Surrounding Yourself With Good People

The people with whom you choose to spend the most time can have a huge impact on your life and well-being…

Look to those who love you for exactly who you are. For they are the ones who will have patience, respect, and understanding when you need it most….and, more importantly, at all times.

Look to those who push you to look deeply within yourself at the things that maybe no longer serve you so well – sometimes it’s hard to face ourselves alone. 

Look to those who challenge you to internally and externally step up your game. There are those who will support and encourage you, and remind you of all the “wonderful” you have to offer (and you deserve to be reminded. OFTEN!)

Look to the people who remind you that “failure” means “lesson,” and nothing more. The people who will remind you that have the strength, the courage, and the wherewithal to get up and fight…because you’ve already done it with success so many times before.

And look to those who will not only look for the bright side no matter how grim the circumstance, but who will do everything in their power to BE the “bright” when the lights go out. 

Life is full of ups and downs – when we have the right troops in our corner it’s not only easier to weather the storms, but the joys and celebrations are also multiplied many, many fold.  

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Appreciating What We Have

This is one of those life must-haves…but in the whirlwind of daily living, it’s easy to forget to take a moment to truly appreciate all we have.

To love with every ounce of our hearts, and to respect no matter the circumstance means that we are ever conscious of the good in our lives. It sends the message to the Universe that we value the gifts and blessings.

One of the bigger lessons I learned early on was when I was told about someone’s therapy experience. Yep, not my own (in which I have learned much!)…but someone else’s…

They had been complaining about another person and the therapist said “what if they passed away?” The reaction was a staggered “what do you mean?!” He said, “what if they were no longer here? How would you feel about those ‘annoyances’ then?”

That moment was enough to change the whole tune. Literally evermore. It’s okay that we are human and feel as we do – the good, the bad, and the ugly. But it is also important for our well-being that we regularly check in with the good that we DO have – the things, the people, the animals, the circumstances…that make our lives better, happier, richer. . .more worth living.

I think about this often, but it was especially on my mind today. I’ve been thinking about my female jungle cat, who would be 13 today, and about how much gratitude had a part to play in our lives together. The bond with her and her brother was one that delved deeply, and struck me square in the heartstrings from the get go.

Part of me wants to apologize for feeling so deeply – I’m never unaware of the losses others have weathered, neither do I think anyone wants to deal with tears! Part of me wants to explain (or try to) that these were wild animals who never allowed another human “in” their circle…so it’s not quite like having a “pet” (which I’ve never really called an animal to whom I have been a guardian anyway.)

But I don’t want to have to explain, or justify. I just want to cherish that I had the fortune of my two jungle cats’ companionship, love and trust…and that while they were living I made a point to tell them “I love you” every single day.

In spite of feeling really blue, I know that I was “in the moment” so much of the time we were together. I was aware that time would run out one day, and so I always made sure to tell them what they meant to me, and to kiss them on their sweet little (big!) heads. Never mind it wasn’t in meows or mews… We spoke a language only we could understand…and it worked brilliantly.

EatPops!

I think this is a wonderful idea… 

I DESPISE drinking my calories.  

There! I said it.  

Yes, people often scoff when I say that…  Maybe it’s because they are so beholden to those end-all-be-all detox shakes they are having, or maybe the word “calorie” is what nudges them off the edge…  Whatever the case may be I will say it a thousand times…I despise drinking my calories.

Hate is a strong word – I rarely use it, if at all – so I’m using “despise” instead.  It’s a vehement despise, though!

As I have gotten older, I simply have to watch what I eat in order to maintain a certain level of fitness performance, athleticism, health, emotional well-being, and…weight.  Gone are the days that I can drink my hot chocolates with whipped cream, smoothies with my breakfast, and ingurgitate bags of steamed rice along with a glass of juice.  The flat-out reality of it is that I’ve needed to reduce my caloric intake over the years, as well as tweak my fitness routine – if I don’t, that’s okay, but I will gain weight, and will get very depressed.  I know myself that well.

Smoothies were something I’d enjoy often growing up – there was nothing more delicious than fresh, ripe fruit, blended with some ice, maybe some yogurt or milk.  Before training, after…whenever!  

I don’t count my calories – let me be clear on that.  Having had two severe eating disorders in the past (anorexia and exercise bulimia), the propensity to get dangerously rigid is already there.  With that kind of propensity, I need to be more lax in this department.  

That said, I am aware of what I eat, and could very likely give you the broad strokes of what I had in a day – I never stuff my face mindlessly, but if I feel like a snack, I have it – I’m clean 95% of the time.

