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7 Ways to Invite Spirituality

I’ve been in a transition lately, and even good change can be hard. As one of my daily focus goals, I have spirituality. I’m not a religious person but I do believe in a god and wanted to dedicate one of my 7 days to this part of my life, my spirituality.

I was raised Catholic and last year I found out my dominant ancestry is Jewish. I have two little kids and my hubby didn’t grow up with religion. So, thinking about what to do and how to start this journey, I came up with 7 ways to invite more spirituality into my life, my home, and remind me to be thankful.

1. MEDITATION 

You know everyone says this. I’ve tried it before but it never stuck so this time I got the app Headspace and doing their free trial. Maybe after a month, it will be more of a daily habit. I’m going to try to meditate in the morning right after I get up.

I’ve also heard other use the tic-tac method and you meditate while sucking on the candy. Having it be your focus point when your mind drifts. For me, I am starting with 5 minutes and will try to focus on my breathing before I jump into action and start my day.

Maybe even starting with 1 minute to reflect and be thankful is a great start.

2. GRATITUDE

Some friends of mine have a gratitude journal that they use daily to write and reflect. I love how it gets them to spend this time on thinking positive and what all the good is in their life.

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Another strategy is to just wake up and think of one good thing before you jump out of bed. Like I am happy to be alive, or thankful for the person who might be beside you. You could even put a reminder in your phone a few minutes after your alarm goes off to ask you what are you thankful for?

To get your family involved try adding a gratitude question and ask everyone to share one thing they are grateful for while eating dinner.

3. OUTSIDE

Another no-brainer, but getting outside gives you that fresh air and helps one connect with the world around them. That is if you aren’t just sitting on a bench scrolling facebook on your phone. A man might suggest leaving your phone at home while taking a walk, but let’s face it women aren’t as safe and often we have our kids so that isn’t going to happen. That said, I do try to go out for a run and listen to music, or walk the dog, and keep off my phone. Even if it is just for a few minutes at lunch it makes you feel so much better. 53377819_509193476275192_1126708112313548800_n

Even if getting outside can’t happen, I think sitting in the window as the sun shines in on the sofa counts if that is all you can get.

4. SHRINE 

If you don’t already have one maybe consider making one on your fireplace or a small table in your bedroom or office. It doesn’t have to be fancy or big but should be things you like, things that remind you of loved ones and your dreams. I’ve had one for years and it has photos, candles, and a variety of spiritual artifacts. I also have sage and burn it to clean my home. This is called smudging, and it is an ancient practice used for healing and energy clearing for positive vibes. During October I have it out on my fireplace in the living room. Also known as an Ofrenda.

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Maybe this is a good place to pray, reflect, meditate, or write in your gratitude journal. Or write down negative thoughts and burn them!

If a shrine isn’t your thing maybe just add some zen to your home. There are a lot of ways to bring more zen into your home with a new candle, plant, or sand garden.

5. BREATHE

There are so many ways you can incorporate breathing exercises with apps and reminders. Maybe you do this when you meditate. For me, I like to scream. I do it in my car on my way to work with music playing as I drive the highway. I scream to the top of my lungs until all the air is out of me. I do just one but it is a big one and I feel so much better afterward. Of course, this kind of scream at home would make my neighbor call the police so I wouldn’t recommend it in all situations!

I do think breathing and taking the time to breathe will help lower your stress and could bring more spirituality into your life as you reflect and be thankful.

5. DOOR

Your door represents how opportunities come to you. It’s where energy comes into your home, says one zen master. Make your entry look nice because it’s your face to the world. Have a clean and positive doormat for clean and positive energy and bonus if it has your name or number on it.

Feng Shui experts also say when your door can’t completely open that means that you’re stopping the amount of energy that can come into your space.

We can’t all go out and buy new furniture but if you do one thing to your home to be more aligned with positivity and more spirituality it would be the door, to open it up as you open your mind and heart.

6. PEOPLE

Energy comes from a lot of places, including the people around you. Maybe this is a great time to connect with that one friend who is religious, or very spiritual. Maybe get coffee or go dancing with a friend who is always ready for a fun night out. Maybe for this spiritual quest of yours, you need to let go. Negative people, people who are just in your life because of reasons other than they make you happy might not be good enough anymore. You don’t have to say goodbye forever but maybe spend less time with them. You move in the direction of your most dominant thought, so be with people who bring you up. Who have similar goals and want to talk about spirituality with positivity.

7. EDUCATION

I already belong to a book club and do my best to keep up with that, so adding in more books might be a little much for me. That said I do try to add in some podcasts and watch documentaries with my hubby for our sofa dates in the evening once the kids are asleep.

