Profile: Dani DiPirro

Positively Present

Living a 'positively present' life means in the moment while focusing on the positive in every situation— and that's exactly what Positively Present strives to help you do. Though many of us try to, it's impossible to live happily in the past or in the future. And if the now is all we have, why not make this moment a positive experience? Posts on Positively Present strive to support the idea that life is best lived if it's lived right now with a positive attitude. Be positive. Be present. This is your life.

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NoteStreams By Dani DiPirro

5 Tactics for Tackling Pain

For the past few months, I've been struggling with physical pain, something I've never been great at dealing with. Obviously the physical part isn't ideal, but the toll it takes on your mental state is even more of a challenge. When pain starts impacting your whole life — where you can go, what you can do, how much work you can accomplish in a day — it goes from unpleasant to frustrating to depressing really quickly, making maintaining a positively present attitude difficult, to say the least!
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Category: Health

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The Power of (Not) Telling Your Story

When it comes to telling our stories — the good, the bad, the oh-god-why-is-this-my-life — I’m realizing that peace probably won’t come from pushing publish on a post. Peace comes from feeling that pain, living through it, and moving forward without dragging it behind you.
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Category: Self Discovery

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10 Ways Other People Help with Personal Growth

As someone who doesn't like to admit that she needs other people, thinking about this topic has been an eye-opener for me. It's reminded me of how many times other people have helped me on my personal growth.
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Category: Self Discovery

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Keep Moving Forward: 5 Steps to Get Going

Lately I've been struggling a lot with motivation. There are so many things I want to do and make (and be!), and I've gotten to that point where I feel so overwhelmed that, instead of taking action, I just want to lie down, throw the covers over my head, and do nothing.
So, rather than write about what I've done, as I often do, I'm writing today about what I plan to do to take small steps to make positive progress!
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Category: Self Discovery

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Exploring the Past to Understand the Present

When my parents moved to a new house last summer, I found myself carting boxes of my old stories and journals and art and terrible photographs (amazing to see the "good" photos that we saved and how they look like the kind I'd immediately delete on my phone today) to my apartment.
I spend so much of my time writing about (and trying to experience) the present moment, so the idea of diving headlong into the past, re-meeting all those old versions of myself, seemed like a bit of a strange one.
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Category: Self Discovery

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Play the Hand You're Dealt : Life Lessons from Solitaire

Whenever I'm super stressed and anxious (particularly when I have upcoming doctor's visits or surgeries scheduled), I've noticed that I tend to turn to games like Solitaire, Scrabble, and Boggle. And, of course, being me (creator of this fine site that you're reading today, haha), I started noticing some good life lessons as I was playing — and there ended up being a lot more than I would've imagined!
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Category: Self Discovery

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6 Steps for Dealing with Emotionally Draining People

Do you have a friend (or coworker or family member) who leaves you feeling exhausted and emotionally drained after you interact with him or her? You're not alone.
Here are some of the best ways to deal with emotionally draining people.
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Category: Self Discovery

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Struggling with Self-Love? : 10 Must-Read Reminders

When it comes to self-love, we're all works in progress, so I've rounded up some of my favorite reminders about self-love to keep in mind. If you're struggling to embrace who you are, check these out for some inspiration (or bookmark them for a time you might need them!).
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Category: Self Discovery

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5 Ways to Fight Hate (Right Where You Are!)

If you're reading this, you're probably the kind of person who's pro-love, anti-hate, but rejecting hate in your mind (or even online) is not the same as actually fighting it. This is something I've been thinking about a lot lately.
Positively Present

Category: Self Discovery

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Finding Freedom: 6 Ways to Connect to Your Passion

What is it that sets me free? And I still think what I thought before: what sets each of us free — what gives each of us that pure, thrilling sense of liberation — is focusing attention, work, and energy on what you're passionate about.
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Category: Self Discovery

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Springtime Simplifying, Sorting, + Selling!

