How I Use Well-Being As A Tool For Personal Empowerment

I’m going to be quite candid in this post…

I’ll start off by saying that I’ve had a crappy week.

It’s just been incredibly stressful – and to be honest, sometimes I don’t feel as though the results I’d like to see from my efforts are anywhere to be found.

You put in the time, effort and your heart into everything you create – not just because you’d like to see it pay off, but because what you’re doing is a direct expression of your state of being.

I’ve discussed the concept of falling in love with the journey several times – whether in writing or through conversations.

And while I do feel it’s important to stay connected to the process when it comes to reaching a goal, I’ll be the first one to admit that even though I do this – sometimes it’s easier said than done.

When you feel this way, it’s easy to want to give up. In matters of weight loss or healthy living, sometimes these feelings can lead to overindulging or quitting your program altogether.

So now that I’ve spilled all of this out to you, the question is – how do I deal with it when life lets me down?

I’ll share my approach with you in the hopes that maybe somehow, it’ll help you to get through the days, months and even years when you feel like life is a mountain you don’t have the strength to climb.

How I Use Well-Being As A Tool For Personal Empowerment

A while back, I had enrolled in personal training school. I went through these crazy tough courses – all in an effort to not only change careers, but to make healthy living my occupation.

I had no clue what I was going to do with my certification. I didn’t know what personal trainers earned, nor did I have any sincere desire to market myself through networking events, etc.

I’m an introvert by nature. I love Humanity. But crowds really aren’t my thing.

Through most of my life, I’d struggled with my weight, self-esteem, and subsequent eating disorders, so as far as I was concerned, if I could somehow take what I’d learned – not only about health and fitness, but my own struggles and transformation and make a difference in the world, then my life would take on new meaning.

I would no longer be living by default…working in a career that felt unsatisfying to me – all the while abusing my body in the process.

I’ll tell you – the curriculum at Fitness Institute was HARD.

I was no scholar – and these classes required me to learn things I used to daydream through in high school (like Algebra).

I spent 15 months of my life working two jobs, doing some side work and going to school. I used my “free” time to study my ass off. I made exercise a big part of my life, often working out twice a day to lose the weight that damaged my self-worth.

I cured myself of my eating disorders. I don’t manage them. They’re completelyΒ gone.

With my education, certification, and a new body, I thought life would suddenly work out.

I had even delved into new territory by starting to write – which had always been a deep passion of mine.

I found ways to express my knowledge and share what I’d learned about healthy living with the world.

It wasn’t just about what to eat or how to exercise. It was about the journey itself. How in order to change your body, you must shift your perception.

As far as I was concerned, this information was golden.

If I, someone who used food, alcohol, and many other substances to mask my pain and abuse my body as a means to cope with and escape my pain was able to rewire her brain by doing the deep, insightful inner work required to not only do different things, but BE a different person altogether, then I KNOW that others would benefit.

Because I’m not special. I’m not chosen. I’m not different.

It’s just that I’d found something useful.

I found a way to alter my perspective from the core.

And because of this, my behaviors changed naturally.

But sometimes you can be and do things differently, and life will still shit on your head.

I’d love to say that when you change, life changes – but that isn’t always accurate.

What is correct, however, is this:

When you change, your response to life changes. This is when you can alter the results. But even then, sometimes that doesn’t work.

The idea is to KNOW that regardless of what life throws at you, you can still take charge of your inner-world and not collapse under the weight of things. This is when the miracles happen.

I’ve done a lot of work over the past several years. I’ve completely changed just about everything I believed about life, myself and the world.

I’ve gotten real with myself about some pretty painful things.

I’ve built a solid foundation and have created material that I’m proud of.

But regardless of this, life still screws with me sometimes. I could crumble, or I could respond.

So what does this have to do with using well-being as a tool for personal empowerment?

Well, it works like this:

Using Well-Being Deliberately

When you’re down and out (like I have been this week – and many other times), you have to know who you are.

For example –

  • I know I am not my problems, my thoughts nor my feelings.
  • I am not a success, nor a failure.
  • I am not my role, my title, my accomplishments nor my downfalls.
  • I am also not my body.
  • I HAVE these things, but I am not them.
  • I AM infinite awareness.
  • I AM my imagination.

