Self Care in 2022

I had claimed 2020 as my year of health. Ironically COVID hit the US that year as it continued to expand across the planet. I ended up working on shadow aspects of myself. My health took a back burner. Over the next two years, COVID became my scape goat for everything. My health deteriorated and my self-care was virtually nonexistent. 2022 has become the year I will reclaim my health. Let me share with you how. 

In 2022 I felt a new found hope. Simultaneously various self-care activities started to drift into my consciousness. I came to a deeper understanding of how taking care of myself, really and truly, allows me to be a better wife, mother, grandmother, friend, coworker and employee. Some personal medical health concerns along with a desire to be a better version of myself have driven me to really strive to take care of me and lovingly put my health first. When I say health, I am not just speaking about my physical being. I am talking about true mind, body, and spirit health. I have also include the component of financial health into that overall wellness. Anyone who has had financial difficulties understands how that can affect overall health.  I have healthy initiatives well underway in all these realms. Most started to slowly pop into practice the end of January and throughout February. Now as March begins, I feel I am well on my way to reclaiming my year of health and overall wellness. 

So, what am I doing? First let’s talk about financial wellness. I started budgeting and using the phrase, “It is not in the budget” to decrease unnecessary spending. This works well because I am not putting energy toward whether or not I can afford it. It is simply something I chose not to put in my budget this month.  Doing this relieves the stress or feelings that I can’t have it in the future, because I can choose to put it in next months budget, if I still want it at that time. The budget becomes a negotiation between my husband and myself. It really helps us prevent wasteful spending and relieves so much stress. 

For my body wellness I have a couple things going. First, since I have been diagnosed with severe osteoporosis, I am following the advise of my healthcare providers. I am taking my prescribed medication and supplements. I am attending follow up appointments and getting lab work as ordered. Because my weight has crept up over the last few years I am working to bring that under control. After reading a couple of books, Atomic Habits by James Clear and Healthy as F*ck by Oonagh Duncan, I came to the understanding that habits could really help me cement my health and overall wellness goals. So I heroically set off on a journey of habit formation. I am using the habit setting in many areas, but specifically in relation to my body; my husband and I are doing intermittent fasting. This works well for our weight loss and allows it to be slow and steady. We start our fast after supper (which we try to eat by 6pm) until around 10am the next day. The goal is 16 hours of fasting. Because we are looking at overall wellness, we do not get stressed if life happens and we eat supper at 7:30pm. We simply start our fast after that and carry on. The other things we are doing is focusing on eating a lot of veggies. Oonagh Duncan in her book advocates for half of your plate in veggies. Some meals; almost our whole plate is veggies, other meals we are adding extra veggies to what we would ordinarily have ate. Once again, this is not about perfections. Which brings us to our emotional wellbeing. 

I ask for grace. I know I am not a perfect person, so I must understand that my initiatives will also not be perfect. In the past I have tried to over do it. If 30 minutes is good than 60 minutes is great. I would burn out on what I was doing. Now, I am allowing myself the Grace to do the program as written and not having to over do it or try to out think it. This morning I started the C25K program. This is a running program that gets you from the couch to a 5K in 8-9 weeks. I am using the app by Zenlabs and it works really well. I have not run consistently since April of 2015. This year I am reclaiming that ability. I feel so great and energized after my first time out this morning; why would I not want to continue?! 

Wellness for my spirit is the final area I am working on. This encompasses so much and I feel it really helps with all other areas. I am meditating for 20 minutes every morning. Affording myself grace in the mornings and rewarding myself with beautiful candles that I burn with intention while I am working and while I meditate. The other major self-care item that my husband and I are doing is hiking. Getting out in nature… even though it has still been winter and the cold and snow have to be overcome, we are still doing it. We are still pushing through and getting out there. We hiked about 20 miles in February and now we joined a challenge for Spring that has a goal of 75 miles between March through May. Hiking is amazing for my spirit. I feel the best out among the trees. Also, we are looking forward to spring when the natural world wakes up and comes to life around us. Having the goal of the challenge, friends and my dear sweet husband to march along side me through the snow, has been so inspiring. I feel as if I am coming back to myself. I feel after years of self neglect I am finally learning to lovingly put me first. 

