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
Life

Pocketful of Wishes

white oxeye daisy in person s pocketWhen was the last time you tried something new? I’m not talking about a new food or new movie or even a new diet or exercise routine. When was the last time you did something that you have always wanted to do? What is something you’d love to try but you just keep putting it off for when the time is right? Yeah, me neither.

While you go through the motions of doing what needs to be done, doing what’s expected of you and meeting everyone else’s needs, your needs and desires are pushed further and further into the pockets of time. The thing is, the time is now; now is what you have.

Think of something you have wanted to do that isn’t related to a particular diet or way of eating nor be it related to exercising ‘xyz’ days a week. Remember that one or two things you thought about so long ago, or maybe not so long ago, that you have been saying when I’m done what I have to do daily right now, I want to try this other thing out? Write it down! Make it your goal. Decide on a date and time you want to have it done by and focus your effort and daily doings on reaching that destination one day at a time. Maybe it will take a week, a month, a year or several years to be in a place that you have completely reached that dream thing; that’s perfectly okay, as long as you’re working toward something for yourself.

Life is never guaranteed from day-to-day and it never waits until you’re ready so be ready now. Be the person who can say, “I did it, I wanted to do this for so long and I did”.

I agree that it’s not easy for many of us to think of ourselves but it is an important part of growth, self-nurturing and stress relief. As I often say, self-care is not selfish. When you meet your personal goals, you can help others with a much more grateful heart and mind and a freer sense of being there for others.

Start today, think about your next big goal, write it down, find a photo of it and always keep it in the front of your mind – at the top of your pocketful of wishes.

 

Life

Getting to the Good Part

goodstuffSometimes I find myself wishing the week(s) away just to get to the good part of my life. By doing this, I’m in fact wishing my life away; and if I do that, there will be no so-called good part.

Every week brings some sort of discomfort for every one of us. We think about an appointment, or a meeting, a conference, inventory or evaluation at work, a family thing, a delivery, a chore of some kind, whatever your thing to do is; the list is endless and we look forward to it being over and done with.

When we wish for the dreaded parts to be over and wait for the good stuff, we are robbing ourselves of time, joy and being in the moment from our lives. What if the good part is now? What if we are missing out on the good stuff because our focus is on the dreaded chores of life itself?

It’s up to us individually to determine what needs our energy and attention. It’s up to us to set guidelines and boundaries for ourselves and how others treat us. It’s up to me, and you, to make the good stuff happen now. Life is unpredictable and for too many, life is short.

Take time to reflect on how you use your time. Take time to notice how you treat each day, each week and each difficult circumstance and try to turn it into a good experience, a positive life lesson.

Don’t wish time away to get to the good stuff; good stuff on earth is not promised and the good stuff could be happening right now; it’s all in how you view it.

Be positive, be happy and be free from dread.