Mind

Be Inspired Mind

I changed the rules

For years, I’ve been living by the rules. Or what I thought were the rules. Turns out I was interpreting them all wrong.

Be nice: let others walk all over you.
Be respectful: do not utter your own opinion.
Be humble: stay within your comfort zone.
Be polite: do not stand up for yourself and constantly apologize.

Let’s say I have built up a fair amount of frustration over the years, until I realized what a waste of time and energy it was trying to please everyone. But it’s one thing to recognize it, and admit it. It´s a whole different thing to actually act on it. You can repeat to yourself that life is short, you can buy postcards with empowering quotes, but when you find yourself facing challenging situations, habits die hard.

When I turned 30 I told myself (I even wrote it down) that this year would be the one I do what makes me truly happy. 6+ months in the year it’s time for a check-up:

While my changes are neither “drastic” nor spectacular, I am proud. I stood up for myself on several occasions. In my own way, but I did. What I am probably most proud of however, is getting out of my comfort zone. I gathered the courage to tell people I liked what they were doing/wearing/standing for. I reached out to them and told them I felt the same way and that I had dreams and skills in spades. I shut up the little voice in my head saying “who do you think you are? Why would people care? You really think one else thought of that before you?!”.

And what happened? People reached back. People wanted to meet and brainstorm. In six months, I made more new friends and interesting contacts than I had in years, people who took me to where I am today.  And the best part: it brought me to the beautiful adventure that Best of You is.

My rules haven’t changed, but they now have a whole new meaning:
Be nice: take care of yourself to be able to care for others.
Be respectful: always hear others out before letting them hear your voice.
Be humble: share successes, admit and learn from failures.
Be polite: never stop smiling.

Habits die hard. Key word being: die. Like everything else in life, with practice come progress.


By: Morgane Oleron

General Mind

The fear, the addiction and the letting go

We fear, we are addicted and eventually we let go.

We fear other’s scrutinizing looks and we fear failure.
We are addicted to things that slow us down and disperse our energy and focus. We are addicted to people’s opinions and social recognition.
We are letting go of hopes and dreams because we convince ourselves, or let others convince us ,that we are not good enough.

When…

What we really should fear is to not to act. To not try and to stay put; until it is too late. If your fear is too strong, remember what Will Smith’s character says in After Earth: “Fear is not real. The only place that fear can exist is in our thoughts of the future. It is a product of our imagination, causing us to fear things that do not at present and may not ever exist. That is near insanity. Do not misunderstand me danger is very real but fear is a choice”.

What we really should be addicted to is to make ourselves happy and healthy. We should focus on ourselves and be chasing our own hero, just like Matthew McConaughey says it in his acceptance speech for his Oscar for Dallas Buyers Club“When I was 15 years old, I had a very important person in my life come to me and say, “Who’s your hero?” And I said, “I don’t know, I’ve got to think about that. Give me a couple of weeks.” I come back two weeks later, this person comes up and says, “Who’s your hero?” I said, “I thought about it. It’s me in 10 years.” So I turned 25. Ten years later, that same person comes to me and says, “So, are you a hero?” And I was like, “Not even close! No, no no!” She said, “Why?” I said, “Because my hero’s me at 35.” So you see every day, every week, every month and every year of my life, my hero’s always 10 years away. I’m never gonna be my hero. I’m not gonna attain that. I know I’m not, and that’s just fine with me because that keeps me with somebody to keep on chasing”

What we really should be letting go of is the negativity. Just as David Lynch puts it: “Negativity is the enemy of creativity”.


By: Morgane Oleron /Photo cred 

Mind

Just breathe

Had a rough Monday? Feel like your mind is racing and you can´t find any inner peace? Something as simple as focusing on your breath for a few minutes can do the trick to get you back on track.

Health is often combined with what we eat and how we choose to stay active, and we all know that without food we won’t last long, and without moving our body it will weaken and feel drained of energy. But we rarely focus on something so essential as our breath. By simply focusing on our breathing a few minutes every day; you can promote mental focus and relax your body.

