Self Care Sunday ~ Fresh Start

fresh start

I have a fresh start on Monday. I start a new job. I finally close the door on one chapter of my life and move on to the next. While I’ve enjoyed my time working on my current team, it is beyond time for me to move on.

The new job has possibilities. I have absolutely no idea what’s going to happen. Yes, it is a promotion. More than the money, I am excited about the possibilities of where it could take me and the growth opportunities it will offer me. It’s a fresh start.  Am I nervous? Heck yes. Anything new can be scary. It’s definitely going to stretch me and require a different version of Linda than I’ve been in recent months. I am good with that.

I am in an active flare-up of some chronic tummy issues. Most of the bloating and gas have passed and right now I am having some trouble getting the acid reflux symptoms to calm down. It’s going to take a few more days. It’s a flare. Flares come and then fade away. This one will fade away. But it has been a good reminder for me as I go into this new job that self care comes first; I must create and enforce proper boundaries for self care. Let the chips fall where they may. I am not really worried about continued career advancement as the next step would be management. I am not really interested in being a manager. Too much responsibility; dealing with other peoples problems all day and getting caught up in office politics really isn’t my thing. I am not interested in taking that on in my 50s. But, I do want to be the best Lead for my team that I can be. I want to practice good self care and also encourage the folks around me to do the same. This will affect positive change.

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It’s interesting. Whenever my tummy trouble flares up, I always retreat. Heck, I am introvert. I retreat most weekend but when I am sick I retreat into my bed. I withdrawal from interaction. I go within. I withdrew from my social life for a month to recharge and heal my body. It’s eight years later and I still haven’t completely reengaged 🤣

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Some of the greatest opportunities of growth I’ve experienced have come during or after a flare up of health issues. This time I spend quiet and alone gives me space to process and think through new ideas around growth and spirituality. I also know how to take care of myself when a flare hits now…Up the medicine. Lite exercise to move things along in my bowel. Restrict the diet. Look through my food diary for triggers. Pray and mediate to keep myself calm and peaceful while I ride out the worst parts of it. Focus my attention on good things like writing this blog and reading inspiration posts on Instagram. Lol 🙂 Flares are temporary. As my best friend used to say to me whenever she had a bad day during her battle with Cancer, “this too shall pass”.

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Unfortunately, I canceled dinner with friends this week because I didn’t feel well. I can’t wait to reschedule it. They normally let me pick since I have the food issues. We always end up at Steve & Cookies which is a local upscale restaurant. I also like upscale steakhouses or any place I can get Salmon. My belly likes expensive restaurants and frowns on bar food. 🙂 I also cancelled a massage this week. It’s never good to get a massage when you are already sick. Massages can trigger a detox. I didn’t need to add any more population or toxic waste into my body 🙂

Today is Sunday. I woke up to a second mass shooting in less than 24 hours. Putting politics aside, I offer the Metta Prayer to all beings in the Universe. I hope the dark psychic force that has taken hold in the United States is over powered by love and peace.

Metta Prayer

ICYMI – I’ve been posting every day this week since I haven’t been working; scroll down to see all of my posts from this week. I am not sure I will have time to write the next few days so have a safe Sunday and great week.

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Loving Kindness Prayer
May you be safe
May you be healthy
May you be happy
May you be loved

Irritable Bowel Syndrome Is Irritating

Screen Shot 2019-08-03 at 10.07.33 AMToday I am sharing some information about living with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). While it may be too much information for some, I am really just sharing in case anyone needs the information and for awareness.

I’ve had the symptoms of IBS most of my adult life I just didn’t know that what it was. My flare symptoms include gas, bloating, stomach pain in the left flank area, burping, hiccups, acid reflux, alternating constipation and diarrhea, sweating, fatigue, stuffy nose, nausea and etc. It can really make me miserable and that’s why I try to very hard to keep it under control.

While I’ve had the symptoms most of my life, I was only diagnosed about six or seven years ago. At the time, I had IBS-C which means I had constipation on a regular basis. In recent years, my flare-ups can swing either way IBS-C or IBS-D (diarrhea). I was even put a medication when I was first diagnosed to help relax my bowel and reduce bloating. The medication was unsuccessful. I have had more success with controlling my diet and getting regular exercise.

IBS can be triggered by food, mediations, emotions, stress, environmental issues and weight changes. My biggest personal triggers are dietary, lack of physical exercise and stress. I force myself to get at least 30 minutes of lite exercise even if I don’t feel well because it helps move things along in my gut.

IBS-Graphic

I started seeing a Gastro specialist at Jeff in Philly. He diagnosed me with Pancreatic Enzyme Deficiency which he believes is underlying cause of the IBS. In other words, I don’t have enough Pancreatic Enzymes to digest food properly which means they rot in my gut if I am not properly elimination which triggers the symptoms. He prescribed a prescription strength Digest Enzymes to take with meals. It can have an explosive effect so I don’t use it every meal. He also diagnosed me is Small Intestine Bacteria Overgrowth (SIBO). SIBO happens when bacteria from undigested food in the lower gut comes up into the upper gut. It is triggered by not properly digesting food. SIBO is the Trojan horse of IBS and requires a course of antibiotics to settle the gut bacteria down.

I am current on an antibiotic. The doctor prescribe one that would get my sinuses and my gut bacteria. In some ways, I feel better. In other ways, I am still in thick of it. Once a flare-up is triggered, it takes some time to settle down. It slowly fades away. I get the most relief for extended periods of time when I follow the Low FODMAP diet. This diet only limits carbs that are fermentable oligo-, di-, monosaccharides and polyols.  While the diet is restrictive, it has been a Godsend. I learned I can eat food that normally trigger me. It about the portion size but there are still foods I can NOT tolerate. As of last week, I am back on a highly restrictive version of Low FODMAP to help settle things down. Spiritually I always trust my gut but physical – I agree that my gut is bastard!

