A Life You Love

Nothing that we plan or imagine for ourselves actually happens as we think it will look like. It’s good to have goals but also necessary to be flexible because that is what will be most needed to avoid disappointment and/or depression.

We may never know the reasons things don’t work out as we thought they would; even if we did know, how would that change anything? What we can do is to never give up on a life of love we imagine. We can also adjust our thinking and goals as we move forward so that the life we are hoping for, imagining, will come to fruition in one way or another.

Giving up is easy, I’ve never chosen the easy path so I move onward.

Alive with Dignity and Strength

Like so many for the past few years I have been out of sorts. It seems for me that things have happened in a whirlwind making it hard to catch up, catch my breath and my focus.

My guy had hip issues and finally got it replaced in the summer of 2019. Three days later my mother passed away. My hands were already full and just got fuller; not to mention my mind. I planned to be Dale’s helper, of course I did. I also got everything my mother neeed so that she would be okay without me running over every day to help with one thing or another. My mind and body was pretty stressed out and to be honest I was looking forward to this small break from long and gruelling days with my mother. Anyone that knows her and me knows she was very demanding. I was her perfect pawn because I am very empathetic and a helper. That was a moment in time that I wouldn’t repeat. But I made it through with the help of family and friends; for them I am thankful.

Fast forward just four months and there was talk of coronavirus in other pasrts of the world but making their way to the USA. To add to that, Dale slipped and tore his quadricep 90% through on the same leg his hip was replaced. More surgery and more down time for him, for us. Covid-19 seeped in through every crack of every country and it hit hard and fast. As everyone reading this is aware, it caused us all to make major changes in our lives. Sadly, covid is still with us but is slowing…but enough of that subject here.

As I try to see things in a positive way, it’s sometimes difficult, especially when you hear the news in the world. As Ann Murray sang back in the 80’s, “we sure could use a little good news” – it’s still the truth today. The best I can do is pray to God for peace within me and within everyone in the world. The next best I can do is to be the peace, be the good, be the kindness I seek for all of us. It’s truly uplifting to see how one kind word or gesture can lift someone’s spirits, including your own.

I have fairly recently learned that I am too kind for some. I send gifts to family and friends and most of the time, they’re received well but not always. I’m a giver and a do-er, I feel that some friends and family think less of me for whatever reason, but I can’t change what they think. Maybe I’m awkward. I blame that on how I was expected to be during my growing years. I’m not cool. I’m not fashionable. I’m not fancy. I wish I was but one thing is certain, I am real. I am sincere. I’m authentic. I’m kind. I won’t trade any of that to be cool, fashionable, hip or fancy.

Like most of us I have dreams, goals, plans, intentions and so on. I have fallen off the cliff I was climbing and I had/have to start over. In the assemblance of readiness, I discovered there is more than one hill to climb. That to me is exciting; a breath of fresh air! I can actually choose a different cliff to sit upon. I can shift my intentions. I can recreate my present every single day. I have learned that it’s even okay to change my direction as each day unfolds. I AM alive with dignity and strength. I can leave old baggage where it is and move on without it. I have great visions of a future filled with love and dreams fulfilled.

I stand tall because He holds me up and strengthens me.

Imperfectly Perfect

I recently painted my kitchen cabinets. There’s a kind of calm that sweeps over me when I paint; perhaps I should try painting artwork! Someday.

My cabinets are old, they’re from the 70’s, so they have seen a lot in their time here, not to mention that the doors and drawers are plastic. Sigh. I will hopefully change that in the future but for now, after a new coat of light gray paint, they look pretty darn good.

While I was painting I found many dings, spaces, inconsistencies, nail and screw holes and I realized just how much the cabinets have been through. But, just the same, they serve their function perfectly. It got me thinking about all our own dings, scratches, spaces and scars of time and how we manage to “get through it” and function as we feel capable.

Our scars, physical and emotional, help to mould us into who we are.

Not one of us is perfect, and THAT makes us perfectly okay.

Keep your chin up, stand tall, foot forward.

You’ve got this thing called life!

Photo by Monstera on Pexels.com

Do Not Dwell, See New Things

This year has been a challenge for just about everyone I talk to. To be perfectly honest, the past few years have been wonky. For me, the reasons are various but not limited. As well as more difficult, stressful moments, there have been some pretty amazing moments too. Today, for the year end, I’m going to pour out my bucket to give myself some space for new experiences in the year(s) ahead.

I’ve struggled to understand behaviors of people all my life. Family, friends, co-workers, clients, strangers and more have never failed to baffle me. I had not understood why people would do or say such awful things to me and to others; I expected everyone to be kind, caring and giving like I am. It took far too long but I finally woke up. I have learned that a majority of people I am surrounded with are selfish, greedy, abusers of those who are the opposite of selfish greed. I have learned the true colors of people I have loved and trusted. Though I may never know why they treat me and others less than, I will [or have] let them go.