I might have a proper place for everything, but everything's proper place isn't necessarily with me.
So many of the things I own have served me well, and so I keep them. I'm starting to realize, though, that organized possessions are not the same as purposeful possessions.
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Category: Self Discovery

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Sky or Screen? : The Power of Perspective

You're probably well aware that your perspective -- or point of view -- matters a great deal.
Go to a window with a screen right now and try this: focus on the screen, and the sky'll go blurry. Focus on the sky, and the blurred screen can almost be ignored.
Positively Present

Category: Self Discovery

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Coping with News Anxiety

Keeping up with the news can lead to anxiety, but the answer isn't to ignore the world out there. Instead, try these three easy steps to get your zen back: Break - Make - Take!
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Category: Self Discovery

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Why You Should Read Your Horoscope

As I was reading my horoscope last week, I had to pause and ask myself, “Why am I doing this?
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Category: Self Discovery

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5 Tactics for Coping with a Meltdown

I knew I had the tools to figure out a way to make the most of things, even though I was feeling pretty helpless, so I decided to give them a shot. Here's what I did to cope this week.
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Category: Self Discovery

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2017: The Year of Self-Love

Follow these tips to practice better self-love in 2017!
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Category: Self Discovery

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Hygge: What It Is + 11 Ways to Do It

Hygge is about finding meaning in the ordinary aspects of life. It's about exploring and celebrating daily luxuries, and connecting in a mindful way with the people around you.
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Category: Self Discovery

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4 Reasons to Love Halloween

Not only does Halloween bring people together with a sense of community, but it also encourages generosity as well.
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Category: Lifestyle

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Campaigning for Compassion

Politics are important, and because the winner of the election can have a big impact on our lives, it's no wonder so many of us get personally and intensely invested in our beliefs.
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Category: Self Discovery

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The Magic + Mindfulness of October

Every year I fall in love with this month, this pause between the extremes, all over again.
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Category: Self Discovery

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How to Make Your Life Uncommonly Good

We all want to live good lives, but what does a "good life" actually mean?
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Category: Self Discovery

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A-Wear-Ness: Mindfulness + What You Wear

“Enclothed cognition” is the scientific definition for how your style and clothing choices reflect and affect your mood, health, and confidence.
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Category: Self Discovery

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Lessons from Autumn on Letting Go

We're all different when it comes to letting go, but I bet that no matter who you are, you have a hard time letting go of something.

Category: Self Discovery

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How to Reclaim Your Magic

What if we talked about ourselves the way we talk about someone we're in love with? What if we wrote poems — and had thoughts — filled with that same admiration and adoration?
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Category: Self Discovery

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33 Lessons From Living 33 Years

In celebration of the big three-three I've rounded up a list of 33 things that I've learned over the past three+ decades.
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Category: Self Discovery

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4 Steps for Using Song Lyrics as Therapy

Even though it's fairly obvious how it works -- find lyrics, write it down, reflect -- sometimes it's helpful to have all the steps in front of you to motivate you to actually do it.
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Category: Self Discovery

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To Really Live: Fear Death, Not Life

We're only given so many days, so many moments, and we don't know how many of those we have left.
Positively Present

Category: Self Discovery

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I Don't Feel Guilty (and Why You Shouldn't Either!)

Guilt is not necessary for being a good person, and, in fact, it can be detrimental to living a positive, present life. Before diving into how to cope with guilt (and why I believe you should minimize it in the first place), let’s take a look at exactly what guilt is.
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Category: Self Discovery

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5 Ways to Connect with Your Creativity

A lack of fulfillment can be caused by many things, but one cause that impacts many people without them realizing it is a lack of creativity.

Category: Self Discovery

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Why You Need Lower Expectations

Having low expectations might sound like a bad thing, as if you're settling for less than you deserve or willing to put up with others' bad behavior, but it's actually one of the very best ways to stay positively present.

Category: Self Discovery

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6 Lessons I Learned From 6 Years Sober

Over the past six years, I've taken away some pretty big life lessons from living sober. Here are the top six lessons I've learned.

Category: Self Discovery

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Reaching Rainbows: An Interview with Dallas Clayton

Dallas Clayton is an American author and illustrator best known for his children’s works in the Awesome Book series.

Category: Self Discovery

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Less Hate, More Love: Taking Positive Action

Gun violence sucks. I'm scared and saddened, and I want to do something so I made these pins and I'm donating 50% of the proceeds to the Educational Fund to Stop Gun Violence.

Category: Social Awareness

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Should You Stay or Go? 5 Questions to Help Choose

The stay-or-go question is something most of us will face at some point in our lives (if we haven't already!). Unless there is some clear indicator that something must change (i.e., abuse, profound misery, etc.), actually making such a choice can be incredibly difficult. So difficult, in fact, that many of us will default to staying where we are, even if we're unhappy, simply because it's easier than making a decision

Category: Self Discovery

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6 Self-Love Lessons From Alice In Wonderland (Part II)

As you might of seen last week, I wrote about two of my favorite topics: Alice in Wonderland and self-love! Today I'm catching you up with the second half of the amazing self-love lessons from Alice.
If you haven't already, check out Part I for the first three lessons (and some background on Alice).

