Life’s Lessons To Make Us Stronger

Life’s Lessons To Make Us Stronger

Have you ever noticed that even when you’re doing well, life seems to test you? Do you ever sense that some invisible energy pushes you towards challenges and says “oh yea, you’re feeling good? Let’s see about that.”

While I believe that the world is a friendly place and that we are meant for joy and ease, I also suspect that we are here primarily to grow and evolve as spiritual beings, sometimes more than we we’d care to. We understand on some level that the Universe has our back but that it also directs us to be our best possible version even when we want to yell “NO, I am JUST FINE the way I am THANK YOU!”

If you regularly feel lured into a space that’s uncomfortable or areas where you thought you had it all worked out, you’re not alone. Many of us are being opened up so that we can finally release old patterns and live our best life. Often that process can be painful and disheartening.

The biggest challenge for most people comes down to self-love and self-acceptance. At our core, many of us feel unworthy. In turn, we tend to attract people and circumstances that exemplify this. While what seems like an undesirable and repetitive cycle, is actually an amazing opportunity to expand. We can learn from these lessons and finally move beyond the lower vibration and personal limitations.

If you’ve tended to attract lousy partners, failures at work, struggles financially, or ongoing health issues for example, the job is to figure out what our role is in the situation and then begin making a conscious effort to move beyond attracting the same experiences over and over again.

Instead of beating ourselves up however, there comes a quiet acknowledgement of what isn’t working and then little by little, we can begin designing a new future that is not created from old paradigms running the show.

Yes bad things can happen even when we do our best but if we begin seeing the Universe as a friendly place instead of feeling victimized, we gradually regain personal power even when times are tough and when it seems the world is against us.

If we can reconnect and charge our spiritual batteries daily by practicing self-love, self-acceptance, and self-forgiveness, we will begin to relax and our viewpoint of what’s good and bad, or right and wrong will shift into a knowing that all is well no matter what. It really is.

Sometimes life can be challenging and there are many days when we just want the lessons to stop. Decide once and for all to release the resistance and not to take things so seriously. Welcome the obstacle with open arms and step outside of your experience to see it for what it truly is…the chance to rise above and to embrace all that is.

Even when it feels like we aren’t making progress, we are! Day by day, step by step, we’re moving into a whole new and expansive space. Hang in there, you’re going to be just fine.

 

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

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

Healthy Summer Sun!

Healthy Summer Sun!

Los Angeles gives us summer-like weather almost all year round. But even here in California, the rays of the sun become more intense during the summer months, so regardless of where we live, we must all be extra mindful about our sun exposure during this time of the year.

The American Cancer Society states that there are over five million new skin cancer cases each year and that melanoma outweighs all other cancers combined! These are staggering statistics especially for those of us who live in a sunny climate and may be at increased risk.

There seems to be a lot of confusion about healthy sun exposure and whether or not a tan equals potential long-term damage to our skin. While there are many opinions on this topic, some things remain clear.

The basic guidelines to follow in order to reduce your overall risks of cancer and aging of the skin are:

  • Avoid lengthy sun exposure at peak times between 10am-4pm
  • Cover up with clothing, a brimmed hat, and sunglasses
  • Remain in shady areas between 10am-4pm
  • Apply quality sunscreen liberally to exposed areas

With new studies coming out about potential dangers of certain chemicals in sunscreen, it can be overwhelming trying to decide which ones to purchase to protect you and your family. As a general guide, stick to natural sunblock whenever possible. Look for creams and lotions that contain titanium dioxide and/or zinc oxide as their main sun protection ingredients.

While the verdict is still out, certain ingredients may act as endocrine disruptors which can mimic the hormone estrogen. When made by the body or given as a drug, increased estrogen may affect reproductive organs and may also raise the risk of certain cancers. For more information, visit the Environmental Working Group EWG for a list of sunscreen products which can be harmful.

Along with being smart about your sun exposure, you may want to take some natural approaches too, in order to boost your body’s ability to block harmful UVA and UVB rays.

