Monday, October 19, 2015

The choice to commit to yourself

  Women are committed to their jobs, their significant other, family, friends, and for the mommies out there, their kids. Doesn't leave much time for yourself, now does it? Would you let your friend cheat on her diet, or your husband go for that big interview without some tender loving cheerleading and soul building? Hell no! But when it comes to motivating yourself to chase after that longed for dream - you fall short of the finish line. Why? Because everyone else's problems, situations, events are more important than yours. I'm confident most woman, mothers especially, can relate. I can see you nodding your head. Don't be shy.
     In reality, you're selling your family short because you haven't committed to yourself first. You need to be your own cheerleading, your soul builder so you can be the rock your family needs. How do you go about committing to yourself?

     1. Value. How's your self-worth? Where does your self-worth fall in a relationship? Do you appreciate yourself for who you are or how you think you should be in a relationship? In other words, are you honoring yourself or worrying about what others think about you in a committed relationship whether it be romantic or platonic. 

    2. Holding back. Are you your own worst critic? Sheesh, I know I am. And when I make a mistake I'm ready to whip out the sledgehammer and go to town. Would you do that to a friend, your husband, your child? I'm going to go out on a limb here and say no. But when you make a mistake you're ready to withhold the self-forgiveness and focus on all the wrong instead of the lesson that fell into your lap. Now's your chance to stop doing that. Awareness is the first step in any recovery program. Take this step to admit that you are just as important as the people you care for.

    3. Recovery. Welcome! You are now a recovering people pleaser! As women, we've been taught to take care of others first. Pretty soon, others grow and the well-spring is dry. Take back your time. Even if it's a simple walk by yourself, without the dog or the stroller. Once your well-spring is full others can drink. You'll have more to give if you drink from your own well-spring first. Goes against the grain, I know, but totes true!

   4. Choices. Ah, my favorite. There are always choices but are they good ones. Are they working for you? You can choose to put others first but how did that work out for you? Did you end up blaming yourself if your advice to them didn't work out? You get one shot at this life, one body, one soul use it wisely. No one else will do that for you

Take care of yourself and let me know how you did!

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

The choice to forgive

Today's blog post is in honor of my second book in the Choices Series, Forgiveness, which will be available very shortly in paperback.

      Forgiveness, whether it's extended to yourself or someone you know, is a conscious, cultivatable choice. Similar to choosing to be happy even when you're kid backs their car into your new car in the driveway. Say, what? You gotta dig deep some days, and some days even deeper. Forgiving either yourself or the person who done did you wrong follows the same principal. I compare holding onto all the negativity surrounding a painful situation or wrongdoing to living in a windowless, dark, concrete cell. It's manageable, but will your body and psyche emerge intact and healthy? What type of person will you become?

     The neat thing about Forgiveness is the health benefits. The cost you ask? Commitment and stamina. It's not easy to forgive, and the commitment involved is challenging. Some wrongdoings are harder to recover from than others. I'm not making light of the fact how difficult forgiveness can be when the injury is severe. I'm only saying that the health benefits are worth the pain and sometimes agony of commitment. Forgiving someone or even yourself unconditionally increases your life span. Committing to choosing forgiveness reduces tension, anger, depression, fatigue, blood pressure and overall stress. Sounds good to me! Sign me up!

Monday, October 5, 2015

The choice to keep on keeping on!


       Eighth-grade graduation was the highlight of my elementary school career. On the verge of young adulthood, getting ready to enter high school, I received my first prestigious award, perseverance. I wasn't sure exactly what perseverance meant at thirteen until the bumps in life taught me how to cultivate it. Good old Webster's defines it as continuing in spite of difficulty.

      My first major test in perseverance occurred at the age of twenty-five and being diagnosed with Fibromyalgia. I had to resign from my first teaching job. I wanted to hide under the covers and never leave my bed. The debilitating pain in the early days owned me. My pain managed my day and ruled my hours. Until I finally woke up and said no more. There is beauty in the pain of chronic illness. Pain teaches you never to give up, to persevere. Therein lies the beauty, the lesson.

       I chose to commit myself to persevere. Enduring and fighting through the adversity made me who I am today. I researched, investigated and experimented with doctors, remedies and supplements. During the early nineties having a diagnosis of Fibromyalgia, commonly referred to as a "woman's disease of anxiety and depression", left me confused and angry. I wasn't anxious. I wasn't depressed. Traditional medicine only offered an antidepressant and more symptoms. Lacking quality care forced me to persevere until I found a doctor who could help. Three years later I found a naturopathic physician in Connecticut who saved my life. I returned to the classroom, furthered my education and raised a family. My life experiences honed my perseverance, and I chose to commit to the lessons each experience offered.

      Writing in this later stage of my life further sharpens my perseverance. Because I choose to persevere and learn from my mistakes, each book I write allows me to grow as a writer. Each day I sit in front of my computer and a storyline makes me scream or dialogue dries up like a desert, I persevere. Every time I attempt to write and characters seem thin or plotlines daunting, I persevere.
My difficulties in writing remind me of the stubborn doctors I visited. Doctors that made me work harder to find the right one. The same way I work harder through difficult stretches in writing to dig for the most creative situations or illustrious words.

      Self-doubt as a writer also triggers my need to hide under the bed covers again. I have two choices. I can embrace it and stay there, or I can power through the cruel sister of confidence. I choose to believe in myself and defeat the ugly beast of insecurity by sitting in my girl cave pounding on my keyboard the stories that hijack my brain. I choose to persevere in my hope that one day more people will find them as interesting as I do.

      Your difficulties are your triumphs if you accept the challenge of pushing through the mud. I hope you join me to commit to keep on keeping on in whatever you do in life. We can share our perseverance journeys! I'd love to hear yours!