Self Care Sunday – The Mirror and Universe

Mirror quote

The Mirror

One of the keys to personal and spiritual growth is the ability to see everyone in your life as a mirror, a mirror reflecting back to you strengths, weaknesses and irritations. The reflections in the mirrors are tools to awaken you through self awareness – but only if you are courageous enough to make the choice to see them.

In recent years, I’ve embraced this practice. At times when I’ve found myself irritated by another person or when I’ve found myself standing in judgment of another’s actions, I’ve tried to have the discipline to challenge myself. I’ve challenged myself to look within myself for the same qualities I see in that person. I often ask myself, “Why am I seeing this in them? Do I also hold the same quality? Do I have the same habit? Do I need to grow in the same way?” This isn’t an easy practice. No one wants to see their limitations and weaknesses. We are conditioned to hide our flaws so deep within that we can’t even acknowledge them to ourself. We are taught to be prideful, confident and self-assured to the point we can teeter on the tip of arrogance. It’s very hard to undo that conditioning. It’s very hard to accept our own limitations. Brave is the individual who makes the commitment to open their eyes to their own truth – no matter how ugly it might be. Change can’t happen without acknowledgement of the “as is” state.

I started a new job five weeks ago. Since day one I recognized that one of my team members (not a manager) is a mirror for me. While I respect my coworker and admire her commitment to hard work, she refuses to ask people for help. She tries to do everything herself. She puts a tremendous amount of pressure on herself. She keeps so much to herself that it’s hard for anyone else to help her. This means she also can be a bottleneck for communication, collaboration and progression. I haven’t shared my observation with any managers as I like her & don’t want to put her under the bus. I know she is working very hard. I also don’t know the history. Perhaps she developed this habit out of necessity to ensure things got done or she sees it as job protection. I don’t know her motives. I only know it’s her habit. I am slowly working to build trust and open her up; she’s finally let me in a bit and let me help her this week.

I recognized this pattern in her so easily because I do that same thing. I bury myself and try to do everything myself. I see now, as my responsibly level grows, I have to break this habit. I have to use the mirror and choose to change that habit. I took on a project this week to refine requirements for a contract. I originally planned to do all the work myself. In a flash of self-awareness, I realized I would cover more ground and I would be able to redefine the requirements better by asking for the help from subject matter experts. So, as of Thursday, I am now facilitating the work. I am helping to exchange information and ideas (moving the project forward) as oppose to writing everything myself. It’s opportunity of me to stretch my managerial skills and leadership abilities as well as get a better product in the long run. I am choosing to grow by using my coworker as a mirror.

Strengths

Food for thought

Who are your mirrors? Do you see a weakness in another that you can use to provoke growth in yourself? Are you in alignment with the Universe? Are you heeding the signs? Do you know when you are being divinely guided to a new opportunity? Are you manifesting your best life?

Chakras meme

(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
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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 ~ Jumping Into A Fire

Risk quote

Something unexpected happened this week. I received an email from the Institute Of Integrative Nutrition. Since I paid my tuition for my Holistic Health Coaching Course in full before school began in May 2017, they gave me a FREE six month Book Writing course($999 value) as a bonus. I had one year from my graduation date in May 2018 to enroll. I forgot about it; they emailed me to let me know my last shot to enroll in the free course is the class starting on June 3rd.

There was only one problem with this. I wasn’t really planning on going back to school for a while… My initial reaction to the email was hesitation. Do I really want to sign up for a six month course which means 5 to 10 hours a week for homework and writing. Really? Now? God damn Universe…I was kind of enjoying being lazy 😂

After thinking about it, I would feel bad not taking advantage of the opportunity and wasting the free course worth $999. The truth is I have been itching for some spiritual/intellectual stimulation and looking for a new hobby. I jumped in 😂 I enrolled in the June 3rd course. Any time you get something worth $999 for free, it’s time for the Happy Dance!

Happy Dance gif

With careful deliberation, I am approaching this course differently than I approached my studies in the past. I will not put myself under any pressure with this course because it is for personal enrichment only. Which means it’s a hobby and I can relax with it. I am lowering my expectations of myself in it too. I’ll be happy if I at least learn how to write the book and come out with an outline for a book. That’s all I want from it. I will also be happy if I start having discipline to intentionally set aside time for writing each week. I usually freestyle my writing; focusing on being more disciplined with writing will be a challenge for me… Lastly, the truth is I don’t really care if I finish this course. If it gets to be too much, I’ll just take a slower pace. I will still have access to the course information for two years after the six months is over. All I have to do really is download the information each week and save it as reference for when I am ready to dive in. Yep, I’ve changed and this time I am not stressing about it.

