Self Care Sunday – Vanity & Intentions

Art

My posts have been a bit heavy lately so I am lightening it up in today’s Self Care post about my vanity and intentions. I would like to say that I am spiritual enough to not be vain but apparently that’s not true and I am ok with it😂

The Grey Experiment
I went for a haircut earlier this week. My hair stylist says to me, “Are you intentionally letting your hair grow out all grey?” 😂 I said, “No, I am just tardy coloring it.” She says, “Wow, I’ve never seen you this grey.” 😂 I wasn’t offended but it did make me wonder what I would look like with all grey hair. It would certainly be less maintenance! As of Friday morning I was going to experiment for a few weeks and not color my hair. Well, that didn’t last very long… On Friday I went to get a massage and Chiropractic adjustment. My Massage Therapist and Chiropractor share an office. They were both there when I walked in and were talking about aging. I told them about my conversation with my hair stylist. After they got done laughing, my Chiropractor(a 45 year old guy that I’ve been friends with for a very long time) says, “You are too young looking and pretty to be all grey this soon! Color your hair. I would tell my wife the same thing!” And then he winked at me 😂I figured a guy’s opinion was good confirmation. So much for my grey experiment. After my adjustment and massage, I bought a box of color. My hair is no longer grey.

For the record, I am a BIG FAN of grey hair on men! When I was in my twenties I dated a guy in his late 40s. He had salt & pepper grey hair with beautiful blue eyes. I was wild about him. Blue Love has salt & pepper hair with beautiful blue eyes too. I am still wild about him even after all these years too 😉💙🔥😂 Yep, I am a BIG FAN of grey hair on men but not on me yet!….

Photo Shoot
Thursday was a great day in work. A vision I had a few months ago came to fruition exactly as I envisioned it. I hosted seven young men, the Dean of Engineering and a Professor from a Historically Black College and University (HBCU) at my workplace. I chaperoned them on a tour of our Research & Development facilities and then gave them the opportunity to present their research to my Director and leadership team in a large state of the art executive conference room. We also had mentors available to them for the last hour of the visit to discuss jobs and internships. I don’t know who was smiling more me or my Director during the student presentations.😊It was really rewarding to offer the young men the opportunity and it was also rewarding to see my vision come to fruition. It gave me some ideas for the future. It felt good to do some good in the world.

Our Communications Office is writing a news article about the visit and a photographer was with us all day. The Communications Office sent me the photos they plan to use in the article. Don’t ya know they chose the one group shot I was apparently scratching my leg😂 OMFG! I asked them if they could choose another. They laughed 😂Then told me I looked fine and I shouldn’t worry about it. I said, “But seriously, it looks like I was scratching my leg in the photo!” He started laughed again and said, “The photos are great. You were awesome today! RELAX!” Can you understand why I would want them to choose a different photo?😂 Anyways, I think I lost that battle; I’m pretty sure they will use the photo even though they took over 300 photos that day…sigh 😂

BOOBS
I have big boobs. I can’t hide them but now I have a scar in my cleavage from a cyst that was surgically removed last year. People look at it. As if 38DDD were not enough for folks to look at — now I have a scar in there to draw their attention. I am not going to hide my cleavage every day but I am actually thinking about seeing a plastic surgeon next year to fix the scar.

YOGA
I haven’t practiced yoga since I broke my foot in March. The small broken bone on the outside of my right ankle affected my whole leg and hip. Even with physical therapy it took forever to heal. It does still occasionally bother me and that largely depends on the type of shoes I wear. As a result, my leg hasn’t been strong enough to support a few yoga positions. This is a drag. I love yoga. Yoga is my escape; my refuge. I’ve noticed a huge difference in my body’s flexibility in the last few months. I am much tighter than I was. As someone who has been double jointed and very flexible my entire life, the restriction in my body is extremely frustrating.

I set an intention for 2019. Since my leg is starting to feel stronger, I am going to enroll in beginner’s yoga course in January at a local studio. While I am not a beginner, I’ve been practicing yoga for many years, a beginners course will start slow and gradually advance me back to where I was. This will lessen any chance of injury and give my body a chance to open gradually.

Sleep
Let me just say, I need seven to eight hours solid sleep most nights or I become exhausted. One of the challenges of menopause is that it is causing me to have broken sleep almost every night or no sleep some nights. It’s really frustrating and some days I am downright exhausted. I finally talked to my doctor who prescribed a low dose non habit forming sleep aid (Trazadone) to use as needed. I tried it Friday night. It didn’t help me fall asleep faster but it did help me stay asleep longer without waking up every two hours. I know I slept because I had vivid sex dreams last night…very vivid 🔥😉😂Since I have a recovering drug addict in my family, I am very aware about dependence on medication so I won’t be taking it every night. But it is nice to have something that I can use when I really need a good night’s sleep and the sex dreams are a nice bonus 😂

Setting intentionsACTION: Set an Intention for 2019
Do you have an Intention for 2019? Take a few moments and think about what how you envision 2019. What actions can you take in 2019 to support your holistic wellness? What do you want in your life in 2019? Who do you want in your life in 2019? What can you do to make that happen? Set an Intention…

Here’s my Intention for yoga as an example:

I will practice gentle yoga and take a beginner’s series yoga class…in order to…increase space and flexibility in my body without causing injury… starting in January 2019.

