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It’s a festive time of year and it’s hard not to be caught up in the buzz of it all. We’re often encouraged to not be a scrooge and instead to be festive and happy.

We can’t be happy, however, if we’re not grateful. But what happens when you’re just not feeling it? Sure the holidays mean time off work but they can also mean stress, obligations and even let downs. They can highlight what’s missing or make you nostalgic for times past.

Sometimes it’s just hard to feel festive let alone grateful.

Let’s rewind a couple weeks. Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. What’s not to love? The bustle of a house crammed full of family,18NNxqe kids and dogs. Food and football. Tons of laughing. A bit of wine. And more food. It’s a holiday that has a feeling; loud, cozy and accepting.

When I learned that again I’d be missing my family’s Thanksgiving I felt instantly deflated. And I cried.

And threw a solid pity party. I thought about everything that got me down: like why we live far from family, the downside of compromise and how it sucks royally when you actually have to give up what you want. Like how I’d miss waking up in my childhood bed and getting over-fed, the laughs with my brothers, cuddle time with my niece and nephews, bonding with my sisters-in-law. And of course how I’d miss my parents, every single thing about them.

In short, I felt bad for myself. It was easy to do and I did it pretty hard.

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On Thursday I was almost attacked by a bear.

I was in the Okanagan Valley in BC visiting family. I’d been out hiking with my in-law’s dog, Bubba, just the 2 of us, when we hiked almost directly into a bear with her cub. If you know anything about bears, they won’t usually attack you unless they have a baby and then your mere presence becomes a threat.

The two of them were only 20 feet or so in front of us. I mean, RIGHT there!

Bubba barked like crazy, the cub scurried up a tree and the bear looked pissed; and I mean really angry, I’m-thinking-of-eating-you pissed. I knew we were in trouble when she got up on her back legs and began to growl. I believe my heart may have stopped. [click to continue…]

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