What is your perspective?

April and SerenaOne of my closest friends and I were texting back and forth about stuff (aka life).  We were discussing that her sweet daughter had, had a fever for six days and she hadn’t had much sleep.  She had been up over at the ER of the hospital literally overnight, didn’t get home until 6:30am and had a client appointment at 9:30am.  I felt so bad for her and texted her how sorry I was, thinking that I would be a wreck.  This was her response:

“I want to sleep all day,  but I have to get a deal worked out which is a GREAT problem to have”.

And I just sat in my car and smiled…almost a bit tearful.  What she could have said, and I might have said is,

“I know, this SUCKS.  I am SO f*&*ing tired!”

But she didn’t.  And she meant it.  She meant that she was truly grateful, that although she was physically and mentally exhausted, worried about her daughter, and probably a little bit black under the eyes, she was excited to have the ‘problem’ of working with clients and getting deals done.

Well hell.

THAT is what makes the difference between a happy life, and an unhappy life.  Perspective.

Each of us could analyze our lives and find all the crap this is awry.  We could spend the time and waste energy complaining and wishing it was different.  Or we could look at it differently.  We get to choose our perspective.  Always.  No exceptions.

Are there terrible things happening in the lives of people?  Yes, absolutely.  But every day that we wake up breathing is a gift, and we get to choose how we view this gift, and what we do with it.  It may not be easy sometimes, this perspective thing, and it does require practice, but when you really, truly, focus on the good, the things to be grateful for, it will absolutely, 100% change your entire life around.  IN THE BEST WAY POSSIBLE.  No matter what situation you are in.

Try it.

Try changing your perspective, just one small thing at a time.

 

 

 

Don’t have regrets

regretI recently made some big changes in life.  The first, was to sell my business to change my focus and to move my family.  I went back to school, have been obtaining and working on specific licenses and am almost finished with my professional focus change.

Moving my family was much harder than all of that.  I had been talking about it for years, but the actual point of selling, buying, moving, starting over in a new area proved to be much more stressful, sad, hard and at points debilitating than I had imagined (and by the way…it was not this hard ten years ago when I made a similar move- what the hell!?).

Through all of this I kept questioning myself; am I doing the right thing?  Is this really best for my family?  For myself?  For my marriage?

You know what?  I don’t know if it is.  But we did it.  And now I won’t spend years wondering WHAT IF.  And you know what else?  If it sucks ass, then we will move again.  Why not?

What is holding you back in life?  What do you dream about, think about and wonder about?  Do you think, as you lie on your death-bed, you will have regrets about these things?  Yes, I am going there because we have ONE life to live here on earth; are you living the life you dream about?

This month I want you to spend some time thinking about this.  Is it feasible for everyone to up and move?  No.  Is it feasible to make small changes that can lead up to it, or whatever you dream about? YES.  My husband and I started this process over four years ago.  Four years ago we put up pictures of our dream neighborhood and dream house.  YES we did.  Four years ago we started making decisions and changes in our life that would get us steps closer to where we are today.  Sometimes, we thought we would give up and scrap the whole idea.  Sometimes we ran into obstacles we thought could not be overcome (for a moment or two we even allowed ourselves to wallow in doubt).  But each day we woke up, looked at our vision boards, looked at decisions and what needed to be done and we chipped away at our dream.  By the way, we are not done.  We have new dreams and are starting to chip at those, while we live our current dream.

No matter what your dream is- you CAN achieve it.  You just have to do two things:

BELIEVE in it.

MOVE toward it.

We can help you do these things by the way.

Let’s get to LIVING OUR DREAMS.

xoxo

Shannon

 

Giving up to gain in 2015

Metta-WordleMy number one fan, my aunt Theresa, has been asking me where I have been.  “No videos! No posts!  What is going on?” she asked.  I smiled and said, “I am breathing, making space, and enjoying life”.