A while back, I had realized that to remain in a state of balance regarding my healthy living regimen, I would have to know that my motivating factors would change. They always do, so how to stick with your program when your “why” changes is a tough thing to do for most of us.

This is why we “fall off the wagon” so easily – and so often.

For me, I no longer have weight to lose.

I don’t care if my delts (shoulders) are super toned, if my arms look muscular or if I can do spiderman pushups to impress others – or myself.

My worth isn’t dependent on these things.

So the motivating factor that drove my behavior when I was in “weight loss” mode doesn’t exist any longer.

For me, well-being is my response to the adversities of life.

It’s my way of declaring…

“Regardless of what you throw at me, I’ll still take care of myself because if nothing else, it makes me feel better.”

It’s a way to feel healthy and empowered.

It’s an act of self-respect.

These things may not alter the situation I’m dealing with in and of itself, but because I’m the observer (rather than the limited egoic personality that interacts unconsciously with my environment), I can conduct this shitty sounding orchestra in a way that at least sounds like music instead of noise.

This week has been nothing but frustrating for me on all levels.

In fact, it isn’t just this week.

My life, at times, feels like the most challenging adventure to endure. Regardless of what I’ve learned or practice, sometimes I feel like I’m running on a hamster wheel – going nowhere.

But when this happens, being the conductor that I AM, I still make well-being my response.

I’ll make my smoothies – all decked out with my greens and other beneficial ingredients instead of snarfing down soda or indulging in fast food the way I used to.

I’ll make a kick ass salad and consume it knowing it may be the only thing I can do to respond somehow in a positive way to the pain I’m feeling.

I’ll get the exercise mat out and stretch to make my body feel limber and flexible. To experience a sense of relief.

I’ll use fitness in any way that feels right to me – and I don’t care if it’s an easy one-mile walk at home program or if it’s a high-intensity strength training program complete with dumbbells, the TRX trainer or resistance bands.

I’ll just incorporate wellness into my life in whatever way I am most aligned with. But the only reason I can do this (as someone who used to abuse everything) is because I had experienced both extremes and eventually, found balance.
When well-being becomes your automatic response to life’s adversities, you may not change the situation.

But you’ll alter your response to the situation which all on its own, may make you feel better.

If we rely on circumstances changing to make us happy, we may wait forever.

But if we become someone who allows well-being into our inner-world in an authentic and honest way, it will become our natural response to our problems.

It’s the most efficient way I know how to not only keep my weight down, but to remain steady when the oceans of life become turbulent.

I cannot stress how important it is to do the consciousness/ personal development work.

But it’s also imperative to make this enjoyable.

A few things you canΒ do to use well-being as a response to adversity are:

  • ADD high-quality nutrients into your diet. Make salads, smoothies, and other healthy recipes – and use this as a creative form of self-expression.
  • Make yourself a cup of soothing, relaxing tea. I know it sounds simple – and it is. But when you Dana's teasit down with something naturally designed to help you to relax and bring you optimal health, it somehow puts you in a state of being that promotes overall wellness. I do this often, and it does work.
  • Read something inspiring, uplifting or enlightening. Well-being is far more expansive than “diet and exercise.” It’s all-encompassing.
  • STAY AWAY FROM ALCOHOL! It’s not only a depressant, but it warps your perspective on just about everything. It won’t help. It may cause harm…and it’s an overall BAD idea.
  • Watch movies or documentaries that awaken your desire to be well, live well and act well. One of my recent favorites is “Peaceful Warrior.” If you haven’t seen it, I encourage you to check it out.

You can view the trailer below.

Wrapping This Up

Life isn’t always easy.

Sometimes it’ll bitch-slap you when you aren’t looking. Other times it’ll beat you up so badly that you may feel as though you’ll never get back up again.

I know what that feels like. It’s been the story of my life.

But I DO get up. And I will continue to do so – until I’m no longer here.

When life f*cks with me, I respond by using well-being AS my way of life.

It may not change the situation, but it’s my way of falling in love with the adversity. If I can’t change it, I know I can respond consciously and deliberately.

This week has been lousy. My Faith is tested on a regular basis.