Thank you for reading my blog today. May you find the beauty and healing in caring for yourself. 

Why I blog

It has been quite a while since I blogged regularly. I stopped blogging after my youngest daughter was shot in a random act of violence. She has recovered from her physical injuries. She is strong and working through the emotional injuries related to this incident. I am proud of how she has overcome this experience. As her mother it knocked me for a loop. Now it has been almost 3 years. I am focusing on taking care of me. Fighting my demons instead of running from them is helping me grow and heal in a deeper way than I ever have before. When you talk about fight or flight, I have always been a runner. I am working to acknowledge my pain, my history, rather than trying to bury it or numb it. As I set off on this journey I feel inspired to start blogging again. I want to share what I am learning with others who may find it beneficial. I feel the more we share with one another the better we can all be.

I plan to write about self care and wellness topics. I have worked in Healthcare all of my career. The majority of my time has been in and working with Hospice. Because of the emotional state of hospice work self-care is essential. We all have stresses, drains, and demands on us that make self-care very challenging. Achieving true wellness is not a destination. It is a journey. It is a journey that I hope to travel with you. We can learn from one another as we travel towards personal wellness. By achieving personal wellness we will help to heal the planet. Each of us raising the vibration of those around us simply by letting our light shine and taking care of ourselves.

I hope that my blog speaks to you. I hope that you will feel safe commenting and sharing your stories and experiences. I wish for this to be a supportive and loving environment where we can acknowledge our successes and pick each other up when we need support or a shoulder to cry on. None of us have all the answers. We all have our own experiences and those are powerful! I hope this blog speaks to those of you who are interested in being the best version of you. I hope this blog speaks to those who feel lost and need some directions. I hope this blog speaks to those who have been diminished or feel beaten down by life. I hope this blog speaks to those of you who have or are in relationships that have minimized how spectacular you are. Let’s remember we are worthy. We are enough. We are special in our own unique quirky ways.

My intention is for this blog to create a community of people who are working on personal wellness, not for anyone other than themselves. I believe this blog will share tools, techniques, and insights to help you find your specialness and learn to let is shine through all the crappy days. I hope this blog will help you create more magic and blessings in your life. I wish for you to have a life where you feel special, worthy, happy, and have mind, body, and spirit wellness that is a little better today than it was yesterday.

Thank you for reading my blog today.

Lessons from a Dandelion

During a recent Shamanic Journey I had the experience of being a Dandelion. I got to experience being in all it’s different phases of life and the non-attachment to how it turned out. It was a beautiful and peaceful experience. I learned so much that I hope to bring forward into my day to day life.

I am a Dandelion with a bright yellow head. The Sun is shining on me. I am blowing gently with the breeze. The Sun comes and the Sun goes. The Moon rises and then disappears behind the horizon. Time passes and I age. I change from having the bright yellow head to a fluffy white head. I am tall and proud but I am changing. The wind blows and my seeds release.

Now I am a seed floating peacefully on the wind. I have no destination. I have no time table to be where I need to be. I have no particular place I need to be. Drifting with the breeze is a beautiful feeling of weightlessness. There is a peacefulness that I can’t seem to describe; just being carried along without a care in the world.

I land in some nice soft soil. Winter comes and I sit beneath the Earth. Blanketed by my Mother Earth. Her protection keeps me safe and nestled away all through the Winter. When Spring comes I can feel the soil heating up. I can feel myself changing and growing. The urge to rise up starts to vibrate within me. I start pushing up, shoving against the dirt. Forcing my way through the soft Spring Earth. I am growing and changing.

I burst forth into the Sun. First my leaves grow to capture the sunlight. Then a tight green head starts to form and it reaches up to the Sun. All at once the green head burst open into yellow happiness. I am growing in a meadow with many of my brother and sisters.

