The benefits of smiling for you, your relationships and others are LEGIT. Smiling has been found to:
Not every moment needs to be about doing or improving. Some moments are just about being with the magic (or the lack of magic) around you.
Giving unsolicited advice to people rarely helps them. While it feels productive and pleasing to the advice-giver, it usually makes the person on the receiving end defensive and self-doubting.
Emotions are just energy and energy never lasts in the same form forever. It takes on average two hours for anger to fully dissipate and that’s if we don’t keep fueling the fire by being angry with the fact that we are angry.
It took one instant for her confidence to turn into doubt and then self-doubt. At first she thought the other dog might be her friend but then the mutt pulled a weird face and it was no longer clear, 'maybe she doesn’t like me after all?!’, my dog thought.
We get so caught up in our days with all the things on our plate that we often find ourselves running on autopilot. And while we may feel we are being efficient in this state, it actually causes us to lose vital information our mind and body are trying to share with us.
Some days go as planned, other days don't. Sometimes amazing things happen out of the blue, other times disappointed strikes you down when you least expect it.
A silver lining of going through hardship is you naturally stop caring so much about what other people think of you.
Cultivating self-acceptance whilst focusing on personal growth has been a tenet of well-being since the time of Aristotle in Ancient Greece. And it is just as, if not more, relevant for us today.
On the subway the other day I saw a guy take his backpack off to make room for another passenger desperate to get into the car. As he removed his bag he looked her in the eye and asked gently ‘can you fit?’. ‘
Practicing a mindset of Stoic Empathy allows you to endure hardship gracefully while maintaining healthy emotional connections with yourself and others.
When I was a young girl, my father used to read me the poem If by Rudyard Kipling, just as his father used to read it to him. The poem was framed above my little bed and was illustrated with all my favorite African animals — a giraffe, an elephant, a lion, a zebra.
After receiving heartbreaking news from the doctor a few weeks ago, I found myself Googling Kipling in need of his poem’s wisdom. The beginning of the second stanza stood out to me:
Stop dealing with stress through control and start reducing it through connecting to your authentic self.
Nothing lasts forever — not even stress. No matter how intense a problem or how significant a challenge, life moves on eventually. This too shall pass, as the Sufi poets taught us.
Of course, understanding the inherent ephemerality of life does little for us when we’re in the thick of a problem. All things may be temporary, but stress sure does feel permanent when it sinks its teeth in. It doesn’t matter what we do or how hard we try, we can’t seem to shake it. The stress, the challenge, the problem sticks around.
In times of small challenges and big ones, the first thing we can do is just listen.
Taking the time to actively listen to ourselves, others, and the world around us not only gives us knowledge and insight but calmness and stability too.
What is your mind, body, spirit trying to show you?
What are others trying to tell you with their words, body, actions?
What are the trees, birds, winds, rivers trying to teach you?
The answers are within and around us, we just need to first be able to listen for them.
You cannot find fulfillment without first knowing what fulfillment looks like to you.
You cannot show empathy and compassion to others without first showing empathy and compassion to yourself.
You cannot correctly interpret what you sense in the external world without first correctly sensing what lies in your internal world.
Self-wisdom is the prerequisite to worldly wisdom.
It’s not about denying your innate exposure, it’s about leveraging it for success.
There is no denying that by nature we are vulnerable. As human beings and social creatures, we are naturally open to attack and capable of being hurt. But it is also true that by nature we don’t want to be attacked or hurt. As a result we find we’re always doing all we can to protect ourselves and hide what we see as our weakness.
Herein lies the vulnerability paradox. To be innately vulnerable while denying our vulnerability seems to be what is at the heart of being human, and more so, of being a leader.
The more we deny our vulnerability, the less influence we have on the world, the people around us, and ourselves. The more we hide away from what makes us feel uncomfortable, the less fulfillment and connection we experience.
It’s not about right or wrong but about finding the best path forward with what you know.
Decisions, decisions, decisions.
Every day we make hundreds of them. What outfit to wear. When and where to go for lunch. How to word that important email. We make so many decisions so frequently that for the most part we’re not even aware of the decision-making process. It’s intuitive, quick and pain-free.
But as we move through life, inevitably some decisions arise that feel neither quick nor easy. They dig in and take root in our brains and our hearts and force us into a state of turmoil, often for weeks, months or even years at a time. The more we think about them, the less clear the path forward seems. Easy answers elude us. Trade-offs and trip-ups lurk everywhere.
Rarely do we solve problems by staring at a screen. Our best ideas come when we step away and look out - when we daydream. Here's some steps to do so.
Riding the subway home the other day I caught myself daydreaming. It was a wonderful feeling. The rattling of the train, the faces and the sounds around me ... all of them slipped away as my brain turned in on itself. I felt my ideas start to wander. I felt the joy of discovery, watching where my brain roamed free of my own judgement, free to just be.
I used to daydream all the time. I was known for it back in high school in Australia. I remember sitting cross-legged in a circle of girlfriends. Everyone would be talking and I would zone out. My friends knew the look — my gaze went distant, my eyes stopped blinking.