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Blue Sky Mind

Blue Sky Mind

I’m a big fan of daily meditation (I use Headspace). I think it’s a means of fostering mental health and as important as diet and exercise. The time I take for myself isn’t just for me. It impacts everyone around me.

One of my favorite visualizations is about Blue Sky.

Picture the Blue Sky, which represents your mind. It has a calm and clarity that are always there. This is your mental baseline.

Sometimes clouds obscure the Blue Sky.

Clouds can be anything… from the cluttered thoughts of a busy life to something that’s been bugging you that you haven’t yet acknowledged to blatant grief.

These are things that might block us from seeing the Blue Sky. Temporarily.

What’s important is to remember that even when the Blue Sky isn’t visible, it’s still there. That peaceful mind, that calm and clarity, is a constant, even when we can’t see it.

The Blue Sky Mind is the underlying foundation of everything. Calm, clear blue sky. All of the other things are just passing through. Some clouds may stay longer than others. Sometimes we’ll experience devastating storms. But behind it all, the Blue Sky remains.

I’ve been asking myself why this particular visualization appeals to me so much. It’s more than just the idea of a Blue Sky itself, though I love all that it implies: open, endless, peaceful, constant.

Before I started meditation, before I began looking at my own behavior and emotions on a different level, I had an unconscious fear that whenever I was in a negative state (fill in the blank: anxious, angry, depressed), maybe there was a danger that the negative emotions could take over and become the norm. Maybe they WERE my norm.

But with the Blue Sky analogy, I can see that isn’t true and not worth the worry. The Blue Sky mind is my baseline.

None of this is new or innovative. It’s a different version of a million other techniques. This one, for whatever reason, appeals to me. It’s my version of deep breaths or refocusing or taking a moment. Or employing a bit of perspective when the moment at hand seems overwhelming. Or remembering that “This too shall pass.”

I’m always opening to learning new techniques. What works for you and why?

If you want to check out Headspace, here’s an invite: https://www.headspace.com/invite/ED7cp

Join The Community!

Join our Facebook GroupJoin the quest for “The Sweet Life.”  Request access to our Facebook Group.  Let’s learn from each other!  GO HERE

Free Audio Book Download

Full Unabridged Audio Book “Vagabonding With Kids” by AK Turner!  GO HERE

Take The SWEET LIFE Assessment

See how you score? Identify your strengths. Discover areas in your life you want to improve. GO HERE.

Giving Back

Amanda and Mike launched an Impact Club in their hometown of Boise, Idaho in 2017, and have had a blast gathering like-minded individuals, families, and organizations to make significant impact in our community, raising over $200,000 locally and over $1.5 million nationally.  

Join Our Next Monthly CHALLENGE

Every month Amanda and Mike pick a month-long challenge that pushes us out of our comfort zone so we can grow, learn, and become better versions of ourselves.  Sometimes we design our own unique challenge and other times we join pre-established challenges. Email us to find out about our next upcoming challenge. Us@BusinessofUs.com

About Us

Our Story | Mike and Amanda TurnerWe are Mike and Amanda Turner, founders of “The Business of Us.” We are fierce advocates of helping entrepreneurial couples and families improve their lives, livelihoods, and legacies… READ MORE

5K Day

5K Day

Most of the time Mike and I do our workouts together. Even when we’re not at the same pace (he can complete his 5K up to 7 minutes faster than mine), we typically still struggle through the challenge at the same time.

On previous 5K days, we’ve driven down to the Greenbelt together, set out on our separate paths, and met back at the car when we’re finished.

That wasn’t the case today. Mike had a full schedule and had to do his run before the sun was up, during which time I had to be home helping the kids get ready for school.

When Mike first set out, I felt bad for him. He had to run in the dark, in the cold, on the track at our local high school.

Poor guy. (Sucker!)

I would get to run along the Boise River in warmer weather.

When Mike came back from his run, still at o’dark thirty, I asked how it went.

“Amazing!” he answered, “My fastest run ever. There’s something about the dark, about not being able to see in front of you.”

He did admit that he’d pushed himself to the point of dry heaving at the end of his run. (TMI?) But still, the experience and his performance at least left him dry heaving on cloud nine.

A few hours later, with the kids launched for the day and some basics tasks handled, I set out for the Greenbelt around 10am, only to find that the skies were ominously dark.

Much of my run took place in the rain. I forgot my gloves, my pants kept falling down (more TMI?), and why was I struggling so hard to breathe?

Twice I had to walk to catch my breath, sure that I was about to keel over. I still finished in under 30 minutes, which is what I was aiming for, but it was hard.

I did not feel on cloud nine.

I felt on cloud… whatever the really sucky opposite of cloud nine is.

