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Summertime Suggestions To Make Your Parties Great

Summertime Suggestions To Make Your Parties Great

Summer is a time for enjoying life outdoors. Here are some ideas to make your summer parties great again!

‘Tis the season for grilling

From a hibachi to a high-end Weber Summit stainless-steel, get outside and grill.

Marinate your meat in olive oil and fresh peppers. Rub your chicken in hanaheros or another spicy pepper. Just get adventurous with flavours. Throw fresh, seasonal produce on the grill. Throw everything on the grill! You can even grill peaches — an idea I found after stumbling upon a great summer BBQ checklist.

If you are like me, you are probably looking for an excuse to drink when you are behind the grill. I find BBQ recipes that call for bourbon so when the parental figures come around and give me looks of reproach, I can simply point to the recipe and get them off my back. Bourbon is a perfect ingredient for BBQ sauce (and for sipping while grilling!).

Get thee to a fire pit

When the night falls, the party doesn’t have to end. Find a fire pit to turn the day into a night party!

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A summer night around the fire pit is a night of conversation that usually turns into more engaging conversational territory. There’s something about a night around a fire that promotes a different sort of discourse. You can hide in the shadows, but when the campfire singing of inspirational tunes begins, well it’s hard not to join in — regardless of where you stand on the topic of conversation.

Glamp it out!

Bring out the camper and glam it up. Glamping is a hot thing right now.

Maybe you have vague plans to go camping this summer but you’re afraid the summer may slip by and that camper will stayed parked and inactive throughout the season. Some of the best plans — even in the summer — get buried under a full calendar of activities.

Bring your camper into focus and turn it into a party annex. Roll it out into a prominent place and deck it out with some fanciful personality. Make it a destination. You can even turn it into a bar for the adults during summer celebrations.

If you don’t end up camping again this summer (although the chances are probably higher if you bring it out), your glamping-in-place will enhance your summer parties.

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We are turning this:

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    Image source: Clinton Wilson

    Into something like this:

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    Glamper5

      Image source: MaryAnn Zimmerman

      Let your imagination run wild this summer. Get bold. Get crazy. That’s what the summer is all about.

      Outdoor markets

      Go to your local farmer’s markets to find the best seasonal produce to throw on the grill or to toss into a colorful salad. Summer is a busy time, and it’s probably easier just to follow routine and travel to the supermarket, but it is rewarding to know that you are supporting local growers. The interactions you’ll have with farmers and patrons of these markets is an experience unto itself. If you have kids, this is a great teaching moment to get them thinking about sustainability, GMOs, and buying organic.

      Outdoor festivals

      There are outdoor festivals in your area that you’ve probably thought about attending throughout the years but have never made it to. When Labor Day rolls around, you feel a pinch of regret that you never made it to the events you’d planned to attend. Don’t let 2016 be that summer.

      In most communities, there are great festivals or concerts (many of them free) offered in the summer. Challenge yourself and go out and see something you’ve never seen before.

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      Throw a neighborhood party

      You see your neighbors all of the time around the hood, but maybe you’ve never met most of them. Seize an opportunity this summer to get to know your neighbors by throwing an early evening party with light snacks and wine. Make some flyers and walk door to door to offer a personal invitation. Keep your invitations on hand so you can hand deliver them when you see the neighbors walking their dogs or going out to retrieve the mail.

      Turn your summer memories into prints

      By the end of the summer, you’ve probably amassed a heap of images on your phone, on Instagram, or on Facebook. Collect the best of them and print them in a photo book that you can display on your coffee table. Keep the memories of summer alive throughout the year!

      Featured photo credit: Ed Gregory via stokpic.com

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      Summertime Suggestions To Make Your Parties Great

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      Last Updated on September 10, 2019

      7 Morning Rituals to Empower Your Day And Change Your Life

      7 Morning Rituals to Empower Your Day And Change Your Life

      Most of your reality is not a given. It is shaped by your expectations, beliefs and thoughts you have formed about it. A big chunk of these beliefs and expectations are encoded into habits you integrate in your daily life.

      Yes, some of these habits are formed unconsciously and can be counter-productive or limiting but conversely, you can consciously form positive habits that will transform and empower your life significantly.

      This is a powerful point of departure that more and more people are becoming aware of. The most common trait of highly successful people is the recognition of the power they have in co-creating their reality through changing the way they think, believe or expect their reality to be.

      One of the most effective ways of changing our belief patterns is through practising and maintaining daily rituals. Ancient traditions had clearly understood the power of rituals in reinforcing habits and changing the way we see and create our reality a long, long time ago.

      Once again, if you look into the life history of any highly successful individual, you will find some form of ritual in their daily routine. Some of these rituals may seem banal or eccentric but don’t be deceived by appearances. Rituals are one of the most effective self-empowering tools freely available at the practitioner’s disposal – that is, you!

      Below are some the easiest yet life-changing morning rituals you can do every day. Of course, you can have your own afternoon or bed-time rituals but morning rituals are extremely effective in empowering your day since they help you charge yourself before it all starts.

      1. Gratitude

      Feeling gratitude and appreciation for those little signs and moments of joy happening in your life is probably one of the most overlooked or underestimated rituals. It is a perfect morning ritual to start your day on a very positive key.

