Why I Love Dancing

I really love dancing. I started dancing as a child and have kept it up for most of my life in some form or another. As a child, I studied Ballet, Tap and Jazz and as an adult I am currently taking ballet and tap. I have not always been taking classes. Sometimes I said I did not have time or I could not find a teacher that I was compatible with.

My body always feels better when I dance.  It feels amazing to just move your body.  I have always exercised either at a gym or been active riding bikes or hiking.  But dancing is a different form of movement.  My dance teacher, Angeline, says that it’s the toughest form of athleticism because you have to be strong, flexible, balanced and you have to make it look like it’s easy.  I agree that it’s very challenging but to me it just feels so good to just move my body.

When I was working at my sedentary job, I would get off work and would just love it when I could move my body.   When I dance my body wakes up and I feel alive.  It’s fun to dance to a song that is just a kick ass song.  Dance is a physical expression of music.  So you hear the music and with dancing you move to the rhythm  and it just is wonderful.

In March of 2017 I decided I was going to have a retirement party and I wanted to perform at my party with my family and closest friends.  So I trained with Angeline for 7 months consistently.  It was the most difficult thing I’ve ever done.  One of the reasons I feel it was so difficult was because I would go dance after work in which I sat down for so many hours of the day.  It’s like the sitting was counter productive to my dancing.  But I just had to keep trying to reach my dream.

I know not everyone dances or they say they can’t dance.  But whatever you are capable of doing, you should just do that.  If you can walk, then walk.  If you can run, then run.  Whatever you find enjoyable, do that.  I find dancing to be very enjoyable and I love it.  But sometimes I want to pull my hair out trying to learn something new.  But I just keep trying with the hope that I can improve.  I am not the world’s best dancer by any stretch. But I just do the best that I can do any given day.  Some days are better than others and some days I suck at dancing.  Sometimes I just want to do the thing I am good at and no I don’t want to do that new challenging move or choreography that I don’t know or want to know.  But if you just keep trying and if you have a good dance teacher, they will break it down and then it’s much easier.

Do whatever it is that makes you feel alive.  A big hint is that you usually lose track of time while you are doing it.

Just Show Up, You never know what kind of awesome you are missing

Recently I had a retirement party and had a 50/50 Raffle. One lucky winner would win 50% of the proceeds and the other 50% went to a “Mystery Guest.”  People were asking me who the mystery guest was and did they actually think I was going to tell them.  I don’t think so.  I had my mouth closed like someone pleading the 5th.

How did I select this mystery guest?  Well I really wanted to bless this person because I just wanted them to know how much I appreciate their work and how their work was a blessing to me.

So I had it all planned out.  I picked the most amazing person.  I was working on my speech and then after I sent out the invitations, I promptly received an RSVP saying they couldn’t make it.  “Darn it.”  I really wanted to bless the.  So I had to pick another mystery guest.  Guess what happened…. they didn’t show up either.

So then I decided that I could not choose just one person.  So I chose two.  In alphabetical order my first choice was Alina Adams.  I chose her because she is my voice instructor and she’s really patient, positive and gives really good feedback.  She’s from the Ukraine and she’s a very talented violinist who honestly could have lived anywhere on the planet.  But we found each other and I just appreciate her work.  And also if she didn’t follow her dream of music then she would not have been there to help me when I found my dream of music.

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Next comes Angeline Lucia DeGeorge.  I first met Angeline at a Zumbathon at her dance studio and I was a guest instructor.  I noticed she was a very talented dancer.  After I quit being a Group Fitness Instructor, I decided to be the student and began taking classes with Angeline.  I started with beginning tap and then convinced her to teach an adult ballet class.  She told me if I could get 6 people to commit that she would do a class.  The first class was very full with about 8.  The second class was 4 and now it’s usually 4 to 6 regulars.  After I decided I wanted to do a performance, I asked Angeline to choreograph it and work with her privately.  So for six months I met with her weekly.  It was very difficult, agonizing and rewarding. She’s also a very talented dancer and instuctor.  I picked her to share as a Mystery Guest because after all, had she not followed her dream and passion of being a dancer than I would not have been able to follow my dream of being a dancer.

Bottom line, had they now shown up they would not have won and trust me they were happy they won.

