Saturday, December 10, 2011

Body Image


HAHA!

Did you read this article?

It is an article about Glamour Magazine featuring a scantily clad "plus size" model.

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This is 20 year old Lizzie Miller. Lizzie is a size 10-12 and was told, according to the article linked above, by modeling agencies that she was "too big" for "plus size" modeling.

Apparently, "plus size" models are size 8-10.

Huh.

Personally, I think Lizzie looks pretty damn good. She looks like she is tall and curvaceous, and yeah, she has a little belly, but nothing to be ashamed of.

She is a beautiful, normal, average, regular WOMAN shaped body.

I was thrilled to see that Glamour received over 700 emails in support of this image and using regular, average size people in their magazine.

I think, just maybe, the tide is starting to turn.

Women are sick and tired of trying to achieve the unachievable airbrushed and photo shopped "perfection" that we are shown in the media every day.

Show me a real woman, with a little curve, a little belly, a little hip and a little comfort in her own body! I will be much more likely to buy whatever you are selling me if I don't feel bad about myself while doing it!

I'm all for being healthy, fit and active, but I gotta tell ya...Lizzie here looks pretty damn fit and healthy to me!

What do you think?

Monday, December 5, 2011

I Don't Believe In Perfect

There are some words that I think should be removed from the language.

They do more harm than good.

They create unrealistic expectations and attitudes toward life.

"Perfect" is one of the words.

Perfect causes so much angst and anxiety!

Many people claim to be perfectionists.

What this often means in reality is that they so fear not doing something "perfectly", without error, or not living up to their own or others impossible standards, that they fail to even begin.

I know a woman who has difficulty committing to write because she wants it to be perfect.

I know a woman who has difficulty committing to eat well because she wants to eat perfectly.

I know a woman who has difficulty committing to doing various projects because she wants them to be perfect.

I am here to tell these women, and you, and me, that there is NO such thing as perfect.

Perfect doesn't exist.

Perfect is something that human beings created in our minds. Some IDEA of what something "should" (another word I don't like) be.

To look perfect we all "should" be 5'9" and weigh 125 lbs, have blonde hair, blue eyes, creamy white skin, big boobs, tiny waist, round hips and butt, long, shapely legs and attractive feet.

To smell perfect we "should" all shower with scented bath soaps and rub our bodies with scented lotions and spritz our bodies with scented fragrance.

To be the perfect mother we "should" do...good Lord...everything for our child and the school and other parents and our husband and our house and our car and the neighborhood and the community...and ... and...

I do not believe in Perfect.

I believe that perfect is nothing more than another way in which women demean and destroy themselves.

I believe that prefect is a way that women hold themselves back and create barriers in their lives.

I do not believe in perfect.

I believe in balance. Giving your best effort. I believe in loving yourself. I believe in creating harmony within all areas of your life. I believe in saying no to protect your self, soul and sanity.

Perfect has no place in my life.

I don't believe in perfect.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Lessons in Forgiveness, Part 2

"Never does the human soul appear so strong as when it forgoes revenge, and dares forgive an injury."
--E. H. Chapin


Once again synchronicity has occurred in life. When I notice synchronicity happening, I feel it is important to stop and listen to what the universe is trying to tell me.

A couple of weeks ago I had to write a paper for a class called a "Family of Origin" paper. I had to analyze my own family growing up, and how I experienced conflict within that dynamic. I then had to reflect upon how my experiences impacted me and influenced my conflict style as an adult.

In writing the paper I began to realize that even though I had to deal with some pretty horrific stuff as a child, in many ways what I was exposed to ended up being a benefit to me in my adult life. It showed me thing things I did NOT want in my own life. It showed me things I would NOT tolerate in my own life.

The next day I saw the quote I referenced in my last post, from Oprah Winfrey.
"True forgiveness is when you can say: thank you for that experience."

I came to some level of awareness that I was open to the idea of forgiveness.

You see, the first time I was told, several years ago, that I could forgive the person who trespassed against me, I was violently opposed to the idea. The very thought angered me.

Because.

Because this person will never apologize.
Or accept responsibility for their actions.
They will never acknowledge the hurt they caused.

So I wrote the paper. I came to some realizations about my past experiences. I was open to the idea. Then I went to class and we spent an entire class period talking about what forgiveness is.
The process of forgiving.
And more importantly:
What Forgiveness Is Not.

The process of forgiveness begins with being ready. A step I have achieved.
Then moving on to deciding to forgive.
Then forgiving.
And in some cases, mine included, the process of deciding and forgiving happens over and over. I decide to forgive and forgive and then I may be reminded of the transgression. I may feel anger, hurt and resentment all over again. In that moment I have to re-affirm my decision to forgive. And then practice that forgiveness. I do not believe that forgiveness is one, single linear act.

Here is what forgiveness is not:
Forgiveness is not condoning.
Forgiveness is not forgetting.
Forgiveness is not reconciliation.
Forgiveness is not excusing.

Forgiveness is a way to move YOURSELF beyond the pain and anger of the act.
Forgiveness is a way to expunge the hurt and poison from your own soul.

Forgiveness requires nothing of the trespasser. They do not need to apologize, explain, acknowledge or accept responsibility.

Because.

