Easter and April Fools’ Day coincide today. So what are the chances of these two very different holidays being celebrated at once? According to Bustle.com this is the first time Easter has fallen on April Fool’s Day since 1956. Since 1900, it has only happened four times; in 1923, 1934, 1945, and 1956. The next time this is set to occur is 2029.
According to Bustle.com, Easter may be a huge holiday with deep roots, but April Fool’s Day has been around for centuries as well. While we don’t know the exact reason the holiday began, some say it started after a calendar shift in France in the 1500s that changed New Year’s Day from the end of March to Jan. 1, as a joke to trick those who continued to use the old calendar.
I, personally, find it interesting that the New Year originally began the end of March. Easter is associated with new beginnings and it was a calendar shift in France (the origin of April Fool’s Day) that contributed to the date change for the start of a new year. Therefore, let’s make April 1, 2018 your brand new start at living a full and satisfying life. It makes perfect sense for this to be YOUR YEAR and YOUR DATE to celebrate your NEW BEGINNING. I encourage you to embrace this date and begin your quest to live life fully and reach your full potential!
In previous lessons U have learned what it takes to Reach Your Full Potential and what it means to Live Life to Its Fullest. I have entitled the upcoming learning series ‘A Fresh Start – A New Beginning’. Happy Easter, everyone!
Easter spells out beauty, the rare beauty of new life. – S.D. Gordon
The spirit of Easter is all about hope, love and joyful living. – Anonymous
Let today be the start of something new. – Anonymous
Being curious allows U to become more open minded and not take life at its face value. Think about it. Without curiosity, U will miss out on what life has to offer. You will bypass and forego many wonderful experiences should U choose to be safe rather than curious. U may be telling yourself that life is safer and less stressful when U settle for the status quo – work, eat, sleep and repeat. If all U do is go to work, pay the bills, mow the lawn, shovel the snow, feed the dog, take care of the house and repeat; U are likely to be dissatisfied! I would contend that such a life is boring, unfulfilling and simply existing versus living. Without adding curiosity to your life, life will become a series of mundane tasks. U will never grow, change, evolve or truly live.
Curiosity can position U to not only see life at its face value but to understand it fully and make better decisions about what U want to achieve and do. Curiosity motivates U to explore, experience everything more fully and be engaged in life. When U add curiosity to your life, U serve yourself more effectively. Being curious is a promise U need to make to yourself, if U are to truly to live your life. Delve into life completely – explore, learn, try, experience, and discover all kinds of things in your world to live fully.
Variety is the spice of life
Research finds encountering new things and feeling excitement about and interest in them release dopamine and other feel good neurochemicals to make U happier and lead to a more full life.
Curiosity help you embrace change and open yourself up to new experiences
Curiosity leads to exploration which motivates U to learn about situations, relationships, and events. If U aren’t curious about something, U will never discover, process, and plan for your involvement. Staying curious helps U become a more daring risk-taker because U really want to know. When U are more willing to leave the old and familiar routine and take up a challenge, in order to reap the rewards of new knowledge and stimulation, your life will improve. Being curious leads to a far more satisfying life than the one where you stay huddled up in the comfort of the mundane, safe and familiar.
Curiosity leads to engagement
When U are engrossed in your topic, conversation or activity, U can more easily experience being fully present, and enjoying what U are doing, and because U are so immersed in what U are involved in or learning about. Time falls away and conversation becomes effortless.
A positive repeat cycle
Practicing being curious about life leads to more openness and engagement with life, which leads to more experiences and adventures, which lead to more satisfaction, meaning, and fulfilment. Become curious about what life has to offer and U will find yourself wondering why U have positioned yourself to sit on the sidelines when U could have been on the field participating in the game of life. U will be amazed at what life has to offer simply by opening up and allowing yourself to be curious. Curiosity will help U in your relationships. It will improve your life experiences and increase your satisfaction in life.
Becoming curious about the everyday
Curiosity can help U turn the most mundane of everyday tasks into something enjoyable. When U learn to see things from a new angle or perspective you can not only learn something new, but U can benefit from the thrill of discovery and gain enjoyment from the process. U will never be bored again.
Curiosity supports life to the fullest
Curiosity naturally leads to doing more, and the more curious U are the more diverse experiences U can enjoy, and experiencing is one of the greatest ways to live life to the fullest.
