Tag Archives: mental-health

Summer Camp and Living a good life

27 Sep

I went to summer camp as a child. We didn’t go too far from home but we were without our parents. It was a good exercise in learning how to reach out to strangers for help. We also were continuing to learn how to connect well with others (something I relearned as an adult from Scott Dinsmore’s Connect with Anyone course at WDS).

Summer camp as an adult is much the same to me. Yes, I did say summer camp for adults. You haven’t heard of such a thing. If it wasn’t Camp GLP, I’m sure there are others.

I usually pick and go to events for a sense of connection. I seek to be around other people that are doing amazing things. I want to connect with others I can learn from and grow with. I also seek those with similar values and beliefs. The older we get the clearer these get (in theory and hopefully in practice). That’s not to say our values and beliefs don’t change but they do hold more importance than when I was 10. I have less tolerance to be around people I don’t believe in or that don’t believe in me.

I went to Camp GLP this summer and it was fantastic. I met so many awesome people and there were so many more that I’m sure were just as awesome that I didn’t get to connect with. I laughed a lot. I cried multiple times. I co-created art. I listened. I sang. I talked till I was hoarse. I exercised. I broke down some of my walls and barriers. It was a very vulnerable and raw experience and I loved every minute of it. The one thing I didn’t get was a lot of was sleep.

Why did I choose to go to camp as an adult?

Some very good friends of mind encouraged me to go. They told me that for them it had been life changing. I have similar values and interests to them. The price seemed like a good investment so I signed up. Then slowly I met more and more people online and in person that would be there. It just kept getting better and better. Although, I still felt a bit like I was coming to the party a little late since this was year two. But the more people I met the more I knew I belonged.

We were going all day long, from six in the morning till after midnight each day. We had speakers, workshops, group exercise, meditation, meals and a whole lot of other activities to occupy our mind, body and spirit. It was a different kind of “conference”. It wasn’t just about the speakers or the content, in fact that was my least memorable part, it was about living a good life in mind, body and spirit. We learned new exercises, meditation practices, how to be more vulnerable, new ways to connect with people and show up. We learned how to be more grateful to ourselves and connect with others on a much deeper level than you do outside of camp. It’s like you are in a bubble of love and you never want to leave.

If you are the 5 people that you most surround yourself with, you must pick wisely.

What did I learn for business at camp? 

The most practicable, actionable, content came from Derek Halpern on how to launch a video course. Will I be launching one? I’ve seriously considered it even before camp so that may be happening. When? I’m not sure since I just launched my new website (most blogs posted there now) and my first ebook. I have so much I want to do! So much I want to give to the world.

At camp, I also learned how to have more confidence, how to have better relationships, how to get in my writing groove and so much more. But mostly what stuck was how to show up with my authentic self and really, deeply, truly connect with other people. Something that is so important to me. It’s a big value. Just like vitality. To live life now, because tomorrow may never come.

What do you want to be remembered for?

P.S. I wrote this post before I learned of Scott’s passing. I can’t believe the impact he had on me and so many others. He is all over this post and I didn’t even realize how much until I re-read it to post after his passing. I am in shock learning of his death.Without Scott I would have not some of my best friends that I have been in a mastermind group with ever since we started his passion course over two years ago. Thank you Scott!

I hope you all know how precious life is. Do something that matters…and remember to look up.

The world doesn’t have enough I love you’s

25 Aug

Have you ever wondered what fills you up? Lights you up? What replenishes your cup? Well, I was challenged by Jonathan Fields of the Good Life Project to do just that and I thought I’d share some of it with you in case it helps.

The challenge is to fill each of these buckets: community, vitality and contribution. They just so happen to be three of my core values. Community and vitality are also two of my core desired feelings (from the Desire Map). How do I feel these feelings or do things that fill up these buckets? I wrote a list. If I am ever at a loss I can do something small on this list or something a bit bigger.

