Be Like A Dog

Be Like A Dog

Why you want to be more like a dog and how to do it.
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Unconditional love, loyal, playful, present, if you were to ask someone to mention a few words that come to mind when thinking of a dog, those words are not far-fetched. Why is it not as common for people to have all of those traits? What is keeping us from it, and how can we be more like a dog?

Have you ever noticed that when you accidentally step on a dogs paw, they don't equate the pain with any type of self pity or frustration? Maybe they squeal, but the next thing you know, they are wagging their tail, happy to see you. Dogs are where they are, and they don't let things from the past or future cloud their thoughts to the point of anxiety or anger.

We humans were given the gift to recall the past and dream of a brighter future, but unfortunately our ability to think about the past and future often becomes detrimental to many. Concerns and fears can easily strip the memories into worries and dreams into nightmares, taking us away from being present, playful, loyal, and that unconditional love.

What if we could have the best of both worlds? What if we could be like a dog, but still dream and focus to bring our desires to fruition? Well, you can! With what I like to call the three P's, presence, positivity, and persistence, we can catch our thoughts taking us in undesired directions, bring ourselves back in the moment, and then consciously take our thoughts to a better place.

By following the three P's, and consistently being present and conscious of our thoughts, we can re wire our brain, allowing us to naturally be more present and aligned with our natural state of well being. It takes about 30 days to rewire the brain, which can vary depending on how much energy you put into making the change, so persistence is key!

Would you positively practice presence and persistence if you knew it would make you more like a dog? I would! You can't wait for outside circumstances to magically make you have unconditional love, loyalty, be more playful and present. You have to create it yourself. “Effort, concentration, and mindfulness are the internal ways in which the mind restores itself from being out of balance and lost in confusion to a condition of ease, clarity, and wisdom NO external action needs to happen.” ―Sylvia Boorstein

Cover Image Credit: Brooke Lyn Landon

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100 Ways To Practice Self-Care In Your Everyday Life, In 20 Minutes Or Less

Simple ways to start taking care of yourself.

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Life is overwhelming and distracting so it's easy to forget about yourself sometimes, but practicing small self-care acts is easy. Making time for yourself every day isn't selfish and is really good for your mental health. I think it's important for everyone to spend time doing things that make them happy and more calm, even if you only dedicate 20 minutes each day. Putting yourself first can lead to growth so many other aspects of your life.

Obviously, each person is allowed to practice self-care in their own unique way, but here are some ideas to get you started!

1. Do something new. 

2. Make a list of things you need to get done that week. 

3. Drink some hot tea. 

4. Go for a walk on a scenic trail.

5. Paint your nails.

6. Have a good laugh.

7. Buy yourself flowers.

8. Light a candle.

9. Do some tidying up.

10. Don't feel bad for saying 'no.'

11. Listen to music.

12. Slow down.

13. Drink a smoothie.

14. Run mindless errands.

15. Write down your goals for the week.

16. Talk to someone about the future.

17. Wake up early and get coffee. 

18. Take care of a plant. 

19. Take a bubble bath. 

20. Give yourself a compliment.

21. Give a stranger a compliment.

22. Watch a movie.

23. Put your phone down.

24. Declutter your personal space.

25. Go to bed early. 

26. Pray or meditate. 

27. Go for a drive. 

28. Make it a habit to stargaze. 

29. Read a book. 

30. Read poems. 

31. Sing loudly. 

32. Make a list of things you're grateful for. 

33. Drink a lot of water. 

34. Put on make-up for no reason.

35. Watch funny videos. 

36. Take a deep breath. 

37. Distance yourself from negativity. 

38. Unfollow people you don't care to follow on social media. 

39. Have a pajama day. 

40. Read an inspirational book. 

41. Call your parents/ loved ones. 

42. Donate old clothing. 

43. Dedicate a day out of the week to not eating meat. 

44. Do a fun craft or DIY project. 

45. Put on a face mask and relax. 

46. Do a small workout. 

47. Take a power nap. 

48. Listen to a podcast. 

49. Open a window. 

50. Open your curtains in the morning to let in natural light. 

51. Make your bed. 

52. Cook dinner instead of eating out. 

53. Play/ cuddle with an animal. 

54. At the end of the day, think of all the positive things that happened.

55. Moisturize. 

56. Buy a comforting blanket. 

57. Give someone a hug. 

58. Create a vision board. 

59. Have some alone time.

60. Enjoy the sun on your skin. 

61. Dance like nobody is watching.

62. Walk in the rain every once in a while. 

63. Drive with the windows down. 

64. Give someone a gift for no reason. 

65. Get a massage. 

66. Do something that gets your adrenaline running. 

67. Spend the day at the library or a book store. 

68. Organize your work space/ binders. 

69. Spend a weekend in. 

70. Recognize hard work and reward yourself. 

71. Sign up for a work out class. 

72. Eat lunch with a friend. 

73. Spend the day helping others. 

74. Get your hair done. 

75. Have a good cry. 

76. Use sticky notes. 

77. Color code your planner. 

78. Print out pictures and hang them up. 

79. Hang motivational quotes on your mirror and read them when you get ready. 

80. Do random acts of kindness. 

81. Buy fuzzy socks. 

82. Redecorate or rearrange furniture. 

83. Be present. 

84. Set a new years resolution. 

85. Make a bucket list. 

86. Stretch in the morning. 

87. Watch an interesting documentary. 

88. Make a music playlist.

89. Watch the sunrise or sunset. 

90. Explore somewhere new.

91. Be slow to respond to negativity. 

92. Have a game night with friends. 

93. Buy concert tickets. 

94. Have a nightly routine before bed. 

95. Eat your favorite dessert. 

96. Do something you've been putting off. 

97. Invest in essential oils. 

98. Manage your finances. 

99. Buy a new outfit. 

100. Make your own gratitude list. 

Try at least one of these every week and see how you feel! I guarantee you will notice a difference in the way you are living your life.

