Goals, Health, Reflection, Self-Love

Soothing the Soul

I found the above meme on another popular page today. Thank you ‘Empaths, Old Souls, and Introverts’ for sharing.

These words really hit a dart to my heart. And I began to ponder… am I finding deep, meaningful conversations with others? Am I sharing life and love and everything in between under the moonlit sky? Am I soothing my soul with the love I so desire to give myself? Am I being true to myself?

In the journey of becoming process driven there are moments of such profound clarity. When life throws a curveball and knocks you off track, find your way back through self accountability. Keep something in your presence to remind yourself of your journey this far.

And keep going. Don’t settle for mediocrity. Dont go cheap on yourself for a quick fix. Invest in yourself. Invest in soothing and nourishing your soul.

Find those friends and soulmates who will go deep with you. Ground yourself in roots of raw love and integrity and intelligence.

You got this. 2020 is about to begin. Start out the gate strong and determined.

Education, Gardening, Health, motherhood, Random, Reflection, Woman

Plant the Seed

We have all heard this before.

Well, maybe most of us…

Those who plant the seed may not always be the one who gets to water that seed. But, if we are blessed, we may be able to witness that seed sprout and grow in the future.

I have to slow down and remind myself to be patient. Especially in times of seed planting… not literally in seed planting, for I tend to have a black thumb.

But my type of seed planting is that of encouragement or knowledge or just… wisdom from a mid-life mama.

I have watched how my own four children have grown into some amazing human beings. As much as I want to take credit for their awesomeness, I realize that most of my “mothering” was really seed planting of their hearts and souls. I gave them consistency and intention and a whole lot of love and grace.

I believe that our society is lacking so much growth these days. The soil of our souls is depleted, and when a seed is planted we tend to grow cold, grow weeds, or just wither up and die.

We are in desperate need of a revival. A societal revival that emphasizes nourishing the soul of our souls. Taking time to find the things that make us grow as humans.






Remember, as I share my thoughts with you I am preaching to the choir. I am my own audience, too. I need to hear and see and believe these things.

For then, when my soul is nourished, the seeds that I plant in myself can grow in a healthy way. And I can bring the fruits of my labor to you, dear reader.

May you be blessed today because of your investment to become process driven, too.




Faith, Health, Reflection, Woman

Taking back my power

Healing begins the moment you choose to take your power back.

I never realized before that I always had the power within me. I knew I was strong and independent, but I allowed too many people to come in and take the wind right out of my sails.

And for years I suffered.

Why do we allow others to have this much control? Why do we cower when we feel guilt or shame? Why are we not standing up for ourselves?

The only answer that I can muster is that I was a people pleaser. I wanted to be liked. No, I wanted to be loved. I wanted to be valued.

I wanted to matter.

But, there is a cost when it comes to relationships. Whether you invest in a friendship or a love relationship there is a cost.

It will cost you your time.

It will cost you your energy.

It will cost you your heart.

Because, if you are anything like me, you truly value your investment in humans. You have a deep love for connection. You treasure the precious moments and memories.

And sometimes that investment will take rather than give.

The key is to be prepared. A healthy person must know ahead of time that other humans are gonna fail you!

YOU are going to fail you.

Yet, if you know the risks and you choose to accept the chance anyway, then failure may be an option.

But failure is NOT a permanent option.

It is a…

F – first

A – attempt

I – in

L – learning

If you allow yourself to catch some scrapes and bruises, your heart “skin” will become a little thicker. Your mind will become wiser. And your soul will become stronger.

In the journey of becoming process driven, I am choosing to take my power BACK.

I am choosing to guard my heart more, to solidify my soul more, and to still find human tenderness in the trenches.

So look out 2019!

I’m baaaaack!


Faith, Health, Reflection

Lessons from the Boot

Almost six months have passed (gasp!), and I finally have the time/feeling/sense of urgency to write.

As of last Wednesday, I am temporarily immobile.  You see, I broke my ankle. boot

I am a middle-aged mama who broke her first bone. Ever.

Yes, it hurts. I thought a sprained ankle or a swollen knee hurts a lot. Nope. There’s not much to compare to a broken bone. Well, unless it’s a kidney stone. Then, that hurts worse than child birth. Oh wait, I’m digressing…

So, as I sit here, day after day, waiting for my avulsion fracture to heal, I have a lot of time to think. And, I am learning something from this dreadful boot upon which I re-learn to walk again.

