Feel Your Best Tip: Post Wicked Weather—How to Help Others

Feel Your Best Tip: Post Wicked Weather—How to Help Others

9/13/17 — When Hurricane Harvey hit Houston, one of my best friends, Ashleigh Spruell, had to leave her house (with her daughter and their pets) on a raft and paddle board. They made it down the street and were picked up by good Samaritans in a canoe, which capsized in the rough current shortly thereafter.

Dirty, wet, exhausted, and terrified, Ashleigh & co. scrambled, got back in the boat, and eventually made it to a friend’s house in one piece. Then that house flooded too. Insert dramatic escape 2.0.

When my dear friend finally made it to a safe space, it would have been easy to collapse into self-pity and despair. It would have been understandable too. But instead, she and her fiancé used their connections to find a boat, and they started rescuing others. When that job was done, they volunteered and collected donations.

I am beyond inspired by their resilience and generosity. Their story is one of many tales of heroism in recent weeks. Not only have thousands of people donated their time, many more—from all across the country—have donated money and supplies. As I reflect on our nation’s recent bad weather, what I mostly see is goodness. Care. Kindness. Perseverance. Generosity.

That prompted the following video. To keep this magical momentum going, self-care is of the essence. As the video explains, self-care means more than eating well and getting rest. It’s deeper than that. It starts within our heads—in our thoughts. Mental discipline and maintaining a level of positivity in our minds is the starting point for authentic self-care. As we do this, helping others creatively and powerfully isn’t effort—it’s easy. It is a natural extension of self-compassion.

Ashleigh knows self-care. I have been watching her let go of what’s out of her control, focus on (and celebrate) what she still does have, and in the midst of her mammoth to-do list, take occasional pauses to do things she loves. With this, she continues to show up for others, rebuild, and grow stronger by the day. She inspires me.

FACEBOOK LIVE Guided Meditation: Healing for You, Healing for Houston

FACEBOOK LIVE Guided Meditation: Healing for You, Healing for Houston

8/30/16 — Today I hosted this live mediation to help us come together, find peace of mind, and initiate healing–both in our own hearts, and beyond. I hope this serves you. Click the image below for the Facebook video to open.

Feel Your Best Tip: What Your Breath Says About You

Feel Your Best Tip: What Your Breath Says About You

8/21/17 — As this week’s video explains, the way you breathe can shed light on how you tend to be. I have done the exercise personally and surveyed others. The results are fascinatingly consistent.

Whether the exercise suggests that you are inclined to take on too much, or that you struggle to put yourself out there, connecting with breath can help you become more self-aware and balanced.

Allow me to explain.

Whatever is going on within us shows up in our bodies in one way or another (think of how experts say most of our communication is nonverbal—through expressions, gestures, inflection, etc). This implies a strong connection between emotions/mentality and our bodies. That connection is multidirectional. Changing the way you think about something will change your physicality. In reverse, changing your posture or moving your body in a particular way can shift how you think or feel. Smiling can make you happy.

This is all to say that intentional physical exercises, even ones as seemingly simple as breathing, can initiate changes on a deeper level. The breathing exercise described in the video (and the following meditation) is designed to help you feel more balanced. Leveling out your breath can level out your inner state.

Like all exercises, results are multiplied over time. Do this breathwork regularly to viscerally learn valuable skills around handling challenges with greater ease. Mindful physical discomforts can lead us to grow stronger all-around.

The following meditation will get you started. It’s just four minutes and after one or two listens, start to do the practice on your own. You can even do it in a minute or less!

Feel Your Best Tip: Don’t Take Anything Personally

Feel Your Best Tip: Don’t Take Anything Personally

7/17/17 — Here are some of the ways that I practice this week’s tip (watch the video for WHY this is so important).

This list focuses on how to handle people who are trying to tear you down. People that do not have your best interest at heart.

  1. Give yourself a pat on the back when someone is critical.

Generally speaking, if someone is critical of you, it’s because you have put yourself out there. You have chosen not to be a wallflower. You have stepped up and chosen to be bold. Be proud of that! Everyone that dares to be seen will be criticized. It’s not possible to be genuinely successful while crouching in your comfort zone. So give yourself a pat on the back for being brave. Trust that your vulnerability will be rewarded.

  1. Love yourself.

People being unkind to you provides a golden opportunity for you to be kind to yourself. Instead of jumping on the bandwagon with the haters and getting down on yourself too, recognize the opportunity to practice self-care. This decision alone can be life-changing. So many of our problems stem from a lack of self-love. We hold ourselves back and sabotage our own success in clear and subtle ways. Whether you notice this in yourself or not, use criticism as a reminder that higher levels of success, health, and happiness come from loving and approving of ourselves. Tell yourself you are valuable. Know that. Again, honor yourself for being bold. Criticism can definitely sting, but when it comes up, bring these thoughts and feelings into view as well. Someone can try to take you down, but they actually help raise your potential.

  1. Know it’s not about you.

As the video explains, how we see things actually says more about ourselves than anything else. Consider that the person giving you feedback may be talking about themselves more than you. This might help you to have compassion for the person and let it go.

  1. Recognize a troll.

I read this tip online. It’s particularly useful when feedback is anonymous or through an intermediary (i.e. internet comments or through another person). This kind of feedback, when aggressive, is chickenshit. Anyone with real concerns can address you kindly and directly. Any other way is cowardly and not worth your time. Recognize trolls, wish them well (no need to get worked up!), and move on with your life.

  1. Find a role model.

I have a few friends that are amazing at not taking things personally. They inspire me. Some celebrities seem exceptional at this too. Find a role model and remember how they shake things off.

What’s your strategy? Tell me what you think and share your ideas on Facebook.

Feel Your Best Tip: How to Feel Good

Feel Your Best Tip: How to Feel Good

6/26/17 — Happiness researcher and author Shawn Achor says we can start to rewire our brains, feel happier, and ultimately be more successful if we do the following five things every day, for 21 days in a row (below video).

Gratitude – write three things you’re grateful for; three new things daily

Journal – write about one positive experience daily

Exercise

Meditate

Perform random acts of kindness – reach out and praise one person daily

“Your brain at positive performs significantly better than it does at negative, neutral, or stressed,” he says. “Your intelligence rises, your creativity rises, your energy levels rise.”

Achor says these activities create a “happiness advantage.” In short, he says that when we feel better, we’re more productive, resilient, and adaptable; all outcomes improve when we’re in a good place.

Try it and share what works for you!

Feel Your Best Tip: Change Your Words, Change Your Life

Feel Your Best Tip: Change Your Words, Change Your Life

5/24/16 — One of the hallmarks of a great friend (or therapist), is being a great listener.

These precious souls hear us and through that, help us to hear ourselves. That’s huge. I’ve found that the answers we seek–where we’re going wrong, and what we need to do for our lives to work better–are not actually outside of our awareness. That insight is right there, often tangled up in our heads and words. Sometimes another person can be helpful in extracting it. And we can do it for ourselves too.

At its essence, today’s tip is to practice listening to ourselves. As the video beckons us to consider: what are your words really saying?

Start by noticing how you use common (and revealing) words like: “busy,” “should,” and “just.”

As you become more aware, make adjustments as needed, and continuously, compassionately refine your own internal ear.

In my experience, this leads us to make more positive choices in our words, and more.

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