Clear Change Program: day 7 Just Do It

Today I learned about…

Headspace-it’s a meditation app. Meditation is such an important part of an overall wellness plan. And why not use an app with guided meditation? I just did ten minutes today, but it definitely helped me unwind at the end of the day.

I didn’t get to the gym today like I usually do on Saturdays because I didn’t want to leave my daughter alone. So today was a stay inside and get stuff done kind of day. Toward the middle of the afternoon, I started feeling aches and pains from sitting at the computer for a while. So tonight, I took an epsom salt bath, did ten minutes of meditation, and some gentle stretching. I’ve been so sore recently I can’t seem to do much more. My body is telling me to slow down, so I’m listening. The detox program guide does advise slowing down. Although I could benefit from a bit more movement/exercise, I’m having trouble getting it in this week due to everything going on and my annoying aches and pains.

One week into the detox, and I’m starting to get used to it. My craving for wine is gone. I went to the grocery store and just got fish and produce for myself and didn’t feel tempted to get anything off the restricted diet. I did get other stuff for my kids of course, and I ended up making three dinners: one for me, something different for my son, and another dinner for my daughter who just had a tonsil/adenoidectomy. It’s tiring keeping up with the shopping and the cooking! But my dinner was actually quite tasty, and I managed to get in all the shakes and supplements as instructed today.

I notice the mornings get away from me in terms of eating. I have a shake and a cup of coffee and then I don’t have much else for a while. I have to work on having a morning snack more consistently and eating lunch at a decent time. During the week while I’m working I’m better about it than the weekends.

I just can’t seem to go without any coffee at all. I am SO tired in the morning. This morning especially because I had to set my alarm to wake every couple of hours to give my daughter medicine.

Breakfast: smoothie with apple, ultraclear renew, GI replenish, probiomax, and water. One cup of coffee with half and half and agave.

Morning snack: apple and celery

Lunch: ultraclear renew drink

Afternoon snack: ultraclear renew drink

Dinner: baked cod with olive oil, garlic, sea salt, peppers, and scallions. Garlic braised broccoli. Salad with romaine, cucumbers, and radishes.

Night time snack: ultraclear renew drink with GI replenish and probiomax.


I am looking forward to eating more of a variety of food again starting tomorrow! And I’m proud of myself for making it seven days so far on this program.

Thanks for reading this entry. Peace out!

Clear Change Program: day 6 Just Do It

Today I noticed my energy level to be…

Today I didn’t go to work because I took my daughter to have her tonsils and adenoids removed. My energy level was around medium, not high, not low. As the mom, I had to be strong and guide my daughter through a scary process. I had to be a caring, loving, reassuring presence so my focus was on her instead of myself.

Breakfast: ultra clear renew drink, GI boost, and probiomax

Lunch: leftover salmon with peas, another ultra clear renew drink.

Dinner: more leftover salmon with kidney beans, broccoli, and peas, another ultra clear renew drink with a pear.

Snack: ultra clear renew drink, GI boost, probiomax

I had one cup of coffee today and no wine again. The slogan “just do it” is kind of helping me get through the day. I’m not particularly excited about the food choices, but i know in few days I’ll be back to eating more of a variety.  I just need to do it for the sake of my health.

I did notice that my stomach doesn’t hurt like it usually does. That’s really good news as I usually constantly have a stomach ache.  Like when I press on my abdomen it’s sore. I’ve had a CT scan and abdominal ultrasound and everything is normal. They say if it’s inflammation those tests won’t catch it. So it makes me wonder if my pain is from inflammation and now it’s going away because of the detox. If that’s the case, wow! It makes me a little nervous to return to my normal diet and eating/drinking habits.

Thanks for reading this entry.

2014 in Review and My Hopes for 2015

New Year’s Eve 2014 is here. It’s the time to reflect on the past year and make resolutions for the next. For years, I’ve been working on accepting myself exactly the way I am and living each day in the moment, free of regrets from the past and worries about the future. This kind of thinking has led to great changes in my life, and I intend to further develop myself one day at a time.

