What is Wellness?

In a few weeks, it will be January. I know, crazy right? In January I will be launching a new website and a new business called Nourish Me Wellness. If you are getting my newsletter in your email you are already familiar with the name. Wait. You’re not on my email list? Well, sign up now right here. Then come back and read about what wellness means to me.

Nourish is defined by dictionary.com as, to provide with the food or other substances necessary for growth, health, and good condition (1). Wellness, according to UC Davis, is an active process of becoming aware of and making choices toward a healthy and fulfilling life (2). UC Davis goes on to say that “Wellness is more than being free from illness, it is a Continue reading “What is Wellness?”

Believe

If you were able to believe in Santa Claus for like 8 years, you can believe in your self for 5 minutes. -Unknown

“The belief you can do something is literally the difference between a life of mediocrity and a life of success.” That is paraphrased from Tom Bilyeu’s interview with Shawn Stevenson on The Model Health Show podcast (1). I highly recommend listening to the whole episode. It is pretty stinking inspiring. Tom Bilyeu talks quite a lot about belief and how it can impact your chances of success, how we find ways to make our beliefs true, and how we can change our reality by changing our beliefs. That got me thinking about the power of our beliefs. We’ve talked about this a bit in the context of limiting beliefs in the past (see Limiting Beliefs), but what about using the power of our beliefs for good? How can we make them work for us?

Continue reading “Believe”

Sunday Post

I take Sundays off on principle. Or, I do now that I have that choice. However, I happen to like what I do and have made a commitment to write every day. Hence the Sunday Post. I have decided that Sunday’s post will be light, raw, free thought, a flow of consciousness, and may not make abundant sense to those who read it. Or maybe it will make perfect sense.

Today’s Daily Prompt was Tenterhooks, which I had to look up. A tenterhook is a hook that hangs on a frame used to stretch woolen items as they dry to prevent shrinking. Apparently, these frames used to appear in fields in Northern England in the 1600’s. The phrase “On tenterhooks” – which I have never heard – means in painful suspense. Which Continue reading “Sunday Post”

Aging is optional

While I was at my kid’s swimming lessons this morning, I noticed an older gentleman, probably in his seventies, swimming laps. He was fit. Probably more fit than I am, and certainly a better swimmer than I am. It made me think, what is age anyway?

David Asprey claims that he will live to be 180+. He believes that, with the right nutrition and other lifestyle factors, he can hack his mind and body and increase his longevity (1). He calls this Biohacking. In his book Head Strong, David addresses many factors that affect aging, most notably mitochondrial function. While I could go into this subject in depth, I’m not going to today, because it’s Saturday and we have tickets to the Nutcracker ballet in about an hour. You can pick up a copy of Head Strong and read about it yourself if you are so inclined. Today I will give you a quick little synopsis of anti-aging.

Continue reading “Aging is optional”

Sparkle

There is no better word to describe that feeling of jubilant effervescence you get when you are truly in love than “Sparkle”. Doesn’t it seem to bubble up even more than usual this time of year? If you answered a resounding “Yes!” Congratulations! You have Christmas Spirit. If you rolled your eyes or feel less than enthused, lend an ear. Let’s try to get your sparkle back.

Focus on You

Do you feel more overwhelmed than usual this time of year? Are the crowds, traffic, short days, and happy people starting to get to you? You’re not alone. According to the American Psychological Association, women especially experience higher stress because we take charge of everyone else’s happiness (1). We plan and execute the decorations, meals, and outings. Somehow we do it on top of our already booked schedules. We still Continue reading “Sparkle”

Break Out of the Zoo

I just had a conversation with a friend of mine who asked me to write an article for her website. She was a bit timid to ask me because we are friends and what happens so often when you mix friendship with business? Hard feelings erupt. Your friend does some work for you, but it’s not what you expected. How do you tell her? You don’t want to hurt her feelings. Maybe you just let it go, but then you are left with something you don’t feel good about. Have we become so thin-skinned that we don’t want to hear honest feedback on our work? It comes down to the bad feelings we get when we have failed at something. Why are we so unwilling to fail?

