Emotional LifeQuality of Life
How to Have a Good Bad Day
06Dec 2016
1
comments

Written by Jessi Kohlhagen

We’ve all had terrible, horrible, no good, very bad days.

An overwhelming workload, a missed deadline, a traffic jam, some bad news, a fight with your partner, a broken goal… crappy days come in many shapes and sizes.

But (as with most things in life) you can bet your bottom dollar that even your stormiest days have their silver linings.

Here are 8 ideas for how to have a GOOD bad day:

1. Resist the urge to “treat” yourself

There’s nothing quite like a “treat” at the end of a particularly crappy day… yet oftentimes our ideas of treating ourselves are actually unhealthy, and leave us feeling even more miserable after the initial surge of enjoyment has subsided. Whether our go-to vice is alcohol, sweets, cigarettes or shopping, indulging it usually leaves us with feelings of guilt and loss of control. So next time you find yourself seeking to fill that void, ask yourself, “will this really make me feel better?”

2. Connect with your body

The most beneficial way to “treat” yourself is to really connect with your being, and nourish every cell in your body. Exercise is one of the most obvious and effective mood boosters, so try a gentle yet nourishing form of movement that will take you out of your head and into your body (dance and yoga are fantastic choices!). Once you’ve nurtured yourself from the inside out, work from the outside in. Draw yourself a relaxing bath of Epson salts, essential oils, candles and relaxing music. You’re guaranteed to feel like a whole new person!

3. Write it down

Writing/Journaling is one of the most powerful forms of healing therapy imaginable. It’s not so much about the process of documenting what is happening in our lives… it’s the process of being fully aware of what is happening in our lives, and in ourselves. When you take the time to candidly and uninhibitedly communicate what and how you’re feeling, you will find gems of wisdom that you didn’t realize existed (and oftentimes the solution you need to the problems you’re facing). Thank you, inner voice!

4. Do a 180

If you spent the day trying to dig yourself out from an overwhelming pit of paperwork, spend your evening completely disconnected from your career and engage in something that feels like a contrast. Play, read a book, move your body, relax. On the flip side, if you spent your day lazing around, making poor choices and are feeling crappy about yourself, get up and get something done… which leads us to #5…

5. Accomplish something

Oftentimes, the overwhelm, guilt and defeat that we feel at the end of a terrible day is caused by a sense of imbalance. These are the days we spend way too much time and energy focused on one thing (or one theme) and are left feeling too exhausted and frustrated to even begin thinking about all the other things that need to be done. Sometimes the antidote to overwhelm is simply to take conscious action. So when you’re feeling overpowered by one category of your life, accomplish something meaningful in a category you feel is lacking. Deep clean your kitchen, cook a beautifully vibrant meal, connect with your children, make love to your partner, create something for someone. Find a sense of accomplishment elsewhere, and let that satisfaction heal you.

6. Say “well, at least I…”

Surely there are meaningful moments that occur, even on our darkest days. Learning to focus our minds on the full spectrum of our experience, and not indulge in one overpowering aspect of it, is one of the great keys to balance and fulfillment in life. So instead of stewing over everything that went wrong, try and make a mental list of the things that went well.

7. Keep perspective

Ask yourself if this will matter in a week, a month, a year… or even tomorrow! Think back to similar times when you’ve felt defeated, and remember how it all worked out… recognize how distant and removed from that experience you feel today, and remember that this too shall pass.

8. Remember the ebb and flow

The brilliant Rumi spoke these poetic words of wisdom:

“Your hand opens and closes, opens and closes.
If it were always a fist or always stretched open,
you would be paralysed. Your deepest presence
is in every small contracting and expanding,
the two as beautifully balanced and coordinated
as birds’ wings.”
― Rumi

Remember that the nature of the human experience is this very contracting and expanding. The more you can accept this as a simple (and in fact beautiful) part of life, the more inner peace you will find in every millimeter of your experience – both the good, and the bad.

Even a bad day can have something good in it.

What can you find in yours?