To sum up the past year I can agree that Covid-19 has truly disrupted our world. In fact, the world is disrupted in so many different ways and it’s not good. Knowing this, I can look forward with at least some expectations of how people will behave and react in society. I can look forward with my personal expectations and how I can walk in peace and love toward others. I plan to offset what seems to be the new normal.

Looking back at the happy moments of the past year brings a smile to my face and warmth overflowing in my heart. My eldest son got engaged to a truly sweet, caring and amazing woman. He loves her children as his own and I love them all as my own as well. Our family expanded and will expand a little more in March of 2022. I’m truly over the moon with happiness and love for all my kids – I love them so much that I claim them all as my own! I’m extremely happy for my son and is family. My only disappointment is that we are a ten hour drive apart from each other. At least we are blessed to be able to take that drive whenever we can.

My personal and work life has shifted slightly since 2017. My parents decided to move down from the northern part of New Hampshire to be closer to family. Closer to family was very close to me, so close in fact, that I lost all momentum I had with my holistic health coaching business. I lost clients and time because I was at my parent’s becking call. I was co.manded to be there every minute they wanted my help. My mother’s expectations was for me to do laborious things, rather than for a nice relaxed visit. I never said “no” to them, I obliged to avoid their anger. My father passed in 2017 so my mother expected even more from me – and she got it. I was worn and torn physically and mentally. Then she passed in 2019. I exhaled slowly. It has taken me two years to get my mind back to a safe and peaceful place. Which brings me to this moment. Where do I go from here?

A new dawn

I struggled much of my life to know what my God-given gifts are. I never believed I had any. I’m only now coming to realize that my gifts are kindness, hospitality, going the extra mile for others, giving, caring, lifting-up, listening, showing compassion and helping guide people to happiness, peace and acceptance of self and others. I remember years back when I had the conversation of my concern of having no gifts with my minister and his wife, they both agreed that hospitality was my gift. I refused to believe that could be a gift and that could even be an important gift to have. Hospitality?! What can that do to help others and bring others to feel the blessings God gives us?! Now I see it. I think I didn’t see it then because it comes so naturally to me that it doesn’t feel important or like work at all. I realize now, that our gifts shouldn’t at all feel like work. Knowing what my gifts are, finally, allows me to use them in the most valuable way possible. I am thankful for my gifts, though they might seem insignificant to some, I see them as important today.

I’ve recently been meditating on where to go from here. Where should my focus lie? What things and thoughts should I bring forth? In doing so, I have seen the same words, messages and images cross my path. The most common words in my view are renew, anew, make new, don’t look back, don’t dwell, see the new things, release yourself from fear or worry, inner strength, prayer, asking, peaceful mind, peace, see, listen, hear and notice. I see it in emails, video messages, songs, books, talks, the bible – I’m going to run with it. And I want to take you along with me if you’re willing to renew as well.

I want to let go of the old, the used and re-used, the past hurts, fears, worries and anxieties. We are new every single day so let’s make sure we start every day with that knowledge and move into it with ease and lightness. If we can let go of how we reacted to situations in the past and react with new expectations of today, we can overcome fears and worry with a more positive attitude. Set your expecations as you would like to see things happen. Pray on your needs and desires and the perfect answer will come. Walk forward with your head held high and your ego in check. No one person is better than the other, we all make choices that we think are the right ones, we behave in a way that either serves us or serves others; your choices make you who you are to yourself and to everyone else. Live with the person you choose to be, the one that you want others to know. Be the person who is kind, selfless and caring.

I will be the person people expect, only from today forward, I will not be abused by takers and selfish, abhorrent folks. I will be as kind to myself as I am to everyone else. Cheers to renewal, anew, new, peace, inner-strength, release, attention to others and love.

Peace to you in the year(s) ahead!

Forget the Past, Do Not Dwell, See the New Things – Deuteronomy 31:8

~Dawn

Who Will Take Care of You?

In short, the answer is you – or should be you. No one will meet your needs as you do. Most people either don’t know what you need or don’t care. Sure, they might ask you what you need and some are sincere and some use their offer as a tool. It’s people’s timing and often wording that defines their sincerity. The other important half of it is how or whether we ask for help. If you’re like me, you don’t care to “put people out”. Most often, I’d like to think, that we aren’t putting them out. I like to think that most folks are like me and willing to help at the drop of a hat.

