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Personal Development Blogs

19 August 2019

Personal Development Blogs
  • What is the best way to learn to be a better leader?
    19 August 2019

    The world is full of people telling us what to do better in leadership. We’ve got command and control leadership, situational leadership, emotional intelligence leadership, transformational leadership, collaborative leadership, agile leadership, neuroleadership, connected leadership, limitless leadership, boundless leadership (yup – that one’s mine), and more!

    For thirty years I’ve run experiential programs that focus on this key principle: learn by doing, with reflection.

    Whether you undergo training, hire a coach, work with a mentor, watch videos and TED talks, read articles, blogs, and books, the only surefire way to make use of any of this knowledge is to apply it, and then reflect on what happened. 

    But how do we do reflection?

    “True wisdom comes to each of us when we realize how little we understand about life, ourselves, and the world around us.” Socrates 

    I love this insight from Socrates. One of the reasons he has remained an important sage for us over 2000 years since he walked the planet was his insatiable curiosity, and his intellectual humility.

    He kept asking questions, never assuming he had it all figured out. 

    I am also inspired by Derek Sivers. After ten years of blood sweat and tears setting up his business CD Baby, he sold it for $22 million. Suddenly unhampered with the need to work ever again, he started asking himself questions:

    What am I going to do next?

    What should I do with $22 million dollars?

    How can I be smart about this?

    Based on what values? Altruism? Hedonism? Conquest? Legacy? Personal growth?

    He spent the next ten years asking himself questions and answering them in a private journal, and sharing them on his blog. His book of these reflections is coming out soon. (can’t wait!)

    The practice of interrogating experience, and then interrogating one’s thoughts on those experiences, is the key to growing as a leader.

    I’ve kept a journal since I was 9 years old. Not always consistently, and not always a useful thing. I re-read the notes I kept as an angst-filled teenager and decided to burn them all as an important gesture to abandon self-indulgent woefulness. It was liberating.

    This is what I do now:

    Success journal: I record daily my achievements of the day. These include both outcomes (goals achieved) AND process accomplishments (activities that don’t bear immediate results in terms of measurable outcomes, but nudge me forward. Things like ‘wrote a blog’, or ‘made notes on a book’, or ‘sent birthday cards’). The journal has far more process notes in it than the occasional ‘goal achieved’ note. But that’s the point. Celebrating activity that moves you forward, keeps you moving forward.

    Habits journal: I record my daily practices (as per James Clear’s Atomic Habits). This helps keep me aware of what trajectory I’m on and if I am actually living up to my intentions. Visibility creates accountability. And momentum.

    Reflection journal: I write about my life, my thoughts, my learning. I try on different reflective practices. I’ve followed Mark Divine’s Unbeatable Mind suggestions, Sandy Grason’s topics from Journalution, and other random provocative questions I discover on the internet. Right now I am exploring Dan Millman’s Everyday Enlightenment: The 12 Gateways to Personal Growth.

    I also jot down questions that surface for me about what I’m reading and researching.

    Here’s a sampling of questions I am currently pondering:

    • Does a more inclusive worldview automatically lead to more compassion?
    • Are there any examples of where nationalism and protectionism is actually good for a country?
    • Do we need minimum life conditions in order to be compassionate towards others?
    • How does language shape thoughts and connections?
    • How can we overcome the programming from our parents?
    • How do I act with more kindness and compassion?
    • How can I be a better human being?
    • How do we develop wisdom?

    There is no perfect way, time, or methodology to journaling. What is important is that you do it, regularly, as a way of thinking about your world, and your thinking about your world.

    Have you got a journaling practice that works for you? How has it helped? Please share in the comments!


  • Entrepreneurs Will Always Succeed If They Follow 3 Simple Rules
    19 August 2019

    What does success mean to you? For many, success is often associated with freedom. This is why so many individuals decide to leave their jobs to become entrepreneurs. There’s plenty of freedom in being an entrepreneur. You’re free to set your own schedule, there is no financial ceiling to bump up against, and you get to pursue what you love.

    That being said, an entrepreneur’s livelihood is connected to the success of their business. It would be impossible for me to say anything to the contrary. Cash flow, and overall revenue, must be steady so the business, and the entrepreneur running it, may thrive, not just survive.  

    That being said, success in business should not equate solely to making a lot of money. If you go into business with a flat end goal of becoming an overnight success, chances are highly likely you won’t reach it. The keys to consistent success in entrepreneurship are found in following three simple rules.

    1. Always work hard.

    The best possible thing you can do for your mindset as an entrepreneur is not to expect success in any form. Rather, you should commit yourself to knowing you’re in it for the long haul — and it’s gonna take a lot of hard work to get where you want to be.

    Spend each and every day as an entrepreneur giving it your all. Work hard on the days when there’s an endless supply of good news, and work hard on the days when nothing feels like it’s going your way. Always work hard. It’s difficult to be a business owner. Real entrepreneurship isn’t a curated Instagram feed. It’s hard, time and energy consuming work day in and day out. If you go in with the mindset that you can, and will, work hard, great things will happen to you and for your business.

    2. Be positive.

    Maintaining a positive attitude is often easier said than done, especially in entrepreneurship. It’s difficult to be positive when you’re faced with many negatives. A client that decides to end a partnership, a drop in social media followers, an angry email from a customer. The act of staying positive can feel nearly impossible when it feels like everything is falling apart.

    However, the beauty of a positive attitude is that it is contagious. When you are optimistic and see the glass as half-full, others around you will catch on to that feeling. Be the most energetic you that you can be. Get a good night’s sleep, eat healthy, and make time to exercise and read so you are able to nurture the self-care side of yourself. Share all of your ideas, and your great attitude, with your team, colleagues, partners, and vendors. People want to be around positive individuals. They’ll stick around for a positive entrepreneur, and work with them no matter what. Be that to others and watch as your connections and opportunities grow!

    3. Keep calm.

    There’s always “something” that can be considered an emergency for any startup. We’re almost hard-wired at this point to react in the moment. We’ll drop everything to fix it — even if it’s not the most pressing issue, like a negative Yelp review. However, the question remains… How many emergencies are we really facing in business? Can’t it wait?

    Some of it certainly can, and a calm mind that approaches an issue is usually much more effective than a frenzied one. Rather than flip out, take a moment to collect yourself. Don’t react too quickly. Think and take your time on making decisions, as there is no need to respond and address issues the moment your inbox pings.

    When in doubt, sleep on it. Sometimes all it takes is a good night’s sleep to give you significant perspective, and your response will be much more effective with a little time!

  • Reimagining Education: Superstars are Ordinary
    19 August 2019

    As the summer days begin to get ever so slightly shorter in the Northern Hemisphere, students are facing the beginning of another academic year. With the start of a new year comes new classes, classmates, and challenges. For some students on their way to their first year of college, the sense of excitement may be accompanied with a sense of terrifying anxiety.  For some who spent their entire high school career – and maybe even earlier – getting groomed to be the “perfect” college applicant, they may be in for a feeling they’ve hardly experienced before:

    Being average.

