There is a pivotal point in each of our lives around the age of two or three when we start to ask the question, “Why?” I was about nine years old when my little brother Kris went through another why stage. It almost drove me to lose my mind. He had more questions than any of us had answers. Even today he still has more questions than I have answers for, but at least now Google exists. I can’t be too mad at my brother though. According to our father, I have been asking people why as long as he can remember. He said I made him understand that it was the most powerful word in the English language. I still drive my friends, family, and clients crazy with why questions; but they tolerate me because my why questions are effective.
As children we ask why as we try to understand the world around us. As we get older sometimes we forget to continue asking. This is where my why questions come in. I seek to dig down into the root of the Thoughts, Beliefs, and Decisions that my clients make. Conventionally speaking TBD means To Be Determined. Thoughts, Beliefs, and Decisions will determine how your life with progress. Thoughts become things has become a wide understood concept thanks to the many contributes and thought leaders who took part in Rhonda Byme’s book, “The Secret” from a mental-spiritual perspective. And has been confirmed by doctors like Dr. Bruce Lipton from a biological perspective in, “The Biology of Belief.” I believe that we know more now about how to create the life we want to live.
Knowing is not enough. It takes work. It takes self reflection and sometimes we need help navigating the parts of our personality that make us uncomfortable. Digging in on TBDs in very challenging and many will cut themselves short by saying I don’t know. But if we don’t know ourselves we limit ourselves and our potential.
As we dig into our Whys and TBDs we find that many of them were caught rather than taught. Here’s a helpful exercise. Look at your everyday life. We brush our teeth the way we do because our parents taught us as a kid. Our wake up routine is the same since high school or the military. We raise our children the way we were raised. We keep on keeping on the way we have because we feel like it’s worked this long but do we know the why behind it? While you are looking at your Whys and TBDs do so without judgment. No weighing in if it is good or bad, justified or unjustified. Rather, the best measurement is only if it still serves your greatest good.
In 2014 I read a lot about nutrition. I became acutely aware of the horrible relationship I had developed with food. If I’m honest, I did not understand a lot about food. Like many troubled relationships, I found that it all boiled down to a three key elements; understanding, communication, and expectation.
In order to understand the growth that took place, let me tell you how it started. I grew up in a healthy household where I enjoyed home-cooked meals that were well balanced with fruits and vegetables. My mother was a full-on veggie lover who loved to exercise and always told me she was a “fat kid”. I did not understand how that was possible when I was a pretty skinny kid/teenager. Like most young people I did not really like the wide variety of vegetables that she did so I stayed very close to broccoli, green beans and salads but I could eat a whole pepperoni pizza and never gained weight. My friends called me “Ribs” in junior high school because you could see my ribs when I wore a bathing suit.
A major shift happened while I was in high school; my mom fell ill, and our roles reversed. I became the bread winner, household shopper, and chef. I wasn’t old enough to understand the value of the substance and make up of our bodies. So, I made the unknowingly made the mistake of choosing quick and easy routes to meals and food. The majority of the time that meant frozen and microwaveable. A while later I started to notice that I was gaining weight and feeling sluggish. I decided I was eating too much so I started taking diet pills to suppress my appetite. Since I didn’t like coffee I would drink 2-3 energy drinks a day. My body was communicating that it needed fuel and expected nutrient rich food, but I did not understand. I was communicating that I wanted to look like the girls in the videos and magazines and and was still expecting to slim down.
As a requirement for college I took a health class and I learned great information on what I needed to have a healthy well balanced diet. It did help that I had at least started eating less food. I alternated between salads, frozen microwavable dishes, and over-cooked vegetables. I still took diet pills and drank energy drinks. I had developed a sugar addiction and was often stressed out. I was dealing with my mother’s multiple sclerosis, attending college, and working full-time and the weight just piled on. I visited my Uncle Dwayne before he was going into gastric bypass surgery and after not seeing me for ten years he had much wisdom to share on the unhealthy pathologies that our family shared with food. I spilled all the beans on what I was doing to myself. He made me promise to stop with the diet pills and energy drinks. He never made it out of that surgery so I could not go back on that promise. Our conversation also took the blinders off to the world of weight problems that I had only just begun to understand. Years of unhealthy eating and stress had helped me to get up to 230 lbs. At only 5 feet 4 inches tall, something had to change and it did!
