Find me at GREATful Living.com!!

Thanks to everyone who started following me at this GREATful Life!  I want to let you know that this GREATful Life has evolved beyond just the GREATful Life blog into a personal wellness practice at GREATful Living.  I have learned A LOT about myself through personal growth in mind, body and spirit wellness and I can’t keep it to myself!  I have to share with others!  Pop over to GREATful Living.com and follow GREATful Living on Facebook to learn more and start living YOUR GREATful Life today!!

relaxation

Yours GREATfully,

Erika Lee

Big Ideas

Follow your big (and little) ideas, even if they seem a little crazy at times, who knows what could happen!big ideas, believe in your ideas

Could it be? A Cure for the Sunday Night Blues

Did I just find a cure for the Sunday night blues?!  You know, that gut wrenching feeling you get when the weekend is almost over and for some reason you just aren’t looking forward to the week ahead.  Don’t worry, it happens to the best of us!    I  used to think it was just me too, until two of my girlfriends on separate accounts told me about their Sunday night blues… make’s sense that this would be a common thing, I thought.  The Cure…

GET UP and DANCE, MOVE around! Get all the nervous, anxious, whatever you want to call them, jitteries OUT of you!  Worried that your husband/wife or kids will think you’re crazy!?… who cares what they think!  Tell them to join you for a Sunday night dance party!

My song choice for tonight –  God’s Great Dance Floor by Chris Tomlin.  A perfect upbeat, uplifting song for shaking out those Sunday night blues and re-setting your outlook for the week ahead.

The Secret to Happiness

Why is it such a challenge to live each and every day to its fullest as if it were our last?  I know that God gave us this life so that we may rejoice and be glad in it, but somehow the inevitable creeps in and we are clouded in a fog of worry.   Worry in our work, or lack there of.  Worry in what people are thinking of us.  Worry in what others are doing around us, or what we’re doing around others.  Financial worries.  Health concerns.   These are all components of the inevitable, the unavoidable “things” of life that consume our thoughts and cloud our heads.  With everything we face on a daily basis it’s not hard to see how easily we can go into tunnel vision, forgetting about the big picture, which is ironically the smallest and simplest of things that touch our lives every day.

I want to see and hear the birds on my morning walk to work.  I want to see the friendliness of the barista who greets me with open-arms and a smile when I’m buying my morning coffee.  I want to notice the expressions on people’s faces who are walking around heads buried in their phones.  I even want to feel the bitter Minnesota cold that pierces my face.  And as the days continue on, I want to see, hear, feel, touch and smell all that there is to smell, touch, feel, hear and see!  I want to use these senses that we often take for granted, these senses that not everyone is as fortunate to experience as many of us are.

About Time is a movie I recently watched that beautifully illustrates living our every day lives to the fullest.   The movie uses time travel to help us discover the secret of happiness in our lives.

If you’re like me and need help remembering to live life in the everyday, here are a few ideas to help you along the way

About Time – You must watch this movie if you’re looking for inspiration in this department! It’s a beautiful movie with many beautiful messages.   Little Miss Sunshine is another movie that, for me, releases stressors and reminds me not to take myself too seriously.

Take a yoga class– Yoga has the power to expand your awareness, taking you out of that tunnel vision state of mind.

Replay your day – Play the day over in your head noticing the details that you didn’t see the first time around, or remembering the moments that you want to experience again.  We don’t all need time travel to learn how to do this!

“ I just try to live every day as if I’ve deliberately come back to this one day, to enjoy it, as if it was the full, final day of my extraordinary, ordinary life” – from About Time

“All we can do, is do our best to relish this remarkable ride” – from About Time

secret of happiness

A lifelong mindset on happiness

Wow, I am blown away and totally inspired by this 13 year boy, Logan LaPlante, from Lake Tahoe. Logan gave a recent Tedx Talk on living a Happy, Healthy and Creative Lifestyle.  To have his mindset at barely a teenager is truly incredible.  What makes it most surprising is his forward thinking on the importance of carrying his youthful spirit of happiness into adult hood.  Recognizing that the typical adult doesn’t focus on living life in a way that makes them truly happy, he seems to realize just how much more out of life you can receive, and give to others, when you are living a life that you LOVE!  Yes, kids are naturally more carefree and generally “happier” so you might say it’s easy for him to say this now.    Most kids at that age haven’t gone through all of the experiences that turn one over to “the other side!”  If, as children though, we all had the mindset of Logan, I believe that as we grew up and experience the hardships of life, the curveballs that get thrown our way, the hardships would not be quite as hard.   Actually, I’ll even go as far to say that maybe, just maybe, we wouldn’t even encounter as many personal trials in life at all!   We would be less prone to energetically attract them to us.  A lifelong mindset  like this on living a happy and healthy life would, at the least, lead us in perceiving our hardships differently than we may otherwise, allowing it to seem as though we face less of them.

