Healthcare Mistake #3 Eating Like a 25-Year-Old

Monitor your eating habits. Stop eating like a 25-year-old. While the milkshakes, burgers, and fries may not have wreaked havoc on our wellness journey when we were younger, a fast-food diet can derail the progress we have made.  As we get older, our metabolism changes and our bodies no longer burn calories as quickly as it did when we were younger.  Stop eating late at night. Eating and drinking late at night could cause reflux, weight gain, and interfere with our ability to get a good night’s sleep.

Once you hit 40, it may be a good idea to meet with a nutritionist or health coach to assist you with mapping out a new way of eating that allows you to lose weight, energize your day, and stave off disease.  Also, watch your snacks. “Eating snacks between meals can help to keep your appetite at bay and your energy up throughout the day. The key to snacking is to choose items that will boost your health rather than cause harm.”    To boost your metabolism, get plenty of sleep, move your body, and add weight training to your workout plan.  Changing your eating habits can be difficult, but you can do it. 

With Peace and Love,

Renee

Work with me!  Apply Here This program is for midlife women between the ages of 45-60 whose lives have been frozen due to trauma, guilt, emotional neglect, disappointments, unforgiveness, or harsh breakups.  Each week we will dive into a lesson from my upcoming course, A Mindful and Graceful Life. If you are looking to live a mindful and graceful life if you feel that it’s time to lose weight naturally, reduce your stress, increase your joy, and begin the journey of making peace with your mind and body this is the program for you. This individual program is by invitation only,  if you are ready to up-level your life and heal, Apply here. 

Download Now!  Beating the Midlife Slump! 10 Strategies to Help You Boost Your Self Confidence, Self-Love, and Self-Care

#midlifewomen  #wtyl #fitbabyboomer #atlantapodcast #midlifecrisis #genxwomen midlifewellness #midlifeaffirmation #midlifebeauty #fiftyplusbeauty #fortypluswomen #healthandwellness  #diabeticwomen #midlifecrisis #midliferesilience  #selfcare #selflove #midlifedetermination #menopause #hotflashes #bellyfat #inflammation #overfiftyandfit #empoweringwomen #midlifestyle

How to Create the New Life You Have Always Wanted

I get it, this was going to be your year.  2020 was the year you were going to lose weight, get a new job, disconnect from distracting or destructive relationships.  Find your soul mate, really take hold of your self-care, and make it a regular thing. Maybe, you were well on your way to making this happen, and then the world fell apart, and you with it.  I am here to tell you and myself that it is not too late to make your new life happen.  You can still make significant changes to your mind, body, and spirit. Guess what! I have a plan to help us do it.

This plan is going to require us to take some baby steps every day because real change does not happen in a day; it occurs when we make small shifts towards what we want.  Make sure that you hit the follow button so that you do not miss a post because, over the next couple of weeks, I am going to share with you 30 easy to implement life-changing tools and tips that will help you to transform your life.  Real self-care is more than just getting a manicure or a massage. It is the culmination of everything you do for yourself physically, spiritually, emotionally, mentally, and financially. 

Some of these tips may sound unnecessary, but hey do them anyway, remember it is the culmination of our efforts that creates real change.

So, let us start. Today, I want you to take out that massive goal list that you prepared at the beginning of the year, focus on one area, and create three smaller goals that will help you to complete the task.  For example, if you want to work out every day instead of focusing on an hour’s workout, try 20 minutes. “Every time you set and achieve a goal, your confidence and sense of competence increases.”  If you have been struggling to get your two-hour writing session done, then opt for 15 minutes a day, in a week you will have written 105 minutes that’s a blog, book chapter, short story, or podcast episode. 

Setting smaller goals will reduce overwhelm and keep your life balanced. So, what do you say what area of your life will you focus on with your three tiny goals? I would love to hear about your success.

With Peace and Love,

Renee

Are tired of banging your head against the wall and you need help to figure out your next steps.  Schedule your Soul Transformational call with me, it is completely free, and during our time together we will figure out what barriers are keeping you from the life you want. 

What Could I Do If I Wasn’t Afraid?

“Love Yourself, Dream Bigger” Teresa Collins

     I am not going to lie to you, midlife can be a scary phase of life.  Questions arise like, who is going to take care of me when I cannot take care of myself.  What if I don’t have enough money to live comfortably? I want to change careers but everyone I talk too tell me I am too old.  And, if these questions, are not enough to handle, what do we tell ourselves when we look at the dreams, we’ve left undone because we were just too afraid to take the first step.   

