Loving What Is

What does it mean to you to “Love What Is“?

I serendipitously rediscovered an insightful passage I had written down in a journal two years ago from Bryon Katie, author of Loving What Is, encouraging me to ask the four questions of any stressful thought that surfaces:

  • Is it true?
  • Can you absolutely know it’s true?
  • How do you react, what happens, when you believe that thought?
  • Who would you be without that thought? 

I personally love Katie’s last question, “Who would you be without that thought?” , because it conjures up the image of chain-breaking, freedom, and lightness of being.

As you venture into the new year, how will you choose to address stressful thoughts in your life? Have they become your master, or will you render them unfounded?

 Excerpt from “Loving What Is”
To think I know what’s best for anyone else is to be out of my business.

Even in the name of love, it’s pure arrogance, and the result is tension, anxiety, and fear.

Do I know what’s right for me?

That is my only business.

Let me work with that before I try to solve problems for you.

-Bryron Katie

In loving connection,

Jennifer xxx

The 10 Human Drives: What You Need to Know to Live a More Charged Life.

Brendon Burchard- Charge- 10 Human Drives

What drives the essence of who you are?  

There are undoubtedly times in life when we feel like hitting the reset button and when this happens, I turn to inspiring thought leaders for mental reactivation.  I picked up a copy of New York Times best-selling author Brendon Burchard’s classic,  The Charge: Activating the 10 Human Drives That Make You Feel Alive to find this inspiration.   Brendon is widely considered the world’s leading high-performance coach as well as the most watched, quoted, and followed personal development trainers of all time.   A near-death car accident and painful breakup with his first love served as motivation for writing the book coupled with a longing to answer the questions Did I live? Did I love? Did I matter?

I love the connection I feel when reading the thoughts of expansive, passionate thinkers and my intention in sharing this condensed book summary with you is twofold:  First,  to provide you with self-discovery questions you can implement immediately to deepen your understanding of what drives your behavior and how to move your life’s happiness needle if you find yourself off-track.  Second,  my goal is to inspire you to connect with more of his highly insightful work.

The 10 human drives are broken into two categories:  5 baseline drives and  5 forward drives.  Let’s start by examining the 5 baseline drives together.

5 Baseline Drives

Think of baseline drives as the starting point or the foundational behaviors shared by  every human being.

  • DRIVE #1 CONTROL

Whether we admit it or not, we all desire a certain level of control in life, and while we cannot control others despite our most concerted efforts, we can control two things: our outlook and our character.  We can also control how we choose to live our life:  caged, comfortable, or charged.    Brendon encourages us to “safeguard our outlook” by choosing optimism to keep things in perspective.   He introduces the concept of “control for new”, a strategy that focuses on planning time specifically for new things in life in order to mitigate boredom, depression, and malaise while at the same time feeding our body a healthy dose of dopamine. Neuroscience shows our brains are enticed by novelty, so make it a practice to try new endeavors as often as possible.

Ask yourself: Do my actions reflect the quality of person I want to be and can be?

  • DRIVE # 2 COMPETENCE 

The second baseline drive addresses our innate desire to have the ability to understand, perform, and master anything in life.  From tasks to relationships, competence breeds confidence and without competence in our life, we are more likely to experience anxiety, stress, fear, even apathy.    Brendon’s research shows that when we lack competence in a particular area, we are likely to procrastinate.   Conversely, with competence, we are more likely to work harder and smarter at the task at hand.   The key to competence:  learning.

Ask yourself: What new knowledge, skill or ability could I start learning and mastering to become a high performer at what I do and increase my success in life?

  • DRIVE #3 CONGRUENCE

 The third baseline drive speaks to how authentically we are living life.   How aligned are our relationships, work environments, friendships, thoughts, and behaviors with our intentions?    Does your gut tell you to move on and step into your truth yet your head continues to rationalize the behavior and keep you stuck and unhappy?   Do you continue to show up at a job that deteriorates your soul when you would rather be following your passion and truly living and creating in your element?  Do you even know what your element is?

Ask yourself:  What 6 words shape and define who I am and what I want to live in the FUTURE?

Remember, you are not defined by your past or the people in the past who had particular expectations of you.

Tip: Choose 3 words that describe “who I am” in terms of traits/ nature, then choose 3 words that describe “how I treat others“.    Let these words serve as a guidepost for living more congruently. 

  • DRIVE #4 CARING

The fourth baseline drive shines light on the importance of being others-focused.     “Be curious about others and they will be curious about you.”  According to Brendon, one of the best questions you could ask another person to show you care is: “Wow! How did that make you FEEL?”   When caring for others, it is paramount to prioritize self-care.   We serve best when balanced, rested, and nurtured.  We cannot give to another what we do not have.   Try these: Care for thyself.  Be more vulnerable. Give your presence to others.

Ask yourself:  Who are the 10 people I interact with most? What are his/her top 3 ambitions in life? Who are their closest 3 friends?  What are their top 3 experiences in life? What are their 3 worst experiences?

