Exercise is Self-Care

I have fallen in love with exercising!     I began in November 2014, after meeting a new online friend.    She was excited about Team Beachbody and asked if I would like to join an online fitness group.   Having suffered a fall about 5 years ago, I have been living with chronic pain.   It has been a long and arduous journey!   One that has brought tears, sickness and decrease in pay.    However, since beginning my exercise regime and important medical intervention I am now living my best life in a few years.

We take so much for granted, when it comes to health and fitness.   Until we have something life altering that gives us that wake up call, we either wither or survive.   It’s really about the choices we want to make regarding our health.  No one can make it for you!   Being a pro-active person most of my life, that decision to change my lifestyle wasn’t a difficult one to make.

I have always been a fairly conscious person when it comes to my health and life choices.   I enjoy aromatherapy, massage, acupressure, healthy eating, acupuncture, reiki, healing touch, mountain biking, hiking and other modalities that improve our overall mental & physical well being.    I had been going to a local gym before meeting my new friend, but never got the results I was needing to see.   These beachbody programs are the best I have seen, and the longest I have ever stuck to a program for.

Fitness & clean eating have altered my life in so many positive ways.   Through personal development, as the brain is an important muscle to keep active.    Accountability groups where you get lots of support and encouragement along the way.    They have become a group of friends I have come to count on.    There are many types of programs to try.

I started off with Tai Cheng, which made me relax my muscles, gain better mobility and stability.     I then went on to Slim at 6 where I lost 6 inches and 15 pounds.   I then tried Piyo, which is a combination of Pilates and Yoga.    Then I went on to 21 Day Fix Extreme which really does shred the body in 21 days.    I have noticed a stronger core, better muscle tone, weight loss and positive mindset.    These are programs that truly work.

My pain still flares but I am living a much better life than I was these past 5 years.   I am happier as a result.    I have been talking about self-care and self-love in 365 Days of Love, and this is such an important part of that process.     I encourage you to start walking, eating healthier (if you aren’t already) and begin to pamper yourself.    It might sound like work, and it is.    You won’t regret a minute after starting it.   I am committed to life and want to encourage others along the way.

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The Liebster Award – I’ve been nominated

liebster award

As I walk down the virtual red carpet in my lovely designer gown, I feel esteemed at the fact that I’ve even made it this far.    I was surprised actually, to receive a nomination from a fellow blogger who had been nominated for two of these awards, http://www.mysticalwriterblog.com.    I met mystical writer through Blogging 101 University.    Her blog is about crystals, mandalas and other mystical things that intrique and stimulate our senses.    Things I enjoy as well.     My mouth dropped open, and my eyes went wide as I thought about the first person I wanted to share this experience with and how honored I felt to be nominated.

The Liebster Award is given to up and coming bloggers, who have less than 200 followers.  Liebster is a German word and means: sweetest, kindest, nicest, dearest, beloved, lovely, kind, pleasant, valued, cute, endearing and welcome.       Blogging is about sharing your experiences through written word, online to a community of people who like to encourage each other.    It’s about creating a community of people who love to write.

This friend who encouraged me to start writing, other than my Mother who always said I should write a book.     Is a man who I met, while following his cousins documentary.   He is a businessman with great advice, big shoulders and friendly manner.    I have always wanted to write in the past, but never followed through with my desire.  I am a person who loves to learn everything, and if I was a multimillionaire I would quit my job and do just that, study!     I have published authors in my family, and perhaps it is in our genes.   One of my cousins even won the Order of Canada for his published works.

When I thank my friend, he always says it was me and that’s where the words come from.  Well we all need encouragement to continue and http://www.pal-fitness.wordpress.com was the person behind mystical writer blog, receiving a nomination.     Encouragement is what help people reach higher and think outside the box.     Well this one has been a great start for me in a new avenue.

