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Monday, 05 May 2014 09:13

Confessions from an Email Addict

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Hi. My name is Dina, and I'm an email addict. I have a compulsion to try to keep up with my emails. Try as I might, it just doesn't happen. Lately, I have been feeling that my addiction is impacting my work productivity. I have three email accounts. Gmail, Four Quadrant Living, and Yahoo, all serving different purposes. Trying to keep up with all of them feels like a full-time job. Are you a fellow online addict? Perhaps your drug of choice is not email, but rather posting on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest, or texting. There are so many ways…
Wednesday, 11 December 2013 00:00

5 Easy-to-Buy, Healthy-to-Receive Holiday Gift Ideas

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Here are some great easy-to-buy (forget shopping in the mall!) and healthy-to-receive (forget the food baskets!) gift ideas. These are great ideas for you or your loved ones. Give the gift of an experience—a week of fitness in the great outdoors, a relaxing massage or body scrub, a month of yoga or pilates classes, a session of health coaching, and more. The businesses highlighted below are partners of Four Quadrant Living and are offering special discounts to you. FOR THOSE LOCAL TO THE SAN FRANCISCO BAY AREA 1. Fitness. Give the gift of fitness to yourself or a loved one.…
Wednesday, 13 November 2013 00:00

Are You Having Enough of the "F" Word?

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Paying bills, shuttling kids, working, cleaning, cooking, organizing... the list of "to-dos" goes on. Too often, it gets in the way of the "F" word. FUN! I remember a chapter in Richard Carlson's Don't Sweat the Small Stuff... and It's All Small Stuff" that said, “Remind yourself that when you die, your ‘in-basket’ won’t be empty.” I think of this often when I'm saying too much "no" to the fun in my life because of the full in-basket. Last month, we did the 4QL July Plank Party (Body quadrant) and had great success with it! We had dozens of people…
Friday, 30 August 2013 12:11

Both Sad and Happy?

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Have you ever been both sad and happy at the same time? Today, I am. After two-and-a-half years of being on this journey of writing my book, today I am sad and happy at the same time. Today is the day that I say goodbye (in some sense) to my constant companion. I just sent an email to the publisher to say, "It's done." Technically it's been "done" for months—except that every time I reread it, I find more edits. Move this sentence here, change this verb tense, delete this sentence. As a Type A and perfectionist, when is "done"…
Monday, 18 February 2013 11:30

When Illness Defines You

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Do you have a mental or physical illness that has become all consuming to the point where it has taken over your mind, body, relationships, and environment? If so, the good news is that having an illness does not automatically mean you are unhealthy. It can be if you let it be, but it doesn't have to be if you focus on creating health in the areas you can control. In this blog, I highlight my client, Susan, to illustrate the point, but Susan is not alone. I have seen this happen with many of my clients which is what…
Monday, 31 December 2012 08:54

The 2-0-1-3 Plan

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Less than half of Americans make resolutions and just eight percent of them are successful in keeping them. That's why this year it's time to try something new, the 2-0-1-3 plan! The plan is about starting off the New Year with intention, motivation, and accountability for health. Forward this on to your friends and family and let's see how many people we can get on board to join in. Be sure to write your plan in the comments section below. Here's how it works. 2  Come up with TWO actionable and doable healthy living ideas. Be specific. Make them very…
Wednesday, 28 November 2012 18:15

7 Ideas for a Less Stressful Holiday Season

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Last year I wrote Stop the (Holiday) Madness with the focus on giving a gift to the environment by reducing waste. This year I am inspired to focus on giving a gift to ourselves by reducing stress. I'm already feeling the holiday energy in the air. Christmas decorations have been out for weeks now, shopping has already begun, and neighbors have begun to hang their holiday lights. Black Friday and Cyber Monday have come and gone. The holiday season is officially here!This time of year can be both joyful and stressful. There is joy in the parties, holiday lights, caroling,…
Tuesday, 16 October 2012 08:35

Say it. See it. Do it.

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My friend, Darren, hiked up 4,800 feet powered by his mind. His body followed. He said that he would do it. He saw in his mind that he could do it. And then he actually did it.A few weeks ago, I went to Yosemite with a few friends to hike up Half Dome. There were six of us in the group. Four of us had hiked Half Dome in years past, so we didn't think twice about being able to do it. The four of us are marathon runners so we know how to push our body, manage our fuel,…
Thursday, 29 March 2012 14:45

The Mental in Illness

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Last week, I had a rash that was on my right thigh. At first, it was just a few bumps and I wasn't too worried about it. But then, last Friday night, the bumps were red, raised, itching, and spreading. I began to get concerned. We all have our reactions to certain illnesses—like some people hate to throw up. I'm not saying I like to throw up, but I don't hate it like some people. Well, I hate rashes. It's hard for me to live with myself with my skin so foreign looking.I woke up in the middle of the…
Tuesday, 31 January 2012 09:13

Life through Death

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The phone rings. In the blink of an eye, life, as you know it, is gone. I've gotten that call a few times in my life. In 1998, I was walking the streets of San Francisco after a business meeting when my sister called to tell me she was diagnosed with Stage 3 breast cancer. In 2000, my sister-in-law left a frantic and disturbing message about my father-in-law being dead at the bottom of the pool. Three years later we got a call from my mother-in-law going to the hospital with stomach pains. She was dead a week later from…
Tuesday, 18 October 2011 11:31

What A Difference

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“What a difference a day makes.” This was my sister’s mantra as she battled Stage 3 breast cancer for over a year. I think of this mantra often because it applies to all of us—no matter what challenge we are facing in our lives. When my sister, Debbie, was going through her treatment, which included chemotherapy, stem cell transplant, surgery, and radiation, she had good days, and she had bad days. What got her through the bad days was knowing that there would be good days. She knew that even though she might feel really bad today, it didn’t mean…
Wednesday, 31 August 2011 10:54

Meditation with Hollywood

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When you think of meditation, you probably think of sitting in a lotus position repeating the mantra, “ohm”. For years, meditation has been on my to-do list. I have tried to meditate at various points in my life, but my mind wanders and I’m uncomfortable in the recommended sitting position. When I focus on my breathing, I don't seem to be breathing comfortably. Feeling that I wasn't doing it “right” made me feel like a failure.One morning as I was lying in bed with my cat, Hollywood, having our morning ritual of snuggle time, I realized that this is my…
Wednesday, 15 June 2011 11:15

You're Laughing Now?

