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Personal Development Blogs

21 February 2020

Personal Development Blogs
  • If you really want to prioritize your well-being, schedule it. On your work calendar.
    21 February 2020

    Like many of you reading this, I know how important it is to prioritize my well-being. I know that I should work out at least 20 minutes every day. I know that I should meditate on a regular basis. I know that sleep is critical to happiness, productivity and positivity. I’ve read the science and I believe it, ardently. 

    The challenge for me is actually doing these things on a regular basis. 

    Recently, I’ve experimented with putting my personal well-being priorities on my open and viewable work calendar. I’ve scheduled 7 AM runs or Flywheel classes, 6:30 PM painting classes, or even dinners and catch-ups with friends. 

    I initially had some trepidation doing this. Openly showing that I’m busy with something other than work during the week might suggest to my colleagues that I’m not as dedicated to our start-up company as they are. They may not judge my priorities as important as others my age with a family to support. 

    But then I realized that’s exactly what I want to showcase to them. I am passionate about my job, I am hard working and I’m going to prioritize some activities outside of work that are going to make me a better person to work with. 

    Scheduling my well-being openly has helped me to truly prioritize the activities that make me a better employee and person, and delivered additional benefits that I didn’t anticipate:

    1. My colleagues supported me on the things I scheduled. I would come into the office and someone would ask me if I made my run that morning or how it went.
    2. I was more committed to doing the activities because they were publically scheduled on the calendar I live by. 
    3. I inspired others to take part in the well-being calendar activities. I now run with a remote coworker every Mon, Wed and Fri mornings in our respective time zones and we text each other to ensure we did it and celebrate doing it consistently. 

    In a world where distraction is pervasive and tempting, and our work and personal lives are increasingly converging, I’ve found that the best way to ensure I’m prioritizing me is to schedule my well-being.

    So, if you really want to prioritize your well-being, schedule it. On your work calendar. 

  • How to Ensure Everyone Gets a Chance to Share Their Ideas During Meetings
    21 February 2020

    Research has shown that employees who feel they work in loving, caring environments report higher job satisfaction and teamwork. These findings rang true across industries — from healthcare to financial services to real estate. And spreading the love at work doesn’t mean offering hugs to your team members or sending them heart-eyed emojis. It can simply mean providing a safe space that ensures all employees have an equal opportunity to share their ideas and speak up.

    Unfortunately, this isn’t always the norm: In her research, Leigh Thompson, Ph.D., a professor of dispute resolution and organizations at Northwestern University, has found that in a six-person meeting, two people will do over 60 percent of the talking. And this phenomenon, which Thompson refers to as a “doom loop,” only worsens when more people are in the mix. “The people who are not quite as dominant don’t speak, because they’ve given up, and the overly dominant people take over. It just becomes this self-perpetuating cycle,” Thompson tells Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management

    Thompson’s solution to this sort of imbalanced meeting is called “brainwriting:” The simultaneous oral generation of ideas. So the next time you call for group idea generation, have your colleagues write their ideas down — without attaching their names. That way, everyone will have a chance to bring their thoughts to the table and engage in an open, honest conversation.

    You can also try a simpler fix first – practicing the Microstep of encouraging your colleagues to share their point of view aloud at every meeting. That, too, will show them you care about their ideas. 

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  • This Co-founder Says It’s Vital to Integrate Your Company’s Mission into Your Workplace Culture
    21 February 2020

    Henrik Werdelin, Co-Founder of BARK, is a longtime entrepreneur, creating programs and methods to help build ventures and products that make people, and their pets, happy. His experience ranges from having served as an Entrepreneur in Residence to working with, advising, or investing in start-ups that grew into major companies and apps we use every day.

    Werdelin talks to Thrive about burning out, sabbaticals, and how to incorporate a company mission into workplace culture.

    Thrive Global: What’s the first thing you do when you get out of bed?

    Henrik Werdelin: The first thing I do when I wake up is I make my bed. I read somewhere that if you make your bed, you’ve achieved something already, and it sets your day on a good course. It’s also more interesting than saying you have a pee.

    TG: What gives you energy?

    HW: I get energy from making things, coming up with new ways of solving problems, and hanging with people I like.  

    TG: What’s your secret life hack?

    HW: Marry well. It will make solving life problems so much easier and it makes going on vacation so much less boring.
    (Related: Pick work partners that are smarter than you. ) But for both, work hard every day to make sure that they don’t leave you. 

    TG: Tell us about your relationship with your phone. Does it sleep with you?

    HW: I try to keep my phone at more than arm’s length at night. I also tend to come up with my best ideas right before I fall asleep, or right when I wake up. One hack I have is that I’ve connected my Google Home to my to-do list so that I can add ideas without picking up my phone and getting sucked into notification hell. 

    TG: When was the last time you felt burned out and why?

    HW: I think the last time I felt I was burned out was when I went on sabbatical. It took me three weeks to recognize just how tired I was, and I realized that the problem with burnout is that often you don’t see it.  At BARK, we have 10-week sabbaticals for employees after five years to give people the important headspace to re-energize. 

    TG: What advice would you give your younger self about reducing stress?

    HW: I would tell myself, “Don’t worry, it will all be fine.” I would also tell myself to go to the gym more and don’t think of sleep as relaxation — think of it as recovery. 

    TG: Do you have any role models for living a thriving life?

    HW: My dog Molly. She doesn’t take life too seriously and she is enthusiastic about every single moment. 

    TG: What’s a surprising way you practice mindfulness?

    HW: I’ve turned every waiting in line moment into a mindfulness exercise prompt. I used to get really annoyed when I would have to wait, but now I’ve reframed it to practice mindfulness and think of it as a convenient time to do a little breathing work.

    TG: How do you reframe negative thinking?

    HW: I guess the way I reframe negative thinking is through mindfulness. I try to flip the negativity into curiosity. Instead of being overconsumed with the negative feeling, I try to explore what the feeling does to me at this time.  

    TG: What was the biggest turning point in your life?

    HW: The biggest turning point in my life was probably having kids. It definitely teaches you very rapidly how to care more about other people than yourself. 

    TG: What’s your evening routine that helps you unwind and go to sleep? 

    HW: I do breathing exercises and a gratitude exercise every night, and it’s becoming a trigger for sleeping.  I read research that said practicing gratitude exercises has scientific benefits on your mental well-being and health, and I buy into that.

    TG: What is your key piece of advice for aspiring entrepreneurs?

    HW: Go to the gym. Seriously! If the hardware fails, then everything else follows. 

    TG: How do you ensure that Bark’s mission starts from within the company?

    HW: Hire crazy dog people! 

    TG: What are some ways you incorporate the mission into your office culture? 

    HW: Well the main thing is that our dogs can come with us to work, if they like that sort of thing!  Also on any day there may be 10 foster puppies in either of our offices in Columbus, Ohio or New York City, and these dogs are often featured on our social media with campaigns built around getting them adopted.  

    TG: What is it about your furry friends that helps you thrive?

    HW: I think there’s a lot of scientific evidence out there that shows us how dogs give us a better life —  but mostly I can’t imagine living without my dog Molly. 

    TG: Your company encourages everybody to be “be the person your dog thinks you are.” What are three ways we can do that?  

    HW: Be kind. Make time for play. Remember to treat yourself. 

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  • How Your Social Media Feed Can Impact Your Diet
    21 February 2020

    If you’ve been on social media lately, you might have noticed a few posts about food — okay, a lot of posts about food.

    These range from artistic photos of restaurant meals, to daily updates on your friends’ keto or paleo diet, to their guilty confessions of late-night fast food runs.

    Whatever people in your online social circles are saying about food, there’s a good chance that you know a lot about their eating habits and food preferences.

    This information provides clues about the social norms of your online circles when it comes to food, which the authors of a new study say may shape your own eating habits.

    “This study suggests we may be influenced by our social peers more than we realize when choosing certain foods. We seem to be subconsciously accounting for how others behave when making our own food choices,” said study author Lily Hawkins, a PhD student at Aston University in Birmingham, UK, in a press release.

    Online friends influence our eating habits

    Alix Timko, PhD, a researcher at PolicyLab at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) and a clinician-scientist in the Eating Disorder Assessment Treatment Program at CHOP, pointed out that the new study doesn’t look directly at how social media affects people’s eating habits.

    Instead, researchers examined how different types of social norms affect people’s consumption of certain foods.

    These social norms also exist in other situations, such as in the real world among university students or co-workers.

    But researchers focused on social media because these sites now make up a large amount of our social interactions.

    In the study, researchers asked 369 university students about their consumption of fruits, vegetables, energy-dense snacks, and sugar-sweetened beverages, as well as their Facebook and other social media use, and perceptions about their online friends’ eating habits and preferences.

    It turns out that even in the online world, social norms can affect people’s eating habits — in two specific ways.

    “When individuals think that other members of a group eat more servings of fruits and vegetables and/or eat fruits and veggies more often, they report eating more fruits and veggies [themselves],” said Timko, who’s also an assistant professor of psychiatry at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. She wasn’t involved in the new study.

    The second effect has to do with what we think we should be doing.

    “When high energy-dense and sugar-sweetened beverage consumption were considered,” said Timko, “only how many servings of high energy-dense snacks or sugary beverages individuals thought that Facebook users should eat predicted participants’ consumption.”

    The researchers also looked at whether social norms were linked to a person’s body mass index (BMI). They weren’t, although the researchers say this may be because it takes longer for overweight or obesity to show up.

    The study was published online February 6 and will appear in the journal Appetite in the June 2020 issue.

    Nudging social media users toward healthy eating

    Social norms such as these have played a part in many public health campaigns — such as “don’t drink and drive” and teen anti-vaping campaigns — where behaviors are identified as being what most people do.

    The authors of the new study think that their work could also be used to encourage people to eat more fruits and vegetables and less high energy-dense snacks and sugar-sweetened beverages.

    “The implication is that we can use social media as a tool to ‘nudge’ each other’s eating behavior within friendship groups, and potentially use this knowledge as a tool for public health interventions,” said Hawkins.

    There’s a lot of room for improvement in these areas.

    Only 12.2 percent of American adults ate the recommended servings of fruit, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)Trusted Source. Only 9.3 percent ate the recommended servings of vegetables.

    In addition, 36.6 percent of adults ate fast foodTrusted Source on any given day, while 49 percent drank a sugar-sweetened beverageTrusted Source, reports the CDC.

    Timko said social media could be used to show “pictures of beautiful dishes of veggies and fruits” alongside information about social norms. This might encourage people to eat more of these foods.

    These kinds of public health campaigns, though, will have to walk a fine line, because labeling certain foods as “healthy” or “unhealthy” can also imply that they are “good” or “bad.”

    “This attaches a moral value to food and can inadvertently shame people who eat foods that are perceived as ‘unhealthy’ and praise those who eat ‘healthy,’” said Timko.

    She said this is partly how social norms work, but this type of messaging can increase the risk of disordered eating.

    Caution may be especially needed with social media messaging, because some research shows a link between social media use among teens and disordered eating behaviors such as worrying about their weight or shape, skipping meals, binge eating, or exercising excessively.

    Still, “whenever one decides to curate these types of messages,” said Timko, “it is really important to think of the potential negative effect that they have.”

    Originally published on Healthline.

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  • How To Stay Healthy and Fit While Running A Business With Stephen Campolo
    21 February 2020

    With the early mornings, late nights, and unpredictable working hours, entrepreneurs are hardly left with any bandwidth to make time for their fitness. But even if you have a hectic schedule, you can balance work and fitness. Here are simple tips on how to stay healthy and fit while running a business. 

    Planning your workout 

    Staying physically fit boosts mental sharpness, keeps you alert and improves performance. According to fitness expert Stephen Campolo “Most business owners and entrepreneurs put their business first, and rightfully so. The problem with this though is more often than not, their health takes a hit. Long hours lead to poor food choices and exercise rarely happens. Having worked with some of the top CEOs in the country, the thing that makes the biggest difference is –  planning. They work out in the morning before the craziness of the day begins. It is non-negotiable. So even if they are stuck at the office late, they don’t have to worry about getting to the gym because they already got it out of the way. Starting the day by exercising paves the way for healthy eating. When you workout your body will crave healthier foods, so you will be much more likely to make healthier food choices throughout the day.”

    Take a healthy diet

    Eating a balanced diet is a key element to staying fit. Since entrepreneurs make deals over lunch breaks, they end up neglecting their eating habits. But it doesn’t have to be this way. To ensure you give your body the energy it needs, you should start your day with a breakfast that consists of protein. Even while working, entrepreneurs order food and easily forget to keep their lifestyle in check. Perhaps, the best way to keep track of what you eat is to work with a dietician. They can develop a custom meal plan that takes into account your likes and dislikes. 

    Also, you should cut down on fatty and processed foods. And if you have to take an alcoholic drink, you should do it in moderation. Since alcohol slows the body’s metabolism, you may end up waking up feeling lazy the following day. This could also mean you’ll miss your morning workout. 

