Mindful Monday: Why Medical Screenings Are so Important

Mindful Monday

WELCOME TO MINDFUL MONDAY

Each week I look at new or sometimes old things about myself on my journey to becoming more conscious about my life journey. I have found that being mindful encompasses the act of being watchful, aware, wary, heedful, alert, careful, or attentive, in whatever area in my life I feel it applies to, as I try to engage in the present.

Good morning

The last few weeks have been a whirlwind of activity and unfortunately, not all of it was good. I tried to deal with each setback the best I could by taking a mindful approach. I lived in the moment and then tried to move on.

Our beloved Pomeranian, Spice, passed away and the grief at her no longer being in this world is still rolling around inside of our hearts. Sugar is coping the best she can. I know she misses her sister deeply.

And, then it was my turn to deal with some health related issues, which brings me to our topic for this Mindful Monday – health screenings and why they are important.

A health screening is a test that is done when you are well. It is an opportunity to find a condition before symptoms begin. It is also a way to find diseases early which makes the treatment easier. In my humble opinion, a health screening is worth every penny you spend on it.

Routine health screenings are recommended for people of all ages and are an immense part of preventative care. Routine screening tests can be as simple as a blood test and as complicated as a colonoscopy.

John Hopkins Medicine shares a list of nine health screenings for men and women that save lives. Find the list HERE.

Image result for infographic of medical screenings

Image credit: Penn Medicine.org

Today, I wanted to share my a recent experience. A few weeks ago, I had a routine colonoscopy which is recommended for everyone after the age of 50. If you have a family history of colon cancer, start early with the testing. In my case, my Dad died from colon cancer so I started by the age of 47. I have faithfully gone for this test every five years.

I know the preparation for a colonoscopy is literally a pain in the butt, but it is a necessary part of life. I started living on fluids a couple days before the scheduled procedure. It certainly makes you feel tired but I took it easy and followed the instructions.

I'm pooped

The results of my colonoscopy were scary, to say the least. A large sessile tubular adenoma was found. My doctor’s pathology came back saying it was pre-cancerous. Now the problem with a tumor of this sort is that it is flat and grows into the muscle of the colon. You can’t leave it because it will turn into cancer. In the past, the only way to remove this type of adenoma was to cut that section of your colon out. Not a fun surgery by any means followed by a lifetime of health issues.

Luckily, I live near Aurora, Colorado where the University of Colorado Hospital is located. They have some of the best doctors in the nation that can deal with these types of adenomas.

On Friday, I underwent an endoscopic mucosal resection where a saline-like fluid is injected underneath the adenoma so that they can lift it from the muscle and get it out of there. This was done satisfactorily except for a small tear in the colon which was also repaired.

My doctor, who is a specialist in this field and type of procedure, said that in a couple of years, this adenoma would have turned into colon cancer!

“What if I hadn’t gotten a colonoscopy?”

All month we have been sharing information about colon health and specifically colorectal cancer. One of the key prevention steps is to get screened when appropriate. Today’s infographic comes from the CDC and provides  a lot of helpful information on how to choose the right screening test.   Recommended screenings could prevent over 60% of the deaths associated with colorectal cancer.  So be informed and get checked!

Image credit: www.cdc.gov

I have to wait for the pathology results, but my prognosis is good. Per my doctor, in six months I will repeat the colonoscopy to make sure that everything is as it should be.

	Graphic: Many adults are not being tested

Don’t end up as a statistic!

Get your health screening tests.

Your life depends upon it! 

Yes… I know. The health care debacle might make these preventive tests something that we all will have to pay for out of pocket. I don’t agree with that philosophy, and I bet you don’t either. Contact your representatives and let them know how you feel. Remember those representatives in Congress and the Senate will have health insurance – will you?

And, if the worst scenario happens, get these tests. It ultimately becomes our responsibility to care for ourselves. If we don’t, who will?

Healthy Living

I’ve been doing well following my Weight Watchers healthy living plan. I have lost almost 10 pounds, total. It just goes to show that when you take your time you can lose weight. I did drop my Smart Points value down to 26-27 points. I couldn’t budge the scale at the allowed 30 SmartPoints.

