Tag Archives: inspiration

A Guide to Keep You Youthful and Happy

By Jude Bijou, who will be presenting Attitude Reconstruction: Build Joy, Love, and Peace in Vancouver on Oct 22-23, 2016.

While you can hear many old wise beings telling you the secret of their longevity, they run the gamut from a couple of stiff drinks every evening to playing bingo, I thought you might enjoy my list of a baker’s dozen suggestions that will help keep young and increase the amount of happiness you feel. They are in random order.

1. Live by the 3 Ultimate Attitudes in your thoughts, words, and deeds.

1) Honor and love yourself.
2) Accept other people and situations.
3) Stay present and specific.

These concepts seem simple but aren’t easy to live by. Each time you align with one or more of these Ultimate Attitudes the result will be a shot of joy, love, or peace. I believe if you embody all three, you win the grand prize.

  1. Handle emotions physically and constructively.

Emotions are natural to all humans. They are pure physical sensations in the body. EMOTION = E+MOTION. They just need to be expressed in a constructive and physical manner.

When you feel sadness, just allow yourself to cry big ole tears, you’ll feel better and have more room to experience joy.

When you feel angry move out the emotional energy by hitting, stomping, pushing, yelling, or flailing.  Express your anger physically and in a safe place. Do it hard, fast, and with abandon and the anger will lose its grip.

When you feel fear in your body (anxiety, overwhelm, worry, insomnia, or panic). Shiver, quiver, tremble, and shudder. It seems silly but it really works.

  1. Cancel your negative thinking.

Giving appreciations, praise, and gratitudes feels good and puts good vibes in the environment. Stop yourself when you’re thinking or saying something negative and look for what you do like and focus on that. Studies give credence to the fact that giving gratitudes isn’t just an airy-fairy exercise but actually increases psychological and physical well-being.

  1. Instead of being frustrated, critical, resigned, or bitter, work to accept that “People and situations are the way they are, not the way I want them to be.”   Do this by repeating the above phrase over and over, until it sinks in. After accepting what is, we can look within for direction about what’s true for us about the specific situation. Then we’re able to speak up and take action with confidence.
  1. Have good communication, without a lot of arguing.

 So stop arguing. Research has shown that couples that argue frequently die prematurely! I recommend adhering to Attitude Reconstruction’s Four Rules of Good Communication:  1)Speak in “I’s” — that is talk about yourself, not others; 2) Speak in specifics, not over-generalities(always, never, etc); 3) Focus on kindness, not negativity; 4) Truly listen 50% of the time.  With a bit of practice you will reap undeniable benefits.

 When differences arise, use the talk-and listen strategy. One person talks for a pre-agreed upon amount of time while the other ONLY listens. Then switch. Keep going back and forth until both feel understood. Then TOGETHER find the best win-win solution that honors everyone.  There has got to be a good alternative.

 6. Move your body.

Walking is good. Exercise is good. Team sports are good. Research is showing that too much sitting or sleeping is not kind for our bodies — our muscles, organs, bones, and our minds. Moving the body on a regular basis is what we humans were built to do. That means not just moving from the bed to the kitchen table to the computer, to the couch and television. Here’s an article about how walking increases creativity, and one that proposes that too much sitting causes us to lose years off of our lives.

  1. Eat well and in moderation.

You know the drill. Stay away from junk food and fast food. Eat your veggies. Eat fruit. Go back to basics that don’t have a list of ingredients that you can’t pronounce. And go for moderation, in foods, drinks, (and life).

  1. Hang out with others.

There are a ton of studies that conclude that enjoyable social interactions help keep the mind and heart flexible and running smoothly. Isolation allows for us to get stuck in negative mental loops and destructive habits, whereas social activities keep bringing new information and experiences. So join that bridge club, gym, or book club, take a class, pick up a musical instrument, or find a new social hobby. Prying our eyes from electronic devices opens up a whole new world.

  1. Laugh.

As this article suggests, laughing  releases stress, lifts our spirits, and connects us with other people. We have a choice. We can either laugh, cry, be pissed, be anxious, or be blah about what life presents.

  1. Make a bucket list and start doing some of those things now.

We never know what tomorrow will bring so it makes sense to treat ourselves well now because when we die, our bucket list also expires. Of course that means being financially responsible in the process.

  1. Volunteer.

Helping others or some cause outside ourselves is good for your heart and connects us to our world. Contributing to a group who holds similar values is an excellent way to step outside of our own lives, issues, and preoccupations. Selfless giving is a guaranteed way to increase feelings of love.