Category: Self Discovery

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6 Self-Love Lessons From Alice in Wonderland Part I

With the release of the new Disney film, Through the Looking Glass, I've been planning to write another Alice-themed article for months. And, after recently releasing my self-love stickers, I've had a love of self-love on the brain so I thought it would be interesting to see if I could find any good self-love lessons in Alice's adventures.

Category: Self Discovery

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What Do You Need to Unlearn? 5 Steps to Get Started

True transformation happens when you let go of what you no longer need, allowing space in your life for more positive, empowering habits, mindsets, and experiences!

Category: Self Discovery

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6 Benefits of Self-Love

Love yourself. You've heard those words before (and not just in an amazing Justin Bieber song!), but have you ever paused to ask why you should embrace self-love?

Category: Self Discovery

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6 Benefits of Having an Open Mind

Having strong beliefs can be a wonderful thing, and it’s important to stay true to your values, but having strong beliefs doesn't have to mean closing your mind to what others have to say.

Category: Self Discovery

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5 Reasons to Nix the Negativity in Your Life

We all battle negativity (both internally and externally) from time to time, but one of the best ways I've found to combat that sneak little devil is to remind myself of why negativity does absolutely no good.

Category: Self Discovery

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8 Tips For Creating A Positive Career

This coming Friday I have the honor of being the keynote speaker at my high school's Career Day! To be honest, I've put off writing my speech for weeks because I'm quite nervous. I've spoken in front of plenty of adult-filled rooms before, but something about this feels different. After thinking about it for a bit, I realized the big difference between this speaking event and others is: I really want to positively impact these girls -- and think I have an opportunity to do so more than I would with adults.

Category: Self Discovery

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Keep Calm: 5 Tips for Preventing Panic

Even if you don't have anxiety on a regular basis, you've probably experienced panic at some point in your life -- those moments when your heart is pounding and your mind is racing with ideas (some completely irrational) about what's happening.

Category: Self Discovery

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Work and Rest: How to Find the Perfect Balance

Work and rest. Two things we must all do, and two things we often struggle with. For some, working comes easily -- we're always on the go, always doing something that makes us feel productive. For others, it's the rest that comes without struggle -- we're content to lie on the couch all day, ignoring the ever-lengthening to-do list.

Category: Self Discovery

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How to Create Your Own “Wellth”

I was sent a copy of Jason Wachob's Wellth: How I Learned to Build a Life, Not a Résumé, and the title alone had me hooked. The book focuses on the various building blocks of wellth: eat, move, work, believe, explore, breathe, connect, love, heal, thank, ground, live, and laugh.

Category: Self Discovery

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How to Find the Good in Tough Times

I've so enjoyed focusing on striving to find the good all month long. It's been a tricky month for me (as February often is for some reason...), and having the goal of finding the good has really helped me stay focused on the positive aspects of life.
Today's post is part of Find the Good February, a month dedicated to finding the good in your life (and in yourself!). Each week features a unique theme, and this week's theme is TOUGH TIMES.

Category: Self Discovery

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How To Find Good in Others

Today's post is part of Find the Good February, a month dedicated to finding the good in your life (and in yourself!). Each week features a unique theme, and this week's theme is RELATIONSHIPS.

Category: Self Discovery

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How to Find the Good in Yourself

Today's post is part of Find the Good February, a month dedicated to finding the good in your life (and in yourself!). Each week features a unique theme, and this week's theme is SELF.

Category: Self Discovery

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How to Find Good at Work

Whether you love what you do or you dread going to work each weekday, for most of us, work is a part of life -- and a part where we spend the majority of our time. If work is where we spend the most time, shouldn't we make an effort to make the most of it?

Category: Self Discovery

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Announcing: Find the Good February

Today is the first day of Find the Good February: a month dedicated entirely to finding the good all around (and within) you! Read on for more details and info on this week's theme: finding the good ONLINE ...

Category: Self Discovery

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Feeling Sad? Try These Quick Pick-Me-Ups!

