Are we there yet? One of the things I talk about is not believing in Happy Endings. I don’t believe in happy endings. While you may be aghast at the thought…let me shed some light on my thinking.
First, fairytale happy endings are not happy endings at all. All fairytale happy endings just stop when the going got good or hit a high point. It’s a happy moment, but not a happy ending. Life goes on and it will not always be a picturesque scene with the perfectly cued music in the background. Cinderella had to learn how to live with Prince Charming and manage a castle.
Second, I believe that our spirit goes on forever…therefore there is no ending. I am an eternal being that will never reach the end so therefore I’m not waiting for my happy ending…I better figure it out right now. If I can’t be happy right now then what’s the point? This fosters the belief that it’s ok to be happy today and not save it for a tomorrow that might not ever come.
Third and last, I always want to be becoming or arriving. I don’t want to become or arrive because that denotes an ending. I don’t want to ask the question, “are we there yet?” because I want to enjoy the journey not just the destination. Tim Ferris talks about mini-retirements in his book, The 4-Hour WorkWeek because he doesn’t want to arrive at retirement. He wants to enjoy life in the here and now. I like that idea.
If yesterday is gone and can only be used as a learning tool and you can’t touch a tomorrow, what does that leave us? TODAY!! If you aren’t happy today, then what’s the point? There is something to be grateful for and happy about every single day, period. Even when going through hard times, there is ALWAYS something to be grateful for and happy about.
Because of all of this I would like to dub myself a Student 4 Life. I always want to be striving for and learning new things. I want to be in a constant state of becoming. At this point in my life I believe I’ve shed the caterpillar part of me and become a butterfly, but my journey doesn’t stop there. I want to add more color to my wings.
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#InternationalWomensDay #makelemonade Ashlee Birk Cindy Joseph Hilary Hendershott Jill Hamilton Kelly Long Laurie Blackwell Sharon McRae Stephenie Zamora Wally Amos Whitney JohnsonInternational Women’s Day Part 3 of 4!At Lauri’s Lemonade Stand we Celebrate Women Every Day!
The last two weeks have been so fun and we are halfway there! Celebrating the women of this first year of my podcast has been great for me. It is like a trip down memory lane as I review each of them in turn. Check out the little blurbs below, pick your poison and then enjoy the help that you will receive from these amazing women! Sending love and support out to you all!Kelly Long – No idea that Kelly Long would be so down to earth and full of energy and just plain fun until she agreed to be on this podcast. Not only did she have my vote in the election for County Supervisor, but she had my vote on how action leads to change. Learn more about this fun-loving, action-moving, full of persistence and grit personality and lay claim to some of it yourself by enjoying this episode!Sharon McRae – Sharon McRae will steal your heart and then give it back to you significantly healthier! She is available for coaching all across the United States and abroad. She is fun, full of life and abounding in tips to change your diet that will have you leaving the top killers of disease in the dust. Helpful hint? Check out her recipes on her website: eatwell-staywell.com!Ashlee Birk – Ashlee Birk had every reason to lay over and play dead after learning her husband had been shot and killed. Her world was shattered in a moment, but through these amazing trials she has learned to create new moments to stand for what she believes in. Through much prompting she then decided that others need to hear her story so that she can help others to stand as well. This is a true story of taking a seriously sucking lemons moment and finding the joy of how to make sweet lemonade.Stephenie Zamora – Fun! Fun! Fun! Yes, that is how I would describe my interview with Stephenie. Not only were we kindred spirits and found ourselves speaking more with our hands and facial expressions (wish you could have seen that!), but we just had a blast recording this interview. You will fall in love with Stephenie’s enthusiasm, but you will follow her through hell if she asked you to because like all of us, she has lived through some deep dark trauma that has shaken her to her core and had her building roots to stand the test of life. Listen to it, learn about it, apply the lessons in your own life where necessary.Whitney Johnson – Disrupt Yourself! Whitney is a wealth of information packed into a caring soul. She is just on a mission to help others become their best selves. You will definitely want to grab a pen and paper before sitting down to this episode as there are valuable nuggets throughout. This episode will give you insights and tools you can use immediately to start disrupting your life and dreaming big! For more of Whitney, check her out on Amazon, iTunes, and her website: whitneyjohnson.com. Happy disrupting!Wally Amos – Famous Amos Cookies founder, Wally Amos turned 80 years old this year! Why did I allow a guy on the show? Cause it’s Wally Amos! This awesome man is a positivity icon that I look up to with deep respect. He’s got humor, he’s got a positive attitude and he believes that the only thing that can get in our way is ourselves. He also believes that we are the only ones that get in the way of our own success. Have a listen and enjoy this lovely episode!Laurie Blackwell – Journaling is not only a passion of Laurie’s, but after this interview I realized it was also a passion of mine! (Maybe it’s something in the name Lauri…:) Realizing that I already had more of a habit in journaling than I ever knew, Laurie makes it easy to make this a life-long habit or just do it for FUN by taking one of her online courses. She offers 100 FREE journal prompts on her website and you won’t want to wait to visit with her because she is simply a pleasure and delight. Enjoy this journaling journey with Laurie Blackwell!Jill Hamilton – Petal Power! Jill is a women’s advocate for cycling and has taken her passion within the industry to entrepreneurship in her company, Petal Power. It is a plant-based, all natural Joy Ride System that was created for women by a woman. I’ve tried it out, loved it, won’t use anything else on my hoo-hoo, girly-bits, cooch, petals, tweeny…you get the idea when riding my bicycle or running. Get 10% off your first purchase with the code within the podcast. Enjoy this amazing visionary!Hilary Hendershott – Profit Boss Radio is my new go-to for financial wisdom specifically geared towards women. This episode is chock full of amazing information, but it also has a “sucking lemons” moment (more like years) for Hilary that makes her not only human, but a kick ass financial planner for those of us that need to change our money mindset and get out of our own way when it comes to our finances. Listen, be a sponge, take lots of notes, enjoy this episode!Cindy Joseph – BOOM! Cindy was most definitely a kindred spirit. We had similar beliefs, goals and I am so pleased she has coined this change in the universe to be called The Pro-Age Movement. To not just embrace our beautiful age, but to CELEBRATE it! I am a huge fan of her BOOM! by Cindy Joseph products and once you hear her story you will be too. Enjoy this feel-good episode!Don’t forget to leave your comments below, rate & review the podcast, and let me know who you would like to see on future episodes of the podcast!
Vegans run the gamut from strictly raw, only eating eggs or fish oil supplements, SOS-free (salt, oil, sugar), paleo-type vegans to those who do this crazy vegan thing for health, the planet, or the love and welfare of animals. There is so much debate out there on what the right thing is from the science to the popularity. And there is so much shaming going on!!
The vegan who is earth-loving, tree-hugging, no-leather, won’t eat at a restaurant that even serves meat, never drinks from a plastic bottle…you get the idea who is shaming the vegan who is trying to just go meatless on Meatless Mondays. Today’s blog is to declare my stance on veganism from what I eat to what I wear and tell you that wherever you are in your journey, you are loved and you should be proud of the steps you take daily to do the best you can by you and your family, period.
I did not become vegan to save the planet or rescue animals…at first. I was in it for purely selfish reasons…I wanted to be the healthiest version of myself. Looking back, it was a small step by small step journey. It started with cutting our red meat and pork. I then learned that chicken was just as bad or even worse so it was back to being a vegetarian which I had dabbled in before coming pregnant with my last child a million and a half years ago.
Vegetarian was pretty easy. I was what they called lacto-ovo-vegetarian. I didn’t miss the meat a bit, but I was still eating dairy products and using eggs. It wasn’t until I read Brendan Brazier’s book, Thrive that I began to believe that it was possible to eat only plants and do what the book suggested…THRIVE! I’ve told this story before and remember lying in bed reading and leaning over to my husband and saying, “I think I need to do this” and him replying, “I don’t think I can go there with you” and I couldn’t blame him!
The thought of going vegan was scary! I could cook and I mean COOK! Chicken-fried steak with incredible gravy, white chocolate cheesecake with macadamia nuts and a pastry crust, key lime pie, quiche, pancakes…you name it! I later learned that this was the SAD diet (Standard American Diet) and it was killing us and most of the US population at large. What would I feed my family? How would I cook without dairy and eggs?
But Brendan Brazier wasn’t just an ordinary Joe like you or me, he was a professional Ironman Triathlete who was quite literally THRIVING on a plant-based diet without any animal products whatsoever. I continued to learn and found Scott Jurek, author of Eat & Run who was thriving on a plant-based diet and running ultra-marathons and 24-hour races – crazy! If those men could do it with the expectations they had on their bodies, I could most definitely do it!
The research began. Trust me when I say that I flubbed up A LOT! Some nights were disastrous and some were big hits, but I kept plugging away and never looked back. That was 5 years ago. I’ve learned a lot since then! I was certified in The Starch Solution by Dr. John McDougall and started teaching vegan cooking classes along with the science to back it up. I received a certificate in Plant-based Nutrition from eCornell University, and became a Certified Holistic Health Coach through the Institute of Integrative Nutrition in New York.
I have taken classes from Chef AJ and began a Facebook page called VeganMormon that has almost 1000 followers that get posts from me daily. I joke that I should have named it VeganMormonRepublican because then I could offend just about everyone. Let’s face it…when it comes to conversations that ignite a defense mechanism almost immediately…let it start around food, religion, or politics! Right??
