Tag Archives: growth

Power in Emotion

Power in Emotion

“Sometimes I feel as though there are two me’s, one coasting directly on top of the other: the superficial me, who nods when she’s supposed to nod and says what she’s supposed to say, and some other, deeper part, the part that worries and dreams… Most of the time they move along in sync and I hardly notice the split, but sometimes it feels as though I’m two whole different people and I could rip apart at any second.” ~Lauren Oliver

I have a bit of a plug stuck in my mouth when it comes to verbalizing just what it is I’m feeling…especially any negative feelings. I can cry for a week straight, then when someone asks how I’m feeling, I say with a straight face that I do not know. Maybe it’s the whole growing up in a Catholic family where you don’t really talk about the negative emotions – you just remove yourself from the situation and try to think about something else. It turns out, go figure, that walking away and ignoring negative emotions not only hurts our bodies physically with added internal stress leading to a depleted immune system, but it also takes away our own personal power. When we walk away and look the other way from our own emotions, we rob ourselves of the opportunity to choose how to respond to difficult situations. In essence, I stifle myself from maturing and gaining experience from the tough stuff of life…and I prevent myself from knowing ME better.

Here’s my lesson for myself for the day: If I feel anger, frustration, rejection, hurt or humiliation, I should recognize that I have choices…and from those choices I can either choose to gain or lose power through acknowledging what I’m feeling. So often we try to push the emotions down and away to escape suffering, but that ends up working against us. It creates a sort of pressure cooker that will fester and eventually blow up.

Finding the ability to recognize what is physically going on inside of you can be a challenge in itself, especially if you were in the habit (like me) of stuffing it back inside for decades at a time. But mustering up the courage and willingness to verbalize what you are feeling – even if just to yourself – can be a very healing experience. Don’t vent and blame, but trust yourself or someone else to listen open-heartedly to what you have to say. It can be a tremendous source of relief to have someone you feel safe enough to share your true feelings with. I grew up writing feelings in journals, but I never got in the habit of sharing with others, and it’s been a long adult life lesson to see the necessity of knowing and sharing my feelings with others in order to have deeper and more intimate and real relationships. We don’t always understand why we feel what we do, but our feelings have validity. I often feel as if I shouldn’t feel particular feelings – like I don’t have a right to be sad or upset – but learning that I am free to feel and am not wrong to feel, and I have a right to share those feelings, I come to a new personal freedom…not to mention I save my body from another internal beating.

It’s much easier for me to know and identify the good feelings…contentment, fired up, relieved, mellow. No problemo. But the bad ones are a big problemo para mi. By the way, I’m writing this from Los Angeles as I visit my grandpa, so maybe that’s why my Espanol is coming out…don’t get much of that in Hawaii! As I was researching emotions, I found some helpful charts (below) to help us all identify just what it is we’re feeling.

“Part of the problem with the word ‘disabilities’ is that it immediately suggests an inability to see or hear or walk or do other things that many of us take for granted. But what of people who can’t feel? Or talk about their feelings? Or manage their feelings in constructive ways? What of people who aren’t able to form close and strong relationships? And people who cannot find fulfillment in their lives, or those who have lost hope, who live in disappointment and bitterness and find in life no joy, no love? These, it seems to me, are the real disabilities.” ~Mr. Rogers

“The best way out is always through.” ~Robert Frost

…or for those of you who prefer pictures…

Some of these thoughts were found from the article The Matrix of Emotions.

Real Dreams Come True

Real Dreams Come True

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” ~Mark Twain

I am coming out of a great week in Vegas with my mom – who would have ever thought I’d say that?! What a non-typical Vegas week it was…no strip clubs, no gambling – instead it was a Shaklee health company conference focused on health and wellness…and my personal focus of meeting some very cool women. The people here were all jazzed up on living life fully and making their dreams come true…and though what happens here is supposed to stay here, I think I’ll take this energy and inspiration with me.

There’s something about witnessing other people declare and then go pursue their dreams that is addicting. One woman I met actually started up a non profit organization to employ women and get them out of the sex trade in Thailand. They weave material, which she then uses to sew into cute bags…and they are sewn by homeless women she has hired in the U.S. to help get a new start. Amazing! Her Etsty link is here if you’d like to check out her bags.