January is always a bit of a sad month for me -- and I know I'm not alone in this. For a lot of people, it's a gloomy, gray month filled with the dreaded post-holiday blues. It's back-to-work after a couple of months of fun-filled activities, and it's an especially tough time for anyone who suffers from SAD.

Category: Self Discovery

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6 Tips for Tackling Tough Conversations

Have you ever been in a position where you really wanted to talk to someone about something but the topic of conversation was really awkward / emotional / sensitive and so you put it off for ages hoping that it would somehow be resolved or disappear but, without talking about it, there was obviously going to be no miraculous solution so you had to actually get the courage to bring it up and you were so scared to do it and it had been on your mind for so long that you didn't even know where to begin?

Category: Self Discovery

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How to Protect Your Heart

Happy 2016, Positively Present readers! I'm so excited to kick off this new year with you. There are so many exciting projects in the works for the coming months -- new books, new products, new projects, and more -- and I can't wait to share them with you! To begin the new year, I'm starting off with a new type of post: Reader Request. I often receive emails, Instagram comments, blog post comments, etc. from readers asking if I'd write about a specific topic. I love when I receive requests because it tells me what you want to read and it inspires me to explore topics I might not have considered. If you have a request, contact me and I may just write about it for you!

Category: Self Discovery

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The Difference Between Happiness and Positivity

You've probably heard quotes like "happiness is a choice" or "if you want to be happy, be" or "people are as happy as they make up their minds to be." (I'm probably guilty of using these words. Scroll through my Instagram feed and I bet you'll find "choose happy" or something along those lines amidst my many quote-themed photos.) In theory, these quotes come from a good place. They're meant to highlight the notion that, though you don't always have control of your circumstances, you have control over how you feel.
Except... that's not true.

Category: Self Discovery

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A Christmas Carol: Starring You!

One of my favorite Christmas tales is Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol. It's such a thought-provoking story, filled with concepts like forgiveness and compassion and taking control of the present that we should try to apply to our lives all year long.

Category: Self Discovery

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How To Stay Calm During The Holidays

The calmer you can stay, the better everything becomes. The difficult situations are easier to cope with and the good times are much more enjoyable. But, of course, staying calm during the holidays isn't always easy. Here are some of the best tactics for having a merrily calm holiday season:

Category: Lifestyle

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The Dos and Don’ts of Being a Positive Friend

While focusing on gratitude this month, I've, of course, been giving a lot of thought to what matters most to me and what I'm most thankful for. Not surprisingly, one of the first things that comes to mind when I think of thankfulness is the good fortune I've had when it comes to the friendships in my life.

Category: Self Discovery

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The 5 Best Ways to Show Gratitude

Being grateful is one of the best ways to embrace a positive, present life. When you're grateful, it's impossible to be negative. It's also an excellent tool for staying in the moment.

Category: Self Discovery

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Why You Should Stop Saying ‘Should’

Should. It's a small word, but it has a pretty big impact on the way we think about ourselves and others. It's a word I don't contemplate often, but frequently use — and I don't think I'm alone in this. But, after reading Kate Bolick's Spinster: Making a Life of One's Own (part memoir, part cultural exploration of the unmarried woman that I found very eye-opening), I've spend a lot of time thinking about the word "should" — both in the context of my relationship status and in a more general sense.

Category: Self Discovery

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Embracing Autumn: 6 Ways to Enjoy the Season

This year I'm not going to let the season get away! Here are some ways I plan to embrace autumn this year (and I'd love to hear your suggestions in the comments section for how you plan to make the most of this season!)

Category: Lifestyle

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7 Lessons I Learned From Facing my Fears

I've never been the type to think of facing fears as a good thing to do, but I discovered last week that it doing what scares you really will have some positive benefits. Here are some of the lessons I learned first-hand.

Category: Lifestyle

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How to Love Your Mind

One of the topics I discuss in detail in my workbooks is how to love your mind. The thoughts you have create the life you live so it's important to direct thoughts to a positive, productive place. Learning to create a loving mindset (and loving your mind even when it isn't so positive) is an essential aspect of self-love. How you think — and speak — about yourself is vital to creating a love of who you are. Positive thoughts and words impact your mental, physical, and emotional health in a big way.

Category: Self Discovery

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5 Ways to Be a Better Listener

As much as I'd like to be defined as a good listener, I don't think I'm quite there yet. However, I do think I have some pretty solid ideas on how to take my listening skills to the next level.

