365 Days of Happiness

(AD: I was kindly gifted with this book in exchange for a review. All opinions are my own.)

If you didn’t yet know, 365 Days of Happiness is a book written by Jacqueline Pirtle or the #freakyhealer. The cover of the book illustrates the content excellently. It is a delicious collection of guides on how to live a happier life. There is a unique guide for every day of the year making sure there is a practice for everybody even if not every, day guide, is suitable for you.

I like to live a happy life, and I post monthly about the things that have made me happy in the previous month. I believe that to live and make the world sustainable we need to also be happy. When our own life is in balance it is much easier to help others and our planet. So make sure you take care of yourself as well as the planet. When you feel better you can put more energy into your activism!

365 Days of Happiness - byLiiL

 

365 DAYS OF HAPPINESS

365 Days of Happiness is about learning to take charge of your happiness. It is about starting to live happily every day by using little practices that you can adapt daily to notice, do and practice things that will make your life happy. It shows that happiness is not something else or somebody that will bring it to your life, but rather happiness is in you, and you have the power to make yourself happy.

The book has 365 different tasks, one for each day of the year, which will help you realise your happier life. You could read one per day, or scroll through several. I found that there are days when the task is so suitable for me I had to write it down and make sure I would adapt it into my everyday life. And there were others which weren’t really suitable for me. Nevertheless, there are so many different types of tasks and tips, making sure that everyone will find a few that are suitable for them. One of the best things about the book is how you can make your bad day just a little bit better by taking the book and finding your favourite task, or why not a new one.

365 Days of Happiness - byLiiL

 

I enjoyed going through the tasks and found many exercises that I will be adapting to my everyday life, such as making a list of things that make me happy and making sure I do some of them each day. I think Jacqueline brings out well our connection to the earth and to everybody else and talks about nourishing our soles and bodies. Sometimes the book felt a bit cheesy, or I felt that things could’ve been said in a simpler way, but I do understand that sometimes flowery overly positive writing can be inspiring if a person is not feeling very happy. It is still something to keep in mind.

 

JACQUELINE PIRTLE

A Swiss-born Jacqueline lives now in the USA, dedicated her life on being happy and feeling good about herself and in herself. This happiness was magnetic and slowly she started helping others, until in 2006 when she started leading workshops, talks and private sessions on changing your life and being happy. Her concentration is on wellness, holistic medicine, energy healing, law of attraction and happiness, and she holds international wellness degrees, as well as is a certified Reiki master. Jacqueline’s whole being, life and work is centred around happiness and it can be felt from her work and from her writing.

In 2017, Jacqueline used the year to record things she did to honour her joy and to be happy.  These recordings were based on her morning ritual of starting days with shifting her current feeling into making sure she would have a happy day. Those recordings were used to make the book 365 Days of Happiness, which is a guide to her students and to other people to find their happiness.

365 Days of Happiness - byLiiL

 

Jacqueline has truly done a great job writing this book and I can only imagine her going through some of the struggles and making her experience these exercises to be able to come up with it. Jacqueline is so concentrated on helping people heal and be happy that she created a separate Self-Study Programme to accompany the book, which covers 6 lessons that will help you find happiness on top of the book.

If you are interested in the book, as you ought to be nevertheless if you are happy or not, you can now find it on Amazon US or UK, or read it on your phone by purchasing the app. If you want to read more about Jacqueline Pirtle and her healing check out her website the Freaky Healer. You can also find her on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Goodreads.

365 Days of Happiness - byLiiL

 

Have you read 365 Days of Happiness? Are you interested in reading it? Please let me know how you liked it! I will now continue my year with the book and am looking forward to how it might shift my way of thinking and feeling.

With love,

Lii

 

Other articles you might be interested in:

Sustainable Reading Nr 5

Bamboo Straw Review

The Green Eco Box

You can also find me on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.

