Posts tagged self care

Obesity Costs More Than Your Good Looks

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Those of you who’ve been hanging out with me for awhile know that my credo is “Everyday a Vacation Day.” I want to wake up every morning with anticipation of new adventures ahead of me. I love feeling excited, fresh and light – light in spirit, mind AND body. And like many others, in my pursuit of enjoyment I sometimes overdo. Combine that with some genetic tendencies towards a full body, and my scales have gone into the obesity realm several times in my life.

I’m happy to report that I’ve been heading back down the scale away from the obesity category and it’s not so difficult this time. I think I’ve finally got a handle on the balance between eating/drinking what I enjoy, moving my body and feeling light and healthy. I’m also motivated when I realize the high cost of obesity. Not only do those extra pounds make us feel less attractive and make it more difficult to move around, they also lead to diminished health and outrageous obesity related medical costs.

Here’s a report from the McKinsey Quarterly that gives more detail. You have to register on their site to read the complete article -it’s free.

“An obesity pandemic has put pressure on health care systems throughout the world. The United Kingdom, for instance, spent more than £4 billion on obesity-related medical costs in 2007, and that could rise to £9.7 billion by 2050. The United States currently spends about $160 billion—twice what it did a decade ago—and that amount could double again by 2018.

Yet these huge numbers represent only a fraction of the pandemic’s total economic burden on societies. Obesity indirectly costs the United States at least $450 billion annually—almost three times the direct medical cost. The situation is comparable in other countries as well. To learn more, read “Why governments must lead the fight against obesity” (October 2010).” http://www.mckinseyquarterly.com/Why_governments_must_lead_the_fight_against_obesity_2687

Mind Junk

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One of my coaches gave the term “mind junk” to that negative, very active voice in your head. It’s chattering away constantly telling you why you can’t reach your goal, live your dreams or even something as simple as writing an article!

I watch people let this mind junk waste tremendous amounts of their energy. Instead, I’d like to invite you to accept that this voice will always be with you AND you can relax and accept it rather than wasting energy trying to change it. You can wallow around in your mind junk or you can shift your attention from it to your goals.

Let’s identify what your mind junk looks like so you can quickly figure out when it’s happening and you can stop paying attention to it. One other interesting thing…the way you handle mind junk in one area of life -say money -you’ll find that the same mind junk runs your relationships, your creativity, your physical vitality, your time and how much you enjoy life. Here are some ways mind junk shows up:

Keeping it vague. I’ll create that blog soon. Right now I don’t have the time. Falling into the either/or trap. Either I can write a book or I can keep making money in my job -I don’t have the energy for both. Comparing yourself to others. Why does it seem that no one struggles with public speaking as much as I do? Making excuses. I was late in meeting my deadline because I had too many interruptions.

Monkey mind has a lot of tenacity. It loves to keep us in the same behaviors even when it’s not working for us. Here’s what you might find yourself saying: It will work if I just try harder, I don’t have time to do it another way. This is just how I am and there’s nothing I can do about it.

So what to do with this craziness? Know that you are not your mind junk. You have amazing ability to observe it. It is only one part of your mind and who you really are is much more magnificent than any curve ball your mind junk throws at you. When you become aware of it and see how it works, you minimize the odds of getting off track as you move towards your goals.

Here’s an action for you. Over the next 2 days, write down at least 3 times your mind junk was shouting load and clear. Did you say it aloud -like “I can’t afford that and never will” or was it an internal dialogue? Note what kind of form it took -was it being vague, comparing yourself to others or some other form?

See if you can catch the mind junk and not get into a full blown attack of it. Observing your mind junk, you may be amazed to discover that 90% or more of the thoughts that your mind junk pops into your head are irrelevant to anything that’s of real value to you!

Would love to hear any tips you have for living in peace with your mind junk. Post yours here.

Gratitude is Good Medicine

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I’ve been following the relatively new field of Positive Psychology for the last few years –imagine studying people who are healthy and thriving and not just those with disorders and diagnosis –about time!

There are powerful research results coming out about the idea of gratitude.  Findings say that gratitude helps maintain close connections with others.  Gratitude is linked to more helping behaviors, high positive emotions, life satisfaction, increased hope and lower feelings of anxiety and envy.  Who doesn’t want that!

