Self Care Sunday – The Waiting

Dark hallwayWe are all waiting in one way or another. We are all waiting for something. We are all waiting for someone. Some of us are patient with waiting. Others of us are impatient with waiting. One thing is for certain. We all wait for something at some point in our lives.

Some of us are waiting to be happy. We tie our happiness to a future event instead of today. We place all the weight of our happiness on a new house, new job, new car or new relationship. Instead of loving ourselves today we wait for someone to valid us externally; we place our happiness in the hands of another instead of owning it ourselves today. Are you happy today?

Tom Petty says, “The waiting is the hardest part!”. Waiting to be happy is truly the hardest part. The waiting is limbo. The waiting is the unknown. When we are waiting, we have no control. Waiting can make us feel powerless. Waiting can be filled with anxiety and worry. Waiting can be stressful. The longer we wait, the more anxiety we feel. Waiting robs us of joy today. How do we cope with the waiting? How do we cope with being in the unknown?

The times in my life when I’ve been waiting for something have truly been some of the most challenging times of my life. In past, I was impatient. I looked externally to find happiness and fulfillment. Happiness for me was always tied to a future event. I was waiting on something external to make me happy without realizing the power to be happy was within me all along. Over time I learned to embrace the times of waiting with anticipation and excitement. I started telling myself things like, “won’t it be so wonderful once I get that new job!” I started changing the energy I was sending into the Universe from negative worry/anxiety to positive anticipation and excitement.

Honestly, the biggest lesson I’ve learned about handling the times of waiting in my life is to LET GO! Let go! I’ve learned to surrender. I’ve learned we can’t control what we can’t control. Nothing will change that. Simply recognizing when something is outside of my control was an important step towards me learning to let go of the stress and anxiety of the “waiting”.

I also learned that practicing gratitude for everything I have today in the present moment was an important way for me to find happiness in the present moment. It’s made me more joyful in the present moment. Tapping into the feeling of gratitude creates excitement and fulfillment which counteracts the anxiety of the unknown. It’s about changing the internal dialogue from worry and anxiety to gratitude, anticipation and excitement. This is mind trick! You are training your mind to be excited instead of stressed. It can be challenging to do this at first but eventually it gets easier and it works.

ACTION
This week’s action is reflect on how you feel about the unknown. Are you waiting to be happy in future? Can you focus on finding happiness within yourself today?

Practicing gratitude can be an effective way to raise your vibration and change the anxiety of waiting to anticipation and excitement for the future. A simple gratitude practice is to reflect on five things you are grateful for each morning or each evening before going to sleep. I tend to say thank you and gratitude prayers in my morning conversation with God, Angels, Guides and Spirits while I drive to work.

Gratitude

Gratitude

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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Grateful for A Great Year

Goddess quote

This is a gratitude post. I am expressing gratitude because 2018 was a great year for me.

2018 was a great year because I found my true authentic voice and learned how to advocate for my needs assertively without creating friction.

2018 was a great year because I focused my own self care the whole year. I focused on nurturing my soul and tending to my own garden without taking care of everyone else around me. While I had my challenges, including breaking my foot in April, I learned to surrender. I learned to accept that I need a slower lifestyle than other folks. I need more rest. I need less social interaction. I need more sleep. I learned it’s ok for me to just “be” instead of “do”. I need less social media and I learned I enjoy the silence.

2018 was a great year because I healed. I healed from past traumas. The truth is I will always have PTSD from being sexualty assaulted by family member. I will always have PTSD from repressed greive from my father’s death when I was seven but in 2018 I learned how to live with those feelings. I learned how to open myself up and feel it. I felt it all. I let myself go to the depths of despair and cry. I let myself sit in silence and depression. I let myself suffer and live with the pain. I let the memories come up so I could heal and release them. I healed in 2018.

2018 was a great year because I grew professionally. I proved to myself that I could take on a big challenge and handle it successfully. Now as I stand at crossroads professionally, I am open to all opportunities. I am looking forward to seeing what comes next. I trust everything is always working out for my highest good. I let go of trying to control the way the Universe flows and instead I am flowing with it. I’m looking forward to exploring my options and am excited to see what direction I will go in 2019.