    Whatever you do, you should not just rely on coffee. While it will help you push the body to the limit, it can be detrimental to the endocrine system. If you keep pushing and the body gives way, the system may crash. 

    Get enough sleep

    Business owners and entrepreneurs rarely prioritize sleep. This is a big mistake. When you get a good night’s sleep, your body and mind can recover. It’s worth mentioning that we’re talking about uninterrupted quality sleep. If the phone keeps ringing in the middle of the night, you could end up not sleeping at all. Make sure nothing interferes with your sleep-wake cycle. 

    When you set an alarm at night, you want to be sure you’ll wake up the same time the following day. This brings us to the question, what are the benefits of healthy sleep? It helps the brain make better decisions and ensures you maintain a healthy weight. When you get the right amount of sleep, you can perform your duties professionally. 

    Learn to rest

    Running a business without taking frequent breaks can lead to burnout. It’s okay to have intense periods like a big deadline but you still need to give your body time to recharge. If you ask big entrepreneurs, great ideas come when they are resting. You must be willing to slow down a bit to get the creative juices flowing again. 

    While running a business is one of the most dynamic things you can ever do, you have to look after yourself. No matter how busy your schedule is, be sure to follow the above tips to stay healthy and fit.

  • Chasing Greatness Left Me Exhausted
    21 February 2020

    Last week I was honored to attend the premiere of motivational guru Lewis Howes’ new documentary film entitled Chasing Greatness. The film was an extension of his extremely popular School Of Greatness podcast, which has over 40 million downloads, and highlights his journey from injured athlete to beloved motivational speaker. It’s easy to see why – Howes’ easy going personality, enthusiasm, presence (his 6’4” stature reminds one of another motivational giant) and boyish good looks make him a poster child for an encore worthy hero’s journey and the hottest new self-help guru.

    I had the fortune to interview not only Lewis, but other high profile names in the self-improvement space such as Tim Storey, Chris Lee, and Jay Shetty, all of who contribute their nuggets of wisdom in the film along with heavy hitters such as Maria Sharapova, Esther Perel, and Rich Roll. Each one left me feeling like a cheerleader cheering at her first big varsity game somewhere in Texas. I was pumped and ready to attack life firing on all cylinders. 

    There was a lot of talk about passion and purpose and overcoming obstacles – the importance of surrounding yourself with the right people and accountability.

    However, by the end of the night, I was, quite frankly, exhausted. I awoke with a self-help hangover. For almost four days, I kept my conversations limited, speaking only when I truly needed to. There was a driving need to go inside. Listen. Rest. It took me a good bit of time to muster the enthusiasm to engage in the world again.

    If you’ve read any of my pieces in the past year or two you may have noticed my increasing interest in examining the sacred masculine and divine feminine and the roles these energies play not only in individual personas, but our communities and society as a whole. Men and women have both masculine and feminine energies. To what extent a person, no matter their gender or gender identifying status, utilize or enhance one or the other, and when, determines how they perceive and walk through the world.

    I couldn’t help but notice a majority of the ‘gurus’ and influencers on the red carpet were male. And when the females in the film talked about greatness, they continually reference skills that require male energy. They don’t talk about lying down and resting. Receiving. Closing their eyes and going inward. Listening. Nuturing. These words are all but absent from the greatness conversation.

    There is some attention paid to vulnerability in the just under two-hour film. Howes reveals his struggle with anger and how a history of sexual abuse at the hand of a babysitter’s son left him feeling vulnerable and insecure. However, little more than ten minutes is dedicated to a simulated talk therapy session where some men come out to console him and let him know they’ve suffered similar hurts. It’s as if once Howes expressed this unspoken trauma he was free of all ills and was able to plow forward victorious. As if vulnerability is another hurdle to overcome on the path to greatness. Once he has a good cry – poof!  He’s healed and free to be great again.  

    What we don’t see is what vulnerability looks like day in and day out. What does it mean to live a life with no definitive purpose or relentless drive? Is that even a life worth pursuing? Can one not do and just be and still live a satisfied life?  

    Are the energies of the feminine – love, compassion, service, devotion, creativity, messiness, shakti – enough to be considered ‘great’?

    Is it possible to ‘crush it’ while simultaneously sitting on the couch crying for days? Or sitting in sacred ceremony with other women? Or taking a day of to go for a hike and witness the magnificence of Mother Nature? Can we define success or greatness in some other way than our jobs, our bank account or yes, even our mighty purpose?

    These are questions I myself struggle with. I still have desires and ambitions. However many days I am content spending the day chanting, dancing, grocery shopping, laying with my kitty, appreciating the landscape of my backyard, writing, cooking. I’m not sure if this would be enough for me all the time, but many days, I’m quite certain it would be. Certainly in the days after spending time in the presence of greatness. Would I be considered great without leaving behind some monumental legacy? Or did all that greatness simply leave me feeling inadequate?

    In today’s day and age with so much heartache and strife, anger and sadness, sometimes it’s a miracle we get out of bed at all. Maybe the greatest achievement on any given day is breathing a bit deeper. Being a little kinder to ourselves and each other. Grateful for another day to get up and try again.

    For much of my life I’ve been chasing greatness. What I’m asking myself now, on the eve of what may be considered my mid-life birthday, is do I want to?

  • 4 Crucial Conversations to Have with Your Team to Ensure Their Success & Yours
    21 February 2020

    If you are like most leaders, time is your most precious resource and everything is urgent all the time. And, again, if you’re like most leaders, you’re probably spending most of your time feeling like a firefighter working in the business rather than operating like a leader and working on the business. Working on the business you’re spending time developing the vision and strategy for your organization or team; a vital practice for in order to ensure your organization’s growth and progress. You having time for that kind of routine is only able to happen when your organization is keenly aware of how it needs to optimally operate. As your team’s leader, it’s your job to set that standard. You can’t do it in one fell swoop, however. In order to set up your team for success, there are four critical conversations that you need to have at the beginning of the year that will not only equip your team with what they need to know, but also elevate their performance to the next level.

    Conversation #1: Where are we heading? 

    Every one of your direct reports, whether they’ve said it out loud or not, wants to know “What are the goals for our department, team and organization?” and “What are the priorities for our department, team, and organization?” Most leaders cover these conversations in an all team meeting. That’s perfectly fine, but it’s also important that you communicate this one on one with your direct reports. This will set up your next three crucial conversations because deep down, every single one of your direct reports wants to know how their work fits into the bigger picture and why they need to prioritize the things they need to prioritize.

    Conversation #2: Share Your individual goals and priorities for the year. 

    Now that you have laid out the goals and priorities for the department or organization, you need to lay out the goals and priorities for your individual direct report. What do they need to be focusing on? What would success look like for them this year in your view as their boss? When your direct report is faced with other demands, what has higher priority? Making sure that you clearly articulate what their goals and the priorities should be will help them know exactly what they need to work on and how they need to focus their energy. 

    Word of caution, you should not provide more than three priorities for your direct reports to focus on. More than three priorities starts a slippery slope that leads quickly into everything being urgent all of the time. This will be counterproductive and will do more harm than good. Remember, we are trying to focus our team, not create more anxiety and confusion for them. You might be saying, “But Brandon, my boss gives me more than three priorities and my boss tells me everything is urgent all the time. What should I do?” The simple answer is be better than your boss.More than three priorities is a sign of poor leadership and unfortunately most leaders today are poor.

    Conversation #3: Establish meeting preparation & cadence with your direct report.

    Now that you’ve laid out goals and priorities for both your team as well as your individual direct report, it is time to talk about how frequently you are going to meet and what preparation needs to be part of those meetings. So have that conversation. Start with determining how often you need to meet to determine progress and ensure projects are running on schedule. Common practice is to meet once a week for one hour, but obviously you are free to change that if you see a different need. 

    Once you’ve determined your meeting cadence, the next area to discuss is what needs to be included in those meetings. In other words, what does your direct report need to bring to those meetings? Remember the principle of editor versus author. As a leader, you should always be in the editor seat and your direct report should always be in the author seat. In order to ensure this, be sure to spell out what you want your direct reports to bring to each meeting that you can review. For example, do you need them to bring some kind of a status update? Do you want them to prepare the agenda ahead of time? Are there other items that are important for you to have on the agenda every meeting that are particularly relevant to your goals? These would be things that you would want to discuss so they know exactly what they need to be preparing for every meeting. The better prepared the meeting, the shorter the meeting has to be. After all, when we make our meetings more efficient and effective everyone wins.

    Conversation #4: What can I do to support you? 

    The final conversation you need to have with your direct report is you need to ask her or him what you could be doing to support them this year. In other words, what do they need from you in order for them to be successful? This is a critical conversation because it allows you to not only hear and understand their particular needs, but it also may highlight a lack of resources or other items which may be critical for their success. This final conversation helps to round out this meeting. You’ve started with the needs of the organization, you talked about your goals, you talked about your communication rhythm, and finally you talked about their needs. If you can make these four questions a priority to address with your direct reports sometime in the first quarter, you will set up everyone for success. And most importantly, if done well, it should free up more of your time to focus on the stuff you really want and need to focus on.

    Originally published on

  • 6 Ways Traveling Will Make You A Better Entrepreneur
    20 February 2020

    Twelve years ago, I flew to Turkey to meet with a potential client who had specifically told me not to bother boarding the plane. My boss dropped the trip in my lap just days before I had to show up because he wasn’t able to close the deal himself. Even though the client said he wasn’t going to work with us and I shouldn’t waste my time, I flew to meet him, made a great pitch, created a genuine connection with him—and got him to sign an agreement to work with my company. It ended up being a seven-figure win for my company.

    There are plenty of lessons to take from that story, but the biggest one for me is the power of travel. Whether you’re making a personal connection, decompressing on a vacation or getting inspiration from a journey, getting outside of your office and your home town can make all the difference in the world when it comes to your business’ bottom line.

    As an international vacation concierge, I not only professionally plan unforgettable vacations for clients but I also have personal knowledge when it comes to the benefits of those getaways. 

    Here are 6 ways your next trip can make you a spectacularly successful businessperson: 1. It will enhance your problem-solving skills

    Whether you’re in Paris trying to figure out if you can walk from the Louvre to the Eiffel Tower or you’re desperate to figure out what’s on the menu at a restaurant in Tokyo, you’ll be flexing parts of your brain that you don’t usually. 

    Maybe you have to get creative when you’re trying to speak to locals who don’t speak English or you’ve rented a car and you’re driving on the “wrong” side of the road. You’ll sharpen your problem-solving skills and they’ll translate well when you’re trying to handle tough problems at work once you head back home.

    2. You could get some business inspiration

    We all know that people live very differently in other parts of the world, but seeing is believing. Traveling abroad might help you notice a product in a store that gives you an idea about something that could be brought to the states. 

    You might also believe that your product would be great for another country, but then find out it’s not. This is the story of Melinda and Bill Gates pre-wedding trip to Africa that inspired them for their philanthropic work at their foundation.

    “The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page.” – Saint Augustine 

    3. You’ll get recharged

    Research shows that there are extensive emotional, physical, and mental health benefits when it comes to international travel in particular. So settle in for a longer plane ride. 

    Despite the bad news you’ve been hearing about the Coronavirus, studies show that travel can actually enhance your immune system by exposing you to new and different environments. Travel also reduces stress and when done right, can help you make friends or even business associates that can last a lifetime. If you’re feeling burnt out at work, it might be time to pack a suitcase.

    4. It can improve your networking skills

    When you get out of your comfort zone at home, you won’t be able to stick to your daily routines and have a circle of people you know you can lean on. You’ll have to start leaning on others for help. You’ll be asking strangers for directions to the train station, recommendations on good places to eat and even suggestions for fun things to do while you’re in town. 

    All of this can enhance your ability to communicate and work with others, particularly if you tend to keep to your desk and leave your office door shut.

    5. You’ll rekindle your inner child

    So many times, we forget about our passions outside of work as we are tied up in our jobs. We forget about the times we danced through the night at a club, spent an entire afternoon painting or used to completely lose track of time reading French philosophy and Russian literature. 

    Jump on the opportunity to learn how to dance the Tango in Buenos Aires, take a language class while you’re visiting Sicily, take a French pastry class in Nice or just read things just for fun while you’re on vacation. You’ll not only feel that excitement again, but you’ll be a more interesting person when you return to the office. You’ll have something more than sightseeing and the strength of the dollar to talk about when you’re at your next client dinner or board meeting.

    “If you think adventure is dangerous, try routine; it’s lethal.” – Paulo Coelho 

    6. You’ll realign with your priorities

    Slowing down allows you to appreciate what matters to you. You might realize that your fancy sports car doesn’t mean as much to you as waking up early for the sunrise and being able to enjoy an amazing cup of coffee before heading out the door. That might mean that the new client you took on isn’t worth all the time and energy that you thought they were or that promotion you’re gunning for is the wrong one. 

