Practicing the Pause Before You Speak.

Social Media can either uplift, inspire, amplify, influence, or shift your moods in the most positive ways; likewise, it can show division, hate, disrespect, ignorance, greed, falsifications, and ways that people think they are living in a much better way than their fellow-man by putting others down. Using words like “all” and “everyone who ever did this__”, and hashtags folks have found which are derogatory, so they feel better in that one moment maybe being part of the mean hashtag club.  In light of many recent events, I just encourage you to practice the pause right now brothers and sisters. The pause is important.

Are you alienating people you once broke bread with? Are your words in hate and anger more important the human being?  Do you feel better arguing on social media or perhaps by doing so you are becoming the very thing you are so vehemently denying?

I spoke to you guys this week on my page about a few things and people commented that I looked a bit tired…maybe sad even.  The leaders/clergy/healers of the world have a lot on their shoulders right now and they aren’t perfect either.  Whatever religion, beliefs, or views you have, I want you to think about a few things before getting into a debate with others on social media.

3 Ways to Practice the Pause:

Is it True?  (How would you know for sure) Is it Necessary? (Is it adding value to your feed) Is it Kind? (if the answer is no…)  This is actually pretty interesting as it comes from a book of Victorian Poems called Miscellaneous Poems by Mary Ann Pietzker published in 1872.  Here is an excerpt:

Is It True? Is It Necessary? Is It Kind?

Oh! Stay, dear child, one moment stay,

Before a word you speak,

That can do harm in any way

To the poor, or to the weak;

And never say of any one

What you’d not have said of you,

Ere you ask yourself the question,

“Is the accusation true?”

And if ’tis true, for I suppose

You would not tell a lie;

Before the failings you expose

Of friend or enemy:

Yet even then be careful, very;

Pause and your words well weigh,

And ask it be necessary,

What you’re about to say.

And should it necessary be,

At least you deem it so,

Yet speak not unadvisedly

Of friend or even foe,

Till in your secret soul you seek

For some excuse to find;

And ere the thoughtless word you speak,

Ask yourself, “Is it kind?”

 

So, my thought is this.  If you are out there shouting the words of someone who does not practice the pause, and deliberately provoking people you once considered a friend, how are you being different from what you are shouting about?  To be honest, I expect those of you reading this do, in fact, practice the pause.  We can only work to change ourselves and most often I have found those who are actively working to change themselves, will reflect on this and think about it in more than one aspect.

Because I want you to have more than one take away here, especially if this brought to mind certain people in your life, I was doing research on how anger affects the brain (for my Club content), and this wonderful PDF is free so while I wanted to share this with my Club, I also want you to have it today.

In a nutshell, the research from The National Institute for the Clinical Application of Behavioral Medicine outlines how stress hormones affect your body.  Those of you with heart problems acting in anger will elevate your heart rate, blood pressure will rise, arterial tension rises, blood glucose level and blood fatty acid levels will rise as well.  I don’t want you to basically have a stroke over your anger and reactivity.  I also don’t want your headaches to increase (have you noticed that), your stomach to be upset, and your immune system to be weakened all because of how you are reacting to stress.

If this helped you in any way, here are a few tips on how to practice a simple meditation.  <<  Thank you my friends.  I wish you good health.

These 5 Signs Scream Drink More Water!

My youngest daughter recently started running cross-country.  A cross over from soccer as she loved her coach and he coaches girls soccer in the spring, and cross-country in the fall.  She’s been doing an amazing job, until the one race she was in agonizing pain.  I knew that she was running last after being at a meet all morning, but what did I miss?

It suddenly hit me that no one, herself included, remembered to remind the kids to stay hydrated for the last race.  Then, volunteering to march alongside the band for the oldest daughter in a recent parade, a mom told me of a boy cramping and almost passing out during the last parade.  You guys.  What do I always say (to my kids to be embarrassing)?  Hydrate with some high quality H2O!! Yes.  I use The Waterboy.

So now that we have covered this, grab some water right now and read the rest of this.

