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Best of Our Blogs: April 25, 2017

Have you ever untangled a necklace or earbud cord?

It's incredibly frustrating.

As I unravel the cord or attempt to take apart a twisted chain, I feel a surprising amount of resistance. Here are the voices that flood my thoughts:

"There are a million things I need to do."

"Why can't this one thing be easy?"

"I wish this would go faster."

By the time I'm done, I want to quit, throw the thing away or in such a mood I couldn't care less that it's done.

Rushing through worsens the situation. Negative thoughts or in other words NUTS and ANTS (read our top post to see what I mean) adds suffering to my experience.

I'm reminded that it was never about the external things anyway. The obstacles you encounter are simply representations of what's going on inside.

See if you can use the challenges in your life as opportunities to stretch yourself by practicing mindfulness, and learning patience or acceptance on a smaller scale.
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Best of Our Blogs: April 21, 2017

In a few days it will be Earth Day. Will you spend it raising environmental awareness, reducing your carbon footprint or perhaps planting a tree?

Whatever your beliefs about the planet, no one could argue its importance to our health.

There is another thing you can do. Connecting with nature nourishes us on a cellular level. Spend time hiking, go to a park, walk barefoot in the soil and enjoy our posts on relationships, and apps for depression that will also help you breathe better this weekend.
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Best of Our Blogs: April 18, 2017

What if you approached your life as a class?

What if every situation was an opportunity to exercise patience, compassion or self-acceptance?

I experimented with this today as I was running late for a doctor's appointment. Instead of the goal of trying to get their on time, I focused on being mindful. Instead of worrying about how I would juggle the appointment and my son, I worked on accepting whatever moment presented itself.

It was still hard to manage a tired toddler, but it was also easier than I expected. Without being attached the outcome, I was free of unnecessary disappointment and frustration.

This week, you can also learn to see your current challenges as opportunities. Is there a way you can rethink your life as a way to broaden your worldview and learn something new about yourself? Our posts on why you're always too busy to relax, and what your emotions can teach you will help answer that.
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Best of Our Blogs: April 14, 2017

I've been reading a ton about wellness these days. There's a lot of articles on what exercises and food can help improve our physical body and emotional state. But what does wellness actually look like to you?

Is it a day when you don't feel pain or have the ability to cope with it better?

Is wellness about how well your body feels or is it a feeling of emotional well-being as well?

Is well-being about your ability to take care of others or is it about living without constantly worry about your health?

Does wellness simply mean being free of illness?

To get to where you want to go, you need a wellness map. Envision what you want that's realistic and right for you, and then dream up the steps that will get you there.

This week, we delve into narcissism, and what happens when the sun sets in Alzheimer's disease. Can you use the information to help you drawn out what you would like to see in your own world of wellness.
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Best of Our Blogs: April 11, 2017

Have you ever been surprised by the level of emotion you felt from a seemingly benign situation?

Maybe you caught yourself overreacting to someone cutting you off in traffic or you bit your partner's head off for forgetting to take out the trash.

When things simmer, you're embarrassed, surprised and apologetic for your reaction.

We're usually triggered because something deeper is bothering us. That's why we're shocked by the outcry. Maybe we've bottled up our own feelings for awhile now and instead of expressing or dealing with it, we've been stuffing it down. A wrong word or misunderstanding can bump up against a wound we haven't yet healed.

Letting things cool and reflecting on the experience can give us insight into why we said what we did and can alert us to the areas in our life that need our attention.

This week, our posts provide closure for past mistakes, help if your issues with control is getting out of control and concrete advice on how to implement more positive change in your life.
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Best of Our Blogs: April 7, 2017

I'm late on this, but I just started reading Gretchen Rubin's The Happiness Project. She also blogs here so check out her posts.

It inspired me to think up different areas of my life that could use a little spring cleaning. Here is the list of things I would work on to create my own happiness project.

