Creative expression through the written word

HEAL…thy self

I had a conversation with my son today about all the things I am learning on this journey toward healthy living and it almost made me cry to think that I am creeping up on 50 and just now really giving a damn about my health. 

The good news is…I do care now and I’m educating myself and learning what I chose to ignore for so long. Do I have any urgent health issues making me take this step? No, but I started taking this little yellow pill that changed my life so much that it woke me up to how unhealthy I was feeling without even knowing it. 

The changes brought about by this little blend of 5 natural herbs shocked me and as I read, everyday, how it’s helping others too I can’t help but be excited by it. However, it opened the door to health for me that I had previously shut, believing I was genetically predisposed to a long life. That may be true but what quality of life is what I should have been asking myself. 

So here’s the thing, this journey isn’t about losing weight although that is a huge portion of it for me but it’s about developing a mindset and a lifestyle that is healthy. I’m a firm believer that change starts in the mind and we create it into physical manifestation. My weight is slowly dropping in small increments but it’s the mindset and willpower to make better choices that I see the most progress in. 

No one said this journey would be easy, in fact it’s not but then again ignoring my health for 30 years has not exactly helped either. So what I’m learning is that healthy really stands for HEAL…thy self. No one can do it for you. It’s a choice I have to make every day, sometimes even moment to moment. 

Am I blessed beyond measure to have found a little yellow pill that costs less than a Starbucks coffee everyday that turns on my survival genes and and makes my miraculous body heal itself? Absolutely! I thank God everyday for that blessing but my biggest blessing to date is believing in myself and taking every step forward, backward, and forward again towards a new me. 

So my new mantra is HEAL…thy self. If you want it to be your new mantra too, let me know. I don’t care if I’ve never met you, spoken to you before or if you are a world away….I’m happy to support you in your goals and dreams. After all, independence is great but together we can soar. 

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Okay….so being healthy is not going to kill me but some days it feels like it. If any of you have had to learn a completely new lifestyle you will understand. 

I’ve never focused on a healthy lifestyle and I’m “mid-life” so that is a lot of pattern changing to do. I’m learning that the biggest challenge is mental change, followed quickly by physical change.

What does that mean? It means I have to work on the “little voice” inside by head that says, sure, go ahead and eat that….sure, stay on the couch instead of going for a walk. I have to mentally make different choices. Then…oh man, then, I have to actually make my physical actions following the “new” choices come into alignment and take action. 

I never realized how hard it was to be healthy. Or rather to have an awareness of being healthy. Some days it’s a struggle to get through the next 5 minutes and some days are a breeze to get through and I end up going to bed feeing happy and productive. 

Have you ever felt like you are being dedicated making progress and then you step on the scale and want to scream with frustration because it appears no progress is being made? Well it sucks! I have to remember that change is happening and the results aren’t going to happen overnight. 

Man, oh man, I wish it would happen overnight but alas….it took years to get my body into this state and I suspect it will take a long time to eighth the wrongs. So I choose to celebrate when I do good and try not to beat myself up when things are hard. 

This isn’t a diet – it’s a lifestyle change. It’s a choice and a path I need to walk for myself. I’m trying to surround myself with support and positive feedback. I’m learning and I’m welcoming input. Not only that I am willing to support others if they are on this journey. After all, companionship makes he journey lighter. 

I want to tell you a story. A story about self-discovery. Probably 15 years ago I met a woman who challenged me to be a better person in so many ways. For several years before she passed away she fulfilled the role of spiritual guru for me and I count my life blessed beyond measure to have known her. 

So many significant exchanges happened between us but the one I want to share happened when my close group of women friends first met her and we spent a girls weekend in a hotel room immersing ourselves in spiritual conversation.  Through the course of conversation, I’m not really even sure what brought it about but, lets call her grammie greywolf, decided I needed to own myself.

She asked me to stand in front of the group and say, “I Am Trina. I am strong, wise and powerful and I Am the best Trina I can be.” Sounds simple enough, right? Only I couldn’t do it. Sure I could stand there in front of those women I loved and who I knew loved me back but I simply couldn’t make those words come out of my mouth. 

