Posts Tagged ‘Health’

Things I Wish I Knew Long Ago

growing up

Image by elyse patten via Flickr

1. Life is a gift, and no matter how long we live, there’s always more to learn about it. It will teach you more than any classroom. Free your mind from “small thinking” and always contemplate the magnificence of being alive.

2. You are the only one of you in the world and you were not a mistake. There is a reason you are here, follow where your heart leads you and you will find that reason.

3. Find a mentor whose life illustrates integrity, compassion, sacrifice and strength. They created a path and even if you don’t want to walk in their footsteps, you can definitely learn from their example.

4. Never forget to give. No matter how little time, money or energy you have, contributing to your community, your environment is vital to the refreshing of your spirit. It will do more for you than you ever do for others.

5. Control money, never let it control you. If you don’t know how, learn. Never forget it is what you own and not who you are. HOWEVER, always have some, where no one else knows about it. Financial independence means you can walk away.

6. Keep a list of your values where you can regularly see them, for when circumstances are overwhelming. You will be grateful for a reminder. We are all human, but living outside your values makes life more miserable than any circumstances.

7. Cultivate relationships with “givers”. They will support you in your path and remind you who you are. It is your sacred duty is to feed those relationships. Don’t waste energy on the “takers” in your life; they are bottomless pits that are never satisfied.

8. Take care of your body now and every day after. Do not take your youth for granted, it fades fast. Feed it, water it and exercise it, like the delicate machine that it is. Avoid extremities of any kind and when it is in pain, listen to it.

9. Our sleeping dreams are catapults of our waking dreams. Do not deprive your life of its greatest asset…rest.

10. Whatever you pay attention to becomes a reality in your life. Choose wisely.

11. Respect begins within. Strive to treat yourself the same way you treat others. The more you understand yourself, the easier it is to understand the behavior of others.

12. Your first relationship with the world began with your parents. Revisit that relationship. The more you recognize them as people, not caregivers, the more you realize who they are, and who you are. Your life is not pre-determined, you are in control.

13. Your life, your knowledge, your skills, your experiences, your gifts are valuable and eternal. Develop and share them, it is the spark that can envelop and heal other souls around you. Don’t stifle your light.

14. You are at least ten times prettier than you think. Ask your mother/auntie/granny if she thought she was pretty when she was twenty. She’ll say no. Then find a photo of her at that age. See? Don’t ever let vanity take away from your spirit, it is a waste.

15. The only thing you should ever fake is confidence. If you don’t have it, pretend. In every new situation, pretend you’re not nervous and not afraid. The pretend part will eventually disappear and the respect you gain will bolster you in future situations.

16. In really tough situations, remember what it was like to be a nine-year old girl. Do a cart-wheel, even if you don’t want to, and remember that feeling of freedom. You are still that same person, remember that, and you will stay young until the day you die.

17. Cut or potted flowers are never a waste of money. They remind us, no matter how ugly things get, that there is beauty in the world.

18. Trust your gut. Before you know what it is, your gut does. You can ignore advice from friends, family, even your own brain, but you can’t ignore your gut, it never lies. Drowning it in alcohol or Haagen Dazs won’t make it stop telling you the truth.

19. Wear sunscreen on your face, neck, and hands every day, winter and summer. You’ll remember me when you look in the mirror at age fifty. Floss your teeth. Put nothing in your body that can permanently harm your spirit, including the wrong man.

20. Raise your consciousness. Believing there is a God and knowing Him are two different things. Cultivate that relationship and the world you live in will never be more than you can handle.

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Are you a successful Christian?

Jesus resurrected and Mary Magdalene
Image via Wikipedia

You are the only one that can define your success, as a Christian or anything else that you set out to do. What you want from your Christian life could vary greatly from what I want from mine. The true meaning of what it means to be a Christian may be different for you than it is for someone else. We could say we are a success now, just because we call ourselves a Christian. But, what if we decide that our becoming a Christian, was really the sacrifice and work of Christ alone, that we just accepted Him as our Savior and that really, the road to Christianity is just beginning, and we have a long way to go before we reach success? That is what I decided and these are just some of the areas that I am working on, ways that I want to illustrate that Christ is King of my life.

I want to remember people, so they will remember me.