Use this formula to write your own intentions for the day, week, month or year…

✔️Intentions Start with an action sentence (I am, I will, etc).

✔️Include the statement “in order to”

✔️End it with a timeframe for accountability.

Mindful Challenge
Here’s a quick mindful exercise from Mindful Magazine https://www.mindful.org that can be done standing or seated.

Mindful Challenge

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Tips for setting intentions

Love Over Fear

For those who follow planetary activity, Mercury Retrograde ends on December 6th. Mercury Retrograde is usually time of miscommunications, technology snafus, missed connections and sticky contract issues. Many feel you shouldn’t sign contracts or make major purchases during the Retrograde. This can also be a time that the past comes back for reflections when we are presented a choice to go back or go move forward.

I look at the past differently now that I look at it through a lens of self care and self love. When I reflect on the past these days, I can see when not taking care of myself and not loving myself enough led me to make poor choices or perhaps put me in a position to accept less than I wanted or deserved.

Relationships with men have always been a complicated and sticky area of my life. Mostly because every relationship I’ve been in has been clouded by unresolved pain, grief and loss from the death of my father at the age of seven. I never really allowed myself to grieve properly for that loss for many years. My relationships were also clouded by a lack of trust that stayed with me after sex assaults by a family member when I was older which led to a fear of intimacy from constant heartbreaks and disappointments.

For a long time, I blamed the men who were in my life. I was the victim and our unsuccessful relationships were their fault and responsibility. In fairness, it is true that a few of them hurt me so deeply that they deserved the blame but as I’ve healed from my past traumas I can see there were a couple of good ones. As I stand here now, I can see I pushed away the good ones because I was too damaged, at that time, to be able to accept their love and attention. I never felt worthy. That’s a powerful awareness to have about oneself. The depth of self-sabotage I’ve done in my relationships is hard to look now that I am “healed” but it’s also something I can no longer turn away from or repress. I must look at that ugly truth. I must look at it to heal it.

Something has changed in me in the last year. Perhaps it’s finally having the courage to touch the pain of sexual assault by someone who was supposed to protect me that opened me up to healing. Maybe it’s finally learning how to take care of myself that brought about the new me. Maybe it was falling in love with myself that finally allowed me to let go of my past that changed me. It’s been quite roller coaster of emotions for me the last year but one I feel I needed to ride. In going on this emotional ride, I’ve gained some freedom and let go of burdens that really were not mine to carry.

I once again almost ran into a old flame last night in the grocery store. This time was different. I saw him looking at produce; he had his head down. I backed away and walked on by. I didn’t avoid him because I hate him. I didn’t avoid him because I blame him. I didn’t avoid him because he hurt me. I avoided him because we just were not good for each other and there is no reason to open old wounds for either one of us. I walked on by because it was best for my well-being to maintain a distance. There’s no anger in my heart towards him but there is love in my heart now… Self Love. I loved myself enough to choose to not engage with him.

I am more concerned about my relationship with myself these days than anyone else so no one should interpret this post to mean I am “looking”. I am not “looking”. I am just saying it’s nice to feel unburdened and hopeful after so many years of living with repressed trauma. I am lighter, better, healthier and happier now than ever before. Looking at my past traumas and being willing to sit with the pain was an act of self love that I am grateful I finally allowed myself accept and honor. A “Course In Miracles” says, “A Miracle is choosing LOVE over fear!” I guess you can say I’ve been blessed by a Miracle.

How have you loved yourself lately? Can you truly love yourself with enough openness to accept the love you deserve and are worthy of receiving? Are you willing to touch your deepest pain to feel deep true love again? Can you choose LOVE over fear and be blessed by a Miracle?

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Love over fear

Self Care Sunday – Wish I knew

Purification fire art

I’ve been reflecting upon lessons about self care I’ve learned along in recent years. If only I knew what I know now when I was younger perhaps I would have saved myself anxiety, worry, illness and stress.

One of the hardest lessons I’ve had to learn about self care is this that my body needs more rest than I’ve been willing to give it in the past. I also had to accept that my body is not able to do what it used to do or what other people’s bodies are capable of doing. I have to stop comparing my abilities limits with the past and with other people.

