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Pieces of me

Inspiration for those who warrior on

I scribbled down the following last night when I couldn’t sleep. I’d usually edit and polish before publishing, but there’s something so pure about this mess of thoughts and feelings, that I decided to publish as is. I will probably tinker with it at another time and find lovelier words than “ok” and add some variety and question having a Biblical quote in the middle. “Today,” however, it feels right to let this be raw and unpolished.

TODAY

Today, I accept my weakness.

I don’t try to run from it. Numb it. Hide it. Fight it back.

I’m human, damn it. I can’t always be strong and determined and motivated.

I’m not killing it. I’m roadkill.

But today, I say ok.

Today, I let it be what it is.

I surrender to my humanness. To the mess. The weakness.

The fight to  hide it is destroying me more than the weakness ever could.

Today, I need for it to be enough. I need for it to be ok that I’m on my knees again.

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” Matt. 11:28

I need rest. I need that to be ok. I need for the One who seeks out the broken to see me.

I surrender the broken.

Right now, that’s the only way forward.

Right now, I warrior on by throwing my hands up.

I warrior on by taking off the facade of strength. This armor doesn’t fit me. It’s caused more pain that it’s prevented.

Here I am, Lord, weary and burdened. Give me rest. Take this too.

I trade in my strength for rest. I’m wreaked.

Soldering on isn’t working.

My ideas aren’t working, so I’ll take Yours and rest.

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Summer’s coming to an end, and I have a summer time story for you. It has a spiritual lesson in kindness, gratitude, and our interconnectivity, but there’s more to this story than that. I hope you will indulge me as I tackle a new topic today.
The story starts as just another fishing story from my son, Isaac. If you haven’t read about what a passionate fisherman he is, here are the links: Law of Attraction and Gratitude. However, it ends in my feeble attempt to garner more attention to an environment disaster currently occurring in our back yards in South Florida.

First, we fish

In June, my little fisherman had a week of marine science camp on one of the local beaches. After the first day, he started talking Dad and I into either getting him there early or staying late to fish. Seven hours of catching sea creatures during camp wasn’t enough for my extreme fisherman. I’m not exaggerating when I say this kid could fish all day!
One day, he’s convinced me to let him cast net near the pier after camp. His sister was staying with grandma, so I just brought a book and decided we could both enjoy something we loved. Everything was going swimmingly (pun intended) until Isaac got his cast net caught on a rock.
The water wasn’t too deep, so I told him to get his butt in the water and untangle it. Normally, he’s not squeamish about getting in the water with critters, but there were several big horseshoe crabs in the area. Thus, he was trying to figure out how to retrieve his net without getting his feet near their spiny tails.

Luckily for him, a fellow fisherman saw his predicament and came over to lend a hand. This 20-something man who was doing some post-work fishing said he knew a trick that he used when he got his net caught.
He and my son strike up a conversation as the man tries his hand at untangling the net. Sure enough, his trick worked and the net was saved without Isaac getting wet.
Fast forward to that weekend, the marine science center and a local restaurant hosted a free kids fishing tournament. Isaac and his dad showed up to the tournament early to catch some live bait. The restaurant provided cut bait, but the kids could bring their own.
Isaac went on to win 3rd place for the longest fish caught. He won a trophy and a net, but mostly was just the proudest, happiest boy on the planet that afternoon. Let me tell you, no participation trophy can make a child feel as good as a trophy that he earned. And let me tell you, he was beaming at the fact that he had put the extra effort in to get up early and catch his own bait.
More surprisingly, though was when he stopped gushing about his hard work and had a light bulb moment about that kind fisherman from earlier in the week. He told me that at some point he had run out of the live bait that he caught that morning, but not before catching the winning fish, a Spanish mackerel. He declared, “Mom, if it hadn’t been for that guy saving my casting net, I would have never caught that live bait, and I wouldn’t have caught that Spanish mackerel. I owe this trophy to that guy.” In his moment of victory, he thought about the kindness shown to him.
It was a beautiful moment for him to see and realize the impact of a small act of kindness. We decided to go back and try to find that gentleman to thank him and tell him about the fishing victory that came because of his actions.
Here’s where my lovely story sours, and I wade into chartered waters. We haven’t been able to go to the beach for about a month. Our lovely beaches and gulf water are currently filled with toxic green algae and red tide.

