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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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Five Habits of the Unstoppable Wellness Investor

Five Habits of the Unstoppable Wellness Investor

Have you ever considered the similarities between health and wealth?

Both are renewable resources that can be cultivated through proactive investments.

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Cultivating the Art of the Tweak

Cultivating the Art of the Tweak

Change is necessary, but often uncomfortable and unpredictable. Even on journeys of intentional change, it is best to expect the unexpected.

For many of us, the problem is that we have a really hard time with ambiguity and lack of control. We set up our lives to give ourselves predictability and security - or at least the illusion of them.

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Four Healthcare Myths that Make You Sick

Four Healthcare Myths that Make You Sick

As I shared in a recent post, the U.S. healthcare system continues to have a lot of room for improvement. Despite being quite expensive, it does not keep its citizens as healthy as the systems in other industrialized countries.

The debate for how to improve the healthcare system continues. Meanwhile, those of us who are served by this system are wise to understand its strengths and weaknesses so that we can be proactive about getting what we need.

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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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How to Be Well when you are Healing

How to Be Well when you are Healing

I felt another nudge to share with you, so I made a video to honor that.

The video that I made is unscripted and long - so not everyone will have time for it in one sitting. I trust that it will reach whoever will find value in it.

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Three Ways to Stop Struggling

Three Ways to Stop Struggling

"You are imperfect, you are wired for struggle, but you are worthy of love and belonging." ~ Brené Brown

This is one of Brené Brown's most popular quotes. Ever since her first TED talk went viral, it became evident that her research was capturing a key human experience - the belief that we are not enough.

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Three Ways to Cultivate Trust

Three Ways to Cultivate Trust

The most successful film series yet made, Star Wars, began over thirty years ago with the story of Luke Skywalker, a young man in a faraway galaxy who was destined to play a critical role in the story of his people. If you recall the film, you know that Luke had to face a number of challenges, not the least of which was coming to terms with his own self.

Luke trains hard to develop the skills and awareness necessary for his task. When the stakes are high, he must trust that he knows what he needs to know to complete his mission. He must listen to the guidance of the wise voice within himself.

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Three Ways to Cultivate Patience

Three Ways to Cultivate Patience

If you're old enough to remember the mid-1980s, you might recall a popular film from that era called "The Karate Kid". It is a coming of age story in which a young man, Daniel, is tutored in karate by a wise mentor, Mr. Miyagi. Some of Miyagi's educational techniques seem unconventional to Daniel and he must cultivate a lot of patience and self-control during the process to learn the inner art of karate. Of course, these attributes serve him well in the end.

These days, our fast-paced world is wired more for reinforcing immediate gratification than patience. As we go through our days, we encounter urges that we would like to gratify - to get what we want, or to have things go our way. When things don't go as we hope, we may react in ways that aren't helpful or healthy. The reactions that stem from impatience can be significant sources of suffering.

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Three Ways to Cultivate Non-Judgement

Three Ways to Cultivate Non-Judgement

One of the most popular TV sit-coms in the 1970s was "All in the Family" and it featured Archie Bunker, an opinionated New Yorker, who shared his perspective in a straightforward and often hilarious way. Regardless of whether you agreed with his viewpoints, there was something comical about the way he shared them — and his unswerving commitment to his judgements often highlighted their absurdity.

No doubt Archie Bunker appealed to so many people because his judgmental stances were so blatant and so human. The truth is, we all make judgements all the time. It is just part of being human. Even when we try to be "nonjudgmental" we wind up judging our own judgement! The trouble is not that we make judgements. The trouble comes when we adopt a judgmental stance - investing emotionally in our judgements and holding them as TRUTH.

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Three Ways to Cultivate Beginner's Mind

Three Ways to Cultivate Beginner's Mind

Some of the most popular videos shared on social media are of babies. What is it about these young beings that make them so endearing to us? There are many characteristics about them that we find appealing, but one of the most touching, perhaps, is their sense of wonder. They live in the present moment, often delighted and astonished by their unfolding experience. Isn't that something that we wish we all could do?

The good news is that we can actually cultivate this experience of open-hearted wonder. In mindfulness, this quality is known as "beginner's mind" and it is considered to be a core attitude of mindful awareness. Beginner's mind is the ability to observe our experience with fresh eyes, uncluttered by preconceived notions.

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Seven Ways to Manage Your Inner Critic

Seven Ways to Manage Your Inner Critic

There is a popular quote by John Maxwell that states "Change is inevitable. Growth is optional." People who are engaged in building greater well-being know that personal growth and development are integral parts of that process. But even if they value that growth, it isn't always easy!

Many of the people that I work with confront similar barriers as they develop self-care mastery. As they grow towards their best version of themselves, they must confront limiting beliefs that keep undesirable habits in place. This phenomenon is so common, that coaches give it a name — the inner critic.

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Self-Care Lessons from my Cats

Self-Care Lessons from my Cats

Last week I shared some self-care reminders that I've picked up from my dog, Princess. So, this week, I thought I'd give my cats some credit too.

There are those who firmly identify themselves as "dog-people" or "cat-people", but my family lives in an mixed household. This has provided me with an equal opportunity to appreciate the distinctions in my pets' approaches to life, and to notice some of the particular habits that serve them well. Here are a few self-care tips from Samantha and Angel that I have found helpful:

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Five Ways to Deepen Your Relationship with Movement and Exercise

Five Ways to Deepen Your Relationship with Movement and Exercise

Do you ever feel guilty about not getting enough exercise? By now we've all heard the benefits of exercise and the risks of being sedentary. It's clear that moving and exercising our bodies is a healthy habit.

The trouble with healthy habits is that sometimes we don't relate to them in powerful ways. Sometimes they become "shoulds". Before we know it, our inner two-year-olds kick in and we start to resist those habits that our wiser selves would like us to embrace. Let's face it: No one likes to be told what to do!

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Five Ways to Get the Sleep You Need

Five Ways to Get the Sleep You Need

We live in a sleep-deprived culture. Although the National Institute of Health recommends 7-8 hours of sleep each night for adults, many of us don't get that. A 2009 U.S. survey found that more than a third (35.3%) of adults reported less than 7 hours of sleep, and that even more (37.9%) reported falling asleep unintentionally at least once during the prior month. The CDC has gone so far as to call our collective lack of sleep a public health emergency.

It's not just that poor sleep makes us cranky. It also makes us more accident prone and more susceptible to chronic diseases. 

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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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Why Wait? Reasons for Delaying Your Best Life (Part 5)

Why Wait? Reasons for Delaying Your Best Life (Part 5)

There is a lot going on this time of year. As we complete another calendar year and gear up for a new one, we have opportunities to evaluate what we've accomplished and to dream about what is next.

Some of us will find that there are things on our dream list that didn't come to fruition. That seems to be pretty normal for most humans. But did you ever stop to wonder WHY some things get done and others don't?

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Why Wait? Reasons for Delaying Your Best Life (Part 3)

Why Wait? Reasons for Delaying Your Best Life (Part 3)

Over the last couple of weeks I've been sharing about the very human problem of delaying desired or necessary actions and decisions, some of the reasons that contribute to these delays, and strategies for breaking through the inertia.

So far, I've talked about waiting for permission, and waiting for perfection. Now I'd like to share about another common reason — waiting for protection. Protection from what? — you may ask. You may be waiting for protection if you are feeling fearful about taking full responsibility for your choices. You may want protection from a fear of judgement (from yourself or others) of making the "wrong" choice, a fear of failure, or a fear of having to be accountable for the actions that your choice may entail.

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