Thursday, April 29, 2010

Closet Cleanout

Whenever I decide my closet needs some dejunking, I use what I call the Poindexter closet cleanse method. Let me explain with a little story about a good friend of mine.

One day she ran into an old boyfriend who was immaculately dressed, whom we shall call Poindexter (names have been changed to protect the innocent and in honor of the Barbie game). She said that she felt so frumpy in the outfit she had on that she went right home and immediately put that outfit in the D.I. pile.

So now whenever I am trying to decide what to keep and what to get rid of, I do the old boyfriend test. Would I want to run into an old boyfriend in that outfit? Now let's be perfectly clear about something. It doesn't mean that I am still interested in that guy or that I really want to impress him. It is just that my pride doesn't want him thinking to himself, "Man, she has really let herself go. Glad I didn't end up with her."

It is time to go through a "Poindexter closet cleanse," and get rid of anything that I don't absolutely love to wear. I also need to make a renewed commitment that I will only buy clothes that I love because let's face it, sometimes I settle and then I wear the ugly clothes just so they won't feel neglected and I won't feel bad that I bought it.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010


I have done this blog every day faithfully for almost 4 months. It has been long enough that now I can't really remember what I've actually posted and what I have thought about posting. Mind you, I have a record of what I have already written, but sometimes I am just too lazy to go back and read it to make sure I am not repeating myself. Heaven knows I repeat myself all the time in real life so I might as well do it here also.

Anyway, this reminds me of my favorite grandparent story about forgetfulness.

I was babysitting my oldest granddaughter and grandson when they were 4 and 2 years old while their mom was in the hospital having their twin sisters. It was a Sunday and I got them ready to take to church. My 2-year old grandson insisted on wearing the tuxedo he had just worn to his aunt and uncles wedding (both already his aunt and uncle before the marriage, I might add), and my 4-year granddaughter would not let me comb her hair much less style it (she took one look at how I styled my hair and must have thought "no thank you").

So there I was buckling a little "street urchin" and a mini Oscar awards attendee in the car to go to church (let's face it, grandmas are pushovers and at my age I finally realized it doesn't matter). I did say to my first-born granddaughter that I wanted so badly to be able to fix her hair and was sad that she wouldn't let me. I then told her the next time we went shopping together that maybe I wouldn't want to buy her something because she wouldn't do something for me. She had a somewhat worried look on her face for a second but then being the brilliant child that she is, she looked at me with her big beautiful hazel eyes and said, "The next time we go shopping you will forget because you are old."

There you have it. Please forgive me if I repeat myself because I am old.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Justifying Junk

When I start to dejunk, I can come up with a lot of excuses why I can't get rid of something that isn't really useful and that I don't love anymore.

One of the biggest reasons is that I have spent a lot of time or money on that item even if it is not longer needed. So for some sick reason now I want to keep it so I can have a reminder of how much time and money I wasted on it. Heaven knows I wouldn't want to give it away and let it become useful to someone else, instead I want to keep taking myself on a guilt trip every time I see it.

I can also get magically creative in all the reasons why I can't give something away and why it could suddenly become useful.

I want to hang onto my old wedding dress as a reminder of how much bigger I am now than the day I got married. Or my daughters will develop tacky taste and want to wear it on their wedding day.

I keep half-finished books that I didn't enjoy but hey, when I am trapped in a bomb shelter, I might need something to read.

I hang onto old economic text books in case I get a bad case of insomnia.

I keep clothes that are too small because maybe after living off food storage I will have lost the necessary weight to fit back into them again.

You get the idea. There are times to get creative and there are times to toss. When dejunking, I will not be creative and I will have more trust that someone can use it better than I can, and if I ever need it again, maybe it will find it's way back. I'm going to keep the junk circulating and not store it.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Junk Beware!!

Here's my plan. I am using Don Aslett's sorting method and BRAVELY AND BOLDLY going through my house and clearing out clutter and junk. Anything that I don't absolutely love or that isn't needful is going to be tossed (let my family beware--you had better stay on my good side!)

