Archive | February 2013

Enjoy The Path To Wellness

woman-yello-grass-happy

I am thrilled and honored to have the article I submitted to MindBodyGreen magazine be selected and appear on their website today!

I have also posted it below as well.

This publication is a wonderful guide to wellness!

In it, you will find many inspirational articles that will help on your holistic journey.

Many of you, who have been following me regularly, and those who have read my book, I want to thank you for your support, encouragement and generosity.

Your beautiful comments and open sharing of yourselves have helped make this a wonderful personal growth adventure.

For those who are new to this blog, I welcome you and look forward to hearing from you as well!

Enjoy!

7 Lessons To Help You Live A Happier Life

My mother had a way of looking into my eyes when I was a child that conveyed a deep and all-encompassing love. As a result, the first nine years of my life were a carefree adventure of being treated like a princess. My days were filled with endless attention, toys, and extravagant birthday parties — my own personal Disneyland. At the time, I was shielded from the many unpleasant realities going on in my mother’s marriage, life, and body. It’s amazing how she still made my life so wonderful in spite of her own situation. I didn’t know she was ill, so it was a shock when she passed away when I was just ten years old.

Disneyland ended that day.

There were no more carefree days, beautiful birthday parties, or being treated like a princess, as my dad was the opposite of my mom.

However, I not only survived this experience, but have thrived while learning a lot about compassion, understanding, and love through my own suffering. As a result, I am able to help others as well.

I believe my mother has never left my side, and though she hasn’t been here in physical form, she has helped me navigate my life when I paid attention to her through my intuition, feelings, and instincts.

She has brought many mentors who just “magically” showed up in my life, and guided me on the path of personal growth, which has led to a beautiful life today.

I have found abundance in all areas by becoming a conscious and active student in my own life which I share in my book, entitled, The Right Relationship Starts with You.

It took me years to learn the following important life lessons:

1. We need to develop a good relationship with ourselves before we can have one with someone else. Instead of always looking outside ourselves for love, acceptance, and caring, we have to look within.

2. Anything is possible through the eyes of love, and self-love is the most powerful force in the Universe. Looking through our own eyes with gratitude and appreciation for the wonderful person we are can solve much of what ails us.

3. Learning to love ourselves attracts the people, places, and things we need to thrive and give us the power to help others on the path to personal growth as well. Our experiences become a gift for other weary travelers who are looking for the light of hope.

4. Our healing helps us shine brightly and show others that whatever they have gone through, they can still have a beautiful life too. We empower others by our example, and what we’ve gone through can benefit the world if we use it for transformation and not for self-recrimination or despair.

5. Blaming is a waste of our time, whereas taking responsibility for our own choices, thoughts, feelings, behavior, and beliefs is very empowering.

6. Gratitude and quieting our mind with meditation allows us to get centered and live more peacefully, no matter what is going on around us.

7. Forgiveness is the magic elixir for most every kind of negative feeling we could have. Forgiving ourselves and those around us for not being the people we want them to be sets us free. It doesn’t mean reconciliation or having to be around abusive people, but forgiving them inside our own heart.

All of my experiences and knowledge have aligned with my purpose, which is to coach others and write about health and wellness of the mind, body, and spirit.

Even though I wish I could physically see and hug my mother, I feel grateful to have found a way to use my experiences in positive ways by extending the healing love and understanding she gave to me.

I have a husband today who was brought to me through some amazing and seemingly coincidental ways. We believe it was my mom who orchestrated the process of our meeting.

In addition to her guiding us together, my husband has a way of looking into my eyes that conveys a deep and all-encompassing love, just as my mother did when she was alive.

Published February 28, 2013 at 3:49 AM

 

 

 

 

Make Sleep a Priority

sleep

Many of us spend a considerable amount of our waking hours devoted to improving our careers, relationships, finances and health. However, we tend to neglect a very important component to enhancing all of these areas, and that is getting enough sleep.

Unfortunately, getting a good night’s sleep is usually the first to be cut out of our busy schedules. It seems to take a back seat to many other priorities throughout the day.

For example, it is not uncommon for many of us to work or study late at night, thereby using our sleep hours to meet our deadlines, daily agendas and social media commitments.

Ironically, lack of sleep actually makes us less efficient at improving our life, achieving our goals, and meeting our commitments.

When we are sleep deprived it can lead to a multitude of consequences such as:

  1. Lethargy at work
  2. Irritability and strained relationships
  3. Health deterioration and disease
  4. Poor judgment and decision making
  5. Slower reaction times and falling asleep at the wheel
  6. Decreased ability to learn
  7. Trouble retaining information

We all need proper rest in order to get rejuvenated.

