Life

Do You Feel Emotionally Well?

It has taken me half a lifetime to feel emotionally well and it feels good. I don’t often write about my personal life and innermost feelings but I believe sharing our stories helps others. I’m often taken by surprise when I hear or read about someone’s experiences that are similar to mine; it makes me know I’m not alone.

I spent my entire life believing that I was not worthy of, well, anything good. I believed anything bad that happened was somehow my fault and anything good that I did would be appreciated – but in reality, I didn’t think it was even noticed. That didn’t stop me from being kind and doing anything I could to please others; I believed my life, my purpose, my reason for being was to make others happy.

I was taught all of that behavior by my parents. They were strict, unkind, demanding, inappropriate and selfish. My siblings and I were trained up to meet my parents expectations whether realistic, appropriate or not, and we obediently tried. For some reason I didn’t walk away after becoming an adult and moving on with my life. Even as an adult with kids of my own, I kept on being a people-please[r] with my parents as well as others. It didn’t serve me well to put my own needs and innermost feelings aside. In the past two years one at a time, my parents passed away. First my father, then my mother most recent. The last two years were pretty rough on me as my mother needed my help on a constant level. I always obliged. Each time over the years, that I would help her or visit her I always thought it would be different – better; but it wasn’t. Everything I or my siblings (in-laws included) did for her went unappreciated. N’er a thank you.

I found courage to heal. I found an excellent psychiatrist, [don’t stop at one, it has to be the perfect fit for you] and I saw her twice a week at first and once a week after that for nine years. It was one of the best things I ever did for myself. Another best thing I did for myself was to take lessons in martial arts, Kempo karate for twelve years. It taught me self-confidence, inner peace and how to react calmly.

The number one best thing I did for myself was to raise my kids with love, appreciation of who they are individually, respect, nurturing, and kind. I had rules but I was fair. My kids might not think anything of it and that is perfect. It’s perfect because that means they didn’t have anything negative to compare it to. They were given the love a parent should give. They were treated the way a parent should treat their children. I taught my kids honesty, empathy and compassion. That’s not to say that they didn’t have rough moments along the way, they did. I took steps to help them and protect them as best I could. I certainly made mistakes along the way but I always learned from them, owned them and I apologized when I was wrong. I was the parent to my kids that my parents could not be to me and my siblings.

The whole world is suffering with this corona virus Covid19 epidemic and it’s a bit scary. This epidemic will make history. During these difficult times, I find myself wanting to call and check on my mother and hope she would want to check on me. Then it hits me that she is gone. It also hits me that she never called to check on me when she was here, why do I still hold onto hope that it would’ve been different or better? I can dream of a different set of parents all I want or I can be that parent to my kids, now grown but still loved more than the day before. So, I pull myself together and check in on them.

Life isn’t always the way we wish it would be. In fact, it’s almost never how any of us dreams of. But we have the choice to heal grow and get free. Free from our own poisonous thoughts, free from other’s thoughts/feelings about us and free to respond to life’s happenings in a way that nourishes our soul and spirit.

I have a choice, you have a choice. Find your options, talk it out, write it out, be open to opportunity and failure because with those comes growth.

I’m here for you. My heart is open, my mind is open and my ears are open. Come on in and sit a spell, share your thoughts, release your pain. You can email me any time, I’m quick to respond.

Be well. God bless.

Life

Feeling Anxious in the World Today; and Trying to Find Balance and Peacefulness

Everyone everywhere is aware of the Covid-19/Coronavirus outbreak that is pretty much world-wide. Each of us is handling it differently based on our job, our health, our contact with others and such. How I’m dealing with it at this very moment is in a sort of tangle.

I’ve always been a bit of a germophobe, clean hands, clean surfaces and a clean home has always been at the top of my list of importance; my kids, while fully grown now, would agree. If I made/make food for you, or for family you can bet that it met/meets all sanitary standards.

I’m a hairstylist and a personal health/lifestyle coach by trade. I have lots of one-on-one contact with my hair clients and mostly internet contact with my coaching clients. Coaching feels a whole lot safer lately than hair styling! I’m trying not to let that stop me from caring for my clients as expected but I am making calls beforehand to make sure they have not been sick; it’s not a guarantee but it makes me feel a little more confident with contact. I will be diligently washing hands, keeping as good a distance as possible and spending as little time as I can with each client. I will bring water with me as I read that sipping water will wash down any germs and stomach acids can kill them.

I find myself confused if to see my clients or postpone their appointments. Confused whether to go buy groceries or clean out the pantry and refrigerator/freezer for the next few weeks. I have put myself in a state of anxiety wondering what to do and I’m certain that I am not alone.

