Capeesh?!

Life in a pandemic has taught us how very little control we have. For me, and perhaps many of you, feeling out of control can be very frustrating and induce a lot of stress. I have long heard that control is an illusion and truthfully the only thing we have control over is our reactions. I feel sometimes I don’t even have much control over my reactions. Being self aware and noticing how you are reacting and exploring where those reactions are coming from can be very helpful; but also very difficult to do in the heat of the moment.

The problem is not the problem. The problem is your attitude about the problem.”

Captain Jack Sparrow

I catch myself getting all wrapped up into what seems like the problem. I get stuck spiraling into unhelpful thoughts about what I think the problem is. But when I breathe, and take a minute to look at why I am feeling the way I am feeling, often there is a different cause. I am not saying that there are not problems. There are, everywhere. So unless we understand what triggers us to respond to these issues in the way that we do, we will be forever whipped around, a prisoner to our emotional response. Emotions can be very helpful in motivating us, but they also can be detrimental when we find ourself in a situation where the outcome we desire is not achievable.

There are things that I know trigger an emotional response in me. I like to be in control, so when I feel out of control, this can cause a lot of stress for me. When COVID first started I had a job where I experienced change on a weekly basis, sometime more often. Those changes were predictable changes. Once the Pandemic started, I was experiencing unpredictable changes. It cause me a lot more stress. I am flexible person. I enjoy change. Being fluid and in the moment, is how I do my best work. So I was surprised in how the unpredictability of life really got to me.

Awareness is the first step. When we examine the thoughts we have around the “problem” we can better understand why we are shaken when presented with the problem. Having this understanding gets us closer to being at peace; despite the situation we find ourselves within. Once we can see what is bring up our emotions and that it is really more about us than the perceived problem; we can start to work on this aspect of us.

It is important to have some strategies to get past these emotions or as Captain Jack Sparrow says, “…[our] attitude about the problem”.

  • Breathe – take a deep breath, center yourself, and just feel the emotion.
  • Acknowledge – emotions are not good or bad, they just are. Acknowledge what you are feeling. Give yourself permission to feel it.
  • Be Present – be present in the moment. Notice what is around you. What do you hear, see, smell, feel, taste? Notice that in this moment you are safe and everything is okay.
  • Understand – attempt to understand what is causing you to feel so …whatever you are feeling. If you can name what is behind the emotion it can be helpful in gaining understanding. For example: I feel frustrated at a lack of control because I have a fear of failure.
  • Calming ritual – create yourself with a calming ritual. What this is may differ on where you are and this will be very individualized to each person. Some ideas are:
    • cup of herb tea
    • lighting a candle
    • carry a “worry stone” that you can hold or rub your thumb against
    • take a series of slow, deep breaths
    • recite a poem, prayer, or mantra (out loud or internally)
    • have a mint or piece of gum
    • take a walk outside
    • rub some lotion on your hands
  • Carry on mindfully – once you have gained awareness you can carry on with your day. You will have a better understanding of why you were so upset and have taken some action to become present and understand you cannot change the problem – only your reaction.
  • Take action if it still seems necessary – once you have done all of this, depending on what the perceived problem was, there still may need to be action taken on your part. Now that your mind is clearer and you are not as caught up in the emotional response, you can attempt to make a plan.
  • Repeat as necessary – depending on what is going on you may find yourself needing to use these strategies over and over again. It will get easier as you practice.

I love the Serenity Prayer.

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, 

courage to change the things I can, 

and wisdom to know the difference.

I think there is a lot of wisdom in this prayer. There are things we cannot change. Things we have no control over whatsoever. Then there are things we can change. Often that is us and how we deal with what we cannot change. Working on ourselves is some of the hardest work, but also the most beneficial work we can ever do. Knowing what things we can affect and what things we cannot affect will give us much more peace, rather than banging our heads against the wall trying to change the unchangeable.

I also believe in the benefit of planting seeds, but that is for another blog. Thank you for reading my blog today. May you find peace within the storm. May you find the calm pool of serenity within yourself.

I am 50

This morning, When I awoke, I had entered my 6th decade in this lifetime. I am half a century old. When I was a child, 50 seemed so very ancient. Now that I am here, I feel like it is the best age of my life, so far!

I have never dreaded getting older. Age is a state of mind. I certainly do not feel like what I would have thought 50 should feel like. I intend that my 50s will be amazing! I feel there is a freedom to this stage of my life. I care much less about what anyone else expects of me. I work hard and play harder. My husband and I have a beautiful symbiotic relationship. We work in harmony but also have our independence. Our children are grown and doing well. Our grandchild are a joy and remind us to stay young at heart.

