Best of Our Blogs Articles

Best of Our Blogs: October 10, 2014

Friday, October 10th, 2014

I bet what your struggling with isn’t your greatest challenge. It’s learning how to accept the situation for what it is.

It is a simple concept, but an excruciatingly difficult one to practice.

Within each of us is an ideal perspective of how life should be. We have a vision of the way our parents should treat us, how our boss/employees/co-workers should act, or the attitudes and behaviors our kids should exhibit. But life isn’t that way. We are the directors of our own life story, but have no control over others.

This can leave us miserable, powerless and resentful or it can teach us how to surrender and grow in the knowledge that while we cannot control everything, we have the power to control ourselves.

For example, maybe the reason why your friend’s insensitive or compulsive behavior is triggering you is that it’s shedding light on your own issues. This week instead of focusing your energy outward, these posts will teach you how to accept, be more mindful and cultivate greater peace within yourself.

{Photo from here.}

{Photo from here.}

Best of Our Blogs: October 7, 2014

Tuesday, October 7th, 2014

Wish you had more time in the day to do everything? It may not be your time that needs managing, but your energy.

We’re all buzzing around doing and accomplishing. In fact, sharing all the things you have to do is accepted, validated and even envied by others. The desire to fill time with “stuff” and not necessarily important stuff is a symptom of dis-ease within ourselves.

In The Power of Now, Eckhart Tolle says, “Many illnesses are created through fighting against the cycles of low energy, which are vital for regeneration. The compulsion to do, and the tendency to derive your sense of self-worth and identity from external factors such as achievement, is an inevitable illusion as long as you are identified with the mind.”

Maybe you don’t need a better planner, organizing system or time management program. Maybe what you really need is to stop thinking of things to do to fill your time. Instead refocus your energy on what really matters. Stillness. Quiet. Peace. Let our posts on happiness, stillness and transformation this week start you on the right path.

{Photo from here.}

{Photo from here.}

Best of Our Blogs: October 3, 2014

Friday, October 3rd, 2014

Sorry this post is late. Our family is recovering from the flu so it’s taken me longer to return to my laptop.

Like anything challenging in life, it reminded me of an important thing. Illness is a great teacher. Priorities shift. Appointments need to be cancelled. Assignments, tasks, to-dos are put on hold. Rest is the only thing you can do. While your mind may stay stuck in what you should be doing, your body only desires one thing. Healing.

This weekend while you’re getting ready for the start of the holiday seasons, preparing for your kid’s fall break or getting over an illness yourself, it’s imperative that we remember that now. Before life sweeps you up into tasks that appear to be more necessary than they are, take the time to take care of yourself.

Whether this means 5-minutes of quiet time, a walk outside to enjoy the change in seasons or being grateful for your present health, give yourself time this weekend to unwind, rest and indulge in this moment. Do it even if your mind says you are wasting time and should be doing something else. Do it because you won’t ever have enough time, money or perfect circumstance to do it later. Do it without the interruptions of your phone, computer or TV, so you can thoroughly enjoy your weekend!

{photo from here.}

{photo from here.}

Best of Our Blogs: September 30, 2014

Tuesday, September 30th, 2014

Every difficult person, the rude cashier, the ungrateful relative, and the draining friend could be excuses for your bad day, maybe even an unhappy life. But they could also be like the sound of your fan blowing in the background-simply white noise.

What you choose to zoom in on and what you relinquish your power to is an indication of what needs healing in your life.

When petty matters cause huge flair ups threatening your stability, and mental health, it’s time to refocus your energy within.

Since life will always be chaotic, difficult and upsetting at times, the key is to cultivate a sense of inner peace. As you’ll read in our posts this week, this may mean embracing whatever you’re feeling or challenge you’re currently going through, or it could mean making a positive change by adopting a new mindset.

{Photo from here.}

{Photo from here.}

Best of Our Blogs: September 26, 2014

Friday, September 26th, 2014

When we are confused, we want answers.

When we are lost, we so want to be found.

When we are lonely, we want to fill our moments with the chatter of anything, the television, the internet, with others.

When we feel empty, we want to fill the holes in our selves with food, alcohol, drugs, drama, etc.

When we are ill, we spend all our energies on wishing we felt better.

It’s difficult to sit in discomfort. It’s hard to accept the reality of what is. But while things generally resolves itself if we let it, it takes time.

“Care of the soul is not a project of self-improvement nor a way of being released from the troubles and pains of human existence. It is not at all concerned with living properly or with emotional health. There are the concerns of temporal, heroic, Promethean life…We care for the soul solely by honoring its expressions, by giving it time and opportunity to reveal itself, and by living life in a way that fosters the depth, interiority, and quality in which it flourishes.” – Thomas Moore, Care of the Soul

As Moore eloquently writes, by not judging our paths or focusing on the means to an end, we give ourselves the time, space and ability to let things unfold. And that’s where healing, growth and nourishing the soul takes place. It’s not in trying to cure or solve or fix, but in acceptance, forgiveness and realizing that whatever you’re feeling is right for the moment you’re in. It’s about letting things be.

