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I grew up in the country. We grew our own food, we had vegtables and fruit growing in abundance. There were fields lined with berry vines, and barns filled with healthy animals that were filled with love not hormones.

Take Me Back To The Country

Today with all the hustle and bustle of fast foods, and cheap processed boxed meals; I have learned a new appreciation and love for a simple home cooked meal. Just like Granma used to make. It’s funny now that I am grown and try very hard to eat organic, clean and whole foods.  It’s pretty enlightening to watch the economics and financials of eating this way and I realize the Nation is making an industry off of what I grew up on as a way of life, makes me realize the things I took for granted.

Tips For Eating Healthy, Wholesome and Intelligently

*Take a Cooking class~ Learn to cook new dishes that are healthy and outside of your norm. Anyfood you cook make it your priority to make Love the main ingredient. Making healthy dishes filled with love is better than any restaurant. ❤

*Learn what foods are grown locally and when they are in season. Eat a variety foods.

*Plant something. Grow your own vegetable garden, there is something so fulfilling spiritually about growing, nurturing and harvesting your own foods. If space for a garden is  an issue, try a container garden or a window box. Add a pot of fresh herbs for flavor and watch your creativity soar.

* Eat less meat. It takes lots of energy to grow meat for eating. Think about it. It’s not like raising your own farm animals and doing everything at your own home these days. Animals are grown in horrible living conditions, often mistreated, then shipped off for a unkind death. What are the steps from birth to being on a dinner plate?

*If you are buying “natural” verses”orgainic” learn how the producer defines and seperates the two. The governments definition is vague and can often be misleading.

*At the farmers market ask how the vendors are chosen. How are they screened? Must they be organic, or local? Use your voice and ask questions.

*When buying local but not organic, ask the farmer “Why not organic?” It could be that they are doing something very close and acceptable.

*When shopping for peaches, apples, sweet bell peppers, celery, nectarines, strawberries, cherries, pears, grapes, lettuce, spinach, lettuce and or potatoes ALWAYS chose orgainic. These foods are known as “the dirty dozen”!

*Make every effort to buy certified orgain and local when possible.

Rinse and cleanse foods properly and always wash your hands before food preparation and never, NEVER cook or prepare food when you are angry. The first ingredient for any dish should be LOVE because after all we are what we eat….

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Stop what you are doing right now. Think of one thing that makes you smile. Then think of one thing that fills you with gratitude. Finally, think of one thing you will bring into your future.  Focus on a bright, positive future filled with smiling faces, light in the eyes of people around you and hearts filled with love and gratitude. See it, and believe it. Now this was only a test…. Did you pass?

May your day be filled with Blessings

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TIME TO SHINE...

Freeing the Heart of Chains that Bind, by Releasing the Mind from Programming that Blinds.

When I had bariatric surgery nearly 8 years ago, I really wasn’t prepared for the path that was before me. Of course I knew there would be many learning experiences and days of wonder, but I had no idea for the lessons life was getting ready to put before me.

One of the things I can look back and realize (yes hindsite is 20/20) is that my obesity was just the outcome of many years of negative programming and negative choices. Have you ever noticed when you go into a place where everyone is really down and negative you walk away feeling a “heavy” feeling? Over time this manifests physically and the number on my scale had grown to 385 pounds.

Now, let me be honest for minute when I say…even though I was working as a nurse when I had my gastric bypass surgery, I neglected to look at the entire picture. I had this fantasy that I would have surgery and wake suddenly knowing how to eat healthy and in proportion and my life would be automatically transformed. It took a lot more work than I had assumed.

Let's Begin with Love....

For several years after my gastric bypass I was very quick to judge myself or talk to myself negatively for any mistake.. one bite of the wrong food and I would point the finger to my mirror and think “failure”…. The pounds were melting away and my heart was getting heavier and heavier.

A series of events opened my eyes, and my heart to a deeper understanding of who I am, and what I am about. It’s been a process, but isn’t that what life is all about?