There are many personalities. Mine is to not complain and to serve others..no matter what. This has gotten me into despair and worry. I don’t ever want to disappoint. Why? With my parents everything was about not disappointing them no matter how uncomfortable, wrong and inconvenient it felt; we did as we were told and kept our opinions to ourselves. This has unfortunately carried into pretty much every relationship, friendship and workplace connections. That has caused me pain and anxiety. But still, I try not to let others know.

I’m not often sick. I don’t consider chronic headaches/migraine a sickness though it’s often debilitating. I complain about splitting headaches to my two closest people but not to those around me on a daily basis – at work, at down time etc. I have learned to function with head pain. What I don’t do is put myself first, well, not until I truly need to stay home and battle whatever illness decides to attack me. Even using the word illness here, I cringe – I’m not ill, I’m just not well. How dare I be ill!

These past two week I have been ill. I have rescheduled clients, but I also tried to be a trooper and work through the ick. It didn’t serve me well. I did protect my clients from germs, thankfully. But I didn’t take care of myself through it until after. I hate to reschedule more than once, I hate to disappoint. In all that thinking, which truly isn’t logical, I have let myself down.

No one will take care of me except me. At least not as well. No one knows exactly what we need in any given time, they take queues from us and if we’re not sending signals then we are on our own. What signals do you send out? Do you ask for help? How does asking for help make you feel? Are you one of the few who fully takes care of what you need?

Do You Make Changes for Yourself or for Others?

Maybe you thought that you had to transform your eating habits or your lifestyle because others either said you should or it’s what everyone else was doing. Maybe you were exactly right for you before making changes.

Have you tried something new and ended up feeling frustrated or like you are failing at making positive change? I know I have. I guess I never really knew who I was because I was not ecouraged to be myself; I was encouraged to be who my parents wanted me to be which followed me into my adult life making a negative impact on me. I became a people pleaser to everyone – everyone except myself. I felt constantly disappointed, in myself, in others, in life.

Once I felt somewhat free of judgement I decided to attend a holistic nutritional wellness school because I was for a long time and still am, amazed by the fact that the right foods and lifestyle choices can keep your body healthy and often heal minor illness/issues. Food can make your body feel bright, strong and energized. Through attending school I’ve become more absorbed into different diets and sometimes frustrated by the contradictions of particular food’s health benefits. SInce my training I have changed my way of eating several times – basically following what others claim as healthy. The thing is, claims are ever-changing.

In the past eight or so years I kind of lost myself to conforming. As I began realizing that, I felt my head spinning with overwhelm. From that moment I decided to get back to what works for me. I thought I needed to improve my weight, my choices, my looks and all that comes with lack of self-esteem when I really only needed to change the way I thought of myself. I’ve grown tired of living with so much self-doubt. I realized not long ago that I can help others while being myself. I needed to make some changes but not drastic ones like I had done while in nutritional coaching school and long after graduating.

Think about things you have wanted to change. Make a list. Think about how you imagine yourself having made those changes. Do they fit your true self – your deepest inner being? Line your goals up with who you are. Make changes that will benefit your health and lifestyle. Don’t do what is currently popular because everyone else is doing it; don’t cave in to pressure.

Embrace the person you’ve always been. Just be you. Always strive and work toward being better than you were yesterday and let go of “everyone’s doing it” peer pressure. You were perfectly made, embrace that. We are all perfectly imperfect.

Every day, every new dawn is a chance to start over; even if that means going back to past good habits.

Stand tall, be you.

Choosing to be Thankful

If you read any of my past posts, you know that my childhood and young adulthood weren’t necessarily filled with love and hope and encouragement. My past in fact took a lot of time and energy from my present because I let it. I let it because everything needed to be pocessed in order to let it be. Today, I appreciate each day with my chin up.

When I was dealing with being haunted by my past abuse, I would hear and read things such as “let it go”, “move on” and “stop living in the past”. It is certainly easier said than done and even easier for someone on the outside to say it. I can honestly say that I haven’t let it go but I have let it be. There is nothing I can do to change what happened; it became part of who I am but it did not define me.

My mother was particularly tough on me. It didn’t matter what I said or did, how I looked, what I may have achieved, nor how kind I was to her at all times – she still found something negative or made negativity out of it. Despite that, I remained kind to her. I wanted to walk away so many times while in the moment but it’s not in me to abandon anyone. I remained because we are family and because I am always true to who I am. I remained helpful, kind, caring, serving and all that goodness but I did it for me. Hindsite, I have no regrets, I did all I could and then a little more.

If you’re struggling with a relationship whether with an extended family member, parent, sibling, spouse or other, it’s important to try to understand or at the very least listen to their side of the situation. What might seem outrageous to you is very real in their mind. False reality is real it’s likely an emotional issue. You may not ever understand their explanation and how life is/was for them but acknowledging their reality is fair. In some way, listening to another’s personal feelings, fears, and concerns just may help you appreciate that they are or were broken and made choices that felt right for them at the time.