How to Get Rid of Clutter:
Start with 3 large heavy-duty garbage bags and one box. Label them:
Dragging the bags and box behind you, systemically attack every room in the house [or apt]. Assign every junk suspect... to one of the bags or the box.
[Editor's summary: Take the contents of JUNK to the trash, the contents of CHARITY to friends, relatives, or a thrift store, and keep the SORT bag to resort a month later. Store WITHDRAWAL for 6 months to a year in a place where you can still get stuff from it if you want, and then give the box away without looking at the contents. If you haven’t needed the contents within that year, you won’t likely need it in the next, or the next, or the next...]

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Sugar Addiction Strikes Again

I went off most sugar desserts a couple of months ago and within one month lost almost 10 pounds. Every once in awhile I have a little sugar treat and I was able to maintain the weight loss while keeping, for the most part, my 10 commandments for eating. The other night when we were out to dinner with friends, since they got a dessert to share; we decided to also and I ate more of it than I have been letting myself. I didn't think it was a problem the next morning when my weight was still under control but then later I realized (once again) that limiting sugar isn't just about weight but about how I feel.

That morning when I went on a hike, I discovered that my knees hurt more than they ever had before, and immediately I knew it was because of the sugar. I resolved right then to continue to be careful with how much sugar I consume and then right in the middle of the hiking trail was a piece of red licorice. What, does the devil know what to tempt me with at just the right moment? Don't think that I wouldn't have picked up that licorice and ate it (assuming all the while that it was under the two minute limit), but because I had just had that realization and made a firm resolve, I hiked right over it (okay you got me, I was secretly hoping it would still be there on the way back down but it wasn't. Someone else is also addicted to red licorice and got it first.)

Yesterday I once again fought the sugar battle when my daughter-in-law requested a chocolate cake for her birthday celebration for our family dinner today so I bought a decadent cake from Market Street Broiler and then since that wasn't enough sugar, I made homemade banana ice cream and I caved in and ate more than I should have.

I just drank a full glass of water and resolve to get back on track right now. If I say "I will start eating healthy tomorrow", then there is that chance that tomorrow I will again say "I will start eating healthy tomorrow" and essential tomorrow will never come.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

It works like magic

I dejunked and reorganized my cupboard above my computer and my motivation and focus was sparked. Wow! If just one cupboard has that affect on me, wait until I get through the whole house. It is so liberating to get rid of things that I had started to work on and lost interest. (like books and parenting!) Why would I keep that graveyard of good intentions and false starts. Getting rid of all of it gets rid of the guilt and frustrations that I have with my ADD tendencies. I can now pass them on (the stuff not the ADD tendencies) to someone who will find them useful and we both benefit. I am just beginning my household cleanse and right now I will bare testimony that dejunking is true (I have to do it here because it isn't on the approved list for church testimony meetings--travel logs are but not dejunking).

Friday, April 23, 2010

Getting Rid of Clutter

Next I want to cleanse my physical space.

Years ago I had this book (I got rid of it when I did some de-junking) and it was inspiring and funny. It was helpful for me because I was raised by someone who suffered through the depression and hasn't wanted to part with stuff, and thus I picked up a lot of bad habits.

At the time of first reading that book, I frequently taught organization seminars and the first thing I would teach is that the less you accumulate, the less you have to organize, so the first step is to de-junk. I need to teach more organizations classes now because I have slipped into genetic patterns (I am saving potato peels in case of a famine).

It seems like my life has turned into a weird pattern. I shop and accumulate, then I organize, store and dust it, then I give it to the D.I. when I finally come to my senses. I should just go shopping and drop it off at the D.I. and save a couple of steps. (Stop shopping? Come on, don't even consider it!)

As Karen Kingston said, "Clutter is stuck energy that has far-reaching effects physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. The simple act of clearing clutter can transform your life by releasing negative emotions, generating energy, and allowing you to create space in you life for the things you want to achieve."

