By Jackie White
Hey, Peeps! We all have busy lives to lead and many days we are just trying to get through them. That’s a problem. Why? Because it becomes a series of domino reactions. Let me explain.
The Scenario: You are busy, that’s just the way it is. You get up, gulp down a cup of go-get-em and head out the door. First, you drop the kids at school with the lunches you packed at 6:00 AM, now you fight traffic to get to work. Rush! Get your butt into the office and do the work! Now, late afternoon arrives and you have been in fast motion all day, you want to take a break, but your son has a cross country meet. You hustle your bustle on out to the meet, cheer him on, pack him up and head home to make dinner, connect with your family and try not to fall asleep too early. Your head hits the pillow and the sleep you have been craving for the last 5 hours suddenly eludes you and you start the list-making: you think oh, crap, I forgot to work out again, and I was supposed to call the dentist, I have a looming deadline at work and my legs haven’t been shaved in weeks! Now, you start chastising yourself for running these inane lists in your head at night!
STOP RIGHT THERE!
This is not the way to live your life. Now, granted, days like these happen from time to time, but if your life looks this crazy, it’s time to do something different. Let’s break it down (before you do!)
Body: Let’s begin with the body. It all begins and ends with the body. Let’s take a quick survey:
Are you getting enough sleep (7 plus hours of good uninterrupted sleep)?
Are you drinking enough water? (8, 8-ounce glasses per day)?
Are you eating healthfully most of the time (veggies, fruits, protein, limit carbs and sugars)?
Are you exercising daily (150 minutes moderate activity each week)?
Do you maintain a healthy weight?
Are you nutritionally deficient?
Do you get regular check-ups and medical testing as necessary per your age?
Mind: Your brain and your body are interconnected and what’s happening in your body is affecting your brain. Let’s take a look at common complaints in the mind department:
Do you feel forgetful?
Do you feel like you have a “brain fog?”
Do you have trouble focusing?
Are you scattered?
Do you feel like your mind is racing?
Do you feel like you need constant stimulation or things get boring?
Soul: The often persistent, yet ignored part of your wellness is your soul. Let’s check in on it:
Do you feel like you are living a fulfilled life?
Do you feel like you are addressing the things that mean the most to you?
Do you feel like you are living your purpose?
Do you take time to calm yourself through rest or meditation?
Do you take time to be in solitude with yourself?
Do you experience joy on a regular basis?
What you need to know is that the foundation is the body. When you take care of the basics like eating properly, drinking your water and exercising, you are fueling and feeding your brain healthfully. You often feel good and when you feel good, you have the energy and motivation to feed those things knocking on the door down deep in your soul.
Put it all together. The mind, body and soul are inextricably linked. It’s a whole system that if you ignore one of the parts, you will see it bubble up throughout the system. Think holistically about yourself. Spend time taking care of yourself because it’s important to who you are and all that you can be for not only yourself but also others in your life.
Don’t ignore, restore your whole self. Make it a priority and begin living the life you deserve.
By Erika Fehrenbach Prell
Anyone else feel as though they have completely fallen off the health wagon? Whoa, baby, summer is super fun, but, all that fun can allow unserving, and unhealthy, habits to creep in. Slowly at first, an ice treat here, skip a workout there. Before you know it, bam! All these little choices have compounded and here we are.
Now, before you jump on the latest diet fad bandwagon, let’s get something straight. It’s these everyday, small, seemingly insignificant choices that are the difference maker in leading you towards or away from any goal or outcome. To get back on your healthy journey, you just need to start replacing those unhealthy habits with a healthier alternative. Then, keep adding to these slowly but regularly until you are back on track. Sounds too simple? That’s where we often go astray; small habits and actions got you off the wagon, and small habits and actions will get you back on track (for more, check out our recent blog about Tiny Habits here → https://www.findyoursoulshine.com/blog/tiny-habits-the-secret-that-can-change-your-life)
Here are 3 Areas to Focus on to Jumpstart Your Health Journey:
1. Mindset Makeover
We have said it before, and we will keep saying it. Every change or outcome you desire in your life starts with mindset. You need to think of what you want, believe you can achieve it, then take action towards it. Keeping your mindset in the positive and possible during your health journey is key to staying on track, especially as you hit inevitable stumbles like, ahem, summer...lol. A good place to start is with a positive affirmation or mantra like, “I am becoming my healthiest self”. Make a post-it note with this mantra and put it on your end table to remind yourself to say this in the morning and night, stick it to your mirror for when you brush your teeth or get ready, put it by the coffee maker...anywhere to remind yourself throughout the day that you are on your way! Add to your mindset by adding in practicing gratitude, meditating, deep breathing exercises, or journaling.
