Tuesday, October 28, 2014

The "secret" to happiness

"Sometimes it takes a heartbreak to shake us awake and help us see we are worth
so much more than we're settling for."
Mandy Hale, The Single Woman:Life, Love and a Dash of Sass

Life isn't easy, and it likes to throw lots of curveballs, but it's all how you handle and smash those curveballs that counts. It's okay to miss and strikeout, as long as you keep putting yourself out there until you smash one out of the park.

Of course I just put everything I'm going through into a simple metaphor using baseball, but that's just how I roll :)

I'm not going to lie and pretend like everything in my life is fine and dandy. I'm currently in the middle of a "rut" right now: my exercise, eating habits and motivation have been lacking, and I've lost focus of my "why", but I'm reminded on a daily basis that I am surrounded by amazing people who love/like me for me.

Throughout this rut, I have remained positive the majority of the time, I have continued to be thankful for what I do have and I continue to stand strong and fight through the madness. I also continue to be incredibly hard on myself, having expectations high above what most people think is "realistic".  But looking back, I guess Im just 10X-ing everything in my life, not just my goals, because I know that I will never have the life and dreams I aspire of unless I push myself further than most people are willing.

All of this is what will make the end result that much sweeter and happier.

With all of that, I have been more realistic than many realize and I have opened my heart and world to everyone in the hopes that my story and situation can help even just one more person find happiness and peace within their lives.

My story will have me hold the titles of divorcee and single mom.  My story will have my not just lose my marriage, but will have me and my children lose our home. My story will have me losing my excellent credit standing. And finally, my story will have me being one of the MANY grown children moving back in with their parents. I could dwell on all of these "negatives" and let it bring me down or I could focus on the positives.

My story will have me be a happier, more aware individual. My story will have me described with the adjectives of strong, healthy and eventually successful. Eventually my story will have me hold the title of entrepreneur. My story will have my children growing up with 3 great adult role models under one roof, including a hard-working male role model.

Throughout this past year, I have found a happier me inside, focusing on myself more than I ever have before.  Mentally, I could not be stronger, and because of that, I have been able to put some focus into the physical me. I have gotten back into working out and eating healthy, and it's just this amazing circle of how my physical health continues to strengthen my mental health and how that strengthens my physical health and so on and so on.

This physically and mentally stronger me has also made me this more positive person you now see/read about.  Look back on my blog posts from the last few months versus 2-3 years ago, and the tone is so different, its like two different authors.

All of this has made me see the world from a clearer perspective and continues to remind myself on a daily basis (if not more often) just how lucky I am to be surrounded by amazing friends, family, co-workers, and even facebook acquaintances.

I know that when the time is ready, the perfect person will come into my and my kids life. For all the tough times I have seen in the past - and for the ones that will be in the future - the bigger picture will have 10x more brightness.

So what's the secret? Think happy and positive thoughts. It sounds easy - or maybe you think it sounds stupid - whatever it is - it works. I listen to personal development podcasts on a daily basis. I cut out the negativity of the news and instead watch personal development videos. I limit my television watching and instead put that time into developing my businesses and my future.


Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Failing Forward

The only way to succeed in life is to fail along the road and learn from those failures. I've had my handful the last few years and I'm doing my best to learn and move forward.

But for the last few months, I've been in a rut.. During this rut, I have allowed myself to ignore my schedule and my to do list, I've stopped moving forward on my business plans and let them sit, I stopped doing my morning routine (aka the miracle morning), I stopped exercising consistently and worst of all, I stopped eating consistently well.  In reality all the things I stopped doing tie together very easily. When I'm eating well, waking up early to do my miracle morning and exercise is like a walk in a park. When I do those, my day is kicked off on the right foot and I'm living a much more productive life and can check off my to do lists, follow a schedule and get the businesses working for me.

The thing is I KNOW all of this, yet I just can't figure out how to get back into my good spot, and I know part of the answer is figuring out what caused me to get out of it. I've tried to think about this a lot today - as i ate my way through the morning and early afternoon, as I rested and as I soaked in a hot and refreshing detox bath - yet it wasn't until typing this specific entence that (I think) I figured out the "culprit". It traces back to right around the time that I finally realized/"accepted" that I could no longer afford to pay my mortgage. My ex was not providing the support agreed to in our agreement and I was taking money out of savings like a kid asks for candy in a candy store, and the pot was starting to run dry. In order to try and get the financial terms of the separation agreement in place, it would cost me more money than I would see come back in the long term (if I even won) - and would take way too much time and cause way too much stress - so I had to come to terms with the fact that I would be getting a fraction of the agreement and there was just no way I could keep the house.

