WELCOME TO Cultivate An Exceptional Life

Resources, thoughts, and more all designed to help foster the growth of better health, increased happiness, and more joy in one’s life, despite life’s challenges.

Hello!

I am your host Leisa Watkins. I am so glad you stopped by for a visit.

I believe it living your best life, despite whatever challenges are going on in life. So I’ve created this site to share some things related to health, happiness, and joy.How about I show you around the site a little? After all, I hope we’ll be friends and you’ll hang out at our house here often.

The content on this site is divided into several sections…

Cultivate More Happiness

I believe that happiness is created and that for most happy people happiness not an accident.

Sure, I understand that medical issues, genetic mutations, and more can have an impact on one’s outlook in life. And yes, we get it, there can be a lot going on! We are proof of that. But I don’t believe these are roadblock that stops one’s ability to find happiness.

The happiness section of the site is dedicated to building life enriching experiences and to the cultivation of thoughts that lead to greater happiness.

I share resources to create more happiness, despite life’s challenges. And i’ll share some of the things we do to live life more fully, including the things we do to create more happiness in life. It could be hobbies (such as art or photography), restaurants we love, travel we’ve done, or perhaps even photos and stories of our pets, and other experiences that lead to happy living.

Cultivate Better Health

Build life enriching experiences and cultivate thoughts that lead to greater health.  Learn about specific health challenges and the research I have done on methods and resources to assist with certain diseases.

Health is so important! We’re dedicated to bringing you news, information, advice and tips to lead a healthy lifestyle.

In the health section, you’ll find…

  • Research we’ve found related to various medical conditions that we are dealing with (in case you or a loved one are dealing with them too)
  • Tips and tricks for increasing health, particularly research we’ve done on our own journey to restoring health.
  • Info on what it is like living with a variety of medical conditions
  • Our favorite remedies (some of them homemade)
  • and more!

Cultivate Joy

Joy is a state of mind.

Joy is something greater than happiness.

Joy is the result of cultivating more passion and purpose in one’s life.

Joy is the purpose of life.

It the joy section of the website I’ll share content around the topic of cultivating more joy in life.

The Latest Health & Wellness Posts

My PTSD Story #3  – I Was Stalked by a Rapist

My PTSD Story #3 – I Was Stalked by a Rapist

TRIGGER WARNING: SEXUAL VIOLENCE/RAPE This is my third PTSD story, in a series about the trauma I have gone through which led to my diagnosis of Complete Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.  During the summer of 1983, I was woken by the rattling of my bedroom window....

Stories of Hope in Hard Times

Stories of Hope in Hard Times

How do you get through hard times?  I share some some of the struggles I've dealt with and tips for getting through them.on the podcast Stories of Hope in Hard Times by host Tamara K Anderson. You can watch it below, listen to it below, on Tamara's website or access...

THE POWER OF WORDS AFTER  A MEDICAL DIAGNOSIS

THE POWER OF WORDS AFTER A MEDICAL DIAGNOSIS

The power of words, after a medical diagnosis, should not be underestimated. They can provide you and I with the ability to change our outlook about life, the disease, and our potential outcome.  Some words are more powerful than others by their very nature. Words...

Possible Causes of PTSD, Besides Combat

Possible Causes of PTSD, Besides Combat

There are many possible causes of PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder). The term PTSD is one I had long associated with soldiers returning from war. Shell-shock. Battle Fatigue. Combat Fatigue. Those were terms I had seen in movies. For years, I was living with the...

My PTSD Story #2  – Trapped at Home with a Burglar

My PTSD Story #2 – Trapped at Home with a Burglar

Trigger warning. This is my second of my PTSD stories – the trauma related events that led to me living with complex post traumatic disorder. My childhood home’s basement had just one exit. A long set of stairs on the south side of the house. At the top of the stairs,...

My Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Story

My Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Story

Have I told you my post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) story? Probably not. I haven't told many people. After all, I tried to hide it for years. Many, many years.  In fact, this is the first time I have openly spoken (well written) about it. You see, i was afraid...

21 Natural Pain Management Resources I Reach For When I Am in Pain

21 Natural Pain Management Resources I Reach For When I Am in Pain

I like having an arsenal of natural pain management resources to turn to. Some days the pain from multiple sclerosis, pancreatitis, and other illnesses can be super intense. Some days i feel I have to throw most of these at the pain resources to get relief. Below are...

How To Get Pain Relief From Plantar Fasciitis

How To Get Pain Relief From Plantar Fasciitis

Plantar Fasciitis is inflammation of a thick band of tissue that runs across the bottom of your foot. And, if you have had plantar fasciitis you want to get pain relief immediately. The planter fascia connects your heel bone to your toes (plantar fascia). Plantar...

Resilience and the Law of Least Resistance

Resilience and the Law of Least Resistance

Exhausted – that is how I felt when we returned from the ER visit that Friday evening. My youngest daughter had broken her arm in a rollerskating accident. It was extremely late, everyone was hungry, and I just wanted to crawl into bed, but those motherly instincts...

Spasticity Associated with Multiple Sclerosis

Spasticity Associated with Multiple Sclerosis

Spasticity is one of the most annoying symptoms of multiple sclerosis. And it can be especially painful. It is a fairly a common symptom of MS and can have a big impact on ones daily life. If often has a big impact on mine.  My worse experiences with spasticity has...