2. Get Your Move On
Have you heard this one enough...that you need to exercise? Well, you are hearing it again...it’s that important and crucial. Regular exercise is total wellness from your head to your toes, literally! There isn’t a part of your body or self that exercise doesn’t benefit. Here’s where you start...10 minutes of any kind of movement every day. That’s it…just 10 minutes of walking, yoga, dancing, bike riding, jogging, boxing...you get the picture. Schedule it into your day and follow through. Add to your move it time with an ultimate goal of at least 150 minutes every week.
3. Water, Water, Water
Another one you hear often, drink more water. Like daily exercise, getting enough hydration is necessary to your health journey but many people inconsistently hydrate enough. Here’s a great way to start: drink a glass of water first thing when you wake up and with every meal. These 4 glasses of water will definitely jumpstart your hydration goal, which should be about half your body weight in water EVERY SINGLE DAY. Added bonus? Drinking water with meals will help with digestion and make you feel full faster. Increase your water intake daily until you hit half your body weight in ounces, keeping in mind that on hot days or after strenuous exercise, you will need extra hydration.
That’s where to put your focus, DreamChaser...mindset, movement, and water. Join me back on the Health Wagon!
By Jackie White
What happens to someone when they push themselves just a little bit harder? I don’t mean changing your entire world in the pursuit of a dream or goal. What I mean is what if you just did 1% better every day?
Certainly doesn’t sound like that would be that earth-shattering, right? The truth is, you will likely not notice in the everyday short-term effects of you pushing yourself 1% more. It’s itsy bitsy. But, here is the amazing magic of 1% better each day, you will find yourself 37 times better by the time you are done! Ta-dah! I felt that needed a little fanfare!
Huh, what’s the math on that stat? I am no math wiz, but here is what James Clear explains in his book Atomic Habits:
1% better per day simply means to get a little better each day. 1% better each day, compounded over a year (365 days), is 3800% better each year. 1% worse each day, compounded over a year (365 days), means you lose 97% of your value each year.
Here’s another way to look at this. In the game of life, continuous improvement is what is going to move the needle, but also avoiding tiny losses is important too. What that means is that doing fewer things wrong is actually more important than doing more things right. Here is what I mean:
Eat fewer unhealthy options
Couch surf less often
Watch less tv
Waste less time
A Real-Life Couch Potato Example
Here is a real-life example for you to think about: Let’s say you wanted to run a 5K and yet your butt hasn’t left the couch in years, how do you go from a non-runner to someone running a whole 3.1 miles? What if you have seriously never ever run at all? Well. let me introduce myself, it’s Jackie, the girl who could never run the 12-minute mile in gym class. I mean seriously if you ever saw me running, there would have to be some sort of wild animal chasing me, because Gurl, it was not going to happen! However, at age 45 I ran my first 5K! I ran the whole damn thing, slow as can be, but I did it. How. you might ask? I used the app Couch to 5K and it challenged me just a little bit more every day and low and behold in 9 weeks I went from a chip-eating couchslug to the owner of a big gold medal badge that says I am a runner who completed a 5K! That’s big stuff, people!
It’s the small and tiny habits that take you down the road less traveled. It could be quite literally down the road, as in my 5K example, or it could be just doing a little bit more than average at work each and every day. It can be replacing a cookie with an apple every day or choosing to be less negative every day, just a little bit. You can flood your life with amazing feats of living by just going the extra mile, not all in one big bite, but in tiny choices, you can make daily.
When you look at it like that it doesn’t seem that painful. You now know the secret to pulling ahead of the crowd or beating your own personal best in whatever arena you want to improve. Tiny habits, small choices, and doing fewer things wrong are your ticket to achieving all those things in life that maybe before you only dreamed of!
Go for the 1% and Shine On!
By Erika Fehrenbach Prell
Anyone else immediately think of the lemurs from the Madagascar movie when you hear the refrain “I like to move it, move it”...or is it just me?!? You’re welcome for having that image and song stuck in your head for the rest of the day! We are all about bringing the fun to your life, DreamChaser, and nothing is more fun than the crazy dance party that is this scene (permission to Google if necessary). This, DreamChaser, is the new mindset you need to adopt when it comes to exercise...that’s it’s so fun and enjoyable why wouldn’t you want to move it!
