The Art of Aging Gratefully
21Mar 2017
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Written By Jessi Kohlhagen

It’s amazing how every memory — every experience we’ve ever had — is sewn into the very fabric of who we are.

Marks and moles, wrinkles and dimples, stiffness and softness, pounds gained and elasticity lost…

Every part of our physical being carries a unique memory on our timeline of moments gone by. We are living legends, and our bodies are our autobiographies.

When you really stop and think about it, aging is an extraordinary process; one that has been honored and celebrated throughout human history.

Nearly every indigenous culture in the world reveres and celebrates the process of aging. Old age has long been identified with wisdom and a closeness to God, and Native communities view the journey into elderhood as a sacred time when an individual has the most to offer their community, and the world.

Not surprisingly, these are the same communities that honor their intrinsic connection with the Earth, and seek to move in flow with the inevitable and beautiful cycles of Nature — of Life, Death and everything in between.

Different cultures have different attitudes and practices surrounding aging and death, and these collective perspectives have an enormous impact on our experience of getting older.

The truth is, aging isn’t just a biological process — it’s also a cultural one.

“While many cultures celebrate the aging process and venerate their elders, in Western cultures — where youth is fetishized and the elderly are commonly removed from the community and relegated to hospitals and nursing homes – aging can become a shameful experience. Physical signs of human aging tend to be regarded with distaste, and aging is often depicted in a negative light in popular culture, if it is even depicted at all.”
– The Huffington Post
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How to Achieve Your Health & Fitness Goals This Year
20Mar 2017
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Written by Paige Johnson

Each year, many people make resolutions to lose weight, get fit, or become healthier. Unfortunately, a staggering 80% of people end up breaking those resolutions and never reaching their goals.

Having a vision in mind for your health and fitness goals is important. Here’s how you can jump right into your health and fitness vision and come up with tangible steps to reach your goal. More…

40 Quotes to Help You Love and Embrace Your Body, Just The Way It Is
28Feb 2017
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One of the most essential elements that goes into loving, or being loved, is the experience of being seen.

Not seeing something as it once was, or as it “should be.” But seeing it as it truly is, right now, in this irreplaceable miracle of a moment.

This unwavering act of presence and understanding is the most powerful gift we could ever give to someone… and, perhaps even more importantly, it is the most magnificent, life-affirming gift we could ever give to ourselves.

As Lifebook Member Dr. Joel Wade puts it in his moving post on love and visibility, “Love is fundamentally about seeing, hearing, and knowing another human being deeply. We cannot do that from within our own idealistic fantasy.”

This goes for loving ourselves as well.

To truly see, hear and know ourselves deeply, we must come out from behind our veil of forgetfulness, and look into our own true eyes. We must stand in simple understanding of ourselves, right here, right now. We must see ourselves, not with our eyes, but with our hearts… with our entire being.

We must create a benevolent cycle of visibility and trust within ourselves.

That’s when we get to feel that great resonance; that sublime emotion of being touched by the power of self-love and embracement, letting it fill us up from the inside out.

And, ironically, this is what constitutes true, radiant beauty.

In honor of this month’s Health and Fitness theme, and our personal quests to realize the power and potential of the glorious human form, here are 40 quotes to help you love and embrace your body, just the way it is… More…

Why You Can’t Touch Your Toes (and how you can!)
05Feb 2017
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Stand with your feet together, and slowly bend forward to touch your toes.

Can you reach them?

If not, it means your hamstrings and/or lower back are too tight.

The good news is… a little bit of conscious stretching goes a LONG way.

Stretching is an essential component of both exercise and health, as it helps to maintain flexibility and range of motion in your joints. When your muscles are more flexible, the body can perform activities and exercise with the correct form and alignment; therefore, stretching also helps to improve posture.

If you set the intention and practice for just a few minutes each day, you’ll be touching the floor in no time.

Here’s how…

In a perfect forward fold, your upper body should bend toward your legs like you’re closing a flip phone (remember those?). Both the upper and lower body remains straight, and the hinge comes directly from your hips.

There are several muscles involved, and knowing which ones need to be working can be the key to achieving a liberating and beautiful forward fold.

Here’s a step-by-step guide to the process:

Step 1

Activate (flex) your abdomen. This creates reciprocal inhibition of the lower back muscles, signaling them to relax.

