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There is a Positivity Powerhouse in You! Buy Now!

There is a Positivity Powerhouse in You! Buy Now!

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“1 A Week” Challenge – Save a Life!

We Rise By Lifting Others

“1 A Week” is an honest to goodness force of nature out there challenging everyone to to reach out.  Together, we can make a difference.  We have to.  And kindness is the answer…simple, yet profound.

“If someone had smiled and said, ‘Are you okay?’ I know I would have begged them to help me. I would have told them everything and asked for help. I would not have jumped. I just was unable to ask for help myself.” These are the words of suicide survivor, Kevin Hines.

Hines, like many people who attempt suicide, feel as though they are alone in this world. With no sense of purpose and a feeling of loneliness, it can be hard for anyone to believe that their life is important. When hitting this point, a simple smile or, “hello,” could be enough to make someone feel like life is worth living.

What if you were to do even more than smile? What if you could do something that not only helped someone else, but made you feel good about yourself too? Even get reciprocated for your good deeds?

“1 a Week,” is an organization that raises mental health awareness and spreads positivity, through random acts of kindness. Encouraging everyone to share their acts, with a participant receiving a gift for their gesture each week.

The name, “1 a Week,” came about with the thought that while one good deed a week is very manageable to complete, you can still have a positive impact on many lives. It all starts with just one! The ripple effect that can occur starting with just one person, one random act of kindness, is limitless. Say you complete your 52 acts throughout the year, for 52 different people. Of those people, twenty of them take on the challenge themselves and complete another 52 deeds. Each of those twenty people, get another twenty, and so on, and so on. Do you know how many people that is, spreading the love? A whole lot, thats how many!

“But I don’t have a lot of spare money to perform any acts of kindness! I don’t have much spare time either and to top it all off, I don’t have any good ideas of what to do.”

These are some of the most common reasons people have for not getting in on the fun of giving. Here is the thing, to be kind doesn’t have to take any money, much time, or a lot of creativity. You can leave encouraging notes around town, give up your seat on a bus, pick up litter, shovel your neighbors walkway. There are endless possibilities! You do what you are capable of and as Kevin Hines pointed out, the impact doesn’t necessarily correlate with how big you go.

So how about those gifts you can receive?

“1 a Week,” teamed up with a few sponsor companies that want to do their part in spreading positivity giving. A month of online personal training? Top quality t-shirt or hat? Positive social interaction card game? A watch?? All gifts that are being sent out to the participants of the challenge.

So let’s get to the details of how to participate. There are two ways to share your acts. You can share it to the Facebook page, www.facebook.com/1aweekchallenge, and if you wish to remain anonymous, just send a private message, and it will be shared for you. You can also post it to your Instagram, tag @_1aweek in the post, and/or use the hashtag #1aweek. A recipient for that weeks gift is selected every Sunday night, announced on Monday.

There are plenty of statistics you can find throughout the internet about the positive mental effect an act of kindness has on the person performing it, not just the one on the receiving end. So if for no other reason, do it for your own health!

THIS IS YOUR CALL TO ACTION! This is your call to help make a change in not only your life, but the life of many others. Check out the, “1 a Week,” pages, get inspired, and get going!

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!

“The Big Fat Fail” – My Stab at Poetry

Poetry can be inspiring, motivating, heart-wrenching, powerful, but it always inflicts emotion.  It can pull at my heartstrings or just make me laugh.  Writing poetry is a hobby for me and have decided to keep a notebook in my backpack just for this purpose.  While sitting at the car wash a couple of weeks ago (why does it take them so long?) I penned this one I call The Big Fat Fail.

Enjoy and let me know what emotions you feel when reading it by commenting below.  Feel free to share your stories of taking your “sucking lemons” failing moments and how you turned them into “sweet lemonade”!

Fail Rubber Stamp

The Big Fat Fail

Fail forward, they say!  And I can’t disagree,                                                                                              but it’s hard to focus while nursing skinned knees.

Bumps, bruises, scrapes, the inevitable aches,                                                                                            the road rash of crashing, but that’s what it takes.

To live is to fail, that’s the lesson I’ve learned                                                                                    through age and experience, or just getting burned.

20/20 vision for me has ALWAYS revealed,                                                                                           every fail that I’ve suffered has earned me more steel.

Failure = Opportunity! To this I confess,                                                                                                         I love who I am now, having passed or “failed” each test.

Be sad in the moment, scream, cry or kick,                                                                                                 but look for the good, and lickety-split,

you’ll find your opportunity, practice!  Give it a whirl!                                                                            The Big Fat Fail can turn (I promise) into your pearl.

Want to read more poetry?

Check out Mary Oliver’s biography here and buy one of her books, House of Light here.

Negative Self-Talk – Reminders!

