Tejomaya Wellness

A Blog About Well-Being

Month: November 2015

Gratitude Review: November

cocoa     Happy Last Sunday of November!  It’s been chilly and rainy the past few days, so it’s been the perfect morning to snuggle in with the dog , a soft blanket and a warm mug of cocoa. I hope all of you had a lovely Thanksgiving this week.  I got to spend a lovely day with my mom and sister, had a delicious meal and saw the final Mockingjay movie, too. It’s a newer tradition, but one we really enjoy since we’re all such film-buffs.  I’ve been up to a lot more than just watching movies, though.  Here’s an update on some of the stuff I’ve been grateful to be a part of this month!

diymub     I love DIY projects. I also love an idea I found floating around Facebook the past few weeks to fill up an old purse you no longer want with snacks and personal care items and giving it away to a homeless woman. I happened to mention wanting to do this to a friend of mine over my lunch hour and by the end of it, I had snack donations, toothbrushes and toothpaste and sanitary napkins and tampons. The only thing I need now is purses! While searching this month for my favorite DIY project, I found this great tutorial for zippered make-up bags.  They’re perfect for the care packages we’re putting together!

thankscollage     I previously posted about the November Gratitude Photo Challenge I put together this month. I still have two days of photos left to post, but spending a month in a state of perpetual thankfulness has been so great that I’m planning on doing this every year!  I got to use my camera and write every day too, which was such a blessing for me as a creative-type. The holiday season is a busy time for me and sometimes I neglect the need to create as a stress-reliever. I’d love for you to participate with me next year. Whether you go it alone for a little me-time, or you get the kids involved, I promise you this, you’ll have a lot of fun and it will help keep your season bright!

londonbath     I started redecorating my apartment this month. It’s been on my heart for a long time to start replacing the hand-me-down pieces with things that I’m truly in love with and a reflection of myself and my tastes. For as long as I can remember, I have wanted to travel.  I’ve never been out of the U.S. and I have a long list of places I want to visit. As a way to say motivated to save for these trips and cross them off of my list, I decided to surround myself with accouterments from all of the different cities I’m loving from a distance. I’ll be in New Delhi and Morocco in my living room, London in my bathroom, Vienna, Amsterdam and Paris in my bedroom and Costa Rica and Acapulco in the kitchen and dining room. The only space I have left to decide on is my office nook. Ideas welcome!

I want to hear about all of the things you’ve been grateful for this month! I’d also love to read about the cool traditions you have during the holidays.  Share with me in the comments below! Hope you have a wonderful week, and stay nice and warm.

 

Wishing You Total Well-Being,

 

Jennifer

Manifestation Blocks? A Tip on Holding Intention

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Hey There Darling Hearts,

As I’ve begun the process of redecorating  my apartment this week, (something I’m doing as an act of self-care), I’ve been inadvertently learning a lot about intention as part of the manifestation process. It started early this week, when I drove to a decor store with the thought in my mind that I was going to find exactly what I’d come in for, and I did, plus a great clearance find for under my intended budget for the day. That feeling carried over into my next trip out, and I put my focus on having a similar experience. That yielded me several great pieces, way below my budget for the day, then I did the same the next time I went out. It’s all been a matter of deciding that I would find something I really loved for less that I planned to spend on it.

I’ve always shopped this way. I consider myself a lucky bargain shopper, and I’m always so excited about my finds that the good energy stays and shows up the next time I want or need something. It always works and if I don’t find exactly what I want at the first stop,  or even on the first day, it’s because the best thing (better than I’d imagined), is on sale at another shop on the list or someplace new I’ve never been before.

I’ve been struggling with manifesting other things in my life. The better day job, the better finances, the house, etc, and it occurred to me as I was unwrapping my latest find this morning, that holding intention while you’re in the good energy of an upswing is the key to it all. Having a bout of success is only a fluke if you let it be. It is there to carry you on to the next great adventure, career-step, or item on your dream list. Look for little things to celebrate this week, get into that good-feeling and keep “shopping”. That thing your soul is looking for is just around the corner, and it’s half-off the original price!

Wishing You Total Well-Being,

Jennifer

November Gratitude Photo Challenge!

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Hey There Awesome Readers,

Because I’m trying to wrap up my studies so I can test for my aromatherapy certification by the end of the year, I’ve been busy. Extremely busy. When I find myself with a little extra on my plate, I can get stressed. Not just glass-of-wine-and-a-bath stressed, but headed-for-a-meltdown-stressed. Self-care still makes the top of my list during times like these, but the thing that helps me the most is remembering to stay in a state of gratitude. Perspective is everything, right? If your perspective is that you’re lucky, blessed and surrounded by goodness, then all the better. That’s exactly what gratitude does for me and it’ll totally do the same for you. So, what’s my plan?

