Tuesday, April 10, 2012

The 7 Gifts from the Universe That Everybody Gets

The 7 Gifts from the Universe That Everybody Gets Leigh Newman shares the moments of glory we all get—no matter what, no matter who. By Leigh Newman Life is not always kind. We don't always get what we want. We don't even get what our parents want for us, which would at least make them happy. Sometimes everything goes south at once: The longed-for love doesn't show up or goes away; the dream job is given to an inexperienced, two-faced brownnoser; the dog dies; the sink clogs; the snap of your jeans pops open when you bend down to pick up the hefty stack of bills on the mat and you're left standing there, thinking, "The best part of my run was back when I was 25. From here on out, I just have to slog through." Which is exactly when you must remember a little secret that I am about to share with you. All of us—even the bleakest and unluckiest of us—get seven particular moments, those brief, unexpected times when the stars do more than align; they communally redirect their light expressly to illuminate the value of our wee, earthly existence. These moments sometimes go unnoticed and are almost always unexpected. They are not subject to the vicissitudes of your success or failure. They are not something you can blame yourself for not experiencing sooner or flog yourself into experiencing now. They are on their own time schedule. They have happened to you or will happen to you sooner or later. The key is not letting them slip by uncelebrated. 1. You (senselessly) win. You toss your business card into a bowl at a Chinese restaurant and win six free egg rolls every month for one entire year. Or you pick up the phone and hear a stranger asking you the names of all four Beatles, which you know and which you recite to him, prompting him to scream out to his radio audience that you are the proud new owner of a KitchenAid dishwasher. This feeling is not the same as winning at a craps table or a Lotto drawing. This is about a windfall without effort, a windfall that you're not even sure you want—say, a deluxe all-expenses-paid trip to Hackensack, New Jersey—but that fills you with great, swelling joy at getting something undreamed of for free, something only you get to get. 2. You're seen. It happens without fanfare. Someone somewhere looks across the room and sees past the face your family gave you. They also see past the face that you put on over that face, the one composed of TV gestures (a hint: you were not born doing any kind of hair flipping) and mysterious magazine-made smiles and the smooth, dull, blank look that overtakes our eyes when we decide we will not cry, not in front of other people. This someone sees you, down to your intelligence, your fear of being alone, your ability to whistle on pitch. It might be the teacher who asks if you would do her the honor of passing out the graham crackers today at recess. It might be the grocery-store manager who spots your bag breaking at the exit—your eggs and yogurt splashing all over the door, your whole horrible, failing marriage spattered all over your frozen expression—and runs up and down the aisles, filling a new bag with unbroken items, plus tosses in a bouquet of flowers just to cheer you up. It might even be the friend who thinks the way you snort-laugh is charming. There is somebody out there who gets it—it being you. 3. You get the opportunity to learn about something bigger than yourself. I know what this one sounds like: You get to go through something horrible and wrenching, and then we'll pretend there is some kind of silver lining. But that's not what I mean. I'm talking about the awakening of grace, the time in life when you first begin to accrue the kind of wisdom that will allow you to feel for a friend when she has lost a father or gotten separated, not because you have lost a father or gotten separated but because you have lost someone or something and the experience opened a door of genuine understanding. You are now able to hold hands with another person and connect with them at the very time they feel most alone. 4. You're spared. Prior to the age of seatbelts, you were a baby crawling around in the back of a station wagon and the door opened. You didn't fall out. Or later on, you were reaching for a distant leaf in the gutter, tumbled off the roof and landed without a scratch in the pachysandra. You didn't die. In other words, you did get the chance to live. 5. Somebody comes back. One of the worst things in life is that people leave—and worse, they leave you with the feeling that (1) you didn't do the thing required to make them stay, or (2) you did the thing that made them go, or (3) if time stopped, you would leave instead and make them feel all the terrible, painful crap you're currently feeling. But at some point, one of those leave-ers comes back. Maybe they want to start over. Maybe they want to say they're sorry. Maybe they want to say hi. Or...maybe they just want to move down the block and yell at their bleached, Botoxed wife at dinner parties—allowing you to kiss the ground with gladness that they did not ask you to marry them your senior year of college. 6. You are right. So many times in life we are right and wish we weren't (You're going to lose your job! Your mother is coming between us!). And then there are the glorious, life-affirming moments, such as when I told my father the glue stick was not a ChapStick...and he chose to disagree with me. 7. You're loved. Love seems to be a given. It seems so obvious. All these people are in your life with the responsibility to love you: parents, brothers, spouses, nieces, babies, friends. A few will fail you, but most won't. And yet each time they express that love, it's unique. It's so insanely specific, what the other will adore about you and what you will adore about him (or her). Who is it who loved or loves or will love you? The guy (or girl) who left an anonymous note on your car in 12th grade? The kitten in a shoebox you stumbled on at the garbage dump? The funny, laid-back, occasionally loud man—perfect for you; you're occasionally hard of hearing—you haven't met yet but will? It may be that you haven't had all seven of these moments yet. But the odds are that you have, and—here is the sweet part of the deal—it's very possible, if not extremely likely, that you will get the chance to have each of these moments over and over and over, 70 or 700 or 7 million times, but each time differently. Each time it will be new and astonishing once again. Read more: http://www.oprah.com/spirit/Best-Moments-in-Life-7-Golden-Moments-in-Life-Leigh-Newman/2#ixzz1rfn1MvTk

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Are You A Pessimist?

