For a while now, I’ve been feeling pulled towards cutting gluten and sugar out of my diet. I have a raging, uncontrollable Sweet Tooth Monster that must be tamed and it is not pretty. I just don’t feel healthy lately. My allergies are back, my weight is rising, my energy has plummeted, and overall I just know that I’m not respecting this beautiful body that I have. We're also ready for the baby-making part of this journey and I want to be as healthy as I can be for my mini-me incubation.
The research I’ve done says that it’s worth it to try this sugar/gluten free path, even though I know it’s a difficult one because it’s outside of the mainstream of our American diet. I don’t even taste most of the food I eat because I just cram it down in a hurry or while I'm doing something else. Truthfully, that pizza and cake I’m grieving over missing is something I don’t stop to enjoy when I do eat it, so this gluten free thing won't bee so bad.
Well, I’ve done something radical (for me). I started my new eating plan on a Wednesday. I just decided enough was enough and I was ready to start. I normally wait for Sunday or Monday, but this time I decided I couldn't just put off my new life. I had to go. And if you're also a wait for Monday kind of girl, I really encourage you to just start right now. Not "tomorrow" or "next week" or "when the time is right". Right now, in whatever way you can.
Maybe that means you write a paragraph of your book, even though you don't know exactly where the story is going.
Maybe you'll spend 5 minutes researching trainings online for that skill you need, even though you don't know how you'll pay for it.
Maybe you'll choose to have a piece of fruit instead of a candy bar, even though you don't have healthier meals all planned out.
Maybe you’ll take two minutes for a breathing meditation, instead of waiting for a half hour of ‘free time’ that will never show up. Maybe you'll dance while you cook dinner, because your favorite song is on and it just feels good to boogie, even though you aren't wearing work out clothes or proper shoes or- or- or ....
Whatever it is, take that baby step (or giant leap if you're feeling it) and your goal will be that much closer. The miracle is that you will feel so amazingly productive from starting RIGHT AWAY that you’ll get the motivation to do more and go further.
When I decided to start on Wednesday, it was Tuesday night. I actually started right then, because for dinner I had a Spinach & Blueberry smoothie that was jam-packed with nutrients and freshness. And Wednesday morning, when my friend brought in cinnamon rolls, I didn’t waiver. I could have said “Well, I haven’t really started, so I can have one and start tomorrow.” But I didn’t. I had a fruit snack and really enjoyed it. I savored the tartness of the grapes and the sweetness of the strawberries.
Most of all, I savored the beauty of choosing my own radiant health over the temporary sweetness of a pastry laden with sugar and artificial ingredients. Choose your own beautiful dream right now. In this moment, because this moment is the only one you’re guaranteed.
If you also have struggled with eating or with feeling unhealthy, Goddess Leonie’s Radiant Goddess E-course
is starting next week as a group cycle or you can start it on your own right now. That is an affiliate link, because I truly adore her Goddess Circle
and the magics you can access there and I believe we should all join the circle. I’m using the e-course as the basis for my own new eating plan, so let me know
if you sign up and we can check in with each other for support!If you need support in taking your giant leaps and honoring your own beauty, please check out my Work page for more info on how we could work together. Or go here for info about a free Fairy Godmother Session to dig into your dreams and see what magics we can find.
One of the comments on my What's the Best? post
resonated as a comment that so many women might have made.
RT said "Reading your blog made me smile. It really struck deep. I'm the kind of person to think that their "best case scenario" is the dream that will never come true and their "worst case scenario" is reality. I'm working on believing that I can have a "best case scenario" reality."So many of us let ourselves be paralyzed by that fear that the Best Case is just a pipe dream. We focus so much on what we don't have and it locks us into that place of lack. We dream of the future and it never comes. And one of the
reasons is that we don't ACT. We say, "Oprah would never read my book", so we don't even write. In my post, the whole scenario hinged on Gayle buying my book for Oprah. But if I never write it, she can't possibly buy it. Maybe she still won't, but there is ZERO chance of her extracting it from my head. "Once you make a decision, the universe conspires to make it happen." ~Ralph Waldo Emerson
Maybe the mere act of writing that book will reveal another dream or path to me. Maybe I'll discover that I really don't want to publish my book, but that my goal is to share my words in another way- maybe greeting cards or T-shirts. It may be that I'll never be on Oprah, but I'll have that same feeling of fulfillment and joy that my vision gave me. It's just a way to feel that feeling and the details are irrelevant. Without my action and dedication, my best case scenario will stay a mere hope in the distance instead of a bright light on my path, leading me on.
