Archive for the ‘Goals’ Category

A Yoga Sanctuary

As a mom to four beautiful girls, a tv-loving husband, two dogs, any number of cats, a few rabbits, my chicken-ladies, and a couple of horses, finding space for quiet solitude can be quite daunting. It used to be that I had the early morning hours to myself until the last minute hustle and bustle of getting ready for school kicked into high gear. Now with teenagers rising early to make the most of their youthful beauty, it seems the quiet time of peace has given way to the sound of showers, blow dryers, makeup clackity clack, and discussions along the lines of, “Where is my shirt? You borrowed it last. I was gonna wear that.” And so yeah…you get the picture. Peaceful solitude eludes me for the most part.

Fortunately, I have discovered that my new massage therapy business allows me the opportunity to experience that much needed peaceful solitude in the beautiful space that is my wellness center. Some have suggested that massage therapy is a physically demanding occupation requiring difficult strenuous labor. Instead, I am finding that it is a relaxing, peaceful space in which both giver and receiver are rewarded with calm serenity. It is proving to be my sactuary of sorts.

I am realistic enough to know that giving enough massages to maintain our current standard of living is probably not a good idea. It is somewhat taxing on the body, and there is always a certain amount of giving of oneself to the client. I want to be able to give my best to every client, and not just give what’s left over at the end of a long day. There are certain things I do, such as Energy Medicine routines, to help keep me at my best. However, my desire is to do more to benefit myself while also meeting the needs of my clients. I recognized this need in college when I decided to pursue a career in physical education and fitness. I knew that I would live my best life if I worked in a fitness related career field.

The vision and desire that has evolved from having recognized these priorities is to create a nature-centered space in which to practice and teach yoga. Of course, I know very little about yoga at this point, but I know enough to know I need it, I need what it represents, and my body will love and appreciate it very much. Input from others has indicated they would also appreciate having a space and the guidance to learn and practice yoga. I know from attending a yoga retreat last year that yoga in nature is food for the soul. Unfortunately, our West Texas “nature” is one of frequent winds, blowing dust, extreme heat and cold, and more variety than Baskin Robbins 31 Flavors. It isn’t exactly conducive to creating an outdoor yoga sanctuary.

Yet as always, once the intention is stated, the means begins to evolve. A couple of years ago, I began to study yurts as a possible structure for my wellness center. Their design has a spiritual and integrative quality that makes them ideal for a creative healing space. I released that idea once we decided to use the little two bedroom rent house for my wellness center. Ironically, the yurt idea did not release me.

Earlier this year, I publicly stated my intention to pursue yoga and an instructor certification. The question of where I would practice has been recurring in my mind ever since. Knowing how much I desire to experience yoga in nature, and knowing how much variety our weather gives us in this part of the country, I began to consider the idea of constructing a greenhouse for a yoga space. Shortly after, the yurt idea returned. Why couldn’t I use the structure of a yurt and the coverings of a greenhouse to create an almost perfect space to experience yoga in nature? Apparently I can. I contacted Spirit Mountain Yurts and presented them with my idea. They loved it and so the stage is set to create a beautiful plant filled space warmed by the sun, sheltered from wind and rain, carpeted with green grass and herbs in which to share the spiritual experience and wellness of yoga with friends and neighbors. It will be a yoga sanctuary.

Of course a few details remain. I intend to begin my yoga training this week, assuming our weather cooperates. I am most grateful for your prayers for safe travel as this will require a weekly trip to Amarillo. It will take approximately a year of training before I am eligible to pursue instructor certification. During that time, I would ask that you send your thoughts, prayers, and positive intentions toward this dream. I trust that you will help me make it a reality by seeing it in your mind’s eye as though it is already complete. I have no idea how it will be funded, yet I trust the way will become clear at some point.

Meanwhile, enjoy some images of yurts that were sent my way by Spirit Mountain Yurts in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and let me know what you think of my vision.

Invisible Bridges–Risk vs. Opportunity

I read a fantastic blog post earlier today by someone who has captured my attention as of late. Ronna Detrick of Renegade Conversations seems to be feeding my soul with her words. She is gifted at seeing religion through different eyes—of taking the stories of women in the Bible and opening our eyes to the intensity, the risk, and the realities of what these women represent. Today she shared the story of Abigail from the Old Testament book of 1 Samuel. Abigail took a huge risk and serves as an example to the rest of us risk-taking wannabes.

