Friday, June 3, 2011

Just Deal~

How do you learn to overcome disappointment?  Especially when it is of your own making?  I have been working and working on my personal goals and it seems everytime I get to where I can just taste it I feel it gets snatched from me!  I know I have to learn patience and it's the universe's way of letting me know I'm not quite ready.  But it's hard!

I found this article on that I thought I would share with you.  Hopefully we can all learn something and move on to wonderful new things!

How to Overcome Disapointment - by Tielle Webb
Everyone experiences disappointment in life. Not the disappointment you feel when trying to make a green light, but it changes just before you get there, or you open the fridge to grab a soda only to discover there aren’t any. We are talking major disappointment. The distress, frustration and sadness you feel when you have your heart set on something--a job promotion, or getting into a certain college, for example--only to learn it is not going to happen. Getting over these big letdowns in life can be tough, but not impossible.


1) Give yourself a chance to grieve. When you are feeling disappointed, it is because you are suffering a loss. Even though the loss might not have been a physical one, an emotional loss is still very real. In your heart and mind you had envisioned and maybe even fallen in love with whatever you were hoping for. Nurse those wounds for a while. 

2)  Ask questions and try to learn from the situation. For example, if you were passed over for a promotion at work, talk to your supervisor about what you could have done differently to earn the job.

3)  Take steps to prevent being similarly disappointed in the future. If you are disappointed in a relationship, find ways to improve that relationship or perhaps walk away from it. If you are seeking better employment but have been unsuccessful, consider taking some college classes or brushing up on interviewing skills.

4)  Help someone else. When we are down and disappointed, it is easy to have a kind of tunnel vision where we only see our pain and hurt. By reaching out and lending a hand to someone else who is hurting, your focus will be taken from your own disappointment, at least for a while, and it will give you something positive to concentrate on.

5)  Realize that many times in life, when we don't get the thing we really want, something much better comes along down the road. Think back on times when you were seriously disappointed in the past, only to later be so glad that whatever you were hoping for didn't come to pass. Then, take every day as it comes, knowing that as time passes, the pain will pass as well.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Watch Out~

I have been thinking a lot lately about all the hurdles that I have been jumping to achieve my current goals and I've come to some conclusions!

1) Don't get in your own way. - I'm the worst at this.  I will fret and fuss and worry myself and end up not accomplishing anything.  I need to learn to let go and let things happen the way they are supposed to.  Not be so controlling.

2) Don't expend energy on negatives in your life.  - This includes friends, co-workers and even family.  Even though I work for a newspaper, I try to avoid watching or reading excessive news.  It upsets me and depresses me and that isn't healthy.  Most of it is out of my control so it works better for me to avoid it.  I also try to stay away from negative people or clear their energy if I do have to be around them for extended periods of time.

3) "Don't dip into the past to be miserable in the present moment." quote by Louise Hay.  - I'm just as bad as most people when it comes to looking backwards instead of forward in my life.  I will dredge up old hurts or lacks and focus on them or wallow in them instead of what's important right now.  The past is over.  It can't hurt me anymore than I let it and it shouldn't affect the direction I now want my life to go.

4) Don't make it harder than it has to be. - Making more work for yourself or more drama for yourself isn't productive.  It doesn't do you any good and it doesn't do anything to enhance your life.  Let things flow downstream.  Quit fighting the current!

5) Don't beat yourself up. - Everyone makes mistakes.  We're human.  But correct the mistake and move on.  Dwelling doesn't change the mistake but fixing it or changing the pattern does.

6) Don't over-extend yourself. - Cheryl Richardson suggests that we schedule "breathing room" each day for ourselves.  Learn to say no.  Prioritize your life and make yourself your first priority.

7) Don't think "I can do it all". - Learn to delegate.  This one's hard for me.  I want to do it all.  I think, mistakenly, that I can do it better than anyone else or that it's easier and quicker to do it myself.  But I am depriving myself of shared experiences and depriving others of stepping up and helping.

Do - honor yourself and your space.
Do - eat right and get plenty of sleep.
Do - use your energy for good.
Do - be kind to yourself.
Do - ask for help.
Do - give yourself a break.
Do - be gentle with yourself and your health.
Do - meditate and take a breath.
Do - be your own best friend.
Do - be present in your life.
Do - be happy!

Now it!!  It's joylicious!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Happy Mother's Day

A few weeks ago we celebrated Mother's Day.  I hope all the mother's out there were celebrated by their families and treated to a very special day!  But I think every day should be Mother's Day and every woman should treat herself as special as all mothers are on that annual Sunday.

Are you taking care of yourself and putting yourself first?  I believe that, just like the stewardesses in an airplane advise, you need to put on your own breathing mask first so that you can take care of everyone better in your life and be present for them.  Are you taking time for yourself each day?

I used to burn the candle at both ends.  I used to stay up late and get up early and I would go-go-go the entire day.  Now I take time each day to do some deep breathing.   I still wake up early but many mornings I take a few extra minutes to put on my iPod and listen to a favorite morning meditation.  I lay all warm and snuggly in my bed and listen to the wonderful words as they wash over me and start my day off on just the right note!  I also go to bed earlier these days.  Not because there is less to do but because it's better for my health and well-being to get a good night's sleep.

I also am learning how to set good boundaries.  How to nicely say no when I'm starting to feel overextended.  If I truly don't want to do something or I know that it would be detrimental to my health then I politely say, "let me think about that" or "that just doesn't work with my schedule right now".  Putting my needs first makes me a better and more whole person when I am needed by others.  Sometimes "not working with my schedule" can just mean that I'm going to take this hour to read a good book.  Or that I'm going to take a cat nap or a hot bath.  But I'm babying myself and watching out for my health so that in turn I can watch out for my father's health or my daughter's well-being.

