Receive the Gifts in Every Experience

I am learning to embrace situations and experiences that I used to judge as things to be dreaded and endured. Shifting my perspective doesn’t change the situation, but it does change how I experience it.

The surgery that I underwent in December was one of those times. Last week, I had my final post-surgery doctor’s appointment were my stellar recovery was confirmed. I am so grateful for this step on my wellness journey. Truly, everything about that experience has enriched my life.

Heading to traffic court today is another example. I think I’ve mentioned in previous blogs that I was getting some obvious bonks on the head by the Universe reminding me to be present. Getting a speeding ticket a couple of weeks ago as I headed to coach training was one of those jolts back to reality.

I had set my cruise control to ensure I would stay within a reasonable speed . . . and then my brain checked out. When the officer brought me back to reality, I was no longer going a reasonable speed since it had changed twice without my notice. I thanked him for bringing me back to consciousness and was a much more present driver the rest of the trip. And have been much more conscious of being present since.

So today, I get to take the afternoon off from work, drive an hour there and back through our beautiful mountains on what is supposed to be a sun-soaked day, encounter people that I wouldn’t have otherwise gotten to meet, and look for the gifts in this experience. Because they are there if I will just open my eyes and my heart and look for them.

I expect to see those gifts and am looking for ways to be present and conscious enough to fully receive them.

When we stop fighting experiences and judging them as bad, and instead open our eyes and hearts to the gifts that are in every moment, we finally begin to receive them.

As Jerry Hicks used to say, “Everything is always working out for me.” No matter what, no matter who, no matter where, Source (God, the Universe, All That Is, Higher coach—whatever works for you) is always on our side providing the experiences that are unfolding perfectly for my—and your—expansion.

No matter what you are facing today, it is up to you to take this moment and consciously choose your focus and decide how you want to feel. You can endure it, let it crush you, or decide to thrive.

The experience will not change, but you change your experience of it.

Together we can do it!

Photo by bigjom /

Take One Small Step

How are those New Year’s Resolutions coming? Are you still plugging away or have they been put aside to show up on next year’s list?

One of the things that can cause people to pass on meeting their wellness goals is the overwhelming feeling that can come from trying to go from chip-eating coach potato to food-measuring athlete all at once.

There really is no rule that says you have to change all of your behaviors at once to succeed.

I didn’t.

Three years ago, for various reasons I went from a runner to a walker to not doing any exercise at all. During that period of inactivity, I didn’t curb my eating and pretty quickly reached my heaviest weight ever.

I found myself starting over with exercise and losing weight—again. And it didn’t feel good.

It actually took some mental preparation and the support of a friend to overcome the inertia to get out of bed and start exercising. At first, all I did was walk. I didn’t even look at my diet. I just focused on getting out of bed every morning and moving. That is what I counted and celebrated as success.

To begin, I set a minimum goal of 10 minutes a day, and then I went up to two hours a week. Slowly and steadily, I increased my exercise goals until I was back up to a fitness level that felt good. By then, I had only lost 5 pounds and I knew it was time to take on the eating.

And even that was a process of cutting back on portions and making better and better choices. Heck, I’m still looking for ways to eat cleaner and healthier. (If you had told me three years ago that I had to drink protein shakes with spinach in them, I would have quit in in horror. Now that’s something I want to do, but it was something I had to build up to.)

Yes, it took me a year to lose 34 pounds and get back into great shape. But at the end of that year I was a lot happier having slowly and steadily made those small decisions towards a healthier lifestyle than to try to do too much at once and give up, only to be faced with the same goal and results a year later.

What small decision can you make today that will move you towards a healthier lifestyle? Do that for a week and then look for another tiny step to make. Do that consistently and you will build momentum and achieve your goals. Do that consistently and next January 1 you will be celebrating your success rather than being faced with the daunting decision to start over once again.

Together we can do it!

Photo by anankkml /


In yesterday’s blog, I set out a plan for dealing with the mega-munchfest that I was facing last night that included being accountable to you Fabulous Readers.

