Bringing Wellness Full Circle

Archive for the ‘Balance’ Category

Coaching Relationship

The coaching relationship is interesting.  My client and I aren’t really friends, but we certainly aren’t strangers. Actually,  I honestly can’t help but really care for my client. At times, it actually seems that my client and I really have deep ties because of the shared struggles and success.

The coaching process typically begins with an interview to assess my client’s current opportunities and challenges,  identify priorities and establish specific desired outcomes. We do this interview in-person, on the phone or in written form such as email. Afterwards, I often challenge his thinking about the situation and together, we begin to  formulate a plan of action that he can live with and do well. The next coaching sessions will be scheduled weekly, monthly, quarterly, or even yearly–depending on my client’s goals, and how much interaction is required to get there. I keep my client accountable between sessions and we both determine the how of the accountability.

I love that my client is really the one who sets the pace. I ask hard questions, I listen, I ask more questions and we take steps. One tiny one at a time. But he is the one who determines how far and how fast he/she wants to go. And in the process, thought patterns are altered, goals are achieved, and confidence grows.

So often, when trying to establish new patterns, we concentrate on what is wrong, and how it ought to be changed. I love life coaching ,because the coaching relationship is based on what works. We don’t react, we act.

As a coach, I:
○ Listen to what is really important to my client by understanding his values and beliefs
○ Honestly look at my clients’ current reality without judgment or criticism
○ Help my client to set specific, realistic and achievable goals
○ Guide my client through a step-by-step strategy to reach his goals
○ Facilitate a plan of action when obstacles get in the way
○ Provide accountability
○ Enable my client to make changes
○ Support and encourage my client through the changes and transformation

and I LOVE IT!

I share with my client the importance of being intentional about the process, exercise self discipline, challenge his existing attitudes, beliefs and behaviors and develop new ones which will serve his goal.   I ask powerful questions that forces him to look at things as they are and help him focus on what he really wants. I create an awareness of where he is at. My client and I, we trust each other. There is a certain intimacy between us that is more special than words can express. We work together, we communicate, we listen. My client and I, we kick butt!

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Anti-inflammatory Foods

Man, what a long title!  It is becoming clearer and clearer that most diseases stem from the inflammatory response in the body. Heart disease, sports injury, arthritis, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease, cancer, depression, diabetes, weight gain and hay fever all have one common denominator – inflammation!  Even wrinkles have been linked to skin inflammation.  And since food is what fuels the body, it just makes sense that we ought to concentrate on a natural anit-inflammatory diet, right? The great news is that eating the right ant-inflammatory foods you can actually stop and even reverse inflammatory pain and deadly diseases.

Inflammation Symptoms and Anti-inflammatory Solutions
Although inflammation is part of your body’s defense system against harmful bacteria, viruses and other nasty invaders, this inflammatory response can actually cause of multitude of problems when it breaks down and no longer switches off. To prevent chronic inflammation, or reverse its damages, we need to start with healthy lifestyle habits; regular exercise, reaching and maintaining a healthy weight, not smoking and cutting down on stress all help reduce inflammation. But the most important factor in fighting inflammation is the nutrition you get every day.

Natural Anti-inflammatory Foods and Diet

foods

Adding anti-inflammatory foods and supplements and eliminating inflammatory foods can dramatically slow down aging and decrease your risk of ALL chronic diseases. Following these six steps will provide you with the best nutritional defense against inflammation and disease:
~Increase anti-inflammatory fats. Good fats greatly decrease inflammation and pain and bad fats cause inflammation problems. So it’s important to eat the right food fat. The omega 3 fatty acids found in cold water fish and high quality fish oil capsules are the most powerful natural anti-inflammatory agents available. Other good sources of essential fatty acids are seeds, olive oil, whole grains and nuts – especially walnuts.

~Decrease inflammatory fats. Red meat, trans-fatty acids (mainly from hydrogenated oils), foods high in saturated fats can trigger inflammation. Instead choose healthy protein like fish, poultry, whole grains and beans.

