Posted in aspiring writer, change, chaos, happiness, kindness, mindfulness, new blogger, relaxation, teacher

how to get better rest

Listening to: Bad at Love by Halsey

As I’ve felt stressed by work and life, I started narrowing it down to a couple things that could help my level of stress.

 

I noticed I haven’t been doing life in the best way I could be, starting with how I rest and recharge.

 

I am tired A LOT.

I am constantly running from place to place; which leaves me no time to recharge to feel prepared for the next thing coming.

 

I am not willing to cut out any of my church groups, dinners with friends, or other extracurriculars.

 

I am not able to cut out any of my work and life responsibilities.

 

So, when I thought about it, all I am able to do is to get quality rest.

 

I’ve made some changes:

 

1. Schedule “Do Not Disturb” on your phone.

This way you won’t be distracted by late night texts, phone calls, and email notifications.

2. Set an alarm to remind yourself to get ready for bed at a certain time.

Make this alarm go off about 30-45 minutes prior to when you want to go to bed. Make sure you get all the things done that will help your morning go more smoothly. Set out your outfit, meal prep for the day, etc, etc. This will help clear your mind when you finally lay down to sleep.

Get into the habit of good nightly habits and routines. Just like you do in the morning, you should have all the things that need to be completed – I can’t sleep when my room is a mess, so I make it a point to pick it up before heading to bed.

3. Listen to something to help your brain relax and unwind.

Guided meditations are awesome or sometimes just a sound machine will do the trick to get some white noise. And guess what, there are apps for both! I like Aura and Sleep Pillow.

Sometimes, I just turn on Netflix and listen to episodes of my favorite shows (Friends or New Girl) to help me fall asleep.

4. Last, but not least, wear something comfy!

Pajamas are made soft and silky for a reason. The more comfortable you are in your PJ’s the more likely you are going to sleep comfortably. It’s like a mind trick for your body.

Posted in aspiring writer, change, happiness, mindfulness, new blogger, relaxation, teacher

how to survive fall

Listening to: Gorgeous by Taylor Swift (gross, but I kinda like it.)

I’ve told you before, fall is not my season.

There are things I love about it, but I am definitely a summer baby.

Refer to my previous post to learn the things I love about fall.

I feel like this year is different though. I am making a conscious effort to not just survive fall, but actually thrive in it! (I might have to thank global warming for part of it, because the warmer weather definitely helps.)

 

Here are a few things I have found are helping me with my SAD.

Because, seriously, going into work when it’s dark and leaving work when it’s dark is depressing.

 

Step 1:

LAYERS.

 

I’m constantly dressing for all seasons. I mean, it’s freaking Colorado…the weather is moodier than I am.

I just cleaned out three different thicknesses of coats out of my car yesterday.

Colorado weather is so temperamental, you can’t be prepared. I usually am wearing a tank under a sweater or something tied around my waist, with a coat on deck. Yesterday around 5 o’clock, I was sweating in my tank top; by 8 I was freezing in my down jacket.

You just never know, so it’s best to just be prepared.

Step 2:

Take advantage of said temperamental weather.

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If you follow me on Instagram, you know.

Every time it is warm enough to open the sunroof, I fully soak in the sunshine and heat. I’m obsessed with my sunroof and the fact that it’s November and I can still have it open during the day.

Step 3:

Buy cute warm clothes and boots!

So, I have a problem with online shopping.

Social media ads don’t help at all.

Cold weather is sweater weather….

and to bring it to step four… it’s also, SNUGGLE weather.

Step 4:

Snuggle up.

Purposely don’t schedule anything one day a week so you can sleep in and stay in bed with a good book and a cup of tea.

Get new footie pajamas and wear them like a boss.

Snuggle your S.O.

or in my case, cat.

Or for those days you can’t stay in bed. I like to snuggle up by drinking tea all day long in my favorite mug at work while wearing my Uggs. #noshame

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Lastly, Step 5:

Get out and own it.

You got your cute new clothes, get out and show off your cute fall outfit.