Don't forget that right now is a gift- that's why it's a present. (Yes, it's cliche, but it's also true.) Don't wait to to start living once your someday comes, or you're wasting all the gifts that today provides. Start to take the steps and do the work that gets you there. Gayle can't buy my book if it doesn't exist. You can't shine if you're hiding in a cave waiting for tomorrow. Your dreams are waiting for you to head in their direction.
Get up on your path and allow the Universe to shower you with all the Blessings you have in store. If you need support in seeing your path and setting your actions, please check out my Work page for more info on how we could work together. Or email me for a free Fairy Godmother Session to dig into your dreams and see what magics we can find.
Today makes 8 years since I moved into my village in Zambia, where I spent 3 years as a Peace Corps Volunteer in the Community Health Program. It was Easter morning, so it was quiet there while everyone else was at church. I was fresh out of my three-months of training and ready to start the new life I'd signed up for. I was terrified to be there all alone, thousands of miles from home, to figure out the language and culture and start working at a job I wasn't sure I was ready for. I was excited to try it out anyway and to make new friends. Two years later, I signed on for an extra year, so I obviously fell in love with my job and with Zambia. Clearly, that experience is one of the key events of my life and the impact on my growth and development is beyond words. Today I am full of memories and gratitude for the friends I made and the gifts I gained. I am especially grateful to the children who lived near me- they were extremely patient teachers of language and culture. Even though I was a fully capable, able-bodied adult, I never would have survived village life without the help of children under the age of 12.
Forster, Me, Mwelwa, Chabby, Ellen, Eliza- My best friends and greatest teachers.
Here are just 10 of the lessons I learned there:
1. A storytelling circle is a priceless gift. Gather ‘round the fire with your friends and share your stories. Even if you’ve told them 100 times, it’s still so much better than the reruns you could watch instead. Some of my best memories from the village are of those story times, even when I couldn't understand them, because the feeling in the circle was of love and community.
2. We are each individuals and deserve attention. In Zambia, when you walk into a meeting, you go around and shake hands with each person and go through a greeting sequence with them, asking how they are and how their family is. You don’t just wave hello at the whole bunch- that will be offensive and get you nowhere. Back in American settings, I've found that instead of just plowing into asking someone something- like at the grocery store- if I first ask them how they are and really listen, it changes the experience. It's more personal and connected and feels so much better.
3. A smile can still light up a room, even when you don’t speak the same language. And a tremendous amount of your message can be conveyed with facial expressions.
1. art time in the village! 2. Me, Patrick, Chief Chimesi's son & wife, Chief Chimesi, Parvathy (my best friend & fellow Peace Corps Volunteer)
4. Share whatever you have. I can't count the number of times I'd see two kids sharing one pair of shoes- each wearing one shoe. There is no greater example of sharing than that. And my neighbors always offered to share their food with me, no matter how little of it they had. No matter how little I think I have, I ALWAYS have enough to share with someone else.
5. Make an honest effort. In my meetings, my caveman Bemba normally got my message across (Boil water. Wash Hands. No diarrhea.) and there was always a translator to assist me when it wouldn't. But, the fact that I showed that I was trying to learn the language and making a genuine effort was always well appreciated by my audience. I always got shocked comments from people who were so moved that I'd tried, even though I murdered their language. It's always worth it to try to use your skills, even when you're not yet an expert.
6. Imagination opens the whole world up for your exploration. Zambian kids create the coolest toys. They make their own soccer balls out of plastic grocery bags and string, make real moving toy cars out of juice boxes and flip flops, and use charcoal for chalk. I was constantly in awe of their ability to create something out of nothing.
7. One woman's trash is another's treasure. I know this is a clichéd statement, but I saw it for truth in the village. I learned to look at my trash and at recycling in a whole new light. I didn't throw away plastic bottles- I saved them to reuse or to share with my neighbors. I even sent my charcoal brazier home with the kids every day after I finished cooking; because they used them to keep warm while they slept (I had enough blankets and preferred them). The ashes then came back to me and went into my pit latrine to reduce odors. Nothing wasted.
8. There is always room for joy. Laugh, sing, dance. My friends and neighbors in Zambia were not always well fed. There were periods when the harvest was poor and they were starving or sick. However, they were always laughing and singing and dancing. If they can choose joy when they're dealing with so much, how can I not choose it just because I'm having some minor trial? Also, any empty container or flat surface can be a drum. There is never a good excuse not to dance.