I also try to find reasons to laugh more.  Laughter can strengthen your immune system and promote healing.  It's good for your heart and good for stress.  And why wouldn't anyone not want to laugh?  I recently read a great article on that was the 12 Reasons to laugh for your health.   I would think it would be good for many more than 12 reasons but this is an excellent start!

I'm trying to exercise more as well.  Not as much as I should but I think every reason to laugh is also the same reason to exercise.  It's great for stress and it raises your energy level. Especially if you walk outside it is an excellent mood elevator.  I always feel better when I walk outside.  We have several walking paths along creeks around my office.  It makes a nice break in the day to walk along watching the ducks swimming and kids playing in the softball fields instead of eating at my desk and rushing through my day.

And the best part of laughter and exercise is that they are both free!  An easy way to take care of ourselves and neither one of them adds weight or is hard on your pocket book!

So stop and enjoy your life today.  Stop and take a moment.  Take a breath.  And then you can get on to the business of life and, if necessary, caregiving.  Joylicious!!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Spring has Sprung~

I sat outside at lunch today to soak up some sunhine.  It is a balmy 54 degrees and not a cloud in the sky!  I am so excited for spring to get here and eventually summer.  I love that the days are getting longer.  I just wish that we would start to have more sunny days and not such chilly nights.

I read yesterday that many Seattleites are still not wanting to plant their gardens yet as it still gets down to almost freezing each night.  And April was noted as the coldest ever recorded since 1890 something.  I yearn for the warmth on my skin and the breezes of fresh cut grass and flowers.  The apple blossoms blooming got me in the mood and now the tulips and daffodils are just beautiful!

I wore only a tank top and short sleeve shirt today and as I sat huddled on the steps of the building, goose bumps on my arms, it amused me to see other people's reactions to the elusive sun here.  I watched joggers in shorts and tank tops running down the street.  I saw convertibles with the tops down and the drivers wearing coats and caps!  I could hear the frogs from North Creek and see the ducks waddling around looking for food.  There was a group of guys playing soccer in the field across the street.  Their exuberance catching.  We love our sun here.  We don't get enough of it.

They are calling for rain again tomorrow and through next week.  So today I'm going to soak up as much as I can and hope it's only light showers tomorrow and not rain. (Only a Washingtonian would understand that!)  And I'm hopeful it's gone by next Friday as I'm going to the Rhody festival in Port Townsend for the weekend.  But even if it isn't sunny I know there will be a big crowd enjoying ourselves at the fair looking at all the beautiful rhododendrons!  Joylicious fun!!

Monday, May 2, 2011

My Two Cents~

I'm having a hard time today wrapping my head around the death of Osama Bin Laden.  I think it's good that there is one less evil in the world but I personally don't agree that you should ever rejoice in someone's death.  And I worry about retribution from the Taliban.  I see people rejoicing and celebrating in the streets crying, "USA, USA, USA!" and I wonder if the people in the middle east look upon that as we did them when they were rejoicing and shouting "Allah, Allah" after the nightmare of 9/11.

I heard it described on the news very well tonight when someone said, "they cut off the head of the snake but there is still a lot of snake left".  This was said by a father of a soldier killed in Afganistan not some peace loving hippie.  I worry about what could come of these actions of celebration.  I am glad all the Navy Seals are ok.  I'm glad that they recovered as much information from the compound as they did after the fighting.  But I have a real hard time rejoicing over this death and any war of any kind.

Everyone says they have God on their side.  But we are all children of God so how does that make any side right?  Or does that make every side right?  I'm saying a prayer for Bin Laden's soul and a prayer for our country tonight.

Dear Lord, please keep us all safe.  Amen.

ps - Some of the facebook rants and comments have been very disturbing to me too. I'm tempted to cancel my account. I want to read about my family and friends and their happy lives.  I don't want to read about politics, war, or other soap box issues.  Just my two cents...

Friday, April 29, 2011

It's a Blessed Life

I feel truly blessed lately.  I have had so many wonderful things happen to me since I started the Dr. Pat Holistic Makeover.  I have been gifted coaching sessions with some of the most amazing people.

 First up was life coach Sharon Roy,  I was gifted 3 sessions with this gentle, loving, and truly amazing woman.  I can say with absolute truth that my sessions with her were life changing.  She has such a sweet way with guiding you through life’s journey.  I really admire her greatly!
Sharon and I worked on my lifelong  feelings of lack of self-worth.  I have always struggled with the fact that I don’t feed the hungry, or heal people, or have any huge accomplishments that are physical proof that I’m making a difference in the world or in anyone’s life.  Sharon helped me see that just by my being an open hearted, loving person, bringing my messages of joy to people can sometimes mean more to the universe than someone who makes lots of physical changes to the world but does them with the wrong intentions.  That meant so much to me!  I have been working ever since on living with an open heart. 

This very wise woman also told me that where I was in my life was "perfect".  That the fact that I never heard from my ex after our split was a blessing and all the closure I needed.  She said, "rejection is perfection".  It is the universe's way of telling us that a person or situation aren't right for us.  We shouldn't take it personally and we shouldn't fret over the outcome.  Just bless the moment and move on.  This is a life lesson that I will always thank her for!

Next up in my journey was being introduced to realtor Cathy Staup,  She is going to guide me to realizing my lifelong dream of owning my own home.  I was very skeptical at first.  I have struggled with money issues and my finances all of my adult life.  But I have also worked very hard over the past two years to pay off my old debt and live frugally by downsizing twice and not purchasing anything new, including clothes, during that two year period.  She introduced me to her mortgage broker and between the two of them they told me I should be ready to purchase a home this summer!

