Good day friends! Thanks for stopping by my blog. I wanted to take the opportunity, in my very first blog post, to introduce myself and give a little back story. I am a 26 year old occupational therapist living in a small town of Northern Michigan. I have worn many many hats in my short time here on earth 🌎. Among the many include: child of God, wife, daughter, granddaughter, sister of 6 siblings, dog mom, Kancer survivor, aryuvedic health follower, exercise enthusiast, a crafter, recovered eating disorder, a friend, a sorority sister, etc. My identity and life roles are ever evolving and changing (much like yours 😉). We are all multidimensional beings. We remain in motion and change is inevitable. However, we are in control of how we respond to the change. My intent of this blog is to create a space to find our “reset button.” A place to allow the freedom to make 🕊peace with our own minds so that we can live a humble, simple, and purposeful life. Thank you for your company! I hope you can find some value in the words and thoughts that cultivate in my heart. ✨
Ever notice the internal makeover everyone gets around the holidays? Our culture seems to obtain a half glass full outlook on life. We grow to be much more than our exterior, as our spirit is overflowing and outpouring. Our bodies simply become meat suits that we inhabit while here on earth (an outfit gifted from God, so to speak). I like to credit this change greatly to the big Guy upstairs (OBVIOUSLY) but also to the closeness we find in the reason for the season. We begin to view life from a more appreciative lens. The gratitude goggles are tightened and secured, allowing our lives to dive head first into the dunk tank of love. Once consumed by love we naturally expel love in all we do.
Everything we encounter in our world is digested, processed, and then used for the development of our inner spirit and outer being, good or bad. For example: The food we put in our body either nourishes or hurts us. The relationships and conversations we surround ourselves with can support us or tear us down. The words we speak bring positive or negative tone. The wisdom we acquire will prepare us for a better future or lead us down rocky paths. Ultimately we are in control of what we put in, on, or around our bodies.
Know what you are exposing your body to and choose the sustenance that best serves you. Choose to surround yourself with love. Choose to pour out love. Choose to cultivate your form and soul with good whole food amongst good whole people. Choose to challenge your intellect with continued education (knowledge is power ). Choose to fuel your thought, body, and vitality with value that can be digested and processed as building blocks for a better you. And lastly, in highest relevance to this time of year, chose to honor your spirit this season.
Soon will be the “get fit” frenzy season. If you’re anything like me, your mind grudging drifts there when mentally tallying the caloric scrumptiousness of Christmas goodies. Are you with me? If so, acknowledge those thoughts then let them melt away smooth as frosting on grandmas sugar cookies. Americans are strategically targeted following a season of indulgence. Advertisers thrive off our guilt. Focus quickly shifts from our inner happiness and holiday vigor to our exterior make up. Let’s not partake in this dramatic changeover this year. Hold tight to that inner spirit muscle you’ve been maxing out and pumping up all December long. Have your cake and eat it too!
Indulge in the season but in a nurturing way. 90% of our serotonin levels are produced in the gut, so it’s no coincidence that healthy foods result in healthy minds. Serotonin is that “feel good” hormone that regulates memory, digestion, social behaviors, appetite, and sleep. Without the right nutrition your body cannot find homeostasis in those areas just mentioned. Honor your healthy constitution while honoring your heart and mind. Don’t make yourself miserable by withholding yourself from fun and traditional yummies. A cookie isn’t going to deplete all serotonin supply. Actually, if enjoyed in a joyous atmosphere with a friend or loved one, it will add to your “feel good” brain juices. Just know and listen to your body this season.
Everything in moderation. Allow yourself the things that will best serve you. Your needs may change from day-to-day. Balance your cookies with activity and veggies. Take breaks from your Christmas “to-do” to appreciate the Christmas now. As you buy for those you have, donate to those who don’t. Get creative with holiday traditions to stay healthy and happy: Pinterest a Christmas movie workout, go for a Christmas light walking tour versus drive, make a snowman at your holiday party instead of lurking around the dessert table.