5 Signs That Your Body Needs More Water:

  1. You actually feel dry.  Dry mouth, dry eyeballs, or dry skin.  Right.  Like you’ve been through the desert on a horse with no name…or something like that.  Sugary drinks are like adding some crack to your brain and are not going to hydrate.  I do not make these facts up.  I just write them in a more interesting way than others.  If you are experiencing itchy eyes and don’t normally have allergies, go for some water.
  2. You feel like you are 80 years old at age 30.  I might be the exception to this because I started to feel old at 23, but really, if you are experiencing joint pain, I learned about this really cool thing called synovial fluid, and hey.  It needs some love.  Sugary stuff is inflammatory to joints.  Chances are you have heard this.  Water is not.  It helps nutrients move through your blood therefore getting to your joints, and not only that, your body’s cartilage is composed of nearly 80% water.  Hmm.  What if it’s not getting any?  Where is it taking nutrients from?  Think about it.
  3. Fatigue like you can’t explain to the average person.  When I was in chronic fatigue, my body had to work twice as hard.  I don’t try to think back on those days of 24/7 pain for like 5 years, but I do know that I wasn’t doing the correct things.  No doctor ever addressed this.  Seriously.  Water brings oxygen into your body.  No one, not one doctor, said you know, mild dehydration causes the blood to thicken.  I started noticing when I went for phlebotomies that my blood was really thick at certain times (not trying to gross you out, but it was part of my life for over 19 years to watch my blood go into a bag, and technically, I still have to keep an eye on it).  I was always so out of it before, and during the nurses would say drink, drink, drink.  One smart nurse finally hooked me up to an IV.  Duh.  That felt better. I didn’t know that my body was sucking the oxygen out from wherever it could find it, thus creating this sort of mini-storm of fatigue, mood swings, and basically quicksand feeling.
  4. You might suffer digestive problems.  Let’s talk about our colons.  They need some acknowledgement for all the shit they put up with.  << I couldn’t resist, but really.  I would be embarrassed about this, but that ship sailed years ago when my friend was diagnosed with colon cancer and had zero history and the only warning was she thought it might have been hemorrhoids.  I know I sound like my college biology teacher, and I can still hear her today, but she would yell to the class your ermmm feces says lots about your health.  Again, if this saves a life, I don’t mind saying stay hydrated and take note of any issues and see a doctor as needed.  Don’t be embarrassed about this as life is too short.
  5. Your headaches are increasing.  A very noticeable sign all the way down to your young child who is in sports.  A theory is that the dehydration feeling causes pressure in your brain to change.  Drink 2-3 cups of water immediately as that helps (in theory) to level out the fluid levels around your spinal cord.  I believe this to be true as I get enormous pressure and, I notice when I urinate that it is not the right color.  Ack!!  Those two go hand in hand.  Dark pee, headaches, drink more water.  Sorry not sorry.  Trying to be helpful and embarrassing at the same time.

The bottom line is, why don’t we talk about this with our health professionals?  Are we too embarrassed to mention these signs?  Our body is showing us in the only way it can that it is of dire importance that we notice the signs and signals it is giving us.  Liked this?  Here are 5 Steps to Being Healthier Today to continue on in this theme.  Just use the search button on the right hand side or the top tab “health” for more.  Want my newsletter?  That’s over there too.

Need anything else to help you today?  Here’s my online catalog.

Using Gratitude to Move Forward in Life!

The news is depressing.  Your feed is depressing.  The world feels…well depressing right now.  It’s like a wet cloak…on a cold day.  You know you need to shrug it off to get warm, but where can you go to find warmth?

You look around to the chaos that is out there and you just don’t know where to go.  I’ll admit that I was like this for a very long time.  Then one day, I really have no idea what changed, but I decided I had enough.  I decided to say one positive quote a day to all my friends on social media.  Then I decided to blog.

If you use the search button with the drop-down of months and you go back a few years to the beginning, you will likely “read” me in a whole different way.  I was diagnosed with secondary depression after getting a bunch of invisible diseases...that had no cure.  Note, that word links to a search on the term “invisible diseases” so you can read my raw, angry, old posts. 

I never delete a blog post though…as I want you to be able to see my progression with not only my health, but my feelings.  As I started to practice focusing on the positives in my life, my life started to change.

I had been stuck, and was slowly, miraculously, getting UNSTUCK in all areas of my life.  I started being able to move again without pain…which was amazing.  I started my yoga teacher journey, which was painful in the beginning yet extraordinary in the fact that I was able to complete 200 hours of Vinyasa Yoga Teach Training.  Me.  Me who had hardly been able to move.

I started being asked to do important work…work that I had always wanted to do like to speak in London.  I wanted to change people’s lives after learning that I could truly move forward in life. 

So what changed?

