30 April 2009

You CAN ...CHANGE the script for a better part



No, I am not placing blame, but just stating the facts. I can say that today, we have so many resources available to us to help us to empower our minds and our will. IF you are ideal, in perfect order, then I send you my praises, and say, "good for you!" We are all works in progress throughout our lifetimes. However, if you are not ideal, and you resist these tools to better yourself, I say, "you are missing out on something huge, and you are hurting yourself."

Many of us can look to our childhood, yours truly included, and realize that we were programmed incorrectly, perhaps on purpose, or perhaps just because our parents did not know better. Not to knock them, they did the best they can, but the real matter is, we have to reinvent what we were taught.

As an adult, I have come to learn a lot about my very own childhood, one that I tell many was a good childhood, but honestly speaking, it was a childhood filled with it's share of dysfunction. A dysfunction that was considered, "normal."

I had hard working parents -- role models yes? They were business partners, and had some respect for one another. However, they differed immensely. My father, was a doer, a believer in the Obama ideal, "Yes we can!" He carried this throughout his life and still lives by that decree to this day. I think I inherited some of those "yes I can" genes from him given the way my life has played out, and how I have strived to keep my head up, my health in tact, and my attitude bright despite all my adversities! This is my life and I would never allow outside forces or people to topple it down against my will!

My mother was a hardworker and one to be admired by anyone outside looking in. However, behind the scenes, something was going on that I had no idea about and I have come to learn in recent years that my father lived with his OPPOSITE. Do opposites attract? I don't know if I can believe in that, but I know that these opposites paved the way to the person I am today, as well as my twin sister.

How in the world can you go through life, with a partner who believes in "I CAN'T" and still manage to be successful? How do you stare at the face of someone who carries the dark, conspicuous (yes conspicuous because I look back and remember her sad face) mask of "Hopelessness," and feel inspired wanting to try anyway for more than 30 something years?

I think something greater than my father managed to conceal my mother's true personality from us because as a child growing up, I don't recall (this could just be old age/my memory limits) perceiving my mother as a "quitter," or a "pessimist."

As parents, we need to stop and think about our REAL day-to-day existence in the midst of our children. We need to really understand that even if our children are going about their lives, with school, their activities, their friends, smiling in front of us, enjoying whatever we do for them, wearing nice clothes, having all the great gadgets and toys.... in between ALL of that, we are also imprinting OUR mindsets in their subconscious. Do not for a moment think otherwise.

We love to say things like, "My daughter is just like me," and "my son is just like is father," or vice versa. We think it's just "cool" to brag about the relevance of our children to ourselves as parents. This notion gives credence to the fact that they are indeed, "our children." But wait.......should that be your goal??

Who are you as a parent? Who are you as a person????????? Do you possess joy in your heart? Do you share your love? Do you love yourself??? Do you set an example to your children by doing, trying, striving, loving, living, caring, giving, being positive throughout?

I remember growing up being told, "No you can't play basketball because sports are a waste of time." I also heard,"no you can't wear that, it does not suit your body," and "you can't do that, people like us don't do that sort of thing." Sometimes, I remembering hearing (being told to me, or my sister), "You will never be able to.........." Wow. It was "Parenting 101" back in the 70s..80s.. and it's what they knew. But it was sealing a false notion that could linger FOREVER, that says, "don't aspire for certain things," because for one reason or another, "it's not for you." It was a set up for defeat in life, relationships, career, health.... you name it!

In hindsight, I realize that in the past 10 years or more of my life, I was fighting something and I did not know what it was, but I knew I had to fight. My life had it's many obstacles, challenges, disappointment, and in the midst of it all, I sought to find the courage to not let it keep me down.

I have recently learned that my upbringing truly could have forced me into a different direction, and I wonder if I would have been able to find myself to THIS place where I am at today. My mother and I were great friends for a great part of my life. I remember being in my early 20s, working on Wall Street and not letting a day go by that I did not speak to her. She was like my best friend. I found comfort in her. She saved me a few times from situations that I thought were incredibly challenging. Just the way you want a mother to be...... THERE for YOU. You can't imagine, and one day, I shall write that book to tell the entire story.

However, while I was lost in my woes and happy to have her to cling to for moments of each of my days, I failed to realize where SHE was at. Throughout my teen years until I was in my 30s, my mother was unhappy being married. I first thought she was unhappy with my father, however it was a bit hard to accept that since my father was good about keeping us in a nice home (along with her efforts), happy and living a pretty good life. I just thought, she just does not like being married. Some marriages just don't work.

Overtime I learned, that it was ALWAYS her "I CAN'T" attitude that plagued her, possibly had her depressed during various parts of her life and still now. For years when I was in my teens, she suffered with major back problems and I remember staring at her laying on the floor (since she could not get into a bed) crying in agony about the pain, all the while repeating that "she can't get up, can't move, can't do anything." She eventually found out about nutrition and helped with some of her issues, but she still needed more HELP. Today she listens to the news, she sees one side of things... the bad side. She believes in one spirituality.... "HOPELESSNESS." She still needs empowerment and wellness to overcome her attitude. It's all about a choice and following through.

I know in MY heart that there are many parents out there TODAY, especially now amidst these times we are living in, who are emitting this same (or similar) mindset/attitude, daily in their household for their children to soak up and carry in their souls. Some have lost jobs, some have illnesses, some just don't make enough money, or some are just bothered by the economy and our government .... and all are letting these OUTSIDE elements create a mindset that is debilitating, defeatist and toxic to themselves and their children. The "I CAN'Ters" are still chanting loudly, while not offering or seeking a single solution for something better. How can this help?

If you think that you can justify telling your child that you are angry or giving up because of what is going on around you ... and think "they understand," you are wrong. You are not making them more mature. You are not teaching them reality. That is not reality because reality is what you choose to do and believe... not what is being done. This is a changed world, and we need to change for the better.

It's tough --- I know firsthand.... Life is the biggest challenge. But, don't consciously make it the legacy you leave for your children. We must TRY, we must DO.... we must have HOPE....

Today, I thank God for (a) allowing me to absorb some of my father's qualities, (b) for allowing me the time to have embraced my mother when I needed her, (c) for realizing what NOT to do as a Mother raising children.

Daily, I tell my children to try .... before they mistakenly think they can't. In my house, CAN'T is the DIRTIEST 4 letter word. Keep that obscenity out of your life, and away from your children. Give them all the encouragement you CAN. Consider that, what you for yourself for them to SEE, and what you do for them today, may just make their lives that much better and healthier tomorrow.

Re-write your Life Script!

27 April 2009

What's in your blood?????

Do you keep up with all your bloodwork?

Do you have copies of all your bloodwork for the past 10 years?

Do you go over your bloodwork with your doctor in detail?

Do you watch for fluctuations in results? For example, do you compare year over year, your cholesterol readings?

Do you know the significance of HDLs, LDLs, and triglycerides? Do you know the importance of each of these numbers?

Do you make sure your doctor does not dismiss you and tell you, you are within the range without making sure you are within a range you have always been in?????

Do you understand your bloodwork ? Or do you sit and just listen to your doctor say, "you are fine."

If you can't answer YES to ALL of these questions, then you put your trust of YOUR health in someone else's hand....

Even if you are the healthiest person, you should care about all of these issues and more.

If you bother to check your investments everyday, or your bank account, or how much taxes came out of your check, or the healthy growth of your grass.......

Then you should make CERTAIN to know, exactly what state of health you are in --- and what it all REALLY and TRULY means!

Start putting yourself first!

24 April 2009

Looking from the inside out


The significance of the flame designs are that the Truth is simple, Deceit however is more complex. Both are fire and of the same source depicting the duality of free will. The Flame of truth is blood wood and the fire of deceit is Peruvian walnut.
Here we have a piece of woodwork symbolizing the concept of Truth and Deceit. - Metzig Woodworks.com


In it's very artistic state, the woodwork captures the essence of a what human beings struggle with. On the outside, perhaps you have a great job (if you do, very good for you), a nice home, a nice car, great clothing, shoes, jewelry, vacations, investments, family, friends. You have it all! Anyone looking at you is thinking your life is PERFECT.

