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Productivity

How to Set Goals That Will Increase Your Happiness

I recently turned 50 and have been reflecting on my life.  None of the previous “decade” birthdays have had much of an effect on me.  50 is different. In my 30’s and 40’s, I looked to Maya Angelou for inspiration. I felt that, once I turned 50, I would be like her: serene, content, happy with my life. Amazingly, that’s exactly how I feel now.  I never knew that I ...
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How to Make Sure Your Life Doesn’t Suck (Free Workbook!)

So many people are unhappy with their lives.  They blame family, friends, jobs, circumstances and anything else they can think of for their current situation.  Just check out all the comments on this post. As long as someone or something else is to blame, there’s no way to change things.  If you want something different, it’s up to you to take the initiative and make the change. If you don’t ...
Read More

Everything You Need to Start Your Meditation Practice (Free Resource Guide)

Starting a new meditation practice can be difficult.  With all the information, apps, gadgets and books out there on the topic, it can feel like information overload.  And all that information is probably keeping you from starting a practice that can help you manage all that overload. I’ve put together a quick resource guide with some basics to get you started without getting overwhelmed.  We’re not going to get into ...
Read More

How to Get Out of a Funk and Add More Happiness to Your Day

Do you feel like you’ve lost touch with yourself, like you’re stuck in a funk? Like you’re going through the motions, getting things done but wondering who is getting things done? Is life going by so fast that you feel like you’re only skimming the surface, never having the time to delve deeper to truly investigate or understand? I know how you feel.  As last month began, I felt like ...
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10 Simple Steps to Make Better Decisions – and Create a Better Life

It’s that time of year when you reflect on the past year and ponder what you want to make of the coming year.  It’s time to make some big decisions about what you want your life to be like. Regardless of what you have or haven’t achieved, each day is a new opportunity to change things. Making decisions about the top one to three goals or intentions you set for ...
Read More

How to Create a Meditation Practice When Your Mind Won’t Stop Spinning

There are articles everywhere about meditation and all its benefits.  It’s the cure to our restlessness, stress and anxiety.  It helps us to be less reactive.  It’s the greatest thing since sliced bread.  So why aren’t more people practicing it?  Everyone can think of a list of excuses for not meditating: I don’t have the time. I can’t get my mind to calm down. What’s the point? I’m not the ...
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How Technology Is Rewiring Our Brains and Why We Need to Unplug

I’m probably like most people who carry their smartphone around with them everywhere, checking something on it many times a day. We need to be needed, and all those notifications make us feel needed.  Emails, social media updates, texts, reminders – they never stop. But what if they did stop?  What if there wasn’t anything to check?  How would you feel? My mindfulness practice has helped me to shine a ...
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6 Ways to Ignite Your Passion For Work

Sometimes you feel trapped at work.  It’s even worse when you’re only working for the paycheck. There’s an old saying, "love what you do and you'll never work a day in your life."  But what happens when you don’t love what you do? Sure, you have bad days at work and dread the feeling of disconnectedness created by your job's menial tasks. When you get into that career slump, it ...
Read More

Mindfulness at Work: Managing Stress When Everything Is Hitting the Fan

Given how we’re programmed to view work, mindfulness and work seem like opposites.  Mindfulness conjures up feelings of peace and serenity while the thought of work brings on a wave of stress. Deadlines, meetings, quotas, difficult bosses or co-workers and the weight of all the work that needs to get done.  Work doesn’t create much of an opportunity for calm. While it’s impossible to eliminate stress, it is possible to ...
Read More

How to Be Happy While Achieving Your Goals

Goals.  We’re supposed to have them.  Theoretically, we can’t accomplish anything without them.  I beg to differ. I used to be a goal-seeking nut.  Every day I would read my goals, visualize them, break them down into steps, set specific dates and follow all the usual goal “rules.” And the process drove me crazy.  I met very few of those goals and got more depressed because of it.  There had ...
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How to get it all done when you’re only human

You know those uber-efficient people who seem to be able to get everything done with time to spare and look calm and relaxed all the time?  Neither do I.  Because they don’t exist. We’re all human and we all have limitations.  To even the playing field, we’re all given the same 24 hours in a day.  It’s up to us to choose how to spend our precious time in ways ...
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How to Finally Make Your Resolutions Stick

Does your New Year’s resolution involve creating a new habit? Have you tried to do this in the past and failed miserably? You’re not alone. You’re the majority.  And it sucks, doesn’t it? You have such high hopes, thinking, “This year is my year!”  And by February, you’re so disgusted with yourself that you ditch your valiant efforts to change…. until next year. You’re not a failure.  There’s nothing wrong ...
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Using Mindfulness To Be More Productive

I’ve noticed lately that I’m having a harder time focusing for more than a short period of time.  My brain is telling me that it needs some quiet time to rest and ponder issues.  Unfortunately, my monkey mind doesn’t like the idea of sitting still and being “unproductive.” My True Self is telling me that, by skimming over everything, I’m missing something – deeper meanings, real connections and more important ...
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The Life Organizer

“What if there was a way to organize and guide your life that more closely resembled lying back on an inner tube as the current carried you along (with you occasionally adjusting your course because you want to smell a wild rose onshore or because you hit a bumpy stretch) rather than a furious, exhausting upstream paddle?” That’s the premise of a book I just read called The Life Organizer: ...
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Finding Balance Amidst the Chaos

Life is a whirlwind.  There’s never enough time for everything we want to do.  We’re on a never-ending quest for balance as we try to get “everything” done. News flash:  Remaining balanced while attempting to get everything done is completely impossible.  Stop trying.  Stop fooling yourself.  Stop berating yourself for always coming up short of those completely unrealistic expectations. Accept the fact that you’re a mere mortal.  While each of ...
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The Ultimate Productivity Hack

You’ve tried every productivity tactic out there (there are tons).  You’re sure that this one is going to be the one that will allow you to stop procrastinating and actually get you on the path of amazing productivity. You’re fired up and practice the tactic for a day or two and see great results.  And then day three rolls around… How often do your days get derailed like this? You ...
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Simple Steps to Creating Productivity Habits

Have you tried to change a habit lately?  How easy was it for you?  Are you still struggling with it? In my last post I discussed how there’s so much great advice out there on how to be more productive each day but most of us struggle to implement these new habits.  Check the last post to understand what’s holding you back. In my quest for complete transparency, I’m laying ...
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The Free Guide You Need to Make This Year Your Best

Many of you are finalizing your new year’s resolutions and goals.  Now that you have a nice long list of everything you’re going to accomplish this year, have you thought about whether or not all the items on your list align with your core values?  Do you have a way of concretely including new habits into your daily life? I would like to introduce you to my free guide: 7 ...
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The 10/10 Exercise to Achieve Your Goals

While I have used my own version of this exercise for years, I got this one from Matthew Ferry, a totally awesome coach and trainer with some amazing ideas. Ideally, this exercise should be done first thing in the morning after your morning meditation has cleared your mind.  You can use a notebook, journal, computer, whatever works for you.  There’s much to be said about writing these kinds of things ...
Read More

Career

Unmistakable: The Art of Being You

The quest for success is ingrained in you.  From the time you can walk, your parents want you to be successful in all that you do.  As an adult, you take on that responsibility. Unfortunately, the success that others want for you probably isn’t the success you want for yourself.  But you were never aware that the two could be different, so you pushed for the success that meant that ...
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Why It’s Important to Change The Way You Pursue Success

This is a guest post from Michael Teoh: What is it with the obsession over wanting the success that other people have? Why not try to make the best of your own situation, especially with the countless opportunities readily available for you to pursue? Why are you paralyzed in your current situation when faced with the possibility of pursuing something that will ultimately lead to your own personalized form of ...
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How To Get Focused in Your Next Job Search

Job searches suck, no matter how you look at them.  For the most part, you’re parading yourself around, hoping someone will be interested in what you offer.  Then you hope they can pay you enough to pay your bills, never mind paying you what you’re worth. You desperately take whatever is offered and get excited that you actually have a job.  Then some time goes by and you’re miserable.  That ...
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6 Ways to Ignite Your Passion For Work

Sometimes you feel trapped at work.  It’s even worse when you’re only working for the paycheck. There’s an old saying, "love what you do and you'll never work a day in your life."  But what happens when you don’t love what you do? Sure, you have bad days at work and dread the feeling of disconnectedness created by your job's menial tasks. When you get into that career slump, it ...
Read More

Mindfulness at Work: Managing Stress When Everything Is Hitting the Fan

Given how we’re programmed to view work, mindfulness and work seem like opposites.  Mindfulness conjures up feelings of peace and serenity while the thought of work brings on a wave of stress. Deadlines, meetings, quotas, difficult bosses or co-workers and the weight of all the work that needs to get done.  Work doesn’t create much of an opportunity for calm. While it’s impossible to eliminate stress, it is possible to ...
Read More

The Best Investment You’ll Ever Make

The myth of how to be successful in the 20th century has ended (it is the 21st century, after all). You know the myth well because it’s made you feel like a bit of a failure. Go to school and get good grades so you can get into a good college.  Work hard and get more good grades so you can get a “good job” (whatever that is).  Work that ...
Read More

How to Be Happy While Achieving Your Goals

Goals.  We’re supposed to have them.  Theoretically, we can’t accomplish anything without them.  I beg to differ. I used to be a goal-seeking nut.  Every day I would read my goals, visualize them, break them down into steps, set specific dates and follow all the usual goal “rules.” And the process drove me crazy.  I met very few of those goals and got more depressed because of it.  There had ...
Read More

Feeling Lost? What To Do If You Haven’t Got Your Life All Figured Out Yet

As we grow up, we’re programmed to believe that we’re supposed to have our whole life figured out by the time we’re 21 years old. Here’s the plan: Graduate from high school with good grades so you can Get into college and graduate so you can Get a “good job” where you earn a decent paycheck so you can Attract the perfect mate and get married so you can Have ...
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Mindful Career: A Blessing or a Life-Long Sentence?

I looked up the definition of career because we all talk about it like we know exactly what it is.  But do we?  Most of the definitions I found were something along the lines of: An occupation undertaken for a significant period of a person's life and with opportunities for progress. A field for or pursuit of consecutive, progressive achievement, especially in public, professional or business life. An occupation or ...
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How to Win the Networking Game

When was the last time you attended a personal or professional networking meeting (personal networking meeting = party)?  Did you go with someone or did you go alone? For many people, the thought of showing up alone to a room full of strangers is a very frightening thing.  It definitely was for me just a couple years ago and I avoided it at all costs.  I definitely fit the description of ...
Read More

The 10/10 Exercise to Achieve Your Goals

While I have used my own version of this exercise for years, I got this one from Matthew Ferry, a totally awesome coach and trainer with some amazing ideas. Ideally, this exercise should be done first thing in the morning after your morning meditation has cleared your mind.  You can use a notebook, journal, computer, whatever works for you.  There’s much to be said about writing these kinds of things ...
Read More

Finances

Mindful Spending: The Happy Way to Financial Freedom

What if there was a way to save money without feeling like you’re missing out?  To feel great about every dollar you spend, knowing that it’s contributing to your overall happiness and long term financial health? It seems that saving is analogous to deprivation.  You can’t save unless you’re depriving yourself of something you enjoy.  And you’re supposed to feel bad when you do spend money, unless it’s for the ...
Read More

The Best Investment You’ll Ever Make

The myth of how to be successful in the 20th century has ended (it is the 21st century, after all). You know the myth well because it’s made you feel like a bit of a failure. Go to school and get good grades so you can get into a good college.  Work hard and get more good grades so you can get a “good job” (whatever that is).  Work that ...
Read More

How Would $1 Million Affect Your Life?

When I was meditating the other day, I asked the Universe for $1 million in the next month.  Most people would think that’s ridiculous.  I’ve never created anything close to this. I did it to see what kinds of resistances would come up.  That old “not good enough, you don’t deserve it” devil emerged. I continue to struggle with eradicating that one.  My conscious mind knows it’s BS but my ...
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Mindful Finances: How Noticing Your Feelings Can Change Your Results

We all know the rules of money: Make a budget and stick to it Save 10% in a fund you don’t touch Give 10% Spend less than you make These are the simple basics.  So why do so few of us actually do these things? I can’t afford to save or give Budgets aren’t realistic I can’t be confined to rules like these I deserve to have the things I ...
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Relationships

Secrets to Stronger Bonds in a Committed Relationship

Growing up, about 98% of my parents’ friends and my friends’ parents were divorced.  My parents were unhappily married and stayed together for twenty five years “for the kids.” I didn’t grow up with any great relationship role models.  Because of this, I repeated problematic patterns that always led to the same end result: my boredom with and ending of the relationship. After repeating this pattern for a few decades, ...
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How to Turn Anger and Resentment Into Happiness

You’re angry because he forgot your anniversary – again.  You resent that she spends more time with her friends than with you.  There your parents go again – playing favorites with your younger brother. These all boil down to resentment.  You resent the other person for doing something that irks you. You set up expectations for other person and expect him or her to live by them.  But they don’t.  ...
Read More

How To Release Yourself from Your Past

It’s easy to allow your past to hold you hostage. Someone treated you badly.  You regret something you did or said.  You can’t let it go.  It clouds your present and inhibits your future. You have a hard time forgiving others or yourself for deeds of the past. Because of something that happened in your past, you have difficulty trusting, loving and accepting yourself and others. "Without freedom from the ...
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The Art of Helping Others (and How to Avoid Resentment)

You feel good when you can help others.  As social creatures, humans are meant to work together. But what happens when all that helping and serving becomes too much and you start resenting the people you’re serving or the act of serving? Whether you’re helping a family member, co-worker, friend or volunteering for an organization you care about, you start off giving of yourself because it feels good. We’re taught ...
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Mindfulness In a Bad Relationship

He says the most hurtful things to me! Why can’t they just accept me? Why does she put me down all the time? My friends and family tell me that my ideas are stupid. What’s wrong with THEM??? When you do The Work, you see who you are by seeing who you think other people are. Eventually you come to see that everything outside you is a reflection of your ...
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Your Best Weapon in an Argument

The other day my husband and I got into an argument.  We were both getting defensive.  When he would point out some unproductive action I had taken that had led to the issue at hand, I would try to explain why I had taken the action (i.e. trying to be right).  When I did this, he thought I was blaming him for the whole negative situation. We were talking over ...
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How to Deal Effectively With Difficult People (and Some Other Secrets)

It’s inevitable.  At some point in your week you’ll run into one of them.  Those people who seem to turn a wonderful day into a dark one.  But it doesn’t have to be that way for you. There are studies that demonstrate that people’s energy is contagious.  If you’re happy and an angry person walks into the room, you can feel it.  Your happiness is suddenly dampened.  The angry person ...
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Mindful Relationships: How a New Point of View Can Dramatically Increase Your Happiness

It’s amazing that we humans are so programmed to be social creatures when all we ever think about is ourselves (usually). We expect others to accept and appreciate us as we are and yet we expect them to be the way we want them to be.  Not exactly fair. We expect those close to us to know what makes us happy and do those things on a regular basis. Whenever ...
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Lifestyle

Everything You Need to Start Your Mindfulness Practice [Book Giveaway!]

As mindfulness becomes more mainstream, many people still wonder what it is and how to do it. Mindfulness is simply being present to whatever is in your life in the moment and noticing it without judgment.  While being present is certainly a challenge with all the constant distractions around you, tugging for your attention, the ‘without judgment’ part is equally as challenging. Judging doesn’t only mean negative connotations.  It means ...
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Embrace the Power of the Pause

I'm honored to host a guest post by Courtney Carver from Be More With Less.  She's been an inspiration to me in my personal and professional life, online and off. This week she's releasing her new book, Soulful Simplicity: How Living With Less Can Lead to So Much More, which I highly recommend.  In this book, she shows us how to simplify to create more with less—more space, more time, and ...
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How to Make Sure Your Life Doesn’t Suck (Free Workbook!)

So many people are unhappy with their lives.  They blame family, friends, jobs, circumstances and anything else they can think of for their current situation.  Just check out all the comments on this post. As long as someone or something else is to blame, there’s no way to change things.  If you want something different, it’s up to you to take the initiative and make the change. If you don’t ...
Read More

How to Heal Trauma by Listening to Your Body

Everyone has experienced some sort of trauma in their life, be it major or minor.  When it happens, the body reacts and holds onto it.  If you don’t have effective means of processing the emotions, it stays locked in the body. This results in long-standing health issues that don’t seem to have cures: a bad back, digestive issues, headaches, joint problems, lack of energy.  While western medicine can suppress the ...
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How to Conquer Fear and Manage Stress in Your Life

We’re all programmed to feel fear.  It’s what keeps us safe.  It’s that ‘fight or flight’ instinct that was supposed to protect us from marauding carnivores thousands of years ago.  But our environment has changed over the last few thousand years such that, for most, marauding carnivores are no longer an issue. Today, those occasional carnivores have been replaced with what seem to be constant sources of fear:  bosses, parents, ...
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How to Be Happy When Unhappy Is Your Norm

Is it possible to be happy all the time? And a bigger question: Would you want to be happy all the time? How would that feel? Would you feel like you don’t deserve it? Or do you think it’s impossible? Society says that if you achieve your goals, if you’re “successful” (whatever that means), you can be happy.  At least that’s the story.  But it’s a lie.  That kind of ...
Read More

Everything You Need to Start Your Meditation Practice (Free Resource Guide)

Starting a new meditation practice can be difficult.  With all the information, apps, gadgets and books out there on the topic, it can feel like information overload.  And all that information is probably keeping you from starting a practice that can help you manage all that overload. I’ve put together a quick resource guide with some basics to get you started without getting overwhelmed.  We’re not going to get into ...
Read More

How to Get Out of a Funk and Add More Happiness to Your Day

Do you feel like you’ve lost touch with yourself, like you’re stuck in a funk? Like you’re going through the motions, getting things done but wondering who is getting things done? Is life going by so fast that you feel like you’re only skimming the surface, never having the time to delve deeper to truly investigate or understand? I know how you feel.  As last month began, I felt like ...
Read More

10 Simple Steps to Make Better Decisions – and Create a Better Life

It’s that time of year when you reflect on the past year and ponder what you want to make of the coming year.  It’s time to make some big decisions about what you want your life to be like. Regardless of what you have or haven’t achieved, each day is a new opportunity to change things. Making decisions about the top one to three goals or intentions you set for ...
Read More

How to Create a Meditation Practice When Your Mind Won’t Stop Spinning

There are articles everywhere about meditation and all its benefits.  It’s the cure to our restlessness, stress and anxiety.  It helps us to be less reactive.  It’s the greatest thing since sliced bread.  So why aren’t more people practicing it?  Everyone can think of a list of excuses for not meditating: I don’t have the time. I can’t get my mind to calm down. What’s the point? I’m not the ...
Read More

Unmistakable: The Art of Being You

The quest for success is ingrained in you.  From the time you can walk, your parents want you to be successful in all that you do.  As an adult, you take on that responsibility. Unfortunately, the success that others want for you probably isn’t the success you want for yourself.  But you were never aware that the two could be different, so you pushed for the success that meant that ...
Read More

Why Expectations Are the Root of All Evil

Unmet expectations often lead to the full range of negative emotions:  anger, fear, disappointment, jealousy, annoyance, bitterness, resentment, envy and insecurities. Unmet expectations about the past create regret, grief, sorrow, shame and sadness. Projected unmet expectations about the future create depression, anxiety, feelings of inadequacy, impatience and hopelessness. If you didn’t have expectations, you would simply take things as they came and deal with them. Your judgment of things would ...
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How Technology Is Rewiring Our Brains and Why We Need to Unplug

I’m probably like most people who carry their smartphone around with them everywhere, checking something on it many times a day. We need to be needed, and all those notifications make us feel needed.  Emails, social media updates, texts, reminders – they never stop. But what if they did stop?  What if there wasn’t anything to check?  How would you feel? My mindfulness practice has helped me to shine a ...
Read More

Mindful Spending: The Happy Way to Financial Freedom

What if there was a way to save money without feeling like you’re missing out?  To feel great about every dollar you spend, knowing that it’s contributing to your overall happiness and long term financial health? It seems that saving is analogous to deprivation.  You can’t save unless you’re depriving yourself of something you enjoy.  And you’re supposed to feel bad when you do spend money, unless it’s for the ...
Read More

Mindfulness at Work: Managing Stress When Everything Is Hitting the Fan

Given how we’re programmed to view work, mindfulness and work seem like opposites.  Mindfulness conjures up feelings of peace and serenity while the thought of work brings on a wave of stress. Deadlines, meetings, quotas, difficult bosses or co-workers and the weight of all the work that needs to get done.  Work doesn’t create much of an opportunity for calm. While it’s impossible to eliminate stress, it is possible to ...
Read More