I don’t have a strong constitution. I never have. My mind has always been willing and able. My spirit has always been willing and able. But, my body… well, I’ve often pushed my body beyond its limits to keep pace with the inclinations of my mind and spirit. This hasn’t always worked out so well for me. I typically pushed myself and went 100mph only to crash without seeing the wall I was about to crash into. I’ve gotten better at pulling myself back, stopping myself from pushing and just surrendering to what my body needs instead of what my mind it trying to pressure it into doing but it frustrates me. It frustrates me to have a willing mind and spirit and weak body. It’s a lesson is patience and self acceptance. It is also perhaps a challenge for me to offer my body as much unconditional love as I offer others.

I worked a lot this week. It was a good week. I accomplished A LOT but it was challenging too. I came home exhausted each night and by 4:00pm on Friday afternoon, I was toast. I was home in my pajamas with a gluten free pizza by 5:00pm. By 7:30pm I couldn’t keep my eyes open and I was in bed at 8:00pm. Part of the problem this week was that Fall Season is typically when I am more susceptible to migraines. Sun glare, weather changes, windy and rainy days seem to trigger more headaches for me in the Fall. I had a small headache most of the week that I was able to manage and move through but it was making me tired. It pushed through it all week so I didn’t miss work but I think it prompted an episode of Tachycardia while I was at work on Thursday. At first I wasn’t sure what was happening then I checked my heart rate from my Apple Watch. It was definitely a Tachycardia rhythm. My congenital arrhythmia has been stable for long time so I was a bit freaked out. It’s been so long since I had an episode that I don’t even carry rescue medicine with me anymore. I closed my eyes and focused on my breath for a few minutes. I then went and got Coconut Water front the vending machine. Coconut Water is high in Potassium; Potassium is my natural rescue medicine because it lowers the heart rate. It hasn’t happened again.

As weird as it sounds, I felt like I was having a psychic headache. I’ve gotten those kind of headaches in the past when people I love have been stressed or in trouble. The night my niece was arrested I had a monster psychic headache and knew before my sister called something bad had happened. So far I haven’t gotten any phone calls or received any bad news, that doesn’t mean something hasn’t happened. It just means someone hasn’t told me. Hopefully, the Tachycardia was just hormonal and the headache was just sinuses.

My mind wanted to go out and enjoy life on a Sunny Saturday afternoon. I instead slowed down. I spent the day by letting my body come to a full and complete stop – REST! My body and mind were tired and just needed to be warm and comfy under a blanket with books and movies for the day. Everything I WANTED to go do could wait. Learning to stop myself is a huge act of surrender for me. It’s also an act of self acceptance. To finally love myself enough and accept myself enough to respect my body’s limits and no longer push it is a big deal for me. The loving kindness I am showing my body by acquiescing to this basic need for rest is one of the most important self care lessons I’ve learned in recent years. In this situation, self care is passive rather than active. I am NOT “doing” instead of “doing”.

Career-wise this week has been interesting and felt almost like a roller coaster that I didn’t know I was going to be on :-). There are only eight weeks left in my temporary assignment and it’s that time when everyone is asking what I am doing next. I was dodging people left and right to avoid conversations this week. Lol 😂 I just didn’t feel ready to have that conversation. I’m still exploring options but I was cornered twice this week by managers 😂 I decided it was best to be honest about my feelings. Here’s the truth – Ideally, I would like to stay in my current role if they are able to make that happen in some way. Otherwise, I am looking for another opportunity to learn, grow and use all of my talents and skills in, hopefully, a more strategic role which hopefully includes doing outreach work. However, I am also extremely interested in Cyber related topics and we are doing research in that area. That would be an area of interest for me too so they asked if I was open to another temporary assignment. I am open to it but I am not sure that is even possible since I’ve already been gone a year.

All of these conversations brought me to basic questions I had to ask myself. “What do I want? What is the best choice for me to make for my holistic wellness in this situation?” Self care in this area means this choice needs to be about my holistic wellness. It’s not just about money or title. It’s about what do I enjoy doing. It’s about what area could I continue to grow or learn something new. It’s about where could I do the most good. I don’t want to be stuck in a cubicle doing desk work. I’ve had taste of something more and I like it😊The interesting thing is I am not stressed about this because my faith is rock solid that everything will work out for my highest good. I am also happy that folks are talking to me about options and I’ve been able to be honest and express myself.

I got a big surprise at work this week and it was good news. A prize competition I proposed earlier this year has been stuck in legal for months. Well, I found out one of my Directors has been pushing them on it without me knowing. On Thursday, they gave me the go ahead as long as I get approval from the highest level of leadership in the company. Lol 🙂 My response was, “oh, is that all?” Then my Program’s Sponsor offered to have that conversation for me because she likes the innovation and creativity I’ve shown. I wrote her a briefing with talking points. She will use those to pitch to her boss. Since we cleared the legal hurdle, approval would delegate authority to us to run multiple competitions – if we are successful 🙂 I honestly thought this project was dead and I just moved on. It means a lot that I received so much support even when I thought it was dead.

