Tag Archives: prayerful

RESOLUTIONS – What are YOU making – PROMISES

 

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“God did not promise days without pain, laughter without sorrow, sun without rain, but he did promise the strength for the day, comfort for the tears, and light for the way” …..unknown

How do you celebrate your New Year? Do you have any traditions you hold true? Do you make resolutions? Do you make them religiously at the beginning of the New Year? I am always curious about this. We all know the story, we all know that resolutions ultimately fail.  We also know ourselves or others have experienced success making these resolutions. I think the outcome is connected to how we frame the resolutions. Are we reasonable when we make out our lists. Do we set ourselves up to win?  Perhaps your resolutions have failure painted all over them from the moment you make them. Do you set yourself up to fail? I think in the past, I have put too many resolutions down on the list, I overwhelmed myself with too many resolutions, I set myself up to fail.  Do not misunderstand, plain and simple, too many,  yet each one made the list with good intention. The idea of making the list and putting it down on paper is a good thing, it opens one up to the possibilities of those said resolutions.  Those resolutions were good thoughts, forces of growth, and the world of endless possibilities. Let’s be realistic about this.  We all have room for improvement, but does the resolution list have to be all about improvement and “fixing” things?  Perhaps we could frame our resolutions in a different way.  I will be making promises to myself. I know it is just a word, a word I like and feel more comfortable with. Promises vs. resolutions. I think I have a better shot at keeping promises to myself rather than succeeding at a resolution.  A new way to frame It differently, a way to garner a successful outcome.  The promises I am making to myself are an extension of the path that has manifested itself from my experiences over the past year. It is an ongoing process, the journey. I am nowhere near accomplishing what I have set out to do.  I will share them here with you as to inspire you to reexamine your resolutions/promises and how you will frame them to enable yourself for success.  Consider this long list of resolutions you are planning, are they a stretch?  Will they overwhelm you?  Are you setting yourself up to fail?  What would be the point?  I want to clarify here. I am not saying that your resolutions shouldn’t be a stretch, or that that feeling of being overwhelmed is a terrible thing, and certainly I am not saying that you would intentionally set yourself up to fail.  I believe that anything worth accomplishing is worth working very hard to achieve.  What I am asking you to do is to carefully decide on what you put on your resolution list, how important it is to you, and are you willing to do the work required to succeed?  I believe how we frame the process is the start of a wonderful new adventure, Another piece of the puzzle, a continuation of the journey you are already on.  Please examine where you are, where you think you are going, and what you need to get there.  We travel down the paths of our journeys we are building our lives, learning and enriching ourselves with new ways and rhythms to our music.  The point is setting ourselves up to accomplish our resolutions. This is why deciding on what our resolutions are is critical to the process.  Firstly we will have to decide that we will take the process seriously and make the necessary  commitment to your resolutions or plan on adhering to the promises we make to ourselves.  This is a question that begs an answer.  Anything can be accomplished if the commitment is there. We must commit to our success, not just make a list of what we would like to accomplish. Decide on what I it is that you want for yourself.  What is important for you to be working on.  I think a short list of resolutions is what works, whittling down your list down to the essential things you desire to accomplish may spell success.

Here is my essential list of promises I am making to myself:

1.) Work on my practice. What I eat, how I move, what I drink, how I rest and what I think.

2.) Meditate more effectively. Make time to sit and breathe at the same time each day.

3.) Focus on building my business. Set aside a set time each day to grow my business.

See what I mean? Three small promises, they are huge. They are all things I am currently engaged with. My desire is to make the time and the room to grow and improve.  Try it – set yourself up to win. Make your resolutions, or your promises to yourself.  Get up in your new year and begin, each and every day. Your commitment as you move forward into your new year will energize you as you peruse what is important and precious to you.

Oh, one more thing: Love Yourself. No one lifts you up better than you. Loving yourself simply make your life better, it fosters all positive things. It makes you easy to love. It says I am worth it. It says I consider myself as valuable.  The very best part of loving yourself, once you hold that as a truth is is absolutely impossible to hate yourself.  Loving myself has fostered growth.  I love my life and the people in it more fully and completely. Loving myself is a blessing. Loving myself makes the path (journey) less of a struggle, and more like a joy.  It puts me in a wonderful place to to keep my promises to myself. Living in my own skin is pleasurable.  It fits! Be sure to take a peek in the mirror and tell yourself how grateful you are for just who you are. Now for those resolutions/promises………….

