Tuesday, September 04, 2018

Be One with Nature (Day 4 of Thirty- Day Challenge for a More Meaningful Life)

Being one with nature is beneficial both on your body and mind.

A day in a life could just come and go and doing this challenge is starting to have a huge impact on my perspectives in life. Just on the fourth day and I am already realizing that there are effectual ways to break the monotony of life.

Day 4. Be One with Nature
Today, I challenged myself to be one with nature. Thankfully, we are currently on vacation so it is a lot easier to put in reality. Our day started early with a visit to the Sleeping Bear Dunes Scenic Drive. It has about 12 stop over that allowed us to bask on different views. Being one with nature allowed me to smell the trees and reminded me of my mortality.

One of the stop-over at the Scenic Drive.

We went hiking, stopped to save a turtle along the road, savoured the beauty of Lake Michigan, and walked in the cleanest water I have ever seen. I also experienced just laying down on the sand while enjoying the amazing view of Lake Michigan at Sleeping Bear Dunes Pyramid Point. I was sore all over from hiking and endless walking but it was so much fun.

A plethora of studies show that being in nature allows us to release anger, anxiety and stress. It also offers the most positive boost to provide healing for both body and mind.

Hans Christian Andersen said it perfectly, “Just living is not enough…one must have sunshine, freedom, and a little flower.”

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Five Things to Do in Leland, Michigan

Leland is a charming village that will beguile you with its beauty located on a shard of land between Lake Michigan and Lake Leelanau, on beautiful Leelanau Peninsula.

Our visit was like being transported in a scenic old town straight from the romantic Hollywood movie. In fact, I almost felt being in a setting described by incurable romance fanatic authors the like of Sparks and Steele.

The small town offers variety of activities such as hiking, biking, skiing and fishing. Our visit was so relaxing and filled with experiences that allowed us to be immersed with the calm and distinctive beauty of nature.

Here are the activities that would surely make your stay memorable in this historic town.

Leland is a charming village that will beguile you with its beauty. Splurge on special shopping, swimming and dining on this small town full of activities!

1. Stay Overnight in Falling Waters Lodge
The lodge is right at the historic enclave of 19th-century Lake Michigan shanties which offers the comforts of modern living while continuously preserving its historic feel. It is family-owned and operated and the place allows you to connect to the long tradition of Great Lakes maritime culture.

You may enjoy the sound of the falling water right at the comfort of your room or at the deck while enjoying a relaxing view. There are people fishing and you even get to enjoy watching fish trying to jump on the dam!

2. Shop
Just a walking distance from Falling Waters Lodge, boutiques, bookstores, and antique shops are all around. Shopping is a treat especially if you have a lot of cash because most items are not cheap. Check out the prices of some specialty items and beautifully crafted art.

This lampshade costs $359. Shades are made from the art of Michael Macone. 

Books are expensive but they do offer some good deals. 

I love this shop! 

This costs $1,000. Small but so expensive! 

So many choices of coffee, candies, and preserved fruits. 

This shop has all kinds of candies. 

More choices of chocolates and candies here and they also have the best coffee. 

Variety of jams. 

3. Go on a Hike
The historic town nestled at Lake Michigan will not fail to give you beautiful parks and trails. There’s a beautiful 40-acre natural area with hiking trails that are open to the public. Visit this official site for a complete list of Leelanau county trails. 

4. Explore Sleeping Bear Dunes Scenic Drive
The Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore is nearby so don’t miss this Good Morning America’s Most Beautiful Place. The views are magnificent and beyond descriptions.

5. Indulge in Restaurants
Delicious cuisines are also available in different restaurants. One of the famous places is Bluebird which is known for the finest whitefish, walleye, and perch in Northern Michigan. They also have steaks, prime ribs, and other seafood entrees.

Monday, September 03, 2018

Seize the Day (Day 3 of Thirty-Day Challenge for a More Meaningful Life)

It’s the third day of my thirty-day challenge for a more meaningful life. This day couldn’t be more perfect for what’s on my list- carpe diem.