Because forgiving is not about them. Or what they did.
Forgiveness is about you.
Forgiveness is about repairing your own soul and heart.
Forgiveness is about letting go of something that is not about you and creating room for healing within you.

I do not believe that the trespasser has any part in the equation of forgiveness. They do not need to be informed of forgiveness. There does not need to be reconciliation.

Forgiveness is for you.

Synchonicity brought these successive ideas into my realm. And I listen. I process. And now I share this with you. I think the message is something the universe wants us all to hear.




Friday, November 18, 2011

Lessons in Forgiveness

"True forgiveness is when you can say: thank you for that experience."
~Oprah Winfrey



The above quote caught my attention this week.

There are areas of our lives, usually long ago in our pasts, but not always, that are wounds in our souls.

We experienced something at the hands of others that caused us hurt.
 That injured us, physically, mentally or emotionally.

And very often it is only with life experience, and the benefit of hindsight that we are able to look back on the hurt and find some measure of benefit.

My childhood had experiences of great harm.

It has taken me many years to work through the pain and emotional scars left behind.

Recently, though, I realized that the experience, horrible and painful at the time and for many years after, has given me some greater insight into certain areas of life.

I'm not saying I couldn't have gained that insight in a less painful or emotionally devastating way, but the experience itself provided me with a benefit that I can now see and verbalize.

I still have no wish to be in contact with the perpetrator of my experience, but I can look at the experience in a different light.

I can see with different eyes.

The forgiveness, the letting go of the anger and hate and resentment, is not for the perpetrator of these acts.

It is for ME.

It is to release the toxic energy from my soul that has lived there for far too long.

It is to brush away the dirt from my heart.

It is to push back the curtain that has been covering my inner light, darkened and obscured by old wounds and hurts.

Forgiveness is not for the other...it is for me, and you.

Do you have a hurt in your life, one that has festered and swelled, blocking out your light and spirit?

Are you able to look for the benefit of the experience?

Did it teach you something about yourself? Your resilience? Your strength? Your power?

Can you find some insight?

I encourage you, peel back the cover on that dark place in your heart, and see if you can look at the hurt with different eyes.

See if you can find a way to say "Thank you for that experience".

See if there is a way to say: that experience helped me to grow as a person.

See if there is room there to forgive.

Not for the other...but for yourself...so you can heal and move forward.

You deserve to forgive and heal and move forward.

You are valuable and worthwhile.

Clear the darkness from your soul.


(source)


Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Never Give Up



"Between you and every goal that you wish to achieve, there is a series of obstacles, and the bigger the goal, the bigger the obstacles. Your decision to be, have and do something out of the ordinary entails facing difficulties and challenges that are out of the ordinary as well. Sometimes your greatest asset is simply your ability to stay with it longer than anyone else."
~Brian Tracy


There have been several reminders in my life lately to Never Give Up.

If you read here regularly, you know that one of my goals and aspirations is to weigh less and be more fit and healthy. You may also know that one of my frustrations with this aspiration is that the steps I need to take to achieve this goal are neverending.

I will never reach a point where I can say: DONE! Goal achieved.

Why?

Because health, body weight, fitness, those things are not achieved and then finished. It is not the same as having a goal to write a book, or to learn the tango. If you have a goal to write a book, once the book is written the goal is accomplished.

Being healthy, weighing less, those goals are more indefinite. Sure, I can lose 10 pounds and say I have achieved that goal, but I then have to maintain that goal. I cannot give up on that goal. I cannot then walk away.

Even now, weighing both less and more than I have in the past, I can say that I have achieved this goal in some ways, but I have not fulfilled it. It is an ongoing process. One that I must put attention toward fulfilling every day.

I can never give up on my goal of being healthy and fit. I must chose to stay focused, to take the actions and steps necessary to continue me on the path toward fulfilling the goal.

For if I ever were to give up, ALL of my efforts would be lost. ALL of my intentions would fall to the wayside. ALL of my learning would be forgotten.

I have worked much too hard to get here to let it all go. I do not like the path that I must go down if I ever were to give up. It is dark, cold and sad down that path. The light is missing. There is no energy. There is only sadness and guilt.

I do not want darkness, sadness, and guilt in my life. That is part of my journey, to alleviate darkness, sadness and guilt from my life, to inspire my own light to shine and light the path to my most lived life!

The stepping stones that light my path say to never give up!

Never give up. Never stop trying. Never stop working. Never quit. Failure only occurs at the point after which you quit. Everything before that point is progress and effort to achieve.

You can do it! Keep placing one foot in front of the other! Use your light to show you the way!


(source)



Sunday, November 13, 2011

A Message From Abraham Lincoln

"Always bear in mind that your resolution to succeed is more important than any one thing."
~Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865)

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This was the message provided  by my tea today.

The quote then begs the question: what is your resolution to succeed? How strong is it? Do you want to succeed more than anything else? Or is it more of a passing wish?

My resolution to succeed is strong, but as we have noted, it waxes and wanes.

However, I believe if it wasn't strong I would have given up long ago! I would have stopped taking steps to achieve my goals. I would have let the times when my resolution waned extend indefinitely.

BUT I HAVEN'T!

Each day, each time that I make the choices I know help me toward my goal, I am strengthening my resolution. I am solidifying that want in my head.

Today I started my week the way I intend to finish. I started my week with action to support my resolution to be healthy, fit and well.

