Tag Archives: gifts

inspirNational Holiday Gift Ideas

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How can you show you appreciate your loved ones and friends this holiday season? Here are a few inspirNational ideas:

  • Give the gift of exploration. Plan a trip to explore a new place, near or far, with your loved ones. LivingSocial and GroupOn consistently post great excursions and adventures near you. Hotels often offer holiday packagaes and airBnB provides affordable lodging options throughout the world. Exploring will bring you new insights and memories you will never forget!
  • Give the gift of creativity. Especially if you have been craving arts and crafts, make an art creation for your loved ones. Paint a picture, design a scrapbook (Apple has great digital scrapbooks you can make!), or make a blanket! I enjoyed painting wine glasses-turned-candle holders for my family this year. You can also purchase art class subscriptions, such as wine and painting classes, to encourage your loved ones to be creative as well.
  • 12196080_10153756082319559_3837647999765978955_nGive the gift of homemade cuisine. I have loved the trend of recipes and ingredients sent to your door, making home-cooked meals much easier than ever before! There are also great custom wine deliveries, snack deliveries, and pet food deliveries, that make a “staycation” possible, customizable, and fun!
  • Give the gift of reflection. Purchase yoga or meditation classes to help your loved ones relax and reflect as they enter the new year. There are also reflection books, such as The Five Book, which help you think about your vision for your future that will make you that happiest version of yourself.

What other inspirNational gift ideas do you have?

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The Gift of Instinct

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trusting_your_intuition

Source: YMC

In the most recent newsletter from Susie Frazier, an artist in Cleveland, I could not help but pause and think about the significance of instinct. I wanted to share Susie Frazier’s wisdom with you:

“I can’t tell you how many times in my career I’ve been questioned about my training. What can you possibly create in the way of art, if you didn’t study it in college? What do you know about promoting a band, if you come from outside the industry? What business do you have being a radio personality, if you’ve never worked at a radio station?

Maybe you’ve had this kind of second-guessing happen to you. Maybe you’ve even used this doubtful tone with yourself. Pay no mind. What matters more than knowledge or experience is instinct.

Instinct is that inner voice that tells you to go left when all your competitors are going right. It’s that urge to take on something new despite the hesitation of those around you. It’s that inner flame that sparks ideas not because you saw the model work somewhere else, but because you felt the synergy of all the important elements, right here. Instinct is a sixth sense that can’t be taught — it’s only cultivated after falling on one’s face so many times that the wipeout actually becomes a welcome part of the discovery process.

Don’t be swayed by the critics in your head or elsewhere. Simply by the bold act of trying, you’ve begun the only relevant training you need.”

Any time I have felt uncertainty about an idea or a decision, I have tried to think about it logically and seek advice from others. As Susie describes, I am reminded to go beyond logic and external opinions, and instead focus on my gut instinct, which transcends time and global boundaries. Our instinct is what makes us unique as individuals and should be our guiding force in life. No one can see, hear, or feel the instinct we have that comes from within. It makes us powerful and should give us the confidence to go forward with our ideas and decisions. Our instinct is a gift. We should trust that it will lead us to our individual paths of success and happiness!

Below are a few other powerful quotes about instinct:

“It is by logic we prove, but by intuition we discover.” -Leonardo Da Vinci

“Trust your instincts. Intuition doesn’t lie.” -Anonymous

“Intuition will tell the thinking mind where to look next.” -Jonas Salk

“Intuition is the whisper of the soul.” -J. Krishnamurti

“Intuition makes sense after you follow it, not before. You don’t get to know the beauty unless you take the risk.” -McCall Erikson

“The only real valuable thing is intuition.” -Albert Einstein

“Intuition is a very powerful thing, more powerful than intellect.” -Steve Jobs

You can read more inspiring messages from Susie Frazier in my inspirNational Quotes II post.

The Giving Season, Including Yourself!

