Bite-Size Bella Vita: Day 7 Gratitude

Jul 20, 2019
 

BUON GIORNO

DAY 7 - GRATITUDE

It's our final day and I have saved one of my favorite topics for last. When I first started practicing gratitude, beyond Thanksgiving week, my life changed. I found that I was able to look for what to be grateful for even in challenging situations. 

In positive psychology research, gratitude is strongly and consistently associated with greater happiness. Gratitude helps people feel more positive emotions, relish good experiences, improve their health, deal with adversity, and build strong relationships. - Harvard Mental Health Letter

In addition, when we are in a state of gratitude, we actually start influencing others around us. We actually start vibrating at a frequency close to love. 

INVITATION TO ACTION

Listen to the 3 minute meditation. You can make it a daily practice or your go-to when you are feeling stuck or bummed. This is not about bypassing what you are feeling, but developing a practice to enter into a state by what you...

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Bite-Size Bella Vita: Day 6 What Lights You Up

Jul 20, 2019
 

Today, we are taking a break from the city and are heading out to sea. 

 

Come with me to the region of Liguria and specifically, the town of Camogli where our conversation centers around what lights you up, what excites you.  Can you remember a time when you felt excited about getting out of bed? When your heart raced because you heard something, saw something, connected with someone?

For me, it is the sea. 

INVITATION TO ACTION

What is it for you? 

Maybe you don’t really know or you have never given yourself permission to dream about what lights you up. I'm not asking you to determine your life purpose here - but rather, where are there moments that you can find joy and moments that light you up?  

Maybe it's when you are dancing or cooking or reading or connecting or being in contribution. 

What is one thing you can do today that is a little bit more of that?

What can you DO today to create more of that in your life?

...

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Bite-Size Bella Vita: Day 5 Savor

Jul 20, 2019
 

 

Day 5 - SAVOR

There are so many different thoughts on what foods to eat or not eat. That is not what today's lesson and invitation are about. 

Did you ever notice in Italy how much people enjoy their meals. How they will eat what they want but perhaps in smaller portion sizes? I have never heard an Italian talking about food as "fuel" but rather as a delight. They will wax poetic over a certain dish or the freshness of ingredients. 

By living with them, I learned to savor food. The definition of savor is "taste and enjoy."

 TODAY'S INVITATION TO ACTION

 Whether you are grabbing food on the go or preparing a meal and taking care of your family, where can you slow down and really notice what you are eating? Can you chew more slowly and really taste and savor the flavors and texture of your food? Can you give gratitude for what you are eating and all those who were involved in it being on your plate? Food appreciation and slowing down can...

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Bite -Size Bella Vita : Day 4 Perspective

Jul 20, 2019
 

Day 4 - PERSPECTIVE

 

Today we broadcast from one of the most popular places in Rome. 

We are looking at ways in which we can extend generosity and compassion to another by imagining ourselves way up above a difficult situation with helicopter perspective.

TODAY'S INVITATION TO ACTION

Try this little exercise: Close your eyes. I'd like to invite you to imagine a situation where you feel stuck or misunderstood or not understanding another person.

1) Check in with yourself and ask yourself: What is bothering me? What does this situation mean to me?

2) Now imagine that , like a helicopter, you are transported way above both of you and are looking down where you see both of you together. Imagine and see the other person looking at you. How does this view change what you see about the situation and the other person's view?  Are you able to be more understanding? Can you try to feel what they are experiencing? What could the situation mean to ...

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Bite-Size Bella Vita: Day 3 Connection

Jul 20, 2019
 

 

Day 3- Connection

This is where I wish I were not coming at you from behind a computer screen or video, but rather over a cup of cappuccino somewhere. 

In an increasingly virtual world, I have noticed a growing hunger for connection - real, in-person, connection. Do you feel it too?  While technology, when used for good, can be fantastic, social, in-person connection also has great benefits. 

Today I broadcast from one of the many piazzas ( public squares) in Florence as we talk about social connection. So many studies of happiness, longevity and well-being, including the famous Blue Zones research from a village in Sardinia, point to the power of social connection. Haven't you experienced that? Sometimes doesn't it feel good to connect offline? 

TODAY'S INVITATION TO ACTION

Do you have people you talk to face to face on a daily basis? Do you have a group of people you can lean on when needed? Do you have those friends or family you can gather...

