The Promise of Spring

The Promise of Spring

I am very lucky to live in an area of Texas they call the Coastal Bend.  I am driving distance from the beach and the neighborhood where I live in on the outskirts of the city surrounded by farmland.

Spring in the Coastal Bend is gorgeous. Sometimes cool foggy mornings burst into beautiful blue and orange sunrises and in the late afternoon golden sunsets turn into starry skies.

All around us is new growth that appears spontaneously, bluebonnets in parks, school campuses and along the highway make way for orange blossoms on the citrus trees. The dormant grass begins to green as the plants and oak trees burst from one day to the next in new leaves.

And the wonder of it all to me is that it seems to happen completely effortlessly.

The bluebonnets bloom right before the last cold snap and the oak trees begin to leaf three weeks before the first hot day. They don’t have a calendar, they don’t have a plan to follow–without any effort they appear to let us know that the promise of Spring is upon us.

As I watch all the changes around me I can feel the excitement and the newness of it all. I realized that spring is our opportunity each year to refresh, renew and grow.

That has been my thing this year–to make changes for the better, to learn and continue to grow, to look towards the future.  

The more I thought of it, I realized that like with this spring–my efforts, my changes and my growth as a person have been effortless.

Really, all the changes that have occurred in life were effortless–because life happens–whether we are ready for it or not.  The changes in our lives happen every single day, in subtle ways and in bursts of action.

Nothing stays the same or has a specific timetable. Like the spring–the plants come forth when the time is right.

I noticed another thing.  Everything in my life that I “forced” to be on my timetable, or to go by my “plan” usually went wrong. The lesson I am learning from Mother Nature is that nothing has to be forced.

Have you ever noticed that if you try to force something it just doesn’t come out the way you want it–or worse yet–it comes out exactly the way you wanted it–only to realize you really didn’t want it?

And so you go through a very cold winter in your life. Some winters can be mild and some winters can be very very harsh.  But in the end the Spring returns, it always does, in its own time, effortlessly.

Lessons come in strange ways. Sometimes in adversity, sometimes through mistakes, sometimes a lesson is learned through the promise of Spring.

Enjoy the season and enjoy your life–let it unfold and have fun with it!

The Journey to Becoming a Health Coach

The Journey to Becoming a Health Coach

Sometimes we go looking for opportunities and sometime opportunities come looking for us. In this new empty nest chapter of my life I made a commitment to myself to keep growing and learning new things–like photography.

I love taking pictures, cataloging pictures and creating albums and other crafts with photography–but I never have felt that I am very good at it. So one of my goals is to get better at it–faster and smarter!

My motto of living my “post-raising children life” faster, better, smarter is not to DO more but to BE more–mostly for myself– and the benefits of that will hopefully go out to others.

So as you have read me explain before: Faster means learning from those who came before me.  Better means how can I do this differently that will serve me better.  And better for me means if it served me better–can it serve others? Smarter means finding the best way to do whatever you want to do.

On top of that I realize I am a “fixer”.  I like to “fix” things or help people if I can. I do not like injustices or wasted resources.  But I also realize that people are not perfect–I am not perfect–Thank God.

How boring life would be if we all knew it all, could take care of it all and basically did not need each other.

These ideas crashed into my other ideas of being the healthiest person I can be. And somewhere in the confusion and the research I was doing for myself I repeatedly came across health coaching as a thing.

I tried it. I found a health coach that would talk to me about my health goals, help me put the ideas in my head into a cohesive plan (she even provided an easy to follow plan) and she became my cheerleader! She also was there to hold me accountable.

It was worth every penny of her fee. Why? Because in our busy run around lives it’s nice to have someone think of all the logistics for you so you can actually do what you want to do–not think about what you want to do.

It was easy to schedule–all our meetings were on the phone for 50 minutes at a set time once a week–so it did not interfere with any other parts of my life or responsibilities.

And this led me to  an online school so I can learn and certify myself as a health coach so that in the future I can help others.  So–at 50–I’ve gone back to school!

This has become a journey in itself! And a scary, wonderful one at that. I am learning new information and new skills. I am meeting new people and have a fabulous cohort of fellow students to discuss new learning and stumbling blocks with. I am both nervous to reach out and help others and at the same time excited to do so.

This journey has become a very important part of my faster, better, smarter life because it encompasses all I have set out to do in my empty nest years: learn, be active, grow as a person and give back.

I know from working with my cohort that everyone is looking at this opportunity in a different way. What I feel we all have in common is that we want to help others reach their health and life goals in the most painless and efficient way they can. Faster, Better, Smarter.

We want to make a difference.  We don’t want to DO more for people, we want to BE more of a support in their journey to their more fulfilling life.

Like Dorothy down the yellow brick road–this journey is helping us find knowledge, heart and courage.  I think in the end, although this is all new to us, we will find that we all had it in us all along.

