You ARE Okay…Even When You Think You’re Not

You ARE Okay…Even When You Think You’re Not

I had a bad week. After an amazing birthday celebration, I sank low and found myself feeling sad and melancholy with a heavy heart. The feelings have lasted for days during which time I began to beat myself up for wasting time. I started to feel victimized by my mood and frustrated that I didn’t have the energy to get out there and “make things happen.”

This pattern started when I was very young. I was a sick kid and I often felt depressed. I desperately wanted to feel better! I became curious at a young age about how the Body, Mind and Spirit came together to create our overall experience. You name it I’ve tried it, read it, or done it with my continual focus on getting well.

Fast-forward decades later, and while I feel so much better, I still struggle. I get down more times then I’d like to admit and although my physical body has been healthy, I still get tired at times. This has led to a repetitive pattern of thoughts like “what am I doing wrong?” “After all this effort, why do I still feel bad?”

Perhaps you can relate. It seems like so many people are out there talking about their successes, their breakthroughs and their wins and very few are open enough to share what really goes on just below the surface; those feelings of fragility, insecurity, and fear.

How many of you have an underlying problem that never goes away? How many feel that you are broken in some way and need to be fixed? Perhaps it’s a physical ailment that returns under stressful conditions or a constant struggle to provide a good income doing what you love, or a generalized anxiety and depression? Whatever the so-called problem, maybe it is time to embrace it rather than chase it away. Perhaps we can make it our friend rather than something we resist with all our force.

There are important lessons to learn through our pain and struggle. It may often seem that life offers us unexpected and sometimes undesirable experiences. No matter how positive we are, how many warrior weekends we’ve attended or the number of spiritual books we’ve read, sometimes shit happens. And guess what? It doesn’t mean that there we are faulty or that we’ve made bad choices.

Begin paying special attention to those things that aren’t working for you, those seemingly negative thoughts and patterns that you want so badly to disappear. Talk to them. Befriend them. Listen. Forgive. Offer them unconditional love. Treat them as if you would a desperate friend in need. They are parts of you just as much as the awesome award you recently won, the marathon you completed, or the dream home that you live in.

Wellness, health, and life are all about balance. With the good will come some bad. With the ups comes downs. When we work so hard to resist, avoid, and block the negative, we end up beating ourselves up and draining our very life source. We swim upstream rather than going with the flow. We go outward rather than inward where the true acceptance lies.

Today, love and accept yourself unconditionally no matter where you are. Embrace the pain and begin checking in to see what it’s trying to tell you. Be gentle with yourself and know that there is nowhere you need to be other than right here, right now. Be okay drudging through the mud. Begin making self-love, self-acceptance, and life-acceptance a regular part of your day, week, month and ultimately, your life.

 

Jay Bradley is a Youthful Aging, Wellness & Lifestyle Expert Living in Los Angeles

http://www.JayBradleyLifestyle.com

He is the Best-Selling Author of LIVE LOOK FEEL, The 12-Week Guide to Live Longer, Look Younger & Feel Better!

Gratitude – The Key to Lasting Joy

Gratitude – The Key to Lasting Joy

I’ll be the first to admit that there have been many times in my life when I have struggled with feeling thankful. I have spent much of my time living in the future wanting, striving, and desiring more. Wishing for more success, more creativity, more balance, more growth has taken me away from the present moment.

We live in a society that has taught us to push forward and strive for those things that we desire. For the most part, I think this is a great concept. After all, we do live in a physical world with lots of wonderful opportunities and things to accomplish. It’s quite natural to want a loving relationship, the newest iPhone, or whatever it is that we are drawn to. The key is to find balance.

What has become blatantly clear to me is that unless we find gratitude in our day-to-day experiences, we are actually blocking more good from coming in. To be thankful for what we already have is an act of living in the present moment, which literally showers us with positivity and optimism.

Being still in the here and now is really the only place that we can be. Our minds may wander to a past experience or future dream but all we truly have is this moment. And for the most part, what we have is pretty darn good. Even if some are struggling with an illness or financial crisis, there are blessings to be found in those challenges should we choose to see them. Embracing gratitude shifts our energetic field and can actually speed up our healing and create miracles in our life. Being thankful for ALL THAT IS even when things don’t look the way we’d like is the key to living a happy and fulfilling life.

If you’re like me and often find yourself daydreaming about the future, try gently bringing yourself back to the now and make a mental list of 5 things that you’re grateful for today. They can be as small as the view from your window, the cozy bed you sleep in, or the stranger who opens the door for you at the office.

