Self-Compassion for a Happier Day

I pride myself on being a pretty good cook, having taken care of most of the meals for our little family of two over the last thirty-something years. I love to try new recipes, visualizing them in my imagination and relying on my experience in the kitchen to improvise when I feel confident to do so. Occasionally, things go sideways, and the dish doesn’t turn out as I envisioned. I used to feel bad about it, sometimes I’d scold myself, or point out the perceived mistake before anyone else could say anything.  I wanted to protect my feelings from being hurt. It’s exhausting to feel we must cover up when things don’t go as planned. My little story is a small example of the many situations we find ourselves in where things don’t go as we imagined, or we feel we’ve messed up somehow. The most natural response is to frame it in a negative way and be critical of ourselves. This just sounds like human nature, doesn’t it? But does it have to be?

“Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new.” – Albert Einstein

It’s that old school conditioning around perfection; it was part of my education growing up but not part of my experience because nothing I was or did could ever have been perfect. That’s how I thought about myself and my life when I was young. The concept of perfection was always out of reach back then, but I have since learned that perfection is nothing more than an illusion. Take nature as an example: we understand that nature is perfect in every way with her rhythms and her beautiful creations but there isn’t one straight line in nature. Think about that. When we observe nature, we can see that there are no mistakes; life in nature is gloriously flawed and we’re comfortable celebrating that.

In nature, nothing is perfect, and everything is perfect. Trees can be contorted, bent in weird ways, and they’re still beautiful.  – Alice Walker                         

While we are part of nature, she feels more like a great teacher because our human experience is different. Unlike animals in the forest, we don’t trust our intuition or our natural rhythm, we rely on our thoughts mostly and sometimes that’s where we get ourselves into trouble. When we make a perceived mistake, our critical thoughts step in to tell us that we’re wrong, that we don’t know how to do whatever it was we were trying to do.

But without our perceived mistakes, how would we learn to do better? How would we know what’s for us if we don’t try different experiences? Nobody nails it on the first go. Life is complex and finding our joy in it takes some practice.

 “Self-compassion is nurturing yourself with all the kindness and love you would shower on someone you cherish.” -Debra L. Reble PhD

 In her book titled Self-Compassion, Dr. Kristin Neff PhD says that having compassion for ourselves, meaning treating ourselves as we would a cherished friend when they’re struggling, helps us to feel stronger and more resilient. Initially this idea rubbed me the wrong way because of the deeply ingrained conditioning I had around independence and perfection. As a young person, I learned to be independent and to strive for elusive perfection. But as I reflected on the idea of compassion and did a little research, I shifted my perception. The word compassion comes from a Latin word meaning to suffer with and research shows that human beings are naturally compassionate because to greater or lesser degrees, we all suffer. We know how to be there for other people when they’re going through it but recently, I’ve been learning through Dr. Neff’s book about the great benefit of having compassion for ourselves. The idea takes the focus off independence and perfection and places it on interdependence and acceptance. We need each other and we need to accept others and ourselves as we are and what we are is gloriously flawed.

 “Suffering is part of life. May I be kind to myself in this moment. May I give myself the compassion I need.” ― Kristin Neff PhD, Self-Compassion: The Proven Power of Being Kind to Yourself

There are close to 3,000 studies now on the concept of self-compassion and its benefits for our well-being. Dr. Neff says that there’s a difference between acts of self-care like taking a bath or having a massage and self-compassion. The latter is a state of mind; it’s not something that requires resources or taking any action. It’s a way of thinking that is invested in our own best interest. The tricky bit though is we must learn self-compassion because we’re so wired for self-criticism, the evolutionary system that weirdly makes us feel safe. Since learning about the idea of self-compassion, I know which voice I don’t want in my head when things go sideways – a voice that belittles me; what I want is a friend who supports me. Self-compassion then becomes a practice, where we shift our inner dialogue when we mess up from negativity and self-criticism to support and kindness. Let’s face it, nobody gets through life without some challenges and when you can learn to rely on yourself for some compassion you’re far more inclined to be comfortable sharing that support with others.

This Wellings blog by Kathie Donovan was exclusively written for Wellings Communities and appeared first on MyWellings.com.