Animals at the Zoo

As humans, we tend to fear failure. There is nothing worse than trying something and making an epic ass out of yourself. I take that back. What’s worse than trying and failing is not having tried at all. If we never tried anything new and opened the door to failure we would be no better than the animals at the zoo or fish in a bowl. I often wonder how boring their lives are, seeing and doing the same things every day. Knowing there is a Continue reading “Break Out of the Zoo”

The Importance of a Morning Routine

While your early morning is the tiniest snippet of your day, one could argue that that tiny snippet can make or break you. What you do in the early morning hours sets you up for the entire day ahead. People are fond of saying that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but I would say your morning routine is the most important endeavor of the day. Setting up a morning ritual that creates positivity, gratitude, and high vibrations can be the difference between having a great day or having an off day. It is like calibrating yourself for optimal performance.

The early morning is a great time for self-care practices that often get bumped off the calendar because you get busy later in the day. Instead of leaving self-care to the very end, do it right away in the morning. That’s right, set your alarm a tad earlier than usual and get up without pushing the snooze button. Not a morning person? I thought I wasn’t either. It turns out, I get my best writing done early in the morning. Get up and get going for yourself. Show up for you!

Continue reading “The Importance of a Morning Routine”

Bite-Sized Steps

Almost daily I talk with people who want to lose weight or improve their health in other ways. They tell me about their major concern and quite often tell me exactly what they can do to make their desired change. I think this is great! I love helping people transform their lives. Then they say something like, “But dieting is so hard,” or something about the time, money, or effort it takes to make improvements. This is the talk of someone who has tried and failed in the past. It’s also an excuse. Is this you?

Change is hard, no doubt. It does take effort and time and whole foods cost more than processed foods, it’s true. But you don’t have to do everything all at once. The last time you started a diet and exercise program, did you go out and buy all of the produce, do your prepping, throw yourself at an exercise program, and get burned out or injured in the first week? You’re not alone. The good news is every Herculean task can be broken up into bite-sized pieces so that it is easier to swallow. Take your time. Take it slow. You Continue reading “Bite-Sized Steps”

Scrooge

The quintessential Christmas character introduced by Charles Dickens in his classic 1843 novel A Christmas Carol, Ebenezer Scrooge is an excellent example of how changing your mindset can change your reality. Plus it’s a great ghost story, and appropriate for the season. As you well know, Mr. Scrooge starts the story as a miser obsessed with money, cold and devoid of generosity. Then he transforms overnight into one of the most caring men in London. Did anything change about Scrooge’s environment to change his attitude? He still worked at the same place, he lived in the same place, the same people surrounded him, yet he was greatly and irreversibly changed. He was changed from within. He decided his life was going to be different and he made it so. Do you need to be haunted by three ghosts in the middle of the night on Christmas Eve to make large changes in your own mindset? Goodness no. You need to be aware of what the problem really is, understand how you can reframe the problem, and take steps to do so.

Recognizing that there is a problem is the hardest part. I’m pretty sure Scrooge thought he was right to act the way he did at the beginning. He thought everyone else was being ridiculous and frivolous with their hard-earned money. This irresponsibility of others made him irritable. He just couldn’t understand it. The thing is, if you find fault with everyone around you, maybe the problem isn’t them. Sorry, but it’s probably you.

I have a friend who complains that no one takes time to visit her. She makes an effort to contact others, but no one ever has time for anything more than barely polite small talk if they are caught without an excuse to leave. Even her family avoids her. She thinks the problem is with all of them (everyone hates me, it’s so unfair), so she has stopped making the effort to socialize. Why should she expend the energy for people who obviously can’t be bothered to take time for her? The thing is, she is judgemental, an armchair authority on every subject, constantly complains, and is generally hard to be around. That’s why everyone avoids her, not because they are all rude. She vibrates at a low energy and no one wants to get sucked into that. If she took some time to honestly look at her life from a different perspective, like Scrooge was forced to, perhaps the awareness would inspire her to change.