The post got me to thinking about what potential risks I have suppressed in the name of keeping things safe and familiar. It also brings to mind the risks I have taken and am currently living through that frequently throw me into a feeling of panic and fear. I tend to see risk as an invisible bridge that connects that which we perceive to be safe with that which we perceive to be foolish or unattainable.  Just like Indiana Jones, setting foot on a bridge that appears to be nothing more than a free fall into the abyss below requires a heckuva lot of moxy. Too often, my moxy tank is about a quart low.

It seems I have a skeleton closet full of risks that have thus far been locked away for safe keeping. Hmm…safe keeping? Maybe that should say “…locked away for eternal imprisonment” or “…locked away to avoid the possibility of failure” or “…locked away to avoid offending someone” or even “…locked away because there’s no retirement or insurance benefits”.  Any way I look at it, there are things that I would love to say, be, and do that have been locked away to avoid the risks that are inherent in pursuing them. If I leave them in that closet, they will wither and die until there is nothing left of those dreams and desires except the skeleton. If I unlock the door and take those risks out into the sunlight, they might just take root and grow into something that feeds, clothes, and shelters me and my family for generations to come.

Of course, the greatest problem with risk is the fear of taking that first step onto the bridge. The screams of horror from onlookers who don’t know about the bridge can be overwhelming. After all, maybe the bridge DOESN’T actually exist and I’m totally insane. Maybe they are right and it would be better to die on the safe side than risk losing everything to live an adventure. Maybe I’m not supposed to walk a bridge to the other side. Maybe I am supposed to dive off the ledge of safety into a whole new world that the panicked on-lookers don’t even know exists. Maybe, just maybe, my Pandora lies at the bottom of the abyss.

One step, one leap, don’t look down, don’t look back. Breathe.

Miraculous Abundance

It’s funny. I talk all the time about thinking positive, setting intentions, and trusting God to meet our needs. And then it happens. I hit the wall. Tuition is due. Taxes are due. Horses need this or that. Medical/dental bills are on the horizon. I begin to panic. There is a part of me that knows anything we desire is ours. Then there is the part of me that has a “never quite enough” vibration going on. What’s up with that? Who is that helping? Certainly not me.

I am reading a book called Autobiography of a Yogi. It is a free download. It is also available on Amazon in book form or on Audible in audio form. In recent years I have had a suspicion that miracles still happen and coincidence is anything but. This book has confirmed much of my suspicions in those areas. If a person can keep the focus and the vibration at the right level, abundance will flow in like a river headed for the ocean. God will meet our needs, and even our wants with abundance.

With that kind of information readily available and already a part of my belief system, why do I still panic when faced with additional requirements for money and resources? It’s time to take a deep breath, recognize how much I already have received, and realize that every bit of it was provided for me in amazing ways. Isn’t it nice that I have space left on a credit card to pay the tuition? It’s wonderful that banks have faith in my ability to earn money so that they are eagerly willing to advance me the funds to use. Isn’t it awesome that we own houses and land worth taxing? Isn’t it nice that our vehicles are no longer taxed as personal property? Isn’t it wonderful that my daughter is going to college and qualified for loan money to pay for her tuition, even if it isn’t accessible until after the deadline? Isn’t it fantastic that she has a good job which helps to pay for a large portion of her expenses?

The opportunities are set before me. That can only mean the means to act on those opportunities will likewise be made known in good time. I must feel the wealth and abundance that is my life. It is there waiting for me to acknowledge it and have faith in its power to provide.

Pondering Yoga

Yesterday I posted that one of my intentions for my Vision 2010 is to pursue a yoga instructor certification. It’s sort of a scary thought considering I’m not even much of a yoga student at this point. I mean a know a little bit. I’ve done some basic stuff with a video a time or two. I attended a yoga retreat last spring break. And hey, I have a Wii Fit that fusses at me if my poses are off balance. I admit it, I’m still pretty much a yoga novice.

So why in the world would I want to pursue an instructor certification when I don’t even know the basics? Three words….because I can. And a few more…because I want to. And then these….because our little town could use one. And don’t forget these….because it fits into my dream. And to trump all of that….because it costs a crazy amount of money that I don’t have right now, but hey, that’s never stopped me. 