Curiosity is one of the great secrets of happiness. – Bryant H. McGill
“Curiosity keeps us moving forward, exploring, experimenting, opening new doors.” – Walt Disney
“Curiosity is the most powerful thing you own.” – James Cameron
In this learning series, A Fresh Start, Recreate-U.com will begin to explore a myriad of activities to help U start fresh and begin to explore life as U wish. The world is full of experiences for U to explore and enjoy and everyone finds joy in different activities. To fully express who U are and ‘find’ yourself, you must immerse yourself and participate in activities you enjoy and follow your heart. How U use your free time can inspire U, uplift U and captivate U in a very personal way.
Today, I would like to talk about music and how it can transform a day, your mood and how U interact with others and your world.
Why U Should Listen to Music
Humans are connected to music in ways that allows us to interact and understand one another on a different level. Music has a way of transcending the gap in communication. Our favorite musical artists touch our soul with their lyrics and captivating sounds. Sometimes words cannot express the emotions U are feeling. When life is difficult, music can be a constructive way to express what U are feeling. Music can be a very effective way to express yourself and cope with life’s challenges.
Music impacts brain and behavior function. Music moves U; it inspires U. It heightens your awareness of your environment and surroundings. Music has been used to enhance cognitive and physical performance. Music compels U and helps U put your experiences in perspective. Music is able to change your mood and improve your outlook on life. Music can fire U up or help U relax. Music can improve your concentration and help U focus. Music can bring U to tears or make U want to do a happy dance. It can put you to sleep or motivate U to run a marathon.
Music can be an incredible vehicle in helping U capture what U feel and help U make your way through life especially when times are difficult.
How often do you listen to music? If it less than an hour per day, make a decision to listen to music more often.
When’s the last time you listened to music and it brought you to tears, made U want to do a happy dance or put you to sleep?
What is your favorite genre of music? Who is your favorite artist? Why?
Create a playlist of songs and music that relaxes U, inspires/motivates U, improves your mood and outlook.
What songs do U listen to because U simply love the lyrics?
There are certain things to keep in mind about choosing music which will make listening a more successful experience for U:
Listen to music U like.
Listen to music that inspires U. It can be uplifting, happy, enlightening or quiet and soothing. Choose music which will improve your mood and your overall sense of well-being.
Listen to lyrics that provide a positive message.
Try different speeds and music tempos to find music that is appealing to your senses.
Make music a part of your daily life and learn how music can affect U and how it can greatly enhance how U approach life. Who knows? Music might even help U move to the beat of your own drum!
“Remember that you cannot always please everyone and sometimes the very best thing you can do is to stand up, straighten your back, hold your head up high, and meet your own needs. This principle is all about standing up to the world to follow your heart, to be yourself, to “march to the beat of your own drum,” to be who and what U want to be, and to fully express who U are despite others’ potential attempt to suppress U.” ― Brent N. Hunter, The Rainbow Bridge: Bridge to Inner Peace and to World Peace
Inside U exists an endless supply of greatness refueled by your inner desire and motivation to possess the life U wish to live. Take stock in who U and recognize your capacity for greatness is limitless!
“The basis of success is not what you have nor who you are. It is what you have become and how great you feel about yourself and the life you possess.” – Myron Sta Ana
Purpose and Vision
Know your reasons, think outside the box and change your life with your imaginative thinking.
Strong Core Values
Your core values motivate U and shape your future. They will drive your behaviors and influence your actions and move U towards your inner greatness.
U can’t unlock your inner greatness if U don’t believe in yourself. To achieve greatness U first must set yourself apart from everyone else. If U truly believe in your purpose and your vision then nothing can stop U from being great. For example, professional athletes and Olympians may have innate abilities to perform well and achieve success in sports. However, inner greatness is achieved because of the realization that even though ability may be inherited, capability is related to your attitude and belief that anything is possible. So much more can be achieved than what lies within U if U truly believe in yourself. Your capacity for greatness is limitless as long as U believe you are capable.
Exercise Your Greatness
If U look at individuals who have achieved greatness, U typically only see them AFTER they have become ‘GREAT’. U haven’t seen the work, the failures and the everyday struggles that have gone into their achievements. Realize your shining moment, whatever it may be for U, won’t happen overnight or in an instant. It will take time and effort and persistence to achieve your greatness. Put your greatness to work. Practice with it everyday by setting realistic goals. The more U achieve, the more confident U will become in the goals and ambitions U have set for yourself. Greatness must be exercised to become fit.
