Is Your Glass Half Empty or Half Full?

IMG_7130 So, its been quite a while since I composed a post.  There has been a lot going on in my personal life and a lot of changes taking place.  I have also started a free group for moms out there for accountability and support.  You can find out more HERE!  Not to mention my 12 week clients and the ones that have continued with me on a monthly plan.

Anyway, back to this current post.  Sometimes God and life just speak to me and I cannot ignore it.  As I stated above, my life is going through a lot of changes.  These changes have caused me to be introspective and really think about how I view life.  In addition to this, a couple of other things have happened that spoke to me.  The first is a patient I treated this past weekend who had been through Hell and back.   With his permission, I share part of his story.  He had a liver transplant in the late 1990’s.  The liver was not functioning well in his body so they left him open, packed him with ice, and tried to find a new liver.  While waiting, the liver started functioning.  Then, he had a long road of recovery ahead of him.  Fast forward to this past November and he began having tremors in his hands and arms.  He recently went for testing to figure out the cause.  The day of doctor visits was so taxing for him that he fell, broke his hip, and is now in rehab.  All of this would be frustrating for someone in itself, but it turns out that he is also self-employed as a painter.  He must be very good because he has already been commissioned to paint the portrait of an important staff member at the NC School of the Arts to mark the person’s retirement.  So, my point of telling you all this is that this man was pleasant and optimistic.  Even in the midst of pain and uncertainty of his condition, he simply said that he had to get better so he could get that painting done.  In his mind, his glass was definitely half full, he was going to make the most of it, and he was going to fill it completely.  Even if he is unable to accomplish this goal, I believe that he will readjust and be OK.

The second of these things is from a reading for in my devotional.  I picked up the book randomly at the beginning of the year because the cover spoke to me and it had 1 short, manageable devotion for each day of this year.  Many of them have spoken to me.  I decided to read ahead a little and the devotion for Jan 21th was LET YOUR WORDS BE POSITIVE AND FEW.  The bible verse connected was this “You heard Me tell you, I am going away and I am coming (back) to you.  If you (really) loved Me, you would have been glad, because I am going to the Father, for the Father is greater and mightier that I am.” John 14:28.  Jesus is going through such adverse circumstances but always chose to talk about them in a positive way.  The final part of the devotion is what the book calls a power thought and for this entry the power thought is “When I speak about my situations, I speak positively.”

So the combination of my current situation, the encounter with this remarkable patient, and my devotional has really caused me to look at how I view my world (half empty or half full) during this time in my life.  I think people are born with a positive outlook on life or a more negative one.  For me, I am a bit of a weird combination because while a do have many positive thoughts, I am also a worrier.  I am always thinking ahead and trying to figure out what to do to get the best outcome and I also have a habit of worrying about things that I have no control over.  I also have spent more years of my life than not with someone who always thinks the glass is half empty and found myself adopting that mindset as well over times.  Over the past year, I also was involved in a mentorship for my business that dealt with as much on mindset as it did with business development.  What I have learned is this, whether we are naturally pessimistic or naturally optimistic and whether our glass in naturally half full or half empty; we do have the power to change our perspective and it makes a huge difference.  For instance in my life,  late at night I have a tendency to lament that I feel I have wasted 20 years of my life, but I can instantly turn that around by remembering how lucky I am to have my 4 beautiful children.  I can also worry about what my future will look like or I can be thankful and optimistic about my future and realize I have control over what it becomes.  So, my practice is to make these mindset changes every time I find myself thinking the glass is half empty.  I am not 100% successful (especially late at night) but I am finding over time, it gets easier and more automatic and the more I do it, the lighter and happier I feel!

So, enough about me and onto the takehome for you!  I encourage you to take a look at your life and how you view it.  Because I am a nutrition and exercise coach, I will put it in to the context of that.  When thinking about what you eat, focus on what you are eating, not what you cannot have.  And with this, focus on how these foods make you feel.  If you slip and eat things you feel you shouldn’t, focus on the fact that you have the knowledge and are only one meal from being on track again.  When thinking about how you exercise, focus on what you are able to do, not what you are unable to do.  Be proud of the days that you are active and that will motivate you much more that beating yourself up about the days that you did not!

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39 Things I Have Learned in My 39 Years PART TWO

untitledSo, a few weeks ago I shared 17 of the 39 things I have learned.  If you missed that, you can go HERE.  In all honestly, my life got in the way of me sharing the remaining ones but I got newly motivated with the arrival of 2014.  Happy New Year, by the way!  Anyway, I definitely do not have all the answers but I have found that we learn more and more as we age.  So, without further ado, here is the rest of the list:

18.  DO NOT ASK THE QUESTION IF YOU DO NOT WANT THE ANSWER!  The older I get, the more I appreciate people who are honest, but with that comes the need to accept the answer.  Whether it is a “no” or just something you didn’t want to hear.  It is important to honor the person’s perspective and then apply it as you see fit.

19. THINK BEFORE YOU SPEAK.  I mostly think of this in the context of thinking about whether hurtful words are worthwhile to say.  Speaking honestly is different from being purposefully hurtful.  I also think of this in the context of my children and homeschooling.  It is hard to separate being a mom and being their teacher.  When I think before I speak, I do a better job.

20. GROWTH HAPPENS OUTSIDE OUR COMFORT ZONE.  That could have been my mantra for the last year.  I started my own business and became a teacher in my children’s co-op.  For this introvert, these actions were incredibly uncomfortable but the benefits have been amazing.