Is it perfect? Is it what you have always aspired for? Have you succeeded with all that you have wanted? Are you worry free? Are you healthy and happy? Are you loving your present moment? Are you at peace with all of those who are around you? Do you feel enthusiastic everyday when you get out of bed ? Do you embrace how wonderful your life is and those in your lives who you love? Are you loving the person you are inside??

These are very tough questions and bring us back to our artistic piece of woodwork. We should ask ourselves, am I living with myself in complete truth, or am I deceiving myself ?? What shows on the outside, is merely an image (an idea) that you want to present to the world, to the people you know... to seek approval and praises. But what about what is going on inside, is there peace or a mini-war?

There is solid proof that if you have issues going on inside your mind and body that plague you daily, then you should consider having a re-balancing. Worries, fears, and discontent are a red flag that something is not right. The false belief is, if you have that "perfect" outside life (that people admire and envy) then you should not complain and should not have any worries.

Why not be healthy? Why resist it? Does it also seem right that along with that lovely home and $50,000 car, that you should show your friends and family that you go to the best doctors? The best psychologist? Does it seem right that behind closed doors, you dislike your job, dislike your boss, perhaps even dislike your family? Does it seem ok that you have insecurities? Does it seem right that you should struggle with the same demons year in and year out??? People have become complacent about living their lives with all this "stuff" going on, pretending it's not, when deep down inside they are longing for a real, honest to goodness, CHANGE.

What is great about our lives is, we have a choice to do something about what is wrong with the inside of our lives, our minds, our bodies. We do NOT have to live and wait to break down and fall apart. We CAN save ourselves from unnecessary emotional obstacles. We can learn effective and life long tools and behaviors that can enable us to be positive healthy functioning souls in all branches of our lives.

Don't wait to "lose" it, don't wait to have to run to the hospital, don't wait until your family falls apart, don't wait until major medications are the only recourse. Don't wait until it's too late and no one wants to be part of your world anymore. Don't think "this is about as good as it gets." Don't follow what has been done before you.... and failed. It can get better. There is a TON of good in you and a TON of good living for you to experience. And you can still live in the midst of "things going wrong," (since things will ALWAYS go wrong) and stay strong, healthy and focused in the process, which will in turn help those around you to cope better too!

The mind is a powerful tool, but if it is not strengthened just as someone would go to the gym and lift weights, it can become weak, sickly and subject to many infections and ailments. A sickly mind impacts all aspects of your being and then it infects all who is around you.

Strengthening your mind will DEFINITELY strengthen the way you live, making you truly appreciative of who you ARE.... and what you have!!!! If we all spread this new spirit, perhaps we can shift from "stuff going wrong," to "stuff going RIGHT"

23 April 2009

Well? ... So what are you going to do?



How is the health and wellness of YOUR life? On a scale of 1 to 5, 1 being "not ideal," and 5 being "ideal and balanced," where do you rank yourself? You are supposed to be at 4 or 5!!!

Do you keep putting off YOU to tend to other things that you think are more important?

Be honest, who is more important than YOU?

If you don't invest in YOU, you can NOT truly invest in anything or anyone else fully. If you go through your day feeling sad, bad, aches and pains, worry, fears, disgust, hopelessness, dissatisfaction, weak, sickly...... then you need to change your situation, and it begins with taking care of your mind, body and soul. There is no other solution!

Whatever you have tried in the past obviously did not work, so it's time to consider a brand new approach, a life-changing approach, so you can finally achieve what you need to achieve so that you CAN wake up everyday feeling GREAT to be alive, able to go through your day with a smile, with great bodily feelings, and the ability to focus on whatever it is you do with positive energy.

This is possible, and don't let any old thought, or anyone tell you differently.

You certainly don't want the regrets tomorrow, of not caring for yourself today. You have to remember that what you do TODAY, will show on you TOMORROW. So it only makes sense that TODAY is the only day that counts!!!

If you can't go it alone, enlist the support you need -- the true support that will help you on your journey. Stay away from any misery --- misery loves company -- so RSVP a big fat NO THANK YOU to that stale, outdated invitation!!!

You must immerse yourself in the truth that you have the power to create a new healthy, happy, energetic YOU. Get the help you need to make it happen! Once you start on your journey, you will be AMAZED how fantastic the trip is, and you won't want to go back!

21 April 2009

Working on me..and wanting to help others ...is who I am


Who am I? I can first start by telling you who I am not. I was not born an athlete. I was not born skinny with a fast metabolism. I did not have such an easy life that allowed for me to enjoy sheer happiness throughout. My parents worked long, hard hours which meant my twin sister and I had to behave ourselves, study and keep the house clean. We did not grow up with a fit healthy family destined for a healthy, happy life. I had to work to get there on my own.

I clearly remember having many colds as a young child and having to stay home from school. As I mentioned in another blog a few weeks ago, I was diagnosed with asthma and bronchitis when I was about 10 years old. The pediatrician told my mother that I should "take it easy," and not run around too much because it would make my condition worst. She said, "ok." I had inhalers. I did not enjoy that time of my life.

I never played sports as a young child like how my children play now. Since kindergarten (age 5) both my children have played t-ball, soccer, baseball/softball. My son played football for a few years and he did Tae Kwon Do. Both now are participating in Track and Field as well. When I was growing up, we just ran around in the yard or rode our bikes around the neighborhood -- that was about it. Well, I decided the doctor was probably wrong, and I decided to get back outside and run around as much as possible. I had a need to run around.

It was not until I was in high school that I learned to play tennis during the summers. For the rest of the year, I pretty much started to explore the world of exercise on my own. Sure my mother would do her little floor exercises, but nothing significant on a regular basis. As a matter of fact, much of my teen years, I watched my mother lay on the floor suffering from endless back pains. Luckily today, she has found her way to healthy eating and lots of walking, and her back issues are a distant memory.

Like most teenage girls, I surely started to care about my appearance and my weight and I tried some of the crazy diets that were popular: starvation, cabbage soup, starvation, salads. Time and time again, I would get the same results, lose some weight... gain it back. Self-esteem was in the forefront of my mind. I had my share of stomach issues and headaches too. My mother surely did not know at that time what to do -- just take a pill, drink some tea.

By the time I went off to college, I did discover aerobics, and so I did as much of it as I could in my dorm room since I was lucky enough to NOT have a roommate in the beginning. But all my efforts went sour during the second semester when I did have a roommate because now I did not have the space or the ability to "do my thing." It bothered me because I knew the exercise was benefiting me on so many levels. I did some running around campus here and there to make up the lost indoor aerobics.

As I approached my 20s, I started running with my father, and I give him all the credit for introducing me to long distance running. He taught me the concept of "slow and steady wins the race," and it's something I have held onto all these years. The fact was, I did not have the "makeup" to be a speed demon and I accepted that. Slowly I started to add more and more time and distance to my runs. In the beginning, there was lots of walking at first. Eventually, there was less walking and more running. It gave me a new sense of confidence.

I also belonged to various gyms over the years where I tried out many different types of exercise to (a) see if I liked it, (b) liked the outcome and to (c) accept a new challenge. Some stuff just was not for me, and so I would just move on. I came to realize that the world of fitness had so much to offer and the best way to find out what was interesting to me was to at least try something at least once. Some stuff I did for the body benefits, and others I did for the sheer enjoyment!

I took time out to learn about the different benefits of strength training, aerobic, anaerobic, flexiblity training, etc. I also worked hard to incorporate some of everything in order to be ideally fit.

Along with learning about exercise, I took the time to learn about food and how it benefited the body as well. I spent a lot of time learning about nutrition. Over the years, I have made adjustments because I notice that the body is always changing as we age, and information about nutrition has become more helpful and abundant. The stuff we know now is AMAZING! Food has true purpose.

My life has had it's share of conditions and illnesses, and I always took the time to continue with my fitness and investigate ways to avoid medications. I knew that medications were not for me. I hated the way they made me feel and I make an effort to avoid them as much as possible. My efforts shine through on a daily basis because I can say I enjoy good health throughout!

