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SMILE!

So my daughter has this friend who is so bright and shiny and never seems to have a bad day.  They are going into 8th grade so they are in “THAT” time of their lives-pre-teen girls.  This girl, however, is different.  She once told me that she wakes up every day and tells herself that she is going to have a great day-and then she does.  She chooses to smile.  That’s pretty deep for a girl so young-to understand that she has a choice in how she lives, how she will affect herself and others.  That does not mean she doesn’t have struggles, but it is how she chooses to deal with them that makes the difference.  I’m 43 years old and still struggle with that.

In all my personal work, I still have not been able to grasp the idea that only I am responsible for myself and my attitude.  That I get to choose how people affect me and how I deal with situations and problems.  That being a certain way is a choice….

This world is so full of bitterness and blame and it makes me sad.  I am not immune from that sterotype either.  I have been known to have a sharp tongue but to be honest, I hate it.  Inside I scream at myself because I HATE to hurt people-I would rather hurt myself than others.  But that’s all wrong too…what I need to do is be true to myself and honest with myself and then perhaps I wouldn’t have to sling uglies at others. I need to be happy for the lesson instead of upset that I had to learn it.

Frustrations about everything lie at every corner-no time, it’s hot, we need rain, the kids are driving me mad, my husband doesn’t understand, I don’t understand, I feel like a lazy loser, the house is a mess, I can’t catch up, we don’t have any money, my coworkers suck, my boss expects too much…blah blah blah complain complain complain.  But here is something that I would like to share about myself…that in all of those frustrations, I have this ideal that no matter what, we will be ok-whether it’s money or time or anything, I just believe that all will be fine-things will fall into the place they need to be and all is well.  Some people I know do not hold this same vision about life and therefore get upset at me for what they perceive as my lack of drive or maybe care is a better word, in certain situations.  I do care-I REALLY care, but I believe…I believe that God has a plan for me-for all of us.  I believe that if something doesn’t fall into the place I think I want it, then it wasn’t meant to go there or be that way and so therefore something else needs to happen.  I stress about so much “stuff’ in my life that to add the “what if’s” of the future would drive me to the looney house.  I am content in just having faith.

So, here is my point (to you and of course to myself)…Don’t stress-no really…don’t stress, believe that all will be well no matter what (it might not be fun or might be difficult but it will be ok), wake up each morning and tell yourself you are going to have a great day and have one (or at least start with having an hour or two)! This really is a choice you can make for yourself.

Be happy-really be happy-aren’t we so lucky to wake up and be alive?  We spend so much time being unhappy or finding the bad/negative in everything that we forget that the alternative is not being here at all.  Look at the small things in life and find SOMETHING that makes you happy and smile.  Watch your stress melt away from that one small “thing” you chose to find beautiful.

I watched my son the other day at one of his sports practices.  He isn’t particularly athletic-yet- but he smiled the entire time.  He wasn’t great at what they were doing, he wasn’t the fastest, he wasn’t the strongest-he even fell flat on his face at one point, but he smiled because he gave what he could and he CHOSE to enjoy himself even though he wasn’t what everyone perceives as “perfect” at it.  He felt perfect and that is all that really matters.  Bless him for showing me that. It is a picture that I will never ever forget.  I will forever use this as an example to myself and others.

I also like to use the pro-golfer Matt Kuchar as a great example of how a smile can change both yours and others’ lives.  After his Freshman year in college, he qualified for the greatest golfing championship in my opinion-The Masters. He should have been intimidated, he should have been scared and he should have been more serious-right?  But what he was was happy and grateful.  Kuchar swept the golf world off its feet with his smile and game, right under the shadow of Tiger and other incredibly successful professionals in the first round. As Woods and the others sputtered and fumed when their putts careened past the hole and clubs were slammed at bags when shots went awry (yes this did happen), Kuchar beamed-not because the other players were struggling but because he was having the time of his life, playing well and enjoying the moment and he wanted everyone to know it. To Kuchar a round of golf is a celebration in and of itself. To Woods and others on that course the game is a strategic tragedy fraught with peril at every turn of a dogleg – kick butt, take names and add them up at the end. In Woods’ mind, the only thing worth celebrating is total victory and nothing less. To Kuchar just playing the game and being out there was enough.  I don’t particularly remember much about that Masters except that Mark O’Meara did win the Championship but it was Kuchar who ran away with our hearts and will be forever burned into my memory of what was important that weekend.

So I also add SMILE-it might tick off a few people or make them question your motives, but do it anyway and be honest about it not mean.  People may even yell at you to “wipe off that shit eating grin from your face” (that happened to me just last week)-smile anyway-because it isn’t about them…it’s about you and your affect on yourself and the world around you and how you choose to deal with issues and problems.  It’s about being grateful for the moment or for the lesson you just got to learn.  Even if you make a mistake or say or do something you regret, smile-not because “you showed them” but because you are happy and you are healthy and you realize that maybe you shouldn’t have said or done that and that realization alone is a big postive step in becoming a better person.  That in itself is the lesson learned and something to be proud of and happy for.

I am a HUGE work in progress (I say it all the time), probably we all are.  But we can change our own worlds one step at a time.

