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1BEARWIFE's Recent Blog Entries

Building a Foundation

Sunday, January 02, 2011

Good Sunday Morning to you all,

Just got back from the Attitude Adjustment breakfast meeting and Costco.

The meeting was great, and Costco was successful, for the most part.

I will start with the meeting. The topic today was "Building The Foundation".

How well I recall that, during my very beginning of this new way of living, I did not understand what they were talking about whenever they mentioned "build a strong foundation". I just figured "What the hell. Some day I might learn what they are talking about." My sponsor, Connie, had different plans for me.

Connie was one of those "You damn well BETTER" sponsors who insisted I work the steps slowly. It was my idea that I could work all 12 of them within a week or so, but oh no. Not with Connie!!

She gave me a form of Step One that needed to be written out, and while I was doing that, I had to read all of Step One and all of Tradition One every day for 30 days. I was told to take my time in writing out the form's answers and insights, and to be absolutely certain to NOT SKIP a single day of the reading.

Ok. I did that, and by the time I shared my first step with her, I KNEW what Step One was truly all about. The same pattern followed with Step Two, Step Three, etc. 30 days on each one, reading the step and Traiditon alternately twice a day. One in the morning, one in the evening.

Time passed, and one day I was at a meeting, and sure enough, the topic was "Building a Firm Foundation". This time I KNEW what they were talking about.

My dear sponsor, and others, taught me to slow down, and learn each step and tradition thoroughly. By giving myself time to absorb the true meaning and value, I had built a good, strong foundation, which is the true beginning of every day of my life.

We can change the color paint on our walls of life, rearrange it, and fill it with all sorts of window dressings. We can put in new soil, plant new seeds, and share the bounty with others.

But unless we have a strong foundation, none of that other stuff matters. It is all window dressing and fluff if we have a weak, or no, foundation.

As the years have passed by, I notice that I am relying more and more on my FOUNDATION than anything else.

It has been my FOUNDATION that has carried me through times thick and thin, happy or sad, win and loss. My foundation has never wavered, although my emotions, surroundings, attitudes, behaviors and such certainly have wavered throughout these years.

Not so with my Foundation. I learned to build it slowly, taking time to absorb every morsel of the lesson before moving on.

Even when I left California and moved up here, I was able to bring my foundation with me. It is part of my very soul, and always carries me.

However, I must remember to inspect my foundation from time to time. I must look to see if I have allowed any cracks in it, or wearing it thin in places. I must be extremely aware of my foundation, and its conditioning.

Yes, it is easy to look at the steps as they apply to me today. It is easy to look at the surface of my emotions, thinking process, and behavior of today.

It takes much more work to do a complete look at the foundation from which all the other capabilites sprung from. It takes meditation, a willingness to remember the beginning, and an honest evaluation as to where I stand today with my foundation. It is a self appraising that can sometimes be painful.

Without being aware of my foundation, I can find no true peace, can recognize no true gratitude, and can not see the truth of my being.

I must be charitable in sharing my foundational wisdom, strength and power. I must be willing to practise patience, love and tolerance of the world, exactly as it is today.

I must be diligent, and allow time to be the teacher when I want to dash off and "do it my way".

Yes, Easy Does It..........But DO IT..... comes from our FOUNDATION, not from our head! It is through constant repetition of what is good for us that builds our strength, courage and wisdom. Repetition is necessary in order for it to become part of our essence.

I wish you awareness of your foundation today.

Much love,
Sandy

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

NJOY2DAY2 1/5/2011 7:31PM

    You are a great writer. I guess that we have a lot in common- love of quilting, living in a cold climate, and using a 12 step-program to control our lives when they have become unmanageable, and a desire to make an active life part who we are.
Glad to "meet you and I'd like to make you a spark friend

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N

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JLOMOM 1/3/2011 4:35PM

    Great blog! Much needed! I am hoping to get motivation like this to get the last steps of my journey under way!

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Jamie

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KAROUSELL46 1/3/2011 4:29PM

    Great blog! I am one for wanting to rush through things and most of the time missing the reason or point. My foundation sure gets shakey at times. Not as bad as it use to though. I need to learn to let things happen and try not to control the outcome. I have had to learn to be NOT so co-dependant. I've learned to Let go and let God. Thanks for this blog. Gave me a lot to remember and think about. Love ya, Karen emoticon

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NEWHORIZONSR4ME 1/2/2011 4:23PM

    Interesting blog. Thanks for writing. I'll tuck away your wisdom and hopefully apply it to my life as well. You're doing great. emoticon

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A Team is Only as Good as Its Members!

