Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Loving yourself

Exercise for today:
Stand in front of the mirror and really look at yourself. Look into your eyes. Really focus on YOU. Then look yourself in the eyes and say "I love you (fill in the blank with your name)" ten times. Say it slowly and continue to look at yourself. For some it may be difficult at first. But keep going. It will get easier and then benefits are so worth it.

Sometimes we lose sight of how important it is to love ourselves. And more importantly, to acknowledge that love.

My five year old daughter came home from school upset today. Her "best friend" at school has been mean to her lately. She has been telling Zoe (my daughter) that no one loves her. That no one is her friend. And she has been whispering to other children "don't like Zoe". In turn, the classmates have been telling Zoe they do not like her.

Whew! I do not like seeing my daughter in so much pain. She was in tears today and does not understand why her friends are being so mean. I think I hurt as much as she does. One never wants to see their child so upset. And where is the teacher? Is she aware of all this activity?

So I sat Zoe on my lap, wiped away the tears (even though I think crying is wonderful - it lets out all the junk), and we talked about friends and self love. I explained how sometimes friends will be mean or say mean things. I told her to always be nice to others, but not to stand their and just take it all in. Walk away when friends are not being nice and tell the teacher if it continues. My husband (Brad) and I will, also, talk to the teacher tomorrow morning. She is only five so we want to make sure we completely understand what is going on.

But most importantly, I told her that she has to love herself no matter what. "Mommy, Daddy, and Phoebe (her sister) will always be here for you, but you have got to be kind to yourself. Love yourself." I, also, told her she was smart, beautiful, nice, funny, and so the honeybees....I tickle her and get a giggle...We are going to do the exercise posted above.

As a child, I had very low esteem and often was picked on for being "too nice and too smart". I spent many nights crying at home because classmates were mean to me. I remember the pain. It was not until high school that I started to gain confidence. And in young adulthood (after years of therapy), I finally realized that I had to love myself. If I did not love myself, then there were going to be issues. I truly believe that it all starts from within. You have to be comfortable with your core being. So love yourself no matter what. Your life may be swirling around you, but do not lose site of who you are and how much you love and honor yourself.

Follow up to exercise:
In honor of loving yourself, try the exercise posted above. Pay attention to how you feel during the exercise. Note whether it was easy or difficult to tell yourself "I love you". Think about why it was easy or difficult. Try the exercise on several occasions. See how it feels.

The first time I tried the exercise, I cried. I could not tell myself "I love you". And then I finally got the words out, but I could not look myself in the eyes and do it. And finally, it all came together. And now when I do it, I smile. I love myself.

When you ignite your spirit and love yourself, your body and mind will follow. You will feel the love throughout your body, mind, and spirit. You will have a feeling of inner calm and peace. Body, mind, and spirit will cherish the self love.

Enjoy and be well.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

diabetes and wellness

Exercise for the day: Write down what wellness means to you. Do not over analyze it. Just write down whatever comes to mind. There is no right or wrong answer. Just jot it down and hold onto it. There will be more info at the bottom of the blog.

I just changed out my insulin pump. While doing this, my four and five year old children made squeamish faces and said they do not want to be adults. They do not want to insert an insulin pump catheter into their bellies. I explain to them that the insulin pump is for diabetics, not all adults. It looks worse than it really is. Sure there is a small sting when the needle goes in, but then it is done. And throughout the day and night insulin is continuously pumping into my body. It is a a god send.

Having been diabetic for 36 years, the pump has made my life so much easier. I have much more freedom and control. And so far (knocking on wood), I am complication free. But it has taken a lot of time and dedication. You cannot walk away from diabetes. It is part of my life. But a part that has truly been a gift for it has made me get in touch with body, mind, and spirit. Wellness is essential. And it should be for all of us. In order to get the most out of our lives, we need to be well. And we can take charge of our own wellness.

But wellness does not just happen. You have to play at it. I don't want to use the word "work" because that sounds negative. So I will use the word play. I suppose you could interchange the word create too, but play is fun. And life should be fun.

So let me share a story with you. This story is a lesson in wellness at play.

A few weeks ago I got ready for a six mile run just like I do six days a week. I have been running with diabetes for 30 years so it has become part of my daily routine. I know how to adjust my pump and carbohydrate count accordingly. Yet, their can be surprises...

As I run, the warm sun and wind feels amazing on my face. By mile three, I get into a meditative state. My mind is free, and I take in the blooming trees and flowers. It is a gorgeous day. Spring is here (yay). I love the warm weather.

I get home and feel great. My husband and kids are hanging out in the living room I come in and take my running shoes off. My husband goes upstairs and I go in the kitchen with the girls. I am craving a G2 drink (I love Gatorade). Suddenly I feel nauseous. What the hell? I try to walk towards a dining room chair and the room starts to spin. This is not good. I am able to lay down on the floor. I am going to throw up..

"Mommy, are you okay?" "What is wrong". I can hear the questions but cannot think rationally. Finally the word "yes" come out of my mouth. Please don't let me lose consciousness. Please. Not in front of my kids.

"Mommy". "Are you okay". I hear the fear in my daughters voices. Please don't lose consiousness. Am I having a low blood sugar? A stroke? I am only 39. I am scared.

I ask for my purse. I finally get the glucose tabs out. They dissolve in my mouth. Luckily, I do not throw up. I do not even know if I am low, but I eat them. It seems like hours are passing when in fact it has only been minutes. I start to feel better. I test my bloodsugar, and it is now normal. A sigh of relief.

My girls are right there with me on the floor. I tell them everything is okay. And it is.