At the end of the run I sprawled out in the grass and watched a scenario play out in my head…

…a concerned stranger sees my sprawl and is sure that I have, indeed, keeled over. They call an ambulance. It arrives and I explain that I’m simply resting after a difficult run and that I’m refusing treatment. They pressure me and I refuse further, which they take as belligerence, and then the cops are called and before you know it I’m being taken away in handcuffs.

None of that happened.

But it got me thinking about assumptions. How we guess at the outcome of something instead of just letting it play out.

After all, there have been plenty of times when I was sure I wouldn’t be able to complete something, only to surprise myself. And then other times when my arrogance leaves me far short of my goal.

If you think about it, there’s a certain measure of relief in letting go of predictions, moving forward, and seeing what happens. Come what may. Even if it may involve a little bit of dry heaving.

Join The Community!

Join our Facebook GroupJoin the quest for “The Sweet Life.”  Request access to our Facebook Group.  Let’s learn from each other!  GO HERE

Free Audio Book Download

Full Unabridged Audio Book “Vagabonding With Kids” by AK Turner!  GO HERE

Take The SWEET LIFE Assessment

See how you score? Identify your strengths. Discover areas in your life you want to improve. GO HERE.

Giving Back

Amanda and Mike launched an Impact Club in their hometown of Boise, Idaho in 2017, and have had a blast gathering like-minded individuals, families, and organizations to make significant impact in our community, raising over $200,000 locally and over $1.5 million nationally.  

Join Our Next Monthly CHALLENGE

Every month Amanda and Mike pick a month-long challenge that pushes us out of our comfort zone so we can grow, learn, and become better versions of ourselves.  Sometimes we design our own unique challenge and other times we join pre-established challenges. Email us to find out about our next upcoming challenge. Us@BusinessofUs.com

About Us

Our Story | Mike and Amanda TurnerWe are Mike and Amanda Turner, founders of “The Business of Us.” We are fierce advocates of helping entrepreneurial couples and families improve their lives, livelihoods, and legacies… READ MORE

5 Benefits of Realizing You Were an Awful

5 Benefits of Realizing You Were an Awful

​I used to get trapped in a loop of thoughts about all the awful things I’d done. All the things I said. All of the times I approached someone or reacted to them with fear and anger instead of compassion and trust. Or just plain hurt someone for no good reason.

Example: We had friends who had to put down their dog. It was an awful time for them. The dog was young and healthy, but it was also aggressive. After two instances of the dog biting and severely injuring another dog, it was time.

Not long after dealing with this, we saw one half of the couple and I blurted out the fact that we were going to get a puppy. Perhaps not my best timing. I can still see the expression on his face, his features falling in pain as palpable as if I’d cut him with a knife.

Reliving this and a thousand other moments – was this the penance for having been a jerk? Was I doomed to a mental prison of regret over every time I’ve been an asshole?

(And as you’ve probably already guessed, the above example is a mild one. I’ve done far worse.)

But I’ve come to realize that we former assholes are not doomed. In fact, we’re blessed. Because we have these…

5 Benefits of Realizing You Were an Awful Person

 

1) You Grow.

You’d be more of an awful person if you never realized it at all. By acknowledging your own faults, you create the space to change them.

 

2) You Develop Compassion for Others.

When someone else is awful, maybe you see a bit of yourself in them. Maybe you take a moment to consider what they might be going through, and hope that they will someday grow as you have.

 

3) You Develop Compassion for Yourself.

Once you realize that the regrets center around the past (the former you), you permit yourself forgiveness and the permission to move forward.

 

4) You Strive to Be Great.

Now you know who you don’t want to be, so you can make great strides in becoming the person you DO want to be.

 

5) You Live in the Present.

Being aware of past blunders and committing to being the best version of yourself going forward keeps you focused on being that person now. Here. Today. In this moment.

Regrets only serve us if we acknowledge them and learn from them. Dwelling on regrets just keeps them alive and gives them power.

If, like me, you were an awful person, be grateful that the awful you is in the past.

Join The Community!

Join our Facebook GroupJoin the quest for “The Sweet Life.”  Request access to our Facebook Group.  Let’s learn from each other!  GO HERE

Free Audio Book Download

Full Unabridged Audio Book “Vagabonding With Kids” by AK Turner!  GO HERE

Take The SWEET LIFE Assessment

See how you score? Identify your strengths. Discover areas in your life you want to improve. GO HERE.

Giving Back

Amanda and Mike launched an Impact Club in their hometown of Boise, Idaho in 2017, and have had a blast gathering like-minded individuals, families, and organizations to make significant impact in our community, raising over $200,000 locally and over $1.5 million nationally.  

