12 Morning Practices that Start Your Day Off Right

morning practices coffee and journal

Every day is a gift.  A blank slate to write on. The choices you make in the first moments after waking up can impact your energy, effectiveness, and mood for the entire day.  I am a big fan of morning practices and encourage you to create one of your own.

Here are some fun ideas for starting your morning off right: Continue reading

Your Mind is a Playground Full of Infinite Possibilities

girl on swing and her mind is a playground

Imagine being a child again and going to the world’s biggest playground. There is an unlimited supply of high flying swings, exhilarating slides, and magical merry go rounds. Everything you could possibly want is in front of you.

Our minds are just like that playground. Continue reading

Life Lessons I Learned from Popeye

Life Lessons Learned from Popeye

My Mom used to tell the story of when I was around three and kept asking for a “Toot –Toot” for Christmas. It took my parents quite a while, but they finally figured out that I wanted a corncob pipe so that I could be just like my cartoon hero Popeye. Continue reading

25 Productive and Fun Indoor Activities for When It’s Cold Outside

indoor activities raining outside

This is my first winter outside of California and I am learning a lot about the seasons and cold weather. I’m still not comfortable driving in snow and icy conditions and am grateful that I work from home and can stay in on those days. My CA friends are experiencing an unusual amount of rain and feeling house bound too.

Wintry weather makes me want to sit on the couch with a cat in my lap and read novels or binge watch Netflix. It feels great for awhile, but I can only sit for so long before getting antsy and wanting to find something to do. Something productive or fun that doesn’t involve putting on a coat or chipping ice off my car. Continue reading

7 Ways to Save Money on Entertainment, Recreation and Fun

 

Piggy bank save money life coach linda

For years I was a single mom. My son and I would consider bean burritos at Taco Bell a big night out. I learned to be thrifty out of necessity and now that I am in my 60’s and still wanting to save money for my future, those lessons continue to serve me well.

Some might say I’m cheap, but others like minimalists, extreme couponers, or the guy who writes the blog: Things I Find in the Trash, might think I live extravagantly. I feel like I have found a nice balance between enjoying life and protecting my finances at the same time. That doesn’t mean that I don’t have the same money fears that plague most of us. Continue reading

30 Fun Ways to Get into the Christmas Spirit and Spread Holiday Cheer

christmas-spirit

My son started celebrating Christmas early this year, trying to convince people to “Get Their Christmas On” long before Thanksgiving. At first I thought he was crazy, but then I could see how happy he became with this new focus on the holidays and their meaning. Continue reading

2 Fun Ways to Make Your Thanksgiving More Meaningful

thanksgiving special decor

I do not have the benefit of family nearby to spend my Thanksgiving with, but don’t feel bad for me. I have a nice long visit with my loved ones coming up. I also have invitations for breakfast and dinners with other Thanksgiving misfits. And, sometimes I choose to spend this special holiday alone as a restful, self-nurturing day.

Whatever my day looks like, there are a couple Thanksgiving practices I never miss that fill my heart and feed my soul. I feel more grounded in the meaning of the holiday because of them. You might enjoy them, too. Continue reading

Road Trip Magic – Moving Cross Country

road trip moving cross country

My friend Traci and I drove from California to Missouri with 2 cats in the back seat of my car. We took I-15 and then I-70 straight across the country, joking that it would be less likely we got lost with such a direct route.

We experienced California deserts, the glitz of Las Vegas, a tiny tip of Arizona, the dramatic red rock of Utah, majestic beauty in the Colorado Rocky mountains, the big sky of Kansas, and finally arrived in Missouri on the third day.

We were in awe of the scenery before us and even experienced a sunrise that brought us to tears.

Common themes in our conversations were:

  • Our country’s diverse and beautiful landscapes
  • How God’s hand was clearly evident in what we were seeing
  • Respect for the courage of  pioneers who traveled through these lands
  • How blessed we were to be experiencing it all

Looking back at the photographs I took it is hard to believe I was actually there. Even though the photos were taken through the car window and the quality is questionable, they still bring back those magical moments.

I would like to share a few with you: (All images:© 2017 Linda Luke)

road trip lifecoachlinda.com

road trip lifecoachlinda.com

road trip lifecoachlinda.com

road trip lifecoachlinda.com

road trip lifecoachlinda.com

road trip lifecoachlinda.com

road trip lifecoachlinda.com

road trip lifecoachlinda.com

 

Now just imagine the colors brighter and clearer, because they were.

Can you believe I was actually there? I saw these miracles with my own eyes?

I feel so humbled and blessed.

Related Posts:

Scenes from a Small Town Morning Walk

Leaving California

Living the Small Town Life

All images:© 2017 Linda Luke

The Gift of Writing Letters from the Heart

pen paper writing letters letter writing

One of the things I loved about my friend Sybil who recently passed was her love of bringing people together for food  and stimulating conversation.  She loved to listen and bask in the warmth of being surrounded by interesting friends.

As she was losing her ability to speak, she loved writing letters to us. I came across a few of them recently and they were full of amusing observations and appreciation for the people around her. I could almost here her chuckling between the lines.

Eventually, she lost her ability to write or type her own letters, and the ones she received from others became a new source of joy. She would have me read them to her over and over again.

As time passed and her disease progressed the letters and visits from friends came less often and she felt more isolated. It was hard to watch her lose those connections to the outside world and I realized how valuable a simple letter could be.

