Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Forgiveness: The Gift We Give Ourselves

I have found in life that one of the things that saps our energy, creates negative energy and keeps us in a place where we are not able to move forward is unforgiveness...I have had many unjustices in my life as I am sure we all have and many times we instinctually become offended or angered or hurt and these feelings then turn into unforgiveness...I need to always remind myself that the words and actions of others, whether they are directed at us or not, the words and actions of others is really a reflection of them and not about us at all, however, whether or not there is any truth to what they have done or said we still move into a defensive position and go through the steps of feeling offended, angered, hurt and then the result is likely unforgiveness...When we are able to truly look at "the offense" that occurred no matter how painful it may have been and see if there is a life lesson that we can gain as a result of this experience and create something positive out of a negative and possibly toxic situation then we can then move in a direction of forgiveness and give ourselves the gift of freedom...So if you are harboring unforgiveness in your life, don't allow it to poison your mind and body any longer, give yourself the gift of freedom today and forgive those that have done wrong by you...Take the high road and let it lead you to better places!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Fake It Till You Make It

Sometimes in life we find ourselves in circumstances and situations that bring about negative thoughts and negative emotions that if we entertain, we could spiral down into a depressing stupor...It is in these times when we must dig deep within ourselves to reject the appearance of our situation and the feelings that we are emoting and make a decision that we will overcome, we will succeed, we will triumph and that everything is going to work out for our own good...It is in these times that we need to be our own cheerleader and we might just need to "fake it till we make it"! When we allow fear and doubt to take over our mindsets then we are cementing our own failure....there is a better way! We may not be able to control our circumstances or other people and their actions but we can control the way in which we react to these external sources...So start feeding yourself positive messages and words of encouragement whether you believe them yet or not, you cannot drive a parked car, so just put it in drive and start moving in a positive direction and you will be surprised to see that you begin to see and feel a change in your circumstances and the people around you just by changing the way in which you perceive yourself and your environment...Put a smile on your face, reject the negative, embrace the positive and begin to envision your own success as it will gloriously unfold!

Monday, May 19, 2008

Mommy, are you famous?

The other day I was doing something on the computer (big surprise) as all my free moments (which is all you get with kids around :) I am sitting in front of this screen, which I guess makes me a "mouse potato"....Anyway, I was on my home page and my photo was there and my son walked up (he is six) and he saw my photo on the screen and he seemed to be amazed at seeing me there and his eyes grew big and he said "Mommy, are you famous?".....I was completely laughing on the inside and so I thought I would play with this for a minute so I said, yes I am honey.....he then squinted his eyes into a little glare and he said, no really Mommy, are you famous? did you put that picture up there or did somebody else take it and put it there? (because obviously he is so hip on fame and I guess he has figured out that other people take your pictures and post them up everywhere) so I said, yes babe I am....he thought about this with a dumbstruck look on his face and then he yelled, "Daddy! is Mommy really famous?", needless to say, he found out that I'm not really famous :-) Kids.....they keep us filled with laughter!

Words for the Day

Amalgamate - to unite or mix

Bombast - pompous speech

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Walking the Walk: Short-Term Rewards vs. Long-Term Gains

Starting our day the right way, every day: Daily commitments to ourselves, a positive perspective, healthy choices in our thoughts and actions are important mental steps first thing in the morning as well as throughout the day...When we are tempted to think negatively, consume unhealthy foods, speak negatively, we set ourselves up for failure and become stagnant; broaden the horizon to think of how these choices will effect the bigger picture of our lives...Mental and physical success is the culmination of many right choices that occur consecutively over a period of time....Even though we live in a drive-through society where immediate rewards seem to be the most popular choice, do these immediate rewards fit in with our long-term success strategy? In order to achieve health, happiness, success and in to reach our goals and bring them to fruition we need to be responsible for our actions and choose wisely when temptation enters our path.....Sabotaging our own efforts can sometimes be a life pattern that needs to be recognized in order to be changed, but this is an important step that is critical in order for success to happen in your life! Envision your success, what it looks like and what it feels like, be confident, change your thoughts and thereby change your actions, don't be diffident in your strategy for your life's success, it is attainable, it is achievable; remove your obstacles, or turn them into opportunities for you to stretch yourself in new directions and experience new growth in your life....Success is not esoteric!! It is there for us all, understanding yourself is the first step to creating a strategy that will work for you, there is no magic recipe but there are some common ingredients in the lives of those that have amassed success; positive thoughts equal positive actions, making healthy choices for mental and physical health, being confident, build yourself up, re-write your own hard-drive to contain programs for success, filled with files with positive affirmative statements.....You can do it! Have a blessed and successful day!