Best Friends Forever: Origin Stories

Friendship weaves through the fabric of life, offering comfort, joy, and unforgettable memories. Here are some heartwarming stories of friendships that have stood the test of time, proving that authentic connections can flourish under any circumstances.

Dinner Buddies: The ROMEO Club

After losing his wife, David retreats from social activities, seeking solitude. However, his friend Tony wasn’t ready to let him slip away. Tony invited David for dinner weekly, a tradition he relentlessly maintained despite numerous refusals. Eventually, David gave in, and what started as a reluctant outing evolved into a weekly ritual. This group, which they fondly named ROMEO (Retired Old Men Eating Out), became a cornerstone in David’s life, providing him with companionship and a renewed zest for life during his golden years.

Childhood Friends to Comrades: A Bond Forged in Battle

Two friends maintained a rare and profound bond from the kindergarten playgrounds to the military front lines. Enlisting together and ensuring they were placed in the same unit, they faced life’s gravest dangers. During a critical moment on the battlefield, when one was injured, the other defied orders to save his friend, a daring act that epitomized the depth of their friendship. This act of bravery highlighted their unwavering support for each other, a testament to their lifelong bond.

Sisters by Chance: Julia and Cassandra

Julia Tinetti and Cassandra Madison met while working at a bar, immediately clicking over shared interests and similar backgrounds. Their friendship, marked by laughter and mutual support, took a dramatic turn when a DNA test revealed they were biological sisters. This discovery transformed their relationship, deepening their bond and adding a beautiful familial layer to their strong connection.

Consoling Notes: Patricia and Mary Lou

In the quiet solitude of a cemetery, two grieving mothers, Patricia and Mary Lou, found solace in each other’s company. They started a unique tradition of exchanging inspirational notes under a rock at the cemetery. This small act of kindness grew into a deep, supportive friendship that helped them cope with their sons’ immense loss. Over time, their meetings extended beyond the cemetery to regular coffee dates, where they shared their grief and the joys of life.

These stories of enduring friendships remind us of the profound impact that deep, meaningful connections can have on our lives. 

True friendships can provide unwavering support and enrich our lives unimaginably, whether formed in youth or later years.

Embrace a Stress-Free Lifestyle for a Happier, Healthier You

In the bustling rhythm of modern life, stress often finds a way to tag along, but imagine a life where stress takes a back seat, allowing you to thrive. 

Cultivating a stress-free lifestyle isn’t just an excellent idea—it’s essential for boosting your overall health and happiness. 

Every cell in your body will thank you for it.

Let’s dive into why reducing stress is crucial. 

Stress is your body’s natural reaction to challenges, but when it lingers too long, it can lead to serious health issues like heart disease and depression.

Recognizing the need to manage stress is your first step toward a healthier life.

Now, how can you transform this knowledge into action? 

Start with something as simple as mindful meditation. It’s incredible how sitting quietly and focusing on your breath can bring profound calmness and clarity to your mind, easing the day’s stress. Pair this with some form of physical activity you love, whether dancing in your living room, jogging in the park, or striking poses on a yoga mat. Exercise keeps you fit and releases endorphins, those excellent chemicals that make you feel good.

What about food? 

Eating well plays a crucial role in how you feel. Including plenty of fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains in your diet can stabilize your mood and energy, which helps keep stress at bay. And let’s not forget the power of a good night’s sleep. Strive for 7-9 hours of restful sleep each night to help your body recover and reduce stress levels.

Socializing is another joyful way to beat stress.

Spending time with friends and family and sharing laughs and support can strengthen your resilience to life’s pressures. It’s all about building a network of love and support around you.

Efficient time management can also reduce stress.

By learning to prioritize your tasks and saying no when your plate is too full, you’ll feel more in control and less overwhelmed. For those moments when you need instant stress relief, try some quick relaxation techniques like deep breathing or visualization to calm your mind and ease tension.

Integrating these practices into daily life will significantly improve physical health, mental well-being, and productivity. Effectively managing stress opens the door to a more fulfilling and creative life.

So, while stress might be a standard part of life, it doesn’t have to control your life. 

