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By Better Days Global, Jul 25 2019 08:02PM

There have been times in my life when I’ve been so in my head that the best parts of me were dead. I was taken over by my negative mind running my life, my mood, and my self-worth. I was unhappy, jealous, frustrated, angry and, at the worst of times, depressed to the point of debilitation.

I saw little hope or future. I assumed everyone else had the same negative thoughts about me as I did. I was in my head, and in so many ways I was dead.

Why I Started Meditating

I needed a break from always thinking. I needed to get out of my head. Sports, particularly ultimate frisbee, used to be my outlet. This was the only way I really knew how to get into my body. After the onset of a groin injury that kept me from doing most physical activities, I embarked on meditation in hopes of getting some of the mental relief that I previously got from sports and exercise. I wanted to learn how to be more in the present moment. I had read several books and watched countless videos that talked about living in the present (especially those by Eckhart Tolle). I was inspired that there was a different way of living than I had ever really considered. I wanted to fully feel what this type of living was like. Yoga encouraged me. Whenever I had done yoga in the past, the biggest benefit was how my mind felt after. Savasana – the part at the end when you lie on the floor was always my favorite part. I noticed something in others who meditated. People I knew who spent time meditating were people I looked up to. They had a way of finding happiness in everyday situations that I didn’t.

Why I Meditate Now

It’s been 4 years since I started meditating, and 2 years since I’ve made it a daily practice. The reasons I meditate now are quite different from why I started.

Self-awareness. This has been the biggest gift I’ve received from meditation. I’m so much more aware of my thoughts and patterns of thinking than I used to be. I’ve been able to make BIG strides in how I feel, how I react to others, and how I exist in my relationships – with my partner, friends, family, and strangers.

Feeling my emotions. I originally thought meditating would be all peace and quiet, and I’d always be in a calm state once I got ‘good enough’ at it….I was wrong. Because of the constant cycle of ever-changing thoughts and emotions that come up, I sometimes have to sit through very heavy and challenging experiences. I used to either avoid or mask these feelings. Now that I try to deal with them head on, I feel more empowered and more in control of my life.

Peace and quiet. It doesn’t happen all the time, but it does happen. Especially 4 years in, I can now find this state much more frequently. Once I get into it, I don’t want to leave it. It’s warm, fuzzy, and cozy.

Momentum. I’ve seen enough benefits that I now feel a strong need to meditate every day…Even though I don’t feel like I make progress every day, and sometimes I even feel like I regress in my practice, when I look at the big picture, I can see that I am evolving and growing a deeper understanding of myself and my place in the world.

The spillover effect. My meditation doesn’t just happen when I sit down for 20 minutes every morning to do it. It happens in moments throughout my day too. Like when I’m walking down the street in a rush and catch myself entirely in my head. I’ll slow down and pay attention to my surroundings – the trees, the houses, the people. My practice also spills over into my day when I’m listening to someone else speak. I’ll catch myself thinking about what I want to say and then stop to re-focus and fully listen to what the other person is saying.

There’s no doubt meditation has made me a better person. I’m less reactive, better able to deal with stress, and spend more time in my body than I used to – without even having to chase a frisbee to do it! There are several forms of meditation and tools you can use and it’s easier than ever to get started.

How to Start Meditating Consistently

So how exactly do you start to build the habit? I’d love to tell you!

Make time for it every day. Seems simple, but this is probably the most important step. Pick a time of day when you’ll do it every day (or at least every weekday). Most meditators will tell you the best time for them is in the morning, soon after they wake up. Our brains are generally quieter than in the middle of our hectic day. This is true for most people. Plus, by doing it in the morning you’ll get the reward of achieving your goal early every day.

Start small. Like really small. Start with 1 or 2 minutes. If you start with 10 or 20 minutes, you’ll likely get bored, distracted or frustrated that “It isn’t working”. You don’t start training for a marathon by doing a 10-mile run. 1-2 minutes may seem really short, and that’s the point.

You are more likely to stick with it and to experience moments that give you the momentum to continue. Focus on your breath. This is the easiest form of meditation for most people. Breathe in, breathe out, breathe in, breathe out. If you start thinking about something, that’s ok! It’s totally normal and happens to even the most experienced meditators. The goal is to develop the awareness that you started thinking about something, and then let that thought go to return to the breath. This is waaaay harder than you might think, as your brain will want to keep thinking. And in most cases, it will. Also, totally normal. Keep coming back to the breath. You’ll continue to do this back and forth dance from thought to breath… from breath to thought… That’s what meditation really is – a development of awareness, recognition of thoughts, and intentional letting go of thoughts. As you improve you’ll get better at recognizing thoughts and letting them go. Over time you’ll develop a much greater awareness of your thoughts, which can lead to significant changes in your overall health and happiness. But beware, this takes time, patience and regular practice. Just like training for a marathon, you build your capacity over time through repeated and expanded practice.

Use a timer. When you start, set it for 1 minute. When you are ready to go to 2 minutes, do two separate 1-minute meditations. Continue to do this when you expand to 3 minutes, 4 minutes and 5 minutes. Having the timer go off every minute will give you the opportunity to check in with yourself and see if you are lost in thinking. If you are, it’ll be your cue to go back to focusing on your breath. If you don’t give yourself some credit for staying focused (a smile, a first pump, perhaps even a jig) and reset the timer. As you start to see progress, you can set the timer for longer intervals.

Experiment with other forms of meditation. There is so much more you can do than focus on your breath. You can focus on a candle or a tree. Your feet. Your hands. Your heart. The key when starting to meditate is to find a focus point and stay with it for as long as you can, then keep coming back to it. Use online tools. There are some great meditation apps – try Headspace, or Insight Timer.

Start Now. Do a 1-minute meditation. If you really want to start meditating, what better time than now!? Set a timer for 1 minute and focus on your breath. When you finish, commit to a time tomorrow when you’ll do this again. At the end of each session make that commitment to the following day.

I can’t think of a better way to truly get to know yourself, love yourself, and evolve yourself. Beyond that, the wider societal benefits of empathy, compassion, and connection are nothing short of necessary in today’s world. And of course, there are no nasty side effects

By Craig Kulyk

By Better Days Global, Jul 25 2019 09:24AM

“What nine months of attention does for an embryo forty early mornings alone will do for your gradually growing wholeness.” ~Rumi

We would likely all agree that manicures, baths, and cozy movie nights on the couch all fall under the umbrella of self-care. But I believe that it’s time—actually, beyond time—to go deeper and re-claim what self-care truly means. It’s also time to see self-care as imperative, and to move it from the lonely bottom of our to-do list and plant it firmly at the very top.

For me, self-care has become my fuel and my fire. When I claim time on my calendar on a regular basis for things like play, sister time, and self-reflection, I stay in connection with myself and the things I actually want to say yes and no to.

Self-care is about clearing out the cobwebs in my mind with daily journaling and going to the gym. It’s about telling my husband, “I can’t make dinner for us tonight, my love; I need to go and have some time alone and take a bath after a long day.” And doing so without guilt.

And the miraculous thing is, the more I claim time for myself, the more I overflow with generosity and patience for the people I love most. See how that works? The more I give to myself, the more I can give to others from a place of fullness.

