anxiety

Happy Monday! Yep you read that right, Monday

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Happy Monday! Yes, you read that right.  Monday and not Friday.  Why wait 5 freaking long days to be celebrating!  Let's start right now, today, Monday! This morning might have been a struggle.  Maybe you had to roll out of bed, maybe you're still hungover or maybe you're just dreading walking into that same office, to see the same faces, to sit in the same chair and stare at the same damn computer screen.

Oh man, I used to feel ya!  Seriously, I'd roll out of bed after hitting snooze a couple of times and think "here we go again, ugh..".  But then things changed.. and they changed a lot.  They had to.  I was miserable.

I took control of how I felt.  I accepted that it was my responsibility to change my life.  It wasn't my parents' job, it wasn't my colleagues job and it certainly wasn't Tattslotto's job to miraculously show up.  Actually, ummm.. Tatts.. my bank deets are: BSB 063...

But in all seriousness, our life is OUR responsibility and it can be a hard pill to swallow at times.  It's sooo much easier to blame the traffic, the weather, your partner, the kids etc.. than it is to take ownership of our feelings.. the very feelings that determine all of the decisions that we make and end up shaping our entire life.

YOU need to be making decisions that empower and inspire YOU.  What is YOUR soul calling you to do?  Start that dream job, join that sports team, reach out to a long lost friend, or maybe you need to say sorry (or I love you).

Once we learn the art to tuning in and listening to our true heart's desires, we start making heart-centred choices, which lead to living a more empowered and fulfilling life.

So this week, simply tune in.  Where is your heart guiding you? What messages does your soul have for you?  Once we start to pay attention to these answers, life becomes magical.

Love,

Sam x

P.S.  If you haven't downloaded your FREE copy of my Gratitude Workbook, you can get it here.  I use it daily!

Is Your Phone More Recharged Than You Are? 8 Ways to Get Your Missing Energy Back

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If I were to ask you how often you recharged your phone, you'd probably reply with "twice a day" (if you're an iPhone user).  But, if I were to ask you how often you recharged yourself, you'd most likely reply with "does sleep count?". Recharging ourselves isn't something we tend to think much about.  We're not taught about it as kids and no one really talks about it.  It's not something that we had to think even half as much about just 10 years ago.  If we were tired, we rested.  Tiredness and exhaustion were mostly just physical.  Now, it's primarily mental, and in a lot of cases, emotional.  With technology and a direct connection to the world in our hands, there's no time to really switch off to allow our mind and nervous system to quieten.

Somewhere along the line, we started to value our techs to be more recharged than our bodies.  Tirdness is now a bit of an inconvenience.  We've become more tuned into the outside world than ourselves.  We're tuned into the alerts on our phones more than the alerts of our bodies.  Now, I'm not saying to bin the devices all together, no, not at all.  I love my phone, and these days we need them.  I'm just trying to convey the need to put the phone down every now and then, and truly take the break our mind and body need.

I had to learn the above the hard way.  Stressed and anxious from my corporate job (amongst other things), denying my dream career aspirations and, quite frankly, wasting hours a day on 'the scroll'.  My anxiety was so bad that every day was a struggle that I tried so hard to hide!  Things had to dramatically change.  So, I set out to recharge, learnt to put my health first and developed a kick-ass self-care/love routine.

Get Your FREE Gratitude Workbook Here

So, here's my (tried and tested) top 8 ways to fully recharge and start to get that missing energy back:

Sleep:

To answer your hypothetical response above.  Yes, sleep does count, and a lot!  But only if you're getting the right kind of sleep.  This is around 8 hours of non-inertupted sleep and waking before your alarm.  While this is common knowledge, sleep has lost favour.  There's Facebook and Instagram scrolling, Netflix, more condensed living, working later hours and weekends, eating later and even more scrolling, that all get in the way of a quality night's sleep.  Once upon a time it was only the neighbour's dog who woke us up, now it's our friend-from-high-school's-amazing-Italian-holiday that you're totally jealous of you've been lurking.

Soak it Up:

Get at least an hour by yourself and have a hot bath.  Get out your bath salts, candles, essential oils and a quality book.  No techs allowed.  Take the full hour to really switch off and relax.  Besides, who doesn't feel better after a good bath!