    Being valedictorian and swim captain with an embarrassment of A+s may have been what helped these young people to make it to the “best” colleges (according to magazine rankings). The idea of being taught by the “best” professors and learning with the “best” peers was enticing. Then all of a sudden, reality hits. No longer are they the only shining star who never received below an A-, but perhaps are now the lost and confused struggling to recover from the C on their first college midterm. On the surface, they may seem fine, but are in fact suffering from the Duck Syndrome. Serene on the surface; furiously paddling beneath the surface to stay afloat.

    Not too long ago, I was speaking to a university freshman dean who shared that the incoming class was wonderfully fun and interesting. They entered the university with shiny transcripts and test scores. They also entered with a fear of being average. The dean shared that they had never seen a freshman class with so many academic violations, the majority of which stemmed from not being able to keep up with the increased rigors and fear of earning less than an A-. Multi-year surveys have shown that over one-third of college students have plagiarized at some point. This desperate need to be more than average – perfect, even – begins well before university, however. In fact, 95% of high school students report that they have cheated in some form. Much of the reason? To stay ahead. To be above average.

    High school students overwhelmingly rate themselves to be above average leaders. Young children rate themselves to be above average game players. Over two-thirds of parents are convinced their children are above average. As a result, students are taught from a young age that they cannot be average. As our brains are wired to hang on to the negative, anything that suggest we are less than above average can lead us into catastrophic thinking. Anyone who has done an employee performance review has likely experienced that twinge of shame if they receive an “average” rating on one of their performance metrics, as if average is code for: “you’re-terrible-you’re-going-to-get-fired.” Or for students, it is code for: “you’re-stupid-you’ll-never-get-into-college-your-life-is-over.”

    As a result, many young people hesitate to enter into environments where they are not totally in their element or have a chance to be number one. The minute they feel discomfort where they have to struggle to understand or learn, they may want out. Whether it is a class on a topic outside their comfort zone that would not be a guaranteed A to boost the GPA or a club that is filled with people outside of the usual clique, it feels safer to be the big fish in a small, familiar pond than risk being average in a new, bigger one – even if that bigger one is more likely to let us grow into our full potential. (Did you know goldfish can only grow to about 2 inches in a small fishbowl. But in the wild? They can grow up to two feet long!)

    To grow, however, we need to be challenged and sit in the discomfort of not being perfect. Of being average. Doing so does not mean we give up trying to excel or achieve. Counterintuitively, being average may allow us to see things as they are (that we’re not perfect), giving us the space and freedom to explore, fail, experiment, fail, and experience some more, such that we continue to grow, achieve, and excel.

     So, where to start?

    1. Be ordinary

    It seems like everyone is doing super-things: founding start-ups, saving rainforests, and serving as valedictorian five times over. Naturally, we feel like we have to be superhuman, rising above the fray and problems of the ‘normal’ human condition. But if we really peel back the layers of the onion, we will see that even the seemingly superpeople have ‘normal’ issues. Just be normal. Be ordinary. That alone is a superhuman feat.

    • Be curious

    We can cram all the knowledge we want, but we must be able to question and disagree with openness and curiosity. The willingness to take nothing at face value. Staying curious (why do we feel like failures when we aren’t #1?) and exploring the origins of those emotions with an open mind may allow us to view challenging new situations and people not as a threat to our uniqueness, but rather, opportunities to keep learning.

    1. Be uncomfortable

    Embrace being uncomfortable. Maybe it’s feeling like everyone is speaking over our heads and we feel totally out of place. Or we are surrounded by new peers who don’t seem to share any of our interests These aren’t great feelings, but rather than trying to run away from them or masking the pain, if we reach out and hug the painful thought or emotion, we may make discomfort our ally. Sitting with discomfort allow us to better understand who we are, what we value, and who we want to become. It can get us to a place of comfort far quicker and smoother than if we pretended that everything was perfect all the time.

    While some are convinced that only the special get into the “right” schools, the reality is that only when we fully embrace the ordinary in ourselves can we find the extraordinary.

  • Don’t assume you know what the other wants or needs. Helping through humble inquiry. By Edgar Schein
    19 August 2019

    Helping is an essential human pursuit; we do it at home with our partners, our children, our loved ones. We do it at everyday at work, with our team.

    We seek out help too, although all too often it’s a practice that can also be difficult to perform and accept. And at times our earnest offers of help are begrudged and rebuffed…so why is it so difficult to provide or accept help and in what way can we make the whole process easier?

    Corporate culture and organizational development guru Ed Schein analyzes the collective and psychological subtleties common to all types of helping relationships. In his book entitled “Helping” he explains why help is often not helpful, and shows what any would-be helpers must guarantee that their assistance is both received and valuable. He suggests the following stages of inquiring to enable genuine support.

    Always begin with Humble Inquiry

    Effective helping begins with readiness. By simply listening to the client’s story, using “humble inquiry” as Schein calls the process strategy at this stage, the client begins to feel like there is a better balance in the relationship just by being heard. That begins the development of trust.

    “I don’t know the answer.”

    “Please tell me more….”

    Be aware not to fall into the diagnostic trap too early.

    Experts are more comfortable with the kinds of questions that lead to solutions. Who was at the meeting? When did you meet? What did the other party
 say? How did the language in that meeting compare to prior email communications? Use of those kinds of diagnostic questions too early may impede the development of the relationship. The attorney is walking a tightrope here, because this also is the time when attorneys are hoping to gain a client. The quality of informed questions is an important factor in a client’s decision, and informed questions tend to be diagnostic.

    “Why did you choose this way?”

    “Have you thought of some other alternatives?”

    Start with process inquiry and return to it often.

    Schein uses process inquiry to describe the underlying process of relationship building and problem solving, not to focus on the substance of the problem. For example, the question, “How would you see a successful outcome?” at the conclusion of an initial consultation turns the focus to the client’s expectation of the process outcome. That question might uncover a discomfort with the unintended consequences of litigation, for example. Occasional questions during the engagement like, “How can we better communicate about the drafts?” or “How am I doing keeping you informed about the progress of the case?” turns the focus to the relationship, keeps it in balance as client input is sought, and continues to build trust.

    According to Schein “Bad help means asking the wrong kind of questions.”

    However, using the strategies above you can avoid giving the wrong type of help whether you are at work, with your children or your spouse. I have found this book to be fundamental not only on a professional level but a personal one too. I was very lucky as I fell upon this book when my mother was diagnosed with cancer. The book helped me ask the right question, assist, care and be present till the end.

    I dedicate this blog to Saroj Bala; who taught me everything I know about helping.