“Resolve to never criticize or downgrade yourself, but instead rejoice that you are fearfully and wonderfully made.” Elizabeth George

Always dazzle, Karen

Photo credit: ConsciousLivingSoul.com

Making Changes ~ a change becomes reality ~ you have encouraged yourself ~

 

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“as we light a path for others, we naturally light our own way” Mary Ann Radmacher

Do you ever wonder if the changes you make are having a positive effect? The moment you experience the validation that the change you have put in place is working, a wonderful feeling.  Some changes produce evidence rather quickly. Dieting for example, you change your eating habits you begin to feel better and you are dropping pounds. Hard evidence. Other changes produce more subtle results. It may take a while especially for a “doubting Thomas” to get the validation we all need – results.  My prayer for myself is that I am able to decide on a change I desire to implement and I can stick with it, be all in, regardless of the amount of time it takes to know that it is, in fact, in place. Think of results as what keeps you going, and as time passes your commitment grows stronger. The changes we implement that have the more subtle results require patience. You may need to be even more strident to keep going toward your goal. Eventually you will feel the changes are having an effect. The period of time that passes that seems to be growing long, is exactly where you will need your patience, it needs to be strong. Hang in there.

i have studied this, and true change is designed to take time. I gather it takes twenty-one days for your change to become a habit, for your commitment to become a working change. I go with a month for any change I am working toward to become a reality. Once you see and feel changes are working, of course, that is just what you need. It is an amazing feeling of success when you open yourself up to a new way. I have found when my patience is being tested that visualization is the perfect tool to sustain my commitment.  I see myself, feel myself, and I know that I have reached the day where my hard work, commitment and patience have added up to the success we all crave, reaching the goal of change becoming reality.

I have been tested this week. I truly believe that things happen for a reason and occur when it is time. This past Sunday afternoon my ankle felt more numb than ever before. I removed my shoe and sock to check it out. I was surprised to see my ankle was swollen. Had the edema returned? Had I injured my ankle without knowing it? Was something wrong? I know in my heart and with my intellect that I have a great working practice in place. I remained remarkably calm, surprising on so many levels.  I will admit I got a bit panicked. I instantaneously assumed the worst case scenario.  I thought okay that is a reasonable response. So, I sat with that reaction, I had given myself a break, thinking it is okay, but what else was there? The main thing I am working on in this period of real healing and recovery  is the critical element of my perception. I have discussed here in the past that the “events” that blind side us, push us down and knock us off our game are just that. I thought the specifics of the events were not really as important as how we deal with them.  How we handle our reaction is that process that has given me solace in the past.  Something has happened and I need to deal with it well and things will get better. I learned recently from my therapist, I have been missing a key step in this assessment process. It is simple, but I had completely missed it. It is my perception of events and the most important element of your assessment is it being real and true. Once armed with the truth getting to the process of dealing with what has occurred certainly will be more productive. Please note coming to terms, armed with the truth is not always easy. Take that deep breath and give yourself the time you need to see clearly to what is true and real. If you rush forward to deal with a problem without a clear perception you outcome will be fruitless. I have integrated this step into my process. I am waiting patiently to see if these truths will set me free.

I had an event, and I let myself spiral down to worst case scenario. I have given myself a break for that initial reaction. I take that deep breath and begin to sort it out calmly. I make a clear as assessment of the event, so I may proceed with my true perception. None of us like to consistently sit in reaction to life. It makes us feel powerless, but on the surface allows us to avoid dealing with the event and having to tell ourselves the truth. Lying to ourselves is not an option, it is not healthy and it is the roots of denial. Do not let that denial plant grow and bloom, that is much more difficult to deal with than the truth. The truth will set you free, it allows you to deal with things in real-time. It does not serve us to put things in boxes and store them in the denial attic. That is not healing. That is adding to the problem, not to the solution. Be a part of the solution. This fosters being able to take action, not sitting numbly amid our denial, merely reacting to our events.  Taking action, empowering, now that is part of the solution. The most important element is the ability to take that breath, the pause, and getting to the truth you require to move forward. Take the time you need, do not drag your feet. Try it, you will love this change, perception is everything. I discovered something very important to ‘take the time you need’ this past week. My very astute and compassionate therapist pointed out that occasionally in order to cope we need to put events in boxes and temporarily put them in the closet. I resisted this statement, but when she mentioned that eventually the box will press on the door and spill into the room…..well that made sense too. I am a visual learner and visualizing this, it made sense to me. What you may need in real-time is to cope, so taking the time you need may require that you put it in the closet, to deal with it later. When it does spill into the room, you will unpack the box, shake the events out neatly folding them and putting them away closer to being dealt with. This reminded me that it is all a process, the journey unfolds and it just requires that you take the time you need. If this provides you time to cope, I see clearly that this point is well taken.

