Nurture your soul. What can you do right now?

What is it that you really like to do?  Those little tiny things that are no big deal, but you can enjoy blissfully and un-apologetically?  Are you able to nurture your soul, all the time?  Maybe it’s coffee your favorite way.  Maybe it’s sitting down with tea, and reading a magazine.  Maybe it’s just getting back in bed, on a Saturday afternoon, for a nap.  Maybe it’s your makeup, maybe it’s a walk, or a super slow walk where you can breath and take it all in.

As I continue to write, I am starting to uncover that my mission in life may be to help women, help mothers, help humans to constantly grow stronger mentally, so that we can do everything we need to, and everything we want to, and live our very best lives, full of peace and gratefulness.

And for this, we must nurture our souls, constantly.

Yesterday, we focused on identifying and staying grateful for all that we have, yet, how is that possible without sitting back, standing back, and taking a tiny break, to allow us free time, a moment of time for gratitude activity.  First, identify what you absolutely love doing, what makes you feel good, what gives you that sense of pride in your life, a sense of freedom, that feeling of happiness.  This may be big or small, and at this point in my life, it’s just the TINIEST things for me, because it’s busy, and always going.

I don’t have the luxury just yet to vacation for a week at a spa or resort, BUT I do have a moment each day to make myself a delicious cup of coffee, and enjoy each sip.  Especially on the weekends.  On the weekends, I have 15 minutes to sit out in my lanai, and kick up my feet, and drink my coffee and just breath.  It makes me feel like I’m living the absolutely best life, and it’s just coffee, outside.

Homemade fancy coffee and homemade guacamole bring me back to life.

How can you constantly put yourself in a state of luxury and soul liberty several times throughout the day or week?  After I finish working out, I take a few minutes (maybe 3 or 4, but feels much longer), to sit out on my driveway on my yoga mat, and stretch it out.  It’s honestly the shortest amount of time, but it gives me that feeling of WOWWWWWWWWWW, I am NOW ready to get back in the house and get it all done for the kids, and for work and for life, and am ready for what’s in store.

In the PM, we pick up my daughter from her school on our golf cart, and lately the weather has always been sunny, and warm, and just riding 15mph to her school, with my best friend by my side – feels like a VACATION.  I can also decompress from the workday, and just relax, and sometimes we say nothing at all to each other, and sometimes we discuss the day’s events, or what’s coming up.  It’s a luxurious amount of time, that isn’t long, or extended, but just enough to absorb some vitamin D and let any bad energy go.

Can you find moments in your day, that you enjoy so very much, and focus on them more?  Can you treat yourself to your favorite activities?  Whether these are in your home, at your work, or special outside activities such as a pedicure, or a massage, or a gym session.  What can you do for yourself each day or each week, to bring you back to you, to bring you into constant nurturing and self-love?

Enjoying that outdoor air.

Perhaps it’s cooking your favorite grub, or cleaning up your home, or spending time on your favorite couch, reading a good book, or maybe it’s writing, or texting with a friend, or laying out in the sun or making a shake? What can you do, for you?

My husband needed a haircut, and I asked him if he could drop me off at Publix while he got it done.  I am always rushing while grocery shopping, so that day, I decided to just to lounge my way through the store.  I wanted to look at every vegetable, and then all their teas, and all the different flour products they have, and everything interesting I don’t ever have a chance to see.  Usually, most grocery trips, and I’m assuming this is the same for all busy humans, is a SUPERMARKET SWEEP type of run, where you are running from one item or another, or racing through the aisles dropping items into your cart like a mad clown.  But not that day, that day I was able to slowly mosey my way through, and it felt HEAVENLY, nurturing my insides.

In the evening, when it’s almost bedtime, after dinner is done, and the kitchen is cleaned up, I make myself a cup of tea.  And I want to sit down for a few minutes and watch Jeopardy.  My children at this point are playing right in front of me, and they are wrestling or building forts, or playing with those magnet pieces, and it all just feels right.  Everyone is fed, and clean, and happy, and the day is coming to an end.  I try hard not to think about work, but only about the fun that is presently going on.  Jeopardy is a silly game to check in with each night, but its so fun for me.  Thankfully in FL it comes on at 730pm, so it’s just enough time to get all the above done, and now relax with Alex Trebek.

These are the type of tiny little things that nourish my soul.  In these moments, I take back a bit of my sanity, and peace, and thrive on the kindness it brings forth.  In these moments, it’s EASY to think about all the good in our lives, and in these moments, it’s also easier to know that the tough times shall pass.  This is what feeling nurtured feels like:  total peace.  But when we don’t activate and do anything to bring ourselves back from the stress, the madness, the anxiety, how can we survive and thrive?

If you can, make a physical list or a mental list of everything you enjoy in this way.  And then put as many small tiny little actions in motion, so that you do spend this time, checking in with yourself.  Get to them right away.  Since many reading are now celebrating the weekend, use this weekend to get started.  What can you do for yourself today? Indulge yourself in your favorite activities, so that your soul can tag you back with super good feelings and truly feel nurtured.  It’s impossible to keep going and going and going, without these tiny breaks of love for ourselves.   Maybe you love to go to Barnes & Noble, and just sit back and read cookbooks or self help or a new mystery.  Maybe it’s the library.  Maybe you love Starbucks or Dunkin and just want to drink some coffee or tea in peace. Maybe you want to take some extra time and get your hair done, and nails done, or you want to put in this time yourself.  It could be anything and everything, and it’s our job to create these moments for ourselves.  Your partner nor your children know exactly what you want and need all the time, so take charge, and re-charge.

Cheers to you and your soul.  Cheers to a cup of your favorite moments alone.

 

 

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Happy and Happiness. How to get happy, and stay happy.

I was talking to my great girlfriend this week, and I hope she doesn’t mind me saying, but she struggles with being happy, yet, she wants this so badly for her everyday life.  She wants to stop stressing, stop worrying, and just be happy with her life, and everything she’s built for herself.

I love her so much, as I do all of the people who just ROCK out in their lives, and it pains me to hear that for a large portion of her life, she has used one of the most incredible work ethics out there and created an incredible life for herself, yet still struggles to live in that happy, simple, peaceful place.

So many humans, so many women, and mothers, have a hard time, perhaps sitting back, or throughout their busy days to feel that sense of contentment, nirvana and feeling of just being grateful for all they have.  But we must change this.  We deserve to feel good.  All women deserve to get there, be there, and stay there, in a state of easy bliss.

What is true, and what we all know for sure, that having more, doing more, getting more, buying more, spending more, changing more, isn’t going to bring us that feeling of calm, feeling of relaxation, or feelings of happiness.  But what will do it, is constantly checking in with your feelings of gratefulness.  It’s not about anyone else, it’s not about your circumstances, it is not about luck, it’s not about what you don’t have, but about fully understanding and tapping into your feelings of gratefulness for your life.  It’s about feeling lucky already, for everything that has happened.

What do you focus on as soon as you wake up?  Do you wake up with anxiety or worry or stress about what you have to do, what you need to do, what you can’t do, what you don’t have money to do, or do you slowly rise from your bed, or allow yourself to stay in there a bit, and say thank you for it all.

It’s important to note, that none of us have it “all”.  None of us are the Kardashian sisters with millions of fans, and endless amounts of money, and resources to PERFECT every aspect of our lives.  We are real humans, real women, real people who must work extremely hard and smart to live the lives of our dreams.  But this is all possible, and possible immediately, and at the end of day, the absolute best way to live and be and create.

Wake up and say thank you.  Say thank you to yourself for your ability to wake up and breath.  Say thank you for the bed you just slept in, for the person next to you, for the kiddos in your home, for your pets, for the food in your fridge, for the furniture around you.  Say thank you for the chaos that may immediately erupt because of the pets and the kids and perhaps even the spouse.  Say THANK YOU for the argument you may have had the night before, because this means you are ALIVE and you are human.  Say thank you to everything that comes to your mind that is a current challenge or obstacle in your life.  Without challenges, we can’t get stronger.  It is IMPOSSIBLE to get and grow stronger without resistance.  Say THANK YOU for all of this.  Say thank you for the mess, for the laundry, for the groceries.

