Tuesday, October 08, 2013
Top of the mornin' to ya sparkers. This girl ain't feeling so sparkly right now. Still fightin' this monster head cold. Ugh! But! I got hope I'm in the home stretch now. Hopefully it won't be long til I'm 100% again. And then I can honestly say, "I did my time" and "I had my turn". Cold cold go away and never come this way again!
Ok, truth time. . .
I am an addict!
I easily addict to anything and everything I love.
It really doesn't matter what it is or how bad it might be for me. If it alters how I feel and I like the feeling, then I'm hooked. What's the saying? "Hook, line and sinker"? Yep, that pretty accurately sums it up!
So why "out" myself? Why not just sit here for the next 5, 10, 15, 20 years and keep pretending to be something I'm not? Because "hiding" is what keeps the addict sick. And I don't want to be sick anymore.
So I have no choice but to tell the truth.
I've been on SparkPeople for 114 days now. It started out innocently enough. I Google searched websites that might support my new "Atkins" lifestyle. And SparkPeople came in at the top of the list. So I clicked on the link and before I even knew what was happening, I was getting hooked.
For me, SparkPeople is like a powerful drug. Or is quickly becoming that way. I spend most all of my free time on SP blogging, reading other's blogs, reading e-mails, sending and receiving goodies, reading articles, watching videos, scoring points and on and on it goes. As I do this, life happens all around me - but! I'm not engaged. Because? Because, I'm knee deep in SP and I just can't pull myself away. I've even missed work because of SP! I know. . . not good, not good at all!
Actually, I haven't missed work "because" of SP. Rather, I have missed work because of my inability to "do" SP in moderation. This, I think, is what makes an addict different from a non-addict. The inability to enjoy life in moderation.
So I'm logging off. At least for now. I'll likely be back at some point, but for now I really "need" to pay attention to and participate in my non-cyberspace life.
I wish each and every one of you the best life has to offer. May you realize every goal you set for yourself whether it be weight-loss or some other dream. And last but not least, may you always, always swim down river.
Thank you for touching my life in a very real and personal manner.
Friday, October 04, 2013
Good morning Spark Family. How are each and every one of you on this beautiful fall Friday? Are we all happy, happy, happy that Friday found its way to us once again this week? I know I sure am! It hasn't been a particularly hard week at work, but the hubby and me have had the creepin' crud for over a week now and we are both just exhausted from all the coughing and whatnot. So bring on the weekend where I can lounge around in my jammies or stay in bed all day if that's what I need to do to feel better. Ah, I long for good health or at least mediocre health minus this monster of a cold that's moved in and taken me hostage!
So I got this burning question I'm just dying to ask. Ok, ok, not dying, dying - but . . . figuratively speaking. I know you know! So here it is. My burning question. . .
What is love? In terms of your five senses, how would you describe love? I realize that love may be different depending on the relationship. I know that parents love their children differently than spouses love one another. But at the root of it all, don't you believe there's some common denominator or something that makes love, love regardless of who's involved?
Personally, I don't really know how to describe love. It's a feeling that I recognize when it's present in my life. But I can't seem to find the words to describe it well enough that another person might understand the feeling. Can you? Have you ever tried before? Think about it for a moment. If you had to describe love so that even the hardest of hearts could understand, what would you say?
I am fortunate in that I have felt the love of a mother and father. Selfless love that provided for me even in adulthood. I have felt the love of a brother. A sibling's love that understands what makes me tick probably better than anyone else in the world. I have felt the love of a husband. A man who would move heaven and earth if he believed that's what I needed. I have felt the love of other family and friends. A more distant love perhaps, but love all the same. Yes, I am fortunate that I have felt and experienced love first hand.
And yet. . .
I can't describe it.
This morning I did what I normally do. I climbed out of bed and ran. . . or at least moved very quickly. . . to the bathroom. I then made myself a beverage and sat down at my computer to log on to SparkPeople. It's routine at this point. I don't always have enough time to reach out to all my spark friends and blog and read articles and spin wheels and whatnot, but I try and get at least a little "spark" in my life each and every morning. So this morning was very much like the last 113 mornings.
Except. . .
This morning was different.