In April of 2015 I wrote the following article on Negative Self-Talk:

Negative Self-Talk

Listen to Your Best Friend

It took some practice to put this theory into motion for me, but like I always say, “if I can do it, anyone can do it!”  I have issues with negative self-talk about my weight.  I am not overweight, but I am hyper-conscious about my body shape.  I am a grandmother after all and body parts that were once perky are now sadly stretching for the ground and have declared gravity as their best friend.  As a friend of mine used to say, (who has since passed on, losing her battle with cancer), “I used to be a 36D, but now I’m just a 36Long”.  Once I applied the “best friend advice” theory – it made me see myself as my Heavenly Father sees me.  As a daughter of God who is beautiful.  Let’s try it out, shall we?

Take the first thing that pops into your head when it comes to your own personal negative self-talk.  It could be anything, but usually you are able to think about it right away because it has been your constant companion for as long as you can remember.  Now I want you to imagine that you’ve graciously gifted this negative thing or idea to your best friend.  She is now you.  (This works great if you do this in front of your mirror).  Your best friend is now telling you that she hates the shape of her body and that dimples are only cute on baby bums, and that rolls are meant to be eaten not worn.  What do you tell her?

I recently did this exercise in a group of about 40 women and I had the leader of the group play the part of “best friend”.  She was telling me how she was overweight and hated the way she fit in her clothes.  I then asked the audience what advice should I give her?  I panicked as the silence dragged on for just a little bit longer than anticipated.  I worried that people would actually start giving advice on weight loss ideas, diets that never really work, to fast, or to exercise like a maniac.  One woman in the front row saved me with the perfect answer:  YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL!!  There have not been a lot of perfect moments in my speaking career, but this one I will always remember.  She said the answer that I had written down in my notes and she said it out loud and clear:  YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL!

Ladies, try it out right this second.  Take that negative self-talk and hand it over to yourself as your own best friend.  What advice would you give that best friend?  It changed the way I view myself forever.  I am beautiful.  And not in some egotistical way, but truly beautiful inside and out.  Why?  Because that is how my Heavenly Father sees me, how my husband sees me, how my children see me, and how my best friend sees me.  My best friends would all come and tell me the same thing – YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL!

Reminder of Negative Self-Talk

The Power to Change

I had two reminders this week from gals that are awesome!  My friend, Allie Steele holds periodic bootcamps that run for 4 weeks, Monday, Wednesday, Friday and I usually cannot attend, but this one worked in my schedule!  So this last week I have sweat like crazy and walked around like I had a corncob up my butt with how sore I was on more than one occasion.  But I digress…the point is that during one of the workouts I let out a jokingly, “I suck” and was immediately told by my friend and another participant in the class to not think that way!  I was capable of hard things, I was strong.

I was a bit taken aback when that happened and realized that I indeed needed to change my self-talk to more positive words.  And then something else happened!  I was having lunch with a friend of mine from out of state, a surprise visit!  She was asking about how my business was going, speaking gigs, my writing and I must have been on overwhelm because she said, “I’ve never seen you so down about your work.”  What??  I’m the positivity queen!  I don’t get down about my work!  Hogwash!

Why was I having a poor attitude or negative self-talk?  I really thought about it quite a bit and realized that I was comparing.  Comparison is damaging.  If I compare myself to one out of the fifteen women attending bootcamp and focus on her doing things better than I did I create negative thoughts.  When I compare myself to other people who were already accomplished authors, writers, speakers, podcasters, I create negative thoughts.

How had that little bugger of negative self-talk sneak into my way of thinking?  I don’t know, but it’s about to get a swift boot along with an immediate eviction notice.  Now, I know that it will not be that simple, but awareness is the key.  I am practicing daily mantra’s that will bring a more positive light into my life.  Here’s two from Rebekah “Bex” Borucki (Check out her interview on my podcast here.) that I really like:

I say “no” when I don’t want to.  I say “yes” when it feels good.  I take care of myself through movement that makes me feel wonderful.  I eat foods that make me feel fulfilled.  I have relationships with people who love me as I am.

It is not my job to be in control.  My purpose is to be at peace and to be happy with who I am in this moment, to be loved, and to inspire love.

Want to learn more?  Bex has a 21-day Mantra Challenge that is Free!  Just click here and enjoy more positivity in your life, a break from the negative self-talk, a relief from stress, and experience more gratitude.  Listen to your self-talk this week…what is it saying?

I’m a Crazy Vegan! Are You a Crazy Vegan, too?

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!!

Are you stuck in traffic?

Are you stuck in traffic?

I’m writing today’s blog from the back seat of my awesome Xterra that’s wrapped in Lauri’s Lemonade Stand advertising and on our way to the Sea Otter Bicycle Classic in Monterey, CA.  (If you read last week’s blog you can see how much I LOVE CYCLING!)  My hubby is driving and our friend Mitch is tagging along from our infamous Brew Crew that rides mountain bikes every Thursday afternoon and we are stuck in Santa Barbara traffic – it’s something we’ve learned to just count on and figure into our driving time with every trip through this area.

