what you focus on you create more of
This quote from Queen Brene' Brown has been sitting on my counter since December-- mostly because it took so long to string together all the letters. 🤣 But also because it is something I need to be reminded of on a regular basis, especially these days.
Being separated from each other yet still trying to stay connected through social media, text, FaceTime, Zoom, and phone calls, there is a lot of room for error. It is easy to perceive a comment in a different way it was intended. If we can adopt this mindset of "I am going to assume he or she had the best intentions, even though it doesn't feel that way," we relieve ourselves of the stress and the burden that we may have put upon ourselves otherwise. It really and truly is a game changer.
I had an interesting experience with this about a month ago-- we were taking a walk and came upon a man in front of a church doing some weeding. I happily greeted him, and he merely grunted a "hello" in my general direction. "Man, if I was interested in visiting that church, and that was my first impression of the people who go there, I may just change my mind," I snapped aloud. My husband quickly paraphrased Queen Brene's quote back to me.
First of all, I was surprised and impressed that he paid any attention to what I put on that board. Secondly, I was humbled and ashamed of my reaction. Bruce continued by saying, "You don't know-- he could have just lost his wife or maybe he is not feeling well." I quickly changed my tune and made a mental note to be more mindful.
The kindness that I then felt for the stranger felt different in my own body and mind than when I was grouching about his lack of manners. In extending generosity for him, I was doing myself a favor as well. It's cool how it works that way. And guess what-- even if he had intended it in the way that I perceived it, I still have the option to extend him this generosity and and it still feels good in my body. It's a win-win no matter what.
The next time you feel yourself "bowin' up" as they say down here, take a deep breath and extend the most generous interpretation of the other person's actions, words and intentions. I promise it feels good. ❤
You guys!! How are you moving your body these days? The gyms are closed, we have to keep our distance, but there are things we can (and should) be doing. Why? Why should we be moving?
When we change our bodies, we change our minds.
These are trying times, and it is really easy to be sucked into feelings of fear, anxiety, pressure, sadness, loneliness, all the negative feels. When you notice that you are feeling less-than-stellar, move your body. It feels like magic, but it is based on science. Here is a nice article on 5 ways movement changes our brains.
Spoiler: Here are the 5 ways:
Find a way to move today. Get outside with the kids. Take a walk. Ride bikes. Do some deep cleaning. Crank up some old school dance music and boogie down. It doesn't matter what it is. Just move. Aim for 30 minutes. It can be in little spurts of 5 or 10 minutes at a time. It doesn't have to be all at once. It all adds up!
When you move your body, you change your mood!
If you are ready to learn more about the power of whole food, check out for Genius Foods! The author, Max Lugavere, is a young filmmaker and journalist who became interested in the power of food when his mom was diagnosed with Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases around the age of 58. In his book, he has written a chapter for each of 10 foods that can help protect our brain as we age.
It is a fascinating read and a great resource. If you don't want to buy it, you can check it out at the library. The local library might not have it, but they will get it sent from another library in the system.
Max also has a podcast called "The Genius Life." It can be found on iTunes and Spotify. He interviews really interesting guests. Some of it is over my head, so I just skip those episodes. 😜
If you find yourself with some down time over your Thanksgiving break, I highly recommend That Sugar Film. In it, film-maker/actor Damon Gameau ate 40 teaspoons (Australian average intake) of processed sugar for 60 days and documented the effects. It is eye-opening, to say the least. What makes it even more mind-blowing is that he consumed the sugar by eating foods that most people deem "healthy." He ate things like cereal, yogurt, and snack bars. If you are struggling to give up the sweet stuff, this may help you move forward.
You hear about gratitude a lot this time of year. The holidays are a traditional time to take stock of our lives, what we have accomplished this year, and the things for which we are thankful.
There is a growing body of research that suggests that we should be making a concentrated effort to make gratitude a daily habit throughout the year. The simple act of noticing small things during each day and then perhaps noting them at the end of the day- in your mind or on paper, helps us to feel more joyful. We train the brain to look for the positive, which then makes us feel more positive.
The things you notice don't have to be big things. In fact, it's just the opposite. If you can be joyful about the minutia in life, then the big wins are simply icing on the cake.
For example, I squeezed a mammogram into my schedule yesterday. (Pun intended.😂) I wasn't really looking forward to it, but I walked into that office with a spring in my step and made a conscious effort to notice the little things. I made conversation with the young woman that checked me in-- I noted how nice it was to learn a little about her, and how sweet it was of her to engage in conversation the way she did. I was given the opportunity to choose whether I wanted the 3D imagery, which insurance covered. I was reminded at that moment of how fortunate I am to have insurance at all. The technician that did the mammography was informative and kind. I was thankful that it didn't take long at all to get it done, and that I was back in my car in about 30 minutes, start to finish. Because I was ahead of schedule, I was able to stop at the Starbucks downtown and grab a coffee before I taught class. (I even had a couple of bucks in my wallet, which hardly ever happens.) I knew the barista, and the chat I had with him made me smile. The short time I was able to sit in that comfy chair and enjoy my coffee was perfect.
Those were just a few of the things I wrote in my journal this morning. Honestly, there are days when I have to dig deep to find the little things to write down, but that's a good thing. It keeps the search alive and in the forefront of my brain.
There are actual physical and mental benefits of practicing gratitude, including better sleep, enhanced mood and impulse control, improved relationships, lessened anxiety, and better cardiac health.
I challenge you to play around with a gratitude practice in the next week--jot down 5-10 things for which you are grateful at the end or beginning of each day. Notice how it changes your mood, mindset, energy, and stress level.
Happy Summer! Even though it is not technically summer yet according to the calendar, school is out around here, which means summer is upon us! Now maybe we get to enjoy less chaotic schedules, longer days, the pool or lake, and generally less structured days.
As the temps rise, so should our water intake. Did you know that you should be drinking about 1/2 your body weight in ounces each day? If you are exercising or working outdoors, you should drink even more than that. That may seem like a lot, and it does mean that you will visit the restroom wherever you go, but the benefits outweigh the work involved. :)
Some of the benefits of water include:
Here are a few tips to help you increase your water intake this summer:
Cheers to a hydrated summer! 🥤🥤
About the Author
Kim is a personal trainer, nutrition coach, and group fitness instructor. She is a mom of two grown kiddos, and a former elementary school teacher. Most days, she can be found training clients, prepping food, thinking about food, or writing about food. She is also obsessed with mindset and habits. She is a 9w1 on the enneagram.