How To Design Your Own Life of Adventure

“The best day of your life is the one on which you decide your life is your own.  No apologies or excuses.  No one to lean on, rely on, or blame.  The gift is yours – it is an amazing journey – and you alone are responsible for the quality of it.  This is the day your life really begins.” – Bob Moawad

This is a guest post by Jasmine Stephenson of An Apple a Day.

My name is Jasmine. I graduated from the University of South Florida at the age of 21 with a bachelor’s degree in psychology.

While going to school full time, I participated in extracurricular activities and worked full time at a law firm. After receiving my diploma, I moved to Arizona.

I found a great job at another law firm. I had my own apartment, and a dog.

Sounds pretty normal, right?

Read More

Lost Your Mojo? 10 Ways to Get Your Groove Back

Remember how it felt on your best days when you were twenty-five?

The world was your oyster.

You were full of energy.

You didn’t have too many responsibilities.

You were probably turning a few heads and tripping the light fantastic. Your mojo cup was full to the brim.

How’s that cup looking now? Are you down to the dregs? You don’t have to be old to feel the effects of mojo depletion.

Read More

Simplify Happiness: 50 Easy Actions for Joyful Living

Are you waiting for happiness? Do you think you will find it when you make a certain amount of money, or achieve something big, or maybe find the perfect relationship? Happiness is at hand right now. It’s  right in front of you, but sometimes we miss it because we are so busy looking for it.

If you have attained some of those big things in life that you felt would bring you happiness, you might have found it — temporarily. Have you  noticed how once you get what you want, it’s wonderful for a while? But then you want something else, something bigger or better. You grow bored with the new thing or accomplishment.

It takes a lot of hard work and stress and worry to secure your happiness goals. And then, after all that work, the happiness begins to dissipate.

What if you didn’t have to work so hard for it? What if there were a simpler way to be happy?

Read More

25 Mind Shifts Toward a Bold and Glorious Life

Try this little exercise for a moment. Think about your current life painted by a particular color.

The color reflects the tone and tenor of your days and moods.

So what color is your life? Is it a neutral shade, maybe tan or grey?

Or is it bold and vibrant like royal blue or bright yellow?

When we were babies and small children, I think we all had brilliantly hued lives. The world was one exciting new moment after another.

Everything was an adventure, a treasure, or something to be explored. We had occasional bumps in the road.

Read More

Ten Tantalizing Travel Destinations for Personal Growth

I’m reading the book Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert. I think I’m the last person on Earth to read it, and now I know what all of the hoopla is about. It’s a delightfully engaging book about feeding the body, feeding the soul, and feeding the heart. Ms. Gilbert writes about her own journey of personal growth during her travels in Italy, India, and Indonesia. Her adventures got me thinking about all of the places I want to visit, and how I might combine my love of travel with my desire for continued personal development.

So I’ve been doing a bit of research today, and darned if there aren’t a plethora of destinations world-wide that combine beautiful, unique locations with self-development and relaxation or adventure. So here are ten that jumped off the computer and screamed “Buy a plane ticket right now!”

1. Costa Rica

This transforming Pure Vida resort and spa offers a variety of mind-body programs including yoga, nutrition, meditation, massage, Ayurveda, and much more. You will also enjoy a full array of spa services, as well as a variety of eco tours and adventures in Costa Rica.

2. Hudson Valley, NY

The Omega Institute for Holistic Studies is one of the nation’s foremost educational retreat centers. On a serene and beautiful campus in the Hudson Valley, you can enjoy beauty, art and cultural innovation. Regular workshops and classes are offered in personal growth, and you can enjoy film, concerts, and community gatherings. The Omega Institute also has a wellness center with a variety of therapeutic services, a meditation sanctuary, and an expansive library. Lodging is in comfortable cabins on the campus.

3. Kauai, Hawaii

Kauai Healing Vacations is run by Jane Winter, a licensed marriage and family counselor who has a private practice on Kauai. She offers customized vacation programs that include personal growth workshops, personal counseling, and eco-tour adventures on beautiful Kauai. Jane is well-versed in Hawaiian culture, history, customs, hula and chanting and can share Hawaiian tools for achieving peace and balance within. She was also a core member of Shakti Gawain’s (author of Creative Visualization) clinical staff and co-leader for many of Shakti’s programs.