Did you ever wonder what detoxing your life and your thoughts of negativity would do for you? Purging negative thoughts, negative people, negative energies and negative programming can release pounds of toxic worry, grief, saddness and even anger.

I once attended a support group for bariatric patients where the speaker spoke about it taking 21 days to create a habit, good or bad, and she went on to say 28 days would only strengthen that habit and make it a stronger trait. If we look at habits as programming, and we have spent much of our time living out negative programing, well can’t we all dedicate 28 days of our lives to creating new positive thinking to replace our old negative stinking programming? Can’t we spend 28 days to a new positive and better future?

Lets Begin!

The Tree of Life Always Provides and We Must Use it Well

Week One: Cleansing the Past!

*Begin by cleansing your kitchen space. Detox your cabinets, fridge, and pantry of old outdated foods, or processed and sugar laiden foods that no longer serve your purpose of conscious healthy living. If you have foods that are unopened from stocking up during the BOGO sales, make a donation to your local food bank. But take the time and effort to rid your space of the foods that led you to obesity.

*Release yourself of old anger, fears, grudges and resentments that you have been carrying around and are now ready to let go by writing them down on a clean sheet of paper. Hold that paper up to the light, you can visualize the light of God shining upon the paper or even hold it into the Sunlight that God provides to us. Then feel your body release as you tear the paper into tiny pieces. You can even take it one more step and burn the pieces and watch the words transfom into smoke and disappear from your life.  This takes very little time from your day but its symbolic and allows you to visualize “transformation” making it reality.

*Now integrate the transformation into your life and recognize that your outer world is a reflection of your innerworld. All the negative thoughts and emotions that were filling the “picture” of your life  and think of them as puzzle “pieces” now removed and creating a space for new fresh and positive pieces to complete life’s puzzle. Release at 100 “pieces” of clutter from your past that are now taking up space in your home, car, office and life. Old clutter carries old negative energy and feelings. Release.

Week Two: The Present

Having let go and released the things from your past that have held you back and depleted your vitality and life force, stop and stand still in the present moment and take some deep cleansing breaths. Feel your feet firmly on the ground visualizing yourself as a tree rooting into the abundent Earth and your branches extending to the heavens. You are strong like the oak tree that bends with the wind,  but doesn’t break during lifes storms. Take an honest look at yourself and where you are today and WHO you are today. View this with your heart of compassion rather than from the mind of judgement.

This week let’s focus on:

*Begin an ongoing present-moment awareness practice. Set an hourly alarm on your cell phone or computer. Each time the alarm sounds it will remind you to ground yourself and become aware of your body your feelings your thoughts and your surroundings. Breathe.

*Challenge your old stinking thinking and negative programming by challenging it. Surround yourself in love and light and take a measured risk of doing something different. Something you have always imagined but not had the nerve to do until now. Do something different, new and challenging each day.

Week two is spent listening to your inner most being, your soul is calling you to expereince life.

Life's a Song When you Learn How to Dance

Week Three: The Future

In this phase start looking ahead and think about who you are, how do you want to conduct yourself from this day foward. See yourself with dignity and living a life of integrity. And be that person.

*Chose a sacred life value such as love, abundance, compassion, grace or integrity and surround yourself  with positive thoughts, images, smells, affirmations and images that invoke this value in you. Identify and act on choices and that all you to express that value in a positive way.

*Spend time each morning, afternoon, evening and night checking in with your higher power, your natural inner divine GPS. Remember you and God hold your compass. Direct yourself toward the light and positive choices. If you make a wrong turn it is not the end of the world, or the end of your life. Its just time to readjust your sails and listen to where your inner voice wants you to go next.

Week Four: The Recovery

This is the final week of your consiously cleanse. Direct this time to reflect and be in gratitude for the life experiences and courage to sort through the rubble finding both treasures and trash. For having the ability to know the difference and stength to sort them out accordingly.

*Take time to live, love and laugh. Embrace each moment and allow your soul to laugh and experience the freedom of being.

