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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Self Care Sunday – Empathy & Vulnerability

Brene Brown quote

I woke up Saturday morning ready to rumble 😂 Seriously, I was looking for someone to fight 😂 This week has been frustrating. I am embarrassed to admit my jaw has been clenched so much it was almost on locked down by Saturday Afternoon😂 So here’s what was driving me crazy this week.

I was diagnosed with Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO) with IBS-D and Pancreatic Enzyme Deficiency on October 24th. My doctor prescribed an antibiotic that has to be made at a compounding pharmacy. He wants me to take this particular antibiotic because it stays in the bowel and doesn’t have any systemic side affects. It’s not absorbed into the blood stream. Without insurance it would cost $2,100 for 14 days. I need it for 28 days. It needed to be approved by the Insurance company before it was filled. It took over a week and five phone calls to the specialty pharmacy, doctor and insurance to find out the prescription was denied by my insurance and is now in the appeals process. I still don’t know what’s going to happen with it. Meanwhile, I’m not paying $4k for a prescription and I am still symptomatic. I am in limbo. It frustrating and uncomfortable. I finally got an answer to what is wrong with my tummy but I may not be able to get the thing that could help fix it. I could get a surgery covered under insurance but not this drug. I am hoping my doctor can do something about it. 🤞I will say the Low FODMAP Diet is already helping but I am missing my Avocados and Apples 🍎 ☹️

Next, I need a special certification at work for one potential opportunity I’ve been exploring. To get the certification I need to take a training class that is not offered very often. I managed to find a virtual class for next week and I am 4th on the waitlist. I called to find out if they could squeeze me in. They said the course is capped and they won’t know until Monday if they can fit me in. I can’t understand why course administration can’t fit four more people into a virtual class that is offered company wide on such a limited basis. Sounds simple, right? It’s not! I have to wait until Monday to find out if I got into the class. If I do get into it, I have to cancel a work road trip with coworkers to Hampton University in Hampton Va that is scheduled for Wednesday & Thursday. I may not want to drive that far with my coworkers while having these tummy issue anyway; my boss is good with whatever I choose to do ☺️ The good news I found out on Friday they can get a “Training Waiver” for one year for me to complete the class. If I don’t get into the class this week, it won’t hold me back from the opportunity.

By far my biggest frustration this week is a heat valve in my bedroom that is broken. It won’t turn off! 🔥🔥It’s close to 90 degrees in my bedroom! I reported it last Sunday. I was on the list and got bumped twice this week which almost made me lose my mind when I found it out last night. I work all day and haven’t been able to go downstairs to complain every day like everyone else has done. The maintenance guy wanted to fix it today but the property manager would not let him do work on a Saturday. So, it won’t be done until Tuesday. Meanwhile, I have windows open, I am not sleeping and I’ve had a headache for a week. Yep, this one has my jaw good and locked up with tension 🤬

Remember I said I wanted to rumble with someone? Well, I planted myself in the lobby of my building on Saturday afternoon. I was stalking the Property Manager and waiting for her to come out of a Board Meeting. I waited 90 minutes while reading a book on my phone. The whole time I was stewing. I saw her and for a moment I almost felt sorry for her, I was about to destroy her for bumping me. She invited me into her office. I sat down and started to give her an earful. She was defensive and dismissive. The story I was telling myself was she didn’t care and my discomfort didn’t matter to her. My perception of her lack of empathy was totally ratcheting my crazy up. Just before my crazy reached DEFCON FIVE which would have involved me possibly jumping across the desk at her, Brene Brown flashed in my mind.