But what is conscious breathing? What does that even mean? According to the internet and our friend Google it is: “the practice of breathing with awareness, intention and attention to your inner experience, in the present moment”.

And how can conscious breathing help us?  It can help you slow down your mind and find inner peace, help you sleep better, reduce anxiety and fear, help you become more creative and simple give you a clearer and healthier mind.

Feeling sceptical? I know I was in the beginning, but then I was introduced to the 4-7-8 breath and now I practice it regularly. Usually at home, but even before I head into big meetings or whenever I feel stressed. Let’s take a closer look on how to perform that:

Sit up tall, legs crossed on a yoga mat (or on a cushion on the floor, your bed or whatever you prefer, but keep in mind it´s always best to sit with your hips higher than your knees, that will help you maintain a straight back and a better posture in general). Close your eyes and place the tip of your tongue behind your upper front teeth, and keep it there through the entire exercise. Start by exhale completely through your mouth, making a hissing sound. Then close your mouth and inhale quietly through your nose to a mental count of four. Hold your breath for a count of seven, before exhaling completely through your mouth, making a hissing sound to a count of eight.

Repeat this cycle a few times and see if it helps you regain your focus and inner peace. Let us know if you tried it and if it had an impact on you by leaving a comment in the comment field below.


By: Henriette Danielsen / Photo cred

Featured Mind

Find what feels good  

In our high pace society, we often run around doing everything at once in the hopes of checking of yet another thing on our to-do lists. We need to have it all; the perfect job, family and relationships. But the pursuit of having it all leaves us with no time or strength to take care of ourselves.

We all need a break every once in a while, for the sake of our sanity, but how do we do that?

Realize that you need it
First off you need to realize that you’re not running on super fuel and we all need to refill occasionally. Taking time for ourselves, away from the many distractions that surround us, is of the highest importance.

Find your “me-time”
Whatever makes you feel relaxed and good is considered “me-time”. It can be to go for a walk, practice yoga, take a bath, read a book, try out a new recipe etc. “Me-time” means different things to different people, you just need to find yours.

Prioritize it
Solitude is like a little vacation for the soul. It may feel like a challenge to let yourself slow down, but is still very important. Make time in your everyday to find what feels good and make it a priority.

Tell people
Be clear about your needs to the people around you. If friends want to meet, but you want to spend that time doing something for you, let them know. Or tell your partner you will spend the next hour having “me-time”. Make them understand this is a priority to you.

Don’t feel guilty
Many of us are used to putting others first and may therefore find it hard to prioritize ourselves without feeling guilty about it. Taking time for yourself is healthy, and to be able to take care of others and share your positive energy you need to nurture yourself first. Feel good to do good, and leave the guilty conscious at the door step.


By: Henriette Danielsen 

Mind

The magic of self-love

We focus on being a good friend, the perfect partner and a loving family member. What we often seem to forget or at least set second, is loving ourselves.

Practicing self-love is often associated with being selfish, but that couldn’t be further from the truth! It will not only help you become the best version of yourself, but will also help you get in touch with your wellbeing and your own happiness.

Not sure on how to practice self-love or what it even means? We give you five simple steps that may inspire you.

Bring out your smile
Each morning when you wake up we recommend you to tell yourself something positive. How lovely you look, how great you feel or compliment yourself on how you handled a situation the day before. It can be whatever, but try to start each day with a positive thought and a smile.

Learn to say no
Feeling tired and not in the mood to go for a drink? Or maybe you don’t want to hang out with a friend or do that extra work your boss kindly asks you to? Learn to say no. It’s not selfish putting yourself first.

Notice how you talk to yourself
Have you made a mistake at work? Not upheld your new year’s resolution or said something you regret? Notice how you “talk” to yourself in those situations. Do you talk yourself down? Do you focus on your weaknesses rather than your strengths? Don’t! Learn to accept yourself, shortcomings and all, and be supportive.

