Absolutes: yes, no or maybe?

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Growth comes not from hating what is wrong, but in loving what is right. I heard these words during yoga practice a while ago, another “ism” shared by our instructor. As a child raised in a Christian household, I soon learned that in life there are absolutes: yes and no. Right and wrong. Good and evil. Sickness and health. And the list goes on. Throughout the years, these (and other) absolutes remain, yet many have become muddied over time; shades of gray splashed onto a canvas of black and white. Rather than accept or reject, we choose to tolerate. Instead of casting blame or offering forgiveness, we overlook. An exception to the rule might take the place of “always” or “never.” Yet when it comes to growth, compromise won’t garner the results we seek: Because what we give out, we get back in the same form. However, I believe we can’t go wrong with love. But we’ll never be right about hate.

Do you struggle with any absolute(s)?

Turn the page to begin anew

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Turn the page begin

The first blank page of 2016 arrives with good intentions: Simplicity. Balance. Happiness, health and wellness. Just when we thought it was safe, in creeps remnants of discouragement. Wait, didn’t we leave that behind at 11:59 p.m. on New Year’s Eve? As I folded and put away a couple days’ worth of clean laundry this morning, I reflected on how, when not managed immediately (or within a reasonable amount of time), the wash and myriad household tasks pile up much like the residual of unkind words, broken promises and unrealized expectations—all of which weigh us down with disappointment, regrets or hurt. I suggest, instead, we do what we can in an allotted period of time; i.e., spend XX minutes each day working on housekeeping tasks or making an effort to right a wrong, and then be done with it. Let it go, whatever it is. And with intention, choose to travel lighter, unburdened. Then turn the page to begin anew.

How did your New Year’s Day transpire?

Image courtesy of sixninepixels at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

Cut yourself a little slack

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Cut yourself slack

 

When you leave town in two days, your adult child needs her mommy; you work overtime to stock up the refrigerator, toss extra loads of laundry in the wash and get the house in order; your day job deadlines loom; health issues mean extra doctor appointments; you accept another yoga challenge and the cat vomits on your leather sofa—you might not be able to accomplish each of the steps you’ve outlined to achieve your goals. I reminded myself of this when the time I set aside to write the other night came and went (after more than a month of daily writing). If I expect to pursue my dreams guilt free, then I must also cut myself slack when I’m sidetracked by life. Instead of writing for a prescribed period, maybe I pare it to half or jot down thoughts whenever possible. Once (most) everything is under control, however, it’s important to dive right back in.

How do you know when it’s time to cut yourself slack?

Image courtesy of marcolm at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

If at first you don’t succeed …

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[Image credit: Salvatore Vuono]

If you’ve been following my posts over the past several weeks, you’ve read about my mission to get to the bottom of what’s been ailing me (health wise).  As much as I’ve tried to handle it on my own, once I started experiencing new and seemingly unrelated symptoms, I finally decided to consult a couple of professionals.  And while I’m undergoing diagnostic testing, I’ve also been continuing my research efforts.  For instance, I’ve learned which foods soothe, and those that result in the opposite.  After nearly two months of feeling like a shell of myself, a few days ago I wanted to shout, I’m back!  I thought I might have discovered the crux of one of my problems.  Unfortunately, I was wrong.  But that just means I return to the drawing board and try, try again.  I really don’t have much choice if I’m going to win at both health and happiness — with a capital H.  And that’s my plan.

Do you give up easily, or keep trying until you succeed?

Going green

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[Image credit: gameanna]

About a month ago, a local radio personality was talking about following a juice diet for 10 or 11 days.  Nothing but juice.  On one of the days, he said it was like everything bad that ever happened to him in high school.  I laughed about it then, but with my desire to take responsibility for my own health, this weekend I bought a juicer and all the “greens” to go with it.  Friday night I read the owner’s manual from cover to cover, then disassembled the unit and loaded the dishwasher-safe parts.  First thing Saturday, I proudly made my morning juice.  In went a half bunch each of kale, spinach and dandelion, a couple of sprigs of parsley, two Granny Smith apples, one peeled lemon, one-half cucumber and two celery stalks.  Out came 24 ounces of: green.  As I wrote this blog last night, I was gagging down my evening glass of greens and realized the DJ was right, only it’s like everything bad that ever happened to me in grades K-12.  There seriously has got to be a better way to get healthy from the inside out.  In the meantime, I wonder if I can trade in the juicer for a blender.

What is your favorite juice recipe that doesn’t cause bad feelings?

Everything I never knew I always wanted

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[Image credit: Michelle Meiklejohn]

I find myself reflecting on how easy it is to take things in our lives for granted — the connection between friends and family, romance, financial security, good health — but like the old saying goes: it’s true we don’t know what we’ve got until it’s gone.  Which is a good reminder to nurture and appreciate those people and possessions that make our lives richer, before it’s too late.  The rest of the quote goes on to state that oftentimes we are unaware of what we’ve been missing until it arrives (author unknown).  When this happens, it may cause us to take a serious look at our lives, and perhaps we can see where we’ve settled along the way.  Maybe it was simply easier to put up with a dying friendship or a stale relationship rather than be open to change.  Or perhaps fear beat us to the punch.  Today I’m missing: my out-of-town family and friends, opportunities I’ve been close enough to touch but let slip through my fingers, and those I still only dream of.  But I’m also opening my eyes and heart to what I possess now and my hope for a better tomorrow.

Is there something or someone you’re missing today?

A work in progress

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[Image credit: Bill Longshaw]

The other day I was talking to a friend at work and jokingly warned her that when she was my age (in another 11 years), she still probably wouldn’t have it all together.  Good! she said.  Her response led me to thinking that if a “magical” age did exist when we’d finally “arrived” — in terms of financial and spiritual abundance, optimum health and fitness and career satisfaction — what more would there be to strive toward?  Truth be told, I kind of like this raw, unfinished lump of clay I have to work with.  As painful as it is sometimes, my life’s experiences (whether good or bad) mold and refine me.  And perhaps one day all the cracks will be filled in and the rough edges smoothed out.  Until then, I plan to keep adding to and subtracting from this work in progress for as long as I’m able to and watch the masterpiece of my life unfold.

Are you at a place in your life where you’ve got it all together, or are you a work in progress?