1. REST is a four-letter word.

Sure, I love the occasional nap and a good night’s sleep, but continual rest day after day? It’s been emotionally painful to bear. I have actually viewed it as a new curse word, so to speak.  I am a busy, go-go-go mama, and the last thing I need or want to do is rest. Yet, here I am, on my bum, making the most of my time.

I want to be productive. I want to say, hey look what I can do! Ah, crap… there goes that prideful thinking again. I like a nice pat on the back as much as the next person does, but for some reason my EGO thinks that being busy equals being productive.

I am learning that RESTing is more important than BUSYing. If you get a chance to sit, be quiet and listen, you’ll start to “see” and “hear” the rest of the world around you. I am more conscious of my children’s conversations. I am more aware of time. I am more in awe of nature and its beauty. I am more close to my God.

2. It’s okay to be the passenger.

Taking a break from driving has been also hard on me. I don’t get to be in control at the wheel, and sometimes the journey is not as fun. I have to build trust in my driver (usually, it’s my husband). I have to keep my mouth shut, my tongue bit, and a smile on my face. Don’t get me wrong. He’s a great driver. He knows where HE is going. I just don’t like the fact that I am Miss Daisy for the next five or six weeks.

But, the good part about being a passenger is that I get a break. I don’t have to concentrate on the road if I don’t want to do so. I can relax while I get to my destination. I don’t have to walk. And, it’s air-conditioned (thank goodness) so the natural elements of an Arizona summer aren’t bugging me (no pun intended).

Again, this little lesson is about SLOWING DOWN and taking a breather. I keep forgetting that LIFE is not a marathon race. Well, it’s a marathon, but it doesn’t have to be a race.

3. Kisses from strangers.

Yes, I received a kiss from a stranger for wearing my boot. I was sitting in church this past Sunday, and of course I chose an aisle seat so I could have extra leg room for my boot. As we were sitting and praying during the quiet part of the service, this older gentleman, an usher, came up to me and whispered, “Would you like to race?” I looked at him blankly and replied, “Why yes, that would be nice!” He laughed, and instead of giving me a hand shake or a side hug, he bent down and kissed me on the forehead. I was a little shocked, but my husband was appalled!

Who did this guy think he was to kiss me? For me, I smiled and felt so warm and snugly inside. It was as if my own earthly daddy had kissed me. I think he was an angel, sent by God, to tell me that everything is going to be okay.

So, of course, a person with a walking boot may get unwarranted attention. Take that, prideful EGO!

More to come…

I am sure there will be more lessons to learn from all of this mess called a broken ankle. I know it could have been much worse, as I fell from from the bottom of the stairs (versus the dangerous top of the stairs).

Until then, carry on. Walk well. Slow down. Enjoy a snail’s pace every now and then.

Faith, Health

Flip Flops and Boxing Gloves


Gotta love flip flops!

And, there’s something about boxing gloves.

Two extreme accessories. One purpose. True? You bet!

Flip flops are the epitome of summer, of relaxation. It’s a visual reminder to keep your feet protected near water while you quickly dip your toes into the nearest pool or ocean.

On the other hand (no pun intended), boxing gloves epitomize a fight. They are the glorious reminder of fighting against something.

An opponent. A disease. A cause. A fear. A dream.

To be in a fighting mood, your body must be tense. You must reserve all regular energy for that surge of adrenalin that wants to invade every cell in your body. So, how is it possible to wear boxing gloves and flip flops at the same time?

The battle that most of us face on a daily basis is made of unseen forces. They are the thoughts in our heads that cause to worry. At least that’s my battle. I admit it. I am a latent worrier.

That type of mental and emotional anguish was never my goal. A child is not a worrier until someone or something teaches her to worry. The adult has had years, however, to perfect that unseen force.

This force comes in like an earthquake:  It is an instantaneous eruption that shows its ugly head as an untimely death of a loved one, an unexpected job loss, or a terminal diagnosis.

