- A Diary :: a fictional pen-pal to write to about all of your happenings and feelings
- Historical Record of Days :: think Lewis and Clark, complete with weather reports and sketches of objects encountered
- Art :: filled with pages of color, collage, drawings
- Travel :: a reflection on and memories concerning a trip away from home
- Pen-Pal :: You complete a page, send it to a friend who makes a page and sends it back to you
- Grief :: a way to remember and honor someone you loved and now miss
- Positivity :: a book to keep all happy thoughts and good happenings in so you can remember how wonderful life really is
- Wish :: a place to keep all those things (thoughts, clippings, pictures) of the things your heart desires
- Dream :: record the subconscious happenings in your mind while you sleep (upon waking up, of course)
- Family :: a place where everyone in the household can express themselves whenever they like (such a keepsake!)
- Letters :: where you write all the letters you will never send but have to put out there
- Book :: a record of all the books you read – when, what, and your own personal review
- Bullet :: the ultimate “get it done” way to organize
- Relationship :: a place to store mementos, dates, and details about your life together
- Wonderful Words :: put all the words that sound beautiful or mean something special to you in this book, including their definitions
- Poetry :: write down all your favorite poems, the ones that really move you, all in one journal
- A Place to Vent :: All the stuff you’d like to get off your chest; write it down here and when the journal is full, throw it away!
- Things I Never Want to Forget :: memories throughout your life that you want to treasure forever
- My Favorites :: a place to record all those things you love the most, like your favorite restaurant, movie, song, scent, season…
- Recipes :: all the tried and true yummy food and the ones you’d like to make
- Patterns :: patterns you love – pieces cut from cloth, magazines, catalogs, and drawings of patterns that you’ve seen or from your imagination
- Healthy Me :: what you eat each day, goals for being healthier, an exercise log, etc.
- Doodles :: a place to draw to your heart’s content
- Money :: where you record all the money that comes into your life and how you spend it; a pretty and concise way to watch your pennies
- Reflections :: an account of things you do and how they could be improved in the future; this is a game-changer
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Bright LinesI have friends from many different faiths. Some of my friends and even strangers have asked me how I can be in what they deem such a “rigid” faith. So many rules…so many restrictions. But I believe that rules bring freedom. Enter in: Bright Lines.The proof is in the pudding…or jail. Yes, jail. Very simply put, there are rules set in place that if you break, you go to jail. In jail all of your freedoms are taken from you. Now, someone else is in charge of what used to be your decisions. They decide what you get to eat, to wear, and where you can and cannot go. You no longer have control over your life because you broke the rules.Just recently I was introduced to the concept of Bright Lines. I looked it up on Google and here is what they had to say: “A bright-line rule is a clearly defined rule or standard, composed of objective factors, which leaves little or no room for varying interpretation. The purpose of a bright-line rule is to produce predictable and consistent results in its application.”Let me give you a few examples of Bright Lines in my life so you can see that you have Bright Lines already established in your life as well. I have a Bright Line that I have drawn about never consuming alcohol or doing drugs. I will not eat any animal products or watch R-rated movies. I even have one for never driving over 37 mph in our neighborhood because the cops are always perched somewhere and I don’t want a ticket! These particular Bright Lines keep my body happy and cheerful physically, my brain happy and cheerful mentally, and my bank account happy and cheerful for not getting that speeding ticket!There have been times in my life that even though those Bright Lines were established in what I thought to be in stone, I broke. I’m not talking about coming up and putting my toe right against the line. I’m talking about wiping the line away, jumping completely on the other side, feeling a moment of exhilaration for having broken the rules, and then eventually feeling guilt over my decision and the inevitable consequences.You have every freedom in making your decisions, but you are not in charge of the consequences. Good or bad, you do not have control over the consequences of your decisions.The reason I am introducing this Bright Line concept to you today is that no matter what your past has been and the rules that we have all broken, we can begin today to set up new Bright Lines for ourselves. Maybe it is something as simple as developing a habit to brush your teeth in the evening and not just in the morning. (My dad is a dentist and I’m still working on this one!) Maybe it is to not say something critical to anyone today, especially your loved ones. Maybe it is not to have critical thoughts towards yourself. Maybe it’s a bigger goal that you have in mind.Whatever your goal is, draw a Bright Line and as my friend and mentor, Susan Pierce Thompson says, “Simply Resume”. Don’t beat yourself up over having crossed the line. Just draw another one and resume. I wish you good luck with your Bright Lines! Sending love to you wherever you are in your journey.