My personal life had it's share of turmoil and throughout I became my own therapist, my own personal trainer and my own nutritionist, always seeking to find out how to make things work, and how to maintain an ideal "self." I did this in the midst of watching other family members continue to make poor health choices. Some came to me over time asking for help and I would surely help.

One thing I learned early on was that if I kept my mind and body strong, I would keep my ability to handle life strong as well. When all the personal strifes were happening in my life, no one could tell because I let my light and my strength shine throughout. Feeling healthy and being healthy came easy to me despite what may have been happening --- good or bad.

I surely have an immense amount of knowledge about fitness tips/routines, nutrition (foods, food preparation, supplements) and I could be a wonderful personal trainer to just about anyone.

The one thing I know I can help someone with -- someone who struggles to balance their entire life and maintain a good sense of WELLNESS --- is with their mindset and overcoming all the FEARS, and false beliefs they have about themselves and all the misinformation they have about true WELLNESS.

I am a true advocate of caring for one's self, a true supporter, a true motivator and I can make you believe in you and change your life for the best!!

18 April 2009

Hibernation in Northeastern US


Do you fly to the south at the end of the Fall and suddenly reappear in your circles, trying to warm up your wings in the Spring?

Do you pile on your furry coat in December and crawl into a cave inconspicuously gathering up anything that you can find to keep you comforted until the last chill dissipates into the atmosphere around Easter?

Sorry to say we are not birds, and we are not bears, and our lives truly need a sense of balance that guides us throughout the changing seasons, year in and year out, so that we can maintain health, happiness and the desire to live life as much as possible.

The cold can be debilitating, sapping your energy, sapping your enthusiasm, freezing it over to a state that lasts for 5 months or more. If this is what happens to you every year without fail, then you really need to seek out new survival techniques.

Most likely as many of us do love to indulge in those scrumptious comfort foods that truly warms and fattens our bellies, we manage to transform our once fit summer/fall physiques, into a culmination of turkey-holiday-fat tuesday-easter-fat rabbit creations! During the "growing" season, we also pile on lots of sadness, lack of self-control, self-pity, and despair. Throughout, we justify that "it's too cold to exercise," "it's too cold to eat salads," "it's just for the winter," "as soon as the weather improves, I will get back on track."

Well, these choices do nothing but create a huge burden on one's self because you have to prime yourself all over again to "get back to the person who you once were, and want to be again."

It is time to make a conscious decision to change the old way of thinking and to dispel the need to rely on the "idea" of resolutions. If you are making the same resolutions every year, then it means that you are failing every year. A resolution should be to improve something you are already working on, or to accomplish something NEW.

It's the perfect time to build a new way of thinking and to realize that being true to yourself is something you should do year round because it will prohibit you from having to redo the same thing year in and year out. Things that are redone year in and year out should put a smile on your face, such as gardening or starting a new project!

Make a choice to have one less thing to worry about --- yourself, and stay on your path of wellness ALL of the time!

Admiring yourself is just as important


Do you easily walk around admiring other people, noticing exactly what is so wonderful about them and even making an effort to tell them? That's a wonderful thing. It's great when we take time out to uplift one another and paying compliments surely does that!

Do you also have your share of people who admire you? You are constantly hearing how great you are, or how you brighten people's day with your smile or your loving attitude. That too, is a wonderful thing. Again, you get uplifted in this way and it makes you feel good about yourself and your existence.

So now we have a pie, 1/3 of it comprises of you admiring people, and another 1/3 is made up of the people who admire you, and we have 1/3 more that needs to be designated. That 1/3 is equally important to the other 2/3 and it is the necessity of YOU admiring YOU.

Are you the type of person who yes, smiles when you get your compliments, throws the compliments to others, but deep inside you are truly not happy with the person you are. You often sit and reassure yourself that you don't deserve the compliments that people give you and you even question the credibility of what they have said to you. Well if you are haunted by such thoughts, then you are probably not happy with the choices you have made in your life.

The first most important thing that should matter to you is how happy you are with yourself. It's not justified by what others say but by what you say to yourself. Perhaps you truly are a fantastic person but your thoughts don't allow you to believe that. This needs to change. You need to learn why you would have these negative thoughts about yourself and make an effort to undo them. Most likely you just need a renewed spirit, and a renewed plan about how you will live your life. Sit down and speak honestly about what is missing and what you need. Acknowledge truthfully if you feel great when you get out of bed everyday.

Inevitably we should all continue to admire each other, but we should simply admire ourselves because we truly love who we are as individuals!

Don't get discouraged


I have seen and heard many people get discouraged and drop a program to get fit and eat healthy, because they don't see immediate results. I urge anyone starting something new to do two things in the beginning. The first thing is to believe in yourself which may be something new within itself but it's truly important to grasp that concept in order to see results. The second thing is to believe in the program you are starting and the person that may have introduced it to you.

There are no quick fixes particularly if you are embarking on making changes to something that has been in place and obviously not working for many years. If you have jumped from one thing to another, still having not found an ideal solution for achieving your goals, it may be time that you realize that you need a new approach and that you truly need a caring and informed support system.

Just because you have tried many times before to enhance your health and failed, does not mean there is no hope for you. There is hope when you are able to find someone or something that will help you to start believing in yourself while introducing you to the true tools that will enable you to achieve your goals as well as maintain your renewed mindset for a lifetime.

Food for thought:

Have you ever decided to get up and exercise and 10 or 15 minutes into your session you still don't feel good, or your breathing is hampered? Do you honestly believe that athletes just get up and sail through their workouts with no obstacles ALL of the time?

This is where you need to put aside the desire to get discouraged, and become encouraged. It's about choosing the positive over the negative.

Allow yourself a chance to see what happens after that 15 minutes. It's your journey into the unknown and you should venture there because you may just find new discoveries about yourself when you get there. You will find that it was your mind that kept you close to home.

Ultimately when you keep increasing the steps you take on your travel to a healthier destination, you will surely be proud of yourself and you will FEEL the results of your efforts.

With the same anticipation that a person has when they say things like, "Oh I would love to take a trip to Hawaii or to Italy because I hear it's so beautiful," one should believe that a trip to wellness would be just as beautiful because they have heard people talk about it. What's even better about the trip to wellness over a lovely trip to Hawaii is, you never have to leave!!!

16 April 2009

Not to confuse taking care of self with being selfish


Perhaps you have had someone tell you that you are selfish because you make a concerted effort to take time out everday to do things for yourself, for your enjoyment or your betterment. Well that is a gross misuse of the word "selfish," since selfish means to be overly egotistical and only care about yourself and your advancement.

The word selfish has received a lot of negative connotations but luckily we now have a vast amount of words that include the word "self," that can override the word selfish, and quite frankly we can banish selfish from our vocabulary forever!

Self is truly important as we find out more and more everyday. You can not give yourself positively onto someone else, or to some thing without being an ideal self ... yourself. If you are to love someone else, you need to love yourself first because that shines onto the other person. Loving yourself means taking time out to care for your mind, body and soul. The effort you put into doing this on a daily basis will shine out in the world amongst those you are with, and whatever it is you are doing. As you go through your day, your thoughts will tend to stay positive and now you can shift your focus off of yourself and onto someone or something else without feeling bogged down with your issues. You can give without self-restraint!

If you are creating a wonderful self, you bring more positive self qualities to the surface, such as being self-disciplined and self-educated. You have lots of self-esteem, self-expression..... self-respect. Now those are huge attributes! When you care for yourself, you become, self-satisfied and self-supporting since you don't need to seek answers or feel helpless! You tend to exercise more self-control knowing that self-importance comes from self-love!

When you don't care for yourself, quite the opposite happens which opens you up to self-criticism, self-denial, and possibly being self-centered because you seek self-pity in your sadness which leads to self-recrimination! All of this is a recipe for self-destruction!

So the next time someone mistakenly tells you that the care you give yourself is self-centered behavior, smile at them and just say, "thank you!!" Your light, your health and your energy will shining through! Perhaps it will be self-explanatory to others that the better person is the person who takes the time out to learn, to grow and to care first for themselves and then happily for others!

Be good to yourself!