There is nothing wrong with having lofty goals. While U shoot for the stars just remember that you can’t skip the present and the other roles U have in life – parent, teacher, mentor, son, daughter, sibling and friend. If U spend all your time and effort on the future and what U wish to achieve and forget about those around U and your other roles in life, U will lose sight of the here and now. No one can have a single role, purpose or mission in life. By staying grounded and connected to your world and your significant others, your road to greatness will be filled with many opportunities and experiences. These opportunities and experiences will help lead U towards achieving your inner greatness.
Efficient Decision Making
It’s a choice – greatness; it’s a decision that U make. Slice away any other outcomes and insist that greatness is the only true option for U. What U believe, U can achieve.
Habits and Goals
Discipline is an important aspect of unleashing your inner greatness and one of the most effective marks of this is creating a list of daily goals for yourself. Part of success lies in repetition and taking small steps consistently over time. It requires practice, hard work, and patience in equal measure, so, develop habits that will lead to your success and quash any behaviors or habits that are holding U back.
Enjoy the Journey
Greatness is less about achieving the goal and more about the journey it takes to arrive there. So, enjoy the journey –U won’t find happiness or greatness in instant gratification. Relish your opportunities to defy the odds and overcome obstacles as U traverse the road less traveled.
I am sure that everyone has heard the adage, ‘do not put off until tomorrow what U can do today’. Begin to explore and experience your inner greatness today by recognizing that today will be gone in an instant. Take steps now to live the rest of each today by being your best U!
“The only thing standing between you and your awesomeness, your greatness and true happiness is you! Let yourself be and have an amazing time doing it!” – Ricardo Housham
“Do not let other people take you to a dead-end when you can find your own path to greatness.” – Myron Sta Ana
Weekends are typically my time for reflection where I kick back and either listen to relaxing music, read a book, watch motivational YouTube videos or just take time to review how my week has been. Today, I want to dig a bit deeper and reflect on how the past year has been going in regards to my health and wellness journey.
As you may or may not know, for the last five or six years I have been finding it more difficult to deal with chronic pain. No longer have I been able to ‘push through the pain’. The old athlete mentality has no longer been serving me well and the pain has been ‘winning’ despite my best efforts to deal with the situation. This year, I finally decided I couldn’t will myself to simply ignore the pain and attempt to go about living despite it. Lastly, I couldn’t find any medical options that would simply take the pain away. I was forced to find a way to live with the pain and make room for it in my life.
So, what could I do when pain was infiltrating every aspect of my life? How was I going to continue to function? When pain was impacting my ability to perform even the simplest of tasks and triggered additional pain how was I going to cope? I found myself backed into a corner with no where to go but to finally think outside the box and begin to explore any and all alternatives. I was desperate for answers and pain relief. I simply had to find a way to break the pain cycle.
When confronted with what seems to be a lack of options, most people will continue to trudge down the same path even when they know the path leads to a dead end. Why continue to walk the same path, you ask? Humans do what they know because it’s familiar, it’s safe and it’s what has worked in the past. I, too, figured if I tried harder, maybe next time it would make a difference. This is what I consider ‘universal human behavior’ It’s not wrong and no one should go and beat his or her self because we simply do what we know. However, it’s vital to our well being to understand when something is no longer working for us. It doesn’t make sense to repeat the same behaviors.
I am no different. I kept trying to do the same things, looking for answers and attempting to get pain relief without success. Even though Western medicine kept failing me again and again, I continued to seek pain relief from a variety of practitioners including pain management specialists and rheumatologists. I even met with my spinal surgeon hoping he could do something. I was prescribed caudal and facet joint steroid injections, nerve blocks, physical therapy, aqua therapy and pain medications. I revamped my diet and removed all inflammation triggers and carbs in an effort to control the pain per my rheumatologist’s suggestion. Still, nothing worked and I simply couldn’t figure out ‘why’.
I explored a variety of alternative healing methods, too. I tried detoxification, cranial sacral treatments, massage, meditation and acupuncture. I was prescribed a number of natural supplements and essential oils to help ease my pain. I even tried CBD oil. Still no relief.
In fact, I was only getting worse! Any intervention or increase in physical activity would trigger a firestorm of heightened pain for a week or more. The more active I was, the worse I felt.