  • 27 Short-Term Goals Examples to Forever Change Your Life
    19 August 2019

    Are short-term goals really necessary? If goals are our vision of an ideal future, shouldn’t we just focus our attention on achieving our long-term goals? However, short-term goals are just as important as long-term ones. In fact, without the former, there is a higher chance of failure to achieve our long-term goals. In this article, we will give […]

    The post 27 Short-Term Goals Examples to Forever Change Your Life appeared first on Develop Good Habits.

  • 5 Ways To Make Your Next Move Way Less Painful (For You & The Planet)
    19 August 2019
    A recount of my attempt at a zero-waste move.
  • Find A Little Hope
    19 August 2019
    Hope provides nothing but positive things to the world, and to the lives of people. It provides fuel to get through tough times. It provides light in the darkness. Hope allows you to persevere when your strength is tested. In fact, hope allows the test to be passed.  In all undertakings of life, above all else, be hopeful of success, take action and it will find you. You are a valuable person and have talent beyond what you even comprehend right now.  It is there waiting for you and the first step to reach it is to hope.  So have a little hope today it will all work out for the best. Keep your eyes open. Follow the path. See the clues.  Be the best you. It is certainly what I hope for. 
  • How To Make A Promotional Video with iMovie
    19 August 2019

    Paying a lump sum for a promotional video is beneficial when you have the budget for professional promotion and you know what your audience needs. Otherwise, you would only waste your money and time on a perfect video that might not work for your target viewers. So instead of getting into expensive endeavors, work with the tools you already have. And in this case, we mean something like MovieMaker but better – iMovie for Windows10. The beneficial side of such tools is that they come in-built or easy to download from the internet: iMovie is available on Macs and something like Movavi is free for Windows users. Besides that, this software is carefully maintained and frequently updated which means that you get the most modern option publicly available to anyone.

    But first things first, let’s take a look at the features of iMovie for Windows to define what video tricks you can do with it:

    • Text and map animations
    • The basic edition of images in a video
    • Basic audio and visual effects
    • Color correction
    • Royalty-free music and sound effects
    • Green screen
    • Timeline editing
    • Simple template design

    These basic tools allow the development of commercial videos, promos reels, podcasts and newscasts, webinars, and even simple wedding videos. And the intuitiveness of all the tools inside of the iMovie alternative for Windows makes it accessible and understandable for everyone, even without extensive knowledge in video editing.


    So to make your first video with iMovie as a promo or training film, you can use the built-in templates and trailers. These are ready-to-use templates for videos of different theme and form, such as romantic or comic, drama or more action-like, etc.

    The trailers (meaning their skeletons) are also pre-designed with a particular set of music and sound effects that would come in handy to explore program possibilities and at the same time enhance your first video. Most often, templates come in handy for a simple compilation of slides and video pieces.

    The actual templates with some touches in graphics and effects options, you can revise the whole template or improve it with additional touches. They allow working on animated photo albums as well as some short cartoons for simple promotions. While they might look childish in the beginning, remember that you can use it to your advantage and develop a simple animated comic story.

    And yes, the templates are the same for every program user, but with your touches, they can become unique for your big start in video editing.


    The templates functionalities do not stop there. You can mix up several templates and trailers-to-go: green screen with the globe feature for the film opening and at the end insert your company’s information into an animated book cover. All these features are there, all you need is to download iMovie for Windows and try them out. Of course, the standard effective timeline layering and simple management allow to intuitively cut your videos and add some sound and visual effects (besides transitions and fading out), work miracles when the deadline is already here and you need to design a great promo video.

    Of course, the advantages of this free tool are enormous, especially considering that iMovie free download for Windows is available hassle-free online. Yet, you should understand that if you have some experience in video editing, you have to face the fact that this is not Cut Pro or Premiere Pro. You will not be able to remove or enhance shadows on the green screen or make the cuts look more natural on the background. Yet, again, iMovie is a free built-in tool that allows developing extensive videos for promotion. What you’ll create might not be suitable for a TV commercial but for the social media platforms, this video editing tool is just what you need.

    The bottom line

    iMovie is a great free tool available on any Mac device as well as Windows since there are iMovie alternatives for this OS. Yes, you will need to accept that this software cannot recreate a living dinosaur in your short promotional video, yet it can deliver the basic functionality to make your film outstanding and memorable for the large audience. Its free-to-use policy also allows start-ups and small businesses to save on hiring a third party while at the same time explore the preferences of the viewers.

    iMovie is a perfect tool to begin your adventure on promotional video creation but does not stop here. Develop your skills, improve your theoretical knowledge and move on to the better and more advanced software. There is no limit to perfection, so go ahead!

  • Spring into DEEP Detox
    19 August 2019

    Winter in the southern hemisphere is coming to a close and the change of seasons are where people often struggle with general health. Nature knows that there is a transition time in which the planetary energies are recalibrating. Right now the southern hemisphere is moving from the internal restorative energies of Winter into the expansive energies of Spring. The opposite goes for the Northern Hemisphere so the planetary balance is sustained.

    Like any ‘life’ transition there may be some lumps and bumps to contend with as we re-establish our routines and rituals around more or less daylight, temperature and natural energetic shifts. When we listen to these natural shifts and adapt to the environment around us our bodies also thrive. If we continue on one path of input and output all year round, imbalance tends to creep in, as we are essentially ‘swimming against the flow’.

    Occasionally that’s ok and necessary however, habitual patterns form when we set one pace that becomes our default. Being conscious of our inner and outer environments is a balance that comes naturally when we choose to reflect, make space and deeply respect ourselves and the way we feel.

    Symptoms are messages from the body that often originate in our morphogenetic fields. They are lines of invisible energetic communication that provide a deeper connection to what’s really going on inside our body. By choosing to listen, we have an opportunity to reset our wellbeing and amplify our energy. Self-leadership is the essence of intuitive connection.

    Everything we do, say and believe is an energetic frequency stored somewhere in the body including the heart and brain. When we consider that our lifetime of experiences are held in this physical form, we can start to appreciate the deeper reason why we would want to do a regular deep detox. Taking responsibility for our physical body and brain and all that they hold on every level is where our inner impact changes our outer impact. These are the unseen elements that go unnoticed when we live in fast-paced survival mode.

    We are always learning, evolving, expanding and contracting because we are energy. Taking a moment to pause and honour our bodies and what they do for us is important if we choose to live in a complex urban world. The body itself is the definition of complexity so we are not going to escape complexity in our lives however our perception of complexity can consciously adapt. Rebalancing our lives means rebalancing our perceptions.

    I always say to clients, start with the body because it is laden with experiences that we can choose to eject by choice. Simple signs such as difficulty losing weight directly correlate with what we are mentally and emotionally carrying with us in our physical form. Similarly, any fat stores are energetic storehouses and what many people don’t know is that our brain is 70% fat. Are you even aware of what stories might be stored in the brain?

    Physical detox is often targeted at only what we see however in our modern world the unseen deeper detox is where we really get clarity and open to our potential. When was the last time you truly detoxed your body and brain? What arises for me is that we all talk about the complexity and ambiguity of life without really understanding that when we believe in those constructs, we also feed them.