Abraham Hicks

2018 was a great year because my spiritual practice deepened. My awareness opened. I started to look at things differently. I woke up.

2018 was a great year for me! It was great year because I grew; I expanded and I stepped into my own personal power. I embraced the goddess within.

2018 was a great year. I wanted to take a moment and express gratitude into the Universe for giving a great year before 2019 really gets going. I am thankful for all the lessons I’ve learned. I am thankful I learned to take care of myself. I am thankful I learned to let go. I am thankful I learned to go with the flow. Thank you Universe. I am grateful and I am eagerly looking forward to the future.

Going with the flowGoing with the flow

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

Protected by Copyscape Online Copyright Search

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Self Care Sunday – Saving For A Rainy Day

Girl art umbrella

My current situation has me thinking a lot about finances lately so today’s Self Care Sunday post is about financial self care and saving for a rainy day. I am not sure where that saying came from but it means to save a little for unexpected expenses or hardships.

I grew up with a single mother who had five children; I was the youngest. My mother did her best while working two jobs. She also received Social Security death benefits for my father, she got food stamps and Catholic Charities would often leave food at our door. Usually around Christmas my mother would come home to find a couple hundred dollars in envelope stuffed in between the storm door and screen door. I remember getting dressed for school in front of the oven one morning because we ran out of oil. I remember eating peanut butter sandwiches or hotdogs for every meal for a few weeks. Our home was on the verge of being in a sheriff sale a few times only to be saved by a local Good Samaritan. My mother still lives in that home. It’s been paid off for over 20 years. Perhaps this is why I’ve been sensitive, empathic and compassionate to human struggles and suffering. I’ve been there.

When I was really young most of my clothes were hand me downs from my sisters or were bought from the Goodwill. My mother took me to a store on the other side of town so I would not end up with clothes from our neighbors. But she always made sure I look fashionable and had what I needed so I fit in with the local kids. In my freshman year of high school a teacher told my mother that I talked about life and bills like I was 40 years old and that I needed be just a kid. I don’t begrudge my mother for letting me see her struggle. It’s because I saw it that I grew up understanding how it feels to struggle. It made me empathic. I am glad I can feel the suffering others.

My favorite things from my childhood included our weekly treat of having dinner at the diner around the corner from our house and once a month we went out for Chinese food. One big plus was my mother was a baker for TastyKake In Philadelphia for a few years when I was young so we had an endless supply of Peanut Butter Tandy Cakes, Krimpets, Chocolate Cupcakes and Apple pies in house. She eventually left TastyKake for a job closer to our home at the Navy Depot. That’s where she eventually retired from to take care of my terminally ill sister. Perhaps this is why I am a hard worker. I grew up watching my mother work hard to feed us and keep a roof our our heads. I am grateful I had her for my mom everyday.

TastyKake

I wasn’t good with money in my younger years. I didn’t know how to manage it. I grew up in a house that never had money to manage. It was always paycheck to paycheck. I think it could go either way when you go up like that. My sister grew up saving her lunch money and has bought every car she’s ever owned with cash. She is very good with money. I’ve had my ups and downs.

In my 20s and 30s I was a partier and I lived large…The below meme pretty much says it all 😂

Drinking meme

In April 2006 I was laid off from my job when the non-profit I worked for lost the grant that paid my salary. I went back to school full time for one year. I managed just fine while on unemployment but unemployment ran out in April 2007. I worked temp jobs but I didn’t find a full time job until November 2007. Within those six months, I lost everything and was financially destroyed. My credit score was crushed. Once you get behind, it’s very hard to catch up. Especially with credit cards. I never thought I would dig out of that hole. But, guess what? I did… It took a few years for things to get turned around but eventually I was back on solid ground and my credit score improved greatly. Unfortunately, I was still living paycheck to paycheck.