Category: Self Discovery

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5 Tips for Loving Your Body

Loving your body can be laborious, but if you don’t do it, you’re going to have a very hard time loving yourself — or your life.

Category: Self Discovery

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4 Steps to Set Boundaries

A friend of mine has been struggling with one of her coworkers—a well-meaning but overly time-consuming character that adds a great deal of stress to her workday—and she jokingly said to me, "You should write an article about how to deal with him!" I laughed and brushed off the thought until I sat down to write this week's post and found that her situation kept coming back to me. I've written before about how to stay positive around negativity, how to handle criticism, and how detaching can improve relationships, but this situation is a bit different.

Category: Self Discovery

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Coloring is the New Meditation

Coloring has always been a go-to activity for me, but these days I'm not alone. Coloring has become quite the craze for grown-ups, with adult coloring books popping up all over the place. In fact, the number one best-selling book on Amazon right now is this coloring book: Enchanted Forest: An Inky Quest & Coloring Book. Pretty crazy, huh? Who would have thought an adult coloring book would be the top-seller?

Category: Self Discovery

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6 Pointers for Practicing Patience

Last week I spent a good part of my day in a hospital waiting room as a friend of mine was undergoing surgery. The waiting room had zero phone service reception, and during hours of iPhone-less waiting I was given a chance to reflect on how to cultivate patience, particularly while waiting in a situation that's less-than ideal. (I've spent time waiting in hospital rooms before, but usually for someone's new baby to arrive, which is a totally different, more exciting kind of waiting.) Patience is something I've always struggled with — my lack of it being one of the reasons I started Positively Present in the first place! — but as difficult as it is for me to master, I know it's something that's absolutely essential for living a positive and present life, which is why I've spent some time thinking up some pointers for practicing patience.

Category: Self Discovery

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12 Post-Surgery Life Lessons: Part 2

A few weeks ago, I had surgery for the first time and last week I wrote about some of the life lessons I gained from the unsettling and unpleasant experience of undergoing surgery and facing some of my biggest fears — namely, anything related to doctors or medicine! It's been a challenge to get back to the point where I'm able to do work and write again, but I'm so happy to be getting better day-by-day. Keep reading to discover some of the lessons I learned from having surgery and spending weeks recovering from it.

Category: Self Discovery

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12 Post-Surgery Life Lessons: Part 1

About two weeks ago, I had surgery and I'm finally feeling a bit like my old self. I still have a while until I'm 100% back to where I was before (and I have the joy of another surgery to look forward to as well. ugh.), but I'm happy to say that I'm here and I'm writing again. YAY! As you can imagine, I've learned a lot over the past few weeks — about myself, about facing fears, about staying positive and present even when it's really difficult to do so, and, importantly, about what it's like to face a situation in which I was forced to spend days and days in bed, recovering and taking care of myself.

Category: Self Discovery

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What Do You Wish to Be Free From?

Some of us force ourselves to make relationships work, limping along for years with half-hearted hope. Some of us tolerate behavior that rattles us, convincing ourselves it's easier not to put up a fight. Some of us make choices based on what society deems "the right path," trudging along to keep pace with the norm. We are often so busy lending our strength to the things we wish to be free from that we don't even realize we could choose a different path.

Category: Self Discovery

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6 Steps for Coping with Fear

I've never encountered a fear like this before. I've faced my share of fears, but they've always been more abstract and emotional — fear of not succeeding or having my heart broken or taking a big career risk — and much easier to overcome. This fear is incredibly tangible and forceful. It's physical and has a deadline with a very specific date and time. It's doing its best to trample my attempts at staying positively present. But, scared as I am, I'm determined not to let it take over. I'm trying as best I can to make the most of the time I have between now and my surgery date without letting fear rule my life. I know I won't be able to completely eradicate the fear, but I can learn to cope with it. Here are some of the steps I've been taking to cope with my fear.

Category: Self Discovery

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How to Find Sunshine When You’re Under the Weather

For the past month, I've been struggling with a not-so-fun health issue. I've never in my life had any issues with my health (other than the average cold) so it's been an eye-opening experience to wake up day after day not feeling like myself and dealing with constant pain. And, to be completely honest, it's been very difficult to stay positive. Not feeling good sucks, and when it starts impacting your whole life — where you can go, what you can do, how much work you can accomplish in a day — it goes from unpleasant to frustrating to depressing real fast.