But I still made my smoothies.

I drank my apple cider vinegar water.

I did sets of core exercises and stretched.

I watched films and listened to audios that inspire me.

And I’ll keep on keepin’ on.

You can do the same.

I hope this gave you some insight into how to use wellness as a tool for personal empowerment.

I look forward to hearing some of your stories and examples in the comment’s section.

And don’t forget to sign up to get my free guide below. If you’ve enjoyed this post, there’s more where that came from.

How do you deal with adversity?

Want more bullshit-free wisdom? Check out my latest book “Streetwise Philosophy (A Bullshit-Free Approach to Spiritual Maturity).”

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Dana Gore

Author of the books "A Simple Guide to Exercise Safety (What You Don't Know CAN Hurt You)" and "Streetwise Philosophy (A Bullshit-Free Approach to Spiritual Maturity)", Dana Gore is a health and fitness professional, wellness coach, and freelance writer. Dana brings guidance to the public about how to achieve optimal health in a safe and structured manner while inspiring her readers to seek self-awareness and inner peace as a means to well-being in all areas of life.

26 thoughts on “How I Use Well-Being As A Tool For Personal Empowerment

  • at 12:34 am
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    It’s not an easy thing to share his/her weaknesses and negative points. But you did it easily..I am proud of u..I too face stress and anxiety problems as life is surely not easy…Now, I will work on your strategies and will definitely earn success in the life..
    Thanks for sharing such an amazing post..
    Vickie

    Reply
    • at 5:59 pm
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      Hi Vickie,

      Welcome to my blog πŸ™‚

      Wow, I really appreciate that. Thanks so much.

      No, it isn’t easy to share your weaknesses and negative points. It’s also impossible for some people to even observe these things within themselves.

      The masks we wear are so convincing. We fool ourselves in addition to others.

      I’d rather be transparent with myself. It’s the only way to bring the shadows into the light.

      I’m sure you do face stress and anxiety only because it’s so common. When we can’t change the situation itself, it DOES help to at least respond by doing what we can to empower ourselves through well-being.

      I sure hope these ideas work for you. Don’t hesitate to some back and let me know if they did.

      Great to meet you Vickie. Thanks for stopping by.

      Reply
  • at 3:23 pm
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    Hi Dana,

    This is such a wonderful post, so well written! Thank you so much for opening up and sharing your experience with us. I also faced many difficulties in my life and this is because of my family environment. I had to step up so as to move on. I made it with only some scratches but when I followed that path there, all the things you mentioned.

    I used expressions as “higher self” and I tried to disconnect from my issues. “They are not me” I said, I am a spiritual being with human experience. That denial there almost broke me. Years ago, this almost broke my identity in pieces. The emotional state was in between the physical and spiritual while the last two were separate.

    When I started accepting that I have issues, I have problems and they need fixing, it hurt a lot. I had to come and realize that being here on Earth, it is my own choice. I am sensitive too as an empath when I am around big crowds. I didn’t know what to do with myself. I eventually had to accept those experiences little by little in my life to become the person I am today.

    Thank you for this mind provoking post and thank you for reminding me my past and all my progress till now. I hope you are feeling better this week! Have a beautiful day!

    Zaria

    Reply
    • at 6:59 pm
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      Hi Zaria,

      Thank YOU for being so open and honest. That’s why I put stuff like this together. So the community can support and learn from one another. The comments play a big role in all of this, so I appreciate what you’ve added here.

      I can relate to a lot of what you’ve said. I had my issues from my past. It isn’t easy to admit when we have work (sometimes a LOT of it) to do on ourselves, but it sure beats being in denial, even if it doesn’t feel that way for a while.

      I used to abuse things when I was down. Thankfully though, through going through my fitness education and developing an appreciation for healthy living, well-being has become a response for me.

      It doesn’t necessarily change the situation itself, but it at least allows things to appear differently.

      I’m thankful this post provided something valuable for you.
      Have a beautiful weekend and thanks for stopping by πŸ™‚

      Reply
  • at 4:52 pm
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    Hey Dana,

    Nice post and you have crafted your emotions so well! I totally agree with you that life is not always a bed of roses but often a bed of thorns. If its offering lemon, I would prefer having it with tequilas…lol

    Reply
    • at 6:23 pm
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      Hi Ana,

      Thanks.
      Yep, we can’t always control things can we. Our responses do play a role in the outcome though.