In 2016 my sister lost her job. That’s a long story. She was kind of a whistleblower but she lost her temper (flipped out on someone ) in the process and got fired. She had no income. I supported her for three months until she got back on her feet. In 2017 my niece lost her job and entered rehab for prescription drugs. I supported her and helped give her a fresh start. My sister and my niece are both back on their feet. My sister is doing just fine. My niece had a few relapses after rehab but she got her one year of sobriety coin at AA on Christmas Day 2018. I am proud of her and happy I helped her. I have no regrets helping my sister or my niece. I have no regrets I that I lived paycheck to paycheck while I was doing it. My point is we never know what is going on in someone’s life. I didn’t tell my friends or coworkers I was supporting two other people on my salary. It wasn’t their business. Just because I made decent money doesn’t mean I had anything in the bank. Someone could have $200K a year coming into their house and still live paycheck to paycheck if they are overextended. There’s no judgment. It’s just the way it is. We never know what is going on in another person’s life.

By late 2017, taking care of everyone but myself was starting to take a toll on my well-being. I also learned that my chronic shoulder, neck, jaw and temple pain was actually TMJ and I have arthritis throughout the left side of my jaw. Most likely from clenching. I clench in my sleep. I now take Magnesium every night at bedtime. My doctor also gave me Xanax to take at bedtime on nights I am really tense. It helps. It’s much more manageable now than it was. I am pretty sure those who have been around me enough have noticed me clench when I am stressed or annoyed. It was during that difficult time I decided 2018 was going to my year.

TMJ

The only person I worried about and took care of in 2018 was myself. It wasn’t selfish. It was survival. In 2018 I accepted a new job and explored a new career path. God only knows what will happen with that when I get back to work. I kind of feel it doesn’t really matter anymore as long as I have job to go back to (I do, so no worries there). In 2018, I studied at the Institute Of Integrative Nutrition and learned basic self care practices that I now use every day. In 2018, I learned how to eat so my stomach is constantly bloated. And in 2018, I started being smart with money. Smart enough that I am on longer living paycheck to paycheck.

Self care quote

When the news of my furlough hit, it was stressful. I count myself blessed and fortunate because I also knew I would be fine financially. I knew I had enough saved that I would be fine even if I didn’t get unemployment or back pay. I called my landlord. She told me not to pay rent until I am back to work and/or get my back pay. WOW! What a blessing! I was also able to push my car payment back a couple of months too. Yep, everyone heard about the government shutting down 😂 I did apply for unemployment anyway but it hasn’t been approved yet. I am not sure I’ll need it. God provided for me in my time of need and for that I am very grateful. All of my prayers to ArchMichael over the years worked!

ArchAngel Michael prayer

I will say this furlough has been a wake up call to me. It gave me opportunity to really look at my spending and evaluate what I really need. I may live in a nice beach front apartment but I don’t drive an expensive car and I don’t take big expensive vacations. I live modestly. Actually, I live below my means and it’s just fine with me. I don’t need more. However, I do plan to make some changes going forward which means putting more money in the bank and spending less on yoga, sushi and a cleaning lady. I do want to take a vacation this year so I want to save some extra money this year. I will be saving instead of putting money into the economy. I have a feeling a lot of people who have been affected by the shutdown will be doing the same and economy will be taking a long term hit.

Asking for a friend…

Would you be considered a bad Democrat if you wanted Congress and the President to reach a compromise so everyone impacted by this Shutdown can get their paychecks and get back to their lives? I’ll be honest. Even though I’m getting back pay and I know this won’t trigger a reduction in workforce, it’s totally stressing me out. But at 51, 11 years of service with savings to live on, I am riding it out. I am curious how younger people with less service are viewing this. Will they stick around? It’s a shame because we need them for the future. I am also really concerned for the contractors and their companies. They are getting crushed in this. Will they make it? Will people even want to work them and subject themselves to this? In my area, I suspect the answer is probably yes. There just aren’t a lot of opportunities in my area and where we work is a nice place to work. I am praying everyday for it to end soon. I’m praying for everyone involved. My last thoughts on this is that I like politics. I pay attention to politics —- but this Administration is exhausting and it is not even funny anymore.

My question to you today is how’s your relationship with money?
Are you living within your means or are you overextended? Are you living paycheck to paycheck because of obligations or are you taking expensive vacations and living in a big house you can’t afford? Do you have three months of salary or more in the bank for a rainy day? Do you have a budget? When was the last time you stopped to take care of yourself financially?

