Mindfulness

Minset Master Social // Event Recap!

Mindset Master Social Event Recap on the Josie Feather Blog

On a rainy Sunday morning I found myself squeezing into a crowded little hall. I quickly got myself checked into the Mindset Mast Social. The beautiful woman at the desk greeted me with a warm smile and gave me my goody bag. I’m not sure if they technically call them goody bags, but anytime I’m handed a bag filled with snacks I count it as a one.

I stood on the edge of the doorway for a few minutes, watching other little groups chat and laugh together. I don’t typically go to events alone. I mean, who wants to, right? No one wants to be the one person without a group safety net to catch them if they blunder through an odd encounter, or the event ends up royally sucking.

This year I’ve challenged myself to go outside of my comfort zone. I’ve changed so much in the past few years I’ve found it can be hard to find people already in my circle who are as passionate about the same things I am, so I’ve given myself a little goal to be brave and venture to events and meet-ups based around some of the things that have become so important to me. When I came across The Positivity Charge, I was so excited to see a group of women with such a great mission, and when I saw that they’re doing a few events in Philly this year I made myself sign up without letting myself overthink it.

That’s how I found myself on Sunday at the Mindset Master Social. I really didn’t know what to expect, but when we were lead upstairs I was more than happy to help myself to a mimosa and find a seat. I was immediately grateful to be sitting next to someone else who happened to come alone. A sweet and lovely lady from Lancaster. Bonus points to her for telling me about her dog, that’s the quickest way to my heart.

After everyone settled there were some quick introductions and then we jumped into…

wait for itttttt….

CHOCOLATE MEDITATION

You heard me right. Well, technically it’s called “Cacao Sound Meditation” which sounds a lot fancier. Even as someone who’s not some crazy chocolate lover I was super intrigued. I’ve been trying out some meditation techniques lately to help focus my ever jam-packed brain, so I was excited to participate a led meditation.

It was lead by Jalpa Dhaduk, who started us off with some basic meditation, and then we slowly ate little bits of chocolate, really taking our time and focusing on all of the different senses. She pointed out how usually when we have chocolate we just shove it in our mouths and are quickly looking for more, but slowling down and really savoring the entire experience helped to focus my mind on the moment. Although mine was melting in my hand a little, so I won’t lie, my brain was also going “GET A NAPKIN NOW YOU WEIRDO”. You win some, you lose some.

KEYNOTE

After that we moved onto the keynote talk with Doctor Colleen Reichmann. Holy moley, is she a woman after my own heart. I honestly wasn’t expecting to hear a talk that was so on point with things running around my own head recently. She started by opening up about her own struggles with an eating disorder. Then she so eloquently explained how we all live somewhere on the mental health spectrum, even though not everyone crosses the border into actual disorders. She did such a great job explaining how some of us are born with some predispositions to mental health problems that start us off farther down the spectrum towards disorders, and things like stressors and environment can push us over that border.

Her main point revolved around how common mental health problems are and how important it is to learn to treat them just like we would regular health issues, ditching the stigma, and learning to embrace proactive care. I actually have a whole page of notes on my phone from the talk!

JOURNALING

Like I mentioned before, I didn’t want to overthink going to the event, so I didn’t spend much time even looking at the event list, so by this point in the morning I was thinking “did they really just go inside my brain and steal all these ideas?!”. I finally started journaling again this year after not doing any for over ten years. I absolutely loved it as a teenager, but quickly ditched it when I was paranoid that someone was reading it. This year I dove back in, and have been really loving it.

The co-founders of The Positivity Charge, Parisha and Dr. Rubina led the journaling workshop and went over the benefits of journaling, and gave us tons of useful prompts and idea of how to really take full advantage of journaling.

TAKE AWAYS

Like I mentioned, going to events alone is generally not my jam, but this was so worth it. Even though I felt some low-key social anxiety almost all morning, getting to hear from and talk to people about things that have been so close to my heart lately was refreshing and exciting. I’m actually really excited for The Positivity Charge Conference in August to get a little more out of my shell, meet some new people, and really connect!

My Morning Routine (with a full time job)

My Morning Routine (with a full time job) - Josie Feather Blog

The beginning of last year I was freelancing, so life was a little different then. When I accepted a full time position in May I knew I needed to make some changes. Not only was I going back to the 9-5, but I was also going back to a commute into the city (an hour each way) so my free time would be a lot more limited. I knew I wanted to set aside my nights to recharge and spend time with my husband, so that meant I needed to start taking advantage of my mornings as the time to work on myself.

My mornings feel a little crazy at times, but it’s worked well for me. Since we live in the middle of nowhere my gym is about 20 minutes away, which takes up a lot of time, and I’m really hoping I can change that in the future. Either way though, I am so glad I’ve found something that works for me, and I really wish I had started a morning routine a few years ago!

5:00 // WAKE UP

My husband makes fun of me for it, but when my alarm goes up I sit right up. My brain is not on, and I’m essentially a zombie, but I know if I let myself stay laying I’ll be passed out asleep again in no time. So I sit up and give myself a minute to adjust.

