Posted in Tea Talk Tuesday, Uncategorized

Attraction in Action

It is great to form good habits.  It is also important to have habits that serve a purpose.

I believe in the law of attraction, particularly in your thoughts.  There is biblical scripture about it as well.  There are some things that I do to enforce that.  I have a few tips that I feel keep my thoughts positive.

Life is unpredictable and there will be days that will challenge you.   Everyday won’t be perfect, but it is important to not allow your thoughts to linger in a dark place.  Often I use a few little reminders to keep my thoughts positive.

Persuasive Passwords

I like to make my passwords means something to me as a little reminder of something I want to accomplish or a goal I have set for myself.  It could also be the name of a country you have always wanted to visit as a reminder to yourself to plan for your dream vacation.  As you will be logging in many different devices and/or programs, this is a perfect opportunity to repetitively introduce positive language into your mind.

Gratitude Journal

I love journaling.  It is a way to organize your thoughts, brainstorm ideas, or just doodle and have fun.  I have a daily gratitude journal and I write down the things I am thankful for in it.  It is small enough to carry with me, so when something happens that I am particularly thankful for, I write it down.

Public Displays of Intention

I love inspirational quotes.  I display them in my office and in my home, but I don’t like for them to be completely obvious to everyone else.  Sometime I display them in different languages or in some code that only I can understand, but they serve a purpose for me.  They remind me to keep my goals in mind throughout the day and to stay positive.

 

The most important thing is to have periodic reminders to ourselves to not only look for the positive in all things, but to not lose sight of our goal and to to be in a constant state of gratitude and growth.

Posted in Tea Talk Tuesday, Think About it Thursday

Put it On to Pull it Off

I have never in my life been very traditional, but a few years ago you wouldn’t be able to tell by looking at me.  I have always loved all things bold and danced to the beat of my own drum, but I was afraid to express it.  I was, for all outward appearances, average.  I believe what the popular term nowadays is basic.  I was that basic chic who kind of looked like all the other women my age, or what society said women of my age, ethnic background, stature, sexual orientation, etc. should look.  I spent countless hours and several hundred dollars a year getting my hair professionally straightened, I never wore anything overly masculine or feminine, I always chose either contacts or a light brown pair of wire-framed glasses that said “I’m near-sighted, but professional”.  I was never to bold in my speech or my demeanor.  I was not too plan, but not too flashy.   Generally, I was nothing out of the ordinary.  I hated it.

 

 

I envied the beautiful women with big voluminous curls, and huge halos of cottony hair framing there faces.  I envied these women even though I had the same voluminous, cottony hair, but mine was chemically stripped of all its glory in order to fall in line with what I thought I was supposed to represent.  I envied the women with beautiful cat-eye glasses or horned-rimmed frames in bold colors. I envied their courage to step out of the ordinary and to be bold.  I wanted to be the kind of person who could pull that off.

As the years went on and I got older, I began to want to truly live my best life to the fullest.  That meant I had to be authentic and true to myself.  It started 11 years ago with my decision to stop straightening my hair.  As my hair was chemically straightened, I decided to cut the chemically processed hair off.  It was a big step as I my hair was rather long, but I was ready.  I really did not miss my hair.  I thought I would panic because I could never remember a time in my life when my hair was ever short.  I loved it!  I kept running my hands over my half inch curls and feeling their pebbly texture.  What I loved most about my new do was the ability to walk out in any kind of weather without a worrying about my hair being wrecked.

 

I got so many comments about my lopped-off locks.  People started rumors that I has some type of psychotic breakdown.  Some asked if I had been ill.  I also got comments from people who loved it, but my biggest critic was my mom.  She had jokes every time she saw me.  She bought me large earring and told me to always wear lipstick so I wouldn’t “look like a man”.  My favorite comment was ” You are the kind of person who can pull that look off.”  What??  Me?? I was one of those women??  Mission accomplished!!!

 

I was on from that point.  I got every pair of unconventional glasses I could find.  I have round Iris Apfel ones, cat-eye Shirley Chisholm ones, and big square Victoria Beckham ones too!  I also started to dress the way I always wanted to dress with no regard to what was expected.  Only what I loved and made me happy.

