Art of Holiatry

3 Foolproof Ways to Eating Healthy by Samantha Russell

Samantha Russell, Live The Whole

3 foolproof ways to make healthy eating really work for you

by: Samantha Russell with LiveTheWhole.com

Healthy eating is hard to stick to. Sometimes it feels like the whole world is against you, with birthday parties, food-centered holidays, and potluck parties every second weekend.

I recently did a bunch of interviews with hard-working and accomplished women who all struggle to eat in a way that feels good to them. The number 1 thing they identified as getting in their way the most was consistency.

They all have so much knowledge about health, nutrition, and the way the want to be eating – but feel like life just constantly throws them curve balls and encourages them to eat more cake, buy more ice cream, and make exceptions to their plan all the time.

So, how can you make healthy eating actually work for you in a consistent way? Here are 3 foolproof ways to make healthy food choices your automatic ‘go to’ every day.

Step 1: Set SMART goals

Goals are great – you probably have them for your career, and maybe even your relationship, but have you stopped to formulate some great food and eating goals as well?

Just like any other goals in your life, healthy eating goals need to be SMART, or

Specific

Measurable

Attainable

Resonates with you, and

Time-managed.

This means you have to think hard about exactly what you want to do, how you’ll measure your success, how to make the goal realistic for you and fit into your life, and when you’re going to pause and assess how things are going.

The problem with most healthy eating goals is that they go something like “I’m going to start eating better”, or “I’m going to cut down on carbs”, or even “I’m quitting sugar from now on”. There’s nothing wrong with trying any of these, but you’re going to need a better plan if you want to succeed.

For example, a SMART goal for “I’m quitting sugar” is:

“For the next 2 weeks (time managed), I am not going to eat or drink any sugar or added sweetener (specific + measurable). Instead, I’ll have a piece of fruit and drink green tea if I feel I need a little something extra (resonates + attainable).”

Step 2: Plan your meals the night before

Meal planning is the most helpful action step you can take to make healthy food choices easy – because you’ve already made them.

Simply sit down for 5 minutes before you go to bed and write down exactly what you’re going to eat the next day. Breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, and drinks.

Yes, even if it involves looking up the menu of a restaurant. By making food decisions when you’re relaxed, not hungry, and can give them your full attention, you’ll make way better decisions that are more in-line with your goals.

Now, with the food decisions already made, all you have to do is stick with them. If you feel like you’re going to struggle with that, this is where step 3 comes in.

Step 3: Have an emergency recovery plan

No matter how SMART your goals are, or how much planning you do, there are definitely going to be times when it’s still hard to make healthy choices. Consistency is really key when you’re habit building, so I like to use the superpowers of

  • The bigger picture,
  • Meditation, and
  • Switching gears

To help stay on track.

No matter how dedicated you are to changing your eating, stress, tiredness, and social pressure (to name just a couple of things!) can all make some really convincing sounding arguments as to why you should choose fast food tonight and “start eating healthy again in the morning”. Sometimes that’s ok, but when it’s happening multiple times a week, you’re not going to reach your goals.

So, when you can feel temptation or stress getting the better of you, take a moment to think about the bigger picture of why you want to eat healthier. Is it to be a good role model for you kids? Feel better in your body and be confident you trust yourself with food? Or to avoid carrying on the family history of type-2 diabetes and high blood pressure? Thinking about this bigger picture helps keep you motivated and on-track.

Some Lauri’s Lemonade Stand Podcast episodes that are great for this:

Interview with Katie Arms – take a moment out of your day to find out how Katie took a massive life-curveball and made it work for her on every level.

Interview with me – learn more about my struggle with change, eating, and consistency and how I personally made lasting change.

Interview with Makeda Pennycooke – learn how to transform you fear and make yourself feel safe.

The second secret weapon is meditation. You’re not going to want to do it – but trust me, put an app like headspace on your phone and when you feel yourself going off track in a way you don’t like, pop in your earphones and take a 5 minute timeout. Sometimes that’s all you need to refocus and get on with your day (and stick to the food plan you made the night before).

And finally, when you feel cravings creeping up on you, try mentally switching gears. Research shows that taking a break and doing something totally different with your brain reduces the intensity of cravings. In fact, the research was done using the game ‘Tetris’, which you can put on your phone right now. Fun, and helps you stay healthy.