This brought up a whole new set of issues for me.  First of all, I figured I wouldn’t be ready to purchase a home for at least 12 months.  Now they were telling me 4 months?  I just couldn’t wrap my head around it.  Second, it started to bring up the “I’m not worthy” issues in me.  All the self-doubt that I have always struggled with bubbled up like I had never worked on any of it just as recently as speaking with Sharon Roy two months earlier!  Cathy was wonderful in reassuring me that it would all go smoothly with her guidance along the way.  I’m putting my trust in her that it will come true!!

Enter Paul McCormick,, author and millionaire mentor, as my next coach.  He sent me an MP3 of his book “The Secrets of the Millionaire Inside” and said we would talk soon.  I downloaded the book to my iPod wondering, “What is Dr. Pat thinking assigning a millionaire coach to me?”  I didn’t want to be a millionaire!  I just want to be happy, comfortable, and someday retire without worries.  Oh, and own my own home!  Now I was really skeptical of this process.  What could I possible have to say to him?  I was also very nervous to contact him.  I didn’t want to disturb or bother someone with my little problems when I’m sure he was busy making millions and working on huge financial  deals.  But I listened to the book and sent off a tentative email.  He responded a little curt and gave me an assignment.  Yikes!  I hadn’t even talked to him yet and I already had homework.  But I was going on faith and trusting the process.  I was going on the hope that Dr. Pat had a bigger plan in mind and that the universe had given me what I really needed and not what I thought I wanted.

So I completed the homework and contacted him again.  I was so nervous during our first conversation.  I told him what I had written as my goals both financially and professionally.  And I got up the courage to tell him that I truly didn’t want to be a millionaire.  We talked for a long time on that first conversation.  I told him about my family life including raising my daughter as a single parent with no spousal support and my history with money.  I told him of my dream of owning a home and retiring comfortably.  He then changed tactics with me.  He asked me if I was spiritual.  I told him “absolutely”.  So he offered to mail me a copy of his first book which he felt I would get a whole lot more out of than his “Secrets of the Millionaire Inside” book.  I received the book within a couple of days.  It’s called “Secrets of the Miracle Inside”.  I couldn’t believe he autographed a copy of it and sent me a hard copy of his “Millionaire” book autographed too.  I felt honored!  And I absolutely LOVE his first book.  I lent it to my daughter and bought a copy for my friend, one of last year’s Holistic Makeover winners, for her birthday.

Over the next several weeks Paul and I worked out a budget and an 8-step program to get me financially free and owning my own home!  I still have trouble believing it some days.  When I get discouraged and feel like things happen, I call them setbacks, he has had me rename them stepping stones.  They are the stepping stones to my future!  It might take me a little longer than some people and I might have to step over a few more stones along the way but I’m starting see the other side!  I see a really good stable future for myself.  And that’s amazing to me!  He told me that next year after I own my home we can work on making me a millionaire.  I just laughed!  He is confident it can happen and I almost believe him! 

During the past several months I have also been on a weight loss journey.  I began a diet with my naturopath physician and lost the 50 lbs I had gained over the previous two years plus an additional 10 pounds!  I feel better than I have in years.  My aches and pains are almost gone.  I have gone down 3 sizes and continuing to lose.  Dr. Pat then offered 3 sessions with naturopathic nutritionist Beve Kindblade,  I went to see her one Saturday and the first thing she did was give me a test to gauge how well my metabolism works.  And it works very well actually!  Probably due to my stringent dieting for the 5 preceding months. 

Beve also had me go back to my doctor and get tested for allergies.  That was a real eye opener!  I thought I was allergic to wheat but found out that I’m not.  But I am allergic to many other things including dairy and tomatoes.  So I went back to see Beve an additional two times.  She changed my diet and put me on a regimen of supplements guaranteed to assist me in my weight loss.  And between her and my doctor they are working on eliminating the inflammation that has plagued my knees and feet for years. 

I’m so excited to be working with Beve.  She is a wealth of information.  So much so that she fills page after page of information for me to take home after each session.  And my head swirls with all the good ideas and helpful suggestions she imparts.  I am going to continue to work with her on my own and get as healthy as I can during the balance of this year. 

I have truly made some dear, wonderful friends during the process of this Holistic Makeover.  Seven of the most amazing women I have ever known (this includes Dr. Pat).  I know that I will be friends with them for the rest of my life and I will always feel like I have a cosmic connection with them and have learned so much from each one of them.  We have all struggled together and supported each other.  We hold each other up. We are Dr. Pat’s amazing Team of 7! 

But I think the biggest lesson I have learned during this whole Holistic Makeover process is that the world is full of possibilities.  That miraculous things can happen when you trust the universe to give you what you need.  It’s amazing!

The other thing I discovered is that I can write!  I have written a couple of articles and even submitted one to Aspire Magazine.  I haven’t heard back yet but one never knows!  I want to continue writing and submit articles to other magazines as well.  And I love writing my blog and wish I had more time to devote to it.  I would even like to possibly write a book someday. Maybe when I’m sitting on the porch of my new home as a retired, skinny, millionaire?

You never know…life and the universe is so amazing that way!  And that is truly joylicious!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Speak Kindly

Another good one from Cheryl Richardson!

Speak Kindly

Last week I had a conversation with a friend who was disappointed in herself for not achieving a goal that she intended to accomplish. As I listened to her talk about what she could have done differently, I was amazed at how hard she was on herself. Really hard. Isn't it strange how we actually think that berating ourselves will somehow make a positive difference? On the contrary, this negative habit usually keeps us stuck and unhappy. Negative self-talk is always a roadblock on the path to success.

To gain a bit of perspective, imagine saying the following to a teenager who was attempting to fulfill an important goal:

  • You don't have what it takes.
  • I'll never get it right.
  • Lower your expectations. You're not good enough.
  • It's already been done. Don't bother.
  • You should have accomplished this goal by now.