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The Anatomy of Gift Giving (Valentine’s Day edition)

In the eyes of a Buddhist, maitri is authentic and pure love. It means to feel compassion, kindness, goodwill, and love toward all human beings, equally, without any exceptions—including our partners.” wrote Elayane Youssef on Ethical Elephant.

Last year I wrote about a day of love where Valentine’s Day is not only for lovers but for everybody you love from your partner to your friends, family and yourself. This year I want to follow the Buddhist believe to share the love even further to the people who you don’t know and who might need your thoughts, love and caring. But before I dive into how you can share your love with strangers I thought to discuss why it isn’t usually done and why we should do it.

The Anatomy of Gift Giving (Valentine's Day edition) - byLiiL

Gift-Giving

Very often we are believed and pushed to show our love for our loved ones, whether it is Valentine’s day, Christmas or Birthday, we should be gifting our loved ones. I love giving presents to my loved ones but I do have the feeling that gift-giving days are increasing each year and people who we must give presents to are increasing in numbers. Speaking with others about gift giving I’ve noticed that people put a lot of pressure on themselves for giving ever more expensive presents and Christmas presents are expected to cost a minimum of £100 for each person you are giving a gift. Making a quick calculation that would mean I should be spending approximately £2000 on gifts every Christmas, which would easily take me on 3 holidays.

Then there are, graduations, weddings and christenings, which again are wonderful celebrations, but when planning a wedding you are being told that the guests won’t enjoy the party unless you gift them with amazing souvenirs of your wedding, I start to wonder whether the wedding is for me or for the guests who get a free meal, present and a party in exchange for showing up, congratulating you and possibly bringing you a gift. Then we have leaving parties for the quick turnover staff, all the housewarming parties, great you got a new job celebrations, back from holidays gifts/souvenirs, some people gift each other on New Years (this might be a remnant from Russia where they give gifts on New Years instead of Christmas which is a deeply religious holiday), so will we be gifting the ever-expanding network of people in our lives on Halloween as well?

Is gift giving becoming the synonym of love and care, in the western countries, when we do not actually have time for the loved ones as much as we feel we should? It is shown in the movies we watch and many of us experience it. When I was a kid my dad went often on work trips and I got accustomed to getting a small gift whenever he came back, actually so accustomed that I remember asking him once when he would be going for another work trip as I was really looking forward to a gift. Those days he was away from home well over half the year. Now that I live away from my family and friends I always bring presents home, as though they would reimburse the time we’ve lost.

The Anatomy of Gift Giving (Valentine's Day edition) - byLiiL

Gifting around the World

In other cultures, gifts are not given for birthday and there are many cultures that don’t celebrate Christmas, but rather other holidays. However, most cultures still give gifts, mostly as tokens of gratitude for being invited to a celebration or for a business deal, but sometimes for love and for care as well. The one thing I found out about the different gift-giving habits is many gifts are either money or food, and in many cultures, different items can be perceived as rude such as umbrellas or clocks in China.

Essentially gift giving is an important part of human interaction that can be especially very important in many cultures and social situations. A gift can tell another person that one really cares, although to others it can feel like an unnecessary burden as reciprocal gifts are expected almost all around the world. And some people just don’t mind gifts but rather like support or company of the gift giver more than the present, which you can read more about in the 5 love languages.

The Anatomy of Gift Giving (Valentine's Day edition) - byLiiL

Gifting Strangers

I wondered why the consumerist market is not pressuring us to give gifts to strangers and those we don’t know until I realised that they do but these gifts are masked under the word “charity” or “donations”. Occasionally these charities change the wording to “give a gift of water” or any other gift, which actually sounds like a much nicer way to put it. Why don’t we, instead of just donating money, rather give a gift? Gift giving, as we’ve learned so far, is meaningful interaction. We think about what we want to give others, what would suit them and what would make them happy. Why shouldn’t we make it meaningful when we put money into a donation for a charity or when we are doing a charitable thing? There are many people out there who do not receive gifts, who are lonely, who are poor and who, rather than receiving anonymous money, might like the human interaction with a heartwarming gift. Of course with many charities, you are not able to see how your donation or a gift is actually impacting the other person, but there are some that let you know or see this happening. Alternatively, you can be generous and gift stranger that is located closer to you.

