Friday, June 16, 2017

Baby Steps to Healing!

I’m an Over-doer. I’ve known this most of my adult life. But people love over-doers and I love being loved. Who wouldn’t love someone who takes care of things, and usually jumps up to do it without even being asked?

Here’s what I know, this over-doing sh*t takes a toll year after year. Don’t kid yourself that you are doing something good by over-shouldering responsibility for things. You are harming yourself in the process. But you can learn to help yourself.

It’s not possible for a doer to stop doing. Not gonna happen. But it turns out there is an obvious line between doing and over-doing. The trick is to start training yourself to see the line, and learn to stop crossing it. If it helps, think of the line as crime scene tape, DANGER.

Right now, I’m recovering from a flare of diverticulitis (think kidney stone type colon pain). I did manage to walk by the same piece of dirt on the stairs for almost a week but once I started feeling a little better, I picked it up. Then I started mentally picking up other things, seeing the things I had let go, and started planning on doing them. Grant you, I am better but not well yet. I have no business worrying about these things. But the doer in me has reawakened.

I will not pretend learning this is easy or that it happens quickly. I’m still reminding myself of the awareness (seeing the line) and the need to say “NO” (not crossing the line) almost every day. Who knew that saying “NO” to myself could be harder than saying “NO” to someone else?

Today, I realized doing some mental gymnastics can be helpful. I realized the things that were bothering me could be reduced in scope so that they were doable without overdoing.

See, normally when I do the kitchen towels, I also do all the towels in the house. I realized that only the kitchen towels on the floor in front of the washer were bothering me. I simply threw them in the wash. Case closed. No overdoing.  

Line seen, not crossed, mission accomplished. Now, my brain started on other things. It was only the rug by the sink that truly needed vacuuming not the entire house.

Like everything, the more you practice seeing the line and not crossing it, the easier it gets. Today is a good day. I reached for a spoon in the silverware drawer and there weren’t any. I didn’t even think about cleaning out the dishwasher. I found a baby spoon. Went back to the couch and started eating my soft fruit. 

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

LIAV Camp is Not Magic...It's Present Moment Living

It’s living so present that it feels like magic. I started glimpsing this place about ten years ago and then I came and went over the years. Eventually, I could recognize when I was there. Each year after camp, I am there.

In this place, I see colors differently, sharper, more beautiful. When I drive, I feel like I’m in the picture with the world surrounding me instead of moving through the picture to the next place. It’s butt in the seat. Me in my body…living there not scattering myself out in the world like I used to.

My wish bracelet wish was to take the wonder of camp home with me. Until today, I didn’t remember about how present I felt after each camp and how grounding that was.

How spending time with people who chose to open their hearts and share them with me (whatever that looked like) brought me here living in the most amazing present moment. I’m working hard to stay here as long as I can.

I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that life has a way of tugging me back. So, here is my strong offer. I’m going to spend the next month or two finding ways to stay in my body and then I’m going to create an online course (my auction item winning bid thx. Gail Overstreet) to help myself and others live from this place that feels truly like magic!

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Habit Muscle Training

In my friend Caroline Greene’s book Matter, she says whatever we have in mind to do, cut it in half, then cut it in half three more times, and start there.

Okay, I didn’t go quite that far, but I did start slowly when I joined a new gym. It was harder than you’d think. First, I had to quiet the voices in my head that kept saying “you’re not doing enough.”

We like to think of ourselves as strong, like we can do anything we put our minds to but the fact is that if we are going to succeed, we must start slow and take the time to celebrate small victories. That's how a habit muscle is built.

I had not been to the gym all summer. My usual gym closed and being truthful, I was just phoning it in there anyway. Summer kept me busy and the crisp fall air seemed like a good time to get started.

One thing I knew for sure was that I had to devise a plan for working out that worked for me. Not necessarily the one that works for my friends. I chose my gym by proximity and because it was a new, clean, large facility that offered many group exercise classes.

To be successful; I knew that I would need help. So I met with a trainer and salesperson at the gym. I got the hard sell to sign up for one hour personal training sessions once per week for a year. I said “that’s not for me.” I want to start slow. He came down to nine months. I said “No I want to start slow.” After he pitched a six month personal training package at once a week, he finally asked “what do you want to do?”

Without judgment or shame, I said a three month package with one half hour session per week.

He suggested a trainer named Hannah, and I’ve just completed my third week of personal training with her. Celebrating my success, YAY! I’ve also attended a Zumba class each week, too.

The class is scheduled for one hour, which is a little too much for me right now, so I skip the first fifteen minutes. When I show up, I start slowly warming myself up. I realize this wouldn’t work in a class that requires mats or special equipment, but it works just fine in Zumba. Celebrating that one, too! YAY!!!

I was hoping to get to the gym and workout on my own once a week. But after caring for my two-year old grandson two mornings a week and gardening some, I wasn’t managing to get there. At first, the voices told me I wasn’t measuring up because I didn’t get there on my own.

Then I remembered Caroline’s advice “Start small, nope, smaller than that.” So for now, I took getting to the gym on my own off my “to do” list. Celebrating Again! YAY!!!!

I told my trainer Hannah that I would be out-of-town next week. She asked “when are you leaving?” Snap, not until Wednesday. Now, I’m scheduled for a training session before I go. I also decided to do an extra Zumba class on Sunday for the one I will miss later in the week.

I guess slow and steady does win the habit muscle race!

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Have You Been Unfaithful? I’m not talking Ashley Madison unfaithful.

Yesterday, I realized I’ve been cheating….on myself. I was doing for others what I wasn’t doing for me (at the drop of a hat I might add).  