The process of making healthy eating a habit is really all about practice, but it’s also about being prepared. Don’t expect (or even aim for) perfection, but you can definitely make healthy eating easy and automatic if you follow the 3 steps outlined above. Every great choice you make creates a positive cycle of self-trust, momentum, and motivation that can move your forward each day – towards a happier, healthier you.

About The Author:

Samantha runs Live the Whole and is certified by the Institute for the Psychology of Eating in the US, has a certificate in clinical and pastoral counseling from the University of Glasgow in the UK, and has a degree in psychology from Massey University in New Zealand.

Sam specializes in helping clients manage and heal their relationship with food, body, and self. She uses a blend of positive psychology and mind-body-nutrition connections, along with traditional coaching and counseling methodologies. She works together with clients to uncover the root causes of unwanted eating so they can feel happy, free, and in control.

We would love to hear your feedback so drop us a comment below – we read them ALL!

Ms Penelope Pickwick’s Books 2017 – What Books are on your bookshelf?

I am a New Year’s Resolutions kind of gal.  I am that crazy, somewhat OCD person that makes a goal list every year and does her best to get ‘er done.  At the beginning of 2017 I realized that my goal sheet needed some sprucing up…it was BORING!  I renamed categories and just added a healthy dose of fun into the titles and the goals themselves.  Today, I’d like to share one of those goals about books I wanted to read in 2017 with you.

I created a stack of 10 books to read throughout the year.  That was it.  Boring.  Snore.  Probably not going to happen even though they are staring me in the face every. single. day.  And then I remembered something.  When I was in 3rd grade my teacher held a contest.  She created a bookworm for each of us and for every book we read (think Golden Books back then) we added another segment to our bookworm.  I adore reading and my bookworm went around at least two of the walls in our classroom.

So that’s what I did!  This year I created a bookworm and named her Ms Penelope Pickwick and she is beautiful!  I’m not a crafty person, but I AM creative.  I cut out circles on pretty paper and every time I finish a book I add a segment to Ms Pickwick which now goes along an entire wall and started onto the next wall here in my studio.

In honor of it being November and I’m down to my last few books for the year, I’d like to list the books I’ve read here for the year and give you a little rating (solely my opinion, of course) from 1-5 stars and why.  Enjoy and happy Reading!  If you have any comments on any of the books listed here please feel free to let us know so that everyone can decide which one to buy next!  (Links to buy included below and the order is in what I read first, second, etc.)

Books I’ve Read in 2017 (So far…)

Beauty and The Clockwork Beast by Nancy Campbell Allen – 5 Stars!

This was the first steampunk proper romance I had ever read and devoured it with ease.  Mystery, fantasy, love, women who kick-ass and take names.  This is an incredible read!

The Love Dare for Parents – 2 Stars!

I am a HUGE fan of the movie, Fireproof and the workbook available called The Love Dare so when I started having some trouble with my teenager it seemed like a good fit, but while I am Christian this book seemed a little too fire and brimstone for me.  There was some good advice, but I would not recommend this book.

My Fair Gentleman by Nancy Campbell Allen – 5 Stars!

After I read Beauty and The Clockwork Beast, I wanted more Nancy Campbell Allen (you can listen to her podcast interview with me here) and this was the next one.  While not a steampunk romance, it is a play on My Fair Lady and devoured this one in 24 hours flat.  Yep, it was that good.

The Assertiveness Guide for Women by Dr. Julie Hanks – 5 Stars!

Dr. Julie Hanks was a guest on the podcast (listen here) and her method is pretty much foolproof.  Loved her interview, loved this book, and believe it can help you learn more about yourself and finding the strength to be assertive in your life.

Louis L’amour Favorites: Bendigo Shafter, Borden Shantry, Brionne, The Broken Gun, The Californios, Callaghen, Catlow – All 5 Stars!

This year I completed my collection of novels by Louis L’amour via second hand stores, thrift stores, used book stores, and finally some on Amazon.  He is one of my favorites and I never tire of the good guy winning!  Glad I didn’t live in that era of old western towns, but can’t get enough of these!

The Artists Way by Julia Cameron – 5 Stars!

My husband bought this book for me Christmas 2015 and it took to the end of 2016 to crack it open.  I was really interested, but other books came first  What I didn’t know is that it was a workbook and would take weeks to complete.  I learned more about myself during those weeks than I have over the last decade.  It is a MUST READ and is phenomenal in its content.  It was through this book that I got the idea for #PlayDates and #Recess and was a influence in me finding my creativity and learning that I was actually creative!  Who knew?

