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You don't need to look far to find countless articles, studies and research touting the benefits of meditation. It's no longer just a new-agey thing that yogis do, it's been put to the scrutiny of scientists and doctors alike who have discovered it has a profound effect on our bodies and our brain. We're big believers of meditation here at HSFT, and most of us practice some form of meditation on a regular basis. Whether you want to focus your intention on one specific outcome or just release your mind from it's hamster wheel of thoughts and stress, meditation has a big payoff.
It's known to lower stress levels, increase our attention levels, and actually alter the brain by increasing grey matter and specific brain functions. Here's the best part about meditation; it's a powerful tool that is accessible to anyone and it doesn't cost a thing. Start in a comfortable space. Close your eyes. Begin by focusing on your breathing. You don't need to sit there for hours, just start with five minutes. You'll be amazed at how quickly it goes. You can find some very cool resources on line for meditation like this one at UCLA Mindfulness Awareness Research Center where you can download several different guided mediations to get you started.
Forming a new habit can be as challenging as breaking a bad one but a ritual goes one step further. Blogger Daisy from Simplicity Relished describes it as this, "Rituals are simply habits imbued with meaning..." The beautiful thing about infusing rituals into our life is how they give us a go-to familiarity that is like a rhythmic touchstone in our day. Maybe you already have a ritual; morning mediation, 3-mile run, prayer, journaling time at night, a walk in nature. Whether you know it or not, you may have already carved out your own, but a ritual is personal and it's something you do for you.
"So...you think about the things you are grateful for, and the people that you love, and the things you need to do in a day to thrive..." - HSFT Founder Stephanie Taormina on her daily ritual.
HSFT founder Stephanie Taormina talked about her own daily rituals that help to keep her centered and grounded in her busy life in a recent HSFT vlog episode on HSFT's YouTube Channel. "It's always good every morning to take some time before you start your day. I like to do my runes, they're really amazing. They are these very old Viking symbols and they are these little discs have symbols on them. So every morning I like to come here and say thanks and regroup my thoughts and my goals. So you kinda think about the things you are grateful for, and the people that you love, and the things you need to do in a day to thrive. It's a journey."
There is no shortage of negativity in our world, your own personal world and the great big one we live in. We get bombarded pretty frequently with negative thoughts, actions, events, or even others, in the course of day. It can be overwhelming and difficult not to feel the effects of all those negative vibrations. We're pretty good at filling our own heads with negativity already. And then there's what exists around us every day.
That's when you have to just STOP. Stop the madness and the dance of negativity in your head. Remove negative external influencers. If watching the nightly news upsets you, then stop watching it for a while. If you're spending time with people who have a negative outlook on life, take a break from that energy. START by having SOME FUN TODAY. You're gonna miss the beautiful parts of your life if you keep yourself focused only on the bad stuff. There really is a great, big, beautiful world out there full of pretty amazing people. Choose that world and choose FUN over "The sky is falling!" mentality. Shift one negative thought to a positive and you will add some much needed color to your canvas. And yes, Have Some Fun Today... c'mon, you know you wanna.
HAVE SOME FUN TODAY - January brings about a natural introspection and time for reflection. We've lived through the indulgence, decadence and hubbub of the holidays and we've celebrated the passing of another year while ushering in a new one. So now what? We've got 12 months to explore possibility. What will the year bring and what will we make of it?
We are all embarking on starting something new; a new year. A clean slate. And it's the perfect time to usher in gratitude.
Gratitude, by definition, is "the quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness." To return kindness. Let that sit with you for a while. What it means is that gratitude is reciprocating and gratitude is a state of mind. Anyone can conjure up gratitude. Cultivating being grateful for what you have, not focusing on what you don't, is energetically and vibrationally powerful! Basically, it's life changing...
And yeah, there's even science behind it. It says that creating gratitude and reflecting on what we are grateful for increases our well-being and happiness. Like, improves the quality of your life. Are you getting this?