IBS Meme

As I look back on my food diary, I can see where I slipped up. I expanded my diet too far. I was eating beans. BEANS! WTF Linda? I don’t really tolerate beans well. Especially Chickpeas and Black Beans. I can eat Chili occasionally as long as it is cooked a long time. I was eating Cherries and Blueberries – both are high FODMAP. That combo alone could have trigged a flare up. I was eating raw veggies. While I can tolerate a salad when I am feeling good and take a digest enzyme, I can’t really tolerate a lot of raw veggies. Cooked veggies are usually ok. Apples. OMG. The Green Apple almost killed me. I felt my belly immediately swell up. Did I not learn anything from Adam and Eve about Apples🍏

If you’d like more information on IBS, Dr. Axe and Dr. Mark Hyman are great Functional doctors with good tips:  Here are a couple of links to get you to their sites.

https://draxe.com/health/gut-health/ibs-diet-food-cures/

https://drhyman.com/blog/2015/04/17/powerful-strategies-to-eliminate-ibs-other-gut-issues/

FODMAP-1

So here I am. Still bloating. Still with upper left flank discomfort. Still alternating between IBS-C and IBS-D. Just getting through every day waiting for the flare up to fade away but the reality is it’s going to be a few more days. Yes, I will going back to work not feeling a 100% but it’s ok. I am a remote employee. They even told me I can telework more often if needed. I worked for my new GM last year. We’ve become friendly. She recruited me knowing my issues. She knows my belly issues won’t hold me back in work.

If you are having any symptoms that could be IBS, I suggest you make an appointment with Gastro specialist. You will need your Pancreatic Enzyme levels checks. You will need breathe tests for SIBO and other gut absorption issues. You will need an Upper GI with biopsy and maybe a Colonoscopy. I’ve had it all.

ICYMI – I’ve been posting every day this week since I haven’t been working; scroll down to see all of my posts from this week. I will post my regular Self Care Sunday blog tomorrow morning instead of later tonight.  After tomorrow’s post, I will be taking a break from writing for a few days.

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Everything is always working out for my highest good💙🦋

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Loving Kindness Prayer
May you be safe
May you be healthy
May you be happy
May you be loved

Self Care is an act of surrender

surrenderToday is Friday and I’ve been off from work most of the week. I started an antibiotic for my Sinuses and Ears yesterday. I had to wait a couple of days for my tummy to settle down a bit before starting it. I think it’s already working because I am starting to cough stuff up. My plan for today is to just take it easy and let my body heal. I can’t do any more than I am doing. So, I just have to take care of myself and go for the ride.

The Engineers working on the brick outside of my unit are doing a water test this morning to see if any water gets in. They will be in my unit and on my balcony for a few hours this morning. I am glad they are doing it. My unit will be the first done and I will know for sure they are fixing the leak properly because we only get one shot at this. It’s a big expensive job. The Condo Association did an assessment to pay for it. My building currently has two assessment on top of regular condo fees and I heard there may be a third. This is why I would never buy in this building. It’s an old building that needs a lot of repairs.

A note about my Social Media presence. Self Care in the digital era has to include good hygiene and self care on Social Media. I deleted my Facebook account last year. I do not even miss it. Guess what? I could care less what my old grade school classmates are up to. I don’t give a crap what girls I went to high school with are doing now. Most of the stuff on Facebook is bullshit anyway. No one really posts truth. Facebook lacks authenticity and they are manipulating people, basically doing mind control with algorithms. If you don’t believe me, there are plenty of documentaries on PBS, Amazon, You Tube and Netflix to back me up. Here’s one:

I have an Instagram account because I like the pictures and I do find some inspirational stuff on there that I use for this blog. I recently made the account private/locked as I do not want to grow the account any further but if you’d like to follow it, the handle is @HighestGoodLife222

I like Twitter. I have a small Twitter account for writing and holistic wellness that is attached to this blog in the right side bar. I try to keep that account Vanilla and on topic. I am not actively trying to grow the account. I do have a larger political Twitter account under a fake name. It’s my rage against the Administration account. I am not trying to grow but it seems to be happening organically. The handle is @highestgoodlife

As I work my way through this flare up of physical issues, I will admit it’s given me an opportunity to reflect. I looked at my food diary and I must admit I was cheating ALOT. I’ve been physically active and doing good with my spiritual work but my food choices have not been good lately. The Low FODMAP Diet is the best lifestyle for my gut. I feel my best when I stick to it. It’s restrictive but I do normally feel good and avoid IBS flare-ups (bloating) when I stick to it. It’s funny because folks always tell people to eat raw veggies to be healthy but in my situation large quantities of raw veggies are undigestible and rot in my gut.

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The truth is I was out of balance. This hard stop was going to happen eventually. It’s good it happened now before I start the new job when I had a week to surrender. I had a conversation this morning with my new team/boss. I already know what my focus will be next week and I am scheduled to go to DC on Thursday for my face to face 1:1 meetings. For now – I am resting and focusing on self care.

ICYMI – I’ve been posting every day this week since I haven’t been working; scroll down to see all of my posts from this week. I will post again on Saturday and my regular Self Care Sunday post.