  • DRIVE #5 CONNECTION

Connection: (n) a relationship in which a person, thing, or idea is linked or associated with something else.  Connection is vital for humans.  It’s the spark that keeps us going in troubled times, the bond that keeps friendships alive despite long distances, and it’s the intimate, engaging conversations with loved ones.  To me,  connection is the peanut butter and jelly of my life’s travel experiences, knowing we are somehow bonded with others, no matter how different our backgrounds geographically, culturally, socially, or spiritually.   It’s knowing we all share life’s most elemental emotional needs.  Throughout my travels and experiences around the world I have found one thing to be certain:  we all want to be seen, loved, and cared for.

Ask Yourself:  Who are my friends? Why am I friends with this person?  Why am I no longer in touch? Is this person supportive? Is this a friend who exposes me to new adventures? Is this friend trustworthy?

Tip: Don’t forget the saying “you will become like the 10 people you hang around most “. Choose your company wisely.

5 Forward Drives

Now let’s take a look at what Brendon calls the forward drives.  These are the drives that have the ability to propel our happiness needles, pushing us forward into a more engaged life.   A warning on forward drives:  They are not easy and are often met with great resistance.   Anything that challenges us to be a better version of ourselves invites discomfort and tests the limits of what we think is possible.  This is what makes life so fascinating! We can choose to step forward trusting that personal growth is worth the risk.   Let’s take a look at each of the 5 forward drives in a bit more detail.

  • DRIVE #6 CHANGE

I love this first drive!  After all, change is what makes life exciting!  By focusing on positive outcomes (gains) instead of perceived setbacks (losses), we are able to step into change with less resistance.  Let’s face it, it’s easier to talk about change than to make change.  Change demands we drop fear and familiarity and adopt the discomfort of uncertainty and future possibilities.  By asking “What if? ” questions and using  “I’ll get to __________” statements, we shift our focus to the pleasurable aspects of change.    Making change = finding clarity.

 “It’s hard to have vision when you haven’t seen all the options.  If you are truly in a position to change something in your life, what have you been trying to do/achieve over the past 12 months to make the change a reality?” – B.B

Ask yourself:  Do I both welcome and cause change?

A major change I’ve been holding back from making in my life because of an expectation of a loss or associated pain is: 

A clear and bold new change I could make in my life would be to: 

  • DRIVE #7 CHALLENGE

Who doesn’t love a good challenge?!  Our brains LOVE challenges!!! This is how we stretch ourselves and get out of our comfort zone!  Remember the forward drives are often met with resistance because they force us to expand into unchartered waters.  Let’s not forget that the #1 human drive is control, so it makes sense that challenges will disrupt our natural desire for control.   Good news is that we have control over our outlook, so we can choose to accept challenges that come our way and apply positive outcomes to them.

Accepting challenges means you are being part of the solution.   Brendon suggests designing a 12-month challenge chart, picking a new 30-day challenge for each month, including personal, social, and giving challenges.    This gets our brains into forward thinking and activates our desire for vision and clarity in life.   I highly recommend this activity as it opens up the doors to following your deepest desires and sets a pathway for achieving it!

“Easy and Comfortable are DETRACTORS of living a charged life. ” – B.B

Ask Yourself:  The next big and bold challenge I’m going to take on in my life is:

The 30-day challenges I could set over the next 12 months are:

  • DRIVE # 8 CREATIVE EXPRESSION

We all have a desire to express who we are daily.  From the clothing we wear, to the music we listen to, to the messages we post on social media, these are all forms of self-expression.   Even if you don’t self-identify as a creative,  you are!  Don’t forget you are one in 7.5 billion people in the world.  You have a unique way of expressing everything you do and say, and when you suppress this drive, you miss out on the simplest form of happiness.

“Creativity isn’t a trait, it’s a discipline.   Creativity isn’t a spark, it’s a slog, an iterative process.”

Ask Yourself:  What could I do to begin creatively expressing myself in the things I do each day?

  • DRIVE #9 CONTRIBUTION

According to Brendon there are two ways to define contribution:  we can give “of” (self)  or give “to” (cause).    Giving of  the self means we share our talents, gifts, and strengths with the world.  We intentionally give our best efforts.  We show up authentically and fully expressed.   One of the best gifts we can give to the world, Burchard shares, is the concept of a life fully expressed.    This is an act of contribution that is often overlooked and minimized by the more familiar types of contribution such as donating money or time to a particular cause.   Everyday we can contribute by giving of ourselves, and in return receive joy and happiness!

