The Best Quotes About Life, Happiness, and Forgiveness

The end of the year always causes me to start reflecting. It is easy in those moments to start to think about the past. I don’t know about you, but I can sometimes obsess a little about wishing the past could be different. This is an exercise in futility, because of course there is nothing we can do except to move forward and let go of things that no longer serve us.

I hope these quotes about life, love, gratitude and forgiveness inspire you to focus on and enjoy the present. 

2016 has been a particularly difficult year for so many people that I talk to, so give yourself the kindness that you need to see it through to the end. If you don’t feel like doing something, don’t do it! Remember to take care of yourself. If you don’t, you won’t be able to continue caring for the others who need you.

Give-up-on-a-better-past | The Wellness Scientist

 

 

 

 

Instagram Challenge: Cultivate an Attitude of Gratitude

I can’t believe it’s almost the end of October! This is my favorite month of the year. I love it for many reasons … those first few crisp days when you realize need a sweater or a blanket, noticing the leaves changing colors, but mostly because it’s my BIRTHDAY MONTH!!!

Starting today and continuing through Thanksgiving, I’m setting a goal for myself each day to find one thing I’m thankful for. Scientists who study happiness have found that people who keep gratitude journals (daily or even several times per week) consider themselves happier than those who did not.

Think about it … Don’t you always feel good when you focus on something positive? What is more positive than recognizing something that you consider a blessing?

Attitude of Gratitude Instagram Challenge | thewellnessscientist.com

I’ll be posting my daily “Thank You’s” on my Instagram page & using the hashtag #attitudeofgratitude.

Join me and discover if this boosts your happiness quotient for the next month!!

 

 

Motivation Monday: To New Beginnings!

Life Starts All Over Again | thewellnessscientist.com

 

 

Happy Monday, peeps! The fall is my favorite time of the year, and while I am sad to see the summer go I am embracing this new season and the new beginnings that fall will bring.

Fitzgerald was always one of my favorite authors, and this quote from The Great Gatsby: “Life Starts All Over Again When It Gets Crisp in the Fall” has a whole new meaning for me this year. I am truly motivated to be the happiest that I have ever been!

I am grateful for all of the good things and amazing people in my life, and I know and appreciate that any negativity I am experiencing is going to make me stronger.

Question: Do you love the Fall weather? Are you experiencing any EXCITING new beginnings? Please share!!

Five Things Friday: Fitness, Funnies, and Random Ramblings

Wow, Friday came along FAST this week! I’m linking up again this week with the DC Trifecta (Eat Pray Run DCMar on the Run, and You Signed up for What?!!) and their Friday Five Linkup! It looks like EVERYONE was busy this week!

Today is “Free Friday” with the Friday Five, so I’m sharing a little fitness update & randomness with you.

One:

First, I’m happy to say that since I listed a summer goal of kicking up my fitness a notch that I actually did some kind of exercise EVERY DAY this week! The weather has been SO nice this week for running/hiking/walking. I even logged a 2nd Pilates session this week. And, I’ll be taking my VERY FIRST class at Soulcycle in Palo Alto on Sunday! When I put my goals on paper, I really take them seriously! 🙂

Two:

Yesterday was a REALLY good day! I don’t know if it is because the past couple of weeks haven’t been that great, but all sorts of good things happened yesterday and I am GRATEFUL!

In addition to getting several new writing assignments (yay!!) I found out that I was chosen to be a new Sparkly Soul Ambassador! I’m so excited to be representing this awesome brand. Every girl deserves a little bling, right?

Today I Am Grateful | thewellnessscientist.com

 

Three:

Ok, were you one of the 10,000,000 people who saw the “Dear Kitten” video on YouTube this week? If you haven’t seen it, I am SO JEALOUS! You get to see it for the first time now! If you have cats, have ever had cats, or just like cats, you will CRACK up when you watch this video. Seriously, watch it now. If you are like me, you will watch it at least 20 more times. And still laugh. Every time. Seriously.