Get Active:

Get those endorphins pumping and sweat the stress away.  Stress hormones wreak havoc on our nervous system and majorly contribute to us feeling worn down.  Ever feel more exhausted from a day's work than you do an intense work out?  This is why.  While exercise puts physical stress on the body at the time, it's coupled with 'feel good' hormones that help the body clear out the stress, as well as pump much needed oxygen to your organs.  You want to get out and burn up all of that excess adrenaline.  Not only will you feel better after, you'll sleep better too!

Ground Yourself:

When I first heard about "earthing" I thought it was a bit of BS, then I really thought about it and I realised my bare feet had not even touched the earth in over a year. A YEAR! Apartment living certainly makes getting out and into nature harder, but the more reason to do so.  We all grew up playing in the backyard bare foot (remember stepping on bindies in summer, ouch!).  Take a walk in the park or on the beach, and if you're lucky enough to still have a backyard, collect the washing bare foot.  Feel those relaxing negative ions and get a bonus foot massage while you're at it!

Mindfulness and Meditation:

Probably my favourite tool in the box and one of the most misunderstood and under utilised skills there is!  If I could package and sell in a pill "total relaxation, calmness, greater clarity, more energy, understanding, compassion and acceptance with no side-effects and completely natural", I'd be seriously loaded.  Loaded.  Everyone would lap that up!  But it's free people and you can try it right now!  It's literally as easy as googling "guided relaxation meditation" into YouTube.

Find my Monday Meditation series here.

Because we're not taught meditation as children, we resist it as adults.  It seems weird, out-there and unnecessary.  People also tend to think that they don't have time to meditate.  In the words of Gabby Bernstein, "so you've got time to feel like shit instead then?".  10 minutes a day is all you need to totally turn your stress around!  Also, meditation doesn't have to be spiritual at all, think of it as a simple mind reset.

Digital Detox:

This is a big one!  We spend so much time on our (fully charged) devices, and probably one of the main reasons why we're so drained, that we find it so hard to put them aside.  But once you start to break the click and scroll habit, it becomes so much easier.  Sleep with your phone on flight mode.  Get an old school radio alarm clock and have no phones in your bedroom (remember waking up to breakfast radio..).  Turn the TV off an hour before bed.  Have an email cut off time (I suggest from the time you start dinner) and don't use your laptop in bed.  All of these things can assist in breaking the technology dependancy and the mindless scroll.

Take Regular Breaks/Holidays/Long Weekend:

If you need a day off, take it.  Plan an annual leave day and take a long weekend.  Get away, or stay in.  Sleep in.  It's what your annual leave is there for!  Take a holiday.  Got no-one to travel with?  Do a tour or retreat.  The simple act of getting on a plane and feeling far away from your 'problems' can do amazing things for your nervous system (I should know, I just did this.  Hello spontaneous trip to New York).  Don't really run from your problems, but do take a break when you need it.  Airfares have never been so cheap ;-).

Pamper Yourself:

Don't be afraid to spend a little cash on treating yourself.  Get a monthly massage, pedicure, floatation tank session, facial, lovely dinner, hot springs visit.. whatever brings you relaxation.  While I don't recommend spending all your monies on #treatyoself, I do suggest that you put yourself first and enjoy your money, especially if it's assisting your healing.  I personally get regular massages.  I need them, I carry stress in my shoulders and I spend 8 hours a day on a computer, so I don't feel guilty about spending the cash as I see it as a necessity.  So find what really assists your recovery and budget it in.

I hope these tips help bring some calm and zen back into your life.  If you've got other recharge tips or tricks, comment them below, i'd love to hear (and try) them!

xSx

Get Your FREE Gratitude Workbook here

MONDAY MEDITATION | Want to make the right choice every time?

