A Charged Life

How do I feel right now? Am I joyful? Calm? Excited? Tired? Depressed? Angry? Stressed? Do I go around with a smile on my face or a frown? Do I feel energized, motivated, fully alive? As Brendon Burchard puts it “Am I living a charged life?”

These are questions I’ve learned to ask myself on a regular basis because my emotions are directly related to my levels of peace, joy, and energy. Who among us would not like to have more of all of these? People have always asked me where I get all my energy and they got me to thinking. Where does our energy come from?

After reading many books, I learned that several factors contribute to one’s energy level. Did I get enough sleep last night? Have I been eating well and by well, I mean, healthy, ok? Am I drinking my water? Exercising? These are all important factors to be sure, however, I have noticed that other things impact my energy level even more and they are my feelings and emotions . When I am down, tired, stressed or upset about something, my energy level drops dramatically. I feel lethargic and unmotivated.

Now, we all face difficulties in life and different personality types react to stress in different ways. I can always tell when certain people are stressed. Controllers get more controlling. Feelers get more emotional and avoidants distance themselves and run from the situation. When we realize what the root cause of our stress is, we can learn to view circumstances and situations differently. The cause can be summed up in one word – FEAR.

Think about it. When you are stressed, ask yourself this question “What am I afraid of?” I’ll bet you come up with something if you think it through. For example, when job tensions arise, we may think “I’m going to lose my job”. When relationship tensions occur, we may think “He/she doesn’t love me.” These are all irrational fears that play havoc with our emotions and cause us undue stress and then our personality stress dysfunction kicks into gear. But there are some steps we can take to better cope with these negative feelings.

Here are a few simple steps to follow:
1) Realize what I’m feeling
2) Understand the fear behind my feelings
3) Decide when to express my feelings (repression is unhealthy, btw)
4) Take action – journal, talk it out, pray.

But the very best way to have more energy, peace, and joy in our lives is by activating the power of faith. That’s right. Faith is the opposite of fear. In any given situation, there are two ways to look at it. I choose to consciously look at the positive side. In short, I try not to let my fears and circumstances get the best of me. I may have to dig deep, but there is, as they say, “always a silver lining”. I know that God, yes, God, is on my side and He is looking out for me. ALWAYS. He always has the best in store for me and for you too!

By choosing an attitude of faith rather than fear, I am more at peace. I have more joy, and consequently, I have more energy. So there you have it – the full equation. If you want to have more energy and live a charged life, start living by faith instead of fear. Stop letting your circumstances get the better of you, keep you down, and prevent you from living the life of your dreams.

In closing, I’ll share one of my very favorite verses which is Romans 8:31 which says “If God is for us, who can stand against us?” Good question, yes?

Until next time, keep the faith and keep looking up!

Part 2: Developing Our Muscles – Our Daily Diet

Are you on a diet? Trying to lose weight? For those of us who want to live long, healthy, and active lives, diet and nutrition are top priorities. But it can be confusing trying to decipher what’s hype and what’s not these days, that is for sure.

Seems every time I turn around there is some new diet or weight-loss supplement being touted. We had the South Beach diet, the Zone diet, the Atkins Diet, and now there’s the Paleo diet and even the Anti-Estrogen diet. Dr. Oz was telling us about the latest weight loss discovery – raspberry ketones!

Ads abound claiming you can “Lose weight without exercising”, “banish the flab without dieting”, “Pop this pill and your fat will magically disappear” – all hogwash if you ask me. Let me assure you eating well and staying in shape is not as difficult as some think. All it really takes is a true desire to be healthy along with following some basic but sound nutrition guidelines.

Today, I’d like to share with you a few healthy tips I’ve used over the years to help me stay in shape. Pick one or two and implement them into your daily routine and you will definitely see changes. Are you ready?

1. Detox your system: it’s spring and a great time to clean both your house and your body. Get rid of sugars, fats, salts, dairy, white flour, sodas, red meat and alcohol for a while and see how much lighter you feel. Twice a year is a recommended.

2. Drink more water: water is great for getting things moving, improving your complexion, and hydrating the skin and the body. Drinking water also staves off false hunger pains. Use a water purifier and drink 8 – 12 eight-ounce glasses per day depending on your weight. I use tall colorful glasses to make the experience more enjoyable.

