How is trust important in life?

We usually have two choices in life. We can either be fearful and expect a negative outcome or we can be positive and trust the process. Of course the second option is the hardest, but it’s also the one that will make you the happiest.

When I look at my dogs I’m amazed of how easily they trust me. They both probably had bad experiences, since I adopted them, but they trust me either way. They trust I’ll feed them, walk them and give them my unconditional love. How do they know for sure? They can’t know for sure, but they just feel it’s alright (that’s what I imagine at least).

IMG_0568

Animals are very special in that way, because us humans let bad experiences prevent us from a happy future. We can dwell on the past so much that nobody gets a chance to earn our trust. This makes it hard for any relationship to work wether it’s a romantic one or a new friendship.

So what is actually happening here? As for so many things we focus on the negative side of life. We waste energy on fear, uncertainty and worry while we’re at it. Why do we do that? I think to mentally prepare ourselves in case of a disappointment. But does that help? Did the time worrying really help us prepare for a bad outcome?

We could also do the opposite, even though that one is a lot harder. We can focus on positivity, have faith that things will work out and trust the process. And what do you do then? You let it go. You trust the process and let it go. Every time you worry you should stop yourself. Stop yourself and replace the negative thought with a happy one.

It will take some time, but you will save so much energy not worrying. And another benefit of focusing on things that will make you happy? It will instantly make you happier. Because when you think happy thoughts you generate good energy.

And if you’re ever in doubt, just look at a dog or cat or any pet for that matter. Do they worry? No, they don’t. They just live their lives and trust everything will be alright. So let’s do the same with ours.

5 tips for a happy and balanced life

It’s easy to get overwhelmed when you have a busy period at work or a lot of events in your private life. Perhaps some hardly lose their balance, but for me it can be a challenge to not fall one way or the other. I guess I have a sensitive soul that needs to be nourished with care and somewhat of a routine.

Over time I’ve noticed that when I follow a certain set of ‘rules’ I feel much better and I can keep my balance. Although literally keeping my balance is still difficult, since I’m quite clumsy. By the way these rules or guidelines are personal, so you might need to adjust them to your own needs. Want to know how I do it? Here they come:

1. Enough ‘me-time’: some might not need this as much, but I need some time alone to think, recharge, analyze and breath. Every morning I wake up extra early so I can start my day relaxed and even practice some meditation and yoga.

2. A healthy diet: I feel more energized when I nourish my body with the right ingredients. I need a lot of vegetables and fruits, but I happen to like them a lot too. When I’m busier and skip investing time in a good meal my immune system drops and I feel more tired and less like myself.

IMG_0193

3. Focus on what’s important: what I mean by this is that you should focus on the positive things happening. Every day something goes wrong, but every day something goes right too. Don’t sweat the small stuff, but at the same time focus on the positive details every day can bring you. For example the other day my train was delayed which sucked, but now I had time to get a coffee and that is something I enjoyed.

4. Be active: Nobody gets energy from sitting on the couch an entire day. You’ll probably feel more tired and lazy. Don’t get me wrong a lazy day once in a while can be wonderful. However in general our bodies need to move. When we move and are active you actually produce endorphins which make you feel happy. So, move that body!

5. Connect with nature: this might sound cheesy, but breathing in the fresh air when you’re in the mountains, at a lake, in a forest or wherever will help you stay grounded and therefore in balance. Walking in the forest is one of my favorite things to do. It’s easy to forget about nature living in such a digital world. That’s why I strongly advise to forget about your phone and enjoy the view, the fresh air and the sound of the wind. Trust me, you’ll feel recharged and more relaxed afterwards.

I have one more bonus tip for a happy and balanced life. Get enough sleep. Without a proper night of sleep you won’t be able to process your day the same, so make sure you get the hours of rest that you need.

So those are some of my tips for a happy balanced life. Of course there are many more ways, but these things work for me and I hope it can help you too. Just give it a shot and try it for a while. I’d love to hear if it made a positive change to your life. If you have other tips let me know. Remember listen to what your mind, body and soul need and you’ll find the balance you’re looking for.

 

Check out my Instagram for more pictures!

My relaxing morning routine

Well, first of all why do I have a morning routine? I mean I could simply wake up, get dressed and leave, right? But that doesn’t work for me. Not only because I have dogs, but also before I had them, I needed a bit more ‘me’-time before I faced the world.

In my early working days I was a bit more rushed in the morning. In the end that meant I felt rushed all day long. You might think that if you sleep longer and hurry to get to work, you’ll be more rested. Because you slept longer right? The opposite is true though. Sleeping longer and then rushing takes away all the relaxedness you felt before. So that routine had to change.

IMG_3896

It took a while before I found the best way to start my day. I don’t mean the best way for everyone, but for me. After visiting Bali and seeing a Guru, yes I said Guru, I received advise that I had to follow up. The Guru told me I should mediate every morning. So since then I do. I must admit I lost my way for a while, but got the hang of it again. Does it work? Actually it does. I start my day feeling very at ease.

So you’ve waiting long enough. How is my daily morning routine? Well, I usually get up around 5:30 AM. The first thing I do after waking up is either walking the dogs or starting my yoga. My boyfriend is spoiling me lately and walks the dogs every morning. The second thing though is always yoga. First a few ‘Sun Salutations’, then a mix of other yoga exercises and then it’s time for the meditation part.

After a short meditation, the time various each day, and saying a mantra that ‘today will be a great day’ I get to the next step. Shower time it is and then getting dressed, doing my hair and make up. When I’m about ready to leave, I don’t leave just yet.

My boyfriends wakes up and we drink a coffee together. You wonder how I drink my coffee? Well, thanks for asking. I have some black coffee with a drop of coconut oil, some honey, soy milk and some cinnamon to finish it off. And my boyfriend? He doesn’t like my special coffee mix that much, so it’s black coffee for him.

And is this entire routine worth it to get up so early? It totally is! Like I said before, when I rushed in the morning, I felt rushed all day long. Now I take a bit more time for myself before I face work, strangers in the train and all of that fuss and I feel so much better.

It takes me about an hour and a half to do all of it and sleeping in doesn’t compare to the happiness my routine brings me.

So I can definitely recommend to save some time for yourself in the morning. Even if it’s only fifteen extra minutes to read the paper, wander around, drink a coffee or to just take your time. Trust me, you’ll feel the difference.

You’ve got mail

During the holidays many people still send “real” cards, but that’s about it. Depending on the country and culture you might receive some birthday cards as well. Yet those are often not handwritten either, but made online and then sent by regular mail. I like those cards and it’s so easy to do. No need for an envelope, stamp and going to the mailbox. Still it doesn’t compare to an original and authentic written card.

IMG_2723

When I was living in Canada the internet wasn’t that fast. Also Facebook didn’t really “exist” in the Netherlands yet, although we did have a Dutch version. Of course I had the option of sending emails and I did, but I also had a stack of stationery. I’ve written many long letters to my friends and family. And the best part? When they would send me a letter back. My grandparents used to sent me some Dutch candy once in a while too. That was a real sweet message, although I don’t think you would like this Dutch licorice.

Living in Spain I didn’t sent letters anymore or received them. Cards I religiously sent and received as well. After a while I did switch to use the online card-system. And why? Well my mail got “lost” too many times. It was also a lot faster using a Dutch company to mail post to my Dutch loved ones. On top of that the choice of cards was limited in Spain, so maybe it’s also a cultural thing? Since in the Netherlands you can find them at any street corner and in Canada there were aisles of Hallmark cards.

But whatever excuse I can think of, sending cards through an online company is simply a lot easier. We’re always in a hurry and don’t have time or take the time to sit down and write. That’s probably the real issue here. We want everything quick and ready to go. Even though the quality of slow and steady might be a lot better. I might not be completely objective though, since I like to write and not everyone does. But I do think everyone loves it when someone sends them a personalized card or letter.

So maybe that will be my New Years resolution. I want to start sending more handwritten cards and letters. Not because there is a special reason, but for the sake of bringing (hopefully) a smile to someone’s face. That moment of joy when you realize that someone took the effort to dedicate a message to you. Because sometimes it’s better to send a positive message and not expect an immediate answer, like we’re so used to nowadays.