She made the decision to change & boy oh boy did she!

Moments of clarity…

You know that self loathing voice in your head?  “I feel disgusting.  It’s 95 degrees out and I am a bloated disgusting mess.”   We’ve all been there.  That painful realization that our body does not reflect what we want it to.  The realization that we have let ourselves down.  And…we have let ourselves go.  The deep disappointment and regret we carry with us like a five hundred pound dumbbell.

Some of us remain unhappy about our weight.  We become masters at stuffing down those feelings with a jelly doughnut.  Others, like Jessica Bemis, decide enough is enough and make a plan.  While sitting at a Yankee game in June of 2014 she had that exact conversation in her head.  She researched “fitness competition”, she needed something extreme.  She needed others to know she was taking on this task so she would be forced to live in a space of accountability.  Then, she decided to compete in the WBFF, all before the game was over!  http://wbffshows.com

“The World Beauty Fitness & Fashion is all about the glamor, the hair, the make-up, the beauty, the dresses, the sparkle.  And, that intrigues me because obviously I am in the industry,” Jessica explained. As the owner of Haircraft in Milford CT she has built a successful business in the beauty arena.  https://www.facebook.com/pages/Haircraft/340540199372482

I had the pleasure of sitting down and chatting with Jessica before competition day.

She was accepted as a new contestant and never looked back.   This allowed her six months to prepare.  Training began the next week.

Before the competition

Before the competition – June 2014

Just keep swimming, just keep swimming…

The heavy lifting and mass cardio workouts started right away.   In July she made the decision to join Moe Joe’s Gym in Milford.   She has a genuine gratitude for her trainer.  Support, strength and knowledge was something she really needed to surround herself with.   http://www.mojoesgym.com/

She worked through meal plans, fitness plans and emotional plans of how to continue, overcome and conquer her daily goals.  The kettle balls, resistance bands, free weights and cardio were in full effect.  She mastered jump-roping, embraced the power of a good workout and understood that good nutrition was a must.   It’s hard, it hurts and at the same time it’s the most rewarding pain.  Her transformation continued.

She joins Moe Joes

She joins Moe Joe’s

“I hate food today” – posted on Facebook

This was the post on Facebook that sucked me in.  I was growing more and more intrigued by every post.  “I hate food today” this was something I could relate to.  I actually hate food even when I am not eating.  I hate the snug pants that became snug because of the food I ate over a month ago from the never-ending holiday festivities of sugar and fat.  My choice…my fat.  We all understand that.  But Jessica was hating food for a totally different reason.

Jessica explained, “The food is so regimented and so bland. Breakfast is four egg whites with one whole egg and two cups of broccoli, spinach or asparagus. Every day, along with dandelion tea.”

Breakfast

Breakfast

As for me, I find it nearly impossible to stick to my workout schedule.  Sometimes I find it impossible to have a workout schedule at all.  Yet another reason I was so proud of Jessica, she was doing what so many of us strive to do…take action to feel better.

She went on to tell me about her protein shake, four ounces of chicken, two cups of green vegetables, a cup of salad with flax-seed oil and vinegar.  As she clarified during our sit down…red vinegar.  To mix it up she’d throw in some steamed or sauteed Kale.  No salt intake allowed so she is now the “proud owner of every Mrs. Dash on the market”.   “And for dinner, it’s fish!”

“At one point I was so sick of eggs that I felt like I just wanted to drink them raw.” She exclaimed.

“The whole reason why I am eating this way is because I need to lose as much fat as I possibly can. And the best part is also that it’s regimented because I no longer feel gross after I eat. No bloated feeling.”

Let’s talk about that body…

I had to ask, “What has been the most shocking part of this process?”

Jessica smiled, “Yeah, seeing my body change, looking at pictures from when I first started to now, it’s pretty exciting.  I think I might be slightly addicted.”

I followed it up with, “What’s your favorite body part.”

Jessica smiled, “Um, I think its my biceps because I have never seen bicep muscles and now I am really starting to see them.  Or when I look in the mirror and see my abs starting to form.”

I am a little shocked, “Their just now forming…and this is after six months?”