Step 2

Activate the quadriceps (the front thigh muscle) to straighten (but not hyperextend) your knees. This creates reciprocal inhibition of the hamstrings (anagonist to the quads), signaling them to relax deeper into the stretch. With your front body flexing, your back body can release deeper into the stretch.

Step 3

Tilt the pelvis forward by contracting the hip flexors (including the psoas, pectineus, and anterior adductor muscles). Keeping the back and neck straight and the spine long, hinge forward ONLY from the hips (not the ribs) until you can no longer maintain a straight back. If you allow your back to arch, you have lost connection to the key muscle groups, and are no longer actively stretching where it counts. This will prevent you from deepening the stretch and ultimately touching the floor.

Step 4

Keep your back straight and your spine long, lifting your tailbone up toward the sky. Even if you only lower a few degrees from your standing position, honor your body. Only with proper form can you achieve depth Once you reach your maximum forward fold with a perfectly straight back, place your hands wherever you can comfortably reach — on your thighs, shins or ankles — and draw your shoulders away from your ears.

Step 5

BREATHE – smoothly, deeply and consciously, sending energy to all the areas that are working. With each inhale, imagine your spine lengthening and straightening even more, and with each exhale see if you can deepen the hinge of your hips to bring yourself lower toward the ground. (Breath is the KEY to deepening any stretch. When consciously utilized, it creates space from the inside out, expanding and deepening the internal body to further release the muscles.)

If you do these five steps once in the morning and once at night everyday, for five minutes each, you WILL see noticeable results in just one week.

That’s the beauty of stretching… it’s highly rewarding.

In just ten minutes a day you can dramatically increase your flexibility, and connect more deeply with your body.

We’d say that’s a win-win for everyone. :)

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The Mother I Aspire To Be…
01Feb 2017
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By: Jessi Kohlhagen

As parents (even the extraordinary Lifebook kind) there is always room for growth. There’s always more we can do. But even more importantly than what we do, there are always different ways we can be with our children… new ways we can show up and be present in each unique gem of a moment.

So this year, I decided to write out some of the intentions I have for my children — these incredible little people that I love more than life itself.

As I do this, I become aware of two distinct feelings:

  1. I experience enormous pride and joy for the unbelievable blessings that my children are in my life… for what incredible people they are turning out to be… and for all the things I’ve done really, really well as their mama.
  1. I experience a yearning, a drive, and even a little guilt for *all* the things I want to be and do that haven’t come to fruition yet.

Here’s a sneak peek into the running list of intentions I have for the future of my family…

This is the mother I aspire to be:

I want to release any expectations I have of them, and fully embrace what they already are.

I want to drop whatever I am doing when they engage with me, and give them my undivided attention.

I want to stop looking at them, and start looking into them. I want to focus on their pupils, observe the color of their irises, notice the subtle changes in their faces as they speak.

I want to explain less and ask more.

I want to teach them to hear the whisper of their spirit, and to trust their inner sense of wisdom, insight, goodness and rightness — above all else.

I want more silence and stillness together, observing and being present.

I want to get dirty, hang upside down, do cartwheels, and roll around on the Earth with them.

I want to climb more trees, and watch more sunsets together.

I want to be less focused on their future, and more in awe of their present.

I want *all* of my maternal thoughts, feelings and actions to be driven by love and faith, instead of fear or doubt.

I want to say YES — all the time, as much as I can.

I want to honor their feelings, and fully embrace all sides of their dynamic human experience.

I want anything and everything to be cause for celebration or ceremony.

I want to honor each transformation with powerful, symbolic rite of passage.

I want to show them how to stay comfortable in their own skin, and feel like they belong on this planet, in this place, in this body, in this moment.

I want to demonstrate the importance of loving and respecting all bodies, most of all their own.

I want to breathe and flow through sticky situations with grace, unwavering calmness, and unlimited compassion and empathy.

I want more cuddles, more wrestles, more hair-braiding and bedtime back scratches. Lots more.

I want to be better animals together, taking more care and responsibility for our interconnectivity to Nature and the world around us.

I want to reduce our wastefulness, increase our positive impact, and devote more energy and awareness to the causes we believe in.

I want to read & read & read together everyday, voyaging to the most vibrant literary worlds ever imagined.

