Thursday, December 30, 2010

ACHIEVING YOUR GOALS



In achieving your goals you need to be DECISIVE. Each decision affects what you become. We form our decisions and our decisions form us. The smallest choices are important, over time, their cumulative effect is enormous. Never overlook the obvious: The nature and direction of your life change the instant you decide what goals you want to pursue. Dream it. Plan it. Believe it.
A decision is never made only once.
A decision to lose weight and keep it off must be made every time you feel hungry.
This brings you to STAY FOCUSED! Focus creates a powerful force. The more focused your energies, the more power you generate.

 WRITE DOWN your goals. This is for your eyes only. If you want to lose weight, for example, write down that you want to be a HEALTHY WEIGHT, xxx pounds. You know extra weight can cause all sorts of disease. This year you want to be healthy.

PLAN THOROUGHLY. Of course, the easiest way would be to go on The Fresh Diet. Everything is done for you. You just order it and eat it. Otherwise a good plan is NOT to buy JUNK FOOD, stay away from FAST FOOD. Eat FRESH, SMALLER PORTIONS. Cook your own food instead of going out.

INVOLVING OTHERS helps you to maintain your goal and to stay on track. Laurence and I are both on The Fresh Diet. We are helping each other to maintain our weight and to stay healthy. We help each other not stray from that way of life. Since we adhere to The Fresh Diet, we have many many "Fresh Diet team members" for support. These are just a few of them.

                                                                
                                                                  
 Remember if you "SLIP UP" on one of your goals. That's o.k. Maybe you need to adjust, it's a step along the way to success. Just make sure to recognize that it wasn't a lack of effort.
This is where you take PURPOSEFUL ACTION. Don't procrastinate. I've been told so many times that that's the mother of regret! Don't postpone, cancel, and miss out on the opportunity.
You'll never attain your goals simply by thinking or talking about them. TAKE ACTION! 


INSPECT what you expect. This tells you where you are in relation to where you want to be, and how you are doing in the process of pursuing your goals. Evaluate whether the actions you are taking are going to produce the results you desire. Remember to pace yourself.

REWARDING yourself is a good idea. Now if you break up your goal into little chunks, for example, you want to lose weight and break it up into 5 pound increments. You'll go broke rewarding yourself at that rate, if your rewards are costly. You could always give yourself some quiet time and read a good book, or listen to music, take a bubble bath. Spend quality time with a loved one. Anything that gives you pleasure. 


Always be true. PERSONAL INTEGRITY starts from within. Don't let others dissuade you from your goals or the tasks required to reach them. Believe in yourself. You have to envision yourself reaching your goal. See yourself mastering the task in order to complete your smaller goals and imagine how good you'll feel when you finally reach your coveted goals. Always be true to yourself and your personal integrity will never waver.  

Monday, December 27, 2010

HAPPY NEW YEAR...2011




HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL!
It's here 2011. I always feel so excited when a New Year arrives! A new chance to start over and try to make my life a little better.
I've made a few New Year's resolutions and plan to work at them throughout the whole year.
One is to stay positive. 
Most of us want to be positive. It increases our well-being. It's certainly advantageous to possess a sunny outlook. Doors open for optimists. We make friends, earn respect, others enjoy and want to be like them. It even makes us healthier. Keep those thoughts positive. If you think you can do it, you will. 
It also helps to be around positive people, attitudes are contagious. Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference. Someone told me once that I was always only one choice away from changing my life.
The thing is, how can we be consistent?
You and I know it's not that easy! The key is to keep managing your attitude. The word to remember is : REINFORCE!  People often say that motivation doesn't last, neither does bathing, that's why it's recommended every day!

 Another resolution I plan to keep, and speaking of reinforcement, I'll have plenty.
I'm referring to my health and diet. It's starts with eating properly. I've made steps already to remain on THE FRESH DIET all year. THE FRESH DIET Company is my reinforcement. Chef Yoseph Schwartz will make sure that I'll have optimum nutrition for good health and to keep my weight where it should be

This will all be done with Fresh Gourmet nutritious meals. It may be one of the easiest resolutions to keep! Nevertheless an important one. Next month will be my ONE YEAR anniversary on THE FRESH DIET.
It has managed to keep me at my desired weight, it has decreased my carb cravings, increased my energy levels and improved my mental clarity.

Another avenue of reinforcement will come from The Fresh Diet Facebook page. All my Fresh Diet friends are caring people offering encouragement and support. We stand by each other in difficult times, as well as when we are strong. We are all pulling together for a common good. 

New Years is also time for Introspection. Go ahead, evaluate your life and think about what you want to achieve. But remember: CONTEMPLATE, DON'T RUMINATE.

These two mental processes represent separate but unequal ways to engage in introspection, the examination of one's own thoughts and feelings.

Self-CONTEMPLATION entails a relatively accurate analysis of previous events, current concerns, and future desires. Over time, this is associated with greater self-knowledge and emotional health. In contrast, RUMINATION consists of an intense focus on real or imagined negative events usually considered to be out of one's control, which in turn seems to amplify anxiety, depression, and social unease.  