     If we have learned nothing else from the pandemic it is that we cannot afford to wait until tomorrow to live.  Live Now! Walk the marathon, write the book, start the business, cut people out of your life that no longer support you, acknowledge your mental health issues and get some help. Learn to motivate yourself and follow your own intuition, you got this!

With Peace and Love,

Renee

Have your weight loss goals stalled?  Download The Ultimate Midlife Guide:  Beating The Midlife Slump-10 Strategies To Help You Boost Self-Confidence, Self-Love, and Self-Care

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Midlifers Tell the Truth: Are You Lonely?

Illustrated by Brianna Gilmartin, Verywell

     It always fascinates me how in 2020, we can be so digitally connected and yet feel so alone.  Loneliness can be a part of midlife for many reasons, divorce, death of a spouse, or an empty nest.  A Psychology Today article contends that loneliness does not depend on your social circle; more than 60% of married people admitted to feeling lonely. In the United States,40% of midlife folks are affected by loneliness, and this could lead to some devastating health outcomes.

     But before we get started, let’s define the difference between loneliness and isolation since many of us use these terms interchangeably.  Isolation ensues when we have very little or no contact with other people, this can happen due to a mental health issue or as a health precaution to fight the spread of COVID-19 which is what many of us are experiencing now.   Loneliness, on the other hand, is an emotional state it can be caused by isolation but can also be due to other things such as the loss of a good friend or moving to a new city.

Health risks associated with loneliness can include higher stress levels, antisocial behavior, increased alcohol or drug consumption, and depression. Studies show that lonely adults are less likely to exercise and consume diets high in fat and calories.

Image: tonyrobbins.com

If you feel lonely, you are not alone. In 2010 AARP commissioned a study that classified loneliness by age; the results were astounding.  Using the UCLA Loneliness Scale, they measured the percent of lonely adults by age group:

  • Ages 40-49 – 43%
  • Ages 50-59 – 41%
  • Ages 60-69 – 32%
  • Ages 70+ – 25%

How can you protect yourself from the devastating effects of loneliness?

  • Nurture existing relationships: this step helped me to combat my loneliness, I make a point each day to contact a family member or friend.  And since we are practicing social distancing due to the virus, I reach out to work colleagues a couple of times each week to stay connected. 
  • Find a hobby: this one was a little bit harder because the things I enjoy don’t necessarily require company, but it has been a real joy cycling with my friend and organizing family walks.   You could start a bowling league or book club and invite family and friends.  Or, do something entirely out of your comfort zone like ballroom dancing and make some new friends.
  • Volunteer:  One of the best ways to get your mind off yourself is to give back to your community.  Find a place to donate your time and gift that organization with your gifts and talents.  Time spent volunteering will put you into social situations that will help you to meet new people in a safe environment.

If your loneliness persists or turns into isolation, don’t be afraid to seek help, many organizations such as Better Help offer online therapeutic services.  As with any service, do your due diligence and research before you commit.  Also, check out the Coalition to End Isolation and Loneliness; this is a non-profit organization that works to assist individuals with local and national resources to end loneliness.   

     It is a myth that the older you get, the lonelier you will become, yes, your life will change, kids grow up and move out, you might get divorced, or your spouse might pass away, maybe your friend of 25 years will move to another state.  I have found that one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself is to be flexible and to live your life with a curious mind.

With Love and Peace,

Renee

Need some help getting your groove back, download The Ultimate Midlife GuideBeating The Midlife Slump-10 Strategies To Help You Boost Your Self-Confidence, Self-Love, and Self-Care

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Self-Care In the Time of Covid-19

Hello, my friends,
I am sending so much love your way, these are challenging times, and some of you may already be experiencing significant financial hardship due to your company shutting completely down or having your work hours drastically cut. I feel your pain, Monday was my last day of work.
I am very grateful that my last child has finally returned home. I am here with my aunt, able to ensure that she is doing well and has everything she needs; still praying that my husband will get to join us soon.
Wakeup calls come in many forms, being let go from a job, the breakup of a relationship, or a pandemic that threatens the whole world. While it is inevitable that you will feel some fear and trepidations at the thought of an unknown future, this is your chance to take stock of your life and finally make the changes you have been putting off until someday. Someday is now!

