Clarity ….

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Clarity…

You have to love it. You go through life thinking you’ve got a pretty good handle on your life, or, much of it anyway. You’ve got a positive attitude. You consider yourself relatively happy and healthy. Then, as the universe will make very clear to you in her little snarky benevolent way sometimes, “No, you’ve got work to do sister/mister.”

So you begin to tune into your instinct/intuition, that gnawing gut feeling that something is wrong in your life. You hate to have to admit that the something wrong is your most intimate relationship. How did this happen? When did this happen? Red flags keep popping up that you brush away. You’re comfortable. You’ve grown complacent. Your partner is a good person. but you know in your heart of hearts, you and he/she aren’t meant to be together for the long haul. You may be able to ignore this uneasy feeling for a brief time, but it will prove to be
relentless — urging you to take action. You will eventually realize you’ve got to do something. Someone has to man up in the relationship! You come to the realization that if you
don’t end what is a sinking ship, your partner never will. They may be passive aggressive, too immature, or are too fearful to make a move. If you wait too long to act, you may find yourself resenting, or beginning to interact with this person in unkind ways that are foreign to you. It’s never easy to end a union, especially if you’ve been together for awhile. It’s far worse to remain in a relationship that is going nowhere because you aren’t on the same page emotionally, spiritually, and physically.

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Do yourself and your soon to be ex-significant other a favor – be strong and courageous enough to end the charade. It won’t be easy, or pain free. But, it’s something that needs to be dealt with. You will both thank each other and can move on and find your true happiness.

Life is too short to look backwards or be unhappy.

Pre-Holiday Angst

The holidays can be a stressful time for many.  Society puts so much pressure on us to consume, purchase, and put on a happy face.  Does the thought of spending time with family make you nauseous? Perhaps, you, or someone close to you is ill, or has passed away this year?  When you reach a certain age, the holidays can often take on an somber tone, and sometimes become a time of year you dread.

As difficult as it may be, try and keep your head up. Here are my tips for getting through the holidays, or anytime you are going through a challenging time in your life.

Get out in nature.  Exercise.  Do Yoga.  Get a massage/facial/manicure/pedicure, or some other type of spa treatment.  Volunteer – be of service to others.  Surround yourself with positive people.  Read positive books, blogs, quotes.  There is so much negativity in the news, I don’t even watch it.  Try to limit your media – perhaps even consider a media fast.

If you’ve lost someone this year, I am sorry to hear that.  Why not begin a tradition to honor this person in some way at the holidays each year?

For me this year, it will be a very difficult one, as my dear Uncle Rudy (Mom’s younger/middle sibling) will not be with us for the first time this holiday season, and it will be yet another year without my Father.  Rudy’s high functioning special needs brother, David, who he cared for the last 20+ years, will also be coping with his absence as well. My dear Mother has been having serious health issues all year also, but fortunately is doing much better now.

Thanksgiving, my favorite holiday, will be spent in Augusta, GA with my son.  I look forward to his infamous Thanksgiving dinner which I’ve only heard rumors and seen pictures of.  We had an Open House yesterday afternoon before I leave for GA at my uncle David’s (his request since he’s been living on his own with minimal help from a caregiver since mid-April  and is very proud of that fact!!) which I am excited about as well.

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Whatever your plans are for the holidays, and whatever challenges you have dealt with during 2015, try and remain positive, hopeful, and above all else, remember to take care of you!

 

In a world of disconnection ….

 

Facebook, Twitter, YouTube,Twitter Instagram, and Google+, etc.  Yes, there is some value to these social media platforms for business, but do we need them so much for our personal lives? I fear we are living in a world where real connections are a thing of the past.  Whatever happened to talking to people face to face?  What’s wrong with getting to know your fellow man/woman?? Is it wrong to smile, strike up a conversation, or offer comfort to another human, whether he or she be someone we know, or a complete stranger?
This year I vow to get to know as many people as I can. I want to hear their stories. We are all connected; if you take the time to chat with someone, perhaps you’ll see what I mean.
Why not go out into the world spreading love and light??
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Being an Inspiration…..

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I am not a fan of television, but do enjoy reading and following blogs/listening to worthwhile video, having meaningful conversations with people.