      I like what you said about lemons. I appreciate the lighthearted approach πŸ˜‰

      Reply
  • at 3:08 pm
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    Hi Dana. I congratulate you on being able to consciously choose how you respond to things. Once you have cleared your head with your wellness practices you are much better able to face the situations than most of the people who have clouded their minds with less healthy choices.

    When I read the Peaceful Warrior book Nick Nolte wasn’t exactly the first person who came to my mind to play Socrates in the movie. He was great in the role though. It is a very good movie.

    Reply
    • at 6:28 pm
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      Hey Ben,

      Thanks. Yep, it is MUCH easier when you’ve been practicing wellness techniques for a while. It becomes more of an automatic response. Sometimes it’s all you’ve got.

      I LOVED Peaceful Warrior. Didn’t read the book though. I watched the movie and then got Dan Millman’s book “The Laws of Spirit: A Tale of Transformation.” I finished it in a few days. Great read.

      Yeah, Nick Nolte was brilliant in that film. I think the toughness mixed with the wisdom was fantastic.

      I appreciate your insight Ben. Thanks for stopping by.

      Reply
  • at 7:30 am
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    Goodness, do I know what you mean!

    I go through ups and downs as well, depending on the week. This has been one of those down weeks, but it started last Wednesday. I finally started breaking out of it yesterday early afternoon, and it’s about time because I recognize when it affects all the other stuff I do. You know I’m mostly an upbeat and motivating type of person but even Zig Ziglar owned up to having days when he wasn’t at his best.

    Of course, as I looked at your list I said “I don’t do any of that.” lol Then I realized that’s not quite true. When I’m really feeling down and need a boost I go back to either the movie The Secret or, of all things, Independence Day. Either one can get me feeling better again; I probably need to remember to go to them sooner than I do. πŸ™‚

    Good stuff; glad you have your tools for getting into a better mental space.

    Reply
    • at 6:34 pm
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      Hi Mitch,

      I’m glad you can relate. I share the things I do just for that reason. I don’t think we’re all that different – we just have different experiences.

      I’m glad you’re starting to feel better. Yes, I know everyone goes through things – including the ones we turn to for guidance. I think the best insights come from the down times to be honest. The contrast, even though painful, is what gives us the ability to choose.

      I haven’t watched Independence Day in a LONG time. I may just revisit that.
      I’ve watched a few other cool films recently though and they do offer inspiration. In fact, I sat through the entire Rocky series a few weeks ago and loved it all over again.

      I appreciate that you stopped by Mitch πŸ™‚

      Reply
  • at 8:24 pm
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    Hi Dana,

    I love your open ness.

    Honest to goodness, by being and by doing good feeling things, I’ve empowered myself.

    Few get how I explain that writing 124 eBooks was more about exercising and meditating, and stretching, and going to movies, and traveling, more than anything else.

    You get it Dana. Many of my blogging buddies get it. Your readers get it.

    My feelings swing like any human but the wild pendulum has calmed. Because I do as you do.

    I be. I am. I do good feeling stuff, to take care of my body.

    I sleep 8 hours nightly. Or stay in bed for 8 hours. I exercise for 1 hour or more daily.

    Eat right. Laugh. Do good feeling stuff.

    The well being advice you offer is gold. Because you being well empowers you, and levels you out so life’s ups and downs become fascinating moment after moment.

    Thanks Dana for being you, and sharing it πŸ™‚

    Signing off from sunny, sunny NJ.

    Ryan

    Reply
    • at 6:40 pm
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      Hey Ryan,

      I appreciate all of that. Thanks so much.

      I know you get it. We know that by taking care of ourselves in whatever way we can is golden. Sometimes it’s all we’ve got, but it’s valuable. It’s the response – and this is where we assume personal responsibility.

      I think most of us swing back and forth. It’s part of the human experience. It offers contrast. It’s painful at times, but this is what gives us the ability to choose and respond.