There are many, MANY articles and posts about how to make the most of this holiday season.  And many of them talk about ways to make it all work, and how to make everyone happy.  I don’t subscribe to that theory.  At breakfast the other day, with two of my closest friends, they both asked me, “Do you even sleep??!” as they see, from the outside, that I am “getting shit done”.  What they don’t see, but I tried to explain, is how much I have let go, in order to breathe and make space for peace to fill me up, versus the anxious “gotta get xyz, abc, efg done..yesterday!” frenzy I am watching in most of my friends and family.  I am not going to stay up all night wrapping presents perfectly.  My presents…that I wrapped, look like my three-year old wrapped them (they really do).  And I could care less.  I am not gonna cram to bake, prepare and cry over dinner plans and family gatherings.  Market Street has a killer deli, and my favorite gluten-free bakery makes amazing cakes/pies.  I am not going to get hung up on what time we meet, where it is, or who is in charge when it comes to the family holiday madness.  So long as I bring my wine, and probably the kids (I really should make sure I don’t forget them or anything), I could care less what the details are.  I am not going to beat myself up because along with the holidays, my businesses, my kids- we are preparing to move across country. A new, life changing decision my husband and I are making.

I am letting go.

Because, what I present to myself each time I start to feel anxious, or like I NEED to do something, is a question.  I ask myself just one simple question.  Each time.

“Will this bullshit matter five years from now?”.  If the answer is yes (which it rarely is) then it stays on my list.  If the answer is no, then I let it go.

That includes my three times a week video podcasts and posts during this life transitioning time, despite how much I love doing them.  It includes cramming in certain holiday madness traditions that are not necessary.  That includes anxiety over listing, showing and perfecting the house.

During this time of reflection, I have come up with my 2015 plan.  I don’t believe too much in resolutions, as I have my vision/goals all year-long.  But I do like to put thoughts together at the end of one year on what I want to think about the following year.  Here is my plan for 2015.

  1. Live YOUR purpose.   I am not worried about what everyone thinks I should do, or what I think everyone expects and neither should you worry about it.  I know what I want, and how I plan to get there and I plan to live out my days doing just that.  Wake up and breathe in your purpose.  Stop wasting time on ‘getting by’ doing what you hate.  Take risks.
  2. Let GO.  I have gotten so much better at this, it is almost scary.  Because of my 5 year question; I am able to let go of the crap that usually bogs me down.  Meditation helps tremendously as well.   I am learning to say no, and learning to be kind and forgiving to myself when I can’t do it ‘all’.
  3. Bask in good Karma.  If you want something, give it.  If you want love, compassion, kindness, respect- give it.  I do subscribe to ‘what comes around go around’ so sow what you want in your life and watch it grow.
  4. Be happy for others.  It hurts my heart when I am with people who are determined to tear others down, no matter what it is in reference to.  Being spiteful, jealous, mean-spirited is draining and so counterproductive for your OWN life.
  5. Guard your circle of Influence. I watched a segment with Steve Harvey yesterday and I plan to live by it; “Don’t share your dreams and aspirations with small-minded people”- be careful who you share your dreams with.  Be careful who you spend time with- remember, the five people you spend the most time with reflect who you are.  Are they uplifting, encouraging, supportive?  Are they cheaters, thieves, gossipers?  Think about it.
  6. GIVE.  Find the time, energy and resources to give.  Help others.  Serve someone.  Do it with joy in your heart.  There is no better gift to myself than to give to others.  I can’t describe the joy it brings me- I want you to experience it for yourself.  Start with baking cookies for a local firehouse.  Or dropping off needed items at a homeless shelter.  Or playing the piano for a senior center (or just reading to the folks there).
  7. Be kind to YOURSELF.  How many times in a day do you call yourself a name?  Either out loud or mentally? YOU hear that.  YOU are listening to this.  Your subconscious does and you produce what you tell yourself.  Yes, we make mistakes.  Sometimes big ones.  But how productive is it to call yourself stupid?  Instead try, “Well Shannon, that was something to learn from, let’s not do that again”.    Also, don’t worry what others say about you.  Remember this; what others think about you is none of your business.
  8. Stop drinking poison.  Are you holding onto a grudge or negative energy about someone?  Stop drinking poison hoping it will kill that person.  It is only killing you.  I can’t tell you how to release it, as it depends on what you need to release.  But I can tell you to seek help.  Look inside yourself and know that if you continue to harp, fester and think about this negative situation or person, you are truly only hurting YOURSELF.  See number two above.
  9. Ease up on expectations.  We all make mistakes.  I usually do within 30 minutes of waking up.  It is unrealistic to hold someone to such a pedestal that when they do something you don’t like or don’t live up to your expectations, that you then start to drink poison (see above).  The only person you control is YOU.  Stop trying to control others.  What someone else does is all about how you SEE it, not the actual actions.  See mistakes as what they are- the same thing you do when you are trying to live.
  10. Practice Metta.  My choice of meditation is metta.  This is a universal love.  It is not easy.  But always, always, it brings such peace with it.  This means loving yourself, your enemies, your loved ones, and everyone in the universe.  This does not mean you allow others to attack you and seek that- it does mean you offer love, at minimum, silently, to those that have hurt you, to those that have nurtured you, and to those that are suffering, rejoicing and living in this world too.  Imagine if everyone in the world practiced Metta.

