“Pay attention to your intuition. Listen to your heart. Speak your mind. Love yourself so that you can love others. Smile.” ~Nishan Panwar

In parts I & II of the blog series, “Be Your Best You”, we talked about nourishment of the mind with a little down time and last week we talimageked about nourishment of the body through exercise, nutrition, hydration, and sleep. Today’s blog, Part III, is about strengthening the soul through self-love, love of others, spirituality and laughter.

The first ingredient of soul care is self-love. It’s natural to take care of other people/things we love…but to trul y love others we have to love ourselves first. The Golden Rule tells us to “love your neighbor as you love yourself”. Self-love isn’t being arrogant or getting our way, but it does require knowing our boundaries, being kind to ourselves (learning how to say no), and honoring our values. When we live from a place of self-love, the world mirrors compassion and love back to us.

Once we learn to love ourselves, we may offer a better self to those around us. Loving others is ingredient number two. It lowers risks of chronic diseases, stress, and brings emotional happiness. When we do acts of kindness through service, it connects us to those we serve and gives us a kind of satisfaction that self-interest cannot provide.
Ingredient number three is spirituality, or connecting to something bigger than ourselves. Mainstream science has proven that we are wired to believe. So, not only are we built to connect, the more we connect and develop our spiritual selves through meditation, prayer or other means, the healthier and happier we live.

“Laughter is the shortest distance between two people.” ~Victor Borge

The last ingredient to nurturing the soul is laughter. Laughter releases tension and relaxes us. Physiologically, it benefits the body like a light workout by increasing blood flow, boosting energy, burning calories and aiding sleep. In other words, it’s time to get silly. When laughter is shared, it bonds people together increasing intimacy. Best of all, it’s fun and free.

Self-love, loving others, spirituality, and laughter are four key ingredients to strengthen your soul. What’s holding you back from loving yourself in a way that inspires and brings forth beauty? Be patient with the process and allow it to unfold. You will find you are ready to compete again, but stronger and better.

 

Carpe diem!

~Lisa

 

“Love yourself first and everything else falls in line. You really have to love yourself to get anything done in this world.” – Lucille Ball

Society seems to prize busyness. Being “on” at all times has become an expectation. Kudos to those who are focused, have a plan, and busy are working it. You possess the necessary ingredients for goal achievement! Being too busy, however, has a cost. Ironically, it negatively impacts the very success we are trying to achieve. If we go down the busy path too long taking care of the kids, the job, the home, relationships, etc., exhaustion creeps in. We wear down our nervous system and dampen our ability to be our most productive self. Racing from point A to point B, we produce and we provide. We are “on” at all the right times. However, the more externally we focus and the larger our “to-do” lists grow, the more inefficient (& unhealthy) we become. It is necessary then, to become our best self, we must slow down and nourish ourselves in mind, body and soul. To be our best self, we need to step back and rebuild our foundation. Today’s topic is nourishment of the mind through downtime. A little bit of nuttin’, honey.

You might think being idle is nuts, a waste of time. But, taking a few minutes of “nothing” can add up to a whole lot of something. It stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system and that, my friends, brings a slew of healthy benefits.

See, when we’re too busy, nothing new can come to mind. Creativity is dampened. Science has proven, however, that if we carve a little “mind space” we reap some cool benefits. Unstructured time allows for a process of incubation which is where our best ideas and solutions can come from. Not convinced to take a time out yet? The Energy Project study found that associates who took “time outs” increased their creative capacity in a huge way and enjoyed a greater level of health and mental well-being. Overwork has the opposite effect; less engagement, feeling worn out, a significant decrease in creativity/problem resolution, making mistakes, and so on.

High intensity intervals (HIIT) isn’t just effective in workouts, it’s an effective work/life strategy. Intense periods of focus should be balanced by time (breaks) allowing for rest and renewal. Short breaks boost digestion, lower the heart rate, increase work capacity, and elevate moods. So, go ahead, take a break. Observe how “energy management” can aid time management. Close the door. Turn off the phone. Or, step outside. Be still for 5-10 minutes a couple times each day. It may take a little getting used to, but the more you do less, the better you will be.

By making ourselves our own wellness mission, we can do better in serving others AND achieving our goals. Nourishing the self is essential to health, happiness and well-being.

Take 5 to renew. Then compete, better. Every day.