Enjoy ALL this season has to offer when you CHOOSE to submerge yourself in the things that serve your best self!
When this season comes to a close and we approach a new year, may the focus continue to be on inner spirit and happiness. May we choose to carry the happiness year round and not feel pressure to feel victim of post- holiday guilt. Approach the season with gratitude for our bodies, gratitude for our minds, and gratitude for our character root. Pour out and surround yourself with love year round, the way God designed our spirit within.
A few months ago, my brief 1-minute walk from parking lot to my work desk was extended to a 10-minute walk from parking lot to desk secondary to growth and construction of the hospital I work for. Instinctively my thoughts were focused on the 10 minutes of sleep I would lose as a result of this addition to my morning routine or the ever so unpredictable Northern Michigan weather that I would have to dress for🧤. I chuckled to myself because this minor change developed as a form of stress.
We all have stress. We have always experienced stress in all stages of life. As a child we have happy stress in anticipation of Santas arrival, the stress morphs into Varsity district final sporting events, to graduate thesis papers, to launching careers, to starting a family… I think you all get the pattern. Stress is inevitable and unavoidable. When I was going through chemotherapy I remember thinking that nothing could ever make me feel stress after being assigned something as huge as a death sentence. I assumed that an experience as big as life would minimize all other stressors that would come my way. As much as I would like to say that I have kept that mentally, I have to admit that assumption was false.
I still feel stress. I feel stress over feeling stress because I shouldn’t feel stress after getting a second chance at life (🤯 did you follow that??? LOL… welcome to brain). I used to feel guilty for getting overwhelmed. I use to reason that I didn’t deserve the life I have because I didn’t applaud and adore it 100 percent of the time. I used to feel that I was insulting God, by feeling sad for sometimes no concrete reason at all. I was certain that something was wrong with me or that I was broken. The more guilt I felt, the harder it was to stay happy because the emotions remained heavy on my heart.
You too may be able to relate to these thoughts. If so, let me tell you: we are not broken! We are human! We are allowed to feel a smorgasbord of emotions. God gave us that freedom. Our country gives us that freedom. Can you imagine how bland life would be without our crazy highs, lows, and in-betweens? It would be like eating the same plain bowl of oatmeal 3 times a day 365 days a year. 🥴No thank you! We have to taste sour to know sweet, we have to feel cold to recognize warm, we have to experience dry to distinguish wet. Deeply embrace, frolic, and acknowledge every emotion that enters your day. Cling to the emotions that best serve you and let the ones that don’t drift away.
I allowed myself to feel bummed over the new parking assignment but then chose to let the unfavorable reactions float off to negative-ville. I held on to the feelings that would best serve my purpose here on earth. God has transformed these 10-minute walks into “Gratitude Walks.” I start and end each day listing the things in life I am grateful for. Some days the list is easier to come by and other days my gratitude is as simple as my ability to see the sidewalk that leads me to my car.
We live in a very privileged country and we often take for granted what all we are blessed with. I challenge you to join me on my “Gratitude Walks.” No matter how long or short your walks into work/school/the grocery store may be each day, spend that time listing the things you are fortunate to have in your life. Is your co-worker, child, or significant other walking with you? Great! You have someone to share your gratitude list with as you walk, even better! This small conscious act will result in much big outcomes. These walks grant you the time to reframe and regroup for your daily to-do.
“Gratitude Walks:” the one size fits all, free, harmless tool that can help us embody our emotions so that they may be used for the greater good. Also known as a mini sneak attack hug and kiss from God. Happy walking my friends!
Just the other day I came home to my husband who met me at the door with a “I have good news and bad news” scenario. I, always wanting to end on the good note, naturally asked for the bad news first. My hubs then admitted to me that he had washed and dried my cashmere sweater…. but the good news was that the laundry was complete 🤯🤯🤯…..
I instantly felt a rage of emotions sweep over. I CRIED! I literally cried over a piece of fabric that literally has nothing to do with my purpose here on earth. I wanted to scream at my husband. I wanted to call him names. It was his fault, right? He deserved that! Wrong….