JOURNEY FROM COP TO YOGINI

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Journey From Cop to Yoga Instructor
My journey from law enforcement officer to yoga instructor was many years in the making. It all started in 1999 when I was extremely stressed out, depressed and experiencing insomnia and back and neck pain. I had been in a car accident and was also a newlywed on the brink of divorce. At the time I was living in Bakersfield, CA and there was not any yoga classes in the area that I knew about. I knew in my heart that yoga would help me if I could only find a class.
I purchased a few yoga DVD’s and did those but it did not seem to have much effect on my stress. Fast forward to 2004, I was not as stressed out as I was before but I still did experience back and shoulder pain. Finally I found a gym that offered yoga classes. This was after I had moved to the North Bay Area. So I took my yoga classes every Saturday and realized how inflexible I really was. The poses all seemed so foreign to me. As a former dancer, I couldn’t believe how tight I was and I kept doing it and noticed how after class I started to experience post yoga bliss. I would feel really relaxed and peaceful. I noticed things were not bothering me as much and I was sleeping better.

In 2006 I heard an ad on the radio about becoming a Yoga Instructor. So I decided to inquire about the training. They had a class starting in July 2006 but there were some issues with child care and the Yoga Instructor providing the training, Michelle Paisley who is now an internationally best selling author of a few books. Michelle said she was going to do it again in November 2006 as well

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Later in July 2006, my dear brother, Christopher died. It was then that I knew I was definitely going to become a yoga instructor in honor of him as he was into the Eastern philosophy in many ways.
In November 2006, I started my Yoga Alliance Certification at Yoga Junction in Suisun City, CA. It was a year long program and it required hours of teaching and co-teaching and I learned quite a bit. I also met some really amazing people. I met Jeff Bridges daughter, Isabelle who took the training with me. She was really down to earth and sweet. It wasn’t until months into the training that I found out who her dad was. I was introduced to meditation and chanting although I didn’t really get into that at that time.
Michelle Paisley Reed was wonderful to work with as well. She was in the process of writing her first book, Yoga For a Broken Heart. It was interesting hearing about her process of writing the book. I think it was a great experience for me to be around such a strong intelligent woman. I realized that there was a possibility that if she could write a book then I guess if I wanted to, I could write one too. Although I had no idea at the time that I would ever want to write. It’s just interesting to note that by her living her dreams, she was inspiring me to live mine too.
After I received my Certification as a Yoga Alliance Yoga Teacher, I was still working full time. Now what was my thought. So I went to the gym where I originally took yoga and talked to the Group Fitness Manager. She said I needed another Certification as a Group Exercise Instructor through AFAA. So now I started my journey to get my certification in that. It was more studying anatomy with a practical exam and an all day seminar in San Diego with a test and then I had my certification as a Group Exercise Instructor.
Now I was ready to teach yoga to the masses. So I did apply for a position as a yoga instructor and soon I was teaching yoga weekly.

All Work and No Play Makes Jack and Jill Hella Dull and Mad

Many are familiar with the words, “All work and no play make Jack a dull boy.” Yes it is the entire text of Jack Nicholson’s book in “The Shining.” But besides that, it does seem to be true that all work and no play can make Jack, Jill and anyone else a dull boy or girl. All work and no play is simply a recipe for not only being dull but being mad as hell. All work and no play can definitely wear on a person and just make them tired, irritable and begin to wonder, “Why the hell am I doing all of this work anyway?” Or “Why am I working hard and everyone else is sitting on their ass?” and can lead to not caring about their work and just feeling depressed about their current situation.

How does one cope when their life seems to be filled with “All work and no play?”

1)Begin to take an inventory about how your time is actually being spent. Time can seem to vanish in the blink of an eye. If you are not paying attention to it, it can be gone before you know it. Take a notebook and write down what you are spending your time on. After you do that for a few days, you should begin to see patterns of how your time is being spent. You might be surprised to see how much time is being spent on TV and or social media.What kind of things do you want to spend your time on? How does Jack want to play? Are there things in your life that you enjoy playing with? Are you finding time for this play? Keep in mind that this play can be anything that brings you joy or that you have fun with. It can be walking your dog, working out, dancing, singing, playing tennis, sailing, vacation, video games, photography, cooking etc. What is it you can do that will kick dullness in the ass? You must know how you can enjoy your time or you can end up not spending it on things you enjoy.

