Month: September 2021

The Unconventional (And Unpopular) Mantra That Helps Me through Overwhelm


There are a lot of “productivity hacks” out there designed to help us feel less overwhelmed in service of optimizing our work and ourselves.

Fair warning: my personal mantra isn’t going to help you optimize anything. It’s not crafted to help you do more or be more useful to the people around you.

Fair warning: this mantra is often met with reactions ranging from giggles to outright scoffs. But it’s the most effective thing I’ve found to helping me dissolve the overwhelm that keeps me frozen and allows me to rejoin my life.

And it’s incredibly simple: do it badly.

This is common in writing circles, but not a whole lot of other places in life. In writing, we’re encouraged to write the sh*tty first draft, just to get it over with. The idea being that it’s easier to revise what you’ve written into something passable than it is to get it right the first time around.

The feeling behind the terrible first draft is to create something—literally, anything!—that you can then work into something that’s readable to someone besides you and your cat. It doesn’t have to be good, it just has to exist.

But beyond the supportive writing circles I’ve been a part of over the years, this idea hasn’t seemed to take hold. And I understand that.

The idea of intentionally doing a half-hearted job can seem odd at first, especially if you’re the perfect storm of both overachiever and highly-sensitive like I am.

There’s a lot of pressure to put our whole hearts and the upper-threshold of our skills into everything. Making dinner for our families, cleaning our homes, even working up a presentation for work: these all seem like things into which we “should” pour our hearts and souls.

Now, I’m not saying you need to give your family something inedible to eat or to turn something in at work that’s unapologetically half-finished or full of errors. Use your judgment here.

But if these things are causing you true overwhelm (I can attest that dinner fatigue is 100% real), it can be okay to do the bare minimum, at least on your first draft.

Giving yourself permission to not get it perfect right out of the gate, or to phone it in now and then, can help to break up the overwhelm that might be keeping you from doing it at all.

Which is the point. The aim in and of itself is not to do something badly. It’s to do it, full stop. The point here is the effort, rather than the outcome.

Because—and this has been one of my most difficult lessons—we don’t ever really control the outcome. We can control our own effort, and that’s about it. So if you’re feeling stuck, it may be time to get out of your own way and simply get started with the most low-effort, imperfect version of whatever needs to happen.

And please trust that no one in your family will actually perish if they eat a frozen dinner or cereal every now and then.


Christy Tending is an activist, educator, and writer. She teaches online courses about sustainable self-care to students all over the world, and hosts the podcast Tending Your Life. She lives on occupied Ohlone territory (Oakland, CA) with her family. You can learn more about her work at www.christytending.com.

Image courtesy of Ketut Subiyanto.

Listen Again: School Of Life (2020)

Original broadcast date: October 2, 2020. Millions of kids returned to school this month. But if there’s one thing we’ve learned from the past two years, it’s that there’s so much to learn outside the classroom as well. This hour, TED speakers explore life lessons that teach us far more than any textbook. Guests on the show include politician Stacey Abrams, sailor Tracy Edwards, educator Alvin Irby, and LGBTQ rights advocate Ash Beckham.

The Polarities of Manifestation


I’ve probably been trying to figure out how to create my life since I was a child. My first big dream was to become an Olympic Figure Skater. And I believed. I truly thought I could be a gold medalist. Okay, so that medal thing didn’t quite pan out. Nor did my becoming a Broadway performer. Come to think of it I’ve had some epic failures over the course of my now somewhat lengthy lifetime. See cupcake reality show and that Long Beach relationship, and I use that term loosely.

But I wouldn’t change any of those experiences because they taught me a lot, and it’s those very lessons that ultimately put me on a lifelong path of personal healing and discovery.

I’ve been called a persistent bugger for most of my life. Yes, I’ve been called any number of other things, but persistent is probably the most accurate. I keep trying and keep working to understand not only how to create a life I love, but also to connect to and understand my own personal purpose. And it’s purpose that drives us all, either crazy when we aren’t clear and connected to it, or it acts like rocket fuel propelling us forward towards our visions and goals.

