Author Archive for admin – Page 2

Movement To Improve The Mood Part 1

Meal Move is exercise and food to improve the mood.

Movement keeps things fresh. There’s a change in place, position or state of being. But for someone who isn’t ready to take action, getting into movement is like trying to push a hundred pound boulder up a steep rocky mountain trail.

I’ve grown to like movement. It has been instrumental in helping me unload three decades of emotional baggage that was too heavy for me to keep “carrying around” every day.

Emotions are powerful, aren’t they? Maybe you have a friend or family member that’s down and out, wrestling with some issue in their life for years and years, with little improvement.

Today I want to offer some hope. Change can happen. And change happens over time.

Meal Move is exercise and food to improve the mood. Click To Tweet

Meal Move is a way to engage this dynamic of movement over time to bring about change over time. There are two kinds of movement I want to look at:

  1. Movement in meals
  2. Movement in body workouts

In this post, we’re going to focus on movement via body workouts. Movement in your body creates movement in your life. So, let’s start with something foundational. Let’s talk posture.

Posture is the way you position yourself.

Physically, it’s your body’s position when you’re standing or sitting.

Mentally, it’s your take towards life. The way you view things.

The attitude behind your position gives you posture. Someone with a winning posture carries both a positive mental attitude and an upright spine ready to support their actions.

In the martial arts, posture manifests itself in what is called stances. There are different stances for different applications of technique. The purpose for a stance is to manage where your weight is. Then you can easily shift it over to where you want to go.

Stances allow a practitioner to stand firm wherever they are and throw whatever strike they need from where they are. This means they have the ability to change stances in a heartbeat. It requires balance, feeling the ground and flowing with action. It can take years of training and practice.

Today, I want to start with a simple “Feel The Ground” exercise.

  1. Stand with feet shoulder-width apart. Note how it feels to have both feet touching the ground.
  2. Take a deep breath in through your nose. As you exhale, lift one leg off the ground, bringing your knee to hip-height.
  3. Let yourself feel the shift in weight. Repeat with other leg.

Do this a few times. Notice how your weight shifts. Imagine your center of gravity as a tennis ball moving. What kind of line would it trace in the air?

Second thing to notice. How do you feel when you have both feet on the ground? When you have one foot on the ground?

If at first, you don’t feel much don’t worry. Try this exercise again later on today or this week and you’ll start to notice something. It’s subtle, but you’ll start to feel it.

What you want to look for is not so much how good you can balance on one leg (although if you can, that does feel good!). This exercise is a way to learn to listen to your body. Become more aware of your surroundings, starting with where your feet touch the ground.

With practice, you’ll be able to stand firm. And if you start to train in the martial arts, you’ll learn to change stances in a heartbeat. The benefit is that you can deal with whatever comes your way with a calm heart. Stressing out can be a thing of the past as you “battle everyday life.”

Stay tuned, next week we’ll talk about movement in meals. (Hint: It’s about “falling in love with food again.”)

Want to learn more? See The Bottom Bar created for the Lighter Every Day Journal

Strength Rest To Recharge Yourself

Strength Rest is down-time for you.

See The Bottom Bar created for the Lighter Every Day Journal

As you get things done and grow in different abilities, what happens when obstacles come up along the way? Much like a bow and arrow in ready position to shoot its target, obstacles stretch us to get us on target. What we do with the tension created will mean the difference between an obstacle becoming a setback… or a stepping stone.

Having a lot of abilities doesn’t necessarily make us successful. Having stability in an ability does. Click To Tweet

Stability connects you to your inner strength. It enables you to stay calm in crises, so you can more accurately “shoot your arrow at the target.”

I can’t recommend it enough. Initially it may take some time to get used to the idea of “relaxing and treating yourself well.” If you feel you don’t deserve it, consider this. Treat yourself as well as you treat others, and you’ll feel as happy as you want others to feel when you’ve treated them well. The better you treat yourself, the more joy you have to give others.

So during your special time to Strength Rest, connect with your reservoir of strength. Relax after a period of work or tension. Let your body unwind. Rest. You’ll gain balance and perspective when you unwind from the work. And you’ll appreciate the stability that’s generated for the next cycle coming up.

Here are 3 things you can do to Strength Rest:

  1. Carve out 5-20 minutes for listening to your heart and body.
  2. Close your eyes and take a few deep breaths. Notice any tension you may be holding in your body or heart.
  3. Pick one of the following to release the tension: Treat your feet to a rub. Laugh, play, have some fun. Take a walk in nature. Listen to music. Create art.