Words for the Day

Diffident - lacking self-confidence, modest

Esoteric - intended for or understood by only a few

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

The Refiner's Fire

We just returned from being evacuated due to the fires here in Florida..or as our six year old son put it..."we need to evaporate, hurry!"....the fire trucks and police came through telling everyone to leave immediately and the fires had reached the backs of houses on our street....We quickly gathered a few things and fled...Thankfully we had somewhere to go and we were allowed back into our neighborhood a few days later and I thank God that our homes were safe and I feel for all the families south of us that lost their homes and I can't imagine how devastating that must be for them and how they must feel...I am feeling so very grateful for our safety and that we still had a place to come home to and everything was in tact....
In life we experience fire with our circumstances whether it be through "natural causes or arsenists" the results can be equally damaging but how we react to this is the only thing we have control over...Fire is a cleanser, a destroyer, and while it is painful and wreaks havoc on everything in its path, what comes afterward is new growth, fresh greenery and changed perspectives...I would like to take this opportunity as such and cleanse my thoughts, hence, my actions, and cut out the things that are unhealthy, unneccessary and stressful...and remember that mercy and grace is new every morning and I should also give that to myself and others...Fresh starts are difficult but what we can learn from them is that we can create new beauty in our lives and broaden our horizons as a result...I hope and pray for all those that no longer have a home to return to and I wish for them that their communities will open their arms and create a safe haven for them to re-build their homes and their lives...

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Attend to Your Thoughts or They Will Attend to You

Have you ever given your attention to thought management? Like computer programs our minds are full of files that we may or may not have installed..Growing up our mental computer is written by programmers such as parents and other adults and they may or may not have been installing the most beneficial programs to help us to become healthy, successful adults..As adults, it is now our responsibility to delete the unhealthy, corrupt files and programs and remove all the mental viruses and begin to install healthy files and programs that will help us to reach our full, successful potential..We need to be thoughtful about what is going on in our mind and what messages we are playing over and over because if they are not contributing to our positive success in life then we need to delete them and install new, positive, life-giving, successful messages..We are now our own programmers and it is time to take charge of this responsibility for ourselves so that we can begin to make the choices that are going to result in our personal and professional success..Re-write your program, install the right files, create mental and physical success in your life, you are in charge!

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Weight Loss and Faulty Thinking