    I’m not saying that vacations will make you lazy, but they could make you more innovative and help you figure out how to work smarter, not harder. After all, someone’s got to pay for your next trip to Bangkok to try some amazing street food or your next scenic drive on Highway number 1.

    Where is your favorite place you’ve traveled too? Share it with us below!
  • This Is How You Will Know If You’re Actually On The Wrong Path In Life
    20 February 2020

    Sometimes, it isn’t always clear that we are on the wrong path in life until we are too far down it to easily turn around.

    We have all had an experience like this at least once before.

    We spent years engaging in self-damaging behaviors only to wake up one day and finally see what we were doing to ourselves. We dug ourselves into deep debt mindlessly, only to pay the consequences later. We spent years in a relationship that had an expiration date, and we were sidelined to discover we had invested so much of our lives into something that was only ever temporary.

    Once we have an experience like this, it’s easy to want to spend the rest of your life worrying that it may happen again, that you might wake up one day to find that one mistake after the next lead you to a place you didn’t want to be.

    You imagine that hypervigilance will take care of this — that if you think through it enough, and second-guess yourself often, maybe you’ll be able to avoid the heartbreak.

    Except you won’t.

    The absolute honest truth is that when you are actually on the wrong path in life you know the entire time — when you finally have no choice but to come to terms with it, you have the epiphany.

    The honest truth is that if you are on the wrong path, you already know.

    You knew what you were doing when you were engaging in self-destructive behaviors, there was no point in time at which you fooled yourself into thinking what you were doing was healthy or okay.

    You knew what you were doing when you were getting into debt, you just had enough mental ammunition to keep justifying it and convincing yourself that it was the right thing to do.

    You knew that your relationship was going to end, because you knew that it wasn’t that good all along. No good relationship ends in the first place, why would it? We never leave people we truly love and value and care for. Relationships that end are relationships that need to end, and if we’re honest with ourselves, the signs were there all along.

    The point is that you don’t ever lose your moral compass, you just talk yourself out of it at times in order to serve yourself best.

    Your innate understanding of right and wrong never really goes away, it just gets clouded by fear, by attachment, by the idea that what’s in front of you is the best you may ever have.

    Your acknowledgement that self-destructive behaviors are bad for you is clouded by the fact that they bring you comfort, which you convince yourself means it is, somehow, justified.

    Your understanding that you were getting into more debt than you could handle was covered by a bigger fear, which was whatever you believed you had to use it to pay for instead of getting real with yourself about the fact that you couldn’t afford your lifestyle.

    Your realization that you were in the wrong relationship was completely ignored because you were terrified of what the future might hold, and desperate to know that maybe, just maybe, this certain someone could be beside you while you figured it all out.

    If you want to spend your life worrying that you’re making mistakes, don’t bother.

    Deep down, you already know.

    You already know that the job you’re at isn’t for you forever.

    You already know that you need to clean up your game, and get your act together.

    You already know what the issues in your relationship are, and you already know whether or not you’re willing to work through them.

    You already know what you need to do, and what you don’t.

    You know it even if you want to pretend you do not know it, and the longer you do that, the more lost you’re going to be.

    Your “big mistakes” in life never occurred because you were blind to their consequences, they occurred because you deluded yourself into thinking it was the right thing to do when you knew it wasn’t.

    Getting honest with yourself is the best form of self-protection there is. 

    Give that to yourself, and go forward with faith, with knowing that you can trust yourself, because you are no longer going to lie to yourself — even if the truth is inconvenient.

  • 5 Ways Introverts Silently Succeed at Work
    20 February 2020

    If you’re ever met and actually gotten to know an introvert, you already know that there are a lot more advantages to their “strategy” than meets the eye.

    Although no one chooses to be an introvert (or an extrovert), it’s finally being acknowledged that it’s a real thing.

    In fact, the Quiet Revolution at the Quiet Leadership Institute is on a mission to understand and empower introverts.

    “Introversion is one of the most misunderstood (yet most widely recognized and talked about) dimensions of human personality,” according to Scientific American, which documented some of the Quiet Leadership Institute’s work.

    “Does introversion mean you’re less social? Not necessarily. Does introversion mean you’re really shy? Not necessarily. Does introversion mean you’re more emotionally sensitive? Not necessarily. Does introversion mean you’re a nicer, warmer person? Not necessarily. Does introversion mean you’re more reflective and creative? Not necessarily,” the article goes on to say.

    “As you can see, there are many things that many people commonly refer to as introversion which are actually a blend of introversion with another dimension of personality. However, there are some essential features of introversion, which are grounded in the latest neurochemistry and neuroscience of personality.”

    Good to know. So what even is introversion?

    And how do introverts (not as silently as you might think) succeed? We made a list.

    1. It’s not black and white

    Not only is introversion not a disability, but it is also not black and white. In fact, introverts “compensate” for some of their differences in many (perhaps even more useful) ways.

    At its most simple, introversion is just a preference for quiet instead of excitement. Extroverts tend to have a very quick-to-trigger dopamine system when it comes to potential rewards in their environment.

    For example, extroverts tend to get excited things like social attention and status. In essence, they get a higher reward than introverts for social things.

    It then follows why introverts simply wouldn’t go after those things.

    However, this has nothing to say about a second major pathway, which was only discovered pretty recently. This pathway is not the reward system, but a completely different system altogether.

    Instead, this pathway is associated with the potential reward value of information. For example, introverts get more excited about information, curiosity, and understanding
    than extroverts do.

    This particular system is only evolved in humans and is very beneficial in the workplace because it rewards introverts, allows them to plan ahead, and thoroughly think through

    2. Introversion has a lot to do with creativity

    Are many of the introverts you know creative? We thought so.

    The reason for this is that introverts have a unique ability to turn their attention inward, to think about their own thoughts and deeply reflect.

    Whereas extroverts get a higher reward for socializing, introverts have a greater “imagination network.”

    The imagination network is associated with creativity, compassion and a greater ability to read and anticipate others’ thoughts.

    These surpluses are regularly used by poets and writers but can really be used across all professions. We think this is a really useful skill to have at work.

    3. Introverts aren’t shyer

    One of the greatest myths about introversion is that introverts are shyer in nature.

    This is simply not true.

    According to the Quiet Leadership Institute, shyness comes from neuroticism, not introversion. In fact, many extroverts are very shy.

    It also isn’t true that introverts have a greater aversion to people. That trait is actually tied to agreeableness. Introverts just don’t get as much of a reward in their brains from
    gaining social status or interacting with others as extroverts do.

    It’s also not true that extroverts always love attention or that introverts don’t like being around people.

    They may just not like being the center of attention or “life of the party.”

    4. Preparation is one of the introvert’s greatest strengths

    Introverts are really good at preparing and thinking ahead. Instead of trying to change (you can’t really, anyway), play to your existing strengths.

    For example, a really well-written email can go a long way and, while definitely different from expressing yourself more directly, it holds a lot of power being “ in the moment” does not.

    “A lot of introverts are more comfortable with communicating in writing than verbally. Composing an email allows you time to think through what you want to say and deliver all of your points in detail. But if you’re in a conference room full of extroverts who are all “thinking out loud,” getting your ideas across can be a challenge,” according to the Huffington Post.

    5. Introverts are great listeners

    “You may feel like you’re at a disadvantage, but you’re not,” explained Salemi in the previously mentioned Huffington Post article. “You can play up your strengths, and one
    of them is listening.”

    “Introverts are naturally adept when it comes to actively listening,” said Beth Buelow, author of The Introvert Entrepreneur: Amplify Your Strengths and Create Success on Your Own Terms Beth Buelow, according to TIME.

    “We tend to be the friend or colleague you can call on when you’re upset or you have good news to share.”

    This is a different experience from trying to have a conversation with an extrovert.

    “Extroverted people are more inclined to jump into a conversation before fully processing what the other person has said. Not because they’re selfish or don’t care, but because they process information interactively,” Dr. Laurie Helgoe explained in the TIME article.

    The truth is, as it’s always been, that people are really complicated and you can’t really separate them into neat categories. And that’s a really great thing.

    So while introverts may not always be the life of the party, they really do have just as much to offer.

    For even more benefits of being an introvert, read this.

    This article was originally published on Ladders. If you like this article, then you will enjoy How to write a resume for 2020 and How to respectfully quit your job

    Follow us here and subscribe here for all the latest news on how you can keep Thriving.

    Stay up to date or catch-up on all our podcasts with Arianna Huffington here.