Listen to yourself
Feeling like taking it easy and watch a movie or read a book all by yourself? Or maybe unwind by going to yoga? Learn how to prioritize yourself and take the time you need to take care of your needs. Find what feels good, clear your mind and just appreciate doing something nice for yourself.

Find your own happiness
We often expect others to make us happy and forget that we have the power and responsibility for our own happiness. Stop seeking happiness outside of yourself, long lasting happiness comes from within. The one person you always have to live with is yourself so be able to be happy on your own.

Lastly, remember that practicing self-love does not mean you’re being selfish. It simply means you love yourself enough to take care of yourself, creating your own happiness. You cannot make others happy if you’re not happy yourself first.


By: Henriette Danielsen

Be Inspired Mind

Power quotes to get you through the week

Finding yourself in a little mid-week slump? Lacking energy or the mood to even care? Worry not, we have gathered a few quotes as a reminder to boosts your spirits and get you through whatever your facing.

“You don’t have to be a genius or a visionary or even a college graduate to be successful. You just need a framework and a dream”
– Michael Dell, founder of Dell

“It always seems impossible until it’s done”
– Nelson Mandela

“Happiness is an attitude. We either make ourselves miserable, or happy and strong. The amount of work is the same”
– Carlos Castaneda

“No matter what people tell you, words and ideas can change the world”
– Robin Williams

“Your critics do not count. Their words will fade. You won’t”
– Justin Timberlake

“There are so many great things in life; why dwell on negativity”
– Zendaya

“Life sometimes brings enormous difficulties and challenges that seem just too hard to bear. But bear them you can, and bear them you will, and your life can have a purpose”
– Barbara Walters

“If you think you’re too small to have an impact, try going to bed with a mosquito”
– Anita Roddick, founder of The Body Shop

So, turn that frown upside down and go concur the world <3


By: Henriette Danielsen 

Guest Posts Mind

Enjoy the present not just the presents

My name is Morgane and I am an anxious person. (“Hi Morgane…”).
I usually put the barre really high for myself and expect people to expect the best from me. I excuse people but rarely myself. It’s been like this for as long as I can remember. Until very recently.

My Mom always said there will come a day, with experience (or age), when you start realising no one else has a clue and pretty much everyone is living by the “fake it until you make it” motto. However, I did not just turned 30 this summer and suddenly became calm & wise. No. It took a long journey to get me to where I am today. That is, slightly less anxious and with a tad more self-esteem. Part of that I owe to my relationship to yoga. Oh, how cliché I know. But I am not going to twist my life story to fit the part. So here it goes; I tried yoga about five years ago for the first time and hated it. Absolutely hated it. Then I picked it up again by myself but without really understanding the whole concept. It was when I travelled to Thailand on a kind of “eat, pray & love” experience, except that I ate way more than I prayed, that fell in love with it. Nine months later I was a yoga teacher.

Now that I have established my credentials, I would like to share some things that I strive to remind myself of in order to live more in the present moment and be more focused on myself (in a non-egocentric way), especially in times like these (the Christmas holidays) when everything can get a little frenzy: The pendulum of mind, a concept my teacher taught me during my training and which blew my mind.

As we all know, in life, just like in yoga, it is all about balance. Nature’s aim is to put everything into balance. Why do you think we say “after the storm the sun will shine”? In the yogic philosophy, there is something called the pendulum of mind. Kind of similarly to the concept of karma, according to which each action we take will, eventually, create an equal and opposite reaction, the pendulum shows that our emotions keep going back and forth between happiness and sadness. Meaning that if you are extremely sad, you will eventually be extremely happy, and vice versa. Because as you may have noticed happiness comes and goes.

You can’t do good if you don’t do you good.

