Do you like to plan ahead? Many of life’s transitions can be made more smoothly with planning. When I had my babies, knowing that there is a part of labor and delivery called “transition” that is particularly intense helped me be prepared. Expecting what was coming, and having a plan to deal with it, made it less scary and more possible to ride it through.
There are transitions, however that come unbidden and unexpected. How do you ride through those times? In much the same way that the relaxation and breathing skills I practiced while I was pregnant helped me through transition during childbirth, practicing when it’s easy helps you get prepared for what’s ahead, no matter what surprises life delivers.
Practice when it’s easy! How do you stay centered, well-fed in body, mind, and heart? For me, I practice when it’s easy with regular time for meditation, time in nature, and frequent pauses during my day to take a few deep breaths and remember that aspect of myself that is connected to source. It doesn’t keep some life events from rocking my world and driving me to my knees, but it does provide a well of strength I can draw on in rough times.
At Twirl, we make gifts that carry a message, a reminder that we are connected. My Twirl throw is a calming weight on my lap as I sit in meditation in the morning, or a warm wrap around my shoulders if the morning is cool. Yesterday, my little bracelet with the Twirl logo on it reminded me multiple times each hour to breathe in and breathe out, returning again and again to an experience of balance and ease. We could all use a little reminder to practice when it’s easy. Whether you want a daily reminder for yourself, or you are looking for a special gift for someone else, visit www.twirlconnect.com.
This month is a great month for connecting, slowing down, and enjoying the end of summer. Perhaps August finds you taking a vacation and enjoying travel. Whatever your plans, can you slow down, have fun, and live life more richly? It’s a choice! As the world seems to speed up, with information traveling lightening-like across networks and media outlets clamoring for your attention, it is more vital than ever to find time for a quiet and easy pace. Whether you’re planning a vacation this month or simply scheduling a little ME-time on your calendar, I hope you make this month count.
Have you heard about “forest bathing”? Scientists in Japan are studying the health benefits of time spent quietly enjoying being outside in a wooded environment. They are even talking about “prescribing” this treatment for people experiencing high levels of work-related stress. You can read a Washington Post article about it here, or listen to an interview about it on NPR here. While part of me thinks this is really cool (left brain, science data geek self), there is a part of me that screams, “what has this world come to?!” Do we need scientists to quantify benefits, and medical practitioners to prescribe going outside and enjoying nature? Maybe. If you’re feeling depleted this month, try a little nature. The world is rich with resources all around us that support health and happiness.
Taking a mindful pause is at the foundation of being able to experience the richness all around you, and it’s at the foundation of what we do here at Twirl. Whether it is the beneficial energy of trees, or the love and support flowing to you from a friend far away, you only feel it when you pause to notice (i.e., become mindful). As I prepare to travel this month, I’m tucking an extra Twirl journal in my bag. One for me (I make note of special moments of connection I experience to reference on a blue day), and one for someone I meet on the road, to support their living more mindfully. Perhaps someone you love is coming to visit. A Twirl robe gift set in the guest room is a great way to let them know you will be with them even after your visit ends. If you enjoy finding gifts that are beautiful, useful, made in the USA, and carry a message of love and caring, you’ll love having Twirl as a resource. Visit our product page if you’d like to see more.
Much like the synergy of how our breath connects us with the trees (we breathe in oxygen, they breathe it out; they breathe in carbon dioxide, we breathe it out; both growing and thriving from the relationship), a gift from Twirl is a tangible connection of our love flowing to someone, their reception of the love, the amplification of that love as they think of us…. It’s what we think of as “Twirling”. May your month be filled with beautiful time outside, a good measure of slowing down, and lots of twirling!
At Twirl, we bring you beautiful gifts and apparel from America's Heartland with messages that uplift and inspire. One of our gift lines is "Love and Appreciation". Today, I'm sharing a bit about why I love apprecation!
My heart is like a tuning fork, and I get to decide in each moment my vibrational frequency. On a typical day, I run a wide range of frequencies (think “emotions”) through my system. My amazing heart is sometimes giddy with the beauty of nature, sometimes fearful with the unknown looming before me, angry, sad, and many feelings on the spectrum. A practice of mindfulness allows me to partner my mind with my heart, and offers more opportunity to choose perspective and adjust my frequency to the preference I have in the moment.