What a year it’s been! There’s been a wide spectrum of emotions and experiences. Lots of pain and lots of growth occurred this past year. I got divorced after 14 years of marriage. It was hard. It was painful. It was complicated. There was a loss of a fairy tale and a loss of my family structure. I lost fifty percent of my time with my kids. We sold our big, beautiful house (that we moved to Texas for) and moved into rentals, a house for me and an apartment for him. While everything looked great from the outside, my ex and I had some serious personal problems that ultimately we were not able to resolve. We agreed to put the children first and to co-parent in peace. We agreed not to drag each other through the mud and to keep our personal business between us. While I lost half the time with my kids, he gained the other fifty percent of the time, and the kids are adjusting to their new lives well. They enjoy the one on one time they get with him now. And I think that while they might prefer we still be together, they see that life can be peaceful and happy even with the changes. It was a painful experience, but I’ve been brave and have learned a lot from it about being true to myself and taking care of myself. In the new year, I intend to continue using the time to myself for self-care. When I don’t have the kids, I sleep, do yoga, go to the gym, play guitar, do math etc. I use the time to take care of myself and continue growing in all my interests and hobbies. I miss the children terribly, but I know they are in good hands, and I am thankful their father wants to be an active part of their lives.

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For years, I’ve wanted to take college math classes because nobody ever made me take them when I was in school. I didn’t know I liked math until I became a teacher and started specializing in teaching math. So, this year I took advantage of the opportunity since I had time (being a stay home mom) and finally took Trigonometry and Calculus 1. I got an A in Trigonometry, so my professor let me skip Pre-Calculus. I spent the spring semester taking Trig and the fall semester taking Calculus 1. I struggled with Calculus and went from a C to an F to a B overall. I learned so much about what it feels like to struggle as a student and thankfully found an excellent tutor who supported my struggles and helped to make everything make sense. At one point, I considered dropping the class, but I’m not a quitter so I stuck with it. I learned first-hand that hard works pays off and I was thrilled to finish successfully and check that class off my bucket list! In the next year, my goal is to get back to teaching full-time. I would really like to teach high school math this time. I have my master’s degree in education. I’m certified to teach all subjects 4-8 and math 8-12, and although my eight years of classroom experience was in middle school, I’ve been tutoring high school students since 2001. I’ve been working as a substitute teacher this fall and have really enjoyed subbing in the high schools. I prefer the older students and the more advanced math curricula. I quit my job to be a stay home mom years ago, and it’s difficult to get back into a full-time position, but this will be my main goal for 2015.

I took an amazing trip to Aruba for a yoga retreat, another bucket list item. Click here to read about my amazing week with yoga girl Rachel Brathen in paradise. I’ve also been participating in a 365 day handstand challenge and intend to finish it in 2015. I am on handstand number 259!

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My yoga retreat group

 

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My kids are continuing to grow and thrive, and I absolutely love being their mom. I’m cherishing every stage of their lives even though it’s tough sometimes knowing that I don’t have little kids anymore. Those days are over, but they are growing into amazing older children and my oldest is officially an adult now, 21 years old and graduating from college this year. She’s majoring in Business Marketing and Management and plans to move back to the Dallas area to work after graduation. Her laugh is infectious; her sense of humor is hilarious. She’s an avid dog lover and has been helping me take care of my dogs some this year. In fact, she might be taking my Boston Terrier back to school with her for a few months this spring. She’s been working part-time at a hair salon and getting good grades. I’m so proud of her! In 2015, I look forward to attending her graduation, her 22nd birthday in May, and seeing how her adult life unfolds when she moves back to Dallas and starts working.

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My middle child is now 14, a high school freshman on the drill team at school and a competitive company dancer at a local dance studio. Watching her dance is one of my favorite things to do. She specializes in contemporary dance, and sometimes it’s so beautiful it brings me to tears with pride. We spent a week in Panama City Beach, FL in June for national competition, and it was a really fun vacation together. She just got her braces off and has a brand new smile. She is an excellent student and is well liked by her friends. I’m learning to give her more space to be a teenager and love it when she has her friends over to our house. In 2015, I look forward to another season of dance competitions and conventions, a week in Florida for national competition, and her 15th birthday in April.

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My youngest child, my son, is now ten years old and a vibrant, intelligent fourth grader who loves science and thrives on challenge. He loves reading books and playing games and doing all kinds of sporty things with me like bike riding, rock climbing at the gym, swimming, roller skating, and playing games of horse. I love his sense of adventure and getting out to be active with him. We have a great time. He is also really loving and gives lots of hugs and kisses, one of my favorite things about him. He is a deep thinker and asks all kinds of questions about life, nature, and the universe. I know he is destined for great things in the future and in 2015, I look forward to watching him play baseball, spending a week in Florida together, and his birthday in November.