Weight Loss and Faulty ThinkingIn the battle of the bulge, false beliefs and negative self-talk may be far greater enemies than food or sloth. PT shows you how to fight faulty thinking.
By: Dennis Brabham, Melissa Hantman, William Whitney
Page 1 of 3
Americans are highly motivated to lose weight—as a growing list of best-selling books and highly trafficked dieting Web sites attest. We're just not approaching it the right way. The pressure we put on ourselves to succeed—and the self-criticism we indulge in when we fall short of the mark—can have dire emotional and dietary repercussions.
Consider that pair of jeans hanging reproachfully in the closet. You realize they don't fit, and you feel unattractive and worthless. This tendency to evaluate yourself too harshly will only make you give up altogether. You want to head to the fridge for solace.
You need to identify the things you're telling yourself that cause you to feel discouraged and to throw in the towel. Don't beat yourself up when you overeat. Accept that you acted in a self-defeating way, then establish better methods to meet your goal. Review what you'd like to do and work toward that goal.
Perhaps you're not (yet) berating yourself for failures, but putting inordinate pressure on yourself to succeed. When you tell yourself, "I must lose 25 pounds by Valentine's Day, or I'll never get a date," you're setting yourself up for emotional turmoil, as well as weight-loss failure. Losing weight in a prescribed amount of time is a worthy goal, but the perfectionist premise that sneaks into your thinking may well interfere with sensible eating and exercise.
In a perfect universe, the sight of those jeans, or the knowledge that Valentine's Day is around the corner, would elicit rational thoughts like, "I'm going to look great soon, and I'm going to enjoy the challenge of eating sensibly and exercising along the way." But few of us think that.
PT spoke with Nando Pelusi and Mitchell Robin, clinical psychologists in New York City, about what we really tell ourselves, sabotaging our own best efforts to lose weight—or meet any goal.
· "I must be thin."
This creates desperation, which undermines a healthy long-range approach to sensible eating. Also, perfectionism pervades this thinking (I must not only be thin, but also perfect).
· "I must eat until sated."
Early humans lived in an environment in which food resources were scarce. While our ancestors had to hunt down squirrels and eat them, we can supersize a Whopper meal and skip the workout.
· "I need immediate results."
The demand for immediate improvement undermines commitment to a long-term goal. Quick fixes are hard to pass up: "This cupcake will make me feel good right now." We think, why bother eating healthfully, when the reward is far off? Dieting requires present-moment frustration and self-denial with little immediate reward.
· "I need comfort."
People eat to avoid feelings of loneliness, depression and anxiety. Fatty and sugary food provides immediate comfort and distraction from other issues. Resolving some of these problems may help you overcome poor eating habits.
· "I feel awful."
"It's terrible being heavy." For some, being overweight is the worst thing imaginable; it can immobilize you and leave you dumbstruck. That's a reaction more suited to tragedy. Weight loss is best achieved without that end-of-the-world outlook.
· "It's intolerable to stick to a diet."
"It's just too hard to diet." This thinking renders you helpless. People who are easily frustrated want easy solutions. We're seduced by fad diets because they appeal to that immediacy. Yet people who rely on fads suffer high failure rates. When you diet with the short term in mind, you don't learn strategies that require patience and persistence.
· "I am no good."
"Because I am having trouble in this one area I am worthless." Being overweight can be viewed as a sign of weakness or worthlessness, and most people aren't motivated when they feel that way. Another form of worthlessness: "My worth is dependent on my looks." This idea confuses beauty with thinness, a concept played out endlessly in the media.
Get Moving
Now that you've thrown out your irrational thinking, a little motivation is key to change. But how do you make that leap? Psychologist and marathon runner Michael Gilewski has found that the brain can achieve a state of habitual behavior through small successes—turning a once extraordinary effort into mere routine.
"Even when someone climbs Mount Everest, it's usually not his first time climbing," he points out. Perhaps motivation may simply be the product of positive reinforcement and repeated success.