Start with small, manageable changes today, and you’ll be amazed at how much better you feel. 

Here’s to a happier, healthier you.

Mindset Trumps Circumstances when it Comes to Happiness

Each one of us sees life through our unique perspective, formed by our beliefs and our experience. The lens we view life through is called our mindset; it plays an important role in how our reality is shaped. I’m not sure what it was like growing up in your family, but I wonder if you had the experience of your mother telling you that if you made a face at her, your face would stay that way. Anybody? While our Mum’s threat seemed serious at the time, our faces are pretty much a-okay today despite having frequently contorted them in displeasure at her attempts to discipline us kids. Nonetheless, a seed was planted, and I often wondered if I was temporarily getting away with it; perhaps one of these times, my face would stay that way. Now that I know better, I recognize that it’s one of the many myths I sort of believed as a kid.

Another one that was tough to take was while on family vacation we had to wait an hour after eating before going swimming. According to the Mayo Clinic there is no scientific evidence to prove this concept. My husband bought this myth as a kid too and he suggested it was out there to give our parents a break after a meal, so they didn’t have to supervise us kids swimming. How about one more? Were you taught that we only use 10% of our brain? That was my understanding too but according to a neurologist at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, we use virtually every part of the brain and most of our brain is active just about all the time.

“There is only one cause of unhappiness: the false beliefs you have in your head, beliefs so widespread, so commonly held, that it never occurs to you to question.” – Anthony de Mello                                                        

According to Dr. Jacob Towery, clinical instructor in the department of psychiatry at Stanford University, our mindset is helpful when it comes to filtering information, it can also work against us when we hold on to ideas that are no longer relevant for us. Dr. Towery explains that we can change our mindset to shift out of distorted thinking, so that we can make room for more happiness in life. I love this idea, it reminds me of the concept of neuroplasticity, which describes how our brain can adapt or change over time with new information and new ways of thinking. This is why I believe that mindset trumps circumstance when it comes to our happiness.

“When you have your health, you have everything. When you do not have your health, nothing else matters at all.” – Augusten Burroughs

I’m sure you’ve heard the saying or said it yourself “when you have your health, you have everything.” I know I’ve said it without giving it much thought but now that I know better, I’ve stopped saying it. It’s another myth I want to bust. Having good health is not everything; having a healthy mindset is. Ask yourself is the reverse of that saying true? If I don’t have good health, I have nothing? The truth is that all of us at some point in life will encounter health challenges but that doesn’t mean we can’t be happy or that we don’t deserve to be happy. When we put our mindset in charge instead of allowing our circumstances to dictate how much happiness we’re entitled to, the results are impressive. Those of us who work at having a healthy mindset appreciate the value of community and the importance of having mutually beneficial connections with other people. Research tells us that a healthy mindset points us to appreciate the gifts we have in our lives every day, nourishes resilience and is a great support as we navigate the trials of daily living and any health challenges we encounter.

“If you accept a limiting belief, then it will become a truth for you.” – Louise Hay

We’ve been so conditioned to put the emphasis on the wrong thing that we forget what truly matters where our health is concerned. Our health is not only physical, but also emotional, social, spiritual, and intellectual. We should all pursue a healthy lifestyle and that includes not only what we eat and how we move but also having healthy thoughts about ourselves and others. I think it’s equally important to say healthy things about ourselves and others, to surround ourselves with people who want only the best for us and to engage in hobbies and activities that support a healthy mindset so we can continue to learn and grow. Life is much more fun this way.

I believe everyone is entitled to a “pity party” for a short time when the wheels come off but let’s not unpack our bags and stay there. An important aspect of having a healthy mindset is having the courage to ask for help when we need it and at some point, we all need it. Recognizing that all humans have an innate desire to be helpful can make it easier to ask for help. Acknowledging that we all need support at some time means you’re not taking anything away from anyone, rather you’re giving someone the gift of being able to be there for you in the same way you would be there for them. Let’s revisit the saying I mentioned earlier and reframe it so it’s true for us. When you have a healthy mindset, you have everything because with a healthy mindset you can navigate anything.

This Wellings blog by Kathie Donovan was exclusively written for Wellings Communities and appeared first on MyWellings.com.