Join Our Next Monthly CHALLENGE

Every month Amanda and Mike pick a month-long challenge that pushes us out of our comfort zone so we can grow, learn, and become better versions of ourselves.  Sometimes we design our own unique challenge and other times we join pre-established challenges. Email us to find out about our next upcoming challenge. Us@BusinessofUs.com

About Us

Our Story | Mike and Amanda TurnerWe are Mike and Amanda Turner, founders of “The Business of Us.” We are fierce advocates of helping entrepreneurial couples and families improve their lives, livelihoods, and legacies… READ MORE

Team Turner

Team Turner

I successfully completed my 5th half-marathon. The other 4 took place years ago and after I finished the 4th, I remember thinking that I would never do it again.

Why subject myself to so much pain?

But yesterday was different. At the finish line I thought, “Yeah, I could do that again.”

The difference was having Mike by my side.

When you run alone, you have mile after mile to psych yourself out. To get caught up in your own head, in all the fears and doubts about who you are, why you’re out there, and what you’re doing.

When you have a partner by your side, there’s no space for self-doubt. Because you’re too busy chatting about the sunrise and how long you can make it before giving in to the restrictions of your bladder and stopping at a port-a-potty.

At every mile marker, Mike and I would throw our hands up in the air and shout the number. During the last three miles, we listened to “Eye of the Tiger” and AC/DC and the Rocky theme. It was silly and fun. No pain, no fear.

Okay, maybe a little pain.

There is so much value in having someone by your side. Your spouse, your friend, your accountability partner. Your team, your tribe, your dog.

In a few days Mike and I will begin a new physical challenge.

I don’t have all the details yet, but it involves terrifying things like kettle bells and sandbags.

The pull-up bar that Mike bolted to the back of our house will be employed.

I’ve been told to identify a “respectable hill.”

Am I scared? Yes. Yes, I am.

It’s going to be crazy hard. But Mike will be right there with me, as well as a team of people from all across the country.

So there’s no time to dwell in fear and self-doubt. I’ve got a hill to find.

Join The Community!

Join our Facebook GroupJoin the quest for “The Sweet Life.”  Request access to our Facebook Group.  Let’s learn from each other!  GO HERE

Free Audio Book Download

Full Unabridged Audio Book “Vagabonding With Kids” by AK Turner!  GO HERE

Take The SWEET LIFE Assessment

See how you score? Identify your strengths. Discover areas in your life you want to improve. GO HERE.

Giving Back

Amanda and Mike launched an Impact Club in their hometown of Boise, Idaho in 2017, and have had a blast gathering like-minded individuals, families, and organizations to make significant impact in our community, raising over $200,000 locally and over $1.5 million nationally.

Join Our Next Monthly CHALLENGE

Every month Amanda and Mike pick a month-long challenge that pushes us out of our comfort zone so we can grow, learn, and become better versions of ourselves.  Sometimes we design our own unique challenge and other times we join pre-established challenges. Email us to find out about our next upcoming challenge. Us@BusinessofUs.com

About Us

Our Story | Mike and Amanda TurnerWe are Mike and Amanda Turner, founders of “The Business of Us.” We are fierce advocates of helping entrepreneurial couples and families improve their lives, livelihoods, and legacies… READ MORE

I Love My Inner Critic

I Love My Inner Critic

Most of us are very hard on ourselves. We’re wired to focus on our negatives, so congratulating ourselves feels weird.

Yes, there’s a case to be made for not being so hard on ourselves.

It’s fashionable now to throw around the phrase “self-care.”

Though I see a lot of people bastardizing this – they need an excuse for something so they call it “self-care.”

Exercise, reading, rest = good examples of self-care.

Hurting someone out of spite = no, you don’t get to justify that by calling it self-care.

Eating a pound of Skittles while sitting on the couch and letting “reality” television destroy your last remaining brain cells = also not self-care.

While I don’t think it’s good to constantly focus on the negatives, what we didn’t get done, what we could have done better…

I also think there’s VALUE in being our own worst critics. If you can’t be critical of yourself, you take away your ability to identify areas for improvement.

When I admit what I don’t know, I figure out what I need to learn.

I think the key is using criticism to formulate a plan for change.

(Just wallowing in it doesn’t do any good, because you’ll never improve and you’ll be a miserable bastard.)

But listening to criticism and genuinely trying to understand it is a huge gift. Our inner critic isn’t something that needs to be constantly battled or silenced. I’d argue that our inner critic is actually one of our greatest allies.

Praise feels great. But if we’re not also willing to be honest with ourselves about our own shortcomings, we might as well turn on The Bachelorette and pass the Skittles.

Join The Community!

