Gratitude for the Win: 6 Ways to be More Grateful Every Day

Gratitude is one of my favorite practices. This is because it is a really simple exercise that takes almost no time, but has far-reaching, multi-focal benefits. If you’re only going to do one self-care practice, this one will give you the most bang for your buck. Gratitude turns what you have into enough. It turns a bad day into a fortunate day. It also makes positivity a habit.

David Asprey from Bulletproof says, “I do it because gratitude literally rewires your brain. Even a simple gratitude writing practice builds lasting neural sensitivity to more positive thinking. That means the more you practice gratitude, the more you default to positivity instead of negativity Study after study shows that simple gratitude exercises, like keeping a journal or sharing daily wins with friends or family, can make you happier, more positive, and more emotionally open after just two weeks (1,2,3). The benefits last, too (4), which leads to an overall increase in well-being, making you more resilient to stress (5). That’s a lot of improvement for 10 minutes a day.” Continue reading “Gratitude for the Win: 6 Ways to be More Grateful Every Day”

Get More Done and Feel Better With Meditation

How much more do you get done in a day when you are happy? I’m talking free of stress, free of fear (just another word for stress), and free of anxiety (again, stress). Don’t you feel more willing to get up and get out? When I’m happy, I’m more apt to get my workout done, get the laundry started, clean up the living room, plan fun stuff to do…but when I’m negative I don’t want to do anything. An object in motion tends to stay in motion, an object stuck on the couch in a funk tends to stay on the couch. It’s a cyclical system that feeds back on itself.

How do we break the cycle? I don’t know about you, but I want to feel better and get more done today. In a word: meditation. Now before you think I’m going all new-age kookie-dooks on you, hear me out.

Continue reading “Get More Done and Feel Better With Meditation”

Why I Hate the 4th of July

Don’t get me wrong, I feel patriotic and respectful towards my country. I am not a hater of America. I am a hater of the 4th of July.

Every year my neighborhood turns into a war zone. Despite the fact that we live within the city limits where fireworks are prohibited, people insist on shooting off the noisy, wildfire inducing, messy things. They do it with abandon, without regard to safety, and rarely clean up the resulting debris. Otherwise reasonable, fairly level-headed people turn into crazed pyromaniacs. It isn’t about patriotism, it’s about blowing shit up. Worse, it lasts for a solid week and a half.

Yes, I am a fun hater. Continue reading “Why I Hate the 4th of July”

I Stopped Caring In Order to Become More Compassionate

“Impassivity with regards to the events, brought about by the exterior cause.” —Marcus Aurelius

The other day I made an epic decision. I decided to stop caring so much about everything and everyone around me in order to become more compassionate. I realized that I spent a large amount of my time being frustrated about what people around me were doing and how it affected me. In short, I cared too much.

I cared about people in traffic–you know, the ones who can’t drive; about the other moms; what the other moms thought; what my family thought; about people who made my day difficult–on purpose or by chance; about random rude people; noisy people; annoying people; construction; you get my drift. All of this caring was diminishing my cheerfulness and actually making me quite a sour person. It suddenly occurred to me that if I didn’t care about this stuff, it wouldn’t matter.

This doesn’t mean that I became an unfeeling cynic. Quite the opposite. I realized that by not allowing external events to affect me so deeply, I would actually open myself up to more compassion. Suddenly, the person who was rude to me became someone who was having a really bad day. Because I didn’t care that they were rude to me, I was able to see this clearly. Continue reading “I Stopped Caring In Order to Become More Compassionate”

Working up to working out

How do you cultivate a fitness mindset? It’s something I really struggle with. I know I should get in some healthy movement every day, I just don’t always want to. I know I’m not alone here.

My problem is that my why isn’t strong enough. Even if I find an activity that I like, fitness is such a low priority for me that I easily get caught up in other things and simply forget to do it. Sometimes I intentionally find things to do to justify skipping the treadmill, trail, or the mat. Working out only works if it is convenient in both time and location.

I don’t think I’m alone in saying that my procrastination wins over my daily workout more often than not. Most of my perspective clients mention a lack of time and sufficient motivation to move their bodies. Their aversion to getting their sweat on every day deters them from starting any health program at all. Their can’t game is strong, same as mine. Continue reading “Working up to working out”

Could your attitude about food be worse than the food itself?

I have multiple food intolerances. Just recently I discovered that my IBS, which has gotten much worse over the last few years, is rooted in gluten intolerance. So now I have become that person. The difficult one who asks if the sauce or the soup contains gluten. Intolerances of this nature tend to make food the enemy. Every meal has the potential to cause incapacitating digestive issues, extreme fatigue, brain fog, or irritability. The struggle is real, the intolerance is real, but does the attitude I bring to the table make a difference in how badly my body reacts?

A friend of mine tells a story about a time when she indulged in a gooey triple chocolate brownie at a fancy restaurant. It was rich and delectable, full of gluten and sugar and bad oil, and completely irresistible in its confectionary splendor. The whole time she was eating it she was thinking about how terrible it was for her and how much she was going to regret it. After only a few bites, she was kicking herself for her poor choices and had herself completely tied up in knots, but she couldn’t stop until it was gone. Continue reading “Could your attitude about food be worse than the food itself?”

How to live fully

Last week, I spent every day having mini adventures with my little girl. It’s summertime, and we live in an area that people flock to for their summer vacations. So we played tourist. We went to museums, animal parks, playgrounds, picnic areas, educational centers, Custer State Park, Sylvan Lake, and a handful of hiking trails around the Black Hills. It was beyond awesome to hang out with her. What a fantastic hands-on workshop on how to have a child-like mind from the master!

The art of living with abandon

When hanging with a child, it is important to leave your ego and ideas about time behind. Focus on the fun that is to be had rather than a task to be completed. These important concepts may not sound practical or useful for your adult life, but I beg to differ. Here are lessons I learned from my child about how to live fully. Continue reading “How to live fully”

Stop ‘Shoulding’ on Yourself

How often do you say “should”? I’m guessing several times a day. “I should go to the store.” “I should clean my house.” “I shouldn’t eat that.” “You should [insert unintentionally judgy comment].” Maybe you aren’t even aware of your shoulds. This is the negative Mean Girl dialogue that sometimes takes over inside your head. “You should have gotten that job.” “You should work harder, do more, be better.” “You should look like that girl in the magazine.”

This kind of thinking is stressful and sucks the joy out of everything. You can’t live up to your full potential if you are constantly thinking you are not who or where you need to be or that you should be someone or somewhere else. Continue reading “Stop ‘Shoulding’ on Yourself”

How clutter steals your superpowers

I admit it. My house is not museum quality. It is very lived in. Truthfully, I feel like I have better things to do with my time than clean my house. I am famous for walking by a surface, setting something down and continuing on with whatever I am doing. If I don’t follow my current thought, I’m worried that I won’t remember what it is I need to do. However, I have recently been clued into how my tendency toward disorder may be limiting my potential.

When your outside environment is disorganized, your thoughts are, too. Things that are out of place require your brain to do something with them. This causes stress and distraction. Like we need more of that in our lives. Have you noticed that successful people have super clean houses? It isn’t just because they have someone to clean them. Tidy habits carry over into other areas of your life. How you do one thing, you do all things.  Plus, the less clutter in your line of sight, the less distracted you are and the more brain power you can invest in other areas. People with tidy environments also tend to eat better and exercise more regularly. Continue reading “How clutter steals your superpowers”

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