Live What You Know

Learn, Grow, Accept, Appreciate, Realize, Love…Truly Live It All! Make Every Day A Masterpiece and Live Each Moment In Joy! —or— You are Divine. You are All. We are One. Let us Be still. Let us Listen with an open heart. Let us Live what we hear. Let us Love with All of our heart. BE. YOU. I AM. —or— wherever you're at and growing from now.

Category: Health and Fitness

From Status Quo To Status No

Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.  –Ralph Waldo Emerson

I have a little saying I love to say to myself and to my friends…or anyone who will listen really.  I say, “Don’t should on anyone and don’t let anyone should on you.”  If someone is discussing another’s choice and wants me to agree with their point-of-view or comment in some way, I like to say, “I don’t like to should on anyone and I don’t enjoy others should-ing on me.”

Sometimes it feels like there is an awful lot of “should-ing” in the air.  It all makes judging others and comparing ourselves so easy.  The technical term for what it brings is what we call “yuckie energy” around our house.  Truly, if you are judging yourself or others or just commenting on what someone should be doing or running dialogue in your mind that tells you that you “should” be doing something, it feels yuckie and it spreads.

Over four years ago, we made the choice to switch to a vegan diet and remove all animal products from our plates.  It was scary and strange and brought about all kinds of expected and unexpected results.  As I look at my life since making this choice, I notice that it was the first time I really chose to go against the status quo and make a big life change that would make some people uncomfortable.  My reasons for a vegan diet are many.  It started with a choice to read a book called The China Study.  From that one choice, many followed.  I kept researching and trying to figure out what made sense to me and what I wanted for my family, etc.  I read and read and read and the reasons mounted.  We jumped and went completely vegan overnight.  I am so grateful!

Obviously this had a major impact on us in the nutrition department and our health and how we live, etc.  What I can now see is that this choice to figure things out for myself and make the best choice for me and my family without worrying or being influenced by what those around me will think (okay, I did worry some at the beginning) changed our lives in many more unexpected areas as well.  This change allowed us to embrace that practice in many more areas of life.  I think this first jump into trying something so completely different from the way we used to live opened us up to life more and made it possible to make other important choices for our lives.  We began making huge steps toward charting our own course.

Clearly, we’re not the first vegans and we are super fortunate to make this choice at a time when it is so easy and becoming much less out of the norm.  Even in the years since we started, it has changed a lot (or maybe we did).  We think its normal now.  Ah, normal.

We have gone on to making many more choices that don’t fit the status quo.  We chose to homeschool/unschool our children a few years ago and that one made vegan seem simple.  Except, now that seems normal too.  In the beginning, it seemed like explaining these choices when someone asked was important and worth the time.  I would be sure to give the most eloquent, educated sounding explanation I could muster.  Now, it’s just normal to me.  I really don’t need to go into these choices much, except to say that we’re happy and it works for us.  If people are sincerely interested or curious I love discussing all the details of both issues, but I don’t feel the need to make them interested or try to convince them of my point-of-view.  It feels nice now.  It feels like being comfortable in your own skin.

I love researching things, implementing new lifestyle choices, trying new things, basking in the unfamiliar…I love taking bits and pieces from all I see around me and creating my own world with my own design…some borrowed, some new, some tweaked.  In the beginning of my newfound willingness to make big choices with big change, it felt like people thought I was judging their choice by sharing my own.  I don’t really notice that feeling anymore.  I may have felt it because I was judging on some level…it is nice to see that slip away.  I remember just not wanting people to judge me.  At this point, I don’t really notice any wasted energy going into worrying about what others think.  I’m just being me.  It feels great…not always a walk in the park of course, but it feels like home.

I love my choices and I love everyone else’s choices too.  I love sharing why I made mine if people are interested, but I no longer think mine are better.  I do like to encourage people to find their own way…but I won’t tell them they “should” do that.  I just like to share that it feels free and wonderful!  When I was a little girl, I was afraid of everything!  Truly!  Even butterflies!  That seems so long ago.  I am grateful for learning to listen to all the messages that come our way to take us from fear to love and open us up to becoming more of ourselves.  Now, the thought of following along and doing things because I “should” is the only thing that sounds really frightening to me and butterflies aren’t scary anymore…they are a magical message about change!