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The best way to survive something is to just face it right? That’s what I am trying to do anyway. Just get out and have as much fun this fall as I actively try to in the summer. I won’t let a little frost turn me away!

Show fall who is boss.

Posted in mindfulness

praise post

Listening to: How I Want Ya by Hudson Thames (Dawin Remix ft. Hailee Steinfeld)

I’ve gotta start this post with telling you about how freaking chatty of a group of students I have this year.

I have seriously 23 little chatterboxes on my hands and it is like pulling teeth to get them to sit quietly for even a small amount of time!

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They had to miss their morning recess on Friday because of their bad report with the music teacher on Thursday. To which we had a talk about before they went. I had told them things like it is embarrassing for me, as their teacher, to always get told how they didn’t follow directions or listen during their Specials time. I reminded them that it is frustrating for the teacher when they feel like it is a day wasted because they weren’t able to teach anything and had continuous redirection.

None of it worked.

When I picked them up from the Music Room on Thursday, the music teacher said that it was maybe one of their worst days yet! My class did not take anything I said to them and applied it real time. The music teacher let me know that there were ELEVEN interruptions (in a 40 minute chunk, I might add) and EIGHT different times that someone shouted out.

UGH. 

I have said it before and I will say it again, all of the most talkative students in the school pass through my classroom each year as payback for all the stress and annoyance I have caused on my teachers growing up. I know it. I’ll fess up to it. I still won’t shut up sometimes…I’m working on it.

So when Friday rolled around and all I wanted was a good report from the music teacher, I realized that I would have to approach my students in a different manner.

I tried meditation.

Meditation is tricky with six year olds. They don’t really understand the concept yet, they just see it as an extended period of time that they aren’t allowed to move or talk…and they HATE it.

You should have heard the groans and sighs when I told them to spread out and close their eyes.

BUT, I am calling this praise post because I have to give myself a little bit of praise!

During Friday’s meditation, I asked them to picture the music room. Then to picture themselves in the classroom, with their classmates, with the teacher.

I asked them to picture a successful day in music and what that would look like to them.

I said a couple more prompts, and gave them two-three minutes to just meditate on that image.

GUESS. WHAT.

They had a “SUPER” day in music that day. Their teacher said that they were able to get everything done that they needed too and their day on Friday “definitely made up for the day they had before”.

I was so happy for them! I let them know how proud I was of them and asked them to reflect on how hearing what was said about them made them feel.

 

It was a proud teacher moment for me, that not only did they finally have a good report, but that I chose the right way to have them look within themselves to find how they would be successful.

I can’t wait to go about different ways to meditate with them as the year goes on!

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It has been a work in progress, but here are some meditational things that I have found successful with a group of littles.

1. They respond well with visuals. Guided meditations and metaphors will be your best friend.

Something that I always say to them is that when they are breathing through meditation they don’t want to tip their boat in their ocean (belly), so they have to breathe slow and steady.

Also, at the start of meditation, or when they are coming to the meeting space of the classroom, I tell them to drop their anchor. With their anchor they know that they should not be moving around and can rest their bodies.

 

2. Always start the meditation with **at least** a full minute of just still silence.

This helps them settle into the meditation. This way they don’t have to focus on anything and can begin to just sit in their own thoughts.

 

& 3. Throughout the day, I try to do less talking and more visual cues.

On both ends. I will try to give out more visual than verbal cues. And I will ask for visual cues from them to show understanding.

Our class, as a whole (meaning, me too), is working on this since we all love to talk so much!

Mel bHL

Posted in aspiring writer, chaos, education, happiness, mindfulness, new blogger, play, relaxation, teacher, Uncategorized

photo challenge

Listening to: Feels Great by Cheat Codes ft. Fetti Wap

My favorite lyrics of that song:

Do you remember what it felt like to be young? Do you remember when we could be anyone?

I can relate to that on so many levels, and although I don’t think I am particularly old…I do remember feeling a lot younger than I do now.

I feel like I have become so focus on the “must dos” I have forgotten the “can dos” that I am blessed with. All I do is complain about how I don’t have enough time or money or sleep. This is what I am good at, trying to one up people on the fact that yes, I am overworked and tired too.