3)Do you have energy vampires or time vampires in your life that are draining you? Sometimes in order to have time for yourself, you have to cut the umbilical cord from energy vampires. They can be people you care about and actually love. But if you aren’t having fun and the people around you are all having fun, it doesn’t seem fair. So it might be time to set some limits and tell people that you care about that you are not going to spend your day off driving them an hour to get their hair done in a fancy salon. Or doing all the laundry (work) while they are kicking back. It’s time to get everyone to pitch in and help out or maybe they can go without clean clothes for a while. Perhaps if the family you have pitched in, you would have some time to play. Watching your daughter mow the lawn can cause great excitement. Remember that children need to be taught how to do all things. So although it can seem like you are treating them like Cinderella by having them do house work, you are actually teaching them essential life skills. So when they grow up and get a job, if their boss needs them to vacuum or mop the floor, they will have some skill in doing this basic life skill. Also they won’t think that they are above doing certain jobs. So don’t be afraid to get your kids to do house work. Especially if they are boys. Boys need to know how to do house work too.

4)You could get help with the work around your house. Some people might think that getting help around your house is a dastardly deed, but it can actually be a life saver. This is going to come as a shock to some people that although you are amazingly smart, talented and strong however, you are not Superman, Wonder Woman, Bat Man, X-Man, Captain America. That means that everybody needs help once in a while. Don’t be afraid to get the help you need around your house so that you can have some fun. Yes it will probably cost you $$. But how much is that stress costing you? If someone offered to clean your house for $100 or you can keep the $100 and clean the whole house yourself on your day off, what would you do? If you are anything like me, it would take hours to clean the house and afterwards, I would be physically tired, drained and maybe cleaning house can be fun to some. However it’s work and it can cause feeling the dullness to start. So yes it is $100 but if that $100 is going to stop you from grabbing an ax and going ballistic like Jack Nicholson in The Shining, then it is safe to say the $100 is well worth the money spent. Think of all the $$, you are saving on attorney bills by simply hiring someone to do some work around your house. Well your house is getting cleaned, you can get a massage or just relax. Now I do understand that many people simply cannot afford $100 which is completely understandable. But many people do have $100 to spend on a house cleaning service but choose however to do the work themselves and instead be mad, tired, irritable and spend their time sharpening that proverbial ax. If you are anywhere near to wanting to sharpen an ax, it’s time to get some professional help. You deserve to chill out and not work so hard all the time.

5)You can ignore the work around the house. That seems like putting a band aid on pile of dog poop to me. But yes you can choose to ignore it. But at some point, that band aid is going to have to be pulled off and that stinky smell is going to be waiting to be picked up. But keep in mind that all of these messes do cause a certain amount of stress just looking at them. So yes you can ignore it but it is recommended to figure out a solution to the pile of dog poopwaiting to be picked up. That way you can get back to the things you enjoy doing and Shine.

Heat: Curse or blessing

Heat: Curse or blessing

This time of year it is safe to say that everywhere you go, it is going to be hot.  It is that time of year and it can be very uncomfortable.  The heat makes you sweat, makes you hot, thirsty and very uncomfortable.  And if you have to work in the heat, forget it.  You have to be in really good physical condition to tolerate the heat.  So this is the curse part. You are familiar with this feeling so let’s move on to the blessings.

Blessings from heat

1)It makes you sweat.  Sweating is so wonderful for your body.  It gets rid of toxins and opens your sweat glands and gives them a chance to clean out.  So it is wonderful to sweat.  You just have to stay hydrated and it can be difficult if you are not used to drinking a lot of water.  In general a person should drink half their weight in ounces in water.  So if you weigh 100 pounds then drink 50 ounces of water per day.  But who weighs 100 pounds?  Drink up and stay hydrated.  Also eat food that contains water: celery, cucumber, watermelon, greens etc.

2)It produces solar energy.  This is just magical.  You can power electricity with solar panels, and power grids.  I have solar on my house and it really helps keep the electricity bill way down. Also you can cook with the sun, dry your clothes with the sun if can think of any other uses,   I’d love to know more but I’m out of solar energy but I’m still learning about all of it’s magnificence.  Also correct me if I am wrong but I believe when we dry our clothes outside, the water goes into the atmosphere and then collects only to produce rain later.  So let’s all hang those towels outside.  And guess what you are burning calories when you hang out clothes.  Teach your children about this.