  1. Me.  I had to get to rock bottom.  It sucked there.  Quite simply put it was like hell.  But one of my favorite quotes always said “If you’re going through hell, keep going.” and I believe ole’ Churchill was right.
  2. I had to tame my thoughts.  Erm mah gosh y’all.  My mind was like a mess.  A hot mess…except I was cold all the time, but you get the picture.  Thoughts create stress, and then the spiral starts.  I wasn’t sure if I was anxious or depressed.  So I did what I do best and wrote about it all to help others.
  3. I started writing more…because that’s what I do best.  I found out how therapeutic writing was and how it changes the thought patterns.  Releases stress and lets you clear your mind.  It literally became an itch in the night on nights the pain was so bad I couldn’t sleep.  I would write it out.
  4. I learned to be grateful.  I am never the same person year after year, and for that I am thankful.  Gratitude in the little things was so important to me.  It helped calm the mind and turn my emotions into a point on which to focus.  The pain was no longer the focus.  The present moment was.
  5. My well-being changed.  There are still days I need reminders.  No one is perfect, okay?  But I practice this constant state of being more mindful than I was on say an off day.  Being more grateful or more appreciative.
  6. Old me got angry really fast…gratitude helped me slow down my emotions.  I am not going to pretend that the Scorpio doesn’t still have her moments; however, I use my sensitive side to tap into the world.  I feel what’s going on, like in slow motion, under the surface, and think about what I can be learning in this situation.  What can I be thankful for?  Sometimes, it’s things like “I am thankful I have yoga.”  But whatever it is, I use it in my head because maybe the other person doesn’t have this kind of support or system and really just needs my compassion at that moment.
  7. Surround yourself with what you want to become…became my mantra.  My quote.  That I use daily.  It was so important to me to be able to offer that gift to others that I recently completed my course on using gratitude to shape your life and would love it if you are interested in joining the journey.  For the E-book only, click this link.

Ultimately, we are on this earth for a short while and I believe I was put here to help others wake up to the fact that we really do have the power to say this is not how my story is going to go.  The truth is, gratitude can move you forward in life and make the unbearable things more bearable.  While increasing your level of gratitude you are actually increasing your health and wellness.  You are learning to change your self-talk and that’s a powerful thing.  I hope to see you in my group soon.  Thank you so much for reading!

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7 Ways to Protect Yourself From Energy Overload

You walk into the room and it is full of people.  As you start to scan the room for your friends, you see someone coming towards you who is known for negative comments.  Before they even reach you, you start to feel upset, or like a wave of bad vibes has suddenly hit you and you are about to go down.

You know that any time spent in their presence is going to feel like hours even if it just minutes.  After that, you will have no energy for anyone left in the room.  Not even your friends. 

You know that you have to see this person on a regular basis, so thankfully you have developed some tricks.

The above scenario can be played out at any place in your life.  Work.  The staff room.  Meetings.  Parties.  A friend’s dinner party.  Do you have an escape route or something that will help you?

I have worked with countless clients, yes almost all of my clients are women, but this does work for men as well who are highly sensitive people, or pick up on the vibrational frequency of others.  Is this a myth? 

Actually, it isn’t.  But it is really hard to understand and grasp so to begin with, it is important to know that everything is energy. Science, through Quantum Physics, is showing us that everything in our universe is energy.  <<< I really don’t want to break this all down like Sheldon, but here is a brief concept.

This Universal Law states that everything in the Universe moves and vibrates (everything is vibrating at one speed or another).  Everything you see around you is vibrating at one frequency or another including you.  This concept really blows people’s minds when they think about it…so just accept it for this article and we will move on.

In applying this theory though, I want you to think about the energy at work or somewhere you visit on a regular basis.  I once changed halls at work and it was the worst thing ever for my personal body.  The energy shift was palpable for me.  It was living and breathing and oozing into my body.  I was no longer happy.  The people around me were not nice and said awful things.  They literally sucked the happiness out of me.  I gradually became more sick with autoimmune until I could barely function.

Ack!!  Seriously.  It was a nightmare.  I did not know anything that would have helped me and the truth is, in this case, I had to leave the place altogether as the atmosphere was declining.  But what can you do to help yourself?

