Create your balance. Design your life.

Finding Balance Between Opposite Extremes

Finding Balance Between Opposite Extremes

Aug 29, 2015

Sometimes it seems like every article I write becomes about opposite extremes, and finding balance. I’m beginning to realize that might be because this pattern shows up a lot for me in life… plus this website is about work, and life, and balance. Today, I’m going to talk about how finding balance between opposite extremes relates to the Darwinian concept of the Middle Road, and the Buddhist idea of the Middle Path, or Middle Way, and how that approach can be applied to life and to health, for growth and success. For the philosphers among you, Aristotle’s Golden Mean and Confucious’ Doctrine of the Mean are right up along this alley as well. What got me thinking about all this was a noticing that I often see with clients, and in the health and wellness industry in general, an oscillation between states or practices of deprivation, and states or practices of excess, or hedonism. You may have experienced this yourself, if you have ever been on a very restrictive diet: you’re limiting calories, or carbs, or sugar, or foods that start with the letter T, and at some point, three hours or three days, or three weeks in, you’re standing in front of the fridge with a chicken leg in one hand, and a pint of ice cream in the other. Some of you are shaking your heads no because you’re always calculating and don’t succumb to cravings. For the rest of you, the vast majority of everyone reading this article, uncontrolled indulgence is a natural response to deprivation, and you are not alone. The idea of the Middle Road, per Darwin, came from a combination of the ideas of inductivism and eurekaism: The former suggests that the way to a breakthrough is work, work, work and practice, practice, practice, while the latter suggest that breakthroughs happen in one, spontaneous aha! moment, while dancing in your kitchen listening to techno (Darwin totally listened to techno, I just know it). So Darwin’s idea is not that neither of these approaches work, but that they both work, only not in isolation. They must be combined to be successful. The Buddhist idea of the Middle Path or...

How To Entertain Kids When You’re Sick

How To Entertain Kids When You’re Sick

Aug 27, 2015

Spring brings lots of beautiful flowers, green grass, and ALLERGIES! When the little ones are sick, late nights and early mornings make life tough. But what happens when Mom or Dad is down for the count? We’ve already had a round of couching and sore throats at our house, which reminded me to share this article I wrote for BuzzFeed, about 20 ways you can entertain kids when you feel like you. can’t. even.   The article lists a bunch of great ideas to help keep kids busy, but here are a few extra pointers to keep in mind when you are down for the count: 1. PRE-PLAN I hope the all-caps indicates the importance of this one! Gather a few items reserved specifically for sick days, and half of the work is done for you. You may recall packing a “hospital bag” or “home birth kit” before baby came. This is important too. Grab a box or bin and fill it with age appropriate supplies. Some ideas for older kids include, new coloring books and crayons (sure you’ve got old crayons, but new crayons are the best), exciting Playdoh colors in neon or sparkle, fun activites from the dollar store kid isle. Little ones are a bit harder, so make a few busy bags in advance. This site shares 15 ideas that are easy to put together–from lacing cards to sensory bottles. Age aside, all kids love new things. Make a little grab bag of small new toys. Pull one out in these kinds of emergency situations, and hopefully you can get an hour or two of peace. When the kids get too many toys for a holiday or their birthday, I like to put a few away (they never remember) and pull those out when needed. 2. Hire a cleaning service. Look, when the main caretaker is out of it, kids will take advantage of everything they can. For me, that means my house is going to be a mess. This stresses me out. Sometimes, for the sake of sanity, we have to spend a couple dollars. It seems indulgent at first, but you cannot put a price on sanity. You might even...

Your Inner Critic Is A Fraud

Your Inner Critic Is A Fraud

Aug 26, 2015

Have you ever read an article and thought, “Um…I don’t remember authorizing this interview.” Well, here’s an article that is all about us.  I can’t tell you how many times I feel like a fraud.  Even my nightmares contain worries that someone will know I am faking it! “Faking what,” you ask? Everything… In her article, Expert Enough, Take 2: Why Imposter Syndrome Matters, and How to Overcome It, Lauren Bacon talks about feeling like a fraud and physical things you can do to overcome it.  I’m including it on Workout Wednesday because it is really helpful to have a physical “thing you can do” when you need a boost of confidence.  It can be draining to always rely on your brain to bail you out.  Try letting your body give you a boost sometimes.  Bacon recommends doing these things: Stand (or sit) up straight Get big Lean forward Find your own power posture: “Ask your body to find a position that feels centered and powerful, and lock into that posture so you can recall it later.” Beyond your physical stance, you can also: Move your body. “Dancing to your favorite tune shifts your energy in incredible ways.” (You may have to do this before a big event, not during.) Carry a power totem. “I’ve worn my late grandmother’s wedding rings on days when I needed a reminder that my roots go deep and that I’m part of something greater than myself. It helps me keep my worries in perspective,” says Bacon. The thing that really hit me in this article is the idea that expert does not mean infallible.  Bacon says, “We can be experts, and we can be successful, and that doesn’t mean we need to be without fault.”  Yes.  Yes!!  We don’t have to be perfect to be an expert.  We don’t have to have to know ALL the answers to be able to offer valuable advice. If you suffer from Impostor Syndrome, you may also suffer from “can’t-toot-your-own-horn-itus.” This is also known as inability to promote yourself or can’t take a compliment (depending on where you are from).  Ashley Milne-Tyte, at The Broad Experience, who pointed out this article in...

Profane Angel, Boss Bitch: The Madcap Badassery of Tragic Carole Lombard

Profane Angel, Boss Bitch: The Madcap Badassery of Tragic Carole Lombard

Aug 25, 2015

[Originally published by Mind of LeVine on August 10, 2015.] It all began with baseball. In early 1921, film director Allan Dwan was casting A Perfect Crime when he noticed “a cute-looking little tomboy … out there knocking the hell out of the other kids, playing better baseball than they were. And [he] needed someone of her type for [the] picture.” [1]   Her name was Jane Peters. She was 12 years old. And little baller Jane grew up to become 5 feet 2 inches of pure Tinseltown bulldozer. She became “The Hoosier Tornado,” “The Profane Angel” and “Hollywood’s hostess.” She became the screwball screen siren who sharked the studio system, loved paying taxes and died in a great ball of fire: Carole Lombard. Carole Lombard would’ve relished the term “Boss Bitch,” having embodied it well ahead of her time and loved her a damn swear. She gave no fucks long before that was a thing. And she was tough as nails, as evidenced by her superlative handling of a serious car crash in 1925, recounted 13 years later in Life magazine: The impact shattered the windshield and a sliver of glass flew into Carole’s face, slitting it open from the corner of her nose to her cheekbone. … Stitched together by a surgeon who refrained from using an anesthetic less Carole relax her face muscles, the cut left an angry red scar. … For a promising movie actress it looked like a calamity. … Instead of ruining her career, the automobile accident was actually what started it. A director friend one day suggested that she get a job at the Sennett Studio where, since a quorum of the cast was always in bathing attire, facial defects made small difference. Carole Lombard took his advice and landed a job immediately. [2] No anesthetic?! I, too, was in a serious car wreck at age 17. Know how I handled it? I refused to drive for a decade. And I wasn’t even injured! When Life ran the above-quoted “A Loud Cheer for the Screwball Girl” in 1938, Lombard was at the crest of her then-unprecedented financial and artistic power. But she was neither refined nor snobified by...

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