Rumble Definition by Brene Brown

I am reading “Dare to Lead” by Brene Brown. In her book, Brene talks a lot about “rumbling” and how use vulnerability and empath as tools during a rumble. That’s when I pulled back and decided to try another tactic. I then told the Property Manager I was expecting her to show some empathy for the situation and understand how it was impacting me instead it seemed like she immediately armored up and got defensive. I then apologize and said, “If it came across to you that I was attacking you or blaming you for my situation, I am sorry. It’s not your fault. I just haven’t been sleeping and I have a headache. It’s hard to sleep in 90 degrees even with the windows open….I can empathize with you and imagine people yell at you all day for their problems. That has to be hard and I don’t want to do that to you. I am sorry” As I was talking, her eyes started to swell up with tears and she said, “Everything in this building is my fault and people yell at me all day long.” This woman was now crying in front of me. Great job Linda. “You successfully made someone cry today” is all I thought. But, I had one redeeming thought… I didn’t make her cry because I yelled at her. I made her cry when I showed my vulnerability and expressed empathy towards her. She was crying because I understood how she was feeling. Then she explained to me in order to fix my heat valve they have to turn off the steam boiler for the whole complex. She told me it is not good for a steam boiler to be turned on and off every day. It has to be planned out so four or five of them can be done on the same day. She apologize I was bumped from this week but said they can do it on Tuesday; I will be first on the list. People keep asking me why I don’t want to buy in my building. Well, it’s an old building with issues and the Condo Association has had a reassessment every year. It might be cheap to buy but the maintenance isn’t cheap. My unit needs work. I am taking a pictures and sending to the landlord.

So, I walked away from my rumble today with mixed results. My heat valve still isn’t getting fixed until Tuesday but I am now officially the first on the list that morning. They promised me I would not be bumped again but I don’t trust that so I am planning to call them at 8:30am Tuesday to make sure they stick to plan 😂😂 I already set a calendar reminder on my phone 😂 In my rumble today someone cried…it wasn’t me 😂 She cried because I showed her compassion and empathy. She cried because I opened myself up to her. She cried because I was vulnerable and that made her comfortable enough to take off her amour. I am not sure I technically won today’s rumble — not at least how I envisioned winning. But I was a good human being who cared about another person’s feelings and had the self awareness to use a more compassionate tool during the rumble. Some would call that winning.

This is why I read books. If I wasn’t reading Brene Brown’s book right now and if I hadn’t decided to use one of the Rumble Tools in the book, how would that conversation (rumble) been different? I think we would have both walked away angry without understanding each other. I think she would have felt attacked and I would have eventually felt shitty self righteousness for taking her down without any regards to her feelings. But the question is, is that really the person I want to be in this world. Do I really want to be a bully or shitty and self righteous? Do I really want to “win” at all costs – no matter how people perceive me or how I perceive myself. No, I am grateful I was self aware enough that in that moment I pulled back and switch to a more wholehearted approach. It is possible to maintain boundaries, be assertive while also be vulnerable, empathetic and aware of how our actions and words affect others.

In the meantime, I am hoping for nice weather until Tuesday so I can keep the windows open otherwise it will be like the tropics in my condo 😂 I will end this post by trying to ground myself in gratitude. I am grateful for:

    I finally know what is wrong with my tummy and hopefully a treatment will be on it’s way soon
    I have a good job. I’ve had a great time in my temporary assignment this year and learned a lot. I am hopeful the irons I have in the fire will manifest another great growth opportunity in the coming weeks.
    My heart is overflowing with love this week.
    With my windows open, I can hear the ocean while I am in bed 😂😂
    I can see the beach from my window😂😂
    I took a migraine medicine today. It substantially reduced the TMJ pain and isn’t making me sleepy or tired. That’s when I know it was tension that had me jacked up 😂
    I am reading a few good books instead of wasting time on Social Media
    I am living wholeheartedly

Are you ready to rumble? How do you react when things aren’t going as smooth as you would like? Does your crazy get to DEFCON FIVE or do you have the self awareness to pull yourself back? Most importantly, are you living WHOLEHEARTEDLY? 💙

Guidepost for Wholehearted Living by Brene Brown

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Loving Kindness – Blue Love Letter

Art, blue love

A Blue Love Letter I wish I could send…

To my Blue Love:
Sometimes
The simplest words
Are the best
Life has us on different paths
But you are
Still a part of the
Fabric of my heart and soul

Wherever you are
Whatever you are doing
Whomever you are with
Know you are
Loved by me and
I have the following
Wishes for you…

May you be safe
May you be healthy
May you be happy
May you be loved

I look forward to
The right time
The right place
The right moment
For me to
Enjoy the
Crystal blue magic
In your eyes
And the way
Your energy
Deliciously mixes
With mine
To arouse
Our deepest desires

Until then
I pray each day
For you
In Loving kindness

May you be safe
May you be healthy
May you be happy
May you be loved

In loving kindness
I say
I love you

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NOTE

Blue Love has been on my mind a lot 💙 This flowed out of those thoughts. It’s a genuine offering of Loving Kindness expressed in a very simple way.

