Stories We Tell Ourselves

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Day 7-9

As much progress as I’d made to this point, I would occasionally have thoughts like what could have been if I hadn’t been hurt. This is not a good road to venture down. For so long I was only focused on the negative. I was consumed with pain. It was a constant battle to focus on the positive and move forward, but I did it. I realized too, that I should have been much more in charge of my own health. I don’t necessarily follow all of what a doctor will tell me these days. I use my common sense as well as I listen to what I’m told. The difference is when I was younger I would follow the doctor’s instructions to a tee, even if inside it didn’t feel right. Never questioning.

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It’s hard I think for some people to understand what a gift I was given with these events occurring in my life. You hear people say this after a tragedy occurs, and you think that can’t possibly be how they feel. But it is. Every single part of my life is better because of what happen to me. Just to name a few.. I fixed my diet, I did another Happiness Project, I learned how to meditate, I learned how to exercise with correct form, I learned yoga and made a ton of new friends. And as you know, if you have been reading this blog, each of those areas ricochet into many more areas of improvement. A big self improvement, self healing journey. I guarantee you NONE of that would have had happen if my life hadn’t been stopped in it’s tracks.

Deepak says no two people see reality the same way. Reality is personal (the stories you tell yourself). This was a big AHA moment for me. The fact that there even could be stories I was telling myself was a new idea. What do you mean? You mean every thought in my head isn’t based on facts? Ha! I catch myself in this one ALL THE TIME. Am I making up a story in my head? Or is this something based in facts that I know is true? Life changing when you are aware of this. Deepak says “we are the author of our life story”. I love that so much. I’m just going to keep living my truth. I hope you will too.

Do you feel like you are telling yourself a story about what is happening in your life? Or is it based on actual facts? It’s a good question to ask yourself. Often. Once you start asking you can see where you can let go of a lot of anxiety and worry. Please comment below! I can’t wait to hear from you! Thanks for being here!


My Time, Your Time, and Our Time

Day 12

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According to Deepak Chopra, we all have our own rhythm. We can’t and shouldn’t expect others to be in our rhythm. The ego tells us “our time is better” but we do need to respect each other’s styles. And when we come together those differences go away and the attention needs to be on “us”, not “me.”

In my notebook I have a three things listed under My Time:

Sketching
Reading
Meditating

We all know what happen with sketching! (see previous post) My intentions were good. I tried it and it didn’t stick. That’s ok. If I was to do this exercise today I would replace sketching with yoga or journaling.

Reading is a mainstay in my life and a BIG priority. It gets A LOT of my free time because I get so much happiness from reading and everything to do with reading. Like, browsing the library, reading book reviews, going to author talks and signings, going to books stores, talking to others about books.. it goes on and on.

And the last area I wrote in my notebook to under My Time was meditation. Another non-negotiable. I make sure I have my meditation time early in the morning when no one else is awake and there are no distractions. It’s by far my favorite part of my day. I know I’m doing so much good for myself. Changing those pathways in my brain!!!

For Your Time, I couldn’t choose what my husband does with his free time, I just know that he needs to choose that for himself. Most of the time he will choose golf. He enjoys it because he’s in outdoors in nature, walking, and playing a sport he loves. If not golfing, the other activity he chooses for his free time is running. As long as he has his time to do his thing, all is good.

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Then there is Our Time. I’ve talked about this before too, but our dates mostly consist of seeing concerts and other musical events. We are BIG music people. I didn’t realize how big until recently. I thought, “doesn’t everyone want to go to as many concerts as possible?!” No, they don’t, actually. Ha! Well, these are our dates most of the time. He enjoys eating out way more than I do. When restaurants catch up to what healthy eating consists of, I’ll venture out again. There are a few places doing it right, but not many. I like knowing what’s in my food these days.

Do you have scheduled time to yourself? Try the following:

Make a list of three or four things you want to do with YOUR time.

If you are in a relationship, what are the things you could or want to do with OUR time?

I would love to hear your comments! Thanks for being here!