I am asking that you replace your panic and fear with faith and action.  This is not the time to put your self-care on the bottom of your “to do”. Besides the precautions suggested by the CDC – you can read them here.    You need to be focusing on your physical, emotional, and physical health is what is going to get you through this crisis.  I have put together eight tips that I know will help you take care of yourself and remain calmer during this crisis.

These tips have helped my family,  friends, clients and me to stay in the present and cut our worrying in half.
1. Take quiets moments throughout the day for prayer/meditation: The early morning or late evening hours tend to be the best time to make this happen. But whether you are home “self-isolating” or still working, take a moment throughout the day to pray, meditate, reflect, and journal your thoughts. This will help you to manage your stress.
2. Eat whole foods: I have also been tempted to munch away on a bag of M&M’s my favorite candy in the world. But this is not the time to put your wellness journey on hold. Your immune system needs you to consume whole foods to keep it running at its optimal health. Whole foods are minimally processed and have little to no refined sugars. These foods include vegetables, fruits, whole grains, legumes, seeds, and nuts.
3. Exercise 30 minutes per day: Don’t forsake your daily exercise. I know the gyms are closed, but a home workout will yield some fantastic results. Check out YouTube for complete workouts lasting from 10 to 60 minutes. Or you can download my friend Laurie’s complete at-home workout guide here.
4. Stay connected: write, call, or facetime family and friends: While you may not be able to be in the same room, thanks to technology, we can still connect. Surprise someone you haven’t had time to speak within a while with a long-overdue phone call.
5. Focus on the positive- gratitude: “Making gratitude a daily practice is like taking a vitamin,” says David DeSteno, Ph.D., a professor of psychology at Northeastern University in Boston and author of the book Emotional Success.

6. Don’t Overload on Information: Decide on what time of day you will consume information about the virus and then stick with your plan. Cut down your watch time into 10, 15, or 30-minute chunks no more than that, or you will get sucked in and find yourself watching news coverage all day.
7. Say a prayer for others: One way to take your mind off yourself is to pray or send kind thoughts to others in need. This virus has affected all of us, and we need to come together to provide love and support.
8. Get some rest:   While you may want to stay up all night, doing a virus vigil can wreak havoc with your health. Like healthy eating, your immune system needs you to be well-rested to help it work properly. Regular sleep will also help you to be at your emotional best. Stick to a regular sleep schedule and throw in a power nap if you need it. Your body will thank you for it,
You will get through this; don’t give in to fear and worry; instead, take the necessary precautions and stand firm in your faith. This is your time to shine! Be the leader you are called to be, even at this moment in time, you still have the power to create the life you want to live.
I will be coming to you each day with new tips and resources to steady your mind, help you keep your health promises, and to just keep you busy, so don’t forget to follow the blog so you don’t miss any upcoming posts.

Wishing you peace and love,

Renee

Download The Ultimate Midlife Guide: Beating The Midlife Slump-10 Strategies To Help You Boost Self-Confidence, Self-Love, and Self-Care
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Is Your Weight Holding Your Life Hostage

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How many of you have said, the moment I lose this weight, I will plan my dream vacation.  I am going to get some new sexy underwear.  I am going to get a new hair cut or get rid of this soul-sucking relationship.  “When I lose weight, I will get my teeth whitened.”  I was working with a woman who told me she was waiting to get her teeth whitened until she lost the weight.

Today I want to talk to you about not waiting until you reach that magical number on the scale and begin to live your life. I want to share with you three ways that you can start living your life right now!

Stay Present:  You have to start loving where you are right now, stop warring with your body and learn to love it just the way it is rolls and all.  Do not dwell on your past or on the future.  You cannot change the past, and your future depends on what steps you take today.  When the negative self-talk begins, counter it with this exercise. 

  • Close your eyes-be still-take a deep breath in through your nose and out through your nose (three times)
  • Continue breathing, and on each exhale repeat to yourself, I am enough just the way I am. (Three times)
  • Repeat until you have quieted your spirit or calmed your nerves

Do this regularly, this mindfulness tool will help you to reign in those negative thoughts and begin the work of repairing your mindset.  Until we treat ourselves with love and respect regardless of our dress size, no one else will. 

