life curation

Reblog: Rooting 101 – The Importance of Investing in Self

Hello everyone! If you all recall, I mentioned last year that I would start reposting blog entries from my now defunct blog. Here is a post I wrote about investing in self and becoming the “whole” package. I thought it would be relevant at this time, with so much emphasis on leveling up and lifestyle enhancement. Enjoy!

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I wanted to write about investing in yourself, because I’ve noticed that many women fail to do this. These are bright, beautiful women that may be a perfect package in one area of their lives, but the rest is in shambles. Here are a few famous examples:

-Halle Berry is a physically gorgeous woman that bears the emotional scars from paternal abandonment and abusive relationships.

-Paris Hilton has money and is attractive but has a history of poor social interactions with other women and a string of failed relationships.

-Rosie O’Donnell is funny and famous, but has publicly struggled with obesity for years. (Recently, she has been successful in her weight battles- kudos to her!)

-Countless singers (including three of my favorites, Billie Holiday, Whitney Houston and Amy Winehouse) had wonderful voices but suffered from drug and alcohol addictions that eventually cost them their lives.

-Countless actresses (including two of my favorites, Judy Garland and Marilyn Monroe) were immensely talented but suffered from drug and alcohol addictions, as well as mental health issues.

Each of the women I listed above have/had golden lives: money, fame, beauty, access to the best of everything. Even with all of those perks, they still had messy lives in one or more areas. This is not a bash session: I sympathize with anyone struggling with life-limiting circumstances. But I want it to be clear, NO amount of “stuff” can make up for deficient interior lives. NO amount of stuff can cover over the insufficient coping skills that result from neglecting to invest in self.

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I’ve seen that the only difference between the girl that gets everything she wants and the girl that seems to always come up short is the amount of personal investment. There are a lot of women that are completely average in many ways, but they still live their lives in a way that makes them happy. However, I’ve also seen women that are above average, even extraordinary, in different ways, yet they are always unfulfilled and disgruntled about their lots in life. Many “average” women are proof positive that self investment, along with a positive outlook, WORKS.

I can’t take credit for all of the tips I’ve listed below. I have one friend that has employed most of these tips in order to create her dream life. She is well on her way to accomplishing all of her goals because of the time she has invested in herself. Most of these tips are things that she has recommended to others, especially since some people want to know her “secret”! Then, those same people seem discouraged when she tells them the truth and they realize that it isn’t a “secret” but hard work and self investment LOL! They seem disappointed that they can’t take a “shortcut” to happiness and fulfillment. Oh well: anything worth having is worth working for, right?

Get Therapy

This is a biggie. Too many women refuse to properly address what’s going on with them. There is a stigma associated with getting therapy: some people still believe that only “crazy” people need therapy. I’m convinced that the people promulgating this stigma need therapy more than most LOL! Therapy is a way to get an objective view of your circumstances, habits, and belief system. This is critical, especially when making life changing decisions.

Getting therapy is now easier and more discreet than ever. There are therapists online that accept clients from anywhere. Some people may benefit from having a face-to-face therapist, and that is fine. It’s just a matter of knowing what works and doing whatever is comfortable. If a person just needs to “talk”, there are websites that offer FREE active listeners. Options are available regardless of monetary and time constraints.

Speaking of comfort, therapists are just like any other medical professionals: people should only work with those professionals that make them feel comfortable. While the subject of conversation may be uncomfortable, the therapist should never be callous or cold.

Spend Time on Uplifting/Inspiring Things

How many times do people spend time on activities that make them feel bad? From church sermons that don’t nourish the soul, to family gatherings that leave one’s blood pressure high and spirits low, many people regularly engage in an assortment of discouraging activities. Most of this depressing activities are actually habits that have gone unquestioned and unchecked. It’s time to embrace uplifting and inspiring things only!

Part of spending time on uplifting things includes being far more discriminating about exposure. Limit (or stop spending) time with dysfunctional family members. Stop supporting churches that don’t leave you feeling closer to God. End your newspaper subscription (I’m serious: if the news is too depressing, limited contact is advised. If you *really* need to know something, someone will tell you; if the person that shares dismal news does so too often, cut that person off, too). Read the books that you want to read. Listen to music that excites your ears and heart. Learn what you enjoy and spend time doing those things.