 

Four:

June is the month for peonies, and I LOVE PEONIES!!! If you follow me on Instagram, you will have seen the beaucoup photos that I have posted of my peonies. I love the way they look, the way they smell! I can’t get enough!

Peonies | thewellnessscientist.com

Five:

Happy Father’s Day weekend to everyone, especially to my Daddy! Wish I could be there to spend it with you, but I will see you in August — Love you!!

Happy Friday, y’all!

Share your Friday Randomness below!!

 

 

Brands that Give Back: Treat Yourself and Support Breast Cancer Research in October

Hello, lovelies!  I would be remiss if I didn’t dedicate my first post of October to an area of great importance to all women …

BREAST CANCER AWARENESS

The CDC’s website says:

“The best way to find breast cancer early is with a mammogram. If you are a woman age 50 years or older, be sure to have a screening mammogram every two years.”

I’m not sure when the recommendation changed from age 40 to age 50. If you have a history of breast cancer in your family, you should talk to you doctor about getting screen sooner.

A few stats from the CDC’s website, for your information:

How many people get breast cancer each year?
In 2009:

211,731 women and 2,001 men in the United States were diagnosed with breast cancer.
40,676 women and 400 men in the United States died from breast cancer

 

The support to find a cure for breast cancer is immense.  I remember doing my first Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure 5k back in 1999. Walking along with these people, both survivors as well as friends and family, was such an amazing feeling. In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever felt such emotion and support as I did during that event. It was amazing!

Every year, brands give back by developing and selling products from which a portion of the proceeds will go to organizations such as The Susan G. Komen Foundation, The Breast Cancer Research Foundation, and many others.

Every day in October, I am featuring one of those products on my Instagram feed. Follow me on Instagram & don’t miss a single one of these products.

Unfortunately, I didn’t think of doing this until October 2nd … SO, the first product I posted was on Wednesday, October 2nd.

This awesome PINK pie plate called the Bake For The Cause Pie Plate is made by French company, Emile Henry.  10% of the proceeds from each pie plate sold will be donated to Breast Cancer Research.

Emile Henry Bake For the Cause 9"-Pie Plate

Emile Henry Bake For the Cause 9″-Pie Plate

 

Today’s featured item is an AWESOME pair of PINK skinny jeans from True Religion.  You’ve been doing your squats & leg work religiously, right?  I think you deserve these!  Ten percent of sales will go to Susan G. Komen!

HALLE SUPER SKINNY BREAST CANCER JEAN from True Religion

HALLE SUPER SKINNY BREAST CANCER JEAN from True Religion

Stay tuned to my Instagram feed for a new product that gives back every day during the month of October.

Question: Know of a product that I should feature? Please let me know about it in the comments below!

 

Other posts you might like:

Eat Chocolate, Help Save the World!

How to Be Your Best Self

 

 

 

 

 

How To Be Your Best Self

That particular week seemed more difficult than others.  I felt angrier and my patience was pretty much nonexistent.  I remember sitting in a team meeting and, for no reason, tears started to well up and I discreetly left the room so that no one would notice.

I was leading a very big project at work, and things were running as smoothly as one would expect, but I was literally on 24/7.  I couldn’t remember the last time I’d taken a day off.  A year or two maybe, with the exception of Christmas day.  For about two years, I had dreamed of going to a destination spa I’d discovered online.  I could practically feel the tranquility through the photos on the website.  In a minute of desperation, I called the spa & was told they had availability for the next week.

meditation-lake

1) TAKE TIME FOR YOURSELF

The spa was usually booked weeks in advance, so I took their availability as a sign, booked the trip, and committed to taking the next week off.

The timing wasn’t great from a work perspective…in two week’s time, I was going to be hosting a conference with over 100 guests flying in from around the world.

But some crisis or extremely urgent work matter was always on the horizon…there was never a good time to take a day off, much less an entire week.

Sound familiar?