Other news, interesting day. I found out today my antibotic for SIBO was denied by my insurance company because it costs $2,100 for 14 days; I need it for 30 days. My doctor is working to see if he can get it approved for at least somewhere under $200 for me. Otherwise, we have to come up a different treatment plan.

I am really happy today…I had a really great meeting today about my future. Another great learning experience could be on my horizon. I am getting more excited 🤪 It truly is all about learning and growing for me. It’s nothing personal. I am working to strategically put myself where I can learn the most and grow. I don’t want to be the “worker bee” or in a support role anymore. I’ve outgrown that. It’s just a fact. It’s time for me to embrace the change that is in my life.

Today, I am happy and grateful that everything is always working out for my highest good. I’ve been seeing 222s all day. They are my favorite repetitive number sequence. When I see them, I say “Everything is always working out for my highest good!”

222, numerology

222 meaning

Self Care Sunday – Are You In The Arena?

Theodore Roosevelt quote

I am a lifelong learner. I am intellectually curious. I crave knowledge. I consider myself a student of life. I am a risk taker. As Theodore Roosevelt says, “I am in the arena”; I show up in life.

Self Care for me includes personal growth, professional development, self exploration and learning from every person I meet. Every situation I am in presents me an opportunity for deeper self awareness and knowledge. Since I am an eager “student”, I am always looking for online courses to take, lectures to attend, mentors to work with and books to read. If you’ve got something to teach me, I am willing to learn from you.

A few years ago, my boss at the time recommended I read “Your Intention Difference” by Ken Tucker, Todd Hahn and Shane Roberson. In the book, you work through exercises that help to identify reoccurring themes in your life and then associated that theme with one word. That word becomes your ID Word and represents the dominant theme in your life or it’s your Intentional Difference. My ID Word is growth. It was really enlightening to read this book and see this in myself. While I always knew I was growth oriented, I never really thought about making decisions so I intentionally put myself in situation where I could grow; it just happened. That’s an amazing piece of self awareness that has changed my life. Since reading that book, I now intentionally make choices that honor my need for growth in all areas of my life.

I changed a lot in the last few years. I’ve changed because I intentionally focused on putting myself in situations where I would have room to grow and stretch; I put myself in situation that honored the truth of who I am. For example, I returned to school to become an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach in 2017; I wanted to learn how to take better care of myself. When I interviewed for my current job, the interview panel asked “Why are you interested in this job?” I said, “Because GROWTH is my ID Word and this seems like the perfect opportunity to stretch and grow”.

Having a growth mind-set and being willing to learn from everyone has been very beneficial in my life, especially in my career. As I’ve been exposed to different people and situations, I’ve been able to learn from each person I encountered then use that knowledge in work situations. For example, a few years ago a coworker was working on redesigning websites in SharePoint. I had no idea how to use SharePoint let alone build a website it in but she needed help and was willing to teach me. I became her student and learned everything she was willing to teach me. In the last few weeks, I’ve been building a website in SharePoint using the skills she taught me. I sent the development site to a few managers for a concept review.

OH MY GOD! So much positive feedback; it blew me away. They didn’t know I could design websites and I didn’t know they need someone who understands SharePoint. My stock went up again this week😂 I am finishing the design and development in the next week or so. I demo it for our “Big Cheese” in early November and then I’ll start socializing it in staff meetings and webinars through the end of the year.

Professionally, growth and development will be my main concern as my temporary assignment at work starts to wrap up in the coming months. I am reminding myself “GROWTH” is my ID Word. I will be evaluating my professional options according to my need for growth and development. I am cautiously optimistic that my current organization is working to find a way for me to stay permanently. Things take a long time where I work so I am still waiting on the dust to settle but we have time to work thing out. The bottom line is I believe there is more room for me to stretch and grow in this organization than the one I worked in formerly but I am trying to keep my mind open. For now, I will pray God puts me where he needs me the most and I pray I am in a position where I can do the most good. I will trust everything is always working out for my highest good.

