Living Your Engagement

The Engaged Life Series


How to live an engaged life.  Find wellness, joy, and creativity as a way of fully engaging in life.
Over the last 2 episodes, we have been talking about YOUR Engaged Life. How to build a life of passion, purpose, and presence.

Amplifying that life through gratitude, spirituality, and awe.

Here’s the thing… not to be a downer here… you and I, we are going to die.  Someday.

Likely, you don’t know when that will happen.  I don’t know when I will die.  I just know that it is in my future.

Why does that matter?

That very fact is what makes life valuable, makes TIME valuable.  If you live forever, what you do today doesn’t matter so much.  You could do it tomorrow or next year, or in a hundred years.

But knowing we only have so much time… that changes things.  We have 2 tasks:  to live as fully as we can, in the time we have… and make that time last as long as possible.

At least, that is MY task.  How can I live fully?  And how can I live fully?

If you are thinking that might be YOUR task, listen in to the podcast below.

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3 P’s Of Engaged Life
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Your Thriving Body Series
Stress To Rest
Book:  The Thrive Principles

Why We Stress

WhyWeStressI bet you hear it as much as I do.  You may even say it.  “I’m so stressed!”  The malady of the modern age.  Stressed out, exhausted, and frustrated.

But what IS stress?

As much as we toss that term around, sometimes almost as a badge of honor, you may not think about what that term is REALLY about.

These days, I tend to push my body, physically.  I take a good long walk in the morning, usually do a workout after that, then go to jiu jitsu 3 to 5 evenings per week.  My body can, indeed, get stressed.

When we talk about “stress,” in everyday life, we are more talking about psychological stress.  Which is really just a term for something else.  Something we’d rather not claim.

But once we recognize what it really is, we can do something about it.  So, let’s figure out why we stress… and what we can do about it.

Listen below to this episode of the Thriveology Podcast.

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We ALL Have Fears
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Running Loops

RunningLoopsLike a broken record… or an endless audio loop.  Those thoughts that just keep turning in your mind.  Okay, in MY mind.  But I bet it happens to you, too.

Let’s say, hypothetically of course, that I get up to 2 emails.  One is complimentary, thanking me for resources, books, podcasts… things like that.  Then there is another email, critical and harsh, telling me how useless my info was.

I read them both and head off to walk my dog.

Do you think I ponder that kind one?  Or keep looping back to that unkind one?

Yep, you guessed it.  And I bet you guessed it because it happens to you, too.

And that thought… it isn’t just a passing thought.  No.  I find my body tense up, the anger/hurt churning in my gut.

The other day, I was out for my morning walk with my sidekick, Ziggy (our silver lab).  We were about half-way through and I realized my palms were sweaty, tightly gripping the leash (which is a waist leash, so I don’t even need to be holding it!).  My chest is tight, my stomach is tight.  I ask myself, “why am I ready for a fight?”  Nothing had happened.

Nothing.

Except a thought I was having… not just having… looping.  It was about an experience that happened 3 decades ago.  One I don’t typically think about.  But today, it popped in my head and I was stuck in a loop.  Looping on an old thought that was making me feel a certain way in the present.

I dropped back and followed my own little routine when I find myself looping.

You can’t stop the loops from starting.  But you can decide how long you run the loops.

Let’s talk about how to stop those pesky loops.  Podcast below.

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Thoughts are Thoughts
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Book:  The Immutable Laws Of Living

Down The Habit Hole

DownTheHabitHoleThe gyms are emptying out.  The running shoes are no longer going out for runs.  Comfort food is replacing health food.

What gives?

February.

Actually, it is just long enough that those resolutions made in January are starting to crumble.

“I’ll start exercising, start eating better, stop ______, stop ________.”  You fill in the blanks.  Resolutions are usually starting something new or stopping something old.  Building new habits or beating old habits.  Or changing new habits for old ones.

Many people get off to a good start.  They join the gym, throw out the junk food, buy some new clothes, a few new books, and… enthusiasm wanes.  Old habits kick back in.

And it is back to square one.

Don’t blame yourself!  Habits are tough.  Tough to make, tough to break.

We go back to the old habits because they are comfortable, easy, and the path of least resistance.  Even if they don’t get us where we want to go!

We just seem to fall right down the Habit Hole!

So, what should we do?

Listen in to this episode of the Thriveology Podcast for more about the Habit Hole.

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Habits Series
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Book:  Thrive Principles

Where You Are (is a pretty good place to start)

YouAreHere“Where should I start?”, my client asked.

Lots of times, we want to make changes, we want things to be different.  And sometimes, we want things to be different before we make any changes.

We want a different starting point.

If you’ve ever been at a park or mall, looking at the map to figure out where to go, you might notice that one very important feature, “You Are Here.”  It points to the spot where you are now.

Not where you want to go.  Not where you want to be.

But where you are.

If you are at the mall and see the store you want… on the other side of the mall, you might wish you were standing nearby, near the destination store.  Not all the way across the mall.

But if you are on the other side of the mall, that is where you are.  Navigating to the destination from a closer point — a point where you are NOT — is not likely to be effective.

You start where you are.