My colleague swore that she’d get in touch with me if there was any out-of-control emergency that should couldn’t handle herself.  I let out a big exhale, and a few days later I was off!  And you know what?  The office didn’t fall apart, the conference was a huge success, and I did a better job hosting because I was able to relax and recharge.  Anxiety gone.

Take time for yourself.  You deserve it.  Jobs come and go.  Bosses you admire move on to other jobs.  You are with yourself for the long haul … so give yourself the down time you need.

2) NURTURE YOURSELF

We’re all grown-ups with jobs, relationships, and maybe kids of our own, but there is an inner child in all of us that needs nurturing.  Instead of nurturing that inner child, we busy ourselves and/or pick up bad habits to avoid feeling alone, sad, or inadequate.

I used to be the queen of negative self-talk.  My diet was awful, I didn’t exercise, I drank coffee or soda all day, and I didn’t get enough sleep.  I was even going to therapy, but I wasn’t doing the work I needed to do outside of that hour/week, so it took a really long time to get where I needed to be.  That was my path.  I made it, but I wish I hadn’t suffered as long as I did for no good reason.

Take the time to take care of yourself physically.  Get a physical every year.  Have you blood drawn and check for things like high cholesterol on a regular basis.  Drink water, eat healthy foods, and get the amount of sleep that you need.  No job in the world is worth feeling miserable every single day.  If you don’t take care of yourself, who else will?  And what about the people you take care of?  If you can’t take care of them, who’s going to do that?

Make self-care a priority. You will never regret it.

3) LET GO OF YOUR CONTROL OBSESSION

When I arrived at the spa, the control freak in me was delighted to find that someone had carefully selected a full day of yoga & exercises classes, short wellness seminars, and body treatments for me based on my “pre-arrival interview,” and I had schedule waiting telling me what I’d be doing the next day.

Desperate for soul-nourishing, I had decided in advance that I was going to become a yoga devotee during my week away.  On my first morning at the spa, I showed up to the first yoga class on the schedule, just before 8 a.m.  I found myself a spot at the front of the class, little overachiever that I was.

Then something happened, instead of the instant bliss-fix that I had planned, all I could feel was the pain and tightness of my hamstrings and my hunched shoulders.  I started to feel defeated, like I had failed before I had started, and I couldn’t stop the negative thoughts spiraling in my mind.

The teacher invited the class to “open our hearts.”  (OK … I’m actually embarrassed to admit the first thought that popped into my mind, but if one person can resonate with this, then it’s worth it!)  The first thought I had when this teacher said “Open Your Heart” was “F-YOU!”  I was actually angered by this complete stranger’s suggestion that I trust her and allow myself to become vulnerable.  Inside I was screaming, “I’m here, aren’t I?  I’m trying!!!  What else do you want from me?”  Somehow I viewed her kindness as an intrusion — a criticism that I wasn’t trying hard enough.

I couldn’t get past it that week.  I wasn’t ready to give up control.  I toughed out that class until the end, but I never went to another yoga class the entire week.

Luckily, there was more than yoga planned to improve my wellness that week.  A couple of days later, I met with Sarah, my assigned personal trainer.  I was in my early thirties at the time, but I felt like I had the body of an 83-year-old!  Like on The Biggest Loser when they tell the contestants “Your body age is actually 79!”  That was what I felt like.

Sarah was nice, but she was there to prove a point.  She challenged me with “heavy” 10-lb hand weights and encouraged me during the interval training she had designed for my session.

That 1:1 experience was what I needed, along with a little positive reinforcement.  I was able to let go and be vulnerable.  I started running outside after that meeting with Sarah, and it was during those runs that I was able to feel a certain freedom.  Once I let go of the need to control any and every situation (which is impossible, by the way), I finally felt like the universe was on my side.

My advice here?  Just let go.  Sounds easier said than done, but it is incredibly powerful.  If you need to talk to a professional or a friend, coach, or mentor to get there, do it!  Once you stop fighting, it gets so much easier.  And you’ll be so much happier.

4) BE GRATEFUL.

One of the most popular items on the schedule that week was a one-hour wellness seminar called “How To Be Happy.”  I think every single person in attendance that week was packed in to the room for that message!

