Three Fitness Fundamentals!

Over the course of the last decade, the fitness industry has been growing and living a healthier lifestyle has become a trending throughout the world. Each region of the globe honing their own methods, tactics and ways of training to strive towards goals to be physically fit. As a result of the trend, thousands of gyms have been built,millions of advertisements blasting in our faces and over a billion different online forums to research, “how to get fit!”
Because of my own personal background, people often reach out me asking where to start their fitness journey, what to do and how to succeed. Having so many options is definitely something to be praised, but it also can be a little overwhelming. That is where these three basic fundamentals of fitness,should be embraced so that your fitness journey can begin.

what it is

    For thousands of years there have been three key elements of a fitness regimen must be incorporated.

Cardiovascular exercise, strength training and active recovery.

    Cardio is typically the first thing that people think of doing to get more fit. Ellipticals, stair masters, swimming pools, treadmills and riding bikes are amongst the easiest forms of cardio to begin doing.Even though all of those may sound dreaded, they are unfortunately a must for anyone attempting to shed body fat and weight. Through cardiovascular work, you burn off fat, carbs and calories that are stored in your body. Then, in term will result in weight loss if you are burning more calories than consumed on a daily basis. There are several forms of cardio workouts that you can do, ideally you have to do what is best for your body type.

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    Try as many cardio workouts as possible until you find the one that you can consistently stick to, eventually you are bound to find the type of workout that is ideal for you. Who knows… you may even end up with a new “niche!”

    Strength training is the second fundamental that is crucial for a well balanced routine. Many people have altered their entire body composition and mentality through weight lifting. Although you may be intimidated entering the weight room, rest assured that once you begin to feel the positive effects from lifting you’ll change your outlook on dumbbells and squat racks! Losing weight is never an easy task, losing stubborn body fat is even more difficult. That is why lifting weights is something that should be incorporated in your fitness regimen, it will aid you in building a lean body mass that isn’t possible with cardio workouts alone.
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More important than pounds and body fat, are the other amazing benefits that come from strength training. Pumping iron, reduces blood pressure, strengthens bone mass (which reduces chance of osteoporosis,) increases metabolic rate, relieves stress and enhances mental clarity. That is just a few of the important reasons to grasp the gift of lifting weights.
If you’re feeling uncertain where to begin in this process, seek out a trainer at the gym, take a body definition class or even team up with a fitness role model that you admire to become more confident in the gym. There are several options to take in order to educate yourself on the art of strength training.This evolving fitness trend amongst the entire globe has made it very easy to seek out experts willing to help you get stronger.

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Lastly is the key part that most fitness enthused individuals fail to do, take a rest and properly recover. Just as important as working out and breaking down muscles, is allowing your body the time is needs to recover. Taking a walk on the beach or a yoga class to enhance flexibility are perfect examples of what “active recovery,” entails. Taking time for rest allows the muscle fibers that are being broken down to repair themselves naturally,lets your heart have a break from working in overdrive and the mind a chance to catch up mentally on all this it’s been exerted into.
Ideally you should take at least one day of complete rejuvenation a week. No, that doesn’t mean to stay in your bed or by the pool like a vegetable all day, but it does mean that you should not feel obligated to continually workout even in your body is telling you to let it rest.


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Our bodies are incredibly sophisticated, intricate and delicate. That means by working out harder and more often than necessary will only reap negative results, so don’t neglect that burning desire to sometimes do nothing. It is needed.

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This is just a brief overview of a well rounded fitness regimen, with a few minute facts of the benefits of exercise. Take these basic fundamentals and begin to apply them in your efforts to get more fit. Your fitness journey is ready to begin and now so are you!

Where2NextMika

FIVE Tips for Clean Eating !

5 Tips for Clean Eating

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Eating clean is a phrase that seems to appear everywhere. Whether you’re on Pinterest, browsing the web, overhearing people at the gym or looking through a magazine, it keeps popping up. Many people think of it as another complicated diet or some regimented way of eating, but the true definition is rather basic.