Inflammation

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Day 8

The first time someone explained leaky gut to me I didn’t really understand it. I was in the middle of all my pain with NO answers. But, this chiropractor was on to something when he explained to me how when we take antibiotics it wipes out not only the bad bacteria but all the good bacteria as well. So, not only did my drug reaction cause me injury, it pretty much destroyed my microbiome, which is the source of most of our immune system. Also, when we eat inflammatory foods our small intestines get inflamed which then causes particles to leak out of the small intestine and into our bloodstream. When this happens our body then thinks these are foreign objects that need to be fought. This is the cause of many autoimmune issues and fibromyalgia among a host of other things. If you want to know more about leaky gut and the effects on the body click here. .https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/leaky-gut-what-is-it-and-what-does-it-mean-for-you-2017092212451

If you’ve read My Story, you know what repairing my leaky gut has done for me. A forever lifestyle change. Once I knew what inflammatory foods were doing to my body and my BRAIN it was easy to make the switch. If you want to know how I went about changing my diet, please read my blog post title “A Lightening Bolt Moment on the Hallmark Channel”.

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This week Deepak talks about reducing inflammation for lifelong energy. Yes, an anti-inflammatory diet certainly does give you more energy and so much more. Did you know your gut and brain are connected and that your brain can actually become inflamed? This can cause another whole host of problems related to your nervous system and even your mood. You can read more about it here https://www.health.harvard.edu/diseases-and-conditions/the-gut-brain-connection.

Did you know meditation actually reduces inflammation? You can read more here. https://www.huffpost.com/entry/meditation-brain-changes-study_n_56b4b7aee4b04f9b57d93bef Meditation brings us peace and calm. Deepak says “Daily stresses won’t trigger you as easily.” I’ve talked about how transformative meditation has been for me and it absolutely has translated into my daily life!

If you want to reduce inflammation try an anti-inflammatory diet or paleo diet. I really don’t like the word “diet”. It’s actually a lifestyle. But, you can give it 30 days and see how you feel! I highly recommend Practical Paleo by Diane Sanfilippo.

Thanks for being here!


Toxic People

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Toxic people. We all know who they are. They are friends, co-workers and family members. Now that I had learned how to become an optimist, I also needed to learn how to keep the negative people out of my life. Some of this is in our control. I can choose my friends. But family members and co-workers are another story. You can absolutely set boundaries with family members. And for the very first time in my life, I did it. It’s not pleasant. Without going into too much detail, for this persons privacy, I had decided that if this family member was going to be in my home, the rules were going to change. I did not and would not accept the gloomy negativity and comments or the crying and the drama anymore. I’ve done too much work to let that happen to myself or my family. Remember, emotions are contagious! So choose wisely who you allow into your space. I really don’t buy the attitude that just because someone is related by blood you have to spend time with them or forgive all their destructive ways. I choose the people I surround myself with and that includes family members as well.

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Co-workers are another story. There is no escape! I recently heard Christine Lang’s Tiny Class on the Sheri and Nancy Show podcast about how to “cleanse your energy”. She says when encountering negative energy to say to yourself “Please clear me of energy that isn’t good.” Another strategy, which is the one I try to use, is to use visualization by visualizing yourself in a stream with water running over you and the stream is carrying everything out through your head to the feet. Another visualization she recommends is visualizing yourself going through a car wash, cleansing yourself of the bad energy. She suggests using these strategies a couple times of day as needed. I think these are very helpful in a work situation where you may not have another choice. If you want to learn more about Christine Lang or her “Shielding yourself from negative energy” talk, you can find her here. https://youtu.be/k-w3Ci9m2_k

Do you have toxic people in your life? This week think about whether it’s in your best interest to keep them in your circle or is it better to learn techniques to shield yourself from emotional contagion? I’d love to hear your feedback! Please comment below! Thanks for being here!


No Prerequisites

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I’m going to take a quick pause from my 21 Day Meditation Experience posts to talk about a moment that happen to me during the same time as the 21 Day Meditation Experience that was another aha for me.

