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A Letter To My Daughter As An Old Man

A Letter To My Daughter As An Old Man

To my darling daughter,

In my life I’ve accomplished a great many things, but by far, the greatest accomplishment I’ve achieved is you.

And my most cherished title is “Dad.”  I’m so proud of everything that you are and everything you have yet to become.  Your potential is limitless and as long as there is breath left in me, I will be right here as a gentle support and willing you to succeed.

I’ll never forget seeing you for the very first time.

I remember your fingers, your feet. I even saw you sucking on your tiny thumb that very first day. And when I saw you open your eyes for the very first time and gaze into the eyes of your beautiful mother, well, that was one of the most profound moments of my life. My girls.

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Your childhood was the most magical time of my life. You’ve given me so many special moments that I will treasure forever. The first time you called me Dad… how you would run into my arms whenever you hurt yourself… your endless laughter at the silliest of things.

You have always valued your independence.

I remember one summer when you were three years old. Your mother and I thought we lost you at a very crowded outdoor restaurant. We panicked and were about to call the police when we found you sitting with another family member, chatting and enjoying some of their chips. I think back on this often now that you live in London. Although you are far away, I know you are living a full and exciting life (and hopefully finding some good chips).

Since then you have grown into a strong-willed, motivated, but most importantly kind person. You are a strong and intellectually driven women, much like your mother was. You are incredibly thoughtful and loyal to the people in your life, and naturally they are drawn to you. You are comfortable with complicated ideas and in complicated social settings. You can do anything you want.

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You have always been funny and empathetic, with a great work ethic. Your intelligence, both deep and practical, is amazing.

Mum and I couldn’t reach you after the London Tube attacks, and because you’d been at work nearby, we were rightfully scared. Finally, after hours of waiting, your mum called to tell me that you’d been separated from your colleagues during the evacuation—because you stayed behind to help an elderly woman down nine flights of stairs. I took a deep breath and leaned back against the fridge.

You see, as a dad, sometimes I have to lean back, hoping and praying that you will be okay in this sometimes scary world. And time and again, you lean forward, showing me that you’re the independent, strong women that every dad hopes he will raise.

As we edge closer to the time when I will no longer be just a phone call away, I wanted to let you know just how very proud I am of you (just ask my friends in the care home, you’re all I talk about).

When I’m no longer around, I hope that as your father I have given you the tools that will enable you to continue to reach your goals and fulfill your dreams.  I have always believed it is harder for strong women to achieve than it is for men. But that just makes strong and successful women the most interesting people in the world. I have observed this with you as you’ve matured.

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I am so very lucky to have you in my life. Thank you for your limitless patience, support and love. You are the rock of my life.

Love,

Dad.

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Featured photo credit: Edward Muslak via flickr.com

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Last Updated on July 3, 2020

30 Small Habits To Lead A More Peaceful Life

30 Small Habits To Lead A More Peaceful Life

In today’s world, true peace must come from within us and our own actions. Here are 30 small things you can do on a regular basis to increase your overall sense of harmony, peace, and well-being:

1. Don’t go to every fight you’re invited to

Particularly when you’re around those who thrive on chaos, be willing to decline the invitation to join in on the drama.

2. Focus on your breath

Throughout the day, stop to take a few deep breaths. Keep stress at bay with techniques such as “square breathing.” Breathe in for four counts, hold for four counts, then out for four counts, and hold again for four counts. Repeat this cycle four times.

3. Get organized and purge old items

A cluttered space often creates a cluttered spirit. Take the time to get rid of anything you haven’t used in a year and invest in organizational systems that help you sustain a level of neatness.

4. Stop yourself from being judgmental

Whenever you are tempted to have an opinion about someone else’s life, check your intentions. Judging others creates and promotes negative energy.

5. Say ‘thank you’ early and often

Start and end each day with an attitude of gratitude. Look for opportunities in your daily routine and interactions to express appreciation.

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6. Smile more

Even if you have to “fake it until you make it,” there are many scientific benefits of smiling and laughing. Also, pay attention to your facial expression when you are doing neutral activities such as driving and walking. Turn that frown upside down!

7. Don’t worry about the future

As difficult as this sounds, there is a direct connection between staying in the present and living a more peaceful life. You cannot control the future. As the old proverb goes, “Worry is like a rocking chair. It gives you something to do, but it won’t get you anywhere.” Practice gently bringing your thoughts back to the present.

8. Eat real food

The closer the food is to the state from which it came from the earth, the better you will feel in eating it. Choose foods that grew from a plant over food that was made in a plant.

9. Choose being happy over being right

Too often, we sacrifice inner peace in order to make a point. It’s rarely worth it.

10. Keep technology out of the bedroom

Many studies, such as one conducted by Brigham and Women’s Hospital, have connected blue light of electronic devices before bed to adverse sleep and overall health. To make matters worse, many people report that they cannot resist checking email and social media when their cell phone is in reach of their bed, regardless of the time.

11. Make use of filtering features on social media

You may not want to “unfriend” someone completely, however you can choose whether you want to follow their posts and/or the sources of information that they share.

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12. Get comfortable with silence

When you picture someone who is the ultimate state of peace, typically they aren’t talking.

13. Listen to understand, not to respond

So often in conversations, we use our ears to give us cues about when it is our turn to say what we want to say. Practice active listening, ask questions, process, then speak.

14. Put your troubles in a bubble

Whenever you start to feel anxious, visualize the situation being wrapped in a bubble and then picture that sphere floating away.

15. Speak more slowly

Often a lack of peace manifests itself in fast or clipped speech. Take a breath, slow down, and let your thoughtful consideration drive your words.

16. Don’t procrastinate

Nothing adds stress to our lives like waiting until the last minute.

17. Buy a coloring book

Mandala coloring books for adults are becoming more popular because of their connection to creating inner peace.

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18. Prioritize yourself

You are the only person who you are guaranteed to live with 24 hours a day for the rest of your life.

19. Forgive others

Holding a grudge is hurting you exponentially more than anyone else. Let it go.

20. Check your expectations

Presumption often leads to drama. Remember the old saying, “Expectations are premeditated resentments.”

21. Engage in active play

Let your inner child come out and have some fun. Jump, dance, play, and pretend!

22. Stop criticizing yourself

The world is a hard enough place with more than enough critics. Your life is not served well by being one of them.

23. Focus your energy and attention on what you want

Thoughts, words, and actions all create energy. Energy attracts like energy. Put out what you want to get back.

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24. Assign yourself “complaint free” days.

Make a conscious decision not to complain about anything for a whole day. It might be harder than you think and the awareness will stick with you.

25. Surround yourself with people you truly enjoy being in the company of

Personalities tend to be contagious, and not everyone’s is worth catching. Be judicious in your choices.

26. Manage your money

Financial concerns rank top on the list of what causes people stress. Take the time each month to do a budget, calculate what you actually spend and sanity check that against the money you have coming in.

27. Stop trying to control everything

Not only is your inner control freak sabotaging your sense of peace, it is also likely getting in the way of external relationships as well.

28. Practice affirmations

Repeat positive phrases that depict the life and qualities you want to attract. It may not come naturally to you, but it works.

29. Get up before sunrise

Personally witnessing the dawn brings a unique sense of awe and appreciation for life.

30. Be yourself

Nothing creates more inner discord than trying to be something other than who we really are. Authenticity breeds happiness.

Featured photo credit: man watching sunrise via stokpic.com

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