Tag Archives: yoga

5 Ways to Cultivate a More Meaningful Life

*This post may contain affiliate links.

When you think of leading a meaningful life, you might think about charity work, mindful meditation, and various other things which seem somehow quite detached from our day to day lives.

However, living a meaningful life – however you understand it – should by no means be the kind of thing that you relegate to a few hours, one day per week. Instead, it can be something that factors into how you live each and every day, and a mindset that contributes dramatically to the overall quality of your life.

Keep in mind, too, that you can easily benefit from attempts to lead a more meaningful life, without having any particular metaphysical, or religious beliefs. You could just as easily take the term as a metaphor for your emotional well-being.

So, without further ado, here are several ways to cultivate a more meaningful life – 

Find the time and space for real, genuine solitude

Author Cal Newport, writing in his recent book Digital Minimalism, notes that throughout history, many of the most productive, insightful, and successful people , viewed solitude as an essential part of the equation for their success.

“Solitude” here doesn’t refer to just “being alone,” or having no one else around you. In fact, that’s not even an essential part of this definition. “Solitude,” as Newport refers to it, is the ability to be left alone with our own thoughts, without being subject to external distractions.

He explains how holy figures in all major (and minor) religions have emphasized the importance of getting away from it all, and retreating into quiet contemplation every once in a while. (See also: my posts on this book!) 

In a time when we are surrounded by the never-ending flow of information provided by the digital landscape, it is perhaps more important than ever to make time for this type of “solitude.”

When we do so, we gift ourselves the opportunity to reflect on our own thoughts and experiences, resolve any issues which might be on our minds, and get in touch with our emotions.

If you are constantly surrounded by external sources of information – like social media feeds, the 24-hr news cycle, billboards, TV ads, and dozens of people making demands on your attention – your personal well-being might be served extremely well by simply getting away from it all for a while.

This doesn’t require any major life shift – generally speaking. Simply going for regular walks, without your phone in your pocket, might do the trick.

Listen to your soul – and pay attention to what it has to tell you

The psychologist Carl Jung  believed that to fail to listen to our souls, and heed the messages contained therein, was a fast track to a stagnant and unfulfilling life. Maybe even to an early grave.

Jung’s idea was that we should always be attentive to our inner emotions, impulses, and beliefs – and look for the lessons those parts of ourselves are trying to impart.

Jung did not, however, claim that we should always act on our emotional impulses. But, how many people go through their lives with the perpetual sense that something is wrong, and never take steps to investigate or correct that?

Listen to your soul – pay attention to what it has to say – and make sure that you are not silencing important messages from within.

Declutter your environment

There’s  something to be learned from the explosion in popularity of the recent “minimalism” phenomenon. As of this writing, Tidying Up with Marie Kondo is one of the most popular shows streaming on Netflix.

Just a few years before this, the documentary Minimalism: A Documentary About the Important Things, also took much of the world by storm.

For one reason or another, many of us are more or less obsessed by the idea of decluttering our homes, and regaining a sense of simplicity in our personal domains.

It’s not too hard to see why this would take off as a trend, either. When we have “de-cluttered” environments, we are better able to appreciate the belongings we do possess, are less likely to find our attention, and sense of well-being, jarred by the ever-present piles of mess, clutter, and half-forgotten belongings, and may feel significantly better off as a result.

Decluttering your home may seem like the ultimate “physical” act. It’s something that – for all intents and purposes – takes place entirely in the material world. This means that it does not necessarily jive with our preconceived notions about living mindfully and meaningfully.

Don’t be fooled, though. Reducing the clutter in our physical environments, and tidying things up, can have a profound impact on our emotional well-being. 

Investigate “energy manipulation” techniques

Since ancient times, people around the world have developed and engaged in practices and exercises designed to help “balance”, or “manipulate” their internal energies.

Think, for example, of yogis balancing their chakras, or practitioners of Reiki, “directing energy” into other people, as a means of healing them.

Now, whether or not you believe that subtle energies are being transmitted from one body to another – there is nonetheless ample evidence that engaging in these “energy manipulation” techniques can go a long way in terms of boosting people’s sense of balance, harmony, and spiritual well-being. (See also: this post about crystals!) 

In fact, this may not even just be the case for human beings. Various practices of energy healing for animals exist, and – according to those who practice them – are often remarkably effective.

So, whether or not you take the idea of energy manipulation techniques literally, you might find that signing up for that local Reiki class can have a significant, and powerful impact on your overall well-being. And, it may help you to develop and refine your sense of being in touch with yourself, and cultivating a sense of meaning, too.

