Self Care Sunday – Give them something to talk about

Art

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Christmas tree

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

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

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

Self Care

Self Care Sunday – How do you define success?

Art

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Self Care Sunday – Looking Out For Yourself And Others

Art

It’s Self Care Sunday. How have you taken care of yourself this week? Have you moved your body physically and made it stronger? Have you enforced and maintained boundaries in your relationships? Have you protected your spiritual alignment by choosing to be with folks who are good for you? Have you taken advantage of opportunities in your career to set yourself up for future? Or did you slow down and allow yourself a day to rest your body and mind? I did all of these things this week.

God proved to me this morning he puts you exactly where you need to be. It’s up to us to be awareness and alignment so we can see when he is asking us to take action. I was walking early this morning. I walked a different route than I normally do today when a frantic elderly Indian woman came up to me. She was sweating, panicked, holding an umbrella and her purse. She handed me her cell phone and phone book. I couldn’t understand much of what she was saying but I could tell she wanted me to talk to someone on the phone. After hesitating for a moment, I took the phone and said hello. The guy on the other end told me she got lost because she got of the Jitney bus at the wrong street. He asked me to point her in the direction of his home which was about three blocks from where we were. She was panicked. It’s really hot today and I was bit worried about her. After I hung up, I decided to turn around and walk her to her at least to the street her Son lived on. When she saw his house, she must have said thank you to me over a hundred times. Honestly, I couldn’t understand anything else she was saying to me. She hugged me and was smiling ear to ear. The amount of relief, happiness and peace I could see in her face made it totally worth me turning around and escorting her so she didn’t get lost again. I am sharing this story just to encourage folks to look out for each other. Use your instincts and intuition. You don’t always need to understand someone’s words to know when they are in distress. After doing a quick assessment of the situation, I trusted my intuition and knew God was asking me to her. I said, “YES”!

I had my last PT appointment on my SI Joint, IT Band and foot earlier this week. The therapist and I agreed it is not healed yet. I am not ready for yoga yet. However, my work schedule and travel schedule has my calendar screwed up. My therapist worked my leg pretty hard and gave me the home exercises to do in the gym. I am trying this for a month to see if I can strengthen it on my own. With that said, I don’t usually go to the gym on Sundays. Since I was down for the count Friday night and Saturday with a migraine, I went to the gym today and walked three miles today to get back on schedule. I am committed to getting back to yoga and making my body stronger. On another note, I wore my highest high heels for the first time since rolling my ankle & breaking my foot. It was time to get back on the horse and wear high heels again😊I wore high platform sandals. I will say I was a little nervous & extremely careful 😂 I was ok👍

In recent weeks, two men from my past have been in my experience. One has been trying to re-establish contact and I ran into the other one at the grocery store; I completely ignored him. I am writing about this here just in case either one of them (older or younger guy) is reading my blog. I want to make things crystal clear without having any direct contact with either one of them. There is nothing here for either one of them. NOTHING! I am not interested in reengaging with either one of them and I have no feelings for either one of them. Let’s just leave things in the past where they belong. Those relationships were not good for me back then and I am not interested in revisiting them now. I wish both men well. I have no hard feelings. The point of me writing this is to say I actually have no feelings – at all – for either one. Again, I am only putting this on my blog in this post just in case one of them, younger or older guy) is reading my blog. The Blue Love poetry collection is not written for either one of them. Neither one of them is the inspiration for my poetry. It’s really that simple. Blue Love is a man who is good for me. My connection with him is healthy. He’s taught me how a man should treat a woman. While he desires me, he also respects me. Whatever happens in our future, he helped me grow. He helped me see I deserve better than what I accepted in the past. So, I am enforcing boundaries and not allowing men from my past who were not good for me to return into my life. Once again, I am thankful to Blue Love for looking at me with the beautiful blue eyes of love and helping me to know I deserve better. Thank You Blue Love.