Why yoga? Because yoga has a spiritual aspect to it that I crave. It isn’t a religion as some would have a person believe. It is a very gentle, yet potentially viscous fitness activity that slows the aging process and strengthens bodies while clearing the mind. I believe it will provide a means of generating some really positive energy in this little town, which is something that will greatly benefit everyone around here. 

Why me? Because I have always seen myself as being a fitness instructor. I have been a PE teacher to little kids. I am good at it. I have taught tons of cool things to adults. I am good at it. I always said I needed to be involved in a fitness/wellness line of work to stay in shape, knowing that it is so easy for me to let my body slide off the edge of the fat cliff. Yoga instructor fits in very nicely with massage therapy and energy work. I will have to back-burner the energy medicine classes for now, but that’s okay because I need some more time to digest that stuff. Besides, our local market isn’t quite ready to actually pay for energy work. However, there is a definite interest in yoga, and I believe we have at least the beginnings of a market for it. 

I have a terrific outdoor space for yoga (assuming the wind will cooperate). My indoor space is somewhat limited, but I will work on that. Ideas of course are always welcome. So what do you think? Have I lost my mind yet again? Or is this a cool thing? What new and cool things are you pursuing to stave off the encroachment of Alzheimer’s? 

Happy New Year everyone!

Vision 2010: Intentions for a New Year

I recently saw a post that suggested the use of intentions for the new year rather than resolutions or goals for the new year. I like that. I tend to believe intentions are a very powerful force. They are not some lofty pie in the sky wish list, but rather something truly…well…intended.

Danielle LaPorte’s blog is one of my favorite motivational resources, so I was intrigued when her intentions list was actually a Stop Doing list. Most of us think about things we should or need to start doing, but how many of us think about the balancing effect of stopping something? And as she pointed out, it isn’t about stopping things like “neglecting yourself” or some other goofy feel good crap. This is serious stuff. Everything needs balance, and if you are adding something to your to do list, you must also remove something from it or feel the wrathful stress of overload.

This got me thinking about my vision for 2010. Just saying the year has such a cool sound to it. I can remember when 2010 was the target date for a 15 year long range technology plan for schools. And now…..it’s here. 2010.

The year that is wrapping up was a pretty good one. I finished massage therapy school, which gives me new options and some movement towards achieving a long held desire to work in the wellness industry. We sent a kid off to face the world on her own. We tackled a renovation project that is my wellness center. I charged up a truckload of money going to some energy medicine workshops in Austin and Phoenix….and I stayed another year in the safety and security of a “guaranteed” paycheck with benefits, even though my passion has long since vacated the premises. That about sums up 2009.

So what exactly is my vision of 2010? Danielle suggested a three-question test that originated with Darwin Smith, CEO of Kimberly-Clark.
1)What are you deeply passionate about?
2)What are you genetically encoded for—what activities do you just feel “made to do”?
3)What makes economic sense—what can you make a living at?

It has taken me 41 years of life to feel as though maybe I have some idea about #1 and #2. I guess a person needs that many life experiences to know what they don’t want so as to figure out what they do want from life. Ironically, I am circling back into the vicinity of my college aspirations. I have done many things since college that were part of my dreams and aspirations. I wanted to be married and have a family. I wanted to have a nice house and nice things. I wanted the mini-van and the suburban to haul my growing family. I wanted sane working hours and a husband whose hours matched mine. I have done and continue to have all of those things with abundant love….well…most days.

I have also done some things that are not quite as fulfilling in order to have that which I really did want. I intended all of these things at a higher level than I intended my post college career aspirations, so I settled on a career that I thought best accommodated what I wanted most. For the most part it has worked well enough. Yet there has been this nagging, a yearning, to navigate back in the direction of my original passions. For the first time, I can see the possibilities of making it happen.