3)It produces food for us.  If we didn’t have the sun out food would not grow.  We need the sun and it’s energy for photosynthesis.  So no sun, no food unless you grow indoors but then that take electricity unless you do it with solar energy.  Recently I planted some amazing lavender and rosemary.  I am hoping and praying that I can keep them alive.  I have a history of KILLING PLANTS.  I am a PLANT KILLER.  I am so sorry about that but I am trying to keep them alive.

4)It gives us a glorious tan and vitamin D but too much sun can cause premature aging, wrinkles and skin cancer.  So do wear sunscreen, hats and limit your time in the sun especially between 12-3 in the Pacific Time zone.

5) And just look at how beautiful the sun is.  It’s just amazingly beautify.

This time of year, I love to take my clothes outside to dry.  And I feel like I am somehow helping out in some way on reducing our big carbon footprint.  If we all pitch in together, we can make a big difference in our carbon foot print and helping to heal our planet.  In my opinion, our planet has been abused by man kind and anything we can do to reduce our carbon foot print is helping.

I am not a scientist, I am a human being who is trying to do what I can do within my power to reduce my carbon foot print.  It is something that takes a conscious effort.  Maybe it doesn’t matter.  But it is helping my PG&E bill go down.  I would prefer to keep my $$ and also if it contributes to clean air and water, I’m down for that.  Call me selfish but I want clean air, water and food for myself and for my family.

If we don’t have clean air and water then our life span will be much shorter.  Some people may not care which is understandable.  But it’s really about our children’s children.  Our grandchildren and what kind of future we want for them.  I want them to have a cool planet.  Not some blazing hot inferno like hell.

Many blessings and stay cool and hydrated.  And always remember that you deserve the absolute best life has to offer.  Don’t forget that.

Valerie is a Mom, Yogini, Health Coach and blogger.  She likes to look at the positive side of life after an exhausting career in Law Enforcement.

End of Career

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There is a bright shining light at the end of a tunnel that I’ve been traveling in for 26 years.  It hasn’t all been a dark tunnel but needless to say it has been very dark at many times.  I say that I can see the light to retirement very clearly.  If you can hang in there until retirement age, you will be glad that you did.  But it was definitely not an easy challenge.

My career has been very rewarding but very difficult.  I did not have an easy ride.  Unless you tell people about your situation, they don’t really know what you have been through.  And our experiences shape who we are as people.  You see someone who is going though a difficult time and wonder, “Wow, how did they get there?”  Well I guarantee if you take a minute to stop and find out, you will see that they have probably been given a life with difficult circumstances.  In any case, I’ve been through many difficult situations at work.  From seeing dead bodies to being a victim of indecent exposure on numerous occasions, to having people attempt to have very inappropriate relationships, to being called names for my physical appearance, sexually harassed, and also not getting along with co-workers which is the most difficult situation.  I’ve almost had to shoot at someone, cell extractions, being a witness to an autopsy, testifying in a death penalty trial, photographing trails of blood and I won’t even get started on the numerous disgusting descriptions of crimes that I’ve read about.

It takes its toll on a person.  It makes you tough and it can make you a hardened person.  Have I had to be tough?  You had better believe it.  I feel that I am not a hardened person although I know I am definitely rough around the edges.  I at many times find myself wanting to fight.  Not physically although I am not afraid of it.  But many times I can be defensive and if I feel someone is trying to threaten me or come at me with something inappropriate, I will slam them down so fast, their head will spin.  I don’t mean to be so hard, but it’s because of all of my experiences.  And also because people still want to be disrespectful.  But I can be disrespectful too.  If someone goes low, I can go low so fast and I will beat them at being low.  Kind of embarrassed to say that.  But it’s true.  I can use profanity like there is no tomorrow.  Sometimes, you just have to use profanity to describe the situation.  And it feels better.  Thank Steve Martin in Planes, Trains and Automobiles.

But now I for the most part am loving to people. If I see that they are suffering if they are acting out, I have compassion for them.  Many of the people I work with have also been through some bad stuff too.  Such as being assaulted which in my opinion is the most traumatic.  But the thing is once you’ve been traumatized, we all heal in the same way but the more traumatized, the longer it takes to heal in my opinion but feel wonderful exploring this area yourself.

So needless to say, many co workers act out in my opinion because they are stressed to the max, sleep deprived, suffering from PTSD, poor diet, over weight and lack of social support.  So pretty much just living in survival mode.

