How to do morning pages as part of your morning rituals

self-care Apr 29, 2022

Writing morning pages is a simple practice that can be an added benefit to not only your morning routine but your day as well.

Julia Cameron, author, and artist, wrote a book called The Artist Way back in 1992. In it, she encourages the reader to write morning pages... three pages of free-flowing thought by longhand. 

You are probably thinking, isn’t that journaling? Yes, yes, it is. However, morning pages are done first thing in the morning, and without any premeditation as to what will be written. Mrs. Cameron suggests that we write 3 pages without stopping. 

Benefits of doing morning pages 

I wrote morning pages without fail for two years straight. And it was a beautiful, insightful ritual that allowed me to start my day and delve deeper into my thoughts and desires as I navigated a huge transition period in my life. 

The benefits of this practice are vast. The process will allow you to clear the revolving ideas from your mind, open up to new ways of...

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Earth Day 2022: Mother Earth loves you. Love her back

living green Apr 22, 2022

Today is Earth Day!

As you probably know, Earth Day was founded in 1970 as a day of education about environmental issues and the holiday is now a global celebration.

1 billion people on the planet will be celebrating.  

What could be more important than taking the day (or the week) to celebrate our earth? 

Mother Earth, Mother Nature, Gaia…whatever your name for our planet is, 

Let’s honor our planet today. 

Childhood memories in rural Georgia

I’m thinking back today on how I learned to love the earth and nature. 

Growing up, I spent every weekend at my grandparent's farm in rural Georgia. 

My sister and I built playhouses outside around the farmhouse, free to roam and play outside all day. 

We fished in the pond. We walked barefoot on dusty roads, and we rode on the tailgate of my grandfather's truck singing and without a care in the world.   

My grandmother had a huge garden, growing all the vegetables for...

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8 big ways a gratitude journal can help you

journaling self-care Apr 14, 2022

I don't remember how it started exactly.

I was living in Okinawa, Japan working on a Marine Corps base as a psychotherapist. Our work was demanding and stressful.  

Right away, I realized that if I was going to make it, I'd have to do something different than getting worked up over the frustrating and unnecessary hoops we had to deal with.

So every morning as I got in my car and drove away from my home, I started thinking of the things that WERE going right. I started a list of 10 things in my head I was grateful for. 

It became a ritual. I'd drive by the ocean on the way to work (which was enough to be grateful in itself) and say 10 things I was grateful for. By the time I drove through the security gate at the base, I was grounded and ready to go to work to help the Marines I was there to help. 

Later I started writing those 10 things in my journal every day, and since then I've discovered many things about keeping a gratitude journal since...

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How to be kind to yourself: Self-Compassion

self-care self-love Apr 07, 2022

It might surprise you to hear that one of the best ways to cultivate a hopeful, optimistic outlook is to practice some radical self-compassion. 

Frequently people confuse self-compassion with self-indulgence or even selfishness. But being kind to yourself is just as important as being kind to others, if not more so. 

Self-Compassion Makes You More Optimistic 

Being kind to yourself means you can stop that vicious cycle of self-blame and recrimination. It prevents you from ruminating on past mistakes and builds your resilience and confidence so you can pick yourself up and get back on track. 

When you are kind and encouraging to yourself, your anxiety levels drop, your mood lifts, and you become more optimistic and hopeful about the future.

Cultivate Mindfulness To Be More Self-Compassionate

Perhaps the best way to start your self-compassion practice is to adopt a more mindful attitude to life. Mindfulness focuses on the acceptance of who you are, and where you...

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What your grandmother really wanted you to know but she couldn't say

self-care self-love Mar 31, 2022

I was raised by a very strong mother and an even stronger grandmother. They did everything. My mother ran a business with my father, took care of him after he had a nervous breakdown, paid the bills, and parented the kids pretty much on her own. 

I don’t remember seeing her take a break except when she worked in our backyard, growing flowers or planting cuttings from someone else’s garden. She was ALWAYS busy. 

Her mother, my grandmother, was equally busy but she had a different style. 

As a farmer's wife, "MaMa,"(as we lovingly called her) milked the cow, churned butter, washed clothes for our family, prepared special meals for my grandfather, and always baked a cake on the weekend for Sunday "dinner" as well as cooking a huge spread for the whole family. 