Image result for weight loss mantras

Real TalkThanks for stopping by for some real talk. Hugs! ❤

 

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

Mindful Monday – How to Deal with Dissapointment

Mindful Monday

WELCOME TO MINDFUL MONDAY

Each week I look at new or sometimes old things about myself on my journey to becoming more conscious about my life journey. I have found that being mindful encompasses the act of being watchful, aware, wary, heedful, alert, careful, or attentive, in whatever area in my life I feel it applies to, as I try to engage in the present.

disappointed

This past week I dealt with disappointment. Our vacation didn’t go as planned and you know with family dynamics and different personalities sometimes that is just how it evolves. Yes, this thing called disappointment happens to all of us. How do you choose to handle it? Of course, not everything can always go as you planned or hoped. That is a simple truth.

Image result for images of dealing with disappointment

Image credit: Healthyplace.com

How do you handle disappointment? Do you scream, cry, or hide?

For me, disappointment is one of those miserable feelings that are all wrapped up in anger, hurt, and sadness. Frustration is at the top of that list too… because most of the time if I experience disappointment it is based on things that are out of my control.

So, here’s what I did. Since I was exhausted and couldn’t think about the situation clearly, I took some extra long naps and watched HGTV. I relaxed in a couple of hot baths with a good book. At that point, I felt like I was ready to deal with my feelings.

bath time

I remembered my mindfulness journey and decided to experience the feelings, for whatever they were worth. It hurt like heck, but I knew I had to let my feelings surface. I didn’t try to change how I felt. Instead, I tried to be present in the moment and let the feelings roll around inside of me. Believe me, it wasn’t pretty.

Yet, I gave myself the time to deal with my emotions. I also showed that I cared about myself and my feelings. I was taking care of me!

Taking care of me

At that point, I was able to gain some perspective on the situation by stepping back from my personal feelings. I knew what had happened was not my fault. Yes, I felt sad at the change of events, although I realized that the decisions my husband and I made at the time were correct for us.

I always try to be open-hearted toward people. I came to realize that the negative feelings I had would pass. I chose to not wallow in the negativity because it does no good for anyone. Besides, I felt like I know my own heart and trust my instincts. In doing so, I have given myself the freedom of choice.

In this particular family situation, there is nothing else I can do. I made my thoughts known at the time. It is up to the other person to decide their next step.

Most times when something disappointing happens I feel like I want to hide and blame the person who disappointed me. This time, I decided to quit acting so naive. Things happen and I know I will be disappointed again. That is life and I need to start dealing with it.

Image result for images of dealing with disappointment

Image credit: Pinterest.com

Guess what? Those feelings of disappointment will pass. They are not forever.

Disappoint is a part of life.  It will happen again. And, when it does, I choose to be aware of my feelings and live in the present. Then, I can move on and refocus my goals. ❤

Image result for images of dealing with disappointment

Image credit: Pinterest.com

For more on dealing with disappointment check out psychologytoday.com.

healthy living

I had quite the set back on my weight loss journey. I was stressed and I ate. Pure and simple. Once those negative feelings passed I got my act together. I am back on track and pursuing my Weight Watchers plan.

I had a doctor’s visit and we discussed me learning a new skill… YOGA! Gentle stretching will help build up my core and will stop my back pain. Are you ready to go on that journey with me? Stay tuned… it should be quite entertaining.

See you soonHave a great week. I wish you all peace and joy in all you do! ❤

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mindful Monday – Mindfulness, Mantras, & Haiku ❤️

012217_2215_MindfulMond1.jpg

Welcome to Mindful Monday

Each week I look at new or sometimes old things about myself on my journey to becoming more conscious about my life journey. I have found that being mindful encompasses the act of being watchful, aware, wary, heedful, alert, careful, or attentive, in whatever area in my life I feel it applies to, as I try to engage in the present.

Happy May Day! This week I wish for everyone to really get in touch with their own mindfulness. Choose something that you want to change or something you want to work on as it applies to your own life. Go ahead… write it down. Let your mind wander.

eda40998dd7d92737bfb5f36df248f0f

Then, write your own mantra as I have done below:

010117_2204_MindfulMond8.jpg

Put your mantra somewhere where you will see it every day.

http://isha.sadhguru.org explains why mantras work:

Mantras Explained: How a Mantra Can Lead to Transformation

Sadhguru speaks about the science of mantras, and how a mantra can be a key to access deeper dimensions of existence. He also speaks about “Vairagya,” a set of five sacred chants, and how one can benefit from them.