Two of the best friends anyone could ever have taught me about food. This sounds funny and simple, but it was true. They helped me learn how to buy, cook, and eat healthy fresh and flavorful food. I learned optimal food combinations, portion control, and healthy sweet tooth alternatives. With the assistance of this wonderful support team, I started 2014 as a vegetarian who ate the rainbow of foods. I juiced fruits and vegetables as well as prepared my meals in advance to accommodate my busy schedule. I soon started feeling different, vibrant, healthy and alive. Mid-year I started eating fish and some small portions of meat, but I did not abuse my body the same way I previously had. I also kicked the habit of running to food when I felt stress. Moreover, through prayer, meditation and clear communication I have learned how to remove, avoid, and limit unhealthy stress. I have seen the needle on the scale go down which is nice but what is even more fulfilling is I know that I am well on my way to being healthier. I am being loving to my body, and it feels great!
The most important lessons I learned were very simple and could be applied to many different areas of life. The first and most valuable lesson I learned was: what you put in impacts what you get back. Like the adage “You are what you eat!” If you are loading yourself up with crap, you are going to feel like it. I started eating more foods that are grown on plants not manufactured in plants. The fresh fruits and vegetables that now occupy the majority of my dietary intake give me life, not a bunch of chemicals that I cannot pronounce and my body does not know how to break down.
The second most valuable lesson that I learned was support and accountability is key. I didn’t feel alone with friends to talk to when I was going to fall off the bandwagon. We started sharing holidays together when we thought we were not strong enough to resist the heavy food our families prepared. Last but certainly not least I learned that I had to keep my diet flavorful and exciting, which took preparation and time. I had to learn to try different things and step outside my comfort zone. Subsequently, I realized that it was a great thing to invest time and energy in preparing my food. I remember when I was always rushing to get some food so I can do this or that but this revelation hit me like a ton of bricks, “If you keep running on fumes you are going to run out of fuel!”
My hope for you in this next year is that this somehow encourages you invest in yourself from the inside out.
If you are looking for other ways to continue to revolutionize your diet or life in general take some time to check out our other blogs and/or contact us for your first coaching session. We dedicate every day of our lives to make a LifeonSprings Easy, Effective, Sustainable, and Enjoyable. Let’s thrive together in 2015!
I’ve learned it takes a certain strength to get up early in the morning for work or school. It’s take a different kind of strength to stay up late to get done what is due. And yet a different kind of strength when the baby is up at 3 am and you have to be up in two hours. While it takes a whole other kind of strength to put yourself before others.
It takes a different kind a strength to say no when I want to say yes. A different kind of strength to know I’m worth more, not less. Nothing less than the Queen he called me to be. And I still reign in His kingdom humbly while He’s teaching and guiding me.
Alone I may be but lonely I am not. I know He is there when the blue skies turn grey. When the sky is dark and the sun is tucked away. In the still of the night. Even when I’m weeping He is my joy in the dark times. Greater joy comes in the morning when the clouds roll away. I grow even stronger after the rain has passed away because my faith was watered and roots hold down my faith.
As I was walking along my path I realized that I started to get lonely. I looked around to see others on their path and thought maybe if I leave my path I won’t feel this emptiness. I crossed over to another path, there were many people on it so I started to mingle. All of them were carrying heavy luggage so I decided to help. I started carrying, one back then it got to heavy so I started to help another person with their bag. The second bag like the first started to get very heavy, so I handed it back to the person and helped a third with their bag. My arms grew weary and I was tired. I stopped by someone I recognized and started to help with their bag as well. Finally, I looked up and realized I was far from my path. I was tired, run down and worse for wear. Suddenly, I saw God walking down the side of this path. I asked God “Why is no one was asking You to carry their bag.” He replied, “They are not ready to let go of their baggage. When they tell me they want me to take it, I will. My yoke is easy is burden is light.” I asked God why this path was so full and mine so empty. He replied, “You wanted to do things my way. They chose the other path. When they are ready they can come to my path also.” I asked, “where are my bags, I remember I had so many.” He said “When you walk my path, I carry the load. As you give each issue to me, I perfect it and the bag turns into a light to your feet and a new enterance sign to My path for others to see. I asked God, “Is it too late for me to come back?” He said, “No but you have to give back everyone else’s bags. Tell them I love them, I am love. Tell them I am here, I know who they are. I created them for a life beyond their wildest dreams.”