Our journeys are not easy for a reason–otherwise we would not learn–and develop–all the different parts of us that make us us.

So today I leave you with this:  I am a wife and mother. I am a daughter and sister. I am a teacher, I am a leader in my community. I am a health coach.

Comment below and tell me your thoughts.  Is there a journey that you are on that scares you and excites you at the same time? How are you managing all the hats you wear?

Like and share this post if it resonates with you and join me on Facebook and on my Pinterest page! And no matter what else you do today–Have fun!

 

 

 

Steps to Letting Go of Old Limitations

Steps to Letting Go of Old Limitations

The hardest part so far of trying to determine what lies ahead for us in this empty nest chapter of our lives has been the slowing down.

I am coming to realize that I am having a hard time slowing down because I am having a hard time letting go of old limitations I have placed on my life.

Based on our values and expectations of life we have worked hard and we have done things “right”–at least the right we thought were right at the time.  And for the most part we were right the majority of the time and we did well for ourselves and are in a good place. However, the world has changed and changed drastically–and if we don’t change with it–by letting go of old limitations–we are going to stagnate.

First let me explain what a good place is.  My husband and I are in a good place because we do and have certain things that we feel are not negotiable not to do or have.  

These are the things we do:

1) We acknowledge that God exists and is very important in our lives. We both have always believed in God, but now, more importantly, we understand that God is first in our lives.

2) We work hard.

3) We are grateful for everything that comes into our lives.

These are all the things we have:

1) We, thankfully, have our health.

2) We are intelligent and honor knowledge, education, and drive to learn more-not just book smarts–but experience knowledge.

3) we have a family that we love and respect and that loves and respects us back.

So what am I talking about when I say old limitations?

Up until the empty nest time, our lives included raising kids, buying a home, acquiring dogs, cars, and numerous traveling experiences. It included going to kids birthday parties, hosting parties, attending school functions, parent teacher conferences and all the other functions and places that kept us going from place to place.

It also included working hard and long hours, having successes and failures at work but being rewarded with reasonable salaries, retirement plans, insurance protection and the things that our society deems important.

Before we knew it the children were grown and graduations were attended. Smiles and tears were shed, cars were packed, schools were chosen, dorms and apartments moved into and then we drove away with more tears and a whole lot of quiet.

And for a little while–about 6 months–we were adjusting to the the Empty Nest. Part of my adjustment is allowing myself to express my creativity through this blog and discovering what we want to do as we plan for the rest of our lives.

But although we are consciously seeking to slow down and create this life, we have not stopped doing everything the way in which we have always done it. The old limitations that I am not letting go of or am reluctant to let go of are the fears, anxieties, worry and other habits that are holding us back from living the fullest life we are meant to have.

Without knowing it, in search of “the plan” for the rest of our lives we have come face to face with many vulnerabilities. We are getting close to figuring this out–or we think we are getting close–who knows? we could be years from figuring it out!

We will not get close to figuring it out though if we don’t let go of old limitations.

All of our limitations are psychological–and what is holding me back only means something to me. What is holding you back only means something to you. Since the world has changed so much and is changing rapidly still we have to find the way to let go of the fears, anxieties, bad habits or even good habits that are not serving you.

These are a few things I am going to try to begin letting go, and I encourage you to try these steps or to define your own:

  1. Stop living our present lives by the limitations we placed on ourselves in the past. I have to leave the past in the past.
  2. No matter what is happening let go of imagined fears and find something to be grateful for, after all life is good!
  3. Remember that we all have a purpose and we owe it to ourselves to find that purpose and live it to the fullest!

So in letting go of old limitations I plan to learn to relax, after all what is going to happen is going to happen anyway and there is no way to control the unknown. I am going to take more pictures of sunrises and sunsets and everything in between!  I am going to enjoy the scenery of life. And I am going to keep searching for my purpose and continue planning the plan.

Life is a journey–not a destination so I don’t have to worry about getting to any particular place at a particular time! It’s impossible to be late!

Are you holding yourself back from being the best you, you can be? Are there any limitations you have placed on yourself or your life that is taking away from fully experiencing everything life has to offer? Comment below and share with me one thing you would change in order to live a fuller life!

As always, remember we only have one life!  Have fun with it!

Trusting the Process

Trusting the Process

Trust the Process.  I’ve heard this a lot lately.  On the news,  in a talk show, on a YouTube video, I keep hearing this phrase: “trust the process”.  What process exactly are they talking about? And are the people using this phrase really sure what it is supposed to mean?

When I heard one particular person say it–and knowing who she is–it occurred to me that “trust the process” for her was “just do it the way I want you to do it.”  Hmmm.  

