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Mindful Mystic Mama

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  • Danielle
  • January 03, 2018 02:34:37 PM

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This blog covers such topics as creativity, parenting, green living, health and self-improvement.

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How to Move Through Grief to Find Inner Peace

Have you ever been hit with grief so deep you weren’t sure how to heal from it?  Grief can stick with us for a very long time, and that is perfectly alright.  We all have the right to grieve for as long as we need to.  But when you are ready, you deserve to be […] The post How to Move Through Grief to Find Inner Peace appeared first on Mindful Mystic...

how to move through grief to find inner peace

Have you ever been hit with grief so deep you weren’t sure how to heal from it?  Grief can stick with us for a very long time, and that is perfectly alright.  We all have the right to grieve for as long as we need to.  But when you are ready, you deserve to be free of it and move on with your life.  Grief inevitably hits even the most emotionally stable people.

Tragedy touches us all at some point, it is a part of life and human existence.  In the moment of despair, it may seem as though there is absolutely nothing to possibly lift your spirits, but as time goes on, certain coping tools can help you to move forward and heal.

Holding onto past pain may – over time – create serious health risks as well as emotional scarring.  Clinging to the past can ultimately change your internal landscape and affect your present reality.

Try to also remember that grief is transformational.  Any affliction, hurt or pain you experience shapes the person you are.  When you come out the other side of grief, you have overcome trauma.  This means you now carry new wisdom out into the world, and this can bring you an inner peace.

Before reaching the point of healing, wisdom and peace, it is necessary to know what steps we can take to get there.  How can something you’ve kept inside for so long just be let go?  This process is definitely a journey, but it is possible, and the effort is worth it.

What Are You Holding Onto, and Why?

Take note of the things you’re holding inside that you wish to release.  Has someone close to you betrayed your trust?  Feeling a lack of control over how we are treated is a very difficult emotion to contend with.  You can’t control others or force them to acknowledge or apologize for their actions.

When the time is right for you though, you can tell them how you feel.  This expression can help you bring personal closure.  Getting closure on something that was left open-ended can make a huge difference in letting things go.  And if speaking to the person directly is not a possibility, you may wish to speak to a friend or counselor to help you through.

Forgiving the Person Who Hurt You Can Help You Heal.

Grieve the person, and be honest about your feelings to the best of your ability.  Grab your journal and write it all out, making sure not to hold anything back.  Remember, no one needs to see what you have written if you don’t feel comfortable sharing.  As time goes on, and with emotional honesty and diligent process, you may eventually forgive.  Don’t feel pressured to forgive quickly though – this is your process and it is your right to take the time you need.

That Said … Don’t Be Afraid to Make the First Move. 

Acknowledge that your pain is real and that an eventual positive outcome awaits you.  Changing the past is perfectly impossible.  But meeting the pain you carry head on and taking steps towards healing it will help you move on.  And once you begin to move on, you will recall the beauty of how it feels to have control within your own life.

What Are the Stages of Grief?

It doesn’t matter what tragedy has occurred, grief follows a pattern – a  sequence of stages.  You may not experience all of these, but it is likely you will experience a few of them.

If you experience any or all of these, let them follow their course to the best of your ability.  Once you move through them, you will naturally move on in your own way:

1. Denial.  In the initial shock of a tragedy, your first reaction might be to deny that it even happened.  At the time it may be the best way for your body to avoid the pain.  Depending on what happened, this stage can last from moments to weeks.  However, staying at this stage is detrimental since you’re never really facing or accepting what has happened.

2. Guilt.  Guilt is usually a part of grief whether or not you even have a reason to feel guilty.  When you look to a situation after it occurred, it’s easy to point out the things you “should have done.”  Take the time to feel the pain, but make sure you strive beyond this stage as well.

3. Anger.  It probably won’t be long before anger sets in.  You’ve realized that you have no control and there is nothing you can do to repair the situation.  It’s important to feel your anger, but don’t allow yourself to be controlled by it.  You don’t want to cause lasting damage to yourself or someone else.

4. Depression.  This stage will often last a long time.  While you might not feel like talking with friends, it’s an important thing to do when you’re feeling depressed.  You may discover a lot of things about yourself during this self-reflective time.

5. When Things Get Better.  You’ll soon notice that your life – and outlook upon it – gradually improves.  You may not be back to yourself quite yet, but you’re starting to feel better.  It’s important to keep your lines of communication open and remember that your loved ones want you to have a long, happy, and healthy life.

6. Acceptance.  This is the last stage.  This is where you have truly accepted what has passed and you now feel hope for the future.  Although things may have changed, your life is starting to feel back to normal.

What to Do When You Feel Stuck…

It’s entirely natural to feel stuck in a certain stage of grief.  This is especially true when it comes to depression.  The best and only thing to do is to continue putting the work in.