Today, a Sunday morning, I got up and made sure to take action toward my goal. I did 30 minutes of exercise pretty much before I did anything else. Day one, step one.

My resolve grows with each success!

How strong is your resolution to succeed?







Friday, November 11, 2011

Success

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SUCCESS!! I DID IT!

It took me a couple weeks (three, or four?) to get back into the groove and to achieve my goal.

My goal was to get back to regular exercise, which I had slacked off on in mid-August, and had fallen completely by the wayside as I got back to school the end of September. I needed an achievable, small goal to help me get started.

I decided on this:

20 minutes of exercise at least 5 days of the week.

Small time committment, but consistent. The first week I think I managed three days. The next week I did four. The next week I don't think I did any. But THIS week! This week I achieved my goal!

Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday I successfully completed at least 20 minutes of exercise (a mix of cardio/weights and  yoga)!

Now, I know that 20 minutes of exercise is good, but not great. I know that 20 minutes of exercise isn't going to help me achieve my other goals.

However.

THIS goal was about creating consistency. Showing myself that it can be done, even in the midst of my current time crunched schedule. This goal was about just doing it, for 20 minutes. This goal wasn't about the bigger goals, it was just about taking those small, baby steps to start me on the path to those bigger goals. To create some momentum and energy.

Not all goals need to be grandiose and magnificent!

Some goals are simply there to help you taste some of that success! To get a feel for what those bigger goals might feel like when you achieve THEM.

My goal for this next week is the same. 20 minutes of exercise at least 5 days of the week. I hope to get 30 or 40 minutes in there at least a couple times, but I want to commit to at least 20.

Thanksgiving week will be a challenge due to houseguests, but maybe I can get them to go for walks or something.

Do you have a small goal you can set to give yourself a taste of success? Maybe it is related to food. Maybe it is related to better sleep, or a different morning routine. Maybe it is flossing your teeth three times this week, or saying a gratitude at least 3 times this week. I don't know. It could be anything.

But find a goal for the week. Something small. Something achievable. Something that can give you an amazing feeling of success and power!!

Share your goal with me in the comments and I'll help encourage you to stick with it!!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Gratitude

Happy November!

It is the month for thanksgiving and reflection. If you follow me on facebook you know that I have been posting status updates over the last month or so of "daily" (in quotes because I don't manage to get them every single day, but I try!) gratitudes.

Sometimes they are little silly things, other times they are gratitudes for people, or sunshine, and sometimes they are gratitudes for the many things many of us take for granted in our lives each day, like running hot water and indoor plumbing!

I would like to invite and encourage anyone reading to participate, particularly this month, in a daily gratitude or affirmation. Being grateful or thankful, for even little tiny things can really change our perspective.

For example, earlier this week I woke to a gray, cloudy, cold, wet, dreary day. I am hugely not a fan of this type of weather, which is why I moved away from rain-central. As I caught my thoughts starting to head in the direction of complaints I instead was able to stop myself and think grateful thoughts instead. I have heat in my house. I have warm clothes. I have a coat. I have a car to get me where I need to go. Many people do not have these things, so instead of complaining about the weather, I turned the complaint into a gratitude for the things which I DO have.

It is hard to be complaining when focusing on gratitude.

source

Let us rise up and be thankful for if we didn't learn a lot, today at least we learned a little, and if we didn't learn a little, at least we didn't get sick, and if we got sick, at least we didn't die: so let us all be thankful! ~ Buddha


What are YOU grateful for in your life today?


Feel free to check out my "Inspire the Light" facebook page to follow my daily gratitude posts, or feel free to leave your own daily gratitude in the comments.

Today I am grateful for the ability to buy healthy food, from local farmers, to feed not only my body, but to nourish my relationships with my community. 

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Almost a month?

Hello my friends!

I can not believe it has been nearly a month since I last posted on this blog. I will tell you that figuing out my schedule with school, and both blogs, and life, and cooking healthy has been a bit more challenging that I at first anticipated.

I have not, and am not, giving up my quest to live life each day! To grab ahold and pursue my deepest wants and desires.

I have been stumbling a bit the past few weeks, though, that is true!

Here is what I'm DOING about it!

I have gotten back into the habit of doing much more food prep work on the weekends, and making lunches the night before I have early morning classes. I am doing simple things like getting the coffee ready the night before. These LITTLE steps are immensely helpful to me. Otherwise, I end up with no time and no food and subject to whatever I can find on campus, or Chris is subject to whatever crappy drive through he can find. This is NOT acceptable to me, and so I am consciously making the effort on weekends and evenings when I have more time to do SOMETHING VALUABLE with it!

Gee...what a concept!

Also, I am working on getting back to daily exercise. This, also, has been such a challenge! Here is my conundrum of exercise. I really don't like it. I never have.

Yes, I LOVE to feel strong and energetic and healthy! But I very strongly dislike what I have to do to get there....and I dislike strongly that I have to do it FOREVER. These thoughts are so self-defeating for me. I have a very difficult time (and have had a very difficult time my entire life) overcoming these self-imposed objections.

Plus, I KNOW the health benefits of exercise. I KNOW I feel better after. I just have a very difficult time motivating myself to do it. Even with all the big reasons.

A few weeks ago I challenged myself to do 20 minutes of exercise 5 daays of the week. I did I think two or three. The following week I kept the same challenge, and I think I did four days. This past week I did nothing. Why? I do not know.

