Monday, December 23, 2013

Healthy Holidays!


Speaking from someone who loves to celebrate, this time of year can be most exciting. The holiday season gives us opportunities to be thankful, giving, and ring in another new year. With all of these reasons to act in exceptional ways, this time of year can also cause many of us to lose our sense of equilibrium. Stress, expectations, and "waiting until the last minute" to get something done can push us out of alignment and affect our natural sense of balance.

As the holiday season is moving into full swing, here are some quick tips to help us maintain better balance in our mind, body and spirit while we celebrate this exciting time of year:
  • Get plenty of rest. The holidays always include extra activities and will take more energy than usual, so getting adequate amounts of rest will let us join in the fun!
  • Drink lots of water and other fluids (including hot teas). This will keep us properly hydrated and less prone to holiday germs.
  • Eat healthy foods high in vitamins and minerals. Most of us will eat some holiday treats (candy, chocolate, etc.), but be sure to keep it balanced with healthy portions of proteins, fruits and vegetables. Too much sugar will spike our energy and can cause headaches and fatigue.
  • Help stop the spread of holiday colds and illness. By covering our mouths when we sneeze or cough, and washing our hands often we lessen the spread of germs. Carry extra tissues with you if your nose is runny or throat lozenges if you have a cough.
  • Get plenty of exercise. Even a short walk in the mornings or evenings will help keep our blood moving. Exercise and stretching helps improve circulation and promotes faster healing!
  • Take time to spend with people. Visiting with our family and friends during our holiday time off and taking the time to reconnect with those we love strengthens our relationships, boosts our immune system and reconnects us back to ourselves.
  • Unplug a little! Take time off from the busy hustle and bustle: Turn off the ringer on your phone and let calls go to voice mail; take a few days off from Facebook & Twitter—the world won't end without your updated status; don't read email for a couple days; turn off the TV and pop in a classic holiday movie—unplug from the world and plug back into a good book, the people, the music, and the nature around you. It's all there waiting for your attention!  
May this holiday season allow you time to relax, refresh and "recharge" your batteries, and provide you with the opportunity to connect to the natural balance within you.


Michael Thomas Sunnarborg

Bring in the new year by returning to better balance. Need a bit of motivation? Pick up a copy of 21DaystoBetterBalance or another book in the series, and start finding better balance with yourself, your relationships, or your career in 2014!

Monday, December 9, 2013

Moving Into Alignment

 If you are attuned to your inner guidance,
there is no way you can become severely out
of balance with your natural environment.

Shakti Gawain

Have you noticed know how some days just feel better than others? How about how some people seem to emit better "vibes" than others? Our feelings are feeding us information, and feelings of balance can be most easily experienced through our feelings of alignment. After exploring Awareness, Alignment is the second part of finding better balance in your life.

Alignment happens both on the inside and outside of us. Alignment means that our thoughts, beliefs, and intentions are aligned with our deepest truth and best understanding of our purpose in the world. Internally, this means that we strive to be conscious of our thoughts, feelings, and intuition so that our behaviors reflect our true values. Externally, this means that over time, we bring our attitudes, actions, and words closer and closer to our fundamental beliefs. Alignment also comes through our relationships with others.
As we move in and out of alignment with our deepest selves, our relationships directly reflect our present state of balance—relationships are mirrors.

This week, think about someone in your life who challenges you—a friend, family member, co-worker, boss—someone who is driving you crazy, or someone with whom you just don’t get along. Now put that person in your mind’s eye, and begin to think of something—anything—that you genuinely appreciate about them. Even if it takes a while, come up with a list of at least three things. There’s buried treasure in there somewhere! Focus on those things the next time you speak with that person, and notice how this simple act of unspoken appreciation brings them into better alignment with you.

This second step of moving into alignment helped me reconnect with my natural state of balance and reminded me that whether it's my own sense of equilibrium or the alignment I feel with others, the power to change my life is always in my hands.


Michael Thomas Sunnarborg

Find better balance in your life, relationships, and work. 
Visit to learn more! 