If any of the stages of grief have you feeling debilitated, remember you always have the option of seeking professional help.  Grief counselors are able to help you with your personal situation and may be able to offer some simple strategies to help you move forward.

body wisdom

Course of Action for Overcoming Grief

How to Move Towards Acceptance

As difficult as it may be right now, take your best shot at accepting that something has happened to cause you grief.  Acceptance doesn’t have to mean being nonchalant about the pain and hurt.  As I’ve mentioned, being honest about your emotions will always bring your more clarity during your process.

• You haven’t been given the power to change things that have already occurred, but you can certainly change how you deal with the challenge going forward!

• Dig deep within your soul to find the strength to move on.

• Seek the help of someone disconnected from your circumstance and be open to their approach and point of view.

Embrace the Process of Healing

It’s important to spend time doing things that bring relaxation and eliminate stress so you’re able to cope well as the days go by.

• Spend some time in meditation so you can have a relaxed heart and mind.

• Exercise. Physical activity encourages your body to release endorphins that lift your mood and help you feel better.

• Forgive yourself for whatever responsibility you’ve assumed for the outcome of the situation. Try to accept that life’s happenings are under the guidance of a Greater Being.

Coming back to the very basics can be extremely helpful.  I will always remember my grandmothers’ teachings about the importance of getting back to nature and being out on the land.  Indigenous mindsets and practices are incredibly potent medicine for difficult times.

Find Your Way Towards Gratitude

This is hands down the most difficult step for most grieving people.  Spend some time reflecting on all the blessings that have crossed your path.  Realize how much you truly have to be thankful for.  Sometimes the blessings far outweigh the tragedies, although you may not presently be conscious of them.

• Make a list of all the positives that you’ve witnessed in your life and in the lives of your loved ones.

• Meditate on those blessings until they become engrained in your conscious thought.

• Try to identify the lesson in the midst of what you’re experiencing and be thankful for it.

Finding peace in the midst of grief will be difficult at the beginning, and there are really no rules for how long you should take to heal.  But remember that there’s a season for everything, and this too shall pass.  As you practice these strategies and begin to heal, you’ll be able to release your grief so you can find true peace.

The post How to Move Through Grief to Find Inner Peace appeared first on Mindful Mystic Mama.

Your Toolkit for Tuning In to Your Deeper Purpose

There are many avenues to explore when it comes to discovering your life purpose. Unfortunately, though, nobody else can find it for you. Since your life purpose is unique from anyone else’s, it’s a mission that you – and only you – can complete.  There is a purpose for your life, whether you believe it […] The post Your Toolkit for Tuning In to Your Deeper Purpose appeared first on Mindful Mystic...

There are many avenues to explore when it comes to discovering your life purpose. Unfortunately, though, nobody else can find it for you. Since your life purpose is unique from anyone else’s, it’s a mission that you – and only you – can complete.  There is a purpose for your life, whether you believe it or not.  You may be aware of this, you may simply sense this, or you may be struggling to go deeper and truly figure it all out.  You may have to take several paths, but with a little digging, you can find where you’re meant to be.

In your quest for passion, concentrate on enjoying the journey itself. Sometimes when you stop stressing about what you are here to do, it will find its way to you and fall into your lap! Have you ever sat down and really reflected on what you love to do?  Grab yourself a pen and paper, and let’s start this journey.

There are gazillions of possibilities, so start with the gifts and talents you already know were born with. From there open up to messages that come your way in various fashions, and figure out what you love to do that requires using those gifts and talents.

Here are some ways to explore uncover hidden thoughts and emotions:

Journal Your Feelings

This has always been a foolproof method for me to gain clarity, and even though I know this, it’s not something I always remember to do.  Try journaling with a pen and paper,  or grab your laptop and just start pounding into the keyboard.

Write about how you truly feel, where you are right now with your emotions and what you would like to see happen. Express all of your thoughts, don’t hold back.  And don’t judge your emotions, either.  However you are feeling is perfectly fine.
Go back and reread your entries every so often. Many times this process can bring you new realizations that you didn’t think of when you were writing it in the first place.

Explore and Follow Your Passions

In this day and age, almost anything you are passionate or on fire about can be made into a career or hobby; even if it’s only on the side (like blogging! 😉  Make a list of all the things that set you on fire.

Set a schedule for yourself to make time for each one, even if only 15 minutes, once per week.  Engage in activities that are personally meaningful to you.  You will very soon find how much you truly want to dedicate to each thing! Trial and error, baby.  Each day of your life will suddenly take on more meaning.

life purpose

Tap Into Your Natural Talents

Think about the areas in which you naturally excel and see if you can turn these skills into something meaningful for you.  Many people are drawn to a life purpose that makes them feel like they’re making a true difference in the lives of other people – but here is where I will go back to the previous point about passions.

