Saturday, April 25, 2009

The Joys of Working Out

When it comes to exercise, I've found that the more I avoid working out, the harder it is to push myself when I finally do drag myself to the gym. (This is good to know if you tend to start exercising, but easily become discouraged.)

I know I've been struggling with not wanting to work out. After several months full of consulting work and little time or energy for exercise, I started regular work outs about a week and a half ago. I don't like feeling out of shape, and those first workouts really showcased my lack of endurance. Last Saturday, I forced myself to finish 45 minutes of weights. I had to continuously coax myself into finishing the workout.

Today, the time sped by. At one point, I looked at the clock and realized 25 minutes had flown by. I'd planned on exercising for a hour, mostly weights with a little jump rope and eliptical thrown in. I figured that last 15 minutes might be a push. But I enjoyed the process enough that I ended up doing an extra 10 minutes. 

Afterwards, I felt great. A great way to start the day.

Hopefully this week I won't have such a mental struggle to get myself to the point of working out.

Do you have similar struggles?

Workout: YES!
Reading--fiction: Better of Dead, by Meryl Sawyer
Reading--nonfiction: Life is a Series of Presentations by Tony Jeary
Writing: Blog for Monday
Prayer: For the family of 44 year old Tony Matson, who passed away leaving three young daughters. 
Prayer: For Rich Lewis, choir director at my church, who suffered two heart attacks, and needs a miracle.
Affirmation: I'm grateful for my healthy mind, body, and spirit.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Living in Earthquake Land

A few minutes ago, Southern California had it's third earthquake in the last 24 hours. I've grown up in Southern California, and weathered the earthquakes nature has thrown at us. I'm use to being


Deep breath. Ok, continue. I'm use to being woken up by an earthquake and judging the magnitude..."Oh, it's just a 3." Then I go back to sleep. Or, I'll be awake, and have a similar experience. Something to just shrug off.

But today's shaker, I have yet to find the magnitude, was scary because of the noise. I was descending the steps to my boyfriend, Don's basement, when a deafening boom happened. It sounded like an explosion, and it scared me because it's not a normal 3 pointer. (My ears are still ringing.)

Deep breath. Actually when I think about it, when you're close to the epicenter, the earthquake is louder. But the movement is also stronger. Ok, I'm thinking about enduring the Landers quakes, when I was in nearby Big Bear. Sevens. (That's another story.)

I'm in Yorba Linda right now. Last night's epicenter. I was driving home, so I didn't feel it. 

I'm feeling unsettled because of having 4 earthquakes. When you live in California, the specter of "The Big One" hangs over you. But mostly we ignore it. But not when a series of small quakes are occurring in the same area.

I'm hope it's just the earth letting off steam (not literally, of course) so we don't have a big one.

Prayers, everyone, that Southern California stays safe.

Anyone else experience those earthquakes?

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

10 reasons for the popularity of Susan Boyle

I first watched the You Tube clip of Susan Boyle when it had about 12,ooo viewers. I remember tearing up and having goosebumps pop up on my arms. As of April 20th that You Tube clip had over 100 million views. So why is Susan Boyle's appearance on, Britain's Got Talent, the British equivalent of American Idol, so inspiring?

1. Susan's frumpish appearance and claims to rock the audience was greeted with skepticism by the audience and judges. It's moving to see that with a few words of the song, she immediately changes their minds.

2. Her lilting, lyrical voice is, indeed, beautiful.

3. She chooses a beautiful, poignant song from the musical, Les Miserables, which is about life killing youthful dreams. Susan, obviously, has lived this song.

4. She shows us that talent can live in the most unproposing package. This gives hope to all lack self-esteem because of their outsides, yet nurture a secret dream within their heart.

5. Her singing made Simon's Cowell's face light up with surprise. (A welcome change from his usual impassive or critical expression.) His joyful smile was as touching as Susan's performance. 

6. The other judges, Piers Morgan and Amanda Holden, showed how moved they were by Susan's singing.

7. She showed that it's important to never give up on your dreams, at the most improbable times and places, they can come true.

8. She demonstrated that taking a large risk, exposing herself to national ridicule, can pay off. How much more can taking small risks, pushing beyond your fear of someone(s) judgement, bring you success.

9. We can't help feeling happy for Susan, when we see how happy she is at the end of her song.

10. As Amanda says (paraphrasing) this was a wake-up call not to be so cynical.

What are some of the ways Susan's performance touched you?

For today:
Reading fiction--Deception Point by Dan Brown
Reading Nonfiction--Save the Cat, by Blake Snyder
Affirmation--I enjoy my time off to the fullest.
Prayer--that life brings Susan Boyle all the goodness she deserves.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Overcoming Child Abuse

Yesterday, I read the true story of Dave Pelzer, A Child Called, "It." One Child's Courage to Survive. When I say read, I need to admit to skimming parts. The torture he endured from his mother was too much to take in. I felt sick to read as much as I did.

Like I wrote in my post yesterday, it's impossible for good people to comprehend true evil. I cannot fathom how a mother could brutally torture and deliberately neglect her son. Nor, can I understand a father who would allow this to happen.

While I can understand (although not condone) a frustrated parent losing his or her temper and smacking a child, repeated abuse is beyond my comprehension.

However, Dave Pelzer went on to serve our county and earn a presidential award. He currently works to educate people about child abuse and works to abolish it. 

Have you ever witnessed child abuse?

