I asked my 13 year old daughter what I should blog about this week and she said "I want to write your blog this week!"
Here are Hannah's thoughts on what helps her thrive. She titled her guest blog: Cleanliness.
"How you live in your house, how you act when you leave and even how healthy you are all contribute to a simple word we hear all day long. That word is cleanliness. Coming from a teens perspective keeping your room clean is one of the secrets to a clear mind and a clearer future ahead. That seems farfetched but, cleaning your surroundings and living in cleanliness brings more feelings of accomplishment and positivity into your work and life and even can boost your confidence.
Coming home to a clean space also can help you unwind and feel serenity in a peaceful resting place for the night.
Having a clean room can also reduce stress.
When you already have a lot on your plate, then want to go to sleep, you look around and see how much you still have to do not having everything tucked away. You are probably thinking you don’t have the time to clean your room once a week, but so many daily tasks can be done while tidying up.
New show you want to watch? Fold some laundry. Have to cook dinner? Clean up before you cook so you are more inspired to cook. A clean kitchen makes after dinner clean up a lot easier. The key to always staying organized is that everything has a place. That way whenever it’s out of its place you can put it back instead of trying to find it a new home or just shoving it in your closet. You should be able to find anything you own in your room if you have a designated space for it.
Overall, having a clean environment can effect your grades, work habits, social life, stress, and even how well you sleep. Waking up to a clean room jumpstarts your day and keeps you organized throughout. Coming home to a clean room can help you de-stress and relax for a good nights sleep. So, stop putting it off and get to cleaning!"
Hannah really lives by this message (more than I do myself most of the time). She has a weekly routine down to a science. Every Sunday during the school year, she would tidy up her room and select 5 outfits for the week ahead. I noticed how calm she felt heading into a stressful week when she helped her future self by doing simple tasks ahead of time.
She even "Marie Kondo-ed" my husbands t-shirts the other day!
There's something super satisfying about creating order around you. Hannah's right - when we have a calm environment around us, we feel calmer inside too.
I'm not sure I can achieve total order of my own dresser, but she's making me think twice about tidying up!
Want to know more about our Retreat at Red Mountain Resort, Utah Sept. 18-22, 2019? Here are a few answers to your questions.
I’d like to go on this retreat, can I hold my space with a deposit?
Yes! Pay $300 now to reserve your space for a single or double registration and pay your remaining balance by August 15th, 2019.
What is Red Mountain Resort like?
It’s a gorgeous campus of hotel rooms and suites set in the red rocks of Utah near stunning hiking opportunities in state and national parks. There’s a full service spa in its own separate building, fitness classes, fully equipped gyms, indoor and outdoor pools and hot tubs, a full service restaurant and smoothie bar, gift shop and many lounge chairs and hammocks to relax in all around the property. When you reserve your room at Red Mountain Resort, it includes all of your delicious, healthy meals, use of all fitness areas, classes, gyms and pools and as well as bike rentals and daily morning guided hikes led by professional guides.
Click here to visit the Red Mountain Resort Website and click here to see their calendar of classes and events.
I’ve always wanted to go on a retreat, what is the daily agenda like?
Our proposed agenda will include daily guided hiking opportunities or a morning movement opportunity like biking, yoga or a seminar by Megan Gunnell, Founder & Director of the Thriving Well Institute on how to maintain a healthy lifestyle with an increased focus on self-care and mindfulness practices.
There’s plenty of time for relaxation and downtime too. The afternoons are left open for scheduling time at the spa or relaxing by the pool. Before dinner we offer an afternoon group session that will help you discover more about how to achieve your personal and professional goals and thrive in your life both at work and at home!
Do I have to attend everything on the proposed agenda?
No. This retreat is for you! You’re invited to follow the proposed agenda to maximize your retreat experience, or you’re welcome to decide what you participate in and how you design your time at Red Mountain Resort.
Do I have to eat with the group?
No. Breakfast and lunch are open seating and they recommend making a dinner reservation. You’re welcome to make a dinner reservation for yourself or with others accompanying you or those you meet on the retreat, but you don’t have to eat with the group.
I’m not super fit, will I be able to enjoy the morning guided hiking?
Yes! The resort offers various levels of hikes for all levels to enjoy from very simple, slow paced hikes on mostly level terrain to more challenging hikes at a faster pace with more elevation changes. The guides are extremely helpful and experienced and will support the participants and answer any questions you might have. They are also super knowledgeable about the landscape and flora / fauna in the surrounding area.
Can I bring my spouse of friend with me?
Yes! This is a co-ed retreat open to anyone who is looking for an opportunity to tackle stress, recharge and thrive!
We invite you to bring your spouse or friend with you and experience a get-away with purpose. You can save money on your registration by signing up as a double. A single registration is $950 and double is $1625 split between 2 people.
You save over $130 each when you sign up with someone under a double reservation!
How do I book my hotel room?
