40 Wisdom Bites
This past week I celebrated my 40th birthday. Part of my celebration included writing up a list of 40 things I’ve learned over the years. Here’s the list:
- Gratitude will save you from bitterness
- .Physical activity is key to physical + mental health
- Never neglect self-care
- Playfulness eases the mind
- Move mindfully
- Direct, clear, and necessary speech prevents misunderstanding
- Know yourself
- Curiosity > Judgment
- Keep growing
- Rest is productive
- All have innate value
- Build strong friendships
- Recognize the lessons of strangers
- Listen to your body
- There’s freedom in restraint
- The mind is capable of great change
- Share your story
- Ask for help
- Reducing stress is the key to longevity
- Take chances
- Failure is just a placeholder
- Stay open and know your boundaries
- Mindset + Gratitude + Mindfulness = Resilience
- Serendipity = Right Mindset + Right Place + Right Time
- Pay attention
- Question your beliefs + assumptions
- Let people see your goofy side
- Pause | Practice | Play
- Patience enlightens
- Listen to listen
- Extend grace to yourself and others
- Drink water
- Hug people
- Embrace discomfort
- Develop an adventure mindset
- Keep opening the door
- Calm energy heals
- Dream to idea to goal to action steps = success
- Look up
- Get involved in community
What would you add, subtract, or challenge?
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Elevate + Celebrate | April 2nd 2023
"We were here together. I forget the rest."
-- Walt Whitman
Though I’ve taken off from teaching my regular classes last week and this upcoming week, my days continue to be full of meaningful activity. What is meaningful activity? My definition is activity that elevates (lifts, prioritizes, strengthens) mind, body, and spirit, inspires others, and keeps us motivated to keep going and keep growing. Engaging in meaningful activity takes work, an effort on our part to
- Check in with how we’re doing physically, mentally, emotionally.
- Accept ourselves where we’re at and determine what we need in the moment.
- Find what inspires and motivates us.
- Start taking steps toward activities that make us feel good about ourselves.
- Empower others using our time, talent, energy, and desire to do good (i.e., help others feel good about themselves).
Monday morning, I was feeling a little moody and experiencing some self-doubt. What I notice is that just when I’m about to step into what feels like a big role, I begin questioning my ability to fulfill the responsibility. I begin to fear, to some degree, failure, and to some degree, success. If I fail, I might lose credibility. If I succeed, I might be asked to take on even greater responsibilities, and do I want that?
With these thoughts clouding my mind, I knew I needed to do something to shift my mindset. With the schedule I keep, there is always something to do. I left my house, went into my New London office, where I manage payroll for a commercial flooring company, and focused my attention on that work. Sometimes to flip the script in our brain, or stop the cycle of negative thought, we need a change of scenery and a mundane task. Walks work, too, and often journaling can help shift perspective.
By the afternoon, I was feeling better and much more excited about 2 big events: Women & Wine, an event put on my Mid-day Women’s Alliance to help raise funds for their annual Woman Entrepreneur Grant, and Bro-ga, a Dudes and T.A.C.O.S event where I would be guiding men through a yoga practice tailored to them, including movement for strength + flexibility, and meditation to help manage stress.
Monday evening’s Women & Wine event was truly magical (a word I don’t use loosely). I had the opportunity to connect with women who want to make a difference for their clients and in their communities, powerful women with brilliant ideas, and who are taking steps to make those ideas reality.
Tuesday evening’s Bro-ga event was equally magical. Most of the men were trying yoga for the first time, and afterward I got to sit down with them, enjoy tacos, and continue the conversation around mind/body strength + resilience.
Moods shift, doubt happens, our minds and bodies will not always be at their best. But when we begin to engage in meaningful activity, whatever that looks like for us, individually, we begin to elevate ourselves and, often, others. Our presence in a room becomes lighter, and we may even find it easier and easier to celebrate, not just our big accomplishments, but all the little steps along the way.
How do you elevate your mind + body?
How do you elevate the people in your life?
What is one thing you can celebrate today?
Pause | Practice | Play
Caring for Community | March 26th 2023
“Why else are we here if we’re not here to help each other.”
This past week has been a whirlwind of both connecting with my community and promoting exciting community events, including an upcoming Bro-ga event hosted by Foundations Health & Wholeness Dudes and T.A.C.O.S.
Friday, my podcast partner, a member of the Dudes and T.A.C.O.S task force, and I helped promote the event with Ryan Good, CEO of the non-profit organization, on WFRV-TV 5.
Afterwards, we drove to Madison to meet my dad, Kirk Harvell of Kirk Fitness Systems, to record episode 12 of That’s Deep w/ Eden and Jess. The conversation was deep, with many moments of humor and levity, and inspiring. He shared his fitness journey, passion for learning and teaching, and the deep care and sense of responsibility he holds for his respective communities: his home, his work as a security professional, his work as a personal trainer, self-defense instructor, and CPR and First Aid instructor. In the episode, he talks about growing up in an apartment in the Bronx. He recalls his mom picking up garbage in and around the apartment building and questioning her on this. She explained that this is our home, our environment, and we have a responsibility to care for it. This message and lesson stuck with him and instilled within him a sense of care and responsibility for his community and environment.
Since the Fall of 2022, I have been volunteering with Pillars, Inc., a non-profit organization providing shelter and resources to those in need. About once per month I provide guided mindful movement, meditation, and mindset tools, and every other month I provide dinner. The experience has been deeply rewarding and humbling, but there are times I lack confidence. Am I really providing value? Am I making an impact? Is this helping? Am I enough? The answer is yes. I don’t have the resources to provide the people here with a home or a job or regular mental, emotional, and physical health care, but I am enough. I have a little bit of time, a skill of guiding physical and meditative practices, and a passion for helping my community.
How can we show care in our communities?
- Share what local business and non-profits are doing to create positive change in the community.
- Find out what your community needs, find people with a passion for helping, and build something together!
What can you do this week to show care for your community?
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Your story starts now!
Connection | March 19th 2023
"From psychological theories to recent research, there is significant evidence that social support and feeling connected can help people maintain a healthy body mass index, control blood sugars, improve cancer survival, decrease cardiovascular mortality, decrease depressive symptoms, mitigate posttraumatic stress disorder symptoms, and improve overall mental health."