So about those goals. I think the vast majority of us know how to set a goal, so no need really to talk here about goal setting. It’s what practices we need to put into place in order to get where we want to go, and more importantly I believe, is learning how to work with our consciousness as we go about the process of creating our visions.

How do we view this process of creating the life we sense in our hearts we’re meant to live?

Creating can often come from an ego driven place where we muscle our way to making our dreams, our goals, and our intentions come to fruition. This requires a great deal of force, of push, of muscle, of work, and it’s a rather lonely, me against the world approach.

On the opposite side of the pendulum, some folks turn everything over to God, or their higher power, letting go of the perceived controls, and they wait to see what happens. This could be considered a more spiritual way to go, and it could also be considered quite passive.

Over the course of my life, I’ve tried both ways, neither to great success. And over the years I learned experientially that there’s actually an in-between place that’s a beautiful marriage of these two polarities, and that has the ability to help us create and manifest our visions and dreams with much more grace, ease, and joy. For me, there’s a balance to be had between taking the bull by the horns and letting go and letting God. There’s also an opportunity, I have found, for me to be honest and to say clearly and specifically, this is what I want in my life. Then I take action towards that end, while keeping my ear to the gentle promptings of God, or the Universe, to guide me home, wherever said home might end up being. It’s a combination of the two approaches. Two very different polarities of manifesting what I want, and ultimately getting what I need. Most of the time, I’ve discovered, God knows what’s for my best and highest good.

And I know this manifesting thing gets a lot of press, some of it hype, and much of it focused on the material. But here’s the thing.

There’s nothing wrong with wanting something – a job, a relationship, a home, or car, it’s more about putting it into the context of the greater good if you will. Whatever it is that I’m going for, my visions for my life, I want them to not only serve me, but also serve others in a positive way. I’ll take the uplift, and I want it to uplift others.

Much of the writing and wisdom out there about manifesting says that this is an abundant universe we live in. I’ve definitely found that to be true, but the bigger piece for me, and the part that continually inspires my worldview, is that the very things I wish for – that career, the relationship, that trip to Italy, are all God speaking through me. And not only speaking through me, but pushing me like destiny to lead the life I’ve come here to lead, and experience the lessons that will grow me as a person while going about the process of creating my dreams.

When you look at manifesting from this perspective it changes things in that it makes the process one of finding our purpose.

It has great depth to it. By pursuing my dreams, I am becoming more of whom I’m meant to be in the world, and this, regardless of the outcome, is me growing myself. Letting go of the result is a big part of this as well, because as many of us know, we don’t always get exactly what we want, which is often times a good thing. Sometimes we actually get something better than what we originally imagined. Speaking spiritually, God can do so much more than us mere mortals could ever imagine. And we have to meet God, as one of my spiritual teachers John-Roger says, at the point of action. We have to act. This is when life truly become a process of co-creation, and where the polarities of manifestation come together so gracefully, producing what many might consider miracles, and others a life well-lived.

As I shared above, I’ve been playing with manifestation and learning to understand how it works for what feels like forever, and I’m just starting to get the hang of it. So, if what I’ve shared seems a bit challenging to wrap your brain around, don’t worry. It’s a learning process, and the simple act of engaging in this creative process of life has the tendency to open up new doors, experiences and outcomes, many which may well look very much like the dreams and visions you’ve had in your heart for many years.

Forward ho, my friends. Try it out and see if any of what I’ve shared here makes sense in your own lives. And you have my word that once you start to get the sense of these polarities of manifesting, grace has a way of entering your life, as does a bit of joy, and suddenly life has meaning and purpose to it. And I believe this is what we’re all really looking for at the end of the day – a purpose led life. Good luck, and I know you’ve got this.


Barry Alden Clark is a writer and professional life coach. His work is focused on helping people live their best lives by acting as a guide for them to connect more deeply with their internal life force where creativity, purpose, and true freedom reside, while using humor, compassion, and kindness as hallmarks for the process of personal evolution. Recently Barry published his first book, “Living Life Now: Ingredients for Thriving In The Modern World,” now available on Amazon, and launched his new podcast “Living Life Now,” available on iTunes, Spotify and Google Music. You can reach Barry at www.barryaldenclark.com.

Image courtesy of Stijn Dijkstra.