More…

The Antidote to Overwhelm
07Nov 2016
0
comments

Written by Jessi Kohlhagen

“When you do nothing, you feel overwhelmed and powerless.
But when you get involved, you feel the sense of hope and accomplishment.”
-Maya Angelou

“The secret to getting ahead is getting started.
The secret to getting started is to break complex, overwhelming tasks
into small, manageable tasks, and then start on the first one.”
-Mark Twain

As a human being in the 21st century, chances are you have a career to build, a family to care for, a household to manage, bills & taxes to pay, and a burning desire to improve every area of your life.

Sometimes you have so much going on, you feel like your head might explode.

And you’re not alone. The feeling of overwhelm is spreading like a disease throughout modern culture… and rightfully so.

Our limited human attention spans are in a constant tug-of-war with countless demands, distractions, and desires… and they’re increasing exponentially with each passing year.

The modern world’s incessant need for “more, better, faster” creates a sense of urgency and inadequacy, and leaves us feeling that our happiness, contentment and desired state of being are perpetually “just around the corner” — always the next goal away, just out of reach.

Even as the highly conscious, ultra-intentional Lifebook Members we are…

We all face challenges in life that threaten to sweep us off our feet and defeat us once and for all.

Enter emotional overwhelm… that paralyzing cocktail of stress, worry, helplessness and disempowerment that tries to convince you of your inability to cope with the circumstances and challenges of life.

Overwhelm overrides our ability to see things clearly and take conscious action, by making our problems appear bigger and closer than they actually are.

But here’s a truly life-changing secret…

Overwhelm is less about what’s going on outside of you, and more about what’s going on inside of you.

Sure, it feels real. Because inner chaos actually creates outer chaos.

When you’ve got a million and one things renting space in your mind, and a whole stew of emotions weighing heavy on your heart, it’s impossible to slow down, prioritize and actually get things done.

So the next time you’re feeling overwhelmed, give yourself a time out and DO THIS 6 PART EXERCISE.

Here are 6 steps that will lead you out of overwhelm, and into clarity, confidence, and conscious action.

1. Do a brain dump

Take 5-10 minutes to get everything out of your head and onto paper. No matter how large or small… everything must go! In addition to the obvious deadlines and pressing demands of your daily life, be sure to include the little tasks that keep you up at night, the things you’re constantly telling yourself you should be doing right now, the nagging reminders in the back of your head that won’t let up. Don’t stop or edit until your mind feels blissfully emptied of all of them.

2. Let go of what you can’t control

Looking at your list you may notice items that are simply outside of your control — things like wanting someone to act or feel differently, or wishing for an outcome that simply can’t be predicted. Here, you have one of two options. Either change the goal/task into something you do have control over — that you can actually take action on… or draw a big fat line through it to remove it from your list (and your life) forever. Liberating, isn’t it?!

3. Challenge your assumptions about what you must do.

We all have those to-do items that follow us from week to week and never actually see the light of day. These are usually the things that suck — that we feel obligated to do but aren’t passionate about. Sometimes we really do have to complete them (hello tax returns!). But more often than not, we have the power to free ourselves from feeling of the constant frustration and failure over these half-hearted commitments. Again, you have one of two options: Roll up your sleeves and commit to executing it once and for all… or remove it from your list and free up that mental-emotional real estate.

4. Prioritize and number your tasks

Wahoo! Now you have your real to-do list — the most important and meaningful tasks in your life right now. The next step is to prioritize them. Take a look and order them by number – starting with the most urgent and pressing items, and working your way down the list.

5. Schedule your tasks into your calendar

Now that you know what order you’ll be working in, you can plan your tasks into reality — through your calendar and daily work schedule. This is the final and ultimate step in releasing them from your thoughts. Once you have everything organized and scheduled, all you have to do is hit the ground running with each day’s task. Which leads us to the next step…

6. Take one step at a time.

You absolutely must learn to be content with taking small steps, because really that’s all life is. By taking small, meaningful steps each day (that you’ve consciously and thoroughly plotted in advance), you’re finally able to give yourself permission to reside in that place of happiness and contentment — because you know you’re doing your very best, and for the first time, you believe in your heart that that is enough.

