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.

Week 2: Mindful Monday – Healthy Living

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First, thanks to SilverThreading for hosting Mindful Monday – Healthy Living.

Second, I met most of my Week 2 Intentions, which were to live life to the fullest by following the eight CREATION Health principles.

Third, this is how my week went.

CHOICE

Making the CHOICE to BE STILL and BREATHE before REACTING throughout the day.  I did just that and experienced less stress, doubt and conflict during the week.

REST

Sleeping through the night is healthy.  I went to bed between 8:00 and 9:00 p.m. and arose between 4:00 a.m. and 5:00 a.m.  Seven to eight hours of sleep is good sleep hygiene according to the National Sleep Foundation.  I, also, paced my activities during the day and stopped to rest and breathe,  if for no more than five minutes.

ENVIRONMENT

Being in the presence of nature brings happiness and peace into my space.  I did not fulfill my Intention to visit a local park or botanical garden. However, I spent time on our lanai, which backs up to a conservation area.  Sitting, in silence , I enjoyed the beauty of the lush green trees and my self-created Healing Container Garden.

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ACTIVITY

Beginning the day with a 20-30 minute Mindfulness/Meditation practice is how I choose to set the course for the rest of the day.  Building upon this foundation, four times a week, I did thirty minutes of either home physical therapy exercises or YouTube yoga practices as well as three plank poses for five minutes – two for two minutes and one for one minute.  Walked the treadmill and glided on the precor machines at my fitness center for forty minutes, three times per week.  This completed my exercise routine.

TRUST

Holding on to anger and frustration exacerbates stress.  For several months, Hubby ignored repeated requests to hang four pictures in my meditation room.  I relied on Trust.  Married to this man for more than fifty-five years: I know he is reliable, good, honest, and, most of all a loving and caring husband.  At 74-years-old, he has earned the right to move at his own pace.  After all, I am an independent SeasonedSistah capable of doing many things and Trust that I will be able to hang pictures.  If not, I have the number to a handyman service.

INTERPERSONAL RELATIONSHIPS

Going beyond self and opening up to improve INTERPERSONAL RELATIONSHIPS is healthy. So, I reached out and connected, by phone, with a long-time friend, attended a photography class at the local senior center, and signed up to attend a Breast Cancer support group meeting in February.

OUTLOOK

Expressing thankfulness opens the door to a positive OUTLOOK.  Daily, I expressed gratitude, verbally as well as in writing, for the five things I was grateful for in my Gratitude Journal.

NUTRITION

Moving away from traditional soul food and toward healthier food options makes sense.  However, my southern heritage and African-American roots keeps me tied to these traditional dishes. Fulfilling my INTENTION, I went to one of my cookbooks and prepared three healthy soul food dishes:

  • Field Peas with Okra
  • Cabbage
  • Southern Corn Bread

Field peas with okra and cabbage are traditionally cooked with ham hocks, bacon salt pork or a ham bone.  Several years ago, in pursuit of a healthier option, I replaced the pork with smoked turkey.  Hubby and I enjoyed the vegetarian versions of these dishes and enjoyed a healthy and tasty Sunday soul food dinner.

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Incorporating the eight CREATION Health principles into my life over the last seven days helped to uplift my mind, body and spirit.

 Healthy Living is How I Choose to Live.

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Handbook for Life

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While purging files last week, trying to declutter my office space; I, came across the Handbook for Life (author unknown).  A breast cancer support group friend sent it to me several years ago.

Rather than filing this document again and sending it back into hiding for another two years, remaining unseen until the next filing purge, I chose to share the 39 tips in this post.

After the last tip, I give an honest assessment of where My Life is in relation to the four categories presented in the handbook:  (1) Health, (2) Personality, (3) Society, and (4) Life.

Handbook for Life

Health

  1. Drink plenty of water.
  2. Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a beggar.
  3. Eat more food that grow on trees and plants and eat less food that is manufactured in plants.
  4. Live with the 3 E’s — Energy, Enthusiasm and Empathy.
  5. Make time to pray.
  6. Play more games.
  7. Read more books than you did last year.
  8. Sit in silence for at least 10 minutes each day — Meditate.
  9. Sleep for at least 7 hours.
  10. Take a 10-30 minute walk daily.  And while you walk, smile.

