Self Love

Beautiful

“Beautiful”

[Spoken] Don’t look at me

Every day is so wonderful Then suddenly it’s hard to breathe. Now and then I get insecure From all the pain, I’m so ashamed. I am beautiful no matter what they say. Words can’t bring me down. I am beautiful in every single way. Yes, words can’t bring me down… Oh no. So don’t you bring me down today.

As sung By Christina Aguilera

If you….like me…have undervalued yourself for far too long and have allowed other people’s opinions of you to mean more than your own opinion of yourself. THAT is a hard truth you must come to grips with. You must recognize that you are truly the only real constant in your life. Everyone else can come and will come and go. Whether they are dear friends, beloved family members or your chosen mate, they can be gone from your life between one breath and the next. We are the blood we cannot walk away from. We should be our own support systems. We ourselves are the friends we must not ignore.  And yet we are our own worst critics when we should become our own best cheer leaders. Not just in word but in deed.

A while back I saw a trailer for a movie called “The Incredible Mr. Ripley” with my best friend. It was about a young man that completely made himself over in order to assume a lifestyle to which he has grown accustomed. As we watched it we became fascinate with the idea of making ourselves over. Not in order to usurp someone else’s life but to improve upon our own. After the movie, over dinner we designed our new lives. Our “look”, or lifestyle, how we would walk, talk, shop, dress, everything about ourselves. We were going to work on that. Set time tables, toasted our future selves but like many other plans we’d made, life got in the way.

 I submit to you that we were not going to impersonate anyone else. Many of us HAVE been impersonating someone else all this time. WE have been impersonating the women our parents groomed us to be, circumstances bullied us into being, or that life coerced us into being. Ding! They won round one. Round two belongs to us!

Our commitments must be to ourselves. We must be answerable to our own highest purposes, our own deepest desires and our own best interests. Only THE MOST HIGH’s purposes, desires and interests should supersede them. If fear is holding you back then recall that much quoted poem:

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?’ Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” ― Marianne Williamson, A Return to Love: Reflections on the Principles of “A Course in Miracles”

Wear these words as a breast plate and shield and prepare to do battle with your own demons, in spite of the obstacles whether real or imagined. I understand those obstacles in you because I recognize them in me. But I am making a concerted effort to see “Nia” as my client, my first priority from a coaching standpoint. I say to myself…would you accept this kind of “run for cover” from a client? Wouldn’t you expect and therefore push a client to be her best, brightest, highest version of herself? Well the answer to that is yes. So I force myself to look in the mirror. And I force myself to see the reflection looking back at me. I can’t always do it for long but I do it. The demons of uncertainty and doubt blink back at me. Confused because they no longer have the power over me they once did. I’m making peace with the “me” that I am in order to embrace the “me” I am choosing to become.

And everywhere we go (and everywhere we go)

The sun will always shine (the sun will always, always shine)

And tomorrow we might wake on the other side

We are beautiful no matter what they say

Yes, words won’t bring us down, no, no

We are beautiful in every single way

Yes, words can’t bring us down, oh, no

So don’t you bring me down today

Oh, yeah, don’t you bring me down today, yeah, ooh

Don’t you bring me down ooh… today

 

http://www.be-well-lioness.com

http://www.mydoterra.com/bwl

 

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Lioness Lessons Series

Crazy Busy Is Just Plain Crazy

The last 6 weeks or so of my life have been crazy busy…with the emphasis on crazy.
Planning for seminars and workshops followed by conducting them. Webinars and teleconferences to work out plans to enhance my website and add elements to my wellness practice. Dance class for the twins and rehearsals for their dance showcase sometimes 3 or 4 of those per week. Then there were Kindergarten field trips, pediatric appointments, costume fittings, photo shoots for promotional materials for the aforementioned dance showcase…for them…not me. And then there were events to check out potential new schools, end of year parties with their classmates and 2 out of town weddings.

