ZIP IT & ZAP IT

I know what you’re thinking, “What does Zip It and Zap It have to do with wellness?” So much that you don’t even imagine how much sometimes. Both of these can go hand-in-hand when speaking of health and wellness. These two action steps go together like peanut butter and jelly; if we’re not careful in pursuing their end we will find ourselves in a mess of health issues all at the mercy of our own hands. If you Zip It and Zap It you’ll have many more days filled with wellness.

Zip It is in direct relationship to our mouths not just to foods that make us unhealthy and overweight, but to words that tear down. If your conversation and the words you use are not adding to the encouragement of others  then don’t say them. The words we choose can either build a bridge of wellness or leave a legacy of deceit. When was the last time you were in a conversation with someone and you heard more curse words than anything else? This person is filled with strife, contention, and animosity with others and with themselves. Learn to control your words for your health’s sake. People who don’t curse, edify conversations, and encourage one another are calmer, more at peace, and healthier than their curse word slinging counterpart.

ZIP ZAP

Zap It is totally connected to the negative energy that’s produced by negative people, negative situations, negative words, and negative thoughts. If you are yearning for better wellness then you’ll want to Zap all the areas that are negative in your own lives. Just like the microwave zaps all the nutrients out of our food, we need to Zap all the negative influences that cause us strife. Granted you probably can’t do anything with the traffic you drive in every day, but you can alter your response to it. Instead of getting agitated by it, listen to uplifting music, a book on CD, or leave a half-hour earlier.

Here are some ways to Zap It (the negative energy)

  • Get away from negative people: If you’re married to a spouse that is constantly negative then find your happy place in your mind and go there when your spouse is in a negative place. Talk to them ask them why they are negative all the time. Seek counseling if necessary. Find something that the two of you like to do and make a commitment to do it at least once a month or more. 
  • Stop using negative words yourself. Zip your mouth if you can’t say anything nice to someone. Hold yourself at a higher standard. Don’t let the negative words of others spur you into a negative world. If we praise our children for what they are doing right instead of constantly criticizing them for all the mistakes they make, they will be happier children and want to do better instead of not wanting to try at all.
  • Create a list of positive words to say every day. I know it sounds rather childish but if you are learning a new habit and need a little bit of prompting throughout the day. This list will help you. I’m constantly adding to my list. Click here to see it.
  • Stop watching TV shows and movies that are surrounded by negativity. When you’re in a negative place watching movies about arguments and listening to foul language will only fuel the fire within you.
  • Stop eating junk food. Junk food is filled with negative energy and zaps too many nutrients from your body just to digest it. Instead choose live food. Nothing packaged, with a label, or from the fast food restaurant down the street. Eat an orange, a banana, an organic piece of chicken, an organic salad. Choose as much organic foods that contain nutrients that give our bodies positive energy. The longer a person runs on negative energy the higher the risk of contracting deadly diseases and other illnesses.
  • Keep a notebook with you. Sometimes when I’m going through a negative situation I write down my thoughts about it, then I cross them out and write something positive about the situation. Write something positive about being stuck in traffic. Write something positive about all the negative situations in your life and you’ll begin to see those same situations as positive opportunities for growth.

When you put these two action steps of wellness, Zip It and Zap It, together with the other 25 to work in your own life you’ll begin to see that your wellness is in you hands. While each step has it’s own merit together they form a wellness plan that can propel you into a life that you never thought was possible. One filled with abounding health and magnificent wellness.

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YEARNING FOR OUR OWN WELLNESS

We’ve spent the entire month going through the alphabet in April’s Action Steps to Wellness. I can’t believe we only have today and tomorrow left. In going through my own steps, I’m reminded how each of us need to be yearning for our own wellness.

It’s easy to tell other people what they need to do to become and remain healthy but when it comes to ourselves we just do the bare minimum and expect our wellness to soar. When you tell people you don’t feel well they are always ready with an old wives remedy or whatever they do to counteract whatever symptoms you have.

Steps

Webster’s dictionary says that we should be longing persistently or yearning; we should have compassion or yearning for ourselves. It’s easier to have compassion for other people but do you have the same compassion for yourself that you yearn to make your healthy and strong? Do you persistently long after wellness and make your own wellness steps part of your life? If we’re not yearning for our own wellness than what are we doing just playing or dabbling in the wellness pool? You consider yourself a swimmer if you’re sitting on the side of the pool and only stick your legs in. What is it exactly that we’re doing?

Sometimes I think we look at health and wellness as an afterthought. A busy mom or student might say, “When I have more time, I’ll get around to it.” “It’s something I’ll take more seriously when I’m older.” “I don’t need to think about health and wellness I’m only a teenager, or in my 20’s, 30’s, 40’s;” put your own age time limit on it. “I’m not sick yet!” These are some of the statements I’ve heard in the last couple of years.