I woke up at 2:00am on Friday morning with a migraine. When I get migraines, they usually start in the middle of night. I have medication. I usually get up, take the meds and go back to bed for a couple of hours. Usually by the time I wake up, it’s gone. This one wasn’t. While I was functional on Friday, I was still in pain. I came home around 4pm and gave into the headache. I knew it was going to take a few cycles of meds for it to go away. I pulled the shades, curled up in bed, watched tv and slept most of Saturday. The headache was gone when I woke up this morning. I think the headaches are prompted by jaw tightness and TMJ. My jaw was popping a lot last week and I was eating chewy stuff more than I should. Instead of pushing through it, I surrendered yesterday and rested. I allowed my mind and body to slow down. I took care of myself.

Sometimes self care is more tactical; it’s about actually physically taking care of yourself. Other times it’s more about enforcing boundaries. For me, it’s also been about learning I deserve better than I what I accepted and expected in the past. I am happy where I am now. I am happy with how I have grown and woman I have become in recent years. Folks who knew me seven, ten or fifteen years ago, really don’t know me at all anymore.  I am also eagerly looking forward to more – so much more in the future. I am looking forward to surrounding myself with people who are good for me like Blue Love. I am thankful and grateful for all of my blessings. I am happy for the love in my heart and good the people kind souls who are in my life.  I am happy and grateful.
(C) 2018 Linda A. Long – All Rights Reserved – Highest Good Holistic Health Coaching, LLC

ICYMI My last post was Blue Love Haiku #12

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Self Care Sunday – The Emperor Of My Heart

It’s Sunday; that means I am writing about Self Care. Self Care today has taken on a physical and spiritual flavor.

Physically, I am feeling good. My broken foot is almost healed. It still gets sore but overall it’s pretty much better. Unfortunately, the foot issue affected my right SI Joint and IT Band because I was walking uneven. Even with weeks of PT and Chicropratic Adjustments, I’m still experiencing daily pain and tightness in both of those areas. Strength training in the gym is helping but it may a chronic issue. Often as we get older we have aches and pains that never really go away; we just learn how to adapt and live with pain.

As I am getting older, I am learning the importance of keeping active and moving through pain most of the time. There are some days when it is appropriate to take a complete and total rest day. However, I find I feel better with some movement on most days. Staying active is self care for me. I went to the gym on Friday and walked five miles. On Saturday, I walked five miles and toured some the 48 Blocks Art installations in Atlantic City. I enjoyed both days. This is my third day off. I woke up more tired than usual and sore. I pushed through it and walked a slow three miles. As I was approaching the end of my walk, I realized my SI Joint and IT bands just weren’t loosening up which meant it was time to slow down for rest and recovery. After being social most of Friday and Saturday, I am not really up for socializing today either. It’s only 11:00am on Sunday morning. I am sitting in my new Espresso leather recliner writing this blog contemplating if I have the energy to go to the pool or beach today. I’m tuning into my body’s inner wisdom to direct my level of activity today. As of right now, it feels like it will a quiet rest and recovery day.

My spiritual self care today is focused more on protection of my life force and energy. I am feeling really good lately. I am operating on the highest level I ever have in my entire life professionally and personally. I am balanced and grounded. I feel peaceful and happy. I’ve chosen to surround myself with folks who are also operating on a level equal to mine or higher. I committed myself to working and living to my highest potential and finding my highest good. That means I need folks in my life who can push me and motivate me to reach for more and be my best. I enjoy being with folks who challenge me to rise up and reach for more within myself. I am not slowing down or going back to who I was.

Unfortunately, I can not allow some folks from my past to re-enter my life. I need to be especially vigilant in not revisiting any relationship that was unhealthy in the past. No hard feelings. I wish folks well and hope they find happiness but I can say for sure it won’t be with me. If they weren’t good for me ten years ago, my intuition is telling me they still would not be good for me now. This is good self care for me.

