Monday, October 31, 2011


I've been working on my posture lately. The interesting (well, for me anyway) thing is that I have also found this need to stand up for myself. It really does make me realize how much my physical well-being is affected by my emotional and social self, and how my emotional and social self literally affects how I stand. Who would have thought that as I learn to stand straighter that I also learn to stand up for myself and what I know to be true at a whole new level.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Exercise Should Be Fun

I say that exercise has to be fun or I won't do it for long. I love to dance and Zumba is a fun way to exercise. Talking with friends is also fun so I love to walk and talk for my exercise. There are also TV shows that are fun to watch and so I tape them and then exercise while I watch. I am glad that there are many fun ways to exercise.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Being Vulnerable

I know that I always have a tremendous amount of strength available to me but I also know that there are times that I feel so vulnerable. I have been hit with a tremendous amount of pain realizing that life can be hard and that things don't turn out the way I would like them to be, and it can be just so sad and difficult.

It is times like these that it is okay for me to feel vulnerable and pained because then I realize how much I need to be loved and taken care of. First by my Father in Heaven and secondly by those around me. I know that in my strength I can give off the attitude that I don't need people's loving care, but at times when I feel this kind of pain, it is essential that I open myself up and let others know I need to be nurtured. I am weak and I am vulnerable but I know where to look for more strength. I will look to God and I will allow others to take care of me. I don't always have to be the strong one, and I don't have to always be the one taking care of everyone else. I am doing others a favor by letting them know I can be vulnerable and let them take care of me. I like chocolate covered cinnamon bears in case you're wondering.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Say Yes to Healthy Relationships

Research has found that the "Just Say No" drug program doesn't work. Other research says that teenagers that engage in service does more to prevent teenage pregnancy than education alone. This tells me how important it is to establish healthy relationships and do meaningful work. More evidence of the importance of developing and sustaining healthy attachments with people that counteracts the need for unhealthy substitutes.

One way that I learned from a professor at a California University to make better connections is to look at people left eye to left eye. It was found that this simple practice helps establish a more emotional, left brain connections; which develops a more secure attachment. A focus on healthy relationships and service can be our greatest weapon in the war on drugs.

Saturday, October 22, 2011


At just the time I was writing about addiction to unhealthy habits as opposed to developing genuine relationships and engaging in socially redeeming activities, I was drinking my herbal tea. On each tea bag of the brand that I drink is a thought which that day went along perfectly with what I was writing about. (It is interesting how miraculously it happens that I read something that I need at that very moment.)

The message was, "You will feel fulfilled when you do the impossible for someone else." I knew at that moment that if I can help lift someone out of their addiction and help them find the joy and happiness in healthy relationships, especially with their Heavenly Father and Savior because that is the only way out of addiction, that that is the greatest fulfillment I can have. I know that to be true.

Life is about finding fulfillment and I know that genuine fulfillment isn't found at the mall, it isn't found in a bottle, and it certainly isn't found moving on to the next level in a game (although at the moment, it falsely seems so). I want to continually pray that I will be open to knowing when those opportunities for fulfillment are there.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Age of Addiction

It is no longer the "Age of Aquarius" as the group, The 5th Dimension, sang years ago. (Am I dating myself here?) It now seems to be the "Age of Addiction." Although I am watching other people struggle with various forms of addictions, I am not pointing fingers because I am not immune.

This is what I have learned from studying human development and especially attachment theory. People are the most vulnerable to unhealthy addictions when there is a struggle with attachments issues that can start as early as 6 months of age and are most critical until 3 years old. If the attachment isn't adequately formed especially with the mother and father at those critical years, then other healthy attachments are harder to develop. Thus when something comes along such as alcohol, drugs, pornography, gambling, etc. that tries to mimic the euphoria that a healthy attachment naturally produces, a person is susceptible to being drawn to it. Because those subsititutes don't really produce the genuine good feelings that healthy attachments with loved ones create; there becomes a pattern of engaging more and more in the unhealthy habits because we can't get enough of that which we don't really need, so the craving becomes more intense until we are addicted and have lost power over it.

We really don't need what drugs and all the other habits give us. What we need are close and loving relationships and genuine accomplishments that have socially redeeming value. In fact, all of these habits, especially when they get to the point of addiction, actually get in the way of healthy relationships and other altruistic accomplishments, and thus the pattern becomes a negative cycle because the opportunity for healthy attachments with loved ones becomes even more and more difficult and thus we become even more needy and susceptible.

I want to stay away or be careful of those habits and activities in which there is an anonymous group that has formed. I have have even heard there are treatment centers for facebook addictions and I have to assume that somewhere there is a group that meets and someone introduces themselves as, "Hi, my name is ... and I am an angry bird aholic. Sign me up.