*Nourish your body with fresh healthy natural foods, fresh clean water and vitamins and nutrients. Nourish your mind with plenty of rest balanced with adequate stimulation. Nourish your soul with kindness and compassion and nourish your spirit with love.

Experience the joy of reconnecting with your highest self, you will experience more love, compassion and contentment as you step into your life purpose and the brilliance of the light of your heart. Take this opportunity to till the soil of your life and consciously plant the seeds of a whole new future.

The future is so bright you will have to wear shades, and a some sunscreen.

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I’ve heard many naysayers scoff at this whole, in their words, “exercise in futility”, that it’s actually useless and a waste of time and money, and that our energies could be channeled into something more useful and concrete. Maybe. I don’t discount the opinion that it may be so. But in my opinion, it’s better than doing NOTHING. One can sit there, in the comfort of his own spectator seat, and mock the efforts that others do, but my question is: “What are YOU doing?” If you’ve got a better idea, then let’s hear it; let’s do THAT instead of THIS. I don’t have a better idea, so I’ll support this instead.

Let Love Light the Way

Will it save the world as we know it?  Maybe it will, maybe it won’t. But I won’t stand in the way of people trying their best to effect a change for the better. In fact, they have my full support. Turning off the lights for an hour won’t necessarily stop climate change or whatever it is that ails our planet, but it gives us all a chance to reflect on a pressing fact: our planet needs help. Whether it’s man-inflicted or a natural course of our planet’s evolution is a difficult question to answer. But it wouldn’t hurt for us as a global community to set aside an hour in a year to think about it as one. We may not come up with the right solutions to our problems, but I applaud any attempt to give it a try.

What's ONE hour?

Even if our efforts prove futile, if we could change the habits of ANY number of people and effect a change in their consumption habits, it would’ve been worth it already. It doesn’t hurt to remind ourselves not to consume too much, that we’re not alone on this planet, that in order to co-exist we need to share EVERYTHING, and therefore we need to be frugal in devouring whatever it is we already consume. Whether we humans are the cause of the problem or the solution, we have to give it a try. The peanut gallery has never been the source of either the solutions or the inspirations for. Like they say, if we can’t be part of the solution, at least don’t stand in the way of those trying.

Make a difference

So tomorrow, Saturday, March 26, 2011, from 8:30-9:30pm, switch off all your lights and send a strong message of hope. So where-ever you are at that time..please turn the lights out… unless your driving of course…;)

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Dear Satan NOT THIS TIME!

 

It's more than 9 to 5

 It’s been awhile since I posted a blog entry. To be quite honest I am not sure why I haven’t posted. Afterall part of the deal with my blog is that I call it like it is. My intention was to share the good, the bad and the ugly about my bariatric journey and over the past 7 years I have done just that. Then when I started looking at my bariatric life from the holistic view, I realized I was on a spiritual journey to become whole again,  and I shared that too.

With any spiritual journey you find (to quote Dolly Parton) if you want to see the rainbow you have to put up with the rain…

The Sun Will Come Up Tomorrow

And then there are the storms. We all have storms in our lives.  They come they go, they pass. Some storms last longer than others and some do more damage.  When the storm is over it’s time to reassess take inventory and rebuild. It’s our choice, either we do it with grace and diginity or we get caught in the drama of the aftermath and become a victim of the storm.

The past year has been a whirl wind, swirling with the force of a tornado. In January of last year I started to come out of my shell and explore who I really am. I found myself asking frequently who am I? What do I want? Where do I want to be in my life? However; the entire time I was asking I was attached to the life I had. The title on my business card meant a lot to me (it seemed to be the place that I could gather my self worth). The fancy business suits, the 5 inch Michael Korrs Stillettos, the Tumi bags, and the five star hotels and resturants. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed the travel and I really enjoy connecting with people and seeing the world. Yes, I also enjoyed and have an appreciation for the fancy—expensive things.

In reality though, I got carried away and started to “judge” my own self worth by the title on my card, the hotel I was staying at and how many miles were racking up on my frequent flyer account.