Men and women who favor self-CONTEMPLATION are described as compassionate, dependable, productive, and insightful about themselves; those who RUMINATE often come across as fearful, moody, nervous, defensive, and self-pitying.

Self-CONTEMPLATION ushers in a flair for flexibly adjusting to difficult situations, whereas RUMINATION goes hand in hand with inflexible, maladaptive responses to stress.

I will also remember The following advice I've had tucked away in my memory for years. It probably came from one of the nuns many many years ago when I was a child in school. It goes like this: "How simple it is to see that all the worry in the world cannot control the future. How simple it is to see that we can only be happy now. And that there will never be a time when it is not now."

Here's to the bright New Year
and a fond farewell to the old;
here's to the things that are yet to come
and to the memories that we hold.
May you realize your fondest dreams
and take time to recognize and enjoy
each and every blessing.
All the best,
Carol



Saturday, December 11, 2010

WHERE'S MY FRESH DIET FOOD?

First of all, let me tell you who I am. I'm a Westie by the name of Lily. My master's name is Carol. I think she's committing some kind of crime. I hate to snitch on her but......I want some of that FRESH DIET food!! I would like to know if there's some kind of law written somewhere on the books, that states she should be feeding me THE BEST diet. After all we're talking about my well being here.
If I was eating the proper nutrition, I know I wouldn't be scratching my hide so much and my coat would be as shiny as I noticed her hair was getting. Her skin is great too. She also has so much energy, during our daily walks, I noticed she's practically running now. I'm trying to keep up with her.
I keep hunting everywhere for something like That Fresh Diet food, but I can't find any anywhere. Nothing smells as good as The Fresh Diet. The other day Carol put her lunch out in the garden and then went in the house for something. Boy... did I try my best to jump on that cafe chair. I know I could have devoured that FRESH DIET BURGER before she returned.
Man!!! No such luck, she caught me just as I was trying to reach over to grab it! She can be so mean sometimes. She sat there and ate it right in front of me! I kept trying to nudge her leg every minute but she just ignored me. I could smell that FRESH DIET BURGER and let me tell you the aroma was more than I could stand. So, I tried to jump on her lap! She scolded me and then she did the MOST ridiculous thing! She went and got my DOG FOOD and she actually put it in an empty FRESH DIET container. Does she think I'm stupid! I just ignored it! 
When she finally got up and went into the house with the empty plate, I followed and just looked right up at her and gave her that LOOK. You know the one. The pleading one that means can I just lick your plate...pleeese!
Every night around 9:15 P.M. I lie in wait for what she calls the FRESH DIET FAIRY.  I lie in the hall leading to the living room where I can hear him come. The minute I hear the car door I start barking in excitement. I just can't help myself. I just know delicious smelling food is in those bags he brings. I can't wait for Carol to open them. I run out ahead of her, practically tripping her, but I want to get to them first! She takes them in and I nudge them with my nose all the way to the kitchen. I know I keep getting in her way but I have to see and smell that scrumptious food. Maybe,  she might just give me some of it. I try to jump up and look in those bags as she's getting the containers out. She's just too quick for me. I tried to knock one out of her hands but she put them in the fridge before I could. Geesh!
In the evening, I have to sit right by her side every time she eats that FRESH DIET CHEESECAKE.
I practically put my face right in it so she'll give me a bite. Oh no, she doesn't.  I like when she eats it right out of the container instead of putting it on a plate. I have a way of snitching the container after she's done with it and then I'm in heaven! I can spend an hour just trying to lick every morsel from the crevices of the container. Let me tell you, I can lick that thing cleaner than a whistle! Then I show her my love by snuggling up to her all night long!
Ooooh yeah! I've got to tell you it kills me every time she takes a photo of her food!

It gets me so crazy. The aromas of that FRESH DIET food is just too much for me to take. I circle around her as she's trying to set everything up. I'm hoping some falls my way. She just keeps chasing me away.
One morning, she just through me out in the yard! I was livid! 
Well...I'm waiting for an answer, is there a law out there that says, SHE'S GOT TO SHARE HER FRESH DIET WITH ME!







Saturday, December 4, 2010

A NEW YEAR IS COMING!



Here it is December 2010 already. This year took wings! Lots has happened this year, good, sad, happy and exciting, and of course I've grown a year younger. oops! Did I say a year younger! 
You heard right, I did! Let's not dwell on the sad, tears, and gloom parts but the happy and exciting parts. Especially the growing younger part. I'll let you in on my little secret.

Earlier this year in February, I got an e-mail from a company called THE FRESH DIET. It sounded intriguing. The word FRESH got my attention. 
It was telling me about Gourmet Dieting in the comfort of my own home. I read about meals delivered fresh daily, not weekly. Never frozen, never freeze dried, never vacuum-packed like other programs I had read about. Those just turned me off. 