As a Christian, I want people to know I feel they are important by remembering their names and remembering important things they share with me. I want this not only because they are God‘s children and I should care about them because God does, but also so that they will be more likely to remember me. I want them to know I am there for them and can help them if they need it.

I want to remember that success is independent of age, education, failure and public opinion.

There are many other traits that you could put into this category that could be your stumbling blocks, but these particular ones have just been areas where I’ve personally had the most difficulty overcoming. The enemy uses these attributes as weapons against me often, wanting me to believe that my age, my education or lack thereof, a fear of failure and what other people think about me or my actions are legitimate reasons for me not being the best Christian I can be.

I had to generate a life purpose and remember it every day.

It’s tempting to get caught up in our families, jobs and even church work. Those things aren’t bad, but we know there is an eternal life beyond the one we are living. We have God’s Word as the instruction book for our lives. So, there are certain things we are commanded to do. Beyond our own wants and desires, we must concern ourselves greatly with the will and purposes of the Father. It’s easier and more beneficial to us, if we incorporate His will into our lives instead of keeping our plans and purposes separate from His. Our goal, as much as humanly possible, should be to let Him guide us into our purposes.

I have to work really hard to keep a positive attitude, and I fail often.

It would be nice if God could flip a switch in us, after we become Christians, that made us magically feel good all the time, regardless of the circumstances. Or, would it? I guess it kind of goes against the free will rule, doesn’t it? I know there are others like me who are trying really hard to bite their tongues, think before speaking and trying to leave work outside the door when they come home. But, I also know others that seem to never be ruffled, never speak a cross word, and seem to have a smile on their faces every time I see them. What is the secret? I do know that there was a time in my life when I didn’t even question my attitude, it never occurred to me that I had to be more open to others and less caustic when someone didn’t get my order right the first time. I praise the Lord for opening my eyes to my behaviors and attitudes, I guess that’s a good start.

I have to remember to have a sense of humor.

If you’ve spent any time in this world at all, you know our Lord has one. Otherwise, we would have never had the experience of seeing a giraffe or an anteater. And, how about the coldest winter on record after the big, bad, global warming scare? A co-worker made some special coffee at work one morning and told me it was ready. As I went into the break room, I noticed there was only enough left in the pot for one more cup. I was feeling particularly smug, being one of only a few who would have the privilege of drinking this delicious brew, as I poured the coffee into my styrofoam cup. I gazed out the window at the beautiful morning, and as I looked back down at my cup, to my utter horror, the coffee was going into the cup and right through the bottom side, where there was a hole the size of a dime. I hurried and grabbed another cup to hold underneath my damaged one, but I was only able to save a little less than half.  I was so disappointed, but I repented as I cleaned up the break room counter, and I laughed all the way back to my desk. I very much enjoyed my three drinks of coffee and as the scriptures tell us, I know the Lord was laughing too.

There’s so many other areas that the Lord is helping me with, like perseverance, dealing with change, and especially giving me courage through Him, so I can share Him with others. We have to remember we are, sometimes, our own worst enemy. Don’t stop learning and growing; you will be a successful Christian, if you will just allow Him to walk with you.

40 Lessons in 40 Years

Forty Steps

Image by Troy B Thompson via Flickr

Forty doesn’t seem that old to me anymore. When I was nineteen, forty seemed ancient. Fortunately, I’ve learned a few things since then and these are forty of the most important:

1. I have a lot left to learn, and most often what I “know” changes.

2. Pride is the father of most of our sins and poor life decisions.

3. Fear and Doubt are our two greatest enemies after Pride. They are the ultimate obstacles. They will do whatever they can to stop you from fulfilling your dreams.

4. The more I own, the less satisfied I am. The more you have, the more you think you need.

5. How many times have you been cut off on the highway to eventually pass the car that was in such a big hurry? Seems silly, doesn’t it? But that’s how most of us live our lives every day, rushing from one activity to another, never really enjoying any of them. Life is much better, when we slow down and take time to live it.

6. Goals might not be as important as you think. Try working without them for a week; your work still gets done. Goals are another item to manage, like bill-paying and coupon-cutting! Who needs that? Cut out the bureaucracy.

