Thursday, June 9, 2011

It's Time to Get Healthy AND Lose Weight!

It's time to fill your cupboards with healthy options. In general, you should only buy naturally occurring foods that are sold in their original state, in other words foods that aren't heavily processed, full of trans fats or chemicals; stick to fresh meats, cheeses, fruits, veggies, and the like. Don't forget eggs and peanut (and other nut) butter. You should aim to consume five to six small meals throughout the day, with each meal containing a lean protein source (chicken, turkey, seafood, or low-fat beef), a fruit, a vegetable, and a healthy unsaturated fat source (like almonds, avocados, coconuts, olive oil, or other assorted nuts). Abstain from all items that are processed, fried, contain refined (white) flour, or sugary. Likewise, seriously limit or completely abstain from alcohol consumption throughout the course of your diet.
From Sherrie: Don't forget that the body needs good fat. Use olive oil and any nut oils in place of vegetable oil.

Read more: How to Diet & Exercise with Obesity |

You Already Have Everything You Need

Simple Abundance: You Already Have Everything You Need
By Taryn Galewind
Learn to Abide by the Rule of Simplicity

A dear friend told me recently that that human beings are hard-wired to share, to distribute their wealth, and to support each other. Apparently, that’s our natural state. However, for generations, perhaps since the affluent 1950s, we’ve gotten so set in our collective conspicuous consumption lifestyles that we’ve forgotten our roots. If my friend is right, then we have everything we need right now, and we can relearn how to live in simple abundance.

If we are, indeed, hardwired to share and to nurture each other, where do we begin? Let me suggest a gratitude journal. Find yourself a gorgeously covered blank-page book, or decorate your own covers. Get a pen you really love—one that feels great and writes sensuously. If you’re an incurable techno geek, I suppose you can do this journal via computer. But tactile is so much more touchable.

For the next thirty days, take out your journal at bedtime. This is when you’re most relaxed, less likely to be interrupted, and more likely to gather your thoughts efficiently. Write for at least five minutes. Ten would be better. Set a timer. Write down every single thing you can think of that you feel grateful for. It can be as simple as appreciating the soft feel of your cat’s fur when you’re frazzled or as complicated as treasuring the complicated bundle of attributes that is your best friend.

Throughout your day, make mental notes when something happens that gives you peace or joy. Include them in your journal. Reread a few pages before you sleep. As you develop a habit of reflecting on your good fortune, you’ll begin to see an incredible truth. You have everything you need.

You have adequate shelter. Your home may or may not be lofty and lush, but it shelters you and protects you. Your table and larder may not contain oysters, caviar, and truffles each day, but you’re fed and hydrated. You have clothes to cover you. You have people around you to nurture, hug, and care.

Chances are you have TVs, a smart phone, a more expensive car than you were able to afford, and more stuff than you know what to do with. It’s probable that you throw away more food in a given week than some people enjoy at meals during a month. Your gratitude journal will show you where your abundance lies. Experiment with paring down some material possessions, and you’ll find you have more time and energy left for spiritual development.

That, in turn, leads to seeking out your neighbors and fellows, and that may inspire you to share the wealth you are lucky enough to have. That sharing will make you feel stronger, braver, and very lovable. Those feelings will give you something new to write in your journal, which begins the process again.

You may soon find yourself laughing aloud at how delightful the world is and how simple is the abundance that flows around you. Take time to smell the flowers—your higher power and Mother Earth have provided everything you need to grow in spirit and in humanity.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Love Yourself First

