You really get “it” & I am so glad that you do

Hello my friends, I really do apologize for being so long away from the blog!  It has been a summer of maintaining balance for me as there have been some bumpy roads to navigate emotionally and physically…not really an excuse to leave you all hanging out there, wondering where I have been; however, since this blog is really about controllable lifestyle issues, it has been great to know that I could create my own balance & take some personal pressure off by letting “the blog” roll in forward motion without my constant attention.  I really appreciate the fact that YOU GET IT!! THANK YOU!

Below is a quick article post about Gratitude from INC Magazine’s, inc.com author, Geoffrey James.  Funny, it rhymes with Attitude, and it can make or break your vision, your mission of living a better life or your ability to see past the nose on your very own face!

Story, quick reflection: Once a giant tree fell into my (new to me) house while my family & I were inside. Later a friend & neighbor said to me that  I was so ‘unlucky’. Silly, but I thought that it was  strange to think that I could still be standing there and be ‘unlucky’- no one was hurt, and I was so grateful for that!  I appreciated her sympathy for the situation but reminded her that it was “all good.” Things happen, find the good & give thanks for that good! 

Be glad, be thankful and live in forward motion! The post takes less than 5 minutes to read & is the

True Secret to Sucess (It’s Not What You Think)  Enjoy!

If you’re not exercising this emotional muscle, you’re probably setting yourself up for failure.

Box Car Racing

I’m utterly convinced that the key to lifelong success is the regular exercise of a single emotional muscle: gratitude.

People who approach life with a sense of gratitude are constantly aware of what’s wonderful in their life. Because they enjoy the fruits of their successes, they seek out more success. And when things don’t go as planned, people who are grateful can put failure into perspective.

By contrast, people who lack gratitude are never truly happy. If they succeed at a task, they don’t enjoy it. For them, a string of successes is like trying to fill a bucket with a huge leak in the bottom. And failure invariably makes them bitter, angry, and discouraged.

Therefore, if you want to be successful, you need to feel more gratitude. Fortunately, gratitude, like most emotions, is like a muscle: The more you use it, the stronger and more resilient it becomes.

Practice Nightly

The best time to exercise gratitude is just before bed. Take out your tablet (electronic or otherwise) and record the events of the day that created positive emotions, either in you or in those around you.

Did you help somebody solve a problem? Write it down. Did you connect with a colleague or friend? Write it down. Did you make somebody smile? Write it down.

What you’re doing is “programming your brain” to view your day more positively. You’re throwing mental focus on what worked well, and shrugging off what didn’t. As a result, you’ll sleep better, and you’ll wake up more refreshed.

Reprogramming Your Brain

More important, you’re also programming your brain to notice even more reasons to feel gratitude. You’ll quickly discover that even a “bad day” is full of moments that are worthy of gratitude. Success becomes sweeter; failure, less sour.

The more regularly you practice this exercise, the stronger its effects.

Over time, your “gratitude muscle” will become so strong that you’ll attract more success into your life, not to mention greater numbers of successful (i.e., grateful) people. You’ll also find yourself thanking people more often. That’s good for you and for them, too.

This method works. If you don’t believe me, try it for at least a week. You’ll be amazed at what a huge difference it makes.

“True Secret to Success: Gratitude” http://www.inc.com/geoffrey-james/gratitude-true-secret-to-success.html?nav=next

And the Oscar goes to

Undefeated …a movie about a stellar attitude.

A coach who believes in being a good coach, not for reasons of winning games, but because he recognizes his need to live well in forward motion and change the outcome. The remarkable experiences for the lives that are effected by wonderful, kind attitudes is evident in this story, as is likely evident in so many of our stories. See this movie…

“Undefeated”

you will enjoy and appreciate it on every level, guaranteed.

Be flexible In Forward Motion

So often my clients make excuses about their health based on something that happened and recently changed their “regular” routine.

“Oh, I broke my leg and haven’t worked out in 2 months” or “I just changed jobs and can’t fit ‘it’ in anymore.” Harder yet, I hear about caring for aging parents and sick children…these changes too soon become the new “routine” for people and will certainly add mental and physical stress! Stress adds to weight gain through sleep interruption in-turn leading to poor nutritional choices and self care if you are not aware of your own wellness when there is significant change. Wellness is 360 degrees of your life, take a few moments and regain perspective; remember, life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it!

Anytime you have a condition or a situation that interrupts, or lays the foundation for interruption, lasting more than 2 weeks- you need to adjust yourself to stay on the positive side of your own wellness. After all, if you are breaking down while caring for an ill family member, then that presents a whole other set of problems to compensate for…

It is more important then ever, in the face of challenge or change to your “regular” routine (fitness, nutrition and balance), to find a way to recommit to yourself for your continued health and wellness maintenance. If there is a “change” to your life that lasts longer then 10 days-2 weeks and  takes you far from the opportunity to get to the gym or “shop & cook” the best foods, well, then it is actually your new wellness journey! Pivot and turn in the new direction remaining in forward motion! Keep your eye on the ultimate goal…maintaining your personal wellness for the best health you can achieve given the current circumstance.