  1. Give it a break.

Shutting the noggin down and doing nothing gives us a pause from all the activity and distractions, and lets our bodies and minds integrate our experiences. Maybe that means a solo hike or walk on the beach, maybe meditation, maybe nothing but veg out and take a nap. Here’s an article that lends credence the idea that taking time off is good for you.

  1. Let go.

Life’s too short to live in the past. If you want to enjoy the present and future and live a nice long life, let go of all your crappy history — the injustices, violations, and hurts. As Ram Dass famously said and wrote, “Be here now.”

Jude Bijou, MA, MFT, is a respected psychotherapist, professional educator, and consultant in Santa Barbara, CA. Her theory of Attitude Reconstruction® evolved over the course of more than 30 years working with clients and students and is the subject of her multi award-winning book, Attitude Reconstruction: A Blueprint for Building a Better Life. attitudereconstruction.com

Join Jude in Vancouver for Attitude Reconstruction: Build Joy, Love, and Peace on Oct 22-23, 2016! 

Check out the event on Facebook!

A Story of Hollyhock

By Joel Solomon

Just past the end of the gravel road, at the end of the highway, on the left coast of the continent, across a short body of water, is a place where I was fortunate to find myself. There are many sacred places on the planet. In fact, the whole planet underneath what humans have built, changed and affected over time, is sacred. However, at this time in history, places like I have just described have special qualities that still are radiant and can be felt. That is the geography of Hollyhock, and I consider it a very unique one.

N2670748986_1c8ba14093_zorth of Hollyhock and the end of that road is one of the few remaining vast, natural areas on the planet that is still relatively intact. Indigenous people on their land live better here than in most places in the world. In this area, there remains the possibility of a great, green place, with large species and vast areas that are underdeveloped by humans. Continue reading A Story of Hollyhock

A Different Sort of Hollyhock Workshop Space

A review of the Mothership Kayak Tour via Misty Isles Adventures

Hollyhock and, Misty Isles partner to offer a special Mothership Kayak Tour.  With our kayaks loaded onboard the Misty Isles, we voyage out from Hollyhock each day to explore and paddle in beautiful places. Along the way we may be able to set the sails or view wildlife which may include eagles, seals, or even porpoise or dolphins. Upon arriving at our destination for the day we will launch the kayaks and paddle off for an exploration of picturesque channels or islands before returning to Hollyhock in the evening for supper and a hot tub.

A Different Sort of Hollyhock Workshop Space: things I expected and things I didn’t on my Hollyhock Misty Isles Adventure.

Continue reading A Different Sort of Hollyhock Workshop Space

Living an Authentic Life: Maria Sirois Tedx Talk

When we are authentic, all of our parts get to exist (Maria Sirois)

Authenticity, mindfulness, signature strengths, meaning, and passion are explored to add to our ability to address loss, trauma and stress.  Explore practices from the fields of positive psychology and mind/body medicine to build greater happiness, stronger resilience, deeper inner peace and an increased capacity to positively transform your life.

Dr. Maria Sirois speaks about “Living an Authentic Life” at TedxBerkshires

Dr. Maria Sirois is an inspirational speaker, consultant, and licensed clinical psychologist who has worked in the fields of wellness and positive psychology for twenty years. mariasirois.com

Join Maria at Hollyhock for Flourishing No Matter What, July 31 – Aug 4, 2013

Never Ski Alone

By Lisl Dennis

“Every breath you take, every move you make.” Sting’s tune is spinning on
The Bridge, SiriusXM Satellite Radio, as I bucket back up to Wolf Creek, CO
for an incoming end of season blizzard. For sure, there’s a StoryShard with
every breath, every step and every move we make.
Perhaps not exactly what Sting has in mind, but amazing how tunes and lyrics kick in to trigger the imagination. For me, snow storms invites movement,
music, insights – and anecdotal personal stories. I don’t always hear the tune or get the message in everyday moment-to-moment life, but skiing does open me
to StoryShards from the Slopes. As Sting affirms: “I’ll be watching you.” It’s about what we watch for and listen to while skiing. For the whole story click here.
This trip to The Wolf, I must return the pyrex dish from an early season, long-frozen cherry pie. Yes, I get a fresh one from the Wolf Creek baker every time
I ski at this secret powder stash in Southern Colorado. Thereby hangs a StoryShard!

Hope to make it to Whistler again next ski season.


Lisl Dennis is a worldwide travel and decorative arts photographer, travel writer, television host and international tour leader storyshards.info