Category: Self Discovery

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Six Ways to Celebrate Summer’s Arrival

I used to like summer -- I really did -- but the older I get, the more I start to understand why I liked summer. As a kid, I loved the warmth and the freedom and the fireflies. (My greedy, present-loving self also loved knowing my birthday was arriving at the end of August.) As a teenager, I loved the long break from school and the lazy days spent flirting with boys by the pool. In my youth, summer always symbolized freedom.

Category: Lifestyle

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10 Practical Ways to Handle Your Heartbreak

A couple weeks ago, I received an email from Catherine, a young woman suffering from the heart-wrenching pain of losing her first love. In the email, she told me how her boyfriend had recently broken up with her. Even though the relationship was not a positive one (he broke her trust, flirted with others, gave less than he took, etc.), she was crushed by the relationship's end. She knew she was better off without him, but that knowledge didn't make the loss easier to bear. The most important thing to remember, I wrote to her, is this: one day you will feel better. It might take a long time (it's different for every situation), but it will happen. You will also find love again. It might not feel like it's possible in the midst of losing that first love, but it will happen. Of course, most of us have heard these things before and I know how meaningless these words can sound when your heart is breaking, so I offered up some practical advice to help her manage the heartache.

Category: Self Discovery

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Living Happy at Work: An Interview with Deborah Heisz

No matter how much you love what you do, staying happy and motivated at work can be a challenge. (And if you don't love what you do it can be a huge challenge!) It's something we all struggle with and, though I've written about it in my book, The Positively Present Guide to Life, I'm always looking for new resources and insights for how to keep the workplace positive. Recently, I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to interview Deborah Heisz, COO and co-founder of Live Happy magazine, about her advice for making the most of work. Keep reading for inspiration for making the most of your workday! (And if you don't work, don't worry — there are still tons great insights in the interview that you can apply to life at home or at school.)

Category: Business

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Coping With A Terrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

Not too long ago, I found myself in the middle of a terrible, no good, very bad day. Everything seemed to be going wrong and my mind would not stop returning again and again to negative thoughts and envisioning worst-case scenarios. It was one of those days when I felt like, no matter what, I couldn't stop ruminating on what had/could go wrong and I felt far, far away from the present moment. All I really wanted to do was curl up on the couch and contemplate all the things that weren't going right, but I knew that definitely was not the best way to stay positive or present so I set about trying to come up with the best ways to make the most of my terrible, no good, very bad day.

Category: Self Discovery

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Harnessing the Positive Power of No

No is a very powerful word when it comes to your relationships with others — and with yourself. When you first think about it, the word "no" might trigger thoughts of negativity, but harnessing the power of no can be a very positive thing. In particular, mastering the art of saying no is essential to distancing yourself from negative people or situations. Many people have a “yes” default setting when asked to attend an event or help with a project, which would seem like a positive thing, right? For the most part, saying yes to others — offering to help or showing support — is a good thing, but if yes is a default response for you, you might not be pausing to consider whether or not saying yes will have a positive impact on your life. When it comes to determining whether or not a yes is a positive or a negative consider these questions.

Category: Self Discovery

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Word of the Month: Create

When most people think about the words "create" or "creative," they think of making art—writing, drawing, illustrating, photographing, etc.—but creating need not be an artistic endeavor. Creating artistically does have many positive benefits, but art-based creativity isn't for everyone (and, for many people, is somewhat intimidating). Instead of focusing on artistic creation this month, we're going to look at other ways you use creativity to craft a life you love.

Category: Self Discovery

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Put Your Heart to Paper: Celebrating Moms!

In our digital-dominated world, the art of putting words on paper isn't as common as it once was, but I think it needs to have a comeback. The act of writing something down — sending a letter or mailing a handwritten card — is so meaningful. It's not only an incredibly positive act (and something the card-receiver greatly appreciates), but it's also a wonderful way to stay present. When you sit down to write something by hand, you bring yourself into the moment, putting your full attention on the words coming from your heart. With Mother's Day just around the corner (May 10, in case you need a reminder!), it's a perfect time to think about putting pen to paper and jotting down something meaningful for the mom (or mom-like figure) in your life.