In the next little while I am getting really brave and getting rid of stuff that I don't need. Karen also said, "A major clear-out is absolutely essential if you truly want to have passion, joy, and happiness in your life." Out with the junk; in with the joy!!!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Benefits of Sweating

I've decided that all the five dimensions of my life deserve a good cleansing, and I am starting with my physical body. One of the ways to cleanse is by sweating. Now it seems that there is a sort of stigma towards sweating. I think it started in junior high days with all the anxiety of those dances and the fear of having to rub sweaty hands together. Not what you would call a tender, romantic experience; but after extensive therapy and 40 years of recovery time since junior high, I have finally come to recognize the value of sweating and I now love to sweat. Now every morning when I work out, I love to be drenched in perspiration.

I have learned that "deep sweating helps the body cleanse itself and replace older dead cells. Sweat clears bacteria out of surface layers of the skin and from the sweat ducts. The process of sweating also helps improve circulation from the blood vessels dilating, and gives the skin a fresh look and feel (Too bad aging cancels that out!). It also helps to remove a small amount of toxins from our body, such as urea, nickel, excess zinc, ammonia, and other minerals and chemicals our body might have absorbed from the environment or from food or drink we've ingested."

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Gratitude Reminder

This morning I read in Alma 56 and what was significant to me in that chapter were the positive, hopeful statements that Helaman made in the midst of war. It was a profound reminder for me to once again focus on the positive. It also prompted me to read the March Ensign article about gratitude. In this article, Dr. Worthen said, "Gratitude can have a profound effect on perspective, completely determining or altering the way we look at an experience." To read this was all perfectly timed for me because I have to admit that too much of my focus lately has been on my frustration and resentment for the harm that someone has done to my family. This negative focus has adversely affected my self-improvement quest and I know it is time to acknowledge and ultimately be grateful for the good that can come from all of this and from any difficult situation.

I realize that Heavenly Father can use unrighteous acts to serve his righteous purposes, and I know that He is already blessing our lives. This is the perfect experience for me because I can have the tendency to see the glass half empty but I guess it is a good test for me to really be stretched into seeing a shattered glass and now be able to say, "Gee, look, that piece of cut glass sparkles." I am committed to continuing to work on being grateful because I do have so much to be grateful for. An attitude of gratitude will crowd out the complaining.

The really exciting discovery is that today my shift to gratitude created some feelings of joy for someone who I have watched suffer a tremendous amount of pain.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Problem Solving

I have developed the fine art of complaining, but long ago I learned that complaining and then expecting someone to fix my problem wasn't going to work. When I had a lot of little ones and it was hard to take the little herd of cats to the grocery store, I was complaining to Kev and instead of fixing my problem, he matter-of-factly said, "So what are you going to do about it?" "Adopt them out," is what I wanted to say.

At first I was really upset that he didn't jump in and rescue me, but later (after once again engaging in my natural gift for complaining that he was so insensitive and unhelpful), I realized that complaining is really quite debilitating; and it is only when I identify a problem and then look for a solution, that I am empowered. Complaining is just frustrating and just gives away all my power to take control of my life.

I realized that Kev taught me a valuable lesson about personal empowerment. I just wish he would have worded it a little different. How about saying "Oh sweetheart, honey pumpkin pooh, I am so sorry that you are having that struggle with our little darlings. What do you think will be a solution that will make your precious life easier?" Let's face it, "So what are you going to do about it?" was a little harsh but maybe I need it harsh to really learn.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Queen for the Day

I realize I am dating myself here (obviously from this actual photo), but years ago there was a TV program on called "Queen For The Day." The whole idea for the show was to have women on who would share their hard luck stories and then the audience would vote via an applause meter on who had it the most difficult. The winner would then be crowned Queen for the Day and win a prize that had to do with something that would relieve her suffering.

I've got to be honest here and admit that I have often been guilty of vying for that covenant title. I like to call it the Mormon Martyr for the Day, and to get this special award I have had to have it worse than anyone else. The most children and the closest together, the least amount of sleep, the most laundry, the hardest church calling, etc. You give me a problem and I have to one up you in order to win!! You've got a hang nail, well I've got scurvy.

I have felt like I have become a big winner in the hardship department, but the biggest problem with this contest is that I haven't gotten a crown and I haven't won a newspaper publishing company so that I can publish my own nice news.

