I know you read "happy place" and began picturing that spot you love. For me it's a warm sunny place lined with miles of white sandy beach. Every so often a light refreshing breeze wisps by and my favorite adult beverage is in hand. While this may be a happy place you can travel to let's explore a happy place you can experience daily.
If you are like millions of people you grind out your workweek day after day unfulfilled. Perhaps you have a job, maybe it's even a good job, but it lacks purpose and meaning. Even worse some of you reading this probably have a dunce for a supervisor...more
We all know stress is bad for us. Stress can be physical, emotional or mental, and frequently our bodies deal with more than one type of stress at a time. The danger of living with stress is that you don’t see the damage it’s doing to your body. The aches, the pain, or just plain feeling badly can become your new normal. Its immediate effects on the body range from rapid, shallow breathing, clinching of the jaw, headaches, insomnia, stomachaches, irritability, and tension in the body (usually the upper shoulders and neck).
It's a big world brimming full of people with varying hobbies and interests. With a quick Internet search, I discovered a site that listed three hundred and eight different hobbies. Three hundred and eight! Everything from amateur radio to pigeon racing to woodworking to Zumba. Pigeon racing? Really?
People need people. I get it, and what a joy to be gathered around a common cause. Even strange hobbies like pigeon racing can bring people with similar interests together.
For me, and for most business owners, especially those that bootstrap, having the time to engage in hobbies...more
My husband recently started an engineering company, Systematic Engineering. He meets all kinds of interesting people from homeowners to designers and architects to construction company managers.
Last week my husband met a man whose goal was to create a company that would provide for his family long after he was gone. He owns a construction company that specializes in a few niche markets. One such specialty is installing elevators in homes,...more
Many people have this notion that meditation is a spiritual practice; something that you’d want to do if you’re attempting to achieve enlightenment, or to quiet your mind for the ultimate spiritual development. However, in truth meditation increases mindfulness which is mental exercise. In short, training for the mind that is backed by scientific research. Since the idea of meditation hit the mainstream populace, researchers and scientists have been working on facilitating more studies about meditation and how it affects people’s brains.
There are different kinds of meditations,...more
Our fitness community has under-valued and underestimated the importance of stretching and developing flexibility, alongside developing the other 4 facets of fitness. Developing flexibility in our bodies through dedication to stretching each day will produce healthy muscles and joints, keep your body limber, and make you less prone to exercise-induced muscle injuries. There are many ways to utilize flexibility training, but whatever stretches are used, it must be done consistently and diligently to see results. With flexibility comes the ability to bend, and with the ability to bend, your...more
We’ve all heard the age-old adage: “You are what you eat.” – but what does that really mean? To put it simply, the food you consume literally becomes a part of you. What food we ingest gets broken down and utilized on a cellular level, and those broken-down nutrients become the building blocks of organic matter in the body. So, while eating a cookie might not turn you into a cookie, the cookie’s properties do get broken down and absorbed into the body’s blood, muscles, fat, and organs. What kind of foods do you want your body to be made up of?
While food is broken down...more
Before we learn how to use the tools of empathic communication, let’s explore what empathy is. Empathy is the ability to provide understanding through active listening. This simplified definition of empathy can be described as someone having the communication tools to listen to another, while attempting to fully understand the needs and feelings of the person – without reflecting or mirroring their emotions.
Empathy is the root of healthy, clear, and fluid communication between romantic partners, family members, co-workers and even customers and/or clients. Empathy enriches...more
Integrity: Say What You Mean
Do you remember being a teenager and your parents were “cramping your style”. Did you ever say things like “I hate you!” “I’m going to run away!” – If you never went through the phase of disliking your parents I applaud you – but many of us did and we remember just how mean we were back then when we “knew everything.” Even when we were saying those hurtful things, deep down we loved our parents immensely. We were created to love our parents from the moment we were conceived, and that love grows and morphs in various ways as we age. As adults,...more
Fermented Foods: Where the good bacteria live
Actually seeing bacteria with our plain eyesight is impossible to do. Because of this, most of us end up living our whole lives without ever realizing we are being sustained by trillions and trillions of bacteria all around us and inside of us. Even though the thought of living with tiny crawlies we can’t see may be a bit weird, many of them are essential to keeping us alive and to help us thrive. Because we oftentimes don’t realize bacteria are working for us, we can forget how essential they are. Thus we end up unintentionally...more
Don’t be mean; eat your greens!
Ah, Popeye: the spinach-loving Sailor Man. Even after all the references towards building a strong healthy body powered by leafy greens, we still find excuses to keep greens off our plate. Americans have a love/hate relationship with leafy greens. Greens aren’t very tasty by themselves, and it’s easy to feel guilty when we add bacon, eggs, croutons and cheese on top of handful of chopped iceberg lettuce and call it “salad”. The fact of the matter is, if you haven’t learned to like the many different kinds of leafy greens early on in life,...more
Before we introduce the concepts of functional fitness, I want to first point out there is no real wrong way to exercise, or to increase your fitness. We all live different lifestyles that call for different fitness stimulus. While there is no “wrong” way to train, there can be instances in which people are training in such a way that is not right for them. There are a couple of factors to consider when determining if your training regime is right for you.