There are a lot of great books on spirituality and there are some great daily 365 books that help you with just one page a day.

If you have more time maybe sign up for a class at your local community college or maybe a local religious or spiritual organization to learn more about different religions.

What do you do to bring more spirituality into your everyday life? * Liana


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A Quality Year

I’m not sure what I think about 2018. At first, I was thinking it wasn’t a great year overall, but when I look at my goals I crushed it and got 85% of them accomplished so why was it just an OK year. I thought a lot about this, goals, life, and what makes us happy. It is the New Year and as I reflect and plan what this year’s goal would be I found myself returning to a specific word, quality. Screen Shot 2019-01-01 at 4.40.56 PM.png

I have never had a word for the year, but I saw others doing this and it really resonated with me. Right now I have a lot of options and possibilities and I am not really sure what direction I am going to take. What I do know is I want my life to be happy and I want to live a quality life. I don’t need a lot and I want to make sure the things I do, buy, am, are a life of quality.  My 2019 word is quality.

But what does a quality life look like? How do I create one for myself? I brainstormed what this quality life looks like.

A quality life …

  • that is healthy
  • full of love
  • that is in impactful
  • when I feel centered
  • that is beautiful
  • that is intentional
  • that is adventurous
  • full of my family
  • with true friends
  • that is creative
  • that is financial responsible
  • that is a kind life

I am very much a planner, a goal driven lady who takes on too much. I like details and having goals for the year without the specifics made me nervous that I wouldn’t have a focus or a true direction to follow so I built out my 12 areas of a quality life into my monthly challenges.

My thought is you can’t change everything at once, so focusing on one aspect a month on a specific area might be enough time to turn that focus into a new habit.

For 2019 I am kicking off the year with a month focusing on a quality life that is healthy. Last year I had a running goal to do 2 half marathons. I ended up doing 3 and ran more than ever. However, I didn’t reach my weight goal and at the end of the year I sprained my ankle and had to stop running.

So to make up for a little too much sugar and treats, and no running for the last month + I am doing a Keto challenge for all of January. I have been a vegetarian for over 25 years and I eat a lot of veggies but I also eat a lot of sugar and carbs. Curious to see if Keto eating makes a difference to my body. I even bought a scale for the first time in my life to really see if the numbers change. If you are interested in my meal plan or what I am eating following me on Instagram.

Here are some other things I will be doing in January to have a quality life that is healthy.

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Whatever your goals are or whatever you plan to do this year I hope you all have only good days ahead. Really every day can be a good day if you find the good things that hide amongst the darkness. It’s all perspective and with the right glasses, anything is possible.

I’ll keep you posted on how my first month of healthy living goes.

Happy New Year all and thanks for following TWM. * L


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Juice Cleanse Made Me Feel Dirty

If you have been following me then you know I like to do new challenges for myself. I would consider myself a healthy person who has been a vegetarian for 28 years, runs regularly and tries to live a healthy lifestyle. I have never done a juice cleanse and thinking about the new year and my goals I thought this might be a great time to try it out. Everyone’s experience is unique, and this is mine and why I don’t think the juice cleanse thing is for me.

Everything came by mail and I got it in a few days at my doorstep. 18 juice bottles arrived mostly frozen and I put a few in the fridge to start later that day. Since I didn’t give it enough time to defrost the first few, what I had was more of a slushy, but, as it turns out, I really enjoyed the crunch. The directions did say to give it 24 hours to defrost. Screen Shot 2018-12-12 at 11.06.47 AM

The directions said there wasn’t any order to juices and to drink them when I was hungry. It was a 3 day cleanse and on top of the juice you should drink lots of water. Raw veggies and some nuts (very little) can be added if you must have something. The directions also said you didn’t have to drink all 6 juices in one day.

I loved 4 of the first flavors I had and to my surprise, things I don’t normally enjoy, like carrot juice,  were super yummy with a touch of ginger and lemon.  The 5th one I had was not that good and reminded me of grass. I was so hungry I drank it and was looking forward to the 6th one. Sadly it was the same flavor. Just my luck that the one I didn’t like was the only one doubled up each day. So out of 16 juices, it was 4 of them.  It was so gross that I just opted to not drink it and went to bed early, hungry and a little worried about how I was going to manage the next day on 4 juices.

I have never gone to bed hungry and as I laid there in my bed I felt dirty. Here I am a white privileged 40-year-old starving myself in the name of cleansing. My tummy growled as if it agreed with me and in the dark I found comfort knowing my daughter at age 3 didn’t see this disaster. I’m her role model and what I am saying by starving myself? I do agree drinking all that water and having to go to the bathroom every hour did something. I do feel lighter and my clothes fit better, but when I went running I was weak and my body just wasn’t at its best.

