Tag Archives: Simply Notice

New Year – Same You?

goddessEverybody’s talking about New Years resolutions this time of year, but most of what I hear is about what to do (or not do) and less about how to establish and incorporate belief systems that drive our moment-to-moment choices and decisions.

I gave my grandson a butterfly kit for Christmas, and he just called to say that they had finally completed metamorphosis and are flying around ready to be set free! Ahhh, the power of transformation is fascinating!

The Zen Theory of Change is simply noticing! “I free myself not by trying to be free, but simply by noticing how I am imprisoning myself, in the very moment that I am imprisoning myself.”

There are so many ways to seek change, enlightenment, passion, and joy, and many different words to talk about the process.

My life (and work) revolves around growth and transformation; it is in this process that I feel most alive! Below are some suggestions that may inspire you as you continue your transformation journey:

Ask yourself the following questions

What do I want for my health and well-being?

How do I want to look and feel?

If I don’t take care of myself, how will my health be in three, five, or ten years?

After you’ve taken some time to create the vision for your future and are faced with a decision about a self-care issue, you need simply to ask yourself “Does this move me toward or away from my vision?”

Here are six areas to start with:

Self-Study

Knowing yourself helps you become aware of your long-term needs and allows you to access and make adjustments moment-to-moment.

Personally, I am so focused on living in the now. There’s enough of what I need in the moment to deal with whatever is in front of me. It’s kind of like my purse (I need a new one!). I keep the contents low, just what I’ll be needing to get me through the day. I don’t want it to become a burden weighing me down. But I have to stay on it;  it attracts all sorts of things throughout the day that have to be purged.

Integrity and Personal Boundaries

Integrity is simply “walking your talk” and establishing personal boundaries helps you maintain your integrity. Over time, if you sacrifice your values at the expense of your self-care and energy reserves, the scenario will end in depletion or burnout.

One of my favorite quotes is from Dag Hammarskjöld: “Never for the sake of peace and quiet deny your own experience or convictions.” I realize I can’t change anyone, but I can change how I act or react to them. There is so much peace and power in being responsible for myself and not giving anyone the power to control my thoughts or reactions.

Vital Practices

Three universal self-care components are integral parts of daily life: breathing, drinking water, and getting optimal nutrition. 

Seems like I trip up on all three every day, but I am most immediately in need of the constant reminder to breathe, consciously, fully, and with personal awareness. I love a little book called Taming Your Gremlin. Author Rick Carlson contends that every “choice” we make begins with a breath. An excerpt follows:

Step #1 Simply Notice: With each breath in and out we are experiencing a moment in time. It is in this moment that we need to be fully aware and present, because each moment is truly a present, a gift, it is what I like to call “God’s Eternal Now.”

Supportive Environment

“If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude.” Maya Angelou

From your home and work space’s physical environment to your friend groups, colleagues, and even family relationships, you have choices and indeed the responsibility to make each situation work for you. If you choose to stay in a challenging environment, you can create additional supportive relationships that can help you grow and learn in the very place you are planted.

Movement, Exercise and Rest

These three components offer you a way to energize and refuel your body. Movement and exercise improve mood, energy, and sleep. Our bodies run on a cycle of ultradian rhythms: multiple periods of  90-120 minutes throughout the day that our bodies move from higher and lower levels of alertness and energy. When our energy is waning, we feel  signs of  drowsiness, hunger or loss of focus. If we don’t take a rest or pause at this time, little by little the body’s energy is depleted. The key is noticing when you need a rest, and doing what you need to do to feel rejuvenated. 

Self-Care Team

Create a team of professionals to help. These professionals include but are not limited to the following: Physiologist, Accountant, Nutritionist, Personal Trainer, Chiropractor, Acupuncturist, Professional Mentor, Primary-care Physician, and of course, an Esthetician and Massage Therapist!

See you at the spa!

Linda “brow boss” Ruberto

Beauty On The Cheap! Part 2

PUT A SMILE ON YOUR FACE!

In Straighten Up!, Part 1 of Beauty On The Cheap we talked about posture and how standing and sitting up straight strengthens and beautifies.

In this post let’s talk about how smiling and laughing makes us more beautiful inside and out.

Growing up, I heard the words, “Put a smile on your face” often. Who can (or wants to) smile on command? So, when we talk about smiling in this piece, it’s not to conform to or please anyone else.  Yes, a smile looks beautiful to others, but wearing one cheers you up too!

