November 25, 2008

A Thanksgiving Poem

Posted in Uncategorized at 6:32 pm by Debra

A Thanksgiving poem by Lizelia Augusta Jenkins Moorer, an African-American poet writing at the turn of the 20th century. Her generous, hopeful view of Thanksgiving is made even more remarkable by the suffering and discrimination she endured as an African-American in the late 19th and early 20th century.

Thanksgiving

Let us give thanks to God above,
Thanks for expressions of His love,
Seen in the book of nature, grand
Taught by His love on every hand.
Let us be thankful in our hearts,
Thankful for all the truth imparts,
For the religion of our Lord,
All that is taught us in His word.
Let us be thankful for a land,
That will for such religion stand;
One that protects it by the law,
One that before it stands in awe.
Thankful for all things let us be,
Though there be woes and misery;
Lessons they bring us for our good-
Later ’twill all be understood.
Thankful for peace o’er land and sea,
Thankful for signs of liberty,
Thankful for homes, for life and health,
Pleasure and plenty, fame and wealth.
Thankful for friends and loved ones, too,
Thankful for all things, good and true,
Thankful for harvest in the fall,
Thankful to Him who gave it all.
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November 24, 2008

Self Esteem, Are You Healthy?

Posted in Uncategorized at 2:44 pm by Debra

I’ve been working on this post for over a week now, and I finally realized maybe my own unhealthy self esteem was keeping me from writing it! ¬†ūüôā ¬†I’m doing better now, so here goes…

A very wise person once told me, “you evaluate all you SEE and DO through self-esteemed colored glasses“. ¬†Just as true, others will also evaluate YOU through their own self-esteemed colored glasses. ¬†I’ll give you a second to think about that.

Our self esteem is an ever flowing reflection of what we THINK about on the inside and what we DO on the outside.  And without a HEALTHY self esteem, we will never truly become the person we were intended to be.  

I’m so thankful my husband and I learned the importance of building self-esteem in our children at a young age, which is ideally when it should all start. ¬†We understood that, next to teaching them about God and His perfect love for them, affirming each of them in their unique abilities was first and foremost. ¬†We learned to become acutely aware of the words we used when speaking to them both in conversation and in discipline.¬†

Parents, we are responsible for modeling healthy self esteem to our children.   We have to show them through our actions, that we have a healthy self esteem too.  As usual, when you endeavor to teach others, you learn more yourself. 

The importance of a healthy self esteem escapes most people. I’m not sure why, exactly. ¬†I think some people seem to have a comfort with their misery, and so they seek to bring others down into their unhealthy comfort zone with them. ¬†Or, maybe they’ve never seen a healthy self esteem modeled, so they wouldn’t know or recognize one if they saw it.

The symptoms are pretty obvious –¬†jealousy, pettiness, arrogance, laziness, harmful anger, critical spirit, blaming others, selfishness, hopelessness, fear of rejection, procrastination, etc. ¬†When I see these in myself, I recognize I need to immediately work on my self esteem because continuing to exhibit these only makes my self esteem worse! ¬†

When I see these symptoms in others, I recognize that it’s not about me, it’s about them and their struggle with self esteem issues too. ¬†

But I have also learned, too much hanging around people with unhealthy self esteem does rub off, and makes my job of staying healthy a lot harder. ¬†On the other hand, hanging out with positive, affirming people, it’s a lot easier keeping my self esteem healthy. It’s a fact. I’m just sayin.

I’ll pass on a quick tip for giving yourself an immediate lift in self-esteem. ¬†It’s only 2 things, if you’re like me, you may need to do them daily (or even hourly!):

1) Forgive yourself, for whatever junk you’ve done, or imagined you’ve done.

2) Forgive others, who’ve done all kinds of rotten things to you.

Forgiveness works.  Trust me.

Affirm yourself with thoughts such as I’m conscientious, I’m a hard worker, I’m a good person, spouse, parent, sibling, or friend. ¬†Decide to have joy and contentment in your life, even in the worst of situations. Allow yourself to¬†be thankful for all that you do have.

Make a decision to stop judging yourself by impossible standards, just do your best, and continue to live your life as the imperfect human being that you are.  You will be replacing weak thoughts with strong, powerful ones.

This is not “pollyanna”, or “pie in the sky” thinking. ¬†This is recognizing that your healthy self esteem is more important than all that other stuff. ¬†Your health, your future, your life depends on it.

And, lastly, the ol’ saying, “never judge someone until you’ve walked a mile in their shoes” still applies today. ¬†We have no idea what goes on in their lives, and until we do, why go there?

It’s really. Not. Healthy.

Olive U.

November 9, 2008

FLYing with the Flylady

Posted in Uncategorized at 11:30 pm by Debra

F.L.Y. stands for “Finally Loving Yourself”

Enter Marla Ciley, who has been mentoring women since 1999. ¬†Marla founded her yahoo group to help other women like herself – women who were frustrated with ¬†organizing both home and life. ¬†She says it wasn’t until she learned how to F.L.Y that she was able to become the person of her dreams.

