Starting a Morning Ritual
Today I was listening to a few podcasts discussing having a morning ritual. The following is a powerful quote to make me start planning my mornings:
“How you start your day is how you live your day. How you live your day is how you live your life.”
I am going to start working on healthy habitual behaviors for the morning. I will try different simple things I can do every morning which can help me have a wonderful start to my day.
Tomorrow I will just start with two habits. I will start by having a tall glass of water and by practicing gratitude. I will try adding other habits until I can find something that works for me.
My ideal morning would be for me to do a few yoga moves, doing a bit of mantra meditation, making a green smoothie, and maybe finding time to read an inspirational article. I will work on trying many different habits until I find something that makes me feel great the rest of the day.
What is your morning ritual?
Sweet Oil Blends
Today I was out searching for rice brand oil so that I can work on creating a facial oil with natural products. I went to about 5 different places, and I couldn't find it so I decided to order it on Amazon. It should arrive in a couple of days. I will update you on this amazing anti-aging facial oil I will be creating. I can't wait!
I listened to a few podcast episodes about daily routines and about creating essential oil blends. I made an essential oil roller blend for my skin based on the recipe mentioned in one of the episodes, and I absolutely love it! I just put it on now before going to bed, and it has a lovely sweet smell. Hopefully it will help me fall asleep tonight.
Today I also went to the gym with my husband and daughter. It was a great day, mainly focusing on radical self-care. I love the opportunities for personal growth and development by listening to a variety of podcasts discussing the many ways to focus on taking care of yourself.
Do you listen to any podcasts? If you do, which ones do you enjoy?
Sunday: A Day of Rest
Today is Sunday, a day to relax and take it easy. Well, I tried relaxing, but I had a few loads of laundry to do and had to finish my lesson plans. I did find time for an hour walk and time to sit at Starbucks to enjoy my latte.
I bought a gratitude journal at TJ Maxx. I hope I can find time to make it a ritual of writing down what I am grateful for on a daily basis. I like that it has an area to think about how I will take care of myself by eating healthy and exercising. I think the journal has enough pages for about 2 months which gives me enough time to see if this helps me have an inspired life.
I am still working on a morning ritual which can help get my day off to a great start. Geez, I didn't know there was so much to think about when choosing radical self-care. Well I have 359 days ahead of me to figure this all out.
Do you have a morning ritual? If you do, what is your morning ritual?
I enjoyed learning about the 8 pillars of happiness, the 8 cornerstones of a happy life. I first heard about The Pillar Life back in June from Sheri Salata and Nancy Hala, Chief Visionaries of The Pillar Life, and co-hosts of their popular podcast, The Sheri + Nancy Show.
The following pillars will be my focus to create a radical shift in my life:
Health + Wellness
Spirituality + Happiness
Creativity + Innovation
Adventure + Discovery
Sanctuary + Beauty
Money + Abundance
I am quite interested on focusing on the pillar, Sanctuary and Beauty. Sheri and Nancy state, "build yourself a nurturing respite from the world. Cultivate a seeker's eye for loveliness. Feel dazzling inside and out. Feather your nest just so. Practice beauty." I can't wait to work on my story: "I Am Beautifully at Home."
This weekend I am focusing on creating handmade DIY natural beauty products. I will be using essentials oils as a specific tool to enhance my experience and honor my body, mind, and spirit. I will be using essentials oils to snap me back to the path I want to walk.
What area in your life will you be focusing on during 2019?
Out of the Office
Yay! It is finally Friday. It was a short work week, but there was quite a bit of work we had to do. I guess you can say that is the life of a teacher.
So how did I manifest my 2019 word of the year (RADICAL) today?
I focused on helping my students decide how they want to make a difference in their community and/or world. I asked them to think about their strengths and weaknesses. I then had them think on choosing a word of the year which takes them out of their comfort zone. They had to find ways to apply that word to their life (their learning, friendships, home, and health). I had the students research different words online and once they chose the word, find a powerful quote with the word.
My goal is for next week to help each student create their own blog and start by explaining their word of the year as their first blog post. This school year my students will learn about creating a business and selling physical products.
Tomorrow and Sunday, I will try to focus on radical self-care. Make sure to come back to read about ways to focus on taking care of yourself.
How do you take care of yourself?
Today I helped my 4th and 5th grade students come up with their One Little Word for 2019. I love activities which involve them deeply reflecting on how they can become better people and even help out others such as people in their community.
I did my best to explain why I chose my word, Radical. I told them about some of my strong beliefs about education and how I am blogging daily about my One Little Word for 2019. I also told them I will help each of them create their own blog. It is so very important to let children know that they have a voice. They can do powerful things at such a young age that can have a positive influence in their lives.