Personality

  1. Don’t compare your life to others.  You have no idea what their journey is all about.
  2. Don’t have negative thoughts or things you cannot control.  Instead invest your energy in the positive present moment.
  3. Don’t overdo it.  Keep your limits.
  4. Don’t take yourself so seriously.  No one else does.
  5. Don’t waste your precious energy on gossip.
  6. Dream more while you are awake.
  7. Envy is a waste of time.  You already have all you need.
  8. Forget issues of the past. Don’t remind your partner of his/her mistakes of the past.  That will ruin your present happiness.
  9. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone.  Don’t hate others.
  10. Make peace with your past so it won’t spoil the present.
  11. No one is in charge of your happiness except you.
  12. Realize that life is a school and you are here to learn.  PROBLEMS ARE SIMPLY PART OF THE CURRICULUM THAT APPEAR AND FADE AWAY LIKE ALGEBRA CLASS BUT THE LESSONS YOU LEARN WILL LAST A LIFETIME.
  13. Smile and laugh more.
  14. You don’t have to win every argument.  Agree to disagree.

Society

  1. Call your family often.
  2. Each day give something good to others.
  3. Forgive everyone of everything.
  4. Spend time with people over the age of 70 and under the age of 6.
  5. Try to make a least three people smile each day.
  6. What other people think of you is none of your business.
  7. Your job won’t take care of you when you are sick  Your friends will.  Stay in touch.

Life

  1. Do the right thing!
  2. Get rid of anything that isn’t useful, beautiful or joyful.
  3. God heals everything.
  4. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.
  5. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up, and show up.
  6. The best is yet to come.
  7. When you awake in the morning, Thank God for it.
  8. Your Inner Most is always happy.  So be happy.

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My Life in Relation to the 39 Healthy Living Tips

Of the 10 tips related to Health, I gave a positive response to 8 out of 10.

I didn’t fare as well with Personality, of the 14 tips, 9 still are a part of my life.  In this area, I continue as a work-in-progress.  But, less than five years ago, I lived with the negative thoughts and behaviors cited in all the 14 tips.

Of the 7 Society tips, I have overcome 5 and 2 still remain.

Only 1 negative remains of the 8 Life tips, I live peacefully with the remaining 7 positive thoughts.

Finally,

  • responding to the statements in the Handbook for Life;
  • acknowledging the negatives in my life; and,
  • establishing a plan to reduce and/or eliminate my negative behaviors

brings me closer to living life to its fullest with a healthy mind, body and spirit.

 

 

 

Weekly Wishes #2

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 Last week, I was confident that I would breeze right through my “Wishes” for “Week #1.” In fact, I felt a little guilty.  After all, had I not been following these same practices for months, maybe even years?  But, I quickly realized routine and simple things are not easily attainable even when you make a “Wish.

Things Happen!!!! 

Excruciating knee pain interfered with my plan to “EXERCISEdaily for 30-60 minutes.  But after getting a cortisone injection last Monday, I experienced immediate pain relief; and, was able to exercise between 45 and 60 minutes at the YMCA for three days.

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“MEDITATE” didn’t “Happen.”  Other than spending more time than planned writing my “Mother–Daughter Vacation” blog post this past week, I can’t pinpoint anything else.

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On Thursday, Hubby and I went to dinner with a very nice couple that we met at the YMCA.  Hubby doesn’t drink.  For ME, it’s no fun drinking alone.  There are times when I will have a social drink when in the presence of others.  Because our friends ordered cocktails, I ordered my favorite — Margarita on The Rocks.  The one alcoholic drink and the late night changed my routine; as a result I did not “SLEEP” the  normal 7-8 hours Thursday night.  But, I had a great time socializing with Hubby and friends.

Without realizing it, we seemed to have moved away from “being in the presence of others” since retiring in Florida more than three years ago.   Not sure why, I will need to dig deeper into this with Hubby.

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The dining out with friends along with a long-term addiction to carbonated soda, I was unable to fulfill my “Food Wish.”   I ingested carbs, sugar, fats, and soda.  But, my coffee and soda drinks were all caffeine-free.

But, Some Wishes Come True!!!

“HYDRATE,” was easy – but expensive.   I took “HYDRATION” up a notch and added fresh lemons to my 10-12 glasses of water.  Currently, at my local grocery stores three lemons costs $1.99.  But, from what I have read the health benefits of adding lemons to water outweighs the cost.   

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whoopee!!!  Whoopee!!! Great Job!!! – I completed one of the five things on my “Weekly Wishes #1” list.  But, I am staying positive — rejecting negative.

“Today is Better than Yesterday and Tomorrow The Possibilities are Unlimited.” 

Excited to begin “Weekly Wishes #2.”  I plan to continue working toward fulfilling the “Wishes” I made in “Week #1”. 

In addition, my “WISHES”  for “Week #2 ” are to:

  • Smile and Laugh More
  • Each Day Give Something Good To Others
  • Express Gratitude Daily
  • Stay In Touch with Extended Family and Friends
  • Rest and Relax

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Sending a “shout out” to two “Weekly Wishes” blogger — Stages of Gold and The Nectar Collective.