Negative Energy VS Positive Energy
Trip to Boise 3/3/16It was the best of positive times and the worst of negative times…After being in airports for over 14 hours I have come to the conclusion that they bring out the best and the worst in people. Negative Energy VS Positive Energy. This story is one about my journey from Southern California to Boise, Idaho for a Women’s Conference I was booked to speak at.My husband and I own our own business and it was already going to be tight having me gone for a couple of days and my hubby started to not feel well. The morning I’m flying out he woke up with 102 temp and flat on his back in bed. Just touching my hand to him made me draw back sharply because of the intense heat. He was my ride to the airport. I drove my daughter to early morning seminary calling a shuttle on the way. Luckily they could come and get me, but it was an hour earlier than I had anticipated so I rushed home, finished packing, made breakfast, walked and fed the dogs and smiled when my chauffeur came to the front door. I was sweating as I (very unladylike) got into the van.On my way to the airport I am frantically texting to take care of things for the day. Texting our employees (who handled it magnificently by the way) to hold down the shop that day and what would continue to the next day as well, text a friend and neighbor to walk the dogs again after lunch, and call yet another friend to pick up my teenage daughter after school. I then go through my bag only to realize that I have my very cool Freska mango knife with me. The driver is grateful to acquire such a lovely trinket. At least it didn’t get thrown in the trash when trying to go through security.I get to the airport an hour and a half before my flight and after about 30 minutes of waiting my flight gets delayed and then delayed again. I end up leaving almost three hours after the original time. This is where you start to see the true characters of those around you. While I am concerned and it’s a bummer, I decide to use this block of time to answer emails and polish my speech intro that I wasn’t totally happy with. Trying to be productive in what for me is this rare opportunity of nothing else tugging at me for my time. Unfortunate, yes, but not life-threatening. The flight attendant assures me that my connector flight has also been delayed due to the weather in San Francisco.One lady is deciding if she should get a rental car and drive to Vegas which is her ultimate destination. I chat with her a minute about the price and time cost and she decides to wait it out. One gentleman with his wife is making a joke at every turn and I dub him the “unfunny” comedian. I listen to a young man on the phone with his mother in San Francisco and he is complaining loudly that he just wanted to watch a movie while on the flight but due to the crappy airport wifi that it will never happen as his computer tells him it will take 7 hours. He is irritated and has nothing positive to say.As I wait at the “electronic” plug-in bar so I can charge my laptop and phone I experience positive, caring, even trusting people. Half a dozen people are trying to charge their devices. Each of them make room for the others and exchange kind words. One lady older than me asks if she can plug her phone in beside me. I tell her I would be happy to watch it while it charges and she trusts me! Her phone cover is leather and has a pocket on the outside holding cash and her driver’s license and she sits it by me and goes to read her novel two rows away. I renew my faith in humanity as people care about other people and she is so trusting of a perfect stranger.And then there is the angry redheaded dude. He was the one in line speaking to the attendant at the counter, visibly upset. Everything about his demeanor suggested irritation, irritability and a terribly poor attitude. His actions were jerky and full of negative energy. I’m not sure what his rush is to San Francisco, but in his mind it must be urgent.And then we board the plane and who is my aisle partner? Yep…the red-headed angry dude. He exuded the most powerful negative energy that I’ve had the opportunity to be so close to in a long time. Every time the captain came on with an update he would jerk the headphones off his head to eagerly listen. When the captain would then say there was another 15 minute delay or anything at all he would be slapping his hand on his leg or just into the air and uttering curse words under his breath. I almost said something to him, but felt that it might make him even more angry. It was an incredible reminder how negative energy can physically be felt when it is pouring out of someone in such abundance.I get off the plane in San Francisco and literally run past everyone trying to go down the ramp off the plane and then up the ramp into the terminal only to find out that I had missed my connector flight and would then be in San Francisco for another 6 and a half hours. Yes, I’m sweating again.After a couple of hours and finding vegan food to eat in the airport I glance up at the screen at my gate and it shows the next two flights out…neither of which was mine. I calmly ask the gate attendant if my gate had changed and she said it had changed to gate 70 in another wing from gate 79 where I was currently standing. I finish charging my phone and head across the airport. I get there and it it doesn’t have my flight on that screen either! That’s when I ate an entire bar of chocolate.All of the big screens showing all the flights still say my original gate so I gather up my things and head back. That screen still doesn’t show my flight, but I feel like I’m in the right place. Now I start thinking about Boise and how I’m going to get to my dad’s house in Caldwell. My dad was originally going to pick me up, but that was earlier in the day and now I wouldn’t be arriving until 10:30 at night and after a nasty fall and hip surgery he just isn’t feeling up to it. I call a shuttle, turns out it’s just a charter, but they are friendly and give me the local taxi service. Called them, but WOW! Huge price tag. I considered getting a hotel for the night when my husband suggests Uber. I download the app, arrive in Boise, grab my bag and the driver arrives in 4 minutes. I reach my dad at 11:30pm. 7 1/2 hours after I should have arrived.Traveling by plane, shuttle, taxi, Uber…ok, all traveling modes can bring out the worst negative energy in you or the best positive energy in you. I hadn’t traveled by plane in over 2 years and this was a gentle reminder that people are always watching.
