Creating Peace on Demand! Using Meditation to Enhance Your Self-Care


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Click here to Listen to Episode 41 of the Welcome To Your Life! Midlife Made Easier Podcast

I have been rallying the self-care flag since April.  Like no other time in our lives, we need to focus on our well-being, or we will be swallowed by doubt and overwhelm.  So, for August, I will continue to share a new tip that will enhance your self-care and bring you some peace.  Midlife is not always the most secure time of our lives, but if we are intentional about taking care of our needs, it can be more comfortable.

So, what if you could create peace in your day on demand.  I know it sounds a little woo woo, but with a little bit of planning, you can make it happen using meditation. “Meditation provides you with that quality “me time” that’s so key to refiling your cup at the end of the day. It’s not only me time in terms of being alone and being away from others but being away from your day to day thoughts.”

     According to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, “meditation is a mind and body practice that has a long history of use for increasing calmness and physical relaxation, improving psychological balance, coping with illness, and enhancing overall health and well-being.” You can create your own meditation by sitting in a quiet place, using a memory that helps you feel more confident, happy, or brings you peace.  Focus on memory and breath.    You can also use a meditation app like Headspace or Calm.

Meditation is something you can do whenever you feel stressed or overwhelmed.   As with anything, meditation takes practice, so do not be upset if you cannot settle down on your first couple of tries.  Acknowledge the thoughts you are having and keep practicing. Do not worry about being perfect; be intentional on spending this time with yourself.

With Peace and Love,

Renee

My gift to you Beating the Midlife Slump! 10 Strategies to Help You Boost Your Self Confidence, Self-Love, and Self-Care

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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. 

Self-Care is Your Superpower

Self-care and self-love are so intertwined that, to me, they are the same. It’s hard to love yourself when you are not taking care of yourself.  I know that we must take care of others, but real self-care is a conscious desire to take care of our own physical and emotional needs.  We are about to start a new month.  This would be an excellent time for you to set your intention and start or restart your self-care plan.  Self-care is your superpower; without it, we are only half showing up for the people and things we love.

Your self-care can show up in many ways, journaling, meditation, exercising regularly, scheduling your medical appointments. The point is to ensure that your physical and mental well-being is at the top of your crowded “to do” list. When you do this, you can genuinely help others with an open heart. Otherwise, resentment will rise, and you will feel guilty for the genuine feelings emanating from your spirit. Because, self-care is your superpower!

So, take some time today and make a list of all the things you need to feel happy and whole. To have peace and live courageously and connected to the spaces you inhabit. You deserve it-give yourself permission to have it.

We start May 10th are you in!   Let me help you lose your next 10 pounds join the 5k Walking and Clean Eating program get healthy, lose weight, and increase your energy.  Everyone who signs up has the chance to earn a medal during our 5K virtual  walk/run,  and you can bring a friend for free that’s right your registration comes with a free guest pass.

 $5 of your registration will be donated to the Atlanta Mission to help them provide safe housing and meals for homeless mothers and their children:  SIGN UP YOU’RE YOUR MEDAL IS WAITING:        

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The Anniversary of Loss: Three Ways to Get Through the Day

    If you have made it to midlife, you know what it means to lose someone you love.  April 17th would have been my younger brother’s 59th birthday.  Every year, on that day, I am reminded that there is a very noticeable gap between my youngest brother and myself.  David died from the same disease that took our dad, heart disease.  Of course, he was not the first death I’d experienced.  I have buried both of my parents, two grandmothers, and a beloved aunt.  But this is different. David and I were born 11 months apart.  I told people we were twins because between April and June, our respective birth months, we were the same age. 

     David was the balance between my youngest brother and me, he was calm, funny, a gifted artist who loved comic books, sci-fi, and he was the first tech nerd I ever knew.  As the pandemic rages around us, my heart goes out to the families who will celebrate their own anniversaries of loss next year.   Let me share with you three ways that I have found to get through the day.