If you feel you have NOTHING good at all in your life now, say thank you for this too, because this means you are starting off, starting fresh.  Say thank you for your health, regardless of it’s status.  If you are in your worst possible health situation ever, still say thank you to those cells in your body that are functioning well.  Be grateful for the health that you do have, and focus on how you can start to nourish what is good, and improve onto your strengths.

If your past is a mess, be grateful for this too.  I know it’s tough, I know it’s impossible to understand WHY something happened, why someone touched you, why someone abused you, why someone didn’t love you, but calmly say thank you for this too. Thank you for giving me this pain, this torture, because I will NOW use it to get better.

If you suffered a great loss in your life, perhaps your love, perhaps your child, perhaps your sister or brother, or mother or father.  Say thank you for this too.  You knew them, you loved them, you experienced what you did with them, and now you can cherish the memories and remember just the best about them.

Start breathing.  Start to take in deep breaths as often, throughout the day as possible.  Give yourself time to breath, and let it all sink in.  How good do you have it?  What are your favorite things about you?  About your home?  About your spouse?  About your kids? Your car, your fun?  What do you love so much about your life?

If you physically need to take out a piece of paper, write it all out. 

I am grateful for…

…in my life, and start writing it all out.

Let it all flow out.  I am grateful for my husband, my health, my children, my dog, my cat, our bed, our home, our food, Publix, and Aldi, and friends and neighbors, and the sun, and living here, and the world, and everyone that does so much good for others.  I’m grateful for my childhood, and my teen years, and my college years, and my 20ies, and everyone I’ve loved, and my 30ies, and being 35, and everything and everything.  Start writing it all out.  Start jotting down, everything that is SOOOOO DARNNNNNN GOOOOOOD in your life.

My adorable little kitty – we love her so much, and all that green.  Each day, I try to stay grateful for these plants, because they are so beautiful.  They are just green, and nothing extremely special, but still, how cool that they are life.

Also, at the Flag Football game last weekend, a truck pulled up, called Lucky Goat and they were giving out complimentary cups of coffee.  I was so happy to have one, and it was so freaken delicious, that i’m still happy I had a chance to have one.  I’m still like “you know that’s some delicious coffee” and I feel my day is better TODAY, almost a week after this cup because of it.  Get to this state, just get freaken excited about all those tiny small things that make your day.  Look for them.  Look for them everywhere.

Don’t focus on any of the bad.  At one point, you won’t even need to categorize anything in your life as “bad” because everything will be there for a reason.  It’s a very powerful state to get to.  View everything is a lesson, and nothing is permanent.  But the sooner you can start to focus on the good, the less bad there is.  Again, I completely understand none of us live in completely ideal situations all of the time.  Not me, not you, not our neighbors, not our friends, not our extended family.  I get it, we all from time to time, or ALL the time, have to deal with shit.  But this is okay, and we must still find the good in everything, all the time anyway.  What are you focusing on?  What are you thinking about?  Where are you putting your energy?

The other day, we received an email from the association, that we must immediately replace our water heater.  It wasn’t broken, it wasn’t leaking, it was working just fine, but immediately, we had 45 days to provide a receipt of a brand new water heater.  As you can imagine, my first thought was like, are you serious?  Why?  Why do we have to go out and spend $1450 on a brand new water heater, when our old one was just fine.? But you know what I did instead.  I sent the email to my husband, asked him to set up an appt with a local heating company, and get this done asap.  I could have walllllllowed in my pity, I could have been reallllllly upset, I could have been annoyed, I could have gone back and forth on email with my association contact, and let this DRAGGGG on for so long.  I could have posted about it on social media about how ANNNNOYING this situation is, but instead, we handled it. It’s not about the money, because no one has or wants to spend $1450 to just go about and use up, BUT it’s about not causing myself MORE issues, more mental anguish than necessary.  At the end of the day, we replaced the water heater, we sent over the receipt, and the situation is handled and over.  And instead of getting upset, I was grateful we own a condo, in a development that cares enough and is smart enough to help all of the units stay healthy and updated, so that major damage is never done.  I’m also grateful that I won’t get a phone call, in the middle of the night, of a water heater, in the middle of December, leaking, no longer working, and getting SURPRISED.

It’s always about finding that silver lining, always.  It’s often confusing why some humans, why some of us have to go through really hard times, whether chronic hard times that never seem to end, or major situations that arise, that throw us on our arse – backwards & blindfolded.  Will we always know exactly why something happened?  Nope, that’s just how life goes and works.  But we can still work hard at finding a new normal, and still find the absolute GOOD in it all.

The only difference between humans is what we choose to focus on.  We can always focus on the negative in everything, or we can choose to focus on the positive of it all.  It’s fun to be happy.  It’s fun to enjoy your days, even when there are some really crappy parts to them.  My daughter is in a mood where a lot of the morning is a battle, and instead of talking – she whines-cries.  It’s a combination of the BEST of toddler years where everything is a whine combined with a cry.  Writing it out doesn’t seem like the worst but being exposed to this many hours each day, it can wear on you.  She’s extremely competitive, and has to do a lot of things exactly her way, or else the whine-cry comes out.  Even when she goes through her morning exactly how she wants, it’s a whine-cry morning regardless.  She wants the pants with the stars on them, she wants candy, she wants to get dressed first, she doesn’t want Friday socks, but instead Sunday socks.  She wants to open the drawer and close it exactly her way, she wants to pull up her blinds, she doesn’t want the dog to lay down, she wants to close his crate, she doesn’t want her brother to talk, she doesn’t want to brush her hair, she wants her ponytail in the back and now it’s too high.  She’s upset her diapers say size 5 and not 3, because she’s three and not five.  I mean, this is endless, and can go on and she can stay strong and persistent.  But instead, I just keep breathing through it all.  The GOOD news is that she is healthy, and mostly happy, and she slept well, and is behaving well in school, and she’s fun in the PM, and very independent, and social, and absolutely my best friend.  The good news is that because she sets me up for such resilience each morning, that whatever bad news, whatever upsetting and unsuccessful info I get throughout the day from work, isn’t anywhere as tough or as hard as what she puts me through.

That’s the SILVER LINING.

We can find it in everything.

I go outside each day/most days, and every day I’m grateful for the beauty that surrounds me.  It takes my breath away, and I never want to not cherish this.  Because it makes me feel I have it all.  And these are just such simple things.

While chatting with my friend, I told her to just keep breathing throughout her day, and whenever her mind went to stress, or worry, to bring it back to gratefulness.  Consonantly get excited about what you DO have, what you already have.  If you have to PRETEND that you have something that you do not yet have, do that anyway.  It’s the only thing that will change.  Being thankful, being grateful, being happy, being in peace, means you have to immediately find this in your life already, and be grateful for it right now.

Even if you have to start small, start there.  Maybe you love your fleece blanket, or the brand of socks you have, or you love the way your hair moves, or your eyes, or you have just the best father or mother — whatever it is, focus on this, and constantly, and all the time, bring your mind back to what is already full, already right, already strong, already perfect in your life.  Removing thoughts and emotions and feelings about what is NOT right, will get us all closer to living that life of peace, and tranquility and natural flow, and success and progression and positive change, and growth and nonstop learning.  Focusing on the good, staying grateful all day long, for what we have, what we’ve built, who we are becoming and have become, will give us all and everything in life that we need and we want.

Cheers, Grateful Humans.

Pain. Stop using your PAIN to kill others.

Yesterday, ironically, we celebrated a Hallmark holiday that is meant to inspire LOVE and commemorate LOVE, Nikolas Cruz walked into a high school and killed 17 people, and then wounded another 14, and scarred the rest of us, for the rest of our lives.  He was in so much pain, he caused others even more pain, forever.

You can’t take back this type of hate.  You can’t begin to understand it.  Though I’m trying.  I woke up early and tried to find out what type of individual does this.  I learned he was adopted by a married couple as an infant.  His father passed from a heart attack when he was six and then his mom just died this past November at the age of 68 from flu complications.

I can instantly see how painful or confusing it may feel to be adopted, how complicated it may feel to deal with mental illness (I don’t know if this is the case for him particularly, but I read that he was or was in the past medicated), and also, to lose your mother.  I get it.  But guess what, millions of other people deal with this type of pain and WORST PAIN on an every single day basis, yet, they do not hurt people.  They do not scare them, and kill them, and murder them and then run away.

