Category Archives: Emotional Rescue

Vegan Death Threats & Conflicting Thoughts

As a vegan, I have a few conflicting thoughts on a few things. I know veganism gets VERY political. Someone wished me, my pets, my entire family to die of cancer and my business to fail over a discussion about cashew cheese the individual (and later all her Facebook Friends)  misunderstood as dairy. I will be 58 in November. I had never before encountered that much hate and by a fellow vegan and I was just starting this journey. To my knowledge, nobody on earth before had wished me and my entire clan dead by slow acting cancer. This was in late 2016 and I still carry all that hatred. I feel sorry for any vegetarian that crosses her path.  I wonder about some person who decides to help animals and the planet and their own health by cutting out meat. And then they get an earful of hate from this ‘lady’.  Boom, they are back to eating meat and whatever else, screw it!  I want nothing to do with the crazy people, right?  This is exactly how I was feeling at any rate.  The person spewed so many insults I had to block FB and shut down. And then I just wanted to spite eat meat and cheese.  This movement is never about one individual, but about the end goals.  When we get so angry at a person we don’t even know because they had a bite of something, and we make the adult decision to act out that rage, then we become accountable for that ripple effect.

We must come to this table with logic not just ‘I love animals.’  I have clients who still eat meat, greatly reduced, but still, it is a part of their life. I must acknowledge it may always be so as I suggest healthier and kinder ways.  In short, if my job is to help spread the reasons to go vegan (health, planet and animal kindness) then I must place myself in some trenches to do this work. My husband is an omnivore by choice and he loves his local honey. On this plane of existence, none of us are perfect and there will be a compromise at some juncture in everyone’s life. Thankfully I had great training at Hippocrates and this greatly helped when encountering the death threats, the unrelenting hate and refusal to acknowledge logic. I endeavor to read labels, do and know my research, think before speaking and act in compassion. This would be compassion for human animals as well as the rest of them we share the planet with. We are overrun as a species, so I made the choice not to bear children. This also saves the planet.  Hippocrates Health Institute trained on the avoidance of all sugar. Eggs contain a protein our bodies do not process well. We were also instructed to avoid any processed foods, bread, alcohol, caffeine and do good food combining and aim for 80%+ raw food.

While many of us espouse an all or nothing approach, and that is absolutely fine, it is compassionate to realize not all of us will be 100% all in.  I want also to reach these people.  If I can get a daily meat eater to go all organic, to know the farm where the meat comes from, reduce his dependence upon fast food and consider some vegan or vegetarian meals with no meat at all, that is progress.  When a client has a kindness meal, then more, then an entire day of kindness, then several, I consider this a win.  This individual has grown in awareness, has developed a foothold on the logic that his current way of eating is not planet sustainable, isn’t healthy long-term and is cruel to the fellow souls he is ingesting and is incorporating change.  I have not totally turned him off and alienated him with judgment.  I share facts and options, with the compassion I was never offered when discussing cashew cheeses.

Veganism is a passionate endeavor but we all must realize that the individuals who come to this lifestyle do so for various reasons.  Some are focused just on animals while others want to save the planet and still others are riddled with Chronic disease and want to reverse those ills, lower their blood pressure and risk of diabetes or more stints in their arteries and live resiliently.  For me it’s about all 3. What the evil vegan wishing me and mine dead didn’t know is that I had already lost my entire family to cancer and yes, the slow way.  Breast for my mother, bone for one brother, Prostate for another, colon for a cousin and breast for an aunt and kidney for my father.  Two of these people died within 12 months of each other right on the heels of me losing my job of 26 years.  It was after losing my employment that I took a year of studies with Hippocrates.

When working with a client, I follow the Hippocrates guidelines and then tweak that towards what my client is willing to do.  I am there to help and education and coach.  I make a lousy judge, I am imperfect myself.

Recently a company I rep for discussed a body butter that had beeswax in it. I was adoring this product and now realize it isn’t vegan. This term can mean many things but essentially espouses to act daily with the purpose and intention of causing no harm to animals, from what we eat, drink, sleep on, wear, use or ride. But veganism also delves into what can be considered exploitation. This issue can get very tricky.  

Exploitation is wrong and all of us encounter it by our fellow humans, such as at work. Big corporations, such as those who sell honey to Costco, kill the bees in the process of stealing the honey.   Below is a great article on honey bees.  I have always espoused supporting local beekeepers because they truly care about the bees and as bees are in decline, somebody should be supporting these folks. Our neighbors are the Zip Code Honey people and run the Texas Honeybee Guild. They take very good care of their bees and while I don’t eat honey, my husband does and buys from them. BlendItUp Bee Free Honey makes a great substitute.   

Exploitation can be so many things.  One is eggs.  I am actually happy to see more families raising hens in their backyard and I once had a harem of hens myself.  I took great care of them and learned so much having them.  I was told growing up that chickens were stupid.  Nope, not at all true.  So if you have hens, are feeding them organic feed, augmenting with calcium and allowing them to live out their days in enjoyment and love even when they stop producing eggs for you, I am not sure that I have a right to complain about that.  One of my vegan friends will on very rare occasions, once a year perhaps,  enjoy such an egg.  I would far better prefer to see this than my neighbors buying eggs from hens that suffered at the hands of factory farming methods.  I know from raising my own, the hens were happy and were not, as someone insisted they were, ‘forced’ to produce eggs.  As a vegan, I no longer raise them but have compassion for those that make this choice.

What about horseback riding?  Or vegetarianism? There’s so much backlash with the vegan society towards vegetarians when in reality, they are making a huge dent in the cruelty and planet sustainability.  True, there is a big difference between being vegan and being vegetarian but can we not be a bit more kind? People change given the right support and motivation.  I have known several vegetarians go vegan.  And meat eaters go vegan on a weekly basis across the planet.  Is the horse being exploited if he is well cared for and loves being ridden?  My horse loving friend, Laura, told me the story of how her horse Dovey spawned Little Dove, who actually never went through any coaching or training to be ridden.  No, she just lined up at the post and waited for her bit and saddle and off she trotted with her tribe, not one buck.  Wherever human animals and the rest of them cross paths, animals are and should be a partnership with us; an acknowledgment of respect and kindness.  We learn from them and they from us.

I use the term human animals because I believe so much of the time we humans forget we are just mammals.  Sure, biblically we were called to watch over them and wow we are doing an abysmal job for the most part now,  but this really doesn’t make us ‘better’.  What it makes us is an animal having an assigned task directed by our maker that we are epically failing at, in spite of every advantage to do the job with aplomb.  Am I exploiting my dog expecting him to guard my home?  It’s his job and it goes with his natural instincts but would this be an exploitation?  I also adore him, keep him company and we go for walks and play together.  He is living a great life and eating homemade meals with every need catered to. What is exploitation?

