Archives for category: Self

Bravery

Today’s gratitude challenge is about Bravery. I began to think of all the common definitions of this term such as valor, courage, and fearlessness. I briefly recalled images of 15th Century Knights in battle. Why? I’m guessing this is the sort of thing we are taught as children. We read epic stories of the hero who must face some sort of danger, or we’ve watched too much television to make a clear determination for the definition. And then I asked myself if the average person can express bravery. I am certain of it; although I’m not exactly sure that some type of fear is not involved; for instance, when I was about to enter the hospital to allow a surgeon to deliver my daughter through cesarean section. I’m sure I wasn’t expressing the courage I hoped to have. Going under the knife was and is a scary prospect for any woman about to birth her first child. Anything can happen. Fortunately, for me, my doctor delivered her without any problems.

If I think back to that day, I was met with all sorts of procedures that would have left anyone frightened. At one point, I had to hold as still as possible, so that the spinal injection was completed accurately. Okay, but I couldn’t control the one performing the action. I’m sure my mind was conjecturing all sorts of woes had I moved or the needle suddenly slipped.

Later, as a mother, I faced many possible dangers. Raising a child is terrifying. Does that make me a brave person? I’m not so sure. What is brave is stepping up and fulfilling the role of a mother – working tirelessly to keep the child comfortable and secure. These are strategies that we are not taught. I fumbled my way through it all. Bravery is like that. We expand ourselves to do what is needed.

I’m not necessarily only speaking of motherhood. Many people face different types of demons every day – usually internal ones. We surmise what others might think of us. This fear can be paralyzing. Some of us would rather expire than to plunge into the fear that our thoughts create and keep us weak. Talk to people in sales who will explain the hours wasted because they could not pick up a telephone to call a prospective client. That fear of rejection runs deep.

Most don’t even think about the dangers around us. Starting a motor vehicle and driving in rush hour traffic takes bravery. What about beginning a new job? It takes a certain type of bravery to overcome new tasks and learn new names. Natural disasters seem commonplace these days. The news broadcasts are quick to show the devastating live footage.

How does one go about mustering up courage in times like these? Adrenaline might be one answer. Try these ideas instead:

* Aim to build up confidence by doing things that make you uncomfortable without any immediate danger
* Hone your skills in certain areas to help you do something you like, and do it well
* Believe in yourself – an area where we tend to demonstrate a deep, cavernous lack

And mostly, believe in yourself. Chances are, others believe in you and your abilities. It’s not hype.
Negative self-talk is detrimental to your well-being in all cases. Thank goodness we are not our thoughts.

Have faith; bravery is not elusive. You might surprise yourself someday. When you do, write it down. Tell some friends, and pat yourself on the back while you get ready to do more. Reward yourself if you need to.

These tactics will help build some resilient muscles.

My wish is that you become the best version of you.

Joy,

Cheryl

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Berries

I recently found out that Bob Nielsen, a dear professor from my undergraduate years, and part of the reason I started this blog, passed away. He had struggled with prostate cancer for years, as well as diabetes. I remember watching as he checked his sugar during our independent study session that followed the lunch hour. One of the things he mentioned that his wife allowed him to eat for a snack or dessert was “graham crackers and cream cheese; oh boy”, he would say as he tried to drum up some enthusiasm. Prostate cancer is an inflammatory disease. A study done by Sfanos and DeMarzo (2012) provides some evidence that inflammation is to blame. “There are multiple different lines of evidence suggesting that inflammation is very common within the adult prostate” (para 4). One can imagine that inflammation has its hand in other diseases too, including diabetes. We have all had injuries when inflammation took over and helped us heal. Chronic inflammation moves in when the body’s immune system overloads because it cannot rid the cause of the initial swelling. Sometimes stress is a major factor in the inability to overcome inflammation. Known as the fight or flight response from our parasympathetic nervous system, our bodies gear up to escape from that bear or lion. These days, the bear or lion is replaced by sitting in the hot-seat of an office desk with loads of work, though it is not an immediate threat. If the perceived threat has no relief, the body has trouble eliminating the adrenaline and translates it into stress. That stress creates inflammation in the body.

Chronic stress is a terrible condition because when there is no outlet for the build-up, the body cannot help but create inflammation as its response to stress, whether real or imagined. The body only understands feelings. It cannot determine if the pressure is real or something we see on television as we sit in a theater watching gory or horror films. However, some adrenaline is good. We need it to get out of the way in traffic, for instance. But everyday stress from a job is detrimental to health.

Let’s look at some of the ways we can help our bodies cope with stress overload. Sometimes the help of a medical professional is needed; but you may want to try some of these remedies first.

Anti-inflammatory Foods:
Harvard studies indicate that certain foods will help fight inflammation. Certain foods should also be avoided. And if you have been paying attention to good health, that food list will not come as a surprise. Think about what your grandmother and grandmother’s mother would have eaten and follow those rules.

Foods that fight for you are:

* Green leafy vegetables
* Some fruits – berries, strawberries, blueberries, cherries, and oranges
* Nuts and seeds
* Fatty fish
* Olive oil
* Tomatoes

While Harvard lists tomatoes as anti-inflammatory, it’s one of those foods considered a night shade – think eggplant, potatoes, peppers – which may cause inflammation in some people. I react differently when eating them; I notice right away when my knee begins to ache. I feel better both in my joints and in my mood when I stick to these types of foods. Another thing that Harvard has left out is the importance of fermented foods. Improving the health of the gut can combat chronic inflammatory diseases with proven results. Gut health enables the body to eliminate toxins like pesticides common in commercially produced food today.

Herbs and Spices:
One of my favorite public figures, Dr. Mercola, has a terrific website with great deal of information regarding health. He lists clove, ginger, rosemary, and turmeric (curcumin) as the best herbs to use. Starting out slowly with these as a daily regime is a good way to start.

I take turmeric supplement for my aching knee. It has been one of the most beneficial herbs for me. It’s actually a root, similar to the ginger family. Check out your local grocer. You might find it there in its original form now that it has become popular. Funny how that happens.

Spices to use include:

* Cinnamon (ceylon)
* Jamaican Allspice
* Apple pie spice mixture
* Oregano
* Pumpkin pie spice mixture
* Marjoram
* Sage
* Thyme
* Gourmet Italian spice

Dr. Mercola lists these specifically to help us boost our resistance to inflammation by adding these to our own recipes. When it’s easy to do, people will do it. Start with one or two today.

Essential Oils:
Essential oils are also recognized to help combat inflammation. In a study of lab rats, rosemary, eucalyptus, and ginger essential oils reduced episodes of edema; the latter two reduced effects from the ingestion of carrageenan, a common ingredient in commercial yogurts and ice cream. You might want to scout out this ingredient and remove it from your diet. I found too many tests in my search that aim to fight its inflammatory side effects.

The U.S. National Library of Medicine comments that essential oils are used as therapies because the nose first detects the scents. The sensors recognize the chemical compounds of the oil, then work on the limbic system as effectively as a drug (PDQ, 2014). Certain combinations from fragrant plants demonstrate relief from stress and improve the quality of life. Two of my favorites are Stress Away and lavender from Young Living essential oils. Lavender is one of the most popular scents, often found in baby products since its affect is almost immediate. You can create your own uplifting scents like the combination of cinnamon bark, peppermint, and cedarwood that I use when I need to stay calm yet alert while driving in heavy traffic. You can breathe away the stress in your life too.

Grounding:
While not commonly known as grounding, using the effects of the earth on our bodies is an amazing way to de-stress. Countless studies and feedback are addressed in the book Earthing. The subtitle says it all. Is Earthing really a new heath discovery? Hardly. People have walked barefoot on the earth for thousands of years. But lately we have disconnected, so to speak. Our high-rise buildings and the invention of the rubber sole shoe promote the separation between us and the earth. The text demonstrates the electrical effects and relationship between humans and the earth, provides a list of the benefits of getting our feet back on the earth, and provides compelling thermal imagery after grounding. Page 63 shows a list of diseases caused by inflammation. It’s not surprising that other chronic conditions such as allergies, asthma, diabetes, lupus, and MS are on this list. Pain is listed too.

We all have pain of some sort. Think of it… just coming in contact with the earth on a regular basis can help us. You see, lowering the EMF (Electro Magnetic Field) is imperative. We are surrounded by constant waves of energy; over time, people who do not ground with the earth are susceptible to “infection, stress, and degenerative diseases” (Ober, Sinatra, & Zucker, 2010, p. 79). Earthing helps to move that EMF off of us.

Think of the last time you were at the beach and played in the ocean or other body of water. Recall the feelings of peace, relaxation, and regeneration. What about the last time you walked in the yard to feel the grass under your feet? Doing so is completely free, but so few of us do it. At the very least, Ober has invented a way to gain similar effects from placing a ground in the earth. Your kitchen and bathroom electrical outlets have a ground to the earth. By using this part of the plug, Ober created grounding mats, mattresses, pillowcases, and the like to help you absorb the earth’s ground as you work and sleep. The grounding mat is great when the air becomes dry in the winter months. Static electricity can wreak havoc when doing laundry or just walking on a carpet. I am using a grounding mat as I type. The sweat from the bottoms of my bare feet help create the ground and move the EMF off of me when I work. Aside from the turmeric I use, grounding has helped when my knee was so inflamed I had trouble walking.

BeachBest

Being pain free is something we all desire. Consider these methods to reduce the stress and inflammation in your life. Tell a friend.

Joy,
Cheryl

References

Ober, C., Sinatra, S. T., & Zucker M. (2010). Earthing:The most important health discovery ever? Laguna Beach, CA: Basic Health Publications, Inc.

PDQ® Integrative, Alternative, and Complementary Therapies Editorial Board. (2014). PDQ Aromatherapy and Essential Oils. [PMID: 26389261]. Bethesda, MD: National Cancer Institute. Retrieved from http://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/treatment/cam/patient/aromatherapy-pdq.

Sfanos, K. S. & DeMarzo, A. M. (2012). Prostate cancer and inflammation: The evidence. Histopathology 60(1), 199-215. doi 10.1111/j.1365-2559.2011.04033.x

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Lemon!

One of my most favorite essential oils is lemon. It’s so versatile.

Because it tastes so fresh, it helps me get my daily recommended quota of water everyday. I don’t know about you, but there are days I just struggle to swallow 64 oz of the stuff. It can be outright bland.

Lemon, makes my water a treat. And, gosh, if you own one of those Soda Stream machines, you’ve got yourselves an amazing substitute for all that sugary soda we drink. When I want to get a little fancy, I will add a drop or two of lime essential oil  as well.

I don’t miss the sugar, and I stay hydrated.

I keep a small bottle of lemon in my purse, so whenever I’m out at a restaurant, I just add a drop of lemon oil, especially in places where the water doesn’t taste so good.

While less exotic as some essential oils, this one does have its perks. Besides its taste, lemon oil, and most other citrus oils, are invigorating. Lemon is known for its d-limonene content, 68%. Used daily, it can help dissolve gallstones, relieve heartburn and reflux, and counteract against different types of cancer (Sun, 2007). Lemon is a commonly used flavoring in food and juices. I add the essential oil to my freshly baked fish, baked goods, in salads, and my morning smoothie knowing I’m getting the added benefits of d-limonene.

Many people question whether this oil will have an adverse effect on sensitive teeth. The answer is simple. The oil is much different from the juice. It’s pH neutral. Lemon juice is acidic at about 2.3 pH which equals about 5% acidity. The oil, on the other hand is made strictly from the rind and skin.

75 lemons are distilled to make one 15ml bottle of Young Living Essential Lemon oil. The result is a highly concentrated oil and safe for consumption.