I talked to some people and had accepted this fact and worked through the months long battle of getting the house listed. Or I guess I thought I accepted it all. From day one, I felt like I've failed, but I know that my "failure" was mostly out of my control. I was in this situation due to a financial hardship that was (more or less) out of my control. I would have learned no lessons from my past if I just continue down the road of believing I have accepted this, so instead, I will accept that I am still working to accept this failure and that I know I have to take some of the responsibility - both mentally and financially - for this failure.

It will not be easy to come to terms with, but knowing what is causing me to not give 100% of myself to make the life I dream of will allow me to acknowledge the issue each time I struggle to stick to my routine. So although I decalred yesterday Day 1, tomorrow is a me day - and a new day 1. Upon passing publish on this post (and sharing is), I will go to bed and set my alarm for 4am. I will wake up at 4am and head downstairs to do my miracle morning (and I encourage you all to go to miraclemorning.com and/or search for Hal Elrod's podcast to find out more about this life-changing routine!). I will do a 21 day fix exercise as part of my miracle morning and I will eat my healthy balance meals. As Hal says, th first 10 days will be unbearable, the next 10 days will be uncomfortable and then the last 10 days will be unstoppable and a new routine will have formed.

With that commitment, tonight - although it took me a couple months to get here - I go to bed thankful for the lessons Ive learned through my failures and the abilites I've learned from my therapist to see this on my own and work through it all with the help and loving support I receive from my family and friends. And I of course am incredibly thankful for amazing parents who have opened their home to my children and I, so that one day I can afford to support the three of us on my own.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Forgiveness


The Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur started tonight, and for those unfamiliar with the holiday, it is the holiest day of the year. The holiday is meant to bring about reconciliation - both amongst people and between individuals and G-d - and is the day that G-d decides the fate of our next year and whether we shall be written into the book of life.

Note: Im a believer in G-d, Judaism and what they stand for, but I personally don't actually feel that our fate is decided directly by G-d and only once a year, I think that we all have a say in our own destiny on a daily basis.

With that, the topic of forgiveness has been at the forefront of my mind so much recently, and not just because of the holiday.

What is forgiveness? Google defines forgiveness as "the action or process of forgiving or being forgiven". Okay, easy enough, but that doesn't really tell us too much.

If you look deeper into the meaning/process, it is generally defined as a "conscious, deliberate decision to release feelings of resentment or vengeance toward a person or group who has harmed you, regardless of whether they actually deserve your forgiveness"

And that is where forgiveness is hard! I can easily say I forgive someone, but that won't release the feelings, so how do I truly get to that point where I can forgive someone especially when they don't deserve to be forgiven.

I grew up with the understanding that forgiveness was a two-way street. The person who has done the wrong should understand what they did wrong, apologize and take steps towards not doing it again, and the person who was wrong forgives. For instance, in this scenario you don't tell a kid to say I'm sorry for hitting someone when that's the 10th time they've done it - they aren't actually sorry and aren't learning to stop hitting from stating those words.

So when the first part isn't there - especially all 3 aspects of them understanding they did something wrong, apologizing and taking steps to not do it again - and more so they continue to do the same "wrong" over and over and over again, as in the above scenario, how do you "let it go" and provide forgiveness?

I truly understand that forgiveness is less about them and more about the individual offering forgiveness (me), but no matter how much I want to be able to, I can't. I still feel that the act of forgiveness is about more than just me. If I forgive someone and just let their antics fall to the wayside, what lesson is this person learning other than that they can continue to act that way and get what they want?

Again, I know that's not what it's about, but when you have continuously forgiven someone only to have to forgive them for the same behavior, they aren't actually sorry or going to make changes. If I offer my forgiveness, all I'm doing is closing one door just for it to continuously reopen.

The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result - so if I'm providing forgiveness over and over again - even if I never express that forgiveness outwardly to the person - I'm just setting myself up for a different type of internal struggle.

What has worked best for me in the past is to just drop that person from my life and let distance and space provide the opportunity for everything to just clear the air, and if it's meant to be for that person to be in my life, eventually an opportunity will arise that brings them back in.

But what about when you can't just completely cut someone out of your life and you have no choice but to let them continue to hurt you? Maybe one day in the distant future I can find that place in my mind and body to forgive someone who truly doesn't deserve it for my sake. In the meantime, I will allow G-d to offer that person his forgiveness and I'll just continue to work towards becoming the best me I can be! Hopefully that will be enough to get me inscribed in the book of life for another year :)

Monday, August 25, 2014

Very thankful

Tonight, as I prepare to go to bed, I'm reminded of just how lucky I am and how much I have to be thankful for.

I'm thankful that my mom is now able to help out with the kids and is helping me save a little bit by watching the kids for the 2 weeks between camp and school.