Monday, November 25, 2013

Welcome to Awareness


 Let us not look back in anger, nor forward
in fear, but around in awareness.
James Thurber

My search for better balance began while I was living in Honolulu, Hawaii, in the late 1990s. A good friend and I were making observations about how the mind, body, and spirit are connected. We discussed how our life experience reflected our state of balance—the more balanced we were, the more serenity and peace we felt.

During my years of study I found a recurring theme: Being balanced is natural. Returning to this natural state means removing the barriers to balance within us, many of them created by our own thoughts and behaviors. I knew there must be a way to break old patterns and return to a healthier balanced state.
I also realized that in order to find better balance in my life I needed to first become aware of the factors that influenced my state of balance. When I started taking note of the different events, environments, and people that had the largest impact on my balance, I became empowered by the results. Sometimes the best teacher is our own experience.

This first step of Awareness started a movement within me. With this "wake up call" came a flood of new information about my patterns of thought—all of which were influencing my attitudes, actions and words. Becoming aware of these influences shifted my energy, and as a response, I began to see the world around me shifting as well.

This week I encourage you to become aware of the people, places, and experiences that have the greatest impacts on your sense of balance and happiness. Notice your feelings, follow your intuition, and pay attention to the results. Raising your awareness helps you reconnect with your natural state of balance and reminds you that the power to change your life is always in your hands.


Michael Thomas Sunnarborg

Find better balance in your life, relationships, and work. 
Visit to learn more!

Monday, November 11, 2013

Step 6: Power

Becoming aware of your power helps you
to create more balanced relationships.

John’s boss was out of touch with her power. Andrea was well-educated, socially savvy, and professionally astute, but she had fought for so many years to get to the top that she couldn’t turn off her aggressiveness. Since she wasn't aware of how to use and diffuse her power, Andrea micromanaged many of John's activities, leaving him feeling frustrated and powerless.

Finally, John learned how to regain his power in the relationship. His awareness that Andrea was out of touch with her power gave him the ability to work smarter. Even though he didn't agree with all of Andrea's ideas, he started to work with her out of compassion instead of against her out of anger. John found that if he didn't push against Andrea, he could gradually introduce ideas that would complement rather than challenge her. Over time, they were both able to achieve the results they wanted and John no longer felt overpowered.

This week, think of people in your life who are very powerful. What makes them appear powerful? Now think of people you’d consider power hungry or out of touch with their power. What makes them seem that way? Spend a week noticing how you and the people around you use power. How does power affect your relationships with others every day?

To your best balanced life!

Michael Thomas Sunnarborg

This is an except from 21 Steps to Better Relationships. Find the rest of the message and other steps at:

Monday, October 21, 2013

Step 2: Communication

Awareness of effective communication is
vital for creating healthy relationships.

Donna and Kevin have been married for a year. The last time Kevin went out for a few beers with his friends, Donna blew up at him when he got home and angrily said that he’s happy to go out with his friends, but he won’t go out with her.

One evening last week, Kevin told Donna he needed to stay and work late. In reality, Kevin lied. Instead of working late, he was out with his friends again. Donna found out and was furious.

When Donna and Kevin sat down to talk about it, Kevin said that he was afraid to tell her that his time with friends is still very important to him. Donna said that she’s happy that he is close to his friends, but that she thinks his time with his friends is cutting into the time they spend together. In the end, they decided to schedule a "date night" each week so they could go out with friends or on their own. They also agreed to make sure they were socializing as much with each other as they are separately. They found a peaceful compromise by communicating openly and honestly with each other.

Pay attention to the next time your emotions are triggered during a conversation. What was said? What emotions were triggered? How can you avoid an emotional collision? Take a moment to pause, acknowledge your feelings, and think carefully about how to respond. Ask questions for clarification and be willing to investigate your feelings. Notice what’s different when you come from a place of thoughtful response, and see how this changes the landscape of the conversation.

To your best balanced life!

The Ambassador of Goodwill

This is an except from 21 Steps to Better Relationships. Find the rest of the message for this step and other steps at:

Monday, October 7, 2013

Step 20: Go With the Flow


 Choosing to change allows you
to accept the world outside of you.