Love Yourself First
By Psychic Phillip

Imagine, if you are able, a life without fear. Everything is perfect, safe. There are no risks and no worries. What would you do with the rest of your life? Any ideas? People often say, “I would travel,” or “I would help others.” Mostly, people admit, “I don’t know.” Happiness and peace seem so far away that they never even consider what that might look like. Their identification with their story, their pain, is so strong, so all encompassing, that it never even crosses their minds. And yet thought always precedes action – so how can we truly embrace our happiness if we cannot see through our filters, our lenses of pain?
When we focus our attention on one object – whether it be a person, a place or a thing – we are externalizing our happiness, placing the responsibility outside ourselves. This creates a lifelong habit of living in reaction. Like a cork on the ocean of experience and emotion – tossed around endlessly, until we are so weary of fruitless endeavor and wasted time – we feel like giving up. In desperation, we become prey to anyone or anything that promises to alleviate our pain.
The truth is, nobody will ever take better care of you than you demand. No one will take better care of you than you take care of yourself. You set the standard by which others will take you seriously.
There is no one out there willing to sign on to play the parent to anyone’s wounded child for very long – and we all carry a wounded child within us. Much (if not most of ) our relationship conflicts revolve around inner child responses to adult situations. Ultimately, it is our responsibility to send that child away. We must each fill that empty place within our hearts – with our own selves.
The heart is considered to be the nexus of our energetic system – three Chakras below, three above. From this position, if one can stay there, everything becomes possible. But remember: the Chakra just below the heart is connected to the adrenals, and has a Martian connection. In Greek mythology Aries’ chariot was drawn by two horses named Deimos and Phobos, which translates to “fear and panic.” This is why the idea persists, “One is either loving or fearing” – and, yes. They are mutually exclusive. Love or fear – choose one.
Consider now whether you carry fear or love. If you answer “both,” what you are calling love is something else. It is for you to know, to discover precisely what it truly is. It is a small jump in perspective to get to your heart, but it cannot be accomplished from behind a wall of fear. The reason the heart Chakra is always connected with health is because all healing begins with love, which begins with a love of self. Love of self is the real heart of the matter. It all begins precisely there. Be there now. There is no other way. Time is precious, and that is a very real consideration. Wouldn’t you agree?
Have you taken the time to really love yourself first?

Thursday, June 2, 2011

The Real Cause of Inner Emptiness

The Real Cause of Inner Emptiness (And What to Do About It)
by Margaret Paul, Ph.D.
Best-selling Author, Relationship Expert

Do you often feel empty inside? Do you believe that others should be filling you up? Discover the real cause of inner emptiness and what to do about it.

If you feel empty, you are not alone in feeling this way.

Many people feel empty inside, and most people who feel empty have some deep, false beliefs regarding why they feel empty. Below are some of these false beliefs.

I feel empty because:

* My partner is not giving me enough love and attention.

* I don't have a partner.

* I'm bored because my partner doesn't provide me with enough stimulation.

* My work is unsatisfying.

* I'm not successful enough.

* I don't have enough money.

* I have no one to play with on weekends.

* Nothing excites me. Life is boring.

* I don't get enough love, attention and approval from friends and relatives.

* I don't get enough sex.

None of these situations is a real cause of inner emptiness.

What do you usually do to try to fill the inner emptiness? Do you try to fill up with:

* Substances, such as food, sugar, alcohol, drugs or cigarettes?

* Processes and activities, such as TV, Internet, sex, computer games, work, shopping, spending, gambling, telephone or email?

* Attempting to get others' attention or approval with niceness, caretaking, over-talking, story-telling, anger or blame?

There are many substances, processes, behaviors and activities that people use addictively to try to fill the emptiness. These may work for the moment, but not for long. Soon, the emptiness is back and you are looking for someone or something to temporarily fill up the black hole.

The problem with all these behaviors is that they only address the symptom of inner emptiness -- not the cause.

The Cause Of Inner Emptiness

There is only one thing that truly fills the emptiness. Love. There is only one cause of inner emptiness: a lack of love.

But it is not a lack of someone else's love that causes your emptiness. Inner emptiness is caused by self-abandonment -- by not loving yourself.

Inner emptiness comes from a lack of connection with your spiritual source of love -- from not opening to the love-that-is-God and bringing that love to yourself through true thought and loving action in your own behalf.

When you abandon yourself by judging yourself, ignoring your feelings by staying in your head, numbing your feelings through substance and process addictions and making others responsible for your feelings and for loving you, you will feel empty. You are causing your own emptiness by your self-abandonment.

Your ego-wounded self is filled with false beliefs regarding who you are. Your wounded self may see you as inadequate, unlovable, not good enough, not important, selfish, bad, wrong. Your wounded self operates from core shame -- that you are intrinsically flawed.

These are programmed beliefs that have no basis in truth, but they may be running your life. When you believe that you are not good enough, then you turn to others and to addictions to try to feel okay -- to fill the emptiness that you are causing with your self-judgment/self-abandonment.

Filling Your Inner Emptiness: Learning To Love Yourself

The truth of who you are comes only from your personal source of spiritual guidance -- whatever that is for you. When you open to learning with a source of higher guidance about the truth of who you are, and about what is loving action toward yourself and others, you open to the love-that-is-God coming into your heart and filling your inner emptiness.

This occurs when you shift your attention -- from protecting against pain and avoiding responsibility for your feelings through your addictive and controlling behaviors -- to learning, with your higher guidance, about what is loving to yourself and others.

