they’re All relevant to your holistic health!
And Don't Worry - If IT'S not obvious, i'll explain why.
Break out the cornucopia and give some thanks y’all! In the spirit of giving thanks and turkey dinners, I give you some of my all time favorite gratitude goodies. BTW - Did you know that those who feel the least happy actually benefit the most from getting their gratitude on? You don’t have to be on top of the world to think of things that make your heart happy. You just have to practice.
Check out this tear jerker from SoulPancake (I love this whole site BTW). They ask random people to write something nice about someone they find inspiring and then give them the chance to actually call the person and read it to them. The results are incredibly moving.
There’s so much to be grateful for in everyday life if you get in the habit of noticing. I show this TED Talk, especially 4:10 and beyond to so many people. It features a project by photographer Louis Swatzberg called Happiness Revealed that will help you see beauty all around.
Ready to dig in deeper? I adore this entire website - The University of Berkeley’s Greater Good Science of a Meaningful Life. Why not start in the gratitude section of the site and learn what gratitude does to depression, envy, relationships, participation, stress coping in trauma, immune systems, blood pressure, sleep, pain and more! Explore all the science here and check out the rest of the site too.
We Laughed. We Cried.
In TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) laughter gets you unstuck and moves stagnant liver qi. In other words, if you’re wound tight or dealing with stress it’s a great release of tension and gets things circulating again.
They say laughter is the best medicine but is it really? Check out what Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN has to say.
If you’ve been participating in timed fertility sex you might especially appreciate the glamor of this sexy sexy song. Request this series from the library or stream it on HBO Now.
The awesome thing about this show is couples both love it, there are no plot lines involving babies, pregnancy or miscarriage, and the characters are laugh out loud funny. I literally have never met a person who didn’t say they think its funny. It’s on NETFLIX if you want to check it out.
This one might be a bit immature, but I’m not above it! Check out the Intellevator, a talking elevator from the YLVIS brothers. They brought us What Does The Fox Say, and they’re actually late night TV hosts in Norway.
What about crying you ask? Don’t get me started on crying. Can I list crying as a hobby? I love a good tear jerker. Those who have attended my retreats have lovingly reminded me, “It’s not a success until somebody cries!” Thankfully I’ve usually got that covered.
Need some perspective about what matters in life? Want to feel less alone in your darkest days? Let this dying teenager blow your mind and teach you a thing or two - all while snot is streaming from your nose. I cannot tell you how much I love this video.
Tig Notaro is a comedian and all around inspiring human being. If you don’t know her and her story you should! And good news … NETFLIX made a documentary about her. How does one person deal with nearly dying of a severe infection, grieve the unexpected death of her mom, cope with a breakup with her partner, and then process finding out she has breast cancer? She tells jokes. She leans into the ridiculousness of it all and blows my mind. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry. You’ll come away with a bunch of perspective that will serve you well. (Spoiler alert, this documentary does also involve the IVF experience.)
Did you know you actually release stress in your tears!? Indeed crying benefits your body as much as laughing does. So don’t hold back, break out the tissues.
Just trust me. Rather than spending mindless screen suck time on Facebook, spend 22 minutes on this. You won’t be sorry, you will be misty.
Okay, okay, the trailer makes it look a bit goofy. But the director says it’s a fairy tale about a world where people are kind to people who aren’t doing okay, a world where people are kind instead of judgmental and afraid to try to help. Just trust me, you will cry for all the right reasons.
I’m always reading 2 or 3 books at a time. Here are a few that I love.
The book he wrote while living with a terminal diagnosis is both a profound look into the normalcy of death as well as a glimpse into a philosophical insight dying can give us on life. It is breathtaking. I first stumbled on his essay called How Long Have I got Left? Which, although about his own terminal illness, applies beautifully to the unknown of infertility or any of life’s big question marks.
Read the NY Times Review
Social media and pop culture constantly expose us to highly edited versions of other people’s lives. The result? We end up comparing our real life experiences with the fictional version of others’. In this lens, our own struggles and real life complexities can feel lonely and like unique and epic failures while everyone else around us seems to be doing just fine. Enter this amazing book.
Story after story we hear real people’s struggles. We read what they really think, how they really experience heartbreak and problems that sometimes cannot be solved. We also grow from and all wisdom they have to share. We don’t have to feel alone because indeed, we are NOT alone.
“Everybody is a story,” writes Dr. Remen in her introduction. “When I was a child, people sat around the kitchen tables and told their stories. We don’t do that so much anymore. Sitting around the table telling stories is not just a way of passing time. It is the way the wisdom gets passed along. Despite the awesome powers of technology many of us still do not live very well. We may need to listen to one another’s stories again.”
We used to have a lot more downtime. The Sabbath was holy. Weekends were mellow. Nighttime was for sleeping. Now we go non-stop. Jam-packed weekends follow overtime-filled weekdays. Nights are scheduled with extracurriculars and lunch hours are places to get things done. “I’ll sleep when I’m dead” and “Just do it” are ways of life. Unfortunately, this doesn’t end well. Nowhere in nature or history does this way of being work out.
Fact is, we only have so much money in our accounts (resources, vitality, energy, health … I use money to stand in for them all because we all relate to the idea of money, and by account I mean our bodies). When we go, go, go, it means we are spending, spending, spending. And this is not sustainable. We know that when it comes to actual money, but we ignore it when it comes to our health. Exhaustion, distraction, disease, decline and dysfunction are all signs your account is out of balance (to say nothing about stress)! So, what's a person to do?
Slow down and do less says the author of this piece from the 2013 New York Times, The Busy Trap.
"Find time for stillness" says Pico Iyer, in his thought provoking and much watched TED talk.
"Make stress your friend" says Kelly McGonigal, in this amazing reframe of a TED talk.
Try Headspace’s free TAKE 10 - Ten free 10-minute meditations on mindfulness.