My conclusion?There is simply no way to avoid bumps in the road. They are a part of life. Delays, setbacks, moments where you will be forced to wait when you really just want to take action, moments people send you on a wild goose chase that accomplishes nothing. How you REACT to those bumps is a test of your true character. What will people of observe of you when the next bump comes along?
A Story of My Best Friend’s DepressionThe Back Story
Have you ever had one of those days? Or maybe one of those weeks, or months, or a year? How about multiple years? Well, this is a story of my most precious friend in the entire world who was in his second year of things not going well at all and me being in such a dilemma watching him suffer that I just had to figure out some way to help. My best friend is my husband and he was drowning.The back story all started when his mom passed away in March of 2014. No, I think it actually began around December of 2013 so let’s begin there. Our family-owned business was doing great! While we are a very small company, we had always seen an increase every year or at least stayed level, even during the recession. We had been in business for ten years and decided it was time to expand our space. We spent quite a bit of money with upgrades and of course the new rent amount, double the utility bills…you get the picture. Not two months later everything stopped. Quite literally stopped. I swear that our clients were abducted by aliens and left the planet for at least six months. Business was that bad. That’s enough to cause anyone stress, right?Enter mom falling again and going into the hospital. She was in ICU for awhile, began to get better, was moved to the rehab facility that we didn’t like much and during this whole transition, my hubby contracted bronchitis. Not only is bronchitis a knock-down, drag-out illness, but it rendered him unable to visit his mom for fear of getting her sick in her current condition. While he was on the mend with crazy antibiotics and rest, mom took a turn for the worst while still in rehab by catching a deadly form of pneumonia that put her back in ICU to what would become a fight for her life that she was unable to win.Not only was business bad and he was sick, but his mom had passed away which is always a heart-wrenching thing. He was close to his mom, taking her out to dinner on Wednesday nights and us having family dinner with her and the rest of the family every Sunday. While after 5 weeks of her being in the hospital it wasn’t completely unexpected, it changed everything.A couple months of sadness pass and we enter the summer months. Business still isn’t going as well as we would like and while his mom and dad had a trust (WHICH I HIGHLY RECOMMEND) so that things run more smoothly, you still have to take care of things…lots of things. Bank accounts, the house, furniture, knick-knacks, jewelry, the dog, and enough Christmas decorations to light up the White House…you get the idea. That’s when the shingles hit. More antibiotics, more rest.Then come your first set of holidays without your mom with whom you’ve spent every Christmas with the exception of maybe one or two from the time you were born. No one feels like celebrating, much less decorating, even if you have White House worthy decorations. That can just be tough. Really tough…more depression.
January rolls around and he feels a little ambitious. The business picks up just a tad and he starts riding his bike again, but this time he isn’t recovering very well. Gym workouts? Same thing. Sore for too many days than you should be sore. He hates going to the doctor so he toughs it out for a few months to around the one-year anniversary of his mom passing and takes a little fall on his bike. Nothing major, just a little “owie” on his elbow that starts to get better until about two weeks after when the scab gets bumped off and it gets infected. So infected that his one arm looks like Popeye (no joke!) and of course we were out of town so you end up at an unfamiliar urgent care. Dual shots of antibiotics in both butt cheeks (writhing on the bed kind of pain for those shots!) and oral antibiotics just for kicks….let’s just knock this out along with any good flora you might have had left in your intestines up until now.That was the last straw. He felt so miserable, so depressed, couldn’t work out, didn’t want to go anywhere or do anything. I imagine that this is the definition of a permanent funk that just won’t go away. It was awful to watch. It didn’t matter what I did or how much I tried to “pump him up” as Arnold Schwarzenegger would say…it just wasn’t enough. I felt completely helpless as to how to help.