Although it’s easier said than done, this is where the flip flops come in handy. When a crisis hits, take off your shoes and slip into some flip flops. That’s right. Take a stroll outside and breathe in some fresh air, albeit icy cold or blazing hot. Mother Nature doesn’t discriminate against anyone needing a fresh breath of air. She only discriminates based on geography.

I am learning that my battle must be fought with two items. One, I use boxing gloves metaphorically to combat my fears, my tension, my anguish. Two, I use my flip flops metaphorically to ease my fears, my tension, and my anguish. Either method isn’t easy at first, because it requires strength that comes from both outside and inside the body. It truly is mind over matter.

Next time you think about what may hurt you, think of the flip flops and boxing gloves. Picture them, buy them, wear them. Do whatever you need to do to build up your strength from within, to fight that unseen battle.

I am on your side. I am fighting right there with you.

Health, Reflection

From Generation X to Syndrome X

80s Girl at Heart

As a child I ate whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted. I didn’t gorge out, but I didn’t hold back, either. I tried everything, especially since my parents subscribed to the “Clean Plate Club.” I don’t remember going hungry. Ever.

I can recall school lunches filled with the yummiest choices, and it always had a cute yellow tube cake (with frosting on the inside) wrapped in cellophane as my dessert. Calories weren’t counted. Carbs were not of interest. I even preferred beef stew with vegetables over the sweets.

Fast Forward to the Times

The next couple of decades started to reveal the damage my body had silently endured which began in childhood. A generally healthy child, even with a few extra pounds, will not be considered unhealthy on the outside. The hidden secret of free radicals, trans fats, and carb-laden goodies will surface when the inside has had enough. How were we to know the ripple effect of disease when our food was labeled acceptable by the powers at be?

Hail to the X

As a Gen X kid I never thought that a disease like diabetes could catch up so fast in just a number of years. I don’t have DM yet, but I do have the four pillars of the X, or what is also known as Metabolic Syndrome.

With central (trunk) obesity, high triglycerides, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure showing their ugly faces, these four “markers” signal a potentially deadly wave to millions of people. Alas, I am one of them.

Changing the Tide

The good news is this: the tidal wave of bad symptoms can be reversed not only by medication, but through honest-to-goodness lifestyle change. I choose to not take medicine if it is possible. I can choose to eat clean, unprocessed foods. I can choose to exercise (walking is best) for 30 minutes a day. I can choose to stay away from bad temptations. But, yes, it IS hard to do!

The Choir is singing… loudly for all to hear!

I will always be a voice to promote good choices. Even though the odds are not in my favor, I have to wake up everyday and fight an unseen battle inside. I have to do this because I don’t have any other option. I have a husband and children who depend on me. I have friends and loved ones who need encouragement and hope.

I am asking that you will join me in this quest to reverse Syndrome X one symptom at a time. If you are healthy right now, that’s great! Don’t take it for granted. If you have one or more of these symptoms, let’s work together to fight for our health!


Faith, Friendship, Health, Reflection

Strength is counted by…

… the number of scars.

I was driving down the road today when this thought crossed my mind: strength comes by the number of scars I have.

Well, that doesn’t sound too pretty. Seriously, I think that scars are ugly. They have this white-silvery streak that feels odd on the skin. Scars show damage. They are the result of injury, illness, or disease.

But, scars are a part of life. If we didn’t have scars, we really can’t say that we’ve lived much.

Who hasn’t endured the fall off the bike, the cut from the first shaving experience, or the scab of the chicken pox owie?

But, all of these scars add up. They tell a story of what has happened. They replace the healthy tissue with replacement tissue, and it’s tougher than the original. Hence, the scars create strength in the original area that was vulnerable and weak.

… the number of cords in your rope.

“A three fold cord is not easily broken” is a great statement, and it’s also a verse in the Bible. Strength is found when the “ropes” of your life are held together by two or more strands. These “strands” can be friends, family, or groups that hold you up, hold you accountable, and just plain hold you together.

How do I find/get strength?

In all honesty, I don’t feel like I am strong on most days. I tend to go through the motions of each day. I get up, get ready, and get moving. I have a lot on my plate, and those daily tasks can zap me of my strength. Here are a few examples of ways that I re-fuel my system:

  1. I make sure I get a good night’s rest – a minimum of 8 solid hours of restful sleep.
  2. I make sure I eat breakfast every day – this is necessary to rev up the metabolism.
  3. I make sure I get 30 minutes of exercise done daily. If not daily, then 4-5 times per week.
  4. I make time to find solitude – I find a quiet spot where I can read, pray, meditate, or just stare out the window.
  5. I make sure I “find” ten things to be thankful for each day – this includes positive attributes about myself.

