Always Well Within

Calm Your Mind, Ease Your Heart, Embrace Your Inner Wisdom

Month: April 2013

The Heart of April: Change

Banana Plants

Welcome to my monthly collection of interesting personal development articles from around the web, books, and resources plus a mini-monthly review.

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Why Honolulu Made Me Depressed



Dwarfed by the thunderous roar of the elevated freeway, I felt an urge to jump on a return flight. A busy metropolis, Honolulu instantly overwhelmed me with its overcrowded, unending expanse of concrete and construction juxtaposed against an innocent sky, sea, and smattering of proud peaks.  Houses, stacked one just above and behind the other, tightly lined every hillside.  High risers dotted the stuffed lowlands.

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How to Master the Art of Quiet Time Off

Ahanalui Warm Pond

Ahanalui Warm Pond, Hawai’i

When busy stops it can be a shock.  It takes time to acclimate to quiet time off.  At first, you might find yourself looking for something to do.  In fact, in the face of free time, there’s the temptation to shift the focus, but still keep doing too much.

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Drop Into Your Heart: It’s Easier Than You Think


In these chaotic modern times, most people live in their head rather than their heart.  Busyness, independence, accomplishment, success, and even a focus on self-improvement often take priority over people, and a direct experience of the world around us.

Also, living in your head may unconsciously be chosen because it protects you from dreaded feelings of vulnerability and fear. What if your Achilles heel was exposed or even the real you?  You might be subject to rejection or even failure.

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Limits: The Key to a Thriving Life

School of Fish

Trying to do too much, functioning on automatic, and/or acting out of obligation only leads to a joyless, burned out state.  You might be able to work 60 hours a week for a while, but in the end you will only damage yourself.  And, when the time comes to part with this life, you may very well be wondering, “Why did I waste my precious, limited time on the unnecessary, unimportant, or mundane?”

If you feel like your life is out of control, off track, or just “too” much, maybe it’s time to pause and consider where you can set limits.  A periodic bout of limit setting can bring improvement even when life seems to be moving swimmingly well.

The Wisdom of Limitation

Setting limits is required to live in a conscious and sane way.  Consider all the possible benefits that can come when you take the reins and become the director of your life:

  • The opportunity to focus on the activities that bring you meaning, satisfaction, and joy.
  • Receiving the greatest benefit and return on investment for your energy and time.
  • The ability to do more in less time.
  • The feeling of being in control instead of reacting to what comes down the pike.
  • More energy and less stress.
  • More time for whatever is most important to you from special work projects to relationships to leisure activities.

Three Essential Questions for Designing a Reasonable Life

How do you focus on the important and let go of the rest?  Try out these three essential questions to help you set realistic limits and design a more reasonable life.

1.  What’s Your Actual Capacity?

Some people thrive on activity while others are introverts who need introspective time.  Some are robust and others have to contend with less than stellar health.  Be honest about your capacity instead of allowing others to determine the number of hours you work, interact, play, or rest each week.

2.  What Are Your Goals and Priorities?

What is it that you truly wish to accomplish today, this month, this year, this life?  The key to setting effective limits is to have a clear vision of your priorities and goals.  Then, align your choices with your vision and set distractions aside.  Focus only on your most important goals – not more than three – rather than a long list of possibilities that may paralyze you with confusion or doubt.

3.  What Could You Limit?

Review your life for non-essential, time-wasting tasks and energy draining activities that detract from your happiness.  Explore the following arenas, ask what’s really necessary, and begin hacking away.

  • Possessions
  • Clothes
  • Work Projects
  • Social Activities
  • Social Media Engagement
  • Number of Clients
  • Healthcare Appointments
  • Blogging
  • Negative Thoughts
  • Thinking Too Much
  • Energy Drains
  • Perfectionism
  • Giving More Than 100%
  • Obligations
  • Time Wasters
  • Clutter
  • Reading – Blogs, Newspapers, Books
  • T.V.
  • Everything – Is a vacation or sabbatical in order?

What did I miss?

Setting My Limits

I’m setting limits myself.  It seems everywhere I turn I see or hear a message advising me to do just this.  My April I-Ching Report spoke of the freedom that comes for establishing limits.  Then, my April horoscope spelled it out beyond doubt:

“Limit distractions so you can shine your torch on your innermost desires.

Most importantly,  I feel this in the core of my being.  So, with this in mind, I’m taking a break this week.  You won’t see me online!

Could your life use a limit review?  Are there areas where you are taking on too much? I would love to hear your thoughts.

Thank you for your presence, I know your time is precious!  Don’t forget to sign up for my e-letter and get access to all the free self-development resources (e-books, mini-guides + worksheets) in the Always Well Within Library. May you be happy, well, and safe – always.  With love, Sandra

Image:  99of9

Are You Imprisoned by Attachment?

StrawberryCupWhen you buy or receive something new, don’t you notice how a sense of attachment comes right along?  It may not be so obvious at first, but it’s always there in the background quietly grinding away at you.

It all begins with “I like” or “I want”.  But once the immediate delight wears off, attachment inevitably gives rise to difficult emotions like worry, fear, concern, or anger as you feel the impulse to maintain or protect whatever you’ve gained.

Day in and day out, we are constantly imprisoned by attachment.  Yet we seldom notice that often it’s all these material possessions that are triggering our anxiety or fear.

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