Experience a Little Heaven on Earth

If you want to learn something, read about it. If you want to understand something, write about it. If you want to master something, teach it.”

~ Yogi Bhajan

Yep, that just about sums up the path I’m on with trust.  I began reading about trust (trust and faith really, their subtle differences, meanings, nuances) many years ago.  Shortly after, I started writing about it, but only for myself.  Then, over three years ago I started publicly writing about trust here on Trust Life Today, followed by teaching individuals first, then later groups.

As linear of an approach as it may sound — read, write, teach — what I’ve found is now that I’m at the teaching stage of trust, I continue to read and write about it.  I still study, contemplate, question, and even meditate on trust.  Although I’ve written posts about why people don’t trust, I constantly find it surprising when they don’t.  Until one day, in the midst of life, I find myself there too, not trusting.

And then I’m reminded — trust isn’t something I have mastered, it is a daily practice.  Trust is a practice I’ve chosen to embrace.  Why?  Because my breathing slows down to a calm, steady rhythm when I trust.  Because my hot female, Mexican, Taurus, Pitta dosha, Enneagram 8, Chinese symbol fire, who-knows-what-label, does not flare as quickly when I trust.  Because I get better sleep at night when I trust.

Because I show myself and the world the best of me.
Because I feel God within me.
Because I feel peace.

Because the peace that comes from trusting feels like a little slice of Heaven on Earth to me. 

And I want more peace in my life, more God in my life, more of my best-self to show up every day in my life, and definitely more Heaven on Earth in my life.  So I have cultivated a practice of trust, and I do just that, I practice.

And I screw up.

There are times I forget what it means to trust, and to have faith, and to love myself.  I simply forget.  I slip into old patterns and behaviors.

Then…after I’m done beating myself up over the screw up, when I’m finally able to be still and quiet within my heart and mind, I give thanks.

Unfortunately, I often allow my life to become so fast and frenetic, I rush to the next thing, then the next, never stopping to realize that the irksome feeling hovering over my head like a dark, Eeyore-cloud, is actually me continuing to beat myself up unconsciously.  It is not until I slow down enough to quiet my mind and tune into my heart that I see the screw up for what it is:  an opportunity to forgive myself, to learn from the experience, to practice self-compassion, perhaps even to provide comfort or to empathize with my neighbor who may share with me something similar as we both “coincidentally” meet at our mailboxes next week, month, or year.  Glance over the previous sentence, and you will find between each comma lies the reasons I give thanks for the quote-unquote-screw-up.

Heaven on EarthIn the giving of thanks, on an energetic level I feel restored, like my inner-balance-scale had been horribly askew, and now it has settled back to the middle, not tilting one way or the other.  In that horizontal plane of my inner-scale, my practice of trust begins again.  The experience of Heaven on Earth gently nudges me and I close my eyes and smile.

From where you’re sitting and reading today’s post, you may be thinking, Right on!  I can do this!  A daily practice of trust is totally within me!  Or, you may be thinking, Is she f-ing kidding me?  She has no idea what I’m going through and if she only had a clue, she would know trust is impossible, completely impossible.  Or maybe your pendulum is swinging back and forth between the two.  Wherever you are on your path, stop now and honor it.  It is your truth.  Own it.  Then ask yourself,  Why can’t I experience a little Heaven on Earth?  Close your eyes, smile, and know you can.  Even if you think you can’t, you can.

What’s Next

Join me next week, as I talk to the group in the second bucket above, the “it’s impossible to trust” bucket.  Tune in if this is you.  If it’s not you, chances are you know someone in this bucket; consider sharing this post with them in the hopes it will get their juices flowing and prepared for what’s to come.  I look forward to seeing you next week.

In love and trust,
Leslie

fall in love with life

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Refuel, Recharge, Relax

 

I, too, enjoy being alone very often.  With the kids home from school, summers are not my time for refueling.  I do the typical Mommy-thing — run kids from one camp to the next: golf, dodgeball, basketball, more golf.  This summer, I not only ran them to camps, I decided to teach at one.

While I’ve enjoyed these activities, especially sharing about Trust last week at Peace Village, I have to admit, I’m feeling a bit haggard.

Tomorrow I officially begin to refuel.

This is what refueling looks like to me:

  • spa time
  • enjoying the company of a wonderful girlfriend (we’re both celebrating something BIG — more on that later!)
  • being with nature
  • nose tucked in a book
  • sipping tea with milk (heavy cream to be exact)
  • without my laptop

Ouch!  You might think being without my laptop would be easy for me, Ms. Trust and Be and Feel-your-Feelings person that I am.  Well, my laptop is always close to me.  Always.  The decision to leave it at home, and specifically, to not write for my blog for a week, is pretty big stuff for me.

