The 4 Best Ways to Live Out a Mindful Marriage

The 4 Best Ways to Live Out a Mindful Marriage

It’s no secret. Mindful relationships are the most fulfilling relationships, and this is no exception when it comes to marriage. It’s so easy to get distracted by work, paying bills, and dropping kids off at soccer practices and baseball games. Somewhere along the way your relationship with each other somehow takes a backseat. But this doesn’t mean you don’t still love each other. All it means is you have to pay a bit more attention to making sure you stay aware of what is happening between the two of you.

By remaining mindful of what is happening in your relationship on a daily basis, you’ll know what needs work and what is already working. At its heart, a mindful marriage is one that is lived out with intention every single day––no ifs, ands, or buts about it. So try out these suggestions to live out your most mindful marriage.

Continually learn about each other

Embrace the fact that everyone changes over time including the two of you. Make sure to ask questions and be interested in actually learning about your spouse––even if you’ve been married for decades. Ask about their day. Learn something you didn’t already know. Continue the fascination.

Do something new together

Sharing experiences together is hands down the best way to continue improving and building upon your existing bond with each other. Take a cooking class. Learn a new language together. Go dancing. Just go out and do something for the two of you to broaden your shared experiences and make new memories.   

Compliment each other

Never underestimate the power of a genuine compliment. Express appreciation for your partner and a very visible and bold way. Tell them what you love about them in public and private. While complimenting their looks is never a bad thing, try complimenting them on things you can’t see. Tell them how you love the way they interact with your kids. Or how you love how they always make time for family dinner even on their busiest work days. Let them know you appreciate their daily efforts to make your family what it is.

Plan something together

It can be anything from a date night next weekend or a family vacation to how to achieve your life goals together. Recognize the importance of pressing pause to figure out what your relationship needs and plan how to achieve it together.

We know life can get crazy sometimes, but making sure your marriage is filled with intention should always be a top priority. Follow these tips to make sure you’re living out your most mindful marriage.

Trevor and Lexi BakerThe 4 Best Ways to Live Out a Mindful Marriage
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How to Teach Your Kids About the 4th of July

How to Teach Your Kids About the 4th of July

Watermelon, fireworks, and parties are just a few reasons why kids love the Fourth of July. Unfortunately, many kids don’t know the true meaning behind the Fourth of July, so this weekend is a perfect opportunity to teach your kids why we celebrate this great holiday. Before you pull out the fireworks and light the grill, make sure you discuss with your child why we celebrate Independence Day and what it means to you. It’s never too early to teach your children about patriotism. Here are some ideas to help you teach your kids about the Fourth of July.

Discuss the American Flag

The flag is one of the most important symbols of America. Create an edible flag snack with your kids and discuss what the colors of the flag represent. Go for a walk and have your kids find as many flags as they can. They will be excited every time they spot a flag. Make sure your kids understand how the flag should be treated and displayed. Let them help you hang the flag. If they are old enough to fold, you can teach them how to fold the flag.

Honor Our Protectors

It’s important to teach your kids that there are men and women that sacrifice every day to keep us safe. Explain to your kids that soldiers, police officers, and firefighters are just a few of our protectors that protect and help us. Have your kids help you pick out some items for a military care package or have them make a card to say “thank you” to the troops.

Sing Patriotic Songs

There are tons of great patriotic songs to teach your kids. “The Star-Spangled Banner,” “You’re a Grand Old Flag,” “I’m a Yankee Doodle Dandy,” “God Bless America,” and “This Land is Your Land.” After they learn the songs, let them put on a concert and show off their patriotism.

Keep things lighthearted and don’t forget to let them enjoy the day. While it’s important to celebrate the United States, it’s also important to enjoy the day and treasure our freedom together.

 

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How To Make Sure Every Day Is A Good One

How To Make Sure Every Day Is A Good One

Not every day goes as planned. In fact, each day arguably comes with its own setbacks and surprises. But just because there might be a kink in your day, doesn’t mean it still can’t be a good one. In the spirit of recognizing the extraordinary within your everyday life, become aware and make the most of your circumstances. You don’t need to treat yourself to a new gadget or buy yourself a steak dinner for your day to be considered a good one. After a while of practicing intentional positivity, living an optimistic life will no longer be a choice – optimism will become your lifestyle.  Just make intentional choices throughout your day that brightens your perspective and promotes a positive mindset. Here is how to make sure every day is a good one.

Switch up the ambiance

Consider lighting a candle with a refreshing scent while you work or fold laundry. Make a playlist of new and upbeat songs to accompany you while you carry out your everyday responsibilities, if you’re a good multitasker, or during small breaks, if you’re not. Move your work area near a window if possible – natural light guarantees a fresh perspective and lifted spirits. Whatever it is, change one thing about your everyday atmosphere. You will be feeling refreshed in no time.

Stop justifying

Stop justifying what you eat, how you spend your free time or your taste in music. Whatever makes you feel the happiest and whatever makes you feel the most you is perfectly acceptable. Break the habit of trying to explain your choices and your lifestyle to yourself and to others. If you free yourself from this mindset, your days will certainly be filled with more positive thoughts.