I don’t want to over-react but I also don’t want to under-react. I don’t want this moment in time to make you feel like you are prisoners in your homes. Make this urgent time of little human contact be a kind of respite for you. Become a little bit selfish. Find time to reconnect with your inner peace, your spirit, your own comfort and God. Take time to clean that which you have put off but also find time to read, write, meditate, nap, garden, walk alone, cook something special, be comfortable with being alone with just yourself and with your family.

What are your doing during this awful moment in history? What are your thoughts? Anxieties? What is your plan while hunkering down away from social activity? What do you want to get off your chest? How are you doing?

For a moment close your eyes, breathe deeply and let calm wash over you.

Life

Begin Again

In the silence of snowfall

Today is the 364th day of the year. I feels like it has been about that long since I have written to you, my faithful readers. I want you to know that I appreciate you and I promise to be more active in your life as you are in mine. I also appreciate your emails of caring and concern.

Twenty-nineteen started out pretty normal (normal is very different for each of us) for me. I set goals, dreamed of new opportunities, planned steps to reach emotional and physical wellness and I felt optimistic.

As winter faded and spring opened its wings I lost my uncle whom which I was quite close to. My heart ached for my cousins and for the rest of us as we learned to accept our loss. Several weeks following I lost a cousin and my heart broke a little more especially for his sister, nephew and brother. Add two months and my mother passed away. My schedule basically worked around helping her daily with various appointments, chores and general lifetime duties. Getting through cleaning up what is left behind becomes a full-time job as well as staying strong over emotions is. Fast forward two months and I learned that another cousin has passed away. Feeling overwhelmed with sadness over the devastation of this news and living far away from his family left me feeling helpless; I wanted to be there for them, to give a hug, lend an ear and just be caring and supportive. Move ahead a few more weeks and the news of a newer friend’s passing came through. The heartache his family has been suffering is heart-wrenching.

Dealing with everything involved when someone leaves this world is overwhelming and emotions are kicked aside until you find the time to deal with them. The loss of five people in five months has been emotionally exhausting. Now that Christmas has passed and a new year is hours away, my heart and head are fighting agreement. Life with my mother in the past 3 years has been a pretty constant duty. While it wasn’t easy, anyone who knew her understands, it was part of my daily life. Having that removed in a flash is jolting. I feel both sadness and relief. I’m working through it and I know I will be okay.

Something my mind has been doing to me is feeling that I could be next. So many losses so close together is quite overwhelming and not allowing yourself to show the sadness hurts more than it helps. I’ve recently been retreating from gatherings and other invitations so that I can process all that has happened in the past seven months. I’m allowing myself to exhale.

I plan to stay optimistic; I’ve always been a glass half full kind of girl. I plan to spread love, happiness and my optimism throughout 2020 and I invite you to tag along!

Again, I appreciate you so very much.

This post is dedicated to those I’ve lost this year: Michael Parent (uncle), Alan Hamel (cousin), Jacqueline Hamel (mom), Steven Black (cousin), and Michael Cunningham (friend). May you all rest peacefully and fly free.

Life

Be the Light in Someone’s Life

As I drift through the days the way we all do, I look for ways to inspire others. I live to help others find happiness and peace. I used to think it was my jog to make others happy but after many years of thinking that way and feeling I had failed somehow, I came to understand that other people’s happiness is not up to me, it’s up to them. 

We are all responsible for the way we think and the happiness we choose. Sometimes life throws us curve balls and interferes with our best thought plans and we feel depressed or angry and out of control. That’s because we are out of control. I’ve heard and read many times that man may plan his course but God plans his steps. (Prov. 16:9) If you don’t think so, just look at plans you made that didn’t work out and think of how in the end, many of those changes were for the better.

We can set intentions and make plans and follow through as closely as we possibly can but if they don’t work out they way you expected, don’t be angry; instead, see with an open mind and look for the good that can come of the new circumstance. There is a reason for everything and you can accept that better when you believe that there are other ways to get to your destination.

Inspiration for others comes in many shapes, sizes, intentions and emotions. Be open to what can be, be aware of what is and be thankful for what never was. Everything will be as it should be. Everything changes in the blink of an eye. Be calm, be love, be open and be true. 

Life

Shoe Style!

Shoes! We either love shoes or hate them or if you’re like me, your feelings about shoes fall somewhere between love and hate.

Sure, I love a nice pair of shoes but I have learned that in my shoes, comfort comes first. I learned long ago, while working in the salon, the importance of a good pair of comfortable shoes. If your shoes aren’t comfortable and balanced well for your body and foot type, you can end up with sore legs, back and feet and possible long-term leg, back and foot issues.

When was the last time you were actually fitted by a shoe salesperson instead of on your own quick pick at the local shoe store or sports shop? Yes, there are still educated shoe and foot people available to help you find your perfect fit for your personal style and there are so many options out there. Even if you don’t purchase anything the first time, at least you’ll have a better idea of what is good for you personally.

