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Awaken

I know how important authentic feelings are to recognize. I'm feeling a little blue. Sorrier words have never inaugurated a blog post, I'm sure, but I'm not here to impress you, I'm here to be authentic, to share authentic feelings. What's authentic right now is that it's just one of those days. 
This isn't one of those stock Thanksgiving blogicles where I waste 500 words tossing around washed-up phrases about how "gratitude is an attitude." It's much worse than that. I'm going to try to challenge your notion of gratitude altogether. I said early on in my HealthyPlace journey that I wasn't going to try to convince anyone of anything, but we all knew I was lying. So let me be explicit about this: I want you to leave this post believing that gratitude isn't just for the things in your life that are working. I want you to walk away feeling grateful for the challenges in your life that aren't. 
I'm writing this just a few minutes removed from a morning run, which I hated almost every second. I'm not like the runners you see in the movies who gracefully jog with their camera-ready smiles; my face is usually fixed in a mask of focused despair, disguising not at all how distasteful I find the whole situation. This run was no different—my feet hurt, my heart pounded quicker than it wanted to, and my respiration struggled to keep pace. In short, the run absolutely, unmistakably, irrevocably sucked. It was exactly what I'd hoped for. I was hoping to increase my distress tolerance.
Death is coming for us all. I don't mean that to be threatening; I mean it to be relieving. Encouraging. Enlightening.
Today we'll discuss how not to hate your life. But first, in the last post, I suggested that we ought to drive a wedge between the mechanism by which we understand the world—our brains—and the product of that understanding—ourselves. In the end, I declared that you are pure observation. If you're still scratching your head about this, an easier way to view it is to equate yourself with your experience of reality, keeping in mind that said experience is mediated completely by your brain. It's critical you understand this. Because if you don't, you won't understand that your experience of reality and reality itself has very little to do with each other. The latter is unyielding. The former is entirely subject to the direction it's pointed in.
How you start your day can make or break your next 24 hours. There are so many ideas and suggestions about how to spend your time immediately after crawling out of your cozy bed. I've heard a lot of people say getting the hardest task out of the way first is the right approach. Others say following a morning routine will set your day up for success. After trying more morning rituals than I can count, I've learned that the best way to start my day is to do something that gives me energy. Feeling like I can tackle the day, rather than walking through the motions sluggishly, has helped me lead a happier life.
Refusing to take things personally can lead to a more relaxed life where you aren't constantly worrying about being criticized. When you stop taking things personally, you can boost your self-confidence, worry less, and rebound from failures with enthusiasm. 
How can a healthy morning routine help if you're not a fan of getting out of bed in the morning? You're not alone in that feeling. Convincing yourself to leave your bedroom and enter the real world can be a daunting task. However, creating a healthy morning routine can help you learn to greet the morning with a smile.
I recently began a new meditation practice where I’ve learned that sounds around me have the potential to become meditation help. The first few minutes of the twice-daily exercise consist of pure mindfulness: noticing what each of the senses is experiencing one by one, then all together.
Are you new to meditation? If so, perhaps you’re looking for meditation tips because you can’t find a good jumping-off point. As meditation’s slowly lost the stigma as an "out-there" practice for hippies and religious devotees, meditation's benefits have been studied and touted as important for mental health self-care. Perhaps you’ve become aware of these benefits of meditation, but feel frustrated after trying it a few times. These three meditation tips will help get you off to a great start.