Live a Hopeful, Zesty, Grateful, Loving, Curious Life

For Thanksgiving, I wrote an article over at Inner Fire about the health benefits of gratitude. While sifting through research on gratitude interventions, I came across quote that felt surprisingly inspiring and uplifting for a matter-of-fact academic article. It didn’t fit into the Inner Fire Article, so I wanted to share it here:

Consistently and robustly associated with life satisfaction were hope, zest, gratitude, love, and curiosity. [1]

A hopeful, zesty, grateful, loving, curious life—yes please! Here are some tips on cultivating some of these qualities:

Risk more than others think is safe. Care more than others think is wise. Dream more than others think is practical. Expect more than others think is possible. -Claude T Bissell

Risk more than others think is safe. Care more than others think is wise. Dream more than others think is practical. Expect more than others think is possible. -Claude T Bissell

For more on gratitude, please read 8 Health Benefits Of Practicing Gratitude Every Day over at Inner Fire.

[1] Nansook Park, Christopher Peterson, Martin E. P. Seligman (2004). Strengths of Character and Well-Being. Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology: Vol. 23, No. 5, pp. 603-619.

16 Weeks Pregnant: So When Do I Get That Baby Bump?

October 6 – October 12 : 16 Weeks 0 Days – 16 Weeks 6 Days.

I’ve put on seven or eight pounds during pregnancy, which is apparently right on track for a healthy, normal-weight pregnancy. However, the voluptuousness seems to have gone everywhere except my belly. I’ve now got the voluminous breasts I’ve always dreamed of having (not complaining) and curvy thighs that can bust through cargo pants (I’ll post that story soon), but still not much of a baby bump to speak of. I got this hilarious maternity shirt, and wore it out this week only to be met with confused glances:

I Ate A Seed

Funny Maternity Shirt from DJammarMaternity on Etsy. I’ll grow into it!

Throughout pregnancy, the most common comment I’ve gotten has been, “Oh, I can’t even tell you’re pregnant!” In the first trimester, this was lovely. I would respond, “Check back in a few weeks. My belly is supposed to pop around week 12!” During that time, suggestions that I didn’t look pregnant were preferable to the less common alternative: “Oh yeah, I thought you’d gained weight, but I didn’t want to say anything.”

Now at the end of my sixteenth week, my belly still hasn’t really popped, and my perspective has shifted. Pregnancy is hard work, and I want something to show for it! Today, I got one of those rare remarks from someone I’d just met: “Oh, I thought you might be pregnant, but I didn’t want to say anything until you mentioned it.” It was all I could do to keep from gushing, “Really? You noticed?? Yay!”

To put it all in perspective, when I express my bump-impatience to women who have been pregnant before, they reminisce, “I remember thinking the same thing in my second trimester. Then by the middle of the third trimester I was so big that I wished I could go back!” And there it is. At every stage of pregnancy there’s something I could choose to be insecure, obsessed, or discontented about. I could also choose to focus on all the things to be contented and joyful about (i.e. the yogic practice of santosa). I have a healthy body, a healthy baby, a supportive partner, tons of resources at my fingertips, and live in an area where I can choose how to move through pregnancy and give birth. Letting my vanity overshadow all of that amazingness would be wasteful. I listen to a recording of 150+ “Joyful Pregnancy Affirmations” for my Hypnobabies course every day, and I will add one more to my repertoire: “My baby knows how and when to create a bump and I will be patient.

Besides if I eat a several bowls of soup and drink the glasses upon glasses of water I’m supposed to be drinking daily, it pushes by belly out far enough to get a pretty convincing bump shot:

Week 16

My book baby, my fur baby, and my baby baby.