(C) 2019 Highest Good Holistic Health Coaching, LLC ~ All Rights Reserved

Everything is always working out for my highest good💙🦋

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Loving Kindness Prayer
May you be safe
May you be healthy
May you be happy
May you be loved

Staycation Starts Today ~ July 30th

staycation

The past week or so has been a challenging self care week. Mostly because I was resisting and pushing my body when it just needed me to slow down.

I start a new job on Monday, August 5th. I went into work yesterday (Monday) morning and realized I had nothing to do all week. All of my work was already transitioned to other people. I was chatting with my coworker who sits next to me. She said, “If I were you, I would be taking the opportunity to take a few days off to rest and relax before jumping into the new job next week!” It took me less than a minute to realize she was right. I reached out to current and new managers for approval to take off the rest of the week; all approved. I am off from work until when I start my new job on Monday, August 5th.

Yes, I am on a staycation of sorts but I also need to use this time to rest, heal and take care of myself. I am still healing an Upper Trapezius muscle injury. After having a migraine this weekend and having a small fever, I realized I have a sinus issue. I have a doctor’s appointment this afternoon. So, yes. I am off from work this week focusing on rest, beach, pool, sleep and decompressing before jumping into a fire next week.

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I’d like to remind folks, that good stress is still stress. Accepting a new job (good stress) is very exciting but it has also been stressful navigating the process. The process took three months – three months. The body doesn’t know the difference between good and bad stress. It just knows it’s stressed. Sustained stress takes a toll on the body. Eventually the body will react. My body reacted to good stress with muscle tension which set me up for a pull Upper Trap Muscle. My body reacted to good stress with a migraine. I was putting pressure on myself to ramp up in the new job while also transitioning out of the old job. It was too much. I was doing more than anyone expected of me. This is an accurate depiction of my spirit guides rolling their eyes as I repeat that same lesson over and over again without learning it🤣

Rolling-my-eyes-so-hard

One other thing that has been causing me some stress is the exterior work being done on my building. One of the units on the corner is mine. The bad news is they are doing the work to fix a water leak issue in my unit. The smell of mold and mildew when they started the work was intense and nauseating. I bought a product to help with it and that contributed to the headache. I threw it out and have air purifiers running 24 hours a day now. The good news is the worst is over. They removed all of the affected materials and the smell is gone. Once the exterior work is done, the interior dry wall has to be pulled down and my carpet has to be cleaned or removed. I will probably stay in a hotel during that week or hopefully be in DC for work. The other good news is once all of this done the air quality in my unit will be healthier. I actually looked at a couple of condos for sale in another high rise on the bay last week. I would have to take a loan from my 401K to buy it. Not sure how I feel about that. So, I haven’t done anything yet.

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Today’s plan is to do NOTHING – until I go to doctor’s this afternoon. I hope to write more this week but I have no idea what I will be doing every day. I suspect I will be sitting by the pool a lot. My immediate goal is only to get rid of the headache and fever right now.
(C) 2019 Highest Good Holistic Health Coaching, LLC ~ All Rights Reserved

Everything is always working out for my highest good💙🦋

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Loving Kindness Prayer
May you be safe
May you be healthy
May you be happy
May you be loved

Self Care Sunday – Being A Balanced Introvert

Archangel Raphael

I’ve had a busy week. I had commitments every night after work which means no time to write. Today, which is Saturday, was the first day I was able to relax and daydream a bit.

day dream

I walked five miles this morning because my body always feels better when I move. I also enjoy walking around town and seeing what’s going on in the neighborhood. I love to walk because I feel lighter after I shake off the old stagnant stressful energy I often absorb from others during the week. Walking is cleansing for me.

After I walked five miles, I went my local coffee shop for an iced coffee. A group of multi-cultural kids around ten years old were at the table next to me playing Chess♟ It was really cool to watch young kids mixed nationalities, girls and boys, taking turns playing the winner at Chess. I don’t even know how to play Chess🤣 That’s why I love Ventnor Coffee in Ventnor, NJ. It’s a local coffee shop with eclectic people. It has a very warm small town vibe. Check it out if you are in town. After my iced coffee watching the Chess game, I spent most of the afternoon at pool reading magazines and listen to music.

I tend to lean towards being an Introvert. I could go days – seriously DAYS – without needing or wanting to speak to anyone. However, I do try to remember to call my 80 year old mother even when I am in hermit mode so I can be sure she is ok. But, I am completely comfortable in my own company. I enjoy solitude. Silence is beautiful…Shhh

INFJ

One of reasons I’ve become more introverted in recent years is that I hate small talk. Small talk feels like poking myself in the eye 🤣In recent years, I started honoring my need for authentic interactions instead of engaging in small talk. The truth is I would rather talk to fewer people and truly connect with someone on a deeper level than interact with more people on a surface level. Another reason I’ve become more introverted is that my intuition (my internal bullshit detector) has strengthened. I’ve learned to protect myself a bit from being to too empathetic with people. I am sensitive to the emotional well-being of others and sometimes it can be draining for me.  But the biggest reason I am more introverted these days is because I am finally comfortable in my own skin. I no longer need to fill the quiet moments with noise. I no longer need acceptance or validation from anyone. I am completely and authentically comfortable with who I am now. I don’t need noise to distract me anymore.

Yes, I am enjoy my alone time but too much alone time isn’t healthy for anyone. As part of my self care, I’ve been opening myself up to more social activities in recent weeks. I’ve been working to find the right balance of activities that afford me opportunities to socialize comfortably while also maintaining proper boundaries.