Map of SW Florida showing concentrations of toxic green algae
If you’re like a friend and thought maybe all that hubbub on Facebook about sea life in South Florida dying was internet hysteria, I’m here living amongst it and telling you it’s true.
Moreover, it’s far worse that you are seeing on the national news. It’s far more nefarious an occurrence than you are seeing on the national news.
Red tide, as is being reported, is naturally occurring. However, this is not a natural disaster. This is manmade. See, we have this large lake in the middle of the state, Lake Okeechobee, which has been polluted with fertilizer run off from agriculture farms. (I’m trying to keep what is a very large, on-going, complex issue from boring you to death).

Dead manatee at Cape Coral Yacht Club due to red tide.

Isaac attended a summer camp at this location a few weeks before this manatee’s body washed ashore there. The children weren’t allowed in the water. It was too dangerous.

The short story is water from Lake O is directed to our beaches through the Caloosahatchee River. That flow of water is not a natural occurrence. Moreover, the fertilizers in the water feed the red tide and make it grow in a very unnatural way. I’ll stop with the technicalities at that, but have provided several links below for more detail.
I’ve wanted to write a blog about this gentleman’s act of kindness and my sweet boy’s gratitude ever since it happened. I had waited because I wanted an ending to the story. An ending where we meet up with that kind fisherman, and Isaac told him how his small good deed led to such an exciting accomplishment for him.
That ending has not come and is not going to come anytime soon. It’s simply not safe to be near the water.
I know this is not my usual post, and we are silver lining seekers, so we haven’t given up on our ending wherein Isaac is able to express his gratitude to that man.
However, there’s a time to look on the bright side, and there’s a time to recognize when you can’t gloss over a problem that requires action. Florida, and many other parts of the country, is in a time when we must act and say no more glossing over the actions of corporate polluters.

Dead endangered sea turtle due to red tide

Endangered sea turtle

More on the Florida water crisis:
https://captainsforcleanwater.org/water-quality-conservation/
http://www.evergladestrust.org/
https://www.bullsugar.org/red_tide_by_jerry_kustich
https://www.bullsugar.org/declaration?recruiter_id=465092
https://www.newsandguts.com/guest-post-erin-brockovich-care-ecological-disaster-florida/
https://www.wtsp.com/article/news/red-tide/dolphin-tracked-since-2006-found-dead-amid-red-tide-outbreak-total-now-up-to-11/67-583511174

Look in the mirror ... that's your competition. Meme

I’ve never been a competitive person. I never played a sport; so I never had a need to make others lose so I could win. Historically, I’ve preferred to only be in competition with myself.

I read a lot of self-help books and listen to a lot of motivational podcasts and videos. A phrase I’ve been hearing and thinking about a lot is “winning at life.” To my mind, this is competitive speak that doesn’t naturally resonate with me. So, every time the phrase comes up, my mind bounces it around like a shoe in the dryer.

What does it means to be winning at life?

Does it mean having lots of money? Then, I’m not winning. However, I have a roof over my head and food in my belly. For that, I am grateful and don’t see myself as losing at life because I have less than others.

Do I need fame to be winning? Then, only a small percentage ever have a hope (or desire) to win at life.

Leonardo DiCaprio Meme: And the winner is ...

I don’t understand when people talk to me in competitive language about winning and losing. I don’t see why I need to be beating anyone else. To me, that’s scarcity mindset, not growth mindset.

I’m intrigued, mind you, and sometimes wonder if being competitive would serve me. But I’m not sure that that’s my nature. Is this something that I should work to develop, or would that be trying to be someone I’m not? I don’t.

