Monday, March 25, 2013

Monday Mantra: No

mantra is a sound, syllable, word, or group of words that is considered capable of "creating transformation".

Every Monday I will post a new thought, idea, or focus for the week. When you need a breather from life, when you need a little inspiration, or when you're about to jump over the conference table and strangle your co-worker, remember the mantra.

Monday Mantra: No

What a treacherous thing to believe that a person is more than a person. - John Green
As far back as I can remember, I've been a Yes Person- you know, that person who feels the need to say yes to every invite to hang out, to every event, to every darn thing ever. But being that person has been taxing on my soul. For (what seems like ever) I've been trying to move towards being a better No Person. Someone who can confidently and casually say no without feeling the need to explain why with several bullets outlined on a PowerPoint presentation that support my decision.

After all this time I'm not much better at this "no" thing than I was years ago. And because of that, I'm exhausted. Mentally, physically, and emotionally.

It's hard to be a No Person when you love your friends and family (and acquaintances, strangers... so on and so forth) and you want them to be happy. When you try to see how important this, that, or the other thing is to them or for them and so, of course, you want that for them - whatever that is - and you say yes. But your own happiness counts- a lot. Without taking care of your needs, desires, and naps (those are very important) you end up becoming bitter, resentful, and angry- sometimes at others, but most of the time at yourself. And all you ever wanted was for everyone to be happy.

It occurred to me the other day, as I stressed myself out about a situation I have COMPLETE control over, that I need to stop these shenanigans and Just Say No. When the time is right I can say yes with 100% of my heart committed and not one ounce of me doubting or feeling like jumping off a cliff would've been a better idea.

I just need to keep practicing this no thing.



That was only a little hard and slightly painful and all I had to do was type it. Now for real life.

Ever have anything you needed to say no to? How did you handle it?

Related Post
To Be the Best

Image via Society6

Monday, March 18, 2013

Monday Mantra: Gratitude Your attitude

mantra is a sound, syllable, word, or group of words that is considered capable of "creating transformation".

Every Monday I will post a new thought, idea, or focus for the week. When you need a breather from life, when you need a little inspiration, or when you're about to jump over the conference table and strangle your co-worker, remember the mantra.

Monday Mantra: Gratitude your attitude
You know when bad things happen they tend to always be in threes? Well, mine have been happening in six and three fourths and I'm ready to move underground and live like the Ninja Turtles. Which would never work because I don't have a sensai (rat or otherwise), I don't have a sewer water resistant shell, and I can only eat gluten free pizza, which I'm pretty sure they would never deliver to me down there. Even my Save Yourself plans are failing me.

Lately, I've been way too focused on these less-than-perfect things happening. While they suck and I would prefer not to deal with them, I have to keep myself in check and remember how fortunate I am. I have to Gratitude My Attitude.

I have a friend that once described her worries as "first world white people problems". That may be the best description I've ever heard. While we all do have major life events that are much more difficult to deal with, like a death or a house burning down or being diagnosed with a terminal illness, we more often take the small, every day "normal" issues (and even sometimes self inflicted problems like negative thinking) and blow everything out of proportion. We make these very manageable, very insignificant-in-the-big-scheme-of-things items, seem like the end of the world.

So what if my neighbor shattered my sliding glass door and won't pay for it causing me to spend a small fortune to get it fixed? Yes, it sucks. But there are people who have no homes to worry about at all. There are people who would give anything to have my kind of worries.

Take 5

To correct my little attitude issue, I'm using my old tried and true method that got me through actual major life events. I call it the Take 5 Method. Every morning and every night I find 5 things I am thankful for. A new five every single time (no cheating!) and tonight I'm starting with you. Thank you, loyal readers, for being here with me every week. Thank you for your kinds words, your patience, your understanding, and your support. Thank you for your friendship.

Next week I promise to be a more grateful version of myself.

Related Posts
Monday Mantra: I Will Be Thankful
Breaking Free from the Broken Record


Monday, March 11, 2013

In the World of Wellness: Go Green and Get Clean

Wellness is a term widely used that has multiple meanings around health and positive life style changes leading to well-being. Here we will use the term "wellness" as a means of defining a life free from disease as well as a way to explore alternative medicines, what they offer, and what this could mean for you.

Every month I'll do a post on a health and wellness related topic. This will give you a chance to explore other options, become informed, and make the best overall decision for your own well-being.

In the World of Wellness: A delicious green (and red, I guess) salad and a cranberry drink to beat the bloat.

Sometimes when you're hungry, you come up with the most amazing dishes ever. This is one of those. Now, I know brussels sprouts have a bad rap, but try this before you decide you hate them forever. When cooked appropriately they are delicious and oh-so good for you. Plus, who doesn't love bacon?

Bacon and Brussels Sprouts Salad

Serves 4-6 people
1 bag of organic spinach (5-6 oz)
1 - 1.5 cups Brussels sprouts
6 - 8 slices of Applewood Smoked Bacon (GF, Nitrate free)
1 green zucchini
1 small bundle of asparagus
A pinch or so of sea salt, black pepper, and garlic pepper

1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup Garlic Cilantro balsamic

1. For cooking the Brussels sprouts, you have some options:
A. If you have a microwave, put the Brussels sprouts (whole) into a bowl. Put 1 tsp of olive oil on them and mix well. Heat for 2 minutes and 30 seconds.
B. If you don't have a microwave/don't like using microwaves like me, heat your oven to 400 degrees. Coat them with oil as mentioned above and bake for 8-10 minutes. You want them crunchy, that's the key to their deliciousness.
When you're done with that, cut the bottoms off, remove the outer 1-2 layers of leaves, and cut them in half.
2. Cook bacon and remove excess grease, then chop into small squares. Set aside for the moment.
3. Slice and dice the zucchini and asparagus.
4. Heat 1 tsp olive oil in pan on medium heat.
5. Cook zucchini and asparagus for roughly 5-8 minutes, but not to completion. Then add in the Brussels sprouts and chopped bacon squares. Let everything heat up nicely (roughly 3 more minutes or so) and add in spices. Pour all of this yumminess on your spinach.

