December 2017                                                www.livingwellaware.com
Essential Element #12

Essential Element #12?   Wait, Living WELL Aware is all about 11 Essential Elements.  Where did #12 come from?  As I have been speaking around the country, I have often asked attendees of my presentations for a possible "12th" element, so I would have an even dozen.  I've gotten several suggestions which all centered around some common themes.  And, since implementing the entire Living WELL Aware program at Texas A&M University throughout this year beginning with Essential Element #1 in January and introducing one element each month, it was only timely and appropriate that we end 2017 with a "12th" concept in December.  So, drum roll!
 
Essential Element #12:  Reflect, Rest, Rejuvenate, REJOICE!  It's fitting to end 2017 with these words of wisdom. The concepts represented in #12 are actually interspersed throughout the other 11 Essential Elements and bring home some important thoughts for us to live by to achieve greater health and happiness. 
 
REFLECT: By reflecting on our life in a non-judgement al fashion with no shame or guilt, we can experience a rebirth by learning from the past and making our future brighter.  It's something my husband and I do every  day.  When he comes home, and I ask, "How was your day?", he doesn't focus on WHAT happened as much as how he reacted to what happened.  What if we had to give ourselves a DPS every day?  A Daily Performance Score.  Again, not scoring the day on whether it went as planned but how we performed in the face of challenges and adversity.  If you emotionally lost it at work or with the children, and had a low DPS, that's OK.  Reflecting allows introspection and a more reasoned approach when similar situations occur in the future.  Ending each day by forgetting about our "To Do" list, the people we are worried about, turning off our connected world of phones, TVs, computers, iPads, and reflecting on the events of the day helps us calm our body and mind.  We can all benefit from paying a visit to ourselves in meditation and or prayer.  WHY? The fact is, we all know so many people, but do we really know ourselves?  
 
REST:   We also need to be reminded of the importance of rest - - true R&R:  Rest and Relaxation.  We must allow time for the ultimate period of rest:  adequate SLEEP.   My past life was full of never-ending  things to do with a constant list of projects, leading to inadequate sleep.  This was taking a toll on my body, and my mind.  I didn't think I had "time" to get 7 to 8 hours of sleep or take Sunday off as a day of relaxation.  I now realize that if I don't take the time, the time will be taken away from me.
 
REJUVENATE :  Let's also search for opportunities for rejuvenation in 2018 by attending a spiritual retreat, wellness conference, or healthy vacation exploring nature.   While our lives should be all about lifting others, we need to be lifted, to be rejuvenated periodically in healthy, inspiring experiences.
 
REJOICE :  Most importantly, let's live in a state of gratitude - - stopping and rejoicing for the many blessings in our lives.  It will require that we turn off our negative world which is too often feeding us negative thoughts of disappointment and discouragement leading to depression.  If we are living in a state of JOY, of gratitude, we cannot experience fear or anger or depression.  REJOICE!
 
Throughout 2018, Living WELL Aware will be focusing on these and other timely health topics.  My video series composed of 13 lessons (Introduction, 11 Essential Elements, and 12th concluding concept) each divided into segments will be available to the public in 2018.  Stay tuned!  Make 2018 the best time of your life by Living WELL Aware! 
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