Expand the mind – If our ways were that of the 50’s or 60’s, from the way we cared for our livestock and also the amounts ingested on an annual basis, I don’t believe our vegan movement would be so passionate or so large looming.  There would be far less of us.  This cause exists and is growing because our lives, as a species, are out of balance with nature.  We have allowed cruelty, conceit, greed, and arrogance to rule us rather than compassion and wisdom. Wisdom sits at the seat of compassion. Nothing else matters without it. So when I hear someone say they cannot condone horseback riding that a fellow vegan does with their horse because that is exploitation or goes on the attack with local beekeepers, my heart aches.  We have far larger tofu fish to fry, with the big corporations that are the cause of at least 95% of the pain rather than fight amongst ourselves or nitpick everything in a less than educational loving way.  In a world where nothing will ever be 100% vegan, let’s focus on bringing awareness with kindness and celebrating the wins.   I used to joke that where it says in the bible the meek shall inherit the earth, that we would end up overrun by cockroaches.  Could it possibly be that the meek discussed would be us human animals becoming more like gentle lambs, not eating each other literally, emotionally or spiritually?

Https://grist.org/food/when-i-eat-honey-do-i-hurt-bees/

Plan B How To Achieve When Life Throws Curveballs

A thing we each commonly share is that sooner or later, life will throw you a curveball you were not expecting.  Whether it’s the yacht or Jaguar needing maintenance,  the inner tube requiring a patch and Pacer engine exploding, or job or relationship loss, stuff will happen that we are in some way not fully and on all levels prepared for.

A friend was sharing his disbelief in how so many of us have day jobs, working for the man rather than for oneself, building up our own business.  I added my 2 cents which were promptly deleted on his post.  But I understand exactly why the majority of us work for the man.  I also totally get why many of us dream of being more in control by owning our own gig and I would love someone to join me and help me share the cool products I represent (see below).

For 26 years I worked at Sprint and made decent money the last decade of it.  Then I was laid off and went to work for ATT as a contractor and making similar money in contracting that paid $45.00 an hour starting out.  This was fantastic, I was working from home which is something I had been doing and wanted to continue doing, I was no longer salary and that meant far better control over my hours and scope of responsibility.  Earning $1800.00 a week and NOT working a minute over 8 hours each day was golden for me.  I actually did put in a few extra hours but that was my choice and I was free to make that up during the week by cutting out early when able to do so. I was not so overloaded as I was 95% of the time at Sprint, so I really had what everybody talks about when they spout on about a work and life balance.  I had that FINALLY!  I was learning something new and just loved my job. I loved my work at Sprint too, just not the long hours I typically put in and at no additional pay.   After months of being new and acclimating, I finally fit into the pecking order.  The team was cohesive except for one guy who was a rat and a troublemaker.  This little dude was on me from day one so I suppose he is pleased as Hawaiian punch right now as they kept him on the project and I was one of the laid-off people.

While working, I continued writing this blog, writing product reviews and answering plant-based lifestyle questions, sharing knowledge from my Hippocrates Health Institute training and selling organic skin, body and home care products as an independent representative of 3 great companies.

I love helping people and sharing why they should go organic, doing facials or helping them with a green detox or supplement but 3 years in, I pay a lot more to keep this blog going and my Independent Rep status,  than what I get paid.  Frankly, I am at a loss as to how I can earn $1800 a week take home pay doing my own gig.  So, yes,  Randy my friend,  I do understand your frustration as well as why folks have their day job, putting so much into that work that sometimes it squeezes out everything else.  Because life happens.  And as a business owner, an entrepreneur, I completely get how freaking hard this is to pull off.  In part, this is because I don’t just follow the money.  No, I fully research and vet what I am suggesting folks buy.  I read the ingredients and assure that there are no toxic substances in the label.  I will only talk about and recommend what I have already vetted as safe.  I price check to see what product between the 3 lines may be cheaper or better for you.  Then I talk about it.  I am not pushy and therefore I have few paying customers and give a lot of free advice out.  This would be why I really miss my day job but also brings us back to why having a plan b and preferably a plan c as well, is critical in life.

You can be filled with all the knowledge and enthusiasm in the world and still be sitting staring at a dwindling bank account.  You may take exquisite care of your vehicle but take it someplace and they put in a part you never needed and you cannot prove that they just took $1600.00 of your money that was utterly unnecessary.    You can never go back to a place that screwed you and you can get another job if you get laid off but it is the in-between, the plan b, that will keep you afloat and calmer when the feces hits the fan.

Back up plans are not always ideal, which is why they are back up and not primary plans.  First, you must exercise a level of control and realize that less can be more.  You compete with yourself and your highest good, not the Jones’s next door.   My neighbor sort of hoards stuff.  He gets most of it for free or really cheap.  But his garage is packed to the gills with stuff he doesn’t use or need.  Learn to let it go.  I just sold my car.  I had 2 and one paid off.  I kept the one paid off.  We have more space now and no car payment.  So whatever your current financial situation, a backup plan is respect and love for yourself. It is also respect and love for your family.

Steps to Creating a Backup Plan:
HELOCs – If you own a home where you have any equity at all, consider getting a HELOC, which is a Home Equity Line Of Credit that you never need to use but just have available in case of emergency.   Unlike a mortgage, in most states, there are no fees for this type of loan other than the interest carried on any balance.

At various times, I have used my HELOC to pay off a primary mortgage, a vehicle, to remodel that home as well as to remodel another home.

When using a HELOC or any other kind of loan system, this is not going to be ideal.  Of course, you can write off the interest on a HELOC at tax time but it is still money lost.  Use with discretion, and don’t be the one making the minimum interest-only payments or you will never get ahead or get the loan paid off.  I make double payments, at least, every month.  My goal is to get the loan totally paid off but also in doubling up on my payments each month, this creates more bandwidth in case I ever must tap into the loan again.

CREDIT – Don’t carry credit card debt.  Pay the balance in full each and every month which will save you money as well as help motivate you to dial it down if you are spending above your means.  If you currently have credit card debt, pay the higher interest rate first and get that knocked out.  Then go to the next highest rate card and so on.  You also want to pay your smallest balance first, depending upon how long that will take you and what the interest rate is that they are charging you in order to create cash flow.  Cash flow is king.  It helps create plan Bs.

Look for 0% interest when you get into a bind and need to extend something out.  We recently had a remodel that ended up being more and then more yet.  I swung some of the fixtures onto a zero for 6 months loan rather than having to pay in full when the bill came in.  At the time, I did not know I was getting laid off so I am very glad now that I planned ahead, just in case.

Savings – When working I loved to move my direct deposit into various accounts so some would be for immediate spending while others were dovetailed for savings.  Having this done automatically helps because even the best of intentions can get derailed otherwise.  Pretend it isn’t there and shortly you will have a nice little nest egg.

