Week 14 – Bettering Yourself – Apr 1 – 7, 2013 – Recognizing My Ego

For this week’s bettering yourself exercise, recognizing my ego, I am going to be aware of when my ego pops up and gets in my way, and “leave my ego at the door”. By shining a light on my ego I will decrease the suffering that a big ego brings.

When I am tempted to name drop, or try to impress, or complain about someone or something to make them or it wrong, I am going to check my thoughts to see what’s going on. By stomping out my ego, my goal is to feel more connected to other people, rather than separate from them. I will let you know how it goes next week.

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My ego gets in my way

My ego gets in my way

Review of week 13 – Ecologically Friendly Gardening

Aerating grass adds oxygen to the soil

Aerating grass adds oxygen to the soil

For this week’s bettering yourself exercise, ecologically friendly gardening, I began by working on my grass. Over the winter it suffered with the frost and foot traffic, resulting in a lot of bare patches and weeds in it.

The sun came out this week, and it was perfect gardening weather, so I hired a company to aerate the grass. This naturally added oxygen to the soil without using fertilizer.

The arerator pulled plugs of grass out of my yard that resembled wine bottle corks, leaving tons of holes in the grass. The dirt plugs started breaking up, and I over-seeded the yard with grass seed to fill in the gaps, then sprinkled it with water.

However, the single most ecologically friendly action I took this week, was buying a push mower. It cuts low and makes the grass look nice after I cut it, and it is a great workout, and requires no gas or electricity to mow the lawn, and I let the mulch (or grass clippings) stay in the grass to fill in the gaps.

Push mowing and leaving the mulch in the grass helps fill in the gaps

Push mowing and leaving the mulch in the grass helps fill in the gaps

What is Easter?

Easter eggs symbolize rebirthEaster Sunday is on March 31, 2013, this year, and Good Friday is on March 29th. Next to Christmas, Easter is the biggest Christian celebration of the year. Easter brings love, hope, and renewal.

Easter is a Christian celebration to honor the resurrection of Jesus. Jesus died on Good Friday, and rose from the dead on Easter Sunday, to give Christians eternal life.

The rebirth of Christ at Easter coincides with the renewal of nature in the season of spring. A sense of renewed hope blooms, along with the purple and yellow flowers.

Easter is a time to reflect on God’s love. God gave his only begotten son so believers could have everlasting life. It is a “count your blessings” season, a time of forgiveness, as Jesus forgave those who crucified him on the cross.

The symbols of Easter are: candles to symbolize that Jesus is the light of the world. Eggs are an endearing Easter symbol, as birds hatch from them like the resurrected Christ, who arose from the tomb. For centuries, eggs have been dyed and decorated to celebrate the occasion. In the west, the mythical Easter Bunny gives chocolate Easter eggs to children in baskets filled with Easter grass, resembling a bird’s nest.

Easter is an uplifting season that is celebrated by going to church, or staying at home for a traditional dinner of ham or turkey. Non Christians enjoy the holiday from school or work as well. In Canada, Good Friday is a statuatory holiday, and Easter Monday is a union holiday.

I hope you have a wonderful Easter holiday filled with faith, hope and love, whatever you decide to do.
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Bettering Yourself – Week 13 – Mar 25 – Apr 3, 2013 Ecologically Friendly Gardening

For this week’s bettering yourself exercise, I am going to find ways to do ecologically friendly gardening in my yard. I am going to find natural ways to improve my grass and flowers and kill the weeds, that will not harm the environment. I will let you know how it goes next week.

Review of week 12 – Bettering Yourself – Enjoy Silent Time

Silent time transports you to beautiful places in your mind

Quiet time transports you to beautiful places in your mind

For this week’s bettering yourself exercise, I enjoyed some silent time away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

I am posting this review late, because my internet was out for a few days, but it’s working fine now.

I enjoyed my own company sitting in silence I thought I might feel lonely, but instead I felt peaceful.

My thoughts started slowing down, and after a few minutes of sitting quietly, my thoughts about what I had to do didn’t seem so important, and I enjoyed the empty space and the rest. I also dreamt about beautiful places like the beach and Paris.

The best thing was, by calming my mind, my to-do list somehow got sorted into priority sequence with no effort on my part. Once I stopped stressing about my little problems, and calming down, I looked at the problems from a different perspective and the important tasks came to the forefront, and the minor tasks lost their significance.

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Bettering Yourself Week 12 – Mar 18 – 24, 2013 Enjoy Some Silent Time

Finding some quiet time

Finding some quiet time

For this week’s bettering yourself exercise, I am going to escape from the hustle bustle of housework and errands and responsibilities, cell phones, computers, and televisions, and enjoy some silent time.

Instead of feeling as if I am only reacting to my circumstances, I am going to make time to get centered and connect with myself this week in silence. I am going to find 10 minutes a day where I can sit quietly and breathe, and I will let you know how it goes next week.

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Review of Week 11 – Scheduling in Playtime

Schedule in fun, and work around it

Schedule in fun, and work around it

For my bettering yourself exercise this week, scheduling in playtime, I worked on scheduling a day together with my immediate family, but when I checked everyone’s work, school, sports, and music schedules, I realized it was going to be trickier than I thought.

Instead, I started working on a less ambitious project and am arranging a family pizza dinner. So far, I have confirmed three of us, and am awaiting the weekly schedules for the other two.

One of my neighbors also asked me to get together for coffee next week with some other neighbors at a restaurant. She called a few neighbors and I called another one to invite her, and once we hear back about everyone’s availability, it’s a go.

I managed to almost plan two fun events for bettering yourself this week, not bad I guess, as I learned something in the process – setting up fun social activities takes time, and I have to be patient and persevere, because it’s well worth the fun, and enjoying myself first makes my work easier after.

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Irish Coffee recipe

This delightful beverage has heavy Irish cream floating on top, so the coffee is drunk through the cream. The hot, sweet, drink wards off the bitter cold winds coming in off the coast of Ireland.

1 cup freshly brewed hot coffee
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 jigger Irish whiskey (1 1/2 ounces or 3 tablespoons)
Heavy cream, slightly whipped

Fill footed mug or a mug with hot water to preheat it, then empty. Pour piping hot coffee into warmed glass until it is about 3/4 full. Add the brown sugar and stir until completely dissolved. Blend in Irish whiskey. Top with a collar of the whipped heavy cream by pouring gently over back of spoon. Serve hot.

A wee sip will ward off the cold

A wee sip will ward off the cold

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Bettering Yourself – Week 11 – Mar 11-17, 2013 – Schedule Playtime First

Schedule in Play Time

Schedule in Play Time


As a continuation of the procrastination theme, this week, I am working on scheduling my play time and working my duties around that.

Sometimes we get stuck in our routine, and neglect to schedule in activities to look forward to, so we tend to procrastinate to escape the routine.  This week I am going to look into what enjoyable activities I can slot into my schedule in advance, so I take some time out to enjoy some fun activities as the nice weather comes. 

That way, I will also impose a deadline to get my work done, so I can have some fun after.

      photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/paperpariah/2548188649/”>Adam Foster | Codefor</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/”>cc</a>

Review of Bettering Yourself Week 10 – Stop Procrastinating

 For Bettering Yourself this week, I learned how to stop procrastinating.

I conquered the procrastination habit this week, by starting five income tax returns for my family.  My son helped me prepare two of them using Turbo Tax software, I had one that was complicated professionally prepared, and I prepared two of my son’s returns from last year manually on the long form. I felt a sense of relief when all five returns were mailed off by the end of the week.

Getting started was the key, and setting a  deadline to let you know how it went gave me the motivation to finish them.