Recovery from a Cold or the Flu

I am in the process of recovering from Strep Throat, which is a bacterial infection effecting the upper respiratory system.  This infection went from Strep to an ear infection and now I am struggling with a cough and post-nasal drip.  This process has been going on for approximately a week now and I have 3 more days of antibiotic.  At the point I got bad enough I felt I needed to see a doctor I was miserable and desperate for relief.  It took about 3 days before the antibiotic began to work its magic and my symptoms started to subside.  I went from tears of pain to tears of joy once I was able to just drink a glass of water without pain.  Being sick during the cold, dreary winter months just adds to the seasonal depression and each day I arrive home from work I feel more exhausted.  I am on day 7 of my antibiotic and wondering what else I can do to speed up the healing process and just get my positive vibes back, along with my energy level.

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I have been on auto-pilot all week trying to just get through each day and I refuse to spend another week this way.  I need to get back on my treadmill, I need to be able to have a conversation without coughing so hard I want to throw up.  I need to clean up my house and go grocery shopping. I need to study for my Statistics test. Life does not wait for us to get better, we just get further behind!  I really and truly cannot afford to be sick any longer.  I have to work both my day and evening job today so I will be getting home around 10pm.  This makes for a long day for sure so I want to make sure I get all I can out of this weekend.  I believe it is just as important to have a plan for your time off as it is to have a schedule for your work week.  I try to include time for myself and the daily chores that I want to get done, like grocery shopping and laundry.  I feel that a productive weekend is one where you have time to both relax and still feel like you accomplished some projects that make the next work week flow easier.

Too many people think they are better off to just push through or maybe they are the opposite end of the spectrum and take a whole week off work spending day after day in bed; both can be very bad.  Everyone is different in how they deal with being sick. Most of us can agree that pushing too hard can only make matters worse and staying in bed too much can be equally damaging.  Extra rest is important when healing, especially from an upper-respiratory infection but getting up and moving around can actually be a good thing.  A little fresh air and movement in the body can get the blood flowing and circulation process working, which speeds the healing process.  Deep breathing techniques used during meditation is great for helping your body heal as well.  Knowing which vitamins and supplements work well for the healing process can also be helpful.  Vitamin C is always good for boosting the immune system and Vitamin D can boost your mood if you have been stuck sick in bed for days.  Make sure if you are prescribed an antibiotic or any other medication, that you take it as directed by your doctor and make sure you do not stop taking the antibiotic until it is gone.  Drinking plenty of fluids, especially water, will help the body process the vitamins, supplements and medications more easily and speed the healing process as well.  I have found the more I increase my water intake the better I feel with fighting upper respiratory infections.  Also, make salt your friend!  Gargling with with warm salt water and using a saline solution to cleanse nasal passages is a cheap and easy way to help reduce nose and throat discomfort.  Also, throw away your toothbrush!  Any time you have been sick it is smart to replace your toothbrush so that you do not reinfect yourself.

I plan to push through tonight and sleep in tomorrow.  Hopefully by keeping hydrated and taking my vitamins & supplements I will not take a step backward with the extra hours while I am still not completely recovered.  Knowing how to balance responsibility and self-care is the key to a happy, healthy life and a quicker recovery time!  Here is to looking forward to Spring…warmer temperatures, green grass, fresh air and sunshine! That is true medicine!

Sincerely,

Yours for better health, happiness, and balance

Stacy

 

 

 

Conversations With Yourself

You ever have a moment that frustrates you but you are unsure exactly why it bothers you so much?  The more you think about the moment you just want validation for how you are feeling, so you think you are going to call a friend and analyze things.  Have you ever considered calling that friend and then stopped?  Did you ever stop and think that analyzing the situation with someone else is exactly what you don’t need to do?  That is right, don’t talk about the things that frustrate you, at least not to other people.  The best thing you can do is talk it out with yourself and…God.

Maybe you are not a believer in the big man upstairs, that is okay, whatever you call it …the universe, Buddha, Mother Nature…we all have something greater than us that we go to in times of struggle.  Whatever you call that almighty power, I promise the conversations you have in those moments will be more enlightening than any conversation you have with that friend you were about to call.  We need to trust in ourselves to resolve our own conflict through thoughtfulness, meditation and prayer.  In these moments the biggest answers to worries, struggles and frustrations can become clear.