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'Intuition' is this word that gets thrown around a lot these days, but what really is it?  If you think of a gut-feeling or just a knowing that you've had, then you would be on the money.  Our intuition is the inner knowing or understanding that comes through that we often times cannot explain.  In this week's video I touch on how we can tap into this knowing and make guided choices any time. https://youtu.be/4ewnuwQ76Jo

Recipe: Raw Choc Almond Bites

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I'll be honest, using chocolate molds with clean/raw chocolate just isn't working out for me.  The chocolate breaks, gets stuck in the mould and it's messy.  So, to avoid the failed-chocolate-mould mess, I made these chocolate bites, or blobs.. which ever name you prefer.  They're not real pretty, but they sure did taste great.  I did actually make more, however my Dad got to them before I had a chance to photograph them! Ingredients

  • Coconut oil
  • Raw Cacao
  • Coconut Nectar
  • Almond Shaves
  • Desiccated Coconut

Method

My standard chocolate mix method (you can find a detailed description here)

Mix it all together, blob on baking paper and freezer set.

This one is extra great for the kids as its just a handful of ingredients, a bowl, spoon and baking paper.

Recipe: Raw Glow Bars

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These are soooooo good!  I needed something to cut my serious chocolate habit.  My office has a chocolate biscuit genie somewhere, because our never ending Tim Tam supply is in full force!  Come 2pm all I can think about it my next chocolate hit.  Chocolate is my drug, it's ridiculous.  So I knew I had to make something super delicious to cut this hardcore habit.  And I did!  3 days in and I am only 1 Monte Carlo down #winning. My Raw Glow Bar recipe is:

Ingredients

Large handful of Medjool Dates (soaked for a couple of hours)

1 handful of Almond shaves

1 handful of crumbled bran

Chia seeds

Raw cacao (to taste)

1 handful of Buckwheat

1 handful of crushed cashews

Method

Soak your dates for an hour or 2.

Mix all dry ingredients together.

Blitz your dates (removing the seed).

Get your hands dirty!  Using your hands, mix and combine thoroughly.   Gradually add dry ingredients until your mix is even consistency.  You don't want it too dry or wet.

Set in a container in the fridge or freezer.  Then use a pizza cutter to cut into your bars.

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MONDAY MEDITATION | The Most Important Words You Could Say to Yourself

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Have you ever really considered the thoughts you have towards yourself?  How do you really feel about yourself when you look in the mirror? Let's all make a shift.  Instead of having critical thoughts when looking at ourselves, let's start to see our great qualities.  Let's feel appreciation for who we are and embrace our quirks.  I can guarantee that others are looking at what they love about you, rather than the flaws that you see.  You're individual and amazing.

xSx

https://youtu.be/6SyYFh0xDUg

MONDAY MEDITATION | How to Create What You Want

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Ever wondered how the successful folk acheive their goals and dreams?  They believed that they were possible!  All it takes is for us to become the energy of that which we desire, for the outside world to shift around us. Going from "I wish I could write that book" to "I am going to write that book" instantly opens us up to the possibility of it happening and allows opportunities and people to come into our lives to help us on that journey.

In what area of your life could you start to change your energy to bridge the gap between where you are and where you'd like to be?

xSx

https://youtu.be/iqT6aPwpFPk

MONDAY MEDITATION | Want To Get Out of The Right Side of Bed? Use This.

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This week's Monday Meditation is a quick and easy mindful practice to start the day off on the right foot!  When your alarm goes off, what are your first thoughts?  "I don't want to get out of bed", "urgh, already!?", "the weather is crap today".. the list could go on!  Instead of starting the day with negative thoughts, kick start with positive!  Shift your awareness to the things that are going right in your life, the things that always work out and the things that you may have stopped paying attention to.  By turning your awareness to the things that are going right, you're shifting your mindset into an appreciate one while also activating your awareness to look for other things that are going well. All you've got to do to start the day off right, is think of three things that are going well and that you are appreciate for. Three!  It's that simple.  The key is to feel into the things you've listed and then get on with your day.  I can guarantee that if you use this every day, you will start to turn, not only your morning routine, but your whole day, around.

xSx

https://youtu.be/Z4d4-VJ-Pho

MONDAY MEDITATION | 1 Minute Mindful Breathing Meditation

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Hey guys, This week I have shared probably the most simple mindful technique that I have come across!  All you have to do is tune into your breathe.  Observing all of its behaviour, rhythms and patterns.  The aim is to not change anything.  The more you relax, it will slow on its own.  The whole purpose of a mindful practice is to focus your attention on the activities in front of you, or in this case your natural breathing, in order to calm the mind from all of the crazy thoughts racing through it, to be able to focus all of your attention on what is happening right in front of you (..or inside!).