I need to rant on one topic….lol 🙂 I live on the beach on the 7th floor of an old building that was converted from a hotel. It has a brick exterior wall. The bricks are splitting which is causing a water leak in my oceanfront window when it rains and is causing major water damage to dry wall and carpet. I am starting to worry about mold and air quality. I now have pots lining my front window while the owner and property management figure out what to do about it. It’s coming down to who is responsible to pay. The exterior wall is the condo association responsibility while interior is the landlord’s responsibility. I found out the condo association was supposed to fix the exterior wall a few years ago but they never did it. This would mean they would also be responsible for replacing the dry wall, carpet. Each week this continues I get more concerned about mold, air quality and if the dry wall is going to fall. My landlord asked me to hang in there with her. If she doesn’t hear from them this week, she’s getting an attorney. She promised to replaced the carpeting, not raise my rent and put me up in a hotel while the repairs are done if I promise to stay. The reality is we no longer have a lease. It’s month to month. If I found another place and wanted to move, I could. I am hoping this gets resolved in the coming week because I really do not feel like moving.

This situation with the condo has me wondering if it’s time to move or maybe even time to buy a place. Here’s the thing — I like high-rise living. It’s perfect for my situation. I like the safety of it. No one can come to my front door without going past security. I’ve had a stalker in the past so I like having security standing between and someone getting to my front door. I also like the social aspect. I know a lot of people here now so I’m not isolated. If I do move, I would want to move to another high-rise. I started to open my awareness and start looking but I’m not 100% I will pursue it if everything works out with the repairs. I really don’t know what is the best thing for me to do in this situation. I don’t know what is best for my holistic wellness as far as the apartment goes. For now, I am praying angels, guides and ascended masters to intuitively direct me to the right choice with the apartment as well as with the job.

As you can see self care for me is a work in progress. I am continually learning how to stop, slow myself down and recognize when I need to pull back. I am also trusting I will intuitively know what to do next in my career and what to do about the apartment and moving. In the meantime, I am keeping my eyes open to all opportunities. I am ready, willing and open to letting to. I am willing to take advantage of the right opportunities when they show up. Once you are out of the comfort zone, keep moving 🙂

Comfort zone

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Self Care Sunday – Holistic Balance

Chakras

I stopped drinking alcohol and smoking cigarettes seven years ago November 25th. Here’s the thing… I never intended to do it. I just wasn’t feeling well. I had been vomiting and had chronic diarrhea for about 10 days; I thought I had virus. When I looked at myself in the mirror on November 25, 2011, I saw dark circles, red eyes and yellowing skin. I knew it was more than virus. I decided that day it was time to take a break as I worked with doctors towards healing; I am still on that break seven years later.

Over time I realized my body could no longer sustain the lifestyle I had been living. Drinking or smoking again was and still is not in my best interest. I tried to go out with friends on Friday nights. I drank club soda or Diet Coke but I just wasn’t comfortable in that environment anymore. The noise in the bars really bothered me. I came home agitated. My drunk friends annoyed me. I was uncomfortable. I didn’t know where I belonged anymore. I felt out of place everywhere. It was a hard time.

This time not only tested my body but it also tested all of my relationships. I distanced myself from a lot of people during that time for the sake of my well-being. With no other place to turn, I leaned hard into my faith. My rock solid faith became the rock I stood on during those hard times. One Friday night as I was driving home from work in 2012 I decided to cancel my happy hour plans and go to a yoga class instead. That was the defining moment and the beginning of the new life I have now. Once I detached myself a bit I could finally see things clearly. I knew God was making me uncomfortable so I would let go of a life that no longer served my highest good.

Today, I live on the beach. I have a great day job. I am also a holistic wellness coach and Reiki Master. I am able to help others with my abundance. I am finally comfortable in my own skin and living a life that is authentically mine. I am the best Linda I’ve ever been. I believe none of the wonderful things that happened in my life in the last seven years would have happened if I was still going to happy hour every Friday and living that party girl lifestyle. Once I let go, God gave me a new life that is so much better than the one I settled for all of those years. God wanted more for me than I ever thought possible for myself.

Holistic wellness encompasses more than just your physical health. It’s about the connection between the trinity of body, mind and spirit. Often times we try to fix one aspect of our lives without realizing all three are intertwined; choices impact all three aspects of our being. For example, our physical health can impact our ability to work and our relationships which could eventually impact our emotional and spiritual being. To successfully navigate a major life change, it’s important to address the needs of body, mind and spirit as a whole. As you take care of your physical body, also look after your mental well-being and your spiritual needs.

