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.

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

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.

RELATED RESOURCES
Thoughts are Thoughts
Anxiety and Thought
Dealing with Depression
Living In The Present
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
Lessons Learned as a Chaplain
Building Your Resilience Muscle
Dealing with Roadblocks
Two Targets to Thrive
Book:  The Immutable Laws of Living

Clean Pain vs. Dirty Pain

CleanDirtyPainAnyone who tells you that you can go through life without getting hurt and feeling pain is either lying or hiding.

Life is rough-and-tumble.  Pain is unavoidable.

But there is a type of pain that we can leave behind.  That is more a result of our own thinking than anything external, any injury either physical or emotional.

Call it “Dirty Pain.”  Which is distinguished from “Clean Pain.”  Clean pain, that is the initial hurt.  When you hit your foot, it hurts.  That is the bodily response to the injury.  When someone says something to you that is mean and spiteful, your feelings are hurt.  That is the emotional pain.  It is initial.

But what if you chastise yourself about your being “clutsy,” or about your “stupid action” that led to that foot injury?  Or what if you made that hurtful comment about you, and not about the person who said it?  What if you kept dwelling about it?

Let me be clear:  it is fine to ask how you might prevent an injury in the future.  It is fine to listen to feedback from others, that might give you some insight into things you need to change.

It’s the next step after that.  When you keep berating yourself.  It’s when you take the next step… you attach to the pain.  Buddhism refers to that as suffering.  You and I can think of it as “Dirty Pain” (a term coined by ACT – a mode of therapy).  It is dirtied by our own mental state — not the cause of the pain.

What do you do about that?  We discuss it in this week’s Thriveology Podcast.  Listen below.

RELATED RESOURCES:
Life Is Tough
Letting Go
What You Can Control
The Forgive Process Book

Why Being Thankful Matters

Be thankful. Be grateful. Shift mindsets and thrive. 4 ways to focus on gratitude.If you are in the States, we are on the cusp of the Holiday season, kicking off with Thanksgiving in just a few days.

For me, the Holidays throughout the year are moments to step into gratitude.  Not just in a little “thank you for that gift,” but in a gratitude for being alive.  For being here.  For experiencing life.

Each morning, while walking the neighborhood with my dog, Ziggy, I reflect on 5 things for which I am grateful.  That starts my day with an attempt to shift my attention to thankfulness, to gratitude.

Granted, some days, that feeling quickly evaporates when the work piles up.

But I try to remember to be grateful on a daily basis.

How about you?

Did you know that research shows how simple gratitude habits can re-wire the brain… away from fear and threat?  Away from depression and anxiety?  Just by thinking with gratitude.  Just by focusing on things for which you are grateful.

In this week’s podcast, I discuss the power of gratitude to shift your thinking and re-wire your brain… just in time for a day we set aside to be particularly Thankful.

Know that I am thankful for you, my reader/listener.  Wishing you the best of Thanksgivings!

RELATED RESOURCES
Gratitude & Appreciation
Two Targets To Thrive
The Appreciation Approach
Stop Trying To Change The Past
Thrive Principles Book

From Heartbreak To Wholeness: Kristine Carlson

Kristine Carlson, Author of From Heartbreak to Wholeness

What do you do when you think your life is right where you want it… and then it all falls apart?

That’s what happened to Kristine Carlson.  Her husband, Richard, was traveling the world and sharing his message of Don’t Sweat The Small Stuff.  Kristine was doing some writing in the series and raising their teen girls.

As his plane was descending, on the way to yet another presentation, Richard suffered a pulmonary embolism and died.  He was 45.

Kristine was left with life without her soulmate, and with the mantel of her husband’s message.

What did Kristine do?  She grieved.  She questioned her life.  She questioned “why?” and “what now?”  And then, she found a path through the grief.  She found herself on what Joseph Campbell called, “The Hero’s Journey.”

And here is what Kristine realized:  we ALL suffer losses.  We ALL have struggles.  And we ALL have to make a choice about the path we choose.

Many of us want to take that same journey, that path to our Hero-ness… but we don’t know how.