If you’re ready to ditch the chemicals for a toxic free home, lemon oil can help. You’ve probably already noticed that the commercial products for polishing furniture use the scent of lemon. The synthetic oil is not the same. Why not make your own? This is exciting – add one or two drops of lemon to a tsp of coconut oil on a soft cloth. Not only will the wood shine, but the house will smell incredibly clean. Don’t forget to diffuse the lemon oil to purify the air too.

A 15ml bottle of lemon oil contains 250 drops making this oil economical. Brace yourself.  The retail price of YL Lemon oil is less than $15.00. It’s included in the Premium Starter kit as well. Once you purchase the kit, your cost will be lower since members receive 24% off all products.
Think about the money saved here. You are sure to find so many uses for Lemon oil. It’s also a main ingredient in the immune building oil, Thieves.

Another great advantage to diffusing Lemon is its uplifting effects and as an aid in concentration. So much better than caffeine, I am more alert when working from home or while I’m at the office. Even if you’re not close to a place to plug in a diffuser,  just rub a drop into the palms of your hands and cup them over your nose while inhaling deeply for the same effect. Wow.

I don’t want to forget to mention that while it seems that detoxing is the latest craze in weight loss, the lemon oil does help flush the system effectively and aids with normalizing digestion. That’s really what detoxing means. The goal is to help your body do its job – eliminate the harmful toxins that are ingested each day. These toxins aren’t just what is consumed by mouth. Toxins are in the air we breathe and the stress we accumulate over time. Removing toxins is just one step toward weight loss and mental clarity. Who wouldn’t want that?

Yes, this post has a lot of information, but I hope you’re just as excited about using lemon oil as part of your daily supplemental routine as I am. For information on how to order, use http://www.youngliving.org/cheryl9059.

Joy,

Cheryl

Reference :

Sun, J. (2007). D-limonene: Safety and clinical applications. Alternative Medical Review, 12(3), 259-264. Retrieved from http:/ncbi.nlm.nih.gov

145781812975449720916Hello all, I decided to start a new series of ‘how to’ blogs based on essential oils and their everyday uses. Today I want to share how to make good use of the oils in the Premium Starter kit by Young Living. This kit comes with ten oils, plus a bonus oil and roller ball top.

This weekend starts spring break for many of us. I was packing the usual items yesterday in excitement of having some mental sanity for the next few days where I might actually forget what the calendar says. I like living without a watch or calendar. I knew this week would go as planned.

Last night, I discovered that I had forgotten my Young Living Thieves Aroma Brite toothpaste. Geez.

Rather than panic and run to the nearest drug store for a fluoride toothpaste off the shelf, I reached into my kit and pulled out the saving bottle of Thieves.

Two drops on my toothbrush was all I needed for clean teeth and fresh breath after driving for 4 hours to reach my destination. Thieves contains a combination of a few oils that benefit the immune system.  Lemon, rosemary, and cinnamon are a few. Used daily on the skin or internally, one might stave off illnesses.  When I begin to feel under the weather, I either put a drop or two in a capsule and ingest it, or rub it into my feet for relief.

I have often used Orange oil from YL on my teeth and added to my toothpaste.  The flavor is amazing; and I have often said that working with orange oil is like the commercial product ‘GooGone’ – Orange oil takes off the sticky gooey stuff of old stickers or crayons on walls. YL orange oil contains only the oil from the peel. It works wonders on my teeth too. It’s a natural,  non-toxic accompaniment to any healthy regime.

Joy,

Cheryl

2015-04-25 14.13.25

Sometimes, flying alone is the key.

Have you ever been asked to do something that just didn’t feel right? Giving into peer pressure can hurt your sense of self awareness and self-respect. In these types of instances, some people will try to convince you to do something you would not necessarily do on your own accord. The suggested task makes you feel some sort of way that may or may not be immediately explained. Whatever it is that is asked of you usually comes from someone else’s agenda. And it might not be a positive agenda at that. The task or event might be something they were pressured into and don’t want to go it alone. For your own sake, don’t do it. The pressure you feel is precisely why they call it Peer Pressure.