Life Blogs

21 February 2020

Life Blogs
  • Generator Types and What Should You Get
    21 February 2020
    Generators are essential to counter the problem of power outages. Know about the types of generators available for basic use at your home or workplace.
  • 23 Signs You're Not Ready to Date Again, According to Dating Experts
    20 February 2020
    <p>Many people say that the best way to <a href="">get over a breakup</a> is to find someone new. But that eagerness to move on quickly can lead to major problems in the relationship that follows. When you're so anxious to be part of a couple again, you can <a href="" >overlook glaring flaws</a> in a new partner, repeat the same <a href="" >mistakes that caused your last breakup</a>, or fail to actually allow yourself the time to get over your ex. Before you find yourself in a <a href="">new relationship for all the wrong reasons</a>, check out these signs you're not ready to date again, according to relationship coaches, psychologists, and more dating experts.</p> <div > <h2 > <div >1</div> <div >You haven't gotten rid of your ex's belongings.</div> </h2> </div> <p><img src="" alt="Woman with Box of Momentos " width="1024" height="683" data-recalc-dims="1" /></p> <p>Nobody relishes the task of packing up underwear and toothbrushes and handing them off to a former flame. However, if you haven't gotten rid of your ex's stuff yet—or are unwilling to do so—that's a clear sign you're not prepared to move on.</p> <p>"You are not ready to date until you have a living space that is all yours," says <strong>Elinor Robin</strong>, PhD, a Florida Supreme Court certified mediator and mediation trainer and founder of <a href="" >A Friendly Divorce</a>. "Get rid of it all."</p> <div > <h2 > <div >2</div> <div >You take any opportunity to bring up your ex in conversation.</div> </h2> </div> <p><img src="" alt="group of three male friends sitting on a bench in neighborhood" width="1200" height="801" data-recalc-dims="1" /></p> <p>According to Robin, an inability to stop talking about a former partner is a clear sign you're not ready for a new relationship. "Do not mention your ex unless someone asks," she advises. "If they do, keep that conversation to a minute or less."</p> <div > <h2 > <div >3</div> <div >Your self-esteem is still dependent on your ex.</div> </h2> </div> <p><img src="" alt="young indian man inspecting face in mirror" width="1024" height="683" data-recalc-dims="1" /></p> <p>Having your <a href="">self-esteem tied to your ex</a> and their judgment of you doesn't bode well for your future relationships. This type of behavior indicates that "<a href="" >your self-love</a> and self-authority are not fully intact," according to relationship expert and spiritual partnership guide <strong><a href="" >Alyssa Malehorn</a></strong>. "You're not ready to commit to another, because eventually you'll find yourself in the same inferior/superior pattern again."</p> <div > <h2 > <div >4</div> <div >Or you're using dating apps to boost your confidence.</div> </h2> </div> <p><img src="" alt="white man swiping on dating app" width="1024" height="683" data-recalc-dims="1" /></p> <p>Of course it feels good to know that <a href="">people find you attractive</a>. However, dating apps are for dating, not for ego boosts. Using them simply to feel better about yourself can be exhausting, Malehorn says. "When attention from a dating app changes your mood and helps you to feel better about yourself, then you're setting yourself up to fall from that heightened state," she explains. Plus, it proves that you're not there for the right reasons and therefore not ready to open your heart to someone new.</p> <div > <h2 > <div >5</div> <div >You try to find out if your ex is on any dating sites.</div> </h2> </div> <p><img src="" alt="young asian woman looking disappointed while she uses her phone on the street" width="1200" height="800" data-recalc-dims="1" /></p> <p>Setting up a dating profile to find someone you're interested in? No big deal. Setting up a dating profile to see what your ex is up to? Huge red flag that you're not ready to date again. This is also true if you find yourself relieved to find that your ex <em>isn't</em> <a href="" >on any dating sites</a>, "which points to you still being emotionally involved," says dating and relationship coach <strong><a href="" >Jess McCann</a></strong>.</p> <div > <h2 > <div >6</div> <div >Or you frequent places your ex hangs out.</div> </h2> </div> <p><img src="" alt="young black man talking to asian woman in grocery store" width="1024" height="684" data-recalc-dims="1" /></p> <p>Nobody's expecting you to find a new gym, grocery store, or dry cleaner on the off chance you might run into your ex at the ones you frequent. That said, going out of your way to visit places you know they'll be is an indication that you are looking to "accidentally" run in to them in the hopes of potentially reconnecting, according to McCann.</p> <div > <h2 > <div >7</div> <div >You're still engaging with your ex on social media.</div> </h2> </div> <p><img src="" alt="Man smiling looking at phone" width="1200" height="800" data-recalc-dims="1" /></p> <p>Everyone checks out an ex on social media once in a blue moon. But if you're trying to get them to actually engage with you, you may be subconsciously "discouraging other people from contacting [your ex] now that they're single because you want to keep them available to you," says McCann. That's definitely not the mindset of someone who's ready to date again.</p> <div > <h2 > <div >8</div> <div >You post things on social media to get a reaction from your ex.</div> </h2> </div> <p><img src="" alt="woman on facebook, reach a customer service rep" width="1024" height="682" data-recalc-dims="1" /></p> <p>Is that sudden flurry of social media activity on your end an <a href="">accurate reflection of what you're up to lately</a>, or are you using it to prompt a response from your ex? Whether consciously or subconsciously, increasing your social media activity can be a way to bait your ex into communicating with you, according to McCann. "If they communicate with you, then you believe there is a chance to reconnect and rekindle the relationship," she says.</p> <p>Ultimately, if you're posting those pictures just to get a reaction from your former flame, you may want to avoid entering a new relationship.</p> <div > <h2 > <div >9</div> <div >You get upset when you see photos of your ex having fun.</div> </h2> </div> <p><img src="" alt="older white couple taking a selfie on a carnival ride" width="1024" height="683" data-recalc-dims="1" /></p> <p>It can sting to realize that your ex can, in fact, have fun without you. But if photos of your ex looking happy are making you upset, McCann says it's a clear indicator that "you want them to be having fun with you instead."</p> <div > <h2 > <div >10</div> <div >You keep in touch with your ex's friends to find out about them.</div> </h2> </div> <p><img src="" alt="white woman talking to man on couch" width="1024" height="683" data-recalc-dims="1" /></p> <p>You can't be expected to give up your whole social circle after a breakup. However, if you're pushing for a friendship with your ex's friends—particularly ones you weren't close with before your split—you may be using your ex's inner circle to help you gauge how they're doing, says McCann. And that signals that you aren't ready to start a new chapter.</p> <div > <h2 > <div >11</div> <div >You keep making excuses to reach out to your ex.</div> </h2> </div> <p><img src="" alt="Older woman on phone call" width="1024" height="684" data-recalc-dims="1" /></p> <p>People who aren't ready to move on may find themselves making flimsy excuses to get in contact with their exes, like asking if something of yours is at their place. McCann says that in many cases, people do this because they're "afraid if you're completely out of touch, they will forget you." And if that's the place you're in, you're not ready to date again.</p> <div > <h2 > <div >12</div> <div >You're still counting on your ex as a plus-one.</div> </h2> </div> <p><img src="" alt="RSVP card" width="1024" height="861" data-recalc-dims="1" /></p> <p>Sure, you may have split up with your ex, but you can still count them as your date to your cousin's wedding in a few months, right? Not so fast. If you're still hoping your ex will play the boyfriend or girlfriend role when it's convenient, "you haven't accepted that you need to find another date" and therefore aren't ready for a new partner, McCann says.</p> <div > <h2 > <div >13</div> <div >You haven't done the work to heal from your last relationship.</div> </h2> </div> <p><img src="" alt="sad woman laying in bed hugging her pillow" width="1024" height="683" data-recalc-dims="1" /></p> <p>Breakups can be messy, and getting over them is often easier said than done. "If you haven't shed the tears, talked it out, and really done the internal emotional work to release the partnership, then you're not fully over your ex and you're not ready for a new relationship," says licensed psychotherapist <strong><a href="" >Haley Neidich</a></strong>. She explains that people who jump into new relationships quickly often do so to "avoid dealing with the emotions around the breakup."</p> <div > <h2 > <div >14</div> <div >You haven't identified your past dating patterns.</div> </h2> </div> <p><img src="" alt="couple arguing in kitchen" width="1024" height="682" data-recalc-dims="1" /></p> <p>Licensed clinical psychologist <strong><a href="" >Jodi J. De Luca</a></strong>, PhD, says it's important to take some time to recognize the type of person you're attracted to and why in order to break the cycle. She recommends "identifying traits each of these individuals have in common, taking note of what the outcome of the relationship was, and foremost, asking yourself if these types of character traits are a good match for you."</p> <div > <h2 > <div >15</div> <div >You compare everyone you date to your ex.</div> </h2> </div> <p><img src="" alt="bad date" width="1200" height="800" data-recalc-dims="1" /></p> <p>While there may be some commonalities between the people you're interested in and your ex, comparing every detail of your a new relationship to a previous one will only do harm to you—and your new potential partner—in the long run. If you're doing this, it's likely "because [your ex] is still heavily on your mind—and until you've moved on mentally, you'll continue to compare everyone to them," McCann says.</p> <div > <h2 > <div >16</div> <div >You get emotional about your ex on dates.</div> </h2> </div> <p><img src="" alt="young asian woman crying at dinner" width="1024" height="683" data-recalc-dims="1" /></p> <p>Having a deep conversation about past emotional wounds can open the floodgates for anyone. However, if the mere mention of your ex's name prompts an intense emotional response, it's probably too early for you to be pursuing a new romance. "If you cry about your ex during a date, an emotionally healthy person will usually walk away," says Robin.</p> <div > <h2 > <div >17</div> <div >You're updating your ex about your new relationships.</div> </h2> </div> <p><img src="" alt="woman texting on a cell phone on the couch" width="1200" height="800" data-recalc-dims="1" /></p> <p>Do you feel the need to let your ex know when you <a href="" >start seeing someone new</a>? Do they demand information about whether or not you and that woman are serious? If so, you might want to hold off on starting a new relationship. "If you feel the need to keep your ex in the loop, you are not ready to date," says Robin.</p> <div > <h2 > <div >18</div> <div >You want to make your ex jealous.</div> </h2> </div> <p><img src="" alt="30-something white couple kissing and taking selfie" width="1024" height="683" data-recalc-dims="1" /></p> <p>If all you want is to <a href="" >make your ex jealous</a>, you're getting into a new relationship for the wrong reasons. What's more, "no one wants to be the prop," Robin points out. She says anyone comfortable putting a romantic prospect in this position isn't ready to be a partner to someone new.</p> <div > <h2 > <div >19</div> <div >You're changing your personality to be what your new partner wants.</div> </h2> </div> <p><img src="" alt="30 something white man and woman wearing leather jackets on the beach" width="1024" height="681" data-recalc-dims="1" /></p> <p>Your new girlfriend loves cats, so you love cats. Your new boyfriend wears a leather jacket, so you wear a leather jacket. If this sounds familiar, then it's time to pause on reentering the dating scene. When you go out of your way to court approval from new partners by mimicking their behaviors, "you compromise yourself in your next dating experience," Malehorn says.</p> <div > <h2 > <div >20</div> <div >You're looking for a soulmate.</div> </h2> </div> <p><img src="" alt="man and woman, senior married couple standing on terrace at home together." width="1024" height="683" data-recalc-dims="1" /></p> <p>There's nothing wrong with <a href="" >believing in soulmates</a>. However, looking for one right after a breakup puts undue pressure on a potential new relationship. "If you still believe that there is one perfect person that will complete you or be your perfect match in a relationship, then you're not ready to start dating again," says Malehorn.</p> <div > <h2 > <div >21</div> <div >You think your new partner is perfect immediately.</div> </h2> </div> <p><img src="" alt="older asian couple kissing" width="1200" height="800" data-recalc-dims="1" /></p> <p>It's easy to get swept up in the fun you're having with someone new, but if that means you think your new guy or gal can do no wrong, you probably have blinders on.</p> <p>"It's easy to see your new relationship with rose-colored glasses," says <strong>Nikki Loscalzo</strong>, a therapeutic relationship coach at <a href="" >Savvy Strategies Relational Life Therapy</a>. She also cautions against measuring your new partner's virtues by how much or how little they remind you of your ex.</p> <div > <h2 > <div >22</div> <div >You find yourself having the same fights in your new relationship as you did in your last one.</div> </h2> </div> <p><img src="" alt="young asian woman looking down with man on bed behind her" width="1024" height="684" data-recalc-dims="1" /></p> <p>Does it feel like you're <a href="" >having the exact same fights</a> with your new boyfriend or girlfriend that you did with your ex? According to Malehorn, "rehashing the same arguments, issues, or behaviors means that you're still attracting people who will trigger those unhealed wounds."</p> <div > <h2 > <div >23</div> <div >Your gut says you need more time.</div> </h2> </div> <p><img src="" alt="depressed man sitting in dark room" width="1200" height="800" data-recalc-dims="1" /></p> <p>Sometimes, all you need is your gut to tell you something's not right. "[It's] an evolutionary built-in mind and body phenomena, comprised of memories based on your life's experiences," says De Luca. "Your intuition has the foreknowledge [and] the insight to guide you toward making a decision based upon previous experience."</p>

    The post 23 Signs You're Not Ready to Date Again, According to Dating Experts appeared first on Best Life.