I met another woman who is a professional blogger and is making a living doing what she loves doing most – writing about her take on life. One woman I met is starting her own business to support her and her kids just after they were all abandoned by her husband for another woman. Another woman had a horrific childhood of neglect and abuse, and rose from her own ashes of utter sabotage and destruction of all herself and decided to simply push aside the hand she was dealt and make a new life defined by her own dreams…and they came true! There was even a segment where the company linked in live to London to talk with some of the athletes there about their journeys to make their own dreams come true and the importance of their health on that journey. I’m telling you, no one could make it through this week and not want to go race to their own gold finish. SOLD!

As I met and talked with these women (there were lots of men here too, but I’m all about female empowerment these days, so I made sure to meet the cool ladies around me), they were no wet rags or Debby Downers or firehoses or positive sucks. Positive Sucks is the name I’ve given to those people who manage to suck the positive out of ANY and ALL situations they’re in. They complain about the weather or their salary or their boss or their kids or their house. Even when you overtly try to change the conversation to a more upbeat tune, they will bring it back down to a dull, boring, negative groan. But these women were different…they were alive and powerful – their positive energy was spilling outward. They had their own fire, and their fire was contagious!

The more I write and the more amazing women I cross paths with, I realize that there is no time to waste. We don’t have time to sit back and let life come to us. There is no sense in being complacent even just one more day. I look around me at women who have overcome all odds. At one point the world looked at them counted them out; it was too late and they were too far gone. But they proved the world wrong and decided to flourish instead of wither.

“No dreamer is ever too small; no dream is ever too big.” – Anonymous

“Not fulfilling your dreams will be a loss to the world, because the world needs everyone’s gift — yours and mine.” – Barbara Sher

“Keep your heart open to dreams. For as long as there’s a dream, there is hope, and as long as there is hope, there is joy in living.” – Anonymous

Perfectly Imperfect

Perfectly Imperfect

“I Untamed the Tamed Woman inside me. I gave my power to the quiet voice of sensitivity that was buried so deep inside me. I learned to release my anger, especially the anger that I directed at myself. I gained a new kind of strength, by allowing my power to work in support of my vulnerable side. I confronted my deepest fear by learning to embrace my weakness. I learned to lose a fight. I learned how to win in the face of great difficulty. I learned to fall down and let someone else help me back up. I learned to stand up for what I believe, yet listen intently to others. I learned to hear my own whispering voice. I even learned how to show my tears in front of other women.” ~Carol Hartung

Someone had the audacity today to tell me that I’m impatient. The nerve! My initial reaction was to defend it and reason out and prove why I wasn’t impatient. When I later vented to my cousin (more like my brother) on the phone that I was accused of being impatient, he said matter-of-factly back, “So what? So what if you’re impatient? We all have our shortcomings, maybe that’s just one of yours. Who cares?” It wasn’t until then that I stopped and realized he was right. Who cares? I sat back and gave myself the permission to be impatient. As I thought about it more, I realized someone could accuse me of practically any quirk, and my first reaction would be to defend myself of it regardless of whether it was merited or not.

Trying so hard my whole life to be the perfect version of me has left little to no room to just be me…prickly quirks and all. I write and write about the need to accept others and forgive ourselves, yet my first reaction is to reject anything less than perfection. What sort of double standard is that?

I agree there are shortcomings that we can strive to overcome…like people pleasing. But maybe there are some – like impatience – and I’m not fully admitting yet to that one until I ponder it patiently for a while longer – that are simply a part of us. Why do I leap to jump to avoid and deny the quirks when in my head I know it’s those traits that give us the marks of distinction as individuals? I don’t want to be a cookie-cutter prototype of a person, but my instinct still flees to the high school popular girl circle. I need a pot to hit over my own head…right now.

My scars: my wrinkles, my messed up pinky toenail, my obsessive mindset over things I want, my bedsheet greed, my love of bad English drama, my brooding and over-analytic approach, my awful karaoke voice, my stubbornness, my (possible) impatience…it’s all a part of this unique woman that somehow in some way has turned into quite a piece of work….or is it a work in progress? I’ve overcome so many obstacles and still have my body and heart in tact and some of those “shortcomings” were what helped me survive through the tough times…ok maybe not my messed up pinky toenail…I could really do without that one. But you know what? Even that I got that from military bootcamp, and I look back on being in the military as something that helped me grow up and learn about things like work ethic, patriotism and responsibility. So I’ll take my messed up pinky toenail if that was the price…easy sacrifice.