  1. Cry:  This is not the day to stay in control of your emotions; if you feel like crying, let the waterworks go.  If possible, don’t spend the whole day crying that can be so draining.   Deal with your emotions unapologetically.
  2. Do something in remembrance:  My brother and I shared a love of all things sci-fi.  This year I watched the new Picard series in his honor.  You will never forget the person you lost, you can “empower yourself by proactively anticipating the anniversary and incorporating his or her memory into your plans.”
  3. Connect with others, the first couple of years after David passed away, I admit I shut myself off, worked long hours, or busied myself with my kids.  This year, I shared with them how I was feeling, told stories about when we were growing up, and how I would fight anyone who tried to bully him. Sharing with them helped me to remember David and gave them some insight on our childhood, a topic they tell me I don’t share enough.  My daughter-in-law dropped off a nice bottle of wine, and chocolates her kindness gave me a new memory to add to this anniversary.  On your anniversary, connect with others, share stories and memories.  Start a new tradition to honor your loved one and celebrate their contribution to you and to the world.

     Grief is one of those emotions that never really goes away, a smell, a song, a photo can bring back all the raw feelings of loss.  Take the time to care for yourself and tap into your inner strength.  Take a long walk, write your thoughts in a journal, take a yoga class, or talk to a therapist or coach, don’t suffer in silence.  That is the one thing I am sure your loved one would not want you to do. 

With Love and Peace,

Renee

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Beating The Midlife Slump-10 Strategies To Help You Boost Self-Confidence, Self-Love, and Self-Care

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What Are the Dangers of Being Skinny Fat? Four Strategies to Getting Healthy

What does it means to be skinny fat? How dangerous is it for you? How can you learn to protect yourself?

I found this topic really interesting because, as a health coach I encounter women in midlife who are so proud of the fact that they’ve never had a weight problem their whole lives. “I am already at my ideal weight,” they love to tell me.

I know that we live in a culture that bombards us with diet plans designed to help us lose weight and finally live the magical lives waiting on the other side. Because we have been brainwashed to think that the skinnier we are, the healthier we are- and that is simply not true.

While so many women between the ages of 40-59 look absolutely fabulous in their clothes, they could still have a high percentage of body fat compared to lean muscle, which can lead to osteoporosis the weakening of the bones, heart disease, stroke, and diabetes

The medical term for being skinny fat is metabolically obese normal weight or MONW or normal weight obesity, it occurs when women who are normal weight or underweight, are inactive, have an imbalanced fat to muscle ratio, or who partake of a diet high in fat and sugar.

These women could have a higher percentage of visceral fat, which is extremely dangerous, it can settle around organs and the abdominal cavity. 

Dr. Mark Hyman, the author of The Blood Sugar Solution 10 Day Detox Diet, defines the phenomenon this way, “Skinny-fat means just what it sounds like: You look thin but inside you are fat. You’ve got organ fat (the more dangerous type of fat) coating your liver, kidneys, and other organs. You are under-lean but over-fat, meaning not enough muscle and too much fat (especially belly fat).”

How can you tell if you are skinny fat ?  Ask yourself the following question:

  • Is weight training part of your exercise routine?
  • Are you getting 150 minutes of heart-pumping cardio each week?
  • Is your daily food consumption high in processed foods, sugar, carbs, and low in protein-rich foods?
  • Do you suffer from fatigue, the inability to focused, or concentrate for long periods?
  • Do you suffer from inflammation?
  • Do you have excess fat around your middle?

If you answered yes, to one or all of these questions, you could be suffering from MONW.  The only way to know for sure is to see your doctor.  Make sure that in addition to checking your glucose level and cholesterol that he/she checks your percentage of body fat to ensure that your body fat percentage is within the acceptable range.

As I mentioned before, some of the dangers of being skinny fat are osteoporosis, or weakening of the bones, heart disease, and diabetes.  Some other risks include muscle deterioration; if you are not strength training a minimum of three times per week, ladies you should be weight training.  Remember building lean muscle will help us to burn more calories and get us to our wellness goals.  If you are not sure where to start, shoot me an email at wtylwellness@gmail.com.  I would happy to help you get started.

The other thing I want you to watch out for is not visible to the naked eye; it is the decline of your mental health.  While being skinny does not automatically mean you are in good health, it also does not automatically mean that you are happy.  If you are not physically active, you’re subjecting yourself to a poor diet, and combating health issues, in time this could affect your mental health.  Depression and anxiety are just two of the diagnoses that I’ve seen in the past ten years as a mental health practitioner, health coach, and women’s health advocate.