The truth is, the more you think about and discuss things, the bigger it becomes.  So the best thing you can do is pray or meditate upon it and then let it go.  The things you really want to be giving your energy to is the positive.  Talk to your friends about the good things in your life, the things that excite you, your goals to better yourself.  Never give your time and energy to the negative by over-analyzing issues.  I truly believe, the more you talk about something, the bigger it gets, so lets not make our problems bigger.

I have also found that listening is the best thing you can do.  So have you ever just listened to yourself?  Yes, at first thought, talking to yourself sounds like the straight path to crazy but the truth is, self talk can be very therapeutic.  If anyone knows the situation and feelings involved in the situation it is going to be you…so why not discuss the issue with yourself?  Ask yourself why you really think you are upset?  Are you assuming certain things or do you have all the facts?  Be honest with yourself, are you over-reacting or is this obviously something you should confront?  Ask yourself what advice would you give to a friend who came to you with the same dilemma?  Then take your own advice, but be very honest with yourself.

Learning to work through your problems on your own is a sign of strength.  I am not saying that you should never turn to others in times of struggle.  It is good to have a support system when things are hard and you can’t self sooth.  However, learning to work through social, mental and emotional issues on your own, through different methods, creates a stronger connection within.  Stop yourself and take a moment to take in everything around you, the sounds in the room around you, the feeling of your body from head to toe, the smells, listen to your breathing….connect with yourself like this a few times throughout the day. Learning to stop, be self aware and very present will help you stop in frustrating moments and gain composure before simply reacting.

Take time to be alone and talk things through with yourself and/or God….just talk out loud and you might be surprised just how much insight you really already have on the situation.

With Happiness, Health, Love and Great Self Talk,

Stacy

 

 

Winter Blues

How do they do it? I cannot imagine living in an area that has snow more than a few weeks out of the year.  I really do despise cold weather even with its moments of beauty.  From the moment my alarm goes off the thought of cold creeps into my world.  I must jump up and turn on the heater in my bathroom because I just hate being cold while I get ready in the morning (or anytime for that matter).  Then, I make my morning coffee, put on my 4 layers of clothes, and warm up my car before heading off to the office.  I feel chilled off and on throughout my day and I dread going anywhere other than straight to work and back home.  With snow and ice on the ground it just basically sucks to do anything, even walk!  If I go grocery shopping, pushing the cart to my car is like embarking on an off-roading adventure.  Life just takes more effort, I don’t want to go to the gym or go lay in the tanning bed.  Doing any of that means going out in the cold, and getting naked to lay in a tanning bed is absolute torture!  I am one of those people who gets cold and no matter what I do, I cannot get warm until the end of the day when I sit in a hot bath or take a hot shower to finally thaw out.

I suffer from what I call the winter blues.  I take vitamin D, I try to exercise and sit near a window to be near natural sunlight, I go to the tanning salon,  I do my best to drink plenty of water, meditate, and I have houseplants and flowers in my home & office.  All of this effort still leaves me wishing the cold and snow would just hurry up and go away.  I find myself looking through Hulu and Netflix for a movie or reading a book and I just can’t get interested.  I go to sleep early and wake up early like my grandparents used to do.  All of these efforts definitely help me to some degree and I recommend trying them if you haven’t.  However, in the end, the best thing you can do is face it and get out in it.  Don’t hide out!

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Push yourself to live your life and don’t allow yourself to get sucked into the winter blues.   Get yourself together and go do what you would be doing if it wasn’t freezing outside.  I get tired of hiding out and trying to wait it out, I just bundle up and get my ass to the gym anyway.  I always feel better once I do.  I find the more active I try to be in the winter the better I feel.  Allowing yourself to go into hibernation mode is a very bad idea.  In order to keep your immune system strong and avoid getting hit by the cold and flu season during the winter months, it is best to stay active, drink plenty of water, and get out in the fresh air when possible.

