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Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Living Outside The Box



How much time do you spend outdoors?

So many Americans spend a large percentage of their leisure time on their computers, cell phones and/or watching television. The media is molding most peoples minds...especially the young ones. That's a scary thought. They're selling a lifestyle and we're all buying. Here's a book by Barbara Brock about eliminating television altogether and tuning in to living your life.

http://www.amazon.com/Living-Outside-Box-TV-Free-Families/dp/1597660140

How often do you actually get out into the fresh air and sunshine, under the trees? Taking time to smell the roses isn't just a catchphrase. It's actually required for life to stay healthy, happy and balanced. We ARE a part of nature and need to be out in it. Modern society and the modern lifestyle is creating withering humans that are surviving but not necessarily thriving.

I suggest we all get outside and take a walk each day, notice the birds and the beautiful flowers, the smell and feel of the fresh air. Feel how happy your lungs and body are to be outside, breathing, moving and stretching. Connect with what is real and alive...connect with nature and with yourself. While doing this, give some thought to what YOU want out of life. What would it take for you to thrive?

Some fun ways to be outside are:

snorkeling

swimming

surfing

kayaking

walking

skipping

jogging

hiking

riding a bike

playing tennis

stretching

swinging

climbing a tree

doing yoga

tai chi


Here's an interesting article on fresh air and sunshine:

The Fresh-Air Fix
The simple way to boost brainpower, improve health, and feel great, spend time outside

Sure, people say they love summer. But instead of enjoying it, the average American spends most of the season stuck in stale offices and living rooms. Even kids today spend 7 hours more on academics and 2 hours less on sports and outdoor activities per week than they did 20 years ago. Annual family vacations have decreased by 28%, while national park attendance has fallen steadily.

But all this indoor living isn't doing much for our health. Children who get more "vitamin G"--what experts call time spent in green spaces--have lower stress levels and more success in school. Simply being in sunlight triggers skin to make vitamin D, which is shaping up to be a potent immune booster.

"We may also exercise and socialize more in nature-activities with proven health benefits," says Frances Kuo, PhD, director of the Landscape and Human Health Laboratory at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Even in the bleakest housing projects, the addition of just a few trees cut crime by 42% in one study, encouraging people to venture out.

So get moving: Here are six ways your family can capture the benefits of an I-love-summer lifestyle.

Make Outdoor Play Mandatory
The National Wildlife Federation urges parents to institute an outdoor "green hour" for kids. Start by suggesting just one more activity each weekend--a family bike ride or an after-dinner walk. Next, add a weekday event. Some other ideas (find more at greenhour.org):

Invest in fun boots and let kids splash in puddles.

Pack a picnic snack and dine in a shady spot.

Look for constellations or catch fireflies at night.

Grow a Love of Gardening
Besides getting fresh air and exercise, kids who garden eat more fruit and vegetables, research shows. Plus, a study of 647 grade-schoolers found that students who grew plants scored about 12% higher on academic tests, compared with those who didn't. To make it fun for everyone, choose easy, hardy crops, like squash, tomatoes, and radishes. Visit kidsgardening.org for more advice on getting started.

Bring the Animals Closer
Add parsley and bright flowers to your garden to attract caterpillars and butterflies you can watch all season. To lure wildlife straight to your window, help kids make a bird feeder out of wood (kits available at home-improvement stores) or an orange juice carton (see how at prevention.com/links). Keep binoculars handy--birdwatching is one of the country's fastest-growing hobbies.

Move the Kitchen Outside
Get the whole family outdoors by having some meals outside.

Sleep Under the Stars
Backwoods camping isn't for everyone: too many bugs, too few showers. But even a family "sleep out" in the yard counts as communing with nature; pitch a tent and switch on a portable radio or open a board game. Getting kids excited about camping early on may encourage them, as teens, to pursue wilderness programs such as Outward Bound or the Student Conservation Association; these programs enhance self-confidence, motivation, and independence, according to Yale University research.

Pave a New Path
You'll get greater health benefits exercising where it's green--even if it's only once a week. A 2003 Swedish study found that people who ran in parks felt 15% more restored than those who ran on treadmills or through city streets. And hiking or biking with the kids can be a great break from mundane weekday workouts and inspires family-wide fitness. Interaction with nature reduces de promotes healing, sparks creativity, and even increases life expectancy--upping survival odds by about 15% over 5 years in one Japanese study


I also found this article online by Elizabeth Tull. She's a Professional Excellence Coach who lives with her two children outside of Atlanta Ga.

A client of mine told me of a post recently by a woman who feels professional coaching is teaching “New Age” philosophy and that we promote thinking outside-the-box. She feels that way of thinking is not an encouraging idea to promote because it is unrealistic and a waste of time for people who want to live successfully in today’s society. I had to laugh. She posted on a 12 Step chat room! Where would she have posted if Bill Wilson, Dr. Bob and Microsoft had NOT thought outside the box?

My answer to this woman is: I don’t know much about New Age but cheers, high five and AMEN for any encouragement and current day success stories that promote outside-the-box thinking! Thank you Bill Gates and Christopher Reeve to name two practical and easily recognizable outside-the-box thinkers that have lived outside the lines of “normal and reasonable thinking.” How about some older examples? Jesus Christ, Galileo, The Pilgrims, ancient Greek democracy and philosophy, early American colonists, The Beatles and most recently stem cell research which brought Americans out to the polls in record numbers this election? Talk about your catalysts!

