Life Changing Gifts For Your Sweetie

SAM_1923

There is just something about this time of year that is a bit all-consuming. Your mind and time get so dedicated to planning (or not), shopping (or not), decorating (or not), family (or not), celebrating and how (or not), etc, and underneath all that, for me at least, is the occasional surfacing of the New Year on the horizon. This also adds reflecting on your life, goals, happiness, health, relationship, friendships, career, etc, and prompts you to consider making changes.

That’s a lot of stuff to be rumbling around in a person’s mind!

Enter the karmic hand of the internet!

I happened to see this video of Tao Porchon Lynch, a 96-year-old yoga teacher (check it out here). Yeah, that’s right, yoga teacher. It was so inspiring to me and really got me thinking about other people I know that have lived quite a while and are/were still active, in good health for their age and doing things they love. I then remembered an artist I saw (again online) a few years ago, named Bernie (wish I could recall his last name), who had taken up painting in his early 70’s and now has a website online and sells his art – among other things). He was also telling a story about how he had gone to a class reunion recently. He noticed that many of his classmates had passed away and that the one’s who were still alive were all having multiple conversations about the past. This was quite a contrast to his life and conversations as he was so busy with his new hobby – art, developing his online presence and business as an artist, teacher and more. He mentioned the value of always learning and growing – taking on new things and following your interests.

Reflecting on all this, I started to contemplate the very best gifts parents and grandparents can give their Sweeties (and themselves!!) to teach them values and habits that will last them a lifetime and lay the important foundation for a life of more happiness, health, longevity and joy!! Sounds good to me!! So I dug a little deeper, found some recommendations from people who are over 100 yrs old, combined those with some other worthy suggestions ,and made this list to share with you to help you on your parenting journey. (If you want to read the posts that inspired this, go here and here.)

1- Cherish time with your family.  This can be done by modeling it to your Sweetie’s and creating opportunities on a regular basis that provide time and activities spent together. Do art projects, play games (I highly recommend a good game of tag or hide and seek, etc over electronic games), tell stories (both created ones and stories of your life or about your children, siblings, parents, grandparents), go for a hike & explore the fascinating world together, visit new places you have never been but are curious about (could be local stores, art galleries or museums, arts and craft stores, cave tours, go to the library or bookstore and get some interesting books about other people, cultures, places, history, etc. – get curious about life), build something together (legos, wooden blocks, birdhouses, dollhouses, ceramics), have family meals together and actually talk and check in about everyone’s day, create family rituals and traditions. There are many other options, but I think you get the idea – play, be silly, have fun!!

2- Value relationships.   They highly recommend saying “I love you”. If you have to, put a reminder on your phone until you get better about remembering to say it more often. (Personally, I think this can be said many ways in addition to the above, like saying “thank you” when someone helps you or gives you something or even shares something with you. As well as look for ways to help others, especially those dear to you. Show other signs of caring and affection by doing or gifting things intermittently – wash their car, text them a loving message out of the blue, draw them a picture with a love note, take them to do something they love or something new, etc.) It is also highly recommended to s-l-o-w  d-o-w-n and focus on each other, spend more time together and make it a priority to communicate with each other.

3- Consciously manage money.  They felt that it was important to save more and spend less. A number of them said they had not financially prepared to live as long as they have and that their biggest financial regret was not saving from an earlier age. The younger you start saving, even if it is a really small amount (like $5-10 a paycheck), the longer it has to gain interest or be put into an investment at some point to increase it’s value even quicker.

4- Incorporate regular exercise.  The most commonly cited habit for longevity was exercise, being fit and staying active. Have a commitment to your personal health and well-being. Staying active and exercising can involve mind related activities as well. Do things that you are passionate about or feel in the mood to do at least 1x/day. These can be as simple as watching the sunset, having coffee or a healthy fresh juice with a friend, dance to your favorite song in the living room, draw a picture; or they can take a little more time, money and effort, like attending a yoga class, getting a massage, getting flowers for your dining room table, etc. Stay open to learning new things and take chances and risks off and on to stretch yourself and see just what you are capable of. The more you can include activities you enjoy, are passionate about or find they really inspire and fuel your body, mind and soul, the more certainly you have hit the life jackpot!

There was also a National Geographic article (“Who’s Best At Living Longest – The Secrets of Longevity”) where studies revealed the three areas where the most people over 100 reside. It turned out to be Sardinia, Italy, Okinawa, Japan and Loma Linda California. Each of these groups were studied and looked at for the possible reasons behind this in hopes that the rest of the world could learn something from them. Then the overlapping characteristics were noted, along with the specific one’s for each location. The overlapping habits of living consisted of:  not smoking, staying physically active, keeping socially engaged, cherishing your family, and eating a plant-based diet. (You can see more about this study here.)

I hope this helps you and your family find ideas for a more fulfilling, long, healthy life for all of you and sets the foundation for an amazing 2016!!

Blessings to you and thank you for all the loving parenting you do; it makes a better world, one Sweetie at a time.

Hug attached,

Koolma  : )

 

When is the last time your and your family did something fun together?   What was it?   Do you have traditions or habits in place to create happy family experiences?  What are they?

We’d love to hear from you, so please share your thoughts and experiences in the comments section so we can help each other; remember, we are all in this together!

 

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