More…

17 Films That Will Make You A Better Global Citizen
23Aug 2016
0
comments

“We all have an obligation as citizens of this earth to leave the world a healthier, cleaner, and better place for our children and future generations.”
-Blythe Danner

“When we recognize the virtues, the talent, the beauty of Mother Earth, something is born in us, some kind of connection; love is born.
-Nhat Hanh

Knowing that we’re doing our best to become better people on a daily basis is one of the truest definitions of success, and one of the most important things we can do to create happiness and fulfillment in our lives.

But what about the bigger picture? Part of our calling to become better human beings entails devoting ourselves to causes that are bigger than us… to committing greater acts of love, care and devotion for our beautiful planet, and all of its inhabitants.

Here are 17 documentary films that will turn your focus toward the impact you have on the world, and help you become an even better global citizen. More…

36 Things Lifebook Members Can’t Live Without
12Apr 2016
0
comments

Do you ever wonder what it would be like to live without the countless luxuries we enjoy everyday?

What are some of the items or products that truly make your life better, and contribute to your happiness and wellbeing?

We asked Lifebook VIPS to share some of their most treasured possessions, and here’s what they came up with…

Things-1

My Vitamix!

Before my Vitamix I had no idea just how smooth a smoothie could be. Now I can’t imagine how I’d get all of my nutrients and raw foods everyday without it.

Jessi Kohlhagen

Things-2

My Bose In-Ear Head Phones.

The quality of music they provide is wonderful. Music makes my heart happy and to have them makes it sound like I am listening to the music being played right in front of me.

Jessica Dziurkowski More…

Harmonize Your Home Energy: A Beginner’s Guide to Feng Shui
05Apr 2016
0
comments

Feng shui (say “fung shway”) is the art of creating a home environment that supports the life you wish to live.

A key element of feng shui is creating a smooth flow of chi (positive energy) through your space. Chi likes to move through your home as though it were a gentle breeze or a meandering stream.

Where it’s blocked, the energy becomes stagnant – like a pond choked with algae and fallen leaves. You’re likely to feel blocked in life, and your energy and enthusiasm for matters of the heart will be low.

Balancing and correcting the chi of your home helps encourage and invigorate energy, positivity, and flow.

Before we dive into some powerful ways you can improve the energy of your home, let’s take a look at what feng shui is really all about.

What is feng shui?

Feng shui is an ancient art and science developed over 3,000 years ago in China. It’s a complex body of knowledge that reveals how to balance the energies of any given space to assure health and good fortune for the people inhabiting it.

Feng shui is based on the Taoist vision and understanding of nature, particularly on the idea that the land is alive and filled with Chi, or energy.

It embodies a belief that we as humans are energetically connected to the spaces we inhabit. Feng shui sees sacred purposes behind design – not just artistically appealing or superficially pretty surroundings. It views the world in terms of cosmic energy.

Feng means wind and Shui means water – both of which embody flow, movement, and passage.

Feng shui encourages us to transform our physical environments into energized, harmonious spaces that flow freely, like the wind and the water.

It’s important to understand that there are several different schools of feng shui, and just like traditional Chinese medicine, feng shui knowledge is deep and complex. The more you know about feng shui, the more there is to explore!

To keep things simple, we’ll only cover the basics here. But if it resonates, feel free to deepen your own knowledge and practice of Feng Shui.

After implementing only a few simple feng shui tips you are sure to start seeing some powerful results in your home and your life.

Ready to dig in?

Here are 10 Feng Shui tips to harmonize your home:

1. Remove The Clutter

This may sound obvious, but it’s a non-negotiable first step without which all other steps become irrelevant. Clutter causes stress on both conscious and subconscious levels, it perpetuates our insatiable desire for more (because we have an unfulfilling experience with what we have), and it blocks positive energy flow in our bodies, our homes, and our relationships. “Wherever the eye goes, the chi goes.”

Imagine this: You step into your home after a long day and everywhere you look fills you with a sense of peace, joy and gratitude. No matter where your eyes land, you are met with order, simplicity, and purity. Pure bliss!