“So, a mantra is not something that you utter. It is something that you strive to become because unless you become the key, existence will not open up for you. Becoming the mantra means you are becoming the key. Only if you are the key can you open the lock. Otherwise, someone else has to open it for you, and you have to listen to him.

Mantras could be an extremely good preparatory step. Just one mantra can do such tremendous things to people. They can be an effective force in creating something but only if they come from that kind of a source where there is a complete understanding of all that is sound. When we say, “all that is sound,” we are talking about the creation itself. If a mantra comes from that kind of source, with that level of understanding and when the transmission is pure, then mantras can be an effective force.

Approaching Mantras with Awareness

There are different types of mantras. Every mantra activates a particular kind of energy in a different part of the body. Without that necessary awareness, just repeating the sound only brings dullness to the mind. Any repetition of the sound always makes your mind dull. But when it is done with proper awareness, with exact understanding of what it is, a mantra could be a very powerful means. As a science, it is a very powerful dimension, but if it is imparted without the necessary basis and without creating the necessary situations, it can cause lots of damage because this is a subjective science. We know of people who have caused damage to themselves by the improper utterance of something as common as Gayatri mantra.”

Be Happy

To change your thinking –

mindfulness is awareness,

live in the moment.

© 2017 Colleen M. Chesebro

fancy divider

Gratitude

010117_2204_MindfulMond7.pngI wish you much peace and joy this week. Namaste!

Mindful Monday – Reflections on the Passing of Time

012217_2215_MindfulMond1.jpg

Welcome to Mindful Monday. Each week I look at new or sometimes old things about myself on my journey to becoming more conscious about my life journey. I have found that being mindful encompasses the act of being watchful, aware, wary, heedful, alert, careful, or attentive, in whatever area in my life I feel it applies to, as I try to engage in the present.

Celebrating

Come and join me on my journey. You never know what you will learn about yourself.

The past month has been busy and filled with all the ups and downs that life brings. Sometimes I ponder over how quickly time disappears. How can I manage to accomplish everything I want to do – and write? The years are advancing and time simply dissolves.

9b16f45bc2cc97c25b9e6128205bb61d

April 16th is our 32nd wedding anniversary. On April 18th I will be 59 years old. I have no idea how I have reached that age other than that I am healthy and happy. My mother passed away at 38 years old when I was three. My sister passed away at 55 years old. My father passed away at 68 years. The older you get the more you learn to value each passing year.

Celebrate

I usually become reflective at this time of year because the advancing years prompt a look back at all I’ve been and done. So, to celebrate the inevitability of the passage of time here are:

FIVE THINGS TO REFLECT ON WHEN ITS YOUR BIRTHDAY

graphics-fairies-230085

What did you accomplish in the past year?

2016-07-15 14.48.40

Last year was a whirlwind that passed in months of writing. I lived in my brain for much of the time penning my debut novel, The Heart Stone Chronicles: The Swamp Fairy. I spent time researching fairy nymphs and learning how to write a novel. I am proud that I set out to write a novel and did it. Now, I did not do this alone. I had plenty of help and you know who you are if you are reading this. Thanks for being there when I needed you most.

Where did the time go?

clock fairy

You know the old saying that time flies when you’re having fun? It fits my life perfectly. I am blessed to have the love of my best friend and husband. Ron has always encouraged me to do the things that bring me joy and fulfillment. How many husbands do that? I feel like I have lived a couple different lives all in these 59 years. That is what propels me to keep moving forward and enjoying life – there is more to come and these years of retirement are the best yet.

What did you learn this year?

home-office-336373__180

I feel like a sponge when it comes to learning. In fact, one of the best things I have learned is to accept the things that I can’t change. Life is never easy and when you have a blended family you just have to let some things go. Never in my wildest dreams did I think that some my children and my grandchildren would not communicate with me. Most of the circumstances behind this dysfunction was beyond my control. Even so, I struggle with the feelings of rejection and still do.  Some things you just can’t fix if the other people involved don’t feel the same way. Yet, somehow I’m able to funnel some of that pain and pour it into creative pursuits. Writing and poetry give me a solace I never had before. It’s a mindful journey – accept the feelings and move on.

