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Yoga and Meditation
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Have you ever been so busy and your mind so full that you rushed through your day with a never ending to do list, checking off each task. You may have rushed through eating your breakfast and later couldn't really remember what you ate.  Maybe you rushed through your interactions with loved ones to just get to the next necessary thing on your never ending to do list. I am personally guilty of this I spent many years of my life with a never ending to do list.  I listened without hearing; I saw without really seeing. My accomplishments were measured by checking off my to do list. Everything else was a distraction that I had to get through to get back to my list.   

I like to think that I'm much wiser and much healthier mentally and physically now since I learned to be mindful of everything and everyone in my life.  It didn't happen overnight, and it certainly didn't come easy. I had to retrain myself to adapt a new way of thinking and doing things. I didn't want to get to the end of my life and think .... wow I rushed through the entire thing. 

How did I do it? Well, I take the time for my mind to be still in the morning. I have a ritual that Is helpful. I have my tea and watch the sun come up. Do I still have responsibilities. Certainly .. I just don't rush through them. I take the time to talk to my daughter and really listen about what she has going on at school that day.  I take time to prepare her breakfast and sit and talk with her while she eats. I have tea with my husband, and we talk about our day. What we want to accomplish that day and we listen to each other.  I think more about my words and make sure they are encouraging and uplifting, and I have learned not to overschedule myself or over think everything.  It's what I like to call Mindful Meditation I look at everything through a more of a nurturing point of view.   I don't look at my phone or computer first thing in the morning it can wait until I have had time with me. I stretch, do yoga and I go for a walk on the beach, and I just be in the moment.

This is Mindful Meditation I focus on my thoughts, feelings and emotions, my conversations, my time with friends in family, in that moment, without judgement or thinking about the past. I learned to declutter my mind of all excess thinking and when I learned to do this, I saw these benefits.
 
1. My personal relationships improved. I became less judgmental maybe because I really learned to listen and wasn't always jumping to conclusions. My relationships grew closer, stronger, more intimate. 
 
2 . I had less of the I don't know what's wrong feeling but I'm still stressed-out feeling. It disappeared, I began to feel more at peace and calm. 
 
3. I had less tension, stress headaches. I didn't wake up with my head hurting anymore and feeling overwhelmed with life.   

4.  I was sick less. When I stopped being so stressed my immune system could work efficiently, I wasn't in the fight or flight mode, so I became healthier.
 
5.  My sleep improved. I was always a person that maybe got five hours of sleep a night if I was lucky. My mind was always busy and to cluttered for a fitful night's rest.  When I learned how to Meditate Mindfully that changed. After many years of no sleep, I found myself for a year sleeping like it was a Olympic sport. Now when I wake up, I feel rested, refreshed and ready for my day.  Now I listen to the sound of the ocean and reflect on that to relax a white sound maker is also amazing for his 

6.  Depression and all hopeless thoughts disappeared, with more sleep, more productivity and better relationships much of the things I was stressing about became amazingly better. 

7.  I practice gratitude. I mentally make a list and put it in a journal of all the things that are amazing in my life.  Don't get me wrong I'm like everyone else I have problems it could be car problems, money problems but one thing is for sure with my problems I have even more things that I am thankful and grateful for.  When I compare my list of Problems with my list of gratitude's. My blessings are always more than my problems.  As my grandma used to say this too shall pass and do you know what .. Problems always do. 

8.  I reduced my clutter, and it was freeing. One thing about moving to a new country is you get rid of everything; you literally own nothing and as scary as it sounds its freeing. Stuff causes a lot of stress. Maintaining it, keeping it as new, sometimes we place an emotional attachment on stuff that in reality is just stuff. Let it go minimize your life for a maximum in happiness. Place your value on your relationships and experiences not stuff. 

9.  Take time to smell the literal roses. If I look at my vast garden and all the flowers that are in it. They literally are in bloom for maybe 24 hours before the tropical bloom wilts away. I now take the time to check and see each morning what is in bloom, and I actually look at it and appreciate it. 

10.  I benefited from learning the value of time and how fleeting it is in life. We all think that we have all the time in the world in reality we dent know how much time that we do have. So, let's spend it wisely. 

 



 
7 relationhip tips

When you think of the perfect relationship what do you think of ?

 

Do you think of holding your loved one's hand while you enjoy a beautiful sunset together? Do you think of having that glass of wine and telling each other everything that is meaningful to you ?
I think we all do a bit of that, but the truth is somewhere where in between just the perfect romantic moments. Life somehow finds its way into all relationships.  Children, money discussions, Work Stress, Household chores, family responsibilities, all make these moments few and far between. 

