I have been going about it all wrong…….and I want to make it right

fullsizeoutput_5148

I was listening to a very interesting, informative interview on the topic of Wellness.  It may have been how the information was presented or possibly when the student is ready, the teacher will appear.  It was an aha moment for me.  I became aware that I needed to rethink how I approach self care.  I have been going about it all wrong.

I often focus on what I need to remove from my life.  I try to eliminate unhealthy food, toxic environments and clickbait news and entertainment sites.

I learned there is a better approach to self care…………the concept of “adding in”. 

When I add in motivating and empowering media sites, plenty of nourishing food, and soul enhancing, good people in my life, I do not leave any room for the unhealthy, negative sources. I would rather live life from a place of abundance versus elimination and deprivation.

I may not have been going about it entirely wrong, although I am willing to learn new ways to make it right.  The bottom line:  adding in the Good doesn’t leave any room for the Bad.  A simplistic phrase for an in-depth topic, although, it works for me.  I like and need reminders.

fullsizeoutput_5117

I make and review my lists first thing in the morning.  The top part of my page always contains a thought, a conscious awareness on “how” I want to live my day.  

Lately, my headings have contained the words “Soul food….Good food…..Brain food”.  This is a reminder of how I want to nourish myself, what I would like to add into my day and ultimately bring into my life. 

Among Friends

Books that changed my life – I would love to hear which books are on your list

fullsizeoutput_506a

Heidi” Johanna Spyri:   lost count as to how many times I read this book as a child and the lessons I carried with me throughout my life – when you think life is not going as hoped and planned- it’s because something better is in store for you

The 4 Agreements” Don Miguel Ruiz:  read countless times, taped the main concepts inside work cupboards and day planners, given as gifts…….yet, I still need to reread and remind myself…… especially when interacting with people in all parts of my life

Big Magic” Elizabeth Gilbert:  the concept of creativity…..everyone is creative……..art, music, carpentry, designing cakes, writing……it has all been done before, but it hasn’t been done by you

Tiny Beautiful Things  Cheryl Strayed:  I enjoy her writing in general, although, it was actually one sentence in one of the chapters that changed how I think about writing…….’what is your story…….and more importantly, what are you REALLY trying to say’

Seat of the Soul” Gary Zukav:  huge impact in my life (almost 30 years ago) ……..when you are going in the right direction, following the ‘Mother Ship’,  life will fall into place……not a constant struggle……..helped me pay attention, change direction, make choices……yet, let life unfold 

The Power of Now” Eckhart Tolle:  an Awareness of your thoughts being separate from actually You – tough to wrap my mind around this one – although worth trying to grasp….. staying in the present moment

I’ve been thinking” Maria Shriver:  my most recent book – many gems in this one – I appreciate her honest, succinct, relatable words:  life is yours to create….and to re-create, listening to your gut, stop worrying about what others think…..it’s a huge waste of your time,  learn how to turn off the critical voice in your head

Many more books on my list that have made me think differently, changed me and enriched my life. 

I would love to hear which books made an impact on your life……any gems?  Thank you for sharing.

We are in this life together.  Thank you for stopping by.

I wish I could go back in time and thank that stranger

img_2003-e1539174311455.jpg

They just seemed to appear.  I did not know their names.  It was a gentle touch or a kind word.  It may have been only a small gesture to them although it made a big impact in my day and in my life.

The tow truck driver who came to the rescue when my car broke down on a busy highway, smoke coming out of the hood of my car.  I had two very young girls with me, one who made sure her precious “Mr. Bear” was tossed out of the car first, saved from certain peril.  While transporting the three of us and our vehicle to the garage, this kind man first stopped to buy the girls treats, snacks and drinks.  He turned a stressful day into a fun adventure, especially for these two little girls.

The lady sitting next to us at the Michael Jackson 3D show.  Many hours of  nonstop amusement park rides resulted in our 7 year old having an upset stomach.  To our little girl’s embarrassment, she became ill on the lady sitting beside us.  This very kind lady discretely joined us in the bathroom to tidy herself and help us.  She was thoughtful and concerned.  She helped turn an awkward, embarrassing moment into something minor and now it is a funny story we continue to share.  

The lady that seemed to appear out of nowhere when I had a meltdown in the school washroom and I could not stop crying.  It was the first trimester of an intensive school year. I was overwhelmed with the demands of school work, homework, lack of sleep and raising a young family. No words were exchanged. She stopped and gave me a big hug. I will never forget that hug and how it made me feel.  I could now pick myself up and go on with my day, my morale bolstered by that spontaneous act of love from someone I had never met before and whose name I will never  know.

 Many strangers have made a difference in my life.  Their acts of kindness have strengthened and renewed my spirit, oftentimes when I needed it the most. 

Since I cannot go back in time, I can thank them by remembering, sharing and paying it forward.  Hopefully, I will make the difference in someone’s day and ultimately in their life. 

 fullsizeoutput_5085

Thank goodness for my Spidey Sense!

22424383_10155761304659293_4787701593613505208_o

 

I really believe that I am here today because of my Spidey Sense.   

I think that is true for all of us and our survival instincts.