Ask Yourself:  The ways I’ve contributed to or made a difference in my family’s life this past year include:

A new and deeply meaningful giving experience I’d like to create is:

Someone who could use my mentoring is:

  • DRIVE #10 CONSCIOUSNESS

Consciousness: (n):  the state of being awake and aware of one’s surroundings.   Practicing consciousness means asking self-reflection questions like: How present am I in this moment?  Where shall I focus my thoughts right now?  How are others feeling / thinking in this moment?  How would I like to interact with or influence them?   Am I contributing positively in my relationships?  When we live with an increased level of consciousness, we experience more happiness because, as Brendon says,  “we are choosing to be present to the love that is already around us. ” 

Ask Yourself:  If I were more aware and directive of my consciousness in life, my life would change in these ways: 

In order to connect with a higher consciousness on a more regular basis, I could: 

 

For an in-depth examination of his work, I invite you to indulge your brain in any of Brendon’s #1 NYT best-selling books including The Motivation Manifesto The Millionaire Messenger, and his most recent, High-Performance Habits: How Extraordinary People Become That Way.  

The only thing you risk is growth!

I’d also love to connect with YOU!  Join me on Facebook or Instagram @standinlovejen  or share this article and tag a friend who you think would appreciate this!

Jen xo

 

 

 

 

Certain Captain

Transitions.

Storms.

Uncertainty.

Seasons of life come and then they go.

Welcome them all with open arms, and trust your Captain.

When questions abound, and you are not sure which way to go, look up; God is always with you, and you are never alone.  He is your Captain.   He will steady the rocking ship, calm the turbulent waters, and steer you into the right direction.  He is your Captain.

Captain by Hillsong United:

Verse 1
Through waters uncharted my soul will embark
I’ll follow Your voice straight into the dark
And if from the course You intend I depart
Speak to the sails of my wandering heart

Chorus
Like the wind You’ll guide
Clear the skies before me
And I’ll glide this open sea
Like the stars Your Word
Will align my voyage
And remind me where I’ve been
And where I am going

Verse 2
Lost in the shallows amidst fear and fog
Your truth is the compass that points me back north
Jesus, my Captain, my soul’s trusted Lord
All my allegiance is rightfully Yours

 

Thank you God for reminding me where I’ve been, and where I am going.

Photo: Murchinson Falls National Park, Uganda.

#standinlove

Your Strengths Are Sufficient

“You cannot be anything you want to be,  but you can be a lot more of who you already are.”  – Tom Rath 

According to Gallup statistics, you and I may not have the athletic ability of Michael Jordan, the goat-like agility of a top-performing rock climber, or the poetic prowess of Maya Angelou, but we do have our own unique superpowers to share with the world.  In fact, when we courageously step into our natural talents, we extend blessings into the lives of those around us.

In a world that places enormous focus on overcoming weaknesses, Don Clifton’s Strength’s Finder 2.0 invites us to dive deeply into a sea of different strengths.  Through a series of 177 timed questions, we methodically uncover our natural superpowers and begin a self-discovery journey leading us closer to connecting with our life’s true calling.

Invitation to Discover Strengths

“Sometimes we feel like Harry Potter living in a world as a nobody until the owl sends us mail inviting us to be somebody.”  – Jud Wilhite

Do you ever experience seasons in life where you feel invisible to the outside world, just like Harry Potter’s solitary under-the-staircase-existence before his life-changing invitation to Hogwarts?   Does it seem like things work out for everyone else, but not for you?   Well, here’s the truth: We each have an invitation to discover our own magical powers where we walk in purpose, feel totally alive, and leverage the gifts with which we have been abundantly blessed to use for the greater good of humanity!

Simply accept the invitation.

Identifying Strengths

Research shows that working in our “strengths zone” brings us more fulfillment than our job title/ role, our promotions, or even our paychecks.   Did you know that 7 out of 10 million people interviewed miss the mark when it comes to working in their “strengths zone”?  This means millions of people wake up each day, often unknowingly, in the dark about what they do really well!  What a shame!

Untapped potential.

Underdeveloped talents.

When we identify and connect with our superpowers, we open the door to infinite possibilities in so many areas of our lives!   Doesn’t it make sense to engage with the world doing what we LOVE to do with the talents and gifts that come most naturally to us?     Imagine the far-reaching global impact we will have by simply stepping into our natural greatness, doing what we love, and blessing all with whom we come in contact!

Using Strengths

Once you’ve identified your strengths, the next step is application!   In order to leverage our own gifts, we must be willing to commit to practicing them.   This is how we magnify a talent and turn it into a strength!

Remember the formula:

 Talent x Investment = Strength.   

Talents are not magic wands, they are gifts that must be continually worked to multiply their effectiveness.  The more committed we are to our talents, the stronger they will become.  Stewardship of our gifts is also important in order to amplify the reach and impact we have in the lives of others.   One of my dearest mentors always told me, “We are born on purpose, and for a purpose.”  

My question to you is, “Have you discovered your unique talents, and if so, what do you believe you are on this Earth to do with them?”  If you are not sure, try a little Roman Chamomile essential oil to awaken the deeper sense of self or read this post for spring renewal ideas.   Roman Chamomile is known as the Oil of Spiritual Purpose, and will help connect you to your heart center, where purpose is found.

I’ll close with this thought:

When we step into our God-given talents, we have infinite opportunities to magnify and lift up others while walking in fulfilling purpose.   So what are you waiting for?!