21. GRATITUDE IS AN AMAZING THING.  I have tried this year to think of two things every morning and night that I am grateful for.  This changes your focus in life.  We all have bad things that happen to us, but it is up to us what we focus on.

22. FEELING DEPRIVED IS NO WAY TO LIVE.  There should be a balance in life.  Things should be done in moderation and balance.  For instance, leave yourself feeling deprived because you have made a certain food off-limits and you will ultimately rebound to that food.  Allow yourself to have that food in moderation and you find a balance.

23. MY CHILDREN TEACH ME MUCH MORE THAN I TEACH THEM.  I am amazed each day how much my children teach me.  They reflect back to me my attributes and my faults.  They also show me the world in a different way, with no urgency, with joy, with amazement.  They make me see things that I normally would not and I am truly blessed to have them in my life because they make me a better person!

24. I AM PATIENT AND CALM WITH EVERYTHING EXCEPT THAT WHAT IS MOST IMPORTANT TO ME.  Clients, patients, and friends are always telling me how calm and patient I am.  But because of my perfectionist tendencies, I feel an urgency with things that are most important to me (such as the homeschooling of my kids).  This is something that I need to work on in 2014 because patient and calm is more successful.

25. I AM MUCH MORE OK IF EVERYONE DOES NOT LIKE ME THAN I WAS WHEN I WAS 20 BUT I STILL DO NOT LIKE TO FEEL JUDGED.  Again, something I need to work on in 2014.  I naturally want to please others and not rock the boat.  As I get older, I find more and more that being true to myself is more important to me than others thinking I am wrong.

26. MISTAKES ARE IMPORTANT AND SHOULD BE WELCOMED.  Mistakes are hard but we honestly learn more from them than our successes.  God knows I have made some big mistakes in my life, but one particular mistake I made is teaching me so much.  I know I will be a much stronger and fulfilled person a year from now because of the growth from this mistake.

27. PREPARATION IS KEY.  This is true in many aspects of our lives so let me give you a couple of examples.  First with health and fitness, you have to prepare by having food around that is healthy or how in the world can you eat healthy?  For me preparation for things that are out of my comfort zone (such as teaching in my children’s co-op) is key; preparation gives me more confidence and makes the class successful.

28. ENERGY IN FINITE.  We only have a certain amount of energy.  As a mom that works, homeschools, and has a small business; I am constantly multi-tasking.  Although I am always pushing the envelope, I know that I do not have the energy to do everything I want to.  Knowing is half the battle, now I need to apply this knowledge a little better in 2014.

29. WE OFTEN DO NOT APPRECIATE THINGS UNTIL THEY ARE GONE.  As I get older, I realize more and more all the things that I take for granted.  My job as a physical therapist exposes me to people whose lives have changed permanently from strokes.  They can no longer walk and sometimes talk.  I think this has made me a little more appreciative of these simple things.

30. I LOVE TO TEACH.  I never really thought of myself as a teacher; I am an introvert that is perfectly content not talking all day.  But from my choice to become a physical therapist, to my business, to homeschooling, to teaching in my children’s co-op; I am constantly putting myself in a teaching role.

31. MY 39 YEAR OLD BODY DOES NOT DO EVERYTHING THAT MY 20 YEAR OLD ONE DID.  I used to love to run long distances on a frequent basis but now I have a knee that hurts when I do.  But I am stubborn so this coming year I am doing a half marathon in DC (hoping that my knee will hold up)

32. LIFE IS SHORT TO TAKE ANYTHING FOR GRANTED.  This is similar to number 29, but as I get older, I am more and more aware that we have a finite time on Earth and that our loved ones do as well.   I am aware of this but still no do always live my life taking this into account.  Something to work on in 2014.

33. YOU HAVE TO LOVE YOURSELF. The most important person who should love you is YOU.  We all have value and deserved to have a loving family, but it is hard for others to love us if we do not love ourselves.

34. MAKE LIFE EASIER.  With this I do not mean that we should not challenge ourselves or that we should follow the easy path!  But set yourself up for success by preparing (such as having groceries or a gym membership) and following the path that rings true to you (if you follow the path that others want you to it will make your life harder).

35. WORRY IS A USELESS EMOTION.  I am really good at worrying!  But I realize that it does nothing positive for me.  Still working on learning how not to worry so much.

36. NO MATTER HOW MUCH I WANT TO, I DO NOT HAVE COMPLETE CONTROL OF MY LIFE. In reality, the only thing that I can control at all is myself (my thoughts and my actions).  I cannot control what others think or do and those things also have an effect on my life.

37. VALUES ARE IMPORTANT.  Values underlie all decisions we make.  Paying attention to the values of others is important in figuring out how to relate to them in life.

38. I ANALYZE EVERYTHING TOO MUCH.  I am always seeking an answer, reason, and solution for everything.  I replay things in my head to find logic where there is none.  Part of my goals for next year is to accept things more without wasting time questioning.

39. IT IS IMPORTANT TO FOCUS ON WHAT YOU HAVE, NOT WANT YOU DO NOT HAVE.  That does not mean that you should not strive for the things that you do not have.  But if you waste all your time wishing for the things you do not have, you are unable to appreciate the things you do have and also have no energy to strive for more.

I hope you may have gained some insight from my self-analysis.  I appreciate you reading and hope you have a wonderful 2014.

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