Smile

Smile more – even if you don’t feel like it. The familiar feeling of a smile sends a message of positivity to your brain even if you’re not actually happy about anything in particular. Your smile also radiates this positivity so others experience it as well. So don’t ever go through a day without smiling, and don’t ever doubt the power of your smile. The optimism that comes with it is startling.

Accept compliments and give compliments to others

Accepting compliments isn’t always easy. In some cases, accepting compliments has become a completely lost art. However, being able to politely acknowledge a compliment can undoubtedly boost your mood and your confidence. Instead of making an excuse as to why you’re so good at what you do, reply with a simple and a self-aware “thank you.” Likewise, give these compliments to others. It’s the art of giving that makes you feel a little happier too.

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3 Undeniable Reasons to Seek a Mentor

3 Undeniable Reasons to Seek a Mentor

Mentorship isn’t something that’s given freely; mentorship has to be earned. It has to be sought by the mentee and accepted by the mentor. Truth be told, almost everyone in the world could benefit from the help of a mentor. Why is it, then, that so few people seek out that mentoring relationship? Perhaps it’s because it’s difficult to find the right mentor—and even when you find the right mentor, you have to establish that relationship and build that dynamic up with them.

In any case, there are at least three undeniable reasons to seek a mentor.

You’re Able to Tap into Experience Beyond Your Years

This is not to say that you have to seek a mentor who’s significantly older than you are. Great mentors know no age. Still, having a mentor means being able to tap into experience beyond your years. It has nothing to do with how gray their hair is and everything to do with the ways in which their life experiences differ from yours.

You can always glean new and useful insights from whomever you choose as your mentor—whether they’re 25 or 75.

You Gain an Invaluable Sounding Board

Life can feel like a pretty solitary journey at times. Even when you’re married and have kids, there can still be moments where you feel totally alone—like no one could possibly understand or relate to the thoughts you’re having about your life’s trajectory.

In those moments, it is beyond valuable to have a sane sounding board. Mentors are fantastic for providing that kind of feedback and reassurance in perfect measure.  Mentors can help to keep you sane—and, more than that, keep you on track.

You Broaden Your Network and Support System

There is no such thing as a network or support system that’s too wide or too deep. When you take on a mentor in your life, you inherently broaden those aspects and, consequently, your prospects. But don’t let mentorship be about seeking out opportunities to get ahead. Let it be a way to support your goals and your dreams.

In the end, your support system and your network should help to propel you forward in more than just business-related ways. Mentors become more akin to family and close friends if you let them—and as such, they will always have your best holistic interests at heart. Doesn’t that sound undeniably great?

Trevor and Lexi Baker3 Undeniable Reasons to Seek a Mentor
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Top 3 Questions that Philanthropic Advocates Must Ask Themselves

Top 3 Questions that Philanthropic Advocates Must Ask Themselves

It is not enough to be good. It is not enough to wish the world were a better place. Miraculous and well-meaning as it is, it is not even enough to send your thoughts and prayers to people who need them. If you want to change the world, you have to actually do something; you have to be a philanthropic advocate—someone who speaks for those who can’t speak for themselves.

And, before you commit to doing anything, there are some 3 questions that philanthropic advocates must ask themselves.

Is This Philanthropic Work Sustainable?

Swooping in and fixing the way things are may seem like a noble act. You’ve built a school in a community that sorely needed access to education. You’ve just improved the lives of these people in this impoverished part of the world! Time to pat yourself on the back? Not even close.

How will the people of the village utilize the school? Who will stick around to make sure that it doesn’t get torn down or turned into something other than what you intended to build it for? In order to be helpful, philanthropy must first be sustainable. The good work you do must be able to carry on—even long after you’re gone. The next time you plan to embark on a philanthropic journey, make sure you plan out ways to make your work sustainable in the long run.

Is This Philanthropy Meaningful?

You can build a school in a rural village, but if ‘school’ doesn’t mean anything to the community, then all you’ve done is force meaningless ideas on a culture you don’t understand. For philanthropic advocacy to be as effective as possible, you must first listen to the voices of the disenfranchised.

What are their wants? What are their needs? What’s meaningful to them as a community? Discover the answers to those questions, and you’ll encounter the key to success as an advocate.

What Are My Intentions for This Advocacy?

As with anything else in life, if you don’t have the best of intentions behind your actions, you’re bound to fail at some point. Wanting to help others solely because it makes you look good or feel good will inevitably lead you to pursue the wrong kinds of philanthropy.

The best philanthropic acts aren’t the ones that loudly announce themselves. They’re not boastful or proud. They’re quiet, unassuming, and miraculously impactful.

When you have the best of intentions, you make the best of the world and its boundless opportunities.

Trevor and Lexi BakerTop 3 Questions that Philanthropic Advocates Must Ask Themselves
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Is There an Age Requirement to Be a Mentor?

Is There an Age Requirement to Be a Mentor?

When most people think of the mentor-mentee relationship, they envision an older, wizened sage gently leading a young, naïve protégé along in a mutual pursuit of the path to success. Scratch that. Forget everything you know about mentorship. Just because someone has lived longer, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they have more to offer a mentee. Along with that same train of thought, being older doesn’t mean that you’re too old for a mentor yourself.

