On most days, I try to live healthy. Healthy for me means a combination of whole foods (none of that processed stuff), vitamins, walking, some kind of meditative exercise (yoga, tai chi, meditation), getting as much sleep as I can and trying to make myself smile for at least 40-50% of the day.

This is a very different picture then where I was ten years ago. My main focus at that time was looking good instead of feeling good. I worked out 6-7 days a week. I highlighted my hair, went out in the sun to get a “summer glow,” and slept at weird times. My eating habits were not the best either. But perhaps the biggest change is that I used to ignore how I really felt and forced myself to do what I thought was “right.” I exercised when I was tired. I took jobs I didn’t really want to do. On the outside, it may have looked like I was living a healthy life.

But today, I’m living a whole new story.

While I take my health seriously because I know that if I don’t I’ll end up like the baby who cries every night in the room above mine. (Neglect yourself and your inner child will rebel.) But I also believe that forcing yourself to fit into a mold, whatever that may be, is not healthy either.

I try to stick with this plan of health. If I have an off day, however, and I eat a cookie or I am too lazy to meditate, it’s not the end of the world. Life isn’t meant to be rigid. I read somewhere that you should be like a tree-flexible like its leaves, but stable in its roots. Good words to live by, don’t you think? I also think it’s a great way to introduce our top posts on weight loss, compassion and stress-reduction.

God and My Weight Loss

(Therapy Soup) – There’s a different way to look at losing weight. Maybe it’s not about the right diet or even the right foods. Maybe it’s about you. A great post to get you to stop dieting and start thinking about why you do what you do.

Easy Steps to Day-to-Day Stress Reduction

(Adventures in Positive Psychology) – Got stress? We all do. That’s why this is a great post to pin up on your wall and keep as your go-to list to help you stay positive the next time stress hits.

Practice, Practice, Practice

(The Creative Mind) – A mind changing post on the importance of practice in creativity and art. Being at the top of your game has more to do with hard work, practice and growth than talent or even making a living. Read what a few top creatives say about the importance of practice and perseverance.

Mental Influenza: Borderline Personality Disorder with Acceptance and Mindfulness

(Therapy Unplugged) – A first-hand account of what it’s like dealing with borderline personality disorder and a few helpful tips on what to do when you’re feeling your worst.

A Treatment Plan in Equine Therapy?

(Equine Therapy) – Can you create a treatment plan with a horse? It’s not only possible, but there are surprising similarities in treatment when it comes to the relationship between a therapist and a client and a therapist and a horse.