Life isn’t always roses and unicorns. Life has pressures, challenges and frustrations. I find the pressure, challenges and frustrations easier to deal with now because I am better at protecting my spiritual energy. I am better at making sure I am not giving too much to others. I am better at recognizing folks whose spiritual energy isn’t a match to my own. I am better aligned holistically – mind, body and spirit. I am focused on using my natural skills and abilities to spurn growth in all areas of my life. I want to joyfully pursue my highest good with people who have true honest intentions towards me and are good for me.

As I was walking in nature this morning, I was praying and tuning into my own intuition for direction and guidance. My thoughts kept returning to Blue Love. His intentions towards me are genuine and pure. His energy is balanced and healthy. Our connection is healthy and good for both of us. Wherever it goes, whatever happens between us, no matter how things play out for us – we have been good for each other. That’s what a true Soul Mate does for you. They make you better and help you grow. Having folks in my life like him is good self care for me.

I wrote this poem for Blue Love a while ago. It was on my mind today as I was walking. He is still the Emperor of my heart.

The Emperor ~ Love, Sex And Poetry
By: Linda A. Long

Who is he
Who is the
Man
The Emperor
Who is this
Man
In your
Atmosphere
The man
Who walks
With you
You wear
His essence
Like perfume
And hold
His heart
In your hands
Gingerly
Knowing
With your
Heart’s Intuition
This strong man
Has a soft
Gentle soul
Who is
The Emperor
Is he
Your King
Your partner
Your lover
The leader
Of your world
This man
This man
Who’s energy
Whirls around your
Atmosphere
Taking his place
Next to you
Demanding
To be heard
In your mind’s eye
Who is this
Formidable man
You like
His fire
You crave
His fire
The fire in his belly
Lights your match
His heart beats
In yours
Who is
The Emperor
Of your world
Matching your
Passion
You crave
His energy
His kiss
Drips off of
Your lips
In anticipation
Of his possession
He is the ruler
Of your heart
Just as you
Are the fire
In his soul
You burn
In his
Atmosphere
The Goddess
In you
Is his strength
You honor
Him with
Words of love and devotion
You inspire
Him with desire
You nurture him with
True
Real
Beautiful
Love
That is
Here
To stay
In both
Of your lives
Who is
The Emperor
Of your heart
Have faith
In this
Formidable man
Have faith
In your bond
Trust what
You see
Believe what
You sense
Until the Emperor
Is laying beside you
Have faith
And stand true
As his
Goddess
Of love
(C) 2018 Linda A. Long – All Rights Reserved – Highest Good Holistic Health Coaching, LLC

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Remember – Blue Love Poetry

Art lovers Remember – Blue Love Poetry
By: Linda A. Long

Take a moment
Just one moment
Close your eyes
Take a long deep breathe
Breathe in
Slowly
And think of me
Breathe out
Slowly
And exhale
My name
In this beautiful
Peaceful moment
Think of me
Call me
Before you
Until you see me
Staying in
Front of you
With my eyes
Locked in an embrace
With yours
Think of me
Until you feel
My affection
For you
Softening you
With the gentle
Touch of my hand
Against your chest
Think of me
Until you are aroused

Remember
What it felt
Like to
Share a lustful moment
With me
Remember
How it felt
To share
A glance
With me
As we passed by
Remember
How it felt
To sit near me
And feel my energy
Remember
What it felt like
To know
My heart
Was racing with
Excitement for you

Take a moment
And revisit
This beautiful time
We shared
Take a moment
And remember
What it felt like
To look deep
Into my soul
As you
Have done
A hundred times
In the past
Remember
How it felt to
See my heart
And know
It was beating for you
Close your eyes
And remember
How you felt
When we
Were near each other

It’s still yours
My fire
My magic
My excitement
My energy
My passion
My lust
And desire
Is still yours
Our peace
Our friendship
Our loyalty
Our love
Is still yours
It is still yours
Close your eyes
And remember
How it felt
When I was near you
It is still yours
This pure
Unconditional Love
Is still yours
Remember
How it feels
To be loved
By me
Remember
You are loved
(C) 2018 Linda A. Long – All Rights Reserved – Highest Good Holistic Health Coaching, LLC

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