Sunday, November 27, 2016

A Thanksgiving Self Care Story

Thanksgiving is a big deal in my household. Frequently we have house guests as well as dinner guests for the main event.

My sister and I grew up celebrating Thanksgiving mostly in the high-end restaurants our mother managed. After our Thanksgiving meal, we would be sent off to a movie. Occasionally we enjoyed a more traditional Thanksgiving with our stepmother's family. The best was when we visited our father's extended family. All the aunts, uncles, and cousins would come to our grandmother's house. These were rare occasions involving long distance travel. I cherish the memories! ( I spent years and considerable $ acquiring the china pattern we used at the children's table- I use it frequently and always on Thanksgiving). This china makes me smile!

When I was 15 I decided that I would shop for and prepare the Thanksgiving feast rather than go to a restaurant. Our stepmother had taught me many cooking skills. As I worked, our mother was so impressed that she took the day off and invited some friends to join us. One guest actually brought flowers! Another guest was the owner of a large record shop. He was so pleased with the dinner that he gave my sister and me generous gift certificates ( I still have some of those vinyl albums!).
Almost every year since I have prepared  and hosted the Thanksgiving celebration.

This year (here comes the self care part -at last!😉 ). I woke up Thursday feeling totally stressed.  All of the stresses of this autumn took their toll- the loss of my greenhouse and the plant rescue operations, the temporary (I hope!!)  loss of my housekeeper/garden help, some growing pains about yet another career change... To top it off one of my cats has started leaving puddles of bloody urine all over the house. Fortunately we have a wonderful veterinarian  who makes house calls. My little cat is doing better.   Still, when I woke up early Thursday, I did not feel well, and after feeding the cats I slipped on  a puddle I had missed when cleaning up. It was the last straw. I sat down and decided  there was no way I was going to cook a big turkey, make pies, etc. I went to my room - put on clean pajamas and went back to bed.  I telephoned the guests and invited them for Saturday. Everyone was very obliging!

 I spent the whole of Thanksgiving in bed napping, reading, and listening to music. It was lovely!

In years past I would have pushed through- with less than optimal results. By Thursday night I would have been very ill indeed.  I have finally learned to take care of myself and not worry when I must occasionally disappoint people. As it was, no one was really disappointed. The turkey, the pies, etc. were delicious. We were all just as thankful as we would have been on Thursday!

Have you ever opted to take care of yourself and cancel an engagement? Have you ever enjoyed a holiday just resting?

I love your comments. Please leave a comment below , email me , or message me on Facebook! Thank you for reading my blog!

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

True Beauty - Embody and Energize Who You Are Inside

View of one of my windows in my room today
  I am discovering the change in the world I would really like to be. I want to inspire you  and shine a light on how embodying your true beauty creates energy!
 I discovered at an early age that beauty is not about looking like a movie star, a doll , a beautifully drawn paper doll,etc. I began to look for the beauty in the ways people express themselves. Have you  noticed that somehow animals and plants seem to express their unique beauty just by being?  People seem to have more of a challenge...
It can be a scary adventure to truly accept and love yourself. The first time I had to look in a mirror and find something beautiful about myself it took a long time. I chose my eyebrows!  It has taken me years to be able to look at myself and like what I see.
 Do you cringe when you see yourself on video, or in the mirror, or hear yourself on audio? I still do - after years of practice in accepting myself. Just when I think I really accept myself,  I see myself on a recorded coaching session or hear myself sing and I just want to hide!  I am horrified by how much I talk, how loud I am when I get excited, how messy my hair becomes, how I frown when I concentrate...
I am learning that loving and appreciating  my body -just as I am- is the first step to feeling better /looking better. I keep getting "wake-up" calls as several of my friends have had major health issues that are clearly related to taking care of everybody/everything except themselves!
Feeling good /looking good is an inside job. It is not about age-weight-size- these are just numbers! It is not about impossible photoshopped images in  the media.
Feeling good/ looking good is about letting your inner self/soul shine through your body!  Embodying the Real-Authentic-You! Your unique R-A-Y of light,love, beauty!
The first step is getting to know the R-A-Y. There are so many ways to do this! Danielle La Porte's book The Desire Map is a start. Julia Cameron's  books The Artist's Way and The Vein Of Gold are excellent. This may be another whole blog... ;^)
For this week,  it might be fun for you  to discover something  awesome about yourself and embody it. Here's a suggestion: Use an "I am" statement. It has to be something you truly believe about yourself- or at the very least something you are WILLING to believe about yourself. As you say it - see how your body feels. Gently tap or massage  where your body feels the statement- or move/dance to it.
I made a short video last spring about my Embodied Affirmations . You can see it here:

My message to you this week in a nutshell:
Practice accepting yourself as a beautiful being.
Find something about your body that you are willing to see as a part of  your unique beauty.
 Try some Embodied Affirmations that you are at least willing to believe (even if you are not there yet!).
You are an embodied beautiful soul- if only you will believe it and see it!
You might enjoy my Pinterest  boards
Thank you for stopping by! If any of this resonates for you, please leave a comment or a suggestion. I LOVE your comments and suggestions.

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Resilience, Rewards, Radiance, and Research

Most of my little world is still beautiful!

 I love autumn! Usually I am energized by the cooler weather and the ever changing colors. In light of my greenhouse disaster I have been feeling somewhat overwhelmed and not quite exhausted, but certainly low on energy. Although I continue to eat well, enjoy my walks, exercise, and sleep well, I notice that I am not always feeling as "lit up" or as radiant as usual. The task of cleaning up all the debris- even with help- is difficult, somewhat dangerous ( so much twisted steel and broken glass- some of which is still poised to fall!). Just plain daunting.

So I have been thinking about what I have done successfully in the past to get through overwhelm and low energy.. The first thing that pops up for me is "this too shall pass". I have a plan for getting through the cleanup and on to the fun part of planning the new greenhouse. I know I am resilient. I bounce back pretty quickly from difficult experiences. I have had plenty of practice!

Still, I am dragging my feet. This week I am just doing a little bit at a time. The weather is co-operating so I can afford to take baby steps for awhile. Sadly, my gardener is unable to help me because she is taking care of a seriously ill family member. I  miss her. She cheers me up as we do tasks I am unable- or unwilling- to do on my own. So I am carving out an hour or two a day when the sun is brightest. I am doing what I can.

Then I reward myself! Yesterday it was with a Youtube video in Italian teaching me how to crochet a sweater . Two treats in one! I LOVE learning Italian and I LOVE making pretty clothes. Rewards are necessary! Making a list of rewards I want can be a reward...

 Rewards bring back my radiance! I light up when I am enjoying life, having fun, learning new things... Radiance for me means feeling glow-y inside. Happy just to be alive. Enjoying and appreciating the beauty around me. Posting these photographs! Enjoying and appreciating my own beauty. Dancing!

 I want to discover how you deal with set-backs, disappointments, disasters...Here is the beginning of my research:
When you feel overwhelmed, exhausted, daunted : what words do you use to describe your feelings ? What concerns or anxieties are coming up for you?
When you feel lit up, radiant, full of energy, what words do you use to describe your feelings?
When do you feel  lit up, radiant, full of energy ?

Chestnut tree
Walk down the road


Louisiana cypress trees
View from my kitchen
Thank you for reading my blog! I love comments. I would really appreciate reflections on my first research questions.  It makes me happy to see others in their radiance and high energy. See you next week!