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Is it just me or is Christmas approaching way more quickly than most years? The Christmas season is one of my favorite times of the year, with holiday brunches, gift exchanges, community festivals, shopping, wrapping, baking, and enjoying time with family and friends. While I have enjoyed all the hype before Christmas, it has taken a lot of preparation and I’m sure I’m not alone in that I almost want a “holiday” from the holidays.

With the theme of the giving season, it is so easy to get wrapped up in everything and everyone else, and lose sight of ourselves (including our health and overall wellbeing). Martha Beck, an American sociologist, life coach, best-selling author, and speaker, wrote an inspiring article in this month’s Oprah Magazine about treating ourselves during the holidays. She reminds us of the gifts we all want, and to not forget about ourselves during the hustle and bustle of the season.

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What gifts should we ask for ourselves during the holidays? Martha Beck discusses the following:

1. Time. She reminds us to make time for ourselves, whether that is through meditation, relaxing, or simply resting. We can also save time (and therefore have more time for the things that truly matter) by avoiding mindlessly surfing the Internet or watching television. I have made this a personal goal over the past few months, making sure to give myself at least one night of “me” time per week, making sure that I reflect, rest, and rejuvenate after the constant stimulation involved in working and socializing.

2. Stuffless-ness. She discusses how we don’t always have to ask for tangible gifts. We can give ourselves (or ask for) experiences and time with family and friends. This was a theme in my holiday shopping this year – for example, I gave my brother and sister-in-law a “date afternoon” out in Philadelphia for a holiday tour. She also describes how traveling reminds us of the limited items we actually need to live our daily lives – and anything extra just adds clutter, literally and figuratively, into our lives.

3. Acceptance. She inspires us to accept ourselves and our life circumstances with gratitude. She also discusses forgiveness and permission as common topics people want for themselves. By letting go of what no longer serves us, we lift weight off our shoulders, which enables us to move forward and grow into bigger and better people.

In addition to Martha Beck’s thoughts, I’d like to add a fourth gift that I think we should give to ourselves:

4. Inspiration. It’s a big world out there with people full of wisdom and experiences to share with us. We can be inspired by their words and actions if we are willing to open our eyes, ears, and minds to learn from and get to know them. As I have mentioned before, I am constantly inspired by other people and have quoted that I am inspired to inspire others, as they have inspired me. Whether we are traveling or in our hometown, we can be inspirNational in our everyday lives.

Enjoy the last couple weeks of the Christmas season, and as you’re giving gifts to others, remember to treat yourself as well!

 

Rethinking Holiday Gifts on #GivingTuesday

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In the spirit of #GivingTuesday, I am sharing one of my favorite holiday gift guides I have seen this year.

Source: Thunderclap

Source: Thunderclap

Melibee Global, a resource for international education and study abroad news, information, resources, and advising, wrote The Alternative Holiday Gift Guide 2014, with creative ways to give sustainably this holiday season. The guide suggests the following:

“1. Give experiences, not things. Consider how you can support your local community, through gifts such as memberships to museums or parks.

2. Share what you’ve got. Examples might include volunteering, donating to charities, or fundraising.

3. International innovation. Melibee offers a variety of tools that encourage international and cultural knowledge and growth. [Note: Given my interest in international education and my inspirNational blog, I love this idea!]

4. Red and green. Think ecological and environmental. Check out your local library for a used book sale. Support local charities and organizations by finding vintage, kitschy, and sometimes antique pieces at charity shops and thrift stores such as Oxfam, Barnardos, Salvation Army, and more. Buy from local artists and craftspersons and shop for handmade gifts at art and craft shows, galleries, or stores that showcase local artists’ work.”

Read the full Alternative Holiday Gift Guide 2014 here.

I now feel inspired to think twice about my holiday purchases and am reminded that the spirit of giving does not have to be tangible. I look forward to refocusing my energy this holiday season to share experiences with loved ones.

If you are traveling throughout the holidays, my Guilt-Free Souvenir Shopping post may also provide good ideas for how you can purchase souvenirs or gifts while traveling without feeling remorse.

I hope this provides food for thought for you this #GivingTuesday and as you are shopping throughout the holiday season!