Category Archives: wellness

I Believed. Now For Love.

Believe.

That was my primary oneword365.com focus for 2016.  As I went to remove my 2016 wall calendar, I couldn’t help but smile when I read December’s message: “Believe you can and you’re halfway there.” A reminder that the journey is mostly mental.

The word “believe” served me well throughout the year. I learned to believe that I could trust myself again and I watched as incredible opportunities surfaced. Even when I wavered, deep inside, I understood that waiting, impatiently, was just a manifestation of not being able to control the Universe’s timing.  Like clockwork, an inanimate reminder of the word, on a pillow or wall plaque at Home Goods, or a quote on social media would draw my attention back. Believe. One word. A simple idea with boundless application.

But alas, it’s time is almost up.  A new year, a new beginning. I tuck the word away in my memory portal as the new arrival gently beckons for my attention. I curate a new word, just four letters, and I welcome its debut.

“Hello 2017; you look so inviting. This year will be all about ‘LOVE.’”

Living Purposefully and Achieving Personal Mastery

Personal mastery is the result of setting goals and achieving success and is rooted in continuous self-improvement, especially towards gaining a competency in skill or knowledge.  Some people have large lofty goals like surpassing Bill Gates’ net worth of $79.2 billion or creating an Oprah-sized media empire. Others may have specific target goals like losing five pounds, getting into shape or having a peaceful home life.

Regardless of one’s goal, an important fundamental task for achieving personal mastery is purposeful living.  Or establishing clarity around what you are doing, why you are doing it, and understanding the greater benefit of what you are doing. The best way to get that type of clarity is through a personal vision.

Creating A Personal Vision

A personal vision is basically big picture thinking.  It’s the concept behind your goal setting because it shows you where you are headed and can provide all of the possibilities of many directions that you can travel.  If you don’t already have a vision for your life, the best way to identify one is connect with yourself, your inner being, and began to picture an image of the future that you would like to have.

Here’s a very quick mindfulness exercise to try: Try closing your eyes and actually seeing yourself as the person you want to be. What are you doing?  What can you see? How do you feel? Are you alone or with others? How are people relating to you?  Embrace this image and when you are ready, open your eyes. Now back in the present moment is where the real work begins.  This is often the hardest thing for many people to do, but write down what you saw.  Doesn’t have to be fancy words, just describe it in your own words, and this is the beginning of crafting a vision for your life.

If you ask anyone you admire how they accomplished their level of success, and they will emphatically tell you they set a goal for themselves, created a plan, and worked hard at mastering specific tasks. At the core of their goal was a personal vision with an anticipated outcome. Yes, there may have been some life detours, but the vision remained constant, and this is a person who is living on purpose.

Committing to Self-Discipline

Another key element of personal mastery is self-discipline. Just like a runner preparing for a marathon, one must be disciplined enough to follow an exercise and running regimen to ensure their body is trained and prepared to endure the rigors of the race.  That’s the same type of motivation required for mastering personal success.

I recall sharing my vision of running as an example of goal setting in a study skills class of high school students. I told them that in my mind I see myself running, but I never take action. I have the vision and can see me running but I lack the self-discipline to commit to running. I explained that self-discipline is holding yourself accountable to do what is right to meet your goals and objectives in life.  It motivates the action that is necessary to fulfill your personal vision and stay the course.

On a personal note, I still hold steadfast to the vision of running, and have begun small steps to motivate myself towards that end. Your approach towards achieving self-discipline may be to just jump in and just do it, as the Nike slogan suggests.  But always do what works best for you.  No one else is the best indicator of your heart’s desire, capabilities or personal circumstances. It’s better to feel good about your vision, goals and progress than set up false expectations and later abandon the vision forever. When you stay the course, no matter how long it takes, that’s personal mastery.  And in time, you will also have a great story to share about overcoming obstacles to achieve personal mastery that will be a motivator for someone else.  That’s real purposeful living when your experiences positively impact change in someone else.

personal masteryIn Summary

The desire for personal mastery begins with awareness of purposeful living.  Next, a personal vision is the roadmap to guide your living.  And lastly, self-discipline promotes the action that is necessary to achieve success.  Wishing you all the best towards your own discovery of personal mastery.

Enjoy (And Visualize)!

Just What is An “Odd” Emotion?

embrace your emotionsWhile performing social media consulting work for a child psychologist, my eyes were drawn to a Psychology Today magazine sitting in the office lobby.  The headline for the cover story read “Odd Emotions:  Master The Feelings You Can’t Name.” The title alone was intriguing enough to stoke my interest because, well, I’m a “highly sensitive person” and I often experience emotions that I can’t quite name or explain.

There Are Just No Adequate Words, Or Are There?

So-o-o…not too long ago, I struggled with understanding some emotions that I can best describe as a ball of intertwined feelings occurring simultaneously. It felt like an explosive double roundhouse kick to the gut from mixed martial artist Ronda Rousey that left me dazed, confused, hurt, angry, scared, humiliated, and traumatized.  And those are just a few of the emotions that converged upon my spirit in one fell swoop. But the worst part was not being able to explain or comprehend the emotions, nor that no one else seemed to understand it, either.

Fast forward to the other side of my multifarious emotions, I discover that these “odd” feelings really don’t have one name.  When artist and writer John Koenig was not able to label his emotions of pending death, he just invented one, “moriturism,” and says “it [his emotions] felt somehow okay.” He then created a website that serves as a dictionary describing emotions that have no name using a combination of creativity, linguistic research, and etymology to assign a name and meaning. For instance, “exulansis,” he has determined is a noun which means

“the tendency to give up trying to talk about an experience because people are unable to relate to it—whether through envy or pity or simple foreignness—which allows it to drift away from the rest of your life story, until the memory itself feels out of place, almost mythical, wandering restlessly in the fog, no longer even looking for a place to land.”

The word is a present verb from its Latin root exulō, which means “to exile, banish.”

Fluff or For Real?

You may be wondering, if people really remember or use these words. Highly likely not, but psychologists suggest in the article that naming or labeling an emotion “might make it more manageable,” “allow us the opportunity to choose our response,” and “help to put a frame around more complex emotions.” I would agree with them, because I believe being able to name what I was previously feeling would have helped to redirect my energy because I spent a lot of time just processing my emotions and the experience.

Others may see it as a pointless exercise that probably won’t be useful, but Koenig believes it helps individuals to understand that the same indescribable emotions they are feeling have been felt by others. The experience may also encourage the practice of honoring one’s sensitivity and personal emotions in a constructive manner. That’s a lot less exhausting than the alternative, which is running from or suppressing emotions in hopes of an exulansis.

What do you think about “odd” emotions?  Are there inventive words you’ve heard or used to describe an emotion or even an experience, whether good or bad?  Would love to read your thoughts in the comments.

Be Happy in 2015

The first day of the year is always a good place of new beginnings and newfound or renewed commitment towards creating a healthy and prosperous life and being focused on what matters the most in life. That’s why it was no surprise to receive invitations to 1) participate in a bowl burning ceremony and to 2) a dinner celebrating the unity of friendship. While regretfully I was not able to make either event, I was truly appreciative of the thoughts and sentiments.

Image found at http://jasminbalance.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/Burning-Bowl-Ceremony1.jpg

Burning Bowl. Image source: http://jasminbalance.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/Burning-Bowl-Ceremony1.jpg

I was familiar with the burning bowl ceremony and believe that I participated in something very similar many years ago. If you are not familiar with the ritual, it is a fire ceremony that can take place indoors or outdoors in a ceramic bowl, fire pit, fireplace, anything that can safely contain the fire. It often takes place on New Year’s Eve or New Year’s Day. The purpose is to release negative thoughts, hurts, resentment, and anger from the past to focus on conscious awareness and clarity of love, life, health and prosperity. The concept is to write down on a piece of paper whatever negative thought that you want to leave in the past and to place the paper into the burning bowl. The symbolization of the activity is the smoke carrying away the negativity into the atmosphere to allow for clarity and awareness for the remaining 364 days. It’s a cleansing or releasing of everything you no longer wish to burden your heart and spirit with.