That brings me to the main point of today’s topic, DreamChaser. Mindset. We’ve said it before, and we will say it again, it all comes down to mindset. It’s time to do the ole SoulShine Flip the Script on your mindset in regards to exercise. Quick recap on what I mean by Flip the Script. This is a SoulShine Best Life strategy to change your mindset from a place of negativity and limitation to positivity and possibility when it comes to a limiting belief simply by changing the wording. Here are 3 places to Flip the Script on your Exercise Mindset:
1. I don’t have time to exercise. → flip it to “I have 10 minutes every day to exercise”.
This is probably the most common excuse not to exercise. Here’s the thing, according to the American Heart Association, you only need to do 10 minutes of any form of exercise to receive heart and other health benefits. Only 10 minutes of any kind of exercise from walking to yoga to running! You can find 10 minutes to do this for yourself...you just have to make it a priority. Your health should be one of your highest priorities!
2. I don’t think exercise is fun. → flip it to “I find exercise fun and enjoyable”.
Belief is the beginning of changing your mindset, and you get to choose what you believe. You can choose to believe exercise is fun, or choose to believe it isn’t, but it’s much easier (and more fun) to do exercise if you believe it is fun! Here’s a truthbomb...if you do not find the exercise you are doing to be enjoyable, try something else! Dance, bike, join a soccer team, walk with a friend, watch your favorite show while walking on a treadmill, listen to a podcast or book while taking a walk...make it fun so you want to do it!
3. I’m too tired to exercise. → flip it to “I feel tired and know that exercise will boost my energy level”.
This might seem counterintuitive but it’s true! While exercise does tire your muscles physically, you will actually feel a boost of energy after exercising. Why? Exercise increases the blood flow in your body, so your brain, muscles, and tissues receive more oxygen faster. Exercise also releases your body’s happy hormones, which boosts your mood, makes you feel better, and makes you feel more energized. Quick side note, exercise will not replace a lack of sleep...lol...but no more using feeling tired as a reason not to exercise!
Spending time to change your mindset of exercise and making it not only a daily priority but also a source of fun and enjoyment in your life is worth the effort. Your future self is thanking you already! Shine On!
By Erika Fehrenbach Prell
Whether you call it this or not, you have an Absolute No List. These are the things you will no way, no how, never ever do. When you first start creating your Absolute No List, it might start with things like skydiving or going back to school or scuba diving. Nothing wrong with those, lol, as skydiving has made my list, too. But, I want to challenge you to dig deep, be brave and bold and tap into your priorities and guiding life principles. The Absolute No List is an awesome Best Life tool to help guide you on your journey to your best life.
Before you start, I want to push you just a little bit more to make your Absolute No List even better. To say we have been living in challenging times since the start of the pandemic is a huge understatement. Here’s the thing about hard times, DreamChaser, it can be a place of getting stronger and building your resiliency muscle. Choosing to find the blessing in the stressing and being a victor rather than a victim will serve you well.
Ready for the push to be better as you make your Absolute No List? You are a different person than you were before the pandemic. You may have changes in your priorities, your career, your family, your health, your dreams, your views...all of these, a combination of these, or other things not listed. As the world starts to unfold anew from the pandemic, you have the unique opportunity for a do-over in many areas of your life. As you write (yes, write) your Absolute No List, take into consideration all that you have learned from this pandemic. Here are a few examples from lessons I have learned for inspiration (permission given to use them or modify as needed):
-Time is precious and a limited commodity that requires and deserves protection. Before saying yes to something that takes my time, I will make sure it aligns with my priorities and is a Best Yes. If not, bless and release.
-I will no longer take for granted small, everyday things like going shopping, visiting friends and family freely, going out to eat, or toilet paper. Practicing gratitude for the small things helps me keep this perspective.
-I will not waste opportunities to tell someone I love them, hug them, or spend time with them.
-Tomorrow is not guaranteed. Make the most of every moment.
-Spending time with my kids like snuggling on the couch watching America’s Got Talent, reading a book together, playing catch outside, going for a bike ride, or playing a video game is more important than laundry or cleaning. No one ever looks back and regrets dusting or vacuuming.
-The world needs more kindness. I will start the ripple by always being kind.
-I will intentionally work to remove never from my vocabulary as this word is too limiting. My thoughts on a subject may change in the future, even in regards to skydiving.
Now, it’s YOUR turn, DreamChaser, to curate your Absolute No List!
You should find the Absolute No List to be a crazy simple, fun, and effective strategy to intentionally guide you on your best life path. Shine on!
By Jackie White
In today’s world, change seems to be the name of the game. Life as we once knew it has changed and life as we will know it likely will change.Things will not be the same, but maybe they will be new and improved? I for one have upped my hand washing and sanitization skills and am uber aware of not touching my face. I maintain distance between myself and others and have managed to stay sickness-free for over a year and a half. I see businesses doing business in new ways so to best maintain safety, comfort and flexibility for their clientele.