Greatness in development-Every day taking strides toward GREATNESS.
Ingredient #1 Positive Energy through Music
I start out each morning with gospel music. No matter your denomination or belief, it is beneficial to begin your day with positivity radiating towards you. Anything to get you moving and will put a smile on your face. 😀
You should always stay mindful of what you feed into yourself mentally, physically, and spiritually. This includes; movies, music, the company you keep and the conversations you entertain. You are truly in control of your intake. Don’t get me wrong, I love all different kinds of music but there is a time and place for everything.
Ingredient #2 Get the positive intellect moving
I follow up with positive affirmations from various books and websites. In order to stay positive you have to continue to focus on positive things. There are all sorts of daily devotional and affirmation books out there. If you are not into books, check out “Positive Outlooks” on FaceBook, Notes from the Universe and the Secret. These messages will stay with you during the ups and downs of your day. If you find a really good one, write it down and stick it where you can see it; your desk, bathroom mirror, or even the sun visor in your car.
Ingredient #3 Sharing means caring!
Try to encourage positive conversations with friends, loved ones and co-workers so you can share this positive energy. We always hear how misery loves company. So why keep positivity to yourself?
Some people may mistake this excitement for life as being fake, naive or silly but if you truly believe that life is what you make it, why not focus on making the best out of it?
Warning: It is important that you know who you’re sharing your good fortune with. Only the those in your life who truly wish you well will share in your happiness. Others may try to bring you down with envy or jealousy or just flat out HATING. This is not a reflection on who you are but more a projection of their own greed, lack or confusion. Don’t worry about them. Hopefully they will learn to use your favor as motivation for their own greatness.
We are given things to use and people to love, not vice versa. So in this life you have an opportunity to use things to get ahead and spread love to people in the process. BUT this must start with you learning to love yourself FIRST. We all have flaws and shortcomings but that is what shows our strength and unique identity. If you have a vision for yourself FANTASTIC, just make sure you love who you are through the journey.
If you really want to get fancy you can add; exercise, meditation and a yummy cup of coffee
Step1- Start mapping a Positivity Plan
Step2-Share a positive conversation with someone today
This has to be one of my favors and guiding light. It is a well know tale. I heard it as early as five years old.
THE TALE OF TWO WOLVES
An old Cherokee is teaching his grandson about life. “A fight is going on inside me,” he said to the boy.
“It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves. One is evil – he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.” He continued, “The other is good – he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith. The same fight is going on inside you – and inside every other person, too.”
The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather, “Which wolf will win?”
The old Cherokee simply replied, “The one you feed.”
Celebrate each day like it is a new day of independence and liberation!
Liberate yourself from self-defeating thinking:
Have more patience and acceptance of yourself and others. You will find, you become more approachable and you will have less stress to carry.
You have two ears, two eyes and one mouth. Try listening and watching twice as much as you speak.
Practice the pause. Before you over react take time to think able how you can be more proactive in sharing peace and joy.
Sometimes being right is not the goal. Sometimes being heard is not the goal. Sometimes you have to learn to just BE.
Be full of JOY! Being unhappy, joyless and angry are all choices. Choose to be loving and joyful and you will attack that from others.
You are allowed to have expectations but your expectations are not requirements for others, they are choices and options for others. If someone does not choose to accept and meet your expectation, they are not automatically a bad person. They are a person with freedom and liberty just like you.
The simple truth is stress can turn you into someone you barely recognize.
Take a moment
Love your spirit, Love the heart and mind that God blessed you with.
At times you can feel an overwhelming since of responsibility that makes you feel like the weight of the world is dragging down your energy. Take a moment to see if you are struggling to continue to meet the crazy expectations that you set for yourself. I used to feel like if I was not the best or learning to be the best then it just seemed like a waste of time. But that wasn’t true. I had to learn to speak life into myself.
You do to. Live in victory! Say it with me “I’m living the victory”
You’re not alone. God is with you and he will always send you encouragement even if it does come from with in. Speak to yourself.