43 Mindful Ways to Fulfillment: Bonus list of books and podcasts to add to your collection
Why 43 ways? Frankly, it could be more, but this post celebrates 43 years of life as of the 14th of April. My perspective can differ greatly from others due to personal experiences. Take this list with a grain of salt. As the years pass, the list will grow and evolve. My hope is that you will use it as a source of inspiration.
I have broken down my 43 mindful ways to fulfillment into six digestible categories with the exception of the most crucial point – health.
If you are short on time, scroll to the end for a list of books that I enjoy rereading and podcasts that I listen to often.
- Health. This is the engine that keeps everything running. Take care of it because your life depends on it.
DAILY MENTAL WELLNESS PRACTICES
- Morning meditation. Upon waking up, take five minutes for gratitude. Breath. Relax. Feel your heart smiling.
- Enjoy breakfast. I used to be a fast eater and learned to relish sitting down to meals only a few years ago. Ironically, I love to cook! Erik and I take a full hour for breakfast. Time is a gift which should be cherished. Setting the tone first thing in the morning is crucial when the day can potentially lead to a heavy load of stress.
- Appreciate the small things. Smiling eyes, sunbeams breaking through the clouds, breeze rustling trees. If we suddenly lost our ability to use any of our senses or other faculties, we would crave the things that were once so easily missed.
- Hugs. Days can be long and filled with stress. A hug can make a world of difference. For me, I seek these pockets of comfort from Erik. Not into hugging humans? Hug your beloved dog, cat, or even a tree! Whatever it takes – hugs heal, and they do not necessarily have to come from another human.
- Mini breaks. Give yourself a break throughout the day. Five minutes can help. No one wins when your brain breaks down. Stop multitasking as well.
- Realistic to-do lists. We are all guilty of being overly ambitious with our lists every now and again. Create a simple list of 1-5 things that must be completed by the end of the day. Accomplishing mini goals is more important than the number of check boxes on your list.
- Evening meditation. Do not go to bed angry or resentful. Take five minutes for gratitude and think about how you can improve a little bit the next day. Be kind to yourself and do not overthink this.
Skin contact is essential for our overall well-being; research shows that “skin hunger” actually does exist. Stress causes our bodies to produce cortisol, which increases the likelihood that new social alliances or connections can develop. Oxytocin production amps up when we are touched by another caring human. Our bodies are made to provide and respond to physical comfort, so next time you see someone in pain or feel as if the world is crumbling around you, open yourself to a hug.
The healing process begins with a touch and embrace. It’s just that simple.
Psychologytoday.com - The Undeniable Power of a Simple Hug
DAILY PRACTICES AS A BUSINESS OWNER
- Keep it honest. Being a realist as well as a dreamer is a balancing act. One way to stay honest with goals is to read the numbers. Just like an athlete who should be able to judge his or her fitness with perceived effort and quantified results, a professional must learn how to trust intuition, analytics, customer testimonials and requests, and peer reviews to reduce guesswork. This will help you achieve realistic goals as well as reduce additional stress at work.
- Prioritize service and quality. These are non-negotiable and should always be at the tops of the list!
- Mentors. Seek them out if you do not have any. They will flatten the learning curve and can save you a ton of heartache along the way.
- Follow #7 in the previous list. This is as important for business if want to reduce falling behind and feeling discouraged or overwhelmed.
- Practice. Practice. Practice. If you want to improve, keep a schedule that will allow you to gauge progress as you practice the skills necessary to be more competitive in the market.
- Read and listen. Learn by reading more about competitive intelligence, marketing insights, and industry developments. Dedicate at least 30-60 minutes of your day to absorbing more knowledge about your profession. Keep your ear to the ground and listen for the things that may change the course of your efforts.
- HELP! Ask for help often. You are not expected to know everything. Before things worsen, nip it in the bud by asking trusted colleagues, mentors, or coaches for help. Do not suffer in silence.
If you're pretending like you've got everything together when you don't, you're not being mentally strong. Instead, you're just acting tough. Ignoring your pain, masking your weaknesses, and suppressing your emotions won't make you any better.
Inc.com – Why asking for help is a sign of strength and not weakness
DREAMS FOR THE FUTURE
- To travel again.
- To take my mother to anywhere for a month.
- To sail across oceans.
- To learn more about my ancestry.
- To make a home with Erik.
- To learn how to fly.
- To continue to fulfill the dreams of our clients.
THE (VERY) SIMPLE THINGS
- Learning something new every day.
- Running through a forest covered with moss.
- Being surrounded by wildlife in the water and on land.
- Watching the sun rise and set.
- Laughing at silly jokes.
- Listening to heartfelt stories that are shared by others.
- Sitting by a fire with Erik.
- Training for UKA Pain 100k in October.
- Paddling, biking, and fly fishing.
- Learning about different wildlife and plants.
- Cooking. I love everything about it!
- Learning languages. Currently, I am learning Swedish.
- Learning ways to be more creative.