Things to remember when nominating:

  1. Make sure to link back to your nominator
  2. Give a shout out to him or her
  3. Make sure nominees do the same
  4. Name 5 nominees
  5. Tell 5 things about yourself
  6. Make sure to give your blog a shout out and small description of it
  7. Be kind and share!

I started my blog two years ago, while working through a lot of personal issues.   Things I guess were bottled up and had no outlet.   Being a journal writer, I never dreamed I would be writing on line and helping people.    I have been through a lot these past 22 years, things that have brought many lessons, heartaches, joys and growth.    I am a Registered Professional Counsellor, whose desire is to teach others to love themselves first.    I cultivate meaningful relationships, and have accepted that I am a compassionate warrior woman.      My website is http://www.lovefromtheinside.wordpress.com

5 things about MYself:

  1.  I have a background in Radio & TV: hosted a political show for 2 years
  2.  I am an Artist
  3.  I live near the ocean, and love to walk the beach
  4.  I won a pancake eating contest in high school, of all the schools in the city
  5.  I have a beautiful new puppy named Lily

5 bloggers I nominate:

  1. http://www.fleetingmuse.wordpress.com
  2. http://www.tamingtheblackdogblog.wordpress.com
  3. http://www.basthisindianbites.wordpress.com
  4. http://www.kimberlypitzrick.wordpress.com
  5. http://www.timelesswheel.wordpress.com

 

The Why’s and Wherefor’s

 

This is another blogger I have come across through Blogging 101.   They are reaching out to people who suffer from many forms of depression.  Something people don’t always want to talk about, yet affecting many lives.    It’s important to remember that those living with depression don’t choose to be depressed.   Depression has a biological component to it.   There are many types of depression too.     Please refer to my blog post from October 2015,  on National Depression Screening Day   October 2015    It’s quite informative!

I understand depression, as I have seen it in people who are co-workers, family members and friends.   These are lovely people who suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder, Manic Depression, Major Depression, Clinical Depression and even depression caused by underlying conditions such as Degenerative Disc Disease.

I think this should be an interesting follow.      A little optimism is something we could all use more of.

Source: The Why’s and Wherefor’s

Mandalas: Assignment for Blogging 101

mandala

I am enthralled by the magic of a Mandala, which I taught in a course for people living with chronic pain.    The purpose of the course was to teach distraction, when we can find a hobby that brings meaning we detach from the pain.    Mandalas originated from the early days of human history.   Found in ancient rock carvings of Africa, Europe and North America.   Each with a specific design, some circular and spiral.

Carl Jung a Swiss psychiatrist, was the first to introduce us to this Sanskrit word meaning center, circumference or magic circle adopted from the Indian traditions.   This was a practice he found therapeutically helped his clients.     In his discoveries he mentions that it was a symbol of self, the wholeness of our personality that is harmonious when it goes well.

In 1965/66 Jung wrote: “The self I thought, was like the monad I am, and which is my world.  The mandala represents this monad, and corresponds to the microcosmic nature of the psyche.”    He discovered that the human psyche was the archetype that created patterns, orientation and meaning.   His insight gave him the feeling of stability, which brought inner peace.

The mandala circle mirrors the Self as the container for the psyche’s striving toward self-realization or wholeness.    It suggests mysteries that may stimulate exotic, confusing or difficulty.     When we create a mandala, we make a personal symbol that reveals who we are at the moment.

To create a mandala you need to gather white paper and materials you want to create with.  Relax, close your eyes and imagine the tension leaving your body.  When you begin to loosen up, let the thoughts of your day release.   Close your eyes and begin to focus your attention on the colors, images and shapes that may come to mind.   Open your eyes, and draw a circle …. begin!   Looking at it from all angles, place a small t to signify the top of your mandala.     When you are finished creating your mandala, date it and sign it.

I have been both inspired and encouraged by the network of talented people I have met, through this free course offered by Blogging 101 University on WordPress.   This next assignment encouraged us to reply and comment in a blog, honoring our neighbor.    For more about Mystical Writer whose blog I commented on, you can link too:  Mandalas

 

Finding Love!