We would never dream of driving cross-country without stopping for fuel, snacks, and water—or trying to make the drive on an empty tank. Yet we seem to think that we can keep pushing through our own exhaustion without consequences.

When I look back at my own journey from physically, emotionally, and spiritually falling apart, to reclaiming myself on all levels, I see it all began with a decision to stop caring so much about what others thought, and to make my own wellness, happiness, and voice priorities again.

I began to notice that when I gave myself permission to speak up for myself in the moment, even as my voice was shaking, I left the conversation with a sense of wholeness, without any lingering emotions that were not honored.

When I didn’t speak my mind, and held in my opinions and needs, I ended up at Best Buy yelling at the customer service manager because I had so much pent up sadness and anger from stuffing things down and being “nice.”

The more I was honest with myself about my self-care needs, the more I could be myself with those around me.

It all started over a decade ago. I had just dropped my son off at pre-school. As I sat in my car in front of the coffee shop where I had intended to work for a few hours, I found myself unable to get out of the car.

I felt the tears start bubbling up, but they weren’t quite ready to flow yet. After all, I didn’t really have anything to cry about, did I? My son was healthy, my husband loved me, we had a steady income from his job, and I had the freedom to create a business.

Our home was warm and furnished. We had friends and family to call on. Admittedly, my sister and mother were both thousands of miles away. And my best friends were on opposite coasts. But I’d thankfully found a few new friends to share the early motherhood journey with, and they were truly lifesavers for me. I’m sure I was that for them as well.

Yet, there I sat in my car, stuck in a fog of confusion, unable to step inside the coffee shop. All I could think was, “Who the hell am I now? Where did the me that I knew so well go? And who the hell am I about to become?”

That’s when the phone rang. It was my sister (i.e. divine intervention). She asked me how I was, and that’s all I needed to hear. The floodgates broke wide open and the waterfall of tears began.

“What’s wrong??? Are you okay???” she asked.

“Yes, no, yes… well, everyone is fine, I’m fine, it’s just…I don’t know what the hell I’m feeling… I’m just… sad.” There was some kind of relief in letting myself cry and saying it out loud. It felt like a valve that had been screwed on too tightly had suddenly been released.

I realized during our conversation that part of me had been hiding for a while. This was the part of me that had been letting go of who I was little by little. As I became a wife, a mother, a resident of a new state, and a homeowner, the parts of me that were used to more freedom, more expression, and less constraint in speaking my truth, began to emerge. And this part of me was pissed, hurt, sad, and ready to run.

But I knew that I couldn’t run back to who I was before I got married and became a mama. And I couldn’t run forward either because the ground in front of me had become uncertain; I didn’t know how I was going to step into all of these new roles while still maintaining a sense of myself. All of my attention was now focused on keeping another human alive, and being the wife of this man who was now my only family in this new place.

Instead of running, I just imploded, but it happened slowly, over time, so that I hadn’t noticed.

Over the last several years of hustling to build a business, raise a baby, and build a home, my body had taken a backseat to my brain and my to-do list. And now, at this very moment, after years of pain in my belly, and sheer exhaustion, my body was ready to be honored again.

Back in the car, my sister asked me the one thing that would shift the trajectory of my life: She asked me if I felt like going to a yoga class. She said she remembered a time in our lives when I was shouting my enthusiasm for yoga from the rooftops. And admittedly, it had been years since I stood at the top of my mat and held my hands in front of my heart.

After I stopped crying, I promised her I would get me to a class.

The very next morning I was in this gorgeous azure blue and gold studio that would become my anchor over the next two years.

I cried at some point during almost every yoga class for the next six months. And I slowly began to feel my body arrive in the moment again. I could feel the parts of myself that had been hiding begin to show up and talk to me on that mat. Each pose was slowly coaxing me back to myself, and molding me into the new self that I was becoming.

About six months into my new yoga habit, Deborah, my powerhouse yoga teacher, offered a six-month yoga teacher training intensive. Even though I had no desire to teach yoga, I felt an instant yes in my heart and body.

We met every other Saturday and every other Wednesday evening. This was the first time I committed to being away from my son on a regular basis. The guilt I spread on myself was thick, but I knew I had to do this. I knew it would be what I needed so that I could actually be present when I was home and give to my family in the way that they deserved.

One of the aspects of the yoga teacher training was to commit to doing yoga every day. More specifically, every morning. As the mama of a young kiddo who was still not committing to a regular sleep schedule, my morning sleep time was not something I was willing to give up.

But I trusted Deborah as my guide and mentor. She had taught me to connect with my body and emotions on a deeper level than I had ever considered before. Through movement, writing, and meditations, she showed me how to recognize my emotional triggers and to release my tension so that I did not hold it in my body for years to come (as I had been doing all of my life). So I begrudgingly decided that I was willing to try this morning yoga thing.

I thought, “I could give up five minutes of sleep and start there.” And that is exactly how it all started. The magic was born in those first five minutes.

I noticed something shifting for me during those first few days of my new morning commitment to be someone who wakes up a little earlier to move my body, meditate, and breathe.

I noticed that my patience level with my son was expanding. I noticed that the things I had normally found frustrating became amusing. I was more peaceful during transitions, and my son began to notice as well. Even at three to four years old, he told me I looked happy. That was all the motivation I needed.

Next, I committed to ten to fifteen minutes of this morning routine. And on days when my son woke up earlier, I began leaving out a little basket of toys and books that would occupy him while I finished. There were definitely mornings when he just needed me to hold him or cuddle. And that was just fine.

I realized that this was truly an evolving practice and that he wouldn’t be four years old forever. There was no use in getting rigid about something that was meant to help me find more peace and joy.

Over the next decade, my morning yoga turned into the Magic Morning Mindset because the more I practiced, the more I found that synchronicity, laughter, abundance, and much more began to arrive with ease and grace.

I believe this is true for everyone. If you’re looking to take better care of yourself, mind, body, and spirit, the morning is where it starts.

Whether your morning mindset practice is short or long, includes yoga or dance, includes writing for an hour or for just five minutes, there’s always a benefit beyond the morning hours.

The way you start your day sets the tone for your day. Starting with the Magic Morning Mindset prepares you to be calmer, more joyful, more connected to yourself, and better able to voice your needs. By prioritizing self-care and putting it at the top of your to-do list, you’re telling yourself that your needs matter.

What is My MAGIC Morning Mindset?

M – Movement

A – Alignment

G – Gratitude

I – Intuition (or Intention)

C – Connection

How Can You Start?

1. First, set the intention that you want to create a three-step Magic Morning Mindset.

2. If you have a hard time waking up, commit to going to bed a bit earlier (even fifteen to twenty minutes will make a difference)

3. Decide what you want to do for your mind, body, and soul (you can find some ideas below).

4. Set yourself up for success—lay out a yoga mat the night before, or have your journal and a few pens ready. (I can’t tell you how many pens I’ve gone through over the years.)

5. Stay gentle by starting with five minutes.

6. Notice how you feel throughout the day after doing the Magic Morning Mindset practice.

Some Ideas To Get You Started


Write down your dreams.

Just write without editing, even if it feels really weird and you’re writing nonsensical words. Just write.

