Turning the Obstacle Upside Down

Last week I shared a Stoic exercise called Practicing Misfortune. There are actually 8 exercises that Stoics drew upon for strength in trying times. The second is one we’ve talked about before but is important enough to mention again. It is the concept of altering your perception to see an obstacle as an opportunity or Turning the Obstacle Upside Down.

“Choose not to be harmed and you won’t feel harmed. Don’t feel harmed and you haven’t been.” -Marcus Aurelius

An event isn’t in itself good or bad. It is how we choose to view the event that gives it its quality. To illustrate this, let’s consider that the quality of any event is highly subjective. If it rains today, I might think this is a good thing. I will stay inside my toasty house drinking tea and reading with my warm blanket. However, you may not share my opinion about today’s rainy weather if you had planned a party outdoors. Continue reading “Turning the Obstacle Upside Down”

Purposely practice misfortune to free yourself from fear

Even if you don’t consider yourself a particularly fortunate person, you likely have more than you think you do. If you have the time and the means to read blogs today, you are a fortunate person. It is possible to get so comfortable in our good fortune that we lose sight of how fortunate we really are. We may not be wealthy, but we are comfortable with where we live, our cars, our laptops, our iPhones, indoor plumbing, electricity, and running water. We are so comfortable having all of these conveniences that we live in fear of losing them. What if these things weren’t available to us as readily as they are today?

What brings this subject to mind is my car, which is becoming a rather prolific source of blog fodder lately. It has had a vibration, been noisier than usual and a rather alarming clunking sound has gotten worse over the last week. It has gotten to the point that I was a little afraid to drive the thing. It had to go into the shop. I have no backup vehicle. I live on the outskirts of a small city where a vehicle is a necessity if I need to do any sort of regular daily errands. Luckily we live within walking distance of the school, but the city center and all of my kid’s activities are a 20-minute drive away. Writing all of this down illustrates how incredibly fortunate we are. Today, however, I will be practicing misfortune. Continue reading “Purposely practice misfortune to free yourself from fear”

Change your routine, change your life

“It’s time you realized that you have something in you more powerful and miraculous than the things that affect you and make you dance like a puppet.” -Marcus Aurelius

One of the things I learned during my time at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition is: How you do one thing is how you do everything. Meaning, if you make healthy changes in one area of your life, the rest of you will follow. Pick the lowest hanging fruit, whatever that might be for you, make a positive change there, and the benefits of this change will ripple out amongst the harder to change aspects of your life. Or, continue to make poor choices and this will affect the rest of you as well.

We can see evidence of this in our daily lives. It’s the reason for recommending a positive morning routine. How you start your day tends to dictate how the rest of your day will go. Make smart choices here and it is far more likely you will have a good day. In the same way, if you declutter your physical surroundings, your mental clarity will improve as well. Or, eat junk food, expect junk thoughts. Continue reading “Change your routine, change your life”

The Solution to a Bad Day: Unconditional Love For the Win

Last Thursday I was working on some of the regular content that I put out every week. I had gotten most of it done and scheduled to publish ahead of time since it was the last full week before school starts and I wanted to spend as much time as possible with my little girl. The exception was my newsletter which has to wait until Thursday morning to be finished since that is when my nutrition and physical health blog Nourish Me Wellness publishes. I always share both of my blogs in my weekly newsletter.

I had most of that done, too. I just needed to edit it and add the links for the Nourish Me Wellness Blog and push “send.” When I first logged on, muscle memory (or auto-pilot as we like to say) caused me to create a whole new document instead of clicking on the almost finished email. No biggie. I reversed my direction and got to editing the email that was nearly complete.

Continue reading “The Solution to a Bad Day: Unconditional Love For the Win”

On introspection and choosing another path

In my other life, as a health coach helping people gain a healthier relationship with food while losing weight happily and healthfully, I have recently made a pretty major business decision. It is one of those shifts that is like jumping off of a cliff. It feels like there’s no going back. Like you’ve got to be all in–100% committed–or the scene will look like one from the coyote and roadrunner cartoon.

The thing is, I wasn’t getting anywhere with what I was doing. I was doing everything the marketing people told me to. I was authentic, passionate, and unique. I had an elevator speech. I regularly shared my story with soul-baring honesty. I walked my talk and am a product of the plan I was trying to sell. All I heard were crickets. Could it be that I wasn’t clear about what I was selling? Essentially I was selling myself on the internet. I mean, that’s pretty vague.