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I have a terrible memory. However, I remember an event from over 15 years ago that didn't even happen to me. I was the spectator. I was in the airport at baggage claim waiting for my luggage. There was a woman with three kids traveling alone, waiting for her luggage. She had her arms full with carry-on bags and her kids were running around. As she stood there, the bottom of the paper bag that she was holding ripped and all of the contents in her bag dropped to the floor. Did she yell at her kids?No. Did she fly…
Wednesday, 13 April 2011 10:24

Stress Kills. Just Breathe.

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According to the American Institute of Stress, nearly 45% of all adults suffer adverse health effects due to stress and 75 to 90% of all visits to primary care physicians are for stress-related complaints. Long-term effects of stress include high blood pressure, anxiety, insomnia, muscular aches and pains, ulcers, skin rashes, and food intolerances. In addition, stress has been linked to cardiovascular disease, diabetes, digestive system diseases, cancer, and aging. Stress is not to be taken lightly. It can absolutely affect our health. There is no doubt that what is happening in our mind is affecting our body. The good…
Wednesday, 09 March 2011 09:21

Losing My Mind(fulness)

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I don't forget appointments. I'm one of those people that is always on time, if not early. That is, until recently. Now I'm someone who forgets appointments. I'm mindlessly busy. Who am I and where is the Dina that has been with me for the past 40 years? A few weeks ago, I left my friend Liz patiently waiting for me at a coffee shop. She texted me 15 minutes after we were supposed to meet just letting me know she was at the coffee shop (which I thought was a very nice way of saying, "Where the heck are…
Tuesday, 08 February 2011 09:04

Living in the Flow

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For the first four decades of my life, I feel like I have been searching—searching for my purpose, my passion, my flow. I saw a greeting card a while ago that had the quote, "Not all who wander are lost" by J.R.R. Tolkien. I bought the card and hung it on the board by my desk. It made me feel better that just because I was wandering did not mean I was lost. Despite the nice sentiment, I felt lost. I have looked into countless careers in my 40+ years, including event planner, franchise owner, therapist, entrepreneur, photographer, private detective,…
Wednesday, 19 January 2011 09:13

Wish I Were Here

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"Having a great time. Wish I were here". I saw this quote on a postcard a long time ago and it always stuck with me. How often are you at a party, going about your daily life, or even on vacation (!), but you are not really there? Perhaps you are still in yesterday thinking about the fight you had with your best friend or maybe you are in tomorrow worrying about your big presentation. I know I should be mindful and live in the present, but it is actually more difficult than it sounds, isn't it? We have so…
Wednesday, 15 December 2010 11:39

Productive Unproductiveness

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Sitting by the fire in your pajamas at noon reading a book may seem like a luxury, but actually can be essential for your health. You know that feeling when you just aren't engaging in life like you normally do, when even the simplest things seem to be overwhelming, and when you are extra sensitive to people's comments and behavior? That’s when it’s time for some productive unproductiveness. If there is a time when you feel this way, honor it. Don't try to justify or rationalize it. Allow it to just be and take the steps that work for you…
Tuesday, 09 November 2010 09:35

Don't Suck It Up

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I don't like to get up early. That's just my thing. Waking up to an alarm clock is one of my least favorite things in life. Believe me, I would love to be a morning person—my life would be a lot easier. However, staying up late is a guilty pleasure of mine, which means the mornings don't come easy. After four decades of not being a morning person, I’m pretty sure that’s just who I am.Last week, I asked some people in my running group if they were up for meeting at 8:00am instead of 7:30am on a Saturday for…
Friday, 22 October 2010 13:03

The Birthday Hat Dare

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What is free, fun, and good for our health? Laughter. Yet, adults laugh on average only 15 times each day. In comparison, the average child laughs or giggles about 300 times a day. Are we losing our sense of humor as we age? The Dalai Lama says, "In my childhood, I had a religious assistant who always told me, 'If you can really laugh with full abandonment, it’s very good for your health.'” The assistant was right! Here's a birthday dare for you that is sure to have you laughing with full abandonment on your special day.As my friends and…
Wednesday, 20 October 2010 17:57

The Expiration Challenge

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A cluttered house is a cluttered mind. We can help clear our mind and reduce our stress by not keeping extra "stuff" around. I keep a pretty clean house without a lot of clutter. However, the other day I decided to clean out my bathroom cupboards and found products that were long since expired: skin care, beauty products, and medications. If I have these items in my house, I am guessing that most of us do. I challenge you to go into your bathroom cupboards and find five expired products to toss. If you can't find five in your bathroom…
Wednesday, 20 October 2010 17:37

Free to Be Me

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"Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter, and those who matter don't mind." — Dr. Seuss Perhaps if I had read more Dr. Seuss in my childhood, I could have saved myself a lot of time, effort, and heartache. It has taken me 40 years to figure out that being authentic is the best thing I can do for my health and wellness. I find that it takes work and causes me stress when I am not being true to myself. Living true to yourself means following your own path despite what…
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