Life is Good! That is one of my favorite clothing companies!
But really? Is that what I think?
I THINK it is what I “know” and what I HOPE.
But sometimes, okay, OFTEN – Life is Hard.

It surely is beautiful and amazing! Spring flowers, and sunsets, and ocean waves, and the smell of new babies fresh from the bath, and the sounds of little ones laughing and the soft wind in the trees and crackling of a campfire… and maybe when someone says important words to you, and when you do something and discover you are really good at it…

But day to day, what I have learned is that the default in this world is negative. Life is truly hard. (Oh, were you reading this in hopes of feeling better? Hang in there with me!
It is important to acknowledge that YES – life is hard. There are days we have all sorts of emotions like loss and grief and loneliness and being misunderstood, etc….

And things happen that are seriously awful.

What I hope to do in this blog is to tell stories and teach simple things (okay maybe complex things – simply!) that are easy to do in what is probably already a life that is jam-packed. So, let’s jump in…

Where is your “life is good” place? A real spot.
And before you decide, let me add…. think local and think further.

So where is your “life is good” place in your home or nearby?

For me, on a certain chair with a good book, a soft blanket, and my dog is a wonderful spot. There is also a place where I go consistently to run, a few miles from my house, that is lovely and quiet.

My husband and I have a favorite inn we like to go to, about five hours from home as well. It is a great escape from “normal”.
Where is your place? If you haven’t thought about this before, it might take a bit, but that is okay! Think about a spot where you can “rest” and be refreshed. Where you step outside of “hurry” and “rush” and can just be. It’s an escape.

If you have one that is some distance away – like for me the beach is always one spot. So I haul things from there back home. You might do this as well. Things like the most beautiful stone or shell, and of course, if I am lucky enough to find some – beach glass!
I put these things where I see them regularly.

This is a key because when I look at that shell, no matter how miserable my day has been, my brain is reminded… “there is a place where I can go to be refreshed”. Immediately memories flood back. I can hear the waves and smell the salty air. My whole-self relaxes a bit… just from the memory. And my outlook is better. I think more positively. My day gets a bit better.

Where is your happy place; your “Life is Good” place? Remind yourself of a distant one and spend some time in a local one today.

Take care of yourself. You are worth it.

Challenges We Help With

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Memories and Why They Matter!

What is one of your favorite memories?
There is a place in our brains called the hypothalamus. The name doesn’t matter but what happens there sure does! It is the place we keep our memories, and we store them sort of like trees. If you think of the long body of a nerve (the axon) as the trunk of the tree, and you think of the end of the nerve with little branches, (the dendrites) as tree branches – you can see the tree. Each memory is stored as a “tree”.

Why does this matter, you might be wondering…

Well, have you ever known a grumpy or bitter person? They don’t just wake up in the morning and think – “I think today I am going to be a real jerk.” Sadly, they just are that way because of what has happened to the “trees” in their brain. Researchers tell us that the trees that hold memories based on injustice, hate, unforgiveness, anger, and rage, can actually crowd out the happy and positive trees in our brain. So the bitter person doesn’t have happy trees to draw from anymore!

So here are the questions… “How’s my brain forest?” and “How can this help me?”

The deal is – every time I review (“remember”) a memory, that “tree” grows another branch. So if I am dwelling on the injustice I am angry about all day – I am growing branches in that negative tree all day. BUT if I am reviewing happy memories throughout my day – those positive trees are growing full in my brain.

One more great thing to know is this… Every time I am reviewing a memory – my biochemistry is affected. So if I am reviewing a negative memory, the biochemical wash – the chemicals that wash over every cell in my body – is negative. This does not help my health and well-being. BUT if I am reviewing a happy memory – my biochemical wash is positive and life giving to every cell of my body!!

A simple way to use this is – at the end of the day as I climb into my car, (or any time) I stop and think – “What is the best thing that happened today?” I review that memory. Our brains work brilliantly so that takes maybe 20 seconds. And from that 20 seconds my biochemical wash becomes more positive and I become healthier and feel happier!

But there are days when the best thing that happened is that I got to wear my favorite underwear. (Just being real.) So on those days… I have to pull up an older positive memory and review that one. And my whole self becomes more positive.
As a result, I feel better, I am happier and I am healthier!

Remember to “remember” the good stuff!

Take care of you. You are worth it!