I just know that competing with myself has benefited me.

Lessons from law school

My first year in law school, I decided long before grades came out that I was not going to share my grades with any of my fellow students. Good, bad, or mediocre, they were for my eyes only.

I had heard story upon story about how competitive law school was. There were stories of books being hidden during exam time to disadvantage peers. Study partners being picked for the advantage they were to others. Students lying about their grades.

I wanted no part of it, but not because I was lazy or didn’t care to work hard and make killer grades. I decided that I would just be in competition with myself, meaning I would try for excellence as best I could. Thus, there was no purpose in sharing my grades.

When the first semester grades came in, I politely told my peers that asked that I was going to keep my grades to myself. This was generally met with sympathy as the other person assumed this meant I was too embarrassed to tell my grades.

I clearly wasn’t winning or I would be shouting it from the roof tops. But I didn’t need their sympathy. My grades were quite good.

Some friends were offended that I didn’t trust them with this information. I tried to tell several “friends” who were worried about my grades that my decision was not a reflection of my grades. Few seemed to buy it.

Occasionally, I was tempted to say, “hey, my grades were better than yours don’t worry about me!” I was most tempted when I overheard my roommate, who had already proven herself to be no friend of mine, feign concern that I might be failing out of school as she told others about her poor roommate whose grades were so bad, I couldn’t bear to tell anyone.

But as luck would have it, or as my hard work would have it, the truth came out. At the end of the year, I was outed. I was in the top 7% of my class, and as such invited to be on the law review. Law review is a student publication, an honor, and most importantly for this story, public knowledge.

There was a collective jaw drop when my name was a part of the group. I hadn’t been hiding bad grades all this time. Most classmates were still, if not more, confused that I hadn’t shared my grades.

Some people only check up on you to see if you failed yet. Naw I'm still winning.

While my plan hadn’t insulated me from the mean-spirited competitiveness, I felt I did what was right for me to protect my heart. I learned two peers had outright lied about their grade, and thus, I learned more about their character. Yes, I learned a lot about those who were seemingly so concerned about my grades, but that’s water under the bridge.

Most importantly, I learned the value of just competing with myself. Whether it’s grades or some other result of my efforts, they are mine. The work is mine; the outcome is mine. I own them both, and I judge them both.

Our values determine what counts as winning

I guess this is my first problem with being questioned by others if I’m winning at life: only I have the values that resonate with my soul to judge whether I’m winning. Only I know if I’m making myself proud. Only I know if the work and output is enough for me.

I was winning. Getting on law review was important to me, because that meant I would research, edit, write, and perhaps be published (I was). Then for so long, I dropped the ball on that truth that writing and creating were important to me.

Money, climbing the corporate ladder, and material things don’t equate to winning to me. Creating does. That doesn’t have to be meaningful to you, though. The point is only we can judge whether we are winning.

How to win at life meme from @businessmindset101

Drop ‘should’ from your vocabulary

The second issue I have with being concerned with having winners and losers at life is that this leads me to “shoulding” other people. What is “shoulding” other people? Looking at what others are doing and thinking about all the things that they should do.

This was one of my recovery lessons. One that I’m still working on! Drop should from my vocabulary. Telling myself what I should be doing is guilt producing.

Moreover, thinking what others “should do” takes my eyes off of what I’m doing and how well I’m doing it, and leads to judgments and expectations. Expecting others to behave the way I see fit sets myself up for disappointment.

I recently thought to myself (in very over dramatic, oh-poor-me fashion), “will I ever learn that these other people I look up to are people too?” I, for one, need to stop being shocked when other humans are human.

Confession time! I am compulsive at shoulding. I should do this and that and the other. He should not be reacting like that….and when I say he, all of my readers who are wives probably know I’m talking about my husband. Oh gracious, I can should that man till the cows come home. But, I’m getting off on a tangent. The point is, “shoulding” (which is now a verb, I’ve made it such) is a waste of time. We not only don’t know what’s best for other, we have zero control over how they behave.

