NEW YEAR – NEW ME

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Though the  first post on this topic, I  started this new journey to uplift the BODY, SPIRIT and MIND at the beginning of the year.

Thus far, I have brought several things into my space as I meander down this path of becoming a NEW ME in this NEW YEAR.

UPLIFT THE BODY

I am grateful for a strong support team of likeminded FAMILY MEMBERS, FITBIT FRIENDS, and FELLOW FACEBOOK 70 DAY CHALLENGERS who strive to follow a HEALTHY LIFESTYLE regimen. I interact with one or more of them on a daily basis. This keeps me informed, motivated, inspired and challenged to stay on track in my efforts to UPLIFT THE BODY.

I have a FITBIT and 70 DAY CHALLENGE goal of 10,000 steps daily and, with few exceptions, met and/or exceeded this goal.

 

UPLIFT THE SPIRIT

To uplift the SPIRIT, I confiscated Hubby’s abandoned and ignored MAN ROOM to create a space, for me, to BE IN STILLNESS  and MEDITATE. 

In the pre-dawn hours, I retreat to the  SERENITY ROOM. It is the place, for me, to build the solid foundation, which always seem to sustain me throughout the day.

UPLIFT THE MIND

Always open to learning something new, I agreed to go to a WATER COLOR PAINTING CLASS with the 25-year-old granddaughter.  I enjoyed the quality time spent with my MINI ME, but made the CHOICE to not return for a third class.

I am grateful that the NEW ME felt empowered enough to walk away, without carrying the burden of guilt, to something that no longer served to UPLIFT THE MIND.

However, I plan to keep the two partially-finished pieces as a reminder of a wonderful bonding experience with my MINI ME.

Maternal Family Memories – The House on Wentworth Avenue

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I chose my blog as the platform to write about memories of my maternal family to preserve our African-American history after 1870.

Memories

For most of my childhood, I lived in a House on Wentworth Avenue on the Southside of Chicago.  My great-great-grandparents, Gilbert and Mary Shegog’s two sons, Uncle Buddy and Uncle Robert jointly purchased the home in the mid-1940s.

I lived in this house with my mother and an extended family of great-grand uncles and aunts:

      • BasementAunt Sallie and Aunt Willie;
      • First FloorUncle Robert and Aunt Edna;
      • Second FloorUncle Buddy and Aunt L.D.;
      • AtticMama and ME.

Uncle Robert was highly regarded by everyone in our family, neighborhood and church.  It might have been because of his non-domestic work status as an airport skycap who wore an official looking uniform.

Uncle Buddy and all the aunts worked as live-in domestic workers.  As live-in domestics, they left home every Sunday evening and returned on Thursday night.  One, or more, often returned home with barely used toys, games and clothing items for me.  My mother earned a minimum wage as a factory worker. I wore clothing bearing labels from some of the most expensive stores in Chicago.  They told me not to tell anyone what the “white folks.” gave me .  I believed the “white folks” would harm me for wearing “white folks” clothes.  It never occurred to me that I didn’t know any “white folks.”  Years later, I realized they were not concerned about the “white folks.” They didn’t want the “black folks” to know someone in their family wore second-hand clothes.

I am not exactly sure when my great, grand-aunts and uncles, the first generation born after the Emancipation Proclamation, left the Mississippi plantation and migrated north in search of a better life.

What I do know is these children of Gilbert and Mary Shegog, relocated to an unknown city, pooled their resources, and remained self-sufficient until they departed this life.  What they were able to achieve, as the first generation to migrate north, led to the next generation joining them to build upon what they started.

I will share further memories of the House on Wentworth Avenue in my next post.

 

 

 

Week 6: Mindful Monday – Healthy Living

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Week 6:  INTENTIONS

Thank you, Colleen, for hosting Mindful Monday – Healthy Living.   I begin each week with the INTENTION to mindfully move outside of my comfort zone to explore healthy living options.


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Week 5:  8 CREATION Health Principles

CHOICE

I made the  CHOICE, several weeks ago, to  Stop, Think, Observe and Proceed before acting.  When I take time to STOP, I make healthier decisions in all areas of my life.

REST

For more than a year,  I have fulfilled my INTENTION to get 7-8 hours of sleep nightly.  I slept 11+hours on Sunday and Thursday night.  Was this a healthy night’s sleep?

Seeking an answer, I went to WebMD, Sleep Disorders Health Center and read the  “7 Myths About Sleep”

Here’s what I found out:

MYTH:  If you can get it, more sleep is always healthier.

“FACT: …Some studies have found that people who slept more than eight hours a night died younger than people who got between six and eight hours.  What scientist don’t know yet:  Whether sleeping longer causes poor health or is a symptom of  it …. Long sleepers may suffer from problems such as sleep apnea, depression, or uncontrolled diabetes that makes them spend more time in bed.”

I believed the MYTH.  Even though I am being treated with overnight oxygen for sleep apnea, I am not concerned about the FACT.  If I begin to routinely sleep more than eight hours, I will check in with my pulmonologist.

ENVIRONMENT

I struggled through congestion and a cough that kept me housebound for most of the week, but I was able to connect with nature’s ENVIRONMENT.  I looked at photos taken during past mindfulness walks through my neighborhood; and felt as though I was in the presence of nature.

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ACTIVITY

I began the week taking care of a sick husband with a cold.  Several days later, I came down with a cold. I wasn’t able to follow my normal weekly ACTIVITY routine; but, I was able to go upstairs to my relaxation room to exercise the:

  • body — physical therapy exercises, leg stretches, yoga belt and plank poses for 30 minutes x 3 days.; and
  • mind – mindfulness and meditation practices for 11-30 minutes x 7 days.