P.S. I thought I came up with the term "age of addiction" until I actually googled it and found this book by someone who is a local psychologist.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

What I Don't Like

I just watched another episode of Biggest Loser, and I have to say there is something that I don't like and that is when they have to vote someone off. I realize that friendly competition can be a great motivator; but it is sad to see that amongst the team members that have built up such a camaraderie, that they then might have to turn on a fellow member and get rid of them.

Gratefully in real life we really don't have to compete against anyone else; only ourselves and our own frailties. And we especially don't have to throw someone on our team out to get ahead. Fear of elimination can be and is a great motivator, but gratefully in THE plan our family and friends aren't rejected, in fact, we work hard to keep everyone in the fold. I am the only one that can reject the plan of happiness and remove myself; no one can do that for me.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Biggest Loser

I love watching the biggest loser; especially while I am exercising--it makes me work harder. One of the aspects I love about the program is how they connect emotional issues with the weight problem. I have to admire these people that are willing to go on TV and bare their souls and help the rest of us realize that there is usually some kind of pain behind our weaknesses, and that the emotional pain needs to be addressed before we can move forward and make long-term behavioral changes.

Dealing with emotional pain doesn't mean I blame and get angry with those that might have contributed to that heartache, but that I acknowledge that pain and realize that I must now take responsibility for healing from it so that I don't engage in dysfunctional behavior to try and cope (like overeating, overshopping, and a whole other list of ways I can indulge or escape).

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Lesson from Depression

I had an acquaintance years ago that struggled with depression. I had lost touch with her and happen to run into her years later, and she shared something about her experience that was interesting to me and has been valuable not only for depression but for any difficult experience.

She told me that for years she prayed that her depression would be taken away but she only found relief when she changed her prayers. She said that when she started to pray to know what she was suppose to learn from the depression, that it was how she finally was able to overcome it.

I often think of that lesson and realize that there are many trials I might struggle with, and now instead of just praying for relief, I want to follow this women's example and pray about what I need to learn from it. This is how the most difficult circumstances and experiences can turn into a blessing. But I just want to keep going to school and learn there instead of from challenges. A master's degree seems easier than the school of hard knocks.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Commitment and Reporting

A few weeks ago a friend and I made a commitment to each other that we would do certain things every day and week and then report to each other by text at the end of the day. It was amazing what that little practice did for me. Knowing that I would need to report to her gave me extra incentive and focus to engage in activities such as daily service, scripture study and journal writing, exercise, eathing healthy, and having a good laugh. The other wonderful benefit is that all the activities that I have found aren't really that satisfying or redeeming such as shopping or angry birds just seemed to melt away and I had no desire or interest in them as my focus was on more worthwhile goals.

Then...we both went on vacation and stopped reporting to each other, and it was sad how quickly all those unproductive and meaningless activities seemed so much more tempting. But then I ONCE AGAIN learned how really empty those other pursuits are, and now I am texting my out-of-state friend and committing to reporting each day to her once again. I guess I could just report in prayer but sometimes it is nice to have someone with skin on. (This is in reference to a cute story I heard years ago about a little boy who was frightened in the night. When his dad comforted him and said that Heavenly Father is always there for him, the boy replied, "But sometimes I want someone with skin on." Of course, I do believe Heavenly Father has a body with skin, but it is still a cute story and reference.)

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Spiritual Tuneup

Every morning I require a spiritual tuneup. It is scary how easily I can drift away from "feeling the love" when I miss a few days reading and pondering inspiring words from scriptures. Then when I haven't felt the love, it is harder to feel and adequately express love to others. This is a lot like everything else I experience. After I neglect doing something that does so much good for me, I realize how desperately I really need it. It is easy to roll along and start to take those habits and their benefits for granted, and it is only when I haven't done it that I realize how significantly crucial it is to my overall spiritual, physical, mental, emotional, and social life.

Now I will step forward again. My life is like that. Three steps forward, one maybe two sometimes five steps back, but then I will move forward again (kind of like doing the polka). The good news is that even when I take those steps backwards, I can still learn from it as long as I repent and keep moving ahead. Thanks heaven for repentance (literally).

PS I am not endorsing this book, I just found the picture on google images when I searched for "spiritual tuneup"

Saturday, October 15, 2011

The Lights Turn Off

The other day I was reminded of something that happened to me years ago. Three of my sons entered a comedy competition and all of our family, some friends and relatives went to support them. I have to say that my sons were clean but there were others that weren't so much. Since I had our youngest daughter with us and I didn't especially like her exposed to some of the crude humor, I took her out into the lobby after our boys were finished. (I really wanted to take the whole family out but didn't have a cattle prod). Since we could still hear everything and when I saw this knob just like the ones in the church foyers that turn down the volume, I turned it all the way off.

Quickly some people in charge came running out and wondered why all the lights had gone off in the auditorium. I realized I had turned off the lights and not the volume and explained to them that I didn't want to hear or let my daughter hear the crude humor and thought it was a volume switch. The interesting thing is that one of the resident comedians apologized to me and said he didn't usually resort to that kind of humor and he was sorry he did.