Go shopping now:  Get out of that worn sweat suit, black yoga pants, and hot polyester outfits.  Dress the body you have, I thought buying clothes that fit me was a sign of weakness.  I was telling myself that I would never lose the weight and I felt uneasy about dressing my new curves.  Then I caught my reflection in my full-length mirror as I was leaving home one day.  Who is that? I almost asked myself, dressed in an oversized gray t-shirt and a pair of black stretch pants.  This was my daily uniform.  I felt sad and depressed, and it showed in the way I carried myself and my interaction with everyone I encountered, I went out that day and purchased some new clothes. 

Dressing my new curves gave me more confidence.  I felt polished, and it ended the overwhelm I felt each morning when I went into my closet, trying to find something to wear.

[A capsule wardrobe is] a practice of editing your wardrobe down to your favorite clothes (clothes that fit your lifestyle + body right now), remixing them regularly, and shopping less often and more intentionally.

My advice is to create a capsule wardrobe.  Shop for a few essential pieces that you can mix and match.  I purchased four pairs of knit slacks in black, burgundy, gray, and navy.  Four knit skirts in the same colors with a nice wide elastic band.   I stayed away from buttons and zippers.  Opting for wide bands are best because they prevent the top of your clothing from rolling down under your belly.  Then I purchased 8 pretty tops, a couple of cardigans, two blazers, and a denim jacket.  With these pieces, I could dress up or play it casually.  Now, I had a wardrobe to take through the seasons and help me to feel comfortable and pretty.  I wore these pieces until I lost the weight.  It was a wonderful experience, and my weight loss journey much easier.

     Finally, start doing the things you love; do not be afraid to go out to dinner just plan.  Buy those tickets to see your favorite band, each week you should be doing something fun.  Make fun Friday a reality, stop living vicariously through the IG photos of family and friends, and start posting your own.  The truth is we don’t know what tomorrow holds, so live your life each day as though it was your last.  Smile, and be happy!

You are beautiful at your present weight.  Losing weight may give you more confidence in the short-run, but if you do not heal your mindset and say present in your life, the weight is going to come back, and you will be back on that diet merry-go-round of self-defeating, negative self-talk which leads to self-loathing and comfort eating.  You deserve more than that.

Download Your free guide here Beating the Midlife Slump 10 Strategies to Boost Your Self-Confidence, Self-Care, and Self-Love

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If You Want To Win-Stop Breaking Promises To Yourself!

Stop Breaking Promises to Yourself

A promise is “a declaration that something will or will not be done,

given, etc., by one:” Dictionary.com

     I know that you have identified your New Year’s resolution.  You have written them in your journal and dreamt of the day when you can cross them off as complete.  Maybe you have decided to lose weight, get a new job, stop smoking, or finally fire that lame friend who takes more than she gives.  Maybe you have decided once and for all to make peace with growing older.  Not in a sad fatalistic way, but in an empowered life came at me hard, and I conquered it kind of way.

But I want to help you do something that will make the resolutions you have made much easier to accomplish.  Not to damper your resolve, but 95% of New Year’s resolutions just don’t happen.  I do not have any scientific proof now, but I think it might be because 95 % of us fail at this one very important thing, we fail to keep the promises we make to ourselves.   I don’t really care what the promise is, only that it was important for you to take the time, at that particular time in your life to make it, something happened that day to cue the creation of this promise, so it must be important.

I bet that you feel bad when you promise to meet a deadline for someone else but missed it because life got in the way.  But we write ourselves off and what is important to us all the time. Every time you break a promise that you made to yourself, you’re telling yourself that you are not important.  To get to the next level in life, that must end.

We are sacred beings, and the promises that we make to ourselves are sacred.  Keeping just one promise could change your entire life.  If you want 2020 to have a different outcome, then you must make yourself a priority.

I want you to understand that losing weight is only part of it, the real work begins in your mind, and if you are willing to take that journey, then you will succeed where the other 95% have failed.

How we show up for ourselves powers our dreams, determines how well we show up for others, helps us to complete our purpose, and create our legacy. 

A woman with too many broken promises in her life is a bitter woman. 

This is a good lesson at any age, but especially for women in midlife. Too many midlife women, have died too soon with their dreams still inside of them, let that not be our story.  There comes a time in life when we can’t blame life anymore when we have to look at our mistakes and deal with the real reason why.   

To fulfill a promise, you must have a plan, you can’t just declare it and hope it comes true.

Your homework is to write down three steps you need to take to complete the plan and fulfill the promise.

You are worthy of peace, love, success, and joy, but you must fight for it, and I know that you can do it!

Peace!

