The First Day Of The Rest Of Your Life

Today is the First Day of the Rest of My Life was a song written by John Denver, the legendary folk-rock singer from the 70’s. There’s a lot of truth in that title – today literally is the first day of the rest of my life and your life. Every new day is an opportunity to ask yourself, “How will I choose to live the rest of my life.”

Though there are many aspects of that question to contemplate, today it’s my aim to focus on health and happiness. Each going down of the sun at the end of the day is a reminder that there is a new day, with new beginnings coming when the sun rises in the morning. The way I have chosen to spend the rest of my life is committing to an even simpler and healthier life style. A lifestyle that more radically reflects what I truly believe.

Being that it is Memorial Day, and I have the day off from seeing clients, I will be spending the day preparing my home and myself for a healthier, stress free lifestyle. Some of the things I have planned to do to create a simpler, happier and healthier life: Go to bed earlier, cut out TV in the evening, check email only twice a day (or so), spend time doing more things I enjoy (like practicing my bowed psaltery, walking on the beach, gardening, crocheting), eating more of the simpler foods like whole vegetables and fruits, practicing yoga several times a week, cleaning out my cupboards and closets of unnecessary clutter, and choosing joy in the midst of irritations.

How will you spend the “first day of the rest of your life?”

In joy and simplicity,

Jean

Christian Yoga

Exercise is one of the main tenets of achieving superior health. For years I have experienced the benefits of stretching and deep abdominal breathing, and therefore have felt a natural inclination to explore Yoga. So, recently I decided to take it a step further and picked up a book entitled Christian Yoga by Susan Bordenkircher. This is a great Yoga book for people who want to integrate their Christian faith and spirituality with their yoga routine.

This afternoon, I spent a good hour outside on our deck going over the basics Bordenkircher outlines in her book: relaxation, deep breathing, and warming up. The basic warm-up exercises even included a foot stretching exercise something I was not familiar with. What a relaxing and at the same time energizing way to spend some time outdoors. I haven’t even gotten into the poses yet and I’m hooked.

I’m no Yoga expert, but this much I’ve figured out. Yoga has many benefits to it because it focuses on overall health: body, mind and spirit. Learning to quiet the mind and focus on deep breathing, muscle tension and relaxation is an art in and of itself which has many mental and emotional health benefits. Christian Yoga takes it a step further and helps the individual to focus on the triune God through out their exercise routine (Father, Son and Holy Spirit).

One of the main principles of Yoga is learning deep abdominal breathing. One of the added benefits of this type of breathing is that it gently exercises the internal organs. As your diaphragm rises and falls it’s actually massaging you on the inside. Deep breathing is not only energizing, but it also promotes healing. The process of abdominal breathing results in toxins being released and eliminated, and more oxygen being distributed to the cellular level. Finally, learning to relax your muscles is one of the best ways to counteract stress and anxiety.

Taking care of your mind, body and spirit through Christian Yoga, is also a great motivator to eat right as well. When feeling good because you are relaxed, positively energized and focused on God, there is much less temptation to make the wrong food choices and more motivation to make the right choices. A holistic approach to health is most certainly the best approach.

Jean

Plastic Water Bottles Out, Stainless Steel Water Bottles In

People are finally catching on to the health risks inherent in drinking purified water out of plastic bottles. Unfortunately many of these plastic bottles leach chemicals into the water they are carrying. Now, let’s think about this…if we’re going to take the time to drink purified water why should we use a container that leaches harmful chemicals?

All the talk in the news lately about this serious problem was just the push we needed to finally get rid of our own plastic water bottles. We purchased stainless steel (304 grade) refillable bottles. Though there are many places from which we could order these beautiful jewel tone, 20 oz bottles (I got the red and Alan got the blue, the match our cell phones) we chose to support an organization that has been a true inspiration to us: www.PathtoFreedom.com. Their store is located at www.peddlerswagon.com .

For $11 dollars a piece the bottles are a bargain. Over time, the money spent on bottled water can easily be recouped plus we aren’t throwing our share of plastic bottles in landfills any longer. Now we fill our elegant stainless steel water bottles directly from our own water purification system at home.

These bottles are a great investment: they are beautifully designed, lightweight, fun to drink from, have a handy clip for easy carrying, keep your water cold, but most of all they are safe!

To your health,

Jean

Sustainable Agriculture In Your Own Yard

Sustainable Agriculture In Yuor Own Yard

I keep telling my husband, “Life is going to change soon.” The reason: this summer will mark my half century milestone celebration on planet earth. Reaching the ripe young age of 50 years gives one pause for reflection: reflecting on accomplishments, desires, and unsatisfied goals. As the date grows nearer, I’ve been asking and praying about how to intentionally spend the next 50 years, Lord willing.

As a result of the recent soul searching, one new goal has evolved – transforming the majority our yard into a garden; sustainable agriculture at home. Some of the inspiration we have received to that end comes from the www.PathToFreedom.com website. Here, you can read, and be inspired too, by the Dervaes who grow the majority of their own food, on a very small plot of land.

The Devraes own a 1/5 acre lot in Pasadena, California and cultivate one half of their property. That means they garden 1/10 an acre. Out of that 1/10 acre they are able to produce 6,000 lbs of produce annually. Their garden is not only their main food source but also their livelihood. Wow! Whoever would have thought that was possible.

Alan and I have started out small: this season we grew lettuce, tomatoes, green peppers and herbs and you can see some of them pictured above. But through studying the Dervaes site, our plans for dinking around with gardening as a hobby, has turned onto a very realistic dream of cultivating the entire yard and turning it into an edible landscape. One day we hope that our yard will provide the majority of our vegan diet.

As we move into and through this process, we promise to keep you posted and hopefully give you encouragement on how you too can become a sustainable farmer in your own back yard…no matter what the size.

Happy gardening,

Jean

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