Some people are good at helping others, but leave the moment feeling drained or unfulfilled.  If there is ever anything you do that leaves you feeling this way, re-organize and re-assess.  This is a not always a quick process, but in every action, tune into how you are feeling with what you are doing.

Talents are not always passions.  That said, there can be a balance found between what we love to do, and those things that come so naturally to us we barely need to think about them or plan them out.  Once you nail down what these things are, you know you have found a golden nugget.

inspiring stories

Engage with People That Inspire You

While you might not be interested in the same things, you can talk about how they discovered their joy and their purpose. Their triumphs and struggles will make good lessons for you in your journey.  Read the bios of authors, bloggers, small business owners, artists, athletes … all of those kinds of people that you ‘look up to’.

This is not in any attempt to mimic someone else’s journey, and be careful of falling into the trap of the green-eyed-monster.  Reading about the journeys of others, and chatting with them when given the opportunity, will help to shed some light on the struggles and bumps in the road that others have encountered in finding themselves.  Allow others’ stories to inspire you and catalyze you, and remember that we are all human.

Tap Into Your Deepest Inner Joy

Reflect on the moments in your life when you’re most happy, and write them down. What are you doing at these times?  Think back to your childhood.  What activities did you engage in, without thinking about them, that kept you focused, playful and joyful for hours?

Maybe you’re most happy when you’re just sitting at home with your family, or when you are spending quality time with your friends.  Maybe you are happiest when in movement, and can spend hour upon hour inside of your own body, exploring its breath and movement.  Perhaps you are most happy and at peace when you are spending time in the great outdoors.  Knowledge of these things is a wonderful gift!

Remember that you’re not necessarily searching for something exotic!  Your purpose may already be right at your fingertips.  Sometimes it’s simply a matter of spending more time with it, and allowing it to take you where it’s meant to.

Learn to Embrace and Welcome Shifts and Changes

Sometimes – and often, most times! – the thing that holds you back from an intimate journey of self-discovery is a fear of change. There’s comfort and safety in not taking risks, but as the saying goes, “A ship in harbor is safe, but that’s not what ships were built for”.  (No, I’m not calling you a ship. But you get the idea 😉

Life is constantly in motion, and the only constant in life is change.  Do whatever you need to in order to begin embracing this inevitable movement – this is where I will emphasize the importance of a regular yoga practice or dance practice.

Yoga allows you to explore what is happening inside of you while you move through prescribed postures, and dance (ecstatic dance, movement meditation, and the like) allows you to explore the movements of your body in space and time on its own terms.  Both are incredibly powerful, with slight differences in their frameworks.

Stay True to Yourself & Your Values

We all have a set of values that we adhere to in life. These values can be ones that have been instilled in us in childhood, and that we have continued to allow to influence our decisions and directives.  We may also hold values that we have come to know upon our journeys through our teenage years, young adulthood, and full on adulthood.  You can use your values as a starting point to discovering your purpose.

Take yourself on a journey, using journaling, to explore the values that have affected you and that you have chosen to keep.  Once you have brain stormed a bit and written freely, make a list of your values with your most important ones at the top. These values have stuck with you, and will flow from you naturally every single day whether you are conscious of them or not.

This is a power that you can harness on your journey of self-discovery and bringing clarity to your life purpose. Think about what you can do to honor those values in life every day and give thanks for them, knowing that they are tools of empowerment, available to you within your ‘tool kit’.

I have a couple of gifts for you today – a video Awakening Meditation from Wild Divine, and a free printable worksheet!

deeper purpose printable

Click here to receive your free printable worksheet.

Awakening Meditation from Wild Divine on Vimeo.

The post Your Toolkit for Tuning In to Your Deeper Purpose appeared first on Mindful Mystic Mama.

How to Boost Your Blog Traffic with Keywords (+ Bonus Tutorial!)

Bloggers usually begin a blog because they love writing.  And although some like to remain incognito and keep their blogs somewhat private, most want their writing to be read.  With such a vast online world, if you want to be found, you will need traffic to your blog. Getting traffic requires search engines to find […] The post How to Boost Your Blog Traffic with Keywords (+ Bonus Tutorial!) appeared first on Mindful Mystic...

Bloggers usually begin a blog because they love writing.  And although some like to remain incognito and keep their blogs somewhat private, most want their writing to be read.  With such a vast online world, if you want to be found, you will need traffic to your blog. Getting traffic requires search engines to find your blog by having strong SEO (search engine optimization).  This means you will need to create posts with specific keywords and keyword phrases.  

How Get More Traffic to Your Blog With Keyword Phrases

Step 1: Find a Keyword Phrase

Take the time to feel out what kind of post you want to create.  Think about writing posts not only that you enjoy, but also that may be helpful to your readers.  Find a strong keyword phrase and put it to work in your post. It should be a phrase that a good number of people are searching for.  You can try using a keyword tool like Market Samurai or Wordtracker to help you out.