Speaking of socializing…I attended a friend’s husband’s funeral on Thursday. I went to the services and spent three hours with friends at the luncheon but I opted to come home after the luncheon instead of going back to my friend’s house. When she asked me why I wasn’t coming back to the house, I said, “Are you kidding? I’ve talked more today that I have in a week. My jaw hurts.” The other reason I left is…that group of friends are hard core Fox News Watching Republicans😳 Well, folks who read my blog know I am an immigrant loving liberal democrat✌️My great grandmother was an immigrant from Mexico; what’s happening at the USA/Mexico border to migrants is stressing me out and making me sick to my stomach. While most folks were well behaved on Thursday, I wanted to leave before they all got too drunk and started picking fights with me. I am trying to open myself up a bit and socialize more but it is also essential I take care of myself by honoring my need to withdraw once I’ve reached my social limit.

empaths

Other news from this week is…I am still waiting on the paperwork for my new job to finalize. While it’s all approved by Management, Human Resources had to revisit my Security Clearance for the new gig. That takes time. Hopefully, it should be done soon. On another note, I am looking forward to reconnecting with Blue Love in the future🥰 He is always in my thoughts. I 💙 his pretty blue eyes😍🔥

If you need Angelic Support this week, Archangel Raphael is a great healer 😇

(C) 2019 Highest Good Holistic Health Coaching, LLC ~ All Rights Reserved

Everything is always working out for my highest good💙🦋

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Loving Kindness Prayer
May you be safe
May you be healthy
May you be happy
May you be loved

Self Care Sunday ~ Break The Routine

break the routine

Trying new things is good. It’s good to break the routine and change things up.

I broke my routine this week by taking a couple of days off from work to just enjoy life. I am changing jobs in a few weeks and my current job has been a little chaotic. I needed a little time to relax before things change so I planned a four day weekend this weekend and next weekend. It gives me time to destress. A break from the work routine is always good for the mind and spirit. Living at the beach, I often forget to take time off and just enjoy where I live so I did that this weekend. That is good self care.

I broke my routine this week by jumping on a Greyhound to New York on Thursday. My original plan was to stay over but I decided I’d rather come back to the beach so it was only a day trip. I walked about 14K steps before getting in the bus line home. It was a nice break from reality. I enjoyed walking in different places and I liked being in the city. I also enjoyed the double decker Uptown Bus tour. It was all places I’ve been before but I love Central Park so it was nice to ride around town and enjoy the sites.

I broke my exercise routine this week.  I am a walker. I will walk miles and miles and sometimes even over do it and then my hip hurts. The building I live in has a gigantic pool. It’s the largest on the strip of islands I live on. The building offers a free Aquasize class every day at 10am. I started taking the Aquasize class this weekend and I really enjoyed it.It’s good because it’s a total body workout. I think I may have gotten too much sun and my muscles are a little sore from the workouts but overall I am enjoying it. I am also making friends with new people who live in the building and started playing Maj Jong with some of the women. I like Maj Jong it’s a very strategic game. I like the competition.

pool photo

My Saturday went like this…I slept in until 8:00am 😄I took a 1 hour aquasize class 🏊‍♀️ I walked four miles 🏃‍♀️I took a one hour break in the middle of the walk at my favorite local independently owned coffee shop and had an iced coffee #ventnorcoffee ☕️ I went food shopping 🍪 I wrote this blog ✏️By 5:00pm, it was time for a shower, a spaghetti strap nightie, robe and slippers with a movie and ice cream 🍨🤪This is why I can’t seem to stay up past 9:00pm on Saturdays😴 I often sleep through the Tropicana fireworks at 10:00pm on Saturday nights.I still can’t figure out why they had fireworks on Thursday night this week. It was weird.

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When was the last time you broke your routine and tried something new? Consider trying something new this week. Explore a new place, eat a new food, try a new exercise, take some time off of work or perhaps just do absolute nothing instead of being chronically busy.

Break the routine! I breaking routine on this post by sneaking in a Blue Love Haiku at the bottom 🔥💙

break the routine

(C) 2019 Highest Good Holistic Health Coaching, LLC ~ All Rights Reserved

Everything is always working out for my highest good 💙🦋

Loving Kindness Prayer💙
May you be safe
May you be healthy
May you be happy
May you be loved

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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Blue Love Haiku # 7

Self Care Sunday – Transformations

transformations

I was feeling called to write about transitions and transformations today and remembered the Butterfly Story (below).  I heard it for the first time almost 20 years ago. I remember I was going through a particularly rough transition and a friend thought the story would help me find some comfort. It was through this story I learned the value of the “struggle” during the transformation process. Please take a moment and read this beautiful story:

Butterfly StoryThe transformation process can straight up suck at times. It’s hard to go through the sticky and uncomfortable transitions that move us from one chapter of life to another. I remember years ago I would get stressed out and depressed during these difficult times. As I’ve matured and gained wisdom, I grown to understand sometimes the struggle, the sticky uncomfortableness, is just part of the transformation process. The struggle doesn’t last forever. At least, it’s not suppose to last forever.  From my experience, we can sometimes prolong our struggle when we are resisting the change, holding on too tight or too long or refusing to see the truth in some way.

Transformations

Transitions are exciting and scary. It’s exciting to think of a new beginning.  It’s scary to think of how life will change, what will be different and what we will let go as part of the process. I found the only way to get through the difficult transitions is to stay grounded in the awareness that I was brought to this moment for a reason. I’ve learned to keep myself grounded in knowing everything will work for my highest good and sometimes things aren’t going to work out quite the way I’ve been envisioning them.  I guess what I am trying to say is I’ve learned to let go and just trust that I will be ok in the end.

If you are going through a transition or a transformation process, please know you will be just fine. Everything will work out for your highest good, you will once again be happy but you may need to go through some crap before you get the other side. Ground yourself in knowing everything is always working out for your highest good and you will be just fine in the end.