 

Jennifer Miller is a Las Vegas-based dōTERRA Wellness Advocate, Speaker, and Marketing Consultant.  She volunteers as a Community Partner for global nonprofit BeadforLife, whose mission is to provide entrepreneurial training to 1 million impoverished people globally by 2027.   Click here for a listing of upcoming events, or Follow her on instagram or Facebook @standinlovejen .  To begin your natural health and wellness journey today with essential oils, click here .

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cornerstones

As I gaze out the kitchen window and fix my eyes on a beautiful Japanese blueberry tree in the distance, I feel summer’s end nearby.  I don’t know about you, but my heart is eagerly anticipating the change of season, bringing with it cooler temps and lively conversations around a circular fire pit out back.   Over the course of 8 weeks this summer, I had the unique opportunity to witness the incredible transformation of our back yard by a team of hard-working landscapers and talented masons.   Not only did they endure sweltering hours of oppressive desert heat removing overgrown Mesquite and African Sumac trees,  they skillfully and artfully arranged combinations of decorative flagstone into functional architectural features to be enjoyed by friends and family this fall.

The unanticipated gift from this experience was contemplating the importance of cornerstones and how their selection and level placement during the construction process affects the overall design and stability.

What is a Cornerstone?

Webster’s Dictionary defines a cornerstone as: (noun) a basic element : foundation. Digging a little further, ( yes, I admit freely I have a bit of an uncanny obsession with language and vocabulary)  I found this definition and enjoyed the depth of explanation:

cornerstonethe fundamental assumptions from which something is begun or developed or calculated or explained; “the whole argument rested on a basis of conjecture” . Synonyms:  fundament, groundwork, basis, foundation, base. 

It’s as though I had discovered this word, cornerstone, for the very first time.  It is likely I have uttered it without fully understanding or assimilating its meaning.   Sometimes it takes an experience to bring a word to light in our lives, and I just love the illuminating feeling that rises up within when that happens.

Who or What is Your Cornerstone?

Cornerstones are used ceremoniously to commemorate people or moments in time we would rather not forget.    They represent firm foundations and solid ground.   The level, the steady, the shaping element, the framework, and the fundamental, whose underlying base of support is perhaps taken inadvertently for granted.

What comes up for you when you think about the word cornerstone?  Is it a particular person or value?  Faith or spirituality?  In what are you placing your hope, your joy, and your trust?  Who is your cornerstone?  Who is your rock,  keeping you on solid ground, providing for you a firm foundation on which to build your hopes and dreams?

Take a moment to think about these cornerstones and appreciate them.   Allow your heart to swell with gladness and overflow into all you do, think, and say.

“Doing what you love is the cornerstone of having abundance in your life.”

                                                                                                            – Wayne Dyer

What do you truly LOVE in this life?  What are you certain brings you joy, happiness, and a reason to get up and begin a fresh, new day?   What is that ONE thing that you just can’t bear to live without?  Are you feeling it? Living it? Doing it? If the answer is not a resounding YES, ask yourself why?

 

Jennifer Miller is a Las Vegas-based freelance writer, speaker, and marketing consultant.  She works as a  Community Partner volunteer for global nonprofit BeadforLife, whose mission is to provide entrepreneurial training to 1 million women globally by 2027.   Click here for a listing of upcoming events, or Follow her on instagram or Facebook @standinlovejen .  To host your own BeadforLife marketplace or essential oil party this fall, email deboughjl@gmail.com

 

 

 

Pillar 6 of Brain Health: Medical Health

“Every time you learn a new fact or skill, you change your brain; This is called neuroplasticity”- Lara Boyd, Ph.D

Welcome back Stand In Lovers!  It’s a gorgeous overcast morning in Las Vegas, and I am writing to you from a chic, local coffee shop in Las Vegas called Sambalatte enjoying a decaf espresso with a toothpick swirl of Italian-sourced lemon essential oil on the rim, European style! (One of many fringe benefits of running an essential oil business!).  The owner of the shop is Brazilian, and has incredible passion for coffee!   Enjoying some Balance essential oil on my wrists to keep me focused, grounded, and ready for the day!  My friend and memory expert Jim Kwik always reminds me: “When you win the morning, you win the day!”  

Congratulations for making it to the 6th Pillar of Brain Health!  Your brain is an amazing supercomputer, and my goal of sharing this 6-part series with you is to inspire you to think differently, challenge you to question the origin of your thoughts, encourage you to replace a habit that is no longer serving you, and to open up your mind to the endless possibilities this life has to offer right now if you simply allow your mind to accept the invitation.

Subconscious Mind

Did you know your subconscious mind controls nearly 90% of your thoughts?  I recently attended a mind-challenging Breakthrough Belief Training with master NLP practitioner Roger Webb  and this point stuck in my head:  Your subconscious mind is a genie who says, “Your wish is my command” to every thought we feed it.  Translation:  Be mindful of your thoughts, because your subconscious mind will happily and automatically capture them and respond with “Your wish is my command!”.  Make your thoughts work for you, not against you!  #yes #youcan.