“Yup.”

The dedication Jessica has held close during her journey is truly mind blowing.  I get cranky and fall wagon.   The temperature changes and I fall off the wagon.   I mean, don’t certain annoyances equate to a little taste of chocolate surrounded by frozen vanilla flavored goodness with a cherry on top?  No?

Yet, this woman sitting in front of me is sheer discipline.  It’s like sitting with someone who was told they would never be a runner for whatever the reason, yet they choose to run marathons every year.  How do you complain about how hard it is for YOU to run if you have no excuses. In the end its a lack of willpower, discipline and desire.   It’s a choice!  If you are able, what is your excuse?

Everybody cheats.  Sorry trainer!  Jessica enjoyed a little wine once and there was a “cheese incident”.   This “incident” resulted in sharp stomach pains and lingering sickness.  Reminding her that her body knew good from bad. Her body no longer processes processed food like it once had.   I asked her if she would be having a bacon cheeseburger once the competition was over?  (do I reward myself with food a little too much)   She looked unsure.  As much as she thinks it would taste good, the physical pain of eating something like that sort of scares her.

Let’s get personal…

Jessica got to where she is because she recognized that something had to change.  Jessica explained how hard the road had been, “Even me as a person in the last year, I was definitely in a funk.”  There was a point where Freddie said to me, “You want to spend more time in bed sleeping than you do anything else.”  “I was going to work late. I had lost my focus.  I was a completely different person.  So finally I went to a Naturopath and had blood work done.  I found out I was low on some of my vitamins and I started to eat better.  It may have been a little bit of depression, which I have never had before in my life.”   It was a really tough time.

Freddie is Jessica’s long time boyfriend and support system.   She glows a bit when she talks about him.  His love and support has been one of the things that continues to get her through the tougher days.  Did I mention that she is continuing on the competition road, competing again in April 2015 at the WBFF.

Of course, I had to ask what Freddie says these days.

“He’s excited, he’s very impressed with the fact that I’ve followed through.”

I had to know, “What’s been the best thing that’s come from the whole experience?”

Jessica sat back and took a moment before saying, “Just that I feel good about myself.  I feel good that I’ve been able to get into clothes that I haven’t been able to fit into for years. Jeans I had saved in hopes of someday being able to wear them again.  And now, they’re too big for me.  I just feel good about myself and healthy.  And, life is coming together nicely.”

I asked, “And what is the one thing that’s been harder than you thought it would be or almost broke you?”

“The food.” She would rather workout for two hours and be able to eat whatever she wants than have to stick to the boring food menu day in and day out.  “If you miss a meal you are messing with your body. The prepping is a lot of work.  You have to do it.”

Jessica joked that she is no longer a late night gal.  She used to close up shop and walk around the corner to one of her favorite bars. Today, she is happy to go home at a earlier hour. The rest and regime is a huge part of competing.

Another reason to go home early is the physical confidence that has carried over into her relationship with Freddie.  “He can’t keep his hands off me.  Not that he really could before but even more so now.”  Jessica and I agreed that if we could bottle that physical confidence we’d be rich!

In front of me sat a new woman.  A very self aware, self assured, confident person.  She had always been a sweet, kind person but now she was taller in some ways.  It was blatantly obvious and in my face that Jessica has truly become a different version of herself.  A happier version of herself.

When I told her my assessment of the new her she smiled and said, “Thanks, I’ve worked hard for it and I continue to work hard for it.  It’s a good feeling.”

The big day.

The big day.

Jessica competed this past December and this is the note she sent me afterward:

So I didn’t place but it was an amazing experience! I will be continuing my transformation in the transformation division at the WBFF show at Mohegan Sun April 11th. My end weight was 140. The best part of this experience is gaining back the confidence I once had in myself!

Job well done, Jessica.  congrats

You’ve reaffirmed my belief in the power of having faith in ones self and the results of true discipline.

Good on you!

Just sayin’

Learn more about Haircraft  https://www.facebook.com/pages/Haircraft/340540199372482

Is the office killing your productivity?

Ever wonder how many fluid hours you get a day to do actual work? Could it be four, five, or maybe 2?