So, Kris decided to share her journey in her new book, From Heartbreak To Wholeness.

And I had the joy of having Kristine on my podcast for this second time, to discuss the journey.  And to discuss how this is everyone’s journey.  How do we choose Hero over Victim?  Listen in as Kris and I discuss this important journey.

RELATED RESOURCES
My First Interview With Kristine
From Heartbreak To Wholeness Website
Kristine’s Blog and Website

Attacking Anxiety

AttackAnxietyDo you feel anxious?  Have anxious moments?  Maybe even struggle with anxiety attacks?

If so, I want to offer some strategies to help you deal with those feelings… the emotional storm that can hit.

Anxiety isn’t a sign of weakness.  It is actually a sign of ancient survival strategies that have ramped up to the point of over-reaction.  Hyper-vigilance has taken the survival strategy of fear and caution to a level that can interfere in daily life.

There are some strategies, though, that can help you cope, re-wire, and live with lower levels of anxiety.

Don’t let it run your life!  Learn to cope and move beyond anxiety.

RELATED RESOURCES
Dealing With Anxiety
A Thought Is A Thought
How To Beat Depression
Dealing With Down Days
The Immutable Laws of Living

 

Weathering The Storms Of Life

WeatherStormsLifeLife can really dish it out, can’t it?

A sunny (metaphorically speaking) day suddenly gathers rain clouds.  And then, the storm (metaphorically speaking) hits!

As I recorded this episode of the Thriveology Podcast, people were still trying to dry out from Hurricane Florence.  I had family in the path, so I had a vested interest in following it closely.

Which reminded me of those other “storms of life,” when something hits you… illness, loss, change… things you were not wanting or expecting.  They hit, though.  Sometimes, with some warning.  But sometimes, “out of the blue.”

What do you do?  How do you weather those storms of life?

Because, guess what?  They WILL hit.  Not if they hit.  But when.  What do you do?

I talk about some strategies for weathering life’ storms in this week’s podcast episode.

Listen below.

RELATED RESOURCES
Dealing With Loss
Live Each Day As THE Day
Control What You Can
Does Everything Happen For A Reason?

The Forgive Process Book

What About Forgiving Yourself?

If you are feeling stuck, consider forgiving yourself.Let’s just assume that you have decided to forgive other people.  You do it (maybe even following my 6 step process).  Things are going well.  You are getting unstuck.

And then… snap!  You are pulled back, stuck.  Feeling bad.

But this time, feeling bad about yourself — your actions, your words, your inactions, or silence.

You know that voice?  The one that starts with “How could you….?”  It reminds you of something you said or did… or something you didn’t do or didn’t say (but should have).

“Why did I do that?? (or didn’t)”, you ask yourself.  And then, you replay the event all over again in your head… just like you have countless times before.

Sometimes, we find it easier to forgive someone else that to forgive ourselves.  We just can’t seem to clear it out, let it go, and release ourselves.

Well, that is the topic of this week’s Thriveology Podcast, just to get you to consider forgiving yourself.  This is NOT about ducking responsibility or denying what happened.  It is about moving beyond that, to something better.

Listen below.

RELATED RESOURCES
Taking Responsibility
How To Forgive
How To Show Up
Control What You Can
Can’t Change Past

The Forgive Process

The Getting UN-Stuck Series

BeyondStuckSometimes, we all get stuck… stuck in situations, stuck in relationships, stuck in life.  Just stuck.

And one of the critical skills of thriving is learning how to get UN-stuck.  How to get yourself free from those stuck moments and situations.

I focused on getting UN-stuck in a series of podcasts, and wanted to make sure you knew about them.

Here are the links to the series:

GETTING UNSTUCK SERIES:

Intro To Getting Unstuck

How You Get Stuck

You Are Not As Stuck As You Think

Give Up Your Goals & Get Unstuck

Loops

Shift Your Perspective

When Fear Has You Stuck

The KNAC Protocol For Getting Unstuck

4 Steps To Changing Limiting Beliefs

The Wrap-Up