How Abundant Are You?

In yesterday’s blog, I wrote about my awareness of a few cranky moments that I experienced while on vacation, and how I shifted that energy. Today, I want to write about those moments that stood out because I had a new and more positive perspective.

We caught our flight to Fort Lauderdale, Florida, from Atlanta, Georgia. We drove down the day before and spent the night with my brother. He advised that because of the city’s heavy traffic, we needed to leave his house at 6:15 a.m. to catch our 10 a.m. flight.

Even though we left at his suggested time, traffic was already backing up. Because I have that issue about being on time, in the past I might have stressed and worried. This time, however, as I noticed all the cars, I was overwhelmed with a feeling of abundance.

I acknowledge the abundance of all those people who had the means to purchase cars. We passed neighborhoods—both rich and poor—and I felt the abundance of homes for so many people and the accumulation of love generated by all those families.

As I looked at the high-rise buildings in the distance, I felt the abundance of jobs that people were headed to, the opportunities people had in those jobs, and the ideas that were being generated and acted on. I acknowledged the abundance of the sunshine and the beauty of the dawning day. I even gave thanks for the abundance of time that we had to make our flight.

At the airport, I felt the abundance of so many people who are able to fly to their destinations. I could see the abundance of the airport itself—the jobs it’s providing, and the food, shops, and bathrooms where people can fulfill their needs as they move across the nation—and the world. Even the miracle of flight and travel felt abundant.

Falmouth, Jamaica, one of the stops on our vacation.

This feeling of abundance persisted throughout the trip. Where in the past, I might have focused more on lack and scarcity—thinking that to lift my eyes from the problems would make those problems worse and would mean I was an uncaring person—allowing myself to revel in all the amazing evidence of abundance was actually awe-inspiring in the truest sense.

Everywhere the intricacies and power of the Universe (God, Source, All That Is, Higher Coach—whatever works for you) was apparent. It made me realize that yes, there are problems, but there are also solutions and those solutions may not come in the form that I think they should. That solutions may actually be bigger, bolder, and more intricate than I might imagine and they are evolving right along with the problems. That there is a perspective far greater than my own that is more than capably directing those things that are outside my control. That it is OK for me to let go and focus on what is in my purview.

When you consider my experience in the context of the Foundation Principle, “Energy Attracts Like Energy,” also known as the Law of Attraction, it makes sense that focusing on abundance and appreciation would generate more evidence of abundance and things to appreciate—and that the reverse is also true.

What can you do to acknowledge your abundance—the things, opportunities, good fortune, ideas, and love in your life? How might focusing on and appreciating abundance shift your perspective? What impact might that have?

Together we can do it!

 

What Makes You Cranky?

One of the great things about being on vacation is that being cranky is such a contrast to where you want to be that those moments really stand out. Because they are so vivid, it’s easy to shift your thoughts and choose a different response.

It surprised me that I had a few cranky moments last week while my husband and I were celebrating our 20th anniversary on a five-day cruise. If there is ever a time to enjoy the ease and flow of life it’s when there is no cooking, no cleaning, no chores, no responsibilities, and an abundance of time, food, and fun things to do. What in the world is there to be cranky about?

The peaceful view in Jamaica

The good news is that observing myself having a cross-reaction under those ideal circumstances made me realize how often I must be doing that on a day-to-day basis without even being aware of it. It’s like I’m so used to the negative undertow that I don’t even realize I’m being carried along in its current.

I love having that awareness because now I can look for the subtle signs and can proactively shift to a more positive, anabolic energy.

Being late was one of my catabolic triggers. If there was a time we were supposed to be somewhere, my chances of crankiness increased. It didn’t matter if the threat was being late to dinner or missing the curfew for returning to the ship, my anxiety level was the same.

The reality is that I’m often late. I typically see this as my husband’s fault, but it’s just as likely that I’m the one who gets sidetracked or takes too long to get ready. This is not a characteristic I like in myself, so I’m quick to jump on David when I see the behavior in him.

And there absolutely should be a reactionary difference between being late to dinner and missing our ride home. One may have serious consequences, but the other does not, and shouldn’t be treated as a big deal.

Another cranky moment stemmed from David bringing a minimum of cash and no credit card ashore, which limited our options. Now did I take responsibility and pack some monetary means? Nope. I didn’t have a cent on me. It was much easier to criticize David for his lack of foresight rather than acknowledge my own culpability.