Just because you show up to the office doesn’t mean you are productive. And, depending on what you do for a living, it could be costing you and the company valuable time and money.

Have these bad habits taken hold of your work brain space?

Meetings run a muck: Do you find yourself in a few too many meetings each month? Do you leave meetings wondering how the topic effects you or why it involves you at this stage of the project?

  • Meetings can be work suckers if they do not give you data, info or guidance you need to work on a project or proceed with your current task at hand.
  • Meetings stop your work flow and totally detour you from what you are working on. So, upon returning to your desk you have to re-invest your time going through the steps to get you to the place you were when you left your work-flow.

Stop the madness:Talk to the meeting manager about quick meetings that have a process to keep everyone on task.

  • A fifteen minute meeting can go a long way if it is laser focused on topics thatneed to be discussed.
  • If your manager is a forward thinking type of manager, you might ask for someone to do a re-cap email to everyone who was not needed for decision making purposes at the meeting. This allows you to be kept up to date without actually attending the meeting.

Interrupt me one more time…Ever feel like you have a blinking sign at your desk that says, “Please interrupt me” or “Not doing anything important here”.

  • Interruptions are a necessary evil in business, but don’t have to be the thought interrupting, work flow, life sucking annoyance of each working hour.

Stop talking to me: Okay that might be a little dramatic, but the meaning behind the words are true.

  • Being productive takes time. Time to think through a task. Time to take a deeper look at the facts at hand. Time to get to the most creative solution. It may also take a little time to get into the flow of a task, and disruption equates to starting over. Ultimately you must manage your time wisely. So if you notice that there is a lull in the day, then plan your most intense tasks for that time daily.
  • Give notice! Find your own power hour in the day and/or week by giving notice to those you work most closely with. Use IM or Email for this, so as to not be interrupting them! Send a quick note, “Okay team, I am going to be off the grid for two hours starting at 2 pm, unless it’s a true emergency. Should you have something pressing please see me before 2 pm or after 4 pm. Thank you.”

So the next time you get up to stop by a co-workers desk, ask yourself if a IM or email would be sufficient?

Just sayin’

New Year – New You

Reset your goals and refocus your energy.

A new year is the perfect opportunity to shed unwanted baggage.

  • Let go of what could have been and accept what was – give the past year the farewell it deserves with a genuine shove. No more “if only”. You did the best you could, live and learn.
  • Forgiveness is for you, not them – it doesn’t always feel like it but forgiving someone resolves you of carrying the burden of stress and hatred around like a heavy sack of potatoes. Giving you more space to grow and accept other, better emotions in life. It can be hard, but you can do it. Being hard should never be a deterrent to something that will serve you well.
  • Be a game changer – only you know what you really want to happen in 2015. That means only you can create the road map of your life. Give your life the respect it deserves and create a plan of action. Complacency is rampant, protect yourself from catching this terrible disease by following through on your plan of action. Every sunrise is a new opportunity to start again.
  • Be happy – for what you have. Once you master being happy for what you have you may be surprised by how it effects what you want.

Happy New Year to you!

Just sayin’

You and 19,000 of your closest friends…

Little life lessons pop up all over the place if you’re willing to see and hear them.  I heard these life lessons loud and clear last week.

We had the great pleasure of receiving tickets to Billy Joel this last Christmas from a boy I truly adore, our very dear friends son, Josh.   He bought tickets for his Mom, Dad, Myself and hubby, and the actual concert date was this last week.

That's clear seeing as I had a few martinis.

Pardon the fuzziness, it was martini induced.

It started off like any adventure into the city.  Starbucks stop for coffee, trying to find a parking spot at the train station, getting a seat faced in the right direction…you know the normal stuff.

Lesson #1.

A lovely lady sat in front of us at the 4 seater we had sat in.  The train was really filling up and there weren’t a lot of seats left. She carried a beautiful dress in a dry cleaning bag which peaked my curiosity.  She was quiet and spoke softly when she did speak.  Not much was said during the ride but towards the end, as we rolled through the tunnel to Grand Central, I asked where she might be wearing that dress.  She then explained to me in a quiet excitement that she and her daughter had free tickets to the final recording of “America’s Got Talent” that night.  She was excited to see who the guest appearance would be.  She explained the entire story of how she came upon the free tickets with a nice smile, clearly ready for a great time at a great event.