A few staff members told me they enjoyed the podcast episodes I mentioned yesterday (check out my blog post from yesterday). Hopefully listening to the episodes can help them create change in their classrooms. Unfortunately I think some are quite busy with work that they will not be able to listen to the episodes.
If you chose a word or goals for 2019, how is everything going? Let me know below.
What is school for?
Today I went back to work! Man, was I exhausted. I need to get back into my routine of waking up at 5am!
On my 45 minute drive to work I listened to a few great podcast episodes. Actually, I wanted to listen to the episodes a second time. I highly recommend that every educator, parent, and anyone interested on the topic of public education listen to the 3 episodes. I will provide the links below.
So how did I manifest my 2019 word of the year (RADICAL) today?
I strongly feel that we need radical changes in our educational system. Of course, with time it is slowly getting better, but I would like to see the change happening a bit more rapidly. I agree with Uriah Young, a 6th grade language arts teacher, when she stated "complacency is a teacher’s worst enemy; it is a silent, gradual infection causing careers and students to suffer." I would love to see more teachers speak up about what is wrong in education today. I suppose many teachers feel they need to keep hush-hush because they do not want to get in trouble.
We need to stop mainly "collecting dots" as stated by Seth Godin. "More facts, more tests, more need for data, even when we have no clue (and no practice) in doing anything with it." What we need to focus on as parents and educators is on the ability to "connect the dots...solving the problem that hasn't been solved before, seeing the pattern before it is made obvious." If you would like more information about collecting the dots vs. connecting the dots, make sure to listen to the first 2 podcast episodes I mentioned above.
So to help make other people aware of the serious problem, I decided to send individual text message to 30 educators in my school district. I sent them the link to hear the episode "Stop Stealing Dreams." I want to begin a conversation by answering this essential question: What is school for? I agree with Seth that we can only begin to address the problems in education after we answer this question. Hopefully many of my teacher friends will listen to the podcast episode and begin this important discussion. I will definitely keep you updated on our conversations.
In the meantime, what do you think is the purpose of school? Let me know in the comments section below.
And so the adventure begins
I decided about 2 weeks ago that my One Little Word for 2019 will be the word RADICAL.
What is One Little Word you ask?
It is the tradition of choosing one word for myself each January and using this word to guide me through the year, to be a compass throughout life's many decisions, something that hopefully will encourage me to be the best version of myself.
Meaning of radical:
This word stuck with me ever since I first heard of the concept of radical self-care. It really opened my eyes to the extreme importance of taking care of yourself. Carving out time for self-love activities will make me feel happier and more positive. I need to find time for activities such as meditation, eating clean, walking in nature, living in the present moment, and doing what I love. In 2019 I will commit to radical self-care.
On January 15, I will turn 49, and I feel I want to make a few radical changes or at least start planning it. I have been a teacher for 25 years, and I feel I need a change. I love working with children, but I want change in education. I do not at all enjoy the emphasis on test scores in many schools today. Chasing test scores is NOT synonymous with building and nurturing a culture of learning. I want to teach to inspire not to produce test scores.
This upcoming year I want to focus on creating something to help parents or kids learn about the entrepreneurial mindset. I want to prepare children, especially girls, to become leaders, innovators, designers, and young entrepreneurs.
Today was the start of my journey with my one little word. One decision I made was to document my journey EVERY single day, YES...I will blog daily for at least 365 days. For some this may not be a radical decision, but for me it is. I usually do not have the focus to stick with something for such an extended period of time. Maybe CONSISTENCY should have been my one little word for 2019!
As far as self-care goes, today I decided that I should spend some time reading inspirational articles from my favorite magazine, Bella Grace. I decided that I will have a copy of a few inspirational magazines on my nightstand, and that I will spend a few minutes daily reading from magazines such as Bella Grace, The Magnolia Journal, and The Farmhouse Movement.
I went out for an hour walk, and it felt wonderful spending time outdoors. This is my moment to enjoy nature (even though it was a bit cold) and to catch up on some podcast episodes. Hopefully soon I will buy a treadmill and this will help me get some exercise on those days in which the weather is not ideal for walking or running outside.
Tomorrow I go back to work, and I look forward to creating some radical changes in the educational school system. I will start by creating change in my classroom, with the way I teach my 4th and 5th grade students. Make sure to come back to read about how I am teaching entrepreneurial skills.
*Spoiler alert: It's going to be a good year!
Do you know what your word of the year is going to be? I invite you to join me in choosing your own One Little Word. I'm always looking for new inspiration! Tell me about your plans and goals for 2019.
Hi there! My name is Alicia Vilas, and I’m the NJ Hudson County Teacher of the Year 2020-21. My mission is to cultivate young changemakers and innovators. I love to connect on Instagram (@alicia.vilas) and twitter (@alicia_vilas).