BOOKS THAT I ENJOY REREADING AND PODCASTS THAT I LISTEN TO OFTEN
- Man’s Search for Meaning – Viktor Frankel
Psychiatrist Viktor Frankl's memoir has riveted generations of readers with its descriptions of life in Nazi death camps and its lessons for spiritual survival. Based on his own experience and the stories of his patients, Frankl argues that we cannot avoid suffering but we can choose how to cope with it, find meaning in it, and move forward with renewed purpose. At the heart of his theory, known as logotherapy, is a conviction that the primary human drive is not pleasure but the pursuit of what we find meaningful. Man's Search for Meaning has become one of the most influential books in America; it continues to inspire us all to find significance in the very act of living.
Goodreads.com – Man’s Search for Meaning
- The Fountainhead – Ayn Rand
The revolutionary literary vision that sowed the seeds of Objectivism, Ayn Rand's groundbreaking philosophy, and brought her immediate worldwide acclaim. This modern classic is the story of intransigent young architect Howard Roark, whose integrity was as unyielding as granite...of Dominique Francon, the exquisitely beautiful woman who loved Roark passionately, but married his worst enemy...and of the fanatic denunciation unleashed by an enraged society against a great creator. As fresh today as it was then, Rand’s provocative novel presents one of the most challenging ideas in all of fiction—that man’s ego is the fountainhead of human progress.
Goodreads.com – The Fountainhead
- Grape, Olive, Pig – Matt Goulding
Matt Goulding introduces you to the sprawling culinary and geographical landscape of his adoptive home, and offers an intimate portrait of this multifaceted country, its remarkable people, and its complex history. Fall in love with Barcelona’s tiny tapas bars and modernist culinary temples. Explore the movable feast of small plates and late nights in Madrid. Join the three-thousand-year-old hunt for Bluefin tuna off the coast of Cadiz, then continue your seafood journey north to meet three sisters who risk their lives foraging the gooseneck barnacle, one of Spain’s most treasured ingredients. Delight in some of the world’s most innovative and avant-garde edible creations in San Sebastian, and then wash them down with cider from neighboring Asturias. Sample the world’s finest acorn-fed ham in Salamanca, share in the traditions of cave-dwelling shepherds in the mountains beyond Granada, and debate what constitutes truly authentic paella in Valencia.
Grape, Olive, Pig reveals hidden gems and enduring delicacies from across this extraordinary country, contextualizing each meal with the stories behind the food in a cultural narrative complemented by stunning color photography. Whether you’ve visited Spain or have only dreamed of bellying up to its tapas bars, Grape, Olive, Pig will wake your imagination, rouse your hunger, and capture your heart.
Harpercollins.com – Grape, Olive, Pig
- The Namesake – Jhumpa Lahiri
In The Namesake, Lahiri enriches the themes that made her collection an international bestseller: the immigrant experience, the clash of cultures, the conflicts of assimilation, and, most poignantly, the tangled ties between generations. Here again Lahiri displays her deft touch for the perfect detail — the fleeting moment, the turn of phrase — that opens whole worlds of emotion.
The Namesake takes the Ganguli family from their tradition-bound life in Calcutta through their fraught transformation into Americans. On the heels of their arranged wedding, Ashoke and Ashima Ganguli settle together in Cambridge, Massachusetts. An engineer by training, Ashoke adapts far less warily than his wife, who resists all things American and pines for her family. When their son is born, the task of naming him betrays the vexed results of bringing old ways to the new world. Named for a Russian writer by his Indian parents in memory of a catastrophe years before, Gogol Ganguli knows only that he suffers the burden of his heritage as well as his odd, antic name.
Lahiri brings great empathy to Gogol as he stumbles along the first-generation path, strewn with conflicting loyalties, comic detours, and wrenching love affairs. With penetrating insight, she reveals not only the defining power of the names and expectations bestowed upon us by our parents, but also the means by which we slowly, sometimes painfully, come to define ourselves.
Goodreads.com – The Namesake
- The School of Greatness (Podcast) – Lewis Howes
Lewis Howes is a New York Times best-selling author, 2x All-American athlete, keynote speaker, and entrepreneur. The School of Greatness shares inspiring interviews from the most successful people on the planet – world-renowned leaders in business, entertainment, sports, science, health, and literature – to inspire YOU to unlick your inner greatness and live your best life.
- The Model Health Show (Podcast) – Shawn Stevenson
The Model Health Show is a fun, entertaining, and enlightening look at health and fitness. No subject is off limits here! World-renown author and nutritionist Shawn Stevenson breaks down complex health issues and makes them easy to understand and overcome. Whether it’s weight loss, chronic fatigue, heart disease, diet, exercise, sex, hormones, sleep problems, or countless other health topics, the insights you get here will help you transform your health and live your best life ever. The Model Health Show is brought to you by RareGem Productions.
- The Atlas Obscura Podcast – Witness Docs & Atlas Obscura
An audio guide to the world’s strange, incredible, and wondrous places. Co-founder Dylan Thuras and a neighborhood of Atlas Obscura reporters explore a new wonder every day, Monday through Thursday. In under 15 minutes, they’ll take you to an incredible place, and along the way, you’ll meet some fascinating people and hear their stories.
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