Because I had spent a practically perfect weekend away with two of my favorite lady friends, of course something had to go wrong on the way home. After we lurched in stop-and-go traffic for an hour, my bus broke down on the side of the Jersey Turnpike. As we waited over an hour for a replacement bus to pick us up, some people whipped themselves into a lather. They called the bus company to demand a refund on their $12 ticket, and dialed up their credit card company to ask about traveler's insurance (do I need to tell you that call was unsuccessful?). Some passengers just complained loudly to whomever would listen. A guy seated nearby started making jokes. My seatmate turned to me as she cued up another episode of Arrested Development. "At least neither of us is traveling with a baby." In one sentence, I went from being feeling pretty zen about the whole thing to being seriously grateful the situation wasn't so much worse.
My seatmate and I got the last two seats on the replacement
Blog Posts by Sarah McColl, Shine staff
Because I had spent a practically perfect weekend away with two of my favorite lady friends, of course something had to go wrong on the way home. After we lurched in stop-and-go traffic for an hour, my bus broke down on the side of the Jersey Turnpike. As we waited over an hour for a replacement bus to pick us up, some people whipped themselves into a lather. They called the bus company to demand a refund on their $12 ticket, and dialed up their credit card company to ask about traveler's insurance (do I need to tell you that call was unsuccessful?). Some passengers just complained loudly to whomever would listen. A guy seated nearby started making jokes. My seatmate turned to me as she cued up another episode of Arrested Development. "At least neither of us is traveling with a baby." In one sentence, I went from being feeling pretty zen about the whole thing to being seriously grateful the situation wasn't so much worse.Read More »from Poll: You get a flat tire. How do you deal?
Something in my life has just mentally clicked over from annoying-thing-I-don't-like-about-myself to enough-is-enough-already. I'm ready for a change. But when you're familiar with that desire for things to be different but the sad reality of them, well, never actually changing, the need to set yourself up for success becomes as strong as pit bull's jaw. Here are three wise ways to make changes that stick.Read More »from How to make changes that stick
Break it into the tiniest "to do" possible
Let's say you want to have more energy. You feel ready to run one thousand errands when you eat some protein at every meal. What kind of protein do you like? Turkey sausage, you say? Write down "buy turkey sausage" on your to do list. Identify what you want in your life and then distill it down to the smallest action items. Want to run a 5k Thanksgiving morning? Download the Couch to 5k running plan. Schedule your first gym time. Lay out your workout clothes. See how easy it is to get going? When you break your goal down into small pieces
I had a thoroughly depressing realization recently: If your PMS lasts about a week, your actual period another five days--and if you're also one of the lucky few who is struck with pre-PMS, go ahead and tack on another week of cravings and mood swings--that means hormones are riding roughshod over 50% of our lives. So unfair. Here, six natural ways to deal with that half of your life. (And remember to ask your doctor before taking any supplements!)Read More »from 6 natural cures for your PMS
Studies have shown that magnesium can significantly reduce weight gain, swelling of the hands and legs, breast tenderness, and bloating. Beef up on magnesium-rich foods like legumes (soybeans, black beans and peanuts), dark leafy greens (swiss chard, spinach, kale) and seafood (salmon, halibut, oysters). And while it's hard to do when cravings are running rampant, limiting your sugar and salt intake can reduce bloating.
Whether you're PMS-ing or not, exercise is a tremendous natural mood stabilizer. If your body is
I just spent a weekend in a house with six cats, four dogs, a phone that rings every seven minutes, and a doorbell that trills twice a day. The cacophony of commotion in this house got me thinking about simplicity and how we try to create it in our lives, inspired by those silent, Zen-like photographs of orchids and a cup of green tea. Instead of fighting against the fact of our loud lives filled with kids, soccer practice, and teeth cleanings, maybe our best bet is to embrace the messiness of life. Here, five ideas how.Read More »from Learning to love the chaos
FOCUS ON WHAT YOU CAN CONTROL
Most of life is out of our control. We can't make people call or not call. We can't change the economy. We can't keep our loved ones from getting sick or keep disaster at bay. What we can control is ourselves: how kind we are, how we adapt to change, how much we smile. Doing our best work, eating food that makes us feel healthy, and how we talk to ourselves and others are all under our own domain. Even if you can only do it for one day,
I have a standing, 24-minute lunch date with Kate & Allie, and the reason I keep tuning in isn't because of Allie's awesome style icon-worthy puff-sleeved sweaters or the so-cute-you-want-to-pinch him Chip. It's because the show offers something that feels markedly absent on television today: a friendship between women represented in full form. Why the heck does a 25-year-old show feel so modern in its portrayal of friendship?Read More »from What happened to TV's gal pals?
