Pain tolerance and zen-level patience is the key.

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“Ok. don’t panic. Don’t panic. It’s only a VISA bill. It’s a piece of paper; a few numbers. I mean, just how scary can a few numbers be?”
Becky Bloomwood, Confessions of a Shopaholic

We tend to overcomplicate hard things. It’s a trap door to escape admitting that we don’t possess the will to fix whatever it is we’re trying to fix. We blame failure on external factors (e.g., …

Here’s why I think we should address our physical health (via good nutrition) before tackling mental health issues.

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Photo by Bruno Nascimento on Unsplash

“Health is hearty, health is harmony, health is happiness.”
Amit Kalantri

This is not a fat-shaming article, nor do I purport to know the ideal path to good physical and mental health. I hope I don’t come off as preachy. Instead, this is a story of my journey from constant despair — brought on by bad food, an immune disorder, and unresolved emotional issues — to a lighter, more joy-fueled outlook.

Do I still feel despair? Yes, but the difference is, I can work through it more effectively now. …

It’s everywhere. Can you find it?

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Most of us all walk around as if we’re sleepwalking. We really don’t experience the world fully, because we’re half-asleep, doing things we automatically think we have to do. ~Mitch Albom

I wake up.

I stretch.

I pee.

I walk the dogs.

I make coffee.

I journal.

Depending on the day, I write, read, work, travel, clean, see friends, see my kids, attend class, exercise, help someone, ask for help, talk on the phone, binge-watch Netflix, cry, laugh, imagine, despair, eat, shop, drive.

Depending on the day, I feel accomplished, sad, bored, annoyed, hopeful, hopeless, happy, angry, tired, dumb, smart, alone, connected, peaceful, empty, glad, burdened, fearful. …

How a blender and $200 helped me lose weight and feel healthier than ever.

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Photo by Noémi Macavei-Katócz on Unsplash

“While weight loss is important, what’s more important is the quality of food you put in your body — food is information that quickly changes your metabolism and genes.” ~Dr. Mark Hyman

NOTE: I am not a nutritionist. I am not a healthcare professional. I’m just a regular person. Talk to your doctor before beginning any weight loss program. All the products I recommend are based on preference — I am not affiliated with any of these companies.

I found my magic bullet for sustained wellness. I think it might work for you too.

Do you shop at Whole Foods? I do, but I used to skip the vitamin aisle. The products baffled me. Shelf-after-shelf of pills purporting to boost immunity, dozens of daily multi-vitamins, and the probiotics…it’s overwhelming. What does what? What do we need? …

How I found actionable personal growth advice after reading about octopus farming on Medium.

If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change. ~Wayne Dyer

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Photo by Karla Hernandez on Unsplash

Self-improvement is a lifelong pursuit. Like many of us, I enjoy scanning Medium for advice and life hacks that promote personal growth. I also find inspiration for my own stories.

Time is limited, so I tend to stick with publications that focus on healing trauma and overcoming adversity. Medium’s algorithms make it easy because I’m mostly shown stories that reflect my reading history. Unfortunately, Medium’s curation process is so effective that I rarely venture outside my favorite genres.

It makes perfect sense. Why would Medium suggest fishing stories when it knows (from my reading history and the publications I follow) that I want to improve productivity? …

Are we kind? Or are we acting kind?

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Photo by Dee @ Copper and Wild on Unsplash

“The thing about chameleoning your way through life is that it gets to where nothing is real.”
John Green

Kindness, in its purest form, is unconditional. It’s a beautifully subtle, invisible undercurrent of effortless good that permeates all our behavior. Kind people exude an aura of warmth and acceptance. They’re genuine. Grounded. Consistent. Unfortunately, too many of us mistake behaving kindly for actual kindness and in doing so, we strip away its genuineness.

Ill-conceived or premeditated ‘kind’ behavior feels fake. It’s a lot like eating a giant piece of chocolate cake — it tastes great going down, but doesn’t sit so well in the gut. In that way, false kindness is a kind of spiritual junk food. …

Change your thought processes and vanquish shame at its source.

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Photo by Larm Rmah on Unsplash

“We can endure all kinds of pain. It’s shame that eats men whole.”
Leigh Bardugo, Crooked Kingdom

I have a confession: once, in the fifth grade, I stole a ten-dollar bill off my friend’s grandma’s kitchen table. I don’t know why I did it, but after I got home, I offered to share my ill-gotten windfall by buying my family pizza for dinner. Naturally, my mother was suspicious. How does a ten-year-old have the money to make such a generous offer?

It all fell apart from there because 1) I’m a terrible liar, and 2) I subconsciously wanted to get caught by abstractly revealing my crime via pizza. That ten-dollar bill tugged at my guilt as tangibly as it occupied my Calvin Klein jeans pocket. …

Disrupt overwhelm by acknowledging it’s there in the first place.

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Photo by Oladimeji Ajegbile on Unsplash

“As you begin befriending your breath, you see immediately that unawareness is everywhere.” ~Jon Kabat-Zinn

What would happen if you stopped everything you’re doing for 60 seconds?

Try it.

Close your eyes. Put down the phone. Step away from every distraction — eating, Netflix, working, looking at the clock, overthinking, scrolling social media, worrying about something that happened in the past — and close your eyes. What do you feel?

Do you paradoxically experience more anxiety when you try to do less? If you answered yes to this question, you’re not alone.

Welcome to Club FOMO.

The National Association of Doers. …

Our pursuit of understanding is what’s keeping us from understanding in the first place.

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Photo by Casey Horner on Unsplash

Do you ever feel a compulsion to understand something that is just outside your ability to comprehend? It’s the intellectual equivalent to jumping on a dense, puffy white cloud and expecting it to hold your weight. You know it’s not possible, but your desire for it to be so superseded your ability to accept that it cannot be, so you desperately try anyway on the off-chance it might work.

That’s heavy, so let’s try a real-world example:


Look at love relationships: love triggers primal human needs, like belonging, security, and connection. These needs reveal our dependence on that which we cannot truly understand and rationalize, and we hate it. Understanding is the puffy white cloud. We can exist before it, through it, and beyond it, but it can’t hold our weight. We want it to take shape and fulfill our expectations of what it represents, but in the end, it transcends worldly meaning. It can’t hold us. …

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“Nothing happens until the pain of remaining the same outweighs the pain of change.” ~Arthur Burt

I write a lot about overcoming challenges. Specifically, the unseen enemies — like despair and fear — that sneak up on us and threaten our joy and authenticity. Maybe work is going well, our families are healthy, there’s money in the bank, and life seems to be moving along predictably, but what if you find yourself longing for more? Shouldn’t you be grateful?

The answer is complicated. Yes, gratitude is always necessary, but if we’re discontented, we owe it to ourselves to figure out why. That requires taking an unbiased look at our lives — however perfect they may seem — and finding the courage to create change. …


Rebecca Shepard

Truisms, Guessisms, Pontificisms, Rantisms.

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