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Blog by Kelley Bren Burke — healthy habits

Almost 100 Top Rated Books (Mostly Nonfiction)

Posted by Kelley Bren Burke on

I love books so much that I used to roller skate up and down my block while reading my latest library book. Yes, I was THAT cool as a kid. As an adult, I worked at Barnes & Noble Booksellers for 20 years. Now that I'm self employed, I read more than ever. I listen to audio books while I make jewelry, and I read most evenings.  I've read and loved each one of these books. I'm only including books that have at least a 3.7 average star rating on Goodreads. Most of them are nonfiction: memoirs, psychology, self help,...

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True Confessions of an Imperfect Meditator

Posted by Kelley Bren Burke on

I found myself drinking wine, doing sit-ups, and meditating. All at the same time.  Last Friday, I opened a bottle of wine after dinner with my husband Chris. I lay down on the couch with my book and a glass of wine. Chris told me he was going to meditate, so I decided to meditate with him instead of reading. We’ve been using the 10% Happier app for guided meditations lately. The meditations on this app often have 3-5 minute video intros with teachings about meditation.  Chris chose a meditation that I had done recently. I got bored during the...

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What I Learned After 6 Months of Mindful Eating

Posted by Kelley Bren Burke on

I transformed a fancy Prosecco Bellini candle into two chocolate donuts. Magic? Nope. I smelled the best candle at my hair salon last summer. It was a $27 Prosecco Bellini candle from Voluspa. It smelled like a sparkling peach Bellini cocktail. I really wanted it, but I reminded myself I was on a budget, and I went on my merry way.  I stopped at a grocery store to pick up a few things on the way home. I found myself standing in front of the pastry case. It was a uncharacteristic move. Donuts are usually reserved for a special weekend...

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Want to be happier? Eliminating 14 Extreme Words Changed My Life

Posted by Kelley Bren Burke on

Should. Have to. Need. Must. How often do you say these words? I said them a lot. I have to do yoga today. I should work until at least 5 PM. I need to get my hair cut. I also said them to others. Mostly my husband. “You should work on taxes for the business.” “We have to get that project done this weekend.” I learned about Communication Extreme Words or Communication Swear Words in therapy. These words intensify the situation unnecessarily. They add a sense of urgency and duty. Here’s the list of Extreme Words: I instantly knew which...

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How a Daily Meditation Practice Changed My Life

Posted by Kelley Bren Burke on

Meditation was my gateway drug. It led me persistently down the path to becoming a self improvement junkie. In 2016, my goal was to begin a new happiness boosting habit each month. Then I would carry out the new practice for the rest of the year. I hoped that these small habits would slowly change my life. And you know what? They did.  I started with meditation. I began meditating in the summer of 2015. I started with the tiniest expectation: meditate for two minutes every day. I’m a  busy, busy Thinker and a Doer. The idea of sitting still...

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