Step 2: Create an Outline for Your Blog Post

When you have an idea for your blog post, start creating your outline.  Be sure your title contains your keyword. You also want your post to deliver on the promise of that title.  It’s a good idea to include your keyword in at least one header tag (H1,H2), but you need to make sure you don’t repeat your keyword so much that search engines flag you for spamming.  Please see my post on how you can use your content to connect with your readers.

Step 3: Write High Quality & Evergreen Blog Posts

Once you have a solid outline, you can sit down and get your post completed quickly.  Don’t worry too much just yet about your keyword phrase, just let your ideas pour into your writing.  Stick to your topic and make sure to refrain from being too wordy. You’re writing for people first and foremost, search engines second.  When you are done, read your work. Ensure that you have the keyword phrase 2 to 3 times. Avoid “stuffing” your article with a specific keyword.  Use a thesaurus if you need help finding similar words. If you have WordPress, try using the Yoast SEO plugin, it’s a great help when checking your work!  Evergreen content is content that will remain relevant for a long time.

Step 4: Add Images

Always add at least one image to your blog post.  It should be an image that is relevant to the content, naturally, but ensure your keyword is in the alt image tag and image description.  You’ll see where to put these when you click on the button to edit the image in WordPress.  Another reason to add a description and tag is that search engines can read text, but not images.  So by doing this, you give the search engine something to read.

Step 5: Add Links

When you create links within your post to other posts on your blog, you create a natural structure which search engines LOVE.  You also add value for you readers by pointing them to other information that they’ll benefit from. But as with anything, too much is not a good thing.  When you overdo your internal links, However, it may appear suspicious to Google and could even get you pushed down in the search results. You want to link to one or two other sites that add value for your readers.  

Now, let’s talk about longtail keywords.  Longtail keywords will help you be more specific with your writing.  Using a keyword in the title of the post (and strategically throughout), you’ll have a greater chance at ranking well in the search engine results.

There are some terms related to SEO that are good to know, if you don’t already.  I have compiled a glossary of the most common SEO terms. Take a look:

  • SERPS: This stands for “search engine results pages”. These are the pages you see after you type in a search phrase into Google or other search engines.  They’re the results of your search. Your goal is to be as high up in the SERPS as possible for any search phrases associated with your blog.
  • Meta tags:  Meta tags are words that appear in the html code for a page, but do not appear on the page itself.  They tell search engines specific information about that page. The most common meta tags are for description (of the page), keywords, and author.
  • Title tags:  These are the words that appear in the tab or bar at the very top of your web browser.  They are the “title” of the page that a user will see when they look at the top of their browser.
  • Alt image tags:  The alt image tag provides the “alternative text” for an image.  Since search engines can’t read an image, you should always provide some text that describes the image.  It will show up if the image can’t be displayed and will also show if someone mouses over it.
  • Hyperlinks:  A hyperlink is a link you can click on that connects one place to another either on the web or even within a document, such as a slide show.  Hyperlinks can be attached to text or images.
  • Anchor text:  This is the clickable text in a hyperlink.  Bloggers typically use keywords that describe the linked post as their anchor text, which can help with ranking higher in the SERPS.
  • Internal links:  These are links from one page on a blog to another. The opposite is an “external link” which involves linking to a page on another website.  Both types of links are important for SEO.
  • Longtail keywords:  A longtail keyword is a search phrase that consists of 2 or more words.  Usually, the longer the keyword phrase the more specific the information is that the searcher is looking for.  In general, it is easier to rank for a longtail keyword since it will have less ‘competition’.
  • Keyword density:  Keyword density is a measure of how many times a specific keyword appears on a page in relation to the number of words on the page.  If the keyword density is a high percentage, it can be a warning sign to Google that the page is low quality or spam.
  • Organic traffic:  The free traffic you get naturally from search engines and other directory listings is referred to as organic traffic.  The opposite is paid traffic, such as the people who arrive at your site by clicking on one of your ads on another site.
  • Spider:  Also referred to as a ‘crawler’ or ‘robot’, spiders are software programs which the search engines use for finding and indexing all the pages and websites on the internet.  Spiders follow links from one page to another and will revisit sites, indexing new pages as it goes.

As time goes on and you build your blog, you will probably want to know just what the keywords are that your site is being found with.  Well, you are in luck! There is a simple yet in depth way to do this with MonsterInsights.  This Google Analytics plugin helps you track your blog traffic and understand your readers’ interactions.

Tutorial: Discover the Keywords People Find Your Blog With (Using MonsterInsights)

So first things first. If you don’t already have it, install MonsterInsights on your blog. Then connect it with your Google Analytics account.

You will need the Plus Plan in order to use the Search Console report.

Add and verify your site on Google search console, which can be done from your Google Analytics account. Here is a complete guide on how to verify your site in Google Search Console with Google Analytics.