With all this change, it got me thinking maybe we should consider some changes in our own selves? There is no better time to implement change because everything is all sort of one big do-over. So, why can’t we have a do-over?
Now, you don’t have to throw the baby out with the bath water on this. I mean, you have a lot of great stuff going for you, but there is always room for improvement. Isn’t it a bit freeing to think you have an excuse to drop the chains that have kept you tied to old tapes or other’s expectations? If there ever was a right time to break away from things that are not serving you well, then now would be the time! You can start living the life you always wanted to live. You can be the you, you have always wanted to be! I love this!
I want you to think about why this might be important. The why helps to define your motivation for making the change. Fundamentally you have to believe that what matters most in all this is YOU.
You matter - period. You matter. Your opinions matter, your voice must be heard! The nudgings of your dreams need to be pursued because why? Because you matter. That’s all, nothing more and nothing less.
1.Begin with dropping what doesn’t matter. Take a look at the stuff you are spending your time on that in the big picture is not adding value to your life.
2 Think about what is important in your life (Pssst, you are important!) and make a list of all those things.
3. Add the good stuff in,
4. Take the not-so-good stuff out!
5. Fashion a vision of what you want your do-over life to look like.
6. Set up a time bound plan of action to go after the new Do-Over You!
7. Take a few minutes each day to be mindful of this new Do-Over Life!
8.Check in and make sure you are staying true to the new you because, why? Because you matter!
There it is, DreamChasers, your invitation to take do-over on either parts of your life or the whole dang thing! Go for it and don’t forget to…
By Erika Fehrenbach Prell
Anyone else feeling rusty in the back-to-school department? It has been almost 2 years since school started with a normal-ish vibe. 2 years!!! And, for many parents, you might just be getting back to the office from working at home. Talk about a double-whammy! Never fear...SoulShine is HERE to help you calm the back-to-school chaos and get your groove on. Focus on these 5 tips and you will be on track for back-to-school (and back to the office) in no time.
#5 - Appointments & Such
If you haven’t already, here’s your reminder to do back-to-school clothes, shoes, and school supplies shopping. Don’t forget fall sports needs! Speaking of sports, if you have middle or high school children, they may need a sports physical to participate. While you are at it, schedule any other needed appointments like hair cuts, orthodontist, and dentist.
#4 - Calendar is Key
Getting organized is often top of mind to wrangle the summer craziness, right? But, where to start?!? The answer? Your calendar! Getting a handle on open houses, meet the teacher day, appointments, sports practices...you know, all the things...starts with a well-organized calendar. Seriously, this will be a gamechanger in calming the chaos all year round! Here’s my system:
#3 - Plan Ahead
Now that your appointments are scheduled and your calendar is in order, start working on planning ahead. Sunday is a great time to do this. Give the calendar a look over, make sure anything new is entered and look at the week. Do meal and menu planning. Consider easy meals like crockpot or air fryer on busy nights, like sports or work events, when the schedule is tighter. Look for other areas to plan ahead like packing lunches, school bags, or sports bags. Assign tasks to family members as appropriate but make sure they know what was assigned to manage expectations. Time spent here always helps keep the chaos at bay.
#2 - Add on 10
Add 10 more minutes to your planned time for everything the first week of school. Go to bed 10 minutes earlier, get up 10 minutes sooner, plan to get the kids out the door to the bus stop or in the car 10 minutes sooner. Why? You are all rusty at this getting ready and out the door thing. It’s going to take longer to do this. You will forget some things. Having a little extra time will give you a cushion to get out the door on time.
#1 - Mindset Mastery
This should not be a surprise...your mindset will make or break the back-to-school groove. When the chaos starts to take over, pause and take a deep breath. It’s going to be okay. You were made for harder things than this. Flip the Script and embrace the chaos...back-to-school chaos means we are actually going BACK-TO-SCHOOL, something we all wanted a year ago. Now, there’s something to be grateful for!
Plus, what happens after you finally get those kids out the door or dropped off? Silence. A moment to think without the bickering, chatter, video games or YOUTube, or incessant “Mom...Mom...Mom”. That, DreamChaser, is enough to get me through the chaos. Here’s to a great school year!
By Jackie White
It’s the season of new lunch boxes, backpacks, notebooks, and pencils! The anticipation of preparing for school to start even reaches those of us without kids in the home. What if we took advantage of that excitement and spent this month learning something new that will help us live a happier and more fulfilled life?
With learning anything, we have to be diligent to study and practice what we learn so that we become proficient at it. One of the most interesting and important subjects we all have access to is learning about ourselves, but rarely do we do it. Think about it. What if we took a little time each week to explore and learn about ourselves? We would soon be experts on who we are and what we want out of our lives.Think of it as mini-course of self-discovery. Perhaps the most interesting class you have ever taken. It should be because it’s all about you!