This week, I want my focus to really be what are my daily routines that I have overlook and take for granted.

Things that make my life mine and no body else’s.

Things like:

  • how comfortable my bed is
  • my BOSE sound system in my car (with the sunroof open IN OCTOBER)
  • the luxury of having coffee every morning to pick up me and get my day started
  • the fact that I enjoy running errands and cleaning so I never feel like I am doing “chores”

These are also things that can be on my happy list.

I just want to focus and recognize these parts of my life more frequently.

Bring attention to the good that I get to experience everyday rather than hemming and hawing on the daily stressors I have to deal with.

 

Because, I mean, I love my life. I just have felt very stressed out lately and focusing on that stress is not helping me at all!

 

So for a week, I want to challenge you to post a picture each day of the week, in black and white with no caption necessary, of your daily blessings. Or maybe you don’t post it…just take the pictures as a reminder of what’s good in your life. These are pictures of things, so no people, in your everyday life. (This wasn’t my idea, I saw it on Facebook, but I wanted to put meaning behind it rather than just posting pics.)

My first photo:

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If you do the photo challenge, find something different each day.

Tag me in your photos so I can see them.

@missmelissafb

I am so excited to get a little sneak peak into your lives!

Posted in aspiring writer, change, chaos, education, happiness, mindfulness, new blogger, teacher

colors of the wind

Listening to: Ain’t No Rest for the Wicked by Cage the Elephant

Fall always gets me in touch with my Pocahontas passion. I don’t know if it’s the sunflowers, the wind in my hair, or the colors of the wind… aka, fall leaves everywhere.

I feel more in touch with nature too. I think it’s the bright colors popping up everywhere and the fact that pumpkin patches and corn mazes are a thing.

“Fall is a second spring, where every leaf is like a flower.”

I love greenery and the freshness of spring, but there are somethings I am starting to love more about fall. I love boots, flannels, and warm drinks. I love the contrast of the red and yellow leaves. And most importantly, I love feeling like Pocahontas atop the cliff with her hair blowing in the wind and the leaves flowing all around her.

disney-pocahontas

Of course, all the beautiful leaves falling to ground to soon be raked up means that the cold is coming. That is the part I dislike. I don’t like all of the sunflowers dying. I don’t like seeing the trees starting to bald. And I sure as heck don’t like the cooling of the weather.

I’ve already explained how I get SAD when the weather starts to change, but I recently read a book to my students that really resonated with me in a HUGE way. It was nominated for a CCBA last year and I think that it is just so simple but goes so deep.

Little Tree by Loren Long

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To give you a little summary of the book, it is about a tree who refuses to let its leaves fall even after they die. It watches all of the other trees grow big and strong while the squirrels play in their branches, but none play in its. It wants what all the other trees have, but is not willing to give up everything that it has known and drop its leaves. All it longs for is to be like the others.maxresdefault

This little tree struggles through to the end, until it comes to a huge realization:

sometimes, you need to let go in order to grow.

This of course, as always, easier said than done. But it is great imagery in this book, and Loren Long did a tremendous way of creating this theme in such a basic demeanor. I am so in love with this book and how it can teach children mindfulness and to stop dwelling on the past or some small moment in their life. But then I am humbled by the way it continues to teach me a little bit about myself and my struggles each time I read it.

I HIGHLY suggest you take the time to read this book to your kiddos if you have them, if not, check it out for yourself. Seriously. It is written amazingly.

I was ready to read it again…

…then I found this:

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& I knew autumn is going to be my new favorite season and I am ready to grow through it.

 

grow through what you go through.

Mel bHL

 

 

Posted in aspiring writer, change, chaos, happiness, kindness, mindfulness, music, play, summer, teacher, travel

sweater weather playlist.

Listening to: See Below

 

One of my favorite things about summer time is driving with my sunroof open, bumping music loud enough that I can’t hear my own terrible singing voice.

Thanks to global warming, I have been able to do this the past weekend even though it is the middle of October!