14 April 2009

Why exercise belongs in your life

Have you had something in your life that you have done consistently over the years that you KNOW in your HEART adds goodness to your life? For me, it's exercise! Asthma and bronchitis run in my family and I have aunts who have been negatively afflicted with these illnesses to this day. I too was diagnosed with these illnesses when I was about 10 years old, and my pediatrician had the NERVE to tell me to stop exercising. I went from being a normal child who ran around everyday in the yard, yes gasping sometimes, to becoming a sedentary unhappy child. That did not last long because being still was not something I was good at. Within months, I resumed my usual activities, and those illnesses never plagued me ever again!

Very soon after that, a few summers in a row, my mother signed my sister and I up for tennis classes at the local high school. It was cheap and I still appreciate to this day that she did that for us. I became a pretty good tennis player and regretted not playing in college. Over recent years, I have not played a lot but one day I plan to take it up again.

From there, the family would go walking and running at the track together. It was my father who taught me how to become a long distance runner. I remember mornings in the early 80s, a show called the "20 minute workout" used to air around 5 a.m. Looking back it was pretty cheesy, but it at that time, it was my Aerobic exercise for the start of my day. Along with that, I bought exercise books, and eventually when I was able to buy my first car (all by myself), and I joined a gym.

After my car was stolen, I took my exercise to the basement of my parents' house, every night, aerobics, free weights. When I moved into my tiny studio apartment in Manhattan, I took to the scary streets of Manhattan to run in the early a.m. knowing I had to be showered, dressed and at work by 7 a.m. Eventually, I joined New York Road Runners and I had friends who ran, and so I would run with friends sometimes or by myself. I knew running was "my thing," but I always did other things because I felt it necessary to have a backup plan. What if 2 feet of snow fell? What to do on the short days of winter when it would be dark upon waking and dark when I got home from work? I was lucky too because halfway through my years at my company, they moved into a new building which had a gym! This is the truth about that gym: With thousands and thousands of employees, I was the FIRST person to set foot inside and work out there!

In 1993, I ran my first NYC marathon, not so great, but nonetheless, it was a great accomplishment! With many races in between, as well as various gym memberships, I ran another marathon in 2004. I redeemed myself in 2004 because I ran a very comfortable, respectable and happy race that day. I even went to the gym the day after, and 10 days straight after that, which is something I surely was NOT able to do when I ran in 1993. In 1993, I could barely walk the day after the marathon, and so I had to stay home from work. My great run in 2004 was due to sensible training. Keep in mind, I was married with my two children at the time, working full-time. It surely can be done, you just have to schedule into your life.

Now I am a well rounded person because I just enjoy the fact that there is so many different things a person can do to stay fit and actually ENJOY exercise. I have a repertoire of exercise equipment and I just mix it up sometimes. Sometimes after a 4 or 5 mile run, I come back and do bits and pieces of stuff, like an awesome 20 minute Kettlebell workout, then hula hoop for 10 mins, then toning, and some core work. Everyday is not the same routine and this is just what I do for now. Knowing me, I will switch it up again, especially since I know life will inevitably switch up stuff on me! One thing I know for sure, everyone should spend a little time everyday doing something good for their bodies!

Here are 10 good reasons why EXERCISE should be a priority in your life:

1. Exercise is for overall life conditioning. It can either be done to maintain good health, to achieve good health, or to strive for a goal.
2. You can find the time to exercise and it can be in a variety of ways. It's not about trying to lose weight, but more so about giving your body the love it needs.
3. Exercise energizes you. The more you exercise, the stronger you become. Wherever you start from, if you keep at it, you will get better at it.
4. Exercise helps with mental function. You will indeed have clearer thinking.
5. Exercise elevates your mood and lessens depression. People around you will be happier too!!
6. If you really can't do it by yourself, find someone to exercise with because it will benefit you both, and enhance your relationship. BUT, truly inspire one another to keep at it.
7. Someone who exercises consistently is less prone to health issues. Exercise can have really and truly have positive effects on various illnesses. This has been proven.
8. Probably the best reason is, it's very good for your heart.... CARDIO!
9. You can eat more, but you will exercise even better, if you make healthier choices.
10. Your clothes will fit better and you will breathe better.

Aren't these great reasons to do this for yourself???


13 April 2009

Movie Bingeing....who me?

I enjoy going on "movie watching" binges! It's the only way I am able to see SOME of the so called great movies that come out. The only time I choose to go to the movie theater though, is with my children since it's a low cost "family" outing which they appreciate. Low cost? Am I crazy? I remember the fantastic matinees for $1.50! Today, for the 3 of us to see a movie, it costs about $40.00 and that only includes movie tix, popcorn and water. At those prices, I make certain to drive an extra 15 minutes to the "cushier" theatre with the Jet Blue extra legroom high back rocking seats!!

The last few days, after my runs, I have returned to my house and decided to treat myself to a movie each day while I lengthen my workout with extra cardio, weights and toning. An extra 1 1/2 to 2 hrs of exercise with some entertainment... can't knock it! I can admit that I do not get sucked into all the media hype when a movie first comes out. I know the movie is not going anywhere and it does not matter to me that I am not able to join into all the conversations folks are having around me about the movie they just saw!

From my treasured mentor, Eckhardt Tolle, I did learn last year this time that some movies are just not good for the soul. I would have to agree. I am not judging anyone on their choice of movie genres, but I have to say that for myself, it's not healthy to watch certain things. I truly pay attention to what disturbing movies do to me, my mindset, my emotions, and it does NOT feel good. I can NOT justify why I would want to feel entertained by senseless violence and some other very disturbing topics. Yes, there are some great movies that have these elements, but they truly move you. I make a choice, at times, NOT to be moved in those directions.

I need to toss out some praises to a few people though because while I watched their movies, I really and truly felt they had a TRUE PURPOSE in mind when they decided to embark upon their projects. Tyler Perry is a new appreciation for me. At first, when all the "Madea" movies came out, I immediately thought it was just nonsense. It seemed he kept doing the same thing over and over, and perhaps he was. However, he has grown as an artist and I see fantastic things to come from him in the future. On Friday, I watched, "Why did I get married?" It was riveting. Sure there is a lot of "stuff" happening in the movie that is almost unbelievable, but I began to realize, it was surely believable. He brings a lot of TRUTH to the screen which I respect.

Yesterday, finally, after all this time, after all the glory, all the awards, and above all.... all "my" apprehension.... I watched, "Slumdog Millionaire." As it got underway, I had my preconceived opinions starting a little conversation in my head, mostly to the tune of, "ok, let's see what is soooo great about this movie." I had my weighted vest on, AND weights in my hand, as I had intended to continue working out, toning up. I just knew that "this" movie would probably only need part of my attention because as a multi-tasker, I try to figure out how to accomplish more than one thing at a time. I need to work on that :)!

Well, within the first five minutes, the weights were on the floor, the vest came off, and I was involved with "Slumdog!" When I consider that some people actually criticized it, I can only imagine that they must have seen a different movie than what I saw. However, to each his own. I respect that. It was sheer genius, and to me, it had a lot of purpose. Whether or not Danny Boyle's purpose was to take home an Oscar (or 10 Oscars) or not, he managed to put a "lot of movie," into ONE movie. I so appreciate that since it seems that so many times a movie comes out and it just falls short in so many, many ways.


Both of these movies inspire me to remember that LIFE has PURPOSE. My life has a purpose, and your life has a purpose.

11 April 2009

Easter break can be a bit heartbreaking

April 2008 on our cruise

Yesterday I spent a nice "just the three of us" day with my children since they would be leaving in the evening to join their father for this year's April vacation week. Nia is a sweet, but challenging little girl because she does not eat much during the designated meal times which can be frustrating. However, there are those odd times that she comes back chewing and swallowing like a champion!

For breakfast I created a lovely batch of Apple-Pear Multi-Grain Pancakes (organic of course) accompanied by a perfect Pete and Gerry's sunny side up egg, one each for the kiddies. All of this chased with juices and vitamins!

We went to see the movie, "Race to Witch Mountain," which the children enjoyed and so did I since I dozed on and off during the entire middle and end. This all happened after there was no more popcorn to keep me busy awake chewing! LOL! Great movie! From there we ran some errands and returned home to do some chores and I made a late lunch. My goal, when I know they will be gone from me for a while, is to pack their little bodies with a lot of good nutrition. It gives me great comfort that I send them on their way strengthened in more ways than one.