As human beings we are pretty complicated and not so complicated at the same time. As individuals we are all different. What is important to you may not be as important to your other half. We all have different life experiences that have shaped us into who we are. We all have a unique set of strengths that we bring to a relationship and maybe some weaknesses as well. 

The question is how do we balance all of this to make a strong, emotional connection with our spouse and how do we even start?

1. Take the time to have open Communication .. really listen, don't let your perception of the situation stop you from really listening to your partners opinions, and ideas . Be mindful and completely present. Ask questions, share ideas. 

2. Plan time to just spend time together, it could be going to a walk, or scheduling a weekly date night, it could be as simple as having coffee together in the morning. Make the effort to spend time together and alone.

 

3.Keep individual interest such as hobbies and friends. Sometimes you have friends together but there is nothing wrong with some girlfriend time or some time just for the guys. Your marriage only benefits from it. Not only will you have more things to share and talk about, but you will both benefit from all these diverse relationships in your life. 

 

4. Show physical affection. Everyone needs and wants to feel loved and physical affection is an expression of love. Holding hands, that good morning kiss, going to bed together, 

 

5. Accept your partner as is ... we are who we are, and our personalities are our own unique personalities. We can't change that and why would we want to. Accept the differences of the one that you love and instead of thinking of ways to change them think of the way it adds value to your relationship. In my relationship I am the emotional one. My husband is always the voice of reason and calm. Instead of it driving me crazy I accept that it's the balance that I need, and it adds a positive thing to our relationship.
6. Pick your battles. I'm not saying there is not a time to have a battle, but I am saying that 99 percent of things that we are usually upset about usually don't have anything to do with our partner. It may have more to do with a stressful day at work, Money worries, too much to do on our to do list. Take the time to ask yourself am I really upset at my partner or am I just venting about a lot of other things that went wrong today. 

 

7. Remember that this is your human the one you promised to love and cherish remember to say thank you, you are amazing, I love you, remember to be a encourager, a supporter and your spouse's biggest fan.  
There is always room to make a relationship better, more rewarding , and more open and honest .  Maybe a bit of a nudge in the right direction is all that is needed or a bit of extra work in a few areas . Working on it is the key . Relationships are a life long project . 
Healthy Relationships
Book Communication
Couple Workbook
Am I in a Healthy Relationship
Ten questions to Ask yourself Am I in A Healthy Relationship

I think everyone comes to the point in life where you start to ask the question Am I truly happy ? 

What does it mean to be happy and more important what does it mean to be happy in your relationship with your significant other ? 

I like to tell my husband that I'm like a plant but with more complicated emotions. I need to see the sunlight; I need to be fed emotionally. I need positive words of encouragement and affirmation  . I like to feel needed and appreciated . I like to have my feelings and emotions considered. So is the human condition ... we love to feel loved and be loved . 
In a digital age where Perfectly Staged Post on Social Media are usually not the true story of what a relationship is really like we can get all caught up in that. That feeling that maybe our relationships aren't as good as they could be. What makes me happy my not necessarily make everyone else happy. I have had a lifetime of different experiences that have made me into the person that I am today. If you are questioning if your relationship is healthy and making you happy ask yourself these then things. 
1 Do I feel happy, can you make a list of the things in your life that make you happy? If you count your blessings and your partner is high on that list then you both are doing something right . 
2. Do you feel safe in your relationship? Can you say and tell your other half anything and trust that they will try to understand where you are coming from or that they will try to. Being safe emotionally with your partner is as equally important as feeling safe physically. 
3.Do you support each other? Your dreams, Ideas, goals.  Are you supportive of one another ?
4.Do we really listen to each other? Can you have those uncomfortable talks and discuss your feelings with each other? 
5. Everyone has at least three big needs in a relationship. Ask yourself what are my three biggest needs and are they being met? 
6.  Are you equally vested in your relationship? Sometimes you may make the decisions where the children are concerned, and your other half may make home or care repair decisions but do you both have a equal say. Feeling equal in a relationship is important. 
7.  Are you both willing to support each other in the others interest, hobbies, relationships with others. 
8.  Do you turn to each other when there are problems instead of away from each other?
9. Do you respect each other and the others' ideas and opinions?
10.  Do you spend a acceptable amount of time together alone and equally as a family is there a good balance of both ?
Self Care Check In

How are You  Doing ? We hear this question everyday but how do we answer it? The standard stock answer is " Im fine how are you?  Beyond the stock answer what do we need to be asking ourselves about this every day? How Am I means check in with yourself and ask How am I doing Physically, Mentally, and Emotionally. 