    Deep detox is underestimated in our Western world where we have access to everything and believe we are well when we eat well. Many factors contribute to toxins in the body and the one of the biggest toxins is our emotions. We all move through multiple mental emotional states every day and they are often unconscious energies that have become habitually ‘normal’.

    When we take time to pause and reflect on what is actually going on in our body, we learn to respect ourselves on a whole new level. Respect for self is then reflected in respect for others and the planet.

    Do you truly believe you are well or is that this is your new ‘normal’? This is something to consider if you know you are masking any physical issues or messages. Only you know your definition of being well and ultimately this definition underpins your definition of success in all areas of your life. We cannot deny the laws of nature and energy so when we take the time and effort to show up for our bodies, we show up for everyone else in a whole new way.

    Undoing what we have done first has always been my first principle in wellbeing. It’s a process of stripping back to reveal what’s already there. Innovation for me is about alchemy and that happens when we courageously clear the debris so we can open to what’s meant for us. The depth to which we go is then proportional to the results we receive back. I find that a healthy dose of bravery is needed to move beyond the mind games, after all we are creating our reality with what we believe.

    Once a deep self respect and trust is rebuilt within, we can gain true clarity for ourselves then flow strategically in our businesses and organisations. Amplified wellbeing truly is the foundation for any success. When our bodies are in flow, our lives are in flow.

    Innovation happens naturally in the flow state, there is no trying. This is a huge growth area in any industry particularly the wellness industry however are we adding fuel to the fire every time we innovate with more wellness solutions and products? Are we able to sit with, and be guided and supported through the deeper work by simply unravelling and receiving what’s meant for us? The balance of ‘doing’ and ‘being’ varies for everyone and it’s a huge challenge for most of us. When the body, it’s organs and its field get clear, the messages get clear. Self-empowerment begins with clarity in the body and brain so our heart potential reveals itself from there.

    As winter slips away and we move into the warmth and vitality of Spring down under, what will be your commitment to your body? Make a deep detox of the body and brain a non-negotiable this season because when we work with natural cycles we amplify our energy for the following Spring cycle. Choosing to release our personal physical, mental and emotional debris respectfully automatically makes the collective and the planet a better place. Most importantly we bring more joy and vitality to ourselves!

    Nature is interdependently complex and simple, it’s a choice to be our natural best in balance. Be the change you wish to see…

    If you are keen to know more about the deep detox program at The Urban Shaman, email us on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or book in for a complimentary 45 min discovery session to see if we can help you on your transformation journey.

    The protocol we follow is Dr Alberto Villoldo’s ‘Grow A New Body’ program. It is based in shamanic principles of clearing the body and brain for longevity and vitality. The deep detox then upgrades the body and brain to reach our higher potential naturally particularly when complimented with a personal vision quest.

    Transformational coaching and guidance then supports the integration and management of intuitive receptivity to maintain a flow state. Contact us to learn more.

  • It's Not Just Gua Sha: These 7 Tools Will Sculpt & Tone Your Face
    19 August 2019
    We'll always love gua sha, but these just might take over our nighttime routine.

Life Blogs

19 August 2019

Life Blogs
  • What's Coming and Going From Netflix the Week of August 19, 2019
    19 August 2019

    Indoor cats: bad news. We’re on the leeward side of August, which means severe Netflix drought until the oasis of Labor Day. I certainly won’t recommend Gangs of New York (Tuesday), but if you would, feel free to do so in the comments. I will be alternately bingeing Halt and Catch Fire (all four seasons available on…


  • Breakdown or Breakthrough?
    19 August 2019

      For a few months now I have been working on reclaiming and rebuilding my life while being treated for Major Depression. Things have been going pretty OK, but I still have bad days in the midst of mostly good. But about 4 days ago when I was looking at pictures of me and my family I heard a whimper come out of nowhere. At first I wasn’t even sure it was me until I realized everyone was asleep, and well the whimper suddenly turned into an incredibly shriek kind of cry that had to be with ugly face and all. I literally stood in the kitchen crying uncontrollably for what seemed like forever. Since then, the same outburst has happened everyday. Could it be a breakdown or Breakthrough? Or, somewhere in between and I unconsciously realized I was only half to my breakthrough? Am I Having A Breakdown? To be honest, I was thinking all those months of mental and emotional beat-down,  was my breakdown. But I’m not so sure now. Is my depression the catalyst to my breakdown, or is my breakdown the catalyst to my depression? In what I’ve learned, a lot of times depression happens because of something significant happening or changing in your life. It can be something from the past or present. In my case, I think mine is because of past and present parts of my life. When this whole crying thing happened, I remember I kept saying to myself, “What have I done to myself, How did I get like this, Why did I let myself get so lost?”. But in my rational thinking, the answer to those questions are, I couldn’t control it. It’s not as if I wanted to be severely depressed, being sad all the time, and not only neglect my family, but I completely neglected myself. I began to feel numb and invisible and that was fine with me for a long time. The Middle SH#T I don’t mean to be so crude, but yeah, the middle sh#t! The in between being at your lowest and getting to your best. Reflection is one of those things that they say is good for you to do over your life. And I believe they are probably right. But reflection can be hell sometimes. It can be scary, embarrassing, agonizing, etc. It can take a toll on your mental and emotional state. The thing about the middle sh#t, is looking back to see how and why, accept your decisions and past, forgive yourself and past, forgive others who have wronged you, and then move on to focus on the present and look forward to the future. You just can’t dwell on things from your past.You can only learn from them. So although the middle sh#t isn’t always so much fun, the outcome can be amazing and a great start to creating authentic living, and joy in your life. Breakthrough? I think I already have kind of figured out what I have been experiencing for the last few days. It’s not quite time for my breakthrough, as hard as that is to admit. But I still want to talk about what a breakthrough means for me. A breakthrough, to me, is when you come to a crossroads in life, maybe starting from a place of despair, when you finally are able to solve and understand what has been holding you back. At this point you are able to finally move on with your life, having learned from past experiences, but no longer dwell on them. Breakdown or Breakthrough? Originally I wasn’t sure if I were beginning to have a breakdown, or a breakthrough. When these episodes began, I was looking at pictures from right before and the beginning of my depression. I was seeing parts of who I was before and mourning in a sense because I know I will never be the same again. Even though there were a lot of things that had been going on in my life oI knew I would still miss that version of me in some ways. And for me, facing not only that I was losing a part of me, but fear of who I was to become. Moving Forward When you have had depression and you are in the process of overcoming and recovery, you think that there are only happy filled days ahead. But that’s not really true. Because you have to put work into this process, and it sometimes isn’t pretty, sometimes it feels like a nightmare. You may even feel like it’s not working. But it is and it will, as long as you really and truly desire change. Moving forward remember, in order to make positive changes, it is necessary to completely face unresolved feelings and emotions from your past that are holding you back. So don’t be scared of the process. You have to have a breakdown to get to a breakthrough! Here are a couple of good articles on Breakdowns to Breakthrough, this is from Chopra and another good one is from the Observer. Also, if you would like to learn a little more about me, you can read my About Jackie post. Thank you for visiting Mend! I hope you find useful information. The blog is still in the very early ages of building. There is still a lot to learn and I to make sure that if I am providing information that is factual and useful. Please keep checking back often for new blog posts and resources. Also, if you subscribe to my newsletter and blog, I will update you each time a new blog post is up.    

