Just be kind

screenshot_20190306-075435_instagram5573943401679306121.jpg

The other day I was driving and came to a 4-way stop sign. I got there first and had the right away, but this dude rolled right through and cut me off. Obviously, it got me fired up. Who does he think he is? This a$$ of all a$$es. He even looked like a d-bag with his gelled hair and sunglasses and car with a loud muffler. Don’t even get me started.

Less than 30 seconds later – like before I had the chance to flip him off or spout some profanities (out loud) – he made a left turn into the hospital parking lot. Oh. God. I immediately felt terrible for my thoughts. For judging when I didn’t know the circumstances. What if his wife was going into labor? Or his mother was on her death bed?

I mean, that could be total bull and maybe he really was a d-bag, but, the point is, you just never know. And that’s why I (we) shouldn’t cast stones.

Why am I sharing this?

This past Lent, I figured I’d do something meaningful instead of giving up something like gum (don’t chew) or alcohol (rarely drink) or cable (don’t even have). I picked up a copy of Gabby Bernstein’s May Cause Miracles, a 6-week guided practice with twice daily exercises that include prayers, mantras, meditations, and small assignments.

After the first week, a few things were glaringly obvious.

  • I care too much about what other people think of me
  • It’s hard for me to forgive
  • I judge others viciously

All of the above were/are holding me back from having my best life. It’s sad that I’ve allowed it, but it’s more important to acknowledge and address it.

screenshot_20190423-173306_instagram1854680219799626541.jpg

Finished in 2.5 days. A must-read for Millennials and Gen Z!

As Rachel Hollis so eloquently reinforced, “Someone else’s opinion of you is NONE of your business.” Powerful. Profound. And you know what? It’s so true. If I’m okay with me, others should be too. If they aren’t, that’s on them. The same goes for you. Want to live your best life? Just do you.

When it comes to forgiveness, I (we) have to realize that not everyone is going to be sorry for the things they’ve said or done. Maybe because they really don’t care about our feelings. Or maybe, just maybe, because they don’t know they’ve wronged us. It’s so hard, but it’s worth it to let go of things that are out of our control.

And then there’s judging. Society makes it so easy for us to judge others. Look at the tabloids, the news, celebrity gossip. We slut shame and call people names, accuse women of being bad moms and men of being deadbeat dads, we say he’s too fat or she’s too ambitious. The. List. Goes. On.

The fact is, there will always be judgment in the world. There will always be people on the wrong path. There will be hatred and evil and sorrow. But we can do our part and be a little kinder with our thoughts, words, and actions. Because every act of kindness compounds into something big. Together, we can create change.

20190423_0854187489891377951091661.jpg

My favorite place to read is by the water – it’s so serene.

One last note…

To me, spiritual wellness is even more important than physical. You can lift all the weights and run all the miles, but if you don’t get your mind right – you’re f*cked.

Below are the personal development books* I’ve read in the last six weeks. They’ve been nothing short of inspiring. Hopefully they’ll be of interest to you too!

Current Read: Judgement Detox by Gabby Bernstein.

Peace, Love, Zen
DS

*Links are not affiliate and I will not earn a commission on any purchases made. I usually read reviews on Amazon, Goodreads, etc. and then borrow from my local library – it’s greener and way more economical for the number of books I read annually.

The Productivity Project

20181231_1737452816245969395704348.jpg

I’m not one to write a review prior to finishing a book, but the thing is, I could base my entire rating on just Part One. This has been one of the best books I’ve read all year and the absolute best (ever) on the subject of productivity. If you’re looking for a great read to start off the new year, The Productivity Project is a perfect choice.

Title: The Productivity Project
Author: Chris Bailey
Genre: Personal / Professional Development
DS Rating: 4.5/5

When I was younger – maybe high school age – I thought it would be a great idea to maximize each day. If I could get by on just 6 hours of sleep, I’d have 18 to accomplish everything on my list. I’m pretty sure Chris Bailey would cringe at that rationale. What I didn’t know then was not all 18 hours are equal.

In one of the most helpful exercises I’ve ever done, Bailey suggests plotting out your energy throughout the day for a minimum of a week. Then, once you find your “Biological Prime Time,” you only complete your most important tasks during that window. Wow. Mind blown. It turns out that I’m at my prime between 7 and 11 am, and again from 5 to 7 pm. It all goes down hill after that. (Something I’ll be working on in 2019.)

Why it’s great…

Bailey spent time after college working on A Year of Productivity (which is also a blog). He read so many books and articles and studies (oh my!) on productivity and time management and shares the best in his book. He also performed some self-experiments like watching 70 hours of TED talks in one week, working 90-hour work weeks, and waking up at 5:30 am each morning to see the impact on his productivity. Basically, he does the dirty work for us. And thank God, because, ain’t nobody got time for that.