So, what can you do to turn MONW around?  First, schedule an appointment to see your doctor today.  A little tip, because we know that doctors do not have a lot of time to sit with us to discuss our concerns be prepared.  Write down what you would like to discuss, mention it to the nurse when she takes your vitals so that she can put it in your medical chart.  The other four tips I have for you are:

  • Exercise regularly- according to the Centers for Disease Control, you should be getting 150 minutes of heart-pumping exercise each week.  That’s just 30 minutes five times per week.  Lace-up your trainers that’s what they call sneakers in the UK, can you tell I have been watching a lot of Britbox.  Put on your favorite podcast, which is this one of course, and go for a walk around your neighborhood, on your lunch break, or at the gym on the treadmill.
  • Include weight training:  your exercise routine should include three days of weight training.  Make sure that you are lifting weights that are heavy enough to break down the muscle tissue.  If you can do three sets of ten with ease, its time to lift heavier weights.
  • Plan your meals:  I’m not talking about dieting but planning what you will eat each day.  Making sure that your menu includes servings of fruit and fresh vegetables, lean proteins such as salmon, chicken, for you vegans/vegetarians, your protein choices can consist of beans, lentils, and whole grains, just to name a few.
  • Manage your stress:  high levels of stress are not suitable for your mental or physical health.  Physically it produces chemicals that force your body to hang on to visceral fat, remember that is the bad fat that clings to your organs and deposits itself into your belly. Exercise is a great way to reduce stress and boost your mental health, as is meditation or prayer which can be done anytime throughout the day.  And if at all possible, simply avoid stressful situations.  You do not have to provide the answer to everyone’s problem.

The good news is that just by making simple lifestyle changes, you can change your life and live the life you deserve.  You have control!

The first step to getting healthy is merely acknowledging that there is a need. Too many of us are walking around with undiagnosed ailments, and that has to stop if we want to meet/exceed our wellness goals.

Share this post with someone you love, and don’t forget to check out our free Facebook group, The Courageous Women’s Network, to get the love and support you need to maintain the faith and keep you moving forward. 

I will talk to you guys soon; remember you are stronger than you give yourself credit and more blessed than you know. 

Join the group: https://buff.ly/2AKoTIB

If you are looking for a group of women who understand what it’s like to struggle through hot flashes, hormonal surges, and hard to lose belly fat.  Join the Courageous Women’s Network our free Facebook group, in this group, you will receive love, support, and a little kick in the pants when you needed.  Plus, you’ll get outstanding training from me that will help you cut out the guesswork and get to your wellness goals.

REQUEST TO JOIN TODAY https://buff.ly/2AKoTIB

Save the Date! November 24th, I will be opening the doors to join the Courageous Women’s Network Academy.  You can work with me and learn how to exponentially increase your self-love and self-care because losing weight is only half the battle. 

Talk soon,

Renee

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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Who Controls Your Attitude?

 

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How many times have you heard this your attitude will make or break your day. Too many times, we let some one else’s behavior dictate how we are going to feel. You know I’m right. How many times have you started the day off happy and excited only to have your good mood crushed by someone cutting you off in traffic, taking the last cinnamon raising bagel (okay maybe that was just me), not saying good morning back when you walk into the office. Or, having a customer yell at you because the thing they ordered is not what they expected. Once any of those things happen or a hundred other things you have no control over your attitude goes into a slump. This week don’t take everything so personal, people have bad days, that does not mean that you have to join them. Be the light, that you would like to see in your part of the world. Say good morning with a smile, even if the intended recipient doesn’t say it back. Wish good things for the person who cut you off in traffic. When you set your intention to give light, love, and peace the other person’s behavior has no effect on you. It may not happen overnight, but darkness can’t beat the light of a good attitude. Try it and tell me how it goes.

What Do You Do When Your Life Is Out Of Control?

 

What Do You Do When Your Life Is Out of Control? I sat on the hard metal bench at the Greyhound bus station in tears. My 23 hours rode trip had just been extended by ten hours, and it wasn’t my fault. My bus from New York was two hours late arriving in Raleigh, and my connecting bus had long left the station. Probably fearing a verbal beat down from the 40 or so tired passengers arriving at the station. The two ticket agents on duty provided no comfort. They made little to no eye contact as we lined up to trade in our obsolete bus transfers and get new tickets.