What’s different for me about this mass shooting, is that the videos taken by the students are truly horrifying.  I’ve seen plenty of action movies, and nothing compares to listening to bullets fire a few feet away from you, or watching the shaking hands of children while the law enforcement teams go in.  Nothing will get this out of my mind.  My six year old son watched the same video last night on the news.  And he said, “Mom, mom, our school is so safe.  We have patrols everywhere.”  I did not have the heart to tell him that no baby boy.  Your school is not safe.  Especially with crazy human beings walking around with murderous anger in them.  Pain that they refuse to stop and end and put to GOOD use, they use pain to kill others.

Yet, instead of ending his own demise, this coward ran out.  He ran away.  He tried to blend in with the victims, he tried to blend in with the terrorized and went off for a jog.

The worst part is that there is no motive, and no reason, and nothing GOOD ENOUGH that could explain why a 19 year young man would do this.  Yet, we’ll continue to try to understand, why someone became SO out of touch with reality and human life, and so angry, and so vile and evil, that he became another mass killer and serial predator.

One of the reasons I pursue self development so hard, and take full responsibility for my own mental health and mental state, and all responsibly for my life and my present and my future, because I know if I don’t, it is easy to get turned around.  Humans do hurt, and they deal with painful pasts, and awful presents, and bleak futures.  Some humans are mentally, physically, spiritually, emotionally ABUSED, tortured and neglected.  Humans feel unloved, and not cared for, and they not only FEEL this, but they are.  I’ve seen sons and daughters and children and grown adults tossed aside and ignored and not loved, and for what?

But these same humans have to keep going on, we must keep going. 

How can we use the PAIN we feel, to do better?

How can we deal with what we’ve suffered, and not hurt others? How can we do better onto others, than what others have done onto us?  When you step outside yourself, and just get to know a tiny bit about others, whether personal, or in general, it’s easy to see their anguish, or hurt or sorrow and understand why.  It’s not easy to understand why others hurt us so bad, but once you do step outside, you can begin to understand a bit.

Yet, that’s no excuse. There will never ever be an excuse good enough.

We live in a free world, a free land, where accessing our psyches, and our deep selves is possible.  It’s our DUTY to learn about what causes us to react, and act, and do what we do.  It’s NO LONGER someone else’s fault, but our OWN.  We can act like monsters, but why, when we can learn to do better?  It’s our right, and a privilege we must all acknowledge and hold tight.  WE CAN AND MUST DO BETTER.

Because we were abused, we can decide to NOT ABUSE.

Because we were neglected, we can decide not to neglect.

Because we were beaten, we can choose not to beat.

Because we were yelled at, we can choose NOT to yell.

Because we were called stupid or a dummy or bullied, we can chose to not call names and bully.

Because we were starved of love, we can choose NOT to starve others of love.

Because we grew up fucked up, beyond comprehension, we can still choose to live better.

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Pain is awful and continues the cycle of misery when it’s used to hurt others.

I can’t stand excuses, and as adult human beings, we must take back our power to do better.  You are NOT going to change others, but you can certainly control and change yourself.  If you are a mess, you change yourself. It’s okay to admit you may have some really awful qualities about you, you may have some really bad thoughts, you may have a lot of crazy anger storming through your blood.  It’s OKAY to admit you need a lot of work, a lot of improvement, a lot of learning to grow better, to do better.

Sitting back with your feet high in the air, and your head even higher, believing EVERYONE ELSE IS to blame for your pain, won’t cut it ANYMORE.  Get your bum to work and do work on you.

It’s 2018, and this is okay.  It’s allowed.  Whether you are a man or a woman, whether you are a mess or just a tiny mess.  Get to work so you STOP hurting other people, so you stop tormenting and traumatizing others.

Because at the end of the day – we all want to feel good.  We all want to sleep well.  We all want to be and live in peace.  Do you think by NOT handling your own demons, it leads to peace?  Do you think by hurting, ignoring, neglecting, abusing, and killing the spirit of others, makes you feel good? Do you think your pain is best used to hurt humans, or you feeling pain enough?

I know the ego sucks. I know its awful to admit we are wrong, we must do better, we must be stronger, we must apologize, and we must recognize that it’s US and not THEM.  Take ownership over you, take ownership over what you FEEL, how you react, what you do, and how you love and how you hate.  Control yourself.  Control yourself, until it’s natural and normal to be kind again.  Control yourself until you don’t react in hate, spitting venmon, and making excuses for all you do.  It’s OVER.  It’s DONE WITH.  There are no more excuses that are GOOD ENOUGH.

It’s 2018, and the bs has to end.  I don’t care what happened to you.  If you do what was done to WRONG YOU, onto others, you are evil, you are the devil.  Fix yourself.  Recognize this, and fix yourself fast, before you repeat cycles of hate, over and over and over again.

Teach and show your children people CAN change, regardless of where they have come from.

Do this for yourself, do this for your loved ones, do this for society, your community, this country, this world, and everyone you impact on a daily basis.  What LEGACY do you want to leave?  What do you want to share?  What are your best qualities, and can you GIVE THEM OUT FREELY, and inspire others, instead of all that hate?

I don’t care about how old you are, how young, how uneducated, how educated, about your circle and if everyone is they same.  It’s DONE WITH.  Better yourself, and stop the neglect.  Stop the pain from festering, from growing, and from causing so much senseless death.

 

Love Love Love Love Love, and how to grow it, nurture it, share it and cherish it.

Since today is Valentine’s Day, I wanted to write a post about LOVE.  All about love, and how to give it, share it and receive it!

When I think about the people that surround me on a daily basis, or the people that were in my life in the past, or the people that shaped my love life and love relationships (also platonic) – I think back to how much I was loved, and felt loved as a child.

My grandmother in Poland (along with all of my extended family), really nurtured me.  I feel that to this day, and probably appreciate this more than ever.  My grandma really pampered over me in just the best way possible.  I felt growing up I was such an important human being to her, and NOW looking back, I feel it helped me grow into a confident little child, then teen and now adult.  Growing up in the US, I also felt very loved and cared for by my mother and father, who were both were very affectionate with my sister and I and instilled in us a sense of LOVE security.  We were hugged, and told we were loved, and our birthdays were made special, and we also were given the necessities that we needed to feel good, above and beyond than what we even probably needed.  My parents did get divorced right as I went into college, but that did not really affect me as much, because my love tank was pretty full at this point, and built up well.

Dating from puppy love in high school, to what felt like true love in my twenties, I also somehow chose really loving and caring people.  I can’t think of any bad qualities or characteristics in any of the beautiful humans I was lucky and blessed enough to date.  No one ever hurt me psychically, no one even spoke to me in a degrading way, but relationships, as you are growing and maturing and learning what you need and don’t need, tend to go in the direction they are meant to – depending on where you are in life.

When I met my husband it was a really nice and organic and beautiful way we became a couple, and we fit well into each other’s lives.  We were able to merge our lives and our goals, and create an even brighter present and future than what we were living currently, separately.

There’s the old saying that says we marry someone like our father, and this is very true in my case.  My husband is a very hands on dad, and papa, and loves his children, and is kind and caring and doesn’t have a single poor word to say about anyone.  He works hard in everything, has a stellar work ethic, and also has a ton more characteristics I admire about him, that I lack on a HUGE level.  I get to learn from him daily, and I feel blessed he chose me.  Yet, what the best part about our love marriage is that we do work daily, to make it better.

I also find myself, right now, surrounded by a circle of women, whether friends that I’m extremely close with, or friends that I just see or talk with once in a while, who constantly inspire me, lift me up, and motivate me to be a better human.  Plus, they are all hella funny, which is fun.

If you find yourself feeling extremely loved, and cared for, and taken care of, keep doing what you are doing.  This is what makes us feel pretty amazing about our lives.  Being able to receive love, and then give it to those that we love most.  It’s truly a beautiful cycle.

But if you find yourself a tiny bit sad, or not as loved as you wish or not as loved and cared for or taken care of on an emotionally level as you want to be – here are some things that I use daily, to constantly increase my love fuel.

Space.  Letting people be.  There’s nothing more beautiful than letting the people you love most, the people that love you, and giving them space, when they need it.  My husband and I are very different people in many areas, and the last several years, we have learned more about the importance of stepping back, and letting each other be, when this is needed.  We do a ton of activities together, but at most times, he is who he is, and will do as he wants, and same for me.  It’s easy for young couples to want to change who they are with, or expect their partners to change to exactly who they want them to be, but this doesn’t work.  Instead, step back, and watch what can happen by letting your love grow in enough space, and light and peace.

Know who you are, know what you need.  My biggest role and project in life right now is to provide my children with a warm and loving home, a clean and healthy life, and give them everything they need, so that they can continue to develop into efficient and independent human beings.  It’s a lot of work at times.  And to re-group, I need a lot of solo time.  Not everyone is like me.  Not everyone wants to be alone at times, but I recognize this about myself, and now my husband also knows this is very important to me.  I sometimes spend a Sunday afternoon alone, or skip a social event, because my head is on all the time.  This little retreat gives me so much re-charge, that I can once again turn on, and go about all our tasks in life and home.  I also know what my husband needs, to feel amazing about his life and his goals.  He’s not necessarily like me, but being able to recognize that about each other, is really freeing.

Appreciate what you like, appreciate the good.  If you are constantly looking for the good in others, and the good in your partner, you will see it.  Sure, we all have qualities, that need improving, or annoying personalities, or disappointing characteristics, but there is still a ton of good.  If you are committed to someone, or a friendship or someone you care about a lot, look for their good, all the time.  I was chatting with Tony and I am excited to celebrate our anniversary this year, and I felt a lot of gratitude in my heart, and gratefulness to the Universe that it’s been our best marriage year so far.  Nothing DRASTIC has changed or happened, but the only difference is that I have really started to focus on appreciating all of the things he’s amazing at.

It is easy to see all of those qualities, when those are the qualities you are looking for.  If I wanted to focus on all the things he lacks, then I sure could go about that too – but why?  It would only bring to light negative things that maybe he can’t yet change, or that I can’t yet change about myself.  He does this with me too, and probably taught me this.  I’m not a perfect-amazing-error_free human, but 90% of the time, he treats me this way.  At firs,t when we met, I’m like, are you kidding?  Can you really like m this much?  But it wasn’t because I was truly this perfect being, but because he naturally saw the nice stuff about me.

And so, I have learned to do the same.  We treat our kiddos the same way.  We see their amazing qualities, and we ignore the personality traits that at times make us cringe.  I love my son so so much, and I think he’s just the best, and I focus on this, ad I use those qualities to help him improve further.  I don’t sit there, starring at him or yelling at him, reminding him of his shortcomings.  Is he a perfect 6 year old boy?  No, but I will NOURISH him, instead of stomp on him.  How are we treating each other, in our love relationships?

Card I received from my son, our whole family, including cat & dog.

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Family Love

Start today.  Become fast best friends with your partner, with your lover with your husband/wife/spouse/love.  Constantly, stay grateful for all they do, stay grateful for their qualities, get thankful, each night and each AM, for their love.  Perhaps it’s not as strong, not as lean, not as amazing as you want it to be, but you will get there.  Give them love.  Give them more love.  Figure out what they need most.  Do they need to be told you love them, do they need to see it, do they need a gift, a letter, do they need affection, do they need all of the above, all the time?

Many of us adult humans have love holes that we need to fill.  We aren’t all confident, we aren’t all secure, we may have been hurt, we may have been the ones hurting others, so we must fill these holes in ourselves, and our loves.

Love yourself most.  It is my goal that my best friend and I live our whole lives happy and in peace.  And I wish the same for everyone who wants this as well.  Yet, what if that’s not the case, for you just yet?  I know the stats.  I know the rates.  I know how hard it is to make marriage work, with kids and home and jobs and money, and social media and everything else.  It’s a cluster of everything and anything coming at us all the time.

If you love yourself most, and get to know how to love yourself most, you will then be able to give that to your partner, or another partner, or the right one for your life.  Imagine if you start plugging up your own love holes.  Imagine if you wake up tomorrow and are at peace and happy with yourself, and because of this, start to see a lot more love from the one/ones you love.  It’s a full circle, and the more love we give, the more love we get.

What if you didn’t grow up with much love?  What can you immediately do?  I can’t even type this sentence, because the idea that so many humans come into this world, and aren’t love properly, aren’t pampered with care, aren’t taken care of, aren’t nurtured correctly, boggles my mind.  I know that this is the case for so many, and the only advice I have is just to give love and time.  Love onto your children with all of your might.  Learn about love.  Plug up your love holes, and give the amount of love to others, as you wish others gave to you.

If you have little kids, love onto them hard.  Wash them, clean them, feed them, tell them you love them, recognize their great qualities, and let them know about them.  My little babies and I always say “Kocham cie bardzo kochanie” when I turn off the lights before they go to sleep.  It means, I love you so much honey.  The last thing I want them to say or hear from me, before they fall to bed, is that they are loved and safe and secure, so that when they go off to make relationships in the future – they choose humans who make them feel exactly the same way.

Cheers to YOU, because you deserve ALL the love, and cheers to those you love!

Happy Valentine’s Day!

 

 

 

 

Making fresh grub and improving health, is a full time job.

I haven’t tracked this, but I should, but I load and unload my dishwasher at least twice per day.  Before dinner (from the day), and then before bed (from dinner).  I always chuckle (because chuckle is actually as fun a word as it’s meaning), because that’s just cray.  This past weekend, I made breakfast and snacks and food for the week, and then snacks and lunches, and everyone eats differently, and there’s three kids, and then me, and then my husband, and then that’s without anyone even stopping over for brunch.  Though I did make a delicious ginger tea for my neighbor and I, but that was just one tiny thing.  It was endless amounts of chopping and dishes and cleaning up and putting things away, and where’s the Tupperware, and what do you want to eat, what can I make you, and just non-stop.  The dishwasher got loaded and unloaded three times, just on Sunday.

By the time my husband wanted to use the dough that he kneaded earlier in the day, that was rising in the microwave for him, to make some homemade bread, I was dead.  When I say dead, I’m being super extremely dramatic, but totally spent from the short order cooking, all day long.  At first it’s fun, and then it can get a bit ridiculous.  We don’t have feeding times in this family (which may or may not be a problem), and I just feed my kids on demand – alllllll dayyyyy longgggg.  Since we love spending time at home during the weekends, it’s basically mama is in the kitchen prepping food all day long.

Holy, Moly, Guacamole, Exhaustion.

It’s comical and funny, but is this what it takes to EAT well, healthy, raw, fruits, veggies, homemade grub?  Yup, pretty much, at least for us, and I know for many of the mamas surrounding me.   My little people are only 3 & 6 & 15, and they know how to go into the pantry and grab some school snacks and open them up and munch on them, but because I want them to stay away from them as much as possible, I’m constantly offering up fresh apples, strawberry, cucumbers, scrambled eggs, and whatever else that is in it’s natural form in the fridge, that all need a bit of prep, whether it’s washing grapes or baking organic chicken on demand.  Exhaustion.

Dinner for my children last night.  It’s not impossible, but it’s work.  Work we must get done.

I’m complaining, but also accepting that this is life.  This is WHY convenience food was born, because once women entered the workforce, and the workdays became extra long for both mamas and papas, who was going to spend all day in the kitchen cooking and prepping and cleaning up?  Do we all need to step back and say NO to other commitment just to feed ourselves?

Yes, and no, for sure.

It helps that my husband and I work from home, because all day long, I have the access of my kitchen, and it’s pure freedom on the weekend to eat as we go.  Yet, the commitment to this is not without work.  And for anyone working outside their home, or even stay at home parents, I can’t imagine it’s nonstop food go.  Yet, I have also recently committed and re-committed, especially since my people are growing more and more each day, to feed them as best as I can, for as long as I’m privileged.

My stepdaughter loves Caesar salads, so I’m motivated to making her one at least once per day.  I add the Romaine, and baby spinach, and organic croutons (and non-organic ones from Aldi too), and raisins, and protein or other grub.  I chop strawberries on top of her Greek yogurt, and then everything else for my little kids I described here.  Instead of scaling back, we’re going harder.

This is my boy this past weekend, eating whole wheat tortilla shells, melted with grass fed butter, and cheese, and nitrate free turkey slices, eating along a cup of Kombucha.

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I want these children have everything they need, to function well, and to grow healthier and to really know that part of the reason they feel so well, is because they eat so well.  Already, they are beginning to feed themselves, and the options in front of them, are strong.  I want them to get stronger and stronger, and I want their palates to continue to develop and be drawn to the fresh, the raw, the veggies, the fruits, and I want them to know that meat and seafood should come from a place that isn’t a factory but instead, nature (as often as possible).  I want them to eventually choose NOT to eat eggs that aren’t pasture raised or always choose organic when possible.

Saturday after a flag foodball game, I headed to Publix to ONLY pick up organic frozen blueberries (because my daughter loves to eat them), and while there I added Romaine lettuce, and Kombucha and bananas and Z-Bars (HACK!!!), and red cabbage to my cart, because healthy eating needs a lot of grocery replenishment.

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Because the effort is grand, it’s okay to acknowledge and recognize and slowly accept this effort.  As a society, we love to hack things and maybe take shortcuts to sincerely save our sanity and peace, but it’s also okay to accept, that when it comes to food and feeding ourselves and our families, sometimes, shortcuts and no or minimal effort and health, do not always go together.  And this must be okay too.

The same goes for feeding ourselves, our individual human bodies.  Our ability to prosper, and prevent disease starts off with what we put into our bodies.  Heck, it even starts off with HOW we put this food in our bodies.  Are we eating in a car, or are we eating sitting down, in peace and quiet?  Are we giving our bodies enough time BEFORE our first bite, to let the digestive juices start flowing?  What are we feeding ourselves?  Is it enough, is it too much? Are we eating because we’re hungry?  Do we know how certain foods make us feel?  Are we feeding our cells and nourishing our insides, or are we just stuffing food in our mouths?

This was a late breakfast for my husband on Sunday.  Pasture raised eggs, over a lot of GREENS and half an avocado, drizzled with homemade vegetable curry.

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If your goal is to improve your health via improving our nutrition, it is okay to take many steps back and accept that a lot of effort must go into your day to make this a reality.  There are tons of articles out on the web, how to make eating well and super easy and short, and I may even write one in the future, but for now, as your STEP 1, accept this fact.  Accept the fact that you may have to go to the grocery store, or market, every day or every other day, and buy fresh grub.  You must wash it, you must chop it, you must eat it and the store the extra. You must learn how to cook eggs and meat and fish correctly, so to persevere as much nutrients as possible.  You must have to learn how to enjoy these foods without the sugar.  You must then be okay with cleaning up grease and fat and stuck-on food, but this is still okay.  To save money, you may have to learn how to love leftovers, and be able to eat this again the next day.  You must be okay with going back to the grocery store, and picking up more fresh grub, and doing it over and over and over again.

I made fruit salad for my daughter’s Valentine’s Day party at school.  No one liked this, and no one ate this, except for me, and my kids just wanted to pick out the strawberries.  Sometimes our homemade grub is a fail, and sometimes a win, but we must keep food playing, and getting it done!

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At one point, this will be your life, and as your health, your sleep, your stress and your mind improves, the motivation for eating whole real natural food, in it’s purest form, will begin to grow, and flourish.  It’s pretty exciting when I can say without a doubt I just had the absolutely best weekend ever, doing nothing but eating and feeding my family, surrounded by friends (and well cleaning the house).  It takes taking a ton of steps back, from the endless hustle that many live, but it’s also taking so many steps forward with your health and longevity and pursuit of health, wealth and stealth perfection.

Cheers, real food eaters and lovers.

 

 

 

 

 

Getting an exercise routine started, and keeping it going, day after day.

2018 has consisted of 43 total days, and each and every morning, I’ve managed to get my booty up, and out the door to run, and the last four days, stationary bike.  I also set a goal of writing a blog post each day, and today’s would be blog post #38.  I’m five posts behind, but no big thang.  I’ll continue to write about exciting and interesting topics, and I’m committed to publishing new words each day that motivate me and everyone reading, to stay on tracks with our goals of health, wealth and stealth!

This particular morning routine, and being able to sweat it out for 20 minutes has allowed me to step up my game and set up my day for a bit more personal success.  In 2010 I completed 365 days of running, and it changed my life.  I started as a single woman to finishing the year of running pregnant with first and only little boy with my now husband and best friend.  It was LIFE CHANGING, and I owe 10000% of the wonderful life that was created to getting my bum out the door, and CHANGING things up.

It’s easy when we don’t take an active role each morning to WAKE up and set some intentions to get stuck in old patterns or habits, or even unhealthy and unhappy patterns and habits.  Being able to wake up and increase the heart rate for 20 minutes, and come back in, sweaty and excited and with the blood flowing sets up the day the right away.

What also happens in those 20 minutes is that WHATEVER happened the day before or the night before, gets washed out.  It’s healthy to LET THINGS go, and not live in the past, regardless of how recent.  Whenever I get running or biking, it’s a physical transformation that lets bad energy out and the activity helps process whatever has happened, and let’s it ride out.  I know that may people live with anxiety, and I’ve experienced moments of anxiety in the past, and learning and training our bodies to LET GO of what we can no longer use or what is no longer helpful is extremely important.

In 2018, we need an OUTLET to discharge of the endless amount of information we are subjected to.  The emails, the texts, the phone calls, all of the noises, the to do lists, the news, the TV, the social media, the news feeds — everything is out there putting in information into our system.  A morning routine, that includes getting busy for 20 minutes has helped me organize and then ELIMINATE all that non-important information.  After I finish, I feel OPEN, clear and in PEACE and mostly excited for the day ahead.  It’s nice to be able to look at whatever has to happen next both in the short term (like lunches, and a shower, and the work day), and then the long term (what do we have to do this month, what do we have to do this year), and be able to handle BOTH calmly.

I mention the morning, because the morning works well for me.  But you may find that you do best working at midday, or in the evening when the day is OVER, and you can truly relax.  Whenever you can fit in a routine that nourishes your soul and replenishes you – get it done.

It’s powerful to be able to start a habit and continue it daily.  It does get easier each day, and even if you have to re-start and re-start and re-start, just keep going with it.  Because I’ve gotten up each morning and immediately know what I need to get done, I am confident that TOMORROW I’ll be able to do the same, with minimal effort. YET, when I started, and specifically December 30 of the past year, I had to lay out EVERY single article of clothing I needed for the next morning’s run.  Why?  Because I didn’t have a habit or a routine established.  I usually slept until I woke up or was woken up, and I would get out of bed and do whatever needed to get done, I didn’t do what I needed to do for myself to then do everything that needed to get done the right way.  I also remember several times I made running dates, I would barely sleep the night before because it was not my ROUTINE to get up and get out the door, therefore forcing my body to sleep light because I was afraid I would not get up.

If you don’t have your ideal morning routine set up, commit to something you can do tomorrow, and put EVERYTHING in place to get it done.  If this means you lay out every single piece of everything you need, get it done.  If this means setting two alarms, get it done. The next day, do the same, and then the next day, until it all starts to become a habit and a routine.  Now, my children even know that I’m outside in the AM, and I always come back sweaty, and it’s NORMAL for them to see me this way.  Yet, it takes time.  Give yourself as much time as you need to set up a daily routine, you can execute each day, weekends included.  After spending time with friends on the weekends late into some nights, I still get up the next morning, because otherwise, it would be easier to fall off.  Yet, what I have noticed is now when I’m having fun, I make sure that the fun I’m having doesn’t make it completely IMPOSSIBLE to still get up the next day and have a great run.  If this means an earlier bedtime or less wine, or less sweets, then it’s a WIN.

Ideally, we always want what we want, with minimal effort.  And this is the goal and will happen.  Yet, we must turn a routine into our normal daily life, so it’s never a separate thing, but natural and part of life like everything else we do without thinking.  I drink water, I breath, I sleep, and I workout in the am.  It’s still a tiny bit separated, but it’s merging and merging into normal everyday life, and will continue to.

