Posted in Lifestyle

How I Gave Up Good For Great

“To be given the gift of life is extraordinary and the best thing we can do is live it as fabulously as we can.” -Alex Kingston

Most people will never actually experience true success. Why? Because they are unwilling to actually take over the position of CEO of their life. They allow others to control what happens and what doesn’t happen in their lives.

Why are so many of us unwilling to take risks, to fail in public, and to have to start over after falling down? Some are just not willing to give up what is good for something GREAT! Let’s just say, some just cannot see giving up their “normal” life.

Giving up your “normal” life is not gonna be easy or painless, if you choose to. If we are looking to have an extraordinary life, we are gonna have to trade in what we are comfortable with. The journey of growing up…evolving…succeeding is more than likely going to be painful at some point.

The more we evolve into better versions of ourselves, the more comforts we may have to give up. We are going to look at our lives and reconsider the company we keep, the food we eat, how we spend our time and the things and people that we entertain. Giving up some of these things may sting us a little but in the long run, they won’t be missed because you will be too busy enjoying the fruits of your hard work and sacrifice. Most people just are not willing to give up those things for something better. It takes work; everyone is not there for it.

I took the Financial Peace class that Dave Ramsey has out not too long ago and his quote I can still hear in my head, ” Live like no one else, so later you can live like no one else.” This is a process but can be done. It is not easy but I have no regrets so far. I have had to start my financial freedom journey over many times but I am getting closer and closer to getting it right.

In order for any of us to be on the path to living an extraordinary life, we have to admit to our faults and what we need to give up. I had to finally admit some years ago that I did not have all of the tools I needed in order to “fix” the things in my life that needed to be fixed nor did I have the strength to leave places and people that were no good for my growth. I made the choice to go get counseling and it helped sooooo much! Over the past few years, I have been going through some tough emotional recovery from my past. There was a lot of emotional baggage that I was carrying around and I was making decisions in my present life based off of those hurts…a huge downward spiral! If I can be real with you now, my past was full of broken relationships, shame, guilt, and self-loathing and I did a good job covering it up with smiles and kindness toward everyone but myself. Going to counseling was one of the hardest struggles for me but it was one of my greatest decisions. I do still struggle , of course, but I can live an extraordinary life because I have dealt with my mess and stop letting it call the shots in my life.

I realized that if I wanted to live an extraordinary live, I would have to confront and resolve all of the things that kept me from doing it. We all have things that have happened in our past that may keep us from living our best life. Some of us deal with those things right away, others rather throw a blanket or band-aid over them and keep moving. That’s a sign of a “normal” life.

” Good is the enemy of great. And that is one of the key reasons why we have so little that become great. Few people attain great lives, in large part because it is just so easy to settle for a good life.” – Jim Collins.

You have to give up something in order to accomplish something else. If we want that extraordinary life, we have to look at what we need to give up in the short-term in order to have the life we dream of. It may mean giving up your favorite foods, seeing certain people in your life less, leaving a job, declining an opportunity, or even letting go of watching porn to connect with people. Who knows? You know!

All great opportunities costs us “good” ones.

We can’t have a normal life and an extraordinary one at the same time. You can’t have both; you have to choose.

3 things that I think most of us have to give up to have an extraordinary life.

  1. Security and Certainty. We all love our safety nets and the security we feel when we are living our normal life. We love our steady paycheck, the unhappiness of that 10 year relationship, that 9-5…. We don’t have to live this way forever though. If we give up the mundane things, not saying life will be perfect, but you will have more control over your life and actions, especially at the costs of having others calling the shots in your life. Take a risk and start writing that book or blog, start that business, go on a date with him/her…go on an adventure.
  2. Fear of Judgement. It is funny how if you post, ” I got the job” as your Facebook status, you will get lots of likes. If you post, ” I finally started my own business.” you will not get nearly as much engagement. Why is that? Most people are afraid to see someone achieve the dreams that they never did. You may be doing something they have only talked or dreamed about but never made a move. When they do not support you, they are more than likely protecting themselves from acknowledging that failure. They may not understand why you chose to leave the comfort and safety of your normal life… to live in an inconsistent, wild, frightening life full of uncertainty…and freedom. They will judge you, criticize and condemn you…you have to ignore them and keep reaching! Separating ourselves from the herd can be scary but we have to believe that we can do what we say we can.
  3. Someone else’s definition of success. Everyone’s definition of success is not the same. To most people, it has a lot to do with lots of money, fame, and possessions. There are many of people who have all of those things and more and still have empty and miserable lives. We see it all of the time when a celebrity is lost to drugs and suicide. No one can define your success but you. You will never reach your success if you allow others to define it. Define your own success and achieve it.