When you are ready to view the Search Console report, go to Insights » Reports from your WordPress dashboard. Here you will see your blog’s analytics overview report. Click the Search Console tab in the top of the report and you’ll see the top 50 search terms for your blog. As you can see below, you can see the clicks, click-through-rate, impressions, and average position for the keywords.

Now, another way is to View Full Queries Report at the bottom, and you will be brought to Google Analytics’ website. Go to Analytics » Acquisition » Search Console » Queries.

To view search engine keywords in Google Search Console account, go to the Search Console website and sign in with your account. Now you’ll see your blog in the Search Console home page.

Select it to view, and your Search Console Dashboard will open.

From here go to Search Traffic » Search Analysis.

Scroll down to see the search keywords people are using to find your blog.

As you can see, these are some great tools to help you get the inside scoop on the traffic to your blog. Using insights like these can help you to write better for your readers. Not only that, you will feel better knowing that what you are writing is going to be useful – and beneficial – to those searching for it! And that’s a win-win.

The post How to Boost Your Blog Traffic with Keywords (+ Bonus Tutorial!) appeared first on Mindful Mystic Mama.

How to Know Your Inner Circle

We all have an inner circle of friends – those friends we confide to more than anyone else.  Some people might call this their ‘tribe’.  We can find ourselves drawn to the same kinds of people over and over again.  Are ther times you notice you are encountering problems or unhealthy scenarios repeatedly?  Check in […] The post How to Know Your Inner Circle appeared first on Mindful Mystic...

how to know your inner circle

We all have an inner circle of friends – those friends we confide to more than anyone else.  Some people might call this their ‘tribe’.  We can find ourselves drawn to the same kinds of people over and over again.  Are ther times you notice you are encountering problems or unhealthy scenarios repeatedly?  Check in with yourself and see why these issues are occurring. 

There is much to be said for the relationship between how we spend our time, and who we choose to spend it with.  Have you given much thought lately to who you are spending quality time with, and how you are forming your ‘inner circle’?  

Here are seven questions you can ask about the people that are closest to you.  I have added some notes to these points about how one may choose to bridge the gap.  Often we can make a few mindful tweaks in our relationships in order to reach common ground.

Do They Display Integrity?

Take the time to understand and define what integrity means to you, and why it is important.  Dishonesty in a relationship is one of the most difficult traits to have to deal with.  If a person in your inner circle has been known to lie in the past, it can be difficult to know whether you can believe them.  

It is very important to work on developing your intuition, so that you know you aren’t needing to second guess things.  Without a strong intuition, we can feel the need to seek outside of ourselves for answers. It can be crazy-making if this happens often.

Bridging the Gap: Take note of any patterns you are noticing.  If you want to change your life and invite kind, supportive people into it, you have to be willing to do something different.  That means suspending judgment and giving people a chance to show you who they are.

Do You Feel You Can Trust Them?

Let’s be honest – we all have trust issues to varying degrees.  Betrayals and disappointments of all kinds are simply a part of life.  No matter how big or small, the effects of betrayals can stick around for a long time.  Do your best to be gentle with yourself.  You need to be able to trust the people in your circle.  

Being mindful of what you share with others means taking the time to build mutual trust.  Remember, if you express what is sacred to you and someone still betrays you, you have every right to walk away.

Bridging the Gap:  Be wary of projecting fears and disappointments onto others.  We may convince ourselves that another cannot be trusted, when it is our own worries they are triggering.  It’s easy to judge people based on how you think they’ll act or what they’ll say.  Take a deep breath and do the hard thing – give someone a chance to prove to you they are trustworthy.  You might be pleasantly surprised!  You could forge a deeper connection than you imagined possible.

Do Those in Your Inner Circle Inspire You?

When you are called forth to step out of your comfort zone, growth sparks within you.  Your best self is going to develop in a place where you’re called to be courageous.  Do the people in your inner circle inspire you to move toward your personal goals?  

This doesn’t mean that those close to you need to have similar goals.  Nor  do they need to be interested in the same things.  If they inspire you, tune in to what it is about their mentality, habits, quirks that you find inspirational.  

Bridging the Gap: If you are interested in starting up a new project, you can benefit from a social media group or a mastermind group.  If you join one, you’ll meet people and build connections.  You will find others that want to help you reach your goals and see you do well.  If you find someone inspirational enough that you feel would make a great mentor, don’t be afraid to ask for a meeting or a chat!

Do They Bring Joy Into Your Life?

This doesn’t mean that each person in your inner circle needs to be positive and joyful all of the time.  That is humanly impossible, and not a standard that anyone should be held to.  Simply take note of how you feel when you are around someone.  

If you feel badly in some way each time you are with them, or even thinking about them, this could be a red flag.  Surround yourself with people that you find pleasant (for the most part) to be around.