Identify your “bliss” – and follow it

The famous professor of myth, Joseph Campbell, once said that people should “follow their bliss.” The exact meaning of this saying may be subject to some interpretation – but it clearly serves as a call to do things that we find fulfilling, life-affirming, and significant.

People who quit dead-end jobs that have been weighing them down for years, in order to embark upon new careers that seem altogether more meaningful, often report feeling reborn.

It’s not at all uncommon, for people to feel they have discovered new depths of energy, enthusiasm, and vitality, when making such a change – often to the extent that they are absolutely amazed that such a thing was even possible.

“Following your bliss” – in the sense of doing things with your life and time that you find meaningful – is not just a great way of improving your overall quality of life. It is, more or less, a high spiritual art. It is the kind of thing that naturally possesses an aura of almost supernatural value and significance.

If you find that your day job is a major source of pain, irritation, and drain on your psychological well-being, you should take it as a challenge to find a way of doing something more meaningful with your time.  Where else can you carve out meaning in your life? After all a 9-5 job is just 8 hours. What will you do with the other 16? Use them to “follow your bliss.”

How do you cultivate a meaningful life? 

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A 12 Day Workout Challenge (Inspired by Social Media Favorites!!)

–> This is your daily reminder that you don’t have to spend a fortune on fitness to come up with fun and challenging workouts. You just have to know where to look, make plans and show up for yourself! <–

Here's the deal, I'm a set it and forget it kinda girl. (As you'll know if you've been around these parts for a bit…decision fatigue, BE GONE!) So, the first time I found a 30 day yoga challenge on YouTube it was like angels circled up around my yoga mat to sing an Alleluia chorus. For 30 days, I didn't have to think about my workouts. I just unrolled my mat and hit play!

For me, yoga challenges have a lot of appeal. I love batch decision making. I love the sense of accomplishment I feel once I've hit the last day. AND I LOVE THAT THEY'RE FREE! #ballinonabudget I decided it wouldn't be so hard to create them for myself! With all types of workouts!

[BALLET CHALLENGES I’VE DONE — HERE and HERE!] 

And since I just finished one such challenge, I thought I’d share the details here with y’all!

12 day workout inspired by social media favorites

For this challenge, I thought about who had killer fitness #GOALS on my feeds. I settled on Madeleine Shaw and Britney Spears.

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know that Britney Spears’ Instagram is one of the most amazing gifts bestowed upon us. I knew I wanted to include one of her workout posts. I CHOSE THIS ONE.

I’m obsessed with Madeleine Shaw’s cookbooks and her healthy lifestyle videos on YouTube. But she’s also a badass yogi and I’d never done one of her yoga videos. Her voice is the most calming thing on the planet so I knew I wouldn’t be disappointed. And lucky for me, she had just put out 7 days worth of yoga! 

Creating this challenge was shaping up to be easier than anticipated. A whole 7 days already sorted! But now I needed to convert Britney’s post into a workout:


IT’S BRITNEY, BITCH
~25 Minute Workout~

Equipment:
2 sets of dumbbells (one lighter, one heavier)
and 1 kettlebell (or heaviest dumbbell)

30 Seconds Active, 15 Seconds Rest

Overhead shoulder presses
(w/ lighter dumbbells)

Plank rows

Hold wheel pose
or modify:
bridge pose or camel pose

Warrior III w/ weighted row
left leg extended

Warrior III w/ weighted row
right leg extended

Overhead shoulder presses
(w/ heavier dumbbells)

Kettlebell overhead press
left arm

Kettlebell overhead press
right arm

Hold splits on the left side
or modify:
pigeon pose or half splits

REPEAT 2 MORE TIMES

Cool down stretch!


Now that we’ve got the Britney workout figured out, let’s lay out the 12 day plan!

Day 1 It’s Britney, Bitch
Day 2 Yoga 1
Day 3 It’s Britney, Bitch
Day 4 Yoga 2
Day 5 IBB
Day 6 Yoga 3
Day 7 IBB
Day 8 Yoga 4
Day 9 Yoga 5
Day 10 IBB
Day 11 Yoga 6
Day 12 Yoga 7

Congratulations! You made it!


This workout challenge was awesome! A daily commitment of 25 minutes that, combined with nice long walks, felt like the perfect dose of fitness. Each workout made me feel strong, energized, and flush with endorphins. The “lower weight-more reps” approach in the IBB workouts made for a fast-paced session that I paired with pump up jams. While Madeleine’s yoga was calming and grounding. A perfect pair!

