Fear; what is it good for?

Failure…or more accurate; epic failure.

That’s the point that moved me back to focusing on the areas of my life that needed me most. Have you experienced failure?

I know that we all have in some form or another. Small failures are normal in life. But small failures mean that we are only taking small steps and staying safe because of the numbing fear of more failure.

Can you relate? Have you ever wanted something and were too afraid to do what it takes to achieve what you wanted? Take for example, a baby. When you were young and learning to walk for the first time, did you fall? Now, I don’t know your backstory well enough but I’m going to bet you a million dollars that you did.

Screen Shot 2015-12-29 at 8.19.20 AM

Because we all did! But what if we had decided at that moment that it was futile to keep trying? What if we made the decision that we were going to keep crawling through our lives because it was safer? 

Sounds kind of silly, doesn’t it? Yet, that is what most of us are doing every single day. We give up. We stop trying. Have you tried losing weight and getting fit before and failed? Have you started a business venture or challenge that excited you, only to fail in some way; big or small? Have you tried dating before and failed at connecting with everyone you went out with? Are you at a point right now that is keeping you in a place of complacency because of the numbing fear of failing, yet again?

I hate to say it but in order to achieve anything worth having, you must fail. Here are two major failures in my life and how I was able to overcome them with the support of friends and family:

I grew up extremely shy and kept to myself most of the time. I enjoyed solitude and quiet spaces because it was safe. I don’t know where the fear of speaking up began but I know it was an issue that hindered me through my school years. In high school, I became friends with a girl who pretty much spoke for me. She gave me confidence because she was so confident. I appreciate her to this day for showing me exactly how unscary it is to just speak up and be heard.

Screen Shot 2015-12-29 at 8.18.06 AM

Can you imagine now that I am not afraid to speak in public? I started with teaching aerobic classes when I was just 18 years old. I was scared out of my mind, but my passion for helping others to workout and feel good overcame my fears and I just kept practicing and doing. Did I fail? Of course I did! I would have blunders and mistakes every time I taught for a long time. But this didn’t stop me from continuing because I simply loved it! I now am not afraid to talk openly in public. I am not afraid to stand up and make a public speech. I may get nervous at the start but that doesn’t stop me anymore from still doing; as in the past.

Have you ever felt that kind of passion before? Have you ever been afraid of something but were so passionate about the outcome that it became the focus; instead of the fear? That is the place we all need to live in. This helps us build our confidence for the areas in our lives that hinder us still.

I was also always fearful of not having enough money. I don’t know where this fear began but I remember when my husband and I purchased our first home, I worried that we would make a bad choice at some point or another. We had excellent credit scores, paid all of our bills on time, both worked and provided for our young children and everything just seemed right. Yet, I still feared losing it all.

Be careful what you think about most because it can consume you. Not that I walked around worrying about it constantly; it was more of a nagging worry.

I won’t bore you with the whole story but at the time of the recession; we decided to take a move overseas and needless to say, this was the start of the worries coming to fruition. My hubby’s business hit a bumpy road and slowed down considerably. I was working part-time in the fitness field as a personal trainer and still a group exercise instructor (and if you know anything about this field, it’s not something to write home about in income status). Our move overseas was short lived but the outcome hit us rather hard. We moved again back to where we began and didn’t take precautions to scrimp and save enough to get back on our feet as we would have preferred.

One more overseas trip and a lot more debt accrued and we came back again, only to deal with the hardship of major debt, rebuilding our businesses, and settling into something we had no idea how we would manage.

IMG_0458

I can honestly say that faith was my best friend at that point. Faith and our family that had gone through the moves and stresses and ups and downs. We bunkered down together, all 5 of us and decided that we were going to persevere. It hasn’t been easy but let me tell you, we are finally getting to the point of not being consumed by the unknown and have the closest and strongest bonds together that we have ever had. This would not have been possible, had we not failed. So failure, in my humble opinion, makes us better for the process.

Fear paralyzes us into doing nothing. We now go through every day, grateful for our blessings and knowing we are not as “in control” as we think we are 😉 Letting go and just believing we are doing our best with every day has been the medicine to overcome the challenges that life brings our way. I’m not saying I know what the next stage will bring but I do know that I am not afraid of it. I know that I will face the next challenge with support, love and grace. What is holding you back because of your fears?

 

Advertisements

My Success Plan

okay….I’ll admit it, I missed 4 days of blogging this month. No excuses but I’m regrouping once again and ready to push for daily posts from today to the end of the year.

