Just one realization could change your life.

Let’s try something new…

Let go

of your worries and fears. For just this moment. Let go of your to-do lists and your experience of chaos. Let go of that feeling that you are so tired and life is so busy. Simply choose, right now, for a moment, to let go, and take a deep breath. Simply choose, for a moment, to be still.

And allow the moment to pass.

Now, don’t jump straight back to the tension you carry. I know, your boss/teacher/child/neighbor isn’t going to let go of his/her request. Your landlord and electricity company aren’t about to let go of their owed pay. The world isn’t going to stop because you need a break.

Except, think back to the last moment: it just did.

In the moment you chose to be still and feel free, the world stopped. In the moment you chose to take a deep inhale, the demands paused and waited for you. Nobody felt slighted. None of your obligations ballooned into insurmountable tasks. In that moment of silence, nothing bad happened.

You just were, and the world simply waited.

And doesn’t it feel nice

to know that you are in control – of how you feel, of how you respond, of the tension you carry? Doesn’t it feel freeing to realize that you are empowered by the simplicity of your breath?

Today, the Jewish people are eating in a Sukkah, a three-walled ‘shack,’ if you will, lined with a roofing of palm branches. As one of three pilgrimage festivals in the Jewish faith, Sukkot reinforces the simplicity of eating, the temporary in life. Our shelters can blow away. Our food is simply what grows in the field. In the Sukkah, we are separated from the material possessions of the modern world, and brought back to a zeman simchateynu, a season of joy, when our ancestors’ fields shared their yields. We can choose to worry about the challenging climate outside or the burden of carrying out our food, but instead, we empower ourselves. We rejoice in the beauty of what we do have, and leave the worry behind.

Yet, in our day-to-day lives, outside the holiday season, we all tend to forget our own power. We tend to clutter our world with interpretations of what we see.

She has a curled brow – that must mean she’s frustrated with how slow I’m working. He’s looking away; did I do something wrong? And the guy across the room is just sitting and smiling; if only I could be more like him.

We see ourselves as our weaknesses, the time as a deficit, our neighbors as a measure of compare. We place meaning in the wind when really, the wind just is. That woman just was. Our stories are just a product of our minds’ creation.

They aren’t reality.

And neither is our anxiety or tension or fear that we feel. Neither is that draining thought that we have so much to do in so little time.

I was reading a book, crossing out the words that ‘didn’t matter.’ And, in erasing the clutter, I found the gist of the story: “Beneath a tall man stood a shorter man and the two were surrounded by others.”

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Now, that wouldn’t be the Blockbuster slogan on the back of a cover, but the simplicity of the ‘true’ story – and how I came to find it – carries important lessons:

(1) Change is hard – especially when, through the choice to change, we lose the option to go back. For the longest time, I would ‘cross-out’ words in a book with pencil, drawing only a line so I could see what used to be there, erase the marks and ‘go back.’ For the longest time, I wouldn’t even mark a book, ruin the perfection of the page. But then, I irreversibly marked the page, and I found my next lesson …

(2) In making a choice, we allow ourselves power. So much in life is out of our control. So much simply happens, and, in return, we respond. The response can be instinctual and follow our natural patterns of behavior – like not writing in a book, or only writing in the margins in pencil – OR the response can be daring, that choice we always wanted to make but were simply too timid to try. In fact, the choice that doesn’t meet expectations often challenges us most to exceed those expectations.

And, of course, in removing the extraneous detail of a story, I came to the most important insight of all:

(3) Life, at its core, is simple. 

It’s not a stressful experience or a tiring string of days. It’s not a journey of working to live, or a challenge to experience the craziest and most beautiful parts of the world. Those expectations, like the author’s ‘clutter’ of words, are simply interpretations of what is really happening: there is a man, and a shorter man, and a lot of other people around them. What everyone is thinking or feeling, what emotion fills the air and what color paints the grass – those are choices that we can each make in the moment. Today, I choose rest to fill the air. I choose softness to paint the grass. I don’t recall what the author chose, but I am certain his world was much different from mine. I don’t know what you will choose, but I am certain your world, too, will be unique.

So think back to that thought of ‘having so much to do in so little time.’ What’s the gist of the story?

You have things to do. And you have time.

The adjectives you choose to paint that reality can either lead to simplicity and freedom or clutter and stress, but the choice and the power is all yours.

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Reality is a funny thing

because no one reality actually exists. We place interpretations on interpretations on interpretations of the world, and somewhere in that mess, we find ourselves overwhelmed and toxically stressed.

