52 Real Women Archives

Controlling Peace? – Jennifer Raybaud

Controlling Peace? I ADORE words!  I devour good conversation like others would a moist, delicious piece of chocolate cake.  So when I put the title of this piece together I felt discomfort when I placed those two words side by side.  Why?  Because one word has connotations of manipulation while the other evokes Zen-like feelings,…

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Controlling Peace?

I ADORE words!  I devour good conversation like others would a moist, delicious piece of chocolate cake.  So when I put the title of this piece together I felt discomfort when I placed those two words side by side.  Why?  Because one word has connotations of manipulation while the other evokes Zen-like feelings, but a few years back I had to make the above happen, so I thought I would share how “controlling peace” can add to yours!

I found myself for the first time, suffering from depression.  Now I grew up with parents who believed we could do anything we set our minds to.  So depression after having been blessed with so much positivity all my life was a new “beast” entirely.

At my lowest point, I remember saying “What can you control to get out of this?”  Because as sad as I was; there were still options.  So I began with controlling what I put in my mouth because all those carbs and sugar were doing NOTHING to help me climb out of this.  Then I thought if I could muster up the energy to go outside and take a walk that would bring me endorphins that would be the perfect foe to some of the chemicals the depression was bringing me.  I stopped listening to the news and many more things that in the end…brought me out of my depression.  I felt like there was nothing available to me but victimhood when that couldn’t have been further from the truth.  So I ask you to ask yourself the same question I did when you’re overwhelmed: “What can you control to get out of this?”  It’s amazing how much you can come up with.  Lean to control what you can control and leave the rest in peace so you can find yours!  Controlling peace . . . ahhh, yes!

Jennifer Raybaud is a truly blessed woman who loves her family, her friends and her position as “Co-Conspirator” with her very best friend where their unique workshops are designed to uplift, inspire and motivate! Their regular antics can be found at www.loseyourexcusenow.com or www.facebook.com/loseyourexcusenow!  Jennifer applauds everything “A Beautiful Me®” strives to accomplish as she believes that each of us has a birthright to feel valued and appreciated for our individual qualities.

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Being Here NOW – Dr. Lori Warner

Mindfulness & the Modern Woman: Being Here NOW “The secret of health for both mind and body is not to mourn for the past, worry about the future, or anticipate troubles, but to live in the present moment wisely and earnestly.”  ~ Buddha Are you “here”? Or are you feeling like a rushed zombie?  Churning…

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Mindfulness & the Modern Woman: Being Here NOW

“The secret of health for both mind and body is not to mourn for the past, worry about the future, or anticipate troubles, but to live in the present moment wisely and earnestly.”  ~ Buddha

Are you “here”? Or are you feeling like a rushed zombie?  Churning through the endless to-do list, only to add more?  The other day I arrived at an appointment, with almost no memory of having driven there.  Hmmm. The typical solution? WORK HARDER. Multitask. Sleep less. Rush through.

Ram Dass says, “The next message you need is always right where you are”. But those messages are missed when you’re barely attending.   But there is an answer: You can begin to balance your life through mindfulness: being aware of the present moment, nonjudgmentally. It can be hard! Thoughts arise, pulling us off into internal dialogue. “I need to return that call…” Mindfulness acknowledges this and returns to being fully present and aware.

Here’s how:

1.) Breathe. Deep breathing (“belly breathing”) has calming and health benefits.
2.) Notice.  What do you see, hear, feel?  Recently, I paused while buzzing around the house and just noticed the beauty of my kids playing and laughing together. Amazing!
3.) Slow down. You certainly can mindfully enjoy fast-paced activities but at first, it’s best to take it easy.
4.) Release judgments.  Our brains are amazing judging machines–important for survival but robbing us of experiencing NOW. Even when the present moment is less than joyful, being fully “there” allows more effective problem-solving.
5.) Practice.  No one is the “most mindful”. Practice makes progress, and you will discover what truly matters, now.

“The most precious gift we can offer others is our presence. When mindfulness embraces those we love they will bloom like flowers.”          ~ Thich Nicht Hahn

Dr. Lori Warner is a supporter of “A Beautiful Me®”. She is a clinical psychologist and Board Certified Behavior Analyst, director of Beaumont Children’s Hospital’s Ted Lindsay Foundation HOPE Center, and an instructor at Oakland University’s School of Professional Development. Her private practice offers Acceptance and Commitment Therapy for adults, and writes a blog called “Smidge of Happiness”.

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LIfe’s Lemons – Linda Angér

Life’s Lemons We call the bad things in life “lemons.” We say, “When life hands you lemons, make lemonade,” meaning throw a bag of sugar over it so you don’t see the dysfunction, the mechanical failures, the sourness of your situation. Lemons grow in warm climates, their juice sour and acidic – much like the…

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Life’s Lemons

We call the bad things in life “lemons.” We say, “When life hands you lemons, make lemonade,” meaning throw a bag of sugar over it so you don’t see the dysfunction, the mechanical failures, the sourness of your situation.