I suppose I’m learning how to untame the otherwise tame woman inside…giving free space and permission to just BE. The result is the softer, more real me. There is true strength in being comfortable in our own skin – weaknesses, strengths, scars, skills – all of it.

“It is better to live your own destiny imperfectly than to live an imitation of somebody else’s life with perfection.” ~Anonymous, The Bhagavad Gita

Life’s Lessons

Life’s Lessons

“This is an important lesson to remember when you’re having a bad day, a bad month, or a shitty year. Things will change: you won’t feel this way forever. And anyway, sometimes the hardest lessons to learn are the ones your soul needs most. I believe you can’t feel real joy unless you’ve felt heartache. You can’t have a sense of victory unless you know what it means to fail. You can’t know what it’s like to feel holy until you know what it’s like to feel really fucking evil. And you can’t be birthed again until you’ve died.” ~Kelly Cutrone

I’ve always been of the opinion that there are certain life lessons we must learn, and until we learn them, they will keep popping back up in our lives until we get it right. Then and only then can we move on to the next lesson or set of lessons. I’m not sure if this is a hierarchy of life lessons – if certain lessons need to be learned before others – or if each set is different for each person. It seems that we can learn multiple lessons at once – unless I’m just unusually trusted by the universe which I highly doubt – but these pesky little lessons absolutely will not go away until you score a high enough grade of understanding. Even when we lapse and mess up and make embarrassing mistakes that make us want to burry our heads in the sand, I sense that’s all part of the giant Life Lesson – and it’s not going backwards at all – just finding a different path forward.

I’ve also always been of the opinion that our talents were meant for the benefit of others, while our weaknesses were meant to allow others to help us through their talents – like a puzzle – where our talents and skills is the part of the puzzle piece sticking out which fits into another puzzle piece’s (person’s) cavity or void or shortcoming…so that in the end we’re all one big puzzle together…or as the Bible says a little more eloquently, one body. But that’s another blog entirely!

Lessons I’ve learned in the past: (pretty much in the order they were learned)

  • I have to take responsibility for my own actions, but not for others’
  • Anger is okay to feel, but it is not okay to express in a way that hurts others
  • Forgiveness is more for my own letting go than letting the other person “off the hook”
  • Forgiveness is paramount to be able to move on and live a whole life
  • Forgiveness of self is as important as forgiveness of others
  • You cannot love others until you love yourself
  • Love is an action, not a state of mind
  • Girlfriends are essential to a whole and happy life
  • Take care of the skin and body you live in…no dress rehearsals here
  • Isolation from others does nothing but prolong and increase sadness…
  • Connectedness and community are as necessary as air

    Lessons I’m learning now:

  • I’m worth it.
  • What my gut is telling me is probably right
  • We all get in our own way when it comes to finding the right answers for us…and if we can get out of our own way long enough, we may be able to answer our own deep questions
  • Timidity is not becoming
  • Vulnerability and emotion are strengths, not weaknesses

    I found the below insert from an online search, and interestingly enough, it talks about the very concept of life lessons I’ve always imagined…

    10 Rules for Being Human by Cherie Carter-Scott
    1. You will receive a body. You may like it or hate it, but it’s yours to keep for the entire period.

    2. You will learn lessons. You are enrolled in a full-time informal school called, “life.”

    3. There are no mistakes, only lessons. Growth is a process of trial, error, and experimentation. The “failed” experiments are as much a part of the process as the experiments that ultimately “work.”

    4. Lessons are repeated until they are learned. A lesson will be presented to you in various forms until you have learned it. When you have learned it, you can go on to the next lesson.

    5. Learning lessons does not end. There’s no part of life that doesn’t contain its lessons. If you’re alive, that means there are still lessons to be learned.

    6. “There” is no better a place than “here.” When your “there” has become a “here”, you will simply obtain another “there” that will again look better than “here.”

    7. Other people are merely mirrors of you. You cannot love or hate something about another person unless it reflects to you something you love or hate about yourself.

    8. What you make of your life is up to you. You have all the tools and resources you need. What you do with them is up to you. The choice is yours.

    9. Your answers lie within you. The answers to life’s questions lie within you. All you need to do is look, listen, and trust.

    10. You will forget all this.

    “I’m not telling you it’s going to be easy…I’m telling you it’s going to be worth it.” ~Art Williams

    Happy learning!


