The Path to Living a Simpler Life

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Have you experienced times when you felt overwhelmed, stressed out, and caught in an overly complicated life? I’ve definitely gone through cycles where my life seemed to be running me instead of the other way around!

Rest assured that others also have those feelings, hence, a movement toward simpler living is growing, and you can start on simplifying your life today!

Living simply means different things to different people. How your neighbour decides to simplify his life may be far different than how you would choose to make such a change.  The good news is, no matter what stage of life you’re in, or what your current lifestyle needs are, simplifying doesn't need to be as extreme as giving up your job or your car, or choosing to live like a monk!

This process is a journey, not something you typically do all at once – although some have chosen to give it all up for an awesome tiny house in the woods – you can simplify your life with one small change at a time.

Here are nine suggestions that may inspire you to meander down the path to living more simply:

  1. Examine the situations and people that bring stress to your life. Are you feeling stretched too thin? Make a list of anything that leaves you feeling overwhelmed or trapped.
  • Consider how you might reduce your involvement in these circumstances or with these people.
  • Can you fully disengage from these stressful situations and individuals? If possible, select the one that you can most easily disconnect from and begin taking steps to do so.
  • Focus on reducing one stressor at a time. It isn't realistic to think you can do away with all of them at once.
  1. Next, think about how you spend your money. Do you make unnecessary purchases? This can obviously become financially stressful. And if you tend to buy physical items, adding clutter to your home can also be a stressor (more on this in point 3 below). Review your bank account to see where the bulk of your funds are going.
  • One fairly easy way to live a simpler life is to reduce spending on unnecessary expenditures. Focus on streamlining your expenses to decrease unwanted stressors.
  • You can download an app or program to track your spending for you. I use a program called Mint
  1. Pare down the amount of "stuff" you've accumulated. Many people collect a huge amount of belongings.
  • Consider this... the more stuff you have, the more time you must spend cleaning and taking care of your belongings. Not to mention the space in your home it takes to store it all, or concerns you may have that someone might break or even take your stuff!
  • If you haven't looked in those boxes in the garage for 5 years, you can probably disconnect from the items in them without much distress.
  1. Begin spending more time outdoors. Returning to nature offers time and opportunity for reflection on your life and feelings. 
  1. Explore what makes you happiest. What brings you real joy? Maybe spending time with your children or your nieces and nephews is special for you. Perhaps you want to revive a favorite hobby you love.
  1. Regard your time as if it was pure gold. What do you do with most of your time? With whom do you spend the bulk of your life? Are you okay with that?
  • Make a decision to spend your precious time doing enjoyable activities. If you do them with others, ensure they're people you care about and really want to be around.
  1. Strengthen your relationships with those you love. Protect your cherished connections to others.
  1. Contemplate your eating habits. The food you eat and your nutritional habits are central to your health and happiness. Eating healthy food is the first thing I advise clients to do to improve their stress levels, mindset and general happiness. It’s SOOO important!
  • Consider cutting out foods that may be contributing to inflammation, allergies or unhealthy gut flora for three months (or longer). e.g. sugar, dairy, nuts and seeds, or grains. After 3 months, add things back one at a time and watch for signs of intolerance or reaction.
  • Add gut restorative foods such as fermented vegetables and probiotics.
  1. Examine your level of physical activity. A closely connected habit to food intake is exercise. You need to move your body, not just for physical fitness (muscle mass and cardio), but also for clearing out toxins and fuelling your brain and balancing hormones.
  • If you find yourself feeling disconnected from your body and its importance in your life, try to do some physical activity each day. Talk to your doctor before starting an exercise program to ensure it's right for you. Even just walking for twenty minutes a day can bring you great peace of mind.
  • I use an app called "Seven" that prompts you through a 7-minute exercise cycle using only what you've got in your house - a chair, a wall, your body weight. You can do as many cycles as you like, but seriously, who doesn't have at least 7 minutes? No excuses. 

The path to living a simpler life is connected to returning to your true self.  Only you can decide what living a simpler life will look like for you!

TAKE ACTION TODAY:  Commit to changing one small thing from this list or your own, to make your life less stressful today! Then do another one every week, or every two weeks as desired.

To your simplified life!