If you are joining Stand In Love for the first time, welcome!  We are SO glad you joined the community!  Over the past 5 weeks we have been exploring the Cleveland Clinic’s 6 Pillars of Brain Health learning tools to support our 3 pound universe.  While today is the final post in this particular series, I challenge you to go back and commit to considering a tiny behavior change in any one of the pillars!

Risk Factors

According to the Cleveland Clinic, a variety of medical conditions are strongly linked to the decline of brain function.   Below is an overview of the 7 Risks to be managed for increased vitality and overall  health and wellness:

( For my essential oil tips, please note: The official FDA disclaimer states: “These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent disease.” )

Hypertension

• Cut down on salt (less than one teaspoon a day).
• Check your blood pressure regularly.
• Keep active.
• Maintain a healthy weight.
• Take your medication.
• Aim to keep blood pressure under 120/80 mmHg.

  • Stand In Love tip:  Try using essential oils like Ylang Ylang to help reduce the affects of daily stress and provide antioxidant support. * Massage a few drops onto the back of your neck or rub directly over the heart.  Bonus: this intense and incredibly complicated oil is part of a co-impact sourcing initiative helping create capacity for farmers and distillers in Madagascar! My husband enjoys this oil daily!

Diabetes/Obesity

• Avoid white sugar, white flour and hydrogenated fat.
• Eat more fiber.
• Eat some protein with every meal.
• Control portion size.
• Exercise for at least 30 minutes 5 times a week.
• Include aerobic, strength, flexibility and balance

  • Stand In Love tip: Try Slim & Sassy- the Metabolic Blend to help you manage hunger cravings, promote healthy digestion, and calm your stomach.*  I like to place a few drops in water daily to help manage undesirable cravings.  (I am an emotional eater, so this is SUPER helpful for me, and I think you will find the same to be true if you or someone you know struggles with this.) More on this topic in future posts, I can’t wait!

High Cholesterol

• Take cholesterol lowering medications when prescribed.
• Control other risk factors like hypertension, diabetes, and obesity as advised by your doctor.

  • Stand In Love tip:  Consider supplementing to get the proper nutrition, vitamins, minerals, essential fatty acids, and antioxidant support commonly missing in the standard diet–even one that is based primarily on whole foods.   My husband and I have been using the Life Long Vitality program for over a month now and are enjoying the multitude of health benefits including increased energy, and an overall sense of wellbeing.   Truly amazing how supporting your body from the inside-out effects everything you do!

Head Injury

• Protect yourself from falls.
• Prevent injury from vehicle crashes by wearing your seat belt.
• Wear a helmet when biking or playing sports.

  • Stand In Love tip: Roll on some In Tune- Focus Blend before a hobby or activity that may have inherent risk.  The mix of Amyris, Patchouli, Frankincense, Lime, Ylang Ylang, Hawaiian Sandalwood, and Roman Chamomile help sustain a sense of focus, and supports those who have difficulty paying attention and staying on task.  (confession: This is me 150%- I should really consider showering in In Tune- ha!)

Depression

• Stay socially connected.
• Seek medical treatment.

  • Stand In Love tip:  Try one of the Emotional Aromatherapy oils. I absolutely ADORE these oils as they contain proprietary blends that target emotional health benefits.  Safe for the entire family and daily applications.  The best part of these oils is that they help balance and brighten your mood and help you change your state of mind.  Available in a convenient roll-ons diluted with fractionated coconut oil for easy on the go application, or in pure essential oil 5ml bottles.  I like to wear Peace- the Reassuring Blend daily as perfume.  Once you try these oils, you will have a hard time returning to perfumes or artificial scents.  They are truly gifts of nature for our enjoyment! The collection contains Cheer, Motivate, Peace, Console, Forgive, and Passion: They are expertly combined blends to support specific emotional needs. (Did I stress how much I LOVE these oils?).

LouisaG+essential+oils+Web+Banner+DEC+2016-01.png

Smoking

• Quit.
• Cut down with a goal of quitting.
• Seek medical treatment or group support.

  • Stand In Love tip:  try a drop of Black Pepper essential oil under your tongue daily.  Not only can this oil be used in cooking applications, it contains important antioxidants, helps maintain healthy circulation, and soothes anxious feelings when diffused or inhaled directly. *
    *The official FDA disclaimer states: “These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent disease.”

Neuroplasticity Defined

Did you know that your brain actually changes when you learn something new or try something different?  Watch this super short 11 second video below to see for yourself!  This is neuroplasticity in action! How cool is that?  Simply changing a habit or finding a new way of thinking actually creates new neural pathways in your brain and is GOOD for you! Please allow me to repeat this:  Switching the way you think, the way you work, the way you eat, the habits you have allowed – can all be changed, AND are good for your brain!  Behavior change is a SKILL and you can acquire it!  Want to know your brain health, take this quiz to find out!