The Best Investment You’ll Ever Make

The myth of how to be successful in the 20th century has ended (it is the 21st century, after all). You know the myth well because it’s made you feel like a bit of a failure. Go to school and get good grades so you can get into a good college.  Work hard and get more good grades so you can get a “good job” (whatever that is).  Work that ...
Read More

How to Turn Anger and Resentment Into Happiness

You’re angry because he forgot your anniversary – again.  You resent that she spends more time with her friends than with you.  There your parents go again – playing favorites with your younger brother. These all boil down to resentment.  You resent the other person for doing something that irks you. You set up expectations for other person and expect him or her to live by them.  But they don’t.  ...
Read More

I Know How She Does It

If you have young kids, you have a busy life.  Add to that a romantic relationship and a job and you start to think that you have to cut things out of your life that you value in order to make it all work.  Usually, the first things to go are the things that give you energy and feed your soul because you feel like you have to take care ...
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3 Things I Learned From Living with Monks in a Jungle

The following is a guest post from Damien Dante of NomadLetters. Have you ever been lost? Not only literally but figuratively? Have you ever had that feeling that you don’t know where to go next? I remember the last time I had that feeling. I was in the middle of nowhere, not knowing which direction to choose, in one of Vietnam’s less populated regions. Just me and my forty litre ...
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How to Finally Make Your Resolutions Stick

Does your New Year’s resolution involve creating a new habit? Have you tried to do this in the past and failed miserably? You’re not alone. You’re the majority.  And it sucks, doesn’t it? You have such high hopes, thinking, “This year is my year!”  And by February, you’re so disgusted with yourself that you ditch your valiant efforts to change…. until next year. You’re not a failure.  There’s nothing wrong ...
Read More

How to Transform Depression and Anxiety to Happiness

Feeling depressed about your future?  Is anxiety keeping you from enjoying your life? Strong negative emotions can smother the joy and happiness that’s always inside you. While neither of these feelings can be turned off like a light switch, there is a practice that can change your life in dramatic and positive ways over time. It’s mindfulness. [If your feelings of depression or anxiety are more serious, you might benefit ...
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How To Go From Craziness to Calm: Getting My Priorities Straight

What’s more important: spending focused, fun time with your kids or doing their laundry?  Being there for your partner or cleaning the house?  Taking care of yourself or running one more errand? When you lay it all out in black and white, the answers seem obvious.  But how do you live your life each day? For the past few months (well, to be perfectly honest, most of my life), I’ve ...
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How To Change Your Life In The Moment

What if every day of the rest of your life was just like yesterday?  How would you feel if nothing ever changed? How you do one thing is how you do everything. Almost everything you do all day is a habit.  Waking up, getting dressed, eating, moving, how you treat people, work and relax.  Your thoughts and emotions follow habits as well.  And there’s an underlying theme to it all ...
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How To Release Yourself from Your Past

It’s easy to allow your past to hold you hostage. Someone treated you badly.  You regret something you did or said.  You can’t let it go.  It clouds your present and inhibits your future. You have a hard time forgiving others or yourself for deeds of the past. Because of something that happened in your past, you have difficulty trusting, loving and accepting yourself and others. "Without freedom from the ...
Read More

4 Simple Questions That Can Make You Rich and Happy

We all want to be happy, and rich would be quite nice too. The media pummels us with messages that these are the only goals worth shooting for.  The latest “rich and happy” celebrities are paraded in front of us to prove this elusive point. So we want, hope, yearn and strive for “rich and happy” and wonder why we can’t ever get there.  We wallow in “just getting by ...
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Finding Balance Amidst the Chaos

Life is a whirlwind.  There’s never enough time for everything we want to do.  We’re on a never-ending quest for balance as we try to get “everything” done. News flash:  Remaining balanced while attempting to get everything done is completely impossible.  Stop trying.  Stop fooling yourself.  Stop berating yourself for always coming up short of those completely unrealistic expectations. Accept the fact that you’re a mere mortal.  While each of ...
Read More

How To Deal With Negative People Who Sabotage Your Life Passion Pursuit

"There must be more to life than this," you think.  Many years into it, you feel like you’re in the wrong job or career. Suddenly you can’t see yourself doing what you’re doing for the next five years (or even for the next year). Maybe you have a few ideas rolling around in your head, or you have a secret dream of something specific you've always wanted to do or ...
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Choose Yourself

Think about how your day has gone so far.  How often have you chosen others over yourself? In my last post I wrote about what happens to me when I choose others more often than I choose myself.  It’s not pretty. I got so busy being busy with my job and home life that I pushed the things that feed me out of most days.  I was tired, cranky and ...
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How to Shift from What’s Wrong in Your Life to Happiness

Sometimes life has a way of getting in the way of our happiness and our ability to be grateful. We get in a funk and are only capable of seeing what’s wrong. I’ve been working myself silly lately on projects I love with crazy deadlines.  After about three months of this, my body and psyche are telling me they’ve had enough.  Instead of looking outward to be open to others, ...
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Misadventures of a Garden State Yogi

It’s rare that I write a book review but I had to write this one.  A friend of mine suggested that I read this book with a guarantee that I would laugh my ass off while learning something.  How could I pass that up? I wasn’t disappointed. Misadventures of a Garden State Yogi is awesome.  Brian Leaf brings you through his “humble quest to heal my colitis, calm my ADD ...
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Sailing Through Life: How Not To Crash and Burn

What’s the fastest way to get what you want?  Know what you want. This seems too simplistic but it’s amazing how many people are frustrated living in a life that they don’t want.  The irony is that they’ve never taken the time to discover what it is they do want. If you ask these people what their ideal life would look like, they’ll give you a list of things that ...
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How To Make This Year Freakin’ Amazing!

Think about last January.  Have you achieved any of the goals or resolutions you set then? If you can say yes then a big congratulations to you!  For the other 99% of us, the process of reflecting isn’t a very fun one. In this post I offer some ideas and resources to make this coming year a very different one for you.  A year where you’re happy and excited as ...
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Instigate Your Life’s Work (3 Simple but Essential Steps for Creating the Only Thing That Matters)

This is a guest post from Tom Morkes, a great instigator of passionate work. The Reason There is a reason you’re here. Not just in the philosophical sense of your purpose for living, but because you’re reading this article, right here, right now. It means you want something. It means there is something missing or incomplete, a gap between where you are right now and where you want to be ...
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The Art of Mindful Holiday Binging

It’s that time of year again:  Parties, get-together’s and all kinds of celebrations.  More food and drink than at any other time of year. It’s almost impossible to say no. Diets go out the window as you’re surrounded with tempting foods and drinks.  Exercise programs are forgotten as the weather gets cold or rainy. More than half of the population will put on two pounds this time of year and ...
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Why Your Motivations Aren’t Motivating You

This post is taken from my Mindful Body program.  Click the link above to learn more about how this program can help you to use mindfulness to achieve the healthy, happy body you want.  It's fun!  Really. You’ve started a new program that’s going to change your life.  You’re sick and tired of the way things are and, this time things are going to be different. You feel incredibly motivated.  You ...
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6 Simple Steps To Handle Overwhelm

“I’m going to lose it on the next person who asks me do to something!”  That’s what’s going through your mind as projects and deadlines at work are growing, friends and family all seem to be asking for “one little thing” all at the same time, things around the house are screaming for your attention, the kids need your help and time and so does your spouse. You’re only one ...
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Mindful Body: Create the Happy, Healthy Body You Want Through Mindfulness (sneak peek)

I’m incredibly excited to announce the pre-launch of my upcoming Mindful Body program! I want to give you a chance to join our exclusive Pre-Launch Insider’s Group to get discounted access long before it goes public as well as the chance to tell me exactly what you want it to include – more on that below. There are all kinds of great things coming up. But for now I want ...
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How To Be Successful in Life and in Business (Not the Usual Rules)

How easy is it for you to be completely yourself around other people?  How much do you censor yourself based on who you’re around? Can you honestly say that you speak, act, dress and think as your True Self around anyone?  Or do you tweak yourself in order to be accepted by those you’re around?  A little tweaking for friends and family and a lot of tweaking at work maybe? ...
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Work – Life Balance Is a Myth

You’re exhausted. You got up early to get to work, cranked all day, probably didn’t eat as well as you would have liked, headed home in traffic, got home to a house that needed cleaning and kids and a spouse who needed to be fed. Your stress level is running high and you see no end in sight.  You’re on the treadmill of life looking for balance but wondering if ...
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Rediscover the Lost Art of Being

Determine never to be idle. No person will have occasion to complain of the want of time who never loses any. It is wonderful how much may be done if we are always doing.  - Thomas Jefferson That quote embodies one of the biggest problems in the world today. Someone at some point in history (probably thousands of years ago) decided that doing was good and being was bad.  Doing ...
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Simple Living Is About More Than De-Cluttering

“This is the essence of simplicity… to live with full awareness and with passion.”  - Janet Luhrs, The Simple Living Guide We read about simplifying our lives and decluttering and we get inspired to clean out a closet or the junk drawer in the kitchen or, if we’re feeling especially motivated, the garage.  We feel great for a few days and feel the relief that the extra space and organization ...
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Be Bold, Be Amazing, Be Yourself!

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other ...
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Feeling Grateful

Today I’m feeling grateful for gratitude. In the craziness of my days with three little kids, I’ve been more than challenged to maintain my 10/10 exercise.  Instead of fighting the many interruptions I’ve been facing when I attempt to sit and write what I'm grateful for in the mornings, I’ve changed my practice a bit. And that’s what we need to do with our practices so they continue to serve ...
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Simple Steps to Mindful Weight Loss

You’ve tried all the diets: low carb, low fat, juicing, raw, vegetarian, paleo, whatever.  You ate what the diet dictated, whether you liked it or not.  You ached as you passed up your favorite desserts. You’ve been to the gym, even paid for a one year membership to make absolutely sure you would go.  You even worked with a personal trainer to motivate you for a while. You’ve done these ...
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Powerful Ways To Create Your Own Future

How would you describe the course of your life? Following a plan laid out for you of steps you think you should take to be successful in life? Going with the flow of whatever showed up in your life? Doing the opposite of the plan someone else told you that you should follow (you rebel, you)? Or consciously deciding the best plan for you and taking steps to make it ...
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What Does Success Look Like To You?

Think about yourself ten or twenty years ago.  What was your definition of success?  What did you think you had to do, be and have in order to call yourself successful?  How close are you to that definition today?  Have you achieved it?  Did you come close?  Did your priorities change and, therefore, your definition changed? How do you define success today?  What will you have to do, be and ...
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Don’t Let Your Dreams Die – Here’s How You Can Help Yourself and Many Others

This is a message that I’m incredibly passionate about.  As parents, this is critical information that we need to pass along to our kids, especially those in high school and college.  Given the tragedies that I’ve seen, this information could literally save lives. This was the story of my life until I ‘woke up’ seven years into a successful career straight out of college.  Experiencing the damage of family and ...
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Why I Listen To The Voices In My Head

The creative is the place where no one else has ever been. You have to leave the city of your comfort and go into the wilderness of your intuition. What you’ll discover will be wonderful. What you’ll discover is yourself. — Alan Alda Not long ago I wrote a post questioning which is smarter, the head or the heart.  The head is our logical mind and also our not-so-helpful monkey ...
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How Committed Are You To Your Dreams?

Your own words are the bricks and mortar of the dreams you want to realize. Your words are the greatest power you have. The words you choose and the use establish the life you experience. -Sonia Croquette What words do you use when you speak of your dreams? Do the words and messages that you use depend on who you’re talking to? Unfortunately for my dreams, I’ve found that they ...
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What’s the Meaning of Your Life?

For the meaning of life differs from man to man, from day to day and from hour to hour. What matters, therefore, is not the meaning of life in general but rather the specific meaning of a person's life at a given moment. -Viktor E. Frankl When we’re feeling down, when things aren’t going our way, sometimes we think, “What’s the point?  What’s the meaning of all this?  We’re born, ...
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5 Steps to Creating Your Awesome Life

We say we want our lives to be better.  We wish for things, pray for them, visualize them.  And nothing changes. We wish, pray, meditate and visualize harder. Still nothing. What are we doing wrong? The Definition of Insanity Most of us spend much of our time thinking about what's wrong with our lives. And then we wait for someone or something outside of ourselves to magically happen in order ...
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Can the Multi-Generational Family Solve Our Need for Connection?

The kids are 18 and they’re finally out of the house.  Or are they? I recently read that one of the fastest growing sectors in the housing market is multi-generational homes – houses specifically built for extended families.  This wasn’t surprising with all the stories of kids leaving to go to college only to return home without hope for a job. It got me wondering, when did this whole concept ...
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Saying Yes To Change

Why is it that we so often have to reach the lowest of lows, experience the depths of our own despair before we finally acknowledge that, in order for our lives to change, we have to change? We hold out for months or years thinking, hoping that other people and different circumstances will magically work in our favor and hand us the lives we’re looking for on a silver platter ...
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The Unschooling Revolution: Taking Education Into Our Own Hands

"Do not train a child to learn by force or harshness; but direct them to it by what amuses their minds, so that you may be better able to discover with accuracy the peculiar bent of the genius of each."  - Plato When you were young, were you completely psyched about going to school every day?  Were you chomping at the bit to learn more of what the schools were ...
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The 7 Links & 7 Random Facts Challenge

I have been invited by my blogging friend, Cathy Taughinbaugh, who writes at Treatment Talk, to complete The 7 Links & 7 Random Facts Challenge…..thank you for nominating me, Cathy! For those who don’t know about this, a blogger is awarded a nomination to do the 7 Links Challenge, which involves looking back at 7 of our posts in the following categories: Most beautiful post Most popular post Most controversial ...
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Simple Steps to Creating Productivity Habits

Have you tried to change a habit lately?  How easy was it for you?  Are you still struggling with it? In my last post I discussed how there’s so much great advice out there on how to be more productive each day but most of us struggle to implement these new habits.  Check the last post to understand what’s holding you back. In my quest for complete transparency, I’m laying ...
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What’s Your Payoff For Being Unproductive?

We’ve all heard the advice for being more productive: Only check your emails twice a day Limit time with social media Don’t multi-task Clear the clutter Clear distractions Watch less TV Get up an hour earlier We really want to be more productive and get more done and this is awesome advice.  So why can’t we seem to actually follow this advice? The answer to this question and every other ...
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How To Prepare For Your Day

This is a guest post from Mike Routen at Route To Freedom.  He and his family are on a mission to help others free themselves from their self-imposed chains.  Please welcome him! Are you being proactive or reactive to what the day brings? Each new day brings many challenges. Some we can expect and many we cannot. Every one of these challenges has the opportunity to completely derail our day ...
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Your Attitude Determines Your Outcome

Everything can be taken from a man or a woman but one thing: the last of human freedoms to choose one's attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one's own way. – Viktor Frankl  [Tweet this quote] This quote was written by a man in the concentration camps of Nazi Germany during WWII.  It is believed that this is what saved his life – his attitude.  His family ...
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Head vs. Heart: Which Is Smarter?

Have you ever thought about what your life would be like if you were the lead character in Jim Carrey’s Yes Man?  Saying yes to every opportunity that presented itself?  While you would certainly open yourself to all kinds of new adventures and experiences, you would also be totally over-committing yourself. There’s also a practice of saying no to everything to learn to stand up for yourself and create boundaries.  ...
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Slow Down Enough to Find Your Freedom

Between stimulus and response, there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.     -Viktor E. Frankl How often do you respond to people and situations without even thinking about it? How often do you repeat the same old arguments with your partner?  Sometimes the topics change and sometimes they’re the same but they all end up ...
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Where Is Your Happy Place?

Sometimes life and other people can get to you causing you to feel stressed, anxious and generally unhappy.  What to do?  While there are tons of ways of dealing with this, you generally want to get to your happy place. What and where is your happy place?  How do you get there? Before If you’re driving to work in rush hour traffic, thinking and stressing about all that faces you ...
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How Would $1 Million Affect Your Life?

When I was meditating the other day, I asked the Universe for $1 million in the next month.  Most people would think that’s ridiculous.  I’ve never created anything close to this. I did it to see what kinds of resistances would come up.  That old “not good enough, you don’t deserve it” devil emerged. I continue to struggle with eradicating that one.  My conscious mind knows it’s BS but my ...
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I Want To Change the World and I Want It Done Yesterday!

"Change is not a process for the impatient." -Barbara Reinhold We go through our lives creating to do lists, crossing things off and adding more.  We’re never done.  As much as we spend our thoughts and days on completing and accomplishing things, I always remember a quote I read somewhere: Your inbox will still be full the day you die. Where does that driven, need-to-achieve feeling come from?  Like we’re ...
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Simple Steps to Create More Freedom For Yourself

In my last post, I asked what freedom means for you and how much you may be limiting your own expression of your freedoms.  In this post, we’ll review specific areas of your life and identify steps you can take to feel more free every day. Think about how all of your lifestyle choices either support or hold back your freedom: Friends Do the friends that you’ve chosen support you ...
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Freedom In The Eyes of Some Other Awesome Bloggers

Freedom is a funny thing.  People have very different definitions and thoughts about it. I've partnered with a great group of seven bloggers with different backgrounds, different businesses and different lifestyles. Some are already living off of their online incomes and some are just beginning their journeys. By sharing how we define freedom, it is our goal to help you find your own freedom. We want to inspire you to think bigger than ...
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How Free Do You Think You Are? Really

What does freedom look and feel like to you?  Are you living it right now? I used to look at freedom as one of those things that’s “out there” to be achieved.  Actually, I’ve noticed lately that I used to look at just about everything as something “out there” that I had to chase after to achieve. Whether it’s freedom, happiness, abundance or whatever, all of these things are inside ...
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What’s On Your Gratitude List Today?

We all know how focusing on the things that we’re grateful for can turn around a negative mood but have you made this a daily practice? I started my own version of this years ago in the form of The 10/10 Exercise.  Each day I write at least ten things for which I’m grateful.  I try to write about ten different things each day so the practice doesn’t become a ...
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Why Do You Want What You Want?

We all have our list of things we want in life – great relationships, a nice home, a healthy body, financial security and more.  Have you ever stopped to ask where your definitions of these goals came from and why you want them? Are those images in alignment with your values, the things you hold most dear?  Or are they based on what you think you should have in this ...
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How to Create Your Best Year Ever – One Conscious Choice at a Time

In three words or less, how would you describe how you’re living your life?  Outragious, playing it safe, off the charts, slow and steady, keep on truckin’, growing fast…  For my own life, I would say that I’m “not bold enough.”  I once had a boss who gave me a desk plaque that said, “Dare to soar” with a picture of an eagle next to it.  She clearly saw how ...
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The Free Guide You Need to Make This Year Your Best

Many of you are finalizing your new year’s resolutions and goals.  Now that you have a nice long list of everything you’re going to accomplish this year, have you thought about whether or not all the items on your list align with your core values?  Do you have a way of concretely including new habits into your daily life? I would like to introduce you to my free guide: 7 ...
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Mindful Mind: You Are Not Your Mind

While the mind is capable of great things, much of the time it limits us. Call it what you will:  the monkey mind, the reptilian brain, the ego – they’re all the same.  You are not your mind.  And as one of my mentors says:  Your mind is not your friend. While your mind may try to keep you safe, it does not support your growth as a person. The ...
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Mindful Spirit: How Noticing Your Inner and Outer Worlds Opens the Door to Happiness

If you look up the word “spirit” in the dictionary, you will find that it comes from the Latin, spirare, meaning “to breathe.”  The inbreath is inspiration; the outbreath expiration.  From these come all the associations of spirit with the breath of life, vital energy, consciousness, the soul, often framed as divine gifts bestowed upon us, and therefore as aspect of the holy, the numinous, the ineffable.  In the deepest ...
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Mindful Finances: How Noticing Your Feelings Can Change Your Results

We all know the rules of money: Make a budget and stick to it Save 10% in a fund you don’t touch Give 10% Spend less than you make These are the simple basics.  So why do so few of us actually do these things? I can’t afford to save or give Budgets aren’t realistic I can’t be confined to rules like these I deserve to have the things I ...
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Mindful Career: A Blessing or a Life-Long Sentence?

I looked up the definition of career because we all talk about it like we know exactly what it is.  But do we?  Most of the definitions I found were something along the lines of: An occupation undertaken for a significant period of a person's life and with opportunities for progress. A field for or pursuit of consecutive, progressive achievement, especially in public, professional or business life. An occupation or ...
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Mindful Relationships: How a New Point of View Can Dramatically Increase Your Happiness

It’s amazing that we humans are so programmed to be social creatures when all we ever think about is ourselves (usually). We expect others to accept and appreciate us as we are and yet we expect them to be the way we want them to be.  Not exactly fair. We expect those close to us to know what makes us happy and do those things on a regular basis. Whenever ...
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Mindful Body: Creating the Body You Want With New Choices

How do you feel about your body? How does your body feel? It’s amazing how disconnected we are from our bodies even though our bodies are what physically get us through our days. Our minds take over telling us that we must be productive – get things done!  It’s also what society tells us is important.  We are the things we accomplish. It’s time we start breaking those rules, standards, ...
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How to Achieve Your Goals Without Chasing Them

We’re told over and over that we’ll never achieve anything if we don’t have goals, preferably written ones.  Goals get us from point A to point B.  Or do they? What about the path between A and B?  What happens there? There are so many methods of writing, tracking and managing goals that we can get lost and spend more time massaging and visualizing our goals than actually doing anything ...
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Mindless Consumption: The Key to Growth?

