"Our bodies and our souls are like cars and their drivers. Remember that you are the driver, not the vehicle." ~ Dr. Brian Weiss
April 2014 has been quite the month. I feel like so much has been turned on its ear. I've been quite a bit off-kilter, but it has been with great resolve that I've dug in my heels and weathered the various storms life has sent my way recently. And boy have I grown a LOT from it.
My own sense of self worth began to grow and flourish when I realized that there is no single human being on this planet who will like me, approve of me, or validate me 100% of the time. There will come a time in each and every relationship that we will disagree about something. It's human nature. It's nature itself. No two exactly alike. Some very similar but not one exact duplication.
I've always sought to be an individual, my own person, even throughout growing up with great pressure to 'be like' others in various ways, shapes and forms. But whenever I tried to do something against my preferences, solely in an attempt to 'fit in' somewhere, there's always been this rebellious part of me who still knows how to follow her heart and intuition, and which refuses to be muted so easily, herded in to the crowd to like what everyone else likes and do things how everyone else does them.
"Daily Mojo: Find the most popular TV shows, radio programs, movies, foods, drinks and entertainment - and AVOID them. Popularity breeds mediocrity, and you must break free from the cult of mediocrity." ~
And so, with recent disagreements with a few people close to me, I've started to learn to trust my decisions, because only I know my own gut feelings, only I can interpret them the way that feels best in my heart. Not everyone will agree with me 100% of the time, and so accepting and acknowledging that fact frees me from wondering what others think of my decisions, my choices and my life path. I'm no longer bound by the resentment that comes with 'people pleasing'. Yes, I am kind, compassionate, loving, and as non-judgmental as one human can be. However, I now also respect myself enough to set the standard for how others will or won't treat me. I don't have to be mean in expressing those standards; however, I will be firm and mean what I say. I trust and believe in myself enough to do so now.
If you're struggling with feelings of unworthiness, I believe you too can begin to reclaim your sense of self worth by learning to trust in yourself. How? Where to start? Keep self-promises. "Do no harm, but take no sh*t." Look up some affirmations. Don't judge or compare yourself to others. We are each a unique individual spark of creation and therefore comparing ourselves to another person is simply counterproductive and energy draining.
I leave you this week with a series of motivational, self-esteem-boosting memes, followed by info regarding a brand new 6-ish week Fitness & Nutrition Accountability Support Group on Facebook I'll be kicking off soon.
Looking for Motivation to Get Fit in Time for Summer?
There are approximately six weeks left until summer officially arrives on this side of the planet. And so, beginning on May 5 and running through June 21, I will be facilitating an Accountability & Support Group on Facebook. I'd love for you to join!!
Here's the scoop: I'm taking ONLY 15 members for this group. It'll last through the first day of summer, June 21. Daily accountability guaranteed. No purchase required. I've already had 3 spots confirmed and there are 2-3 others interested currently. I have a feeling this group will fill up fast!
The only two requirements for membership into the group are to:
-- sign up for a FREE Team Beachbody account at this link: www.beachbodycoach.com/sparkyourmotivation
-- post/comment regularly for the duration of the group
Anything goes = workout + nutrition plan of your choice. I can help recommend a workout and/or nutrition program (Beachbody or otherwise) if you'd like. Just let me know!
If you choose to purchase a Beachbody workout program, you'd be eligible to take part in the Beachbody Challenge, earn a free t-shirt and be eligible for cash prizes.
It's recommended that you take "before" photos, measurements and weight, as there are multiple ways of measuring progress. You'd be free to share your "befores" if you wish, or keep them private. Your choice!
Think it over and if you find you have any questions, ask away! I'd love to have you join me in making positive steps toward an amazing summer!! If you decide that this is the group for you, go ahead and sign up at the link mentioned above and let me know by commenting below or emailing me!
Until next time ...... Catch me in conversation on Facebook or Twitter or comment below. Let me know how you're preparing for an amazing summer. I look forward to chatting with you!
"I gave up years ago on the concept that you could actually have balance in your life. I think it's a phantom chase." - Barbara Corcoran
The more and more I experience life as a self-employed entrepreneur, not to mention a mom and a wife, the more I'm beginning to agree with Barbara Corcoran's statement.