4. Isle of Wight, UK
The Grange by the Sea is a gorgeous Georgian country house bed and breakfast. It is in the Old Village of Shanklin on the south coast of the Isle of Wight. Nestled in greenery, it is very secluded. Yet it’s moments from the thatched pubs and cozy tearooms, the local train station, shops and restaurants and the long sandy beach. At the Grange you can enjoy award-winning authors to sharpen your writing skills, local landscape artists, leading life coaches and exceptional singers, dancers, and yoga teachers. There are a variety of courses from which to choose. The yummy English breakfasts consist of fresh, organic foods — and tea of course!

5. Cyprus

The Zen Retreat Cyprus offers different retreats to address well-being, self-discovery, and introspection for couples and individuals. The goal at Zen Retreats is to foster change and harmony within your life and to restore the much needed life – work – emotional balance. The spacious retreat villa offers a commanding view of the surrounding mountains and countryside with views towards the coast at Polis and Latchi. The property has its own private pool and garden areas with a covered gazebo were you can enjoy an outside massage or acupuncture treatment.

6. Amalfi Coast, Italy

During the Amalfi Coast Retreat, you will learn leading edge techniques and highly effective personal growth principals. The retreat offers a holistic approach to their teachings, working on the physical, behavioral, emotional, mental and spiritual levels during a variety of workshops. The Amalfi Coast is a spectacular coastline situated in the South of Italy. This retreat is for the luxury traveler, and the accommodations are in one of the finest five star hotel’s on the Amalfi coast. Sumptuous meals, a private yacht outing, and guided tours of the region are part of the luxury retreat package.

7. Kenya

This 14 day Self-Discovery Safari held August 2010 focuses on personal and planetary healing within the Great Rift Valley in Kenya, known as the “birthplace” of man. Meditations, group dynamics, ceremony, and individual healing sessions encourage each participant to realize their highest healing potential for themselves and the planet during this tour. The tour also includes the best in cultural and natural history that these powerful locations have to offer.

8. Alaska

Combine adventure and self-discovery during the Inside Passages Alaska Kayaking Retreat in August 2010. The retreat will be based out of the Keene Channel Lodge on the Wrangell Narrows, a sheltered and secluded location fourteen miles south of Petersburg. The lodge provides a lovely setting for day and overnight kayak trips in sheltered waters, with rustic, comfortable accommodations. The retreat includes a multi-day kayak camping trip to the Castle Islands, as well as the opportunity to explore meditation practice in a wilderness setting in order to experience presence, both inner and outer, through a variety of contemplative disciplines.

9. Charleston

The Sophia Institute in Charleston, S.C., offers retreats featuring nationally and internationally renowned authors and teachers, like Marianne Williamson and Anne Rivers Siddons. The Institute offers a variety of programs for those engaged in personal and interpersonal transformation. The Phoebe Pember House in the heart of historic Charleston offers accommodations and retreat space in beautiful surroundings with tranquil gardens and peaceful spaces to reconnect with yourself, discover a calling or expand your spiritual journey.

10. Bali

The Heal-in-Paradise programs in Bali, part of the Indonesian archipelago, offer strategies for balance, discovery and awakening to manage stress, bring clarity of mind, enhance vitality, re-center and bring harmony. Life coaching, workshops, meditation classes and spa treatments are included in the programs. Cuisine is geared towards optimally fueling the healing process. Accommodations are in bungalows near Pererenan Beach and set in lush gardens. Bali is indescribably beautif
ul and is regularly voted by major travel magazines as the most enchanting travel destination in the world. It’s also one of the settings for Eat, Pray, Love –so of course, it had to be on the list!

How To Create Your Personal Life Vision

Create Your Life Vision

Do you have any idea where you’re going with your life?

I used to wonder that all the time as I bobbled through life like a pinball, bouncing from one task to another with no real direction.

If my dream job was to be a “Task Master,” I’d become the expert in the field.

Routines, errands and other people’s schedules ran my life. This wasn’t intentional. It just enveloped me like slow growing kudzu.

I was tangled up in a web of insidious activity leading nowhere. In fact, I used my tasks and to-do lists as an excuse for not consciously creating my life.

If I was busy with projects, cleaning, driving kids around, and generally chasing my tail like a crazed puppy, I didn’t have to think about finding a passion or accomplishing something meaningful.

Frankly I was afraid if I focused on it, I might discover I had no vision or plan for my life at all. Well, I didn’t. But I was determined to create one, and I got  busy figuring out what my life vision was.

It took some time and focus, but I’ve simplified the process to the most critical steps to get you started.

Here Are 10 Ways to Create Your Life Vision:

Read More