I was listening to the “This is 50 Podcast”, now called “The Sheri and Nancy Show” and honestly, I don’t know who the guest was that they had on because I didn’t note her name, however she said some things that made me jumpstart all I had envisioned for myself.

By this time, I had the revelation that I wanted to pursue Health and Wellness in some form but had not acted on it just yet. It was brewing. I had a lot of questions and doubts. Was I smart enough? How will I afford school when I’m trying to pay for college for both kids? Will it be worth it? Will I have clients? Then, as if on cue, I heard the following about pursuing your dreams:

  • Be clear about your wants
  • Believe in your dream
  • Take action
  • Know yourself
  • No prerequisites
  • Increased longevity if you have dreams

These all hit home with me and were areas I was trying to work on. NO PREREQUISITES! That was such a good thing for me to hear! All I did at that point was give myself prerequisites! The kids must be done with college, we need to be debt free, I have to have the perfect business plan….How freeing to know I could just start. And that’s exactly what I did. The ball started rolling shortly after this. I like to say it was a “shift”. I’ve had a few of these along the way where I hear or read something the resonates so strongly that I make the change immediately. And this was one of those days.

She (the unknown speaker) said we should ask yourselves “Who are you now?” That’s a really good question because I was no longer the same person I was even a few years ago. Life changes, kids get older, we get older and we adjust. Or not. And that’s when the decline happens. This wise person said, that decline in the body happens when one or more of the following things happen:

  1. Empty nest
  2. Retirement
  3. No dreams

Well, empty nest was literally around the corner, I had no dreams until recently and retirement was further down the road, but not that far. So, I decided right then that I would NOT wait until my kids were out of college to pursue my dreams. I would find the funds and the courage to move forward and that’s exactly what I did.

Have you put your dreams on hold? Ask yourself why and start taking action on them today. Small steps make big progress. I’d love to hear about your dreams! Thanks for being here!


Say Yes to Life!

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Today focuses on playful manifestation. Deepak talks about “saying yes”, which is one of my happiness goals that I wrote about earlier. Here I got a much better understanding of why this is so important.

According to Deepak, “To be carefree is to trust the universe to take care of everything.” For an Upholder like me this seems to be an impossible task. I like controlling situations. Being “carefree” was not in my vocabulary. To be honest, I spent my whole life up to this point doing the exact opposite. Never in the flow, always worrying and trying to control outcomes. Desperate and uptight = disappointment. There’s a slogan for your fridge! And a good reminder!

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Deepak says when we let go of resistance to life it amplifies the law of attraction. I find this to be true. Letting go is a constant struggle for me, although I am MUCH improved. For example, as I write this my 19 year old son is planning his 4 month study abroad trip to Prague. The old me would be literally SICK with worry. All of the horrific scenarios worked up and spinning through my head on a daily basis. I would have been losing sleep, researching the area intently and constantly “talking” it over with my husband. I have done NONE of that. I’m trusting that things will be just fine. Because, if I was to apply my ABCDE strategies here, I would come to the conclusion that the facts would be on my side and I didn’t have much to worry about. That being said, as we get closer, I will have a talk with him about safety and we will be sure he has everything he needs. And then I will let go! Life is so much better this way. Both physically and mentally!

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Are you someone who is naturally carefree? Do you aspire to be so? Try saying yes to whatever comes your way and see how your life opens up and the law of attraction starts working. Try letting go of controlling outcomes and situations. Let me know how it goes! Thanks for being here!


Don’t Impose

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There is a fine line between helping others and imposing our path onto them. I walk this line all the time because I’m SO PASSIONATE about what I’m doing and what I’ve learned. It’s the whole reason I write this blog. I suddenly, after never wanting to discuss what happen to me, I wanted to scream it from the rooftops to everyone I know. And at first that’s exactly what I did. I BOMBARDED my family and friends with “Did you know.. blah, blah, blah” Basically, “everything you’re doing is wrong” is what most people heard me saying I’m sure. I just get very excited about new things and the science is there to back it all up so I just felt the need to share. And I’m still doing that, the difference is I’m letting the people who want to know find me, instead of me telling everyone around me whether they want to hear it or not.