Each year, as I begin the new year, and contemplate what I'm grateful for in the year past, I'm reminded of how similar we all are in this human experience. We are yoked together by some very simple core principles, despite the differences and diversities of all of us. I'm grateful for these commonalities, what we share and what binds us together as human beings. I find gratitude in that because it means none of us our going it alone in this life thing, because there is certainly enough shit in the world to divide us.
It's my gratitude for writing and blogging for HSFT that inspired me to create this blog post. I soooooo appreciate working for a company that values the "human experience" and that was solely created on a legacy of love. It's a company and a founder that believe in living a life that matters. Stephanie Taormina has set out to change the world with those Soul Shifting four words. Have. Some. Fun. Today. Words her Dad used to say and words she uses as a compass through her life. For me, it's a pretty cool job getting to write about that.
Have Some Fun Today is more than just four little trite words encouraging you to do shots at the bar with your friends, although that may sound like fun. We're talking about more than the one dimensional kind of fun. We're talking about seeing your life with a new perspective, with the chance of something unexpected around every corner. What does life look like if you're looking for FUN everyday? HSFT maybe means your taking a chance and the road less travelled because you're looking for the silver lining and the magic in a plain ol' day. And when you can start looking for the FUN in everyday, that will give you something to be grateful about.
Lead with your heart. Be grateful. Practice the HSFT mind set and there's no question it's going to be a kick ass 2017.
HAVE SOME FUN TODAY - We're on the threshold of a new beginning! All the possibility of the New Year brings is upon us, while we leave behind 2016. And isn't it just like us to begin by overloading on resolutions for 2017, and then toss them all out the window before the ball has even dropped in Times Square. HSFT is here to help with a few resolutions that are "high impact" but require minimal effort. It doesn't take much to make a big difference in your life, so let's break it down. Let's divide and conquer. Let's have the Best. Year. Ever. Hell yeah, New Year, we've got this!
Well, of course we think it's all about having FUN. Have Some Fun Today was founded on the very philosophy of seeking joy in the everyday, even when you can't see it. It's profound, when you think about it. What if we put our focus on finding more FUN each and everyday? It's easy, it's free and it's life changing. C'mon... you know you wanna. Have Some Fun Today.
The health benefits of water for the body are MAJOR. Did you know that one of the biggest influencers of spinal degeneration is dehydration? One of the biggest impacts you can have on the look and feel of your skin is by drinking more water. Those afternoon "crashes" when you reach for another cup of Joe may very well be dehydration. Curb your appetite, feed your skin and even change your mood, by drinking more water. If you need more inspiration, we just happen to have a super chic HSFT water bottle that looks great in your bag. Take it with you, drink on the go, but drink more water.
"Dear You, You are amazingly funny and have a great smile... " What would you say to yourself in a love letter? This exercise is empowering and powerful. Write down all the things you love about yourself, and if you can't think of any, write down things you know other people love about you. Write down your 2016 "wins" and all that went right. Then write down the things that didn't. Include your hopes for the year ahead. Seal it in an envelope and pull it out next year. Studies show that writing down our goals (not typing) is a powerful way to make a concrete connection to our desires and making them happen. You can use our beautiful Signature Crown Stationary to write your letter, because after all, you are a queen.
We're not going to tell you to join a gym or get a trainer, but what you can do is simply resolve to move more. We get so sedentary in life, always in front of computers, in our car, or in front of a TV. Make a resolution to simply move your amazing body for the sake of moving. Whether that's taking the dog for a walk, going dancing with your friends or a spin class. You can wear one of our "pep talk on a t-shirt" muscle tanks or hoodies while you do it, but move your body and watch it glow.
This year, plan a trip to someplace you've never been before. Big or small. Foreign or domestic. It matters not. What matters is that you go someplace new and for no other reason than to go there. It's so easy to just live in the space around us and forget there is a whole big, beautiful world out there, teeming with life and colors and experiences. Pick a place. Any place. And go, and blow your own damn mind.
