Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Where Do You Live In Life?

Here's some food for thought - are you lifting your community up or hindering their progress? Think about this - the efforts of others may not be your passion or where you would put your energy, but is it really necessary to hinder their effort? Sometimes it is more about a bigger picture, or the ability to go through a process than it is about the outcome of the idea. 

Putting in a kitchen in at AVCCS is less about an actual kitchen than it is about the lessons a 10 year old boy is learning about community, progress, fundraising, how to ask people for help and then thank them profusely for their support. At the time, I had to ask, "Will we reach our goal?" My answer was, "I think we will." and you all know we did, but sadly, my 10 year old got a lesson in small town politics. In cases like this, which side do you want to be on, the side that encourages and teaches, or the side that hinders and puts up barriers for reasons that make no sense? I know where I live, and where I want to see more people live with me... with love, lots and lots of love - we all need more love!

Saturday, February 3, 2018

Why Not You?

I am certain we are always harder on ourselves than other people are on us, but let me ask you, how much confidence do you really have in yourself? Watching the Super Bowl a few years ago, Russell Wilson said (and the story was told about him many times that day) that his dad asked him, “Why not you Russell? Why not you?” He could have said, “Because I’m too small, because my arm isn’t strong enough…” he could have said to his father all the things his critics were telling him, but he didn’t. He held on to his dream and let his father’s voice echo in his head, “Why not you Russell?” This in turn became, “Why not me?” To his team, “Why not us?” So who are you? Are you like Russell Wilson or are you the one who caves in to the critics. Dave suggested that some people succeed to spite their critics. Okay, I suppose the "Tell me I can't and I'll show you I will!" isn't a bad thing, but why are we not all simply lifting each other up? I preach to Mason almost daily, "Are you a friend people want? Do you lift your friends up by encouraging them, or are you being the kid who will say, "Yours sucks, mines better!" Well, the truth of the matter is, he's a boy and a very competitive boy at that, he has to work to remember to not compete but to lift his friends up. It is my hope that by starting this message with him now, by the time he gets it, it will have shaped him to be someone who lifts others up and encourages them to ask, "Why not me?"
I’ve been the one who listens to all the people who say things like, “You can’t be an actress, you are not the right type, you are not tall enough, you are not thin enough, and you are not like a model.” “College isn’t really for you, eh, er, I mean, you are not really the college type.” “It would just be good if you could follow something through, you never follow through.” “Oh no, she has an idea, you know what that means, it’s gonna cost me money.” Where does one find the strength to not listen to those naysayers while still loving them, and still have the gumption to ask, “Why not me? I can do it, I can be it, I’m enough.” Do you feel like you are enough? I don’t. I also don’t think that many women do, especially women who are wives and mothers. As women who feel so much responsibility for the lives of others, it is incredibly difficult to focus on anything else. Heck, truth be told, we can’t focus on any one thing because there are so many one things to do, how is it possible to focus on just one at a time? From keeping up with the housewifery, the kids school work, after school schedules, medical and dental appointments, grocery shopping, in my case, real estate that I am trying to do more of while working for another top producing agent, and more…so I’m told to drop some of these things and focus on me, my business, what I want. Really?
And where does talent play into this equation? Dave brought up the example of the people who audition for American Idol, the people who can not sing. Is it a good idea to encourage these people and set them up for failure? I would say in life, this example is more an exception than a rule. We live in a society that is not one of encouragement but of competition and the belief that we can make people stronger by continually knocking them down - some people, yes, others, no. And to the singing point, certainly not everyone can sing, as I well know! But could we encourage one to sing for pleasure yet say, "Singing may not be your professional calling - how can you craft a career around music so you can be in the environment that you love and feel successful?" Again, it's all in how it's done, and keeping the message positive.
So let me be very clear, I am not complaining. What I am hoping my message will come across as is this, if we really see big things and lots of potential in someone, why don't we focus on growing that? Let's not focus on the failures, or what appears to be shortcomings, let's focus on continuing to encourage the ideas for success - no matter what someone else might judge or evaluate. Many will say without failure, success is impossible. I don't know if that's true, but I can attest to plenty of failure. Russell Wilson held on to the voices that were encouraging him and he dismissed those that told him he wasn't good enough, big enough, strong enough, or enough enough. Let's all take a moment today to first acknowledge that we are enough and can be anything that we want, and second, find someone else to lift up and encourage - really make it matter, touch them, look them in the eye and make sure you have their attention and lift them up. Be the voice they can hold on to next time someone tells them they are not enough.