All kidding aside, sometimes I realize that drama can become somewhat of a sick comfort zone and thus a habit in order to feel like a winner. Now I don't want to win or lose. I will stop competing and just find my own personal happiness and peace, and pretend that I am wearing an invisible crown.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Being Vulnerable

Today I was feeling extremely vulnerable, and I had a difficult and emotional day. But the good thing is that so many people came forward to comfort and help. Sometimes it is okay to be vulnerable and let down walls because then people can come forward and give support.

A few months ago I had a dream that our family was staying in a hotel and the walls didn't go all the way to the ceiling. I woke up in the middle of the night and knew that we needed to let our walls come down and let people in. I would have chosen a less dramatic way to get knocked down, but hey, we built up a pretty strong fortress and it took quite a hefty bulldozer!

Now at least people know that we aren't perfect and that we might need some support. I have to think that this has been an important part of my self improvement. Let people in and let them support me. Also, I now believe that sometimes people don't have to be strong on their own and that we all need to support and occasionally be supported. I can now see that bad things will happen to create that opportunity to bond. I am committed to be a better support to others.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Lessons of Life

As I think about my life and what I've learned and the commitments I want to continue to make, I realize that during my high school years I had some significant life lessons that have put me on a path that have made my life a lot easier. It came to me that some of my great early epiphanies occurred right after my Dad died from cancer two days after my 16th birthday. And it just barely occurred to me that my Dad must have been guiding me from the other side because some of those life lessons aren't always available at such a young age.

A couple of days ago I had the opportunity to attend the funeral of someone who's sons were painfully mourning her death. A few of us were able to spontaneously share our thoughts during the service. I felt prompted to tell them that their mother would be with them and guide them from the other side. I just realized I was sharing what has been my experience.

I have come to know that with every painful experience in our lives, Heavenly Father makes up for it in other ways. I learned at a young age that my earthly father was on the other side cheering for me and it helped me understand more fully how my Heavenly Father was also there to help me. I was a pretty frivolous girl and I don't think I would have come to have that perspective if not for the trial of losing a father as a teenager. What at first seemed like a curse, Heavenly Father turned into a blessing. I am committed to looking at every trial in my life and faithfully looking for and appreciating the blessing that will come.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Revolving door syndrome

Our baby graduated from high school last year and was going off to college in the Fall. We were starting to feel so sad that all our little chicks were leaving the nest and worried that our home would feel lonely.

Well...before our baby went off to college, our other daughter, her husband and baby moved up from Las Vegas and while deciding where to live, they stayed with us for several months. Two weeks after they moved out, another son, his wife and four children moved in and stayed almost 4 months. Today they moved out but yesterday another son, his wife and two children moved in and will stay with us for at least 4 months until their house is built. Another son also moved back home from South Korea and is staying here until his next move.

No empty nest syndrome for us. We just have the revolving door syndrome but it is perfect because their dad and I have really enjoyed having them close, especially for this last month. It continues to amaze me how life just miraculously works out. It is very healing having our little chicks back in the nest.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

What I Want Not What I Don't want

One day years ago when our two youngest boys were in high school, I pulled out of our driveway and realized I wanted to tell them something before I left. Since they were playing in the sport court on the opposite side of our home, I decided to just back my car up the street to talk to them (I wouldn't want to waste precious energy that I would need for shopping to actually walk up there). Gabe's car was parked in the road in front of the court, and all the way while I was driving in reverse, I kept telling myself to be careful and not back into his car. And that is just what I did. I backed right into his car.

Now the moral of that story is to focus on what you want instead of what you don't want. I realized the law of attraction produced what I didn't want but what I was actually focused on. Great lesson for life.

The other sad part of that story is that when Gabe watched me back into his car, he just assumed I was mad at him for something and intentionally did it. Gee, did he think I was a psycho mom? He must have had plenty of evidence to believe I was or maybe he just thought I couldn't be that stupid to hit a parked car. I was probably both--stupid and psycho.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Newspaper intrigue

When I remember to do so, I will pray right before reading the scriptures that I will read something that will be important for me that day. This morning I read in Alma 53 and verse 8-9 became important insight. The idea presented in that verse was about how intrigue had caused dissension among the Nephite people.