Write ten to fifteen I AM statements: ex: I am committed, I am loved, I am happy, I am light.

Write any thoughts or ideas floating around in your mind until you feel lighter. Journal about anything that comes up while doing these practices so that you can reflect on your journey as you go.


Put on your favorite song and dance.

Do three to five yoga sun salutations.

Stretch and move any way that feels good in your body.

Do some push-ups and jumping jacks until you feel warm in your body.

Journal about anything that comes up while doing these practices so that you can reflect on your journey as you go.


Sit quietly for three to five minutes just noticing your breath.

Choose a guided meditation.Meditate any way that feels good to you (there are countless resources).

Start with even one minute of stillness and see how it feels. Journal about anything that comes up while doing these practices so that you can reflect on your journey as you go.

As with all new things in life, you may feel excited about starting your morning with some magic at first, but then find you have less time on some days than others. Over the last decade of practicing this Magic Morning Mindset, I’ve had long stretches where I’ve felt fired up and have woken up early enough to enjoy a luxurious sixty to ninety-minute morning practice. But on some days, I’ve only been able to squeeze in five to ten minutes.

I can feel the difference in my day when I choose to invest more time in my morning. But I don’t give myself a hard time when it has to be shorter. The secret sauce is to stay open and flexible, and to take it one day at a time.

As long as you are showing up for yourself in some meaningful way each morning, you are saying yes to your wellness and your joy, and staying connected with yourself.

Make this practice your own and notice the changes in your day and in your life as you prioritize your own needs and get you back on the top of your to-do list.

By Elena Lipson

By Better Days Global, Jul 25 2019 09:08AM

1. You are inherently enough.

There is a common myth in society that we have to earn or prove our worth by ticking off a certain number of external achievements – like having a large house, successful career, impressive partner and acceptable body shape. The truth is your worth is innate – you were born enough. You are an unlimited being of divine origins and you can never be anything less than that. You did not come here to prove – you came here to play and laugh and love and learn and express and rise and create your wildest dreams. Have fun!

2. Comparison is a waste of energy.

Comparison misses the whole point of your life – to be you. To be the unique once-in-humankind blend of gifts, passions, interests, quirks and magic that you are. Comparison feels bad because it is out of alignment the truth – that we are incomparable. We are all valuable and shine in our own way – like diamonds and sapphires and rubies.

3. It makes sense to focus on your strengths.

You get more of what you focus on – so instead of focusing on your flaws and imperfections, focus on your gifts and strengths. Focus on what you do well, instead of only noticing what you do wrong. Replace self-criticism with praise and acknowledge, and not only will your confidence grow, but you will blossom into your full potential, because flowers bloom best with nourishment and love, not judgment.

4. You are not your past.

The philosopher Heraclitus once said: “You never bathe in the same river twice, because it’s never the same river and it’s never the same you.” In other words, you are a totally different person to who you were 10 minutes ago, let alone 10 years ago – your cells are regenerating, you are breathing fresh oxygen, and you are wiser from your experiences. So you are never the same you. This means that your past does not define you – because in every moment you are a new person. When you forgive your past you are free to become who you desire to be and live the life you were born to live.

5. Self-care is not selfish; it is essential.

When you get so busy with to-do lists and work and giving to others that you forget to make time for self-care and pleasure, your cup is going to run dry and then you have nothing left for anyone – for you, your loved ones or the world. When you make time in your day and week to fill your cup – with a morning or evening ritual, doing the things you love, and small acts of self-care – then your cup will be overflowing with love, joy, creativity and inspiration. You also need time alone with your soul – instead of only checking in with Facebook and friends, check in with yourself to see how YOU are doing. What are your dreams? What are your wounds? Get to know yourself to find your purpose and path.

6. You are not your thoughts.

We all have a voice in our head that tells us that we are not good enough, not pretty enough, not smart enough, not charismatic enough, and points out our flaws and mistakes. The good news is – you are not your thoughts. You are the observer of your thoughts. Your thoughts come and go like passing clouds in the sky but you remain. This means you are above or separate to your thoughts. This means you can observe them without taking them so seriously. You can choose not to believe your self-critical thoughts.

7. Create empowering self-talk because you are listening.

As well as mindfully observing your self-critical thoughts without believing them, you can also cultivate loving, supportive and empowering self-talk. You can encourage yourself with kind words, a positive mindset and affirmations.Your self-talk matters because YOU are listening to it – and it has an impact on the way you see yourself and what you believe you are capable and worthy of. As Oprah says: “Create the highest grandest vision possible for your life, because you become what you believe”. So empower yourself by choosing empowering words.

8. You deserve your own compassion.

The same way that you feel kindness and compassion for other people when they are sad or afraid or feeling self-critical, you deserve your own self-love and compassion. When you feel less than your best – sad, hurt or afraid – instead of reacting with frustration or judgment, respond with love and comfort. Be there for yourself like you would be there for a child in need. Because it is your inner child who needs you in that moment.

9. You are not your body.

Your body is a beautiful and precious temple for your soul. It is also a gift that lets you adventure on earth and dance and love and create and play. So instead of focusing on your flaws or imperfections, begin to appreciate your body and treat it with love and respect. Nourish it with good foods and movement. Treat it like a temple.

10. You are not what others think of you.

You couldn’t possibly be what others think of you – because everyone has a different opinion of you. Everyone is also viewing the world through their own beliefs and past experiences – so their opinion of you might not be even close to the truth. So instead of seeking approval from others in order to feel like enough, begin to approve of yourself. When you accept yourself, you no longer need the acceptance of others because you already know you are enough.

11. You are worthy of your dreams.

Your desires were given to you for a reason – they are what the Universe wants to experience through you. You can trust in them and feel worthy of them because you are inherently worthy of love, happiness and success. The Universe is on your side and will support you with synchronicity and miracles as you step into your power and create your dreams. You can work on raising your worthiness every day in small ways – receive a compliment without deflecting it, upgrade the things in your life that make you feel less than your best, and remove yourself from relationships or jobs that do not serve you.

12. You have to love yourself first.

Many of us make the mistake of putting off self-love until some day in the future – we think when we get the loving partner, the perfect job, the bigger bank balance, or the weight loss, then we’ll love ourselves. The truth is the world is a reflection of you – so if you want your reality to change, you have to rise first. Want love? You have to love yourself first. Want success? You have to own your gifts and worth and celebrate your successes today. If you think you will love yourself once everything in your life falls into place – you have life backwards. Know that you need to love and accept yourself first, then everything can fall into place.

13. You are perfectly imperfect.

Many of us believe the myth that we have to fix ourselves or be perfect for 17 days in a row in order to be enough. The truth is that we are already perfect – we are divine souls – and yet we will always be imperfect as humans. This is the nature of being on earth. I meditate, go to yoga, read philosophical texts, forgive, cook whole foods, write and keep our apartment tidy. I also eat too much peanut butter, scroll too much on Facebook, procrastinate, judge myself and others, go more than a week without washing my hair, have stretch marks, cry a lot, and binge eat carrots when I’m stressed. I am a divine spiritual being made of stardust and magic and the core of my being is pure love – and I am a human with challenges and imperfections. They do not make me any less perfect. You can want to work on yourself and improve – and still feel like you are okay now. As the Buddha said: “We are all perfect just as we are, and we could all use a little work.”