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Day 13 On #TheVirginDiet

I started the program on 1/2/18. Even though my weight is up and I do want to reduce, I started this program because I was not feeling good physically and I have been in a lot of pain the last quarter of 201, maybe a little longer. My low back, my neck and shoulders, my hips, the bottoms of my feet first thing in the morning hurt like they are terribly bruised, and I was not sleeping without the help of sleep aids. I was going to the gym, and that hurt, too. My weight kept climbing, my workouts were getting more painful - even yoga, and it just seemed like I was continually looking for some kind of pill to take to help make the pain go away and make me feel better. It wasn't working. I spent the last 2 years attributing all these negative changes to menopause, which is real, but I don't think it's the whole picture. My best friend had referred me to JJ a number of years ago and I finally made the choice to look at what I have been eating and see where that takes me.

Here I am two weeks in and I'm happy to report that I am feeling really good! My aches and pains have not gone away but I have not had any hip pain in the last 4 days, my feet still hurt in the morning when I get up, but way less, and I have been sleeping for the last 3 nights without the over the counter sleep aid I normally take. I also didn't disclose initially that last year my doctor prescribed me a low dose of phentramine to help me lose some weight. It has not really been effective with weight loss, but it has given me a boost, sort of like most people think of their morning coffee. If I missed a dose I was pretty useless, I would literally sit on my couch doing nothing. Nothing, not scrolling social media on my phone, watching television, nothing, just sitting. The first time that happened, I came to present time and realized I had not taken the phentramine. I went upstairs, took the pill and got about the rest of my day. I'm sure the Rx was contributing to me not sleeping, that's kind of a no-brainer, but I didn't want to stop taking it because even though I wasn't losing weight, I wasn't gaining it either. As of today, not only have I not taken the sleep aids, I've also not taken the phentramine, and guess what? I feel great! I'm not feeling lethargic or like I'm going through any kind of withdrawals, in fact, I haven't had any of those kinds of symptoms at all. I thought for sure I would feel some side effects of cutting out the sugar, but there haven't really been any to speak of.

With all of that said, on January 1, 2018 I weighed 184.4 lbs. I started the program on 1/2/18 and this morning I weighed in at 175.9, that's down 8.5 lbs. I also measured and overall I've lost 4 1/2 inches. The weight and inches is absolutely great, but even better is that I am not mentally foggy, and I am feeling better physically. I'm excited to be able to reintroduce some foods back in because I want to see what my intolerances are, and I don't know that I can give up sugar forever. That remains to be seen, but for now I'm hopeful, very hopeful that I can work on living the rest of my life eating more healthfully, feeling physically better, getting older without growing old.

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

A New Perspective For A New Year

Ringing in the New Year at my 2nd highest weight. Not for long!
I love my life, the ups the downs, all of it. Those of you who know me, know I have struggled with my weight and body image my entire life. It seems redundant to keep resolving to make changes when the fact of the matter is, I make changes every day. I don't wait until January 1 of any new year to start, I start when I feel ready to start. With that said, as I get older I am noticing that some things are not adjusting as easily as they used to, or that aches and pains are getting more intense and actually inhibiting my daily activities. I've been looking at the effects of the onset of menopause and thinking that indeed that could be creating some of the drama in my body, but I think it's also time to really look at what I am eating and how it is affecting how I feel.

Today I started the 21 day, phase one cycle of The Virgin Diet. This is the idea that I am eliminating the top 7 body food-intolerances so I can be completely free of them so in phase two, when I start to add them back in one at a time, I can see what my body does and how I feel. I'm really ready to make this change and I will document my journey here, honestly and for better & worse. Feel free to follow along and chime in, I would love to support you in whatever you are planning to achieve this year. Happy New Year!

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Scientific Proof About Positive Thinking

My tag line is, "Intentional Winning in Life is victory by design: Creating the journey and the outcome for every aspect of your life by participating in the process."

A big part of that participation element is believing that I can create anything I want. That creation starts with my thoughts, the things I say to myself and out loud to others. Science says that the things we think have even farther reaching effects...take just 5 minutes and see what you think - no, choose what you think! Choose wisely, choose positively, choose happy.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

What Does The Future Hold For Entrepreneurs?

What do you think the future of commerce is? With brick-and-mortar retailers having such a hard time making a profit, and Amazon making it so easy to buy for less, and be delivered to your door next day, what does that mean for the future of jobs and entrepreneurship?
If brick-and-mortar stores continue to close, what will the commercial real estate owners do with the properties? Can we have all service type industries in places like Old Town and Downtown USA?
I’m interested in your thoughts.

Monday, July 25, 2016

What Your Remarks Really Tell

The older I get, the more I realize the things we say are so much more a reflection of us than they ever could be about whom we are speaking. Is it possible to really speak honestly about someone you do not know? Yeah, you can speak about something they did, or did not do and how you feel about that - at least what you think you know about it, but to call them names, to attack their families, well, that really just says more about you... From one who has been told her whole life she talks too much, there is an absolute need to say less and observe more.