Since I deactivated Facebook 26 days ago and I have been been limiting my Twitter time, I’ve been reading more. I am now reading “Dare To Lead” from Brene Brown. I’ve read a couple of her books already and I just love her style. I love the way she talks about vulnerability and shame. I especially love how this book reflects on how leaders who are empathetic and vulnerable are actually the strongest. It’s a great read for anyone –especially leaders. If you don’t like to read, it’s also available as an audiobook.

Dare To Lead

Lastly, I suppose worrying about my stomach biopsy & the appointment at Jeff Gastro took it’s toll me the last few days. A mother of migraine hit me early Thursday morning. While I went to work on Thursday, I was in a lot of pain by the time I got home. I took the meds but it was past the point of return. I vomited all Thursday night from and pain and have been taking the meds every six hours which means I haven’t been able to leave the house or drive because they make me sleepy. I guess it’s not all bad. I’ve been enjoying reading and enjoying the rest. It finally broke Saturday afternoon.

My question this Self Care Sunday is are you in the arena or sitting on the sidelines?

I am in the arena. I like being vulnerable and taking risks. As Brene says, “If you are not also in the arena getting your ass kicked, I am NOT interested in your feedback! If you are in the arena getting your ass kicked, I am open to your feedback and insights!”

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Your Rhetoric Matters; Choose Wisely

Marianne Williamson Quote

“People hear you on the level you speak to them from; speak from your heart, and they will hear with theirs.” I’ve been taking a free online course, “Teaching the Teachers” with Marianne Williamson. The course is based on “A Course In Miracles” text. She used the above quote on the first night and it’s been rolling around in my head every since.

This quote resonants especially with me today since there has been terrorist attacks on Democrat’s and CNN that appear to be linked to the divisive hateful rhetoric the President and GOP has been using against Democrats and the Press. When he speaks at rallies his followers are hearing him from the level from which he speaks and responding to his call to arms the same way Russia responded to his message to hack Hilary Clinton.

The polarization in our nation makes me sad. I pray for good to triumph over evil. I also pray our DJT rises to the reputation of the his office and speaks like a POTUS instead of a mob boss. I was in the car a lot today.  As I drove, I was listening to CNN and praying. I am praying for healing in our Nation. I am praying for the return of our Democracy. I am praying POTUS finally sees how his words are polarizing our nation and leading to hate and now terrorist attacks. I expect better from our leader.

If you are not “woke”, now it the time to wake up! Hate brings more hate. So if you are a leader, take heed. People will hear you from the level from which you speak. Try speaking from you heart and think twice about your rhetoric. The below song from John Legend and Roots seemed fitting for today.

I am also extremely grateful today for getting good news at my appointment with Gastro specialist at Jeff. It’s highly unlikely my suspicious biopsy is Cancer. My problem is definitely in the Small Intestine. It appears to be Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO) which can cause all of my symptoms as well cause swelling in the bowel that is pushing everything out of place. He ordered me a special antibiotic that has been made at compounding pharmacy and shipped to me. He said it will reset my bowel and bring it back into balance with minimal side affects. I have to take it for a month along with following a low FODMAP diet as best I can. He gave me the guidelines. I have to read more on it. And, I have two other problems 😂 From looking at my blood he’s pretty sure I have Pancreatic Enzyme Deficiency which is blocking my body’s ability to break down and digest foods which also leads to bloating and distention. After I am done the antibiotic, I’ll start taking Pancreatic Enzymes. Lastly, he said he thinks I have Splenic Flexure Syndrome.  When I do get gas it gets stuck just under my left breast in my upper left abdomen. SOOO, the key to all of this is managing the bloating, gas and distention by eliminating the bacterial overgrowth and increasing my body’s ability to break down food with Pancreatic Enzymes. Doing both of these will reduce the pressure on the Splenic Flexure issue. He told me to email him in two weeks to let him know how the meds are working and plan to see him again in two months. All in all good news today and I am very grateful. He was worth the wait 🙂

Since I drove into Philly through South Philly, I stopped at the Italian Market on 9th Street on my way home.  I bought some yummy Grass-Fed hard cheeses like Gouda and Gureye. I hit the Gluten Free Bakery and bought some produce. However, when I got home I saw all the produce I bought today is on the “AVOID Food List ” for the FODMAP Diet😂😂😂  That’s why I am not starting it for a couple of days 😉 Thank God hard cheese is allowed; it was expensive 😊

img_0519.jpg

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Self Care Sunday – Overstimulation is my Kryptonite