I'm thankful for the precious few years I had with Zayde. I wish I had seen him mor and gotten to know him better, but I'm thankful for the time I did have with him and thankful he got to meet my children.

I'm thankful for all the extended family I have - even (and especially) the ones that no longer have any blood/marriage ties to me.  I thoroughly enjoy every minute I get to hang and/or chat with them and I'm glad I can introduce Sara and Nathaniel to all of their family.

I'm thankful for Charger and his (annoying) habit of barking at anyone who comes close to the home. Thanks to Chargers barking, the person who attempted to break into my house was unsuccessful!  Now charger will always be allowed to stay out of his crate at night :)

I'm thankful for all of my friends and family and the great support system I have built around me!


Saturday, August 9, 2014

Yup - I'm going there...vaccinations


There was a post today on one of the moms of multiples pages I follow that asked about people getting the dtap vaccine (pertussis/whooping cough) because her doctor was recommending it.  Normally I stay away from these kinds of posts because I don't feel like getting into the debate with someone who doesn't agree with vaccinations because I know nothing good will come out of the debate.  For some reason today I decided to comment, and was actually shocked and happy to see that there were tons of likes to my comment with no one trying to argue. Now I'm testing my luck and blogging about it because I can't get it out of my head!


I personally have always believed in vaccinations, which is somewhat ironic because I've never gotten the flu vaccine for myself - which I may have possibly changed my own mind today while thinking this all through.

Here is the jist of vaccines - there are diseases out there that have had major outbreaks and caused hundreds of thousands of deaths, and with the development of medicine and technology, there are researchers who were able to come up with ways to "cure" the diseases.  Now people who live in vaccinated areas and countries almost never hear about those diseases.

That is until some physician skewed statistics (and later admitted it people!) to say that vaccines were the cause of autism, and now people are blaming vaccines for anything a child starts to show signs of after going through their childhood vaccinations.  The result is that these diseases that haven't been seen in vaccinated areas and countries are now making a comeback and causing children to become deathly ill because their parents didn't want to vaccinate.

I feel strongly that everyone who can be vaccinated should be vaccinated. Yes, there are side effects, but the side effects of the disease are MUCH worse - such as DEATH - than the POSSIBLE side effects of the vaccine. Further, the point of vaccinating isn't just to protect yourself, its also to protect all the people who can't be vaccinated, such as infants that are too young or people with allergies such as eggs. So when a family decides they don't need the dtap vaccine because they never get sick, they are putting all the infants they come in contact with at risk, as infants lungs cannot handle whooping cough and don't show the signs as clearly as adults.

According to the CDC, "During 2012, 48,277 cases of pertussis were reported to CDC, including 20 pertussis-related deaths. The majority of deaths occurred among infants younger than 3 months of age. The incidence rate of pertussis among infants exceeded that of all other age groups. The second highest rates of disease were observed in children 7 through 10 years old. Rates increased in adolescents 13 and 14 years of age." For further stats, go here.

With that being said, pretty much everyone reading this lives in the United States or another country where you have the right to make your own health choices and therefore vaccines can't be forced on anyone, which is where my comment on the facebook post comes into play.   I said:

"Yes, I got the shot. Everyone can make their own decisions but in all honesty, the only reason a lot of these issues exist is because people don't vaccinate. We all eat foods that are worse for us with no benefits with very little issue, yet we have issues with vaccinations that have less side effects and more benefits than the chemically processed food we eat?"

So if you eat anything that's processed or use the microwave to heat any of your food, especially in plastic, I'm certain you are ingesting things that will have worse side effects over the long term.

Now don't get me wrong, I use the microwave ALL THE TIME, and my kids and I definitely eat processed foods. Over the last year, my eyes have opened to this a lot more, and I try to limit it as much as possible and there are certain things I try to avoid such as high fructose corn syrup and food dye, but I don't always do it, and sometimes I eat things that I know are horrible for me.

What I'm not saying in this post is that everyone should eat the way our grandparents did (because the microwaves and processed foods didn't exist then). I'm just using our other bad habits as an example of something we continue to do because its cheaper and easier on us, even though its worse for us.

So, bottom line is that if you feel the need to ignore and dispute any vaccination, then I at least hope you are living a "granola" lifetyle and doing that with everything you come in contact with.

Okay - rant over. If you don't agree with this, don't bother trying to engage in a debate, I will ignore you and depending on the comment I might just delete it - because just like you have the right to not vaccinate, I have the right to delete comments on my blog and facebook page :)

Monday, August 4, 2014

Listen to your body

Even though I have become much more fit, I'm still not exactly where I want to be, I will always have goals to reach. My goals are not necessarily weight loss anymore as much as toning up, staying fit and eating healthy (the majority of the time).