The Power of Wonder and Awe

Do you remember that feeling as a child, when you saw the Christmas tree for the first time during the holiday season? Maybe it was your first flight or seeing your child or grandchild for the first time that made you feel something beyond words, something that transcends everyday life. It’s a feeling that we describe as awe or wonder; it’s magic that leaves an imprint.

Although we each have our own precious moments of awe and wonder, we are inclined to leave it to the world to bring these special moments to us. Recently I visited Canada’s National Gallery where it’s pretty much non-stop wonder for me. Visiting the aboriginal exhibit, seeing how early craftspeople made tools and garments leaves me feeling overwhelmed because their resourcefulness and skills are so impressive. Seeing the work of Canadian artists who capture the essence of a boreal forest with colours that don’t exist in nature, but they convince us otherwise leaves me speechless. We are swept up in wonder; as we participate in this creative connection and we allow ourselves to step away from our ruminating mind, to stand in awe. I love to visit the National Gallery because I know that I’ll be inspired to look at life differently.

“The key to a wonderful life is to never stop wandering into wonder.” – Suzy Kassem (writer)

Think of a wedding, where family and friends gather to celebrate love between two people. It’s such a joyful and powerful experience for those in attendance, often moving them to shed happy tears. That’s awe and wonder in action. Sometimes watching a sunrise or a sunset can inspire a strong emotional response. We can call that everyday wonder because these events happen every day. Research tells us that nourishing awe and wonder in our lives is a healthy coping tool, often strengthening our connection with others when we share the experience.

Being in nature is not only awe inspiring, its medicine for us humans. Japanese culture promotes forest bathing or shinrin-yoku, shinrin: forest and yoku: bathing, where people are encouraged to experience the wonder of nature without distraction, walk at a slow pace and notice their surroundings. The benefits of this practice include improved immunity, lung, and heart function as well as memory, and focus. Forest bathing is an excellent antidote for stress and anxiety and is helpful with recovery from injury.

“Look up at the stars and not down at your feet. Try to make sense of what you see and wonder about what makes the universe exist. Be curious.” -Stephen Hawking (Cosmologist)

I’m old enough to remember dial telephones and party lines. I love those experiments where they put young kids in front of a dial telephone and ask them if they know how it works. Most of the time they have no idea and that’s just to demonstrate how far we’ve come and how quickly technology has been evolving.  I asked Chat GPT, an artificial intelligence language model that has been trained to produce human-like text, to tell me how a rotary phone works and in seconds I had a pretty thorough explanation. While Artificial Intelligence or AI is one of mankind’s greatest achievements, it comes with plenty of warnings. While we need to embrace technology to stay relevant, as a society, we need to be cautious around its use. Sure, it can respond to questions effectively and efficiently, but I wonder who’s curating the information being shared. I wonder about AI’s impact on our workforce, but I don’t doubt the positive impact it can and will have in our world.

“You will enrich your life immeasurably if you approach it with a sense of wonder and discovery and always challenge yourself to try new things.”  – Nate Berkus (designer)

To be alive today is to live in an era of wonder. We’ve witnessed some of mankind’s greatest successes but we’re also experiencing some detrimental effects from some of these great accomplishments. Because so many of us are connected to our devices, there’s a loneliness epidemic and while there are and will be many innovations to help connect us as humans, nothing is better than human to human connection. At least for now, there’s no heart and soul in what Chat GPT produces and this is what we humans require. Let’s embrace these technological innovations with a beginner’s mindset and not get disillusioned because while change is inevitable, our world is a pretty remarkable place. Let’s choose an approach of wonder and awe about it instead of deciding to be afraid of it.

There are two ways to live: you can live as if nothing is a miracle; you can live as if everything is a miracle. – Albert Einstein

Let’s be life-long learners, excellent students of wonder and awe in our every day. As corny as it may sound, there’s magic in seeing the beauty in nature: watching a bird feeding or flying, noticing the intricacies in a flower and marveling at it all. See all your life as the miracle it is and take your sense of wonder with you wherever you go and hopefully you’ll inspire others to do the same.

