If You Knew When You Would Die…

Earlier this week, one of my favorites yoga instructors, Jade Alectra, posted an Instastory of a book called, The Book of Questions. She had screenshot one of the questions inside of this book with a poll giving two options: yes or no, so you could give your answer.

The question? “If you were handed an envelope with the date of your death inside, and you knew you could do nothing to alter your fate, would you look?

Before you read on — answer the question for yourself.

In all transparency, I answered “no” on her poll. I wouldn’t look. I wouldn’t want to know. I wouldn’t want to live confined to a timeline, anxiously anticipating my own death. I wouldn’t want to live with a countdown of this-many-days-until-I’m-gone. Or so I thought.

The day after Jade posted this to her Instastory, she made an Instagram post about her answer to the question. In this post, she explained that her answer to the question was “yes” — and she explained why. She describes death as being “the deepest, quickest, clearest awakening from the bullshit you think matters.” She talks of how knowing the date of your death would keep you from the disillusionment of having all of the time in the world to complete the things you want to complete in this life. She speaks of treating the next year of her life as if it is the last year of her life— executing more and shifting more towards what matters. Jade also mentions an “imaginary wait pile” — to which she refers the place we put things that may be too daunting to attempt in the now. She talks of how dying without putting her book into the world pains her to even imagine.

This post More Help ripped my heart wide open. It completely changed my answer. I have read the post over and over again. I, without a doubt, would look. I would want to see and know the date of my own death. It would allow me to put into perspective how much time I really have left to do the things I want to do. Buddha said, “The trouble is, you think you have time.” I think it is fair to say most of us are in this disillusioned, hopeful state that we will live until we are old and gray and our days may feel infinite as we peer down a long, imaginary road of 20, 30, 40, 50+ years left of life.

Reading Jade’s post, I was reminded of a phrase from Crazy Horse, the Sioux Lakota Indian leader.  He is remembered saying, “Hoka Hey, today is a good day to die!” to his Sioux Lakota tribe as they fought General Custer. Aubrey Marcus, human optimization expert and one of my favorite podcasters, speaks of “Hoka Hey” often. In one podcast episode, Aubrey talks about how he strives to live in a way that when his day to leave this earth comes, he will be able to say “Hoka Hey” and truly feel it is a good day to die; knowing he lived fully each day and did what he came to this Earth to do. He says before that day comes, there is still so much of his medicine that he needs to give to the world (by his medicine he is speaking of healing he can provide that he doesn’t want to take to the grave with him).

I’ll be honest, I am nowhere close to being able to comfortably say “Hoka hey, today is a good day to die.” There is so much that I still want to do in this life. This question really makes me think, “What in the hell am I waiting for?

What if am I going to my grave in one week? One month? One year? Five years? Twenty years? Having a “wait pile” a tall as the dreams I’ve dreamed? How can I continue to push things off and shove them into a dusty, dark corner in the back of my mind for “another time” that I know damn well may never come?

Ask yourself, if you were to die next year, would you be okay with not writing that book? Not telling that person you love them? Not taking that trip? Not leaving that job? Not marrying that person? Not moving to that city? Not taking that chance? Not chasing that dream?

If you knew you only had one year left… what would you do differently? Would you stop to watch more sunsets? Walk more slowly? Stop and smell the roses? Relish in those slow mornings with a hot cup of coffee? Eat that cupcake? Start that business? Create that podcast? Paint more? Feel more? Love more? Would you call your parents more? Spend more time with your friends?

If you knew you only had one year left… would you still care about expensive clothes? Or cars? Or Instagram followers? Would the opinions of other’s still carry so much weight? Would you still base your decision’s off of the expectations that other’s have placed on you? Or would you finally let your heart lead the way?

Now, let me ask you again — “If you were handed an envelope with the date of your death inside, and you knew you could do nothing to alter your fate, would you look?

5 Self-Development Books That Changed My Perspective on Life

I am a book-worm. I used to fly through fictional love stories like nobody’s business (I own 15 Nicholas Sparks books). As I have gotten older, I’ve strayed from the fictional genre and my heart fell in love with the personal development space. With personal development books, you’re learning and processing information that can help you transform your life with every page you turn. The key is being open to new perspectives, different thought processes, and being honest about how you can implement the new knowledge into your life.