I have an upcoming appointment with my orthopedic surgeon. A man who, yes is a surgeon, but remains in touch with his humanity, and is a an extremely caring and compassionate physician. I am so grateful to be in his care, he takes very good care of me, I couldn’t ask for better care.  I began to wonder should I move my appointment up?  There it was again, a little bit of panic.  Remember it was Sunday when I noticed the swelling. I had to wait until Monday morning to call the practice. I waited.  I called and spoke to the amazing, well-informed woman who holds down the practice like an air traffic controller. You speak with her and things get done and fall into place, she is very good at her job. I told her what was going on and should I come in sooner?  I was concerned. She ran a laundry list of why my ankle may be swollen. She helped me gather the information I needed, I asked for her help and she offered good information, but she would check with my doctor and make sure they were on the same page.  If he thought it was necessary that I come in sooner she would let me know, if not, I would come to my appointment as scheduled. I assured her I knew what to do, I had become quite an edema expert this past summer. I would begin taking my herbal/vitamin combination to treat my edema. I would treat my ankle daily with hydrotherapy, hot and cold treatment to stimulate circulation, which in turn reduces swelling or edema. What I had gained from speaking from her was a way to think about what was happening. No, I don’t know what is causing it, but I do know how to treat it.  Momentarily I became agitated as I was going to have to make room (time) for treating my ankle. The same frustration I had felt in the past reared its ugly head, why do I have to spend so much time and energy addressing my healing?  Well I quickly swept those thoughts away, as I know that is an express ticket to a pity party. We have a choice. I continued to sort what was happening. I had collected enough information from my doctor’s office to know there were no red flag disasters ahead. My approaching appointment would work fine.  I would proceed to treat my edema/swelling with what I knew worked. I had made it through the tight part in the river, squeezing through the rocks and the rapids, calmer waters were ahead, it felt positive. I was letting go, the truth was setting me free. I continued treating my ankle. Each day the treatments worked, each day the swelling returned as I was up and on it, although sleeping with my leg elevated always resulted in a morning where the swelling was down. I struggled with getting up and getting on with what I liked to be doing during the week.  I wanted to have breakfast with my sweet husband, and send him off with his lunch, hugs and kisses. But wait, we put his lunch together, which I usually prep the night before, he said he would pick up a breakfast sandwich at Dunkin Donuts when he stops for his morning coffee. Imagine that? He was perfectly happy (well he does love those sandwiches) and I am fine too. I am dedicating my time to treating my foot. I am pleased with making sure my perception is true.  It enables me to take action, being part of the solution.  Yes, it may be taking up my time right now, the time is not wasted, it prevents me from sitting in reaction creating more denial. It isn’t always easy, but it is encouraging. The light at the end of the tunnel burns a bit brighter today.

It is a relief, being part of the solution. Seek your truth, fine tune your perception and move forward to deal with whatever has been put on your plate. Find your gratitude and take those baby steps, you must take all of them, they move you forward toward your light. You, like I will be just fine. I promise.  I must tell you now what my practice brought me to. A thought as powerful as any of the negative reactions I first experienced. I saw clearly that the swelling could mean that obviously something was happening and changing, could it mean that my nerve was healing?  Holy cow! I had received the validation I required to continue, to keep going knowing that I had implemented a change and it was in place, it was working. Pure elation! There is a world of help available to all of us.  The big take away for me through the process of implementing this change may be three simple words, “I need help”. I discovered and you will too, that there is no shame in those three simple words. Help will not knock on your door, yet it is waiting for you to ask. A smart person who desires real healing and recovery seeks the truth, uses all the available help, treats all that are there to help very well,  and once your perception is true you are free to react in a positive and productive manner becoming part of the solution. The validation is there and you will continue to walk toward your light. We have choices. We are free to experience true healing and recovery. It is there, available to us, I say, “go for it”. Make a change, work hard to implement it, be kind to yourself during the process, realize it is in place, and give yourself credit, you did it! Be sure to take a look back at the path you choose and you will see a clear and smooth way that you traveled, ah, go ahead and realize that you and only you were the one who set up all the barriers along the way. You now know that you can make necessary changes, encourage yourself armed with a clear and truthful perception, you are healing and recovering, because you, my sweet friend, are the only one who can do that. The truth will set you free.