I made a lovely Asian stir fry, laced up with veggies galore, chicken and noodles and a mild and lite amount of teriyaki sauce so that it would not overpower and over salt the dish. The children indulged to their hearts content, and to my delight, Nia ate 85% of the impressive quantity that I put on her plate. This warmed my heart.

After our late lunch, we decided to take photos with one another which would become very small keepsakes for the children to take with them for their vacation. Nia especially loved the idea so that she would be able to stare at her pics and feel close to me while she was away.

Onto baseball with Miles and luckily it was not raining...yet. While he practiced, Nia and I ran around the field, just playing, chatting, laughing and hanging out with some other friends. When it was almost over, their father showed up, so Nia and I left Miles with him and dashed home to do "girl things." I washed her hair, conditioning and the whole nine yards converting her into a fresh new gal ready to embark on "spring break" mania!

Now it was almost 8:30 pm, and I had to surrender to the fact that she was to leave me now and join her father and brother. Though she snacked a bit here and there, she said, "Mommy, I am hungry." I looked at the clock and I dreaded the idea of feeding her at that time of night, but I certainly saw the hunger in her face. We decided to stop at one of our favorite pizza parlors for their tasty "chicken fries." Fresh out the oven, hot and so aromatic....not the healthiest thing in the world, but definitely a "picker upper," and a quick "hunger pleaser!"

We drove up to the parlor and I got out of the car, and then opened the back door to let Nia out. She was excited. Lots of people were there, but luckily I was smart enough to call the order in before leaving the house, so they were ready when we got there. Nice folks in there.... Mario's Pizza! I paid for the fries and we were ready to walk out, get in the car, so that Nia could munch away at the fries.

I reached my hand out to Nia for her to hold as we left the parlor and she suddenly looked extremely sad. How did she go from looking so happy (anticipating the fries) to becoming so very, very sad in those few moments??? I asked her, "why do you look so sad?" And her eyes welled up with tears instantly. It seems she was trying to hold back but she could no longer. She, in her usual "Nia" style, did not respond, but her eyes spoke loudly to me begging me to keep asking her what was the matter.

I got it .... very quickly. She was feeling exactly what I was feeling, though I had to be a big girl and not let on even at this moment. I asked her, "are you sad because you are leaving me now?" She said "yes," and the tears were coming down harder now. How to fix this effectively?

I guided her to the front passenger seat and I pulled her close to me while I threw everything from that seat to the back seat. A bottle dropped and rolled a bit, and I asked her to picked it up for me. She got the bottle (which seemed to calm her a bit) and she seemed a bit puzzled, and then she asked, "what are you doing Mommy?" Everything was all cleared now, and I told her to get in and buckle up. Now I know I was not being extremely responsible at this time, but time was not on my side, and I did not want to deliver a sobbing child to my ex-husband for a whole host of reasons that you could imagine.

I dashed around to my seat, jumped in, closed the door and ripped open the bag with the steamy hot chicken fries. Nia now looked a lot less distressed. I put the fries between us and I said to her, "be careful, they are hot." She was so happy, grabbed one and as she bit off a small piece, she said, "Mommy they are not too hot." This was good.... she is getting better at eating hot food!!!

As I backed up and drove off, I told her that she WILL be ok. I told her to go on vacation and have a great time, and when she misses me, she should call me if she wants to, and keep her pictures of us close to her. She said, "ok Mommy." After she ate about 6 or so chicken fries (and no, they are not big), she said, "Mommy, I am full." Now she was leaving me with a big container of chicken fries. Oh dear!

There was something magical about the combination of the pictures we took earlier in the day, the chicken fries and riding in the front seat of the car for 8 MINUTES. It truly turned her sadness into JOY.

I knew not to cry with her though it was truly in my mind and heart to do so. This week I have a ton of stuff to accomplish... for myself, and inevitably for the sake's of my children. I will surely miss them during many moments of this very LONG... SHORT week ahead. We have great memories together, and we will create more great memories in the future!

Great memories, April 2008 -- in Florida and on our cruise !

Speed?


I went for a lovely run this morning, and as I was running from NJ into NY on a quiet road, I passed by a speed alert sign similar to this picture. The one I passed though had messages for you depending on how fast (or slow) you were going. Boy did I feel good.... when I was passing the sign, it clearly stated:

REDUCE SPEED UNDER 25 MPH!!!

I really out do myself sometimes! How motivational! With that, I decided to incorporate "fartlek" training into my 4 mile run. Fartlek running is a type of speed play. Play is the operative word here. It can be compared to interval training but it is not the same. With interval training, you are being very specific with how you approach your changing intervals, for example, running at 95% for 2 mins, and recovering for 1 minute, and repeating it over and over for a specific amount of time (or with distance instead of minutes). With fartleks, the play aspect is very inviting because you can vary your changes in speed/distance and intensity as you like.

While I was running, I would see ahead a certain distance and notice a garbage can or a street sign, and run faster to that point, then I would recover for as long as I felt necessary to resume a more manageable heart rate, and then look for a new goal marker, and speed up again. The interval distances were varied, and the intensities were varied. It was empowering and it truly broke up the monotony of my run. I also managed to incorporate a sense of "training" into my run, which is something I have not done in years. I used to be a serious runner who trained with purpose. I had my "speed," days, "hill" days, "tempo" run, etc. The last few years I have mixed up my workouts to include a vast amount of exercises (elliptical, boxing, pilates, plyometrics, rebounding...endless list) and so I have not focused on running from a "runner's" point of view.

Well, I had a rude awakening with my new found role as a Coach for Track and Field. It's been about 4 weeks, and a truly enjoyable experience, however, it's been intimidating as well. Here I am considering myself to be a well rounded, athletic, 44 year old mother of two and 6 year old children are whipping around the track lapping me like no tomorrow! It was cute the first day or two, but now I am seeing the writing on the wall!!!

This is my new challenge for myself! I have to step it up. No, just because I am 44 does not mean I need to throw the towel in. It simply means that I need to train more effectively because I KNOW what I can do! Those 6 year olds are training to get better, stronger and faster, and SO CAN I!!!!!

Stay tuned for my "IMPROVEMENT" reports!

09 April 2009

You will get there

Do you feel like this weather is just sabotaging your ability to stick with your SPRING time plan of action to renew yourself? One day it's 65 degrees, and the next it's snowing? This can surely confuse your mood and your motivation. What to eat? How to dress?

One moment it is sunny, and the next moment it is so cloudy..... and so are your desires --- bright with great positive outlook yesterday, and bleak filled with pessimism today. To top it off, we are in April, and many are still being afflicted with colds and viruses!


Like it or not, Spring is coming...... to be followed by Summer. The coats come off. Though the topsy turvy weather may have you dizzy, achy and incapable of pinning down your commitment, I urge you to hunker down and grip your goals once and for all... better yet, grip your weights, do your squats, go for that jog, spin, box, hula hoop.......KI-YAH!!!........ Namaste.


Give this a gander:
The results of what you did for the past 3 months are showing today. Are you pleased with where you are at? If so, good for you... keep it up!!!

If you are
not pleased..... what you do DIFFERENTLY today, and continue to do for the next few weeks, will unveil a brand new you!

If you can't get to the gym, bring the gym to you.

Your body is a machine within itself! Use it!!!

08 April 2009

This is real

I truly can say that I have found my purpose in life and it entails being more than just a mother of two children, and paying bills. My genuine passion is to share and help people to deal with whatever it is they struggle with on a personal level. Health and well-being play a significant role in how we live out our lives. My life has had it's share of obstacles, high points, low points, huge accomplishments, and mistakes just like the next person, and it's been a learning experience throughout which I embrace. I don't have all the answers and I don't think all the answers are in a book or even in the wisdom of others you meet that appear to know it all and have it together. Some people are just really good at making you believe that their lives are perfect. I simply want to make you believe in yourself and encourage you to try your best..... your honest to goodness best.