  • It’s Not ALL About YOU

    It’s Not ALL About YOU

    “When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won’t be the victim of needless suffering.” -Miguel Ruiz

    I love having no clue what I’m going to write about next because all I can do is wait patiently for the universe to teach me my next lesson – whatever it may be. Today’s lesson came in the form of a phone call from a friend. I was explaining that I was sick of doing things I thought other people wanted me to do instead of what I wanted to do. She suddenly interrupted and said, “I never asked you to do things you didn’t want to do.” It stopped my in my tracks and I shook my head smiling and gently chided, “This isn’t about you, it’s about me.” We both laughed and moved on in conversation, but as I thought about the conversation dynamic, I realized how often we take what other people are saying and make it our own whether it was meant for us or not.

    It’s not all about you. I read a funny definition of paranoia online: It’s when you’re sitting in the bleachers at a football game, watching the players in a huddle, convinced they’re talking about you.

    There’s a certain freedom to understanding that when other people snap, cut you off, don’t respond, or even say something unusually rude, it’s usually not about you. I have to caveat it with usually because I’m sure there’s the rare sometimes. We tend to give ourselves more social credit than is due to us. For example, I used to be physically unable to say no to a social invitation because I didn’t want to appear rude. Sounds ridiculous, right? It wasn’t until I finally understood that the happiness level at the party was not dependent upon my presence and my uniquely gifted charisma. I had imposed too much self-importance to the point of unneeded stress.

    This happens every single day – whether in big-boom or little pebble sort of ways. There is a conscious choice we make to either take it personally and let our day be a little gloomier while our shoulders sag just a little more, or we can understand that the rude behavior was not aimed at us and let it roll off our back. An unanswered text, a brush-off from a boss, a sudden exit from a phone call, being cut off in traffic with an accompanied “bird,” an acquaintance in public that doesn’t recognize you. Don’t you dare say to yourself, “What did I do wrong?”…because the answer is nothing. That person is not responding to you or anything you’ve done. The goal is to get to a point that when we come across someone who’s a real crab, and we can say, “Wow, they’re having a tough day,” and leave it at that.

    I think this lesson is especially hard for me because I’m a recovering people pleaser, so any amount of dissatisfaction from other people is a big no-no in my book…also I’ve been around a lot of yelling and anger that feels both deeply personal and hurtful. To lift myself above my initial hyper-sensitive reaction, I have to understand that the anger is coming from a deep place that was likely already there before I was, and that it is not being aimed at me. Note: I’m going to make a second caveat here and say that if you’re in the middle of a relationship that is either verbally or physically abusive, even though his anger is not about you, you still need to get the hell outta there and go surround yourself with some serious TLC…because his anger will eventually eat away at you until it becomes your anger too.

    I realize I’m writing this on the brink of the unleashing of the next generation who is our most self-righteous and entitled generation yet, so this message can extend beyond the “don’t take it personally” to the “no really, the world does not actually revolve around you.”

    Tough Truths

    Tough Truths

    “Man often becomes what he believes himself to be. If I keep on saying to myself that I cannot do a certain thing, it is possible that I may end by really becoming incapable of doing it. On the contrary, if I have the belief that I can do it, I shall surely acquire the capacity to do it even if I may not have it at the beginning.” ~Mahatma Gandhi

    The very day after I write about disliking online lists, I come across one I like….like enough to repost and forward to promote it. I should clarify, though, that my dislike remains for “how-to” lists…how to live more fully, how to find the artist in you, how to be happier – that sort of thing rarely comes from a list – it comes from unique and insightful blogs! Kidding of course, it comes from you getting out of your own way enough to listen to the world already whispering your name.

    This website is chalk full of lists, but they are good. I’m going to pass one along today – 12 Tough Truths that Help You Grow. I chose it because it’s the most applicable to me and things I need to remind myself right now…my only tweak was to add quotes at the end of some of the truths. I hope you can relate as well. “Sometimes the truths you can’t change, end up changing you and helping you grow.” Here are twelve such truths…

    1. Everything is as it should be. It’s crazy how you always end up where you’re meant to be – how even the most tragic and stressful situations eventually teach you important lessons that you never dreamed you were going to learn. Remember, oftentimes when things are falling apart, they are actually falling into place. “Trust yourself. You know more than you think you do.” – Benjamin Spock

    2. Not until you are lost in this world can you begin to find your true self. Realizing you are lost is the first step to living the life you want. The second step is leaving the life you don’t want. Making a big life change is pretty scary. But you know what’s even scarier? Regret. Vision without action is a daydream, and action without vision is a nightmare. Your heart is free, have the courage to follow it. Read Awaken the Giant Within.