The funny thing is I was toying with the idea of writing a book. I even have a topic I am interested in writing about. It is kind of interesting the opportunity to take a free book writing course manifested now. The Universe is absolutely amazing. I am a powerful creator 😇✨The two topics I enjoy reading about the most are holistic approaches to wellness and executive leadership. Without giving too much away about my premise, I plan to write a book merging both topics. – holistic wellness with executive leadership or holistic leadership. I have plenty of reference materials plus my education. I also work with many leaders, coaches and managers. I can talk to them “unofficially/confidentially” and perhaps pick their brains without quoting them or using privileged information. I hope to, at least, get some feedback and advice. I would actually love for my former Group Manager to be a writing partner but I don’t know if he would/could do something like that🙏If not, I definitely hope he can at least be a confidential advisor since he’s shaped much of my experience. I kind of grew up working for him. I think he’s the bees knees and I don’t care if he knows it 😊😂✌️😘

So, I jumped into a six month writing course that starts June 3rd and it looks like I will be writing a book on holistic leadership… That feels like the deep end of the pool. I hope to hell I can swim. With working a full time job, I have a feeling the below meme could end up as my experience most days but I will hope for the best. I hope once I get rolling and with having the structure of the course, I will be better with procrastination.

Book writing meme

I also jumped in at work. It’s more like jumping into a dumpster fire there rather than the deep end of the pool 🔥🔥😂I started a new job a month ago. I have enough knowledge and experience that I was able to jump right into the mix. It took me a little time to understand the shorthand this new team uses but I know enough that I am not struggling too much. A few people weren’t really happy about me being added to the team. They didn’t understand my role. They seemed to feel threatened. I’ve been working very hard to clarify that I am not a threat to anyone. I am there to help bring discipline and strategy to their planning and processes. I am there to put structure around them to make things work a little better. I am there to help them understand and utilize the contract more efficiently. Leadership hasn’t been great at communicating that to the team so I’ve had to do it myself and now folks are more receptive. Yep, jumping right into a dumpster fire.

Jumping into a fire meme

Unfortunately, I am observing that there are fundamental inequities in the team’s understanding of their requirements versus what is actually in our contract. My observation was validated by another contracts specialist. Hyper-reactivity to the daily fires means the team has been pushing for quick turn around times on contracting issues which isn’t always the most advantageous for us in the long run. Quick fixes are sometimes needed in the work we do but then you need to have the discipline to wrap back around and look to see if you broke something in long run. A quick fix could water-down what was already in affect contractually if we aren’t careful with the wording and execution. Thankfully, a leader recognized my concern as valid and helped me form a workgroup to evaluate at least one problem they’ve been having. We need to understand if there are truly gaps or are we just not enforcing properly. They are all onboard now and this could be my first win with the team. Yep, I jumped right into the fire with them. Hope my perspective helps the team be more efficient.

What I am hoping to demonstrate in this post is what I am mean about holistic leadership. Take me for example, I took the time to work on my holistic health. Feeding the body, mind and spirit every day is essential to holistic wellness for all beings. As for myself, I’ve learned how to create and enforce boundaries. I need to learn and grow for fulfillment. I know I need to enjoy my work. I take time to replenish my body, mind and spirit daily. This makes me a better more productive employee. It also gives me confidence to assert myself respectfully and it helps me challenge others to meet me on my level. I used holistic methods to coach myself to be a better leader but imagine using these and other holistic wellness approaches with your staff…That’s holistic leadership. I can’t wait to explore this topic in a book. Someone may have already wrote about this but they won’t have my unique flavor or perspective 😊

Below my latest professional development read. It’s about creating workplaces where employees feel safe to express themselves and are empowered to be innovative without fear. I heard about it on Twitter from leadership author, Mark Crowley – www.markccrowley.com. I haven’t started it yet. It just arrived yesterday. I’ve had a bit of a migraine from allergies and haven’t been able to read much the last couple of days. If you are interested in reading this book, you can order it on Amazon either in Kindle or hardcover. I am building up a reference library for the book so I can use quotes.