I could go on and on about what I learned in the past year when it came to writing, self-publishing, blogging, etc. What I really love is that when you learn, you continue to grow and experience life to the fullest. That my friends is the best message of all! Don’t be afraid to grow.

Are you living up to your potential?

Did you get my text

I push myself hard. Sometimes, too hard. I have a drive inside of me that pushes me to be the best I can be at all times. It’s that Aries thing, you know. Besides, I have many projects in the works for this year. Planning is my middle name. I like to set goals and aim for the stars!

Are you ready for another year?

012217_2215_MindfulMond15.png

Of course! Examine whether your glass is half full or half empty. Optimism (click the link to find ways to raise your optimism) is the key. View each day like a gift and live it to the fullest you can.

I have a dear friend that has been diagnosed with a debilitating disease. You know what she said when she found out? She said it was a relief and suddenly each day took on a golden glow filled with promise. Her words hit me like a ton of bricks had fallen on my heart. I heard these words resonate in my head: Don’t waste time on trivial drama and things that bring you pain. Live!


WW Weekly Update

I keep working on my weight loss journey. It is slow but I have lost 6 pounds! I weigh on Wednesday so we will see how I do. My doctor did increase my thyroid medication and that has been a great help.

Ron bought me a Fitbit for my birthday. I really love the ease of counting steps and logging miles. I have the Fitbit synced to my Weight Watchers app. In one week I walked 26 miles! All those daily steps really add up!

Exercise

Thanks for stopping by and offering your support. It always makes the path easier when we have friends along for the ride.

Remember… If you would like to join me with your mindful goals, please do. The whole idea is to start thinking about ways that you can get in touch with your own mindfulness needs and how it pertains to your life. Write about it. We all learn from each other’s experiences.

If you’d like, you can link to my post with a ping-back each week in a separate post on your own blog. I will add your blog to a list of Mindful Monday supporters that others can visit to gain motivation on each of my Mindful Monday posts. I’m happy to see you!

READ MORE ON COLLEEN’S FAIRY WHISPERS

Sign up for my monthly newsletter where you will find new reads from across the web plus a few creations of my own. Written, just for you, with fairy love and mindfulness, each month. Just fly over to my SIGN UP PAGE and enter your email. ❤

CONNECT WITH ME – I love hearing from you!

colleenchesebro.com  Amazon  Twitter  Facebook  Google+  Instagram

 

 

Mindful Monday – Are You Catching Enough ZZZ’s?

012217_2215_MindfulMond1.jpg

Welcome to Mindful Monday. Each week I look at new or sometimes old things about myself on my journey to becoming more conscious about my life journey. I have found that being mindful encompasses the act of being watchful, aware, wary, heedful, alert, careful, or attentive, in whatever area in my life I feel it applies to, as I try to engage in the present.

Come and join me on my journey. You never know what you will learn about yourself.


Sleep – the elusive butterfly. It dances around at night taunting us with promises of sweet relaxation and blissfully sweet dreams. Every living being needs a sound slumber to operate the next day. Unfortunately, sleep has become something we all wish we had more of. Add into the mix the seasonal changes of daylight savings time, and we have a recipe for distress!

There are many causes for our lack of sleeplessness. Some of us have health issues that disrupt our sleep. If that is your situation, it is best left to discussions with your physician to help you resolve those problems. The same would go for insomniacs, people who habitually cannot sleep.

What about the majority of us who don’t fall into those categories? There are some easy steps you can take, and there are home remedies that do work. Practiced in conjunction with a nightly meditation session, you will find some relief.

Draxe.com/can’t-sleep shares “20 Ways to Fall Asleep Fast:”

Many times, our sleeplessness is caused by our own mistakes. Eating too much, a late-night cocktail, or simply staying up too late and getting up too early. Mindbodygreen.com shares “7 Sleep Mistakes You Don’t Know You are Making, and How to Fix Them:”

Here is my favorite 10-minute guided meditation to ease anxiety, worry, and urgency from Positive Magazine Meditation Relaxation Inspiration. I like to listen to this video sometimes when I am worried about something and feel like I just cannot let go of it. I use ear buds with my tablet and just lay back and listen to the soothing words.