Children come and play here. They giggle and laugh and roll around on us. They pick happy yellow bouquets and proudly present them to their Mothers. The Mammas smile and hug the children and happily accept the bright yellow bunches of happiness. The children make bracelets and necklaces from our bright yellow blooms. They hold us up under each other’s chins to look for our beauty reflected on their skin. It is joyful being a Dandelion.

As I continue to grow in the meadow, Bunnies and Deer come and eat my leaves. They use my nutrients to nourish their nursing babies. I feel purpose that my sacrifice will help others live and thrive. At the end of my life I die. My small plant body decays into the Earth. The trees and grass around me benefit from my death.

I am once again a seed floating on the breeze. There is no stress in being a Dandelion. I am free of any attachment to what happens to me. There is no concern about where I land. It matters not how long my life is. There is no fear if I live or die. When my first yellow head peaked up from the Earth, I smiled at the Sun. As I aged into a white headed elder, I danced in the moonlight. My seeds of wisdom travel far and wide. I will always go on. I am eternal and the seeds I spread will provide joy, nurturing, love, and nourishment too many.

There is no waste in my life. My purpose is to be and I will continue to be. There is no need for worry in the cycles of life.

 

Thank you for reading my blog. I love you!

A Letter to My 13 Year Old Self

Dear Sweet, Younger Me…

First, let me tell you that you are loved.

There is anger inside of you. Let go of that anger. It could hold you back.

Many people want you to be many ways. In the end, the expectations you do not meet, will be your own that cause the most pain. Listen to your heart and follow your own path. “To Thy own self be true”. You do not have to do what anyone else expects of you. You can follow your dreams and the success you achieve by doing so will be the success of a heart that knows its own true North. Many will try to tell you what is “right” for you but ultimately, only you really know.

When making decisions, look deeply within yourself. Get quiet so you can hear the still small voice within. This is what guides you. There will be a lot of “noise” from the ego; who does not have your best interests at heart. It wants to keep you safe in the constructs that you have been taught. It does not seek to help you become radiant. Look past the ego and find the “true” you underneath. Follow that guidance. It will not lead you astray.

There are times in life that are not fun or easy but these are the parts of life that will help you grow the most. Greet them with gratitude and acceptance. Once you have experienced what they have for you, release them to your past. Do not hold on to them like a badge of honor. Everyone goes through stuff that is difficult. What is important is what we take away from these experiences. Giving them blessing and releasing them helps you to move on without the weight of their baggage.

I will now finish this letter as I started it. You are loved. You are even more loved than you can imagine. I love you my younger self and so do many others.

Be Radiant!

Love,

Me.

 

This Moment

Time ticks away but it is all relative. Moment to moment energies shift and change. Are you aware of them? Does the passage of time really matter? Of course it does not. Because all that there truly is; is the NOW. Tuesday or Thursday matter not on a Spiritual level. This moment is what really matters. Dreaming of the future and reminiscing of the past can be very pleasant and are worthwhile if they serve to raise you vibration. If they cause you stress or anxiety then they only serve to lower your vibration. When that is the case, it is even more important to stay present. Be in this time and place. Take a moment to notice, how when you are fully rooted in the present moment, you are safe.

When will this thing be over, you want to know? I am here to tell you it does not matter. Today matters. This moment matters. What are you doing to take care of you in THIS moment?  Stay fully anchored, do not let the slippage of time unground you.

Take some deep breaths and notice all that is “right” around you.

Take some deep breaths and see the beauty that is here for you.

Take some deep breaths and give thanks for all that you have and all that you are.

 

Channeled from one Divine soul to another.

 

I love you

Back Yard Spring Meditation

It is 55 degrees, calm and cloudy. It was raining earlier but had stopped now. The day is cool but warm enough to sit outside with a spring jacket. The deck I am sitting on is comfortable beneath my jeans. The air has a cool freshness. Birds are singing different songs and in the distance children are playing. I see the bright green of the day lilies’ leaves popping up amongst the brown and tans of dry leaves, stones, and twigs. The grass is slowly turning green. It is a deeper green than the day lilies. The black dirt smells  of preparation. It is readying itself for new life. The trees stand as silent sentinels over looking it all. They are not yet ready to open their leaves, giving the rest of life a chance to get started before they soak up the sun.