This is a story about us being persuaded to spend money we don’t have, on things we don’t need, to create impressions that won’t last, on people we don’t care about.  - Tim Jackson's TED talk: Economic reality check The messages we’re bombarded with from government, media and many other sources would have us believe that we need to be good consumers who want and buy ever more stuff to ...
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Implementing Gratitude: Everyday Thanksgiving

Do we really need a national holiday to remind us to be thankful?  With the flood of emails and other communications I receive this time of year, it would seem so. Why do we let the busy-ness of life interfere with our ability to stop and notice the million and ten things we’re really grateful for every day?  Many things that we take for granted. I started a practice a ...
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Mindfulness: The Art of Being in the Present Moment

What is mindfulness? Definitions from dictionaries include: awareness, attention, regard, heedfulness. One that I especially liked from Wikipedia is:  The practice whereby a person is intentionally aware of his or her thoughts and actions in the present moment, non-judgmentally. Mindfulness is applied to both bodily actions and the mind's own thoughts and feelings. We can be mindful anywhere, any time. During yoga practice, while brushing our teeth, walking to the ...
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Comfort Zone Challenges

When given the choice of venturing into new territory or staying in our safe and secure comfort zone, we usually choose the latter.  We know what to expect and, hey, who needs more to stress about?  But in our hearts, we know we will never achieve the things we want or be the person we aspire to be without some stretching. In my life I have pushed myself into some ...
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Meditations for daily walks

As we take walks in the city or in the country, we're getting outside to get away from our work and other responsibilities.  We're giving ourselves the gift of the time to just be.  We can be with friends, family, pets or just with ourselves.  It's a time to slow our minds down while we get our bodies moving.  Getting out and moving for just 20 or 30 minutes each ...
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Baby Steps: Make Anything Happen One Step At A Time

Is your life going the way you've always wanted?  If you're like most of us, the answer is no.  While I've had a fairly good life, I've also weathered many storms.  I've dealt with a lot of crap, sometimes the same crap over and over  with escalating consequences until I finally learned the lessons. I've maintained a comfortably uncomfortable existance for prolonged periods of time until I couldn't take it ...
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Why Time Management Is Impossible

The Problem Would you like to: Start a new business or make some extra money on the side Write a book Master a hobby Learn a new skill Have more energy But you just don’t have the time or energy? Are you so drained at the end of the day after getting up early, dealing with traffic, working all day, taking care of kids, your spouse, cooking, cleaning, running errands ...
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Are You Neglecting Your Priorities?

What are your top three priorities in life?  The most important things above all else? Mine are health, family and financial independence. Health I put health first because, without it, nothing else is really possible.  If my health is suffering, I can’t be there for my family and I can’t do much to create financial independence or anything else.  When we don’t feel good physically or emotionally, it affects all ...
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Are You Letting Your Past Dictate Your Future (To Your Detriment)?

Do you think you can’t change direction in life because you would waste all the time, money, education, energy and whatever else you invested in your past?  Many people never bother to figure out what their passions are because of this belief.  They spend their lives being comfortably uncomfortable.  Thinking there’s got to be something better out there for them but never allowing themselves to consider that it may be off ...
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The Challenge of Being Yourself

Why is it so easy to be a mindless sheep?  To follow the flock, do as you’re told, blend in? From the time we’re little and placed into preschool by our parents, the programming begins.  What does school teach us?  To sit down, shut up, blend in, be normal and do as we’re told so that we are properly trained to be productive little cogs in a big machine (sheep), ...
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The Easiest Way to Get What You Want From Life

Are you perfectly happy where you are right now in life?  If you answered yes, you can stop reading.  For the other 99.99% of us, keep reading. For the next two hours, notice your thoughts.  How often do you think about how you don’t like something about your current circumstances?  Maybe it’s your job (or lack thereof), your financial situation, your spouse or partner, your kids, friends, health, whatever. Every ...
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Learning Life’s Lessons from the Little People

Kids can be the best teachers, if we slow down enough to pay attention to them. We adults think we know so much more that our kids.  With our years of experience, we feel that we certainly know more about the world and how to function in it. Not so much. All those years of “experience” are years of issues and filters that we’ve learned to apply to our outlook ...
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Giving Away Your Best: How to Make Sure Goods Things Come Your Way

When you have a great idea for something you can create, what are some of the first few questions you ask yourself?  How much money can I make with this?  How many people will buy it?  How many people can I positively impact with this?  And then you mind starts to figure out how to package it and get it out there to be sold. What if you packaged up ...
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Taking a Chance

 How dull life would be if we never took chances.  Sometimes we take small ones like putting a dollar in a slot machine.  Other times we take big ones like quitting a job or starting a new relationship. I took a chance today.  I quit the job that’s been draining my soul to accept a new job with fabulous people who share my values and are doing some amazing things ...
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Living in the Now – or How to Go Through Your Day with Energy and Ease

Post written by Leo Babauta How can you bring calm and peace to the middle of a stress-ful, chaotic day? The answer is simple, though not always so easy to put into practice: learn to be present. No matter how out-of-control your day is, no matter how stressful your job or life becomes, the act of being present can become an oasis. It can change your life, and it’s incredibly ...
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Eliminate Fear and Negative Emotions

All emotions can generally be boiled down to a form of love or fear.  The “good” emotions like happiness, joy, elation and connection are all forms of love.  The “bad” emotions like anger, anxiety, sadness and frustration are forms of fear. We all experience fear in its many forms.  Whether it’s the fight or flight fear of someone following us in a dark parking lot or the anger created when ...
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How to Feel Better in 30 Seconds or Less – for Free

What is your face doing right now?  Do you have a serious, furrowed brow?  Are your eyes squinting a little?  Is your jaw tense?  How relaxed are your shoulders?  How’s your breathing?  How does your back feel? How often in a day to you notice these things?  Just stop and notice.  No judgment.  Just checking in with yourself. It has taken me a while to turn this noticing into a ...
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A Simple Way to Be Amazingly Productive

How long is your “to do” list each day?  Do you usually have many more things on it than you know you can accomplish?  Or do you even have a list? Do you find yourself lost in the rabbit hole of emails, texts and internet surfing (aka “research”)?  Are you doing things like clicking off emails, giving you the perception that you’re actually accomplishing something when you’re really just procrastinating ...
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The Great Purge – Baby Steps to Eliminating Stuff

I have a reminder on my calendar on the first of every month to “Give something away.”  I’m usually good at actually doing this but it’s normally never more than a bag of clothes or toys. Over the past few weeks I’ve had the “cleanies” like never before. It started with my quest to organize and eliminate some of the kids’ toys.  We have allocated a section of the living ...
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Can others tell what your top priorities are from your actions?

What would you say your top three priorities in life are?  Family?  Health?  Relationships?  Career?  Finances? Now examine your average day.  Where do you spend your time?  Does how you spend your time reflect what you think your priorities are?  For many people this is an eye-opening thought. Many of us will say that our family and relationships are some of the most important things and yet we spend very ...
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Change your life: Notice your thoughts, feelings and emotions

I have to say I’m not exactly crazy about the job I go to ever day (actually this is a major understatement).  I feel like I’m constantly micro-managed and kept in a very limiting box.  I know that I’m capable of doing and being so much more but my bosses just can’t (or don’t want to) see it. I’ve been noticing myself making unhealthy choices as a result of how ...
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Expectations Create Stress and Anger: Throw them in the ocean

‘Act without expectation.’ ~Lao Tzu Post written by Leo Babauta. How much of your stress, frustration, disappointment, anger, irritation, pissed-offedness comes from one little thing? Almost all of it comes from your expectations, and when things (inevitably) don’t turn out as we expect, from wishing things were different. We build these expectations in our heads of what other people should do, what our lives should be like, how other drivers ...
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Personal Power

This is a guest post by Virginia O'Connor Everything in the world you see around you was initiated by the creative energy of your thoughts. Your thoughts are powerful catalysts in transforming any idea into physical reality. Personal power stems from the healthy self-esteem of your thoughts.  By changing the inner aspects of your thinking, you can change the outer aspects of your life. When you feel good about yourself ...
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Filling My Cup

Our society teaches us that taking care of ourselves first is selfish and a bad thing.  I think that’s a bunch of BS. On an airplane, we’re instructed to put on our own oxygen masks first, before helping a child do the same.  If you think that’s a crazy idea, realize that you’re not much help to anyone if you’ve passed out due to lack of oxygen because you tried ...
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Getting Past Stuck

You’ve decided to finally take the steps necessary to move yourself closer to your goal.  You’re making some progress and feel great.  You think, “Wow!  If I knew it was this easy, I would have started a long time ago!”  Each baby step propels you forward. And then life gets in the way. If you’re losing weight, there’s the temptation of a big party or festive weekend or a vacation ...
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12 Baby Steps to easily lose 5, 10 or more pounds

I usually get on the scale once every couple of days, just to check in with myself and make sure I’m in my desired weight range.  I’ve never had a weight problem although my weight goes up and down somewhat, like most people. A little while ago I decided that I didn’t want to be so focused on my weight and weighing myself so often so I skipped the scale ...
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Radical Responsibility – Part 2 (Letting Go)

In my last post, I wrote about general aspects of how I have taken personal responsibility in my life. Another aspect of taking responsibility for myself is knowing that I’m not responsible for others.  When someone lashes out at me, instead of taking it personally and getting upset, I first ask myself what’s going on with that person?  Are they stressed about something?  Did someone else set them off earlier ...
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Radical Responsibility – Part 1 (How to Be Happy)

Our society seems to thrive on the victim mentality that says that most issues in our lives have been created by other people and things.  The judicial system is built on this principle.  The media relies on it to sell news. What I’m writing here may be controversial and there are so many shades of grey that I couldn’t possibly cover them all.  I’m simply writing from my own life ...
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Breaking Free From Consumerist Chains

‘Do not trouble yourself much to get new things, whether clothes or friends…. Sell your clothes and keep your thoughts.’ ~Henry David Thoreau Post written by Leo Babauta. We are not consumers. We are people. We are not living lives meant to earn money in order to support a shopping habit, or a large home and two cars, or lives of luxury eating and entertainment. We are not living to ...
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How to Stop Acting Like Such a Big Baby

“Any fool can criticize, condemn, and complain but it takes character and self control to be understanding and forgiving.” —Dale Carnegie Article by Zen Habits contributor Jonathan Mead. If we really want to be happy, why do we act like such babies? We can claim to be proactive in our life by settings goals and going after what we want. But if we’re always whining and complaining all the time, ...
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Go and Create

‘Men must live and create. Live to the point of tears.’ ~Albert Camus Post written by Leo Babauta. It’s amazing how many people I talk to who tell me they want to create a new blog, write a book, start a new business, change careers, make something new. But they keep putting it off. Does that sound familiar? You’ve been wanting to do something different, but you don’t have the ...
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3 Simple Steps to an Energized Day

Do you roll out of bed, get dressed and grab your coffee and bagel and run out the door in the morning and wonder why you’re dragging only a few hours later?  Do you hit a wall later in the afternoon that only large doses of additional caffeine and sugar can cure?  Do you want something simple and natural that puts your whole day in perspective, gives you the strength ...
Read More

What do you want to be when you grow up?

The other day I called a company to ask a question about one their products.  After the service rep politely introduced himself, I asked him how he was doing.  His reply: “OK, for living someone else’s dream.”  [For this post, we won’t go into how this is the totally wrong answer (regardless of what this man’s truth may be) for someone to say in a customer-facing environment.]  Then the conversation ...
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Do you know where you’re headed?

In life, we're always in such a hurry to get somewhere, to get things done, to prove ourselves.  Have you ever stopped to think where you're really headed? Where are you going so fast?  Are you going toward something or are you trying to get away from something?  If you’re trying to get away from something, do you know what you’re going toward?  Are you just going toward more of ...
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Have some fun!

How long has it been since you’ve done something really fun?  Something that just made you laugh out loud.  Something that takes you out of your daily routine and gets you to focus on happy things. The challenge this week is to schedule one hour every day for one week and do something really fun by yourself, with a friend or family member, a group of people, your pet, whatever.  ...
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The Little Habits

 ‘Powerful indeed is the empire of habit.’ ~Publilius Syrus Post written by Leo Babauta. It’s amazing how big a difference a little thing can make. Starting your day mindfully with some tea, for example, can change your entire day. Clearing your desk will make your work day amazing. A smile from a loved one can mean the world. And when these little things are repeated daily, and formed into habits, ...
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Health

How to Heal Trauma by Listening to Your Body

Everyone has experienced some sort of trauma in their life, be it major or minor.  When it happens, the body reacts and holds onto it.  If you don’t have effective means of processing the emotions, it stays locked in the body. This results in long-standing health issues that don’t seem to have cures: a bad back, digestive issues, headaches, joint problems, lack of energy.  While western medicine can suppress the ...
Read More

Everything You Need to Start Your Meditation Practice (Free Resource Guide)

Starting a new meditation practice can be difficult.  With all the information, apps, gadgets and books out there on the topic, it can feel like information overload.  And all that information is probably keeping you from starting a practice that can help you manage all that overload. I’ve put together a quick resource guide with some basics to get you started without getting overwhelmed.  We’re not going to get into ...
Read More

How to Create a Meditation Practice When Your Mind Won’t Stop Spinning

There are articles everywhere about meditation and all its benefits.  It’s the cure to our restlessness, stress and anxiety.  It helps us to be less reactive.  It’s the greatest thing since sliced bread.  So why aren’t more people practicing it?  Everyone can think of a list of excuses for not meditating: I don’t have the time. I can’t get my mind to calm down. What’s the point? I’m not the ...
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Restoring the Mind and Body with Yoga – The Yapana Way

For those of you who follow this blog, you know that I’m a strong proponent of a regular yoga practice.  You don’t have to be tall, skinny and Gumby-like to start practicing yoga or to get anywhere with it.  Yoga can be adapted to anyone at any age, in any physical condition, from kids to the elderly, from anorexics to grossly obese folks and everyone in between. I started practicing ...
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How to Make Stress Your Friend

Do you live a stressful life?  There aren’t many people who would answer “no.”  Being stressed and crazy busy are like badges of honor.  Societal programming silently tells you that if you’re not stressed out and busy, there’s something wrong with you.  You’re not doing enough.  Read my post on being and doing “enough” HERE. While you’re supposed to be stressed, you’re also bombarded with messages that tell you how ...
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The Wheel of Healing with Ayurveda

Over the past few months I’ve been working more, not writing, not practicing yoga and meditation as much as I would like.  I’ve been choosing to do “one more thing” at work instead of listening to my reminder to go out and take a walk.  I’ve been making choices each day that take me away from the things that feed my soul in exchange for more work. Fortunately, I truly ...
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How to Transform Depression and Anxiety to Happiness

Feeling depressed about your future?  Is anxiety keeping you from enjoying your life? Strong negative emotions can smother the joy and happiness that’s always inside you. While neither of these feelings can be turned off like a light switch, there is a practice that can change your life in dramatic and positive ways over time. It’s mindfulness. [If your feelings of depression or anxiety are more serious, you might benefit ...
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How To Go From Craziness to Calm: Getting My Priorities Straight

What’s more important: spending focused, fun time with your kids or doing their laundry?  Being there for your partner or cleaning the house?  Taking care of yourself or running one more errand? When you lay it all out in black and white, the answers seem obvious.  But how do you live your life each day? For the past few months (well, to be perfectly honest, most of my life), I’ve ...
Read More

Pick Your Yoga Practice

MYTH:  Yoga is only for skinny, bendy women who like to zen out and there's only one way to practice it. REALITY:  There is a kind of yoga for every person regardless of gender, age, physical abilities or fitness level. The oldest person known to be teaching the yoga that Westerners are familiar with is 92.  My kids have been practicing since they could walk as they follow my moves ...
Read More

Not Doing What You Love Is Literally Killing You

Express yourself – your desires and passions – and take action.  Your life depends on it! What passions in your heart are sleeping or dying? If they're dying, know that little bits of you are dying with them. I'm currently watching someone who is physically dying of a very serious disease.   Throughout their life they have allowed themselves to be controlled by what society dictated they should do, what their ...
Read More

The Art of Mindful Holiday Binging

It’s that time of year again:  Parties, get-together’s and all kinds of celebrations.  More food and drink than at any other time of year. It’s almost impossible to say no. Diets go out the window as you’re surrounded with tempting foods and drinks.  Exercise programs are forgotten as the weather gets cold or rainy. More than half of the population will put on two pounds this time of year and ...
Read More

Why Your Motivations Aren’t Motivating You

This post is taken from my Mindful Body program.  Click the link above to learn more about how this program can help you to use mindfulness to achieve the healthy, happy body you want.  It's fun!  Really. You’ve started a new program that’s going to change your life.  You’re sick and tired of the way things are and, this time things are going to be different. You feel incredibly motivated.  You ...
Read More

How To Use a Basic Bodily Function to Reduce Stress and Anxiety

You’re stressed, anxious, frustrated, angry or some other feeling you’d rather not be feeling right now.  You wish things in your life were different but they are what they are.  You wish you could turn off those less-than-helpful feelings but they hang around like a bad smell. Did you know there’s something you already do all day, every day that can help?  Something that could transform your life if you ...
Read More

6 Simple Steps to Create Your Meditation Habit – Finally

This is a guest post from Iris Barzen at Bright Little Socks.  Check out her About page to learn how we can all proudly expose our own bright little socks!  I love what she's doing! You've imagined yourself sitting on a meditation cushion, a peaceful smile on your face, your body in a perfect lotus position. If somebody were to observe you they'd think you were a person full of peace and ...
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Ask Our Readers: What Challenge or Fear Is Keeping You From Creating Your Happy, Healthy Body?

Here’s your opportunity to have your voice heard and play a critical part in the development of the upcoming Mindful Body program. All you have to do is answer one of these three questions.  Just leave your response in the comments at the end of the post.  (Email readers, click here to let your voice be known.) Remember it’s your participation that makes the simple mindfulness community what it is. 1 ...
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Mindful Body: Create the Happy, Healthy Body You Want Through Mindfulness (sneak peek)

I’m incredibly excited to announce the pre-launch of my upcoming Mindful Body program! I want to give you a chance to join our exclusive Pre-Launch Insider’s Group to get discounted access long before it goes public as well as the chance to tell me exactly what you want it to include – more on that below. There are all kinds of great things coming up. But for now I want ...
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Rediscover the Lost Art of Being

Determine never to be idle. No person will have occasion to complain of the want of time who never loses any. It is wonderful how much may be done if we are always doing.  - Thomas Jefferson That quote embodies one of the biggest problems in the world today. Someone at some point in history (probably thousands of years ago) decided that doing was good and being was bad.  Doing ...
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Simple Steps to Mindful Weight Loss

You’ve tried all the diets: low carb, low fat, juicing, raw, vegetarian, paleo, whatever.  You ate what the diet dictated, whether you liked it or not.  You ached as you passed up your favorite desserts. You’ve been to the gym, even paid for a one year membership to make absolutely sure you would go.  You even worked with a personal trainer to motivate you for a while. You’ve done these ...
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Why I Listen To The Voices In My Head

The creative is the place where no one else has ever been. You have to leave the city of your comfort and go into the wilderness of your intuition. What you’ll discover will be wonderful. What you’ll discover is yourself. — Alan Alda Not long ago I wrote a post questioning which is smarter, the head or the heart.  The head is our logical mind and also our not-so-helpful monkey ...
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Where Is Your Happy Place?