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This year, I had the kids for Thanksgiving, my ex had them for the first week of Christmas, and I have them for the second week of Christmas vacation. In 2015, I look forward to having them for spring break and then for the first week of Christmas vacation. I am super proud of all three of them and want the best for them in the upcoming year with good health and lots of happiness.

This year, I ended a friendship with someone I thought was my best friend in town. She betrayed me, backstabbed me, lied to me, then called me ugly names when I confronted her. All I can control is me, so I ended it, and I’m really glad she is out of my life now as I can see it was really a one-way friendship for years. She is not really worth any more time or space on my blog, so I will move forward to the good news: I gained a new best friend in town this year. She’s another dance mom who has kids close in age to my youngest two kids, and she lives nearby. She’s been a great friend to me this year, someone who has a huge heart and does anything to help other people. She’s been there for me whenever I’ve needed a friend, and I truly enjoy her company! She’s funny, caring, and has a genuine personality. We’ve had lots of great times together this year. I look forward to many more good times in 2015 and hope to continue to develop my other girl-friendships with get togethers and outings.

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I fell in love again this year with a man from Virginia whom I’ve known since we were twelve. His dad caught us kissing when we were in middle school, and after that we were always dating other people but hung out together as friends all the time. He was in a near fatal accident in high school, and we lost touch after he switched to another school and then I graduated and left for college. The girl who was driving the car that night died, and I’ve always been so thankful that he survived. He has always been a precious life in my opinion. We reconnected at a funeral for a friend in 2007 and have been in touch ever since. He went to Aruba with me, and we’ve been traveling back and forth visiting each other in Virginia and Texas as often as we can. It’s been amazing to find love with someone with whom I also have a deep friendship and a long history. I’m super grateful the timing is right for us to be a couple and have enjoyed every single moment we’ve spent together so far. In 2015, I look forward to his February visit to Texas (to celebrate our birthdays – we were born nine days apart) and hope we can visit each other many, many more times also. Since we are in a long distance relationship, and we both have children to raise, people often ask us how we are going to work things out so we can be in the same place. I don’t know the answer to that question yet, and I’m not going to worry about it either. It’s working for both of us right now, and I trust that things will unfold exactly the way they should. I would rather have him in my life to talk and text with every day and see periodically than not at all. So, I am grateful, humble, and hopeful for the future.

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I intend to spend 2015 really enjoying every day to its fullest, loving people in my life, and taking good care of myself. When negative things happen, I will look for the positive lessons, and I will accept challenges as opportunities to grow. I will continue to cultivate an attitude of gratitude for the many blessings in my life and face each day with courage, an open mind, and a positive attitude.

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Thanks for reading this entry. Peace out!

Tattoo You

Do you have tattoos? When did you get them? Why did you get them?

I waited until I was in my forties to get my first tattoo because I wanted to be sure of any artwork I chose to place permanently on my body. My first tattoo was of my (now ex) husband’s name with Korean symbols for love and family next to it. Likewise, he got the same Korean symbols and my name in the middle. We thought this was a good idea at the time.

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A year later I got a yin/yang with all four of our kids’ names all around it. We both had older kids from previous relationships and we had two together. There was balance.

About a year after that I got a heart with wings and a halo on my upper back. I did that with my father and some friends in mind whom I’ve lost over the years. It’s a way of reminding myself that love is eternal.

Now that I’m divorced, I decided to cover up my ex’s name. He’s removing mine from his body, but I decided to leave his there and to grow on top of it much like I am doing in real life. He’s still a part of me and my life but plays a much different role now in the background. On top of all of that, a new me is growing and my new relationship is growing. Something old is evolving into something new and beautiful. Just like my new tattoo on top if the old one.

My artist went back over his name with white first and then redid the symbols so they would be just as black as my new piece. It’s ironic that in getting rid of the old tattoo, I had it completely traced over again essentially. It’s like the universe saying to me, ‘look you’re starting over but don’t forget where you came from.’

I had the outline done first and just went back today for the colors and shading. I’m super happy with my new piece!

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Thanks for reading this entry. Peace out!

21 Day Yoga Girl Challenge Day 21: Self Love

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What makes me happy? 70 minute reflexology sessions! Got one tonight after having a nice day taking care of myself (went to the gym, practiced handstands and forearm stands, did a little shopping and took myself out to eat a healthy dinner at Pei Wei).