The Plan

  • Eat healthy throughout the day.
  • Get in a workout.
  • Have a filling and nutritious meal before we go.
  • Look over all the food and choose one thing that I will indulge in. (This will probably be the crust-less fudge pie that my husband is planning to make. It’s totally calorie-worthy!)
  • Take a tray of vegetables and healthy hummus to give myself some nutritious nibbles throughout the evening.
  • Take some sugar-free gum along to chew if I start fighting cravings.
  • Go in determined to succeed and feel guilt-free.
  • Hold myself accountable by reporting to you all how I did.

The Report

It worked!

I ate clean all day, got in a 30 minute run/walk on the treadmill, and ate a filling soup for dinner before we left. I also included a serving of whole grain crackers and a low-fat cheese stick so that I would feel like I’d some “party” food.

Once there, I had a rye cracker out of one of the bowls of snack mix before I remembered my plan. After that I did great! I stuck to the carrot and celery sticks and home-made hummus, and avoided the cheesy, fatty dips that everyone else brought. (Mine was the only healthy dish there, so bringing something I knew I could eat was a life saver!) I was also pleasantly full, so I was definitely less tempted to stray.

I did promise myself a treat, and since David ran out of time to make the pie, I had three ginger-snap cookies that I spread out over the evening and 1 small chocolate covered strawberry. Another win was that I drank sparkling water with a squirt of lime-juice instead of wine or beer, and I did turn to the gum once when my stomach definitely wasn’t hungry, but my mouth still was.

So I did it! First time in months that I’ve left Bunco feeling good—and feeling good about myself.

Thanks for all your help! Knowing I would be reporting to you definitely helped me stay on track.


Back Up From the Buffet

Once a month we get together with friends and play the very social dice-game, Bunco. It’s always a fun evening filled with friends, laughter, and food. Lots and lots of high-calorie food.

In addition to all the food that people bring, our friends even put out bowls of salty and sweet treats right on the tables, making it so easy to mindlessly munch the night away.

And I eat. I probably eat more calories in this one evening than I typically do in a day.

So it’s one evening a month. What’s the big deal?

The big deal is how I feel about all that eating. While I’m perfectly happy to allow myself a weekly treat, it’s always my intention to eat moderately. When my thoughts are not in alignment with my actions, it generates negative catabolic emotion, often guilt.

This is important because your thoughts are directly linked to your body. Negative thoughts create draining, destructive catabolic energy that releases stress hormones and other harmful processes that literally eat way at your cells.

Positive thoughts release constructive, anabolic energy that generates physical processes that support—and rebuild—your body.

And just like thoughts can be anabolic or catabolic, food can be anabolic or catabolic, meaning it’s either supporting your body or it’s hindering it. You can bet that during Bunco night, most of the nibbles are not anabolic foods high in natural energy and nutrition. They’re just big on taste.

Just as important as the food we eat is what we think about our food. What we think can make our food more or less anabolic or catabolic.

For instance, if you eat something “healthy” but you resent it and feel deprived, how anabolic is that going to be? The negative catabolic energy from your thoughts can literally make it harder for your body to absorb all the good nutrition you’re putting into it.

If you eat something “bad” but feel totally satisfied, appreciative, and content, how catabolic is that going to be? What if you feel guilty about eating that same food?

Your thoughts need to be in alignment with what you’re eating.

My Bunco-binges probably wouldn’t be so bad if I allowed myself to totally enjoy every bite. But few of us have the mental ability to toss aside medical research, media reports, fat jokes, and thousands of diet books to truly be able to feel guilt-free after munching sugar and fat-laden snacks until Midnight.

I can’t anyway.

If I can’t shift my thoughts about my actions so that I feel good, than I need to align my actions with my thoughts. Meaning, I have to come up with a plan for tonight that allows me a little leeway to enjoy a treat, but to not go overboard. I will know that I have been successful at achieving this balance if I head home feeling mentally and physically great about how I managed the evenings munchies.

The good feeling you get from sticking to your eating plan is better and lasts longer than the fleeting flavor you would’ve gotten from eating the food you resisted.

Here’s my plan for Bunco tonight:

  • Eat healthy throughout the day.
  • Get in a workout.
  • Have a filling and nutritious meal before we go.
  • Look over all the food and choose one thing that I will indulge in. (This will probably be the crust-less fudge pie that my husband is planning to make. It’s totally calorie-worthy!)
  • Take a tray of vegetables and healthy hummus to give myself some nutritious nibbles throughout the evening.
  • Take some sugar-free gum along to chew if I start fighting cravings.
  • Go in determined to succeed and feel guilt-free.
  • Hold myself accountable by reporting to you all how I did.