Category: Self Discovery

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9 Life Lessons From Kimmy Schmidt

The best thing about the show is Kimmy's positive attitude. Even when she was trapped in the bunker, led to believe the world had ended by a creepy reverend (played by the hilarious John Hamm), she maintained an optimistic outlook and tried to keep her fellow captives' spirits uplifted. And when she got out of the bunker and found the world much changed in the 15 years she'd missed, she doesn't mope around, thinking about how helpless she is. She takes her life into her own hands, using her determination and optimism to move to NYC, find a job and place to live, and make new friends. Whether or not you've seen the show, here are some excellent life lessons (and great Kimmy quotes!) you can take away from Kimmy and her adventures.

Category: Self Discovery

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Word of the Month: Explore

I'll be honest — I'm not much of an explorer. Though I'm well aware of the benefits of getting out of one's comfort zone and exploring new things, I tend to stay where I feel safe and comfortable. But not this month! This month is all about getting out of my comfort zone and exploring, and I encourage you to give exploration a try in your life this month too. Typically when I hear the word "explore," I think of scaling mountains or traipsing through a forest, but exploration isn't just about lacing up your hiking boots or going out into the wilderness.

Category: Self Discovery

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Wonderland Wisdom: 8 Life Lessons From Alice

For as long as I can remember, I've been fascinated by Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. I fell in love with the animated Disney film as a girl and have since fallen in love with the book and the live action film. This year marks the 150th anniversary of the book's publication, and there's been lots of buzz about the big anniversary. The 150th anniversary seems like a perfect time to revisit one of my favorite stories and see what lessons I can uncover. The older I get, and the more times I read the book or watch the film, the more I learn from it. Maybe it's just where I am in my life at the time, but I always seem to find new lessons each time I return to Alice and her adventures.

Category: Lifestyle

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Learn to Love Without Expectation

As I often do when spring rolls around, I’ve been thinking lately about love. In particular, I’ve been thinking about what that all-encompassing, difficult-to-define word really means, particularly when it comes to expectations of what love should be — and what we expect of others when we're in love. Take a moment to think about the people you love. Now consider what you expect from them. I’m not talking about basic human decency and kindness. You expect your husband not to cheat on you. You expect your girlfriend to be honest with you. You expect your significant other to speak kindly to you.

Category: Self Discovery

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Forgiveness: Four Lessons from Meditation

A little over a week ago, I attended an all-day meditation retreat led by Tara Brach. I'd signed up for it months ago and it seemed like a fun idea, a great way to really see how mindful I could be, but as the day grew near, I started to worry. Would I be able to sit still all day? Would I be able to survive without looking at my phone? Would I be able to handle my own thoughts for hours and hours at a time? Though I strive to be positive and present in my daily life, meditation is an entirely different level of presence — and one I wasn't entirely sure I was ready to tackle for an entire day.

Category: Self Discovery

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How to Handle Disappointment

Lately I've faced quite a few (professional and personal) disappointments, and during these periods of dejection I've come to realize it's really difficult to stay positive and present when you feel disappointed. A lot of emotions challenge positive, present living (sadness, anger, frustration, etc.) The literal definition of disappointment is "the feeling of sadness or displeasure caused by the nonfulfillment of one's hopes or expectations," but I don't know if that simple phrasing really captures the way it feels to be let down, to be hurt by something that has changed or that has not lived up to what was expected. It hurts.

Category: Self Discovery

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Turning Self-Awareness Into Change

While scrolling BuzzFeed the other day, I came across this article: The Self-Awareness at This Year's Oscars Is Not a Substitute for Change. The author, Alison Willmore, made some great points about the Oscars, and she also got me thinking about self-awareness in general. In particular, she got me thinking about how self-awareness, useful as it is, isn't enough. For self-awareness to become self-improvement, it must be paired with change.

Category: Self Discovery

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Word of the Month: Change

We all have habits — and most of us have trouble with them. Whether it's trying to make new (good) habits or quit old (bad) habits, we all have stories about our habits and how we've started, kept, or failed at them. In her book, Gretchen Rubin makes it clear that there's no one-size-fits-all solution to starting, keeping, or breaking habits. Her key insight is this: To change our habits, we must first figure out ourselves.

Category: Self Discovery

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Act Like A Success: Steve Harvey's Advice

Earlier this month, I was fortunate enough to be invited to Steve Harvey's Act Like a Success Conference by Strayer University, one of the conference's presenting sponsors. I had the opportunity to meet Steve, hear his keynote speech, and listen to a handful of other impressive speakers, like the amazingly motivational Lisa Nicols. The conference's goal was to empower, educate, and inspire its attendees to create success in every area of their lives — and it really seemed to do just that!

Category: Business

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