Spring is a slow evolution. It does not hurry. It trusts in Divine Timing. Some years one aspect maybe more successful than another, but that too is Divine. Not everything can flourish always. Everything has its own time and place.

The Day Lilies look as if bunnies have nibbled on them. We can’t make the bunnies wrong for doing what bunnies do. Nor should we make ourselves wrong for the choices of our past. They are what they are; just as nature is what nature is.

What is your nature?

What is my Nature?

How do the seasons change this?

LOVE

Love! Love is all there is. In times of uncertainty cling to that love. Love of others, family and friends will be your anchor. Then learn to love those you do not know. Send love out into the universe to all your brothers and sisters everywhere, around the globe and beyond.

Now it gets a little harder. Send love to your enemies. You do not have to love the things they did that hurt you or hurt others, but send them love anyway. They are a pure soul underneath it all. If you cannot send love to them as they are now, send love to the pure sweet little baby they entered the world as. Before life had brought them to make the decisions that you disagree with. That is their path and it is not up to us to judge it. It is not right or wrong, It just is. Send them love because love is the only energy that can heal. Love is the only energy that can change/improve things. Love will bring us all into the light.

Finally, and this will be the hardest one for you, send love to yourself. Send love to the bright Divine light that lives within you. Send love to the pure soul you are for all eternity. Send love to the damaged child we all have been. Send unconditional love to yourself, knowing that you are doing the very best you can right now. Remember that you are safe and you are loved. We urgently want you to hear this message. It is important that you send love to everyone and everything, but mostly to yourself; for love is truly all there is. Everything else is an illusion.

There is so much love here for you on this plane and from the spiritual plane; you can not even begin to fathom the amount of love that surrounds you, rocks you and supports you!

Open your heart to receive it all.

Channeled from One Divine Soul to Another

I love you!

Notice the Beauty in This Moment

This too shall be the past but the time now, the present time, is precious. Do not waste this time hoping for the future, regretting the past, or worrying. You cannot know what is coming, so why barrow trouble from the future.

Your soul chose to be here at this time and even though there is much that is difficult; there is also much that is not. The focus of your energy is your choice. By choosing to focus on those things that give you peace, love and/or joy you raise your vibration. The more people on the planet, who raise their vibrations, affects the globe as a whole.

You, Yes you, can start to shift the energy. Feel the love that is there for you. Feel that God, Spirit, Creator, The Universe is a part of you. You are a Divine being and when you take a moment to notice, there are many blessings right now in this present moment for you.

You may feel alone, but you are never alone. The Divine lives in you. Your ancestors, angels, spirit guides are all with you. They are loving and supporting you. Take a deep breath and feel. Take a deep breath and feel them. Take another deep breath and know that you are loved. It is all going to be okay. Your soul is eternal. Do not let fear stop you from noticing the beauty that is here for you.

A message from one Divine soul to another.

I love you!

Considering a Plant Based Diet

The Year of Health has become even more important with my husbands unexpected heart attack and need to quadruple bypass surgery. As he recovers from a surgery, that seems inconceivable to me, we are researching what we need to do to protect him from having to go through anything like this again. We also want to protect our son from being where his dad is in 30 years. The genetic risk lives on chromosome 19. I learned this this week. The idea that a 15 yearly boy has to be tested for high cholesterol is mind boggling to me. We had already dubbed 2020 as our “Year of Health” even before this event. Now it is even more important for our whole family.

Diet and exercise seem to be the two areas where we can make an impact. We had committed to at least 10,000 steps a day and 52 hikes this year. We may need to do some urban hiking to make this work. Today instead of the hike we had planned, Marty took his first walk down the hall on the intensive care unit. We may have to double up on hikes later in the year to make our 52, but we will get there.