There are a really only a handful of people in my life who by their teaching and encouragement have made a dramatic difference in my life, and I am proud to say, FLYLADY is one of them. ¬†She is funny, inspirational, full of great advice, and also tough. ¬†“NO WHINING ALLOWED” she would often tell us.

When I joined her yahoo group I was trying to find more time and happiness in my day. My house was in her words CHAOS or “can’t have anyone over syndrome”. ¬†With my husband, my 4 kids, in 4 different schools, running a business from home, I was desperate for some wisdom, or some system, that could help, even a little bit. ¬†

The first thing Flylady teaches us is that we are OK. ¬†We’re not alone, we’re not behind, and we are not a bad person, we just need to learn what and how to do when. ¬†She promised that if I followed her plan faithfully, I would succeed.

What I learned from Flylady was more than a system, though.  It was an attitude, a way of taking care of me first, which filled up my cup to overflowing, so I was able to do what I needed to do for everyone else.  How unexpected!

I’ll be honest, at first I thought her simple answers were a little too, well….SIMPLE! ¬†But, she told us we needed to create new habits, and it took 21 days to create a habit. ¬†Except for those of us who are in CHAOS, then it would take us 28 days. ¬†So I committed to follow her for 28 days. I knew my way of doing things was not working, so I had nothing to lose by trying her way.¬†¬†

I also learned what a perfectionist looked like, it had my picture all over it, although you wouldn’t have known it if you had seen what my home looked like. ¬†A perfectionist doesn’t even start a job if they don’t think they have the time to do it perfectly. ¬†I learned how perfectionism can kill your self esteem, and the self esteem of everyone who lives with you. ¬†

My home and my life began changing in a very short time, and everyone, including me, was thrilled with the change.  Suddenly, I had SO much more time, to do the things I really loved doing.  I was so much more successful in my business, and was able to pass these principles on to my family and my team of consultants.  Their lives were transformed by Flylady too.  I was a very happy mommy. 

If you want a happier, healthier home, Flylady may just be able to help you.  Do what I did, and check out her website, all her information is free there.  Then start with her BABYSTEPS, and go from there.  Let me know when you start FLYing too, so I can help encourage you along the way.

November 5, 2008

Boomers Turning Towards Natural Medicine

Posted in Uncategorized at 6:53 pm by Debra

I read recently that the Baby Boomer generation (that’s me!) is the largest (77 million) best-educated and most affluent generation in history. ¬†Yeah baby. ¬†The boomer’s want to look better, and live longer than their parents and grandparents did. ¬†An amazing epidemic, it’s reported, is sweeping across America. ¬†Huge numbers of people are turning to complimentary and alternative treatments for a wide range of medical conditions.¬†

According to the Journal of the American Medical Association, one in three adults uses some complimentary and alternative therapy regularly (a $27 billion annual market). The report also stated visits to complimentary practitioners exceeded the number of visits to primary care physicians between 1990 and 1997.

When results of this study were analyzed using only respondents who had personal experience with alternative practitioners, 93% said they had positive outcomes following a chiropractic visit, but only 82% said the same for their MD/DO. Of this group, those who had “cured” or “symptoms diminished” outcomes after their most recent visit, massage therapy was 87% and acupuncture treatment 74%.

I know many people who rarely see their medical doctor anymore.  Personally, I suffered for years with severe allergies despite conventional medical treatments. A friend of mine recommended a naturopathic doctor who completely cured me of all my allergies, with no medications.  

My youngest daughter was diagnosed with juvenile arthritis at the age of 7.  For almost 2 years she was followed by a rheumatologist at the Mayo clinic, her joint pain increased to such a point where she could not walk without experiencing severe pain.  Not satisfied with those results, we took her to see a chiropractor recommended by my mother, and under her care, she very soon was able to walk again without pain, and in a short time, weaned off of all her arthritis medications.  She has remained free of arthritis ever since.

Our most remarkable experience was when our first grandson was diagnosed with autism. Our chiropractor recommended allergy testing and treatment, since studies had shown marked behavior improvements in autistic children.  It was discovered he had multiple food allergies and after treatment he experienced amazing results Рhe started sleeping at night, had fewer tantrums, etc. which gave my daughter and her husband some much needed relief.

I’m so thankful we sought alternative treatments, what would our life be like today if we hadn’t?

I don’t want to give up my medical doctor, but why can’t all of these medical providers work together for the good of their patients? ¬†People want to feel better, live longer, enjoy a healthy quality of life, and help their families to do the same. ¬†We want a greener planet, a greener community and home, and, yes greener medical approaches. ¬†Hopefully the medical profession will pay attention. We can only pray that they will.