7 Ways to Protect Yourself From Energy Overload:

  1. Start to stabilize your vibration.  Give yourself an affirmation, a prayer, or repeat something like “I will not allow myself to be drained today.”  You can say a prayer or use a Bible verse to help you as you prepare to mentally stabilize yourself.
  2. Set up your boundariesVisualize the protective bubble of white light encircling you.  Again, this can be from your higher source.  So many people feel like they can’t believe in the energy and God.  I am not sure why.  It really is okay to talk to Him about this if that is your belief.  Fill the protective bubble with love from Him or your higher source.
  3. Engage with a clear head.  Once you are ready to interact with the source, remember that you control your thoughts, your emotions, your words.  <<< see this article on what you control.  Don’t let their energy control your reactions.  They do want you to listen to them endlessly so you feel sorry for them.  They do want to rope you into their story.  They do want an audience.  Their negative energy creates more drama in their lives, but they won’t change.  Start to distance yourself with a few quick comments and move away.
  4. Solutions and helpful tips can help you get away.  This part is kind of interesting because as you offer solutions and helpful tips away from the problem, you can tell if they are receptive to changing their patterns.  If they never change, if they don’t act like the idea of solutions would ever work, you know the answer.  As you focus on how stressful this situation is with them, it increases your stress.  What you focus on you attract into your bubble.  As you help them with possible solutions and helpful tips, hopefully this will tell you where they want to focus their energy.  Cool huh?
  5. Does their opinion of you matter or can you remain neutral?  So this part is hard.  Do you take the other person’s personal baggage as your own and then when they are disappointed that you are no longer willing and ready to be their emotional dumpster, does it bother you or can you safely detach? <<< read later if you need to detach.  Your sense of self-esteem and self-worth should not be attached to this person.  Cut that visually with some scissors and move on.  Value yourself enough to know you are not a pack mule destined to carry their “crap” around.
  6. Focus only on what you can change.  If you can’t change them, oh wait, you can’t.  Don’t focus on that.  Manipulators of energy, energy vampires, and narcissists stay the same.  Period.  There is no way to “fix” them unless they want to fix themselves.  It just isn’t going to happen from you.  It is time to move on and that clear up great energy for you.  That space will be filled by the right people.  Trust me.  Write out “I attract great friends who value me.”
  7. Build your vitality and energy back with self-care routines.  After my experience at work, I was really ill.  You can read my about me.  Depending on how much time you have let go, and I admit I took a few years to wake up, you might need extensive self-care steps.  I worked on my routines until I fine-tuned them to a series of steps.  If you want self-guided workbooks and baby steps to direct you, it’s called 4 Weeks to Wellness.  There are many things you can do, but I personally had to get my life back in order with fitness/movement, even small movements, nutrition, stress and balance such as giving away things I did not need to free up space for things I needed, as well as my journal therapy that I created to move forward.

My girlfriends started asking me for more help and guidance with my style of journal therapy, so I created a bonus workbook that I really love on how to move forward in 21 days!!

I have spent countless hours researching and devoting myself to being able to move forward from a place of pain and once I cleared out the negative energy around me, I truly started seeing my life change.  Good luck on your journey!

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5 Signs You are Being Treated Like a Doormat

You always say yes.  Even when it’s inconvenient timing or you are about to eat dinner.  Your friend “needs” you yet again or your partner asks you to do this one little thing he or she just doesn’t have time to do.  You might even be the go-to person at work…working long after hours, because the boss just knows that you will say yes.  Yes, sure I will do this.

What are the signs?