Respect For What You Have – Keep your things in good condition so if you tire of them or need to sell things off, they are ready for the next buyer.  From my homes to my cars, everything is in tip-top shape and maintained that way.  This means far less drama when it is time to sell something off.  Recently I sold the Jaguar.  To get it ready for sale simply meant a hose and soap.  It has recently been waxed and the interior leather treated so easy peasy.  My 24-year-old car would need a wax.  That’s it.  Both homes are market ready with the landscape on a regular maintenance schedule.  We rent out the one place but if we were ever in need of selling, it’s ready to go in a nice paying it forward way too (don’t ever forget about Karma).

Keep Your Resume Updated – Don’t ever assume you are safe.  Getting laid off came suddenly and shockingly.  We all tend to stack rank ourselves and I knew I was doing well and was not the troublemaker on the team so it came as a surprise when it happened to me.  Networking and keeping up with connections and a fresh resume takes the edge off.

Learn  New Skills – Look at emerging fields and at other ways you can apply the talents you currently have in a new way.  I’m a project manager, great at the minutia of where all the widgets currently are and where they need to be while making it look easy in front of a customer. These are valuable skills I can apply to anything from a construction or remodel project to implementing an API.  But I also adore animals and recently went through some heavy stuff with our resident Doberman and am currently studying CMT, Canine Massage Therapy to be an animal bodyworker. Like acupuncture, it is an emerging field for our fur kids and I will be one of the few in Dallas doing this a few weeks from now when I am certified.

Consider Blogging – You can become an Amazon Affiliate Marketer or write about your particular passion and gain a following.  For interested parties, check out my Getting Started page.  Just know that blogging takes time and patience to grow a business.  There are so many great niche markets out there to explore.

The Products I directly sell:

Essante –   Organic and Plant-Based Line Coconut water-based

Miessence –  Organic and Plant-Based Line that is Aloe Vera Based

Where I took my life changing training – https://op.hippocratesinst.org/moreinfo/static/34   For the free syllabus Online Life Transformation!

 

 

Are You A Granola Push Over?

Just because you are vegan, love animals, want to save the planet or are in tune spiritually, does not give rights to others to push you around and it sure doesn’t necessarily mean you are a pushover.

I am unclear why folks really believe that being a pansy is part and parcel to living with ethics and for something greater than one’s self. And sometimes I end up just not winning, but not very often. I try hard to be fair-minded but take care of business and take care of my family while being fair.   But somehow, fair means totally giving in to other people and that is just nuts.

I had a tenant a few months back that invited someone over to the property who deliberately caused over $2600.00 in vandalism damage to my property.  There were beers involved, a fight ensued and rocks were thrown.  The home is registered historic and I keep up with it beautifully and mostly on my own dime.   I submitted to my tenant the two quotes my contractor provided.  When I got half of it covered, I was frankly overjoyed, thinking this is greatness, I will just end up eating only the other half of this damage.  With the rental in particular, I get so used to absorbing the loss, I just roll with it.  Well, when the ner-do-well that caused the damage paid a portion and the tenants’ insurance paid the other, I was ecstatic!  I thought this is terrific, now I can pay these people a deposit that would otherwise be completely eaten away on the rock tossing business.  But the tenants damaged the kitchen floor, and apparently had not ever cleaned in an entire year.  The grease on the rock countertop was a thick yellow that had to be chiselled away with a paint scraper and cans of degreaser.  My lawyer recommended keeping the entire deposit.  But I wanted to be fair.  And although these guys ended up getting most of their deposit back, they pitched a holy Hanna fit and claimed I got too much money for the vandalism, claimed there was only one receipt not two, that I somehow made stuff up.  I was threatened, belittled, berated, harassed, it was nuts.

Recently I had, or at least attempted to have, a bathroom remodel, with everything out of the bathroom and the entire room taken down to the studs.  I have been through remodel rodeo numerous times by now and understand the scope of what can go wrong and take as many preventive measures as possible.  In 3 hours, my bathroom was gutted.  3 weeks later it still sat gutted.  And what I had paid the contractor for, materials, work each week, was not happening with any reasonable speed.  Having been paid twice, I was concerned because we were 3/4ths paid on a job that had perhaps a weeks worth of work done so far.  Then the dude asked for another payment for the floor guy stating he didn’t have the money.  I had already paid him for the floor guy…red flag….when I nicely reminded him the final payment will be paid once all work has completed because we had already paid well over half the money due but were only seeing a weeks worth of work in the last month, his next words were ‘I don’t trust this situation!’ This was followed by a demand for money, attacking me because I ‘want it my way’ that he will NOT be managed and finally that we should be nice to each other until this project is done!’ I provided him an invoice on how much he owed me back and fired him.  Aint nobody got time for that drama!

Don’t let people corner you or push you around just because you are nice.  There is a big difference in being nice and being a fool.  You do want to pick your battles and learn to let go on the nit noidy stuff, but when you are being done wrong, it is ok to speak up!

I am a huge believer in endings being just as important as beginnings.  I see so many folks fawn all over the new puppy, the new job, the new car or house or relationship and then when things get into a routine, things get older, the attention span wanders.  People, it’s called maintenance.  And in the case of sentient beings, they need you.  Just because your dog is 12 doesn’t negate your responsibilities or his love and dependence upon you.  Cars are not throw away items to be trashed and abused then sold cheaply to become somebody else’s drama.  When you take good care of your things, you will find they last almost forever.  And so will your friendships too.  Think hard and long about what you want in your life and then treasure what you have.  When you move out of a place,  pay it forward by leaving it nice or even nicer for the next person.  Why not be kind?

At Sprint many moons ago, I took this training called ‘Manage By Fact’.  It was beautiful training because no matter how you feel about things emotionally, there are always the facts which we ultimately must manage by.  This is now labelled ‘Emotional Intelligence’ and is really a lot more practical than whatever your IQ is as it assists you in dealing with people, calming the emotions down where you can do things logically.

Emotional Intelligence is critical in any business dealings and I can spot the children a mile off.  Emotional Intelligence by Travis Bradberry
or this one by Daniel Goleman titled Emotional Intelligence, are two great books to help you manage your emotions effectively.

There will always be people who are not as evolved spiritually ready to push blame and problems on you.  By being mindful of what the facts are and protecting yourself accordingly, you can graciously but firmly push back and own your own power.

Health & Getting Religion

My last studies were taken at Hippocrates Health Institute.  (Link to their free syllabus below).  It was a very educational year and turned my life around really.