I find that I have a tendency to vacillate between extremes. All or nothing. Then maybe, just maybe, I find a little balance in one aspect of life or another. But it's usually temporary, fleeting at best. Something happens or an opportunity comes along or life offers up a "plot twist" and balance goes right out the window again.
Take the past two weeks as an example. Prior to this time period, I'd been maintaining a consistent workout schedule streak, and then BOOM, a migraine hit. One that had me curled up in a ball in tears. There was no way I could exercise through it that day. And so the workout streak was laid to rest. And then life came along and dictated that I put my full and complete focus on our businesses, finances and income. So during the month of April, so far, I have worked out exactly five days out of seventeen. Now, luckily for me, since I work at home and have a two-year-old who keeps me on my toes, I'm never sitting for too terribly long at any one time. So I'm still active even when I'm not working out. It's the little blessings I count.
I've been eating... alright. Not the greatest but not the very worst either. I'm basically in maintenance mode currently while I attempt to ...ahem... "balance" other areas of my life. From one extreme to the other and back again. I *know* without a shadow of a doubt that I will *not* allow this to defeat me. There's NO way I would ever let it slip and slide away enough that I'd come anywhere close to "square one" (over 200lbs, that is). Nope. I'm simply rearranging priorities temporarily on an as-needed basis. No sweat.
No need to pile stress on top of stress by thinking I'm going to put all the weight back on that took me 4 years to whittle away!
I'm done trying to hunt down and capture that elusive thing called balance... put that right up there next to "perfection", right?! Life is messy. Life isn't a perfectly straight line. Life is ups and downs, highs and lows, twists and turns, and I'm here just doing my best to weather the unexpected storms and warrior my way through them as best I can. Even the best, most practiced juggler drops the occasional ball, right?! No biggie. Pick it up again and carry on juggling. Drop another, pick it up... or even leave it on the floor to roll away under the sofa if it's not doing you any good anyhow. Isn't it refreshing to know we have a choice in the matter? Many choices, including the choice to NOT get stressed out over balance and/or perfection.
Yep. I'm training for a full-blown marathon. In November. Still plenty of time to prepare. No biggie.
Let me know in the comments below... or come drop a line over on my Facebook page...
How do you feel about "balance"?
Best App for Getting Organized
Over the past months, I've literally been thinking and over-thinking myself into an anxiety-ridden panic attack on a near-daily basis, trying to stay on top of all my responsibilities - work, children, errands, housework, laundry and so on. Oh the life of a married, self-employed, work-at-home couple who also homeschool!
And so I knew that, at the very least, I needed to take action to become better organized. I needed someplace to jot down my to-do list, errands, appointments and so on. To get them out of my head, so I feel less clouded, less distracted, more focused, more confident.
I poked around in the iTunes Store and found an app that sounded promising. I thought I'd give it a go and see if it helped. I also promised a review of it here on my blog if it lived up to my high expectations.
Although I often still default to anxiety and feeling overwhelmed at the sheer amount of things I want and have to do, this app has lightened the load considerably. I can keep track of everything I have to do and it's so satisfying to check off each task or errand as I complete it.
You can also easily put tasks off, schedule recurring tasks and categorize each task to stay super organized. I've used it for a couple of weeks or so now and rely on it daily.
Best of all, apart from an optional in-app upgrade purchase ($2.99, which gets you cloud storage and a couple of other features), the app is completely FREE!
Find Errands To-Do List by Yoctoville in the iTunes App Store.
Come back and let me know how it works for you if you decide to give it a try!
I sometimes forget, but with practice and constant self-reminders it's getting easier to remember, that this business of becoming healthier and fitter is a process. It's a journey. It's not a sprint. It's a marathon.
Speaking of marathons, mine is a mere 211 days away!
Besides the fact that it's a process that has its ups and downs - I've said this before, and I'll say it again - it's as much a mental and emotional journey as it is a physical one.
It's been an unraveling of old worn out beliefs, it's been a pushing and breaking of every limit I've ever perceived of myself. And by no means am I done yet!
The past two weeks have wreaked emotional havoc on me, shaken me to my very core in some ways, and yet I'm still here. I know I'll be even stronger once I fully process the turmoil. I'm already stronger. Yes, workouts have been hit-or-miss during this same time period, but I haven't given up completely and I won't. EVER.
