Last week Griffin turned 11! The photo to the right was taken at the trampoline park where he celebrated with his friends!
The park had an obstacle course, a basketball court (where you could get a big enough bounce to do an awesome dunk!) and a dodge ball court. It was another amazing experience that I can add to the many wonderful adventures I’ve enjoyed being Griffin’s mom.
As you’ve probably noticed, I don’t think you need a birthday to find an excuse to celebrate!!
Sure, I have tons of challenges, but you will almost always find me focusing on what’s new and good in my life – from delighting in my sweet family, to learning how to ski, to quitting my hospital job, to working with super yummy clients – because I can always find something to celebrate.
Here’s the thing: The present moment is the greatest gift you have. It is perfectly created for you according to your stated beliefs. You state these beliefs by the thoughts you choose to focus on and the actions you decide to take.
I know I created the life I am currently enjoying and I know you can too. If you, for the most part, are not enjoying your life, you can change that.
For me, my life got SO MUCH better when I decided to focus on appreciation.
I’m delighted to share that I was asked to be an early reviewer for Barbara Ann Kipfer‘s latest book, 1,001 Ways to Live WILD. Barbara is the author of sixty books, including the mega-bestseller 14,000 Things to Be Happy About.
This is a book filled with light-hearted quick hits of encouragement for anyone looking for a jolt of “get out there and live.” Short entries – musings, things to do, and inspirational quotes – are paired with stunning artwork, and these combine to create a beautiful keepsake to give as a gift or to keep on your bedside table.
Presented as one continuous list accompanied by whimsical sidebars and thought-provoking quotes, the text touches on many and varied themes such as: following your passions, staying curious, appreciating nature, traveling, trying new things, and living life with courage.
As my long-time readers know, one of my favorite things is to have fun and make memories with my family and friends, and since summer generally affords a slower pace and more time to be outside and “unplugged,” it has inspired me to make – and keep track of – a “Summer Bucket List.”
I use the list to make sure that we make the most of our summer, and also so that we can know at the end of it that we did everything we set out to do. And what’s so wonderful about Kipfer’s book is that it gives me so many WILD ideas to add to my list.
Here are some of Barbara’s suggestions that will help you to be more present and enjoy everyday gifts that don’t cost a thing:
5. At dawn, take an hour to witness the transition from night to day. Stop and contemplate the incredible beauty of the day.
113. Create your own Ministry of Silly Walks, as in the Monty Python’s Flying Circus television show.
232. Compliment people all day and see what a difference it makes.
766. Hug a tree and a person today.
Those are ideas you can implement on the spur of the moment, but some of her ideas require a little more planning:
234. Put a message in a bottle and float it out to sea. (This reminds me of the time Doug made a treasure map and put it in a bottle—and then “found” it and led Griffin and his cousins on a memorable adventure to a real treasure – a can filled with dollar coins!)
335. Try a new ethnic food tonight. (Yes! Just the encouragement we needed to try the new Ethiopian restaurant in town!)
588. Follow a traditional Chinese recipe to preserve a batch of hundred-year eggs. (I’m intrigued!)
Some of her tips are even more challenging and thought-provoking:
315. Leave the city of your comfort and go into the wilderness of your intuition.
664. Live and act from the understanding that all things change.
930. Watching wildlife can reawaken senses dulled by the man-made world.
Woven among the tips are inspirational quotes (“There is no bad weather, only inappropriate clothing” – Scandinavian proverb, one of my favorites!) and short lists like “Natural Phenomena to Go Wild For” (Aurora borealis and volcanic lightning, for example).
If you open a random page of this book, you can’t help but be inspired to try something new and bring a little adventure into your life. Whether you long to dye your hair purple or learn how to play the guitar, it’s time for you to create YOUR Bucket List!
As for me, I’m going to try practicing Barbara’s tip #394 today:
“Live in a simple, direct way, without cluttering your mind with hatred, judgment, worry, doubt, or want. Choose the experience of genuine happiness.”