So take a step back, return to the simplicity of your life, and make the interpretive choice that will suit your health and wellness best. After all, you are the author of your world.

© 2017 Mirissa D. Price: A Dental Student, A Writer, A Journey to Share.

 

 

 

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What Truly Matters

You are standing on a sports field with a line of strangers. The grass is just mowed, damp from the morning rain. Gnats are gathering at your ankles, and the sun is shining on your back. The warmth leaves a trickle of sweat down your shirt, but you stay still, listening to the man before you.

“Take a step forward,” the man calls, standing bald and boxy at 5’11. “For every time you said ‘good’ when someone asked how you were doing this week.”

For those of you at home, count your steps in deep breaths.

 “And take a step forward,” he continues, “for every time you tried to hide your tired eyes in skin-colored makeup.”

You listen, and respond with a step.

“Take another step for every moment this week that didn’t go as you planned.”

You walk and walk, until you are circling back across the field.

“And reach your arms to your body in a hug for every time things went their own way, and you followed that new track.”

Chances are, you are not the only one standing in self-embrace at this moment. Chances are, you are not the only one with your arms still at your side. Chances are, where you stand at this moment doesn’t matter. But it’s easy to forget, in seeing where others stand, that this is really the case. We look out for comparison. Are we good? Are we right? Are we keeping up with the pack? We look down at ourselves to see what could be different, perhaps better. We wonder how all of our decisions amounted to this present state. Could we have decided differently?

And we get stuck in a cycle of self-doubt.

If only I were different. If only I knew then what I know now. If only. If only.

If only we would stop! And see that where we are is okay. Because this is what is. This is reality. No, it’s not the same as our neighbor’s reality. And often, it’s not where we hoped we would be at this time in our lives. But oh, boy, is our reality filled with opportunity!

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You lost someone from your life?

Okay. It happened, and now you have a chance to be that energy and strength for yourself.

You faced a roadblock in your job?

Fantastic! The hard part is over, and now you can really, truly grow. Real fulfillment comes from challenge and perseverance anyways!

The reality is, when we get lost in doubt, comparisons, cycles of what ifs, we forget what truly matters: We are powerless. The world, the people around us are not ours to control. AND, in the absence of control, we can find the strength to let life change course, and to still choose to move forward.

So take a deep breath with me, and look into a mirror. Notice your eyes, the authenticity coming from beneath that mask we so often wear. And say aloud – yes, aloud! – “I am powerless, AND I have such strength.”

You are here. And here is good, because here and now is simply what is.

 

© 2017 Mirissa D. Price: A Dental Student, A Writer, A Journey to Share.

Hear Me Out

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Today, I told an uber driver that I was there to listen, that his story mattered. In return, he gifted me the honor of learning about his journey as a Lost Boy, and at the final destination, neither of us wanted to leave.

There is human strength all around us, but sometimes, we simply forget to stop, ask, and listen. So today, let’s empower one another. Let’s lift our neighbors with our stories. And let us all begin to stop and listen. We are here together, and ‘here’ is truly an incredible place to be!

 

© 2017 Mirissa D. Price: A Dental Student, A Writer, A Journey to Share.

Who Do You Love?

Great West Financial asked the dental community a beautiful question: 

Who do you love?*

*And, of course, what a life insurance policy from Great West Financial means to you in the context of love.

Well, dentists and dental students across the nation answered, pouring their hearts across the digital screen in 100 words or less. And I am honored to share that my Valentine’s response was among the 22 winning responses!

“I haven’t yet found the love of my life – other than my little morkie puppy, of course! But I love the idea that one day I will be in love, and one day I will be able to share with my love the serenity of knowing we are in the reliable hands of Great West Financial.  If that’s not an ”I love you” gift, I don’t know what is!”

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So there you have it: the latest quote to decorate life insurance policies everywhere 😂

But now, I have a challenge for YOU:

In 100 words or less, tell us about the person you love. He, she, it, or just the idea is such a gift in your life.

P.S. Easter, Passover, Mother’s Day, and more! What a perfect time to give yourself and your loved ones a gift. Head on over to A Smile Blooms on Etsy to pick out your very own inspirational magnets, and to get your very own Values Journal with engaging exercises and meditations that guide you on a valued life.

Affordable. Enjoyable. Meaningful.

Just right.

© 2017 Mirissa D. Price: A Dental Student, A Writer, A Journey to Share.

Body Positive Women Do These 10 Things Every Day!