Designate no less than 30 minutes a day to engage in self care

Self care goes beyond manicures, pedicures, and massages (though these are great self care options!) The concept of self care involves engaging in anything that takes care of some aspect of self. It could involve pouring a glass of expensive wine and dancing without abandon. Or, self care could be the “spa day” from heaven. It could be as simple as taking a nap or as complex as attending a retreat halfway around the world. No matter how self care is defined, at least 30 minutes per day should be dedicated to it. That’s just enough time to do something notable and enjoyable.

Those 30 minutes do not include the basic maintenance one engages in regularly (shower, tooth brushing, getting dressed). However, an extra long bath, that relaxes the nerves and soothes the soul, a thorough dental cleaning that makes one’s smile extra bright and clean, or spending some time playing “dress up” and feeding one’s inner child can be considered a form of self care.

Embrace a clean diet

It is possible to invest in self while eating junk food around the clock. But, those investments will be limited, because in order to enjoy them fully, good health (the result of healthy foods and exercise) is needed. This also connects to the concept of  “self care”: the best way to take care of self is to give the body what it needs to function at its maximum potential. “Clean diets” are a fad at the moment, but good, healthy eating habits never go out of style. As far as I can see, any eating regimen that consistently features nutritious food options and consistently eliminates junk or unhealthy foods with low nutritional value is a “clean diet”.

I’ve read and personally know of some people (including myself) that felt a massive energy surge after eliminating certain foods. Generally, food now is different from how it used to be (unless 100% organic or home-raised food items are consumed). So foods that used to be okay or “safe” may no longer be good for the body. Research, experiment, and stay consistent when things work: these are the keys to designing a clean diet that stands the test of time.

Start journaling

An important starting point for self-investment is self analysis. Understanding where a deficit may lie is the first step in fixing it. One of my dearest friends began her transformative journey by writing regularly in a journal, then looking back over her entries and learning what needed to be changed. Keeping a journal-even for a short period of time- can expose lots of inconsistent and damaging behavior and thought patterns.

Try keeping a journal for 30 days. Write in it every single day, and vow to cover at least a full page or two. Writing out frustrations can be extremely cathartic, and preserving happy moments in words can create a wonderful record to read and recreate those feelings. If it works well, then the journal can become a regular habit. Or, journal during unhappy times or exciting times. This can help with giving one a healthy channel to release unpleasant emotions or serve as a medium for capturing happy emotions to be remembered in the future.

Do a social media fast

When I hear of people that are news- and information-weary, I immediately think of how much social media these individuals use. Information overload is exhausting, and social media is rife with both unsettling and useless “news”. Not only does social media wear on the soul, but it is an immense time suck. Consider the concept mentioned in the book “Outliers” by Malcolm Gladwell (I’m sure I first learned of this book from a BWE blog, just can’t remember which one). It mentions the 10,000 hours to mastery rule. How many of those potential mastery hours are squandered on social media? Unless the goal is to master social media, those hours are wasted and cannot be recaptured. The best solution is to take a break from social media.

The harder it is to disconnect from social media, the more likely that the temporary break is needed. Social media addiction is real! Even fasting in small doses that increase over time (a few hours, then a day, then a few days, then weeks) will work. The best way to make a social media fast more tolerable is to plan something else during the time that the fast will occur. Perhaps some therapy, self care, preparing a clean meal, or journaling should be done during the social media fast. Or, plan to work on that 10,000 hour goal during the social media fast.

In conclusion, I believe that the self-investment is truly the key to a balanced, happy, fulfilled life. Understanding one’s value, and preserving it, is critical to living well. Employing some of the tips above (or any other tips you may have found effective ) should result in a higher quality of life.

life curation

Vibe Lifters – A Key Part of Self Care

Hello friends. I hope this post finds you in peace and living well.

Last week, less than 150 miles from my home, the US Capitol Building, was raided by rioters that disagreed with election results and the overall management of the United States. This terrifying act has put many Americans on high alert, but it has also served as a source of great stress. In the midst of a global pandemic and considerable financial unpredictability, this act of terrorism exacerbates an already tense situation.