9. You can find love in the most unexpected of places. I met my husband in the market, in front of the used tires and miscellaneous metals. It was over a year later that we started dating, but the market will always be special for us, since that's where we first met.
Me & Joshua- 2007, Zambezi
10. NOTHING tastes as good as fresh, warm peanut butter pounded with your own two hands.
Thank you, Zambia! You are always my second home and I'm so grateful for the multitude of blessings you gave me. Thank you to all the beautiful people who are now part of my life and my heart because of that adventure! If you need support in seeking out your dreams, please check out my Work page for more info on how we could work together. Or got here for info about a free Fairy Godmother Session to dig into your dreams and see what magics we can find.
Image by IzaDa
(Originally guest posted here on KindOverMatter.) You’re dirty.
You’re no good and you cause destruction everywhere you go.
You make me feel dirty.
You’re a snob. You’re greedy and unkind.
If I said those things to you, would you want to hang out with me? Would you be my friend? I know I wouldn’t and I doubt that you would. (Side note: If you would or you have a friend who makes you feel that way, PLEASE read this and then get a coach or a good friend to help you build up your self-worth muscles, because I promise you are worth so much more than to be treated like that.)
Yet, we all say those things about money and the people that have it every day. It pervades our vocabulary, culture, and even the major religions. ‘Filthy’ rich. ‘Stinking’ rich. ‘Money is the root of all evil.’ ‘Money is dirty.’
Click here to read the rest. If you need support in bursting through your own limiting beliefs about money or anything else, please check out my Work page for more info on how we could work together. Or go here for info about a free Fairy Godmother Session to dig into your dreams and see what magics we can find.
1. One of my favorite photos of my parents. 2. My dad decided Mrs. Claus was more interesting than Mr., so he tried on the costume. Many hours of laughter have since ensued.
Yesterday was one of the best days I've had in a long time. I laughed so hard I couldn't breathe and my throat is sore today from it.
It's also the day I found out my little sister has endometrial cancer.
I know it sounds like those two statements can't possibly both be true, but they are. Her cancer is in the earliest, least aggressive stage and her doctor was very positive about the hormone treatments working for her.
This is not my family's first round with cancer. Thirteen years ago, my dad was diagnosed with stage four terminal sebaceous cell carcinoma. Today, he's as healthy and happy as ever. Chemo took a lot out of him, but he never lost his sense of humor or his positive attitude. (This is a man who wore his Cat in the Hat hat for his Sam's Club photo ID so that the door greeters and cashiers would smile when he came in.) He baked cakes for his chemo nurses and took them gifts every week. He's a farmer, but he retired after his diagnosis because he didn't have the energy for the labor intensive farm work. He took up sewing with his new-found free time and started making pillows for the chemo center to give the patients during their treatments. He made floor pillows for everyone he knew (I still have 3 of them). He and my mom made a book of the inspirational statements they found, including what Cancer CANNOT Do. They still give them to anyone they know who is affected by cancer. It took a toll on all of us, but the positivity and humor that we found certainly had a profound impact on his healing and helped us all cope with such a difficult situation.
My whole family is full of smartasses and we make wise crack comments all the time when we're together. Yesterday was no different. And my sister was leading the charge. Her doctor had a bit of trouble finding her cervix during the exam. Her response was "Oh, has it gone on a walkabout again? Well, keep looking, I'm not going anywhere." Her doctor cracked up and the room was full of smiles instead of sadness.
My sister's current treatment plan is hormone therapy and doesn't include radiation or chemo or surgery, so hopefully she won't have to deal with the worst of the side effects of cancer. Her outlook is sunny and she is full of the best medicines- love, laughter, and support. The forecast is brilliant and today truly is a Good Friday!
If you need a little medicine, here's a video that's sure to activate your laugh muscles:
If you need support in seeing the medicines in your life or in seizing the fun, please check out my Work page for more info on how we could work together. Or go here for info about a free Fairy Godmother Session to dig into your dreams and see what magics we can find.
One of my Spring photos, with some words of inspiration for you! “The reason birds can fly and we can't is simply because they have perfect faith, for to have faith is to have wings.” ― J.M. BarrieIf you need support in having faith in your wings, please check out my Work page for more info on how we could work together. Or go here for info about a free Fairy Godmother Session to dig into your dreams and see what magics we can find.