Calming the mind has profound positive effects on our nervous system, which then send a positive ripple effect to the rest of our body.  Imagine walking into that meeting calmer, clearer and more confident.  Imagine asking that guy out confidently.  Imagine knowing exactly what to say at the right time.  All of that is possible when we soothe our nervous system and mind.

Test it out, it only takes a minute!

https://youtu.be/BtJ5dGfWVcI

MONDAY MEDITATION | 1 Minute "Thank You" Meditation

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Hi All, I finally got up the courage to start sharing meditation videos!  I have had a meditation practice on and off for the past 4 years, and let me tell you.. when I fall off the meditation bandwagon, boy do I notice it!  I am not about getting all woo-woo spiritual with my meditations, I am about having a practice to ground myself, bust through fears and to have a deeper understanding and conversation with myself.  Learning to understand my emotions and where they come from, has transformed my life!  Through a really simple, yet committed practice, I have become more self-aware, confident, calmer, more compassionate, have more energy.. the list goes on.

I will be sharing super simple and easy meditations each and every Monday.  By keeping them simple, they seamlessly become part of our daily routine, regardless of your meditation background.  What better way to learn to meditate, than with an exercise that only takes 1 minute!!

Check it out and be sure to comment below with how you go :)

https://youtu.be/rxQtdTN4VPI

xSx

MONDAY MEDITATION | 1 Minute "In + Out Breathe" Meditation

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Looking for a meditation that you can do literally anywhere.. even at the traffic lights?  I've got the right one for you!! This little gem is so easy and subtle, you can literally do this one anywhere.  You can use it at your desk, on the tram/train, at the traffic lights, before a meeting.. anywhere!  It's the ultimate little reset, best part; it only takes a minute!

Check it out and be sure to comment below to let me know how you go :)

https://youtu.be/pWqa46LoP4M

xSx

How to Stay Positive in Negative Times

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These days we seem to be living amongst information overload.  We have negative news updates now creeping into our social media feeds, terrorism fears, constant internal comparisons to instagram accounts with stacks of followers, we're seeing the current gun violence in the US, we have financial fears.. the list goes on.  We cannot deny the times that we find ourselves living in, but we can take control of how we, as individuals and as a community, respond to them. The truth is, shit happens and its going to happen.  Once upon a time we all knew this, but our current world plasters perfection everywhere and its as if we've lost sight of the real world (this absolutely does not condone violence or hatred of any kind, and it never will.  Those kind of acts must be dealt with effectively.)  Life will always be an ebb and flow, just like the seasons, circumstances will always come and go.  Once we learn to let go and allow nature to take it's course (allow the negative circumstance to naturally subside), we are reminded that everything is only ever temporary and there is always a lesson to be learned, and a greater outcome awaiting us.

With all of that in mind, here are my tips for 'weathering the negative storms' and keeping a positive mind:

  1. Have compassion.  Compassion or those communities effected, compassion for your co-workers, compassion for your neighbour driving you nuts, compassion for the driver who just cut you off on the road.  We must expand our awareness to the fact that, in one way or another, we're all struggling.  That neighbour who is driving you nuts; may be about to lose a parent, that driver who just cut you off; may have just lost their job and may not know how they will pay their rent this month.  No one is rude, angry or hurtful to another when they are genuinely happy in their own life.  Once we understand this, it makes it a lot easier to deal with negative/unhappy people.
  2. Only concern yourself with what you can control.  This one can be a hard idea to grasp, but once we do, it's very freeing.  It doesn't change the circumstance, but it changes your reaction to it.  It's not about sitting back helplessly, it's simply the act of letting outside circumstances be managed by those who have the power to make the change.  Stress and worry wreak havoc on our nervous system, so when we stress that our train is delayed and we are now late for work, we're asking for a morning of chaos; unnecessary anxiety, stress & worry.  Stressing while sitting on the train wont make it go any faster and you cant get out and push it!  So this is where you accept that you're going to be late, let those who need to know, know and enjoy the extra 20 mins you get out of the office!  Relax, your co-workers wont even be thinking anything of it anyway, they're busy reading their emails or trawling news.com.au.
  3. Appreciation for everything.  Even when times are tough, there is always something to be grateful for.  Be thankful for the person who held the train door for you, be grateful for the lovely meal you ate, appreciate your income every month, thankful for the roof over your head, grateful for your loving partner or family.  As much as there are endless negative things we could think about, there are endless positive things.  The more you turn your attention to the good things in your life, the more they will show up.  It is law!
  4. Acceptance of the circumstances.  Accept that crappy things happen, accept that you will move through it and accept that the sun will break and you will find yourself on the other side, wiser, stronger, smarter and with a fresh outlook.

