Archive for Self Care

Are you a “worn out woman?”

More and more women are suffering from adrenal fatigue, fibromyalgia or even chronic fatigue syndrome. But God did not create us to live life exhausted!

There actually is a syndrome now called Worn Out Woman.  You can read more about it and take the quiz in an excellent  book of the same name by Alice Gray.

The causes of this syndrome are many, but stress does play a major role. As we are all acutely aware,  modern day stressors  include bad habits, negative thinking and toxic people.  We may be aware of the problems, but not know how to fix them.  When evaluating if you are a worn out woman, it is important to think about how you got there in the first place.  Things to consider are your basic temperament, the people in your life and what happened to you in your past.

Among the things we can control are lifestyle habits such as poor nutrition, poor sleep hygiene, lack of exercise, as well as our thoughts, messages and decisions we make.  The bible says, “Be careful how you think. Your life is shaped by your thoughts.” Proverbs 4:23.

We may not always be able to control the people in our life, but we can improve and enhance our people skills.  Everyone can learn better boundaries and communication.

But maybe you know all these things but are too tired to put solutions in place. This could be the case for several reasons.  Maybe your thyroid is low, your vitamin D is deficient or your neurotransmitters are off. Are you suffering from depression?

Whatever the case, we don’t have to settle for a life of fatigue. The most important thing to realize is that there are solutions. God has a better plan for you – a plan for abundant health.

If you are a Worn Out Woman or you know one (and we all do), come gather with other women as Stephanie Ellis Ecke, also known as The Trauma Queen, and myself present an experiential  workshop “From Worn Out to Well: Women’s Wellness Connection”, on April 13 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. at Summit Christian Center. We’ll learn, have some fun and leave more refreshed!

Recovery — Sometimes Swift, Sometimes Slow

Yikes, I broke two bones in my leg when I “took a tumble” (thanks, Jan) walking on Saturday. I had surgery two days ago. I feel like I am back at the beginning of my addiction recovery in some ways….back remembering the basics….taking it one day at a time.

So I thought I’d blog my way through. Maybe I can share some tips that are helping me make it through and you can share any ideas you might have too?
So for now, what’s working?

TIP #1) Don’t over do it…..Accept where I am and surrender to the processs. I can remember in the early days of my addiction recovery I was in so much (emotional) pain I was in a hurry to get it over with. I thought I could be done once and for all and out of pain…but you really cannot push the river in recovery and…..the same goes for the human body. Although amazing in its capacity to heal, it does have it’s own timing.

TIP # 2) Trust in my Higher Power….When I first began on my journey to transformation, I really didn’t know my Higher Power. Today, (although admittedly I still have much to learn, I do know a few things…(in large part thanks to Sandy Ross and many life experiences) I know God is good. I know God loves me personally. I know God has a good plan for my life. I know I can trust Him and his will. I know He makes all things work together for the good. And He can and will provide me comfort and solace.

TIP # 3) Ask for help. I tried to do everything by myself when I was a newbie. I used to think it was shameful to need help and a sign of weakness. Now I know that it’s human and healthy to need help. Ok…here’s where I need help! CRUTCHES SUCK…any tips out there?

TIP # 4: God will provide all my needs if I let Him….I really believe I am so afraid that God won’t meet my needs that I can block the flow by getting in there and trying to fill His role myself….Today (Im almost embarassed to admit how many blessings I received.) Hubby fixed breakfast, a friend dropped by for a visit and got me out for a yogurt, another friend came over and brought lunch and watched a movie with me and the kids came over to see if I needed anything. Now in the old days I might would have missed it with my “Never enough” attitude….:(

TIP # 5: Which brings me to the next tip Im trying to re-remember over and over again…Practicing gratitude is a daily discipline – definitely not a feeling. Practicing gratitude is a habit which increases my joy…

TIP # 6: Feel my feelings. It’s important in taking care of myself to identify my feelings and express them in a healthy manner if possible. In program circles they used to say “Trace it, face it and erase it.” and “you can’t heal what you can’t feel”…This helped me learn the value of my feelings.