Wellness is paramount in the face of uncertainty. You choose your journey to stay as well as you can…for your children, for your aging parents, for your spouse, for continued success in your career, etc.  Unless you are laid up in the hospital with an unforeseen challenge, you can seize the opportunity to be flexible. Remember, if you are not able to maintain your “gym” routine, put effort into staying active with 10 minute bursts of aerobic activities 3 times each day (Boom 10). Walk, do jumping jacks, practice deep breathing with long sustained stretching (there you go, 3-ten minute activities!) which can, at the very least, help maintain aerobic fitness and bust some stress, during times of significant change.

Finding yourself on the road more than usual make sure to grab fruit and hearty grain bars for the car because these are better nutritional choices then fast food or those awful gas station energy drinks! Continue to drink lots of water, staying hydrated adds a better sense of well being; it helps your skin by flushing out toxins released by stress hormones during changes that are tough. Plus recall some positive moments from your life that can bring you better perspective on your current challenge with a five-minute self reflection everyday.

Too often I hear about “falling off the wagon”; however, choosing wellness at all times is less of a wagon ride to fall off of! Plainly speaking, your feet are on the current road and when the road changes direction you shouldn’t be walking backwards- you have to stay in forward motion as you move into the next set of life’s journey. Making better choices often actually helps you stay as balanced as possible during the peak times of life change which are actually your current life-reality.

It’s been a long week

13 years ago my husband came home from work and asked me to “teach him” how to run. A strange request because he was truly one of the most explosive speed runners I knew; but he meant distance, and he meant “together”…so we talked about how to accomplish this challenge.

Typical of us, we jumped right in and decided to train for and run a marathon together! Something neither one of us had ever done before. We took up a great cause and began raising money for the The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society without really knowing much about the diseases, only that the group offered good support for new marathoners. We thought we could run the marathon in Hawaii and use it as a little get away; we raised more than $7,000 in just a few months with the help of family and friends, and learned a lot about challenge and perspective at the same time.

No one understands why things happen: Life is hard, but God is good. When you live in forward motion you are doing good things for the right reasons, even when you don’t know “why” you are doing-what-you’re-doing in that moment.

Reflection today leads me back to my thoughts during that first marathon training: I remember wanting to quit after the first 18-mile run. I also remember, quite vividly, the fact that we had committed to “The Team” which is what kept me from walking away at that point! Whining, injured thoughts: Ugg, I have to do this now!? Too many people have donated to the Cause in our name, and we have to cross that finish line. There were other challenges for us during that same time, career hurdles with an unexpected job change; it was stressful.

Official Logo

When we felt beat up by the situation, in addition to the extensive running with the balancing act of 2 young children and a job search; we were able to use the Team in Training to gain real perspective which helped us to dig deep for the greater good…we had our health and could continue for this purpose which we didn’t know would touch our lives so closely down the road.

Fast forward 13 years: My brother-in-law went for a bike ride last week and after falling off his bike, doctors found leukemia.

This week has been a long week, full of powerful prayer and support. Moving at the speed of light, the doctor’s currently have him in a full-swing, knockout blow on the disease…with his family by his side, prayers and support are flowing!

I am certain this was not what he had planned for this week at all and surely found himself not wanting to “do this” either. This is a marathon nobody chooses to run; digging deep is the only option. We know that he is using the strength he has gained in living a healthful life all along to hurdle this challenge and begin recovering as soon as he has this cancer in remission.

My husband and I never did make it to Hawaii; instead we simply ran a local marathon that had a finish line. 26.2 miles- injured, tired and drained, I still remember crossing that first finish line & thinking to myself: If this is a glimpse at what leukemia patients go through, then WOW, they are strong!

Ironically, as our family hunkered down in prayer this week, my 14-year-old looked at me and quietly said, “They (the specialists) know more about this disease then any other.”  A friend of hers from school has just spent a month in the hospital fighting leukemia too and is getting ready to make a triumphant return to class in the coming weeks.

Perspective: I hadn’t really thought about my connection to The Team until she so confidently said those words, and it brought some hot tears to my eyes as I realized that somehow we contributed to that knowledge through those donations years ago.

You don’t really need to know “why” you need to live your life in forward motion…you just need to commit to your values, commit to a strong spirit and do good things because they are good things to do for yourself and for others. Go Team! Go Brother!

Laughter

Laughter is a great thing — that’s why we’ve all heard the saying, “Laughter is the best medicine.” There is strong evidence that laughter can actually improve health and help fight disease.

My funny cat!

Laughter is the physiological respo­nse to humor by definition. Laughter consists of two parts — a set of gestures and the production of a sound. When we laugh, the brain pressures us to conduct both activities simultaneously. When we laugh heartily, changes occur in many parts of the body. Muscles tighten, organs shift and change, your arms and legs go haywire…it’s just a complete and crazy package of fun for your entire being!

­Cool fact: The physiological study of laughter has its own name — gelotology.

The average adult laughs 17 times each day! That’s good…do you laugh this much?

