Friday, April 13, 2012
Well, I decided I better come and explain my most long absence. I've not been well in many ways for the last 7 months. I have lost my family doctor of 9 years due to HIS failing health. I've had my own emotional and family battle to deal with since last June and it has taken a huge toll on my health. I was sick with pneumonia for 12 weeks and got better just at Christmas. Family wise, I don't talk to my parents much anymore - for very good reasons. Let's just say things have been tough and my plate has been extremely full and overflowing.
I am going to attempt to come back to SP about once or twice each week, but I'm not going to be so gung ho at it as I first was; my health MUST come first. I will do what I can with the group I lead, but the group members must also learn to stand on their own from time to time.
So I will be here, but not daily. I'm not here for points, spark goodies, etc. I'm here to learn, to stay accountable and to read up on the various articles and news regarding health, emotions, weight loss etc. I know the majority of people who know me will understand this.
God bless you all for now and know that I will be back as I am able to be. :)
Sunday, September 25, 2011
Know the true value of time; snatch, seize and enjoy every moment of it. No idleness...never put off till tomorrow what you can do today.
- Lord Chesterfield
I often wondered where this quote came from. I don't know who Lord Chesterfield was, but I will find out later, but he was very wise. Time is a privilege. We never know how much...or how little...of it we have left. Only our Creator knows the day and the hour of our death.
I heard it once said to not kill or waste time because once that time is wasted or killed, you cannot get it back to revive it or use it wisely for another purpose.
I also remember Robin Williams' character in DEAD POET'S SOCIETY say, "Carpe Diem (sp)" which means SEIZE THE DAY! Do now what you would like to do tomorrow for you may not have tomorrow to seize!
Life is short enough. When Fall approaches, we look around and wonder where the long hot days of summer went. When Christmas comes and goes, we wonder where the stressful days that lead up to it went. We are always looking back wondering where time went. Maybe it's time to look forward or even stay in the now. Looking back, we are wasting valuable time. And looking back, for some people, could hurt.
No, look forward! Turn your eyes to your goal...whatever or whomever that may be. Keeping your eyes focussed on the goal will allow you to enjoy every moment of every day and cause to you seize every moment so that it is not lost.
Yes, sometimes it is good to look back...to see how far we have come. But that is a rare thing. Look forward to wehre your future lies and look to today, this very moment and seize it for what you want to do. If you snooze you lose.
There are many quotes on time that I can think of off hand, I just don't know the authors of them all:
Waste not want not...even with time.
You cannot take back what you have given away.
If you snooze you lose.
Seize the Day
Live as though Christ died yesterday, rose today and is coming back tomorrow.
For everything there is a season,
And a time for every matter under heaven:
A time to be born, and a time to die;
A time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;
A time to kill, and a time to heal;
A time to break down, and a time to build up;
A time to weep, and a time to laugh;
A time to mourn, and a time to dance;
A time to throw away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
A time to embrace, And a time to refrain from embracing;
A time to seek, and a time to lose;
A time to keep, and a time to throw away;
A time to tear, and a time to sew;
A time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
A time to love, and a time to hate,
A time for war, and a time for peace.
Time wastes our bodies and our wits, but we waste time, so we are quits. ~Author Unknown
Time flies when you're having fun.
"Time nor tide wait for no man/woman"
"Lost time is never found again"
Benjamin Franklin Ibid 1743
Nothing is as far away as one minute ago.
The whole life of man is but a point of time; let us enjoy it.
Plutarch (46 AD - 120 AD)
What may be done at any time will be done at no time.
This time, like all times, is a very good one, if we but know what to do with it.
Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803 - 1882)
Saturday, September 24, 2011
It's never too late--in fiction or in life--to revise - Nancy Thayer, author
In life, you get one chance at most things. You get one chance to choose to dance with the person who asked or not. You choose to study in school and pass, or redo or drop out. In most decisions, you get one chance to make the decision. Do I accept the job or not? Do I have children or should I pass? Do I get drunk and party hard or not? Do I lose my cool and throw a temper tantrum or work through it? There are endless possibilities.
The nice thing about being a writer myself, is that I can go back and edit. In fact, in school, kids are forced to go back, reread things, edit things, make sure it is what they want to hand it. Because once it's handed in, it's too late to edit and make revisions. In school, you have that one chance that Nancy Thayer is talking about. As a writer, however, you can edit until your heart's content! And even if you write something and it doesn't go over well, you can write something else to correct that mistake! That's the joy of being a writer.