Rumi quote

I am highly sensitive and an Empath. My intuition is super charged. I can feel the heaviness of emotions around me. I am empathize to the point I take on another’s pain. I can tune into another’s heartbreak until I become incapacitated. I can feel the sadness of those around me. It’s a gift and burden. I’ve been this way since I was a little girl. People have always commented about how sensitive I was. My family used to tease me about my sensitivity until I would be in tears. I learned to hide it as I got older until I was eventually old enough to self medicate it with wine and beer.

In recent years, I’ve learned how to manage my sensitivities and embrace the gifts God gave me with good self care practices. I’ve also learned OVERSTIMULATION is my Kryptonite 🤢 Actually, it’s Kryptonite to anyone who is sensitive and empathetic. I’ve found inner peace, harmony and balance can only be found by managing external sensory stimulation.

So what is overstimulation? Overstimulation means too much sensory stimulation from lights, sounds, people, etc. It can include loud music, incessant talking, chaotic environments including work environments, bright white lights, perfumes and scents, too much screen time, too much TV especially NEWS, too much socialization, big parties and social events, not enough sleep, not enough alone time and stress even good stress can be over stimulating. When I am overstimulated, I become snarky, agitated, emotional, controlling and stressed out. When I am overstimulated, I clench my jaw subconsciously. When I am overstimulated, I worry and obsess. If I continue to be overstimulated for too long, I become depressed and can get sick.

I’ve learned as someone who is highly sensitive and empathetic it’s necessary for me practice good self care by giving myself plenty of alone time to recharge. I’ve learned to control how much TV I watch. I’ve learned to opt for quiet music instead of loud music. I’ve learned to stay in bed a little longer and to rest. I’ve learned to use soft lighting in my home and I’ve learned to be selective with whom I socialize and which social events I attend. My biggest overstimulation trigger was revealed to me a few weeks ago and it’s rocking my world.

I deactivated my Facebook account 18 days ago. 18 days ago I stopped using Instagram every day. 18 days ago I started limiting how much time I spend on Twitter. 18 days ago I took control of my Social Media habit and in doing so I realized Social Media was huge trigger of overstimulation for me. I also realized it’s an addiction. The first few days without Facebook were like detox. I kept wanted to go back but I held out. The first few days, I wanted a fix. I held out. I got through it and now, I am calmer and less keyed up because of it. Not only I am not triggered by what I see on Social Media but I’ve also greatly reduced my screen time. I’m sleeping better too.

The biggest benefit to my Social Media withdrawal is that I have more time back in my hands. I am back to reading books before going to bed instead of having my face buried in my phone. I now turn my phone off more often when I am writing or listening to music. I even started watching some shows that partial subtitles and I enjoy it. Something about watching a show with some subtitles makes me pay attention to it more which means I can’t look at my phone. It’s actually pretty relaxing. I am not sure how I feel about Facebook anymore. I am going to go 30 days without it and see how I feel about it then but I am thinking I am just going to leave it deactivated. I actually don’t think it was good for me. I also greatly reduced my time on Twitter too. I am actually happier and more relaxed without all of that noise in my life.

As I sit in my quiet room under warm blanket on a Saturday night writing this blog on my iPad Pro by the soft warm light of my Pink Himalayan Salt Lamp, I am thankful for the wisdom life has given me. I now write on Saturday nights and schedule my posts to go live at 6:00am on Sunday mornings. I am grateful I learned how to shut out the noise and tune into my inner knowledge. It’s been helping me manage my thoughts and stay calm in stressful situations. Sitting in silence is often the only way we can hear our own truth. My soul talks to me in these quiet moments. When does your soul talk to you?

SELF CARE CHALLENGE: Are you up for it? Deactivate Facebook for seven days. If you make it for seven days, go for 30 days. See if you are as addicted and overstimulated as I was.