Embrace the easy, one pot recipes when winter arrives!  There are so many yummy soups, stews, and chilis and that you can put in the slow cooker and have ready when you get home from a long cold day.  I also love different herbal teas at night, before bed and wonderful essential oil blends to put in a warm bath. Embrace the cute and fashionable winter weather clothes, it makes the morning a lot easier to face if you have a coat, hat, gloves and a scarf that you really love. We don’t open windows in our home, office or car when it is freezing outside, so it can get stuffy;  I try to keep candles at my home & office, or tropical scented air fresheners in my car, so when the heat is blowing full blast I can enjoy the smell of the beach!  A cool mist humidifier is also wonderful, air can get dry in your home and adding a few drops of essential oils to the humidifier can add moisture and a wonderful, healthy scent to the atmosphere. Dry skin happens too, make sure you slather your body with a good moisturizer after your shower or bath to avoid dry, itchy skin (and don’t forget chapstick or lip balm!).  Eating fruits and vegetables that have lots of vitamin C and vitamin D is important to help keep the immune system strong and your mood improved as well!

Winter weather health is different than the other seasons and for me, it is a bit more of a struggle.  I have to push myself harder to motivate each day, those really cold days, when the ground is covered with snow, I just want to crawl back into my warm bed.  I must admit, once Spring comes it definitely brings a stronger appreciate for the other seasons!  Truthfully, I love all the seasons and I am thankful that in Missouri I get to see them all to the full extent each year.  I just prefer to watch winter through my living room window and not have to venture out in it.  However, this year I have practiced embracing it by finding things to enjoy and even though it is still my least favorite season I am pushing through like a champ!

With love, happiness, health and motivation (and dreams of Summer),

Stacy

Fasting 21 days

I have decided to do a special fast for the next 21 days. In this fasting period I plan to spend more time meditating instead of eating.  There are multiple issues I plan to battle in taking on this fast.  I feel that I have become too dependent on food in my life to bring me comfort.  I feel in order to be happier and healthier I need to remind myself that food is simply to fuel my body and not a hobby.  Since I am very busy working two jobs I cannot go completely without food.  My plan is to eat very minimal with fruits, vegetables, and water.

My hope is that I will not only change my dependency on food for more than just fuel, but also become happier and healthier mentally & physically.  When the hunger or cravings become strong or I feel tempted I plan to turn to meditation and prayer.  I hope this process will also help me realize that I can be strong enough to overcome my stress, worries or fears on my own, without turning to habits like eating to self sooth instead of actually being hungry.  Just like some people may depend on smoking, drinking or medications to overcome boredom, stress, or anxiety.  Usually when we can identify a bad habit we can monitor ourselves and each time we turn to the habit ask why?  What is going on in that moment that made us reach for the snack, cigarette, drink, or Xanax?  Once you can identify the trigger then you can reroute yourself.

I realize that I often reach for food out of habit and boredom.  When I am at my desk working on my computer, studying for school, or watching TV I find myself reaching for food even if I am not really hungry.  Keeping healthy snacks is not the goal here. Eating only when I am hungry is my goal.  Letting my body feel hungry is not a bad thing. So I have decided to stop the habit by being more aware of how I am feeling when I am working, studying or watching TV and not allow myself to just zone out.  By fasting for 21 days I will be more aware of what my body really needs and when it really needs it.  Turning to prayer and meditation creates an inner peace within us.  With practice we learn that we can naturally sooth ourselves.  Being able to self sooth is like a muscle that needs to be trained in order to get stronger.  If we constantly reach for other methods that muscle begins to atrophy.  Stop turning to food, cigarettes, alcohol or medications & drugs to help you cope.  Learn to depend on yourself.  Join me in this 21 day fast and rid your life of some unhealthy habits.

In Happiness, Health, and Strength for a Better YOU

Stacy

Hurt Feelings

Ever been with someone you love and they say or do something that completely hurts your heart?  You wonder later if maybe you are being a big baby but you analyze it from every direction and basically the comment or action was just for no other reason than to be mean.  Mama has always said, if you don’t have anything nice to say, then don’t say anything at all.  I guess we are all human and say things we don’t mean at times. Right?  At what point do the little cuts become a big wound?  How do we distinguish between being human versus being abusive?

I have encountered quite a few men in my life, (my father, bosses, friends and boyfriends) that have the habit of always pointing out the negative with ease, but rarely giving a compliment.  This is something I pay a lot of attention to because my love language is mainly words of affirmation.  I like to hear that I am appreciated, I prefer a love letter over a material gift, I need those words in order to feel fully loved.  Everyone has a love language and I believe my boyfriend has completely different love languages than I do.  My most important languages are words of affirmation and quality time, I believe his are acts of kindness and gifts.  The book of 5 Love Languages can really help you navigate how people show their love and feel loved in return and in this process also help you to not be as frustrated or get your feelings hurt.

I understand that people have bad days, I am actually probably one of the most forgiving, understanding, and positive people on the planet because I study people.  I get to know people, I watch, listen and learn constantly.  I take my time to reflect and analyze words and actions of others before I come to a decision on how to respond, if I respond at all.  I usually know when people are genuine or simply just being assholes.  If you can be really honest with yourself then it makes it easier to identify the assholes in life.  Being honest with yourself means, not making excuses for other people who talk down to you or treat you badly over and over again.  If you are dating a guy that makes you feel bad about yourself on a regular basis then he is probably just an ass and you need to move on.  Unfortunately, women (or men) with a low self esteem don’t believe they deserve better and they just make excuses and continue to be the victim, not realizing they have a choice.

I have had my feelings hurt before, as a matter of fact I had my feelings hurt twice this week and I found myself thinking about it a bit deeper.  My first reaction was upset, I didn’t cry but I got quiet.  Then I got a bit angry which made me even more quiet because I refuse to speak in anger, I have learned angry words lead to regret.  When someone hurts us our first reaction is to hurt back and that only makes matters worse.  The person who hurt my feelings came off really harsh but also a bit playful.  I didn’t say much and just changed the subject of conversation.  Two nights later it happened again, over the top reaction to something by this same person towards me.  Again I was quiet and thought intently about how I should respond.  He knew he had hit a nerve and again tried to play it off like a joke.   I tried to remind myself that he had been sick for a week with a bad cold, so I decided to react in a playful way.   I pointed out the two harsh jabs in one week and told him I didn’t like him when he was sick because he becomes a cantankerous old man.  He sat on the couch with a smile on his face knowing that it was true.  However, to be perfectly honest, a part of me was still hurt by his choice to be mean to me for no apparent reason.

The next morning I drove to work thinking about the incident because the comment didn’t bother as much as the fact that it bothered me so much…I asked myself why?  My conclusion…he rarely ever gives me compliments.  If he complimented me with the ease that it took him to say those hurtful things it probably would not have stung so bad.  It saddens me that a person so close to me can so easily make fun of me but rarely tell me all the things he loves and appreciates about me.  It all comes back to my love language.  If your love language is quality time and your significant other never spends time with you then you will feel hurt.  If your love language is gifts and they never remember special occasions then you will feel hurt,  My love language is words of affirmation and I rarely hear them so when he says something mean it hurts me deeper than it should.  So how do I get over that?

This is where things really start to get deep.  You have to be very in control of yourself and how you choose to see the world.  Basically, what other people think about you is none of your business, even those that you love.  Other people are going to have good and bad days and some who love you may be jealous of you or many other crazy feelings and emotions.  The point is, you can’t spend your life worrying about the small stuff and it is all small stuff.  I am very focused on getting myself to a certain level in life, so focused that even the man I love will not make me feel bad about myself.  If he wants to be mean then he can have his words but I will not join him in the fight.  I know who I am and where I am going and no one will take me from my path.

We have to realize that when we are going strong, feeling blessed, and really focused, some people, (even the ones we love the most) may be intimidated by our success.  We cannot allow their insecurities to change how we feel because their negativity is their problem, not ours.  Get quiet and think to yourself what you know to be true….maybe they are really just having a bad day, or maybe they are truly just being an asshole.  If you are honest with yourself then you will know the truth in your heart and the truth will set you free!  Don’t take it personal because their thoughts and actions towards you or anyone else should not reflect on you.  You are only responsible for how you respond, and your thoughts and actions.

Love, Happiness, Health, and the Truth,

Stacy

Mental Health

I believe we all have a certain degree of mental health issues.  Obviously some struggle more than others.  I would say that everyone hears voices in their head and initially you may want to argue with me, but let me explain.  Have you ever thought about a past conversation that may have frustrated or angered you?  Did you replay that conversation in your head and think about how you should have handled things differently or think of things you wish you would have said or not said?  These thoughts replaying a past event is like the brain on autopilot.  Do you ever wonder what triggered the old thoughts to even creep back in or why you still feel so emotional about the past event?  I believe this random thought process is your ego, the voice in our heads that keeps us replaying thoughts without being fully conscious.  Reliving old conversations from the past without any real purpose is a form of mental illness.  When this happens the ego is in control and never allows time for peace.

Let me give you an example, have you ever tried to lose weight?  When you decide you want to lose weight do you feel suddenly your mind is constantly thinking about food?  Do you feel a bit out of control?  Our mind is a tool meant to help complete tasks, analyze situations, and solve problems.   Our mind is not completely who we are, it is just a part of us, like our hands and feet are a part of us.  You don’t let your hands and feet go on autopilot and just take off without being aware, so why do we allow our mind?  I believe that we have lost control of our minds and in the process lost control of what it means to be at peace with ourselves.  We are a species that must medicate in order to relax whether it be with prescription pills, illegal drugs, or alcohol.  The biggest problem is not being able to shut off the constant thought process.

So what if we decided to take the control back from our ego?  What if we stopped allowing our thoughts to just constantly roll non-stop throughout the day and instead we just used our mind as needed?  Stop what you are doing right now, let your mind go silent and just intently feel your body sitting in the chair, feel yourself breathing, take a breath and smell what the air is really like, get quiet and listen intently to all the sounds around you, now look around you and really allow yourself to be aware of your surroundings and what is going on.  When you stop your mind from just being on auto-pilot and really bring yourself into the moment, THAT is the beginning of peace.  Many people talk about taking time to meditate for long periods of time but really you do not have to be in a super quiet room sitting cross legged with your hands placed in a certain position in order to find inner peace, you can do it anytime and anywhere.  Just stopping the random thought process and forcing yourself into the present moment completely, using all your senses is the best way to start the practice.

Once you start practicing the art of being in the moment a few times a day then you can progress to the next step of being aware of the ego.  When you feel your mind going to an old conversation that doesn’t really matter anymore just stop yourself. When you have those moments of riding in the car and do not really remember the last few miles, that is your mind on autopilot.  During that time your mind is probably going through a few important mental lists as well as a bunch of useless thoughts.  This is when you start really observing and being aware of what your thoughts consist of and putting a stop to the nonsense.  Having a few mental routines will help you practice being more in control of your mind instead of your mind controlling you.

I have a few that work for me, before I go to bed each night I think about the tasks that I need to complete the following day.  I plan out exactly where I need to go and what I need to do and the most efficient way to go about accomplishing everything.  I check my calendar and set any alarms or reminders. Once I run through the plan I then allow myself to relax completely by turning off my TV, and putting my phone and lap top on the charges away from my bed.

I often read a book to help my mind relax.  This is also a time to allow yourself to be very present by focusing on your breathing and starting with the toes and moving up through the legs and abdomen, chest, back, hands, arms, shoulders, neck and head being very aware of each part of the body;  maybe tightening the muscles in each area and holding for a count of three then releasing as you focus on each part of the body along with your breathing.  This is great relaxation routine and if you are having some particular health issues this a great time to focus on that part of the body as well.  If you are having digestive issues picture your stomach red and throbbing, looking inflamed and bubbling like a volcano.  Focus on the stomach and picture a light lavender color slowing melt over the stomach and dissolving the red inflammation with a cooling and calming sensation.  Picture the bubbling volcano settling into a peaceful cool lake very calm, relaxed and peaceful.  These visualizations are wonderful for focusing the mind on your body and using it as it is meant to be, as a tool to help instead of rehashing or creating more problems.