Now, you may be tempted at first, especially if approached by a friend, but don’t give in. Chances are, those who ask you to do something against your nature are only involved in themselves and their own reasons (self-centered). And for that, they will not miss you if you decide not to go ahead with their wishes. Remember, you never have to give in to any situation in which you do not feel comfortable. In the future, you may have to re-evaluate your friends.

It is when you break free from giving into the pressures of others is when you have reached the threshold of maturity and integrity. You are becoming your true self.

Joy,

Cheryl

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There’s nothing like panning for gold. Last month, I was in a river bed in California with a gold pan in my hands as did many generations of miners before me, each seeking his or her fortune. On a whim, a friend and I decided to try our luck and have some fun. The day was bright and sunny as we waded through the glistening water. The ore flakes float as the sun rays reflect on them as we swished the stones in full anticipation.

When I think about it today, I recall the fun we had; but I also think about the immense concentration and focus gold panning takes. We barely spoke to each other during those few hours. Each stone needed examining. Each deliberate swish of water was needed to clear away the unworthy stones. We looked for the heaviest of all, gold.
At the end of the day, we both had to be pulled, no, yanked from our meditations because we had lost all track of time.

You see, it’s like that. When we meditate and focus on the self, that same type of concentration should be used not just to pull a metal from the waters but to discover the gold within ourselves.

So the next time you want to find the treasure that is within yourself, sit quietly in nature to help you achieve this mental attentiveness. It will not only refresh you, but you’ll look forward another moment to be with yourself. Priceless.

Joy,
Cheryl

We are responsible for our own lives. Each of us must recognize what has worked for us in the past, what has not worked, and make new decisions based on that knowledge for the next move.

We have all made mistakes.

We must determine if we are present in life or absent from it. If we are present, we continue to move forward understanding ourselves and how we react to good and not good times in life and are able to understand what we can correct as far as our behaviors those things we do that hinder our progress. If we are absent from our lives, events will continue to happen to us and should be no surprise that we have no control.

Which is better? To be an agent and act in such a way that we make our lives happen for us the best we can, or shall we allow the world and circumstance to toss us about like a boat with no anchor?

Joan Didion’s essay “On Self-Respect” can serve as a reminder to accept our own failures and make them our own. Maturity does not come as we hit benchmarks in age, only when we can make peace with our failures and shortcomings. The honor society that Joan hoped to join did not allow her a second chance because she messed up. It was her own responsibility to perform in such a way that would gain her the recognition she thought she deserved. Her aim for the essay is to help us see the errors we make as just another happening or occurrence in life, to help us understand that we control some of those unfavorable outcomes. We may not live up to the expectations that are either placed on us by others or the expectations we place on ourselves. Those mistakes, regardless of the matter, are our own. At this time we move on. We will carry the memory of our errors, but we must not live there. We keep pressing forward. We respect ourselves for what we did or did not do. Nielsen used to say to me, “The choice you made, either good or not good, was the right choice for you at that time.” We own our choices and move forward, not stopping to dwell in the past.

We do not stop living after a mistake. We do not need to stop trying to be the best we can be due to past errors. We do not stop striving for excellence.

Setbacks are setbacks.

A future will happen. Will you be awake and present for it, or will you be absent? It is your choice.

Joy,

Cheryl

#choice

When was the last time you pretended to be someone or something you’re not either to impress or fit into the crowd? Perhaps you purchase certain types of clothing or listen to specific music though deep inside each of these makes you uncomfortable. Has your vocabulary changed? Maybe your hair style?

Is your outward appearance more important than what’s inside your heart? Do you value the opinions of others over your own truths?