In the beginning, you may have to practice if you’re not used to smiling much, just like getting into the habit of standing up straight. Tyra Banks coined a term called smizing: smiling with your eyes. At the same time you are smiling you need to recall a happy memory, or imagine a beautiful place – while doing so, your thoughts will actually illuminate your eyes.

Speaking of smiling and being happy, how about laughter? I have a funny story:

One time years ago, I was asked to do massage for “Wild Women’s Weekend”. I packed up my massage table and headed to a beautiful island in Minnesota for the weekend. What I encountered was a group of women engaging in riotous laughter the whole weekend from pretty much everyone – except me. I remember thinking; “I want that!”. The sad part is, I realized I didn’t laugh much – at least not so anyone could hear. My laughing muscle was emaciated  from all the years of disuse. Through Simply Noticing and not judging myself harshly, I began to cultivate a vision of becoming a laugher.

So when I got home I decided to begin “practicing” laughter. My family mocked and jeered me at first because my laughter was contrived – it was funny! But after spending a few weeks on choosing to laugh, it began to feel comfortable.

Am I perceived as a funny person today? Probably not, but I can laugh now – and I value joy above all because I know that when I am joyful I am fully present, thankful, breathing and living life to the fullest.

In order to really produce a beautiful and abiding smile, it needs to come from within. Sure, you can turn it on for an acquaintance or the camera – but that is momentary and looks superficial. What I’m talking about is a perpetual glow of peace, joy and contentment on your face that attracts others and makes you more beautiful.

So we must go deeper. Does a house look clean if you just tidy up and dust a few items? No, but if you deep clean with, as mom would say, “warm soapy water” you can feel the clean – it radiates because it is really clean through and through.

I guess what I’m talking about is “soul cleaning”. Take this little quiz and see what may be dulling your countenance and suppressing your smile. Give yourself 1 point for each yes answer:

  • Do you regularly let-go and forgive others when they offend you?
  • Have you wrestled with childhood issues that need clearing?
  • Do you make an effort not to gossip or hold grudges?
  • Do you keep jealousy and comparing yourself to others in check?
  • Do you consistently live according to your values?
  • Have you chosen friends that are good for you?
  • What about thankfulness? Are you thankful for something everyday?

How did you do? 7 is perfect, don’t worry if you’re not quite there – no one is!

And what about joy, happiness, passion and pleasure?

  • Do you have something you are really looking forward to in the next day or two, in the next week, month or year?
  • If there are relationships or situations in your life that are stressfully unresolved, are you taking action steps toward resolution?
  • Are there intimate friends in your life – and do you spend time nurturing these friendships?
  • Have you made your work part of your life, not just a job, and do you bring your best self to it?
  • Hugging others is one of the easiest ways to stay “in touch”. Do you have human touch in your life regularly, daily?
  • Do you have a “big picture” dream? Have you shared it with others?

Sometimes it’s good to reflect and take inventory. 6 is a perfect score, if there is an item or two that you had to really think about, you may want to jot it down to ponder later.

How well do you care for yourself?

  • Do you sleep enough?
  • Drink enough water?
  • Eat healthy most of the time?
  • Exercise regularly?
  • What are your spiritual practices? Do you spend time in prayer and meditation to renew this aspect of your being daily?

5 is perfect – don’t be too hard on yourself. It has taken me 55 years to develop healthy lifestyle habits, and I still fall short – often!

How about bad self-care habits?

  • Do you abstain from smoking and drinking or at least keep these vices to the bare minimum?
  • Do you make a conscious effort not to spend time feeling guilt, shame or regret?
  • Do you know what’s good for you, and do it most of the time?

3 is great, but maybe we should be scoring one another so there is no bias. 😉 We all justify our habits and choices, I know I do – but be honest with yourself, that’s the most important thing.

So raise your hand if you got a 21! Now do 10 “Hail Marys”.

Did you know smiling and laughing required so much work? Well, it doesn’t really – it is actually a state of grace, but living your life so that smiling and laughter are a natural habit will require some “inner house cleaning”, and of course homes don’t stay clean, you need to develop a regular habit of maintenance.

Above all, don’t wait for your circumstances to change to be happy. Happiness is a choice.

“When life gives you lemons, make lemonade!” And remember: “Faut souffrir pour être belle.” “One must suffer to be beautiful.”

See you at the spa!