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Three Essentials for the Intentional Traveler

Three Essentials for the Intentional Traveler

The first week of a brand new year is wrapping up.

For many of us, memories of holidays are still fresh. Perhaps we took time to reflect on our lives and whether or not our actions and results are congruent with our priorities. Transitions — whether they are to a new year, a new phase of life, new job or career, or a new relationship — are powerful times to take stock and determine whether or not a course correction is in order.

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A Sacred Pause

A Sacred Pause

Holidays are an extra-busy time of year. We have rituals, memories, and expectations associated with whatever holidays we celebrate. Too often, that can set us up for stress, disappointment, anxiety, or depression.

At its core, though, a holiday is a "holy day" - a time dedicated and set apart. It is an opportunity to create a sacred pause, and to appreciate and celebrate all that is most important to us.

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Your Multi-Million Mile Check-up

Your Multi-Million Mile Check-up

You've traveled many miles in the last 12 months - 584 million of them, to be specific. As you have been going about the business of your life, you have also been a passenger on planet Earth, and it has covered quite a distance in its annual orbit. It's pretty amazing that we can travel so far on automatic pilot!

Sometimes it can feel like our lives are on automatic pilot too. Unlike Earth, though, we actually have a say in the path that we are following, and how we experience it. The opportunity to chart our own course is often both exhilarating and daunting!

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Bridges to Well-Being

Bridges to Well-Being

During this season of Thanksgiving, we each have the opportunity to count our blessings, and to cultivate gratitude.

There is much that I could write about the health benefits of gratitude, but I will save that for another day.

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Six Keys to Being Well-Seasoned

Six Keys to Being Well-Seasoned

Have you noticed that many of us are sensitive when it comes to growing older? Some of us don't talk about how old we are, and we use politically-correct language when referring to those of us who have more life experience. We hear words like "old" or "elderly" less frequently — and opt for language that is less stigmatizing. One of my favorites is "seasoned"!

This sensitivity most likely boils down to fear. Most of us don't like the thought of aging. It's not that we don't want to grow older chronologically — who doesn't aspire to living to a ripe, old age?

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25 Quotes about Gratitude

25 Quotes about Gratitude

Gratitude has been getting a lot of attention in the world of positive psychology and neuroscience. It turns out that the simple wisdom of counting your blessings has a profound impact on the brain and the body.

Just the act of seeking things for which to be grateful has a positive impact. As we shift our mental energy towards gratitude, it changes the patterns in our brain, stimulating neurotransmitters like serotonin and dopamine and strengthening the neural pathways that will allow us to feel more gratitude in the future.

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21 Quotes about Self-Discovery

21 Quotes about Self-Discovery

It's that time of year. Spring is all around and Life seems to be unfolding at an accelerated pace.Those of us who are students and who have students in our lives are reflecting on what we have been learning and how we have grown.

And really - when you think about it - aren't we ALL students in the University of Life?Below are some of my favorite quotes about the journey of self-discovery. May they inspire us all to continue on our unique paths towards the best version of ourselves!

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Three Ways to Maintain Your Motivation

Three Ways to Maintain Your Motivation

It's the end of the January. The energy of the holidays are long over, and the heady optimism of a new year may be fading. So now is a great time to check in with yourself. Are you still on track?

Whatever dream you envisioned when the calendar page turned - yes, THAT one - does it still seem vivid and possible?

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Three Four-Letter Words that Impact Your Well-Being

Three Four-Letter Words that Impact Your Well-Being

There is no doubt that language is a powerful tool. It can alter perceptions, affect relationships, and determine the limits of what we understand or consider possible. So, it behooves us to pay attention to how we speak - in public, in private, and especially within our own minds.

There are several four-letter words considered off-limits in polite company. Using them in the wrong setting might negatively impact your relationships. So, avoiding those is wise and even admirable.

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20 Quotes About Befriending Yourself

20 Quotes About Befriending Yourself

We live in a culture that often equates our success and value with appearances and achievements. In such a context, we may find ourselves striving for perfection and judging ourselves (and others) harshly when we fall short. Our self-esteem becomes dependent on impossible standards and we may feel shame that we are "not enough". Even when we realize that relating to ourselves this way is toxic, such patterns can be hard to break. How can we develop new attitudes and habits that honor and nurture our best selves?

In her TED talk exploring differences between self-esteem and self-compassion, Dr. Kristin Neff shares three key approaches to building a healthy relationship with yourself:

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20 Success Quotes to Inspire your Happy New Year

20 Success Quotes to Inspire your Happy New Year

"Happy New Year!"

In this first week of the new year, many of us have been giving and receiving New Year wishes. As we celebrate a collective beginning, we hope for good things in the coming year — health, happiness, prosperity, and success - for ourselves and the people around us.