I am…

In Good Health…

Linda

 

some information for this article taken from Florida Golf Monthly,Copyright 1996, 1997, 1998 Impact Interactive, Inc.

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I’ve Set A Goal!

Blogging is difficult for me.  There is so much going on inside my head that I seem to not be able to decide on one thing to talk about.    So, today I will simply be excited about some decisions, directions and goals.  As you know, I am a Certified Health Coach.  I work with people to realize their life and health goals in my step by step program that is client driven!  I listen and I help keep my clients on track when it is so easy to “fall off the wagon”.  I love this opportunity!  I love working with people and seeing them find that life isn’t all stress and misery but about vitality and living life to the fullest…

What you may not know is that I am also an equestrian.  I competed in the Pan American games a few years back and have competed all over.  THIS is where my heart lies…they say take care of yourself first then you can help others.  THIS is where I am the most whole-riding.  And, not to brag, but I am good.  Dressage is my forte and I know without a doubt that I can win-I have won.

So, here is my GOAL-this is what I am putting out the Universe and praying to God..

I will compete in the Olympics in dressage.  Luckily age is not a determinate on being able to compete!  I have been retired for quite a number of years so that I could have kids and raise a family but I am really ready to get back into it now.

I am good enough to win/medal and I can make it happen.  Many things have to fall into place for this to become a reality.  For instance-I need a major company/group/individual to invest in me to help fund/sponsor my training.  It can happen, I just have to go out and market myself.

Second, I need a world class horse.  I sold my own world class horse just after the Pan Am Games and will need to work on getting another-a winner.  For this I will contact my old trainer and dear friend Scott Hassler of Hassler Dressage (world class person, trainer and rider).  He is the one who got me where I was before and I know he can help get me there again.

How can I do this?  You see, I have a niche that many others do not have.  I can ride for my home ‘country” of the US Virgin Islands.  I have a bit of an easier route to get on an Olympic team and I am going to prove that I am worthy.  This does not mean that I will not fight to be among the best in the world anyway, just that my competition for getting on the team is a bit of an easier route as I will be one of the only ones looking for a spot-but that does not mean the the USVI just gives a spot away…au contraire-they expect winning and world class scores.

The great thing about that is that is I can be an asset for an owner because of this.  You allow me to campaign one of your world class breeding stallions, I take him to the Olympics and win on him and your breeding fee just skyrocketed-the worth of the horse just skyrocketed (I mean just to have an Olympic horse whether you win or not is a huge asset)-can you imagine the marketing they would be able to have???

So, this is my GOAL.  I will work hard to try to see it fulfilled-this is where my soul lies. This is where I am at my best!  Let the games begin!

I am…

In good health…

Linda


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It’s the Little Things in Life

Today while I was washing my face I turned to find a tiny bag of bath salts and a bar of facial soap from the Omni Hotel in Chicago.  My husband returned late last night after being gone for a week on a business trip there.  What struck me the most wasn’t the items in themselves, though I admit I LOVE those kinds of self-indulging things, but that my husband thought that I might like them and made an effort to place them into his bag to bring them home as a gift to me.  He had grueling days and nights this past week but still managed to take a look at things that we all take for granted (soap in a hotel) and thought about someone else-about how I might love those things.

In this angry, ugly and tough and selfish world, maybe we could all learn something from this gesture.  To be gentle and kind and think of others in times of stress and feeling out of contol, somehow brings us back into control of our lives.  To remember the people we love and things that make them happy can be so good for our health-so good for our hearts.  Why not do something to make someone else feel special-to climb out of our selfish lives and into one of selflessness.

You say you don’t have the time?  I say how much time does it take to smile and ask how someone’s day is going or to toss a quarter into a homeless person’s hat…You say you don’t have the money….I say how expensive is it to pick a flower from the roadside to take to someone to make their day (incidently taking a walk in nature-however short is so good for your soul)?  You say you wouldn’t know what to give or do?  I say it doesn’t matter so long as it is from the heart-write a poem, simply draw a happy face on a piece of paper and say I love you or I am thinking about you.

We take for granted the people in our lives and that complacency is awful.  I think the little gestures and things in life can change a person and can change ourselves.  Maybe, just maybe, if we all stopped -slowed down our lives for just one moment and took stock of where we are and what we are doing, then many of us would realize that we are going through life without a TRUE purpose and perhaps would make the changes to be healthier and happier.  This would create a domino effect-can you IMAGINE what we could accomplish then?

Oh, and if you are the recipient of any wonderful gesture…don’t forget to acknowledge the person, smile and say thank you-and mean it…

Just some random thoughts…

I am…

In Good Health…

Linda


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RUSH

So I am caught somewhere between wanting this summer to fly by and wanting it to s-l-o-w down.  You see college football for us starts in 32 days-COLLEGE FOOTBALL-for me there is nothing like it-come on-bring it on-hurry up-I mean we are even going to my team’s first game being played at Cowboy Stadium-Alabama vs Michigan-ROLL TIDE-go BAMA-Rammer Jammer-you get it-yep I’m a BAMA fan through and through-win or lose Alabama all the way.  So I’m waiting-jumping up and down so to speak-for all of the trash talking hard hitting fall days to come around.