You can win life by all means, if you simply avoid two things in life. Comparing with others, and expecting from others.

In sum, I’m not condemning the competitive. I’m just acknowledging that winning and losing don’t resonate with me, personally. Perhaps, it’s just semantics.

For me, there are no winners and losers on my playing field. There’s just me “competing” with who I was yesterday. Moreover, if I’m working toward things that bring value to my life, that’s winning.

“The principle is competition against yourself. It’s about self-improvement, about being better than you were the day before.” – Steve Young

 

 

starting line on a race track

“What’s the world’s greatest lie?” the boy asked, completely surprised.

“It’s this: that at a certain point in our lives, we lose control of what’s happening to us, and our lives become controlled by fate. That’s the world’s greatest lie.” – The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

Life certainly can feel like it’s all just happening to us, though, can’t it? The washing machine breaks the night before your in-laws visit. You receive a diagnosis for yourself or a loved one. Your husband asks for a divorce. The baby has colic.

Living an intentional life and trying to be your best self doesn’t mean life won’t happen to us. It means we refuse to throw in the towel to the whims of fate.

I haven’t written much lately. For one, I had one of those “life happened” moments last week, when my computer took a crap. This left me to fight for precious time on my son’s laptop to complete deadlines for my editing job. Alright, he didn’t really fight me. Huff loudly, sure, but it is a new (to him) laptop that he bought with money he earned through his summer job.

Moreover, I haven’t felt particularly inspired. It’s the end of summer. I’m trying to keep my children from scratching each other’s eyes out. I’ve backslid on my fitness goals due to thinking “I don’t have to get up early; how about another glass of wine and some popcorn?”

The adult Becca has gone on summer vacation, and left me in charge. Bwah ha ha ha ha!

Hand pouring a glass of red wine

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Apparently, I’m ready for the schedule and forced routine of the school year as much as the children. There’s something about the beginning of a new school or calendar year that feels like someone has hit the reset button.

While there’s no barrier to starting a project on Thursday, it feels better to start on Monday. “First of the _____” feels like the time to make changes. There’s even some science to back this up.

According to research published in Psychology Science, people were more motivated to begin a new goal on a “temporal landmark.” Such events help the brain to distinguish between past actions and new intentions.

Makes sense, right? The researchers dubbed it the “fresh start effect.”

None of that may be news to you. Even if you didn’t know there was research out there, you likely knew that you start new things on Mondays or New Year’s Day.

Here’s the exciting part.

In one study, some participants were told to begin their goal on “the first day of spring,” March 20th. The other group was told simply to start on Thursday, March 20th. Framing the same start date as the first day of something, in this case a season, had a significant impact.

This is great news for those of us who choose to live purposefully, rejecting the lie that happenstances divest us of control over our lives. We don’t have to wait till Jan. 1st to start over and do better.

There are new beginnings all around us if we frame them as such. For me, I have the new school year on the horizon to get out of my summer-time slump.

There are fiscal quarters and moon cycles. Every week has a Monday.

Every day has a day break!

agriculture bloom blossom clouds

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What separates us from those who believe the “greatest lie” is not that we are immune to hardships, frustrations, or set backs. It’s that we know that whether we face a life altering blow or a daily inconvenience, there will be another fresh start.

As surely as the tides rise and fall, day will break, revealing a “first day of.” For every inhale, there is an exhale. For every end, there is a beginning.

At day break, we who warrior on get up and put one foot in front of the other. If we falter when the starting pistol fires, we find another starting line.

What may appear to be fate taking control can be a new beginning if you make it thus. Keep finding fresh starts and the world’s greatest lie will be another’s to believe.

green blue and pink kettlebells

In the past 15 months, I’ve gone from a cigarette smoking couch potato to a smoke-free, fitness fanatic who hits the gym 6 days a week. The story of how I finally quit smoking is for another day. However, I came up with the top reasons I’ve become a full-on workout warrior in hopes that something will help you get your exercise on.