It’s okay to feel emotion. It’s actually more than okay.
It means you’re alive. It means your working as humanly designed. We are designed to react to unpleasant stimuli. It’s how we out smarted and survived amongst our natural predators. However, over time our natural predators have evolved from vicious animals in the great outdoors to things such as a busy work caseloads, tight finances, or juggling the kids chaotic schedules.
The beauty is, we have the power to respond not react. Yes I cried. I acknowledge my sadness over the loss of my beloved shirt but then I took 3 deep breaths, said a quick prayer, and allowed myself to look at the bigger picture. I took control of my emotions instead of letting my emotions control me. It’s not easy! Let me tell you 🤬! It would have been easy to scream and yell but I chose to take the path that would bring me strength and my relationship with my husband strength.
The fact that I’m writing a post about a lost sweater may seem silly, again it’s just an inanimate object that probably only had a few years life span anyway. The reason I bring it up is because if we can control how we respond to the little and mundane things on the daily, imagine how prepared we will be for when the bigger more significant tragedy happens.
If your science or health freak, like myself, you may have heard the quote “neurons that fire together, wire together.” In other words the more we practice a behavior the more it becomes engrained in our brain. So the more we chose to respond and not react, the easier that behavior will be in the next “not so desirable” event that falls in your path.
Yes I miss my sweater. No my husband did not get the “get out of laundry” pass for the rest of his life. Yes this was a life lesson learned: feel, acknowledge, and experience your emotions but do not let them fuel a reaction. Chose to respond and strengthen yourself and the relationships around you. 😉🧺
Tis the season for thanks and giving! How many thanks have you let roll from your lips, actions, or pen tip recently? Halloween ends and every year we quickly dash into full blown Christmas mode. Let’s not forget the divine season of gratitude. I’ve prepared a list of simple ways to indulge in this gracious time of year. Most only take a moment of your time but their impression could change a persons whole day!
-Write a letter to a family member or friend 📝
-Create a care package for loved ones overseas 🎁
-Call up gram and gramps just to chat👵🏼👴🏼
-Leave a note or treat for the mail carrier or garbage person💌🗑
-Donate to a local food pantry🥕
-Buy coffee for the person behind you in line ☕️
-Leave an inspiring note in a borrowed book at library📚
-Thank God for the things that bring you happiness and comfort 🕊
-Make a flower arrangement for a friend💐
-Open doors for someone with a smile🚪
-Babysit for parents 🧸
-Make soup for someone with the sniffles 🤧
-Clean up trash as you walk your dog🐾
-Make cards for patients at the cancer treatment center🎀
-Provide disposable dinnerware for new moms and dads🍽
-Make treats for dogs at your local shelter 🦴
-Leave a positive note on a bathroom mirror📌
-Help load groceries into someone’s card🛍
-Drop hand warmers at sheriffs or fire department👮🏽♀️👮🏾♂️
-Deliver protein bars to the Emergency Room for nurses and Docs 🦸🏽♀️
-Give yourself 3 compliments each morning🧖🏾♀️
-Donate winter gear to schools🧤🧣🧦
-Leave quarters at a parking meter 💰
“Only by serving are you able to receive more than you already have.”
Comment below how you serve. Please share any ideas that could inspire others to spread some love this season.
Health and happiness is an abundance of love. Love for yourself. Love for the food you put in your body. Love for the way you move your body. Love for the people you surround yourself with. Love for the words you speak. Love for the space for which you reside. Love for the simplest accomplishments you achieve. Love for the mistakes you make leading to the lessons you learn. Love for the breath we are gifted. Love for the thoughts we think and that others confide in us. Love for the emotional ups and downs we experience (otherwise we’d all be robots 🤖).
In all that you do, do with love. Love is soil for health and happiness. Where rich soil of love is plenty, health and happiness will undoubtedly grow. 🌱
Thanks for joining me!
Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton