HAVE YOU HAD LAUGHTER THIS WEEK?

WheeeeeeSmile at yourself. Smile at others. Smile at nothing. Did you know that smiling uses all the muscles on your face? Try smiling at yourself in the mirror and notice the difference in your expressions:  eyes sparkle, cheeks puff out, lips turn upward, only to mention a few muscles. Okay, you’re still looking at yourself in the mirror. You feel better, happier, and the problems of the day do not seem as great. Okay, now frown at yourself and all the happiness goes out of the person in the mirror. The feeling of drowning in your own body makes your breathing shallow, your heart beats a little faster, and all the problems of the day wrap around your neck. Step back from the mirror, turn around a couple of times, and then check the face in the mirror with a smile. A happy face equals a happy you. A happy you and you are in charge of your stress. Add a little bit of laughter and your tensions relax and your whole body feels the change.

Take a deep breath, then another, then another, and soon you can feel the tension slip out with each exhale. Practice this and enjoy this deep breathing and soon it will become a part of your daily life.

Taking good care of yourself,  relaxing, and enjoying life leads to a better and healthier you. And the best part is laughter. Laughter shared with yourself is great, but imagine laughter shared with friends. The cost is nothing, but the rewards are plenty. Do you know laughter boosts the heart and helps reduce the stress? Stress has a way of working its way into our lives and we don’t recognize this until it affects our health.

Laughter also improves our brain functions. We are able to retain information longer, enjoy our daily functions better, and why not? Laughter is contagious. Share your laughter with all you meet:  friends, strangers walking down the street, or driving in the car next to yours. You will find they smile back and don’t even know it.

Laugh at nothing and you will find this is a contagious, healthy, way to share something someone may never get today. Make laughter your signature, whether at something silly or yourself. You will feel SOOOO good.

Happy you. Laughing you. Happy writing to you.

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BE KIND TO YOURSELF

images_063This is a “be kind to yourself” day. Even when we relax, we always have our computer close by. Why? We are writers and we write. It’s like being naked without a pen, pencil, notebook, or a scrap of paper. Hey, even napkins work.

But for today, let’s not worry and get our calm back. Take a deep breath, Avoid the short breaths and make the inhalation come from way down in your abs. Do this slow and feel the air circulate through your body to your nose. Then, exhale back in slow motion and feel the air return through all parts of your body. Didn’t know you had such great lungs, did you? Try again and again until this becomes a part of your daily activities. You can do this as you write without any problems. Well, maybe a couple: you might find yourself breathing in new ideas from way down or new thoughts about a revision. Kinda fun, right?

How long have you been researching, writing, or revising? Are your fingers cramped? Is your butt numb? Are your legs crossed and your feet wrapped around a leg? Get up. This is a no-brainer. Get up and move around. Stretch your body. Roll your shoulders up to your ears. Release and let your shoulders relax. Get those legs uncrossed and stretch up on your toes. If you are wearing shoes, let your toes play. Run them like you are on a beach and in the sand. Don’t these ten little ‘piggies’ seem happier?

Now, for the best part, tighten every muscle you own in your body. Yes, every single muscle and make certain they are tight. Start with your scalp and keep going downward. You will feel muscles you never even knew existed. Why? Because writers tend to think with the brain and forget about all the other parts that keep the brain thinking.

Get up. Walk around. Stretch your arms over your head. Bend from the middle downward and remember you should be doing your deep breaths all of this time. Ready for some fun? EEKS! There is more? The best is last. Find yourself a straight-back chair, not the roller at your desk, and stand in front. The calves of your legs need to almost touch the chair, ALMOST. Begin your deep breathing, push your butt back, your back is straight and begin 20 squats. YES, TWENTY. This will feel so good, you will go for twenty more.

Okay, before you crumble into your soft chair by the desk, ask yourself? Don’t I feel better? Aren’t my nerves a little more calm?

Wait? I even hear new voices. My characters are alive and well. Heck, a couple are even laughing. Not only have you invigorated yourself, you have given your characters a reason to come forward and workout with you.

May you and your characters enjoy June 1, 2014. We are in the summer mood. Who knows, maybe your stories will take on a more relaxed attitude and you can continue the kindness to yourselves.

Write. Write. Write. Stretch. Stretch. Stretch. Be Kind To Yourselves.

SLEEP, where are you?

What did you say

We can do a lot of things for ourselves, but when It comes to sleep, we let ourselves get caught up in the ‘do what feels good’ era.

How many times do you go to bed, toss and turn, move the pillow over and over, and wonder why your mind does not shut off? Do you know how many hours of sleep satisfy your body? No, not what you think you need, but what your body needs. As we get older and older our sleep patterns change. Research shows we need between 7-10 hours of sleep. OH. NO. Not me. Older people have slept for a lot of their lives, now we can stay awake and enjoy ourselves.

Where have you been? In the less induced stage of sleep? Or have you slept on the same mattress and box springs for the last thirty (30) years? When you get into bed, does your body roll to the center? Do you find yourself hanging on to the edge of the mattress?

Look at another area. Is your bedroom dark? Do the shades keep out street light’s point of view? What about thunderstorms? I can sleep through all the clangs, bellows of the thunder, but let one streak of lightning bolt through the sky.,….Wham, I’m awake.

Things you can do for you and your sleep, which will affect your life and your writing:

Do not watch a murder mystery and flop into bed. You might think this will give you insight as a writer. It will keep you awake, tossing /and turning.

Turn down the temperature. Sure you can feel the snuggle under piles and piles of blankets, but do you smell the allergies and feel the dust bunnies on top of you? What about a soft CD playing sounds of the ocean’s reach to the shore and back out again.

Sleep plays an important part of of life: our moods, alertness, physical appearance, and attitude. We need to eat three meals a day, we need to drink more water, and realize our bodies operate 24/7. Why not give them a break from the harsh reality of daytime living and let us sink ourselves into sleep? Our best dreams come while we are in sleep. This could be our best insight to new and wonderful stories, which lead to new and great novels.

May you have a wonderful sleep tonight. May the gods of sleep be gracious to you. May your brain awaken with a renewed sense and the feel of a fantastic novel be at your fingertips.

Happy dreams.