This past year, I became more aware of all of my senses and how intuition has played a large part in guiding the trajectory of my life.  Information on our senses is very complex and there is a lot of overlap.  I found out that our Spidey Sense is a type of ‘sixth sense’ referring to our ability to sense imminent danger.

I am sure each one of us has encountered circumstances when the hairs rose on our arms, when you “feel” someone looking at you and you look back over your shoulders, when goosebumps prompt us to turn around and cross the street. 

For me, I am glad I didn’t submit to the insistent coaxing and go up to a man’s apartment on a first date, after only a few short encounters.  I still vividly recall an immediate sense of fear, my survival mechanisms fully engaged.  I did not see him after that.  Even at a very young age, my Spidey Sense alerted me to danger.

Another example is when I was compelled to look out a rarely used window in our home and I saw the lawn mower ablaze.  My adrenal glands immediately kicked into high gear and I called the fire department to extinguish the flames before they reached our house.

I do not know whether it is potential danger or actual danger I have avoided when I paid attention to the hairs tingling on the back of my neck, my heart beating faster, my fight or flight response.  It may have been a premonition or my primitive survival instinct or both.

 I plan to continue to be aware of all of my senses.  If I have a bad feeling and I get a strong sense of something being wrong, I do plan to listen to my Spidey Sense.  I believe that is why I am still here today.

 

22424383_10155761304659293_4787701593613505208_o

I did not know it had a name

P1000549

A woman I really like and respect asked me how I was doing. The response I would normally give is, “good, how are you?”  Only the two of us were in the room.  I decided to share with her a challenge I was facing, causing increased worry and sleepless nights.  She looked at me and listened quietly to my story.  When I was finished, she said “I will hold space for you”.

I paused.  I had not heard this phrase before, although it felt right.  She did not interrupt me or give me any guidance.  She had silently listened to me.  I immediately felt better.

We all have challenging parts of our life and worries that keep us awake at night.  We all benefit from a safe place, a friend, where we can share our story.  

When someone shares their struggles with me, I often want to jump in, give advice, fix it.  There are times where possible solutions and other perspectives are welcome.  

Often, what we need most is a kind, loving presence, someone who will be there to give us unconditional support.  I now know that it has a name.  “I will hold space for you.”

The 5 W’s – How do YOU harness your Monkey Mind?

fullsizeoutput_502b

WHAT?  Writing –  thoughts, observations, pervasive feelings, lessons that begin in whispers……lessons that get louder and louder, stories just for fun

WHERE?  Everywhere

WHEN?  Always

WHO?  6 year old me, the now me…..and everything in-between

WHY?  Creativity, many notes, paying attention, stories wanting to burst out of me, my constant attempt to be succinct, KISS, obtain some clarity……. my goal to Harness the Monkey Mind.  WHY?  Sharing:   your thoughts, opinions, perspectives greatly matter.  You always inspire me.  I am a work in progress, constantly learning, evolving, recreating.  We are in this life together

The Challenge?  Requires courage, overcoming fear, taking risks, increased vulnerability..….…..the rest is fun

How do YOU harness your Monkey Mind?

Which one of your Senses would you miss the most?

 

fullsizeoutput_4c22

These types of questions do not truly resonate until they hit close to home, directly affecting you or your loved ones, affecting a special little girl in our lives.

This past summer I listened to a powerful, riveting interview with Amy Purdy, the Paralympic medalist for snowboarding. She contracted a form of bacterial meningitis leading to septic shock, her legs amputated below the knee, and other serious health complications.  Amy Purdy described her near death experience.  When she was on “her last breath”,  “moving to the edge”,  she thought about the people she loved and all she loved about life, especially “all the sensory stuff….. the smell of rain…..the sound of ocean waves”.     

Every day, since listening to that interview, I have been keenly aware of my senses, and what I will miss when I leave this body.  I have observed more details in my surroundings, the scent of rosemary needles outside the yoga studio, how good that hug really feels and hummingbirds actually create a lot of sound.

Which one of my senses would I miss the most?  I have decided that it is my intuition, my gut feeling, my inner voice, that has had the greatest impact in my life. 

 Listening to my intuition has steered me in the right direction (when I have paid attention to it).  It led me to a move I made that changed the trajectory of my life.  It is how I met my life partner.  It is how I chose a career I loved for 25 years.  My life would likely have taken a very different course if I had always listened to the analytical part of my brain processing information from my other senses. 

 In retrospect, I have not always made the best decisions when I relied on cognitive reasoning, pros and cons deductions, other people’s well-intentioned advice………I should have listened to my gut.

As to the special little girl in our lives…..we were advised early on (before birth) that our little 2 1/2 year old may not see or hear.  We are very thankful this little girl sees well, always with a twinkle in her eye.  Her hearing is just fine, when she chooses to listen and this is confirmed by her witty responses and her “I can do it all by myself”.

Most of all, I hope she will pay attention to her sense of intuition to help guide her throughout her life.  I hope she listens to her inner voice to follow her dreams, help her through life’s adversities and life’s joys, to surround herself with the people she loves and who love her.

 fullsizeoutput_3f4a