While I was disheartened by what happened at the Capitol, I knew that I didn’t have to allow it to cause me stress. I reached for a few of my reliable vibe lifting activities, and I instantly felt my body shift from tense to relaxed. I’m thankful that I had these activities in my self-care kit, so I could utilize them as soon as I found myself feeling anxious over the events happening not too far from my home.

What are vibe lifting activities? These are things that you can do whenever you’re feeling stressed or depressed. These aren’t a substitution for therapy or prescription medication, but these can offer a bit of relief when you need it most.

The key to a good list of vibe lifters is to make sure that the activities you include are things that can be done for free or inexpensively. The last thing you want is to rely on costly activities to lift your vibration: emotion should never been attached exclusively to financial ability. The best vibe lifters can be deployed instantly and connect you to your core values or favorite things.

Here is a portion of my list of vibe lifters, just to give you an idea of what this list can look like:

  • Drinking hot tea (tea is a favorite thing, and this can be done inexpensively and quickly)
  • Taking deep cleansing breaths (connects to one of my values: relaxation)
  • Yoga (another favorite thing, that can be done for free by follow YouTube yogi videos; also relates to one of my values [relaxation])
  • Read a mystery novel (can be done for free, so long as I have the book nearby, and is a favorite thing of mine)
  • Burn incense or light a candle (can be done inexpensively, and has aromatherapeutic benefits)
  • Take a nap (FREE! And connects to one of my values [relaxation])
  • Throw away something broken/unnecessary (free and speaks to one of my values [streamlining my lifestyle])

As you can see, there are a multitude of things that can be done to lift your vibration. Think of what makes you feel better and list those things. Having a list can really help when you need to quickly refer to an activity to lift your vibe.

What we saw last week isn’t the first or last example of stressful political incidences. However, having a handy list of activities to calm you down and improve your mood can help you to handle these stressors with grace and ease. Make your list, and let me know what things you can rely on to improve your vibration!

health

Fibro Fridays: Why It’s Difficult to Treat Fibromyalgia

Happy Friday, friends! Today’s post is one that I’ve been eager to write, because I feel that explaining this (from the perspective of someone living with fibromyalgia) may give a little clarity to others that are struggling with their diagnosis, or may help people that are unfamiliar with the condition to better understand why there is no easy “fix” for fibro.

Whenever you try to learn about fibromyalgia online or directly from a medical professional, there is generally a lack of consensus on the causes of the condition. The condition is treated as a bit of a “catch-all” category for a set of uncomfortable (to the point of painful) symptoms. This “catch-all” designation is one reason why there are still some medical professionals that continue to deny the existence of fibro (I already wrote a post touching on this topic).

In any case, the overall lack of understanding behind the WHY of fibro leaves a lot of questions regarding the HOW of treatment. Different root causes call for different treatment protocol. However, fibromyalgia can be linked to muscular, nervous and even digestive malfunctions, so most treatment is, at best, akin to a game of darts. Medical professionals will try to hit the “bullseye”, and many treatments can offer a level of relief, but it seems that no one has hit the “bullseye” of fibromyalgia – YET.

Prescription medication is one treatment option for fibromyalgia

There are many researchers that are getting closer to an agreed-upon definition of fibromyalgia, including its root causes. However, until consensus is achieved, we have an assortment of treatments that can be explored and that may have varying levels of effectiveness. Many of the most popular treatments include physical therapy, aquatic therapy, acupuncture, prescribed medication, nutritional supplements, lifestyle overhaul and lots of intentional self care (which is, by far, usually the most effective treatment [maybe I’ll write more about this in the future]), chiropractic care, etc.,. The trick to managing the symptoms is finding the perfect cocktail of treatments, along with having an excellent support system and medical team in your corner.

Well friends, that’s it for this Fibro Friday! I hope you all have a great weekend, and I’ll talk to you on Monday. Take care!

health · life curation

What If I Just Want to Rest Right Now?

With all of this unexpected time to stay home and devote to the projects that have been nagging us, it only makes sense that some of us feel it is necessary to do all of our “to-dos” while we can.

But . . . What if all we really want to do is rest and relax?