I always share my current reads and love to recommend books that have deeply resonated with me. With 2019 underway, I know a lot of us (myself included) have goals that include bettering ourselves on some level. Knowing that, I thought this was a great time to share some of the books that I’ve read over the past few years that have drastically changed my perspective on life (for the better). These below list is in no particular order, I love them all. I have given a brief synopsis on the book and why I love it. 

http://www.airlinetest.com/?milyokrt=dating-seiten-bewertung&6f1=ab The Four Agreements — Don Miguel Ruiz 

conocer gente nueva apk In The Four Agreements, Ruiz offer readers insight into a code of conduct — or rules to live by, based on ancient Toltec wisdom. This code of conduct is made up of only four singular rules that one can apply to life in order to lessen our own personal suffering and smash through self-limiting beliefs. The book is only 139 pages — so it’s a quick and easy read. I have read this book numerous times. The wisdom in it is worth revisiting over and over again. One of the biggest lessons I took away from this book was in The Second Agreement, “Don’t Take Anything Personally,” in which Ruiz reminds us that nothing others do is ever about *us.* This really helped me step away from internalizing other’s actions or letting how others treat me affect my self-worth.

find out The Desire Map — Danielle LaPorte 

browse around this site With this book, LaPorte completely transformed how I look at and approach the goals I set for myself in this life. “You’re not chasing the goal, you’re chasing a feeling you hope reaching the goal will give you.” This book will teach you how to identify the feelings you want to have, which will in turn help you better identify what your goal really is. The best part? This book is also part WORKBOOK, to help you work through and better understand why the goals you have are the goals you have — and help you identify the feelings you’re really trying to achieve (in all aspects of life). I http://documentalqueridowatson.es/pizdyhov/10001 love putting pen to paper. It solidifies things for me and makes things feel much more real when it’s physically transferred from the thoughts in my mind and onto a tangible piece of paper.

see it here The Untethered Soul — Michael A. Singer 

indicadores para opções binarias download The Untethered Soul: The Journey Beyond Yourself is a book that helps you identify and step away from egocentric thought processes and sit in the seat of consciousness in the mind. You will learn how to detach from your ego and live your life unattached. The biggest truth bomb that I took away from The Untethered Soul is that we cannot identify with our thoughts. We good dating site messages to send witness our thoughts. That inner voice is an annoying, chatter box roommate that with argue with itself into a black hole if we let it. Choosing to no longer identify with the thoughts crossing your mind will create a freedom in your life that will allow you to reach a higher level of consciousness. 

You Are a Badass — Jen Sincero 

You Are a Badass is one of the most relatable of all self-development books I have ever read. Jen Sincero is so grounded, down-to-earth, and real. In You Are a Badass, Sincero will teach you how to identify and demolish the self-sabotaging beliefs and behaviors that put a limit on your life. And she does it by telling you true, relatable, real life stories of her own. As a recovering, self-proclaimed queen of self-sabotage — this book literally kicked my ass in the best way possible. Not only did I learn how to move away from those acts of self-sabotage, I also laughed and fully enjoyed myself reading this book.

Daring Greatly — Brené Brown 

Hands-down, Daring Greatly was the best book that I read in 2018. For a multitude of reasons, but mainly because it made me realize that, as someone who prides herself on being vulnerable, I learned that there are still many ways that I hide my insecurities and shy away from being vulnerable in certain aspects of my life. Was that uncomfortable? Yes. Was it needed to keep progressing and moving forward? Hell yes. In Daring Greatly, Brown discusses why vulnerability is a strength (and backs it up with her 12+ years of psychological research) and how it is a sign of courage and how it can cultivate stronger, deeper connections in life. In the book, she also navigates the subjects of shame, the “never enough” mindset, and how we can all dare greatly — by being vulnerable in the way we live, love, parent, and lead.

