Living in an Atmosphere of Growth

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If I had to describe my journey in two parts I would say the first part was the physical recovery and the second was mental recovery. That’s lumping a lot of areas together, but in the end that is what I was doing. One thing truly did lead to another. I would begin a course, or hear a talk on subject I was interested in and it would inevitably send me off in another direction of personal growth. Gretchen Rubin calls this “living in an atmosphere of growth.” It would have been nice had I decided to one day just start working on all these areas in my life instead of having something so devastating happen to me, but that is not my story. And I think it’s true for many people. Unfortunately it usually takes some horrific event to awaken us to how we should or could be living. To people I’m meeting for the first time, I can seem extreme. This is partially my Upholder personality, which has always been there, it was just focused on other things instead of growth. Like I’ve said in earlier posts, I live this way because it was a WAY OUT of how I was feeling. And I never want to feel that way again. So when someone says to me “don’t you miss cookies” , the answer is always no. My “why” is crystal clear and keeps me moving forward.

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I say all this because the next step in my wellness journey was a class I stumbled upon given by Elisha Goldstein. It was an online Mindful Living Course that I did over four or five days. I’m going to share some of my revelations I unearthed while taking this class. You can find out more about Elisha here.

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Did you know our brains are wired to survive, not to be happy? Our brain fears the unknown so when we try to make changes our brains start to object. It’s a survival instinct. When we relax, we calm the nervous system. This jumped out at me because if there was anything I needed to do it was to relax my nervous system! According to Elisha, the benefits of relaxation are the following:

Less Worry
Slows Heart Rate
Boosts Memory
Better Decision Making
Less Stress Eating
Protects Mental Health
Protects Your Brain

All super important. Why would I not want all of those benefits? Sign me up! One of tips he suggests, which I have used in my own life are recognizing when you tense up. What people or time of day does this happen? When it happens, we should breathe and stretch to relax. On my Insight Time app, there are many 1 minute meditations for exactly this purpose. If you are bracing you need an antidote!

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Another tip was to practice single tasking. I’ve posted before about the fact that there is no such thing as multi-tasking, you are just doing two or more tasks more poorly than you would have doing one at a time. The biggest change in single tasking for me came with my walks. A couple times a week, I walk at our local nature preserve. I’m so fortunate to have this beautiful piece of nature in my neighborhood. When I walk, I do nothing else. I don’t listen to anything. No audio books, no podcasts, no music. I love all three of those things, but my focus is on the world around me. I do some GREAT thinking during these walks. Decisions get made because my brain can relax and wander. My decision to write a book, start a blog, take a part time job all came out of these walks.

This week think if you find yourself “bracing” and what you can do when that happens. Try relaxing by breathing, meditating or stretching. Also, try single-tasking. See if it makes a difference. It did for me! I can’t wait to hear your comments! Thanks for being here!

Follow Your North Star

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I wanted to take a minute this week to talk about commitment. Elisha Goldstein wrapped up his Mindful Living Course discussing commitment, so I thought I’d share my thoughts on the subject too. I’ve talked here before about how I was a bit “adrift” in my life. Things happen to me more often than I had planned for things to happen. I didn’t know any better. I cannot emphasize enough how having direction, goals and knowing where you are headed changes your life so drastically. I am making things happen for myself now. Like Dorothy, I had the power all along but just didn’t realize it. Manifestation is REAL. I see it working in my life everyday.

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The difference is having intention and commitment to what it is that I actually want with daily reminders. My reminders come in all forms. Some days, it’s in my yoga class. My very favorite instructor, who is like my guru, will say just the right thing on the right day. I swear, he can read my mind, and body for that matter. He knows exactly what I need to hear and what I need to physically do! I’m sure I’m not the only one in the class that feels that way, but that’s the magic of a brilliant instructor.

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Another reminder is good old post it notes! These are great to write your intentions on and post on the dashboard of your car, your bathroom mirror or on the refrigerator. Wherever it will be seen!

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Of course, another way to be reminded of where you are headed is a vision board. I keep mine in my bedroom as a constant reminder. I love it. I’ve actually used mine for two years straight, as my goals remained the same, but the week I’m writing this I’m having a vision board party to make a new board with my friends! I used Sarah Centrella’s book #futureboards as a guide this time and I’m SO glad I did. She made me think really big. Way bigger than I would have done on my own. And this will not be a board for just the coming year. It’s my vision for the next 10, 20 or 30 years! I can’t wait to put it all together. If you want to know more about the #futureboards book or Sarah Centrella click here

Have you found your North Star? Do you have reminders in place to keep you committed to your mission? Try one or two of the following:

Write your intentions on post-it notes in your car, bathroom mirror or refrigerator

Have a yoga or other meditation practice to keep you mindful and intentional

Make a vision board

I can’t wait to hear your comments! Thanks for being here!