So I had an opportunity to share with others what I have learned by way of getting Brian Clement, from Hippocrates, to speak here in Dallas.  I was offered the opportunity to put an engagement together and I can only hope that I get that chance again in the future.  The time I had to make that happen was short.  I would have to move swiftly!  As this blog doesn’t pay a salary just yet, I have gone back to full-time work, had family coming to town, busy life etc, I had exactly one place I thought would be perfect; the Seventh Day Adventist Church I pass on my way to work each day.  Feeling like kismet, holding fond memories of being SDA, I reached out.  I reached out again and again before getting an answer. Slam Dunk Nope Nada!  And I had thought, as they are old testament in their food and beverage choices, promoting a vegetarian if not vegan diet, that this would dovetail very nicely with whatever Brian had to say as guest speaker.  These were spiritual minded people who are already being educated on the best way to eat and now they can learn even more, perhaps even invite friends who may not be as religious but learn something healthful.

This blog is secular and Hippocrates is not a religion but a place to heal and learn healthy eating and to educate you as to how your dietary and lifestyle choices affect the earth and all who populate it.   While spiritual matters were lightly discussed in the sense that we should have and hold to our spiritual beliefs, they significantly help us achieve a happy and abundant life, religion perse was not discussed.

It is with an open mind that we come to the table and learn, grow and maybe change our direction.  I had this conversation with a colleague at work because this really upset me.  I felt entirely responsible for losing this opportunity.  What had I said that was so bad?  If these folks are so serious, where on earth do they shop?  Is not the grocery store secular?  Where on earth do these fine SDA parishioners shop at for their plant-based diets, or wherever they may buy their tires, their clothing, their homes or dine out?  What TV do they watch, what speakers?  How on earth is all of this controlled? Is Amazon Christian?  What about each shop on Amazon?  Is Kroger god-fearing and if so, what religion?  What about each and every employee?  What would the world be like if only someone who appeared to think, believe, feel and act exactly like you, got the free pass, got to speak on a topic they were expert in, got your patronage, got hired at work? How then would you spread your message of light?  I want to place special emphasis here on the word ‘appeared’ because what appears is not always so.

I had hoped to pass out information and samples of organic skincare.  I had hoped to hear Brian speak.   I am not a speaker, no I hide behind a keyboard.  But I did want to be there to take it all in and learn more and help others learn about some fantastic organic products.
I was really excited to have this opportunity given to me.  To say this was a complete kick in the teeth being shunned as I was,  is just understating the devastation I felt.

In the transaction, I lost all interest in trying this church.  I took this as a message to stop seeking out church as it solidified why I don’t go anymore.  I have left due to hypocrisy before and just flat misunderstandings of the word, of me, or what God wants.

I am not saying here for you to leave your church.  If you seek and find comfort there, edification, sanctification, then by all means go.  What I do know is this:  The laws of God are written in our hearts.  We already know right from wrong.  Daily we make the choices that lead us forward or backwards.   Judgement trumps compassion and we are called to compassion, to learn to love more fully and to accept.  We are not here to judge, we do not excel at it, that is God’s providence.

We must all be mindful of becoming narrow-minded, egoist,  short-sighted because when we are, be become a detrimental stumbling block to others.

No matter who is invited to speak, that individual is human.  They  may or may not believe exactly as you do.  The person in the pew next to you probably doesn’t believe exactly as you do.   There are imposters everywhere, well-meaning or ill-meaning folks at various levels,  backsliders and folks who just go because their spouse does or it’s good for the kids, or to meet people.  In every church I have attended, there are folks that completely stick on something and go out into left field with that. This is human nature and you don’t escape that in church.  You cannot, on this earthly plane, create Utopia, it ain’t here!  No, your parishioners are confronted with real life all day and all life long.

The last time I left a church was Mount Zion. I was new here and didn’t know of an SDA church so I settled based on a recommendation.  It was a lovely delightful church, non-denominational, and the preacher had two young and great kids and he also worked as a vet, a very kind compassionate man.  It was a small congregation and I knew the family very well.  His kids would often sit next to me.  I worked then as a DJ for KZEW (13 years the home of Rock and Roll).  I was Nicki Clark on air.  Great good times and I adore great music.  Being passionate about music, I also very much believe ‘Garbage in, garbage out’ and strictly monitor my music collection.  I did not buy or play anything that espoused a life that conflicted with my morals which were Christian based, simply because this is how I was raised.   I had numerous discussion on the topic, maintaining it was never about the beat but the lyrics that mattered. Lyrics have always mattered to me.  So after being cajoled and having this discussion repeatedly, the preacher preached…in the pulpit…at me….about rock and roll one day and basically that I was in the wrong job.  I wasn’t.  I was exactly where I needed to be.  He could not see this.  He was a diehard Lawrence Welk fan and I can appreciate that, however, there is nothing wrong with rock and roll, or disco, or any of it, provided you are listening to something that uplifts, edifies, is moral.  And so, I left that church.   I find God in nature, in food, in great architecture, in books, music, really he is hard to miss!

Part of your overall health is acknowledging that you are body, mind and spirit.  Yoga does this and is why Yoga is so healthful.  It is one of the few excercise regimens that works on you holistically.   You are encouraged to seek out your spiritual path but I am old enough now to recognize that I no longer possess all the right answers.  I am just a girl writing a secular plant-based lifestyle blog.  I am here to help with any product or plant-based questions you have.  For spiritual matters, seek out God.  🙂

http://puretemple.org/ This is my blog Health, Planet Sustainability and Vegan Diet – where you can find info on anything from foods, recipes,  a toxin-free sofa to dog food.

www.bioceutica.com/puretemple  Great skin and body care that is science-based with no toxins

www.EssanteOrganics.com/Puretemple  Organic and Plant-Based Line Coconut water-based

http://www.miessence.com/puretemple/en/category/1/skincare Organic and Plant-Based Line that is Aloe Vera Based

https://op.hippocratesinst.org/moreinfo/static/34   For the free syllabus Online Life Transformation!

 

Sticks & Stones – Kindness

 

Sticks and stones may break my bones but words may also hurt me.  Most everyone has an abuse story and the problem spans the socio-economic stratosphere.  I grew up upper middle class.  We bought cars and houses and boats without loans. Now with two mortgages and a car payment, I am still in awe of this.  We had good clothes, a fine home, yummy home-cooked meals and loved each other.  This is me, my mother Frances and my brother Carl enjoying brunch at my home.

My mother was sick.  She was bi-polar and never got the help she desperately needed. As my late brother Carl put it, she was full of high demands and my brother John talked about how self-indulgent she was.  She poisoned everybody close to her, losing long-term friends who got too close to the flame.  I was adopted when my two brothers were about 12 years old, after wanting and trying for a girl baby and ending up with two adorable boys.  My two brothers and later me, all rode the roller coaster of her moods and insane put-downs and punishments. When she was upbeat, she was high on a cloud of joy, full of humour and charm and would sweep you up and along to enjoy the view from high above.  When she was up we went shopping for clothes.  Shopping was mothers happy place.  That and eating.  When she was up, things were very good.  When she was down, she was taking you by the arm and dragging you through the hellfire with her.  One thing wrong, or even perceived as wrong, and I went to school with purple, orange and red buttocks and hamstrings and a few times with her handprint across my face.  As horrifically as her hands and fists and belts could be, her words were far worse.  She deliberately kept me off keel, never knowing if I was pretty, smart, funny, nothing was ever solidly communicated because what she felt about me, and any ability I may have had changed on a minute by minute basis.  Straight answers to my questions never came forth.  The only message that I was completely and consistently told, however, was that whatever it was I wanted to do, sing, dance, play the piano, gymnastics, track, cheerleading, there was, to be quite sure, someone a lot better than me at it.  And this message is absorbed into my core being today.
What someone thinks of you can matter as much as they mean to you.  A stranger gruffly telling you to bugger off may hurt you or just blow on by depending upon the mood you happen to be in as well as your particular personality.  Someone you rely upon and deeply admire or love saying something hurtful, however,  can be an icepick through the heart no matter how stout you are emotionally.

The story growing up as a young teen (between 12-18) was that I was a handful.  In reality, all I wanted was peace.  I did no drugs, no sex, no teen pregnancies, straight-A student, physically fit, pretty and my room was always spotless. I respected my elders very much but to my mind, mother was a handful and I was so tired of it.  I couldn’t keep dates.  Guys were flat scared off by my mother.  Relationships typically ended by the 3rd date. You could set a clock. They all said the same thing.  One break up ensued after a classic chase down of the car as we sped away on our date.  My guy stared in shock into his rearview mirror and exclaimed ‘Is that your mother chasing our car?’  Embarrassing.  I knew we’d have dinner and then that would be it for us.  On a humorous note, when I married Michael, he explained to his family that I was not blood-related, having been adopted, so, therefore, did not have the ‘crazy’ gene.  Anyone meeting my mother for the first time, was schooled on this in advance in hopes they just might stick around long enough I could see whether we were a good fit or not.
One particular late afternoon, just ahead of dinner, mother was off the rails when father came home.  Dad was typically kind and balanced, metering out his few punishments with solid judgement.

I was blamed for her upset that day as she spewed venom about my severe disobedience and how she could no longer handle me so she was demanding that my father DO SOMETHING!   I found myself in the kitchen, ostensibly to help set the table as mother had asked and was immediately yanked up by my hair and swung around the room like a lasso all over the kitchen.  I hit walls, I hit the floor, I hung mid-air for minutes at a time as my father glared at me and held me a foot or so off the ground by my ponytail with one arm.  I remember the look on mothers’ face as I finally let go a urine stream in sheer fright.  Only then did she realize what her words caused, but still couldn’t see the benefit to getting some help!  I am surprised that most of my roots held up to all of that. This hair-raising incident happened exactly twice.  Years of mothers tirades had finally broken my dad down.  I could not WAIT to get out of that house! No, there is no excuse for what he did to me but the point is that we all can instigate with our words.   Words create or destroy. And the more we love the ones who harm us, the more soul-wrecking the abuse actually is.  Nobody discussed the elephant in the room after those two incidents with my dad and other than those two episodes, he was a great solid guy and the one I confided in because mother was bats and I needed help coping.  He would tell me how she did this similar behaviour to the boys but never as badly as she treated me.  He had no answer to make it stop.  When I was about 14, things were so rough. Every day I awoke and put on waterproof mascara because I knew at some point that day, mother would make me cry.  She would twist my words, make things up, accuse me of things I never did and mete out punishment accordingly. I could not even escape into a nice teen conversation with a friend, she would scream that I was talking about her.   Once when I was on the phone chatting,  she came to my room demanding I stop talking about her (I wasn’t) and proceeded to mangle my hamburger then my fries, with her hands, making them inedible for me.  I threw my milkshake at her.  Yes, I was the bad child.  But it was worth going hungry to take a small stand.  It was during that year I went to school and finally talked to someone about my home situation.  I asked if I could be placed in a new home just to finish out school because this was all too emotionally toiling for me.  I had contemplated suicide. When we all sat together at the school with my dad, he was devastated.  I really did not mean this as a personal affront to him or her, I just wanted to finish school and gain some peace.  With him so visibly upset, I caved and remained at the house.  Mother railed about divorcing him, she wasn’t happy.  She was never happy.  And shortly thereafter, dad was diagnosed with Cancer.   She stayed and took care of him. Being a homemaker all this time, she ended up getting a job at a hospital when my dad could no longer run his service station.  He died as I turned 18.

What happens in childhood never stays in childhood.  What happens in the office never stays just in the office. This crap follows you throughout your life.  Each of us is here for reasons that only we can fulfil and that only we can fulfil in our particular way.  Each of us is a unique creation.  We must be careful with our words because once uttered, they simply cannot ever be taken back.  Thoughts are energy and words are the form of them.  Have you ever thought about someone and then they called?  Thoughts are serious business.  Words can be so empowering or a waste of breath or just utterly slay someone.  Your karma.

I deal with my abuse daily.  I work through it, building myself up as I have been trained to do.  Forgiveness, and people, we must forgive, is of course possible.  Forgetting that the cruelties ever happened is not likely.  Mitigating the damage from them is ongoing.

I share my story here, and for the very first time, in hopes of helping anyone suffering from abuse.  It is never your fault, no matter how much of a ‘handful’ you may be.  But do seek help to salve your emotional wounds and become whole because the world needs you to fulfil your purposes as only you can and you must be well and happy to do that.  Also, it’s ok to love the toxic person in your life, but whether your toxic person is family or a friend, it is completely up to you, once grown and in control, whether you allow the abusive person to continue to play a role in your life and exactly how much of a role they have.  My mother died at 86 just 3 years ago.  We took many breaks from each other because of her toxicity.  From marking my wine bottles, accusing me of being gay when I have dinner with girlfriends, creating 11th-hour emergencies for me to fix, to ostracize my new would be husband, it was so much turmoil in my life.  And I could not fix her.  I got her books, I tried.  I want to point out here that I am not slamming anybody who may be gay. The point here is that I am not and my mother knew this, she was just making up cruel stories to cause harm and stress.  I am not an abuser of alcohol either, but she again made up stories.  Mother was a pot stirrer.  If she loved you, she wasn’t happy until you were miserable. I really wanted to break free but she was my mother.  As I put it to friends, if she were anybody else, she’d be flat gone out of my life.  How do I exit my own mother?  I loved her and just wanted her happy.  Only once she was close to dying did I realize happy would never ever happen here for her.  At one point she got some counselling which honestly helped…until she declared herself well and cured and stopped working at this.  I tried to explain to her that with such long-standing abuse from her family and what she continued with her children, it was actually going to be a lifelong and ongoing healing process for her that benefited not just her but was also such a huge help to anyone around her.  She didn’t believe me.  I tried explaining how she was ruinous to her own and other peoples lives with this behaviour, how I loved her but could no longer tolerate the bad behaviour.  But it was everybody else’s fault, every pain she felt, not once and not ever was it her fault.   People around me used to call her evil.  Frances was never evil.  She adopted me with full intentions of doing things better.  She taught me to be and was always kind to animals.  I came to the house completely fearful of animals,  even cats. I was fearful of everything and everyone. I had no trust, having been bounced around from home to home before I was even 3.   I believe she deeply loved her children.  She was just so damaged that she could not get out from under it. For 40 years I begged her to get help.   Now she is at peace.  She was very kind to me as she was dying and I am so thankful that I could be there and also that nothing ugly came out that I would take with me to my grave.  She was kind, called me beautiful and told me what a lovely daughter I had been.  I made the choice at 4 years of age not to ever have human children of my own.  I did not want to pass down this legacy of pain.  At one point I felt healed enough to adopt a child as I had been thankfully adopted, but it just wasn’t something my husband wanted to do when I broached the topic.   I do very well, however, with our animal children.  I have mostly handled and supported them in a balanced and loving way.  I have always worked on my temper because my mother never did.  I saw the great harm a bad temper caused.  It is all about control.  One should strive for control over ones’ self, to express in productive, honest ways, both for your own and others sake. We can all run the gamut emotionally but I always ask myself if something is worth going to battle and how far I believe I should take that battle and if I do that, what will it do, how will it help the other person, the situation or myself.  I breathe.  I do daily mediations and yoga and I tend to be a positive person naturally but I work to remain upbeat.  Mostly when people afflict you, it’s about them and not you.

Reach Out In Kindness.  You don’t always know how folks in your circle, in your office have really grown up, how their spouse may be or what exactly they are going through.  I am a huge advocate for being kind.  People who are toxic can be removed from your life or in the case of a working relationship, remain cordial but remove yourself gracefully wherever you are able to do so without it looking obvious. Fight the urge to be cruel back to someone mean to you because they may be afflicted like my mother was and truly need help.  And as personal as some comments seem to be which are made, try to see beyond them, much as you can, to the person and the moment in which they were spoken.
Take Ownership Of Yourself – I like to say that mother was a lesson in what not to do in life.  I have pretty much taken all the negative skills she taught me, like how to ridicule,  play the victim, how to slay someone with two words, how to manipulate someone into giving you what you desire and turned it all upside down.  What you say and how you say it may affect people around you, so be mindful of your tone and words. Apologize when you mess this up.  I try very hard not to take out a bad day on others.  Sometimes that means I hole up alone, but typically it just means calming myself down and being in a place where I can discuss it rationally with a friend or my husband and respect others enough not to be sharp with them when they didn’t cause my bad day.  My mother got into this thing of routinely badgering the check out people at the grocery store or pharmacy.  It was embarrassing.  I would be mouthing ‘I am so sorry’ as Frances would be just completely going off on some poor person just trying to help.  Very rarely was the check out person the actual cause of her frustration.  A grand lesson in what not to do.

Know your personal triggers so that you can try to remain calm and support yourself.  For example, for me, being adopted and abused, being told my entire life I never measured up to the expectations my mother had of me, my trigger is abandonment and not ever measuring up.  After being at Sprint 26 years I felt fairly confident that after that length of time, it wasn’t personal when I got laid off.  But at my new job,  I am always feeling like the other shoe is gonna drop any minute.   I have these self-talks, sort of like Stuart Smalley looking in the mirror saying I am good enough, smart enough and gosh darn it people like me.  I work to diversify my income stream by doing this blog, selling organic and plant-based skin and body care products, and renting a place.   But it’s whatever gets you through the day, that doesn’t cause harm to someone else.  We are all here to help ourselves and others along the path.  Cruelty is never a part of helping.

It’s Totally On You To Heal – This may sting a bit, but whatever hell you have gone through personally, all of the ownership for moving on and letting go of it falls squarely upon your shoulders regardless of what wrong was done you by whom or how long.  Get free of it and sort yourself out.  Don’t be like my mother and let abuse ruin your entire existence on this plane and damage others in the process.  Life is short so get out, get happy and enjoy it.

For your reading pleasure, I have included helpful books, just click on the titles to do your Amazon shopping.

Helpful books: 

The Book Of Joy by Dalai Lama

Boundaries by Adelyn Birch

Out Of The Fog by Dana Morningstar

Will I Ever Be Good Enough by Dr. Karyl McBride

LOVE, GOD, SEX, RESPONSIBILITY and RESPECT

What is love?  Where is God?  The body is a temple. I believe when we clean and green what we put into our bodies, we gain spiritual benefits which change our scope and capacity for love, empathy, being fully present, better able to take responsibility and grow boundless kindness.

Conversely, when we over pollute our bodies, with alcohol, sugars, processed foods, animal fats, we are completely disrespecting ourselves.  How can we come from a place of peace and be empowered to help others when we are not yet willing to put kindness first with ourselves?  When we disempower ourselves from the responsibility we all have to nurture and maintain our own health and happiness, how are we then able to truly give to another being in a balanced holistic way?

While sex is utilized for procreation, it can also bring us closer or, if used incorrectly, alienate us, use us up and make us feel disrespected.  Used to bring a couple together, it strengthens the bond, uplifts both parties and makes both feel wanted, needed, adored.  There are people who are confused about who they love, who they want or that they want to go orgy style and mix it up.  You can call that hedonism but you cannot really call that love.  Love needs nurturing and attention and to be made special.  When you are with different people with no faithfulness held you cannot be loving and nurturing, you are hedonistic, just out for yourself.  But being hedonistic also disempowers you along the way.  In sex, there is a spiritual oneness. And this is where God comes in.  Don’t believe in God?  Have no spiritual affinity whatsoever?  Perhaps you are on the wrong blog, but stay with me a moment.  What about the order in the chaos when you look at how this world works?  I am not talking about what men have done to the planet, but actually how the world works, how the animals, the fish, the seas, the seasons, how everything beautifully ties together.  How could all this become, with such diversity, majesty and beauty out of complete and utter chaos?  I believe that it couldn’t any other way but to have been created by someone who wanted to make all this happen.  Love is many nuances, vibe and responsibility.  Responsibility is feeding the cat because he’s hungry and I do love him but I may not really feel like getting up and opening a tin for him.  I do it for love.  I clean the house, wash the dog, fix dinner, earn a living, all for love.  I stay faithful to my husband because I love him and not for any other reason.