We have all been there: ten minutes before a party, throwing every dress on the floor trying to find the magical one that doesn’t make our backside too large or our stomach too prominent. Yeah, so we bought a dress for this occasion just last week, but suddenly, it doesn’t fit right.

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And it’s not because our bodies have changed! Rather, it’s because our mindset has changed.

Maybe we are a bit more tired this evening. Maybe we had a rough day on the job. Whatever it is, we lost sight of how drop-dead gorgeous we are inside and out! And it’s time we get that body confidence back.

So I went straight to the experts — the women in my life — and compiled a list of the 10 Things Body Positive Women Do EVERY DAY!

CLICK HERE to read the blog post on the Psych Central World of Psychology Blog.

© 2017 Mirissa D. Price: A Dental Student, A Writer, A Journey to Share.

Your Guide To Living A Valued Life

Explore your values where A Smile Blooms.

Stop by my Etsy shop for you newest Self Discovery Workbook! The Self Discovery Workbook for living a valued life is designed to provide encouragement, motivation, and tools to help you discover and embrace your values – at home, at work, at school. This workbook is designed with you in mind and will provide the motivation and insight you need to transform your life to one glowing in value.

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WHO IS THIS WORKBOOK FOR?

You! This workbook is ideal for use at home or with a counselor. The exercises are of value to everyone – those seeking to reassess their values, those at a crossroads in life, those with mental health struggles, such as depression, anxiety, eating disorders, grief, and more, those looking to explore their identities. Whatever journey you are on, this workbook can help guide you!

PAGES INCLUDED IN THIS LISTING [15 total]

[1] Journal Cover
[1] Instruction Page Affirmation
[1] Identify Your Values
[1] Values Worksheet
[3] Build Your Valued Life Exercise, 3 pages
[1] Value at Work
[1] Making a Change
[1] A Needed Pause Meditation and Worksheet
[1] Readiness for Change
[3] Extra Journal Pages to Explore Your Thoughts
[1] Back Cover

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HOW TO BUILD-YOUR-OWN JOURNEY

1. Purchase your very own A Smile Blooms Self-Discovery workbook. Fill it out, work with a counselor or loved one, and return to the exercises as your life changes and your values transform.

2. Customize your journey by checking A Smile Blooms regularly for new and improved workbook exercises. The garden is blooming inspiration daily.

3. Get involved in the journey by letting me know what kinds of workbooks would most help you! And be sure to check out the refrigerator magnets and other gifts that can bring inspiration into your daily life and straight to the heart of your home.
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**PLEASE READ**
This is an Instant Digital Download – you will not receive anything in the mail. Upon your purchase, you will receive a link to download your 15 unique workbook pages.

FORMAT/SIZE
This Journal is standard US Letter Size (8.5 x 11 inches) and is in PDF format. Adobe Acrobat is a free software program that will allow you to open PDF documents on your computer. Copy & paste the link below onto your URL browser to download Adobe Acrobat:
https://get.adobe.com/reader/click

PRINTING
This Journal is standard US Letter Size and should be printed on standard US Letter Size Paper. When printing, make sure the paper size is set to Us Letter, and make sure to scale to 100% (don’t scale to fit page).

TERMS OF USE
This Journal is copyrighted and is intended for personal use only. You can reprint pages as many times as you’d like, as long as they are for your personal use. Please do not resell or redistribute to others.

REFUNDS
I cannot offer refunds on digital files. Once I send you the files, the sale is final. But I can and will do everything possible to make sure you are happy with your order. If you have any problems, I will work with you until I resolve the issue.
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DISCLAIMER:
I, Mirissa D. Price, am not a licensed mental health professional nor am I claiming to heal, cure, prevent or treat any medical/emotional/mental conditions with the provided materials. A Smile Blooms is created to encourage and support you on your journey through life. Please seek professional help and guidance as needed. And remember, asking for help is a strength!

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Thank you for welcoming me on your incredible journey!

CLICK HERE to head straight over to my Etsy shop, A Smile Blooms

© 2017 Mirissa D. Price: A Dental Student, A Writer, A Journey to Share. These journals are copyrighted and intended for personal use only. Reselling is not allowed without obtaining prior written consent from the owner.

You Can Live A Valued Life!

You can live a valued life by simply living in accordance with your values. So go ahead: take pen, paper, a stack of values, and spread your values out for the world to see.


Can’t wait to start sharing your values? Comment with your top three on this post, and take the first step in letting the world know!

Your values matter, and you, my friend, are a truly valued beam of light in this beautiful world!