Bridging the Gap: Don’t be afraid to introduce yourself to new people.  People who try new things are almost always interested in others doing the same thing.  As you build mindful friendships, you will notice new friends come from unusual places and bring joy into your life.

Is There A Balance of Give and Take?

Make sure that the people you spend a lot of time with offer a balance of give and take in the relationship.  This doesn’t have to be tangible value, sometimes a listening ear is as valuable as anything.  You just want to be sure that you are not always feeling drained when you are with them, or exhausted regularly from spending time with them.  

Not everyone is conscious of when they may be draining another’s energy, so it’s always a good idea to check in with yourself if you notice a pattern taking place.  If the energy feels off balance in your friendship, take steps to correct the balance for both of your sakes.

Bridging the Gap: Mindful friendships are intentional friendships. You want to fill your time – and your life – with friends that support you and believe in the power of your dreams.

Do They Have a Good Impact On Others in Your Inner Circle?

This may sound cliche (okay, in fact, it will), but your inner circle is only as strong as its weakest link.  If one tribe member of your circle tends to butt heads continuously with everyone else, the issue may lie with them.  Now this is not always the case, as often times people are targeted within groups (refer back to my notes on projection).  People are naturally drawn to those that take the extra time and effort to uplift them.

It is equally as important to take note of the people who find fault with everything and everyone.  There are people that – whether consciously or not – push others away out of uncertainty or insecurity.  It is worthy to be wary of any pack mentality that could be brewing.

Bridging the Gap: One of the biggest mistakes you can make when meeting new people or trying something new is to spend the whole time in your head.  Focus on reaching out to other people around you, especially if you feel something is amiss.  

Are They Invested in Their Own Well-Being?

To be cliche yet again – if you haven’t got your health, you haven’t got anything.  Again, it goes against human nature to be absolutely healthy and on top of our game all the time.  But it’s important to be aware of any changes that need making, and if our health is suffering, we must take care of ourselves first.

As with any healthy relationship, we take care of each other as we would take care of ourselves.  This includes taking a time out from tasks, activities, situations and people when we need to – minus the guilt.

Bridging the Gap: To grow healthy friendships and relationships, be mindful about labeling others.  There are plenty of people running around with buzzwords (such as calling others “toxic”, etc.), and using these words on others in order to position themselves away from them.  We are all on this human journey, and though we need to establish our boundaries, we also need to practice compassion and kindness.

how to know your inner circle infographic

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How to Harvest Happiness with an Attitude of Gratitude

This gorgeous piece of artwork was posted on the blog of Aaron Paquette.  For anyone new to my blog, you will soon notice that I am a huge fan of both his words and his artwork.  He speaks from the heart and delivers a strong punch with his grounded and awakened messages. The theme of […] The post How to Harvest Happiness with an Attitude of Gratitude appeared first on Mindful Mystic...

This gorgeous piece of artwork was posted on the blog of Aaron Paquette.  For anyone new to my blog, you will soon notice that I am a huge fan of both his words and his artwork.  He speaks from the heart and delivers a strong punch with his grounded and awakened messages. The theme of this piece of art is Gratitude.  I seem to write so much on the ideas of Gratitude, that I presently have a label for it, but will soon have an entire page dedicated to it. In Aaron’s post, he states:

…I turned my awareness to what was good in my life.  I began thinking about all the attributes I wanted as part of my personality.  I began taking as good care of my physical health as was possible.  All gently, all without pushing myself or blaming myself or any of that. For example, I wanted more to be grateful for in life, so I just started thinking about all the blessings that already existed in my life.  I gave thanks, I gave joy, I gave kindness…all out into the world and inward to my soul and everywhere to my Creator.

I became softer, calmer, more generous myself.  And the more of all good things I gave away, the more would return to me.  When in need, my needs were met.  When I saw need, I was able to help, and that ability increases every year.  And the more I give, the more the Creator sees my heart and gives me to give.  Not foolishly, not to people with greed, but to places where it will help the most.

Admittedly, I have found that in day to day life, things flow much easier when I am taking note on a very regular basis of all I have to be thankful for.  I certainly do have my days where I become – for lack of a better word – disgruntled.

There have been days where I was so fed up with the state of the world, and with how numb people seemed to be at what was happening all around us, that I wanted to climb any nearby mountain and scream and kick and flail and cry and holler and on and on and on.  But of course, I’m a big girl now.  I would never do that.  At least, not without a proper bottle of fine Merlot in me first.  So ultimately, not any time soon. Here are some of my thoughts on Happiness and the Human Condition:

Most people think they would be happy if they had more “stuff” or more money.  A better car or a better house sounds pretty good to most people.  However, more money and “things” don’t necessarily make you happier.