45 Uplifting Starting Over Quotes for New Beginnings

Starting Over Quotes

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Starting over quotes can uplift your spirits and give you the courage to start over despite failure, difficulties or obstacles.

If some plan or goal failed there is no reason to quit. If you have taken the wrong turn, there is no reason to give up.

You can always start over. That’s maybe tough, and you might feel you lost your courage and motivation, but you should awaken the inner strength within you and start over.

Below, you will find the right starting over quotes to encourage, motivate and inspire you to make new beginnings.

Those who start over and never give up are the people who eventually succeed.

Starting Over Quotes and New Beginning Sayings

“A sunrise is God’s way of saying, “Let’s start again.” – Todd Stocker

“What’s so fascinating and frustrating and great about life is that you’re constantly starting over, all the time, and I love that.” – Billy Crystal

“You shouldn’t be fearful of starting over.” – Jeffrey Katzenberg

“It’s good to start over. It will be scary but you will see what you’re really made of; it’s the best opportunity to achieve what you never thought you could.” – Jennifer Coletta

“If I must start somewhere, right here and now is the best place imaginable.” – Richelle E. Goodrich

“You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.” – C. S. Lewis

“Letting go means to come to the realization that some people are a part of your history, but not a part of your destiny.” – Steve Maraboli

“Take the first step in faith. You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.”Martin Luther King, Jr.

“Never feel guilty for starting again.” – Rupi Kaur

“The direction you choose to face determines whether you’re standing at the end or the beginning of a road.” – Richelle E. Goodrich

A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. – Lao Tzu

“Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it, begin it now.” – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

“Failure is the opportunity to begin again more intelligently.” – Henry Ford

“Every day do something new that you have never done before.”Remez Sasson

“Embrace the newness of life everyday, be thankful for endings instead of constantly reliving the lost. Life is worth living everyday and with its endings is the unique blessing of beginning something new.” – Scott Patrick Erwin.

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“The world is round and the place which may seem like the end may also be the beginning.” – Ivy Baker Priest

“Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.” – Winston Churchill

“Spring is proof that there is beauty in new beginnings.” – Matshona Dhliwayo

“Doing ordinary tasks in a new and different way makes life more interesting and exciting.” – Remez Sasson

Related: Quotes About Change and Making Changes.

“Do not wait until the conditions are perfect to begin. Beginning makes the conditions perfect.” – Alan Cohen

“Though nobody can go back and make a new beginning, anyone can start over and make a new ending.” – Chico Xavier

“Starting over is opportunity informed by failure, which is opportunity made intelligent.” – Craig D. Lounsbrough

“Take a deep breath, pick yourself up, dust yourself off and start all over again.” – Frank Sinatra

“Be willing to be a beginner every single morning.” – Meister Eckhart

“We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us.” – Joseph Campbell

“Whatever wrong turns you’ve taken in life you can always start over and find your way back to happiness.” – Marty Rubin

“It’s humbling to start fresh. It takes a lot of courage. But it can be reinvigorating. You just have to put your ego on a shelf & tell it to be quiet.” – Jennifer Ritchie Payette

Empowering and Encouraging Starting Over Quotes

“Desire is the starting point of all achievement, not a hope, not a wish, but a keen pulsating desire which transcends everything.” – Napoleon Hill

“Courage is the power to let go of the familiar.” – Raymond Lindquist

“Discontent is the first necessity of progress.” – Thomas Edison

“You’ll never get a new ending if you keep starting with the same tired beginning.” – Lisa Daily

“For what it’s worth: It’s never too late to be whoever you want to be. I hope you live a life you’re proud of, and if you find that you’re not, I hope you have the strength to start over.” – F. Scott Fitzgerald

“It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all, in which case you have failed by default.” – J. K. Rowling

“The secret to living the life of your dreams is to start living the life of your dreams today, in every little way you possibly can.” – Mike Dooley

“Be positive. Stay happy and don’t let the negativity of the world get you down.” – Germany Kent

“Arriving at one goal is the starting point to another.” – John Dewey

“New beginnings are often disguised as painful endings.” – Lao Tzu

“If God closes a door AND a window, consider the fact that it might be time to build a whole new house.” – Mandy Hale