Don’t wait for illness to catch you in it’s grips, you may not have enough time to get out. If we all start yearning now for our own wellness, we’ll be able to stave off illness, slow down the aging process, and lose weight. Waiting only makes it more difficult. Long persistently for your own wellness. Be compassionate for your own health. Yearn for your own wellness!

Waking Up To eXercise!

Let’s face it, if we don’t find exercising fun, many of us just won’t do it. But then I think, when does everything we do have to be fun in order for us to do it. Anyone who’s ever changed a diaper knows it’s not fun but it is a necessary part of life that needs to get done. There are many other things in life that are not fun but yet we do them, exercise for some of us could be in that same category. For people who love to exercise this blog post may be a little boring, but for all of you who dread waking up to exercise and will look for every excuse in the book to not exercise this post will hit a nerve.

Wake Up To eXercise

Remember the old saying “Use it or lose it?” I’ve known many examples of people who got no physical activity and their lives were shortened or seriously changed because of the lack there of. One such example was my own father. While my father was a very inspiring man his only exercise came when he would walk the trash cans to the end of our drive way once a week. Oh don’t get me wrong we had all sorts of exercise equipment from stationary bicycles, to contraptions that hung on door knobs that had leather grips that made you look like you were walking while lying on your back. We also had this one piece of equipment that had four foam pads on a track, two for your hands and two for your knees it made you feel like you were crawling. These things got used for all of a month then they would sit in our basement collecting dust. My father died at the age of 63 back in 1988.

Then I have my uncle Hank. I always remember him as being thin but he was just as unhealthy as my father when it came to exercising. His favorite exercise was golfing. He loved the sport so much that he had a golfing green installed in his backyard. When I stayed with my aunt and uncle I would go golfing with him on occasion, and we always road in the golf cart because as he would say “It took too long to walk it!” He died when in 1982 at the age of 62.

I have numerous examples in my life of people who would say “I just hate to exercise.” “It makes me too sweaty!” “I don’t like the way I feel when I exercise.” “It takes too much time!” These are the people who today are either dead or living in a handicapped state all because they made excuses about why they didn’t want do it instead of waking up to exercise.

Yes I have physical handicaps. I have five screws holding my left foot together. I have a painful autoimmune disease. I have the residual effects leftover from a car accident. But I’ve found that when I exercise I feel better. I’ve made the excuses just like everyone else, too. “I’m too tired!” “My foot hurts!” “The pain is too great today!”

Our bodies were not designed to sit all day. It’s ironic when you look at it from an animal standpoint. We’re told that eating organic cage free chickens is better for us. So we’ve let our animals roam free and put ourselves in cages. Now no amount of eating organic food is going to save a sick population if we’re sitting in our own cages we call offices, homes, and vehicles. If you don’t have a physical job than you better have a physical life. We need to exercise. It’s simple. We need to get rid of all the excuses of why we don’t exercise. We need do it whether it’s fun or not. Yes there are all sorts of books out there that tout the benefits of exercising and you can read them all but having the knowledge won’t make you do it. You have to just wake up, cut the crap, and exercise.

Look at the examples in your own family of people who have really lived and those who lived with their excuses. You’ll find your motivation to wake up to exercise. 

VISUALIZING OUR DREAMS

There are some important steps to visualizing what we need to see to help us grow forward and be prosperous in the world. But we’re not taught these skills in school; they are lessons learned throughout our life. In fact we’re taught just the opposite. “Get your head out of the clouds!” “Stop daydreaming!” “You can’t believe a hunch!” But sometimes we’re told that certain aspects of the visualizing tools are useful like “a mother’s intuition” or “that gut feeling.” Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could use these valid tools to transform our all the facets of our lives? How would our health be different if we used these tools? Well we can and many people already do. We too can learn to use these tools that will help in visualizing our dream!

Visualizing Our Dream

Visualizing our dreams makes me think of Adam Sandler’s character in Bedtime Stories.  His niece and nephew would implant suggestions before going to sleep and their dreams would come true. This is what we do when we visualize. But in order to visualize our dreams we need to change the paradigms or examples that we carry with us.