Lastly- ease up.  Don’t live so seriously.  As my husband and I say, especially when our kids are being absolute assholes (sorry people, we all can be assholes)- “we gotta enjoy the ride”.  Life is a journey, stop looking for the destination of happiness.  It is happening now.  Right now.  As you sip coffee, sip wine..as your kids are screaming and throwing stuff and destroying the last thirty minutes of cleaning you just did (oh, wait..that is my moment)..as you go through whatever season you are in- it is happening, if you look for it.  If you look for ugly, you will find it.  If you look for happiness, you will find it.

Happiness is already within you, around you.

Let’s enjoy the ride in 2015.

Cheers!

 

PS- I am so happy to say I finished my 200 hour yoga certification and meditation instructor certification.  So thankful for what I have learned and continue to learn on this journey.  I am living my purpose and so grateful for those that have encouraged, uplifted and supported me.  I am also almost done with my Masters in Mental Health.  I started this journey several years ago, in my late thirties, with four kids, as my fourth ‘career’- the one I was always destined to do, but never wanted to give up the corporate checks or stability of what I have done and known in the past.  Know this-  It is never too late to live your purpose.

 

Growing through fear

no-fearMy husband and I are looking to make some big life changes.  And they scare me a little bit.  As I was sharing some of this thought process with a friend, she easily stated, “Ya, but remember we grow through fear”.  Well, duh.

Sometimes you need someone else to say something, that you normally teach, say and practice- right back at ya when things are a bit cloudy.  Our own perspective can get a bit lost.

When we use our fears, when we face them, we 100% grow, change, develop.  Remember the video I did on the fly last week about fear?  I shared four ways to overcome fear.  Which is important- but let’s analyze what happens when we do face our fears.

First, what are the most common fears?  Below is a list of what folks fear the most:

  • Fear of death
  • Fear of rejection
  • Fear of failure
  • Fear of what others think
  • Fear of not being enough
  • Fear of the unknown
  • Fear of success
  • Fear of not being loved
  • Fear of public speaking

Can you find any of your fears listed above?  There are a few there for me.  Right now I am struggling with fear of failure (for our life change decision).

But.

Here is what I remind myself of.  When I tackled things that I was most fearful of- I always, 100%, every time have come out better because of it.  Either a better circumstance, or a better perspective.

Cause here is the thing.  You are CAPABLE of achieving, changing, succeeding, dreaming, chasing, and being.  What stops us- is fear.

Can you look at that list, and pinpoint something that is holding you back?  Can you tackle it?  Either head on, or bit by bit?

You can.  I know you can.  And if you do, I promise, you will be a better person because of it.


mushroomMushroom Stroganoff

This week my family and I tried a new recipe from my new favorite recipe book, from Forks over Knives. OH MY GOODNESS.  This, the whole family loved.  You can find the recipe here.  I have been on a 90% plant-based ‘diet’ for several weeks now- and am LOVING it.  I can’t believe how great I feel.  I ate fairly healthy before, but cutting out animal proteins and fats have been huge.  And I am shocked.  By the way, I do love a good steak.  So I say 90% (or like 95% ha) of the time I will eat plant-based.  But I do have fish once a week, and a good steak around once a month or so.

Oh, and wine.  Gotta have my wine.

Cheers!