As a last ditch effort, we tried what I call a “voodoo doctor”. Tons of blood tests run, loads of supplements taken (and when I say loads…I mean LOADS), more blood tests in certain intervals. No dice. My man was shot so full of holes you could strain spaghetti through him. His body had been hurt multiple times, his heart hurt over the loss of his mother, he couldn’t work out because it was debilitating which left his self-esteem in the toilet, and work wasn’t altogether going well either. Sleep was the order of the day and the more of it the better. I had to do something!The Physical Plan
I am a Certified Holistic Health Coach, have taken classes through Dr. John McDougall and received a certificate in plant-based nutrition through eCornell University. I started researching everything I could about healing your immune system while my husband started reading books on the subject. While there is a ton of information out there and only varied opinions on the subject, we made a plan to repair his health.We started a 5-day juice fast following the incredible recipes out there by Joe Cross from Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead. (He has the best ones out there, hands down…although anything that juices a turnip ends up like smelly gym socks or disgusting body odor, so I don’t recommend anything with turnips in it!). Admittedly, after day 2 we were so sluggish that we decided to add a light, healthy dinner as we just couldn’t function at work without more food in our guts, it was wonderful and it made me feel great! It was the perfect re-boot for our bodies.We then followed up with a 21-day elimination diet that took out known trigger foods. All that means is that while you may not have a specific allergy to a food, you could have some sort of reactions to particular foods. We eliminated gluten products, corn, and soy because while they recommend also nixing dairy, we are already vegan so no worries there!We then followed that up with a 2-week round of Arbonne’s pre-biotic/pro-biotic packets once per day. Needless to say…it worked! While it took several months to re-gain strength and endurance (imagine not working out for 18 months…you’re a bit out of shape), but he’s doing fantastically well physically. He’s not 100% yet as I can still beat him uphill on a mountain bike, but he’s sticking right with me now so I know it’s only a matter of time before he will be kicking my rear end again!The Emotional PlanWhat happened with the emotional part, though? I can hardly wait to tell you! This is by far the most interesting and fun endeavor I’ve undertaken…all in the name of love and hope! I call it Eddy’s 60 Days of Sunshine and it brought my hubby’s soul back from the dead…literally. (You can download it for FREE when you sign up for my weekly emails on my website HERE)I got to thinking that the only way to reverse engineer something is to do the opposite of what got you there in the first place. The negativity had built up over a period of time. It snuck in until it had taken over the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual body. While we had fixed the physical part which in turn helped the mental state, the emotional and spiritual still needed a tune-up.Enter a plan that included friends and family. I printed out 2 months worth of calendars for a total of 60 days and made a list of all friends and family members I could think of that cared about my best friend. The list totaled over 80 people. I then started making phone calls, texting, Facebook messaging all of them. I assigned one person each one day and the only guidance I gave them was to just check in, see how he was doing and let him know they cared and loved him and why.At first I decided not to tell him what was happening. Let’s just say that he was so far down what he would later call a “wormhole” that he didn’t even figure it out or get suspicious until day 16! Day 16!! I was at my mom’s and out of town for the weekend when he called me and I had to confess what I was doing. When I told him it was day 16 he was flabbergasted. I had to tell him who had been assigned which day just to convince him.He will admit that at first it seemed a bit saddening to learn it wasn’t the “universe” just reaching out to him in his time of need, but I figured we are instruments in the Lord’s hands and he has a lot to do so he uses us to answer others prayers for help. Even if they don’t realize they need the help.Some sent him texts or emails. Some took him to lunch or dinner. Some called and visited for an hour. It was an awesome experience to watch that much love being shown for one individual. And you know what? It worked! The 60 days ended with a trip up to San Francisco for him to play a golf tournament with his buddies and visit old friends. The perfect ending to a perfect 60 days.
My only dilemma as the days were coming to an end was how to keep the love going. I created a Facebook page dedicated to him and invited all of his friends to post about their experience they had on their assigned day. On day 60, I added my hubby to the group and he was able to read their messages. He will then be able to go back and read them when he’s feeling blue. He is also more connected to some long, lost friendships that had needed some attention.The best side effect getting out of this depression was the reaction from the friends and family I had asked to participate. I did not anticipate the good will felt, the love felt of service being rendered. The gratitude of those people that they were made a part of something bigger that quite literally saved a life.Today I am grateful again for my husband who supports me in all I do, even if it’s off-your-rocker kinda crazy (which lots of my ideas are). I am grateful to all who pitched in to make this project work. I am grateful to my daughter who would help me text and make some calls while we ran errands to set up the next week’s participants. It worked!You can listen to Eddy’s side of this story by going to Apple Podcasts, Lauri’s Lemonade Stand, Episode #011.While I am not a clinical psychologist and you should seek professional help if you are depressed,this worked for us and I am so happy it did.