What do you think? Let me know if you give it a try! xoxo
And do you have any ideas for future challenges I could put together. I love a challenge CHALLENGE! And I’d be sure to share it here. ❤

mid-week round-up

What have you been up to, my loves? Over the weekend, Chet and I drove around some nearby areas we’d yet to explore and enjoyed lunch on the Tennessee River. The weather was so beautiful and it was so nice to get out and it explore. There are so many little hidden gems to see and do! Now I’ve got work projects on the brain until next weekend. *le sigh* But hopefully squeezing in a bit of yard work, too! Hope y’all are having a wonderful week, and here are a few things I’ve rounded up for ya…

These lunch ladies stole half a million dollars!

Learning how to dress in your 30’s as a woman

Related: My Latest Le Tote

This Brooklyn apartment was inspired by movies from the 1990’s.

You don’t owe anyone an interaction.

Check out CreativeLive’s 50 Basics Under $50.

On Irishness, immigration, and race.

Related: Maeve in America by Maeve Higgins

How to deliver a pep talk that’s actually motivating.

The best coming-of-age movies.

Do you think these work?

Don’t let the title scare you away!

After the mosquitoes went away.

What stretching actually does to your body.

From now, through September, BLUME is offering 25% off ALL orders (including subscriptions) with coupon code BACK2SCHOOL.

P.S. A few Finding Delight posts you may have missed — 9 Activities to Break Up the Day When You’re Working From Home and A Social Media Manager Shares a Day in Her Life.

mid-week round-up

What’s up you guys? Monday was our two-year anniversary and we celebrated by going out to dinner and buying a couch! (I feel like that’s an appropriate gift for the “Cotton” Anniversary, no?) Now Chet’s birthday is right around the corner (on Sunday)! So much to celebrate in July!! Hope you have a fantastic Wednesday, and here are some little corners of the internet I think might be worth your time to travel to…

What is collagen?

Many people struggle to say no when their manager asks something unreasonable. Here’s how.

Lizzo creates the playlist of her life.

Related: This song is everything.

Camping this summer? This will let you drink from a creek without dying!

Related: 8 necessities for long hiking trips.

Yoga for the Cancers out there!

The woman who made jewelry for Billie Holiday and Brigitte Bardot.

This movie looks break-your-heart good.

What’s going on in your child’s brain when you read them a story?

Related: Our storytelling minds.

A clarinetist’s career gets derailed by an ex-girlfriend.

21 tips, tricks, and pieces of great advice for making your vacation that much better.

Positive vibes.

P.S. A few Finding Delight posts you may have missed — In need of a pep talk? and Tips and Tricks for Surviving (and Cooking) in a Tiny Kitchen.

mid-week round-up

What are you up to this week, darlings? While January seemed to drag on forever, February is already flying by. #ShortMonthProblems It will be Valentine’s Day before we know it! Are you planning anything special? I’m trying to do little Valentine’s-inspired things throughout the month to make each day feel special (with some Mardi Gras themed things, too!). Fresh flowers, photo projects, baking treats, and sending out cards have all found their way onto my February calendar. 🙂 Hope your week is extra sweet, and here are some links I scouted just for you…

12 months of self-care in a helpful month-to-month guide.

Related: 10 Ways to Take a Time Out and Practice Self Care

Here’s how Ed Sheeran made 2017’s biggest track.

Iranians asked #Where_Is_She? Suddenly, it seems she’s everywhere.

Jaclyn Friedman sparks a culture-wide rethink about sex, power and what we accept.

How to not die in America.

Wouldn’t it be a delight to grow up in this colorful Dutch farmhouse?

Anatomy of a wild & crazy Saturday night aka breakfast burritos for two.

Related: Breakfast for Dinner

DIY: Wool ball diffuser for the car.

Have you ever tried a yoga wheel? I’m obsessed with mine.

Related: How to Make Your Own Fitness Challenge

Who invented the microwave oven?

A real “very stable genius” doesn’t call himself one.

Packing for 10 days away at a meditation retreat in a Tom Bihn backpack.

Related: What’s in my Tom Bihn Synapse 19 + Side Effect

P.S. A few Finding Delight posts you may have missed — The 5-4-3-2-1 Packing Method and 5 Blogs I Love.

January Resolutions – How Did I Do?

brbjshca8d4-brooke-lark

Happy February, Finding Delight readers! This year, I decided to approach my New Year’s resolutions a little bit differently. I wrote out all the months in my  journal and have filled in things I want to work on in 2017– 2 items per month. Not every item is filled in yet. I want to give myself space to grow over the year, to not set my resolutions in stone.