    3. It’s usually the deepest pain which empowers you to grow to your full potential. It’s the scary, stressful choices that end up being the most worthwhile. Without pain, there would be no change. But remember, pain, just like everything in life, is meant to be learned from and then released. “Falling down is how we grow. Staying down is how we die.” ~Brian Vaszily

    4. One of the hardest decisions you will ever face in life is choosing whether to walk away or take another step forward. If you catch yourself in a cycle of trying to change someone, or defending yourself again someone who is trying to change you, walk away. But if you are pursuing a dream, take another step. And don’t forget that sometimes this step will involve modifying your dream, or planning a new one – it’s OK to change your mind or have more than one dream. “How does one become a butterfly? You must want to fly so much that you are willing to give up being a caterpillar.” ~Trina Paulus

    5. You have to take care of yourself first. Before befriending others, you have to be your own friend. Before correcting others, you have to correct yourself. Before making others happy, you have to make yourself happy. It’s not called selfishness, it’s called personal development. Once you balance yourself, only then can you balance the world around you. Read Psycho-Cybernetics.

    6. One of the greatest freedoms is truly not caring what everyone else thinks of you. As long as you are worried about what others think of you, you are owned by them. Only when you require no approval from outside yourself, can you own yourself. “You wouldn’t worry so much about what others think of you if you realized how seldom they do.” ~Eleanor Roosevelt

    7. You may need to be single for awhile before you realize that, although the co-owned belongings from your failed relationships might not have been divided equally, the issues that destroyed the relationships likely were. For how can you stand confidently alone, or see the same issues arising in your newest relationship, and not realize which broken pieces belong to you? Owning your issues, and dealing with them, will make you far happier in the long run, than owning anything else in this world. “The best years of your life are the ones in which you decide your problems are your own. You do not blame them on your mother, the ecology, or the president. You realize that you control your own destiny.” ~Albert Ellis

    8. The only thing you can absolutely control is how you react to things out of your control. The more you can adapt to the situations in life, the more powerful your highs will be, and the more quickly you’ll be able to bounce back from the lows in your life. Put most simply: being at peace means being in a state of complete acceptance of all that is, right here, right now. “This life is yours. Take the power to choose what you want to do and do it well. Take the power to love what you want in life and love it honestly. Take the power to walk in the forest and be a part of nature. Take the power to control your own life. No one else can do it for you. Take the power to make your life happy.” ~Susan Polis

    9. Some people will lie to you. Remember, an honest enemy is better than a friend who lies. Pay less attention to what people say, and more attention to what they do. Their actions will show you the truth, which will help you measure the true quality of your relationship in the long-term. “Action speaks louder than words but not nearly as often.” ~Mark Twain

    10. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never have enough. If you are thankful for what you do have, you will end up having even more. Happiness resides not in possessions, and not in gold; happiness dwells in the soul. Abundance is not about how much you have, it’s how you feel about what you have. When you take things for granted, your happiness gets taken away. Read The Happiness Project.

    11. Yes, you have failed in the past. But don’t judge yourself by your past, you don’t live there anymore. Just because you’re not where you want to be today doesn’t mean you won’t be there someday. You can turn it all around in the blink of an eye by making a simple choice to stand back up – to try again, to love again, to live again, and to dream again. “Far better is it to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure… than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much, because they live in a gray twilight that knows not victory nor defeat.” ~Theodore Roosevelt

    12. Everything is going to be alright; maybe not today, but eventually. There will be times when it seems like everything that could possibly go wrong is going wrong. And you might feel like you will be stuck in this rut forever, but you won’t. Sure the sun stops shining sometimes, and you may get a huge thunderstorm or two, but eventually the sun will come out to shine. Sometimes it’s just a matter of us staying as positive as possible in order to make it to see the sunshine break through the clouds again. “I know God will not give me anything I can’t handle. I just wish that He didn’t trust me so much.” ~Mother Teresa

    “Courage is the discovery that you may not win, and trying when you know you can lose.” – Tom Krause

    “The key to change… is to let go of fear.” – Rosanne Cash

    “If you wait to do everything until you’re sure it’s right, you’ll probably never do much of anything.” – Win Borden

    “Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional.” ~M. Kathleen Casey

    “Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” – Winston Churchill

    “If we’re growing, we’re always going to be out of our comfort zone.” – John Maxwell