And also I just want to say that I know I have been hurt, but I have also hurt people very much.  So I have been the victim and also been the one hurt people too.  I have hurt people in many different ways and I am really sorry to those I did hurt.  That was never my intentions to hurt anyone.  But sometimes when we are going through grief, we don’t always treat the people close to us with the most appreciation.  We need them to take care of us and usually parents do that for their kids.  And sometimes people grow up on the outside but are still behave very much like children.  I think there are many examples of such behavior in politics.

But I do feel that all of us are big kids anyway.  We still like to kick back and watch grown up cartoons.  So it’s the adult version of you as a kid watching cartoons.  So let’s all be patient with our big kid self.  And let’s have some fun for a minute.  Seeing dead bodies isn’t fun and I’m ready to get away from that drama and negativity.

I think people around there are an extension of the inmate populations. So the negativity just flows out to the staff and then they turn on each other.  Also because there is not a lot of violence on staff, the staff turn on each other for their aggression and frustration.  If staff were being assaulted, staff would so be united.  I can guarantee that there is a lot of camaraderie at MCSP where that Officer was almost murdered.

But I do feel that I can lose contact with people there very quickly. The good new is  if you want to keep in touch with me after retirement, you can.  And if you want to share with me your experiences on the comments that would be fantastic.  Or you can just follow me and see if anything I am saying resonates with you.  You can also email me questions or comments or you can just say, “Hi.”  What I would really love is for you to share with me how you are dealing with your traumatic situation.  I know we are all so resilient and you can overcome whatever situation you are in, you can turn it around.  It will take time, work and more time but it will be worth it.  But just start somewhere.

And I’ll just say this now, the hardest thing to change is your eating habits.  So just consult a professional health coach for assistance.  What you put in your body has a huge effect on how you feel mentally.  Start with what you are putting in your body.

I am a health coach but I’m not currently taking clients because I am working full time and blogging and being a mom with a house and trying to keep myself healthy.  But start with your Health Insurance.  Kaiser has excellent programs and I think they are really invaluable.

If you are reading this, I want you to know that I am wishing you all the good things in life.  And may your guardian angels protect and guide you.  I hope you are having an amazing summer and that you don’t take things too seriously.  Life is going very fast.  Just know that you can all on your guardian angels anytime you feel like it.  Just try it and you will begin to see amazing things begin to happen in your life.

With lots of Love and Blessings and all good things.

Val

It’s OK to be a Big Baby

It’s OK to be a Big Baby

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Have you ever noticed how parents for the most part take really good care of their babies. They feed their babies healthy food (unprocessed), make sure they get their naps, give them a relaxing bath before bed, turn the lights, put on relaxing music and massage their babies with relaxing lotions with the hopes of helping their babies sleep really well so that the parents can either get a good night sleep or maybe they can binge watch Netflix without being interrupted.

So the babies are all well cared for. Parents know instinctively when their kids start to get irritable, that they are either hungry or cranky because they need a nap. After the nap the babies wake up usually in a good mood and everyone is happy.

One question here: What makes adults think we are any different than babies in our quest for health and wellness? Talk to any mother and you will usually find a sleep deprived woman who can’t remember the last time she slept for 8 hours. If that keeps up, is there any wonder why women can get irritable, grouchy or downright mean? In my humble opinion, I believe that if we all started treating ourselves more like babies, maybe we wouldn’t be so tired.

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I recommend people start acting like babies more often. No that doesn’t mean wearing a diaper and crying every time you don’t get your way. It means feeding yourself healthy food. Would you feed your baby the food you are putting on your plate? If the answer is no, maybe you can start catering to ourselves like we are a baby. Simplify the food you eat and make it unprocessed as much as possible. JERF AKA Just Eat Real Food can be healing in and of itself.

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Also think about what your night time routine is prior to slumber. Do you watch violent/scary movies or surf the internet prior to bed? Do you eat sugar before bed? Do you work all the way until your exhausted and then fall into bed, only to find yourself tossing and turning? Something to think about with your night time routine. So ask yourself if you would dream of doing this to a toddler and expect them to get a good night’s sleep?:

1)Let them watch a scary movie before bed. The Exorcist would be a great movie for a kid to watch before bed. Let’s see how wonderful this kid sleeps.
2)Give them a lot of sugar. How about a nice Coke before bed?
3)Do vigorous exercise before bed? Have their dad start a pillow fight and let them jump on the bed. Yes that will wear them out.
4)Let them play violent video games.