  1. You try to have a good nature about everything…so it gets used.  Because you naturally want something great to happen for your friend, they ask you to do more things like that.  Plan an outing, sure.  Keep their kids all day?  Why not.  You were only going to relax from exhaustion.  Pay for everything because they always forget their money <<< wait.  Big sign.  Big.  Let’s split this bill?  But they ordered lobster, 2 martinis and a flaming desert brought to the table by a monkey wearing a fez.  You ordered water and a salad.  Say no to splitting the bill.
  2. What you do is clearly not appreciated...in fact, they act surprised if you mention they asked you to do x, y, z for them last weekend so you can’t right now.  They do not reciprocate at all, nor will they ever.  Never.  Be honest with yourself.  How is this making you feel right now?  Are you beating yourself up for being so nice…and feeling used right now?  Write down your thoughts about the last time someone used you.
  3. One set of rules for them…another for you.  This one is huge.  I had an acquaintance, I thought she was a friend actually, but I know better now, who said that a few things I did were not okay.  If I made an observation for example, I was automatically judging OR gossiping.  But she could turn around and say “Oh look at so and so.  Umm.  I just don’t like them….what do you think <<<” At that time, and that time only, I could answer.  This borders on “policing” your behavior.  Being told what you can and can’t do.  It would be okay for her to act this way, but not me.  Snapping at you in front of adults, yet had you done the same thing, you would have heard about it.  This is setting limitations on what you can do, but they think it doesn’t apply to them.  This is manipulation in a friendship or relationship and it is wrong.
  4. Being treated this way makes you feel isolated and alone.  How you feel about this treatment is often ignored as well…but you are not alone.  You should not feel ashamed to speak out on someone who likes to use double standards in a relationship or friendship.  They have the do as I say not as I do attitude, but clearly you are starting to see this.  Get out now.  Go to counseling, therapy, write about it, but leave and don’t feel bad.  This is NOT about you.  It’s about them.  All about them.  They will continue to manipulate your feelings and try to turn it around so it is your fault.  It isn’t.
  5. They rarely contact you first…unless they need something.  In any type of relationship, whether it is home, friendship, relationship, work, or family, the only contact you get is when they need something.  I am learning to put up better barriers against this, but this is a big sign to me that I am not important.  They are too busy to listen to you, contact you, etc, but the moment they need something, the story changes.  My ex-sister-in-law comes to mind right now as well as a few others who are no longer in my life.  But I wouldn’t hear from that girl unless she wanted to bash my brother or have me babysit.  Period.  That was it for our entire “friendship”.  When I was really ill, she called me.  To ask me for a favor.  Didn’t know I was bad off.  Didn’t ever ask.  Not once.  That was the last time she called because I finally told her that I knew she only called me for 2 reasons and never once in 7 years asked me how I was doing.

How to handle it now.

  1. Talk to them first.  If you don’t you only have yourself to blame.
  2. If talking doesn’t improve anything at all, use distance.
  3. If distance doesn’t work as well as you’d like, make yourself completely unavailable to them for a very long time.
  4. If all else fails, leave the relationship or friendship so that you can make room for new people in your life who truly value you, your gifts and what you have to offer others.
  5. Start your own self-care routines that truly focus on your wellnessreserves

Want more help?  See the Work With Me tab as my Closed Group frequently does lots of work around setting up safe boundaries.

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10 Ways to Improve Your Mood

Mood

Doobie-doobie doo. <<< That’s me humming or something like that.  I am walking along, minding my own business, busy being in a great mood, when I get this message from someone not in a great mood.  Or worse, I check my bank account.  Hahaha, that’s always sure to put me in a great mood.  But seriously, whatever it is that has got you in a funk, let’s go ahead and get right on out of it.

Here are 10 Ways to Improve Your Mood:

1. Filter your thoughts.  You know how a pool filter gets the bugs and whatnot out of the pool so that your water is crystal clear?  Well I want you to put a filtration system in your head. Imagine it working as something comes in that’s causing you pain, discomfort, or depression.  Just turn it on, and if you have to run away from whoever is talking loudly making some sort of buzzing sound as if you have just engaged the hot tub cleaning feature, go ahead.  That’s sure to raise a few eyebrows…especially at work.
2. Stop dwelling.  So you wore your Bazinga T-shirt to work and it was dress like a Star Wars character day.  It’s okay.  Don’t replay in your head 1,000 times how you had the perfect Chewbacca robe that you could have gotten away with wearing just today.  Maybe it was even worse than that…and someone ate your all-natural gluten-free microwave meal out of refrigerator and now you have no food for lunch…only it’s 3 hours later and you are still thinking about it.  It’s over. I am sure they did not enjoy it as much as you would have…since it was your special pumpkin ravioli, but don’t go there.  Filter! Filter!
3. Play it cool.  I have been told that acting happy would in fact make me feel happier.  Hmm.  So therefore, tomorrow, when you go back to work, meet everyone in the eye and say hello to them like you mean it.  Act cool.  You got this.  You become what you think about most of the time, so no thinking about who stole your ravioli yesterday…and stop eyeballing Bob.  Think nice happy thoughts, like watching your favorite comedy show later and relaxing, but keep that thought while you work.
4. Be careful who you spend time with.  There you are, minding your own business on break, when Debby comes into the room.  Debby Downer.  That’s right.  You try not to make eye contact, but there’s nowhere to hide.  You pick up a magazine off the break room table really quickly to read it, but it’s a gossip magazine, which really makes you feel worse.  Debby jumps on the headline of doom and gloom and before you know it, your “break” has made you feel worse.  Negative attracts negative. Filter! Filter!
5. Breathe deeply and focus.  Did you know that people who suffer from depression are more likely shallow breathers?  Well neither did I, but I read it. But I do know that by breathing deeply, you cause the release of neurotransmitters in the brain that are associated with happy calm feelings and reduced levels of stress…plus I like brain research.  I also know that when I learned to somewhat meditate (I am trying) that I feel much better.  That’s actually why I encourage everyone to breathe deeply in my yoga classes.  Plus I don’t want them to pass out, but same thing.  I want them to feel good.
6. Put the lime in the coconut oil.  So, because I study things like thyroid function…not for fun, but to improve my health, I added coconut oil after discovering that people who don’t eat correctly could be actually making their anxiety and depression worse.  Coconut oil can boost thyroid function helping to increase metabolism, energy and endurance not to mention you could actually make a Piña Colada some nice fat coconut milk.  Yummy.  See? Mood improved.  Best blog post ever.
7. Lay off the processed foods.  Sorry to be a buzz kill, but hey, look at the bright side, you will feel better.  Ready for some crazy “study” I read about? Yes. Yes you are.  I read a report taken from the Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews that basically uses long words to simply say sugar lights up your brain like cocaine.  It actually becomes an addiction.  Trust me, I was UGLY during my sugar withdrawal phase a little over a year ago, and now don’t even think about it…much.  Except when I see a Cadbury Egg. Filter!
8. Put on some 80’s musicOkay, fine so I stopped listening to modern music somewhere around the year ohhh 1996.  But whatever your personal music choice happens to be, put it on and sing.  It instantly works and activates the happy part of your brain…like ermmmm well other happy things I shan’t talk about, but you know.
9. The orb of sunlight.  You have rolled a 20.  You get to go outside today for 20 minutes.  If you pass this test, you can increase serotonin levels in your brain.  And while I always wear sunscreen or I burn like a vampire, it is suggested that you get the best benefits if you don’t wear sunscreen for those 20 minutes.  Or put on your daylight ring.  Whatever floats your boat…do it.
10. Get a dachshund or three.  It is reported, probably by Grumpy Cat, that cat owners are less likely to suffer from heart attacks than people who don’t own a cat.  And again it is “reported” by some folks who study nerdy brain things like Amy Farrah Fowler, Ph.D. that stroking your long-haired dachshund’s fur is calming to the nervous system and can reduce stress levels and improve your mood…unless they happen to take a pooh right on the floor because they still don’t listen.  In that case, owning a pet may not calm you down.  But hey, the bright side is that at least you can light some mood altering candles now.  Wink.

Lear these tips plus lots more hilarious support from me in our group Head|Heart|Health Club.

5 Ways to improve mood

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Blog Talk Radio Interview

Hi friends…today I had a follow-up radio interview to my previous interview that talked about Living with invisible diseases.  Today the talk focused on how I was able to move forward from all that pain, and start getting back to the life I thought I was going to be living.

What is Blog Talk Radio anyway?

BlogTalkRadio is the online radio network that allows users to host live call-in talk shows with unlimited participants using our free podcast recording tool. No software to download or complicated audio equipment.

I would love for you to listen to this quick show!  The Magic Happens “Share the Wealth” with Kellie Fitzgerald as hostess.  The interview went so well again that Kellie has asked me to come back for an even longer talk next time because we both feel that living with invisible diseases does NOT need to be hidden in some dark, dusty corners and spoken of in whispers.  No.  We both understand the pain of inflammatory diseases and what that brings to the table when people think “You look well.”  To be honest with you, I don’t remember what I said last time…but it was painful I know.  Raw.  Real.  And me.  Here it is:  Older Blog Talk Radio Interview  <<< so you can see the difference.  If that one doesn’t work, I was also interviewed here.  << By host Tonya Wilson.

Thank you for always being here with me!  Namaste my friends.

HappinessHere is the link to 4 Weeks to Wellness.  I appreciate those of you who have already signed up and are giving me such great feedback after listening to me this morning!  You can leave a comment on this post if you would like!  Also see the work with me tab at the top of the blog for more!