Renee

Did You Miss A Welcome To Your Life! Midlife Made Easier Podcast

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P.S. Are you ready to make feeling good YOUR new normal? Stay tuned! I’ve got something awesome coming soon… 

Stop Being A Midlife Wallflower! Four Ways to Face Your Fears Today

I was listening to a podcast recently; the host encouraged everyone to find their movement. Find something that you are willing to get loud about, willing to stick your neck out about, a movement that is so profound in your life that you are ready to face your fears to be an advocate for the people who need your voice. I realized at that moment that I wanted to speak out for women in midlife just like me, who feel that society, their families, and their co-workers are trying to keep them silent.

Yes, its 2019, and women are more vocal about what they want, and many are not afraid to get it, but for some of us, aging has forced us to slink back into the background of our lives. Guess what, losing that 10 or 20 extra pounds will not give you the lasting self-confidence boost you seek. That is just the icing on the cake. The real work happens much deeper than the soft roll around your middle.

While most of us are not facing the same threats our ancestors did, we still face risks in our day-to-day lives that cause us stress. What are we so afraid of currently in our lives? Quite a lot, as it turns out.

We have become midlife wallflowers who still dream of accomplishing big things in our lives but are afraid that what we have to say will not matter to anyone except us.

It doesn’t help that we are questioning our identity and trying to find a way to fit into the lives we have created when everything in our psyche is crying out for something more. We are trying to create a new level of self-confidence to get us through each day, while facing our mortality, and having to deal with the patronizing comments from millennials in our office who are surprised that we are up on the latest apps or social media outlets. Yes, Ryan, I have a Snapchat account.

Let me tell you something sister to sister; it is time for us to face our fears once and for all. As a proud and lifelong introvert, I faced my fear the moment I decided to write this blog, record my podcast, and publish videos online for the whole world to see. I had the audacity to speak my opinion and gently push other midlife women to do the same. Who was I to study for a new career at my age?  Someone, a former close friend, told me that my ship had sailed and that I should be thinking of retirement and scheduling more time with my grandsons? I love them dearly. But there are some things that nana must do, and I am sure that they will love and respect me even more, when they see the results. Ladies, it’s time to put our fears into perspective.

Facing our fears doesn’t have to be scary. Luckily, you have within you the power to overcome your fears and embrace the happiness you deserve, right here, right now.

But how you may ask? Let’s look.

When we were children and feared that something was lurking under the bed, our parents would shine a light into the darkness. Once they did, it revealed the truth – there were no monsters. Once we shine the light of truth on what scares us, we often discover our fears to be unfounded.

So, let’s shine a light of truth on some beliefs that may be holding you hostage to your fears.

It’s human nature to worry. But did you know that research has determined that 85% of what you worry about never actually happens?  Let that sink in for a moment – most of your fears never come true.

But wait! That still leaves 15% of the time when things don’t work out! You are right, AND that same research reveals that, when misfortune did occur, people found they usually handled the situation better than expected. Not only that, they learned something valuable from their ‘ trouble,’ often even feeling as though the fear was worse than the actual situation.

Let’s take a moment to recap: we all experience fear, most of our fears will never materialize, and, if they do, chances are it won’t be as bad as we imagine. We will handle it better while learning something useful along the way. Sounds like a win-win proposition, doesn’t it?

Four Ways To Ditch The Wallflower Mentality and Overcome Your Fears

Being fearless is not about the absence of fear. Being courageous is facing the things in life that scare you, despite the sweaty palms and racing heartbeat. Being fearless is realizing that what you want is more important than any fear you have of achieving it.  But being fearless does not need to involve life or death situations. Fearless is falling in love again after being brokenhearted. Fearless is leaving a successful career for an uncertain opportunity. Fearless is standing by someone who’s disappointed you in the past. Fearless is falling and getting back up again (and again).

“I’ve been absolutely terrified every minute of my life—and I’ve never let it keep me from doing a single thing I wanted to do.” Georgia O’Keeffe

Ready to get started on the path to a more fearless you? Then check out these tips to give you the upper hand in facing off against your fears:

1. Own your fear. Psychologist Carl Jung said, “What you resist not only persists, but will grow in size.” So, it goes with fear, as well; resisting fear expands it. Fearlessness comes from embracing your vulnerability, not by avoiding it. Say your fear out loud, write it in your journal, put it on a vision board.  Then write down three ways that you are going to conquer it, there is something powerful about saying what scares us out loud.  It immediately redistributes the power.  Reducing the hold, the fear has over us and giving us more power to push forward. Isn’t it time you stopped running and faced your imaginary monsters?