~Eat more high fiber foods. A diet rich in high fiber foods reduces inflammation. So make sure the carbohydrates in your diet come mainly from whole grains, beans, vegetables and fruit. All your bread, cereal and pasta should be 100% whole grain.

~Up Your Phytonutrients. Foods rich in plant nutrients can prevent and even reverse inflammation. Brightly colored and green leafy vegetables and fresh colorful whole fruits are packed with anti-inflammatory phytonutrients, healthy fiber and nutritious antioxidants.

~Drink only healthy beverages. Your body needs about eight cups of fluids daily. The best and healthiest sources are pure, clean drinking water and warm herbal teas.

~Use doTerra’s Lifelong Vitality Pack to feel like a million bucks!

Remember, even though inflammation isn’t always seen or felt, trouble can be brewing. But you can ensure your body’s inflammatory response switch gets turned on only when necessary and prevent or even reverse inflammation by changing your diet and lifestyle. You’ll notice your joints feel better, your skin looks younger and allergy symptoms will decrease. At the same time, you’ll also reduce your risk of heart disease, inflammatory arthritis, cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes and all the other complications of aging.

Burn Out?

Dreading the Monday morning’s feelings of exhaustion, depression, and boredom?  Work feels heavy and joy and inspiration are getting replaced by apathy and resignation? Been there, done that–maybe your physical and emotional strength are at their lowest and you have lost all your motivation… this blogpost is for you!

Screaming womanHow do we go from being excited and growing and feeling alive to this heavy, soul-stifling dreariness? When does the shift from one of cheerfully giving selflessly to the feeling of being taken advantage of take place? “Burn out” happens in many ways, but most often, it happens because we give/do/listen/are around too much of something: too much overtime; setting aside too much of your own issues to help others;  hanging out too much with negative people; handling too many emergencies; allowing too many people to take advantage of you; seeking too much acceptance from others; working out too much; over analyzing too much; and you can add whatever your “too much” is to this never-ending list…

And when you feel burned out, the last thing you really want to do is expand more energy to fix the problem. You just don’t have it. And actually, it feels like the more you try to overcome burn out, the more burned out you become. I bet you know exactly what I mean…

Solution? It’s called REPERCEPTION.  Which means, learn to look at the situation differently, using “fresh eyes” to see what has been bothering us so much. Sounds too simple? I know. But things actually do change as they are seen differently, not necessarily because circumstances have changed, but mainly because as we shift our perspective, we ourselves are being changed. How?

(1) In order to change perspective, we must first take a step back from a situation and simply acknowledge what is so, without judgment of self of others. When we remain emotionally tied up with the circumstances, we usually just react. We do not  create an appropriate response, and we use up more energy than we think we have. Stepping back from a burned out situation, setting aside our emotions and trying to reperceive what is really going on helps us think things through from the inside out… and might just be what we need to take appropriate steps to recover from burn out.

(2) A great way to prevent burn out is to simply keep in mind the bigger picture–what is our ultimate purpose, or life work? Reconnecting with why we are doing what we are “our values and desires” can be a powerful way to maintain our priorities straight and not take on “too much.”

(3) Do your best. No matter what you have on your plate, do your best, raise your personal bar of excellence and you will find what you do becoming valuable,worth doing, challenging–even if it is scrubbing the floor. When we are intentional about what we are doing, we actually find peace in our work because we do not allow ourselves to be affected by outward circumstance or negativity.

Burnout happens when we give too much and neglect our own wellbeing, chaining ourselves to unrealistic expectations. It drains us in every possible wa: from the body to the spirit.  We wind up allowing our emotions to rule us. So if it’s you today, step back, assess where you are at, repercieve the situation and make clear and healthy choices to move you out of burnout into wellness. I know, I know, it’s easier said than done, but it is feasible. And in the process, you will maintain your sanity and grow. What do you say?

 

F.I.T.