As for myself, I remind myself to keep my hand open so I don’t hold on too tight; reminding myself that it is only by having open hands can I receive goodness and let love flow through me to others. The open hand is also an open heart. It symbolizes that I am open to receiving; I am open to all things that are good for me.

Are your hands open and ready receive all the goods things you deserve? If not, what can you let go so your hands are open and ready to grab hold of something good when it comes your way?

Since I am sharing some of my older poetry during the month of June, I am going to sneak one in on this  Self Care Sunday post. I wrote the below poem in 2013 during a difficult transition after I finally realized that letting go was the only way to move forward.

I Opened My Hand And Let Go
In opening
My hand
I let go
Of everything
I tried
To hold on to
Too tightly
Reminding myself
Where
I was
What
I overcame
Who
I am now
Changed
Forever
By the wave
That swept
Through my life
Innocently
It started
As a ripple
As one
Decision
Lead to another
And pulled
Me down
To the very
Bottom
Of my soul
To find
Authenticity
For the first time
Traveling down this
Rocky road
To peace
“Stop”
My mind
Shouted
“Go back”
My heart pounded
“This is too hard”
My body wept
“I can’t”
A small little voice
Deep within
Proclaimed
“I must”
Asserted
My soul
Not knowing
Exactly what
I was choosing
Only knowing
Life was forcing
Me to start over
I can’t remember
Consciously
Making the choice
I don’t remember
Saying
“Yes”
I can’t reflect
On the exact
Moment
It happened
It happened
Every day
With every
Choice
Letting go
One day
Holding on
The next
Having faith
Meaningful things
In my life
Will remain
Trusting what is
Rightfully mine
Will return
I opened
My hand
And let go
Finally
I see
The very best
Of me
For the
First time
I accept
I am powerful
Confidently
I stand
With tears
In my eyes
Because I
Finally
Set myself
Free
In knowing myself
I let go
By Trusting
Myself more
Than listening
To the advice
Of others
I finally found
My peace
Because
I let go
Of who
I was
And who
They wanted
Me to be
I timidly
Courageously
Started walking
My road
To peace
Through
The valley of
Of self-love
And
To the mountaintop
Of self-acceptance
I found
Happiness
Within
No longer
Needing
Validation or approval
From others
I pinned my
Happiness
To the beat of
My very own
Heart
Simply
Because
I opened
My hand
And let go

© 2019 Highest Good Holistic Health Coaching, LLC ~ All Rights Reserved

Everything is always working out for my highest good 💙🦋

Loving Kindness Prayer💙
May you be safe
May you be healthy
May you be happy
May you be loved

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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transformation quote

Self Care Sunday – Finding Yourself is Remembering Yourself

Finding yourself quote

The intention of my Self Care Sunday posts is to shine a light on a path of self-discovery for the readers. I hope readers are inspired to reflect on the topics I discuss and use those reflections for self-exploration.

I believe self-exploration, self-knowledge, is the key to finding true inner peace, contentment and happiness.  I believe living in authenticity (truth) and being honest about your needs, wants and desires is a powerful change agent and can spark personal and spiritual growth. Self-Knowledge grounds us in our authentic personal power.

But how does anyone really understand their self and explore their own path to inner peace, contentment and happiness if they are always surrounded by “noise”? How can we tune into our inner wisdom if we are blinded by external expectations, duties, obligations and perhaps even a little afraid to change? So many of us walk around unfulfilled because we are living someone else’s truth or we are living in our past glory instead of embracing reality as it is today. Things change, people change, relationships change and so must we surrender to the truth and change. It’s been my experience, we keep ourselves busy, we stay in constant motion, so we don’t have time to look or feel the sticky uncomfortableness of our discontentment. Believe me I’ve been there. The below meme accurately depicts me trying to block out the truth in my life 😂 #NotTodayBitch

Not today bitch quote

In my experience, I only started to hear my own inner voice when I separated myself from the noise that surrounded me. It was in the quiet moments my intuition spoke to me. My inner voice started speaking so loud that I could no longer ignore it. I knew I had to change my life no matter how much it cost me. I was choosing to walk the path to happiness even it meant I lost everything or everyone in my life. I just couldn’t live like that anymore. I just didn’t give a crap anymore. I was going to be happy!

Once I let go, I could see I was walking around half alive but mostly unfulfilled everywhere; that was no way to go through life. Once I broke free I could clearly see that I was unfulfilled and unhappy because I let my duty and obligations to family, jobs and other relationships override my relationship with myself. I didn’t honor our own needs, wants and desires. Heck, I didn’t know what my needs, wants and desires were at that time. I had to give myself time and space to sit with the sticky discontentment in my life and listen to my soul’s guidance to figure it all out. I finally saw that I was living out of alignment with my truth most of life. I can tell you for sure no one has ever found fulfillment living out of alignment of their truth.

I since learned how to honor my needs, wants and desires. I’ve learned how to take care of myself holistically. I’ve learned I am a powerful creator but mostly I’ve learned who I truly am after I wipe off the mask I wear every day. I can honestly say I love and accept myself now. I am authentically Linda now and that level of self-awareness is true authentic personal power.

Authenticity quote

At this time, I encourage you to take some time to focus only on yourself. Not matter what anyone tells you, honoring your needs is not selfish. Folks my judge you; they may say you’ve changed. They won’t be able to manipulate you anymore once you see the truth. That’s good. You are allowed to change. I encourage you to fill your cup up first, then pour from your full cup to help others.