Experts on Motivation
PT asked five expert motivators—including an active-duty drill sergeant and a rock-climbing instructor—how they rally everyone from first-time dieters to hard-core soldiers.
Inspiration From Within
Deborah Low is a certified weight management and lifestyle consultant in Vancouver, British Columbia.
"We have an all-or-nothing attitude: If we don't do our full hour at the gym, we may as well sit around and eat junk food. If you feel guilty and punish yourself, you may eat 10 cookies instead of 2. If you criticize yourself, you'll never change.
"Motivation is something we get from other people; but inspiration swells within us. Thinking 'I'll lose weight and then I'll be happy' is not enough. If we respect and love ourselves, independent of our weight, it's easier to make healthy choices.
"We struggle because we're fixated on the end result. We force ourselves to go to the gym, restrict food, measure and weigh ourselves. You let that number on the scale determine how your day's going to go. I ask clients to remember what it was like to play as a kid. You ran around, climbed on things—your goal was not to lose weight, it was to have fun. Being active gave you a sense of freedom, excitement and amazement. You have to reconnect with that emotion."
Being a Team Player
Chris Broadway instructs an Outward Bound outdoor classroom on Hurricane Island, off the coast of Maine.
"I set the tone of team spirit in the beginning; I teach one person a skill, and his or her responsibility is to teach everyone else. We let the students make their own mistakes. We expect students to have problems, as the activities we construct are a challenge. Discouragement can occur, but we celebrate accomplishments. Students set their own level of achievement. Some have a focus on the end result, but not everyone is results-oriented. Some want to measure success by relationships they form, by the process itself.
"Another motivating factor is how their experience here connects to their lives. We create situations where there are actual risks and perceived risks, as in sailing. We let the group navigate ahead of a storm, deciding when to pull back and when to move forward. We show them how to apply these situations to their own businesses or personal lives—calculate the risk, know when to take it or when to step back.
"It's so much more powerful when another student steps up to deliver the message of leadership. As instructors, we're always building their tool kit so they have the means to do that. With a group of 12, it's difficult to hide in the background. Even if someone's in a slump, he or she absolutely needs to fill a role."
Savor Every Mountain
John Joline is a climbing instructor at Dartmouth College.
"Certain kinds of teaching are done from below—telling people what to do but being removed from the activity. I try to teach from above—I climb with my students, participating fully in the activity. I make my enthusiasm infectious.
"Even a climb well within your physical limits—if you strive to climb it beautifully—can be challenging and rewarding. Our culture puts emphasis on goals, on absolutes. We're taught to believe competition should be ferocious. But if we lose that sense of fun, of delight, all the haranguing in the world from an instructor won't give a student lasting motivation. The bottom line is to savor the movement, the physical sensation of moving up the rock and over the stone. That itself becomes a reward compelling enough to keep one involved.
"For someone in his or her mid-30s or older, climbing is still seen as a potentially dangerous sport, daring and terrifying. It's a mental construct that can be inhibiting. Plus, for white-collar workers, running hands and fingers over rough rock could be shocking to the system."
Coming Home Alive
Billie Jo Miranda is a U.S. Army drill sergeant in Fort Jackson, South Carolina.
"The goal is being prepared for war and coming home alive. The [desire to] drop out occurs in the first few weeks. Once they learn they have a comfort zone, get along and trust people, we're pretty much over the hump. We motivate through example; we do it next to, in front of and behind them. We tailor training around the weakest soldier. It may not be beneficial for the soldier who was a college athlete, but everybody is part of a team, they push each other.
"There will be those who do the minimum. Today's youth are Nintendo children. Training requires them to get out of bed and walk an extra mile. The more rigor you put into training, the more a soldier knows what he can accomplish in combat. They shouldn't enjoy training. It should hurt physically and mentally. And they hate it. But we want them to enjoy the accomplishment.
"If you have heart, you have the motivation and the desire to get through anything. It's a patriotic thought process: What we're doing is for the betterment of America. When they say, 'I don't want to do this anymore,' just give me 10 minutes with a soldier and she'll do a 180. We use their being volunteers as a motivational tool: 'Soldier, I didn't ask you to come here. You obviously joined the military for a reason, you wanted to do something for your country.'"
Think Like a Thermostat
Peter Catina is a professor of exercise physiology at Pennsylvania State University.
"Most elite athletes are already at the top of their sport, and to reach the next level is a challenge. But it's difficult to sustain your level when you're at your pinnacle—novice or expert. Everyone must have both physical and mental discipline.
"Self-regulation is key; you can make it simple by being your own monitor. You have to think like a thermostat—be able to detect a discrepancy between the environment and your internal standard. It's the difference between your current state and where your mind and body would like to be. You can then adjust—raise your standards to meet your expectations—through strategy and action. Some of us are born with high self-regulatory skills, but I can identify clients who lack the know—how and I teach them. Awareness is the first step: noting how many calories you've consumed, how effective your exercise is, how frequently and intensely you've exercised.
"Aerobics is no longer the panacea for losing weight. It's the change in body composition that makes you look better, and for that, strength training is more effective. Don't constantly weigh yourself, since muscle weighs more than fat. Instead, measure your body mass index—or even your waist—and only once every four to six weeks. I've had many female clients gain five pounds but go down three dress sizes."