10 ways to start and keep an exercise routine:

  1. Build it into your schedule.

Ever forget to have your morning cup ‘o joe, or have a really great excuse not to brush your teeth? I doubt it. They are a part of your daily routine, so you do them. If you want to have a healthy lifestyle and not just another failed attempt to lose weight, your exercise must be a part of your weekly schedule.

Google’s dictionary defines routine as a noun as, “a sequence of actions regularly followed; a fixed program.” The adjective definition is “performed as part of a regular procedure rather than for a special reason.”

Stop thinking of exercise as something special. Make it your standard operating procedure. Write it in your planner, if you’re old fashioned like me. For the rest of you, put it in your Outlook or set a reminder on your phone. There are plenty of apps too!

The tools are abundant, but it’s up to you to make this a part of your life so you no longer need a reminder. It’s just what you do when you first wake up, or after work, or whatever time works for your schedule, but build it into the schedule.

book business calendar close up

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  1. Find a place that you like.

If the gym you pick is too far to be convenient, you won’t stick with it. If it’s dirty, if the staff is rude, if the members make you feel self-conscious, if you don’t like it for whatever reason, you won’t go. And why would you? It’s your money; it’s your life. You should enjoy it on some level.

I’m not saying you’ll love the muscle fatigue necessary to build new muscles. The winded, sweaty feel of an intense cardio work out may have you doubting all your life choices in the moment. After, however, when the endorphins kick in and the results are seen, you know, this is a place that you feel comfortable.

woman in black sleeveless crop top and white leggings using a butterfly machine in front of a mirror

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  1. Do exercises you enjoy.

Similarly, if you hate what you are doing you won’t stick with it. I used to run. I lived in Miami, and I would run at 2 o’clock in the afternoon. Let me tell you, that is the hottest, most humid time to run in Miami. How I did that, I don’t know. But at that time in my life, I somehow didn’t mind.

Well, fast forward 20 years, and I now would rather sit on my butt and grow larger than the house than go run in South Florida at any time of the day. I had to accept that I was no longer a runner and find something I was willing to do.

I found it. It costs a lot more than running, but I do it. I may curse my way through the workouts, but I love the feeling after and the results. So, if yoga makes you cringe (after trying it! Don’t be like a toddler with a new food!), then don’t make your goal to go to yoga 3 times a week. There are so many options, saying you don’t like cross fit doesn’t mean you can’t exercise!

exercise female fitness foot

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  1. Tell someone you’re going.

Make yourself accountable. It can be easy to let ourselves down, but harder to admit you didn’t do what you said you would to someone else. Tell a partner, a friend, or heck, blast it on social media.

I’m pretty good at making it to the gym, but if I’m ever thinking, no not tomorrow, I’ll post on our gym’s member’s page. Then, I have some good peer pressure to make it in.

woman in gray formal coat sitting near black full glass panel window

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  1. Ignore your feelings.

As Nike said, just do it. Mel Robbins often says, you’ll never feel like it. Especially, if this is day one for you. It is going to feel bad, physically and emotionally.

When I stepped in my gym for my first workout in five years, I was 41 years old. But I felt like I was 12 and back in middle school. It was painfully difficult to not turn and run out. You just do it any way.

I fell on my face twice trying to do a push-up that first day. I had to suck up my embarrassed feelings and come back the second day. Don’t worry about what those meat heads and skinny chicks make you think, it sucks for most of us to start.

Courage is not the absence of fear; it’s walking through your fears. It’s swallowing the embarrassment of having to modify exercises. It’s embracing the sucky feelings of the first days and weeks.

After the first day, there will be times you don’t feel like it. After the first year, you will think, really, I still have to go this often. Yep.

The true suck is that you don’t get to work hard and then stop and maintain health and a nice physique. I think we need to stop calling it a “fitness journey,” actually. Journeys have a destination. Health and fitness is life, every day.