Saturday, January 01, 2011

I begin by wishing you all a very Happy New Year of Less.

Now I want to talk about something serious.

My favorite team has been floundering with participation. At one point, it was pretty much dried up.

Another team member and myself decided to not let it go, and we tried to bring back some color and enthusiasm.

We had a pumpkin carving class, which was fun. It didn't last as long as we wanted it to due to weather, but it was wonderful to see inspiration sparking in eyes and meet some of the members face to face.

We set challenges, and some members participated.

We wrote blogs, and some responded.

I agreed to be part of the team leadership, and tried to inspire some interest.

There was quite a bit of action going on in the chat page, but that seems to have waned as of late.

I am very sad this is happening to our local team.

I have heard some grousing about the team not being active enough, as though that is up to the LEADERS FAULT.

NOT SO, DEAR SPARKIES.

A TEAM IS ONLY AS GOOD AS ITS TEAM MEMBERS' PARTICIPATION.

As a co-leader, I have spent many hours trying to inspire, entice and cajole members into action. I have tried to make this fun and exciting, and offer up varieties of activities for the team.

Very little response. I feel, for the most part, that I am attempting to get a wall to participate.

Why do we do that to our Teams? Have we become so self absorbed that we think we are "entitled" to having our team leaders do all the work without our participation, and then, not having gotten the results we want, blame it on the leaders?

True leadership does whatever possible to inspire and lift its team to higher heights and success. But that success cannot be done without PARTICIPATION.

A Leader can lay out the plan, point the team in the right direction, and head up the charge.

But unless the TEAM MEMBERS do not follow or participate, it is a losing battle.

And not the kind of losing battle we at SPARK want. We want a losing battle that consists of losing pounds, inches and a sedentary way of living.

We want SUCCESS.

Leaders cannot participate FOR you. They can only participate WITH you.

If you are not getting the results you want from your teams, ask yourself what YOU are doing to get those results.

Are you not posting?
Are you not checking in?
Are you not blogging?
Are you not working out?

In short, what are YOU bringing to the banquet table of your Team?

A truly wonderful banquet has many varieties to offer. And the variety must come from more than a few people.

So I lay down the gauntlet.

The challenge I propose is to pick up the gauntlet and participate with your local team.

I promise, your TEAM will only be as good as YOUR PARTICIPATION!

Let's have a wonderful, exciting New Year of ACTION! emoticon emoticon

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ABIGAILSING 1/6/2011 6:31PM

    Absolutely! I have posted similar things as this. One problem I see is people trying to keep up with too many teams. They have so many teams that they are not truly active and fully participating in any. Couple that with the need to move and we find ourselves too little time to cover both our computer commitments and our exercise and life commitments. Well said. I pray we all will hear and heed. Better to have one team that we truly support and make effective than 10 we hardly know anything about.

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WENDYSPARKS 1/6/2011 5:45PM

    I agree...Have a Happy New Year!!

Wendy emoticon

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KAROUSELL46 1/6/2011 5:39PM

    YOU are so right! Leaders can come up with all kinds of challenges, games, etc but it gets discouraging with no participation. I've always tried to tell everyone "it's OUR team"....Karen

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TOWHEE 1/1/2011 10:10PM

    Amen!

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LOULOUBELLE2 1/1/2011 4:30PM

    Talk about hitting the nail on the head...how right you are...As a leader of a medical issue team, it's hard work leading without participation. Right now our team is active, but it hasn't always been that way...Keep up your efforts and maybe your team will become involved as soon as all the holiday festivities are over. I hope so for you and your co-leaders....sometimes it seems a thankless job but. emoticon

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GETFIT2LIVE 1/1/2011 12:31PM

    You are so right, the leaders cannot 'make' the team active unless the members are willing to participate. All you can do is lay out options and activities and then it's up to the members to take part; I hope your team gets reenergized and more active again!

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NOTFATCAT 1/1/2011 11:46AM

    If you look at a number of teams it appears that only about 10% are actually active. That is the way people are.

Every team has its reason for being in existence. The PA team is for everyone that is in the local region. Is that enough to hold it together? I don't know.

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NJJAZZ 1/1/2011 11:35AM

    this is so very true -------------------- members make a team. Its hard to re-energize a dormant team. Use sending sparkmail - you can only send one team mail every 7 days - so use your mail wisely. People will absolutely email you back I can guarantee it. Just be sure to attach a link to the team in your mail. Some people dont even know they are part of a team ------------ they joined early on and now never visit the team site.

good luck...........