This is your chance to practice slowing down. Imagine being more productive in less time. When you’ve strength rested, you’ll gain clarity on what things tend to get in the way of your progress and when to let go of them. You’ll also gain the stability to engage in the next level or cycle with more confidence.

What will you do to Strength Rest today?

Everyone Can Help Someone

ss_wellness advocateIn this Serve Someone post, I’m going to share a story about one of our Wellness Advocates, Jennifer Thomas, who takes time out of her busy schedule to volunteer in her local emergency room and a nearby hospice center.

She helps with things the doctors and nurses don’t have time to do in order to keep the Emergency Room running smoothly and keep patients comfortable. I hope you feel as inspired by it as I do! You can find the story here:

“We can’t help everyone, but everyone can help someone.” ~Ronald Reagan Click To Tweet

Why You Want To Serve Someone

Helping someone achieve what they want is the essence of serving them.

See The Bottom Bar created for the Lighter Every Day Journal

When I hear stories about someone helping others with no agenda of their own, I am inspired to do the same. What makes humans special is our ability to reach a wound through a simple kind gesture.

“Nothing liberates our greatness like the desire to help, the desire to serve.” ~Marianne Williamson Click To Tweet

I love hearing stories of the kind of outreach people do in local communities across the country when they are motivated by the desire to serve. Click on a picture link below to read one of these stories.

“We can’t help everyone, but everyone can help someone.” ~Ronald Reagan

ss_wellness advocate

Relational Connection Through Love Languages

A lot of the things we do on a daily basis, like cooking and cleaning, can go unnoticed. But if they don’t get done, life is noticeably not-so-smooth.

The same can be true when it comes to relationships. We may forget to do a lot of the things we need every day to have fulfilling connection with our loved ones. But when we do these unnoticed “Bottom Bar” things, our relationships tend to go more smoothly. Below is a breakdown of using The Bottom Bar, created for the Lighter Every Day Journal.

It incorporates the use of the 5 Love Languages as taught in Gary Chapman’s book. These are: Quality Time, Receiving Gifts, Words of Affirmation, Physical Touch, and Acts of Service. See if you can spot them below among the Bottom Bar items.

Connective Loving using THE BOTTOM BAR – Week 1 to Week 3

Emotional Fuel Journal LED_1

At the bottom of the Week 1 to Week 3 pages, you’ll see “The Bottom Bar” (pictured above and at the bottom).

The Bottom Bar serves as a checklist for specific ways to connect with yourself and your loved ones throughout the week. Each time you do one of the following 7 things during the week, check off the box next to the specific way of connection. Feel free to add any of your own favorite ways to achieve any of the 7. Click on a link below to see more stories.

  1. Strength Rest. This is down-time for you. Let your body rest and release any tension you feel. Treat your feet to a rub. Laugh, play, have some fun. Take a walk in nature.
  2. Meal Move (Exercise). This is exercise and food to improve the mood. To get the check mark, you can either Eat or Exercise. Fix yourself a Nourishing Drink or Snack from the recipes section. Or do one of the Body Movement Exercises in this Journal. Go here for Meal Move (Food)
  3. Time Gift. Who will be delighted to spend time with you? Do an activity they like. Play a game. Call a friend. Have lunch. Give a physical gift.
  4. Word Affirm. Who can you compliment? Give a word of encouragement to? Send a heartfelt greeting card to?
  5. Touch Point. This is time to check in with yourself. Fill out the Touch Points for Emotional Awareness section.
  6. Free Write. This is time to freely express your thoughts and feelings. Use the eMotion Fitness Free Write section. You can also type on the computer or write on blank pages.
  7. Serve Someone. What can you do for someone this week? Help them with a project? Ask how they’re doing and listen? Cook dinner for them?

Emotional Fuel Journal LED_1

Don’t have a copy of the Journal? Get Lighter Every Day here.

The Value Of Brokenness

Crying can be cathartic, helping to release pent-up feelings. Frustration, anxiety, anger… and many more emotions we have yet to feel and show in the coming months.

As a nation, we are being rocked aren’t we? Never before have we dealt with issues that are now suddenly thrust upon us.

As individuals, we each need to – and get to – pull the good out somehow, somewhere. We can reach out to others, reach deep inside ourselves and/or reach up to God.

What that looks like for you will be different than what it looks like for me and for others.

For me, sometimes I need to be with people, sometimes alone. Other times, I need to journal and pray. Today, I needed to cry.

I am at peace after a cathartic cry. As though grieving on behalf of myself and people that feel like we’ve lost something personal. Something dear to us. Something rocking us at the core, potentially breaking us.

