Using what I think was a turn-of-the-century metal wine label, Al made a mold and then cast a few in recycled sterling silver. Then I asked him to engrave healthy-living reminders. Now is probably a good time to tell you that we have been blogging less, mainly because of focusing more on practicing better health. Moving away from some old habits ended up being a bigger deal. Who knew? The good news is that it has been totally worth it, and we hope the big learning curve part is behind us now so we can blog again more regularly.

Back to these engraved wine labels. I think I'll call them tags. For the personalized messages, I tried to think of reminders to help keep on track. Keep the drive alive as they say, right? 4-7-8 is a breathing technique, and a great way to improve health and soothe the mind. We try to use 4-7-8 for the pesky daily stress things that crop up, and it's something to do while waiting in line, or when in a traffic jam. And doing 4-7-8 before taking the first bite of food slows me down to practice mindful eating. We're finding that it helps make eating more enjoyable, which ends up being a bit paradoxical. Surprisingly, the more Al and I enjoy our food the less we're inclined to overeat. Have you ever noticed that? Are you practicing 4-7-8? When do you find you use it?

"Be Bold" helps my thinking so I stay on track with exercise. Before my six-gym-days/wk commitment (fast approaching the two-year mark - - woo hoo!), I hadn't done any consistent exercise since leg-warmers were a {wince} fitness fashion must. So being bold helps me tell the excuses in my head to take a hike. My head keeps talking though, and I have to give it a little credit because some of the reasons are pretty creative and very convincing. To be bold is something I have to work at every day so that excuses get squashed before they win.

The eating part of healthy living encompasses so much, and right now that includes making ready for a small garden, which we have fun planning together. But for the tag where Al engraved "hara hachi bu" - - that focuses on the eating, not the gardening. This Okinawan phrase reminds me about striving for balance, which includes practicing portion control and listening to my body so I stop at 80% full instead of Thanksgiving full. I feel so much better when I do this. Light, focused, serene, and balanced.

These engraved tags might look nice in a bracelet - - or maybe individual pendants...

...What do you think? It's great to be back. Hello!

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