It is time again to say goodbye to another year and welcome in a new year and new opportunities. As this year comes to a close it’s important to reflect back on what this year has been like. There have been joys, heartache, trials, happiness, pain, struggles, victories, and a lot of changes for everyone. Life has a funny way of challenging us while offering us great days and bad days. I believe it is more important how we deal with what we are given than what we are given. Within every moment of pain, sorrow and joy there is a lesson for us to learn and an opportunity to either grow or shrink from the experience.
There are two things that ring true for me: life is not fair and no one is perfect. Both I am personally thankful for. Life isn’t about being fair it is about learning, growing and becoming the best human being we can be. With that said, thank God we don’t have to be perfect! If we were perfect then there would be no opportunity to grow and no opportunity to become a better person.
When the clock strikes midnight and 2014 comes roaring in take a deep breath and allow the thrill of the coming possibilities to wrap you in a blanket of peace. Take heart the best is yet to come! May this coming year bring you and yours blessing, happiness, and joy and may the challenges you face help to strengthen who you are and help you to grow. Happy New Year!
The best gift given is the gift of time and memories. My favorite holiday memories have never been about the kind of gifts I received or the amount of money spent. My favorite holiday memories are wrapped in connections and tied up with bows of love and laughter. When I think of the holidays, I think of my grandmother singing Christmas carols, the smell of cookies baking, and the time spent with friends and family. With all the hustle and bustle this holiday season, don’t worry too much about the time spent fighting the crowds or the time spent stressing about what to buy. Focus instead on time with loved ones. Create moments filled with laughter and love. Strengthen the bonds that unite us. Share a cup of holiday coffee with a friend. Walk the neighborhood marveling at the lights. Play games and share stories of past holidays. Take every opportunity to share the gift of love and togetherness. In the end it is not what we have that is the most important it is who we have been and the love that we shared that defines us. May the joy of the holiday season fill your life and the lives of everyone you cross paths with.
Public art is a great way to beautify our community and enhance our lives. Public art can transform an area and help provide a sense of identity to the community. Public art can be a memorial to honor those that we have lost such as the Veteran’s Memorial in Redondo Beach
Or the memorial to honor those we lost On September 11.
Public art can also be a mural such as The Whaling Wall
Os mosaics as in “The Ocean Steps”
or the new mosaic murals on Harbor Drive “Harbor Mosaic Wall”
In all of these examples our community has been made better by the existence of all these different types of public art.
A community rich in public art is a rich community.
In our journey to obtain and maintain happiness it is inevitable that we hit bumps and fall down. Let’s face it sometimes life sucks! There are things that you face that can hold you back, push you around, and knock you down so hard you feel afraid that you’ll never get back up. The one thing that holds true for me, even though it’s hard to hear in the middle of a crisis, is that time does heal and things will get better. When things seem so dark and your pain overtakes you take a deep breath and keep moving forward. If you’re in a crisis and feeling down remember these things that have helped me:
Lean on friends and family
Seek help if you need it, there is no shame in asking for help.
Go easy on yourself you’re human, which means you’re not perfect and you don’t have to be.
Reach out to people, don’t isolate yourself.
Look for any reason (no matter how small) to be grateful and thankful. This can help you turn things around.
Start a new hobby or focus on something that brings you joy.
Hang in there, the best really is yet to come.
What is true happiness? How can one obtain true happiness? Is happiness found or achieved? Through life there are many challenges and stressors that can make the journey to happiness seem impossible. Sometimes it seems happiness can be found in things or achievements; yet things are fleeting and achievements don’t last. A happy heart is found in a happy mind. Our mindset can determine whether we find our allusive happiness. Happiness lives within each of us we just need to unlock the door and allow happiness to flow freely. This does not mean it is necessarily easy to find happiness and it is a fact that we will need to reclaim happiness from time to time, ok maybe sometimes daily. I believe that happiness is a choice that needs to be made every day and defended dearly. I start each day with an acceptance that I can get through anything and that I want happiness. Then I seek out reasons to be happy and celebrate the little moments that help me get passed the obstacles that still come my way. I revel in connections with friends and family and strive to be better in all I do. I still have days where I am overwhelmed and stressed and even days when I feel like screaming. When I have days like that I have to reclaim my happiness and reset my mind frame. Life isn’t easy but happiness is worth every struggle.
