Zen (Or Something Like It) And The Art of Self-Help

Combing literature, classic and modern, for the tools to live a better life.

by Kate MacLennan

Full disclosure: in the pursuit of self-improvement through reading, I’ve always gravitated towards time-tested literature—titles like Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, Fountainhead and Siddhartha, which elevate a broad scope of philosophies within an emotional landscape, inspiring unique interpretation. Said another way, wonderful stories that motivate the reader to draw her own conclusions, and uncover her own perspectives for handling the challenges that arise in life.

Catherine Roscoe Barr, wellness coach, personal trainer and public speaker, accomplishes the same mission from a different, more scientific approach.

It would be reasonable to conclude that if there’s a self-help book sitting on a foundation of proven science out there, Roscoe Barr has devoured it. She has read and continues to read scientific self-help tomes voraciously, studying them, researching them, and mining them for golden nuggets of intelligence. She then deposits all that know-how into the ultimate metaphoric savings account, which she can draw upon as required to, well, win at life.

Fortunately, Roscoe Barr isn’t a selfish sort (perhaps something else learned through her readings?), and she shares her findings via The Life Delicious, which she’s dubbed a holistic wellness curriculum that transforms lives with a simple, science-based approach. Amongst a wealth of programs out there that claim to deliver the same value, the things that make The Life Delicious standout are the strategy it imparts (students leave her retreats having opened their own metaphoric savings account) and implementation (the scientifically proven practices to hard-wire our own minds to manifest the things we want and need — deposits made into that savings account).

Here’s a high-level glimpse into the goods.

TRIUMPHANT TRIFECTAS
Not unlike the use of trinities throughout the Bible (another time-tested piece of literature), Roscoe Barr’s scientific research has led her to conclude that holistic wellness can be easily interpreted and taught in trifectas. She then breaks down each of these trifectas into manageable, actionable bits.

For example, The Life Delicious is founded upon what she calls The Trifecta of Wellness:

· Stress management

· Exercise

· Nutrition

The Trifecta of Success she teaches, is:

· Gain knowledge

· Personalize rituals

· Consistent action

Physical health, she says can be broken into:

· Anti-sedentary revolution

· Posture

· Strength

PRACTICE GETS YOU A LOT CLOSER TO PERFECT
Roscoe Barr will be the first person to tell you that perfection isn’t the goal, but practicing to get there is. From journaling to positive psychology to regularly expressing gratitude, not only can we counteract our brain’s negativity bias, we can effectively train it so we can to manifest the lives we want to live.

THE BALANCING ACT
An all-or-nothing mentality, Roscoe Barr concludes, serves few, if anyone. Find balance in what you eat. Feel your good feelings and your bad ones. Build your physical strength but also take time to build mental strength. Learn the difference between thinking and acting, and understand that the two aren’t mutually exclusive.

MY TOP THE LIFE DELICIOUS TAKEAWAYS

· Create a morning routine that you love, then every day starts wonderfully.

· Adults don’t have the forced breaks in life that we had as children (think: naps, recess, summer holidays). Find those for yourself. Prioritize them.

· When working, do so in bursts followed by periods of renewal, as uni-tasking optimizes productivity and mental health.

Find out more about The Life Delicious retreats here.

Kate MacLennan is a writer, editor, and Global Editorial Manager at lululemon. She spends a lot of time outside on mountains, in oceans and lakes. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram.