April Showers

April 1, 2012
April showers bring May flowers is how the saying goes. What I think it means is that we sometimes have to tolerate the unpleasant to appreciate the pleasant. We wouldn’t appreciate the warmth of summer without experiencing the cold of winter. We spend years studying for a degree or learning a trade with the (hopeful) payoff of a fulfilling career.
Sometimes the waiting isn’t so bad. It’s often how you look at it. Just as we wait through the April showers in order to enjoy the May flowers, those April showers can be fun and refreshing as opposed to dreary. Consider taking a walk on a warm, rainy spring day. If you’re near a pond or lake, spend some time watching the ducks. Ducks really know how to enjoy a good rain shower. Be like the ducks and just let the rain roll of your back.

On occassion, the emotions are too deep to just let “roll off your back”. You have to go deeper. Some call it the “dark night of the soul”, where you need to hit rock bottom before you can emerge, like a phoenix from the flames. When emotional turmoil takes its toll, the best way past it is through it. The thought and worry about going through an emotional upheavel is often worse than the actual emotions. Our imaginations can come up with some pretty painful stuff. When things start to feel bleak. When you reach a point where you can’t or won’t work through an emotional blockage, get help. A spiritual counselor or coach can help you with this process.

Share what you will look at differently this month? What will you let “roll off your back”? This question is on TheLifeWalk Find us on Facebook FaceBook page. Share your thoughts!

Eat Real, Eat Well

March 20, 2012

Losing weight and getting healthy is not about low-fat, no-salt, flavorless and fake foods.  It’s not about every chicken dish you’ve ever known remade with soy products.  Your body needs fat.  It needs cholesterol. It needs salt.  You just need to find the right natural products that provide these healthy (and necessary) nutrients.

Consider this, if your grandparents knew it as food, it’s probably real food (yes, including real butter, lard, whole milk, and salt).  If it grew from a plant or ate a plant, it is probably real food.  If it was made in a plant, reconsider your choice.

Think about the vegetables you eat… are they oily?  In most cases, no.  So how do we consider vegetable oil a healthy food product?  Olives, when pressed, give oil.  That sounds like a winner to me.  And what exactly is a “Canola”?  Do the research.  There is no such thing as a “Canola plant”.  “Canola” is derived from “Canada Oil Low Acid”.  I will not go into details, look it up, then decide if you will continue to use it in cooking.

So if all these “healthy” products are not what they seem, what do I do?  Think natural and think flavorful.  Food was not meant to be flavorless cardboard nutrition pellets.  Take that free-range organic chicken and sautee it with garlic and veges in coconut oil (a medium-chain triglyceride – look it up!)  Vegetarian?  No problem.  No need for fake soy-based protein substitutes.  Get your protein from real, whole foods like beans, legumes, nuts, eggs and dairy (if not vegan), and whole grains (especialy quinoa).  There is no need to resort to soy burgers, soy nuggets, and meatless meat products to get enough protein.

And I know I will step on a few toes here, but if you are vegan or vegetarian for health reasons, do some more research.  Meat and poultry are not the health demons they’ve been made out to be the past 20-30 years.  If you are vegan or vegetarian for humanitarian reasons (and especially if you are lacking in necessary nutrients that are easily found in animal protein), find a local farm that you trust to get your occassional meat, eggs, and dairy products.  There are many small, non-factory,  farmers who are just trying to make a living for their families and who feed and treat their livestock well.  You will not only enhance your health, but you will support your local economy as well.

When your body has the proper amounts of nutrients, including fat, cholesterol, and high quality salt, your weight will stabilize to it’s healthy and natural level.