Reading our posts this week may not fix what’s ailing you. It may not relieve you of your suffering. It may only temporarily minimize your discomfort. But through reading the experiences of our bloggers in the midst of their own struggles, perhaps you’ll remember that there is hope, support and purpose in the most difficult of moments.

{Photo from here.}

{Photo from here.}

Best of Our Blogs: September 23, 2014

Tuesday, September 23rd, 2014

I started the day with a deluge of problems, worries, and criticisms leftover from the weekend.

It’s the things I said I shouldn’t have said, the errors I made I wished I didn’t make, and future events I’m anticipating that hasn’t happened yet.

It’s all those and more. And it’s just the start of the week.

If I’m not careful, ruminating over the past and worrying about the future could waste away my present.

What I’ve learned through experience and in this week’s posts is that healthy distraction, gratitude and paying full attention to the present moment can act as a dam, blocking unwanted chaos and suffering from overtaking my life.

If you need motivation to persevere through a difficult time or just want to divert your attention away from your own inner struggles, keep reading. It’s amazing that no matter what I’m going through, our posts always seem to come at the right time, delivering exactly what I need when I need it.

{Photo from here.}

{Photo from here.}

Best of Our Blogs: September 19, 2014

Friday, September 19th, 2014

At the heart of every issue lies a painful truth.

It’s the reason why an impersonal comment can devastate you.

It’s why you ruminate over a conversation you had with a friend.

It explains why you can’t let go of a transgression, are sensitive to any slights and can’t seem to shake off criticism.

Early on you got the message that you’re not a good person and nothing you ever do will be good enough.

Sensitive folks are especially vulnerable to it. Rooted in every external hurt is the internal belief that there is something profoundly wrong with who you are.

It explains why we don’t do the things necessary to care for ourselves. We’re so busy trying to prove we’re worthy that we miss the boat when it comes to truly living our lives.

One way that we worsen our situation is through self-judgment for what we feel or don’t feel. Whether you believe you’re too sensitive or emotionless, our posts this week teach us that to start the process of self-healing we need to embrace what we’re feeling right now.

Eventually, when we learn to find the beauty in all of our emotions, we will realize guilt and shame for how we feel is unnecessary. We’re all good enough and we’re doing the best that we can.

{Photo from here.}

{Photo from here.}

Best of Our Blogs: September 16, 2014

Tuesday, September 16th, 2014

My greatest heartbreak came after the end of a 11 year relationship. She came into my life at the cusp of my youth just as I was beginning to shed my sheltered teen years and discover my true self. There were moments of spoiled, rotted, rebelliousness during that decade, and unlovable, bad behavior. But that’s what made her death even more devastating.

Those who had or have a pet know.

Whether dog, cat, bird, or rabbit, our furry families sometimes are the sole beings in our lives who get us. They ask little, but give so much in return. Through their unconditional love and acceptance, they have the power to change our lives.

On every, “Dear Santa” letter, I asked for her. Seventeen years later, when that tiny black, white and brown menace finally came into our lives, I temporarily doubted my decision. But my inability to initially accept her after years of wishing for a dog wasn’t nearly as surprising as the huge impact she had on my mom. One evening while we were mourning her death she said, “Thank you for bringing her into our lives. She opened my heart again to love.”

Pet owners universally understand the profound impact pets have on our lives. But what we may not be aware of is their potential to teach us. Our top post shares what we can learn from them about mindfulness.

Not a pet lover? You’ll still reap benefit from our other posts. Scroll down to learn how to find more meaning in your life, cultivate a stronger relationship, and be happier.

{Photo from here.}

{Photo from here.}

Best of Our Blogs: September 12, 2014

Friday, September 12th, 2014

You might have felt it-a slight stir in the weather, the change in decor at stores, the waft of pumpkin, cinnamon and nutmeg at the coffee shop. We’re on the verge of a season change. But before you get swallowed up by all of the holidays that come with it, I hope you’ll take time to pause, reflect and nourish yourself.

If you’re on the verge of changing with the seasons, whether it be a new exercise, challenging task, or a different outlook on life, breathe in these wise words from Oprah Winfrey.

“The best way I know for sure to stay in steady makeover mode is to take care of yourself. To feed yourself with love and loving thoughts. To eat food that’s delicious to you and to your body. To engage in loving practices, like giving yourself the gift of stillness at least five minutes a day. To surround yourself with people who bring you light, and to banish all forms of negative energy.