For the dressing, you have two options:
A. Be lazy like I was and just hand mix everything together. It was still super delicious, I promise.
B. Blend the oil and balsamic in the a blender and then pour that over everything and mix together. It combines the two together nicely, but it will taste the same. It just looks more fancy for when you have fancy guests over for fancy dinner parties.

Last but not least, if you're looking for a safe, simple, and delicious detox drink, try this baby out. Make sure you get the good cranberry juice, which is sugar free. Adding sugar to this will defeat the purpose. I've made this a few times, just because I really like the way it tastes but does it really beat bloat? I can't tell, but it tastes good and the ingredients are good for you. Dandelion root, in particular, is AMAZING for your liver. Did you get that? AMAZING. If you can handle the taste all by itself (I have to lemon it up quite a bit) make a cup of this and drink it every morning for a few weeks. Your liver will thank you.

Jillian Michael's Detox Drink

60 oz distilled water
1 TBSP cranberry juice (sugar free, non-cocktail)
2 TBSP lemon juice (if you freshly squeeze your own, it tastes better)
1 dandelion root tea bag

Combine water and juices in a large pitcher. Add the tea bag. Leave the tea bag in the pitcher the whole day. Now, drink that whole pitcher. Yes, the whole thing. Re-make this each day and drink every day for 7 days.

She claims that you can lose 5 pounds of excess water weight in that seven days. Try it and see how it works for you.

Until next time...
Eat well, Be Well, Live Well!

How'd your salad come out? Like Brussels sprouts now or still not a fan?

Monday, March 4, 2013

Monday Mantra: Shake Hands With Sadness

mantra is a sound, syllable, word, or group of words that is considered capable of "creating transformation".

Every Monday I will post a new thought, idea, or focus for the week. When you need a breather from life, when you need a little inspiration, or when you're about to jump over the conference table and strangle your co-worker, remember the mantra.

Monday Mantra: I will shake hands with sadness, sit with it, and listen
If you do a search on depression in the United States as of 2012, you come back with anywhere from 21 million to 27 million people currently diagnosed, which breaks down to A LOT. A lot of people are depressed. I'm told that in my own family we have a history of depression and I'll admit I've had plenty of sad times in my life. I suppose I've even been depressed, although I try not to give myself that title for one very simple reason: I don't want to fear being sad. I, instead, want to embrace it.

I hate to think that having any kind of an emotion - good, bad, or otherwise - is a reason to label myself. When you're super, overly exhaustingly happy you don't get some kind of a label. You're just plain and simply happy. But, when we face the more negative emotions in life we are suddenly wrong or bad or in trouble because we're not constantly glowing with inner joy 100% of the time. This, my friends, this idea that we are somehow broken because of that, is a problem.

First and foremost, I'll admit there are times when people are beyond their own control of their emotions. From a holistic health care view, this can be due to a lot of things that are completely controllable when properly diagnosed, such as the foods your eating and how they're affecting you, hormone imbalances, nutrient level imbalances, and so on. We, in the holistic world, don't see someone sad and think it's time for a pill. We think it's time for a long discussion on your life and a lot of research to get to the bottom of it.

From a modern day, more wellness oriented psychology view, we also see these labels as being a problem. When you study this type of psychology you learn that all basic emotions roll up into two main ones : Fear or love. You learn that, regardless of the emotion, the answer is in the acceptance. The acceptance of the fear you have or the love you need. Without delving too deeply into that particular aspect of it, let me sum it up by saying this: When you believe in something (or the lack thereof) you give value to it. You assign it purpose. You give power to what you believe in. 

What we in this modern world need to focus on is less labeling and more acceptance. In believing in only the things that support our best life. Light, love, and happiness are not the leaders of all the emotions. Sadness, anger, and fear are not the less-than-worthy harborers of doom. They are all equal partners, all working together to make you whole.

Have you ever stopped and wondered why exactly we've decided that being sad is a bad thing? Why have we not, on the other hand, decided that sadness is a great and powerful teacher? That instead of running from it, we should shake hands with sadness, sit with it, and listen to what it's trying to tell us? Because, as with anything in life, the more we run from something we dislike, the greater the struggle. The more we invite in the things we fear so that we can understand them, the faster we will heal and overcome what is holding us down.

We should never allow any emotion to wear such a large label in life that it takes over everything else. That our happiness is known only as The Good Times, while our sadness is known only as The Bad Times. To accept ourselves, just as we accept others, we must embrace the light and the dark, for neither is better than the other. All emotions are teachers.

Next time you're feeling down, try this mantra: I will shake hands with my sadness, sit with it, and listen. It is not there to torture me, but to teach.

Listen to your sadness. It's there to help, not to hurt. Try embracing it for a change and see what that can do for you.


Related Post
Monday Mantra: Make it Great