All it takes is one small positive action towards another to have a positive ripple effect.  You may be the reason that person smiled this morning, they may then hold the door for another, that person may then buy their co-worker a coffee.  All of these small action pay it forward for more optimism and positivity throughout us all.

How can you pay it forward today?

xSx

Better than Coffee!

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We all can struggle to wake up in the morning, but for those that are caffeine dependant, you could be doing more harm than you realise. Caffeine in small doses is generally fine for consumption, but your daily coffee, whether you're a 3 cups a day or just one cup a day coffee drinker, could be causing chaos to your nervous system, especially if you find that you are particularly stressed. Taking a caffeine detox every so often will do wonders for your system! Here are my tips for healthier wake-up substitutes.

Lemon Water I drink lemon water every day, I love it! In summer I have a jug of water in the fridge with half a lemon, half a lime and around 5 mint leaves. It's delicious, refreshing and aids the liver with detoxification. I even have mint and lemon in my water bottle on my desk a few times a week. The only caution with this one is to try and use a straw to limit the acidity on your teeth.

Morning exercise Put your work-out gear on and walk part of the way to work. I know the days that I walk half an hour to the next train station in my gym gear, are the days where I feel the most energised when I arrive to the office. Even if the walk wasn't strenuous, I still feel like I have moved my body and done something physical, especially before I spend many hours at a desk with little movement. If you drive to work, make an effort to get a 20 minute walk in before you leave (walk the dog, snoop on neighbours..) or even arrive at work early and take a walk around the block. You will certainly feel more awake after it.

Fresh air and sunlight Our bodies have a natural cycle called the circadian rhythm. We are naturally designed to wake up to light and wind down from dusk. When you wake, open the curtains and your windows. This will activate your body into wake mode.

Get out of bed when your alarm first goes off If you wake before your alarm, get up then. When we fall back asleep or take our time getting up, we are creating a sluggish state which can set the tone for the day ahead. You will also benefit from being able to take your time getting ready, rather than rushing.

Get enough sleep If you find that you are still tired when your alarm goes off (we have all been there..) make an effort to get to bed earlier. Just add 30 mins every week or so until you find the right amount of sleep for you. You will know that you are getting enough sleep when you wake up feeling refreshed. That mythical morning fresh feeling does exist and you will definitely be less likely to reach for coffee when you feel this great in the morning!

Sleep with your phone in your living room We all know the "roll over, grab phone, alarm off, click email, scroll Facebook, roll out of bed" routine. Set an old-school alarm and have your phone in another room. This will force you to get out of bed earlier to check your phone and will also create a more peaceful sleeping environment.

Cooler than normal shower Whether this shower is at your workplace after your morning exercise or right after you get out of bed, a cooler than normal shower has calming effects on our nervous system, strengthens vagal tone and wakes your senses up and leaves you feeling extra fresh!

Let me know which healthier routine options work for you and if you have any other tips that work for you, leave a comment below - I would love to hear them!

xSx

LifeCoachSam Has An Exciting New Vibe.

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It has been a while since I last posted, but now I am back- more refreshed and feeling better than ever! A lot has changed over the past year and I am feeling so inspired to bring you lots of helpful articles, guides and personal stories to continue to motivate you to live a balanced life.  The direction and focus of this website will be changing slightly.  I am feeling more drawn to wellness writing rather than writing only personal development content.  I feel like wellness covers all areas of our lives in the same way that personal development does, however, wellness allows for more freedom and balance.

This past year, a wellness-lifestyle has been my focus and a priority.  Wellness across the board; healthful food, getting back into basketball, taking time out, lots of socialising, massages, meditation classes, learning to say no, learning to stick to my new budget, fitness and adventure.   Wellness is a grounded lifestyle but it also encourages us to continually learn and grow.