Moving forward, you will see that the value you give yourself is the value the world reflects back to you. When you care about yourself enough to embrace change, you’re on the path that will lead you home to happiness.”

{Photo from here.}

{Photo from here.}

Best of Our Blogs: September 9, 2014

Tuesday, September 9th, 2014

This week is National Suicide Prevention Week.

It’s hard not to think about my grandfather who suffered severe depression or the countless clients I had from teens to older adults who came to see me, some so distraught they wanted to harm themselves. It’s reminder about my own bouts with depression. It’s made me appreciative of everyone experiencing the downward spiral of hopelessness who believe the only answer is suicide.

If that sounds like you or someone you know, I hope that you will stop reading this and get help. The one thing I wish I knew back when I was in the thick of it was that depression is like a tremendous wave. It’s scary, ominous and you’re certain you’ll drown in it. But if you lift your head high enough, you will overcome it. If you ride it out, the view on the other side is unbelievably amazing. In fact, my life is more meaningful because I was able to overcome it. You couldn’t tell me then. But through the support of loved ones, I got through it.

Several weeks ago, I shared a conversation with Before Happiness author Shawn Achor and Oprah on Super Soul Sunday. He also said, “I have my journal and the very first entry I wrote was, ‘I don’t remember being happy and I don’t think I’ll ever be again.’ It sounds so melodramatic now, but that’s how I felt. I wish I could go back to the boy who wrote that journal entry and anyone who’s experiencing depression. I wish I could show them a glimpse that that was not the end of the story.” Achor’s life changed dramatically for the better. And yours can too. Here are a few tips for dealing with depression, our depression screening test and there’s even a free new app that can help you identify whether you’re suffering from depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder and PTSD.

If you’re not in severe distress or feeling depressed, but just need a life-enhancing boost, our post on inspirational quotes is worth the read. This week, you’ll also be surprised by what we learned about video games, why some women seek affairs and the tortured artist. Lastly, please read our blogger’s heartbreaking tribute to her friend she recently loss to suicide.

{Photo from here.}

{Photo from here.}

Best of Our Blogs: September 5, 2014

Friday, September 5th, 2014

“We have a spiritual longing for community and relatedness and for a cosmic vision, but we go after them with literal hardware instead of with sensitivity of the heart. We want to know all about peoples from far away places, but we don’t want to feel emotionally connected to them.

We are showered with information about living healthfully, but we have largely lost our sense of the body’s wisdom. We can tune in to news reports and know what is happening in every corner of the world, but we don’t seem to have much wisdom in dealing with these world problems. We have many demanding academic programs in professional psychology, and states often have rigid requirements for the practice of psychotherapy, and yet there is undoubtedly a severe dearth of wisdom about the mysteries of the soul.” – Thomas Moore, Care of the Soul

If you’ve ever wondered where all your time went,

if your days are impossibly full,

if you wish you had more than 24 hours in a day,

I beg you to consider whether you’re doing what’s necessary to nourish your soul.

As Moore says in the quote above, we often inundate ourselves with information about the world. We seek answers through pills. We seek connection through technology. We distract ourselves from our own problems with the problems of the world.

Temporarily, it fills us. Long-term we grow further and more distant from our inner wisdom. Eventually, we don’t even recognize our own selves.

Instead of escaping your problems by immediate remedies and the promise of instantaneous relief, I hope this week’s post will inspire you to listen to your body’s wisdom and take your precious time to reveal what you need most right now to soothe what hurts, repair old wounds and to take care of yourself.

{Photo from here.}

{Photo from here.}

Best of Our Blogs: September 2, 2014

Tuesday, September 2nd, 2014

It’s not enough that we’re here, we’re alive, we’re together reading this.

We need to be conscious parents so we can create responsible, compassionate, confident, yet humble, emotionally intelligent and bright human beings.

We should be mindful of our actions, successful at work, dependable, creative, and unique yet socially adept.

We need to be flexible enough to lean into everything.

We need to prioritize our relationships, work hard so we can retire early and be available for our kids and our jobs 24/7.

If we had enough time to catch our breath, we’d realize this list is laughable because it’s brimming with unreachable expectations. In a word, impossible. But since we’re too busy trying to keep up with everyone else, we keep at it. We dismiss the importance of resting and enjoying life. Instead we exhaust ourselves to achieve, people-please, and do everything perfectly.

As you read this week’s list of posts on how to have a more positive attitude, why kids need time to play, on the detriments of a lack of sleep and the pros and cons of psychotropic meds, I hope you’ll remember that the key isn’t to do all things perfectly. What’s most important is to educate yourself and then make choices that are right for you and your family.

{Photo from here.}

{Photo from here.}

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