I try to take advantage of any day above 65 degrees and open my sun roof. It’s like I talked about keeping small moments to remind me of my summer vacation keep me going through the rest of the year.

Then at church this weekend, I was asked an ice breaking question:

“If you were planning your own three day music festival, who would be your three headliners?”

 

Oh my, did this snowball into effect for the rest of my weekend.

As a music enthusiast, I had to, of course, take the answer to the next level.

*I have now planned a three day music festival, with lineups and setlists. I just need to tighten up some plans on location and I am finished!

Just to give you a little insight. Here are my three headliners.

Day 1: Nicki Minaj

Day 2: Big Sean

Day 3: Childish Gambino (of course)

 

Well all this thinking about music, made me be a lot more mindful into the fact if I had limited choices, what would I choose to create my happiness for that moment.

YOU CAN PRACTICE MINDFULNESS WHILE LISTENING TO MUSIC IN THE CAR.

I’m telling you, there are so many reasons to love mindfulness practice and no reason why you shouldn’t!

 

I have created a fall playlist for when I am getting SAD and looking for some day brightening and something to uplift my spirits.

That’s all I’m going to say about that.

Listen if you please.

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Thirty songs, carefully selected and put in an order I think will tickle your eardrums and leaving you feeling warm inside.

I named the playlist: 

Warm Drinks and Hood Beats ?

  1. Bed Peace by Jhene Aiko ft. Childish Gambino (…obviously)
  2. Lost Boy by Ruth B.
  3. Two Ghosts by Harry Styles
  4. I See A Victory by Kim Burrell and Pharrell
  5. Sober Up by AJR
  6. In Common (Black Coffee Remix) by Alicia Keys
  7. Hero by Amine
  8. Give Love by Andy Grammer
  9. Home Alone by Ansel Elgort
  10. Lovelier than You by B.o.B
  11. The Way I Are by Bebe Rexha
  12. Formation by Beyonce
  13. Me and Your Mama by Childish Gambino
  14. Marry You by Bruno Mars
  15. Eternal Sunshine by Jhene Aiko
  16. Sunday Morning Jetpack by Big Sean
  17. Sour Patch Kids by Bryce Vine
  18. Summer Friends by Chance the Rapper
  19. Pop Thieves by Childish Gambino
  20. Sunday Candy by Donnie Trumpet & the Social Experiment 
  21. Marvin’s Room by Drake
  22. Numb and Getting Colder by Flume
  23. Let’s Get Lost by G Eazy
  24. Pretty Thoughts (FKJ Remix) by Alina Baraz & Galimatias 
  25. High Again by Hoodie Allen
  26. LOVE. by Kendrick Lamar
  27. Driving Miss Daisy by Logic
  28. Love Galore by SZA
  29. Slow Motion by Trey Songz
  30. Colors by Yuna

I’ll gladly send anyone the playlist on Apple Music…but for whatever reason, my iTunes isn’t working on my computer right now!

 

Grab yourself a London Fog or Latte and happy listening!

Mel bHL

Posted in aspiring writer, change, chaos, education, happiness, kindness, mindfulness, new blogger, play, relaxation, teacher, Uncategorized

Hocus Pocus: let’s focus

Listening to: Good Times by All Time Low

Isn’t it weird to understand the necessity of mindfulness in young children, but not understand it for ourselves. If you are wanting to teach your children about mindfulness, or just need a little kickstart/refresher yourself, take these steps.

The way I have been instilling mindfulness in my students is very slowly and gradually, just as I would teach them anything. You can’t learn to read and write if you don’t know your alphabet and letter sounds. You can’t learn to add and subtract, if first you are unable to count and represent values.

You can’t gain control of your emotions, if at first you are not mindful of their origin.

 

Baby steps.

We started with learning about different parts of the brain. What they are called and what they control.

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I used the book, Your Fantastic Elastic Brain by JoAnn Deak.

Once they realize how small the part of the brain that controls their emotions (Amygdala) compared to the “smart part” of their brain (Prefrontal Cortex) they start to figure out they have more control over their feelings than they think!

 

Secondly, I taught them the importance of breathing. This was a tricky one.