    The post Breakdown or Breakthrough? appeared first on Mend.

  • Getting Help For My Depression
    19 August 2019

    When I originally thought about starting a blog, I really wanted to inspire, support, and encourage other people. I thought helping other people would help me out of my depression. And, just maybe, I would begin waking up each day with a purpose and loving of everyday. For a long time I didn’t even understand what was wrong with me. I thought I was just being really lazy to the point that I lost any ounce of energy I ever had. But depression can affect you physically as well as mentally. I realized how bad it was I guess it was the first time that I was going somewhere with all 3 of my kids since my baby was born without my husband with us. The plan was to go grocery shopping and then later to my Dr appt. Just getting them in and out of the car took everything and more that I could muster up. I put the kids in the grocery cart, and I suddenly felt pushing it was like climbing Mount Everest. Or at least what I would expect climbing Mount Everest would feel like. I turned around and walked right back out to the car and left. By the time I had to leave to go to the Dr, I realized I just couldn’t go by myself and ended up having my neighbor go with me. I know if I couldn’t handle pushing them in a cart in Walmart, there would be no way I could handle them in the Dr office.This is the day I knew I had slipped into severe depression. How is depression affecting me? This was in January and it is June now. Not a lot has changed since then except when I need to go somewhere with the kids, I try to prepare myself mentally before. I spend my days sleeping, eating and laying in bed. I have literally gained about 40 lbs. Taking a shower is a rare occasion and brushing my hair just as rare. When I would never leave the house before without fixing my hair and looking half-way decent, to now just throwing on a hat and whatever stretch pants are laying around. My husband runs most errands now. He pays the bills. He bathes the kids. He makes the kids dinner. He cleans more than I do. I talk to people as little as possible. I know it may seem I am purposely avoiding someone, but I am purposely avoiding everyone. It isn’t personal towards anyone. I have literally let myself go, and I know it. I also know what I need to do to change some of it, but just don’t have it in me to do what I need to. I am getting help I have had depression before, but never this severe. I truly want to find joy again and I thought I would get over the depression eventually. But after 6 months I finally realized I had to do something about it. Last week I went as a walk-in and had an intake session at a mental health clinic. I am seeing a Dr next week for meds and will start with a therapist in the next 2 weeks. I am grateful that I was able to just walk in and get the ball rolling. Just the intake session felt so good to let so much out and not feel I had to hide anything when explaining why I was there and how I was feeling. Any type of depression is serious I do have to say that although I have been depressed since before I was pregnant, I do believe the severity of it is post-partum depression. Please know that any depression is serious. If you area able, please don’t wait to get help. Please call this number if you are feeling not yourself or click the picture to visit the NAMI site. Here is a link to a great 2017 documentary narrated by Brook Shields called When the Bough Breaks about post-partum depression. Give it a watch. Depression can touch anyone Just remember that whether you may be suffering from depression or post-partum depression, you are not alone. I hope that one day I and this blog will turn into something inspiring, but for now I just want people to know that there are people like you and me from all walks of life and I hope to create a community of support for this journey we are all on. Feel free to comment below if you are dealing with depression or have before. If you just need someone to talk to click here and fill out the contact form. You can read more about me here , About Jackie I look forward to sharing more of my journey and hopefully some support and inspiration along the way.

    The post Getting Help For My Depression appeared first on Mend.

  • Overcoming the Effects of Depression
    19 August 2019

    Overcoming the Effects of Depression    The Process of Overcoming Depression In my first post, HERE,  I told you that I have been suffering from depression for 10 months. The effects caused by depression broke me until there was nothing left to break. It has been so difficult knowing things need to change, but physically and mentally being unable to overcome the effects of depression and begin to Mend. It’s not that I don’t want to feel better, do better, and get on with my life. I do want to be happy. I do want to have a purpose to get out of bed every day. I do want to want to take care of my kids. I do want to contribute to my family financially, physically, emotionally, and mentally. I do want to mend friendships and other relationships. And, I do want to live! I feel so broken and incapable of doing things to change the direction of my life. Is it just a waiting game until I go to the Dr., get medication, and then wait the 4-6 weeks it takes to start noticing a change? What do I do in the meantime? I feel like my “depression” excuse, is just that, an excuse, at least to the people watching and waiting for me to snap out of it I know that its not just an excuse. I believe my husband knows I am truly suffering. I’m just not sure if anyone else understands how physically and mentally debilitating depression can be. Do they think we are just lazy? A bad wife/husband? A bad mom/dad? A bad friend? The characteristics I have always valued the most about myself, became undetectable. But that is not the person I want to be. I know if you haven’t ever experienced severe depression, then you may not be able to understand and maybe feel like the person with depression is a   It’s Important to Spread Awareness and       Understanding For the important people and loved one’s in the lives of people suffering from depression, it is important to understand the difficulties they endure. As hard as depression is for the one suffering from it, it is hard for their loved ones too. Many people do not understand that it is more than just a feeling. According to a publication on the NIHM website: “Sadness is something we all experience. It is a normal reaction to difficult times in life and usually passes with a little time.When a person has depression, it interferes with daily life and normal functioning. It can cause pain for both the person with depression and those who care about him or her. Doctors call this condition “depressive disorder,” or “clinical depression.” It is a real illness. It is not a sign of a person’s weakness or a character flaw. You can’t “snap out of” clinical depression. Most people who experience depression need treatment to get better.”     The sooner people realize it is a real illness, maybe the sooner people will get professional help. It took me over 6 months before I finally went to get help and realized it would not just run its course and go away. For anyone that has a loved one that is showing signs and symptoms, or has been diagnosed, please educate yourself and try to be a good support for them. You and they will benefit from understanding how to overcome the effects of depression. I hope you feel welcomed and enjoyed the site.

    The post Overcoming the Effects of Depression appeared first on Mend.