Yesterday I jokingly mentioned going through shock therapy, but in essence that is exactly what I have gone through this last month. What I have been shocked into realizing is that I must guard against a kind of intrigue that creates an unhealthy interest and curiosity in the negative aspects of people’s private lives knowing that it can create dangerous circumstances in which the adversary can get an upper hand.

I have a new sympathy for people that are slammed in tabloids with intriguing stories that create dissensions and ultimately do a lot of damage. I use to be guilty of reading the covers of tabloids and magazines while standing in the line of the grocery store. NOT ANY MORE. It took some shock therapy but I am cured and I'm sticking with just reading the Readers Digest cover, or I'll just scan the candy shelf from now on while in the grocery line.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Accomplishment Addict

My name is Tanya and I am an addict.

Now that I have your attention, let me explain my addiction. I struggle with an addiction to accomplishment. Now you might wonder what is so wrong about that addiction, but I can tell you with pure conviction that that kind of addiction, just like any other addiction, can get in the way of deep and meaningful relationships.

I have discovered that my choice (and it was my choice) to become addicted to accomplishment had it’s roots in well-intended parenting and schooling that told me how proud they were of my accomplishments in order to show love and approval. For me, that started a sort of subconscious and misaligned way to feel loved, and ironically it ended up sometimes getting in the way of being able to really connect at a heartfelt, loving level. That and the fact that at the end of the day, having some tangible piece of evidence of what I have accomplished can seem more valuable than having invested in a relationship. I mean, let's face it, the world worships "stuff"--He who dies with the most toys or trophies wins!

Gratefully I have had the gospel and the personal direction to study good books, and so now I can know the truth and the truth is setting me free. (that AND psychiatric care, heavy medications, and shock therapy!)

Harriet Lerner once said something to the effect that people who truly invest in relationships don't accomplish anything else that great. At the end of the day, now I want to look back and savor what I have done to strengthen relationships.

Monday, April 12, 2010


I had the opportunity to listen to Lavell Edwards speak last month. For those too young to know, he was a successful BYU football coach for many years. He shared that more important than physical ability was how his athletes thought.

Because I know that thoughts are important and have also experienced how easily off-track my thoughts can get, it becomes vital that I continually spend time studying truths that get my thoughts back on the right track.

I remember going through a very difficult time in my life when my thoughts and emotions could have become wounded and bitter. I felt prompted to carry a notebook, and I prayed that I would have inspired thoughts that I would then write down throughout the day. This became a sacred experience, and I felt my Heavenly Father's love for me as I recorded the positive and uplifting thoughts that gave me insight and direction. I came to know from that experience that when my thoughts were in line with divine inspiration and what only I can learn and do, that true healing was available and joy followed. Divine thoughts are powerful.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Touching a Hot Stove

Tonight's blog relates to last night's entry. Not only am I a rule keeper, I am also cautious. If someone tells me not to touch the hot stove, I get paranoid and want to stay completely out of the kitchen. I'd rather eat out anyway.

I recognize that sometimes my cautiousness works for me and other times it works against me. I realize that some of the greatest breakthroughs come when someone is willing to take risks even though they might get burned. I have admired people that are willing to get really near a hot stove and make some great contributions in life. I have also watched people keep touching a hot stove and getting burned over and over again. They say the definition of insanity is to keep doing the same thing and expecting different results.

As with everything in life, there is a usually a delicate balance between being too much or too little of anything. Too much cautiousness is debilitating. Too little cautiousness can be painful. I have come to know that the delicate balance is unique for each of us and that for some it is to move one way and for others it is to move in the other direction. The only way I can know that place is tuning in and tuning up. I do know that I need to be more willing to be a lot less cautious.

Rule Keeper

I was born a rule keeper. Although it is fairly easy for me to keep most rules, I find that with that "gift" to keep the rules can come a greater sin.

For example, even before President Hinckley cautioned against extra body piercings, I already felt like more than one piercing was "wrong" and therefore that rule was very easy for me to keep. My self righteousness was growing out of control and my arm hurt from patting myself on the back! Then I realized that after congratulating myself, I started to break a more important rule and that was to not judge someone else who struggled with rule keeping and broke that "important" rule.

