The Countdown Begins

Well guys, it’s that time of the year again!  With the start of New Years Resolution season vastly approaching, I thought it would be fitting to highlight some resolution inclusions that are definitely worth considering for the new year, new me crowd.

Getting healthy and staying healthy is not just about what you eat and how much exercise you put in.  Healthier living consists of unadulterated unabridged internal and external TLC. It’s a clear-cut e=mc² formula: your mental needs to connect to your spiritual needs to connect to your physical.

Opting for a healthier lifestyle is not an easy choice.  It, certainly, is easier said than done to wake up and say goodbye to the many staples that have been there for you through thick and thicker and comforted you through sick and sicker for years.  Rest assured, I am in no position to preach condemnation to the choir about that of which I am guilty but I will offer some good tips that have been shared with me.  In my honest opinion, I think that if chocolate had been around when Eve walked in that garden…..Apple what?  There probably wouldn’t even be an apple iPhone today!!

But seriously, choosing to dump those unhealthy habits is an awesome idea! Just be sure to grab the bull by the horns with some essential operations.

  • Annual health maintenance. Your doctor has spent years learning the human body and its functions so let him/her giver yours a once over. No one is immune to the laws of nature.  We all age differently but don’t let that fool you.  Just because the porcelain may still look A-1 doesn’t mean the pipes are without rust.   There are numerous common yet preventable illnesses that can be contained and even reversed by maintaining a close working relationship with your healthcare provider.  Keeping tabs on your cancer screenings, and monitoring such things as your blood sugar, cholesterol and thyroid levels are an essential part to longterm health.
  • Curbing your unhealthy habits and boost healthy alternatives.  Everyone is familiar with the eat more fruits and vegetables and drink more water spiel so I won’t harp too much on it but, seriously, it needs to be done.  If you don’t incorporate better eating habits into your notion of being healthy, your attempts will be futile.  Unless you have the metabolism of the Acme road runner, your pantry needs to be nutritionally ready for this voyage.
  • Park and walk.  Most drivers, myself included, park directly in front of their destination whether at home, work or a shopping center (if you’re lucky).  Take advantage of parking a few houses or maybe even a block away from your home. find a spot at the opposite end of the mall and opt for the stairs instead of the elevator.  Making these simple changes adds a few more steps to your day and contributes to more calories burned, with the proper diet.
  • Get moving but MAKE IT FUN. This may be one of the most important things you can do to keep yourself motivated.  Switch up your routine.  Everything doesn’t have to be so cut and dry. Trade the gym for a scenic walk or run on a trail.  Participate in walkathons or run a marathon. Try ice or roller skating. Go dancing. Whatever you decide to do just get moving.
  • Decrease stress.  Choose your battles wisely.  Not every stress party requires your attendance. Weigh your options and ask yourself: Can anything be done to change this outcome?  Is it worth the emotional strain?  If I worry enough to get my blood pressure to critical levels will this problem, that I have no control over, have mercy on me?  Chances are the answer is no.  Learn to let it go.  In unavoidable situations, finds ways to redirect that negative energy. Go to the gym, walk it off or just meditate yourself back into a healthy state of mind.
  • Have a good team.  Form relationships with like-minded individuals.  Build a social network that will walk with you on this journey and encourage you when you’re at your worst.

Lastly, take it slow.  Don’t overwhelm yourself with the process of achievement.  Set goals and focus on one or two at a time. Start off small and gradually incorporate more as you go along. You don’t want to run the risk of being burned out by January 2nd!

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Fool’s Gold

Have you ever been caught up in chasing fool’s gold?  Jill Scott, poetically, described chasing a dream that didn’t exist in her soulful song with the same title.

While driving around running errands one day, this song came on the radio.  Now I have heard it hundreds of times but on that day I really listened to the words. I turned the volume down so the lyrics could resonate better with my thoughts. If I could have removed all of the instrumentals, it would have been done. Those words truly carried on their own.  Ms. Jilly from Philly summed up in three minutes what certainly took me years of hurt and mistakes to rationalize.

“I was living a dream believing things that just ain’t true…”

~Jill Scott

If only the human mind and heart were susceptible to learning from the mistakes of others. Hell, if only we learned from our own mistakes!  How often do we repeat situations because we are looking for the outcome that we want?  What is that old saying?  Oh yeah, if you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always got.