7. Life is a vapor. I read that in the Bible years ago, but getting older makes it a reality. Young people feel like there’s a huge amount of time ahead, I know I did. But, it passes much faster than you think. The rate your kids are grown and gone can give you whiplash.  Appreciate every second!

8. The future is ahead regardless of how you are spending your time now. Why stay caught up in the past you cannot change? Stop the rewind, it’s distracting you from the present and there’s a reason they call it a present. Enjoy it!

9. Your child is not an interruption. Give your children your full attention. They will not always be underfoot and then you will be wondering where they are and how they spend their time.

10. Debt is bad. I’ve been there a few times and none of the trips were good. Credit card, Student, Home, Personal, Car, Co-sign, it’s all bad. Debt causes illness, more debt and can ruin marriages and lives.

11. Weight is much easier to lose when you are young. Don’t hit 30 overweight, and I promise you will feel better when you are forty.

12. I wasn’t the coolest kid. That’s a good thing, because it prepared me to be a parent that isn’t cool. Cool is over rated and just being competent will keep you busy.

13. What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas doesn’t apply to the Internet or your email. If you don’t want the world to see it, don’t post it or type it.

14. You can lead a horse to water, whether or not they drink is none of your business. Focus on your behavior and your to do list. Let people worry about their own decisions.

15. Don’t follow. Lead, even if you have to change directions many times. You are the only one that knows where you want to go even if it hasn’t occurred to you yet.

16. You can’t do it all. There are some things in life you might miss out on. Give yourself permission to enjoy your life.

17. I am human. I have made and continue to make mistakes. I choose to forgive myself and the people who choose to remind me of those mistakes have been removed to the outer circle of my life. I forgive them, but control over my present, using the tool of my past, has been revoked.

18. Failure is a big pathway to success. Without it, we wouldn’t know when we’ve succeeded.

19. Books are the greatest gifts. There’s something for everyone and it makes us slow down long enough to listen to the viewpoint of someone else.

20. Make sure you hug the people you love, do it often. It’s amazing how much better it will make you feel. They might like it too.

21. Friendship isn’t free. You have to work on the relationship, don’t take your friends for granted.

22. Fitness isn’t something to start on New Year’s Day and stop on Valentines. It’s a lifetime decision that I hope to make a decision about soon.

23. Don’t schedule your happiness. Don’t get in the mindset of once this or that happens, I’ll be happy. You won’t! There will always be another “destination” to make you happy. Be happy now, right where you are. It’s a choice.

24. Love cures all problems. Trouble with your spouse? Love them more. Financial problems? Love yourself by forgiving yourself and moving forward. Want to cure stress? Love someone else and focus on them. Work problem? Love your boss and give him or her a hug.

25. Stop living in fantasy land and let go of expectations. You have no right to expect anything of anyone or anything. It usually has no basis in reality and sets you up for a
big disappointment.

26. Giving is so much better than getting, and giving up the need for recognition is powerful, it sets you free!

27. Competition isn’t always healthy. It’s linked to pride and can get in the way of so many goals. Cooperation is life-giving and it requires some humility. It gets easier with
practice.

28. Gratitude is one of the best ways to find contentment. We are usually discontent because we are focused on having more, not on how much we already have.

29. Dogs really are man’s best friend. They still want to hang with you even when no one else does. They always listen, even if they choose not to do what you said. They will
always play with you and they easily forgive you no matter what you do.

30. Get some perspective. If you spend most of your time alone, make time for some friends. If you are a social butterfly, get some time alone. Humans are rut-prone, we
begin to only do or be with what we are comfortable with, don’t get too comfortable. Narrow perspectives breed discontent.

31. All we are taught in schools, and all we see in the media (news, films, books, magazines, Internet) should be questioned. You have been lied to at some point. Do your own homework!

32. Empathy and compassion are not natural. Both must be learned and if you don’t know them, learn them quickly. Assumption is the mother of most embarrassments. Do
yourself a favor and learn not to judge.

33. Do less, not more. Don’t fill your life with a checklist, you are not a machine. Focus on what you love, throw out the rest.

34. No one knows what they’re doing as parents. We’re all faking it, and hoping we’re getting it right.

35. Love is a choice, you don’t fall in or out of it. Love is hard work and most people are lazy.

36. One of the greatest lessons you can teach your kids is self-sufficiency. Don’t depend on the school to teach them this, they won’t.