Lemons grow in warm climates, their juice sour and acidic – much like the emotions we experience when things that we perceive as “bad” happen to us or around us. But that sour taste, that lip-puckering tartness, can play another role – an amazing role – if we embrace it. Lemons are teachers, messengers, angels sent to reshape us. We learn and grow when we welcome them, love them, and squeeze out every bit of juice they offer.

I was handed a life-sucking lemon – a diagnosis of Stage 3C uterine cancer – in July 2009.

I could have viewed cancer as a death sentence, but chose instead to take myself on a wild and dangerous adventure that would prove my tenacity and strength.

After the radical hysterectomy, I could have handed my life over to my oncologist.  I didn’t, opting instead to research treatments and creating – with my oncologist’s hesitant agreement – a plan that worked for me instead of the standard protocol.

I could have isolated myself to avoid infection or, even harder to endure, the fears of family and friends.  I didn’t do that, either. There were weeks during the year of chemotherapy that I was trapped in my home with dangerously low blood counts. The rest of the time, I was out as often as my energy level allowed.

I chose to turn the sourest time of my life into a positive, life-affirming experience. It wasn’t always easy, but this is what I learned:  When life gives you lemons, find someone to whom life has given vodka, and throw a party.

Guest Blogger Linda Angér is a supporter of “A Beautiful Me®” and owner of The Write Concept, Inc., a marketing communications company. Her clients have included Chrysler Corporation, The Crittenton Hospital Medical Center Foundation, HAVEN, The Royal Park Hotel, and hundreds of small businesses across Michigan. She is the current President of Detroit Working Writers.

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It’s Really Never Too Late – Theresa May

It’s Really Never Too Late I have always known I was a late bloomer, but when it happened, it was worth the wait. I started practicing yoga in my mid forties to help me de-stress and it ended up changing my life. Much to my surprise I eventually became a yoga teacher, and what was…

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It’s Really Never Too Late

I have always known I was a late bloomer, but when it happened, it was worth the wait.

I started practicing yoga in my mid forties to help me de-stress and it ended up changing my life. Much to my surprise I eventually became a yoga teacher, and what was even more surprising is that five years ago I opened up my own yoga studio at age 55.  When most people are thinking of retirement I started another chapter in my life.

I opened the studio during the economic slump and everyone told me I was crazy, too much of a gamble with the economy and my age. I even tapped into my 401K to start the business which is a big no no.  I am so glad that I went with my gut and didn’t listen.  I’m glad that I didn’t let my age get in the way of my decision.

I get to do something everyday that I am passionate about and believe in. I get to see transformations in my students, inside and out. I now get to teach students to become yoga teachers who can continue to transform others.

I have started to learn how to play the harmonium, a pump organ, and sing. I’m not going to win any awards but it feels so good!

Don’t let the world pigeon hole you into a life that doesn’t fit you just because of your age, sex, race or religion.  My single 65 year old sister asked me the other day if she was too old to fall in love.  Of course not! You’re never too old to fall in love, open a business, and learn to play an instrument, sing or become who you should be.  It’s never too late.

Theresa May is a yoga teacher, wife, mother of four and grandmother of two as well as the owner of Santosha Yoga in Chesterfield Twp., MI.  She fully supports the vision of “A Beautiful Me®”, which is to foster self-worth in ALL women of ALL ages.

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Being ME and Being Ok With It – Melissa Emanuel

Being ME and Being Ok With It I’m not everybody’s cup of tea and I am ok with that, really I am.  I have tried to be likable by everyone in the past and have gone just about crazy doing it.  I have tried to mold into what everyone else wanted/needed from ME and have…

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Being ME and Being Ok With It

I’m not everybody’s cup of tea and I am ok with that, really I am.  I have tried to be likable by everyone in the past and have gone just about crazy doing it.  I have tried to mold into what everyone else wanted/needed from ME and have lost myself in doing that.  So one day, I admitted “I am NOT for everyone and I AM ok with it.”  By admitting those words, it was liberating.  By actually saying those words out loud, I freed my soul and really began to find my true ME again.  By finding my true ME, I began to be even happier.

So in reality, I was going about it all wrong.  I was trying to be happy by making others happy instead of focusing on ME first.  Isn’t that the case most times with women, we want others to be happy, healthy, well taken cared of and oftentimes, (heck, MOST TIMES) we forget, and in turn, neglect ourselves.

See, once I got out of the please-everyone-else cycle and accepted (and liked!) ME for ME, I found that I was able to be happy.  And that in order for ME to truly be happy, I had to put ME first.  Then and only then, could I have a more positive impact on other people in my life.

NOW don’t get me wrong, I do not go out and purposely try to make myself the most important person in the universe.  Quite the contrary.  I find that if I can get to my happy first, then I strive to make a positive outcome for others I come in contact with during the day.

PS – I know our happiness is our own creation, but I like to spread joy if possible!

Melissa Emanuel is a proud partner, speaker and co-conspirator of LoseYourExcuseNOW.com.  She believes in empowering women, coaching them to be strong, accept and be themselves and what a better way to start than with “A Beautiful Me®.”

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