It’s also said that to reach enlightenment (the state where you are free from Maya – the illusion that does not allow us to see the true matters of things) – you need your pendulum to stand still. How do you do that? By removing the battery. Which is? Your attachment to your expectations. Obviously, we are not looking to achieve enlightenment today or maybe ever. Let’s face it, a bit of illusion is quite nice in this world. However, it is still an important concept to have in mind in our everyday life: The higher your expectations and your attachment to them, the more exposed you are to disappointment. Plus, most of the time, the expectations depend on people or circumstances: we expect others to act or react a certain way, situations to unfold a certain way… but cannot control them or the outcomes. Who can you control? Yourself. And at the end of the day, who is the most important person in your life? I know who you’re thinking of right now. Your parents, your kids, your partner, your dog. But all that is wrong. The most important person in your life is: you. You can’t do good if you don’t do you good. You need to find your minimum level of expectation to be happy.

Of course, this does not mean we should not have hopes, dreams or be optimistic. It does not even mean we should have zero expectations. What we should get rid of is our attachment to them. Expectation is a belief that something will happen, and we can never be sure of that. Whereas being positive is a mental attitude towards events and facts, which is much healthier!

Forget the pendulum for a second and picture a Christmas tree. Imagine the bulbs are your dreams and hopes, the star on top represents your expectations. They are heavy and make the tree lean to the side, it’s unsteady, ungrounded and unbalanced. If you remove the attachment, the thing that binds the star to the top of tree, it is suddenly much lighter and falls back into place. Steady, grounded, balanced. See what I did here? A beautiful Christmas metaphor. You are the tree.

What the pendulum ultimately also tells us, is to enjoy the present more.

Sylvain Tesson a French writer who spent six months all alone in a wooden house on the shore of lake Baikal (so he had a good amount of time to reflect on those things) wrote something in French that goes like: “Between regrets and desires there is something called “The present”. We should strive to find our balance there”. Regrets are the past we constantly go back to, hoping we had done or said things differently. The desire is the future: the hopes we have for it, because it is always going to be better then, we can’t hardly wait. We are so preoccupied with waiting for it that when it actually happens we do not know how to enjoy it anymore. It comes and goes.  It turns from future to past without giving us time to call it the present.

Bottom line: Enjoy the present, don’t get attached to things you have no power over, and do you good.
Merry Christmas <3


By: Morgane Oleron

Mind

The push I needed

Going through a burn out is like having a concrete door slammed in your face by the incredible Hulk, crushing your beliefs, hopes and self-esteem on the way. However, if you pay close attention, you will notice that the draft eventually opens numerous other doors you had no idea were there.

It took me two and a half years to be able to tell my story without shaking or tearing up. Maybe therapy would have been cheaper after all. But this journey was much more fun. Today I am thankful they pushed me to leave. Because in the end, they pushed me to live.

After my two first years in Stockholm my contract ended and since I refused to leave this great city, I found myself on the job market. After three restless months, I found the perfect job in a French company. A small team that would be like a family, loving and supporting, a nice central office to which I could walk or cycle, flexible timetables, French & Swedish bank holidays, good benefits, interesting tasks and responsibilities, an office job but with exciting projects. I was over the moon. And like everything else in life I cared for, I gave 100% to it. I worked my ass off, not only because I wanted to prove myself, not only because I feared to disappoint them or to fail, but mainly because I enjoyed my job. How lucky was I? I never said no, I never disagreed, hell, I never even really shared my opinion now that I think about it. Not at the beginning at least, and then it was too late. They had gotten used to me being available, reliable and quiet. But they did not reward that, they used it. Until worn thin.

Only after many months I started to understand things were wrong. No, it’s not ok for your boss to come in every morning, have a good look at you and grade your outfit on a scale from 0 to 20. No, it’s not ok for your boss not to be able to inform you of your budget for the year. No, it’s not ok for him to only do business with people he can get favors from… and that was just the top of the iceberg. There are so many components to that story I do not want to bore people with.  But basically, what had started as a great career opportunity slowly, but surely turned into a trap, a well I was falling into deeper and deeper with no way out. With my colleague, the only other sane human being in that office, we went from multi-tasking to survival mode.