But in human life, we are often given one chance. It's like that saying, When opportunity knocks, open the door and walk on through. I took that chance when I was 21. One of my good friends worked for a reputable department store. She knew I had just had surgery and her boyfriend, the 2nd top manager of the store, came with her to church. I met him and the 3 of us talked. He asked if I wanted a job! Astonished and shocked, I said I'd love one, but asked how he could know I was qualified. He said after talking with me he knew me and that he trusted his girlfriend...my friend's opinion because she had worked with him for many years. I started work within a week! I stayed a year until I went back to school.
What if I had said I don't no or I don't think so? I would not have gotten two raises in one year. I would not have the experience of the Customer Service Centre, the Case Shop where all the money is and where all the cheques are processed and so on. I would not have gotten to know all the managers and so on. I'm glad I took the job, even though it only lasted a year.
Another choice I was faced with was when I was extremely sick with epilepsy. I was having 5-20 seizures each day while on 4000-5000mg of anti-seizure medication daily. My neurologist sent me to see specialists. After waiting for 2 years, I went in for observation/treatment. I was the last person in the 4-bed unit and I was the first one scheduled for surgery. It was decision time. I was told the odds...98% chance of never having a seizure again without meds, and 2% chance of never having seizures again with meds. Despite the odds, I was terrified. I had to make a decision instantly. I signed the consent form and I had surgery. Was it successful? It is almost 19 years since I had a Right Temporal Lobectomy and I have not had one seizure and I am on no anti-seizure medication.
If I had said no to the operation, with no word of a lie, I'd likely be dead by now. Like the quote says, it's never too late to revise (or go back and redo it) IN FICTION.
We live in real life, real time. We can't stop our lives like when we take a break from reading a book where time stands still until we pick it back up again. We live in reality. We have one chance to make a decision. We may have several opportunities to make the same or similar decisions, but we still only get one chance per decision.
If you are going to make decisions, make them wisely.
You cannot do a kindness too soon, for you never now how soon it will be too late. Ralph Waldo Emerson
Everything comes too late for those who only wait.
Life's tragedy is that we get old too soon and wise too late.
There are 5 things you cannot recover:
The stone...after the throw!
The word...after it is said!
The occasion...after the loss!
The time...after it's gone!
The action...once it is done!
Don't take the chance that you will wish to revise your life. . STOP, THINK, BREATHE, LOOK, RESPOND . It's a 5 step process. STOP what y ou are doing. Think about what is going on and what the appropriate thing to say or do would be. BREATHE a few deep breaths to slow yourself down. LOOK around at the situation and decide if it is worth reacting or responding to. RESPND once you have calmed down or thought it through. It's through these steps you are more likely to make a better informed decision than if you just REACT. You can't turn back the time so take the time to make the best choice for you, your life, and your future.
Saturday, September 17, 2011
Coming together is a beginning; staying together is progress; working together is success.
If I were to ask you what you thought a team was, I wonder what you would say? Would you say a group of people who play a sport together, people who have similar interests? Just what would you describe a team as?
Accroding to THE NEW MERRIAM-WEBSTER DICTIONAY, Team is described as: noun - a number of persons associated in work or activity.
We work in Teams in many areas and aspects of life: family, sports, medical teams, your workplace, school classrooms etc. So a team is a group of individulas who are associated through a particualr activity or interest. But what are the various parts of a team? Who is the leader? Who does the behind the scenes work? I had never even given this any thought until I read Dr. Phil's book THE ULTIMATE WEIGHT SOLUTION. This was the book that really changed my perception of not only weight loss but healthy living.
Dr. Phil talks about gaining a support system to help as you work through your weight loss challenge. Likely one of the biggest hurdles, I myself have is finding people who will commit to being on my Team and actually being there to do the job. There are various roles and some of them are a given while some I found surprising.
Your Support Team
The Coach - Obviously the Coach is someone with knowledge of what is happening, is well trained, can provide knowldge on nutrition and fitness, etc. For me, my Coach is my Family Doctor. Who else knows my body better than me than my family doctor. He is positive, encouraging, helps me stay positive when I don't seem to see any results, reminds me that I am giving my best despite my medical conditions and that it may take the long road to lose the weight because of my health conditions and medications, both of which cause weight gain. The fact I've gone from 311 pounds to 284 pounds while on prednisone off and on for bronchitis and while having other issues rise up, is a big success for me. So my Coach is there for me and has never lete me down, always offering me insight and is always uplifting and encouraging.
This is where I have most of my trouble. Anybody I have asked to partner up with me in my weight loss program starts out by saying yes, but then ends out backing right out of it at the last minute. Many have said they want to but when the time comes, they back away. So it would be wonderful to have somebody nearby that I could go for a walk with or just call on the phone to say, "Hey, how was your workout today?" and get the same back from them. So far, not having a teammate is one of the biggest downfalls and discouragements I face.