Then she asked… “What about you?”

I answered, “We’re going to see Billy Joel.”

She let out a gasp, her eyes getting huge.  She didn’t say a word and let out another gasp.  The loudest I had heard her to this point.  The soft voice turned into a loud excited giddy voice that began to tell us how she had seen him years ago, so on and so forth.  Clearly she would change places with me if she could.

As my husband and I walked away we both had the same exact thought…sometimes what we ARE doing is what someone somewhere else WISHES they were doing.  Someone somewhere wishes they could afford your car, wishes they lived near NYC, wishes they were as tall as you, or as short…you get the point. 

So you should always appreciate all you do, for you are fortunate.  Lesson heard loud and clear.

As excited as I was to see Billy Joel, she was deep down, a giddy little girl. It took her back 20 years and she was so excited, which out-shined my excitement like a Supernova.

I must admit it made the next few hours a bit more fascinating, feeling I owed it to her to really enjoy every single moment.  And boy oh boy did I.  Thank you lady on the train.

After some great food and drink at “Stout” (A must if you are attending an event at Madison Square Garden) we began our quick walk over to MSG to get this show on the road!  A little pep in our step from the anticipation of seeing Billy and the afterglow of a few, or 4 Cosmopolitans, maybe 5… regardless, we were happy!

Great Seats with 2 huge Monitors.  Nice neighbors, cold beer and great friends!

Great Seats with 2 huge Monitors. Nice neighbors, cold beer and great friends!

We found our seats and so did 19,000 of our closest friends.  As they say, “Every walk of life was there.”  People were polite, smiling, talking to strangers, making new friends.  It was a beautiful sight.

Then, as Billy began singing the first song this crowd of absolute strangers became one voice, singing, dancing, celebrating this life moment with me, as if we were the oldest of friends.

Everything went out the window.  Every judgment, criticism, all of our DIFFERENCES were gone and all that was left was this feeling of what we all had in common…music, memories, Billy.

It was a moving moment that resurfaced over and over again throughout the concert.  As Billy told a new story or began a new song, you felt the “enjoyment” in the room.  I really cannot think of another way to explain it.  But it was good, really good.

And as my brothers and sisters swayed in harmony to the music and sang out each lyric as loud as they could, I realized…everyday should be like a Billy Joel concert. 

Maybe someday it will be.

Our differences are exactly that, but what do you and I have in common is what I really want to know.

Just sayin’

Sing us a song, you’re the piano man sing us a song tonight Well, we’re all in the mood for a melody And you’ve got us feelin’ alright Thank you Billy Joel!

 

 

Being “present”, the new Gateway Drug…

As the revolution of self-awareness, spirituality and serenity continues to evolve and gain speed, do you sometimes wonder “Where do I start?”

Perspective is a funny thing.  You can think you have perspective yet still choose to continue to do the same exact unhealthy things over and over.

“Unhealthy” to many is only what we can see…overeating, drugs or letting ourselves go.  And therefore if you don’t portray any of those “symptoms” you must be doing pretty good.  Yet the internal being of ones self, the inner light or spirit, something you cannot see, is the absolute beginning of where any self value or self love starts.  Lack of attention and kindness to our own inner being is ultimately unhealthy.  Not allowing our inner being to be “present” is ultimately unhealthy.

I have been unhealthy.

Being “present” is a task that can never be crossed off my list of self improvement.  It is a continued practice in all my daily life.  With that said, it is the first task I often fall short on.  No matter the amount of reading, reminders or meditation, I can still lose myself in emotions, responsibilities and my need to keep myself stimulated by never-ending multitasking.  Damn technology.

So I figured there must be others struggling with this life lesson as much as I do myself!