It was tricky for a couple reasons, you can’t really regulate a six year olds breathing in a group of 28 and also, because they don’t see the value in deep breaths. It becomes a contest of who can breathe the loudest…smh.

There are a couple ways to introduce mindful breathing. We would close our eyes and count to three while breathing in and out. “Birthday breaths” are a great way to teach the visual of how deep to get the breaths. Inhaling to fill your lungs like balloons, then exhaling like you are blowing out candles on a cake. The last and I think the most successful way of breathing is having them take “belly breaths”. When I want them to become centered and calm down during transitions, one hand on their chest and one on their belly so they can feel their inhales and exhales. We usually do about three of these. Sometimes we do them standing up, sitting down, or even some days laying down…depending on their moods.

 

We’ve also done mindful movement with yoga poses, and mindful listening with a bell and focusing on only listening to one thing at a time.

This stemmed in to me teaching a short life lesson about how sometimes things are best completed or experienced when one thing is focused on at a time. Sometimes it might just be listening, drawing, writing, reading, etc.

Already at the ripe age of six, so many of my students are focused on the end product. If I ask them to do one little task, they don’t comprehend how to do it or are anxiously anticipating the next job, that the first one gets done sloppily, without quality or concentration.

Of course, you know I’m going to have an adult application…

When I was teaching my kids about focusing on one thing at a time, I realized how many times in my own life I try to multitask. I’m watching Moana, texting friends making plans, online shopping, all while writing this blog. To say I multitask most times of the day is an understatement.

Part of my mindful future is taking my own advice and focussing on one task at hand. This is difficult for me as I am a chronic busy body. There is always so much to be done and never enough time!

 

I declare to start from this day forward to try to focus on one thing at a time and complete it with quality I can be proud of. I mean, doesn’t everyone always say quality over quantity? Shouldn’t that go for any completed task…I’d say so.

Whether it’s listening attentively to a conversation, planning lessons for the week ahead, or running errands; I think I can do each thing better by focusing on one task at hand at a time.

Focus on the little things in life and all the things will be of greater value.

What are you not putting enough focus on in your life?

 

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Photo cred for featured image: Allyson Coan

Posted in aspiring writer, change, education, fitness, happiness, mindfulness, new blogger, play, summer, teacher, Uncategorized

5 Ways to be Mindful now that it’s Fall

Listening to: Lay Me Down by Dirty Heads

The temperature has dropped (tremendously), October is basically here, and I broke out my Uggs for the first time of the season today, sure signs that Autumn is upon us.

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Some other signs for my life that I know fall is here:

  • Farmer’s Markets are becoming few and far between
  • I layered my jackets today
  • It is even harder for me to wake up because it’s darker in the morning
  • I have no motivation to leave the house after 7pm
  • I want all the warm drinks (wait for my new favorite drink at the end of this post)

 

One of the biggest indicators of fall – I’m tired ALL. THE. TIME.

I feel like drinking hot beverages in my sweats 24/7. But I have to work, so no such luck on being in my sweats all day.

Fall is not my favorite season, mostly because it means summer bliss is over and winter is quickly approaching. Some people have seasonal affective disorder, I don’t think that I would call it that, but I do get upset when I don’t get to see the sun everyday.

I am a work in progress and I strive for progress over perfection, so don’t think that I am a pro at all these things because I am DEFINITELY not.

This is a list that I know will help me with wanting to be lazy on rainy, dreary days, much like it was in Denver this past weekend.

1. Set up morning routines before you go to bed

  • Pick out and layout your outfit for the next day
  • Know where your coffee will be coming from (today mine was Starbucks)
  • Set your alarms for success – this is something I need a lot of work on – if you have any tips for me, please send them my way.