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I recently overheard a conversation between two people, congratulating themselves, while eating peanuts, on what healthy snack choice they made. Inside I was bursting at the seams wanting to say, “Peanuts are are not nuts, they are legumes and they are inflammatory! Also, what kind of oil are those cooked in? Mostly likely canola, which is a processed oil known for causing heart attacks!” My brain was spinning, but I didn’t say anything. Because, it’s not my place. Deepak says we don’t know what other people’s path entails. We need to let nature take it’s course. I needed to let go of ego control and judgement! Whew, that resonated with me!!! As an Upholder (see Gretchen Rubin), I’m just programmed to do what is “right” and follow the “rules”. So, when I read about a way to improve my health and well being that maybe isn’t widely known yet, I just jump aboard and do it. I needed to stop trying to “fix” everyone. On the other hand, helping people is what I’d signed up to do! The difference is when I’m asked, or if it comes up in conversation with me directly, I will speak up, but I will not jump into a conversation just to tell someone they are wrong. Deepak says we should “envision that everyone’s mind/body state is perfect just as they are.” That’s so important to remember. And one that I work on constantly.

Do you feel like you try to control others actions? Do you feel like you are judgmental? Try reframing these feelings and tell yourself that others are on their own path and are right were they need to be. Once we release ego control we become more relaxed. I would love to hear your comments below! Thanks for being here!


AHA MOMENT!

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Day 13/14

Did you ever have a true aha moment? A true epiphany where you literally stop in your tracks and are in awe of what is in front of you? This is what happen to me on Day 14 of my meditation experience. As you know, the focus of this particular experience was manifestation. Even the Centering Thought of the day made me smile. “Fulfilling my dreams fulfills my spirit.” Deepak explains that fulfilling desires are spiritual. When we allow our desires to become alive we have a sense of love and joy. When we are in touch with our true selves, we discover who we really are. This awakening happens in meditation. He explains that our soul is eager to connect with us.

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When I am practicing transcendental meditation, I sometimes have what I call an outer body experience. I truly “leave” myself. It’s pretty incredible. It’s not always long lasting, but when it does happen there are no thoughts. This is as close to our true selves as we can get. I believe this is the time to connect with our soul and the best time to listen.

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As I went through the journaling for this day, I wrote “Spiritual Values”, underlined it and then wrote the following. “Helping others in my desire to have a career in either health and wellness/advocacy or volunteer field.” And secondly wrote, “My desire to be pain free will help me help my family.” I also wrote, “Figuring out my true desires. They are evolving as I go through this program. Getting closer to my true self.” This was an important moment. My head was so clear from meditation, I was forced to really dig down and find what I REALLY desired and that’s what I came up with. It was in me and now it was in words. It set off my whole path of what was to come. These notes translated into a trip to the library to get the book “What Color is My Parachute” which enabled me to further narrow down what I wanted for myself. I started researching Holistic Health Coaching Programs, and third I started strategizing a way to pay for it! Because credit cards and loans were off limits. And within a year, I figured it all out and went back to school and got my certification. Which then led to this blog and writing a book. All because I decided to focus on myself in every pillar of my life. And the results are showing. I have one more note I wrote in my notebook on Day 14 with a big star next to it. It says “The key to the whole program. I figured it out! Decision made!” It just makes me smile to read that.

Have you given any thought to your deepest desires? I suggest the following. Take some time to meditate to clear your mind and get close to your true self. This takes time. It’s not a one shot deal! Begin to ask yourself what you really want. You will be surprised at what comes out!