Experiencing a range of emotions is healthy and human! Sometimes when I am sad or angry, I ride deeply into those feelings and allow them their space and time. In my day to day life, though, I have a strong preference for experiencing joy, peace, love and appreciation; of these, appreciation is the easiest to get to no matter where I find myself on the vibration dial. Finding joy when I’m really mad about something is a great big giant step for me. In my experience, however, there is ALWAYS something I can appreciate. Often something in my environment captures my attention. Wind, water, fire, air, earth, light all make up the world around me, and often the smallest thing is large enough to bring on full body appreciation and, voila, vibrational shift.
How do I feel when I am in appreciation? I feel open and full at the same time. In addition, I find that when feeling appreciation there are often dimensions of joy, and peace and love. Appreciation has a one-ness feel to me, as if I am breathing in an essence of something beautiful and wonderful – whether that’s an oldie but a goodie on the radio, the color of a scarf, or a bite of cookie. Appreciation is not a snob. What captures my attention in a delightful way right now? A crunchy pickle?! Good enough!
Ah…. This is where I feel the vibrational difference between appreciation and gratitude. When I am grateful for this pickle, I feel thankful that it has been provided for me, for the vegetable that gives its life to me, for the folks that picked it, pickled it, packed it and shipped it. Yet it is an “I and Thou” relationship. I am grateful FOR all of that. Not a bad feeling. Gratitude is important to me because it is both comforting and humbling to remember how many people have a hand in the life I enjoy. But appreciation, the taking in of pickleness and feeling my joy and love of pickle crunch, somehow makes me feel one-with. Are you with me?
Appreciation is so equal opportunity that it invites me to open up and feel inclusive of experiences beyond my own – like maybe you don’t feel appreciation for the pickle. Maybe you appreciate the onion. But when I am in appreciation of pickle and you are in appreciation of onion, we are one in the vibration of appreciation. Namaste.
Do you know someone who is giving so much you wonder how they continue to sustain the giving? Maybe you have been that person. Maybe you are that person now.
The human spirit is able to endure incredible challenges and continue to shine. I have seen career and family caregivers sustained by their faith, hope, love and joy. Faith that they will have the strength to do what they need to do. Faith that there is a bigger picture than they can see right now. Faith, and hope that there is light at the end of the tunnel, a better day ahead. And love, the energy and motivation that allows selfless service. Love allows people to go beyond themselves. When that love is flowing out more than in, selfless service quickly results in caregiver fatigue. The work depletes the giver, and loss of joy is often the cost for this depletion.
Do you know a person who is tireless, joyful, gentle, and kind? A person that makes everyone around them feel better. They have a special glow. Yes, they are human and have low moments, but most days they light up a room with their presence. These people are balm that heals body, mind and heart of those around them. These special people live in flow, and they work with joy. Joy is one feeling that springs up from feeling love flowing in, coming from a source beyond the individual self. They know the secret of participating in receiving a stream that flows through them, not from them. They move through their days feeling blessed. They look around their world and see things to appreciate everywhere.
If you or a loved one is giving to the point of fatigue, there is good news! By shifting focus from giving to receiving, we tap into something much bigger than ourselves. We remember we are not alone. It may be something as simple as remembering a friend cares about us. That seemingly small act of focus is like an in-breath. I am loved. Suddenly my fatigue seems lighter. Do this experiment to see how you respond when you feel “I am loved”. Take quick stock of how you are feeling – body, mind and heart. Then spend a minute or two imagining a feeling of being loved. Feel it with as much detail and intensity as you are able to bring to the experiment. Then do another quick inventory and see how you feel in your body, mind and heart. Did you move the dial up a notch on your overall sense of well-being? As simple as an in-breath, remembering we are loved feeds us. We have more energy, move vitality, and come into better balance as caregivers.
At Twirl, we remember the comfort received from a casserole lovingly delivered, or cookies taken to a new neighbor to welcome them. These gestures carry value greater than the physical gift offered. Involved in the exchange is a heartfelt giving that lets the recipient know they are cared for and thought about. When you send someone a gift from Twirl, send them a reminder of this little secret: the love you send with the gift flows through you, to them. The love (or well-wishes) nourishes you as you feel it, and them as they receive it. Then each moment spent in mindful focus increases the value of the gift received! The more we participate in the flow – both in and out - the more strength and ease we experience.
Take time each day to feel the flow of love and grace that is present each moment. It awaits your attention. Open your eyes to the beauty in nature. Open your heart to the energy that flows in when you remember that you are loved. As a caregiver, nourish first yourself. It is a simple as breathing in.