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      The real power of gratitude is that it makes you pick out and focus on what is working in your life – what is in tune with your being as a whole. It is selectively positive. It reinforces happiness and positivity by shedding light on those awesome things, small or big, that grace your everyday living.

      Quite often, we just pick out the pain points, the problems, the bottle necks, whatever it is that is not working in our life and causing friction, anxiety and unhappiness. This is like constantly rewriting the script of your life with a negative or tragic overtone. Your subconscious mind follows faithfully that script you write whether it is a negative or positive one.

      So feeling gratitude is undoubtedly an immensely empowering ritual. Start your day by being thankful for those positive things that happened the previous day or throughout the week. It could be something really petty and small. It doesn’t matter. You might be grateful for an unexpected visit from an old friend, a beautiful encounter with a kind stranger, a new opportunity or whatever it is that shines your way. Do it every morning and see what happens during the day.

      Gratitude-Quotes

        2. Writing Down Your Most Important Tasks

        This is a very practical ritual. Start your day by identifying and writing down from one to three of the most important tasks you need to complete during that day. These tasks are ones which support important long term goals that are aligned to your purpose, passion or general direction in life.

        For example, if writing a book or building an online community are important long term goals which are aligned to your personal growth, then an important task for the day might be finishing off a particular page or two of the book or coming up with fresh content ideas for the online community.

        What is important with this ritual is that you identify these tasks and complete them as early in the day as possible. Of course, you will have other tasks apart from the ones you will write down but, these are tasks which can be tackled later or batched up and carried out in one go.

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        Writing down your most important tasks in the morning helps you focus your day and life according to what is essential. It helps you prioritize and manage your time better. As a result, you simplify your life by applying your focus and energy on what really counts for your overall life progress.

        3. Affirm Your Goals in Writing or Drawing

        This is similar to the previous idea but different in its application and purpose. Writing down your most important tasks of the day is a way to have a concrete structure of action to follow. Affirming your goals, on the other hand, is a very powerful way of crystallizing your vision and goals in life into your everyday mental space.

        Writing down or doodling your goals on a piece of paper helps you externalize those goals by giving them form. In return, they are reflected back in your subconscious mind and thus, reinforcing them and integrating them more wholly.

        An example of this would be writing down “I am achieving greater success in my career” or “I am becoming healthier and stronger through my exercise.” Notice the present tense being used as a way to tell yourself you are in the process already. Remember the life script we subconsciously follow? You are basically modifying the script to be applied now in the present.

        Drawing or doodling can be equally, or even more, effective  (if you are more of a visual person) as it summarizes a graphical representation of your goals. For example, if your goal is to build a new house or live in another country, you can draw the house or draw things that symbolise the country you want to live in.

        write down goals

          4. Practice Qi Gong Exercises

          According to Chinese philosophy, Qi (pronounced ‘Chee’) means the life force or energy inherent in all things;[1] and Qi Gong is the practice to cultivate and circulate that energy in your body. This may sound esoteric or complicated but actually, Qi Gong is really a set of simple exercises aimed at increasing your health and vitality.

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          There are numerous forms and practices available for free through the online media. As a morning ritual, I recommend following these simple exercises by Qi Gong master Lee Holden:

          5. Drink Hot Water with Lemon

          Simply add a slice of lemon in a glass of hot water and drink one every morning. This is a very simple ritual I follow faithfully every morning.

          Apart from being a good source of vitamin C and a great way of flushing out toxins in the morning, it balances and maintains the PH levels in the body, reduces pain and inflammation in joints and knees and helps nourishing brain and nerve cells. Here are some more benefits of drinking hot water with lemon.

          6. Rise Earlier

          The practical advantages of waking up early are obvious.

          For example, you gain more time for doing exercise such as walking, cycling or Qi Gong as suggested above. You gain more time to be with yourself to reflect, meditate or, more importantly, carry out the other morning rituals.

          So rising early can be seen as a foundation for all the other morning rituals. Many, like myself, find that they are more productive in the early hours of the day.

          Also, various studies have shown that there are many other benefits from waking up an hour or two earlier in the morning. Sleeping early and waking up early helps the body attune with the earth’s circadian rhythms thus, promoting more restorative sleep. Other curious results from such studies show, for instance, that early risers tend to be more optimistic and can anticipate and solve problems more efficiently than the norm.[2]

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          7. Listen to Uplifting Music

          Uplifting music can have a direct impact on our mood, especially in the morning. It charges us emotionally and tunes us into a more positive outlook of the day ahead.

          Most people wake up to music or listen to music as they commute to work. Very often, however, they tune in to a radio or randomly pick a playlist from their device. Being more selective and conscious of the music you listen to in the morning can have a great impact on your day and life in general.

          It’s funny how we try to choose music according to our mood. For example if you are feeling down or disappointed by something, you are more prone to listen to music that reflects that mood – for instance blues, sad songs or downtempo music. This has the effect of reinforcing that mood. What you need to do is the exact opposite and retune your mood by listening to music that beats to a different tune than that mood.

          Try to listen to more uplifting music in the morning even if, or especially if, your mood does not dictate so.

          More About Energetic Habits & Rituals

          Featured photo credit: Carli Jeen via unsplash.com

          Reference

          [1] Live Science: What Is Qi Gong
          [2] Harvard Business Review: Defend Your Research: The Early Bird Really Does Get the Worm

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