Important note – I am super grateful to those people who feel strongly about sharing the reasons for their choices and helping others make the same ones.  We all hear messages in different ways and those using their voices to bring change are an important part of how we all learn and grow.  I am grateful to those that follow the message to speak loudly about certain things!!!  Someday I may speak loudly about my choices, but for now, it seems my soul is telling me to quiet down and BE a bit more.  Still happy to share, just in a quiet and open to life way.  Actually, quiet is much more challenging for me…so it must be what I am meant to work on at this point in life.

Sending you love and wishing you the courage to chart your own path and listen to your soul…not in a “should-ing” way…just a loving way.

Create Positive Change Now – We’re All Students of Life – Let’s Harness The Back To School Spirit and Energy Around Us Now

There is a collective energy shift happening all around us as summer winds down and all the responsibilities of fall will soon take hold.  We can all feel the new focus taking shape and the promise that a new school-year holds.  Everywhere we go there are school supplies around every corner…fresh new pencils to hold and reams of blank paper to fill.  The potential is pulsating through the air.  I believe that we can harness that collective energy this time of year more than any (even more than the new year) and make real changes and set new goals of things we would like to accomplish or change in our daily lives.  The first day of school energy isn’t reserved just for students…we are all students in the classroom of life.  Let’s gather our supplies and grab hold of the energy pulsating around us and make amazing changes and set meaningful goals for this new school-year ahead.

I am a big believer in not should-ing on anyone.  I also don’t want anyone should-ing on me.  Translation – I don’t like to tell anyone what they should do and I don’t like people telling me what I should do.  There is a lot of noise in the world, I think the answers come from deep within, not from outside.  I like to celebrate how we all know deep inside what is best for us and I think encouraging people to make brave choices from the small still place inside them that knows what is best for them is my calling in life.  I am not at all interested in judging what others do or feeling superior in my own choices…yuck!  I want to encourage everyone to find what works for them or what their soul is calling them to try or change or do and go for it.  I know that we all have the most amazing power within us to harness at any time…we must listen to the quiet within and make choices accordingly.

Having said all of that, I will tell you what the still quiet voice inside me is saying and what I will begin this new school-year working on in my life.  I have a lot of things I would like to work on over the year and I am sure many or all of them will come up here in my Live What You Know writings, however, I want to start in that organized back to school way and get specific with one for the first month.  I can see the year ahead and I have so much I want to get better at and so many things I know that I want to live, so it is clear to me that I need to have a healthy and energized body or form to do this in.  I want my form to be able to support all that my soul wants to live.  I feel that I have been so focused on mind health and learning new things and figuring out how to apply them in my life, etc., I have let the health and vitality of my body slip.  I don’t have the energy I need to have to do all that my soul is telling me to do.  I had a time when taking care of my body was priority number one in the mornings so that I could energize my day – it was awesome.  Once I began incorporating writing, reading, praying and meditating into the morning routine as well, things began slipping a bit with regards to my physical health.  That coupled with less of a focus on what and how much I am eating has not proved well for my fitness and energy level.  I want my energy back and I want to go back to having my body feel good and strong and vital.  This form was given to me as a tool to experience my soul with.  It needs my attention and care right now.  I can hear it calling.