In addition to each full day, she would drive over to her sister-in-law's house. Aunt Angie was bedridden with rheumatoid arthritis and MaMa would drive to her house to take her a meal, cut her...

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Blind spots that you need to know are impacting your self-care

self-care self-love Mar 24, 2022

When it comes to working on self-care, all of us have different aspects of ourselves that we aren’t fully aware of. It could be personality traits, feelings, or actions.

These blind spots can really hamper our self-care efforts. This is why it's so important to become fully aware of them. Let's look at some of the most common blind spots you may discover with making sure your self-care is in place. 

You avoid conflict

A lot of people hate conflict, but sometimes it's needed to resolve situations. If you tend to avoid conflict, it means you’ll often do or say things you don’t necessarily agree with. This is a common blind spot that can really derail your self-care efforts.

The trouble is, when you give in to others just to avoid conflict, it reduces your credibility. You’ll also find you are frequently miserable due to not standing firm in your own beliefs and values. So, if your blind spot is avoiding conflict, it’s important to address...

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How to remember our humanity in a dark world

overcoming challenges Mar 18, 2022

This morning I walked outside and noticed a sunflower blooming right beside my mailbox. What in the world? Sunflowers don't bloom in March. I thought about how the birds must have scattered the seeds from their feeder in the backyard to the front. 

And just like that, I thought of it. I realized that sunflower came up for a reason. 

I'm imagining you're like me...horrified at the war in the Ukraine and the atrocities that are happening every day. 

And if you're like me...you feel helpless and powerless. What can we do?

Sheltered from the horrors of war

I'm eternally grateful I'm not trying to escape to another country or wondering if I'll survive another explosion. 

And I feel guilty.  

I wake up in my comfortable bed every morning imagining what it would be like to leave my home with basically the shirt on my back. I try to imagine walking for miles in the freezing cold, fleeing for my life to another country, and wondering where I could end up. ...

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Surviving one of the biggest earthquakes recorded in history

On March 9, 2011, I was lamenting not being able to celebrate my birthday the way I wanted. I was finishing up my work on an Air Force base in Japan. I realize now what a champagne problem that was...to have a stressful day on my birthday. 

Two days later I would experience one of the strongest earthquakes ever recorded in history. 

As I huddled inside the door frame that Friday afternoon on March 11, I tried not to panic.

On that afternoon, I walked up the outside steps to the 2nd floor of a building on the Air Force base where I’d been working for the past three months. 

Immediately I was met by four women whose faces were panic-stricken. “It’s an earthquake!” they shouted. I tried to calm myself. But I immediately felt afraid. 

It took a second and then I felt the scary, unnatural sensation of the building rocking and shaking. I HATE EARTHQUAKES.  I've been in enough of them to know that you have absolutely no...

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Big Signs You Need To Make Changes 

If you’re struggling to make healthier changes in your life, it could be that you’re not convinced a change is needed. Many of us are also great at avoiding change. It tends to be something we dread, rather than look forward to. 

However, if you want to live your best life, it’s imperative you recognize when a change is needed. So, how exactly can you recognize that change is needed in your life? Below, you’ll discover some of the common signs to look out for.

You feel lost or stuck in life

Do you feel like you’re stuck in a rut and you’ve lost your purpose? This is a sure sign that a change is needed. Everyone has a purpose, but it isn’t always easy to identify it. Also, your purpose can change as you get older and go through life’s experiences. So, if you feel like your life isn’t your own anymore, it’s time to make a change. 

Your mood is consistently flat

Another sign change is needed is if you find your mood...

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How To Make Personal Self-Care A Priority With A Busy Life

One of the most difficult challenges many people face with self-care is finding the time to fit it in. When you live a busy lifestyle, it can seem almost impossible to find extra time to look after yourself.

So, how can you balance practicing self-care with a busy lifestyle? Here, you’ll discover some great tips you can follow.

Schedule it in

A good tip you can follow to ensure you can fit self-care into your busy routine is to schedule it in. Think about it, you schedule in everything else, so why not self-care? When you set a time to focus on yourself, you are much more likely to stick to it. No matter how busy you think you are, there will always be time for self-care somewhere in your schedule.

Establish a morning routine

If you are struggling to find the best time of day to practice self-care, you might find it easier in the morning. If you’re a busy parent, you might disagree here but think about it. In the morning, you could get up just 30 minutes earlier, or 15...

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