When we begin to notice the small gifts, we make way for even more goodness to come in. By living with more appreciation for the now, ironically, we are creating a brighter future, which feels more rich and satisfying.

It seems that for some people being grateful comes naturally, while others find it more challenging. I am beginning to wonder if there is perhaps a gratitude gauge that is set higher in some people than others. Similar to the happiness gauge where some people just seem more joyful from day-to-day while others have to work harder at it.

So regardless of where you are on the scale, there is nothing more important than committing to being thankful for today. Keep a gratitude journal and make lists of ALL of the blessings in your life. Tell others how thankful you are for their friendship. Become conscious of what is going right for you today instead of what is going wrong. The more we can put our attention on that, the better our lives will become.

Living in a state of gratitude is the best gift that you can give to yourself. It takes practice but like anything that you focus on, it does become easier with time and eventually being grateful will become your norm. Gratitude really is the key to lasting joy. Give it a try.

 

Jay Bradley is a Youthful Aging, Wellness & Lifestyle Expert Living in Los Angeles. http://JayBradleyLifestyle.com

He is the Best-Selling Author of LIVE LOOK FEEL, The 12-Week Guide to Live Longer, Look Younger & Feel Better!

 

7 Steps to Aging More Youthfully

7 Steps to Aging More Youthfully

Let’s face it aging is a privilege. Many people don’t have the opportunity to get old because of premature death so the fact that we are experiencing this process is a blessing in itself.

But in a world where our looks, appearance, and body image have become so important, where do we draw the line between accepting what is as we get older and when to make improvements to look and feel better?

The fact that many of us are living longer means that we will need to take even better care of our bodies and minds in order to enjoy our lives as we move into our 70’s, 80’s and beyond.

What worked for our grandparents may not be enough for us. With environmental problems, stress, and a lower quality of food, shifts need to take place. We can’t rely on the old paradigm because times have changed.

Here are 7 ways that you can make changes today in order to not only age more youthfully but to enjoy the time that you have that much more.

Organics – We must start buying organic produce, dairy products, meats and more if we want to increase our odds of living longer. We are already bombarded by toxic chemicals and harsh air pollutants so by eating cleaner, we give our body a break from having to detox those extra pesticides that are in our conventional foods.

Meditation – The busier that our lives get, the more we need to go inward. Meditation of some type is the key to quieting our inner voice of negativity, fear, and self-judgment, and a way to reduce stress and increase our memory and brain activity, as we get older.

Love What Is – Part of aging well is learning to love and accept our self fully and completely. Sometimes this is easier said than done. When we can learn to be gentler, we begin to quiet that inner critic and we learn to become our own best support system. Reading uplifting personal growth books, spending time in nature, tapping into inspiring projects, and creating a spiritual morning practice will help you to evolve and grow emotionally and spiritually. Learning to love what is in the present moment instead of living in the past or future will allow more joy and spontaneity into your life as well.

Exercise – It has been said over and over again but now more than ever, exercise is not optional. These days we spend less time being active and more time on our computers and IPhones. Make the daily commitment to move your body and even better, make it your social time as well. The most recent studies show that we can actually spend less time working out with better results. Consult a wellness coach, trainer, or fitness expert to learn more ways that this can be done and how you can build lean muscle and strengthen your heart for increased longevity.

Supplements – We aren’t receiving enough vitamins and minerals in food alone. This is partly because we’re too busy to eat a well-rounded diet but also because our food often contains less nourishment. Supplementing with a whole food multivitamin with minerals is like an insurance policy for your health. A potent probiotic is also essential. You’ll likely require other vitamin and herbal supplements so it’s best to have a personal consult with a wellness expert to find out which direction to go.

Sleep – Plenty of research shows that those who sleep well at night and who take short naps during the day tend to live longer and look younger. If you struggle with getting a deep slumber there are plenty of ways to remedy that including making changes to your bedroom setting along with herbal supplements or melatonin to increase the depth and quality of your sleep.

Superfoods – As mentioned, eating a healthy diet may no longer be enough. Even with the best of intentions, many of us are still lacking essential nutrients. Superfoods are known as super immune boosters! They are those foods, which really pack a punch when it comes to boosting your health and fighting off disease. While many of them can be eaten, I suggest looking for easily digestible superfood powders or supplements that are organic, raw and not overly processed. Some of these include greens powders like chlorella, mushroom extracts, herbs such as ashwaganda and maca, moringa, green tea, coconut, blueberries and many more!