For me the juice cleanse isn’t the lifestyle I want to represent. I want to celebrate food, people, community, and treat my body with respect and fuel it with love. * L


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Virtual Running Group – Week 12

For our last week, we are going to take it easy and just do two 3 miles runs to keep things moving. The big race is next week and you are ready!!!!

Week 12 of 12 challenge:

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This is our last week for the half marathon build-up challenge. It has been really fun getting to know everyone and I’m going to miss our weekly events. I still plan on running and posting and hope we all will keep in touch with our hashtag #TWMrunners.

This week let’s talk about all the things you should do now before the big day. Make sure to cut your toenails really short. You don’t want to do this a few days before the race so do them now so your toes are not sore on race day. Vaseline or some kind of body rub for the day of (feet and areas the rub with clothing). Make sure you don’t miss getting your bib at the expo. (I totally missed a race because I thought you can get the bib at the event). And never wear the race day shirt on the race day; someone told me it was bad luck.

Whatever you do don’t forget to have fun!!!!

 

RUN with our virtual running group and make sure to hashtag your race photo!!! It is never too late to follow Two Working Moms and use the hashtag #TWMrunners.  Keep us posted on how your runs are going and what races you are signed up for.  * L


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Virtual Running Group – Week 11

For our 11th week, we are going to add a mile to our short runs for 2 at 6 miles, then another mile for our long run at 12 miles.

Week 11 of 12 challenge:

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If you have your half marathon in 2 weeks we will have week 12 be the week before and we will be doing a shorter run for our long run. Personally, I like to do my longest run in my half marathon training 2 weeks before so the week prior doesn’t make me sore or put negative thoughts in my head about not being able to do it.

On your long run have a plan to keep you going. I have a series of questions I ask myself when I am ready to stop, want to walk, question why I signed up for this race. I ask myself these 3 questions:

  1. Are you bleeding? (I don’t ask myself if I am hurting, of course I am, and being on my period doesn’t count. I have fallen and tripped while running and you dust yourself off and if you aren’ gushing blood you keep going).
  2. Are you causing permanent damage? 
  3. Are you going to die? Well, not today…. and at times you think you can’t keep going but you do. Your head will give out long before your legs will.

One thing I learned from having both of my babies without any medical intervention is my body can do a lot more than my mind thinks it can. Running is just that, a mind trick, so make sure you have a game plan to tackle these thoughts.

It is never too late to follow Two Working Moms and use the hashtag #TWMrunners.  Keep us posted on how your runs are going and what races you are signed up for.  * L


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Virtual Running Group – Week 10

For our 10th week, we are going to keep our short runs at 5-miles for and adding another mile to our long run for a total of 11 miles.

Week 10 of 12 challenge:

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Let’s talk about the girls, and if you are a guy running with us well this might not be the post for you.

Having the right sports bra is super important. I had a few favorites I used and over time I found out they just didn’t last the washes and lost its hold. You do not want to find out on a half marathon that you don’t feel supported and wish you had a better bra. I even know some ladies that fun with two! Everyone is different so find what works for you, but do invest in something.

I ended up spending some money on this Fabletic ultimate impact bra and thought I would love it, but I ended up not. It is very supportive but for me, the cut just didn’t feel right and it was just too much gear with the zipper, snaps and adjustable straps. Guess for now I will stick with Target sports bras.

What are some of the sports bras you love and why?

Make sure to follow Two Working Moms and use the hashtag #TWMrunners. Keep us posted on how your runs are going, what works for you, and join the great moms out there who are already running with us. * L


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Virtual Running Group – Week 9

For our 9th week, we are going to add a mile to our short runs for a total of 5-miles for and adding another mile to our long run for a total of 10 miles.

Week 9 of 12 challenge:

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Let’s talk about safety and making sure you don’t get hurt while running.

Some things I do to stay safe is to run on paths or trails to avoid cars. There are a lot of walking and running paths in Seattle including stairs and a lot of hills if you are up for a challenge. Check out some local state park to find trails near you.

Trails can also be very popular with bikers. The rule is to stay to the far right like a car (in America) so the faster person can pass on the left.

Bright clothing can also help keep you safe and visible to cars. I wear a bright pink vest with reflection tape and have a lot of bright running clothes that I use on my long runs.

Make sure to follow Two Working Moms and use the hashtag #TWMrunners. Keep us posted on how your runs are going. * L