2. Reshape your fear. You are smart, and that can be a problem. Are you a habitual ‘catastrophizer,’ always assuming the worst will happen?  I myself was once a glass half-empty kind of girl.  Having an active imagination can fuel our concerns instead of suppressing them. Our brains often overestimate our fears while underestimating our ability to manage them. The next time you’re feeling afraid, instead of imagining the worst outcome, ask yourself what’s the BEST thing that can happen, and use your imagination to explore that scenario.

3. Take a risk. Playing it safe often feels like a low-risk proposition, but what if the opposite is true? What if playing it safe is a high-risk approach? When asked what they regret most, people on their deathbeds usually lament the risks they never took, not the ones they tackled.

4. Build your courage muscle. If you have ever started a new exercise habit, you know that building muscle requires starting slow and working your way up. Developing courage is like building a muscle. Show up, start slow, practice your form, and do the repetitions. Your fearless ‘muscles’ may be sore at first. Still, once fearlessness becomes a habit for ‘the small stuff’ you encounter, taking more courageous steps for the more significant challenges becomes easier too. You do not need to climb Mt. Everest to conquer your fear of heights. But facing your fears head-on is the sure way of overcoming what’s holding you back.

When it comes right down to it, we may not be able to control the good or bad things that happen to us, but we do have control over two critical things; our mindset and our responses to our circumstances.  Think of a fear you are facing (or avoiding) right now. Ask yourself, what would your life look like if you decided to face that fear? What would it feel like if you showed courage – even a little bit? The courage to take a risk. The courage to be your true self. The courage to love others. The courage to love yourself.

When you decide to take the initiative to confront your fears, you will discover that the universe is in your corner. Will it be easy? No. Will you face obstacles? Yes. Will you make mistakes? Yes.  But remember, your dreams are not meant to collect dust on a shelf or, more heartbreakingly, to take with you to your grave.

Do not be a midlife wallflower.  It is time to join the party.  The good news is you have what it takes to break through your fears right inside of you. You are courageous, creative, and the bearer of much goodness. Sometimes when we dare to dream great dreams; we must do it afraid. Just remember, regardless of your age, you are never too old to accomplish something new.  I am right here cheering you on and if you need it giving you a loving kick in the rump.

Talk soon,

Renee

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Using Prayer to Recover Life’s Joy

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Today is Faith Friday. We are delving into how to use our spiritual weapons to regain our joy. This is the first part of our four-part series, Recovering Life’s Joy -Using Our Spiritual Weapons to Reach Out to God series. Joy is a small but powerful word, being joyful doesn’t mean that we walk around without a care, it means that we have made a conscious decision to lean on the word of God and follow his lead. Christ told us in John 10:10 “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life and have it to the full.” This scripture is not new to us, but it can still be hard for strong minded women who are used to solving their own problems or living with their problems in silence to let go and let God handle it. So today we are going to talk about why joy is important and look at our first spiritual weapon is prayer, keep reading to see how having a strong prayer life can help us recover our joy.
How many of us dread getting out of bed in the morning. Facing the same old problems that don’t seem to have a solution. You can’t see me, but I am raising my hand. Mornings for me use to be the worse. I knew nothing in my closet was going to fit me, and I would end up wearing the same black yoga pants and one of my four oversize shirts. I knew that I did not have the money to pay all of the bills sitting in the little tray in my office, and I knew that traffic was going to be horrible going to work, and that would ruin my entire day. I was broke, overweight, and un-happy and I felt like there was nothing I could do about it. Now, mind you at the time I was teaching women’s bible study at my church, And I have to say it is still one my most favorite memory. Teaching those women every month gave me the gave me the boost I needed to keep going. The problem was, that while I teaching these marvelous lessons on faith, love, and casting our cares on the Lord. I wasn’t really living it.