Sometimes life and other people can get to you causing you to feel stressed, anxious and generally unhappy.  What to do?  While there are tons of ways of dealing with this, you generally want to get to your happy place. What and where is your happy place?  How do you get there? Before If you’re driving to work in rush hour traffic, thinking and stressing about all that faces you ...
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Mindful Body: Creating the Body You Want With New Choices

How do you feel about your body? How does your body feel? It’s amazing how disconnected we are from our bodies even though our bodies are what physically get us through our days. Our minds take over telling us that we must be productive – get things done!  It’s also what society tells us is important.  We are the things we accomplish. It’s time we start breaking those rules, standards, ...
Read More

12 Baby Steps to easily lose 5, 10 or more pounds

I usually get on the scale once every couple of days, just to check in with myself and make sure I’m in my desired weight range.  I’ve never had a weight problem although my weight goes up and down somewhat, like most people. A little while ago I decided that I didn’t want to be so focused on my weight and weighing myself so often so I skipped the scale ...
Read More

The Healing Power of Yoga

Since I was about 15 years old, I had a “bad back.”  There was no injury or anything obvious.  I just remember bending over to put a dish in the dishwasher and I couldn’t stand up.  I had excruciating pain down the lower right side of my back.  Over the following decades, I either dealt with the pain or saw every kind of traditional and alternative doctor or specialist I ...
Read More

3 Simple Steps to an Energized Day

Do you roll out of bed, get dressed and grab your coffee and bagel and run out the door in the morning and wonder why you’re dragging only a few hours later?  Do you hit a wall later in the afternoon that only large doses of additional caffeine and sugar can cure?  Do you want something simple and natural that puts your whole day in perspective, gives you the strength ...
Read More

Small changes can make a big difference for you

Not that long ago, I was like most people.  I assumed that everything that was sold in your average grocery store was safe to consume.  I had no idea what most ingredients were and I didn't bother to read the labels.  If it tasted good, I bought it.  Then I got pregnant for the first time and everything changed.  I was suddenly hit with the major realization that everything that ...
Read More

Wellness

How to Set Goals That Will Increase Your Happiness

I recently turned 50 and have been reflecting on my life.  None of the previous “decade” birthdays have had much of an effect on me.  50 is different. In my 30’s and 40’s, I looked to Maya Angelou for inspiration. I felt that, once I turned 50, I would be like her: serene, content, happy with my life. Amazingly, that’s exactly how I feel now.  I never knew that I ...
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Embrace the Power of the Pause

I'm honored to host a guest post by Courtney Carver from Be More With Less.  She's been an inspiration to me in my personal and professional life, online and off. This week she's releasing her new book, Soulful Simplicity: How Living With Less Can Lead to So Much More, which I highly recommend.  In this book, she shows us how to simplify to create more with less—more space, more time, and ...
Read More

How to Heal Trauma by Listening to Your Body

Everyone has experienced some sort of trauma in their life, be it major or minor.  When it happens, the body reacts and holds onto it.  If you don’t have effective means of processing the emotions, it stays locked in the body. This results in long-standing health issues that don’t seem to have cures: a bad back, digestive issues, headaches, joint problems, lack of energy.  While western medicine can suppress the ...
Read More

How to Conquer Fear and Manage Stress in Your Life

We’re all programmed to feel fear.  It’s what keeps us safe.  It’s that ‘fight or flight’ instinct that was supposed to protect us from marauding carnivores thousands of years ago.  But our environment has changed over the last few thousand years such that, for most, marauding carnivores are no longer an issue. Today, those occasional carnivores have been replaced with what seem to be constant sources of fear:  bosses, parents, ...
Read More

How to Be Happy When Unhappy Is Your Norm

Is it possible to be happy all the time? And a bigger question: Would you want to be happy all the time? How would that feel? Would you feel like you don’t deserve it? Or do you think it’s impossible? Society says that if you achieve your goals, if you’re “successful” (whatever that means), you can be happy.  At least that’s the story.  But it’s a lie.  That kind of ...
Read More

Everything You Need to Start Your Meditation Practice (Free Resource Guide)

Starting a new meditation practice can be difficult.  With all the information, apps, gadgets and books out there on the topic, it can feel like information overload.  And all that information is probably keeping you from starting a practice that can help you manage all that overload. I’ve put together a quick resource guide with some basics to get you started without getting overwhelmed.  We’re not going to get into ...
Read More

How to Create a Meditation Practice When Your Mind Won’t Stop Spinning

There are articles everywhere about meditation and all its benefits.  It’s the cure to our restlessness, stress and anxiety.  It helps us to be less reactive.  It’s the greatest thing since sliced bread.  So why aren’t more people practicing it?  Everyone can think of a list of excuses for not meditating: I don’t have the time. I can’t get my mind to calm down. What’s the point? I’m not the ...
Read More

How to Defeat Depression with a Simple Daily Practice

I spent much of my life in a haze of depression.  Growing up never being accepted for who I was and never feeling like I was enough, despite high grades, awards and other accolades, led to a life of depression. I was always striving to be the best at anything I did, hoping to prove myself to my parents and anyone who would notice. I was always looking for the ...
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How to Make Stress Your Friend

Do you live a stressful life?  There aren’t many people who would answer “no.”  Being stressed and crazy busy are like badges of honor.  Societal programming silently tells you that if you’re not stressed out and busy, there’s something wrong with you.  You’re not doing enough.  Read my post on being and doing “enough” HERE. While you’re supposed to be stressed, you’re also bombarded with messages that tell you how ...
Read More

How to Finally Make Your Resolutions Stick

Does your New Year’s resolution involve creating a new habit? Have you tried to do this in the past and failed miserably? You’re not alone. You’re the majority.  And it sucks, doesn’t it? You have such high hopes, thinking, “This year is my year!”  And by February, you’re so disgusted with yourself that you ditch your valiant efforts to change…. until next year. You’re not a failure.  There’s nothing wrong ...
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How To Go From Craziness to Calm: Getting My Priorities Straight

What’s more important: spending focused, fun time with your kids or doing their laundry?  Being there for your partner or cleaning the house?  Taking care of yourself or running one more errand? When you lay it all out in black and white, the answers seem obvious.  But how do you live your life each day? For the past few months (well, to be perfectly honest, most of my life), I’ve ...
Read More

Pick Your Yoga Practice

MYTH:  Yoga is only for skinny, bendy women who like to zen out and there's only one way to practice it. REALITY:  There is a kind of yoga for every person regardless of gender, age, physical abilities or fitness level. The oldest person known to be teaching the yoga that Westerners are familiar with is 92.  My kids have been practicing since they could walk as they follow my moves ...
Read More

Choose Yourself

Think about how your day has gone so far.  How often have you chosen others over yourself? In my last post I wrote about what happens to me when I choose others more often than I choose myself.  It’s not pretty. I got so busy being busy with my job and home life that I pushed the things that feed me out of most days.  I was tired, cranky and ...
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Misadventures of a Garden State Yogi

It’s rare that I write a book review but I had to write this one.  A friend of mine suggested that I read this book with a guarantee that I would laugh my ass off while learning something.  How could I pass that up? I wasn’t disappointed. Misadventures of a Garden State Yogi is awesome.  Brian Leaf brings you through his “humble quest to heal my colitis, calm my ADD ...
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Not Doing What You Love Is Literally Killing You

Express yourself – your desires and passions – and take action.  Your life depends on it! What passions in your heart are sleeping or dying? If they're dying, know that little bits of you are dying with them. I'm currently watching someone who is physically dying of a very serious disease.   Throughout their life they have allowed themselves to be controlled by what society dictated they should do, what their ...
Read More

The Art of Mindful Holiday Binging

It’s that time of year again:  Parties, get-together’s and all kinds of celebrations.  More food and drink than at any other time of year. It’s almost impossible to say no. Diets go out the window as you’re surrounded with tempting foods and drinks.  Exercise programs are forgotten as the weather gets cold or rainy. More than half of the population will put on two pounds this time of year and ...
Read More

Why Your Motivations Aren’t Motivating You

This post is taken from my Mindful Body program.  Click the link above to learn more about how this program can help you to use mindfulness to achieve the healthy, happy body you want.  It's fun!  Really. You’ve started a new program that’s going to change your life.  You’re sick and tired of the way things are and, this time things are going to be different. You feel incredibly motivated.  You ...
Read More

How To Use a Basic Bodily Function to Reduce Stress and Anxiety

You’re stressed, anxious, frustrated, angry or some other feeling you’d rather not be feeling right now.  You wish things in your life were different but they are what they are.  You wish you could turn off those less-than-helpful feelings but they hang around like a bad smell. Did you know there’s something you already do all day, every day that can help?  Something that could transform your life if you ...
Read More

6 Simple Steps to Create Your Meditation Habit – Finally

This is a guest post from Iris Barzen at Bright Little Socks.  Check out her About page to learn how we can all proudly expose our own bright little socks!  I love what she's doing! You've imagined yourself sitting on a meditation cushion, a peaceful smile on your face, your body in a perfect lotus position. If somebody were to observe you they'd think you were a person full of peace and ...
Read More

Mindful Body: Create the Happy, Healthy Body You Want Through Mindfulness (sneak peek)

I’m incredibly excited to announce the pre-launch of my upcoming Mindful Body program! I want to give you a chance to join our exclusive Pre-Launch Insider’s Group to get discounted access long before it goes public as well as the chance to tell me exactly what you want it to include – more on that below. There are all kinds of great things coming up. But for now I want ...
Read More

Simple Steps to Mindful Weight Loss

You’ve tried all the diets: low carb, low fat, juicing, raw, vegetarian, paleo, whatever.  You ate what the diet dictated, whether you liked it or not.  You ached as you passed up your favorite desserts. You’ve been to the gym, even paid for a one year membership to make absolutely sure you would go.  You even worked with a personal trainer to motivate you for a while. You’ve done these ...
Read More

Don’t Let Your Dreams Die – Here’s How You Can Help Yourself and Many Others

This is a message that I’m incredibly passionate about.  As parents, this is critical information that we need to pass along to our kids, especially those in high school and college.  Given the tragedies that I’ve seen, this information could literally save lives. This was the story of my life until I ‘woke up’ seven years into a successful career straight out of college.  Experiencing the damage of family and ...
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Letting Go

There I am: clenching with my white-knuckled fist, holding on with the grip of death.  I can’t let go.  Everything will fall apart if I let go.  The branch is slipping through my fist, cutting into my skin as I try to hold on even tighter.  I’m scared.  Scared of falling.  What kind of doom will I face?  I….can’t….let….go……. The branch slipped through my fingers and I was on my ...
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If It’s Broken, Fix It – Right Now

Do you have something around your house that needs to be fixed but you haven't taken the five or ten minutes to fix it?  You'll make a little extra effort every day to work around the problem thinking that you don't have the time to actually fix it.  The truth is that you spend more time and energy working around the problem than you would actually fixing it.  And that ...
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Your Attitude Determines Your Outcome

Everything can be taken from a man or a woman but one thing: the last of human freedoms to choose one's attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one's own way. – Viktor Frankl  [Tweet this quote] This quote was written by a man in the concentration camps of Nazi Germany during WWII.  It is believed that this is what saved his life – his attitude.  His family ...
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What’s On Your Gratitude List Today?

We all know how focusing on the things that we’re grateful for can turn around a negative mood but have you made this a daily practice? I started my own version of this years ago in the form of The 10/10 Exercise.  Each day I write at least ten things for which I’m grateful.  I try to write about ten different things each day so the practice doesn’t become a ...
Read More

Mindful Body: Creating the Body You Want With New Choices

How do you feel about your body? How does your body feel? It’s amazing how disconnected we are from our bodies even though our bodies are what physically get us through our days. Our minds take over telling us that we must be productive – get things done!  It’s also what society tells us is important.  We are the things we accomplish. It’s time we start breaking those rules, standards, ...
Read More

How to Achieve Your Goals Without Chasing Them

We’re told over and over that we’ll never achieve anything if we don’t have goals, preferably written ones.  Goals get us from point A to point B.  Or do they? What about the path between A and B?  What happens there? There are so many methods of writing, tracking and managing goals that we can get lost and spend more time massaging and visualizing our goals than actually doing anything ...
Read More

Why Time Management Is Impossible

The Problem Would you like to: Start a new business or make some extra money on the side Write a book Master a hobby Learn a new skill Have more energy But you just don’t have the time or energy? Are you so drained at the end of the day after getting up early, dealing with traffic, working all day, taking care of kids, your spouse, cooking, cleaning, running errands ...
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The Challenge of Being Yourself

Why is it so easy to be a mindless sheep?  To follow the flock, do as you’re told, blend in? From the time we’re little and placed into preschool by our parents, the programming begins.  What does school teach us?  To sit down, shut up, blend in, be normal and do as we’re told so that we are properly trained to be productive little cogs in a big machine (sheep), ...
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Living in the Now – or How to Go Through Your Day with Energy and Ease

Post written by Leo Babauta How can you bring calm and peace to the middle of a stress-ful, chaotic day? The answer is simple, though not always so easy to put into practice: learn to be present. No matter how out-of-control your day is, no matter how stressful your job or life becomes, the act of being present can become an oasis. It can change your life, and it’s incredibly ...
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Eliminate Fear and Negative Emotions

All emotions can generally be boiled down to a form of love or fear.  The “good” emotions like happiness, joy, elation and connection are all forms of love.  The “bad” emotions like anger, anxiety, sadness and frustration are forms of fear. We all experience fear in its many forms.  Whether it’s the fight or flight fear of someone following us in a dark parking lot or the anger created when ...
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How to Feel Better in 30 Seconds or Less – for Free

What is your face doing right now?  Do you have a serious, furrowed brow?  Are your eyes squinting a little?  Is your jaw tense?  How relaxed are your shoulders?  How’s your breathing?  How does your back feel? How often in a day to you notice these things?  Just stop and notice.  No judgment.  Just checking in with yourself. It has taken me a while to turn this noticing into a ...
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Expectations Create Stress and Anger: Throw them in the ocean

‘Act without expectation.’ ~Lao Tzu Post written by Leo Babauta. How much of your stress, frustration, disappointment, anger, irritation, pissed-offedness comes from one little thing? Almost all of it comes from your expectations, and when things (inevitably) don’t turn out as we expect, from wishing things were different. We build these expectations in our heads of what other people should do, what our lives should be like, how other drivers ...
Read More

12 Baby Steps to easily lose 5, 10 or more pounds

I usually get on the scale once every couple of days, just to check in with myself and make sure I’m in my desired weight range.  I’ve never had a weight problem although my weight goes up and down somewhat, like most people. A little while ago I decided that I didn’t want to be so focused on my weight and weighing myself so often so I skipped the scale ...
Read More

The Healing Power of Yoga

Since I was about 15 years old, I had a “bad back.”  There was no injury or anything obvious.  I just remember bending over to put a dish in the dishwasher and I couldn’t stand up.  I had excruciating pain down the lower right side of my back.  Over the following decades, I either dealt with the pain or saw every kind of traditional and alternative doctor or specialist I ...
Read More

3 Simple Steps to an Energized Day

Do you roll out of bed, get dressed and grab your coffee and bagel and run out the door in the morning and wonder why you’re dragging only a few hours later?  Do you hit a wall later in the afternoon that only large doses of additional caffeine and sugar can cure?  Do you want something simple and natural that puts your whole day in perspective, gives you the strength ...
Read More

Small changes can make a big difference for you

Not that long ago, I was like most people.  I assumed that everything that was sold in your average grocery store was safe to consume.  I had no idea what most ingredients were and I didn't bother to read the labels.  If it tasted good, I bought it.  Then I got pregnant for the first time and everything changed.  I was suddenly hit with the major realization that everything that ...
Read More

Personal Growth

Everything You Need to Start Your Mindfulness Practice [Book Giveaway!]

As mindfulness becomes more mainstream, many people still wonder what it is and how to do it. Mindfulness is simply being present to whatever is in your life in the moment and noticing it without judgment.  While being present is certainly a challenge with all the constant distractions around you, tugging for your attention, the ‘without judgment’ part is equally as challenging. Judging doesn’t only mean negative connotations.  It means ...
Read More

Embrace the Power of the Pause

I'm honored to host a guest post by Courtney Carver from Be More With Less.  She's been an inspiration to me in my personal and professional life, online and off. This week she's releasing her new book, Soulful Simplicity: How Living With Less Can Lead to So Much More, which I highly recommend.  In this book, she shows us how to simplify to create more with less—more space, more time, and ...
Read More

How to Make Sure Your Life Doesn’t Suck (Free Workbook!)

So many people are unhappy with their lives.  They blame family, friends, jobs, circumstances and anything else they can think of for their current situation.  Just check out all the comments on this post. As long as someone or something else is to blame, there’s no way to change things.  If you want something different, it’s up to you to take the initiative and make the change. If you don’t ...
Read More

How to Conquer Fear and Manage Stress in Your Life

We’re all programmed to feel fear.  It’s what keeps us safe.  It’s that ‘fight or flight’ instinct that was supposed to protect us from marauding carnivores thousands of years ago.  But our environment has changed over the last few thousand years such that, for most, marauding carnivores are no longer an issue. Today, those occasional carnivores have been replaced with what seem to be constant sources of fear:  bosses, parents, ...
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How to Be Happy When Unhappy Is Your Norm

Is it possible to be happy all the time? And a bigger question: Would you want to be happy all the time? How would that feel? Would you feel like you don’t deserve it? Or do you think it’s impossible? Society says that if you achieve your goals, if you’re “successful” (whatever that means), you can be happy.  At least that’s the story.  But it’s a lie.  That kind of ...
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Why Expectations Are the Root of All Evil

Unmet expectations often lead to the full range of negative emotions:  anger, fear, disappointment, jealousy, annoyance, bitterness, resentment, envy and insecurities. Unmet expectations about the past create regret, grief, sorrow, shame and sadness. Projected unmet expectations about the future create depression, anxiety, feelings of inadequacy, impatience and hopelessness. If you didn’t have expectations, you would simply take things as they came and deal with them. Your judgment of things would ...
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What’s the Purpose of Life?

What’s the purpose of life?  It’s THE big question that we all ask.  What’s the point of all this?  Why are we here?  What are we supposed to be doing with our lives? We ask these questions hoping THE answer drops in our lap making everything okay.  We humans have a control issue around this whole “purpose” thing.  When we have an answer, we feel like we don’t have to ...
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Why Letting Go Is So Hard and What To Do About It

We’ve all been blessed with heart-breaking situations where people have wronged us or things haven’t gone the way we would like.  Moving past them is difficult. If you’ve ended a relationship, job or time in your life, it’s tough to let go and move on.  Your subconscious, or monkey mind, wants to hold onto it like a dog that won’t let go of a bone.  It wants to chew on ...
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How to Defeat Depression with a Simple Daily Practice

I spent much of my life in a haze of depression.  Growing up never being accepted for who I was and never feeling like I was enough, despite high grades, awards and other accolades, led to a life of depression. I was always striving to be the best at anything I did, hoping to prove myself to my parents and anyone who would notice. I was always looking for the ...
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How To Change Your Beliefs To Change Your Life

Do any of these statements sound familiar? I’m not smart enough to do what they do. I’m too old to start over.  I’m too young to be able to do that.   People don’t love me because I’m fat.  I never get promotions because I’m too stupid.  Everyone else gets great opportunities but me. These are the words of the monkey mind that swirl in your head, keeping you from ...
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How To Turn Around ‘One of Those Days’

It’s been one of “those days.”  Just about anything that could go wrong has.  You’re feeling defeated, anxious, depressed or any other feeling you’d rather not feel. To deal with it, you go to your favorite comfort activity: zoning in front of the TV, binge eating, smoking, drinking, shopping or anything else that will help you to forget about things.  And then you start to feel bad about what you’re ...
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3 Things I Learned From Living with Monks in a Jungle

The following is a guest post from Damien Dante of NomadLetters. Have you ever been lost? Not only literally but figuratively? Have you ever had that feeling that you don’t know where to go next? I remember the last time I had that feeling. I was in the middle of nowhere, not knowing which direction to choose, in one of Vietnam’s less populated regions. Just me and my forty litre ...
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How to Transform Depression and Anxiety to Happiness

Feeling depressed about your future?  Is anxiety keeping you from enjoying your life? Strong negative emotions can smother the joy and happiness that’s always inside you. While neither of these feelings can be turned off like a light switch, there is a practice that can change your life in dramatic and positive ways over time. It’s mindfulness. [If your feelings of depression or anxiety are more serious, you might benefit ...
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Feeling Lost? What To Do If You Haven’t Got Your Life All Figured Out Yet

As we grow up, we’re programmed to believe that we’re supposed to have our whole life figured out by the time we’re 21 years old. Here’s the plan: Graduate from high school with good grades so you can Get into college and graduate so you can Get a “good job” where you earn a decent paycheck so you can Attract the perfect mate and get married so you can Have ...
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The Key to Making the Impossible Possible

You’ve discovered something you’re passionate about and you tell your friends and family about your idea.  You’re really excited to share your idea for a new venture and you know that everyone will be just as excited as you are. But they’re not. The people closest to you tell you that you’re nuts.  It’s a crazy idea.  They give you a million reasons why your idea is stupid and won’t ...
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My Life Sucks – Now What Do I Do? Read on…

Do any of these sound like you? I’m in a bad relationship. I can’t find a partner. My job sucks. I can’t find a job. My boss doesn’t care about me. My family/friends don’t support me emotionally. I don’t know what to do with my life. My life sucks. I hear many of these messages from readers.  Basically, you’ve made a series of decisions that have left you in a ...
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How To Change Your Life In The Moment