My hope is that, once something is set into practice for a month, I’ll continue the habit throughout the year.

I’d like to share results and thoughts at the end of each month because accountability. Here’s how I did in January…

January Resolution #1. Notice when I’m partaking in unproductive screen time and pick up a book instead. 

Have you ever set an intention to minimize time spent in front of screens? ME TOO. And guess what…that sort of vague resolution has never worked for me. How much is “too much” screen time? What if the time spent in front of the screen is bringing me joy or earning me money? I need something that gets a bit more to the root of the habit I’m trying to change.

For me, that’s tapping in to when I know I’m being unproductive on the computer. It’s noticing when I’m scrolling mindlessly through my social media feeds on my phone. And then offering myself a solution–pick up a book.

So how did this new take on an old resolution work out? Not bad. But not as well as I’d hoped.

I found a great “red flag” for unproductive screen time. It’s a little embarrassing but I’ll share it with you in case it might be helpful:

When I visit websites or apps in a rotation. (*cringes*)

If I’m checking my phone and I look at my email…and then Instagram…and then Facebook…and then Snapchat…and then find my way BACK TO MY EMAIL. OH MY GOD, PUT DOWN YOUR PHONE BERGER AND PICK UP A BOOK.

That’s a habit I took great strides in eradicating in January. However, around the 20th of the month (hint, hint) my screen time started to ramp up again. But that might not be such a bad thing. And it hasn’t all been unproductive.

Going forward: I’ll continue to monitor my social media // website loops. I’ll keep a book close by. I’ll take mental health breaks away from my devices when the news becomes to much.

January Resolution #2. Yoga every day. Take the day off if my body needs it but not when my mind tries to talk me out of it. 

I’m low-key obsessed with Yoga With Adriene and her January challenges are always a great excuse to start the year off on the right foot.

I’m also someone who sticks to exercise when I make it a daily habit. If I planned to work-out 3 times a week that shit would never happen. 30 minutes of yoga (nearly) ever single day on the other hand? That I can do.

Sure, I sometimes try to talk myself out of this practice. Especially when I’m feeling grumpy or lazy or “not in the mood.” But here’s the thing. I never feel WORSE after I do it. I usually feel better. So, this month, I didn’t let my mind talk me out of working out.

I did, however, allow myself space to sit days out if my muscles were too sore or if I’d had a crazy, long day of work. I also didn’t force myself to practice yoga if my body wanted another workout. (Um, hello!? Sometimes ya gotta do this one.)

When I did show up for a quick flow? I felt like I was showing up for myself. My body nourished, my mind calmed.

All in all, I rolled out my mat and practiced 30+ minutes of yoga 25 times in January.

Going forward: I’ll continue to show up for myself on the mat. I’ll take note of when my mind is trying to cheat me from gettin’ something good. I’ll incorporate other types of exercise (or other yoga instructors) into the rotation.

Alright friends, onward to February!

How are YOUR New Year’s Resolutions going? One month down! Tell me how you’re doing in the comments below (#accountability) or feel free to email me – ebeth.berger@gmail.com – if you’d like to keep it private. You got this! 

P.S. Need help sticking to your 2017 goals? Check out this post. Oh, and “Like” the Finding Delight Facebook page! I’d love to have ya!

mid-week round-up

fire-escape-street

Welcome to 2017, my friends! Gah! How futuristic does THAT sound? I hope you’re all doing well and settling into the new year with ease. Did you make any resolutions? Set any new intentions? I’d like to develop some new organizational systems (paperwork, computer files, my planner…all these Christmas decorations that need to come down eventually, lol) and decrease time spent in front of screens. I’m also kick-starting my year with daily yoga videos from Adriene. (LOVE her January challenges!) Now, if reading more random internet articles was a resolution of yours, I’ve got ya covered… But you can feel free to click through even if it wasn’t…

Adding Chris Bohjalian’s book The Sleepwalker to my 2017 reading list.

Glamour just published it’s first issue produced completely by women. It’s about time.

This stamp set from Concord & 9th makes the sweetest DIY cards for winter.

Sherman Alexie, Lindy West, and Ta-Nehisi Coates all quit Twitter this week.

Would you paint your walls blush?

There’s a massive restaurant industry bubble, and it’s about to burst.

Death on the hippie trail.

The introvert’s travel bucket list for 2017.

Yoga may not be scientifically valid, but it works for me.

Diaries shed new light on siege of Leningrad.