Desperate to break the pain cycle, I did what I thought I would never do and I agreed to see a shaman. At this point, I was desperate and willing to try ANYTHING. However, I was skeptical because of my own pre-conceived notions about shamans and I still had not fully gotten past the stigma of what I considered ‘new age’ treatment methods.
Before you continue to read and, perhaps, cloud the rest of this article with your own pre-conceived beliefs, I ask you to agree with the notion that chronic pain is actually multi-faceted. This belief looks to identify the source of pain rather than treating pain’s symptoms. I now concede that it was remiss of me to think that chronic pain could be relieved or reduced by simply addressing the physical symptoms. And yet, that is exactly what every practitioner had attempted to do and how I was addressing the problem, too.
The truth is pain had taken away or impacted so much of my life that I no longer felt I was in control of ANY aspect of my life. I was fighting to hang onto the best of me and I disliked the me I was becoming. I was losing my vibrant, adventurous and full-of-life self.
It is true that chronic pain results in loss – loss of physical abilities and activity, loss of independence, loss of self-respect, loss of financial stability and loss of socialization. It causes a decrease in mental acuity and, eventually, this results in a sense that your ability to meet life head on is also lost. When this happens, your system goes on high alert in an attempt to manage the pain. Unfortunately, the more you try and control the pain, the more the pain takes precedence. Eventually, chronic pain has a way of squashing your spirit, your self-esteem and your ability to lead a fulfilled life. Many individuals who suffer from chronic pain have pushed their dreams aside and have given up on being able to enjoy life. Some chronic pain sufferers are simply existing from day to day.
This is the point in my life when I made an appointment with a shaman. Shamanic Healing addresses the spiritual aspect of illness. That is to say, it addresses the part of the illness that is in your spirit, soul, or energy body. Shamans believe that illness/injury appears in this spirit before it shows up in the physical body, and that if the body is injured the injury will also exist on the level of the spirit. Shamans believe that healing on the spiritual level can prevent conditions from appearing in the body, and also that healing the spirit will allow the body to heal once a condition has appeared. 1
After several appointments with the shaman she referred me to a physical therapist who practiced The Feldenkrais Method®. This method is a powerful and revolutionary approach to improving your life using gentle, mindful movement to bring new awareness and possibility into every aspect of your life.
With its emphasis on learning, the Feldenkrais Method® offers a gentle, comfortable way of shifting your pain by exploring your movement patterns. You’ll begin by exploring movements that are well within your comfort zone – no matter how small. Gradually, as your brain learns that freedom and comfort are possible, you’ll experience your body letting go of unnecessary tension. Pain will begin to dissolve. You’ll discover greater range of motion and ease of movement.
Contrary to popular belief, pain is not your enemy. Instead, it’s your body’s way of telling you something isn’t right. Pain signals you to stop, assess what’s going on, and take care. If you don’t, the pain and discomfort increase until they become chronic; your brain learns that pain is “normal.” The more you resist, the more you tighten. The more you tighten, the more restricted your movements, and the more uncomfortable you become. 2
The Feldenkrais method teaches you to ease into the pain versus resist the pain, to acknowledge the pain, let go and then shift your movements or your body to ease the pain. Feldenkrais teaches you to move more efficiently and to transition from tension to relaxation.
Without agreeing to participate in these two treatment methods and having such wonderful natural healers as part of my recovery process, I don’t believe the ending of 2018 would have been a positive one. This is the first time in a very long time where my pain level has become more manageable. Being made aware of how pain has affected me spiritually and learning how suppressed and unconscious emotions can increase or trigger my pain has been life changing. Once again, I believe in me and my ability to heal myself.
In closing, the New Year is just around the corner and my wish for each of U is for U to explore ALL of your options when it comes to your health and well being. Just because a treatment method is familiar doesn’t mean it is able to provide U with the answers and relief U need. U are a unique being with your own unique needs. Explore, reach out and continue to try. Remember, stepping out of your comfort zone can make all the difference in the world!
HAPPY NEW YEAR!
When something enters your life that is so big and so non-negotiable as catastrophic illness, you either go in denial for a while … or ultimately you accept it and you make space for it. And in making space for it, you illuminate a lot of things that you normally don’t have room for … you simply just look at the world differently.– Michael J. Fox