 

Thanks for joining the conversation Stand In Lovers!  It’s so great having this community available for all to connect around the world!   #standinlove #share #love #together

 

Jennifer Miller is a Las Vegas based writer, doTERRA wellness advocate, and business coach for global NGO BeadforLife.  Her passions include: serving people, inspiring ideas, and helping others live their purpose.  For more inspiration on beginning your essential oil journey, click here

Pillar 3: Food & Nutrition

Hello Stand In Lovers!

How was your week of Mental Fitness?  Anyone try Linda’s Tiny Habit suggestions from last week’s post? SO many nuggets of goodness in that video interview!  Today we are diving into the topic of  Food & Nutrition, the 3rd pillar in our 6-part series on Brain Health.

It’s important to remember there is no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to how and what we should or should not eat.   What we do know is that by integrating plant-based, whole foods into our daily routines, we are practicing Hippocrates’ sage advice, “Let food be thy medicine.”  

Primary Nutrition

According to the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, it is vital to look at the full spectrum of our lives, outlined in the color wheel below.   Take a look at each area and see where you may be hungry for something deeper than you are currently experiencing.

Primary Food Wheel.png

How to make your Circle of Life

Place a dot on the line separating each section on the wheel to see how satisfied you are with each area of your life.  The closer the dot is to the center of the wheel, the more dissatisfied you may be in that particular area.  Dots closer to the outside circumference of the wheel suggest you are more satisfied in that category.  After you have placed a dot on each of the lines dividing the areas, connect your dots and see what your Circle of Life looks like.  Perhaps a couple of areas are super awesome, while others may need a little TLC.  That’s perfectly ok… our lives are in constant change, and there is no right or wrong here, just insight.

Nutrition for Brain Health

Along with the Primary Food listed above, let’s take a look at some key foods noted for their support in brain health and function.

What To Eat

  • Dark leafy greens like kale and spinach–  Try this green smoothie recipe with a touch of Wild Orange essential oil!  It’s fast, healthy, and SO delicious!
  • Dark-fleshed fruits like blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries are loaded with polyphenols– antioxidants that help fight free radicals.
  • Sustainably sourced fresh fish rich in Omega 3’s like salmon, tuna, or halibut.
  • Walnuts, flaxseeds, and soybean are great alternatives for Omega 3 fatty acids if fish isn’t your thing.  Another great option is supplementing to ensure you get the required amounts.  Here’s a fantastic Raw Coco Bite recipe with walnuts and Wild Orange.
  • Whole grains such such as oats, barley, and quinoa, are rich in many of the B vitamins that work to reduce inflammation of the brain.
  • Avocado– try this amazing Lazy Avocado Sushi with Ginger recipe or replace your butter with avocado on your morning toast for something new! (mental fitness practice at the same time- way to go!)
  • Dark chocolate– a great source of antioxidants that potentially improve blood flow to the brain and reduce inflammation.  I like to mix a drop of Black Pepper essential oil when making my own for some spicy punch and extra benefits!

Spice Up Your life

  • Herbs and spices like turmeric, cinnamon, and ginger are packed with antioxidants that may help decrease harmful inflammation in the brain and elsewhere.  I like using a touch of Ginger essential oil in my herbal tea, and add Cinnamon essential oil to my homemade granola recipe.  There are endless ways to incorporate the benefits of doTERRA’s gorgeous CPTG (Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade) essential oils into your foods for brain health.  Here are additional  recipe ideas using essential oils!

Hydrate

  • Water-  This is one of the simplest ways to keep your brain healthy and fluid. Need help drinking more, it’s simple! Try adding a drop of Lemon, Grapefruit, or Wild Orange essential oil to your next bottle (stainless steel or glass due to the volatility of the natural aromatic compounds).   I love using Slim & Sassy in my water to help fight off cravings throughout the day.

Tools are designed for use.  May these help guide you on your brain health and wellness journey!  Stand In Love is a community, and all are welcome to join!  Please feel free to share, comment, tag, or like this post, so we may help others on their path to wellness!

P.S.  For those of you following me on Instagram @standinlovejen,  as promised, here is my favorite breakfast bowl recipe:

Jen’s Breakfast Bowl:

  • 1 cup steamed broccoli
  • 1 whole egg + 1-2 egg whites scrambled with turmeric
  • top with grated purple cabbage and sliced tomato
  • drizzle fresh vinaigrette made with herbs and a drop of your favorite essential oil on top!

season with S & P. and ENJOY!

Jen's Breakfast Bowl.JPG

 

Jennifer Miller is a Las Vegas based writer, DoTERRA wellness advocate, and BeadforLife Community Partner.  She is the founder of StandInLove.org  ,a platform for sharing her passions: Serving People | Inspiring Ideas | Living Your Purpose
Do you desire more freedom, flexibility, and want to empower others? Join me today! 

 

 

Pillar 2: Mental Fitness

Ever considered the fitness level of your brain?   We are constantly reminded that physical exercise helps increase oxygen to our brains and promotes overall health, but when was the last time you saw an advertisement urging you to increase flexibility and motor functioning of your supercomputer?