Another summer is coming to a close. Days filled with sunshine, beach, and ice cream will soon be replaced with getting up early for school, homework and projects for the kids and balancing all the activities of school, kids and work for parents. I remember the summer of my youth fondly. I remember thinking that the days would last forever and I would never grow up. Now that I am a grown up with kids of my own I marvel how with each passing year time seems to go faster and the list of things that need to be done seems to grow and grow and grow. I traded in my youthful ignorance for a long laundry list of things that need to be accomplished and kids needs that need to be met. Now I seek balance and harmony amidst the chaos. Sometimes I find that not taking myself too seriously and ending the search for perfection helps to create a happier and healthier life. Seeking a happier and healthier life isn’t always easy but it’s a worthwhile endeavor. I try to keep things simple in what I eat and how I get more exercise, which leads to cleaner living which in turn helps with my stress. I revel in the moments when I break away and take walks with friends. I focus on eating more fruits and vegetables and look for every reason to laugh. Now that a new school year is upon me and I wave goodbye to summer I plan on refocusing my plans and staying positive. Today is a new day and I love the fact that tomorrow always offers me the opportunity to better and try harder. Bring on the chaos of the school year because I am ready for you. So, goodbye summer and hello school year.
Balance, they say, is the key to life. That is easier said than done. In today’s busy lifestyles that often includes long work hours, horrid traffic, family, cooking, housework, and let’s not forget computers, smartphones, and all other electronic gadgets it can be difficult to fit in exercise, healthy cooking, healthy shopping, and quality time with yourself and/or friends. Then there’s the pressure to be thin, beautiful, the perfect parent etc. (Deep breath) Life can be complicated. I think the key to happier and healthier living exists in the small things in life. Focusing on the positive, taking deep breathes, finding joy whenever possible and small changes with lots of love and patience for yourself. I think it’s a safe bet to say that we all want a healthy, happy life, but how do we begin? Start with a small goal, something obtainable and easy. This could be removing one soda from your daily routine for a week or take a short walk after dinner. Once you accomplish that goal add a new goal and so on and so on. Soon these choices become easier and you’ll feel a sense of accomplishment with every success. Healthy changes are made one step at a time. Keep a positive attitude and remember anything is possible for those that work for it. Soon finding balance will become easier. That’s not to say you may have to rededicate yourself from time to time. Just keep striving for your goal, never give up, and surround yourself with people who want to support your healthy and happy choices. To quote a wise man Dr. Seuss:
“You’re off to Great Places!
Today is your day!
Your mountain is waiting,
So… get on your way!”
Sometimes trying to live a healthier and happier life can be challenging. That’s why I love the Blue Zones Concept and the ideas encapsulated in the Power 9. For me it’s a little like a blueprint for navigating through life and seeking a truly happy balanced life. If you’ve never heard of the Power 9 here they are:
- Move Naturally
- Know Your Purpose
- Down Shift
- 80% Rule
- Plant Slant
- Wine at 5
- Right Tribe
- Loved Ones First
Trying to live a healthier and happier life is not always about big grandiose alterations to our lives. Sometimes small changes add up to big rewards. I appreciate that the Power 9 is about making manageable changes while focusing on the long term. A great example of small changes is within #1 which is about trying to increase the frequency and amount of movement we get in our everyday lives. Then there’s #3 which is about Down Shifting which is basically about managing stress and how we respond to it. Each aspect of the Power 9 contains ideas that are not huge in concept but when applied can have a huge impact on our lives, which is the beauty and the power of the Power 9. For more information and a detailed explanation of the Power 9 and how you can apply those to your life visit the Blue Zones website
The sun and people came out to play on Sunday June 9th at the SeaLab! The Art on the Wall fundraiser was fun and lively! Local restaurants: Tony’s on the Pier, Quality Seafood, Captain Kidd’s, Ruby’s Diner, Bluewater Grill, and Catalina Coffee and Café treated everyone to delicious food while the band Cool Blues played music at the perfect level. Not to be forgotten, the venue was fabulous!! The SeaLab opened their doors and provided such unique activities such as the touch tanks and the Water Treatment Facility. The fundraiser was held by The Friends of Redondo Beach Arts to help raise money for the creation of the Harbor Mosaic Wall. One of the Mosaic Murals was installed on the wall in time for the fundraiser, which gave the public the opportunity to see what an incredible asset this wall will be to Redondo Beach. It was a great way to spend a Sunday afternoon and we look forward to watching the Harbor Mosaic Wall come alive on Harbor Drive.