Flow

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Day 10 and 11

“Everything is as it should be.” According to Deepak Chopra the lessons of Day 10 and 11 were to show that our awareness is flexible and adaptable. I’ve touched on this before, but let’s be clear, I liked controlling situations. Actually, I thought I needed to control situations. The source of so much of my stress and anxiety was me just festering over “what’s going to happen”. Will my kids get on that team? In the “right” class? get picked in the audition? etc. Letting go of a particular outcome was difficult for me to say the least. I’m learning to go with the flow and have come so, so far. I know now that whatever the outcome is, that is meant to be. And if I don’t get what I want, it’s because something better is on it’s way. I’ve seen this happen over and over again in my life. Every time something I love comes to an end, be it a class, an instructor changes when they are teaching, or a particular thing I’m doing becomes too expensive to continue, whatever it is, the outcome of that is ALWAYS better than the original thing I was doing. It’s like the universe is FORCING me to change. Because those were choices I wouldn’t have made on my own. Things I was so disappointed about changing turned out some of the best things in my life. And they all have come to me as a result of those forced changes.

My biggest regret is that I did not learn this sooner, especially when my kids were younger. All the time and stress and yelling about things that really weren’t important. Who cares if it takes 10 minutes for my kids to put on their shoes? I really wish I would have chilled out. I will be the best grandma EVER to make up for all the frustration and anger that my kids endured with me. Live and learn.

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Deepak explains that there are three elements to master for flow. First is flexible consciousness, which is to receive with an open mind. Be open and nonjudgmental. And don’t resist. (DON’T RESIST! I should really have that hung on a wall in my house on put on my refrigerator so I see it everyday!) Second, go with the flow to arrive at full manifestation. Going with the flow requires practice. Which I am constantly working on. And third, remain centered. Which comes with meditation practice.

Even in meditation if I let thoughts take over, which I have, completely losing the mantra, I learned that eventually going back to the mantra means our attention is flexible. It’s a good lesson. I’m not striving for perfection, I’m a work in progress. Because I know the more self growth that is happening in my life and happier and more productive my life becomes. It’s incredible to watch.

How about you? Are you feeling life you are living in the flow? Take some time this week to focus your awareness and see if you are being rigid for a particular outcome to happen in your life. What would happen if you started to no resist? And had a more open mind about the outcome of the situation?

I can’t wait to hear your comments! Thanks for being here!


The Law of Attraction

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Day 6

“What you dwell on is what you receive” according to Deepak Chopra. It was clear to me if I continued to sit around dwelling on how much pain I was in and how I couldn’t do the things I used to do, I was just going to attract more of the same. Deepak says our power comes from our attention. This is so true. What we pay attention to does indeed grow. He explains that desire needs nourishment in the following ways:

  • Have a clear intention (no excuses)
  • Have positive emotions
  • Believe it will be beneficial for you
  • Prepare for any response. Be flexible.
  • Confident aid will come from the universe
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Having a clear intention daily, weekly, monthly, yearly.. however you want to do it is a gamechanger. It’s a complete mind shift. This is why a lot of yoga classes start with setting an intention. It’s a reminder for when you start thinking about other things. Just like a meditation and coming back to the breath, but in this case it’s coming back to the intention. When we choose an intention we are choosing to manifest something, on our mat, or in our life. Having intention is been so helpful for me. Needless to say, in my former life I did the opposite of having intention. I just was free wheeling and let the chips fall where they may. I don’t recommend that way of living!

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Having positive emotions and believing it to be beneficial falls back to my work on my ABCDE strategies. (See previous posts) My former self would be in a negative mind set. This is our human default. We have a negative bias as protection. You must learn to counteract this with positive feelings and emotions.

But, what I needed to work on most was to “prepare for any response.” Like I said, I was one who loved to control outcomes. But you really can’t control outcomes. All you can control is your reaction to the outcome. I’d been screwing that part up all my life. No longer. I’m so self aware that I have learned how to be more in the flow. I even bought an intention bracelet with the word “flow” engraved on it as a constant daily reminder! It’s that important to me that I correct this behavior!

If you would like to focus your intentions to attract the things you want in your life, try the steps above to start changing what you dwell on and where you give your attention.

I would love to hear your comments! Thank you for being here!