What if every day of the rest of your life was just like yesterday?  How would you feel if nothing ever changed? How you do one thing is how you do everything. Almost everything you do all day is a habit.  Waking up, getting dressed, eating, moving, how you treat people, work and relax.  Your thoughts and emotions follow habits as well.  And there’s an underlying theme to it all ...
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How to Mindfully Boost Your Self-Confidence

You know that your life would be infinitely better if you felt more self-confident.  You would have the courage to ask for what you want and deal with all that life throws at you. What’s stopping you? Let’s first look at exactly what self-confidence is.  It’s tough to go after something if you’ve not clear about what you’re chasing.  Here are a few definitions I found (other than “confidence in ...
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How To Release Yourself from Your Past

It’s easy to allow your past to hold you hostage. Someone treated you badly.  You regret something you did or said.  You can’t let it go.  It clouds your present and inhibits your future. You have a hard time forgiving others or yourself for deeds of the past. Because of something that happened in your past, you have difficulty trusting, loving and accepting yourself and others. "Without freedom from the ...
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How to Shift from What’s Wrong in Your Life to Happiness

Sometimes life has a way of getting in the way of our happiness and our ability to be grateful. We get in a funk and are only capable of seeing what’s wrong. I’ve been working myself silly lately on projects I love with crazy deadlines.  After about three months of this, my body and psyche are telling me they’ve had enough.  Instead of looking outward to be open to others, ...
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How to Recognize and Overcome the Fear of Failure

This is a guest post from my good friend, Tess Marshall.  Throughout her life she’s been a master at squashing her fears and living The Bold Life.  She’s got an amazing program called 30 Days of Bold that starts on July 1 to help you shatter the bubble you’ve trapped yourself in and start living your own bold life.  I highly recommend it! What do you think your life will ...
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When It’s Time To Say No

Have the courage to say no. Have the courage to face the truth. Do the right thing because it is right. These are the magic keys to living your life with integrity. ~ W. Clement Stone Confession:  I’ve been a people pleaser most of my life.  I’ve done what I think I’m supposed to do to make the people around me happy. Needless to say, my own happiness was pretty ...
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The Hidden Road to Living Your Dream Life

This is a guest post from Tom Casano of Life Coach Spotter. I believe that we can do anything that we can dream. The power of imagination has created skyscrapers, smart phones and entire symphonies, to name a few.  When we close our eyes and imagine what our ideal life would look like, we might see a picture or get a feeling or have a sense of what we would ...
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Experimenting with Failure

“All life is an experiment.  The more experiments you make the better.”  ~Ralph Waldo Emerson I don’t believe in failure.  The word doesn’t have a purpose or meaning in my life. Everything I do is an experiment:  Test.  Assess the results.  Learn something and take the next step. School and societal programming have brain-washed us into thinking that failure is bad – something to be avoided at all costs. Because ...
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It’s Never Too Late – Change Is Always Possible

"The only difference between successful people and unsuccessful people is extraordinary determination." ~Mary Kay Ash I was recently perusing the Archives page of my site, reflecting on the evolution of my adventures online.  For the first year and two months of my blog’s existence, I was blogging in the wind. My subscriber list hung at about 50 people, most of whom I’m sure weren’t reading my posts.  I had between ...
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My Beliefs Have Hijacked My Brain

I think, therefore I am.  I am what I think.  What do you think about all day? Are you one of those people for whom diets don’t work?  Have you tried to make changes in your life to reduce stress or be happier but nothing seems to work for you?  Do you catch every cold and flu bug that goes around? You experiment with all kinds of diets, tricks and ...
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How To Be Enough

You hate being judged but it’s happening all the time. You’re in a meeting or in front of a group of people.  Everyone is looking at you.  Your normally calm demeanor turns to anxiety and stress over possibly screwing up. You’re in the presence of people you look up to - celebrities, higher up’s at work or people with more age and experience.  You freeze up.  Suddenly your inner child ...
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30 Days to Bold

I want to introduce you to Tess Marshall who writes at The Bold Life.  About a year ago she found me in a sea of new personal development blogs.  Although I had been writing for almost a year at that time, my readership didn’t go far past a few friends and family members. She held out a helping hand which I very gratefully took.  She’s been a strong supporter ever ...
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To Create an Amazing Life, Scare Your Monkey Mind

This has been one hell of a year.  Looking back, there have been amazing times and huge challenges and I’m incredibly grateful for every moment. I can fully attest to the truth behind the following sayings: If you’re not growing, you’re dying.  There’s no middle ground. To grow, do something every day to get out of your comfort zone. To get past your fears, face them head on.  [Note: To ...
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Tony Robbins & Me at Starbucks: How He Got Me Past My Blocks

Over the past few months I’ve felt stuck. As some of you recall, I abruptly lost my job in August.  I’ve been using all that I know about manifesting and the Law of Attraction to create my next opportunity, knowing that something awesome was waiting for me. I’ve seen how quickly these things can work and have felt frustrated that nothing was happening for me. No matter what I did, ...
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An Empowered Way to Live

This is a guest post from my good friend, Jodi Chapman.  I love the empowering message here.  Read below to learn more about Jodi’s new program, Coming Back to Life Ecourse, beginning 10/1.  Yes, it’s an affiliate link but I wouldn’t recommend anything to you that I didn’t completely believe in myself. This post isn’t a feel-good, sugar-coated kind of post. I usually write those, but something inside of me ...
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How Losing Your Job Can Get Your Life Back On Track

The last of human freedoms - the ability to chose one's attitude in a given set of circumstances. - Viktor E. Frankl I lost my job earlier this week.  No notice or severance.  I can’t say that I didn’t sense that it might happen but I wanted to remain positive.  I knew the company had been experiencing cash flow problems but I was hoping for the magic rabbit coming out ...
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3 Ways We Can Learn From Difficult People

“Be thankful for all the difficult people in your life, and learn from them. They have shown you exactly who you do not want to be.”  - Unknown I wrote an earlier (very popular) post about effective ways of dealing with difficult people.  I described how to work through interactions with these people to change the usual negative outcomes into something more positive.  At the end, I opened the door to the opportunities ...
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Be Bold, Be Amazing, Be Yourself!

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other ...
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The Mindful Approach To Facing Your Fears

What would I be afraid of if I didn’t have a past?  - Deepak Chopra When I read that question, it hit me right between the eyes.  It stripped away all the stories and big, scary things that go bump in the night that we dream up that create all of our fears. It’s also the reason that most little kids are so fearless.  They haven’t had the time or ...
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What Does Success Look Like To You?

Think about yourself ten or twenty years ago.  What was your definition of success?  What did you think you had to do, be and have in order to call yourself successful?  How close are you to that definition today?  Have you achieved it?  Did you come close?  Did your priorities change and, therefore, your definition changed? How do you define success today?  What will you have to do, be and ...
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Can’t Get Past That Stuck Place In Your Life? Here’s What to Do

It’s inevitable, you know. One day you realize that everything you’ve been trying hasn’t worked.  You’ve read the books, gone to the seminars and retreats.  Maybe you’ve tried to work through your issues with friends and family members.  You’ve journaled and even done all the exercises in all the programs you’ve bought (which only about 2% of people who buy programs actually do). Maybe things have changed a little (or ...
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Why I Listen To The Voices In My Head

The creative is the place where no one else has ever been. You have to leave the city of your comfort and go into the wilderness of your intuition. What you’ll discover will be wonderful. What you’ll discover is yourself. — Alan Alda Not long ago I wrote a post questioning which is smarter, the head or the heart.  The head is our logical mind and also our not-so-helpful monkey ...
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How Committed Are You To Your Dreams?

Your own words are the bricks and mortar of the dreams you want to realize. Your words are the greatest power you have. The words you choose and the use establish the life you experience. -Sonia Croquette What words do you use when you speak of your dreams? Do the words and messages that you use depend on who you’re talking to? Unfortunately for my dreams, I’ve found that they ...
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What’s the Meaning of Your Life?

For the meaning of life differs from man to man, from day to day and from hour to hour. What matters, therefore, is not the meaning of life in general but rather the specific meaning of a person's life at a given moment. -Viktor E. Frankl When we’re feeling down, when things aren’t going our way, sometimes we think, “What’s the point?  What’s the meaning of all this?  We’re born, ...
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5 Steps to Creating Your Awesome Life

We say we want our lives to be better.  We wish for things, pray for them, visualize them.  And nothing changes. We wish, pray, meditate and visualize harder. Still nothing. What are we doing wrong? The Definition of Insanity Most of us spend much of our time thinking about what's wrong with our lives. And then we wait for someone or something outside of ourselves to magically happen in order ...
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Letting Go

There I am: clenching with my white-knuckled fist, holding on with the grip of death.  I can’t let go.  Everything will fall apart if I let go.  The branch is slipping through my fist, cutting into my skin as I try to hold on even tighter.  I’m scared.  Scared of falling.  What kind of doom will I face?  I….can’t….let….go……. The branch slipped through my fingers and I was on my ...
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Saying Yes To Change

Why is it that we so often have to reach the lowest of lows, experience the depths of our own despair before we finally acknowledge that, in order for our lives to change, we have to change? We hold out for months or years thinking, hoping that other people and different circumstances will magically work in our favor and hand us the lives we’re looking for on a silver platter ...
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If It’s Broken, Fix It – Right Now

Do you have something around your house that needs to be fixed but you haven't taken the five or ten minutes to fix it?  You'll make a little extra effort every day to work around the problem thinking that you don't have the time to actually fix it.  The truth is that you spend more time and energy working around the problem than you would actually fixing it.  And that ...
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Head vs. Heart: Which Is Smarter?

Have you ever thought about what your life would be like if you were the lead character in Jim Carrey’s Yes Man?  Saying yes to every opportunity that presented itself?  While you would certainly open yourself to all kinds of new adventures and experiences, you would also be totally over-committing yourself. There’s also a practice of saying no to everything to learn to stand up for yourself and create boundaries.  ...
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Slow Down Enough to Find Your Freedom

Between stimulus and response, there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.     -Viktor E. Frankl How often do you respond to people and situations without even thinking about it? How often do you repeat the same old arguments with your partner?  Sometimes the topics change and sometimes they’re the same but they all end up ...
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I Want To Change the World and I Want It Done Yesterday!

"Change is not a process for the impatient." -Barbara Reinhold We go through our lives creating to do lists, crossing things off and adding more.  We’re never done.  As much as we spend our thoughts and days on completing and accomplishing things, I always remember a quote I read somewhere: Your inbox will still be full the day you die. Where does that driven, need-to-achieve feeling come from?  Like we’re ...
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Simple Steps to Create More Freedom For Yourself

In my last post, I asked what freedom means for you and how much you may be limiting your own expression of your freedoms.  In this post, we’ll review specific areas of your life and identify steps you can take to feel more free every day. Think about how all of your lifestyle choices either support or hold back your freedom: Friends Do the friends that you’ve chosen support you ...
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How Free Do You Think You Are? Really

What does freedom look and feel like to you?  Are you living it right now? I used to look at freedom as one of those things that’s “out there” to be achieved.  Actually, I’ve noticed lately that I used to look at just about everything as something “out there” that I had to chase after to achieve. Whether it’s freedom, happiness, abundance or whatever, all of these things are inside ...
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How to Deal Effectively With Difficult People (and Some Other Secrets)

It’s inevitable.  At some point in your week you’ll run into one of them.  Those people who seem to turn a wonderful day into a dark one.  But it doesn’t have to be that way for you. There are studies that demonstrate that people’s energy is contagious.  If you’re happy and an angry person walks into the room, you can feel it.  Your happiness is suddenly dampened.  The angry person ...
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Why Do You Want What You Want?

We all have our list of things we want in life – great relationships, a nice home, a healthy body, financial security and more.  Have you ever stopped to ask where your definitions of these goals came from and why you want them? Are those images in alignment with your values, the things you hold most dear?  Or are they based on what you think you should have in this ...
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The Free Guide You Need to Make This Year Your Best

Many of you are finalizing your new year’s resolutions and goals.  Now that you have a nice long list of everything you’re going to accomplish this year, have you thought about whether or not all the items on your list align with your core values?  Do you have a way of concretely including new habits into your daily life? I would like to introduce you to my free guide: 7 ...
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If It Hurts, Stop Doing It

The other day my 7 year old son came to me and said it hurt when he moved his leg in an unusual way.  I looked at him, wondering why he would want to move his leg that way and replied, “Then don’t do it.”  He seemed happy with the answer and walked away. I immediately thought about how often we do things in our everyday lives that cause us ...
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Mindful Mind: You Are Not Your Mind

While the mind is capable of great things, much of the time it limits us. Call it what you will:  the monkey mind, the reptilian brain, the ego – they’re all the same.  You are not your mind.  And as one of my mentors says:  Your mind is not your friend. While your mind may try to keep you safe, it does not support your growth as a person. The ...
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Mindful Spirit: How Noticing Your Inner and Outer Worlds Opens the Door to Happiness

If you look up the word “spirit” in the dictionary, you will find that it comes from the Latin, spirare, meaning “to breathe.”  The inbreath is inspiration; the outbreath expiration.  From these come all the associations of spirit with the breath of life, vital energy, consciousness, the soul, often framed as divine gifts bestowed upon us, and therefore as aspect of the holy, the numinous, the ineffable.  In the deepest ...
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Mindful Career: A Blessing or a Life-Long Sentence?

I looked up the definition of career because we all talk about it like we know exactly what it is.  But do we?  Most of the definitions I found were something along the lines of: An occupation undertaken for a significant period of a person's life and with opportunities for progress. A field for or pursuit of consecutive, progressive achievement, especially in public, professional or business life. An occupation or ...
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Mindful Relationships: How a New Point of View Can Dramatically Increase Your Happiness

It’s amazing that we humans are so programmed to be social creatures when all we ever think about is ourselves (usually). We expect others to accept and appreciate us as we are and yet we expect them to be the way we want them to be.  Not exactly fair. We expect those close to us to know what makes us happy and do those things on a regular basis. Whenever ...
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How to Achieve Your Goals Without Chasing Them

We’re told over and over that we’ll never achieve anything if we don’t have goals, preferably written ones.  Goals get us from point A to point B.  Or do they? What about the path between A and B?  What happens there? There are so many methods of writing, tracking and managing goals that we can get lost and spend more time massaging and visualizing our goals than actually doing anything ...
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Who Made Me God? The Power of Being Right

I’m having lunch with a friend and we start talking about some of her clients.  She and I share certain beliefs that many of her clients don’t share.  As we started off on a rant in the vein of, “Can you believe these people?” I stopped myself.  I asked, “Who made me God?”  Who made me the almighty authority of what everyone in the world should believe on this (or ...
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Mindfulness: The Art of Being in the Present Moment

What is mindfulness? Definitions from dictionaries include: awareness, attention, regard, heedfulness. One that I especially liked from Wikipedia is:  The practice whereby a person is intentionally aware of his or her thoughts and actions in the present moment, non-judgmentally. Mindfulness is applied to both bodily actions and the mind's own thoughts and feelings. We can be mindful anywhere, any time. During yoga practice, while brushing our teeth, walking to the ...
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Comfort Zone Challenges

When given the choice of venturing into new territory or staying in our safe and secure comfort zone, we usually choose the latter.  We know what to expect and, hey, who needs more to stress about?  But in our hearts, we know we will never achieve the things we want or be the person we aspire to be without some stretching. In my life I have pushed myself into some ...
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Pushing the Comfort Zone: Getting Past a Setback

Life has a rather cruel way of teaching us lessons sometimes.  Just when we think we have things figured out, the Universe slaps us down and makes us figure out how to get back up again – but the old methods don’t work anymore. At the end of 2007 I was let go from a company where I worked as the VP of Finance for eight years.  The company had ...
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Baby Steps: Make Anything Happen One Step At A Time

Is your life going the way you've always wanted?  If you're like most of us, the answer is no.  While I've had a fairly good life, I've also weathered many storms.  I've dealt with a lot of crap, sometimes the same crap over and over  with escalating consequences until I finally learned the lessons. I've maintained a comfortably uncomfortable existance for prolonged periods of time until I couldn't take it ...
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Are You Letting Your Past Dictate Your Future (To Your Detriment)?

Do you think you can’t change direction in life because you would waste all the time, money, education, energy and whatever else you invested in your past?  Many people never bother to figure out what their passions are because of this belief.  They spend their lives being comfortably uncomfortable.  Thinking there’s got to be something better out there for them but never allowing themselves to consider that it may be off ...
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The Challenge of Being Yourself

Why is it so easy to be a mindless sheep?  To follow the flock, do as you’re told, blend in? From the time we’re little and placed into preschool by our parents, the programming begins.  What does school teach us?  To sit down, shut up, blend in, be normal and do as we’re told so that we are properly trained to be productive little cogs in a big machine (sheep), ...
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The Easiest Way to Get What You Want From Life

Are you perfectly happy where you are right now in life?  If you answered yes, you can stop reading.  For the other 99.99% of us, keep reading. For the next two hours, notice your thoughts.  How often do you think about how you don’t like something about your current circumstances?  Maybe it’s your job (or lack thereof), your financial situation, your spouse or partner, your kids, friends, health, whatever. Every ...
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Learning Life’s Lessons from the Little People

Kids can be the best teachers, if we slow down enough to pay attention to them. We adults think we know so much more that our kids.  With our years of experience, we feel that we certainly know more about the world and how to function in it. Not so much. All those years of “experience” are years of issues and filters that we’ve learned to apply to our outlook ...
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Giving Away Your Best: How to Make Sure Goods Things Come Your Way

When you have a great idea for something you can create, what are some of the first few questions you ask yourself?  How much money can I make with this?  How many people will buy it?  How many people can I positively impact with this?  And then you mind starts to figure out how to package it and get it out there to be sold. What if you packaged up ...
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Taking a Chance

 How dull life would be if we never took chances.  Sometimes we take small ones like putting a dollar in a slot machine.  Other times we take big ones like quitting a job or starting a new relationship. I took a chance today.  I quit the job that’s been draining my soul to accept a new job with fabulous people who share my values and are doing some amazing things ...
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Living in the Now – or How to Go Through Your Day with Energy and Ease

Post written by Leo Babauta How can you bring calm and peace to the middle of a stress-ful, chaotic day? The answer is simple, though not always so easy to put into practice: learn to be present. No matter how out-of-control your day is, no matter how stressful your job or life becomes, the act of being present can become an oasis. It can change your life, and it’s incredibly ...
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Eliminate Fear and Negative Emotions

All emotions can generally be boiled down to a form of love or fear.  The “good” emotions like happiness, joy, elation and connection are all forms of love.  The “bad” emotions like anger, anxiety, sadness and frustration are forms of fear. We all experience fear in its many forms.  Whether it’s the fight or flight fear of someone following us in a dark parking lot or the anger created when ...
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Accept Your Way to Happiness

We’ve all heard the saying, “What we resist persists.”  In my experience, this is so very true. Another great one that I recently read: “Someone can only drive you crazy, if you give them the keys.” Right now in your life, what do you wish were different?  What do you complain about?  Who really bothers you?  What things and people should be different from what they are? Your answers to ...
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Your Personas: Are they serving you?

Each of us has spent our lifetime creating the person that we are, consciously or, more likely, totally unconsciously.  From the social training and feedback that we receive from our families, schools, businesses, places of worship and communities, we generally create our own rules and become what we think we’re supposed to be.  I see that person as our overall persona.  We all have a variety of specific personas:  husband/wife, ...
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Can others tell what your top priorities are from your actions?