The Fearless Organization

Let me ask you – Are you willing to jump into the unknown having no clue where it will take you? If not, perhaps explore what’s holding you back. Fear of failure held me back for a long time but not any longer. Failure is just another method of learning. Failure is only a problem if you don’t learn from it. For me, the excitement and adventure of jumping into something is worth the risk of failing…

Fear of failure quote

(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
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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

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Self Care Sunday – Trusting the Process

Spiritual meme

The hardest part of change is trusting that you will be ok once everything settles down. It’s hard to have faith that you are making the right choices and doing the right thing when everything is in chaos or feels stressful and icky. But those fearful moments are when it’s essential to TRUST THE PROCESS… Change, big change, requires for things to shift. That shift can feel like an earthquake or just a small tremor. However the shift feels, I am sorry to tell you, discomfort is an essential component of change. Trust the process…

The funny thing is that last paragraph shot out of my fingers in like 30 seconds. It was almost like someone needed to hear that message and spirit was moving through me to deliver it…I know that sounds weird but other folks into spiritual stuff will know what I mean. Whoever needed to hear that message, you will be fine, just fine. Enjoy the ride… You manifested this change for a reason. Trust the Universe is bringing you into alignment with your highest good.

Spiritual meme

The latest development in my career occurred this week when I was asked to give a presentation to executive leadership on why I declined a job offer 😳😂Nothing like being on the hot seat 😂While it was a bit awkward, I was actually very relaxed because I was finally able to speak my truth. The truth has been pushing against my Throat Chakra for months now just waiting to come out😳😂 I had to use all of my spiritual know how to control my mouth. Yep, I am an Aries with Aries Rising. I am a FIRE Sign 🔥 Not always easy to control the flame but I have made a strong effort in recent years to learn to hold my words and use them strategically.

I was very relaxed through the whole briefing because I knew I had documentation to back up my assessment and I also had the support of my organizational leaders. I carefully stepped through my experience. I expressed my gratitude for opportunity before pivoting to explaining that I turned down the job because I no longer enjoyed the work. The challenges and frustrations associated far exceeded any potential for fulfillment in the doing the work. By the end of the meeting they understood it wasn’t an easy choice for me to make but it was the right choice for me considering the situation.

As I spoke, my Director stepped in at times to shape a narrative that turned a negative situation into an opportunity to strategically reposition the organization 👍 She moved her agenda forward by using my situation to illustrate that she needs more funding for STEM related programs! 😂 Seriously, I’ve always respected her but watching her in action was amazing🙌 I walked out of the meeting not only feeling supported but I also felt like a weight was finally off my shoulders. As I walked down the hall with my former boss, he looked over and said, “Now, you know it’s not over yet and you will be hearing from us again, right?” 😂😂😂 I was quick to let him know I am open to all conversations about opportunities to do fulfilling work I enjoy. We will see how this plays out… It’s been a fun ride!

Life is a ride

Well, I need to make a confession… After throwing away twelve pairs of shoes, I went on a shoe buying binge. Some would call it a shopping “bender”👠It led to also buying bras, pants, jackets, sweaters, etc…. Yep, a bender ☺️I think it’s over now. The below image depicts the logic I used to justify my shopping bender 😂

Shoe meme

In case this helps anyone with similar back/hip pain…I recently learned that my hip pain isn’t true hip pain, it’s actually Piriformis Muscle Syndrome and also a tight IT band. In other words, I have a tight butt — but not in a good way😂 The pain can go from my hip down my whole leg. What makes it better?

  • Walking in good shoes that aren’t worn out!
  • Getting Chiropractic Adjustment every two weeks
  • Piriformis stretches twice a day; holding it for 30 seconds each time.
  • If you have low back pain or stiffness, try these stretches to release it. If you are new to stretching, do not push it too far. You want to feel a stretch but not over stretch it and injury yourself. Start slow and small; work yourself up to deeper longer stretches. I do the seated stretch at least four times a day for 30 second holds especially after long walks, sitting or driving long distances. I am starting to work with personal trainer to build strength though my whole body. Strengthening and stretching are really the only ways to stabilize Piriformis muscle group.

    Piriformis Syndrome

    Piriformis

    Piriformis Stretches

    Piriformis Stretches

    One last note, Game of Thrones Season 8 starts tomorrow night. I am so excited. I rewatched all of Season 7 and the last episode of Season 6. I am ready. It’s such a great show. I don’t usually go for fantasy type of shows but this about POWER. It’s about who has power, who wants power and what they will do to get or keep power. I love it. I secretly play Daenerys Targaryen, Dragon Queen(Mother of Dragons) while I am at home watching 😂😂 She is also the sexiest Queen on the show 😉

    Game of Thrones

    (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 – Destination Happiness

    This Self Care Sunday and I am reflecting on where I find happiness.

    Folks often ask me why don’t I travel and see the world more. My favorite comment is that happiness is not a destination for me. Vacations are escapes. Folks go away to escape reality. For me, I’d rather make my reality a place I don’t have to escape. I prefer to have peace and happiness right where I am.