LEARN TO SHIFT YOUR FOCUS Pessimists can't stop depressing facts or negative thoughts from poking into their consciousness, but they can choose not to dwell on them. If you look through a camera lens, you'll find that when one part of the picture is in focus, the other areas blur a bit. (This is a distortion, sure, but sometimes we need to sustain the idea of being in a protective bubble to feel optimistic.) This active self-direction of your own moment-to-moment perspective allows you to create a new life story, one in which you take charge of your emotions and actions. Since research shows that those who feel they have a better sense of control tend to be the most optimistic, why not take charge of where your psychological lens is focused? Read more: http://www.oprah.com/spirit/How-to-be-an-Optimist/5#ixzz1rULCTJYX

Friday, April 6, 2012

From Christine E Smith's Blog

My Last and Final Weight-Loss Diet – Week 1
May 10, 2009

I made it! Week 1 is history and yes, I really am feeling good. Sticking to the Medifast program has not been a chore, actually just the opposite. What with my busy schedule, the program has provided just the structure I needed to kick off what I am calling my Last and Final Weight-Loss Diet.

I’d love to tell you exactly how much I’ve lost this week…and I have lost. The problem is that my scale seems to have issue with reliability. Not that I’m calling it a liar, but its truth is rather inconsistent from one moment to the next. Checking in with my scale today went something like this; step on…lost 10 pounds. What? No way! Step off, step back on, lost 6 pound. Hmmm…Step off, step back on again, lost 8 pounds…you see what I mean? So, I’m guessing this week I lost somewhere between 5 and 10 pounds and I gotta get a new scale. I don’t do inconsistent relationships.

Now, let’s go back to why I am calling this my Last and Final Weight-Loss Diet. I know, that is a pretty bold statement to make. I understand your skepticism. We know all about the yo-yo diet with its loss and gain, loss and gain…and the gains sending that scale to higher numbers each time. You’ve seen me do it for how long now? Well, no more…not ever again. Understand, I’m not saying this because Medifast is some sort of miracle diet. Actually it has nothing to do with Medifast. Instead it has everything to do with finally deciding to “getting my mind right.” I have made many positive changes in my life, and each follows pretty much this same process:

1. Identify the issue I want to change
2. Determine my controllables (I can only change me)
3. Remove the negatives
4. Add the positives
5. Tack Action

Yes, that is a simplistic description of the process; I’ll explain it in more detail another time. I have used this process on everything from emotional distress to physical ailments. I overcame obsessiveness, depression and anxiety using it. I use it to manage the fibromyalgia so I’m medication free. Through this process I have changed relationships with family, friends and co-workers…and myself. This process has allowed me to move into a deeper spiritual life as well as improve my physical and emotional health.

By using this process this week became a time of reflection. A time to identify the issues I want to change. And not surprisingly, weight loss is not the issue. Weight loss will definitely be a byproduct of addressing the issue, but it is not the issue. If you remember, last week I mentioned my penchant for healthy eating, organic, whole foods, and what not. I also talked about mindful eating. Well, it’s obvious that eating right and considering each bite isn’t what got me to 240 pounds. Then again, healthy eating and getting my mind right isn’t just about being thin. It is all about my relationship with the food in my life. So, during my reflecting I came up with the following questions for myself:

* In developing an eating plan for life, what is the proper balance of food in/energy out that I can live with?
* I can reduce my intake, but is my activity level at a healthy place?
* How does my activity (or lack thereof) affect not only my weight, but emotions, fibromyalgia, hormones, sleep, sex drive, so on and so forth?
* How does what I eat affect not only my weight, but my emotions, fibromyalgia, hormones, sleep, sex drive, so on and so forth?
* Where exactly does my food come from?
* How are the land, the animals, and the workers who produce my food treated?
* Is this an issue for me? If so, how much?
* Is there a spiritual correlation between where my food comes from and my current weight and state of health?
* Should there be?
* What does mindful eating and healthy whole foods have to do with a lifetime eating plan?

These are just a few of the questions I will be examining
and blogging about over the course of the next few weeks as I establish the ground rules for my lifetime eating plan. I hope you will stick with me as I ponder these questions and find my way to a healthy relationship with the food on my plate.

BTW…Yes, I am ecstatic about the weight loss to date and looking forward to more!

PMS: To my Health Coach Jen: Thanks so much for the call this week. It was great to talk with you about all that is going on in my head and how the program is working for me so far. Thanks for the words of encouragement and affirmation. LOVE your updated website with the tips and recipes. You efforts really do make this process a lot easier for me. Thank you, thank you, thank you!
Posted in My Take Shape for Life Plan

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?