Some folks don't even see the value in trying hard with much of anything and I think it's to do with their self-esteem and perhaps some myths they have that were falsely taught to them. We can all strive for perfection, but we will never achieve it. What we can achieve is a comfortable balance that comes out of the efforts we put in towards our well-being. My belief is that beyond just exercising and having a healthy diet, it's really important to consider what the purpose of your life is. Your choice of purpose is your sole decision, and it should be one that you feel gives you the most satisfaction and hopefully positively impacting the lives of others. Sometimes you help people immensely just by how you carry yourself on a daily basis.

It can be a bit sad to hear stories that some people have to tell where they admit that the life they lived was not their life of choice, or that they were unhappy for so many years but they decided to stay with their given situation because it was easier (so they thought) than walking away. Some people harbor loads of resentment for the fact that invested their time and effort in someone(s) and it was not appreciated in the end. Lots of people are walking around with regrets. At the time when they chose not to do certain things in their lives, their minds were not considering the fact that the time was passing by and they could never get it back.

The writing is on the wall and it's important to read what is there, digest it, and make a choice based on the truth that is being told to you. It's been a life lesson to me that this is very necessary to do. We have family, loved ones, and dear friends who we believe adore us and would support us with anything, only to find out when you really and desperately need them, they are not there for you. Your first inclination would be to find fault with their lack of compassion for you, to ostracize them and verbally scold them because of the hurt that you feel. And what good does that do? This kills your spirit, and most likely when you treat them this way, they only fall deeper into the darkness where they are already.

If you allow yourself, you may come to realize that you initially conjured up the belief in your own mind, that you could expect support from them simply because they were so dear to you. They said the "right" things to you. They praised you. In some cultures, places, countries, the common practice, IS to "support one another," but in places where people struggle to keep their minds in a positive place and impart balance in their daily lives, support is not something they even understand. Their minds are too clouded with their very own issues . Their regrets are getting the best of them, and so they are not in tuned to your desires. Their vision for themselves is so blurry, they don't have the capacity to have a vision for you.

In my quest to share and help as many people as possible, I urge anyone out there who is stuck in a situation with loads of expectations that are not being met by the special people in their lives, to venture out and "GO IT ON YOUR OWN." Trust in yourself that you can do more than you give yourself credit for and try to stop leaning on the hopes that just because the people around adore you, that they will support whatever you are trying to achieve.

This will help those who are:

- trying to fulfill a passion
- trying to lose weight
- trying to break a bad habit
- trying to start something new
- needing simple help and support

Also consider that sometimes you overlook the people who are truly supportive of you and the ones who do share your vision. They may not be your immediate family, or even best friend, but they are there everyday urging you on and validating that you are doing the right thing.

Support yourself, believe in yourself and never let anyone hinder your spirit!

07 April 2009

Overblown expectations

Overblown expectations was the exact combination of words used on Oprah's show yesterday to describe how many mothers feel, going into motherhood. Bunches of mothers shared their stories about experiencing postpartum depression, not showering for days, not cleaning their kids for days, forgettting to feed their children and the list was amazing and endless. Some shared the simple fact that "motherhood," was not quite what they thought it would be like. It took me back to 10 years ago, about this time, when I was home on maternity leave, and my son was about 6 weeks old. I remember thinking, "wow, this is a little insane."

I know we bonded because I felt like he had a radar on me and he knew my every move before I would make it. He would awake easily and cry if I was out of his sight. He was a greedy little cherub and I had to nurse him about every 2 hours. With all that nursing, he was ballooning into a true cherub which is why he inherited that nickname from me. I remember feeling at that time, that I wanted to be the PERFECT mother in every way possible. After watching and listening to Oprah's show yesterday where all these mothers shared their "horror tales" of motherhood, it came back to me that I was watching Oprah back in 1999 during my maternity leave.

I remember Heather Locklear was a guest on her show and she was talking about having just become a mother herself. Consider that I was not able to tune into anything on TV with my undivided attention because if Miles did doze off for a nap, I would dash and try to take advantage of the moment by grabbing something eat, showering, reading or just taking a nap myself. That day, that show I will never forget because I distinctly remember that Heather was speaking DIRECTLY (life happening on purpose) to ME when she said, "my friends who had children before me truly deceived me because they did not tell me the whole truth about becoming a parent. I have come to learn that once you become a parent, your life is no longer your own. Your priorities are suddenly switched and it's no longer about you."

Well, I screamed out to the TV when I heard that yelling, "Yes!!!! It happened to me too Heather!!!! This is insane!!!" And then Miles woke up again, crying, "feed me! feed me!!" Well... in cry talk!! You know what I mean!

The truth of it all is that I don't have a great many crazy horror tales to tell about early motherhood. The first 3 months while I was home on maternity leave was truly a learning experience. Knowing I had to return to work shortly, I embraced Miles and accepted all that he was offering me (spit-ups, poopy diapers, sore ta-tas etc.). I will say that I quickly learned that though I made a choice to bring a child into the world and thus that meant to care for him to the best of my ability, I also realized that I actually MUST care for myself just as well to enable me to be a good mother to him.

06 April 2009

Reflections

Sometimes as parents we can get too caught up in worrying about how our children will turn out. Well, it's just one of those things that we have no control over... truly. We can do our best as parents, teach life lessons, instill some wisdom, encourage them to learn, and see where their paths take them.

I honestly believe though that much of what we do and the choices we make as parents, will inevitably reflect through our children as they grow up. All I do is what I know I need to do for myself. I try to take care of myself. My children often question me, "Mommy what are you reading?" or "Mommy why do you have so many books, didn't you finish school a long time ago?" I tell them that throughout life, we constantly need to keep learning, and that I love to keep feeding my brain.

The books that I have laying around, are books that I know I do not have to hide from them because they are books that are helping me to learn about things that I think will benefit me as an individual, and as a parent. No they are not parenting books, but books that teach about writing, relationships, insights, loving one's self, cooking, gardening, photography, business ideas. I have conversations with my children about the fact that there is still lots to learn outside of what they learn in school everyday. Real life is about being able to know that you are well-informed enough to be able to digest the inescapable changes that will happen. Knowledge is power!

Taking care of myself affords me the ability to emit a positive attitude which my children notice and comment on all the time. There are many times that they beg to participate in my activities, and I adore this because it shows that they support what I do, and or that they simply find the things that I do interesting. They see the diligence and this too is a lesson they learn.... that diligence goes hand in hand with commitment.

05 April 2009

Excuses exonerate one from commitment


Excuses are a way to justify not doing what you know you need to do, and actually, what you WANT to do.

"It's too cold today, maybe tomorrow." --- Dress warm! Layer up!... Quit it... Spring is Here!

"It's raining!" --- Jumping jacks, pushups and situps.... there's always a solution!

"I have this pain and I am waiting for it to get better." -- Work through it...body needs to move!

"I had no hot water today." --- That's terrible... 1 min cold shower will surely wake you up!

"I did not get to bed until very late last night." -- Get up anyway, do something, nap later!

"I had too many drinks."--- All the more reason to sweat those toxins out! Drink water too!

You know what happens during the endless excuses that plague ALL of us? Time passes by... tootles... and you will never get it back.

During the "waiting game" .... the game that says, until things are better, I will put off.... the "aging game," goes on.

Contrary to popular belief, I do not get out of bed "bright-eyed, bushy tailed, and rearing to go" every single day. 30 reasons why I would rather stay under the sheets surely dash through my mind within the first few minutes that my eyelashes have fluttered.

When I look at my life in general, I can admit that I have exhausted my share of EXCUSES for all sort of things. I am working on that now. There are surely things that matter to me, and I am working towards making them happen. For the things that don't matter, I simply say, "No thank you."

In the mornings, upon rising, I let all of that "excuse" mania have it's way for a few minutes, and then I get up and I breathe. Thereafter, I walk around, assess my surroundings, look in the mirror and say, "You need some attention!" Some days are made for running, some days are made for walking, some days are made for kicking and punching.... but everyday is a day for doing something that may just keep me healthy, happy and motivated.... soI can do the rest of what I need and want to do.