 

Just last week a coworker told me that there was a certain style that she wished she could pull off.  My advise to her was to just put it on.  Once you put it on, you are pulling it off.

I would like to challenge all of us to step out of our comfort zones and put it on!

Posted in Think About it Thursday

Stop, Look, and Listen!

One interesting and odd fact about me is that I am a huge Patsy Cline fan.  She sang a song titled “Stop, Look, and Listen”.  I was reminded of this song when I was on my lunch break today.  I went into a cafeteria style restaurant at the height of rush hour.  The servers were moving fast and making quick and rapid movements.  They were spilling things, bumping into each other, and hearing the customers’ orders incorrectly.  Often, they had to stop what they had started to either clean up something or start completely over.  Sometimes it is not worth the rush.

Another instance of something very similar happened a few years ago.  I was on my way to class and could see a car behind me weaving in and out of each lane, passing every car in front of it.  Soon the car was behind mine riding closely and recklessly darting back and forth in an attempt to pass me.  When the car was in the lane right next to me, I could see that the driver was a woman in my class.  She sped down the road in front of me as I continued on.  When I got to the school parking lot, she pulled into the parking space beside me.  AT THE SAME TIME.  She did all of that and we got there at the same time.  Actually, I was there a few moments before.  Then when I got to class, she came in late!

My point is we use so much energy rushing when we could just take our time.  When we rush, we are anxious, we make mistakes, we could cause accidents, and still not have the result we are in such a hurry to get.  This is not only when we are in a hurry to get somewhere or do something.  This is the same with life in general.  We can miss so much. make mistakes and even get further behind when we are rushing.

I would like to challenge all of us to just stop, look, and listen.

 

 

Posted in Think About it Thursday

People Pleasing

 

As a recovering people pleaser, I have done tons of self-reflection on why I do what I do.  The jury is still out on that, but I’m no longer as concerned about why.  I just want to stop.  I do okay for a while and then I relapse.  I have noticed that it is easier to stop with certain people and not so easy with others.  I am constantly saying that you teach people how to treat you.  I realized that my people pleasing tendencies have taught people how to treat me.  More importantly I have taught them that they are able to use my urge to please to their advantage.

I have made a list of the things that go through my mind in the middle of my people pleasing thoughts.  I have found that my thoughts are really based on nothing.  As mentioned previously, this people pleasing behavior only comes into play with only one or two people.  Actually most who know me would be shocked that I struggle with this.  I generally give little thought about what others think, but my desire to please or not make a certain few uncomfortable has honestly stunted my personal growth.

I think all people pleasers need to examine their reasons.  Here the list of questions I asked myself:

 

Question:  What is my true motivation?

Answer:  Duh, to please another person.  This led me to ask myself another question.  Why?  I realized that I didn’t want any conflict with that person.  The person I didn’t want any conflict with is a huge part of my life.  I interact with this person on an almost daily basis and I love this person.  There is a certain degree of “I want to please this person because I fear not doing so would cause that person to think less of me.”  After thinking about this for a while I realized that although I may disappoint that person, that person will not stop loving me.  That person has been disappointed or upset with me before.  So what if it happens again.  Is it really as big of a deal as I have worked it up to be in my head?  I began to realize the root of my people pleasing is fear.  That fear is often based on what I think may happen.  I need to learn to deal with others disappointment rather than avoiding it.  So my motivation to please is based on what I fear may happen.

 

Question:  Why am I worried about what they are going to say?

Answer:  First of all, who is “they” (also known as “people)?  “People” and “they” are our own reservations and insecurities.  We are just putting a name of group of nameless people to an issue we are not willing to address ourselves. Are they even important enough to really be concerned about?  So what if they do talk.  They will talk anyway.  This is something I have gotten over, but I feel people pleasers generally stress over the ubiquitous “they.”  What I have learned is that if I am concerned about the “they/people”, that is a personal concern of mine. This thing may be something I am not quite comfortable with.  It may be something that requires a bit of a risk, so I want to be let off the hook.  What lets me off the hook is blaming my dependence on the “they”.  This finding led me to my next question.