One of my favorite websites, “No Sleepless Nights.com” reveals relaxation techniques to help you calm your mind so you can get a good night’s sleep. Here is another video to take you through a guided muscle relaxation process for rest:

If all else fails, I get up and read a book and enjoy a cup of herbal tea. Chamomile tea is one that helps me relax.

Here is another link from No Sleepless Nights.com that talks about all the different kinds of teas to help you sleep. I found it interesting that No Sleepless Nights.com suggests that no scientific evidence exists that supports the drinking of tea as a sleep cure. Many ancient and folk remedies used teas and tinctures for healing. I must say that if it works for you, go for it!

Remember to consult your doctor if your sleeplessness interferes with you living your life. Lack of sleep is nothing to mess with! Sleep well, my friends.

I’m not sleeping… I’m dream writing.

I am happy to report that I am walking at least 3 miles a day on my treadmill and have been able to edge a total of four pounds off! My doctor has increased the dose of my thyroid medication as my hormones were all over the place. Hopefully, that will get me at a level I need to be.

I am still suffering from some muscle spasms in my back, but the walking does help to ease them. I find there is a fine line to walk (literally) between the right amount of exercise and too much. Yesterday, I walked four miles in our pleasant weather, and today I am exhausted.

Part of this is due to the thyroid problem, but I am confident that in time this will correct itself.

Weight Watchers online continues to motivate and guide me. I highly recommend this program if you are serious about weight loss.

Image credit: heandsheeatclean.com

Thanks for stopping by and offering your support. It always makes the path easier when we have friends along for the ride.

Remember… If you would like to join me with your mindful goals, please do. The whole idea is to start thinking about ways that you can get in touch with your own mindfulness needs and how it pertains to your life. Write about it. We all learn from each other’s experiences.

If you’d like, you can link to my post with a ping-back each week in a separate post on your own blog. I will add your blog to a list of Mindful Monday supporters that others can visit to gain motivation on each of my Mindful Monday posts. I’m happy to see you!

READ MORE ON COLLEEN’S FAIRY WHISPERS

Sign up for my monthly newsletter where you will find new reads from across the web plus a few creations of my own. Written, just for you, with fairy love and mindfulness, each month. Just fly over to my SIGN UP PAGE and enter your email. ❤

CONNECT WITH ME – I love hearing from you!

colleenchesebro.com  Amazon  Twitter  Facebook  Google+  Instagram

Mindful Monday – Change & Renewal

Welcome to Mindful Monday. Each week I look at new or sometimes old things about myself on my journey to becoming more mindful. I have found that being mindful encompasses the act of being watchful, aware, wary, heedful, alert, careful, or attentive, in whatever area in my life I feel it applies to, as I try to live in the present.

Come and join me on my journey. You never know what you will learn about yourself.

We’ve covered quite a few things this January, such as spiritual growth, goal setting, defining our exercise and eating goals, and even recognizing our personality types. This week I want to talk about our body’s capacity for change and renewal.

Deepak Chopra on the Daily Om shares:

“…”the forgotten miracle”–the body’s infinite capacity for change and renewal. “You cannot take advantage of this miracle,” Chopra says, “unless you are willing to completely reinvent your body, transforming it from a material object to a dynamic, flowing process. Your physical body is a fiction. Every cell is made up of two invisible ingredients: awareness and energy.”

Chopra offers a course which details five recent breakthroughs of the body that lead to self-transformation by changing the distorted energy patterns that are the root cause of aging, infirmity, and disease. Daily Om. You can find the price of the course at the Daily Om link.

Image credit: Facebook: Wild Woman Sisterhood

Thinking about change and renewal is something that has become crucial to me this year. Actually, my transformation began last year while I was writing The Heart Stone Chronicles: The Swamp Fairy.

My idea for the story was that in unusual places around the earth one could find large calcite stones weathered by the wind and rain into the shape of a heart. The calcite heart stones were fairy Raths which formed a dome of protection around a certain artifact that humanity could not do without.

Of course, my research led me to calcite and the meaning of the stone. Calcite is a fairy stone that assists in the channeling process when it is grounded and practical, but not when the work is ungrounded or not for the good of others. Also, the stones offer protection from evil spirits, offers psychic security, and protects the wearer by helping them to stay connected to the Earth’s center. Fairy stones often adopt the people they wish to help, giving the adoptees the nickname of “little helpers.” Meanings.crystalsandjewelry.com

The more I discovered about calcite, the more interested I became. I had stumbled upon information that became transformational to me. Just like the heroine in my story, Abby Forester, I too needed to become grounded and in sync with mother earth. So, I dove into finding out how calcite could help me move forward in my mindful journey.