So really it is up to us to figure out what we need to sacrifice in order to have an extraordinary life. There is no concrete way for things to happen. The only thing we do know is that we have to make room for extraordinary. That means we have to let go of “okay”, “good” and comfortable.

Our relationships, finances, health, passions and our purpose being elevated all depend on us and what we make room for. The cost is gonna be great (as in big) but it will certainly be worth it….

Posted in Lifestyle

I Stopped Chasing Perfection

perfectionI think have spent most of my adult life chasing a certain number in my bank account, a certain number on the scale…friends…careers…you know where I am going. I wanted everything that made me look like I had it all together. I know that I am not the only one.

SO….what “perfect” thing have you been chasing after?perfection2

  • the perfect person
  • the perfect body
  • the perfect career
  • the perfect love as only seen in movies
  •  other people’s approval
  • perfect physical successes such as money and thing

???? Have you gone crazy yet trying????

I QUIT!!! I really stopped chasing after the perfect versions of what I want in this life.  Now, I am not saying that wanting perfect, or more/better is wrong…actually, it is great! I am just not going to obsess about it.

What we see on television, social media, magazines, and in our environment and call perfection are not definite things. There will always be better, more, or more perfect versions of those things somewhere. When we are chasing that certain something, we are never going to be satisfied or feel accomplished or successful or whatever emotion you feel after you have it because it will not be enough once you have it. Perfection is just perfection1not attainable!  Only God is perfect…so I QUIT! I have taken off my shoes because I know that if I am chasing perfection, I will always be chasing perfection and that is no way to live your life.

I am, however going after what I want in this life. I have set my vision…even have a vision board! I am just not putting finish lines in my path that says, “this will be perfect” once I have it.

Nothing is perfect. There are no perfect people, jobs, no perfect time, body…and happiness won’t feel perfect and doesn’t last forever.

That should not make you sad…I am actually happy about that. My life now is about embracing the fact that my life is not and will not be perfect and that’s ok. I am embracing every bump, bruise, and dimple that makes me, me. Life is about falling in love with another imperfect person, embracing your imperfect self and heading into the sunshine and the storms together, not knowing how it will end and knowing that you will not be alone in it.

We live in an imperfect world and there are going to be many curves in the road along this journey.  Now that I have stopped chasing perfection and have opened my mind to my beautiful imperfect self, things are starting to just feel right. I live in my present and accept and embrace it for what it is…mine.

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If you stop chasing this “perfect” person, someone will come into your life who is probably the total opposite of what you were looking for, but they are everything your soul needs.

If you stop chasing acceptance from everyone, you will have time to get to know you and fall in love with and clap for yourself.

If you stop chasing that “perfect” person’s body, you will have time to pursue your best health and be able to celebrate your growth and life change.

If you stop chasing money… you will discover that success can be found in places that you never even thought of.

In my quiet time, I learned more about myself and quieted my soul so that I could find out what I really needed. When I stopped chasing perfection, I found out what my soul needed. Amazing things happened when I stopped…and it is not easy. Now I appreciate what I do have, and I can truly say that I am happy.

perfection3We should not wait until our lives are perfect before we fall in love with living…that is never going to happen! We should love the gift of life in spite of the flaws that it shall bring because we know it will not be perfect. We need to live in spite of a life that is far from perfect. We should live boldly and maybe even a little wild with a hunger for our deepest desires.

It is what life is all about right?!