Fool’s gold talks about giving up your most prized possessions – be it your time, your patience, your love, your money – to other people, situations or circumstances that just don’t deserve it.  Of course, there’s the love/lust driven fool’s gold but what about work?  What about friendships?  How many times have you found yourself in the same situation with the same friends vowing never again only to repeat it All.  Over.  AGAIN?  How many of you are now , or have been, at a place of employment mentally using up all your sick days and trying to figure out how to go on long-term disability for the paper cut you got at the printer after being passed up for that promotion… for the second time?  Women stay in relationships that are blatantly unhealthy with a man who may be right somebody but is just not right for her.

Did it ever occur to you that maybe, although they are cool, those “friends”aren’t meant to compliment your style.  Maybe that job wasn’t meant to support your growth.  Maybe that man is not equipped to embrace the strength of you.  Stop chasing the fool’s gold of familiarity.  Stop being comfortable.  You can’t buy happiness with fool’s gold.  Your dreams are in the unknown.

Oh, and ladies, men chase fool’s gold too.  You know that I know that YOU KNOW that we’re not always sugar and spice and everything nice.  Men have feelings too.

In a nutshell

First, the meat and potatoes…

A conversation with my husband led me to this moment in time. For awhile-years actually- I had been feeling out of touch with myself. I was actually at a point where I was my own personal stranger.  The face in the mirror was familiar but I constantly questioned the operator behind the eyes.  It seemed as if there was no way to get into the Emerald City of my mind (I am an avid Wizard of Oz/The Wiz watcher, by the way) to have a good old fashioned meet and greet with that wonderful wizard.

On top of that, I was always enveloped in some form of anger. Usually it was a stagnant type of anger, just there keeping me company. A shadow whispering in my ear about any and everything of the dont-make-sense variety. Whispering just enough to keep me quietly agitated 24 hours/7 days a week.  There were, however, occasions when my anger was eruptive. I’m talking volcano ash and lava.

A simple question…Grrrr… Deciding what’s for dinner…Grrrr… Talkative cashier…Grrrr…Talkative anyone for that matter….Grrrr, Grrrr and more GRRRRR!!!! It wasn’t pretty and it also wasn’t necessary.

With all the emotional whirlwind going on, my husband suggested that I place more emphasis on things I liked to do outside of being employed full-time, and being a mother and a wife. I believe his exact words may have been, “Get a hobby or prepare yourself for a lifelong supply of 500mg of Chillaxaquil 3 times a day”!  After giving it much thought, I realized that I didn’t have anything to put emphasis on. Absolutely no favorites!  There was not one solid thing that I could come up with that I genuinely liked to do.  WTH? This was insane because I could remember a time when my mind flowed with creativity! From writing poetry and wanting to write a book, to arts and crafts and thoughts of creating my own bath, body and massage product line. Once upon a time, this girl had big dreams! Now I was stranded on a deserted strip of road in the middle of nowhere with 3 flat tires.  Suddenly, 500mg of Chillaxaquil didn’t sound so bad.

So, with all the sugar plums that danced through my head, why was it now so hard to find that one thing?  The niche so to speak?  What happened to my drive?  Where did my ambition go?  I could sit here for days on end and place blame on other people for the situations I have faced and the unfortunate series of events I have attended that may have darkened my dreams.  I could but I won’t.  The fact is my experiences, or lack thereof, are just as much my fault and, in some cases, much more than anyone elses. I am the originator of my successes. I am the only one who can label a failure as a lesson learned or allow a lesson to label me as a failure.

The more I reviewed my past the more I realized that, through the years, I managed to lock myself in a mental box that limited me from experiencing new things.  I, essentially, stunted my growth. It is cringe worthy to admit but necessary to be said that I stunted my growth because I didn’t want to overwhelm someone else with my potential greatness. I allowed someone’s intimidation of me evolving from a caterpillar to a butterfly to trap me inside a cocoon that became poisoned from my own carbon dioxide.  I have come to realize that when you are surrounded by toxicity, every aspect of your being is chipped away.  I spent years trying to get someone to see the good in me instead of me trying to nurture the great in me and, as a result, I have lived with the dissatisfaction of me and it is time to move on.

First blog complete!!! Yaaay!!!!