The Mismatched Nativity by Merrilee Boyack – 5 Stars!

This is truly a children’s book, but because I had Merrilee on the podcast (listen here) and we talked about this very book, I had to get it and read it for sure.  I highly recommend it for your young’uns!

The Go-Giver by Bob Burg and John David Mann – 5 Stars!

“A Little Story about a Powerful Business Idea” is so good that I still have the 5 steps of business on my dry-erase board in my studio.  Want a teaser?  The first one says, “Your true worth is determined by how much more you give in value than you take in payment”.  Get it, read it, enjoy it, implement it!

Kissing A Frog by Sharlene Hawkes – 5 Stars!

This was recommended to me by my best friend, Elizabeth and not only did I read it, enjoy it, and implement parts of it – I then asked Sharlene to be on the podcast and you can LISTEN HERE!  Miss America 1985 and the first foreign-born Miss America ever – you will love her!  There are only 95 copies of her book left in print and if you click here you will be directed to my website where you can get an autographed copy just for yourself!

The Conference of The Birds by Peter Sis – 3 Stars!

Given to me by a friend, it is beautifully illustrated and hard to understand.  Maybe I am just too simple to get all of it’s deeper meaning, but it is now my coffee table book because the artwork adds beauty to my home.

The Vicar’s Daughter, A Heart Revealed, Lord Fenton’s Folly – all by Josi S Kilpack – All 5 Stars!

Josi stole my heart long ago with her recipe/mystery novels featuring Sadie Hoffmiller and I’ve never looked back.  I was so deeply honored (and am a crazy huge fan!) that I asked her to be on the podcast and she accepted!  (Listen Here!) These three are some of her best proper romance books to date and I fall in love with her all over again every time I read them.  I went on a bender here obviously and read three in a row!  Highly recommend all three, but would read A Heart Revealed before Lord Fenton’s Folly – interconnected just a bit, but still can be read as stand alone books so pick your favorite!

You Have 4-Minutes to Change Your Life by Rebekah Borucki – 4 Stars!

This is an insightful book on how you can fit meditation (even four minutes) into your daily schedule.  It is definitely a way to do that, but found myself only giving four stars because I’m not very woo-woo…sorry ladies!  I loved the stories and indeed love Rebekah “Bex” Borucki so much that I had her on the podcast and had an incredible interview!  (Listen Here!)

Strong Is The New Pretty by Kate T Parker – 5 Stars!

If you need a Christmas present or birthday present or graduation present for any girl or woman in your life, look no further…this is it! There are not a lot of words, but little there are makes an impact.  Even more impactful are the images.  Kate’s photography in this work is worthy of any bookshelf or wall.  I found myself going from laughing to crying to being all out contemplative as I consumed the photos that fill it’s pages.  A must have for you and anyone else you can think of.  Want to learn more about Kate?  Listen to her podcast here!

There Is No Good Card For This by Kelsey Crowe, PhD – 5 Stars!

Another guest on Lauri’s Lemonade Stand The Positivity Podcast for Women (Listen Here!) Kelsey has empathy down to an art and in fact teaches it to other via her workshops.  In all honesty, I didn’t read the book before our interview.  Then this happened:  One of my closest friends started going through a divorce that still isn’t over as I write this and I felt like I could be a better friend.  I then devoured the book within a couple of weeks and started using its wisdom immediately.  It’s worth every penny – get it!

The Secret of the India Orchid by Nancy Campbell Allen – 5 Stars!

Don’t need to say another word more than what I did on her first two books listed above other than I can’t wait for her next steampunk romance coming out in 2018!!

Money, A Love Story by Kate Northrup – 5 Stars!

Ladies, this book is tailored just for you and your dirty money secrets you might be hiding.  Don’t hide under the covers about your finances any longer…Kate take you through her own experiences and what you can start doing right now today to make a difference in your personal finances.  True eye-opener and guess what?  She tells much, much more during our LLS Podcast interview (Listen Here!).

Choose Yourself by James Altucher – 5 Stars!

This book is all about possibilities.  Believing in possibilities.  Coming up with new possibilities.  It was so fun (even hysterical in some parts) to read and chock full of knowledge about how to Choose Yourself in this world in the best possible way.  Implementing even one part of this book could seriously change your life.  Try it out!