12377693_1056956054346027_7118828562835679283_o

Why would I skip? Like I said, no excuses…buuuuuut this weekend was both my anniversary with my hubby and my birthday. (yes, I got married the day before my birthday and in the month of December so you can imagine all the celebrations that ensue!) I realized this year a few things that I thought I’d share with you today:

  1. I have never felt as blessed as I do this year. Not quite sure why that is because I’ve always been blessed so much (and yes, I’ve had my share of crappy storms!), but I do believe that it’s because of my mindset and my deeper appreciation as I grow older.
  2. I forgot how old I was this year. Seriously…isn’t that a bad sign? LOL I thought I was turning 43 and my sister inlaw sent me a message wishing me a “happy 44” and I almost had to message her back that she was wrong. Until I counted the years since the year I was born and realized that she was  correct. OOPS! I figure that is a good sign because I’m not feeling my age anymore! 🙂
  3. Each year my hubby seems to do more on our anniversary and on my birthday than ever before. And that’s without me nagging at him! ha! I am in awe of how deep love can grow over the years and as you stick together through thick and thin (and trust me…there has been TONS of thick!)
  4. As I move into the next year, and as I approach 45 (the halfway point of my 4th decade) I realize that I have big goals that I want to achieve and accomplish that I have been putting off for the past few years and it’s GO time! I am writing out a BIG ASS HAIRY LIST of 10 goals that scare the crap out of me but once I accomplish; would truly make a ginormous difference in my life and my family’s lives.

12339653_1057212817653684_6111157602883502055_o

So those are my reasons for skipping out on you the past few days. I was busy reflecting, celebrating and planning for what is to come. Think about it for a moment, (if you will humor me here) do you ever look back to your previous birthday (or new year or whatever date is a milestone for you) and see which areas you’ve improved in; which areas you’ve declined in and which areas you’ve stayed exactly the same in?

I believe we can make every goal we set a reality by plugging into what needs to be done. I want to empower other women in their lives just as I’ve been empowered in mine. Not just with fitness; not just with health…but with everything. Time, finances, goals, dreams, less stress and more love.  My coaching business and the amazing friendships that I am making each new year is truly something I will build upon.  The people’s lives that I help to improve by just supporting and being their accountability zone also helps me to better myself and keep accountable to MY goals. The growth in my own mindset and the ability to push through previous roadblocks that have held me down for much too long is key to all of these areas.

If you could do anything in the world that you wanted to do, what would it be? If nothing was holding you back and there were no life threatening risks to you or anyone you know; what would you do for the rest of your days that would feel like the BEST of your days? Think about it. You can have it. But it’s going to take some sacrifices, commitment and follow through. Just watch me in the next year and see what I do with my new goals.

Are you living your current passion and exactly where you want to be today? 

You can’t handle the tooth!

Today was just LOOOOONG!!!

bahahahaha 😀

It all started here…

up at 5 am and completed my workout from Insanity Max. Day 1; month 2. Pretty good, overall.

Then got Joe up to do his workout while I got lunches made and breakfast eaten. I like to have my coffee and breakfast while I read my personal development and this starts my day on the right track, with the right mindset.

Got Joe to school and did some work before it was GO time for Amy.

She had an early morning appointment to get her 4 wisdom teeth removed…(I have 5, just saying…but that’s a story for another day!)

We were at the dentist’s office right on time and got some simple paper work completed and away she went. I thought that I was fine until she walked down the hall and there I sat…

alone.

So, I did what any other supportive mother would do…I went to the pharmacy to get her prescriptions filled. Honestly, I couldn’t sit still!!! I realize my mind just races too darned much so it was a better plan to get something done that would have had to be done anyway. As soon as I got back to the office again, she was almost done. I figured she’d be really “loopy” from the anesthesia, as that’s what they warned us of in the consult appointment. But there she sat next to me, nodding away at the receptionist’s explanation of all the things we needed to adhere to.

Screen Shot 2015-12-07 at 11.05.12 PM

Ice for 24 hours on the cheeks, antibiotics and ibuprofen every 6-8 hours to aid in healing and swelling issues, keep head elevated, keep gauze against the sutures for a few hours, no foods, no driving…you know, the usual. 

She was really a trooper, in my opinion. I helped her to the couch in the living room and she just lounged there for most of the day. She enjoyed a protein shake and a shakeology shake during the day. I noticed towards evening, she seemed to be getting a bit antsy. As I set the dinner table up for the family, I suggested she could either stay lounging on the couch or sit with us at dinner if she preferred. She told me she was so boooooored and would sit with us for sure.