The Cheerleader is just that. Picture a football team and who are the loudest people to cheer? The cheerleaders!!! Having been a cheerleader, I know how the enthusiasm is contagious. Us girls cheered until we had no voices left. This person has what Dr. Phil calls an "affirming presence" in your life and in a caring a responsible way. In other words, they are not going to cheer if they see you eating a dozen doughnuts. Cheerleaders make you think that your goals are worthwhile and worth striving for.
I'm sure we have all watched Baseball and seen the Umpire shout STRIKE 2!!!!!! The umpire is one who gives feedback on what you are doing. Just like in the Baseball game, they let the players know if it was a Strike, out of bounds, etc. The Umpire has to be a good listener and and observer...just like in baseball. They have to watch that foul line and they have to listen for things. So in the healthy weight loss situation, the Umpire for ways to help you find ways to succeed and helps you to help yourself find the answers. They listen and help you come up with your own answers.
Many times people will fit into one or more categories of the above, and if that is the case, as Dr. Phil says, you are blessed. My Coach will always be my family dcotor. However, he is also a Cheerleader, encouraging me on. I'm not sure I have an Umpire yet and I knowk for sure I don't have any Teammates yet. Finding people who are willing to do the work is the hardlest part. However, if it comes right down to it, I can be my own Teammate by making visuals that will remind me.
Vision Boards, Collages, Sticky Notes...etc. There are variouis ways to remind yourself to do the things you need to do and to avoid the things you should avoid. I especially like vision boards. They are positive, can be small or large and if you use the Dollar store to buy your background can be incredibly inexpensive.
What I am getting at here is it takes more than you to get you healthy. You need qualified experts who know more about your body than you do - family doctors, personal trainers, nutrition specialists, etc. If you have special medical conditions, you definitely need to have them involved so they can monitor and manage your condition with care. You need people to cheer you on when you don't feel like doing anything. You need the person who is going to give you the feedback you need who is going to keep you in the foul lines and not outside of them. And you need teammates. This is the biggest challenge people face. Not many people are willing to change their life because they have gotten comfortable where they are, despite the size of their body, their health risks and issues, and despite what their medical team is saying.
So I'm into having a Team to beat the weight, become more healthy and do what I need to do to make my goals a reality. Are you? If so, I wonder if we live in the same Canadian Province and can make contact :)
Healthy, Happy Living to You - if that is REALLY what you want.
Thursday, September 15, 2011
Back in the 1990's when I was first starting to deal with the several sexual assaults I had survived, I was bitter, angry and full of hate towards anybody who had hurt me. As far as I was concerned, I wanted the same thing to happen to them. I wanted them to hurt just as much as they had made me hurt, not just once, but for the life they took from me over the years.
I was fortunate enough to find a psychiatrist who understood my anger, emotions, and everything that went into being a survivor. That was the first thing he taught me. If the abuse is no longer occuring, I am not a victim but a survivor. I had survived the worst possible thing in my life to that point. I was alive and breathing and able to talk about it. I had never seen it that way before.
As we worked through my anger and bitterness, he brought up the controversial issue of Forgiveness. I asked him rather loudly why I should have to forgive them for what they did to me. Why should I be the one to let them off the hook and go free while I walked around in a prison of pain from my past? He gave me an answer then, but I wouldn't understand it for a few weeks yet.
At that point in my life, I had been sexually assaulted by 20 people. In one of our sessions he told me that extreme hate like I had been harboring had toward the people who had hurt me had the same effect that great love had that kept me bound to the people I love and cherish the most.
I couldn't grasp it. I sat with a dazed look on my face so he went on further to explain. He said where love sets us free and makes us feel light, bitterness, anger, resentment all weigh us down and make our lives miserablel and the lives of those around us.
He told me to imagine that each sexual assault I have endured weighed 20 pounds. Okay. Now he said, multiply the number of times you have been assaulted by 20 pounds. It is fair to say that 20 X 20 = 400. So he told me I was carrying around an EXTRA 400 pounds of weight that I didn't have to drag around with me.
It did not settle in me that very day. I went home and thought about what he said. First of all, to forgive somebody does not mean you are saying that what they did was right. You are not saying what they did was okay. What forgiveness is meant to be is to set you free from being bonded to the person or people who hurt you. It is a choice you make. Every day you wake up, you have to choose to forgive the person who caused you harm. If there are multiple perpetrators you have to choose to forgive each one on a moment by moment basis throughout each day. You forgive the person so you can be free from dragging them and the hurt around with you. Even the wonderful, witty and wise Dr. Phil has said that forgiveness is what you do for yourself not for other people.