This one sounded altogether different. It includes breakfast, lunch, dinner and 2 snacks. Wow! Now, did that mean no more grocery runs, no cooking or food prep and wondering what to have to eat today or tomorrow or next week! 
I had to find out more about this program. The more I learned the more I wanted to try it. I found out that when I join the program, I get to make my own meal selections and chose delivery times online. If I have any questions or need any assistance at all, someone is always there to help toll-free 24/7. 
The program can be adapted to special needs. It's all about optimal nutrition, not just weight loss.

The more I read the more I wanted it. I could even chose a plan with unlimited dislikes, and could choose meals for the day from a list of 4 breakfast, lunch, and dinner choices, 6 choices of sides and 6 choices of snacks. All gourmet and based on Dr. Sears' Zone Diet's nutritionally balanced way of eating.
What made me finally pick up the phone was reading that the menus are created by a Cordon Bleu Chef, Executive Chef Yosef Schwartz 0f the world-renowned Cordon Bleu Culinary Institute. ALRIGHT! No more frozen boring Lean Cuisines for me that I was getting sick of on the days I was too busy to cook.

I was more tempted to dial the number 1-866-373-7450. I finally read that it was designed to promote lean body mass.  If it could do that to this 60 something yr. old body, I'm game. Weight loss. Bingo....menopause had put pounds on me I thought would permanently make me look like an old dumpy woman. Decreased carbohydrate craving. I won't even go there! Lowered blood sugar levels, increased energy levels and improved mental clarity. I thought all this and gourmet fresh food, no more work in the kitchen. Okay, my fingers started dialing. 
The first impression, I got was how Customer Service was so helpful. They were not pushy. They answered all my questions. After speaking to them, I knew I was doing the right thing trying out this program. During the whole year, customer service agents were always there when I needed them, always friendly, always helpful. I usually deal with the same one and she always greets me like an old friend and happy to hear from me, ready to help.

On Feb. 8th I started with THE FRESH DIET. Little did I know, it would be the beginning of a wonderful year for me.
I was so excited and a little nervous for that first cooler bag to arrive. When I saw it, I felt happy as a little kid on her birthday. I saw it as a really great special gift. I still do at the end of this wonderful year.
The food is EVERYTHING they said it would be gourmet fresh and quality produce, meats/fish/chicken. I'm so spoiled now, after having a gourmet chef preparing my meals all year. I've lost the 25 pounds menopause put on in about 2 1/2 months! TFD has given me a lean younger looking body, my curves are back. I've even gotten whistles on the street at my age! Wow! I have more energy, I'm healthier, don't ever feel tired any more from lack of good nutrition. I feel younger! I went from a size 12 to a 2 & 4! Can you imagine how I felt slipping into size 4 jeans!!! WOW! The Fresh Diet has kept my weight off all year and taught me all about nutrition and portion control and how important it is to drink water.
I don't have the cravings I used to get and I feel satisfied. I always look forward to my FRESH DIET cooler bag every day and greet it with a smile from ear to ear. It's always exciting to unzip the bag and take out my containers of meals and snacks. It's exciting to know my meals are all nutritious and I don't have to lift a finger to prepare them. No more grocery runs, no more food prep, no cooking, no clean-up. No worries about what to eat today or tomorrow or next week!! More time for my man, my garden, my art, and exercise. I love the outdoors and love walking in different places everyday. More time for anything I want to do.

 We are about to start a NEW YEAR. 2011 is only weeks away. I bet you know what one of my NEW YEAR'S resolution is! YES to another year of THE FRESH DIET. Thanks to the really great sale they had of $29.99!
If you check out their Facebook page you'll see that they are a really generous company. They are always having contests for anyone who wants to join in and win FREE days, weeks, and months of THE FRESH DIET. The contests are so easy and fun. The people on their Facebook page are wonderful, caring and some very funny. Jim Gilbert of the FRESH DIET is called our "Fearless TFD Leader". He's a peach! Always willing to help and mans the TFD Facebook. It has a "family" feel to it. You even get to hear from Chef Yosef Shwartz, and the CEO Zalmi Dutchman as well as the others. Customer service agents peek in too and leave comments. Everyone is encouraging and ready to help people peeking in. All are welcome.

I'm looking forward to a NEW YEAR and continuing with my FRESH DIET plan and feeling still younger despite another year. Why don't you join me. You won't regret it! HAPPY NEW YEAR!!




Wednesday, December 1, 2010

...................THE DASH.........................