I rarely have low blood sugars like this. This came out of the blue. Nothing had changed in my day to day run. At first, I am very frustrated and angry. Why did my diabetes challenge me? And then I realize it proved to me that I am strong. I survived and the day will go on. I will put on my running shoes again tomorrow (granted I may be a little scared), and I will go out for another run.

I am well. It was a slight bump in the road, but it will be okay. The rest of the day went fine, and I did run the next morning. And there was no reoccurence. I followed up with my doctor and everything looked good.

The incident was a true test of my wellness...testing my body, mind, and spirit. It would be easy to stay mad and to never run again. But no. The running keeps my body in shape, maintains control of my bloodsugars, provides meditation for my mind, and fulfills my spirit. I love running!

When I thought about sitting on the couch and being mad and frustrated or going out for a glorious run where the benefits will stay with me all day, the answer is pretty clear.

We all face challenges in our lives. But they are simply challenges. Not the beginning or the end, but part of the journey. You may or may not have diabetes but think about your own wellness challenges. And remember, they are challenges. Wellness is life.

Michele's answer to what is wellness (and everyone's response will be different and unique): Wellness is when your body, mind, and spirit are in synch. You are well.

Follow up to the exercise for today: Are you living a life of wellness according to your definition? Why or why not. Write down one step you can take to live a life of wellness. And start doing it today.

That is all for now. Have a glorious day:)

Monday, May 11, 2009

getting started....

Hello everyone -

I am new to blogging, but excited to finally be part of it.

Gosh, what to write. This is perhaps the reason I have decided to blog. For several months (no, several years), I have been struggling with my purpose in life. What am I suppose to be doing with my life? What am I suppose to be? Who am I suppose to be?

It has really taken a toll on me and my family. I will lay awake at 2:00 in the morning searching for answers. I put demands on myself that I must figure it out. I must come up with an answer and move forward. This is how I have always run my life. I clearly define goals, timelines, and steps. I get such a feeling of joy and accomplishment as I cross off each step towards that goal. A sense of relief overcomes me. I did it. On to the next step.

But this rushing around and searching for the purpose in life has made me crazy too. I have been looking so hard that I lost track of what I was even looking for. What is the purpose of all this? Ummm? Help?

So many feelings have gone hand in hand as I have searched. Some days would be full of excitement (the chance to start something new) and other days would be full of frustration, disappointment and even anger towards myself that I could not define what I wanted. How hard can it be? Where are my dreams? What are my dreams? Are they so deeply hidden and buried that I cannot access them?

The frustration and anger wore me out. It took a toll on my body, mind, and spirit. I could not keep up with the frantic pace of searching, searching, searching.

So I finally reached rock bottom. I was physically, mentally, and spiritually exhausted. I could not go on at this pace anymore. I was not sleeping at night, I felt anxious during the day, and my energy was depleted. I reached out to a psychic/intuitive who I knew from the Chicago days and asked her for help. Please help me.

I explained to her that I had tried going back to corporate America (marketing) after taking a few years off to raise my daughters and it all came tumbling back onto me. I hated it. I dreaded going to work every day. I would come home at night and lay down on the floor and would literally have to peel myself off the floor to put my girls to bed. I was miserable. The money was great, but my soul was dying.

It took a toll on my family too. I had no energy or spirit. It had been squashed. I would drop the girls off at preschool and then drive to my office. On my way there I would scream at the top of my lungs because I did not want to go there. It was horrible. I came down with a severe case of mono and was sick all the time. This should have been a sign to me. But I thought I needed a marketing career. I had been a big time advertising/marketing executive making a six figure salary until having my first daughter. After she was born, I could not go to work. I tried for six weeks to go back, and I cried all day long. I wanted to be a stay at home mom. Something I would never had predicted.

And now we have come full circle. I now have two darling little girls, but I am ready to go back to work. I am ready to engage in something other than being a mom, a wife, a friend. But I have realized that I want it all. I want to be healthy physically, mentally, and spiritually. So this job has to be the right fit. I will not sacrifice myself again.

So here I am...deep down I know what I want to do. I want to work with people who are looking for wellness. And when I say wellness I mean in body, mind, and spirit. You need the whole package to optimize your life (something I have learned). I need to put the past behind me, let go of the marketing career and move forward.

I want to take my love for people, exercise (I am a long distance runner), diet, meditation, and positive beliefs/thoughts and turn it into a business. I see myself working with people to help them create a harmonious life of wellness.

Now, you may be wondering how I went from screaming in the car to being a wellness coach. Well, it has occured over time. I have spent a lot of time soul searching and then to confirm my beliefs (which is when I hit rock bottom - fear set in because I was so close to creating what I truly want- fear is good - means you are on target) I reached out to Sonia Choquette the psychic. She told me what I expected. Be a personal coach. Make people strong and happy. So here I am. Bringing together body, mind, and spirit. My own, and that of others.

Don't get me wrong. I am scared. This is so new for me. Taking a risk to start a business. I wonder if it will be successful? Who will my clients be? Will I have clients? Can I do this? I want guarantees, but life is not always a guarantee. I have moments of anxiety when I wonder what am I doing? Am I crazy? But wait a minute. Stop! Stop! Where will those thoughts get me. I need to stay positive and good stuff will happen. And if it does not, then I have learned and will go down a new path.

There have been a lot of hard points in my life (type 1 diabetes, infertility, job layoffs, etc.), but I am still here. I have made it through and become a stronger person. This is another exciting point in my life. Big change as I turn 40 in a few weeks. I will write more about that later.

But please stay tuned. I will post daily wellness exercises, tips, etc. as I expand this blog and expand out on social media. This is just the beginning. And I mean beginning.

So let me post this, and please come back...and write to me:)