It’s called the Rise before the FALL…

Everyone Falls Down from time to time...It's Finding the Courage to Get Back UP that counts.

Now when you are walking the warriors spiritual path home……it is called “living a lie” when you judge YOURSELF. So suddenly things started being removed from my life. So I could focus on my path. I resigned from my job as director of a nutrition company on May 3 of 2010.  In my heart I knew it was time to move to another place in life but I was attached to the friendship I had with my employer. She had been my leaning post and helped facilitate my being able to leave an abusive marriage. In return I gave her support, and a loving friendship also.   I carried and still carry a lot of love and gratitude for her in my heart. So you can imagine two hot headed females under stress and it came down to a head and I turned in my resignation. It was as if Mount Saint Helen had errupted and we both lashed out at each other in anger. Myself I got caught up and stuck in that web of anger and completely forgot to grieve the loss of my friend that was in my heart a Sister! I forgot to grieve leaving a job that I had worked my way up to over the prior 4 years. I could have handled it differently, but I wasn’t at a place at that time to do it.

Grieving did not get accomplished before I got the bright idea to move forward to another position prematurely. I went to work for a vitamin company as a territory sales manager.   My gift from the heavens above is being able to connect with people but COLD CALLING and  vitamin sales was not the ideal job for me at the time. Lets face it I did not fly and thrive being on the phone 8 hours a day doing cold calls. It’s hard to go from speaking at surgeons support groups, helping patients to be calm and find alternatives to their old eating patterns and holding space in my heart for them as they expressed their concerns about their surgery and after life, and hoping that I somehow shed some light on the matter for them… that is what brings me joy. I loved the company I was working for and the integrity that backs them but I did not love Cold Calling.

So by October 15 I had seperated from the company that I worked for as a territory manager and set out to build a new life. What I found is a competitive job market that I am either over qualified or under educated. I have 20 years of nursing as an LPN under my belt and because I let my license lapse a few years ago thinking I would never need them again in “business” it would be a process getting them back.

I remember about a year ago when I had jokingly said, I need a sabbatical from my life so I can sort things out.  It’s true I suppose that the Universe always provides and since I had asked, she granted. Only, I was kidding and wasn’t prepared. So what did I do? Again I reacted, this time not in anger but in fear. Afraid of where I would live, how I would pay my bills, and even WHAT WILL PEOPLE THINK OF ME. *sigh* In the meantime I could not afford my apartment any longer and found myself with no where to live. Fourty, freaking out and homeless. For the first time in many years I called out and asked GOD ARE YOU OUT THERE? ARE WE STILL ON SPEAKING TERMS? I could not understand why God was not answering my prayers. I started to feel depressed and the only way I knew to deal with it was to dedicate myself in pure devotion and conviction to my spiritual path, because with depression and darkness there is that feeling of despair that too often leads to “giving up”.

I was hurting a lot inside and still neglecting to grieve my losses. (don’t get me wrong I am all for affirmations and was proclaiming affirmations daily, but with gratitude we also must acknowledge and grieve our losses) By this time the pile of grief was growing taller than me.

Digging my heals in and grounding myself was all I could do at that point. I was taking the bulls by his Gonads and fighting this war that was inside myself.  The past year has been spent doing the Eat, Love Pray of my life, only I didn’t get to tour Italy, Bali or India. I suppose I could call it the Eat, Love Pray on a Budget story, or even the From Riches to Rags on the Outside but Rags to Riches on the Inside.. but it has been more of a Wizard of Oz story for me.

My journey took me deep within myself and introduced me to my soul and my spirit. It’s been wonderful learning who I am, what I stand for and my own personal mission statement. My worth is not determined by the title on my business card, I don’t need a card at all. My name resonates in the heart of God not because of the designer name on my tag, but because I AM. One may not have a house with four walls but they are never homeless if they live in their heart. Yet the longest journey I have ever taken was only 18 inches from my Head to my Heart.

