Monday, May 21, 2012
After a long drive Friday Joan and I stopped to see my mom and had a light supper. Dead tired we lay on the bed and enjoyed a rare luxury……… watching TV. We don’t have a TV in our bedroom so it was a good change of pace. After flipping through the channels for five or ten minutes we settled on an interview with Dr. Oz. The interviewer asked him what HIS secret was to maintaining good health. (Have you noticed that everyone has a secret to good health?) His answer was simple: He did the same activity each day, seven days a week. He ate the same breakfast, and always engaged in exactly seven minutes of exercise each morning immediately after getting out of bed. He went on to say this was important to him because it relieved him of the stress and burden of having to decide what to eat each day. Life is full of too much unavoidable stress. We might as well get rid of the stuff we can. Well anyway, it made sense to me!!!I thought about it most of the weekend. (I get like that when I latch on to something. We’re sitting at the wedding reception and I’m staring off into the mist trying to find a divine message in all of this.) It’s probably not new to you but it was a bit of an “ah-ha” to me. When I am consistent in my thoughts, my action and behaviors I will ultimately be successful. It’s not too terribly exciting or earth shattering, it’s life. It’s putting one foot in front of the other and marching to the same beat, YOUR beat, each day. Joan, (My wife of 38 years) has stayed within fifteen pounds of what she weighed the day we were married. She gained through six pregnancies, but each time she managed to drop back to a comfortable spot for her. No magic, no secret berries from an island in New Guinea, no home remedies. If you ask her about her diet she will tell you she is a “Plain Jane.” She eats beef, and chicken with a baked potato and either corn or peas for dinner. Lunch is a ham sandwich or a can of tuna with an apple. Breakfast is coffee, cereal and skim milk or toast with a sausage patty. She drinks a lot of water but enjoys diet Pepsi. Holiday meals are ham or turkey. If you ever talk to her she’ll tell you probably eats too many carbs. Her exercise regimen is walking three to five days a week or swimming in our pool when the weathers warm. Her guilty pleasure is butter and a brownie on occasion.
Driving home yesterday I started reviewing my mental food logs and realized that I had drop weight when I establish a consistent eating pattern . It was when I started chasing the exotic or trying to emulate someone half my age that my body started asking me what I was doing. I think it’s where I get lost. The desire to sit with the cool kids gets in the way of plain old common sense and I go off chasing butterflies. Suddenly I wake up one morning and nothing fits.
Consistency equals success. It is often not inspirational; it’s simply the everyday activities we discover and integrate into our life pattern that produce long term success. It’s not chasing every fad and folly that rings our doorbell. I lost weight establishing a consistent pattern. I gained it all back when I deviated from that pattern. It’s not very inspirational and maybe your scratching your head and saying “I KNEW that!!!” I guess I did also but I guess it took Joan and Dr. Oz to remind me.
Namaste dear ones
Thursday, May 17, 2012
I wasn’t feeling it this morning. I looked at the clock and it was 5:45 AM. I WAS going to take a bike ride this morning. I have been trying to rotate my cardio to get back in the swing of things after convincing myself my life was over because I somehow injured my back. Rotation provided diversity. Slowly but surely things are coming around. I have to be patient. Cleaning up after a major pity party is never fun. I went through the motions, got dressed, looked out the window, hoped it was raining, snowing or there had possibly been an earthquake……… I opened the back door and hopped on my bike.
If this were a made for TV special we would now cut to the scene that says “3 Days Earlier…..”
It’s Monday morning and I am preparing to leave town to take my one man show on the road. I’m facilitating a seminar on The Law of Attraction and Business Goals. Fun stuff. The road that leads to the hotel I’m staying at is lined with restaurants and the only way” healthy” enters into the equation anywhere is their menus that say “Hope you have a HEALTHY appetite.” Okay, I’m weak. It’s hard to get past those greasy, sugary, carb loaded oasis. It feels so, so good going down……….. Somewhere in the garage is a nice cloth cooler. It waves at me and I pack three meals to take along. No, they won’t be hot but they will be healthy. Some fresh fruit, a bit of yogurt and because I still haven’t broke the habit of striking the rock more than once, a diet Mt Dew. I stuck with what was in my cooler, my appetite was satisfied and I had fashioned a small victory for myself. I was uber proud. After all I AM worth all the effort I put into being happy and healthy.
