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How To Embrace Your Uniqueness & Beauty

Embrace & fully express

Everyone knows the importance of loving yourself, but it is also something that we forget and neglect to do on a regular basis.

Just think about it. When was the last time you thought something positive about yourself like, “I am so good at keeping the clothes folded around here”? Now, when was the last time you had a negative thought about yourself like, “Why can I never be on time”?

It seems far easier to be critical of ourselves than it is to think of the positive. This reminds me of the “Magic Ratio” made popular by Dr. John Gottman. If you don’t know what the Magic Ratio is, this is how it works. The ratio is 5:1, as in, you need to have 5 positive interactions with your significant other for every 1 negative interaction to maintain a stable relationship. Now, I know we aren’t talking about relationships with others right now, but I think this logic still applies.

To have a healthy relationship with ourselves, we need to remember to think of the positive more than the negative. It’s like a muscle that we have to strengthen. So today I have a challenge for you. Every time you notice yourself thinking something negative about yourself, try to think of 5 positive things about yourself. Doing this will help you remember that you are truly unique and beautiful, both inside and out!

To dig into some other ways to not only embrace but also express your own unique massive beauty check out our Co-Founder’s most recent project by clicking on the image below!

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6 of the Best Ways to Fill Your Relationship with Happiness

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As we grow older it sometimes gets easier to focus on our significant other’s faults instead of their virtues. Pet peeves slowly become intolerable and your relationship becomes more routine and boring.

Where did all that happiness go?

It’s not that the happiness is gone, but rather that you have stopped nurturing the happiness. When was the last time you did something special for your significant other just to show them how much they are loved? Chances are, all of us could do special things for those we love more often.

But what am I supposed to do? I hear you asking. Look no further because I have compiled my list of the top six ways to fill your relationship with happiness by showing your love.

1. Plan a Special Night (without you!)

This might sound counterproductive but let me explain.

Does your husband love watching a certain sport? Does you wife have a favorite TV show? Chances are, there is something on TV that you hate as much as your significant other loves. Well, I’m here to tell you that there is a way to turn these experiences into loving gestures.

Order your significant other’s favorite delivery food (Pizza? Chinese? Mexican?) and schedule to have it delivered right before your husband or wife’s show starts. About 30 minutes before their show begins, say that you are going to bed, or another room, or whatever you normally do to avoid watching this show. Once you leave, send your significant other a text telling them that their favorite food is on the way, to enjoy their show, and that you love them.

Tah-dah! Suddenly, avoiding something you hate has been turned into a romantic gesture.

2. Clean

Do you get home from work before your significant other? Maybe you wake up earlier than them? Go to bed after them? Chances are, you are “alone” at home at one point or another throughout the week.

Turn this into a chance to show your love. What part of the house gets messy the fastest? The kitchen? The living room? Pick a room, and clean it before your significant other gets home. Not only will they notice, chances are they will also appreciate it and feel the need to reciprocate at some point.

3. Turn an Obligation into a Surprise

This one is my favorite idea by far. Think about something that you request from your significant other on a regular basis. Do you ask them to stop at the store on their way home? Grab you something from the other room? Cook dinner? Walk the dog? Now’s the fun part, you get to turn that mundane obligation into an exciting surprise.

Ask them to do the obligation and then surprise them with a fun activity. Ask them to grab some cheese from the grocery store and then surprise them in the cheese isle with plans to go on a hike and have a picnic. Or ask them to grab your glasses from the other room and then have tickets to the movies or a museum next to your glasses. Ask them to cook some pasta for dinner and then have a giftcard or reservations for their favorite restaurant waiting for them next to the pasta.

It is entirely up to you on how simple or extravagent these surprises are. The important part is that you are turning something they don’t enjoy doing into a fun experience for both of you.

4. Plan a Date

This might seem like a relatively simple concept, but when was the last time you actively planned a date on your own? I’m not talking about deciding that you need a night away from the kids and planning something together or deciding that neither of you want to cook and going out for dinner. I’m talking about taking at least 30 minutes on your own to choose something to do together and booking the neccessary tickets/activities. Plan to take a weekend getaway, go to the zoo, or even just make a dinner reservation.

It’s not the extravagance of the date that is important. It’s that you took the time to plan to do something together because you enjoy spending time with your significant other. It’s a great way to say I love you, which brings me to my next point…

5. Say “I Love You”

Have you ever heard of the “magic ratio” discovered by psycholigist John Gottman? He says that there is actually a ratio of positive to negative comments in a relationship that can pretty much guarantee a stable relationship. What is this ratio?

5:1.

For every negative comment you make to your significant other, you should make five positive comments. So think about it, what is your current ratio? How often are you saying “I love you”? How often do you tell your significant other that you appreciate them? Now, how often are you complaining? The longer we are in a relationship, the easier it is to take the positives for granted and become more frustrated with the negatives. This can cause our ratios to get completely out of whack.

So what am I suggesting you do? Figure out what your current ratio currently is, and then work towards that 5:1 ratio. Start with just a week and see the difference that it makes in your daily interactions when you try to stick to the ratio. Chances are, you will both become happier.