In a research study on happiness, people in one group were asked to write a letter of gratitude to someone, a 2nd group was asked to write down five things they were grateful for each day for one week, and a 3rd group was asked to write down five things they were grateful for on a single day.

There appeared to be more benefit to listing your blessings 1 day a week rather than everyday (I wonder if it was because it was easier to remember to do it once!).  All three interventions worked, providing people with increased happiness and hope.  And even more impressive –the benefits lasted up to 6 months.

Of all the happiness interventions to date– gratitude gives the strongest effects.

The affirmative prayer method that I practice daily has a gratitude component to it. Being grateful for what is right now and feeling what it’s like to already have what you have asked for.  When I practice affirmative prayer and get to the gratitude part, my heart always fills up so full…no matter what circumstances are appearing in my outside world…it is a wonderful feeling and always transforms me to a higher place.

Enjoy this season of gratitude, and post a comment on our blog about your experiences with gratitude…I’d love to hear them!

Life First Work Second In Action

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I’m walking my talk this week – you know the one where I say living a Life First/Work Second is an important value of mine and one I want to encourage others to go after if it rings true for them…yeah, that one.

I’m writing to you from my home state of RI where I’m visiting family. The purpose of the trip was “crisis” related…so I’ve been focusing more on family than work this week…
and I can do so and am glad!

In order to focus on what’s most important right now I’m going to forgo my usual weekly article ezine for this week and next week…

Watch for an article the first week of November.

In the meantime, I’m also helping my family (and myself!) remember that what you focus on expands…so if there is an area of life that doesn’t look so rosy right now don’t get consumed by it -take the steps you need to and don’t forget to enjoy all that IS good right now…you’re loved ones, the fall air, whatever makes you happy.

Knowing for you a prosperous and productive week while remembering what’s REALLY important.

Igniting your entrepreneurial spirit,
Ann

What is Noble Purpose?

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Noble Purpose is listening for the inner call to use your unique gifts to serve others.

Noble Purpose is a matter of the heart.  It is about your heart opening and feeling intimately united with others.  James Hillman in the Soul’s Code gives us the “acorn theory”.  An acorn must grow into an oak tree –it cannot be a pine or a palm.  Each life is formed by a particular image, an image that is the essence of life and calls it to a destiny, just as the mighty oak’s destiny is written in the tiny acorn.

Some of you might not have connected with it yet.
Some of you know what it is but have trouble living it
Some of you are living it but might want to live it even more fully.

But NONE of you need to CHANGE or be someone you are not.  There is nothing to change; there is only the return to your deepest, Essential Self. 

What throws you off track from living your Noble Purpose?

We get in our own way when we think our purpose has to be BIG, or unique – it is not always a call to the extraordinary, though it will keep stretching you.  More often than not it is the embrace of the ordinary, doing what makes you feel simply satisfied and good.
 
Your habits and beliefs can stop you although they don’t have to.  Can you believe “there is no limitation outside of our own ignorance, and since we can ALL conceive of a greater good than we have so far experienced, we all have the ability to transcend previous experiences and rise triumphant above them; but we shall never triumph over them while we persist in going through the old mental reactions.” (Ernest Holmes)

Are your beliefs supporting your noble purpose?  If not, choose a belief that is not supporting you and write out an opposite belief that feels better to you.  As the old thought arises, don’t feed it –just replace it with the new belief.  It does not matter how much patience it takes:  persevere and be patient with yourself until you can see that each succeeding month your consciousness is evolving into a higher place that supports you. 

Take time to get quiet and listen to the still, small voice within.  Meditate and use visioning to ask how to use your unique gifts to serve others.  Uncovering your inner purpose may look formidable.  It is not.  This call to serve is very familiar –even obvious.  It’s an aspect of your life you’ve known and danced with since childhood, a completely original expression of your unique self.

What is at the center of your life?  Carefully examine where you spend your attention, your time.  Look at your appointment book, your daily schedule.  These things, these meetings, and errands–this is where you dedicate your precious days, hours, moments.  This is what receives your care and attention –and, by definition, your love.  Is this what you wish to love?  Are these the people and situations you hope will receive the gift of your life? 

If you do not feel connected to your Noble Purpose right now –relax.  You don’t have to agonize over it – your Noble Purpose is already a creative force within you –to fulfill it you might just need to get out of the way!

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