14. Self-love is essential for your life.

Many of us dismiss self-love as cheesy or just not that important. We know we could do with more self-love but don’t prioritise it. The truth is that self-love is essential to living your best life. Why? Because you are the person you spend the most time with in this life, and you are the common factor in ALL areas of your life, so your relationship with yourself is going to have a huge impact on your quality of life. Because self-love gives you the courage to believe in yourself and go after your wildest dreams. Self-love radically increases your daily joy and happiness levels because let’s face it, it’s hard to feel good when you’re living with negative self-talk. Self-love and worthiness empowered you to stop settling for less than you deserve, so the quality of your relationships improves. And self-love gifts you a lifelong best friend, ally and supporter, which is priceless. The truth is self-love matters and should be a key part of your daily life.

15. You are way more magical and magnificent then you know.

Do you know those moments where you catch a glimpse of your best self? You’re giving advice to a friend or watching a sunrise or dancing to a song you love or creating a painting and you feel tapped into your inner wisdom and power… it feels like you sparkle? That is who you really are. You are not your flaws, your self-doubts, your bad moods, or the guilt you carry around. You are a spark of the divine and your authentic nature and true potential is incredibly amazing. This is what true self-love should be based on – knowing who you really are deep down below all the titles and roles. When you get in touch with this part of yourself, you will discover the inner well of unconditional love and infinite worth that has been within you all along. Keep believing in your inner magic and you will find it.

Elyse is a writer, life coach and happiness teacher at She teaches people to connect with their soul, create their dreams and expand their happiness. For updates and inspiration, sign up now.

By Better Days Global, Jul 25 2019 09:08AM

“I don’t run to add days to my life, I run to add life to my days.” ~Ronald Rook

Growing up, I was always a bit on the tubby side, or, as my mum would say, “stocky.”

Old and grainy camcorder footage from the early nineties shows me at four years old, waddling sassily around the garden naked on a summer’s day. Watching the nostalgic home footage recently, I thought to myself, “Wow, I had a beer belly long before I began drinking beer.”

Apart from a couple of years playing football in my teens, competitive sports and exercise were not a huge part of my life—unless we count the frequent visits to the Chinese buffets with friends, when things got competitive as we shovelled down plate after plate to see who could eat the most.

Last year, however, after an inspiring conversation with a keen runner, my sedentary days were over.

The man was in his forties and an ultra-runner—meaning he ran distances greater than a regular marathon (26.2 miles). I became curious as he told me about a recent 100-mile running event, and wondered to myself, why would you put yourself through that, by choice? What does one get out of this running malarkey?

Having well and truly caught the running bug, I can now say I get it.

It’s well known that running is beneficial to our health and fitness, but I get so much more from the experience. Here are seven ways running helps me live my best life.

1. Through running, I take control from my mind.

Wouldn’t you rather stay at home and watch Netflix?

You’re not built for running!

Who do you think you are, Forrest Gump?

Ah, the mind.

On days I normally run, I can guarantee thoughts like these will surface, luring me to stay in my comfort zone so they can try and shame me later on for not running.

Don’t get me wrong, there are days where the kind thing to do is to cancel a run—if I’m hurting physically or it’s too hot—but that’s not usually why I encounter internal resistance before and while running.

C’mon, that’s fair enough for today, my mind whispers.

“No, we’re digging deeper and going further,” I reply.

Our minds will always try to hold us back, but we don’t have to act on every thought. We can become more aware of when our mind is attempting to limit us, and, if we want to, dig deep and keep moving forward.

2. Running reminds me that the hardest part of any worthy pursuit is just starting.

Once I’m outside and running, the initial resistance disappears, and I just get on with it. I’ve never, after two minutes of running, turned around and headed home.

This speaks to an interesting truth—so often in life, the hardest part of any worthy pursuit is just starting. If you want to write a book, the hardest part is sitting down to capture those first few words. If you need to initiate a difficult conversation, the hardest part is finding the courage to say, “Hey, we need to talk.”

On days when my mind creates resistance and begins a battle, I gently remind myself the hardest part is putting my running shoes on and heading out the door. Once I’m through the door, I’ve won the battle—and I almost always enjoy myself.

3. Running reminds me to keep my head up and keep moving forward.

A few weeks ago while on a run, exhaustion suddenly hit me. My head dropped. My pace slowed, and my legs felt like they were stuffed full of lead. A feeling of dread slowly sunk through my body as I imagined the distance I was yet to cover.

I knew, though, I was hitting “runner’s wall,” and remembered the Navy SEAL’s 40 percent rule—that even though I briefly felt exhausted, I’d only reached 40 percent of my potential.

I took a deep breath before slowly raising my head up so my eyes were no longer looking at the ground. I was now looking straight ahead, my eyes fixed on where I wanted to go, the path ahead. Inside my head I repeated, “Left, right, left, right,” over and over again, commanding my feet. And then I ran.

When life hits us hard, it’s normal for our heads to drop down, but we can’t let them stay down. Moving forward may seem impossible, but eventually there comes a day when we have to dig deep and find the courage to take a step forward, no matter how small.

As Winston Churchill said, “When you’re going through hell, keep on going.”

4. Running helps me appreciate my body.

Sadly, the media pushes down our throats what a “perfect” body looks like, and most of us don’t have it. As a result, many people view exercise as a punishment. A punishment for being out of shape or for eating overeating the day before.

Exercise of any form needn’t be a punishment. In fact, we can view it as a celebration of our body as it is.

When I finish a run, I thank my body for a job well done. I’m fortunate enough to have good health and a functional body, a blessing not everyone has.

A friend of mine suffers from a chronic health condition, and although his body is extremely limited compared to most, he’s chooses to live life being appreciative of what his body does enable him to do. For example, he can’t finish long hikes, but he’s grateful that he can walk at all—and that he has friends who’ll carry him the rest of the way when he has to stop.

5. Running emphasizes the importance of rest and recovery.

Since running, I’ve become kinder to myself and more accepting of my need to take time to rest and recover. Once home from a run, I normally do some light stretches before taking it easy for the rest of the day, because I’ve learned that I need to give my body a break or it will eventually break down.

I used to believe rest and recovery made we weak and it was in someway honorable to keep myself busy all day, every day. I now believe there’s a time to push ourselves while in doing mode and a time for simply being, and both are equally important to our overall well-being.

6. Running has taught me that what I consume makes a difference.

Since starting to run, I’m now far more aware of what I’m consuming, both physically and mentally.

I feel the difference when I’ve been eating well and am hydrated versus when I run on a belly full of junk food and dehydrated. What we put into our mouth really matters.

I believe it also matters what we put into our heads—the types of media we consume. I once spent an entire forest run on high alert, looking over my shoulder ever second step. Why? Before leaving home, I’d read a local news item about a Puma that had escaped from a zoo 100 miles away. Although logically I knew it was highly unlikely I’d cross paths with this runaway Puma, it didn’t stop my mind from freaking out at every rustle in the bushes.