      We can use these things to say I am NOT that, but I AM this. It’s part of the creative nature, but it doesn’t always feel so good does it?

      I don’t doubt that your success has more to do with your self-care than anything else. It’s probably where your inspiration comes from.

      We have to “be” before we can “do.”

      I’m glad you stopped by and again, thanks for everything you’ve said.
      Enjoy the days πŸ™‚

      Reply
  • at 5:09 pm
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    Thank you for being so real. I love reading your posts. I totally agree with you that life is stressful even if your skinny or not. Rich or poor. We all have our highs and our lows. The most important thing is how we handle it. I love your advice on drinking tea and reading an inspiring story. Those are the best. I usually pray, cry, and read the word of God. Telling God everything makes me feel better. πŸ™‚

    Reply
    • at 7:05 pm
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      Hey,

      I’m glad what I’ve shared here resonated with you.
      Yep, regardless of our body type, financial status or anything else, we all have our dark times.
      Our response is the tool in which we use to direct it – and sometimes, it’s much easier said than done.

      I’ve found that sometimes the little things make a big impact, like making the tea out of the leaves from my plants.
      Your methods are great too. I like to read inspiring material, especially about God.

      Thanks for stopping by πŸ™‚

      Reply
  • at 2:02 pm
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    This is a very inspiring post, Dana. I had a rough week last week, but I did as you did, kept on going. I still went to the gym, still ate the healthy foods, and took a lot of deep breaths. This week is better, and I’m glad I didn’t give into my circumstances last week. I hope yours turns around too.

    Reply
    • at 7:10 pm
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      Hey Shann,

      I guess we both had it rough.
      I’m glad you were able to respond using your connection to wellness. It makes a difference doesn’t it?

      Even though I wasn’t in a good place, I was still able to recognize what I am grateful for, and that helps a lot too. The deep breathing is great. i don’t do this often enough, so thanks for the reminder.

      I appreciate your visit and I hope this is a better week for you πŸ™‚

      Reply
  • at 11:56 am
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    Hey there Dana,

    What a wonderful article that hit home…right to my heart. We can do all the wellness stuff and have gone through the healing process with things in our life, but life does have a way of kicking your ass sometimes.

    It can be something serious like a death of a loved one to a simple thought that runs across our mind. Whatever it can be, it is our reaction to it. I think the worse part of it all is when we do all the work…like you have done. Completed all the hurdles and changed ourselves. Have the knowledge too. Then something happens and it is the bitch slap that knocks us to our knees.

    I know…happens to me too. We have to fight harder…make sure we are eating well to fuel up our body and mind. Do what we can. But most importantly, acknowledge we are having a crapy time and forgive ourselves for not doing what we usually do. I find it better than beating myself up lol.

    Sharing this story of how you feel impacts so many lives. As a coach, it is the best thing you can ever do. People, just like me….can resonate so well. When it comes down to it….it is all part of life and how we deal or struggle to deal with it.

    Thanks for a wonderful share,

    -Donna

    Reply
    • at 7:20 pm
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      Hi Donna,

      You said it.

      Regardless of the work we’ve done, life can still come around and kick our ass. And yes, our response does make a difference.

      Sometimes I feel like I’m in a hamster wheel. It isn’t a good feeling at all. You do everything you know how to do. You make it your life’s mission to make transcending your level of consciousness your top priority (as it is mine). And you get tested. I know that the tools we pick up when we’re feeling good don’t mean much until we’re required to use them. We only need to use them when we’re in a lousy place.

      I’m well aware of it, but that doesn’t mean I like it…lol

      Funny you mention forgiving yourself. I took personal inventory and realized I don’t feel bad about myself as a person. I did the best I could in the past with the state I was in and the knowledge I had at the time. Same thing now. It sure is better than beating ourselves up.

      So well-being is my response. Doesn’t mean the pain is gone, but it soothes it and empowers you.

      I’m glad my story hit home for you and those who have read this. It’s easy to dispense advice. But I think we all need to know that those who do this also struggle and have to follow their own tips.

      I loved your comment Donna. I appreciate everything you had to say. Thanks so much πŸ™‚

      Reply
  • at 10:40 pm
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    You are a busy woman! I too have decided that I am done with trying to lose weight. I am going to maintain, but my husband and kids love me the way I am so I not going to stress about it.