I think it’s safe to say that most logical parents would never dream of doing any of the above with their kid. Although I’m sure it does happen and there is no judgment. The above activities are not geared towards getting a good night’s sleep.

Since most parents wouldn’t do that with their kids, then why do parents think it’s OK for them to do similar types of behavior and wonder why they can’t get a good night’s sleep. The following are behaviors that can hinder sleep:
1)Watching the news ie war, politics, violence, crime etc in the evening.
2)Eating sugar ie: ice cream, cookies, candy, chocolate, pie, coffee and alcohol can have an effect on your sleep as well
3)Getting into a debate on social media is a horrible way to relax.

I’ll end this with behaviors that can help wind down at the end of the day:
1)Turn down the lights especially electronics
2)Take a relaxing bath or shower
3)Use Essential Oils such as lavender, ylang ylang or Frankincense to promote relaxation. There are numerous ways these can be used. They can be put in a diffuser, mixed with oil to make a luxurious massage oil.

essential oils\   4)Put on relaxing spa music and it’s especially beneficial to have music without lyrics.

So it’s OK baby.  Get some rest sweetie pie.  Lord knows you deserve it.  Sending you sweet dreams and all good things.

Before bed say a prayer about all of the things you are grateful for.  You are blessed and loved by the most high.  Never forget that.

PS:  If you would like to purchase any essential oils, please let me know or just click on the link above.  This Blog is not free to operate.  And I have to get technical support and it goes on and on.  So I do appreciate your support.  And if you get them from me in person, it saves on shipping.

Take care loves!!

When Loved ones say Goodbye

dolly-1139355_1280There’s nothing quite like a surprised death to knock you off balance.  The effects can be life long or it might not have such a devastating effect on you or no effect whatsoever.  Every situation is different and everybody processes death in a different manner and there is no right or wrong way.  One thing is for sure that we will all die and most likely we will have someone close to us pass away.

It’s usually never a welcome experience.  When you hear about somebody being terminally ill, it is just very sad to the loved ones.  We just want our loved ones to stay with us always throughout our journey.  But that is just not possible.  The truth is we don’t know how long we have left to live.  We hope to live long, healthy productive lives.  But we really don’t know when our time will be up.

Which brings me to the reality of my dear friend, Jill Garcia Britt having recently passed away.  And it was devastating to myself and others.  I hadn’t seen her for close to a year.  We met for coffee.  And had I known that would be the last time I would see her, I would never have let her go.  But of course I didn’t know that.  We had made plans to see each other again but it just did not happen.

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We spend our time going about our lives.  Working, doing our at time boring activities (adulting), trying to keep ourselves as healthy as possible.  And so there is not always time to spend it with close friends on a regular basis (especially when you live out of town.)

What makes it especially difficult is the fact that Jill was just the most amazing remarkable person.  Jill truly did have a heart of gold.  I know people say that all the time, but she really did.  She was advanced on so many levels.  She had the best handwriting, she was an amazing athlete, dancer and she was really smart.  She was a graduate student studying to be a psychologist when she was diagnosed with cancer.

In high school absolutely everyone loved her.  She was very popular and she would always make time for you.  Even to this day she would text about silly things.  She wanted to go to the beach with her friends and family.

When I was 18 in 1985, Jill graduated from Delta College and they had a party for her.  Now in 1985, that’s when it was all about Madonna, Prince and Duran Duran in my opinion.  That’s who I liked.  I remember she said her favorite song was by Whitney Houston, “The Greatest Love of All.”  Now when I was 18, I pretty much just wanted to party.  But Jill was already thinking about the future generation. Partial lyrics to the “Greatest Love of All” say:

“I believe that children are our future.  Teach them well and let them lead the way.  Show them all the beauty they possess inside.  Give them a sense of pride to make it easier.  Let the children’s laughter, remind us how we used to be.”

She went on to become a teacher for Stockton Unified for 25 years and she raised two beautiful intelligent young women.  She also adopted her step grandchildren.

Jill just loved people.  That’s all there is to it.  And we all loved her too.  I remember when I was 12 years old, I moved to Pennsylvania. She gave me the most beautiful card with Snoopy and Peanuts on it.  The card said on the front, “Goodbye doesn’t mean you’ll be forgotten.”   On the inside it say, “It means you’ll be missed.”