This next week, I have a goal to do at least 20 minutes of exercise 5 days of the week. I feel like if I can get a routine going doing this for 20-30 minutes, for two or three weeks continuously, then I will be able to increase both the intensity and duration.

In the meantime, in an effort to clean up what had become some very messy food habits (too much sugar, too much wine, too much...) I started a 14 day cleanse on November 1st. I usually lose weight, but so far I haven't. I am not sure if that is because I am not exercising and normally I do, or if it is because the food has been a little different than I normally do.

This next week the plan is to have my lemon water, then my cleanse fiber shake, then a green juice, then some oatmeal (green juice will not hold me till lunch). Lunches will be greens with chopped veggies, and some beans and rice thrown in for some filler (topped with lemon juice). I also have made a big batch of lentil soup which I hope to use throughout the week. Dinners will be vegs, salads, grains, beans and maybe fish.

Part of me insprining myself, and my own light, is learning how to survive the changes that occur in life. I am a very routine oriented person. When my routine gets thrown off by not being in school, and then being in school, or whatever the change is, it takes me several weeks to adjust. I don't flow easily from one routine to another.

This is a personal challenge for me. To work on adjusting to the time change, my school schedule (which will change every 11 weeks!!) and to not allow these changes to derail my own plans!

I have goals:

I want to get out of the weight decade I'm in and get into the lower decade by the end of the year.
I want to enjoy the holidays, but not OVERly enjoy the holidays.
I have a half marathon (that I have done zero training for) in June. I need to start planning for that.

I need to find my own motivation, inspiration and light and blast it out to the world!

And sometimes we just need to remember this:

(source)
Yup! Time to get off my ass...and get to work! The life I want won't magically happen without some work people!

Have a great weekend! Don't forget to set your clocks back, enjoy your extra sleep, and then...get off your ass! :-)

Monday, October 10, 2011

Thought into Action

“Thinking is easy, acting is difficult, and to put one's thoughts into action is the most difficult thing in the world.
~Johann Wolfgang von Goethe


(source)



This cartoon is so appropriate for me today. I *did* get off my butt and got a nice 50 minute workout done today. This is one step for me to achieve my dreams, plans and goals. I cannot achieve health, fitness and strength of body by sitting on my couch.

Taking out thoughts and putting them on paper as dreams, plans and goals is important and valuable, and we have talked about that here before. You need to decide, verbalize, visualize and prioritize your goals and what you want your life to be.

But, after you have done that, or while you are doing that, you must take action! It is not enough to say that you know what your goals are. They will not achieve themselves. YOU must take the action, the daily steps, to actually achieve them, to make them a reality, to move your goals from thought to life.

Today, I took a step toward my goals and plans, by putting my thoughts into actions.

What are you doing today to make your goals a reality? What thoughts can you put into action to move you toward your dreams?

Join me! Take action today!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Looking for Inspiration

I have not been feeling the inspiration lately...

I know we all go through these times, these ups and downs of energy and motivation and inspiration. Life is that way. It waxes and wanes. It moves like the tides...sometimes high and full of energy and fury, other times low and lapping at the shore.

I think it is important to recognize the low periods as just another phase of life. I think we focus too much on them as being "bad" or as time passing with our focus in the wrong spot. Yes, I think we need to try and retrain our gaze on our goal, and keep our eye on the prize, but, at least for me, I feel like these periods of ebb and flow are natural rythms in my life.

I am at a point though, where I know I need to, not only retrain  my gaze to my goal, but initiate the actions as well. I have, in plain words, been sitting on my butt for long enough. I need to get up and get moving! Literally!

I need to incorporate exercise back into my daily routine. I let interruptions to my routine bump me off my track, but that has gone on long enough. It's time to bump back onto the track.

I have goals. I want to continue my path to greater health, lower body weight, increased strength and endurance, and, let's not forget, I committed to run a half marathon in June! I already paid the entry fee. There is no turning back. There is no excuse.

It is time to "Just Do It!" I have a Nike t-shirt in my closet, that is a size too small and it says "Every Damn Day Just Do It!"  Yup, I need to re-focus.

This is my re-lighting the fire of inspiration pep talk to myself. If it is to be it is up to me. I know that *I* am the only one that can effect change in my life. (Is that effect or affect? I think maybe affect?) At any rate, *I* am responsible for my choices. If *I* want to succeed in living the life I want, then I have to actually do it!

There is no time like the present, ya?

Time to light the fire.



Come on baby...light my fire!

Time to live life.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

A great post from another blogger

The Wannabe Athlete has a great post that ties in so well with what Inspire the Light is about.

What are you waiting for?

The time will never be perfect.

LIFE will always be happening and getting "in the way" of you pursuing your dreams, goals and wishes.

You must decide what is important to you and the GO AFTER IT!

Don't wait!

Start living the life you dream of today...

As Randy Pausch says "Time is all you have and you may find one day that you have less than you think.”

I don't wish for you to wake up one day and realize that time has passed you by and the ability to achieve your dreams has passed.

I wish for you to realize that your dreams are within your reach, but you must start reaching.

I hope you reach for your goals this week!

On a side note, I'm still getting my school schedule figured out. My posts may be only once or twice weekly, but know that I am here! If you need me, just send me a note. Or message me on facebook.