For many people, the intent is great but when real life challenges hit after the honeymoon of the Christmas holiday season and New Years Day, it’s easy to forget to stay in a place of peace and awareness. And we know that people just want to be happy or otherwise Pharrell’s catchy song, Happy, would not have sold over 12 million copies to become one of the best-selling singles of all times while inspiring videos from all over the world of people dancing in the street and feeling free to just be in the moment to the song.

So beyond the ritualistic moments of the first day of the year, there are some easy and simple ways to remember to stay in or return to the moment daily. The key isn’t necessarily what time of day you do it, but what works best for your schedule. The goal is to just be consistent, conscious and aware on a daily basis, even if only for 5 to 10 minutes. It has to be likened to nourishment like eating or drinking water.

So just commit to ONE thing because most of our lives tend to get full and busy.  So consider one of these if you don’t have ideas of your own.  But  mainly, whatever makes you feel happy and feel good inside.

Prayer…whether it’s reading scripture or speaking aloud your hopes, dreams and desires for the day, prayer is grounding and creates focus.

Meditation…allowing your mind to clear itself devoid of anything and just soak in the moment either silently, with music, or guided. Especially in the spring, I love to lay in the bed really quiet before I arise and just listen to sound of the birds chirping while I contemplate and visualize my day.

Music…inspirational, gospel, kid’s song, feel good, whatever makes you smile and be appreciative for the moment you are in, just hit play and listen to it while showering, getting dressed, driving, exercising or cooking.

Yoga/Exercise…stretching your body and releasing tension and sweating out any negative energy.

Signing onto Happify…a science based-approach to inspire happiness through quick fun-based activities, tools, and skills that can increase happiness on your pc or as in app on your phone.

 

Have a Happy and Healthy New Year With $25,000

PP sweepstakesSo you promised yourself to start the new year on a healthy note.  One way you can do that is by purchasing quality name brand discounted vitamins and herbal supplements from online retailer Puritan’s Pride! Over the years, I have purchased all types of health and beauty products including liquid acidophilus, argan oil, vitamin e oil, essential oils, and crystal deodorant and body spray, to name a few. The products are always discounted with free shipping and are delivered generally within a few days. And as a bonus through January 31, 2015, you can also enter the Puritan’s Pride sweepstakes. Even if you don’t purchase anything, you can enter the sweepstakes by sharing your email address. It’s really that simple, the same way that 2015 should be for you.

Here’s to best wishes for happiness and good health everyday, and especially good luck in the sweepstakes.

Is There A Right Time To Forgive?

Cristina Bernhardsen | Dreamstime Stock Photos

© Cristina Bernhardsen | Dreamstime Stock Photos

Sometimes we have to accept that everything in life is not supposed to happen as quickly as taking a Selfie and instantly posting it to Instagram, Facebook and Twitter, or better yet, doing a Google Search on “finding easy ways to forgive.”  Just ask anyone still reeling from some type of betrayal; forgiveness can often be much more complicated.

Nonetheless, in a recent Huffington Post article on eight reasons forgiveness is good for your health, the author clearly outlined the spiritual, mental and relational reasons that forgiveness is good for overall wellbeing.  And I must admit, the reality is, the very act of forgiveness IS a good thing because it really is about YOU and not the other person.  Why?  Because it allows for forward movement in one’s life rather than being stuck in a place and time of pain and hurt.

Forgiving can hurt, too

But the problem often with articles on forgiveness is that it appears that the act should occur immediately suggesting that it’s not okay to feel the sting of betrayal or anger from a wrong.  Unless we are talking about some minor trivial infractions, the real truth is the severity of the situation can often dictate the forgiveness factor, and it can just take time, and that IS okay. After all, truly forgiving someone is a psychological and emotional process that is, described by the American Psychological Association, voluntary or intentional, and involves working through emotions such as feelings of betrayal, anger, sadness, hurt, pain, and just simply grieving. To suggest otherwise is challenging a person’s right to experience their own emotional complexities and denying their personal rite of passage into the dark side of real life human nature.

So just when is the right time?