Finding and attaining strength is not for the faint of heart. Only the few will strive for this coveted characteristic in life. Remember, no one is born strong. A newborn baby must make small moves every day to first strengthen the neck in order to hold up the head. Once the head is stable, then the baby will start to use the arm muscles to hold objects, push up on the tummy, and so forth. Eventually, in one year of life, a helpless newborn baby turns into a crawling or possibly walking toddler. Amazing!

If you can find that inner strength, that same determination of a newborn baby, to make small moves every day, can you imagine how different you would be in one year’s time? I have to remind myself everyday that I can be renewed or strengthened far beyond my current limits if I just try to make small changes every day.

Can you do it? Yes! Will you join me? I hope so!

Health, Woman

3 survival tools for a woman: a cup, a chip, and a pill

20130724-191622.jpgIt would be a lie if I didn’t tell you that I take drugs. Yes, it’s this little oval pill that I call my “happy” pill. I also consume a daily cup of a legal stimulant that contains caffeine. And, yes, there’s a sweet little cacao bean that helps in a pinch when I can’t have the other two substances.

Yesterday was one of “those” days.

I was a woman on a rampage, and not a mission. I have my hormones to thank for that. “Sometimes it’s hard to be a woman” is not only a line in a song, but it is OH SO TRUE! I felt so out of control, and all I could do was eat, whine, and be frumpy.

This is not a pretty picture of myself. I shouldn’t publicly declare my indecencies. But, I know as a human being, and especially as a woman, I am NOT alone. Every day, somewhere in this world, is a woman who is going through what I went through yesterday.

Thank goodness for a new day! I woke up this morning to a refreshing sunny day, and I took the time to put myself together enough to face the new day. I made sure I put in a 3 mile power walk before the heat of summer commenced!

I made a pot of coffee (just enough for me), I drank my morning energy shake/smoothie, and I even made a balanced breakfast of eggs, oatmeal, toast, and milk for my girl. I only ate the eggs, though.

Some days are just like that. You wake up, and there’s no warning signal. There are good days, and there are bad days. There are girly hormones that make you want to throw a fit (and that’s a gentle description). There are sunny days and cloudy days that drive your sinuses crazy. Some days are just not a good fit. But, most days are better.

So, in the midst of misery, I found my solace in a cup of comforting caffeine, a handful of chocolate chips, or in a little oval pill. I should have stopped everything, though, and just fallen on my face in prayer. But, I did doing some praying later. Oh yes, and I made a phone call to a dear friend ~ every woman needs a good girlfriend who completely understands her.

Can you guess what I’ll do the next time I find myself on a rampage? Well, hopefully, that won’t happen in the near future… but you can bet that I’ll have a cup, a chip, and a pill nearby to smooth out the edges and pull me away from the proverbial ledge of emotional despair.

PS – I am willing to give out a hug today 🙂

Education, Faith, Health, Marriage and Family, motherhood

Four Decades of Signficance

Today, June, 24, 2012, I have reached a huge milestone in my life. It is the day that some people will say I am now “over the hill.” For me, it is the most significant day of reflection, gratitude, and peace I have embraced.

It is my 40th birthday.

As I look back on my life these past 40 years, I can see so many things that have brought to where I am today. Take a small journey with me through each decade, won’t you?

1972 – 1982

From zero to ten, I was an ordinary little girl. From my mother’s perspective, I was her “dream come true.” Known by relatives as a ‘tahitian beauty’, I was vastly different in looks and personality than what was expected. I was painfully shy on the outside, yet strong-willed on the inside. I obeyed my parents at every command; and, I embraced a genuine love for God and for church at the age of 5. I was a good girl, and I was proud of it. I don’t have many memories of this decade, except for the few routine events that shaped my early years: going to school, watching Saturday morning cartoons, playing outside, going to the beach almost every Sunday afternoon, and going to churchy events so I could see my friends. I learned to play the piano in this decade, and most of my spare time was behind the keyboard. There weren’t any lavish family vacations (except to go see extended family), and I loved becoming a pen pal to anyone who would send me a reply by mail. Secretly, I longed for something more, but I wasn’t sure what that “something” was… not yet, anyway.