This morning, I FELT love. Please don't get me wrong here. I have felt love - alot of love in fact - here on SP for many, many days. But this morning? This morning was different somehow. I received some e-mails and spark goodies and other messages that were about as heart-felt and real as anything I have ever experienced. So when I say that I FELT love - I mean literally. As if a spark friend were standing in my living room giving me a great big hug and pouring their heart out to me. The love I felt this morning didn't feel "cyberish". What do I mean by that? I guess what I mean is. . . when we love one another via the internet, we put our best foot forward. We can easily hide the not so perfect parts of ourselves and be genuinely. . . not genuine. Does that make sense? Maybe not. What I am trying to say, I suppose, is this morning, I felt love in a genuine, human, less than perfect, a little raw around the edges, authentic way. And it was magical! My heart did things it hasn't done in . . . well. . . . quite some time. It skipped a beat.
So thank you. You know who you are. You know what you did. I love you back and I will cherish you always.
And if you can tell me how to describe love?
Happy Friday all. I wish each of you a day full of genuine happiness, wellness and above all. . . love.
Tuesday, October 01, 2013
Hello my favorite Sparkers! How are you all this evening? Excellent? Excellent!
Let me start by saying, "sorry" for any confusion my last blog might have caused. My garage sale was Friday and Saturday - not Saturday/Sunday. Yeah, just another "senior" moment for Karen! Ugh! And for those of you who concluded I would not be blogging anymore? My apologies for not being clear. I will be blogging - some - I just won't be doing the "gratitude" posts anymore.
So I was sitting at work today when this really cool thought occurred to me. Actually, it was more of a question than a mere thought. "How much good has never materialized in the world because of doubt?" If all people acted on their creative, intellectual, emotional ideas, how much better might the world be? Have you ever stopped to ponder that? Ask yourself this question. . . how many times in your own life have you had an awesome idea, and then failed to act on it because doubt set in and talked you out of it? How many times have you said to yourself, "oh, I couldn't possibly do that because I don't really know how" or "I can't so I'm not even going to try" or "well, that's a wonderful idea, but I don't have the time" or "I can't do that, I'm not talented enough" or "no, no, no people will think I'm silly or stupid" or "I'd rather not try because I might fail and not trying is better then failing" or "my friends and family will laugh at me, so I'm not going to do it" or "maybe later" or "if I talk about it or try, someone will steal my idea so I better keep it to myself" or. . . _____________(fill in the blank. . . I'm sure that voice in your head has probably whispered some doubts in your ear over the years that convinced you to not even try. Am I right?
Twice, that I can currently recall, I allowed doubt to stop me dead in my tracks. I truly believed my ideas were solid - that there was a need I could fill - but I didn't believe in my ability to get it done. So I didn't even try.
Several years ago, I graduated from a "School of Natural Healing". I was on fire - full of excitement - the day they handed me my diploma. I just knew I was going to walk out the door and change the world. Or at least my small part of it. My idea was to open a women's wellness center. A place where all women - all ages, all races, all sizes, all religions, all educational backgrounds, all socio-economic classes - ALL WOMEN - could come for body/mind/spirit healing. The center would offer nutritional classes, yoga, cardiovascular training, weight training, really - exercise of all kinds, guided meditation, spiritual guidance, counseling, day-care, a "health-bar" offering foods and beverages like: organic smoothies, granola, yogurt, fruits, salads, protein drinks, water, tea, etc., full body massage and bodywork including structural integration, pedicures, manicures, a salon, a skin expert qualified to give facials and provide training on how to keep skin all aglow, a community garden with plenty of opportunity for club members to get their hands dirty, and on and on. I never completed the center's design or offerings, but I knew that this center would be like one-stop-shopping in the field of women's health. When the idea first occurred to me, I was committed and believed nothing could stop me. Nothing!
And then. . .
Doubt set in. I didn't have the money. I wasn't a saleswoman - sales had never been my forte. I didn't have a business plan and didn't even know how to put one together. I didn't have a good location. I didn't know how to secure a start-up loan. And all of that? Quickly became. . . I don't know how; I can't! And I didn't.
But what if I had? How much healthier might I be right now? How much healthier might thousands of women in Kansas City be right now? How many lives might actually have been saved?
The second time that doubt stopped me was when I had a book idea. It was a story that "needed" to be told. . . for healing. . . for my mom. I no more thought the thought til doubt reared its ugly head and stopped me in my tracks. "You can't write.", "You're no writer.", "People will laugh at you!", "You're stupid and stupid people don't get their books published.", "You can't even spell or punctuate. . . what are you thinking?", "You don't have a creative bone in your body!", "You can't handle rejection - so whatever will you do when one publisher after another sends you a Dear Jane letter?" "That is the dumbest idea you have ever had - ever!" And on an on it went.
Doubt killed my dreams.
Twice that I can remember.
