Tip of the Week: Listen to Yourself

Stop-and-ListenThis week’s tip: Practice your internal listening skills.

I’m not sure if anyone ever really taught me how to be a good listener. I learned phonics and comprehension in school, sure. But interpersonal communication skills were something I had to learn through practice — and internal communication was something I hadn’t really ever thought about until recently!

Personally, I know I am nowhere near an expert listener. That said, I have figured out that it is possible to improve my listening skills by turning on a little bit of mindfulness and clueing into a few straightforward tips: Read More »

Share Seven Smiles… Take 2!

ShareSevenSmiles_tallimageA few weeks ago I suggested the idea of sharing seven smiles by giving a random gift every day for one week. I was really excited about the idea when I wrote the blog post… but then my week got so busy I didn’t even take it seriously myself!

This week is going to be another busy one: I am officiating my friends’ wedding a week from tomorrow (!), and the pace has picked up at work. So, I decided that it might be a good week to give myself a break from blogging and focus on preparing for my friends’ wedding in my free time. Instead of writing anything new next week, I plan to participate in the campaign to share (at least) seven smiles.

It would mean the world to me (and hopefully a lot to some people in your world, too!) if you joined me. Next week, I will be posting 7 shareable images to my blog’s Facebook page to spread the love. Here’s how you can participate:Read More »

Tip of the Week: Remember Your Wings

FacebookQuote_WeatherTheWaves_031516This week’s tip: Stop dwelling on the wind and the waves. Start focusing on your wings.

Life got a little turbulent for me over the past couple of days. I came down with a little bug that had me flat on my back for most of yesterday. I felt exhausted. All I wanted to do was work on some writing or do something fun with Eric, but all I could manage to do was sleep, nap, and lie there.

I had considered staying home from work today, but I had a few meetings in the morning, so I figured I’d go in for my meetings, grab my computer, and then work from home in the afternoon. This morning I felt a little bit better, so heading to work didn’t actually seem so bad.

Life can be groundless, though. Read More »

Tip of the Week: Begin to Declutter Your Life

2016-04-18 10.31.44This week’s tip: Experience the joy of tidying up.

Everyone is talking about the life-changing magic of tidying up. I experienced it today. Have you heard about it?

It’s an internationally best-selling self-help book, written by Japanese decluttering and organization consultant, Marie Kondo. She calls her tidying process the “KonMari method”, and it’s pretty simple:

  • Tidy by category, not by place. Kondo suggests first tackling your clothes, then books, papers, Komono (miscellany), and finally, mementos. She suggests making subcategories if it is helpful.
  • Start by discarding. To decide what action to take for a particular item, ask yourself “Does this spark joy?” Trust your intuition. If the answer is yes, you can set the item aside to store. If the answer is no, it should be discarded or donated.
  • Next, decide where to store things. Kondo urges you to keep your storage strategies simple. Everything should have its own place, and similar items should be stored together. She also teaches a particular method for folding your clothes.
  • Start the next category, and repeat.

This minimalist idea of surrounding yourself with only possessions that bring you joy is not unique to Marie Kondo. Happiness Guru Gretchen Rubin often preaches that “outer order contributes to inner calm,” emphasizing that seemingly small things like an over-crowded closet can weigh us down more than we realize. Read More »

Know Yourself: The Myers-Briggs Edition

 

tall-image_knowyourself_MBTIWe’ve all known ourselves since the day we were born. But how many of us really know ourselves? Despite spending every waking (and sleeping!) moment with ourselves, many of us mindlessly trudge through life, stumbling over emotions, stress, and frustrations and never stopping to ask ourselves why we stumbled in the first place.

There is a lot you can learn by flipping on the self-awareness switch. Recently, I’ve developed an interest in taking various personality tests to help me analyze my strengths, weaknesses, happiness triggers, and sadness stumbling blocks. I’ve tried to define aspects of my personality, learning to love the parts I know will never change and trying to work on the parts that might be more malleable.

Of all of the personality assessments out there, I find the Myers-Briggs personality test to be one of the most intriguing. Read More »

Becoming Aware, Inside and Out

awareimageIt’s become apparent to me recently how much self-awareness equates to good health and happiness. It’s something I have been slowly developing for years, but I know I’m still at the very beginning of my journey.

Self-awareness helps us understand why we do the things we do and feel the way we feel — and that knowledge give us the ability to understand (and sometimes change) the way we act and react. Awareness of the people and environment around us helps us interact with the world in a more present way. For me, it’s all about listening, paying attention, and learning. Read More »

Tip of the Week: Spread Seven Smiles

PA160453_squareThis week’s tip: Give a random gift every day!

Yesterday was my 28th birthday. Birthdays are great, aren’t they? Leading up to my birthday this year, I started to anticipate the warm, happy feelings that my birthday tends to bring, and I got to wondering — why is that birthdays make us feel so good?

Is it the fact that we are a year older? Probably not. (Unless we’re under 21 — and then it’s still really exciting.)

Is it the fact that all of our acquaintances came out of the woodwork to wish us a happy birthday on Facebook? Alright, I’ll admit… that does make me feel kinda good.

Is it the fact that we receive lots of gifts? Ooh! Bingo! I like presents! 😉

In all seriousness, though — this is the perfect time of year for me to tell you from personal experience that receiving a gift can make you feel appreciated, grateful, and happy. But why do we only tend to give each other gifts on birthdays, anniversaries and special holidays? Why not spread appreciation, gratitude and happiness on a day when someone least expects it? Read More »

Tip of the Week: Cook with Friends


This week’s tip:
 Make (and enjoy!) a delicious, homemade meal with friends.

dinner-party-tableWhether it’s a one-on-one occasion to catch up with a close friend, an intimate dinner party with a small group, or a big pot-luck gathering, getting together with friends over food is a great way to boost your happiness (and depending on the food you make, maybe your health too!)

Here are five reasons to consider putting a dinner-date with a friend on the calendar:Read More »

Prioritizing Imperfection

looking-at-the-wavesPerfectionism can be difficult.

While on the healthy side, it can push us to excel, enhance our work ethic, and convey that we care, it can also easily tip over to the unhealthy side, causing us to feel “never good enough”, anxious, or ashamed. Being somewhat of a perfectionist myself, I can relate to the good and the bad aspects of the trait — so it is important to figure out a way to keep perfectionism in check and not let it get in the way of our happiness. Read More »