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3 Ways to Take Ownership of Your Life

I once ran across this quote as I was looking for reasons to explain someone’s actions about how they failed to take ownership of their problem:

“The best years of your life are the ones in which you decide your problems are your own. You do not blame them on your mother, the ecology, or the president. You realize that you control your own destiny.” ~Albert Ellis, psychologist

You see, someone had blamed my company for something and it was so stupid that I literally couldn’t answer them for a moment.  Something didn’t work correctly for them…because they actually never tried it.  Yes.  You read that right.  They wanted to message me and tell me all about how it didn’t work.  After getting to the root of the problem, I realized it didn’t work correctly because it was NEVER used.  Hmm.  Interesting.

So as children, I understand how we want to blame others for things.  She started it.  It was his fault.  My parents are to blame.  But you are 45 years old now…or older.  Please, please realize that if you are not losing weight, and have not changed one thing in your life, you are likely not going to see results.  Likewise, if you have not been to the doctor for a check-up in a long time, but don’t know why your health hasn’t improved, and haven’t done anything differently, there is a chance it won’t magically change.  I understand both of these examples because I took control of my underlying weight problem, which was health related, and made my own plan.  I blamed the doctors for a long, long time.  Until one day, I got mad that I had given them so much control and took it back.

3 Ways to Take Ownership of Your Life:

  1. Take responsibility for your part.  This is huge.  Have you really tried as hard as you could to fix x,y,and z without saying that you can’t.  Have you blamed your kids?  Your husband?  Found something else to blame?  Have you blamed your pantry?  The pizza?  The coworkers for eating cake all the time?  The alcohol for being so good?  I mean trust me when I say I get it…I do.  But at some point I finally had to say IF I do this, then I take full responsibility for how I feel afterwards.  No one is force feeding me things I can’t eat.
  2. A lesson repeats itself until it is learned. So you started the new year off right, but gave up going to the gym already.  You say it’s too cold, it’s not a good time, it’s too busy, etc.  Are you trying the same exact things you always do?  Have you thought of re-framing how you go about learning this lesson?  What if you asked a friend to meet you?  What if you joined a challenge?  What if you had a wellness coach The list goes on.  But if you think you will fail, you will.  If you think you will succeed, you will.  The lesson is that powerful in your mind.  What you are telling yourself daily really does play itself out.
  3. Create better habits.  When you realize you are repeating the same habits, start to re-frame your mind.  View the situation from fresh eyes.  I once heard this story about a man who gained 20 pounds because everyday, around 3p.m., he would get up, stretch and go downstairs for a soda.  While there, he chatted with co-workers.  After he realized he was gaining weight, he thought about what it was he craved at that time.  He wanted to chat.  So he went and asked co-workers to walk around the center he worked instead.  He got the energy he needed and the break from the same old cubicle.  And dropped the extra pounds.  Now you can even do those fitness challenges at work.  But don’t say that you can’t break your habit because then you are again giving up your control.

When you begin to accept the part you play in your life, it really and truly does become YOUR life again.  It is after all, not your parents, not your husband’s and not your kids life.  It is still yours.  Take over once again.

Read more about how I took control and created a plan for others to do the same in my 4 Weeks to Wellness Course.  The price is low now, but is going up soon!!

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3 Tips on Learning to Release What Weighs You Down

let_goYesterday my friend from Inner Sanctuary: BE Inspired and I led the most amazing workshop called New Year|New Moon Let Go and Look Forward.  I planned the yoga session on releasing and unwinding while Lindsey planned the most amazing meditation and journaling session.  With just a few short phrases designed to make us think about what our worst moment of last year was and why we felt that way, I was able to see what I feared most about the situation.  I don’t mind telling you that the worst moment was actually learning that a friend’s cancer came back.  She asked us to think about the feelings surrounding that and write down a few words to describe it.  Previous to this, Lindsey asked us to write down our best moment and words to describe it.  My best moment was completing yoga teacher training.

So Lindsey asked us if we saw parallels…were the words on the opposite end of each other?  I immediately saw the connection for me.  As most of you know, I have battled invisible disease for a long time.  I know what it feels like to get bad news from a doctor and to think that there is no hope, even if it’s just that split second where they tell you the news.  So for that split second when D told me her news, I felt what she felt.  Okay, maybe longer than that because that is what I do…but after that, I was like no.  The opposite feeling is my best moment.  I felt strong and healthy.  I knew that was what I wanted for my friend and I knew that the feelings surrounding that were what my group of friends worked so hard on trying to create for D.