    “You must do the thing you think you cannot do.” – Eleanor Roosevelt

    “Action will remove the doubt that theory cannot solve.” – Petryl Hsieh

    “It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop.” – Confucius

    “Your work is to discover your work and then with all your heart to give yourself to it.” – Buddha

    “Do what you want and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter, and those who matter don’t mind.” ~Dr. Suess

    “Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending.” – Maria Robinson

    “It is not the mountain we conquer but ourselves.” ~Edmund Hillary

    Let Go and Forgive

    Let Go and Forgive

    “All changes, even the most longed for, have their melancholy; for what we leave behind us is a part of ourselves; we must die to one life before we can enter another.” ~Anatole France

    The challenge is to let go of our past in order to make space in our hearts for love today. If our past is the sum total of who we are today, how can we hold onto the good, but let go of the bad in order to make space for more good? How can we forgive the past hurts, heartbreaks, disappointments, betrayals and lies?

    Letting go is difficult because we often define and identify ourselves by our pain. Holding on to anger can come to be a comfort blanket, as is the role of being the victim or the wronged. But those painful memories take up space…space that isn’t doing a damn bit of good for us…space that keeps all the good stuff like joy and love at bay.

    A helpful analogy I read was that moving on in life is like stepping through a door and firmly but gently closing it behind you…no slamming. It’s a nice vision of moving forward without lingering anger and free of past pains. It doesn’t mean forgetting the past, but instead forgiving it and deciding to live in the now instead of in the past.

    Clinging to past pain also causes our bodies pain. The stress and anxiety take a toll on our immune systems and getting sick becomes more routine than it should. It also causes us to age faster – both inside and outside. There’s nothing helpful or healthy about choosing to feel hurt today because of our past. And believe it or not, but it is a choice. We can choose to put the draining cycle of anger and hurt behind that closed door, and stop missing out on the beauty of life as it happens.

    It’s essential that we learn to forgive so we can move on. Forgiveness isn’t for the other person’s edification, it’s for yours. It’s not forgetting, but it’s letting go. Forgiveness allows you to release the chains of resentment you’ve bound between yourself and the memory. Forgiveness closes the door gently but firmly, and allows you to face the light of your tomorrow.

    We are who we are today because of the trials of our past, but we don’t have to let them dictate any further than that. I am grateful for the hard lessons I’ve endured because they have made me a stronger person today. I smile back at all the good times – I will cherish those forever – and I walk firmly on and away from the painful past.

    Take Care of Yourself

    Take Care of Yourself

    “The world believes exactly what you tell it—through the words you use to describe yourself, the actions you take to care for yourself, and the choices you make to express yourself. Tell the world you are one-of-a-kind creation who came here to experience wonder and spread joy. Expect to be accommodated.” ~Victoria Moran, Lit From Within: Tending Your Soul For Lifelong Beauty

    It’s not the biggest leap of logic to understand the importance of self-care in life. Life tears us apart both from the outside and the inside, and the most fundamental way of making sure we’re able to stand up eight times after falling down seven (Chinese proverb) is to take care of ourselves physically and emotionally. If life’s current special of the day continues to be a bowl of lemons, the least we can do is arm ourselves with basic health and nurturing.

    I found a simple breakdown of what taking care of ourselves should look like.

    Self Care IS:

  • Eating right, getting proper nutrition, and drinking enough water. Just a 2% dip in body dehydration can cause fatigue, headaches, and depression, as well as a 20% loss in energy!
  • Enjoying some form of physical activity every day. A morning (or evening) walk is all it takes.
  • Monitoring one’s emotional bank account, ensuring that one is making ample emotional deposits to cover the daily withdrawals of life, so that one does not become emotionally “overdrawn.”
  • Knowing one’s limits; it is important to know how much one is able to effectively do in a day or a week without becoming over exhausted, over emotional, or overwhelmed.
  • Being self aware of internal pain and using it as an impetus for growth. Rather than attempting to ignore it or anesthetizing it with food, TV, more work etc., addressing the pain is very self-nurturing. Relevant self-help books, support groups, and therapy are all excellent ways to accomplish this.
  • Not allowing oneself to become cut off from others, but being in consistent healthy relationships with like-minded women (extroverts need more of this than introverts do). ((I’d counter-argue that introverts like me tend to isolate even more so and need community and connections as much as extroverts.))
  • Spending enough alone time to recuperate and recollect one’s thoughts (introverts need more of this than extroverts do).
  • My own addition: TAKE YOUR VITAMINS! If nothing else, you know that your body is getting basic and good nutrition it desperately needs in trying times.