Spring Cleaning and De-Cluttering

March 1, 2012
Often our physical environment reflects our emotional environment. When we’re feeling in the dumps, our home or office and even the car may start to look a little ‘dumpy’. This works the other way as well… our physical environment can influence our emotions. When the house or office is cluttered, often our life feels cluttered.
Clear your life by doing a little housecleaning. Even just tackling one room can make a difference. Clear the kitchen counter of all bills, papers, and junk. Clean up the bedroom, putting all laundry in a basket, washing the sheets and blankets and making the bed.
If you want to go all out, pretend you’re moving. Go through every room, space by space, drawer by drawer and get rid of everything you don’t want to pack to take with you. If you wouldn’t take it with you in a move, why keep it around if you’re staying?
Once you’ve gone through this process, take a break and see how you feel. When you’re ready, go through your life – your calendar, your addressbook, your emotional attachments and do a similar clearing. Look at weekly or monthly obligations that no longer are of interest to you and work on eliminating them from your calendar.
The life clearing is a little more difficult to do than the physical cleaning. If you’re serious about reworking your life to include only those things that make you happy and move you forward, check out Life Management 101.
Share what you’ve cleaned and cleared from your life this month. This question is on TheLifeWalk Find us on Facebook FaceBook page. Share your thoughts!

Consistantly Changing

February 1, 2012
It is said that the only constant is change. When we set a goal, the idea is to see it through, right? What happens if life changes? If you change? Do you still force yourself to either see it through or be a failure?
What if that goal no longer serves you? What if your life, your interests, your circumstances change and the goal no longer fits? Sometimes we have to let go of the wheel and go with the flow. Staying in touch with your feelings and knowing what’s working and what’s not is a key piece to living a life you enjoy.
How many activities are a part of your life only because you’re stuck in a routine? Have you ever wished you had more time to do things you enjoy? That may be a sign that you need to look at where you are spending your time and make some decisions. What will stay? What has run it’s course and needs to be changed?
Often drastic changes arise out of necessity. I experienced that recently when my computer died. As much of a pain as that was, it forced me to make some new upgrades that were long overdue. My old operating system and office programs were so old that I was forced to find new options for my web design. In doing this, I was able to streamline my website and was inspired to update the logo as well. So the site isn’t perfect, yet, but that’s all part of the process of change. Finishing my current book has also been on hold while I go through these changes, but that’s where I had to let it go and go with the flow.
What needs to change in your life? Where are you stuck in a rut and need to move on? This question is on TheLifeWalk FaceBook page. Share your thoughts!

Be Resolute

January 1, 2012
It’s that time of year again to make your New Year’s Resolutions. Those of you who have followed my newsletter for some time know that I am not a fan of New Year’s Resolutions.  For starters, you can decide to change your life and your habits at any time and be successful.  Why wait until January? (I know the answer for many is that the resolution is health related and holiday binging took its toll and the jeans you wore last fall no longer fit).  
OK fine, so you have this present motivation to change your eating and exercise habits.  Let’s go with that as it is.  Studies have shown that 78%-88% of resolutions are never completed.  So let’s change things up a bit, why don’t we?  First of all, the mindset.  If this year’s resolution didn’t work, I can always try again next year, right?  And so goes the cycle year after year. Why not simply make a commitment to change?  (Those of you who have followed my newsletter for some time know that ‘change’ is one my favorite words!) 
Change can occur at any time, but for the season’s sake, we’ll go with positive changes for 2012, this new year.  How do you make a solid, lasting change in your life?  Here are a few tips:
-Make your goal specific (ie: I will lose x pounds and maintain a weight of xx lbs instead of “I will lose weight”)
-Break your goal down into smaller steps, including planning steps (ie: join a gym or invest in exercise equipment of choice, schedule which days/times you will exercise, list items you will remove from or add to your diet)
-Share your goal with a trusted friend (or two).  You do not have to pledge to the world what you are doing, just have someone you can turn to for support when challenges arise. 
Be resolute in your commitment to making your life better, and be patient with yourself when challenges arise. 
Big life changes often need structure and support.  If you want to make multiple changes in your life, check out the Life Management 101 e-course while it is still available.  You’re invited to sign up at 50% off it’s regular price for the month of January 2012. I hope you’ll decide to make positive changes this year.
What positive changes will you make in 2012?  How will you accomplish these changes?  This question is on TheLifeWalk Find us on Facebook FaceBook page.  Share your thoughts!

Is It Time?

December 1, 2011
Is it time to make a change?  We’ve reached the end of another year, which means we’re preparing to begin a new year.  Look back on this year… was there something you wanted to do/start/complete/learn this year, but didn’t?  Did you take that archery class?  Jump out of that airplane? Or learn to play the oboe like you’ve always wanted to? 
No?  Why not?  Let me guess… no time.  Life got in the way.  Stuff came up.  What if life was about you doing all those things you want to do?  What if learning to play the oboe was as important as going to work or doing the laundry?  You may laugh, but why shouldn’t it be?  Just because it doesn’t earn income and it only brings intangible enjoyment doesn’t mean it’s not important.
Let me tell you something… YOU are important!  Yup, that’s right.  You
deserve to spend time/money/energy on yourself.  If you’re not quite sure how to do that… how to fit in the seemingly unimportant things… maybe it’s time to take a look at what’s really important to you.
2012 marks a year of changes.  Some think it will be a year of enlightenment (whatever that means).  Some believe it will be a shift in consciousness.  Whatever happens on the grand scale, you are in charge of the changes in your private world.  For me, 2012 marks the ten year annivesary of the course I designed to make changes in my own life.  Since then, the course, first as a teleclass, then as an e-course, has changed many lives.  Next, the course will be reborn as a weekend long seminar to launch, yes, you guessed it… the book!
It is time.  As a preview to the weekend seminar and the book launch, you are invited to participate in the e-course while it is still available.  I haven’t yet decided whether the e-course will continue after the book is published.  But just in case, you’re invited to sign up at 50% off it’s regular price for the month of January 2012. I hope you’ll decide to make positive changes this year.
What positive changes will you make in 2012?  How will you accomplish these changes?  This question is on TheLifeWalk Find us on Facebook FaceBook page.  Share your thoughts!

Recharging Your Batteries

November 1, 2011
All too frequently, we reserve one or two weeks a year to go on “vacation” and recharge our batteries, but what do we do the other 50 weeks of the year?
We run the rat race. We suck it up and put our big girl panties on. We work nonstop trying to get everything done with the excuse that we’ll make up for it on the weekend.  Then the weekend comes and we spend it catching up on housework, grocery shopping, and other chores.  It’s time to end all that!
Each day there are small moments to hit the reset button.  The three minutes waiting for the elevator or sitting at the stoplight.  During these moments, take a deep breath and think of something enjoyable: the smile on your child’s face, the flowers blooming or the leaves changing.  Each of these little respites brings your blood pressure down, relaxes your muscles, and allows your brain to take a break.
Often we find that we use longer breaks (in the waiting room while getting your car repaired, for example) to catch up on even more work.  We’re told that it’s being “efficient” and “using our time wisely”.  Why not be really wise and use this down time to read a book or interesting magazine (your own subscription, not just the waiting room leftovers).  Use this time to plug in the MP3 player ear buds and listen to meditative or upbeat music that you enjoy.
Sometimes these little bits of time just aren’t enough.  Then it’s time to schedule down time the same way you schedule your household chores.  Even better, turn the chores into fun time.  Do you enjoy cooking?  Spend a Sunday afternoon cooking healthy and creative meals for the week.  This will give you an afternoon of enjoyment and save some time during the week (where you might take a hot bath after work or read another chapter in that book on your bedside table).  And you might end up with healthier dinner choices as well.
How do you recharge your batteries now?  What will you do to increase your relaxation time?  This question is on TheLifeWalk Find us on Facebook FaceBook page.  Share your thoughts!

Community Health

October 7, 2011
Often we decide to get healthy on our own.  We join a gym, turn on the MP3 player, pop in the earbuds and off we go to work out without being disturbed.  Or we take up running, again with the earbuds blocking out the world so we can exercise in peace.