The Latest Happiness Posts

On Orange Brunch Restaurant in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania

On Orange Brunch Restaurant in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania

I stopped by On Orange during for lunch one day on a trip to Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. Centrally located in downtown Lancaster.  They only serve an all-day breakfast.  It noticed it was listed as a favorite restaurant on several review lists so when I ended up...

Kitchen Kettle Village, Lancaster, PA

Kitchen Kettle Village, Lancaster, PA

I stopped at Kitchen Kettle Village, in Intercourse, Pennsylvania on a recent short stay in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania.  Kitchen Kettle Village is a fun collection of shops, restaurants, and even lodging.  It was founded with a Pennsylvania Dutch theme in mind and...

Red Hills Desert Garden, St. George, UT

Red Hills Desert Garden, St. George, UT

Located inside Pioneer Parkin St. George, UT, the Red Hills Deseret Garden is a desert garden, which showcases water-efficient landscapes, so of course it is a great place to get landscaping ideas if you live in the desert. Plus you can see some endangered plants and...

A Look Inside Central Market Lancaster County Pennsylvania

A Look Inside Central Market Lancaster County Pennsylvania

I wandered through Central Market on a recent trip to Lancaster, Pennsylvania. I literally stumbled upon it as I was photographing the historical character of Lancaster. At the time I had no idea how much history there was around the market. Central Market is the...

Curb Appeal Ideas from Lancaster Pennsylvania

Curb Appeal Ideas from Lancaster Pennsylvania

Downtown Lancaster Pennsylvania has many homes with some great curb appeal. Lancaster is the oldest inland city in the United States. It has a lot of old historic buildings. So many of the homes and businesses in downtown Lancaster has some great details to give...

3 Day Lancaster County, Pennsylvania Travel Guide

3 Day Lancaster County, Pennsylvania Travel Guide

I have wanted to go to Lancaster Pennsylvania for many years. It started back in my early twenties when I spent my time creating and selling handcrafted items. I guess I wanted to go see what the Amish, who are expert homemakers, did. I always said I wanted to go...

Chart Your Course: Dream, Act, Plan, Believe In Your Dreams

Chart Your Course: Dream, Act, Plan, Believe In Your Dreams

I am a huge dreamer and a huge believer in the ability to accomplishing one’s dreams. I always have been. However, life doesn’t ever quite seem to turn out the way you dream it would. Life happens and dreams sometimes get trampled. For me, illness stuck, loss hit,...

6 Ways Art Can Benefit Your Health & Happiness

6 Ways Art Can Benefit Your Health & Happiness

Viewing Art Contributes to HealthThe Nord-Trondelag Health Study, conducted in Norway, collected information from 130,000 people ages 13 and up. The facilitators questioned more than 50,000 men and women about how often they participated in arts-related activities,...

Canyon Villas at Coral Ridge

Canyon Villas at Coral Ridge

The town homes at Coral Canyon are one of our favorite places to stay. I have stayed here for 21 days over the past few years. The place is spacious with 3 bedrooms and 3 bathrooms, a large pantry, and plenty of kitchen space.  It sleeps 8 comfortably. And it well...

The Creamery in Beaver, UT.  Our Southern Utah Road Trip Tradition

The Creamery in Beaver, UT. Our Southern Utah Road Trip Tradition

I have many ice cream memories growing up. Sunday night ice cream as a family. Grandpa Bruvold stocking the freezer with ice cream when ever we came to visit.  A few ice cream traditions have evolved with my children. The Creamery in Beaver, Utah is one of them....

Perspective Makes All the Difference in Our Happiness

Perspective Makes All the Difference in Our Happiness

Life will bring you plenty of experiences that you can use to grow from and opportunities to change your perspective. You will grow as your experiences expand and eventually everything works out in its own perfect way. However, most often, we fail to see the benefit...

6 Strategies to Create Your Own Happiness

6 Strategies to Create Your Own Happiness

Many people come to believe very early in life that life is a game they can't win. They spend the rest of their lives collecting "evidence" to prove why they don't deserve to be happy or that I can't be happy because "this happened" to me. They spend time thinking...

The Latest Joy Posts

How to Turn Regret into a Positive Experience

How to Turn Regret into a Positive Experience

Do you feel regret in life? I have. I've felt regret; those momentary feelings of loss, disappointment, or dissatisfaction with something in my life. I would warrant that all of us have experienced some type of regret in our life. Something we wished we had done...

Chart Your Course: Dream, Act, Plan, Believe In Your Dreams

Chart Your Course: Dream, Act, Plan, Believe In Your Dreams

I am a huge dreamer and a huge believer in the ability to accomplishing one’s dreams. I always have been. However, life doesn’t ever quite seem to turn out the way you dream it would. Life happens and dreams sometimes get trampled. For me, illness stuck, loss hit,...

Gratitudes Impact on Health Happiness & Joy

Gratitudes Impact on Health Happiness & Joy

Gratitude can make a positive and significant impact on your health, happiness, and joy. That is what study after study shows. It can help us make a transition from happiness to joy and from unhealthy to healthy. Gratitude is such a powerful emotion. It is difficult...

Service is a Great Stress Reliever & Part of Your Purpose

Service is a Great Stress Reliever & Part of Your Purpose

I had been feeling super down for a few days. I hadn’t cried that much in 24 hours than I have in the past many, many years. The last time I felt that way was when I miscarried twins 15 or so years ago. It was highly unusual for me. I think all the stuff that I had...