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Okay. Time to Sum it All UP.

Friday, December 31, 2010

I set some goals for myself at the beginning of last year.

One of them was to talk over 700 miles this year. Another was to do a 5K.

I had a good start, until that 5K day. I was chalking up the miles, ahead of my goal schedule, and all was well.

I was signed up to do a 5k, and was doing a terrific job, until I decided to run down a hill. Right near the bottom, down I went. On my face, hip, and knees. I was so close to finishing the 5K, yet my body was having none of it.

A few days later everything really started to hurt, and hurt BAD. I went to the doctor, had some tests done, and found out I had cracked my hip and my pelvis. I was pretty laid up for a couple of months.

That dampened my enthusiasm, and my Spark was pretty low.

Then I had some other health issues that were fairly debilitating on and off for a while.

That took the wind out of my sails.

I lost my get up and get at 'em mode. I became on again, off again, with my Spark program.

I gained weight again, and gained an off-handed attitude toward my health improvement course.

I did manage to get in 524.1 miles, 175.9 under my goal.

Yes, it is a bit of a disappointment for me, but you know what? I can't remember ever walking 524.1 miles in one year ever before, so I am going to take that as a credit.

I slacked way off on tracking my food, too. Inches and pounds found their way to my body, and decided to live here rent free.

In December, I started up a goal for my team Port Angeles and Surrounding Areas, and that goal was to get ourselves into shape as a gift of love for ourselves and our family members. We were supposed to do 15 minutes of cardio a day.

For the most part, I succeeded in that. Which brings me to today.

This is the last day of this year. I have finished 20 minutes of cardio and 25 minutes of fit, firm and Fired Up workouts. (That Day 6 one is something I will have to work on, because I kept tipping over.)

I am on day 5 of a self commitment to workout 15 days in a row, like it says on the DVD.

Once again, I am amazed as to how quickly our bodies respond when we actually DO the Spark workouts!

It isn't weigh-in and measure day yet, but I already know my muscles and the rest of me is responding favorably with the past 5 workouts in a row.

I haven't set any goals for 2011 yet; I am thinking of just where I want to go with the goal setting.

I do much better when I set myself short term goals, so I suspect I will set up MONTHLY goals, rather than yearly.

All things considered, I've had a very good year. After all, I am still above ground AND vertical!

And that's all that is needed to begin the rest of my life.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

GETFIT2LIVE 1/1/2011 3:20AM

    Our bodies do respond quickly, don't they? You did fine in 2010--think where you'd be if you hadn't set goals at the beginning of the year. There were some setbacks, but you didn't wait for the new year to get back at it, so 2011 is going to be awesome. Happy new year, my friend--let's make it great!

emoticon emoticon emoticon

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LOULOUBELLE2 12/31/2010 4:53PM

    Being above ground AND vertical is a big PLUS......The rest will follow if you commit to it and from what you say you are. emoticonand you will with the 1 day at a time decision. Set backs, especially medical ones, are normal though frustrating, but you have come through and are winning the battle...On to 2011 and that 5K that's waiting.
Enjoy your New Years Eve.

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NOTFATCAT 12/31/2010 4:06PM

    You have done fine this year and I know you will do fine next year.
Just keep moving and keep that positive attitude.
Happy New Year.

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Okay. Time to Sum it All UP.

Friday, December 31, 2010

I set some goals for myself at the beginning of last year.

One of them was to talk over 700 miles this year. Another was to do a 5K.

I had a good start, until that 5K day. I was chalking up the miles, ahead of my goal schedule, and all was well.

I was signed up to do a 5k, and was doing a terrific job, until I decided to run down a hill. Right near the bottom, down I went. On my face, hip, and knees. I was so close to finishing the 5K, yet my body was having none of it.

A few days later everything really started to hurt, and hurt BAD. I went to the doctor, had some tests done, and found out I had cracked my hip and my pelvis. I was pretty laid up for a couple of months.

That dampened my enthusiasm, and my Spark was pretty low.

Then I had some other health issues that were fairly debilitating on and off for a while.

That took the wind out of my sails.

I lost my get up and get at 'em mode. I became on again, off again, with my Spark program.

I gained weight again, and gained an off-handed attitude toward my health improvement course.