So here goes: In 2010, I will

  1. Build my wellness center business to a level that replaces my current income
  2. Complete the renovations on the wellness center
  3. Carve out space for writing projects
  4. Teach a couple of Brain Gym classes.
  5. Study and become highly proficient at the things in which I have already received training
  6. Spend time daily in some form of exercise, as in take care of ME
  7. Find ways to feed me and my family healthy and delicious foods
  8. Pursue a yoga instructor certification
  9. Pursue a personal trainer certification
  10. Travel some place really cool with my sweet husband
  11. Knock the debt load back by a huge chunk
  12. Knock the “butt/thigh” load back by a huge chunk (see #6 & 7)

In 2010, I will

  1. Stop working 8 hours a day in a windowless concrete cell surrounded by a massive electromagnetic field
  2. Stop sitting on my derriere 8 hours a day.
  3. Stop feeling resentment about events in my past that have proven to be blessings
  4. Stop feeling guilty just because others feel guilty (see #3)
  5. Stop trying to teach people who do not wish to learn
  6. Stop attending over-priced workshops that don’t lead to an accredited certification of some type (unless I really really want the info).
  7. Stop doing my own accounting. I suck at it and I hate it.
  8. Stop trying to market my talents all by myself. See #7. I do and teach what I know. Getting other people to buy in to my gigs are a pain in the tush.
  9. Stop eating crap that tastes good for a second, then leaves me feeling like the stuff that comes out at the end.
  10. Stop piling all of the construction projects on my sweet hubby. I intend to have sufficient profits to hire out the window replacement and maybe even the exterior paint job.
  11. Stop spending all my egg profits on Sonic Happy Hour.

The items on this second list only serve to make me a cranky chunky witchy kind of person. They leave me feeling less than my best and therefore, they must go. I’m thinking 2010 is going to be an amazingly powerful year for this goddess.

How about you? Do you have any STOP signs in your 2010 Vision?

Restoration

Dictionary.com defines restoration as the act of restoring; renewal, revival, or reestablishment; a return of something to a former, original, normal, or unimpaired condition; a putting back into a former position, dignity, etc.

I for one could use a little restoration. My body doesn’t look or act like it did when I was 20. It has been somewhat neglected over the years. I plead a lack of time, and I confess to a lack of self-discipline. No time to shop for and prepare really nourishing food, no time or self-discipline to exercise properly, no time or self-discipline for meditation, and on and on. I also blame addictions. I am addicted to sugar at this point in my life. For that matter, I think I’ve been addicted to sugar my ENTIRE life. If I were a car, I would have died on the side of the road a long time ago. Sugar in the fuel tank isn’t a good thing.

A little over a year ago, I began a journey toward my own personal restoration. I had (and still have) a great job with good pay and good benefits, yet I felt as though I was burned out. I wasn’t using my talents the way I once did. The feeling of value and fulfillment just wasn’t happening. Since I thrive on being helpful and valued, this further contributed to the deterioration of my well-being. And so, on a whim, I started massage therapy school. While the nutritional side of things continued its downhill spiral, the feeling that I had something of value to offer others, something they needed desperately from me, blossomed. I began to feel alive again.

Along the way, we had an opportunity to purchase a 75 year old two bedroom cottage on an acre of land adjacent to our little farm. The little house faithfully provided shelter for its residents for those many years. Unfortunately, it was well beyond time for some much needed TLC. The little house was on life support for all practical purposes. My sweet husband and I looked at it with the eyes of pathetic idealists and began dreaming of its restoration. We talked about things we would do when we had the opportunity. Last May I recognized that opportunity. This little house would be my wellness center…my little massage studio. And so the restoration process began.

An old garage was disassembled and parts given new purpose elsewhere on our property. Some dead trees were amputated. The front yard was hardly a yard, and so it got a major facelift complete with new grass, bushes, and and herbal flower mix. By summer’s end, the yard was beautiful.

Our renters moved out by labor day and the labor really began. We decided that one of the bedrooms could be salvaged and restored quickly for use as my initial massage treatment room. However, the bathroom area, kitchen, and the other bedroom would have to be gutted. Money (or should I say credit cards) had to be stretched, and the proceeds from my massage services would be reinvested into the project as much as possible.

Restoring just one room and a half bath has proven both expensive and exhausting, yet it has been worth it. My husband and I have done all of the work ourselves. The massage therapy room is beautiful. Its decorations and energy are so relaxing and life supporting. The hardwood floors with their nicks and dings and squeaks are a lasting testimony to the family legacy and the memories contained in the old house. The rest of the house is patiently waiting its transformation to full restoration.