Health mistakes women make

Women, generally, are always on the go.  Whether physically, mentally or both.  Working in or out of the home (and both too), juggling kids activities, multi tasking, home tasks, managing the spouses (yes, yes we do), and trying to squeeze in a bit of ‘me time’ here and there.  The sad truth is, as women, we take care of ourselves last, and that needs to reverse.  By taking care of ourselves- the right way– we will be more effective, efficient and happy while taking care of everything else. Here are some common health mistakes women make;

  1. Eating the wrong ‘health’ foods.  We are always looking for the shortcut.  Especially women since we are typically juggling so much.  We make the mistake of buying quick and easy foods that say ‘low fat’ or ‘healthy’.  Truth be told- if it is in a box, bag, or can- it is not ‘healthy’.  Go for whole, real foods.  At least 90% of the time.  Don’t O’D on protein either.  Too much protein will cause inflammation in our bodies and our bodies to store the excess as fat.  Women only need around 40-46 grams of protein a day according to the CDC- and you will be surprised how quickly this adds up.  Your plate should have mostly veggies, complex carbs/grains. Whole.  Real.  Food.
  2. Skipping on breakfast.  I see a lot of women I work with skip or skimp on breakfast.  Or just as bad- eat a high sugar breakfast.  Breakfast sets the tone for your bodies metabolism throughout the day. You just got done fasting for several hours (sleeping), so you need to fill your body with high fiber, protein rich foods first thing.  Skip the orange juice (you should skip fruit juices in general) and skip the high sugar cereals/bars.  Oatmeal with chia seed is also an excellent morning starter!
  3. Skimping on sleep.  I can easily fall victim to lack of sleep on a regular basis.   Unfortunately for daily performance (think mental clarity and focus) and for weight balance (think less sleep means weight gain!), and for energy (think hormones are screwed up when we don’t sleep) we need our sleep.  At least 7-8 solid hours a night.  There are so many studies backing this up, and yet we short ourselves on this regularly.  Lack of sleep will also eventually cause depression and can lead to long-term heart and health problems.  Bottom line- get your sleep.  Turn off electronics at least 30 minutes before bedtime (the bring glare in our eyes stops the melatonin from kicking in), turn down the lights and make notes for the next day (a great way to get your mind ready to sleep and prepare for the next day).  You can always transfer the written notes into your phone tomorrow.  Sleep.  Sleep.  Sleep.
  4. No time to work out.  I call BS on this.  I hear this as an excuse everyday and my first thought is- you don’t have time NOT to.  For those that do not make the time…and we are talking 15-20 minutes a day here…there will come a point in life when they will wish they had.  Usually that time is when they are laying in a hospital bed and hoping to see grandchildren born or grow up.  At that moment you will not only wish you had taken the time- you will realize all the other crap that you were focusing on really didn’t matter.  Cut something else out if you have to.  Take.  The.  Time.  To.  Work.  Out.  There are great at home routines easily found on YouTube, a jog, a bike ride, yoga flow, whatever.  Take the time so you can live longer and feel great. (PS changing it up will keep you engaged) (PSS- just cause you DO work out does not mean you can eat crap) (PSS- don’t ignore weight lifting- it is incredibly beneficial for women)
  5. Supplementing for energy and nutrients.  I am not a nay-sayer on supplements for the most part.  If your doctor has prescribed them, or you have a true deficiency, then by all means, supplement.  However, our bodies produce (unless there is a medical reason otherwise) what we need if we feed it right and buying supplements is, well, a waste of money.  Our bodies will just flush it out…or in some cases, will stop producing those nutrients naturally and then you really will feel like crap.  Save the money.  Eat right instead.  Also..feeling tired in your day so you want to drink coffee or another energy drink?  Skip it after 2pm and go for a light jog, run, or a simple 5 minute yoga flow- getting active, even for five minutes, will give you an energy rush!

What are some ways you overcome these mistakes?

 

Looking for a wonderful holiday treat- that has some great health benefits too?  Check out our Pretzel Holiday Crunch below!


 

Pretzel Holiday Crunch

(good for anytime of the year!)

pretzel crunchIngredients

  • 1/4 cup of applesauce
  • 2.5 cups of crushed up pretzels (I use gluten free ones)
  • 2 tablespoons of chia seed
  • 1 cup of almond butter
  • 1 cup of dark chocolate chips

Directions

  • In a medium bowl add the applesauce, pretzel crumbs, almond butter and chia seed and mix well.
  • Press mixture evenly into the bottom of an engrossed 9×13 inch baking dish.
  • Put chocolate chips in a microwave safe container and microwave for 30 seconds at a time until melted (can cook on stovetop too if preferred).
  • Pour chocolate over the mixture and spread evenly out.
  • Refrigerate at least one hour prior to cutting into squares and serving.
  • Optional: can add a teaspoon of stevia or 1/4 cup of coconut sugar to pretzel mix sweeten further (I don’t feel its necessary) and can also add 1/2 teaspoon of mint extract to chocolate for mint flavor.