On the hand, when I read or watch an inspiring story before leaving home, I notice a spring in my step and feel empowered as I run.

If the media I consume affects my life (either positively or negatively) in the short-term, just imagine the affect is has in the long-term. What we consume matters.

7. Running reminds me of what’s possible.

Perhaps the biggest way running helps me to live my best life is through showing me what is possible. I can now run farther than I ever thought I could, way further than my doubtful inner critic would have predicted.

I’ve gone from being someone who would rarely (and barely) run to someone who runs several times per week. Most of all, I’ve gone from being someone who hated even the thought of running to someone who looks forward to and, dare I say, loves, running. And if I can transform into a runner, just imagine what else I can do.

Do I think running is for everyone? No.

However, I do believe that everyone can benefit from my lessons. Don’t let your mind control you. If there’s something you want to do, just get started, even if you only take a tiny step. When things get tough, keep going. Appreciate what you can do instead of focusing on what you can’t. Take time to rest; it’s not lazy, it’s necessary. Be mindful of what you consume and how it affects you. And remember, you can do so much more than you think.

By Will Aylward

By Better Days Global, May 11 2018 12:14PM

While tears are seen by many as a sign of weakness, not the trait of one who has dedicated their life to helping people to become the best versions of themselves, and quite the opposite of the better days that one proclaims, I feel it is essential for me to share the truth about these misconceptions.

Throughout my life, I have had an ongoing battle with depression. I didn’t always know what it was, but it was always there, sometimes right in front of me blocking my very vision of hope, and other times beside me waiting on me to drop my guard and think that everything is ok, before suffocating me once again. As the years went by, and I began to become more aware of this burning, deep dark and heavy sensation that would take over my mind, body and spirit, I had no energy left to hold back or hide my deep innermost feelings. Waking up on a cold pillow drenched in tears has been a normal part of my life and though I smile throughout the day and live to be an encouragement to everyone whom I encounter, the reality of the countless times my pillow needed to be turned over to the warm side, consumes me even now.

But what happens when both sides of the pillow are cold and wet and you’ve run out of contingency plans for your tears? What happens when you are left with a choice of cold and wet or discomfort? The reality for me was that the cold and discomfort were one and the same, as my pain wasn’t external, rather cold, wet and uncomfortable within. The feeling of treading carefully because you know that at any minute, it will show it’s ugly face. The moment I open my eyes in the morning and I check to see if it is there or if there is hope for another day. The reality that it doesn’t matter who is around you or what is happening in your life, it is no respecter of these variables. Many of these realities are not always obvious to others, for some of you, you may be able to relate to these descriptions. While there is no complete description of depression, it is personal but very recognisable once introduced.

Some days I know it is there, but I press on trying to stay busy so it doesn’t paralyse me. Most days it’s difficult to combat. It eats away at you from the inside, causing a silent and painful existence, an overwhelming feeling of heaviness and a deep burning that only your vulnerabilities can interpret. You feel off balance and at mercy to your own thoughts. For me, I feel out of control and weak with the inability to communicate that which I feel, and yet, the tears flow until they run dry. Society tells me that as a man I am to suck it up, man up, be strong, get myself together, but what happens when you have run out of every ounce of strength to continue pretending everything is alright? What happens when you don’t have it in you to bother another person with how you feel? What happens when you reach out for help but it’s not available? These questions are ones which I have had over the years, and I have many more unanswered than answered.

Sometimes in life you will be in situations where it seems that you're going round in circles. You overcome one storm and start to get your life back on track only to find yourself in a new whirlwind battered by the continuous trials of life. It feels like you never get a break and your energy is low. You feel invisible, heavy and like no one understands what you're living through. You feel like life is not worth living and that you'd be better off dead, free from the constant pain you feel in your mind and heart. It feels dark, lonely, cold and very painful. Your every effort is cancelled out by the heaviness of your heart. I know too well what this feels like and I have never claimed to be a guru with a perfect life, or someone who has all of the answers. I just want to share with you what has continuously worked for me. Experience teaches me that storms don't stop and that they are inevitable. Accepting this was the first part of my breakthrough. It was hard for many years because I didn't want to believe it. By me accepting it, I could then use all of my effort to planting myself deeper into the foundations of my faith so that when they do come, I'm shaken but not easily moved. It started with a diligent prayer life followed by a life detox. I had to let go of a lot of the negative influences in my life which included "friends" unhealthily relationships, career changes and what I allowed into my mind. This was a process and it took years of life shaping before it was my reality. My perception changed and altered my perspective. It gave me room to notice more of the good around me. Instead of complaining, I used my pain to inspire others, rebrand my life and be more productive. It lays dormant within me and often shows its ugly face, but I choose to feed myself life based on what God says about me and His plans for my life.

A few years ago I made a choice to step away. This decision lead to me being forced to my my own therapeutic space. It was uncomfortable as busy was no longer a refuge for me. I had to reevaluate my position and do a life audit. If you’re anything like me, you’ll know that this is a huge task as I do so much, but it still had to be done. This process however uncomfortable taught me a lot about myself, and it was challenging because I was doing it alongside managing the pain within my heart and mind. However, I committed to spending time with me and being still. It took a whole year before I began to see any results, and still I struggle with pain, but this grounding and balance has helped me to keep perspective, get closer to God and prioritise my health.

Sometimes we are looking for support, answers and help externally for things that only can be fixed internally. Once I took back the ownership of my internal world, I started to see my perspective of the external world change. The tears re-emerged, but I didn’t resist the healing power that comes from not holding them in. Contrary to the collective societal standard, crying is a part of my process. Sometimes the words are not enough and the inability to communicate them, often creates more frustration. Our language hasn’t evolved in sync with the complexities of our spirits, and so the non-verbal language of our heart connects with God and brings healing.

I’m writing this today as this is part of my healing, and I hope for someone a part of theirs too. Where ever you are and whatever you’re going through, together we stand and declare “This is not how my story ends;”

To the men and young men out there, your tears are not your weakness. They are your strength. Do not be ashamed of your feelings, experiences and vulnerabilities. They are an essential part of who you are in this moment, and they play a significant role in who you are growing into. To anyone out there who can relate to the above, be encouraged. If it sounds like I just described your life, be blessed. You're not alone.

Expressions from my life to yours. #SW

God Bless You All

By Better Days Global, Mar 9 2018 08:55AM

There is little dispute on the fact that, when your loved one suffers from drug or alcohol addiction, you want to help them like anything, but you don’t know how to do that. Whether it’s your spouse or your teenage child, you find it really difficult to help them recover from their addiction. Both drug and alcohol addictions are brain disorders which are characterised by excessive consumption of addictive substances despite their adverse health consequences. It means, even if a drug addict knows that drugs like cocaine, cannabis and barbiturates etc., can have severe consequences for their health, they can’t stop themselves from consuming these substances when they get that urge. Similarly, when you talk about an alcohol addict they also can’t control their drinking habits even after knowing that it’s very dangerous for their health.

So, if your son or daughter is suffering from drug addiction or alcohol addiction, here is how to handle them effectively.