These books are just a few of my favorites — trust me, if I really sat down to build a comprehensive list it would up pretty lengthy, probably topping 20 books. And the best part? I still have many more to read — which means more books to share with you in the future! I sincerely hope that if you decide to dive in to one of these books that you come out the other side a better person.

What self-development books have you read that have changed your life? I am always looking for new books to add to my “must-read” list.

If you’re a bookworm like me, and enjoy self-development books, I would love to have you join my Life In Alignment Book Club ! Simply click the book club link and request to join the Facebook group. We are reading 1 book per month in 2019. The Life in Alignment Book Club community is growing and it would be an honor to get to know you on a more personal level as we read + grow together.

*Disclaimer: the links to these books are affiliate links. I make commission off of purchases from these links. I appreciate your support + greatly you for supporting me if you choose to purchase from these links.*

The Truth About Dieting

Everyone has dieted. Maybe you are a serial dieter. Jumping from one fad diet to the next, wondering, “Why I can’t ever seem to sustain the results?” What is the issue? Why can’t we maintain the results we see from these trendy diets? We tend to place the blame within ourselves — we believe we fail because we are not disciplined enough. That is not true. The truth is most of us do not have the comprehensive knowledge + understanding of nutrition to successfully diet. And without that knowledge + understanding, we also cannot successfully maintain the results. The companies selling these diets leave out key points in their sales pitches (because lack of nutrition knowledge translates to more money in their pocket). Marketing for these trendy, fad diets twist information, quote things out of context, and lack truthfulness.

I have counted calories. I have done the “clean-food-only” diet. I have counted macronutrients. I have done intuitive eating. I have read the articles about the newest fad diets. The low-carb, the high-fat, the juice cleanses, the no-sugar, etc… and there’s things that these diets fail to address… and that’s the basic understanding of how a diet truly works.

 

healthy eating

 

First, let me start off by saying — you don’t ever need to diet. You are a human being + food is fuel. You are allowed to simply eat because you want to eat. You are allowed to consume the foods that taste good + make you feel good. There is no shame in eating! Ever, ever, ever.

If, for whatever reason, you are making the autonomous choice to diet, know that no diet is supreme or superior. If a way of eating works for YOU, makes you happy, fits conveniently into your life, and you can maintain it… that is what truly matters. THAT is the diet for you. If you’re vegan, keto, or a macro-counter, it doesn’t matter to me. My only care is that you are in alignment with your Highest self and doing what works best for YOU + your body.

Now let’s dig into the diet basics here, shall we?

A diet only works if it puts you into a caloric deficit.

Eating under your caloric maintenance level (in a caloric deficit) is the only way to lose weight. You can eat only cookies + pop-tarts (not that I’d condone it) for 28 days and if the calories you are consuming are below your maintenance level, you will lose weight. Thus, any diet you try will work, if you’re in a caloric deficit. If you are not in a deficit, you won’t lose weight. Dieting is merely the management of your caloric intake. It’s all about portion control and being conscious of how much you’re consuming.

Eating times really don’t matter if you are consuming your allotted  daily calories.

It doesn’t matter if you are eating 1800 calories in 3 big meals or 6 small meals. What matter is that the meals you consume leave you satiated and your meal timing fits into your schedule with ease. If your work schedule isn’t conducive to 6 small meals and you find yourself eating 2 big meals and a snack when you can… that’s okay! If you are getting your calories in for the day, that is the success. Do what works best for you. This same premise goes for Intermittent Fasting. Some are under the impression that you don’t have to adjust your total caloric intake for the day to lose weight with IF, and that shortening the eating window alone will help you lose weight. Wrong. Even with intermittent fasting, you need to be in a caloric deficit to see results. If you’re miserable and irritable in the morning if you don’t eat breakfast, don’t do IF. It’s that simple. If you are never really hungry in the morning and you don’t typically feel hungry until lunchtime give IF a try and see how you like it. 

Deprivation is not the way to go. Moderation is key.