What would you say your top three priorities in life are?  Family?  Health?  Relationships?  Career?  Finances? Now examine your average day.  Where do you spend your time?  Does how you spend your time reflect what you think your priorities are?  For many people this is an eye-opening thought. Many of us will say that our family and relationships are some of the most important things and yet we spend very ...
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Change your life: Notice your thoughts, feelings and emotions

I have to say I’m not exactly crazy about the job I go to ever day (actually this is a major understatement).  I feel like I’m constantly micro-managed and kept in a very limiting box.  I know that I’m capable of doing and being so much more but my bosses just can’t (or don’t want to) see it. I’ve been noticing myself making unhealthy choices as a result of how ...
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Expectations Create Stress and Anger: Throw them in the ocean

‘Act without expectation.’ ~Lao Tzu Post written by Leo Babauta. How much of your stress, frustration, disappointment, anger, irritation, pissed-offedness comes from one little thing? Almost all of it comes from your expectations, and when things (inevitably) don’t turn out as we expect, from wishing things were different. We build these expectations in our heads of what other people should do, what our lives should be like, how other drivers ...
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Personal Power

This is a guest post by Virginia O'Connor Everything in the world you see around you was initiated by the creative energy of your thoughts. Your thoughts are powerful catalysts in transforming any idea into physical reality. Personal power stems from the healthy self-esteem of your thoughts.  By changing the inner aspects of your thinking, you can change the outer aspects of your life. When you feel good about yourself ...
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Filling My Cup

Our society teaches us that taking care of ourselves first is selfish and a bad thing.  I think that’s a bunch of BS. On an airplane, we’re instructed to put on our own oxygen masks first, before helping a child do the same.  If you think that’s a crazy idea, realize that you’re not much help to anyone if you’ve passed out due to lack of oxygen because you tried ...
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Getting Past Stuck

You’ve decided to finally take the steps necessary to move yourself closer to your goal.  You’re making some progress and feel great.  You think, “Wow!  If I knew it was this easy, I would have started a long time ago!”  Each baby step propels you forward. And then life gets in the way. If you’re losing weight, there’s the temptation of a big party or festive weekend or a vacation ...
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Radical Responsibility – Part 2 (Letting Go)

In my last post, I wrote about general aspects of how I have taken personal responsibility in my life. Another aspect of taking responsibility for myself is knowing that I’m not responsible for others.  When someone lashes out at me, instead of taking it personally and getting upset, I first ask myself what’s going on with that person?  Are they stressed about something?  Did someone else set them off earlier ...
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Radical Responsibility – Part 1 (How to Be Happy)

Our society seems to thrive on the victim mentality that says that most issues in our lives have been created by other people and things.  The judicial system is built on this principle.  The media relies on it to sell news. What I’m writing here may be controversial and there are so many shades of grey that I couldn’t possibly cover them all.  I’m simply writing from my own life ...
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How to Stop Acting Like Such a Big Baby

“Any fool can criticize, condemn, and complain but it takes character and self control to be understanding and forgiving.” —Dale Carnegie Article by Zen Habits contributor Jonathan Mead. If we really want to be happy, why do we act like such babies? We can claim to be proactive in our life by settings goals and going after what we want. But if we’re always whining and complaining all the time, ...
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Go and Create

‘Men must live and create. Live to the point of tears.’ ~Albert Camus Post written by Leo Babauta. It’s amazing how many people I talk to who tell me they want to create a new blog, write a book, start a new business, change careers, make something new. But they keep putting it off. Does that sound familiar? You’ve been wanting to do something different, but you don’t have the ...
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The Healing Power of Yoga

Since I was about 15 years old, I had a “bad back.”  There was no injury or anything obvious.  I just remember bending over to put a dish in the dishwasher and I couldn’t stand up.  I had excruciating pain down the lower right side of my back.  Over the following decades, I either dealt with the pain or saw every kind of traditional and alternative doctor or specialist I ...
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How to Win the Networking Game

When was the last time you attended a personal or professional networking meeting (personal networking meeting = party)?  Did you go with someone or did you go alone? For many people, the thought of showing up alone to a room full of strangers is a very frightening thing.  It definitely was for me just a couple years ago and I avoided it at all costs.  I definitely fit the description of ...
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What do you want to be when you grow up?

The other day I called a company to ask a question about one their products.  After the service rep politely introduced himself, I asked him how he was doing.  His reply: “OK, for living someone else’s dream.”  [For this post, we won’t go into how this is the totally wrong answer (regardless of what this man’s truth may be) for someone to say in a customer-facing environment.]  Then the conversation ...
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Thoughts and emotions are clouds

On your next walk, think of your thoughts and emotions as little puffy clouds in the sky.  The vast open blueness of the sky is you, your essence, your True Self.  Endless.  As a thought or feeling comes up, put its name on a cloud and watch the cloud float away.  No judgments.  The thoughts and feelings aren’t good or bad.  They just are.  They’re not permanent.  They aren’t who ...
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The 10/10 Exercise to Achieve Your Goals

While I have used my own version of this exercise for years, I got this one from Matthew Ferry, a totally awesome coach and trainer with some amazing ideas. Ideally, this exercise should be done first thing in the morning after your morning meditation has cleared your mind.  You can use a notebook, journal, computer, whatever works for you.  There’s much to be said about writing these kinds of things ...
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The chains that bind us are our own

The other day my 4 year old daughter needed a time out.  This is very rare (maybe once or twice a year).  Her time out place is a half bathroom down the hall from the living room.  The door has no lock on it and she knows that.  I brought her into the bathroom and told her she could stay there until she calmed down and wanted to come out ...
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Book Reviews

Everything You Need to Start Your Mindfulness Practice [Book Giveaway!]

As mindfulness becomes more mainstream, many people still wonder what it is and how to do it. Mindfulness is simply being present to whatever is in your life in the moment and noticing it without judgment.  While being present is certainly a challenge with all the constant distractions around you, tugging for your attention, the ‘without judgment’ part is equally as challenging. Judging doesn’t only mean negative connotations.  It means ...
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Embrace the Power of the Pause

I'm honored to host a guest post by Courtney Carver from Be More With Less.  She's been an inspiration to me in my personal and professional life, online and off. This week she's releasing her new book, Soulful Simplicity: How Living With Less Can Lead to So Much More, which I highly recommend.  In this book, she shows us how to simplify to create more with less—more space, more time, and ...
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How to Get Out of a Funk and Add More Happiness to Your Day

Do you feel like you’ve lost touch with yourself, like you’re stuck in a funk? Like you’re going through the motions, getting things done but wondering who is getting things done? Is life going by so fast that you feel like you’re only skimming the surface, never having the time to delve deeper to truly investigate or understand? I know how you feel.  As last month began, I felt like ...
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Unmistakable: The Art of Being You

The quest for success is ingrained in you.  From the time you can walk, your parents want you to be successful in all that you do.  As an adult, you take on that responsibility. Unfortunately, the success that others want for you probably isn’t the success you want for yourself.  But you were never aware that the two could be different, so you pushed for the success that meant that ...
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Why Expectations Are the Root of All Evil

Unmet expectations often lead to the full range of negative emotions:  anger, fear, disappointment, jealousy, annoyance, bitterness, resentment, envy and insecurities. Unmet expectations about the past create regret, grief, sorrow, shame and sadness. Projected unmet expectations about the future create depression, anxiety, feelings of inadequacy, impatience and hopelessness. If you didn’t have expectations, you would simply take things as they came and deal with them. Your judgment of things would ...
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Why It’s Important to Change The Way You Pursue Success

This is a guest post from Michael Teoh: What is it with the obsession over wanting the success that other people have? Why not try to make the best of your own situation, especially with the countless opportunities readily available for you to pursue? Why are you paralyzed in your current situation when faced with the possibility of pursuing something that will ultimately lead to your own personalized form of ...
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What’s the Purpose of Life?

What’s the purpose of life?  It’s THE big question that we all ask.  What’s the point of all this?  Why are we here?  What are we supposed to be doing with our lives? We ask these questions hoping THE answer drops in our lap making everything okay.  We humans have a control issue around this whole “purpose” thing.  When we have an answer, we feel like we don’t have to ...
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The Best Investment You’ll Ever Make

The myth of how to be successful in the 20th century has ended (it is the 21st century, after all). You know the myth well because it’s made you feel like a bit of a failure. Go to school and get good grades so you can get into a good college.  Work hard and get more good grades so you can get a “good job” (whatever that is).  Work that ...
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How to Be Happy While Achieving Your Goals

Goals.  We’re supposed to have them.  Theoretically, we can’t accomplish anything without them.  I beg to differ. I used to be a goal-seeking nut.  Every day I would read my goals, visualize them, break them down into steps, set specific dates and follow all the usual goal “rules.” And the process drove me crazy.  I met very few of those goals and got more depressed because of it.  There had ...
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Secrets to Stronger Bonds in a Committed Relationship

Growing up, about 98% of my parents’ friends and my friends’ parents were divorced.  My parents were unhappily married and stayed together for twenty five years “for the kids.” I didn’t grow up with any great relationship role models.  Because of this, I repeated problematic patterns that always led to the same end result: my boredom with and ending of the relationship. After repeating this pattern for a few decades, ...
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Humans Are Underrated – How To Ensure That You Will Never Be Replaced By A Computer

Remember back in the day when you thought that if you had a “good job” with a “good company” that your job was safe and secure? I think we all know that those days are long gone.  From my own experience, I can confirm that “secure” jobs are a thing of the past.  I’ve been in top positions, told that I’m doing well only to have the rug pulled out ...
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Restoring the Mind and Body with Yoga – The Yapana Way

For those of you who follow this blog, you know that I’m a strong proponent of a regular yoga practice.  You don’t have to be tall, skinny and Gumby-like to start practicing yoga or to get anywhere with it.  Yoga can be adapted to anyone at any age, in any physical condition, from kids to the elderly, from anorexics to grossly obese folks and everyone in between. I started practicing ...
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I Know How She Does It

If you have young kids, you have a busy life.  Add to that a romantic relationship and a job and you start to think that you have to cut things out of your life that you value in order to make it all work.  Usually, the first things to go are the things that give you energy and feed your soul because you feel like you have to take care ...
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The Wheel of Healing with Ayurveda

Over the past few months I’ve been working more, not writing, not practicing yoga and meditation as much as I would like.  I’ve been choosing to do “one more thing” at work instead of listening to my reminder to go out and take a walk.  I’ve been making choices each day that take me away from the things that feed my soul in exchange for more work. Fortunately, I truly ...
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How to Finally Make Your Resolutions Stick

Does your New Year’s resolution involve creating a new habit? Have you tried to do this in the past and failed miserably? You’re not alone. You’re the majority.  And it sucks, doesn’t it? You have such high hopes, thinking, “This year is my year!”  And by February, you’re so disgusted with yourself that you ditch your valiant efforts to change…. until next year. You’re not a failure.  There’s nothing wrong ...
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Peace of Mindfulness: Everyday Rituals to Conquer Anxiety and Claim Unlimited Inner Peace

Looking for ways to quell your anxiety or dissipate depression?  Need some simple techniques to deal with other difficult emotions? In my last post, I discussed how mindfulness can help you work through anxiety and depression.  In her latest book, Peace of Mindfulness: Everyday Rituals to Conquer Anxiety and Claim Unlimited Inner Peace, Barrie Davenport shows you, step by step, how to work mindfulness into your busy schedule and allow ...
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The Wisdom of Oz

“Somewhere over the rainbow skies are blue, and the dreams that you dare to dream really do come true.” ~Over the Rainbow by Judy Garland If I only had [fill in the blank], I would be happy, my life would be awesome, I’d be successful…  In the meantime, I don’t, so I’m not, and I don’t see how I could possibly get [fill in the blank]. It’s crazy how many people ...
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Feeling Lost? What To Do If You Haven’t Got Your Life All Figured Out Yet

As we grow up, we’re programmed to believe that we’re supposed to have our whole life figured out by the time we’re 21 years old. Here’s the plan: Graduate from high school with good grades so you can Get into college and graduate so you can Get a “good job” where you earn a decent paycheck so you can Attract the perfect mate and get married so you can Have ...
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The Life Organizer

“What if there was a way to organize and guide your life that more closely resembled lying back on an inner tube as the current carried you along (with you occasionally adjusting your course because you want to smell a wild rose onshore or because you hit a bumpy stretch) rather than a furious, exhausting upstream paddle?” That’s the premise of a book I just read called The Life Organizer: ...
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Pick Your Yoga Practice

MYTH:  Yoga is only for skinny, bendy women who like to zen out and there's only one way to practice it. REALITY:  There is a kind of yoga for every person regardless of gender, age, physical abilities or fitness level. The oldest person known to be teaching the yoga that Westerners are familiar with is 92.  My kids have been practicing since they could walk as they follow my moves ...
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How To Deal With Negative People Who Sabotage Your Life Passion Pursuit

"There must be more to life than this," you think.  Many years into it, you feel like you’re in the wrong job or career. Suddenly you can’t see yourself doing what you’re doing for the next five years (or even for the next year). Maybe you have a few ideas rolling around in your head, or you have a secret dream of something specific you've always wanted to do or ...
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Choose Yourself

Think about how your day has gone so far.  How often have you chosen others over yourself? In my last post I wrote about what happens to me when I choose others more often than I choose myself.  It’s not pretty. I got so busy being busy with my job and home life that I pushed the things that feed me out of most days.  I was tired, cranky and ...
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How to Recognize and Overcome the Fear of Failure

This is a guest post from my good friend, Tess Marshall.  Throughout her life she’s been a master at squashing her fears and living The Bold Life.  She’s got an amazing program called 30 Days of Bold that starts on July 1 to help you shatter the bubble you’ve trapped yourself in and start living your own bold life.  I highly recommend it! What do you think your life will ...
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Misadventures of a Garden State Yogi

It’s rare that I write a book review but I had to write this one.  A friend of mine suggested that I read this book with a guarantee that I would laugh my ass off while learning something.  How could I pass that up? I wasn’t disappointed. Misadventures of a Garden State Yogi is awesome.  Brian Leaf brings you through his “humble quest to heal my colitis, calm my ADD ...
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30 Days to Bold

I want to introduce you to Tess Marshall who writes at The Bold Life.  About a year ago she found me in a sea of new personal development blogs.  Although I had been writing for almost a year at that time, my readership didn’t go far past a few friends and family members. She held out a helping hand which I very gratefully took.  She’s been a strong supporter ever ...
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Personal Responsibility

Everything You Need to Start Your Mindfulness Practice [Book Giveaway!]

As mindfulness becomes more mainstream, many people still wonder what it is and how to do it. Mindfulness is simply being present to whatever is in your life in the moment and noticing it without judgment.  While being present is certainly a challenge with all the constant distractions around you, tugging for your attention, the ‘without judgment’ part is equally as challenging. Judging doesn’t only mean negative connotations.  It means ...
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How to Set Goals That Will Increase Your Happiness

I recently turned 50 and have been reflecting on my life.  None of the previous “decade” birthdays have had much of an effect on me.  50 is different. In my 30’s and 40’s, I looked to Maya Angelou for inspiration. I felt that, once I turned 50, I would be like her: serene, content, happy with my life. Amazingly, that’s exactly how I feel now.  I never knew that I ...
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How to Make Sure Your Life Doesn’t Suck (Free Workbook!)

So many people are unhappy with their lives.  They blame family, friends, jobs, circumstances and anything else they can think of for their current situation.  Just check out all the comments on this post. As long as someone or something else is to blame, there’s no way to change things.  If you want something different, it’s up to you to take the initiative and make the change. If you don’t ...
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10 Simple Steps to Make Better Decisions – and Create a Better Life

It’s that time of year when you reflect on the past year and ponder what you want to make of the coming year.  It’s time to make some big decisions about what you want your life to be like. Regardless of what you have or haven’t achieved, each day is a new opportunity to change things. Making decisions about the top one to three goals or intentions you set for ...
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Why It’s Important to Change The Way You Pursue Success

This is a guest post from Michael Teoh: What is it with the obsession over wanting the success that other people have? Why not try to make the best of your own situation, especially with the countless opportunities readily available for you to pursue? Why are you paralyzed in your current situation when faced with the possibility of pursuing something that will ultimately lead to your own personalized form of ...
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How To Get Focused in Your Next Job Search

Job searches suck, no matter how you look at them.  For the most part, you’re parading yourself around, hoping someone will be interested in what you offer.  Then you hope they can pay you enough to pay your bills, never mind paying you what you’re worth. You desperately take whatever is offered and get excited that you actually have a job.  Then some time goes by and you’re miserable.  That ...
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Why Letting Go Is So Hard and What To Do About It

We’ve all been blessed with heart-breaking situations where people have wronged us or things haven’t gone the way we would like.  Moving past them is difficult. If you’ve ended a relationship, job or time in your life, it’s tough to let go and move on.  Your subconscious, or monkey mind, wants to hold onto it like a dog that won’t let go of a bone.  It wants to chew on ...
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Humans Are Underrated – How To Ensure That You Will Never Be Replaced By A Computer

Remember back in the day when you thought that if you had a “good job” with a “good company” that your job was safe and secure? I think we all know that those days are long gone.  From my own experience, I can confirm that “secure” jobs are a thing of the past.  I’ve been in top positions, told that I’m doing well only to have the rug pulled out ...
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How To Change Your Beliefs To Change Your Life

Do any of these statements sound familiar? I’m not smart enough to do what they do. I’m too old to start over.  I’m too young to be able to do that.   People don’t love me because I’m fat.  I never get promotions because I’m too stupid.  Everyone else gets great opportunities but me. These are the words of the monkey mind that swirl in your head, keeping you from ...
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How To Turn Around ‘One of Those Days’

It’s been one of “those days.”  Just about anything that could go wrong has.  You’re feeling defeated, anxious, depressed or any other feeling you’d rather not feel. To deal with it, you go to your favorite comfort activity: zoning in front of the TV, binge eating, smoking, drinking, shopping or anything else that will help you to forget about things.  And then you start to feel bad about what you’re ...
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How to get it all done when you’re only human

You know those uber-efficient people who seem to be able to get everything done with time to spare and look calm and relaxed all the time?  Neither do I.  Because they don’t exist. We’re all human and we all have limitations.  To even the playing field, we’re all given the same 24 hours in a day.  It’s up to us to choose how to spend our precious time in ways ...
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10 Steps To Create Your Amazing Life

You learn about people who lead amazing lives, doing things they love every day, living outside the norms of society.  Your True Self excitedly says, “Wow!  I wish I could do that!”  Then your monkey mind throws a wet towel on the idea and says with a grimacing tone, “Yeah, right.  Who do you think you are?  You could never do anything like that.”  And you go forth, believing your ...
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How to Transform Depression and Anxiety to Happiness

Feeling depressed about your future?  Is anxiety keeping you from enjoying your life? Strong negative emotions can smother the joy and happiness that’s always inside you. While neither of these feelings can be turned off like a light switch, there is a practice that can change your life in dramatic and positive ways over time. It’s mindfulness. [If your feelings of depression or anxiety are more serious, you might benefit ...
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The Wisdom of Oz

“Somewhere over the rainbow skies are blue, and the dreams that you dare to dream really do come true.” ~Over the Rainbow by Judy Garland If I only had [fill in the blank], I would be happy, my life would be awesome, I’d be successful…  In the meantime, I don’t, so I’m not, and I don’t see how I could possibly get [fill in the blank]. It’s crazy how many people ...
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Feeling Lost? What To Do If You Haven’t Got Your Life All Figured Out Yet

As we grow up, we’re programmed to believe that we’re supposed to have our whole life figured out by the time we’re 21 years old. Here’s the plan: Graduate from high school with good grades so you can Get into college and graduate so you can Get a “good job” where you earn a decent paycheck so you can Attract the perfect mate and get married so you can Have ...
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My Life Sucks – Now What Do I Do? Read on…

Do any of these sound like you? I’m in a bad relationship. I can’t find a partner. My job sucks. I can’t find a job. My boss doesn’t care about me. My family/friends don’t support me emotionally. I don’t know what to do with my life. My life sucks. I hear many of these messages from readers.  Basically, you’ve made a series of decisions that have left you in a ...
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How To Change Your Life In The Moment

What if every day of the rest of your life was just like yesterday?  How would you feel if nothing ever changed? How you do one thing is how you do everything. Almost everything you do all day is a habit.  Waking up, getting dressed, eating, moving, how you treat people, work and relax.  Your thoughts and emotions follow habits as well.  And there’s an underlying theme to it all ...
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The Art of Helping Others (and How to Avoid Resentment)

You feel good when you can help others.  As social creatures, humans are meant to work together. But what happens when all that helping and serving becomes too much and you start resenting the people you’re serving or the act of serving? Whether you’re helping a family member, co-worker, friend or volunteering for an organization you care about, you start off giving of yourself because it feels good. We’re taught ...
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Creating a New Life By Choosing

“If you’re not changing, you’re choosing.” ~ Unknown You’re in a dead-end job.  Your relationship sucks.  You never have enough money.  You have little energy and can’t lose the weight. You want to make changes but don’t know how or are afraid of change. As much as our lives may suck, the comfort of that suckiness can feel better than the fear of the unknown of the change required to ...
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Mindfulness In a Bad Relationship

He says the most hurtful things to me! Why can’t they just accept me? Why does she put me down all the time? My friends and family tell me that my ideas are stupid. What’s wrong with THEM??? When you do The Work, you see who you are by seeing who you think other people are. Eventually you come to see that everything outside you is a reflection of your ...
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Choose Yourself

Think about how your day has gone so far.  How often have you chosen others over yourself? In my last post I wrote about what happens to me when I choose others more often than I choose myself.  It’s not pretty. I got so busy being busy with my job and home life that I pushed the things that feed me out of most days.  I was tired, cranky and ...
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The Ultimate Productivity Hack

You’ve tried every productivity tactic out there (there are tons).  You’re sure that this one is going to be the one that will allow you to stop procrastinating and actually get you on the path of amazing productivity. You’re fired up and practice the tactic for a day or two and see great results.  And then day three rolls around… How often do your days get derailed like this? You ...
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When It’s Time To Say No

Have the courage to say no. Have the courage to face the truth. Do the right thing because it is right. These are the magic keys to living your life with integrity. ~ W. Clement Stone Confession:  I’ve been a people pleaser most of my life.  I’ve done what I think I’m supposed to do to make the people around me happy. Needless to say, my own happiness was pretty ...
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My Beliefs Have Hijacked My Brain

I think, therefore I am.  I am what I think.  What do you think about all day? Are you one of those people for whom diets don’t work?  Have you tried to make changes in your life to reduce stress or be happier but nothing seems to work for you?  Do you catch every cold and flu bug that goes around? You experiment with all kinds of diets, tricks and ...
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Sailing Through Life: How Not To Crash and Burn

What’s the fastest way to get what you want?  Know what you want. This seems too simplistic but it’s amazing how many people are frustrated living in a life that they don’t want.  The irony is that they’ve never taken the time to discover what it is they do want. If you ask these people what their ideal life would look like, they’ll give you a list of things that ...
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Your Best Weapon in an Argument

The other day my husband and I got into an argument.  We were both getting defensive.  When he would point out some unproductive action I had taken that had led to the issue at hand, I would try to explain why I had taken the action (i.e. trying to be right).  When I did this, he thought I was blaming him for the whole negative situation. We were talking over ...
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Tony Robbins & Me at Starbucks: How He Got Me Past My Blocks

Over the past few months I’ve felt stuck. As some of you recall, I abruptly lost my job in August.  I’ve been using all that I know about manifesting and the Law of Attraction to create my next opportunity, knowing that something awesome was waiting for me. I’ve seen how quickly these things can work and have felt frustrated that nothing was happening for me. No matter what I did, ...
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How Losing Your Job Can Get Your Life Back On Track

The last of human freedoms - the ability to chose one's attitude in a given set of circumstances. - Viktor E. Frankl I lost my job earlier this week.  No notice or severance.  I can’t say that I didn’t sense that it might happen but I wanted to remain positive.  I knew the company had been experiencing cash flow problems but I was hoping for the magic rabbit coming out ...
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3 Ways We Can Learn From Difficult People

“Be thankful for all the difficult people in your life, and learn from them. They have shown you exactly who you do not want to be.”  - Unknown I wrote an earlier (very popular) post about effective ways of dealing with difficult people.  I described how to work through interactions with these people to change the usual negative outcomes into something more positive.  At the end, I opened the door to the opportunities ...
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Simple Living Is About More Than De-Cluttering

“This is the essence of simplicity… to live with full awareness and with passion.”  - Janet Luhrs, The Simple Living Guide We read about simplifying our lives and decluttering and we get inspired to clean out a closet or the junk drawer in the kitchen or, if we’re feeling especially motivated, the garage.  We feel great for a few days and feel the relief that the extra space and organization ...
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What Does Success Look Like To You?

