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In search of health and wellbeing

An ayurvedic center in Nepal offers month-long programs for people who have fallen out of good health. Practitioners target various elements in the body believing that once balance is restored, a calmer, more peaceful state of living will be experienced. Diet, yoga, cleansing and various ayurvedic practices are incorporated into treatment plans, and participants are discouraged from engaging in unnecessary work. A strict schedule, waking at 6:00AM and sleeping by 10PM, is followed, and clients follow recommendations to detoxify and restore the body.

The center is simply decorated. Glass bottles of herbs and oils rest on a bright windowsill.

“What happens when clients leave?” I asked the owner.

“One of two things,” he replied, “They return to same challenges with new perspective, better equipped to make non-reactive decisions. Or they make significant changes after realizing their situations no longer serve them.”

I don’t think you need to spend a month in a health center to make adjustments in your life, but you do need to take an honest look at your lifestyle and what best serves you.

We all have habits we complete on autopilot. Inviting mindfulness to our days and daily activities can help us assess what changes need to be made and whether we are on the right path to health and wellbeing.

5 ways to add magic to your life

1. Say yes.

To people, to adventures, to new experiences, to uncomfortable situations. Saying yes will help you unravel all that life has to offer. Remove “what ifs” from your imagination and stay open.

2. Love fully.

Love yourself whole-heartedly, love others willingly, love the circumstances life brings you. Loving keeps you humble, generous, and able to receive.

3. Search for something new.

Go to new places, eat different foods, listen to a variety of music and lectures and plays. Keep your mind broad and your interests vast.

4. Be grateful.

No matter the circumstance — positive, negative, lucky, misfortunate — pinpoint something to be thankful for and look for the lessons life wants to teach you.

5. Cultivate relationships.

Nurture bonds with your dearest ones. Take time to mentor others and listen to mentors of your own. Identify role models and borrow some of their lifestyle habits.

Life is meant to be unpacked, day by day and year by year. Each decade will carry new teachers and gifts to you, if you are ready to observe, listen, and fully participate.

Find magic today.

How to build confidence

Confidence can be a deal breaker. Take two individuals, one with above-average talent and little confidence and the other with little talent and above-average confidence, and the confident person will most likely come out ahead. The difference between the two is that the confident person has practiced.

Very few people are born confident; confidence stems from an individual’s ability to place themselves in new and uncomfortable experiences while simultaneously managing anxiety and stress. Everyone has a critical voice, yet confident people have learned how to quiet that voice, or at the very least, push through moments of doubt and uncertainty.

The good news for those who don’t feel up to par in the confidence department? Confidence is a muscle. It can be worked and strengthened and developed over time. Here are 6 tips to get started.

1. Imagine a confident person.

Who do you know who exudes confidence? Someone who connects easily with others and the world around them. What would they do if they were placed in your same situation?

Pretend you are that person, even just for a moment.

2. Become your own cheerleader.

Write affirmations on sticky notes and place them throughout your house, in your kitchen, in your car. Set calendar reminders with motivational quotes. Listen to uplifting music. Fill your mind with positive thoughts and build an atmosphere that encourages creativity and hope.

3. Scare yourself. 

Intentionally place yourself in uncomfortable or new situations. Regularly. Whether you’re afraid of rejection or failing or being laughed at, push yourself into challenging territories. Each time you successfully navigate a new experience, your belief in yourself and your abilities will increase.

4. Make a “Did-It” list.

Instead of listing all of the things you need to do, take time to reflect on what you have accomplished. Even if you have fallen short on your goals, congratulate yourself for trying. It can be helpful to write lists of past accomplishments. Take stock of what you’re proud of and remind yourself of your capabilities.

5. Practice care.

Take care of yourself: Body, mind, and spirit. Eat foods rich in nutrients. Move, walk, run, lift things. Meditate or practice yoga. Dress in clothes that make you feel good. And take care of others. Volunteer. Teach a class. Caring for your self and others improves self-efficacy, your belief in yourself and your ability to create change.

6. Learn to say no.

Say no to people who aren’t good for you. Say no to obligations that suck your time. Say no to habits that aren’t helping you reach your goals. Say no to negative thoughts.

Remember that you are valuable. You deserve the best. You are worthy.

What are your confidence-boosting tips? Tweet me to share your secrets.

Unhappy? Change one thing.

Unhappiness and discontentment feed off each other. When one thing goes wrong, it is easy to focus on all that is negative. One issue then consumes your energy and colors your entire life. It’s a spiral that winds downward, and quickly, if you’re not careful.

Feeling miserable? Find one thing you can change. Just one thing. Drink lemon water in the morning. Take a group fitness class. Carve out time to take a long walk. Set up a coffee date with a friend. Plan a vacation. Download a new podcast.

By shifting your attention, you’ll begin to redirect your focus towards experiences you look forward to. Feelings of excitement will gradually overpower those negative ones.

Of course life doesn’t always go your way, but by choosing to chase the positive, you’ll be closer to living a life you don’t want to escape from.

Your daily five

Five minutes. Five minutes in the park or walking around the block.

Five minutes to remind you that YOU are the most important item on your to-do list.

A five minute reward. Linger over your morning coffee, stop into the bakery, or visit the farmer’s market on your way home. Play an at-home yoga video, light a candle, write in your journal, or sit quietly. Five minutes refueling your mind and energizing your body.

Five minutes. Time to pause and reflect when everything around you is swirling and mad. A daily commitment that honors your self worth. Dedication to yourself and your growth as a human being. A reminder that your home is where you are and that your inner world reflects onto that which is around you.

Five minutes.

A ritual that helps you be more fully present and energetic for those around you. Five minutes to inspire and motivate you to continue to create and give and dream. A reward.

Just five minutes.