Today's Daily Health Challenge was to name your five best traits or talents. This was very hard. I do realize that we all criticize ourselves far more than we should but I found myself seeing some of my best traits as also some of my worst. Yesterday, I was looking over a cleansing diet and program meant to rid your body of all of the toxins and other nasty things that we hold onto. Most of the toxins came from processed foods or household and environmental pollutants but there was an entire section devoted to meditation, journaling and yoga to help make us aware of all of the emotional toxin that we hold onto every day. One exercise asked you to list the five things that you most wanted to change or let go of in your life. First, I will put in my answer to the Daily Health Challenge and then below that, I will list at least five things that I want to change in my life.
My five best traits, characteristics or talents:
1) Artistic/Creative: My art and creativity in whatever form it takes....my earliest memories are of drawing stick figures, usually dressed in cowboy gear, on any surface I could find including my mom's walls:) Not only is this the way I've always made a living (and sometimes not,haha), it also helps me in other parts of my life to think in a creative way and come up with solutions to my problems.
2) Friendly/Polite: I grew up and still live in a very small town where everyone you passed threw up their hand in greeting and smiled. I still do that when cars drive by my rural home even when I don't recognize the driver. I still smile and say hello when I pass someone on the street and say excuse me, please, thank you, and you're welcome just like my Mama and Daddy taught me....even though it does occasionally get me some strange looks and one poor lady in the grocery who actually seemed frightened by my friendliness and willingness to talk to a stranger.
3) Expressing myself through the written word: I've had people tell me that I touch them with what I write. I've also had them tell me that I talk too much, haha. I think those two things go hand in hand because I write from my heart and try my best to express my feelings in words that will not only, I hope, touch someone but intrigue and interest them. I know that I don't always succeed but if I can help just one other person, who feels the same way I do or has had a similar experience, to know that they are not alone, I've succeeded.
4) Talking AND Listening: I may talk too much but I do enjoy a good conversation. For it to be good however, it needs to be like a tennis match with the ball going back and forth with consistency. I hope that I am always a good listener, too and that I can always hear exactly what my conversation partner is trying to say whether their words always convey their thoughts.
5) Compassion and Kindness: I try my best to be accepting even when I don't necessarily agree with someone. I try to always show kindness and compassion to those who need it and forgiveness to those who sometimes appear to have no kindness or compassion. My success at that last one comes in varying degrees.
The five things that I would like to change about myself that would change my life:
1)Certainly number one has to be being more active, exercising more, working with and enjoying my horses more, working on my art and working on my house. Everyday, I consider what it would take to give me the life of my dreams and my wants and needs aren't very complicated or very extravagant. I want to create more, I want to spend more time with my horses and work and play with them, I want to be more active and fitter which will lead to vitality and energy, I want to work hard enough and sell enough of my art to be able to pay off the debt that is weighing me down and have the money to begin fixing up my home again and then the final thing that will make me happy will fall into place, more of a social life, more time with friends and family, a home where I can entertain again and won't mind friends dropping in unexpectedly. None of that seems like much to ask for and I think that, if I try, I can start living at least part of that life that will make me happy right away. I can in a matter of weeks, get my new work area and work out area finished and organized so that I can start working on my art again with passion which will energize me. In the mean time, I have a large farm that I can walk to my heart's content on and start being more active. Now that the weather is becoming warmer and mild, there is nothing that is keeping me from spending more time with my horses either working with them or photographing and sketching them in the pasture. If I start those positive changes, surely the last two will follow or if they don't and I don't make the sells that I hope to, I will at least be happier and better equipped to handle the hardship and stress of debt and house in dire need of repair and refurbishing. Also, what's keeping me from going out more and being with friends and family outside of my house until the house is ready for guests?
2)I need to spend less time wasting time on this computer and the internet. True, I need to do more of what comes in at number 3 which is productive time on this machine but I spend far too much time checking Facebook updates and playing games. I need to concentrate on what's important in the long run not what gives me short term pleasure or a short lived feeling of accomplishment.
3)I've already said it, more productive time on this computer. I have so much software that I need to work with and learn. I need to learn my new web building software and redo my webpages which are currently in limbo. I need to finally finish the calendars and book that I've paid for and should have been printed months ago. I need to get busy not only with my business sites but with the magazine I proposed two years ago, The Tennessee Equestrian. Money hasn't come through for a print version but I need to get the online version created and launched in the next few months. Then, who knows, the money might come in from advertisers to finally make the print version a reality. I need to work more on my photography both photos and composite art. It's been months since I truly created anything and I need to learn all of the expensive software that has been sitting idle for two years so that I can enhance my art and perhaps come up with some new ideas.
4)This morning on TV, it was on CBS's Sunday Morning a favorite news magazine program of mine, they were talking about how few Americans get enough sleep and how this lack of sleep can lead to all sorts of problems. Not just the lack of productivity or slowing of response times that you'd expect but more serious long term problems like obesity and heart disease. There were several people whose only change was actually sleeping the recommended eight to nine hours a night and they had changed their lives and dropped a significant amount of weight. They said that they didn't use drugs to bring about this change but rather, removed all electronics from their bedroom (TVs, computers, radios) and lit candles thirty minutes before sleep as a means of relaxing. I'm planning on moving my bedroom in the next few days (hoping today but we will see) and we'd been discussing moving the TV and where we would put the large TV in the smaller room. Our old master bedroom is being converted to my work area and a workout area for the time being. We've decided to leave the TV in there where we can watch it as we exercise and watch the news while we eat. Having a table in there that we can eat at will eliminate another non sleeping bedroom activity that needs to change, eating in front of the TV. I'm sure that we'll eat less and converse more when we actually sit back down at a table where we're facing each other and not the TV.
5)That brings me to the last bad habit I want to eliminate or at least alter, TV. I'm obsessed with TV. Since we switched from satellite to Hulu and Netflix streamed on our Roku (aaah, our modern world:),)I rarely am in a room without some movie or television show playing on the TV or computer. I have shows that I've watched the entire series and in a very obsessive way, often going without sleep or avoiding work that needs doing or even getting out of my pajamas for most of the day and forgetting to feed my horses, my dog or myself. That is just plain wrong and I do recognize it as such and admit to being very embarrassed with the admission but it will change. I won't promise that the TV won't still be on a great deal but I'm going to do my best to always be exercising or otherwise active when I do watch and not just sitting there, still and mindless with my hand in a chip bag.