 

Question:  Am I making excuses?

Answer:  Sometimes.  I will admit it has been easy to say that I don’t want to do something because I don’t want to rock a boat, but in actuality I’m just scared.  I have noticed this when I verbalize my decision to do or not to do something to another person who I am certain to share my view.  Once I get that confirmation, I feel that have been let off the hook.  I use people pleasing as an excuse because, unfortunately many people can relate to it and often find it acceptable.

 

What I have learned is my people pleasing has been rooted in fear.  As I have started to break a lot of my people pleasing habits I have realized that when I fight against the urge to please, the results and reactions are not as drastic as a I thought they would be.  Of course certain people did not like certain decisions, but that’s life.  No disavowals, or broken relationships.  Life simply goes on as usual.  Once I began to hold fast to my own decisions, I got little to no interference, not two cents were thrown into the mix.  It was just accepted.

I would like to continue to challenge all of us to examine hour people pleasing tendencies.  Let’s get to the root of it and grow beyond it.

Posted in Tea Talk Tuesday

Intention

Intention has been coming up a lot lately in conversations with my friends.  Intention along with authenticity and integrity are the keys to living a life of freedom.  As I write this, I feel that is enough to say, but I can go on to how I came about this realization in my own life.

I have stated many times that I went through a season of unfortunate events.  During that time, I felt that I would never get a break.  It seemed one bad thing was happening after another.  I began to question everything.  I began to question my choices of friends, decisions, and commitments.  That is when I began to examine my intentions.  First, I began to look at my friendships.  I had and still have a pretty tight and small circle of friends.  I did not put much thought or emphasis on my friendships at the time because the friendships I had were many years in the making.  The friendships I had were over 20 years old.  I didn’t question those because they had lasted so long how could there be anything wrong with them?  It was not until my season of unfortunate events had ended that I was able to see the true nature of some of my relationships.  I began to notice that some of my friends were very present in my life when things were at their worst.  I got phone calls everyday. At the time, I thought it was wonderful.  I had a friend who was ready and willing to listen to my problems and I am thankful for it to this day.  It was what I needed at the time.  It wasn’t until my season of unfortunate events ended that I realized all the support, check-ins, and attention began to be replaced with something else.  I was then faced with out of nowhere confrontations, discouragement, and negativity.  All of this was confusing to me as I thought  friends would be happy for my life to take a much more positive and happy turn.  It seemed that every good thing I shared was quickly shot down.  Every new opportunity I shared was met with warnings and dissuasion.  Where was the celebration?  I thought friends would  be happy for their friends. It seemed to me that it was my misery that was attracting certain friends’ attention.  True friendship was not their intention.  There was some joy and comfort they found in my struggles, but not in my happiness.

As my life and the circumstances around it began to improve quickly and exponentially, that particular “friendship” began to weaken until eventually all contact ended.  Although the relationship has endured for well over 25 years, surprisingly, I didn’t miss it.  I began to realize that over the years there have been several instances when I was in a happy season, that particular person would find a reason to be absent.  That same person would come back into my life and seem somewhat disappointed when things were going well.  I also noticed that while I shared, participated, and supported my friend’s endeavors, the same was not reciprocated.  The absence of longing for that relationship was validation to me that that particular person’s intention was not in line with what I considered friendship.  My intention created what I had believed was a friendship, but the other person apparently did not have the same intention. To everything there is a season.  The same goes for relationships.

Now I am at a wonderful place and things are better and better everyday.  I am examining my intentions.  I am deliberate and focused.   Life is so much easier.  Decision making is effortless.  There is little to no back and forth in my mind as my actions are motivated by clear intention.

Posted in Think About it Thursday, Uncategorized

Are You Responsible for How People Treat You?