Clean Eating, or to “eat clean,” simply means having as many whole or raw foods as possible and balancing a connection between mind and consumption. Rather than looking at restricting what you eat, change the way food serves its vital purposes to your body.

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That in mind, clean eating also means that you try to keep your foods extremely bare and close to their original state; eliminating processed, refined and modified ingredients and letting your body thrive from your food’s natural nutrients.

Ideally, through “eating clean,” you allow your food to become a source of fuel for your daily regimen and in time adopt a positive attitude towards the nutritious food helping you to thrive in life.

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Another common misconception towards this way of eating is approaching it as anything but a lifestyle. Eating clean is not a diet, it is a lifestyle. Clean eating foods are not about less carbs or more proteins, being restrictive or intended to be regimented. Ideally, it is to be in tune with your bodies nutritional needs based upon your cravings, personal dietary needs, intuitive eating and striving to give your body proper nutrition.

Wondering where to begin, what to eat and how to thrive from your foods?

CLEAN EAtiNG BASICS

Tip 1 – Just the Bare Necessities

Stick to the perimeter of the grocery store because that is where all the whole foods are kept (ex. produce, meat, dairy). Read labels, as well. A great example is the difference between a typical box of cereal and a tub of oatmeal, go ahead compare the ingredients. Flip the box over and look right under the nutritional facts. Notice that the cereal has about twenty ingredients (similar to a science experiment), while the oatmeal has just one. “RED FLAG!”

Basic ingredient lists are the better the choice. Eating clean is an initiative to eat as many whole foods as possible and avoid the processed products. That being said, keep a rule for grocery buying: “Five ingredients or more, it doesn’t leave the store!”

Tip 2 – Prep Ahead

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Each week you should devote time to planning out your menu and preparing meals for days ahead of you. Buying vegetables, protein sources, fruits and nuts on sale will not only  help to save money, but also make your daily decisions easy. Portion your snack food into sandwich bags. This makes your healthy snacks just as simple and easy to grab as the unhealthy bag of chips.

Clean eating isn’t challenging if you make a plan and stick to it. If you don’t have access to a refrigerator during the day, you can keep a small cooler on hand with your prepped meals and snacks. It helps simplify the process of daily decisions and keep impulsive hangry food choices on a lull.

Tip 3 – Eat a Rainbow of Colors

eat your rainbowVariety is the spice of life, especially when it comes to eating clean. When you look down at your plate, you should see a rainbow of colors ready for consumption. Peppers, squashes, berries, apples and many other whole foods tend to come in vibrant colors. These foods are exactly what to pile on your plate, filling up on fiber and nutrient dense foods such as kale, broccoli or cabbage are going to give you satiety to keep you from feeling hungry.

Remember, clean eating is not about eating less, but rather eating more of what your body needs. Make it a personal goal to try a new vegetable at least once a week and find fun recipes that will work within your household.

Tip 4 – Make it a Combo Deal, Please!

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No, this is not a BigMac, fries and coke combo… it is a lean protein and complex carb duo, instead. Lean proteins like, chicken or fish, paired with brown rice and some veggies is a complete meal. If you’re anything like me, egg whites, kale and quinoa doesn’t seem appetizing for breakfast. Don’t worry, oatmeal, natural peanut butter and a banana is also a perfect combo deal! Most importantly here: always have a source of protein in every meal or snack to keep you full longer.

Tip 5 – Eat More Often

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One common trend with eating clean is having more frequent meals in smaller portions. This isn’t necessary for everyone, but it does serve an important purpose. Frequent meals, in smaller portions more often keep your insulin levels balanced and that hangry attitude at bay. After about two days into a diet, you will notice a change in mood. It’s likely that the dieter’s sugar is low, they haven’t had enough to eat and are really feeling irritable towards the world. Don’t let yourself to get to that point. Having those small meals throughout the day provides the satiety you need to keep on keeping on, without being slowed down.

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Eating clean is a wonderful lifestyle to embrace, one that you’ll reap only positive benefits from. Start to incorporate these five tips in your initiative to eat clean, stay in tune with your body as eating habits change and, most importantly, enjoy the rewards that comes from your efforts.