  • 17 "Polite" Behaviors That Are Actually Offensive
    20 February 2020
    <p>There are many polite gestures that will simply never go out of style. Saying "please" and "thank you," for instance, is unlikely to offend even the staunchest <strong>Emily Post</strong> devotee. However, not every <a href="" >seemingly polite behavior</a> is actually perceived as such. With the help of etiquette pros and other top experts, we've rounded up some rude behaviors you probably think are polite.</p> <div > <h2 > <div >1</div> <div >Standing up when a woman leaves the table</div> </h2> </div> <p><img src="" alt="white man pulling out chair for female date" width="1024" height="684" data-recalc-dims="1" /></p> <p><a href="" >Etiquette once dictated</a> that a man should stand up when a woman leaves the table. However, this rule no longer applies—and if you're still abiding by it, you might be causing serious offense.</p> <p>According to elegance expert <strong>Jennifer Lynn</strong>, founder of <a href="" >Elegant Living Everyday</a>, this behavior <a href="" >can be construed as rude</a> because it draws an undue amount of attention to the woman leaving her seat. "[She] doesn't need everyone to watch her as she excuses herself to the ladies' room," Lynn explains.</p> <div > <h2 > <div >2</div> <div >Asking too many questions on a first date</div> </h2> </div> <p><img src="" alt="young asian man bored at dinner" width="1024" height="683" data-recalc-dims="1" /></p> <p>Though it's good to take an interest in your date, you don't want to overdo it with questions. Not only will you come across as nosy if you do this, but your date may "feel pressured to reveal too much information and therefore feel uncomfortable," says Lynn. "It's great to be interested, but don't let them do all the talking."</p> <div > <h2 > <div >3</div> <div >Picking up someone early for a date</div> </h2> </div> <p><img src="" alt="white man standing outside door with flowers" width="1024" height="684" data-recalc-dims="1" /></p> <p>Though being early is usually a good thing, showing up to a date's house 20 minutes ahead of schedule puts unnecessary pressure on them. "People have busy schedules and perhaps need that extra time to get ready for the date," explains relationship expert and sex coach <strong>Carmel Jones</strong> with <a href="" >The Big Fling</a>.</p> <div > <h2 > <div >4</div> <div >Insisting on paying for a date's meal</div> </h2> </div> <p><img src="" alt="man handing credit card to waitress on date" width="1024" height="683" data-recalc-dims="1" /></p> <p>From your perspective, saving someone money by paying for their dinner is undeniably polite. Your date, however, might have a significantly different opinion on the matter.</p> <p>If you're unsure how your companion feels about this gesture, "don't insist—suggest instead," says etiquette expert <strong>Adeodata Czink</strong>, founder of etiquette training school <a href="" >Business of Manners</a>. "If she is dead against it, go Dutch."</p> <div > <h2 > <div >5</div> <div >Ordering dinner for someone</div> </h2> </div> <p><img src="" alt="man hitting on waitress, things you should never say to your spouse" width="1024" height="683" data-recalc-dims="1" /></p> <p>Not everyone is going to be keen on what you see as a take-charge attitude, so when in doubt, assume your date can order for themselves. If you're adamant about at least trying to order for the table, Czink suggests asking your date what they want, then asking if you can order for them. "If she says no, then let her order first," she recommends.</p> <div > <h2 > <div >6</div> <div >Ordering wine to share</div> </h2> </div> <p><img src="" alt="waiter showing man bottle of wine at restaurant" width="1024" height="683" data-recalc-dims="1" /></p> <p>Who wouldn't love a good bottle of wine? Recovering alcoholics, pregnant people, and teetotalers, to name a few.</p> <p>"Some individuals don't drink and might feel pressured to imbibe" if you order a bottle of wine for the table, explains dating expert <strong>Kelly Keating</strong>, founder of <a href="" >Modern Man Dating Advice</a>. If you order a bottle and someone declines to indulge, don't push them to provide a reason—not everyone feels comfortable having their personal life become dinner table conversation, after all.</p> <div > <h2 > <div >7</div> <div >Calling a stranger "ma'am" or "sir"</div> </h2> </div> <p><img src="" alt="young black man and older white woman at work" width="1024" height="576" data-recalc-dims="1" /></p> <p>Your <a href="" >parents probably taught you</a> to refer to any adult as "sir" or "ma'am." The problem with doing so, however, is that you're guessing the gender identity of the person you're addressing, which may lead to offense.</p> <p>"Instead of assuming that someone identifies with a male or female pronoun, it's always nice to ask," says Jones. She also notes that you should be careful using these terms as they may inadvertently make the addressee feel old.</p> <div > <h2 > <div >8</div> <div >Apologizing in public</div> </h2> </div> <p><img src="" alt="couple holding hands in gratitude to say thank you" width="1024" height="683" data-recalc-dims="1" /></p> <p>In movies, a public apology seems like the ultimate romantic gesture. In reality, though, these dramatic displays make the apology more about you than the person you're apologizing to—and make no mistake, they're definitely rude.</p> <p>"Apologizing in public can cause a scene and make people feel uncomfortable," explains Jones. When it comes to <a href="">saying sorry</a>, she recommends waiting until you're in private to deliver a more heartfelt—and less theatrical—apology instead.</p> <div > <h2 > <div >9</div> <div >Holding the door for someone who's far behind you</div> </h2> </div> <p><img src="" alt="man holding door open, long marriage tips" width="1024" height="683" data-recalc-dims="1" /></p> <p>Being polite and forcing someone to do a 50-yard dash to catch up to you are, unfortunately, mutually exclusive. Don't hold the door open for someone unless they're right behind you, says Czink.</p> <div > <h2 > <div >10</div> <div >Bringing a gift when an invitation specifies otherwise</div> </h2> </div> <p><img src="" alt="white hand giving child gift" width="1024" height="684" data-recalc-dims="1" /></p> <p>If an invitation says "no gifts," don't take that as a mere suggestion. What's the problem with going above and beyond? "It embarrasses the other 
guests that did not bring a gift," explains etiquette expert <strong>Jacquelyn Youst</strong>, president of the <a href="" >Pennsylvania Academy of Protocol</a>.</p> <div > <h2 > <div >11</div> <div >Correcting someone's grammar</div> </h2> </div> <p><img src="" alt="serious senior male office manager points to a female employee while reprimanding her." width="1024" height="683" data-recalc-dims="1" /></p> <p>Though it might seem helpful to you to <a href="" >correct someone's grammar</a>, it often comes across as downright rude. As Youst explains, all this does is "embarrass the person who made the error. Not every little faux pas needs to be pointed out."</p> <div > <h2 > <div >12</div> <div >Offering advice to a new parent</div> </h2> </div> <p><img src="" alt="asian father and grandfather holding baby in white shirt" width="1024" height="683" data-recalc-dims="1" /></p> <p>Being a new parent is hard enough without everyone putting their two cents in about how you're handling things. And while providing sage guidance when someone asks for it may be helpful, "<a href="">unsolicited advice</a> can be taken as an insult," explains Youst.</p> <div > <h2 > <div >13</div> <div >Giving too many compliments</div> </h2> </div> <p><img src="" alt="Older man complimenting woman on date" width="1024" height="683" data-recalc-dims="1" /></p> <p>Not everyone loves being the center of attention, and <a href="" >giving too many compliments</a> is a surefire way to make a person feel like they're being singled out. On top of that, "overdoing it comes across as contrived and insincere," says Youst.</p> <div > <h2 > <div >14</div> <div >Ending a conversation with "let's get together soon" when you don't mean it</div> </h2> </div> <p><img src="" alt="young white man hugging black female coworker" width="1024" height="576" data-recalc-dims="1" /></p> <p>"Let's do this again soon" is such a common thing to say that it feels almost impossible not to tack it on when you're saying goodbye to someone. However, you should avoid saying this unless you actually mean it. When you offer up this phrase and don't follow through, Youst explains that "what seemed like a polite gesture turns into a lack of integrity."</p> <div > <h2 > <div >15</div> <div >Congratulating someone on a major milestone they haven't announced</div> </h2> </div> <p><img src="" alt="pregnant woman sitting on bench" width="1024" height="683" data-recalc-dims="1" /></p> <p>Unless you're intent upon making someone very uncomfortable, don't congratulate them on a milestone they haven't yet made public—be it a pregnancy, marriage, or promotion. In the best-case scenario, you might prompt someone to talk about something they weren't ready to reveal, and in the worst-case scenario, you might say something that outright insults them.</p> <p>"Always make conversation when you aren't sure of specifics, <em>then</em> comment or compliment," says etiquette coach <strong>Toni Dupree</strong>, CEO of <a href="" >Etiquette & Style by Dupree</a>. "This way makes the person feel that there is some interest in them," plus gives them an opportunity to reveal the news if they see fit.</p> <div > <h2 > <div >16</div> <div >Publicly grooming your spouse or children</div> </h2> </div> <p><img src="" alt="woman wiping white baby girl's face" width="1024" height="680" data-recalc-dims="1" /></p> <p>Though a polished appearance is always a good thing, grooming anyone in public is always rude. As Dupree notes, you need to "be mindful of boundaries" and only attend to private tasks—like grooming—in private.</p> <div > <h2 > <div >17</div> <div >Covering your sneeze with your hand</div> </h2> </div> <p><img src="" alt="young white woman sneezing into hand" width="1024" height="683" data-recalc-dims="1" /></p> <p>Covering your sneeze is almost always polite—unless you're doing so with your hand. "With the myriad illnesses rampant today, one of the rudest things you can do is disregard the spread of germs by not using your elbow area to sneeze or coughing into," explains certified etiquette instructor <strong><a href="" >Karen A. Thomas</a></strong>. Unless you want to get everyone around you sick, don't use your hand as a tissue!</p>

    The post 17 "Polite" Behaviors That Are Actually Offensive appeared first on Best Life.