I want a home exploding with creative energy – a living art studio overflowing with paint, colors, plants, crafts, crystals, song & dance, storytelling, passion and imagination.

I want to never stop giving thanks together.

I want to show them everyday what it means to be mindful, happy, grateful, inspired, strong, accepting, open and free.

These are my greatest wishes for the coming years. What are some of yours?

With a full heart and overflowing gratitude,

-Jessi

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The Power of YES: How Agreeing Can Change Your Life
28Jan 2017
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Saying YES can be intimidating. It’s as if we’re changing our entire lives with one little word.

And indeed, each time we commit to something new and uncomfortable, we shine a light into our shadow side and move into our resistances, making us more dynamic, more balanced and ultimately, more at home within ourselves and the world.

So this year, we have an invitation for you…

Stop hiding behind the word “No” and say “Yes” as much as you possibly can.

No longer let fear or ego be the primary guiding forces of your life. Surrender yourself, moment to moment, with the belief that each and everything you meet is a key to your awakening, if only you would say YES.

When we agree to participate in (and make room for) the things that are trying to make their way into our world — whether enjoyable or unenjoyable, easy or challenging — we create vast spaciousness within ourselves and our lives. We begin releasing our constricting grip on life, and learn how to move in flow, as if we are being led from one abundant moment to the next.

Synchronicities start to occur, and before we know it, we experience ourselves living a magical existence where everything we need just appears and the next step is obvious.

Of course, we can’t say yes to everything. We have real responsibilities to attend to, and only 24 hours in a day. The idea is to start saying YES to the things you would normally shy away from out of fear, nervousness, stress, discomfort, busyness or any other experience of limitation and resistance.

Challenge yourself to change your patterns this year — change how you meet the world — and see what happens.

Here are some things to start saying YES to!

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Amy’s Big, Magical Home Transformation
27Jan 2017
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After talking with Jon and Missy about our top three goals at our Lifebook Ultimate weekend, we determined one of them was Home Environment.

Jon recently encouraged us to start thinking about our Family Room and to start designing it based on how we want to spend our time as a family.

We have done a lot of thinking and planning in these areas, which has been awesome, but it has also spurred on some additional transformation in the last week or two – in our game cupboard, music closet and home office (which also is a chiropractic room), craft closet, linen closet and toss-all room. I wanted to record my experience this morning because it was so powerful.

I have been getting up early and working on getting rid of anything in these rooms that does not move me toward my life vision.

I ask myself, “Does this bring joy to my life? Do I love it? Do I need it? Do I use it?” More…

Believing in Your Vision is Enough to Make it Reality…
27Jan 2017
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Written by Lifebook Member Stacy Woodward

When I first went through Lifebook in January of 2010, I was in a place in my life where I wasn’t happy, I wasn’t moving forward, and I was in a relationship that needed to end.

I was in a rut, and I couldn’t see where I was going. I kept thinking, “there has to be more to life than this.” Looking back now, my big problem was self-confidence. I also spent a ridiculous amount of time worrying about what others thought about how I was living my life.

I had spent my life with no idea of what I wanted to do with myself. I didn’t know what I wanted to be. In fact, I wondered how Lifebook was going to help me if I didn’t even know which direction to go. I went anyway. After going through the process, I started to realize that I did kind of know what I wanted to do, but I never really thought I could do it… and therefore, I never really thought it through enough to get the complete picture.

When I left my Lifebook Session I was excited, but also wary about whether I was really ever going to do anything with it.

My big goals that I left with were as follows: More…

Change your mind, change your life…
23Jan 2017
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Written by Sandra Garest

Lifebook helped sparked a breakthrough for me on the connection between My Intellectual Life, and how it relates to my overall life vision…

Premise/Beliefs – There are some things I may “know” but are not actually “true.”  What if I questioned these “truths” more?  My beliefs/truths were learned and therefore can be unlearned, especially if they’re not helpful.

Vision – I will never rise above the image I have in my mind in any area of my life.

My best future depends on being a conscious visionary.  I continuously think about what I want in all categories of my life and envision it. I use my Lifebook as the perfect process to organize my thinking in one place and keep track of it.

Purpose – I can change my future by simply changing the way I think about it.  My mind allows me to paint a better vision – in each area of my life.  No matter my past, I have a spotless future, a blank canvas.  My intellect empowers me to paint the picture of my best self, living and serving others to the best of my ability, and then go make it happen!