For today:
Workout: 30 minutes combination of walking on the treadmill and jumping rope to a count of 100.
Nonfiction reading: The Lost Boy, by Dave Pelzer
Fiction Reading:
Affirmation: I have financial success, being of great service, in an easy, relaxed way.
Writing: newsletter article
Prayer: That I'll be of love and healing today.

The Courageous Heart of Irena Sendler

Last night, I watched the Hallmark Hall of Fame movie, The Courageous Heart of Irena Sendler. What a testimony to both the depth of human evil and the strength of loving courage. When I went to bed, I lay awake for a long time, thinking about fear, courage, convictions, evil, and propaganda/brainwashing.

Although I see myself as someone who makes choices for good, I don't know that I would have had the courage to do what Irena did--going into the Jewish Ghetto/prison in Warsaw to rescue over 2000 Jews, mostly children. These people where spirited away to live with Polish families or in Catholic convents, given new names, family histories, and learning to recite Christian prayers. Most of these people were never reunited with their families because they all perished in the death camps.

I'm often asked how evil people can do what they do. My answer is always the same. Good people can't wrap their minds around evil actions. No matter how much you attempt to understand someone who is evil, you won't. So don't even bother.  Instead, focus on what you can do to combat darkness, even in little ways, such as smiling at people, contributing to charities, avoiding negative gossip, and encouraging others to be their best selves.

The Courageous Heart of Irena Sendler is a must-see movie. Buy or rent it and watch it with your teenagers. Use it for family discussions. Some possible discussion topics are:
1. Standing up for what you believe.
2. Risking your life to save another.
3. Being of service to others.
4. Prejudice and intolerance.
5. At the least, walking away to not become involved with hurtful behavior towards others.
6. Coaching ways to be assertive with others.
7. Standing up to bullies.
8. Not going along with the crowd.
9. History lessons.
10. Why WWll should never be forgotten, so the injustices aren't repeated.
11. Forgiveness.
12. Loving your enemies.
13. Finding ways to share with others who have less.

For those who saw the movie... What did you think?

Exercise--teaching a kickboxing class
Nonfiction Reading--A Child Called It, by Dave Pelzer
Fiction Reading--Dragonborn, by Jade Lee
Writing--the next newsletter article
Affirmation--I Act the Courage of My Convictions
Prayer--The Serenity Prayer

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Being of Service

In my (few) spare minutes in the last week, I've pondered about this blog. I know if I go to the trouble to write one, I want the post to be of service to others in some way. I believe I have a calling to be a healer--to help others learn and grow.  I want this blog to reflect that.

While the healing I do is mainly on the emotional level, it also touches on the mental, spiritual, physical, and financial aspects of a person's life. When I say financial, I'm using the word as a broad topic about achieving personal goals. For most people financial stability or success is one of their goals. In addition, in my work, I help people improve their relationships--with their spouse, family, friends, and co-workers.

I'm a very strong believer that I have to practice what I preach. Sometimes what motivates me to do something I'm procrastinating on is the reminder that I can't ask a client or student to do this if I don't do it myself. A blog can help others see what I'm personally working on, and maybe motivate others to also grow in some way.

With this in mind, I'm going to blog about whatever topic that catches my attention and I think will interest people. Or I may write about something I have a strong opinion about (not politics). And I will add a little post script about what I'm doing. 

I'm going to jot down what I'm currently reading--both fiction and nonfiction. I'm a big believer in reading. Nonfiction helps you to learn and grow. Fiction engages your mind, taking you into the lives of interesting characters and living their story. I carry a book (or two) with me where ever I go.

I'm going to add a line for my workout of the day. Usually a regular part of my life, for the last two years, working out has (mostly) fallen by the wayside. I've become so busy with my consulting work that I don't have the time and energy I used to have for exercise. (My body reflects that change.) I figure if I'm accountable to my blog readers, that will help me be accountable to myself.

I'm going to add a short line for my current prayers. I say short because my formal prayer time tends to be about 5 minutes, with much of my prayers being the same every day. I'll just write out a bit of what I'm asking.

I'll also add my affirmation for the day. Saying a positive affirmation is a good way to stay focused on your goals.

And I'll write something (among my many blessings) I'm grateful for.

So here goes:
Fiction reading: Dragonborn, by Jade Lee
Nonfiction reading: Save the Cat, the Last Book on Screenwriting You'll Ever Need, by Blake Snyder
Workout: 45 minutes of weights
Prayers: For the families of Nick Adenhart, Courtney Stewart, and Henry Pearson, killed in a crash with a drunk driver last week. For Jon Wilhite, also in the crash, that he would be healed to a full mental, emotional, and physical recovery.
Affirmation: "I look with wonder at that which is before me."
Gratitude: I've FINALLY finished all the projects I had to do last month. Currently I have no deadline hanging over me. I feel free! 

Monday, April 13, 2009

I've resisted writing a blog for years. I thought what little time I had for writing needed to be directed towards my articles and books. 

Then, about a month ago, I joined Twitter--my first attempt at social networking. (I'm mostly posting inspirational sayings.)

However, I've found myself frustrated by the small amount I can share on Twitter. Sometimes I've had to discard quotes I like because they're too long. Or, I might break them into one or two posts--not very satisfying. Other times, I've wanted to expand on something, but couldn't. And there's been those times, I wanted to write a lot about something. 

Obviously, time for a blog. And who knows, maybe one of these days, I'll try Facebook.