Journey Into The Unknown

little girl path

Preparing for a journey into the unknown is not easy to do. What do you pack? What do you expect? Well, that’s the thing about the unknown, you just don’t know.

So, bring a positive attitude, dress comfortably and just start walking. This is your journey and these are your choices. Walk with a purpose and dream with intention. Venture into the unknown with the child-like anticipation that it will all turn out exactly the way it is supposed to.

Preparing for your journey…

What makes you happy? Bring that or do more of that.

Who do you love? Bring them or call them often.

What keeps you healthy? Do that more.

What calms you down? Bring some of that or keep doing that.

Who inspires you? Call them often or bring their book to read. 

What makes you feel bad? Stop doing that.

What stresses you out? Stop doing that.

What unhealthy habits do you have? Stop doing that.

It’s doesn’t have to be hard or complicated, it just has to be.

Don’t master the things you don’t enjoy and don’t neglect the things that you do.

Gratitude to hotblack on morguefile.com for the photo above of a little girl just beginning her amazing journey

Come On Get Healthy

vegetables

I have found that, for me, getting happy started with a healthier body. It’s almost impossible to have a positive state of mind if your body is distracting you from your happiness goals. An unhealthy body that feels achey, sluggish, and doesn’t sleep well is probably not leading you on a journey to a happier place. When you feel healthy, rested and well nourished you are then more free to focus on your state of mind. An important thing to consider is that healthy looks different for every body, so keeping in mind that you only need to be the expert on making yourself happy is essential.

A great place to begin your journey to happiness is in the kitchen. Chances are, if you’re feeling less than happy, there are easy, manageable steps you can take right now in your own home. To make positive change, you have to make changes. The goal should be reinventing your relationship with food. Begin by taking inventory. Every few months I like to pull everything out of my pantry and reassess. Creating healthy habits and maintaining them does not happen with one trip to the grocery store. It can be an ongoing process of learning and adapting.

After you pull out all of your food, it’s time to take a good look at what you have on hand and consider your patterns. Anything that is expired has got to go, that’s easy. Anything that is processed and/or eaten in moments of emotional distress has also got to go. Food is fuel. Using food for comfort is not a step toward getting healthier. This process is about positive change. Replacing your comfort food with exercise, stretching, breathing, meditation, yoga, or a hot bath will serve you better. Consider what will work for you and give it a try.

Now clean out your fridge and freezer using the same process. When you are done with your purge, gather some healthy recipe and snack ideas and make a list of what you need. Grab your cloth grocery bags and head out with your list. Try and stick to what you need and not fall victim to impulse buying. Planning out your menu will serve you well, it saves time and let’s you be prepared in those moments when you want to slip back into old habits.

You have three considerations to keep in mind:

  1. Addressing three meals per day, everyday.
  2. Plan for your need to snack
  3. Consider your nutrient and mineral deficiencies

If your intention is to get healthy and happy, you need to begin to live from a place of intention and not a place of habit. Addressing your eating habits and being open to making positive, lasting change can very well be your first step on a path toward enjoying more happiness. It certainly was for me.

Gratitude to MaxStraeten for the lovely photo above from morgue file.com

Little Sufferings

Sun in hand

Being healthy can be stressful.

Making an effort to get rid of the stress in my life is really stressing me out.

There are days I think making all these changes to become my best self may be the actual thing making it all harder. It’s easy to sink back into old habits that were keeping me stagnant.

But then I take a breath and reflect on how much good all these changes have brought to me, and how much better the future looks because of all these shifts. The little sufferings along the way teach me valuable lessons and help me grow. And that’s all they are, little.

I believe my future is as bright as my attitude about today. I’m grateful for the past and I’m ready for the future.

“The best way to predict the future is to create it”. -Peter F Drucker

Gratitude to Dedulo Photos on morguefile.com for the beautiful photo above

Out Loud

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Sometimes I hate being right.  The moment the Audiologist confirmed my suspicion, I knew this was one of those times.  I’m not sure if it was the ringing sound that seems to keep getting louder and more distracting or noticing that I am constantly saying “what?” to friends and family that made me talk to the doctor, but when I finally said it out loud, my assumption was confirmed.  I have to say, I’m still in shock really.  Having worked as a Sign Language Interpreter for 16 years, I never considered that at some point I would be the one with the hearing loss.  So, I guess you could say this is some crazy irony.