And there’s the hook for this week’s blog 🙂  Traffic in the form of delays, setbacks, brake lights as far as the eye can see, even some serious accidents.  Accidents that can cause bumps, bruises, or even death.  You can relate to that, right?

Sometimes there are short delays and we just get off course a bit.  We went a little off our budget and need to re-adjust the next month to make up for our over-spending.  We spoke harshly to a loved one and need to make amends.  Some delays are much longer – you’re delayed for an incredibly long time – I’ve even had moments where they’ve shut down the freeway and we’ve been sitting for hours!

Examples of Life Traffic Delays

In life, the delay can be months or even years.  In my life, a great example is me not graduating high school as a teenager and then graduating as an adult in 2012!  (Hey, don’t judge…when I got my diploma I felt like Super Woman and it has propelled me into awesome, amazing things these last 5 years!)

Graduating high school was not only a delay, but felt like I was looking at miles of brake lights and that it would never end.  I never felt like I missed out of anything by missing prom and only slightly sad that I didn’t become a huge basketball star, but not getting my diploma really stuck with me throughout my life.  But when it was finally a time where it could be corrected, a time where I could focus on it, when it became a priority…I did it!

Delays are Inevitable

One of the things I’ve learned throughout my life is that delays are inevitable, period.  Small ones, medium ones, big ones and everything in between.  You know what else I’ve learned?  There is ALWAYS an end to the delay (setback).  Even when it is something as drastic as a death in the family…time heals and we live on.

If I asked you right now what your current delay was, what would you say?  This is usually a no-brainer – you think of it immediately as soon as I pose the question.  Is it a small delay?  Is it one with brake lights as far as the eye can see?  How do you feel when I ask the question of what your delay is?  Is it something like how you feel in actual traffic?  Anxiety, frustration, stress, maybe a few added curse words to boot?  Or if it’s the long delay with miles of brake lights – it may just be a feeling of depression and sadness that you just can’t shake as you’ve accepted the fact that you’re going to be stuck for awhile.  Either way, there is hope and it will end.

Don’t Give Up

Gordon B Hinckley has a saying that says, “Don’t worry, it will work out.  Things will work out.”  I know that it is hardest to see the end of a delay when you’re in the middle of it.  But I want to re-iterate the resounding word of  Gordon and say that it WILL WORK OUT.  Our delays can be used as learning tools if you let them.  The old cliche’ says there is always a silver lining and I believe that’s true.  Whenever I have come through a struggle or delay, my 20/20 hindsight vision ALWAYS sees that it made me a better person when it was over.

Where Are You Now?

You are in one of three places right now.  1 – You are in the middle of a delay right now.  If this is you, what is your attitude?  Can you find something positive about your situation?  Is there something you can be grateful for right now?  2 – You can see the end, but you’re not there yet.  Hang in there!  You’re almost there!  Start really thinking about the lessons you’ve learned and how you will come into your next delay – can you change something now that will help you better handle your delay next time?  DELAYS ARE INEVITABLE…but how we handle those delays are a testament of what we were and are willing to learn from them.  3 – You’ve made it through the delay – you’re done!  You’re out!  Gear up – because your next delay is coming.  Celebrate your wins, reflect on your lessons learned and take a moment – maybe even in meditation – to contemplate how you’ve grown and what you can do better next time.

You Are Loved

Wherever you are in your journey, please know that you are loved – right here, right now – just how you are.  Please also consider that you never know what other people are going through.  Be kind in your gestures and words to others.  You might make a difference in someone else’s life just because you chose to smile instead of grit your teeth.  Here at Lauri’s Lemonade Stand, you are in a safe place to be loved, feel love, and share love.  If you need love, please reach out.  If you are full of love right now, share it with others.  If you are part of this community – you are already receiving and sharing love.  Spread it, take it…whatever you need.  We are here for you!

The Boring Bliss of Routine

“Life is busy.”  It’s the unmistakably counted on answer when you ask someone the dreaded socially correct question now known as a greeting in our fair culture of “How are you?”.  Is  your response different?  A “fine, how are you?” perhaps?  I’m just as guilty as the next person and it has become habit to say either “fine, how are you?” or if I know them a bit better, “I’m busy”.  And if I hesitate (usually trying to think of how I really am so I can answer honestly) the person asking the question immediately thinks that something must be wrong in my life and jumps to conclusions that who knows what that has formed in their minds from sour milk to my dog dying.

