download

I’m in the kitchen, above the sink, washing my hands and I turn around to reach for the paper towel. But I saw none in the usual place, I assumed there was none left. Thoughts began to fill my head, “I hate when we run out.” Now I’m walking feverishly throughout the house looking for a remedy for my wet hands. Just as I started to give up hope. I noticed a full pack of Bounty in corner. As silly as this moment was, it made me think. How many times do we run around in life searching for something that is right in front of us. But we can’t see it and we definitely can’t appreciate it because it’s not in the package that we expected or in the place we imagined it to be.

If I’ve learned anything from the path that my life has taken this past year, it is that, things might not always appear to be what you want but most times, it’s exactly what you need. There are no accidents, everything that is, was ordained to be.

The first roadblock to appreciation of the moment, is expectation. We go through life thinking by 26, I’m going to be this. For me, I can tell you 26 is here and I’m most of those things but certainly not all. And that’s okay. I can dwell on the things I’m not or I can be thankful for the food in my mouth and the roof over my head, my family and friends, my new found career, my passion for writing, the progress my book has made, I can go on and on.

Release yourself of the expectations that you have placed on your life. Don’t be a slave to your own ambition. When it disrupts your joy and gratitude, then it’s as dangerous as the alternative.

The second roadblock to seeing what’s right in front of you is “destination addiction.” I learned this term just recently but it struck home. I was reading an article on XONecole,

Are You Suffering From Destination Addiction?

It’s that sense of when I get there, then I will. When I get more money or when I get that promotion or when I get married, then. It’s that constant living for the next step.

It refers to “the idea that success or happiness is a destination that we are traveling to which is unfortunately limiting many of us from enjoying the ride.” As Dr. Holden author of “The Happiness Project” suggests “we are literally suffering from the pursuit of happiness, “We are always on the run, on the move, and on the go. Our goal is not to enjoy the day, it is to get through the day.”

We have to first understand that happiness is something that we create regardless of the position, place or the thing. It is not something we have to get to, we create it.

https://i2.wp.com/xonecole.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/12547736_1660614997547418_945893238_n.jpg

There is nothing wrong with wanting more for your life and working towards that but NOT at the expense of the moment because to be frank the moment is ALL we have. Appreciate it, relish it, experience it. There might be Bounty in the corner.

A Woman in Process

I used to watch romantic movies all the time. Growing up, I dreamed of that type of love. But I was always flawed in my approach, giving too many unworthy men a chance. I was a hopeless romantic.

And then there was you, three years of back and forth, on and off. I ran from it because I said to myself, ” this doesn’t feel like what I see in the movies.” They’re always happy in the movies, “he” always gets it right in the movies.

I realized almost 8 months ago that much like anything else in life, love requires hard work. It requires a commitment from two people to give it the old college try. And so we started trying again, shortly after I said I couldn’t anymore. Not many people knew, they do now of course.

giphy

We don’t have the perfect story. I saw this the other day and I thought of him. I figured would share. I could have said this to him yesterday but in my attempt to prove that everyday is a reflection of this love that we have worked so hard for, I felt today was better suited.

IMG_1722 IMG_1701

A Woman in Process

giphy

Bob Marley famously sang, “Don’t worry about a thing, because every little thing is gonna be alright.” I can picture him now; guitar in hand, locs flowing, the sun beating down on his face as he thought about those words. They are simple but difficult to master. I think we all have this incessant need to worry. We worry what our boss thinks of us. We worry how we’ll make it through this fight with the bae, bestie, or whomever.  It is something that happens to all of us but when it does, do we have to give in?

A few posts ago, I mentioned that I was reading the book, Fearleass by Max Lucado; well, I’m still at it.It’s a great read but I have this terrible habit of starting a few books all at once, naturally it takes me a while to finish.

About fifty or so pages in, he shares his “worry-stoppers.” I’ve put most of these strategies into practice, I am not worry free but it no longer rents space in my mind. Here are a few!

Pray, first. “Don’t pace up and down the floors of the waiting room; pray for a successful surgery.” Here he says, don’t let worry consume you, take it all God in prayer. I understand, not all of us may be at a point where prayer feels comfortable. For me, it wasn’t until August of last year that I reconnected. Or maybe, you’re not a believer. Whatever your reason, it does not stop you from shifting those moments of worry to that of meditation. Stop, breathe, control your thoughts and let positivity guide you.

Easy, now. In this one, he urges us to slow down. Many of us are going a mile a minute. It is no wonder that we are worried about this thing or that thing. What if my car breaks down? What if I don’t get that promotion? All these thoughts running through your head. Easy now, and assess the problems as they arise.

Act on it. “Be equally decisive with anxiety.” This one has been the hardest for me and requires constant effort but its been the most rewarding. Lucado says, as soon as a moment of concern surfaces, just deal with it. Don’t sit there and let worry take over. “Don’t waste an hour wondering what your boss thinks; ask her.” Why waste time?

Compile a worry list and Evaluate your worry categories. Write down all the things that take up space in your mind. What troubles you?  As you compile this list, “highlight themes of worry.” This will allow you to gain insight into where exactly you put your concern, then you’ll be able to deal with them specifically. Is it, “what people think of you, finances, global calamities, your appearance or performance.?” What are you spending your valuable time worrying about?

Lastly, Focus on today. I would even argue, focus on the moment. We have no control over what is coming. All we have is this moment. When you focus on being gracious and appreciative for every moment, there is no time for worry.

I leave you with Bob.

A Woman in Process

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A couple nights ago, I snapped on my two best friends. I don’t think I hung up technically, I did say bye but it was not a good bye, pun intended. They FaceTimed me, which seems to be the only way we communicate with each other these days. Even though they now live together, I’m all the way in upstate New York. We don’t get to see each other as often as we used to. I don’t mind FaceTime but it does require a little bit more effort. It’s just not my go to medium. Anyway, I had an attitude the entire conversation. Looking back I wasn’t upset at all. I did have a busy day and I was still working on a few things when they called. My disinterest for the conversation was merely distraction.  Okay, maybe I was a little hungry…

giphy

Have you had a major temper tantrum about something and when you look back at the moment, it doesn’t make sense? Were you upset or just hungry, tired etc.?

Those old Snickers commercials are a funny exaggeration but they’re not too far off. Dictionary.com defines Hangry as, “irritable as a result of feeling hungry.” For most of us, myself included, that’s an understatement. And it usually results in snapping on the people that you are most comfortable with i.e your besties.

Why does it happen?

The brain is dependent on glucose to function. When your blood glucose levels drop to a certain point your body sees this as a life threatening situation. When this happens your brain sends signals to organs in your body to release hormones that increase the amount of glucose in your bloodstream. Namely the pituitary gland which produces the growth hormone, the pancreas which produces glucagon and the adrenal glands which produce adrenaline. These hormones, specifically adrenaline, are also released in stressful situations. When you are hungry there are physiological things that are taking place that are affecting your reactions.

It may not seem like a big deal but it should make you wonder how many of your reactions in the last week were legitimate. How many arguments, or coworker squabbles could have been prevented? Socrates had a much deeper meaning when he said “know thyself.” But I would argue that it is important to know the why behind all your actions. Especially if they can be solved with a granola bar! Throughout today, truly notice and observe your behavior. Let’s try an avoid any hangry moments.

A Woman in Process

 

 

https://encrypted-tbn0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcQdI18GnHycyWoCYvUODMNJUREwv5yU-OsivGiyPkRwqrs-Xgze
https://encrypted-tbn0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcQdI18GnHycyWoCYvUODMNJUREwv5yU-OsivGiyPkRwqrs-Xgze

 

“New year, New me” yea right, you said that last year and the year before. I’m not pointing fingers because I’m guilty of it too. We get focused, super motivated to tackle something, particularly around the New Year, then months go by and these things fall to wayside. Then we beat ourselves up for not accomplishing them. Can I dare us to be different this year?

What needs to happen for you to live the life you’ve always wanted? What stands in the of accomplishing the things you’ve dreamed of? Quite simply, what is holding you back?

I would argue that much of it is fear. Fear of what it takes, fear of what others might think and fear of actually being successful. Remember it’s the light not the dark that most frightens us. Many times we become content with living our day to day life that doing something beyond our comprehension seems too crazy even for the imagination.

Yann Martel, author of the book, Life of Pi, wrote about fear.

“I must say a word about fear. It is life’s only true opponent. Only fear can defeat life. It is a clever, treacherous adversary, how well I know. It has no decency, respects no law or convention, shows no mercy. It goes for your weakest spot, which it finds with unerring ease. It begins in your mind, always. One moment you are feeling calm, self-possessed, happy. Then fear, disguised in the garb of mild-mannered doubt, slips into your mind like a spy. Doubt meets disbelief and disbelief tries to push it out. But disbelief is a poorly armed foot soldier. Doubt does away with it with little trouble. You become anxious. Reason comes to do battle for you. You are reassured. Reason is fully equipped with the latest weapons technology. But, to your amazement, despite superior tactics and a number of undeniable victories, reason is laid low. You feel yourself weakening, wavering. Your anxiety becomes dread…” He continues, I urge you to read the entire quote here Yann Martel – Fear 

He says that fear is our only true opponent. Think of about it, if we were able to silence fear, imagine the things that we would actually do!

Let’s take a look at my 2015 goals. I think by analyzing their “failures” and “successes” we’ll be able to tease out a few more reasons.

IMG_1340

As you can see happiness was on there twice. A year ago, I felt it necessary to make it my focus. Many people know that this year I decided to stop running the rat race. I choose to not participate in life the way society said I should. I choose to instead chase health and happiness. My focus became anything that aligned with the aforementioned. Obviously that comes with a sacrifice, namely finances, but it’s one that at this point in my life, I’m okay with making. I also asked myself, what would you do if you were not getting paid? The answer was write, mixed with a bit of sports and fitness. I vowed to do the things that I loved everyday. I had my bad days but I always wrote even when I didn’t blog, I wrote. It is my therapy and I believe out of it my passion will take shape. I can say today this woman is so much happier that the one who wrote the list above.
Let’s continue down the list, I was suppose to lose 36 pounds by July. In total, I’ve lost 20 pounds but I kept it off which is an accomplishment none the less. I think, I’m a real blogger. I didn’t blog as consistently as I should have though. I’m not a certified personal trainer and I did not start my organizations.

Top 10 Reasons Why People Don’t Reach Their Goals

I stumbled a bit with my 2015 goals. But here’s why, I didn’t stay consistent, I procrastinated, I became discouraged and ultimately I lost focus. But guess what “It’s never too late to start over. If you weren’t happy with yesterday, try something different today. Don’t stay stuck. Do better.”  That is all we can do, keep going. Remember if you want a different life, you have to live differently. Happy New Year!

A Woman in Process

I pride myself on being an open book, believing that my story will be an inspiration to others. But at times my transparency is met with unwanted questions and unsolicited advice. When I feel my truth will be ridiculed, I run. I enter my zone usually taking a step back from those around me, unless I feel that they have proven themselves to be unconditional in their love. There is good and bad to this. The good being that I have to protect my dream and my truth. When one chooses to do things that are against the grain or something that may seem far-fetched; the naysayers will be the loudest voice you hear. Protection is necessary. But I’ve learned that by running, I’m protecting myself, yes but I could be hurting other people too.

Running is a natural reaction. Walter Bradford Cannon described it as the fight or flight response. I think we all remember this from high school or our freshmen year psychology class, the one we took only because it was Gen. Ed requirement. “The fight-or-flight response is a physiological reaction that occurs in response to a perceived harmful event, attack, or threat to survival.” During this time the body naturally does things that prepares you get out of harms way as fast as you can or buckle down and fight. We’re talking increased heart rate, constriction of blood vessels and liberation of metabolic energy sources for muscular action!

https://psychlopedia.wikispaces.com/Fight-or-Flight+Response

 

It makes sense that when I feel someone  is attacking me, my dream or my plan; I’m out! I’m not a fighter, so I’ll just walk away. There is nothing wrong with removing yourself from situations that are fruitless. But if it is not yet fruitless, it is worth a conversation not a fight but a productive dialogue. I’m working on doing that. I have a long way to go. My friends call me a turtle, because going into my shell is what feels comfortable. But life isn’t about doing what is comfortable. It also takes maturity to know the difference between an attack and warranted criticism. If I am hurting people with my running or my isolation, I do not want to do it anymore. I’m working desperately to live my life in Christ and hurting people, no matter how inadvertent, is not something that I want to do. Not to mention, constant running is not necessarily the best way to solve any situation.

A Woman in Process

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s blog post was originally suppose to be about fear. I’ve been reading Fearless by Max Lucado. A Christian author, he uses stories like Jesus on the Sea of Galilee to exhibit the faith needed to as Jesus put it, “worry not.” This book has been a saving grace as I journey through these life changing decisions.

But I was on Facebook last night, scrolling down as I do ever so often. I watched a few videos because Facebook always has a way of sucking you in. Then I came across a story and decided that sharing this with you all would be more worthwhile then my initial post.

img_8624

The 92-year-old, petite, well-poised, and proud lady, who is fully dressed each morning by eight o’clock, with her hair fashionably coiffed and makeup perfectly applied, even though she is legally blind, moved to a nursing home today.

Her husband of 70 years recently passed away, making the move necessary.

After many hours of waiting patiently in the lobby of the nursing home, she smiled sweetly when told her room was ready. As she maneuvered her walker to the elevator, I provided a visual description of her tiny room, including the eyelet curtains that had been hung on her window.

“I love it,” she stated with the enthusiasm of an eight-year-old having just been presented with a new puppy.

“Mrs. Jones, you haven’t seen the room …. just wait.”

“That doesn’t have anything to do with it,” she replied.

“Happiness is something you decide on ahead of time. Whether I like my room or not doesn’t depend on how the furniture is arranged… it’s how I arrange my mind.

“I already decided to love it … It’s a decision I make every morning when I wake up. I have a choice; I can spend the day in bed recounting the difficulty I have with the parts of my body that no longer work, or get out of bed and be thankful for the ones that do.

“Each day is a gift, and as long as my eyes open I’ll focus on the new day and all the happy memories I’ve stored away … just for this time in my life.

“Old age is like a bank account–you withdraw from it what you’ve put in.”

So, my advice to you would be to deposit a lot of happiness in the bank account of memories.

Remember the five simple rules to be happy:

1. Free your heart from hatred.
2. Free your mind from worries.
3. Live simply.
4. Give more.
5. Expect less.
Read more at http://www.beliefnet.com/Inspiration/2003/01/Happiness-Is-A-Choice.aspx#1OHMFUhF9T2PCAuv.99

 

A Woman in Process