Think about yourself ten or twenty years ago.  What was your definition of success?  What did you think you had to do, be and have in order to call yourself successful?  How close are you to that definition today?  Have you achieved it?  Did you come close?  Did your priorities change and, therefore, your definition changed? How do you define success today?  What will you have to do, be and ...
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What’s the Meaning of Your Life?

For the meaning of life differs from man to man, from day to day and from hour to hour. What matters, therefore, is not the meaning of life in general but rather the specific meaning of a person's life at a given moment. -Viktor E. Frankl When we’re feeling down, when things aren’t going our way, sometimes we think, “What’s the point?  What’s the meaning of all this?  We’re born, ...
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5 Steps to Creating Your Awesome Life

We say we want our lives to be better.  We wish for things, pray for them, visualize them.  And nothing changes. We wish, pray, meditate and visualize harder. Still nothing. What are we doing wrong? The Definition of Insanity Most of us spend much of our time thinking about what's wrong with our lives. And then we wait for someone or something outside of ourselves to magically happen in order ...
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Letting Go

There I am: clenching with my white-knuckled fist, holding on with the grip of death.  I can’t let go.  Everything will fall apart if I let go.  The branch is slipping through my fist, cutting into my skin as I try to hold on even tighter.  I’m scared.  Scared of falling.  What kind of doom will I face?  I….can’t….let….go……. The branch slipped through my fingers and I was on my ...
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The Unschooling Revolution: Taking Education Into Our Own Hands

"Do not train a child to learn by force or harshness; but direct them to it by what amuses their minds, so that you may be better able to discover with accuracy the peculiar bent of the genius of each."  - Plato When you were young, were you completely psyched about going to school every day?  Were you chomping at the bit to learn more of what the schools were ...
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If It’s Broken, Fix It – Right Now

Do you have something around your house that needs to be fixed but you haven't taken the five or ten minutes to fix it?  You'll make a little extra effort every day to work around the problem thinking that you don't have the time to actually fix it.  The truth is that you spend more time and energy working around the problem than you would actually fixing it.  And that ...
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What’s Your Payoff For Being Unproductive?

We’ve all heard the advice for being more productive: Only check your emails twice a day Limit time with social media Don’t multi-task Clear the clutter Clear distractions Watch less TV Get up an hour earlier We really want to be more productive and get more done and this is awesome advice.  So why can’t we seem to actually follow this advice? The answer to this question and every other ...
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Your Attitude Determines Your Outcome

Everything can be taken from a man or a woman but one thing: the last of human freedoms to choose one's attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one's own way. – Viktor Frankl  [Tweet this quote] This quote was written by a man in the concentration camps of Nazi Germany during WWII.  It is believed that this is what saved his life – his attitude.  His family ...
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Head vs. Heart: Which Is Smarter?

Have you ever thought about what your life would be like if you were the lead character in Jim Carrey’s Yes Man?  Saying yes to every opportunity that presented itself?  While you would certainly open yourself to all kinds of new adventures and experiences, you would also be totally over-committing yourself. There’s also a practice of saying no to everything to learn to stand up for yourself and create boundaries.  ...
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Slow Down Enough to Find Your Freedom

Between stimulus and response, there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.     -Viktor E. Frankl How often do you respond to people and situations without even thinking about it? How often do you repeat the same old arguments with your partner?  Sometimes the topics change and sometimes they’re the same but they all end up ...
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Where Is Your Happy Place?

Sometimes life and other people can get to you causing you to feel stressed, anxious and generally unhappy.  What to do?  While there are tons of ways of dealing with this, you generally want to get to your happy place. What and where is your happy place?  How do you get there? Before If you’re driving to work in rush hour traffic, thinking and stressing about all that faces you ...
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Simple Steps to Create More Freedom For Yourself

In my last post, I asked what freedom means for you and how much you may be limiting your own expression of your freedoms.  In this post, we’ll review specific areas of your life and identify steps you can take to feel more free every day. Think about how all of your lifestyle choices either support or hold back your freedom: Friends Do the friends that you’ve chosen support you ...
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Freedom In The Eyes of Some Other Awesome Bloggers

Freedom is a funny thing.  People have very different definitions and thoughts about it. I've partnered with a great group of seven bloggers with different backgrounds, different businesses and different lifestyles. Some are already living off of their online incomes and some are just beginning their journeys. By sharing how we define freedom, it is our goal to help you find your own freedom. We want to inspire you to think bigger than ...
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How Free Do You Think You Are? Really

What does freedom look and feel like to you?  Are you living it right now? I used to look at freedom as one of those things that’s “out there” to be achieved.  Actually, I’ve noticed lately that I used to look at just about everything as something “out there” that I had to chase after to achieve. Whether it’s freedom, happiness, abundance or whatever, all of these things are inside ...
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How to Deal Effectively With Difficult People (and Some Other Secrets)

It’s inevitable.  At some point in your week you’ll run into one of them.  Those people who seem to turn a wonderful day into a dark one.  But it doesn’t have to be that way for you. There are studies that demonstrate that people’s energy is contagious.  If you’re happy and an angry person walks into the room, you can feel it.  Your happiness is suddenly dampened.  The angry person ...
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Why Do You Want What You Want?

We all have our list of things we want in life – great relationships, a nice home, a healthy body, financial security and more.  Have you ever stopped to ask where your definitions of these goals came from and why you want them? Are those images in alignment with your values, the things you hold most dear?  Or are they based on what you think you should have in this ...
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If It Hurts, Stop Doing It

The other day my 7 year old son came to me and said it hurt when he moved his leg in an unusual way.  I looked at him, wondering why he would want to move his leg that way and replied, “Then don’t do it.”  He seemed happy with the answer and walked away. I immediately thought about how often we do things in our everyday lives that cause us ...
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Mindful Mind: You Are Not Your Mind

While the mind is capable of great things, much of the time it limits us. Call it what you will:  the monkey mind, the reptilian brain, the ego – they’re all the same.  You are not your mind.  And as one of my mentors says:  Your mind is not your friend. While your mind may try to keep you safe, it does not support your growth as a person. The ...
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Mindful Finances: How Noticing Your Feelings Can Change Your Results

We all know the rules of money: Make a budget and stick to it Save 10% in a fund you don’t touch Give 10% Spend less than you make These are the simple basics.  So why do so few of us actually do these things? I can’t afford to save or give Budgets aren’t realistic I can’t be confined to rules like these I deserve to have the things I ...
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Mindful Career: A Blessing or a Life-Long Sentence?

I looked up the definition of career because we all talk about it like we know exactly what it is.  But do we?  Most of the definitions I found were something along the lines of: An occupation undertaken for a significant period of a person's life and with opportunities for progress. A field for or pursuit of consecutive, progressive achievement, especially in public, professional or business life. An occupation or ...
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Mindful Relationships: How a New Point of View Can Dramatically Increase Your Happiness

It’s amazing that we humans are so programmed to be social creatures when all we ever think about is ourselves (usually). We expect others to accept and appreciate us as we are and yet we expect them to be the way we want them to be.  Not exactly fair. We expect those close to us to know what makes us happy and do those things on a regular basis. Whenever ...
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How to Achieve Your Goals Without Chasing Them

We’re told over and over that we’ll never achieve anything if we don’t have goals, preferably written ones.  Goals get us from point A to point B.  Or do they? What about the path between A and B?  What happens there? There are so many methods of writing, tracking and managing goals that we can get lost and spend more time massaging and visualizing our goals than actually doing anything ...
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Who Made Me God? The Power of Being Right

I’m having lunch with a friend and we start talking about some of her clients.  She and I share certain beliefs that many of her clients don’t share.  As we started off on a rant in the vein of, “Can you believe these people?” I stopped myself.  I asked, “Who made me God?”  Who made me the almighty authority of what everyone in the world should believe on this (or ...
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Mindless Consumption: The Key to Growth?

This is a story about us being persuaded to spend money we don’t have, on things we don’t need, to create impressions that won’t last, on people we don’t care about.  - Tim Jackson's TED talk: Economic reality check The messages we’re bombarded with from government, media and many other sources would have us believe that we need to be good consumers who want and buy ever more stuff to ...
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Implementing Gratitude: Everyday Thanksgiving

Do we really need a national holiday to remind us to be thankful?  With the flood of emails and other communications I receive this time of year, it would seem so. Why do we let the busy-ness of life interfere with our ability to stop and notice the million and ten things we’re really grateful for every day?  Many things that we take for granted. I started a practice a ...
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Mindfulness: The Art of Being in the Present Moment

What is mindfulness? Definitions from dictionaries include: awareness, attention, regard, heedfulness. One that I especially liked from Wikipedia is:  The practice whereby a person is intentionally aware of his or her thoughts and actions in the present moment, non-judgmentally. Mindfulness is applied to both bodily actions and the mind's own thoughts and feelings. We can be mindful anywhere, any time. During yoga practice, while brushing our teeth, walking to the ...
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Pushing the Comfort Zone: Getting Past a Setback

Life has a rather cruel way of teaching us lessons sometimes.  Just when we think we have things figured out, the Universe slaps us down and makes us figure out how to get back up again – but the old methods don’t work anymore. At the end of 2007 I was let go from a company where I worked as the VP of Finance for eight years.  The company had ...
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Baby Steps: Make Anything Happen One Step At A Time

Is your life going the way you've always wanted?  If you're like most of us, the answer is no.  While I've had a fairly good life, I've also weathered many storms.  I've dealt with a lot of crap, sometimes the same crap over and over  with escalating consequences until I finally learned the lessons. I've maintained a comfortably uncomfortable existance for prolonged periods of time until I couldn't take it ...
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Are You Neglecting Your Priorities?

What are your top three priorities in life?  The most important things above all else? Mine are health, family and financial independence. Health I put health first because, without it, nothing else is really possible.  If my health is suffering, I can’t be there for my family and I can’t do much to create financial independence or anything else.  When we don’t feel good physically or emotionally, it affects all ...
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The Challenge of Being Yourself

Why is it so easy to be a mindless sheep?  To follow the flock, do as you’re told, blend in? From the time we’re little and placed into preschool by our parents, the programming begins.  What does school teach us?  To sit down, shut up, blend in, be normal and do as we’re told so that we are properly trained to be productive little cogs in a big machine (sheep), ...
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The Easiest Way to Get What You Want From Life

Are you perfectly happy where you are right now in life?  If you answered yes, you can stop reading.  For the other 99.99% of us, keep reading. For the next two hours, notice your thoughts.  How often do you think about how you don’t like something about your current circumstances?  Maybe it’s your job (or lack thereof), your financial situation, your spouse or partner, your kids, friends, health, whatever. Every ...
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Learning Life’s Lessons from the Little People

Kids can be the best teachers, if we slow down enough to pay attention to them. We adults think we know so much more that our kids.  With our years of experience, we feel that we certainly know more about the world and how to function in it. Not so much. All those years of “experience” are years of issues and filters that we’ve learned to apply to our outlook ...
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Taking a Chance

 How dull life would be if we never took chances.  Sometimes we take small ones like putting a dollar in a slot machine.  Other times we take big ones like quitting a job or starting a new relationship. I took a chance today.  I quit the job that’s been draining my soul to accept a new job with fabulous people who share my values and are doing some amazing things ...
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Eliminate Fear and Negative Emotions

All emotions can generally be boiled down to a form of love or fear.  The “good” emotions like happiness, joy, elation and connection are all forms of love.  The “bad” emotions like anger, anxiety, sadness and frustration are forms of fear. We all experience fear in its many forms.  Whether it’s the fight or flight fear of someone following us in a dark parking lot or the anger created when ...
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A Simple Way to Be Amazingly Productive

How long is your “to do” list each day?  Do you usually have many more things on it than you know you can accomplish?  Or do you even have a list? Do you find yourself lost in the rabbit hole of emails, texts and internet surfing (aka “research”)?  Are you doing things like clicking off emails, giving you the perception that you’re actually accomplishing something when you’re really just procrastinating ...
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Accept Your Way to Happiness

We’ve all heard the saying, “What we resist persists.”  In my experience, this is so very true. Another great one that I recently read: “Someone can only drive you crazy, if you give them the keys.” Right now in your life, what do you wish were different?  What do you complain about?  Who really bothers you?  What things and people should be different from what they are? Your answers to ...
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Your Personas: Are they serving you?

Each of us has spent our lifetime creating the person that we are, consciously or, more likely, totally unconsciously.  From the social training and feedback that we receive from our families, schools, businesses, places of worship and communities, we generally create our own rules and become what we think we’re supposed to be.  I see that person as our overall persona.  We all have a variety of specific personas:  husband/wife, ...
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Expectations Create Stress and Anger: Throw them in the ocean

‘Act without expectation.’ ~Lao Tzu Post written by Leo Babauta. How much of your stress, frustration, disappointment, anger, irritation, pissed-offedness comes from one little thing? Almost all of it comes from your expectations, and when things (inevitably) don’t turn out as we expect, from wishing things were different. We build these expectations in our heads of what other people should do, what our lives should be like, how other drivers ...
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Personal Power

This is a guest post by Virginia O'Connor Everything in the world you see around you was initiated by the creative energy of your thoughts. Your thoughts are powerful catalysts in transforming any idea into physical reality. Personal power stems from the healthy self-esteem of your thoughts.  By changing the inner aspects of your thinking, you can change the outer aspects of your life. When you feel good about yourself ...
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Filling My Cup

Our society teaches us that taking care of ourselves first is selfish and a bad thing.  I think that’s a bunch of BS. On an airplane, we’re instructed to put on our own oxygen masks first, before helping a child do the same.  If you think that’s a crazy idea, realize that you’re not much help to anyone if you’ve passed out due to lack of oxygen because you tried ...
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Radical Responsibility – Part 2 (Letting Go)

In my last post, I wrote about general aspects of how I have taken personal responsibility in my life. Another aspect of taking responsibility for myself is knowing that I’m not responsible for others.  When someone lashes out at me, instead of taking it personally and getting upset, I first ask myself what’s going on with that person?  Are they stressed about something?  Did someone else set them off earlier ...
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Radical Responsibility – Part 1 (How to Be Happy)

Our society seems to thrive on the victim mentality that says that most issues in our lives have been created by other people and things.  The judicial system is built on this principle.  The media relies on it to sell news. What I’m writing here may be controversial and there are so many shades of grey that I couldn’t possibly cover them all.  I’m simply writing from my own life ...
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How to Stop Acting Like Such a Big Baby

“Any fool can criticize, condemn, and complain but it takes character and self control to be understanding and forgiving.” —Dale Carnegie Article by Zen Habits contributor Jonathan Mead. If we really want to be happy, why do we act like such babies? We can claim to be proactive in our life by settings goals and going after what we want. But if we’re always whining and complaining all the time, ...
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Go and Create

‘Men must live and create. Live to the point of tears.’ ~Albert Camus Post written by Leo Babauta. It’s amazing how many people I talk to who tell me they want to create a new blog, write a book, start a new business, change careers, make something new. But they keep putting it off. Does that sound familiar? You’ve been wanting to do something different, but you don’t have the ...
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What do you want to be when you grow up?