    I can appreciate exploring new places. I always love going to Washington, DC for work or going to New York for a weekend to wander around the city. However, the reality is I don’t always travel well. Four days seems to be my max. I also don’t have a travel companion right now. Perhaps if I was traveling with someone I would enjoy staying longer. Friends ask me to go on trips but the reality is most are going on “drinking” trips which isn’t how I roll anymore. I prefer to roam around a city, any city, all day until I am exhausted. Have a deliciously expensive meal at the bar with maybe one glass of deliciously expensive red wine and then be comfy in my hotel room by 9pm for an early start the next day. I haven’t found anyone who wants to travel that way.

    I don’t spend a lot of money on big vacations so I made a decision a few years ago to move to a beach front condo in a high rise. I wanted to see the ocean everyday. I wanted to feel like I was on vacation at the beach everyday. I still love it. I still love the view. Who would want to escape this view?

    Beach

    While I’ve been reevaluating most of my life lately, I made a few decisions about how I am moving forward and what I am choosing to spend my money on.

    I do not choose to spend my money on fancy vacations, jewelry or a big home. Long weekend trips, funky handmade bohemian jewelry and a condo in a high rise is all I need. Happiness isn’t a destination. It’s traveling lite through life without having a lot of baggage, stuff or expenses weighing me down.

    I had a conversation with my Chiropractor about my hip rotating. Part of my hip issue is that I am an under-pronator. I have high arches and land on the outside of my foot. That’s a problem if you aren’t checking your shoes. It throws off your whole alignment. After checking all of my shoes, I threw out 12 pairs of shoes which were worn out. I was walking on a slant didn’t realize it until I invested in new shoes with cushion and support. Of course, I need to be fashionable and I am not completely giving up high heels but I will be more mindful on the type of shoe I select now. I am totally ok with buying $100 shoes if my hip doesn’t hurt everyday. It’s important for me to feel good everyday because I want to remain active for the rest of my life. I like walking 10,000 steps everyday. I want to feel good. Honestly, the new shoes and new style of sneakers already feel better. Most of my new shoes are now Clarks Brand but they have to be stylish while also offering support to my feet. Money well spent. It makes me happy. Happy isn’t is a destination. It’s feeling good and being pain free.

    TIP: You can determine what type of foot you have by doing a quick wet test on your foot. Wet your foot and step down on the a piece of paper. Compare it to the middle foot patterns on the image below. Mine looks like the first one, Undepronation. My shoes get really worn out on back of the heel which pushes my hip and back out of alignment. Look for shoes (especially sneakers and casual shoes) that support your foot style.

    I started using a local Gluten Free Food prep company recently, www.eatcleanorg.com I order three or four meals from them each week. I use them for dinners. I usually order the Keto meals which are higher in protein. I LOVE IT! I am eating better. It’s great having dinner ready to go for those nights. It’s worth every penny. I also buy my Green Juice; I drink it every day! And, I go through Dunkin Donuts Drive-thru every work morning for my regular order – Extra large, hot, half Dark Roast, Half Decaf and Cream(Half and Half). Happiness isn’t a destination is choosing to eat clean and begin my work day with Dunkin Donuts. Remember – Friends don’t let friends drink Starbucks! ☕️

    Dunkin Donuts

    I am in my second week of Intermitten Fasting. It only took a few days for me adjust to 14 hours between Dinner and Breakfast. I still drink my coffee towards the end of the fast but I do wait the full 14 hours before eating. My stomach feels good. I noticed I am not as hungry, bloated or have acid reflux as often. I am not sure I will ever get up to 16 hours of fasting three nights per week but it’s my goal. Dr. Axe is always a good source for holistic health advice. If you ever need to look something up, I recommend googling Dr. Axe for his tips on just about anything…

    https://draxe.com/intermittent-fasting-benefits/

    Dr. Axe, Intermittent Fasting

    So often folks get caught up in the destination trap. They put their happiness into the future; attach it to an event or a relationship. Instead having the courage to let go and make changes in their life. Instead they choose to suffer through days, weeks and months and escape reality for a week of vacation. Reality is still waiting for you when you return home… How about qualifing or quantifing happiness differently? Can you rearrange your life so you don’t have to escape to find happiness? Can your destination be a journey within instead of an external escape?

    Growth

    ICYMI
    Have you found your Center? Check out my last post below on finding my Center and my status update on my first week in my new job👇

    (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 ~ New Beginnings

    New Beginning image

    This is a follow up post to last week’s Self Care Sunday post.

