positive thought

3 Steps to Breathing Easier

deep-breathDaily life brings its challenges for all of us. No matter if we are single, coupled, with kids, without kids, tall, short, in amazing shape, in horrible shape, employed, unemployed, rich, or poor.

A few days ago I had a conversation with a woman with a four-year-old child and a baby on the way. "I miss the days that my life was my own," she shared. The wild thing is that just a few minutes earlier I had been thinking about the fact that I don't have any children, and I'm single to boot. To be honest, earlier in the day I had felt a deep sense of envy for those with a family.

And there I stood looking into the eyes of a woman who was overwhelmed and wishing she could experience once again the freedom I own. Having said this, I can't help but think we all need to learn to breathe easier - no matter our station of life:

1. Be thankful for NOW. We human beings are pros at being half-present in our daily lives. We fret about the past, freak out about the future, and get lost in a web of confusion.

One day in the future I may find myself bogged down with familial responsibilities and wish that I had experienced my singleness and freedom with joy. Or, the woman with child will wish she could have poured her being into motherhood the day she sees her daughter go off to college.

Author Leo Babauta suggests thinking of three good things a day to avoid becoming bitter or frustrated. Or, I've been trying to make a concerted effort lately to do something to disrupt negative thought patterns -- such as a long walk or workout.

2. Get in a flow. Breathing into the moment and pouring focus/energy into being and doing results in "flow." The concept coined by Mihaly Cskiszentmihalyi (a positive psychology expert) sees a person fully immersed into what they are undertaking. He or she operates with "energized focus, full involvement, and enjoyment in the process" of an activity.

If you need a bit of reference for this type of being, think back to when you were a child swimming in a pool or climbing trees. You were in the "here and now" so very deeply. Activities were pursued with passion, laughter, and sometimes tears.

Let's get back into that groove as adults, pouring ourselves into our lives with all we possess. I'm thinking we'll sleep much better and smile more.

3. Meditate and or pray. Take time to find silence. Discover a meditation or prayer practice that works for you and dedicate at least five minutes to it per day.

Bonus Tip: Love freely. "Those who can't say I love you, can rarely say I forgive you." I recently heard these words. I find them so simple, yet so very profound.

Our breath is also directly connected to our ability to love and forgive. If we can't love ourselves and others -- if we can't forgive ourselves and others -- how can we breathe with ease? Our insides instead become gobbled up with resentments, frustrations, and fear.

Life is so very short!!

Let's dare to enjoy the moment, get in a flow, and find a bit of quiet time reserved for breathing free.

- Jen Engevik

My News Experiment & Why I'm Banning Most News from My Life

I experimented a bit over the past few days to see how immersing myself into news would affect my mood and my ability make bold decisions. This comes after making the decision over the past couple of months to stop reading about the latest tragedies, world conflicts, monetary woes and politics. During that period, I was quite productive and happy -- I saw the world as a place of opportunity and beauty.

Getting off of my no-news diet and delving into the wild world of news for the past few days has really helped me reaffirm my position that it's not so good for my outlook. Here are some of the things I've noticed.