As I finished cutting the salad, she came walking into the kitchen and opened the cupboard – looking for the cream of wheat. I asked if she wanted to eat that and she said, “ya”…so I offered to make it up. and since she’s quite independent (no idea who she takes after! lol) she said she would be fine making it up.

Actually the recipe she created came out really impressive. She cooked it up with milk ( as dairy is said to help in alleviating the nausea that is typically associated with wisdom teeth removal), added some canned pumpkin for flavor (genius! maybe a new recipe idea for our next support group!) and some greek yogurt for creaminess and extra protein. She sat at the dinner table with us and enjoyed the meal she had created and listened to us chatter away.

When we were nearly done, my hubby asked me to explain her surgery since she couldn’t speak all too well. I told my side of the story but obviously I wasn’t there for the whole experience and she proceeded to share her side of the story…at least, what she remembered after the anesthesia. 😉

It was after just a few minutes of her talking, when I noticed she stopped…and looked a bit panicked and her face went pale. I asked, “are you feeling dizzy?” and she nodded, still looking worried. I helped guide her to stand so we could take her back to the couch and she asked, “what is wrong with me?”

Then she collapsed…

I was left trying to hold her but it was completely impossible with the way she passed out. I called for Ben and we clumsily helped her to the couch to lie down. I asked if she could hear us and she responded, yes…and once she was reclining on the couch, she started to regain color in her cheeks. Ben opened some doors and put the fan on and she felt better yet.

I had to tease her later on how she thought she was “fine” after just a few hours on the couch and could go about her usual food planing and walking and talking as if no big ordeal had taken place that day.

Yes, my daughter does take after me, after all!! I used to believe she was all her dads’ side… but this just made my day.

Day 1 recovery, in the books. Here’s hoping tomorrow is so much better for her!

Movie Night with the Martian

Have you seen any good movies lately? I went out tonight with my two eldest kids and really had a great time. (not sure if they would agree as much with their “MOM” tagging along but we’ll just leave good enough alone!)  We decided to see “The Martian” together.

Wow.

I have to say that the trailer for this movie didn’t really speak to me at first; but after hearing some rave reviews about the movie, I thought, what the heck?

The storyline and the feeling of it all made me want to stand up and applaud, cry my eyes out and feel as though I was in the story myself.

Not for the reasons you’d imagine – like the drama and the premise of the story line…

but more about the underlying meanings of the unfaltering human nature and drive that many of us forego in our day to day lives.

So for those of you who haven’t seen it or if you don’t know what it’s about; let me give you an outline of the story. (and no spoilers to worry about if you still want to see it). This is a story of a group of astronauts who travel to Mars and are on a mission that needs to be aborted earlier than expected, except that one of the astronauts is lost in a storm and left on Mars (assumed to be dead).

The true power comes not in the plot of how the story unfolds but in how we react to the situation at hand; every second, minute and day of our lives.

I have been obsessed with our mindsets; why some people stick to goals in life while others decide their goals are not worth the sacrifices and struggles it takes to reach those goals. In all reality, we are all pretty much the same. We have the same basic needs, struggles and wants. We have the same capabilities to believe in ourselves and what we want; or not. We can all achieve any goal we decide that we want bad enough to get after it but that doesn’t guarantee that all, or many at that, will persevere.

Now back to the movie; this astronaut would have been dead within hours or days if he hadn’t decided that there may be another way. He had to get over the initial shock of his situation and decide to fight like hell to make it no matter what. Why? Probably because he had no other option aside from giving up and dying and that can be a big motivating fact for most of us indeed. (Proof of this is after a doctors visit for those who are given a negative result of health or unwell and how they can make the changes in their foods and lifestyles that ordinarily they would not have)

I think of the many times I’ve become frustrated when things didn’t go the way I had expected, and I wanted to just give up and forget about it. . I think of the times when the goals I have are larger than the frustrations, so I dig in (after I calm down) and find another way or look for another solution to complete what needs to be done. How many times have you decided something wasn’t worth the headaches, sacrifices or stresses? Of course, if the goal isn’t enticing or important enough, chances are that not many (if any) of us would stay invested long enough to find a way.

So this astronaut first assumes defeat (much like we do when things, out of our control, seem to derail our best efforts) but the need for this man not to give up and die overshadows the enormity of his situation. Time after time,  he is hit by what we would consider the “end of it all” and yet you see him looking for another solution in the cracks. How many of us can truly say that we exhaust all areas of a situation before giving up? I know for myself, I had only known walking away at the first sign of struggle or disappointment.

Really? My ego had to be submerged so that I could actually deal head on with issues that arose unexpectedly. And this is not easy.