ACTION:

This week’s action is to do a Financial Check-Up and create a financial goal for yourself. Here are a few things to think about.

  1. Review your Inflows and Outflows – Can you track your income and expenses for the last year? What came in? What went out? Was there any money left over? See the below graphic.
  2. Make a list of your assets and everything you owe – Subtract your liabilities from your assets and that is your net worth.
  3. Look at your investments – If you have them? Are they invested properly for your age?
  4. Check your credit score – http://www.myfico.com or http://www.annualfreecreditreport.com are free sites for credits scores.
  5. Reflect on any major changes you want to make in your life and identify and steps you need to take to make it happen

The below graphic depicts the optimal distribution of outflows. I am not quiet there yet. My financial goal is have more cash savings. My 401K contribution is maxed and I am also dropping more in since I turned 50. I’ve been too afraid to look at it lately 😂 I’ve heard it’s 10% down. So, my focus is going to be on saving cash after I get back to work.

Budget Distribution

Remember to put a little love in the world and say 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

Protected by Copyscape Online Copyright Search

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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

(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 – 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 🌊💙

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Self Care Sunday – Are you being called to “wake up”?

Healing

This Self Care Sunday I offer some thoughts on how I practiced restraint in my communications and I offer some food for thought on “waking up” or higher consciousness.

I’ve needed to practice restraint in how I am handling conversations regarding politics lately. I really have no tolerance for folks who don’t do their own research, propagate divisive rhetoric and are contributing to the crisis our nation is encountering. I wish folks would take a moment before sharing inflammatory posts and I especially wish politician would stop using inflammatory rhetoric. I think it’s important for folks on both sides to realize the power of words, images and even memes. I believe demonizing people only adds to the polarity and it’s just mean.

If you read this blog, it’s not a secret I am a Democrat. I consider myself moderate and I have at times voted Republican but I will be honest. The events of the last few weeks have pushed me a little further to the left. Rather than arguing with my Red friends, I am choosing to peacefully coexist or disengage. Getting into debates and arguments is not worth my time or energy; it will only further divide us and possibly damage our friendships permanently. It doesn’t have be that way. Neither one of us are going to change our views but it is starting to feel like we no longer have anything in common – maybe we never did and I am only now accepting that truth.

Perhaps it’s idealist – but I believe people should always come before money and power. I am firmly Pro Choice. Abortion is not nor has ever been an option for me personally. I do, however, believe in a woman’s right to choose what’s best for her body. I believe men should stand together with women against sexual assault and for women’s rights. I believe in the separation of power. I believe the Senate has Constitutional responsibility to keep the President in check but our current Senate seems to be more concerned with obtaining power and control. Lastly, I believe the Supreme Court of the United States should been held in the highest esteem and only have the most reputable Judges holding the seats. This doesn’t seems like a lot to ask. Sorry, but there are other well qualified conservative judges with less baggage, who are less controversial and who could have made it through the confirmation process with Democratic support just like Neil Gorsuch. Gorsuch is conservative, got democratic support and didn’t divide our nation. So why Kavanaugh – especially with all of his baggage that is going to follow him onto the Court? Why do the Republicans want him on the Court is my question… I have my own conspiracy theories about Presidential Pardon Power being expanded to the States in an upcoming case in front of the Court. Hopefully, one of the other judges pulls to left to offset this guy….So, yes! I’ve been practicing restraint and holding my words. Just because I am silent doesn’t mean I didn’t notice something; I am just taking care of myself by not wasting my time or energy acknowledging it.

I’ve been practicing restraint in my use of social media to protect myself as well. This includes ensuring that I do not like, share, tweet, retweet or engage on social media while at work or during official work hours. That’s just a good self care for anyone…period. Protecting your livelihood should come first; advocating smartly for causes that speak to your soul should come second. While I may scroll through my Twitter feed during the day, I do not engage until I am off and away from work. Generally, I consider all of my Tweets to be temporary. I eventually delete them all. I clean them up every month, if not sooner. It’s been four days since I deactivated Facebook. I don’t miss it. I realize now that checking Facebook was just a habit. I didn’t enjoy it; I used it as a distraction or when I wanted a break from what I was doing. I did it out of habit. I like having less noise in my life. I haven’t been posting to Instagram lately. The account only has one post on it. I still like to scroll and get inspiration from other posts but I am not interested in posting there for now. A smaller social media footprint feels like better self care for me. I am in touch with the folks I want to be in touch with. I don’t need to be “Fakebook” friends just to be connected to folks. While I am enjoying less social media, I do also enjoy writing this blog. I’ll continue with at least two posts per week – every Sunday and at least one mid week.