The little-known link between Princess Leia’s iconic hairstyle and the Mexican Revolution.

*shrugs* Shit happens.

Four Things

happy-halloween-pring

Hi friends! Hope you’re having a spook-tacular Halloween!! Here are four fun things I’ve been thinkin’ about today…

audrey-hepburn-yoga

What’s your go-to exercise routine this Fall? I’ve been really into long walks (the breeze in South Florida lately is a game changer!) followed by this stretching routine. I’ve also been itching for a new 30 day yoga challenge. Yoga with Adriene and Bad Yogi both have a couple, and I’d highly recommend them if you’re craving a daily practice.

june stitch fix box

I’m also anxiously awaiting the arrival of a new box from Stitch Fix! Living for over a year in a climate that doesn’t really change from season to season means…I’m kinda sick of all my clothes. Stitch Fix is an amazing service if you’re looking for a wardrobe refresh. Once you sign up, you fill out an extensive style profile with your preferences and sizes, and your own personal stylist will pick out 5 pieces and ship them to your doorstep. You keep what you love and send back the rest! I requested some dressy tees since short-sleeved shirts that can either be dressed up or dressed down is pretty much all I wear. Let me know if you’d like to see a post detailing what I receive in my box!

lauren-hutton-with-camera

My mom gifted me access to a self-paced photography class for my birthday. (Thanks Mom!!!) It is fascinating, inspirational, and informative, and I’m really enjoying the opportunity to learn more about the technical side of photography. (I also love the homework assignments at the end of each lesson!)

rosemarys-baby

Finally, I’d love to know, what’s your favorite horror film? Halloween on a Monday night seems the perfect excuse for cozying up on the couch with a classic, creepy movie. (All the party’s are out of the way after the weekend.) Rosemary’s Baby tops my list for Halloween fright-night films. What’s on your list?

2nd Photo: Audrey Hepburn practicing yoga on the set of ‘Green Mansions’, 1958. 4th Photo: Lauren Hutton, 1968. 

friday round-up (+ a sneak peek at our engagement photos!!)

couples shoot 1

couples shoot 2

couples shoot 3

So I had a link post ready to go up on Wednesday and totally forgot to publish it. I guess that’s what happens when you go on a little mid-week trip to Delray Beach. Whoops! Our friends Carrie and Ganer (who visited us last week in Miami) were on the second leg of their Florida vacay and graciously invited us for some extended fun at the beach. We jumped at the chance, and had so much fun eating tacos, lounging in the sand, and collecting seashells. Carrie is an extremely talented photographer (she’s shooting our wedding!!) and asked if Chet and I would like to do an evening couples shoot by the water. Ummm, YES PLEASE! Pictured above is a little preview. I can’t stop looking at them! Those colors!!! Go check out Carrie’s site  —> Sur La Lune Photography —> she does INCREDIBLE work.

Anyways, I thought I’d go ahead and pop up these links for you (a couple days late), share a few photos, and get back to regularly scheduled programming on Monday. Have a great weekend!!!

How to travel 6 European countries in 9 days with 0 planes.

19 things you might not know were invented by women.

If every state had an official word, what would it be?

This documentary looks crazy-awesome and right in my wheelhouse.

On the ground with a Doctors Without Borders operation in South Sudan.

Miss Manhattan.

13 years old in the age of likes and lols.

Makes me want to flip a house.

Looks like the perfect spot for a Miami stay-cation!

What successful people do on Sunday nights.

And Sur La Lune on Instagram!

mid-week round-up

rusty storage wall

What’s everyone up to this week? I’ve gotten back on the wedding planning wagon and am looking forward to a few purchases that should be arriving in the mail soon, including another wedding dress and 18 feet of bunting. We also scored a guestbook and a whole bunch of chalkboard signs for SUPER cheap at an office supply store that’s going out of business. Now I’ve just gotta get the invitations printed and I’ll feel proper on top of things. Hope you have a great rest of your week, and here are some little internet gems that I thought you might like…

Healers who prioritize compassion face challenges in our medical culture.

Yoga for wine lovers.

People in Shakespeare’s England were also obsessed with food.

An exploration of syndromes that are unique to particular cultures…like magical penis theft.

The relics lingering inside America’s great national treasures.

10 Trader Joe’s beauty products you have to try.

A tiny detail lost since hunter-gatherer times and how to rediscover it.

This looks like one of those rare cases of movie better than the book. (I can’t wait to see it!)

The Arctic suicides.

Ugh, too relatable.

Has the internet changed everything?

Decorating a rental on a budget.