So, we all know we ought to be fit. Fitness is good. Fitness keeps you young. Fitness keeps you healthy. But the word itself might mean something completely different for each one of us. This is dictionary.com’s  definition of fitness:

fit·ness

/ˈfɪtnɪs/ Show Spelled [fit-nis] Show IPA

noun

1.

health
2.

capability of the body of distributing inhaled oxygen to muscle tissue during increased physical effort.
3.

Also called Darwinian fitness. Biology .

a.

the genetic contribution of an individual to the next generation’s gene pool relative to the average for the population, usually measured by the number of offspring or close kin that survive to reproductive age.
b.

the ability of a population to maintain or increase its numbers in succeeding generations

Looking at the first definition, we come back to the same issue: What does health mean? It may mean being able to take a walk to one, and being able to run a marathon to another. It may mean not being depressed to one, and being happy all the time for another…

fit

So, just for the record, here is Barb’s Fit U best definition of FIT at this time:

F is for Fun

Whatever we understand by “fitness,” it should be fun to do. Which means it involves doing. Fit is a state of being that is accomplished by doing something that is enjoyable. Because no matter what the “doing” is, if you hate it, you won’t keep it up and you won’t stay fit. People need to enjoy what they do on a regular basis–especially if it does not involve the reward of money–or they will either skimp on it or quit all together. Fun makes you feel alive. So you hate going to your gym? Maybe it’s time to find a different way of moving. Your personal development book o heck? Maybe it’s time to reconsider what you are reading. You can’t see to motivate yourself to eat right? Maybe your meals just don’t taste satisfying–or fun.

I is for Intentional

You are not born fit or not fit. You choose to be fit or not fit by the choices that you make, or that you don’t make–which, by the way, are choices as well. This is definitely the Slight Edge philosophy: easy to do, easy not to do. Everything we are involved with in life should be intentional–on purpose. We don’t love b y accident, we don’t just happen to go to college, we don’t somehow just wind up running a marathon. We are intentional about the areas we want results in, we make plans and link those plans to behaviors. Some of us even hire life coaches to get there. It’s no different with fitness, no matter what our definition of fitness is. We don’t wake up fit one day just because. We plan to be fit and act accordingly. The results follow.

T is for Total

This one is probably the most important one: “Fitness,” according to Barb’s Fit U, does not have to do with a strong, healthy body, even though that seems to be what the dictionary says and it certainly is one component of fitness. Fitness has a lot more to do with wholeness than having a rock hard body and being able to jump high. Fitness has to address the entire human being, not just legs and heart. Fit people are balanced people who are making choices that bring about

~a mind that is alert, challenged and always growing,

~a body that is moving toward health because of what it is fueled with and how it is being trained,

~a spirit that is awake and always responding.

 

So that’s my take on Fitness.  What about yours?

Go Natural!

I’m all about living as naturally as possible while enjoying everyday moments. I figure, the closest I live to the way I was made to live, the better I will feel. And it works for me.

166fb-foodsrichinfiberSo the first thing I seek to do is to eat as clean as possible, choosing to not overload my body with non foods, processed food, junk food. They are full of toxins and cause inflammation, constipation, weight gain and sluggishness. I eat lots of veggies, fruits and nuts. I try to make our own bread once a week… And you know that I am very busy, so I keep it as simply as I can–great recipe if you want it. I drink lots and lots of water with lemon EO in it. And I try to not use too many chemicals in the house, using vinegar, baking soda and as many essential oils as possible for my everyday cleaning (lemon, purify).

I do my best to deal with stress instead of ignoring it. Some stressful situations I can change, and those I do. Some I cannot, and for those I have coping mechanisms that include taking walks, praying and essential oils to help me relax: citrus bliss, elevation, balance, serenity, lavender.