I spent the better part of three months deleting all of my activity from Facebook. I still felt a bit creeped out and decided to finally deactivated it. I don’t need Facebook owning my data since we now know they can’t be trusted. I also don’t use Google anymore. I use DuckDuckGo or FireFox Focus Privacy Browsers for web searches; neither retains your information and both block tracking. You can add DuckDuckGo to Safari on Apple devices or add the DuckDuckGo app to your dock. I wish I could disable the new Presidential alerts. I’ve managed without them so far just fine. Getting them just tells me they can hack into our phones whenever they want. Something about that seems like a violation of privacy and is creepy! I feel bad for the younger generations. They won’t have any privacy and will be tracked and monitored their entire lives.

Well, on to my next topic – food for thought about higher consciousness…

I would like to offer some food for thought for those who may be struggling with spiritual awakenings and higher consciousness issues. It’s is said the family member who “wakes up” first is the one in isolation. In other words, when someone is removed from the noise that surrounds their regular daily life, they are able to hear the truth in the Universe and within themselves. That happened to me when I distanced myself from a group of friends and moved to my condo five years ago. Once I started to spend more time alone and focused on self growth and development, my awareness opened and I started changing. I am stronger and back into alignment with my true self.

Some folks never wake up. They don’t want to wake up. While others of us, have no choice.
Once awakening starts, it is hard to stop but the choice is always yours. Often God will make you uncomfortable until you have the courage to see it’s time to let go and change. Sometimes letting go becomes your only choice. A “spiritual” awakening is far from pretty. It’s messy, stressful and often turns your life upside down. The worst part is you start seeing your own bullshit and the darkness comes to light to be healed. That’s not alway fun. For me, I ended relationships and friendships. Changed jobs. Started letting myself deal with repressed anger and feelings from sexual assaults, loss and grief. But I am honesty happier and better off for going through it and having the courage to sit in self awareness.

If you let yourself go for the ride and surrender into it, if you let your eyes and awareness open, it’s a truly a beautiful experience. While I will say I had a lot of fun in the past, it’s today that I feel the most at peace and the most authentic. It’s in the peacefulness of my condo as I write this blog that I find my own voice. It’s without comparing my life to others on Facebook that I find acceptance and peace. It’s in helping others step into their power and find their voice, I find my strength. Make no mistake, I am here to change the world in some way. I am here to be a force to be reckoned with. I am here to be a warrior, lover and an inspiration. I am here to change the world even if it’s just my little corner of it. Will you awaken and help me? Will you help me make the world a better place with your light? Will you put people before money and power? Will you bring light into world and instead of selfishness and darkness? Will you “wake up” with me?

Does this resonant with you? Are you feeling a shift or does it feel more like an earthquake? If so, take some time in silence to hear what your soul is trying to tell you. Are you willing to surrender? Does it make you sad to see things change? Have you reached acceptance yet? These defining moments in our lives are extremely stressful but also are the moments where we grow into the powerful beings God always intended us to be.

To harness your own power and manage your thoughts in times of uncertainly, I would suggest using affirmations. If you start seeing repetitive number sequences please know you are being called to “wake” up. It usually starts with 11:11. That was the first one I noticed a few years ago. Now I see all of them all day long. 222 and 2222 are my favorite repetitive number sequence. When you see a repetitive number sequence, say an affirmation to direct your thoughts or create an intention. When I see 222 or 2222, I say my favorite affirmation.