“Sometimes it’s not about trying to fix something that’s broken. Sometimes it’s about starting again and building something new. Something better” – Leisa Rayven

“There are far, far better things ahead than any we leave behind.” – C.S. Lewis

“You can start anew at any given moment. Life is just the passage of time and it’s up to you to pass it as you please.” – Charlotte Ericksson

“Nothing in the universe can stop you from letting go and starting over.” – Guy Finley

“For last year’s words belong to last year’s language and next year’s words await another voice. And to make an end is to make a beginning.” – T.S. Eliot

“Start by doing what’s necessary: then do what’s possible: and suddenly you’re doing the impossible.” – St Francis Of Assisi

“Although no one can go back and make a brand new start, anyone can start from now and make a brand new ending.” – Carl Bard

Starting Over Quotes

Quotes Directory >> Starting Over Quotes

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Why Every Athlete Should Practice Yoga

Why Every Athlete Should Practice Yoga

As an athlete (professional or amateur), by now you should know the importance of looking after your body.

If you don’t know, well now you do.

Recovery protocols are as important as any weight you lift, hill you run, or skill you improve.

When most athletes or workout fanatics are asked whether yoga is part of their exercise routine, many will say they don’t have the time or feel its unnecessary – Why?

It comes down to being misinformed or uneducated.

A lot of athletes (more so amateurs) still aren’t aware of how important stretching and breathing is and how it plays in with their performance.

Yoga for athletes can bring an added edge to the performance of everyone from amateurs striving to improve their lives, to professionals competing against elite athletes.

EVERY athlete – irrespective of sport or discipline – has the potential to enhance his or her ability by adopting a consistent yoga practice.

Many professionals would go so far as to say if you’re not practicing yoga, you’re competing at a disadvantage and missing an opportunity to enhance peak performance.

A well-rounded yoga practice includes dynamic flexibility training, core stabilisation, strengthening and balance work.

By focusing on these vital elements, yoga can help an athlete by:
  • Aiding muscle recovery
  • Preventing injuries
  • Reducing stress, increase focus and relieve tension
  • Strengthening underused muscles
  • Building up your core
  • Improving your sleep

If you are serious about your performance then recovery and building on your development should be at the forefront.

Still unsure about yoga? We spoke with a professional to break it down further.

An expert’s opinion

Exercise Right thought there would be no better person to provide an insight into the benefits of yoga than Accredited Exercise Physiologist at Inform Health & Fitness Solutions, Jacinta Brinsley.

Jacinta combines her clinical exercise prescription with a holistic mind-body approach. She is currently completing a PhD exploring the benefits of mindfulness combined with movement (e.g., yoga) on mental and physical health. As such, her prescription has a strong focus on biomechanics, alignment, yoga and mental health.

We asked Jacinta why every athlete should try yoga.

Why every athlete should practice yoga:

Do you think all athletes should incorporate yoga into their training to help improve their performance?

Definitely.

Depending what their sport is will depend on what kind of yoga they will benefit most from.

Styles of yoga that I would consider to be moderate to high intensity forms of exercise, such as vinyasa, power yoga, bikram, ashtanga and hot yoga, focus on control, stability and strength through range of motion which can be incredibly beneficial for athletes.

However, it can put a decent demand on the neuromuscular system, so more light-moderate forms of yoga such as hatha and Iyengar, which are typically slower in nature, require longer holds but are less strenuous from a cardiorespiratory perspective might be more suitable.

Then there’s yin yoga, which sits in its own camp. It focuses on the connective tissue of the body, namely the fascia – a spider-web like tissue made primarily of collagen (think dense elastic) – that encases every muscle and organ in your body. Rather than using our muscles to get us into a shape, we allow our body to assume its natural position based on the state of our tissues, relax our muscles and let gravity work its magic.

When we get an injury, it’s this tissue that reduces our range of motion and makes us feel tight and restricted. Applying sustained tensile stress, like holding a forward fold for 3 minutes in yin yoga, stimulates the remodelling of our fascia to an organised format so that your body slides and glides from the inside.

“The mental and psychological benefits are huge”

In addition to the physiological and bio-chemical benefits, we can’t forget the mental and psychological benefits – perhaps what yoga is most known for!