Are you wealthy?

5-Common-Habits-Among-the-Wealthy-554x317One of the lifelong (dare I say world long) struggles with humans is understanding and/or finding our life purpose.  We, as people, lay awake at night trying to decipher what the hell we are here for.  We look to prayer, our pastors, the bible, society, each other- yet we still continuously ruminate, worry and fret.  I believe, one of our main purposes in life, is to find wealth.

Yes, wealth.

But not in the form of dollars and cents (or Euro’s, Peso’s, Franc’s..etc).  Please don’t misunderstand- I enjoy making money, and spending it.  For sure.  But that is not our true purpose.  In my humble opinion.  The kind of wealth I am speaking of- is in a much different format.

  1. Wealth of health.  A good friend of mine recently told me a story.  Her client (she is an incredible realtor) just sold two of his houses (he has several) and he owed no money on them, so he made quite a bit of profit on each.  However, he didn’t seem pleased.  My friend asked if everything was ok (worried he wasn’t happy with her services perhaps) as he had also been very reserved through the process of finalizing the paperwork and closing.  He sighed, turned to her and said, “Please..never wish or pray for money.  Pray for health.” and left her standing in the office.  She learned that his wife had just been diagnosed with terminal cancer.  Here, they had worked so hard to build a fortune together, to retire and travel and share the rewards, and when they felt they finally reached a good place financially, were now going to spend the money to pay for trial testing, medicines, trips around the world to see doctors, and any and everything to try to extend the wife’s life, even if by days.  The millions they had worked for, were now being spent on one of the most expensive, yet free things we own- our health.
  2. Wealth of attitude.  One of the most important aspects of life my husband and I talk about, is our one controllable thing in an uncontrollable world- our attitude.  Our perspective.  This is a daily, if not hourly discipline.  And it can be wiped out in a millisecond.  A car cuts you off and you swerve or slam on the brakes to avoid a collision.  You can; 1– curse, wave a special finger and let your racing heart and evil thoughts of revenge sweep you away.  Or you can; 2– send a silent prayer of thanks for not colliding, take a deep breath and hope that whatever hurry that person is in, that they make it ok.  Which is more fulfilling?  Before you answer number 1- let’s assume that person in the car is your mother, your child, your spouse and they just cut someone else off.  Maybe accidentally.  Maybe they didn’t truly see (or pay attention- yes that does happen, to all of us).  Maybe there is a true emergency.  Maybe.  Maybe.  But, ultimately, we get to decide how to let this person’s actions, thoughts, desires, affect us.  Do we want to carry negative energy and emotions with us?  The answer should be no.  We don’t.  Choose the attitude that will result in positive energy, which will then result in positive occurrences in your life.  What we focus on, what we think about- we bring about.
  3. Wealth of inner peace.  What you do, what you have, who you are- is determined by what you think about inside your mind and feel inside your heart.  No matter how much currency is in your bank account, how many cars you own, what zip code you live in or what fantastic career you have- you will not have true wealth without peace and joy in your heart. When we approach all things in life- our careers, our marriages, our relationships- with joy and love- we will absolutely experience wealth.  Significant, abundant wealth.
  4. Wealth of service. I am pretty selfish.  No doubt about it.  I pray and meditate on my selfishness all the time.  I am a selfish parent, a selfish friend, a selfish spouse.  Some of my friends reading this might right away say, “Are you kidding!? No you are not!”.  Yes, yes I am.  Because you see, even when I serve others, which I 100% love to do, it serves a selfish purpose.  It makes ME feel good.  I love working at church.  I love donating (both my time and money).  I love helping friends.  I love seeing my kids grow and develop.  I love helping my husband in his business.  I love it all.  But I fear I love it because of the joy it brings me, more than because it brings others joy.  The good news?  It is still serving.  It is still oh so good to do.  AND, it feels good (for us selfish people).  So here is my challenge to you- serve others.  Serve in any capacity you can.  The truth is- it will bring you so much wealth and joy, much more than you will ever be able to give to others.
  5. Wealth of influence.  Who is your best friend?  The one you confide in.  Do they uplift you?  Do they have an unshakable positive regard for life?  Who are the people you call to get advice?  Do they uplift you?  Do they have an unshakable positive regard for life? Who do you spend time with outside of your immediate family?  What kind of decisions do they make?  What kind of life do they lead?  Do they have joy?  Serve others?  Have inner peace?  So here’s the thing…who you surround yourself with, you become like.  This is 100% true.  If you surround yourself with gossips, negative nay sayers, unmotivated, depressed people…well…you get the idea.  I am not insinuating that your best friend, or confidant will not have an off day- that is your opportunity to uplift, but just take a few moments and analyze the people you share the gift of your time with.  Think hard.  Are they people you want to be like?