There is no “right” time; no one wants to be or stay mad, angry or hurt. But the best time may be when the individual has the willingness to work through the process.  A lot of forgiveness deals with holding on to the actual act of feeling wronged and not wanting to give a pass to the person.  Ask any psychologist or therapist and they can share how painstakingly prevalent this belief system exists within one’s psyche. However, another Huffington Post author makes an argument against forgiveness and suggests saving it for those who have earned your forgiveness. And that could work, too, if emotionally not forgiving someone doesn’t keep you stuck.  We are all different so there is no magical one size fits all approach through life’s interesting journeys.

How About self-forgiveness instead?

© Yuryz | Dreamstime.com - Forgive Yourself Photo

© Yuryz | Dreamstime.com – Forgive Yourself Photo

However, if a person is really struggling with the when, why, where and how of forgiveness, maybe, just maybe, instead of the focus being on forgiving the other person, try forgiving yourself.  In a 2005 research study by Hall and Fincham, the authors describe aspects of self-forgiveness in a social science context as a show of self-love and respect, and from a psychological perspective as a set of motivational changes to decreasingly avoid feelings toward the offense and retaliate against self, while instead acting benevolently towards self).   Now, major aspects of this study suggest that self-forgiveness is cloaked in a self-perpetuated wrong-doing, but this is not always the case when someone feels legitimately wronged.

Even when you didn’t deserve the wrong treatment, forgive yourself for being blindsided by the other person’s behavior.  While it never feels good, “ish” just happens sometimes to us. When you forgive yourself, you own your emotions and decisions, and that allows you to determine when and how you move on from that moment in time.  Self forgiveness is also cathartic and self empowering because it shows courage and strength of one’s character, as quote-Mahatma-Gandhi-the-weak-can-never-forgive-forgiveness-is-337Mahatma Ghandi eloquently quoted when he said, “The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is an attribute of the strong.”

As in any process, self forgiveness will take time, too. But allow yourself that time because as you forgive yourself you also derive equal healthy benefits that enrich your life’s emotional and physical well-being as in forgiving someone else, only without the guilt and resentment of giving someone else a free pass.  You will feel better about yourself, your decision making, and gain the confidence needed to stay in the moment for making the choices that best define your life experiences. And that, my dear, is always the right time.

#RIPRobinWilliams 1951-2014 #NanoNano

Robin Williams was one of those zany comedians and Oscar winning actors that I grew up watching on television (Mork & Mindy) as a teenager and found him to be quite funny and entertaining.  As I got older, my humor tastes grew so my repertoire of comedians Robin Williams pichas changed but Robin Williams is someone that I always liked and enjoyed his acting performances in movies like Good Morning Vietnam, Dead Poets Society, Mrs. Doubtfire, Good Will Hunting, and World’s Greatest Dad.  So when I learned that he passed and possibly of suicide, of course, like other fans of his, I was taken aback.  Obviously, death is imminent for us all but when someone’s life is publicly visible, you feel like you know them.  Or do you?

The death of a notable person like Robin Williams’ creates conversations about mental health, public health, depression and suicide.  People may open up more about personal pain and their battle with depression.  Whenever I read or learn of someone who committed suicide and suffered from depression, it makes me sad and I automatically think of my mom, Marcia.  She committed suicide when I was 15 years old but the depth of her actions did not impact me until I was in my mid-20s.  I always thought if someone had taken her concerns seriously, a stranger said an encouraging word, or something, that maybe she would be alive today and I could buy her gifts for Mother’s Day and tell her how much I love her.  However, because of the stigma associated with depression and suicide, my family didn’t talk about it or her much, not even to this day.  And that’s the problem with depression.

Many people really don’t think it’s a disease or don’t like that it is associated with mental health.  Licensed and national board certified counselor Ms. Bahiyya Amh-Shere of YOUniversal Change, Inc. says depression is real and “that It is easier to associate a person with being weak-minded or can’t handle pressure than to acknowledge that there may be a real medical problem, like heart disease.  We have to change our mindset about mental illness and its role in society today.”  Personally, I’ve known enough people in my adult life who I have witnessed struggling with depression, as well as a few people who have committed suicide.  And what I saw was people who were in pain and deep turmoil that they felt they had to hide from others in fear of judgment so that they could be accepted.  And let me tell you, it never gets easy to ever understand the how or why of suicide as a result of depression.  It just hurts to know that someone was hurting that bad to make that kind of a permanent life decision.