As soon as my brother heard about Marty’s heart attack he suggested a plant based diet. My brother follows this type of diet and it prevented him from needing to be on medication for his cholesterol. It also probably prevented him from a fate similar to Marty’s, as we have family history of hear disease. I have been pescatarian since 2011. I travel for work so have been hesitant to give up dairy, eggs, and fish. Marty eats what I cook but when he eats separate from me, he eats the typical American diet. Wanting to protect our family from having this ever happen to anyone we love again, got us seriously looking at plant based diets. My 9 years eating things without legs has taught me how to cook some amazing meat free dishes. I am confident that I can bring this to the next level. But, does a plant based diet really work?

We started research by watching some documentaries on Netflix. What the HealthFork over Knife, and The Game Changers provided us with information that was so surprising. A friend recommended a YouTube Channel Krocks in the Kitchen, which led us to another one called, The Jardoui Family. The YouTube channels provide some great ideas as well as wonderful inspired recipes. The host of The Jardoui Family shared her story and it was just as my brother had said. eating a plant based diet restored health and prevented the need for the Statin drugs that are often used to reduce cholesterol. It confirmed what the documentaries had said.

Can we do this? Sure, why not! Planning ahead and cooking for ourselves will be key in being successful on a diet like this. More and more restaurants are offering plant based food. In the Twin Cities we have The Herbivorious Butcher, which has wonderful options.  When I first stopped eating animals back in 2011, I just tried it and thought, “I will see how long I can do this”. Now, 9 years later, I am looking at taking the next step for my health and the health of my family.

May you always have good health. I love you!

If you have any fabulous plant based recipes  or information you would like to share, please post them in the comments. Thank you. If you want a natural way to improve your health, I recommend you watch the documentaries.

 

Purpose Driven Life

A friend recently reached out to me, to ask if she could interview me for a class she was taking. The class is from the U of M: Center for Spirituality and Healing called “Living on Purpose.”  She told me; “I chose to interview you as I feel you live your purpose and play the role of mentor for many of us in our group, whether or not this is a conscious decision or just comes naturally”.  I want to share this interview, as I feel a purpose driven life is something many of us want and struggle with. It has been especially challenging for me after my daughter was shot. I felt lost but this interview help me remember to live a purpose driven life. You may even want to answer these questions for yourselves.

1)  How would you describe a purpose-filled or purpose-driven life, in general?

Everyday we have choices to make. Choices about how we show up. Do we walk into work cranky or do we come in with an intention to light up the space we occupy? We have choices about how we care for our body. Do we fill it up with processed food (full of sugar) or do we consume whole fresh foods? We have choices about how we spend our “so very” valuable time. Do we get home in the evening and just veg out in front of the TV or do we do mindful practices, Like enjoy friends and family or work on creative projects? I think living a purposeful life is about making choices and not just doing what might be easy or routine, something which we all become accustomed to, from time to time. Somedays you will fall into routine or make choices that are not in alignment with your purpose. Other days you will make choices that make your soul sing! 

2)   Share 2-3 examples of parts of your life that are very satisfying, give you a sense of purpose and fulfillment.  This could be related to family, work, leisure, hobby or anything that you are passionate about.  What’s the history behind this part of your life?  How does this make you feel when you are engaged in this aspect of your life?

I feel great purpose in teaching and sharing information. This makes its way into many aspects of my life. Time with my grandchildren, my work, and my holistic practices. As you know, I facilitate the gathering once a month. Additionally I volunteer as a speaker, at a public high school, to share what holistic healing is with the students there. I was asked to speak specifically about Reiki and the Chakras, but the kids have so many great questions, that we talked about a lot of different things in the course of the class. When opportunities arise with friends and family; I will share knowledge, wisdom, or practices with them, that I think may be helpful. Recently a friend was telling me about some hip, leg, and foot pain she was having. I asked if she had any type of mediation or relaxation practice. She said she did not, although she felt mediation might be helpful but didn’t really know how to mediate. I facilitated a progressive relaxation with her. We started with some yogic breathing; taking deep belly breaths. She later told me she had never breathed like that and found it very helpful. We then progressively relaxed the muscles of her body, starting at the top of the head and worked down her body. She shared that she found it a helpful practice and has continued to do it. 