Taking control of your mind and the thoughts going through your mind can be very hard at first but as you become more aware it can be life changing.  As you get better at it you may decide to add a yoga and meditation practice to your routine.  Simply stopping to ask yourself what you are feeling can really bring you back into the present. Being aware of your body and your breathing is the best way to constantly put your mind in check and keep it from taking off without you.  The more you use your mind with a purpose and take control of your thoughts, the more efficient your life will become.  Stopping that voice in your head from reliving things from your past or worrying about your future will also be life changing.  The only difference that can truly be made is what you do right now in this moment anyway, so make it count!

Sincerely,

With love, health, happiness and awareness

Stacy

 

Accepting

I have been through many transitions in the last decade of my life.  I will be turning 40 this month and I have been taking inventory of my life up to this point.  Re-evaluating what I have accomplished so far, what I hope to accomplish in the future and the changes I may need to make to get there.  I also have learned one very valuable quality in past few years, the art of accepting.  To be able to accept myself and be happy with where I am right now in life.  To not constantly dwell on the what ifs of the past or the goals of the future, but just be in the now.  I have also learned the art of truly accepting others.  My relationships with friends, family and my significant other have reached a point of true unconditional love that I have not fully realized before and this comes from accepting.  However, with all of that been said, it brings me to a bit of a down side to becoming more accepting.  Sometimes we must accept the fact that no matter how hard we try to be supportive to some people in our lives they may never grow to the level we hope to see them.  We outgrow people and in the process sometime we try to change them but in the end we have to accept them for who they are and where they are at in life.

I do believe that relationships all have seasons, some may last a lifetime of seasons and some may be just a summer love or a close friendship that we encounter during a difficult time in our lives.  In the end, all of them are important in creating who we become.  I have had a friendship that has faded in and out of my life for about 12 years now and I often question why I am still friends with this person.  Usually friendships, like any relationship, have a give and take that is easily understood between the people in it.  So as I re-evaluate my friendship with her I realize that I seem to put forth an effort consistently with advice and listening to her but I ask myself what am I getting from this?  Now, let me clarify, when I say that we all get something out of a relationship, I mean a healthy relationship is usually friends calling each other to talk and listen about their lives, making lunch or dinner plans with each other, inviting each other to special events.  My struggle with this particular friend is things are a bit one sided and though she may want my advice she rarely applies it.

Should I simply accept my friend for exactly who she is even when I see she is making the same mistakes over and over?  Accepting is a hard process in situations like this.  I have told her my thoughts in previous situations and after years of her not taking my advice she was hurt very badly and finally moved on from a guy in her life.  Basically, I realize that some people just have to learn the hard way.  Now I see her in another life situation where I am trying to advise her and I feel de-ja-vu.  So I stop and ask myself, why am I so anxious over this?  It isn’t my life.  These choices will not effect me.  If she isn’t learning from her past mistakes then that is her problem, I have enough to deal with in my own life.  So is part of accepting others simply coming to point of just getting exhausted to the fact that you might as well be talking to a wall?  They ask your advice but rarely take it and then later tell you that they should have listened.

Accepting others for exactly who they are, good, bad and the ugly, can be very hard but I have brought it in to perspective for myself.  When I feel myself wanting to step in and be the voice of reason with my friend I stop myself.  I no longer put as much effort in to her life but instead focus on where I can make a difference in my own life.  I turn my focus inward and ask myself what I can be doing better and where I may be repeating some of the same mistakes over and over in my life.  In this process I have found that discussing my personal progress has made a big impression on my friend.  By practicing what I preach I have proved that positive changes can be made and that actions really do speak louder than words.  In turn I have also realized that I am happier when I am not worrying myself over someone else’s issues.  By accepting others for who they are you are releasing yourself from responsibility for who they are and that is pretty freeing.  Sometimes we feel protective over our friends and want to guide them like we may do a child but that is not a true friendship.  We are all in this together and everyone has their strengths and weaknesses, if we just focus on our own path and support each other on those paths life really gets much easier.