I spoke of Balance in my last post, and knowing exactly where I’m out of balance — it’s in my work.  See, my work is my writing, and my writing is my love, so I tend to have a difficult time knowing when to say when.  And it’s not just my writing, it’s also reading books that pertain to the topics I write about.  I constantly want to learn more, so I can share more, and keep the cycle going…. Because it’s what I love!

But even what we love needs balance.  Otherwise we’ll smother it, and in the process, damage what we love.

So I removed all of the Peace/Love/Forgiveness books from my suitcase, and replaced them with good ol’ fiction books I keep waiting to have the time to read.  Now I have the time.  (Actually, I always have the time, I just choose to focus elsewhere.)

I don’t plan on having a to-do list, but if I did, it might look something like this:

 

 

Yes, and maybe also:  Breathe.  Laugh.  Love life.

Whether you have five days for a major refueling session, the weekend, or a day, how do you refuel?  Is it time??

I’m off to get started on my non-existent to-do list.  See you next week!

Love, Leslie

 

Have I Been Able to Keep the Weight Off?

Introducing My Secret Sauce

A few months ago I tried a weight loss program and lost the remaining weight my breast surgeon had encouraged me to lose.  (I had packed on a few pounds post mastectomy, and it was time to shed them.)  After completing the HCG Diet, I wrote a post entitled, “How I Lost My Last 14 Pounds.”  In it, I shared with you:

and most importantly (so you told me)….

I provided a day by day reading of my bathroom scale so you could follow along and get a feel for my results.

It’s safe to say, it was a full disclosure type of article.

I received a lot of mail after that post.  By far, the number one comment/question was this:

“Anyone can lose weight only eating 500 calories per day.  As soon as you go back to your normal eating habits, won’t you regain it all?”

[Btw, the HCG drops completely took away my hunger, so only eating 500 calories per day was not a problem for me.]

I’ve been waiting to write a follow up, knowing that I’d need some time to pass so that I could 1) resume my normal eating habits and 2) continue to monitor the scale.

Seven weeks have now passed since I finished the program, entering what the book refers to as the Maintenance Phase, which is basically how you choose to eat going forward.  That means seven weeks that I have NOT been following any part of the program  — simply eating what I’d like, and weighing myself daily to keep an eye on my weight.  [I really don’t want a two pound gain to turn into a four pound gain, then six, then before you know it, I’m back at a 14 pound gain.]

During these seven weeks I took a pretty swanky vacation (food-wise) to New York City, where there was no scale in my hotel room.  I also recently spent one week in New Mexico, with relatively little control over what I was served (I was a guest, staying in someone’s home).  I arrived home yesterday, weighing myself for the first time, today.

Despite the New York vacation, the New Mexico trip (where I also didn’t weigh myself), and going back to eating things like pizza, potato chips, and desserts, I’ve lost an additional two pounds, making my grand total 16 pounds lost.

And I can assure you I’m eating way more than 500 calories per day.  Oh, and I haven’t exercised in probably two months — my routine is horribly off right now — crazy, hectic summer.

So you wonder, will this program work for you?

As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, this plan is extremely detailed.  It’s simple, but you must follow it closely.

If the HCG Diet does work for you, will you be able to keep the weight off?

Here are my two cents….

After completing the diet, my cravings had completely disappeared, which was a huge score.  My body felt as if it had been through a cleanse.  All of the vegetables I had been eating, along with the lean meat and especially eliminating sugar during the Transition Phase helped “re-set” my palate.

Cravings aside, palate back-on-track aside, the main reason I believe I’ve been able to maintain is this:

I have found Balance.

Balance in the way we eat is key in maintaining a healthy weight.

Balance is the Secret Sauce.

Balance with food.
Balance in relationships.
Balance in how we spend our time.

Balance.

Look at your life.  Where are you out of balance?  Are you overweight?  Are you in constant break-up mode?  Do you spend all of your time at work?

Posing these questions to you has forced me to look inward and ask the same questions of myself.

I immediately see where I’m out of balance.  Do you?  I‘m not being cheeky here.  Seriously, do you?

Just so you know, I knew what my out of balance area was before I asked the question, but I was choosing to ignore it… kinda sweeping it under the rug.  But, now that I’ve brought it to the surface, it’s time to address it.

So, to answer the question in today’s title:  “Have I Been Able to Keep the Weight Off?”  Yes.  And I have to be honest, it feels really good.

But I’d like to apply this Secret Sauce to the broader picture:  My Life.

How do we do that?

Head on.  Onward!  I’m off to reclaim my balance… join me?

 

If you enjoyed this post, please tweet or share on Facebook.  Help spread the much needed message of Balance. 

Love, Leslie

 

Goofy-Juice or Confidence?

No parent looks forward to their child going into surgery.  True, the surgery may be necessary and you may feel in your heart that it’s the right thing to do for your child, but the pure act of going into surgery is a bit unnerving.