prayerI was still trying to save myself as my grandmother use to say. There were places in my life where I did not let God in and because of that I had lost my joy. Just to be clear, Now I am not talking about depression, sadness or loss of joy is an emotion, and even though we may feel that our sadness is overwhelming and has taken over our life. We should still be able to find moments of joy in our families , friends, or work. Depression on the other hand is a mental illness, and if you have feelings of sadness that has caused you to change the way eat, withdraw from activities you use to love, if you have trouble sleeping, or if you are constantly irritable. Please see your primary physician or a licensed therapist.
Feeling sad is a human emotion that everyone feels at certain times in our lives. We lose our joy for a number of reasons, I mean the world can be cold, scary, and just plain sucky at times. But, I think at the foundation of all of that is that we feel helpless. Nothing zaps your joy like the feeling that you do not possess the tools or resources to help your current situation get better. We can sit on our church pews Sunday after Sunday and leave still feeling helpless and hopeless. That’s because we are focused on the circumstances of our situation and not on the holy solution. But, why is joy so important you might be asking yourself, my can’t I just mine my own business and let other people do the same.
The eyes of the world are on the Christian woman, and they are not interested in what we wear or how we style our hair. They are watching our actions, reactions, and associations. The Apostle Paul reminds us in 2 Corinthians 5:20 that “we are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God.” (NIV) More than the crosses and bumper stickers we display it is our attitude that attracts the unbeliever first. Our daily attitude is a true indication of how much we believe in what we preach. How can we win souls for Christ, if all people see when they look at us is an unhappy woman being defeated by the trouble and strife in her life? A woman who is so filled with condemnation over her past that she spews out anger and bitterness to everyone she meets. Who would want to be part of that?
It is imperative that we safeguard our joy the same way that we guard our designer bags. Joy is a powerful weapon. In the natural, it conveys to our observers that our faith is strong even if the truth is we are afraid. In the spiritual, it connects us to God, defeats the enemy, and gives us peace in the midst of a world gone mad. If we maintain our joy during trouble, and humbly accept conviction from the Holy Spirit then we will attract the unbeliever to the Christ that lives within us.
Being joyful does not mean that we are immune to hurt, disappointment, or anger. We are human. The good news is that our joy does not come from a natural source. We derive our joy from the innate knowledge, that in Christ, we are victorious. James 1:12 reads, “blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.” (NIV) Sisters, don’t let the enemy steal one more day of joy from you. Remember, “in all things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.” Romans 8: 37 (NIV)
What is joy? The dictionary defines it as, “the emotion evoked by well-being, success or good fortune.” We do not have to look far these days to know that joy or a feeling of well-being remains an elusive part of life for many people even Christians. It is very difficult to remain joyful in a toxic climate. . To avoid the feelings of anxieties that when we lose control, many of us spend our days using a variety of remedies to create joy, self-medicating in an attempt to eliminate the pain.
. To avoid the feelings of anxieties that when we lose control, many of us spend our days using a variety of remedies to create joy, self-medicating in an attempt to eliminate the pain.
. Or, We place the burden of our joy on the shoulders of mere mortals who are unable to withstand the weight of our request. They will inevitably fail us. What we need to realize is that finding and maintaining joy is our responsibility, no one else’s, not even God. God has already made the ultimate sacrifice to secure our joy. “But he was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our guilt and iniquities; the chastisement (needful to obtain) peace and well-being for us was upon Him, and with his stripes (that wounded) Him we are healed and made whole.” Isaiah 53: 5 (Amplified) Sisters, it is time for us to stop sitting around waiting to be rescu While God intended for us to be happy, He also knew that we would encounter some difficult times while we are here on earth. Jesus said in John 16:33 “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have (perfect) peace and confidence. In the world you have tribulation and trials and distress and frustration; but be of good cheer (take courage, be confident, certain, undaunted) For I have overcome the world. (I have deprived it of power to harm you and have conquered it for you).” (Amplified) The world may be crumbling around us, but we were meant to have peace in our spirits as we wait for Christ to return.