Welcome to Pillar 2 in our 6-part series on Brain Health.  This week’s focus:  Mental Fitness.  In case you missed last week’s post on Pillar 1 of Brain Health: Physical Exercise- you can find it here.

Our brains, like our muscles, are hungry for activation and use.  Today’s blog post is a video interview with Linda Fogg-Phillips, director of Tiny Habits Academy.  Linda is an expert in habit formation and behavior design, having taught over 65,000 people around the world through a rigorously tested scientific model designed by her brother, Stanford Ph.D and professor, B.J. Fogg.  Whether you want to adopt new personal habits, or train members of your business to help improve the lives of their clients, Tiny Habits can help!

We explore 5 key components of Mental Fitness and share insights on positive habit formation while pairing them with the purest and most potent essential oils in the world!  You don’t want to miss this!

Enjoy the show !

Feel free to share these tips with your friends and family, it’s the best way to reinforce your learning!! #standinlove#tinyhabits

 

 

To begin your journey with these life-changing essential oils, click here.

Thanks for joining, and see you next week as we explore Pillar 3: Food  & Nutrition

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What No One Tells You About Habits

“Maintaining constant high motivation is unsustainable, but if things are easy to do even when motivation is low, they are more likely to succeed. ” – BJ Fogg, PhD.  

While in Salt Lake City last weekend, I toured the famed Temple Square, as well as the architecturally appealing public library where exposed glass elevators and unique art installations added intrigue and emotion to a book-exploring expedition.   Thanks to a chain of serendipitous events I arrived in Salt Lake City eager to connect with Leah Barker the CEO of global poverty eradication nonprofit Choice Humanitarian and to train with  Linda Fogg-Phillips, M.S. Health Promotion and Exercise Physiology.  Linda serves as the Director of the Tiny Habits Academy, a Behavior Design platform founded by her younger brother, BJ Fogg PhD., a renowned innovator, scientist and teacher at Stanford.  BJ’s focus is on teaching people who design solutions for others.  

My goal for you as readers of StandinLove is simple:  sharing this methodology will help you  practice the skill of creating new habits.   According to BJ’s research, it’s not the adopted habit itself that matters, it is the fact you acquired the tools needed to create these new habits.  You gained the necessary skills that will help you succeed in multiple areas in your life.  

What is a tiny habit?

A “Tiny Habit” is a baby behavior.  Yep.  One little, itty-bitty action that, when repeated, builds momentum and results in the formation of a bigger, long-term habit.   A “Tiny Habit”, according to Dr. Fogg’s design is a behavior:

      • you do at least once a day
      • that takes you less than 30 seconds
      • that requires little effort 

Recipe for Tiny Habits:

According to BJ’s research, the recipe for developing tiny habits has 3 simple ingredients:

  1. Identify the behavior you want in your life.                                                                                What behaviors are you looking to add to your life for increased positive benefit?  Do you want to develop a new health routine, nutrition option, start a new hobby, increase your home organization, de-stress more effectively, begin to exercise regularly, or maybe practice gratitude more often?   These are merely prompts to get your brain thinking and to inspire you to think about what YOU want to do in your life.  This is about you and your life.
  2. Find out where it fits in your life.                                                                                                                 BJ says an important part of implementing this new tiny behavior is to  “Plan to do the new tiny behavior after an extremely reliable habit you have, what I call an “anchor.”   Notice the key point in this ingredient towards making a tiny habit:  planning.  With just a tiny bit of thought beforehand and a touch of mapping out your desired behaviors, you are already on the road to successful tiny habit formation! 
  3. Match it to an anchor routine.                                                                                                          The anchor is the habit or behavior you always do.  The anchor must be a reliable habit, extremely precise, and is most effective when it is tied to the desired frequency of the new tiny behavior.

 Examples of Tiny Habits.

After I brush, I will floss one tooth.”

After I pour my morning coffee, I will text my mom.”

After I start the dishwasher, I will read one sentence from a book.”

After I walk in my door from work, I will get out my workout clothes.”

After I sit down on the train, I will open my sketch notebook.”

After I hear any phone ring, I will exhale and relax for 2 seconds.”

“After I put my head on the pillow, I will think of one good thing from my day.”

“After I arrive home, I will hang my keys up by the door.”

By having the AFTER I __________,  I will ____________ formula, it is simple to introduce a new desired specific behavior by linking it to an existing behavior (the anchor) you are already doing!  Automatic. Powerful. Simple. Effective.

Why use tiny habits?

By design, implementing Tiny Habits increases your ability to make changes in your behavior in simple, effective, and fun ways!  Each time you perform a tiny habit, you then have the opportuntity to celebrate your big success!  Imagine having 3 tiny habits a day, all super simple to peform, and then having mini victory dances as soon as you think to do them, AND once you complete them!  That sounds like fun to me! I was thrilled to practice Tiny Habits for the week prior to my trip, and I look forward to continued training with Linda and BJ to bring you even more helpful tools and tips!