This Wellings blog by Kathie Donovan was exclusively written for Wellings Communities and appeared first on MyWellings.com.

Taking the Scare out of Retirement and Swapping it for Enthusiasm

Dame Judi Dench said, “It’s the rudest word in my dictionary, “retire.” And “old” is another one. I don’t allow that in my house. And being called “vintage.” I don’t want any of those old words. I like “enthusiastic.”

I do too, Dame Judy. I really like it. How many of us resonate with the word retired?

There’s a hidden implication that needs to be addressed when it comes to retirement and aging in general and that is that as we get older, we become irrelevant. But that’s only true if we say it is right? Personally, I am firmly opposed to this silly notion and hope that together we can plant some ideas to redefine an outdated concept.

Some of us have lived our lives in service to our families and our communities, to our bosses and the companies that employed us and need an opportunity to rest and recover from all the activity. I celebrate that pause for sure. But to thrive, human beings need to have a purpose at every stage of life and what we conventionally refer to as retirement can be our best chapter yet.

“Often when you think you’re at the end of something, you’re at the beginning of something else.” -Fred Rogers

I’m at an age now where many of my contemporaries are either preparing to or have stopped working full-time, to savour all the freedom that comes with this new phase of life. When they talk about retirement, it has a very different tone from how their parents might have framed it. We are, as Dame Judy suggests, enthusiastic about life: we have hobbies, personal and professional pursuits, activities, social circles, and in my observation that sounds more like having a passion for living fully. Let’s look at the word retired: it has the word tired in it and most of us are anything but tired. Far from it, we’re ready to embrace the adventures awaiting us. Even working out of necessity can be more enjoyable because our life experience has taught us to recognize our limits and create a work life more aligned with our capabilities and interests.

Some of us may have forgotten how to be playful, having defined our success by providing for others, meeting deadlines and being driven by pressure. This chapter is not that; it’s an opportunity to grow into a new version of ourselves, where we call the shots and where we measure our success with a different ruler.

“Retirement is not in my vocabulary. They aren’t going to get rid of me that way.” – Betty White

American actress, comedienne and producer Betty White was an icon: a beautiful, talented woman who enjoyed a career in television for almost seven decades. She was a champion in animal rescue, had an enviable optimism and a wicked sense of humour. Plainly put, Betty White knew how to be playful and make the most of a life filled with purpose. She had her share of loss and struggle, but it was always her enthusiasm for living that shone through.

The new measure for our success in this third chapter of life is focused on productivity from a different viewpoint. We all have the same number of hours in a day; it’s what we do with that time that will make the difference and this is where purpose comes in. It seems that when we’re young our purpose is easier to connect with, as we build our family, our career, and our social circles but in our third chapter it’s more of a challenge. Our social circles change for various reasons, our family structure shifts too, and we can be left feeling lost or we can begin an investigation to find new meaning. People often advise us to get back to hobbies we enjoyed when we were young, which can be a clue but connecting with our purpose is not like finding a lost quarter, it’s more like uncovering a mystery.

“Retirement isn’t the end of the road, but just a turn in the road.” –Unknown

There’s more great news about this chapter in our life adventure: we’re the choosers, we’re the deciders and we have more sovereignty over key decisions like where we live and how we live.  One of the challenges we face is that we prefer our comfort zone over growth because it can be uncomfortable but the key to living with enthusiasm is taking risk, there’s no growth without it.

Moving forward into this exciting time of life means we get to try new things, meet new people, perhaps adopt a pet, experiment with language, musical instruments, volunteering, and work opportunities. We have amassed a lot of experience and hopefully some wisdom to help steer us as we navigate. While it may be some time before we find a new word to best describe this potential filled chapter of life, we are breaking ground and we’re doing it by living joyfully, practicing spontaneity, connecting with purpose, and placing importance on connection and community. These are the building blocks of a brilliant third chapter and the exciting part is we’re creating it together. 

This Wellings blog by Kathie Donovan was exclusively written for Wellings Communities and appeared first on MyWellings.com.