Relationships can be complex, only because we are people who have been defect of problems.   Most that have resolved out of our childhoods.     We think that many of our issues will resolve, so we get married and have kids.   Only to discover that the person we married had no intention of sticking around in this lifetime.     For me, I still remain unmarried at 51 and it’s because I have had the opposite occur.    I was never perfect enough, good enough, blond enough or anything else enough to be accepted and loved.   I constantly felt rejected.

Being a deeply heartfelt and loving person, I think of this often when another relationship doesn’t work out.    People think because I am attractive, smart and funny that I should have no trouble finding someone who will love me, for me.    And they are quite surprised when they find out, I haven’t!    Finding that one person I can find fulfillment with.     One that brings meaning, depth, compassion and joy.

I was brought up in a religious home, which grounded me in my values.    And it seems over the years that the same repeated message, always comes up from the guys I date.   You think your family are better than mine, they are perfect!   We have the same problems and issues like others do.   If I felt that way, I would never have treated their parents as nicely as I did.     I was brought up to respect my elders.   Yes we have had our share of problems, but coming from a reserved family we never really talked about them with others.

I collected poetry books and bookmarks with inspiring sayings when I was younger.    They inspired me, invoked passion and positive feelings.    I believe my journey has been one about love.  Loving self, loving others and loving God.    A journey that has had me up and down, all over constantly digging deeper as to why.     I have always been an open minded person, who accepted people for where they are.

I was a naïve young girl, who has flourished into a compassionate warrior woman, who cultivates meaningful relationships in my work.    I know that when true love comes, it won’t be work, our compatibility will compliment one another.      It will be a protective man who encourages, supports and is my best friend.

*** Be well in your soul, do things without regret, be true to who you are and love always.

 

A perfect union of love scents!

 

lavender2

As I dab a bit of my favorite essential oils on, the aroma transports me into another space. I am lost in my fantasy of what my perfect world would be like.      My dream is one of laughter, fun, warmth, and relaxation in places where there is no time.   Lost among thoughts of no meaning, just careless impromptu’s of a life meant by desire and need.     The perfect union of mixed oils intertwined, allowing our own thoughts to decide which place the aroma will take us too.

As I evoke my power from within, I begin to create a lovely combination of Geranium, Clary Sage and Lavender.     These are three wonderful scents that when united, they extract monumental healing!

Clary Sage is known for its captivating spirit, it is for the physical and psychological aspects of our lives.    It promotes contentment in a loving heart.     It teaches us that most of our problems exist in our own minds, and that everything can be restored and resolved eventually.    It’s aroma is nutty, warm, light, musky and herbaceous.

Geranium we all know, is that timeless flower that our Grandmothers grew, and then our Mother’s and eventually into our own gardens as we grew.    It cultivates and strengthens the goddess within us, wanting us to acknowledge all aspects of our pure and raw self. Allowing energy to disperse and transform.      It is the motherly nurturing that this scent radiates from, encouraging a marriage of adjustment, balance, tranquility and steadiness. And like our Mothers, it soothes and shields us. Its aroma is sweet, soft and like a flowering rose.   If you know anything about geraniums, they come in many sizes with a fragrant all their own.

Lavender is also nurturing, something we treasure and need for our growth.   When we are down its scent lifts our spirits, removing the heaviness that lies dormant in the space we give it too.   It seeks our best, something we need to exist at, to truly find our success.   It is fresh and floral.    It is a gentle comfort that works to instill our emotional balance again. Resting in a lovely bath you can find security, vitality and clarity to your thoughts.

My dream is one of escape, one that I hope in this lifetime will become a reality.   I find comfort in knowing that dreams do exist, but the most important part of finding that dream is sorting our own emotions out first.    Working at being the best we can be, while discovering sides of ourselves that we may not have noticed before.    Engaging in new conversation with who we are, developing a line of positive affirmation that stimulates a new love within.