But what is powerful is how our minds can expand to look at all roadblocks as a detour. We can become better and more practiced if we learn to look for that underlying route or “plan b”. Finding humor in the moments that can make or break us, is what I love most and can change the negativity in my mind to finding a better way. I remember a metaphor that was shared by one of my previous gym managers’; he asked us what we would do if we were driving along on the highway one day and up ahead we see a car stopped in our lane. We naturally slow down but what would we do next? Would you come to a complete stop behind this car and just wait it out because this was our “plan”? Or would we find a solution like maybe going around the car and getting in another lane or even going over the car if needed. Because we don’t know for sure if that car is going to continue and we sure as heck shouldn’t allow someone or something else to determine our reality.

Matt Damon, who plays the astronaut left on Mars, shares that his first initial thought when he realized he was left on the planet was “I’m going to die” but then he immediately shifts that thought into, what are the most critical things I need to survive right now and how can I go about achieving those now with what I have and my strong areas?

This should be an area we are all required to learn or study at least once in our lives. Being defeated doesn’t mean the story is over. Being defeated in one way, just means we MUST find another way. And we keep on looking for more solutions until the correct one is found.

But only if we want the end result as bad as we say we do. 😉 

Gratitude Wins

Sundays are one of my favorite days of the week.

Yes, although I’ll admit it wasn’t always that way; I’m not a “calm” personality by nature so the fact of just slowing down on an entire day of each week was something that took a loooong time to get used to.

But I am getting used to it and really enjoying it too. 🙂

It’s a day to reflect on what the past week entailed and what we look forward to in the coming week. It’s a day to give thanks for all that we have; and this was also a difficult issue at certain times of my life.

I mean, how EASY is it to complain and whine about life “not being fair to us” and “what coulda been”, etc? I’ll admit, I was the first one to believe that I wasn’t guilty of this but it turns out.. I WAS! Go figure! lol Being positive means more than just turning our frowns upside down. It’s about getting back up each and every time that life knocks us down. It’s about not taking it too personally and in finding a NEW way to move ahead again. I know I’ve had my share of complaining about everyone else’s roles in my own struggles and stresses. It was always just easier that way, I guess. Then one day, (if you’re lucky) you wake up and realize that the fingers we are pointing out at everyone else are just pointing right back at us.

Screenshot 2015-08-09 at 11.27.46 PM

Truth.

I used to blame so many people in my life for various reasons. Pick anyone and pick anything and I’m sure I had complained about it before. To my dismay, I’ve been corrected over and over and over again until it just hit me BAM! in the face that much of it had been MY problems in the long run. Was I a ‘bad’ person? No. I was just guilty of allowing certain behaviors to take over what I knew was right and allowing my own negative behaviors to take over when I felt threatened.

And it turns out, I must have felt threatened more often than I really even knew.

The other day, while I was doing my regular self development reading, I came across a verse stating that we cannot expect anybody else to love US more than they can love THEMSELVES.

BAM! Tears started streaming down my face as I realized how many people I had incorrectly judged over my life. How unfair I had treated others by assuming that they weren’t giving it their all or being selfish in their love for me and all I believed to be right and true. I had been unfair in my judgments and am working on righting that behavior in my mind and in my actions.

Today, I reflected on that while we enjoyed, truly enjoyed the family time together. Instead of getting caught up in what most of us think we want more of; power, money, authority, or whatever…

there’s nothing more we need than what most of us have in front of us today; family, love, friendship, understanding.

These are the true blessings in life and should be what we all strive to share more of with others…

and in turn, receive more of it for ourselves in the long run.

Homemade Corn Tortillas (EASY)

So yesterday I bragged online about my daughter making us homemade corn tortillas for taco dinner even though she was exhausted.

The story goes like this:

She worked all day and came home extremely tired. I was running out to Costco with my hubby before dinner and asked if she could make up the tortillas while we were out.

She pleaded with me that she was just too tired. My son actually offered to make them up if I would mix up the dough. I was running late so I just announced I’d simply make them up when we got home. They ARE easy, after all!

When we came home, the pile of tortillas, freshly made, were sitting on the kitchen table. My heart was so full and I had to share.

11401503_10206953935477750_4345489544537909445_n

But now everyone is asking for the recipe and I’m always happy to share some new ways for others to be healthier overall. Creating foods at home instead of purchasing ready made foods is always a better choice! So here is our recipe and hope that you can enjoy it too. Please share with me how your’s turn out.