No smart phone use during meal times with friends and family.
When making decisions, trust my inner voice.
Meditate even if it's for five minutes.
When someone says something, actually listen.
Be in bed by 10:00 pm.
Spend an hour weekly doing something just for fun.
Do not immediately clean something.
Make eye contact with loved ones.
Commit to spending time in nature once a week.
Do not respond to any text, email or social media update, until I have the time to reflect on it and respond thoughtfully.

What would be on your list?

If it's developing healthier habits, working on your emotional wellness or learning how to cope with betrayal, you'll want to read our top posts this week.
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Best of Our Blogs: April 4, 2017

It amazes me how easy we're triggered these days. And yet, it makes sense. We were raised to bury our real emotions, to stuff it way down deep so others won't be uncomfortable. However, when there isn't a healthy outlet to express what we truly feel, we explode. Many of us are walking time bombs with unhealed wounds, ready to attack if someone says something the wrong way.

True connection and intimacy, however, requires vulnerability and discomfort. It doesn't have to mean being rude, mean or hurtful. It requires us to be self-aware and responsible with our feelings. It requires curiosity and the ability to reflect instead of immediately react.

More than ever, we need to step back, own our own stuff and work together to draw meaning, understanding and compassion in a situation even if we don't completely agree.

This week, use our posts on rumination, self-reflection and narcissism to think about the way you see the world. It's not just about protecting our hearts, or defending our point of view. As you read, the lesson is in understanding ourselves better so we can interact with others in a deeper, more understanding way.
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Best of Our Blogs: March 28, 2017

I just spent thirty minutes trying to teach my son how to say, "please" and "thank you." It's ironic when signs of disrespect and impoliteness reigns over courtesy and kindness these days.

It's much easier to be rude than civil. It's much easier to ignore race, discrimination and even illness than to openly communicate about it.

I think we're trying to get our bearings as a country. We're done with being pc. But we don't yet no how to communicate in an open, curious way that invites conversation and not judgment.

Since we don't have the privilege of waiting for the world to change, we need to work on what we can change-ourselves.

The theme this week is the impact of childhood on our current lives. Scapegoating and other symptoms of dysfunctional families can raise narcissistic, unhappy and disrespectful adults. These posts will prevent your difficult past from interfering with your life.
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Best of Our Blogs: March 24, 2017

A newish friend and I both shared something vulnerable. We were both struggling with something. Both of us wanting the thing to be different from what it was. There we were sitting in our misery.

It's the test of every relationship with others and our selves. Can we sit with what's painful, hard and uncomfortable and accept it without trying to change it?

Can we let our child cry in sadness without trying to cheer him or her up?

Can we hear our friend suffering and not tell them, "It's fine. Just look on the bright side?"

Can we allow our own pain to unfurl and make us raw and vulnerable without having to stuff it with food and wine?

If you struggle with allowing yourself or others feel how they really feel, you may be suffering from people-pleasing and co-dependency. If so, keep reading. We have the perfect posts for you this week.
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Best of Our Blogs: March 21, 2017

This time of year, many are preparing for spring break. Vacations are a much needed resolve from the day to day hustle and bustle. But gone are the days when you had a mandatory week off. What do you do if you're not going anywhere, but need a break from your life?

Schedule in a day to pamper yourself or go on a staycation. Make a date with a friend you haven't seen in awhile. Finally begin your commitment to meditate or take a class in something you've always been interested in.

R and R doesn't always require a trip somewhere. Sometimes all you need is a fresh set of eyes and the openness to see your life in a new way. Our posts this week on raising emotionally resilient kids and dealing with perfectionism might just help you do that.
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Best of Our Blogs: March 17, 2017

If you celebrate it, Happy St. Patrick's Day! The spring weather also sparks a desire for some spring cleaning. But if getting out a broom and duster doesn't sound appealing, there are ways to clean up the toxic, dusty and cluttered parts in your emotional life as well.

This may mean addressing your inability to express your feelings with your partner, identifying and dealing with a narcissist and determining whether your inability to get rid of things is really a sign of hoarding.

Happy Spring Cleaning!

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