If you have clutter anywhere in your home, it’s time to clean, organize and/or purge it. Here are some fun tips for decluttering once and for all:

  • Stop the flow of stuff coming in. For real. Your kids really don’t need that brand new toy, and long-term gratification is a good practice for everyone.
  • Declutter daily. If you see something that you know you’ll eventually get rid of, don’t put it off. Seize the moment. Be ruthless. Make a “giveaway pile” so you can continuously add to it and keep everything organized.
  • Don’t keep things out of guilt, obligation, or scarcity. Period.
  • Don’t be afraid to let go. Just because something is technically useful doesn’t make it practical to your own unique self, home or wellbeing.
  • Don’t over-equip your home. You don’t need enough linen, cutlery, or pantry supplies to serve as a hotel. Be realistic about your true needs, and remember that you can always borrow from others for large, unexpected events.
  • Remember that gifts don’t have to be material. For spouses, children, and others that we live with, get creative with your gifts… try new experiences, homemade crafts, and other powerful ways to express your love without inviting an avalanche of new “stuff” into your home.

2. Make Your Entryway Inviting and Beautiful

One of feng shui’s most important lessons is in the power of your front door. Feng shui identifies the main entryway to a building as the source of all chi (or energy) into the home. It’s the gateway to positivity, wealth and abundance. And the two best ways to invite powerful new energy into your life are:

  • To USE your front door. Make it a habit to utilize this power center. Don’t enter through your garage everyday and step directly into your kitchen or laundry room. Step into beauty when you arrive home as often as possible.
  • Make it a beautiful experience. Your entryway should be inviting – to people and to positive energy. Make it beautiful and design it so that it comes alive. Infuse it with color and fragrance. Use plants, lights, wind chimes, flags, fountains, crystals – whatever energizes you and makes you smile.

3. Maintain A Visible Address

Make sure you have visible, clean house numbers and your name is clearly identified at your home’s entry. If people can’t locate you easily and effortlessly, universal abundance will have a hard time as well. Ensure that positive energy always knows exactly where to find you.

4. Ensure Everything Works Properly

All doors and drawers should open effortlessly without sticking or getting jammed. Remotes should have batteries, leaks should be fixed, light bulbs should be working, and everything should be functioning at its fullest capacity. Don’t put up with little aggravations, because they will bring down the energy of your home, and your self, every time you interact with them.

5. Use ALL Of Your Fixtures

Feng shui encourages us to use all of our fixtures to spread our energy and invite multiple avenues of prosperity into our lives. So take turns using each of your stove’s burners, and spread your usage out over all of your multiple fixtures (e.g. multiple fireplaces, sinks, toilets, etc.)

6. Don’t Exercise, Watch TV, Or Work In The Bedroom

If we want to experience wellbeing in our bodies and our relationships, our bedrooms should have two (and ONLY two) purposes… Sleep and Sex. Don’t invite the energies of hard work, exertion, or mindlessness into your relaxed sacred space.

7. Put Your Bed In The Commanding Position

If possible, place your bed so there is equal space on either side, so you and your partner can find equal enjoyment in the relationship. The ideal position of the bed will be on the opposite side of the room from the entry door, but not directly in line with it. If this isn’t possible, the next best option is along a side-wall, still facing the bedroom entry door. The least favorable position is on the same wall as the entry door.

8. Create Rivers Through Your Home

As it says in its name, feng shui embodies the elements of wind and water. This means that as you move through your home, you should be able to flow like water without any blatant obstacles or obstructions. Avoid placing furniture in the flow of traffic, do not enter your living room to the back of a couch, remove any objects from hallways and other narrow spaces, and create a fluidity in your home’s energy channels.

9. Clean All Your Windows

Windows symbolize your eyes to the world – and how the world views you. We want to be able to see and experience everything the world has to offer us, without being hindered by dirt, grime, and filth. Open your eyes and brighten your space with regular window cleaning.

10. Engage All 5 Senses

Sight. Sound. Touch. Taste. Smell. Every sense has the power to influence how we perceive the world. These are some of the most overtaught and yet underrated methods for improving the energy of our environment. Let’s take a closer look…

Sight

Sight can be manipulated by implementing color psychology. Brighter colors (such as reds, blues and greens) are conducive to higher focus and accuracy. Blue is associated with calm energy, promoting mental clarity, control and creative thinking. Citrus hues like yellow and orange (which are stimulating colors by nature) help people feel more alert, allow for clear decision making and encourage lively discussions. By using color strategically, and following the basic principles of color psychology, you can promote desired feelings and behaviors.