Although I do believe that it is important to follow rules based on correct principles and to treat my body with respect, what I have come to discover is that for me the suggestion to only have one piercing per ear really became my test to see if I would judge someone else. I have come to know that any commandment is just for me to do my own self assessment and compliance and then especially if that commandment is easy for me, to make certain that I am not condemning someone else who might struggle.

It has been interesting for me to realize that some of the "rule breakers' in my life also seem more compassionate and understanding. Maybe being a natural rule keeper is really a curse because it creates judgment instead of compassion and acceptance. That is why Christ condemned the Pharisees who were natural rule keepers but who judged others. I am working on still being an important rule keeper but keeping the biggest rule of all--to just love and accept people, no matter what.

Friday, April 9, 2010


I have discovered that if I want to get in the habit of exercising that I had better find exercises that I love doing. I do love to dance. Being the youngest in my family, I realize that I also love attention but since my kids have always been embarrassed of my dancing (I must remind them of Elaine on Seinfield), I have to be content with just dancing all by myself with no audience. It is one of the ways that I really enjoy exercising. I have an assortment of DVDs--Zumba, hip hop, belly dancing, step, wii Just Dance game, and even a little Richard Simmons (gotta love the hair and the oiled legs!)

Anyway, as with any exercise, I have discovered that to start exercising is usually hard but if I stick with it for the 2nd half hour, then the endorphins kick in and I just get more and more energy and it feels so good. Who needs drugs?

Healthy Eating

For a couple of days I have fallen off the wagon and so now I have to recommit to my 10 commandments for healthy eating.

1. Drink lemon water or just plain water at least every hour.
2. Take vitamins.
3. Eat sitting down with awareness and all food on a plate.
4. Eat every 2-3 hours at approximately 7 10 12 3 6 8.
5. Eat small portions, cut restaurant portions in half.
6. Eat colorful foods, lots of vegetables and fruits.
7. Eat whole grains, legumes, seeds, nuts.
8. Eat lots of fish, and lean chicken and turkey.
9. Eat low fat cheeses, plain yogurt, sour cream, etc. Non fat milk or soy milk.
10. Stop eating at 8 pm.

It is interesting how far I fell off in almost every area. Just like success creates more success; failure also creates more failure. The important thing is that even though I slipped up for a couple of days, I can get back on the wagon and get rolling again. I will just learn from it and move on.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Judge Not

The other day I sat by a teenage girl on a flight. She was very interested in talking and shared with me her difficulties because of her parent's divorce. I asked about her spiritual strength and beliefs knowing that it is an important foundation especially when going through difficulties.

She told me that she was born in the LDS faith but there are things that she doesn't believe in. I asked her what beliefs she struggled with and learned that it wasn't really the beliefs but she had been troubled by but the judgment of some of the members based on our beliefs.

It was a great reminder of how my unrighteous judgment can become a misrepresentation of the true gospel.

Having recently been on the judged side of some unfair judgment, and especially after learning of this young girl's disbelief of truth because of unrighteous judgment; I am more committed than ever to cut people slack and withhold judgment.


I have discovered that I have created my own limitations. This morning I did a yoga class and one of the positions is something I have always told myself that I can't do because of my bad knees, but today I decided to ignore my limitations and I successfully pushed through it.

Later today, while I was swimming, I discovered that I can swim the American Crawl so much easier than I ever thought I could. You see, although I have always loved swimming and consider myself a great swimmer, my stroke preference has always been the breast stroke because I have always told myself that it is hard for me to reach my arms over my head. I have been going swimming lately and once again pushing myself past my limitations and discovering that with effort and persistence, I can get better at something. I am committed to getting rid of my self-imposed limitations. Dare I tackle singing?

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Deep Learning

I love to read and when I read something valuable, I want to not only remember it but analyze and apply it. The best way to do that is to have a marking pen in hand so that I can underline and write my little comments in the margin. If you want to borrow one of my books, I usually can't let you or else you would learn too much about me. It would be scary.