Don’t ask me why I remember that card.  But I just do.  I’ve been given hundreds of cards since then but I’ve never remembered another card.  But I remembered that one.

So I would like to tell Jill from the bottom of my heart.  Goodbye doesn’t mean you’ll be forgotten.  It means you’ll be missed.  I’ll never forget you Jill with your beautiful smile and your encouraging ways.  You have been an inspiration to me and so many.

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Goodbye my dear friend until our souls meet again.  You are already shining so bright and thank you for doing such an amazing job this time around.  You have left your mark on humanity and God is proud of you for all of your good deeds.

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After the Vacation

After you come home from vacation, it’s a wonderful time to think about getting back on track with a life style that works.  Especially if you went off of your normal diet.  As I’ve aged, I’ve found it increasingly important to eat healthy.  I just don’t function as well if I don’t eat right.

Also if I don’t get adequate sleep, forget about it.  I regress and not to my sexy 45 year old self.  No we’re talking emotionally to the age of about 4. So what do I do to get back on track.

1) Go to to Sleep.  Yes sleep is super important.  My first goal is to be in bed before 10:00 PM.  That means I might have to shut off the electronics to really be able to relax my mind.  This can be difficult when there are big news going on or you’re putting together an amazing puzzle on line.

2) Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate…Now there are many ways to hydrate.  I choose to get back to the lemon water.  I have a lemon tree so I take full advantage of the lemons.  I slice them up in water in a pitcher and drink it up.  Also since I’m not feeling ideal yet, I’ve added a tablespoon of Apple Cider Vinegar to the lemon water and a half teaspoon raw local honey.  I love it.  It’s actually quite refreshing.

3)Eat foods that contain water:  think fruits and vegetables.  Salads, pineapple, strawberry, lettuce, celery, cucumber, radishes ( I think you get the idea).  This will help with the hydration and also help to do major damage control from vacation.

4)Do yoga, stretch, walk, dance, move, move, move.  If you were on a train for 20 hours, you are stiff as a 2 by 4.  And if there were people working on the train that require you to learn compassion and forgiveness, stretching can help to release the frustration.  Honestly I feel like I need to go to physical therapy after this vacation.  Live and learn, that’s all I can say.  I won’t be taking the train long distance anytime soon.

5)Stay home and relax and take care of things that need to be done.  It’s kind of boring but feels good to take care of stuff.

Shift Your Energy

Have you ever woke up on the wrong side of the bed and seems like everything is just going wrong? You know the drill. Wake up late, rushing to get ready and stub your toe really hard. Rush to get to work only to get pulled over and get a ticket for speeding. Arrive late to work and your boss gets on you for being late and it’s only 8:00 AM. How is it possible to turn this wretched day around?

Although it’s completely normal and natural to want to complain about the horrible day you’ve been experiencing.  I mean you are in pain and just really want someone to hug you or wave their magic wand and make all of that frustration just vanish.  Well maybe you’ll get lucky and find that wand.  (I have one by the way) Or just maybe you’ll have someone to give you a big hug and tell you that you are beautiful, wonderful and that you’ll be completely fine and they make all of your boo boos disappear.  I believe more in the former than the latter.

If you can’t find that wand or nobody wants to hug you, it is actually better to try to change things around a bit by changing the way you are looking at things.  The fastest way to turn it around is to focus on the things you are grateful about.  Sometimes when things are really going bad, it can be difficult to think about what is going well.  But if you start focusing on what is going well, then you will find that things start improving.

Now I do consider myself to be pretty lucky.  I have a roof over my head, food to eat, my health and I currently live in a democratic society.  But when I first started doing this it can be challenging to only focus on the things that are going well and or the things that I am grateful about.  I mean really if you just received a ticket, it’s normal and natural to feel really frustrated and angry.  Angry about whatever stupid situation occurred in which you received a ticket.  My most recent ticket had something to do with a cell phone but, that’s not the point of this post.

It’s about learning how to shift from a bad situation to a good situation.  It starts with gratitude.  It can be difficult to focus on gratitude when things are difficult.  But that’s when you’ve got to dig deep.  You need to think about your ancestors and all the crap they went through.  And how they would be very happy for you and all of your achievements.  They would also be amazed at how much food you have.  (We’re talking depression era family.)

What would they tell you?  You are a survivor if you are alive.  Be thankful for everything.  So this is about you figuring out what does gratitude look like to you.  It’s something to celebrate daily and often (not just once a year).