EVERYTHING IS ALWAY WORKING OUT FOR MY HIGHEST GOOD. THE LOVE I GIVE IS RETURNED

If you need an affirmation to keep your thoughts positive, try using this one or create one for yourself. If you need support, reach out to someone who has been through this type of change. Also, there are lots of Instagram accounts with some really great info on awareness, consciousness, spiritual awakening, 11:11and the Universe. Starting following some of them. If you know me personally, please feel free to call or text me for support or just to chat about things. As far as my personal coaching business, I am not taking new clients for a while. I have to take care of some health stuff. I should also note too that I only take clients who are personally referred to me by family or friends. I can gladly give referrals to other great coaches. Feel free to reach out to me through the “Contact Me” page for a referral.

Well, after the new judge was confirmed I was nauseated. I practiced good self care by turning off the TV and staying off of Twitter all night. Instead I watched “A Wrinkle In Time” on Netflix. I decompressed by writing this blog and listening to my favorite music which is on the mellow side and is 70s folk/rock. 70s music speaks to my soul. If I had to name my top favorite songs of all time, in no particular order it would be these:

Taxi – Harry Chapin
Come in from the cold – Joni Mitchell
Landslide – Fleetwood Mac
You’re my home – Billy Joel
Love Ballad – LTD
Me & Bobby McGee – Janis Joplin
Sound of Silence – Simon and Garfunkel
What’s going on – Marvin Gaye
Leaving on a jet plane – Peter, Paul and Mary
Wooden Ships, Carry On, Woodstock and Ohio by Crosby, Still & Nash
River, Help Me, Both Sides Now, Woodstock – Joni Mitchell
Can’t find my way home – Blind Faith
Simple Man – Lynyrd Skynyrd
Shooting Star – Bad Company
If loving you is wrong – Luther Ingram

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Taxi from Harry Chapin brings a tear to my eye every time I hear it. I was in grade school the first time I heard it. The woman I babysat for was drinking a glass a wine and listening to it when I walked in the door of her home. She looked at me with tears in her eyes and said, “just a beautifully sad song; listen to the story.” She was right. It’s a beautifully sad song… I will never forget that.

Self Care Sunday – Live In The Now

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Self Care can take on many different flavors depending on where we are in life and the circumstances we find ourselves in at the present moment.

As for right now, I am trying to embrace a spiritual approach to things while still having my feet firmly planted in practically and realism. Often new age spirituality of love, light and positivity can be odds with our true emotions. The key seems to be to acknowledge the heavy emotions, feel what you feel, while not letting yourself get pulled too far under. This is typically where I struggle. I often seem to either go full steam ahead and completely ignore any heavy feelings until I have some type of physical or emotion crash or I go so far down into my emotions that I struggle to pull myself out.

I suppose all of this is a reflection of how I live life – I am ALL OR NOTHING kind of girl. I am all in or I am all out. There is no grey to me. Grey to me isn’t authentic. Grey is keeping your options open. Grey is skimming the surface but not really feeling anything deep. From my perspective, grey is a half-hearted way to live. It’s non-committal and form of settling. Grey has no clarity to me. Typically I struggle when things are grey or lack clarity. I value clarity and authenticity in my life, in my relationships, in my career and in my body.

My recent health issues have had me squarely planted in the grey world of having no idea what’s happening in my body or how to fix it. In the early weeks of the Gastro symptoms, I was changing my diet, increasing medications, living on Gaviscon and getting relief. I tried stretching out in case it was muscular. I bought new bras in case the bands were putting pressure on the area. I was so busy trying to fix it that I was just wasn’t accepting it and loving this part of my body that was in pain. In reality, I was creating anxiety and stress for myself by trying so hard to fix it.

It wasn’t until this past week that I started to think differently about things. I had a few key conversations that helped me seeing from a different perspective. Most importantly, it was a conversation with a Nurse Practitioner at my Cardiologist office that gave me the most to contemplate.