  1. Write a list of your closest friends, near and far. When you feel sad or lonely, write to one of them. Pick out a piece of paper or card and write something nice. Then pop it in the mail with a good old fashioned stamp. You’ll feel good and they’ll feel better having received it.
  2. Pick up the phone and call a friend. So often we think we should text, email or instant message them. This isn’t connection. It’s a farce. Social media can fool you about what’s going on in a person’s life because it’s filtered through them and through the channel itself (ever heard of Facebook algorithms…don’t get me started). By picking up the phone you can hear the tone in their voice. You can ask questions and you can listen to the answers. You can laugh or cry together. You can’t do that online. It’s not the same.
  3. Hug someone. They say that hugging someone for 20 seconds is really good for you emotionally and physically. Don’t believe me, here’s some proof.
  4. Tell someone you love them. Bonus points if you can also tell them one reason why you love them. Extra bonus if it’s in person.
  5. Write love notes to yourself or positive affirmations and stick it somewhere that you’ll see it on a daily basis. If you don’t like writing it yourself they sell cards or calendars that you can flip though or look at when you need to feel more awesome. Here’s one I like: The Present Moment: 365 Daily Affirmations
  6. Do something with a friend. It doesn’t matter what you do, just do something with someone. You’ll feel better if you listen to them, hug them or even tell them you love them while you are hanging out. There shouldn’t be any more of this stingy “I love you” business. If you love having someone in your life tell them you love them (in the platonic, I’m already married but you are an awesome friend sort of way).
  7. Get out of your head. Meditate and/or listen to some emotional balancing systems. It totally helps to clear out the clutter and try to have some quiet for a few moments every day. I know I feel like a better person when I do this.
  8. Do morning pages. If you have never heard of this check out The Artist’s Way. It teaches you about morning pages. They are pretty much a brain dump that you do every morning. It does help to make you more creative. So can reading The War of Art. Fight the resistance! Create more! Or as another friend of mine says: Make. Make. Make.
  9. Exercise. So often when I’m busy this is the first item that gets cut but it’s so beneficial for my mind and body. To me running is a form of meditation. When I don’t get my exercise in I can be more crabby. I don’t have all those happy brain chemicals that I need.
  10. Get out into nature. Nature helps you feel more grounded. I know that when I’m cranky, if I just go on a hike or go to a park I feel better. I feel more at one with the world. It’s not all woo-woo and it’s different than running though the city as I often do. Being in nature just works. I’m sure there’s a study on it too! I just didn’t look because I know it works for me. Try it.
  11. Treat yourself as a friend. This is a big struggle for me. I give the best advice to friends but am so hard on myself. Gosh darn it, I should be my own best friend. I should be treated that way. So instead of being hard on yourself, ask what you would tell a friend.
  12. Ask yourself what do you need in this very moment. Listen to the response. Your heart should help you answer. There’s some techniques to help you with this if it’s hard for you to hear the answers.
  13. Keep it simple. Sometimes all you have to do is do something simple for someone like pick up something they dropped, hold the door, tell someone thank you, smile, look someone in the eye when they are talking to you, listen when someone talks to you.
  14. Go on a date with yourself. What do you like to do? Go by yourself and enjoy the time alone.
  15. Join a community if you haven’t found one already. I’m a part of the WDS group and they are always ones to fill my bucket.
  16. Play. What is something that you enjoy that you don’t do enough? Or perhaps you can think of those things you used to do as a kid that lit you up. Chances are you’ll probably still enjoy those things today.
  17. Ask someone how you can help them. Just offer, even if they say no, they’ll appreciate it.
  18. Give a compliment. It doesn’t matter who you give it to, a perfect stranger or a friend. Giving compliments can change someone’s outlook on life. Believe me. I wrote blog post on it.
  19. Do something you’ve never done before. Be a kid again. I know I said this already, but it needs repeating (maybe just for me, but maybe for you too).
  20. Travel. Whenever I travel that fills my bucket for a long time. I’m over flowing. I do so many of the above things when I travel, especially when I head out of the country.

 

I think my favorite item on the list (besides travel of course!) is to write a hand written letter to someone that means something to me and tell them something nice. I’m working on doing that at least 20 times before Camp GLP. But first I endeavored to make the cards. I wanted to be more personal. I think this might be a bit of procrastination. But I know it means something when you give something of yourself. Giving your gifts to the world is the best thing you can do. Just remember that you don’t have to be perfect with your gifts. It’s your imperfections that make you, you.

You are not alone, we are all in this together.

YouAreNotAlone-01

I sell prints if you want one. I can change the colors too!

P.S. You’re wonderful. Thanks for reading. You’d be wonderful even if you didn’t read this but you’re here so I thought I’d tell you how much I appreciate you.

 

A journey into being more authentic with less guilt

7 Aug

Two habits I have in conversation that I’d like to break.

1. Saying “I’m sorry”

2. Saying “I guess”

I noticed that I say these words when I started really listening to how I speak. Have you ever done that? Have you ever listened to yourself? Really listened to yourself speak? You’d be surprised at what you might hear. You might hear certain words that appear frequently. You might also hear phrases that you don’t really want to say. You can learn a lot about yourself if you just listen.