Today I stared doubt down. I no longer care what doubt says. Let it scream at me all day and all night and then get up tomorrow and start all over again. I don't care. Doubt never got me anywhere I wanted to be. Never! So what the hell good is it? Why would I ever listen to it? I'm sorry to say that I ever did. Doubt stole so many years of my life. Or should I say - I allowed doubt to steal?
As many of you know, my mom was down last weekend to help with my garage sale. As I visited with her and watched her from the corner of my eye, I realized that I had to write that book. Her book. She lived a childhood full of terror and yet somehow she never allowed that terror to harden her or kill her spirit or turn her heart to stone. She loves better than anyone else I know. She's more helpful than anyone else I know. She's never known a stranger. And where life is concerned? She's all in. She always has been. And so I shall write. Published or not, I'm going to write for my beautiful mother.
How about you? What has doubt stolen from you? Are you willing to admit that doubt is not your friend? Are you willing to start living your life today? Living your dreams? Seeing them through to fruition? Regardless of what doubt says?
If we all say "yes" to our dreams, the whole world will be better. Somehow, I just know it will be.
Sunday, September 29, 2013
Happy Sunday to all my Spark Friends. And it IS a happy Sunday, right? Did you remember to be good to yourself today? If not. . . there's still time! It's never too late to be good to yourself and make it a happy day!
Thank you for all the well wishes regarding my garage sale. Saturday was beautiful! Sun was shining, birds were singing, temperature was in the 70's and 80's, we had lots of customers and sold lots of treasures! Sunday. . .well. . . maybe it's best not to talk about Sunday as it tends to steal Saturday's joy. It rained. What can I say? Anyway, I'm grateful - oh so very grateful for Saturday!
Speaking of gratitude. . . today is the last day of my commitment. About a month ago, I committed to blogging (for 30 days) about that for which I was grateful. And here we are. 30 days later. Does this mean that I will not continue to be grateful? Heavens no! I shall be grateful daily! I might not blog about it, but you can bet I am and will remain grateful. . . all the days of my life. You too? Yes please!
Not only am I grateful for Saturday, I am grateful for all the good in my life. Actually, though it's difficult to admit it "in the moment", I am also grateful for the not-so-good in my life. Why? Well, because it takes both - good and bad - to propel me forward - onward - upward - along my path - my life's journey. When a not-so-good thing happens, I try - hard as it might be - to see and understand the necessity. Admittedly, I don't always succeed, but I try.
Today, I choose to focus on the good. What good am I grateful for? I am grateful for my health (physical and mental), I am grateful for my supportive and loving husband, I am grateful for my family and their good health, I am grateful for my employment, I am grateful that I always seem to have "just enough", I am grateful that I know the difference between "right" and "wrong", I am grateful for knowledge, I am grateful for God (a being or entity - a concept - that I don't fully understand, but am somehow certain exists) that loves me and guides me through any difficulty that comes my way, I am grateful for empathy that allows my heart to be kind and helpful whenever I see a need that I am in a position to fill, I am grateful for good and faithful friends, I am grateful for clean drinking water and foods that are nutrient dense, filling and fully supportive of my body/mind/ soul, I am grateful for the seasons as they remind me at least four times a year of the need for change, I am grateful for. . . oh so very much.
Did I forget anything? No, I didn't. I just saved the best for last!
I am grateful that I found SparkPeople, because it led me to each of you. Sappy as that might sound, I assure you that it is true. It is because of this place - and you, - it's oh-so-very-real, encouraging, supportive, loving and kind members - that I have gained awareness over these past 111 days of all the things I am truly grateful for. Without you? I quite likely would still be in a place of ignorant darkness, only ever seeing the bad.
Today, I am grateful for you. For it was you who showed me the way. The way to gratitude. Now that I have found it? Been shown the way? I never, ever want to go back to that place of living life without it.
May God - in whatever way you understand Him or Her or It or They - bless you richly all the days of your life.
With a heart full of love. . .and gratitude,
Thursday, September 26, 2013
Good morning sparkly folks! Happy Thursday. I just wanted to let you all know that I'm going to be MIA for a few days. Got the big garage sale happening Friday and Saturday. My mom is coming to town today to help me get everything priced and set up for tomorrow morning. Yeah for moms! I surely couldn't do this without her help. . . really wouldn't even want to cause garage sales for one are. . . well. . . frankly. . . BORING! And! With my memory deficits, I fear I might forget to show up if left to my own devices. How sad would that be, huh? A garage sale with no attendant? THAT might be more than my mentally challenged burglar could resist! And if there's one thing for certain. . . I don't want to tempt him!!!
Ok, enough randomness for one morning. Enjoy your day, enjoy your weekend and I'll see ya on the other side!
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