Doug was laid off from a company where he'd been working for over ten years. Although the news was a shock to him, his first thought was how he was going to tell his fiancé. Doug and Amy had been saving their money for the past two years so they could get married. But now he wasn't sure of anything. He felt like the whole world had stopped. He couldn't imagine what he was going to do next.

That evening, Doug and Amy sat down to discuss the situation. While Amy listened, Doug expressed his anger and disappointment about losing his job, and his fear about what was going to happen next. Amy shared a different perspective with him. "Do you realize this is an opportunity for something new?" she said. Over the next few days Doug realized he did, indeed, have many options. He decided to take things step by step and look at this change as a positive opportunity for new direction and growth. In time, Doug was able to find a new job that he loved which paid more than his last job. He learned that change can, indeed, be something to appreciate and not to fear.

Where are you resisting change? How would it be different if you accepted it, or even encouraged or facilitated it? This week, try changing something about your routine that you have been resisting. Notice how the new relationship with yourself affects your relationships with others.

To your best balanced life!

The Ambassador of Goodwill

This is an except from 21 Keys to Work/Life Balance. Find the rest of the message for this key and other keys for finding better work/life balance at:

Monday, September 23, 2013

Step 19: Soften Your Stance

Soften your stance to give yourself and
others more room to connect fully.

Heidi is a well-respected and powerful senior manager of a Fortune 500 corporation. She has risen to the top of every team she’s managed and is known to speak her mind when action is needed. Since she is a natural problem solver, people come to Heidi for solutions. Over the years, however, Heidi began to feel overwhelmed, and her relationships with co-workers and supervisors became difficult and stressed.

When Heidi learned she could soften her stance, she had a personal epiphany. Her natural inclination was to be vocal and outspoken, but she realized that she didn’t always need to share her thinking. Heidi realized she could pick and choose where and when to focus her energy. When she committed to not doing and saying her first impulse, others around her were able to step up. Within a month, Heidi's blood pressure went down, her happiness went up, and her relationships improved. Heidi discovered a new type of personal power. Remember that we learn the most by sharing ideas through collaboration rather than collision. 

This week, pay attention to the next time you’re asked to take action or you’re trying to get your point across. Pause, think, and try softening your stance. Notice how it shifts your energy and the energy between you and others.

To your best balanced life!

The Ambassador of Goodwill

This is an except from 21 Steps to Better Relationships. Find the rest of the message for this step and other steps for finding better balance at:

Monday, September 9, 2013

Key 5: Strengths

Becoming aware of your strengths helps
you identify, develop, and share them.

Daniel enjoyed his job as field technician. Every week he was out on the road helping clients solve their technical problems. Over the years, Daniel had built a foundation of solid relationships with his clients and was continually bringing in new business. When it came time for Daniel’s boss to retire, Daniel was recommended to take his place. Daniel reluctantly accepted the position because he thought it might offer him a chance to learn new skills.

Within two weeks of starting in his new position, Daniel was feeling completely out of his element. The manager’s job was entirely different from his position as a field technician. He was in the office five days a week and his meetings were only with other executives and the people he managed. After completing a strengths assessment, Daniel discovered his biggest strength was not managing people, but interacting with customers. Daniel decided to meet with the CEO and ask for his old job back. Fortunately, another candidate was still available for the manager’s position, and Daniel went back to his old job. Daniel realized how being aware of his strengths had allowed him to be in a position that nurtured his well-being.

This week, think of something that you enjoy doing and that you do well. How often do you have the chance to do it? How can you add more of it to your work and life? For example, if you like graphic design and it’s not part of your job, perhaps you can add some graphics to your status reports, presentations, or meeting agendas? Or maybe there’s a chance for you to use your talents in a special event or project? Be willing to see how creative you can be about integrating your strengths and talents into what you already do.

To your best balanced life! 

The Ambassador of Goodwill

This is an except from 21 Keys to Work/Life Balance. Find the rest of the message for this key and other keys for finding better work/life balance at:

Monday, August 19, 2013

Key 4: Frequency


Awareness of your frequency and the frequencies of others
moves you to monitor and adjust frequency as needed.

