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4 New Words to Help You Love Your Life Now

4 New Words to Help You Love Your Life Now

This might be too much information, but the other day as I was sitting in the restroom of a coffee shop, I glanced at the wall in front of me where either bored or inspired patrons had inscribed their particular sentiments.

One scrawled word caught my eye: Exploreality.

    “What a cool word,” I thought to myself.

    Walking back to my table, I turned the word over and over in my head.

    Exploreality. Exploreality.

    I’m not sure what the artist meant when she scribbled the word on the wall, but it did what good art is supposed to do – it made me think.

    That’s how I understood the word and it got me pondering about what it meant to me.Explore reality.

    A portmanteau is a combination of two words into one new word such as exploreality. Here are a few of my own portmanteaus to sum up my thoughts about the inspirational restroom art.

    1. Extendenial

    Why did the bathroom writer encourage us to explore reality?

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    Because we spend most of our time in a type of veiled, extended denial – extendenial.

    Denial sometimes gets a bad rap. When we are traumatized or experience severe adversity, denial is a protective factor that helps us rest before we actively address the trauma or problem.

    But used too much, denial gets in our way.

    It prevents us from seeing what is right in front of us – the life that we have, not the life that we think we should have.

    It’s this latter idea that forms our veil of extendenial. We don’t embrace the reality of what is in front of us because we hold an illusion that “someday” life will be ____________. (Fill in the blank with whatever you don’t have right now.)

    Don’t get me wrong. There is certainly nothing wrong with having goals.

    But how much of life are you missing by thinking, “I’ll be happy when . . .”?

    2. Busymbiotic

    A way to extendenial is to be busymbiotic – having a symbiotic relationship with being busy.

    Our social norm of “busy = productive = good” has caused us to glom onto busyness as though it is an integral and reciprocal part of us. Just like a symbiote, we think we need busyness in order to do well in the world and be happy.

    But busyness is just another way to engage in seeking the “someday” life and disengage from the life that you have right now, both the glory and the gloom.

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    Someone commented on my blog the other day that she decided to put away the busyness of life so that she could get on with the business of life.

    Amen to that.

    3. Interactuality

     So, how do you stop being so busymbiotic that you’re in a state of extendenial?

    By interacting with your actual life – interactuality.

    Let me say again that there is certainly nothing wrong with having goals and being motivated to better yourself in life both emotionally and materially.

    But interact with your days now as you are working toward those goals.

    Enjoy friendships.

    Learn something new.

    Notice how you like the aroma of coffee in the morning but would be happy to not have to smell your partner’s burnt oatmeal again.

    Find something that you like about work and emphasize that in your mind. Note the difference between that feeling and the one that comes up when your annoying co-worker walks by.

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    Life is good and bad, joy and misery, contentment and discontent, and many shades of gray in between those things.

    But it’s your actual life. Interact with it.

    Love your life now.

    4. Remindfulness

    Yes, this portmanteau is exactly what it looks like: reminding yourself to be mindful.

    Mindfulness is the art and practice of noticing your present experience without judgment.

    So maybe part of what inhibits you from exploring reality is that reality isn’t such a great place for you so it’s easier to be in extendenial.

    But is life really that bad or are you making it worse with judgmental thinking?

    The thing about mindfulness is that it allows you to be engaged in your current life experience without all of the drama that you add to it in your head.

    So for example, as I’ve been writing this, I’ve drifted in and out of extendenial and remindfulness.

    Although I enjoy writing, it’s very hard for me. It takes a long time and I can get very easily distracted.

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    My thoughts tend to go something like this:

    Geez, this is taking forever. Maybe I’m just not meant to be a writer. I really want to do something else right now. Focus . . . focus . . . you can do this. Other people must be faster at this than I am. Maybe I should . . . squirrel!”

    You can see that I spend a lot of internal energy wishing my life was something other than it is at the moment.

    But when I remind myself to be mindful, I come into the present, take a breath and realize that I’m . . .  okay.

    Even with a mind that gets distracted by a squirrel or takes a long time to finish a sentence. It’s all okay and I recognize that my mind has been making me miserable only seconds before by judging my experience of writing.

    Now that I’m in the present and not judging it, I can accept that writing brings me both joy and frustration. Like you, I want the joy and not the frustration.

    But frustration is a part of life and mindfully accepting the emotion, not magnifying it in my head, and moving on frees me from getting stuck and wishing my life was something that it is not.

    Instead, I acknowledge that this is the life I have and to live fully is to interact with it consciously and with mindfulness.

    And, as I remind myself to be mindful by taking that deep breath, I look up and notice the sun outside my window and hear the sound of the chimes in the trees as they blow gently in the breeze.

    Reality.

    I’m exploring mine. What about you?

    Featured photo credit:

    Heart in Hands via Shutterstock

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      Last Updated on August 21, 2018

      30 Brilliant Camping Hacks I Wish I Knew Earlier

      30 Brilliant Camping Hacks I Wish I Knew Earlier

      Ah, camping. The great outdoors, the campfires, the food you’d never eat in civilised society: it’s a wonderful experience.