Reinventing yourself is a Valuable Investment with a Great Return

We’re into the second month of 2024 and people are already breaking the New Year’s resolutions they made a month ago. In my humble opinion, New Year’s resolutions are a weak plan that serves to make us feel bad, when we don’t see quick results. How about we try a different angle? Instead of overwhelming ourselves with commitments that make us feel like we’re not enough, how about we focus on reinvention, which concentrates on shifting out parts of ourselves that are no longer serving us. Too many people stick with the limited notion that this is just how I am and who I am, take it or leave it, which is fine if it makes you feel good, but I think it reflects another limiting belief that we don’t have the capacity to reinvent ourselves. 

Here’s some great news: you can choose where you want to remodel your lifestyle, your friends list, your thinking habits and begin laying the groundwork for the next great chapter in your life. We humans are far more powerful than we give ourselves credit for. Yes, changing something in our lives so that we improve ourselves and our circumstances may feel uncomfortable, but the reward is considerable.

Has anyone ever told you that you can do anything? If they did, do you believe it? Sometimes the idea that we can do anything we want frightens us because it’s such an abstract concept and so hard to feel that it could be real. Does it mean I can be an astronaut or live by the beach? Does it mean I can join a band or climb a mountain? Well, yes, yes, yes, and yes if you have the will, commitment, time, tenacity, and resources to devote yourself to making these projects your reality.  

Likely your first reaction to becoming an astronaut is to scoff at such an idea but before you do, consider that becoming an astronaut may not be for you and just let it go. Every one of us is in a unique life situation which I like to describe as being in our own lane. There’s only your lane for you and in that lane with your gifts and your skills is where your best crack at reinvention lies.

“If we wait for the moment when everything, absolutely everything is ready, we shall never begin.” – Ivan Turgenev (novelist, poet, playwright).

Some of industry’s most successful leaders talk about the challenge of getting buy-in from their staff when it comes to reinvention or change. It’s a well-researched fact that we humans don’t like change but think for a second and realize that the way we got to where we are as human beings is because of change. These same leaders of industry also talk about how to get their teams on side, when it comes to change. First, they say, as leaders, they must see the value in it and then they must keep it simple for their teams. When a big idea is simplified, it makes it easier for our busy thinking mind to grasp a fresh perspective. Our thinking mind is so good at coming up with all the reasons why we shouldn’t change anything. As CEO of your life, it’s important that you’re convinced that there’s value in reinvention and it’s key that you don’t overwhelm yourself with big sweeping change. Instead focus on small shifts so that you can remain accountable to your goal instead of feeling overwhelmed and slipping back into habits that no longer serve you.

“The truth is that our finest moments are most likely to occur when we are feeling deeply uncomfortable, unhappy, or unfulfilled. For it is only in such moments, propelled by our discomfort, that we are likely to step out of our ruts and start searching for different ways or truer answers.” -M. Scott Peck (psychiatrist, author)


Having clarity about what we want in whatever chapter of life we’re in and having goals for our future is key to successful reinvention. Often clarity emerges from us examining our discomfort or recognizing what we don’t want in our lives. If you’re a chronic complainer or find yourself in the company of complainers, at some point there’s a recognition that the habit of complaining never brings joy; it only brings more situations to complain about. Recognizing that this habit needs to shift out if you’re ever going to feel satisfied and joyful is a big step. We should always feel pleased with ourselves when we recognize habits that are no longer serving us and are working against our joy. Then, by having compassion for ourselves, we can begin to replace complaints with questions or compliments. These can be directed at ourselves by speaking kindly to and about ourselves, and can be addressed to those around us, so that we gradually ease our way out of the habit of complaining and into a mindset and an approach that invites more joy.

We should always be curious about the world we’re living in, regardless of age. The National Institute of Aging studied curiosity along with other factors such as physical health risks in a group of 1200 men over 65, to see if curiosity made any impact on the quality of their lives or their longevity; a similar study was done following 1000 women. The results showed a correlation between physical and psychological health in curious people and concluded that curiosity impacted longevity. The study also showed that curious people were better prepared to respond to challenges encountered as they age such as change in living arrangements or mobility.  Curious people displayed better coping skills with new experiences, were more adept at forging new friendships and were more resourceful when it came to problem solving.