According to Dr. Fogg, “Most people haven’t mastered making desired behaviors automatic. That is a key focus in Tiny Habits: training automaticity.   Once that is rock solid, you can then work toward the full behavior without losing the automaticity.  That is how you eventually master the FULL behavior as a habit. “

Benefits of implementing Tiny Habits.

  • Gain skills (increased ability)-  the heart of any behavior change
  • Learn behavior sequencing
  • Build self-confidence for behavior changes
  • Chance to celebrate tiny victories multiple times daily!

Want to try  Tiny Habits for yourself for a week?  It is fun, and I promise you will learn a thing or two about yourself, and have a GREAT time in the process.  My favorite Tiny Habit was “After I wake up in the morning and put my feet on the ground, I will say ‘it is going to be a GREAT day!’ ”

Cheering you on as you choose Tiny Habits and celebrating your victories alongside of you!

xo Jen

 

 

 

 

International Women’s Day Tribute: Got Core Values!

“I want a positive, healthy learning environment for my child, and I will do anything to make that happen.  I believe every child deserves the right to thrive.” – Sandi Herrera, CEO Got Core Values!

As the world celebrates International Women’s Day tomorrow under the banner #BeBoldForChange, I am honored to celebrate the passion and vision of one relentless Las Vegas corporate-culture coach turned public school education advocate, Sandi Herrera.  Sandi is the CEO and founder of Got Core Values!, an innovative nonprofit organization whose mission is to transform the lives of children in the public school system through the development and implementation of core values and culture coaching for school administrators, teachers, and leaders.

Sandi shared her bold vision with me this week during a conversation over green smoothies at a neighborhood Starbucks.

Delivering Happiness Inspiration.

Sandi’s chance encounter with  Delivering Happiness  founder Tony Hsieh earned her the position of COO in 2009, heading internal culture and training for the organization.  Her skills in organizational and relationship systems coaching would reach new heights as she engaged C-level executives of businesses across the nation with the heart of Delivering Happiness: to inspire passion and purpose in the workplace for a happier world.  Through rigorous study of positive psychology and neuroscience research, Sandi and her team inspired the hearts and souls of workers around the world.   The world took notice, and so did the local Las Vegas community where Delivering Happiness runs its international operation.  Desiring happiness and positivity in their work environments, local schools began requesting this hybrid of consulting and coaching.

Internal Reckoning.

At the time Sandi was delivering happiness to executives in top corporations, she was pained by the challenges her own son faced in the local school system.  “School culture affects kids perceptions.  I’m not going to have my child feel like he’s a bad person just because he is not in a conducive learning environment.”   Sandi quickly found herself internalizing the core values of Delivering Happiness, whose number one core value is  “Be true to yourself. Live with passion and purpose.”  Could one mother impact the learning environment for her child and create a domino effect resulting in thriving educational environments for all children?

The answer… YES.

Leveraging her expertise and success in talent dynamics, culture coaching, and leadership  development, Sandi has worked fastidiously over the past four years introducing  Got Core Values! into six Clark County district high schools including Title 1 schools, like Mohave High School in North Las Vegas and magnet schools like West Career and Technical Academy in Summerlin.   Through rigorous piloting, testing, and measuring results, Sandi is ready to expand her culture coaching team and take on the valley’s vast network of public schools, with the goal of 30 implementing partners before the start of the school year this fall.

Ambitious Solutions.

Her passion and pursuit of transforming the public school system is not limited to coaching and introducing culture into the school climate.   It is extended to engaging local businesses to partner with schools in the district.

“Companies want to help so much, but often times they don’t know what to help with or how to help.”  Sandi’s mission is largely relationship driven: to break down barriers between schools and businesses with a focus on collaboration.  “Organizational culture is organizational culture.  There are nuances, but at the base of it all, we are all human beings.  And when we realize that we are both in the people business, that is how we will make progress and have momentum forward. ” 

Sandi believes there is tremendous power in the business community, and by partnering with a local public school, educators and business leaders will learn from each other, develop a new common language that will help them implement strategies for effective communication, leadership, culture, and relationship building from the top.  All of this will flow to the students, the future leaders and members of our communities. Sandi’s dream of core values and comprehensive positive sustainable cultures in our schools does not stop in Las Vegas.  Her sights are set on replicating this coaching methodology nationally and globally.

I have witnessed Sandi’s compelling work first hand.  Her determination and pointed focus on the goal of delivering core values to schools for the benefit of the team, students, and neighboring communities is nothing shy of remarkable.  She is living the #BeBoldForChange motto and serves as an inspiration to us all as we celebrate International Women’s Day 2017.

LEARN MORE

If you are an educator, administrator, business leader, or concerned community member inspired by Sandi’s story, please contact Got Core Values! to learn how to contribute your time and talent in the local community.

You may also follow Got Core Values! on Facebook for updates.

Happy International Women’s Day to all my beloved friends around the world inspiring change everyday!   #StandinLove #IWD2017