Astaxanthin– this potent antioxidant found most often in shrimp, salmon, lobster, and krill has been shown to increase the body’s natural ability to absorb UVA and UVB. Supplementing a minimum of 2mg of Astaxanthin per day, may help to lower your risk of cancer and reduce overall inflammation.

Topical Vitamin C– Applying a Vitamin C serum or cream with your sunscreen may act as extra defense from the damage that the sun causes to your skin. A serum is best, one that contains at least 15% pure Vitamin C.

CoQ10– Supplementing with Coenzyme Q10 and using it topically in creams or lotions may help to fight the free radicals that come from the sun’s rays. Italian researchers found that melanoma patients had very low levels of CoQ10 compared to those who were free of cancer. Another study in 2006 showed that topical CoQ10 suppressed the inflammation caused by UV radiation.

Healthy Exposure– More and more doctors and health practitioners are suggesting that 10-20 minutes of sun exposure to a large percentage of your skin without sunscreen, may actually be a healthy and good way to produce natural Vitamin D3. Some experts suggest doing this before 10am or after 4pm while others say that peak times are okay.

Vitamin D– Supplementing Vitamin D3 may help to boost immunity and reduce the risk of certain cancers. It is thought that taking Vitamin K along with D3 may increase the positive effects of a Vitamin D3 supplement.

Apart from avoiding skin cancer, many of us want to keep our largest organ looking young and supple. It really is a balancing act of getting enough rays to boost our health and immunity without overdoing it and causing sun-related aging of our skin.

Like all things in life, balance is key. It is vital that we don’t live in fear or angst about enjoying healthy sun time with friends and family, but also, ensuring that we are taking precautions and being smart.

Let this summer be one that you remember. Take the steps to protect yourself and then go out and celebrate this wonderful time of the year. Be healthy, be safe, and enjoy!

*Always consult with your doctor about healthy sun practices, especially if you have a history of melanoma or are at increased risk of cancer.

 

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

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

Life Without Goals – Is It The Way To A Happier Experience?

Life Without Goals – Is It The Way To A Happier Experience?

Lately I’ve been sitting in a place unlike anywhere I’ve been before. I literally live my day-to-day experience without concrete goals, ambitions, or a particular destination in mind. This is the first time in my life where I have “no place to go” and I am surprisingly present and calm.

If you’re like me, you have thrived on pushing yourself towards achieving some type of future vision. You’ve found motivation through mental images of your dream home, the newest model of your favorite sports car, a perfect wedding, or manifesting the ideal physique. Whatever it is, most of us have been taught that desires equal a fulfilling reality. While I’d agree that as humans, we are often energized by new things, anytime we place our happiness in the hands of stuff yet to be accomplished, we are sure to be disappointed, and we may never find ourselves fully present in what is.

So how do we live more in the here and now and will we still attract a good experience if we stop trying? I have always been afraid to take a break from wanting with fear that my life would somehow go backwards, thinking that if I didn’t dream or desire, I’d simply shrivel up and die or at the very least, live some type of mediocre existence.

In fact, the opposite has occurred. I feel more alive than ever! Taking the pressure off to BE SOMEBODY, GET SOMEWHERE, and HAVE MORE STUFF has created an unparalleled presence and joy in THIS moment unlike anything I’ve felt before.

We’ve all heard about allowing enlightenment in through meditation and spiritual practice, and in theory, we understand what this entails. But unless we actually experience it, it’s difficult to grasp what it really means to live in the present.

This may come with age and maturity, and I’m in no way saying that I have mastered it, but when we can just slow down, take a breath, and realize that there is NO PLACE TO GET TO, and that everything outside of us is an illusion of sorts, then we begin to gain the wisdom that is described in ancient texts around the world. Knowing that we are enough just as we are. We are enough with or without our stuff, whether we are single or married, healthy or sick, rich or poor. We are enough because we are here!