“The next evening…………..”
It’s Tuesday night. I am home from a very fulfilling but long day plus two hours in the car. I’m in my recliner, eyes closed and concentrating on relaxing when the patio door flies open and in walks my daughter Maggie. I knew what she had in her hand. My nose has been finely attuned to sniff out cake, on a dead run, from a zillion miles away. Just get in the way of me and cake…………. might as well start writing your obituary. I’m salivating………….. a lot! Maggie saved me a piece, let me stop here. Maggie saved me enough food to save a small nation. I looked at that sugary goo and felt my body moving forward………. “Really, John?” It’s that da*n voice again. The voice that reminded me of my victories Monday and Tuesday. I sat for a moment, teetering back and forth and politely thanked Maggie and went back to capturing relaxation. If there hadn’t been that small victory to build upon Monday, who knows? Wait, I do, there would have been a sugary moustache highlighting my mouth. The point is I found something really small to build upon and then added to it.
The camera cuts to Wednesday at noon………..
John is speaking at a luncheon and on the menu is the following: “Three sliders covered with caramelized onions, gouda cheese and a Dijon mayonnaise. They are served with a mountain of fries. It was the only option I had, or was it? I politely refused and toughed it out till I got home a short hour later. I made a salad and created another small victory. We all get stuck and we all feel like we are in a room that is exactly three feet square. We feel hopeless, helpless and throw our hands up. We begin thinking this “health thing” isn’t for us!! In frustration we give up because we can’t recapture our previous success. It’s slipped through our hands. I am learning to find the small victories to build upon. We get so lost and we seem to have misplaced the map.
As the smoke clears we are back to John, his bike and a rather chilly ride this morning.
“Good goal setting is a balancing act between seeing the details involved in reaching a goal, while still being able to hold the big picture view of what those details will eventually create. Most of us have a natural leaning towards one or the other. Some people excel in understanding and ordering details and some people naturally understand and connect with the big picture. Both are incredibly valuable and complementary to each other. As we become more effective in goal setting we learn to balance our natural inclinations, we will generally play to our strength and find ways to build the weaker view. This is a neat and tidy little theory... until a really wound-up, tender and frustrating goal comes up. You know the one, the one that consistently befuzzles you? The good news is that this goal area is your "working edge" and this is the place bursting with the most growth for you; the steepest climb resulting in the most breathtaking view, if you will. And since we do tend to get the most turned around and frustrated in this area, we will generally fall back into (cling to :) what comes naturally. So, here's a thought, an idea that may work for you in unwinding this goal once and for all... if you are a detail person- is it possible that you have detailed this goal to death? Maybe you know each step, each milestone, each nanosecond of planning- but is it possible that you have lost your big view for this goal? Have you spent enough time playing and basking in the big picture to drive you forward? And if you are a big picture person- could it be that you are spending all of your time frolicking through the theoretic fields of the big view without dedicating time to working the details and creating doable systematic action steps? The answer for me is "yes!" this is exactly the case, so I am currently taking my working edge back to the drawing board for rebalancing. :)” This comes from a colleague and dear friend Kat Garrard. I couldn’t have said it better (A tip of my hat to you dear friend.) Sometimes we lose our way and it’s through the small victories that we find our course again.
Daily victories lead to weekly ones and then one morning when we start the engine, we find the trucks no longer stuck in the mud but careening down the highway.
Tuesday, May 15, 2012
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Monday, May 14, 2012
We are told to count our blessings. I don’t know about you but some mornings I just can’t see them. Oh, I know they are there, dancing around me going “Needer, needer, needer, you can’t see us.” I have been blessed with so much. I am fortunate to have the amazing family I have. I won’t ever take them for granted, but I am so used to their amazing inspiration and love that it’s not a blessing that leaps right out at me. (Be patient, I’m going somewhere with all of this!!!) So I sat in the kitchen looking out the window and after a bit it dawned on me that the many blessings I have in my life came from the opportunities presented to me on a daily basis. It was up to ME whether I took advantage of them or let them pass by.