Books I’m reading right now (Unfinished)

The Gifts of Imperfection by Brene’ Brown

Maybe It’s You by Lauren Handel Zander

Bragg’s Healthy Lifestyle by Paul C Bragg, ND PhD and Patricia Bragg, ND PhD

Better Each Day by Jessica Cassity

What’s on your bookshelf?

Would love to hear recommendations on new books, give me your two cents on any of the books written above and let me know if you purchase any of these based on the above reviews.  I would love to hear from you!

25 Kinds of Journals to Keep

25 Kinds of Journals to Keep
In a recent podcast interview with Laurie Blackwell (Episode 27), we talked the inside out and sideways of journal writing.  Upon finding out our mutual passion of the subject, Laurie created this amazing list that includes 25 different kinds of journals you could create.
Laurie also teaches online journaling classes at www.laurieblackwell.com.
Check out the podcast interview here.  Enjoy and get journaling!
25 Kinds of Journals to Keep
  1. A Diary :: a fictional pen-pal to write to about all of your happenings and feelings
  2. Historical Record of Days :: think Lewis and Clark, complete with weather reports and sketches of objects encountered
  3. Art :: filled with pages of color, collage, drawings
  4. Travel :: a reflection on and memories concerning a trip away from home
  5. Pen-Pal :: You complete a page, send it to a friend who makes a page and sends it back to you
  6. Grief :: a way to remember and honor someone you loved and now miss
  7. Positivity :: a book to keep all happy thoughts and good happenings in so you can remember how wonderful life really is
  8. Wish :: a place to keep all those things (thoughts, clippings, pictures) of the things your heart desires
  9. Dream :: record the subconscious happenings in your mind while you sleep (upon waking up, of course)
  10. Family :: a place where everyone in the household can express themselves whenever they like (such a keepsake!)
  11. Letters :: where you write all the letters you will never send but have to put out there
  12. Book :: a record of all the books you read – when, what, and your own personal review
  13. Bullet :: the ultimate “get it done” way to organize
  14. Relationship :: a place to store mementos, dates, and details about your life together
  15. Wonderful Words ::  put all the words that sound beautiful or mean something special to you in this book, including their definitions
  16. Poetry ::  write down all your favorite poems, the ones that really move you, all in one journal
  17. 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!
  18. Things I Never Want to Forget ::  memories throughout your life that you want to treasure forever
  19. My Favorites  ::  a place to record all those things you love the most, like your favorite restaurant, movie, song, scent, season…
  20. Recipes :: all the tried and true yummy food and the ones you’d like to make
  21. Patterns :: patterns you love – pieces cut from cloth, magazines, catalogs, and drawings of patterns that you’ve seen or from your imagination
  22. Healthy Me ::  what you eat each day, goals for being healthier, an exercise log, etc.
  23. Doodles ::  a place to draw to your heart’s content
  24. 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
  25. Reflections ::  an account of things you do and how they could be improved in the future;   this is a game-changer

The Mom Gear

The Mom Gear
Grand Baby Visit October 2016
“Can you watch the kids for a few days?”, my eldest daughter asks.  We have a wedding to go to and then I can get ready for Riley’s 4th birthday party.  I will bring them out to you (about a 3-hour drive) and then you can bring them back for the birthday party.  “Of course!”, I say, “That will be fun!”
Never mind that they had never stayed the night at my house without mommy before and that my youngest left at home is a Junior in high school.  Never mind that I’ve gotten used to actually sleeping through the night and have been spoiled about having most of my time as my own.  Never mind that I rarely change poopy diapers or have to keep “mimi’s”, “b-b’s”,  and “mina’s” definitions straight.
Now, don’t get me wrong…I absolutely adore my grand babies.  They are super cute, loaded with energy and say the funniest things I’ve ever heard.  They are fascinated by the littlest things, call big rocks volcanoes, know how to make my youngest dog do tricks on the walking bridge by our house, and save roly-poly’s by picking them up and putting them on trees.
They finish a huge breakfast eating waffles, bananas, strawberries, and some dry cold cereal to boot and walk away only to be back 15-20 minutes later telling me they are hungry. They dump the entire toy basket out and put it all back at least 5 times a day and that doesn’t count the other two where I put them away for them.
After two days I remembered what it was like to have the extra “mom gear”.  The Mom Gear is only available to moms of young children when they need it.  It’s like a super power that can only be called on when it’s needed.  It’s something akin to the mom’s having an extra pair of eyes in the back of their head.  It keeps you moving when you’ve been up several times a night to a child needing their “mina-mina” (which is a drink to my 2-year old grandson by the way), their “b-b” which is his pacifier, or his “mimi” which is his blanket that he can’t sleep without.
It’s the extra gear you find when you’ve already run 4 loads of laundry that day, but then you forgot to put the 4-year old in a diaper for her nap and she peed during her sleep so you have to do one more load and then scrub the bed.  It’s the extra gear that gives you patience when something you have owned for a very long time gets broken from curious little hands and makes you realize that the kids are far more important than whatever it was that broke.
I was ever so grateful that as a Gram who had not been in this situation for quite a long time that I still had my “Mom Gear” well intact somewhere in the depths my being.  Today, I am grateful to be in the stage of life that I’m in, but I am even more grateful to all of you mom’s like my oldest daughter who possess the “Mom Gear”.
You are incredible.  You are making a difference in this world with every smile, every load of laundry, ever meal prepared, every errand run, every time you’ve had to call on the strength of God for more patience.