Kate and Allie live together in an apartment in New York's West Village and raise their kids in an age-of-divorce kind of blended family. Did you get that? They're not lesbians, they're divorcées, and the main axis of the show is a friendship between two women who are, predictably, polar opposites but have managed to be friends since high school. At the end of the day, they put their feet up on the coffee table, each have a nip of brandy, and talk about it all: men, money, kids, career, who they are versus who they thought they'd be. And it's funny. They don't
When I saw this story on indecision in the Wall Street Journal, an image instantly sprang to mind of people who waffle. You know the ones: They stand in the grocery store aisle looking back and forth between boxes; they spend days debating whether they should make the call or take the job. They are, sometimes, well, me. See where you fit on the spectrum of black-and-white thinkers versus shades-of-gray seers, then weigh in on our poll. Can't decide? Check out our no-fail suggestion for making decisions fast.Read More »from Poll: Do you have trouble making decisions?
IF YOU'RE A SHADES-OF-GRAY THINKER...
Shades-of-gray thinkers have more trouble deciding because they have more ambivalence; the choice of which option to take isn't immediately clear to them. Psychologists ignored ambivalence for years as insignificant. But recent studies have shown that there is some upside to indecision. It's a "coming to grips with the complexity of the world," Jeff Larsen, a psychology professor at Texas Tech University in Lubbock, is quoted as saying. Those
Thanks to the magazine Whole Living, I have a new favorite life-guiding principle that sounds like something you order at a sushi restaurant. Wabi sabi is the Japanese art of finding beauty in an imperfect world. And while it's hard to define precisely, a definition by author Leonard Koren has come to take hold: "Wabi sabi is the beauty of things imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete, the antithesis of our classical Western notion of beauty as something perfect, enduring, and monumental." Here's what this means to you and why it matters.Read More »from What's wabi sabi got to do with it?
The magazine article set out some examples on what wabi sabi is, but also what it isn't. Wabi sabi is those cracked, crazy looking heirloom tomatoes at the farmer's market, handmade pottery, wrinkles from smiling. It's not "Botox, glass-and-steel skyscrapers, smart phones or the drive for relentless self-improvement." And it's not our sleek, stylized, 21st century idea of modern simplicity either (which is often just code for clinically spare rooms
One of my friends is deep in a life makeover. Six months ago, she decided to sit down weekly on a therapist's couch. Since then, she's been meditating and journaling up a storm in the name of personal wellness. So none of us were surprised when she showed up at a party over the weekend after seeing a nutritionist, wondering aloud if this was a health helper worth the hefty expense. "You don't need a health coach," another friend suggested, "you need an accountability partner." But is the buddy system really as helpful as an expert?Read More »from Poll: Does the buddy system really work?
A study at Stanford University showed that even small amounts of social support, like a quick phone call or an email from a friend, can help produce lasting change in our health. But would a friend offer the same "I don't want to disappoint her," pressure as someone who wears a shroud of authoritative anonymity? Think of Gladys at the weekly weigh-in of a diet program. She doesn't know that you're the world's best crocheter or play a mean game of horse. Her
In the spirit of National Yoga Month, we asked three of our favorite yoginis to tell us how yoga has made over their lives. As most of us know: it's so much more than exercise. Be inspired, and then find a free yoga class in your area.Read More »from How yoga changed my life
"Yoga has reminded me to be easy in my body."
--Tara Stiles, creator of Yoga Anywhere and Slim Calm Sexy Yoga
"Studies have shown that women who practice yoga regularly have a more positive body image than those who don't," explains Esther Kane, MSW, author of It's Not About the Food. "It's not about how we look on the outside that counts in yoga."
Abigail Steidley, a Martha Beck certified mind-body coach, adds that connecting to our breath in yoga roots us in our bodies, instead of letting our minds run willy-nilly, "rushing off to think about daily to-dos, concerns, and stressful issues. When we fully inhabit our bodies, we feel confident because we accept and love our bodies and feel at home in them. This is probably the most important thing anyone
- Sarah McColl, Shine staff | Work + Money – Thu, Sep 23, 2010 4:38 PM EDT
Here's something new for me: I've been resisting fall. Usually I love September's back-to-school feeling, but this year, letting go of summer has felt like letting go of something vital and fun forever. Just now, I looked out the window of the coffee shop I'm sitting in to see a flutter of leaves falling to the ground. Okay, so something is being lost: leaves and barbecues and flip-flops. But today marks the autumn equinox, and a clarion call to find a new fall rhythm. It's different than summer's chaos, to be sure, but it offers its own set of charms.Read More »from Why we shouldn't be bummed to wave summer goodbye and welcome fall
Okay, let's wipe the tears from our eyes. Fall isn't winter, after all. We've got apple-picking, pumpkin-carving, Billie Holiday's "Autumn in New York," tights, knee socks, fire pits, football, and changing leaves to look forward. There's a lot of cozy, wistful romance to the season. The trick is accepting it for what it is, instead of trying to make it something it isn't.
The Rhythm of Routine
Summer's a flurry of excitement,