    Self Care is NOT:

  • The same as comfort, which may include comfort foods, TV, pedicures, or shopping sprees. Although these are all great, an excess of these can actually elevate one’s stress level.

    Some final thoughts of Self Care:

  • While the comforts mentioned above are good in moderation, remember not to substitute comfort for self care; doing so will damage us physically, emotionally, and spiritually.
  • Use moderation with comforts, including TV (your brain is less active when you are watching TV than when you are asleep—mental activity actually helps us reprocess stress, thus helping us recuperate).
  • Do something creative everyday (even if for only 20 minutes). You will be surprised how much this one thing will refresh you.

    I found this at: Self Care for Women: Taking Care of Yourself 101 | Suite101.com

  • Other self-care tips
  • Decide What You Want

    Decide What You Want

    “The first step to getting the things you want out of life is this: decide what you want.” ~Ben Stein

    There are no magical fixes; it’s up to you. You have to pass through the “easier said than done” thought, get over your own self-imposed limitations, and decide what it is you want. It’s so easy to do something you’re good at but don’t love. I have a friend who’s worked for the same company for 13 years because she’s good at what she does and she gets paid well for her good work. But from the beginning she promised herself that she would only do this job until she found something more “her,” and now she’s reeling from the fact that that was 13 years ago. She’s one of the smartest women I know, and she could do anything she set her mind to, I know it…but does she? I’m creeping up on 10 years in my line of work and I still wonder if this is what I want…or is there something more, something greater? Not necessarily greater in scope, but just greater for me. This isn’t a challenge for you to change life courses to go be an astronaut because it’s the loftiest career out there…it’s finding the loftiest place for YOU and ME in this world.

    The decision itself may be difficult, but certainly not worth stressing and losing sleep over (pointing my finger at myself on that one) – this is a good and powerful move toward opening yourself up to new opportunities because you’re stopping long enough to listen to your heart and follow what it already knows it wants. You already know what you want…it’s just the world or your family or your paycheck or other outside factors have made the picture a little hazy. It’s like suddenly seeing 50 red Toyota Echoes (do they even come in red?) the day you buy one…when you finally make a decision on what it is you want, you’ll start seeing opportunities to help you get there that have been there all along.



    Here’s a great blog on HOW TO DECIDE WHAT YOU WANT.

    And of course, to include my quirky humor, here’s a video on how to make a decision like a ninja. I love this guy, and if you don’t at least crack a smile, we need to have words.

    Fight the Fight

    Fight the Fight

    “Let me tell you something you already know. The world ain’t all sunshine and rainbows. It is a very mean and nasty place and it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it. You, me, or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life. But it ain’t how hard you hit; it’s about how hard you can get hit, and keep moving forward. How much you can take, and keep moving forward. That’s how winning is done. Now, if you know what you’re worth, then go out and get what you’re worth. But you gotta be willing to take the hit, and not pointing fingers saying you ain’t where you are because of him, or her, or anybody. Cowards do that and that ain’t you. You’re better than that!”~Rocky Balboa

    My inspiration today comes from Rocky. I feel a little beat up by life recently…it’s taken a few swings and has made contact once or twice. (This is all figuratively of course, not a subtle cry for help…except to the universe). When I get knocked to the ground and feel like I can’t get up again, I think about quotes like the one above. No veil, no promises – just the fact that it’s not easy, it’ll probably get harder, but it’s worth pushing on and living bigger. Tears and fear of the unknown are so easy to seize while the will to push on is feint and easy to ignore. I don’t expect ease or luxury, but sometimes there’s a little whisper that tells me it’s all so unfair and that things aren’t coming as easily as I’d imagined. To that whisper, I must remind myself to push back and remember that the fight is worth fighting. I suspect that most of us opt for the victim status while pointing fingers outward at the reason we still lay on the ground. I have been hit, but I promise that I will continue to get up, try again, and ultimately win.

    It’s about not letting life dictate the terms. It’s about believing in yourself. It’s about pushing forward when everyone expects you to tap out.

    “….I firmly believe that any man’s finest hours – his greatest fulfillment of all that he holds dear – is that moment when he has worked his heart out in good cause and lies exhausted on the field of battle – victorious.” ~Vince Lombardi