I Don’t Want to Eat My Green Beans!

vegtables
Growing up I distinctly remember my mother trying to feed me those awful vegetables. I didn’t do too well with her canned string beans or cooked carrots. Of course she explained to me how important it was for me to eat my vegetables because they have lots of vitamins and nutrition that I needed. Unfortunately her reasoning did not convince me to eat what she said was good for me.

This got me to thinking about our lives as adults and how many things we know are good for us to do, yet we don’t choose to do them. I am assuming now that we are adults that most of us understand how important it is to eat our vegetables. The majority of us logically know about many other things that are also very important to our health yet for many you don’t comply with what you know to be good for you.

Today I want to focus on your physical health and a few areas that you may struggle with doing what is good for you. An important task for us all is to attend yearly physical check-ups and other recommended preventative procedures. Although I do not want to be nor mean to be sexist, I will admit that the majority of female clients, friends, acquaintances that I have are prudent about the need to attend their yearly check-ups and take the time to attend these appointments. I am sure there are exceptions to this and for these women I encourage you to consider what may be keeping you from taking care of and responsibility for your physical health.

Many of the men I know personally, or my friends’ husbands or clients seem to have some resistance to taking time for regular yearly physicals. This is of course not true for all men, but I have witnessed it often. If you are one of these men that don’t usually see a doctor I plead with you to reconsider. Ask yourself what is stopping you. Remind yourself that prevention is always best and it is a good thing when the doctor tells you all is well!

Another essential area is our eating habits. We all know how important it is to give our bodies the fuel it needs to work most effectively. In this area I hear a lot of “I know I should but…” comments. What makes this area so hard for you? Are you eating fast food often? Buying frozen food to pop in the microwave? How is it that for so many the vehicle that moves us about in this world is often treated so badly; even neglected?

Exercise is also something that is good for us. Regular exercise is good at any age and even more important as we age. Exercise helps us cardiovascularly; assists us in keeping our muscle tone; helps our metabolism; and can improve mood. I understand that many of us have excellent reasons why it is hard to fit this into our lives. Life is very hectic. However, exercise is also good for you and needs to be incorporated into your lifestyle.

I hope that this blog today will more motivate you to take responsibility for your body overall. You are given this one body to move about on this earth and it is your job to take care of that body. The healthier your body is the better you will feel in the other areas of your life. Ignoring your body puts you at great risk of suffering unnecessarily.

What Kind of Karma Are You Creating?

Karma
Karma is a word that many of us have heard or even used ourselves. It is an interesting concept. While the meaning of Karma is more extensive than I am going to share, one simple definition by Merriam-Webster.com says that Karma is “the force created by a person’s actions that some people believe causes good or bad things to happen to people.” While some believe this Karma is transferred to future lives I will focus on our existence in this life time.

Are your actions and words creating good Karma for you? Do you feel good about how you’re leading your life? Ideally I prefer to behave in ways I feel good about. It is an honorable goal. I find it easier to do this when I am being conscious of my choices. I can more easily behave and speak in ways I want when the situation is calm and I am somewhat in control. The challenge seems to come during those other times that are unexpected, dramatic and sometimes hurtful.

I recently read a quote that said something to the effect of “How someone else behaviors with you is there Karma how you respond to them is yours.” Wow! I posted that for a while in my office as a reminder to myself. I recently had a hurtful and surprising experience happen with a medical professional in the community. It set me off balance mostly because it was hard to understand how someone could behave in such a manner. Can any of you relate? Did that then give me permission to behave in kind? I didn’t want that so I had to stay very aware of my choices in responses and also how I elected to view the situation.

What situations challenge your character? Is it the rude person in line at the store? Is it your cranky neighbor? Is it your son’s coach? The person who is driving too fast or too slow? How do you choose to react? How do you deal with frustrating situations? And are you willing to help someone when you see a need; to behave in kindness. I know this can be a challenge for many of us and I certainly haven’t been perfect. However, noticing your reactions to people is a worthy endeavor.

Creating good Karma seems like a wonderful idea. Weather you believe in Karma or not the concept of behaving in ways that display the best of you sounds like a good way to go!