Social Connection – In this hectic time of social media, ironically we have lost the ability to be social. Many of us, myself included, feel lonelier than ever. We rely on texting and instant messenger over talking. I predict a time in the very near future when we will go back to basics; a time when we re-learn the art of communication and when many of us will begin to yearn for a deeper, more personal connection. Decide that you are going to make a more conscious effort to surround yourself with supportive and loving individuals and consider distancing yourself from those people that drain you.

It is the daily, consistent steps we take which will make the biggest difference in the way we age. Aging isn’t an option. How we age is.

 

Jay Bradley is a Youthful Aging, Wellness & Lifestyle Expert living in Los Angeles.

http://jaybradleylifestyle.com

He is the Best-Selling Author of LIVE LOOK FEEL, The 12-Week Guide to Live Longer, Look Younger & Feel Better!

 

 

80 – 20 Rule

80 – 20 Rule

Life can be tough enough at times to have too many rules. After all, life is meant to be enjoyed. Who wants to live life like a game where we must constantly keep score and with numerous guidelines to follow? I certainly don’t.

The good news for those of you who are already healthy is that there is a general rule to follow when it comes to maintaining balance, but you can relax because it’s rather easy to achieve. I call it the 80-20 rule. If you’re dealing with a serious illness or desperately trying to lose weight however, this rule won’t apply to you since you’ll most likely have to be more disciplined in order to get well or lose those excess pounds.

If you’re looking to find a better balance in your wellness routine and if you are trying to keep up with healthy living and an organic lifestyle, following a positive regimen 80% of the time should be enough. The even better news is that the 20% remaining can be a HECK of a LOT of fun! But if you’re like me, you actually enjoy making smart choices, so the 80% can actually feel good too. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE a delicious piece of rich cheesecake from time to time and so can you.

People often assume that I must be rigid and very disciplined to maintain my fit physique and while I do work consistently, I follow the 80-20 rule myself. Okay, well maybe mine is more like 90-10 but my goals are a little bit more aggressive than most.

So what does this rule look like? It means that 80% of the time you choose to eat organic foods, make healthy choices, reduce sugar, drink lots of water, take your supplements, meditate, get plenty of sleep, and exercise. The remaining time, do whatever you want. Eat some dessert, have a few drinks, enjoy those nachos, be lazy, and let yourself off the hook.

Remember that life is meant to be pleasurable. This is the reason that strict diets don’t work. People can only maintain rigid guidelines for a short period of time and they eventually give up because it’s just too difficult.

You now have my permission to thoroughly enjoy yourself, especially during the holidays but only with one condition; that you be gentle with yourself when you’re in that 20% and that you stop those negative and judgmental voices. Commit to giving yourself the love and support that you would offer your best friend and lastly, when you’re in that 20%, enjoy every decadent second of it!

 

Jay Bradley is a Youthful Aging, Wellness, and Lifestyle Expert Living in Los Angeles.

http://www.JayBradleyLifestyle.com

He is the Best-Selling Author of LIVE LOOK FEEL, the 12-Week Guide to Live Longer, Look Younger, and Feel Better!

Pain Stories

Pain Stories

For years I told a story of illness, depression, and suffering. It wasn’t entirely my fault since my chronic sickness began when I was a child so it was all that I knew at the time. My story involved asthma, earaches, allergies, and just a general malaise about life. I was often drugged with cough medicine and antibiotics so that I could heal what was ailing me but ironically, it was doing more harm than good. My pain story also involved being bullied and taunted from as far back as I can remember. Not the best story to tell but it was the only one that I knew at the time.

We all have stories to tell. Some of us love to get into the nitty gritty detail of how hard life has been for us. Others tell a lighter, more empowering tale. Our ability to develop and hash out the storyline comes from years of planning, experiencing, and developing the various characters and dramas along the way.

If we want a different life experience, we MUST tell a different story! Most likely, that plotline we’ve been reciting since youth no longer serves us. In fact, by telling the same story over and over again, we are perpetuating duplicative experiences and challenges that we have already lived out. Maybe it’s time to tell a new story.

Sometimes we begin slowly. For me, I started to realize early on that my story of illness was no longer serving me and that I deserved to feel better. I began to research, experiment with my body, and find experts who could help me along the journey towards healing.

While all of this was vital to my growth, the very first step was to become conscious of the story that I was telling and then slowly, make changes to my script.