How is your wealth?  Where is your focus, your energy directed to?  Share with us how wealthy you are!


 Recipe of the week!

Is it getting cold where you are?  It is here!  And when it is cold…I love crock pot meals!  Try my vegan crock pot meal below!  I LOVE this recipe!

 

Butternut Squash Coconut Chili

butternutsquashIngredients:

  • 1 small onion chopped
  • 2 stalks of celery chopped
  • 2 full carrots chopped
  • 2 medium apples chopped (peeled)
  • 2 cups of peeled and chopped butternut squash
  • 6 cloves of garlic peeled and finely minced
  • 1 can of black beans (drained and rinsed)
  • 1 can chickpeas (drained and rinsed)
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 2 teaspoons of chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon of dried oregano
  • 2 cups of vegetable broth
  • 2 tablespoons of tomato paste
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • Chopped fresh parsley and shredded unsweetened coconut (for garnish)

Directions:

  • Place all ingredients except garnishments in a slow cooker.  Cook on high for 4-6 hours or low for 8 hours.  During last hour taste and season with salt and pepper as desired (can add more chili pepper too or a pinch of cayenne pepper if you want it on the spicy side).  In the last 30-45 min check to see if chili needs more vegetable broth and leave the lid off to let it thicken up.
  • Serve over cooked quinoa or rice and garnish with fresh herbs and coconut.

Five ways to cope with stress

zenI would love to tell you that I don’t struggle with stress.  That my eating healthy, being active and mindfulness practices allow me to live a stress free life.  Unfortunately this is not the case.  I too struggle with stress.  My healthy practices however, allow me to cope, heal and not allow the stress to take over my life.  It is no secret that stress is literally a killer.  A killer of joy, of health, and of life.  Yes, you can die from stress.  Here are five things you can do to cope (and in some cases prevent) stress;

  1. Meditation.  I speak a lot about meditation and am so grateful I was introduced to it.  There is no easy way to tell naysayers who have not tried meditation except this- knock the shit off and try it.  There are several short YouTube meditation series that have a big impact.  Impact on how you feel and think.  Meditation can actually change the way you feel.  Try typing into the YouTube search, “Positive Affirmations Meditations” and pick one you connect to.  Plug in some ear buds, lay down, and give it a shot.
  2. Postpone the non essentials.  Yes you have a to do list for days.  Carpet needs repaired.  Lunches packed.  Neighbor asked for a favor.  Laundry.  Project A.  Project Z.  Drop off items.  Pick up items.  I know, I KNOW.  But here is the thing, when you are feeling extra stressed, put off what is not essential.  Delegate.  Ask for help if you can.  Tell the neighbor you would love to help, but perhaps next week would be OK..  Yes, it is OK to say no.  And if it’s not OK to say no, then let’s not be friends, OK?
  3. Be kind to yourself.  Do NOT call yourself names.  Not out loud, not in your head.  Remember my saying, “Thoughts become reality” and just by thinking or saying you are stupid, slow, fat, etc, well..you kinda bring those things in your world.  Be kind.  Treat yourself as you would a nice new stranger.
  4. Change your environment.  Have you been holed up in your office?  In your house?  In your car?  Stop for just 90 seconds and go outside.  Even if it is raining or snowing.  Take five deep breaths.  Say out loud if you can (or in your head if your neighbor is walking the dog and wondering if you are gonna be on the news tonight), “I CAN DO THIS.  I AM ENOUGH”.
  5. Will it matter?  When I get anxious or stressed I have to stop and ask myself this wacky question, “If I were to end up in a hospital bed tomorrow, and told I have less than a year to live, will this crap matter?”  Usually the answer is no.  I only use this question when I am really in a pinch and experiencing some serious mental anguish, as I don’t generally believe in bringing a negative thought (ya, hospital beds and death are somewhat negative…just sayin’) into my world, but when I do ask myself this question, I all of a sudden have some good perspective, and it shifts my thinking quickly.

Check out my YouTube video on this topic!