Increase Your Knowledge About Drug & Alcohol Addiction

If you really want to help a family member who is either struggling with alcohol addiction or drug addiction, then it’s crucial for you to enhance your understanding of addiction. Read as many articles and blogs as you can on addiction. Try to figure out why is it difficult for an addict to change their addictive behaviour. Some people believe that addiction results because of stubbornness, and willingness. In addition to that, some people also believe that both alcohol and drug addictions result from weakness.

Since they do not have any idea that both drug and alcohol addictions result from changes in brain chemistry, they keep blaming their loved ones for their problem. Hence, if you really want to bring that much-needed change in your loved one’s life, enhance your knowledge about addiction.

Communicate Politely With The Addict

It is very important to communicate effectively with your loved one, especially if they are suffering from addiction. Remember, they need your support like anything, so being rude to them won’t help. While communicating with them, you need to show your concern towards their health. Until and unless you convince them that you really care about their well-being, they won’t listen to the advice given by you. In fact, they won’t even share their problems with you.

So, if you want to help them in their recovery, make sure that you talk politely with them about their addition.

Convince them to Follow An Effective Workout Routine

If your loved one’s fitness level has gone down to a great extent since the time they have started taking drugs or alcohol, then it’s better to ask them to follow a unique workout routine to improve their overall well-being. On top of that, exercise also plays a great role in improving the way their brain functions, so convince them to carry out effective exercises daily.

Take Your Loved One to a Reliable Rehab Centre

Seeking quality treatment at the right time plays an instrumental role in recovering from addiction. Find a good rehabilitation centre like CHARTER Harley Street, wherein the healthcare professionals can treat your loved one's problem through therapies. Behavioral therapies like Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy, Family Behavior Therapy (FBT), and Motivational Enhancement Therapy are very helpful for treating addiction.

Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy is extremely good for recovering from both drug and alcohol addiction. In this treatment method, the therapist works on developing coping skills of the patients, so that they can deal with any sort of negative behaviour. During the therapy sessions, the patients learn to recognise the impact of their problematic behaviour on their lives and overall wellbeing. In short, patients suffering from addiction understand the negative consequences of drug and alcohol on their lives, which eventually allow them to fight their addiction in the most effective way possible.

Similarly, Family Behavior Therapy aims at improving the quality of one's life by addressing problems like substance abuse, depression and family conflicts.

Ask Them To Eat Healthy Food

As parents, you should always try to inspire your son or daughter to eat healthy food to improve their fitness. And if they are suffering from addiction, it's very important for them to stay healthy to recover from their problem. So, make sure that they consume a diet that is full of fresh fruits and veggies. In addition to that, they should also consume milk regularly.

Spend More Time With Them

One of the best ways to help drug and alcohol addicts in their recovery process is to spend more time with them so that they can stay busy. You can play outdoor games with them, eat food together, and go for morning and evening walks. In this way, you can also observe their behaviour and track their recovery process. If they are happy and are able to enjoy their work, it means recovery process is progressing effectively. However, if they are unable to put their 100% in those activities, it means they are still very disturbed from within, and therefore, you need to enhance your efforts towards their recovery.

In addition to that, proper sleep is very important for every individual to enjoy a good life, so you must ensure that your loved one gets a good night's sleep.

Written by David Milsont

By Better Days Global, Jan 24 2018 07:46PM

Tell someone struggling with money worries, or trying to make the best of an unfulfilling relationship, that gratitude is the key to happiness and they will probably turn away in disgust. But gratitude does not mean pretending to be happy. Practising gratitude simply means cultivating a new perspective, one that may increase your joy and pleasure in life and is most powerful when we give thanks to God for life.

The Nature of Gratitude

Real gratitude: it means taking the time to enjoy what you already have.

In a paper on the subject, the psychologists Robert Emmons and Robin Stern describe gratitude in both a worldly and transcendent sense. In its worldy sense, it is the feeling we experience when someone performs a kind or thoughtful act, usually without us asking for or expecting it. For many, it is also a sign of depth, sensitivity, and good manners.

But gratitude can be understood in a more general or "transcendent" sense as well, as an antidote to the toxic delusion that we are entitled to be happy. Indeed, the American Declaration of Independence enshrines the right to "pursue" such happiness, implying that it is not only attainable but a right. Therapists often struggle to persuade clients that they are in fact entitled to nothing, that life isn't fair and that no one ever gets everything they want. These seem obvious points, but to many they are not. The British comedy series Peep Show, for example, includes a monstrous character who exhibits precisely this sort of thinking: a selfish, lazy, 30-something who even says at one point "why can't I have everything I want all the time...I mean, that's democracy, isn't it?" Obviously, the character is meant to be stupid as well as comical, but he does express a very common attitude.

Gratitude in its transcendent sense is an antidote to this. No doubt some will object and argue that this is just another way of saying "aim low," adding that unless you have big dreams and ambitions you will achieve nothing. But cultivating gratitude does not mean giving up your ambitions. It just means recognizing that the universe owes you nothing and that you should take the time to appreciate what you have. After all, when we roamed the African savannah two or three million years ago you'd be fortunate to reach your mid-30s!

Gratitude and Modern Life

Human beings are very good at noticing the bad things in life. Indeed, most people have worked, or even lived, with someone who constantly drew attention to the rain, the heat, the traffic etc. Of course, the news does much the same (indeed, it would be more accurate to describe it as "the bad news," given that that is what it largely consists of). Some explain this through evolutionary psychology. To put it crudely, those who sat admiring the clouds and feeling grateful to be alive would have fared poorly. Those who focussed on the practical and paid attention to potential threats (a rival tribe's plan to attack or a leopard prowling the neighboring valley etc) would have survived longer.

In a consumer society, gratitude and contentment are also bad for business. It is in the interests of those who employ workers and make and sell the TVs, clothes, computers, cars, and jewellery, to keep people restless and dissatisfied. If everyone was grateful for what they had, they wouldn't strive for more – and striving for more keeps the economy ticking over; it motivates people to work hard and then spend their cash on shiny new goods. The German philosopher Herbert Marcuse wrote an interesting book on this subject titled One Dimensional Man: the Ideology of Advanced Industrial Society, in which he argued that developed nations create "false needs" via mass media and advertising, resulting in "one-dimensional" personalities.

And this sense of discontent is exacerbated by social media, with its endless images of old school friends standing before a new house or car. Thus, our jealousy, and the fear of being left behind, which have always existed of course, can now be inflamed as you lie in bed at night flicking through your iPhone. After all, it is difficult to feel gratitude when the girl who bullied you in High School puts up photos of her new sports car or beachfront home on Facebook, while here you are struggling to pay the rent on your rotten little apartment!

Strengthening Relationships

Gratitude has numerous benefits, not least in relationships. First, a distinction needs to be made between gratitude in the abstract or "transcendent" sense and gratitude in its less healthy, slavish sense. Many people, especially those with poor self-esteem, consider themselves lucky to be with their partner. Because of this, they adopt a passive, docile attitude: eager to please, quick to give way in arguments, and so on. When friends or loved ones comment on this and urge them to stand up for themselves, they reply "yes, but I'm just grateful to have her. I'm so lucky – she is out of my league." Unfortunately, this kind of gratitude is a huge turnoff.