My intention is not to dismiss anyone's real life dilemmas and ordeals, but I urge even the most downtrodden person to realize that in order to better deal with anything in life, put aside the excuses for a moment and let yourself have some YOU time. Truly, no one should let anyone or anything prevent you from your YOU time....

Some of you will realize that the only excuse that is keeping you from working on YOU .... is YOU ... your mind...

Time to do some internal maintenance.... switch around those circuits.... disconnect the "CAN'T and WON'T" wires... and install the "WILL and CAN" wires! UNLEASH your new POWER !!!!

04 April 2009

Life a performance?

I literally have 10 mins to blog today due to our busy day. We just returned from a huge and inspirational memorial service for a woman who was just about my age, a loving mother and a devoted and dedicated wife.....and I believe that because I met this woman. She passed away 3 weeks ago after battling her illness for 3 years. She left behind a wonderful loving husband and an equally endearing son who goes to school with and is in the same grade as my son. She was truly a loving woman who will be missed dearly by many beyond just her immediate family. Another lesson learned about life, that we should consider how we want to live our lives so that when it is our time to leave this earth, can we leave with dignity knowing we have left a mark and will be dearly remembered?? Serious food for thought!

Do you feel like your life is a never ending screen play? Do you feel like you are starring in a show that you have to constantly prepare for and you wonder if you have studied your lines enough? Will you be able to "pull it off?" Can you pass the tests that everyone seems to think are mandatory? Will you win life's "Oscar" for your phenomenal performance?

The typical show that everyone tries to get a part in involves: getting an education, getting the right job, buying a house, getting married, having children, taking vacations, investments, attending certain functions, belonging to certain groups/clubs, winning the approval and the kudos of everyone in the sidelines, and the list can go on and on.

It all seems so monotonous at times, trying to keep up with what we convince ourselves is what we SHOULD be doing. Do you try to keep up.....with the Jones? With the Smiths? With whatever upbringing you have had ? With your parent's expectations of you? With the politics of where you work? Do the convictions of these people (who guide your decision making in life) truly coordinate with your own convictions and what you truly believe in and what you aspire for in YOUR life?

If you are not enjoying the rehearsals that you have to endure in an effort to get your "starring role" down pat to win your award, then you are truly NOT doing what you want to do with your life.

If you feel compelled to obligate yourself to things and people who/that truly do not excite you, then you are NOT truly living YOUR life, and you have not chosen your ideal role!

I think so many of us would be so much happier if we could sit down and truly make choices that would work for our own SELVES and not choices based on what others will think or what is expected of us. I am not suggesting that we shun our responsibilities, nor that we lose our sense of compassion and dedication to others, but you can not truly be good to others until you are good and true to yourself.

What good does it do to walk around smiling and performing for the masses out in public, and then once you are behind closed doors, you are a scared, frightened and an unhappy person???

Can you look in the mirror and honestly say to yourself, "I am living my best life possible. I fully appreciate the choices I have made and the person I have tried to become."

We all have to make sacrifices for certain reasons in our lives, but we need to also make sacrifices for our own good. Sacrifices that can truly help us to be the best we can be, which in turn, will show when we are out on that big stage called "LIFE!"

Make this your best and truly happiest performance!

03 April 2009

Miles and Moments

After track practice last night, while we were driving home, I decided to have a lightminded conversation with my son about divorce and dating. Though it's been 2 years since his father and I divorced, he still holds on to some sort of hope (there goes that word again) that we would reevaluate the situation and get back together. That will never happen but I understand how very important it is for me to acknowledge my son's true feelings. In between I take opportunities to explain to him why some relationships don't work and how truly prevalent situations like ours are even in our direct social circles. There are in fact other children he knows with divorced parents.

My intent was to spark some understanding in Miles, but also to create laughter (I am always trying to do this). Our discussion went from divorce statistics, to the fact that his cousin's parents were getting divorce (huge surprise to me), and just some mentions that people sometimes come to realize they made a bad decision and that it's better to walk away than be miserable. We did speak about how important it is to try to make a relationship work, and he asked me if his father and I tried, and I said, "of course."

Stay with me here. I thought it would help to explain the concept of the "Law of Attraction" to Miles so that he could understand why people "like" each other in the first place, and then, why they stop "liking" each other. At first, you have these qualities and a personality that captures someone's attention ..... Long and short of it, his response was, "I don't want a girlfriend." Good answer based on the fact that he is only 10 years old. I told him that makes sense and he should wait a few years.

A great way to paint a picture to Miles was to shed light on relationships between men and women, and how it is similar to the relationship he has with his sister. I told him, "some days you truly love each other, play well together, you have her back, and other days, you want her gone!" When he was younger, he would come to me with the most serious and desperate look on his face to say, "Mommy, please, can you put her back in your tummy!" Trust me, there were many times I had wished I could send my EX back to his mother's stomach!

Miles was now showing signs of understanding (I think) and it was comforting since I truly want him to let go of wanting and hoping for a reconciliation between his father and I. The discussion was all over the place because he had many wonderful 10 year old inspired questions to ask and I was happy to answer them.

We drifted back to the "Law of Attraction," and I said to him, "listen don't be surprised when you see me looking extra gorgeous, smiling lots and lots because it means a lot of people are going to be interested in why I am so happy. When you show so much happiness, you attract people. I may just attract a nice guy! What do you think?"

His response was priceless, he said, "NO WAY! No one is going to date you with that big mole on your face!" I was laughing so hard and I quickly grabbed my phone to call my friend Rosa because I had to tell someone and I knew she would find it hilarious..... However, he pleaded that I not share everything that he says (that I think is amazingly funny) with my friends, and so I did not call her.

Let me just point out that my mole is not big, and it is actually quite beautiful like that of Cindy Crawford and Elizabeth Taylor!

I made Miles aware that many people who divorce seek to remarry again because truthfully people enjoy companionship. Well this fact collected the best response yet from my son! He said very boldly, "Nooooooo way! You will stay divorced and single forever!!!!!!!"

Yikes!

Conception is exclusive

As I sat here this morning around 5:50 a.m. reading up on the great happenings in our world, I heard a sound from one of the bedrooms. I waited before responding to get confirmation that I truly heard something. "Mooommmy!" said the sweet troubled voice not too loudly to awake her brother.

I got up from my chair and tiptoed down the hall as she again gently yelled, "Moooommmmeeeeeeeeee!" I responded in kind, "shhhhhhhhhhhhh," gently so as not to cause her brother to stir. It was too early for them both to be awake. As I got to the room, I could hear some sniffling but I chose to pretend I was approaching a happy child who just opened her eyes a bit too soon on this rainy morning. I climbed into the bed and nestled close up to her face and I said, "hey baby, why are you awake so soon, you should still be sleeping." She stayed silent, and then let out another sniffle. Something was obviously wrong. I felt her shaking....

In the gentlest, concerned voice, I said to her, "Are you upset? Is something bothering you?" She answered, "yes," but offering no other words to justify her doldrums. I asked her, "what's the matter, why are you crying?" She responded with a voice clearly sounding like something very disheartening had happened saying, "I can't tell you, It's very bad."

Her lamenting quickly made me ask, "did you have a bad dream?" She said, "yes." I wanted very much to know what she dreamt about so that I could help her resolve this sorrow. I asked her if she wanted to talk about the dream and she said she did not because it was very bad. As a mother I can say that hearing a 6 and 3/4 year old say, "it was very bad," made me wonder, how bad could it be?

I really wanted her to get passed this moment, but I realized that I had to guide her in the right direction. I told her that maybe it would help if she told me about the dream instead of keeping it to herself where it may continue to haunt her indefinitely. Many times, we keep things inside and they just fester and get the best of us for no reason. Again, she said, "no, I don't want to, it's very bad."

At this point, I am thinking the worse. What could she have dreamt about? I asked her, "was the dream about me?" She said, "yes," and she added, "it was about me, you and Miles, and it was so bad. I don't want to talk about it." Recently, this is how she wants to handle things that truly disturb her, she just wants to not deal with it. I see such an approach leading to bottled up anxiety which will in turn create worse problems.