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12 Steps I Took To Reinvent Myself

And that you should follow too.

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I feel that this topic is rarely discussed and maybe that's why so many people are stuck feeling stagnant or unhappy. I believe that the complexity of the human mind is so vast that it can't be reduced down to one single persona. Even I have fallen into the trap of believing "well, this is just who I am and who I'll be forever." Of course, one's core values and morals aren't subject to dramatically change over the years but who is to say that other characteristics must remain unchanged as well. Reinventing yourself is a journey I've just recently embarked on and I wish more people would be more open to the concept. Below are the 12 steps I followed to become the person I want to be.

 1. Evaluate who you are now. 

This is an essential step because in order to change who you are, you first have to identify exactly who that is—flaws and all. Achieving a better understanding of who you are is the foundation for creating the person you hope to be. It is exceptionally difficult to change certain aspects of yourself if you aren't willing to admit they exist.

 2. Set goals moving forward. 

After recognizing the traits you wish to change, a set plan needs to be put in place. It is easy to say, "I'm going to change this about myself" because the end result is always the first objective we reach for. Instead of getting tunnel-vision, think of this journey as a path of stepping stones where each step is an achievement in itself.

 3. Have a funeral for your old self.

Rest in peace to the person you used to be because once you commit to the art of reinventing yourself, they no longer exist. When you completely detach yourself from your past persona it is less likely that you will revert back when the going gets tough.

 4. You don't have to announce it.

In this age of digital media, it is easy to announce everything through technology. This isn't something you need to document on Snapchat or Tweet about daily. Do this for yourself and no one else.

 5. Sometimes it takes a new environment. 

There is a saying that you can't heal in the same environment you got sick in. Apply that mantra to this reinvention. Open yourself to new environments that will provide you with the room you need to grow.

 6. Or something even harder...like getting new friends. 

Environments are not solely made up of the spaces you put yourself in but the people in those spaces as well. This can be difficult because it is hard to admit that the friends you love may be holding you back from your own personal goals. If you're striving to be a more positive person but are constantly surrounded by negative friends, it could be time to rethink those relationships.

 7. Don't be afraid to step outside of your comfort zone. 

This is a given when you choose to surround yourself with new people and new environments. The person you once were was a product of the environment you were comfortable in. Now that you are attempting to revitalize your identity, uncomfortable situations are a must. Figure out who you are in a room where no one knows you and solidify those characteristics while trying something new.

8. Create new cognitive and behavioral patterns. 

In the act of reinventing yourself, psychological factors play as critical of a role as circumstantial ones. You have to work from the inside out as well. Create new patterns in the way you think. Conduct new behaviors that you normally wouldn't. If normally your mind goes to the worst case scenario, force yourself to find the good in a situation. If typically you would procrastinate in your school work, force yourself to get it all done early. These patterns will soon turn into healthy habits.

9. You don't have to explain yourself to anyone. 

There might be people in your circle that question your new thoughts and actions. They may even say something like, "you never cared about that before" or "since when do you do ___." All you have to say in reply is "I do now." In the face of these questions, you'll probably feel the urge to explain yourself—fight it. Nobody needs to know the intentions behind your newfound passions/behaviors.

10. Understand that not everyone has to like you. 

With this evolution of your personality, you may find yourself not getting along with the people you once did or having stronger connections with the new people in your life. This is completely normal. Also, refrain from not acting the way you want due to the fear of not being liked. Their opinion of you is not your problem; this expedition is solely yours and no one has to like it but you.

 11. Reflect on who you were as a child.

This might seem silly but upon this reflection, you'll discover how much you've changed once before. This will motivate you to do it again. Rediscover your thoughts and behaviors as a child before you grew to conform to your surroundings. Experiencelife.com explains it perfectly: "If you bring a puppy into a room full of children and ask who wants to name her, every hand goes up. The same thing will not happen in a room full of adults. They're reacting to their fear of what other people might think if they raised their hands." Remember who you were before you cared about what everyone else thought.

 12. Focus on being the best imaginable version of yourself.  

All in all, the idea of reinventing yourself is entirely for your own benefit. Imagine the best version of yourself that you realistically can. Nothing says you can not work to achieve that vision. Sometimes it seems so hard to focus on yourself when life throws a million obstacles your way but reinventing yourself can change the way you perceive those exact tribulations.

Everybody has those moments where the characteristics or actions of others seem more appealing than that of our own. We see somebody in the coffee shop wearing a bold outfit and we think to ourselves, "oh maybe I'll switch up my own wardrobe." Or we might admire the passion of somebody we know and think, "maybe I'll dedicate more time to what I'm passionate about." Unfortunately, we seldom ever dedicate the time to make these changes.

These momentary thoughts are anchored to the internal motivation we all have to change ourselves. What combats this need for change is the amount of effort it takes to become the person you want to be. It means being committed and tending to your persona in a way that is seldom talked about. The truth is reinventing yourself is an endless task requiring daily attention but if the motivation is there, there's no stopping who you'll become.

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