My favorite character in The Christmas Carol is Scrooge’s nephew Fred. He has patience with Scrooge and is sorry for him because Scrooge chooses not to attend Christmas dinner and so misses out. Fred doesn’t let Scrooge’s bad attitude affect his own holiday. Who suffers from Scrooge’s ill will? Only Scrooge himself. Everyone else gets to enjoy the very good dinner and party games. Year after year Fred invites his uncle to participate in Christmas cheer even though he knows Scrooge will never accept. He takes Scrooge’s rudeness with a grain of salt and doesn’t let it dampen his spirits. When Scrooge finally does show up to dinner, Fred welcomes him in with open arms and makes him feel wanted. Many of us can learn from Fred. Who have you felt put off and snubbed by? Did this person’s actions really affect you and your happiness? Or could you reframe the problem in your mind so that it is not actually a problem?

If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude. – Maya Angelou

Reframing simply means that you change the way you think about something. For example, my husband ended up having to work over Thanksgiving. Actually, it worked out just fine because my little girl ended up getting a fever and being sick all weekend. So here I sat, alone with a sick kid all weekend. We missed out on Thanksgiving, Small Business Saturday, and our community holiday celebration with Santa and a light parade. We had planned family pictures and a tree hunting trip up in the hills, none of which happened. Disappointing for sure, and a perfect “poor me” opportunity. But after a quick reframe, does it really matter what day we roast the turkey on? We’re thankful every day anyway.

I made the turkey since it was already thawed and froze the leftovers. Really no big deal in the scheme of things. I got to have my Paleo Thanksgiving dinner by myself without comment or outside influence. I was still thankful for the same things I would have been if everything went as planned. What could have understandably been a “Why me?” scenario was not because I reframed it in my head. I took my own advice and was not attached to the outcome. I did not “should” on my holiday (read about what I mean in my three-part series Shoulding on the Holidays), and so had a positive experience despite everything. We will see Santa, have family pictures, and go tree hunting next weekend.

Reframing involves looking at the big picture, reminding yourself of your priorities, and asking yourself what is really important. Sometimes, when I feel overwhelmed or disappointed, I take a step back and ask myself what really matters and what is just stress I’ve created for myself. Most of the time I realize that I had expectations that may not have been entirely fair. My first priority is always my child and if I remind myself of that, everything else seems to fall into its place.

Scrooge was forced to reframe his outlook on life by three ghosts sent by his well-meaning dead business partner. By reflecting on his past, clearly seeing his present, and getting an unattractive glimpse of his future, Scrooge saw the error of his ways. He got perspective. Your own experience doesn’t have to be so dramatic. What did Scrooge learn? He learned that he was the problem that he saw in everyone else, that generosity and goodwill are valuable personality traits, and that changing his attitude could save his soul. Good lessons. Scrooge was inspired to drastically change overnight, but you can take steps to change without ghostly intervention.

Once you have recognized the problem and understood that changing your attitude is the key to solving the problem, your task becomes actually changing your attitude. This may seem like a Herculean task, but the hardest part is admitting fault. Once you’ve done that the solution will likely fall into place on its own. Simply deciding to change, and realizing it is possible, may be the most important step. Sit down and do some introspection to figure out what the problem actually is. In other words, get a new perspective. Then reframe your attitude around it. Keep reminding yourself that you create your own reality and look for ways to improve it.

Ways to Change Your Perspective

  1. Try a gratitude practice. Being grateful increases your positivity and can give you an instant total reframe. It forces you to focus on what you do have rather on what you don’t.
  2. Slow down and breathe. When faced with a stressful situation, it helps to calm down and return to what is important.
  3. Keep your priorities close. What really matters? If your family matters most, everything else can wait. This comes in handy when setting your holiday schedule.
  4. Keep your ego in check. Changing is hard. You may have to endure some skepticism if you’ve been judgemental or intolerable in the past. People may not be accepting of your changes at first. That’s okay, change anyway and they’ll come around eventually. Or they won’t, but maybe those are people you don’t want around anyway.
  5. Be patient with yourself. Change doesn’t happen overnight and you may make some mistakes. That’s okay. Any progress is good progress. Celebrate any small win.

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