Each chapter is filled with a wealth of information to make you look at time and productivity in a whole new light. The exercises are helpful, and in between, you’ll be graced by tidbits of info that will make you a trivia all-star. Speaking of, did you know that prior to 1883 there were hundreds of time zones used in the United States? I didn’t.

But, what I love even more is that each chapter has a small summary at the beginning and estimated reading time. I’ve seen more and more articles list reading times, but never a book. It’s truly awesome.

What now?

img_20181231_164220_7693291071050442807381.jpg

I fully intend to be more focused and efficient in 2019, and The Productivity Project is just what I needed to get started. I was even inspired to pick up a new planner to document my list of goals and accomplishments. I’ll be sure to keep you posted on that experience too.

Happy New Year, friends!

An Attitude of Grattitude

For a while, I wasn’t really grateful. For anything. A lot of things sucked and it seemed like the more I felt sad or mad or miserable, the worse things got.

From a young enough age, I’ve held on to anger. Anger towards my bio dad who was never present in my life. Anger towards my stepdad who could have been decent, but chose a different path. Anger towards a boyfriend who left me bruised physically and mentally. So much animosity.

I’m sure you’ve heard the saying “count your blessings.” Would you believe it if I told you the first time I tried I couldn’t think of anything? I had to write down “I’m thankful for sunny days and rainbows because they make me smile.” All good, of course. But I couldn’t think of anything in my actual life to feel thankful for.

screenshot_20180820-185617_instagram1482123630542729879.jpg

My newest gratitude journal and gratitude “rock.”

Then I picked up a copy of The Secret by Rhonda Byrne, which talks about gratitude being magic. It was actually one of the first personal development books I’ve ever read. Rhonda believes that saying and truly feeling the words “thank you” can turn your life around, and after practicing regularly, I have to agree. When you take a few minutes each day to write about things you’re grateful for, you can feel the love inside of you. You can feel the energy shift.

Each morning as part of my daily ritual, I write down at least five things I’m grateful for. I do the same each night. The only rule is they have to be detailed and heartfelt. It literally takes less than 10 minutes twice a day.

  • Poor Example: I’m grateful for my mom.
  • Awesome Example: I’m grateful my mom kept me company and helped with directions on the drive to NYC to pick my husband up from the airport. I didn’t feel comfortable going alone, but she made the trip enjoyable. I really appreciate her!
screenshot_20180820-185439_instagram6712232009242686579.jpg

My nanny and mom – the two greatest women in my life.

I also like to take a minute each night to remember the BEST thing that happened to me during the day so I can fall asleep happy. This is another one of Rhonda’s practices – The Magic Rock (found in her book The Magic), where you hold the rock in your palm while you recall the memory. I actually use a small paperweight with my favorite flower in it (above)!

screenshot_20180820-185503_instagram6631915302820397520.jpg

My love – I have this picture on my desk at work.

When you start feeling happy and grateful, you’ll attract more good things. That’s the energy you want to have!

Tell me, what are you grateful for?

Peace, Love, Zen
DS

Fitness Junkie

About a year or so ago I thought I’d start another blog focused solely on the books I read, which is about 50 a year. It was fun at first but quickly became a full-time job to manage two completely different blogs. Clearly, I need more hours in the day.

Then I realized that Diary of a Snacker is the perfect platform to blog about books related to personal development (PD), fitness, health, cooking, and more. So I give you Little Book Bites – posts about books worth sharing.

And without further ado…

Title: Fitness Junkie
Authors: Lucy Sykes and Jo Piazza
Genre: Fiction
DS Rating: 3.5/5

screenshot_20180813-205852_instagram2665626151084298487.jpg

Maybe you’re not into fitness. I can respect that because five years ago, I wasn’t either. And that’s why Janey Sweet, the protagonist, is like my soul sister. Okay, I’ve never had to drop 30 pounds to keep a job, I’m not a divorcee in my thirties, and I’ve never had a guy take me dumpster diving on a first date. But I can relate to the desire to fit in at the gym, I’ve choked down a glass of green juice just to be healthy, and I’ve demolished a tower of French toast in one sitting (last week, not kidding).

On the other hand, maybe you’re totally obsessed – a true fitness junkie. I’m sure you could laugh at yourself for all of the times you’ve tried the latest fad cleanse, overpaid for fitness classes, and went to the extremes to lose five pounds. I know I’m guilty.

Sometimes you just need a light read and this is it. I finished Fitness Junkie in less than 48 hours because it was so addicting and fun. I just HAD to know what happened next in the saga of Janey. Put this one on your book list right now!