The second crucial element for engaging sight is access to natural light. There is an undeniable relationship between daylight exposure and the quality of our sleep, our activity, and our lives as a whole. And being able to see the outside world has natural restorative powers.

The final element for sight is incorporating beautiful artwork. Be careful which images you allow in certain spaces. Avoid family photographs in the bedroom, too many images of solitary or isolated individuals if you are seeking love, and be sure that each of your pieces of art are visually and energetically stimulating.

Sound

Sound in a space affects us profoundly. It changes our heart rate, breathing, hormone secretion, and brain waves, and it affects our emotions and our cognition. There is undoubtedly an invisible architecture of sound, and it’s ours to design and manipulate.

The single most important aspect of sound is to avoid noise pollution. Ensure that electronics (especially the TV) remain low or off, chaotic household noise is kept to a minimum, and as much as possible, open your windows to allow natural sounds into your environment.

And finally, our home harmonizing tips would be incomplete without the recommendation of music – one of the single most positively influencing factors in all of home energy work. Ultimately, it’s up to you to discover and seek the music that resonates, but most people typically look for relaxing, energizing sounds to carry them through they day. A whole new collection of relaxing music playlists have emerged on YouTube in the past year or so, many of them lasting 3-6 hours. Click here for an example, and see the right sidebar for related videos to further your exploration.

Touch

Our sense of touch is closely associated with the emotion of comfort and warmth (or lack thereof). We may be able to immediately pinpoint what makes a space look good, but identifying why it feels good is another story.

It’s a well-known fact that natural materials like wood and textiles (like the soft wool in a shag rug) are often associated with a “warm, cozy feeling.” On the other hand, materials like metal and plastic can convey sterility and coldness and are generally not very inviting.

Elements that can add texture to a space include textiles (rugs, carpets), furniture (tables, chairs, lamps), artwork (paintings, sculptures, wallpaper), flowers and plants. Aside from providing texture, color, and a pleasant scent, flowers and plants have also been shown to boost cognitive function and have restorative properties.

Be sure to choose warm, inviting, comfortable pieces for your room, and balance different textures out to avoid extremes (sharp vs rounded edges, rough vs smooth surfaces, dark vs bright objects, etc.).

Taste

You obviously can’t taste your home, but you can be extremely mindful and selective of the taste experiences you invite into your home. The food you eat has a direct and profound effect on your energy levels and wellbeing. Be sure to eat foods that nourish you at a deep cellular level. Be mindful of your capacity for food and only eat as much as you need. Try to avoid emotional eating by turning inward when you feel compulsive and identifying the root of your need for comfort. Mindfulness is key when it comes to inviting energizing taste into our lives.

Smell

Smell is arguably the most indirectly powerful of all the senses, as it’s directly connected to the limbic system – a complex system of nerves and networks in the brain concerned with instinct and mood. It controls the basic emotions (fear, pleasure, anger) and drives (hunger, sex, dominance, care of offspring). Smell is also famous for its strong and even subconscious ties to memory.

Pleasant, subtle scents open our awareness and lift our mood. Placing essential oil warmers, incense and candles throughout the areas of your home will have a powerfully transformative effect on your quality of life.

These 9 scents are known for working wonders on our wellbeing:

  1. Lavender calms the mind and body
  2. Cinnamon sharpens the mind and boosts brainpower
  3. Pine alleviates stress and anxiety
  4. Sandalwood induces calm and meditative states
  5. Citrus boosts your energy and alertness
  6. Vanilla elevates your sense of joy and relaxation
  7. Peppermint increases stamina, motivation and overall performance
  8. Rose calms nervous tensions and rebalances our psychic energy
  9. Jasmine is linked to easing depression and lifting mood

Play around with the transformative power of feng shui and see where it leads you. Bring your awareness to the energy of your home, and set an intention to harmonize its energy even more this month.