There is so much power behind those words: I AM. She was asking me to make a statement of self-claiming. She was asking me to own up to my own power and to lay claim to being the best I could be. Not just once but as a whole- forever and I simply couldn’t do it. 

I stood there crying. Wanting to say the words and be done but my heart and mind were not in alignment with the physical act of speaking. We all knew I had to come into alignment with those words on every level first. She stood in front of me, he’s my eyes with her own, her hand resting over my heart and I felt her love for me as a human being, as a spiritual sister flow into me. 

In a whisper the words slowly came out. That wasn’t good enough. She had me repeat that statement over and over, louder and louder until there was power behind my words. Truth reverberating in the simple words for everyone present to hear. 

That moment set me on a personal journey to claim who I truly am. To walk in my personal power and to really try to be the best version of myself that I can be. It set me on a journey of self-discovery For which I have been forever grateful. 

Maybe you don’t have a grammie greywolf that can create a space for openness and healing and stand in front of you patiently until you reach your a-ha moment but you can do this for yourself. Stand in front of a mirror, look into your own eyes and make your own I Am statements. 

Don’t stop until you actually feel and hear the power in your words, until you see the shift of confidence come over your body. 

When you do this, every morning if necessary, you will find that you start to express that truth in the world. You start to learn how to be the best version of yourself and believe me, the world will be a better place for it. 

Try it. You can only grow from it. Aren’t you with it?

I have a mentor, a woman who holds me in her heart like a daughter and who truly knows all my funny quirks and finds the humor in them. I bet if she is reading this, she’s probably snickering at the title and mumbling to herself that “of course it’s all about her, after all she’s an Aries”. 

I have to admit over the years I have learned that the “I AM” attitude of the Aries/Rooster is very much me but in this instance, I want to talk about me, you, and all of us as the centers of our own universes. 

It really is all about you, in the realm of your own world and yes, it really is all about me in my world. You are the master of your life and You have the power to change anything if you decide it is to be. The same goes for me. 

Everything I say, think or do is about me. I choose to affect the space around me for good or bad, positive or negative. I choose to react in a certain way, to get offended or laugh with joy. I determine my own reality. You determine your own reality. Once you realize this little truth then you can start to make changes to your world. All the power rests with you. 

So yes, everything in my life is all about me and I’m choosing to be the one in control of my world instead of letting my world be in control of me. What are you allowing in your world? 

Shift in Language

Whether you want to acknowledge it or not there are several phrases that are commonly used that don’t really mean what we are saying to ourselves or to others:

  • I’m too tired right now 
  • I don’t feel like
  • Maybe later
  • I might be
  • I don’t have time

We use these phrases to politely tell people and ourselves really, that whatever the topic of conversation is, is not a priority for us. 

In and of itself that isn’t a bad thing, especially if you are setting boundaries for yourself. However, we use these statements so unconsciously that we aren’t even aware that what we are really saying is NO to things. So here is my question for you today:

Are you saying NO to things that you really want to be saying YES to and are you prioritizing the wrong things to achieve your goals? Well, try this then……

Changing our language, with a simple switch from any one of the phrases I listed above with “it’s not a priority for me” will radically change things in your life. You will begin to consciously hear what you are prioritizing and what you aren’t. 

Here’s an example: if you have a goal to work out at the gym regularly but when your friend asks if you are going to the gym today and you would normally say “I don’t have time today.” If you switch the wording and say, “it’s not a priority today.” Whoa! Stop everything! Really? You are trying to make a commitment to work out at the gym and today it’s not a priority? Really? 

Can you see how it might make you do things differently? Become conscious of your language and really listen to what your words are saying. Not just on the surface but the meaning behind them. 

Of course, some days you are too tired, or you don’t fee like doing something but those days are easy to be honest with yourself about what’s going on and you shouldn’t feel guilty if something isn’t a priority for you. 