  • This Was Most Likely the Prom Song the Year You Graduated High School
    20 February 2020
    <p>High school proms have come a long way from their debutante ball origins, but some things about them never change. Whether you did the twist, danced the "Macarena," or twerked at yours, the second your dance's DJ dropped the BPMs, you knew exactly who you wanted to be holding you for that special song. Prom kings, queens, and wallflowers alike can all recall their prom song. But if your memory of that magic evening has gotten a bit fuzzy over time, maybe this list will help jog your memory. Besides, scrolling through these classic tunes is a much easier way to reminisce than trying to squeeze into a decades-old dress or tux.</p> <div > <h2 > <div ></div> <div ><strong>1955:</strong> "Unchained Melody," Les Baxter</div> </h2> </div> <p><img src="" alt="Unchained Melody" width="1196" height="1200" data-recalc-dims="1" /></p> <p>Before it was covered by the Righteous Brothers, who made it the song we all know and love, "Unchained Melody" had already spent a decade as a popular romantic single. Originally commissioned for the 1955 prison film <i>Unchained</i>, the song quickly topped the charts, becoming an instant slow dance favorite, and later earning an Oscar nom.</p> <div > <h2 > <div ></div> <div ><strong>1956:</strong> "The Great Pretender," The Platters</div> </h2> </div> <p><img src="" alt="Great Pretender" width="1188" height="1200" data-recalc-dims="1" /></p> <p>You'd have to be pretty great at pretending to convince us "The Great Pretender" doesn't have a special place in your heart. The Platters' hit single was all over the radio airwaves in '56, and had a bit of a renaissance when <strong>Freddie Mercury</strong> covered it in 1987. It also happens to be the canonical favorite song of The Fonz on <em>Happy Days</em>.</p> <div > <h2 > <div ></div> <div ><strong>1957:</strong> "Young Love," Tab Hunter</div> </h2> </div> <p><img src="" alt="young Love" width="1200" height="1200" data-recalc-dims="1" /></p> <p>You couldn't get more on the nose for a prom song than one titled "Young Love," so it's no wonder popular film actor <strong>Tab Hunter's </strong>cover of <strong>Ric Cartey</strong> and <strong>Carole Joyner's</strong> track from the previous year became such a hit with the teens. He wasn't the only one trying to make it his own, however. <a href="">Country singer</a> <strong>Sonny James</strong> and vocal quartet The Crew-Cuts released their own successful versions of the song around the same time.</p> <div > <h2 > <div ></div> <div ><strong>1958:</strong> "All I Have to Do Is Dream," The Everly Brothers</div> </h2> </div> <p><img src="" alt="All I Have to Do is Dream" width="1194" height="1200" data-recalc-dims="1" /></p> <p>Famously recorded by The Everly Brothers in just two takes, "All I Have to Do Is Dream" was soon No. 1 across all <a href="" >Billboard singles charts</a>, and went on to become a global success, speaking to <a href="">wistful lovers</a> everywhere.</p> <div > <h2 > <div ></div> <div ><strong>1959:</strong> "Come Softly to Me," The Fleetwoods</div> </h2> </div> <p><img src="" alt="Come Softly to Me" width="1200" height="1190" data-recalc-dims="1" /></p> <p>This song's original title, "Come Softly," was changed by a record executive who rightly worried it might be misconstrued or joked about as being too bawdy a phrase. Funnily enough, the alternate he went with, "Come Softly to Me," never actually shows up in the song lyrics.</p> <div > <h2 > <div ></div> <div ><strong>1960:</strong> "Teen Angel," Mark Dinning</div> </h2> </div> <p><img src="" alt="Teen Angel" width="1200" height="1196" data-recalc-dims="1" /></p> <p>Despite some radio stations quaintly <a href="" >banning it from the air</a> for being too much of a bummer, "Teen Angel" continued to gain popularity and climb the charts. It probably says something about the emotional subtext of the era that the most likely prom slow dance song of 1960 was about a girl who is run over by a train.</p> <div > <h2 > <div ></div> <div ><strong>1961:</strong> "Will You Love Me Tomorrow," The Shirelles</div> </h2> </div> <p><img src="" alt="Will You Love Me Tomorrow" width="1195" height="1200" data-recalc-dims="1" /></p> <p>Though presented in a radio-friendly euphemism, "Will You Love Me Tomorrow" posits a timeless question about whether or not someone has pure intentions, or is simply spitting game to try to get lucky. One can only hope the message gave a few prom-goers pause as they danced to it back in '61.</p> <div > <h2 > <div ></div> <div ><strong>1962: </strong>"Duke of Earl," Gene Chandler</div> </h2> </div> <p><img src="" alt="The Duke of Earl" width="1200" height="1192" data-recalc-dims="1" /></p> <p>It's hard enough to remember where dukes and earls rank in the monarchistic pecking order without a song title like "Duke of Earl" muddying the waters. It turns out that <strong>Gene Chandler's</strong> best known song actually came from a gibberish vocal warm-up, so try to not overthink its relevance to actual royalty.</p> <div > <h2 > <div ></div> <div ><strong>1963:</strong> "Hey Paula," Paul & Paula</div> </h2> </div> <p><img src="" alt="Hey Paula" width="1200" height="1200" data-recalc-dims="1" /></p> <p>There are probably better ways to propose than with "hey, hey, Paula, I wanna marry you," and more appropriate times to do it than while still in high school, but the early '60s were a different era. "Hey Paula" was downright romantic for its time and thus, a school dance staple.</p> <div > <h2 > <div ></div> <div ><strong>1964:</strong> "I Want to Hold Your Hand," The Beatles</div> </h2> </div> <p><img src="" alt="I Want to Hold Your Hand" width="1196" height="1200" data-recalc-dims="1" /></p> <p>You've probably heard of these Liverpool lads. In fact, it'd be hard to overstate just how much of a seismic change in the pop music landscape the Fab Four's U.S. breakthrough represented. "I Want to Hold Your Hand" was merely the first of a decades-long string of chart-toppers for the Beatles, but it's also the one that best encapsulates the innocence of youthful crushes.</p> <div > <h2 > <div ></div> <div ><strong>1965­:</strong> "My Girl," The Temptations</div> </h2> </div> <p><img src="" alt="My Girl" width="1169" height="1200" data-recalc-dims="1" /></p> <p>One of the more noteworthy successes of Motown singer <strong>Smokey Robinson's</strong> storied career is one many may not even associate with him. Originally performed with his band, The Miracles, it was The Temptations' cover of Smokey's ode to his wife that helped bring "My Girl" to the greater masses and helped secure its place in music history.</p> <div > <h2 > <div ></div> <div ><strong>1966:</strong> "When a Man Loves a Woman," Percy Sledge</div> </h2> </div> <p><img src="" alt="When a Man Loves a Woman" width="1194" height="1200" data-recalc-dims="1" /></p> <p>"When a Man Loves a Woman" came out of the gate hot and immediately cemented itself as an adult contemporary classic. And though it's been covered by the likes of <strong>Bette Midler</strong>, <strong>Michael Bolton</strong>, <strong>Gregg Allman</strong>, <strong>Art Garfunkel</strong>, and countless other talents, there's no topping the soulful crooning of <strong>Percy Sledge's</strong> original rendition.</p> <div > <h2 > <div ></div> <div ><strong>1967:</strong> "Somethin' Stupid," Frank Sinatra and Nancy Sinatra</div> </h2> </div> <p><img src="" alt="Somethin' Stupid" width="1190" height="1200" data-recalc-dims="1" /></p> <p>There's no denying <strong>Frank and</strong> <strong>Nancy Sinatra</strong> are in peak form as they croon "Somethin' Stupid" together, but it's best to not think too much about who's singing this one. While the father and daughter may not be singing about each other, the familial pairing is certainly an odd choice for a love duet.</p> <div > <h2 > <div ></div> <div ><strong>1968:</strong> "Love Is Blue," Paul Mauriat</div> </h2> </div> <p><img src="" alt="Love is Still Blue" width="1190" height="1200" data-recalc-dims="1" /></p> <p>Originally sung in French by Greek-born, German-residing singer <strong>Vicky Leandros</strong> for <a href="" >Luxembourg's 1967 Eurovision entry</a>, "L'amour est Bleu" ditched the lyrics and European backstory for the orchestral version that would become a U.S. hit. The combination of harpsichord and guitar in <strong>Paul Mauriat's</strong> take was a relatively novel sound for American ears, but one they would soon be hearing frequently.</p> <div > <h2 > <div ></div> <div ><strong>1969:</strong> "Crimson and Clover," Tommy James and the Shondells</div> </h2> </div> <p><img src="" alt="Crimson Clover" width="1200" height="1200" data-recalc-dims="1" /></p> <p>Wanting to change up their sound from the bubblegum pop that brought them success with "Mony Mony" to something more of the times, Tommy James and the Shondells took things in a trippy direction for "Crimson and Clover," messing around in the studio with tremolo effects for the song's guitar and vocal tracks. Those looking for deeper meaning in the titular lyrics may be disappointed, however. They're just Tommy's <a href="" >favorite color and flower</a>, and he thought they sounded cool. He wasn't exactly wrong about that.</p> <div > <h2 > <div ></div> <div ><strong>1970:</strong> "I Want You Back," The Jackson 5</div> </h2> </div> <p><img src="" alt="I Want You Back" width="1200" height="1200" data-recalc-dims="1" /></p> <p>Music execs tend to know a hit when they hear one, and it was immediately clear to many that they had something special with the Jackson family's first single, despite its main theme of regret over a prematurely ended relationship being sung by a child. "I Want You Back" helped catapult the sibling Motown act to stardom, and has served as a relationship regret anthem ever since.</p> <div > <h2 > <div ></div> <div ><strong>1971:</strong> "Just My Imagination (Running Away With Me)," The Temptations</div> </h2> </div> <p><img src="" alt="Just my Imagination(Running Away From Me)" width="1200" height="1200" data-recalc-dims="1" /></p> <p>Sure, the central love story of this song, replete with marriage and multiple children, is a fiction concocted by a man obsessing over a woman who does not even know he exists, but we somehow let those red flags slide at the time. Fortunately for "Just My Imagination (Running Away With Me)," the track sounds pleasant enough to earn itself a pass.</p> <div > <h2 > <div ></div> <div ><strong>1972:</strong> "Let's Stay Together," Al Green</div> </h2> </div> <p><img src="" alt="Let's Stay Together" width="1200" height="1200" data-recalc-dims="1" /></p> <p>One can only imagine how many college-bound teens slow-dancing to <strong>Al Green's</strong> seminal soul track got caught up in the emotion of the song and decided to give long-distance dating a go. Regardless of how those relationships fared, "Let's Stay Together" has stood the test of time and earned its place in the pantheon of love songs.</p> <div > <h2 > <div ></div> <div ><strong>1973:</strong> "Killing Me Softly With His Song," Roberta Flack</div> </h2> </div> <p><img src="" alt="Killing Me Softly With His Song" width="1200" height="1197" data-recalc-dims="1" /></p> <p>Before the Fugees took the song and made it their own in the '90s, and before <strong>Roberta Flack's</strong> melancholic coos brought it initial mainstream popularity, <a href="" >"Killing Me Softly With His Song"</a> was written by singer-songwriter <strong><a href="" >Lori Lieberman</a></strong> after she caught a particularly moving <strong>Don McLean</strong> performance. It only took decades and a litany of legal battles for her to finally get her due credit.</p> <div > <h2 > <div ></div> <div ><strong>1974:</strong> "The Way We Were," Barbra Streisand</div> </h2> </div> <p><img src="" alt="The Way We Were" width="1191" height="1200" data-recalc-dims="1" /></p> <p>If you're reading this list, you probably already know a thing or two about nostalgic reflection, but any time you need that feeling recharged, just give <strong>Barbra Streisand's</strong> hit track another listen. And if you're wondering how she could be so wistful all the way back in 1974, it may shock you to learn that "The Way We Were" came from Babs' <em>15th</em> album, when she was in her early 30s with a ton of career and lost love already behind her.</p> <div > <h2 > <div ></div> <div ><strong>1975:</strong> "Best of My Love," Eagles</div> </h2> </div> <p><img src="" alt="Best of my Love" width="1192" height="1200" data-recalc-dims="1" /><br /> By <a href="">the mid-'70s</a>, rock had reached its softness apex and <strong>Don Henley</strong> and company's funky classic, "Best of My Love," was the subgenre's poster child. Heard everywhere from nightclubs to roller rinks to high school dances, it was the song that made you stop and ponder what, conversely, getting the <em>worst</em> of someone's love might entail.</p> <div > <h2 > <div ></div> <div ><strong>1976:</strong> "Silly Love Songs," Wings</div> </h2> </div> <p><img src="" alt="Silly Love Songs Wings" width="1188" height="1200" data-recalc-dims="1" /></p> <p>Given the breadth of their body of work, it's easy to forget that the Beatles were only together for eight years from 1962 to 1970. Thankfully, the members each found varying degrees of success with solo projects, including this defense of sappiness by <strong>Paul and Linda McCartney</strong>. "Silly Love Songs" was originally penned as a response to <a href="" >criticisms of Paul's songwriting skills</a>, but soon proved catchy enough to become a hit without any of that context.</p> <div > <h2 > <div ></div> <div ><strong>1977:</strong> "Tonight's the Night (Gonna Be Alright)," Rod Stewart</div> </h2> </div> <p><img src="" alt="Tonight's the Night" width="1200" height="1200" data-recalc-dims="1" /></p> <p>Sexy flange effects, a sax solo, and a French spoken-word interlude? Songs rarely get steamier than "Tonight's the Night (Gonna Be Alright)." In fact, some stations deemed it <a href="" >too steamy for airplay</a> unedited.</p> <div > <h2 > <div ></div> <div ><strong>1978:</strong> "How Deep is Your Love," Bee Gees</div> </h2> </div> <p><img src="" alt="How Deep is Your Love" width="1200" height="1196" data-recalc-dims="1" /></p> <p>With <a href="" >three No. 1 singles</a> that year, it's safe to say that 1978 belonged to the Bee Gees. "How Deep is Your Love" dropped the year before, but by prom time the following spring, the earworm had climbed the charts and burrowed its way through all that feathered hair into every teen's brain.</p> <div > <h2 > <div ></div> <div ><strong>1979:</strong> "Reunited," Peaches & Herb</div> </h2> </div> <p><img src="" alt="Reunited" width="1190" height="1200" data-recalc-dims="1" /></p> <p>Breaking up and getting back together is a hallmark of young romance, and who better to convey the unique feeling of such a reunion to the youth than a duo in their 30s? The themes of this <strong>Herb Fame</strong> and <strong>Linda Greene</strong> duet proved to transcend age, of course, and by summer of '79, reconciled partners of all life stages were singing along with "Reunited."</p> <div > <h2 > <div ></div> <div ><strong>1980:</strong> "Do That To Me One More Time," Captain & Tennille</div> </h2> </div> <p><img src="" alt="Do That to Me One More Time" width="1198" height="1200" data-recalc-dims="1" /></p> <p>Believe it or not, the husband of this married act went a less flamboyant route when choosing "Captain" as his stage name. The guy's legal name was <strong>Daryl Dragon</strong>! When you consider the mellow body of work he made with his wife, <strong>Toni Tenille</strong>, including their digital pan flute-packed "Do That to Me One More Time," it seems like he made the right call.</p> <div > <h2 > <div ></div> <div ><strong>1981:</strong> "Bette Davis Eyes," Kim Carnes</div> </h2> </div> <p><img src="" alt="Bette Davis Eyes" width="1200" height="1200" data-recalc-dims="1" /><br /> With her enthralling, husky voice, <strong>Kim..
  • 3 Medical Conditions That a Service Dog Can Help With
    20 February 2020

    Canines have been man’s best friend for centuries, and it’s not surprising why. They are intuitive and intelligent creatures to be around and bring a special element of joy and social interaction. 

    People with disabilities can get a service dog to assist them in all the major areas of their lives. These wonderful animals are specially trained to carry out tasks for their owners, helping to enrich their lives and live life with independence and confidence. If you are thinking of taking the next step and registering your dog as a service dog, you can follow this easy registration process to make it happen!  

    In this article, we’ll discuss what service dogs are, what they do, and the medical conditions that these pups can offer special help for.

    What Are Service Dogs?

    Service dogs assist their owners by performing specific physical tasks that will help them when a challenging situation arises. They are certainly helpful creatures where some examples of their specialized training involve:

    • Guiding a person with visual impairments
    • Signalling certain sounds or movements for those with hearing impairments
    • Retrieving items for people who have mobility restrictions
    • Alerting others if their owner is suffering a seizure of epileptic fit
    • Reminding their owner to take medication at precise times

    Service dogs also bring other advantages that improve their owner’s emotional well-being, such as companionship, independence, confidence, motivation, and self-improvement. 

    Who Can Service Dogs Help?

    Some common disabilities service dogs can be specially trained for and help with are:

    • Mobility problems
    • Visual and hearing impairments
    • Chronic fatigue conditions
    • Diabetes
    • Seizures and epilepsy
    • Cardiac syncope conditions

    There are certainly plenty of areas service dogs can cover and prove to be a valuable asset in their owner’s life. Let’s take a closer look at three physical benefits a service dog can provide their owner. 

    Which Medical Conditions Can Be Helped By a Service Dog?

    Service dogs can provide specialist help for people with many conditions, though the three below tend to be the main ones. They are:

    1) Mobility Limitations

    Mobility assistance dogs can help their owners by opening doors, turning light switches on and off, and picking up or retrieving objects for their owners. Service dogs can help switch their owner from their wheelchair to another position, such as their bed or the toilet. Some other helpful capabilities of service dogs include unloading the laundry from the dryer, pressing elevator buttons and paying cashiers.

    2) Epilepsy

    Service dogs can help their owners who have epilepsy by being trained to detect and alert their human partner of the onset of a seizure. When they sense an imminent seizure, they can warn their owner by pawing, pacing or placing their head or nose on their owner. This can help the owner prepare for the possible eventuality of a seizure by seeking somewhere safe to be such as soft flooring and being clear of furniture and sharp edges. If a seizure occurs, pups can be trained to call for assistance. 

    3) Chronic Fatigue

    For people experiencing trouble caused by pain, fatigue, trouble walking, or limited mobility, service dogs are there to help! The clever canines can help those who have balance and coordination issues by preventing falls and accidents. Dogs can hold and carry items if their owner is too weak to do it themselves. Grocery shopping can be made easier as, by law, service dogs are allowed in public places such as grocery stores to serve their owner.

    Final Thoughts

    Overall, service dogs provide numerous levels of safety duties for individuals with disabilities. These expertly trained animals can become a partner for life in many activities that their owners find challenging. They also bring their emotional advantages too by being a companion for life, a friendly creature their owner can confide in, seek independence in, feel motivated with and encourage self-improvement. 

    Photo Credits

    Photo is from pexels


    Guest Author Bio
    Trenton J. Smith

    Trenton is an aspiring writer who loves to research and write about a wide variety of topics. When he is not writing, he enjoys gardening and long walks with his dog Boomer.




  • There is Still Time…
    20 February 2020

    There is still time.  Here I am almost to the end of February, and long are gone the ideas to make changes this new year. Isn’t that a shock? I know I am not alone on this one, so I feel a bit of reprieve and relief. Even though I do not make resolutions lists…

    The post There is Still Time… appeared first on Giangi Townsend .

  • These 7 Facts Will Change How You See Failure Forever
    20 February 2020

    Every person has face mistakes, errors, and misfortunes, but such occurrences don’t define you.

    “Errors only become mistakes when you respond to them incorrectly. So also, mistakes become failures when you continue to respond to them incorrectly.”

    It’s all in how you choose to look at it.

    Either you consider your errors and mistakes as final, or you see it as a regular part of life, learn from them and move on.