Holly is naturally social, wittily clever, and charming. In her last job, she had been on a team of like-minded project managers, and they had all grown accustomed to joking around with each other throughout the work day. Holly had recently moved to a new city and accepted a job as a project manager with a new company. During her first week, she realized that most members of her new project team—especially her team leader—were very serious and professional in their interactions.

At first, Holly was disappointed. With her new team presenting such a contrasting vibe, she felt like she couldn't be herself. Then Holly realized that by gently adjusting her frequency, could learn to mesh with this new team. She started watching her words more carefully and became more conscious of her professionalism in the office. It felt strange at first, but after she got over her disappointment, it wasn't so bad. After her second week, several of Holly's teammates invited her to a happy hour. It was there she could relax and be more fun and playful with them, finding the right balance for her natural energy.

This week, pay attention to the frequencies around you. What does it feel like when someone’s frequency is similar to yours? What happens when someone’s frequency is not like yours? How do you adjust to people’s different frequencies? Write an example in your journal this week about how the frequency of someone else played an important role in contributing your sense of balance or lack of balance.

To your best balanced life! 

The Ambassador of Goodwill

This is an except from 21 Keys to Work/Life Balance. Find the rest of the message for this key and other keys for finding better work/life balance at:

Monday, August 5, 2013

Key 3: Intention

Becoming aware of your intentions helps you
focus your priorities and create desired results.

Jill wanted to make a lot of money. "Why not?" she thought. Jill had never really had a lot of money, and she believed that with the right opportunity she could use her education and skills to land a really good job. Sure enough, Jill landed a consulting job that paid more than twice as much money as she'd ever made before. The job was a road warrior position—up to 100% travel—but if that was the price to pay for making a whopping salary, then so be it. Her husband and friends would understand. What an opportunity! And yes, an opportunity it was—a chance for Jill to learn a very valuable lesson.
The first two months were hectic, although feasible. But by the end of six months the job was horrendous. Jill was working 65 to 70 hours a week, was only able to travel home for one day every two weeks, and was missing her husband. She had gotten a cold she just couldn’t shake. The enormous paychecks sat mostly idle in Jill’s bank accounts while she scrambled to keep up. By the time her seventh month came around, Jill was ready to quit. What had she been thinking when she took this job? The money. Was it worth her stress? Her health? Her marriage and friends? Jill had to reconsider her intentions.

Intentions take life when we speak them out loud or write them down. Take a moment this week to think of your intentions for your career and your personal life, write them down, and then share them with someone you trust. Throughout the week, notice how your attitudes, actions, and words are either helping to fulfill your intentions or moving you away from them. If needed, make necessary changes to put yourself back on track.

To your best balanced life! 

The Ambassador of Goodwill

This is an except from 21 Keys to Work/Life Balance. Find the rest of the message for this key and other keys for finding better work/life balance at:


Monday, July 15, 2013

Key 2: Choice

 Being aware of the choices you make gives you
the freedom to create your own experience.

Each new year, Tim would promise to start a new exercise routine but could not keep the motivation to follow through with it. But this year he decided he was going to stick with it. To help him stay motivated, Tim took the advice of a co-worker and hired a personal trainer to help him get started. After the first two weeks, Tim had a workout routine personally tailored to his body type and fitness goals.

After the first month, Tim found his personalized fitness plan was key to his motivation. But Tim also began to notice something else—he started making other healthy choices. As his body began to adjust to the physical exercise, he started craving healthier foods. Because he was eating healthier foods, Tim's weight began to shift. His attitude improved and his stress level was decreasing. As a result of his better mood, work started to flow with a new ease and Tim's relationships started to improve, especially with his wife. Tim had never realized how many aspects of his life were connected to his physical health and well-being. Tim quickly realized that one healthy choice can lead to so many more.

Take a moment this week to prioritize two important things: tasks and people. Take a short inventory of your tasks and ask yourself: Which tasks do I need to spend more time on? Where should I reduce my time? Now take inventory of your relationships: Whom do I need to spend more time with? From whom do I need to detach or take a step back? Add these decisions to your calendar or to-do list for the coming week.