It is the month of love. Here at Twirl, we are sending love out into the world and hope you are feeling it! We see the world spinning a little brighter and a little better as we uplift ourselves and uplift each other. Our plan is simple and we’d like you to be a part of it. Twirl wants to direct actions of love, kindness and compassion; we want to facilitate actions of love, kindness and compassion; and we want to inspireactions of love, kindness and compassion.
The direction is this: wrap yourself in the power of words. What words do you choose as you go through your day? Do you wake up and say, “It’s going to be a great day!”? Do you give yourself the praise, encouragement and love you want from others? In yoga we say “Namaste” – the Light in Me greets the Light in You. (Notice the order – the Light in Me comes first.) Do you honor and love and appreciate the beautiful and unique Light that you are in the world? We want to direct you to pause. Notice. Appreciate the Love and Light within you. You are a blessing to the world.
Our gift line at Twirl is our way to facilitate spreading Love and Light into the world. When you choose a gift from Twirl, it’s more than just a reminder to someone that you are thinking of them. We make our gifts with care and embellish them with words of support. We create gifts that have a tactile feel that invokes feelings of wellness, ease, comfort. The message you send with a gift from Twirl carries a vibration that can be experienced in each moment the gift is used. When I enjoy a gift from Twirl, I remember to pause and feel the love of the sender. The world feels a little brighter. The Light in Me greets the Light in You and, in a truly amazing way, we are connected across the miles.
And hey, we’ll be supper happy to hear we inspire acts of love, kindness and compassion! Maybe the story of feeling the wind at your back makes your day a little easier. (If you missed it, you can read it here.) Perhaps hearing the word “Twirl” you decide to spin around, open your arms, and smile. Twirling makes us young again. Twirling opens our heart. Let the Love flow!
This holiday season, I'm treating myself to a hip replacement. I'm so glad our flannel nightshirt, made by our partners at Contour MD right here in the Kansas City metro area, is in production! I'm planning to make the best dressed list in the hospital's physical therapy room. Not only is this nightshirt soft, beautiful, snuggly, and impeccably crafted, but the words "Love and Appreciation" printed on the shirt will help me stay focused and present through my healing process.
I hope your holiday plans are a bit more festive, maybe involving some dancing and twirling, but when you're ready to settle down by the fire with a nice cup of something warm, I hope you're wrapped up in one of these. When you hold an energy of love and appreciation, and I hold an energy of love and appreciation, we're together in a shared vibration!
No matter what this season holds for you, may you bring your most creative self forward, and choose for yourself a vibration that uplifts you and those around you. If you happen to find your holiday schedule trampling you like Santa's reindeers, I've recorded a little meditation for you to use as a re-set. Listen to it here.
Do you want to send your holiday gifts with a little something extra?
A gift from Twirl is a lovely, soft and thoughtful way to tell someone you are thinking of him or her. Each gift is ready to be shipped today. No further assembly is required.
-You need read no further. Or…
A gift from Twirl creates a portal that connects you with your loved ones. A gift from Twirl is an invitation to practice mindful connection. A gift from Twirl carries potential of dynamic support, synergy and shared momentum.
When we are able to feel the love and good wishes people hold for us, we receive a rich and valuable gift. To twirl, the recipient needs to be open to receiving! Receiving is something we can all practice, because the balanced flow of giving and receiving is what makes twirling easy and effortless. That is the lesson Pam’s mother taught Pam with casserole etiquette. Graciously and generously supporting others in times of need or celebration is the warp of our tapestry, and willingness to receive love and care from others in our own times of hardship or joy is the weft. Both are essential for a strong and beautiful weave.
DIYers: If you want to tackle the Do It Yourself part of the gift, the next section is for you. A gift from twirl reminds you to harness joined power by being present and open in the Present Presence, mindfully NOW. In this present moment, are you able to feel the threads you send out and those that reach toward you from others? Every day the tapestry of life is being woven by thoughts, words and interactions. A gift from Twirl reminds you to wrap yourself in the power of words, and choose for yourself what kind of day you’re weaving on your loom of life.
Every thought and every word exists as vibration. What words will you send your loved ones with your gift from Twirl today? Choose your words with intention and create a stable platform with 3 words in 3 simple steps.
Here’s how to Twirl:
Think of the person you are gifting.
Imagine sending 3 one-word blessings or wishes to them. (Choosing 3 words creates a stable, focused pedestal for your gift, i.e., courage/strength/hope or love/appreciation/joy.)
Write these words on a card and send it with your gift. Tell your loved one, “I have wrapped this gift in the power of words”
You have just twirled. Your energy, and the energy of another are together in a way that weaves you together and makes you stronger. Each time you think of each other, the texture gets richer and deeper.