Love, happiness, health and acceptance,

Stacy

Baby Steps

Today I am thinking about what it is like to live in all or nothing world.  A world where we want to make thing happen now.  Instant is the key to everything lately.. but is it really better?  I have found that what is gained easily is not appreciated enough and often lost just as easily.  In the past I have said that I am going to accomplish something, like lose a few pounds, and I have a tendency to be really strict with myself for a week or two then I slack off.  The problem is I am looking at the end result.  I am trying to accomplish the goal as quickly as possible with an all or nothing attitude.  I have learned that the real practice is in the everyday, little choices we make.  If we break things down in to smaller steps, day by day, hour by hour, minute by minute…then we are more likely to make wiser choices.

If you make a bad choice in the morning it doesn’t mean that your day is already ruined so just keep making the same bad choices.  If you are falling down the stairs you don’t shrug and say…might as well keep falling…you try and stop the fall! Every wise choice made adds up.  Every minute of exercise instead of sitting on the couch, every sip of water instead of a soda, every positive thought…they all add up!  Those baby steps in life are what eventually add up to making a really rewarding life.  We usually don’t become a drug addict, obese, or cheat overnight….there are little choices made over and over that lead us to those results.  Those repeated bad choices add up to being an addict or obese or cheating on someone you love, or any of the other many bad situations in life.  Every day we are faced with thousands of little choices that map out what the future may hold for us.  The choices we are making right now, in this very moment, are what will shape our future.

What are you thinking right now?  Are you being a positive person today?  Are you being thankful for what you have and where you are in life?  Are you being helpful and kind to those around you? Have you let those you love know it?  Every day we should strive to be the best we can be and it all starts with the little things.  Choose to read books or have relationships that teach you something and add to your life in a positive way. Are the people, places, things, activities that you surround yourself with making your life better or do you feel stressed, sick, and tired?  Those people, places and things are not to blame…YOU are.  Take responsibility for your choices and if you are not happy, then have the courage to make the changes necessary to get where you want to be in life.  It is okay to love a friend dearly but admit that you have outgrown them.  You don’t owe anybody anything in life and if they make you believe you do then they are not good for you.  Life is about growth and learning and helping others learn and grow as well. A good relationship will encourage you to grow to your highest level even if it means moving on from them.

I would like to introduce you to a very wise man that I often listen to and he gives great perspective on many things in life…Jay Shetty.  If you have a chance please follow him on YouTube.  He will open your eyes to a wonderful way of thinking.  The following video relates to my post today…ENJOY!

 

 

With love, health, and happiness

Stacy

Choices versus Excuses

The ability to remain calm and look for the positive in all situations takes practice.  Being the mother of a newly driving 16-year-old and taking care of remodeling projects on my home along with holding down a full time job and full time college can be a bit overwhelming if I allow it to be.  What it comes down to is, choices.  I have observed friends who make excuses for why they can’t do something they say they want to do, but I think we all know… if you really want something bad enough you will make it happen.  I have been guilty of making excuses in my life but as I get older I try to ask myself, why?  Why am I really making these excuses?

Recently my daughter invited friends to go with her on a last minute hiking trip planned by her Dad and Stepmom.  She came to me the night before complaining that every friend she invited was giving her a lame excuse instead of being honest with her.  She discovered one friend was hanging out with another person that weekend but instead of being honest and telling my daughter she was hanging out someone else she simply said that her Dad said no.  Why?  Why not take responsibility for your choice?  If you are really the friend that you think you are then you should be able to be honest and tell your friend that you have other plans or simply do not feel like going.  Why lie?  We lie to ourselves all the time as well…

I hear friends say they want to go back to school and then give a laundry list of reasons why they can’t.  Usually I can argue with every reason they give and the truth is, they just don’t want it bad enough.  I spoke of going back to school often and I remember there were many excuses and one day I just stopped making excuses and went for it.  I am so glad I did because I never looked back!  Our office has a weight loss program and I often see women who talk about the many programs they have tried and how none of them seem to work.  I hate to break it to you ladies but EVERY diet program can work…its your choice to follow it and do the work to make it work.  If you wait for the time to be right then you will never do it because there will always be an excuse to grasp on to!

Falling in love doesn’t just happen, it is a choice.  Staying faithful doesn’t just happen, it is a choice.  Being unfaithful is a choice also…it doesn’t just happen like so many caught cheaters claim.  Going to school and making the grades does not just happen, it is a choice.  Having a baby does not just happen by accident either…somewhere along the way some choices were made.  You didn’t get a speeding ticket because of bad luck …you made a choice.  You did not gain 50 extra pounds without making a few choices along the way.  So stop making excuses and accept the fact that you made some unwise choices or just chose not to act at all and now it is time to take responsibility.