Click here to learn more about reflexology. It’s like massage but different, and I love it!

I think the concept of self love is super important and have been working hard in this area over the past several years. I blog about it under the category Self Care Sunday

Ever heard of the golden rule? You know, ‘treat others as you want to be treated’? I like that idea, but it could use some extension. How about treating ourselves the way we want to be treated? How about being nice to ourselves, doing things we enjoy, doing things that are healthy for us? If we don’t take care of ourselves, we are not really any good to other people. If we aren’t happy and whole being ourselves, we don’t have much to offer others. On the flip side, if we continue through life without making ourselves a priority, it not only affects us and our overall health, it can also get in the way of healthy happy relationships with others.

If you haven’t seen this video yet, please take a few minutes to watch. It’s worth it. Ben Smythe has a way with words and expresses it better than I can. Just watch and listen. Watch it and listen to it a few times. He makes several excellent points and he is hilarious!

Click here – Ben Smythe on Attracting Unfulfilling Relationships

I just want to say thank you to Rachel Brathen for this fun challenge! Some days were easier than others. My favorites that I don’t already do often and want to keep doing more are: get creative, Mother Nature, start a new routine, something new, and sweat. The hardest one for me was rise and shine. I only did it that one morning! My chiropractor says my adrenal glands are not happy and I need more sleep, so for now I won’t be rising too early. Overall, I already try to do some yoga and meditation every day (even if it’s brief), be grateful, say I love you, and get shit done.

I also focus hard every day on self love. It’s what’s helped me grow through a lot of pain and difficult times. Loving myself and taking care of myself has helped me be happy being myself. Once I found some inner peace I think things started to fall into place in my life. I also think taking care of myself is a good role model for my kids.

Thanks for reading this entry. Peace out!

21 Day yoga Girl Challenge Day 17: I Love You #yogagirlchallenge

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There is so much love overflowing from my heart for these people: my three amazing kids and my best friend/boyfriend Bill. See that big happy smile on my face? That’s because loving these people makes me so happy! I try to tell them every single day how much I love them and how much I appreciate them in my life.

I’ve been a mom for 21 years now. Loving my kids has been the most rewarding thing I’ve done in my whole life. It’s an unconditional love that weathers the storms and celebrates the good times and fills in all the spaces in between. l tell them I love them, and I also show them with my actions, being there every day for them, holding their hands, giving them big hugs and kisses, giving encouraging words when they need them, and so many more ways.

Bill and I are in a new relationship, but the love is strong and based on 34 years of friendship and history. I love him with all my heart, and he gives it right back to me. People tell us we ooze positive, loving vibrations when they are around us. We can’t help it; we glow with love.

I also took some time to let other people know I love them. I contacted my mom and told her. I posted some messages on people’s Facebook timelines. I try to be open and loving to people on a daily basis, but it did feel good to consciously make a point of saying those three words together.

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Thanks for reading this entry. Peace out!

21 Day Yoga Girl Challenge Day 16: The Altar #yogagirlchallenge

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This is where the Buddha sits in my bathroom under the leafy plant with the flower, mermaid, candles, and incense holder. I don’t technically meditate in the bathroom, but I do stretch in some yoga poses and I do spend quiet time alone. My meditation mostly takes place on my yoga mat. Because of the challenge, I added more things that connect me to spirit: some seashells my kids brought me from Florida, another candle for more light, a lucky bamboo plant, a picture of me and my man who lives 1,000 miles away, and a reminder that I am loved.

This is a place that helps me find my center. These small symbols of things that matter most to me are a beautiful reminder every day that I have so much to be grateful for. I appreciate taking some time every day to reflect on these things, to be still and calm.

Thanks for reading this entry. Peace out!

21Day Yoga Girl Challenge Day 12: Get Shit Done! #yogagirlchallenge

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This is an easy day for me as getting shit done is my nature. I do a great job of it on a regular basis. So today’s list wasn’t all that long thankfully (getting back to Aruba is on my list!). This is a picture of my son’s new shoes and lunchbox. School starts tomorrow, and my two kids are ready. My oldest, a senior in college, is also ready!

I am so good at getting shit done that over the years I’ve learned to chill out and be ok with it, not feeling guilty that I should be doing something or calling myself names if I feel like being lazy for a change. It’s one thing to be able to multi-task and be productive, but it’s also valuable to learn to relax and just be without judgement or guilt. I enjoy both ends of the spectrum and strive to find the balance in between.