As I think about the the work that has gone into restoring my little wellness center, as well as the mountain of work that remains, it reminds me of how often we let our bodies ever so gradually slide into a state of deterioration. One day we wake up and realize that things aren’t working as well as they used to work. Body parts creak and crackle and ache. The core foundation (our gut) has sprawled and weakened. Our muscles have seized in places causing constant pain. Energy doesn’t flow like it once did, and we begin to watch life from the sidelines instead of participating fully. We then wait for the day when our bodies cease to be useful and we sit helpless as the proverbial wrecking ball moves closer into our space. Not a pretty picture, is it?

Yet just as my little wellness house has begun to experienced “ restoring; renewal, revival, or reestablishment; a return of something to a former, original, normal, or unimpaired condition; a putting back into a former position, dignity…”, so too can our bodies experience the same restoration. Our bodies have an amazing capacity to heal themselves with proper support. It is possible to clean out the engine and the fuel tank and replace the fuel with that which is designed to help us run leaner, cleaner, and better. Electrical systems can be re-established and damaged energy highways cleared of congestion. Muscles can be softened, gently stretched, and made strong again. Just as a 75 year old house can be given new life, so too can a worn out body be improved.

Restoration isn’t about going back in time. It’s about breathing in new life. Restoration doesn’t come cheap or easy. It requires tremendous effort and commitment. It’s certainly less time consuming and more economical to keep a structure in top shape than it is to go the restoration route. Yet restoration is possible, and through commitment to restoration, amazing things can happen.

The holidays are upon us and as usually happens this time of year, self-evaluation is in the air. It is a great opportunity to take a look at ourselves and make a decision….a commitment….to restoration. Something may have to shift a bit to make room for restoration. It may mean trading some TV time for workout time. It may mean giving up a daily soft drink to pay for a much needed massage. It may mean leaving work at closing time instead of taking it home or extending work hours beyond what is required. It could even mean a radical change in lifestyle to support new goals and desires. Dream big. Be an idealist. We’ve got an amazing “house” that’s asking for some restoration.

If your body and mind restoration plans include relaxation and improving the way your body works, I trust that you will take a look at the Superior Performance difference. Stop by the Superior Performance Wellness Center and see its potential. If you like what you see, as I believe you will, I encourage you to join me and my little wellness house on the path to restoration.

May this holiday season bring you much joy and a renewed commitment to care for yourself as much as you care for others.

Perpendicularity

They say everyone has a book inside them just waiting to be transformed into the next best seller. I am convinced I have one inside of me. Or maybe there are two. Hmm…possibly three or more? I’m not sure. Neither am I sure of exactly what this book is going to be about. After all, I have 40 some odd years of experiences that are not exactly everyday normal typical life. There’s the diet and wellness aspect. There’s the natural country living aspect. There’s the “against everything” aspect, which might generate some bad kharma, so I won’t go there. There’s the “mother of many” aspect. There’s the “daughter of a small town Texas sheriff” aspect. There’s the “I’m in love with husband after all these years” aspect. Nope, there’s no shortage of material here, just a lot of uncertainty about which to choose and how to organize it. 
 
Then it hit me. The common theme in my life has been “Against the Grain–Almost”. I’m a bit of a rebel, but only until things get a little uncomfortable, then I’ve historically woosed out. As I said above, I don’t like the concept of being against something. Being against something is a sure way to attract it into my life. So I’ve chosen a different word. It’s a word that encompasses going against the grain without the negative connotation. It’s a word that describes a lot of the way I have chosen to act, think, teach, nourish myself, and live life. It’s a word that throws in an element of individuality that is necessary to survive in a world that seeks to make everyone conform to a standard, a set of guidelines, a list of recommendations, and a plateful of expectations.
 
My word is multi-faceted. It’s a bit peculiar. It’s aligns with my soul. My word is perpendicularity. Perpendicular = across the grain instead of with the grain. Peculiarity = just a bit on the strange side; different; independent.
 
So what do you think about it? In what ways have you noticed perpendicularity? What do you do in life that could be classified as perpendicularity?

Retreated and Renewed

I am BAAAAAACCCCCCKKKKKKK!!!!!!! Hello again blogging world.

I am not exactly sure what I expected to get from the spiritual renewal retreat in Jemez Springs. Sometimes I think I expect miracles to happen when what I should expect is a nice easy time of things. Then again, maybe my miracles happen in little ways instead of in big production ways.

