In The BluePrint on May 21, 2012 at 3:32 pm
Fresh fruit and veggies!
Well I’m super-energized following my online radio broadcast today with Raw Food Vegan and Coach Marquese Martin-Hayes of The Proper Physique! He talked to me and the audience about the five (5) components of nutrition that will determine your future. I am like a lot of you and developed poor eating habits over the years and now in my 40’s they are starting to catch up with me. I really buy-in to the ideas that food is supposed to taste good and that it’s very important to how we socialize with our friends and family. We are surrounded by thoughts and beliefs that keep us chained to outdated paradigms. This was obvious to me when I stopped eating pork about 22 years ago. I came home a new mother at 21 after living in Hawaii for three years and announced to my family (and especially my African-American southern grandma) that I was no longer eating pork. You would have thought I had three eyes!
Marquese explained that we don’t use food as it was intended, fuel for the body, but we’ve abused it and have gotten ourselves into the trouble that we have with chronic illness, obesity, depression. Starting to think about food as fuel for my body instead of “something that tastes good” is a shift for me. My motto was “if it doesn’t taste good, I’m not eating it.” And my tactic was to put enough salt or sugar on it until it tasted good! LOL Fortunately, I’m changing that now and invite you to join me!
You can also learn more from Marquese about nutrition as a contributor to The BluePrint online learning community!
In Motivation, Personal Insight on April 22, 2012 at 11:41 am
As I tried to write an encouraging email to a sister-friend this morning, I was reminded that lifes’ challenges can be a tremendous gift to us depending on how we see them and how we react to them. Past hurts can remain buried underground in our psyche for years and then all of a sudden, there they are. And it’s usually at the most inopportune time. They remind us that we still have work to do but the mind is a powerful thing. It keeps those things suppressed that at the time we might not be ready or able to deal with. It’s the universe’s great little coping mechanism for dealing with trauma.
So if you know or believe that to be true, then what is the universe telling you when they begin to resurface? I believe it’s God‘s way of saying “You’re strong enough to handle this now. You are smart enough and capable enough to handle this now.” It doesn’t usually feel like it at that very moment, but I believe it’s true. If there are situations that you’ve been putting off or neglecting because you felt they were too hard or painful and they’re coming up now, that’s because it’s time to address them… NOW. No matter how difficult or painful the are, look at them and resolve that you are going to handle them this time. You’re not going to put it back in the box and put it back on the shelf. You are going to unpack it and deal with it once and for all. You might need help and support. You might need tools and strategies. You will certainly need someone to help hold you accountable, BUT YOU CAN DO IT! Those fears and limiting beliefs have been holding you back long enough.
Your dream life is waiting! Smooches~
In The BluePrint on March 6, 2012 at 4:23 pm
I ran across an interesting visual for a new sitcom and had to chuckle. I immediately had visions of my 25 (okay maybe 30) year-old self sorting through a box of sentimental letters, cards and gifts that had been given to me by an “ex”. I recall tears streaming down my face as I held the dried flower to my nose, half-expecting there to be some hint of fragrance after almost a year. “CUT, kill the music”…and scene.
The phrase caught my attention because it’s one example of the many ways we saboutage our present and future by refusing to let go of the past. Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t believe people and relationships should be discarded like old shoes. I’m still great friends with all, okay most, of my exes and love them dearly. But we’ve all moved on towards our dreams. It’s not healthy to sit around fantasizing about what was or could have been. There must be some pretty obvious reasons why the relationship didn’t last, right? And if they still mean that much to you, go get ’em!!! You never know. People change and maybe it can work this time. I often share with people that my mom and dad married young, stayed together only five years, were divorced for about 20 years and remarried about 15 years ago and they couldn’t be happier. So stranger things have happened:-) But if thats not the route you are led to take, then it’s time to toss your “ex-box”! Get rid of the cards, emails, texts, naked pictures, dried flowers, pictures of you two on the beach, the toothpick that was in her pineapple on the frozen drink from your first date, the bag of hair from the first time you cut his hair…LOL…let it go!
Fond memories will always live on in your heart and that’s okay but don’t jeopardize your future by continually looking back. And the harsh reality was that my “ex” wasn’t at home crying, listening to Luther, looking through an old box filled with things that reminded him of me. Time to stop playing with the “ex-box” boys and girls. We have grown up dreams to live!!
In Uncategorized on February 10, 2012 at 3:14 am
As I was dealing with a bout of insomnia, a friend asked what turned out to be a very insightful question: “do you think your trouble sleeping is related to the fact that you’re not as busy and have had lots of time to just think and reflect?”. Out of shear frustration and exhaustion, I barked back “I don’t know maybe”. It would later prompt even more introspection and much needed honesty on my part.
Due to some medical reasons and the choice to make changes in my career journey late last year, I’ve spent the past several weeks doing a lot less than what’s normal for me. Partly due to my physical recovery and partly my need to mentally slow down and recharge my batteries. But that has left me with a lot of non-busy time on my hands and I’ve realized that just maybe I’ve been defining myself too much in the “doing” rather than defining myself in “being”. See I’m great at doing. Just give me some project, job or task and I’m off. I’m discovering that when that is minimized, simply being creates a certain amount of anxiety for me. Inactivity cuts at the issues of self-worth and value. Internally, questions surface like “if I’m not doing anything, what use am I? What value do I bring to the table?”
