Happy New Year

Art “Weaving Dreams” – Eva Ruiz, IG: @Evita1872

Happy New Year 🎆 Welcome 2019! ✨

I had a really nice and peaceful New Years Eve. I started the day with a morning mediation class with Intention on growth, abundance and hope for the new year. I recently returned to practicing yoga after breaking my foot and I did my first challenging practicing yesterday afternoon. While I still felt some resistance and tightness as I moved and my foot was sore last night, I felt good to move my body and sweat. It reminded me why I love yoga. I watched the movie “Birdbox” on Netflix early last night. It was good but I am not sure it is worth all of the fuss I’ve been hearing about it. I managed to stay up and at 11:50 I sat on my mediation cushion and meditated until 12:05 using the “Aad Gurey Nameh” mantra as my focus. I chose this mantra for my New Years Eve mediation because it opens the Heart Chakra and it offers protection and project of the Heart Chakra energies. It’s healing. It was a lovely way to end 2018 and welcome 2019.

Aad Gurey Nameh

2018 brought many changes into my life – Good healthy changes. I took a leap and tried out a new job in a temporary position. It has been a great experience. I’ve enjoyed every minute of it. I needed to take this leap. I needed to push myself, test myself and prove to myself that I could operate on this level. I am different now. I guess I will find some way to acceptance and probably keep looking for another opportunity to eventually leave again. I don’t hate it there. The people are all very nice but the work is just not fulfilling to me and that is what causes me the most stress. I know what career fulfillment tastes like now. I don’t want to go back to feeling uninspired.

Perhaps the biggest change happened to me spiritually and emotionally. Graduating from the Institute of Integrative Nutrition as an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach gave me the tools to make better holistic choices for myself. Taking those classes taught me how to take care of myself in all aspects of my life. It also taught me how to have patience with myself and acceptance that everything is always working out for my highest good. I am not working full time as a Health Coach but I have a LLC and continue offer pro bono counseling sessions to folks I know. It was totally worth the money I spent on tuition and the year of hard work. I am very thankful I was able to do it for myself. I hope to work full time as a Holistic Wellness Coach after I retire.

Apache prayer

2018 was a year of deep healing. Deep painful memories and experiences from my past came to the surface to be healed. In a sense it brought darkness to light so it could be transmuted. I’ve learned to forgive myself for not being strong enough in the past to allow myself to heal. I learned it’s ok to talk about what happened to me. I learned it wasn’t my fault. I’ve learned to live with sadness and pain that comes in waves of PTSD flashbacks when I think about everything I lost and gave up because I couldn’t let anyone in. I’ve learned I am worthy of love and I’ve learned men who truly care about me will respect me and my body. Blue Love had the opportunity to be just like other men in my life but he chose to not take advantage of me. I am thankful to him for that and I respect his integrity for making that choice. He taught me to trust. I do trust him with my well-being and trust his judgment. I am grateful he’s been part of my healing and my life.

2018 was the year of growth and healing for me. It was the year I found peace within. It was the year my spiritual practices deepen. It was the year I let go of what I thought I wanted. It was the year I followed the signs wherever they went and trusted my own intuition to guide me to the right choices. 2018 was the year I learned the people who are meant to be in my life, will always be in my life. It was year I truly learned to love myself and others unconditionally. I know I will look back on 2018 and remember it was the year I found my authentic voice and finally found peace within.

I am not sure what 2019 will bring. I am eager and excited. My main focus in 2019 will be on living my most authentic life. Loving myself enough to make good choices for my life and my body. Supporting those I love but not at the expense of my own happiness. In 2019 I will help heal others. I hope to set a good example. I will work for change. I will help good to triumph over evil. I will lean into 2019 with an open heart and mind. I will keep my vibration high. I will offer the Universe the vibration of love and continue to pray for Loving Kindness.

I claim love as my vibration for 2019. I wish you all a beautiful New Years.

Manifestation

Remember to put a little love in the world with the Loving Kindness Prayer

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

Everything is always working out for my highest good 💙🦋

(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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Self Care Sunday – Holistic Balance

Chakras

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

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

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

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

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

A few suggestions

Meditation, affirmations, mantras and prayer

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

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

Udemy

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

Breath observation

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

RAM Meditation

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

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

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

Chakras

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

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Thanks & Giving Prayer

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

Thanks and Giving Prayer

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

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

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

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

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NOTE:

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

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

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

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

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

Self Care Sunday – 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

—————

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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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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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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