    Professional limbo ended Thursday! After spending two months in professional limbo, it’s finally over! I was so far in the stress and anxiety of the situation that I was starting to doubt my intuition and instincts. It all came down to a friend asking me one question, “Do you enjoy the work?” I struggled to answer the question. He called me on not being able to answer the question directly 😂 It was almost as if I couldn’t bring myself to admit the answer was no. The truth was I just couldn’t say yes without caveating it. With that clarity, I took a deep breathe and declined a job offer I worked all year to get 😂 I never thought I would find myself doing that! They reached out to me again the next day to find out if I was sure 😂 I am sure.

    Then on Thursday afternoon I was asked to be on a team that will work to stabilize a program. The job has everything I need. I will be able to use all of my talent and skills to benefit a team that needs help stabilizing a program. I will be able to use my strategic planning skills and the best part is I like my new teammates. I am looking forward to a new beginning in a comfortable environment that will allow me to really make an impact and do meaningful work. Just one question… Should I be worried I am starting a new job on April Fool’s Day? 😂😂😂

    New beginning quote

    If you recall, I mentioned last week I figured out I was not eating enough protein and was curious if it was contributing to my fatigue and joint pain. Well, this is exciting… I am noticing I have more energy and less pain since I increased my protein intake by 20 grams per day. Because I increased my protein, I decreased sugar and carbs. I was starting to get some muscle cramps. I read that can happen when you increase protein and decrease carbs. It’s mineral loss. I upped my Magnesium to 200mg of Mag Glyclinate and I started drinking 8 to 12oz of Gatorade Zero daily. It helped. Today was the first day I felt great in a long time.

    I started experimenting with Intermittent Fasting. I normally I eat food between roughly 7:00am and 7:00pm. I usually get about 11 or 12 without food which gives the tummy a chance to relax and from digestion. This week I am stretching the time out to 14 hours and I hope to eventually reach 16 hours three days per week. This type of fasting for 16 hours; 8 hours of eating is supposed to be really beneficial to the digestion process. You still eat the same amount of food; you just shorten the window. I am not sure how this will work out or if I will ever get to 16 hours. 14 hours seems ok to me. But, we will see.

    Intermittent Fasting

    Intermittent Fasting

    I started physical therapy for my shoulder this week; we decided to work my whole upper body. After I am done physical therapy, I am going to work with a personal trainer in Pilates and Yoga to get stronger. SOOO, I felt like a change… I had my hair professional colored… It is dark brown with red streaks. I love it! I may add more red the next time. A girl needs to feel sexy and desirable 😊💙

    Feeling Sexy quotes

    I’m so excited😆I pick up my first order on Monday from a local Gluten Free food prep company👍It will take the guess work out of dinner for a couple nights each week. I chose Gluten Free Keto meals which are higher in protein! Check out http://www.eatcleanorg.com or visit them on Instagram @eatcleanorg

    #foodprep #keto

    Food prep

    As I reflect on the past week, I am grateful. I am grateful for a new beginning in work. I am grateful my professional limbo status finally is over. I am grateful a friend helped me get clarity so I could make this important choice. I am grateful for the wonderful experience I had the last year. I am grateful my body is feeling stronger. I am grateful for new beginnings 💙

    ACTION:
    Do sometthing that makes you feel good about you…If you need help, reach out to friend…Trust the magic a new beginning 💙

    (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 – Decisions and Adjustments

    My self care is my responsibility. With this in mind, I decided to do a formal check-in on my own holistic wellness this week. In other words, I did few exercises to look at my overall holistic health. I identifed two areas I need to refocus myself and make decisions and adjustments.

    First, the work/career area of my life needed to be reset. After taking a step back, I realized the professional limbo and uncertainty I’ve been in my career has been bleeding negativity and inaction into other areas of my life. It all started when I got myself stuck in limbo about six weeks ago after I made a decision but was asked to give them a little bit of time to fix things or work things out. Well, six weeks later there still isn’t clarity and it is now a political hot potato going between managers. I took the opportunity to pull the escape hatch this week. I put an end to my involvement in it. I also noticed I am starting to lose my patience with the situation so I needed to find an exit ramp so I don’t lose my temper inappropriately. I also feel like I have received everything I need from this experience and that is why things have become sticky and frustrating for me. In other words…It’s time to open to other opportunities and let go. It’s scary but it’s time to take a deep breathe and jump 🙏🤞😂

    Decisions

    Staying in professional limbo was killing my motivation. I am a do-er. Being paralyze hasn’t been good for my emotional well-being the last month and the anxiety was starting to make me depressed and sick. When given the opportunity to step out, I took it. I am returning to old group on April 1st. I have a meeting set up at the end of the week to discuss my new responsibilities. It felt good to take my power back and let go of a situation that was stressing me out. While I am a bit sad, it became clear to me that it was costing me too much to try and working things out. It was time to choose again. I chose again. The bottom line is it was starting to be too hard…it should not be this hard.