Mika Rotunda

Summertime and the dinner is EASY!

Summertime means socializing, which also means it is about time to fire up the grill and impress your family and friends with some new recipes. Here is simple summertime dinner recipe that will be both delicious and healthy, bringing the crowd a happy body and delicious night at your place!

Simply grilled Herb Crusted Salmon  

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fresh salmon filet

1 oz chopped rosemary

1 oz chopped basil

1 oz chopped parsley

1 oz chopped crushed red pepper

1 oz chopped crushed black pepper

1 0z chopped coarse sea salt

1 oz chopped minced garlic

Extra virgin Olive Oil

Balsamic Vinegar

Begin by combining all the dry ingredients in a separate bowl and a quarter cup of extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar in another. Stir until the all ingredients are blended well together. Place aluminum foil onto your heated grill, lay the fresh salmon onto the foil, then baste the fish with the oil mixture and then sprinkle generous amount of the herb mixture on top of that. Allow the salmon to have at least six or so minutes face up and cook on the bottom, flip and then repeat basting and herb process. If the fish still has the skin on, you can let it cook face up until thoroughly cooked to desired temperature in the middle, keep in mind that not everyone is a fan of sashimi! 🙂

Roasted Summer “vegetti” Prima Vera  

Veggie Prima

3 yellow squash

3 zucchini squash

1 red onion

1 cup cherry tomatoes

5 baby sweet peppers

Basil pesto

chopped garlic

pepper and coarse salt

    Begin by preheating the oven to 400 degrees. slicing the yellow squash, zucchini into either round, julienne slices or if you have a vegetable mandolin (Or vegetti available at bed bath and beyond). Then chopp onions, tomatoes and peppers and add to the squash mixture. Toss the entire medley with a 1/2 cup of fresh basil pesto, garlic salt and pepper and place onto a sheet pan. Let roast in the oven for 10 minutes, stir mixture and then let roast for another ten.

Serve the dish as if the veggie primavera as a pasta base and place the salmon on top,drizzling a with a little more basil pesto even add a little grated pecorino romano to really impress the guests!

Bonapetito, dinner is served! 

#Where2NextMika

Beauty from Struggle!

    Learning to find beauty from challenging life scenarios, is something essential for any thriving human being.

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   If you’re learning, you are growing. Which also likely means that you are experiencing or  attempting something that you’ve never done before. Which in term, is a blessing in itself.

But before we come to the realization of the blessings, there are many struggles we face! Faith, perseverance and strength are put to test, sometimes so strong that we almost can’t bare the strife dealt our way.

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These are times when you start to hear people say to you, “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.” Yes, to a degree that is most definitely true, but just as significant as being strong are moments of being weak. They actually go hand in hand with each other.

Moments in life of weakness, that leave us feeling breathless, can lead us to realize how truly blessed we already are. Putting into perspective how much in our everyday that there is to be thankful for. Most importantly,appreciating those things before they’re gone.

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Part of the heart of life is experiencing struggle and pain that makes us evaluate what we’re doing. Spending time and energy into things that attribute to the things we value most and how to trust God’s bigger plan for everything in time. This weakness is crucial in order to become that stronger person that we all desire to be.

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Unfortunately, experiencing strife often times leaves people with a astringent and negative outlook on life.  These are the people my mother always calls, “perpetually pissed off.” We all know these individuals, they walk around with their heads down,” woe is me,” in their words, and  typically carry a chip on their stone cold shoulders. Taking everything cast in their direction as another reason to dwell in negative thoughts and manifest the things they have to complain about.

Here is where you let the fear of becoming that “perpetually pissed off person,” help you to find the silver lining and beauty in every situation. No matter what is dealt to you in this lifetime, you take a moment to step back and reflect on the beautiful blessings that already fulfill your life.

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Embracing these moments of brokenness and weakness may change your mentality on life entirely. Instead of waking up feeling beat down and thinking about the endeavors of the day ahead you must face,you’ll wake up grateful for sunshine lighting up your bedroom. Taking each battle as a divinely disguised lesson that will eventually teach you a valuable lesson, rather than a breakdown. Lessons that you probably didn’t even know you needed to learn. Instead of preparing for disappointment, arising to the notion that there is potential lying in every opportunity that presents itself ahead of you.

