Things That Changed My Life: 4-6


This week, I continue to give you a series of the very simple practices I have incorporated into my life that have, over time, changed it exponentially. I wanted this series to focus of things you could all do, in your own way, and easily share with the people you love.

Most people find themselves frustrated and overwhelmed, simply because they lack coping tools and mechanisms, thinking it takes money or massive chunks of time to be able to truly find peace, happiness, or relaxation. This couldn't be further from the truth.

4. My Gratitude Journal

My partner, my lover, and my best friend is a wonderful man who has given me so many gems, some of which you will find on this list. One of my favorite things he suggested to me is the incorporation of a gratitude journal into my daily ritual. Each morning before I get out of bed, I write down ten things for which I am extremely grateful in a little notebook I keep on my bedside table. It's just small enough to travel with, so I never leave it when I am on the go. I began this practice October 19, 2014 and nearly a year later, I like to look back at all the little things with which I have blessed and how all of them add up to one big, beautiful life.

5. Nightly Tea

Every night, around 9pm, after we've had our dinner and cleaned the kitchen, I get into bed with a steamy cup of hot herbal tea. I choose a calming, sleep inducing blend from my local tea shop or grocer, such as Soothing Caramel Bedtime Tea from Yogi, or a SleepyTime Tea from the market. It signals to my body that it's time to wind down, that the day is over, and that it's okay for me to let go––tomorrow is another day. This is the time I use to read books and catch an episode or two of The Golden Girls or Frasier. Sometimes, I use this time to be with myself if I feel I need alone time, or I spend this time catching up with my love. Either way, teatime soothes my soul and sends me to bed, peacefully.

6. Quiet

I have always been a nervous person, rattled by noise and movement, so I like things around me to be quiet and calm. The only thing that stands to disrupt my day are my electronics and the people on the other end of some of them, so I make it a point to unplug. As a general rule, my phone is always on silent except when I am expecting a very important business call. In such a case, once I have received that call, the phone returns to mute.

My landline doesn't ring either, except to answer calls from guests at the gate or emergency family calls, which lucky I have never gotten. With the help of AT&T U-Verse, I am able to create a whitelist for my home phone and that helps me block out those pesky cold calls from people trying to sell me The Los Angeles Times.

Most recently, I stopped turning on my television during the day and saved my TV watching for the evenings, if ever. My Macbook and iPad are also on silent, by the way, and the only noise I contend with during the day is the noise I either make or decide to let in. I spend more time reading and writing, researching, and making plans. I am never distracted and no one has the power to upset my day with their excessive need for chatter. I am balanced and calm, all day long.

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