I am here rooting you on!

Living in inspiration....

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Living the Dream

“So many of our dreams at first seem impossible,
then they seem improbable, and then, when we summon the will, they soon become inevitable.”- Christopher Reeve


I have been thinking about dreams, and dream fullfilment and achievement. I, as you know, am in the midst of pursuing a dream. In this process, I have decided that I don't really like the term "follow your dream". It seems passive.

I think we should change it to something like Create Your Dream or Inpsire Your Dream. Let's go with Inspire Your Dream, shall we? That seems appropriate!

Inspire Your Dream

I like that.

We all have within us a dream. Some dreams are huge and some are small and tiny. ALL of these dreams are valuable and worthwhile.

You are valuable and worthwhile.

Whatever dream is in your heart I encourage you to be inspired to live that inspired dream!

Take the first steps toward living the dream.  I ask it over and over, but what is it that you want?

Are you willing to say it outloud?

Are you strong enough to ask for it?

Are you inpsired enough to ignore the naysayers and the challenges and obstacles and simply figure out a way to make it an inevitable occurrence?

A seed does not become a sprout, which does not become a plant, which does not become a beautiful flower, by hiding its dream of flowering under the dirt of life.

Brush away the dirt of life from your dream; inspire yourself to move toward that dream; become a beautiful flower.


Don't wait. Start today. Look inside your soul and find the dream you have hidden there. Brush off the dirt. Expose the little seed of your dream to the light. Let it grow.


Monday, September 26, 2011

Back To School

As you all know, this blog is a way for me to share my inspiration to really live my life, to follow my dreams, pursue greatness, find my path, create myself and (hopefully) inspire you to do the same for yourself.

One of the ways in which I am creating myself, following my path and dreams is by going back to school to get a degree. When we moved to Southern Oregon from Portland the economy in general was not good, but the economy in our small community was extra not good. At that time there was essentially no job market. I could have gotten a job in my previous industry, but at a significant pay reduction. I decided instead to use this time as an opportunity to pursue a dream that had been started and stopped many times.

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In January 2010 I went back to college full time. In June of 2011 I graduated from a community college with my Associates of Arts in general studies degree. YAY! Part one of my goal accomplished! I can now say with pride that I do have *a* degree. But in today's world, an AA is not quite enough to really give the boost I am looking for.

I enrolled at Southern Oregon University and today I begin my pursuit of a Bachelors of Science in Communications. I am taking four classes: Advanced Public Speaking (<--lots of people fear this, but I enjoy it-crazy!), Intercultural Communications, Conflict Resolution and Psychology 202. I am excited and nervous. I hope to be finished in 18 months, but will have to see how it goes with university level classes, what the class load and homework is like. I'm keeping my fingers crossed and have asked the universe to help me out. I believe I can do it in 18 months.

I am telling you this today because this is a very real and concrete example of getting out there and living life! It doesn't always have to be about doing something physical. It is simply about doing something that makes you feel alive! It is about doing something that brings joy and emotion to your heart and soul.

This is why I say if you want to be an artist start creating art...whatever that art may be to YOU!

Getting a degree may not be anything that is important to you, and that is great! That begs the question: What IS important to you? To YOU? Not what do you think you should do.

Having a degree will complete a life long goal of mine. It inspires me to greatness. It will support me in a future career, or it will support me as an author or motivational speaker. But most importantly it is important to ME that I complete this process and feed my soul with the achievement of this goal.

With the beginning of Fall, a change of the season, back to school time, now is a great time to look around your life and think about what it is that will feed your soul and inspire you to greatness. What can you do to support a life long goal? What steps can you take? How can you fit it into your current life or what can you adjust to make room for it?

It is TIME to put your dreams and goals and wishes on the radar of your life. Stop brushing them to the side and saying "later". YOUR DREAMS are valuable and worthwhile things to spend your time on. In my opinion, they are much more valuable things to pursue than having a bigger car, or having a spotless house, or having more stuff, or whatever unimportant "things" get in the way of you pursuing your true dreams.

Today I begin the journey, I start on the path, in a very physical and tangible way, to achieving the second part of a life long dream.

You can begin today, too.

(source)
What can you do TODAY to begin the pursuit of a dream?

Friday, September 23, 2011

A Woman Should Know

This is one of those things that appears suddenly in life that is so fitting and so true! Yet it appears with no one to attribute it to. If you know who wrote this originally, please point me in that direction. I would love to give the author credit for this beautiful piece of truth! 

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A WOMAN SHOULD HAVE .. enough money within her control to move out and rent a place of her own, even if she never wants to or needs to…
 
A WOMAN SHOULD HAVE .. something perfect to wear if the employer, or date of her dreams wants to see her in an hour…
 
A WOMAN SHOULD HAVE .. a youth she’s content to leave behind…. a past juicy enough that she’s looking forward to retelling it in her old age….
 
A WOMAN SHOULD HAVE ….. a set of screwdrivers, a cordless drill, and a black lace bra…
 
A WOMAN SHOULD HAVE . one friend who always makes her laugh… and one who lets her cry…
 
A WOMAN SHOULD HAVE …. a good piece of furniture not previously owned by anyone else in her family…
 
A WOMAN SHOULD HAVE … eight matching plates, wine glasses with stems, and a recipe for a meal, that will make her guests feel honored…
 
A WOMAN SHOULD HAVE … a feeling of control over her destiny.
 
EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW… how to fall in love without losing herself.
 
EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW… how to quit a job, break up with a lover, and confront a friend without ruining the friendship…
 
EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW… when to try harder… and WHEN TO WALK AWAY…
 
EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW… that she can’t change the length of her calves, the width of her hips, or the nature of her parents..
 
EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW… that her childhood may not have been perfect…but its over…
 
EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW… what she would and wouldn’t do for love or more…
 
EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW… how to live alone… even if she doesn’t like it…
 
EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW.. whom she can trust, whom she can’t, and why she shouldn’t take it personally…
 
EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW… where to go… be it to her best friend’s kitchen table… or a charming inn in the woods… when her soul needs soothing…
 
EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW… what she can and can’t accomplish in a day… a month…and a year…
 
 
What else should a woman know?

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Inner light


People are like stained-glass windows. 
They sparkle and shine when the sun is out,
but when the darkness sets in their true beauty is revealed only if there is light from within. 

~Elisabeth K├╝bler-Ross



(source)




Monday, September 19, 2011

Getting To Know Me - Part 1

I read and follow several blogs. Recently, Caitlin at Healthy Tipping Point, Tina at Carrots 'N' Cake, and Ashley at My Food 'n' Fitness Diaries have all posted a series of "getting to know me" question and answers.

I kind of liked this idea and thought I would jump on the bandwagon and do a series of Q&A for myself. If there are questions you want to have answered, ask in the comments! I am cross posting this at Blurb Column, too. (Where you can also find links to several of the blogs I follow on the right sidebar.)

What are you really good at? What are you really bad at?

I am really good at cooking. I am really good at listening and giving people advice (they usually don't take it, but that is on them, not me). I am really good at being organized, efficient and working. I am really good at reading and I like to think I am good at writing, too (hence the blogs!).

Things I am bad at? Hmm...well I used to be bad at math, but thanks to an excellent college teacher (Doug Gardner at Rogue Community College!) I am no longer intimidated by math, so that one is out. I am not that great at science stuff. I am bad at avoiding my favorite, not so great for you foods, like ice cream. I am bad at doing chores that I HATE, like vacuuming and cleaning the shower. I am bad at following rules of etiquette like bringing a housewarming gift for someone...I just NEVER even think about it...until after and then I feel like a schmuck! Oh, and I am bad at "art". I am not "artistic" in that way. I can't paint or draw or craft or write poetry or anything like that. My brother, mother and grandmother all are very artistic, but my art comes out in my cooking and writing.

Have you ever been in a car accident? What happened?
 
Yes, several. My mom was rearended when I was a kid, I didn't even know what happened, it was barely a tap. I backed into a parked car. I rear-ended someone in the snow. Someone backed into me at a parking lot exit (they had pulled too far into the street). I got rearended. Chris and I were rearended by a guy in a Jetta (jetta 0 - suburban 1). And Chris and I went off the road twice while we were participating in Performance Rally races, both times in our Datsun 510.
 
Chris has been in several accidents as well, including rearending a car while he was hauling a car on a trailer with our suburban. Suburban 1 - little car ZERO. Totalled the little car...hardly a scratch on our suburban. (Yay for big vehicles!) Chris also got rearended in my 350Z car the same week I bought it! He also was in a Rally crash in his AWD bug, and he was in an at speed rollover crash as a passenger in a rally car. And he got hit just a couple weeks ago in his work truck when some guy pulled out from a side street. That totalled his work truck and he is still in a rental.
 
So, yes, an accident or two, here or there. ;-)
 
Why did you attend your college?
 
Any and all of the colleges I have attended have been strictly convenience based. They were close by.


How did your parents’ relationship influence you?

My parents' relationship(s) have influenced me in ways that are beyond the scope of a little Q&A session, but the short answer is they have shown me what I did NOT want my married life to be like. I could go on, and on, but let's just leave it at that.


What were the three happiest moments of your life?

I really hate questions like this, actually. I was very happy to get married to Chris, of course, and am still happy to be married to him. Other than that? I don't have specific moments that stand out as the happiest of my LIFE. I find joy and happiness in so many things in my life that I have a hard time saying THIS MOMENT (big booming God voice) was THE moment of happiness! I must say, though, that I was pretty happy when we realized my mom wasn't going to die last year. That was a happy "moment". So, I guess I'll just stick with those two.

How about you? Answer the questions in the comments section, or ask me a different question.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Who do you believe you are?


"It's not who you are that holds you back,
 it's who you think you're not."

~Unknown


Do you have a dream?

A goal?

A wish?

What is your dream?

What is your goal?

What is your wish?

What do you wish, with all of your heart, soul and being?

What are you doing to achieve it?

To make your dream come true?

Often we think that our dreams are too big, too unachievable. They will cost too much. Take too much time. Be too hard.

People will make fun of us.

We find all kinds of excuses for not achieving our goals, for not fulfilling our wishes.

In truth, there is nothing holding us back from our greatest desires...

except ourselves, and what we believe about ourselves.

What we believe ourselves to be capable of, or not.

Take time today to think about your true desire.

Don't worry about it being too big, too far, too much.