What if we are too tired to actually do all of the things that we said we’d do when we had “free time”?

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We shouldn’t feel guilty about deciding to simply BE at this time. This time isn’t truly “free” time: this is a period of unexpected, forced containment that has us all feeling uncertain right now.

So if you’re feeling tired, or just want to relax right now . . . DO IT. You’ll be better for it.

health · life curation · relaxation

NOW is the Time to Make Self Care a Priority

In light of current events, I have more free time and energy to devote to this blog. And now, more than ever, I’ve been called to resume my posting and offer encouragement and advice.

Our world has changed drastically in the past five months. I recall tutoring ESL students from China and they mentioned the effects of COVID-19 in its infancy. In a way, I was aware of the virus earlier than many of my family and friends, due to my students that provided me an inside view of what life in quarantine is like.

In the US, many of us are experiencing quarantines and mandatory shelter-in-place while we brace ourselves for the impact of the virus. This is a drastic change from life as we knew it, and the store shortages, sudden school closures, economic instability and unexpected loss of employment are devastating for many.

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I cannot emphasize enough that NOW is the time to invest more in your self care. If you are able to read this post, you’re likely more fortunate and privileged than you realized. Investing in taking care of yourself in small (or significant) ways can do wonders for reducing your stress levels (stress negatively impacts the immune system, which you need to be at peak performance during this time). It also helps you to relax so that you can come up with solutions to your problems or, at least, to simply appreciate the good things that are already present in your life.

I don’t write this to sound dismissive and flippant: certainly plugging “self care” when people are suffering around the world may not come across as the most politically correct position to take at this time. However, I’m an advocate for self care in its minutest forms: that can mean doing some deep breathing to help calm your nerves, or stretches in the morning to loosen the tension that your body is holding, or even reminding yourself to drink more water (hydration is important).

Please continue to take care of yourselves, and I look forward to sharing more with you all tomorrow. Goodbye for now!

life curation

Managing Recurring Lows

As a student of Law of Attraction (LOA), I know that what we focus on expands. So I was dismayed when I noticed that I was feeling blue for longer than a day or so. I recognized a pattern of sad feelings during this time of the year. I experienced some major losses during the fall season several years ago, and I’ve continued to experience some anxiety, sadness and grief during this season.

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It did not help that  I was having interaction with someone that didn’t generate the best feelings in me. That person is currently in “neutral”: not a factor in any sadness but not a factor in any joy, either.

I know that this time of year leaves me vulnerable to low emotions, so I’m starting to up my self care: indulging in a good cry if I need it, employing tools from my self care kit, resting as I see fit, etc.,. I have even added a therapist to my arsenal, so that I can continue making progress in managing these emotional lows.

I’m sharing this with you all in the hopes that you will continue to take good care of yourselves and not ignore the signs if you are feeling less than stellar. Your body and mind must be cared for: don’t neglect this. You’re special and precious so remember to take care of YOU.

Talk to you all tomorrow.

life curation

In Case of Emergency . . .

If you have never felt despair, frustration or sadness, then you may not need this post. In fact, if you’ve never felt these feelings, please leave a comment below: I’d love to know how you make that happen!

However, if you have experienced those emotions – or some other unhappy feelings – you may be able to relate to what I’m going to write.

Sometimes, you need QUICK relief. A temporary shot of relief can give you the boost that you need to keep going. It won’t take away every pain, but at least it’s a sort-of bandage: it’ll mend you for the time being.

In the midst of one of these dark times, I created an emergency self care kit.  The idea behind the kit was to put things in it that can give me relief when I need it most.

I made sure to select a beautiful box that would bring a smile to my face as soon as I saw it. I also wanted to make sure it would be large enough to accommodate all of the items that I intended to put inside.

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My kit contains tissues, a journal and pen, chamomile tea, hot chocolate, a mug for my tea, a copy of “Rejuvenate: It’s Never Too Late” by Eartha Kitt, some crystals, and photos of loved ones. There’s a lot of empty space in my box: I have plenty of room to add additional comforting items.

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Funny enough, I find that just looking at the box can create feelings of calm and relaxation. Crazy how that works.

Would you ever consider making a self-care kit? Let me know in the comments below!