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Mind Move: Hello

There’s a part of us that never shuts up. Some call it in the inner critic. We are often seduced by our narration of the world because it makes us feel more comfortable when we can’t control the outside world. What ever the relationship to this constant chatter, we often get lost in our minds.

Mind move hello

 

There is a part of us that can disconnect from the drama in our heads. To do so we have to notice the narration. Try saying “hello” several times as a way to re-center. At a certain point you will become aware that “hello” is just another thought.

 

When we are able to become aware that we can hear our thoughts but we are not our thoughts, we become free from the hold our thoughts have on us.

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Monthly Playbook July 2017

The Monthly Playbook summarizes how scheduled and spontaneous play has enriched my life. A full and busy life can make finding time to play challenging. However, I have discovered that the more I play, the less stressed I feel.  My commitment to chronicle my experience playing each month will help me continue to prioritize play and hopefully inspire you to do the same.

Monthly Playbook July 2017

What a month! With two weeks of house guests in July, I definitely upped my play game.  There were boat rides, cook outs, dinners out, excursions and more.  I may need to dial back the fun a bit August.  Or at least make sure I have plenty of time to rest after the play time.

Scheduled Play

Pontoon Boat Rental: one of my goals for the Summer was to spend more time on the water.  Ever since I was a small child learning to sail, I have enjoyed disconnecting from what ever was happening on land and getting lost in the breeze.  Since I do not currently own a boat, I was thrilled when I stumbled across a rental company near me. It was super easy to rally my 4th of July house guests, some family and some friends for a day out on the water.  It was a super fun way to kick off Summer. There’s already talk of doing it again at the end of the season.monthly playbook july 2017

Reggae Showmusic is one of my regular go-to’s for play.  Listening to music is a routine part of my day.  I especially enjoy live shows and will watch any music documentary no matter the genre.  A legendary reggae group was scheduled to play near me.  I have never seen them and really wanted to go.  It felt like an immediate “yes” for me but I got caught up in debating the timing of the show (mid-week) and the logistics of attending (it would require a ferry ride and an overnight stay).  I am so glad I decided to purchase a ticket.  All the logistics worked out and the show was amazing.

 

 

 

Spontaneous Play

Lobster Roll Cruise:  I’ve been wanting to do this for a few years.  When I casually mentioned this excursion as an option to one set of my house guests, they were immediately interested.  I was super excited.  The boat was not too big and not too small. We enjoyed a cocktail before dinner on the upper deck and then went below deck for the meal. Everything was delicious–the food, the view, the company.  I hope to do this again soon!

monthly playbook july 2017

Lunch with “R”: My aunt and I typically schedule a summer lunch together.  Although, I can’t speak for her, I really enjoy the opportunity to catch up with her 1:1.  It occurred to me last Friday morning that we had yet to have our lunch. I texted her that morning and much to my delight, she was free.  I love it when an impromptu “plan” comes together. July has been such a full and busy month.  I was so grateful for a nice, long lunch with one of my favorite people.  The view was quite spectacular too.

monthly playbook july 2017

 

 

 

 

 

 

How did you play this month?

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How Does it Get Better Than This?

Something to say to yourself to keep the positive flow of the universe coming your way. Although useful when things are not going your way, this question is especially beneficial when things are going well. It will signal that you’re grateful and open to more. How does it get better than this?

How does it get better than this

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How I Discovered My Blind Spot

During the ten years while my father battled Parkinson’s Disease, I learned a valuable lesson about respecting boundaries and giving unsolicited advice. Witnessing his decline and was fraught with many emotions. It was scary to see someone who was once so physically strong and independent relying on others and devices (a walker and later, a wheelchair) to navigate the world. I had such a powerful desire to help. To do anything I could to stretch time so he could be with us for as long as possible.

There were moments of tension when he didn’t seem too open to hearing about the latest study or practices that could improve or prolong his life. He always humored me by politely listening but promptly returned to business as usual. Business as usual typically involved a fall, hospital stays and distress for those of us that loved him. I had all sorts of ideas and opinions on how we could prevent the next catastrophe and perhaps avoid the impossible, his eventual death.

My love and presence in his life, which I now see was more than enough for him to endure whatever came his way, compelled me to overstep. I didn’t want him to suffer. I wanted him in my life. He needed my help. I now see these beliefs as justifications for inappropriate behavior. There were times when he had specific needs and asked for help—rides to the doctor, could I make him a sandwich, assistance with his sweater or pills. I was more than happy to lend a hand. However, all that unsolicited advice and judgment about what he was or wasn’t doing. Not asked for and not helpful.

how I discovered my blind spotAfter he passed I was completely torn up by but the circumstances of his death. I felt a choice he made about his care hastened his decline and none of us said or did enough to prevent it. Deeply grieving, I shared my guilt about the situation with my uncle. He lovingly reminded me that my dad lived the life he wanted. It was all on his terms. It was then when I realized that loving and caring about the outcomes for someone does not give me permission to meddle in their choices. It was a hard lesson to learn.

Like most lessons, they repeat until you really get the point. As I went on to build my health coaching practice, I worked diligently and deliberately to empower my clients to make the best choices for themselves—no advice, no quick fixes, no judgment. My role is to shine a light on blind spots, share information and allow them to make their own decisions. How could I possibly know more than they do about what’s best for them? This practice has worked well for me in my professional life. It’s also helped me uncover a huge personal blind spot—loved ones.

I have room for improvement when it comes to over stepping and “helping” my loved ones. It’s hard for me to see them suffer. I want to lighten the load. Soften the road. Offer solutions. I get caught up in their struggles. I feel their pain. This became apparently clear with two close friends recently. Both are navigating some gnarly personal transitions. There have been hours of conversation dissecting the nuances of each situation. Their sustained struggles were making me uncomfortable. Instead of continuing to offer supportive listening, I shifted to judgment. It was subtle at first but when I realized what was going on, I felt terrible.

Although appalled by my behavior, I was grateful for this opportunity to cement a lesson that clearly needed reinforcement. Everyone has a right to make decisions about their life at the time and pace that is appropriate for them. No amount of care and concern gives anyone the right to impose their views upon their journey. The fact that I was lecturing my friends about boundaries, while at the same time disrespecting boundaries made this an especially bitter pill to swallow.

Here’s the next level learning of the lesson I needed to reinforce. Suffering doesn’t always need a solution. Sometimes people need to struggle. No amount of love, support or solutions will alter their path. Only their ability to choose something different will open up new possibilities for them. It’s not my place to persuade or prod them along. The bumps and bruises along the way are all part of the process–their process. A good daughter, friend and coach withholds advice (unless solicited) and judgment while standing beside their loved ones in silent solidarity.

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Stress Strategy: Is it real?

Stress Strategy: Is it real?

Thoughts about stressful events often cause anguish. You don’t have to believe your thoughts. They are often perceptions of a distorted reality. To verify truth and accuracy, pause and ask is it real?

 

Stress strategy: is it real?

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