I’ve been through a lot of changes this year and feel proud of all the shit I’ve gotten done. Besides going through a divorce, I managed to get an A in Trigonometry, tutor math privately, sell and move out of my house, move into a rental, and continue being a happy healthy mom to my kids. Not to mention I’ve gotten about 180 handstands done for the #handstand365 challenge. When I put my mind to something I do it!

Thanks for reading this entry. Peace out!

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Self Care Sunday: Sleep

Sleeping is so important for our bodies.  It’s the main way we metabolize cortisol, the stress hormone from the adrenal glands.  Our bodies repair themselves when we sleep.  Our brains assimilate information, and we grow while we sleep.

I can never seem to get enough sleep.  Generally, once I’m asleep I will sleep for a long time with some tossing and turning to change positions according to pain during the night.  However, there are some nights when I find it hard to fall asleep.  My mind is busy with different thoughts, and my body gets tense causing physical pain.  Once I realize I’m not sleeping and it’s getting late, I wake up even more.  That makes it more difficult to sleep.  So, it becomes a vicious cycle.

Here are a few things I do to help me unwind and get a better night’s sleep:

  • Calm down.  Breathe.  Inhale, exhale, repeat.  Count to ten, then repeat.
  • Do some yoga.  Specific yoga poses like child pose calm the nervous system and help with sleep.
  • Click here to read more about yoga poses that help with sleeping.
  • Click here for another list.  I typically do these poses on the floor in front of the tv at night to start winding down.
  • One naturopathic doctor told me if I was going to do one yoga pose a day, I should do downward dog.  It’s an easy pose that stretches the spine and massages the internal organs.
  • Have a bedtime routine of some sort.  It’s not exactly the same thing as the kids’ version but similar.  Shower time, quiet time, reading, and stretching all are effective bedtime routine activities.
  • Listen to nature sounds or a playlist of favorite songs.  I enjoy listening to ocean sounds and birdsongs on my iPhone app called Nature Space.
  • Take a hot bath or shower.  Epsom salts in the bath are super relaxing.

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What do you do to help yourself sleep well?  Are you a morning person or a night owl?

Thanks for reading this entry. Peace out!

Reverse Bucket List

Here’s a list of 40 things I did by age 40 (a reverse bucket list):

1. Played Suzuki violin at Wolf Trap, VA and the Kennedy center in DC.
2. Met President Carter.
3. Met Jewel.
4. Got my masters degree (4.0 GPA).
5. Had three babies.
6. Married twice. (Divorced once).
7. completed a 95 day semester on the Rockies.
8. Assisted a midwife at approximately thirty home-births.
9. Got arrested for hanging off the Triboro bridge in NYC to protest ocean dumping for Greenpeace.
10. Edited and self-published my dad’s book for him after he died.
11. Travelled to Europe (Rome, Florence, Siena, Venice, Paris, Amsterdam).
12. Travelled to Hawaii (Kauai, Maui, Hawaii).
13. Got licensed to teach all subjects 4-8 and math 8-12.
14. Started my own math tutoring business.
15. Worked as a classroom teacher for eight years.
16. Went rock climbing all over (VA, WV, WY, CO, AZ).
17. Had sixteen surgeries.
18. Spent two winters studying and teaching in Yellowstone National Park.
19. Kayaked around Isla Espiritu Santo in Baja. (Spent a month there).
20. Played college soccer freshman and sophomore years.
21. Spent a month above tree line in Colorado learning about alpine ecology.
22. Saw the Grateful Dead and Jerry Garcia Band many times.
23. Spent a month living on a hippie commune in Northern California.
24. Started writing a blog.
25. Studied French for six years.
26. Learned to play the guitar.
27. Wrote my first guitar solo.
28. Learned how to do yoga.
29. Lived outdoors in Colorado for a year and half.
30. Was featured in a newspaper for a school project.
31. Wrote nineteen episodes of fiction.
32. Survived a fall/slide all the way down a frozen ski run on Mt Rose, NV.
33. Did gymnastics for eight years.
34. Went on a first date to Paris, France.
35. Drove across the country a few times.
36. Saw over sixty live concerts.
37. Hung a banner from a building for Greenpeace in Louisiana (and didn’t get arrested).
38. Grew up without a father.
39. Completed a sprint distance triathlon.
40. Went to Disneyland and Disneyworld.

What does your reverse bucket list look like?

Thanks for reading this entry. Peace out!

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