I give you permission to rest, heal, try new things and disconnect from the world if you need to for a while. I encourage you to set boundaries, distance yourself from unhealthy relationships, embrace new beginnings and ground yourself in self-knowledge. I say to you LOVE yourself as much as you love others. LOVE yourself unconditionally. Instead of finding yourself, I encourage you to remember who you were before duties, obligations and expectations told who to be.

Over the next few days, I’d like you to reflect upon these questions:

How can I love myself today? How can I honor my needs, wants and desires TODAY?

Then allow yourself the space to hear the answers from within. Let your authentic self speak to you in the quiet moments.  Tune into your inner wisdom.

All of your answers are within you!

I honor those of you who are brave enough to live authentically and allow yourself to see the truth in your life. I honor those of you who are courageously letting go of all you’ve known for most of your life to explore new paths to happiness.  I honor those, like me, who chose to answer the call to “wake up” to the truth in your life. I honor, celebrate and wish all of you brave individuals the ride of a lifetime as you reach for your highest good.

——-

As for what’s going on with me, I start a Book Writing course on Monday and I am still working through interview process for two different promotions at work. I will share that a potential 3rd option was presented to me on Thursday 😂👏👏It is so gigantic and exciting that I shouted “SHUT UP! O-M-G!” while talking to a GM on the phone. She was cracking up! Folks down the hall heard me and laughed. They had no idea why I was so excited – I can’t tell anyone the details yet – but trust me – if the 3rd option happens, it will be a dream come true for me. It will mean the seeds of a vision I planted last year while on a temporary assignment bloomed. Wish me luck because this would not only blow the other two opportunities out of the water but it will also make the decision process a heck of a lot easier for me. I should know for sure next week🤞The Universe is AMAZING! #Grateful

One last note about embracing change – I walked into the hair salon on Friday to get my greys and dark chocolate roots touched up but I unexpectedly walked out a GINGER 😂 I was told it suits my firey and passionate personality 🔥😂 I may delete the photo in a week or two to protect my privacy but I did want to share that somehow I became a redhead without really planning to do so and it’s all good 😂🔥✌️#GingersDoItBetter 🔥😂💙

Ginger hair color

(C) 2019 Highest Good Holistic Health Coaching, LLC – All Rights Reserved

Everything is always working out for my highest good 💙🦋

Loving Kindness Prayer💙
May you be safe
May you be healthy
May you be happy
May you be loved
img_0819

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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Self Care Sunday – Reflection On Growth

Holistic Wellness quotesI enjoy writing these Self Care Sunday posts about Holistic wellness. I like exploring the balance of body, mind & spirit including personal and spiritual growth. I also enjoy writing these post because I’ve been through some shit in my life. If what I’ve learned and experienced is beneficial to others, than my suffering was for a higher purpose. I hope you, the reader, can reflect on how I manage my holistic wellness and look for ways to find that balance in your own life. My intention is to offer points of reflection for you. To be clear, I do not intend my posts to be “advice”. The ultimate goal of every Self Care Sunday post I write is to encourage you to find your own truth. My truth is not your truth. I hope to inspire you to fearlessly dive into your own soul and find your authentic truth and power. I hope to encourage you to trust their own intuition. No one knows you better than you know yourself. I don’t have your answers. All the answers you need are within you. I am just here writing these posts to help shine the light towards the path of self discovery for you. Take what resonants with you from my posts; leave what doesn’t.

Intuition quote

I’ve had a few experiences this week that gave me an opportunity to pause to be proud of myself and my growth in recent years. First, I had a check-up with my Cardiologist. I have a congenital arrhythmia that is monitored because every once in while it goes haywire. The last time I was completely out of rhythm was 2010. I ended up at the hospital soaking wet with sweat and a heart rate circling from 150bpm down to under 40bpm all day long. I also found out then I had a Fatty Liver. I walked out of the hospital with two heart medicines, a 21 day heart monitor and an appointment with a Liver Specialist. Well, the Liver Specialist really kept things real – brutal almost 😂 He told me that unless I made some hard choices, that I would not live to be 50 years old. It took me another year to surrender but I eventually let go and made a choice to change my life.

On Monday, my Cardiologist told me I’ve officially kept off 45 pounds for 7 years. I don’t smoke or drink. My blood work is perfect. My liver is completely healed. (I can tolerate a glass of red wine once in while 😉). My Cardiac Risk Assessment went from HIGHLY likely to have a heart attack or stroke to almost NO RISK. It is now under 2%. My Cardiologist told me he can’t even see my arrhythmia on my EKG anymore. Let that sink in… the arrhythmia I was born with is no longer visible on my EKG ✨♥️ It’s completely gone. My heart rhythm is completely normal. He congratulated me on being a rare patient whose risk has gone down instead of up as I aged into my 50s. It’s all because I took control of my habits, my life and my health. I am very proud of myself 😊💙 ✨If you want to do your own Cardiac Risk Assessment, follow the link to American College of Cardiologist Risk Assessment Site.

ACC Cardiac Risk Tool

http://tools.acc.org/ASCVD-Risk-Estimator-Plus/#!/calculate/estimate/

The second reason I am proud of myself is that I found out last week I made the selection “lists” for both of the promotions I applied for earlier in the month. I already had one unofficial conversation; it looks pretty promising that I could be staying in my current organization with a promotion. I have an interesting spiritual take on this. If I get the promotion in my current organization, I will be working for the same manager I felt held me back from promotions a few years ago. Spiritually it’s like going back to that group and working for her again will close that Karmic loop. It will make things right spiritually between us – a growth cycle will be completed for both of us. That feels like the right choice for me. I am also really happy and proud of myself that I chose the do the 14 month temporary assignment I did last year. People doubted my intentions for doing it. People kept asking if I was sure and wondering if I was making the right choice leaving the organization for that long. I always knew in my heart it was the right choice for me AT THAT TIME. I am proud of myself for listening to my own wisdom and trusting my own intuition. That experience was very beneficial to my personal and professional growth.