The gratitude that strengthens relationships does not involve meekly accepting everything your partner does. However, those who approach the world with a sense of gratitude, who are simply grateful to be alive, are easier to live with. Since gratitude lifts you out of yourself, it also makes you less self-centred and less narcissistic. And such people are also quick to forgive. More generally, they exude a sense of lightness and joy. If you have ever met a cancer survivor, you may understand what is meant by that. Such people often find all their old ambitions and resentments melt away and that they are just grateful to exist.

Wonder and Joy

Happiness is gratitude doubled by wonder. Many long-term meditators, for example, speak of such gratitude. And this may be in part because meditation shifts one's consciousness. In day to day life, most people spend an enormous amount of time lost in thought, usually about the past or the future. Meditation teaches you to detach yourself from these thoughts, to become a witness to them, to observe them as if from the outside.

It is this thought that keeps us trapped in time. And people tend not to look backward or forward with gratitude but with regret and fear. Instead, the meditator seeks to live in what the Buddhists call an "Eternal Now." Those who experiment with mind-expanding drugs, for example, try to induce this state artificially. Aldous Huxley even wrote of the "tears of gratitude" experienced when a drug like mescaline shatters the identification with thought and returns people to the present. When this happens, life here and now suddenly appears charged with meaning and significance and is experienced with a new intensity, wonder, and joy.

Practising Gratitude

You could start by compiling a gratitude list. Write down all the things you have to be grateful for, no matter how trivial or mundane they seem. And be as specific as possible. Next to each item, include the reason for your gratitude. You could even try compiling such lists at the end of each day. So, for example, you could note that the train arrived on time or that you managed to get a seat by the window. And note the gratitude you feel towards others for their simple acts of kindness. The more you do this, the more it becomes a habit. If you find it truly helpful, you could even start a gratitude blog or ask others to join you on a social media account.

Above all, be sincere. Few people are quite so irritating as those addicted to New Age therapy, who spend their time inanely grinning and trying to convince themselves that they feel happy when they do not. And remember, you have more choice in how you feel that you realize. You can choose to approach life in any way you like. A sense of gratitude would be a good place to start.

By Better Days Global, Jan 19 2018 05:38PM

Technology has some wonderful benefits. I use it almost every day. And I would never, ever argue against the responsible use of it. However, that being said, it is becoming increasingly obvious that our world is developing an unhealthy attachment to it:

84% of cell phone users claim they could not go a single day without their device.

67% of cell phone owners check their phone for messages, alerts, or calls — even when they don’t notice their phone ringing or vibrating.

Studies indicate some mobile device owners check their devices every 6.5 minutes.

88% of U.S. consumers use mobile devices as a second screen even while watching television.

Almost half of cell owners have slept with their phone next to their bed because they wanted to make sure they didn’t miss any calls.

Traditional TV viewing eats up over six days (144 hours, 54 minutes) worth of time per month.

Some researchers have begun labeling “cell phone checking” as the new yawn because of its contagious nature. But we don’t need statistics to tell us we are over-attached to our technology. We already know this to be true—which is probably why this powerful video has received over 13,000,000 views in less than six days. But we need to be reminded again and again: Technology has a power-off button. And the wisest of us know when to use it

Consider again, just some of the Important Reasons to Unplug Our Technology:

1. Powering-down helps remove unhealthy feelings of jealousy, envy, and loneliness. Researchers recently discovered that one in three people felt worse after visiting Facebook and more dissatisfied with their lives. Certainly, not every interaction with Facebook is a negative one. But typically, our own experience validates their research. From family happiness to body image to vacation destinations to the silly number of birthday greetings on a Facebook wall, the opportunity for envy presents itself often on social media. Powering-down for a period of time provides opportunity to reset and refocus appreciation and gratitude for the lives we have been given.

2. Powering-down combats the fear of missing out. Scientifically speaking, the Fear of Missing Out (FOMO) has been recognized as a recently emerging psychological disorder brought on by the advance of technology. The premise is simple. Our social media streams are ever-filled with everything happening all around us. Nowadays, we even see the plates of food our friends are enjoying. And within this constant stream of notification, our fear of being left out continues to grow. Turning off social media and finding contentment in our present space is a welcome skill.

3. Solitude is harder to find in an always-connected world. Solitude grounds us to the world around us. It provides the stillness and quiet required to evaluate our lives and reflect on the message in our hearts. In a world where outside noise is coming quicker and louder than ever, the need for solitude becomes more apparent… and easier to overlook. True solitude and meditation will always require the intentional action of shutting off the noise and the screens.

4. Life, at its best, is happening right in front of you. Our world may be changing. But the true nature of life is not. Life, at its best, is happening right in front of you. These experiences will never repeat themselves. These conversations are unfiltered and authentic. And the love is real. But if we are too busy staring down at our screen, we’re gonna miss all of it.

5. Powering-down promotes creation over consumption. Essentially, most of our time is spent in one of two categories: consuming or creating. Certainly, technology can contribute to creating. For example, this article was written (created) on a computer. But most of the time we spend in front of technology is spent consuming (playing video games, browsing the Internet, watching movies, listening to music). But our world doesn’t need more consuming. It needs more creating. It needs your passion, your solution, and your unique contribution. Power-down. And begin contributing to a better world because of it.

6. Addiction can only be understood when the object is taken away. Through a recent technological fast, I learned something about myself. I learned I am far more addicted to technology than I would have guessed. But that is the nature of addiction, isn’t it? We can never fully realize our level of addiction until the item is taken away. And the only way to truly discover technology’s controlling influence on your life is to turn it off, walk away, and sense how strong the pull is to turn it back on.

7. Life is still about flesh, blood, and eye contact. There are valuable resources online to help us grow and evolve. I have been enriched by the connections I have made and the friends I have met. But no matter how much I interact with others through the miracle of technology, there is something entirely unique and fantastic about meeting face-to-face. The experience of looking another person in the eye without the filter of a screen changes everything. Each time, I am reminded that life’s most fulfilling relationships are the ones in the world right in front of me. And spending too much time looking away from them does a great disadvantage to my soul and their

How then, in our ever-connected world, might we take appropriate steps to find balance and intentionality in our approach to technology? If you need help getting started, try one or more of these helpful tips to unplug and find space:

• Choose to start your day elsewhere. Henry Ward Beecher once said, “The first hour is the rudder of the day.” Spend it wisely. Commit to not turning on technology during your first waking hour. After all, the world ran just fine without you for the previous 7-8 hours, one more won’t hurt. Blocking out that one hour to focus on meditation or your upcoming day will help you wisely shape the other 23.

• Power-down for one period of time each day. Choose a specific period of the day to intentionally power-down. As mentioned above, this may be the first hour of the day. Or maybe the last hour of the day works better for you… or maybe lunch, dinner, or the hours just before your kids go to bed. The specific time of the day is not important. What is important is the discipline of learning when and how to power-down. Choose something that works for your specific lifestyle and stick to it at all costs.

• Better manage the time-wasters. There are a number of Internet tools that can help you better manage your time online. Freedom will disable your entire Internet connection for a time period set by you. Selfcontrol will allow you to block access to uniquely specified websites (for example: Facebook, Gmail, Twitter, your favorite blog) for a period of time, but still have access to the rest of the web.