Since then I have been writing letters from the heart. As I write them I am flooded with memories and appreciation for the person I am writing to. Their responses are incredible. They cry. I cry. And, I realized the gifts of those letters were not just for the recipients, but for me as well.

My friend Lynette Smith is a big fan of writing letters from the heart. At her son’s wedding, he and his bride presented their parents with framed letters of appreciation. Lynette cherishes this gift and it has inspired her mission to get people putting pen to paper again. The cornerstone of this mission is her book: How to Write Heartfelt Letters to Treasure: For Special Occasions and Occasions Made Special. 

Who can you write a heartfelt letter of appreciation to? I encourage you to give it a try. You will find it is one of the most rewarding things you can do.

Related Posts:

Return to Gratitude

4 Ways to Attract and Keep Great Relationships

Giving Gifts from the Heart

30 Ideas for Random Acts of Holiday Kindness

teddy bear santa random acts of kindness max pexel

Even as we are out spending money on gifts for our loved ones, we are surrounded by people for whom the holidays are challenging.  They may feel stressed, alone, depressed, or be having financial difficulties.  So, I encourage you to take the spirit of the season to a new level by giving in little random ways that can make all the difference for someone in need.  Here are some ideas to get you started:

  1. Smile at strangers
  2. Leave a large tip
  3. Pay for the person behind you in line
  4. Visit a nursing home
  5. Invite someone without local family to your holiday gathering
  6. Buy extra pet food and donate it to a shelter or rescue group
  7. Give blood
  8. Put change in an empty parking meter
  9. Send flowers to brighten someone’s day
  10. Bring treats for your office mates
  11. Adopt a homeless animal
  12. Leave hidden love notes for your family
  13. Donate money, clothing, or anything that will support charity
  14. Let someone go ahead of you in line
  15. Volunteer your time to help others
  16. Hold the door open for others
  17. Be a Secret Santa for someone in need
  18. Support local charities and businesses
  19. Thank your local police and/or fire departments
  20. Send a heartfelt letter of appreciation to someone
  21. Pick up trash
  22. Adopt a family, senior, child, or soldier for the holidays
  23. Contribute to a toy or food drive
  24. Go Christmas caroling
  25. Hug someone
  26. Listen to someone who needs to talk
  27. Compliment people around you
  28. Give away your parking spot
  29. Shovel someone’s walkway or clean their yard
  30. Leave a nice comment on a blog or Facebook post

 

How I Came to Be a Vegetarian

vegetarian vegetables on plate

The truth is, I think I was born a vegetarian.  I can remember being a young girl and feeling sick to my stomach when I saw raw meat or bird bodies defrosting in the sink.  My parents weren’t open to the idea of me eating differently and eventually I adapted and became an average American carnivore.

I used to love chicken pot pies and traditional Thanksgiving dinners.

And then, one day about 15 years ago I broke out in hives and had to go to the emergency room.  The doctors thought it was a reaction to something I ate and suggested I get screened for allergies. It took a couple weeks to get an appointment and I didn’t want to risk getting hives again, so I began to research food and allergies on my own.

Along the way, I learned some really disturbing things about the foods we are sold and my heart guided me into a vegetarian lifestyle.

It felt like coming home.

While I have been a vegetarian for almost 2 decades, I am not a political one.  I like my meat eating friends and family and it is not up to me to say what is right for them.  I don’t go around introducing myself as “Linda the Vegetarian” and some of my friends may even be surprised when they read this.

What I do know is that being a vegetarian feels right for me on a soul level.  It doesn’t feel like a decision I made, it feels like who I am.

There are other reasons why this lifestyle feels in alignment for me and might appeal to you:

  • My doctor says I am a lot healthier than her other patients my age
  • Food production is bad for the environment
  • If we ate less meat, we could produce more food for starving populations
  • Food production can be cruel to animals
  • Animal products are often full of hormones and other drugs
  • Food animals are often sick and already dying
  • We take in the energy of what we eat

If you are interested in learning more, these resources can get you started:

Movies: (most of these are available on Netflix)

Food Inc

Vegucated

Forks Over Knives

Websites:

Vegetarian Times

Cookie and Kate

Vegweb

Vegsource

And, of course, there is always me.  Just ask your questions in the comments below and I will be happy to respond.

How to Reconnect with Your Happy, Playful Inner Child

happy playful little girl inner child

I have a friend who everyone seems to love. She is of a mature age (trying to be polite here) and lives life in a responsible way. What makes her stand out, though is her penchant for wearing pink, sparkly high top sneakers. Everywhere. Even business meetings and church. She says they make her happy and remind her to sparkle. I’ve noticed that they also make the people around her smile.

My friend has tapped into her playful inner child.

I want what she has. She seems to feel lighter and happier than the rest of us. More care free. And, her sparkliness invites adventure, fun, and friendships into her life.

It’s easy to forget what it feels like to play. As an adult you have responsibilities and expectations to live up to. You are probably so busy doing what you think you have to do that you don’t even remember you have all that joy within. But, don’t worry. You inner child will never give up on you.

You can reconnect with her again through: Continue reading

A Walk, A Worm, and a Lesson In Perspective

worm life lesson

I was out for a lovely morning walk with a friend when I saw a worm writhing on the sidewalk. Without thinking, I picked the worm up and put him in the damp grass.

My friend started laughing. He thought it was ridiculous that I would save a worm.  Continue reading