Do You Have The Power? Will Power That Is!

Each morning, each sunrise, is nature’s way of signaling you to wake up, heed the call to action, to move forward on your path, progress towards your personal goals.  Some days the goal is to simply open your eyes and get out of bed.  I have had many days like that.

On the first of November I woke up feeling like I needed to do a reset of my life.  I had been feeling overwhelmed and my answer to those feelings had been to on several occasions binge eat cocoa puffs or devour my latest favorite Chocolove dark chocolate with salted almond butter bar, or both.  Trust me, it is not a pretty sight to see myself standing in the kitchen, oblivious to the handfuls of cereal being mindlessly shoveled into my mouth.  My exercise routine had pretty much ground to a halt weeks before.  My spiritual practice was non existent.

It is so easy to stay in that mindset – to eat yourself into several or in my case many unwanted pounds… to feel sorry for yourself for any and a multitude of reasons…to ignore the mental notes to meditate or take a walk.  Life seems so difficult for so many of us lately and it is precisely at these times that we should not ignore that morning sunrise summons.

It takes a lot to heed the call to action – the one that screams at us to get out of bed, get to the gym, get to work at our job and on our selves. 

So I asked myself, what do I need to reset?  What would it take for me to actually do a reset?  What do I need to do?

The answer: first, taking stock of who we are, what we believe, what we say, how we act.   Awareness.  Mindfulness.  Of the emotional, physical, spiritual, and psychic self.

On the obvious side, I needed to reset my emotional balance – so that I would not continue to out of control power eat.  But why was I out of balance?  What was it that was pushing me to the state of mind that I was not paying attention to what was important for my self care? 

We all, I know, lead very full lives.  We have many people and things to tend to – children, partners, spouses, parents, and then of course our selves; houses, jobs, volunteer work, hobbies… We are often pulled in many different directions.

The most important lesson of this chapter of my life is to stop taking on everyone else’s emotional pain.  I tend to do that – for my kids expecially.  I am the incomparable caregiver in my house – which I will admit often feels like being more of a slave to life’s and everyone’s needs.  How to be there for myself is always a challenge.  There is a wonderful and very true saying that you are only as happy as your unhappiest child.  When one of our children is hurting, we are hurting too.  A friend equated being the mother of three to a game of whack a mole – some pesky problem is always rearing its head.  So no wonder I was off balance, trying to juggle everything that was going on was proving too much for me. 

Restarting my exercise routine was an important component of this reset as it would help relieve the stress that was the cause of the emotional eating.  It would also kick start my metabolism and pave the way for a few pounds to melt off.

But the question I have to ask is, “do I have the power?”  The will power that is, to actually reset my emotional balance, eating, physical exercise…. and not let the stress of life get to me.   

Willpower.  The power of our will.  Looking up the definition I found “the ability to control your own thoughts and behavior, especially in difficult situations,” “control of one’s impulses and actions; self-control,” “control exerted to do something or restrain impulses,” and my personal favorite, “energetic determination.”

I needed energetic determination now to not go for the cocoa puffs when I am suddenly feeling frustrated by something happening in my house.  Energetic determination to make a healthier choice when needing to eat something, anything.  Energetic determination to move my body every day towards a healthier lifestyle.  Energetic determination to cultivate and maintain a spiritual practice. 

The reset is a shift – towards clearer perception and awareness, knowing exactly what you are doing in every moment and why.  You are able to exercise your will, use your personal power.  The call to action is the call to mindfulness in everything you do.  The power of your will must be harnessed for the good of mind, body, and soul.

I believe I do have the willpower to reset my life.  And I accept the challenge to heed the call to mindful acton. 

By |2018-11-08T17:08:04+00:00November 8th, 2018|Dive Deeply|2 Comments

Simple Pleasures – Fun Things To Do This Summer

The lazy, sweet days of summer…
The summer is in full swing and I am thinking about things I can do to really enjoy the fruits of the season. I want to do things that will bring joy and meaning to my summer days. I started to think back to my childhood… I went to camp, played outside, spent my days at the beach… I was carefree and easy drinking bug juice and sailing the summer seas. Childhood immediately brings us to a time where we were playful, joyful, imaginative, and curious. I want this summer to be like that! We are not taking any vacation per say, but as you know I live on an island that is a vacation destination. My challenge to myself is to carve out a little time each day to find a simple pleasure of summer. Here are some of the things that I am going to try to do:

Simple Pleasures – Fun things to do this summer:

  1. Make a sun tea – my husband is always asking for iced tea and though he is a traditional iced tea drinker, I want to make some delicious herbal fruity drink too.
  2. Build a sandcastle – it is so wonderful to just focus on digging in the sand and molding shapes with water and your hands.
  3. Play hopscotch or jacks, or another favorite childhood game like Miss Mary Mack!  That will bring a smile to your face for sure!
  4. Go beachcombing – look for stones, shells, and beach glass, find the sea trinkets that are calling your name.
  5. Gather your family and friends and sit around a firepit and enjoy smores. Sing a campfire song or tell a scary story too!
  6. Retake a picture from an earlier time in your life. Family photos are really fun to do! We did that last summer – in the original photo my kids were 10, 7, and 4, in the re-do, they were 23, 20, and 17.
  7. Play in the waves.  Grab a boogie board or a raft and float in the sea.
  8. Have a bbq and play lawn games – croquet, wiffle or volleyball, or badminton. Capture the flag is one of our family favorites.
  9. Make a chalk drawing on a sidewalk. Let your creativity flow.
  10. 10. Go out for ice cream and an evening stroll. There is nothing like a summer evening and a gelato, ice cream or frozen yogurt. My favorite is frozen yogurt with a little hot fudge.
  11. Play a round of mini golf. When the sun goes down and you are looking for an evening activity, head to your local mini golf course. Make bets with each other and heighten the stakes and the laughs!
  12. Take an outdoor yoga or tai chi class. A great way to begin or end your day, movement and fresh air will help you ground and balance yourself.
  13. Spend an hour under a tree in a hammock. What a peaceful way to recharge and reflect.
  14. Sit outside and read or draw. I love just sitting on my deck with a cup of coffee or tea, reading from my current book, or with a sketchpad in hand, I might color my wildflower garden or the view of the water.
  15. Have a beach picnic at sunset. One of my favorite things to do is be on the beach at sunset. It is not so much the dropping of the sun into the sea, but the afterglow – the light and color in the sky is magnificent. And don’t forget your favorite food and beverages, or your chairs or blanket, so you can relax and enjoy yourself.
  16. Let me know what your summer simple pleasures are and more importantly, how they make you feel. This summer, let’s all feel the joy, the peace, and the love that we deserve.