Many feel a twinge of resistance when they think about working on themselves. They put it on the back burner or use the excuse that they don’t have time to spend time on themselves. Not having time, most of the time, equates to not feeling the subject you do not have time for is a priority. Let’s put it this way, what if you were given one million dollars for spending some time with yourself learning about who you really are. That would be amazing! I bet that if you truly were going to get one million dollars for doing that, time would suddenly be available to work on this priority.
So, I hate to break it to you, but I don’t have a million dollars to offer you, but I can roll out the red carpet that leads to greater life satisfaction, happiness and meaning. That might actually even sound better than a million dollars. It certainly will buy you happiness with nothing more than a little effort on your part.
To help you get started on your self-discovery mini-course, SoulShine has put together a personal inventory for you to begin assessing where you are spending your time and how you’d like to show up in your life. You can access your own copy of the inventory here:
Then join Jackie and Erika on Facebook, on the first Wednesday of each month at noon to talk through strategies and ideas on how to best balance your own personal inventory.
This is a class you should easily ace because, heck it is all about you! Stay with us here at SoulShine for more curriculum you can work through to learn something new about yourself!
By Erika Fehrenbach Prell
The best lessons in life are right in front of us, if we just have the presence of mind to pause and pay attention. One such lesson uncovered itself after watching my 2 year old Lucy on the playground. Shakespeare is attributed with the quote, “And though she be but little she is fierce”, which describes Lucy to a tee particularly when it comes to playground interactions. She has no hesitation to direct her playground compatriots on where and when to go or point out a playground faux pas like climbing up the slide. She also sees no distinction between her size and ability and those of, say, her 9 year old brother’s; if he can climb the giant climbing wall, obviously, then so can she!
Oye! The palpitations this determined girl gives me! But, this leads me to our lesson, DreamChaser, straight outta the playground. When describing Lucy and her playground antics to other parents and our friends, I find myself saying, “She definitely has more confidence than ability”. After saying this a few times, two things dawned on me. First, this is how we all should be living. And, two, this would be the best t-shirt phrase...sorry, I call dibs on that one.
Whether you have come to terms with it or not, you have goals and dreams in your heart and mind. Your SoulShine Inspiration Catalysts (that's us...Jackie & Erika!) hope that you act on them, and our mission is to help guide you to do just that. What gets in the way? So many things but a big one is having a lack of confidence due to a lack of ability.
Ready for a truthbomb? This is such ridiculous and backward thinking! The reason something is a goal or a dream is because you don’t have it yet. Since you haven’t achieved it, you don’t have the ability yet to make it happen. So, waiting to have the ability before you have the confidence to go for it means...drumroll...YOU WILL LIKELY NEVER HAVE IT! You have to believe you can find a way, harness just a smidge of confidence, and take the first step so you get going on the path to having whatever it is you want.
Want that goal or dream? DreamChaser, it’s time to embrace that inner child and go for it with all the confidence of a toddler on a 10 foot climbing wall! Believe you can. Trust that you will figure it out. Will you fall? Probably a time or two. What does a toddler do? They pick themselves up, dust themselves off, and go at it again...let’s be real, toddlers know that admitting defeat means they have to leave the playground where all the fun and excitement is. That’s exactly why you stay in the goal-getting, dream-chasing game...that’s where the fun and excitement of life is!
Confidence over ability, DreamChaser, that’s where it's at. Let’s do this and enjoy the view from the top!
By Jackie White
Some people are wired to see life through a positive lens. They find the silver lining even in troubled times. How do these people do it because we know that not everyone finds sunshine on a gray day?
The question begins with are some people just genetically positioned to be positive, happy people? A depression study done by Stanford University looked at whether some people were genetically predisposed to having higher life satisfaction.
What they found was that 50% of life satisfaction can be attributed to genetics, now if you are a glass-half-full kind of person you will see that the other 50% is under your control (40% with intentional activities and 10% related to external events). What that means is even if you are a glass-half-empty person, you can shift your life experience through intentional activities.
How to Walk on the Sunny Side of the Street:
By being intentional and implementing any or better yet, all of these 5 tips, you too will find yourself walking on the sunny side of the street!
Jackie White has been writing about life and its ups and downs for many years. With a degree in Industrial Psychology and a life-long student of personal development she is intrigued by how each individual chooses to live their life. Jackie feels strongly that truly living your best life is imperative to attaining peace and fulfillment. SoulShine was borne of her desire to inspire and teach others to live their best life. This is her mission and her dream.