As my heath goals take front and center; I reflect on how my age may play a role in my determination to make progress to the best shape of my life. Perhaps it does have something to do with turning 50. Ultimately the reason does not matter. What matters is that I feel inspired. I love my life! I enjoy each run, hike, and mediation. Each day I find that I am seeing improvements in my emotional and physical health and wellbeing and my spiritual connection remains a place of comfort and support.

Whatever age you are, enjoy it! Make it the best year of your life, so far! You deserve to enjoy every moment! They won’t all be perfect but breathe through the tough moments and embrace the joyful ones!

Thank you for reading my blog today! I love you. May you live you best life!

Flexibility and Habits

I have been learning a lot about habit formation lately. It seems like it may be the key for me in putting my self-care and healthy habits front and center. Although, it may not seem to make sense, I am learning that some flexibility is required when creating habits. Let me explain what I mean.

A couple of the habits I am working on are daily meditation and daily physical activity. When it comes to my meditation practice, it has come along pretty easily, this time. Past attempts have not been as successful. I believe this to what I have learned about habit formation.

From my understanding there are 3 main parts to a habit. The trigger, the habit, and the reward. The trigger is the thing that lets your subconscious know it is time to do the habit. The reward is what you get for preforming the habit. When it comes to my meditation habit, my trigger is when I wake up in the morning. I go to my designated meditation space, light my meditation candle (a reward) and mediate for 20 minutes. At the end of my mediation, I track my mediation in my Adidas running app. (Side note: I love this app, it will track all kinds of activities and allows for live tracking as well as manual entries.) Tracking my meditation in the app is my reward. From what I have learned instant rewards are best. If we have to wait too long for a reward our brains won’t associate them with the habit.

So where does flexibility fit in? In order to create a habit you must do it consistently. I can’t say, “I don’t feel well” or “conditions are not perfect”, I have to find a way to get it done. For example: when I travel for work, I do not have my designated space or my candle with me. I have to allow for flexibility in my practice. I meditate with out theses things.

As I have mentioned in previous blogs I am working towards running a 5k. I am using the C25K app from Zenlabs. I love this app! It works great. I prefer to run outside. The fresh air and beautiful scenery are a part of my reward for running. This past week it has been cold and icy. I have severe osteoporosis and can’t afford to slip and fall on the ice. This past week I had to do my running on a treadmill. Running on a treadmill and running outside are not even close to the same experience. I am dedicated to creating a habit of daily activity and training towards the more far off reward of running a 5k again. I have to allow for the flexibility of running inside on a treadmill some days.

Another thing I have learned about habits, is that they are easier when stacked, habit on top on habit. For example: trigger – I wake up, habit – mediation, habit – run or yoga, habit – shower, habit – brush teeth, and then it is time to go to work. By stacking habits I am gaining momentum from things that I am doing anyway. When I choose a hike as my daily activity, I can’t get that done in the morning before work. It has to wait till the workday is done. I can not benefit from my morning habit stack. In this way, I must also allow for flexibility that on the days I am going to hike, it will not happen at the same time as my running or yoga will.

What healthy or self-care activities would you like to add to your life? What existing habits could you stack them onto? Where can you see the need for flexibility and grace in you habit formation? What will you choose as rewards?

Thank you for reading my blog today! May you develop many helpful habits that support you taking care of yourself.

Books to learn more about habit formation:

Atomic Habits by James Clear

Healthy as F*ck by Oonagh Duncan

Hello Habits by Fumio Sasaki

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.

Finding Space

Do you feel trapped; like it’s hard to breathe? Hard to find space?

That is because you are looking in the wrong places. Perhaps what you crave is distractions. If you could go do whatever you want to do, would you go looking for bigger distractions?

All you need is within you. Look inward and you will find limitless space. You will find peace. You will find that you breath easier.

Stop seeking a constant “something” outside of yourself. Slow down, breathe, still your body, and quiet your mind. You can notice the constant stream of thoughts that the mind, the ego, throws up; but do not engage with it.

Go deeper; go beyond that chatter. It does not matter if you have tried in the past and failed. Things are changing. Why should your ability to do this not change too? You will find peace there. You will find comfort there. No one does it perfect the 1st time they try. Just allow the quiet. The differences it makes in your life will begin to unfold immediately.

Shhhh – do not protect. Go quietly inward. We are there waiting for you. We are all one in this beautiful interior space. It is here that our souls, our being, will play together. It is here that we will find peace together. It is here that we will all be one together.

Come join us and find the magic that is waiting here for you.

We love you.

Channeled from one Divine soul to another.

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!