Grandbabies

You young moms rock!  This is a shout-out to all of you, but a special shout out to my eldest daughter, Erica.  You are a beautiful, caring, loving mother.  I am so proud of how you are raising these beautiful grand babies of mine.  You matter.  You rock.  I love you, period.
Share pics of your babies/grandbabies  (mine are shown here) and tell us a little story about your “Mom Gear” in full force and effect!

Practice Smiling

Practice Smiling
     When I was interviewing Jo Ellen Soesbee for my podcast, she said something towards the end that I couldn’t stop thinking about.  She was driving along and happened to notice that she could see the driver in front of her in his side-view mirror and she thought, “Does that mean that others can see me in my side-view mirror?”
     Apparently, the gentleman in front of her did not look very happy.  In fact, he looked downright grumpy by all accounts.  That’s when Jo Ellen decided to practice smiling.  She didn’t want people to think that she was grumpy!
     This practice served her well when a client called and said, “I hired you because when I saw you in your truck, you were smiling.”  Wow!  Landing a job because you smiled while you were driving!
Jo Ellen has practiced smiling so much that on a recent girl’s weekend her friends accused her of even smiling in her sleep!  Now that’s some serious smile practicing if you ask me.  🙂
     I decided I would try it out and over this last week I’ve simply tried to smile while I was driving.  Honestly, I felt pretty silly at first and if I knew someone was close enough to see me I acted as if I was listening to some funny comedian on the radio and laughed out loud!
     While I am not perfect at this smiling while I’m driving thing, it has changed my attitude while I drive to be a little more polite and a little more understanding of others while they drive.
Smiling matters!!
Smile
     I will keep practicing, Jo Ellen!  To hear more on Jo Ellen Soesbee come on over to the podcast, Lauri’s Lemonade Stand on Apple Podcasts by following this link:  Lauri’s Lemonade Stand Positivity Podcast  I bet you won’t be disappointed!

The “To Don’t Do” List

Doing vs. Being

Inspired by this beautiful video from the UK, #letgo, I contemplated the wisdom of a “To Don’t Do List”.

A couple of years ago I had the opportunity to race mountain bikes.  I’m over 40 and I ran in the beginner class, but I felt on top of the world (not to mention the podium) while I did it.  It was an 8-race series that ran in the summer where most racers wore a bandana over their mouths to keep out the dust while racing in 100-degree plus heat.

Nothing feels quite like racing.  It is tough, exhilarating, and I don’t ever see my heart rate that high.  And then last summer, the race series was cancelled.  I was so sad as I thought I would try the next level up to see how I could do.  Bummer!

Then three days ago I got the email.  My race series was back!  It starts next month on May 19th.  I was super excited until I started to contemplate where my life was right now.  The family business was in trouble and has barely come back to life and it’s needed my help.  Lauri’s Lemonade Stand is finally moving forward and the interviews are happening to launch my podcast (which has me flying on top of the world!).

This morning, I was thinking about it so much that I talked with my hubby as he’s the wise one in this family…grounded and more calm than my thinking.  He supported me in my endeavor to pursue this race…he’s awesome!