Paying attention to where you have a less-than-stellar reaction is a great way to rethink the situation and choose a different response in the future—and sometimes even in the moment.

Amazingly, when I let go of the money issue, David found an extra $10 in his pocket that was just the amount we needed.

My mantra for the remainder of the trip; “Everything is always working out for us.” And you know what? It was, and always is.

For me, it all boils down to letting go of control and trusting the experience and process, while at the same taking appropriate responsibility for my foibles, actions, and responses. My intention is to take this awareness forward and to be much more conscious of when I’m in a catabolic current, and choose a different response.

You get to decide how to react to everything that is happening around you. How can you respond a little differently today?

Together we can do it!

Vacation Accountability

I’m sitting here drinking a green protein shake (spinach, banana, flax-seed, vanilla protein powder, cold water, cinnamon, and ice) feeling good about getting back on track nutrition-wise.

My husband and I in Labadee, Haiti

My husband and I just returned from our first cruise, which we took to celebrate our 20th wedding anniversary. And boy, people are not exaggerating about the food on cruises. Delicious food is everywhere in massive quantities!

Before I left, I blogged about my plan to deal with food and exercise during the trip and asked you fabulous readers to help keep me accountable.

My intention was to enjoy myself and to feel like I was having a vacation, but also to come back feeling good, balanced, and with my healthy habits intact.

While I didn’t write down what I ate every day (hey, I was on vacation!), knowing that I would be reporting to you all on how I did, I kept a running tab in my head and was planning to give myself a grade of “B” for how well I navigated the week.

But rereading my intention has me re-evaluating that grade. I actually met that intention spot on! I never felt deprived, kept my indulgences mostly in balance, and feel the momentum to resume my healthy habits. Good on me!

Here’s how I did.

Food—I avoided the bread basket all but the night of our anniversary and selected fairly healthy meals. I did eat a lot more beef than normal, but since I am allergic to fish or seafood, I would have been eating the same chicken dish over and over otherwise. Instead of my normal five to six  small meals it was definitely more like three larger meals with one snack, but for the most part I avoided empty calories and indulged in healthy fruit because it was so good and fresh.

Sweets—My wonderful husband, David, surprised me which a romance package that included two evenings where appetizers and desserts delivered to our room. The good news was most of the canapés had fish or seafood, so I couldn’t eat them. But the desserts definitely got eaten. Other than that, I ordered dessert every night, but limited myself to a few bites.

Alcohol—The plan was to stick to one cocktail or glass of wine a night. Here I did pretty well. I only had two glasses of champagne twice—the night we arrived when David had scheduled a bottle of champagne to be waiting on us in our room, and the actual day of our anniversary. If I was going to indulge, lower-calorie champagne was definitely the place to do it!

Zip-lining in Jamaica

Exercise—We only hit the gym twice, but were walking, swimming, and active the other days. My body was letting me know that it was pretty good idea to also take a slight vacation from the gym. As a result, a slight back injury is feeling much better and I should be able to get back to hitting the workouts hard in the next week or two. And as soon as I finish this blog, I’m going to head upstairs to exercise.

Sleep—We did a good job of balancing our activities with adequate sleep. I definitely felt relaxed and rested at the end of the cruise.

Healthy Thoughts—Making wellness a lifestyle means consistently practicing healthy thoughts, as well as actions. One thing I noticed is that I felt much less self-conscious in my swimsuit than I have in the past. That is definite progress!

Arriving at Labadee to go snorkeling

How I planned to evaluate my success at achieving balance over our vacation was that I would come home having maintained my weight and feeling good physically and mentally. While I didn’t weigh this morning, my jeans fit just fine and I do feel good. Mission accomplished!

Fun, rest, and relaxation are absolutely an important part of our wellness journeys. Maintaining balance is the key.

Together we can do it!

How Do You Compare?

While off celebrating my 20th anniversary, I’m sharing a few of my favorite blogs that you might have missed.

It’s easy to compare yourself with others, particularly when it looks like they have what you want. A quick way to determine if that is beneficial or not is to look at how it makes you feel.

Does looking at someone else’s journey inspire you? Convince you that you can get the same results? Make you feel like you are that much closer to achieving your goals? If so, by all means continue to look and be inspired.

But, if looking at someone else’s journey makes you feel defeated before you even begin, frustrated that they have it and you don’t, or unworthy because you aren’t doing it “right” or haven’t made enough progress fast enough, then it does not benefit you to keep looking.

