Friday, May 27, 2011

Anger and Resentment...Live and Let Go!

We all, at one time or another, have experienced the harsh feelings of anger and resentment brought into our lives by another.Whether it be a horrible ex-boss, an ex-spouse, a hurtful friend or family member. Even an incidental encounter with a stranger can have a greater negative impact than expected, lingering on far longer than you thought it would or should.

Yes, it's perfectly reasonable to be appropriately angry and resentful when you are hurt, whatever the situation you have found your self in, but you must know that holding on too long to these negative emotions loses its intended effectiveness of dealing and moving forward by holding you back with a very heavy load to carry.

In essence, what I am trying to convey to you is that you cannot live a life full of gratitude and acceptance if you harbor old resentments along the way. These issues, if not dealt with properly and put aside, will haunt you forever.You must rid yourself of this heavy load. No one gains from your anger, it only makes you miserable and holds you back. It only overshadows your future experiences in a negative light. The only one you are in constant battle with is yourself, and deep down inside you know this to be true. You cannot continue to blame others for your misery. At some point you have to take full responsibility for your own feelings and stop blaming others.

Brighten your future by deciding to not allow room in your being for this negativism to stay around, and in turn, rule your thoughts and processes. However you decide to go about this is your journey. It could come in the form of confrontation (in a peaceful and adult manner) with this individual by letting them know how they have affected you, and then either try and reconcile or move on without them in your life. Be careful if you go into this conversation with great expectations of validation, because this may not happen. Therefore, you will have to prepare yourself for whatever the end result is as far as your relationship goes.

In some cases, a conversation is just not possible. The other party may be long gone already, either by death or distance, or you just don't want anything to do with them any longer. When this occurs, you must search inside yourself and have your own personal conversation. Either way, it is imperative that you seek the lesson to be learned from each of these experiences and try to never to allow yourself to revisit them in a physical sense, only to remember them in order to keep on track.

Choose to be happy, not angry. Choose to walk forward, not back. Choose acceptance over sorrow. Choose to live and let go!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

A Good Night's Sleep.....

Today, I eagerly put fresh sheets on our bed; bright, white, soft, fluffy, and luxurious. I liberally spritzed a heavenly scent (Inner Grace by Philosophy) in between each layer and all over every pillow. Finally, I placed Mr. Black Bear on top to guard my precious domain.

This whole bed making ritual inspired me to write about the importance of sleep and how I treasure it. Anyone who knows me personally, knows how passionate I am about getting a good night's rest. I feel that it an essential part of your daily life , more so even than food. You can live longer without eating than you can without sleep. Your body must sleep. It must be able to regenerate itself. It must be given the time in order to balance out your metabolism and to heal. Your brain needs sleep in order to processes your daily thoughts, good and bad. Your brain also needs this sleep for you to be able to think clearly and focus. Doing so will give you more energy and stamina. Also, the better rested you are, the less you crave carbohydrates!

Knowing and experiencing these benefits, I try to make sure I get at least 7 hours of good sleep every night, no matter what. This has become a bit more difficult for me since I have hit that time in my life where I experience some insomnia and those dreaded "personal summers" in the middle of the night. I find that if I do not get my required sleep, I'm "off" for the rest of the day. My food choices are not the most healthy and that I am cranky and tired. I'm not at my best and then feel cheated out of a good day. This may sound a bit strange but after you have committed to getting a restful sleep for years, your body not only requires it but it desires it. Your bed should be a peaceful refuge.

Mr. Bear was a gift given to me a very long time ago by my dearest friend in the world. Like her, he has been there for me through decades, thick and thin. He is a constant reminder to me of the deep love and affection mutually shared between me a my soul sister girlfriend.) 

So why not do yourself and those around a favor by committing to a good night's sleep Every Night! ( I know this is an unattainable goal when you have babies but be hopeful, cause your time will soon come) Mine and Mr. Black Bear's wish for you is a healthy and happy rest each and every night. You deserve it!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

How is it that my 3 year old daughter is driving and now graduating high school?

I could have sworn it was literally just yesterday that my daughter was 3 years old. I remember that time so vividly. She was 3 and my son about 6 months. We had just moved to Texas about 4 months prior, away from my immediate family in Arizona. My husband worked about 60 hours a week and when he was home, it seemed as though he was relentlessly on call. And so, there I was with 2 little ones, in a new state, no family around, and what seemed like an absent husband. You could say that I was feeling a bit overwhelmed.

On one of my parent's frequent visits, I was explaining my woes and frustrations to my dad and this is what he told me: "Enjoy this time while they are little because before you know it, you'll wake up and they'll be grown, and out of your house." I listened to his words of wisdom and half heartily thought to myself, "That's nice, and how soon will this happen?" In great retrospect I had no idea of how right he was.