While growing up there was not a lot of love shown to my brothers and me but we always had a place to live, clothes to wear and food to eat. We didn’t have designer things, we didn’t eat the finest foods but that was life then. We did have a very clean house and from that we learned how to clean well. We learned how to cook well. We learned perseverence and determination from my mother. We learned how to tune things out and let it slide from my father; though I’m not sure that is a good thing. We also had our maternal grandparents to lean on and that made all the difference – without them we would be lost still today. They didn’t step in and rescue us away from what was going on, I’m not even sure they truly knew but we could always talk to them and be with them. For them, we are all so very thankful.

While dealing with my mother in the more recent past there were times when I was so hurt and angry that I wished I could disappear. I didn’t want to go back and help her out nor spend time with her ever again. But that didn’t happen. I kept her in my life because despite my focus on her negativity toward me and others, she had good qualities too. I was quick to compliment her on those qualities to try to encourage her to be positive and proud in the good things. Though it rarely helped, I have no regrets calling out the good. Her cup was always half empty – mine is always half full.

Have you ever done something or thought a certain way in the past that you completely feel opposite about today? As we mature, our priorities change. As we experience life, we also experience growth.

We all want to feel accepted. We all make mistakes and many of them we cannot change and that doesn’t make us bad people. We still deserve love without condition. We learn from the things we say and do. We grow, we decide to break free from our self-made prison. Things won’t always be bad and things won’t always be good. Choose to keep people in your life, especially family but set healthy boundaries so that you and they can have peace.

We can’t change yesterday but we can start to love and live today and forever.

Where Do You Find Comfort?

Comfort comes in many forms and for each of us comfort means something very different from the next.

We all seek comfort. We look for it in our family members, our friends, sometimes strangers, nowadays we can reach out and find it through social media, we seek it from our pets, some look for it in cleaning, shopping, going to the gym, finding distraction in a movie; we also look to food for comfort and some look for it in a glass of wine, a bottle of beer or other alcohol. I’m sure there are hundreds more ways people look for and sometimes find comfort.

Along with looking for comforting situations comes the reason we seek it. Those reasons are endless and among them is stress, sadness, boredom, depression and loneliness.

Too often many comforts lead to less than healthy choices. We crave certain foods when we seek comfort. Particular textures and tastes have much to do with how we are feeling. Common cravings are sweets, carbs, junk foods and alcohol. Giving in to these cravings leads us into a downward spiral often leaving us feeling worse.

If you find yourself seeking comfort on a regular basis and turning to foods or activities that you know deep down isn’t doing your body or lifestyle any good, take a step back and make a decision to finally take care of YOU. Self-care is not selfish. Self-care is important for a healthy, happy and long life.

As a holistic wellness coach, I’ve helped people overcome their overwhelming desire to give in to self-sabotaging choices for seeking comfort. Is seeking unhealthy comforts getting you down? Reach out to me here 🙂

Don’t Look Back

Today, while I was completing a menial task, my mind wandered off to remembering how time felt like it dragged on so slowly as a kid and how time seems to fly by now.

Becoming truly caught in my past through thought, I remembered how much I wished to get out of the home, the abuse, the negative energy and feeling like each of us kids couldn’t do anything right. Walking on eggshells flooded back in. Wondering what the mood would be like once we woke up and started the day.

While thinking about all those moments again and bringing myself back to today and how time has gotten away, I felt let down, scared, short-changed and anxious. Anxious that I am going to miss out on more happiness in life, anxious that half of my life is over. The first half of my life seemed to drag on, how can this second half be so fleeting?

I was suddenly brought back to reality in an instant; the instant a song came on the radio at exactly the right time! Here I was sunken deep in the past and worried about the future when the group Boston shouted to me, “Don’t Look Back”! Wow, the power of the Lord in this universe and in our lives!

I’m humbled. I’m thankful. And, I have a new favorite song for the moment. Message received loud and clear!

Every New Dawn is another chance to start over. That is something wonderful!

Stand Tall!

Dawn

Self-Awareness is part of Self-Healing and Growth – It is not Selfish!

Every New Dawn is a Time to Renew

I am free.
I am whole.
I am good.
I am kind.
I am not the negative energy that others tried to fill me with.
I am not made of the stones that others threw at me.
I am not weak like the sticks that were hurled my way.
I am sometimes fragile but never frail.
I can be counted on by others and for myself.
I am a bright light in the middle of someone’s dark day.
I am enough.
I love enough.
I do enough.
I can do more.
I am open to fantastic adventures.
I am content when I need to be.
I am God’s child.
I am loved.
I am not broken.
I am vital.

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