Now that I’ve formed this little rant on the “how are you” question…I HAVE BEEN BUSY! Haha!  I can honestly answer that my life has been busy.  You have to understand that I am crazy OCD and an organizational freakazoid who has dialed in my “to-do list” and my “must-do” list so I’m practically scheduled out every day of the week.  Throw in a trip to Oakland for a family affair, my women’s conference where I was in charge of the almost 50 women volunteers, a couple of relatives popping in to say hello for a few days, and a planned trip coming up for four days the end of this week, and I pretty much throw my perfectly laid out plan out the window.  Well, not all of it…but it does get a bit more stressful and trying to shove 6 days of work into 3 days of time available.

After some recuperating and catching up I realized that sometimes I consider my life boring.  Not bad boring, but routine boring.  The same old things week after week.  The same chores, the same workouts, the same type of work.  Wearing my retainers every night, praying, meditating, daily reading, meals…all of it!  And then I remember my younger adult self.  Scattered, not settled into a career or a happy marriage.  When the dust settled on the last two weeks and as I look forward to this coming weekend trip, I realize that I LOVE the BORING BLISS OF MY ROUTINE.

I love that I’m the first one up every morning because my hubby and puppies are not morning beings.  I love going downstairs and getting a glass of water first thing and putting away the dishes from the night before and laying out my breakfast utensils.  I love writing my morning pages, saying my morning prayers, and doing my daily reading and journaling all before the rest of my household awakes.  I absolutely LOVE everything about Lauri’s Lemonade Stand…from the podcast, to the weekly blog, to Ms Penelope Pickwick’s Bookworm Report every Tuesday (See the latest one HERE).  I love the routine of cooking dinner or just going out if it’s been a long day and that I watch documentaries on Monday nights with my hubby (If you haven’t seen the movie Embrace…I highly recommend it!).

In today’s blog I just want to publicly acknowledge the boring bliss of my routine.  I absolutely love it.  I love the busy moments and the quiet moments.  I love the growth moments and the bliss moments that happen after the growth moments and I realize that I’ve learned something new.  I love the boring bliss of my routine!  The next time someone asks “how are you?” what will you say?

Holiatry (hoh lee a tree)

Holiatry (hoh lee a tree) or holism or wholism is engenders the case of the ENTIRE patient from all aspects including social, psychological, and physical.  Basically, our insides, our outsides, and then how our little person that we created (us) shows up in the world.  Let’s start by defining each of these three subjects, shall we?

Let’s start with physical because that is the easiest to define.  It has everything to do with nourishment and movement.  Basically, diet and exercise…but that sounds boring, right?  I like nourishment and movement much better.  Nourishment is anything you stick in your mouth, breathe in, or otherwise put on your skin.  I believe that a whole food, plant-based diet is the best not only for our physical well-being and it makes me feel like a super-hero, but it also makes me a hero in saving animals and saving the planet.  In other words, I’m out to save the world!  Choosing to eat a whole foods, plant-based diet truly makes me feel like a superhero!  Movement is defined differently for all of us.  Mine is a bit on the aggressive side, but not as aggressive as kickboxers and the martial arts!  Who knows?  Maybe someday…but in the meantime I am a mountain bike enthusiast, a dabbler in running and spend a couple of short bursts in the gym and doing yoga.  What do you do?  It’s different for everyone and THERE IS NO WRONG WAY!  Are you a walker, hiker, swimmer, surfer, cyclist, skier?  I don’t care what it is…dance!  But do something in the movement department!

Next comes psychological which to me sounds much more pleasant when you think of it as your mind and spirit.  Your mind because of knowledge…any kind of knowledge.  Formal education, life experiences, you name it.  Everything having to do with learning and as you saw from my last post, I am a student 4 life!  I don’t want to ever stop learning and becoming.  The other is our precious spirits.  You have a spiritual side of you whether you are in organized religion or not.  Who or what is your higher power?  I believe in God and those who know me or have been on my podcast know that, but I know we are not all in that cookie-cutter life.  Whatever your religious practice…embrace it!  Live it! Love it!  Spirit also includes things like meditation, self-care, your soul, spending time with yourself to learn of your greatest desires.  Sometimes your spiritual self just wants to let go and have some fun!  Let yourself have recess!

That brings us to our third and last part of our whole – Social.  Once you have yourself on a pretty even keel of physical and psychological, it’s time to share your love, knowledge, and service with the world!  It’s time to show up in your companionships and relationships outside of yourself.  A little bit of you given away creates lasting impressions and forges friendships that can change you for the better (or sometimes for the worst)…either way, they are learning experiences to teach you more about yourself and how to be a healthy contributor to your relationships.  How do you show up in the world?

At Lauri’s Lemonade Stand, we are embarking on a journey to explore these three aspects of holiatry and how I can help you in the discovery of self and charging up to that next chapter of our lives with conviction and truth, confidence and love, and kick some serious ass!  Bring it on!  We’ll be ready!

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