I hope that this finds you feeling well today and in the best of spirits.

Always dazzle, Karen

Photo credit: beautiful picture, photographer unknown.

Happiest Clam on the Beach…

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There is a saying here in New England, “I am the happiest clam on the beach”. I can say this today. It is the day before Thanksgiving. Oh boy, am I grateful. There were many lines I drew in the sand for when I would recover, making plans because by then certainly I would be okay. I planned to travel to a party in New York to see old friends from Horace Greeley High School in mid-July. I did not go. I thought I would surprise my dear friend, Nancy Bueti, a fabulous painter and go to a show she was having. Check out her work here, NancyBuetiArt.com enjoy. I am so happy for her success and her passion for her work. I wanted to see her standing in her own light. I did not. My brother was celebrating his 50th birthday, having a party at his home in LA. Certainly we would attend, it was in October for goodness sakes. We did now go. Now looking back these events that were looked forward to, seem like disappointments along the way. Sure I was disappointed, but life just steps in and says no. I was back in the hospital having my second hip revision. My hip revisions were like bookends, they framed, ‘the worst summer of my life’.

Well another line was drawn in the sand, I was going to be better by Thanksgiving, we made plans to drive down to Cape Cod and have dinner with our dear friends Joelle and Paul. We are going. I am following the rules and my heart and staying on track to wellness. I did not go crazy. There has been no unnecessary people pleasing.  I picked up the deserts I ordered from the Pasty Box. It was actually fun, I am giving myself a break. The pies are gorgeous and the carrot cake is a jewel.  I happily paid one of the lovely women that owns the bakery. I remembered when they opened, I wished them every success. They have arrived, their baked goods are beautifully executed and delicious, reasonably priced too. I could not resist I picked up some Hermits for my husband. They are a favorite of his, future lunchbox treats. It had started raining. I made my way home to prepare my nosh for before dinner, mentally pressing my easy button. I gave myself a break and I felt no guilt.  I felt happy, well-being ahead.

I drove in the driveway and had a bit of a chuckle. There is a nor’easter bearing down on the east coast, from DC to Maine. My weather panic of a few days ago had evaporated. It had begun to sleet, sure to get messier before it would get better. I had finished what I needed to do, I was nearly ready to leave in the morning. We will have a bit of ice, but not much snow. The warm ocean temperature is what is preventing an accumulation of snow in our town. It was a relief. If I could sing I might belt out ‘Everything is Coming Up Roses’ . Paint Karen happy, you get the idea.

I am very focused on my gratitude book. I am truly grateful, more so since I am feeling better. My dark mood has lifted, I am sleeping, and I am quite sure that my iron levels are better as the mid-afternoon fatigue is gone. A few simple tweaks have added up and I just  feel better. It is a relief. There is more work to do. I realized after my appointment with my therapist this week, there is so much to come to terms with. I look forward to the process. The journey continues. Today I am mostly grateful to be feeling better. My energy is increasing and my sense of humor is returning. I think my husband mirrors me and I can see myself through his eyes, if I care to look. I have begun to see myself when I look in the mirror. I hadn’t noticed that I wasn’t looking at myself until I saw myself. That may seem crazy, but it is just true. I smiled at myself in the mirror this morning, saying to myself, ‘it’s going to be a good day. It was unexpected and spontaneous. Fabulous.

i have written here previously that the woman I once no longer existed. I had no idea who I would be once the dust settled. Well, I am still in here bringing it all along with me. That girl did not disappear, she is in a process of acceptance, while she heals and really recovers. How delicious is this? I feel I am coming to terms with the truth. I thought what you go through is not as important as how you deal with it.  I have discovered I was missing a step. I am coming to terms (acceptance)  while carefully considering how I perceive what is happening, and striving to deal with grace and balance. I am not quite standing in my own light, but I know it is there. That is a remarkable improvement and I will stay the course. Today “I am the happiest clam on the beach”….

I wish you all a Thanksgiving Day where you simply feel the love, and let it in. I am humbled by my gratitude.

