Difficulty Slowing Down

geranium-wave-water-rings-55813.jpegAre you stressed out and need to calm down?  But then once you get yourself to that time and space that you should be able to relax, then your mind just won’t shut off.  And if it goes on, unchecked and if you have a poor diet, you will most likely experience anxiety and it could turn into a disorder.

But if you don’t have anxiety yet and want to prevent it, then relaxation can be very beneficial.  Especially if you have any kind of injury, then you need to just rest and recover.  But no we want to keep going.  We don’t want to slow down because then that will somehow mean that we gave up.  As I am writing this, I am describing how difficult it is for me to slow down.

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You see after working 26 years in a career that was high stress, it takes a while to slow down.  And even as a trained yoga instructor, who should allegedly know better, I still have difficulty slowing down and so I can only imagine for most people it can be very difficult.  Some people are really good at relaxing.  They can fall asleep fast and sleep until they are well rested which is a gift. ( I hope you recognize that gift, if this is you.)

But our culture doesn’t really support the concept of slowing down.  I mean we have to do well in school.  This is so we can get a job to support ourselves and maybe our families assuming that men and women will still be able to produce children in the future with the current state of health in the US.

Our culture supports working and also there is just too much to be done.  Especially if you are a parent.  You must carve out some time for you.

So the concept of slowing down and just focusing on relaxing is an unusual concept which I am allowing myself this time.  I am noticing that it is super important to just stretch and relax a lot.  Also to recognize something that’s causing stress.  Maybe it’s a horrible song on the radio and it’s causing you jaw tension, change that shit with the quickness.val_edited-9208

Also there has to be the concept of good enough.  At some point, your workout has to be good enough.  Hey you hit all the major groups and stretched, you’re good.  There is no need to run 10 miles and do 100 push ups.  If you are not training for an event then allow yourself healing.  And many of us need to heal.  The body recovers when it rests.  When you sleep and eat healthy and relax.

Again meditation just has to be a part of it.  I know it’s the big M word that nobody wants to do but it works.  Or call on your higher power and ask for help.  Archangel Michael and Archangel Raphael are super powerful and they will help you but you must remember to ask.  Of course you can always call on Jesus, Buddha or whatever concept your higher power represents, just call on it.  Relax, pray or meditate.  Then after that things seem much more manageable.  Don’t forget how Jesus went to the desert for 3 days to fast and pray.  (Is that correct? My biblical stories aren’t very good. My point is that Jesus meditated and I know some Christians that have resistance to meditation.  But if Jesus did it, then what’s the problem?)val_edited-9220

You can choose to see the stress and drama but then release it as soon as possible.  You can minimize the stress by how you choose to look at it.  Again turn it around to gratitude as soon as you can.  If you are feeling weak in your legs, immediately think, “Thank you for my legs, that I can walk.”  And if you really want to be a warrior, say, “Thank you for my strong legs.”  Speak that of what you want to happen.

You are stronger than you know but you have to learn to connect to your higher power.  Otherwise it can be difficult if you try to rely on yourself and do everything.  You’re good but everyone needs help!!

Valerie is a Health and Wellness Coach.  She lives in Northern California with her daughter and puppy.  Please feel free to email her here.

Why a Blog?

I initially started this Blog because I was saddened to see so many of my co-workers end up dying prematurely.  It was very sad.  Some were a result of suicide and others due to chronic diseases.  I saw many people living unhealthy lifestyles.

I had learned quite a bit through my studies and I decided to start a Blog so I can say what worked for me and to give me a creative outlet.  Obviously everyone is on their own journey and I can only say what has worked for me.  We all have to make our own personal decisions about everything.  We have free will and can eat and drink whatever we want and we can decide if we go to sleep or stay up all night.

Apparently I like to learn stuff the hard way.  If someone tells me what to do, I’ll consider it but obviously I make my own decision.  The one thing that really motivated me was pain.  When my body was in pain, I would always say, “Oh hell no.  What’s that pain all about?”  And I worked consistently to try to remedy my pain.    But it wasn’t easy and I fell down a lot but I kept getting back up.  Thinking that successful people have it easy is a recipe for sadness.

When you get tired of suffering, you can figure out what you need to do to take care of yourself.  Prioritizing is not easy and any change requires letting go of something.  And that’s the hard part.  Sometimes you have to let go of people, jobs, food, alcohol and drugs.  But what you gain is so much worth it.  But it does take an inquisitive mind and a desire to learn and grow.  I get it not everyone is into that.  But many people are on their path and just don’t know which way to turn.  There is information overload and it’s hard to know who you can trust.  The answer is within you.  Only you can decided what you want.  tired office worker

The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.  You must desire to take that step and leave the past negativity behind.  It’s hard to do it alone.  So that’s why I started this blog.  Everyone has their own dreams and desires.  I believe that if you start to take one step in the direction of your dreams then you will begin the transformation.  What’s stopping you?

 

 

 

In this video I discuss my 26 year career and how I survived working in law enforcement and how there were many people who did not survive.

 

 

One Day Left to Work

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At the time of this time I currently have 1 days left to work in my career. It is something that I have looked forward to for such a long time. It feels kind of like that feeling of finally graduating from High School. The only thing is after High School, one is so very young that they really must contemplate their future. At retirement, it is much the same feeling and one has to contemplate their future as well. The former contemplation usually involves career planning unless you want to live at home for the rest of your life. The latter involves what do you really want to do now that the career is done and the options are endless.