The biggest tip I can share is to document the change.  Open up an Excel file and jot down what you’ve done each day.  My son’s teacher taught me this, because by having us fill out a reading log, we started reading so much more.  It’s the same with whatever you want to get done physically and with your morning routine.  How long did you run or bike or yoga or mediate?  How many miles, how did you feel?  What day is it, and how many days in a row?  This is so incredibly motivating to me, and I love seeing the numbers go up.  It’s a PHYSICAL measure of your success, success that you can ONLY build onto it daily.  Can you see improvements? Can you see consistency? Can you share it with others?  Can you go two days in a row, can you go for a whole week, or a month or 30 days or 100 days?  Can you get excited about running your first 100 miles, or biking 1000 this year?

It’s not very exciting but it gets me excited to keep building.

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Thankfully, my schedule and that of my husband has kept me home so there have been no big snags in my ability to get up.  Obviously, if he traveled or if I had to travel for work, I would have to get a bit more CREATIVE in making sure my goals kept on.  Yet, that’s part of the fun.  Can you still get done what you need to get done, even with challenges and obstacles?  If you are in a morning routine that is serving you, and you realize how much it is benefiting your mental and physical health, it’s easy to get creative and STILL get it done.  Yet, when you aren’t, it’s easier to only look at the obstacles and the excuses right there in front of us all.  I hate talking about excuses because I’ve made plenty of them in the past.  Heck, I still do!  But, it’s good to call them exactly what they are – excuses!  And only when we keep learning and recognizing what we need to do – that we put the right wheels into motion.

What if you kept trying and trying and trying to successful workout each morning or each day but always quit or fail.  Well, so have I.  I’ve been there.  Heck, it was 2010 the last time I finished my 365 running streak, and it’s now 2018.  So yes, did it take me eight years to FINALLY get back on the wagon and holding on instead of falling off.  Have I tried over and over and over to start other routines that I knew would serve me deeply on every level, but never manged to!  Yup.  That’s just life.

Give yourself grace, and move the heck on, and keep trying, try again, and get it done. Compare yourself to no one, and just get out there.  Wake up today or tomorrow and move it.  Move your body, clear your mind, set up a vehicle of GETTING RID OF THAT BAD ENERGY through sweat, and then welcome in all that FRESH AIR and FRESH perspective and peace through deep breaths.  Whatever you start, you will change up, but just get started.  I started just running, and I had to pause to heal my sore hip, and now I’m biking.  I also want to swim and maybe will have to do 20 minutes of elliptical time in the future, and then run again.  I have added weight training to the routine, and other movement.  I will continue to curtail and add and listen and take away and make it exactly what my body needs that day.

Cheers to YOU, and your morning routine, your exercise streak, you getting started and most importantly keeping it going and going and going, until it’s paramount that YOUR particular routine has become YOUR life and the way you live and breath and kick off each day, completely in ease and peace.

 

 

Homemade Dog Food, mostly protein & fat, and love.

I was walking my dog this sunny Saturday, and I couldn’t help but feel that this PUP is walking ME.  Because of HIM, I’m out here, in the sun (though with a hat and sunglasses, and a t-shirt that is covering me up to the neck because there will be no saggggga chest skin for this non-sun-bathing-mama) getting all this beautiful and FREE vitamin D.  The SUN makes me so happy.  It really allows us to constantly see the non-stop good that surrounds us.

I got a bit teary-eyed thinking that maybe he saved me (in both the long term and short term health goals & longevity) because he has given me that special job of walking him for 30 minutes a day – less than 2 miles, around our neighborhood.  The power of GETTING OUT THERE, as close to nature as possible, or sometimes just in fresh air, is freeing, and healing.

Trees in water, the reflection, my favorite part of our walks is seeing this.

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As soon as we got home, I started making his 4th batch of HOMEMADE DOGGGY FOOD!  We ran out of it last night, and this morning I had to give him only the store purchased kind, and he looked at me, like “Ya kiddin right, where my grub be at?”  And so, having just purchased all the ingredients, I got to work for my number one stunna!

Ingredients, all from Alid:

beef

salmon

celery

eggs

onion

white rice
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Instead of using a whole bag of sweet pots, like I’ve used the last several batches, this time I added salmon, and made it heavier in protein and fat, versus heavier in carbohydrates.  Dogs do well on a low carb diet, just like us humans, so I was excited to see that it still made two weeks worth of grub.

I first brown the beef, add a bit of water, then I chopped up the onion (which is really great for their gut health too!), and then added celery.  I let this cook for a bit, kept stirring, and then added the salmon.  Because of the skin, I used a pair of scissors to cut it all up.  Once this cooked up a bit, I crushed and added a dozen eggs.  Dogs do well eating egg shells, so the WHOLE egg went into his food.

Kinda gross, but still kinda cool.

 

 

Once this all cooked for a bit, I took it off the heat and let it cool down, before storing it in two separate Tupperware containers.  I froze one, and one went into the fridge.  I give our dog 1c for breakfast along with 1c dry dog food, and then the same for dinner.  I found a grain free dry dog food at Aldi, and am replacing the current dry dog food we have now, with this type going forward.  I am not doing a price comparison, because idontwannaknow.  Though, what gives me piece of mind is that I would much rather spend $ on better dog food, than vet bills in a few years.

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This is my first year of being a real dog owner, and I can’t help but feel incredibly responsible for his health and happiness, and physical security.  I want this guy feeling good for as long as possible, because unlike children and humans, he can’t let me know if something is off.  All I can go on is how healthy his poop looks (I know, it’s gross, but it’s the truth), and that’ he’s sleeping well, and acting well, and generally looks happy.  As we get to know him more and more, it will be easy to spot when something is off, but for now, thankfully, all is good!

if you are thinking of owning a dog, or if you already have your best friend living with you, try your hand at making your very own dog food.  It’s really not that complicated, and put a few ingredients together, and feed them to your pup.  I’ll continue to work adding one ore two veggies to his food, along with an array of protein products.  I can always go HAM, and buy everything organic and grass fed, and well, we are barely there with our own human food, so da dogga will have to wait – but we have to have goals! 🙂 🙂 🙂

I also recently learned that dogs help increase our immunity, especially that of our children, which is pretty exciting.  I can see how animals, especially dogs DO expose us to new and more germs and bacteria, and therefore making us stronger.  Yet, my favorite part of having Artex a part of our family, is that I get to learn more about it all (food, nutrition, health) by taking care of him, and that’s is pretty rad and priceless!

Cheers, DoggyLovers!

The power of staying ON COURSE, regardless of the woes.

Yesterday, during my run, my left hip felt really sore.  I’m not exactly sure why exactly it hurt, because besides sore feet, I never had any sore hips.  What the hip is going on!

But with each step on yesterday’s run, the hip muscle hurt, and it was getting more sore the last few days I ran.  Even post run, I asked my excellent masseuse (aka the husband) to massage the pain out.  With his best effort and strong muscles and sexy arms and hands, it didn’t go away.  So I finished running yesterday, and figured that it was going to be my last run for the next few days.  There’s nothing exciting about a 35 year old mom causing herself to limp in the spirit of a casual running habit, even thought it was an amazing 40 day consecutive running journey (just sayin’).

Needless to say, last night as the kids were playing football and wresting and throwing the Frisbee (all in the house, all at the same time), I was going semi-crazy I was able to move my sexy Schwinn Airdyne bike out of my office, and into our garage.  I first tested out how loud it is, if I kept it in the house.  I would probably be on it between 5-6am and it was way too loud, while in the house, so off to the garage we went.  Somehow, miraculously, it fit in a decent spot (right next to the garbage can), and will stay there going forward.

This morning I got up, and I hoped the hip would be 1000% all better, and I could lace up my kicks and go for a run.  Instead, it was sore, so there was no more hoping and thankfully no hopping either!  It was not as sore as yesterday all day, but still enough to warrant a break from running.  And so I changed the exercise mode on the Runkeeper app from running to cycling and turned the GPS off (because mama wasn’t getting anywhere on a stationary bike), and put on my favorite YouTube Channel (High Intensity Health), and rode that bike for 20 min!  It wasn’t euphoric, but I was pretty sweaty at the end, and I assume will be even more sweaty tomorrow, as that muscle and sweat memory starts to grow.  Plus, I learned a few more things listening to my favorite health channel!