The expression carpe diem was first uttered by Horace and rooted back from the oldest philosophical motto of Western history. The message resonates different meaning from various perspectives but mostly it signifies a day free from worries and simply savoring the beauty of the day.

At first glance, the tree looks like cherry, but, it isn't.

I feel so blessed to have this perfect opportunity to put this list in reality. Worrying does not change a thing and the pace of life is accelerating whatever we do. So, off we went on our travel for a short vacation. No rush, no worries. We even took the time to check on some cool trees and views along the way. The usual stress that travels bring was noticeably absent. And just like that, we were in a paradise.

Wearing matching shirts made the day more special.

The mere sight and sound of the rushing falling water was heaven. The sound was loud but it gives you this very peaceful and calm feeling.

This is probably the most peaceful town I have ever been.

The beautiful Falling Waters Lodge.

Truly, we could learn from Marcus Aurelius, “When you arise in the morning think of what a privilege it is to be alive, to think, to enjoy, to love…”

Day 1: Write a letter for someone who hurt you the most.
Day 2: Show a random act of kindness.

Sunday, September 02, 2018

Show a Random Act of Kindness

On the first day of the month, I started a challenge to do something each day that would pave a way for a more meaningful life. Cliché as it may sound, life is short and there’s nothing more meaningful but allowing experiences and actions to transcend positive energy in the core of our being.

Day 2. Show a random act of kindness.

Kindness is free yet it is something that we oftentimes fail to do. It is wrapped with hope and allow others to continue trusting that life’s condition will change for the better. There is nothing more gratifying than seeing others benefit from a sincere act of kindness.

This was inspired by a random act of kindness shown to me one day at the church. I have always struggled being an introvert so I am so grateful when people are kind enough to initiate conversation with me.

It was just an ordinary Sunday, I was seated while waiting for the service to start when an old lady approached me and gave me a hug. She told me that she’s been wanting to meet me. She’s been to Asia before so she was so excited while telling me about her experiences. The warmth of her gentleness touched me so deeply that it just affirmed my belief that the church is indeed the best place to be during Sundays.

There are many ways of showing kindness but for many people, it’s still a battle. I believe that we need to be cognizant of the fact that everybody has different struggles and we have the responsibility to spread kindness by any act that would bring positivity to the world.

Henry James said, “Three things in human life are important: the first is to be kind; the second is to be kind; and the third is to be kind.”

Saturday, September 01, 2018

Thirty-Day Challenge for a More Meaningful Life (Day 1: Forgive Someone)

It is easy to get lost in a shuffle. Wake up-work-sleep-repeat the pattern type of thing and miss the basic truth that one day, we are all going to die. Chances are, we are too busy living our life that we are neglecting the groundbreaking message of what we are here for.

The bigger picture of having a consequential journey is sometimes inconceivable to fathom. Since it is the first day of September, I will start with a thirty-day challenge of living a more meaningful life imbued with commitment, meaning, serenity and contentment.

Day 1. Write a letter of forgiveness to the person who hurt you the most.

A known author once said that forgiving is hard because human consciousness has a hard time living at the present. The episodic memories bring us back and forth to the past and present reminding us of the pain that the experience left us. Hence, finding forgiveness in our heart will definitely not be easy.

I am starting at the most difficult challenge because it would be easier to remind myself in the coming days that if I was able to forgive the person who hurt me the most, then everything else is possible.

Bottling the pain inside is not beneficial to us. Sooner or later, it will coat our heart with bitterness and cynicism that’ll affect us to live a healthier life. Forgiving also means releasing us from the pessimism that incarcerate our ability to make humble decisions.

It is more burdensome to carry the weight of resentment to the person who caused us misery. By choosing to forgive, we also choose to heal and to free ourselves from negativities and toxicity associated with pain.

Martin Luther King, Jr. explicated it beautifully, “We must develop and maintain the capacity to forgive. He who is devoid of the power to forgive is devoid of the power to love. There is some good in the worst of us and some evil in the best of us. When we discover this, we are less prone to hate our enemies.”

Today, I choose to forgive and it feels good.

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