What Is Your Athentic Self?

authentic self
Can you describe your authentic self? Do you know what it even means to be your authentic self? Your authentic self is the real you; the genuine you. There are many contributing factors from your history that could have prevented you from being your true, authentic self. So, what do you think? Do you know your innate, authentic self?

Try listing the qualities of your authentic, true self. For example, here are some of my authentic qualities: outgoing, welcoming, encouraging, inviting, open-minded, loves being in groups, expressive. These are just some. However, in my history I was shamed for many of these qualities. I was taught that I was too much; that my personality was too big.

Therefore, throughout the years I have struggled to be whom I most authentically am and to learn to accept these parts of myself. On the scale of outgoing I am at the very high end. As I have aged I have learned how to honor who I am within the bounds of society and others. Many are intimidated by my strong personality qualities.

Most important is to identify and take ownership of your authentic self. If you are not sure, I encourage you to take time to learn. Without this I don’t believe you or I can be truly happy and free. Next is surrounding yourself with people close to you that accept, embrace and love you for your authentic self.

If in your most significant relationships your authentic self is not accepted; is put down or shamed and you adjust yourself; you try to accommodate the other for acceptance this will have a very adverse effect on you. This person could be your partner, parent, sibling etc. In effect, you are basically denying and shaming your essence. If this continues for too long you may forget who you really are. Burying your authentic self is a form of dying; death. In turn produces depression.

I encourage you to save yourself. Start remembering who you really are. If you don’t know, get some help. As you dig your true self out from the grave you will come back to life. Then slowly you can figure out how to be your genuine self in your relationships. If you find that being who you really are with those closest to you brings great fear, that is normal. Seek support from wise people who can help you begin to take risks or set boundaries in those relationships. Never dim your light for someone else. Shine your brightest!

Don’t Succumb To The Darkness!

Beacon of Light
It seems so many people are feeling dissatisfied in their lives. We hear it daily on the many newscasts about individuals making so many negative choices: from dishonesty, to addictions, to murders, to suicides etc. More so, we hear it closer to home, such as in our neighborhoods, workplaces and in our social situations. And, many of you reading this are struggling with general dissatisfaction and discouragement.

When we feel this way we tend to make decisions that hurt us in one way or another. What can we do to feel more satisfied and in control of our lives? Well, for starters, since we cannot control all the external events that occur, let’s start with an aspect we can do something about: ourselves! This is one area you DO have the power to effect positive change!

One area you can have an influence on is your thoughts and attitudes. Be mindful about not allowing yourself to get swallowed up by others negative attitudes. Guard the attitudes you have that serve your good; attitudes that are more focused on positive truths than negative truths. Even during difficult times you have a choice as to how to view the situation.

Same is true for your thoughts. Your thoughts have so much power over your feelings and behaviors that it is critical to stay aware of them. Certainly it is okay to acknowledge the bad event that has occurred and to speak whatever your truth is about it. Then I encourage you to be mindful of your thoughts in general. Remind yourself of the good people you have in your life today and the many good things you have done for others and they have done for you. Put the bad in perspective with the whole. Allowing dark thoughts to overshadow the light will only let the negative win.

Your reactions and behaviors are also critical to overcoming the negative that does occur. When something bad happens whether it be globally; to people you know; or even closer to home, your reactions and behaviors can help counter the bad by bringing in the good. If a violent act has occurred in the world you can teach and model peace and cooperation. Do the opposite. If someone you know has suffered a loss or is experiencing a painful event, be an encouragement. Visit them, bring them a meal, clean their house, do their yard, whatever you can do to show kindness. Remember, only light overcomes darkness. Be part of the light.

As long as humankind has existed bad things have occurred on all levels. Yet, humans have a way of overcoming. Choose to be part of the healing, not part of the divisiveness. Being an encouragement and a source of hope to a few is a wonderful gift to give. Never minimize what your light can do to those who need it. When you bless others you also are blessed.

Savor The Moment!

Thoughtful1
There are many stages in life that each of us goes through and lessons we are meant to learn during those times. And at this point in my life I am reflecting on some of where I have been and some about where I am. As my dear children are now teenagers (which I am still in disbelief) it brings me to reflect on the past, and a part of me wonders if I really enjoyed those earlier times when they were younger; if I savored them enough.