I thought about the importance of going with the flow, and flowing with the river in many of the obstacles, challenges or situations that come up on us!  I could have certainly gotten really upset that I couldn’t continue my little running exercise but instead, no one has time for that!  My friend says it best, whenever it’s MORE nuts to fight something than to just go with the happy flow.  I know it’s not always fair and fun when things don’t go as we planned them out, but we must start flowing with the river, and stop the maddening paddling against it.

The complaining, the whining, the crying, the poor me, the unfairness of it all – has to end.  We just must go with whatever is happening and make up a new path, and take the fork in the road if it’s necessary.  I’m not talking about the BIG things here that we need to SCREAM about to change.  I’m talking about the minutia that can turn us around too often, or take us too far down the wrong road.  A lot of times, we are so quick to react and get upset, and get stuck in that stage of “unfairness” when a plan goes array, but instead, it’s important to not get in that space.  Maybe because I always have to be on for my kiddos, and work, and all my personal goals, but going down that HOLE and getting stuck down there is no longer an option.  We must just keep moving on.

I get how easy it is to go down that path, and stay in there, and willow in there, and live in there, and feel sad, and cause yourself more pain, and feel that hurt, or anger, or defeat or failure, or just lay there, and cry and let it all simmer.  I did this so often.  I did.  Whatever would happen, I would let myself get upset, and sad, and the gamut of negative and challenging emotions, and just remain there physically, emotionally, spiritual – in the dark – until I decided that it was ENOUGH and crawl out of it.  Holy guacamole, it was exhausting, and I would do this so often.

Now, no more.  It’s time to keep moving forward.  I credit the fact that I’m a mom, and have to be available for my kiddos all of the time.  I have to work, and I can’t work in a bad mental state.  I have goals, and I have to stay determined, and I have to keep moving on.  If I don’t feel great, I just keep going on and I know deep in my heart, it will all pass and the sun will continue to shine on.

Imagine if the Eagles gave up, after their quarterback hurt his knee?  Imagine if they decided to crumble?  Imagine if they mentally decided that they could no longer score because they didn’t have Carsen (we are tight, that’s we’re on a first name basis).  Imagine if a team of young millennials didn’t keep going.? We would not have THIS HAPPY GUY sitting right there, basking in Super Bowl glory.  And we would own a jersey that my son wanted for Christmas of a quarterback that couldn’t finish the season.  Instead, we now own a ton of jerseys of of a team that are finally world champs.  That’s the POWER of staying on course, and not getting turnt!

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We must do this especially when all too often, we let others effect us.  Not everyone has positive energy, not everyone understands the importance of staying mentally strong.  Not everyone has yet figured out the necessity of living your life through that brightly colored glass, not everyone focuses on self-development, and gratefulness.  It’s okay to love, and give grace to humans who are not where we want to be, but we must put a lot of physical or emotional space in between the two.  Negative energy is contagious and it may get you, especially if you are just starting out building your very best emotional self.

I challenge us all to always keep moving on, and flowing with that beautiful river of life, regardless of the complexities, troubles, and adversity.  Get in the LIFE boat – WHICHEVER way it wants to go – and relax through it all.  Figure out a new plan, adjust the goals, and don’t let yourself get pulled off the boat.  Just keep holding on, and moving on, and flying through it all – HOWEVER UGLY, however unfair, however un-fun – just keep moving on.  No more fighting, just let’s keep on keeping on!

Cheers, and let’s stay strong, and aim for the long-term!

 

 

 

Perfect Diet

I chose Wellness & Coaching as my degree in college.  I ended up graduating from the University of Pittsburgh in 2004 with this degree, and immediately decided to NOT work in the health and wellness field, because it was so tough to ask people to change their habits.  Heck, it was hard for me to change my own cravings and unhealthy eating habits.  Yet, my love for all information regarding health and nutrition and exercise and life wellness, has stayed and grown.

The diets that flood our marketplace right now are truly some of the best diets and systems and way of eating that have ever been put out.  And if you really do some research and learn about some of the amazing studies out there, and learn from doctors who are using nutrition to reverse major chronic killers, it’s all pretty amazing and informative.  I also really love to watch all of the documentaries that talented people get out there for the rest of us to learn from.  At the end of the day, I find that whatever you can do for the rest of your life, is probably the best diet and system for you.  You can certainly temporarily do water fasts to drastically and quickly improve your health, but what’s is the long term solution? What can you do today and tomorrow and the next day and in social situations and while you are alone, that is really best for you and your health, and that of your family.

I’ve been on the search for this for a while now, and it’s amazing how long something can take to truly absorb into your mind and brain, and then how much longer it can take to implement it.  I’m still learning daily, but lately, I’ve had a ton of epiphanies, by learning some new things about our bodies, and our health, and nutrition, and how the whole system is set up.

The first thing that has recently BLOWN MY MIND, is gut health and when I say gut health, I mean the whole system of BACTERIA that is set up and lives throughout our entire body that controls everything.  When we don’t feed and support this bacteria correctly, things can get hazy, foggy and go wrong.  Some scientists even found that this organ of bacteria controls everything from our moods to our cravings to the diseases we will get and works (or fights) with the genes that we ALREADY have in place – those given to us by our parents and ancestors.

I also learned that one of the best ways to automatically be set up for gut health and microbiome success is to come into this world via vaginal delivery and be breast fed.  I was a c-section baby and not breast fed.  It was the first time I really thought about how this has effected my health today.  I was brought up in Poland where we did eat a lot of fruit and veggies off my grandparent’s farm, and I remember my grandpa growing his their own tomatoes, and my grandma constantly canning fresh and their own grub.  Yet, I can’t believe that it took me 35 years to realize the importance of whole food eating.  And it’s not even “whole” food or “plant” food, it’s also the SOURCES of this food.  If I’m chowing down on raw kale or spinach, this is awesome, but if that kale and spinach has been sprayed with pesticides and grown in soil that was EMPTY of any nutrients, then my GUT is getting exactly that.  The same weed killers that are present on my kale, are now killing the healthy bacterial in our guts.

I know this is awful to hear and awful to learn, and I can see how if this type of info is important to you too, it can really be heartbreaking.  I am an Isagenix consultant, and I finally UNDERSTAND why the company and products do so well and are so needed by most people.  Because when you can offer vitamins and minerals and macro-nutrients – that are antibiotic free and hormone free, and digestible and absorb-able and favorable in a super convenient shake form – you must get them into your body as often as possible – especially in our high paced Western world.

But what else can we do?  What else must we do, to feed our microbiome so that it never has an opportunity to FIGHT our bods, but instead supports our growth and our immune system, and help us ANTI-AGE and fight off all illnesses and diseases brought on by age and food?  The answer is so simple yet so complex:  we must feed it and treat it correctly.

I’m slowly, and when I say slowly, I mean like turtle speed that is blind without an aid moving half the time in circles, started going about fixing my gut.  I haven’t done any tests, I have not worked with any doctors, I just know deep down in my heart, that my gut and whole body needs continuous nutritional improvement.

As awful as our food environment is, I am choosing to look at the POSITIVE and be grateful for what is available, and take an active role doing ANYTHING and EVERYTHING I can – yet slowly (one meal and day at a time) to start improving my health, and anything and everything to help set my children up for as much success as I can.

This was the day yesterday:

6am – 20 min run

7am – water w/ 2T organic apple cider vinegar

8am – coffee, black

10am – pack of vitamins & coffee w/1tbs grass fed organic butter, w/1 teaspoon organic coconut oil, w/ organic caricature & cinnamon, blended up with organic heavy whipping creme.

12pm – 30 min walk w/dog in sunshine

1pm – 1 head of romaine lettuce over red & regular cabbage & carrots sauteed with ghee butter

130pm – 2 scoops isa shake & 1 scoop isa whey protein (42 grams of protein)

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6pm – frozen blueberries & frozen cherries (publix, not organic)

7pm – Indian curry (ginger, tomatoes, onions & seasonings) over roasted fresh vegetables: cauliflower, green beans, mushrooms, asparagus

water, bed, 14K steps

This is just one day, and the goal is to truly eat as naturally as possible, foods that are in their purest forms, and foods that are as whole as possible, sourced cleanly and locally if possible.