That’s why I started with saying you better like where and what you are doing folks, because if you are only in this until you lose that x number of pounds, then keep enjoying your yo-yo diet life.

man lying on rubber mat near barbell inside the gym

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  1. Don’t critique your performance.

If you are just starting an exercise routine, you’re not going to be any good at it. Period, end of story. Your first day, just showing up is a win.

Coming back after recouping from the muscle soreness of the first day is a win. Once you’ve made it a habit, then worry about “killing the workout.” But don’t psych yourself out of taking the first steps because you are worried about your performance.

Show up, later you can show out, but this is about getting in the door! That’s not going to happen if you are worried about how you will perform at first. Just accept that it won’t be great. That’s not the point! The point is to start!

healthy person woman sport

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  1. Don’t rely on a “gym buddy.”

Here’s where I diverge from a lot of the standard advice. Maybe it’s because I’m an introvert. Maybe it’s because I like dogs more than people, but hear me out.

Even if you would never consider going anywhere alone, I encourage you to not depend on a “gym buddy.” In my experience, when you must have Sally come with you to work out, then when Sally is sick, you won’t workout. When Sally is on vacation, you don’t go either, because you never became comfortable doing this for you. You never stepped up and said this is my health and fitness, and I am responsible for it.

Take that responsibility. Don’t put it on a buddy. That’s not fair to your friend, and it potentially cheats yourself. Ideally, you find the buddy who texts, “hey, I’m sick today, but don’t you miss because of me, or I’ll kick your butt when I’m feeling better.” Now, that’s a healthy gym buddy relationship.

woman wearing sports bra looking at phone

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  1. Find people that encourage you.

Not needing a gym buddy to hold your hand does not negate the importance of having supportive people. We all need accountability. You might need new ideas, when you plateau or “don’t feel like it.” I just encourage you to find more than one supportive person, so that you don’t make that person’s excuses yours.

Other people will slack off for their own reasons. Fine, you be the one waiting for them and encouraging them to get back at it, but don’t have a person that is nonnegotiable to your routine. Your exercise routine should be the nonnegotiable, and then the people will come.

You will find the people who are there all the time to encourage you, or you can find them on-line. There are lots of groups and bulletin boards. You can follow them on Instagram and Twitter. There are people out there to lift you up along the way, but only you move your body.

group of woman in yoga class

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  1. Give it time.

I recently saw a meme that said you didn’t like coffee, wine, or beer at first either. How true? If you are reading this far, it’s likely that exercise is not your first love…yet. So, give it time to grow on you like wine did. Soon you may be a raging gymaholic.

bodybuilding close up dumbbells equipment

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  1. Realize your worth.

My favorite exercise mantra is “you are worth some of your time and energy.” I was a mom, professional, and wife who gave so much to everyone around me. I’d then tell myself the lie that I didn’t have any time for myself.

Now, I take the time. I’m worth it. I deserve to use some of my time to improve myself, and so do you.

 

Cup of coffee with a smily face in the foam.

It’s Monday. The beginning of a new work week. Monday gets a bad rap, because it’s the end of the weekend. We who warrior on to a better life, however, know that we can shift our perspective.

So, this week, let’s not begrudge Monday for its terminating ability. Let’s embrace the opportunities that come with the beginnings Monday brings.

Still not convinced? Here’s some help!

Psychology Today provides the following 5 tips for improving your Monday morning:

  1. Ease into your Monday.
  2. Find a happy place to allow you to “adjust to work life again.”
  3. “Look forward to something.”
  4. “Set your own priorities.”
  5. “Make the most of the morning.”

Read the full article here: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/the-happiness-project/201004/five-tips-improving-monday-mornings

Becca’s Monday morning

I started my day today by downing a bottle of water. This is typical for me. I like it room temperature, because it’s easier to chug that way. It gets me out of the dehydration that often occurs when we sleep.

Next, I did some tricep dips to get my blood flowing, and some sun salutations to set my intentions for the day.

Just a few minutes to start my day on a good note, taking care of my physical body and connecting to my spirit.