A lot of self-help organizations will tell you that you do not have to forgive, and they are right. You DON'T HAVE TO, but you NEED to if you want to move on with your life. Can you imagine carrying around 400 pounds of extra baggage each day? I don't think I can carry that much, let alone have it with me 24/7. You see, even when you go to bed, the weight is still there. It may haunt you in your sleep and keep you awake or cause nightmares.
By holding on to anger, bitterness, resentment and all the other negative emotions, you are preventing yourself from going forward in life. I think everybody has heard the old saying, “Anger is one letter short of Danger.”
Bitterness and resentment can kill you – emotionally and physically. The more angry a person is and the more bitter and resentful they are, the more unhealthy they can become. Medical issues such as hypertention, stress, mental health issues, physical pain, etc., can all arise from holding on to anger and its counterparts.
When we decide to forgive, we can be free to enjoy life. We give ourselves permission to laugh, love, and live again. Up until now we have been surviving. Once we forgive, we can THRIVE in life. No longer captive to the people who caused us pain, we can enjoy the little things in life, like watching a child run and play, walking underneath newly blossoming trees, enjoying a quiet moment at home, etc.
It is not easy to forgive, especially if there is more than one person we need to let go of. Imagine yourself handcuffed to every person who ever hurt you. Do you REALLY want to be THAT close to that person? I know I DON'T!!! Just the thought of being that close to some of them makes me want to run the other way. But I can't, because I am still handcuffed to them. By releasing them to forgiveness, you unlock the handcuffs so you can walk away from that person and the bondage they have held over you for so long.
I didn't believe what my doctor had said, but I went home and, being a Christian, I prayed about it. Roughly one week later I was thinking about what my doctor had said and thought, “Okay Lord, I don't understand it, I don't agree with it and I don't believe it is going to make any difference, but I am asking You to help me forgive all the people who hurt me over the past.” I left it there. It was not an instant change, but over the next couple of days I said the same prayer. Then one day it hit me. I was no longer angry toward these people. I felt lighter than I had felt ever in my life. It was if an anvil had been lifted off my back. I literally felt lighter, almost as though I would float.
I sat down to think about this. Was my anger and negative attitude toward those people so hard on my body? I felt as though had I been a kite, I'd be flying out the window. “So this is freedom,” I thought. I immediately wrote down the experience in my daily journal and my therapy journal.
When I went back to see my psychiatrist, I told him about the experience. He just sat there and smiled at how excited I was to experience this freedom. I asked him why I had not been able to forgive before now. He told me that of all things to do, forgiveness is one of the hardest to not only understand, but to follow through on. He said that the people in my life who hurt me don't deserve my forgiveness, but that I deserve to be released from the power they had over me and the only way to do that was to forgive them and commit them to God. If you don't believe in God, commit them to whatever powers may be out there.
By forgiving, you are not giving your power away to those who hurt you, you are actually taking the power back from them. They can have no hold on you once you release them from their grasp on you. It seems a little strange that they have a grasp on us, but it is us who must let go of them for us to be free. But life is strange that way. Love is the cement that binds us together; Hate is the force that destroys all. Love builds up, hate tears down. Love strenghtens, hate weakens. On and on I could go with such statements.
Forgiveness is not easy to do but it is well worth the effort. And as a final note I will say that forgiveness can be a daily thing. Some days are better than others. The bad days I have to choose to forgive all over again so I don't get caught in the trap of negative feelings, thoughts and emotions.
I don't know about you, but I would rather choose to forgive and be loosed from the people who hurt me than to picture myself handcuffed to each individual. As an artistic person, I can see that in the real sense, and it is a frightening scene. Then I picture forgiveness and sitting without anybody around me, the sun being able to shine on me simply because all the people who held me captive are gone and not in the way of the sunshine, blue skies and happiness that is out there for me.
Believe me, forgiveness is well worth the effort and it does heal. I may still have 35 medical health conditions, but I have not been hospitalized for over 4 years. That is a record for me, because typically I am hospitalized at least twice/year.
It all comes down to whether you want to move on with your life, enjoying the pleasures it has to offer you or if you are unwilling to do the work to set yourself free. You cannot wait on the people who hurt you because if you do, closure will never come. But if you rely on your will and energy to want to enjoy life, you will release the people who hurt you and allow yourself to be free from them. I can testify that it is well worth it and what positive changes have come since I prayed to God to help me forgive. I am happier, experience less pain, do not have to go to the hospital as much, do not get as sick as often as I used to, enjoy every little part of life, waste no time because I cannot get it back and so on. The list of positives that come from forgiving goes on and on for me, just as I am sure they will for you, if you are willing to try.
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