    Unfortunately, many people make mistakes and fall backwards, some fall to begin afresh while some others give up totally.

    Those who give up and stop trying are those who become failures eventually, but as long as you keep trying, you are one step closer to your success.

    One of the greatest mistakes people make is that they are quick to judge situations in their lives, and if such situations are not working out as they wish, they label them as failures.

    Is this you?

    If yes, then you need a change of perspective.

    Great minds have a purpose, others have wishes. Little minds are tamed and subdued by misfortunes, but great minds rise above them. ~ Washington IrvingClick To Tweet

    It would help if you kept the bigger picture of what you want to achieve in mind. Doing this brings your goals to focus, you’re not focusing only on the mistakes you make but on what you want to achieve at the end.

    What am I trying to say?

    Changing your perspective about failure will help you persevere, and your perseverance will open up opportunities for success.

    So how should you see it instead? Below are seven facts about that can change your perspective and ultimately help you achieve your desires.

    1. Failure is not objective

    The first perspective you need to have about failure is that it is not objective. You cannot define it through another person’s perspective; you must have your own definition of failure.

    Take a moment to reflect on that; how have you been defining failure?

    Remember, it is subjective, “You are the only person who can label what you do as a failure.”

    It all depends on your perspective, how you choose to see it. Your perception and response to the mistakes you make will determine if your actions are failures or not.

    2. Failure is not avoidable

    “We are all failures – at least the best of us are.” – J.M. Barrie

    If you’re a human being, you’re going to make mistakes. There’s no way around it.

    According to the famous saying “To err is human, to forgive is divine” anyone can actually fail, make mistakes and err at any time.

    So, failure is not avoidable, unless you’re not ready to learn and move forward. You must expect to fail, that’s the only way to be the best at what you do.

    3. Failure is not a one-time event

    You know this, I know this, it does not just happen accidentally; it’s not a one time event but a process.

    The same way it takes a process before arriving at success the same is true of the path to failures.

    If you fail, it only means you probably neglected details of your process or journey, but that is still left to you because only you can label a result as a failure no other person can do that for you.

    It all depends on how you choose to deal with situations along the way; many will fail and label it final, they forget it’s only a process and that as long as they are still breathing they have another chance to try again.

    Until your last breath, you’re still in the process of working things out.

    Mat Pelletier in his book Embracing Failure: Harness the Power of Fear says:

    It’s normal to fear failure, but the biggest mistake you can make in business and in life is to be scared and do nothing about it…..When you learn to capitalize on your failures, your mindset shifts and the possibilities emerge like the sun rising through a fog.  

    4. Failure is not the enemy

    “Everything negative – pressure, challenges – is all an opportunity for me to rise.” -Kobe Bryant

    We all try to avoid failure like it’s an enemy, while in the real sense, it is the only way we can grow and improve in whatever we do.

    We are often too scared to fail or take risks, but how would you know what lies on the other side if you’re too frightened to take a look?

    If you study the most successful people, you’ll see that they made mistakes and not just once, but they never gave up until they achieved their goals. No wonder we all look up to be like them.

    Keep this in mind, “The fellow who never makes mistakes take orders from one who does.”

    5. Failure is not reversible

    Failure is not reversible, yet it is not final, you get the chance to try again as long as there is life.

    What is done is done, true!

    But how you respond to it matters too.

    When you make mistakes, they are irreversible, but that’s not even a problem. The problem arises only when you focus on the mistakes you’ve made instead of focusing on the bigger picture and learn from your mistakes to try again.

    6. Failure is not a stigma

    “The only real mistake is the one from which we learn nothing.” – Henry Ford

    As long as you keep seeing failure as a stigma, you’ll find it hard to grow and move forward.

    Remember, failure is subjective to whatever definition you give to it.

    See failure as a step to your success and not a means to an end.

    When you make mistakes, don’t let them get you down, instead see them as stepping stones to your achievements in life.

    7. Failure is not final

    The terrible truth here is that all roads to achievement lead through the land of failure.

    When you reach your own land of failure, it doesn’t mean that’s your final destination; you must strive to make it through and get to the other side.

    Guess what?

    Anyone can make it through failure!

    Yes, even me and you!

    The process will never get comfortable, each of us has to choose to either sleep life away in our comfort zones avoiding failure or wake up to realize that failure is a price we must pay to achieve success.

    Author information
    Cephas Tope

    Cephas Tope is the author of The Road Map to Your Extraordinary Life. He writes at, where he shares self improvement and business tips. you can join his free newsletter to learn how to make unshakeable progress and how to create extraordinary super life.


    The post These 7 Facts Will Change How You See Failure Forever appeared first on Live Purposefully Now.

  • Ladies, tired of your knee high leather boots losing their form and flopping over? Roll up a news paper or two, place the rolled up paper inside the boot, zip up the boot and perfectly tall and sexy looking knee high leather boots. 👢👢
    20 February 2020
  • Ice Storm Survival
    20 February 2020

    With winter storms sweeping the eastern seaboard, I wanted to remind everyone that losing power in an ice storm can be fetal if you live in an extremely rural area. A tealight candle can save your life in this situation. Bring blankets and towels and move to a small interior room in your house, such as a closet. Use the towels to seal the area around the door as much as possible. Wrap-up in blankets and light the candle. One tealight can warm a small space for several hours. Make sure to keep at least one candle going through the night. Remember if you are already shivering, your body temp is too low. Stay safe!

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  • Tired of squished snacks in ziplock bags? Add air to them then seal. It’s like a bag of chips- the blown up bag helps to prevent your snacks turning into crumbs.
    20 February 2020
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Happiness Blog

21 February 2020

Happiness Blog
  • Write … Edit … Publish … Bloghop/IWSG hop: Café Terrace …
    21 February 2020

    Cecile had dropped her off at their favourite cafe, since her husband had died she was adjusting … 

    ... but a visit, perhaps her last, to this their secret hideout … where the world was put to rights …

    Edouard Manet at the cafe (1925)

    Her Pierre … so dapper, so kind … always well-dressed – a white scarf around his neck, his fancy hat – ready to be doffed to the ladies … they were of a previous era …

    Lobster Bisque
    Cafe Terrace was where they so often ate – now if Madame remembered her – she would have their usual meal … a bowl of lobster bisque, some French bread,...

    Spring vegetable stew
    ... fresh Spring vegetable stew, followed by a crème caramel with their speciality: shortbread flavoured with geranium … all so French, and d’accord’ home made.

    Creme Brulee
    The table was empty, her seat awaited – she spread her sea-jewelled coloured scarf (a gift from Pierre) over the back of the chair, for now in the shadow … but, as she knew, the sun would come round to warm her. 

    Scented geraniums
    Madame’s beautiful café had been in the same family for years … they had always delighted in it –the trailing plants, masses of geraniums from which the perfume from a crushed leaf would linger …

    Ernst Ludwig Kirchner -
    Davos cafe (1928)

    … the memories flooded back – their times together – their love of art … their visits to Davos – which she could no longer make. 

    Summer in Davos, by Kirchner 1925

    For now her memory recorded odd snippets over their lifetimes … she would bask in the sunshine, eat slowly as the glimpses of time passed her by …

    She'd always loved the
    colours the sun scattered as
    its rays came through the glass
    … followed by a short walk around the square, into the church for some solitude … perhaps the organ was being played, a look at the magnificent stained glass windows letting in the rainbow lights …

    Women on the terrace in the evening
    Degas 1877
    … then Cecile would appear – ready to collect and drive her home.  A perfect day out … in her own space, with so many memories … she had fulfilled one last wish to visit the Café on the Terrace.

    Hilary Melton-Butcher
    Positive Letters Inspirational Stories

  • 5 ways you can use mindfulness to fix your brain, reduce stress and boost performance
    20 February 2020

    We know that mindfulness can help with happiness; and we know that happiness is more likely if one experiences less stress…

    via the Ladders by Travis Bradberry

    There’s no shortage of advice out there claiming to make you better, but mindfulness meditation is the rare, research-proven technique that boosts your performance by physically altering your brain.

    Researchers from the University of British Columbia pooled data from more than 20 studies to understand how practicing mindfulness affects the brain. While the researchers found significant changes in eight brain regions, there are two regions that are of particular importance to you.

    In these brain regions, the simple act of practicing mindfulness increased both brain activity and the density of brain tissue:

    1. The anterior cingulate cortex (ACC), which is responsible for self-control. It enables you to resist distractions, to focus, and to avoid impulsivity in order to work efficiently and make great decisions. The ACC is also responsible for flexibility, and people who have problems in this brain area are known to stick to ineffective problem-solving strategies when they should be adjusting their approach.
    2. The hippocampus, which, among other things, is responsible for resilience in the face of setbacks and challenges. The hippocampus is readily damaged by stress, making it a need area for most people. The hippocampus is red/orange in the image below.

    Mindfulness is a simple, yet effective form of meditation that enables you to gain control of unruly thoughts and behaviors.

    People who practice mindfulness are more focused, even when they are not meditating. Mindfulness is an excellent technique to reduce stress because it allows you to stop feeling out of control, to stop jumping from one thought to the next, and to stop ruminating on negative thoughts.

    Overall, it’s a great way to make it through your busy day in a calm and productive manner.

    Just as doing curls increases muscle density in your biceps, practicing mindfulness increases the density of brain matter where it counts. Mindfulness is perhaps the only technique that can change your brain in this way, which produces a ripple of other positive effects.

    Thankfully, you can reap the benefits of mindfulness in as little as a few minutes a day.

    Gandhi was once with a group of followers who inquired about his schedule.

    He told them, “I need to set aside at least one hour each day to meditate.” They were vexed by this and told him, “There’s no way you have that much time!” He responded, “Well, if that’s the case, then I need to set aside two hours a day to meditate.”

    Like Gandhi, you’ll soon find that mindfulness is one of very few things that are well worth your precious time, and the busier you are, the more important it is to have a clear mind if you want to be productive.

    Mindfulness doesn’t have to take place in the mountains of Nepal or a weekend retreat under a vow of silence. The beauty of the technique is that it’s so simple you can do it anywhere and just about anytime.

    Mindfulness is the simple act of focusing all of your attention on the present. This requires you to observe your thoughts and feelings objectively, without judgment, which helps you to awaken your experience and live in the moment. This way, life doesn’t pass you by.

    I realize this might sound a bit abstract and complicated at first, but it isn’t. Here’s how you can do it, even with your busy schedule…

    … keep reading the full & original article HERE

  • How Much of Your Happiness Is Under Your Control?
    20 February 2020
    The researchers behind the original “happiness pie chart” share what they’ve learned in the past 15 years.


    Do you know the happiness pie chart? If you’ve read a book or listened to a talk about happiness in the past 15 years, there’s a good chance you heard that 50 percent of our happiness is determined by our genes, 40 percent by our activities, and 10 percent by our life circumstances.

    Neat and tidy, the pie chart—originally proposed in a 2005 paper by researchers Sonja Lyubomirsky, Kennon M. Sheldon, and David Schkade—painted a clear picture of what contributes to our well-being. Unfortunately for some of us, the chart suggested, the genes we got from our parents play a big role in how fulfilled we feel. But it also contained good news: By engaging in healthy mental and physical habits, we can still exert a lot of control over our own happiness.

    In recent years, critics have raised questions about this simple formula—one that many summaries (including mine above) misreport anyway. And now, a decade and a half after the pie was baked, two of the authors are coming out to say that they agree with many of the criticisms. Even so, they add, their broader message still holds: It’s possible to take deliberate steps to get happier and to stay happier in life.

    The proof in the pie

    “When you are given a graph that is this clean, it seems reasonable to be skeptical,” warns George Mason University professor Todd Kashdan in his blog post critiquing the pie chart. While the pie has separate slices, he argues, our genes, our life circumstances, and our activities aren’t three isolated factors that influence our happiness directly. They can also influence each other, muddying those distinctions.

    For example, Kashdan writes, you may have a gene for leadership, but you won’t necessarily turn into an adept leader unless you find yourself in the right life circumstances (for starters, a supportive social environment). Or, as the University of Groningen’s Nicholas Brown and the University of Leipzig’s Julia M. Rohrer write in their 2019 paper, perhaps you have a genetic disposition toward anxiety—activated by the circumstances of your stressful childhood—that is putting a damper on your happiness.

    As these examples illustrate, and new studies are showing, genes may be expressed or not depending on what happens in our lives (both what happens to us—our circumstances—and what we choose to do—our intentional activities). In the other direction, genes can influence our tendency to engage in activities that will make us happier, such as exercise, acts of kindness, or pursuing goals.

    Even assuming these three factors could be totally separated, critics argue that the 50 percent for genes and 10 percent for life circumstances are underestimates—making the 40 percent figure too high. For example, Brown and Rohrer cite recent research suggesting that the heritability of happiness is 70 to 80 percent.

