Inspiration, Mindset

Fear and Obstacles

2012 Tour

2012 Tour

Many of us would like to change certain things in our lives, but when it comes to making tough decisions, we freeze and run the other way.  Why? When we should be our own best friends and cheerleaders we often sabotage our confidence with obstacles like negative self-talk. How can we rise above our fears and obstacles to live a life we’ve always dreamed?

We all march to the beat of our own internal drummer, which is what makes each one of us unique.  With outside influences from the media to the people around us, it can be difficult to trust the God-spirit within us to be authentically ourselves. We are constantly interacting with people who either approve or disapprove of who and what we are.

Continue Reading

Health, Wellness

Get Good Sleep

Sleep

I love sleep. My life has the tendency to fall apart when I’m awake, you know? —Ernest Hemingway

Getting enough sleep is an important part of being healthy. Adequate sleep makes you look and feel better. It helps boost your metabolism and immune function, and helps your memory. The older I get, the more I appreciate a successful slumber. But getting good, restful sleep can often be difficult.

You probably won’t function at your best if you don’t get enough quality sleep. “Losing four hours of sleep is comparable to drinking a six-pack of beer,” says Tom Rath, Author of the New York Times bestselling book, Eat Move Sleep.

Here are some things you can do to improve your sleep:

  1. Try organic bedding, mattresses, and even pillows.
  2. Unplug any electrical appliances, including alarm clocks, and put them seven feet from your bed, or even move them to another area.
  3. Avoid cell phone and computer use at least two hours before bedtime.
  4. Stop caffeinated drinks at least eight hours before bedtime.
  5. Take a few minutes to meditate, relax, and stretch before you jump into bed.
  6. Make sure your bed and pillows are clean and comfortable.

When we don’t sleep well, we’re worthless and tired the next day. Taking prescription drugs to stay awake or go to sleep adds more chemicals to your body and can contribute to lethargy the next day. Sometimes we overthink problems causing our brain to be on a constantly repeating soundtrack. Create a bedtime routine that includes all of the things listed above and sleep well!

Happiness, Wisdom

Carte Blanche & 87

Image

I celebrated another birthday this week. This makes fifty-three so far and I ain’t done yet!  On the actual anniversary of my birth, one of the gifts my husband “gave” me was that I had carte blanche – we could do whatever I wanted. I got control of the channel changer AND the thermostat!  Hallelujah!

Carte blanche means the unconditional power to do as we please, or the permission to do something the way we want to, i.e., having control of the channel changer. Many of us typically put the needs and desires of others before our own. Now, there are times in our lives when situations demand our immediate and diligent attention.  New parents have to be on strict schedules of changing diapers and feeding. Those who have school-aged children have the challenge of juggling work and family. Taking care of ill or elderly friends can be overwhelming time consuming. And in relationships, compromise is crucial. At times, we just don’t have carte blanche.

How did this all start?

Continue Reading

Fitness, Health, Nutrition

3 Ways to Stay Motivated After Indulging

3 tips2

Many of us have gallant plans to thwart overindulgent eating on holidays, but sadly, some of us have a difficult time passing up the cakes, cookies and chips. (My hand is up!) After all, what’s a Fourth of July celebration without s’mores or Thanksgiving without apple pie? Most of us give up at least a day of exercise in lieu of holidays too. So, how do you reset your psyche to get back on track to healthier living after the party is over?

Here are three quick and easy steps to get motivated:

Continue Reading

Health, Nutrition

Go Green

juicing characterVegetables are a must on a diet. I suggest carrot cake, zucchini bread, and pumpkin pie. —Jim Davis

I have a confession to make: I didn’t always eat healthy. There were times when I was thirty pounds heavier than I am today. Though we had fancy dinners with crystal and china every Sunday after church, we were often served Hamburger Helper, chicken pot pies, and frozen dinners. During junior high and high school, I would frequently have a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, a bag of chips, and two Hostess cupcakes. I was involved in many sports and sometimes called “healthy” or “big-boned.” Growing up, my nickname was Shelly. Occasionally, kids called me “Shelly with the big, fat belly.” I prayed I would be as skinny as the models on magazine covers.

Continue Reading

Happiness, Health, Inspiration

Make Time for Playtime

playtime_jump

 

You will find more happiness growing down than up. —Unknown

There’s more to playing than just having fun, though that’s important too! Many of us are just too serious. We seldom have laugh-out-loud fun. Playtime helps us physically and mentally by allowing us to exercise and be creative. Our imagination can be stimulated through a childlike recess. Physical exercise can release hormones in our bodies that create a feeling of euphoria (similar to the process that occurs during sex!). These hormones are also used to block pain. On top of it all, having fun burns calories and helps us to temporarily ignore our troubles.

Continue Reading

Health

Eliminate Toxins

Eliminate Toxins

Healthy citizens are the greatest asset any country can have.

Winston Churchill

After being exposed to toxic mold poisoning, I became chemically sensitive. Four types of mold infiltrated my bloodstream. With alternative remedies such as oxygen therapy, infrared sauna, vitamin IV, and eliminating chemical cleaners, I became super detoxified, which is good but also challenging. Strong chemical scents now make me physically ill. During my recovery, I couldn’t go into a mall, a grocery store, or even my son’s school.  