But isn’t that what most of the problem is, no, not college football-there will never be a time for me that that is a problem, but wanting to” hurry up” everything.  I blinked and my childhood and college days were over.  Now I’m a proud mom of two- who are growing up so fast I don’t know where that time went.  Hurry up-grow up would ya…

We want to rush everything anymore-the way we drive (get outta my way lady), the way we eat (I’ll have fries with that and I am in a hurry so could we get a move on), the way we love (I can’t wait until he asks me to marry him), the way we live (ahhh I’m late again-hurry up kids), the way we are married (let’s have kids right away).

———S-T-O-P———

I have found myself trying so hard to push my heels in the ground just to slow down. I often find myself screaming at the drivers in my neighborhood to SLOW DOWN as they speed along in front of my house.  Maybe it is time that I took my own advice (not literally as I already learned that lesson but that’s another story entirely).

I remember my childhood days so fondly-I had the best childhood-my parents are stellar people-I was NEVER unhappy.  I grew up between St. Croix in the US Virgin Islands and Orcas Island, WA (small island off the coast of Washington State)-an island girl – very little television and tons of outside adventures.  I don’t remember wanting to rush through life then-I remember trying to push the days to last a little longer- that last little drop of light so that I didn’t have to come inside for dinner and bedtime.  I even remember the smells.  Then one day-I had to leave for college-don’t get me wrong I was psyched about it but what I took with me are those fond memories of days long gone-my childhood.

College was a blast-I couldn’t wait for the next day to come-bring it on…I love school-I am one of those-if I could be a professional student and make money at it, I would so be the CEO of that organization!  I never can seem to get enough knowledge -whatever it may be-but I digress-college went WAY too fast.  I have friends asking if I remember the time about this or that and sometimes I am ashamed to realize that I do not.  I had so much fun rushing through that part of my life that I forgot to really live it.

Did you know I competed in the Pan American games in Cuba in 1991?  What an honor-what a time-oh but I rushed through that part of my life  too.  I had to look up the year of the games (I thought it was ’92) because I couldn’t remember-aint that pathetic.  All I remember is that I had the time of my life!  It all happened so fast – in the blink of an eye and it was over.

And from then on, that is how I have lived-not one day at a time but as fast as I could.

I have been so lucky all my life to have a great life, to live in many different places and meet many different people-some whom I will keep in my heart forever and whom I am grateful that God put in my path-some who came into my life, I guess, to teach me some lesson that I may or may not have learned-I wouldn’t know-my life is going too fast for me to bother to care-

But I do care-I now look back and think-where did it all go?  What lessons did I miss?  Whose hearts and souls did I trample along the way as I pushed the envelope of time?  I don’t regret a day of my life-I think it has molded me to be the person I am-that doesn’t mean I don’t regret some things that I have said or done-au contraire-I wish a lot of the time that I could go back and change the way I looked at a situation or person-but I can’t-

So, as I attempt to slow my life down and enjoy each day-I am feeling so much more free.  My stress levels are down, I FEEL happy, it’s affecting my children and husband-they feel it too-what a difference.  I am taking the time to TAKE CARE OF MYSELF now-like I did when I was a child.  I ate when I was hungry (not because I was bored or stressed out), I ran with my face in the sun and “drank up” all that natural Vitamin D so important to our health, I laughed, I smiled (go figure a simple gesture for yourself can do so much), I played with my dogs, I enjoyed being outside, I swam, I read-you get the picture…so as trivial as these things may seem to the ever busy adult (I don’t have time for such things I have more important things to do), I have figured it out…being this way,-s-l-o-w-i-n-g down doing the things that I WANT to do and not that I think I HAVE to do, has allowed me the time and the avenue to be the person I want to be-and now there are so many more options for my life…I’m starting to enjoy it.

The Fall and college football will come soon enough-doesn’t matter how much I try to slow down, it will be here before I know it (and I am STOKED) but for now, I just want to live for this summer, live for today…

Oh crud, I gotta run, I’m late…..

Ok I admit-it’s a work in progress.

I am…

IN GOOD HEALTH

AND ROLL TIDE!

Linda

TIP OF THE DAY: If you must, schedule some time for you (some time to give up the stresses and do something you love-or nothing at all)-think of the movie Pretty Woman when Julia Roberts takes the phone out of Richard Gere’s hand and hangs up on an important business call.  He finally succumbed to the pressure of letting go.  What is the worst that could happen to you?  I’m just sayin’ – NOTHING.  Try it for ten minutes, how about thirty or an hour…or here is a kicker-take a half day (or full day) off.  Don’t work, don’t cut the lawn or clean the house-don’t take any business calls-actually take it off-as if you were on a real vacation.  Do something you would NEVER think of doing…go to a baseball game (there are plenty), go to a waterpark, go to the movies-DO NOT RUMINATE about what you should be doing…let go -really.  When you return to “reality” I think you will see the difference… that perhaps “reality” isn’t what you are living but what you just lived.

STAY HAPPY AND SMILE!