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Living your dreams can seem like a lofty goal. Sure, we all have things we want to achieve, stuff we’d love to accomplish, and dreams we’d love to have come true. Right?

Whether we know what we want or even if we don’t, sometimes we feel a vague sense of dissatisfaction with life. Perhaps we’re at an in-between place, unsure of the future. Maybe there are circumstances preventing us from living life how we’d really like to.

We may still go about taking care of our obligations and chores, tasks and responsibilities, but life seems routine and uninspired. Our goals may begin to lose their luster, and nothing seems energizing. When this happens, we refer to ourselves as being in a funk, a rut, or a dry-spell. We feel like something’s lost from life… something’s missing.

I know when I end up in this place, it means I’ve stopped creating. I’m not talking about creating in the traditional sense. I’m talking about the gift of creativity that we’re all born with:

The ability to consciously create the life we want, day by day, one moment at a time.

What am I saying here? I’m saying that creating puts us back in touch with our aliveness. We are all part of the creative life force, that miraculous energy that makes everything new, lighter, and more joyous. Every one of us is co-creating our own experience, each and every day, whether we do it consciously or not. So why not create a little of our dreams into our daily experiences?

I want to make it clear that I’m not talking about the big things here. They require lots of waiting and some of them may never happen. The biggest things, the things we feel are lacking and are wishing for most, are really just symbols. Symbols for simpler, more meaningful experiences we can have right now.

The trick is to break those big dreams into smaller parts and incorporate those into our lives.

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skyheart

The past may be gone forever..and whatever the future holds, our todays make the memories of tomorrow.

There’s almost nothing more rewarding in life than close relationships, be it with a spouse or loved one, friends, children, or our families. One of the things that all of the most cherished and satisfying relationships have in common is lasting memories.

Memories, especially joyful ones, fortify relationships and increase their endurance, especially through difficult times. We really don’t “plan” on creating happy memories, they just seem to happen, yet we’d all like it if we knew we could have more of them. But how do we go about intentionally making them happen? What are the things that we remember most?

Sure, a vacation might do the trick, or another big life event, but these don’t always occur very often. And even though we really can’t guarantee that we’ll be able to create more joyful memories, there are manageable things we can do in the present that deepen bonds, increase mutual joy and aliveness, and raise the odds that we’ll have more memorable times to look back on in the future. Most of these involve, at least in some way, breaking from our routines.

Even good relationships tend to stagnate when routine sets in…  time slips by, without any real memories being made. This is when we look back and wonder where the time went… there are no real markers to set things apart.

Stressed or difficult relationships are also undermined by routine: things have become so uncomfortable or tough that any routine that keeps the status quo, or the stress at bay, is often adopted. No good memories are created in this place, and with time, this increases the chasms that separate us from those we care about.

Breaking out of the routines that keep us from deepening our connections and experiencing the stuff we’ll enjoy looking back on doesn’t have to be complicated, expensive, or extravagant. Instead, try incorporating some of the following simple elements into any of your relationships, and make them, in some way, part of your routines together:

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Make it a New Habit: Drink an 8-12 oz glass of water right before you snack to reduce hunger.

Make it a New Habit: Drink an 8-12 oz glass of water right before you snack to reduce hunger.

What happens when you have a hankering for a snack? Do you sometimes need to have something sweet, salty, or greasy, right away? I know this happens to me, no matter how disciplined I might be at any given time.

Sometimes our energy is just zapped and often our body cries out for something to keep us going. The first instinct is to grab some soft, sweet sugar-filled goodness or something to “munch” on, usually of the crunchy carbohydrate variety.

We all know that snacking can be the downfall of a healthy lifestyle, but there are some things you can do if you must snack that will help you avoid  the extra pounds.

Most of the time I try not to snack at all by eating proper meals, but there are times I just can’t help myself. Sometimes, there are days in a row when I snack, as much as I tell myself I’m not going to. Usually the urge to snack means that I haven’t eaten enough at mealtime, that I haven’t eaten the proper food at meals, or that I’m waiting too long in between meals. When I do snack I follow the 2-3 Hour Window rule of thumb, no matter what I choose to snack on (below).

Obviously the best approach is to try to avoid the snack altogether, but when you need to snack to re-up on energy (or just to kill a craving) here are 10 tips to help keep off the extra pounds: [Read more-->]

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Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don't resist them; that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like. ~Laozi

Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don't resist them; that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like. ~Laozi

When a new year rolls around we often look to things that might improve our lives: small changes we can make, new habits we can adopt or old ones we can shed.

Sometimes, we get so caught up in small self-improvement tweaks or keeping the status quo that we neglect the real issues: the toughest, most transformative changes, the ones that will have the most impact on our lives. But this is no accident.

In general, we avoid the most meaningful changes with everything we’ve got. Because they’re big, and because of their transformative power, we’ll call them “Big Changes”.

Most often, the Big Changes have to do with one of the following:

  • Work
  • Relationships
  • Living Circumstances
  • Physical or Emotional Health
  • Facing Addiction
  • Some Other Fundamental Life Change

Big Change Theory

They’re the most meaningful changes, yet difficult. They are of the self-directed type, the kind that brew under the surface for a while. They’re born of deep desire, an inner knowing. Once born, they bring with them their own energy, even before we make them. We could say they arise from the very human quest for happiness, the life force, or our own evolution toward a higher good.

Regardless of where they come from, we know making them will result in very powerful and positive transformation in our lives, the type that permeates our being and trickles into everything else we do. Some say they are our aliveness coming to get us. Yet, we put them off.

Initially, we don’t embark on them for a variety of reasons: we’re not prepared, the time isn’t right, it’s hard, we don’t know how, we don’t want to hurt someone, our finances aren’t in order, there’s something we don’t want to give up, etc. And though the reasons abound, they really don’t matter much, because the energy of these changes doesn’t go away. Instead, it stays with us, just below the surface, fighting for our conscious attention.

At times we can put these changes out of our minds for a while, but they remain there in the background and continue to haunt us. They exert their force on our subconscious even when we’re not thinking about them. Still, oddly enough, we avoid them not just for weeks, but often months, and sometimes even for years. How does this happen, and why?

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