My first thoughts went to my heathy body parts.  I’m grateful for things like my strong knees and my healthy organs.  I’m grateful to be approaching 40 this year at a healthy BMI and good cholesterol and all that.  So, all things considered, I’m happy about my body and I remain thankful for how it carries me through life.  But, my hearing…. Not something I ever considered before, I simply just took it for granted.  Even after spending a good portion of my life studying Deaf Culture, Sign Language and enjoying many friendships with people whom I communicate with solely in ASL (American Sign Language) did I ever consider how a hearing loss would impact me personally.  Seeing words written on paper like “hearing loss” and “possible irreversible nerve damage” and finding out that the situation can actually worsen impacted me deeply.  My mind has gone to where a hearing loss would effect me as far as my children are concerned.  That above all else is what concerns me the most.  Will I be able to hear them call for help?  Will I hear them cry out in the night?  I’m used to being able to use this sense, it’s disarming to have it taken from you.

Other changes I notice are with music and communicating with friends and family.  I notice it during tennis lessons, while watching television, during dinner conversations, and in a noisy restaurant.  If I’m talking to someone and they turn away or leave the room I know I’m in trouble.  I had to turn on the closed captions to watch a movie on the airplane during my last couple flights to catch more of the words.  It was amazing how much more relaxed I felt after I did that.  I hadn’t noticed how hard I had been straining to understand speech.  This has all been happening over the last year or so, but when that audiologist confirmed it last week it was as if a series of snapshots played in my head over and over reminding me of all the times I had suspected this about myself before I actually said it out loud.  And now here it is, out loud.

I think we have more than five senses.  Our physical senses may be taste, touch, smell, sight, and hearing, but we have so many more.  Consider our additional senses such as our sense of gratitude, our sense of humor, our sense of wonder and all of the senses that we all need to complete this experience in life.  You can experience these other senses without all of the main body senses.  You don’t need to necessarily touch, taste, or smell something to experience it’s sense of wonder….  I don’t need to hear every bit of a song anymore to still feel gratitude for it.  So I’m going beyond my five original senses to discover more senses to explore since there is so much more to life.  I’ll be able to adapt to this new challenge, but it may take some getting used to.

Positive Habits for the New Healthy

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We all want to live a happy, healthy life, and these days it’s becoming possible to live healthier and happier even longer than ever before.  Making changes in our daily habits can make all the difference, but that may mean stepping outside of our mental comfort zones.  I remember watching my Grandfather “Papa Roger” as he got older.  He lived to 93, but it was very clear that he became pretty uncomfortable in the last part of his life.  I wish that he could’ve had more years of comfort and better function.  If he had changed his habits early in his life, he may have been able to get some more life out of all those years.  The choices we make early in life and the habits we create will decide the quality of our later years.

Often we have to make change to develop positive habits and change is transformation.  Everything we do moves us closer to or farther away from our goals and ultimately the person we want to become.  Stop to consider whether a habit is serving your highest good.  When you commit to making change you are in essence parenting yourself in a meaningful, conscious way.  Be supportive, patient and nurturing with yourself, but hold yourself accountable and know that you are capable of change.  If you are completely committed then there will be no parts of you left to self-sabotage.  Move at a reasonable pace and make realistic choices.  “It is better to make many small steps in the right direction than to make a great leap forward only to stumble backward.” ~Proverb

Have some self-compassion.  There is no such thing as perfect, so give yourself a break.  Don’t speak meanly to yourself, it’s important to love yourself and remember that self-sabotage is toxic.  At the same time, be sure to feel your emotions and know that talking about your feelings is like detoxing your spirit.