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Inspiration for the Holidays and Beyond...

Inspiration for the Holidays and Beyond...

As you continue to celebrate this holiday season, I offer this collection of images and quotes...

May this season and the year to come be rich in all that matters to you most!

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5 Essentials for Your Self-Care Kit

5 Essentials for Your Self-Care Kit

Modern life can be fast-paced and some days are extra-challenging. Even if you're pretty good at the basics of self-care, you may find times that you need a little extra TLC. What do you do when you you're having one of those days and your time and circumstances limit your options? You can prepare in advance for those kinds of situations by having a "self-care" kit on hand.

What is a self-care kit? I imagine it as a sort of wellness gift basket — full of samples designed to nurture your well-being. The kit might be physical, virtual, or both. The most important thing that it is portable and accessible whenever you want it. You might, for example, have a folder on your computer that include some components, or perhaps a notebook, or maybe a bag or container. It just depends on what you decide to put in it!

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Thinking "Outside the Cube"

Thinking "Outside the Cube"

I have been working on a problem. I found a really cool resource for health-seekers that are changing their eating habits. AND...it's not perfect. So, I've found myself feeling a bit stuck about what to do.

The gist of it is that an enterprising company has created a selection of very healthy meals that are just what some folks are looking for. They are organic, without additives, or preservatives, free of GMOs, free of common allergens, rich in phytonutrients, and a number of other things that can be important if you're trying to create a healthy metabolism. They are also very convenient - ordered online, shipped to your home, and priced comparably to what folks might pay if they were eating out at a convenience restaurant. What's not to like? It's a great solution for busy people who are learning new ways of cooking and eating -- and who could use some convenient, healthy back-up meals on hand.

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20 Inspirational Quotes to Launch your Journey

20 Inspirational Quotes to Launch your Journey

This season is a great time to celebrate all that is good in our lives, and all that we've accomplished over the last year. It is also a time to dream of new beginnings. What are you dreaming of? Whatever you are thinking of taking on in the new year, I offer you twenty of my favorite quotes about new beginnings. I hope that they will inspire you to continue to move in the direction of your dreams!

"And you? When will you begin that long journey into yourself?" ~ Rumi

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Heroes

Heroes

The last several weeks have been extra busy — end of year projects, holiday planning, and I've been working on upgrading to a new website. There are days, though, when something happens to cut through all the "busy-ness" of life, and makes us pause. Today feels like one of those days.

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What do you DO?

What do you DO?

I was in a meeting the other day with a group of other women business owners when one of them admitted to me: "Julie, I STILL don't know what it is that you DO!"

After ten months of meeting together, perhaps I should have felt embarrassed... Instead, I appreciated her honesty, and felt grateful for the opportunity to provide clarity. It left me thinking, though -- Perhaps you wonder the same thing! What is coaching anyway? More importantly, why would anyone want to be coached?

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Flourishing

Flourishing

It is early January and after a busy holiday season, a winter stillness is in the air. I just brought in a box of fresh produce, kindly delivered by a business that supports local farmers, and I am feeling grateful for anything fresh that can be grown in these shorter, colder days. If you ride around the North Carolina countryside this time of year, many fields are lying fallow – resting and waiting for spring.

Just two years ago, my family was in a very different situation. Living near the equator in northeastern Brazil, the days were always warm and long enough to grow an abundance of produce, as long as enough water was available. In fact, farmers there had to be careful not to wear out their soil. They constantly had to add rich compost back to their gardens so that they could continue to produce, day-in and day-out.

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Living Treasures

Living Treasures

Today was Science Spectacular Day at my daughters' elementary school and I had the privilege of volunteering at one of the presentations. Two scientists from NC State University did a great job involving third graders in explorations about the properties of soil. As the students at my table sifted through a sample of the dark, rich-looking material, they exclaimed over their findings: rocks, twigs, leaves, roots, pine needles. I couldn't help but notice, though, that their biggest excitement was reserved for the living treasures that they encountered – worms, ants, beetles, and "roly-polys".

As I watched their enthusiasm, I was taken back to memories of the school garden project that I created while I was a volunteer service worker in a semi-arid region of Brazil. Although I had dabbled in gardening for years, I didn't really realize how much I loved it until I shared that joy with the middle and high school students who were a part of the project. It was hard work, but the harshness of the landscape, and the challenges we faced seemed to make the beauty of the garden all the more vivid and precious.

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The first week of a brand new year is wrapping up....
Holidays are an extra-busy time of year. We have r...
Many folks these days have a case of the terrible ...
You've traveled many miles in the last 12 months -...
During this season of Thanksgiving, we each have t...

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