5 Ways To Shift Your Day From Stressful To Restful

Shift from stressful to restful.I was at a workshop yesterday, and was struck with how many people said, “My life/job/relationship is stressful.”

That was a belief I once shared.  Now, I understand that stress is our internal reaction to an external event.

There is nothing inherently stressful to a life or job or situation, except as we experience it as stressful.

In other words, we may be having stressful thoughts about the situation.  But someone else may be experiencing the same thing, but feel free of stress — perhaps even exhilarated.

If, though, you are feeling stressed, and want to make some shifts, I have some ideas to share with you.  Here is the really good part:  nothing I suggest will add to your load.  Most are simple shifts you can make right now, today.  And all have been proven to help you.

These are some things you can do to make your life a bit less stressful — make your life a bit more smooth and restful.  And I promise you, none will require you to make any drastic changes.  No need to quit the job, move to a deserted island.

If you incorporate these simple ideas and strategies, I promise you will see a change in your stress load.  You will have more resources (emotional and energetic) to deal with those issues in your life.

Think of it like a glass of water.  If the water is almost filled up, it only takes a little more to overflow the cup (your life) and make a mess (stress you out).  But if you start the day with half a glass, you have more room for those issues and problems that will inevitably arise — and it won’t overflow your cup (your life) and make a mess (stress you out).

Learn how to keep the glass less full with my 5 simple suggestions to go from stressful to restful.


Stop Striving. Start Thriving.

Stop striving.  Start thriving.“Just a little bit further,” my brother kept telling me.  I was out of shape, trying to get to the top of the mountain.  Exhausted, I was just trudging along.

My brother, leading the way, kept reassuring me that it was just a few more switchbacks. . . and then, the summit!  It would be a beautiful view, he assured me.

Many promises of “just a little further” stacked up.  It was always “just a little further.”  I grumbled about understanding the Israelites as they followed Moses:  “Just a little longer in the desert, I promise!”

The trail was passing me by, but I was not noticing.  I just kept trudging along.  I missed the rhododendrons, the brook, the wildlife. . . pretty much everything along the way.  All to get to the summit.

We made it, but I missed the real treat:  the journey up.

Don’t we all do that?  We believe that life will start when we get to _________ (fill in the blank).  When we get our degree, when we get some money, when we get the promotion/job/career, when we have a child, when the kids are gone, when the house is paid off, etc., etc., etc.

The problem is, that point is usually just beyond where we are.  And in the process, we miss where we are.  We await the future and forget the present (“present” is my word for 2015).


Stop striving.  Stop waiting for life to begin “when . . . .”


Start thriving.  Start enjoying right now.  Start enjoying the process, on the way to what will be.

Join me in this week’s Thriveology Podcast, as I explore how to stop striving and how to start thriving.

(And here is the link to how to support the podcast.)


My Word for 2015: Present

This moment is all we have.  Be in it.Last week, I talked about my 1 word resolution.

This week, I want to tell you about my word.  See if it applies to you, too!

I often find myself impatient, caught in my thoughts, distracted by something else, or plagued by “What if?”, “If only. . .”, “Why?”, “When. . .”, or “I should. . . .”

Oh, I know better.  But I still fall into those traps.  I let those thoughts PULL me away from the present moment.

But I also know this:

This moment is all we have.  Be in it!

This moment passes.  Just like yesterday passed.  The next moment may or may not come.

Yet, we live much of our lives in thoughts of what happened, and fears of what might come.  Our thoughts of “what happened” are really our perceptions of what happened.  Our fears about what might come are not preparations — they are just fears.

We all exist in the present, between what was and what will be.  But we live in the only two time-frames of which we have no control.  We can’t change what happened, and we can’t know what will happen.

Which brings me to my word:  Present.

My task this year:  to be more present.  To be less distracted.  To live in the moment I am in. . . as much as possible.

When I fail?  That’s OK.  That moment passes, and I have a new opportunity to live in the present.

How about you?  Will you join me in the present?

Listen in as I admit my growing edge, and tell you how I will be more present.


Resolve!: Your 2015 Resolution in 1 Word

Goals 2015I always love New Years.  A fresh start!  New beginnings!

It is really the same reason I always liked the end of a semester at school.  While arbitrary, it felt like a fresh start, and a chance to do things differently.

So, I used to sit down and right out my New Years’ Resolutions.  I “limited” myself to 10.

If I were lucky, one of the 10 would still be going, come February.

One year, I thought, “This is not working!  I will only do 3 resolutions!”

That was minimally more effective.  Instead of a 10% success rate, I would be 33% successful.  Much better, but still not great.

And generally, the resolutions didn’t move me forward very far.

There had to be a better way. . . .

Eight years ago, my church decided to choose a word to live into.  That word was a word to stretch into, to grow into, to become.

THAT made the difference!

I became conscious about that word, focused myself on the word, and saw myself growing.

Since, my family has continued that tradition.  Each New Year’s Eve, we share our word with each other.

This year, my word is. . . . Well, you will have to wait.  It isn’t New Year’s Eve yet!

Want to know how to change your resolution into something that makes a difference?

Listen to my audio below.  Then if you want, please leave your word in the comments below!


Your Guide To A Guilt-Free NO: #49 Thriveology Podcast

"No" is a complete sentence.The favorite word of a two year-old:  “NO!”  That toddler says it freely, with meaning and conviction.