37. Freedom isn’t free. Stating you are not interested in politics is the same as stating that you don’t care about your freedom. You are already involved if you live here, pay
attention!

38. God is much more interested in saving our souls that He is in making sure we are comfortable.

39. Accepting Jesus Christ as my personal Savior is the best thing that has ever happened to me.

40. Life is a gift every day. Re-gifting it and sacrificing your time and energy for others makes it even more amazing!

10 Organized Ways to Feel Good Today

Junk Tower

Image by sigma. via Flickr

Are you drowning in stuff? There’s stuff to pick up, stuff to organize, stuff to buy, stuff to get rid of, stuff to do. Use these creative ideas to help you organize and get rid of your stuff, if for no other reason than to celebrate. We can all use more celebrations in our lives!

1. Do you have a major organizing job? Have a major celebration. If you go all out and do something huge, like organizing your entire closet space or cleaning out a basement, you deserve a big celebration. Take a before and after picture, post it on your blog or Facebook, then go out for a spa treatment or a nice dinner with someone special at your favorite restaurant.

2. Look through home decor magazines; tear out room layouts, storage ideas and decorating ideas that make you smile. When you are done with all your magazines, take them to the VA Hospital or nursing home in your town. Those visitors and patients will love to have something different to look at while passing the time. Take the kids along! My niece loves to go with me on these  trips. She feels good to be helping and sometimes gets to see some of the patients and talk to them. It’s a win-win.

3. Whenever you finish an organizing task, write it down. It is not only great to see your progress by the end of the day or week, but it serves as a record. In the future, you can go back to see what you did before with those same things. If you’re anything like me, your life is way too busy to be able to remember. Plus, it will help you spread out the love. Decorate a journal or scrapbook for this purpose. Place pictures of the locations or the people you meet inside. Who says you can’t network and organize at the same time?

4. Got a million things to do and very little time to do them? Get some index cards and write 5, 10 or 15-minute tasks on each of them (e.g. clean out the junk drawer, clean out medicine cabinet, recycle old newspapers, clear off the surface of the refrigerator, etc.) On the back of each card, write rewards. Shuffle the cards and put them in a pretty vase. When you get a few minutes
free, pull a card. Complete the task, enjoy the reward!

5. Shine some light on the situation. There’s nothing more depressing than organizing in the dark. Open the window blinds, turn on the lights, or take a break and walk in the sunshine. According to the Vitamin D Council, in May of this year, Vitamin D deficiency is a world-wide epidemic, with recent estimates indicating greater than 50% of the global population at risk. Fatigue and
weakness are the most common symptoms of vitamin D deficiency. Depression is another common symptom of vitamin D deficiency. Cholesterol levels and blood pressure can get higher. If you experience either, ask your doctor to check your vitamin D levels.

6. Feeling overwhelmed with organizing? Of course you are! No one likes to do the things that have to be done. It’s like eating broccoli without cheese sauce. But, nothing is that bad for 10 minutes. The best thing to do is start somewhere–for 10 minutes. Just keep tossing things you no longer need. When the 10 minutes are up, take a 10-minute break and pick up where you left off. Decide ahead of time how many of those 10 minute sessions you are going to have. It gives you the cake and the ice cream; you get a sense of accomplishment and a great feeling of being done when they are over.

7. Rock it out! Who’s your motivator? I love the B52s, The Fray, Van Morrison, Hillsong or Jeremy Camp when I’m trying to get things done. Crank up the volume and groove your way to organization.

8. Beat the clock. Set your timer for 30 minutes and see how much junk you can toss. Then you can share your amazing story of what you were able to accomplish in just a half hour. No fish stories though!

9. Think about what you have, that you know you don’t want, and how much someone else might need it. Things you’re not even using could answer someone’s prayer or at the very least, be on their wish list. Bring gently used clothes, toys, appliances and kitchen utensils to a charitable organization, and pat yourself on the back for your donation.

10. Invite a friend or friends over for a de-clutter party! Offer to help each other get rid of things that you know you don’t want or need any more. Order some lunch when you’re done and share storage ideas and tips!