After I woke up recently about the state of the grub I have consumed, it’s pretty crazy.  But, our bodies are forgiving, but as soon as you realize that WE ARE WHAT WE EAT and what we ate, we can quickly begin taking steps to help ourselves do much better.

Is the ENTIRE food marketing system, and food industry, and government food lobbyist to blame – absolutelyfreakenlutelyx1000!  If they cared about the health of the citizens, they wouldn’t allow chemicals that are SLOWLY yet VIOLENTLY killing us all – into the food system.  But it’s important to remember that many industries are THRIVING by keeping people SICK, yet still alive.  So let’s change this – change this for YOU, one day at a time.

Does this mean that I won’t ever eat another harmful thing, or another harmful product or a cupcake or a cookie, or a piece of farmed raised fish at a restaurant?  No, I refuse to set IMPOSSIBLE standards that are hard to meet.  BUT, I will try to do better each and every day by feeding my micro-biome and feeding my system as best as I can.  And instead of buying processed carbs or snacks, I’ll try to make as many of them myself with the best ingredients possible.

Will sending my child in to school with an organic apple, and organic strawberries, and organic spinach make sense, if he brings back the WHOLE lunch?  No, we’re not there yet.  But, I can certainly do what I can right now by buying organic snacks, and starting a mini garden at home, and thinking twice about all food choices, and feeding him mostly raw and organic grub or minimally processed food when he is home.  And I’m not pushing organic at all, because organic farming has their own challenges.  Always be aware of the marketing of so many products and systems, organic or non-organic and buying local from a farmer’s market is best.

What’s next for this family?  Well, I’m really on board with putting healthy fat into our bodies.  I’m a huge believer in getting a good amount of excellent protein into our muscles.  Muscle is the longevity organ, and a good amount of protein is needed to thrive and anti-age.  Ideally, the processed carbs can forever take a hike, because these are never needed in our systems, yet the hardest ones to remove.  With the Internet, the amount of amazing recipes and tools and information available to us all – it’s possible replace all empty carbs by using and making vegetables in interesting ways.  I made broccoli veggie chips the other day, and did it taste like a nice tortilla chip?  Nah.  But can I live with it, and enjoy it?  Absolutely!  It was fun to have a day full of mostly VEGETABLES yesterday, and it’s fun to concentrate on eating, with gut health in mind.  Because NOW I know that our gut health controls most processes in our bodies, I feel MOTIVATED to do right by myself, and my body.  I also know our bodies mean to re-generate themselves and give us plenty of chances to get it right.

Michael Pollen said it best:  Eat food, not too much, mostly plants.

There is a lot more where this came from, and it’s by far some of the most exciting information and topic in the world, because FOOD is who we are, makes us who we are and want to be.

Cheeeers, Healthy Bacteria!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our only job is to get and stay strong.

What’s the purpose of each day, of each year, of life, of our families, of our goals and relationships and everything we do?   Why do what we do?  Why set goals and overcome obstacles?

I believe it is to grow strong, get strong, and stay strong.  There is so much to do, so much to learn, so much to experience, and so much to live through, but when we educate ourselves, when we start putting into play the right actions and emotions and ideas and habits and routines, we start to create really strong and healthy and happy and peaceful humans, we create the best ourselves.

This is legit my goal, today and tomorrow and forever.  How can I leave today – giving it my all, all my love and kindness and work ethic and sweat, while still spending the day in a calm and happy state, and then start tomorrow – with a tiny bit more resilience and determination and positivity, than yesterday?

I have always wanted this, but I always attempted it in pieces.  I wanted the calm life, but then I really wanted something contradictory.  Lately, day by day, it’s been fun putting together, slowly, and with lots of errors and mistakes (of course), days I am proud of.  I gave my all to my husband, to my work, to my children, to my writing and talents I want to pursue, to my friends, to my animals, to self development, to learning, to science, to nature, to exercise, to food, to shopping, and spending, and saving and investing, and to finances, but I did it all just enough, enough to have a lot of space left over.  The goal is to give of yourself, to strengthen yourself, but not to weaken yourself.

You can’t grow stronger, if you give away all of your energy, or you bankrupt yourself emotionally, or financial or physically.

How do we find that middle ground?  We certainly don’t get stronger by not doing anything, or by sitting on our couch, or by giving up, or losing hope, or by feeling anxious or depressed and therefore paralyzed to do anything.

Grab a hold of the habits and life you want to practice and live, and put them into action.  If all you do each day is drink a lot of water, enough water to make you feel good, get that done, and be extremely proud of that.  The very next day you are waking up stronger and healthier, and more hydrated, and therefore stronger.  If you go to bed each night, reading something positive, and falling asleep with gratitude in your heart (regardless of the day), then that next morning, you are waking up a bit more stronger, because you all of the sudden, have a bit more love, and thankfulness and grace in your soul.  If you do something like journal, or take a walk, or eat a salad, and you do this today and tomorrow and the next day – you are growing stronger, you are becoming stronger, and you are turning habits that bring positive growth into your real life.

I like to keep a list of everything I do well for myself.  I keep this list on an Excel file, but also in my head.  I jot down if I took my vitamins, I write down the foods I ate that HELPED my body, helped my gut, I jot down what I ate overall, and the time I started, and the time I stopped and started my overnight fast.  I write down how far and how fast I ran, and if I took my dog for a walk at lunch.  I write down if I weight trained, and how many words I blogged.  I write down how many calls and emails and work conference calls I set up and had.  I note what type of math I did with my son, if I vacuumed up the house, if my son read in the AM and PM, and what type of snacks and dinner all of the kids had.  I jot down what time I woke up, and think about how well I slept.  I write down my total steps for the day.

At first, I WANTED a life where I slept well, rested well, exercised well, learned, and was super present and there for my kids, and did well by my work, and also nurtured my own dreams and my needs.  But I found myself feeling very far from my ideal life – even though I knew what I wanted.  I decided to celebrate all of the things I did that I knew would strengthen me for the next day.  And then I did more, and more and more, and now they have started to come together.  Little by little, those tiny little habits and things give me so much pleasure and happiness, yet at the same time, positively intensify my body, mind and life.

At this point, getting stronger means being able to recognize and appreciate and surround myself with nature, walk my puppppa, and hold tightly to my children, yet give them enough space to grow into independent and efficient humans.

The turnaround can happen quickly, and if you find yourself frazzled, or unhealthy, or going down the wrong path, the wrong way – turn it around.  This doesn’t mean you have to up-heave your entire life, to get the right way, but start with just one thing.  What you know bolster your tomorrow, is not necessarily what will do it for me or another human.  Be as fiercely independent in your habits as your heart desires.  Check in deeply with exactly what will put you in an enhanced position, and get it done.

Take it one day and one habit at a time.  And then add on, and document.  Document document document, and keep documenting until you are LIVING it all out.

To wake up each morning and feel and be more solid than the day before strengthens your foundation, and your ability to do more with less, to do more when challenges arise, and to get through each day – REGARDLESS of what happens, with a ton more vitality.  You want to get to a point where you are able to handle anything and everything without breaking down – in any way.  Or if you allow yourself time to heal, you get it done, in a way that will once aging give you more vitality, foundation and life boost.

I remember getting my blood pressure taken often, especially when preggo, and it was always in the 120s over whatever.  Healthy but not ideal for me.  Yesterday, I sat at a machine at Publix and took my blood pressure, and know that it’s nice and low because of these tiny little habits I’ve put into the daily system, to get stronger, healthier, and live more in peace.

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Lots of things happen to us in life, we live through tough times, tough people and many periods of pain.  But how do those events and periods effect you, how do will you choose them to effect you? (I hope I’m using the correct “effect” here!)  Do they give you MORE reason to live, more reason to do well by yourself, or do they do the opposite.  We must be proud of what we had to overcome and will have to overcome in the future.  It’s not always pretty, it’s certainly not always fair, but it’s part of it all.  And when we create a life of constant development and re-development – we have more and more tools to get through it all – with nothing but grace.

Cheers, and stay strong.  Get better for strength, so that you can handle it all, and handle it well, the good and the challenging, the fun and the minutia!