2. Stay active

  • Trust me, I don’t work out…rarely ever…but I know that if I started I would be less likely to fall into winter blues
  • Being active can mean being productive. Stay on top of your to do list and try not to procrastinate
  • It can also mean, staying active with friends…venture out of the house – go do things

3. Dress appropriately for the weather

  • As a person who loves her jean shorts, tanks, and sneakers, this one is difficult for me
  • When you dress warmly, being out and about really isn’t that bad. It was rainy and 40 degrees while I was working the farmers market yesterday. Because I planned ahead and was dressed for it, I didn’t mind standing outside all day.
  • Yes coats can totally ruin an outfit, but Uniqlo has made being warm pretty not so terrible.

4. Keep your spaces cheerful

  • Stemming off my post from last week decorate the places you spend most your time in a way that makes you happy. Greenery and fake flowers (since I have no green thumb) works for me
  • Declutter and clean out what you are no longer needing in this new season. I found this great article on decluttering in a quick, easy way
  • Keep it light and bright – so when it’s still dark in the morning and gets dark earlier you don’t even notice

5. Find something fall-ish to crave all year round

  • Some people are excited for fall because they are obsessed with pumpkin spice everything
  • If that isn’t you, like me, try some other thing – apple spice? I just recently became obsessed with London Fog Lattes
  • Maybe it’s a new pair of boots or a cute jacket…

 

As quickly as it came, I am quickly trying to force my self to enjoy autumn a little more each day.

 

fall in love with fall. 

Mel bHL

Posted in aspiring writer, change, chaos, education, happiness, kindness, mindfulness, new blogger, play, teacher, Uncategorized

How to Love the Place You’re In

Listening to: New Rules by Dua Lipa

Have you ever felt down in the dumps?

Like you just can’t get out of a rut?

You aren’t enjoying your daily routines?

Have no motivation to make a change?

Because I feel, me too.

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This year, I decided that I wanted to really make my classroom a place I was proud of. I have been teaching in it for five years and I have never really taken ownership of it. I kind of just left it the way the previous teachers had it, and moved a few pieces of furniture around.

But this year, I wanted to feel different coming into it every day.

I took a different approach to it. I literally spend more time in the classroom than my house, so why wouldn’t I treat it like my own home? Anyone who knows me know that I will stay up as late as I need to on moving day to get my house set up. I like to have pictures up on the wall, my cute knick knacks on shelves, and furniture arranged so that it is comfortable to wake up to. My shelves must be organized and everything has to have a place before I can get a restful night’s sleep.

This school year, coming into teaching a new grade for the first time in five years I thought it was about time I changed my mindset about it. I want to be excited to go in to this room every day. I spend about SIX hours in one room per day, might as well like it. I am tired of feeling like Mrs. Trenchbull was about to come in and be pleased with the boringness that was my former classroom.

If you haven’t seen Matilda, I suggest you watch just that scene. I couldn’t hyperlink it because I couldn’t find it online anywhere! But basically Miss Honey has a very colorful classroom with student art work all over, but has to hide it and replace it with rules and monotone colored maps whenever the principal comes to visit.

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It might have been the time I needed to put into rearranging my space.

It could have been the money I needed to purchase things to make it “homey”.

It was most likely that I am lazy and was complacent with my work place.

 

I believe I may have mentioned before that I am an avid, obsessed shopper. I love shopping, I love crafting, I love putting a personal touch on things. So this summer, I  frequented the Target Dollar Spot often, as well as, the Dollar Tree, looking for cute things I could use around my classroom. From buckets, to wall hangings, I would spend $5 here, $3 there and then I wouldn’t be putting away my whole paycheck on decorations in one month. I also made out like a bandit when I went to Michaels looking for fake plants. The succulents were on clearance, SEVENTY-FIVE PERCENT OFF! Adding a few touches of bright color, a couple of plants, posters, and framed bumble bee wrapping paper has made all the difference in spending my days (or a lot of the time daze) in one room.

I also sweet talked our janitor to remove one nasty, fluorescent light bulb from each of the overheads (they usually have three) to make the room warmer and not so sterile. At the end of last year, I was also lucky enough to get new blinds that let the natural light in, but not the heat. And for the most part, we work with the overhead lights off and just a couple of lamps around the room to give us a calmer environment to work (remember my post on being the thermometer?)