How often had I passed up a chance to learn, to grow, to see or do something new and took a pass because “I just didn’t feel like it?” I’m not talking about conflicts with work and such. I’m talking about a real opportunity that might create a bounty of blessings in my life? How many times do I weasel my way out of things because that opportunity might produce some discomfort for me to cause me to look at a behavior that isn’t very healthy? How often do I rationalize my way into making poor food choices when a little extra effort might be the start of an abundance of success? Instead I mope around and become envious or jealous of “the other guy.” I rationalize that they don’t have “my issues,” and oh, BTW, if God wanted me skinny he’d a made me that way. Just sayin……
I pulled out a legal pad and began to jot down the opportunities I’d have just for today. I filled half a page. There were thirteen things I could take advantage of between now and the time my head hits the pillow tonight that most definitely would lead to blessings in my life. The opportunities are there as well as the blessings. I get to make many choices throughout my day. If I take advantage of the ones that create health and balance in my life I am increasing my blessings tenfold. I can choose to eat healthy, to exercise, and to take advantage of learning something new….. The list goes on. If I don’t……….. well I know, I’m loved and all that and I am a good person who make mistakes but, uhm, maybe it only happens to me, but I don’t feel really happy when I miss an opportunity for no good reason other than my own stubbornness or pride. I feel sorta “off.”
So here’s to opportunity. It’s right in front of my nose and oh gosh it smells amazing.
Friday, May 11, 2012
Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
and where there is sadness, joy.
When you have six children and you live in a small community people you don’t know approach you in the grocery store or the bank and say “Are you “fill in the blanks” father? I just wanted to tell you what a great kid you have. I am a boss\teacher\friend of theirs. You did a good job raising them” My answer is always the same; “The credit goes to their mom.” Don’t get me wrong, I’m wasn’t an absentee parent or a dead beat dad but my kids received their values, their morals and their most amazing capacity to love from their mom. They received these amazing gifts of joy, of peace and understanding from her. With six very different personalities it’s difficult to adopt a perspective of wisdom for each child but she manages to do that. When the phone rings today and they begin with “Let me talk to mom….” I know there is some crisis, great or small that’s brewing.
Many of us strive to reflect the Divine essence in our lives. Joan does it naturally. I was waiting for her last night and as she walked out of the store I remarked to Katie that she always has a smile on her face. That smile is always sincere. Each of her children believes that goodness, love and a tiny part of the Divine essence is in each of them no matter what path they have chosen to walk in life. They learned that from the example she’s lived for them.
O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
to be consoled as to console;
to be understood as to understand;
to be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive;
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life. Amen
Like most moms she never puts herself ahead of her kids. She’s always been there with a band aid, a cookie or a hug. She’s given up a lot for her kid’s well-being and you have never heard a grumble or a complaint out of her mouth. When she reads this she’ll give me a hug and minimize what I’ve written. She’ll say she’s not a saint and I’m partial because she’s my wife. Fair point. Ask anyone who knows her and you’ll get the same answers. She is a holy person. She does not walk around quoting Scripture, or sitting in Church seven days a week. She does something more difficult and challenging. She gets up every morning and she lives the Divine message and shares it with everyone she meets. She is bound by one rule and that is to love fully and completely. She has many challenges in her life. She has no depth perception. She’s never been able to drive a car because she can’t judge distance or perspective. With that she relinquished the freedom to come and go as she pleases and depends on other people and their schedules for transportation. She rarely complains and is always ready to help other people out. That is her nature. It’s holiness and she makes no big deal about it.
I usually blog here at Spark to inspire or share. This morning my task is a simple one: To pay tribute to someone whose life touches so many others by simply and gracefully sharing her love. As you read this a picture of your mom or grand mom may pass before your eyes. Thank them, whether they are here on earth or already passed to another life. Thank them for putting you ahead of everything else and for giving you the opportunity to honor them with your life. I will, just as soon as I post this.
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