Yes, we are physical beings having a spiritual experience and chances are that we will always have dreams of people, places, and things that we want to attract because we desire expansion and growth. But we may also find a time when we can simply allow these new manifestations to show up authentically without pushing or pressuring ourselves or others.

Nothing is more important than that we feel good. When we can sit in such a high vibration, we no longer worry if positive occurrences are ahead, because we understand that like attracts like. Happy attracts happy. Peace attracts more peaceful encounters. And at the end of day, we stop labeling whether something is good or bad anyway.

What would your life be like if you hopped off the hamster wheel? Who would you be if you took time out to truly enjoy the fragrant roses, to be awed by the simple fact that you are here, and without the pressure to move forward? What amazing things would show up for you if you began to live differently?

They say insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, expecting a different result. Are you getting the results you want? Are you happy? Maybe looking for results is the problem.

I’m not suggesting that we merely sit back and halt all action, but when we can fully experience pleasure in what is, then shifts begin to happen naturally and we begin to act from a place of authenticity and alignment with less effort, stress, or strain to achieve.

Maybe, just maybe, it is time to contemplate a new way of being. Letting go. Surrendering. Living with ease. You may be in awe by the magic that begins to show up after releasing the lifetime effort of incessant striving. What would your life be like if you let yourself off the hook, made room for bigger and better things to appear while you’re busy, not being busy?

A life without goals may just bring you heaps of happiness and fulfillment, loftier than you could ever dream.

 

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

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

The Voice Of The Bully – Are YOU Your Worst Critic?

The Voice Of The Bully – Are YOU Your Worst Critic?

Most of us have been bullied. It often happens during our adolescent and teenage years and can take form in both verbal and physical abuse. I was bullied from kindergarten all the way through high school so I can certainly relate all too well.

The tormentor that I want to bring light to today is that of our inner bully. The voice of sabotage, put downs, and painful, recurring messages that we direct toward ourselves.

Ironically, we learn early on from other bullies, one of two things; To either accept their cruelty as truth, or if we have enough strength and self-respect from a young age, to repel their destructive messages. Unfortunately, many of us take these mean and degrading words to heart and we begin to use them as weapons against ourselves.

Constant abuse of any kind can eventually play with our minds and cause us to go into a downward spiral of negative, habitual self-talk. Even with plenty of positive tapes playing in the background, the frequent, underlying message is that “we are not enough.”

So how do we stop the influence of our bully, making way for more happiness, success, and self-esteem?

  • Recognize The Voice– Become clear that there is, in fact, a voice that is getting in the way. Begin to see patterns in your thoughts, actions, and inner dialogue that makes you feel bad. Listen to those voices but don’t buy into them. Start to recognize how you bully yourself and put yourself down on an ongoing basis.
  • Don’t Believe it– The next step is to STOP believing these messages. The routine we have fallen into is a toxic pattern of self-abuse and it has to stop! Begin separating yourself from the negativity and understand that it isn’t the voice of truth or reason. It is simply negative programming.
  • Befriend The Bully– Make friends with the bully. Hear what they have to say. Get sensible and send the tyrant gentleness. Like all bullies in our life, all they really need is recognition and love. What we resist, persists. What we love and forgive, dissipates.
  • Practice Feeling– Pay close attention to how you feel. What thoughts and words empower and energize you? Which ones drain you and make you feel tired or sad? Eventually, with a little practice, you WILL be able to create a new pattern of positivity, self-love, and becoming your own best friend and support system.
  • Spend Time Being Confident – Extend more energy doing those things that make you feel confident. If you constantly push yourself into areas that make you anxious and insecure, it’s fine to a point because it causes you to grow, but make sure that you are also doing many things that you’re great at! Somebody with low self-worth tends to continue patterns that emphasize their feelings of lack. Shift gears, you ARE amazing at many things! Start doing them more often.
  • Re-Charge– Continually re-charge your emotional and spiritual batteries. Create a daily practice that keeps you plugged in. Pray, meditate, journal, do yoga, read uplifting books, sing, get creative, and do whatever it takes to keep you balanced and open-hearted. With consistency, you will keep your batteries from becoming dangerously low and therefore avoiding the fall back into old patterns.