6. Reverse Your Bad Habits (if only for a day)

Pet peeves. We all have them. And we all have pet peeves about our significant other. Maybe they leave the toilet seat up, or they leave their clothes all over the bedroom floor. Chances are, by this point you are thinking about your biggest pet peeves about your significant other. Well, stop!

Think about your significant other’s pet peeves about you instead. You know what they are. Now, actively try to stop all of those habits. Start with just a day and see how long you can make it last. I’m not saying that you change forever, but make an effort and your significant other will notice.

With all of these new ideas, I know you can actively bring happiness into your relationship. Because, after all, who doesn’t want to be happier? Your relationship is important and worth the time it will take to strengthen it. Even if your relationship is already stable and relatively happy – these six tips can bring even more happiness into your relationship.

Do you have any other examples of special things you do for your significant other to bring more happiness into your relationship? Tell me your favorites in the comments below!

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Have the Courage to Make Your Life an Adventure

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Are you a victim or an adventurer?

Paulo Coelho couldn’t have said it better. If you view your life as something beyond your control then you will always be a victim of it. The first step of becoming an adventurer is to take control of your life. You are not stuck in your job, your relationship, your routine. You are an adventurer who can change your future.

You can create whichever future you desire. You just have to take the first step and decide that you can.

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An Interview with Darrell Gurney

Happy Saturday everyone!

If you are familiar with The Back Forty, you know that Darrell is a Co-Founder of the INFUSE Program as well and the movement as a whole. If you have attended a Back Forty event, you’ve probably met him. But, do you really know him?

I sat down with Darrell and asked him a few questions, including his most profound memories, his motto, and his favorite color (forest green).

Read below to find out more about Darrell!

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No More Little Miss “Good Girl”

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I’ve been called a good sport, agreeable, and easy-going.  All good things, right?

Wrong.  For me, they are not.

I have been accommodating my entire life, starting when I was 2 or 3. I was a good girl – in fact the best behaved child around (my mom’s friends always told her so).  Being a “good girl” became my instrument for being liked by others, and getting my family’s approval and love.  

I’ve been a people pleaser. With a smile. Happy to oblige.  I’ve thought others know better, are smarter, and that I should just do what is wanted of me.  To keep this thinking in place, I’ve subconsciously surrounded myself with plenty of people to accommodate.

One example is my ex-husband of 15 years, who was scary-smart, headstrong, and had a temper.  It was much easier to say “yes” and do things his way than to say “no” and stand my ground.  So I went the easy route.  Except it only looked easy.

The very hard costs were my respect for myself, my self-expression, and the absence of a stand for who I am and what I believe.  I was lost to my Self.  In the end, the marriage ended and I decided that the only way to break that accommodation pattern and allow for my self-expression was to stay away from relationships. That changed when another way of thinking and being came along, called The Back Forty.

In my Back Forty, I have no interest in being an accommodating, people-pleasing, agreeable good girl.  

Change is not easy after being a people-pleaser and accommodator for 48 years.  It is still much easier for me to agree (with you, them or whomever) than to stand my ground for my perspective, values and desires. Patterns of behaving and thinking are deep and well-established.

My brain has been trained for a lifetime to perceive failure to accommodate as a threat to my survival. The temptation to agree and accommodate is high. Yet I am learning to stand for my Self and my full Self-expression.

It can be messy, like a child first learning to feed herself.  And while it can be easier to err on the side of continuing to accommodate and agree, I choose to err on the side of my stand, even if disagreeable.  I’m ready, willing and fully able to make mistakes, clean up the mess, and move on.  Change can and will only come this way.

I do this because being accommodating is deadly. It kills who I am, it kills my joy, and it kills my relationships and, interestingly, it kills other people… because it doesn’t require them to learn and deal with what they need to figure out or improve about themselves.

I choose to be a stand for my Self, as a way to honor those I love, those I care about, those relationships I treasure, and what is possible for me when I am fully Self-expressed.  I choose to be disagreeable and unaccommodating when my Self is at stake and to risk argument and disapproval.

After many years of first-half-of-life research, I’ve learned that being a good girl is overrated. For my Back Forty, I choose ME – and the difference I can make – when I am true to my Self.

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Playing Dirty

“I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”

—Michael Jordan 


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That’s the very reason we don’t take action.

We want to look pretty when, to learn and grow, it requires glaring ugliness.

Waiting until the i’s are dotted, the t’s are crossed, and we’ve diminished all chances of not “looking good” results in empty playing fields…and everyone sitting in the stands.

Playing — even and especially when we aren’t “prepared” — means we are IN the game.

A certain amount of apprenticeship to an idea or plan is respectable. Most, however, use that apprenticeship as an evidentiary stage to prove their incapability.

Too much consideration kills countless ideas and splendid plans.

Where can you drop the cleanliness and jump into the mud of a game today?

Got playing dirty?

“Every day is a new opportunity. You can build on yesterday’s success or put its failures behind and start over again. That’s the way life is, with a new game every day.”

—Bob Feller

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