LIFE plus what?

I believe that there is a formula to success.  Individuals can reach their goals despite roadblocks, loss, hardships and life situations but it may take hard work, determination, motivation and accountability! As a wellness coach, I help others achieve success through small steps and habits that are anchored with proven, evidence-based research.

Truths:

We have a life.

Life can be happy and healthy.

We need balance and wholeness.

I have found that activities, work, people, food, and nature can add positive elements to our lives. Finding balance is sometimes the challenge. Making time for self-care is so critical to moving forward with meeting personal goals. Focusing ONLY on ourselves will surely lead to problems in our relationships, work life and friendships. Balancing the art of being true to ourselves while meeting our obligations to others can be tough. How does one learn to juggle like the best clown in town? How does the fun-loving clown keep all of the balls in the air?   Is it skill? Practice? An unfair advantage?

Years ago I found that when I focused my attention in one area, the other areas of my life were neglected and I became out of balance and began dropping balls. Finding balance or creating balance is crucial to life satisfaction and whole health. Just as a stool needs its legs to stay steady, we need BALANCE to be happy, healthy and effective.

Sometimes, we have to let things go… Does that mean we slip up and drop a ball? Not necessarily. We can dig deep and determine what pulls us down or simply keeps us busy to be busy. Then, the decision can be made to let go of things. Feel at peace with the decision. Juggle fewer balls perhaps. There is a time and season for all things. Dig deep and decide what this season is for in your life, get organized and have a vision for the future. Once we have the particular balls in place to juggle, we need achievable steps in place and routines established and supportive people around us.

Maybe this is your season to focus on your health!

  • To those people who are too busy or stressed or frantic – I hope you will slow down, breathe, look around you and know things will work out. Seriously. Do your best, work your plan and adjust as needed.
  • To those stuck or feeling defeated or who have decided to be satisfied with mediocrity – I hope you will put yourself out there, try new things, take a chance, invite meaningful conversation, be open to being social and nurture your friendships and make new ones, set some goals and lean on others.
  • To those hopeless or burdened – Believe that things can be better, work on your faith; know things will change over time and that your attitude can lead the way.

Whole Health takes Finding Purpose, Moving More, having a “Tribe” or Community of Support, Good Nutrition, and Reducing Stress. Whole health means feeling well and living long and well.

One might say… “That would be The LIFE.”

The LIFE plus energy

The LIFE plus love and support of self and others

The LIFE plus satisfaction

The LIFE plus wellness

A life of balance is LIFE plus so much more!

I encourage you to let this season be about your wellness.

 

Journey Together

I’m a volunteer coordinator at a hospital in Jackson, MS and we are about to start a walking program! It’s called Friendship Journey.

Here’s how it works… We are promoting an active lifestyle, providing resources and offering encouragement to all participants. Each week, everyone will report the number of miles that they walked/ran/swam/biked from the previous week. By receiving weekly tips and words of encouragement, hopefully the support and accountability will keep folks focused on their goals.

The organizational piece is so fun to me. I enjoy gathering ideas, generating excitement, looking closely at the small details, and preparing for the kick-off date. As of today, the packets are ready, activities are planned, incentive prizes have been ordered, and speakers are scheduled for promoting healthy living. The sign up period is officially January 1 – 14 with the start date of January 15, 2017. We already have participants signing up and people throughout the hospital are wanting to join in on the fun! I’m excited for how this kind of program builds community, encourages healthy living and gives purpose to individuals.

By the end of the 10 weeks, we will have collectively walked at least 1,173 miles together. We are walking virtually from Jackson, MS to Springfield, IL. I suspect we will easily make it to Springfield ahead of schedule so I’m planning on additional sight-seeing stops throughout the journey. With the momentum building, we are likely to make MANY side trips along the way!  The interest in Springfield is that we are a Catholic hospital and we have nuns at our hospital who regularly travel to their home, the mother-house, in  Springfield. The Springfield Dominican sisters are our founders.

I’ve organized several walking programs before and it is so fulfilling to see the process unfold. People often need time to think about participating. Many know they should do it but dread it slightly. Others sign up immediately because they like the gentle nudge and feel inspired to be part of a group focused on improving their health.

My approach is…

Everyone is welcome – invite your friends and family.