So in my endless curiosity, I went to the Internet.  I know, I know, not everything out there is a good source or even accurate–but at least there is a great deal of information I can sift through to decide what something really potentially is.

So the urban dictionary defines it this way: “Trusting the process involves supporting a team who is tanking on purpose in order to hoard draft picks as well as assets.  Trust the process, also abbreviated as TTP, is somewhat cult-like at times.” (urbandictionary.com)

O-kaaaay?  

Yeah that doesn’t make any sense. Especially in the contexts I keep hearing the phrase.

In a couple of other articles, the gist is a person should “trust the process” specifically meaning trusting a company or employer to address issues within its organization while the consumer or employee waits to see what, if anything will be done regarding the issue, thereby “trusting the process” that the “right” outcome will always win out.

Yeah. That sounds a lot like “just do it the way I want you to do it” also…while issues, disagreements and situations are ignored, swept away and disregarded.

Very not cool.

What’s funny, is that the way the phrase is being used is almost meant to sound motivational.

So I kept searching.  And I found this on conniechapman.com:

“To trust the process means to know and have faith that there is a divine plan moving through you and your life in any moment.”

Ok I can handle that.  I know there is a divine plan out there and I trust that we should trust that. I know that everything happens for a reason.

Having faith in a divine plan also means that you have a purpose in life and I wholeheartedly believe that we do have a defined purpose, but I also believe that reaching and fulfilling your purpose takes work.

And hard work to reach the life you want to live is what it is all about as long as you are not compromising your values. Working towards your true goals in life to create the life you really want to live is–and should be–the most important reason for doing everything you do.

The road may be a difficult one but if your intentions are pure you can have the life you want to have as it was intended. In this sense we should trust the process–our process!

Don’t let others define what you should do or who you should be with a popular and catchy phrase. Be true to yourself, honor your goals. Look for the answers to your next steps inside of yourself and know that your hard work will pay off.

Have a wonderful Friday!  Trust yourself to know your heart and have fun!

Comments are welcome below!  

The Man in the Moon

The Man in the Moon

Blue Moon, Blood Moon, Super Moon, Micro Moon, Harvest Moon, New Moon, Wolf Moon, Snow Moon, and many other names for full moons are seemingly endless. It is fascinating looking up into the heavens and seeing that big satellite of Earth just hanging there in space and remembering that from the moon we are just another big ball in the sky suspended as well.

But no matter the season or what we are calling the moon…the full moon that I see every month or so reminds me of the evening I met my husband.

It was a fix up–by his MOTHER!  I had met this lovely lady at a bridal shower as I was seated at her table.  After a little conversation she said “I have just the man for you–my son!”

I cannot imagine what kind of look I gave her–panic, maybe? She insisted that my personality and his would be perfect. Sigh. How do you tell a nice lady: Thanks but no thanks?

I was not really into the dating scene but went out to a family gathering (his family) one evening because the lady was so nice to me and she was so excited. Somehow as the day drew near, I felt a little excitement too. And a whole lot of terrified…

Well the gathering turned out to be a lot of fun, full of laughter and good wine. I met the SON and he was perfectly normal–nice and polite, intelligent and had good conversation. I found that we had a great deal in common and that it was clear he was beloved by his mother, his sisters and all his friends.

When he asked me to dance, I really got nervous-because he was a very good dancer and while I enjoy dancing, I am not as graceful on the dancefloor as I would like to be. I know for sure I stepped on his feet twice and he was gentleman enough not to comment as he lead me through the dance.

At the end of the evening, as I was getting my purse and saying my goodbyes, he offered to walk me to my car.  Wow, I thought, a true gentleman!

And he did, he walked me to my car, opened the door for me and looked up.  “Full Moon” he said. And I said “Yes, very pretty.” He smiled, thanked me for coming and told me to drive safely home.

The full moon followed me all the way home. I remembered stories of the man in the moon I had heard as a child. The full moon had always fascinated me and I felt quiet comfort that the man in the moon was seeing me safely to my door. I had had a very nice evening but had no illusions of anything coming of it.

Needless to say I was wrong. We began dating shortly after that first evening. The full moon always reminds me of that night and he remembers it too because he often mentions it. He can be very romantic at times! And so it holds special meaning for us both, especially since I am still stepping on my husband’s toes when we dance.

I really don’t know if on that first night the full moon was new, or blue or super, but it was beautiful and every full moon since brings good memories and feelings. And I always imagine the man in the moon smiling down on us and giving his blessing.

In the end the blood moon only comes around every 35 years or so. A blue moon only occurs when we have two full moons in a month and a lunar eclipse can only be seen when the sun, the moon and the earth line up perfectly. It is no wonder so many people stare up into the sky during full moons. Not to mention this Super Blue Blood Moon when all three phenomena happened at once!

I imagine the full moon has its special powers on many people. For us the full moon brings peace and a promise of a good month ahead.