With all of those goals though, I'm constantly reminded to listen to my body.  I decided that yesterday, since I had the majority of hue he day to myself, that I was going to get in a nice long walk.  A long walk to the majority of people is not a long walk to me - I've trained for and walked half-marathons, marathons, and the 3-day (a 60 mile event).  That means I've walked over 20 miles more times than I have fingers to count (albeit just slightly more) and I've walked double digit miles way more than I can imagine. So when I decided I was going to go for a long walk, I set my sights on 10 miles.

Sunday morning I woke up a little late, but after I got the kids out the door, I decided to do my PiYo exercise for the day (plus the one I missed on Saturday). By the time I had finished, the morning rain had died down and I got ready to go out with my dog.  Before leaving, I trimmed my goals down to  a 10k because I had a lot I wanted to get done for the day and I wasn't up for taking 2.5-3 hours out of my day.

 Ow my walking route for the day was a couple loops, this way if Charger needed to stop I could drop him off at home, so we were going around the first long loop and we were about 1/2 of the the way through and I was feeling great!  My times were much better than I expected since I haven't done serious walking since I did my last even in April 2013.  My goal is always a 15 minute mile, but usually I'm at about a 16.5 min mile when I'm not in training.  I got out and my first mile was a 15.5 min/mile, I figurd it would slow down, but the second was just 10 seconds slower and the third was 20 seconds shorter, so I never lost my stride.  I was confident I'd complete the 10k no problem.  Then I went a bit further, getting about 2/3 of th way through and my knee started to bother me.  It's pain I've had and I'm quite used to, so I decided I'd walk through it.  And then as we hit the 4 mile mark, charger started to really slow down (I later realized I was actually speeding up and he just couldn't keep up).

That's about when it started to hit me.  Why power through the walk and risk injury to my knee just to complete a 10k? Just to say I did it?  I'm really getting into health and fitness and being a coach, what yep of example am I setting by pushing through no matter the cost? And so, I decided that I was going to finish out that loop and call it a day.

So remember, push yourself to stay fit and push yourself to eat healthy, but know what your limits are for that day and listen to what your body is telling you.  Set goals and work towards them, but don't expect to reach them in the first day, it takes training and dedication. And when you hit your goals, don't stop there.  Your body wants more and you should listen to it.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

For Adoption: Kalas - an lovable, cuddle, energetic dog

It is with an incredibly heavy heart that I have made this decision and am finally following through on it.  Due to my current circumstances I am looking to place Kalas in a new home.

Kalas as puppy used to cuddle like this
Before I give more information on him, I want to explain the decision, as its important to who adopts him. I am currently a single, working mom of toddlers and 2 dogs. Since its just me, my dogs are stuck in the house for 10-11 hours alone and then when I get home, my attention is devoted to my kids and then getting things done and don't have the chance to sit down and let Kalas cuddle for more than a couple minutes. Kalas needs a home that can provide him more attention, so I am looking to place him in a home where someone is home all day with him or he would only be crated for 8 hours or so.  This home should also be able to give him attention and cuddles when they are home. As long as he gets that, he is a calm, well-behaved dog.  If unfortunately he doesn't get it, his energy bundles up and he starts to get jealous and demanding.  These are all behaviors that are non-existent and non-problematic for me, but I want to be up front and honest.

Kalas is the most sweet, lovable dog you could ask for. He thrives on being by your side and sitting right next to you and cuddling with his head rested on your lap.  We adopted him when he was approx 3 months old from a rescue in the Carolina's, but he was pretty much born into rescue, so he didn't have any issues adjusting.  He gets along great with his fur-brother as well as my two kids, whom he has been around since they were born.

Kalas cuddling with baby Nathaniel
Kalas cuddling with baby Nathaniel

Kalas cuddling with Sara and I

He walks decently on a leash, and knows a couple basic commands, is crate-trained and house broken. With that he does have a few bad habits that I can directly relate to not getting enough attention from me (see first paragraph)
Cuddling with his fur-brother

He is neutered, up-to-date on all vaccines and microchipped, and I will provide his vet records, crate, blanket and some bones, toys and food.

Additionally, I want to make sure that he is going to a good home that is the right fit for him, so I will require the following:

  • that a vet reference be provided (if you previously have had pets)
  • that you allow me to do a home visit/interview to check out his home
  • you provide a $108 donation to an animal-related non-profit, organization, rescue, business etc of your choice.  
Any rescue will requite these things (references, visit and donation), and I want to make sure that whoever adopts him is serious about this decision and commitment. With that, I want to also make sure that the adoption works out, so I will offer a foster-to-adopt where you can foster Kalas for 2 weeks before making the full adoption commitment to make sure he settles in well to your family and schedule.

If you have ANY questions or are interested, please email me at LyndaALyons@hotmail.com.