I love this poem and wanted to share it with you during this Holiday Season. It reminds me of why I was  put on this earth, and what I can do to make a difference. 
The Dash
I read of a man who stood to speak
At the funeral of a friend
He referred to the dates on her tombstone
From the beginning to the end
He noted that first came the date of her birth
And spoke the following date with tears
But he said what mattered most of all
Was the dash between those years
For that dash represents all the time
That she spent alive on earth.
And now only those who loved her
 Know what that little line is worth.
For it matters not how much we own;
The cars, the house, the cash,
What matters is how we live and love
And how we spend our dash.
So think about this long and hard.
Are there things you'd like to change?
For you never know how much time is left,
That can still be rearranged.
If we could just slow down enough 
To consider what's true and real
And always try to understand
The way other people feel
And be less quick to anger,
And show appreciation more
And love the people in our lives
Like we never loved before.
If we treat each other with respect,
And more often wear a smile
Remembering that this special dash
Might only last a little while.
So, when your eulogy is being read
With your life's actions to rehash
Would you be proud of the things they say
About how you spent your dash?
                 by Linda Ellis
















Thursday, November 11, 2010

-------RECLAIMING YOUR LIFE-------



EVERY now and then our lives can feel totally out of control. With the amount of stimuli and stress that surrounds us, it is very easy to feel off kilter, lost and overwhelmed. When this occurs, we must center ourselves and bring our attention back to our heart. In essence, we must take our life back. With all our attention being focused out into the world, we can lose sight of what is most important and essential.

We can see this process easily in physics. Just imagine that you are reaching toward something. If you don't support yourself properly, you will topple over. It is the same way when we reach out into the world. If we don't bring our whole self with us, we can feel off balance and unsafe.

When life gets especially busy, we forget to look at nature. In fact, we forget to look at everything. All the beautiful nuances in life get overlooked. Our focus goes directly to our problems, and we begin to miss our opportunities and dreams. Our vision gets blurred as we swirl around in our heads. This is when it is essential to drag ourselves away from our desks and all electronic media and devices, and go some place where we can see a sunset, dig our feet into sand or walk in a forest.



When the sun rises and the sun sets, it is a very auspicious time. We are able to move between the inner and outer world with more ease.
 When we see the sunset, it reminds us to settle down. it shows us how miraculous the world is and how we are a part of it. It signals to our bodies to let go and trust. When the sun sets, we are reminded of our own inner rhythm. This rhythm must be honored or else we feel out of sync and out of time. So this week, whenever you feel overwhelmed, go outside and replenish your spirit and reconnect with yourself. Take your life back. These rituals happen for a reason and they are there for us everyday, a gift to us. The sunset is an experience that we all share. It brings us together. Tomorrow as the sun rises allow it to lift your spirit and hope and enthusiasm and as it sets let it fill your heart with peace and trust.