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Never for one second allowing the struggle to become something that sends you into a state of negativity, but rather a chance of recollection to put into perspective the most important aspects of your life and build a more beautiful tomorrow

Instead of becoming the result of what happened to you, humble yourself, then become the success of overcoming what could’ve taken over your life. Today’s decision to embrace this moment of struggle as a disguised blessing. This is chance for you to grow and learn a whole new outlook that you didn’t know you needed all along.

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Find the beauty in your struggles today, your weaknesses are your future strengths. 

 

#Where2nextMika

Habits of positive progression

treeeee    Habit’s that we develop in life are the logic in which we base our daily routine around. Waking up happy or angry determines the direction of our entire day ahead. Life is full of ups and downs, we are all constantly facing decisions and things that either build us up or break us down. The difference that lies between those things is perspective on each situation. No, it isn’t always easy to look at the glass half full… but it is necessary.

Here are TEN Habits to help you develop a positive outlook on each day.

Let the past, remain the past

    Regardless of what has happened in the past, you cannot let that affect your future. Everyday things change, sometimes for the better. Therefore, dwelling on things you regret will only hinder you from moving forward in your new direction. Taking too much time to cope for the mistakes you’ve made can create a negative mindset, let go of it. Perhaps you need to ask for the forgiveness of another person or even yourself… DO IT NOW. Time to move onward without looking back, greatness is ahead and the past belongs to yesterday.

Don’t mind and Opinions of others won’t matter

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    People will always talk and everyone is a critic. Once a reaction from their opinions is displayed, an outsider finds satisfaction. Being successful starts with a confidence within yourself, knowing who you are as a person and having a solid foundation that can’t be cracked. Without fear of what other’s think or say, you should shed the light you have to offer to this world in it’s brightest hue. Some will believe in you and some will only try to break you down, regardless just stay true to yourself. In the end, that’s what matters most. Like my mama always said, “Dance like no one is watching!”

Everything worth having takes time, dedication and a sacrifice

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    Deciding what you want to achieve can be easy, the journey is the difficult part. Once you have acknowledged that you’re going to have to devote yourself entirely to the vision in your mind, every opportunity, obstacle and blessing you come across along the way will become the heart of your life. Hard work and diligence will eventually lead to the places you always imagined, so starting right now in this very moment… realize that every little thing you are doing is building another stepping stone to the garden in which you intend to reach. That time, energy and heart you put into everything, will pay off in the end. It will be something worth having.

Happiness starts with your decision to be happy

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    Have you ever looked at someone who always appears happy and thought, “why are they this way and why can’t I have that?” The answer is simple, it’s all in your head.Genuinely happy people don’t have some special super power, enlightenment or privilege. What they do have is the insight on a mentality to create a life of happiness. There is no amount of money, number of materialistic things you own or substance that can supply you with a lifetime of happiness, but a humbled and grateful attitude leads to perpetual happiness. Joy for life comes from deeper within, for me personally… it is God and being thankful for all he has given me to be happy about. Each day when we rise, we decide to be grateful for the sunshine illuminating our bedroom or miserable at the fact that the sun’s burning our eyes.

Either way, the decision to make yourself jubilant starts with the decision to be happy.

Overthinking is a Killjoy

    Sitting, waiting and wishing and thinking about every possible mistake, hijacks joy that your supposed to live in. Emotions are caused from our ticking brains, talking us in and out of scenarios. Life is like a roller coaster, in more ways than it just taking you up a slope and back down. Think about it…as a child I remember my first roller coaster ride, as I approached the attraction I stared in awe and then my mind began to race. “wow! Can I ride that? How does it move? This is so exciting! I’m terrified right now! How does it keep the people inside? What if it doesn’t hold me?” The final decision though, “LET’S DO IT!” I stopped overthinking, had faith I would be fine and found joy in the ride. Stop overthinking everything and savor the moment.