Here are six areas that need to change in order for our paradigms to change:

  • Perception: How you perceive the world around you makes a big impact on how you perceive and visualize your dream. If your perception is based on the premise that everyone is out to get you, then you will not be able to visualize your dream because you will constantly be thinking that someone might take your dream away from you, or someone might be better at what you want to accomplish than you. There will always be someone who’s better than you. Your competition should be with yourself, trying to be a better you instead of competing with others is a healthier perception than always trying to compete with other people. 
  • Will: Do you have the will to move forward and achieve that with which you visualize? If your will or desire does not match your dream visually, then you will not only have a difficult time when you visualize but you will also have a difficult time following through to the end result. You’re either ready of you’re not. You either have a deep desire or will to change or you don’t. You can’t visualize your dream while sitting on the fence. You can’t try to be healthy one day and then destructive the next and expect to healthy the rest of your life.
  • Imagination: Do you have the creative ability to carry a mental image of your dream with you at all times? If you can use your imagination to create solutions to problems not yet seen then you can use it to visualize how your dreams can become a reality. Get your head back into those clouds and find your imagination again. Use it to bring your dream to life, give it a form, a shape. Only you can bring it to life, you can’t rely on your spouse, your parents, or your friends. It’s your dream, not theirs.
  • Memory:  Can you remember details about your dream so you can trudge through the difficult areas of life and still maintain your dream? What do I mean by this? Making your dream a reality is not all roses and glory. It’s going to require that you do things you don’t like to do, and things that are just plain menial. But they need to get done so your dream can become a reality. Our memory of what we hold in our minds eye helps use move forward by motivating us to make changes in our paradigm so they’re congruent with the visualization of our dreams.     
  • Intuition: Our intuition balances us. It’s what we think about even when we think we’re doing something where we’re focusing solely on what we’re doing. Have you ever been doing something that needed your undivided attention but in the back of your mind you were thinking something totally congruent to what you were doing? Have you ever just known something didn’t feel right about a situation or a place you were at? This is your intuition at work. How do you use your intuition to help you in visualizing your dream? It’s simple start listening to it. Stop listening to the inner critic that keeps playing in your head, whether the words come from a negative spouse, parent, friend, or even yourself. Stop those words. Stop ridiculing yourself. Write out your thoughts about your dream, about the people in your dream and every other aspect of your dream. Instead of living by your emotions as you do this little exercise every day, your emotions will now be on paper and won’t be holding you back from accomplishing what you have set out to do.
  • Reason: Can you think logically through a set of steps to work out a problem? While visualizing our dream may include a lot of our own personal emotions that tie us to the dream, we need to get away from the emotions and learn to reason through some points to make our dreams a reality. We have to be able to use sound reasoning skills and prudent judgments when necessary to plow through roadblocks that may come up in the pursuit of our dreams.

I’ve just scratched the surface of these tools and how they are all interconnected with each other and our dreams. Being aware of them is the first step in using them in visualizing what we want in life. Using these tools to change our paradigms will help us in visualizing our dreams and propelling us forward in our health and in our life.

Where do you want your dreams to take you?

UNDERSTANDING YOUR VISION

On my walk this morning I came to the conclusion that without understanding of why something happens in our lives we continue to let it keep happening. People are always asking that ill fated question, “WHY?”  “Why did this bad thing happen to me?” “Why did I get this disease?” “Why did my spouse leave me?”  And we are always given  the answer in yet another question, “WHY NOT?” The answers to these questions helps in understanding the vision we have for our entire life.

While many times we are told not to even think about the question of “Why?” something has happened or is happening in our lives. Because people think that we will have to endure even more bad things happening to us. Don’t you find it interesting that we only question when bad things are going on and not the good? When we’re going through the good times we never stop to think about why they’re happening we’re just enjoying the moment.

Do you understand the vision for your life?

Do you understand the vision for your life?

Understanding the vision in our life means that we need to understand the why’s and the why not’s  of the things that happen to us; this means that we need to ask ourselves some difficult attachment questions. It’s no secret that in order to lose weight and get healthy we need to ask ourselves questions about our motives in why we do the deeds that are detrimental to both our figure and our health. For me, it looks like this: What in my past has me connected to eating chocolate first thing in the morning? This goes all the way back to my grandfather. I am longing for those simpler times when I was cared for by my Dzadza (Polish for grandfather). I feel the need to continue in his legacy even though I know it’t not healthy. But in my case I’ve changed the way I have my chocolate in the morning and have a chocolate protein shake instead.

This was an easy vision to understand. I have a vision of looking and feeling a certain way so I needed to understand why I am constantly craving something that is tied me to my past. How many of us do this every day but don’t understand why we’re doing it? Now let’s dig a little deeper. I’m not a fan of setting goals, many people aren’t, but they’re also going nowhere, either. Goals help us achieve that which is worthwhile. So what’s my obsession about these little things called goals? While I’ve set goals in the past, some I accomplished and some I haven’t, in my mind I always focused on the unaccomplished goals instead of my successes. WHY? Because I sometimes I let the negative words of my mother overrun my mind instead of those positive words of my father. I accomplished many things in my life by having goals but those negative words are sometimes so difficult to silence.