So I saw this snazzy brand – founded back in 2014, and I just love the idea.  EatPops came about because a law student, Sophie Milrom, couldn’t manage to find healthy snacks while studying feverishly in school.  She recognized that fresh juice was prohibitively high-priced, making it a tougher trend to follow for many people interested in cleaner eating and juicing.  She also discovered that freezing juices not only lowered prices to make such conceptions accessible…but also that it extended the shelf life.

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What do I love this idea?  Because I DESPISE drinking my calories!  For someone like me, these are ALSO a fabulous option because…I get to CHEW.  I like the sensation of munching on something – I feel more satisfied when I EAT than when I DRINK…so pops is a perfect option!  From 45 to 100 calories for one, you aren’t going to break the bank with these. ❤

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I don’t have any retailers near me, but you can purchase these guys online…  Shipping is up to $15 (these are frozen treats!) but it is awesome to have the option!

More of what I love to eat…!

You’re Not Going That Way…

This is something I try to be incredibly mindful of…

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Having met with fear, failure, and success over time…as do we all of the human race…I cannot help but “fluctuate” – some days are good, some are great, while others feel somber and disheartening.

I sincerely believe that each experience provides wisdom and strength – while in some ways the construct of time is man-made (or made-determined), each moment builds, follows a prior one…and collapses as the next “tick” comes.  It will march forward one way or the other and being “stuck” is a painful and lonely place to be.

Accepting and acknowledging our feelings is of vital importance – they are, after all, valid.  That said, the deeper-colored they are, the more oppressive the shadows they cast over our positivity and well-being.  

I had some flashbacks myself the other day about an abusive person who had very little good to say, and who wounded me very deeply.  It hurt.  It was frightening.  It was sobering, and saddening…  I coincidentally came across this quotation not long after them – what a lovely reminder!

Staying mindful, and as much in the moment, focused on the good things feels like the proper undercurrent for me – I have my moments, and I forgive myself that I am human, shaped by the ups and downs of Life.  I remember that I am okay NOW – I am in a great place, I have fought to be where I am…and I am SO much stronger than I was.  

When the past endeavors to persuade my heart and spirit to sink, I take a deep breath and focus on the path ahead of me, and the blessings of NOW.  You are allowed to feel…but remember that you also have control, and you ARE doing great. 

Be Proud Of ALL Your Efforts

A lot of us have this not-so-little habit of needing to top every workout… We have this drive to excel, not just coast along mediocre.  And along with it, we have the habit of being overboard with self-criticism.

But if we take a moment to breathe…to just BE…and recognize the efforts we ARE putting in, we may well find that we aren’t even doing okay…we are doing GREAT.

Those “voices” we hear – the “self talk” as it’s better known – is vital to our well-being, and to manifesting in our Lives.  keep in mind, that’s the good, the bad, and the ugly – our reality is largely a product of our thoughts.  

Sometimes we just don’t feel up to a workout.  You know that feeling, right?

The other morning I was INCREDIBLY stressed, having just gotten back from a trip (during which I managed to destroy my iPhone!), and knowing I had a million things to do because I am moving in two weeks.  I was heading out-of-state just two days later to see my hunnie (which is where I am moving! 😀 ) and I hadn’t gotten in much exercise in the week prior.  For me, that’s even more stressful – I just don’t feel like myself!

So I threw my running shoes in my bag and said to myself, “I am going to run tomorrow morning, no ‘if’s, ‘but’s, or bs!”

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Sunday morning I hopped on the treadmill.  I realized I forgot my inhaler so I felt more out of breath than usual (I actually think it was a total slacker mind trick, and that I WAS, in reality, JUST FINE!)  As I started my sprints, I just didn’t FEEL great.  I felt a little queasy, and as if I couldn’t get to the intensity I wanted.

But I trudged through, determined to stay on for 30 minutes, no matter how good – or terrible! – my sprints were.  

Was it my fastest sprinting?  Hell no.

My most intense workout?  Not by a long shot.

Had I run my farthest, or done my best inclines??  Not even close.

Was I proud of myself?

YOU BETTER BELIEVE IT!

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It wasn’t my “best” at all.  But it was a good, solid effort.  I pushed myself (healthily) enough to get something out of it.  I knew when I was done that I would feel SO much better, and I did.

We DON’T have to crush our personal records and goals every single time we workout.  We don’t HAVE to be GREAT every time we get to the gym.  We deserve to feel proud of ourselves for ALL of our efforts because it takes a lot just to GET there.