Deprivation can result in a poor relationship with food, feelings of shame or guilt, and can also lead to rebounds. Depriving yourself of your favorite foods for weeks at a time typically increases your cravings for those foods, which can set you up for failure when you’re presented with those foods during your dieting window. Instead of deprivation, we should focus on moderation in a diet. As previously mentioned, diets only work in a caloric deficit, so it the portion size of what your are eating matters more significantly than the food itself. Give yourself the grace to have a piece of chocolate daily, if that’s what you typically crave, instead of banning it all together.

Be aware, junk foods are typically higher calories and won’t necessarily leave you feeling full or satisfied. They will probably leave you feeling unfulfilled most days and won’t allow for your other meals to be calorie-dense enough to satiate your hunger. I like to follow an 80/20 rule. Most of my meals come from nutrient-dense, whole foods. A small portion of my foods come from the foods I’m craving on a day-to-day basis. 

If you LOVE carbs and you go on a low-carb diet for 6 weeks, do you know what will probably happen after those 6 weeks? You’ll get your first taste of carbs and you’ll be unable to resist the temptation of anything carb-filled. There’s a chance you’ll lose control and put the weight back on. If you love carbs, are happier + more personable consuming carbs (hey, hello, it me!), and have more energy consuming carbohydrates — don’t cut them out of your diet — just pay attention to your portion sizes. Moderation is key — always!

You can have alcohol, sugar, and your favorite foods and still lose weight.

Believe it or not, alcohol and sugar are not the enemy. This is where most diets lose us — they take us to the extremes. They mark certain foods as “bad” and we begin to feel this crazy guilt surrounding our eating choices. This goes back to my moderation point, if you stay in your caloric deficit, you’ll still lose weight — even if you have a cookie or a big ass glass of wine after a hard day at work (please have that glass of wine if you need it, girlfriend). 

If it makes you miserable, it’s not maintainable, and it’s not worth your time.

If you are one week into a 28-day diet and you are already hating it, your food is too bland, you are choking down your meals, and you’re drooling over anything that looks like it has SOME flavor… you’re setting yourself up for failure. That diet is making you miserable. It is unsustainable + there’s a great chance you’ll fall off the wagon before the 28 days is over. What are the chances that you keep up these new eating habits when your 28 days is complete? My guess is zero percent, because you’re not enjoying it. If you can’t envision yourself carrying on with this new way of eating past the completion date — kick it to the curb immediately. It’s not worth your time if it’s not maintainable. Find a diet that allows you the flexibility to eat in a way that you can maintain, even as you decide to no longer diet (or increase your calories to maintenance or a surplus). Sustainable dieting + consistency > hardcore restriction for short periods of time.

Consistency is more important that perfectionism.

I find that many of us have an “all-or-nothing” mindset when it comes to dieting. We have no idea how to balance it all. If we mess up and over-eat on one occasion, or consume one “restricted” food, we feel defeated and are ready to throw in the towel. Dieting and your metabolism is a continuum. It balances out over time. If you’re off on one meal (or even one day) it will even out in time if you get right back on track. BUT, if you throw yourself a pity and let one meal trigger you into days or weeks of overeating, you’ll have a lot of ground to make up for. 

If you’re consuming 1800 calories per day, and one day you eat 3000 calories. Why do we find eating 3K calories a day for a week a more reasonable response instead of just saying “Oops!” and getting back on the 1800 calorie train? 

So, babe, let’s allow the truth to drive our decisions when it comes to dieting. You don’t need to cut carbs, ban sugar, or stop drinking wine. If you are in a place where you are autonomously choosing to diet — to feel better, healthier — whatever the reason, choose the diet that will work best for you. Choose the diet that will be maintainable in the long-run, because we know that consistency + moderation is the foundation to success when it comes to finding a nutrition plan that works. Don’t worry about meal times, labelling foods “good” or “bad,” or cutting out your favorite foods to lose weight. That’s unnecessary stress that you do not need to add to your plate (pun not intended, but I’m actually quite proud of it 😉 ).

http://aronsonfence.com/?viosele=verbe-rencontrer-allemand&880=c9 Please know babes, you are worthy + more than enough in any shape, size, form. Always.

Xx,

Leta