As I’ve grow personally and spiritually, I’ve become more open to seeing things differently. Having this new awareness and clarity in life is both wonderful and terrifying at the same time. Seeing truth that is in direct contradiction to what I’ve been trying to tell myself for years is stressful but is also the most transformative experience I’ve ever had. Often the truth of what we’ve accepted and settled in our lives hurts but it is also sitting with that pain and living in that truth that gives us the ability to break paradigms in our life. It gives us the ability to become limitless in our ability to grow into better versions of ourself. When our awareness is opened and we start living in truth, our whole life changes; it has to change because the foundation of who we are internally shifted.

I’ve learned the longer we “hang in there” and resist the signs of change in our lives, the more stressful transitions will be. We may even miss opportunities the Universe has been laying before us because we are resisting instead of surrendering to change. I’ve learned it’s good to reflect on the past to glean wisdom and learn lessons but it’s not good to dwell too long on mistakes or missed opportunities. Ultimately, every experience we have contributes to making us into who we are today. Instead of being filled with regret from the past, focus that energy on creating something new today. You are always exactly where you are meant to be.

Divine Timing quote

I have had to let go of a lot in my life. I’ve said a lot of goodbyes to people I’ve loved. It has been on my mind a lot this week because Blue Love is transitioning to a new chapter of his life in the next month. I am extremely happy and excited for him. In my mind, I am hoping it’s not “good-bye” for us, I hope it’s “see you down road!” This is how I know I’ve grown in the last two years… Instead of holding on too tight to him out of attachment, I want him to be free out of love. I hope he takes time to rest, enjoy life and find his own truth. I want this for him because I truly love him. I love him unconditionally. I want him to be the fullest expression of God’s perfect love that he was intended to be.

Blue Love Haiku #1

My wish for Blue Love is that he is safe, happy, health and, most importantly, loved. I want him to be LOVED.
Blue Love Haiku #9

If you all learn one thing from me, it is – you are always exactly where you are meant to be. Every experience you have, every choice and mistake, made you who you are today. You are a reflection of God’s love created to shine – shine like the sun. If you didn’t have all of those experiences, you may not be the person you are today. If you didn’t make those choices, you may not have awakened to your authentic truth. Everything happens in divine timing and every experience we have is all part of God’s plan for us to be our authentic selves. But, only if you allow it. Only if you let go and just go for the ride the Universe is offering you. Trust it will always be just fine – just fine.

I hope you choose to stand in your own power by knowing who you are and by finding what lights your soul up. Take time to honor your needs. Take time to heal and rest. Most importantly, honor your truth and enjoy the ride!

Change quotes

(C) 2019 Highest Good Holistic Health Coaching, LLC – All Rights Reserved

Everything is always working out for my highest good 💙🦋

Loving Kindness Prayer💙
May you be safe
May you be healthy
May you be happy
May you be loved
img_0819

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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Self Care Sunday – Burnout and Boundaries

Burnout quoteHave you ever experienced professional burn out? I experienced it in the Fall of 2017. It crept up over time as coworkes and leadership kept crossing my boundaries. I was over-tasked while others were under tasked. I started calling out sick more. I started having health issues and ended up taking almost two weeks off from work too. I eventually made the decision that I needed a full completed stop. I needed a break from the Organization I was working in and I took a one-year temporary assignment to give myself some distance. But it wasn’t the first time I burned out. It’s happened numerous times in my past. I seem to go 100mph. I don’t often see the wall before crashing into it.

Crashing into a wall meme

Here’a little background information on me… I have a wide skill set. I am high performer and a high energy girl. When I am performing optimally, I am a dynamo.  I’m not boasting; just stating facts.  I can take a lot on. I can get a lot done but I also had no boundaries in the past.  Whatever I was asked to do, I did. I often did more than I was asked to do. I did more than anyone was asked to do. The problem with operating like this in the workplace is that you condition managers and colleagues to expect this level of performance from you all the time. It’s hard to break that pattern once you established it and made it your norm.

I recall a few years ago, I had a boss who would often remind me when something wasn’t mine to worry about. He would caution me to stay in my lane.  But I continued to take on too much and worry about things that really weren’t mine to worry about.  He saw what I could not see myself. He often told me to knock it off even though his subordinates were encouraging it. When he was promoted, I lost that external checkpoint and I also did not know how to do it for myself at that time.

Perhaps I didn’t want to admit that I wanted to be a superstar. Maybe I got some sort of validation and approval in being a super woman. Perhaps my ego got a trophy by being a superstar employee who could do anything – all while risking my physical, emotional and spiritual health. Maybe I was a martyr or perhaps felt I was important and indispensable. My self-awareness back then wasn’t evolved to the point that I understood my motives for that behavior.

Self awareness quote

After spending a year studying to be a Board Certified Holistic Health Practitioner, I can now see the danger of my habit. It’s taken some self-awareness to see this in myself and commit to changing it for my long term wellness. I finally learned how to set boundaries and take care of myself. I finally learned to set limits on how much I am willing to give. But let’s remember – boundaries are meaningless unless you enforce them.

I started a new job on April 1st in the same group that burned me out in the past. It was hard choice to return there. But ultimately I knew I changed. I am not the same employee who left 15 months ago. I now know how to take care of myself. Trust me, there’s lots opportunity for me to go above and beyond on this high profile yet struggling team. Just the perfect situation for me to drive 100mph into the wall 😂😂 The only difference now is – I see the danger this time. I see the wall this time. I know the danger of being everyone’s “go to” for everything. It’s not happening this time around! Nope! Not again! Earlier this week I caught myself dropping into my old habit and I stopped myself. I reminded myself to “STAY IN MY LANE”. I logically brought myself back to center and remembered the task wasn’t my responsibility. So I did what I could do to help and then backed off. If it dropped, it dropped. “Let it happen” was in my head. Yes, this time around – it was clear to all involved – I am staying in my lane and everyone will need to adjust. I will need to check-in with myself on a daily basis to ensure I am enforcing my boundaries. In the three weeks I’ve been back, six people have said the same thing to me, “That team needs someone like you!” 😂 I take that as a compliment but it is also my challenge to be sure I exercise self care and maintain my boundaries.

Boundaries

On Thursday, I had a long conversation with a frustrated team member who was considering other options. My observation was he’s close to burnout so I offered to listen to him. Once I popped the top off, he really opened up. He told me his daughter was born a year ago. He was working from the hospital room 10 minutes after she was born. Well, you know I pulled on that thread. I asked him, “Why did you feel you needed to do that? Knowing your managers I do not think they would have expected that of you. So, what’s your why?” Well, the conversation went on for over an hour. By the end of it, I found out he really doesn’t want to leave but he is getting drained. He feels the bar is higher for him, also a high performer, than it is for other employees. He wants a performance plan that has a path to career progression instead of him being stuck in a position as a “go to” just because he’s good at it. When will folks realize smart people are good at many types of work but it doesn’t mean they enjoy it 😉 Wow, talking to him was like talking to myself 😂 We are very much a like😂 By the end of the meeting my new teammate and I decided to have regular check-in meetings with each other. We are more or less going to be accountability partners to ensure we are both staying in our lanes and not taking on too much. I never told him that I am certified coach. Maybe I should start coaching the whole team – Um, stay in your lane, Linda!😂

My coworker did share with me that he felt UNDERVALUED by managers. He was supposed to meet with three managers to discuss his concerns and only one showed up. (That has since been corrected; He’s had conversations this week). He’s had four bosses in two years because of the managerial shuffles; it doesn’t give him confidence in the strategic planning abilities of leadership. I said, “I bet it doesn’t” 😂 This group of managers especially are really good at talking without ever following up with action. #TRUTH! I especially don’t resonate with the energy around the senior management team. I like and respect my team’s senior manager and our front line manager but I am going to keep my distance from the larger group as much as possible. I am staying in my lane! I will only interact with them, when required.

Listening

Here’s my observation about leadership… Human Relations events, ice cream socials and award ceremonies, are just perceived as photo-ops for management unless they are followed up with real authentic conversations with employees. Managers haven’t realized giving an employee 30 minutes of their time and listening attentively is just as important as any management meeting. Employees are stakeholders too! Stakeholder Engagement should include having real authentic conversations with employees; not just posing in fake (staged) photo-ops with them. I can’t seem to get the point across to them that authentic listening is a learned skills that managers should cultivate if they want to truly connect with their employees. Genuinely caring and showing you value the employee as a person is leading from the heart…People resonant with authenticity.

Lead from the heart

Three weeks into a new job on a high profile yet struggling team and so far I like it. I am enjoying the work. All in all this is a good opportunity for me. I can really do some good on this team but, yes, I do still have another offer hanging out there indefinitely. All I have to do it make a phone call. As of right now, I am not pursuing it. It’s still nice to know I have an exit ramp if I need it 😉 😂As I am observing how this team interacts, I am seeing strategic opportunities to improve processes and communications on the team. But honestly, one of the biggest problems the team has is internal communications between team members with different styles and personalities. One key employee has a communication style and responsive issue that is challenging for the rest of the team. However, I am keeping that observation to myself for now. I don’t need to put anyone under the bus in my first month 😂 I think they need more strategic team building exercises and “coaching” along with technical telecoms…Like start a telcon with “Tell me the biggest challenge you are having on this task? What’s keeping you up this week? Can I help?”

ACTION – Reflect on boundaries and leading from the heart 💙

Boundaries are an essential tool in managing holistic wellness. Learning how to set them and enforce them is a skill that will make you strong and resilient. Folks who were used to taking advantage of you, might get pissed off at first. They will adjust. What boundaries have you set for yourself personally and professionally? Have you been enforcing them?

If you are a leader, can you choose to lead from your heart? Perhaps consider starting your next telecom with heartfelt questions instead of diving into your tactical agenda. Give folks an opportunity to speak and be heard FIRST. Giving folks a forum to express their biggest worry or fear and asking if there’s anything you can do to help shows them you are putting them first. Head’s up – the first time you do this, folks may be hesitant to share. You have to make sure they understand it’s a safe room. As for me, I would be suspicious of folks whitewashing and saying everything is “great” all the time. Well, if it’s all so great, what are you doing all day? 😂

If you want to keep employees, you need to show them authentically they are valued and you care about more than just their productivity as a resources. I would rather have an authentic leader who has true authentic human interactions with employees than receive awards or eat ice cream that only give managers photo-ops to show their bosses.

(C) 2019 Highest Good Holistic Health Coaching, LLC – All Rights Reserved

Everything is always working out for my highest good 💙🦋

Loving Kindness Prayer💙
May you be safe
May you be healthy
May you be happy
May you be loved
img_0819

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

Protected by Copyscape Online Copyright Search

DMCA.com Protection Status