What was kind of symbolic about that incident is that I literally turned the lights off but figuratively they had already turned off the lights. We can either let our light shine or be in darkness.

Thursday, October 13, 2011


So this morning I decided to start doing the P90X exercises. At the beginning of the first DVD it says, "Never exercise beyond the level at which you feel comfortable." Do they realize what comfortable means to me? My definition of comfortable is lounging on the couch with my feet up on the ottoman. So does that mean I should just sit and watch the DVD and not go beyond that level? I hope they have a good money-back guarantee.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Medical Report

In case you are dying to know how my shoulder is feeling....That and you get some free medical advice...

In the middle of the night when my shoulder was killing me and I couldn't find a comfortable position to sleep in, I got up and had to work on it to get it to move and decided to do some research on the internet since I couldn't sleep. Now mind you, I am a gifted and sound sleeper and usually NOTHING I mean NOTHING interrupts my sleep. Because I had a friend tell me that when she developed frozen shoulder she had to have surgery on it, I was determined to find a natural way to heal it quickly. I have learned to try the natural way first and the internet is a good place to start.

I learned that people had had success working out trigger points and taking cayenne pepper and cleansing. I took a cayenne and cleansing capsule and it was extremely painful but I work on those trigger points suggested and kept moving my shoulder even though it was difficult. Well every day it keeps getting better and better. No doctor, no pain pills, and no surgery.

On the internet I learned that trigger points are thought to be the cause of a lot of pain. I learned from Kev's experience when he had a certain condition in his foot that a doctor told him would require surgery, that he had a quick solution to the problem when his trainer worked out some trigger points. Although it is excruciatingly painful to work out trigger points it helped him and now it worked miracles for me.

The interested thing is (I guess I think it is interesting anyway in my mundane world) that when I read about trigger point therapy, the medical profession doesn't necessarily believe that it has value. But for me, I believe otherwise. I wonder how many other cheap therapies could cut down health care costs. But for now I have a renewed appreciation for good health and painless living.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Speaking the Truth

As I've mentioned over and over again, I have been seeking for the truth; and what I have realized that not only is it important for me to know what is true, I have also got to have the courage to speak the truth with confidence and conviction. I have learned that sometimes it is hard to hear the truth and so that truth should be delivered with love and consideration, but there are even times that it has to be delivered in a direct and forceful way when I feel impressed to do so even if it might be painful.

I know that my meager opinion doesn't really matter and really shouldn't give me the confidence to speak up, but the truth does; and so when I know something isn't just according to my opinion but truth, then I can declare it with confidence.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Sugar Experiment

Okay, every so often I need to remember why it is that sugar is not good for me so I experiment and eat lots of sweet things. It is a painful sacrifice but someone has to do it! While I was eating too much sugar, my body felt sore all over and so this last week while on vacation I decided to avoid eating any desserts and voila, the soreness went away. Until...

I was at the airport with an unusual waiting time due to the fact that my traveling companion has a neurotic need to get there WAY too early (just ask our kids), and I spotted a Pink Berry frozen yogurt place and had a free pop machine in the lounge. So I had the yogurt and drank some root beer to kill some time. Then...Immediately my shoulder froze and I had this excruciating pain that has now lasted a couple of days. Now I am back off eating or drinking too much sugar. That stuff does weird things to my body.

Sunday, October 9, 2011


I was walking on one of my favorite paths and while passing a couple of women talking, I couldn't help but over hear something they said as I shuffled by. One said to the other, "I don't think he is educated."

Hmmm? I think is what she meant is that whoever they were talking about didn't receive a formal education. Even though I am in the midst of "formal education" (by that it means I spend quite a bit of money to have someone give me information to read and then give me a deadline to make sure I have understood it and made it somewhat useful, and get a piece of paper and a title at the end), I know that that isn't the only way to gain an education.

I can gain a great education just reading on my own and especially when i record my thoughts and insight.

I can gain a great education watching people and truly listening to what they feel and think.

I can gain a great education spending time in nature. Nature is a fabulous teacher.

I can gain a great education attending church or other free seminars.

I can gain a great education from my mistakes, even more than my successes.

I can gain a great education surfing the internet.

And yes I can even gain a great education from TV or reading tabloid covers while in line at the grocery store. (It is nice to keep updated on the Jen and Brad drama!!)

Education comes in many ways and is all that is necessary is a thirst for learning. (and a natural curiosity of what the stars are doing:-))

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Capturing and Recording Thoughts

I haven't written in this blog for several days and it is a great reminder of how important this little habit is to me. When I know that I will want to record something, I pay more attention to my thoughts. Later, after I have written those thoughts, their awareness is more solidified and I feel like those thoughts I have a greater impact. They are not as likely to fly off into the great blue yonder in the sky but seem to take a little better residence in my mind and hopefully behavior. That is what I am hoping anyway.
PS I finally figured out how to include a picture when I am posting on my ipad. Unfortunately I haven't learned how to make it smaller.