August is our last month of full summer and then we begin the slow transition into the fall and winter. From the first weekend in September when we celebrate Labor Day to the last week of December when we welcome in the New Year we are on a roller coaster of holidays and celebrations. Outside of summer it is often the busiest time of year for people to host parties and get-togethers. It’s a time to celebrate and create great memories that will last a lifetime. So, what happens if you do not feel comfortable hosting a party but you want to? Well, we have a few tips for you on how to be the “Hostess with the Mostess”. There are a few simple things to think about when planning a party that will make things go smoother and easier for you.
Step One: Give yourself plenty of time to organize the event. We often underestimate the amount of work it takes to throw a “simple” party together. Not giving yourself enough time puts stress on you right from the start that is not needed. Give yourself more time that you think you need. Seriously!

Step Two: We like to think we are Superman/woman but the truth is we can only do so much and a big mistake in party planning that people make is not asking for help. We often have a bigger support network than we think we do and people really don’t mind being asked to assist. Especially when they get to participate in the fun afterwards.

Step Three: Food can make or break a party. You can do everything else right but if the food is bad or mediocre it’s all your guests will talk about so keep your food choices simple. Parties are not the time to try out new recipes. Stick with favorites that are tried and true and easy to make. Better yet, find recipes that you can make ahead so you have less to do the day of the event.

Step Four: Set the tone for your party before your guests arrive. Turn on music that creates the environment that you want. Light those scented candles that invoke smells you want to linger in your guest’s mind. Post a little sign by the door if you want guests to take off their shoes. Open the patio door if you want guests to head out to your backyard. All these little things will set the tone and you will relax knowing that the feel for your party is set and ready to roll.

Step Five: Once the party starts – relax and enjoy your own party. People do not expect you to be perfect and in fact, relax more if they feel like you are just like everyone else. Watch the flow of the party and the guests. Keep conversation going, make sure people’s glasses are full and that they have eaten enough but don’t forget that the whole point of having people over is to enjoy their company. To have good conversations and make memories. You don’t want to be so busy “hosting” that you don’t even enjoy your own get-together.

Step Six: Say Thank You! It only takes a minute in our day of technology to drop a quick thank you for attending. Choose your most convenient way of contacting people but be sure to say thank you. Especially to the friends that helped you out or stayed late to help you clean up. Everyone likes a little recognition.

With a little bit of pre-planning and learning how to keep it simple you can have a great party. You may even decide that you are quite good at hosting parties. Before you know it, you might be “THE” hostess of all your friends.
 

The Man in the Mirror

Are you taking care of the man or woman in the mirror? Are you making sure that you are taking proper care of yourself? In my world it is super easy to get busy and not pay attention to my own self care so I know it has to be easy for others too.

This week on my Facebook page I’ve been doing live videos about self care so I thought I would put it all here for you. There are 6 aspects to good self care. 

  1. Self care- Physical: obviously this is about taking care of your body. Paying attention to your basic needs. Eating often enough, drinking plenty of water and getting some decent sleep. It’s about making sure you have time to exercise in the course of your day. Your physical self care also includes embracing your sexuality. Um, yes, I did say that. We all have physical desires and if we try and ignore them it isn’t good for us mentally, emotionally or physically. Last but not least, do things that make your body feel good. Go get a massage, a facial, put on lotion, wear soft clothes. 
  2. Self care – emotional: this is about taking care of your emotions in a healthy way. You start by learning how to recognize your emotions and name them when they are happening. It’s about learning how to feel your emotions in your body. Develop your coping skills so you can handle an influx of emotions better. 
  3. Self care – personal: get to know yourself. Really. Spend time discovering yourself. Try new things. Make time to be alone. It’s important to be comfortable with being alone. Make time for your hobbies and don’t feel guilty about giving yourself permission to enjoy that time with your hobbies. Set goals for yourself and work towards them. 
  4. Self care – social: it’s important to get enough social interaction. Spend time developing good social networks but create good boundaries. Work on yiur friendships. Having a healthy social life is good self care. 
  5. Self care- spiritual: spend time figuring out your beliefs. Spend time reading spiritual books. Spend time praying and meditating. Seek community to support your spiritual growth and find ways to challenge your spiritual beliefs. If you don’t push the boundaries you can’t grow.
  6. Self care – practical: take care of the practical things like monitoring your finances, setting a budget, balancing your checkbook, and learning about your investments. Do your chores. Don’t put them off. 

All these things add up to good self care. When you are taking care of these things you will feel better, feel more settled and at peace. 

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