Consider community health.  Whether it’s a Tai Chi or Zumba class or health & fitness workshop, maintaining health within a community has many benefits.  With a community comes shared energy.  If your energy is low, the others in the group can help lift you up.  When you have more energy, you can share with others.

A community is a place not only to learn and grow, but to share and teach as well.  Your experiences are valuable to others, just as you value their experiences.
How do you embrace the benefits of a community?  This question is on TheLifeWalk Find us on Facebook FaceBook page.  Share your thoughts!

Who Can Heal You?

September 1, 2011
We turn to medical professionals, alternative practitioners, self-help books, even psychics, but who can really heal us?  If you’ve spent much time and money on books, lying on massage tables, being poked, prodded, and questioned you may not like the answer.

While practitioners can offer assistance, only YOU can heal you.

That might not be the news you wanted to hear, but if you think about it, it’s a great position to be in.  You are now in control.  You get to decide how to approach your healing path.  You choose who comes along for the ride with you and who is left behind (which can often make a huge difference on your health and healing).

 You may have heard of people who have tried every technique available to quit smoking, but they just can’t kick the habit while others simply quit.  The mind is a very powerful part of healing.  And without the will, healing is nearly impossible.  Take the example of smoking: when you truly decide that smoking will no longer be a part of your life, then it will no longer be a part of your life.  You may need the aid of patches or pills to assist with the physical withdrawel symptoms, but your desire for smoking will no longer be there as a temptation.

Maybe you want to improve your health: balance blood sugar or cholesterol, lose weight, or build endurance.  Whatever your goal, your will to achieve it is the best tool you have.  There is no magic pill or potion that will cause you to lose weight if you choose to remain sedentary and continue to eat foods your body cannot tolerate.

Something else to keep in mind as you decide to change your life: who will you bring along for the ride, and who will get kicked off the bus?  If you are surrounded by people who don’t share your optimism or are determined to hold you back with their own habits, you may want to consider associating with and befriending those who are more in line with your goals.Your options on how to create health and wellness are boundless!  What will you choose?

I want to hear about your choices!  This question is on TheLifeWalk Find us on Facebook FaceBook page.  Share your plans, ask for a cheering section, cheer others on!

Holistic = Whole-istic

August 1, 2011
I recently had a discussion with a friend about what ‘holistic’ means and what makes us holistic practitioners.  Shortly after this conversation, I received another e-news headline singing the praises of the newest miracle food.
While we want to eat healthy (since you really are what you eat, ya know!) we don’t want to lose focus of our “wholeness” by simply supplementing with the latest fads.
They said antioxidants are what we need to live longer.  So we all went out and gorged ourselves on blueberries.  They said Omega-3 would help our hearts, so we sought out fish oil capsules.  I’m not saying these products won’t work, but we need to keep in mind what our whole body needs.
We know that gasoline will make our cars run (and if you get brand X it will run better, longer!)  Does this mean we fill up the fuel tank regularly and ignore the engine oil, brakes, or tires?  Of course not!  Proper tire inflation helps gas mileage, engine oil keeps things running smoothly, and brake pads… well, you get the idea!
So while it’s a good idea to keep an open mind about new foods or supplements to help you live better, remember all the rest:
Nurition: Whole, organic foods, the fresher the better – as close as you can get to their natural state
Exercise: Everyday activies are best (climbing stairs, gardening, walking the dog, housework) but if work keeps you sedentary during the day, then hitting the gym or taking classes is great. Muscles and cardio for sure, but remember flexibility too: tai chi, yoga, qi gong.
Rest: adequate sleep ranges from 6-8 uninterrupted hours for most people
Emotional Support: Friends, hobbies, relaxing activities!  These are as important (if not more) than the others.  When you are relaxed and happy, the rest can fall into place.

How do you keep your health in balance?  This question is on TheLifeWalk Find us on Facebook FaceBook page.  Share your ideas with other in the community.

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