I'm learning how to become more patient with myself. I'm learning how to become patient with the process. The fitness process, as well as the process of life in general. I can't say it's necessarily getting any easier, but I AM getting stronger.
Since that migraine came along and broke my workout streak, I've been much more lax about my workouts in general. My aim is to not necessarily start a new streak and all the undue pressure it entails, but instead, I aim to have a healthier balance between pushing myself to work out and taking it a little easier on myself when needed. I'll continue on with P90X3 and running, only I'll modify the plan to suit my already insanely busy schedule and NOT feel guilty or bad about it! It's not like I'm going to put all the weight back on again if I miss a workout here or there, or don't work out as intensely as my schedule says I should. It's important to me to have a schedule, but it's MORE important to me to listen to my own body on a day-by-day basis.
That's life, full of unexpected twists and turns (PLOT TWIST!)... and I'm learning to be flexible and not so darn hard on myself over any of it. Remember, time really is on our side, even when it seems it isn't!
Do you have a habit of hurrying? Worrying? Share in the comments below, so I know I'm not alone.
Turns out, I've kind of burnt myself out just a little bit... plus the crazy weather is wreaking its usual early-spring havoc on myself and my family. While I love that it isn't snowing anymore, the early springtime temperature fluctuates pretty widely around here! I have a sore throat, a cough and congestion and I'm just plain exhausted, bone tired. So I'm resting up a little, taking a couple of days off from any sort of hard workout and being easy and gentle on myself until I'm feeling back up to par. I've been pushing so hard since December 1, 2013, and need to remember to pull back and integrate now and then, so I don't end up burnt out like this! And so, this week's #FitnessFriday blog post is going to be short, sweet and to the point.
Throughout the past week, I hosted a BIG giveaway on last week's #FitnessFriday blog post. Today, I announce the winners and share Team Beachbody's April challenge pack promotions for your consideration.
I'd also like to point you in the direction of a blog post I wrote earlier this week, in case you missed it. I took a little time to write on the subject of Overcoming Fear, as I work toward overcoming fear on many levels in my own life.
Now on to announcing the winners!
A BIG CONGRATULATIONS to the Giveaway Winners!!!
Virginia V. --- won the Sony Walkman Water Resistant MP3 Player and a P90X protein bar.
Jessica S. --- won the Shakeology Shaker Cup and sample of Vanilla Shakeology.
You'll both be receiving emails from me later today.
A huge THANK YOU to EVERYONE who entered!!
And a special sneaky surprise awaits the first two who comment on this blog post... if you've read this far... and if you're one of the first TWO to comment below, I'll send you a sample packet of Vanilla Shakeology. Comment below (being sure to include your email address) and I'll contact you for your mailing address.
APRIL CHALLENGE PACKS ON SALE...
Get an hour's results in 25 minutes a day! Trainer Shaun T gives you everything you need, nothing you don't. 25 minutes. 5 days a week. 100% results. The FOCUS T25™ Challenge Pack Promotion is reduced to $180 (normally $205).
Get a great booty with the help of the "Brazilian Butt Master," Leandro Carvalho. This program works your butt from multiple angles with Leandro’s proven TriAngle Training method to reduce your hips, slim your thighs, and lift your butt. Typically retailing at $160, this package will give your booty a lift for only $140.
All Team Beachbody Challenge Packs come with a 30 day supply of Shakeology, your daily dose of dense nutrition. It's simply the most delicious, superfood-packed protein shake on the planet. Chocolate is my very favorite flavor... sooooo yummy, it tastes like a dessert, but it's SO healthy!!
Best of all, if you order through me, you get me as your coach and I promise to help you stick with the workout/nutrition program of your choice, answer any questions or concerns you have along the way and stick by your side to help you achieve results and feel GREAT about yourself for sticking with something healthy and positive, and seeing it through, no matter the end physical results.
Comment below or message me with any questions you have, or for further details on these great packages and others available!
Thanks again to everyone who entered the giveaway and who keep coming back to read my humble blog posts. I truly appreciate all of you who come to visit my writings!!
Now to get over this seasonal sinus/cold stuff or whatever the heck it is!