I would love to hear what works for you when you’re facing food-laden situations, and how great you feel when you stick to your plan.

Together we can do it!



Photo by artemisphoto /



I Feel Skinny!

I have a friend who jokes that when she catches sight of her rear-end in the bathroom mirror that she reminds herself that she has great hair.

While this got a laugh during a recent group lunch, she’s actually onto something.

When you consider the foundation principle that “Energy Attracts Like Energy,” also known as the Law of Attraction, it becomes clear that focusing on the problem truly just creates more of the problem.

A subtle mental shift towards something you appreciate is a powerful way to shift the negative catabolic energy generated by looking in the mirror and feeling miserable about what you see.

You will know that you’ve successfully made the shift to a more positive anabolic place when you experience a feeling of genuine appreciation for another part of your body.

A woman I am working with used this technique during her journey to lose 40 pounds. Whenever she caught sight of her stomach, which she judged fat and unattractive, she would quickly shift her focus to appreciating her lean and muscular legs.

I used a similar technique on my own weight-loss journey. Whenever I was conscious of my body, I would turn the song “I Feel Pretty” from the Broadway play, West Side Story, into “I Feel Skinny,” and would play it loudly in my head, letting myself truly feel it.

When you look in the mirror, do you love or hate what you see? What can you do to focus more on what you love?

Imagine the impact that positive anabolic energy is having on your body and overall wellness.

Together we can do it!

Photo by luigi diamanti /

What Are You Giving Back?

How do you feel when you watch the news? Does it seem like the world is broken? How much of your mental focus is spent on the problems of the world, or your life, or the lives of those around you? Do you feel uncaring if you lift your mind’s eye from the problem?

As a former newspaper reporter, I used to be a news-junky. I felt others measured my intelligence by how “up” I was on the most current events. I measured my level of caring by how much empathetic pain I felt. A part of me literally believed that if I took my eyes off the problems they would somehow grow worse. I felt the need to vigilantly fight against the woes of the world—and the problems in my life.

Never letting up on the fight was mentally and physically exhausting. When I look back at that time with my current understanding of negative catabolic energy and the toll it takes on our body, mind, and spirit, I realize it’s no wonder that I was depressed most of the time and plagued by chronic back and neck pain.

I was a victim of the world’s tyranny and saw no other acceptable way to be.

This began to change when I realized that my fighting against things that were outside of my control didn’t actually make a difference—and in fact were harming me. I began to separate those things that were within my control and those things that the Universe (God, Source Energy, All-That-Is, Higher Coach—whatever works for you) would have to take on. When I stopped trying to control the uncontrollable, my life began to change.

As I began to understand the foundation principle that “Energy Attracts Like Energy,” also known as the Law of Attraction, I began to realize that my focusing on the problem truly just created more of the problem. It was the solution that was important, and that the subtle mental shift towards what I want was a much more anabolic and powerful stance to take.

And I began to see that an even more powerful place is to take your gaze and attention off the problem all together. To focus on what is right in the world. To contemplate those things you appreciate and rejoice in, and the things that you love.

When you focus on love and appreciation, that is what you create in the world. That is the energetic-gift you give back.

The power of the Law of Attraction is such that when you allow yourself to focus on what is right and good and all that you love and adore, the more you see to appreciate. Your list of positive things grows and you begin to remember that the world really is an amazing place. You find yourself falling in love with life the same way you fall in love with a person, regardless of their problems or flaws.

And just as you can watch a baby fall as it is takes its first steps and not fuss about the missteps, but instead rejoice in the forward movement, you recognize that your own falls and missteps are part of the growing process, and that the events of your life have led you exactly to where you’re supposed to be.

You know in your heart that life is good, and that the better it gets the better it can get.

Today, notice how often you can turn your focus towards what you appreciate. Does that match up with how much you are willing to fall in love with life? If not, what’s holding you back from creating the life of your dreams?

Together we can do it!

Photo by Stuart Miles /