A few suggestions

Meditation, affirmations, mantras and prayer

Mediation, affirmations, mantras and prayer are great ways to reduce anxiety and also quiet the mind. Slowing the mind down benefits the spiritual being and allows us to hear our intuition and inner wisdom. My favorite mantra is “everything is always working out for my highest good!” I say this quietly throughout the day. Feel free to use it too.

If you are interested in learning how to meditate, please check out my friend Laura’s Udemy Course “The Foundation Skills for a Meditation Practice”. It’s only $9.99 for a few more days. Laura is a personal friend of mine; she is an Occupational Therapist and a fantastic yoga teacher.

Udemy

[https://www.udemy.com/share/100G6bCEofcVhaQQ==/]

Breath observation

Breath Observation is a quick effective way to slow down the mind. Sit for five minutes with eyes closed and observe your breath as it rolls in and rolls out. Don’t try to control the breath; just observe it. Don’t worry about your thoughts. Just sit in silence and observe your breath come in and go out. Observing the breath with closed eyes is a basic form of meditation; it can be practiced whenever you need to center yourself.

RAM Meditation

Reiki is the movement of Energy through the body. The body has seven Chakra Centers (Energy Centers) along the vertebrae. The Manipura Chakra (Sanskrit name) is the Solar Plexus Chakra and is located in the abdomen region. Manipura is believed to be the seat of our personal power and authenticity. It’s the fire in the belly! It is represented by the color Yellow. I have a tendancity to burn a little too hot in this region; I am a DOER! This is manifested in my chronic gastro issues. It’s my challenge to learn how to balance Manipura Energy. Having a fire in the belly is good unless you burnout 😊 If you would like to work on tapping into your personal power or need to balance Manipura Energy also, sit for five minutes with eyes closed and chant RAM – pronounced “R-AUM”! The sound vibration of R-AUM resonants with the Solar Plexus and helps to bring energy into balance.

I plan to write more about Reiki, Chakras and Energy movement in future blogs. For those who are interested learning a more Sanskrit mantras, see the below 21 minutes video of Sanskrit chakra mantras including RAM.

Enjoy Self Care Sunday and consider practicing with mantras, breath observation or the RAM Chant 🙂

Chakras

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Thanks & Giving Prayer

Art woman praying Dorina CostrasArt by: Dorina Costras at http://www.saatchiart.com

Thanks and Giving Prayer

Dear God
On this Thanksgiving Eve
I say thank you for
Saving my life
Thank you for
Helping my body to heal
Thank you for
Helping me find peace
Through adversity and hardship
Thank you for
Teaching me the value of
Authenticity
Thank you for
Helping me to
Lean into compassion and empathy

Thank you for
The people who love me
Their support nourishes me
Through hard times
Thank you for
My haters and critics
They have made me stronger
And more resilient
Thank you for the
Love
Deep, Profound
Unconditional love
For all beings
That fills my heart and
Illuminates my soul
Thank you for
The abundance and blessings
You’ve given me
I have more than enough and
I’ve answered your call
To share and serve
It is from this place
Gratitude
I humbly say thank you
On this very special day
Of Thanks and Giving

I ask for your continued
Blessings to help me
Spread the light
And Shine love
Into the hearts
Of every soul
I touch in this world
Use me
Holy Spirit
Use me
To be a vessel of your peace
Use me
To spread love instead of fear
Fortify me with
Courage to stand my ground
Against negative forces
Strengthen me to
Move beyond
My own personal
Heartaches and challenges
To be a light in this dark world

I ask you
Holy Spirit
To Illuminate
Blue Love’s heart
With the light of love
From my soul
And inspire him
To believe in love
And trust in
Our friendship and connection
Dear God
It is in your light
I shine the brightest
On this day of
Thanks and Giving
I offer my thanks
And I commit
To giving my love
Light to the world
Amen

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NOTE:

On this Thanksgiving Eve, I wanted to say thanks to God, Holy Spirit and the Universe for blessing me in so many ways. Poetry is how I express what is in my heart so it seemed natural for me say thanks with a poem.

Here’s an update on my treatment for Small Intestine Bacterial Overgrowth. As you may recall, I had four biopsies done on my stomach. They came back a suspicious and my local doctor was concerned that precancer reoccurred. Thankfully, it was not precancerous. While I will have to be monitored by my doc at Jeff going forward because I am now high risk for Stomach and Colon Cancer, I am grateful this time around it was just Small Intestine Bacterial Overgrowth and Pancreatic Enzyme Deficiency. I just finished 14 days of Doxycycline antibiotic to kill of the bacteria in my gut. It appears to have worked. I no longer have diarrhea, stomach cramps and intense bloating. My doc at Jeff has an App and told me to message him when I finished the first 14 day of antibotic. He messaged me back yesterday. I love it’s so easy to communicate with one of Philly’s Top Docs and an instructor at Jeff Medical School:-) He told me to not to refill the antibiotic but to switch to a probiotic every day and digestive enzymes with larger meals until I see him again in mid January. He suggested I use Align Probiotic available at CVS. He recommends it to everyone who has IBS. He said it’s very effective and He wants me to take one daily going forward. While I am not feeling fantastic yet because we had to use a cheaper systemic antibiotic that came with side effects which are still bothering me, I am so very thankful for this opportunity to heal, learn, share information with others and serve the world with my story.

