Go V.I.B.R.A.N.T. to Glow

In an excerpt from her new book, Glow, Dr. Stacie Stephenson offers meditations for personal well-being and spiritual growth.
Dr. Stacie Stephenson teaches readers how to glow up—inside and out—in 90 days. Photography: Bob & Dawn Davis

I reserve a sacred 15- to 30-minute block of time at the beginning and end of every day. No matter how busy I get, whether I’m home or traveling, I prioritize these moments, when I don’t have any obligations and can sit all by myself, resting, reflecting and setting my intentions for the day ahead, or settling into a restful evening. This daily practice has been one of the most powerful and influential things I do to keep myself feeling mentally centered, physically healthy, emotionally balanced, socially connected, spiritually calm and focused on my goals.

The significance of this practice in my daily life is what inspired me to share it with others through my new book, Glow: 90 Days to Create Your Vibrant Life From Within. My first book, Vibrant, was about foundational health, but to me, vibrant and glow are related because living a vibrant lifestyle results in the unmistakable glow of vibrant health. This is why I organized Glow around the acronym V.I.B.R.A.N.T. To give you a little taste of what’s in this book, which contains 90 days of morning and evening inspiration, in this article I’ll tell you what each section is all about, and give you a sample from the book of the kind of inspirational tip, advice, motivation or meditation you’ll find in that section. This is just dipping your toe in, but it’s enough to get you glowing!

V is for Voice, and every Monday, I’ll talk about the way you talk to yourself, as well as the way you express your thoughts, feelings and desires to the world around you. You’ll work on achieving a new level of self-awareness and courage to step into your life and make it what you want it to be, unburdened by the expectations of others. Let the worries of potential judgments from others take a back seat and learn how to use your unique voice to express exactly what you want to say. Here’s a meditation from Week 1:

How you talk to yourself is a reflection of how you value yourself, and it matters. Does your self-talk reflect confidence and compassion or disrespect and insecurity? Today, see if you can tune in to the voice in your head. Without judging, simply notice what it’s saying. When you wake up and look in the mirror, where do your thoughts go? See if you can notice patterns: When are you hard on yourself, and when are you self-supportive? When you notice a negative pattern, try reframing by asking yourself: Would I say this to a friend in my position? Try treating yourself with the same compassion you’d offer that friend.

I is for Intuition, and every Tuesday, I’ll talk about some aspect of intuition, which is your inner knowing. We all have intuition, but sometimes that still, small whisper is hard to hear. Yet, it’s always talking to us, in the form of thoughts, feelings, hunches and even physical symptoms, as our bodies give us constant feedback about what we’re doing and whether it’s good for us. On Intuition days, you’ll work on honing this very special skill so you can build trust and confidence in your own inner sense of what is right, what is good, what is safe and what is a warning. Focusing inward turns down the volume of your thoughts and the noisy world so you can hear what your intuition is trying to tell you. Here’s a meditation from Week 2:

It’s nice to spend your evening with someone you love, whether it’s a romantic partner or a close family member or friend. When you retreat from the noise of the day, take the opportunity to use your intuition to better understand the people closest to you. Try to feel the energy in the room. Notice body language and expressions. Is there something more going on with someone you care about than is being said? Can you pick up on subtle cues that someone is hurt or happy, pulling away or trying to get closer? So much communication within relationships is unspoken, but you can use your intuition to learn more about your partner and loved ones than you could ever learn from the words they speak out loud.

B is for Balance, and on Wednesdays, we’ll talk about how the demands of daily life can often pull you in countless directions and away from your balanced center. Whether it’s work-life balance, self-other balance, physical- and mental-energy balance, you’ll explore where imbalances exist, how to dial back habits that aren’t helping you, and how to establish routines that lead to feeling better and accomplishing more. Here’s a meditation from Week 3:

Humans are built to be both autonomous and interdependent. To feel balanced, we need to be both personally capable and communally connected. You may have heard that self-worth should come from within, but nobody exists in a bubble. If you depend entirely on others for your self-worth, you give away your power. If you rely only on yourself, you may miss out on how impactful it is to be useful and of service to others. You have inherent dignity and are worthy of love, but don’t forget that we all rely on one another, and reaching out to see what others need is one of the best ways to boost your own morale.