    Reply
    • at 4:47 pm
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      Hi Christine,

      Yeah, I don’t think it’s necessary to worry about weight loss unless it’s a health hazard. healthy living in and of itself is usually enough to keep the body in a state where it’s comfortable.

      If you’re in decent health and you take good care of yourself – that’s perfect.

      Reply
  • at 9:03 pm
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    This is really a great post. I love the attitude of using your well being to face all the obstacles life throws at us! Thanks for sharing

    Reply
    • at 9:40 pm
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      Hi Cynthia,

      I appreciate that πŸ™‚

      I’m telling you, it has worked wonders. It may not alter the situation, but just the act of care… of self and others does wonders.
      It’s a deliberate response – an empowering one.

      Reply
  • at 6:15 pm
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    Hey Dana,

    Those shitty weeks can certainly feel like a life time in themselves. So I feel your pain. How do I deal with adversity. I have no set practice. Sometimes I will just go a little slower and see if my work will shift my mind set. My personal life and professional hat are two very separate thought processes and this certainly gets me through.

    I have three floating days. If I want to close the blinds and sit and feel sorry for myself I am allowed to. Although I am no longer good at this. I find it a waste of time. In times when my mind is not balanced it could be simply my mind is tired and the life’s slaps that I would generally take on are too much because I have not recognised I need time out. I push myself hard and enjoy it. But sometimes I can’t see where I need to stop and breath.

    Other times I go slow. I have just gotten back to my exercise after three weeks of avoiding it. And I always enjoy what how energised I feel after it. One of my best qualities, is I can tune everything out and focus in on what is in front of me. I treasure this strength.

    But I accept that I can’t change how life does what it does. And I accept and embrace all of moods. Its okay for me to be happy, angry, sad, negative, demotivated. They never stick around for too long. I go with them. I am ever so grateful of these acceptances, they have made my life so much easier.

    Thanks for the wonderful reminder that I am really embracing my all. Hope you week got better.

    Rachel.

    Reply
    • at 8:01 pm
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      Hey Rachel,

      Gosh, I can relate to so much of what you said.

      Sometimes I feel like such a warrior. I can stop, observe and deliberately respond. And then there are those times I feel tired. These are the times I do allow some time to feel sorry for myself and just be in the emotion. And like you, it doesn’t last long – because I allow it to speak to me.

      I took some time out this weekend and watched movies. Inspirational stuff. I find the escape enjoyable, but I prefer to watch something that may speak to me.

      It’s great that you can focus on one thing and tune all else out. That’s a wonderful strength – and the fact that you’re in touch with it is awesome. I remind myself of my strengths too. Sometimes, the fact that I’ll live my truth even when there is no evidence of things working out is THE remedy for me.

      For me, that’s just another way of using well-being in the face of adversity. Being true to who you are. It’s like being able to stand still in the midst of a storm. Sometimes that in and of itself works wonders.

      The week had its ups and downs. Very stressful, but some cool things too.
      I never take the blessings for granted when I’m down.

      Good to see you here Rachel. Thanks for stopping by πŸ™‚

      Reply
  • at 9:56 am
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    Wonderful article Dana, and such a good point. Just because we do all the right things doesn’t mean things will work out the way we planned. The point is to keep moving forward.

    I’m not a religious person, but I have the following quote hanging next to my desk for just such occasions – “I know God will not give me anything I can’t handle. I just wish He didn’t trust me so much.” ~Mother Teresa.

    Reply
    • at 7:53 pm
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      Hi Marquita,

      It’s tough to realize that regardless of what you do sometimes that things may still not work out as we’d hoped. In the past, I’d always use adversity as an excuse to abuse my body somehow – whether through food, alcohol, etc.

      Since then, however, I’ve realized that the BEST way to respond to such things is to treat myself well. Well-being is so much more than just eating right and exercising. It’s a position. It’s who we are underneath the stories.

      I’ve heard that quote and yes, I can relate.
      I remind myself that I don’t have the full picture, so I guess I may as well go along for the ride and see what gems it may have in store.

      Love seeing you here πŸ™‚

      Reply

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