Although giving gifts and showing love and care to those you love is something that each of us cherishes, there are people who might need it more. There are already multiple guides on what to gift to your loved ones which you can google or check some of my older gift guides, but what I recommend is giving them time and possibly give a gift to a stranger. There are some great examples of gifts you can give to those who need them.

The Anatomy of Gift Giving (Valentine's Day edition) - byLiiL

Give Gifts To Those Who Need Them
  • Why not send a loving public letter to the big companies requesting them to send Valentine’s present to the labour making the items they sell and get rich on. The present could be a bonus for working so well or items that they really need in their lives but can’t afford.
  • Why not gift the gift of water to those in need.
  • Why not gift necessary beauty or sanitary products to your local shelters.
  • Why not gift a cup of hot drink to the homeless person on the street to warm them up on these cold days.
  • Why not gift a bag of groceries to the poor neighbour, or even better give two gifts in one by inviting them for a dinner to your house to socialise with them. (make sure that you are safe though)
  • Why not gift your company to the lonely elderly.
  • Why not gift blood at the blood bank, or even better your bone marrow.
  • Why not gift a bee with flower seeds that will bloom in the summer to give them more food.
  • Why not sponsor a child in a third world country and give them a gift of a better life?

Pictures are from Pexels.

The Anatomy of Gift Giving - byLiiL

Why shouldn’t we be thinking and loving everybody on this planet on Valentine’s Day?

With love,

Lii

 

You can also find me on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.

Happy Favourites of January 2019

CVRCHES – I’ve been listening to them almost non-stop for the beginning of January. I’d heard them before, but never actually listened to their album.

Lethal White – I finally got to read the next part of Robert Galbraith’s Strike series and all it did was leave me wanting more. The novel is long, but I read in just a few days.

Happy Favourites of January 2019 - byLiiL

Long Awaited Change of Decor In My Home – The flat I live in is not very small but it’s not too large either, and when I have to be able to sleep, live and work, as well as let another person and the cats be comfortable in it the space seems to be getting ever tighter. This is partly because we moved in when we were still students and required space for studenty things, desks, thus we had two, and neither was very small. They both took a lot of space but didn’t offer much storage wise. I arranged a plan of how to make changes in the home slowly and the first thing to change was to arrange more storage space. Our desk in the living room was a massive glass top, which we wrapped in cardboard and put into storage awaiting us living in another space where we could take it out again. It is a desk which I love and would not want to part with. In its place we put a shelving unit, yes it is from Ikea, but it was the only piece of furniture that matched our budget, space, utility, the storage space and changeability. It is also a piece of furniture which we are planning to use for years to come. I am already so happy with the look and the freedom that we get from having so much storage space that is making our living room already much neater and makes my mind rest still.

Figure Skating EC – I feel that I add figure skating to any happy favourites list if I get to follow it, but it is the only sport that I really enjoy watching and get nostalgic and excited about. Therefore the European Championship was an enjoyment to watch. There are several skaters who I loved watching due to their artistry!

Books – I loved reading in December, but in January I got new energy and excitement to read. This might be partly because I found booktube, Youtube channels that talk exclusively about books. I think I got a bit addicted to them and to reading, having already read 6 books in January, which is way more than the average of 3 that I have set up as my goal this year, but I know that I will be reading thicker books later this year and won’t finish quite so many in those months.

Overcoming Fears – In January I had to go to the dentist. After a bad experience at the dentist a few years ago which left me in pain and not being able to move my jaw for few days because of their mistake, I have been terrified of going back to the dentist and even more of having the local anaesthesia. The most painful thing at the dentist, in my opinion, is the local anaesthesia! (I might be lucky to think that). I was so terrified in the dentist chair that my neck got really stiff and I had a headache for the rest of the day. Nevertheless, I am happy that I went and funnily enough, I lived through it and feel a lot better now. This definitely goes under my goal of Health this year and hopefully this time I won’t be as horrified at going to the dentist.