Then, I moved on my other obligations. One child was awake, so I ensured she ate. I got ready for the gym. At my workout facility, we love to say “never miss a Monday!”

Psych Central agrees, encouraging even 10 minutes of HIIT, in their article about Mondays.

8 Ways to Avoid the Monday Morning Blues:

  1. Foster “social connections” on Sunday.
  2. “Sneak in a sweat session.
  3. “Do not attempt to sleep in.”
  4. “Set an intention.”
  5. Meditate.
  6. Work a little on Sunday.
  7. Read the night before.
  8. Meal prep on Sunday.

Here is the rest of the article: https://psychcentral.com/blog/8-ways-to-avoid-the-monday-morning-blues/

If you decide to give # 5 a go, don’t forget there is a guided meditation made just for my readers HERE.

How do you like to start your work week?

Happy Monday!

A wall full of doors

“The choices that we make in our life, indeed determine the kind of results that we experience and the quality of the life that we live.  – Sumeet Jain

I’m at a local brewery with some of my favorite female friends. We’re all enjoying a brew and swapping funny or frustrating life stories. I share a recent happening. “So, the snake pooped in my daughter’s hair yesterday.” Giggles ensue, and I say the cliché, “Only me, right?” As if I’m some victim of a wild pooping snake invasion. No, of course it would only happen to me, because I’m the only crazy one in the bunch who bought her son a pet snake!

So often, life can feel out of control, and like it’s just happening to us. It’s true that there are many unpredictable events in life. Even the length of it can be outside of our control, but that only makes our choices even more important.

Red headed woman in white shirt holding out two choices: an apple and a pear.

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Choose the good

Since we can’t control everything, it’s imperative to be intentional with the things we can control. Our choices should accurately reflect who we are and where we are trying to go. Choose to input the things that are meaningful to your life.

As I noted in 5 Ways to Make the Most of Your Sunday, start with your values. If you value healthy eating, then is the choice your about to make for lunch in line with those values? If not, then stop playing the victim card, and saying “only me, right?”

Moreover, the “good” for you may not be the good for me. We each have different priorities and goals. We must start with our goals to ensure that our daily choices are moving us toward them. Is it more important to me to spend my free 30 minutes today reading a book or putting away laundry? Neither is inherently good or bad. I can tell you, I’ll be choosing the book. Some of you are shivering at the thought of leaving laundry undone. That’s fine, and of course, some things must get done. Practicing mindfulness in our daily choices, however, will render more empowerment over our lives.

person playing chess

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Take back your power

If we constantly choose actions because of how others will perceive us, what others want us to do, or some other exterior motivation, then we will feel like a victim. Yes, my laundry has to get done, but when I was constantly choosing what might impress others over things that nourished my soul, I felt like a victim. But, that’s the beauty of it. This was not some life circumstance that was out of my control. I could make different choices!

If you are a victim to your life choices, there’s good news! You have the option to change.

Here’s how things get messed up, and I’m using healthy eating simply as an example.

I eat too much and too many unhealthy, processed foods. When I inevitably gain weight, I feel fat and unlovable; I lose energy, self-esteem, and motivation.

Now, I’ve created a life that I don’t want. The lie seeps in that “fat, lazy, and unlovable” are who I am. No, those are negative labels that I’ve assigned the outcome of my choices. None of those things came from the depths of my character. They came from poor choices, or choices not geared toward getting me a healthy body and more energy.

The same applies to our spiritual, professional, and social lives. We either change the choices we are making or accept the results those choices produce.

adult art awakening black and white

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That’s how choices work

Once upon a time in a land far, far away, when I was a practicing attorney, I had a secretary who was appalled at how often I came to work with dog hair on my suit. Yes, I owned three big dogs, which was a choice that led to hairy suits. The best I could do to mitigate the situation was to invest in lint rollers, one for my office, car, purse, etc. Any place I could, I stashed a lint roller. See, much to my secretary’s dismay, getting rid of the dogs was not something I was willing to do. So, I just had to deal with the dog hair as best I could and move on. Perhaps, that’s why my legal career didn’t work out. I doubt it, but even if it is, I’m ok with that choice. Others might make another.

