Remember Who You Are

Life imparts many lessons. Some are loud and urgent while others are soft and more gradual in their unfolding. All are important. How can we learn to tune into the messages they carry?

One way is by bringing our best selves to whatever we’re doing. This is especially important when we’re faced with a task we don’t like. Whether it’s walking the dog in the rain, washing a sink full of dishes, making a difficult phone call, or showing up to a job that saps us of our energy, we can do it with the same spirit we reserve for more enjoyable pursuits.

Of course this is easier said than done, but there’s much to be gained from recognizing that while the conditions of our life aren’t always favorable, we can condition ourselves to approach them with openness and curiosity.

It’s not unusual to be hard on ourselves when things aren’t going our way. We might blame ourselves, second-guess our actions, or wonder what we did wrong to make things turn out the way they did. Unfortunately, doing so not only raises our stress level, but limits our ability to see the big picture.

When we’re so bogged down by why and how, we forget to consider “what next?” and “why not?”. Instead of getting distracted by variables we can’t control, we can focus on being who we desire and know ourselves to be.

We can remember what motivates us and inspires us. We can recall our loyalty, extroversion, and sense of humor. We can think about how our friends might describe us and the way we want to be remembered.

These qualities are always present, but they can be easily concealed when we’re feeling overwhelmed, frustrated, or on edge. Rather than waiting for the storm to subside, we can use each setback as an opportunity to reacquaint ourselves with our true nature.

The more we can be our whole, authentic selves no matter what our outer circumstances present, the better prepared we are to absorb the gifts life has to offer.

They may not be monumental or appear how we imagined. They may put us on a drastically different path than we intended. But if we ignore them or refuse to accept them, they likely won’t stick around long enough for us to grasp the next time we’re in need.

Don’t lose sight of who you are. When things are looking up, don’t take for granted the simple traits that define how you move through the world. When things take a turn for the worse, call on your strength to remind you of their permanence.

Only then can you be fully open to the teachings your life has in store.

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The World is Counting on You to Go After Your Calling

I recently read Parker Palmer’s book, Let Your Life Speak: Listening for the Voice of Vocation, a beautiful meditation on trusting our experience to guide the way to our true calling. Rather than telling your life what you intend to do with it, Palmer suggests, you must “listen for what it intends to do with you.” Reflecting on his own encounters with self-doubt, deep depression, jubilant triumphs, and unrelenting inner inquiry, he paints a portrait of a personal journey that is far from easy but repeatedly rewarding.

Vocation is defined as, “a type of work that you feel you are suited to doing and to which you give much of your time and energy.” For many, this eschews our understanding of a true calling: something that we not only feel suited to doing, but something that is worthy of our talents, values, and greater sense of purpose.

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Free Self-Care Kit

Let’s take a self-care checkup: when was the last time you listened to your favorite song? Dressed up (or down) just for kicks? Went to bed on time, stopped eating before you felt full, or reached out to an old friend?

Self-care is a vital part of our well-being, but we often neglect it in favor of working, taking care of others, or feeling plain ol’ stressed out. While it’s easy to dismiss our body’s signals when we need a time-out, doing so can wreak havoc on our physical and mental health.

If your me-time has fallen by the wayside, it’s not too late to get back on track! I created this free Self-Care Kit that’s packed with goodies to help you start tapping into all the ways you can nourish your mind, body, and soul. Here’s what’s included:

30 of my favorite self-care practices to get you started,
A weekly calendar to help track your progress, AND
3 self-care mantras to help you connect with your most open-hearted self.

Establishing a regular self-care routine can help you keep your intention on the days when you’re struggling to get out the door on time, working late, or can’t even remember what day it is. (We’ve all been there.) And if you’re hesitant to invest a little extra in y-o-u because you think it’s selfish, I’ve got news for ya: the more you learn to tend to your own needs, the more of yourself you can bring to each of your exchanges.

So let’s get started! Click the links above to download or head on over to the Freebies page to see what all the fuss is about. Then pick a practice to try today or read the mantras aloud each morning to give yourself an extra boost. And while you’re at it, share ’em with a friend!

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Pausing for Peace

“Never be in a hurry; do everything quietly and in a calm spirit. Do not lose your inner peace for anything whatsoever, even if your whole world seems upset.” — Saint Francis de Sales

Tomorrow, September 21, is International Peace Day. According to the United Nations, “The General Assembly has declared this as a day devoted to strengthening the ideals of peace, both within and among all nations and peoples.” This year the theme is “Climate Action for Peace”, drawing attention to the importance of combatting climate change as a way to protect and promote peace worldwide.

In our complex, conflict-ridden world, peace can feel like a difficult objective to attain. From our interpersonal relationships to our international politics, division and discord too often characterize our ways of being. We’re quick to recognize our differences – in our skin color, our wealth, our body shapes, our aspirations – at the expense of that which unites us – our desire to connect, to be seen, to be heard, to be valued.

We rely on our external environment to bring us the inner peace we long for, but fill our surroundings with stimuli designed to ignite our senses and make us second-guess our self-worth. When our circumstances disrupt our sense of stability, we fail to recognize that the sense of calm we seek is readily available to us simply by turning inward.

Peace is not a one-time achievement but an ongoing reflection of how we relate to ourselves, to others, and to the world around us. It is present in our words and actions from the moment we rise to the moment we lay our head down to sleep. It is not an impossible aim, but a challenge for continued growth, understanding, and engagement.

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