  • Politics - I've read about everything from what's happening in congress - to the theories and Ideas presented by Presidential hopefuls - to conflicts in the middle east. The result = I find myself irritated and angered over many issues that I have no control over. I've wanted to get in arguments with those who don't see things the way I see them. It hasn't helped me one bit to be a more loving person. I was much happier - more accepting and hopeful when I decided to stop reading about the political games that are waged each day. I am going to continue my ban on reading about politics - and will not do it even when the election is in full swing.
  • Tragedy - I decided to educate myself on what happened to Caylee Anthony. To be honest, I didn't follow the trial or even know about it, so I dug in. I read much of the testimony, went over the timeline, listened to some of the interviews that detectives held with Casey and more. This experience filled my mind with darkness. I was frustrated by Casey misleading police and freaked out by her ability tell a lie without flinching. I was saddened when watching news clips of Americans holding signs, spitting and yelling outside the courtroom.The whole thing is troubling to me - firstly the media pulled millions of people in and made many of them more concerned over Casey Anthony's life than their own daily lives. That is a lot of wasted time, energy and emotion. I didn't miss a thing by not knowing about it or focusing my attention on the case. Because of this experiment, I've made a vow to continue turning the channel when stories of tragedy pop up. I'm going to focus on my immediate world rather than obsess on other people's realities.
  • Star news - In my search, I also caught up on the latest in Hollywood news. There are lots of divorces, disputes, stars battling the law, etc. My mind began to spin when I read about one star planning a $20 million wedding. It's nice and all - but I just kept thinking about the real world and everyday people who are struggling and couldn't help but feel a little frustrated. This experience also instilled in me that reading about stars diverts me from my own reality and causes me to wish I had more and sometimes makes my head spin.  For these reasons, I'm continuing my ban on needing to know more about stars.
This experiment has affected me for a couple of days. I'm a bit moodier and slightly depressed - keep thinking about Casey Anthony's release from jail and wanting to know what truly happened. Also I have been contemplating politicians and political positions that frustrate me to no end.
Just a few days ago before I took on this experiment, I was filled with possibility, excitement for life and now I'm a bit off my game. So here's what I'm going to do to from here on out...
  • Continue my ban on news and focus on the here and now.
  • Delete my news apps from my iPad.
  • Fill my mind with possibility -- good books, happy movies, inspiring shows...and things that make me laugh.
  • Eliminate divisive political discussions from my daily life. For me & the poor people I argue with, these conversations are energy killers.
  • Get out and get some exercise - enjoy the beauty of the day - celebrate the moment
I'm convinced that bold behavior and choices can only be made when the mind is fresh - uncluttered and free. This is why I suggest staying away from things that dampen our moods, cause frustration or distract us from our here and now.
- Jen Engevik

If I Could Share a Thing or Two with the World

If I could share a thing or two to the world I’d share 
That a smile is worth more than gold
A soul should be treated with utmost care
We should love one another as though we are each precious treasures
Life can be lived in the present
(That’s where true happiness is found)
The heart is fragile
Our barometer for what is
Good, right and true.

If I could stand on the top of a mountain and shout a message out to the world,
I would invite everyone to live
Out their dreams
To treat each moment with respect
To stop pretending to be who they aren’t
To invest in positive thought
And courage
And hope.

I’d suggest that we stop focusing on drama
And start focusing on possibility
To pour ourselves into projects
A better world
I’d encourage others to leave the places
They visit in better condition than
When they first arrived.
(picking up a bit of litter may be a start,
Rather than walking over it and pretending it
isn’t there.)
To invest in better behavior
Rather than investing in the idea
that we are a doomed, sinful race.
Taking responsibility should be our
goal – rather than blaming it on
the devil or some other “sinner.”
Don’t you think if there is a God,
He'd would want for his children
to transform the world rather than
wait by aimlessly for a magical solution?

If there were religious groups standing by,
I’d want to remind them that
above all things LOVE is the most
important virtue
And gift that they can give the world
(Judgment isn’t going help their cause…
it will alienate those who need their message most)

If there are doubters out there –
Those who think there is nothing to live for
That there is no hope…
I’d like to invite them to
look around and see the simple beauties
that the world has to offer –
Blue skies
And so much more…
The way to move away from a funk
Is to dive in
and dare to look beyond one's self
know that you aren’t alone.
There may even be someone out there
Hurting more than you.
You can make a difference in his or her life
and then you will have sublime purpose.

Happiness comes from our ability
To move beyond ourselves
And into a pursuit for some sort of

If I could teach the world a thing or two,
I’d  share that
living from the soul is most important -
from the soul there springs,
Everything that we
will ever need.
No matter how much we think
Things and attainment will bring us joy
without tapping into the soul
everything is meaningless,
And false.
Within the soul resides
And hope.

To tap in into its deep well
Find moments of silence
and contemplate
on the truth it reveals.
Then live from it…
Energy will fill your bones
as you begin to live with

By Jen Engevik

Beware of Negative Messaging & Thoughts

Each and every day we are bombarded with all sorts of messages floating around in the cosmos. They arrive through various messengers including the news, our politicians, e-mails, friends, colleagues and kids.

If we don't watch out, we can become wrapped into a wild web of fear, frustration, irritation, and drama. Before we know it, we think the world in which we live in is crumbling and falling apart. We then become committed to the idea that we are going to fail in one way or another...we are going to lose our jobs...there is going to be no opportunity...and more.

The other day I was asked by a friend what I thought of a trial that was going on. "Isn't it awful how that girl died?" my friend asked.  I stopped her then and there and said, "I don't know anything about it and I don't want to hear more." It isn't that I don't care or want to be callous, but I want to protect my mind and my reality.