Many of us lose that capacity of “No” soon after.

Instead of having control over our lives, we turn it over to others.  We are asked to do something, and we say “yes,” whether we want to or not.



There is some part of us that feels the need to say “yes” when asked. . . and in so doing, we lose control over our own lives.

“No” has power.  It helps you mark who you are and what you are about. . . but only if you use it.

In truth, there is no way to say “YES” unless we can say “NO.”

If we cannot say no, we cannot fully commit to the yeses of life.  Everything becomes a “Yes,” which means we are not truly making a choice.

But how do you say “No?”  How do you choose when to say “No”?

Join me on this week’s Thriveology Podcast, as we explore the power of “NO.”

Living The Big Stuff: An Interview with Kristine Carlson

I finished my training in psychotherapy, and promptly realized I had a thorough education in what is wrong with people.  I was far less clear about what is right with people — how people bounce back, thrive, and grow through all of life’s challenges.

This began a search for me, to educate myself on how to help people to thrive.  But my first project was (and is) myself.  Along the way, I stumbled upon Richard Carlson, author of the Don’t Sweat The Small Stuff series.  I dug deeper and found a deeper pool in the thinking behind the popular series.

This was my first immersion into the ideas about thoughts and how thoughts weave our reality.  I learned that my thoughts are simply that:  thoughts.  Simple, but revolutionary, when we generally confuse thought and reality.

Kristine CarlsonTragically, Richard died in December of 2006.  His wife and co-author, Kristine Carlson, carried on their efforts to bring joy and peace to many.  It is fitting that almost exactly eight years later, I got the opportunity to interview Kris.  Since I had been following her during these past years, I knew she had much to offer on her own.  She shared in Richard’s thoughts and understandings.  But her grief over his loss taught her even deeper lessons.

Today, Kristine shares her lessons with us:  how she moved through grief to a deeper understanding of life, how we can stop sweating the small stuff and live through the big stuff, how we can get out of our own way and get in touch with a deeper essence, how to be more and more present.

This is a rich interview, and one you will want to listen through a couple of times, to make sure you take it all in.

If you would like to connect with Kristine, her Facebook page is HERE.

And you can find her at KristineCarlson.com

4 Strategies For Moving From Struggle To Thriving: #47 Thriveology Podcast

Move from Struggle To ThrivingEvery person has circumstances that knock them down.

A Japanese proverb says,

Fall down seven times, get up eight.

We can’t stop the circumstances.  They just happen.  You don’t have to seek them out.  They will come.

Illness, job loss, relationships ending, business loss, deaths, and any other life circumstances happen.  That is the nature of life.

A thriving life is not about what happens to you, but how you respond.

Do you grow through the struggles or do you shrink from it?  Do you rise up, or do you stay down?  Do you grow, or do you flee?

Yes, we all have grief from the losses.  No question, we feel the grief.  The question is, what do you do after the grief?  How do you take on the struggles, make them challenges, and learn to triumph?

In today’s podcast, I give you 4 strategies to help you shift from victim to victor, and move from struggle to triumph.


5 Steps To Overcoming Inertia: Physics and Being Stuck

Don't stay stuck.  Overcome your inertia.Inertia.  Being stuck.  We all find ourselves there at one point or another.

The question is whether we stay stuck or get moving.  The choice is whether to let inertia continue or overcome it.

Some days, we can feel like Sisyphus, repeatedly trying to push that rock up the hill.  Often, we find ourselves behind the rock, not even sure how to start pushing.

Or maybe we just believe it is too hard to even start.

Enter Newton’s 1st law of motion: “Objects in motion tend to remain in motion; objects at rest tend to remain at rest — until acted upon by an outside force.”

YOU are that outside force for issues in your life:  health, relationships, work, etc.  YOU are the force that can overcome the inertia in these areas.

Discover the 5 ways to overcome inertia in this week’s podcast.  Listen below, then tell me what you think in the comments area!


What Martin Taught Me About Gratitude

GratitudeI met Martin toward the end of his life.  He was a double-amputee, with much of an arm also missing.  And he suffered from emphysema.

Oh, and Martin taught me a lesson I needed to learn:  gratitude.  He gave thanks for his life, in spite of having lost two children, his wife, his siblings, and his parents — all rather tragically.

Martin blessed me with a lesson I still struggle to learn every day.

How’s your gratitude?

Let me tell you how I exercise my “gratitude muscle” this time of year — and every day!

3 Tools for Dealing With Your Anger: #44 Thriveology Podcast

Anger is the external emotion of the internal emotion of hurt.  Anger.

It can be frightening.

It can push you away.  It can push others away.

And expressing anger does little to resolve anger.  In fact, it often only feeds the anger, stoking the fire until it is dangerously out of control.

Anger is a misunderstood emotion.  In fact, it is in not the true emotion.  Anger is the outer expression of the inner emotion of hurt.

When we are hurt, we can feel vulnerable, scared, and hesitant.  So, we don’t express the hurt.  We erupt in anger.

The anger serves to push the source of the hurt away, but does nothing to soothe the hurt.

We shouldn’t be surprised, then, that the hurt persists and the anger grows.  Resentment takes root, creating more destruction and damage.

Is there another way?

In this week’s podcast, I provide you with 3 simple tools that will help you resolve the anger, once-and-for-all.

Join me for this podcast.

Then let me know what you think below!