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Bite Size Bella Vita : Day 2 Awe and Wonder

Jul 20, 2019
 

Day 2 - AWE AND WONDER

Today, we are talking about AWE and WONDER in the hills outside of Florence, away from the chaos and crowds, at a beautiful boutique hotel called Il Salviatino. 

INVITATION TO ACTION

Where can you connect to that feeling of awe and wonder you had as a child? Can you remember your first rain or snow? Your first plane ride? Where can you stop for a moment and MARVEL at something? 

"What was wonderful about childhood is that anything in it was a wonder. It was not merely a world full of miracles; it was a miraculous world." G.K. Chesterton

Take some time to reflect on this and then put ONE thing into action. Look at your surroundings - perhaps see something you never truly SAW before. Isn't the fact that you are receiving the words I wrote from my computer a WONDER? If you feel like sharing, you can go to Instagram and use the hashtag #bellavitaliving. 

TRAVEL TIP

If you visit Florence in...

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Bite-Size Bella Vita : Day 1 Letting Go

Jul 18, 2019
 

Welcome to 7 Days and 7 Ways to Add More Joy Into Your Daily Life

BUON GIORNO

Congratulations again on being here. This is going to be a fun week. Don't worry if you can't make every day. You will always have access to the previous "days" and can go through them on your own timeline. 

Day 1 - LETTING GO

Today's  lesson   

Before you start creating new habits and practices, it helps to get rid of that which might not be serving you. This is perfect if you are looking to start a new chapter in your life or even just from season to season. 

In this video , you will hear the story of Michelangelo and the Statue of David. As he says,

"I saw the angel in the marble and carved until I set him free."

Michelangelo already saw the masterpiece of David while it was one single block of marble. He just removed the excess to get at it. 

TODAY'S INVITATION TO ACTION

What can you let go of so you can fully be the masterpiece that you were always intended to be?...

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A random connection in Rome with a new Oscar winner

Jul 18, 2019

It had only been about two and a half months since I had packed up my things and acted on a life-long dream to live and work in Rome, Italy. While not knowing anyone except the friend of a friend, I made my declaration and the Universe started opening up wonderful possibilities like apartments, jobs and connections. 

It was sometime in June in 2003 on a gorgeous summer night in Rome. My new friend,  who was working for the Navy, stationed in Gaeta ( yes, he did have one of those Officer and a Gentleman uniforms )  was meeting me for a pizza. It was late - you didn’t eat in Rome until the sun went down. We had heard about Da Baffetto and wanted to try it out, so patiently waited in line until 2 spots at one of those long communal tables opened up. Conversation and wine flowed as we sunk our teeth into pizza that soothed our souls and appetites. All of a sudden, we heard some commotion and looked to our right as the owners...

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How to Honor Those Who Have Died? LIVE a Beautiful Life Now!

Jul 18, 2019
 

I first shared this video on Facebook on Valentine's Day, 2018. The intention was to honor my friend and former business partner, Lisa Habicht who had died 2 months earlier. 

The response to this vulnerable sharing has touched my heart. There are times when being vulnerable feels scary  - it doesn't feel safe.  Yet, when we are vulnerable and are not afraid to be exactly as we are, the result can be great connection. 

Thank you for all those who have written to say that this story was a reminder to live now, to live fully. This is such an honor to Lisa's memory. What she has catalyzed in me  - this fierce commitment to create and to serve NOW - has been the greatest gift she could have ever given me. 

Lisa, Thank you. I love you. 

REST IN PEACE  : Lisa Habicht  1965-2017

 

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A Chance Meeting

Jul 18, 2019


#SoulfulSunday

You don’t know when they are going to happen. Magic and miracles are not planned. They are a result of seemingly random occurrences but are they really? Or are they divinely orchestrated?

It was a beautiful morning, not unlike some of the others I had been privileged to experience in the last week. The “morning ritual” consisted of rising early and reading, then hopping on my bike for a short spin. The wind in my hair as I went down the hill with feet off the pedals, like I had done years ago, rejuvenated my soul. At the beach I brought my coffee and towel to the empty shore and plopped down to begin my meditation practice, a new one that had been introduced at the Field of Abundance retreat in July.

......

At that time of day there are no sounds but the rhythmic movement of the waves and the random seagull. As I finish my meditation and dive into the beckoning water, I see no separation from where the sky ends and where the sea starts – it is...

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