Long walks are amazing for the mind, body, and spirit. Unfortunately, in the middle of January in the Midwest, the weather makes most long walks fairly uncomfortable. This past weekend however, we were lucky enough to have a beautiful day on our hands. Amber and I took full advantage by running up to the Nature Center that sits about 10 miles from our house.
When we arrived, it looked like most of Springfield had the same idea we did (which is great!). Seeing all these cars parked meant people were enjoying themselves outside and were taking a nice stroll through nature. It meant there was a great opportunity to see some one we knew or smile and say "Hi" to strangers as we passed on the trail. It was an exciting chance to go have fun, and that's what we did.
We passed families who's kids were loving hopping from rock-to-rock. We passed photographers who were capturing the beauty that surrounded them. We saw couples relaxing on benches just soaking up the views and enjoying the quality time they were spending together. It was a great view all around.
Amber decided we should take some pictures while we were making our way down the trails (she's always full of good ideas!). So we played here and there. We splashed in the water, played on the railroad, and snapped a few selfies. It was absolutely time well spent. Unfortunately, the sun began to set so we eventually had to venture back up to our cars before we got locked in.
This was a random day that blessed us with good weather. We took full advantage of it and created a wonderful day we won't soon forget.
Sun Salutations are a series of yoga poses that have long been practiced by Yogis in order to increase the strength and flexibility of the muscles, as well as take the spine and hips through a varied range of motion. Many yoga practices will utilize this flow in the morning to energize the body, awaken the mind, and express gratitude. There are many variations of Sun Salutations, but today I will briefly cover a variation I enjoy performing. I find this one simple, easy to learn, and very enjoyable personally.
Repeat this sequence as many times as you please. Going through this series for 10-20 minutes continuously can provide a great benefit to your mobility, flexibility, and stamina.
Again, there are many variations of Sun Salutations. This is just one that I find very enjoyable.
There is so much in this world to be seen. There are so many people in this world to be met. There are so many experiences in this world to be had. Why are you waiting?
Our clocks keep ticking. Our time keeps dwindling. We do not have an eternity to see all we want to see. We do not have unlimited time to do all that we wish to do. Quit waiting. Start living.
This beautiful world that we are so fortunate to be living in is packed full of magnificence. From the water that flows to the forests that grow, there is so much to be seen. Quit hesitating. Begin your adventure now.
Do not procrastinate on your life. Do not put off living the life that you want. Take that step forward and begin to live life to the fullest. Start exploring this wonderful world that surrounds you.
In my gratitude journal I have three short statements I write at the top of the page every day. These statements act as a reminder, a personal slogan, and an affirmation to center my mind. Those three statements are:
"Find beauty. Be grateful. Feel joy."
I'm an eternal optimist. I always try to remain positive. I look for the beauty in every situation. I try and figure out what lesson I can take away from every scenario in order to learn from it or prevent it from happening again. You've heard "everything happens for a reason". I don't believe that is inherently true, but I do believe we can grow from every ordeal we are involved in if w have the right mindset. Finding the beauty in any situation is a step in the right direction.
Being grateful is all the rage right now in personal development, and I'm a big fan of that. Gratitude keeps us grounded. The act of being grateful keeps us humble, lifts our spirits, and can shed a positive light on everyone's life. Take the time to write, think, or speak about what you are grateful for and you will notice an almost immediate impact on your mood. Start or finish your days with this practice. When you find yourself becoming angry or frustrated take a deep breath and think about all the amazing people and items you have that you can be grateful for. We are each blessed in our own ways. Focus on that when times get rough.
We each deserve to feel joy. We owe it to ourselves to live a life that provides meaning, fulfillment, and happiness. Treat yourself to being around people who's company you enjoy, hobbies you find fun, and work that makes you feel good. Keeping a positive outlook and being grateful makes experiencing joy easy in almost any situation.
These three statements create my foundation at the start of everyday. They set my mind. They encourage me. They fill me with confidence. I hope they might do the same for you!