Then I watched the video.  I thought about “Doing vs Being”.  I thought about how good I am at making to-do lists, but have never ever created a “to-don’t-do” list.

I looked at my to-do list carefully and thoughtfully.  I then created my “to-don’t-do list” and here is what it looks like:

    • Don’t make plans during weekday evenings outside of my family if at all possible.
    • Don’t over-commit my time so much that I don’t have time for me or my family.
    • Don’t focus on things that don’t matter in the big picture of my life.
    • Don’t let negativity or negative people take up too much of my headspace.
    • Don’t worry so much.
  • Then I asked my 16-yr old daughter and here is what she said:
    • Don’t eat as much junk food, criticize others, or bite her nails.
  • Then I asked my husband and here is what he said:
    • Don’t sweat the small stuff (and it’s mostly all small stuff).
    • Don’t worry.
    • Don’t be afraid to try new things.
    • Don’t judge myself so harshly.
    • Don’t compare myself to others.
  • Then I went to family dinner and here is what a few of them said:
    • Don’t procrastinate.
    • Don’t make excuses…They are like ****holes, everyone has one and they stink!
    • And my personal favorite from my PT Assistant niece:  Don’t get poop on your lab coat while working ever again!

In the end, I decided that I would not race, but only for this year.  Our businesses are in critical condition and the timing is off.  So it may be on my “To-Don’t-Do” list right now, but I plan on it being a break and coming back next year to race my little heart out as it will end up on my “To-Do” list once more.  It felt good to give myself permission to say NO.

What can you put on your “To-Don’t-Do” List?
I would love to hear from you!

Embrace

Embracing (ALL OF) You
I’m a ball-baby, a boob, a serious cryer.  I cry when I’m happy and full of love.  I cry when I watch movies.  I cry when little things have added up over time and it brings a sweet release that only crying can achieve.  I cry when I’m sad and I cry when I’m mad.  I am a cryer.
I know I’ve written about my sweet husband a bunch, but he made me see my crying in a different way.
Several years ago (more than I want to count, actually) I was crying over something or other and throughout my whole life I had fought being a cryer.  In the midst of my frustration and more crying I told my hubby, “I’m sorry, I’m going to learn how to control this, I will figure this out and I won’t be such a boob”.  What he said changed not only my view about my crying, but in every other aspect of my life.
He said, “Sweetheart, I’ve known you for a long time and I believe this is a part of you that I don’t think is going to change.  I think that you are a cryer and that’s ok.”  WHAT???  It’s ok to I cry?
I had always seen my crying as a negative that I needed to change to a positive.  The thought had never crossed my mind that it was simply a part of who I was and that it was perfectly fine to embrace that as a part of me and MOVE ON.
Since that time I have never worried about my crying.  It has even made me view other people’s crying in a whole new light.  Here’s an example: My daughter was having a particularly hard day yesterday and she stopped by my work for a “cry session”.  She apologized for half a second and I just told her to let it all out.  She did.  She knew I was a cryer and she knew that I would understand.
Being a cryer and embracing that part of me has made me empathetic to others and has made me see other parts of my life that I viewed as negative, as just a part of who I am today.  I love that!
There are still things that I want to do, accomplish, and be.  But this one moment in my life has changed my view of who I am and has led me to accept things about myself that are just fine, thank you very much.  🙂

Tears

What can you embrace in yourself starting right now as being a part of what makes you uniquely you?  Recognize it, own it, embrace you.  Change what you want, keep what you want, but embracing you is a beautiful step towards freedom.  Love to you, my tribe of Lemonader’s!

The Power of Negative Energy VS Positive Energy

Negative Energy VS Positive Energy

Trip to Boise 3/3/16

It 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?

Favorite Things

 Heaven is…
 
Do you have those fun little things that just make you smile?  Of course you do!  I found a list in my notebook today that must have been written a year ago about a few of my favorite things.  It totally made me smile and so I figured I would share it with you today!
 
Updated February 2019 and added my current list!  Check it out below!
 
After reading my list, please comment below on at least your top 5-10 favorite things.  
Can’t wait to hear from you!
 