Once I drag myself out of bed I brush my teeth and throw on my gym clothes. Packing all my bags and setting out my clothes the night before is the most important part of having a successful morning for me. If I have to think about finding clothes in the morning I might as well just go back to sleep.

I grab my lunch for work and I am out the door and on my way to the gym. I’ll usually eat a banana on my way, although I don’t find myself as hungry first thing in the morning as I was last year when I first started my routine, so I go with how I’m feeling that day.

5:40 // GYM TIME

The thing I love about my gym time, more than the endorphins and more than feeling vaguely like wonder woman afterwards, is that it’s the one time of day I can always count on to be “me time”. Even if the rest of the day is pure chaos, having that chunk of time in the morning to only worry about me and focus on what I’m doing is such a huge mental help.

After I throw everything into my locker, I do some stretching for a few minutes before I hit the floor. I’ve been working my way through the BBG program (which I talked a bit about here!) which has helped me lately, since I’m no longer wandering aimlessly around the gym. After I wrap up whatever’s on my BBG schedule I try to do a few minutes of yoga and more stretching!

6:40 // CLEAN YASELF UP

I try to shoot to wrap up my workout around 6:40 and jump right in the shower. I KNOW, everyone is freaked out by gym showers, I used to be too. I have been pleasantly surprised by how clean my gym keeps their showers, and really, there’s just no way I could make it home in time to shower and still stay on schedule, so it’s really my only option. So far I’ve lived to tell the tale.

I usually only do my hair once or twice a week and then just dry shampoo the other days so I don’t have to wash or style too much. I’m all about keeping it simple.

7 // ON THE ROAD

On my way to work I try to either listen to an audiobook or start the day with an inspirational podcast (I love Optimal Living Daily and Chasing Joy!). Starting my day with something inspirational always helps to put me in a good mood and focus my brain on big-picture goals.

8(ish) // QUICK “MIRACLE MORNING”

Once I get to work I usually chill in my car for a few minutes and go through a short and sweet version of the “miracle morning”. A few minutes of meditating, affirmations, and visualizations, followed by writing just a bit in my journal. It all sounds so cheesy, and I was hesitant to try it at first too, but I have been loving the new additions! I am still really really really bad at meditating but it’s all about practice, right? I would definitely recommend adding in some or all of these to your routine. They’ve been really helping me start my day with a positive and clear mindset!

That’s it! It might seem like a lot, but adding these to my mornings instead of rolling out of bed and heading right into work and any craziness that might ensue, has helped so much with my overall happiness. It’s a lot harder to have a bad day when you’re full of endorphins and spent a few minutes clearing your brain out!

I am obsessed with hearing other people’s morning routines, so tell me what you are currently doing for yourself in the AM!

You Can't Steal Happiness

You Can't Steal Happiness - Josie Feather Blog

A month or two ago I came across this article written by one of my favorite podcasters, Mallory O'Meara. She’s mostly talking about social media and how easy it is to get swept up in comparison and turn into an evil nasty little online troll without meaning to, but she made so many good points that relate to all of life that have been rolling around in my head gathering friends ever since.

We’ve all heard the phrases “you can’t buy happiness” and “comparison is the their of joy” so much that any meaning they’ve had is hard to pull out of them at this point. Yeah, I get it, comparing myself to other people won’t actually make me happy, but that hasn’t stopped me from doing it time and time again in my head. Then Mallory struck my over the head with the point that “you can’t steal happiness”. You can be mean in your head, online, or in real life to someone who has something you want, but no matter what you do, even if you bring them down, you can’t actually take any happiness they have.

Most people don’t know this about me, but I actually have body dysmorphia. It’s more complicated than this, but basically, I tend to be more than a little obsessive about my perceived flaws. I lock in and it’s hard to let go. I’m quite sure that I’m the most unattractive person alive and anyone telling my otherwise is just trying to be nice and make me feel better. It’s easy to get caught up in if I’m not careful, and even more easy to catch myself constantly comparing my own looks to other girls. I know it’s certainly not something exclusive to having body dysmorphia, but especially when I’m having an extra rough day, my brain jumps on that comparison train faster then I can catch it. It’s terrible, and absolutely something I don’t want to do, but often my mind runs straight for it, trying to find some way to tear them down to comfort myself.

Here’s the thing though, tearing other people down (even if I’m only doing it in my head) does not allow me to steal their looks, success, or happiness. I don’t get to have those things no matter how mean or nasty I am. In fact, I only end up feeling worse by letting my brain run wild with comparing, and by letting myself judge others I’m just keeping the door wide open for me to judge myself too.

You can’t buy, steal, or borrow happiness. You can’t beat it into submission. You can’t shame it into coming to you or judge it until it backs down and gives up. These last few months I’ve really come to accept that there’s only one way to get it, you have to create it. It’s something that no one can do for you, you have to get out there and get your hands dirty. It’s such a simple, and really incredibly obvious idea, but I’ve found that when my mind jumps on that comparison train and I tell it “hey, you won’t actually get that persons looks or happiness going that way” my brain is a little more willing to jump off.