As I’ve dialed back the noise in my life in recent months, I’ve enjoyed more peace in my mind and body. I’ve learned that I am truly very sensitive to over-stimulation. I need quiet time. I need soft lighting and I need to limit my screen time. Praying, using mantras and affirmations bring me peace. Dialing back my use of Social Media has been good too. While part of me misses Facebook a little, for the connectivity, I just feel less toxic and triggered without it. I am better off without it. Facebook now creeps me out. I am off until they make it a safer less toxic envirnoment. I am still on Instagram and Twitter mostly becauses neither asks for much personal information and I’ve greatly reduced my usage and engagement. Social media is definitely over-stimulating.

If you would have told me ten years ago that I would live in a condo the beach, have a great job, be an Holistic Wellness Coach, be an active supporter of the local Homeless shelter and soon be celebrating seven years alcohol and cigarette free, I would have laughed out loud for sure. I never would have thought this is where I would end or this is what God had planned for me. But, I believe God has plans for us that are bigger than our own. I’ve learned my job isn’t to make it happen. My job is listen to my intuition, follow my inner wisdom and go where I am called. I am living a life I was called to live and for that I say thanks and give back in return.

For Thanksgiving this year, I made Gluten Free Crock Pot Mac & Cheese with a new recipe I found online. O-M-G! It is so damn good 🙌 I put some aside for myself for when I get back home. (Mac & Cheese is my comfort food) 🥘 I am also taking couple desserts. I am looking forward to staying over night with my Mom. I wish you all a lovely Thanksgiving.

Self Care Sunday – Give them something to talk about

Art

How we treat ourselves shows others not only how we expect them to treat us but also how they should treat themselves. This week has had it’s challenges, physically and energetically. As I made decisions this week, I kept asking myself “What’s best for my well-being in this situation?”

Self Care at Work
It started at 6:30am on Tuesday morning. My area was getting pounded with heavy rain. I was due to take a 45 minute flight in a small plane to give a 30 minute presentation to my Program’s Sponsor who also happens to be the top manager in my organization’s leadership.

I could feel the stress starting to creep up as I drove to the airport. I parked and sat there for about five minutes trying to decide if I was going to fly. That plane can be bumpy on a good day. I couldn’t imagine what it would be like in heavy rain. After taking a moment to pray, I decided to follow my intuition and not fly. I decided to take care of myself and let the chips fall where they may. I went into my office and I sent my Program’s Sponsor an email with my briefing and backup files attached. I told her I wasn’t comfortable flying in the storm but was still available to give a presentation via telcon. Within an hour she emailed me directly and told me she understood was going to have her staff set a video conference for us later in the afternoon. At 3:10pm that afternoon I was sitting a conference room waiting for her to join our video call when one of her assistant’s came in and told me an urgent issue came up. She needed to reschedule me to Thursday. So glad I didn’t fly just to get bumped anyway, lol 🙂 That’s the way it goes when you work directly for someone in senior leadership. You get used to being bumped 🙂

I woke up around 3:00am Thursday morning with a migraine. I knew it was bad as soon as I woke up. I took the medicine and laid back down. Often the meds will work quickly but this time it was too bad. I knew I would need to take the medicine the rest of the day and I knew I couldn’t drive into the office for the video conference. I could barely get out of bed to go the bathroom; I certainly could not get dressed and drive my car. So, here we go again. I had to practice good self care and stay home in bed. So I emailed my Sponsor and explained I couldn’t drive into the office for a video conference with her because I had a migraine. I was worried how that would go over but the reality is I had no choice. Within an hour or so, she emailed me directly and told me not to worry about it and asked for me to work with her staff to reschedule the meeting when I was back in the office.

So, there were two situations this week that required me to practice good self care. Some may think it’s no big deal. But, the old Linda would have pushed herself to do both. I would have flown that day and been completely stressed out. The old Linda would have tried to push to go into the office even while in pain. The reason I was so worried about not flying and then having to cancel the video conference is that I am being considered for a new job for her organization. I was worried my actions would impact that choice. Rather than relying on logic I tuned into my intuition to make both choices. I took five minutes to center myself and prayed. I asked myself “how can I best take care of myself in this situation?”. Once I took the emotion out of the decision, I knew what I had to do. I knew what was best for me. Thankfully, I’ve built up equity with her by being a high performer so she gives me latitude.