Today, choose the intent to learn with your higher guidance about truth and about loving yourself -- even if you don't believe that anything is there to answer you -- and see what happens. You might start to feel full of love inside!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Which Way to Happy?

Which Way to Happy? Two Authors Weigh In
By Liz Brody
O, The Oprah Magazine
Dr. Ed Diener and Robert Biswas-Diener unlock the mystery of happiness

You can see it glimmering on the horizon: Happiness. And all you need to get there is to practice X, accomplish Y, and believe in Z.

Wrong, says Ed Diener, PhD, professor of psychology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and president of the International Positive Psychology Association. "Happiness is not a set of desirable life circumstances. It's a way of traveling." Diener's new book, Happiness: Unlocking the Mysteries of Psychological Wealth, written with his son, Robert Biswas-Diener, a life coach, offers guidance for those interested in taking a road trip.

As the Dieners synthesize the latest research—something Ed has steeped himself in as former editor of the Journal of Happiness Studies—they challenge the conventional party line on well-being: Money does matter, they conclude; religion, not necessarily. And marriage is hardly the joy girder it's been cracked up to be.

Because we're not always so good at forecasting what will make us happy (another finding), O asked the Dieners to help navigate a few big issues—about family, career, marriage, and weight—that affect life satisfaction. "We don't have a cookie-cutter approach," Ed explains. "So with each question, we suggest things you might think about."
 Q: I'm passionate about my job, but I'm shortchanging my family and friends by working too hard. Should I quit? Or will I regret that choice?

Robert: People often mistakenly believe they're in an either-or situation. The conflict itself creates distress and gives you very few solutions to choose from. The truth is, you don't need to do something as extreme as quitting your job: You can make small changes—blocking out part of a Saturday afternoon for friends or committing to getting home two hours before the kids' bedtime. Just taking those steps gives you psychological peace of mind, with which you can start planning bigger strategies. You might end up deciding to leave your job, or you and your boss could work out a schedule of 10-hour days but only four days a week. Most likely, there are other solutions that, in the moment, you're not seeing.

Q: I have a good job, but I want to work for a cause where I can make a difference. Then again, I worry about giving up my high salary, which supports my family.

Robert: Rather than asking, "Should I quit being an advertising executive and start working in a soup kitchen?"—which is pretty dramatic—I would encourage you to take another look at your current job and think of how you can make a difference there. Maybe it's by securing accounts that will help the world or creating change from the inside. I met a man who helps Coca-Cola keep plastic bottles out of landfills. And he said to me, "Working at this corporation, I can do more for the environment than all my friends put together."

Q: My husband and I get along well. But I was happier before I got married. Is that a reason to consider leaving my marriage?

Ed: One conversation to have with yourself is about expectations. Even in the best marriages, the other person shouldn't be expected to give you happiness; you can only find that within yourself. In addition, people often have unrealistic ideas about love. Unlike the honeymoon, a long-term marriage is more like being with a friend. It's not always exciting. The really romantic feelings come up only occasionally. Some people think the relationship should always be a 10, but even in a good marriage, most of us are an 8.

Robert: To get some context, seek out 10 people with the best marriages you know and talk to at least three who have been through bloody divorces. Then, before you go straight to Divorce him or don't divorce him?, revise your thinking. A common mistake is to say, "I used to be happy, then I got married, now I'm unhappy," and conclude, "Oh, this marriage is really lame." You may not realize that when you met your husband, you were right out of college, you had lots of friends and no responsibility. And now you happen to have kids and a job and a house payment. If you get divorced, you're not going to be playing Frisbee on the quad again. If you can figure out what you're missing in your life—let's say a girls' night out every week—there's a good chance you can institute it and be happier.

Q: I'm miserable being fat, but I hate exercising and eating is my biggest pleasure. How can I resolve this?

Ed: Your health is so important to your overall life satisfaction; even if you hate exercise, try to do some, whether you lose weight or not. I don't enjoy working out, but I found that if I listen to books on tape while exercising and stop each session before I finish the chapter, I'll want to exercise the next day. Health in general can increase feelings of well-being. And happier people are known to be healthier.

Welcome to Weight Loss Coach Sherrie's Blog!

I am currently trying a new way of eating (forget about that nasty "D" word!). I am following the "Schwarzbein Principle" and learning ways to focus on creativity and taking care of ME. I am currently in Body Blissmas, a program started by Jill Badonsky. As I learn to focus on healthy eating and being happy and creative, I would like to help you do the same.

Are you currently trying to lose weight?