How often do you say these kinds of things to yourself? Every now and then? Every other day? Every day? Every few minutes? Come on! You're so much more than that.

As you continue to live your life and to invest in your personal growth, please remember the following:

Be patient with yourself. If it takes you longer to get where you want to go, there might be a reason for it. If you could rise above your life and view it from a higher perspective you'd see exactly why things happen as they do. Allow for Divine timing. It works.

Ask for help and guidance. I still catch myself trying to go it alone during the most challenging of times. Slowly but surely I am learning that isolation not only slows down my progress, it makes me feel incredibly alone. You don't need to suffer in silence. Give someone an opportunity to help you. They'll get to experience the joy and pleasure that comes from being a generous spirit.

Embrace your disappointment and begin again. You will always face disappointment when you allow yourself to want more from life. And you can live through it. As you face disappointment and come out the other side, you'll develop self-trust - a deep inner knowing that you can handle anything that comes your way.

Speak kindly to yourself. Think of yourself as the teenager in the example above. When you're feeling discouraged the last thing you need is a critical parent beating you up. Instead, give yourself a gentle, loving reminder that your goals aren't nearly as important as your relationship to yourself.

When you feel stuck or unsure of your next step, keep your heart and mind open with positive self-talk.  As you do, you'll find that wisdom and insight suddenly appear to guide you in the right direction.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Oh the Dilemma!

I have been seriously dieting since last September.  I was on a medically supervised diet for 5 months and lost 58 lbs.  In February I quit the diet in order to work on achieving one of my other goals which is owning my own home.  With that said, I was hoping to continue losing weight on my own.  But this is such a challenge for me!  

Thanks to being a winner of the Dr. Pat Bacilli Holistic Makeover contest, I was gifted coaching sessions with several different types of coaches.  I have worked with life coach Sharon Roy,, and I am currently working with author and millionaire mentor Paul McCormick,  In addition to these two fabulous people I was also gifted 3 sessions with holistic naturopathic nutritionist Beve Kindblade,

The intention was that in working with Beve I could, and would, continue on my weight loss path.  But that hasn't worked out as well as I had planned!  I am finding that my will power is non-existent.  I had a birthday in March and it seems as if it has been non-stop birthday party central ever since with my friends and family celebrating several during the past few weeks.  I try, Lord knows, to keep to a diet but it has been so difficult.  

Beve is an amazing woman and such a wealth of diet information that it boggles the mind to the point of almost being overwhelming as I try to absorb everything she tells me.  She had me go to my regular doctor and get allergy tested.  I found, to my amazement, that I have a severe allergy to tomatoes!  How bizarre!  I'm also allergic to dairy milk so I am trying to adjust to unsweetened almond milk instead.  This is hard as well for me as I love my cereal and milk in the morning!  But I'm thinking that if I can control my allergies maybe I can control other parts of my diet too!  And then, eventually, other aspects of my life.

I guess the deeper problem though is why do I feel the need to eat bad things?  If I have cookies or crackers or anything carbs in my house I will eat it.  It's like it calls my name in the middle of the night!  I can't eat one or two cookies.  I have to eat the whole bag.  Carbs are not my friend!!!  Beve told me that when you crave carbs it is because you aren't eating enough protein.  I tend to believe that a little bit because sometimes when I get a craving I grab some cooked chicken and eat it and it helps take the craving away.  I do the same thing when I'm craving sweets by grabbing an apple.  Sometimes I even bake the apple with cinnamon and nutmeg and I feel like I'm having dessert!  

I eat my salad and protein, drinking my water and minding my own business, and then I get side-tracked.  A party here, a concert/late night dinner there, a night where I'm stressed or depressed, or just too tired to cook, and before you know it…bam…a piece of cake eaten, a bag of cookies gone, and on and on.  And then I feel yucky, my scale is going the wrong direction, and I beat myself up once again. 

One of the things I'm realizing about myself is that if I am held accountable to someone I will be more likely stay on the diet.  But even having to see Beve this weekend hasn't made behave this time.  So that can't be all of it.  I have to dig into my soul and try and figure this out.  What is my resistance to losing weight?  What is my resistance to feeling good?  What payoff am I giving myself by eating poorly instead of a beautiful and healthy body?  It's such a dilemma to me!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Stepping Stones

It's been a while since I posted.  I've been so busy working with new coaches to achieve all my dreams.  But that has come with a price of lots of homework!!  And even though it's all good it's very time consuming!  But I wanted to start writing again and will try to be more faithful in it each day.

Have you ever noticed that when you put a wish or an intention out into the universe and, you are so sure it's going to come true, suddenly things start to go wrong?  You start saying to yourself...why do these things always happen to me?  Or you feel like your dream is slipping further and further away from you no matter how hard you strive to achieve it?  The harder you work the further the goal gets?

I have felt like one of those samurai warriors recently.  Using my arms to dodge and deflect all of the road blocks and incoming negativity that I have come into my path lately!  I'm trying to change my perspective.  I'm trying to view these challenges not as road blocks but as stepping stones to my ultimate goal.  To the future I desire and intend to have.  It might take me a little longer.  I might have to jump through more hoops.  I might change my direction more than once.  But I'm not taking my eyes off the prize.  I'm not changing my intention no matter what circumstances arise.  I'm am just taking a longer, slower path!

I know the direction I want to take.  I know what I'm capable of and I won't take no for an answer.  Even if I have to ask 15 times and ask 15 different people or try 15 different scenarios.  It's just the process or journey I'm on right now.  And I will stay true to myself through out.

Someone quoted to me recently, "the most successful people are the biggest losers".  And it's so true.  Because they take the most risks, ask the most often, get turned down the most often, and work the hardest trying new things over and over until they reach their goals.  What's that saying?  "Never give up, never surrender!"  That should be my new motto!

So if you see me flailing my arms around in my samarai poses know I'm working towards my goals and I will definitely achieve them.  Hai!  Joylicious!!~

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Out of the Mouths of Babes

I just watched a video my brother posted on Facebook of a baby laughing hysterically as her dad ripped up a job rejection letter.  He then proceeded to rip up credit card bills as she continued to laugh and laugh.

It brought tears to my eyes at the same time that I was smiling at the baby's exuberance and joy at the sound that ripping made!  It reminded me that the details that adults sweat over, the credit card bills, the job rejection notices, the lack and stresses of life that we all get caught up in, don't mean anything to a small baby or child.  And if you think about it, those things don't mean anything at the end of your life either.

Life shouldn't be about what you have or don't have, what you did or didn't get, what your bills are about.  Life is about moments of laughter, love, and joy.  The memories that you make with family and friends.  Not the negatives and feelings of lack, loss, and not being "enough".   Especially when you don't know when those memories will end.

A co-worker of mine lost his 23 year old son last week to suicide.  He was a handsome, strapping young man with his whole life ahead of him.  His family, and us as co-workers to his father, are devastated at the waste and tragedy this family is experiencing.  One minute it's TGIF and life is good and the next morning it's experiencing the nightmare no parent wants to face.

So please be joyful like the baby and laugh at the small things in your life.  Create the laughter and the memories you can cherish forever.  Not getting that job, not buying that jewelry, not having the best cell phone, XBox, or TV, are not the end of the world.   In the grand scheme of life they don't matter.  What matters is who you love and how you love.

I have always loved this poem.  Don't know who the author is but I would like to share it with you!

A Hundred Years From Now

A hundred years from now no one will remember
How much money I had in the bank
what kind of car I drove
or what kind of job I had.

But I will be remembered
as someone special
because I made a difference
in the life of a child.

Friday, February 18, 2011


I've been feeling totally stuck lately.  Trying to forge ahead with my hopes and dreams but sometimes I feel myself getting mired in old habits, old patterns.  My diet seems to be stuck, my money seems to be stuck, my vision of the future feels like it's slipping away and I'm determined not to let it!

I've heard that when you feel stuck you should do something out of the norm to shake up your world.  Something as simple as writing with the opposite hand than you normally do.  Or doing something backwards to shake up the right brain/left brain thing.  So this morning as I took my shower and I turned to let the water wash away the soap from my front I turned left instead of my normal right.  I know that sounds stupid but it actually felt awkward!  And when I got out of the tub I dried off my right leg first instead of my left.  I had to really be careful to balance myself on the side of the tub and wobbled a little bit.  My brain worked really hard to make sure I didn't fall and had to concentrate to make sure I did everything opposite from what I normally do.  I'm trying to change my automatic habits and make my brain work differently.

I was watching the show The Middle on Wednesday night and the mom on the show, Patricia Heaton, began skipping to try and make her son have fun and act childlike.  Her son, Brick, looked at her like she was crazy.  But she said it made her think differently and brought up all sorts of wonderful memories from her childhood.  She even said to her husband, "Remember when skipping used to be our only mode of transportation!"  I think it's the same as doing things opposite from normal.  It got me to thinking that I needed to act differently too.  I haven't skipped in years!  I would probably need a sports bra to do it!  But it might be fun!!  And it might shake things up for me!

I'm going to try and shake up my diet too.  I've been on the HCG diet for 5 months and have lost almost 60 lbs and 3 dress sizes.  But it's very expensive and I think my body is getting to used to the hormone.  So I pulled out my old Dr. Phil diet and decided next week I'm going to try it again.  I'm actually kind of excited because the last time I was his diet I lost 50 lbs and felt great.

This coming Monday I have two appointments.  One is with mentor and author Paul McCormick,, for a coaching session on creating a wealthy mindset.  The second is with naturopath Beve Kindblade,, for some metablolic testing and nutrition guidance.  I'm very excited about both sessions and hope they will also shake up things for me!  Both coaches were provided by Dr. Pat Baccili,, as part of my Holistic Makeover.

Recently I found this quote from Dr. Susan Smith Jones, PhD that I am keep in front of me and read each day.  It's helping me to keep motivated.

I keep my sights focused on my goals and refuse to get discouraged. I have the strength and determination to follow my heart and achieve my heart’s desires.

I hope you all get your heart's desires and shake things up once in a while!

Monday, January 31, 2011

Wisdom, Light & Love

Hello everyone!  I'm back after a long illness and dealing with other issues in my world.  So happy to be writing again!  Working on several new projects so stay tuned!

In the meantime, I have been reading a wonderful new book called The Joy Factor by Susan Smith Jones, PhD.  It's written so beautifully.  Full of inspiring quotes and great advice.  She says there are 10 sacred practices for radiant health.  The first one is to live your best life. (Isn't that what Oprah says?)

Quoting from the book, "When you change your attitude about yourself from negative to positive, everything else in your life will change for the better."  I've been pondering this a lot.  I tend to denigrate myself often.  I tend to use negative self talk and keep a constant conversation with myself that, I believe, is very destructive.  I feel unworthy or unloveable and this bleeds out into my world in a negative way. 

Louise Hay tells us to look at ourselves in the mirror each day and say, "I love you".  And mean it!  I find that difficult some days.  She suggests starting with just your eyes if you can't say it to your whole being.  Then each day expand your vision until you are looking at and loving yourself fully and wholly.

When you find yourself saying negative or self destructive things about yourself, try and turn it around and bless your body.  Put a smile on your face.  Laugh at yourself.  Meditate.  And definitely give up control of how you "think" you look or act and know that as long as you are in God's grace everything you do and are is OK.  Commit yourself to be the best you can be and let the rest go.  It doesn't do you or anyone else any good to hold on to this negativity.