Signature Shannon transp

 

 

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7 Ways to Carve Out Personal Time in Your Busy Life

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Do you ever feel like you don't get enough "me time?" Although your responsibilities may sometimes seem overwhelming, you can create more time for yourself, to nourish your soul and increase your happiness.

If you'd like to capture more of your life just for you, take a look at these simple ideas and inspirations for self-care.

  1. Consider rising an hour earlier in the morning. Even if you're not sure this method will work for you, try it for just a few days a week.
  • Mornings can be quiet and interruption-free, which make them an ideal time to indulge in your favorite activities.
  • Try reading a good novel for an hour, practicing meditation, or even doing artwork. You'll feel nourished if you engage in some of these pleasures without phones ringing or someone needing your attention.
  1. Use your evenings just before bed. If you have young children, perhaps you can put them in bed a couple of hours before you retire for the night. Late evening can be ideal for capturing some personal time.
  • Although you might normally use that time to complete chores or other pressing activities, consider making at least one night a week sacred and uninterruptable. This evening is just for you to enjoy your personal activities.
  1. For those who love to read, don't leave home without your current book. You'll be surprised at the minutes you can capture throughout a day to read a page or two.
  • If you're allowed some 15 minute breaks at work, but often don't take them, try using some of them to catch up on your reading.
  • Riding public transportation can also bring opportunities to read during your commute to and from work.
  1. Train yourself to find and appreciate visual beauty wherever you are. Perhaps you often hurry from place to place or task to task. In doing so, you may miss noticing something beautiful right in front of you. Make a point of savoring the richness of nature. 
  • For example, during your walk to public transportation, or taking the dog out, pay attention to the flowers, bushes, and trees around you. Perhaps you hear birds calling or feel the warm sun on your skin.
  • Growing plants provide one of nature's greatest shows. Whether you enjoy growing flowers or food, in a big yard or a small pot, watch as they grow and reap the rewards of your care and attention.
  1. Use technology to find time for yourself. If you’re into current technology, you most likely have discovered the many ways of gaining personal time this way.
  • Use your gadgets to listen to music, a podcast, a book, or view a short video. This will help you capture personal time throughout your day.
  • You can learn a foreign language or delve into various other subjects using your mp3 player or smart phone.
  1. Talk with your partner. Being part of a loving partnership can be helpful when looking to find some personal time. Talk with your partner about your need to find more personal time to pursue activities that interest you.
  • Negotiate a couple of hours weekly to do whatever your heart desires.
  • Agree that your partner gets an equal amount of personal time as well. You'll both be pleased with the mutual arrangement for more "me time." You can help protect each other's sacred time from interruptions, and give each other the gift of better quality time alone.
  1. Get a babysitter. Single parents can call on a friend, family member or neighbor to trade babysitting for a few hours a week.
  • An agreement like this one ensures you'll receive your special time each week and so will your friend, family member or neighbor.

TAKE ACTION NOW: Making time for your needs might not seem easy at first. However, with some planning and creative thinking, you can capture a few hours a week to engage in activities you truly enjoy. Choose just one the ideas above to pursue more happiness and satisfaction in your life. After all, you deserve it!

Be Well!

Signature Shannon transp

 

 

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Fostering a Positive Mindset after Trauma

Character is built on life experience

Emotional trauma is a part of life. Whether you discuss it openly or keep it secret, all of us have faced emotional distress or difficulty at some point in life.

You may have read about my journey through the trauma of my Dad’s suicide. I have shared it openly, in hopes that my story will give others comfort or hope, and also because it was a huge catalyst for setting me on this career path of wellness coaching and energy work.

Everyone’s journey through emotional situations is different.  Although trauma is always challenging and always life changing, there is a spectrum of how people process it.  Some will find a way to maintain a smile and a positive attitude through the pain, others will dwell on every setback, and still more will find themselves somewhere in between.

At some point in your process, you will likely come to realize that while the emotional setbacks you experience in life are often not in your control, the way you react to them is. To quote William Arthur Ward, "happiness is an inside job." You can decide whether a difficult time makes you stronger or leaves you feeling like a victim.

