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The Art of Letting Go

Photo by Rosie Hardy
When the mind discovers that you are no longer afraid of its content, it will leave you alone.

There I was again — lying in bed paralyzed by emotion. Constant noise clamored for the attention of my awareness like an uninvited circus.

Calliope music screeched a cacophony of self-criticism as lions roared and circled below me, eagerly awaiting my plunge from the high wire after losing my delicate balance between safety and self-destruction.

What could I have done to deserve this?

I lay there, unable to move physically, but tortured by a violent mental fight that raged within me. My mind wrestled with intricate contortions in an attempt to keep its balance when what it really needed was stillness.

My consciousness kept trying to put out fire with fire, to silence thought with more thought. But these were only flames of a different color.

5 Steps to Design Your Life

Photo by Hannes Caspar
The soul cannot think without a picture. ~Aristotle

Lately, I have observed that many of us feel we are reacting to life versus creating it.

Perhaps some of us are stuck in a job we feel is not challenging or is not utilizing our potential.  Or, we are constantly feeling behind — the demands from errands, tasks and bills have us constantly playing catch up. Some of us struggle with finding a meaningful balance between our family and career.

Or, simply, we have become the victim; unconsciously, we have decided to be the effect of each day versus the cause.

Recently, as I was faced with a disconnect in varying interests, I realized I had to refocus, quickly, before I went astray.

I found by designing my life through a vision statement, it has been a tool for providing more direction: Instead of becoming reactionary to whatever arises in my day, I have regained the role of creating it.

How to Find Yourself & Love Life

Photo by Hannes Caspar
Happiness depends on ourselves. ~Aristotle

This is truly an excellent piece of advice. But it took me a great deal of patience, effort, and focus to finally internalize the implications of it. The art of seeking happiness begins by looking, because to love life depends on being able to enjoy being yourself.

The whole exciting process of deciding to be happy begins with the journey of rediscovery — understanding who you are. It seems so obvious: You can’t begin to be happy until you do the things that make you happy.

But do you know what makes you happy?

In this world of 7 billion people, each of us has our own unique path to happiness. But the seemingly simple concept of nurturing your individuality while traversing your own path in this world can be a challenge.

In fact, in most cases, when you sit down and reflect (a task that most of us tend to woefully neglect), you might be horrified to realize that you have become someone you wouldn’t have recognized in your younger years.

Many of us do.

How to Deal with a Broken Heart

Photo by Hannes Caspar
Editor’s Note

This article was written in partnership with eHarmony.com

I grab at my chest afraid that my heart might somehow explode out of my chest. I feel like I’m dying. I close my eyes and prepare for death. It’s got to be less painful than this.

Even lying on the bed requires too much energy. Somehow I manage to roll onto the floor. I am now literally laying flat on my back. My breath comes in short spurts. I try not to inhale too deeply because if I allow myself to breathe, I know that I will feel the searing pain in my heart.

So I hold my breath, anticipating the next wave of pain.

Inhale…inhale…exhale…sob…hold breath…repeat.

In a way it’s almost like giving birth.

The Art of Positive Self-Talk

Photo by Hannes Caspar
Stop yelling at the movie, you ain’t never gonna change it like that. Go change the movie in the projector. You are the projector. ~David Icke

As a transformation coach, the most important challenge I face is creating change for people that is sustainable.  This requires teaching them powerful but simple techniques that they can take into the real world and use to make significant progress towards living a happier life.

I like to aim for what I think of as full-contact living, which is consciously coming into direct contact with as much of life as we can. By increasing the surface area of our lives, we can fully experience the joy of it all.

How to Turn a Bad Day Around

Photo by Vanessa Paxton

I was on my way home after purchasing a lavender-scented candle to help kick start a relaxing atmosphere I desperately needed to wind down from a terrible and emotionally draining week at work. I was rummaging for my keys in my purse for what seemed like forever.

Oh no! Are you kidding me? I didn’t have my keys!

I could see my keys right now in my mind’s eye. There they were, resting on the table by the side of the door. That morning my boyfriend locked the door as we headed off to work, while I unknowingly left my keys at home.

The thing was that he just got on a bus to meet up with a friend on the other side of town.

I couldn’t help but laugh miserably at myself. What a fitting ending to a horrible week.

How to Embrace Loneliness

Photo by Eduardo Izquierdo
You cannot be lonely if you like the person you’re alone with. ~Wayne Dyer

For as long as I can remember, I’ve always been in search of a “group,” — friends that were interconnected by commonalities, a support system that I could rely on no matter the circumstances.

Everything seemed easier for those people who were a part of a whole, they could always count on having weekend plans and any party they threw had a pre-planned invite list. They belonged.

I, on the other hand, never had hobbies that revolved around a team; I switched schools more often than most of my peers; and I settled on a career that was driven primarily by individual effort.

How to End Your Dependence on Other People

Photo by Eduardo Izquierdo
The best place to find a helping hand is at the end of your own arm. ~Swedish Proverb

A couple of months ago, I made the decision to end my financial dependence on my mother.

I had on eighty-four cents in my bank account, no place to live and the only income I had was from a part time job and a couple of freelance projects.

Though the timing may have been a bit dramatic, there was a sense of urgency in my decision. I was desperate to free myself from the cycle of repeatedly leaving home only to return with my tail between my legs and no money to speak of.

How to Stop Feeling Like a Victim

Photo by Eduardo Izquierdo
You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. ~Dr. Seuss

I’m outing myself.

For many years I chose to live seeing mostly the fear and scarcity that I believed was controlling me.

I couldn’t make enough money. I couldn’t sustain a loving, healthy relationship for any length of time.  And my business wasn’t successful, even though I was running myself ragged, working nights, struggling to get my business operational during the day, and taking care of my daughter 24/7.

7 Tips to Overcome Procrastination

Photo by Hannes Caspar
Discipline is the bridge between goals and accomplishment. ~Jim Rohn

When I recently told an acquaintance I worked at home full-time, she commented how difficult that would be for her.

“I’d never have the kind of discipline to do that,” she said. “I’d get distracted and wouldn’t get a thing done.”

Over the past several years, many people have commented on how disciplined I am, from my workouts to my diet to my career. It’s not to say I haven’t had a few donuts or skipped the gym a number of times, but generally I can motivate myself to do something regardless of how I’m feeling.

Many people think of discipline as a tough-love thing. Conventional wisdom often says the harder you are on yourself, the better off you’ll be. I disagree. I think it’s important to approach this topic with care and compassion. Know your limits — it’s the easiest way to expand them.

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