Three dogs and a baby

My son didn’t mind the dog hair when he came along.

The point is not that we must change every decision that has a less-than-desirable side effect. Neither do we have to accept mediocrity and feelings of victimhood when we could change our circumstances.

The point is to work on meshing our choices with our values so that we feel empowered by the life we create rather than victimized.

I also endorse a healthy sense of humor to embrace the “snake poop” and “dog hair” of life! After all, no matter how mindful and intentional we become, life has its share of shit. Sometimes it’s best to not take things too seriously.

“Your life changes the moment you make a new, congruent, and committed decision.” – Tony Robbins

Joy: A TED talk share

July 14, 2018


My loves, I must apologize for the lack of content this past week. I’ve been working on some articles which will be featured on other blogs. The first will go live on http://www.rebellesociety.com/ July 17. I will share the link when it’s up.

You can now find that article by clicking HERE.

I stumbled across this beautifully interesting TED talk and thought it was worth sharing. I hope you enjoy it, and promise that I have something in the works for next week. The working title is “Snake poop: A lesson in life choices.”  Intrigued?

 
Weekly planner for scheduling your week

“On Wednesdays, we wear pink.” – Mean Girls

On Sundays, we prep.

Today’s the day to get ready for the week. Take Sunday to make your game plan for the week.

I’ve started using this app, MyFitnessPal. I don’t know if it’s any better or worse that other fitness apps. I just downloaded it to start tracking my food, because I’ve been off track of my fitness goals. At the end of each day, it tells me “if every day were like today in 5 weeks you’d weigh xxx.” Some days this is a good number, yesterday it was not. The good news is every day doesn’t have to be like yesterday!

Picture of a smart phone with social network apps visable.

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Today’s a new day, and the beginning of a new week. However, I don’t want to leave it to chance. So, I take Sundays to prepare for the week ahead.

5 Ways to make the most of your Sunday Prep Day:

  1. Start with your goals. Are they fitness goals? Then, meal prep and schedule in your exercise. Work goals? Break it into steps that you work on through the week. This is the “what.” What do you want and need to accomplish this week. If you don’t want to spend your week putting out fires, then start your week with your goals in mind.
  2. Schedule in your what. Don’t wait to see if you have time for the important goals in your life. Plan in the time! If you don’t, the week will just happen to you. Coworkers, family members, time wasters will pop up and find plenty of things for you to spend your time on. Schedule in your priorities today.
  3. Set yourself up for success. Don’t “plan” to write that novel all in one week. Then, when that unrealistic goal isn’t met, you get to have a pity party. Nope, set up a realistic plan. If this is the week that you finally get back in the gym, don’t plan to go 7 days. You know you’re going to be sore and need a day or two for recover. Plan accordingly. Sometimes, I wonder if we don’t have some subconscious nonsense going on that says, I’m going to prove that I will fail at this by setting myself up for failure. Don’t do that. Be ambitious, but be honest with yourself.
  4. Be flexible with the things you can’t control. If your plan goes awry because your kid gets sick and requires a day of cuddles, you readjust. Life happens. Don’t throw out the whole plan because something out of your control happens. We know illnesses happen, technology glitches, dogs puke on the carpet. Be willing to move on to plan B not simply throw your hands up in the air and quit.
  5. Be inflexible with the things you can control. This is just to say, stick to the Sunday plan through the week. Don’t make excuses. These are your goals after all. Don’t let yourself down. If you’ve decided what needs to get done this week to move closer to your goals, and you’ve scheduled in the time. Your plan in realistic, and the only issue is you, then get out of your own way! Make every day a day that “if every day were like today in 5 weeks” you’d be at your goal, or significantly closer.
person hands woman pen Writing in a notebook. Perhaps, she's planning her week on Sunday.

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