Christmas Playlist

Can you believe Christmas is less than a week away!!?  With a shortened time in between Thanksgiving and Christmas this year it somehow doesn’t feel possible that Christmas is in just four days!  I’m SO looking forward to a long week home for the holidays with family and friends; it’s just what I need.  I hope you are looking forward to the same.  But, before I can head home for Christmas, shopping must be done!  I love the Christmas shopping part of the holiday, busy streets and full shopping malls, choosing the perfect gift for the people that mean the most to you.  Awe yes, and of course the Christmas music!  Here’s my little holiday playlist for this weekend before Christmas.  My favorite for this year is What a Glorious Night, such a fun upbeat song for the holiday!  If you haven’t heard it before you should definitely go to iTunes and check it out.   Do you have a favorite Christmas song for the year or an all time favorite that has become a personal Christmas classic?

What a Glorious Night- Side Walk Prophets

New York Christmas- Rob Thomas

Baby It’s Cold outside – with Zoey Deschannel (from Elf soundtrack)

What Child is This – Third Day

The Christmas Song- Dave Matthews and Tim Reynolds

Last Christmas – Taylor Swift

Personality Profile

I just discovered a new (well, new to me at least) online personality profile called iPersonic.   It’s great because it’s free and you can get quick results.  The downfall is you are answering only a short series of questions that have a lot of statements grouped together.  This means that if not everything in that group of questions applies to you, you need to choose it anyway, therefore potentially skewing your results.   However with ANY personality profile it’s important to use it in a directional sense and not let the profile define you.  These types of profiles can be used as a means to get to know yourself better and a guide for self-reflection.  They shouldn’t be used in a manner to completely tell you who you are, because you may be some of what the profile tells you, but you are also so much more than that!

Try it out!

Wondering what type of results you’ll get?   Here is an example of my “Dreamy Idealist” profile type.

Dreamy Idealists are very cautious and therefore often appear shy and reserved to others. They share their rich emotional life and their passionate convictions with very few people. But one would be very much mistaken to judge them to be cool and reserved. They have a pronounced inner system of values and clear, honourable principles for which they are willing to sacrifice a great deal.

Joan of Arc or Sir Galahad would have been good examples of this personality type. Dreamy Idealists are always at great pains to improve the world. They can be very considerate towards others and do a lot to support them and stand up for them. They are interested in their fellow beings, attentive and generous towards them. Once their enthusiasm for an issue or person is aroused, they can become tireless fighters.

For Dreamy Idealists, practical things are not really so important. They only busy themselves with mundane everyday demands when absolutely necessary. They tend to live according to the motto “the genius controls the chaos” – which is normally the case so that they often have a very successful academic career. They are less interested in details; they prefer to look at something as a whole. This means that they still have a good overview even when things start to become hectic. However, as a result, it can occasionally happen that Dreamy Idealists overlook something important. As they are very peace-loving, they tend not to openly show their dissatisfaction or annoyance but to bottle it up. Assertiveness is not one of their strong points; they hate conflicts and competition. Dreamy Idealists prefer to motivate others with their amicable and enthusiastic nature. Whoever has them as superior will never have to complain about not being given enough praise.

As at work, Dreamy Idealists are helpful and loyal friends and partners, persons of integrity. Obligations are absolutely sacred to them. The feelings of others are important to them and they love making other people happy. They are satisfied with just a small circle of friends; their need for social contact is not very marked as they also need a lot of time to themselves. Superfluous small talk is not their thing. If one wishes to be friends with them or have a relationship with them, one would have to share their world of thought and be willing to participate in profound discussions. If you manage that you will be rewarded with an exceptionally intensive, rich partnership. Due to their high demands on themselves and others, this personality type tends however to sometimes overload the relationship with romantic and idealistic ideas to such an extent that the partner feels overtaxed or inferior. Dreamy Idealists do not fall in love head over heels but when they do fall in love they want this to be a great, eternal love.