This month, because I knew things typically step up their game in the stress department, I decided it was a good idea to give myself a daily challenge. Something that would allow me to focus on one thing that I was over-the-moon-thankful for and write about it. Then, after receiving some advice from a mentor and realizing I wasn’t making time for creative endeavors, I married the concept with my camera and decided to turn it into a 30 day photo project, and though I’ve only been at it a week, it’s already helping.

Each day I’m taking time to look around for things that represent a theme, be it friendship, love, joy, etc. and I’m snapping it’s picture. Then, I write a short paragraph about why it means something to me and what I’m specifically thankful for about it, and posting it on my Facebook page and on Instagram to share with others. It’d just be so fantastic to set off a chain-reaction of thankful thoughts that make their lives better, too.

It’s not too late to play along. Below, I’m posting the list of themes I’m using if you want to join me, but know that there are no rules for feeling gratitude. You can just post one photo a day of anything that make you feel thankful and that will absolutely do the trick. Feel free to post some of your photos in the comments below, or play along on your own social media accounts in any way that will help you feel happy. Don’t forget to like my Facebook page and follow me on Instagram, if you want to see what I’m grateful for this month!

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Wishing You Total Well-Being,

Jennifer

P.S. Did I mention how grateful I am that you stopped by to read this? I am. So grateful.

The Surprising Connection Between Gratitude Journaling and Your Health

journaling     Hi there, Darling Hearts! I’ve been a busy bee the past few weeks.  I took a life-changing class in Craniosacral Therapy, spent an evening seeing a comedy heroine, and am about to check another bucket-list show off of my list in a couple of days. Since I didn’t want to leave you high and dry, here is the latest article I wrote for Inner Child Magazine.  Speaking of gratitude, I’m pretty dang thankful for the ability to write for such a cool publication.  If you haven’t checked them out yet, please take the time to peruse the website.  There are some very talented and beautifully kind-hearted souls over there.  I’ll bet you’ll find something to tickle your fancy.  Have a lovely week, everybody!

Wishing You Total Well-Being,

Jennifer

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With Thanksgiving being just around the corner, it’s not uncommon for people to focus their thoughts on thankfulness. That feeling of warmth and happiness we gain when we gather around a holiday feast and share the things we have been most thankful for is doing more for our health than we realize. Scientific research points to the practice of keeping a gratitude journal as a viable way to maintain health and good feelings year round.

 

In April of this year, the American Psychological Association published findings which showed that those who practiced gratitude on a regular basis experienced a better overall mood, slept better, suffered from less fatigue and experienced lower levels of inflammation, as it related to cardiac health. Dr. Paul J. Mills of the University of California took 186 men and women in Stage B heart failure and split them into two groups. One group received regular medical care and wrote down things each day that fostered a feeling of thankfulness, while the other group only received regular medical care. The group that utilized a gratitude journal and wrote down three things they were thankful for daily for 8 weeks not only had significant overall improvement in their health and well being, but experienced a marked improvement in the inflammatory response that contributed to their heart disease.*

 

Two leading researchers in the field of Positive Psychology, Dr. Robert A. Emmons of the University of California and Dr. Michael E. McCullough of the University of Miami, conducted a study in which their participants were split into two groups and asked to journal weekly for 10 weeks. The first group was asked to review their week and write about things that upset them or caused them stress and the other group was asked to write about things that they were grateful for during their weekly review. When the 10 weeks concluded, those who wrote about the things they were thankful for were overall more optimistic and had a better outlook on life. Interestingly, they also exercised more and had fewer visits to the doctor than the group who focused on stress and annoyances.**

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Ready to get started cultivating gratitude? You don’t need a doctor to start this healthful and helpful practice. You don’t even need a traditional journal. While many enjoy the tactile experience of handwriting their blessings into a beautiful blank book, others may enjoy keeping an on or offline journal of their thoughts on a computer or tablet. There are even phone apps which allow you to take a moment for gratitude literally anywhere you may be. The tip amongst researchers and writers that stands out the most? No matter which platform you choose for your writing, focus on quality vs. quantity. The more specific you can be about the qualities of the person, place or thing you are thankful for, the better benefit it will have on your overall well being and the more it seems to generate similar feelings of gratitude for other things in your life. Happy thanks-giving!

 

 

 

*http://www.apa.org/pubs/journals/releases/scp-0000050.pdf

 

**http://greatergood.berkeley.edu/pdfs/GratitudePDFs/6Emmons-BlessingsBurdens.pdf

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