Why Do We Need Self Care Check ins and why do we need it daily?  For me practicing Self Care means that I feel freer to love the ones around me better. If I'm mentally, emotionally and physically healthy then I can give more to the ones that I love in my life.  

Lets face it Self Care sometimes falls very low on our list of things to do. We usually put the needs of the ones that we love above our own needs. This leaves us feeling stressed out, lonely, exhausted and that's not a good feeling to have at the

end of the day .  How do we change all of this ? Well first , we need to make self care a habit , Incorporate into our life and it all begins with our daily check in of how am I doing. A good way to start this is with a  Daily Self Care Journal 

Take the time to ask everyday How Am I Doing ? 

How Am I ?
Self Care Ama La Vida Ecuador

What is Self Care ? Basically Self Care is taking care of ourselves as we would take care of others that we love. Why is this important ? 

Well for one it makes us healthier physically, and it prevents us from feeling burned out or being in a constant state of stress, feeling exhaustion, both physically and emotionally. We are better equipped to deal with the common, daily stress of life. 

Important things to Ask yourself? What is my Idea of Self Care 

What do you Enjoy doing?  What are your hobbies ? Here are some ideas of where to start . 

* Journaling

* Self Care Planner

*Reading Amazon Kindle 

*Take a bubble Bath with Aromatherapy 

* Create a relaxing space with Candles 

* Do a home Mani / Pedi

* Do a home Spa Day 

* Do a Hair Mask  

*Do a Facial 

*Do your favorite hobbie or learn a new one .

* Take some time to go for a walk 

* Learn Yoga 

* Practice Gratitude

*Have a cup of your favorite coffee 

*Do a Digital Detox for the Day, Put down the cell phone 

* Meditate 

Self Care is a journey or learning about yourself so sit back enjoy and get to know the most important person in your life ... you 

Self Care
Love Laguge

It took me many years actually half my life to learn that my love language is unique to me and not necessarily the love language of my husband. Growing up in the Mountains of Kentucky I think that our love language tends to be a bit different than most peoples and it hinges upon food. We love to feed people. If you are sad, having a hard time ..well our answer for this is  we may bake something for you. Someone in the family die, we take food over, Have a baby? We make food for that too. Want to welcome someone into the neighborhood? You guessed it we make food for that as well. 

We associate food with comfort, with feeling good and I learned later in life ... we aren't much for communication . We aren't the type of folks that sit down with you and talk about how you are feeling , what else can we do to help you.  What would be a great help to you right now .We are the deliver food and leave kind of folk.  With age they say comes wisdom , or it does to some people and being in a different kind of relationship , such as the married one that doesn't bode very well with the cook food and leave promptly kind of love language 

What are some types of Love Languages and what is your type of love Language , everyone has one , you just have to identify it and learn yours . 

There are basically five different types of Love Languages 

* Words of Affirmation , 

* Acts of Service 

* Quality Time 

*Physical Touch 

*Giving Gifts 

I basically am a combination of all the above. I'm a big hugger , and hand holder and basically a touchy , feely person, And words of Affirmation, I'm all about those , I'm always telling my husband and daughters how incredible they are , that they can do anything and encouraging them in anything that they want to do ,  I'm pretty much a acts of service person as well, I will do the chores that aren't exactly my husband's favorite , I'll make his favorite snack or food, and I'm pretty much all about the element of surprise and I love giving small gifts as well. It makes me happy to see everyone else happy .

It's important to understand that not everyone's love language is the same and it could be a combination of a few different types or maybe just one. Everyone loves differently and expresses love differently.  It's important to understand this so you don't create unrealistic expectations for your partner and be disappointed when they don't deliver. Remember your love language is not necessarily their love languages.  One great thing to read about loves Languages is Gary Chapmans book The Five Love Languages    this helped me immensely in understanding myself as well as my love language and style of communicating. We have to identify our partners love language as well and recognize that although their language may not be the same as ours its equally as important to the relationship.  You can then identify when they are showing you how much they love you even if it's a way that you don't express love yourself.  

How Can we develop our Love Languages as a Couple?  There is an incredible workbook by Gary Chapman  The Workbook and Journal for the Five Love Languages for Love that Lasts  . It's a great tool to strengthen and practice giving and receiving love from your wife or husband and learning to recognize their unique love language and develop appreciation for it.  What are benefits to having a love language journal? 

!. It can help us reflect and consider how we can express love for the people that we care about. 

2. It can help us identify what makes us feel love in a relationship. 

3. It can increase our communication skills with our partner 

4. It will help us to observe our behavior in our relationships 

 

5 Love languages
What is Your love language
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