What profile type are you and do you resonate with what it’s showing you?

Gratitude leads to a GREATful life

Being Grateful will lead to a full life

What better time than Thanksgiving weekend to reflect on how GRATEfulness leads to GREATfulness and how gratitude is a key component in living a GREATful life.

I don’t think that life can be lived to its maximum fullness without holding gratitude in one’s  heart.  Thankfulness is definitely one of the keys that opens the door to a rich and full life.  It’s not the things themselves that fill up your life, but rather the gratitude you possess for those things that will fill your life up.

This idea of gratitude leading to a GREATful life is not dependent on how many “things” make up your life.  Whether you find yourself in days of plenty or in a days of want you can practice the art of thankfulness.  When I say “things,” I’m speaking about any tangible or non-tangible factor that makes up your life:  love, acceptance, family, friends, sunshine, physical health, the newest electronic toy, family vacations.  You know it IS okay to be grateful for both the ability to walk on two feet or to see with both eyes, and to be thankful for the latest iPhone or the new car you just bought.  Be thankful for ALL the many blessings you have received and for all that you have, can do and can be.  In doing this I think you’ll find a deeper appreciation for the life you have been given and will find a greater sense of fulfillment, leading to just one piece of the puzzle that what will make up YOUR GREATful life.

What if life was a blank page?

create your own lifeHave you ever thought about what you would do with your life if it was a blank page?  What if you could create anything on that blank page that you wanted?  Maybe you’ve thought about this but you don’t know where to start?  Literally get out a blank page of paper and draw or write the things that come to mind when you ask yourself what you want in life.   You can get as creative with this as you want using art supplies and magazine cut outs, or you can simply use a pen and piece of notebook paper.

The key is to put down whatever comes to your mind no matter how big or small the thought/idea might seem at the time.  There are no right or wrong answers when doing this so don’t judge your thoughts, just put them down!

Want to take this one step further?  After reflecting on what you’ve created on your no longer blank page!  Pray about it.  Ask God and Spirit to help you along the way as you go after your dreams.  Ask God if what you’ve written/drawn down is in line with his will, and that he will show you how to move forward towards the light of life.

Have fun with this!  You deserve to live the life you imagine for yourself and nothing less!

Birthday Treat {yourself}

Today I’m linking up with Becky at Olives n’ Wine for Treat Yourself Tuesday.  What a great reminder that we all deserve to take care of ourselves by taking time (and maybe even a little money!) to treat OURSELVES well.

Yesterday was my birthday and I am happy to say that I took the day to treat myself and it felt GREAT!  The GREATest way I treated myself was taking the day off from work to do whatever it was that I wanted to do for the day!  My plan was to not have a plan, to go with the flow, living in the moment of enjoying the day and wherever it would lead me.   I’ve decided this is a practice I am going to instill for myself every year on my Birthday.  What better day than your Birthday to take a full day once a year (at the least) to focus on you and enjoy some “me time.”   Even if you’re not a huge birthday person (…maybe you don’t like to be reminded of how old you are!?)  I encourage you to still use that day to treat yourself with a day just for you.  This doesn’t mean you have to spend the day alone… it just means that you get to decide to do whatever you want to do, and be with whomever you want to be with.  I hope that spending time with family and friends is a part of that for you.

 I got to spend time with family and friends both the evening before my birthday and with the Volleyball ladies the night of my B-day.  The morning started out rainy and it was the perfect time to treat myself to a morning of sleeping in and relaxing around home, inclusive of the Today show, The View, tea drinking, French toast (so yummy!) and reading.  I then treated myself with a yoga practice in the afternoon and some good phone conversations with family and friends.  Oh, and my shopping trip the night before was definitely a treat.   It had been way to long since I had been shopping… I almost had forgotten how much fun it is!  I treated myself to some new skinny jeans and a couple great new long sleeve work out/comfy shirts from the Gap.  I love the GapFit line, great stuff for both working out and for casual wear on nights and weekends. 

Being it was my birthday I was lucky enough to get treated by others too (see flowers below:) )  I am blessed with such amazing family and friends, old and new, and am thankful for each and every one of you in my life.  Thanks to you all for treating me, and helping to make it a GREAT Birthday. Image