Jemez Springs is a neat little town. I had heard about it often from our friends who have a cabin there. HOWEVER, the Canon del Rio was the coolest place I have ever stayed. The arched adobe courtyard entrance greeted us as we drove up. Walking through the front door revealed a huge lodge-type great room with a wall of windows facing the mountain to the west. On the left was a breakfast bar. Moving around the room, I noticed a nice kitchen area, a door marked private which I later found out was an efficiency apartment, and the traditional southwest fireplace.

On the other side of the entrance was the entertainment center complete with a big screen TV and a sofa, chair, and loveseat. The decor around the room was very Southwest Native American. The floor was covered in a stone tile that added to the southwest flair.

Flanking each side of the great room were hallways leading to the bedrooms. Six rooms, three extending from each side of the great room, were each decorated similarly. We were shown to ours with its king-sized bed for Daddy Long Legs. Our room had a sliding glass door leading out to the back courtyard, which was beautifully adorned with pole benches, small trees, and a gorgeous fishpond/fountain. Another archway led visitors beyond the B&B grounds down toward the Jemez River.

Even with the remants of winter still holding natures beauty at bay, we were overwhelmed by the awesomeness of the things our eyes had seen. Trees and mountains have a way of providing a sense of seclusion, even when one is not alone. I think seclusion was my miracle for the weekend.

If you ever get a chance to visit Canon del Rio in Jemez Springs, NM, I feel quite confident that you will find it every bit as charming as I did. When you go, be sure to tell Dagna (pronounced like lasagna) that I sent you. She is an incredible breakfast cook. You won’t be disappointed.

As for the various energy modalities used during the retreat activities, I found that I was familiar with most of them from my various BrainGym experiences and my limited yoga and Touch for Health experiences. They were good for me and for my hunky baby because it reminded our bodies of ways we can move with a little bit of warm up and preparation. We haven’t lost that flexibility yet, but we sure need to get with the program and keep moving. And yes, he survived a room full of women being sorely outnumbered about 14 women to two men.

We set an intention for the retreat. Mine was something about having clarity and confidence in my career options. That became the focus of the various meditative moments I had. I suppose I have come away from the retreat with some clarity in that area. I think I am still processing a bit, which we were told would likely take a few days longer to fully do it’s thing.

One thing is fairly solid at this point. I have realized my strong desire to reconnect with nature. While I love promoting health and wellness, I also realize I probably won’t be happy if I go from teaching and working with technology in a windowless concrete room to teaching and working with health and wellness in a windowless concrete room. I need sunshine, raindrops, singing birds, pecking chickens, green plants, and some slimy earthworms throughout my day no matter what I do. That’s an important piece of career information. If I choose to pursue massage as a full time career, I will have to figure out how to do it in a way that allows me to gaze out on nature. It’s not going to work for me to be shut up in a windowless private massage room for hours on end. I guess you would call that some serious clarity, therefore this was a successful retreat for that reason alone.

Finally, this post wouldn’t be complete without mentioning the two amazing people who were our tireless hosts. Debi and Randy are absolutely some of the most gracious people I have ever had the privilege of knowing. They shared their evenings in Jemez Springs with us, then allowed us to extend our stay another night in their beautiful suburban hacienda. While there is much to appreciate about these two people, I think what I like most is the fact that they are truly genuine.

Randy is a man’s man. He’s a Vietnam vet chopper pilot who loves hunting, fishing, and his dog. He is not afraid to tell you what he thinks, even if it is a bit on the politically incorrect side. He is real, and that’s a great thing to be.

Debi is his counterbalance. She is soft and compassionate to everyone, and would give them her last spinach salad (which I could eat for every meal). Even so, she has a line and stands her ground when necessary. She is a woman worthy of respect, and a beautiful woman at that.

Yes, it was a great escape…my man, God’s awesomeness, powerful intention, incredible food, loving people, and none of my own children. :-)  When can we go back?

 

 

 

Butterflies

Yesterday I sent a very spiritually-minded friend an email asking her thoughts on my desire for change. As expected, she had some really cool words of wisdom. She told me to “…just let go.” I had to ask her what exactly it was that I needed to let go. She suggested that letting God know (and myself) that if in fact I need to remain in the current situation for a while longer, I am okay with doing so. In other words, let go of pushing for the change to happen by a deadline.
 