Now before you all start emailing, tweeting and calling to make sure I’m okay, I’m fine. I don’t live in the space of anxiety all of the time but enough lately to take notice. I have to intentionally reaffirm my self-worth and value simply because I’m here. What I know is that I am enough and that I have inherent value regardless of what I’m doing and even if I’m not doing anything. But when you’re use to being very busy with all of the responsibilities of life, you can begin to define yourself by those activities and other people will define you by them as well. Ever notice how many people want to be around you when you seem to have lots going on? That’s not a bad thing. We’re all drawn to energy. But when the momentum is interrupted, things and people fall away. That’s not a bad thing either. What’s bad is that we turn on ourselves because we internalize the belief that doing trumps being.
This time of transition and slowing down has been great for me…a sabbatical of sorts. It’s helped me to recognize some great and not so great things about myself and sometimes the constant introspection has kept me up nights, like right now:-).
I’d encourage everyone to take some time to slow down, recharge your batteries and get to know yourself better. Recognize that you are enough simply because you ARE. The “doing” is merely an expression of who you are. Plan to take a week or two off this year to be with yourself and maybe even be by yourself. Don’t fill the time with lots of activities….just BE.
And with that…..good night (or morning depending on where you are in the world).
In Motivation on January 26, 2012 at 5:19 pm
There are some days that just feel slightly heavier than others. This is part of the journey. Every day won’t appear sunny but just know that the sun is up there, still shining, still providing some warmth to the earth. When your eyes and emotions and even your faith all seem to fail you, stick with what you KNOW. The sun will rise in the morning just as it has since the beginning of time. Keep moving in the direction of your dreams, purpose and desires.
Don’t give up. Keep moving!!!
In Motivation, The BluePrint on January 25, 2012 at 1:38 pm
I was talking to a friend and colleague a while back about life in general and how both life and circumstance seem to be conspiring to keep us all locked in our “boxes”. We talked about our hesitation and in some cases downright unwillingness to question the ideas and beliefs that we’ve held on to for much if not most of our lives. But how do you REALLY “know” a thing if you’ve never, on some level, asked the question??? A favorite quote of mine (and I can’t recall where I first heard it–either inside our out of my head) is that “untested faith (in anyone or anything) is unreliable”. In other words, I can say I have faith in my desk chairs’ ability to hold me but until I plop my butt down in it, I’m not acting on my faith. I’m not “testing” the chairs’ ability to deliver the goods. I’m looking at it and it’s looking back at me as it were…but neither ever really KNOWS, right?
The “box” represents everything we know, believe, have experienced, have been told or taught. Those beliefs, experiences, stories and lessons have shaped who we are. They provide the “backstory” to our lives. Interestingly, the box both informs and reinforces every decision we make or don’t make and every action we take or don’t take and even our secret thoughts. So in essence, if you never think or venture outside of the box it will do what it’s designed to do which is keep you “in” and keep everything else “out”. That’s what boxes are for. Some people’s arrogance would have them believe that they aren’t boxed in but if you look closer, they really just have a bigger box. At first glance they may seem to be freer…more money, more prestige, more self-actualized, more educated…but those things can also be boxes.
I don’t typically do well in boxes long-term even when they’re of my own making. I’m an emotional, spiritual, anaytical claustrophobic! I don’t like being in tight, closed spaces. I don’t like having limits placed on me nor should I place them on myself and others. I have no idea what another person is capable of and so shouldn’t project my own insecurities and limitations on them. We’re all capable if greatness.
So whatever your box is, it’s worth it to venture outside. Do something different. Face your fears head-on. No one ever became a better version by taking the safe route. At the end of 2011, we relected on the greatness of now deceased Apple CEO Steve Jobs and celebrated him for deciding that he was not going to waste his life living someone else’s. We should all be so brave.
In The BluePrint on January 25, 2012 at 11:33 am
I’ve been doing lots of reading, reflecting and writing. One theme that keeps coming up for me as I contemplate my own dream life, is authenticity. It strikes me that throughout our lives we do a lot of things based on scripts that have been imprinted on us since childhood. The types of partners we are attracted to, what we believe about ourselves and others, our political affiliations, what God we believe in or don’t, the value of money and hardwork…all of these ideas, concepts, values and believes can be traced back to a time in our lives when we were very unconscious of them and what they would eventually come to mean to us.
Trust me, I’m all for traditions, rituals and family values. They only pose a problem when they aren’t authentically our own. When we have examined them against our own journey and destiny to determine their current usefulness. As I, and you, look to design and build the life of our dreams, one of the first steps should be to make sure we are clear about defining the Foundation. The Foundation of your dream life represents the aspect that everything else will rest upon. It is the part of the house that is least likely to shift and change. It represents your area of stability. I’ve been careful in The BluePrint…Design Your Dream Life not to define that for you. It can be Spirituality, Finances, Education, Family, Relationships, Career, Health/Fitness….it might be different for each of us but what it must be is authentic. It must be yours. It can’t be grandmas’ or mommas’ or daddys’ or husbands’ or anyone else’s otherwise it won’t adequately support YOUR life. So, as we go into 2012 and ponder the design for our dream lives, let us first get clear on The Foundation. Make sure that you are building and living YOUR life not someone elses.
Living the Dream,