You can join the 10 week program at any point in the journey.

Exercise a little or exercise a lot. Just start moving more!

Yes, we can count your dog’s miles also. Haha

If you miss a week, don’t stop! Just begin again the next week!

Stay tuned for updates about our Friendship Journey! You’ll hear more about mall walkers, cemetery scavenger hunts, grocery store tours, nutrition presentations, lunch-and-learns, exercises anyone can do and more!

Labyrinths

 

For Mental Clarity and Reflection

Have you ever walked through a labyrinth?  My first experience of walking one is a fond memory of discovery and interest. I had never seen a labyrinth and was fascinated with the design and beauty. I knew the moment I saw it that I wanted to learn more about them. Since then, I’ve seen outdoor labyrinths, large indoors ones painted on fabric, labyrinths drawn with chalk, small labyrinths designed for a table top and more. All are uniquely different but similar in design.

In the middle ages, the Catholic Church began using labyrinths within the church. The Chartres Cathedral in France is the home of the most famous labyrinth inlaid in the stone floor around 1220CE. The Chartres labyrinth indicates the early tradition in the Christian church of walking meditation.

Although labyrinths aren’t biblical, they are a source for encouraging reflection and prayer. For me, I feel more focused and free after walking a labyrinth. I use it as a time to think and pray. I can be more effective in my work and personal life if I am mentally focused and I have found this is a way to clear my head. I’ve heard it said that a busy person would benefit from meditating 30 minutes every day and if you are too busy to meditate for 30 minutes then you need to meditate for an hour each day. That doesn’t make sense, but it makes perfect sense. Those running around crazy-busy, pulled in a million different directions will likely have fragmented thoughts and decreased focused. Finding ways to maximize time by sharpening focus to complete tasks precisely the first time is worth the effort it takes to nurture thoughts and strengthen the mind. Continue reading “Labyrinths”

Physics and Philosophy

img_2948Sacraments and rituals may be different among religions, but almost all share the common philosophy that guides humans to be good people. The shared philosophy promotes the use of our minds and bodies for good, directs mindfulness of faith and encourages a discipline to follow religious practices and teachings. Another commonality is the natural cause and effect from our behaviors.

Physics –  “For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.”
Sir Isaac Newton’s Third Law of Motion

Philosophy – “Whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.”                                 Galatians VI – King James

Peace can be obtained by believing in and following the golden rule through living the components of the common good. The components include Respect, Integrity, Compassion, and Justice. By practicing these components in our daily lives, we enable positive human interactions. When people communicate with a mutual regard for one another, chances are that the conversation will be a satisfying experience. Nothing shortens an exchange faster than when one person is rude, irrational, or mean-spirited. Showing compassion means that a person may need to put another person’s needs or desires above their own. Removing elitism and social divisions promote respect among people as well as sets the tone for justice to be prevalent. Feelings that are heard and understood, promotes feelings of belonging and safety. Peace follows. Then, purpose and meaning in life. Give this gift to others to promote peace, respect and understanding.

 

Mindful Listening is indicative of a person showing respect to others by engaging in conversation and focusing on what the person is saying rather than exhibiting body language and eye contact that sends a message of indifference and disregard. A person’s real value can be missed if a one-dimensional view is all that is seen.

Philosophy is the critical study of fundamental beliefs and the grounds for them. This includes what we believe and how we came to believe these things. 

Physics is the science of matter and energy and their interactions.

James Hillman from Little Acorns: A Radical New Psychology writes, “People are itchy and lost and bored and quick to jump at any fix. Why is there such a vast self‐help industry in this country? Why do all these selves need help? They have been deprived of something by our psychological culture. They have been deprived of the sense that there is something else in life, some purpose that has come with them into the world.”

That “something else in life…” comes naturally to children. While teaching in the atrium of Catechesis of the Good Shepherd, I’ve watched children naturally draw closer to God. This doesn’t happen because teachers are giving facts to them each week. Instead it happens over time as the child enjoys the beautifully prepared environment that invites the child to contemplate, discover and pray. From the outline of training for Catechesis: In the 3-6 year old atrium, the child comes to know a God who is deeply relational, who reaches out to be in relationship with humanity, who is Life in Abundance and invites us to share in that life.

 

Continue reading “Physics and Philosophy”