Posted in Lifestyle

Vitamin K- The Forgotten

Vitamin K is a group of compounds. There is K1 which is found in plants. K2 is synthesized in our intestinal tract and present in animal products and fermented food.

Vitamin K has a reputation for promoting blood clotting. It also contributes to strong bones and heart, lowering cancer risks, and protects against diabetes and internal bleeding. The body needs fat to properly absorb it. Vitamin K is stored in the liver and fat cells.

Dr. Cee Vermeer, a Vitamin K researcher, believes most people have a vitamin K deficiency. We may get consume enough to maintain clotting but most of us do not get enough to protect us from other health issues. National research says that only 25% of Americans receive the average requirement of 90-120 mcg of vitamin K.

Being deficient in the vitamin can have some far-reaching effects such as varicose veins, cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, tooth decay, pneumonia and some cancers… lung, prostate, and liver and leukemia.

Vitamin K transports calcium through the body regulating clotting and plays a major role in platelet aggregation. It also promotes blood circulation in peripheral bodies and tissue. Vitamin K is also important when it comes to brain development and works in the nervous system by enabling metabolism of fats in brain cells. It also is said to stall degenerative disorders such as Alzheimer’s by enhancing your memory.

Chronic kidney disease is linked to Vitamin K as well. Low levels appear to play into the development of accumulation of calcium in small blood vessels of skin and fat tissue, to include kidney tissue.

Vitamin K has a low toxicity potential. People with blood disorders and pregnant women need to be careful in their consumption of the vitamin in food and supplement form. If you have a history of heart disease or stroke, you should consult your doctor before changing your vitamin intake.

Vitamin K plays a major role in overall health. Foods high in Vitamin K keep the blood healthy and the bones strong.

Here are some foods rich in vitamin K….

Kale and leafy greens

Natto (Japanese food made with fermented soybeans)

Brussel sprouts

Broccoli

Cabbage

Scallions

Prunes

Fermented dairy products

Asparagus

Fresh and dried basil

Soybeans

Cucumber

Extra virgin olive oil

Our body works hard to take care of us. We should do what we can to give it what it needs to do the work efficiently. I have been mean to my body but the more I learn, the more I want to do better. I thank my God and my body every morning for working hard to keep me alive to get one step closer to being who I am meant to be. Now I have to do my part to show my appreciation…..

Posted in Lifestyle

Sipping Tea: The Benefits of Chamomile

chamomileSo I am a lover of tea. I used to drink a lot of sweet tea but now I am strictly hot teas and I do not sweeten them so I try a lot of different flavors to get my mind off of wanting to sweeten them.

So chamomile is made using dried chamomile flowers. It is an herbal tea and most herbal teas are not safe for everyone. The potency of the tea does matter when it comes to chamomile. You have to brew it according to directions because if you are vulnerable to the tea, you could endure some side effects.  I would start with the tea bags and use them as directed and work your way up.

Chamomile is one of my favorites. It has been used for a lot of different health concerns. chamomile1Researchers have even started looking into it helping to manage cancer and diabetes and so far it has been showing some good signs. Thankfully for most of us, chamomile is safe to use as a supplement to other treatments but I would not try to replace my current medical treatments, especially if my illness is a serious one.

So what are the benefits?