Flow Cosmetics Calendula Shampoo Bar – I’ve loved the shampoo bar, which I received as a Christmas present. It is supposed to clean your hair properly of any product. The only thing is that I have to apply product many times into my hair for it to lather up and clean it properly, which can get quite tiring to my arms (then again it might be building a bit of muscle so silver linings), but I’ve noticed that I do not need conditioner and my hair is feeling healthy, manageable and voluminous!

Crispy Frosty Winter Days – There is just something magical about seeing the beautiful frosty plants, ground and white roofs of buildings. I live in an advantageous place to be able to see far and wide this beauty and I fully enjoy it.

Coasters – I got coasters from Rocket and Fox from Etsy. I needed some nice coasters to keep my furniture in good condition for long, but I also wanted coasters that will be in good use for long. I found simple yet interesting cork coasters which look good together or apart. The cork works wonderfully to protect the furniture and it doesn’t get ruined by the humidity. In addition, it is a nice smooth surface for any type of mug or glass.

Happy Favourites of January 2019 - byLiiL

Watch

You – The new show on Netflix with Gossip Girl’s Penn Badgley as the main character. It is intense, mysterious and ominous, and I couldn’t stop watching it so I binge watched it in two days and it was the only thing that got me off from reading continuously. Penn Badgley is excellent in it although the whole thing is creepy. It does show how easily people can find you through social media and how they can follow you.

Bao – This might not be happy but it is beautiful and thoughtful. It’s a short film which is also nominated for an Oscar.

Happy Favourites of January 2019 - byLiiL

What were your favourites in January?

With love,

Lii

Happy Favourites of November 2018

My Cats – Welcoming a kitten into your home is wonderful but can be a bit tricky if you already have a cat. Cat’s don’t always get along, and especially if your kitten is like a hurricane. Thankfully after a few bumps for the first month, my Ninja has accepted little Tiger into her space and likes to play with him and sleep next to him. She is more like herself again and Tiger has accepted a role as a rascal cutie pie who melts everybody’s hearts!

Happy Favourites of November 2018 - byLiiL

New Plants – My plant shopping has died down almost completely because of our little Tiger. He seems to like to eat everything, likes to pull plants out of the soil or plays with the flower petals. All good, as long as my plants are not toxic to cats, but I do like them to survive this little curious case as well. I did, however, manage to get myself a couple of Calatheas, which are non-toxic to cats and finally an air plant in a jar, which is nearly impossible to get out of the jar. That might be it for now though until I come up with a better solution for my plants to keep them away from the little hurricane kitty.

Figure Skating – This old hobby of mine is exciting me again. I usually wait until the World Championships to watch them, but now I found a youtube channel that shows me Grand Prix competitions as well, and I am completely enthralled in the world of Figure Skating again!

Happy Favourites of November 2018 - byLiiL

Sleep Sounds App – I am a fairly light sleeper and have trouble falling asleep if there are any annoying sounds around. This app has made me concentrate more on the sounds from the app rather than any other sounds and therefore I’ve been falling asleep easier. It is a free app that I recommend trying!

Insights Timer App – This app, on the other hand, has helped me to quieten my mind and has helped with my yoga practice. Whenever I notice myself getting carried away in my mind I put this on and take a few minutes to quieten, make myself happy and content again. It has music, sounds, meditations and much more. A big part of the app is free, but there are parts that you need to pay for as well.

Happy Favourites of November 2018 - byLiiL

Visit A New Place – Every once in a while getting out of the town and out of your usual surroundings. This doesn’t always require a holiday, just a day trip to the countryside or to a museum. I went to check of the castles in Scotland (we have many of them here). Bothwell Castle is interesting in its history, but its surroundings are what makes the visit worthwhile. It is set by a river with walks around it in the forests. I would imagine the place would be stunning in the summer or in the autumn when the leaves are still yellow and orange.