Later I have had to learn that although important, feelings don’t get to run the show. “The mind controlled by the spirit is life and peace.” Romans 8:6

Self-Care Through Creating Joy

We may think that joy is elusive, that we just have to wait until happiness comes to us. Happiness and joy are not the same things though. Happiness does seem transient, based on circumstances. But we can make a choice to create joy in our lives. With just a few simple actions, we can prime our pumps for more joy in our lives.

  1. Journal regularly.  Writing your thoughts and feelings puts things in perspective, serves as an objective sounding board and can create a more positive mood.
  2. Speak encouraging words to yourself.  It is a proven fact that positive affirmations have the power to create a positive outlook. Write your own, claim bible verses… catch yourself when you are saying something negative and change it to a positive truth.
  3. Do it differently!  Whether it is changing the way you drive to work, taking a new class, or trying an exotic dish for the first time, changing your routine is a great way to add more zest to your life.
  4. Express gratitude.  Information abounds on the positive effects of practicing gratitude. Make a gratitutde list, tell someone you appreciate them or write a thank you note. Find ways to express your thankfulness for the positive things in your life. You will be amazed at how it will lift your mood.5.  Use your senses to enhance joy.  Smell the roses, eat your favorite food, feel the grass under your feet, listen to a beautiful symphony. Your senses were meant to give you pleasure and pleasure increases joy.

What are some ways you produce joy in your life?

Beauty – part 2

I have continued my pondering on what beauty really means…

A very interesting definition of the word was found in dictionary.com  It said: “the quality present in a thing or person that gives intense pleasure or deep satisfaction to the mind, whether arising from sensory manifestations (as shape, color, sound, etc.), a meaningful design or pattern, or something else (as a personality in which high spiritual qualities are manifest).”

Wow!!

The important words in this definition are: pleasure, satisfaction, mind, sensory, meaningful, and spiritual… these are the qualities that must be present for us to find BEAUTY…..

As we began contemplating these ideas, my friend Charlotte Jorgansen, Black Belt Nia Instructor and I developed some concepts for a workshop to help you find the Beauty Within… I am hoping she will be a guest writer in the next post….Stay tuned to hear from her and to get more info on our upcoming workshops!

What is your idea of beauty? How do you attain it? When do you feel most beautiful? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Becoming Spiritually Beautiful

I have a confession to make: I had botox. Of course, what I found out
is that for the best results, I should have started about 20 years ago!

The night after I had it done, and after I read a long list of potentially harmful side effects, I was lamenting to my husband. How could I, “Miss Organic Natural”…so cavalierly done this. Now I had botulism coursing through my veins…..Scary thought. What had possessed me?

On thinking back, I reflected that my husband and I were going on a vacation of a lifetime with a dear couple whom we hadn’t seen in awhile. I wanted to look my best. Makes sense…..but there was something deeper.

As I did some soul-searching, I asked myself: Was it that I deep down inside do not feel good enough, thin enough, young enough or pretty enough….Sadly, apparently, I do not feel like I am “enough”, particularly as I age.

Granted our culture is a culture of youth and beauty, and the media’s idea of beauty is in our face constantly…. but that’s society’s perception. I decided I had to learn more about what my definition of beauty really is.

As luck would have it, I spotted a copy of a little book – believe it or not at the
grocery store. The title? “Becoming Spiritually Beautiful: Seeing Yourself From God’s Perspective”.

In this precious book, the author Sharon Jaynes tells us how to experience a “faith lift”…There is one pivotal point in becoming spiritually beautiful: We must spend time with the Beauty Artist – God….Ms Jaynes states: “Being a reflection of His glory is a direct result of spending time in His presence embraced in His love and enveloped in His grace.’

She poses the question: Have you ever noticed how couples after being together a long time begin to look alike? The same is true with God….I will begin to resemble Him the more time I spend with Him. That’s an exciting thought…doesn’t cost any money and there are no terrible side  effects. I think that’s the beauty treatment I really need. I certainly don’t fault anyone for doing whatever they can and want to do to make themselves feel better about themselves….But I have made a big decision: to go to the Author of all Beauty for my worth…

What do you think? Can 2 Corinthians 3:18 really become real if we spend time
looking in His mirror. “We who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into His likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit”

I’m gonna try it!

To find out more about Stephanie, visit her website www.thetraumaqueen.com
or to schedule an appointment, call her at 210-287-4002.