Smile, always and forever

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    Smiling, it is the same in every language. Opening the doors to so many possibilities, where the beginning of the love lies and hope that lives within you is portrayed! There is no excuse that we can’t crack a smile, even on the darkest days there still so much to grin about. Taking the time to look at those positives and smile like you mean it, WILL make an impact. For me personally, I have learned a lot about the power of my smile from serving tables. Random right? Often times people have stopped and thanked me as I am serving them dinner for smiling, some ask if I always smile and others have told me to never lose it. They are impacted by the simple gesture of welcomeness that came from a happy face, which easily leads to break the ice between a strangers. Keep that smile sunshine, because walking through life with a cheerful grin makes things much easier.

“”Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.”
-Leo Buscaglia

Remember the storm will pass and the sun will shine again

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    When the rain is pouring down on you and everything feels like a natural disaster, remind yourself that the storm will pass and triumph that comes without struggle is never gratifying in the end. Nothing can change the acts of God and occurrences that happen to us, but one thing I can attest to is continuing to dance in the rain during those storms can teach you a lot. Keep your eyes fixed on the sky, feet firmly on the ground and the sun will shine again soon.

Talk less and listen to more wisdom

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    Listening and learning from others is one of the greatest privileges on Earth. Genuinely being interested in other people and what they have to been through and experienced can change the way you view everything. Being open to other’s perspectives and gaining knowledge from the experiences they’ve been through can unintentionally teach you a lot about yourself. The world is continually giving us answers to life, all we really need to do, is turn down the noise around us and listen closely. One of my favorite authors, Ernest Hemingway once said, “I like to listen. I have learned a great deal from listening carefully. Most people never listen.” That my friends is entirely factual, so in order to gain wisdom we must seek out wise counsel, quiet our mouths and begin to learn everywhere we go.

Get the courage to grow

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    Change is something that can excite and terrify you,sometimes even at the same time. Growth requires us to be vulnerable and pushed out of our comfort zones. Once we acquire courage to step into a new direction we have to breathe deep and have faith to let whatever is meant to happen take its course. Regardless of what age or what it is that your heart yearns for, change is inevitable… so we may as well embrace it with hope. Life is a one time deal, so when we are about to launch we must make the decision to either fly or soar. With the right amount of courage… you can soar.

As you wake each day and now decide to make yourself happy, I hope that you wouldtake a minute to reflect back on the ten habits I’ve listed above and maybe even apply one or two of them at a time to your life. Developing these habitually, takes time… start slowly and be kind to yourself along the way.

Thanks for checking in,

Where2NextMika

Hold the Wheel and Drive!

DRIVE : an innate, biologically determined urge to attain a goal or satisfy a need.

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Drive is the force and fuel behind the pursuit of what it is that we are passionate about in life. Somewhere along the way, we begin to head into a direction, that eventually creates the reality we find our live’s existence residing in. And sometimes, we settle for something less, get sidetracked or get pushed to the opposite from what were initially striving for.

That right there, is when you hold tight to the wheel, steer clear and drive.

Since there is so much talk about this, “drive!”  I’ll keep all things relevant.

Perfect example of what I mean, a six year old a child watches their father pop up the hood of a Chevy Suburban, fix the carburetor that burst and suddenly became fascinated with the mechanic genius that lived under the metal exterior body of the family car.

Today, that is the mechanical engineer that is designing the family vehicles we are putting investments on and driving children to school in.That child discovered a passion they devoted their life to crafting and learning about and now, that drive led to impacting the world.

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Surely the mechanical engineer’s journey wasn’t like a Sunday afternoon cruise, it took years of practice and patience to develop and hone their craft. First it was watching their dad, then coming home after school and working in the garage, even building their first car from spare parts.Then came time for them to pursue a degree.

Now, this is someone who loved this field enough to learn everything from physics, mechanicskinematicsthermodynamics and the operation of machinery in an entirety. Yet, they didn’t let that long journey make them run out of gas.

Perhaps it only made them drive faster, press the pedal down harder and build a stronger engine to fuel their passion more.Surely they could have given up, the greased towel laced around their neck could have been hung and the oil on their hands washed off for good. Instead they persevered, like the little engine that could.