TRUST

This week, I went online looking for reading materials to address my SELF-TRUST issues.   The one that drew my attention,  “3 Ways to Develop Self-Trust,” written by Ms. Margaret Tartakovsky, M.S., Associate Editor, Word of Psychology who states:

“Everyone in your life has the potential of betraying you.  They may leave.  They may pass away. They may make a rude comment. They may cheat. They may lie. They may disappoint you in many different way.  We can’t count on anybody 100%.”

To develop SELF-TRUST, Ms. Tartakovsky recommends:

  1. Avoid people who undermine your SELF-TRUST.
  2. Keep promises to yourself.
  3. Speak kindly to yourself.

Having lived for more than 73 years, I have been hurt and abandoned by people who I loved and trusted.  In most cases, it was short-lived and temporary.  Other times permanent — Like my mother passing away, almost 48 years ago, I am just beginning to deal with the hurt and pain of that.

Also, I am still reading the book by Tara Brach, “True Refuge: Finding Peace and Freedom in Your Own Awakened Heart.”   It is bringing me closer to understanding that SELF-TRUST will come when I am able to unconditionally love and nurture ME.

INTERPERSONAL

While building SELF-TRUST, I do not want to compromise developing strong  INTERPERSONAL relationships.  

Searching for guidance, I found this book written by Cynthia Lynn Wall, “The Courage to Trust:  A Guide to Building Deep and Lasting Relationships.”  She writes:

“The person you need to trust first is yourself.  No one can be consistently supportive of you as you can learn to be.  Being kind to yourself increases self-confidence and lessens your need for approval.  Loving and caring for yourself not only increases SELF-TRUST, it also deepens your connection with others.

Inspired by this quote, I purchased the Kindle version and look forward to beginning this new learning experience.

OUTLOOK

Feeling under the weather and out of sorts this week with a cold, I tried to maintain a positive OUTLOOK.   

For the entire week, I connected with The Meditation Podcast to uplift the mind and spirit.  I was able to let go of the negative and embrace the positive by practicing the following meditations:

  • Power of Kindness
  • Emotional Clearing
  • Positive Thoughts
  • Peace
  • The Healing Smile

NUTRITION

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Luckily, I found all the ingredients for this Turkey Vegetable Soup in the fridge and pantry,

  • Chicken Broth
  • Dry Onion Soup
  • Canned Tomatoes
  • Tomato Sauce
  • Frozen Mixed Vegetables
  • Frozen Okra
  • Turkey Legs

I dumped everything into the slow-cooker and ended up with enough soup to carry Hubby and I through the week.  When I have a cold, a hot cup of soup makes everything better.

 

 

 

Week 4: Mindful Monday – Healthy Living

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INTENTIONS

I start Week 4 of Mindful Monday – Healthy Living with the INTENTION to, daily, embrace and follow the eight CREATION principles of living life to the fullest.

 The 8 Principles – Week 3

CHOICE

Though still a work-in-progress, I feel good about the Mindful Choices made during the week.

REST

Six of seven nights were restful and met the good sleep hygiene standards of 7-8 hours.  One sleepless night led to a pain flare-up the next day; and, I made a Mindful Choice to let go of DOING and spend the entire day BEING.  In other words, DOING nothing and BEING still.

I was Mindful of Pacing my activities.  Instead of, continuously, walking for 45 minutes on the treadmill, I put the machine on a 1-minute pause every 5-10 minutes to rest. stretch and breathe.  I left the fitness center refreshed rather than exhausted.

ENVIRONMENT

I went on a MINDFUL 45-minute walk through my neighborhood.  From time-to-time, I walked at a slower pace and paused to connect with nature’s beauty:

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A Mindful Walk with Just ME and My Shadow

ACTIVITY

Exercised the body on six of the seven days for 45-60 minutes, I:

  • walked on the treadmill and/or glided on the elliptical machine for three days at the fitness center;
  • walked through my neighborhood one day; and
  • followed my early-morning exercise routine of leg stretches with the Yoga Belt, home physical therapy exercises, and/or plank poses.

I made the Mindful Choice to heed the advice of my massage therapist who is a practitioner of yoga and pilates.  She encouraged me to do plank poses every other day and not daily to give my muscles a day of rest.

Mindfully, I made the Choice to uplift the mind and spirit, daily, with a 20-30 minute meditation practice.

TRUST

My INTENTION this week was building Self-Trust.  I made the Mindful Choice to begin the 21-day Chopra meditation practice, “Become What You Believe.”  

“to seek our true nature and discover our path to health and happiness.  You will discover your soul’s purpose and create a life in which things are within reach.”

I am hopeful that as I grow in the belief of ME, Self-Trust will follow.

INTERPERSONAL

I love going to the car wash with Hubby.  It gives me the opportunity to buy my favorite line of greeting cards.

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This week, I thought about girlfriends that I have bonded with over the years.  I made the Mindful Choice to send cards to three of them:

  • DJ, lives in Illinois.  Girlfriends since the womb and we stay connected via telephone. I last saw her at my youngest daughter wedding in 1998.
  • VB, lives in Milwaukee.  Girlfriends since 1996. We come together twice a year when I visit Wisconsin.  In turn, she sets aside one day to spend with us during her annual Florida vacation.
  • JL lives in Wisconsin. Friends for many years and Girlfriends for the past five.  We connect regularly via social media and always get together when I visit Wisconsin.

OUTLOOK

I re-affirm a positive attitude by reading motivational and inspirational quotes.  I share uplifting words via social media. Both serve to improve my  OUTLOOK on life.

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NUTRITION

I made the Mindful Choices to:

Snack on pistachio nuts and kosher dill pickles as opposed to a 220 calorie piece of cake.

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Read the nutritional label on this container of coleslaw before putting it on my dinner plate.

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Grateful for making the Mindful Choice to change the way I live my life to improve the quality of my life!!!