Mocha Angels 365. Day 339.

Kindness begins at home. Be careful not to rush into healing the world before you heal yourself. That will create imbalance within your world and leads to resentment within.

It’s taken me a long time to understand this message. Learning how to slow down, not fill my days with extra “stuff to do” (even though I always have stuff to do), and turning off the TV (see my most recent Year of Living Without post), are slowly teaching me to be kind to myself.

More on this topic tomorrow.

Mocha Angels 365. Day 337.

Saying “thank you” to God ahead of time is the easiest prayer because it works two ways. You can thank God in advance for the answer to your prayers. In other words, expect your prayers to be answered.

Also, say “thank you” for what you already have. I spent this past weekend silently thanking God for my legs, my sight, my health, my children, my mind, my connection with Angels, my friends, my family, and all the love in my life. I appreciate all of those things, and more.

Focusing on the good things in your life magnifies them. So continue to say “thank you” for the goodness in life as well as the prayers you have put out into the Universe.

Q-Bitz, Korner’d, and Qwirkle

Looking for great holiday presents for kids? I’ve got three great board games for you. Me and my teenagers love these games.

Q-bitz. 2-4 players. Ages 8+

This is a game of visual dexterity. It’s a simple concept: Match your 16-colored cubes to the pattern on the black and white game cards. This is how you play the game.

Round 1

With 2 to 4 players, each person gets 16 colored dice. Look at one black and white game card. Race to recreate the pattern on the card. Be the first player to complete the pattern and you win the card. This is the easiest way to play. You can always stop here because it’s challenging enough.

Round 2

Roll all the cubes on the table like dice and use as many cubes as possible to recreate the pattern the pattern shown on the card. Be the first player to complete the pattern, and you win the card.

Round 3

Players have 10 seconds to study the card. Race to see who can recreate the pattern from memory. If you have all, or most, cubes in the right place, you win the card. The object is to collect the most cards, and you win.

Korner’d 2-3 players. Ages 8+

Another visual dexterity game. Simple yet difficult. Each player gets 3 to 4 multi-colored pieces. Be the first person to match all your pieces on the puzzle board. It’s so much harder than it looks. My 14-year old can match all his pieces in about 60 seconds. Me and the 17-year-old, not so much. Every adult I’ve seen play this game has a hard time. It never gets boring. I love this game!

Qwirkle 2-4 players. Ages 6+

The object of the game is to make lines of tiles that are either all one color or all one shape. There are 108 tiles of 6 different colors and 6 different shapes. Score points for every tile played. Whenever you complete a line of all six colors or shapes, you have made a Qwirkle. The player with the most points wins the game. This game takes 30-60 minutes to play.

These three are wonderful games. Let me know if you buy them for the holiday season.

Mocha Angels 365. Day 335.

As long as you are breathing and standing upright, you have the power to create each day however you want. What you do with each 24 hours is up to you.

Most of us have jobs, children, and responsibilities. Inject some fun wherever you can. Make each day special because once the day is over, you don’t get to go back to do it again. Although sometimes we do get a redo! (That’s an inside joke.)

Don’t like what happened yesterday? Do the next day different! Bring what you love to the day. Bring you own unique style, passions, and desires to the day. Don’t wait until your birthday, or a holiday, or an anniversary. Do you!

A Year of Living Without (or Breaking the Chains of Resistance) November Update

Imagine my shock yesterday when I open an email from zen habits and the title is “Working with the Ebbs and Flows of Your Resistance.” I got the email on November 22. I didn’t read it until yesterday, November 29. Talk about right on time.

My challenge for November was to not eat nor surf the internet while eating. Sometimes I succeeded. More often than not, I did not succeed. I had no idea these were such difficult habits to break. I realized the noise from the TV or internet surfing distracted me from the present moment. Whether I was alone in a silent house, or in the house with my kids, or eating lunch at work, when I was eating, I wasn’t paying attention. I wasn’t enjoying the silence. I wasn’t enjoying the noise my kids make. I wasn’t enjoying my co-workers at lunchtime.

As zen habits Leo Babauta puts it: The resistance is simply our mind not wanting to do something that feels uncomfortable: anything uncertain, difficult, overwhelming, different than our normal way of doing things, awkward, painful, sad, lonely, stressful. It makes sense that we would avoid these kinds of discomfort.

Resistance is natural, just a sensation in the body that is a response to change, discomfort, uncertainty. Our minds have a hard time dealing with these things, because we like routine, comfort, certainty.

Here’s the thing: the resistance isn’t always at a constant, full-on intensity. Resistance ebbs and flows.

During the time resistance is at its peak, my task is to be aware of the resistance. Instead of running from it, I am to see how it feels. Is it pleasant or unpleasant? (Usually unpleasant.) I notice the intensity changes. The goal is to breathe through it. Smile. Dance. Laugh. Play music. Bring lightheartedness to the table.

So I will continue to focus on my food rather than television or the internet. This month, I am not watching TV except to check the weather. Originally, I wasn’t going to watch the news. I can’t avoid it at work as there are televisions everywhere. At home though, no TV for me. My kids will continue to watch it but I won’t watch any of my shows. I’ll update this challenge the first week of January.

Original post: A Year of Living Without

Leo Babauta’s Working with the Ebbs and Flows of Your Resistance.

Up next on Media Wednesdays: Three boards games that make great Christmas gifts. Wednesday, December 4.