 These words from Michele Bernhardt reminds us not to dwell on the negative, and simply enjoy and find comfort in the beauty around us.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

~~~~~~~~~COURAGE~~~~~~~~~





Courage doesn't always roar. 
Sometime courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, 
"I will try again tomorrow."

M. A. Radmacher






God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, 
the courage to change the things I can, 
and the wisdom to know the difference.

R. Niebuhr







Have courage for the great sorrows in life
 and patience for the small ones;
 and when you have laboriously accomplished your daily tasks, 
go to sleep in peace. 
God is awake.

Victor Hugo




                         

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

THANK GOD IT'S…TUESDAY?



T.G.I.T.!!  Doesn’t quite have the same ring to it, now does it?  I doubt you’ll hear the question, “Is it Tuesday yet?” repeated much around the office, either.  THAT, my friends, is precisely why I’ve decided to write a story in defense of Tuesday!  (That, and the fact that apparently it lacks the conviction to stand up for itself.)  I truly believe Tuesday has not been fully appreciated in the lives of many…most, I’d venture to say.
Tuesdays have simply been overlooked.  However, considering that Tuesday literally represents 1/7th of our lives, or slightly over 14%, (I did the math myself after Googling how to convert a fraction into a percentage!) I’ve begun to change my thinking and have been, as of late, anticipating and celebrating my Tuesdays!  Let’s face it, Tuesdays have gotten a bum rap.  Whether negative or positive, all of the other days during the week have a role, a position, a niche in life.  In my mind, Tuesday conjures up images of that skinny guy on the beach who always got sand kicked in his face by the bodybuilder.  (If that commercial was before your time, my sincere apologies.)
Monday – The first day of the work week.  It may not be the most anticipated or enjoyable day of the week, but at least it has that going for it!  Many times Monday is included as part of a holiday three-day weekend, thereby forcing Tuesday to step up as a pinch-hitter and take the wrath as the dreaded funsucker day after the long weekend.  (It was also the host of Monday night football, a noteworthy trait whose reason for mention in this article remains undetermined.) 
Tuesday – uhm… well.  (I couldn’t even give it enough accolades to deserve a bold font.) 
Wednesday– This day holds the deed on some prime real estate whose plat lies smack dab in the middle of the work week.  The day even has its own nickname: “Humpday,” used in the context of climbing a proverbial hill to get through a rough week.  (Tuesday doesn’t have a nickname.) 
Thursday – Though it isn’t the end of the work week, people look forward to Thursday due to its proximity to Friday.  Thursday has it made.  Many times when Friday is included in a three-day weekend, Thursday becomes the pinch-hitter for Friday and therefore, receives all the awe and admiration usually bestowed upon that day. 
Friday – This lucky day holds esteem and power.  It is equivalent to the CEO of the work week.  (I believe if Friday were to take on a life form, it would have tremendous confidence and an inflated ego.)  There are few who don’t relish Friday, being the last of the five days that makes one work weak.  Even the famous nursery rhyme, chimes:  “Friday’s child is loving and giving…”  (Probably because it’s typically a payday.) 
Saturday – Need I say more?  Just repeating the word makes your mouth curl in a subconscious smile.  Saturday – I even smiled as I typed the “S” anticipating the letters that were coming afterwards – quite possibly is the most popular day of the week.  That is because the wordSaturday has become synonymous with the word fun.  Fun happens on Saturday.  Weddings, parties and picnics are planned on Saturday.  In fact, I’m surprised they didn’t just go ahead and name it, Funday.  (This may have been a deliberate oversight to avoid confusion, as it would have then rhymed with its successors…i.e., Friday, Funday, Sunday, Monday.) 
Sunday – Day of worship for many, and rest for most.  Sunday has a reputation as a respected, revered and well-regarded day.  Fine lunches are often planned on Sunday.  If days were coins, Sunday would be the most valuable.  It is, after all, the only one of the seven days whose first syllable commands such respect on the celestial sphere that others must orbit around it. 
So, aside from casting votes for politicians we will later regret, what does Tuesday own that is special and unique?  A travel site states that, according to their web site statistics, Tuesday seems to be the most popular day amongst office goers for daydreaming about their next holiday or vacation.  That, in itself, says a lot about Tuesday. 
Of course, there is always the voter’s Super Tuesday, history’s Black Tuesday and Mardi Gras’ Fat Tuesday…but what about just plain ole’ Tuesday?  It doesn’t have a reputation of its own based purely on the generic day itself.  It wouldn’t even qualify for a decent parking space in a workweek parking lot — it would probably be the space in the back…under the trees…where the birds congregate. 
Given that the average life span is estimated anywhere between 70 and 80 years, that grants us approximately 3,900 Tuesdays.  Following this pattern, I’ve spent around 2,444 Tuesdays with about 1,456 remaining, if I’m so blessed.  (I’m wondering how many of my readers are trying to calculate my age at this point…) 
My point is, from now on, I intend to look forward to each and every Tuesday.  I intend to make special plans on Tuesday.  I plan to make the next 1,456 Tuesdays so memorable that they make up for the 2,444 Tuesdays I’ve simply overlooked or counted the hours until I could mark from my calendar.  In fact, if I was granted a wish, I’d ask to have all those Tuesdays added back to my life’s account…and take the opportunity to live them once again.  
I vow, on this lovely Tuesday afternoon, to never take a Tuesday for granted again!  
Happy Tuesdays!
                                            Linda Ellis 2010
         

Monday, November 1, 2010

The Gifts Of Thankfulness And Gratitude


What if you began and ended each day with an expression of gratitude for the blessings in your life? Through prayer, journaling, or a phone call, how might that intentional ritual affect the quality of each day? What if each experience of gratitude was like a drop into the pool of your life, sending ripples in all directions? How far might those ripples spread? In contrast, what if gratitude was an infrequent blip on the radar or it was expressed only in times traditionally recognized as occasions to “give thanks”? How would that lack of gratitude impact your life?