Until next time... may we all strive toward happier, healthier lives... best to you all!
I am so very tired of this big lump of fear weighing down my chest. Making me feel so heavy, so burdened, so ..... unsafe. The Universe (my chosen 'label' for the power within / greater than our 'human' selves) has proven to me over and over again that I am safe, that I am cared for, that I am abundantly blessed in so many ways, yet I still allow this guest called fear in to my being, oftentimes still allowing it to make my choices for me.
Because it's familiar.
Because even though I cannot stand the feeling, it's been habit for so long, it scares me to feel confident, relaxed, fully at peace for too long, lest some black cloud comes to rain on my parade. Always wondering when the "other shoe will drop", because who am I to deserve such blessings? It was embedded in me from so long ago that we are to be fearful, wary, that we are wrong, sinful beings and have to work every moment of every day to prove our worth, to prove our 'salvation', to fight for acceptance, to 'fit in' to some box before we're worth anything. (I'm honestly not trying to bash the Christian -or any other- religion, so let's not get in to huge religious debates about who is 'right' or 'wrong', okay? This is merely where I believe a huge part of my fear and lack of self worth stem from, and perhaps that of others as well).
The fear feeling starts as a heavy feeling in my chest, over my heart, which works its way down to my belly, and from there down through my legs and throughout the rest of my body. I've fought through MUCH of that fear over the past few years and accomplished much, yet that same feeling returns, daily. Knock, knock. Oh hello familiar guest. I'm not such a big fan of your existence in my life like this, but come on in, because we go wayyy back and we cannot EVER let go of a relationship like THAT, now can we???
I believe it goes much deeper than just personal fear. It's a collective human fear, fear of things we don't really want to talk about because it scares us, so we put on masks, we put up facades, we argue and bicker about who and what is 'right' or 'wrong' and, in general, think OUR way is the ONLY way. We're afraid because we just DON'T KNOW, and so we cling to things with every fiber of our very being in order to feel some level of security and safety out here in the great unknown.
I'm open to being open about things I don't know. I love learning from others' perspectives, and I do my best not to judge harshly those views or actions which may oppose my own. We each have our own inner compass and if we learn, and I mean really put forth the effort to learn and practice, listening to our innermost guidance, our heart, our spirit, our soul, then we would ALL be 'right' even when we're behaving and operating from different perspectives, viewpoints, belief systems and preferences. And it would just be OK to be ourselves, fully and freely, without fear of judgment, non-acceptance, taunting, teasing, bullying, feeling alone and so on ...........
And we could all help one another along toward what makes our individual hearts sing..... what makes us happy..... what makes us fearless, confident and at peace. Because, really, that's what we're all hunting for, right? Peace? Love? Hope that all is well, even with all the great unknowns that surround us?
I personally am just exhausted by the end of the day, NOT physically in the least, but mentally and emotionally, because of the fears, doubts, indecision, worry and anxiety placed upon myself, by myself, simply from the collective judgmental thoughts we all think about ourselves and others. I have proven over and over to myself, by overcoming fear one bit at a time, that I am capable of so much more than I allow myself to believe. And SO ARE YOU.
I'm tired of guessing what others think of me, how others view me, seeking approval, acceptance, encouragement and support from outside myself.... because, well, I figure if I'm so busy up in my head judging myself from others' perspectives, then I'm guessing others are doing the same.......
And so, I've vowed to myself to do my very best at accepting others just AS they are just WHERE they are, because we're all living out the projections of our deepest fears, hopes, dreams, loves, likes and hates. We're ALL self-centered like that. So, if I can just accept that about myself AND about others, then maybe........
I can be less fearful.
And remember that I AM safe.
I AM me and that is okay.
I'll accept you as you are whether you accept me as I am or not.
It's not about me. It's not about you. It's about us.
It's about us pulling ourselves together and out of fear to really and truly care for ourselves just the way we are (end self-loathing!!!) and those lives we touch outside ourselves.
Let's truly start supporting each other.
Leave a compliment in the comment section below for the commenter above you. If you're the first to comment, leave an encouraging comment for whoever may read this after you. Thank you!
I still have a GIVEAWAY going on HERE. Ends Thursday, April 3 at 11:59pm -- Enter NOW to win!! :D
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