Authenticity is one of my core values, so my business plan reflects that. As a result, it is both rigid and fluid, and that might come off as wishy-washy. My compass is my internal barometer, which sometimes causes me to float in circles. I needed a solid plan, but first I had to figure out what was wrong with the other one. Continue reading “On introspection and choosing another path”

Permission to show yourself a little love

Self-care isn’t necessarily an elaborate ritual that you have to perform every day. Self-care, in its purest form, is giving your body what it needs when it needs it in order to perform at your very best. Knowing what your body needs involves staying tuned in to the subtle signals it gives you throughout the day. This means staying present and checking in with yourself often.

What is self-care?

You know how the flight attendant instructs you to secure your own oxygen mask before assisting others in case of an emergency? Self-care is kind of like that. It is taking care of yourself so you can perform better for everyone else. If you helped everyone else with their masks first, you would pass out and be unable to help as many people as you would if you helped yourself first. Taking the time for self-care is not selfish, it is essential to keep you performing at your very best.  Continue reading “Permission to show yourself a little love”

Positivity for Pessimists

People move toward positivity, plain and simple. Everyone likes a positive person, someone who is upbeat and cheerful, who rolls with the punches, and has a can-do attitude. So, what if you aren’t that type of person? Are you doomed to walk the streets alone, to spend your life as a solitary, cut off from the enjoyment of meaningful relationships?

I used to think that positive people were obnoxious. Think Legally Blonde: I was the stuck up, grey law school girl looking down my nose at the pink, bubbly chick getting it done. So when I started reading all of the evidence indicating positive people have a longer health span, are healthier in general, and are more productive I had to overcome my own dour disposition and admit that not all positive people are fake, silly, or stupid. Maybe, if this positivity thing has so many perks, I might even like to (gulp) become one of the happy people.

Is positivity something a person just has a talent for or can it be learned? I can tell you from experience that positivity can be learned. Even the most cynical person can learn to be positive with the right amount of effort. Here’s how you start: Continue reading “Positivity for Pessimists”

Why your life isn’t good enough…yet

It occurred to me the other day that I will never have what I want–what I am striving for–until I become utterly happy with what I already have.

This revelation came to me last week while I unpacked my “sub-standard” vehicle on our first day vacationing at the lake. I found myself lamenting how old, scuffed up, and uncomfortable the car was. Then I caught myself. Was I really on vacation complaining about what I didn’t have? Talk about not being able to appreciate the beautiful forest for the one ugly tree!

Do I want a new car? Sure. But this one had just carried me and my daughter 864+ miles not including a stop in Minneapolis to see the sights. It has since brought us all the way back home, never once disappointing me, never once letting us down, keeping us safe the whole time. Right now it is sitting out there, covered in bugs and waiting to do whatever is next. It’s overdue for an oil change, unwashed, kind of stinky from our 13 hour road trip, yet ever the reliable mode of transportation. Continue reading “Why your life isn’t good enough…yet”

Vacation Blog: Ways to Be Instantly Happier

I generally walk my talk. One of the things I talk quite a lot about is taking time out for self-care. This includes being present, taking a break from electronics, and giving yourself permission to enjoy downtime. Therefore, I am not working during my vacation this week. This means no original blog. I do, however, have a fantastic one from Anthony Moore on how you can achieve happiness today. I hope you find it valuable.

Want to Be Instantly Happier Than 90% of Other People? Read This Immediately.

by Anthony Moore

This is why most people aren’t happy

Most people only ever give partial attention to the most important areas of their life.

This is why most people:

Happiness isn’t “success;” there are countless “successful” people who live terribly imbalanced and empty lives.

Happiness isn’t achievement, accomplishment, or a state of being you finally “arrive” at. You can never do enough, or the right thing, so that you finally feel like you’re complete.

Happiness is a natural result of doing what you’re supposed to do.

Happiness and fulfillment aren’t easy concepts, but they’re simple. Achieving happiness is a natural consequence of consistently applying the basic fundamentals of focus, generosity, and healthy boundaries — all of which you can start doing immediately.

Want to be instantly happier than 90% of people? Then keep reading.

Read more…

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