The victim mentality is a learned characteristic in which a person feels unable to deal with or take action in difficult situations. These people perceive themselves as suffering from life’s experiences and continue to feel this way even after the negative situation or actions are no longer present or relevant.

The good news is, this mindset can be changed when you’re ready to step out of it. It doesn’t necessarily mean your pain will end, but your suffering can end.  You can choose what to focus on, what to think about, how to accept the pain and commit to something beyond it – to make a positive difference and give your experience meaning beyond suffering.

1. Develop a positive mindset to experience a positive life. When the inner self becomes more positive, the external environment is automatically perceived as positive. A positive environment then makes you content, and a content mind can push you towards productivity. Productivity results in success, and success on any level makes your happier. Mindset change is a cycle; pursue a positive mindset, one step at a time.

2. Teach your mind that you are the owner of all your decisions. Boost your “emotional immune system” by creating a habit of setting goals and achieving success.  Wins, whether big or small, make us all feel better about ourselves.

3. Do something good for others. When you focus your attention on helping others in need, you stop thinking of your own suffering and find purpose and meaning in your actions. If this act of kindness is in any way related to your trauma, you can begin to create a new story of meaning around that experience and leave the suffering behind.

4. Meditating is an effective way to minimize stress, anxiety, and self-pity, among many other negative emotions.  Regular meditation gives your mind time to relax. If you can’t clear your mind, just focus your thoughts and attention on your breath, saying to yourself something as simple as “in…. out….”  The key is to be in the present moment instead of swirling in your monkey mind of thoughts about the past or future. It doesn’t need to be long, and it doesn’t require a secluded mountaintop to be effective. You can do it anywhere. Even 5-10 minutes is worthwhile!

5. Let go of your ego – accept your mistakes and forgive others’. Do not be a hard nut to crack. Blaming others is easy; accepting your faults and taking steps to correct them is a brave move. Encourage yourself to take such bold steps. Harboring grudges in your heart only hurts you, not the other – they aren’t listening to you ruminate over the situation day-in and day-out. Set yourself free.

6. Consider energy healing. There are more than a hundred different modalities, from acupuncture, to massage, to reiki, to visualization. Find one that resonates with you and give yourself the gift of rapid transformation and release.

When have you felt the victim of a circumstance? Have you tried to get rid of it, or are you still holding it close to you? Share your experiences and open up to others. You will see you are not alone. 

Let’s move past it together.  Feel free to email me, book a short phone appointment, sign up for a free vitality session,  and/or join my Facebook Group.

Please seek help from your doctor if you are concerned about your mental health.

Love,

Signature Shannon transp

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The Missing Piece In The Endless Cycle Of Trying To Be Healthy:

There’s not much fun in the annoying cycle of trying to create healthy habits and then falling off the wagon again. (and again. and again.)

most of us tend to ignoreMost of us are so busy in our daily activities that we often neglect our health. We think about eating well most times, and sometimes we use natural remedies and fitness to maintain our body's shape and health, but it’s an on-and-off cycle for most us. This "taking care of your body" plan falls apart when we become overstressed. 

I have found this to be especially true with entrepreneurs and those who are driven to achieve success in one area of life – which often leads to dropping the ball in the other areas.

We try to maintain a habit of good health, but do we achieve our end goal? For many, the goal is to bring back the youthful body and spirit we tend to lose as we age. But despite working hard on health for months or even years, often people still say the results are not evident. Let’s dig into answering why that is, and what to do about it. 

The missing piece that most of us tend to ignore is that a healthy mind creates a healthy body. 

 The key to achieving the healthy body you want, is to emphasize and nurture a healthy, resilient state of mind. A healthy mind is constructive and productive, both personally and socially. 

If you are overstressed, it’s exceedingly difficult to be mindful. We tend to operate in fight, flight, or freeze mode when our stress levels are too high. We react, rather than respond to outside stimuli. We fail to observe or even notice the wisdom that our body, heart and mind is telling us.

Let’s look at how your mind influences your body’s health.

  1. Eating And The Triad: In order to maintain mindful eating, it is important to understand your brain’s relationship with food. The heart–brain–body triad has a major influence on your eating habits. All three elements of this triad should be in agreement before you decide to put food into your mouth. This doesn’t require any deep thinking or suggestions from a psychologist or nutritionist. Simply ask yourself two questions before you begin eating:
    1. Is it necessary to eat now or is it simply your wish?
    2. Is the meal that you are eating clean and healthy, or is it only appealing to your taste buds?
  2. Exercise With Heart: Eating well is not the end of healthy mind and body awareness. You should move your body with your heart in mind—it helps you in many different ways:
    1. Physiologically, your heart is a muscle that needs to be exercised like any other muscle in your body.
    2. It also helps your brain – breaking a sweat activates the release of endorphins like serotonin, which make you feel happier and more relaxed.  
    3. You need to keep your body moving to keep all your systems functioning at their best. Just as an unused machine becomes rusty and corroded, the same goes for our bodies’ many systems.

The intent of exercise is not just to make you sweaty and tired – ideally, you will find ways to enjoy it! You don’t have to go to the gym and lift heavy weights if that’s not fun for you.  You can get involved in sports, group classes, yoga, or find a fitness partner to walk, jog or cycle with. Find something fun, and remember it is important that you are not forcing yourself to over-do it; your body needs to rest too!

TAKE ACTION TODAY: Get in touch with your mind and your body—find an exercise you truly enjoy and begin exploring why you eat the things you eat.

Love,

Signature Shannon transp

 

P.S.  If you're interested in exploring the possibility of working with me one on one - to let go of stress & overwhelm and slip on a life of peace, ease, health and happiness - I have space for a couple new coaching clients! To see if we're a good fit, simply click here to fill out a short questionnaire.

If you're not quite ready for that, why not click here and request to join my private FB Group, where I will answer any questions you have about being your best self and optimizing your whole life wellness!

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Do What You Love and Love What You Do

 

success without happiness is failure

"When all is said and done, success without happiness is the worst kind of failure." ~Louis Binstock

Do you frequently feel unfulfilled, uninspired, overworked, or overloaded? Are you constantly striving to achieve something, yet feel that your goals keep moving further away from you? Let’s explore the reason for that frustration, and why it is keeping you from your happiness.

Most of us just try to survive our daily routine. We neglect our health in the process of working 24/7 to earn something, whether it is money, academic success, or a better social life. It is important to discover the root of this problem before attempting to find the solution. This means you need to get back to the basics: identify your goals and decide if they are really what you want, or if they have been imposed upon you by some other factor in your life. 

There are several reasons to pursue what you love. The first and the foremost is that it is a primary expression of your freedom. Making your own decisions and having the ability to filter out the surrounding noise defines your freedom. It is human psychology that people love to be independent and prefer to make our own decisions. This freedom of choice frees you from the slavery in your mind. For example, if you have no desire to be doing the work you’re doing, you will always have this feeling of bondage and obligation, and it will prevent you from being as effective you could be.

So, what makes you effective? Your desire to perform your work makes you effective, and you only have that desire for work when you feel truly passionate about it. According to a report published in the Business News Daily,

“Employees who are engaged in their work have a higher productivity rate.”


For a productive society—and a productive self—it is imperative that you are engaged in your work and doing what you love. If you are passionate about something, you will approach it with dedication and gusto.

It is also true the other way around, that you should love what you do.  This motivates you to set and achieve goals. The feeling of achievement is a booster for your mind and body, which further motivates you to perform better. Doing what you love and loving what you do is important for a healthy state of mind.

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, 'Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?' Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”  ~Marianne Williamson, A Return to Love: Reflections on the Principles of "A Course in Miracles"

 

TAKE ACTION TODAY: If you haven't done it lately, take stock of your goals - the big lofty long-term ones and the short-term ones too.  Then ask yourself, is this really what you want?  Are the smaller ones in alignment with the big lofty ones? If not, remain open to exploring new possibilities.

Warmly,

Signature Shannon transp

 

P.S.  If you're interested in exploring the possibility of working with me one on one - to let go of stress & overwhelm and slip on a life of peace, ease, health and happiness - I have space for a couple new coaching clients! To see if we're a good fit, simply click here to fill out a short questionnaire.

If you're not quite ready for that, why not click here and request to join my private FB Group, where I will answer any questions you have about being your best self and optimizing your whole life wellness!

 Free Vitality Session button

 

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