Holly and Heather's Helping Hands

Inspirational Heartfelt Hints

Holly & Heather’s Helpful Hint: Be Mindful

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On Mother’s Day, we always try to give our mother lovely, thoughtful gifts and in return, she continually out-does us. This year, among her myriad gifts to us was a book called, “The One Plan”. When she saw it in the store, she was attracted to it because its yogic theme reminded her of us (we both practice although we consider ourselves amateurs). And yes, the book is about yoga but also about many topics that most would not consider a typical “yoga” book. The book contains a year-long plan that promises a happier, healthier life. Who wouldn’t be interested in how to obtain that?

Although we are only two weeks past mother’s day and thus only two weeks into the fifty-two week plan, the topic of mindfulness has been discussed. The practice of mindfulness is a newly growing trend that has actually been around for thousands of years. What’s interesting is that schools are trying to adopt the practice as a means of helping children to focus better, help reduce anxiety, reduce difficulty with peers and to become better listeners. The research trend seems to be positive and according to different articles written on the topic, better test scores have been a by-product.

So what is mindfulness? In its simplest form, it means staying aware in the present moment. We have blogged in the past about the importance of “being present” especially when discussing how to enjoy life and reduce worries about the future or guilt from the past. But becoming truly mindful in your day to day life is something that you can practice every day, throughout the day and as you get better and better at it hopefully you too will see the fruits of your labor!  More to follow in blogs to come…

Holly and Heather’s Helpful Hint: Shake It Up!

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Are you in a rut with anything in your life? Most of us live on routine schedules – work Monday thru Friday, grocery shop on Saturday…exercise class every Tuesday night…mow the lawn on Sunday…laundry on Wednesday, sometimes it is so darn boring! Of course routines are needed, even mandatory when you have kids (be home for the bus, time for homework, time for lessons) but year after year with the same schedule can make you numb.

Sometimes something not so great comes along that throws you for a loop, like car problems or the flu and all things come to a stop while you take care of the problem. But wouldn’t it be nice to shake things up a little on purpose for enjoyment?  Do you have to take vacation time every year in the month of February?  What about making something different for dinner?  How about taking up a new hobby?  Every now and again try to go out of your comfort zone and make a change.  Recently the two of us embarked on a new food journey and for us this is quite a change in lifestyle.  Eating different foods, at different times in different quantities may sound silly but it really upheaved our way of looking at mealtimes.  And having a goal of getting healthier is a bonus.

Change something in your life if you are in a rut or need a new outlook.  It can be refreshing and fun to shake it up a little!

Holly & Heather’s Helpful Hint: Ode to Motherhood

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This Sunday is Mother’s Day and we would like to wish our mom a very happy day! Being mothers ourselves, we can truly appreciate how hard it is to be a mom. Not just a mom but a conscientious parent; loving but firm, always there but not hovering, guiding but not dictating. It is a hard balance, to find that mix of just right when it comes to mothering, especially as our kids are all teenagers now and looking for independence but still really needing us. And still needing our advice and help in life.

When our kids were little we spent our days reading, playing with them on the playground and making pudding.  We didn’t go out without them on the weekends; sitters were hard to come by so the occasional “date night” with our husbands was rare but welcomed.  As they got older our days were full of homework help and navigating good friendships for them.  We spent many a day driving to and from all different kinds of lessons; from dance to piano, karate and baseball.  Now that they are teens we are still here, even if they are doing their own thing.  They still need a hot meal and to know you are present.

Mothering never ends, it seems we are destined to always worry about our children, and always love, unconditionally.  Happy Mother’s Day to all of our mom readers.  We hope you have a great day, hopefully celebrating with your kids!  See you Sunday Mom!  xoxo

Holly & Heather’s Helpful Hint: It’s OK to Cry


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Terrible tragedies have occurred this past week in our world. The earthquake in Nepal, the avalanche on Mount Everest, riots in Maryland. They are events that cause immediate reactions when seen on the news – sadness, outrage, disbelief. Do you find yourself choking back tears when watching the news or reading the paper? We certainly did this week. But why fight the tears? Why move so quickly to anger or judgment or even worse, complacency. What can we do about these tragic events? Well, crying is a good first start.

For us as we are sure for many, having a good cry is the beginning of change. Making a difference in this world, however small, can start with feeling, not fighting, your emotions. What are we so afraid of? Why repress your tears? And isn’t it infuriating when someone tells you to stop crying and settle down? Easier asked than done. We are so quick to quiet a crying baby because we don’t want them to feel pain or discomfort but when we are adults, we can regulate our own feelings and attend to our own needs. Crying is part of the process for many. Just as laughing can be cathartic, so can those tears be. Feel them and allow them to spur you into action for positive change.

Holly and Heather’s Helpful Hint: Embrace the Environment

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We recently watched a documentary on the impact we as humans are having on the earth. While we hear rumors from time to time of films pushing certain agendas, in general we find documentaries to be researched and informative. This one was full of historical facts about our environment here on earth over thousands of years and the impact we have had on the earth for the last 50 to 100 years. There were plenty of scientists interviewed and visits to other countries around the world.  It talked about the dangerous impact we are having on the earth from everything to forest fires, automobile emissions and energy usage.  It also gave projections into the future on the “health” of our planet based on how we are living our lives now.  Throughout the documentary we kept thinking “What will it suggest we do to help protect our environment?”

Interestingly enough, how we can help the earth is pretty simple, mostly things we all know about and just have to do:  turn the lights off when you leave a room, unplug things when you are not using them, plant a tree.  Bigger things that are harder to do but equally important are: utilizing solar and wind for power and going hybrid or electrical for your car.  These are more controversial but the thought is there for a cleaner way of living.

This week we celebrate Earth Day.  There are tons of things going on you can get involved with from local park and public space clean-ups to recycling your old electronics days.  Do your part, even if you just clean out your own house or plant a vegetable garden.  According to this documentary, we, in a global effort, have repaired that hole in the ozone layer!  We can do anything!


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