One of the big takeaways from that session was practicing gratitude.  We were asked to keep a gratitude journal for the rest of our stay.  Before bed each night, we were to write down five things that we were grateful for each day.  In doing so, we were creating a scenario where we were looking for positive things that happened during the day.  It could be something big like, “I’m grateful for the amazing personal trainer I met today and the way she encouraged me” or something as small as, “I’m grateful that we had cheesecake for dessert tonight — I love cheesecake!”

Keep a gratitude journal.  You’ll spend the day looking for things you can write about, making it harder to focus on negativity or problems!

5) TRUST YOURSELF

A few years later, I was rummaging through a closet and found the binder of resources I had taken home with me from the spa to continue working on my goals.  I found a little note that read:

“Great job this week! You can tell you feel refreshed.  Keep this feeling going by exercising daily.  You have to make yourself a priority — you deserve it!”

Wise words!  I made a risky decision and started a whole new career and chapter in my life.  Today I make my living writing about health, wellness, and self-care.  I also coach women who are looking to make healthy changes to their lives and improve their level of happiness.  I eat healthier, I get more rest, and I make exercise and my personal relationships a priority.  I’m happy to say that once I was able to silence my inner-critic, I also came to enjoy yoga and its many benefits!! 🙂

Trust yourself.  We deserve much more care and kindness than we tend to give ourselves.  And really, the only validation we need is our own.

[widgets_on_pages]

How To Be Happy

Ah, happiness … why does it elude us sometimes?  We work hard, we’ve done everything we are supposed to do, but that happiness fix seems just out of our grasp.

When I googled “How To Be Happy” before writing this post, there were more than 2.5 billion search results returned.  Seems like we are all on the same quest.

One of Audrey Hepburn’s famous quotes – “The most important thing is to enjoy your life — to be happy — it’s all that matters.”

But how do we do it?  Most of us don’t think of happiness as a kind of good health.  Getting happy and staying happy involves just as much self-care as scheduling regular visits with our doctors, therapists, and personal trainers.

Part of being a good health coach or wellness coach is the ability to dig deep & figure out what is eating away at us that causes us to overeat or have unsatisfying relationships.

People often ask me, “Why Do I Need Wellness Coaching?”  We are all unique individuals, so the solution to health & happiness is unique for each and every one of us.  In fact, I’d bet if MORE people had personalized wellness plans developed for them, they wouldn’t need a therapist AND a personal trainer — they’d be setting and achieving goals that broke through both their physical and mental health barriers.

Here are some things you can start doing immediately to Get Happy:

1. Practice gratitude.

Once a week, think of just one thing you are grateful for and write it down. The more specific you are about why you are grateful, the more successful this is. Remember not compare yourself to others. When you do this, negative thoughts creep in. Focus on YOUR life!

2. Experience life.

You don’t have to go far — just get out of the house!  Sitting on the couch watching TV isn’t getting you anywhere – literally! – and it’s could be making you depressed.  Even if you don’t want to, take a walk and be grateful for the beautiful scenery around you. Or, get up early one morning and go to a place where you can watch the sunrise. It is a beautiful thing to witness, and you have an opportunity to do it every day.

3. Commit to an attitude of gratitude.
Start each day by saying “I am grateful.” My friend has a small bell hanging in one corner of her office at work. Every once in awhile, someone will brush past it as they enter her office, and the bell softly jingles. This is her private reminder to herself to count her blessings. Find something that works for you.

Other articles you may enjoy:

The Science of Gratitude

What Makes You Smile?

5 Things You Can Do to Feel Better Instantly

 

 

Being Inspired By The Ordinary

“Things don’t have to be extraordinary to be beautiful. Even the ordinary can be beautiful.”
― Wicker Park

When I was younger, it took something truly extraordinary to inspire me.  As the years have passed, I look for inspiration in the little things — the day-to-day.