And you might just find… it is a pretty good place to start.

Listen to this podcast episode for how to start where you are, and why where you are is a pretty good place to start.

RELATED RESOURCES
Accepting What Is
Limiting Beliefs
Making Changes
Book:  The Immutable Laws of Living

How To Handle Tough Days

HowToHandleToughDaysKinda like taxes, tough days are unavoidable.  You may see the tough times coming.  But sometimes, they just roll right over us.  A conversation, a text, a phone call, or an event.  Something hits and the bad time is here.

Some people will say that tough times are a sign that you are “off-course,” not living right, not doing what you “should” be doing.

But guess what?  One cost of living is dealing with tough times.  Illness, accidents, losses, and deaths — they are all a part of life.

You don’t have to like the tough times.  But we do have to get through them.

Which raises the question of how to get through the tough times.

I cover handling tough times in this episode of the Thriveology Podcast.  Listen below.

RELATED RESOURCES:
Growth Mindsets for Tough Times
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Book:  The Immutable Laws of Living

Act or Accept

ActOrAcceptI always find it helpful to have some “rules” to live by.  Short statements that help keep me pointed in the right direction, ready to handle the challenges of life.

And let’s be honest:  challenges are an unavoidable part of life.  Those who tell you that having struggles, challenges, or illnesses is an indication that you are doing something wrong?  They are wrong and misguided.  Life is going to challenge each of us… right up until we die.  Which every one of us will do.

So the question is how we live our lives.  Today.  Right now.  Regardless of what life is throwing your way.

What we often do, in the face of a challenge:  Worry, Complain, Avoid.  All three keep us stuck, frozen in place and to the challenge ahead of us.

So, I have decided instead, to adopt the rule of “Act or Accept.”  I will either act toward resolution, or I will accept where I am.  And the acceptance?  It need not be permanent.  It is about where I am right now.  It may be waiting for a possible action.

Let’s talk about this rule and how to apply it.  Listen to the podcast episode below.

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Getting Unstuck
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Rules for Living
Thrive Principles Book
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Charging Into The New Year

ChargingIntoNewYearThe New Year.  It is upon us.  And along with the start of a new year is an opportunity for us to re-start.  To make some changes.  To find some ways to charge into the New Year, with a new approach.  Maybe even a new attitude!

Many people make resolutions around this time.  And most of those resolutions are broken by February.  Gyms are full in January and quiet again in February.  Health foods fly out the doors in January, only to be tossed to make room for cookies and chips in February.

Change is a tall order… unless you have some clarity to your change.  Some simple approach that makes your hopes and dreams a part of your life.

Let’s make a 4 step plan for charging into the New Year.  (And even if you listen to this episode at some other time in the year… guess what?  You can use the exact same 4 steps at any time!)

Start the year right… by making a fresh start!

Listen to the podcast episode below.

RELATED RESOURCES:
Your Word
Gratitude
What You Can Control
Thrive Principles Book
The Immutable Laws of Living Book

Embracing Discomfort

EmbraceDiscomfortHave you noticed how we all like to keep things in a narrow band of comfort?  We keep our houses not-too-warm, not-too-cool.  Most homes, all year long, stay in a very narrow band of temperature.

Most of us go to the same restaurants, listen to the same music, hang out with the same friends, and do the same activities.  Every now and then, something new.  And then, back to the comfortable.

But not much growth happens in comfort.

If you want to improve in yoga, you have to stretch a little bit further, hold the position a little bit longer… be uncomfortable.

Discomfort accompanies growth.  Sure, you can be uncomfortable, and it just be that — discomfort.  But if you are growing… if you are changing… there will be discomfort.

If we simply avoid discomfort, we also avoid growth.

Or, we could embrace discomfort.  See it as a sign of growth.  Use it as a potential sign that we are growing.  And accept that when we grow, we will be uncomfortable.

I discuss Embracing Discomfort in this podcast episode.

RELATED RESOURCES:
Embracing “I Don’t Know”
Embracing “We’ll See”
Certainty and Variety
Growth Mindset

Embracing “We’ll See”

EmbraceWellSeeFor me, “We’ll See” was my philosophy of survival when I was sick.

The doctor gave me a diagnosis with a bad prognosis.  Lots of ways I could be sick and die.  Lots of ways my body could betray me.

Oh, and this was 15 years ago.  WebMD was the “go-to” for facts on how we would die from any symptom or condition.  So, family and friends let me know all the ways my body could fail me, based on my diagnosis.  And shared the facts in excrutiating detail.

I was not in denial.  I simply knew that there were many ways things COULD go wrong.  But that meant little on how things WOULD go wrong.

It was overwhelming to face the “could’s.”  I had only space to deal with the “would’s.”

So, I took to a single response, “We’ll see.”  For a bit, the tone and volume would go up.  Until the person realized that “We’ll see” was where I was standing.

I find it most helpful to deal with things as they happen, not trying to figure out all the many things that might happen.

This is something I suggest for all of us.  So many things we could worry about.  Or we could just use the energy to deal with what is.  What becomes.  What happens.

Embrace “We’ll See.”  I discuss it in this episode of the podcast.

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