Every single week was crammed so full that I was up by 4 every morning and couldn’t seem to shut it down before 11 and believe me I tried.
My schedule was so full that I was forced to do something I abhor. I had to go to the side of my closet where I hide all my dresses. I HATE dresses! This isn’t just a case of preferring pants. I have to meditate before putting on a dress just to calm my anxiety enough to seriously consider it. But I was soooooo busy that I didn’t have time to do laundry. So with a shortage of clean clothes available to me I had to do the unthinkable…wear a dress. Not one or 2 but several. In fact I have worn a dress or skirt every day but one for the last 2 weeks. *Sob*

I have gleaned several very important lessons from this:

  • Never, ever get so busy that there is no room in your schedule for personal care.
    Of course I knew this before. This is a topic I discuss extensively with my wellness clients. There really can be no substantial improvement in health & wellness if there is no room in your life to take care of you. I’m not just talking about a missed mani/pedi here & there. I’m talking rest, relaxation, exercise, proper nutrition and as it turns out laundry. This is a lesson where I am remedial. Or cyclical in my case. Periodically I just plain forget about me. Scandalous? Yes I know but not all that uncommon for women.
  • When you are a parent (or parenting) or have older parents of your own that you are caring for you are not the only one scheduling your time.
    Yes. I know I should have taken this into consideration. But I didn’t …clearly. This is my round two of parenting. I haven’t had to figure out how to schedule around classes, pediatricians and ll things elementary school for almost 20 years. The trick to this is to take all the printed out schedules from all the twins activities, my father’s activities and add them to my calendar on my iPad so that they are as integrated as possible with my personal Google Calendar and my business’ MindBody calendar. And yes I’m going to block out some non-negotiable time for me. (That note for my own Peer Coach who would kill me if she knew just how much I neglected me lately. Forgive me Coach.)
  • If I don’t want to be forced to wear dresses I had better either schedule more laundry time or hire somebody to do it for me.
  • Finally…2 weeks of dresses won’t kill me. I do in fact look quite attractive in dresses. A fact, I find both creepy and annoying. That, my friends, is the very definition of crazy!
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Brain

All Stressed Up and Nowhere to Go

Too much stress 1

 

 

We live in an incredibly fast-paced and complicated world where more and more of our lives require clear thinking and sharp minds. Lucky for me my brain works pretty well. But I noticed some time ago that sometimes my brain abandons me for parts unknown…and at the most inconvenient times, even more so recently. I tried many techniques to “clear” my mind with little or no improvement that I could see or feel. Don’t get me wrong. I wasn’t coming apart at the seams but the incidences of not remembering why I walked upstairs and what exactly I was looking for were becoming more frequent. Was it just age? Maybe. But growing evidence tells us that it’s not necessarily about that. Maybe my recent lapses were more about my mental juggling while on a high wire act.

 

You see, I have a job as an employee benefits professional. I own a business as well. I have family responsibilities including the raising of my 5 year old twin nieces and caring for my retired dad. I have four adult children whose lives I keep an eye on in spite of their insistence that they are grown ups and don’t need me to. (Yeah. Right. Motherhood is a lifetime sentence…uh I mean commitment.) I have my own health and fitness goals. Friends. Continuing education and business building activities…and a partridge in a pear tree!

 

Not all that long ago the world was encouraged to MULTITASK. That is to do several things at the same time. And practically everyone jumped on that band wagon including me. This was supposed to allow us to cram as much into our already busy days as possible. Guess what? Turns out we may get more done but it’s probably not nearly as efficient as we thought and more importantly to me. It increases stress in our lives and in our bodies.  In fact many researchers now believe the human brain doesn’t actually multitask very well.

According to ABOUT.COM PSYCHOLOGY:

“Multitasking can reduce productivity by approximately 40-percent according to some researchers.”

 

“Switching from one task to another makes it difficult to tune out distractions and can cause mental blocks that can slow down your progress.”

http://psychology.about.com/od/cognitivepsychology/a/costs-of-multitasking.htm

I don’t know about you, but missing deadlines or rather the fear of missing a deadline causes me a great deal of stress. Now while I accept that I can’t avoid all stress or stressful situations there are some things you and I can do to lessen it:

 

  • Focus. Concentrate. Multi-tasking may seem more productive but dividing your attention can be very stressful. Limit Distractions and interruptions when possible.