Having my own little discussion with what I read, especially asking questions of how it applies to me, helps me learn on a deeper level. Looking up the definitions of words, even words that are common, opens up understanding at a new, deeper level. I also like to write in my journal especially making my commitments of how I am going to apply what I have learned.

I invite everyone to make their own comments about what they have learned. In doing so, it not only solidifies and deepens your learning, it opens up new ideas for everyone else.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

General Conference

Is it just me or do the General Authorities just write talks to comfort and direct me and what I am currently struggling with. I am profoundly grateful for inspired teachers and leaders. I know that they speak for my Heavenly Father, and I am thankful for their inspired messages. That and the fact that I love to sit on a comfortable couch in comfortable clothing and have access to the kitchen while I am attending church. Great plan! Also, the music is beyond angelic and I can sing along without offending the pew ahead of me.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Mind Over Mattress

While I was in high school I read the book by Stephen R. Covey "The Spiritual Roots of Human Relations." It was my very first self-help book and it made a big impression on me (just an impression but didn't actually improve me--I still need lots of help). Anyway, I remember his discussion about the three temptations of Christ and how they relate to the temptations we face. The first temptation is of the flesh, which include food and sleep.

I have long fought the mind versus mattress battle, and I have certainly learned the value of overcoming the temptation of sleeping in. I especially found it useful when I had young children to get up early and be one step ahead of them instead dragging myself out of bed after them and then resentfully lumbering one step behind them for the rest of the day in fuzzy slippers and a ragged bathrobe (you get the picture). I have also learned that sleeping in on the weekends just creates a sort of jet lag feeling when I have to re-adjust for the week days.

For me sleeping in just has never been worth it because it actually feels more tiring and exhausting. Now my struggle is getting to bed early enough to get the beauty rest that I desperately need but obviously aren't getting. Trust me, if I got more sleep I would look like Demi Moore.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Vitamix to the rescue

I am not going to lie. Today I was not in the best mood. Although I got up and put on my exercise clothes and did my closet yoga and later a kind of feeble attempt at exercising, I didn't actually get showered and ready until about 4 pm. It just seems like when I get out of sync then I struggle the whole day. BLAAAAAA! Anyway, when I feel kind of depressed, there are usually two options--shopping or eating something unhealthy.

After visiting Court and while driving home, the magnetic pull to Nelson's frozen custard was getting a strong grip on my car. I have to say that some frozen custard a week ago was the only actual sugar dessert I have had since I made the committed to cut down on sugar. Luckily I remembered that the after affects of eating that fatty, sugar dessert wasn't as appealing, and so I took a firm grip of the steering wheel and pulled my car towards home instead. TOUCHDOWN!

My desire to have something sweet was still with me and so my trusty Vitamix came to the rescue. I threw in some frozen strawberries, frozen blackberries, fresh pineapple, banana, and kale and blended a sherbet-like treat that was free from any added sugar or juice and very delicious. In case you aren't familiar with kale, it is a green leafy vegetable that is considered to be a highly nutritious with powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Kale is very high in beta carotene, vitamin K, vitamin C, lutein, zeaxanthin (whatever the heck that is), and reasonably rich in calcium. It has potent anti-cancer properties especially when chopped. I find that adding a few large leaves to a fruit smoothie in the Vitamix isn't even noticeable but yet adds nutrients and lowers the glycemic index. Not only did the smoothie satisfy that sweet tooth but it lifted my spirits and gave me renewed, lasting energy--something that frozen custard wouldn't have done.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Church Service

Today I had the great privilege to go to a Young Women's workshop at the Conference Center. It was an inspiring experience. I have found that church service is obviously a spiritual experience but the added benefit is to be able to associate with other women who are just fun to be with. Today, in addition to a spiritual feast, I got to spend time learning about great April Fool's pranks and visiting with some of the women I serve with at lunch. Being involved in this religion, especially serving in the Young Women's program, fulfills all my needs--spiritually, physically, mentally, emotionally, and socially. It is the whole package. I have discovered that although I have been asked to serve others, I am the one that receives the most.