      That said, things can get a little bit tricky when we are left to the mercy of Mother Nature. Here are 30 fantastic camping hacks you can use to make your camping experience as wonderful as possible!

       1. Use sage to repel mosquitoes.

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        photoshelter.com

        Place some sage in your campfire and the smell is sure to ward off any pesky mosquitos.

        2. Liquid soap + cotton balls = no ticks.

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          crateandbarrel.com

          If you or one of your fellow campers is having trouble with a tick, place the soap-soaked cotton on the tick for 20 seconds. The tick will eventually stop chewing and will come away with the cotton ball. If the tick was attached for a lengthy amount of time you may want to consider keeping it in a container so that you can test it for Lyme disease later.

          3. Use an acorn cap as a whistle if you get lost.

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            smallhomebigstart.com

            It’s remarkably easy to get lost whilst camping. Here’s a full tutorial on how you can transform an acorn into a whistle!

            4. Corn chips for kindling!

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              Doritos are a great way to start a fire, just be careful!

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              5. Use the rest of the chips for nachos.

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                buzzfeed.com

                Nachos are easy to pack, light and simple to make. Plus they’re incredibly tasty.

                6. Use compact, microfibre towels!

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                  rei.com

                  These towels are incredibly easy to store and dry within an hour of use. Buy them here.

                  7. Wrap duct-tape around your water bottle for emergencies.

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                    briangreen.net

                    You never know when you might need some.

                    8. Make lamps out of jars and solar disks.

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                      campwander.com

                      Get all the info you need here.

                      9. Sangria!

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                        gastfamilyrecipes.blogspot.co.uk

                        We know what’s really important. How to here!

                        10. One water bottle will hold eight eggs.

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                          cookiecrumbsandsawdust.blogspot

                          By keeping all your eggs in a bottle you save time and hassle. Plus, no need to carry extra bowls or a whisk!

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                          11. Johnson’s Baby Creamy Oil is a surprisingly good mosquito repellent.

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                            buzzfeed.com

                            Keep the bugs and the bug repellent smell at bay.

                            12. DIY shower.

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                              instructables.com

                              All you need is a watering can and a large jug. Here’s the full instructions.

                              13. Keep sandpaper handy to light matches.

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                                craftaholicsanonymous.net

                                Glueing some sandpaper to the lid of a tupperware box where you can also store matches is a foolproof plan.

                                14. Make s’moreos easily.

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                                  snackhacks.org

                                  15. MarshJell-o shots.

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                                    tablespoon.com

                                    Learn how to make these delicious things here!

                                    16. Or dip those marshmallows in Bailey’s. 
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                                      Toast the marshmallow first and then dip it in Bailey’s.

                                      17. Turn a bottle into a spoon.

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                                        buzzfeed.com

                                        It’s that easy!

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                                        18. Grits repel ants.

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                                          sleepychef.com

                                          Just sprinkle grits wherever you see ants.

                                          19. Deodorant can be used to combat itchiness.

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                                            wikihow.com

                                            20. Wrap your meat in cabbage to stop it from burning.

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                                              onesweetappetite.com

                                              That’s not an innuendo, it really will! The moistness in the cabbage creates the perfect barrier.

                                              21. Foam noodles will stop any injuries.

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                                                andybaird.com

                                                For any fellow clumsy people, you know how possible it is to smack your head and cause serious injury. Placing a foam noodle on the awning strut narrows down at least one accident waiting to happen.

                                                22. Carry some essentials in a small tin with you at all times.

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                                                  fieldandstream.com

                                                  You never know what you’ll need and when.

                                                  23. Take toothpaste dots instead of a whole tube.

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                                                    ruggedthuglife.com

                                                    Let the drops dry out over 3 days, add a little baking soda and put them in a resealable bag.

                                                    24. Use a stick to secure your tent.

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                                                      survivormedic.com

                                                      By placing a stick in the main centre line you ensure the pressure is even throughout, which will stop the grommets being pulled out.

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                                                      25. Vacuum seal your food before you leave.

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                                                        livingonalatte.com

                                                        26. Popcorn on the campfire.

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                                                          kookyculinary.com

                                                          Popcorn that you can place on the stove at home can also be popped over a campfire. You can also make your own using this tutorial.

                                                          27. You can even make bacon and eggs over it.

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                                                            realfamilycamping.blogspot.co.uk

                                                            That’s right! Full instructions here.

                                                            28. Keep your toiletries handy.

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                                                              myshowerline.com

                                                              Buy this magnificent contraption here.

                                                              29. Compact, unbreakable cups!

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                                                                reuseit.com

                                                                Get them while you can!

                                                                30. Tic-Tac boxes are great for storing ingredients.

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                                                                  seattlesundries.com

                                                                  With these 30 camping tips and tricks, you can work DIY magic into nearly every aspect of camping, and make your next camping trip a comfortable, easy blast. Good luck!

                                                                  Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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