 

  • Don’t procrastinate. Use a paper planner or electronic one to plan your tasks each week. Seeing scheduled tasks on paper can keep you focused on what needs to be done. Break a large project into small steps, and set a deadline for each one. Meeting deadlines can eliminate stress.

 

  • Schedule your “Me” Time. Self care like a mani/pedi, a massage,  a facial, journaling or just being alone with your own thoughts shouldn’t be negotiable or pushed aside. Make an appointment with yourself…and keep it! You’re worth it!

 

  • Just say “no”. Simple. Don’t commit to something that will overload or overwhelm you.

 

  • Pray. Meditate. Breathe. Spend time daily centering your thoughts and your heart on God or your personal belief system. Breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth, slowly.

 

  • Schedule time to have fun. Put it down on your schedule. Make it a priority.  

 

  • Move your Tail regularly. Physical activity can be the best stress relief. Find something you enjoy doing – run, walk, jog, practice yoga, Pilates, dance, cycling, hiking, climbing, etc.

 

  • Talk it out. Sometimes the best stress-reducer is simply sharing your stress with someone close to you. Make sure you have a support system of trusted people. If you don’t have one look form an organized support group or start one.

 

  • Stay positive. Remember that everyone has good and bad days. Think positively. Develop your own PRIDE Positivity Protocol.

 

  • Reward Yourself. When you make progress toward or complete a project, celebrate. Enjoy a healthy snack. But the best rewards are non-food related. Schedule some more “Me” time. Give yourself that spa treatment you always wanted to try. Call a member of your PRIDE and take in a movie or a show or shoe shop.

 

 

Source: http://www.webmd.com

 

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What it is and What it Aint

When The ANTs Come Marching In

I recently learned a valuable lesson. I learned that not every thought that creeps, slithers or oozes from the darker recesses of my mind are to be believed. Sometimes my mind lies to me. Oh I’m not special in this regard. Sometimes yours lies to you too. It happens to us all. There’s that woman that thinks she still ought to wear the cut off tank top when her core is obviously no longer appropriate for display. There’s that guy that thinks he really is as good a ball player as he once may have been or that the toupee he’s wearing looks natural when in fact everyone knows it’s a hair piece…a very bad hair piece.

You see automatic thoughts come in many forms but I have a problem with the Negative ones.
These thoughts are called ANTs by Dr. Daniel Amen… Automatic Negative Thoughts. These are the thoughts that come to you unbidden and unplanned. They pop up seemingly out of nowhere ruining our day, keeping us stuck and often unable to move forward. They can rob us of our joy and of our positive momentum. Before we allow those ANTS to take control of our lives we need to stop and ask ourselves whether the things our brains are telling us are really true or whether our minds are playing games with us.

These ants have been running through my head since I was a little girl. They have plagued me most of my life. My ants don’t tell me that I’m smaller, sexier, smarter or more talented than I am. My thoughts that say I’m not pretty enough (obviously lies since I am in fact quite nice to look at.) The thoughts that insist I’m not tall enough or that I’m too tall when I am in fact the perfect height for me. Whispering in my ear and annoying me. Undermining my self confidence and possibly robbing me of opportunities by creating uncertainty where there should be none. So today I’m killing ants. I have been smashing the heck out of some ANTS. And I’m declaring my head a NO ANT ZONE! I’m squashing them the minute they surface. I’m hiring me to be pest control! The ANTS must go! I’m not saying I won’t occasionally think some less than positive stuff but I’m dealing with the automatic ones…the reflexive ones. I’ve decided that if I’m going to have unbidden, reflexive thoughts I’m opting for positive ones. No. I don’t plan to wear any cut off midriff baring tops and I’m not gonna glue or weave 20lbs of someone else’s china doll hair onto my head but I do plan to think of myself as freaking awesome! I will be thinking of myself as flawless courtesy of Beyonce. Yes I woke up like dis!

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