Having a car might make it easier to be happy if it means you don’t have to walk everywhere.  All the better if said car is electric, or even a hybrid – showing support for the health of our environment.  Having more money can make it easier to be happy if you currently can’t pay all your bills.  So these things can remove some of the obstacles to being happy, but they don’t really provide happiness.

how to harvest happiness with an attitude of gratitude

There are four things that are quite likely to allow happiness to flow, and they don’t cost a thing!

  • Someone to love.  Everyone needs someone to love. In this, I do not mean necessarily a spouse, partner or lover.  It could be an indoor garden, one houseplant, or a pet.  If you don’t think you have someone to love, go find someone.  The world is full of people and animals that feel unloved so it shouldn’t take you too long to find a volunteer.  Perhaps even try volunteering at your local animal shelter.  We all need someone to cherish and care for.  Fortunately, the people and animals we genuinely love tend to love us back.
  • Something to do. There are plenty of wealthy yet miserable people because they don’t spend their time doing something that they love. Life is about doing and experiencing things.  We live in a day and age where technology runs the world stage.  Tap back into your natural self.  Get outdoors, take a stroll, go for a hike, take a trip to the river, beach, or even your local swimming pool.  If you spend even a good portion of your day doing stuff you love to do, it’s pretty difficult to be unhappy.

Find ways to spend your time in activities that are meaningful to you. 

What changes do you want to see made in the world, that will breathe life into your sense of happiness?  As Gandhi is quoted to have said, “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” Make a list and start incorporating those things into your life on a daily basis. If you can find work that you’re passionate about, so much the better for you!

  • Something to look forward to. If the only thing you have to look forward to is more of the same, possibly even boring routine, it’s difficult to be happy.  Ultimately, we all could use something to look forward to in the near future, something to drive direction into our thoughts and actions that are occurring in the present moment.

Make a list of a few of those things you had always planned on “getting around to … someday”. 

Then pick one day a week upon which you will try these new things.  Slot one new thing in your calendar each week, different than the last. Aim to complete this project for one month at first.  If things are going smoothly, follow up with another month.  Think about something you’d really like to do or see.  Maybe it could be something as simple as a yoga class. If you love going to yoga on Thursday nights, it can make your Mondays a little easier when you know that yoga is coming up on the agenda.

  • Using downtime joyfully.  Perhaps your biggest challenge is dealing with downtime.  Particularly for busy parents who are left with an empty household when children are all in school, or a spouse is back to work full time, or suddenly you find yourself – for whatever reason – working fewer hours.  Without a solid plan (I hesitate to use the words “scheduled free time”, but that is sort of what this is) one may be left feeling as though they are flailing a bit.  When you’re bored, lonely, anxious, or sad, it’s easy to resort to these behaviors.  Check out this post from Marc and Angel on how to find gratitude when everything goes wrong.

These behaviors not only accomplish nothing positive, but they can also make your life more challenging.

This would include things like too much screen time, eating when you aren’t hungry, shopping for stuff you don’t truly need or want.  These behaviors do nothing to solve the underlying issue and can create more difficulties.  Make no mistake about the impact of electronic devices upon the human body and psyche.  A friend of mine and her husband placed themselves on a “Media Cleanse” for a week, and they feel it is one of the best things they have done for both their health, their happiness, and their love lives.

Coping with negative feelings effectively makes life much easier.  Read something worthwhile.  Go for a jog, meet up with a friend and do something fun, make a new friends!  Substitute your negative habits with new, more beneficial habits that bring you closer to the happiness you imagine for you and your family.

Learn to take a moment and pause before you go on autopilot.  If you’re going for the fridge and you’re not hungry, simply STOP.  Ask yourself why you’re doing this and what other action you could take, or what other activity would fulfill this need, or sense of void.

Make the decision to invest in invigorating your happiness!  Do your best to put some of these steps and ideas into practice.  Repeat to yourself all that you have to be grateful for, and keep track of your progress so you can look back and see how far you’ve come.

The post How to Harvest Happiness with an Attitude of Gratitude appeared first on Mindful Mystic Mama.

How to Find Guest Authors for Your Blog (+ Author Tracking Tutorial!)

As you know, your blog is a fabulous platform for you to share your expertise in your field while keeping your creative juices flowing. But this doesn’t mean that you have to do all of the talking! Sharing the floor with a guest author can diversify your work and give your readers the benefit of […] The post How to Find Guest Authors for Your Blog (+ Author Tracking Tutorial!) appeared first on Mindful Mystic...

As you know, your blog is a fabulous platform for you to share your expertise in your field while keeping your creative juices flowing. But this doesn’t mean that you have to do all of the talking! Sharing the floor with a guest author can diversify your work and give your readers the benefit of a different perspective. For many reasons, some bloggers are intimidated at the concept of seeking and finding guest authors to contribute to their blog.

This may be because they worry about a potential cost for guest bloggers, or perhaps there is even a worry about being rejected. The truth is, there are many bloggers willing to write guest posts at little to no cost to you. I am speaking from experience, as I receive regular messages from bloggers wishing to write articles for my blog.