For me the above two phrases really don’t serve me — in fact they usually get me in trouble or make me feel bad later. When I say these things I’m not saying what I really feel in my heart. It’s me not being authentic. It’s me attempting to soften the blow of something, me showing guilt, or even me trying to appear nicer. It’s not me expressing my real needs or wants. It’s not me being as honest as I could be and should be. It’s not me being authentic and taking ownership of myself and my feelings. It’s not being confident in myself. It’s showing weakness. However, I found that being too honest doesn’t always work either. Sigh…

Don’t be sorry

When you say “I’m sorry” you are admitting fault, even when it might not be your fault. You are trying to make good — trying to smooth things over. You might feel bad about something and this is what comes out before you even know what else to say. Perhaps instead of saying “sorry” we should pause and think about the situation. What is it our heart really wants to say? Perhaps it’s something like “I didn’t mean to run into you.” or “Thank you for allowing me to be late and not being mad.” or “I really screwed that up, didn’t I.” You can own it and be more authentic by not just jumping to saying “I’m sorry”. Ponder deeply about what you are apologizing for. You’re probably just saying sorry out of reflex and not because it’s what you truly feel.

Saying “I guess” is another extremely bad habit that I picked up to soften my honesty. However, I’ve learned that it can make me appear unsure of myself or the other person. It can make me appear passive. It isn’t an authentic phrase and should be deleted from my vocabulary and maybe yours too. Stop second guessing yourself and your heart. Be more authentic and say what you really mean. You don’t need to be mean, just don’t “guess” or tiptoe.

What to do?

Listen to yourself in your conversations and in your messages to others. If you hear these phrases coming across your tongue, stop and think. Is that really what you intend to say? Are you being authentic? Are you trying to get around saying something that might make someone else feel uncomfortable? Are you trying to be “nice” because there are way better ways of saying that than “I guess”.  Are you trying to be perfect? If these things aren’t what you want to say and if they aren’t the truth, stop tiptoeing and be honest. Take imperfect action. If it isn’t a hell yes or a hell no, you need to rephrase what you are saying.

I hope my authenticity here helps you be more authentic. Because really, the best you is the authentic you! Own it! Be yourself, everyone else is already taken. Corny, I know, but it’s true! If you aren’t being you, who are you?

Stop trying to please others and feeling guilty. Be comfortable with you you are and what you want. I know this is harder for women, but do it! You’ll feel better about yourself than giving up who you really are.

You don’t have to say the right thing, just say the TRUE thing- KC Baker

Change a life, give a compliment

11 Mar

I think with one small change we could change the world!

Recently on a run I was getting to know one of the other runners. She asked if I used to run. I told her a long time ago but in the past couple years I have picked it back up. She then asked if I had been a runner in the Olympics. I was astounded! I told her I had not, but what a great compliment! She said I had the perfect runners body. Wow! Much appreciated.

Kids can be cruel

Thinking back, the thing I heard most when I used to run in middle school and high school was “you’re too skinny”. There were several other insulting comments like: “You have chicken legs.” “You must have an eating disorder.” “You have a gap between your legs, that’s not normal.” You are too tall and skinny.” “You must have a tapeworm.” So cruel for a kid that had skinny genetics, loved to eat broccoli (and other health food) as well as being really active.

A compliment could change a life

What if instead of hearing all those insults in school I heard more compliments, like; “You are so gifted at running your should train for the Olympics.” Or “You have a runners body, what have you thought about doing with that?” I may not have ever tried for the Olympics — or dreamed of it — but I could see how this could change a life. Instead of slouching to appear shorter, wearing baggy clothes to cover up being thin and stopping running because I was klutzy, I may have had a higher opinion of myself and my future life.

It took me years to want to wear fitted clothes or even feel comfortable in them. It took me even longer until I wanted to wear skinny jeans. It wasn’t until now that I’ve really embraced the body that I was given and realized where my body issues came from.

I would love to change this for all women and men with body issues, but if I can change it for even a couple people that would be amazing. Maybe this could trickle down to our most impressionable youth. Imagine what the world would be like with more positive thinkers. A world without body issues. I could only dream that it will come one day.

Compliments don’t even have to be about running. Give someone a compliment on their earrings or their crosswords skills. If you see something you like, tell them. Let’s be contagious and infectious with positivity!

Share or comment

Please share this with any one you think could benefit from my story. Also, feel free to comment if you’ve had a similar experience. The more sharing we do, the more healing we can do.

Cheers to acceptance and moving on!

P.S. A great way to see a city is to join a community running group. You learn your way around and you get exercise doing it. Check out meet up or Facebook for your local running clubs. If you’re lucky like me, you live in a city with almost one a day.