Strategy – Sometimes the best strategy I can implement to achieve my desired results is to change my self-image – change the way I think about myself or the situation.  I schedule regular “Think Appointments” with myself and my Lifebook.

Brian Tracy says that, “All improvement in your life begins with an improvement in your mental pictures. Your mental pictures act as a guidance mechanism that causes you to act in ways that make your mental pictures come true in your life.”

Is there anything you need to think differently about?  I’d love to hear about other examples or how people have changed their image of themselves as part of their strategy.

Thank you!

25 Powerful Quotes to Awaken Your Wisest Self in 2017
03Jan 2017
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“He wrapped himself in quotations, as a beggar
would enfold himself in the purple of Emperors.”
-Rudyard Kipling

There’s no denying the power and potency of quotations.

Humans have used them as inspiration and guidance for thousands of years, like road signs from all the wise men who walked the path before us… Like little glowing gems of insight that shine their light and lead us closer to our truth.

The wisdom they contain floods our imagination, and reflects to us the same wisdom that lies hidden within our own heart and soul.

Here are 25 powerful quotes to help awaken your wisest, most illuminated self in the coming year…

“There is a dance only you can do, that exists only in you, here and now,
always changing, always true. Are you willing to listen with fascination?
If you are, it will deliver you unto the self you have always dreamed you could be.
This is a promise.”
– Gabrielle Roth

“You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe,
deserve your love and affection”
– Buddha

“Remember always that you not only have the right to be an individual,
you have an obligation to be one.”
– Eleanor Roosevelt

“The best day of your life is the one on which you decide your life is your own.
No apologies or excuses. No one to lean on, rely on, or blame.
The gift is yours – it is an amazing journey – and you alone are responsible for the quality of it.
This is the day your life really begins.”
– Bob Moawad

“You have been criticizing yourself for years, and it hasn’t worked.
Try approving of yourself and see what happens.”
– Louise L. Hay

“Love begins at home – with yourself. The more you learn to appreciate yourself,
the more you realize that you, not your partner, are the source of your own [happiness].”
-Margo Anand

The key point to understand is that prosperity is an internal experience, not an external state,
and it is an experience that is not tied to having a certain amount of money.
-Shakti Gawain

“Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don’t resist them; that only creates sorrow.
Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like.”
―Lao Tzu

“If only you could sense how important you are to the lives of those you meet;
how important you can be to people you may never even dream of.
There is something of yourself that you leave at every meeting with another person.”
– Fred Rogers

“True belonging only happens when we present our authentic, imperfect selves to the world.
Our sense of belonging can never be greater than our level of self-acceptance.”
― Brené Brown

“You are very powerful, provided you know how powerful you are.”
– Yogi Bhajan

“Most of the shadows of this life are caused by standing in one’s own sunshine.”
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

“There is nothing noble about being superior to some other man.
The true nobility is in being superior to your previous self.”
– Hindu Proverb

“Maximize the power of the beliefs that strengthen you and neutralize those that weaken you.”
– Rosalene Glickman, Ph.D.

“Everything you’ve ever wanted is on the other side of fear.”
-George Addair

“You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards.
So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future.
You have to trust in something – your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever.
This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.”
-Steve Jobs

“Savor life: don’t just breathe it in; exhale the moment to intake the next.”
-KC Rhoads

Don’t get discouraged; it is often the last key in the bunch that opens the lock.
-Unknown

Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes courage is the little voice at the end of the day
that says I’ll try again tomorrow.
-Mary Anne Radmacher

“Fear is a natural reaction to moving closer to the truth”
-Pema Chödrön

“Our deepest wounds and our soul are intimately related.
If we journey far enough into the inner landscape of our wounds,
we discover there the mysteries of destiny.
Our wounds are essential facilitators in our soul lives.”
-Bill Plotkin

“There is no medicine like hope, no incentive so great, and no tonic so powerful
as expectation of something better tomorrow.”
-Orison Swett Marden

“To accomplish great things, we must not only act, but also dream;
not only plan, but also believe.”
–Anatole France

“The vision is one of wholeness, of embracing everything, because every situation,
whether pleasant or unpleasant, is an opportunity to become more aware about who you are
and how you can expand your capacities.”
-Margo Anand

“It is never too late to be what you might have been.”
– George Eliot

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