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            • January 16, 2019 How to be Happy
              How to be Happy

              One Hundred Words by J.D. Roth

              Self-care comes first: nurture your mind, body, and spirit.
              Be optimistic.
              Choose happiness.
              Don’t take things personally, and don’t make assumptions.
              Be good to people.
              Foster friendships.
              Be vulnerable and love passionately.
              Trust others.
              Trust yourself.
              Always do your best, but embrace the imperfections.
              Refuse to let fear guide your decision-making process.
              Act, even when you’re afraid.
              Ask for what you want.
              Collect opportunities, and create your own luck.
              Try new things, and keep an open mind.
              Be present in the moment.
              Share without reservation.
              Do what you love — do it often.
              Cultivate gratitude and joy.
              Try new things, and keep an open mind.
              Be present in the moment.
              Share without reservation.
              Do what you love — do it often.
              Cultivate gratitude and joy.

            • January 09, 2019 Back in the Swing
              Back in the Swing

              Hi friends...I'm working on getting my groove back after a sensational break from technology and the internet for 10 days...I heard a lot of meaningful Rumi quotes at the meditation retreat and am still digesting the wondrous experience, so here are some of his mystical words and I'm looking forward to reconnecting with you all!

              Enough Words? 

              But that shadow has been serving you!
              What hurts you, blesses you.
              Darkness is your candle.
              Your boundaries are your quest.
              You must have shadow and light source both.
              Listen, and lay your head under the tree of awe.

            • January 03, 2019 Unconscious Storytelling
              Unconscious Storytelling

              Brené Brown is an expert on personal growth and a huge source of comfort to us. Check out this enlightening excerpt from her book, Rising Strong.

              "Storytelling helps us all impose order on chaos—including emotional chaos. When we're in pain, we create a narrative to help us make sense of it. This story doesn't have to be based on any real information. One dismissive glance from a coworker can instantly turn into I knew she didn't like me

              Our stories are also about self-protection. That's what human beings tend to do: When we're under threat, we run. If we feel exposed or hurt, we find someone to blame, or blame ourselves before anyone else can, or pretend we don't care.

              But this unconscious storytelling leaves us stuck. We keep tripping over the same issues, and after we fall, we find it hard to get back up again. But in my research on shame and vulnerability, I've also learned a lot about resilience. For my book Rising Strong, I spent time with many amazing people—from Fortune 500 leaders to long-married couples—who are skilled at recovering from setbacks, and they have one common characteristic: They can recognize their own confabulations and challenge them. The good news is that we can rewrite these stories. We just have to be brave enough to reckon with our deepest emotions.

              In navigation, dead reckoning is how you calculate your location. It involved knowing where you've been and how you got there—speed, route, wind conditions. It's the same with life: We can't chart a new course until we find out where we are, how we came to that point and where we want to go. Reckon comes from the Old English recenian, meaning "to narrate." When you reckon with emotion, you can change your narrative. You have to acknowledge your feelings and get curious about the story behind them. Then you can challenge those confabulations and get to the truth.

              I'll walk you through it. The next time you're in a situation that pushes your buttons—from a breakup to a setback at work—and you're overwhelmed by anger, disappointment or embarrassment, try this practice.

              Engage with your feelings.
              Your body may offer the first clue that you're having an emotional reaction: for instance, your boss assigns the project you wanted to a colleague, and your face begins to feel hot. Or your response may involve racing thoughts or replaying the event in slow motion. You don't need to know exactly where the feelings are coming from: you just have to acknowledge them.

              My stomach is in knots.
              I want to punch a wall.
              I need Oreos. Lots of them.

              Get curious about the story behind the feelings.
              Now you're going to ask yourself a few questions. Again, it's not necessary to answer them right off the bat.

              Why am I being so hard on everyone?
              What happened right before this Oreo craving set in?
              I'm obsessing over what my sister said. Why?

              This step can be surprisingly difficult. You're furious because Todd got the project, but it may feel easier to steamroll over your anger with contempt: Todd's a brownnoser. This company's a joke. Getting curious about your feelings may lead to some discoveries: What if you're more hurt than you realized? Or what if your attitude could have played a part? But pushing through discomfort is how we get to the truth.

              Write it down.
              The most effective way to become truly aware of our stories is to write them down, so get your thoughts on paper. Nothing fancy—you can just finish these sentences:

              The story I'm making up...
              My emotions...
              My thinking...
              My body...
              My beliefs...
              My actions...

              For instance, you might write, I'm so peeved. I feel like I'm having a heatstroke. She thinks I'm incapable. I want to hurl a stapler.

              You can be mad, self-righteous, confused. A story driven by emotion and self-protection probably doesn't involve accuracy, logic or civility. If your story contains those things, it's likely that you're not being fully honest.

              Get ready to rumble.
              It's time to poke and prod at your findings, exploring the ins and outs. The first questions may be the simplest:

              1. What are the facts, and what are my assumptions?

              I really don't know why my boss picked Todd. And I didn't tell her I was interested in the project—I figured she knew.

              2. What do I need to know about the others involved?

              Maybe Todd has some special skill or she has me in mind for something else.

              Now we get to the more difficult questions:

              3. What am I really feeling? What part did I play?

              I feel so worthless. I'm failing in my career. And I don't want to ask for anything because someone might say no.

              You may learn that you've been masking shame with cynicism, or that being vulnerable and asking for what you want is preferable to stewing in resentment. These truths may be uncomfortable, but they can be the basis of meaningful change.

              Figuring out your own story could take 20 minutes or 20 years. And you may not make one big transformation; maybe it's a series of incremental changes. You just have to feel your way through.

              If you're thinking this sounds too hard, I get it. The reckoning can feel dangerous because you're confronting yourself—the fear, aggression, shame and blame. Facing our stories takes courage. But owning our stories is the only way we get to write a brave new ending."

            • December 31, 2018 Twenty Nineteen
              Twenty Nineteen

              Happy New Year friends! Here's a heartwarming poem to start your 2019 right...

              The Journey by Mary Oliver

              One day you finally knew
              what you had to do, and began,
              though the voices around you
              kept shouting
              their bad advice --
              though the whole house
              began to tremble
              and you felt the old tug
              at your ankles.
              "Mend my life!"
              each voice cried.
              But you didn't stop.
              You knew what you had to do,
              though the wind pried
              with its stiff fingers
              at the very foundations,
              though their melancholy
              was terrible.
              It was already late
              enough, and a wild night,
              and the road full of fallen
              branches and stones.
              But little by little,
              as you left their voice behind,
              the stars began to burn
              through the sheets of clouds,
              and there was a new voice
              which you slowly
              recognized as your own,
              that kept you company
              as you strode deeper and deeper
              into the world,
              determined to do
              the only thing you could do --
              determined to save
              the only life that you could save.