And as always, please share your transformations with us by commenting below!

The real magic happens in the discussions, where we share our own personal experience and exchange the wisdom we’ve acquired along the way.

Here’s to harmony!

More…

14 Untranslatable Words from Cultures Around the World
19May 2015
0
comments

No matter how many language classes you’ve taken, there’s one thing you can’t be taught unless you immerse yourself deep into the heart of another culture, and that is the true essence of a word or phrase in its native language.

Translation is technical, and can only take you so far.  Having a real understanding of the words you use, and the deep-rooted history of their meaning, is what makes the difference between speaking from the mind, and speaking from the heart.

And so we’ve highlighted 14 wonderful, untranslatable, and slightly elusive words from around the world below.  We hope you enjoy the trip!

More…

38 Images We Can’t Stop Looking At From Lifebook’s Belgium Trip
21Oct 2014
0
comments

From medieval cities and abbeys where the monks run their own breweries to sandy beaches and densely forested hills, Belgium is a little country that packs a big punch.

It may be small in size, but Belgium is absolutely brimming with culture and beauty, and is sure to leave you in awe of its rich and gorgeous heritage.

This, among countless other reasons, is why Lifebook Members chose Belgium as one of the top places in the world they would like to travel with fellow Lifebook Members (as indicated on our 2012 Lifebook Travel Survey).

And a couple months ago, they got their wish.

Last September, 8 Lifebook VIP Members embarked on an unforgettable journey into the heart of this magical European nation, and 38 of their most breathtaking photos are here to tell the story.

Enjoy the images below, and get fired up for the next Lifebook travel adventure! More…

Jared and Lindsay Spice Up Their Love Nest! (VIDEO)
21Oct 2014
0
comments

By Lifebook Members Jared and Lindsay Yellin

Your home is a direct reflection of your ability to succeed in all categories.

Okay, we know this is bold, but this is our belief and our reality.

We have always lived in wonderful places, but we never took the time to look at our home as a sanctuary that focuses on serenity, passion, love, and excitement.

We never really thought about bringing in all five senses and we never even considered spending as much time as we did going through this extremely intimate experience.

But now that we are on the other side of building our ideal sanctuary, we wanted to introduce you to the blueprint we created which will work with any size budget.

Watch the video below to see how we did it, and follow the steps outlined beneath it to create your own “Sanctuary Blueprint!”

More…

Thailand part 2 – Tigers & Tailors
28Feb 2013
0
comments

For the final last 3 days in Thailand one of my best friends and the co-author of “Reinvented Life,” Christofer Ashby,joined me in Bangkok for a mini adventure before we linked up with our Lifebook group in Yangon, Myanmar.  We started off a few hours after Chris’ arrival by doing none other than clothes shopping!  Thailand has permanently screwed up my sense of clothes pricing in the United States.  In fact, other then my weakness for Lululemon gear, I’m gonna have a hell of a time buying clothes in the states now that I’ve experienced buying nice shirts for 2-10 bucks and pants for 5-15 dollars. Beautiful women’s dresses, $10-20.  Without the unique reference obtained by traveling and venturing out to the raw street markets, (past the tourist traps and malls), you’d never know how much you’re being ripped off every time you load up at Neiman or Saks for a new wardrobe.

Bangkok is literally bursting with tailors in every direction not to mention the thousands of hungry clothing vendors.  They may have more tailors than Tuk-Tuk drivers and that’s saying something because the Tuk-Tuk contingency are EVERYWHERE!  At first it’s impossible to know where to go so we asked a sharp-looking local for a recommendation and he sent us to see Santos, about 15 minutes from our hotel. More…

Thailand Part I
15Feb 2013
1
comments

Thailand Tales Part 1

If there’s a wild west in Asia, surely Thailand must be a front runner…

After a few days in Siem Reap, Cambodia, Peter Scott IV and I bounced (with an 8 hour layover at Starbucks) through Kuala Lumpur and went on to Phuket (Southern Thailand) to explore the waters and beaches of James Bond Fame.  What we found was something far more intense and Miami Beach-like with a whole heck of a lot more debauchery.  (is that even possible?) More…