I asked her if something happened to us in the dream. She answered, "yes." Oh my! At this point, there was no way I could allow her to not share her entire anguish with me because I now became worried about the depth of the "bad thing," that was housed in her brain while she slumbered and still now while she was awake. As I laid on the bed with her, in the dark room, I started to get a bit choked up, but I never let on to her. Again I softheartedly encouraged her that it would help her considerably if she would tell me about the dream so that I could help her to feel better.

Finally she opened up and she told me about the nightmare that had her so sorrowful. This is what she told me: "Mommy, it was sooooo bad. You and Miles were together....(sniffle sniffle)...and you played Rock Band and had a good time with each other....(sniffle sniffle)...and when I asked for a turn...(sniffle sniffle) ...you both said "NO!" And you just left and no one wanted to let me do anything!" Her sniffles turned into loud sobs.

Whew! What a sense of relief that took over my mind and body! No one died! I hugged her tightly and reassured her that if the three of us are together, we will do things together. I reminded her that we love her dearly and would never do anything mean like that to her. I also told her that she should always want to talk to me about anything that bothers her so we can fix it together.

It's amazing that such a dream can have such a dramatic effect on someone and in this case it's a child. However, it's much of the same thing that we do as children and as adults, and that is to react to things that happen in our lives with extreme emotion, emotion that is developed out of our conceptions. Our beliefs guide us to think the worse things at times when we are experiencing "issues" in our lives. We create fears that are truly not justified and merely demons that only reside in our own minds.

My daughter has been very emotional in recent weeks, expressing a lot of dissatisfaction with various things, particularly she wants us .... to always be "us." She wants to be included in everything. She seems to be mistaking the fact that we all need a sense of independence with thoughts that she is being excluded from certain things. We will get passed this as she will be 7 in less than a month, and I am certain that she will get over this as she matures.


Just in case you are wondering, right after I reassured her that we would never be so mean to her, my daughter quickly shed her sadness and became cheerful. Later on when her brother woke up, she shared all the details of her dream with him with a new found confidence that she would surely be ok.....

02 April 2009

One day at a time....



June 1st is 59 days away..... what do you plan to do for yourself each day until then????

Hopeful or Hopeless?



The word "hope" is on the minds of just about every person on this planet due to the current state of existence we all share. It's an easy word to adapt into one's disposition because in every aspect of one's being, there is a desire, a want, an expectation for someone or for something.

Right now, most Americans hope that President Obama will "fix" all the economic problems that this country has, and according to some people's opinion about the "Queen of England" (she felt inclined to touch the first lady as she knows she is connected to the president) putting her arms around Michelle Obama's waist in London yesterday, the WORLD hopes that Mr. Obama will fix things too! What a heavy burden that man has to bear!

Webster's New World dictionary defines hope as, "trust that what is wanted, will happen." However, hope is simply an emotion, a thought, a feeling you can have, but hope by itself, can not bring about anything to happen.

Many of us persistently live out our lives making references to "hoping for," just about everything that matters to us. We hope to graduate. We hope to land a good job. We hope to be able to pay our bills. We hope to lose weight. We hope we have healthy children. We hope our children are ok. We hope.

For some of us, it's well understood that in order for hope to cause an outcome, we must facilitate it with some sort of action. We teach our young children that they have to study hard and then they will get good grades. Put in the effort, reap the rewards!!! You could never teach a child to sit around and "hope" for good grades or to "hope" to make friends, or "hope" to excel in some sort of activity without them trying hard to make it a reality. Otherwise, you would have a child plagued with immense disappointment and lack of confidence.

As adults, we have to remember that system because life continues to be a learning experience. To be hopeful without an attempt is a hopeless situation. Some people are guided by their "faith," and they constantly say, "I have faith that...." Again, faith is like hope, it can only benefit if you have made an effort to bring about whatever it is you desire to have occur.

It's so important to remember how hope, faith, desire and all these other types of "feelings" work because if you don't, your hope can quickly become despondency. Being despondent leads to giving up, lacking trust, lacking ambition, lacking self-confidence..... the list is endless.

Think about what you are truly HOPING for today? In your lifetime? Or what you hope for just for the moment... now?? What are you doing to make the chances of it happening more possible? You have to make an effort ....... Get to the point that you feel assured... it's a good feeling to have!

01 April 2009

Unceasing feat.... feet?


As a true lover of the sport of running, I decided to embark upon the joys of "coaching" track and field last month, but it has developed into the "joys of coaxing my two children" out of 110 other children to run. This was certainly not the "vision" I had when I signed on and sat through that somewhat painfully long "become a coach" clinic a few weeks ago. It was painful because it was at night, 6:45 pm to 10 pm, and everyone knows I turn into a pumpkin around 9-9:30! Three hours of veritably interesting and helpful information that assured me that I was going to make a difference and impact the lives of 110 children! I received my "Coach" card! I am woman, hear me roar! Read the headlines in the local paper, "Norwood Mom and Coach, Jacquie takes Westwood T&F to victory at the 2009 Bergen County T&F events!" ..... Fade to black.....

Day one of track and field practice was picture perfect (remember those pictures that speak a thousand words my blog fans?) and I instantaneously became the proud Mama of two children that I was so sure had my "running" gene! They ran and they ran, and they confirmed my suspicions about the genes! My nightly ritual of whispering messages in their ears whilst they slept took the needed subliminal effect just as I had planned! Whispers that said things like, "you love running! you are an athlete! you are just like your Mommy!" Ok, ok, I did not and would never do such a thing!

Day two of track was not so flawless because Miss Nia started to manifest those apparent symptoms of "running dislike," very much like those I have witnessed on many people who profess to dislike running. At that moment, I temporarily pocketed my coach credentials, and whipped out my "Mommy" card instead, in hopes of using my skilled words of parental encouragement to get her to "keep trying." The mindset of a 6 3/4 year old girl may in fact be a tougher shell than that of a turtle. Her will is extremely strong, so strong that I am seriously considering returning her running sneakers for a refund!...... Gotcha! Keep reading!

On day two, Nia agonized through tons of 50 yd sprints and she felt the pain most assuredly from her head to her toes. It was cold and she was miserable. Her legs were like shivering cords of spaghetti and her facial expression declared, "Mommy I hate this!!!" In her mind, this just made no sense. Track was sheer torture, plain and simple. Everything hurt, everything itched, and that dirty 4 letter word (CANT) was her word of choice as Coach Murt even tried to coerce her to keep going!

By day 4, beknownst to us, she was cooking up a sinus infection so that she would not have to run for awhile. Wardrobe! I had to stash away the "Mommy" card, and dig and take out my "Nurse" card. Recently we just completed Day 7 of T&F, and in her own words, Nia said, "I don't think I will ever run again."

On the other hand, Nia's brother Miles did in fact inherit my running genes (I profess this to be true ..at this time) and I am basking in the moments that I get to watch him run. He is feeling the pain, but he gets it. He loves to talk while in he runs because he realizes it distracts him from focusing on his body, and quite frankly, just like me, he is a sociable little thing! I finally was able to put the "Mommy" and "Nurse" cards back in my pocket and whip back out the "Coach" card, and play my role effectively, encouraging Miles and the other kids while they dig deep inside to challenge themselves.

It's all about the breathing, the stride, the posture, not pounding, and the most important part, the mental aspect of learning how to talk to yourself and say "I am going to keep going... I can do this." It's about maintaining a comfortable pace, and not worrying about what the next guy is doing and just learning about yourself and what you can strive for each and every time. Miles is realizing this better and better every week, though in true Miles form, he still complains in between, much like many adults do when they work with a personal trainer. So no, he is not smiling and sailing through the practices but that is a GOOD thing. He is starting to ascertain that diligent work breeds rewards in EVERYTHING we do in life! He is also realizing that he is stronger than he ever thought he was and this will inevitably facilitate his positive growth to full maturity.

As far as Nia is concerned, I am not done with her. We will keep at it since I am not a quitter! And a quitter does not give birth to other quitters... right ? (Smile) For now, she does her warm up drills very well, and we walk lots, until she disappears to the car with her father to watch a movie! Today she told me that when her head stops hurting (from the sinus infection) she will run like crazy! We can only hope! Stay tuned since T&F can possibly last until August!

The more you run, the more you will run!