Our bodies are a piece of art. They are the greatest masterpiece this planet has ever seen. The interplay between the mind, body, and spirit is absolutely fascinating. Each piece of us is intertwined so uniquely that we are doing a disservice to ourselves when we do not work to develop all facets of who we are. We must build our body’s capacity for work and movement. We must develop our mind to think, analyze, and learn. We must control our emotions rather than our emotions control us.
This process is never-ending. Day after day, year after year, we must continue to grow and develop who we are. We must learn and dive deep into our physical and mental being on a frequent basis. This is the only way to know, and master, who you are.
Exercise is great for the development of the physical body. If you push hard enough in your workouts you can absolutely develop mental toughness and learn how far you are capable of pushing yourself, but exercise alone does not always lead to the development of the mind and spirit that we seek.
To better our minds, we must continuously learn and grow our skill sets. Reading is an unbelievable option. Books provide an avenue to learn so much. Books can take our minds into a whole other universe and stretch our imaginations. Literature can teach us methods and lessons of learning new languages, techniques in our careers or hobbies, and how to influence the people in our lives. Reading can relax us and wash away stress. For the mind, reading is extremely beneficial.
Meditation is a great skill to develop as well. Meditation has been shown to literally rewire our brains after being utilized by individuals for several weeks. Those who meditate tend to become happier, increase their ability to focus, and can better control their stress. Along with meditation comes better understanding of your thoughts, better emotional control, and quick routes to relaxation.
Creating, be it through music, art, or a story, is another amazing tool to develop the mind. This form of self-expression gives you a highway to exploring the depths of your nature. You are able to get the thoughts and images racing through your mind out into the external world rather than keeping them bottled inside. This act can be more than just entertainment. It can be a form of therapy, education, and an opportunity to influence others if you choose to show your work to the world.
We are more than just a body. We are more than just a job. We are a complicated, expansive being that has unlimited power to grow and develop into something beautiful.
When life has us down, or times are getting tough, there is always something we can do to better our spirits. One simple act that can raise our morale, increase our endorphins, and boost our mood in a matter of seconds is to smile.
Smiling, even when faked or forced, seems to be able to almost immediately make us feel happier and more relaxed. It's like happiness in a pill that you don't have to swallow. It's a supplement you don't have to buy. It's a shot you don't have to inject. You simply smile.
Another great perk of smiling is that it can be quite contagious. In the right environment, one smile can spread like wildfire to everyone in the room, instantly creating a happier space. The world can never have enough happy people, so don't hesitate to spread to.
Next time you need a quick pick-me-up try to sit back and smile for a minute. You'll be thankful you did.
The wonderful thing about humans is our ability to grow, develop, and adapt to any situation. This trait has allowed us to create effective channels of communication, transportation, medical procedures, and a world around us that is constantly evolving. This ability to adapt creates the roots for growth. It gives a grain of truth to the quote, "What doesn't kill you makes you stronger". It is this ability that will serve each of us in a time of crisis.
Life is never a steady stream of pleasure and ease. We all have difficult times. We lose jobs, opportunities, and people we care about. This is a reality that will haunt us until the day we die. Loss is a fundamental part of life that we are powerless to prevent.
But we are not powerless to how we react. We each are strong and capable. More so than many of us realize. We can overcome any situation, but to do so it takes mental fortitude. It takes a focus on the strength we each posses. It demands that we concentrate on the positive. Do not let the negativity and emotional toll that of a loss can have on your identity consume you. You must stand tall and proud in the face of this opposition. You must center your mind on positive memories, wonderful people you know, and the ways you can better this world.
These positive thoughts and experiences will lift you up, strengthen your soul, and restore your faith in life whenever you begin to fade and weaken. These tough times will not defeat you. These tough times will only make you stronger.
Today, I have one of the toughest workout programs I’ve personally done for you. It’s centered around one of the biggest bang-for-your-buck exercises available- The Kettlebell Swing.
After this workout you will be a master of the movement. You will be stronger, leaner, and more fit. You quite possibly could be at the greatest level of conditioning you’ve ever experienced. Many people, upon completion, report better abs, bigger butts, iron grips, and a greater feeling of athleticism. When done properly, this program can transform your body and mind in just 4 weeks.