The other day I called a company to ask a question about one their products.  After the service rep politely introduced himself, I asked him how he was doing.  His reply: “OK, for living someone else’s dream.”  [For this post, we won’t go into how this is the totally wrong answer (regardless of what this man’s truth may be) for someone to say in a customer-facing environment.]  Then the conversation ...
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The chains that bind us are our own

The other day my 4 year old daughter needed a time out.  This is very rare (maybe once or twice a year).  Her time out place is a half bathroom down the hall from the living room.  The door has no lock on it and she knows that.  I brought her into the bathroom and told her she could stay there until she calmed down and wanted to come out ...
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Comfort Zone Challenges

How to Conquer Fear and Manage Stress in Your Life

We’re all programmed to feel fear.  It’s what keeps us safe.  It’s that ‘fight or flight’ instinct that was supposed to protect us from marauding carnivores thousands of years ago.  But our environment has changed over the last few thousand years such that, for most, marauding carnivores are no longer an issue. Today, those occasional carnivores have been replaced with what seem to be constant sources of fear:  bosses, parents, ...
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Why Expectations Are the Root of All Evil

Unmet expectations often lead to the full range of negative emotions:  anger, fear, disappointment, jealousy, annoyance, bitterness, resentment, envy and insecurities. Unmet expectations about the past create regret, grief, sorrow, shame and sadness. Projected unmet expectations about the future create depression, anxiety, feelings of inadequacy, impatience and hopelessness. If you didn’t have expectations, you would simply take things as they came and deal with them. Your judgment of things would ...
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10 Steps To Create Your Amazing Life

You learn about people who lead amazing lives, doing things they love every day, living outside the norms of society.  Your True Self excitedly says, “Wow!  I wish I could do that!”  Then your monkey mind throws a wet towel on the idea and says with a grimacing tone, “Yeah, right.  Who do you think you are?  You could never do anything like that.”  And you go forth, believing your ...
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The Key to Making the Impossible Possible

You’ve discovered something you’re passionate about and you tell your friends and family about your idea.  You’re really excited to share your idea for a new venture and you know that everyone will be just as excited as you are. But they’re not. The people closest to you tell you that you’re nuts.  It’s a crazy idea.  They give you a million reasons why your idea is stupid and won’t ...
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How to Recognize and Overcome the Fear of Failure

This is a guest post from my good friend, Tess Marshall.  Throughout her life she’s been a master at squashing her fears and living The Bold Life.  She’s got an amazing program called 30 Days of Bold that starts on July 1 to help you shatter the bubble you’ve trapped yourself in and start living your own bold life.  I highly recommend it! What do you think your life will ...
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Experimenting with Failure

“All life is an experiment.  The more experiments you make the better.”  ~Ralph Waldo Emerson I don’t believe in failure.  The word doesn’t have a purpose or meaning in my life. Everything I do is an experiment:  Test.  Assess the results.  Learn something and take the next step. School and societal programming have brain-washed us into thinking that failure is bad – something to be avoided at all costs. Because ...
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It’s Never Too Late – Change Is Always Possible

"The only difference between successful people and unsuccessful people is extraordinary determination." ~Mary Kay Ash I was recently perusing the Archives page of my site, reflecting on the evolution of my adventures online.  For the first year and two months of my blog’s existence, I was blogging in the wind. My subscriber list hung at about 50 people, most of whom I’m sure weren’t reading my posts.  I had between ...
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How To Be Enough

You hate being judged but it’s happening all the time. You’re in a meeting or in front of a group of people.  Everyone is looking at you.  Your normally calm demeanor turns to anxiety and stress over possibly screwing up. You’re in the presence of people you look up to - celebrities, higher up’s at work or people with more age and experience.  You freeze up.  Suddenly your inner child ...
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30 Days to Bold

I want to introduce you to Tess Marshall who writes at The Bold Life.  About a year ago she found me in a sea of new personal development blogs.  Although I had been writing for almost a year at that time, my readership didn’t go far past a few friends and family members. She held out a helping hand which I very gratefully took.  She’s been a strong supporter ever ...
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To Create an Amazing Life, Scare Your Monkey Mind

This has been one hell of a year.  Looking back, there have been amazing times and huge challenges and I’m incredibly grateful for every moment. I can fully attest to the truth behind the following sayings: If you’re not growing, you’re dying.  There’s no middle ground. To grow, do something every day to get out of your comfort zone. To get past your fears, face them head on.  [Note: To ...
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Instigate Your Life’s Work (3 Simple but Essential Steps for Creating the Only Thing That Matters)

This is a guest post from Tom Morkes, a great instigator of passionate work. The Reason There is a reason you’re here. Not just in the philosophical sense of your purpose for living, but because you’re reading this article, right here, right now. It means you want something. It means there is something missing or incomplete, a gap between where you are right now and where you want to be ...
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The Mindful Approach To Facing Your Fears

What would I be afraid of if I didn’t have a past?  - Deepak Chopra When I read that question, it hit me right between the eyes.  It stripped away all the stories and big, scary things that go bump in the night that we dream up that create all of our fears. It’s also the reason that most little kids are so fearless.  They haven’t had the time or ...
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Can’t Get Past That Stuck Place In Your Life? Here’s What to Do

It’s inevitable, you know. One day you realize that everything you’ve been trying hasn’t worked.  You’ve read the books, gone to the seminars and retreats.  Maybe you’ve tried to work through your issues with friends and family members.  You’ve journaled and even done all the exercises in all the programs you’ve bought (which only about 2% of people who buy programs actually do). Maybe things have changed a little (or ...
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Letting Go

There I am: clenching with my white-knuckled fist, holding on with the grip of death.  I can’t let go.  Everything will fall apart if I let go.  The branch is slipping through my fist, cutting into my skin as I try to hold on even tighter.  I’m scared.  Scared of falling.  What kind of doom will I face?  I….can’t….let….go……. The branch slipped through my fingers and I was on my ...
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Simple Steps to Creating Productivity Habits

Have you tried to change a habit lately?  How easy was it for you?  Are you still struggling with it? In my last post I discussed how there’s so much great advice out there on how to be more productive each day but most of us struggle to implement these new habits.  Check the last post to understand what’s holding you back. In my quest for complete transparency, I’m laying ...
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What’s Your Payoff For Being Unproductive?

We’ve all heard the advice for being more productive: Only check your emails twice a day Limit time with social media Don’t multi-task Clear the clutter Clear distractions Watch less TV Get up an hour earlier We really want to be more productive and get more done and this is awesome advice.  So why can’t we seem to actually follow this advice? The answer to this question and every other ...
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Head vs. Heart: Which Is Smarter?

Have you ever thought about what your life would be like if you were the lead character in Jim Carrey’s Yes Man?  Saying yes to every opportunity that presented itself?  While you would certainly open yourself to all kinds of new adventures and experiences, you would also be totally over-committing yourself. There’s also a practice of saying no to everything to learn to stand up for yourself and create boundaries.  ...
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Slow Down Enough to Find Your Freedom

Between stimulus and response, there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.     -Viktor E. Frankl How often do you respond to people and situations without even thinking about it? How often do you repeat the same old arguments with your partner?  Sometimes the topics change and sometimes they’re the same but they all end up ...
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I Want To Change the World and I Want It Done Yesterday!

"Change is not a process for the impatient." -Barbara Reinhold We go through our lives creating to do lists, crossing things off and adding more.  We’re never done.  As much as we spend our thoughts and days on completing and accomplishing things, I always remember a quote I read somewhere: Your inbox will still be full the day you die. Where does that driven, need-to-achieve feeling come from?  Like we’re ...
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How to Deal Effectively With Difficult People (and Some Other Secrets)

It’s inevitable.  At some point in your week you’ll run into one of them.  Those people who seem to turn a wonderful day into a dark one.  But it doesn’t have to be that way for you. There are studies that demonstrate that people’s energy is contagious.  If you’re happy and an angry person walks into the room, you can feel it.  Your happiness is suddenly dampened.  The angry person ...
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If It Hurts, Stop Doing It

The other day my 7 year old son came to me and said it hurt when he moved his leg in an unusual way.  I looked at him, wondering why he would want to move his leg that way and replied, “Then don’t do it.”  He seemed happy with the answer and walked away. I immediately thought about how often we do things in our everyday lives that cause us ...
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Mindful Mind: You Are Not Your Mind

While the mind is capable of great things, much of the time it limits us. Call it what you will:  the monkey mind, the reptilian brain, the ego – they’re all the same.  You are not your mind.  And as one of my mentors says:  Your mind is not your friend. While your mind may try to keep you safe, it does not support your growth as a person. The ...
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Mindful Spirit: How Noticing Your Inner and Outer Worlds Opens the Door to Happiness

If you look up the word “spirit” in the dictionary, you will find that it comes from the Latin, spirare, meaning “to breathe.”  The inbreath is inspiration; the outbreath expiration.  From these come all the associations of spirit with the breath of life, vital energy, consciousness, the soul, often framed as divine gifts bestowed upon us, and therefore as aspect of the holy, the numinous, the ineffable.  In the deepest ...
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Mindful Finances: How Noticing Your Feelings Can Change Your Results

We all know the rules of money: Make a budget and stick to it Save 10% in a fund you don’t touch Give 10% Spend less than you make These are the simple basics.  So why do so few of us actually do these things? I can’t afford to save or give Budgets aren’t realistic I can’t be confined to rules like these I deserve to have the things I ...
Read More

Mindful Career: A Blessing or a Life-Long Sentence?

I looked up the definition of career because we all talk about it like we know exactly what it is.  But do we?  Most of the definitions I found were something along the lines of: An occupation undertaken for a significant period of a person's life and with opportunities for progress. A field for or pursuit of consecutive, progressive achievement, especially in public, professional or business life. An occupation or ...
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Mindful Body: Creating the Body You Want With New Choices

How do you feel about your body? How does your body feel? It’s amazing how disconnected we are from our bodies even though our bodies are what physically get us through our days. Our minds take over telling us that we must be productive – get things done!  It’s also what society tells us is important.  We are the things we accomplish. It’s time we start breaking those rules, standards, ...
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Who Made Me God? The Power of Being Right

I’m having lunch with a friend and we start talking about some of her clients.  She and I share certain beliefs that many of her clients don’t share.  As we started off on a rant in the vein of, “Can you believe these people?” I stopped myself.  I asked, “Who made me God?”  Who made me the almighty authority of what everyone in the world should believe on this (or ...
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Mindless Consumption: The Key to Growth?

This is a story about us being persuaded to spend money we don’t have, on things we don’t need, to create impressions that won’t last, on people we don’t care about.  - Tim Jackson's TED talk: Economic reality check The messages we’re bombarded with from government, media and many other sources would have us believe that we need to be good consumers who want and buy ever more stuff to ...
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Implementing Gratitude: Everyday Thanksgiving

Do we really need a national holiday to remind us to be thankful?  With the flood of emails and other communications I receive this time of year, it would seem so. Why do we let the busy-ness of life interfere with our ability to stop and notice the million and ten things we’re really grateful for every day?  Many things that we take for granted. I started a practice a ...
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Comfort Zone Challenges

When given the choice of venturing into new territory or staying in our safe and secure comfort zone, we usually choose the latter.  We know what to expect and, hey, who needs more to stress about?  But in our hearts, we know we will never achieve the things we want or be the person we aspire to be without some stretching. In my life I have pushed myself into some ...
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Pushing the Comfort Zone: Getting Past a Setback

Life has a rather cruel way of teaching us lessons sometimes.  Just when we think we have things figured out, the Universe slaps us down and makes us figure out how to get back up again – but the old methods don’t work anymore. At the end of 2007 I was let go from a company where I worked as the VP of Finance for eight years.  The company had ...
Read More

Baby Steps: Make Anything Happen One Step At A Time

Is your life going the way you've always wanted?  If you're like most of us, the answer is no.  While I've had a fairly good life, I've also weathered many storms.  I've dealt with a lot of crap, sometimes the same crap over and over  with escalating consequences until I finally learned the lessons. I've maintained a comfortably uncomfortable existance for prolonged periods of time until I couldn't take it ...
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Why Time Management Is Impossible

The Problem Would you like to: Start a new business or make some extra money on the side Write a book Master a hobby Learn a new skill Have more energy But you just don’t have the time or energy? Are you so drained at the end of the day after getting up early, dealing with traffic, working all day, taking care of kids, your spouse, cooking, cleaning, running errands ...
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Are You Letting Your Past Dictate Your Future (To Your Detriment)?

Do you think you can’t change direction in life because you would waste all the time, money, education, energy and whatever else you invested in your past?  Many people never bother to figure out what their passions are because of this belief.  They spend their lives being comfortably uncomfortable.  Thinking there’s got to be something better out there for them but never allowing themselves to consider that it may be off ...
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The Challenge of Being Yourself

Why is it so easy to be a mindless sheep?  To follow the flock, do as you’re told, blend in? From the time we’re little and placed into preschool by our parents, the programming begins.  What does school teach us?  To sit down, shut up, blend in, be normal and do as we’re told so that we are properly trained to be productive little cogs in a big machine (sheep), ...
Read More

The Easiest Way to Get What You Want From Life

Are you perfectly happy where you are right now in life?  If you answered yes, you can stop reading.  For the other 99.99% of us, keep reading. For the next two hours, notice your thoughts.  How often do you think about how you don’t like something about your current circumstances?  Maybe it’s your job (or lack thereof), your financial situation, your spouse or partner, your kids, friends, health, whatever. Every ...
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Giving Away Your Best: How to Make Sure Goods Things Come Your Way

When you have a great idea for something you can create, what are some of the first few questions you ask yourself?  How much money can I make with this?  How many people will buy it?  How many people can I positively impact with this?  And then you mind starts to figure out how to package it and get it out there to be sold. What if you packaged up ...
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Taking a Chance

 How dull life would be if we never took chances.  Sometimes we take small ones like putting a dollar in a slot machine.  Other times we take big ones like quitting a job or starting a new relationship. I took a chance today.  I quit the job that’s been draining my soul to accept a new job with fabulous people who share my values and are doing some amazing things ...
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Eliminate Fear and Negative Emotions

All emotions can generally be boiled down to a form of love or fear.  The “good” emotions like happiness, joy, elation and connection are all forms of love.  The “bad” emotions like anger, anxiety, sadness and frustration are forms of fear. We all experience fear in its many forms.  Whether it’s the fight or flight fear of someone following us in a dark parking lot or the anger created when ...
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The Great Purge – Baby Steps to Eliminating Stuff

I have a reminder on my calendar on the first of every month to “Give something away.”  I’m usually good at actually doing this but it’s normally never more than a bag of clothes or toys. Over the past few weeks I’ve had the “cleanies” like never before. It started with my quest to organize and eliminate some of the kids’ toys.  We have allocated a section of the living ...
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Accept Your Way to Happiness

We’ve all heard the saying, “What we resist persists.”  In my experience, this is so very true. Another great one that I recently read: “Someone can only drive you crazy, if you give them the keys.” Right now in your life, what do you wish were different?  What do you complain about?  Who really bothers you?  What things and people should be different from what they are? Your answers to ...
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Your Personas: Are they serving you?

Each of us has spent our lifetime creating the person that we are, consciously or, more likely, totally unconsciously.  From the social training and feedback that we receive from our families, schools, businesses, places of worship and communities, we generally create our own rules and become what we think we’re supposed to be.  I see that person as our overall persona.  We all have a variety of specific personas:  husband/wife, ...
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Can others tell what your top priorities are from your actions?

What would you say your top three priorities in life are?  Family?  Health?  Relationships?  Career?  Finances? Now examine your average day.  Where do you spend your time?  Does how you spend your time reflect what you think your priorities are?  For many people this is an eye-opening thought. Many of us will say that our family and relationships are some of the most important things and yet we spend very ...
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Change your life: Notice your thoughts, feelings and emotions

I have to say I’m not exactly crazy about the job I go to ever day (actually this is a major understatement).  I feel like I’m constantly micro-managed and kept in a very limiting box.  I know that I’m capable of doing and being so much more but my bosses just can’t (or don’t want to) see it. I’ve been noticing myself making unhealthy choices as a result of how ...
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Personal Power

This is a guest post by Virginia O'Connor Everything in the world you see around you was initiated by the creative energy of your thoughts. Your thoughts are powerful catalysts in transforming any idea into physical reality. Personal power stems from the healthy self-esteem of your thoughts.  By changing the inner aspects of your thinking, you can change the outer aspects of your life. When you feel good about yourself ...
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Radical Responsibility – Part 2 (Letting Go)

In my last post, I wrote about general aspects of how I have taken personal responsibility in my life. Another aspect of taking responsibility for myself is knowing that I’m not responsible for others.  When someone lashes out at me, instead of taking it personally and getting upset, I first ask myself what’s going on with that person?  Are they stressed about something?  Did someone else set them off earlier ...
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Breaking Free From Consumerist Chains

‘Do not trouble yourself much to get new things, whether clothes or friends…. Sell your clothes and keep your thoughts.’ ~Henry David Thoreau Post written by Leo Babauta. We are not consumers. We are people. We are not living lives meant to earn money in order to support a shopping habit, or a large home and two cars, or lives of luxury eating and entertainment. We are not living to ...
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How to Stop Acting Like Such a Big Baby

“Any fool can criticize, condemn, and complain but it takes character and self control to be understanding and forgiving.” —Dale Carnegie Article by Zen Habits contributor Jonathan Mead. If we really want to be happy, why do we act like such babies? We can claim to be proactive in our life by settings goals and going after what we want. But if we’re always whining and complaining all the time, ...
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Go and Create

‘Men must live and create. Live to the point of tears.’ ~Albert Camus Post written by Leo Babauta. It’s amazing how many people I talk to who tell me they want to create a new blog, write a book, start a new business, change careers, make something new. But they keep putting it off. Does that sound familiar? You’ve been wanting to do something different, but you don’t have the ...
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How to Win the Networking Game

When was the last time you attended a personal or professional networking meeting (personal networking meeting = party)?  Did you go with someone or did you go alone? For many people, the thought of showing up alone to a room full of strangers is a very frightening thing.  It definitely was for me just a couple years ago and I avoided it at all costs.  I definitely fit the description of ...
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Have some fun!

How long has it been since you’ve done something really fun?  Something that just made you laugh out loud.  Something that takes you out of your daily routine and gets you to focus on happy things. The challenge this week is to schedule one hour every day for one week and do something really fun by yourself, with a friend or family member, a group of people, your pet, whatever.  ...
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Pay a compliment

When was the last time a friend paid you a compliment?  It made you feel pretty good, didn’t it?  When was the last time a stranger paid you a compliment?  Felt even better since you had no ties to that person and they didn’t have any ulterior motive.  They were just noticing something wonderful about you.  Why not spread some more joy by paying a compliment to people you don’t ...
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Be a kid

When was the last time you swung on a swing or took a ride on the merry-go-round?  At what point in life did we decide that’s “not appropriate” or that we don’t have time for such things?  At what point did we stop doing things just because they’re fun because we’re “supposed to be adults?”  What’s so wrong with having fun and being a kid again? I watch my 17 ...
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Are you a Hugger?

Some people love big bear hugs while others would be perfectly happy with a hand shake.  This says something about a person’s comfort level with being open and connecting with others.  In life, we can push with a lot of effort to make things happen on our own.  Or we can connect with others and share our goals and allow others to help and support us toward our goals and ...
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Relax in public

I got this one from Tim Ferriss, author of the Four Hour Work Week (a must read). Also check out http://www.fourhourblog.com Once a day for two days, simply lie down in the middle of a crowded public place.  Lunchtime is ideal.  It can be a well-trafficked sidewalk, the middle of a popular Starbucks or a popular bar.  There is no real technique involved.  Just lie down and remain silent on ...
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Meditations for Daily Walks

3 Things I Learned From Living with Monks in a Jungle

The following is a guest post from Damien Dante of NomadLetters. Have you ever been lost? Not only literally but figuratively? Have you ever had that feeling that you don’t know where to go next? I remember the last time I had that feeling. I was in the middle of nowhere, not knowing which direction to choose, in one of Vietnam’s less populated regions. Just me and my forty litre ...
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How Would $1 Million Affect Your Life?

When I was meditating the other day, I asked the Universe for $1 million in the next month.  Most people would think that’s ridiculous.  I’ve never created anything close to this. I did it to see what kinds of resistances would come up.  That old “not good enough, you don’t deserve it” devil emerged. I continue to struggle with eradicating that one.  My conscious mind knows it’s BS but my ...
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What’s On Your Gratitude List Today?

We all know how focusing on the things that we’re grateful for can turn around a negative mood but have you made this a daily practice? I started my own version of this years ago in the form of The 10/10 Exercise.  Each day I write at least ten things for which I’m grateful.  I try to write about ten different things each day so the practice doesn’t become a ...
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Mindful Mind: You Are Not Your Mind

While the mind is capable of great things, much of the time it limits us. Call it what you will:  the monkey mind, the reptilian brain, the ego – they’re all the same.  You are not your mind.  And as one of my mentors says:  Your mind is not your friend. While your mind may try to keep you safe, it does not support your growth as a person. The ...
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Mindful Spirit: How Noticing Your Inner and Outer Worlds Opens the Door to Happiness

If you look up the word “spirit” in the dictionary, you will find that it comes from the Latin, spirare, meaning “to breathe.”  The inbreath is inspiration; the outbreath expiration.  From these come all the associations of spirit with the breath of life, vital energy, consciousness, the soul, often framed as divine gifts bestowed upon us, and therefore as aspect of the holy, the numinous, the ineffable.  In the deepest ...
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Meditations for daily walks

As we take walks in the city or in the country, we're getting outside to get away from our work and other responsibilities.  We're giving ourselves the gift of the time to just be.  We can be with friends, family, pets or just with ourselves.  It's a time to slow our minds down while we get our bodies moving.  Getting out and moving for just 20 or 30 minutes each ...
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Can others tell what your top priorities are from your actions?

What would you say your top three priorities in life are?  Family?  Health?  Relationships?  Career?  Finances? Now examine your average day.  Where do you spend your time?  Does how you spend your time reflect what you think your priorities are?  For many people this is an eye-opening thought. Many of us will say that our family and relationships are some of the most important things and yet we spend very ...
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Do you know where you’re headed?

In life, we're always in such a hurry to get somewhere, to get things done, to prove ourselves.  Have you ever stopped to think where you're really headed? Where are you going so fast?  Are you going toward something or are you trying to get away from something?  If you’re trying to get away from something, do you know what you’re going toward?  Are you just going toward more of ...
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Thoughts and emotions are clouds

On your next walk, think of your thoughts and emotions as little puffy clouds in the sky.  The vast open blueness of the sky is you, your essence, your True Self.  Endless.  As a thought or feeling comes up, put its name on a cloud and watch the cloud float away.  No judgments.  The thoughts and feelings aren’t good or bad.  They just are.  They’re not permanent.  They aren’t who ...
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The life of a dog

Have you noticed how dogs have to check out every bush and blade of grass as they pass it?  Smelling it, checking it out, peeing on it to give the next dog something to check out?  Do you think they’re thinking about all the tasks and chores they have to do once they get home from their walk?  Do you think they’re focused on how fast they’re walking and how ...
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Getting away

If you could go anywhere in the world and money wasn’t an option, where would you go?  No limits.  Why do you want to go there?  To reconnect with friends, family, country of origin?  To experience something different?  To learn something?  What?  What would you see there?  What do the buildings look like?  What are they made of?  What’s happening inside those buildings?  Who is in the buildings?  What does ...
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How does the weather affect you?

On your next walk, think about the weather and how it affects your perceptions of things.  Are you sunny on a sunny day and gloomy on a cloudy day?  Or do you make the choice to feel sunny on any day?  How do the things around you look today as you notice what the weather is like?  How does the weather affect others and how they interact with you?  Do ...
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