I was sitting in a business training session a couple of months ago with other associates and we were going around the circle  stating our goals about where we want our business to be. When it was my turn, I stood up and said “I try not to make goals because when I do and I don’t accomplish them I am extremely depressed.” I shot myself in the foot that day. Because the only thing I’ve accomplished is nothing!

I now understand that I need to have a vision of where I want to go and I need to understand that vision. Understanding the vision for my life means that I need to write down my goals, read over my goals, give a vision to my goals. I need to map out where I want to go not just with the business but with my physical, spiritual, emotional, intellectual, environmental, and social health. Sometimes I think in pictures and sometimes I think in words. So I’ve decided to bring my vision to life with photos that I’ve started collecting, quotes about the life I want to have. I’ve printed them all out and they sit on the wall above my computer in my office. The quotes are on my bathroom mirror, my refrigerator, and my front door. 

You see if I surround myself with my vision, I’ll understand my vision, and I’ll become my vision.

Instead of letting life happen to you, bring your vision to life.

Understand it.

Taste it.

Feel it.

Become the vision.

THINKING IT THROUGH

Every time I think about a situation of a person is thinking it through to the end or the lack there of I always think about the old I Love Lucy Shows. Lucy always had a plan to do something but never took the time to think it through to the end and her plans always turned out rather hilarious but kind of sad. Lucy was never alone in her endeavors, she had Ethel who just went along with Lucy without thinking it through.

Thinking through a problem is like looking at the solution before stating their could be a problem in the first place. I do this all the time especially when I’m creating my art work. I will look at the medium I’m working with and try to make it do something it’s not designed to. But I think it through to the end to see what the end result could look like then I think about the ways I can make it. Case in point, how do you take metal tin can lids and mold them to fit on a flower pot. You hammer them until they are pliable then you can bend them and mold them to fit on anything. (Sorry there’s no photo yet, I haven’t finished it yet.)

Think it through

Are you thinking through your situations or are you constantly finding yourself on the crazy-go-round of your life? A crazy-go-round, we all have one of those life issues that simply won’t go away and drives us nuts because no matter what you do or don’t do, it never changes. I’ve learned that my own crazy-go-round will probably never go away but as I thought it through, it’s affecting my life less and less because I choose not to focus on it. I thought it through to the end and I’ve come to understand that I will never be able to change it but I can change myself and I can change how I think about it.

Thinking through a problem, thinking through a crazy-go-round, thinking through our feelings, thinking through our actions, thinking through our thoughts, thinking through our choices are the safest ways to live a life filled with health and wellness.

Think through your health!

 

SERVING

I’ve said it many times, my business’ success is dependent on how well I serve my clients and customers. If I do a good job then I not only make a sale but I make a friend, and it is our friends who we serve the most. How many people do we serve in a day? A week? A month? Whether you think about it or not, we pay for good service more than anything else. The waitstaff who bends over backwards to make our dining experience the best and accommodates our health situations by finding out what is in the food will always get a better tip from me. Serving our brothers and sisters is another of April’s Action Steps to Wellness because it helps us to take a break from our own lives and puts the needs of others first.

Serving other people is not a platform to look for reward or fame, it shouldn’t be like our celebrities who are always serving organizations to get free publicity. Serving should come from our hearts and focus on the person we are serving not on how we look. It’s a blessing in my life to know that what I do makes an impact on the lives of the people I serve and that is reward enough for me.

When I serve it is a direct extension of who I am. I take myself out of the picture when I’m serving and it helps me focus on other people’s issues. It also helps me to see other people’s strengths and look for ways to implement them in my own life.

Serving

Here are some ways you can get involved and serve the people in your community, your church, and your family.

  • Volunteer at the local boys and girls club. Be a mentor to children who need a positive role model in their lives. 
  • Help out at the local food bank or food pantry. Anybody can write a check or donate food, but it takes a special person to physically help people in need.
  • Volunteer at a senior center to play cards, do crafts or just plain talk to the senior citizens or Silver Ambassadors. 
  • Sign up to read to children in your local school district or at a children’s hospital.
  • Make a plan to pray for each of your friends in real time and on social media, like Facebook, LinkedIn, and Google+. Leave a short message on their page to let them know you’re thinking about them.
  • Send cards out to the people you know who are having a rough patch in life. Let’s face it we all fall into that patch from time-to-time and a card carries so much thought.
  • Call your family regularly and ask them if there is anything that you could do for them or find out what’s going on in their lives that could use some prayers.

These ideas just scratch the surface of ways you can serve people.

A serving attitude comes from a loving heart.

Do you have that heart?