From somebody who has lived most of my life feeling unworthy due to early programming, I can tell you that THERE IS HOPE! It will take some consistent effort on your part but if you keep on, keeping on, you will most definitely make positive strides in the direction of regaining your natural state…that of confidence, self-love, worthiness, and a knowing that you are enough just as you are!

 

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

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

Are You Having A Midlife Un-Crisis?

Are You Having A Midlife Un-Crisis?

I am nearing 50 in a matter of months, the time when many people go through a midlife crisis.  Depending upon how long we live, it may occur earlier or later, and for many, we have numerous so-called crisis in our life.

A crisis would be defined as “a time of intense difficulty, trouble, or danger” or “a time when a difficult or important decision must be made.”

I have definitely experienced some major shifts over the past couple of years and much of what I placed importance on no longer has meaning. It has left me questioning everything that I had been working towards in the past. The term crisis may be a bit dramatic, but I for one, most definitely feel an important and life-affirming shift.

If you see things like I do, then you realize that life as we know it, involves constant expansion and growth and the very reason we are here, is to evolve as spiritual beings having this human experience. Therefore, we begin to understand that there is no such thing as crisis. Instead, I now make a declaration for everybody out there who is feeling the effects of such a challenging chapter in their own life, to rename it “Midlife Un-Crisis!”

What are the signs that we may be in such an “Un-Crisis?”

  • Lack of clarity, motivation, or passion for life
  • Feelings of powerlessness or depression
  • Questioning where you want to go from here
  • Wondering why you feel unhappy, stuck, or complacent
  • Recognizing negative, habitual ways of being but not knowing how to move through them
  • Noticing what once made you happy in the past i.e. shopping, eating, sex, or addictive behaviors no longer fulfill you
  • Discovering that what once worked to get you ahead, no longer does
  • You choose happiness over success, money, or accolades

Here is the good news! This doesn’t mean that life is over or that you should give up. It is just the opposite. It’s reflecting back to you, that THE BEST TIMES are yet to come and that all you need to do is make space. This is a time when you don’t need outside stimulus to make you feel alive, when you can actually accomplish more with less striving, and a time when you can allow more joy, fulfillment, and ease into your experience without being so attached to outcome.

It’s the perfect time to Un-Do, Un-Wind, and Un-Tether all those things that no longer serve you. A time to let go of the parts of yourself that you’ve outgrown and moved beyond. Laying just around the corner is something far more valuable and authentic.

It’s okay to question your direction. It is fine to wonder where the heck you’re going and why you’re here. But when we can begin seeing this as a strength and not a weakness, that is where our true power lies.

There may be a midlife questioning about your career or the marriage that you committed to but if you can just love yourself through all of it and learn to be gentle, forgiving, and accepting towards all that is, and stop making yourself wrong for these feelings, then you will soon realize that we really have nothing to fear.

Yes, the inevitable is coming, we are going to die at some point. Many of us fear that more than anything else. Sometimes these painful spots we find ourselves in are derived from that deep-rooted truth we want to avoid, especially as we reach mid-life.

If you can dig deep, do the emotional and spiritual work necessary to get you through to the other side, you’ll begin to see that these times of crisis really are our best teachers and that nothing lasts forever. If we can be patient and loving all while committed to moving through whatever we are dealing with, we will realize that we are having a Midlife Un-Crisis because more is being asked of us, because we are meant to be channels of light for others and because our life is calling for us to become beacons of inspiration, and love.

Don’t give up. Stick with it and begin to unravel why you’re feeling paralyzed, apathetic, or blue. Look for clues. Allow clarity with the help of healers, books, retreats, videos, and a spiritual practice, and you will begin to see that brighter days and a new chapter worth living are just around the corner. If you’re approaching mid-life like I am, the second half really can be your happiest, most fulfilling, and rewarding if you can just ride the wave and have faith.

 

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

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