Today I am happy I took care of myself this week. I’ll have to wait and see what happens with the other career opportunities. I did find out on Friday I am now on TWO referral lists for what we call “J” jobs. That makes me happy 😊 Whatever happens I remind myself “everything is always working out for my highest good!”

Migraine Self Care
The migraine started Wednesday morning. The worst of it was on Thursday. It tapered off on Friday. I am still in “post” stage on Saturday which means I am still sensitive to light, smells and have a little mild pain but I am functional. I would love to go out all day in the sunshine but the reality is I would be risking rebounding the headache so I need to take it slow today. I am just glad I got out for breakfast, went food shopping and caught up with my former roommate for a bit:-) I also decorate my little apartment for Christmas and put my tree up🎄I decided to embrace change and put the tree up in a different spot this year 😊 It still needs a couple of finishing touches but doing it made me happy 😊 You can see below the words “Faith”, “Believe”, “Joy” and “Peace” are on my tree. These words are important too me. I’ve been looking for the word “Love” for the tree. It didn’t come with the set. I want the word “LOVE” on my tree because LOVE is what I value most in this world ♥️

Christmas tree

Social Media Self Care
I finally made the decision to permanently delete my Facebook account on 11/16/18. It’s scheduled to be permanently deleted on 12/16/18. They give you 30 days to think about it or change your mind. I deactivated the account on 10/2/18. I’ve thought about it. I don’t need it. The reason I decided to delete my account is because I feel Facebook is toxic and overstimulating for someone who is sensitive like myself. PBS WHYYY has a great two part documentary on Facebook and how it was used in government take overs, election interference and also used for disseminate fake news and hate around the world not just the USA. I also discovered many of my “friends” post their own “Fake News” about their personal lives. The reality I know is much different than what they show in Newsfeed. It’s sad that folks can’t just be authentic. The last reason I decided to finally delete the account is because I feel Facebook has become a surveillance tool. It tracks you when you leave the site, it tracks what you buy online, it tracks you…I willfully gave my privacy to Facebook who has proven can’t be trusted. Facebook also pushes propaganda with their algorithms. No thanks! I like to control my own mind 😂😂

I hope my self care actions this week demonstrate to folks what good self care looks like. I also hope it shows folks how they should be slowing down to take care of themselves. Pressure at work can be hard to navigate. Often we are under pressure to succeed, pressure to perform, pressure to produce and pressure to “impress” leadership. It can be hard to pull back and remember that our well-being is our responsibility. Taking care of ourselves holistically makes us stronger. Having the ability to step back and do what’s right for our well-being is a strength not a weakness.

Before making choices that could impact your holistic wellness, take five minutes to center yourself. Breath. Pray. Tune into your inner wisdom. Do what is right for yourself and your well-being. Take good care of yourself and give everyone around you something to talk about 🙂

Self Care

Self Care Sunday – Willingness & Ability

Art

One of my spiritual mentors recently taught me that for someone to grow, spiritually or otherwise, they need to have – Willingness and Ability. Willingness and ability also are needed for any relationship to be successful. I’ve been thinking about willingness and ability in recent weeks. So what does willingness and ability mean?

Willingness – means being willing to do the hard work. To grow we must be willing to expand our consciousness and allow room for change. Being willing means showing up; it means opening our awareness and at times seeing things in ourselves we don’t always like. Being willing to grow and change harkens back to our “free will”. God/Spirit will never violate free will. We must choose to grow and change freely. Once we say yes, God/Spirit will direct us to growth opportunities.

So how do you say yes to growth and change? How do you let spirit know you are willing to grow and show up spiritually? It’s very simple. Establish a one on one direct connection with your higher power through daily conversation and prayer. It doesn’t have to be anything formal or complicated. You don’t have to go to church to talk to God or Spirit. Just talk to God throughout the day. You just need to trust your prayers are being heard; let your faith support you as you move through the challenges of every day life.

Willingness means we are ready to do the work in life and show up for the hard stuff. To grow you have to be willing to change and grow. We also have to be willing to let go of who we thought we were going to be so we can be who we are NOW called to be. As our consciousness expands, our needs will change and our relationships may change as well. As for myself, I ended relationships that were no longer aligned with my highest good and I distanced myself from folks who were disingenuous towards me. As I became more rooted in authenticity and became more self aware, my intuition became clearer. It was easier to see the folks in my life (including coworkers) who were using me. I am better and stronger for making the hard choices and protecting my energy.

The other part of the spiritual growth equation is — Ability. Does someone have the ability to grow? This one is a bit stickier. To grow spiritually, you have to be able to live in faith. Living in faith means you do not always have concrete proof. Do we have the ability to offer compassion and empathy to others? Is our mind open enough to allow for exploration of higher consciousness. Is our mind and heart open to love and differing opinions? Can we accept our failures? Do we hold ourselves accountable for our wrong doings? Can we apologize when we hurt others? The ability to grow spiritually means having emotional maturity and keeping an open mind and heart.