 

I have made a huge change in my life.  With this change came a lot of work that I needed to do physically and emotionally.  I will first explain the physical work.  I  made a physical move.  My son and I moved into another home.  Our new home was very close to the old one so I didn’t plan on hiring movers, and there was no deadline for me to leave my old home so I could take my time.  I packed our essential things gradually leaving the things we needed readily accessible in place.  I had no clear-cut plan on how the move was going to get completed.  I just relied on the fact that there was no rush.  I had time and I was only moving a few miles away.  So I packed my nonseasonal things in boxes and drove them to my home each day over that span of several weeks.  I chose not to fill my fridge with groceries as I would be moving it to.  Although I still had no plan on when and how I was going to do so.  The same went for my large furniture items.  I knew I would have to move them eventually, I didn’t want the shell out the cash to pay for movers, and didn’t feel the pressure of time.

A few weeks went by, and  I was still a one-woman caravan for my manageable items, but the larger items remained and I was starting to feel the effects of being unsettled.  I was rifling through packed boxes to fish out things I needed, but had packed because I believed I would only have use for them when I had completed the move.  As my frustration started to build, I began to wonder why no one had offered to help.  Everyone in my circle knew I was moving.  They all knew how I was traveling back in forth with my mid-sized SUV packed to the hilt.  They had all seen me stooped in pain from carrying boxes back and forth, loading and unloading.  I was getting upset with everyone around me for watching me struggle with this move.

Then I realized that I had never asked for help.  Not only that, several times in the past, I had refused help when it was offered.  It didn’t click with me at the time that my constant refusal of help may have been a signal to all of my friends that I didn’t need the help.  I was responsible for how they were treating me, but being the stubborn person that I am, continued to move unassisted.  I moved beds, a coffee table, shelving units, boxes, all by myself.  I even carried a six-drawer dresser up six stairs into my new home.

Eventually, I hired movers to move my refrigerator and sofas.  I have no idea how I was able to do so much, but I paid that price.  I visit a chiropractor twice a week now.  I could not walk the day after I completed my move, and two days later I couldn’t stand upright.  Was I proud of what I had done? Yes.  Was it stupid? Yes.  Was it necessary? No. Could I have asked for help? Absolutely.  Have I learned my lesson?  Not yet, but I’m working on it.   Old ways die hard and I am certainly open to suggestions.

 

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized

Reboot!

There have been many changes in my life recently and surely and hopefully there will be more.  As I continue on my journey, I look for new and exciting ways to reset when I get stuck in a rut.  One rut I was stuck in was beginning to show up in every area of my life.  I was not eating the way I should.

Since returning to the workforce a little over 2 years ago.  I slowly began trading my healthy clean food for quick and easy solutions.  A few pounds started to find their way back to the places I had worked so hard to keep them away from. My skin started to break out again, I was tired and irritable, and I was catching colds.  It was clear that I needed to reboot!

A couple of days ago I purchased another juicer.  I gave my old juicer to my brother.  I remember when I got my first juicer and made my own juice everyday with fresh fruits and vegetables.  I felt great and I didn’t have those annoying cravings for junk.  Now I am back on track and my son has jumped on the bandwagon with me.  I have so much energy and I am getting back in the groove.

I have also made meal plans for the week and beyond.  What a difference!

Now that I have so much more energy and a renewed spirit, I will also be writing more blog posts (another thing I had quit doing in my slump).  I have so many wonderful experiences to share.

I would like all of us to find little ways to reboot.  We should search for those things that make us happy and do what it takes to add them in our lives.  Sometimes you need to reboot or build a tribe to help you along the way.  Whatever the case my be, renew and refresh!

Posted in Think About it Thursday

Keep it Simple

the-daily-mantra-relax-relate-release-sundaysbest-thedailymantra-wisdom-wordstoliveby-goldenrule-t

In life we often try to make things more complicated than they are.  If we can just take the time to listen to what our hearts, minds, and bodies are telling us, we can face the world and all its challenges with confidence.

 

Posted in Fitness Friday, Good Stuff

Is Instagram helping me lose weight?

how-to-take-great-instagram-photos

As I mentioned in my last post, I am very open to new experiences.  The most recent new experience has been with Instagram. My cousin loves to cook and so do I, but cooking was one of the things I stopped enjoying when during my season of unfortunate events.  Fortunately, with some inspiration from the culinary artistry of my cousin, I revived my joy of cooking.