  • Reduces menstrual pain. There have been studies that link the tea to reduced cramps. The study found that after drinking the tea for a month, women in the study reported less anxiety and distress that is associated with period pain.
  • Lowering Blood Sugar. Researchers have found that chamomile is not a viable substitute for diabetes meds but it has been found to lower blood sugar and can be used as a supplement.
  • chamomile2Slowing or preventing osteoporosis. The loss of bone density increases our risk for broken bones and posture issues and anyone can get it! It is more common in post-menopausal women due to the effects of estrogen. Chamomile tea may have an anti-estrogenic effect and also helps promote bone density.
  • Reduces Inflammation. Chamomile has chemical compounds that may reduce inflammation. As I am getting older, this has become an issue for me. I usually look to Tumeric because of its anti-inflammatory properties but this possible benefit is a plus.
  • Helping you sleep better and/or relax. In studies, there were patients that fell asleep shortly after consuming the tea, which also suggests that it does help to relax people. Many researchers believe that chamomile behaves like the medication, benzodiazepine, which is a drug that is used to reduce anxiety and induce sleep.
  • Treating a Cold. Anecdotal evidence and a few studies have shown that inhaling the steam from the chamomile tea can relieve some of the symptoms of the common cold. This has not been proven yet.
  • Treating mild skin conditions. A 1987 study found that applying chamomile extract directly to a wound can assist with wound healing. If you can find an ointment with chamomile in it, it may help with your eczema and mild inflammatory skin chamomile4conditions but it is not as good as hydrocortisone cream.
  • May promote digestive health. A few studies have shown that chamomile is helpful in preventing stomach ulcers because it may reduce the acid in the stomach and prohibit bacteria growth that contributes to ulcers. Because of its anti-inflammatory properties, it protects against diarrhea, nausea, and gas as well.
  • May improve heart health. The flavones have the potential to lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels, which are important markers for heart disease risk.

Other benefits are improving skin health, relieves anxiety and depression, and boosting immune health.

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Who should not consume chamomile tea?

  • People with a history of severe allergies, especially pollen. Chamomile may have pollen and other plant contamination so be careful.
  • People who have had a previous allergic reaction to chamomile, of course.
  • Infants and young children. It is similar to honey where it may be contaminated with botulism spores. Healthy adults can fight the infection but infants may not be able to.

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So, if you decide to try chamomile tea to treat an illness or condition, it should be used as a supplement to any medical treatments you are currently doing. It is definitely possible to see ongoing health improvements with regular doses, like 1-2 cups per day. Chamomile tea is a healthy drink that is rich in some powerful antioxidants that have varying health benefits. 

Try some today!

 

Posted in Lifestyle

Honey–Beauty Tips

honeySo in this ever-growing and changing beauty world, there are some old tricks that will never die. I use honey for a lot of things, especially in addition to my regular beauty regimen when my body needs some extra loving. Raw honey has anti-microbial, antiseptic, and anti-bacterial properties. It also speeds up the healing process and prevents infection. So here are some uses for honey to add to your nighttime routine for a healthier, more beautiful you…honey3

  • Winter is coming and that means our lips are going to need a little extra attention. For dry lips, I exfoliate with a thin layer of honey and sugar before I go to bed. Follow with Laneige Lip Sleeping Mask and I wake up with soft, smooth lips.
  • If you have problems with acne, which I do occasionally, you can apply raw honey to the affected area and cover it with a bandaid. Leave it overnight and just rinse in the morning. Enzymes in the honey will draw out fluid, drying it out.
  • honey1Winter also brings dry hair for some. You can mix raw honey with some olive oil or coconut oil and wrap your hair up overnight. This will help to add moisture to your hair.
  • For beautiful glowing skin, this trick has been awesome for me. I have to skip applying it to my nose because my nose is an over-achiever in the department of making oil so I just miss my nose. Mix one part raw honey and two parts aloe vera gel. Apply this on your face before you go to bed.
  • You can use honey for scars too! Just apply a thin layer of raw, organic honey and leave it on the scar overnight.
  • Do you have blackheads? Mix some honey and lemon juice and apply it to the affected area.

The reason why these are part of my nighttime self-care is that nighttime is when we work on repairing and rejuvenating our skin. Our skin needs to be nourished and nighttime is when we should address our skin issues, like antiaging and acne.IMG_5805

Be sure that you are purchasing raw honey to receive the full benefits. Raw honey contains the beneficial compounds associated with the healing and health benefits associated with this organic food. Other benefits of raw honey are that it boosts your energy levels, helps you fall asleep faster, cut and burn treatment, treat fever blisters, soothes acid reflux, aids in digestion, boosts your immune system, hangovers, and sinus issues to name just a few.

So let’s thank the bees for hooking us up and get all of the benefits of honey that we can.