This comes back to an earlier post I made called, Just Ask It.  When making a choice in life ask yourself, what is the wise thing for me do?  If you have a chance please take the time to watch the video series of Just Ask It because it is full of helpful information.  Having a happy and fulfilling life starts with accepting responsibility for the life we have chose to lead so far and stop making excuses.  Then choosing to learn from those choices so that you can move forward and make wiser choices in the future.

With the conscious choice of happiness, health, and big love,

Stacy

Giving Without Expectation

I just returned from a wonderful and very relaxing week in Panama City Beach.  The next morning I decided to head to the store to restock my refrigerator  before my daughter returned home.  I arrived in the parking lot of the grocery store and as I got out of my car I heard this yowling and realized there was a cat inside my car.  After a couple of people in the parking lot looked under my hood with me, without any luck, I decided to drive across the street to the closest vets office.  When I arrived the office was not open yet but a man waiting with his dog offered to help me.  He was able to retrieve a small but very wild kitten from inside the bumper of my little Honda Civic.  I proceeded to have the kitten checked out by the vet, given flea meds and boxed up to be taken home with me.  I already have a happy cat and dog at home so I admit I was bit hesitant to mess up the perfect balance of my household by adding a wild kitten.

My daughter came home early from her Dads to see me and help with the new kitten.  Our goal was to get it tamed down enough to take her to my regular vet for a shots and other tests.  We left the kitten in the guest bathroom with food, water, and a small crate to sleep in and by the next day she was nervously letting us hold and pet her.  So we left for the day to go to church and then to a gathering with friends.  We arrived home later that evening to hear the kitten crying non-stop and in a panic.  My daughter ran inside the bathroom to see the kitten had tried to climb our cabinets in the bathroom and caught its paw in the hinges and was just hanging there! We had no idea for how long!  We helped the kitten down, added ice to her paw and I decided to take her to the vet the next morning instead of waiting until her regularly scheduled appointment.

Might I mention, when the kitten was removed from the car the seal underneath my fender was not snapped in completely and on the way to church the next morning the seal got caught by the wind and popped out, rubbing on the road and tire and it tore it up pretty bad.  I had to make a quick stop at an automotive center where they graciously zip-tied the bottom of my car up for free and sent me on my way.  So needless to say, by the time I took this kitten to the vet the next morning I was feeling a bit frustrated by all the trouble this little kitten had caused me already.  Sadly, the kitten seemed to have severe nerve damage to her front paw from getting hung up in the cabinet and at this point we are just waiting it out to see if the leg will have to be removed.  We have one week to see if the leg regains feeling and we are hoping she will be able to walk on it normally.  Right now she seems to just drag it around, limping, but does not seem to be in pain.  Between the caring for the kitten, my car, and the vet bill, I found myself wondering what the universe was trying to teach me in all of this.

There was a moment, when my car tore up on the way to church, I said to my daughter, why is the universe punishing for being a good person?  Shouldn’t I be finding a $100 bill on the sidewalk instead?  After I asked those questions I started thinking about karma and expectations.  When we do something good for another person, or creature of God,we should do it out of the kindness of our hearts, without expectation of anything in return.  This comes back to my previous post about unconditional love.  So I took a step back from the situation and asked myself, what is the wise thing to do in this situation and what is the best lesson to learn?

I debated on if I should keep the kitten and I have decided that I will do my best to give this kitten the best life possible because she has obviously been through enough already. My daughter and I decided to name the cute little grey and white kitten Lavender.  We kept her swaddled in a blanket when we first held her because she was so wild, but I was able to get a picture of her sweet face.

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When we witness someone or something that needs help we should act out of love without expectation.  If we give money to a person and they do not spend it wisely, then that is on their heart and not ours.  We still must act from a place of love and not judgement.  Everyone is here to learn and grow and help the world become a better place….one kitten at a time.

Yours with love, health and happiness

Stacy