While multiple chemical sensitivity is a controversial topic among physicians, I can tell you that it’s a very real diagnosis for my husband and me. Chemically scented candles give us headaches. That “new car” smell is actually the off-gassing of formaldehyde and other toxic chemicals used to treat materials for the carpet, dashboard, and seat covers. We use only paints with no volatile organic compounds (VOCs). VOCs give us headaches and flu-like symptoms.

Continue Reading

Happiness, Health

Sweat Equity

Zumba

Zumba

When you put energy and effort into something it becomes an asset, something of value, or perhaps something for which you hope to receive a reward, bonus or promotion. Sweat equity is the extra energy you expend, above and beyond what’s expected, that will propel you into the next level in many areas of your life. Doing a better-than-average job at work might pay off in the form of a bonus or promotion. More often, however, it’s easier to put a little elbow grease into helping others, or doing something special for our loved ones. But what if we set an intention to put ourselves at the top of the list?

Life is work and relationships are even more work. There are times when we really don’t want to do something that’s expected of us, but we know our efforts will be appreciated, so we do it.  We show up. We are the best we can be.  We volunteer for charities, we attend events that we’ve made commitments to.

Continue Reading

Inspiration, Wisdom

Intuition


IMG_5609

The only real valuable thing is intuition.Albert Einstein

Have you ever had a gut feeling about a person or a situation? By gut feeling, I mean that inner wisdom, the power of your feelings, not logical thinking. This is a gray area of metaphysical science that has recently gained popularity among doctors and psychologists, although philosophers such as Aristotle, Plato, Jung, and many more have discussed it for centuries.

My friend, Deirdre Capone (grandniece of Al Capone), said she and her great-uncle Al relied on intuition to make decisions. Al would walk into a room for a meeting, and if he had a bad feeling about it, he would leave. Most of the time, he was indeed being set up.

Unless you’ve studied philosophy or metaphysics or there is someone in your life who has encouraged you to trust your intuition, it’s unlikely you’ve had the confidence to learn from or even listen to your instincts. Some think it’s a wishy-washy approach to making a judgment call and can’t be trusted. With modern technology, we rely more on cold, hard facts and statistics than our gut feelings about something or someone. But have you ever met someone and instantly liked or disliked him or her? You can’t describe exactly why you had those impressions, but you did. That’s intuitive thinking, and it serves people well. Law enforcement, the military, boxers, and athletes use intuition to direct their actions.

Today’s challenge is an important one. Our instincts can be a very reliable source for decision making if we allow ourselves to embrace our gut feelings. We may feel pulled to do or not do something that may have saved our lives, such as taking a different route to work and finding out an accident occurred on our usual path. Or simply having second thoughts about a person that you cannot corroborate.

Can you recall a few times that your instincts served you well?  For at least four minutes today, trust everything your intuition tells you.

Happiness

Get Your Dream Job Now

Zumba

Zumba

Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life. —Confucius

If you don’t love your job, change it. Easier said than done, right? However, if the nature of what you do to pay the light bill impacts your physical and emotional well-being, it’s important to at least consider other options.

Still not interested? Does going to work make you anxious, stressful, tense? Does your job give you tension headaches and stomachaches? Those are wake-up calls, and over time, you could end up with high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or even cancer.

Have you ever felt that your life’s work should be a something other than what you do now? Do you ever imagine yourself in a different career, making more money, and feeling happier?

Many of us dream about having different, more exciting careers, but what if we could actually could make those dreams come true? Let’s be reasonable, though; I’m not talking about being an Olympic gymnast at age fifty, (darn!).  Perhaps you can’t have the exact career you’ve always wanted because of age, geography or some other variable, but can you experience some degree of a more exciting occupation? Once upon a time, I wanted to be an Olympic gymnast.  My dad even built me a balance beam in our backyard.  Those dreams never came to fruition for me, but I’ve been teaching group fitness classes for more than 30 years and I continue to experience the physical benefits of dancing and stretching in my exercise classes.

Is there some way you can take even a few small steps toward getting that dream job (or even a smaller version) without losing your current job and insurance and uprooting your family? Could you work from home, get up early, or go to bed later? Could you spend a few minutes each day researching what it takes to have a more gratifying career?  If more education is necessary, how can you fit that into your schedule and finances?  And if  higher education isn’t an option at this time, what is?  Too often, we give up our dreams because we think they’re unattainable, when in fact, getting your dream job is just a few simple steps away. Sometimes, all you need is a little extra time and faith that you can live the life you only imagined you could.

Take a few minutes — a few minutes that you would normally spend surfing the Internet — and explore potential positions that might actually be better suited and more financially rewarding than the one that occupies forty or more hours of your time each week.

Grab a pen or laptop and be brutally honest when answering the following questions:

  1. What would you do if you could change your occupation without repercussions?
  2. Is there something you’ve always wanted to do but were too afraid to try?
  3. What’s your dream job?
  4. What attainable steps can you take toward having your dream job (i.e., working from home, getting up early, going to bed later)
  5. What would it be like for you to live out your dream and have a different, more exciting career?

If you really want to change jobs, it’s never too late to try. Life is too short and precious to spend your valuable time doing anything other than what you love.