Cultivate a Life of Vitality, Pleasure, Passion and Purpose


Struggling to Find Your Purpose? Try This Instead…

For many years, when somebody in the media or in the personal development world spoke about “finding your life’s purpose,” I could actually feel my cortisol level rise!? While I liked many things, I didn’t have the feeling that any one of them was my “reason for being.” In fact, any time I attempted to focus on and commit to one of my jobs/interests more fervidly than the others, I ended up bored and frustrated, feeling like the only way to figure it out was to go on a long, arduous, soul-searching, Eat Pray Love- type journey to “find myself”.  The search for my purpose seemed to be a rabbit hole that, quite frankly, I just didn’t have the time (or money!) to go down.

At the same time, I recognized the importance of having a strong sense of purpose in my life.

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A “Grown Up” Valentine’s Day

As I’ve confessed before, I’m a true romantic – I love love and think it’s absolutely brilliant to have a day devoted to celebrating it. In fact, let’s celebrate the hell out of love! However, I’m more than ready to replace the superficial, adolescent, Hallmark movie version with a healthier, more empowering, “grown up” Valentine’s Day.

Now, I fully acknowledge that there’s a certain sweetness in the roses, stuffed animals, candy hearts, etc. that are part of the traditional Valentine’s Day celebration. The problem is that the underlying messages about love are immature, unrealistic and, well…kind of silly. Essentially, we’re told that love is to be found in one special someone who demonstrates his/her love by showering us with gifts and attention. The grander the gestures, the more he/she loves us.  And if, by chance, we aren’t partnered up, we’re made to feel unworthy, irrelevant and anxious about the prospect of being alone forever. Love is objectified and becomes an impossible ideal. Like I said…pretty silly.

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Where Time Management Falls Short (And What to Do Instead!)

I had a conversation with a close friend recently and she shared with me that she often feels resentful because she can’t seem to find any time for herself. She’s got young kids, a (demanding) full time job, a husband, home, etc. In other words…she has many roles, a slew of responsibilities and a day to day life that is fairly exhausting; doesn’t leave a whole lot of room for the  “vitality, pleasure, passion and purpose” that I promote on this site. She was obviously frustrated and genuinely wanted to know what advice I had to help her manage her time.

I knew exactly what she was feeling, having been in her shoes (you can read a bit more about my story here). So, when she asked for time management suggestions, I shared my strong belief that the key to dealing with overwhelm isn’t time management, so much as it’s energy management.

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Ways to Bring More Luxury Into Your Life

“Luxury to me is not about buying expensive things; it’s about living in a way where you appreciate things.”

-Oscar De La Renta

Contrary to what most people think, wealth is not a prerequisite for luxury. In fact, when people view luxury this way, it almost always eludes them. Yes, for some, luxury might include grand estates, dinners at five-star restaurants and exotic vacations, but I much prefer to think of luxury as Oscar De La Renta does.

Getting to sleep in for an extra couple of hours on the weekend…luxury. Picking apples with my family each September…luxury. A bowl of my mother’s homemade chicken soup when I’m not feeling well…you guessed it, luxury. None of those things cost a lot of money (some don’t cost anything at all), yet my appreciation of them raises them to the level of luxury.

The way to make life luxurious, then, is to live day by day and moment by moment in a state of joy and gratitude. Seek out beauty and pleasure each and every day. It may not always be easy, but as we search for things to be grateful for even when (perhaps especially when) times are tough, we build our capacity for joy and gratitude and, consequently, we attract more luxury.

Here is a list of 27 ways to bring more luxury into your life.

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Weekly Wellegant Find: Headspace

Meditation is the hot, new thing that’s been around for 2,000 years!? Everyone seems to be talking about it, touting its (many, many) health benefits. Although I now have a regular meditation practice, I was a struggling and inconsistent meditator for years. It seemed that, as soon as I sat down to meditate, my mind quickly began running through my to-do list, feeling guilty about meditating (when I had so damn much to do!), obsessively replaying some aspect of my day, and then scolding myself for allowing my mind to wander and ruminate. Each meditation ended with me feeling disappointed in myself, like I’d somehow “failed” at meditating.

Any wonder why I had a hard time making this a regular practice??

There’s no shortage of data proving that meditation is a worthwhile pursuit, with benefits such as greater emotional wellbeing, enhanced immunity, increased mental strength and focus, improved cardiovascular function and longevity (to name just a few). But when we’re new to the practice, that kind of mental discipline can be hard. It’s far easier to focus the mind when we have something neutral to focus on. Enter…Headspace!

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“The Best Don’t Rest” and Other Dangerous Myths

While waiting for my manicure to dry at the nail salon this afternoon, my eyes fixed on a young girl having her nails done across from me. She looked to be about 13 years old and wore a bright pink shirt that said, “The Best Don’t Rest.” As I read that, I felt sadness and anger rise up in me. I wanted to call her over, sit her down and tell her how quickly that belief ( and others like it) will lead her down a dangerous path – the path of perfectionism, anxiety and overwhelm (a path I’m not unfamiliar with). I wanted to warn her that beliefs like that one will send her on the fast track to burnout, despite the fact that they’re the very messages we’re bombarded with each and every day. I wanted to ask her, “Do you know how many people in our culture suffer from depression and anxiety?!” But she wouldn’t know. Not yet.

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Trouble Saying “No”?


When you say “yes” to others, make sure you are not saying “no” to yourself.  

(Paulo Coelho)

Nothing creates more stress for more women than the habit of saying “yes” when we really want to say “no.” Many women revert to an almost automatic “yes” response, in an effort to please others and, while the desire to please others is sometimes a worthy goal, if that desire comes from a place of insecurity and the feeling that we need to prove ourselves, we can easily enter the dangerous territory known as people-pleasing.

Dr. Harriet Braiker’s book, The Disease to Please: Curing the People Pleasing Syndrome, came across my radar recently and, as a recovering people pleaser, I decided to give it a read.

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