It might be safety, freedom, dignity.

It might be security, belonging, love.

Whether on a national or personal level, any problem has its own complexity. There is no one-size-fits-all solution; neither do pat answers reach the soul. Feeling threatened or uncertain about the future may be a constant for a while. But we don’t have to give in to anxiety or fear. These are just temporary states of feeling whose power can be broken.

Light to Illuminate

Fire to Refine

In Brokenness

Does Gold Shine

How I Defuse Teeth Clenching

I found a solution for teeth clenching that worked well for me. I can’t wait to share it with you. First, a bit of background. In the last 2 months, I had extensive dental work done. During the course of treatment, I was told I clench my teeth while sleeping at night. I didn’t know I did this.

Did you know, clenching your teeth bears down 4 times the amount of pressure than while you’re awake? Somehow, subconscious thoughts “unleash their force” while you sleep at night.

To combat clenching, my dental care providers advised me to wear a mouth guard. You know, those plastic moldable things you can fit over your upper or lower set of teeth to keep yourself from chomping down hard and breaking more teeth.

My problem was, after the extraction of my 2nd tooth, I had to allow that area to heal by keeping it open and not let anything touch it. Wearing a mouth guard was out of the question for a couple weeks. Yet, if I clench more, it will hurt the area more. What to do?

Then it dawned on me, clenching at night could be a way for my body to let out the stress it didn’t get to express during the day. So I used a proprietary essential oil blend that helps decrease stress and lessen feelings of tension.

First, I prepped my jaw area with topical application. Simply pour 2-3 drops of the oil on your hand and apply it on the outside of your face along the jawbone. If you want to extend the results further after applying the oil, you can also run a wash cloth under hot water, wring out the water, and put the cloth on the area. This is an optional step, but it does help your body absorb the oil better.

Next, I put 4-5 drops of the Calming Blend in my essential oil diffuser. Diffusers are small devices that use cold air or water, ideal for dispersing essential oils into the surrounding air. This allows for aromatic application. When applied in this way, essential oils have an especially powerful effect using the sense of smell to elicit mental and emotional responses. The diffuser that I own can run for 8 hours through the night. Just pour filtered water into the diffuser cavity, place 4-5 drops of the oil blend inside, and push a button. This allows the oil molecules to spread into the air, so you can breathe it in while you sleep. Super powerful. (If you don’t have a diffuser, the next best thing is to place 2-3 drops on your pillow. It won’t be as effective, but you can still breathe in some of the oil’s benefits.)

When I woke up the next morning, my jaw wasn’t tight and achy as it had been on previous nights. It felt even better than when I used the mouth guard. (My mouth guard is the kind you can buy at the store, not the kind you can have custom-made by your dentist.) I was probably too stressed to think of using essential oils for teeth clenching sooner… but I’ll be doing this again!

If you or anyone you know clenches their teeth at night, what have you tried to help remedy it? How has it worked out? Feel free to comment below.

Contact me here if you want to try the proprietary blend. Until the end of this year 2016, I have the time & resources to send a sample in the mail if you’re not local to me. Just ask and provide your postal address (your message will be sent privately to me).

There are 3 ways to use essential oils safely. For more detailed info on how, check out this article. Be sure to use a certified pure therapeutic grade oil with no fillers or additives.

Hope to Build Again


HOPE. One word. When we have some, even a little bit, we live. Without it, we as a people cannot survive no matter what nation we’re in.

As I drove my kids to school today, we felt palpable anxiety hanging in the air. Certainly understandable given the extreme uncertainty the presidential election of 2016 brings to the table. There’s so much we don’t understand.

We can mourn, we can cry. Ultimately, we need to heal. And then, we can rise. Just as we exercised our right to vote, now we are presented once again with the right to take ownership for what is ours. In an alarming, almost frenetic way, this election has reached into our soul and tinkered with our human need for safety and security.

Today I’m thankful for coaches, mentors & like-minded people in my life. Collectively, they remind me that we don’t need to be divided amongst one another because of our choices. The founding fathers believed in God. That foundation proved secure all these years.

We don’t need to put all our hopes in one human.

Now more than ever, what matters is what we build on top of that foundation. The most powerful asset any person can claim is their connection with the One that loves all and desires to see none perish. Division in faith is what the enemy of souls wants. America did not become great because of one person. Neither is a country run by one.

Maybe these thoughts seem simplistic for such a complicated time, but I feel because there’s so much we don’t understand, we cannot judge accurately. All the more we need to hang on to God who knows all and works everything out for the good of everyone involved.

