Monthly Archives: September 2015

I could never ever have said this better.

A few days ago, a friend posted this on FB. I have never watched or listened to anything Madea-related. I would normally have skipped it. Yet, something told me to hit play. I did. It is five minutes so please know that – less than 30 seconds in you’ll know why I want to share it. It’s the most powerful and clear message I’ve heard on this subject in a long time. Share with your kids. They should know.

I wish you an amazing start to your week. XO

I could never ever have said this better.

A  few days ago, a friend posted this on FB.  I have never watched or listened to anything Madea-related.  I would normally have skipped it.  Yet, something told me to hit play.  I did.  It is five minutes so please know that – less than 30 seconds in you’ll know why I want to share it.  It’s the most powerful and clear message I’ve heard on this subject in a long time.  Share with your kids.  They should know.

I wish you an amazing start to your week.  XO

Thank you for your warm thoughts and my birthday wish for you.

Yesterday didn’t start as I’d planned.  I had to forgo my birthday run with friends to take one of the boys to the orthopedic after a brief scare (he’s fine).  Then, after getting home, I realized I needed to finish up a work project and eventually, at 10:30, I was able to go for a short run – alone.

But, I decided this was not going to be an ordinary run.  I wasn’t going to spend my run looking at the ground, as I usually do, just trying to get through.  I wasn’t going to check my phone.  I wasn’t going to try to solve the world’s problems or any of my own.

No.  I decided to see my run.  To pretend like it was my last.  I decided to be my mom.  See, when my mom was diagnosed in July she asked me if she would be able to see the leaves change color and fall to the ground.  I told her yes.  She didn’t.  And I realized at the moment she died, that some day I won’t get another birthday. I won’t get the chance to experience nature in the same way.  It’s the only thing that’s a certainty.

So I ran.  I ran fast and I ran slow and then I stopped.  And I laid under a tree and felt the world.

Why don’t I do that more often?  Why don’t we slow it down a bit and just open our eyes.  Not just after some big tragedy (although I’m not saying my birthday was a tragedy!).  But just more often.  Even for a minute?  Why do we get so caught up in moving?  Why do we spend so much of our time focusing our attention on things that don’t really serve us, looking out but not looking in at the same time?

In those short moments under the tree I realized that we can only experience true connection with ourselves and the world when we’re focused both inward and outward at the same time.

We forget that thinking isn’t just an activity—it manifests as a state of being.  As Buddha said, “What we think, we become.”

Which gets me to my wish for you: My hope is that you get one minute a day where you can stop and just feel what’s around you.  Whether it’s hugging someone you love, on your porch with a cup of coffee, with your family playing a game … anywhere.   Try it with your partner, your kids or your best friend.  My goal is to do that one minute each day this coming year.  How hard could that be?  Maybe we can try it together. 🙂

Thanks to all of you for loving me yesterday.  It was truly amazing!

 

Why is it more difficult to get out than to stay out?

One thing I notice about myself (a flaw, I suppose) is that it’s harder to stop doing something (wrong relationship, wrong job, eating wrong foods, not exercising) as opposed to making a change and staying the course … know what I mean?  Maybe I’m not being articulate here.  How about this:  

We’re really the sum of our habits.  And we stay or continue in these “habits” because it’s easier to stay in the comfort of a habit, than to get out and do something different. Resonate?

While we can intellectualize that it’s good to break bad habits (“I need to work out more.” “I need to eat less ice cream at night.”), it’s difficult to do.  Think of all the things you’ve started but never finished.  Also a not-so-great habit.

As I’ve been working on my “habits,” I’ve realized that I’ve been going about it the wrong way.  It’s not about will power.  It’s that we get stuck because we’ve trained our brains in a certain way. Our daily habits become deeply ingrained in our brain circuitry. When we repeat small behaviors frequently enough, our brain carves out new neural pathways. These neural pathways allow behaviors to become automatic. So we need to change our brains?  Easier said than done, right? Here’s what I did:

  1. Start small. Whatever it is you want to achieve, break it down. Don’t begin to run a 5K by running three miles.  Start by putting on your shoes and getting out the door for 5 minutes.  Want to stop that candy at night?  Cut your piece into 1/2 and throw the other 1/2 away – don’t just cut it out all together.   In fact, sometimes you just have to think of the change (which I need to do) for a bit before you can even try it.
  2. Have a plan. This last year for me was changing my thought patterns.  So, every day I told myself “You’re ok.”  It was the positive affirmation I needed every time I felt scared or unsure about my direction.  Now, I just feel it and I don’t need to say it and the negative thoughts are gone. Or,  if you want to learn to meditate. Pick a time that you will do it every day – like after you brush your teeth at night. That will become your trigger – your reminder to meditate.
  3. Know that your plan will fail.  If you need to have that whole piece of candy (or 10 pieces), don’t beat yourself up. Life has a way of getting in the way of our plans.  As soon as you can, just pick up where you left off.  Continue to make small steps.  You’ll get there.
  4. Create accountability. Truth: If someone else is paying attention, we’re more likely to follow through.  Announce your plans and let us help you stay the course!

Look, I’m so far from perfect it’s not even funny.  And every year, I learn how little I know.  But maybe that’s the beauty of it all.  Here’s to another year!

XOXO