1982 – 1992

Ah, the decade of adolescence and growth into a young adult. Wow, these were turbulent years for me, as I can imagine that most young adults experience. But, the turbulence was silent, inward, and kept to a minimum on purpose. I wanted so badly to please my parents, please my friends, please God, well, please everyone! I did my best in school, but it wasn’t good enough for scholarships. I did my best in my friendships, and I manage to retain some kindred spirits. And, I always tried to please God, because I wanted to make sure I was doing the right thing. I hadn’t learned the difference yet between “right doing” and right being.” Yes, there is a difference.

I also discovered in this decade that love hurts. From losing a first love in a breakup, to having several close family members die, love does hurt. I didn’t quite learn yet that there was no one to blame for this hurt, but as the old saying goes, “time heals old wounds.”

Perhaps the greatest significance in this decade has been the experience of travel. I didn’t travel far, but I traveled enough to know that I didn’t want to stay in one spot for the rest of my life. From the Navajo reservation in northern Arizona, to the barrios of Ensenada, Mexico, and across the continent to countryside of North Carolina, I discovered a big world out there that held so many niches for a restless soul searching for that “something.” Still, my time had not come to fruition for contentedness.

1992 – 2002

The 20-somethings was a roller coaster ride of change, even more than my silent turbulent adolescent years. This decade brought upon so many life-altering events, but each one has its own place for significance. From the death of my earthly father, to early marriage and motherhood, and finally an uproot from California to Arizona, I felt like life was a whirlwind that didn’t know how to slow down. I couldn’t find the eye in the storm. This was such a time of dreams ending, dreams revealed, and dreams hopeful. The fairy tale that plays in every little girl’s imagination comes to a dead end in this decade. Reality bites. Reality stings. But, reality is real. Not that I am sad, though, for reality keeps one’s feet on the ground, and points to a future that is shaped by wisdom and knowledge attained.

2002 -2012

At first I couldn’t embrace the word “thirty.” I felt like my tongue had formed a lisp, and it was twisting the word “twenty” into “thirty” by accident. It turns out that the 30s have been a second whirlwind of change, but this time I had a little more knowledge, a little more wisdom, and a lot less fairy tale imagination! Returning to college in my 30s was probably the most significant event of this decade. It was also a lot more fun and motivating to earn those As because I was completing a goal, rather than pleasing my parents (or society). This was the decade of learning the ups of downs of marriage, of parenthood, of finances, and yes, even health. This was the decade when I realized that life was flashing by at the speed of light, and if I didn’t awaken to the reality of health promotion (aka disease prevention), then the rest of my life could be cut short very quickly.

The 30s has been considered a second “wiggly” round of young adulthood, in my opinion. The first “wiggly” time was the teen years that melted into the roaring twenties. This decade has proven more of wrestling with oneself in that you know who you are and where you have been, but you are now asking, “where am I going?” “Am I doing the right thing with my life?” “Will this decision to do such-and-such help me or hinder me?”

2012 – 2022

Well, the history books haven’t been written yet for this decade. But, as I look back on reflection of four decades, I can see God’s hand in guiding me, and His footprints as he walked beside me. I may not have chosen the path that I walked, yet that “something” I was looking for has been found. It is called Intention, and it is the one thing that propels a human being toward a satisfied, fulfilled life. I have learned that money will come and go (mostly be gone when you have children); I have learned that love will come and go (for love is a choice, not a feeling); and I have learned that true success is not how much money or love you can acquire. True success is the significance that you have made in your life and in the lives that you touch. True success is driven by Intention. And, Intention is the fire that burns the soul with passion for living.

This will be the decade where I will start to reach new goals for living the next 40 years. Whether it’s doing things on my bucket list, or just continuing to learn how to be content in the moment, I am choosing to be proactive.

My challenge to you: choose Intention, choose Passion, choose Gratitude, choose Living!


Walk the Talk

In my long and sometimes arduous journey toward a college degree, I realized that I had to find the calling within my career. I started as a liberal studies major, which means that you get a degree in general education. No big deal. But, as I moved to the upper division courses, I knew I had to make a concrete choice.