R is for Rejuvenation, and every Thursday, you’re going to learn how to slow down and get the restoration you need to get back to your optimal state of being. With guidance for all kinds of regenerative strategies, from digital detoxes and healing baths to better sleep hygiene and other physical habits to help your body regenerate for a more energetic, youthful you, you’ll explore how to get back to feeling your best, especially during times of stress. Here’s a meditation from Week 5:

Have you ever considered eating as a way to rejuvenate your skin? The best foods for rejuvenating the body from the inside out contain lubricating healthful fats and antioxidant polyphenols and carotenoids that fight skin-damaging free radicals. My top 10 rejuvenating foods are fatty fish (like salmon), avocados, walnuts, eggs, any berries (but especially blueberries and raspberries), broccoli, red bell peppers, sweet potatoes, dark leafy greens (like spinach and kale) and green tea. How many of these foods can you fit into your diet today?

A is for Abundance, and on Fridays, we’ll talk about how focusing on abundance can bring enough of the things you need into your life: love, support, meaningful relationships, connection with nature, fulfilling work and you-time. Abundance is about much more than material possessions and financial resources. When you have enough physical, emotional and spiritual abundance, sharing with others will feel joyful and fulfilling. You’ll work on exploring where you are most rich, and then, how giving and sharing your resources, time or talents can actually increase abundance, lower stress and infuse you with a deep sense of appreciation for the gifts in your life. Here is a meditation from Week 8:

Think about how resources flow in and out of your life. There’s money, of course, but there are also other resources like the material things you own, the food you eat, the hospitality you offer to others, the friendships you invest in, and the quality time you spend with family. Do these things feel rightly ordered? You create an atmosphere of abundance when all of these resources work in tandem. Think about how you might make this flow of energy happen more smoothly, with incoming resources unblocked and outgoing resources appropriately let go of. Imagine your life is like a bridge over a river. Resources constantly flow in and constantly flow out, but beneath the bridge, there is always an abundance of river.

N is for Nurturing, and on Saturdays, you’ll focus on this essential part of the human connection. We can gift our nurturing not just to children, but also to our parents, partners, friends, co-workers, pets and communities. You’ll explore the many ways you can care for the people who populate your life through teaching, supporting, sharing passions, bonding physically and emotionally, and creating meaningful connections. And of course, I’ll remind you how important it is to nurture yourself with all the love, care and attention you offer to others. Here is a meditation from Week 11:

Think about how touch can be nurturing to other people. This evening, can you make an effort to connect physically with your loved ones? This can be as simple as a hug, the squeeze of a hand, or an impromptu back rub if someone is feeling stressed. You might rock a baby, cuddle a child or be intimate with your romantic partner. Whatever you do, be mindful of the sensation of touch in particular. Notice how the other person responds in order to gauge whether your actions are having the nurturing effect you intend. You might learn something valuable about what kind of touch gets the most welcome response from someone you love.

T is for Thoughtfulness, and you’ll be infusing your Sundays with the kindness, consideration, generosity and deep spiritual joy that comes from sending your energy outward. There are quiet ways to do this, like meditation and prayer, and obvious ways to do this, like focusing on those who really need your attention. The best remedy for stress or sadness is to express your most open-handed and open-hearted impulses through intentional thoughtfulness. Here is a meditation from Week 12:

Today, practice reframing an unpleasant interaction with someone. About when someone said something that made you angry or hurt your feelings. See if you can momentarily put your own feelings aside to consider what that person might have been going through that could have impacted how they treated you. Perhaps they just received some bad news, are having personal problems at home or are recovering from a traumatic event. Instead of holding on to residual anger or hurt, let your thoughtfulness guide you toward giving that person the benefit of the doubt. When people stoop to hurtful words or actions, it’s usually coming from a place of deep hurt within themselves. When you think about the interaction from a position of sympathy and understanding, it becomes much easier to release your anger and avoid saying something that will only escalate the situation.

I hope you’ve found something to love in these meditations. It’s my sincere hope that you’ll benefit in profound ways from taking time for yourself each day. You deserve that and more, and I would be honored if you used Glow as your guide during those quiet moments of growth and contemplation. drstaciestephenson.com

Taken from Glow: 90 Days to Create Your Vibrant Life From Within by Dr. Stacie Stephenson. Copyright © 2023 Vibrant Literary Works LLC. Used by permission of Harper Celebrate. harpercollinsfocus.com/harper-celebrate/