Your body Your rules

A married girl who travels

3 Feb

For the love of travel!

I have read the article that says “don’t date a girl who travels”. I totally agree with most of what this article says except for the fact that I do have a husband and I do wear a watch (with two time zones!). I guess I should probably add that I am also pale, but because of the fact that I hate tanlines.

Today I see a response to this article, why you should date a girl who travels. Much more accurate for me.

To travel is to live. —Hans Christian Andersen

I am such a traveler. I live for travel! If I am not planning a trip or on a trip I am itching to do so. I love talking to people about travel. I love photographing my travels or “roaming moments” as I like to call them. I also love helping other people plan their adventures. I love convincing people that Cambodia should be on their bucket list if it isn’t already. And, I love working on my own bucket list which is quite extensive.

I am better because I travel

I think that because I travel, I am a better person. I feel that learning and being engulfed in another culture only adds to my love and acceptance of other people, at home and away. Life experiences in other cultures are priceless. These adventures are not something you can learn from reading a textbook or watching a show. The best adventures are experienced yourself. You can research something till your blue in the face but you won’t truly know it until you experience it for yourself.

I am smarter because I travel

My knowledge has expanded ten fold because I have been immersed in so many cultures. I’ve seen the ways in which people around the world live. Through these experiences I learned that having it all does not equal happiness. I can live with less and be ok with it. I don’t crave the “American Dream” because I don’t think that’s a one size fits all dream. It’s too conventional. Just as each country has a different feel to it so does every city and person. We are all unique and we all get to decide what is right for us. Who are we to tell someone in China that because they live in a cave with only one light bulb and a communal bathroom that they are less fortunate. We shouldn’t. Happiness comes from within. I am richer because of my experiences around the world not because of my bank account.

I am richer because I travel

Speaking of riches, you don’t even need that much money to have a wonderful experience overseas. One of my most memorable hotel rooms only cost $35 a night. Thanks to airline points one of my most memorable flights only cost $160 for two people! Where did that flight go you ask. United States to Siem Reap Cambodia, Phnom Penh to Manilla in the Philippines, on to Seoul, South Korea and back home. And then there was the unexpected detour to Bangkok and the planned detour to Laos in there too!

Wherever you go becomes a part of you somehow. —Anita Desai

My life wouldn’t be the same without travel. I am who I am because of all that I have experienced. People always ask me what makes me unique or what makes me more qualified than someone else. Me. That’s all. I have my own interesting background and experiences that I can offer. I am me, a roamer and adventure seeker! I am smart, fun, directionally gifted, self-sufficient and I love talking to strangers or as I say, future friends.

My husband loves all of this about me and accepts when I tell him I want to go backpacking in Europe by myself or boating on the Mekong with my girlfriends. The trick isn’t to avoid people who travel. Learn from them. It can make you a richer person too!

Travel brings power and love back into your life. —Rumi

We only have one life to live. Find out what lights you up and do it. Life is short.

Now…how to get paid to travel the world…

I always wanted Samantha Brown’s job.

Directional sign

Follow my Instagram adventures @rouxroamer

Camera fun here

Fog

25 Jul

I’ve been in a fog of grief. It’s been hard to see backward through the fog and it’s been hard to move forward. It’s been hard to act and it’s been hard to organize. To recognize this fog is to know that I’m moving forward, out of the fog and to a better place.

I feel like I tip-toed into reorganizing my life about a year ago. I started working more on my house and on myself. I’m feeling like I’m physically in the best shape of my life and my house is shaping up to. I feel like mentally I’m catching up to the reorganization fad too.

I stared running again. I forgot how freeing that is to be taking care of yourself and your mind at the same time. I love running with no music or sound, just the thoughts in my head. The sound of my breath and my feet on the pavement. I feel alive when I run.

I’ve been running around at home too. I’ve not only been cosmetically fixing my house but I’ve also been purging. I’m not a huge fan of that word (just like those that don’t like the word moist) so we can say that I’ve been finding better homes for my once loved things. This is also a great cleanse. I’ve been so cluttered in my space that it’s been clouding my mind. It’s freeing to let go!

If you don’t walk by the items in your home and say you love it, why do you have it? Let someone else love it.

I know now that I’ve stepped out of the fog by making these changes. I’m moving forward, out of the waiting room. I can never forget what I’ve gone through, but I can, shake off those cobwebs and continue freeing myself. I can continue putting one foot in front of the other. Action leads to more action. And more is what I need.

Forward, never forgetting but continuing on.

Thanks so much to Christina of Second Firsts for helping me permanently leave the waiting room. Thanks also to the local Hospice Grief group for making me feel normal.