If you call yourself a friend, care.

Have you ever met someone who you greatly enjoy spending time with, whom you would like to be closer to, only to find that after you make multiple attempts to spend time together you only end up continually feeling disappointed by their lack of reciprocated action?

Or maybe, you even have a long-standing friend who consistently leaves you hanging and doesn't show by their actions that they care?

Perhaps this quote by Gordon Livingston will provide a piece of clarity: "Any relationship is under the control of the person who cares the least." 

It's such an enlightening, powerful quote on so many levels.

No one wants to find themselves continually battling for the time and affection of their "friends."

But maybe you are...

And, maybe, it’s time to find friends who care.

Why we face the shadows

We break because we seek to grow.

We cry because we long to be whole.

We express and open ourselves to pain because we long for comfort and connection.

For those of us who are growing and getting better, who are moving down in order to go up, who are facing our pain and suffering instead of running away- breaking isn't a sign of our brokenness, breaking is the sign of our transformation.

Making Refrigerator Art

Remember when you were 4 years old and you would grab your mustard yellow and forest green Crayola box of wax crayons and lose yourself sitting at the kitchen table drawing pictures of your favorite animals, people, and places?

And the feeling you had when you were finished and you would run to your mom excited to share your completed piece with her.

And the smile that would come across your faces and the praise you would receive as the magnet snapped to the fridge holding up your new masterpiece?

This desire...

The desire to create, to share an insight or special observation about the world, to say as Duane Prebble says, "Look, I did it. I made this. This is what I see and feel. This art is me.”

This cry is still in there.  

It's still in you, longing to come out, somewhere.

Whether you’re a welder, a cook, operations director, or whatever it is you put your hands to in your job, remember that there’s a little boy or girl inside longing to put his or her heart into the work of his hands.  It matters not what the craft is.

You can be a professional and still play.

You can be a boss and still create with the heart of a child.

Art is all about how you see, your unique perspective, what you notice that no one else does.

And it’s an irrevocable part to becoming whole....

Thus, today... what will you make for us?

12 Rules for an emotionally healthy life

Throughout the past 12 months, Jordan Peterson's book, 12 Rules for Life, has taken the world by storm.  And since it's release, I've heard many individuals like Malcolm Gladwell, Megan McArdle, and Tyler Cowen release their own 12 rules for life.  Thinking that it would be a fun exercise, I decided to write out my own rules, but with an exclusive focus on emotional wellbeing.


In doing so, I did my best to clarify what I've learned about personal development and emotional wellbeing from my own journey, my studies, mentors, clients, and friends because I wanted to lay out what unspoken "rules" I believe hold the potential to revolutionize, strengthen, and transform one's life and emotional wellbeing, regardless of an individuals level of maturity. 

Therefore, if you are struggling with grief, pain, an addiction, and taking action and building momentum toward the person you want to be, I believe that these rules will provide a sense of structure to the chaos of living.

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My 12 Rules for an emotionally healthy life:

Rule 1) Practice showing radical compassion, acceptance, and kindness toward yourself in moments of failure, weakness, pain, and shame.

Rule 2) At a minimum, hang out with a trusted, close friend, one-on-one, at least one time every week.

Rule 3) Explore your feelings and emotions daily, with kindness and compassion, for the sake of connecting to your inner being and growing in self-awareness.

Rule 4) Pursue silence, solitude, and times of reflection and prayer.

Rule 5) Become best friends with your journal and write in it as frequently as you can.

Rule 6) Createmore than you consume.

Rule 7) Master the art of taking care of yourself and meeting your needs in a healthy way.

Rule 8) Pursue what brings you pleasure, have fun, be spontaneous, and live a life full of adventures.

Rule 9) Take time to regularly ponder, define, and write down what is meaningful to you and orient your life around such things.

Rule 10) Surround yourself with strong leaders, teachers, and wise counsel.

Rule 11) Set small, incremental goals toward the self-defined things that you're avoiding and are afraid of, that you know you need to do, and wholeheartedly pursue these goals to the best of your ability.

Rule 12) Invite God into every one of these rules, and layout your emotions before him as you do so.

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*Bonus* Rule 13- If you are in an emotional crisis, or you experienced adversity and trauma as a child, or you are recognizing unhealthy cycles in your life, or if you feel stuck, I would add this one to the list:

Schedule counseling sessions on a consistentbasis.

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Whenever I notice that something "feels off" inside or that I've lost the sense of peace in my heart, the chances are high that one or more of these rules has been neglected.  Whenever this becomes the case I simply adjust my steps, re-calibrate my aim, and get back on course.

I'm looking forward to re-evaluating these rules next year and seeing what points I would add or subtract.

I'll be breaking these rules down individually in more posts to come too.

But something that I think is more important than reading my rules is listing out your own...

So, from your experience and journey, what are your 12 rules for living an emotionally healthy life?