    Law of attraction

    When I get stressed out, sad or anxious, my diet is always the first to suffer😌I hit the sugar and carbs hard ☺️ 😂I start to rely on my comfort foods. Since the beginning of the year, sugar, dairy and carbs have sneaked back into daily meals and have edged out the protein and veggies.

    Cheat day meme

    I was suspecting that not getting enough protein was actually the source of my muscle and joint pains recently so I used a food diary, www.myfitnesspal.com, to track my food for a month. I realized that I am getting about 20 to 30 grams below the amount of protein I need every day and most of my calories were coming from carbs and dairy. Instead of making any big sweeping dietary changes, I am just going to focus on eating more protein such as Chicken Breasts, Hard Boiled Eggs, Jerky, Protein Shakes, etc. (see below for examples of good sources of protein). Eating more protein will automatically crowd out the calories from the carbs and dairy. Spiritually, Protein is a grounding food and helps to root us energetically. I’ve been feeling like maybe my Root Chakra was a little unstable lately so grounding will help that too.

    Protein quotes

    ACTION
    The action this week is to check-in with your diet. Our dietary needs change as we age. Are you getting the nutrients your body needs?

    A quick way to figure out how much protein you should be eating is to multiply your weight by .36. If you would like to see how much of each nutrient you need each day, you can use a food tracker app like www.myfitnesspal.com. It automatically tells you how much you need based upon your height and weight. Another resource is the USDA DRI Calculator for Healthcare Professionals located at https://fnic.nal.usda.gov/fnic/dri-calculator/index.php. The below screen shot is also linked to the site. You just put your information in the form and it will tell you what you need.

    DRI Calculator

    Sources of protein

    Meatless sources of protein

    (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 ~ Grieving is self care

    Rumi 20 years and her death is still my reason. My sister died on March 9, 1999 around 4:30am with me and other family members by her side after two weeks on life support and a battle with a terminal illness. During those two weeks, I sat with her. I talked to her. I read the newspaper to her. But mostly I sat in silent prayer. Honoring the beautiful soul that made such an impact on my life. When it became clear to me that it was end, I made her promises and those promise are still the reasons for my choices today.

    I promised her I would live the life I was capable of living. I didn’t live up to that promise for a long time. I promised her I would live up to the beauty she saw within me. I was so blinded by self doubt and bad influences in my life that I couldn’t see myself as beautiful. I also made sure I thanked her. Anything good that is me is there because she loved me and believe in me. I am who I am because that beautiful soul loved me and took care of me since the day I was born.

    How exactly do you commemorate the 20th anniversary of the most painful day of your life? I am honoring her by finally living the life I am capable of living. No more playing small. I am making choices that are authentically aligned with my truth now. That’s the only way I can live now. Emotionally, I recognize a need for support so I went out to dinner with friends last night (Friday). It was a beautiful night out. I am going to philly for a day with the family on Sunday. Today, Saturday, I am honoring my body’s need to slow down. I am also allowing myself to feel melancholy for what I lost. I am reflecting and being thankful for how I’ve grown and changed in recent years. I am remembering where I came from with gratitude. I am reaffirming my commitment to embodying love and light as I moved forward in this life. Mostly, I am just missing my sister and wondering how the hell it still hurts so bad after 20 years. The pain of grief never really goes away. You just become desensitized to it. It’s like the chronic knee pain you’ve learned to live with as you get older. I’m still walking but my heart and soul are wounded. So today is a day for me to just allow myself to honor that feeling without pressing myself to be happy or social.

    On a positive note, I received wonderful news on Thursday about a career related situation. It looks like the strategic risk I took a few weeks ago is going to work out better that I even imagined. It’s partly official but not totally buttoned up yet. I can’t celebrate yet. The dust should settle in the next week or two. A new beginning will hopefully be on my horizon by the end of March. The best part of this is — even if it does go sideways, I can live with it. I did the right thing for myself and for my Program. If I end up back where I used to work after all of this — well, that must be where I am meant to be. This positive news is helping to keep my spirits balanced on a tough emotional day.