“If you are not where you want to be, do not quit. Instead, reinvent yourself and change your habits.” Eric Thomas (pastor, author, speaker)

Do you find yourself spending too much time alone? Isolation and loneliness can have a serious impact on our physical and mental health, so if this sounds like you it’s time to look at how you can reinvent your lifestyle. Let’s use the example of volunteering to up level your life and provide meaning for you and impact for others. Begin with researching services, clubs and organizations in your community and find groups engaged in something that really interests you. Perhaps contact someone within the group to find out more information and invite a friend to investigate with you a little further in person. It won’t take long before you’ll know whether it’s for you. If it is for you, you’ve opened the door to potentially making new friends and of course being of service is rewarding all around. You’ve just expanded your circle, created connections, and enhanced your community. You’ve just reinvented yourself.

This Wellings blog by Kathie Donovan was exclusively written for Wellings Communities and appeared first on MyWellings.com.

Choosing Gratitude Over Jealousy: A Path to True Joy

In pursuing happiness, we often find ourselves at a crossroads: jealousy or gratitude. 

While the former can seem deceptively alluring, promising motivation and a sense of comparative achievement, the latter leads to lasting joy and fulfillment. 

I will dive into why choosing gratitude over jealousy can improve our lives.

The Trap of Jealousy

At its core, jealousy reflects our insecurities and unfulfilled desires. It’s easy to look at someone else’s life – their successes, possessions, or lifestyle – and feel envy. However, this emotion is more destructive than it is constructive. It roots us in a mindset of scarcity and competition, where our self-worth is measured against others.

The Power of Gratitude

Gratitude, on the other hand, shifts our focus from what we lack to what we possess. It’s about recognizing and appreciating the value of our own life experiences, relationships, and achievements. When we practice gratitude, we open ourselves to experiencing joy in the present moment, appreciating life’s small victories and simple pleasures.

Practical Steps Towards Gratitude

Personal Inventory: Start by taking stock of your life. What are the things you’re thankful for? This could range from your health, family, and friends to your career achievements. Acknowledging these can shift your perspective from what you don’t have to what you do.

Celebrate Others’ Success: Instead of feeling envious, try to feel happy for others’ achievements. This positive outlook can bring a sense of community and shared joy rather than isolation and bitterness.

Set Realistic Goals: Sometimes, we set lofty goals that are more about outshining others than fulfilling our needs. Setting achievable personal goals keeps our focus inward and helps us derive satisfaction from our progress.

The Joy of Letting Go

Letting go of jealousy is akin to unburdening oneself. It’s about releasing the heavy load of comparison and competition we often carry unconsciously. When we choose gratitude, we celebrate our unique journey, embrace our victories, and learn from our setbacks.

As we navigate life, let’s remind ourselves of our choices. 

We can either get bogged down by jealousy or rise through gratitude. 

Choosing the latter enhances our well-being and contributes to a more positive and supportive environment.

I am grateful for each one of you reading this. 

I sincerely appreciate your time and engagement with these thoughts. 

May we all strive to replace jealousy with gratitude and journey towards true joy.

Five Transformative Tips for Men and Women Over 55

If you’re over 55, you’re navigating a time of life that’s as challenging as rewarding. 
It’s a period for breaking free from past roles and embracing a world of freedom and opportunity.
But it’s also a time for shedding old habits and stereotypes. 
Let’s discuss five key things men and women should stop doing to make the most of these enriching years.

1. Stop Being a People Pleaser

Many of us have focused on pleasing others, whether in our careers or personal lives. Now, it’s essential to prioritize your joy and aspirations. It’s about finding a balance between caring for others and honoring your own needs and desires. This is your moment to live life according to your standards.

2. Let Go of Living in the Past

Our past experiences shape us, but dwelling on them can hinder our enjoyment of the present and our anticipation of the future. Embrace the present and remain curious about new opportunities and experiences. Remember, your Past has shaped you, but it doesn’t confine your future.

3. Stop Putting Yourself Down

Now is the time to discard self-doubt and negative self-perceptions. Societal metrics of success or beauty do not define you. Embrace your journey, complete with its imperfections. Every step has contributed to who you are. Celebrate your life and all your achievements.