Don’t assume God isn’t answering your prayers. Trust me as I have learned my lesson assuming makes an ass out of the assumer not God. Listen closely and you will see that even in the darkest, longest storms God is right there holding your hand.

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Steven Tyler has a heart!

Challenge Day 3 A picture of the cast from my favorite show. THIS is the ONLY show I watch…”Shit fire and save the matches, pluck a duck and see what hatches” American Idol… I haven’t watched TV in years and I spent a week at my friends Bob and Havens house and suddenly love the American Idol show. I suppose part of it was the three of us laughing and crying through the Idol marathons. Part of it was remembering how much I loved Steven Tyler’s music in my younger days. Oh yeah, sure I was very aware he was a wild rocker and it was totally against my parents rules and polices to listen to songs like WALK THIS WAY…

In my mind I thought he was some kind of wild freak, who sings rock and roll music… FUNNY thing is when I watched American Idol, and saw how he was with some of the singers, the ones with the “stories”.. I saw his heart… WHAT Steven Tyler the wild rocker with all the ladies trailing behind… I figure if I am able to see his heart, surely I must be able to see MINE… (Maybe I won’t need the Wizard of Oz afterall).

Anyhow, Haven just laughed when I saw his heart open up wide and “care” for the fans and I told her he reminded me of Jesus… But think about it really… I suppose I am turning into a big softie when I can look at everybody and see the love of Jesus Christ in their eyes.

 

 

Photo Challenge Day 4 My Night. Full Moon on the beach, a beautiful sight. I can sit for hours and listen to the waves, and just relax.

Somewhere over the Rainbow Poto by Cheri Kittle @ * http://www.medicinetreestudios.com

Day 5 photo of my favorite memory… My favorite memory is the moment I became aware, I am more than just this body, more than a job title, a certification or any role I might play…. Now to figure out what to do with me.

 

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This Valentine’s Day, what will you do in the name of love?

 

I am having a Peace Filled heart, chocolate filled hearts were over rated!

 

 Like many people, I’ve had good Valentine’s Days and well, not so good.

The “good” dates back to middle school, when I, like many of my classmates, anxiously created the most beautiful valentine bags to hold all the “heart” felt cards in celebration of “love”.

The bad leads back to my married days, oh don’t get me wrong, my ex-husband often did remember to buy me a card for Valentines day, but there was no “heart” or “love” on Valentines day or any of the other 364 days out of the year. So, getting a card is just not that meaningful when it’s just words on paper. Sorry Hallmark!

I love it that there’s a day in our busy lives when we officially celebrate love. I’m not just talking romantic love, like Hallmark would have us believe, but the real-deal, universal stuff-of-life that makes up who we really are. Behind all our roles and personalities and professionalism, each of us, at essence, is a living, loving being. Sure, on the other 364 days of the year we might try to fake it, but on this one day, the world agrees: Love is where it’s at. Call it spirit, call it sweetness — whatever you want to call it, we’ve all got it. It’s just a matter of what we do with it. I am sort of putting a challenge out here… can you celebrate love EVERYDAY? Not just Feb 14th? It’s something I am going to work on.

There are plenty of ways to do good and feel good this Valentine’s Day. Here are a few of my favorites.

1. Will You Be My…Volunteer? There’s no shortage of ways you can help. Volunteer at a local soup kitchen, animal shelter, or favorite nonprofit, or offer to tutor a child in reading or math.

2.  Put the “Fun” in Fundraising. If you’re taking that special someone out for a pricey dinner, why not have your bill go to a good cause? Check your newspaper or online city pages for Valentine-themed fundraisers that support local nonprofits. Or better yet, throw your own happy hour or party, and donate the proceeds to charity.

3. Give a Little Bit. Sometimes a little helps a lot. Looking to put your money where your mouth is? If you have the extra funds donate to a cause you believe in.

4. Send Love Letters. Not just to your sweetheart, but to people and organizations that are doing good things for the world. Tell them why you respect and appreciate their work, and that they really do make a difference.