First, I tried to get my BSN (bachelors in nursing). I spent two and one-half years studying year-round to complete all the prerequisites to enter the nursing program in the fall of 2004. As a long story cut short, plan A disintegrated in lieu of the family. So, I moved on to plan B: a teaching degree. I started back at square one and completed all of the prerequisites I needed to enter the Professional Teaching program at the University. Again, a surprise pregnancy took precedence over my proposed educational goals.

I didn’t quit my schooling, but I took a hiatus for a year to focus on my new baby. As I regained my momentum to figure out a career that could combine nursing and teaching, I found a major called Health Promotion. The bonus part is that it is completely online! I could continue to stay at home and study while raising my children. Even though I didn’t plan to complete my degree in Health Promotion, I see now that it has become vital for my life, the life of my family, and my community.

As I have drawn closer and closer to the finish line (with only an internship standing in the way between me and my degree) I took a good look at myself. I discovered that I wasn’t “walking the talk.” I hadn’t put health promotion as a top priority in my own life. I knew what I needed to do, but in all honesty, I didn’t believe in myself. I was scared. I was afraid to fail. Until I heard these words from my chiropractor, “your heart is stressed,” I decided to make a change for good.

So, on January 5th, 2011, I embarked on a daring and exciting journey toward better health. Through a 21-day purification program, I began my journey by eliminating every possible food source that was poisoning my body. I could only eat vegetables and fruits, along with the approved “detox” shakes and whole food supplements. I was terrified. I had never done anything so drastic before in my life. Sure, I had given up carbs on a temporary diet at a previous time, but this purification program is different. It is meant to be a lifelong change.

The first three days of my purification program were the most difficult. I had to endure hunger pains, sugar cravings, a severe headache, and irritability. But, I kept telling myself, “Even though you feel miserable now, it is only temporary. Wouldn’t you rather have a few days of horrible symptoms, and then have a lifetime of wonderful health?” So, I endured. I did not cheat. Not even one bite or lick of a forbidden food. I prayed a lot; I walked away and ignored the kitchen (my poor husband and kids had to fend for themselves).

I finished the first week with a 9 lb loss of weight, and an increased stamina and energy that I haven’t felt in such a long time. It was almost euphoric! I could literally bounce down the stairs, feeling light as air. I still struggled with the wonderful aromas of food that lingered in the grocery stores and nearby restaurants, but I kept my eyes focused on day 21. I had to cross the finish line with 100% success. I had to “walk the talk” and prove that better health can be achieved through proper eating and exercise.

In conclusion, I did complete the 21 day purification program with 100% success. I encountered a slight viral illness during the middle of it, but I perservered. I learned so many things about ME during this process of self-control. The food of nature can be man’s best friend. I learned that I didn’t have to predict my future as a type 2 diabetic just because my parents were diabetic. I learned that I could live without ONE item that was stocked in my pantry. I learned that water became my source of life in my body.

I also learned that my endocrine system is connected to the nervous system, which connects every system for homeostasis (balance). If the balance is off, then the other body systems will start to react. The liver will show elevated enzymes; the blood fats (cholesterol and trigylcercides) will increase; the oils will increase in the skin; the heart will experience high pressure; the pancreas will pump out too much insulin to try and accomodate the excess sugar; and the kidneys will become overworked through continual filtering and produce stones. Even the small injuries to the tissues, like carpal tunnel and arthritic knees, will respond through chronic inflammation.

The only way to correct and reset the body’s functions back to normal is through a purification program. Most medical doctors do not want to share this information with you because they make more money when you’re sick. They also receive the “kickbacks” from the insurance and pharmaceutical companies to promote the medicinces that are supposed to help or cure the ailments. WRONG! Most medications are just bandaids to relieve the symptoms, but true health is only achieved when you shoot down the root cause and stop it for good!

So, my major is Health Promotion, but my lifestyle will also become Health Promotion. If I can’t be an example for others to believe in a change that will prolong their lives, increase their quality of life, and give them hope for a better future, then I’m not fulfilling my calling as a teacher of health. May you find the strength, courage, and conviction to pursue the best health. The tools are out there; you just have to know where to look! And, don’t be afraid to ask!