Behind the safety of the bus terminal intercom, the supervisor on duty announced that the next three incoming coaches to Atlanta were sold out. Everyone in line let out a collective gasp as they mentally tried to calculate when they would arrive to the destinations. As I stepped up to the counter, the ticket agent informed me without lifting her eyes from the computer screen that she could put me on the fourth Greyhound bus at 5:30 a.m., but that it would not arrive to Atlanta until 11:30 p.m. that night.
On the verge of tears, I simply nodded and took my new ticket. I was livid. The memories of my wonderful New York vacation were instantly dashed and replaced by the fact that I was now obliged to sit in a bus terminal for five hours waiting for the next bus. I had just pulled myself together when the supervisor on duty made another announcement. Once again, behind the safety of the terminal intercom he informed me and my tired grumpy companions that our connecting bus would be late with no estimated time of arrival. You see, there was no driver scheduled to drive this bus from Raleigh to all connecting points south, including Atlanta.
I lost it-right there at the Raleigh Greyhound bus station. I had left New York at 5:00 pm on Monday. It was now 3 a.m. on Tuesday, and the late arrival of this bus meant that there was no way I would make my connecting bus and get home by 11:30 p.m. that night. Instead, the 5:30 a.m. bus arrived at 7 a.m., and we were all informed that we would not arrive in Atlanta until approximately 2:30 a.m. Wednesday.
You are probably wondering why in this age of flying did I decide to take the bus. Well, to be honest, it was cheaper than flying. And in the past, when I’d taken the bus, I‘d gotten so much work done. I wrote my best blogs on the bus, completed a book, created a newsletter, and caught up on email. And when I was done, tired, or I did not want to disturb my neighbor with the overhead light, I slept.
This time was different, I was trapped. Stranded in a cavernous bus station that felt like Antarctica. Despite its size, it had very few electrical outlets. The ones that were not broken were quickly taken by other passengers. I felt completely out of control. A feeling I do not like having at all. I am the person who makes plans. Written plans, in journals, with timelines. I had planned my entire week. Something out of my control had sideswiped me and my neatly arranged schedule. My blog post, video and podcast schedule, clients to coach, and my work outs were just gone, shifted, eliminated.
What do you do when your life is out of your control? The first thing I did was cry. Then I prayed, got angry and asked God if he was listening and what was he going to do to punish the people who had upset my life so severely. I felt completely and utterly vulnerable. Then I calmed down and realized that in every situation I still have some control. I couldn’t control when the bus would arrive, but I could control how I responded and how I managed my time.
I took my own coaching advice. I dried my tears and took a couple of deep breaths. Taking out my calendar, I gave myself Wednesday off to recover from this leg of my trip. Then I emailed my podcast interviews an apology with a link to my calendar to reschedule. When my computer battery conked out, I used my phone to email my clients an apology with the link to my calendar so that they could also reschedule. When my phone died, I started writing notes in the notebook that I always carry with me, I am an old school writer. Those notes ended up being this essay.
As much as we would love to check out and blame the other guy, we are never truly out of control of our lives. What can we do when we feel like our lives are out of our control? We can make the decision as to how we are going to handle the situation. Will we choose to handle it with grace and dignity or with anger and blame? The decision on how we want to behave can never be taken away from us, it will always be ours, we just have to own it. I do have to say a good cry never hurts.
Peace!

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Voices

You Have The Power To Change that Negative Voice in Your Head!
Many of us are haunted by voices from our past. (maybe even our present) Those voices that told you that you were no good. That you would end up just like your daddy or your mommy. That you were not smart enough, enough, or talented enough to accomplish your dream. Even though you have gone on to achieve some great things in your life, every now an then in those weak moments when the mind wonders you hear that voice. Sometimes it plays on a loop, and you can’t free yourself from the icky residue it leaves on your psyche.
That voice comes seemingly out of nowhere when you are about to step into your purpose. It has stopped you from pursuing your dreams, building healthy relationships, and believing that you are enough. It reminds you of your shortcomings, mistakes, and the people you have hurt. It wreaks havoc without forgiveness. The voice, of course, is wrong. Now its time to diffuse its power.
You have the power to change the voice that plays in your head. Change it to your own voice that offers love, reassurance, and forgiveness. Take out your phone, hit the audio record button and read your favorite bible verse, poem, affirmation. Or, just say I am enough, and I will win.
The next time the voice rears its ugly head, hit the play button and listen to your voice and know that you have won.
Don’t forget to join the family- hit the follow button.
Peace!