The new healthy embodies a wholeness of mind, body and spirit working together to create and support your best self.  Finding balance and sustaining it can be delicate and satisfying yet grueling work.  Your self-talk creates your reality and your body knows how to heal itself.  The greatest habit you can adopt is learning to relax into your body and get out of it’s way.  We all have a lot of freedom and with that freedom comes the responsibility to make positive choices.  Ultimately life is beyond our control and constantly changing.  Learning to adapt to the new idea of healthy is a good habit to develop and nurture.

photo above is of my Papa Roger in his 90’s

Self-Care in a Toxic World

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Self-care is often mistaken for self-ish or self-centered, but I didn’t say self-indulgence now did I?  To me, self-care does not mean getting a weekly manicure or massage, but is more about finding the balance between the things that serve you and the things that cause you stress in your life.  Making sure you are eating a healthy, well balanced diet, getting enough exercise, keeping creative outlets in your life, and finding ways to relax, such as meditation and yoga, are some of the essential parts to building a life of wellness and self-care.  These parts of life are essential to your well-being and not over indulgent.  And, when we begin to care for ourselves and see health and wellness as fundamental, I believe we also begin to deepen our ability to care for others.  Being able to care deeply and in a meaningful way for others makes life better and when life is better, everything is better.

No matter how much better we feel, our world is still filled with toxins.  Toxins are in the air we breathe, the water we use and the food we eat.  Toxins are also scattered among our days in the form of negativity, gossip, and the thoughts in our own heads.  Deciding to put more focus on self-care involves being able to shed the toxins that keep us from being happy and healthy.  It’s hard to bring in the good when there is too much room being taken up by the bad.  Taking a hard look at what toxins exist inside your body and your life will help you begin to shed those toxins and avoid bringing them back into your life.

I recently hosted our first Wellness Wednesday which is a new community event created to bring like-minded people together to have conversations about wellness.  These gatherings will each focus on a different topic related to wellness and inspire people to incorporate more wellness into their daily lives.  I will personally speak about different topics that inspire and move me into action and encourage others to share their stories and journeys to wellness as well.

Our first Wellness Wednesday was an inspiring beginning to what will be an ongoing, moving gathering for those interested in enhancing their journey down a path toward wellness.  Making time for yourself is essential along this journey and gathering knowledge and meeting like-minded people along the way will help push you forward and gain momentum.  We’ve already seen several positive things come from that first meeting and I look forward with enthusiasm to continuing the journey!

Our next Wellness Wednesday will focus on HABITS: The Good, The Bad, and The Really Great!  Is it possible to be happy and make lasting changes during The Mindful Revolution we are surrounded by these days?  Yes!!  If we keep the conversation going and learn from each other, it is!

photo courtesy of fitwalk on morguefile.com

Cleansing Old Habits

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It’s been 11 weeks since I started the cleansing leg of my happiness journey.  I’ve lost 17 pounds, I feel healthier than I have in over 5 years, and I finally have the stay-at-home business opportunity that I have been searching for since I became a mother.  I’m starting my second round of cleansing today with a new set of goals and a peaceful mind ready to embrace more change.

Any time you approach a life changing opportunity for a second time, you proceed for the with larger pool of knowledge to pull from.  So, this time, I’ve realized that I can give myself a few more goals to accomplish in addition to shedding some unwanted pounds and more importantly flushing my body of unwanted toxins.

The first time around I was able to give up my resistance to change.  Without change there is no renovation, transformation or evolution.  I embraced my metamorphosis and I have reaped the benefits of feeling healthier and having a more clear mind.  I have more energy!  I ran my first 5K.  I broke free of old fears and as I rose up to meet my new challenges it felt as if the world rose up to meet me.  I had not expected these particular changes, but I happily accepted them and celebrate them with a renewed exuberance!

This time around I have pledged to attack some new binding flaws holding me back from being my best self. I want to give up some of my unhealthy food attachments and form some healthy new ones.  I want to give up the excuses about why I cannot give up certain foods and why I can’t add others into my diet.  I want to experiment, investigate, research!  I plan to cook, create, concoct!

Today is day 1 of my 11 day cleanse and I am bouncing around the room with excitement!

Fruit on the 4th

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It was record breaking heat that ruled our 4th of July celebration.  Temperatures topped out above 100 degrees and no one could stand to be outside for more than a few minutes, but we didn’t let it spoil our happy day!  We still managed to find a way to have some healthy, indoor fun on the 4th.  It may not be the prettiest, but this flag of fruit is the most beautiful thing this Mom has ever seen.  We washed and cut strawberries, blueberries and bananas and tried our best to recreate a photo we found on the internet.  The finished product lasted about 3 minutes before we tore it apart and ate it as our afternoon snack!  Happy 4th of July!

myhappypromise

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