With such positive results though, it is not easy. It’s tough and requires dedication. You will be pushed mentally and physically, but if you want results bad enough, you will get locked in and focused. You will make the decision to commit yourself to the program for the next 4 weeks.
This program is from a coach I look up to and respect enormously, Dan John. He created this masterpiece and has tested it on himself, as well as his friends and clients, before revealing it to the world. The program is the 10,000 Swing Kettlebell Challenge.
The workout itself consists of 20 sessions. Each session centers around performing 500 Swings alongside one strength movement (think squats, presses, Chins, etc). The goal is to get 4-5 training sessions in per week. There are endless variations as far as accumulating the 500 Swings. Coach John recommends the two methods below:
Set 1- 10 Reps
Set 2- 15 Reps
Set 3- 25 Reps
Set 4- 50 Reps
Repeat four more times.
Or an alternative:
Set 1- 15 Reps
Set 2- 35 Reps
Repeat 9 more times.
Dan recommends focusing on one strength movement each workout. You would perform a set after each set of Swings. So…
Squat 1 Rep
Squat 2 Reps
Squat 3 Reps
Rest until you’re ready to repeat.
Dan also recommends you track the length of your sessions. Rest periods should be kept short, 30-60 seconds after each movement. With 50-rep sets of swings, you’ll probably need a little more. Over the course of the 20 workouts the time to complete each session will shorten. You will require less and less rest as your body adapts, you become stronger, and your endurance builds.
I personally lost some body fat, abs became more visible, and could feel my glutes contract much harder during workouts, and even just walking. It probably got bigger too…
Before embarking on this challenge, you might want to buy a pair of workout gloves. Performing 10,000 swings with a kettlebell can be very rough on your hands. Protect and take care of them while going through this intense program so you can complete it on schedule.
Remember, make the DECISION to complete this. COMMIT to it. FINISH it.
If you do that, I guarantee you will see results.
The rush inside of me when my alarm sounds is exhilarating. Th energy that courses through my veins as I rise from my sleep to attack the day is invigorating. I'm ready to experience this life to the fullest. I'm ready to witness the beauty of this world and what all the amazing people that surround me have to offer.
There's nothing I look forward to more than starting a new day. Each day brings with it surprises, new opportunities, and interactions with people I hold dearly. Each day teaches me a lesson that brings me happiness, helps me create a better world for my family, and motivates me to do better. Each day feels like Christmas morning in my mind. A chance to unwrap multiple gifts and experience them for the first time. The excitement, the joy, the passion I feel for everyday is unreal. I am blessed to be able to live this life.
I have such supportive friends and family that I feel truly special. They instill confidence into my spirit. They fulfill me with their compliments and reliability. Most of all, they make me want to be better. They make me want to do better. They help mold me into an individual with high expectations.
Today is Monday and I couldn't me more excited!
It's amazing how a small dose of the right people in your life can have a wonderful impact on your days. A shot of quality friendship can relax you from a long, hard day in the office. A heaping portion of time with friends can reverse your mood, bring endless amounts of smiles to your face, and fill your belly with laughs.
Our friendships should be meaningful. With the right dosage, time spent with these incredible people should leave us feeling better than we did without them. The moments we are bonding should leave us feeling like we can tackle the world. Our relationships should instill confidence in our minds, happiness in our hearts, and smiles in our souls. These companions bring positive vibes into our lives, listen to our deepest concerns or frustrations, and are always ready to help when needed.
They are willing to put us first in a time of crisis, support us in a time of need, and help us when our worlds seem to be crashing in. Through thick and thin, our friends will keep us afloat. Our friends will help lay the groundwork and create the foundation to stand back up. True friends will not waiver. They are with us. They are the people we wake up grateful for. They are the folks we think to call first. They are the individuals who are a blessing in our lives.
Think of your friends. Appreciate who they are. Thank them for what they've done. Let them know how important they are to you.
We are Amber and Jordan Kirbey. We are excited to share our experiences and ideas with you!