  • Understanding Depression
    19 August 2019

    Understanding Depression Disclaimer: The links in this post are NOT affiliate links. I am not being paid to promote them, I just found them to be honest and informative. Understanding depression is the most important tool depression sufferers and their loved ones can arm themselves with. Unfortunately, too many people think they already know what depression is and have a false view and understanding of it. With the stigma and stereotypes surrounding mental illness, people seeking information about depression end up with limited factual knowledge and a whole lot of ignorance regarding mental illness as a whole.   Realizing the Severity of My Own Depression After a month of barely being able to keep my eyes open, much less get out of bed, it was obvious I was depressed. But not like times before when I would get down and blue for a week or two and then be ok. No, this time was different. I no longer recognized myself, nor could I pull myself out of this fog no matter how bad I wanted to feel better.   I Was Disappearing, Little by Little I had never felt so sad, empty, and numb. I was so deeply depressed. I actually started to feel invisible to my husband and kids. I was disappearing little by little, my life breaking apart piece by piece. The most miserable feeling was being stuck in that state of nothingness. The first month and a half, I laid in bed 24/7 accept to make the kids food, a bottle for my newborn, or fixing food for me. I slept every second I could. When I wasn’t sleeping, I was eating excessively. I didn’t take showers or brush my hair for weeks at a time. I didn’t talk to people who called, mostly didn’t return text messages, and never opened the door if anyone knocked.   Depression Affects People Physically As Much As Mentally I gained 40 lbs in that month and a half. Nothing fit me and I felt even worse about myself than I already had been. I felt so guilty, ashamed and embarrassed for how I had been living, or not living. The ways depression was affecting my mental and physical well-being, only worsened my depression and self-esteem. I didn’t see a light at the end of the tunnel and I honestly didn’t care anymore.   If you think you may be suffering from depression, you can take the    Depression Symptom Quiz.   Grateful For The Ones Who Still Saw Me, Even Though   I Was Broken & Invisible  I couldn’t be more grateful or blessed to have my husband who took up all the slack for me and worked full time too. Even though he couldn’t really understand what I was going through, he didn’t make me feel bad, guilty, or ashamed ever. He seemed to be the only person in my life that understood to his best ability. He knew it was serious and that I actually couldn’t help that I had become almost nothing.   The Stigma It seemed like no one thought it was a big deal, or maybe they even thought I was just being lazy and selfish. But that couldn’t be further from the truth. Like I said, brushing my hair and showering were only done every 2-3 weeks. I was gross and disgusting and had I been physically able to, I would have showered everyday. “If you should speak to anyone affected by a mental illness, the chances are that you will hear stories of hidden suffering, shame, and discrimination in nearly every sector of their lives.”  Vikram Patel: Mental health for all Depression can affect people in many ways, some worse than others. Understanding depression and the signs and symptoms is important so you can get help as soon as possible. It is an awful illness that can have fatal consequences if not treated. Don’t let your lack of or understanding depression make you a statistic. Learn the facts, talk to someone, and get treatment. I hope you come back and visit. I hope what I have shared this far has ensured you know you aren’t alone.   If you discover you can’t fight it by yourself, or could just use a listening ear, contact me HERE   You can find reliable, factual information and resources about mental health HERE   My Resources page is full of more websites and apps that may be beneficial in helping you learn the facts of depression a mental health. Also, there are tools you can use to help you overcome depression. * Twitter

    The post Understanding Depression appeared first on Mend.

  • About Jackie
    19 August 2019

      Hi and welcome to Mending A Life. My name is Jackie. I love people and getting know them. I find the differences we all have the most interesting aspect of life. Being able to do something uselful for another person is what has driven me in my life. Mend? What Is It? About a year and a half ago I lost a job I loved and had spent 5 1/2 years building not just my job skills, but most importantly, relationships with people that I served and spoke with everyday. My job became more than just my job, but like my second home with my extended family. It didn’t take long before I slipped into depression. I felt like I lost someone I loved. My purpose for getting up each day. I lost me. I began to feel like my life was at a stand-still. As time went by, I found out I was pregnant with my 6th child. My husband and I didn’t plan to have more, and boy what timing? We also started to feel the effects of the financial burden of losing 1 whole income. My depression got worse. The worse it got, the more nightmares and bouts of anxiety I would have waking me up at night. Baby came and within 4 days, even though I had never experienced it, I knew I was having Postpartum Depression. It was awful and I had never felt more hopeless in my life. Depression and Postpartum Depression had completely taken over my life, and even began affected my husband and kids greatly. Why People Don’t Get help So many people suffer with depression or other mental illness. A lot of people lack a good support system. Some people have been made to believe the stigma and stereotypes associated with depression and mental illness. Others do not understand or know why they are feeling the way they are. For these reasons too many people go without being treated and professional care. I have been feeling so lost and confused and like my depression is causing a hold on my life. It took a while but I finally realized I couldn’t beat this alone. It was never going away unless I got the help I needed. I thought it would be good to document my struggles and my road to recovery. The more I learn about depression, the more I learn how much wrong and negative information there is surrounding the illness and the people who suffer from it. It is scary to know how many people suffer quietly because of all of the myths out there What Can I Do For You First, what I am not is a Doctor or Licensed Therapist. I am not giving medical advice here. What I hope to provide here is my story and experiences that may be relate-able or sound familiar to you so you know you are not alone. I will offer resources with real and factual information about depression and tools that may help you cope with your depression. The most important things those of us with depression need is support, encouragement, and inspiration. It helps to have support from someone. Someone that is there to listen and be positive and supportive during our treatment and recovery. That is what I intend to provide here at Mending A Life. Mend will be a safe, non-judgmental community of people providing each other with the support, encouragement, and inspiration we all need. Please feel free to introduce yourself in the comments. If you ever need a hand or have any questions, feel free to leave them in the comments or fill out the form HERE and I will be more than happy to help you out. I am so happy you are here!

    The post About Jackie appeared first on Mend.

  • How to Show You Care: 7 Ways to Give Love and Receive Love
    19 August 2019

    Thoughts on Life and Love Thoughts on Life and Love - Mental health, emotional wellbeing & personal development

    We all tend to neglect the ones we are closest to, but this is not because we don't love them! Here's how to show you care in 7 meaningful ways to remind them.

    How to Show You Care: 7 Ways to Give Love and Receive Love Mandy Kloppers.

  • How Effective Is CBD for Epilepsy?
    19 August 2019

    The treatment of seizure disorders — particularly Lennox–Gastaut syndrome and Dravet syndrome, which often respond poorly to medication — represents one of the most promising and scientifically supported uses of cannabidiol (CBD).

    The story of 6-year-old Charlotte Figi, who suffered from intractable epilepsy, brought national attention to CBD’s potential as a seizure-disorder treatment when it was featured in the 2013 CNN documentary series Weed by neurosurgeon and medical correspondent Sanjay Gupta, MD. Charlotte was the first of many children successfully treated for severe seizure disorders with a high-CBD medical-marijuana product, which was later christened Charlotte’s Web in her honor.

    Epidiolex, a drug that treats rare and severe forms of epilepsy, is currently the only FDA-approved CBD medicine available in the United States. Clinical trials showed that patients who took Epidiolex experienced fewer seizures compared with those who received a placebo. The most common side effects included fatigue, suppressed appetite, and diarrhea. CBD may interact with anti-epileptic drugs, though, so consult with your doctor before trying any CBD-based treatment.