Spending 60 minutes with your awareness solely on your internal experience can have incredible effects on our emotional awareness and regularity, stress management, body awareness as well as helping us train our mind to focus and resist distraction.

Quite often you’re prompted to use the breath as an anchor for your mind and perhaps even consciously deepen the inhalation and exhalation, subsequently slowing the rate of your breathing. This is one of the most effective ways to stimulate our vagus nerve.

The vagus nerve can be thought of as a dial between our body and our nervous system – when we’re stressed (mentally), we breathe more quickly, ready to run away or fight. It’s via our vagus nerve that our state of mind triggers our breathing to change. What’s really cool is that we actually can take over and have conscious control of our breathing!

So, if we are feeling stressed but we choose to breathe deeply and slowly, we send a signal via the vagus nerve to the brain saying ‘actually, I think everything is okay’.

By reducing the stress response, we help to reduce the amount of stress hormones in the body, reduce our inflammation, improve our blood sugar regulation, keep our blood pressure healthy and a whole range of other benefits! Amazing huh?

Yoga is incredibly special in that it’s one of the only movement modalities in the West that really focuses on breathing and control of the breath while also encouraging a high level of physical and mental awareness.

These benefits can be derived from any form of yoga as most types of yoga we come across in western culture comprise of movement, breathing techniques, mindfulness and sometimes meditative practices.

Can yoga enhance athletic performance?

Yoga can be used as a dynamic warm-up to get the joints and muscles moving before training as well as waking up the major support structures of the body: the spine and core, which work together to stabilise the rest of the body.

Yoga can also be used as a cool-down to massage those tender tissues from the inside out.

Practicing yoga may also contribute to your recovery, offering important preventative effects for asymmetries, tight spots, weak spots, neuromuscular blind spots and so on.

I would recommend discussing with your coach and considering the type of yoga and frequency of practice in your load management.

Is yoga the key to injury prevention in sports?

I think a lot of factors go into injury prevention, it’s never one thing alone.

The benefit that yoga offers (particularly to athletes) is movement variation in a pretty safe format.

As athletes, our bodies practice certain movements and sequences hundreds of thousands of times and our body adapts to those. When you think of tight hip flexors for example, you might think of a cyclist? Your body is extremely intelligent and moulds to what postures and movements you spend the most amount of time in.

Yoga offers a little balance, some counter-movements and postures. A little antidote to repetitive strains.

With no additional load, it’s just your body moving itself through its available range of motion, having to use strength to work against restriction/tightness. As with anything though, it can be done poorly and always carries some risk of injury.

Never do too much, too soon and always listen to your body!

Top tips for an athlete wanting to try yoga

1. Think about what yoga is best suited for you.

Choose a type of yoga that feels beneficial for addressing areas you need to strengthen (active mobility, passive mobility/connective tissue health, strength, proprioception, coordination, mental health).

2. Find the right teacher.

Find a good teacher, and preferably one who understands a little about working with athletes. Especially if you’re working with some previous or current injuries, modifications are your medicine.

3. Consistency is key.

The amount of times per week will depend on the individual but try to find the right dose for you and your body. When it comes to the mental health benefits, research data tells us that frequency is more important than the duration of the sessions.

Speak with a professional

Everyone has individual traits and abilities and if you’re new to exercise and sport it can be tough to know where to start safely.

Accredited exercise professionals are university-qualified who are equipped with the knowledge and skills to improve health, fitness, well-being, performance, and assist in the prevention of chronic conditions.

To find an accredited exercise professional near you, click here.

The Nike Run Club gives you the guidance, inspiration and innovation you need to become a better athlete. Join Nike Run Club to reach your goals and have fun along the way. Download to get started.

Written by Exercise Right. We have partnered with Nike Australia Pty Ltd for this article series. The views expressed in this article, unless otherwise cited, are exclusively those of the author, Exercise & Sports Science Australia (ESSA). ESSA is a professional organisation committed to establishing, promoting and defending the career paths of tertiary trained exercise and sports science practitioners.

Nike had no role in the collection, analysis, or interpretation of data or research or the writing of this article.