 If I were to name one thing that has transformed my life, hands down it would be a deep experience of gratitude. In one of the darkest moments in my life, I began a practice of gratitude. It served as a life line, pulling me toward the light. At that particular time, I could have endlessly thought about what was not working in my life. I could have moaned and declared to the Universe that I was justified to complain. But it occurred to me when I did, that I only felt worse, and I seemed to perpetuate the hardship and pain., The shift into grateful living began simply,  one intentional word,  one feeling at a time. It was as if I planted seeds, and each day I watered the seeds with my words, intentions, and feelings. Now my life has grown into a bountiful garden, filled with color and amazing possibilities. 
                             So, What is Gratitude? 
A response of your heart. A feeling of thankfulness and appreciation. Think about your life in this moment. Perhaps you could fill endless pages with glowing words of appreciation; perhaps it is difficult to get past a blank page. Whether you are experiencing one of life’s brilliant pinnacles or slowly traversing a dark void, you get to choose. You may choose a feeling of lack or a feeling of abundance, choose a state of complaint or a state of gratitude. Here is the edge that comes when you complain: no matter how much you complain, you never feel satisfied. As each word flows out of your mouth,  it is as if you are greasing a slide that takes you farther down into discontent.
 I love the words of Wayne Dyer when he writes about being a love-finder rather than a fault-finder. Are you focusing on what is not working in your life or are you focusing on what is? The reality is that we all have some of both. What sets some folks apart, with a sparkle in their eye and a generous heart, is that they live their life as a love-finder. The ripples from their grateful heart can be felt by everyone around them. The rewards of feeling a deep sense of gratitude are extraordinary. You will feel more joyful, more attractive, more vibrant, more satisfied, and more present to giving and receiving love.
Now take a deep breath, settle yourself for a moment and then complete the following sentence which will help you begin right this moment your shift into more grateful living: "I feel so very grateful for...."  It is that easy.

Now let’s really dive into play.  Brainstorm ten outside-the-box ideas of ways you can express your gratitude to others. Watch the people in your life unfold into big smiles when you express just how very grateful you are. Be creative in that expression. 
Write a gratitude letter to yourself or to someone you know. 
Make a list of fifty things you are grateful for and keep it handy to look at when you find yourself sliding into a complaining mode. 
Create a Gratitude Journal. Set aside time everyday to think about, to feel, and to write down what you are grateful for. 
Be open to listening to the language of your heart. What a gift to feel a big open heart, to bask in your blessings, to choose consciously, intentionally to live a life of gratitude. Let gratitude ripple within you and joyfully out into your world.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

The Power of Conquering Fear





You must do the thing that you fear until the fear of that thing becomes no more.”
- Brian Tracy
One day, not too long ago,  I was looking for spiritual answers to some situations that I was facing. I got hit with the truth.  It was brought to my attention that my life and motives had been based on fear. I had feared that people would not love me if I stood up for myself. I had feared that people would not understand me when I needed them to. I had feared that failure would always overtake my efforts in life no matter how well I performed. Ultimately, in spite of the plethora of God-given talents and abilities, which I possess, I feared being a complete and total failure in life.



It was very shocking for me to come to this realization. I had always felt that I had a natural zest for life, but there was always a “glass ceiling” that I just could not seem to break through. I could always “see” what I could be, but actually becoming that person often time eluded me. You see, fear is a great paralyzer. It lulls one into believing that gloom and doom are always “inevitable.” Fear causes great people to accept mediocrity. It also causes death and destruction to lives and dreams of most people. Where there is overwhelming procrastination, there is fear. Where there is great anger, there is fear. Where there is extreme hatred, there is fear. Where there is complacency, there is fear. Where there was failure, ultimately, fear was there.
That brought me back to something else that I never consciously realized; that fear is a mind-set. Thus, anything that is set in your mind got there from a thought or set of thoughts. However, there is a good thing about thoughts. That good thing is that thoughts can be corrected by consciously choosing to think better thoughts. If you constantly fear that you are going to be “sick,” just as sure as the Titanic struck a block of ice in 1912, you are going to be “sick.” So to correct your “sickness” before it happens, start consciously choosing “healthy” thoughts.



This ideology holds true in most walks of life. Henry Ford, world-renowned industrialist and automotive pioneer, once stated that, “whether you think that you can or you can’t, you’re right.” Ford often successfully overcame fear. You see, he only had a sixth grade education. By most standards, he would have been considered illiterate and ignorant. One thing was very true, Ford was very “ignorant.” Mr. Ford was so “ignorant,” that he committed himself to the “outrageous” dream of building automobiles with little formal education. Ford was so “ignorant,” that he pioneered the “V” shaped engine, something that his “smart” engineers said “couldn’t” be done. In essence, Ford was so “ignorant,” until he forgot to “fear” things that most people with his set of “limitations” were supposed to. I guess he just didn’t get fear’s memo!
I’m pretty sure that there is somebody out there right now driving their Taurus, Explorer, Expedition, or some other Ford family vehicle, to a job that is murdering their dreams of greatness. These people are probably 1000 times “smarter” than Henry Ford was. So “smart” that they think “security” is going to come by working for someone else the rest of their lives. I sincerely believe and teach people to be bold in their journey through life. Boldness breaks the bondage of fear. Boldness is defined as the willingness to face risk fearlessly.