A coworker recently shared that she had a lot of work and personal stress going on in her life. I shared a free 21 day mediation experience with her that Deepak Chopra was offering. 

I think there is a a fear of the unknown. When I see little opportunities to share bits of knowledge, various mindful techniques, or a more natural or healthy practice that can improve health; I will take the chance to share and see if the person might be open or willing to learn about a different way of being. If they are not open, I drop it. It is not my intention to force things on others or make them uncomfortable. But there are people out there who are hungry for information. I was once that person who stumbled onto a book which started an awakening in me; from that day forward I was seeking teachers, knowledge, and my whole world changed in ways I could not have anticipated. 

Another area, that I feel strongly is a part of my purpose, is to bring joy and leave spaces a little brighter than they were before I arrived. I watched how my grandmother would enter a room and leave the room brighter than when she had entered. She just lit up the whole space. I have aspired to be like her in that way. I want to share a smile with a stranger, leave any group a bit happier than they were when I arrived, provide calm when I enter a stressed environment, and just make the world I touch a little brighter. There are days I fail at this but there are other days that I hope I create a chain reaction. Sharing joy with this person who shares joy with the next, and so on. 

3)  Is there anything you do on a regular basis to help you be more purposeful in your life?  If so, please describe.

I look for signs and messages. Whether this is a blue jay on my garden gate, drawing a tarot card, seeing a star (which reminds me to see the joy in my life right now), hearing a song, or having something be brought up 3 times; I am always on the lookout for ways in which the Divine is keeping me on my path. 

Mediation is something I always aspire to keep a part of my daily practice. There have been times in my life where mindfulness has not played as large a role as I would like. But today, is a new day, and an opportunity to begin again. 

Acceptance is another purposeful action. Accept others for who they are and where they are at in their journey. This has to also be acceptance for myself. I work to not “should” myself. I am not perfect and everyday I am not going to be the perfect version of what I aspire to be. I have to accept my humanness without getting stuck there. I have to accept that some days I could do better and continue to live forward, trying to be a better version of myself each day. 

4)  What is your recommendation to me for creating a more meaningful and purpose-filled life, both in general and on a day-to-day basis?

Set an intention for each day or practice in your life. Maybe it is just an intention to find more peace in this day or start a daily practice (whether it be drumming, yoga, self reiki, or jogging) with the intention of being more mindful. Intentions are powerful and they increase the power in anything we are already doing. 

Do not be hard on yourself. Know that no day is going to be perfect. Some days you will do better and other days you not be the person you aspire to be. That is okay. We learn from those times we fail. Think about a child learning to spell, it is the words they get wrong and have to practice again and again, that will become the most firmly planted into their mind. It is the same for us when trying to live a purposeful life. Those areas that we struggle with are the ones we will embrace (and know) the best. 

Share your wisdom with those who need to hear it. What we teach, we learn on a deeper level. When you see others who could benefit from something you have been through, offer them some tidbit from your experience. Then be willing to accept if they are able to hear what you have to share or not.

5)  Is there anything else you would like to add?

Trust your soul to guide you. When you feel that push, listen. You have a beautiful light! Your gifts will benefit many people. Fear can be crippling, especially when you live differently from the norm. You don’t have to share everything about yourself with others to be authentic or live a purposeful life. You can let out little glimpses of yourself to people who you feel it may help or you feel safe with.  

Not everyone you meet is a support person for you. Know who those support people are. Those whom you can be fully authentic with. The others are people on your path who may benefit by seeing you live your purpose filled life and getting a peek at the bright light that is you. 

 

I hope that this has inspired you to live your own purpose driven life. I love you!