You haven’t heard a peep out of me about health and fitness until now because I wasn’t ready.  I am harnessing the new fresh focused energy around me and using it to get healthy and strong again.  I am ready and I need it to accomplish all that my spirit is calling for.  So, for the next 27 days (just because that is my favorite number) I will live what I know in regards to my physical form to the best of my ability.  I don’t plan to stop after 27 days I just plan to make it the highest priority for this 27 days to restore me to my optimum health.  I believe I can do it within that time frame.  I will then feel so much better that I will have reformed my habits and will be able to refocus and plan for how I will proceed to maintain that level of health from that point on.  I will then be able to give myself a new focus and/or goal, etc.  Here are a few specifics on the details on how I choose to restore optimum health to my body:

  • Steps – I wear a pedometer to count and track my steps.  I did this a few years back and it worked great.  I stopped wearing it when I decided I needed more weight training and other fitness programs to get more fit, not just the steps.  I must admit that when I was really committed to it, the consistency of doing those steps that you commit to each and every day does work.  I just went back to wearing the pedometer about a month ago.  My husband wears one too and we can see each others stats and compete, etc., its fun!  For this 27 days I am going to up my goal to 13,000 steps per day (most days I will have much more than that…but no matter what I will not go to bed without 13,000).
  • Other fitness activities – for me, with all that I have going on getting our new homeschool year on track and other things, my workouts have to be at home.  I do plan to get a yoga practice going at a studio this year, but it will have to wait until another time.  I am homebound for now.  I will become the workout video maven again.  It has worked for me in the past and I will do it again.  I have several favorites and I will plan to do five videos a week in addition to my steps.  This will get me plenty of cardio and a great combo of resistance and weights and stretching, etc.
  • Tennis and swimming – we are huge into tennis right now.  We play doubles and singles with our kids and it is just the funnest thing in the world.  I also want to enjoy swimming while the weather is still nice.  My fitness will include the fun of being super active with my family.  Yay!
  • Whole Foods – We eat a vegan diet.  We have for about four and a half years.  In the beginning we didn’t know what to eat, so it was pretty much just legumes, veggies and fruit.  Whole foods – perfect.  Over time we figured out how to substitute some of the old flavors and we ended up with fake processed junk creeping in.  Still vegan, just junky.  Time to clean it up and take the time to make whole foods that nourish and strengthen the body.  This will include lots of juicing and cleaning out the system.  Its time to remember that you are what you eat and to take the time and effort to make the best possible choices.  I am ready.  This will be great.
  • Food Amount – I think I have been literally weighing myself down with more food than is necessary.  I am ready to return to mindful eating and eating to live and fuel the body only.
  • Balance – I am going to remember to be nice to myself.  This isn’t about a diet or doing things I can’t keep up with.  Its about creating balance and restoring the best possible lifestyle habits.

So, that is my focus for the month.  I will also continue to learn and grow and do the other things I find meaningful, I am just ready to take the time and energy to focus on the plan above.  I am working on another fun kindness project…but I will have to tell you about that later.

What is your soul telling you to focus on?  How will you harness and use the collective energy around you to make positive changes and set meaningful goals in your life.  What can September mean for you?  The month is going to pass…we might as well use it for creating positive change.  Here are some examples of things your soul might be calling for:

  • De-clutter – are you feeling weighed down by too much stuff?  Is it time to purge?
  • Organize – does everything have a place, is your home a comfortable place to be?  Is it supporting your spirit?
  • Meditate – are you getting in enough time for stillness?
  • Prayer – are you getting quiet time with God?
  • Reading – are you learning something?  Are you nourishing your soul with wonderful books?
  • Gratitude – are you able to feel grateful each day?
  • Kindness – would your spirit like to come up with a daily practice?
  • Delaying a dream – is there something you are wanting to do with your life, could you use this month to get a plan in place?

These are just a few examples of things your soul may be saying.  Only you can know what the best focus of energy for you is.  Listen to that voice and put a plan in place.  It is fun, it is exciting, it is a great time to do it…the energy around you will support you.  I get so excited to plan and change and focus…I am off to get me an excel spreadsheet going.  For me a spreadsheet of my goals is like the ultimate gift to myself.  Yay, I am excited.  A bit relieved to have a plan too!

Wishing you the excitement and joy of joining the collective energy and making positive change to support living what you know your soul is calling for at this time.  Sending you love too!

NOTE – in the spirit of not should-ing on you…listen closely to your soul and if its not time to change anything, then don’t.  Always remember, you know best…but listen closely to make sure it is the real You talking and not just mind chatter.  Wishing you well in any choice you make!

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