Choose fit. Be still. Live strong.7 day

~Lisa Read More →

Last week you got the Cliff Notes to the “5 Keys to Continued Success” which provided the formula below:

Learn It. Lose it. Love it. Live it. And, laugh.

Today I am going to expound a bit (only a bit, because I know you appreciate Cliff Notes, as well!) on the second piece of the formula: Lose it. Bad habits, that is. By letting go of the them, you’ll free up energy, mental space and even money that could be better spent on a happier, healthier you. It’s not quite summer, so how about a little bad-habit spring cleaning?

Here are a couple bad habits you might consider “sweeping” away:

• A beer or glass of wine (every night)…while you might fall asleep relaxed initially, once your body starts metabolizing the alcohol there’s a rebound effect, HELLO 2 am wakeup and tired you the next day.

• 24/7 connectivity…ah, this one is a pet peeve of mine. I keep my phone on silent and look at it only certain times a day and leave it in my purse at night…much to the chagrin of my fiancé! Try to turn off all media (blue screens) at least an hour before bed because that blue light from your phone/tablet/TV reduces sleep and stimulates your brain to stay awake by suppressing melatonin, a hormone needed for drowsiness.

• Procrastination—doing it has negative impacts on your heart. A non-procrastinator feels more in control and therefore, less stressed. Like Nike, “Just do it!”

• Drinking diet sodas…OK, so I KNOW the fake sugars cause blood sugar swings and other neurological problems…and most of them are terribly acidic, but I DO enjoy a coke zero from Sonic on occasion. But, the reality is that folks who drink the diet stuff end up eating more sugar because these drinks cause blood sugar spikes and drops like the real stuff making you want more.

• Still pissed off at somebody for something? Try forgiveness, not for them, but for you. It’ll do wonders.

• Popping pills too often. Doesn’t matter if it’s OTC, pain relievers used frequently significantly increase the chance of liver damage.

• Not expecting good things. Expect good outcomes vs. bad, look for silver linings. This change in attitude comes with a slew of healthy benefits.

• Sleep walking through workouts…sorry Charley…you aren’t getting benefits or making change without getting your heart rate up. use your time effectively with interval training and get red in the face.

• Not getting enough sleep…this is a blog or two or three by itself! Study after study shows a host of benefits with more sleep and a lot of mental and physical problems when sleep is lacking.

Find your broom and sweep those ol’ habits away!

What have you got to gain?

Be fit, live strong, laugh often.

~Lisa

I’ve always been a fan of cliff notes and getting down to the net/net, so here are the cliff notes for today’s blog:

Learn It. Lose it. Love it. Live it. And, laugh.

That’s a pretty simple formula, right?

Here’s the deal: we’re all striving towards life goals, essentially trying to live “larger” in some form or fashion. While the formula above isn’t rocket science, we may need a gentle reminder about how to tap into our best self:

Learn it. One of the best ways to achieve goals is to observe the patterns of success demonstrated by men and women who have achieved greatness. There are reasons these folks rocked it. Keep reading, learning and sharpening the saw. Take notes and do what they do.

Lose it. Create some awesome habits. We’ve all heard that it takes 21 days to create a habit, right? Well, it turns out this is a bit anecdotal. The reality is that it may take longer– or less. What matters is that we keep trying and focus on developing our good habits. They WILL stick, eventually. At the same time, we should drop any habits that don’t serve our purpose. Now. Simply lose them.

Love it. Life, that is. Life provides both sunshine and rain. What’s important is how we embrace what comes our way—opportunities, challenges, or people. Why not consider everything a stepping stone to our future and just say YES with enthusiasm and excitement?!

Live it, like Nike. Just do it, take action. It doesn’t matter if we make a mistake, get off track, or (gasp) fail. Our plans don’t have to be perfect in order to get started. What matters is that we keep going with dogged determination and persistence. If Plan A doesn’t work, switch to Plan B or C, because as long as we keep moving, we WILL succeed.

Last of all, laugh. We take ourselves far too seriously. Tony Robbins suggests considering the big picture and how we will look back on a situation 10 years from now. The odds are it will be with considerably less worry and strife. So why wait? Find humor & laugh more—especially at ourselves. Don’t take life so seriously. It’s certainly more enjoyable on the lighter side.

There they are, the “5 L” cliff notes to success: Learn it, lose it, love it, live it, and laugh.
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Remember, life isn’t about avoiding the storms, but rather how to dance in the rain.

Happy dancing!

~Lisa

(Written for Compete Every Day)