Recently, my cousin  has also been challenging me to learn more about social media.  I had opened several accounts in the past, but rarely attended to them.  One social media outlet neither of us  had tried was Instagram.  So, we both opened accounts and began learning what it was all about.  I can’t speak for him, but I was hooked. He suggested that I post some of the food I was cooking on Instagram.  I couldn’t wait.  So I posted my first dish.  I made sure that every morsel was placed perfectly, that the lighting was just right, the plate was attractive, but not so much that it over shadowed the food.  Then I posted my culinary masterpiece. The whole staging process took about 15 minutes.  It was beautiful and I was so proud of it.  The portion was adequate, but not too much.  There was a lot of greenery to make it pop and the presentation was lovely.  Then I ate it and was satisfied.  Now the amazing thing was the portion size.  The portion I staged for the photo was about half the size I would have chosen for myself had I not planned to photograph it.  Also, from plate to mouth there was at least a 15 minute time span. As I mentioned, the portion was adequate and I was satisfied after eating it.  I took time to really savor the food before I ate it.  I took in the beauty of the creation before consuming it. Taking that time quelled my appetite and I was able to enjoy and be satiated with a much smaller portion.  I supplemented part of my desire for the food by taking the time to prepare and admire it.  Additionally, the need to add color and visual interest to the dish caused me to add more vegetables.  In a sense, Instagram is helping me eat healthier.

So far I have only posted two dishes to Instagram, but I have still been preparing my meals as if they are going to be posted to Instagram.  I take time to prepare it, admire it, and eat it.  Taking to time to truly enjoy the experience satisfies me. A larger portion of food only filled my belly, but savoring the experience fills my soul.

I would like to challenge all of us to stop, admire, and savor all of our creations. Use all of your senses. Allow your soul to be fed.

Posted in Good Stuff

New Experiences

a-mind-that-is-stretched-by-new-experiences-can-never-go-back-to-its-old-dimensions

New experiences is the first thing I say to may son when I wake him up in the morning.  He is not a morning person like his mother.  He needs a little extra encouragement. Actually this practice didn’t happen intentionally.  I was saying, wake up little Nigel.  So the next morning after the first day of school, I said it again.  Then Nigel said, “Mommy, I want you to say new experiences like you did yesterday.”  Actually, that wasn’t what I said, but it was a good practice to start.  Now I say it to him every morning when he wakes up.

I have been putting that practice into action in my own life.  I am very fond of rituals and routines and I think that is just fine, but there are times when you need to give new things a chance.  I recently started drinking coffee.  Now I love it!  I don’t drink it every day, but I enjoy a good cup of coffee.  I don’t use it as a stimulant as I have been accused of being caffeine personified, but I drink it for the taste.  In the past I refused coffee because I felt that I had no use for it.  I viewed coffee as a means of staying awake or jolting one from a groggy morning, things I never had an issue with.  One day I decided to give coffee a try.  It happened in a very strange way.  I was watching an episode of Satisfaction on Netflix and I saw one of the characters making a cup of coffee with a french press.  The whole process looked interesting and I wanted to try making coffee that way.  That particular way of making coffee appealed to me for its simplicity. So I purchased a french press, a hand-crank ceramic burr grinder, bought a bag of coffee beans from a local coffee shop, and made my first cup of coffee.  I enjoyed the process of heating the water, grinding the beans, and waiting patiently for the coffee to steep.  I found the experience to be therapeutic.  It is nice slow down and savor an experience, and now I have a new ritual.  It forces me to slow down, take my time and really enjoy the moment.

I would not have gained this new ritual had I not been willing to try something new.  I have learned to let go of feeling that I cannot benefit from something that is not necessarily marketed to me or the identity I have assigned to myself.  I must remain open to new experiences.  We all must let go of notion that something is “not for you” or “you are meant for something like that.”

I would like to challenge all of us to try something or experience something new. Try a new food.  Visit a different place or just take another route home from work.  See what’s out there!