Laughter stimulates your organs and lightens the load of stress. It may not cure everything, but it sure does make the day seem more manageable. “Lighten Up” or “Lighten the Load” whatever it takes, find pleasure and let yourself giggle; it just feels good. Laughter is also contagious, like yawning! Have you ever played a good game of “HA”?

I laugh uncontrollably when I am very nervous…can’t help it. Stress reliever I guess.

Bla bla knowledge: Stress is tied to a release of hormones called cortisol which actually slow the metabolism down and lead to weight gain. Oftentimes, over a long periods of stress, too much of this hormone hangs around and causes weight as a result. Suppressing your appetite at first from stress, but then surging cortisol makes you hungrier then normal- most of the time we refer to this response as emotional eating.

Being social & laughing is a powerful stress reliever. The physical benefits of the laughter are truly great medicine. Hang out with a friend, be silly and tell jokes instead of swapping “Woe is me” stories, and I guarantee you’ll feel better then you have all day! Put it on the ‘to do list’: Make a date with 2 friends at the coffee shop and have each one show up with 3 new jokes to tell!

Let me know how it goes! Be happy in forward motion!

Take care to be well

In the pursuit of Wellness, there is the understanding that every person has stories that make up their core being and create their total wellness picture. Health and Wellness are often used together, but more often separated because “health” seems to be a
word that everyone can identify with medically, while “wellness” just simply
seems vague. A lot of “health” information points to negative physical conditions
of the body and does not make the direct connection to the overall wellness
conditions your life. True Wellness looks at the whole picture, bringing into
consideration each aspect that forms your lifestyle: body, mind, spirit and
environment.

The current push of Wellness is to ignite a sense of personal “health” responsibility towards physical fitness because lifestyle diseases are popping up in
epidemic proportions across the country. Healthy amounts of physical activity
and proper nutrition are fundamental to your healthy body and help avoid lifestyle
related diseases like Type 2 Diabetes and other Coronary Health Diseases. Understanding that when your body is maintained in good health, your mind and spirit are free to grow and be positive while spilling over into good changes for every part of your life, that is the driving energy of In Forward Motion.

Positive choices for continued good health create your wellness in forward motion.

Writing on the Wall

When I figure out how to add a picture to the blog (remember this is new to me) then I’ll show you my daughter’s room.  She is an artist in every sense of the word: emotional, sensitive, generous, talented, inspiring, humours and messy!

Anyway, I made my way in there this morning and began reading her walls, I do this because I really do think she’s inspiring. Yep, she writes and draws on the walls …don’t worry, it’s white chalk & if that’s the worst thing she does then I am lucky. Anyway, I noticed that so many of her quotes dealt with speaking up, out or being heard, and I thought, “Ok, pretty typical of a 16 year old kid.” Then I pulled up some inspiring quotes about listening that I thought she could reflect on and left them smack on her computer. I also think this applies here, in a blog, as it does in a coaching session. Listening is such a powerful tool, and even though I do talk a lot, I try to be a great listener.

“The most basic of all human needs is the need to understand and be understood.
The best way to understand people is to listen to them.”  Ralph Nichols

He knew that listening is an art. So often we listen then want to jump in and share our experience too. It is connection and it helps lighten the load or brighten the moment. So, jump in, speak up or just listen…it’s all good.

How to post FYI: Click on the blue button below that says “leave a reply” or the one on each page that looks like a cartoon speaking balloon if you feel so moved to make a  comment or share a story or question an opinion. Just put your name as you want it to appear on the form or leave it blank & fill in an email. Your comment will be filtered first then published, no last names please.  In Forward Motion doesn’t spam or sell the email list- ever. So Share or just Listen and Connect!

I need new windows!

Drafty, old windows…served their purpose at one time. Guessing they’re original to our 100+ year old house…it’s time for change, so we’re shopping.

A window company owner who came a calling on me said, “My business partner and I believe that we are simply stewards of this company, we are both faith centered.  The company has been entrusted to us, and we are gifted with clients and contractors to care for and understand in order to grow and prosper.”

I really like this thought (even though he was overpriced) because it applies to our overall wellness so seamlessly…we are all stewards of our own lives! We have been given a gift that takes work and careful attention, but in the end, it is not ours to ‘own’- simply ours to care for and make good choices about..health & lives.

Honest to God, this reflection simply came to me my junior year in college.  “I am merely the steward of this gift from God who lives through me,”  and so I began working out regularly the very next day. I felt this statement deeply then and have tried to live it since; we all have pit falls for sure, but mostly, I work hard to take personal responsibility for my own health. No blame, no regret, just as much positive attention as I can muster up!  It’s the journey of working toward taking responsibility. All kinds of  “things” happen, but you have to be committed to taking the steps towards change for you.

Cheesy Analogy: Let the light in and keep the elements out- do your best to educate yourself and practice positive change in forward motion. –Thanks window guy!

Three spiritual books that changed my life then and I still reflect on now:

WithOpen Hands  Henri J. M. Nouwen

 Holy Sweat Tim Hansel

 Love Leo Buscagulia