Part of “enjoying the journey” is recognizing just how unique your perspective and life is. No one else has had exactly the same experiences as you. No one else sees the world the same way as you. No one else will do things exactly the way you do them. And no one else will have the answers that are right for you. It is this unique perspective that is truly your gift to the world.

It is only when you embrace the real you and your unique perspective and path that you can see how far you really have come. By comparing yourself with you, you get a clearer picture of the amazing progress you have made, and are truly inspired to continue the journey.

Together we can do it!

Photo by Suvro Datta / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Stressed Out! Moving From Victim to Empowered

While off celebrating my 20th anniversary, I’m sharing a few of my favorite blogs that you might have missed.

“Stress isn’t something that happens to someone. It’s something someone feels about what’s happening. Your capacity to deal with any outer situation is based on your inner perspective. . . How we see ourselves determines everything.”

Bruce D. Schneider

Are you a victim of stress?

I used to believe stress was created by the situation I was in and that I was powerless to do anything but get through the stressful situation as best as I could.

Now I know that if I see myself as capable, confident, energetic, empowered, and engaged, I will not have the same stress reaction to a deadline, conflict, or anything else in my life that I would if I see myself as overworked, limited, tired, overwhelmed, unappreciated, and unworthy.

The only thing that is different is my perception of where I am in relationship to what is happening.

We are so much more powerful than most of us realize. And we are the creators of the limitations—and the success—that we experience. All it takes is a slight shift in how we see ourselves.

Now when I am feeling stressed, I recognize that I have limited self-thinking going on and can look for ways to shift that faulty belief.

Because I am capable, confident, energetic, empowered, and engaged. And so are you!

What can you do to find those feelings, and believe it?

Together we can do it!

Photo by Ambro / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Harry Potter and the Key to Happiness

While off celebrating my 20th anniversary, I’m sharing a few of my favorite blogs that you might have missed.

My husband, David, and I visiting the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios in October 2010

I’m a huge fan of Harry Potter. There is a scene in the climax of the first book, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, where the three heroes climb through a trap door and land on a plant called Devil’s Snare.

The moment they land, the plant begins to twist around them without their noticing. As soon as she realizes what it is, Hermione admonishes Harry and Ron to, “stop moving.”

“The two boys fought to pull the plant off them, but the more they strained against it, the tighter and faster the plant wound around them.”

 

Much like Devil’s Snare, our thoughts can hold us fast in the very place we don’t want to be as we struggle and complain, try to control life, and push against what we don’t want.

It seems counter-intuitive, but the way forward is to relax and let go of the struggle.To accept where we are and to appreciate what we do have. The more we relax and appreciate, the more we allow Universal Energy (God, Source, All-That-Is, Higher Coach, whatever works for you) to bring us all the things we want and have asked for.

Letting go of the struggle, even for a few moments a day, can make a huge difference in our lives. Some ways to practice this is through meditation, prayer, and exercise that allows you to quiet your mind, such as yoga or even running.

What can you do today to practice letting go of the struggle? Not only will you immediately feel better, but you truly begin creating the life of your dreams.

Together we can do it!

Serious Fun!

While off celebrating my 20th anniversary, I’m sharing a few of my favorite blogs that you might have missed.

“A good laugh overcomes more difficulties and dissipates more dark clouds than any other one thing.”

Laura Ingalls Wilder, Author

As I sat down to write this blog on the importance of having fun, my first thoughts were that I should focus on the health benefits of laughter, such as how it can lower stress hormones, boost the immune system, and can even reverse disease.

And then I realized that I was being serious about having fun. Doh!

I, like so many people, decided pretty early that life is serious. People seemed to take me seriously when I was serious, and as a result I became very intensely serious.

Whew. Just thinking about my seriousness makes my energy drop. Being overly serious is seriously no fun!

And just like relaxing, laughing, and having fun is really good for your body, mind, and spirit (I could quote some science, but how fun is that?), taking life too seriously has some serious impacts on the body.

So lighten up! Don’t just wait until the weekend to laugh and have fun. Play with your pets or kids. Spontaneously dance around the kitchen when you’re making dinner, or catch a funny movie with your favorite person. And most importantly, laugh at yourself when you’re taking life too seriously.

Beyond all the reasons it’s good for you, it just feels good.

Together we can do it!

Photo by Jomphong / FreeDigitalPhotos.net