Megan Gunnell has reserved a discounted group room rate under the Thriving Well Institute Retreat but only until July 19th, 2019! Book your retreat directly with the Thriving Well Institute, then call to reserve your hotel room with Red Mountain Resort. Hotel accommodations include all meals. Call to book your hotel room directly with Red Mountain Resort: 877-246-4453. Double: $268. Single: $324.
How do I get there?
Guests should arrange to fly into Las Vegas, Nevada or St. George, Utah. If you fly into Las Vegas, you’ll take a shuttle or rent a car to get to Red Mountain Resort. It’s about a 2 hour drive. If you fly into St. George, the Red Mountain Resort shuttle will pick you up and take you to the resort which is just a few minutes from the airport.
Click here for everything you need to know about getting to Red Mountain Resort.
Yes! I'm tired of being constantly stressed and overwhelmed!! I'm ready to recharge, reset and thrive!
I deserve to take a break, recharge, eat clean, get out in nature, hike, stretch myself and fill my toolbox with tons of great ideas from the Thriving Well Institute on how to maintain a positive, healthy lifestyle.
Please hold my space now with a deposit of $300 before it's sold out!
When we hold ourselves and others to a perfect standard, it’s painful. We end up chasing something that doesn’t exist. Perfectionism plagues us and continuously keeps us in a loop of striving and shame. When we aim to be perfect, we never quite get there. We’re always in a place of “that could have been better” and “that wasn’t enough.”
When perfect is the gold standard, we’re never enough.
The shame spiral is deep and wide. It’s a vicious cycle that perpetuates fear, doubt, pain and struggle. But ironically, perfectionists use this unachievable standard as a shield. When we pour ourselves into working hard, we justify our emotional unavailability. We think busy equals important and worthy and this endless striving gives us a good excuse not to be present, real and vulnerable.
Aiming to be perfect hurts you in two ways. It not only creates an endless, flawed theory for yourself, it also perpetuates your unrealistic expectations for everyone around you too.
So let’s cut the BS and start to shift into reality. Are you ready to do this differently?
If you’re human, you’re imperfect. When we start to move into radical acceptance that we WILL make mistakes and we WON’T be perfect, we infuse our lives with compassion and authenticity. We actually find that our relationships feel deeper and more connected because we’ve lifted the veil of perfectionism that kept us inaccessible to others. We expand into self-love which is the gateway to loving others deeply too. We drop our criticism and judgement of ourselves and others and we shift gently towards acceptance. Embracing imperfection is a gift. It frees us of the impossible bond that striving for perfectionism creates.
So let’s repeat this imperfection manifesto together….
You’re allowed to make mistakes and so am I.
You’re allowed to not get it all right and so am I.
You have permission to go to sleep at the end of a long day and say that’s plenty! Whatever it is, it’s enough for now.
You’re allowed to say or do the wrong thing and have the courage to admit it and apologize. And so am I.
You deserve compassion and forgiveness and so do I.
You’re human and so am I. And sometimes we get triggered and react in a less than perfect way, but that’s part of healthy human evolution. To recognize where we stumble and learn from our mistakes.
You can live free of judgement and so can I.
You’re not perfect and neither am I.
When you embrace your imperfections and realize they’re normal and you adjust your expectations of yourself and others and when you decide that living from a place of real connection, love and forgiveness feels better than living in an endless cycle of shame and judgement, you’re on your way to healing from the painful life of perfectionism.
There are two kinds of people in the world. Person A believes that life is happening to them. And person B believes that everything they think, feel, say and do has everything to do with how their life unfolds.
Think about that for a second.
How do you interpret the world around you? If you relate to person A, you might find yourself feeling helpless, frustrated and victimized by what you perceive as unfortunate luck.
But if you relate more to person B, you might feel like your life has hope and vision and you tend to feel inspired and excited by what’s next.
I’ve been working as a therapist for 23 years. It fascinates me to dive deep into human motivation, behavior and perception. So much of how we experience the world is shaped by how we perceive what’s happening and there are simple shifts we can make to reframe our perspective and help create a more enjoyable, positive life for ourselves.
Take for example, reactivity. When something negative or uncomfortable happens, we react. But there’s a big difference between reactivity and response.
I tell my clients, you’re allowed to have a volcano-like reaction inside yourself. It’s normal to feel strong emotions when something upsets us! But, there are specific skills and strategies we can learn to pause, create impulse control and carefully choose how we respond to the situation.
An explosive reaction doesn’t have to create an explosive response.
What helps us slow this down? Self-care.
When our tanks are full our coping increases. Period.
Think about it. When you’re not sleeping well and you’re eating junk or drinking too much and you’re not exercising or taking good care of yourself, you have zero reserve. You hit a stressor and the wheels fall off!
But if your resilience is high and your self-care game is strong, you hit that same stressor and you have the bandwidth to pause and think carefully about how you want to respond to the situation.
There is a formula that helps us thrive in our lives. It’s like a recipe for living well.
After working with thousands of clients over the years I’ve narrowed it down to a few key components. Self-care, the skill of reframing our perception, gratitude practice and mindfulness.
This week I challenge you to explore your perspective. Are you person A or person B? Do you feel like the world is happening to you - or do you feel that everything you think, feel, say and do impacts how things unfold?
When Inspiration Meets CourageA lot has happened since my last blog! I’ve had a sudden burst of entrepreneurial energy which was inspired by my experience at the Bryant University Women’s Summit in Rhode Island a couple weeks ago where I was lucky enough to be a presenter again this year.
For over 20 years, Bryant University has been hosting an annual Women’s Summit under the visionary direction of Kati Machtley. This year the summit sold out in record time to 1100 lucky attendees who had the privilege of hearing some incredible keynotes, including Reshma Saujani Founder of Girls Who Code. She’s the author of the new book “Brave, not Perfect” which asks readers:
“Do you run yourself ragged trying to not just do it all, but do it all flawlessly? Do you lose sleep ruminating over small mistakes or worrying that something you said or did might have offended someone? Have you ever passed up a big opportunity – a relationship, job or a personal challenge – for fear you wouldn’t nail it right away or look foolish trying? For you, is failure simply not an option?”
Preach!!! Yes! To put it mildly, it really spoke to me! I had to get my hands on a copy and meet Reshma in person at the book signing tables!
I’m always striving to harness courage and bravery, but something magical happened to me this year at the Summit.
It was as if inspiration met courage and set me on fire!
One woman after another kept coming up to me asking “what business are you with? What business are you with?” I didn’t really know how to answer that? I’ve spent the past 20 years building a very successful private practice, but I don’t really have a company brand. It’s just me. My name. No real identity.
I met a lot of incredibly smart, savvy female entrepreneurs who really got my wheels turning. They were fascinated to hear more about how I facilitate international retreats and I was fascinated to hear more about their executive coaching and consulting businesses.
That night I could barely sleep. My mind was full of ideas and possibilities. I couldn’t stop thinking about creating a business and brand identity and kept considering names, ideas and concepts.
What would I offer? What do I really believe in? What represents the foundation of my work? How do I help people?
What is broad enough to resonate with most people, but specific enough to be effective?
Finally it hit me.
I’ve been a therapist for over 20 years. I’ve worked with thousands of clients, patients and consumers in hospital settings, outpatient therapy, private practice, retreats, workshops and been a speaker at hundreds of conferences. Their issues span a wide range of needs from life transitions to depression, anxiety, grief, loss, relationship struggles and adjustment to life stressors.
However the one common denominator they all share is the formula that helps them cope.
I’ve discovered over the years, no matter where a client begins, they can all benefit from applying what I’ve coined as “the self-care advantage.” When our basic self-care is in place, our coping and bandwidth increase, our emotional reactivity is in check, our patience and compassion expands and we begin to thrive.
That was it! Thrive!
Everyone deserves to THRIVE!
The foundation of my work helps people learn how to move from surviving to thriving. I support clients in a multitude of ways. Using a combination of clinical techniques and best practices, mixed with deep listening, support and compassion. I teach people how to practice healthy self-care and mindfulness. I help them shift their mindset and learn to communicate effectively. I support people through intense pain, major life transitions and inspire them to access their highest potential. I help them elevate into optimal living.
But at the very core of what I offer is this concept of thriving.
The very next morning after I arrived home from the summit. I got up at 5am and started brainstorming. I played with 1,000 name combinations on a huge sheet of paper. My kids woke up hours later and joined me in the creative pursuit of the perfect company brand.
How about this one? Taken. How about this one? Too weird. Not clear. Too long. Too short. Too hard to say. That makes a strange acronym. How about this? Taken. Grrrrrr. More coffee!
This went on for hours.
Until we finally landed on it. The Thriving Well Institute.
Within a matter of days, I had purchased the domain name, started building the website, set up all the social media channels, hired a creative director and a business manager, created a logo and roughed out the company launch.
The Thriving Well Institute is committed to helping people thrive through knowledge, empowerment, communication, skill-building, mindfulness, self-care and healthy living. We offer 3 arms of service; coaching, events and speaking. This will also become my platform for my book which is also dedicated to helping people thrive.
Sometimes inspiration meets an idea at the perfect moment and suddenly, if you find yourself feeling courageous (or…’brave, not perfect’) then you can create something wonderful!
For now, take really good care of yourselves because you deserve to thrive!
Megan Gunnell, LMSW Founder & Director of the Thriving Well Institute, psychotherapist, retreat leader, speaker, writer and entrepreneur. Loves to experience the world through food, culture, art, music and travel. Believes whole-heartedly that practicing gratitude, self-care and mindfulness are the foundation of thriving and living in joy.