 

Do you have things that work for you?  Please share with us!

Become more powerful with these five steps

Healthy-Living-copyThere is something powerful in emotions. In our thinking. If we think we can accomplish something, we will. If we think we can’t- we won’t. In order to really unleash your power, and become successful in all aspects of your life- you have to become a powerfully positive person (we can call it the PPP if you want). Here are five steps to help you do just that.  Be sure to also check out my POSITIVELY POWERFUL and DELICIOUS cookie recipe below!

1- Meditation.  One of the most powerful tools I picked up from a friend is to meditate. Because I believe in it so much I have decided to become a certified instructor. Believe it or not, meditating creates a physical response in your brain. If you struggle with anxiety, depression, or just plain ol exhaustion/being overwhelmed- meditation can help your brain refocus, refresh and refuel- which in turn literally does the same for your physical body. It is one of the best ways to release negative energy and connect mind, body and soul.

2- Visualization. I believe in vision boards. I believe in taking quiet time to myself and actually feeling, expressing and believing in my success as if it is already here and happening.  Visualizing literally attracts what you want to you.  This needs to be done daily.  You have to feel it, see it, hear it, smell it.  Just by visualizing what you want, how you want to feel and be, it will come to you.  I promise.

3-  Gratitude.  I have a quote I love (I am sure I stole it from someone), “If you are not thankful for what you currently have, why should you have more?”  Being grateful for every wonderful detail of your life, only brings more of those wonderful details to fruition.  Even bigger details.  Be grateful.  Feel gratitude.  Express gratitude.  Start a gratitude journal.  What you think about, and thank about, you bring about. Don’t skip this.

4- Give.  When I volunteer for organizations, or donate my time or money, those organizations express so much gratitude and I kinda feel guilty for their gratitude, cause truthfully…I give cause it makes ME feel good.   Giving is kinda like gratitude- the more you put in it, the more you get out of it.  However, I caution you- don’t give and then try to visualize a million dollars coming your way because you fed the homeless.  Give because you truly desire to.  Find something you are passionate about and put some energy into it.  Watch and see what blossoms in your life.

5- Circle of Influence.  This is one of my most biggest, most importantist (yes that is a word) aspects of becoming positive and successful.  You become like the people you surround yourself with.  Take a moment right now and think about the people you spend the most time with that live outside of your home.  Are they positive, happy, uplifting people?  Or do they talk down about or to others?  Think really, really, really hard about this.  You cannot be truly happy and successful if you absorb and/or surround yourself with others who are not happy and positive.  You just cannot.  Trust me on this.

By doing these steps you will be more connected to your mind, body, soul and the universe attracting the things you desire.

Do you have steps that work for you? Please share.

Positively Powerful Cookies

(not to mention sugar/dairy/gluten free)

cookiesIngredients

  • 3 cups paleo flour blend (or your own choice of flour blend)
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 teaspoon pure stevia
  • 1/2 cup chia seeds
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 cup coconut milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups chocolate chips (use what brand/type you like; I use unsweetened dark chocolate)
  • 2 teaspoons hot water
  • Optional: additional teaspoon or two of coconut milk if dry (depends on flour blend)

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  2. Put parchment paper on two cookie sheets
  3. Whip together the applesauce, stevia, and chia seeds. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then stir in the vanilla. Dissolve baking soda in hot water. Add to batter along with salt and milk. Stir in flour, baking powder and chocolate chips. Drop by large spoonfuls onto cookie sheets.
  4. Bake for about 13-15 minutes in the preheated oven, or until edges are nicely browned.

Choosing to be happy

We make a lot of choices or decisions throughout the day.  What to wear, what to eat, what to drink, what to spend our money on, how to respond to so-and-so….the list is ENDLESS.  There are but a few things we won’t regret choosing.  Everything else…well the results may vary.  Here are a few things you WON’T regret choosing:

1- choose to be happy.  It IS a choice.  No matter what is currently plaguing you, what happened yesterday, or this morning, or in the future.  Choose to be happy.  Allow a few moments to close your eyes.  Envision your happy place.  Breathe deep.  Embrace that feeling of joy.  Choose it.

2- choose to unplug.  Unless your kids are gone and may need  you- turn off your phone.  At the very least, shut off all social media.  Stay away from your laptop.  Instead; listen to music.  Read a book.  Paint.  Draw.  Cook.  Garden.  Choose what lifts you up and do THAT instead.