If you have a few free moments, feel free to peruse the following TED videos, here are a few of my favorites, in no particular order:

Timber Hawkeye: Faithfully religionless

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=LIFTxRJfLTM

Overcoming hopelessness

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=6P2nPI6CTlc

Synthetic happiness

http://www.ted.com/talks/dan_gilbert_asks_why_are_we_happy.html

Sally Kohn: Emotional correctness

http://www.ted.com/talks/sally_kohn_let_s_try_emotional_correctness.html

 Kid President:  I think we all need a pep talk

https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=l-gQLqv9f4o

Diana Nyad: Never, ever give up

http://www.ted.com/talks/diana_nyad_never_ever_give_up.html

Boyd Varty:  What I learned from Nelson Mandela

http://www.ted.com/talks/boyd_varty_what_i_learned_from_nelson_mandela.html

Peter Saul: Let’s talk about dying

http://www.ted.com/talks/peter_saul_let_s_talk_about_dying.html

 

 

 

F R E E D O M !!!

 

I found out recently that you can’t put a price tag on freedom.   Getting back into the corporate world and going back to a law office full-time didn’t turn out to be a good fit for me at all.  I found the office and some of the people employed there to be oppressive.  I refuse to work in an environment that doesn’t foster kindness, or doesn’t truly have their client’s best interests at heart.

I am glad I had this experience because it made me realize that there was a reason I left nine years ago and I need to continue doing what I have been doing in the past.  When you’ve been self employed for as long as I have, it’s just too difficult to entertain the idea of working for someone else.  I feel so blessed that I can return to a job I truly love.   My clients are some of the most interesting and nicest people you would ever encounter.  I consider them family.

Being your own boss, to me, is the key to happiness.  Here’s just a few reasons why:

Freedom to:

set your own hours ( no 9a-5p!!  😉 )

spend quality time with family/friends/pets

more time to help others and volunteer to great causes

have control over your earning potential

be self disciplined

More leisure time/vacation!!!!!

 

“Never continue in a job you don’t enjoy.  If you’re happy in what you’re doing, you’ll like yourself, you’ll have inner peace.  And if you have that, along with physical health, you will have had more success than you could possibly have imagined.” ~ Johnny Carson

 

 

 

 

A Kind Heart….

Nine Elements of a Kind Heart

(excerpt from “Am I Being Kind”,

by Michael J. Chase,

Founder of The Kindness Institute)

 

A kind heart is ….

 Attentive. An attentive heart recognizes the needs of others.

Authentic.  An authentic heart is genuine and acts from truth.

Charitable.  A charitable heart gives yet expects nothing in return.

Compassionate.  A compassionate heart is sensitive towards all living things.

 Courageous A courageous heart acts from love rather than fear.

 Enthusiastic.  An enthusiastic heart displays limitless energy and passion.

Grateful A grateful heart is content and filled with appreciation.

Inspirational An inspirational heart encourages and motivates others.

Patient.  A patient heart waits and responds at the proper moment.

Creating Wellness in Your Life

Anyone who knows me, knows that I am voracious reader, typically reading three books at any given time.  I just finished wonderful book that inspired me so much that I have decided to include excerpts on my blog.

Ten Ideas for Creating Wellness in Your Life

(Excerpt from “Am I Being Kind”,

by Michael J. Chase, Founder of The Kindness Center)

 

1.  Using only positive, kind thoughts make a list of the mental, physical, and spiritual aspects that you love about yourself.

2. Make time for spiritual practice each day through prayer or meditation.

3. Connect with nature. Walk; hike; or swim; or simply immerse yourself in sunlight and fresh air, observing the magic of the natural world.

4.  Breathe in and exhale the energy of gratitude.  Give thanks every single day for the infinite blessings that surround you.

5.  Laugh!  Watch funny movies or spend time with energetic, humorous people.

6.  If you don’t already have one, consider adopting a pet. Studies reveal that animals can alleviate much of our daily stress.

 

7.  Feed your mind with inspirational book and positive quotes.

8.  Volunteer, serve, and make kindness your intention.

9.  Choose high grade “fuel” such as whole and organic foods. Also make water your number one drink.

10.  Find an exercise program that works for you, and get moving. This one decision alone will transform your life.

Altruism

 

I find the subject of altruism to be very interesting.  Altruism means different things to different people/animals. Check out the dictionary definition and then psychology’s definition.