Love is many nuances, vibe and responsibility.  Responsibility is feeding the cat because he’s hungry and I do love him but I may not really feel like getting up and opening a tin for him.  I do it for love.  I clean the house, wash the dog, fix dinner, earn a living, all for love.  I stay faithful to my husband because I love him and not for any other reason.

Straying is the highest of insults anyone could ever do to another. The second highest is lying about it.  Some people say they are in an open relationship etc, but the fact is when someone won’t be faithful to you, it really means they don’t care enough about you, they are merely using you for their own gain.  Plain, simple.  They don’t have enough of a jot of care about you that extends beyond themselves and their own needs.  It’s a disorder, an emotional imbalance, a lack of control due to failure to exercise power over one’s own faculties.    There are always excuses.  And that dovetails into respect.  If you don’t respect yourself, who will?  Someone may, but it really begins with you.  If you are in a situation which is usury, just sex,  not truly love, not balanced, not working, then get out of it.  There will always be complications.  Usually when I hear ‘ Well, there are complications’ it means money or lack of self-respect.  Someone is staying for the monetary support or someone is a doormat.  Neither are truly good and loving reasons to remain in something that is a failure.

Sometimes life takes us in weird directions, places we thought we’d never go and robs us of peace.  When you think about your partner, does he or she bring you closer or farther away from peace?  We are all imperfect beings.  We are here, primarily to learn how to responsibly, truly and more perfectly love each other.  This is not easy, but it absolutely is doable.

And if you are single and searching, take your time.  There is no need to rush into the unknown before at least some modicum of time has been spent so that you have a better idea of what you are getting into.

We are responsible for our own life and are also our brothers keeper, whether we like the idea of that or not. Clint Eastwood said ‘A man has got to know his limitations’ and I adore that line.  We need to understand ourselves enough to have a full grasp of our limitations so that we minimize causing upset in others lives due to our intentions being less than honest, less than pure.  When we know ourselves, we can speak our truth, whatever that is.  Truth changes just as our limitations do, provided we do our own self-work and grow, keep moving forward as we age rather than degenerate into toddlers.    We are always moving, therefore, we are always, each day, going the one way or the other.  Which way do you want to go?  Which way brings you closer to peace and causes least harm?

Whatever you have done and wherever you have failed, know that we all fail to some degree and that each day brings with it an opportunity to go and do better.  Be blessed with actions that

Be blessed with actions that honor your temple today.

Check out this book to help you on your journey: My Body Is A Temple by Christina Sell

The Tipping Point – Creating Global Change; It Just Requires You

In one of the final lectures at Hippocrates, we discussed the Tipping Point (http://thetippingpointnetwork.com/) where awareness is created, in this case, about GMOs and Organics, allowing consumers the opportunity to learn the dangers. Jeffrey Smith lead the lecture.  He also has an engaging movie out, Genetic Roulette, very worth watching and sharing.

When a mother is concerned about what she is feeding her child, when there are health concerns or there are folks who simply want to know what is in their food and make better choices, that becomes the tipping point, where the game changes; The Tipping Point is created when more of us realize there are serious problems with our food and we begin asking questions and boycotting the food with bad or questionable ingredients. In short, we vote with our dollars. When enough of us do this, in mass, we create global change. Already there are many companies that have now pulled ingredients containing Genetically Modified Organisms out of their product. Companies like Nestle, Cheerios, Ben & Jerry’s. The reasons are not always altruistic. While a wise corporation at the very least pretends to care about its’ consumers, the one thing all of them, without exception care about, is profits. When we band together for change, when we vote with our wallet, our voice overshadows everything else.

Stress & Kindness

Stress – While it cannot be avoided, please do all that you can to minimise it in your life. I am learning how stress literally kills right now. Sometimes we encounter people who really need to step out of their own way, they confuse the issues, make resolution harder than it has to be, perhaps they’re not always mindful before acting, speaking or typing. Maybe sometimes that is us, because sometimes, we all just lose it. These are all self-sabotaging behaviours, which typically manifest during stress. I cannot over-emphasise yoga for stress management. Even going once a week will provide you great benefits over time. You will learn breathwork, breathing techniques that increase lung capacity but also will aid as a cue for you when needed. You will also learn amazing self-control! My PM work was very enjoyable for me, overall. But, there were times when the typical length of the day was too much or a person or situation was. Let calm rule you. It’s perfectly ok to step inside and shut the door of a break-out room and primal scream if you must. I needed to do this just the once in 26 years there, and over a completely unrealistic situation I had been placed in, that I could not get myself out of. But I never lost my cool in front of the group. To share this story a bit further, in case is resonates with and helps you, I had been placed on a new team of people who, while I had been there, fully vetted and known to be an excellent PM, these particular people never had worked with me before. The work-load, and the folks on this project made the situation untenable. There were layoffs and stress was exceedingly high. I resolved to be kind. It was all that I could do. When insults flew, I was kind. Someone actually asked if I was stupid. In meetings with the folks I supported, they would ask me to provide status to the team, then immediately proceed to talk over me. Team-mates I worked directly with on this project from hell, came in unshowered; there was no time for cleanliness. Some folks did not keep working as hard on their personal time as I did and were let go; it was considered their fault. It was never that there was far too much work on everyone’s plate. People in the situation causing unnecessary chaos weren’t managed down. A team-mate lost 4 of their molars, due to stress, grinding the teeth. Molars are forever gone once gone. There were divorces born of this time and illness. My mother was going through Chemo and Radiation. I could not be there for her during the daily commutes to radiation so I found rides for her to treatment by way of the Cancer Society volunteers. And I worked 7 days a week, all holidays and 12+ hour days for over a year being kind. It was bloody hard being kind, but I maintained kindness in every email, every sentence out of my mouth. This act was the only one, other than of course getting my work done, that I had any control over. I had no control over how others chose to think, feel or act toward me, but I did have control over myself and how I visibly reacted to it, as well as pursuant actions.

The Kindness Effort – In an effort to help spread kindness and minimise the onslaught of completely unnecessary emails (I was getting 400-800 a day) I placed the query: Is it helpful, is it necessary, is it kind into my signature line. In an effort to manage down my hours, I also noted my hours too (7a-4p). These things did not always sink in with others, but it did help me focus on what was fair and what I could perhaps let go of.  In all my years there, I had never taken 2 weeks off together at once before, but I was breaking apart and knew I needed to go on holiday. An individual who was hostile, took over my base while I went out for 1 full week of training followed directly by 2 weeks of vacation. I was hoping for a friendly to take on my base but hostile spoke right up demanding my base. I didn’t know what was going to hit me when I returned, but I had to have the break. This was in 2007 and I was laid off in 2016. This was the epicentre of unbearable pain, unbearable odds. When I returned to work, there was a new level of respect given, eyes opened to exactly what was going on in my base, with my portion of this project our team had taken on. Every product was ordered correctly. Every communication accurate and current. My work was found to be flawless and on track. I assumed I would be laid off, but suddenly things got immensely better for me.