If you posted on FB that you were searching for a catchy phrase of 2-5 words that would encompass (fill in the blank), I would spend hours trying to come up with it for you. Which I guess you could say sounds noble and nice, but if I’m not doing my own stuff with the same vigor, I not being noble or nice. I’m cheating on myself.

Another insidious method I found to cheat on myself is continuous learning. My inbox was overflowing with all the webinars, blogs, and emails of people’s work I follow. Even though I had recently done a massive unsubscribe purge, I was saving up a lot of content to devour later. Now, I see the writing on the wall. I am spending my time learning and learning and learning and not DOING!

The first of the year I told myself “I will make blogging regularly a priority.” Has that happened? NO! I’ve read a lot of blogs. I added to my knowledge base. I’m learning a lot, but am I DOING, NO!!!

Yesterday, I realized I wanted all this to change. I wanted to be faithful to myself, so I put myself on a “Learning Fast.” I’m not allowed to go searching for or learn anything new until further notice. AND I’m not allowed to DO for other people what I’m not DOING for myself. This actually makes so much sense!

Lest you think I’ve gone completely bonkers, if in the process of DOING, I need to learn something to achieve what I’m DOING, I can. But I’m not allowed to learn just to learn. That ship has sailed. I truly do know a lot and I need to start applying it. Does that sound familiar?

Mary Anne Radmacher’s talking dog Webster posted a video yesterday on Facebook asking “What are you waiting for?” That smart Rat Terrier spoke directly to my heart bringing on a “come to Jesus” moment.

The seventh commandment “Thou shall not commit adultery” has taken on a new meaning for me. Adultery is when I DO someone else’s stuff instead of DOING my own stuff. That’s kinda what it meant in the bible, too, right?

So I did it. No more unfaithful acts for me. I cleared out my inbox of all those blogs, webinars and links to conference calls. Yep, I hit “delete” and it felt good. I didn’t look back.

Today, feels different. I’m on high alert staying vigilant and focused, but it’s so much easier than I thought it would be.

Are there things that you could do or not do to be more true to who you are? I highly recommend it!

Monday, February 9, 2015

Getting What You Want

In Susan Hyatt’s blog today "Just Get Your Shoes On", she spills the dirt that even after all her physical training, motivational coaching, and her own ability to help clients get major results, it still requires a ton of effort and commitment to get out of bed and out the door for her morning run.

Susan’s admission reminded me of something Mel Robbins said. Stop waiting to want to do it because you are never going to want to do it. She was talking about the hard stuff. The stuff we need to do to have our “great life.” The one we all deserve.

I know that the hard stuff is hard, the hard stuff is scary, the hard stuff is uncharted territory. Believe me I know! But I also know that beyond the hard stuff is our field of dreams, the things that if we push ourselves to find, we will wake up most days with huge smiles on our faces and love in our hearts.

I resist going to the gym even though I claim to want to be healthy and strong. What I started doing was telling myself all I had to do was go there and drink a bottle of water. Of course, once I was there working out didn’t seem nearly as big a deal. Susan says that once she has her shoes on the decision’s been made and she goes for her run.

What could you do today to get your metaphoric “shoes on” and step closer to your field of dreams? I wrote a blog which I’ve been promising myself to do regularly for quite a while (years even)… what are you going to do???012.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

2015 Dream Seeds - Focus on Self-Compassion

I got up this New Year’s Day morning thinking about self-compassion, one of this year’s Life is a Verb Camp themes. How can I carry that amazing goal with me through the entire year and take it to the next level.

I’ve gotten a handle on the judging others thing. I know, hard to imagine me “judgy” but I have been. What I learned and now embrace is that if I let myself judge others harshly, I’m a half of a baby step (or less) away from judging myself and no matter how much I tell myself not to do it, it WILL happen. Compassion for others is where I began my self-compassion journey.

Now, I’m looking at ways to focus my energy and to increase my self-compassion in 2015. Two things immediately come to mind. Am I listening closely enough to my true self when she speaks? Am I creating the space with stillness to hear her heart dreams? Am I respecting those dreams….that one got an “ahhhh” when I typed it. I may have found my answer.

AND…am I acting on those whispers, respecting their vision, even if I can’t quite see the next turn on the path, even if following them feels a little scary? That one got a small “YIKES.” So clearly I have work to do there, too.

I’d love to hear about YOUR self-compassion journey. Is it something you are focusing on this year? What ideas do you have that could work for others, too!

I’m trying to connect to the love in everyone I meet. I like calling people “Luv.” I love endearing terms! So Luvs, tell me what are you focusing on in 2015? I know you have great ideas and I’d love to hear them!

Monday, April 7, 2014

Married to a Vegan (available on Amazon Wed. April 9, 2014)

My new book, Married to a Vegan is about my husband’s conversion to a vegan lifestyle and the journey it took us both on. It’s written from three perspectives. MY STORY – shares the humorous tale of how in the beginning his conversion took our marriage from magic to mayhem. HIS STORY – offers the scientific reasons to embrace a plant based diet and his own amazing results. OUR STORY – shows the evolution of a couple finding their way together in a new world. Of course, it has my signature brand of sass.

But more than that it’s about the two most important things in life: our relationship with other people (emotional well-being) and our relationship with food (physical well-being) which makes it relatable to everyone.

I was passionate about writing this story because it took up a lot of space in the last three years of my life. What I didn’t expect was to begin to understand “the whole vegan thing” through his eyes. Apparently, he didn’t do it just to annoy me ;-)!

The book is an often humorous peek into what happens in a relationship when a major life change requires a lot of negotiating, compromise, and commitment. It also has a bit of a surprise ending.