    Grief

    ACTION
    This week’s action is to honor where you are. Feel what you need to feel. Cry if you need to cry. Hit bottom if it’s the only way for you to rise up to the top again. Show yourself some love and compassion today.

    (C) 2019 Highest Good Holistic Health Coaching, LLC – All Rights Reserved
    Everything is always working out for my highest good 💙🦋

    Grief

    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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    What’s My WHY

    What’s My Why

    As I sit in professional limbo, I know one thing is for sure…I refuse to make an ego-based or an emotional decision✊

    The ego and emotions have no place in making a strategic decision that will affect my career in the long term. My ego would jump at a promotion as a trophy while my emotions would pull me back to my old group/job because they feel like home. The key is for me to practice non-attachment to any outcome as I explore options and let things play out a little bit longer. I just need to steady my nerves to do this 😂 Whatever is for my highest good will rise up in my soul once I detach my emotions and ego from decision making process. Everything is always working out for my highest good even if it works out differently than I expected.

    Every conversation I’ve had about this just muddied the water for me even more. I was getting myself confused because I never been one to follow external guidance. I now trust my own inner guidance system more for decisions that affect my life. I was in information and emotional overload which was making the choice more complicated.

    Feeling conflicted and confused, I jumped into a hot shower last night. As the hot water pounded on my tight neck & shoulder muscles, I asked myself “What’s My WHY?”

    My WHY is GROWTH. Growth is my word! I want potential for long term diversified growth opportunities in my future. This decision isn’t just about what I want to do today; it’s about how I want to position myself for long term growth in the future. Getting back to my WHY cleared up all the confusion and uncertainity I was having. The choice became clear! By the end of the night, I was relaxed and felt like the heaviness lifted.

    What’s your why

    For now, I need to see how the ball I put into motion plays out first; they advised I they should have a decision within two weeks (if not sooner). There are variables at play and I still feel I did the right thing. I just need to wait and see how it plays out. I also have a preferred contingency plan in place. If that goes sideways too, I still have a job to go back to 😂 It’s all good! I am ok with whatever happens because I know I lived and acted in alignment with my truth and I did what is right for the program I am representing. Wherever I end up, is where I am meant to be 😊

    Every choice, every decision has a lesson in it. This one is teaching me patience. It’s also teaching me to TRUST to my intuition and use strategic thinking to evaluate choices instead of my ego. I can’t be reactive and emotional with this decision.

    After all of that, I slept great last night and had a visitation dream from my deceased sister. She always comes in my dreams when I need reassurance and comfort😇✌️

    If you need to make a big decision in your life, try using strategic logic to help you make the decision. Sit with yourself long enough to observe if your ego or emotions are driving your decisions. Can you practice non-attachment? Can you consider strategically aligning your choice with what you want in the future rather than reacting to the demands of your ego or attachments of your emotions? Seems to be working for me 😊✨

    PS: I am feeling like a Blue Love Poem is brewing… Stop back Friday for a Blue Love note💙😊✨

    Strategy

    As Always – I will be including the Loving Kindness Prayer on every post going forward because I believe love can and will triump over evil. Light will prevail over darkness. I believe we need to put LOVE into the Universe. Love each other…

    Remember to put a little love in the world by saying the Loving Kindness Prayer for someone special. I often like to say it for special people in my life as well for groups such as my family, friends, coworkers and all beings.

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

    I claim love as my vibration for 2019.
    img_0819

    Everything is always working out for my highest good 💙🦋

    (C) 2019 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 ~ Divine Timing

    Pink Himalayan Salt Stone Massage

    Self Care has been focused this week on taming stress, anxiety and tension. I celebrated Friday night happy hour at my Chiropractor’s office with an adjustment and a Pink Himalayan Salt Stone Massage. I needed to get tension and stress out of my neck and shoulder muscles. It felt like I was carrying the weight of the world on me and I needed to unload.

    Friday quotes

    I’ve been seeing the same Massage Therapist for two years. She is also an esthetician and shares an office with my Chiropractor. I grew up with family member owing a day spa so I’ve been on massage tables since I was high school. In my younger years, I would just go about anywhere for a Massage without realizing that receiving a massage is an exchange of energy. It’s essential to be sure the person who is massage your body has good positive energy 💚 In the past, I’ve traveled to spas and getaway weekends with girls friends to get massages and facials. I don’t do that anymore. I prefer to stay with the massage therapist that I know, trust and call a friend. Her style is very nurturing and her energy is balanced and amazing. She is very caring and respectful when she massages my body. I find that comforting and trust-worthy. She knows my body. She understand my concerns. She respects my wishes. When I am laying naked on her table, I am safe. That says a lot. I’ve spent hundreds of dollars in the past at spas for the “spa” experience only to find comfort, safety and trust right in my Chiropractor’s office 15 minutes from home. I now see her every two months for Pink Himalayan Salt Stone Massages which helps with neck and shoulder tension. My TMJ has been way more manageable since I started doing this. It feels good to know I can trust her and totally relax while I am on her table.

