the world in six days. So, why don’t you do it, too?
  • Spend quality time with your friends and family. They will appreciate it. Gather your family and your closest friends together and listen to them – they surely have a lot to say. Ask questions, smile, have fun, play games, just spend this time with gratitude in your heart for you have whom to share your laughter with.
  • Take some rest – Switch off your alarm clock and let your body tell you when you are ready to get out of bed. Take some time to fully enjoy your rest with a cup of coffee in the garden or journal with actual pen and paper. This is your time, spoil yourself!
  • Leave your house for a couple of hours. Whether it will be a nice, long walk with your dog, or a picnic in the park with your family, use this time to breathe the fresh spring air and move your stiff from sitting in front of the computer body.
  • Have fun. That’s the best advice I could give you. Have fun with your friends and family. Go back home from the walk, prepare a nice, home-made dinner, open a bottle of wine, and spend the evening with your beloved ones.

I know it may be very stressful for some people to unplug (even the sentence sounds weird, but it’s true). To those people I would recommend trying to switch off their minds as well – don’t think about work, unread emails or what’s on TV now. Concentrate on the real world – your family and your friends will help you get over a “technological crisis”.

The Sabbath Manifesto (the original name for the celebration according to Jewish traditions), is celebrated once a week – from sundown Friday until sundown Saturday. Even though it is only celebrated once a year in the USA by most people who are not Jewish, I think it may be a good idea if you decide on some other unplugged days with your family – you will see with time that real things in life are exactly this – real. And remember, you may switch off your phone, but you cannot switch off your family.

Important Relationships: Friends

quote-friendship-2As I’ve written in the past, it seems like I get messages repeated to me often usually in threes. Recently the message I was being taught was about friends. My first message was this article from one of my favorite blogs. The next message came from an article in The Boss Mag. Lastly, I shared with you a few weeks ago about the Unstuck app I discovered. Each week they send out an advice email, and last week the lesson was:

Easy ways to supercharge your friendships
Unstuck Point of View
Put into Practice
It’s easy to get bummed out when we focus on who’s missing in our life instead of nurturing the relationships we already have. When we actively practice those friendships — in little ways and big ones — we’re happier, healthier, and more hopeful. In almost every way. It’s simply a matter of showing the people in our life that we value them.
You can read the rest of the article here.

I know the last time I had this same type of thing regarding friendship happen I was in the airport in Birmingham, AL on a layover and was in the book store to pick up a magazine. On the cover of O Magazine was the headline, “Call a friend today.” I immediately thought of my friend Traci and dialed her number. I hit the send button on my phone after pulling up her contact and put the phone to my ear.  The phone didn’t even ring and their was silence on the other end. I thought maybe the call didn’t go through or that maybe someone was calling me. I said hello and my friend Traci said, “Angee?” I answered her and she proceeded to tell me that she was dialing my number at the same time I was calling her. Talk about a freaky moment. We went on to have an amazing conversation and she shared with me some amazing things that had happened to her recently. It was truly a divine moment.

I’m sure you’ve heard the quote, “You can’t choose your family but you can choose your friends.” As a person with limited family growing up, friends were my guiding light. I can look back on my life and see how my life was shaped by people who came across my path. Some friends have come and gone and others remain. I take friendships so seriously and I’m loyal and protective. I admit I’m not the best of friends in terms of keeping in touch but they are always in my heart and I constantly think of them. What do friendships mean to you? How do you keep that connection going? I’d love to hear your thoughts. Be sure to leave a comment below.

Ways to Use Your Journal – Bullet Journal

I recently came across this blog article and was reading the comments because this article was right up my alley. In one of the comments, a reader referenced a process called Bullet Journal. She gave a link to a video, which I included below and I found it so very interesting. I had never thought to use my journal in this way so I thought maybe some of you out there might like this technique. Enjoy!