Some ordinary moments that inspire me are:

1) Driving my car on the open road on a beautiful clear, sunny day.  I am truly blessed to live where I do. When I get past the road construction and traffic and find a stretch of road on a clear day, the feeling is something I can hardly put into words.  I was driving back from SFO airport the other day on the 280.  The views of the citylines and the hills and the sky were just breathtaking.  It made me want to go for a run and just enjoy the beauty of the outdoors.

 

2) The smell of coffee in the morning  I am a sucker for a good cup of coffee.  I taste coffees like some people taste wine!  The smell of freshly roasted beans being ground is intoxicating to me.  I think I enjoy the smell more than actually drinking the coffee itself.

3) Bringing home fresh flowers.  I picked up the most beautiful dahlias and Bells of Ireland at the Los Altos Farmer’s Market yesterday.  It amazes me how something so simple can be so beautiful and put a smile on my face for days.  It’s like art in a vase — Love it!

fresh from the los altos farmer's market

Every ordinary day is filled with extraordinary moments.  What ordinary things give you inspiration?

Have You Told Someone Why They Are Awesome Today?

It usually feels pretty good when someone tells you that you’re awesome.  I mean… who doens’t like to be told what they are good at?

About six years ago, a previous employer of mine decided they were going to shut down a pretty large operational facility on the west coast.  It happened to be the office where I worked, as well as a couple thousand other people.

My boss at the time decided that we should do something meaningful for the hard-working people in our department.  She showed myself & the other managers in our group something she had received while working at another company that had decided to shut down a facility.

In an 8 1/2 x 11 frame, she held a document entitled “YOU ARE VALUED”.  Below that, there were bullet points listing things that each person in the department had contributed that they appreciated about her.

We all thought it was a great idea.  We had a group of about 60 people who I can honestly say worked incredibly well together, supported one another, and has been the best group of folks that I have ever had the pleasure of working with.  We knew, given the closeness of the staff, we would really be able to give people a meaningful gift to take with them. And it really felt good when we were presenting them to people.  Everyone was really moved by the kind words that their friends & colleagues had to say about them.  It made them smile!

This is mine below 🙂  I have proudly displayed it in every office that I have had since then, and it now hangs on the wall in my home office.  Any time I need a boost of self-confidence, I take a look at it and it always makes me smile!

 

 

Want to create your own DIY “You Are Valued” certificate to give to a group of employees or volunteers you manage for recognition of a job well done?  I created a free image of a blue ribbon that you can use.  Just add the image to your own Microsoft Word document or whatever word processing software you use.  

 

free image blue ribbonHave you ever gotten a gift like this?  Did it make you smile? Did it inspire you?  Tell me about it below!

 

Other posts you might like:

What Makes You Smile?

The Science of Gratitude

 

 

 

5 Steps to Bring Wellness Into Your Life

Who couldn’t use a little more wellness in their lives?  It can be hard to prioritize self-care in our busy lives.

Here are five easy steps to start to bring wellness into your life:

  1.  When you wake up, give thanks!  Start off each day thinking of all of the wonderful things in your life.  Do your best think positive thoughts.  Positive thinking invites positivity into your life.  Try it, and see what happens.  It will change your whole day!
  2. Before you go to bed, write down the 5 best things that happened to you during the day.  If you make this part of your routine, you will find yourself looking for things to write about during the day.
  3. Discover your Inner Passion.  Did you used to dance but haven’t been on the dance floor in years?  Maybe its time to try a class?  Even you can only spend a few minutes a day doing what you feel passionate about, it can make a HUGE difference.
  4. Do 5 good deeds every day.  Doing nice things for other people is hugely rewarding.  It can be as simple as holding the door open for someone.  Any selfless, positive act can be included.
  5. Embrace a healthy, active lifestyle.  Eat healthy foods and drink plenty of water every day.  Talk a walk with a friend or your spouse.  The more active you are, the more energy you will have.

 

Try these 5 steps, and you will invite wellness into your life.

 

“The happiest people don’t necessarily have the best of everything but they make the most of everything.” – Sam Cawthorn