This lasted for two very long years. And not only did it impact every cell of my being, it impacted my relationships with the outside world. I had lost so much: my energy, my positivity, my desire to improve, interest in what I was doing, my will to even try… and I didn’t leave that feeling at work, I took it home with me every night, burdening my partner with it, feeling helpless and misunderstood.

At that moment, when I sat at my desk and looked through the window down at the street four stories below as the only way out, I knew it had gone too far

It’s so hard to explain what went wrong. The primary definition of a burn out is to cease to function as a result of excessive heat or friction. That was it. I ceased to function as myself. When my colleague left to save her skin and sanity things took a turn for the worst. Of course, I was blaming myself. I have never ever been suicidal. Never. But at that moment, when I sat at my desk and looked through the window down at the street four stories below as the only way out, I knew it had gone too far, so I acted. Well, I spent a night on my sofa crying over the phone to my sister. The following weekend I heard the most beautiful words “you will never have to go back there again” coming out of a doctor’s mouth. It was over.

It was. Not completely though. I quickly realized I had lost more than a job. I had zero energy, no self-esteem, my confidence was completely shattered and even the early spring in beautiful Stockholm was not enough to make me stay. My partner and I had discussed going away for a while and this was the perfect timing to leave.

Since I had nothing left to give, I took a chance.

We ended up being away for more than two years. Two years during which I slowly relearned how to trust myself again, to trust others and to feel I was worth more than a 16 out of 20 for my outfit. I discovered my limits, mentally and physically and pushed them. I tried and did things I never thought I could do. Never thought I even wanted to do. I trekked to Everest Base Camp without a guide or a porter, I ran a (very long) half marathon in Bangkok, I waited tables, rediscovered to simply deal with people, and gain someone’s trust. I made friends again, I explored new interests, I learned to leave it all behind, I travelled until I got sick of it and then some more. I climbed Machu Picchu, I watched the sunrise over Taj Mahal in India and over Ankor’s temples in Cambodia, I discovered yoga on an island in Thailand, I took a cooking class in the Vietnamese countryside, witnessed political history in Myanmar, swam in gorgeous waterfalls in Laos, dived in Indonesia, lived off a van in New Zealand…
mo-image

I did all this. But what is more important is what it did to me. I discovered a whole new world out there, and most importantly, within myself. I found answers to questions I did not even know I had.

To people who know me, I probably haven’t changed much. But to myself, I have. I have learnt what they do not teach you in school: there is not one path, one straight line. There is not one answer, but there is only one life. Try out, play hard, discover. You can be whoever you want to be, do whatever you want to do. Work hard, learn to say no, be kind, and be respectful, to yourself and others. Learn from everyone and everything. Look at what you have accomplished and realize how great you are. Leave behind the people who do not see that. And the most important rule of all: do not wear a watch waiting for the perfect timing; wear a compass, because you never know where the wind will take you.


By: Morgane Oleron / Photo: Private

Be Inspired Mind

Today’s mantra: I am grateful

Showing appreciation for all that we have is important. We easily focus on what we want, rather then what we have, and tend to dwell on the negative. Why not celebrate what we do have and focus on the positive? 

Gratitude is key to experiencing life at its best, and being grateful will allow you to capture the full essence of every moment. Gratitude means thankfulness and shifts your focus from what you lack to what is already present.

The secret of happiness is to count your blessings while others are adding up their troubles
– William Penn

There are endless reasons to why being grateful is beneficial; it makes people happier, it strengthens relationships, improves health and reduces stress. My mantra for today is therefor: I am grateful.

I am grateful for yet another day
I am grateful for walking up in a warm bed
I am grateful for the sun shining and the air being crisp
I am grateful for the warm cup of coffee I had for breakfast
I am grateful for being able to start my day on the mat

What are you grateful for today?