Psychology Today Magazine, Jan/Feb 2004Last Reviewed 14 Apr 2008Article ID: 3212

Friday, May 9, 2008

Take a Walk In Our Shoes: A Mother's Day Tribute

Take a Walk In Our Shoes

If you peruse our shoes
You’ll find red, white and blues
And every shape, size and color in between

We mothers fill them all
From morning till night fall
And at times without ever being seen

With all of our duties
Darling babies in booties
We are there for our family and friends

With the many shoes we wear
Every style and every pair
Our brand of reality never ends

From soft cozy slippers to sexy stilettos
From the concrete jungle to green grassy meadows
Some live in mansions and some live in ghettos

But for the caring of others we deserve our own treat
We deserve to kick off our shoes
Relax and put up our feet

Never losing our flair or missing a step
Our sanity is sacred so we have it well kept
We are always on call even if we’ve not slept

So sit on back and put on comfy socks
And slide on into some world famous Crocs
‘Cause let’s all face it….. being a Mom really rocks!

So to the precious Mother’s covering our globe
Grab a mug of hot chocolate
And put on your robe

Because we invite you to take a walk in our shoes
You’ll have everything to gain and nothing to lose
It’s a well balanced artistry with bright colored hues

And although the end is never in sight
We never give up, we fight the good fight
So, on this ending note it is time to take flight
Happy Mother’s Day to All and to all a good night!

Actions Speak Louder Than Words

Anyone can talk the talk, but do they walk the walk? It is easy to talk about change in your life and talking about change is an important step in the process..we think about change, create a strategy and a step by step plan, we might talk about it, and then we proceed to action...many people don't get to this last most critical step in their lives...and I think that the reason for this is that people are not changing for themselves, they are changing to propitiate others, which is for all the wrong reasons...People need to want change for themselves in order for long-term success or success at all to take place and transform lives...There is much more quiescence in our society than change actually happening in peoples lives, change is happening all around us and it passes us by...People feel safe and satisfied with their own status quo and we are lazy and continue plodding along in our own rut content in some ways but complaining because nothing good is happening...Remember, to have good things happen we must be an active participant in the "movement of good" and that starts and ends with US! Complain and remain!! Negative thoughts and negative actions only attracts more negativity..Fake it till you make it...don't allow circumstances to dictate your mood or your food because failure will surely ensue if you give in to the temptation of your circumstances or situations....we must have the strength and willpower to rise above what things "look like" to our naked eyes and change our mindsets and our perspectives...Start each day in a quiet place, meditate, pray, stretch your mind AND your body to get ready for the day this puts in a health state of mental and physical flexibility so that we can roll with the punches that the day will always throw! Also, I believe that it is helpful to give yourself a few good positive phrases and think about the things that we are thankful and grateful for so that we recognize and give focus to the positive things that are indeed happening to us or for us so that we can begin to truly SEE that there is positive action in our lives...Start today and make your actions line up with your words, lets make a plan for positive, healthy change in our lives and do it for ourselves! Smile! Inhale, relax and start to picture what your life success looks like, hold that focus and begin to watch that unfold! Success is coming, don't let failure keep you off track!