I remember at a place of employment where a senior vice president was found hung in her office over the weekend.  Employees were shocked and couldn’t believe it.  She seemed so happy and had it all together.  But what we saw was her public mask; the one she wore to keep from being judged.  The real person, was in some type of unbearable emotional pain, and she could not see what everyone else saw in her.  She only felt her pain. As a journalism college student, i interviewed a prominent campus administrator for a school assignment, only to find out a week later that he was hospitalized for a self-administered gunshot wound. My instructor came to me and told me she understood if I wanted to re-do the assignment on someone else. I didn’t.  He had some positive information he shared about getting a college education and that’s the person that I wanted people to know.

marcia

My mom, Marcia, getting her party on, lol, lol with family . This had to be the early 70s judging by the attire. Anyway, she did try to have some fun, it seems, in spite of her sadness.

But this is what I believe:  No one would consciously take their life knowing they are leaving behind people who love them and care for them. No one would just give up a bright and promising future or pretend to have feelings of sadness and worthlessness.  Sometimes it’s not that simple as mind or matter, just pray it away.  It really is a medical problem resulting from a chemical imbalance that should be properly diagnosed by a doctor.  It IS something that is treatable with the right diagnosis and medicine.  There are even herbal and natural medicines that might work. The key is taking it seriously when a person shows symptoms of depression.  You never know when a person is experiencing their own private hell and may ultimately make a deadly decision.  While it’s their decision, it’s one that is preventable.

If there is someone you love that you know or think may be struggling, please show compassion and offer encouragement when suggesting that they seek medical help.  Even offer to go with them. To learn more about the signs of depression, visit http://www.webmd.com/depression/.

In closing, stay eternally blessed and be grateful for your life and good health. Life is worth living no matter how bad it seems or feels; it’s a temporary moment in time that will pass. Make sure you sincerely share this message today, and please call or go hug a loved one and let them know you love them and that their life DOES matter.

Peace…

Goodbelly Challenge Update

goodbelly+Maintaining good health through diet and exercise should be at the top of daily the to-do list.  But sometimes, priorities get misplaced in life and the focus is lost on properly balancing the mental, physical and spiritual aspects of life. That’s part of my story.  Stress and poor diet contributed to a bad belly which caused me to have bad headaches, intense stomach pain, extreme stomach bloating and gas, and loud, embarrasing stomach noises.  I didn’t feel physically normal and knew that feeling was not normal.  Well, long story short, I began to focus on healing what I was convinced was living in my stomach, which turned out to be bad bacteria and yeast overgrowth.  The digestive tract is the heart of immune system, so if it’s not right, the result can be all types of physical ailments that we rush to the doctor to diagnose.  That’s where Goodbelly Probiotic Juice Drink comes in.  This juice contains live and active bacteria cultures that are good for you and helps to regulate the flora of the digestive system.  The drink comes in a variety of tasty flavors and is 100% vegan with no dairy or soy. I committed to the 12-Day Goodbelly Challenge and used the Goodbelly+ in Mango (packed with calcium and vitamins) and the Pomegranate Blackberry in the family quart size.  The drinks were quite tasty and refreshing.  It actually tasted like regular juice to me but I must say that my tummy began to feel a lot better and the bloating began to subside.  As a matter of fact, I did not have a headache the entire time I took the product.

I feel confident in my health again and plan to continue using the Goodbelly product on a daily basis. To also assist with my stomach health, I am also adding organic greek yogurt to my diet each morning, taking papaya enzymes after each meal, and excessively consuming water (with green tree water enhancement or a cap full of apple cider vinegar) or lemonade flavored coconut water, all which are supposed to be good for the digestive tract. I truly believe that I am on my way.

I hope this information is helpful to someone who may feel a little off in their stomach and tired of going to the doctor.  It’s more cost effective to take care of your health and spend a little more on good food and drink products rather than pay a $1000 doctor bill to the gastrointestinal specialist, which is what happened to me.

Best wishes for good health and a happy stomach.  If you want more information, check out this video on how Goodbelly improves digestive health. .