Here are her words:
“I have learned that I have to be willing to let it ALL go before I know for sure what God really wants for me. In other words, tell Him that you are willing to keep doing what you are doing if that is His Will for you. Sometimes that is when the windows and doors come open for other avenues. You have to choose to want His Will for your life – no matter what that might mean. That is when the peace will come for you. It isn’t easy. And it isn’t just saying ok whatever you want. It is a complete letting go of what your desires may be so that you can SEE what He has for you. He is showing you lots of stuff and I really think that He is giving you the desires of your heart – as promised. But it is His timing that we don’t know.”
 
By making all possibilities acceptable, even the one from which I am attempting to escape, I open the door for shift to begin to occur. I don’t even begin to understand how it all works, but I do know that being against something is a sure fire way to attract into my life plenty of what I am against. Mother Teresa was supposedly noted for stating that she would NOT attend an anti-war demonstration, but that she would welcome the opportunity to be present for a peace rally. Wow! That’s pretty powerful.
 
I also asked my friend to think of a creature…anything that came to mind. She said, Always a butterfly – ever changing from one thing to the next more pretty one.”
So I looked up butterfly in my handy dandy Animal Spirit Guides book. It says, “Lighten up and stop taking everything so seriously. Get ready for a big change, one where an old habit, way of thinking, or lifestyle is going out, and a new way of being is emerging. It’s time to make the changes you’ve been considering. In spite of  the challenges, you’ll get through this transition, and as always, know that ‘this too shall pass.’ Express yourself by wearing more colorful clothing.” 
 
Then it says, “Call on the butterfly when:
  • You know it’s time for a change, and you need the courage to break out of your self-imposed cocoon;
  • You’re going through a major life transition such as divorce or career change;
  • You want encouragement to more freely express the love you feel to those around you;
  • You want to put more romance into the relationship with your spouse or intimate partner;
  • You want help to relax more and go with the flow of the cycles in your work or your relationship.”
 
I think the butterfly represents an aspect of God’s nature–the part that embraces change and shows us how to cope with it. That cocoon is a pretty tight and vulnerable place in the lifecycle of this beautiful creature. Yet he cares for and nourishes the caterpillar in this tightest and most vulnerable phase of life, and then allows the creature to emerge beautiful and free.
 
Okay God. I agree to allow the best and highest good for me to  be my reality, even if it doesn’t appear to be what I want. This cocoon is getting a bit aggravating, though, so as soon as you see fit, I’d like to start the squeezing out process. Fresh air, sunshine, and wind beneath my wings are pretty high up there on my list of desires, and you DID say, “Ask and you shall receive.”  Thanks for taking care of me through the tight and vulnerable times.
 
 
Here’s to an abundance of sweet nectar and a really gorgeous set of wings.

Authentic Angie

Mid-Life is such a fun time….and a confusing time….and a brave time….and…and…It really just rocks. Mid-life for me is the point at which I have realized it’s okay to be authentically me. What does that mean? Well, for me it means being who I really am. It means that being a nice person is okay, but I don’t have to squash who I am to please other people. It means that I don’t have to apologize for having an opinion just because someone else thinks I am wrong. Being authentically me means being free to be me, and freedom is so important at this stage of my life.
 
I learned very early on that to be accepted by the “pretty people” meant I had to conform to their view of what was acceptable no matter how stupid or rediculous their views seemed to be. Not doing so created unbearable social pain for me, and I didn’t handle social pain very well. I guess most kids don’t. As a twenty-something, I conformed because I wanted to get a job and then please my superiors. Sadly, it wasn’t because I WANTED to please everyone as much as it was because I was AFRAID of the consequences if I did not please everyone. On those rare occasions when an Authentic Angie showed up, I was quickly admonished and put back in my place.

Over the years, Authentic Angie has reared her head from time to time. She never intends to cause pain for someone else, but often attempts to help bear someone else’s pain or help someone get relief. In return, there it is…some sort of social discomfort as payback for being authentically me. Now at life’s mid-point, I find that I truly want to be authentically me and not care what anyone else thinks. I think it is time. I find that those who try to squash authenticism are themselves feeling threatened, so why would I hand over my emotional confidence to another insecure individual?

 
Authentic Angie is emerging. She is coming forth with confidence, dignity, and purpose. Those who would seek to squash that drive should consider themselves warned….better step out of the way. Authentic Angie is shining through and there is nothing going to stop her from being her authentic self.
 
How does your authentic self shine through?
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Angie Cox, AHN-BC
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