Other updates, I had another great work week. I am designing a website for my Program and I got some good news about one of my projects that was stuck in our Legal department. I gave another successful presentation to leadership on Thursday which was fun. I enjoyed it. This has been such a great professional experience for me. It’s allowed me to really work to my skill level, use all of strengths and grow at the same time. With regards to my tummy troubles, my appointment with the Jeff Gastro is Wednesday. My local docs say Dr. Michael DiMarino at Jeff Gastro is worth the wait and he is supposedly an excellent diagnostician. I am looking forward to getting some answers and relief. While the pain isn’t horrible every day, it’s definitely not going away and hasn’t gotten better. It may even be a little worse. The waves of nausea that come on suddenly followed by a few other symptoms are uncomfortable. I pray for courage, strength and healing.

Staying tune to my hippie soul, I chose Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young for the music on this post this week. Their music speaks to my soul. I love their harmony. “Carry On” is one of my favs from them because it’s about Love. When the melody changes in the middle, is usually when I feel the need to dance, be free like a flower child and wish I still “smoked” 😂 I might need a medical script 😇 😂 I digress… in my opinion, “Deja Vu” is one of the BEST ALBUMS of all time by any artist – hands down! I also attached a link to a “Legends” VH1 documentary about them.

Music Deja Vu, CSNY

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Self Care Sunday – How do you define success?

Art

On this Self Care Sunday I want to discuss Career. Career is the one of the four areas of life that Integrative Nutrition Health Coaches call “Primary Food”. Career satisfaction can affect your overall happiness and it also can affect your health and relationships. It’s important to step back and evaluate career satisfaction from time to time. If you are manager, I would recommend encouraging your employees to do this too.

For me, it’s so easy for me to get caught up in constant movement. As a “do-er”, I check my boxes off and claim my productivity by accomplishments and goals achieved. In a recent professional experience, things didn’t work out quiet the way I thought they were going to. I was not going to be able to achieve the goal I had set for myself which was causing me some anxiety and making me doubt myself a bit. Being trapped in my own definition of success was undermining my enthusiasm for the work I am doing and I was starting to feel a bit deflated.

I traveled to DC to give a briefing to senior leadership on Tuesday morning. In the briefing, I discussed my honest assessment of the program I am working on and its future if it remains supported the way it stands today. As I spoke, I was careful to be confident while also be truthful about my observations of the challenges and opportunities.

As I spoke, the conversation and energy in the room shifted and became supportive even nurturing. That’s when we realized that my definition of success was different from senior leadership’s definition of success. Leadership already viewed me and my Program as successful while I was still trying to prove to myself I could be successful. Let me say that again… Leadership already viewed me and my Program as successful while I was still trying to prove to myself I could be successful. My leadership explained to me that I already accomplished more than they originally thought was possible. WOW! That hit me hard. Right as I sat there in front of them I felt the magnitude of that reality hit me. I was pushing forward so hard that I never stopped for one minute in the last nine months to really see what I accomplished or to be proud of myself. They made me stop in that 45 minute meeting. It was a powerful moment for me. It was a powerful moment in my career💙

One of the Directors pulled me into her office for a chat about career opportunities. She wants me think about what I want because there are few different type of opportunities that could be open to me. She said I’ve proven myself capable and comfortable in “high profile” roles. She wanted to know if I would be satisfied going back to something less “sexy” after this 😊 It’s an interesting question for me. The truth is I am comfortable in this type of high visibility role. I am good with stakeholder engagement, up and down the chain. I present well and handle myself well. My biggest challenge this year was my own body. The constant health issues have been frustrating and the current issue with my stomach still isn’t resolved. I told her about my current issue and that I needed to see a specialist because of a suspicious stomach biopsy. She reassured me. She told me I shouldn’t let that be my deciding factor because my health issues obviously didn’t interfere with my work performance this year. She also told me accommodations could always be made for me. Yes, it may be easier for me to go back to a desk job that has more predictability, maturity and less of an ask from me but will it be enough for me after this???? My intuition says no…😊 But, I am keeping an open mind because I think it will depend on the opportunity and if it has room for growth and diversification. I also don’t want to work in chaos again. So work environment is important to me now too. For now, I am going let go and trust that everything is always working out for my highest good. I am going to trust God and my intuition to direct me to the right choice. As opportunities present themselves I will ask myself, “Does this honor who I am?”