Many of us are talking while driving, texting while sharing a meal with someone or thinking about a situation that annoys us while with a group of friends.  We are half interested in what our colleagues say, even less interested in what our family says, yet we are 100% dialed in to what the Kardashian’s are doing?!?  We are judging our self for not handling a situation better, hating our self for not being a unrealistic version of what we perceive as the perfect height and weight, and all awhile we are waiting for a big payday to truly be happy.  Therefore we are NOT living in the moments presented to us.  To make matters worse, this effects our gratitude or lack there of.  A vicious cycle that many won’t ever recognize in their life.

Focusing on all the wrong things creates a resentment or lack of fulfillment in our current place in life.  It works against our Gratitude for what we have, along with perpetuating what we don’t want.  Yet, we continue this behavior or bad habit and still assume someday things will change for the better.

Passionately being in the present is an amazing feeling.  We all do it without trying.  Some easy examples:  When we celebrate with friends or family.  Romantic dinners with the one we love. The moment a baby is born.  When someone gets engaged or married.  Intimate moments.  Opening of your own birthday gifts.  That first bite of fresh baked blueberry pie.  The moment you arrive home to see your furry friend wiggling with joy to see you.  When your child is hurt and only you can make it better.   The new car smell.  You get my point.  Some moments are easier to be IN.

Our inner spirit glows with glee for the moments we are IN. We think of nothing else.  We are totally immersed in what is unfolding right in front of our eyes.  Our hearts are full, time moves swiftly and we are lost in the happiness and, sometimes sadness.  We are clearly living in the “present”.

My daily goal is to have dialed-in experiences with high levels of passion and interest.  Whether its hearing about a colleagues  weekend plans, listening to someone talk about friend issues, communicating with my husband about household chores or getting to enjoy that first bite of pie.  They all deserve my undivided attention.  It is a never-ending work in progress.

I used to be really really bad at it!

After further review, I realized for myself to be in the moment, I had to forgive others…and myself.   Clean slate, if you will.

Who would have thought this would be a necessary step in the process.  I have had to actually pray for all good things to come to those who have wronged me along with forgiving them.  I would be a liar if I said that it was easy.  It’s wasn’t, but the emotions tied to the negativity had held me back from being complete and free to be in the present. Which I ultimately deserve, so do you!

              Side note: I have had to attempt the practice of forgiving and sending kind thoughts to someone who I felt was undeserving of them a few times. Like 5 times.  Just in case you aren’t able to 100% forgive and send blessings on your first attempt, you are not alone.   Eventually it clicks and you realize this practice is for YOU, not them!  This realization will speed up the process, I promise.  And this step will be a re-occurring step throughout your life.  So if you have hate in your heart for someone, you must send love and then let it go.  And in the future should someone wrong you, you must send love and then let it go.

How do I stay in the moment?    Give yourself a easy reminder item to help you start/continue the practice of being IN THE MOMENT.  A small pebble in your pocket, a rubber-band on your wrist or sticky notes anywhere and everywhere.  I do a combo of a bracelet I love to wear and sticky notes.

Through working on the task of being in the moment you will surely be enlightened in so many other ways.  Be present so you don’t miss a opportunity.

Today and everyday I will continue to hone my skills.  I hope you will do the same!

For LIFE is what is unfolding right in front of  our eyes, and we don’t want to miss this!

Just Sayin’

 

 

 

 

That looks so easy…

Or is it?

We never seem to understand how hard something may be until “it” either happens to us or we end up having to do “it”.

A few weeks ago I tried my hand at paddle boarding.  The entire family did.  Our lessons were held at a beautiful pond in Wilton Ct. It was lovely, and calm.  Let me repeat, calm.  Just like how easy it looked in the magazines with Rhianna doing it.

This past weekend I attempted this fun, leisurely sport again. Only this time I did it on a river.  First we went downstream for about a mile, a wonderful balancing act with the wind at our back.  Taking in the surrounding beauty.  Taking in nature.  Once we arrived at the beautiful bridge with flags from left to right we were to turn around…leaving us to paddle upstream, against the wind that was no longer at our back with arms that were already too tired to wave at passing boaters much less paddle back to life on dry land.   What the blankety blank!!! Yes, I had a few choice words for what had been a wonderful adventure turned tiring and less fun, much less fun.  Screw nature…screw passing boaters.  I prayed and paddled.  In that order!