I did manage to get in 524.1 miles, 175.9 under my goal.

Yes, it is a bit of a disappointment for me, but you know what? I can't remember ever walking 524.1 miles in one year ever before, so I am going to take that as a credit.

I slacked way off on tracking my food, too. Inches and pounds found their way to my body, and decided to live here rent free.

In December, I started up a goal for my team Port Angeles and Surrounding Areas, and that goal was to get ourselves into shape as a gift of love for ourselves and our family members. We were supposed to do 15 minutes of cardio a day.

For the most part, I succeeded in that. Which brings me to today.

This is the last day of this year. I have finished 20 minutes of cardio and 25 minutes of fit, firm and Fired Up workouts. (That Day 6 one is something I will have to work on, because I kept tipping over.)

I am on day 5 of a self commitment to workout 15 days in a row, like it says on the DVD.

Once again, I am amazed as to how quickly our bodies respond when we actually DO the Spark workouts!

It isn't weigh-in and measure day yet, but I already know my muscles and the rest of me is responding favorably with the past 5 workouts in a row.

I haven't set any goals for 2011 yet; I am thinking of just where I want to go with the goal setting.

I do much better when I set myself short term goals, so I suspect I will set up MONTHLY goals, rather than yearly.

All things considered, I've had a very good year. After all, I am still above ground AND vertical!

And that's all that is needed to begin the rest of my life.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TOWHEE 12/31/2010 10:31PM

    I've really enjoyed our challenge of the last week and I think both of our bodies are loving us for the efforts.

Yes, make one month goals, gee you could even make one week goals (that's what our WW leader is doing for 2011). I've made some year-long goals that have monthly goals under them. That way I'll stay on track and be less likely to "put it off until tomorrow".

Remember though, that we need to be flexible. Life happens when we least expect it (like when nearing the finish of your first 5K). You have done a wonderful job of "rolling with the punches" and getting up and keeping going. OK, you weren't perfect, but then none of us are.

You accomplished a lot in 2010 and I'm sure you will accomplish more in 2011.

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TINKLOVESBEAR 12/31/2010 3:23PM

    Sounds to me like you have accomplished alot!! And dont overlook the inspiration you have been to others! It may not have been one of your goals, but I think inspiring others is a fine thing!! I have had an out of control life for the past six or so months, sometimes the only things that keep me coming back is reading your blogs! Heres to you! Happy New Year!!

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Cardio with the Gang

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Today I did cardio with the gang.

We did 10 minutes on the rowing machine, vigorously. The Gang consisted of George Bizet doing "Les Toreadors from "Carmen", Anton Dvorak, not to be undone, did his "Slavonic Dance No. 8, and of course, Bizet had to answer Dvorak with "Farandole from L'Arlesienne".

They left the room, and in came the next group to do 15 vigorous minutes on the stationary bike.

Richard Wagner started it off with "Seigfried's Death and Funeral Music from Gotterdammerung", and then to really liven it up, Robert Schumann came in with his "Symphone No. 3 in E flat magor, op. 97 Rhenish.......1st movement.

That certainly got our heart rate up, so knowing I had to do cool down, I stayed on the bike after those guys left to write some more power music.

I did a five minute cool down with Peter I. Tchaikovsky while appreciating the Piano Concerto No. 1 in B flat minor,m Op. 23 (3rd movemnt, Allegro con Fuoco).

Since the music wasn't finished by the time my heart rate was back down, I decided that Peter and I could do some yoga stretching. We had a nice, cooling, refreshing, spiritual time with that.

Ah, yes. Everyone should be so lucky to have these guys hang out and workout with, although they ARE a bit tempermental and get up and leave when they've had enough.

But the waiting room always has someone getting ready to step in to the home gym and do their "thing".

A good bunch, one and all. We all feel empowered to go on with our day.

May your day bring you music and many friends! emoticon

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

NOTFATCAT 12/30/2010 6:00PM

    Good exercise companions. Keep moving!

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KAROUSELL46 12/30/2010 1:47PM

    Geesh, you sure had a great workout bunch. Have a great day, my friend...Karen emoticon emoticon

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GETFIT2LIVE 12/30/2010 1:11PM

    I like your workout partners, I should sign them up to help me! Way to go on the workout; feels great to get it done in the morning, doesn't it?

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MOMMA_BEAR_69 12/30/2010 1:05PM

    WOW!! What an AWESOME workout!!! What a way to finish the year...almost! I bet you were really energized... Have a great day!!!

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