Just stop, close your eyes, and visualize yourself living the dream of your most perfect life.

Are you singing on a stage in a stadium of adoring fans?

Are you atop a mountain?

Are you chasing after a housefull of kids, cats, dogs and chaos?

Are you selling books and making public appearances?

Are you creating art, in whatever form?

Are you living in a mansion or on a farm on in another country?

What are you doing in your dream life?

And why are you not doing it in your real life?

What do you believe about yourself that is preventing you from taking the steps to achieve it?

Share your dreams with the universe.

Envision yourself living your dream.

Set aside thoughts that you can't.

You are worth it! You can do it! Your life is meant to be lived! Your dreams are meant to be achieved!

We were not put here on this planet to simply live and exist!

We were put here on this planet to THRIVE!

Start living!

Today.

"Make the most of yourself,
for that is all there is of you."

~Ralph Waldo Emerson





Thursday, September 15, 2011

Inspiration in the Blackberry Bramble

Today, as I was picking blackberries in my back yard blackberry bramble, I was struck with this thought:




Life is like picking blackberries. Sometimes, to get the best one, you have to really reach for it, and you might get poked a little, but the ultimate result is totally worth it.




Do you get random bursts of inspiration? Share with me!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

The Signs Are There

...if only we will look to see them.

I was at my nurse practitioner's office today for a regular check-up and perscription refill session. I really love her. She is SO real and down to earth, unlike many of my previous care partners. She is also gutsy!

She has lots of great material in her office. It isn't a typical "medical" office. She is just in a room with a desk, chair and a medical table. She has all the records on the computer, there is no nurse, no automatic weigh in, no manila file folder chart.

She has two signs in particular in her office that I thought were great. First is about the Chakras.



You can click on the image to make it easier to read. But I love what it has to say. I especially like the Third Chakra: I am courageous. I am whole. I stand in my power.

The other sign is also very truth-filled. There was no name attributed to the second sign, so I asked my NP if she made it. She said a patient had made it for her. Of course, she could not give me the name to attribute the sign to, so I do not know who put this together. It was NOT me. I take no credit for this. I would be happy to credit whomever created this if they should ever come to me throught his crazy interwoven web world.



Again, click on the image to make it easier to read.

Basically, this sign tells us that while there are people in the world who can help us, guide us, listen to us, and hold our hand, ultimately our life, our decisions, our choices and our path are up to us. Individually.

Strong, powerful truth. It echo's of what I want this blog to say to you.

YOU are the creator of your universe.

I can share with you, I can guide you, I can listen to you, but YOU, my dear friends, each of you must create your own best life path and LIVE that path.

It really comes down to choosing to live, rather than choosing to exist.

Many blessings to you all today!


Do you like your care partner? Do you have a good relationship? Do you pursue alternative health care options? Share with me!


Monday, September 12, 2011

What I Want


I am trying to live a life filled with inspiration. I do not want to wake one day and realize that my life has passed me by.

I know that I can create the life I want. I am doing it. Right now. Today. Each time I make a decision to step outside my comfort zone, to ask for what I want, to DO things, I am actively choosing to live my life.

I am reading The Secret by Rhonda Byrne.


This life is so amazing.
I talk about synchronicity.
I talk about the universe whispering in my ear.

Then suddenly here is this book.

I have had this book for several years. I have never opened it. Never read it. I did not know what it said. I had two friends read it a few years ago and tell me that I needed to read it. I bought it. I never read it.

Earlier this year I decided to start this blog as a way to share my journey, a way to try and inspire myself, and others, to really live. To start now, no matter where they are at in life. To really think about and decide what they want in life and then start taking steps toward it.

And then, suddenly, here is this book.

I do not know why, after all these years of this book sitting on my shelf unread, that I decided to open and read this book.

The universe? Synchronicity? Perhaps my change in outlook has drawn this book to me. I do not know.

What I do know is that The Secret supports me in my want to LIVE life. It tells me that I *can* have, be and do exactly what I want and that the universe will conspire to help me. This is so reminiscent of Paul Coelho and his fable The Alchemist...which if you have not read, I highly suggest it! (It was suggested to me and I am immensely grateful.)

The universe is speaking to me in so many ways. I am listening. I am attuned. I try to follow.

I suggested last week that we need to DECIDE what we want and then we have to go after it. After reading some of The Secret I was overcome with a desire to write down "The Things I Want".  I had an amazing moment of clarity where my mind was filled with the things that I really wanted. I had a compulsion to write them all down.

I needed to share them with the universe...these things that I wanted.




The top of my list? To be thin, fit and healthy. To have energy. There is much more, of course, and the specifics of what I want are not what is important here.

What is important is that I listened to the voices of the universe tell me to start this blog, to read this book, to live my life, to write down what I want.

To share my life with you.

This is not easy for me; it is scary putting myself and my innermost thoughts out into the blog world. I have no idea who reads this or what their thoughts are about what I write. I can only hope that by listening to my inner voice, the universe, my heart...that what I say and share will somehow touch and inspire others to start living life!!

So, the proof is in the pudding. I didn't just ask you to decide what you wanted, to visualize it, to write it down, but I did so myself! I have spent the last several days visualizing what I want being real. I have read what I wrote down. I have felt the emotions that I will feel when these things happen.

