Finding Daily Inspiration
In addition to writing in my journal each morning, I practice yoga. Each day, my body needs some intentional stretching and breathing exercises to remember how to move! I have also discovered the power of just ten minutes of yoga and positive affirmation to start my day off right.
My favorite yoga instructor at the moment is Kassandra from Yoga with Kassandra. I will link her YouTube channel here, because that is where I go to practice yoga with her each morning, and she also has a website and her own app! If you are seeking some relief from anxiety, stress, or just want to start your day with a quick and easy stretch, I highly recommend checking her out! And the best part is, she’s got a ton of free yoga practices on her YouTube channel.
One of my favorite things that Kassandra has on her YouTube channel is her “30 Day Morning Yoga Challenge.” She’s got 30 videos of 10 minute yoga practices, each tied to a specific positive affirmation. I know, I know, this is all starting to sound a little woo-woo, but stick with me! This is nothing new. Somewhere, I’m almost positive it has been scientifically proven that starting the day with not only physical activity but also positive words is seriously good for the mind and body. And soul (I added that last part about the soul – no idea if that is actually a measurable thing, but it seemed appropriate).
My Favorite Affirmation
One of the affirmations that is my favorite of all time (although they are all great), is “I am unique and it is my greatest strength.”
I recommend reading that out loud to yourself, if you can. There’s something about saying it out loud that makes it more meaningful.
I am unique and it is my greatest strength.
This is one of my favorite affirmations because it is so true. Maybe like me, you have spent the good part of your life trying to be just like someone else. Whether it’s a family member you admire, a friend, a celebrity that you think has it all together, we all try to emulate someone, even to be like them instead of ourselves.
Why We Should Be Ourselves
The truth is, being ourselves really is our strength. Not only is it just easier to accept that you are you and that you will never be just like someone else, it is also a gift that you are giving to the world. To the people you love, your friends, your family.
By being true to yourself and your uniqueness, you are letting go of expectations, freeing yourself to reach your full potential.
How to Give Unique Gifts This Year
This time of year is special. Especially this particular year. There’s a lot going on. I won’t go into too many details, but I’m sure you’ve noticed there’s a lot of noise out there. It can get a little loud!
Every year about this time, we all turn our thoughts to the holidays, whether it’s to gripe about all the holiday commercials and decorations popping up everywhere or to start planning holiday gifts and gatherings, the holidays begin early and end even more quickly.
Along with advertisements and sales at every store, there are numerous articles, quizzes, advice columns, you name it, that ask the same question each year: What Kind Of Giver Are You?
This question drives me bonkers! Usually followed by a list of “types of givers,” it attempts to put each of us neatly into a box, leaving out the individuality of each giver and receiver.
If I’m honest, this kind of thing used to make me feel inadequate. I would always think of unusual gifts for people, then panic at the last minute and buy them something I secretly knew they weren’t going to cherish or keep for very long (usually because it was something cheap and not well made). I felt like I wasn’t being true to myself or the people receiving my holiday gifts.
This year, I’m going to try things differently. Through my yoga practice, I have grown to view holiday shopping very differently. I am unique and it is my strength. Maybe I don’t fit into any particular boxes when I choose gifts for the people I care about. Maybe I consider the unique wants and needs of each person I’m giving to, not what a random online quiz tells me. I think about the things that make my friends and family unique, and I focus on that when I decide what to give them.
Keeping It Simple
In another blog post I wrote several weeks ago, I discussed the idea of the KISS method and how we can apply it to the gifts we give. In fact, some of the most unique gifts I’ve received have been the simplest things:
- a little mason jar with a personal size carrot cake just for me
- a funny birthday card signed by my whole family
- a Rosetta Stone subscription (okay, not inexpensive, but pretty simple and not in a box!)
- a special mug for brewing loose leaf tea
And that’s just to name a few. Each person (or people) that gave me these unique gifts considered what I love most about life, and spent their time and money wisely to give me something I probably wouldn’t have bought or made for myself, but that definitely delighted me!
These were truly unique gifts. And that was their strength. They were simple, even (dare I say the word I’m about to say?!) EASY things for each one of the givers to do for me, and yet they meant so much!
Are you looking for a different kind of gift this holiday season? Would you like to support the Shop Small and Shop Local movements that have become so popular? These gifts can’t be found on Amazon, and are designed and made in the USA by small businesses.
Image credit: Night In Boxes
- Christmas sensory kit with a Christmas-themed book and numerous activities to bring children and parents together for the holiday season
- High quality hand-poured candles made in Charleston, South Carolina
- Cheery enamel bow earrings
- Cozy scarf in deep red color
This holiday season, throw out all expectations, both of yourself and others. Consider things afresh: what are your strengths? What makes the people to whom you want to give gifts unique? Let the authenticity shine through and you just can’t go wrong.
And remember: You are unique and that is your greatest strength.
This week’s Simple Gift:
Since I work from home and spend much of my time solo, I listen to TONS of music and podcasts, pretty much all day long. One of my favorite artists right now is BIEN. I especially love the song “Crowd Goes Wild” when I’m in need of some motivation and a second favorite is “The Best Part,” which makes me think of good times spent with my favorite person in the world – my husband! Their Spotify profile describes their music as “dreamy,” “colorful,” and “unique.” I totally agree, and hope you’ll check them out!