First, is your program moving you towards your personal goals? If your goal is to get better at rock climbing and all you do is...more
Entering the New Year - Reflect
With the year coming to a close and we face the holidays ahead, it’s easy to forget to reflect on the successes and failures in our lives over the past year. Honestly, the end of each year seems to fly by so quickly, who would have time to sit down and objectify the major events of the past year? The truth is, many self-help authors align with neuroscientists in many ways on this topic. They all strongly encourage people to write down their goals, and to look back and see if those goals were accomplished. They encourage this not as a way to feel like a...more
Entering the New Year – Time to act
In part 1 of this article series, we talked about the importance of reflection and how it plays a part in goal setting. We discussed how we can better identify successes and failures and grow from them if we sit down with our previous goals and reflect on the results. In part two of this article series, we’re going to introduce some simple goal setting techniques that can help you stay on track this next year! New Year’s resolutions may seem “overrated” but I promise, there is more to creating these resolutions than buying a gym...more
Changing the conversation from what we eat to how we eat
Diet is such an important aspect to building health. A clean diet does ultimately lead to increased vitality, vigor and overall well being. However, what if I told you that your clean diet can only take your health up to a limited point? What if I told you that its not what you’re eating, but how you’re eating that could be contributing to lingering problems? Humans have a natural and inherent affinity for food. We have a closely interlinked relationship with what we eat. Yet, so many of us have dealt or are...more
A hug a day keeps the doctor away!
In our western society, technology and urban sprawls have grown so quickly that our hearts and minds can barely keep up. Big cities grow taller and increase in population year after year; our big cities have gotten so dense that creating a small, supportive community in a large city is almost unachievable, especially if you’re the shy type. It can be hard to connect with others when everyone else is stuck in their own personal bubbles. We live in a time where cities have been maxing outpopulation growth, and technology brings us all “together” at...more
Self-love and vanity have always been seen as similar states of being. We’re taught that no one should love themselves “too much” for fear of becoming, or being seen as conceited and vain. While our society supports “loving yourself” we find ourselves lost in the ambiguity of the concept: What kind of love exactly, and to what part of my “self” do I apply that love? So many of us think that loving ourselves, is loving how productive we can be, or the status that we’ve earned either at a job or within the community. In this article, we’re going to explore how different vanity and authentic...more
There are some people who simply LOVE Autumn; Pumpkin-flavored everything, the excitement over holiday planning, and the cooler, but not TOO cool, temperatures bringing out the best of our wardrobes. Fall lovers make it known that “their favorite season” is here, and they revel in the energy that this season gives them! However, there is a group of us, who quietly and secretly, mourn the slow dissipation of Summer. It’s not an overwhelming sensation, most of the time, as we naturally retreat back indoors, reminiscing about beach days and sun-tans. Yet, the depth of experiences we create...more
Maintaining our healthy, long-developed habits are particularly challenging during the holiday season. Not only do our travel itineraries and busy schedules get in the way of our normal diet and fitness routine, but the constraints of family time and their differing lifestyles can take its toll on us as well. I’ve compiled a list of 6 simple tips that have helped me in navigating the holiday season. It’s important to note that once you decide that you will maintain your healthy lifestyle no matter what, we are to be the adaptable ones, rather than expecting others to adapt around our...more
We’re having constant conversations with ourselves everyday. We go back and forth in our minds making decisions, solving problems, and laying out plans. We also pass judgments of ourselves and others, analyze our environment, and form opinions based on these conclusions. From the moment we wake up to the moment we fall asleep, we have an internal dialogue that never stops. More often than not, this internal dialogue is on repeat. We’re not always fully conscious or in control of this feedback loop. Especially when we keep ourselves busy, what is going on in our minds is lost on us. When we...more
The New Year is upon us and winter is officially here! Whether you like the cold or not, there’s a point for everyone when it’s just too darn cold to do anything outside. While we probably feel our best during the summer months, getting out in the cold can have health benefits too. In this article I will talk about a few surprising ways cold weather is actually good for your body, in moderation. In fact, one of the reasons why people get sick is not because it’s cold, but rather because people spend too much time indoors. When it’s cold out, it’s important to fight your sense of comfort,...more
Our breath is the most important and immediate necessity in life. Without the ability to breathe, we would be alive for mere minutes. We can survive 30-40 days without food, two-weeks without water, and 10 days without sleep, but we probably think about those necessities much more than our most urgent and precious breath of life. While we may not put much thought into our breath, taking control of one’s breathing patterns can have a great positive effect on the body, mind, and spirit.