What do you have dreams of doing or being? What is holding you back? For the first question, I know some people will answer things becoming a singer, writing a book, starting a new business, buying a new car, and etc. However, for the second question, I know that tons of fear-based excuses will come up. Things like, “I’m too old,” “I’m too young,” “I’m a woman,” “I’m Black,” “I don’t have a lot of money,” and the like. In this article, I have been spiritually led to tell you the truth. Your boldness will lead you to the result of question one, and defeat the untruths of question two. World-renowned writer, speaker, and pastor, Joyce Meyer, describes fear as “False Evidence Appearing Real.” The truth of the matter is that success at whatever it is you so choose, knows no such boundaries as race, sex, age, gender, creed, or religious preference. Thus there is no reason for fear to keep you in bondage anymore. The following, are five steps to unleashing your power over F.E.A.R.




5 Steps to Unleashing Your Power Over Fear

Become “ignorant” to fear
Don't let fear have time to think
Always speak faith
 and belief
Create and maintain a positive outlook of yourself
Continue to execute the thing(s) that you fear until fear disappears

Become "ignorant" to fear:
Fear appears in many different forms. It can come from negative self (i.e. “I can’t do this,” “I’m not good at this,” etc.). It can come from negative media forecasts (i.e. bad predictions of the economy, bad weather reports, reports of murder, gossip, etc.). Remember the story of Henry Ford? He could have been nothing in this lifetime because of what he could not do (and the reasons were numerous), but his fears took a back seat to his ability to ignore any ideas that were not in congruence with his dream. Therefore, you must mute the voice of fear by limiting (or completely eliminating) your contact with fear-causing entities (i.e. news reports, newspapers, failure-conscious people, etc.).
Don't let fear have time to think:
Thoughts are powerful. A single thought can be responsible for life or death in this world. And anything that you think about long enough will find its way into the physical realm. Therefore, if you were to spend time thinking about the things that you want out of life (I mean conscious concentrate), you begin to see them. Conversely, the same is true for the things that you don’t want in life. Commit your time to faith and believing, not fear and doubt.
Always speak faith and belief:
According to scripture, life and death are in the power of the tongue. God framed this world from faithful speech (Genesis 1). Fear lives in doubt and disbelief. To frame your own world free of debilitating fear, always think, act, and speak positively in faith and belief. Be bold and say things as you want them to be in your life. If it is a new house you want, say it! If it is a new car you want, say it! If it is a successful family life you want, say it! If it is a better job that you want, say it! As Henry Ford once stated, “Whether you think you can or you can’t, you’re right.”
Create and maintain a positive outlook of yourself:
I have a motto that goes like this, “If I know who and what I am, no one can tell me who and what I am not!” No matter what the world has decided to think about me, I have decided to think great thoughts about myself. Therefore, I am free of world’s often limiting belief system. I don’t worry about things like weather reports, poor economic forecasts, what celebrity just went to jail, and who does not believe in my dreams, because if God is for me, who or what can be against me (Romans 8:31)? Decide who and what you are right now and do not be moved negativity.
Continue to execute the thing(s) that you fear until fear disappears:
Success is active. Action dispels fear. If you sit still, fear has the time to paralyze your abilities and efforts, ultimately, causing you to fail. Continue to move toward your goals with great diligence and great courage!



                                                    Good luck and may success embrace you!

Monday, October 18, 2010

SELF-ESTEEM



Most of us do our best to make sure that our children feel good about themselves but often, as adults, we tend to overlook that in ourselves. We may have started in life with high self-esteem, but every day life can erode our positive self image. It does not have to be extraordinary events that knock our good feelings out of the ring, even daily living experiences can take their toll. For example, the boss who never has and never will appreciate your work. Or, the favored older sibling who managed to stay married to the same spouse forever and to have important scientific papers published. The realization that we are not going to be perfect parents. And, then, there is always the aging process to pull the rug out from under. Gravity, wrinkles, graying hair, loss of muscle tone, and all the things that begin to go wrong with your body and your memory as you age, can take away even more of your self-confidence.


Some people never had much in the way of self-esteem to begin with. You may have had a difficult childhood that made you feel bad about yourself. You may have had parents who were too busy earning a living or simply trying to survive to let you know how great you were and how much you meant to them. You may even have had mean parents or no available parents, so there was no one important in your life to tell you how important you were in theirs. Children can rarely go beyond the emotional boundaries set by their parents, at least not while they are still growing up. So, if you don't like yourself, your children will not learn how to like themselves. And, if none of you is confident and happy about who you are, then you will not feel entitled to seek each other out when you are in need.


Healthy self-esteem lets adults take healthy risks, so when the job goes, you feel good enough about yourself to jump into the job market and find another. Knowing that you are capable in that way gives your family a feeling of strength against the unknown. Healthy adult self-esteem also protects you from letting others treat you badly. That means that your children will see you give and expect respect and good treatment from others. They won't see you get symbolically pounded, they won't see you victimized, and they will see that you can recover from the torrents. When your children see you being strong, they know that their family is strong. If we do not like ourselves, others will find fault as well.


Sometimes, our busy lives can erode our self-esteem even before we know it. While we are busy taking care of everyone else, our own needs get put aside until we are so full of unmet needs that we begin to think that is all we are. Just a constantly draining well of neediness that has no way of re-filling. We have to remember that we are important to our families, to our selves, and to the other people in our lives. We have to remember that we have value and that we deserve to look in the mirror and say "My goodness, that is a fine person looking at me today."


If you would like to increase your self-esteem, here are some things you might want to try.