Treat yourself to a good pair of shoes or sneakers, your feet, legs and back will thank you!

“Failure is only achieved when you don’t try. Success is the result of every small step you take toward leaving worn out behaviors behind.”

Dawn Silva – Initiate Wellness
Life

Anxiety – Why We Get It & Tips to Let Go of It

Anxiety hits every one of us from time to time. There are many levels of anxiety and many causes of it. Anxiety or anxiousness can be happy and caused by excitement to do something, go somewhere, to meet someone and a number of other good things we look forward to. Other anxieties can be negatively caused by PTSD, the environment, illness, confrontation, stress about school, work, money, relationships, trauma, loss, side effects of medications or other substances and more. Whichever your anxiety, it’s a good idea to learn to handle it and/or get professional help.

Sometimes, you can make yourself physically sick if you’re overly-anxious. This is caused by your body releasing stress hormones. Different parts of the body release different hormones which help the organs to run efficiently and in stressful situations, those organs become ‘stressed’ causing us to feel stomach aches, diarrhea, headache, fatigue…etc.

Positive anxiousness is easier to manage and likely will come to an end soon; such as when you arrive to your destination, meet that person and any other happy moments that bring that anxious twinge of excitement.

When negative anxiety hits you and you feel out of control, it’s important to take steps to relieve it especially before the sick-feeling symptoms begin. Steps to try before anxiety hits hard include:

  • Slow down, breathe deeply and take inventory of what is real and what is just negative thoughts or negative self-talk. Remind yourself that XXX hasn’t actually happened and it might not even happen. This is a way of dealing with what is real and what is or isn’t possible; it’s better to deal with what is real that very moment.
  • Another way to calm anxious feelings is to determine if the issue is in your control or out of your control; if it’s out of your control, follow the steps in the first scenario described above. If it is in your control, take a deep breath in and exhale slowly then decide what your next step will be and then the second step after that until the issue is resolved. Remember, don’t hold tightly to what you cannot control, trust the process.
  • Take a time-out session, meditate, just sit quietly letting your thoughts come and go without overthinking them, listen to soothing music, drink warm tea, go for a walk – short or long walks help a lot! Any form of exercise helps release stress.
  • Surround yourself with positive and happy people, laugh often, talk with a friend (even if it’s not about what is stressing you).
  • Journal it – writing your thoughts, worries, wishes and feelings helps to release them privately
  • Try to have a positive attitude. Learn to ‘let go’ of negative thinking.
  • Eat healthy! The foods you choose to eat help your body run either efficiently or sluggish and ill. Choose whole, natural foods rather than pre-packaged, processed, sugary, salty, chemically treated (for shelf-life) foods.
  • Work with a therapist, counselor or coach depending on your level of anxiety and your personal needs.

Anxiety doesn’t have to be a way of life for you. You can learn how to adopt healthy behaviors and habits to let go of negative anxieties and to handle them in the future. Anxiety is normal from time to time but it should not be a regular visitor in your daily life. Now, take a deep breath in….let it go.

“Failure is only achieved when you don’t try. Success is the result of every small step you take toward leaving your worn out behaviors behind.”

Dawn Silva-Initiate Wellness
Life

Let Go, Slow Down, Reach Out

Plan for tomorrow but don’t lose today. Learn from yesterday but don’t lose today. We are so often caught up in our schedules that we forget to breathe in and be in today. If your days are full of have to be there or have to do this and you feel frazzled by things that happened or even didn’t happen yesterday, you miss what is happening right now.

Past experiences can hurt us but they also teach us. If you’re continuously on a slow simmer about what did happen or what might happen, you don’t see what is happening. If someone caused you harm in the past, it doesn’t affect them if you’re holding on to anger, fear, hurt and self-doubt; it only affects you, today – don’t miss out on your life.

At the same token, don’t be so busy planning or dreaming about tomorrow that you miss what is today because one day you’ll look back and find that so many years have passed in a whoosh. I talk to so many folks who don’t take a moment to just breathe and be in today. I realize that it is the norm for this day and age of hurry up. For many, myself included, we expect immediate gratification and if we don’t get it, we feel irritated, depressed, hurt or angry.

Make it a point, a plan, to step back each day and decompress. Take time to be in the moment and feel what the day has brought you. Take a moment to reach out to a friend or relative that you haven’t talked to instead of waiting for them to call you – you might make their day. Take time to appreciate what is instead of filling the moment with what was or what might be. Be here now, for yourself, for a friend, for a relative.

Breathe in the very moment. Exhale the anxiety and stress.

If you would like to have your very own personal coach to guide you away from habits you wish to swap for new and good habits, reach out to me and let’s get started!

Initiate Wellness