By |2018-10-24T11:48:35+00:00July 17th, 2016|Simple Pleasures|0 Comments

Sometimes you just have to say, “It is what it is.”

“Take things as they come.” “Be present.” “Live the moment.”

All great drops of advice and all important to having peace in your heart. So why is it that we have such a difficult time doing them? Many of us analyze, over analyze, think, and over think why certain events and relationships happen in our lives. We are stuck on not only the fact that they happened, but on the why. After all, everything happens for a reason. But is it so important to know that reason Can’t we just accept that it happened and look for what it has shown us, taught us, and how it has helped us grow?

If there was ever a statement that strongly resonated with me it would be Caroline Myss’ words: “Let me give up the need to know why things happen as they do. I will never know and constant wondering is constant suffering.” I spent years trying to find the reason why something happened, why I made the choice I did, why things had worked out as they had. It was so painful and I suffered greatly. Living in the past or holding on to a fantasy is such a waste of energy. And it causes great hardship. Trying to decipher all the meanings in our personal universe is exhausting and we may not find all the answers we seek, or want for that matter. The search could be enlightening, but most often we feel anguish, sadness, and heartbreak when we remain in that search for the reasons why.

We all make mistakes. We all experience some emotional trauma. We all suffer. But we have the power, the choice, to free ourselves from that pain. I have often joked with friends about how it is time to get off misery road, that it is within our power to change the trajectory of our lives. We must choose to be vigilant and redirect our thoughts away from the questions of why something happened, why a relationship soured, why a person is the way they are, why a job didn’t work out, why we had to lose a loved one… why our life is the way it is. The best thing we can do for ourselves is give up the need to know why things happen as they do and just accept that they did, that they are as they are now. Just accept and allow the lesson. I dislike the expression, “It is what it is,” but it is the truth, and I find myself thinking or saying those words a lot lately.

So turn off of misery road and turn on to the road of joy, of happiness, of contentment, and of peace. Turn off your wondering mind. Cease the inquiry. Give up the need to know the why and concentrate on what is – focus on the present moment, and then focus on each subsequent moment as you experience life.

“Take things as they come.” “Be present.” “Live the moment.”

Peace of mind and soul can be yours. It is your choice.

By |2018-10-25T12:54:05+00:00March 4th, 2016|More Emotional Weather|2 Comments

The Great Wave

It has been such a long time since I have really written anything… I have been thinking about that lately, and feeling that it might be time to dive in to my heart that feels so broken, shattered from the loss of my father, and the shifts of life that have rippled from that loss. A friend sent me a book shortly after my father died… “How to Heal A Grieving Heart” by Doreen Virtue and James Van Praagh. It was given to her and signed by James Van Praagh, yet she felt called to put it into my hands. If you don’t know this book, each page has a separate thought, so you can just open the book to any page and find some bit of inspiration to help you through your grief. I think one of the first things I read from it was about how one great loss will trigger other unhealed losses. I had been experiencing that and reading that passage validated what I was going through. And so I have been wading through all the other losses that I thought I had put into place, accepted, understood, integrated, healed… only to discover of course that that was the furthest thing from the truth, my truth. Why when I wanted to focus on grieving the death of my father did I have to think about other things, relationships, parts of myself that brought up so much emotion. But there it all was. And I really had no choice but to somehow find my path through it all. My heart ached. I was depleted emotionally, physically, and spiritually. And ten months later, I can’t believe that my father has been gone (in the physical sense) for ten months, I am still very much immersed in the process and feelings of that grieving. Tears flow daily and I basque in the salt of my personal sea.

I think that our hearts are continually being broken – but broken open so that we may have the opportunity to really see who we are and who is really there for us in our lives. I have talked to many friends that have experienced the loss of a loved one, and everyone shares this – that the dynamics in their relationships change. Perhaps the person who died was the glue of the family… perhaps in the process of the death family members did not see things exactly the same way… or perhaps because we are all unique, we handle our grief as we handle our life in different ways. The point is, things change. Everything changes. And the change is continual. And so I take comfort in the fact that the sadness or pain or anger or disconnectedness I feel will change too. I think loss is the great wave that washes over us and like the ocean washing the shore, exposes every rock, every shell, every granule of sand, every piece of us. It forces us to be in the light, and yet there is the darkness too, when the water blankets us and allows us to stay in our depths, in whatever feelings we choose to be in at that time. I prefer the light. I relish the sunlight that shines on the beach, on me, warming my heart so that feelings of acceptance and love emanate from my soul, from my very core essence. But I also recognize the importance of the darkness and the time spent in that place. There is a quote about how it is darkness that gives us the opportunity to see the light. I think I see the light now – I think I see the path, to healing and love and acceptance and understanding of it all. And that is all we can really ask of ourselves – to find our way in a manner that allows us to be in the light of love and happiness, if even just for a moment each day.