Altruism: 1)  unselfish regard for or devotion to the welfare of others 2) behavior by an animal that is not beneficial to or may be harmful to itself but that benefits others of its species

Psychologists have suggested a number of different explanations for why altruism exists, including:

  • Biological Reasons: Kin selection – We may be more altruistic towards those we are related to because it increases the odds that our blood relations will survive
  • and transmit their genes to future generations.
  • Neurological Reasons: Altruism activates reward centers in the brain. Neurobiologists have found that when engaged in an altruistic act, the pleasure centers of the brain become active.
  • Cognitive Reasons: While the definition of altruism involves doing for others without reward, there may still be cognitive incentives that are not obvious. For example, we might help others to relieve out own distress or because being kind to others upholds our view of ourselves as kind, empathetic people.

I have always strived to be altruistic. I remember repeatedly committing to assist people in need, or charities, throughout my entire life. I don’t expect anything in return when I help others – it’s just the right thing to do and it feels REALLY good.  I believe part of our reason for being on this planet is to help others and wholeheartedly embrace the concept that  “The purpose of life is a life of service.”

I have always been a champion of the underdog, the downtrodden, the elderly, animals, etc.  I am extremely thankful to my wonderful parents who were/are very strong role models in this regard.

Unfortunately, I know we live in a very cynical world.  People can be reluctant to want to give their time, money or resources to any person or cause unless they know the person, or are affected personally.

Please open up your mind and your hearts and B E L I E V E that there are decent human beings who exist in this world who aren’t looking for a handout.   They have found the courage to ask for help and are seeking a step up, not a hand out.

I have organized some local fundraisers in August for two VERY dear friends of mine, Sherri and Craig Battle.  For more information about why I became motivated to help this couple out, please see a poignant video by Simz Productions of Craig.  FYI: You might want to ensure you have some tissues handy….

Thank you to all of you who have so GENEROUSLY donated to the Battles’ cause so far.   It is so heartwarming to witness altruism in others.

If you wish to attend one of the fundraisers, or contribute monetarily, please email me and I will provide you with the pertinent information.

Blessings to you and yours…..

There’s No Place Like Home….

Home is where you are feel at home and are treated well.  ~ Dalai Lama

Home doesn’t necessarily have to be the place you reside.  It could be a friend’s home, a destination you like to visit, an experience, a restaurant, a spa, or a vacation rental.

For me, the places I call home go far beyond a conventional structure with four walls.  Home for me is the meaningful experiences I get from being in nature and traveling locally and abroad.   I love the American River Bike Trail (ARBT).  I am fortunate enough to live across the street from the ARBT and get the pleasure of riding my bike on it in the early mornings at least 4-5 week, or as I like to say, at the crack o’ black.  When I am on my morning ride/meditation, I encounter all kinds of wildlife.

I get away to the coast many times throughout the year, and try to make it to the mountains as often as I can as well.  In Sacramento, we are lucky enough to have many beautiful places to visit within 1-3 hours travel time. I work hard so I have the ability to take at least one long vacation 2-5 weeks a year.  For more information about some of the places I have traveled to, please see the travel section of my blog.

In my massage practice, I like to foster a serene, comfortable environment that makes a client feel like they are home. I treat all of my clients like family.  I feel that this type of scenario is best because a person is more at ease. A massage session is a very personal experience.  Some are hesitant to receive in someone’s home because of what they might find in the environment.  If you go to a spa, or a more clinical setting, the environment might be more impersonal.  You may hear a lot of distracting background noise from other rooms/therapists/clients.  When I first started doing massage part-time, I wanted the experience of working on a lot of different body types.  Therefore, I worked at a racquet club and a spa, in addition to having my home office.  The massage room at the racquet club was not conducive to relaxation due to the noise level of being sandwiched between the men’s and women’s restrooms.   The spa was also not very peaceful because you could hear any noise or conversations going on in the next rooms.  When I decided to take my part-time massage practice full-time I knew I would have a home office setting and continue to do out-call.

I am blessed to work in a profession I love and to be able to do this in my home.  I meet a lot of wonderful, interesting people who I consider my extended family.

Where do you call home?

Last Will and Testament for Happiness?

As I approach the half century mark next year, I think more and more about mortality, among other things….

While in Monterey recently, looking for treasures at an antique store, I stumbled upon a framed copy of Williston Fish. “A Last Will.” Harper’s Weekly, New York, September 3, 1898.  

Please take the time to read the full text below.  It’s more of a will and testament for happiness.  Wouldn’t we all like to leave a little happiness behind?

https://tarlton.law.utexas.edu/exhibits/fish/original.html