Flash forward, to today. I wake up and find that my 3 year old baby girl is now driving and about to graduate high school is a few days. How did this happen? Just yesterday, I was wiping her red lipstick smeared face! I could probably go on forever with all she was doing yesterday and what she is now doing today, but I won't.There is just too much that has happened over night. It is now time to open my eyes and wake up to the light of this day and accept that fact that she is growing up and I must let her.

I find myself feeling very sad about these changes yet, at the same time, so proud and excited for her. And so, I've come to the conclusion that in order to deal with these conflicting emotions I must first recognize two important things. First, this experience holds two truths: one being a death of sorts, and the other being a rebirth. Second, I must learn to mourn the past in my own head while rejoicing in my daughter's future.

You see, death, in a figurative sense, is not always a bad thing. As you find yourself having to close a door on one chapter in your life, you are, in essence, killing it away and therefore must allow yourself to go through the proper mourning process. Once dealt with, you can then  find the new door, open it, and walk through with a bright smile toward the future.

This is what I am currently telling and coaching myself through as I find myself deep in the mourning process while writing this post. I expect to cry tears of sorrow as well as joy when I see her parade along the graduation procession. I also expect to be a bit of a mess a couple of days before and after, knowing all the while that it will work out as it should, as it is supposed to be. My heart will be full of joy and hope as her life experiences a rebirth into her future.

As I sit through her graduation ceremony I will be donning waterproof mascara and eyeliner with a big box of very soft tissue by my side while trying to take photos in between moments of lucidity; and I will survive!

Quiet Time is essential.....

Whenever or wherever, you must have some peaceful time alone. It is an essential part of your mental well being. However or how often you go about taking this time for yourself,  is your choice. If this whole concept is new for you and you do not live alone, you may find it a difficult proposition for your loved ones to handle. If this is so,  then you must demand it, without the feeling of guilt that they will ultimately try to lay on you.Your time should be respected in the same way that you are, by those around you.This personal solitude, no matter how short it may be, will be to your great benefit. So go ahead. Take some time to yourself to do what relaxes you in body, mind, and/or spirit. I guarantee a rejuvenation in one way or another. You deserve it! And don't forget to put up the "Do Not Disturb" sign, if need be.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Self Respect; For You and Your Children

Pictured above is me at age 5, chubby and happy. Most of my childhood and adolescence was riddled with weight issues and having to be the "new chubby kid" in school, too many times to mention ,which leads to teasing and lots of belly aches (my parents liked to buy and sell houses). Through it all, my stability came from being from a very large and loving Italian family and a father who told me that I was "the most beautiful girl in the world" on a daily basis. My mother lead by example, showing me that being a strong and independent woman was something to be proud of and to strive for. I could have gone either way when it came to my self image.

 After all was said and done, I chose to believe my dad: that I was special and that I could be whoever I wanted because I was worthy. Being innately outgoing, becoming a strong and proud woman was probably inevitable, but through my mom, I knew I wanted to be like her. This was one of the greatest gifts my family could have given to me. After making some bad choices during my teenage years and in my early 20's, it was the basic instilled belief in myself that contributed to me becoming the self confident woman that I am.

The reason for my sharing this with you is to explain the basis of my belief of how important and vital it is to have a healthy sense of self respect and worth. When you respect yourself you do not allow others to mistreat you and you base all of your decisions with great confidence and in some cases, when appropriate, with tenacity.

When having children, I knew that the gift of a positive self image, would be one of the greatest assets that they would eventually leave home with, helping to guide them throughout their lives. I feel that it a most vital tool to posses in the pursuit of a healthy, happy, and fulfilling life. As a parent I would lead by example; for there are no "victims" in my household because when you play victim so do your children and this is never a good idea.

Basically speaking, I feel that the very first steps in building a positive self image for your children is to start out with them when they are very young. Teaching them the concept of respect for others through discipline, limits, and routine. All of these being taught with great love and empathy. Doing so will make them feel safe and secure. They will know what to expect and when to expect it. This will, in turn, give them the tools needed to want to please themselves after they have worked so hard to please you. Moving forward, they will be used to the idea that what makes them feel good also makes others feel the same way. The rest, with more guidance, will build upon itself  to produce an adult with self love, respect, and the confidence to be an example to others.

Even if you are not the most confident and secure individual, by teaching these lessons to your children, you will in turn be reinforcing these beliefs in yourself and grow along with them. It's a beautiful thing.

Today's Gift 5/22/11: The Hammock

Oh heavenly hammock on a warm and sunny day. Oh hammock, I am forever grateful for your peaceful comfort.