I even took on the staff bathroom, attempting to make it more peaceful and pleasant. And actually got many compliments on my work!
mfmddncxc n xmdcncxdxxhxdhxdjjzxjzz,ssxdzzZ ssndxds cv,mvmdxkmxxjnzxkmmxckm¸kizddxscdk.kmj (Oops, sorry that was my cat.)

Anyways, here are some pictures of my classroom:

I am constantly adding things to make it even more welcoming and fun for the kids and me. I have realized that the kids love helping me decorate. When I bring something new in, if I am unsure of where to put it, they love giving me their advice and helping out. It helps build community and gives them some ownership of their learning space too!

This week your challenge is to decide what things you need to take out or put in to make your work place and space to love and not loathe. Make it homey, make it fun, make it lively. Make it fit all the adjectives you want to feel while you are in the space, make it yours.

 

You are spending the majority of your days at work! It can totally change your mood, mindset, and clarity when you turn it into a place that you can love walking into each morning.

 

 

 

 

 

Step 2: Make sure your house/bedroom/living space fits the same bill. 

oh wait…to be continued, as I live at home with the ‘rents.

later, Mel bHL

Posted in aspiring writer, change, chaos, education, happiness, kindness, mindfulness, new blogger, Uncategorized

&& i want to live happily ever after

Listening to: Surprise Yourself by Jack Garratt

When I became a preteen, I fell into a deep hole of angsty teenage years…and I fell pretty hard. **Picture Alice falling into the rabbit hole to Wonderland.

alice-falling
You know what actually now that I think about it, I was probably much younger than that… probably closer to 8 years old. I copped a bad attitude (one I’m still very much in possession of), and apparently had to apologize for being ungrateful on the regular. See Exhibit A below:

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My personal favorite quote on the second page, “Again sorry about how I acted.”

So in my mom’s last ditch effort to rescue me from an adulthood where I am referred to a b!*$% in many situations (she failed), she gave me this book:FullSizeRender 4 copy

 

I stumbled upon this book just the other day and had a spare minute to skim through it. It is a book made up of one continuous list. Literally, that’s it, just one long list.

Why didn’t I think of a list to be my first publication?  What a novel idea…

So as I was reading it, I starred some that I hadn’t thought about, underlined some that I agreed with and crossed out some things that do not make me happy. As I eliminated items on the list, I thought it would be a good exercise to replace them with something that I think is unique to myself and my own happiness.

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This got me to thinking, I should just start my own list of things that make me happy. I don’t know if I’ll get to 14,000 anytime soon, but I sure am going to try.

One thing you should know about me is that I have a slight problem with shopping, *period*, but also buying notebooks and journals. See Exhibit B below:

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So I have decided to start a happiness list to keep as a coffee table book so it can always be added to and looked at when necessary.

I want to focus on the good in life, rather than always getting worked up over what gets me down. Who is with me? We are all guilty of it, but let’s make a conscious decision to change it.

Start happiness lists wherever you need to see it:

  • on the bathroom mirror
  • at your work desk
  • in your phone
  • in your planner
  • on a t shirt

…shoot, just start a list!

Or maybe it’s not a list you need, its little sketches of things that make you happy, or print out pictures of the things that make you happy.

Seeing what makes you the most happy, will program your mind to focus on them and keep them at bay in your mind. And with all this craziness going on in the world, couldn’t we use a little more focus on the good?

Focus on the good and focus on the now. What makes you happy right this instant. Jot a few things down. Every chance you get a still moment ask yourself the question, “what is currently putting a smile on my face?” If the answer is nothing, look to one of your lists, glance at the picture next to your computer, close your eyes and go to your happy place…

 

I mean, I still have a bad attitude,

but at least I know what makes me happy…

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Here is the start of my list:

  • making people laugh
  • baby smiles
  • fresh foods
  • cool beverages on a hot day
  • new friends
  • thoughtful gifts
  • free time
  • fresh coffee
  • unwarranted compliments

 

I’m thinking of bullet journaling my list and adding fun stickers, pictures, etc., because that would make me happy :).

 

& on that note, have a wonderful Monday.

Mel bHL