I am very excited about not having to get dressed every day in work attire and come into the office. I look forward to being able to plan my day as I see fit. My only fear is that I will not wear real clothes anymore and I will wear nothing but yoga clothes. Not that there’s anything wrong with that but I do think it’s important to get dressed up. So I think one of my goals will be to simply get dressed and put make up on.

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I also have quite a few projects that I am looking forward to tackling. One of them involves a guest bedroom and the other involves adopting a dog. I have been wanting to get a dog for the last few years and I kept telling my daughter that after I retire, we will get a dog. Well the time is getting closer so I am looking for my favorite Canine. I am looking to adopt a Labrador Retriever and we will see if I am able to find one. I just love their floppy ears and they are just so sweet. So I plan lots of walks with my literal “Road Dog.” So I plan on loading pictures of my dog and I in the near future ( I hope).

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Earlier this week there was a very sad occasion when a co-worker passed away and he was a Canine Handler.  So at the funeral they had canines and their handlers from all over California to pay their final respects.  And many of the dogs were of course Labrador Retrievers.  There were black labs and golden labs and they were just so adorable.  I just wanted to bring them home with me.  They were smiling and looking so adorable.  Then I made some phone calls about adopting a lab and of course they don’t call me back.  Who knew I could get stood up by a foster dog?

 

 

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

jack nicholsonMany 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?”

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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.

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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.

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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.

How to Love Yourself

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So many people spend their time taking care of other people.  Between work, house work, meal prepping, working out, having a social  life there just isn’t much left after that.  At some point the tread on one’s tires can become very thin.  So now the concept of self love can seem a little selfish because most people are raised to think of other people first before thinking about themselves.  But in actuality this is not in our best interest or our friends and families best interest either.  You are much more available to friends and family if you are well taken care of.

Then there are the many people that experience self hatred.  The self hatred can come about for a variety of reasons.  Maybe there is a history of abuse or neglect.  It could also be due to depression, illness, body image and numerous other issues such as substance abuse or guilt.

Although it is fantastic to want to set goals to improve yourself whether it be to lose weight, organize your closet, graduate from College, get a new job etc.  The most perfect place to start is just to accept yourself exactly where you are right now.  Accept those self perceived flaws.baby-1356093__480

At one time we were all innocent little babies.  We just enjoyed being alive.  We were content to just look at our toes and realize all of the beauty and glory of life.  Somewhere along the way LIFE HAPPENED, and we lost that zest for life.  But it is still in there in everyone.  We just have to take a moment to remember.

So what are some of the ways you can love yourself?  Here are 5 things you can do to love yourself that do not cost any money.

1)Set your timer for 5 minutes and listen to your breath.  Allow yourself some quiet time just to sit quietly and breathe deeply all the way down to your belly.  Whatever thoughts come to your mind just observe them but remain unattached.  It’s a starting point just to see how it feels just to sit and breathe with yourself.  As you breathe you will notice that you will start to relax a bit.val_edited-9220

2)Start a gratitude journal or write down your thoughts.  A gratitude journal will help to lift your mood because you will be thinking about the things you are grateful for and it shifts your vibrational energy.  This is a great way to end your day.  While it is easy to go on a rant and complain in your journal, it can become a negative habit if that’s all one does in complain while journaling.  It is definitely great to get out the frustration but then end it on a positive note with something of gratitude.  Everyone has something to be thankful for.

3)Chew your food.  Well it may seem obvious that of course one chews their food.  However maybe you can slow it down and chew a little bit longer.  It will help your digestion and perhaps curb your appetite a bit.  Think about making it a rule to only eat when you’re relaxed.  I know this can be easier said than done.  Especially if you are standing over the sink eating ice cream out of the carton.  (We’ve all been there.)  Slowing down your chewing can definitely help.  Give it a try and see what happens.

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4)Go for a walk.  Walking is excellent at relieving stress and also at getting some exercise.  It can help if you are in a funk and just need sometime to get your thoughts straight.  If you are seriously stressed out try to imagine as you are walking that your feet are really connecting with the earth and that you are being grounded.  Sometimes our minds can go wild with thoughts.  But if you can learn to ground yourself, you can bring yourself back to the present moment and know that everything will be OK.

5)Last but definitely not least is to pray.  There is much to be said about praying.  I could probably write much more than just one little paragraph about praying.  But Praying to God, Jesus, the Universe, Mary, Arch Angel Michael, Arch Angel Raphael, Buddha or whatever you find to be your higher power, just do it.  There is power in prayer.  And it is there for your 24 hours per day, 365 days per year.  There is no prayer that is too big or too small.  All you have to do is ask for guidance, protection, knowledge, wisdom, strength and you will get what you need.  But you must be willing to ask.  Many people have been turned off of prayer for a variety of reasons.  But do give it a try.  What have you got to lose?  Nothing… What have you got to gain?  A MIRACLE.  All I know is it works and I feel very thankful for it.

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Your thoughts are appreciated and wanted so don’t hesitate to leave your comments. XOXO!!!!

Valerie is a Health and Wellness Coach and a Yoga Instructor.  She lives in Northern California with her daughter.