One Critical Shift for More Happiness

 
 

We’ve spent our whole lives being trained to focus on outcomes. You study so you can get a good grade on the test. You train so you can run the marathon. You cook so you can eat. You save so you can spend. You lose weight so you can feel confident.

The message we’re taking in, internalizing, and teaching ourselves is this: It’s all worth it because of the outcome.

So no wonder it’s hard to re-program our brains when we decide we want to start enjoying life, which is lived amidst the process, rather than waiting for our reward once we’ve reached the destination.

It’s great to have goals. I love feeling inspired to work toward something. But a lesson I’ve learned about myself is that my innate tendency to feel fulfillment from the result leads to a lot of dissatisfaction, longing, and living for the future, rather than in the present.

My wellness journey has helped me in so many ways, but one of the most critical is in teaching me that life is lived in the present. In each distinct moment of time. In the journey. 

I don’t know the secret to ultimate happiness, and I don’t “have it all together," but I’m pretty sure a biiiiiiiggg key is to strive for appreciation of the journey, of each little imperfect moment, and to de-emphasize the destination we seek. Because if we get there, we may (or may not) feel the elation we’re chasing in that one moment, but if we can find joy along the journey, we’ll have a lottttttt longer to live in that joy.

How can you re-frame a goal you’re working on right now or an aspect of your life to LIVE IN IT now, rather than longing for the final destination? Let me know in the comments. This is a shift I hope to help the women who join my Find Your Summer Joy group program with, because there’s no better time to truly be presence than in the Summer! If you’re wondering what else we’ll do in that group, contact me, and I’ll be happy to share!

On Mother's Day

 
 

Oh Mother’s Day. Here you come in just a few days. I remember when to me you were just a day to spend time with my favorite women, give them gifts, have a nice brunch, and spend entirely too much $ on a piece of paper in the form of a card. 

Now I know motherhood, and I know that in addition to joy and celebration it can involve grief, fear, anxiety, sorrow, and frustration. I wrote about how I see my motherhood last year in this article. While motherhood is certainly a brave and love-filled journey worthy of celebration, it’s not always easy to celebrate Mother’s Day when motherhood can be so complicated.

It’s hard when motherhood doesn’t look the way you imagined it or society makes you think it should be. When it’s not all flowers and chocolates and hallmark cards. Whether it’s because you’ve struggled along your path to motherhood, you’re a grieving mother, you struggled with a traumatic birth experience, are battling postpartum depression or anxiety, or any of the other ways in which motherhood can take unexpected twists and turns, I see you, and it’s ok that this day might be hard

So to the mothers whose motherhood doesn’t look exactly like they thought it would, to the grieving mothers, to those who long to be mothers but are still waiting, and to those missing their mothers who have passed on, I celebrate you this weekend, and the love and bravery it takes to walk the path you’re walking. 

Looking for "something more"?

 
 

One of my favorite areas of primary foods to talk about is the area of spirituality because so often it’s what’s missing form our busy lives. Now before you close this post thinking “I’m not religious,” or “I’m settled in my faith and don’t need to read about this,” what I’m talking about is different. What I’m talking about is a practice that can enrich any life whether or not that life is built on or around the tenants of a particular faith. Please keep reading! :)

I really like the definition of spirituality that pops up when you google it: “the quality of being concerned with the human spirit or soul as opposed to material or physical things.” As a health coach, my goal is not to provide teaching or guidance on a specific faith or religion. My goal IS to help you find what you’re looking for when you just feel like there should be “something more.”

In the interest of full disclosure, I am a Christian. A Lutheran to be exact, and that faith and the religious practices that come along with it have enriched my life immensely and continue to do so. If you’d like to chat with me more about that, I’d be happy to!

However, I also cultivate spiritual practices, if you define that term as google does, that have nothing to do with my religion, at least in a formal sense. And while I would never tell someone they need to find a religion to subscribe to, or tell them that they need to adhere to the same religious beliefs I do to lead a fulfilling life, I have become a big believer that spirituality in this sense IS essential to our happiness.

When my health coach training included spirituality as one of the four areas of primary food that are core to our wellbeing, I thought “well that’s controversial...I don’t want to tell my clients they need to be spiritual!” Then I learned more and began developing my own spirituality, and my perspective shifted. Now, assuming spirituality means focusing on the human spirit or soul as opposed to material or physical things, I’m happy to shout from the rooftops: HECK YES YOU NEED A SPIRITUAL PRACTICE!

All this means is that we need to tune in from time to time. I am at a place where I try to tune in multiple times a day, but as with any life change, it’s best to start slowly. What are you tuning into? That’s up to you - your intuition, your soul, the universe, God, your life source - spend some time thinking about what resonates with you. What I’d like for you to do is spend some time focused not on the physical world around you, but inside of yourself, tapping into that innate wisdom, that gut instinct, that we all have. This focus can be achieved through meditation, prayer, spending time in nature, sitting quietly and reflecting on your day without distractions, practicing gentle forms of movement like yoga, even more intense exercise like running if that helps you feel a sense of clarity and introspection. What it doesn’t involve is looking outward - to the opinions of others or the external demands on your time. If we’re honest, we probably all spend the majority of our days responding to external stimuli: the structures and objects we see around us, the people who we care for or work for, various forms of media that tell us how the world is and what we should be doing in it. My hope for you is that you can find a resonant spiritual practice that will help to balance out those inputs - spending some time tuning IN to your inner guide that whispers your needs and desires when you’re listening and acting on that, in addition to all the other times we spend zoning OUT and responding to the external pressures that can keep us on a conveyor belt of sorts.

What are your favorite spiritual practices? What questions do you have about spiritual practices? Send me a message, I’d LOVE to chat!

A Little Birthday Wisdom at 33

As we celebrated this birthday and made this big life decision within about 48 hours, I couldn’t help but notice how (beautifully) different my life feels right now than at any time in the past. I wanted to share a couple of those ways with you, in case it resonates or sparks any inspiration for you!

Is #bodypositive Healthy?

Being body positive and believing in health at every size isn't a mindset that justifies being "unhealthy" or eating dessert all day every day or ignoring health markers. Instead, it's about aligning your WHY for how you eat, sleep, drink, move, and otherwise care for yourself with what you believe to be true at your core. And for me, that has nothing to do with the number on the scale, and everything to do with how much energy and vitality I have to pursue my God-given passions.