In her book, Smith Jones suggests cleaning out closets and drawers.  Planting beautiful flowers in your garden, eating healthy, exercising.  Clearing any energy that is negative in your life and replacing it with positive, beautiful, light filled people and things.  Honor your body and honor the space you live in.   Treat yourself with respect and dignity.  Find a good doctor who really listens to you.  And doesn't just medicate you every time you have a complaint.  Listen to your body when it is in pain.  Find the real souce of that pain and treat it holistically if you can.  Drink plenty of water.  Get a good night's sleep.  All these things will contribute to well being.

This will also give you new energy to face the world with a brighter light.  And when you shine bright light and love on on yourself and others it will return to you 10-fold.  Isn't that what we all want?  Fabulously joylicious!

By the way, I highly highly recommend this joyful wonderful book. 

Friday, January 21, 2011

Finding Balance for the Caregiver

Finding Balance for the Caregiver:
16 Stress Reducing Strategies By Lisa Bailey 

When my husband Phil’s colorectal cancer returned in October of 2006, this time in the liver and lungs, I found myself stressed to the max.  With my full-time job as a kindergarten teacher, my commitment to my adult children and grandchildren, and keeping tabs on my teenage daughter, adding compassionate caregiving to my life’s work demands from me an incredibly difficult balancing act. 

The following sixteen coping strategies have helped me in my attempts to live a balanced life.  Because caregiving is such a universal task, faced by nearly all of us at one time or another, I hope you find these strategies helpful as well.
  1. Make all choices from a solid base of integrity. I try to make medical and personal choices from the base of my Christian faith, which helps free me from second-guessing myself.
  2. Be clear about today’s reality. Don’t imagine things are worse than they are.  Enjoy the good parts of today and don’t let worries for tomorrow take over your emotions and thoughts.
  3. Talk honestly to family and friends. Honest, frequent communication with close family and friends from the start of diagnosis is much easier than trying to play catch-up later. I discovered a wonderful, free Internet service at  which has allowed me to create a Web site to communicate regularly about Phil’s health. 
  4. Expect and prepare for tough talks.  Family and friends process the news about a serious illness at their own pace. They will not accept the reality of the illness on a schedule that meshes with yours. This means that sometimes family and friends will not understand the tension of your caregiving lifestyle, especially at first. This requires a difficult conversation about what the illness is, how it will be treated, and what kinds of side effects will be expected from the treatment and the disease itself. It is helpful to have a family conversation with the doctor present.This provides an opportunity for questions to be answered accurately.
  5. Learn the medical lingo.  It will help you as a caregiver and a medical advocate to learn the lingo surrounding your loved one’s illness. The Internet is a helpful resource, but you need to learn what Web sites can be trusted and what Web sites have a hidden agenda. I have included a list of trusted Web sites I have used for medical information.  However, even with a trusted Web site, don’t believe everything you read. Not all information will pertain to your loved one’s situation and you can worry yourself into a frenzy over some Internet information you have read.  Ask questions of the doctors and nurses. Check the accuracy of your information if you are at all troubled or in doubt.
  6. During treatment, pain or pain medication might do some talking.  Be aware that pain, stress and pain medications will release the patient from their social “filter” and they can and probably will say some interesting and difficult things at times.  Actually, caregivers do this, too, as stress lifts our social filters at unexpected times—forgive yourself as well when this happens. Listen and be compassionate as best you can. Children and teenagers will need help understanding the changes in their loved one’s personality, especially to know that the changes are not permanent. 
  7. Control what you can control. Lots of articles about stress-management advise letting go of control; however, I have found that being in control of some areas of my life has greatly reduced my stress. 
    1. Get help with housework—paid or unpaid.  Help with household chores has helped to make our home a cleaner refuge for Phil as he recovers and a sanctuary for me. 
    2. Get help with yard work—paid or unpaid.  Our backyard is our vacation destination this year; we eat most meals on the deck, enjoy the variety of birds that visit our birdfeeders, play cards, do art work and garden.  Help with yard work makes this vacation destination possible.
    3.  Prepare meals in advance and freeze them.  I do bulk cooking and freeze pre-prepared meals
    4. Keep bills and insurance paperwork organized so there are fewer financial surprises. Make necessary phone calls to insurance companies, and pay bills, or call to arrange payments, on time.
    5. Plan your work; then work your plan.  Be efficient at your outside job and in taking care of home stuff.  Don’t let things pile up. 
    6.  Do three things every evening before you go to bed—laundry, dishes and take out the garbage. The morning will be much more of a gift.
  8. Let go of what you cannot control. For me, this means “let go and let God.” I carry a scripture in my pocket from Jeremiah 29:11 which says, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”  Cancer is what it is; I cannot change that, but I can and do trust God for our future.
  9. Nest.  Everyone, especially people who are recovering from illness or injury and their caregiver, needs a comfy chair—a place to relax and rejuvenate. Make a comfortable nest for your loved one and for yourself by adding afghans, pillows, fresh flowers, candles, books and great music to your comfy chair area. This is important to do both at your home and at the hospital should there be an extended stay there. 
  10. Make comfort food.  Think about what your patient is hungry for, and then consider the details—digestibility, comfort, correct textures, temperature and presentation.  A compassionate and informative book that I found helpful as I prepared food for Phil following chemotherapy and surgery is Laurel’s Kitchen Caring: Recipes for Everyday Home Caregiving, by Laurel Robertson, with Carol Lee Flinders and Brian Ruppenthal, R.D.  Laurel speaks with such love for both the patient and the caregiver and her encouraging voice revives my spirit for caregiving, especially in providing good nutrition for healing.
  11. Enjoy life today.  During my husband’s chemotherapy treatments, our world becomes pretty small.  We find that watching television is an important diversion, and we have become fans of shows we probably never would have discovered without some enforced downtime. We also play cards and Monopoly, put puzzles together and rent many movies.  I found a new interest in sewing, knitting and watercolor painting.  Phil, a drummer, has never stopped his daily drumming practice or working at his business from home.  We try to enjoy simple pleasures everyday.  We remember that Phil is a person with interests, not just a cancer patient.  And I, too, am a person with interests; not just a cancer patient’s caregiver.
  12. Journal for yourself.  There are so many ways to re-center yourself, but none works as well as journaling, in my opinion.  Even if you have never kept a journal, starting one now will help you clarify feelings, manage the stress and plan the work you need to do as caregiver. 
  13. Keep a vision for the future.  None of us comes here to stay; we know that.  But we also know that we can “grow until we go,” and we should.  One scripture that came right to mind when Phil was first diagnosed with a recurrence of cancer was “Where there is no vision, the people perish.” Proverbs. 29:18 KJV. We make plans for our future.
  14. Give.  While I have learned through Phil’s illness to receive the gifts of help, encouragement, prayer and love from other people, Phil and I continue to enjoy giving as part of our marriage. We enjoy praying for other people, talking to other patients in the waiting rooms, encouraging others as much as possible through conversations both in person, in email and through good, old-fashioned snail mail. Giving keeps us feeling emotionally and spiritually full and is always worth the effort.
  15. Take good care of yourself.  Eat good food, exercise a little, rest well and learn to say no to outside demands.  See your doctor and dentist for checkups. Get away from the house now and then—even if it is just to the laundromat to do the bulky wash. 
  16. Release yourself from expectations for perfection. As humans, we all experience finitude, our “feet of clay” when we do not have infinite energy, wisdom or capabilities to manage our lives. This is normal. Get through each day as best you can, and don’t dwell on mistakes.   
Today Phil is doing well, fighting the cancer with chemotherapy, prayer and a great sense of humor. I am blessed to be his partner in this fight. As long as I keep my balance, I feel I do a good job as a loving caregiver. I hope these strategies work to help you both in your caregiving work and in reducing the stress that comes from this part of life’s journey.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

This Too Shall Pass

This Too Shall Pass - by Mike Robbins

Do you ever find yourself stuck in a negative place, worrying that things won’t get any better (or even that they will get worse)?  Or, have you ever had things going so well in your life that you just knew it wouldn’t last?  If you’re anything like me and most of the people I know and work with, your answer to both of these questions is, of course, “yes.”

Many of us seem to forget that there is a natural ebb and flow to life, especially when things get challenging, stressful, or scary.  Right now, there is a lot of agreement in our world about how “bad” things are – particularly in relation to the economy.  And while I do believe it is essential for us to confront things in life directly and not put our heads in the sand, it seems that many of us (myself included at times) tend to forget an important truth about life…this too shall pass.

Ironically, this same phenomenon is also true when things are “good.”  Life constantly evolves and changes…nothing stays constant.  We waste so much of our precious time and energy worrying about things, instead of appreciating and embracing them in the moment.  Worrying that bad times won’t pass (which they almost always do) or that good times won’t last (which they almost never do) takes us out of the present moment and causes us to suffer, miss out, or both.

You or some of the people around you may be experiencing significant pain or challenge right now – based on the economic situation or other factors.  Or, you may currently be experiencing a great deal of success, opportunity, and joy in your life.  At some level, most of us experience a certain amount of real joy and real pain all the time, simultaneously.

Whatever our current experience of life may be, it always serves us to remember that things are in a constant state of flux and that whatever is going on in our lives right now, will pass.  As difficult as this is for each of us to remember, especially when we’re scared, it can be a powerful reminder and an important mantra that we hold onto and share with others as a way to keep things in perspective.

Here are a few things you can do to enhance your ability to stay present, grounded, and grateful – regardless of the external circumstances in your life.

1)  Count Your Blessings - Whatever is going on in your life – no matter how “good” or “bad” things may seem; there are always many things for us to be grateful for.  Take some time right now to think about or write down some of the many blessings in your life.  And, as a bonus – share them with others today and this week.

2)  Support Others - Reminding others that things can and will get better (if they’re tough) and that it’s important to appreciate and enjoy what is happening (if things are going well), is a great way to remind ourselves, get out of our own head, and be in service.  When we support others, we also support ourselves in a healthy and generous way.  And, our authentic support of other people helps make sure we don’t spend and waste time feeling sorry for ourselves or getting too caught up in our own narcissism. 

3) Reflect on Your Past in a Positive Way - Think back to times in your own life when you’ve overcome challenges and/or created great success and fulfillment.  Remembering that we’ve had tough times and risen above them and that we’ve been able to appreciate ourselves, our lives, and our success – can help us remember how strong and capable we are in the present moment.  Allow your past to empower you!

About Mike Robbins
Mike Robbins empowers individuals, teams, and organizations to be more productive, appreciative, and successful through his keynotes, seminars, writing, and consulting. He is the author of the audio program, The Power of Appreciation, a contributing author of Chicken Soup for the Single Parent's Soul, the author of the best selling book, Focus on the Good Stuff (Hardcover, Jossey-Bass/Wiley) and the forthcoming book, Be Yourself, Everyone Else is Already Taken (Hardcover, Jossey-Bass/Wiley, April 2009). Mike has been featured in Forbes, on the Oprah and Friends radio network, and on ABC News. He is a member of the National Speakers Association (NSA) and is a Certified Speaking Professional (CSP), NSA's highest earned designation. Mike lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with his wife Michelle and their daughter Samantha. Learn more about Mike and sign up for his free newsletter at (Reprinted with Permission © Copyright 2008 Mike Robbins)

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Who Loves You?