    This originally appeared as “Understanding CBD” in the July/August 2019 print issue of Experience Life.

  • Free flooring samples from Lowe’s or Home Depot make great coasters, plus they come in hundreds of differen’t colors and designs to match your interior
    19 August 2019
  • Best revenge.
    19 August 2019
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Happiness Blog

19 August 2019

Happiness Blog
  • 5 Ways To Make Your Next Move Way Less Painful (For You & The Planet)
    19 August 2019
    A recount of my attempt at a zero-waste move.
  • Happy Memories: Use Them To Overcome Negativity Today!
    19 August 2019

    Having a store of happy memories can be incredibly useful when times get tough. Unfortunately, we’re not naturally programmed to dwell on positive memories, so it may take a bit of effort to build your happy memory bank in the beginning.  Why? Because humans naturally tend to experience a negative event much more strongly than […]

    The post Happy Memories: Use Them To Overcome Negativity Today! appeared first on My best friend Adeline.

  • It's Not Just Gua Sha: These 7 Tools Will Sculpt & Tone Your Face
    19 August 2019
    We'll always love gua sha, but these just might take over our nighttime routine.
  • How Connecting With The People & Places Around You Elevates Well-Being
    19 August 2019
    Three ways to foster meaningful connection in your life.
  • For The First Time In Years, A Rare Grounding Transit Is Coming Our Way
    19 August 2019
    Get ready to get organized.
  • 7 words to STOP saying to yourself if you want more confidence
    19 August 2019

    Confidence is something you build; through the enacting of positive behaviours. In this way, it’s very much like happiness which can be enjoyed, if not all the time then more of the time, by practising healthy and helpful habits.

    As such, confidence and happiness depend very much on what you do.

    At the same time, however, it’s also important to be wary of what NOT to do; unhelpful behaviours and bad habits can eat away at happiness and confidence so as important as it is to focus on what to do and say, it’s just as important to reflect upon what not to do and say …

    via by Melanie Curtin

    Confidence isn’t binary. It isn’t something you either have or don’t. Rather, it’s something you practice, grow into, and develop.

    This is important because if you’ve developed an identity around “not being confident,” you can just as easily develop the identity of “I’m growing my confidence.” This is a growth mindset as opposed to a fixed one, and it matters. It changes you from the inside out.

    One of the most basic ways to practice confidence is with your speech. Here are some terms to stop using if you want to supercharge your confidence:

    1. Try

    As in, “I’ll try to make it to that meeting.”

    In this context, “try” really means “I don’t want to do that, but I’ll make it sound like I might so you won’t be mad at me.”

    People-pleasers who don’t want to say no will often use “try” to punt. Confident people don’t do this. Instead, they follow Yoda’s advice: Do or do not. There is no try.

    2. Maybe

    “Can you get this done by Friday?”

    Most of us have a gut instinct when we’re asked a question like this. We know what else we have going on and whether we have the bandwidth to take on another project. Counterintuitively, when you lack confidence you also tend to lack the conviction to say no. This often leads you to say something like, “Maybe…” hoping that by your tone of voice, the person will let you off the hook.

    Instead, a confident person will simply say “No” when they know that’s the answer that’s called for. They might add, “However, I could get that done by next Wednesday.” What they won’t say is maybe when they mean no.

    3. Can’t

    As in, “We can’t do that.”

    It’s not that confident people never fail–it’s that they do fail. They’re willing to take risks because they know that if things don’t work out, they’re resilient. They’ll get knocked down but then get up again.

    Thus, “We can’t do that” becomes “This is risky, and I believe we can do it. And if it doesn’t work out, we’ll have each other’s backs.”

    …keep reading the full & original article HERE

  • 4 simple ways to be more confident with others
    19 August 2019

    There’s no doubt that happiness is significantly influenced by the number and nature of our relationships.

    Accordingly, there’s also no doubt that having difficulty talking to or interacting with others can have a negative impact on one’s happiness.

    Becoming more confident talking to others, therefore, can boost happiness and here’s how you can do it better…

    via the Ladders by Nicolas Cole

    Most people see confidence as something you’re born with—you either have it or you don’t.

    But the truth is, confidence is just like any other personality trait. If you want to be more patient, you have to practice patience. If you want to be more compassionate, you have to practice compassion. If you want to be more thoughtful, you have to practice doing things intentionally. And if you want to be confident, well then, you simply have to practice being confident.

    Unfortunately, there is a lot of bad advice out there about what “being confident” actually means in the first place.

    People love repeating the same tired clichés: “You have to dress the part, and pull your shoulders back to show that you carry yourself well.” But are these really the things that command respect? Is “commanding” respect really even the thing you want in the first place?

    I wasn’t all that confident growing up. I was the kid who couldn’t quite find his group of friends in the lunchroom, spent most weekends alone and in my own imagination. And when it came to school dances, I either sat on the rim by myself or just didn’t attend at all. I had a good bit of social anxiety all through high school, and it wasn’t until half-way through college that I started to come out of my shell.

    Now? My social life as an entrepreneur and founder is so different than who I was growing up, I genuinely wonder if the memories I have of myself are real at all. And I’ve also learned, first-hand, that confidence is absolutely something you can practice and acquire—and it’s also something that has very little to do with “puffing your chest out” and wearing trendy clothes.

    Once I started making these shifts in the way I saw the world, everything around me began to change:

    Shift #1: Confidence lives by the rule of opposites—and once you see it, you won’t forget it

    It took me a long time to realize that the people who wanted to prove how confident they were, were actually the most insecure.

    This reminds me of a quote from the movie American Gangster where the main character (played by Denzel Washington) says to his lavishly-dressed younger brother, “That. What you got on. That’s a very, very, very nice suit? That’s a clown suit. That’s a costume. With a big sign on it that says, ‘Arrest Me.’ You understand? You’re too loud. You’re making too much noise. Look at me: The loudest one in the room is the weakest one in the room.”

    Now, I’m all for creative expression, wear whatever you want to wear, etc. That’s not the point I’m trying to illustrate.

    The point is, the world often deduces that if you stand out, you are, by definition, “more confident.” But that couldn’t be farther from the truth. And oftentimes, it’s the complete opposite: people stand out (with clothes, with jewelry, etc.,) to compensate for something deeper.

    You want to have plenty of that “something deeper.”

    Then, whatever you wear, however you carry yourself, amplifies what’s already there…

    …keep reading the full & original story HERE

  • Free Up Your Space: Two Simple Questions for Easy Decluttering
    19 August 2019

    “Owning less is better than organizing more.” ~Joshua Becker

    There are lots of reasons to declutter—to free up space, to pare down belongings in advance of a move, to release any possessions that weigh you down emotionally, and to make room for new things to come into your life. And there’s another reason, though people don’t usually realize it: to reduce stress and overwhelm.