5. Reach Out to Those in Need. Deliver homemade Valentine’s cards or heart-shaped cookies to the sick, the elderly, the homeless — and their caregivers. Call a local children’s hospital, nursing home, domestic violence or homeless shelter and ask how you can donate an hour or two of your time. Nursing homes are filled with kind hearts and beautiful souls… just an hour of your time looking into their eyes means more than you can register in $$ signs.

 

6. Remember Those Who Do for  You. Think of all those people who make your life easier and more convenient — every single day. Give a thank-you card to the bus driver or the barista who serves you your latte. Personally thank the janitor who keeps your office or campus clean, or the people who pick up your trash.

7. Clean Your Closets. Get a head start on spring-cleaning and donate clothes, toys, furniture, household items, and old computers to nonprofits accepting them. Check your local Big Brothers Big Sisters, Salvation Army, or Goodwill Industries. Lighten your load, and in the process give to others.

8. Love Your Mother (Earth). Take the trash challenge: For one day, see if you can generate zero trash. Zip, nada, nothing. No cardboard boxes, no disposable containers, no bottled water. Think of what you can reduce and re-use, and call your county or city waste management to find out about local compost programs.

9. Get Your Heart Pumping. Charity walks and runs raise money for a good cause and get you moving in the great outdoors. Bring the family or your co-workers along to make it a team event. To find an event, check your local American Heart Association or a local runners’ club. There are walks from Obesity, walks for Aids, Multiple Sclerosis, Lupus, Diabetes and Breast cancer to name a few.

10. Adopt a Pet for a Day. Offer to take care of a pet for an ill or homebound neighbor. Volunteer at your local animal shelter to take the dogs for a walk. Or adopt an Eagle through http://www.eagles.org  and you’ll get a fullness in your heart you won’t soon forget. Nature centers and wildlife animal hospital’s are always in need of helping hands.

11. Say it With Organic Flowers. Buy fresh organic blooms from your local farmer’s market, or send a bunch from Organic Bouquet, which donates 10 percent to charities like CARE, the Global Fund for Women, and the American Red Cross.

12. Be Kind While You Dine. Taking your sweetie for a steak dinner this V-Day? Choose a restaurant that sources its meat from sustainable, humanely treated and harvested animals & farms.

13.Continue to Support Disaster Relief. We don’t hear much about Haiti or the Gulf Coast on the news these days, but these disasters are in need of much support. Here are a few ideas: Adopt a Brown Pelican through the International Bird Rescue Research Center, which picks up oiled birds, cleans and rehabilitates them. Or provide direct support to those facing financial devastation due to the Gulf Coast spill by donating at Protect Your Coastline.

14. Love your Mother Our mothers give us something in life no one else can give… our life… they carry us in their womb for 9 months and bring us into the world… Thanks to all the mothers out there…

 

15. Celebrate with Small Acts of Kindness. Valentine’s Day isn’t the only holiday this week: February 14-20th is Random Acts of Kindness Week. What can you do? Pay for a coffee, lunch, or a toll for the person behind you in line. Tape the exact change for a soda to a vending machine. Send cards with joyful messages to strangers. Collect canned goods for a food bank. Shovel a neighbor’s driveway, or babysit a friend’s child, for free. Got any idea’s on random acts of kindness. This is also your chance to be creative… how will you show an act of love and kindness in your own creative way?

Question: Do you have a charitable idea for Valentine’s Day? Something you’re planning to do or give? Let’s hear about it! Send me a comment below. Do you have a random act of kindess idea to share? Would you like to give a shout out and just say I love you to someone randomly? Let’s hear it from you…

PS ~ This would be the ideal “love” gift …

 Soaring Eagle Life Member – $1,000 donation (receive AEF membership certificate, lapel/hat pin, key chain, decal, coffee/tea mug, t-shirt, ball cap, special recognition plaque/ statue, quarterly “Eagle Extra” online newsletter, signed limited edition eagle art print & guided tour of the AEF facilities in Pigeon Forge, TN. Travel expenses paid by donor)

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