    Pink Himalayan Salt Benefits

    For those not familiar but curious about Pink Himalayan Salt Stone massage, here’s what happens…My therapist heats the stones and dips them in Lavendar infused Coconut Oil before running the stones along muscles in all areas of the body. Her style integrates philosophies of Eastern medicine, Lomi Lomi, Shiatsu, Swedish massage, thermal therapy and salt therapies to create an array of possible benefits: Increase blood circulation, Reduce inflammation, Improve sleep, Induce deep relaxation and Improves overall sense of well-being – plus the hot stones feel amazing and really get the knots out! After the massage I had sushi for dinner and slept great on Friday night. I am always a little tired and very relaxed the day after a massage. I pushed through it Saturday morning and knocked stuff off the “to do” list early in the morning. I felt my body slowing down around noon and decided to retreat to the coziness of my bed Saturday afternoon with my iPad to write this blog post. I love my bedroom. It really is beautiful and comfy 🙂

    Bed

    I also bought a new book on Leadership by General Stanley McCrystal. I prefer to hold a real book in my hands than read on my Kindle so I bought the hard cover book. The brightness of the reading on the Kindle bothers my eyes when I read at night. General McCrystal asserts you don’t need to take Leadership training to be a Leader! I’m a couple of chapters in and I am enjoying it. It’s making me think. It’s not only an exploration of leadership styles, successes and failures it’s also chuck full of history. I’m learning stuff 😂 It’s a thick book so I will probably be reading this all week plus I need to think about stuff after I read it to absorb it 😊Since I plan to take an Executive Coaching course sometime in the future so I can add that service to my Coaching services, I like to read books on Leadership. It also helps me in my full time job too.

    Leadership Books: General McCrystal

    I trust my body when it tells me it needs comfort and rest. I listen when it tells me it needs to be still instead of “do”. I am going to Philly for the day on Sunday and know I will be driving a lot tomorrow so I am enjoying some downtime before a busy day tomorrow.

    I am still in a transition at work. After I rejected an offer last week, my acting Director asked me to give her a little time to strategize an alternative. I was told the other day, they are indeed looking at alternatives for me so the deal isn’t dead yet 🙂 Here’s the thing, I TRUST this Acting Director that I’ve only known for a year — more than I ever trusted other managers I’ve known for ten years. I do truly believe she is on my side but I also know she will do what is best and most ethical for business. I respect that. I can’t ask for more from her. This situation is requiring me to be really patient. It’s hard not knowing how something is going to work out. I second guessed my decision a little earlier in the week until I remembered I knew in my heart and in my gut the job I rejected, the way it was structured, was not right for me. I trusted my intuition and I still feel good about that decision. I see now it’s not really about WHO I work for. I would be fine working in either organization. My intuition has been telling me this transition is about ensuring I am doing work that I find satisfying and fulfilling. It is also about ensuring I am fairly compensated for my level of responsibility and skills. I am TRUSTING my intuition on this one.

    My lesson this week has been to TRUST the Universe and believe in Divine Timing. Divine Timing is the spiritual concept that things happen when they are meant to happen. You can’t rush something. Things happen in a sequence for a divine purpose.

    I’ve been using these affirmations to keep my thoughts positive.
    ✨ I trust everything is always working out for my highest good.
    ✨ I trust my intuition
    ✨ I trust my body’s wisdom
    ✨ I have complete trust and faith in the Universe

    Divine Timing

    ACTION:
    The Action for this week is to simply trust and have faith on the Divine Timing in your life. Work on trusting your own intuition. Practice patience and have faith. Consider using affirmations throughout the day to stay positive. You can use the affirmations I list above if you like, or make one for yourself. Remember…Affirmations are positive in nature; they affirm that something is true.

    Diving Timing quote

    As Always – I will be including the Loving Kindness Prayer on every post going forward because I believe love can and will triump over evil. Light will prevail over darkness. I believe we need to put LOVE into the Universe. Love each other…

    Remember to put a little love in the world by saying the Loving Kindness Prayer for someone special. I often like to say it for special people in my life as well for groups such as my family, friends, coworkers and all beings.

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

    I claim love as my vibration for 2019.
    img_0819

    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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