Each time my son has been wheeled away on the hospital bed, I’ve stood and watched his head grow smaller and smaller as he leaves my side, being carted down the hallway, until finally they turn a corner, out of sight.  Last week was no different.

It begins the same every time.  Doctor’s appointments, followed by more appointments, more assessing, until finally I hear these words, “Mr. and Mrs. Green, at this point, surgery is the best option for your son.”  Then comes the pre-op appointment, followed by the call from the anesthesiologist the night before surgery to review his medical history and details regarding any adverse reaction he’s had to general anesthesia.

This time we had a slight variation.

The anesthesiologist said that based on my son’s age, he could now make some decisions.

Really?  What sorts of decisions?

She asked me to discuss two things with him ahead of time:

1)  Would he prefer the IV started while he’s awake or after he is put to sleep with the mask?  (Mask — no brainer.  I know my kid.  I asked anyway.)

2)  Would he like some ‘goofy-juice’ before he goes into surgery to ease any anxiety he may be feeling?

(Goofy-juice is this nasty looking liquid they offer him after he has his gown on, but before they wheel him away.  It’s supposed to calm his nerves.)

Hmm….  This one was not a no brainer.  See, I’ve observed my son over the years and I’ve noticed that with each surgery his level of anxiety beforehand has increased.  To my surprise, before his last surgery, he had opted for the goofy-juice for the first time.  Maybe he’d want it again.

So I asked.

And he silently thought.

After about a minute, he looked up at me and said:

“I don’t know, Mom.  Have them ask me tomorrow morning when we get there.  I’ll decide then if I’ll go with goofy-juice or confidence.”

Well, okay then.

As he ran off to take one final dip in the pool, (before it became off limits), I thought, Wow.  Goofy-Juice or Confidence.  I had asked him a question:  Do you want the stuff or not, never mentioning the word confidence, never alluding to there being additional options to consider; it was a simple Yes/No question in my mind.  Yet he automatically created two buckets.  He had, in essence, acknowledged the option of ‘No Goofy-Juice’ by assigning it the label: Confidence.  (Pretty cool.)

So, I have to ask you, TLT readers, when it comes to goofy-juice:

What Is Your Goofy-Juice?

When you’re faced with a stressful situation, or you feel your anxiety begin to rise, what method/thing do you use to take the edge off?  It can be anything that helps to relax your mind, your body, your-Self.

After some self reflection on this question, I asked a few people what their goofy-juice is.  Here are some of the responses I received:

  • wine
  • watching TV
  • shopping
  • eating
  • sex
  • yoga
  • reading a book
  • meditating
  • calling a friend on the phone
  • watching a comedy
  • taking a shower
  • going for a run/working out
  • walking the dog

That’s quite a list.  And I only asked a few people.

Look over the list again.  Try not to slot anything into a ‘Good’ or ‘Bad’ column.

(Because as a TLT reader, you already know it’s not about good or bad; Life has everything to do with Balance.)

As long as that balance exists, couldn’t each and every one of the items on the list serve you well (provided you’re not running with a broken ankle or something like that)?

It’s when we drink the entire bottle of wine, then the second….  It’s when we turn the TV on and stare at it for hours, while mindlessly grazing on a bag of Ruffles (oh yes, we definitely mix and match from our list)….

It’s when we do anything to the extent that we numb ourselves.

And it’s also when we don’t see things like Confidence as an option.  We ignore such things as Confidence and Courage all together.

Maybe because Confidence and Courage aren’t things we do, they’re characteristics we possess.

Does that mean we can’t add them to our list?  Of course not!

Here’s an assignment:

Create your own list.  Use the one above as a springboard.  Add, subtract, making sure to include traits you possess, as well as things you do.

Now, with list in hand, become aware of what your goofy-juice of choice is.

Then ask yourself:  Does it serve me well?

If you respond: Yes.

  • Then: Great!  Keep it up, Brother!  Keep it up, Sister!!

If you respond: Well, it kinda serves me well.

  • Then: Ask yourself, “What can I switch around?”
  • Maybe add more opportunities to laugh in your life.
  • Maybe take away talking to friend after friend about what’s bothering you.  Focus on one friend.  Someone who’s a straight shooter and speaks your language.
  • Tweak away!

If you respond: No.

  • Then: Know that your goofy-juice of choice is probably lacking any juice at all, it may be all poison.
  • But don’t worry —  Now you’re aware of it. 
  • And once you’re aware, you can do something about it!  That’s gotta feel good, knowing you can do something about it.

At this point, your list becomes a very inviting menu you can choose from.  And because you’ve done this exercise, you’ll know what to order as soon as you feel any anxiety begin to present itself.

And because I know you’ll wonder if I don’t mention it, I’ll go ahead and tell you that my son chose confidence over the goofy-juice.  But I hope he only chose it if that’s what he personally needed that day, at that time in his life.

 

Know yourself.  Know your needs.  And love yourself enough to make the right choices for you.

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Love, Leslie