3. Eat more fresh fruits and veggies: yes, I know you’ve heard it before. But do you realize how very important this is? These foods are vitamin dynamos and pack a punch when it comes to fighting disease and inflammation. The more colorful your plate, the better. Meat should only be about 20% of your meal. The rest should be fruits, veggies, and whole grains.

4. Ditch the salt and the grease: if you have high blood pressure or cholesterol problems, make this a priority. Want to get off your meds? Try using fresh herbs instead of salt which causes high blood pressure, water retention, and bloating. Replace vegetable oil with healthy oils such as extra virgin olive oil, grapeseed oil, and extra virgin coconut oil instead. Your palate will adjust, trust me.

As you can probably guess, I am a firm believer in the philosophy “You are what you eat”. Our bodies are temples so let’s treat them as such, shall we? And while I’m on the subject, I’d be remiss if I didn’t talk about feeding our spiritual body as well. It too needs a healthy diet. What are you feeding your spirit? Are you noshing on junk food like romance novels, tv sitcoms, or violent movies? When was the last time you visited a place of worship? Do you fill your mind with positive thoughts of faith and hope or are you still digesting the negativity from yesterday, last week, or twenty years ago?

To feed my spirit, I choose to listen to uplifting words and music, worship on a regular basis, and surround myself with positive, encouraging people. I’ve done away with those energy vampires who suck my energy dry with all their complaining, moaning, and negative self-defeatist attitudes. I’ve also chosen to disassociate from those who have a low sense of self-esteem or a victim mentality because they only drag me down.

Our daily diet of foods, habits, and thoughts can make a huge difference in the quality of life and the level of joy and energy we feel. So, I hope this post has encouraged you to make some healthy choices. Do write and share your thoughts with me. Until next time, keep looking up!

Spring, Exercise, and Muscles

Spring is here and pool season is right around the corner. I know I can’t wait. Have you been exercising this winter? What about weight training? When we develop our muscles, they have more tone, definition and strength. The body is equipped to do all the things we want and need it to do. I know I’m not getting any younger, but I plan to stay fit and active for as long as I possibly can.

So this week’s post is about exercise and no, it is not a dirty word, so let’s do away with any negative thinking or excuses right now, ok? Being able to exercise is not a chore. It’s a blessing and a lifestyle. Exercise is a part of my life and has been for many years. Having been out of commission several times, I know what it feels like to be immobile. It’s not fun. Fun is being able to move and regular, consistent exercise helps us do just that.

Exercise is important. I know you’ve heard it before, but it bears repeating, especially with the rate of obesity on the rise all over the world. There are many ways to strengthen our muscles and get our bodies moving. Now that the weather is warming up, I love to get outdoors as much as I can. My sons love to play soccer. When I was raising my kids, I used to get up in the mornings at 5:30 am and go for a run. It is a great way to get a quick cardio workout in and all you really need is a good pair of shoes. I’d sign up for 5 and 10k races and collect donations for charities. Then there is biking, working out at a gym, taking a fun group exercise class like Zumba, playing several sets of tennis, swimming, the list goes on and on. Let’s not forget yoga and pilates – two great ways to tone and strengthen our core. Two fantastic low impact weight-bearing exercises that can really train the heart muscle as well as strengthen the bones are fitness walking and hiking. Both are easy and free.

While I’m on the subject of strengthening our muscles, let’s not forget our spiritual muscle. It, too, needs to be strengthened. Did you know you have a spiritual muscle? Yes, indeed, and it’s called faith. We all have faith to some degree and it needs to be strengthened and developed just like our physical muscles. Think about it. We have faith in ourselves, in others, and many of us have faith in God.

How do we develop our faith muscle? Glad you asked. By exercising it, of course! Faith needs to be used in order to grow stronger. You know those trials I’ve been sharing with you recently? Well, every trial we go through is an opportunity to develop and strengthen our faith.

Check out this month’s video

and send me your thoughts. What do you think of the idea of having a spiritual muscle? Does yours need to be exercised more? What concrete things can you do to strengthen it?

Love to hear from you. Until the next time, keep the faith and keep looking up!