I demonstrate willingness and ability by praying and talking to God throughout the day. More often than not, my conversations with God are just off the cuff as I go through my day. I talk to God while I drive, as I walk, while work, etc… Talking to God/Spirit is just part of my every day life. I also use a few other spiritual practices to ground me:

I use mantras. Remember Seinfeld “Serenity Now”? Serenity Now was actually a mantra. Mantras are words, sounds or phrases that are used to calm the mind and bring peace. It can be anything that brings you peace. My go-to mantra is “Everything is always working out for my highest good!” Another manta I use is Aad Guray Nameh (see below). Aad Gurey Nameh is a Sanskrit Mantra and it is especially effective in opening the Heart Chakra and balancing Heart energies. It’s known to protect and project Heart Chakra Energy. This is my go-to Heart Opener. I say it three times in a row whenever I need to soothe myself or need to open/balance my heart. It’s also good to say this three times just before going into a big meeting, driving in traffic or just when you need a little extra protection. If this mantra does not work for you, find your own word or mantra that you can recite during times of stress and discomfort.

Aad Gurey Nameh

I use Affirmations. I usually start all of my affirmations with “I am so happy and grateful now that I _____”. You fill in the blank with your wish or desire. When you use this affirmation, speak as if it already happened. For example, I wanted to move into a condo on the beach in the fall of 2013. I started saying this affirmation everyday in October 2013, “I am happy and grateful now that I live in a condo on the beach”. I moved into my condo on the beach in January 2014. Make your affirmation personal and say it throughout the day.

Affirmation

I use numbers. I believe in Numerology. I believe numbers have meanings. I am especially mindful of 11:11 and any other repetitive number sequence. When I see 111 or 11:11, I set an intention or say my affirmations. When I see 222, I say “everything is always working out for my highest good. The love I give is returned.” 2s are symbolic of LOVE for me. I often see 333s and 444s after I pray. That’s may sign that my prayers were heard.

We don’t always get what we pray for. If we believe everything is always working out for our highest good, then we should take comfort in knowing that what is meant to be will be. Sometimes life sucks. I’ve trained myself to focus on “Everything is always working out for my highest good”. This gives me comfort through challenging times.

Repeating Numbers

Numerology

As for myself, I choose to believe in “The Spirit in the Sky”. Having faith in a higher power, praying to angels, saints and spirit guides and maintaining a spiritual practice gives me strength. Leaning into the uncomfortableness with the support of my faith makes me stronger.

My question today is do you have willingness and ability for spiritual growth? If the answer is YES, open your heart and God will bring you opportunities to grow. Lean into those around you who are grounded spiritually. Remember – just because someone goes to church every Sunday doesn’t mean they are spiritually awakened. There’s a difference. Spiritual awakening is more about keeping your heart and mind open so that you can hear your intuition guide you than it is about showing up at Mass on time and confessing your sins.

A note about Soul Mates, Soul Mates are deep spiritual connections. They can be romantic but can also be with friends, family, parents. If you have a Soul Mate who is in your life, take comfort in your connection. It’s a special connection sent to you by God to support your growth. Lean into your Soul Mate for support, friendship and unconditional love 💙

The new spiritual book I am reading is “Deep and Simple; A Spiritual Path for Modern Times” by Lozoff. This book is meant to be a simple guide to changing your life by having a daily spiritual practice, living simply and dedicating yourself to being of service. I heard about the book while watching the documentary about Mr. Rogers “Mr. Rogers :& Me: A Deep & Simple Documentary). “Deep & Simple” was one of his favorite books. I think I watched the documentary on Amazon Prime.

Deep & Simple Lozoff

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As an update on my a previous post, my doc couldn’t get the super expensive RX for SIBO covered under my insurance. Instead we are using a low dose of a systemic antibiotic (Doxycycline) for 14 to 28 days that has been shown to be effective plus Digestive Enzymes. The good news is, it was covered under my insurance and will probably help my Rosacea too. The bad news it is a systemic antibiotic. This means it’s giving me a headache, making me tired and my stomach is VERY upset. My doctor said that should all pass in a couple of days. I hope it passes by Tuesday. I have to fly on a little puddle jumper plane on Tuesday. That plane can make my stomach turn even on a good day 😂😂 I am keeping my eye on the weather. There’s a chance we won’t fly if the weather is too windy anyway. That would be a bummer since I have been looking forward to my one to one with my organizational administrator. The affirmation I am currently using for my career is…I am happy and grateful now that I am a permanent employee of ______ 😊😊💙

I chose this song because I love Ol’ Blue Eyes & this song was actually playing in my dreams. i😊I woke up singing it 😂😂 I think Spirit was trying to tell me something 😉

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