My Cardiologist retired in June. This is the second Cardiologist that I’ve had in five years that retired. I decided to switch to the younger Cardiologist who is joining the practice September. Perhaps we will grow old together 🙂 Because I have congenital arrhythmia and have a cardiac history, I needed Cardiac Clearance to get Conscious Sedation during an Upper Endoscopy. The Nurse Practitioner was able to see me to do the assessment. The appointment went well. She did tell me they will give me clearance for Conscious Sedation which is used Endoscopies and Colonoscopies but she said I would need a Echo and Stress Test by my new Cardiologist for General Anesthesia. She also told me if I ever need General Anesthesia, a Cardiologist should be on standby. She advised me to add Cardiac Conditioning to my work outs. She thinks I am getting dizzy on the treadmill because I am losing Cardiac Conditioning. I need to start doing interval training with the incline while leaving the speed at 3.0. For example, I start walking for 2 minutes, then raise the incline to 7 for two minutes then lower the incline to zero for two minutes and repeat this cycle for 20 minutes working up to 30 minutes twice a week. This is in addition to strength training and power walking.

The technical part of the Cardiologist appointment was successful and went smoothly. However, we got into a conversation about my history and my arrhythmia. Here’s some background info…The arrhythmia wasn’t detected until I was 24 year old. I was in great physical shape. I was a runner and a gym rat in my mid-20s. A doctor heard a murmur during an exam and sent me to a Cardiologist for an EKG. It was on the EKG they saw Inverted T-Waves and Premature Ventricular contractions (PVCs). This can often indicate Ischemia or a heart attack. Some folks call PVCs skipped beats. In PVCs, the beat actually comes prematurely and there is a delay before the next beat. The Cardiologist did an Echocardiogram and a treadmill stress test. I passed both as he said “with flying colors” and it appeared my heartbeat regulated itself during exercise or when my heart rate goes up. That means it was functional and innocent. However, he cautioned me it would need to be monitored for the rest of my life because as I age it may cause me problems.

I told the Nurse Practitioner that I quit smoking and drinking, I lost 60 pounds, changed my lifestyle and diet. I then said my heart has been more stable since doing all of that but I have had a lot of tummy issues. As we were talking about Cardiac risk, she told me other than my congenital arrhythmia and family history, I didn’t have any risk. I am not diabetic. I don’t smoke or drink. My weight is ok and I am active. It was then she hesitated. She looked me in the eyes and said, “In your situation, a congenital issues and genetic issue, what’s wrong can’t be fixed. It can only be managed. You are doing everything you can do to help yourself. Other than adding Cardiac Conditioning, I don’t see anything more you could be doing. You know sometimes you can do everything right but a congenital or genetics issue still can get the best of you. I am not telling you this to scare you. I am saying this because I think you may be trying so so hard to do everything right that you are stressing yourself out, causing yourself anxiety and quiet possibly making yourself sick with worry.” My eyes welled up as she said it. I am trying very hard at everything. She then said, “You poor thing. I really feel for you. I want to make sure you know YOU ARE DOING EVERYTHING RIGHT! I think you need to cut yourself some slack and accept that there are some aspects of this you have no control over. It’s in God’s hands. Go Live life. Go out and live. Enjoy every moment and try to work toward acceptance that there are some things you have no control over.”

I’ve been thinking A LOT about that conversation. I’ve been thinking so much about it because she was 100% right. I just couldn’t see it. I have been stressing myself out trying to control things I can’t control; not just with my heart and stomach problems but in other aspects of my life too. I also been keeping myself busy so I couldn’t grieve for the loss of my best friend and also trying to fight the feeling that I may be losing BlueLove too. Nothing negative has happened between us. Seems like everything is fine. I just haven’t been able to see those beautiful eyes much. I’ve been keeping a distance because I can’t get a sense if I am wanted and welcomed. I worry about us but I know it’s best not to push with him. I will put it in God’s hands. If we are meant to deepen our connection, it will happen without me worrying about. I truly love him. That is my authentic truth.

Self Care often requires us to accept things as they are and live in present. To live in the present, we must not live in our past memories or plan the future so much that we don’t enjoy the now. I would liken it to folks who go to concerts and spend the whole concert recording it on their cell phone. They see the whole concert through the small screen of their cell phone to upload to Social Media and miss the 3D live experience of the now. Don’t view your life through the small screen of the past or future. I am working toward acceptance that some things are out of my control and to be present and live in the NOW. That is good self care.

(C) 2018 Linda A. Long – All Rights Reserved – Highest Good Holistic Health Coaching, LLC

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