While it may seem obvious that sleep is beneficial, we may not realize the full extent of its value. Studies have shown that getting sufficient sleep on a regular basis plays a vital role in promoting and contributing to:

  1. A lengthier life
  2. Improved health
  3. Emotional well-being
  4. Mood elevation
  5. Clearer thoughts
  6. Increased energy
  7. Better memory
  8. Improved stress management

This certainly is strong motivation to make sleep a top priority, and not allow ourselves to become sleep deprived.

Another component of sleep deprivation is the unhealthy sources of instant energy consumed in order to combat the lethargy we feel the next day. We often turn to drinking large amounts of coffee or other caffeinated beverages and eating extra sugar in order to get going and keep going.

Moderate amounts of these products can be enjoyable but excessive quantities can create other unpleasant issues.

Are you a good sleeper?

Action Step:

Try sticking to a regular bedtime each night for the next week, and see how much better you feel.

 

Share Personal Experiences

aaa5

We never know what is going on behind closed doors with those around us. It can feel like we are the only ones struggling with low self-esteem or troubled relationships. It is easy to judge someone’s insides by the way they appear or ‘act’ in the outside world.

Some of us have put on great performances too but felt entirely different inside our own heart.

It’s not always easy to see the torment of self-doubt or negative thoughts inside someone’s head unless it shows in their demeanor. After all, some aren’t as good at pretending as others.

Some people wear their heart on their sleeve while others appear emotionally detached. We may judge the disconnected ones to be mean or arrogant, when in actuality they may be in pain.

For example, there is a woman I see at a place we both frequent, and up until recently we’ve exchanged a wave or passing smile for the most part. My initial impression of her was one of aloofness, emotional distance and not easily approachable. In spite of that, when the situation presented itself, I felt an internal ‘pull’ to give her a complimentary copy of my book.

Not only did it lighten up her face to receive something for free, but it led to an amazing conversation as well. Turns out, there was a lot of pain going on behind her eyes. She suddenly started opening up about some situations in her life that needed improvement and asking what to do about them.

She commented about feeling powerful and confident in her career but barely spoke in her own home from the disappointment and powerlessness she felt there. I started sharing examples from my own life which helped me see how far I had come, and grateful to not be walking in her shoes at this moment in time.

It was a genuine, totally open conversation, which felt wonderful. I left feeling compassion instead of judgment and grateful she felt comfortable enough to share her truth with me.

Our exchange lasted for about an hour but the good feelings still remain.

It is beautiful when our experiences can help someone else who is going through the same things we have. We all have experiences that can help others which makes our input and history very valuable; not only to ourselves but to others in similar situations as well.

Certainly, it is not always appropriate to provide full disclosure and discernment is very important.

I hope she will read mine or other books that resonate with her, so she can start applying the information to her life.  However, that can be easier said than done. Even though mine is a compilation of my coaching curriculum and personal experiences; sometimes people aren’t sure how to apply self-help material to their own lives and specific situations.

Therefore, many benefit greatly from personalized one-on-one help or group support. Each can offer huge benefits, in addition to just reading helpful material individually.

Thankfully, there are many different ways to go about getting this help:

  • There are many types and styles of coaching or therapy available.
  • Many create book clubs to share their interpretations of the material being read.
  • There are often counseling groups within churches, and other places of worship.
  • Others have buddy systems with one or more friends to hold each other accountable.

All these methods help to cheer us on into taking the hard actions we would not necessarily feel strong enough to do alone.

It was wonderful to see that the woman I spoke with was not arrogant, as previously determined but was in need of help instead. It was beautiful to see she was open to assistance and honestly sharing about how she felt. These are great first steps to healing.

Action Step:

If applicable, see if there is a support buddy, church, or organization you can join. Take the first step by giving them a call.

Be Gentle With Yourself

aaa

Wisdom comes from many sources.

Actress Marilu Henner, who is best known for her role on the sitcom Taxi from many years ago, was on the Dr. Oz show the other day.

Here is what she had to say:

Every day you’re in the laboratory of your life, and every day is an experiment.

Sometimes it’s a good experiment, and sometimes it’s a bad one.

There’s no such thing as cheating, and there’s no such thing as beating yourself up.

You’re just collecting data. That’s it!

So every day you are saying,

“OK, this worked, and this didn’t work. Let me try this and let me try that.”

These wise words offer a gentler way of seeing ourselves and life!

Action Step:

Have fun experimenting today!

Stay Safe While Sharing the Love!

aa

Exchanging Valentine’s Day cards and gifts is a fun tradition. However, sometimes it makes us more vulnerable to online exploitation as well.

Any holiday can be an opportune time for receiving emails that attempt to trick you into buying a non-existent product or visiting a malicious website.