Soul Stanzas

Stained glass at St John the Baptist's Anglica...

Image via Wikipedia

It is an endless fate,
to abnegate the weight,
to count the calories that you ate.
The reduced fat, low fat, are the bait,
only eat what fits on this tiny plate.
The tears and fears will not abate,
unless you look good for your date.
How will you ever get a mate
if you don’t find the skinny trait?
“Spend the money, fix your gait,
see this doctor, he is great!”
It doesn’t matter how long the wait,
or if you have to be up by eight,
he’ll fill the wrinkles that you hate.
The thin and beautiful pay the rate,
and you should too, before it’s too late!

Another car, cause his got keyed,
another group that she must lead,
another book she just has to read.
We all have to be the fastest steed
and that is why we need to speed.
Another skirt, another tweed.
All must take heed, or even bleed,
for us to feed the belly of greed.
We are a mighty, ungrateful breed,
from what we want, you can’t impede.
It will not matter how much you plead,
we can’t be shaken from our creed.
You might take heed, if you are agreed
that the voracious are a dangerous seed.
We will proceed, by misdeed or mislead,
for our success and your recede.

Some call it a temper, others call it a fit,
when the proudest refuse to commit.
To another’s will, we can never submit.
We struggle and fight until the marriage is split,
that we’re in the wrong, we will never admit.
People say we’re stubborn, we say it’s grit,
that we could be wrong, just doesn’t transmit.
Our friends, and our children, usually just quit,
as a parent and friend, they say we’re unfit.
The fact that we’re lonely, we usually omit,
another’s sympathy, we can never permit.
We just can’t help it; it’s how we are knit,
Get help out? We’d rather stay in the pit.
Another’s mistake, we will never forget.
We’re always on the jury, and we never acquit.
Some say we’re so nasty, we’ll skip the obit.

Insecurity or in vanity, there is no clout,
“Attention! Attention!”, they both shout.
My beauty, my style, advance and tout:
Me, me, me, is what it’s about.
Rapacity and avarice, we can’t go without.
The greed we feed deserves a talent scout.
Of generosity and compassion, we’re suffering drought.
All paths lead to us, or else we will pout.
Our opinion, our thoughts, the ideas that we spout,
the religion of Pride is where we’re devout.
Flattery, aplomb, choice idols stake out,
virtue and reticence, meekness we flout.
But, our desires and goals need a reroute
or true hope and happiness, without any doubt,
will never be realized, grow, or be stout.
For it is only for Jesus that we should sell out!

Today and Every Day

“Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending.”-Maria Robinson

We are all busy, we are all moving toward the unknown. The speed in which we all move can be enough to burn us up. Add these to your day and re-prioritize some of your moments:

Memorize something – This will not only allow you moments to focus on something important to you, it refreshes the brain and keeps it healthy and active.

Reduce attachment to possessions – The more we own, the more stress we have. Make a commitment to less and get rid of more.

Develop your curiosity – Note when you wonder why, what, when, where or how. I know you don’t have time to figure it out now, but make a note of it. Research that question, get the answers.

Remember people’s names – Develop a system of remembering. This is an investment in future relationships. People remember those that make an effort to remember them.

Do something good for your body – Our bodies are free gifts, let’s not squander them.

Focus on today – Schedule a time to worry, don’t spend a whole day on it.  Most of the things we worry about are not going to happen today, if at all. Think actively about how can you get the most out of today, it may be your last one.

Don’t be too serious – Not everyone is looking at you, you are not the most important person in your home, workplace or classroom. It’s the ultimate vanity to never be goofy, to never laugh at our own humanity.

Read – Millions have had something important to say, so much so that they published it. There are things written that you don’t know, find out what they are!

Go outside – Just like our bodies, our world is a gift. There is beauty in a leaf, in a bug, in a cloud, in a puddle. Go find it.

Practice controlling your mind –  Our thoughts can control our lives, so it’s important that we can control our minds. Don’t let this muscle take you where you don’t want to go.

Practice forgiveness – Grudges are the worst slavery, it is voluntary bondage. Let it go!

Trust yourself – We all make mistakes. The most important person we can forgive is ourselves.

Love is the most important thing that will happen to you today, stay focused and don’t miss it!

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