Set personal boundaries. Nothing drains us of self-esteem faster than letting other people walk all over us. It might be the boss who always makes you work late, it might be the teen who daily lists your faults, it might the spouse who loves you but can't remember your birthday, it might be the parent who still criticizes the way you fold your towels. Take a look at your life and determine where you need to say "Stop" and then stick with it.


Spend time with your children. That's right, carve out some extra time in your busy week to have some fun time with your kids. There is nothing like seeing how much your children love being with you to make you realize how important and valuable your place in their world is.

Make a list of your accomplishments. Every couple of months, write out everything you have accomplished. It does not have to be something huge, just the daily stuff of life, such as: got the plumbing fixed, finished report at work on deadline, gave spouse a wonderful birthday party, managed to give kids summer holiday despite limited budget. Those are the things that make up life. Tolstoy did a great job of writing War and Peace, but did he do anything else in that time period, or did his wife and his lover take care of the daily grind? I bet those two women accomplished far more than he did, and I bet they were never thanked. You may never be thanked either, but you need to validate the things you do that keep your family going.

Try something new. Self-esteem does not come to those who sit and wait. You have to get out there and try something in life. If the things you are currently doing don't make you feel good, then try something new. Take a course, learn to paint furniture, take up bowling, become an amateur rose grower. It doesn't matter what you try, just try something. Even if it doesn't work out, you can at least feel better for having tried.


Set the bar lower. Many of us judge our own success by measuring ourselves against others (the cousin who owns the mortgage free lake house to die for?). Well, you may never have a house like hers or pay off the mortgage, but that may be because you are raising many children. Our small successes are just as valuable to our family and to the world as the major successes of others.


Get a good hairdresser or barber. Studies have shown that the first thing people notice in others is their hair. And, I bet that you know that when you look in the mirror, how your hair looks has a major impact on how good you feel about yourself. It doesn't matter if this is a superficial value, it is a value nonetheless, and a good hair cut can make you like yourself more. Take the time and the money from the family's resources to give yourself this boost. It will make everyone feel better, not just you.


Exercise. You can exercise without changing your lifestyle. Just add a ten minute walk at night, or a couple of sit ups during the afternoon. This isn't about losing weight or building muscles, it's about getting those exercise induced 'feel good' hormones going again.



o Jettison the baggage. Take a look at your life and determine who needs to be in it with you and whose time is over. Sometimes we have friends, or even relatives, who have been important to us at one point, but whose presence has become a problem. You can maintain some part of the relationship, but take a look at the ways  you need it to change, or if it is still worth retaining.

Spend time with friends. There is nothing like being with people who like us to make us like ourselves. You don't have to drop your family responsibilities to carouse with your buddies, but you can find one event a month that is just you and a couple of friends. Maybe it is lunch outside of the office with colleagues with whom you have a special affection, or may be it is a movie night out with the girls (or guys) who have been friends long enough to really know you. Create the time and make sure your family knows that it is important that they cooperate in your attending.

Make friends. For many of us, our busy-ness and the way we have to categorize each part of our life (parent, adult child, worker, soccer mom) has decreased our ability to make or keep friends. Try different ways to have friends. For example, set a date on the calendar to have a neighborhood bar-be-que and send fliers out to all your neighbors. Follow up by asking them to bring something and getting R.S.V.Ps. Or, start chatting with someone who looks responsive at your church or social event group. Or, start talking to some of the other soccer moms and dads and see if you can strike up a friendship there. Is there someone at your exercise club (remember, you are going to exercise) who you think you have a lot in common with?


Keep your bedroom clean. You may already do this, but many of us don't. We make sure that every other room in the house is clean and tidy, but we never get around to the place that is supposed to be our sanctuary at the end of the day. Make this room your priority. Keep it looking welcoming and pleasant. This is where you are you, where the pretense is dropped and where you unwind. So, make the space attractive, tidy, clean, and a place where you really want to end the day.

Throw out your old clothes. You don't need reminders of what no longer fits, or of a lost youth. If you have outgrown an article of clothing, either by size or by age, then get rid of it. You can't make room for the best you that you are now, if you are hanging onto a version of you that no longer exists.

Get a pet that you like. Often, we buy our pets because of what we think our children need. May of us think that our kids need an "Old Yeller" type of dog (one that doesn't have to be shot, of course), to teach them responsibility, or to watch over them, etc. But, the truth is it is generally the parents who take care of the animal. So, forgo the turtle that will eventually hibernate in the back of the closet and only come out once a year, and buy what you want. Some kind of dog or cat or even a lizard if that is what you like. Just so that it is honestly yours. I once read in a book that of all the memories that stick with a person through life, it is the memory of the look in the eyes of a faithful and loving dog that will sustain and comfort us in old age. Well, I hope you have more than that to comfort you in your twilight years, but for the present, get a pet that loves you unconditionally during all the times that no one else does.




o Act as if you have high self-esteem. If you can't feel good about yourself just yet, then act as if you do. That will cause other people to treat you better and then soon enough, you will begin to actually feel like you deserve their good treatment.

                    EAT WELL. BE WELL.
                GET A LITTLE HELP FROM
                         THE FRESH DIET


The Fresh Diet is about more than weight loss, it is also about optimal nutrition. Eating healthy foods and being physically active can make you feel better about your body. Why? Because eating a healthy diet will help you feel energized and keeps your body working just the way it should.