    The 10 percent figure was based on studies mainly measuring demographics—like age, income, education, race, and sex, they point out. But the term “life circumstances” is extremely broad and includes (as Lyubomirsky and her colleagues noted in 2005) “the national, geographical, and cultural region in which a person resides.” But studies done in a single country probably won’t capture the widest possible variation in life circumstances like these, which may explain why the 10 percent slice is too small.

    “Happiness can be successfully pursued, but it is not ‘easy’”

    ―Sonja Lyubomirsky and Kennon M. Sheldon

    Finally, even assuming the 50/40/10 was right, there is that crucial misunderstanding that countless speakers and publications have perpetuated: These numbers don’t represent how much of our individual happiness comes from various sources, but how much of the differences among people (in general) do. If your happiness is 8/10, you can’t say that 3.2 points of that is determined by your activities; you can merely say that just under half of the average gaps between your happiness and other people’s comes down to what activities everyone is doing.

    Put that way, not only is the conclusion less catchy, but the control we have over our own well-being seems much less significant…

    … keep reading the full & original article HERE

  • Struggling With Menopause Symptoms? Eat More Of These Fruits & Veggies
    20 February 2020
    A new study adds to research into lifestyle changes to help.
  • Master Your Relationship to Time
    20 February 2020
    By Leo Babauta

    The truth is, most of us have a pretty adversarial relationship to time.

    There’s never enough. We’re always behind. It goes by too fast. We can’t do important things because we don’t have enough time.

    None of it is helpful. Most of it is bullshit.

    Let’s take the first one: there’s never enough time. This is powerful because there’s some truth to it: time is limited and precious. We will die, and while we don’t know how much time we have left in this life, we do know that it’s limited. It’s helpful to remember that we must make the most of our limited time!

    But time is also abundant. Think of the past few years — it might seem like they passed really quickly, but actually we had so many hours we can’t can’t them. We had a huge abundance of hours. Maybe we didn’t spend them wisely (I know I misspent quite a few hours), but we had plenty of time. We still do, today and this month and this year.

    The key is to see this abundance, and feel it in your body. It’s like the abundance of oxygen in the air all around us: it’s limited and precious, but we have plenty of it and can breathe freely and with joy. In some situations, oxygen is so limited that it can be life-threatening … but most of the time, we have more than enough for our needs.

    That’s true of time. We have more than enough for our needs. We can do amazing things with the time we have — look at da Vinci and Gandhi and Rosa Parks and Tolstoy and Curie. It’s not about how much time we have, but how we use it, how we experience it.

    With that said, I’d like to propose a handful of ways we can shift so that we can master our relationship with time.

    1. See the gift in the time that we have. Every day that we have is a huge gift. We get to have this time! We get to use it to make something, to love, to feel joy and laughter, to listen to music, to see nature, to move, to read, to feel. This is incredible! Instead of looking at how little time we have, we can appreciate the time we have as an incredible, powerful gift. Every hour is a tremendous gift. Every moment. Can we see the gift in the time that we have, and appreciate it fully? How would this shift how you feel about your day?
    2. Use the time intentionally & joyfully. If every hour is a gift, are we going to waste it? Or can we use it intentionally, for something that is important and meaningful to us? (Btw, rest is important. Self-care is meaningful.) Can we use this gift as best we can? And can we experience it with joy, with full appreciation? How might this shift how we use our time?
    3. Be honest about your priorities. A lot of time we use time as an excuse of why we’re not doing something, or as a reason to say no. We all do it: “Sorry, I don’t have the time.” This is a way to honor our boundaries, but it’s not fully honest. We all have the time — we just need to prioritize it, because the time isn’t unlimited. We choose to spend our time based on what is important to us. If we’re not out helping the homeless or saving orphans … it’s not because we don’t have the time. It’s because we’ve chosen to prioritize earning money, taking care of our family, taking care of ourselves, or doing something else meaningful. If we’re honest to ourselves about our priorities, then we don’t need to use time as an excuse. We can just say it’s not my priority right now, and then see the things we’ve chosen as priorities as the way we’d like to spend our time.
    4. Create space in your day. If you have some clear priorities, why not create the time to make them happen? We often feel that we want to prioritize something, but don’t have the time. Then we need to make the time. If we can’t, then we just have to admit that it’s not a priority right now. If it is a priority, let’s see if we can create the space.
    5. Don’t let things get familiar. Most of us have experienced the feeling that time is flying by faster and faster every year. This is likely because of a phenomenon where we don’t notice things when they get really familiar. It’s like driving past your neighborhood on the way home, without seeing any of it. It’s all familiar and you’re on autopilot. That’s how we experience much of our days — things get really familiar and we don’t notice it. What if we stop letting things get too familiar? What if we look at everything as if it were the first time we were seeing it? Time would all of a sudden become less blurry, and we’d be fully in the moment.
    6. Imagine you’re going to die in a year. This might sound gruesome to some, or too dark … but contemplating our death is a way to shift our relationship to life. To shift how we relate to time. So if you imagined, for example, that you were going to die soon … you might spend the time you have left more intentionally. And here’s something that’s fairly certain: if you know you only have a short time to live, that time suddenly slows down and becomes much more vivid. That’s what happens when we contemplate death — time becomes vivid, slower, real.
    7. Savor & be fully present to slow down time. If we think of time as a treat to be savored, we can become fully present with it. Think of the hours of your day as a delicious beverage, waiting to be sipped and fully tasted. How delicious! How wonderful it is to be alive. Time isn’t just sands slipping through our fingers, but pleasure being sipped into our mouths.

    Try each of these, and practice them by fully inhabiting each practice. Give yourself fully to the practice, and see what shifts. Your relationship to time might never be the same.

  • Dealing with difficult people. Do I have to?
    20 February 2020
    My absolute worst thing in the world is dealing with difficult people. I literally hate it, because I am extremely non confrontational and whenever I am obligated to directly disagree with people my pattern has been to run and avoid at all costs. Before I dive into my worst day ever, I think I have...
  • What’s your greatest fear?
    20 February 2020
  • Nope, You Don’t Feel Fat
    20 February 2020

    Live in our fatphobic world long enough and you’ll hear a thin person say that they “feel fat.” This can come from a few places, but the bottom line is the same.

    Fat is not a feeling, it’s a physical trait.  Just like you can’t “feel” brunette, you can’t “feel” fat. The problem with people who aren’t fat saying that they “feel” fat is that, while it may not be malicious, it’s still rooted in, and perpetuates, fatphobia in a variety of ways:

    Reinforcing a Fatphobic Stereotype of Beauty

    When someone says that they “feel fat” because they don’t feel beautiful in some way (a mistake made by Ashley Graham, a model who owes her fame to modeling plus size clothes but does not want to be called a plus size model,) they are saying that fat isn’t beautiful, and that’s just 100% pure fatphobic bullshit.

    Temporarily being ever-so-slightly less thin

    If someone says they “feel fat” because they had a big lunch, or they’re a little bloated, they aren’t engaging in the realities of thin privilege. Nobody is refusing them medical care because they ate a big burrito for lunch.


    A woman in line ahead of me at a grocery store held up the 2 pints of ice cream she was buying and said to her friend “I feel so fat!” Because I am physically incapable of keeping my mouth shut in situations like this I interjected: “Really, cause it looks like you just feel like some ice cream.”

    When thin people say that they “feel fat” because they are doing things that they associate with fat people, even though people of all sizes do them (which we know because they are literally doing them when they say it) it perpetuates stereotypes about fat people.

    But it goes deeper than that. We have to be careful because fighting stereotypes can actually perpetuate oppression.  The truth is that the existence of stereotypes is the problem – not whether or not fat people conform to them. The actual issue here is that a thin person saying that they “feel fat” while engaging in behaviors that they associate with fat people also allows them to hold onto their stereotypes about fat people, without engaging in their hypocrisy. Thin people engage in all the same behaviors that fat people do, but if they admit that, then they have to examine their fatphobia – why they think that behaviors that are fine for them should be the impetus for bullying people who look different than they do. Claiming temporary “fatness” can help them to avoid engaging.

    Body Dysmorphic Disorder

    This is a condition in which a person becomes obsessed with a perceived physical flaw. While it occurs in people of all sizes and can be focused around a variety of parts of the body, a common expression is that a person who is thin believes that they (or some specific body part(s)) are too heavy/large/fat. This is a real condition and it can have serious negative impacts on people’s lives. Still, to say that they “feel fat” is wrong – they believe that they are, in fact, fat and, because of the effects of a fatphobic culture, they believe that being fat is bad.

    Confusing Being Afraid of Being Fat with Being Fat

    I recently read an article in which someone said that, despite being thin, they “feel fat” because they are always dieting and “watching their weight.”

    They don’t “feel fat” they feel the fear of being fat, and being treated like fat people are treated (or perhaps like they treat fat people?) That’s a real fear in a culture where being fat comes with a ton of shame, stigma, bullying, and oppression.

    Or it may be that they feel the pressure to be even more thin so that they can be the recipient of even more of the thin privilege that a fatphobic society offers.

    These are both ways that weight stigma affects people of all sizes, but conflating these things with the actual experiences of being fat creates harm by conflating a fear of being oppressed with actually being oppressed and centering thin people in discussions of weight stigma.

    The Solution

    The solution to all of this, of course, is to end weight stigma and embrace the full diversity of body sizes. People who aren’t fat saying that they “feel fat” will never help get that done.

    Was this helpful? If you appreciate the work that I do, you can support my ability to do more of it with a one-time tip or by becoming a member. (Members get special deals on fat-positive stuff, a monthly e-mail keeping them up to date on the work their membership supports, and the ability to ask me questions that I answer in a members-only monthly Q&A Video!)

    Like this blog?  Here’s more cool stuff:

    Wellness for All Bodies ProgramA simple, step-by-step, super efficient guide to setting and reaching your health goals from a weight-neutral perspective.  This program can be used by individuals, or by groups, including as a workplace wellness program!

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    Body Love Obstacle Course

    This e-course that includes coaching videos, a study guide, and an ebook with the tools you need to create a rock-solid relationship with your body. Our relationships with our bodies don’t happen in a vacuum, so just learning to see our beauty isn’t going to cut it. The world throws obstacles in our way – obstacles that aren’t our fault, but become our problem. Over the course of this program, Ragen Chastain, Jeanette DePatie, and six incredible guest coaches will teach you practical, realistic, proven strategies to go above, around, and through the obstacles that the world puts in front of you when it comes to living an amazing life in the body you have now.
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    Love It! 234 Inspirations And Activities to Help You Love Your Body
    This is filled with thoughtful advice from the authors Jeanette DePatie, Ragen Chastain, and Pia Sciavo-Campo as well as dozens of other notable names from the body love movement, the book is lovingly illustrated with diverse drawings from size-positive artist Toni Tails.
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    Book Me!  I’d love to speak to your organization. You can get more information here or just e-mail me at ragen at danceswithfat dot org!

    I’m (still!) training for an Iron-distance triathlon! You can follow my journey at .

    If you are uncomfortable with my offering things for sale on this site, you are invited to check out this post.

  • Using the practice of Awareness to Let Go
    20 February 2020

    Awareness to me comes through self-inquiry and talking. It’s very practical. Too many theologies tend to confuse me so I like to just check in with my own inner guru. But first I like to meditate to clear the slate. My go-to meditation is my barefoot walking in the woods.

    I start by taking off my shoes and socks, and then closing my eyes and feeling the earth on my bare feet, I then put one foot in front of the other, conscious of my heel hitting the earth, and then the front of my foot. I think, as Thich Nhat Hanh says, that I’m ‘kissing the earth’ with my feet, mindful of the impact I’m having on the earth and feeling as if we are one. More hocus pocus, I know … but it’s not so hocus pocus. Do a little research on the mind-body benefits of barefooting and I guarantee you’ll be getting kicked out of grocery stores in your near future.

    This exercise is both a meditation and a practice of awareness. It slows down the mind and limits the mind drama, and allows us the space to get clear. From this space we can gain the awareness of what our attachments are, and why we have them.

    While in Yoga teacher training I learned a valuable meditation for letting go of attachments that were causing me suffering. It was simple yet profound.

    This instructor said a few simple words that felt like they took years of tension and pressure off my chest in an instant: ‘Allow it to be and it will pass.’

    No more conflict with my thoughts, attachments and emotions: I could just let them be, let them have their space in my awareness and they would pass on their own.

    I know it sounds like hocus pocus, new age bull, right? But what are hocus pocus and new age anyway, but theologies meant to ease our suffering? Whatever path works for us works, and we get to choose that path. Whether we choose oracle cards or a walk in the woods, all paths lead home.

    An Excerpt from Your Vivid Life, An Invitation to Live a Radically Authentic Life

    The post Using the practice of Awareness to Let Go appeared first on

  • Researchers Identify The Time Of Year Most Americans Get Pregnant
    20 February 2020
    The study was the first of its kind.
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