The extinction of family stories

dinosaur

The lost art of telling family stories. Gone are the days of sitting with your parents, siblings at your side, hearing funny stories about your uncle Randy and how he rode his bicycle into a tree when he was seven. Or how auntie Sheryl wanted to be a hairdresser when she was four, so she cut her doll’s hair, then was devastated when she learned it wouldn’t grow back.

In some cultures, elders are still revered and respected. Their wisdom is sought after from the community’s youth. It seems this sense of connection is lacking in our culture. I understand why – technology is changing our world at a rapid pace and youth want ‘now’ and ‘new’, not ‘before’ and ‘old’.

I believe that we can’t truly know who we are, what we’re made of, without knowing something about the people in our gene pool that came before us. Perhaps you share a personality quirk with a great aunt. Not knowing about this aunt and her similarity to you could leave you feeling like you didn’t fit with your family, like something is wrong with you, when it is simple genetics.

Share a family story with your children or grandchildren. It could be embarrassing, humorous, or sad. Start to connect the children in your life with their past. Help them learn what they’re made of.

 

Why you should refuse to make changes in 2014

acceptance

Everyone talks about the New Year as a time of change. I refuse to make changes. You’ll understand why in a minute.

Instead of thinking you need to change, try something new. Accept yourself. Your abilities, talents, faults, scars, fears and desires – accept them all. These are what you are made of. Through accepting ourselves we approach our growth as human beings from a different perspective. Instead of feeling you ‘have’ to change, you’ll ‘want’ to change. You’ll want to become a better person.

A large percentage of the population will have begun (and probably already broken) some diet or other detox, in their quest to be ‘thin and beautiful’. If only people realized diets do nothing for their self-esteem or overall health. It’s like shining an apple with a rotten core. Your mental, emotional and spiritual health are what brings you to the place of physical health, as your eyes finally open and you realize you deserve healthy food, fresh air and exercise.

See yourself for the incredible creation that you are. Tell the negative thoughts circulating in your head to take a hike. You deserve better. You deserve to be healthy and happy. Once that belief truly takes hold within your life, you’ll naturally want to provide nutrition to your body, mind and soul. This will lead you down the path to health.

Will you accept yourself, unconditionally, right now?

 

 

 

Confessions and reflections on change

water swirling

When 2012 ended, it wasn’t necessarily on the best note. I was overweight and unhealthy, both physically and mentally. I loved my new job but missed my previous one. I realized it was time for a drastic change.

I decided at that time to create my own business.  I finally realized that my passion could generate an income for my family.  

I also decided to create Food for Gifts, which I’d talked about doing but never put any action to. Knowing that other people were in a similar financial situation as we were finding ourselves, it only made sense to reach out in whatever way I could to help my community.

When 2013 began, so did my new eating habits. A new relationship with my body began to develop. I had spent 23 years abusing my body. If I felt fat, I would simply not allow myself to eat. If I made a mistake at work, in my parenting, whatever, I would tell myself I didn’t deserve food. You can imagine this left me with digestive issues, which I still occasionally deal with. A little reminder of who I was.

In the midst of all this, I was flying solo. I had chosen to take myself off of anti-depressants (cold turkey. DON’T do that!!). I hadn’t been off of medication in 7 years. Why I chose to take myself off, I have no idea. Perhaps I never will. Or perhaps it’s none of my business. I don’t need to know all the facts behind His plan for me – I just need to trust the process J

I now find myself here, on the last day of 2013, feeling incredibly blessed, relatively healthy and fairly strong. I am still flying solo, though I would go back on meds if I felt the need. My business is growing steadily, due to client referrals and social media. Receiving positive feedback about my abilities from clients (and colleagues) is still somewhat difficult for me to accept. All part of my continued personal growth.

I am blessed with amazing children and a husband who has stood by my side through this past tumultuous year. He’s done his best to understand why I do the things I do, even when I’m not sure myself. We both reached the ripe old age of 40 this past year, on top of everything else. I’m beginning to believe that age is just a number, though.

I wish all those who read these words an amazing 2014, filled with revelation, challenge, success and health. If there’s something you’ve always wanted to do, DO IT. If you know you need to take better care of your body, DO IT. If you have been experiencing mental health issues and think you might need to talk to your doctor, DO IT.

Take care of yourself – physically, mentally, spiritually and emotionally. You cannot be a good parent, spouse, friend, employee or  business owner – really, whatever roles you find yourself in – without first being healthy and whole.

Happy New Year everyone!

Escapism

Handcuffs

There is something to be said for escaping from reality. Having a tortured soul is a difficult cross to bear. Our whole being becomes overwhelmed with emotional discomforts and dysfunctional thoughts. These issues constantly hammering at our souls can create a breeding ground for illness and disease. Holding onto anger, sadness and fear can chip away at our mental health.

Escaping reality, even briefly, allows our being to rest. Just as stopping and taking a deep breath does wonders for our bodies, allowing our souls to stop and rest is beneficial to our mental and emotional health. Journal your perceived burdens then set them aside. Shut the book. Choose your escape route, be it prayer, meditation, a creative pursuit or physical activity, and gift yourself that time. Be kind to your being. If you don’t, who will?