You will not find a scripture in the bible that says you will not have trouble, while we wait for His return. Hundreds of scriptures tell us we that have the power to endure, to have peace, and to succeed. Many of us make the mistake of running from God when we are in pain. When in fact, we should be reaching out to Him and making Him our number one priority.
How can I regain and maintain control of my joy? Well, I am glad you asked. You do not have to complete some arduous plan to be joyful. But, it does require work on a consistent basis. You may have to give up some behaviors that in your mind brought you comfort. You are going to have to reach out to God and perfect the use of your spiritual weapons. They include prayer, meditating on God’s word, praise, and fasting. Today we are going to dive into prayer. These interrelated tools or spiritual weapons enable us to maintain our joy and claim victory. Each one will assist you with reaching out and connecting to God as never before, to hear His voice, and reclaim your joyfulness. You cannot have real deliverance from what ails you by just embracing one or two you must embrace them all.
The first thing we need to do when we find our joy levels floundering is to check our prayer life. Ask yourself is my prayer life strong and consistent or is it just a task I check off my daily to do list? Prayer is an open communication with God and when pray we can tell him what is bothering us and know that he hears us. He promised. In Deuteronomy 31:6 “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” Praying God’s word is not only a powerful weapon, but also a powerful joy tool. When I submitted to God and stopped trying to fight the enemy with my own power I gained peace in my spirit and the enemy had to flee. (Read James 4:7)
If you are serious about maintaining joy in the midst of trouble you must have a vibrant prayer life. We do not fight against flesh and blood. Ephesians 6:12 reads, “we war not against flesh and blood but against the rulers against the authorities, against the rules of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” (NIV) Knowing that our enemy is not flesh or blood we must realize that conventional weapons will not work. No amount of yelling, crying, or cussing, has the power to make the enemy flee like the power of God. Prayer should be our weapon of choice. So, why is something as simple as talking to God so difficult to do on a daily basis?
To check the depth of your prayer life ask yourself these questions. Do you wait until lightning strikes before you activate your eternal life line to the Lord? Is your prayer life an ongoing dialogue with God or is it something you run through so that you can check it off your daily list? Your truthful answers will gauge your relationship with the Father.
James 5:16b “The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much” (NKJV) Our prayers are not effective if we do them once in a while. But when we are fervent, avid, enthusiastic, and persistence about the time we spend with God we become powerful adversaries.
Prayer is a powerful weapon. It connects us to the Lord and allows us to hear from Him, to enter into His presence and get to know Him personally. Not as the God of the Old and New Testaments, or as our grandma’s God, but as OUR GOD! However, the Lord is not going to fight through the chaos of our lives to speak to us and if we are not careful we could miss His voice. When speaking to the Jews in Jerusalem Jesus said in John 10:27 “My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.” (NIV) In 1 Kings 19:11-13 when the Lord spoke to the prophet Elijah he did not come to him in the wind, the earthquake, or the fire, but in a still small voice. Can you recognize the voice of God when He speaks?
If you are a little rusty with your prayers than do what I did create a string prayer and Pray God’s word back to him. I wrote down three scriptures to string together and pray to the Lord. My string prayer included Romans 8:37, 2 Chronicles 20:15, and Philippians 4:6.
“Yet amid all these things we are more than conquerors and gain a surpassing victory through Him Who loved us.” The Lord says this to you: Be not afraid or dismayed at this great multitude; for the battle is not yours, but God’s “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.”
There will come a time when you have to be your own prayer warrior, when you are in the thick of battle and cannot wait to get to church on Sunday to have the mothers pray for you. Building a relationship with God through prayer will diminish the time we spend worrying, and our own doing or due to the enemy’s attacks, we will commence to praying. Having established a relationship with God through our prayers this will be as natural as breathing.

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You Are Stronger Than You Give Yourself Credit!

2 You are Stronger than you give yourself credit

I woke up this morning not really happy about my life. It wasn’t that my candidate hadn’t won although I still question the validity of the race. It was a feeling of not having control over my life that put me in a deep funk. I had made big plans for 2018 which included starting my own business, writing several books, increasing my social media footprint and crafting a slamming body. But, as the year draws to a close, I realize that the scope of what I had imagined for 2018 might not come to pass.
Of course, I had to snap myself out of this funk because allowing it to linger would have me in a total mental meltdown lying on my sofa, eating food not particularly friendly to the girth of my hips. I had to remind myself that I had accomplished a lot this year. I did, in fact, start my own business, I became very clear on my message and what I wanted to offer my friends/clients. I stop listening to other people tell what I should be doing and decided to follow my gut. I created a workout plan for myself and lost 10 pounds without dieting or starving myself. And I built a foundation for 2019 that will take me to personal and professional heights that will be astonishing if I do say so myself. And I do!
As my aunt Maggie use to say, this is no time to waddle in self-pity. It’s time to move. What I am learning more and more as I travel this journey called life. Is that we are stronger and more resilient than we give ourselves credit. We can if we refuse to give up on ourselves and our dreams to accomplish some unimaginable feats. You many feel like I felt. Like what you wanted in your life for this year has not materialized. But you still have time to start planting seeds that will act as your foundation for 2019. A strong foundation will take you to heights you have only dreamt of, I believe in you! I believe in us!