To clarify, my definition of 'wellness' is obtaining health and balance across all areas of my life, essentially a lifestyle of maintaining general wellbeing through making healthful choices.

By no means have I been perfect nor totally strict on myself, but each and every week I take the time out for myself and come back to centre.  Whether that be cutting sugar for a week, or committing to increased exercise, or even getting my butt to Sunday morning meditation class, but no matter what, I always come back to honouring my true self.

As I write this blog, I am sitting on my couch still buzzing, yet feeling totally balanced from my first Reiki session.  This is just one of the new things I have fallen in love with over this past year and I will be sure to give you the full low-down on Reiki and, well, pretty much everything else that I have tried, loved, those not-so-loved and everything in between.

Throughout this journey, my intuition has become my greatest tool.  It is a daily compass.  And from this place, I am feeling so inspired and energised to bring you great content on lots of health and wellbeing areas that I have explored, re-discovered and lived this past year.

My desire for this page is to create a community of self-lovers and wellness-junkies.  Our personal wellbeing must be our first priority!  If we are neglecting ourselves, how can we show up fully to this world.  It starts with you and your relationship with yourself, and is maintained by you showing up for your greatest good.  It is not always easy, but it is definitely always worth it.

I am so excited for you all to see what is in store for LifeCoachSam.  So much goodness is coming your way!

xSx

Remember, every smile is contagious- so go spread the good stuff!

Knowing When to Let Go and Why No-one is Doing It

IMG_8699 As humans, we have a hard time letting go. We have been taught that if something didn't work out how we had expected then we have somehow failed or that we have been rejected. We assume that we were the problem or that we did something wrong. We then live in the "what ifs" and we continue to live in a state of "if only".

What we really need to be taught is that you were not being rejected you were being re-directed, and it's a wonderful thing. Society, as a whole, has controlling tendencies, we feel like we can control the outcome of every situation and that it must go our way and if it doesn't then we were hard done by. Doesn't that sound like a restricted life to live? Once we learn to truly let go of our expectations and trust that there is a greater plan for us, then we can start to live a more relaxed life.

To have faith in the unknown can take a bit of guts at first, but it is totally worth it. It can sound a little foreign initially to sit there are say "I know that [insert situation] didn't work out because something better is on the way" but it's true. Life doesn't have to be a struggle. We can choose to acknowledge that something/someone wasn't right for us, let it go and get back to enjoying the beauty of life, or you can sit and question "why?". There is so much happiness in staying calm and knowing that we are deserving of perfect outcomes for us at that time. Sometimes a situation simply provides a life lesson to be learnt. A lesson that will provide the knowledge we need to take forth with us on our life journey. Sometimes the hard decisions have to be made for us. We form emotional attachments to expected outcomes and we have a hard time seeing it play out in any other form.

When you find yourself stuck in the letting go process, try some of these exercise:

1: Sit calmly in a quiet room. Say to yourself (silently or aloud) "I have learnt everything that I needed to learn from this situation/person/event and its time to let it go. I release you and I have faith that something better is on its way.".

2: Talk it out with a trusted friend, but change the objective of the conversation. Talk with them with the aim to release rather than complain. Hear their advice and speak of the journey you will take to move forward.

3: Meditate! If you are new to meditation don't be scared off. All it takes is 5 minutes a day of silently monitoring your breathe to calm your mind and start to see your situation in a more peaceful way.

4: Write a release letter. Write down everything that you would say to a person that has hurt you, write down how you feel, write down how you expected something to go. Release it all, and finish the letter with a plan to move forward, knowing that something better is on its way.

Remember, you are always growing, always evolving and you are going to outgrow things. It is inevitable. You will outgrow people, jobs, homes, cars etc. Be wiling to let things go and embrace the new. This is where the excitement is, new stories, new experiences, new encounters. Be open to new opportunities as you don't yet know what you can discover. But if we stay in our limited thinking with thoughts like "this should have happened" or "if only I did this differently" you will miss all of the new and wonderful experiences you are yet to have had yet. You may be walking down a different path to the one you had expected, but have faith that it is leading to a greater destination.

P.S. Remember every smile is contagious, so go spread the good stuff!