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” ~Romans 15:13

It’s time to rise and take responsibility for our roles as individuals and as families. If we need help, ask for it. If we can give help, offer it. We can, together, find hope to build something great again.

What do you want to build today? Leave a comment and let’s talk more.

Be What Moves You

Just a couple months ago, I was using a cane-stick to help me walk (it was really a hiking stick). Going up and down stairs was slow. My foot had been injured from exercising too much and I was close to a small bone (metatarsal) stress fracture. Whether it had actually been fractured was up in the air. Both my family physician and podiatrist (foot doc) couldn’t confirm visible signs of one. By the time they had done x-rays on the foot, I had already been at least 2 weeks into the injury.

Part of the reason I was recovering faster than expected was *I believe* due to using essential oils to manage pain and help my body heal itself. It’s been about 4 months since the initial injury.

I’m happy to say that my kids and I got to compete in a karate tournament yesterday! I’m grateful my foot healed enough for me to participate along with them. Now to keep doing those “flat feet exercises” to strengthen that arch. 

Being able to touch both feet to floor again feels SO good. Also, being able to move around with less restriction and even lift up my leg to execute kicks. I can’t tell you how much I was itching to throw a kick as I watched classmates do so while I was hanging onto my cane-stick.

As I was practicing for the tournament, I received many pointers from my instructors and other students for improving my form. I feel very blessed to take their observations/advice and have the feet to “run with them.” After months of concentrated physical and emotional challenge, this is truly amazing to me.

The following three martial arts pointers stand out. They can apply to life too – a theme word for each pointer. They are:

  1. VISION. Imagine your opponent in front of you and keep your eyes focused straight ahead, not looking down. This to me, can translate into having a clear vision of what’s ahead in life and doing things with confidence.
  2. DIRECTION. Know the correct direction and face it. This alerts you to pay attention to the direction you’re facing and hence, opponent(s) coming from that angle.
  3. BOLDNESS. Throw an elbow strike by making sure you grab the opponent firmly with your other hand. Sounds simple and self-explanatory, doesn’t it? This move is like a close secret strength, but it tends to be under-utilized until you’re actually facing enough opposition to get you to bust it out. When you do use it, you might be surprised at how bold & confident you can be.

I used to exercise 5-6 days a week for 2 hours a day. At that time, I’d worked up to lean arms and started to build muscle. I’m not able to work out that intensely now. At first I was disappointed. But I’ve gained something even more valuable. I get to have vision, direction & boldness in the way I listen to, and love, my body just the way it is. I get to be gentle with this Spirit temple I’ve been given to take care of. As I care for it, I trust I’ll be led to build what I need to build to do whatever task I’m being summoned for.

Being able to move is a real gift. In the past, I’ve taken it for granted by not exercising at all and also by exercising way too much. Now I’m grateful I get to do any kind of workout to stay as fit as I need to be. My driving desire? To live a life that outlives me. Impact people for the better. Introduce those I love to the One who loves all.

What moves you to live? I’d love to hear your comments below!

I strive to share my mistakes in hopes of helping others. Get more of the story by grabbing the PDF below…

How Do You Stay Sharp?

I’m thankful for friends that sharpen me to be better.

That accept me for who I am and inspire me to grow.

Today I let a friend know I’m thinking of them.

I was going about my bedtime routine when I sensed a friend of mine was going through something difficult. There was no real reason to think this, nothing said between us that alerted me to this.

Turns out I was wrong in what I sensed. But that exchange taught me something. Never mind the original reason I thought of them.

When you think about someone, it’s nice to express to them that you care about them.

Life can bring on rough things. Each of us has a different set of stuff to handle. Sometimes we get busy and we may forget to tell someone we care about that they mean something to us.

Your loved ones may know you love them on an intellectual level, but do they feel your care?

When I get too busy in life, I’m guilty of forgetting to let friends and family know I care. This is where the beauty of technology comes in. So I sent a text to my friend, saying (some details have been changed to protect privacy):

“How are you? For some reason I was worried about you tonight. I hope you’re safe and that everything’s okay.”

It turns out things were fine. Just that my friend was feeling run down. I don’t know if my words were a comfort or just words. But everybody feels run down from time to time.

I hope and pray my presence in my friends’ lives helps them feel sharper and encouraged. In turn, I end up getting inspired and sharpened by them. Everybody has something to teach and learn from each other.

Proverbs 27:17 says it well with wisdom from above. Here’s the verse from two different versions of the Bible:

“As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.” (New International Version)

“You use steel to sharpen steel, and one friend sharpens another.” (The Message Version)

What do you do to stay sharp? What can you do today to show someone you care about them?