This too shall pass – I assumed I would be laid off, but suddenly things got immensely better for me.  Whether it is work, family or personality driven, all of us experience stressful times. Know that if managed correctly, these times should be temporary. IF they are longer in term, there is a management issue somewhere. My takeaway from this time of fire is twofold: 1) always act in kindness, never lose your cool in front of people. Right or wrong, folks will always remember your wig out if you have a double geared hissy fit in front of them. You don’t want that visual following you around later. You also don’t want to be known as cruel, snarky, or unstable, no matter how much you feel justified at that moment in time, so be kind. This doesn’t mean you don’t protect yourself and stand up for yourself, where you can, but do so in a way that is ‘professional’ and offered in kindness. 2) Document Everything – I have been a documentation specialist for decades now, but this situation really brought home the need for managing by fact not emotion and retaining a documentation trail on everything. At the end of the day, it will be kindness, composure and a level head, followed by all the backup docs you’ve culled, that wins the day.  And It will ultimately shine the light of truth on anyone intentionally doing you harm.  As it turned out, I lasted longer and stronger and was able to get out and off that project and team simply because my work took center stage and my kindness became part of that great reputation.

Check out this book, Dare To Be Kind by Lizzie Velasquez.  You may have seen her on Youtube as the worlds ugliest woman.  Rather than let it cripple her, she took charge and became a motivational speaker. Sometimes we all need a push to go from zero to hero, but that push always starts with us.

Yours in kindness.  😉

Re-gaining Balance For Peace & Healing


This book, Meditations on Intention and Being, by Rolf Gates, is a great book to help bring peace, thought and mindfulness to your daily life.

Imbalance – Our world is in chaos, from air, water and soil pollution, the growing need for more, from money to things,  to how governments protect corporate interests rather than the people who created it (and allow it to still be).  We give up our power, become complacent in what is rather than what should be, what can be.

A great example of on this topic was our 2016  election, I watched, mouth agape, as people voted out of fear rather than voting for who they really wanted in office.  I heard things like “Jill Stein will never win” for example.   I know this election was a hot mess and I wanted Jill personally because she didn’t have a bunch of weeds she was coming in with, and her platform was about what, to my mind, matters the most; our earth, saving it, getting corporations out of bed with Government, being  kind, ethical and fair to all people and animals.   But I am not here to argue party, I am here to make a comment on what I witnessed.   I heard this comment made from several people I knew that really wanted Stein in office.  So why didn’t they vote for her then?  Because she wouldn’t win was the answer back to my question.

I have been called pompous, naïve and stupid over this but I am going to say this once more:  When we make a choice NOT to do something, NOT to vote where our heart is on anything that really matters to us, we are NOT doing right by ourselves and further we, by that act, that inaction, make it so!

Politics aside, apply what I just said to anything you choose.  It can be going vegan or eating less meat, working out more etc.  It can be about anything you really want badly that somehow, you feel you don’t deserve enough. We over think things and lose it in the process.  We have got to make the choice to make it so.  To effect change, we must choose it.    From the top down, we are no longer balanced.

The good news is that we can still shape ourselves and our family and friends by what we choose to model, how we choose to live each and every day.   Many of us do not fully grasp our imbalances until injury occurs.  Yoga is fabulous for helping to awaken mindfulness to the imbalances all of us have, finding what side of our body (and brain) are dominate, adjusting ourselves so that we don’t grasp the hands or cross the legs exactly the same each time or to simply be aware that in the similarity of a pose, each day we are different in it.

Yoga is not just for stick figures or the super flexible, my friends, I am a robust individual and do yoga regularly.  Whatever your size or shape, yoga unequivocally is for you.  You just need to find the right form, and always honor your body.  Growing up, I learned to fight with my body rather than embrace it, which is silly when you think about it, but that is what most of us do.  We are never happy and thankful for long with what our shape is or age is or anything, always picking at the imperfection.  Give yourself love and compassion and space and time to heal.  Do this for you because you matter.  When you come from a place of strength, you can share that strength with others and help life them up too.

The holidays (holy days) are divine markers of time, place holders for not only what they represent, but to allow a moment of pause in our earthly pursuits.  Each holiday pushes us toward a new year as the old one is closing out and the New Year is unfolding before us.  Not everybody is excited about this.  But I ask, what really are the alternatives?  I must age, therefore, I celebrate my birthdays!  Why the hell not?  Does it not beat the alternative of 6 feet under?  Celebrate your life and time here.  Enjoy these small moments of time and joy, whether that is a page of meditation on the book suggested above, sitting by the fire on a cool evening with friends or hanging out with your cat.  You being here right now is a miracle.

Be Blessed.

Following Through

A friend of mine is a Project Manager.  Her husband is far less organised. Things have sat in boxes, in the way of traffic and in the way of beautifying her home, for decades. There have been numerous promises to follow through.  When we fail to follow through, we disrespect both ourselves and the person we made the goal with.  When everything boils down, time is the ultimate gift we give both ourselves and those we love.  We spend our time and our money on who and what we love.

Life moves swiftly onward and as most of us are used to creating busy work in our days and planning ahead, it can be easy to lose the moment.  It can also be all too easy to fill ourselves up so much with stuff, with the dust of the day, that we have no time to breath or change direction, or see a friend.

Creating To Do lists are one of my favourite things to do!  Firstly, it solidifies plans.  You can delight and feel great about checking things off as done.  it keeps you on track, from writing a letter to a friend, to having lunch to joining a meeting, it’s all there.  But another cool thing about lists is that they reach another area of the brain and help make it so.  I created a to-do list for a lovely needy historic home and then that list got filed away.  A decade later, I came upon it once more and delighted in the fact that every single item on that list, from redoing the hardwoods to remodelling the bathroom, to landscape lighting got taken care of.

Following through is the ultimate act of love.  When you can trust your own words, that means a whole lot because you can then trust yourself.  Giving yourself weight, respect and significance of meaning what you say and saying what you mean is the very essence of love and self-respect.

Call it branding. In fact, there is a great article “Brand You” that I read a long time ago on this very topic.  As we go about living life, we are actually creating our brand.  Who and what do you stand for?  When people think of you, what would be the very first things to come to mind?  Honouring yourself begins with following through on commitments, both to yourself and to others.  This can also include following through in abusive situations, with managing your personal boundaries. We teach people daily how we wish to be treated by how and what we allow into our lives and by the boundaries we set with them.  We are empowered to gently but firmly maintain those boundaries from anyone who disrespects them and us.  If you find yourself in a situation where you have failed to follow through on your best life then know that you are empowered to change this now.

With 2017 looming large, get pen and pad out and start planning your follow through today.