• Take one extended break on a regular basis. I have found great value in choosing 40 days each year to power-down unnecessary apps (leaving only phone and text privileges on my phone). And I have completed the exercise each of the last two years. It has taught me about technology, relationships, and myself. Whether it be for one weekend, one week, or 40 days, there is great value in taking an intentional extended break from technology. Pick something. And get started right away. Your life is waiting.

Learning to power-down technology is an important life skill with numerous benefits. It is becoming a lost art in our ever-connected world. But the wisest of us take time to learn the discipline. And live fuller lives because of it.

By Better Days Global, Jan 16 2018 05:36PM

I pride myself on projecting an image to the world that is authentic and true of my character through my interactions with my audience via my social media platforms Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. This also can be said of the social media accounts for my magazine In-spire LS. We currently live in a world where numbers rule and it does not always matter how talented, educated or passionate you are about your work; interest is far greater when your followers are in the double figures. Of course, there are now more than ever a number of quick fix -it schemes that I could employ to raise my game in this area. However, nothing is more important to me than to show my journey, the ups and the downs, the successes and the failures, the highs and the lows, the moments of uncertainty and self-doubt and the times when I feel like I can take on the world; and win. Because I want you to know that you can experience the very same, share it with the world without fear of rejection or superiority and still reach the levels of success you dream of.

I want you all to know that I hustle and I grind all day, every day. There are no rest days and there are no days off. Then, I return home and in any spare second, I can get my hands on; I am pursuing my passion writing. Whatever your passion may be, you should be dedicated to doing the same. No matter what. No quick fixes, no faking it for the gram. Just pure dedication and truth in the parts of your journey that you share. Sharing content like the type I put out on In-spire LS and spreading a positive message is what I LIVE for. My passion encapsulates me. It is the first thing I think on upon waking and the last thing I think about before going to sleep.

As my mind remains focused on what I am building and the message I want to convey. I cannot be caught up in what the next person is doing. I cannot allow myself to look around at others and compare what I have to them because that would be selling my vision, my dream; and myself short. I cannot allow myself to convey a life to those who follow me that is not true, that is false and constructed to raise my game because that would not be right. Of course, I have had many a naysayer comment on the decisions I have made in the growth of my brand. There’re those who have believed that they could and would do a better job than I have or attained a higher level of success than I have managed to attain in the time I have pursued this venture; had the dream been placed in their heart.

However, it was not placed within their heart, it was given to me and your dream has been given to you. It may take you 5 months, 5 years, 15 years to reach the levels of success you aspire to but on this path never ever compromise on your authenticity and what makes you intrinsically you.

You will reach the level of success you require but in the process, never lose sight of who you are what you stand for and the steps you have taken to get you from where you are to where you want to be. Your journey to success will be that more rewarding and the respect you receive will be that more greater if you stay true to who you are and the journey you have taken to get there.


By Better Days Global, Jan 8 2018 06:47PM

If you do a Google search for happiness hacks it will quickly become overwhelming. There are hundreds of articles with anywhere from 3 to 50 tips, tricks or hacks on how to be happier. It’s pretty clear, we are all seeking a happier life. What does it take to live a happier life? Do you think you need more money? What about more of a social life? What void do you think you need to fill in order to become happy? We may ask these types of questions often without finding concrete answers. Happiness is something that eludes us, if we don’t have a clear-cut way of finding it and recognizing it. Happiness is also something you simply cannot sustain unless it turns into joy, which will take you to a place you’ve never been before in your life. Once a person becomes a truly joyful person, it’s just a part of who they are and happiness is a by-product of that joy.

If you’re on the search for more happiness in your life, there are very simple hacks for a happier life I have found to help you out.

Stop Complaining

When we complain, we are basically telling the world and ourselves, we are not happy. Complaining is often done in the United States about first-world problems that really are not problems. We don’t have real struggles in this county, even though we all think we do. Real struggles include trying to figure out where your next meal will come from or how you will have a roof over your head or where you will get clean water from? When you look around and take a hard glance at your life, do you really have anything to complain about? Start replacing your complaints with something you’re thankful for.

Cultivate Healthy Relationships

Do your friends actively improve your life on the whole? Or do you find some of your friendships exhausting. Sometimes, friendships can become energy sucks. And that unfortunately means it is time to move on. Life is too short to waste on people who don’t make you happy. Be polite and steadily cut off ties with those relationships that no longer serve you. And while you can’t choose your family, you can put the effort in to make sure those relationships are as healthy as they can be, too.

Fill Your Life With Passion

No no, don’t start looking for your passion. Think of the pressure! Instead, fill your life with stimulation, art, culture, fun and creativity. Seek out any activity that plants a seed of interest within you and watch it blossom. A life without passion or purpose feels empty at best. Stop waiting for your purpose to find you by exercising your creative juices and proactively exploring. There is something out there for everyone.

Use your Body

There is a reason we have bodies. They allow us to frolic and galavant; to write and type; to celebrate and make love; to create and destroy. Rather than being a floating energy force devoid of physical form, you have this incredible body! Enjoy it to its fullest and keep it fit. Remember, your body needs and deserves love. The more you love your body, the easier it will be for you to realize how beautiful it is. And it is beautiful.

Seek Balance

On the same line, in order to be happy, you have to be reasonably healthy. Eat nourishing foods, treat your body and mind with respect, hydrate, get plenty of sleep. Oh, and don’t stress too much—yes, even about health. Take a load off for a slice of cake once in a while. If you use moderation, you can celebrate the wildest parts of life, like walking and talking with an old friend until the sun rises, eating half a pie on your birthday, or celebrating with friends. Be healthy, yes, but don’t begrudge yourself the treats of living.

Experience Life

Have you ever stood on an empty beach, staring into the sunset, and thought, “All of this, this whole incredible world, is merely a speckle in the vastness of the universe! Wow!” No? Just me? Well, anyways… we live on this miraculous planet that not only supports life, but encourages it to thrive! Make time to explore every facet of the Earth you possibly can, from the majestic Grand Canyon to the bustling streets of India to historic Canadian sugar shacks to the coffee plantations of Guatemala. Even if you must remain local, there is always something new and incredible to discover in the wondrous world around us. Expose yourself to new environments and cultures as often as you can.

Live With Gratitude

We are so accustomed to taking stock of all the unfortunate and negative aspects of our lives, we tend to glaze over the sweet bits. Take a break from the constant over-analysis and negativity to acknowledge the good parts of your life. If you’re reading this, you probably have a warm place to sleep, nourishing food on the table and access to some sort of computer. You may have a truly supportive family, or perhaps you enjoy your job, or perhaps you don’t enjoy your job but at least it helps to pay the bills for now…Take some time to journal about all the wonderful things you have and what a good life you’ve created for yourself. And don’t forget, you are pretty incredible!

Happiness can seem elusive at best, so indulge in the path towards happiness rather than the destination itself. Americans are more obsessed with happiness than anyone, but that obsession is making us anxious and, ironically, unhappy. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself to be happy; that defeats the point. Just practice moving your life in a more positive, healthy and balanced direction, and you’ll be on the journey to longterm life satisfaction.