I encourage you to take a moment today. Find a quiet spot. Clear your mind. Allow clarity to enter. Listen to your inner voice and the voices of the universe. Decide what you want. Be specific. Nothing is too big or too small. Ask for it. Write it down. Take steps to make it happen, and then watch as your life dreams are fulfilled.

I have seen it happen many times over in my life. Once I really decide, once I put it out there to the universe, things start to happen. It is beautiful and crazy and amazing. I put it out there that I want to live my life...and so I am.

Have you read The Secret? Do you believe in the power of the universe?  Share with me.








Friday, September 9, 2011

Take Time for You

It is almost fall...Labor Day Weekend is behind us...most everyone's kids are back to school.

I, myself, am headed back to school, but have a couple more weeks before classes start.

Just like the little kids, I have to do some "getting ready" for back to school. Yesterday was my salon day. I am terrible about taking time to do things for myself that I enjoy relating to my looks.

I am pretty good about getting a regular pedicure every 6 weeks or so, because I just really like having pretty toes, and the expense is fairly low. I find it to be *reasonable* to spend the money for pretty toes, whereas regular hair cuts and manicures seem less *reasonable* of an expense, to me.

I don't get regular manicures because I am pretty hard on my nails and regular polish just doesn't last. Usually within about 5 minutes of leaving the salon my nails are smudged or chipped. And they go down hill quickly from there. That makes a typical manicure VERY unreasonable for me, dollar wise. I have come up with some mediocre solutions over the years, like when I do get a manicure I just get clear polish or very, very light or sheer colors. That way, when the inevitable chipping and smudging happens, it is much less noticeable.

I have had acrylics in the past; I don't care for them.

I had used Gelac "shellac" gel polish earlier this year, but it really tore up my nails, made them very thin, caused them to split down the middle and made them exceptionally sensitive to warm water. I got them taken off and it took months for my nails to return to normal. Not a good solution for me. If you aren't familiar with the shellac gel polish, it really is impressive. It is a gel that is cured to your nail under a UV light. They claim that the polish will stay on your nails and not chip for 2-3 weeks!

I found this claim to be somewhat true. My nails stayed chip free for 5-6 days (which is about a 100% improvement over regular polish, upping the cost benefit greatly), but on MY nails, specifically my ring finger on my right hand, the polish would just start to peel off after about 5 or 6 days. Other nails would start to do so to a lesser extent within a few days. Some nails never chipped or peeled off.

As for haircuts, well my hair is pretty straight, and fine. I generally wear it long and in the same style (except last year when I went crazy and chopped it all off!) Because it is just "long and straight" for the most part, and I don't get horrible split ends or frizz or anything like that, I don't feel like spending $50-$100 bucks on a "shampoo, cut and style" is really worth it. My hair looks pretty much the same long, longer or longeeer. So I don't head off to the salon more than a couple times a year. My stylist is mortified, I assure you! lol!

I also don't typically color my hair much. One, my hair is what I consider to be a pretty brown that suits my skin tone, eyes, etc. Sometimes I will get some highlights, like last year when I went crazy, I got some blonde highlights. Turns out I don't care for them. They make me feel like I look old. Not fun. Two, maintaining haircolor and highlights to avoid the tacky grow out and roots is too much work for me. I do not want to HAVE to go to the salon every 4-6 weeks or whatever to get a "touch up". That is just TOO much maintenance and cost, for me.

So, having said all that, when I DO go to the salon and spend the day, I usually really enjoy it, and I am usually not bothered by the expense. If I spend $200 at the salon once a year...well...that seems to be a reasonable expense spread out over the year.

I am what you would call low maintenance. HA!

So, yesterday was my salon day. I spent about 4.5 hours at the salon. It was great. It was a lovely afternoon. I got my gel toes done, a pedicure, a manicure (with a new brand of "shellac" from OPI-we'll see how that goes), then I got my hair fixed up. It has finally grown out from the chop off to a stage where I could get it all one length. I had her get rid of the blonde highlights by covering them with a copper mahogany highlight. It is very subtle...but just enough to give a little dimension. I like it! It is not back to "long" status yet, but at least there is some style! I also had some eyebrow and lip maintenance done.

I feel all fresh and sparkly and sassy with my sparkly toes and pretty nails and fun hair!






The point of all this is to remind each of us that taking the time to do these little things for ourselves is important! It is a great mood booster. It can be very relaxing..especially the spa pedicure! :-) 

Taking time for ourselves is often lost in the daily to-do's, the kids, the lunches, the homework, the dogs, the husband, the house, the laundry, the bills, the soccer practice....where do WE fit in?

We MUST find the time to ourselves. We must find a way to take a few minutes, or an hour, to fulfill our own selves. We are not the 100% awesome person we can be if we do not do this.

Do not feel guilty!

Your kids take time for themselves. Your husband takes time for himself. You NEED to  take time for yourself!

What is the THING that you would do if you had an hour a week to do whatever you wanted?

Read a book? Take a bath? Meditate? Exercise (because you WANT to, not because you are fat)? Meet friends? Get a pedicure? Sew? Craft? Cook (for pleasure!)?

Taking time to refresh my look, get a little massage-y foot rub, get a little sparkle on my fingers and toes, really helps to create a positive outlook for me. It helps regenerate my soul.

What is the thing you would do if you were going to take time for you??

Tell me in the comments.