3- choose kindness over rudeness.  This is also a choice.  Someone cuts us off on the road?  Choose to believe they needed to be somewhere else in a hurry.  Someone bumps into you at the store and keeps going?  Choose to believe they are plagued by troublesome thoughts and didn’t notice.  Choose compassion, regardless of the others true intent.  Why not?  Why choose the alternative of ‘giving it to them’- all that does is bring negative energy into your life.  Smile at a stranger.  Smile at EVERYONE- even if they look at you strange. Go a step further- pay it forward to someone else.  Buy someone a cup of coffee.  Leave cookies at your neighbors doorstep.  Volunteer at a local shelter.  Watch what happens when you do THAT.

4- choose to say no.  Feeling a bit overwhelmed?  Your to do list not getting shorter?  Say no the next time someone asks for help.  It is OK.  Don’t put in extra hours in your child’s class room.  It is more important you are engaged with them when they are home.  Look where you can delegate some of your to do list and let things go.  PS- when you don’t have time to meditate or take care of yourself is when you need it the most.

5- choose to treat yourself like a queen.  We sometimes treat strangers better than we treat ourselves.  We constantly beat ourselves up- mentally and emotionally.  Don’t do that.  Don’t think or SAY that you suck at something.  Don’t think or SAY that you can’t get anything done.  Don’t think or SAY that you are awful.  Tell yourself RIGHT NOW that you are amazing.  That you are gifted.  That you can do hard things. THAT YOU GOT THIS.

I get stuck in that tornado effect of ugliness too.  I then have to slow down and make hard choices.  Like these.  But they are choices and you will 100% of the time be glad you did.  Here is my YouTube video about this topic!

Now choose to do this and possibly treat yourself to a glass of wine as well.  Or a cookie.  Or a damn bowl of salad.  Whatever floats your boat.  You can also choose to reward yourself with yummy Strawberry Coconut Treats below.  Obtained this delicious dish from Deliciously Organic.

Panna-Cotta-Small-682x1024Strawberry Coconut Panna Cotta

Ingredients

For the panna cotta:
4 cups full fat coconut milk, divided
1 tablespoon unflavored gelatin
1⁄3 cup raw honey
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup seasonal berries (prefer fresh but can use frozen thawed out)

Instructions

Pour 1 cup coconut milk into a medium saucepan and sprinkle evenly with the gelatin. Let the milk sit for 5-10 minutes to allow the gelatin to soften.

Heat the milk and gelatin over medium heat, stirring constantly, until gelatin is dissolved and milk begins to steam. Stir the remaining coconut milk and honey into the warm milk and whisk until all the ingredients are dissolved. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the vanilla. Let the mixture cool for 10 minutes.

Divide the coconut milk mixture evenly among 6 glasses or small bowls. Cover panna cottas tightly with plastic wrap, making sure the plastic wrap does not touch the cream’s surface. Refrigerate for about 5 hours, until cold and set. When you are ready to serve, top with seasonal berries.

Ways to get your happy back

Cute-Puppy-SadMany (MANY) of us have times of ‘funk’.  Where we may or may not know what the hell is bothering us, but we just can’t seem to move past it.  It can last minutes, hours or days.  If it lasts longer than a week you should probably consult your doctor.  What are some things we can do if we are in a funk, down in the dumps or just cranky?  Check out ten things to do below AND my happy salad recipe!

You can also check out my quick YouTube video below:

1- get OUTSIDE.  Weather permitting (and sometimes even if its not- put on a rain coat!), get outside. Walk, jog, run, bike, garden, whatever.  Get outside, get some vitamin D and breathe.

2- get CREATIVE. Draw, paint, write, sew, knit.  Do something creative that makes you feel good.

3- pray or meditate (or both).  There are some really good meditations on YouTube for free you can listen to.  Find one with positive affirmations.  Read a part in the bible that makes you feel good (probably wanna stay away from hell and damnation parts).  Go in the closet and think of all the things you are grateful for (I have to go in the closet…happens when you have four kids).

4- read a BOOK.  Pick a book that makes you happy and read a few chapters.

5- watch a COMEDY.  Laughter stirs up so many great chemical reactions on your body.

6- ORGANIZE.  Seems strange, but sometimes cleaning out an area that is jumbled up in your life feels great.  A closet, computer files, pantry, etc. Continue reading