For instance, today there are big puffy clouds floating around in a soft blue sky. I am listening to Swedish folk music, and as far as I know it everything is OK with the people I know and love. There is no doubt that there is suffering and horrible things going on down the street or across the seas, but what good is it going to do me to fill my mind with such stories? (unless I am going to commit myself to action surrounding an issue, of course!)

When we fill our minds with the ills of the world, it is quite easy to forget what needs to be done in our relatively drama free lives.


- We tend to lose our creativity

- We become doomsdayers

- We don't pour ourselves into work as we should

- Negativity rubs off on our children

- We feel miserable and purposeless

- We become addicted to negativity

- Our relationships can suffer

The list can go on and on...

We have two choices in the world that include: (1) Choosing to see the beauty in the world and fill our minds with inspiration, or (2) Filling our minds with constant negativity.

There are miracles occurring around us each day - the question is...are we going to choose to be in the frame of mind to see them?

Just to spice up your day...check out Coldplay's video Every Teardrop is a Waterfall:

Make it a bold day!

- Jen Engevik

Project Be Bold

10 Thoughts on Whole Living

Sat down to read more in Whole Living Magazine and ran across page 93, written by Terri Trespicio. She shares the following 10 Thoughts on Whole Living:

1. Your body already knows how to heal itself; You just have to get out of its way.

2. Go ahead - vent a little. Think of it as a detox for the soul.

3. Good posture isn't about rigidity, but fluidity.

4. When you can appreciate being alone, you're rarely lonely.

5. Clutter is the by-product of indecision. Make sure everything in your space is there because you choose to keep it.

6. You may not be in school anymore, but there's always more to learn.

7. True sufficiency doesn't mean having plenty; it means having enough.

8. Pay attention to how you walk. Ask yourself what you're rushing toward - or away from.

9. Transform anxiety into excitement; focus not on the fear of what lies ahead but the possibilities you might create.

10. Lead with your heart, not your ego.

Tips taken from: Whole Living: body + soul in balance, September 2010 print edition, Volume 27, Issue 7,  p.93. No Place Like Home written by Terri Trespicio.

- Post by Jen Engevik of Project BE Bold

5 Powerful Thoughts to Help Set You Up for an Amazing Day/Life

Subscribe to Daily Cup of Boldness -Thought for the Day

  1. "Remember, if you ever need a helping hand, you'll find one at the end of your arm ... As you grow older you will discover that you have two hands. One for helping yourself, the other for helping others." - Audrey Hepburn
  2. "Without hard work, nothing grows but weeds." - Gordon B. Hinckley
  3. "Do more than belong: participate. Do more than care: help. Do more than believe: practice. Do more than be fair: be kind. Do more than forgive: forget. Do more than dream: work." - William Arthur Ward
  4. "Watch your thoughts, they become your words. Watch your words, they become your actions. Watch your actions, they become your habits. Watch your habits, they become your character. Watch your character, it becomes your destiny." - Author Unknown
  5. "Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery. And today? Today is a gift that's why they call it the present." - Author Unknown

Bonus thought:

"Don't frown because you never know who is falling in love with your smile." - SinVyeSt Tan

- Team Project BE Bold

Subscribe to Daily Cup of Boldness -Thought for the Day

Boldness Grows with Bold Choices

Our quest for boldness is one that we must take moment by moment. We must look at it like this...things happen throughout our day, and we are always faced with decisions. We can either choose the bold (right) way of action or we can choose the limited (weak) way.

For instance, say that your friend calls you and asks you to do something. Your mind says, "I need a break...I really don't want to do it." You can either be direct and truthful and say "I need a break. Let's do it another day, or you can weave a convoluted story that paints an untrue, over-dramatic story. Being direct is the bold way to act. Weaving a story takes energy from both you and the listener.

Or...say you are at work and you make a mistake. You can blame others or circumstances, or you can stand up and say, "I made a mistake...it is my fault." The bold course of action takes the confusion and negative energy from the moment and then you move on to correcting the situation.

Or finally, when faced with the decision to gossip or share negative thoughts about others, the bold decision is to say something positive or try with all of your might to say nothing at all. Bold living doesn't have time for petty thoughts that aren't empowering.

Each day we are faced with decisions and we become bolder and happier when we make the right decisions -- even though bold action may be scary or cause momentary setbacks. Successes built on wrong action lead to future pains and failures.

The soul craves simplicity. Bold action will get you there...