It was very powerful for me to see what exactly I want to create for my circle of friends as well as myself.  It was powerful for me to see why I had to let go of friendships that didn’t want the same for me last year as well as why I had to let go of any residual feelings surrounding feeling weak or hopeless.  I was now in the zone to create the opposite.  The circle of women yesterday were trying so hard to get past whatever was blocking them that I knew that’s why I had to let go of the past.  Whatever is meant to be in your life will find a way.  I believe that.

3 Tips on Learning to Release What Weighs You Down:

  1. Envision the BEST version of you and what that looks like and feels like.  Lindsey had us look into a mirror and see the worst version of ourselves and the best.  We forgave that worst version of ourselves and thanked her for getting us to the point where we are today.  It was empowering to forgive her.  We then embraced the best version possible of ourselves.  We allowed her to step fully into the light and move forward with us.
  2. Explore the feelings behind what is weighing you down.  Not the actual thing, but what is it about those feelings that is holding you back?  Why are you holding onto those things?  Do you think you can imagine a better outcome?  It is too late for that now, so release the feelings, but instead work towards the opposite of how that made you feel.  If you need to, thank that situation for whatever good it taught you and use it to move forward from that place of pain or unwanted emotion.
  3. Make a new plan for the best version of you.  This is the part where you really have to be diligent in what you allow into your space.  This is YOUR space and sometimes things are easier said than done.  I know this.  You might not be able to control the outside situation, but you can control your thoughts and how you react to things.  If you are about to react in a way that would not propel you forward, as I have said in the past, try hard to make a different plan.  An example would be one I use for my yoga students…come to the mat and the rest will take care of itself.  Don’t worry about what you CAN’T do.  Instead focus on what you CAN do!

I received a wonderful compliment yesterday after my yoga flow.  I wasn’t sure what the new student was going to say, but she said is that how you always teach yoga?  Me: Yes?  She then proceeded to tell me she loved how I integrated the entire mind/body connection into the class.  I truly believe that yoga is a very powerful healing tool and it teaches us to move in a flowing meditation right on our mats.  We learn NOT to be concerned about what the person is doing right near us.  Not to be concerned about body image, or our abilities.  I fully believe in focusing on what you can do and to take that knowledge and move forward into the best version of you for this coming year.  I know that you can do this!

For more on the mind/body connection, read about my 4 Weeks to Wellness course here.  NEW!  See the Head|Heart|Health tab for more help.

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3 Simple Exercises to Keep You Fit

I know that everyone is always excited in January and ready to change themselves.  By February, you are slightly less excited.  And usually, by March, most people have fizzled out.  What about if you could just improve on 3 exercises?  That’s it.  Just 3 things to do to keep you going.

3 Simple Exercises to Keep You Fit:

  1. Plank pose, which is called kumbhakasana in Sanskrit, can help you to engage your core.  When I first started yoga, mind you, I could not hold much weight on my wrists, so I assumed it was my wrists, typing, etc.  Just all around bad posture that made it difficult.  I will not forget how difficult the variation of side plank was for me.  I could not do it.  So in order to get better with a plank, here is what you need to do.  Begin on all fours, and make sure your hands are under your shoulders.  The key is the breath as this is the start of a push-up.  So in order to show you what I mean, here is a photo.  The best thing about learning to plank is that you WILL get better the more you practice it.
  2. Using a Kettlebell.  I read this article about 4 years ago in a magazine on the benefits of a kettlebell and I just had to try it.  I did the kettle bell swings, and I combined it with squats.  It was better for my back, but the kettlebell did take some getting used to.  All in all it was easy to do at home whenever I needed to just get a few sets in.  But make sure to link breathing with it.  Always, always link your breath to your routine.
  3. Boat pose.  In my yoga classes, my students always groan during my core section.  But they have groaned less and less and been more focused as I told them I had a C-SECTION and ALL my stomach muscles were cut and I couldn’t even do one boat to yacht…as a friend called it, at first.  I am not kidding.  When I started my journey over 2 years ago, everything was just out of whack.  I can now start in boat pose, and use a block between my ankles and hike up to touch it.  That is my boat to yacht variation.  If you want to start out slow, use your sitz bones and lean back, but keep your hands under your knees on the back of your thighs and lean back.  Keep your hands there until you can extend your legs.  It’s okay to stay at the beginning of the pose.  I did for a long time.

Side-plank variation as mentioned above:

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If you want to know more about my 4 Weeks to Wellness, check out this link.  Or if you are interested in my other coaching offerings, you can read more under “Work with Me”.

 

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