The power of focused and rhythmic breath is unparalleled. You can calm yourself, reduce your stress and improve your health when you practice just simply breathing. The New York Times just wrote about controlled breath and the amazing affect it has. Sit in a comfortable place. Close your eyes. Feel your chest expand and contract. Now engage your belly as you breathe. Focus on a count on the in-breath and match it to your exhale. You will learn to calm yourself and your body and feel so peaceful when you connect to your breath.
So clichè, but so true. We do need 6-8 hours every night to keep our brain function at its best and to keep our immune system protecting us. It also keeps us youthful. Get your Zzzz's.
Our phones have become powerful tools to help us streamline our work and home life and keep us in touch wherever we go, but that's part of the problem. We are learning to never be without them. We've become so reliant on the constant flow of information that we forget there is a present life unfolding all around us. Let's make a time throughout each day to simply put the phone away or out of sight. Be consciously aware of being present, without the temptation of checking your device. It will change the way you see things.
Dammit if there isn't a little FUN in having some mischief. Have one thing that isn't about your health or the right thing or obligation. Have one little treat that maybe isn't the best for you, but it is decadent and/or delicious and isn't about anything other than the fact that you just like/love/want it. Indulgence in moderation is okay, too.
You know what's great about this resolution, it just couldn't be easier. At HSFT, we vow to spread and share positivity all the time, but imagine if more of us were doing it. It's as simple as telling the person in the checkout line that you like her boots or complimenting a stranger on their style. Or thanking someone for doing something for you. Saying more nice things can only bring more good into the world, including yours. You look beautiful, by they way, did we mention that?
Whether it's one that sits on your dresser or the kind the bank gives you in the form of a savings account, start putting something in it at least once a month. It can be change from your pocket or an automatic deduction from your paycheck. Five dollars or $50. Having a little stash of cash is a great way to empower yourself. It's the art of the discipline of saving and the practice of doing something of yourself.
Unless you live on a 20,000 acre cattle ranch, chances are you've got a local library near you. Yes, it's convenient to read on a laptop or tablet, but there's something about holding a book in your hand. And the library is an amazing place full of fact and fiction and things to inspire. And it's totally free. A good book is an escape from life. A great book will change your life.
Don't let another year go by without getting those body tuneups. Pop your hood, get that annual exam or if it's time, the dreaded mammogram. Get that dermatologist body scan you've been putting off and the eye exam you know you need. Teeth cleaned and checked lately? You are the only one who can take care of that amazing body you have so make sure its had those check-ups it needs to run smoothly. You can't conquer the world and kick ass every day if something is broken down. Make those appointments!
If you struggle to balance work and home life, chances are you don't make room for much else. But in the new year ahead, let's make it a point to call our girlfriends. Spending time with girlfriends is known to produced oxytocin in the brain, which gives us that feel good feeling and eases stress. Cultivate friendships and make dates to see each other. Date night with your girlfriends is a must in 2017.
Big or small, the power of a random act of kindness is that it energetically creates good in the world. Doing good makes us feel as good as it does for the person receiving it. Doing something for another human being just "because" sets off a chain reaction in the universe. The kind we need more of. You'll be blown away just how much a small act can open your heart big.
It may sound like a new age, hokey thing that you read about last week in the Huff Post but meditation is an amazing way to calm the mind, ease stress levels and lower blood pressure. Wanna start taking charge of your life in a powerful way? Meditate. Wanna bring your "vision board" to life? Meditate. It is a life changing strategy that most highly successful people use in their daily routine. There are apps to guide you through meditation, websites, and even some podcasts. Our mind is the single most powerful thing we have, let's use it to have a beautiful life.
2017 is calling and it wants you to bust through that New Year with jazz hands and a feather boa! Own this year. Decide it's yours. Decide that things are going to happen for you that YOU are going to make happen. Life is what you make it, so why not make it FUN. Bold means to be unafraid and fierce. Be confident and proud. Be you because there is only one. That's bold!
Grab hold of the goodness that is getting read to pop like that champagne bottle on New Year's Eve and embrace 2017 like a new lover. It's yours, lovelies. Can you feel it? Happy New Year to all and HSFT!