I partially blame all of you who made it look so darn easy! And then I thought…wonder how many other things I totally underestimate the level of strength, confidence or skill it must take to execute this or that task.

My accountant, I don’t know how she does it.  Yes I pay her a fee but do I really take the time to appreciate what she does?

So I took a minute to throw out some gratitude for those I encounter frequently but probably do not grasp the level of skill or knowledge at which they function to make my life easier/better.  I definitely know they work hard and I respect them, but I must admit, they make it look so easy that I kinda forget that just because it looks easy, doesn’t mean it is easy.  Which I attribute to their devotion and pride in the work they do.

Thank you Barista, I cannot figure out my “at home” espresso maker to save my life, yet I take for granted how quickly you make my Grande Caramel Macchiato on Ice…skinny.  Thank you!

And to the lovely ladies at Petco who graciously always fit Rosie (our 4-legged little girl) in to buff her nails every 3rd Saturday like clockwork. Thank you!

And to Sheri from Blades of Milford who lets me hem and haw for the first 3 to 5 minutes of my visit about my grey coverage (I am getting older, don’t judge) my length & highlights only to follow her advice to a tee because she does magic that no one will ever understand.  Thank you!

And now for the professional world we all mingle in – Take a hard look around your office/workplace. I am sure people feel unappreciated, taken for granted or simply almost forgotten about entirely.  Do you really celebrate their accomplishments when they share them with you?  Are you in the moment or in your head thinking through your checklist, valuing your needs above those around you? Valuing yourself above the person standing in front of you, talking to you?

I absolutely do that.  I think 5 steps ahead of the conversation I am having and I call it “Type A”.  Since it has a label, can I really be held accountable?   Labeling it is supposed to make it ok?  It doesn’t.  I work daily at staying IN the conversation.  It takes practice.  But even with that said, I may be “in” the conversation, but not really value the level of work you put into what you are saying or what you did to accomplish your task.  Because we are so removed from the steps it took to accomplish that task, because our mind automatically assumes it was probably easy for you…we lose a little bit of appreciation for what you have make look easy.  And in all frankness you may not even make it look easy but because we only pay attention for a quick moment, we really wouldn’t know any different.

We are not intentionally trying to under-value the great things our friends, coworkers and families do!  I mean without all of them there are no happy days, loving moments or meaningful Salon therapy sessions.

But we do need to slow the blankety blank down.  We need to appreciate every single person we encounter.  Yes, every single one.

So the next time someone makes something look easy (which it might or might not be) remember to THANK them, have gratitude for what they do and how it affects you.  Don’t fluff off the conversation because its not your problem, task or doesn’t directly effect you.

And maybe, just maybe, you too will experience more gratitude from others who show you more appreciation for all you do.  Even though you might make it look easy.  Wink Wink

With that said, never try to go upriver without a paddle.

Just Sayin’

 

knowing ones limitations…sort of

FRUSTRATION… that is what I feel when I have a great idea but my own hands cannot bring the creation to reality.

I ponder, HOW DO I do it… HOW DO I learn it? What the hell UNIVERSE, you give me a mind that constantly spits out idea’s & creations but I don’t have the tools to create these mindful masterpieces.  I close my eyes & I can see them, clear as day… but to take a moment to try to draw & explain it to you, well it turns out like this.

steph blog Wondering what it is… me too, because it looks much more beautiful in my head.

Don’t laugh…  I have a lot of other great talents… I suppose 🙂  So I come from a family that has really good artistic skills, married a man who can draw, I work with an Artist (She is amazing), my Niece recently won an Art Contest… not to mention my step-son does a great job on on illustrating his own books.

joes photoRecent work, written & illustrated by Joe!

So after a long, heavy on the cursing, conversation with myself, the Universe, my drawing… followed by a short “its ok” conversation when I reached being utterly defeated…I took a long breath.

I stepped back & realized I have another thing in my life I am not very good at, something I don’t do easily. Something I am not comfortable with, but in order to make any further steps in bringing my mental creation to physical reality, I would have to flex this forgotten muscle.