Black Friday – I thought Black Friday was a week earlier than it was and the following comment was from my experience of that week: *Or rather the absence of it. I am not a big fan of retailers trying to sell consumers more products with discounts that aren’t really there and was so happy to notice that apart from Amazon I didn’t really notice Black Friday anywhere. Hurray!* A week later I did notice Black Friday quite strongly and although many were saying how they found their Black Friday finds from ethical companies, I was saddened by the fact that those companies felt the pressure to participate in this commercial day. Then again, I do understand that not everybody can afford to buy ethically ( I can’t for example) and this is their chance to do so. I am cross with what this day represents but happy about the opportunities it presents. What do you think?

Happy Favourites of November 2018 - byLiiL

New Jurassic World Movie – I love dinosaurs and actually one of my dream professions when younger was an archaeologist. And so I had been waiting eagerly for the new Jurassic world movie, which however disappointed me a bit. The movie was as though built from jigsaw puzzles and has scenes that didn’t make sense to me. I also really didn’t like seeing dinosaurs dying! What the movie did well though is present how animal smuggling and sales are still happening widely as long as there is a buyer for them.

Happy Favourites of November 2018 - byLiiL

What were your Happy Favourites of November?

With love,

Lii

5 easy ways to be more sustainable

I find often that it is difficult to think of how to act more sustainably and had to really write down things that I want to change in my life to become more sustainable. They are really easy tips, which everybody has probably heard before, but they are a good reminder as sometimes even the best of us can forget.

1. Expand the lifecycle of your items

Do not use products/items only once, but rather try to get as much use of them as you can. If you have a plastic bag, throw your rubbish out in it, or reuse it when shopping. Wear your clothes many times, reuse your old homeware items, reuse old rags as wash cloths. There are many tutorials how to do that on Pinterest! The more you use your items the more it pays back in what it cost to you or the environment.

5 easy ways to be more sustainable - byLiiL

2. Opt for shower instead of bath

We tend to use less water when taking a shower rather than a bath. Even if you don’t live in a country where clean water is scarce it does take energy to get us clean water.

3. Recycle

You can recycle most things you use in your everyday life! Card, paper, plastic, batteries, textiles, furniture and biowaste. When you recycle your things rather than throw them out, they will not take space in the landfills and they might actually be useful in some other ways.

5 easy ways to be more sustainable - byLiiL

4. Eat seasonally and locally

I am planning to write a more detailed post on this, hopefully, in the near future. Although, there is a lot of information on seasonal eating all over the internet. Eating seasonally and sourcing food from local farmers is likely to reduce the amount of pesticides used to produce your food, is more likely to be organic and there are probably fewer air miles as well.

5. Opt for public transport or cycling

I know how convenient it can be to drive your own car, however, even if you drive an electric car it can be harmful to the environment. Using public transport is more efficient and can be cheaper, whereas, cycling can be great for your health!

5 easy ways to be more sustainable - byLiiL

Do you have any great tips for being sustainable?

With love,

Lii

15 things I am dreaming about just now

A Skype talk with my mum – it’s been ages and talking to her really makes me grounded and happy!

Getting back to my healthy sleeping rhythm!

Some positive news about women’s rights and girl’s education!

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Superb cleaning abilities or a cleaning lady! Dumbledore or Sheldon might do as well..

Fresh peonies into my flat…

…In addition to a green corner with lots of potted plants!

Spacious workroom!

Long walk in a peaceful nature with beautifully blue sky!

A house next to a beach and mountains wouldn’t hurt either.

Extra time in a day to have time to do all I want and have to, procrastinate and relax!

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Mindful neighbours!

A holiday to see my family and friends in Finland!

A holiday to see my sister in her new flat, with the new cat in the new country!

A printer to ease my days.

The ability to be super creative and super organised and efficient at all times!

 

What are you dreaming about right now?

With love,

Lii