Join our Facebook GroupJoin the quest for “The Sweet Life.”  Request access to our Facebook Group.  Let’s learn from each other!  GO HERE

Free Audio Book Download

Full Unabridged Audio Book “Vagabonding With Kids” by AK Turner!  GO HERE

Take The SWEET LIFE Assessment

See how you score? Identify your strengths. Discover areas in your life you want to improve. GO HERE.

Giving Back

Amanda and Mike launched an Impact Club in their hometown of Boise, Idaho in 2017, and have had a blast gathering like-minded individuals, families, and organizations to make significant impact in our community, raising over $200,000 locally and over $1.5 million nationally.

Join Our Next Monthly CHALLENGE

Every month Amanda and Mike pick a month-long challenge that pushes us out of our comfort zone so we can grow, learn, and become better versions of ourselves.  Sometimes we design our own unique challenge and other times we join pre-established challenges. Email us to find out about our next upcoming challenge. Us@BusinessofUs.com

About Us

Our Story | Mike and Amanda TurnerWe are Mike and Amanda Turner, founders of “The Business of Us.” We are fierce advocates of helping entrepreneurial couples and families improve their lives, livelihoods, and legacies… READ MORE

Fixing My “Not Exercising Enough” Problem

Fixing My “Not Exercising Enough” Problem

I’m famous inside my household for “overdoing it” at the gym. In the past, I would miss weeks or even months without doing any consistent exercising, and when I would finally get that opportunity, I tried to make up for all that lost time in one session at the gym.

I would crawl home broken and not be able to move much for the next few days.

Part of my challenge with getting the gym consistently was the time investment it took. I always had seemingly more pressing things to take care of. Exercising was the award if I got them done. But for an entrepreneur, your work is never done; hence, I struggled with consistency.

But I now can say with pride that I’ve been exercising every day for the past 70 days, and I have no intention of breaking that streak anytime soon.

Exercising every day may sound extreme, and it certainly can be, but I’m doing a specifically designed workout each day as part of group fitness challenge called GRIT.

With GRIT workouts, I’ve found that I can push myself hard each day, and make significant gains physically, without “overdoing it” so I can come back the next day feeling strong.

The GRIT workouts are hard, but most of the time I can do them in 15-30 mins from my home. This saves me loads of time, not having to drive to the gym, find parking, figure out what to do, do it, then drive back home.

The workouts are different each day, but all of them are designed to work your entire body and achieve something called “Minimum Effective Dose” which is simply a way of getting all the benefits of a great workout while eliminating as much wasted time as possible to achieve the desired results.

The best part about committing to these daily GRIT workouts is the results I see in my body and my physical abilities. I can do things now (without pain) that I never thought I’d be able to do again.

These gains did not come easily, nor right away. There are many days when the last thing I want to do is go in my basement and crank out a GRIT workout.

But the secret weapon about GRIT, is the community behind it. I have a team that is relying on me to report my workout each day. If I don’t, not only am I booted from that month’s GRIT challenge, but my team would be penalized as well (and my pride would never allow that happen).

Having a team to check in with each day is not only great for accountability, but it also inspires you to want to keep fighting alongside of them. We are in it together. The team is there to a bright light on a dark day.

All in all, I believe the key for me to be more consistent with my exercising was making it a daily routine. I don’t have to make a decision if I should do it or not. It just has to happen. And to make it something I can do anywhere, that doesn’t require a gym or significant investment in time. I can do while traveling or on my busiest workday day at home.

My biggest take away with all of this is just realizing that willpower only goes so far, that I must commit to a routine to be consistent, and if possible, find a team to be accountable to.

Join The Community!

Join our Facebook GroupJoin the quest for “The Sweet Life.”  Request access to our Facebook Group.  Let’s learn from each other!  GO HERE

Free Audio Book Download

Full Unabridged Audio Book “Vagabonding With Kids” by AK Turner!  GO HERE

Take The SWEET LIFE Assessment

See how you score? Identify your strengths. Discover areas in your life you want to improve. GO HERE.

Giving Back

Amanda and Mike launched an Impact Club in their hometown of Boise, Idaho in 2017, and have had a blast gathering like-minded individuals, families, and organizations to make significant impact in our community, raising over $200,000 locally and over $1.5 million nationally.  

Join Our Next Monthly CHALLENGE

Every month Amanda and Mike pick a month-long challenge that pushes us out of our comfort zone so we can grow, learn, and become better versions of ourselves.  Sometimes we design our own unique challenge and other times we join pre-established challenges. Email us to find out about our next upcoming challenge. Us@BusinessofUs.com

About Us

Our Story | Mike and Amanda TurnerWe are Mike and Amanda Turner, founders of “The Business of Us.” We are fierce advocates of helping entrepreneurial couples and families improve their lives, livelihoods, and legacies… READ MORE

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