 

National Depression Screening Day

Today is National Depression Screening Day!   How many of us have come face to face with depression in our lives or in the lives of people we know and love?   Depression is something that affects men and women of all ages, races and socioeconomic groups.   Screening for Mental Inc. has created a tool that will help determine whether someone is suffering from depression.   Since one in four women and one in ten men, will experience depression at some point in their lifetime.   Two-thirds of those suffering from depression will seek no help and can co-occur or complicate other medical conditions, such as heart disease, diabetes, Parkinson’s, cancer, stroke and HIV/AIDS.   Clinical depression is among the highest form of depression and will affect more than 19 million American adults each year.   About 80 percent of them will effectively be treated with medication, psychotherapy and or a combination of them both.   This screening tool does not indicate a professional diagnosis, but will help to pinpoint the presence of depression.

Where symptoms that persist for more than 2 weeks, you should seek medical help.  Symptoms you may experience are:  persistent sadness, anxiety, sleeping too little or too much.  Reduced appetite, weight loss or the reverse.  Loss in pleasurable activities, anxiety, difficulty concentrating, remembering or making decisions.   Feeling fatigued and thoughts of death or suicide.    Depression is a serious illness that can be treated if help is sought.   There are several forms of depression:  Major depressive disorder,  dysthymic disorder, minor depression, psychotic depression, postpartum depression, seasonal affective disorder and bipolar depression.

There are other types of illnesses that can co-exist with depression too.   Anxiety disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, panic disorder, social phobia and generalized anxiety disorder.   The National Institute of Mental Health, funded a study indicating that more than 40 percent of people with PTSD suffered depression 4 months after the traumatic event occurred.    Alcohol and other substance abuse/dependence can also co-exist along with mood disorders.    Research has discovered that while treating depression, medical illnesses have also improved.

Researchers believe that depression can be caused by genetic, biological, environmental and psychological factors.  Some forms of depression tend to run in families, yet occur in people without family histories too.   So why are some genes making people more prone to depression than other’s?  Some genetic research indicates that depression can result from several genes acting together from environmental and other factors.   Trauma, loss of a loved one, a difficult relationship, or any other type of stressful situation can trigger a depressive episode; while other’s may have no obvious trigger at all.

Research indicates that depression is seen in more women than men, based on biological, life cycle, hormonal and psycho-social factors.    In men we see changes in loss of pleasurable activities, irritability, tiredness and sleeping difficulties and they are more likely to turn to alcohol or drugs than women.   Men may become angry, confused, discouraged and sometimes abusive, while some become workaholics to avoid talking about it.    Children and teenagers also experience depression, symptoms to watch out for are; refusing to go to school, clinging to a parent, pretending to be sick, getting into trouble, sulking, showing signs of negativity and becoming irritable.  This age group can often be difficult to diagnose, and will often lead to a higher risk of suicide.   It will also co-occur with anxiety, eating disorders and substance abuse.

Your first step in receiving help is to make an appointment with your doctor or mental health provider.   If they conclude that there are no other causes for your depression, then they will refer you for a psychological evaluation.   They will look at family history, review your list of symptoms, how and when these symptoms occur and look at substance or alcohol abuse.   The most common treatments available are psychotherapy and medications.

What can you do to help to a friend or family member?  Offer emotional support by being understanding and patient.  If they talk about suicide, report them to a healthcare professional, family member or close friend.   Invite them out, and remind them that with time and treatment, the depression will lift.    If you are depressed?   Seek help and don’t wait too long before symptoms become unbearable.   Try exercising, getting together with friends, setting realistic goals for yourself and find a friend or family member to confide in.   Don’t make any major changes until the depression lifts and don’t expect it to get better overnight.   Most importantly, educate those around you as well as yourself.

Bibliography:   http://www.mentalhealthamerica.net/conditions/national-depression-screening-day

http://www.pdresources.org