Does a full moon have a special meaning or promise for you? Comment below!  Don’t forget to embrace the fun in your life!

The End of January

The End of January

I cannot believe how quickly January has passed!  Today is the last day of January and I am so proud because so far I have kept my promises to myself.

If you read my post on my New Year’s Resolutions you know I kept it simple this year in that I tried to be true to my own needs and wants.  Basically I want to be the healthiest I can be and to get organized.

I don’t just mean organizing my closets, I mean organizing my LIFE to have more space, time, money and happiness.  So far, 30 days in I’m getting the job done.

What’s different this year? I found a reason behind making my resolutions.  And my reasons are purely selfish ones. Not selfish in the sense that they would hurt anyone else, but when thinking what I wanted to change in my life I concentrated purely on myself.

I wanted to make changes that I could measure–and not in pounds but in outcomes. And I accepted the fact that changes in one part of my life would create changes in other parts of my life.

I am doing the things I love: Reading, writing, learning new things, relaxing in the life I have created and enjoying my family and friends. I am also discovering things about myself and all those around me.

Getting healthier has been quite a learning experience.  I am learning all about nutrition and exercise–something that has interested me for a long time–and learning options for healthier living.

Decluttering my house has been a journey of really finding the things that I truly use and love to surround me at home and in making these changes it has made me feel lighter and free.

These small changes have already made an impact in my life.  I have noticed that as I have become healthier in body and home my spirit is also becoming healthier.  I no longer accept people around me with a negative attitude. And It happened quite by accident.

A person I work with began with her daily litany of complaints and I simply smiled at her and walked away. It was very nice not to have to hear about her views of what is wrong in her world. After all it’s not my world.  My world is looking quite rosy!

So today at the end of January, although the days may pass quickly let’s plan to enjoy each one of the them! I hope your New Year’s Resolutions or any changes you want to make in your life are going strong. Don’t give up! Your best life is in front of you!

What changes are you making in 2018 to make your life healthier and better? How are you overcoming roadblocks to your happiness? Post a comment below!

Have a great day and have fun!

Changes, Changes, Changes

Changes, Changes, Changes

I knew  once I was an “empty-nester” that everything would change. That I would change. And that things needed to change.

Change is inevitable–it happens everyday and sometime we don’t even know we are changing.  Most of the time change is for the better–sometimes though we don’t change or we resist change with all of our being and I wonder why we do that?

2018 is my year of massive change–from accepting that my birdies are becoming independent, to decluttering the house of past “stuff”  (and I am in no way from being finished!), to rethinking my future plans, and generally trying to figure out what I want to be when I grow up!

Who knew all this change would feel so good?  If I had known I was going to enjoy it so much–I would have changed many things, many years ago!

I am meeting new people and having new experiences and generally just having a ball.  Who knew?

And so I wonder why we, as humans, resist change so strongly.  Why we push back when things change, and why we generally have a bleak outlook that somehow “change” will be bad.

Imagine if nothing had changed in the last 30 years.  I certainly would not be writing a blog right now–since it would not exist. Nor would you be reading anything like a blog on a smart phone, laptop or tablet.

Communication between people would still be, well–unchanged!  We would be talking on a telephone that is ATTACHED to a wall–by a CORD! And we would only be able to talk to one person at a time–getting a busy signal if you tried calling a phone number that was already engaged!

By the way, all our phone numbers would be written down in this little alphabetical diary called a Phone Book–not saved in Contacts!

(For those who are young enough to have no idea what I’m talking about, suffice it to say that you are living in a spectacular time of amazing technology!)

Things have changed so much! And we mere humans have changed with the things–whether we wanted to or not, or whether we consciously noticed we were changing in the first place.

Who would have thought 30 years ago that we would be buying bottled water!  We used to drink it right out of the tap–without filtering it! And now we don’t even think twice when we plop down $1.25 for a bottle of WATER!  

I used to pay 10¢ for a cold Orange Fanta in a glass bottle!  Ah, those were the days–but these days are phenomenal!

Change is everywhere and it ensures that our minds are engaged in learning everything that is new. It opens new horizons for us that we never thought possible.

We are better informed and better able to locate information than ever before!  If we don’t remember something, don’t know something or need a step by step video on how to do something we can just go out into the internet and “Google” it!

Even if we are unsure what to type in to find the right result–we could just ask SIRI–and she’ll be happy to find it for us!

Yes, change is good! It’s exciting and dynamic.  Everything that is not changing or resisting this natural change is being left behind, falling apart or doing severe damage to the people it affects.

Embrace the changes in your life–it is good,  it is necessary and it’s fun!

What changes are you enjoying the most? What changes have been the most challenging? What do you wish had not changed, and why?

Comment below!  Join FB and Pinterest and join the change!