Sunday, August 24, 2014

Taking on a Mental Challenge


I am finally doing what I have wanted to do for a long time. I am going to teach a "college" course on Positive Psychology. It isn't going to actually be at a college but it will meet the academic requirements AND it will include eating delicious food from Corbin's Restaurant. This is not only a mental challenge for me but it is taking on and facing my fear that no one will show up. That has been why I have put it off for so long.

Rest assured I am not doing this necessarily because anyone else needs this but I NEED THIS! The teacher always learns the most and I am excited to continue my research, study, and preparation to teach some wonderful empirically studied principles and practices that can lead to a more fulfilling life. This will be a fun challenge that I am excited to pursue.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Taking on a Physical Challenge

I am taking on challenges in all areas of my life. Challenges that I choose and that lead to positive growth. My physical challenge is to really push myself doing hot yoga. It is an amazing work out. I don't just sweat, I rain. The interesting thing I have discovered is that my spine and hip placement is adjusting and I have better posture and less discomfort. It is like I am my own chiropractor. It isn't a passive adjustment done by someone else; I am proactively adjusting my body through hard work.

The other part of my physical challenge is to get serious (once again, for the millionth time) about eating healthy. In the morning I am making a smoothie that contains all the 7 highest alkaline foods--avocados, broccoli, celery, cucumbers, kale, red peppers, and spinach. I also add frozen fruit and a banana if I have one for sweetness, coconut water, protein powder, and chia seeds (I have some left over from Christmas gifts. Any of you old enough to remember Chia pets?)

Drinking this smoothie first thing in the morning and then several drinks throughout the day between meals keeps my sugar craving at bay and energizes me. Eating healthy creates more desire to exercise and then exercise makes me what to eat healthy. A healthy cycle to get into.

Saturday, August 16, 2014


I have gone through life sometimes so unaware.

Unaware of my own shortcomings
Unaware of my own discomfort
Unaware of the pain of others
Unaware of some of the simple joys in life
Unaware of how good I have it
Unaware of when I am actually full
Unaware of how beautiful the sky is 

The list goes on and on. It is time to practice awareness. Yes, practice. Any good thing takes practice. I know that if I am first and foremost better at self awareness, then I am able to be more aware of the feelings and needs of others.

How do I practice awareness? Stop, Calibrate, and Listen! (Ice Ice Baby. Ice Ice Baby) Seriously for me it means to sit still in quiet sometimes; if just for a small moment. It also means that I don't have to pull out my phone and do something on it even at a stop light (pathetic I know).

I can just take those small moments of life and breath in deeply and feel at a deeper level--at a more peaceful level. It is something as simple as becoming aware that the way I am sitting in a chair is uncomfortable and then making a minor shift into comfort. It is becoming more aware of the whisperings (key word) of the Spirit. It is becoming aware of the feelings of stress starting to build and course correcting in order to feel peace. It is noticing when I am shoveling in food that I actually am full and then to stop eating (novel idea). It is feeling the pain of someone else and offering comfort at the moment.

It is just being aware.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Choose a Challenge

I believe that a life well lived is living a progressive life. In order to grow and become better, we need challenges. I realize that if I don't have an interesting and meaningful challenge, that something hard will come my way because we can either go forward or fall backwards. We can either choose a challenge or a challenge will choose us.

I was at a stand still and started to fall backwards, so it came to me that I need to choose some new and exciting challenges. Once something becomes too easy then it is time to choose to do something hard to do that is meaningful. It might be hard to shop for 48 hours straight without sleep or eat two pounds of chocolate in two minutes, but not quite so meaningful.  I want to choose goals that stretch me spiritually, physically, mentally, emotionally, and socially. Today I went to hot yoga and chose to push myself more than usual. It was definitely a challenge, but stretching myself to my limits felt so exhausting but felt so good.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Anxiety Buster

Each morning I do my best at taking time to read something inspirational, particularly scriptures but anything else I am drawn to. When I do so, I do it with the prayerful intent that I will discover something I need to know. For me going "within" is actually seeking that deep soulful connection I have with my Heavenly Father.

When I do this, miracles happen. I discover truths that course correct me. I discover false beliefs I have held onto that hold me back. I discover principles that lead me into a positive and hopeful direction.

Doing this everyday keeps me in a good place even when things are going great and can certainly provide the strong foundation when difficulties arise. When I am hit with something that can create a sort of anxiety, this daily practice even becomes more essential and easier to turn to because of the habit developed. It becomes  a great way to find peace, strength, and much needed direction. It is a great anxiety buster.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Girl Friends

This morning I was walking some great friends and we ran into another group of girls also walking. What a blessing to be surrounded by so many fun, inspiring, and real but amazing women who I have had such great times with. I have lived in this neighborhood for over a century now (okay, not quite but almost) and I can honestly say that I have rubbed shoulders with some of the most Christlike but hilarious women I know. Life is incredibly good and it is even better when I have such great friends. Thanks girls, you make me want to be a better person and you make me laugh.

Saturday, August 2, 2014


Last night while leaving a restaurant in Salt Lake, a young man in his early twenties approached Kev desperately asking for money. It was clearly obvious that he was a homeless drug addict as the affects of a hard life were grossly apparent in his appearance. My heart broke for him. I can only imagine the pain and feelings of utter bondage to an addiction that has taken away his freedom, his joy, and will eventually take his life.  He is a complete slave to a substance that is destroying him.

I was grateful that Kev, even knowing that it would go to drugs, willingly gave him money. Withholding money and therefore withholding drugs wouldn't help this young man at that moment. Seeing the pain that he was obviously in, I was at least grateful that he could get a hit of drugs and feel some escape for even just an hour or two. For me, that seemed like the kindest thing we could do.

What I take from this is that I want to do what little I can do to offer a better way of living. To warn people of the devastation of the use of mind altering substances that can lead to addiction. To create a world where we can find true, long lasting joy and happiness and comfort when in pain that doesn't come from a bottle or needle.

It was interesting to me that after seeing that young man and still feeling a small portion of his pain, that this morning I would read in scriptures about bondage and how to stay out of it. Prevention is key.

PS Be careful about doing a google image search for the word "bondage"

Friday, August 1, 2014

Power of Writing

This morning I awoke with a sense of concern about something. There were several positive things I did to handle those unsettling feelings. I prayed, I cuddled with Kev, and then I turned to the scriptures. Each of those little moments and practices were very healing, especially the message from the scriptures that was incredibly timely; but the greatest healing came as I started to write.

As I was writing about what was concerning me, I suddenly started to type what was the source of the problem without even having had the thought first.  It was as if someone was writing the words for me and holding me accountable as being the  negatively influence of what I was concern about. Do you know how loved I felt. To know that someone was influencing my writing to give me the message and the help that I needed. Do you know how empowering it is to realize that I am the source of the problem. I am not the victim but I can be the victor. Now I have a proactive way to deal with the problem by repenting and changing. Wow, there is power in writing.