My actual diet has been refined and after speaking with leading experts in the field of nutrition realize that I am not alone. We are all constantly changing our minds on what we want to tweak next, but I do stand behind ZERO animal products. My diet is pretty simple these days. Delicious, but simple. No oil, no sugar, no processed food of any kind. I limit my flour to almost nothing to help with brain fog and my hypothyroidism. I just eat food…real food. Rice, potatoes, beans, greens, veggies, fruits, nuts, avocadoes, seeds…all amazing and wonderfully yummy foods.
Since becoming vegan I have watched powerfully moving films and documentaries like Forks Over Knives, Cowspiracy, and What the Health? I have subscribed to nutritionfacts.org with Dr. Michael Greger (even had the pleasure of speaking with him at a conference here in California..he is awesome!) and continue to read books and articles that will help not only me, but my audience on their journey. Try out the 21-Day Kickstart program with PCRM – uh-mazing!
I don’t buy leather products, but I didn’t throw out what I already owned because that just seemed silly to me. I know there are those out there that will judge me for that, but that’s on you. I don’t buy down pillows because I have seen how the down is “collected” and it’s gruesome. I don’t buy anything wool because despite what you may think about it not harming the sheep…guess what? It does.
I am not perfect as I still buy plastic containers or water bottles sometimes, but by me not eating meat or animal products I truly feel like a super-hero and that I’m saving the planet! Not to mention, saving a crazy amount of water! Where I was once vegan for purely selfish reasons, I am now out to save the world! By not consuming anything from an animal, I am more healthy for sure, I am not harming any animals, and I am quite literally helping to save our dear planet earth. Will you join me?
Wherever you are on your journey, I encourage you to soldier on. Keep up the good work and know that you have a safe place here to talk about it. If you are further along in your journey, DO NOT SHAME OTHERS because of where they are on their journey. Only reach out to help them with love, compassion, and kindness. If I had been shamed by others in the beginning there is no way I would have made it this far. Be encouraging. Be loving. Be careful with your words. Do your best and then help others to do their best.
Have questions for me about my vegan journey? Send me a message and I would be happy to answer, but please be kind! Bringing others down is not my goal and I don’t want to fight about it. You’re either in and curious, or you’re not and you stay silent. Don’t argue for argues sake. I will answer any questions that are respectful, curious, and can be helpful. Good luck wherever you find yourself on this crazy vegan path!!
Being AssertiveTake-aways from Dr. Julie Hanks latest book:The Assertiveness Guide for Women
Dr. Julie Hanks has created a gold mine of information about being assertive. But let me warn you, this is a WORK BOOK!! If you aren’t ready to put in the work to learning more about yourself, don’t buy this book. However, if you are ready to take the steps necessary to learning this trade of being assertive I would highly recommend it.
Let’s just do a quick re-assess of what being assertive means, shall we? My initial impression was not the definition that Dr. Julie Hanks used. “Assertiveness is generally defined as a way of communicating that is clear, confident, and self-assured. It enables you to express your thoughts, feelings, needs, and wants without infringing on the rights of others. Assertiveness skills help you articulate your unique sense of self while maintaining your connection with others and allowing them to have an experience that is different from yours. At its core, assertiveness is about the courage to express difference.”
Now THAT is a great definition of being assertive and from the moment I read it, I wanted it. I generally consider myself a pretty assertive person, but there is one area where I get hung up and that is my emotional response during conflict. In her book, Dr. Hanks gives 5 Skills of Assertiveness; Self-Reflection, Self-Awareness, Self-Soothing, Self-Expression, and Self-Expansion. My biggest insight came from the self-soothing portion as it provided tools to pretty much calm myself down during any conflict.
“Assertiveness is an expression of difference.” In this book I found it re-assuring that we need each other and our relationships. “Splendid isolation is for planets, not people” (Johnson 2013). This book shows you how to make the most out of your relationships by nurturing certain ones and possibly severing others.
My blogpost today is not to give you the full enchilada, but to entice you to go out and buy this book if you find that it might help you in your life. It made a difference in mind and I will share just a few of my key take-aways here:
I feel _____________ when you _______________ because I think ______________.
This sentence alone can change your life.Phrases to have up my sleeve or in my back pocket when I need to say no:
“I’m not able to commit to that right now.”
“I’m going to say no for now. I’ll let you know if something changes.”
“No, I can’t do that, but here’s what I can do…”
Phrases to help me ask for change:
“It would mean a lot to me if…”
“I would appreciate it if you would…”
I loved it when you did _______________.”
If you’re not yet sold on the book, start by listening to my interview with Dr. Julie Hanks on my positivity podcast for women, Lauri’s Lemonade Stand, by clicking here. Listen as she takes me through a real life scenario that happened to me with my family and shows me how I could have handled it differently…talk about putting yourself out there for the world to hear! She is funny, brilliant, and right on the money.
Don’t forget to leave your comments below…I read every one!