Whatever you are doing, love yourself for doing it. Whatever you are feeling, love yourself for feeling it.”
–Thaddeus Golas, 20th century author and philosopher

Are you a loving person? Are you kind, friendly, and encouraging? For most of us, the answer to these questions is yes—at least to some degree.

But here’s the true litmus test of unconditional love: Are you a loving person to yourself? Are you kind, friendly, and encouraging to yourself? Chances are it’s harder to answer yes to these questions.

Yet loving yourself is absolutely vital. Studies show it’s the basis for success, happiness, and healthy relationships. So how do you do it?

It’s easy to love yourself for your “good” qualities: your talents and successes. The trick is in learning to love your less-than-perfect qualities. The most direct way you can love the unlovable in yourself is to bring the feeling of love to whatever it is you’re feeling or experiencing – even it’s challenging or unpleasant. If you’re having a hard time loving yourself, begin by simply loving the fact that you are unable to love yourself in this moment.

Try this little experiment: Think of something that you really don’t like about yourself – you’re too fat or too thin, you can’t balance your checkbook, for example. Now close your eyes, and remember a time when you felt love in your heart for someone or something. Notice if you feel a warmth or expansion in the area of your heart. Now direct that same feeling of love toward yourself—just as you are, flaws and all.

Let’s be clear here, I’m not asking you to love your excess flab or your boniness or your lameness in the bean-counting department. What I’m suggesting is that you beam love, compassion, and understanding to that person who’s experiencing the challenge: you! When you do this, you’ll probably feel a physical shift in your body – you’ll be more relaxed and you may even find yourself smiling.

When you can love yourself in every situation—whether you’ve succeeded or failed, whether you feel good or bad, whether you’re enjoying life or hating it – you’ve taken self-love to the unconditional level.
This one small act can have big and measurable effects. A team of British researchers led by Dr. Paul Gilbert showed that training people to be loving and compassionate toward every aspect of themselves – even toward their tendency to be self-critical – significantly reduced mental suffering, depression, anxiety, self-criticism, shame, inferiority, and submissive behavior, while upping their ability to soothe and reassure themselves.

Hale Dwoskin, the bestselling author of The Sedona Method, and one of the 150 Love Luminaries I interviewed for my latest book, Love for No Reason, told me, “What most people call self-love – positive affirmations and putting smiley-face Post-its on the mirror – is just a manipulation. It’s like pasting a thin layer of positive emotion on top of problems. If you try to change them from a place of simply manipulating them, they only grow. But, if you love all your qualities as they are, good and so-called bad ones, you actually have the power to change them.”

When you connect to the unconditional love at your core—what I call Love for No Reason—real self-love starts to flow.

Every day, I do a very simple self-love practice that brings me into my heart and reminds me to treat myself with care. It comes in especially handy whenever I’m having a rough time or being critical toward myself or others. You can do this, too.

Throughout the day, ask yourself, What’s the most loving thing I can do for myself right now? or What’s the most loving way I can be with myself right now? And then pay very close attention to the answer.

Sometimes the answer is that you need to have more compassion for the part of you that is hurting; other times it’s forgiving yourself for your mistakes or lightening up on yourself. There are also times when the most loving thing you can do for yourself is taking a walk or a hot bath or calling a good friend for a chat. The important thing is to make the questions a part of your daily practice.    Don’t think you’re being selfish—far from it! When you love and take care of yourself, you’ll find it inevitably serves everyone.  And isn’t a world filled with love the kind we all want to live in?

(C) 2010.  Marci Shimoff. Adapted from Love for No Reason: 7 Steps to Creating a Life of Unconditional Love (Free Press, December 2010). Love for No Reason offers a breakthrough approach to experiencing a lasting state of unconditional love—the kind of love that doesn’t depend on another person, situation, or romantic partner, and that you can access at any time and in any circumstance. This is the key to lasting joy and fulfillment in life. To order Love for No Reason, go to and follow Marci on Twitter @Marci_Shimoff.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Cheryl Richardson's New Year's Resolutions

Good Stuff

Be picky.  Have high standards.  Don't settle for less.  These are all messages that, when used appropriately, help people to live better lives.  As you start your New Year, I want to invite you to be picky about something in particular - your mind.  If you really want to make this year a year filled with self-love, self-acceptance, forward movement, and success, then decide right now that you'll do everything in your power to fill that beautiful mind of yours with good stuff - really good stuff. 

No more reading boring emails that might have something in it you need to see, or watching violent news that leaves you feeling helpless or afraid.  Forget about the celebrity sightings that make you feel like everyone else is living a great life but you.  Nope.  No good.  Not enough for you anymore. 

Stop listening to the latest drama story at work or to the friend who's been complaining about the same damn thing for years.  Ugh.  It's exhausting and it's creating a neural pathway that leads to nowheresville.

It's time to be picky - really picky.

This year, resolve to do things that fill your mind with exciting new ideas, inspirational messages that motivate you to act, or wisdom that touches your soul in the best of all ways.  

Cheryl Richardson

Start Small ~ Dream Big

For 2011 I want to reiterate what my pay it forward project is all about by revisiting my mission and vision statements.  Have a joylicious day!

Vision Statement: I envision women reaching their full potential by learning to embrace loss and grief as opening a path to a new hopeful, peaceful and joylicious life.

Mission Statement: Using my writings, blog, and speaking engagements I will inspire, coach, and enable women to see that they are special and that their stories matter.  That all women can experience a joylicious life after suffering adversity.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Year

I hope that 2011 is a wonderful New Year full of joy, prosperity, laughter, love, health, and well being for all of my friends, family, and followers.  I love you all!  Happy New Year!