Hold on “This too shall pass”

Don’t you just love the phrase “This too shall pass”?  This phrase always seems to present itself when faced with adversity.  You are already in a high emotional state and this phrase is usually the last thing you want to hear, right?  I remember so many times through different phases of my life where someone used this phrase on me and all I wanted to say was “Whatever!  I don’t care if it will pass I just want it to go away NOW!”  I actually laugh at myself when I think back at certain moments.  The hardest one of all was when my brother was diagnosed with Peritoneal Mesothelioma, a very rare cancer but even more rare in a 34 year old man.  We were told that he had anywhere from 3-9 months to live and there was no cure.  He lived for 4 ½ months after the diagnosis.  During this time I am not sure how we even got through it.  I remember living like a robot.  I remember feeling completely numb.  I hardly saw my two children.  All I could do was get out of bed some days.  I saw Eric every day.  I remember thinking how are we going to continue through life without him.  He was my very best friend, my confidant, and my biggest supporter.  My world came crashing down on March 15, 2007.  Through this experience though as devastating as it was and is I have learned so much about life.  To always be grateful for even the smallest things life has to offer.  To not take the ones you love for granted.  I have to say that what I learned the most was that life was indeed too short and that I was capable and worth more than I have ever given myself credit for.  This experience opened my heart and eyes up to the limitless possibilities that life has to offer.  My point is that at the time the phrase “This too shall pass” was like a knife stuck in my heart.  Through the years, through all the tears, through all the memories I can look back and say that this phrase is one of the most accurate and powerful phrases we should all learn to live by.  There is nothing in life that is too hard to overcome.  There is no mountain that is too steep to climb.  Now when I am faced with adversity even though it may be hard in the moment to see I know deep down that “This too shall pass”.  Each day you face, face it with Gratitude knowing that all of our blessings are truly a gift from God.

Persevere–Just when you think you can’t, You CAN!

Everyone has a dream.  Some look to their dreams as just dreams and dreams alone.  Never thinking it could amount to anything therefore never taking the steps to possibly achieve that dream.  Others look at their dreams as goals.  They not only dream about it, they let the dream take root within themselves.  They realize that the dream goes beyond just thinking.  They start looking at the steps needed to achieve such a dream/goal.  They visualize themselves achieving that dream and finally they believe they can accomplish it.  But what happens when something or someone happens to cause you to doubt this dream.  Whether it be a setback, or someone telling you that you can’t there is one and only one word that comes to mind….. Persevere!  Perseverance definition: continued effort to do or achieve something despite difficulties, failure, or opposition.  No matter what the obstacle, no matter what others say this is when we reach down deep, we discover new strengths and set new limits.  It was May 2012  that I was faced with not just one major setback but two.  I had come off of 3 bodybuilding competitions and after months of dieting and depleting water 3 times in the matter of 5 weeks my body rebelled on me.  I gained 17 pounds of water retention in just 4 days.  I was in so much pain and discomfort from the swelling it took me into the doctor’s office which led to me getting on a very intense diuretic to try and shed the water.  While it helped some after the 10 days my body still rebelled and I needed to go on a diuretic that I could take for a longer period of time in hopes that my body would somehow normalize.  My severe edema led into my body going into a state of adrenal fatigue.  Adrenal Fatigue is when your body is unable to produce the adequate quantities of hormones leading to adrenal insufficiency.  On top of my battle with adrenal fatigue,  I was outside running one day at lunch and while in a crosswalk I was hit by a car making a right hand turn.  This accident led to a sprained ankle, multiple contusions, pulled quad and groin muscles not to mention my back was really messed up and still is to this day.  I was in the process of an offseason training through all of this.  My goal was to switch from being a bikini level competitor to a figure level competitor.  I needed to add a good amount of muscle to do this.  While the process of ‘bulking’ to begin with can lead to mental anguish in itself top it off with these two setbacks and I felt lost.  I hit a complete low.  I questioned myself daily.  I found myself is a state of depression and felt like I hit bottom.  Although I was having these thoughts and quite discouraged I still was determined to make my goal come true.  I was on crutches for about a month.  I still went to the gym and trained my upper body through it all.  I couldn’t train legs nor do cardio but I was hell bent that I was NOT going to let this stop me.  Even though I still trained as best I could I found myself still gaining weight and still flare ups of swelling.  I had reached a high in my weight that made me so uncomfortable in my own skin I started to pull away from others so I wouldn’t have to feel insecure.  It wasn’t until a weekend spent with my team that my trainer saw how much I was struggling and we decided at that time after the trip it was time to switch things up.  My cardio endurance was low considering not being able to do cardio for about 2 months.  I slowly started to get my endurance back.  Cardio was increased and training was getting easier.  I was able to lose 10 pounds in a month.  That help to build my self-confidence back and helped me to gain sight of really accomplishing this goal.  I fought hard, I was determined, and I disciplined in every possible way I needed to be.  I PERSEVERED!!!  In about 6 months I was able to add 12 pounds of lean muscle mass and lean out.  I competed in my first two figure shows on March 2013 & April 2013.  I did it!!  Just switching divisions alone is a task at hand but being able to switch divisions faced with setbacks makes my goal a VICTORY!!  If you are truly passionate about something NEVER give up! Keep fighting, Keep believing, and Keep going.  I turned my setback into a comeback and you can too.