When you’re the mother of young children you are the center of their universe; the apple of their eye. There is no greater love to me than when those boys would run up to greet me because they were so excited for me to arrive. I read a quote recently that said something to the effect of “Every parent of a teenager must own a dog so that when they come home someone will be glad to see them.” I just thought that was great. And that is how my life is different now.

Although I know my boys love me it’s not as cool to be around mom; they don’t talk as much; and I definitely am not the center of their universe. They are growing up and things are changing. This really does cause me to reflect on how quick time goes by. And during the younger years my husband and I were so busy; as I know most of you are. We certainly spend much time with our kids. However, there are times that I want to go back and go through those days more slowly, now that I know what I know.

And this is the message I want to share with you today; whether it be with your children or other loved ones in your life today; to savor the moment, to go more slowly and enjoy the moment. To try and focus on the person you are with when you are together. To not allow the many demands of life to take this from you, as time will continue on and I don’t want you to miss the joy and experience of that time with your special loved one.

There is so much wisdom that does come with age, if we choose to learn the lessons needed. And this would be a piece of wisdom I would want to pass along; wisdom that is well known and many books written about it; embracing the moment. Being completely and utterly engrossed in the experience of the moment you are presently in.

It is so easy to be distracted by the multiply demands that today’s life brings. And while we do have to pay attention to the necessities of life don’t do it at the sacrifice of your most important relationships. These people are more important in the long run than any worldly rewards or possessions. Cherish the moment!

How Could I Be That Selfish?

selfish blog
What do you think it is that makes it so hard for many of you to put your own self-care first? Is it selfish to think of your needs? If you struggle with this I encourage you think about what it is for you that makes this idea difficult or uncomfortable. It may be that you were taught this verbally or non-verbally by your caretakers. Or it may also originate from cultural or religious learnings. Whatever has influenced you to believe it is “bad”, or “selfish” to think of yourself and your needs usually is learned young and has significant power over you; sometimes even at a subconscious level.

I often use the analogy that we have an unconscious rule-book we are living by. If you don’t become aware of some of these rules that may be hurting you then you will continue to struggle. I invite you to think of some of the rules you may have learned about thinking about yourself and your needs. Write as many down as you can come up with. Here are some examples:

It is wrong to put myself first
It is more important to help others
Others feelings are more important than my own
My needs aren’t important
Good girls are never selfish

Hopefully you were able to personalize your list of rules that are influencing you. Each person’s may be very unique or if we compared them we may find similarities. Once you have listed 6-8 rules then I invite you to evaluate how you can correct these so the new message will be more helpful to you. For example, “It is wrong to put myself first,” might be corrected to “It is important that I put myself first sometimes.” Or, “Taking care of myself is just as important as helping others.” You can chance any messages that aren’t serving your best interest.

This can be done with any of our rules about any topic, but for today I am focusing on the topic of self-care because I find so many of the client’s I work with have great trouble with this. They come to me depressed, drained and often with physical health issue all because they have not learned how to take care of their emotional selves. You are all grown up now and no one else is going to do this for you! I vote that you learn more about how to give yourself permission to take care of your needs.

Does Your Life Reflect What You Value Most?

values
As you go through your day today I encourage you to ask yourself, “Does this day reflect what I value most?” Values are important because living in harmony with them brings fulfillment and contentment. If you are not aware of what you value most, then how will you have a harmonious life? When you are out of harmony with your values, you will be unhappy and unfulfilled. I am sure many of us would like to just not work or not have to worry about money and then we will be happy. I am not talking about living unrealistically. I am talking about becoming your own director in your life instead of feelings as if you have no power. Knowing how you really feel and what matters to you most is the first step in empowering yourself.

Living in a way that reflects one’s values is not just about what you do, it is also about how you do things. For instance, my life is very hectic. Between working full-time, managing my own business, and raising two very active boys-along with fitting in working out, my husband, chores, etc.-life can be challenging. However, how I do all these activities needs to reflect my core values.

Identifying your values is one of the first steps to writing your own script in life. You will have fewer regrets in life if you start focusing and taking responsibility for where you are and where you want to be. You will be your best self when you take time to understand what you really need, feel, and want. You are the only one who can do that.

So as you go through your day and your week, take time to pause and ask yourself, “Am I behaving and living in a way that honors what I value?” The more often your answer is yes, the more content you will be.

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