Time to take a good look at your value system. Sometimes we believe hanging with the “right” crowd will make us better people. You know this is hardly true. Usually, the scenario goes something like this: You’re spending time with someone only to be ridiculed for having your own thought. Initially you are taken aback, but continue to press forward. As time goes on you find yourself watching the things you say, and feel stifled that anything you may say or do will be met with similar reproach.

This is no way to live if you’re to be the free person you are. If the people you spend time with do not allow you to be your best self, it’s better to be without them. Instead, enjoy the company of those whom you do have the freedom to be yourself – The freedom of authenticity. We should never be drones without self worth. Speak your ideas freely, particularly with like-minded people. You’ll find that’s the way to thrive and become your best self. Don’t let others stifle you or your ideas.
You may find true friends as well.

Joy,
Cheryl

(1 of 3) Speaking of change. . .

This post will come as three parts:
Speaking of Change,
Don’t Wait for Permission, and
No. You Don’t Have Time.

Mt. Shasta

I’ve delayed in writing this particular posting as I have been deep in the midst of my own change. Typically, I like to throw myself into changes just to see how they work out. Get Your Wisdom On blog is one of the fairly recent changes to my scope of work. Writing this particular post hasn’t come as easily as I hoped, so I took some time to contemplate the reasons it’s taken more mustering than usual.

If you have ever embarked on a part of your journey that you’ve no comparison, it might seem that the path is difficult to navigate. I speak of a change that’s so foreign, you wonder why you should even attempt it. Ha, I suppose that’s the beauty of the new thing. Many of us have moved out of neighborhood or stepped away from a job that had become what seems like part us. If done often enough, that type of move can become banal and not worth the time spent thinking about it; we just do it. I don’t mean to demean this type of move, though. Changes like these can be complicated, as you take into consideration many aspects. You may ask yourself if your decision is the best one or not.
*Let me say:
The best decision is the one that is good for you right now.

You’ll know soon enough for sure; then you may make additional changes to make it fit your life.

Let’s get back to the choice you may make that will change everything you know and embark on an epic journey, the one you have never had an inkling of experience. We will never know our futures, nor will we ever be secure in our choice to make the plunge. What I mean is simply that the future isn’t certain. The road we’re on feels comfortable to us only because it’s familiar. Familiarity isn’t safe. If it’s a job change, we think because it pays a certain salary each week, it’ll be waiting for us forever. I’m going to play havoc with that belief system. Many people over the years have thought that job security exists. It doesn’t. Companies change. Those who run companies change their minds about how that company is run. You’re most often the chess piece used for the sport of making that company money. Yes, I know you’re loyal and you feel they’ll be as well. One can never really tell. My suggestion is to follow your dream.

If you plan to do anything in your life, realize that change is inevitable. And it is neither good or not good. It’s change.

What helps is to understand change and the fears that come with it. One of the keys is to embrace change no matter what.

Before you learned to drive a car, snow board, earn a degree, or anything new, you didn’t know how it would change you. Your choice enabled you to feel freedom, pleasure, or accomplished. Good things came from your change, but you didn’t know that at the time. You struggled through the beginnings of it. You might even had fears such as running off the road, falling over a snowy cliff, or failing miserably. But as you worked further, you found that you gained confidence. A lack of confidence keeps us from something we wish to attain through change. Exploring your fears helps to identify what holds you back from entering the door before you.
Do you think you’ll lose friends if you change? Do you think you’ll miss out on something else if you change? If you become successful at the new thing, who do you think you’ll hurt?

Think about this: change happens all around us each day. Most of these we accept without much thought. Technological changes are the norm. We expect the latest gadget to become obsolete within the next few months. Other changes are not so commonplace. In the US, the health care system is changing. In this instance, some of us will embrace it while others will resist.

What about changes we decide for our own lives?
Do we or should we resist our own desires if we feel the slightest fear of the unknown? Surely we’ve gone through other changes; and today we look back at what now seems trivial. We say, “Of course it can be done. I did it.”
How about how others will see us as we change? Do we often feel like we should ask for permission?

Read my next post entitled. Don’t Wait for Permission.