 
2015
butterfly kisses
brace-face smiles
someone else folding laundry & doing dishes
reaching a milestone
a really good haircut
mountain bike rides
hugs (I’m a firm believer in hugs!)
new workout clothes
just-washed towels and sheets
new pillows
a long, unhurried visit with a friend
babies laughing
my favorite book
Pride and Prejudice with Keira Knightley
singing along with my favorite song
electricity!  (power was out last weekend)
jeans that fit just right
a clean, organized house
waffles on Sunday (A Mackey Tradition)
empty laundry hampers
 
2019
Bedhead
Gray Hair
Mountain Bike Rides
New Clothes/Shoes
An Inspirational Quote
Synchronicities
My Sweetheart Smiling
Friends
Making Someone Laugh
Homemade Food
 

 

NOW YOUR TURN! 
 
Smiling is contagious…can’t wait to smile with you!

I’m Not That Special

I’m Not That Special
Stan Lee – “Well, you just think about it!  You just sit down or walk around and probably have a big, dumb look on your face and you wonder, “What would I like to read?  What kind of character would interest me?”  I’m asked a lot what tips I would give to other writers.  The truth is:  I don’t know any tips.  I can’t think of a single tip.  Now I’ve been writing long enough to have met an awful lot of writers who sit down at their computer or whatever and say, “OK, now I’m going to write the story for young ladies, aged 17 to 26.”  I don’t have a clue how to do that.  I don’t know what other people want.  So the only thing I can say when answering that question is:  Please write stories that you think are great.  Write to please yourself.  That’s how I’ve always done it – not because I’m so desperate to please other people, but because I feel very genuinely that if I really love a story, then there must be a few other people out there who would love it, too.  I’m not that special.”
I'm Not That Special
I took this excerpt from (believe it or not) my December’s Costco Connection monthly magazine.  It is honestly one of my favorite magazines for articles and business tips!  You never know where you’ll find the inspiration you are looking for and didn’t know you needed.
As you know, I absolutely love movies and I have collected all of the Avengers, Captain America’s, Thor’s and now recently Guardians of the Galaxy and Ant Man and Stan Lee is the creator of them all!  How wicked cool is that?  When I saw that Costco had conducted an interview with him I was really excited to learn more about his story, but what he said above truly touched me.
I write this blog not just to hear myself talk, but because I’m guessing that there are others out there like me who need a repetitive dose of positivity in their lives.  I’m not that special.  I write because I truly enjoy the process.  I write because it feels like I’m leaving a legacy of my thoughts and way of thinking.  I have looked forward every week to sitting down and putting my words in print for the world to see…unapologetically and crazy authentic.

How do you create positivity in your life?

Gumption, Bandaids, Slapstick, “Wash, Rinse, Repeat”.

The first thing you need is GUMPTION.  By definition, gumption means courage and confidence.  This is not only faith in yourself that you are capable of hard things, but a continuous amount of courage and confidence in one’s self to accomplish the things you set out to do.
The second thing is a lot of BANDAIDS.  My husband and I help coach the local high school mountain bike team and I always tell the kids that it is not a matter of if you will crash, it is only a matter of when.  From newbies to pros, everyone crashes.  If you can accept this fact before your journey even begins and keep bandaids at the ready, it makes the falls more tolerable.
The third thing is SLAPSTICK.  Now this is the one that I am not as good at as the other three…I admit it.  You must be able to laugh at yourself or at the situation.  You need to solidly believe in horseplay.  Give yourself permission to laugh and be happy.  We were meant to be happy!  Don’t forget that once you find that happiness to share it with others.  And as James Altucher advises:  If you’re having a bad day, just chalk it up to a bad day, don’t make any major decisions during that time and wait for it to pass.
The fourth and last tip is to WASH, RINSE, AND REPEAT.  Repetitiveness is the key to learning anything.  Practice makes permanent.  You must practice positivity.  If you don’t even try it out you’ve already lost the battle with negativity.  I promise that if you practice baby steps that you will soon be walking, running, and then sprinting with positivity.
I admit that my thought process is not within the “norm” of what you may be used to hearing, but it is uniquely and authentically me.  I’m guessing that a few other people might relate, love it, and be able to incorporate these steps into their lives for the good of themselves and ultimately the good of those around you.

Practice Makes Permanent

In the end, I believe that Stan Lee IS special.  I believe that YOU are special.  We are all unique and the only ones here on earth that can fulfill our potential to the best of our ability.  My goal is to have you believe that you are capable of more than what you may think.   Collect your gumption, a box of bandaids, your sense of humor and practice it over and over again!
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