4. Embrace Change, Don’t Fear It

Change is inevitable, especially as we get older. Embracing changes in our bodies, lifestyles, and the world can be empowering. Change leads to growth, new experiences, and opportunities. Accept and flourish in this dynamic journey of life.

5. Get Control of Your Brain: Stop Overthinking

Excessive worry and overthinking can bring undue stress. Aim to live in the moment and enjoy life’s simple pleasures. Understand that some things are outside your control, and that’s perfectly fine. Learning to flow with life’s changes can lead to a more relaxed and enjoyable existence.

So, friends at The Wellings, what are your thoughts?
Are there other habits or attitudes you think we should shed as we journey through our 60s and beyond? 
Your insights and experiences are invaluable, so please share them with us. 
Let’s continue this conversation and explore how we can age stronger and more vibrantly together.

As we share our stories and wisdom, we realize that aging isn’t something we do alone – it’s a journey we embark on together. 
By exchanging ideas and supporting one another, we create a stronger and more resilient community. 
Your contributions, whether life lessons, tips for staying active, or ways to keep our minds sharp, enrich our collective experience.
Thank you for considering these ideas. 
Have a beautiful day. 

Discover Your New Favourite Hobby: A Personal Guide to Fun and Learning

Good morning! 

And welcome to your guide to discovering or rediscovering hobbies and fun learning activities. 
Embarking on the journey to find a new hobby is an adventure filled with possibilities, especially in the golden years post-retirement. 
This is when life gives you a blank canvas to paint with vibrant experiences and activities. 
Like the Wellings, your community can be a treasure trove of opportunities and like-minded individuals, making this journey even more enriching and enjoyable.

It often begins with a reflective trip down memory lane. 
Please think about what activities you enjoyed in the past. 
Is there something you always wanted to try but have yet to get a chance? 

Perhaps it was a musical instrument, a sport that energized you, or an artistic pursuit that sparked your creativity. These past interests can reignite a forgotten passion or inspire a new direction.

As you explore this world of hobbies, consider the diverse range of activities that blend creativity, physical activity, and mental stimulation. 

Picture yourself with a paintbrush in hand, capturing the beauty of a landscape, or engaged in the tactile pleasure of crafting, like knitting or pottery. 

These activities offer therapeutic benefits and the joy of creating something tangible.

Physical well-being is crucial, and hobbies like gardening and dance or exercise classes, such as yoga or swing dancing, combine physical health benefits with social interaction. 

Gardening connects you with the rhythms of nature, while dancing brings the joy of movement and community engagement.

Mental and emotional aspects are just as vital.

Engaging in reading and writing can be a conduit for self-expression and legacy building. Through playing an instrument, music challenges the mind and brings the joy of a universal language.

Joining clubs or groups in your community, like at the Wellings, enriches the experience. 

Whether it’s a book club, a photography group, or a music ensemble, these communities foster social connections and a sense of belonging. Community events, workshops, and classes offer opportunities to explore new hobbies or delve deeper into existing ones.

When choosing a hobby, consider your physical comfort. 

Opt for activities that suit your lifestyle and physical condition. 

For those with limited mobility, activities like seated exercises or hobbies that can be comfortably seated are excellent choices.

Setting achievable goals within your hobby can provide a sense of direction and accomplishment. Whether mastering a new piece of music, completing a craft project, or growing a garden, these goals offer motivation and satisfaction.

You can also consider hobbies that involve community service, like volunteering. They enrich your own life and make a positive impact on the lives of others, fulfilling a more profound need for connection and purpose.

Discovering a new hobby is as enriching as the hobby itself. 

It’s a path filled with exploration, learning, and joy. 


In living At The Wellings?

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A New Concept in 55+ Community Living

You’re too young to live in a retirement home, so why consider it? Discover Carefreedom Living® in a community lifestyle, with larger apartments, fully-equipped kitchens, a full range of amenities to choose from. The Wellings concept promotes complete independence, lots of amenity choices, and modern conveniences you will appreciate.


Natalie Tommy

Chief Marketing Officer


Community Builder



2962 Carp Road,
Carp, ON, Canada
K0A 1L0

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