Generally, the exchange is for a link or infographic they wish to share, or simply to get their bio out there and further their reach. Whatever the reason, I find it nice to have other voices on my blog. If this interests you, here are some tips for finding guest bloggers:

Utilize Your Social Media Networks.

I’m sure it goes without saying that one of the best ways to make connections these days is through social media networks. Why not utilize yours to spread the word that you are seeking guest authors for your blog? One of your followers might be keen, or perhaps your followers will share your post and help you find people that way. LinkedIn is also a great source for potential guest authors since it is streamlined for business networking.

Send Out a Call Through Email.

Do you have a particular blogger or author in mind? You should go ahead and reach out to them via email. In particular, writers with whom you’ve worked previously are often happy to join forces again. And even if it’s a writer with whom you’ve never been in touch, there’s really no harm in trying. Simply introduce yourself, explain why you feel they’d be a great fit for your blog, and ask if they would be interested. You might be surprised!

Ask Your Readers for Their Help & Input.

Reach out to your readers to ask who they would like to see as a guest author for your blog, or even if they might be interested in doing it themselves. Tell them precisely what you are seeking and what kind of expertise is required, and you are more than likely to receive some helpful responses. For ideas on how to connect with your readers, I have a post here with some tips for you.

Offer Your Guest Authors Something in Return.

Although many writers are willing to write for you in exchange for added exposure, it’s always a nice idea to offer something as a token of your appreciation. If they have a blog, perhaps you could offer to write a post for them as well. Just the other day, I had a blogger ask to write a post for my blog. She asked for nothing in return, so after reading and editing her post, I asked her to write me up a bio for herself and her social media. This way, readers can find more of her work.

Once you really get going with some guest authors on your blog, you may wish to keep track of how the stats are on their posts. The reason for this is that you will want to see which authors are performing well, in order to create more from that momentum – and perhaps find more writers with a similar style to their work.

I use the MonsterInsights Plugin for Author Tracking, as it is the easiest way I have found so far to keep track of posts by guest bloggers (keep in mind, this only works with WordPress).

How to Set Up Author Tracking with Google Analytics in WordPress (Tutorial)

This tracking will give you wonderful insight into pageviews, bounce rates, and which posts and authors are doing well. First, install and activate the MonsterInsights Plugin then go to Insights > Addons to install and activate the Dimensions addon. Next, connect Google Analytics with WordPress. Copy the license key by going to Insights > Settings in your WordPress blog. Paste the key and click on the Verify Key button.

Once you have done this, click the Tracking tab in the top section. Then go to Custom Dimensions in the left-hand menu.

Then, go to the Add new custom dimensions link. This will give you a dropdown from which you Author as your custom dimension.

Go to Save Changes in order to store these settings. From here, login to your Google Analytics and open your blog link to add custom dimensions for author tracking.

From here you will go to the Admin tab from the left menu. Under the Custom Definitions column, click on Custom Dimensions.

From here, go to the New Custom Dimension button in the table.

This will then open the form for you to create a new custom dimension. In the Name field, add Author and click on the Create button (leave all other settings as they are).

Finally, match the index number of Google Analytics with Custom Dimension ID which you’ll find in your WordPress MonsterInsights settings. You’ll find the index number for Author under the Index column in Google Analytics. Note this index number.

Go to Insights > Settings page in your WordPress admin area. Under the Tracking tab, go to Custom Dimensions from the left-hand menu.

If the Custom Dimension ID is same as the index number in Google Analytics, do nothing. But if the ID is different, enter the same number you noted from Google Analytics’ index column for the Author dimension and ‘Save Changes’.

Next, add a custom report in your Google Analytics account to track your blog authors. In Google Analytics, you’ll need to go to Customization > Custom Reports from the left menu. Look for the Report Content fields and define the metric groups.

Then add Author in the Dimension Drilldowns and Save.

This will show your traffic report for your Author dimension. From here you are able to monitor the page views and bounce rates per blog authors.

If you wish to see further custom author reports, you will select Author as a secondary dimension in Google Analytics.

Visit Behavior > Site Content > All Pages. Choose any primary dimension and go to the Secondary Dimension dropdown below it.

Under the Custom Dimensions, choose the Author option to view the custom reports with other primary dimensions.

You will see that this adds the new author column and display author name beside each blog title. Now you may view more personalized reports for your blog authors!

This may all seem a bit complicated at the moment, but as your blog grows and you grow your guest blogger community, you will find this a very useful tool to have.

Remember, a great guest author for your blog could be simply an email or a social media post away. Don’t be afraid to put the word out, make your requests and see what happens!

The post How to Find Guest Authors for Your Blog (+ Author Tracking Tutorial!) appeared first on Mindful Mystic Mama.

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