Breath not only keeps us alive, but proper breathing patterns aids in keeping us calm, balanced, and...more
Before we discuss the importance of play and its invaluable relationship to our wellbeing, lets explore what play actually is. Play is a verb and consists of activities performed for self amusement that naturally have behavioral, social, and psychomotor benefits. Play is seen as enjoyable and spontaneous. The best kind of play is one that is unstructured and personalized to your interests and abilities. Play includes any and all activities that stimulate the mind, body, or both simultaneously! We find that young animals and children spend most of their time at play. Scientists have only...more
While most of us are hunkered down in our homes, you probably know by now that millions of people all around the globe are feeling the economic and physical effects of the Coronavirus pandemic. We are feeling isolated and uncertain of the future, but we are not alone in feeling that way. We are being financially impacted by the response to the pandemic, in our attempt to slow it down. These things alone are enough to instill stress, anxiety, worry, confusion, and depression as we are put out of work, lacking social interactions, and feeling cooped up. I want to explore some activities and...more
Most of us are fairly aware of how music sets the mood. We have playlists stacked up for all sorts of occasions. We’ve got a playlist for our gym time, a playlist for a romantic evening, a playlist for the time to party, and even a playlist for breakups. The incredible diversity in music produced all over the globe fulfills our need for variety and the choices are endless. Most of us listen to music for pleasure, to either provide relaxation or to pump us up, but how many of us understand the healing properties of music? Music not only affects our mood, but as our mood is improved, music...more
We’ve all heard that old cliché “Fake it until you make it”. Probably most used in a condescending manner to encourage going through the motions even though your heart has no oomph left. I would guess that many of us who are emotional beings, find it difficult to “fake it until we make it” and that we would rather be authentic in how we feel. However, there is a smidgen of truth to the statement; while we may not have much control over our circumstances or our responsibilities, we do have control over our emotions and feelings. We can, to a degree, fake a smile and produce an improvement...more
Human language and communication is incredibly unique to our species. We have a diverse and complex verbal and non-verbal language system, that can vary drastically with region and culture. Early on, we can see that communicating with one another is inherent and natural. However, for something that comes so easily to humans, we tend to fail with the most basic concept of communication: Listening. Humans religiously choose to listen only enough to form a response. We are rarely eager to listen to someone else unless we’ve spoken our piece first. Unless we’ve been formally taught on the...more
Technology and medical advances have pushed the limits of humanity through amazing discoveries and breakthroughs. American citizens with no training at all now can fly into outer space, for a hefty price tag, of course. We have the ability to remain connected to the entire world without ever leaving our homes. And we have grown dependent on “one day shipping” as we conveniently shop online from our couches. We will continue to see radical advances in technology that improve our lives, however, these changes do have negative consequences as well. One of the negative impacts on a growing...more
The whole world practically revolves around food. No matter what culture or country you are from, there are countless different traditions and holidays where people value the community coming together over a meal. And if we eat, our bodies have to digest what we consume! This process of digestion, when working properly, should go practically unnoticed and be completely painless. However, in the United States, most of us actually experience a wide range and severity of digestive issues. Each year, something like 55-65 million people are diagnosed with some sort of digestive issue....more
Self-help, self-development, self-healing, self-discovery, self, self, self; have I made myself clear? We’re focusing on MYSELF, right now... just kidding. However, we’re not going to focus on YOU either; but rather, we’re going to shine a light on helping others and the effects it has on you. The irony is that there is an incredible thing that happens to us when we choose to serve others, we find deep inner healing and joy, along with generally improved mental and physical health. How about that for some self-help? So, we will inevitably talk about ourselves, but with the intention...more
Relationships are at the epicenter of how we develop, who we are as individuals, and how we relate to society. No one survives completely alone; we all must form relationships to survive – yet not all relationships are created equal. Some relationships are detrimental to our health, while others help us thrive. As foundational to our existence as they are, relationships are incredibly complicated and more often than not, uncomfortable. Now, in this article I will speak to all kinds of relationships: Platonic, professional, familial, romantic, and even relationships that include animals and...more
With the coming new year, we tend to make all kinds of promises to ourselves about the things we will be changing in the coming weeks and months. We’re focused on what our lives look like on the outside, and how we can change our lifestyle to fit the expectations we have for ourselves. As an example, we see this manifest itself in a surge of gym memberships. Attendance begins to wane by February, and by March the majority of new memberships go unused. This seems prevalent in most of the new year’s resolutions we make. While many theories floated around to suggest why this might be the...more
In previous articles, we’ve looked at different kinds of love such as conditional and unconditional love. In this article, we’re going to discuss the relationship between love and justice. Before we do this, let’s remind ourselves the definition of these two words. The oxford dictionary defines Love as this: A noun - “a very strong feeling of liking and caring for somebody/something, especially a member of your family or a friend”. And Justice in the same dictionary is defined as: A noun – “the fair treatment of people”. Already looking at the two definitions of these words, we can see how...more