Like many, I am not good at “asking for help” 😦And of course, I instantly apologized to the Universe for the harsh lashing I had given it. Realizing that in life, we continually get tasks to help us grow. So if you are not facing something or if you are not in full acceptance of something, the Universe will happily & kindly keep tapping you on the shoulder until you get it.  Some people “get it” & others live a life fighting it.

I would prefer to be in the group of those that “get it”.  And lets be totally transparent here, I am the FIRST PERSON to tell people they should NEVER BE ASHAMED TO ASK FOR HELP! And, I do believe that…I’m just not good at holding myself to those standards. Cause, you know… I am strong, I don’t need anyone’s help, I can do it myself…blah blah blah  In this case, I CANNOT draw it no matter how hard I try, so I can either give up or grow up.

So as I embark on figuring out who to ask, I do feel some relief from the frustration of not being 100% self reliant on completing this creation.  I guess that is why certain people are placed in our life… huh?!?

Score to date:   Universe 6 – Stephanie 0

UGH!

I’m just sayin!

Kindness is a 7 letter word…

Hi y’all…I know, I know… I have been MIA for a while.

If you read my blogs you know that I am a gal of gratitude, a place of silver linings…I am fortunate. At least that is my perspective on my life.

I, like many, was over the moon excited for 2013 to start.  The thoughts of 2012 make my heart heavy.

As I marched head first (Aries trait) into 2013 I realized that gratitude alone would not make me a happy girl.  Don’t get me wrong, gratitude is an absolute necessity in my life & my thought process. There are also other ingredients needed to accomplish the overall goal of embracing the life we live.  I am unsure why we have to remind ourselves of the little things…but we do.

So in reminding myself I thought maybe a few of you might benefit as well.

In my quest for building my business, being a super Bonus Mom, being the supportive wife & friend, I forgot one little thing… ME.

I have been eating outside my norm, have not worked out regularly & I am saying YES to everyone.

Now, that is all well & good if during these times I am not having a little internal tantrum… Example: “Why didn’t I just take the time to make the salad first?”  “Why didn’t I tell them I cannot make that time & reschedule?”  “You should have worked out before that, now you’re exhausted & hungry.” “If you would have only BLAH BLAH BLAH?!?” 

Does anyone else know how this feels?  Does anyone else have these ridiculous conversations with themselves?

I say things to myself that I would never tolerate someone else saying to meHELLO, what’s that about!?!

So I figured a few things out… took a little bit of time but the answer was pretty simple, I give more RESPECT to others needs, wants & desires than I do my own.  And then I say to myself…“but isn’t that what we are supposed to do?” So the guilt sneaks in and the cycle begins again.

I cannot say I am self loathing, but I can say in my quest to find out why my balance is so far off, I did discover that many people have incredibly unfriendly conversations with themselves. And many have been doing it for years.

Especially woman 😦  The most amazing creatures on earth... the ones who give birth to other human beings (MIRACLE) – they are unhappy with so many things about their life & decisions but mainly about themselves… body, time, beauty, age, necessity, helplessness, keeping everyone happy, missing their friends, missing romance, wanting to WANT to do things, exhaustion, boredom… and the list goes on.

I sort of surprised myself in finding that I had fallen into the trap of putting myself LAST on my list.  Me…outgoing, say what she means, hold the fluff Stephanie. Yup, I became victim to the pressure… I don’t recommend it.

Corrective action has been taken: 1.  I will RESPECT myself, not just when it’s convenient but more importantly when it is not convenient... it will feel uncomfortable but I will survive & so will whomever it effects.

2. I have every right to take a minute to myself. I don’t have to worry or explain it to anyone. If a time or place or event does not work for me… IT DOES NOT WORK FOR ME!!!  That is me yelling it at, well… ME.  (Now my internal tantrum is working for me)

3. I like taking a shower with candles lit. That’s right… I do.  A nice, hot shower with only candles. I will take MY TIME in the shower, I don’t need to do a run down of my list of to-dos and rush thru my shower as if I am winning an award for the cleanest person in the least amount of time. I mean, come on! ENJOY YOUR SHOWER… again me yelling at me.