Always dazzle, Karen

Hey, I had a GOOD Day

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If you don’t think every day is a good day, just try missing one.
Cavett Robert

I have said many times over the past few months, “this isn’t what I thought I’d be doing right now”. Well I am saying that again now. I planned and wrote a different post. But wait, today was a very good day. I feel compelled to share it. It seemed like any other day of recent memory. I awoke at 4:30 AM, yes I know very early, but it is when I begin my day. You can say, I am a morning person. More importantly it is something I can do and I am focused on what I can do these days, not what I can’t. I like to have breakfast with my sweet husband, John. It is a good way to start our day. I make him a hot breakfast each morning and I make his lunch. Making him breakfast is a lovely tradition in our house. Some of his friends (men) promised him when we were dating once we married that hot breakfast was history. Not at all to prove them wrong (well, maybe a little bit), I enjoy it. A healthy lunch he enjoys is also important.  I love seeing him off to work. After he left I rode my bike, I have worked up to 15 minutes twice a day. The bike is so good for my overall well-being and healing. I am exercising my muscles that can’t work themselves, and are atrophied due to the nerve damage. The does not require that I can lift my foot, which is a joy, because I can’t lift my foot. I have been so inactive with my precautions with my PT when I get off the bike and I have those little tingling sensations in my butt and legs, like I once experienced after a long walk, it feel so good and it lifts me up. I think the endorphins are good, and it is improving the quality of my appetite and sleep.

My physical therapist, Ellen came for a session She was here for me through my hip surgery four years ago, she has been with me through my two hip revisions this summer. She is fantastic. She is kind and patient. Her encouragement is priceless. We have become friendly and I am a bit sad that Thursday will be our last session. The good news, she believes I am ready. I really like seeing her, she has brightened many a day. I know how to do my PT and I will do it religiously.  I am honored to do the work that works toward my recovery. I made her some of my fabulous granola, a small parting gift. It is perfect, she loves cereal. We are certain to be in touch as we have a bond.

I had a couple of unexpected phone calls, from two of my favorite people. I found myself being very engaged, less flat and very much interested in our conversations. Was I feeling more like myself, I think I was. Both of my friends noticed. I noticed too.

The day continued. I did some work in my Etsy shop. I have a vintage jewelry shop. I had re-opened my shop on Labor Day, quite fitting I thought. It had been closed for three months as I was unable to work.  The shop re-opened to a flurry of activity and seven orders right from the smash. I was thrilled, and encouraged as well. Thing then went totally flat. I can happily report that I usually have orders each day, or one or two days between orders. The initial flurry died down and nine days went by with not a single order. Something was not right. I chalked it up to being closed and needing to get back up on the search engines. One day last week I went downstairs to do some laundry, I walk through my studio to get to the laundry room. I stopped in the studio and turned on the light. What I saw, for the first time, horrified me. My studio was lifeless, I had no custom work, my bench look lonely. It was dusty, I saw a few cobwebs, the chi was perfectly awful. It looked like a place where something wonderful had happened there and then for some reason it stopped. I wasn’t happening at all. This was a revelation, I set about making the necessary changes. Simple things like cleaning, I felt myself coming alive, invigorated about my work, my studio and my shop. I also realized that I had not been very engaging with my customers since reopening. I wasn’t in touch with other shop keeps I was friendly with. I wasn’t connecting on social media. I was flat, the shop was flat, but I knew how to change that. I have worked so hard. I learned so much building my business, I experienced success. Okay, we are on our way back! I wanted to contribute to the household, and I wanted my income stream back. That afternoon I engaged like I knew how. I was even a bit animated. I was still in here. That evening I had two sales and sales are increasing. Things are looking up and feels great. Keep doing the things you can, and for goodness sakes do them well.

I had some lunch, focusing on my protein intake. I am what I eat. I set about making that yummy granola and baked two loaves of pumpkin bread with craisins and toasted pecans. The house smelled wonderful. I put some music on. I love music, where had the music been? One loaf of pumpkin bread for my husbands lunch and a loaf for my friend I was getting together with tomorrow night.

Yes, I have plans out in the world with a dear friend. I will be driving, driving at night which I have not done since the spring….baby steps. Fantastic! I had a call from her, we firmed up our plan and gosh, it just felt great. I did another fifteen minutes on my precious bike, a ride to well-being. I worked on my planned post and thought I am having a good day. I must write about that. This may on the surface seem pretty mundane, my day, it was. But not to me. It had a sparkle to it. I was seeing and thinking about things just a little bit differently. Dare I say, feeling like myself. That my darlings is miles from mundane…..

So really, truly, no crosses count, hands down, one good day. I haven’t thought about a day being good in a very long while. Am I back on track? I pray it will grow and continue in that direction. I am sure the Prozac is helping, I know the iron supplements are, I am sleeping and most of all I remain hopeful, prayerful and grateful. This day added up to good and I say bring ’em on……..

Hoping this finds you in the best of spirits.

Always dazzle, Karen