    The more stuff you have, the more time, energy, and money you need to devote to maintaining it, and the more likely you feel anxious in your cramped and potentially disorganized space.

    I declutter two to three times a year now, but my biggest decluttering was the one I did five years ago prior to moving in with the man who is now my husband.

    We each owned fully furnished three-bedroom houses. After much negotiation, we had decided to sell my split-level house and keep his rancher.

    My first step was to create two wee signs for myself. Both read, “Official Policy: Get rid of anything that does not bring pleasure, beauty, or purpose into my life.” On days when I became a bit muddled, those signs helped.

    My second step was realizing that there really are only two options when decluttering: “keep” or “get rid of.” There are, however, subsets to each of those categories.

    For “keep,” you must decide whether it’s being kept in storage of some sort (and what that might be—attic/basement/garage or rented storage space—or incorporated into your space.

    For “get rid of,” you have to decide whether it’s going to a specific person, being donated somewhere (and, if so, where), being sold, or being thrown out.

    Having worked into the “whats” of decision-making, I figured it might make sense to talk a bit about how to make these sorts of decisions, since it’s the rare person who is going to decide based solely on “what I like best” or “what fits in my new place.”

    One of the things my sweetheart and I did was decide what we were going to keep based on what we called a “must have” list.

    For each room, we decided what items we must have for the room to function properly. For our master bedroom, we decided we needed a bed, two nightstands, a TV stand with a TV, and one dresser.

    Once we had our list together, we focused solely on our necessities and figured out which items from where we were going to use to fill those needs. Only after we made those decisions did we add extras (like, say art for the walls, candlesticks, and the part of my hoard of crafting supplies that I kept).

    Making the list was simple. Deciding whose stuff got to fill the role of “dining table” or “dresser” or “bed” was a bit less simple, but we worked through it with love and dogged persistence.

    Here’s what I learned after decluttering and downsizing two full homes to merge them into one: You really only have to ask yourself two key questions:

    1. Do you love each object that you are considering?
    2. Do you use the object in question?

    You can actually start these in either order, because every single item has to jump through both hoops.

    1. Do you love it?

    You really ought to. Because life is too short to be surrounded by things you dislike or that you find oppressive to your spirit.

    If you despise an item, why would you want to keep it? (And yeah, I get “familial guilt” and all, but still. if you don’t have space in your new place and you don’t like it, this is the sort of stuff that you should be thinking of liberating, in hopes it will find someone who really does like it.)

    For clothing, optimally you should love the color, the style, the fit, and the way you feel in it, but realistically, I go with “what I like and wear and don’t mind being seen in.”

    For items, it means you should enjoy seeing them or using them. It’s kind of hard to love a can opener, but say you have two, and one hurts your hand and the other doesn’t, it’s pretty easy to decide you love the pain-free one. (If you have two and they both hurt your hand, which happened to me, then do what I did and get rid of them both!)

    And for items you’re keeping for nostalgia, a box of letters from an ex, for example, you’ll have to dig deep and be honest with yourself about whether this actually serves you, or just drags you down. You may have loved them in the past, but is it self-loving to hold on to them?

    If you’ve asked yourself if you love something, or if you at least don’t dislike it, you still have to proceed to the next question:

    2. Do you use it?

    For clothing, this means “Do you wear it?” And not in an “ever in life” way, but in a “within the past twelve months” way.

    If not, you probably ought to let it go, although I do believe in making the very occasional exception for this category as long as you have the storage space. That last caveat is very important.

    If you are crowding all of your stuff in order to keep a bunch of “maybe/just in case/but I can’t get rid of that dress/sweater/coat” items, then you are making every single day of your life harder than it needs to be. Because when your stuff is jam-packed, you can’t readily get to the stuff that fits, and that you wear.

    For every other usable item in the house, the same “within the past twelve months” rule applies. Possibly you only use that huge platter for turkey on Thanksgiving, and that’s cool—when next Thanksgiving comes, you’re still going to need it.

    If there’s “stuff,” though, that you haven’t used in ages, then you aren’t using it, and it’s a prime candidate for going. This was true, for example, of the ice cream machine I got rid of. On the one hand, it had been in the house for about thirteen years, so it was old; on the other hand, it had never been used—not even once—so it was brand new.

    As for stuff that has no practical purpose, like décor items, some people might think those are non-essentials, or are somehow non-functional. The purpose that they serve is to decorate your space and bring joy into your life. If they are something that brightens your life, and both you and your partner love it and have space to display or store it, you should keep it.

    Lastly, this tip from Yoda (sort of):

    3. Do or do not. There is no try “maybe.”

    Lots of decluttering gurus advocate creating a “maybe” pile for things that you can’t make an immediate decision about. I chose not to allow for it when we were downsizing as well as decluttering.

    The reason I chose not to use a “maybe” pile is because if you say “maybe,” you are essentially making a decision now to make the decision later, which isn’t really solving anything.

    It’s kind of like the advice when sorting through mail to not handle things twice if you can avoid it. If it’s trash/recycling, put it there right away, so you don’t have to go through the mail again later; if it’s filing, file it. So I opted as much as possible for immediate “keep” or “get rid of.”

    Five years on, there isn’t a thing we got rid of that my husband and I miss. There are, however, some things that we initially kept that we’ve since let go. Such is the way of decluttering.

    About Kelly Ramsdell

    Kelly Ramsdell is the founder and CEO of Actually-I-Can Inc., which is dedicated to helping women fulfill their life vision through self-care, creativity and adventure. She considers decluttering to be an important self-care item, since it reduces stress. Actually-I-Can has a decluttering course opening in September, 2019.

    Get in the conversation! Click here to leave a comment on the site.

    The post Free Up Your Space: Two Simple Questions for Easy Decluttering appeared first on Tiny Buddha.

  • [Drawing of two cats eating pizza on a bed with a caption that...
    19 August 2019

    [Drawing of two cats eating pizza on a bed with a caption that says “I love you so much already and I’m so excited to love you more and more every day for the rest of my life. And if while we’re at it, we also play video games and eat lots of pizza, I’ll love that too.”]

  • Your Patterns Run Your Life
    18 August 2019

    People don’t truly change unless they change their patterns.

    Believe it or not, but how you do one thing is how you do everything.

    • If someone has a habit of procrastinating in their personal life, that person is also guaranteed to procrastinate in their work life.
    • If someone has a habit of being a doer, they’re a doer in all areas of life.
    • If someone is messy, they’re usually messy in all areas of life.

    Pay attention to people’s patterns. People attend to your patterns.

    • Not one-time actions.
    • Not words.
    • Not intention.
    • But behavioral patterns

    Patterns tell you how someone is and how they’ll be in the long run.

    If you want to truly change your life, you can’t just change one thing. You have to change your patterns - across the board. Your patterns run your life. Your patterns dictate your future.

    Unless you change “how” you do things daily with everything in all areas of life, you’re not going to change.