4. THIS BODY IS MY VESSEL, no one else is responsible for my body but me… ME! I like eating good, clean food. I like feeling good after I eat. I like enjoying more savory food from time to time, on my schedule-not because OF my hectic schedule.  I like yoga & working out… when I don’t feel like I am punishing myself but when I feel I am empowering myself.

5. No more excuses. This has gone on long enough. Own it, change it & feel the POWER behind being KIND TO YOURSELF.

There are enough harsh things/events in the world to remind us how lucky we are, so lets not waste our time here.

I have been more strict in living by these rules for a little while now… Yes I still enjoy a few guilty pleasures with food or drink… and I always will. Yes, I will occasionally give in – I’m ok with that… because I know it is MY choice & therefore I don’t beat myself up for it.

Funny thing is, the more I RESPECT myself with Kindness to myself, the better everything seems to turn out around me.  Thoughts are things… therefore maybe my new, kinder thoughts are putting good MoJo out there for me.  It always seems to come full circle, doesn’t it?

I hope you find your ways to be kind to yourself…. remember to RESPECT yourself & YOUR NEEDS in 2013!

I’m just sayin!

 

FSW Oktoberfest 2012

If you haven’t heard about this amazing organization and all the amazing things they are doing… well here is your chance.

Check out this link in regards to attending this years Oktoberfest.

Great food, Great Microbrews and guess what, while you have FUN you are helping out your community.  Nothings better than that.

So grab your family and friends and make Saturday September 22nd a night to remember.

http://fswinc.givezooks.com/events/oktoberfest-2012

-I’m just sayin

Situation vs. Saturation

Hello dear readers,
I know I have been gone a while. I do think of you all often and am happy to be back in the land of the living readers.

So, have you ever been involved in something that you feel starts to haunt you? Something that maybe you have tended to in your own due time, come to terms with… maybe even started to forget about only for it to rear its ugly head again.  Instantly you feel that deep surge of heartache and your eyes well up with tears.

Sometimes I want to say, “Thanks but, no thanks… I would like to let this sleeping dog lie.”  And somehow, regardless of your intention you find that this subject becomes a rumbling among friends.  Others are talking about it. People have an opinion about it and before you know it, something you thought was a ‘situation’ has become an emotional ‘saturation’.

I am officially, emotionally waterlogged, if that is even possible.  So I cry from the mountain tops, okay from my office… “Enough, Enough!”

Then I think… sure would be awesome if I could waive a magic wand and help people close to me forget about a situation simply to save myself the time and strain of dealing with it yet again.  But since I am no longer 9 years old and no longer believe in a magic wand, (that was a hard thing to accept too) I must pull myself up by my bootstraps and move forward. Okay, so I say I have dealt with it, but recently thru dealing with it I realized, listen closely cause I am going to whisper here…“I might not have completely dealt with it” but I don’t want the whole world to know that.  I am a strong woman and I am fine… blah blah blah.  Does any of this sound familiar to anyone? Ever happened to you?

So as I dig my heels in, not wanting to tackle the issue head on, with my heart is heavy.  I am having to admit to myself that maybe I have a little more work to do on this subject, which frankly pisses me off!

So if anyone else out there is dealing with a broken down relationship & doesn’t know what the heck to do, well… let’s start a club!  I’m kidding, I’m kidding… just know you are not alone and sometimes sleeping dogs need to stay asleep… for now!  Stay strong my dear friends.

And of course, to stay true to form I will ask the Universe for assistance… not that I haven’t already.

On another note…
Speaking of Saturation. This is a healthy meal with a hearty comfort food feel. Enjoy!!

Recipe:

Shrimp Oil & Garlic

Take your sun dried tomatoes from the bag and poor them into a hot bowl of water, let them soften up.  Heat up your olive oil, throw in fresh garlic or the minced garlic from a bottle.  Once it starts to have a nice aroma add your shrimp and mushrooms. Throw in the sun dried tomatoes at the end. Mix with cooked pasta and voila!

Bon Appetit’