Long story short, there’s absolutely no age requirement to be a mentor.

Are You Too Old for a Mentor?

This is a question that only you yourself can truly answer. No one else can answer this question for you, not even the people closest to you. Seeking out mentorship takes courage and it takes a recognition that your life isn’t where you want it to be.

There’s no age cut-off for changing your life around. You may feel as though you’ve already stumbled too far down one path to even entertain the idea of wandering down another. With the help of a mentor by your side, you don’t have to wander alone. And better yet, the two of you can forge a path all your own. You can cut through the thick brush of life and pave the way to success, no matter when or where you start. That’s the beauty of mentorship.

Are You Too Young to be a Mentor?

Just as people give sidelong glances to older people who seek out mentorship later in life, there are those that cast judgment on mentors who seem too young to give anyone advice. “Who is this kid? And what right does he think he has to tell me how to live my life?” You might catch yourself thinking. Or perhaps you’re the precocious youngster.

In any case, it’s a myth that you have to be a certain age to be able to dispense useful advice. In fact, some kids have ‘life’ better figured out than many people who’ve reached retirement age. The common adage, “It’s not about the years in your life; it’s about the life in your years,” holds true in this instance.

You don’t have to wizened to be wise.

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How to Have an Adventure in Your Own Backyard

How to Have an Adventure in Your Own Backyard

You don’t have to hop on your own private jet to have a memorable adventure that you’ll look back on fondly for years to come. You don’t have to spend a boatload of cash to fill up a camera with stunning pictures. All you need to have an adventure is a backyard and friends and family who are willing to come along with you.

The best things in life are free. Take advantage of the discount. Here is how to have an adventure in your own backyard!

Host a Backyard Movie Night Under the Stars

In order to host a backyard movie night under the stars, you don’t have to pull out all the stops. You don’t need a top-of-the-line projector or a professional-grade screen (though, admittedly, those things wouldn’t hurt!). All you need is a sheet, a projector, an old classic movie, and a sense of camaraderie with the people you’re watching with.

Few things are better than cuddling up with your loved ones under the stars and enjoying a favorite film while munching on homemade popcorn. Who wants to pay for overpriced movie theater popcorn anyway?

Plan an Elaborate Dinner Party in Your Backyard

There’s just something so magical about gathering around a bountiful feast with family and friends. Breaking bread with those you hold dearest is one of life’s most fantastic adventures—and it’s so simple and accessible.

To have an elaborate, adventurous dinner party in your backyard, take the traditional trappings of any other dinner party you’ve hosted and move it all outside. Invite everyone you know to join in on the fun. Before you know it, you’ll be transported to another time and place—beyond the cares of this world.

Build a Temporary Backyard Fort Using Found Objects

The adults aren’t the only ones that get to have backyard adventures! Let the kids have some of the fun by letting them build temporary forts using objects they find around the yard or in the shed.

You’ll be amazed by how creative kids can be. Their imaginations know no bounds, so it’s an adventure in and of itself to watch them create.

Getting to watch that creativity in action is precious and priceless. What more could you want from a backyard adventure?

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3 Small Changes That Can Have a Huge Impact on Your Marriage

3 Small Changes That Can Have a Huge Impact on Your Marriage

Marriage isn’t always a picnic; it certainly isn’t always a walk in the park, either. When the honeymoon has come to an end, both literally and metaphorically, it can be difficult to bounce back and remember what made you commit your life to that person in the first place.

Luckily, there are some small, easy changes that you can make that can have a huge impact on your marriage.

Plan At Least One Date Night Per Week

Speaking of picnics and walks in the park, there’s no better way to regain that honeymoon feeling than by planning at least one date night per week.

The dates don’t have to be extravagant. Five-star restaurants don’t have to be a part of the plan every week. You just have to set aside a night or an afternoon for you and your spouse to have alone time to reconnect. This may be difficult, especially if you have kids. But, it’s worth every penny you’ll spend on babysitters to be able to save the most precious asset of all: your relationship with your husband or wife.

Get Rid of Distractions During Alone Time

On the topic of alone time, it’s important to note that distractions should play no part in your date nights. As much as possible, try to unplug from your phone, computer, or tablet and enjoy being present in the moment.

Because modern life is so hectic, and technology makes everyone feel as though they must be connected at all times, it can understandably be a challenge to follow this rule. You don’t have to unplug all the time—just be conscious of the amount of screen time you’re indulging in around your spouse. Your husband or wife is the most important person in your life; treat them as such by turning off the TV and putting your phone away for at least an hour a day.

Remember That Your Spouse is On Your Team

Again, your husband or wife is the most important person in your life. You should treat them as though this were the truest statement you’ve ever heard. As the saying goes, “Happy wife, happy life.”

All too often, people take their husband or wife for granted. They forget that a spouse should be a best friend, and most people treat their best friend better than anyone else they know. Your spouse is on your team; you should always try to be on theirs.

Trevor and Lexi Baker3 Small Changes That Can Have a Huge Impact on Your Marriage
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