The treasure that I have found my way back home to is personal greatness.

In my experience, living and internalizing personal greatness means not always being comfortable, reasonable and “realistic” according to today’s society. That living-in-the-minute and having real freedom, full self-expression, creativity, innovation, excitement and joy is the result of saying yes to challenges, people or my own voices that point out “it” may be hard or “it” wont be easy as well as using my outside-the-box thinking and understanding that I might feel vulnerable, uncomfortable, stretched or just plain tired at times. That’s not an extravagant price to pay for freedom and excitement in my book.

Laugh in the face of danger I say! Swim with the dolphins! Surf the pipeline!! I am not promoting unsafe measures, rush of adrenaline living or fantasy. I have had a re-awakening to a tool that I hold, live and learn by in which my highest self is captured, inspired and triggered:

Doing the unthinkable, being unreasonable and living outside the lines.

What is reasonable and unreasonable anyway? Tell Cro-Magnon man that we’ve put a man on the moon and he’s left in bewilderment speaking as if we are Gods. Share the same thing with Galileo and he wants velocities and time factors.

I took a powerful seminar a few years back called The Landmark Forum, www.landmarkeducation.com in which they defined it for me:

Being reasonable: honoring the reasons why I can’t.

As I honestly look at my life, I can recall memories or experiences from childhood up through today in which my disappointment, fear, frustration or doubt was re-invented into an awesome feeling of pride, victory and accomplishment. The times when I’d either thought or were told that I could NEVER pull “it” off. “It” was impossible, too hard, unrealistic, selfish or great for others, but not for me.

I have heard those reasons my whole life, though as a child I wasn’t listening. I was unreasonable. I was too busy discovering and inventing ways to make it work. My attitude back then was, “Watch me.” I didn’t comprehend the words: “ No… I/you can’t… It’s a waste of time… No one has ever pulled that off...That’s impossible… What will people think?”

So why is it that at 39, I am only just rediscovering that part of the power in personal greatness that is being willing and intentional in taking on hard, difficult or risky projects? Where does that undefeatable kid spirit go?

What happens to some of us as we reach numerical adulthood in which not only do we hear the “you cant's,” the “you’ll fails” and the “it’s a waste of times,” but we buy into it hook, line and sinker? That only being cooperative and socially reasonable is what makes you a successful member of society? (Successful to them maybe, but how fulfilled are you?) Could these messages come from the media, our parents, peers, society, co-workers, religion, living in our own mistakes, or this one:

“Act like an adult.”

Some, like myself, buy into the smear campaign unintentionally sent out by those looking to protect us and keep us safe and a few, perhaps, even out to keep us small.

Today, I am an adult. Today, I am fully responsible for family AND I am once again a risk-taker and visionary reaching for glorious heights and thriving from Higher Purpose Living. I am once again rolling up my sleeves and saying “So what?” or “Yes it will” to challenging or difficult opportunities.

Today, I am unrealistic and unreasonable as far as society’s definitions and my own self-imposed restrictions. Today, I love living outside the lines and thinking outside-the-box. Once again, I am an explorer.

Today, I understand that the personal heights I achieve are directly proportional to the whats, hows and whys in creating my life. The larger my goals or vision, the larger the call to action. I don’t need results or outcomes to turn out the way I envisioned them anymore--it’s all in the climb, knowing when to surrender and when to ask for support from others.

So for you reader, I wish you extraordinary challenges, glorious heights, unreasonable opportunities and life outside-the-lines.

When you hear “It might be hard,” reply with, “So? What’s your point?”

Live Gloriously,

Elizabeth Tull

Elizabeth@agapelegacycoach.com

website: www.agapelegacycoach.com

Thank You- Elizabeth!


Here's another article I thought was interesting:

http://www.kellogg.northwestern.edu/News_Articles/2009/galinskyresearch.aspx



12 RULES FOR LIVING OUTSIDE OF THE BOX


1. Always be willing to think for yourself.


2. Never live your life based on the uninformed or
negative opinions of others.


3. Always be open to new ideas.


4. Associate with other people who think for themselves
and are successful in life.


5. If you find yourself "going along with the crowd,"
always ask yourself where the crowd is going.


6. Make the decision to believe in yourself, no matter what.


7. Frequently ask yourself the question, "Am I thinking
inside the box, or outside the box?


8. Be willing to take responsibility for your own choices
and your own actions.


9. Set goals and stick to them. Don't let other people
deter you or hold you back.


10. Don't be afraid to be different. Most of life's
greatest accomplishments are achieved by people who break
the mold.


11. Never be negative yourself. There is a lot of good in
yourself and in the world around you. Practice seeing the
good.


12. Enjoy your choices and enjoy what you do. Never let a
day go by without being thankful for the fact that you get
to be here in the first place.


Are you willing to do what it takes to have what you want in life?

Heading in the direction of what you want can be as simple as a short walk in the fresh air to clear your head. Listen to your intuition and see where it guides you.

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