That’s where the relevance of this entirely directs traffic back to you and I.

Maybe you are struggling to keep driving for your passions right now. If your fuel gauge is reading low, the mileage your putting in feels like it is exceeding limits and a break down or to trade in for something else feels like your only options.. please

KEEP DRIVING. 

“I do not think that there is any other quality so essential to success of any kind as the quality of perseverance. It overcomes almost everything, even nature.”

John D. Rockefeller

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To continually move forward, without doubt, fear or settle for something is what it really means to succeed. Therefore please, continue to let the driving force behind your passion push on until tomorrow. You’ll get there, just keep your eyes on the road ahead.

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#Where2NextMika

Smell The Roses

the roses

Ah, the sweet nectar of a wild bed of  roses.

Elegant in structure, vibrant in color, untampered by  human fingers. Every petal still in tact. Such a simple yet, sophisticated appeal to the naked eye.

Like wine,  a rose ages with grace.

From the sun’s scorch, the flowers eventually wilt, like a fermenting grape, their brilliant hue begins to seep into a dark maroon color. Soon enough it appears as if life has passed the flower by and left nothing but a stale stem with thorns as it remains stagnantly.

What just happened?

The life and death of a rose?

No… you stopped, took a moment and allowed  the bed of roses to intoxicate your thoughts.

roses are just a name

Why don’t we do that more often? Seems simple enough, right?

Just a minute of our precious time, spent appreciating something of natural beauty. Something that doesn’t require a lot of attention to blossom, nor a vast amount of knowledge to value.
Just a beautiful flower. Something so effortless, yet so rare to, “stop to smell the roses,” that honestly we can’t even remember the last time we did.

tuscany

Perhaps this far too deep a metaphor that I’ve slurped the meaning out of, but for me… it translates to into life  easily. Everyday, all around us exists pure and natural beauty that we are guilty of taking for granted.

Truthfully it isn’t our fault though, right?    

    Living in a society where twenty- four hours in a day isn’t enough time to squeeze in everything  we’ve aspired to accomplish. Have we all  become obsessed with finding ways to get things done quicker, be more productive with our time and strive constantly for a more successful life? Somehow our daily to-do list’s scribbled on a sheet of paper  are giving us a sense of empowerment. 

motion in London

This is when we should all freeze for a minute, because it is time to smell the roses.

    Productivity is a great trait, but it isn’t necessary all the time. Actually taking time for  relaxation is essential  improve your overall well being. Therefore, start by  taking a “time out !” 

Suffering from a  case of monkey mind? Visualize in your mind a jungle gym and pretend your the small chimp playing on the monkey bars. Where constantly bouncing from thoughts, to tasks, endlessly and relentlessly going to the next without a break. Living in a constant stage of perpetual motion, giving the definition of multi-tasking an entire new meaning.

productivity

If you’ve found a way to utilize each passing second, then maybe you’re wasting valuable time. This will work for a while, but eventually it will exhaust you.

How do I know?

Through personal experience of course… moving so fast, needing to go 1,000 miles every minute and focusing so much on what is to come next.

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One very wise woman put it to me like this, ” When you’re so consumed on what is going to happen next, you miss the meat of everything… the life, the heart and the zest of what is really supposed to be taken from an experience.” After that slapped me hard in between the eyes, my next step… became to not  focus on the next step and enjoy the present.

a Rose

Rather than jumping to the next task on your daily plan, slowly begin to turn down the monkey mind  and be nothing but being present.

PAN OF ARUBA

Suddenly the sunlight on a dashboard won’t be blinding , flavors in a  dish will be richer than before, children’s laughter in a grocery store… unavoidably contagious, textures more intricate, the will of other’s  far more important than our own and moments of time not just whisking past.

Truly, a minute of feeling sublime.

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Most of all the roses will never have smelt so sweet and divine.

So, as I find myself submersed into the present moment today,

I am going to ask you… When is the last time you stopped to smell to roses?

#Where2NextMika