Words for the Day

Quiescence - inactivity; stillness, dormancy

Propitiate - to conciliate; to appease

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Seeing Obstacles as Opportunities - A New Perspective for a New Day

The one thing that we can count on in life is change....and sometimes there is nothing scarier than change...instead of embracing change, we sometimes run from it...the thing we most times forget is that when one door closes, another door opens, but there is sometimes a limbo period between the closing of one and the opening of another..This period of limbo is a time when we are able to survey our situation and take inventory (if we use it in this way)..sometimes we are tempted to wallow in despair wondering why did the door close or why did these circumstances befall us?! I believe that the wallowing is a negative temptation to hold us stagnant and trapped in limbo and does not allow us to move forward..we never know what wonderful things lie ahead in our future if we constantly mourn our past...Life is about change! I think about baby birds in a nest, they are so cozy and safe in the nest, the mother bird cares for them, feeds them, protects them, but the day eventually comes when they must leave the nest....the baby bird is resistant to the fact that the mother bird moves them to the cusp of the only world they have known and pushes them over the edge and out of the nest and BEHOLD!!!! FLIGHT!! They did not know they could FLY! How glorious! Through the fearful experience of being pushed out of their nest they have gained a whole new world filled with new perspectives, soaring to new heights and having new experiences..This is synonomous to our lives when change just happens to us! Change will never cease to happen but how we handle it can make the difference as to how we embrace our new future as it continues to unfold..So, I may not understand my present situation, why it is the way that it is, how long I will be here and when it will be different, but I want to trust the process of change, enjoy where I am now and expect that things are going to get better and not worse and that it when I do look back I will see clearly how it all fits create something pulchritudinous!! Keep a positive perspective and remember that something that might appear to be an obstacle can easily be seen as an opportunity with the right perspective!

Word of the Day

Pulchritudinous - beautiful

Saturday, May 3, 2008

How God Made Sand: The Ponderings of a Six Year Old

Sand is a loose, fragmented, naturally-occurring material consisting of very small particles of decomposed rocks, corals, or shells,( While sitting outside today with one kiddie pool full of sand, one full of water and bubbles drifting through the air from my almost two year olds bubble wand, my six year old blurts out, "how did God make sand?" and before I could answer back "I'll get back to you on the details", he retorted, "He must have ground up a lot of sugar and put bad flavor in!" Is that classic or what?! The things that come from the mouths of babes....keeps us moms smiling....not to mention keeping the internet in business!

Words for the Day

Sagacious - having a sharp or powerful intellect or discernment

Pusillanimous - cowardly, timid, or irreselute; petty

Friday, May 2, 2008

Don't Rain on My Parade

In life we always come across misanthropes and they can truly rain on our parade.....if we let them...Unfortunately, life is always about passing tests and if we don't pass them gracefully, I believe that we must repeat them until we do....these tests come on every level of our lives from the small petty issues to big life issues and we must be ready and in the right frame of mind to be able to best handle our "challenges"...The trick is to be in that peaceful place mentally so that we are not bristled by people or circumstances and allow them to get us off of our path...and believe me sometimes we will handle things gracefully and then there are times when our heads may spin like the exorcist etc....need I say more?! OK, I believe that if we are able to have some down time first thing in the morning before we begin our day of "interactions" which usually begins the testing process we can build some inner peace, quiet confidence, meditate and pray, stretch our minds and our bodies to create that flexibility that we will need for the rest of the day...If we are able to start our day from a good and peaceful place and we are able to reflect upon that and draw from those reserves we have created for ourselves then we are bound to have more successful interactions throughout our day.....and if and when we don't, remember that the words and actions of others are reflections of them and their mental and physical state and not ours...when people are just unpleasant and nasty it is most likely a direct reflection of what is going on in their interior and not in any way a reaction to us, so don't take others words and actions personally because it isn't about us, it is about them! Let's stay on top of our game people, we can be successful and enjoy our own parade whether or not those around us are enjoying theirs! :-)

Words for the Day

Erudite - scholarly; displaying deep intensive learning

Misanthrope - one who hates people (they are always out there!)

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Words for the Day

Philology - love of words (I am a philologist!)

Taciturn - habitually untalkative or silent (definately NOT me! :)