As much as I can, I use natural methods of taking care of my body. I start with walking in the sunshine as much as I can, storing up that vitamin D I need. I also take fundamental vitamins and supplements so that I function at my best (Lifelong Vitality Pack). I use what nature offers: rest (I try to get 8 hours a night; no kidding–it keeps my immune system strong and makes me able to deal with life!),sunshine and essential oils.

doterra

Next I use and am thankful for the following essential oils every day as part of my health routine:
Balance on the bottom of my feet every morning for grounding me.
Frankincense under my tongue every morning
Elevation as my perfume daily! Makes me happy
Vetiver on my big toes before bed, and Intune under my nose for sweet sleep
Just last week, I added Mito2Max and Phytoestrogen every morning; they make me feel so so good!

How do you go natural?

Moods, Part 1

Did you know that our moods are greatly affected by how we treat our bodies? We truly are a triune being, you know: spirit, soul and body. What affects one part of us certainly affects the others; we can hardly separate them. This was the theme of my theses when I became a Holistic Health Practitioner. I still find this subject fascinating.

moods

Our moods are not just feelings that come out of nowhere or  seem to be a reaction to our situations. Moods are regulated by hormones released in the brain. These neurotransmitters (mainly dopamine, serotonin and noradrenaline) help elevate or flatter moods. If the specific levels of neurotransmitters are not balanced, they can cause mood issues that can create serious behavioral problems. This balance in neurotransmitters is influenced by nutrition, health status, environmental factors, genetic factors and external emotional stimulus.

Even the release itself of these hormones is regulated by a lot of other factors, like  music, nutrition, color, fragrance, sleep patterns and even by what is happening in your gut. Crazy, isn’t it? That’s how amazingly put together we are.

Today, I’ll just mention two fo these factors:

1. We really know these things without having to be told. Military bands use music to build courage. Football and baseball teams use music to rouse enthusiasm. Dentists play music to calm nervous patients. Moms sing to sooth their babies. We can increase hostility, sadness, tension and fatigue with music, as well as feelings of joy, optimism and relaxation. Studies have shown that depression can be partly treated with music.

And you probably know what works for you. Use it to your advantage!

2. Smelling has a very real effect on our emotions that can actually be measured scientifically. Specific moods match specific aromas, and we can even facilitate moods with specific aromas.  Some promote relaxation, others stimulate etc…  Certified Pure Therapeutic Essential Oils are very effective when used aromatically in classrooms for stress relief and concentration, in hospital for stress relief, etc… They have even be used to reduce stress-induced muscle tension! Citrus fragrances are mood lifters, Lavender calms, and the list goes on. Use these to your advantage!

smell

 

 

 

 

 

 

One Size Fit All?

I have a hard time with the “one size fit all” mentality. In all of life’s realms. The only two things that work for everyone in my book is breathing and the Word of God. Besides that, it’s all a case by case thing. Because we are all so different, and our differences are determined by many factors: heredity, sociological environment, physical activity, intellectual stimulation and another two thousand or so factors.  Eskimos thrive on blubber, and Africans on beans and rice. Try to switch that and you have a lot of upset stomachs. The bottom line is this: even though we are all humans with the same basic biology, chemistry and emotions, there are as many differences between people as there are people. Fingerprints and DNA scream that fact to us.

I do realize that there have been enough clinical studies to suggest a “norm” for the treatment of this or that, and that it is a very good thing. However, I do believe that we ALL vary from the norm, and that each case should be looked at with a fresh set of eyes. Easier said than done, I know…

eo

 

Learning the art/science/wonder of Essential Oils taught me the power of individual chemistry, and how we should be serious about respecting it. What totally works for me may not work for you, or may need to be tweaked a bit.  Or a lot. An oil blend created to deal with inflammation works wonders for most people who suffer knee pain; it did nothing for me. My gut told me to use Frankincense–my knees, which had been bugging me for years, stopped hurting within two weeks.

All of this to just say this: don’t let “them” tell you what is normal, what you should expect, what you should do. Think outside the box when it comes to your health, your stress level, your well-being. Trust your gut. It knows you more than the doctors…

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