I also met with new GM who is now an advisor to my program. Wow! What a difference chatting with someone with fresh eyes and fresh perspective can have! Having to walk her through my whole program reenergized me. It reminded me why I was passionate about this. It reminded why I wanted to do this in the first place. Her thoughtful questions and insights helped me find an unexplored path forward. I just met her that morning and already she helped me get unstuck. She suggested I look for something I can leave as a legacy, something tangible that people can say, “Linda did this”. I laughed and said, “Being the first and standing up the program isn’t enough?” 😂😂 She laughed but said she was thinking something more like a brochure or even a webinar that folks could use after I’ve moved on…. The budget will not allow for my current role to be a full time position. However, the role will continue as a temporary assignment after I move on to something new. She encouraged me to remember that I was first. I was the trail blazer. I have been the vision setter. I need to leave a legacy as well as start thinking about a transition plan. I came home full of things to think about as well a fresh new perspective and a new to do list. As I flew home looking out of window at the spectacular clouds, I was pensive. I was thinking about the events of the day and what I accomplished this year and what I learned about myself along the way. It’s been a great year professionally and great work experience.

I learned this week it’s important for folks to agree on what success looks like. While we had conversations about the goals of the program, their view of success was actually more achievable than my own. I learned this week the value of talking to people face to face when you have an important message to relay to them. If I presented my briefing over the phone, they would not have felt my energy or passion. The conversations that took place that day never would have happened. They would have missed the subtle nuances of my facial expressions and body language. This is good advice in any situation. If you have something important to say to someone, say it in person. The message may not be received in the way you are intending through phone, text or email. I learned this week talking to someone with fresh eyes or perspective can reenergize you. It can help you see things you may have missed. I learned this week to be open to constructive guidance and accept support when it is offered. Most importantly, I learned this week to always speak from my heart with confidence, authenticity and honesty even when I am briefing the big cheese in the organization😊

I write about self awareness a lot on this blog. I write about it so much because I truly believe self awareness is the key to growth and development. I think it’s especially important to practice self awareness in our careers. I admire leaders who encourage self awareness. How can you grow if you refuse to see yourself as you are instead of how you perceive yourself to be? How can you grow if leave no room for inner reflection and self knowledge? How can you be empathetic and sensitive to the needs of others including your employees if you can’t even acknowledge your own needs and desires? It’s with this new self awareness I will be moving into the future and evaluating upcoming career opportunities.

Do you celebrate your career accomplishments? Do you honor who you are while making career decisions? What legacy will you be leaving to the folks who will step into your shoes? Do you encourage your employees to leave a legacy? When you talk to employees, do you ask thoughtful questions and give helpful insights? Do you help them define success in their careers or projects? And is your definition of success in alignment with the folks around you? Do you practice self awareness as a leader or in your life?

I chose “Blackbird” by the Beatles for this post. It was written by Paul McCartney during the Civil Rights movement after seeing a black women arrested for sitting on a bench in a “white” section of a park in the United States. As a highly sensitive, empathic feeler, the current political climate is causing me a bit of anxiety.  I worry about our Democracy and the inflammatory rhetoric used by leaders against the Press and to stoke right extremists.  And now, a “USA Today” Op-Ed full of outright lies that many will believe on the surface without questioning. He’s gaslighting our nation.  I urge people to fact check politicians.  Even worse are the rich GOPers who only care about the economy and their own economic interests; turning a blind eye to everything else because life is good for them. I’ve been pulling away from people who lack a social conscience and put money & power over people. If you recall, fair haired white people were living good lives and turning blind eyes while 600K Jews were executed. I do not think our President is a horrible human being but I do think he lacks social consciousness.  Money and power are his Gods and rulers.  He’s willing to exploit the right extremist groups to win and aligns himself with Dictators.  The Senate and/or House needs to be a different party to separate and diffuse his power as well as bring accountability & transparency back in DC. November 6th is my sister, Sandy’s, birthday. I am hoping her spirit brings us luck and change. Stop the #trumpcult 🌊#votethemout 🌊💙

(C) 2018 Highest Good Holistic Health Coaching, LLC – All Rights Reserved

DISCLAIMER: Poetry, views, thoughts,and opinions expressed on this blog belong solely to the author and Highest Good Holistic Health Coaching, LLC

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