By: Henriette Danielsen

Mind

The power of positive thinking

There are a lot of benefits to positive thinking. Having an optimistic outlook on life in general can improve your physical health, your mental health, make you happier, and make your relationships better. Sometimes it’s hard to get in that mindset, though. 

Take the following for example: You’re reading motivational quotes and stories until you finally feel like you get it. You feel like you’ve grasped the concept of positive thinking and know that this is what it takes to be happy.  You set goals and intentions for your day, you chant mantras, try yoga, and start drinking green smoothies. You feel like it’s working – and then suddenly it’s not. The next day you’re back to feeling sluggish, lots of negative self-talk, and you’re dreading the start to your day. Not so optimistic.

Where did the motivation go?

Let’s talk about positive thinking for a minute, why it’s so important, and how to grasp it. Positive thinking and self-talk, or optimism, can affect our mental and physical wellbeing. According to Mayoclinic, there are some potential health benefits of positive thinking:

  • Lower rates of depression
  • Lower levels of stress
  • Greater resistance to the common cold
  • Better psychological and physical wellbeing
  • Reduced risk of death from cardiovascular disease
  • Better coping skills during hardships

Makes you want to give it another go, right? If you find that you’re naturally inclined to pessimism (negative thoughts/self-talk), here are some ways to work on it:

Identify it
The first and most important step for becoming a positive thinker is identifying your negative thoughts and what causes you to think or feel that way. Identify what you feel negatively towards; and work in small ways to change your focus. For example:  if your morning commute causes stress, try listening to podcasts or relaxing music.

Practice mindfulness
Be mindful throughout your day. Try taking a break from working every hour to breathe deeply for a few minutes. Get out and go for a walk and try to notice what’s around you. When you go out to eat at a restaurant, try to be mindful of how things taste and smell. You can even keep a mindfulness journal about how you’re feeling throughout the day and reflect on those and a possible cause.

Have humor
It’s important to laugh. Try to laugh once a day whether it’s from hanging out with people whose company you enjoy or finding a funny video on YouTube.

Hang out with positive people
This one is important.  Have you ever heard of the term emotional vampire? Don’t be one – and don’t hang out with people who have that affect on you, either.  Hang out with people who have a positive outlook on life and you’ll start to see it wear off on you! Having a circle of friends you can trust and who lift you up when you feel down is crucial.

Live a healthy lifestyle
Ever wonder why healthy people just seem so darn happy all the time?  One of the benefits of regular exercise and eating whole foods is the release of endorphins that make you happy, and eating whole foods gives you energy and will fuel you without dragging you down. Find something you enjoy doing and focus on that; not everyone is a runner or a yogi. Don’t force yourself to do something you don’t enjoy.

Positive self-talk
Practicing positive self-talk can feel like a chore, especially if you’re someone who regularly talks negative to yourself. Try to treat yourself the way you would treat others and try to counter every negative self-thought with something positive.

Try the following:

  • Instead of saying “I’ve never done this before”, try thinking “this is an opportunity to learn something new!”
  • Instead of saying “I didn’t workout today,” try thinking “I listened to my body and let it recover, tomorrow I will exercise if it feels right.”
  • Instead of saying, “I’ll never get any better at this,” try “I’ll give it another try.”

Set a routine
Having a routine can bring a sense of calm to a situation that might otherwise feel hectic and overwhelming. Something that helped me immensely was setting a morning routine. Having an extra hour to set goals for the day and get organized will help you have a more positive mindset going into the day. If you’re someone who struggles with having a calm, peaceful morning, I highly recommend to try it!

I hope you can put these practices into work and that you start to see a more positive shift in your thoughts and relationships around you.


This post is contributed by Samantha Thayer, Online Outreach and Education Specialist from What’s Up, USANA?. For more information on health, feel free to visit their blog or find them on Twitter @USANAInc.