Initially, it was very difficult because it’s much easier to fall into old habits, patterns and ways of being. Sometimes it’s actually more comforting to suffer than to thrive I learned.

But as we begin to catch our thoughts, ask ourselves if those very thoughts are serving us, and then replace them with more positive and loving thoughts, we gradually begin to shift and we start to re-write the storyline of our life. We begin to get vocal about our new and improved health, the wonderful opportunities that are coming our way, and all that we have to be grateful for. We start to verbalize all that we want to become even before it shows up in physical form because we now realize that in order to achieve all that we desire, we must believe it before we see it.

I understand that it can be fun to complain to friends and tell a story that makes us look and feel like a victim. Somehow there is comfort in sharing our pain with others. But perhaps it’s time to tell a completely different story, one of openness, positivity, and fulfillment. We are in charge of the words that go down on paper, nobody else. Who would you be if you began reinventing yourself and thriving? What would your life look and feel like if you were to become the person that you most admire? Maybe, just maybe it’s time to tell a different story.

 

Jay Bradley is a Youthful Aging, Wellness & Lifestyle Expert Living in Los Angeles.

http://www.JayBradleyLifestyle.com

 

He is the Best-Selling Author of LIVE LOOK FEEL, The 12-Week Guide to Live Longer, Look Younger & Feel Better!

New Year – New You!

New Year – New You!

Almost everybody gets excited about a New Year! That’s just the way it goes. Most of us feel optimistic and a renewed sense of faith that a brand New Year will be our best ever. That’s a fantastic outlook to have. The problem however, comes when we get 2, 3 or 6 months into the year and we haven’t followed through with all of our goals and resolutions. At that point, we begin to feel stuck and victimized by our old habits and negative cycles.

If this is you, you’re certainly not alone since it is estimated that almost 80% of Americans fail at achieving their resolutions. So why then is it that many of us can’t keep our resolutions?

Here are some helpful tips and solutions to keep you on track this coming year:

  • Keep Your Goals Believable: We all want dramatic changes in one area or another. Whether we need to lose 100 pounds or we want to make that first million. And while I am all for having BIG dreams, keeping things believable is the key to achieving our vision. If you absolutely believe that you can lose 100 pounds then by all means make that your goal. But if you struggle with seeing and feeling what it’s like to be so thin, start with 25 pounds and then work your way up once you get there. Goals that are too large to handle will most likely be sabotaged.
  • Write Them Down: If we have grand dreams and goals but we never write them down, they are simply floating around in our minds. When we not only write things down but also keep track of the steps we need to get us there, we create a precise statement of where we want to go and we can see concrete proof that we are moving towards those very dreams. Keeping a day-to-day journal and calendar helps us to break things down into manageable steps.
  • Visualize: Many people have magical results when they keep a vision board or a vision book which features photos, images, cut-outs, and physical data that shows them what their dreams will look like. It may sound silly but if your goal is to get lean and toned, put a picture of your head onto a body that is athletic and fit. Stick an image of yourself into that sports car you’ve always wanted. If you’d like to manifest $5,000 then cut out copies of 50-$100 bills so that you can see exactly how that will look. The more specific you are, the better your results will be. I have seen unbelievable things happen for people who have taken these steps.
  • It’s Okay to Change Your Mind: We’re human and we are entitled to change our minds. If you find yourself in March no longer desiring the things you wanted in January, then take them off your list or re-work them. Don’t let things you don’t want clutter your mind. Get clear on your intentions and be open to change along the way. Sometimes what we think we want isn’t really what we deeply desire on an emotional or spiritual level.

There is no doubt that with a new year comes a lot of change. Change is always inevitable. Sometimes they’re small, almost unnoticeable shifts while at other times they may take our breath away.

If you haven’t gotten specific with what you’d truly like in your life then chances are you’ll continue attracting what you’ve been getting. If you love all aspects of your life then keep doing what you’ve been doing. If on the other hand, you really desire transformation and newness, then get serious about allowing the life of your dreams in. Believe that your desires can come, keep track of your day-to-day goals that will get you to the outcome you’d like, visualize your dream life often, and know that’s it okay to change your mind along the way.

Happy 2017!

 

Jay Bradley is a Youthful Aging, Wellness & Lifestyle Expert Living in Los Angeles.

http://www.JayBradleyLifestyle.com

 

He is the Best-Selling Author of LIVE LOOK FEEL, The 12-Week Guide to Live Longer, Look Younger & Feel Better!