Looking at Life through the Eyes of a Child

As I woke today, the day after Thanksgiving I found myself reflecting on the holiday and all the blessings that came my way.  When I was putting my 9 year old son,Noah, to bed he so anxiously tells me that he had his Ipod touch alarm set for 6:30 am to start his day.  I chuckled a bit and told him that he should let his body tell him when it is time to wake up as we had no place to be that early in the morning.  It didn’t really dawn on me until this morning after Oliver and I had finished our fasted cardio, which I was dreading after indulging in all the Thanksgiving day food and treats, that Noah was so excited to start a fresh day that he wanted to get up so early.  As an adult we tend to think we need valuable reasons to get out bed to start our day earlier than we would like.  We get up for our jobs, for our workouts, for our kids but most often times we rarely just get out of bed to simply enjoy the new day.  Noah had no extra special reason to want to get up that early.  He just wanted to start the day, whatever the day may bring.  I just kept thinking how awesome that my 9 year old son just reminded me that every day is a day full of new adventures and opportunities.  I love how children view not only the world but themselves.  They are not scared to be themselves, they are not scared to ask questions, to inquire more about this fascinating life to them.  They look at a tree and see adventure.  They look at a stick and find a magic wand.  What is it as we grow up that the magic tends to fade?  Why is it we start to let our own fears lead our lives?  I am on a clear journey to find inner peace so on this journey I find myself asking a lot of questions.  We respond to life with only two emotions–Love or Fear.  I have been paying closer attention to my own thoughts, actions and reactions.  Which ones are out of love and which ones are out of fear.  Then I take it a step further for those that are lead by fear and ask, What is it about this situation that is making me fearful?  Knowing why I might be fearful helps me to evaluate and look at the situation through the eyes of love.  When I can calm myself enough to allow love to flow through a weight gets lifted off of my shoulders and I can feel the presence of peace flow through me.  Looking at life through the eyes of a child is tapping into the mystery and miracles life has to offer.  You can be told time and time again that there are limitless possibilities to each day but until you believe it through faith you stop yourself from feeling it and seeing it.  We often try to only look for the big things life has to offer.  It isn’t until we look at life for all the small miracles it has to offer that we can open our hearts and minds to a world of wonder every day.  We don’t need the EXTRAordinary big things in life to feel as if we are living.  We know we are living a purposeful life because we are grateful and loving every day through everything.  So I encourage you all today to make a new start.  To look at all the wonders of the day with love in your heart and a smile on your face.  Remembering that even a sunrise, sunset, a smile of a loved one or even a smile of a stranger can be a miracle in itself.  Once we see life as a series of small gifts can we then appreciate it as God intended us to.  Life is full of limitless possibilities and we have opportunities everyday to see life through the eyes of love and not fear.  Being grateful for everything bring us only more things and even bigger things to be even more grateful for.  Peace and Blessings to you All!

Just a Little Stress Relief as the Holidays are Near

 

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Happy Holidays!  Well to some, right? For some the holidays bring up deep seeded emotions and stress which turns this blissful time of year into a nightmare they would just rather sleep through.  This time of year is meant to bring families together in Divine Love but if you are at odds with your family, or have a loved one who has went home to God the holidays could bring sadness and pain.

So whether you are someone who loves or hates the holiday here are some simple tips to get you through your holiday with more love and peace.

  1. The first step in any healing is acknowledgement. You must acknowledge what it is you are feeling so you can accept it and heal from it.  Realize that it is OK to feel whatever it is you are feeling.  It’s OK to take time to cry or express your feelings. You can’t force yourself to be happy just because it’s the holiday season.  Also, realize that it is normal to feel sad around this time of year especially if you have lost a loved one.
  2. Don’t isolate yourself. Reach out to others.  Get involved in some way.  There are many families in need this time of year and one of the best ways to get through feelings of sadness is to help others.  Volunteer for a cause that is deep to your heart.  Help someone else enjoy the feelings of love and hope.
  3. Give any situation Grace. With all the added pressure and stressors sometimes people don’t behave from their higher self.  This is not your place to judge or to condemn.   It is your place to offer grace to them and send them divine love and peace.  Remember that you don’t walk in their shoes.  Who knows what they might be going thru.  Even if you think you know remember the possibility that you really don’t know how they are feeling, how it is truly effecting them, and if they might already be beating themselves up enough.  See the innocence and you will bring peace to your soul.
  4. Don’t try to be something you are not. Meaning stick to your budget and remember that your budget is different than others and love yourself enough to know that you are doing what you can and that is the best that anyone can do. It isn’t about feeling bad if you are not able to buy what you would like to for someone.  You know that isn’t what Christmas is about anyway.  Do what you can but most importantly just be love.  Love is more abundant than any gift is anyway.
  5. Take time for yourself. During the holidays there are many gatherings, many To Do lists, and crowds and crowds of people.  Make sure you are taking time to nurture yourself and your soul.  You need to find time every day to have some quiet time just for you.  Whether it be in a workout, reading a book, meditating or watching a movie.  Embrace that ‘you’ time.  You deserve it.

I hope these little tips help you out.  So often we leave our soul to be last on our list to nourish and it needs to come to the front of your list.  It is a fact that when your soul is nourished you are coming from a place of higher self and everything else seems to flow better no matter what the circumstance.

“Where there is love there is life” Gandhi

And don’t forget to Believe ~

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