(I used to roll out homemade corn tortillas when I was younger, using wax paper and then cooking them on the stove…no more! Now, all you need is a handy dandy tortilla press. Order them online and you won’t regret it!)

Screen Shot 2015-06-11 at 1.38.03 PM

Corn Tortillas:

3 1/2 cups flour (all purpose or whatever flour you prefer)

3/4 cup masa harina (you could also use corn meal)

1 tsp. salt

1/2 cup oil

1 cup warm water

Directions:

Heat the tortilla press for about 10 minutes.

Mix all dry ingredients and then measure the wet ingredients and blend together. Knead a few minutes with your hands and form into small balls of dough. (size will determine size and thickness of your tortillas so you can play around with what you prefer)

Press the dough in the machine for a few seconds and let it cook on both sides for about 5-10 seconds and remove to a towel to cool. Repeat with the rest of the dough.

DONE!

Seriously, you will be amazed at how simple this is! Don’t forget to mention my name when you share them! 🙂 🙂 🙂
Screen Shot 2015-06-11 at 1.34.02 PM

Needing LESS and Feeling MORE

I want to talk about the topic of being “perfect” and thinking that “getting more” and “doing more” is going to make us “more”.

That’s a ridiculous word but so many of us are stuck thinking that “if only” we did this or “if only” we could do that…our lives would finally be a success.

We know it’s ridiculous and yet we still worry incessantly about minor details which have nothing to do with our true selves.

Who are you?

I have been doing some deep reflection over the past few years. I am a firm believer in self growth; just as much as I believe in exercise for my body…this is exercise for my mind, spirit, development, belief and more. This is everything I had been missing for years.

Through my learnings recently, I had an epiphany that all of the past few years were actually a blessing in disguise.

Now if you had dared to utter that sentence to me earlier, I would have bitten your head off.

A blessing???

Moving across the world, not once, but TWICE  in less than two years time. From being financially secure to struggling to pay off credit card debts and working to get ahead after the recession hit; not to mention how expensive it is to move overseas.  The stress on our family, the unknown of what was going to happen and where we were going to settle in. The emotions, the guilt, the arguments, the fact that now we are living with a small amount of our “belongings” as most of our stuff is still sitting in a storage box overseas. Why? Because it costs another small fortune to bring it back, plus the fact of getting the grunt work set up to pack it all up and move it when we aren’t physically there.

I know we will have the rest of our “stuff” back. I know we are happy to be where we are, finally free of the unknown and imbalance within ourselves of what we truly agreed upon within ourselves. Life is a struggle all it’s own. So adding this ginormous topic was a heavy burden to carry.

But it was a blessing.

I can now say that with confidence and clarity. First of all, because I see within my children, the joy and understanding they have within their hearts and souls that I could never have taught them on my own. I see my husband, put all outside issues away to focus in on his immediate circle and grow himself in many ways. I see how I’ve also grown and learned to understand areas that I was incapable of accepting before.

So, we don’t have our “stuff”? This was a topic I had been complaining about for the past year or so…until I recently heard a woman’s story that sounded oddly similar to ours. She also moved to another country with her husband and children, and in doing so, SOLD all of their belongings, except for what would fit into a suitcase to move.

IMG_0402

We didn’t SELL all of our stuff.

But instead of complaining about this fact, she now writes about minimalism and how it’s changed her life. Here, I’m complaining that I need my “stuff” and she is proud that she doesn’t have a lot of “stuff”. Their family has also moved back again and now keeps their stuff to a minimum.

But what about my photos, my wedding album, my china, my everything else??

This is what I had been complaining and stressing about. What was this woman saying? She said that they had sold everything except of course, what they could pack into their suitcases and she also saved her china and wedding albums. These items, they put into storage before they moved. Now that they have moved back, she has yet to open the storage and use these “saved” items. She shared that she now asks if that had been a wise choice to save these “things”.

Wow.

I was blown away because this was the complete opposite of what I was saying. Now, don’t get me wrong, I still would love to bring back my wedding items and photos and “stuff”; but the reality is it’s not what is truly important.

The important things are not “things” at all, but are my husband and children, and they are with me now and have been with me the entire time. I had been looking at it wrong because of the outside stresses and elements and unknowns.

The important lessons have been learned and we continue to grow and thrive in these blessings that occur. I now understand that stuff is just stuff. I haven’t seen the stuff in over two years and I’ve been getting along just fine without them. Seems that we tend to put a lot of undue importance in things that don’t really have much to do with our daily lives.

IMG_6210 IMG_6211 IMG_7557

Amen. I see it now and it has calmed my need to be “perfect” and have all of my “things”.