To your best balanced life! 

The Ambassador of Goodwill

Find more tips for better work/life balance at:

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Make A Dream Come True

Never underestimate the power of positive thinking.

If you've ever had a dream you were persuing—I mean, a really big dream—you had faith in the process. Even if you didn't know how it would happen, you still believed it would... and with the love and support of others, it did! Well, my dear friend Kathleen Smith has a dream, and you can help make it come true.

As a singer, songwriter and creator extraordinaire, Kathleen has spent years polishing and perfecting her talent, and now she's embarking on the dream of a lifetime—to work with a Grammy award-winning producer Trina Shoemaker to create a full length record, Love Superstar.

So how can you help? I'm glad you asked! Read more about this exciting project and support Kathleen's Kickstarter project by clicking here.

By helping Kathleen—the Love Superstar that she is—you are helping everyone who has a dream... you included! An act of kindness to another is an act of kindness to yourself.

Namaste to all of you Love Superstars,

The Ambassador of Goodwill

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

21 Keys... Has Arrived!

21 Keys to Work/Life Balance has arrived!

"A true balance between work and life comes with knowing
that your life activities are integrated, not separated."

Saturday, April 27, 2013

One Bite

A recent study from Cox Media Group found that 89 percent of Americans view their work and life balance as a significant problem. Whether it's due to the expansion of technology or the plethora of choices that we face each day, our ability to filter information and stay focused is a constant challenge. The speed of our world is accelerating at an exponential rate and it doesn't appear that it will slow down any time soon. It's no wonder that it becomes more and more difficult to balance priorities between family, friends, and personal obligations while supporting our careers!

You have the potential to make healthy choices and balance your priorities no matter where you are on your life journey. However, change doesn't come easily—it takes courage, dedication, and commitment. Lasting change comes in small steps. Each step evolves into a new habit, and over time, healthy habits become major life changes. By seeking to understand yourself better, learning to focus your energy, and practicing new healthy habits, you can find a better balance of your work and life.

This week, write down one thing you’d like to stop doing and one thing you’d like to start doing to help bring better balance between your work and home life. For example, I will stop checking my email every ten minutes, and, I will start taking a 30-minute walk each day. Put this list where you can see it—on your laptop, iPad, desktop, or sticky note in your car—and make a commitment to changing only those two things this week.

Embrace change like enjoying your favorite food—one bite at a time.

The Ambassador of Goodwill

Look for the 21 Keys to Work/Life Balance book launch May 15, 2013 at and

Monday, April 22, 2013

Key 1: The Balance Myth

The following is an excerpt from Chapter 1 of 21 Keys to Work/Life Balance.

Is there really such a thing as work/life balance? Many say it's a myth. Balance implies harmony or equilibrium among opposing elements. Imagine what this looks like on a scale—work and life are not only separated, but at opposite ends of the spectrum. In this way, the idea of “work/life balance” supports the idea that work and life are separated. This myth of separation is supported by our environments. Since most people leave their home to go to work each day, the differences between work and home environments shift our energy and force us to refocus.

Now consider a different picture. Visualize your life as a circle with work as one of many different circles contained within it. All of our thoughts, feelings, and actions are constantly flowing in and out of these circles—now work and life are not opposing elements but rather work is one element in a much larger “life.” Work is a part of life. The two elements are integrated. The answer to finding better work/life balance is to find the right blend between all our life activities—regardless of where and when they occur.

A true balance between work and life
comes with knowing that your life
activities are integrated, not separated.
Look for 21 Keys to Work/Life Balance coming May 15, 2013!
The Ambassador of Goodwill

Monday, April 15, 2013

Win a Copy of 21 Keys!

Goodreads Book Giveaway

21 Keys to Work/Life Balance by Michael Thomas Sunnarborg

21 Keys to Work/Life Balance

by Michael Thomas Sunnarborg

Giveaway ends May 15, 2013.

See the giveaway details at Goodreads.

Enter to win