 

Posted in Lifestyle

Have You Heard Of Smudging?

smudgingHave you heard of smudging? It is becoming more popular as of late but Native Americans and indigenous people have burned sage for centuries as a part of a spiritual ritual to cleanse a person or space of negative energy, and to promote healing and wisdom. It has been used since Roman times to treat digestive issues, memory problems, and sore throats. The name sage comes from the Latin word “salvia”. It means “to feel healthy”.

The practice of “smudging” has become more popular in other cultures as well. Recently at the makeshift memorial of Nipsey Hustle, a young lady burned sage to rid the area of any negative energy.

It is said that sage “metaphysically un-clings the things that cling to us that are no longer needed–spiritually, mentally, and physically…almost the way a sponge does.” The medical benefits have not officially been well- studied.

Sage comes in different varieties. Most healers and herbalist use white sage. The white sage is used for purifying and protection. There are others like lavender sage, black sage, smudging3common sage, and blue sage, which is used for cleansing and healing. They all have their own unique qualities.

You can harvest sage yourself or buy it in bundles at a health food store, farmer’s market, or on the internet of course. Just make sure whether you grow it or purchase it, it was harvested sustainably and responsibly.

How do you burn sage? 

You light the end of the bundle and let the smoke waft into the air. If you are cleansing a room, you walk around the space with it. You can also just place it in a shell to catch ashes as it burns and just let it sit in the room.

smudging1Sage is a flavonoid–plant compound that has medicinal properties; lavender is in the same family. Some of these compounds appear to improve brain health and guard against diseases like Alzheimer’s. In some studies, sage helped against depression and anxiety, digestive problems and soothing upset stomachs. It is calming to the gut and mind in the same way that lavender is.

Be careful burning the sage because although there are no studies on the risk, it is just like burning incense and that has shown to give some people allergies or lung issues with prolonged burning. Burning for a short period of time should not cause any issues but if you have asthma or lung issues, I would consult a physician and get their opinion.

If you are worried about burning the sage, you can always try essential oils as ansmudging2 alternative.

Have you tried smudging before? Do you do it as a regular practice? I would love to hear about your experience and how you feel about the practice.

Posted in Lifestyle

Health Minute: Celery

celery3

When my babies were smaller, I used to love making “ants on a log” …that was their celery4favorite snack. “Ants on a log” is easy to make and is a tasty and healthy snack. All you need is celery, peanut butter, and raisins. BOOM! They didn’t even know how healthy that was..hehehehehe

Now that they are older, unless celery is in a recipe, I do not even purchase it very often…not until recently when I was refreshed on its benefits and how it can change your body.

They say that celery is made up of mostly water and holds no nutritional value. This iscelery2 not true! Celery provides us with a few health benefits.

Now, celery is made up of 95% water, that’s true but it is a vegetable that is very high in fiber,  which aids in digestion and promotes regular movement (we all need that!). When you eat it in combination with whole foods that are high in fat and protein (hello peanut butter, hummus), it is said to help you lose and maintain weight because it helps to keep you feeling fuller longer…..hello!

Celery has phytonutrients, which have anti-inflammatory properties. I usually looked to turmeric for this but that is a bonus. Phytonutrients are good for your liver function as well.  It’s also packed with essential vitamins and minerals including folate, vitamin B6, potassium, vitamin K, and vitamin C.

celeryIf it is gonna benefit you like this, why not reintroduce it into your diet, I am! I actually wanna try it with hummus…I have never tried that because I can’t get past the look and the fact that I am a mom who nursed all of her children (baby poop)…but I am going to give it a go and see what happens.

Don’t forget that because it is made up of mostly water, it is a good source for hydration. We have to drink lots of water, especially during the summer. Staying hydrated is going to give us energy, keep our skin looking good, rids the body of toxins, and keep us from passing out in this heat because of dehydration.

So give celery another try….Here are some other benefits….

  • Lowers inflammation
  • reduces high cholesterolcelery1
  • treats high blood pressure
  • fights infection
  • cures bloating and improve digestion
  • reduces the risk of UTIs
  • boosts your immune system
  • improves your mood
  • fights cramps
  • reduces blood sugar
  • improves eye health
  • boosts energy and brain health

let’s go!!