Therefore, staying safe online requires exercising extra caution when opening emails from unknown sources, clicking on special messages from a secret admirer or falling for unbelievable offers.

Protecting ourselves from negative outside influences is a positive act, and just takes a little awareness and knowledge.

The information below comes from the Trend Micro Anti-Virus Consumer Newsletter I receive periodically. I thought these alerts could be useful and wanted to share them with you.

Prevent falling for fake Valentine’s Day messages by awareness of the following scams:

E-cards. Everyone likes to receive thoughtful cards, especially if we think it may be from someone we love. So when a Valentines e-card appears in your in box, scammers are betting that you’ll click on it. But if you are directed to a Valentines card site that asks you to update your Flash player or perform some other operation, don’t do it! Chances are you’ll be installing a virus or Trojan horse on your computer rather than updating a necessary program. Here’s a rule to remember when it comes to e-cards: If the email message does not tell you who sent the e-card, don’t open it.

Flowers, Jewelry, Chocolates. The most popular Valentine’s Day gifts are also popular subject lines for spammers offering amazing deals for online buyers. So when you see offers for long-stemmed roses, gold bracelets, or handmade chocolates, take a step back and consider if the deal seems too good to be true. We recommend purchasing these items from one of the well-known brands or a local shop, rather than risking your money and personal information.

Your Delivery Is Being Held. This email message informs you that a delivery to your address is being held and includes a link that directs you to a website. Once you arrive at the site, it requests that you verify your credit card or some other piece of personal information before the delivery can be released. If you happen to be waiting for a delivery, as many people are around Valentine’s Day, you may consider providing the information. Remember: never provide personal information online unless you are certain you are on a trusted site. When in doubt, call the seller before providing any information.

Action Step:

Stay safe and have a Happy Valentine’s Day this week!

Savor the Peace

med

Some of us would like to meditate but are not sure how to begin.

Below is a simple way to get started.  

Enjoy!

Get comfortable.

Close your eyes.

Take some easy relaxing breaths.

Allow your body to relax.

Let your neck, shoulders, and back relax.

Let go.

If there is somewhere in your body where you tend to hold tension,

 imagine breathing in relaxation to that area and breathing out any tension.   

Breathe in thinking “I am”

and breathe out thinking “at peace.”

Continue thinking that simple phrase along with your breathing for the next few minutes.

Repeat breathing in “I am” and breathing out “at peace.” 

If you find your mind wandering,

gently bring it back to this simple phrase and your breathing.

When you are ready to finish,

bring your awareness back to the place you are seated.

Take a deep breath, and stretch.

Open your eyes.

This meditation is a modified version from Patricia J. Crane, Ph.D. 

Ordering From the

Cosmic Kitchen Workshop

Action Step:

If you don’t have a meditation exercise already or are looking for a new one, try this one and see how it feels.

Learn The Lesson

Often, our life lessons come out of painful struggles. One of Oprah’s favorite lessons was learned through experiencing disrespectful relationships. Her friend and mentor, poet Maya Angelou taught her that:

When People Show You Who They Are, Believe Them

And, believe them the first time, not the 29th time! For example:

  1. When we are mistreated the first time
  2. When he doesn’t call back the first time
  3. When someone shows us a lack of integrity or is dishonest the first time

Usually these behaviors are followed by many more instances of disrespect and subsequent disappointment.

  1. How many of us have continued to believe someone, even after they consistently failed to follow through on their word?
  2. How many of us have felt there must be something wrong with us to be treated this way, and tried harder to get their attention, affection and love?

Typically, we don’t learn this lesson the first time, but as long as we do eventually get it, we will save ourselves further wasted time, pain and suffering.

Maya Angelou shares many other life lessons she has learned which are shared below:

I’ve learned that no matter what happens, or how bad it seems today, life does go on, and it will be better tomorrow.

I’ve learned that you can tell a lot about a person by the way he/she handles these three things: a rainy day, lost luggage, and tangled Christmas tree lights.

I’ve learned that regardless of your relationship with your parents, you’ll miss them when they’re gone from your life.

I’ve learned that making a “living” is not the same thing as making a “life.”

I’ve learned that life sometimes gives you a second chance.

I’ve learned that you shouldn’t go through life with a catcher’s mitt on both hands; you need to be able to throw something back.

I’ve learned that whenever I decide something with an open heart, I usually make the right decision.

I’ve learned that even when I have pains, I don’t have to be one.

I’ve learned that every day you should reach out and touch someone. People love a warm hug, or just a friendly pat on the back.

I’ve learned that I still have a lot to learn.

I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.

Action Step:

Think about what your favorite life lesson is and why?