I started out reading Healing Crystals for you.com:

“Calcite Crystals come in quite a few colors all of which are most helpful… as they are powerful amplifiers and cleansers, particularly of the emotions.


Pink Calcite

Pink Mangano Calcite… is opaque, and there is also a pink transparent variety. Both are strong heart chakra stones.

The transparent stones encourage compassion so resonate strongly within the thymus or higher heart chakra.


Green Calcite

Green Calcite also works at the heart chakra.

These crystal stones will cool your emotions, especially on the mental plane, and will aid you to let go of things and circumstances that no longer serve you.

Orange Calcite is highly cleansing for both the sacral chakra and the base chakra.

It will balance the emotions, overcome depression, release fear and enhance creativity.

Use clear Optical Calcite for insight and clarity.


Blue Calcite

Blue Calcite is for the throat chakra, and can assist clear communication and helps to soothe the emotional body.

The lighter Yellow or Honey Calcite is a strong solar plexus chakra stone that gives you clarity and insight.

Gold Calcite works at the third eye chakra and the crown chakra.

Red Calcite is strong base chakra stone that will link the base and crown chakras.


Calcite Fairy Stone

Calcite Fairy Stones are unusual shaped stones that were created when calcite filled the areas with glacial clay.

They are gorgeous stones that have an attractive, supportive and harmonious quality that may draw you to them.

This Calcite variety is helpful to have in your life, as it seems to safeguard and support you when required.

These crystals resonate out into the area where they are located, and they are known to aid Earth healing.

Use them in meditation if you do channeling, as they can help you to bring information back from the spirit realm more accurately.”

The Seven Chakras

What is a Chakra? A chakra is a word taken from the Sanskrit language which means “wheel,” as in the wheel of life. It is believed that our chakras are like wheels, tiny rotating vortexes of energy which are located in specific areas of the body as shown above. The chakras start from the bottom of the spine and extend to the top of our head. Each chakra embodies a particular organ, endocrine system, or part of the body which directs our energy flow.

All organic life gives off faint intangible energies and electromagnetic frequencies. Life experiences, our health, thoughts, and emotions, all can change the frequency and vibrations that emanate from our bodies. Chakras can be open or closed as they relate to our mental or physical and spiritual states. When our chakras are healthy, they will spin in a clockwise direction.

Negative experiences can drain our energy stores which then causes our chakras to become imbalanced. This is why a person will feel emotionally drained, both physically and emotionally, when something upsets them. Chakra re-balancing helps to release the blockage which are manifestations of a lifetime of physical and mental trauma. Junebugmemphis.com

Explanation of the chakras, the colors, the gems, the planets, and the energies:

Image credit: Junebugmemphis.com

As you can see, the fourth chakra is the heart chakra, and it is balanced with a green stone… as in green calcite. Now you know how I came up with the name of my YA fantasy series: “The Heart Stone Chronicles.”

My friend, Irene, from IreneDesign2011, created calcite necklaces for my readers so they could have a copy of their own which you can check out for yourself below.

The large piece of calcite in the photo above (in the middle) was a gift from Irene. I have been sleeping with it next to my bed. My sleeping has grown deeper, and I find that I don’t wake up tired in the morning. I’ve also noticed that my dreams are more grounded and have become even more meaningful to me. As an empathic writer, the calcite has brought clarity to what my dreams are trying to tell me.

I can’t think of a better way to begin a journey of change and renewal than by learning how to take care of my body and the seven chakras that power our energy sources. ❤

Here is how to open your heart chakra:

Venture outside in nature. Become green by imagining the first tiny shoots of spring breaking forth from the soil.

See green everywhere you look. Close your eyes and imagine a brilliant green light exploding from your heart center which is located at the center of your sternum and below your shoulder blades.

Breathe in the green of the summer grasses.

Think and become love.

Give love freely to others.

Remember that the grass isn’t always greener on the other side.

Start learning about and practicing yoga.

Forgive others and yourself daily.

*Ideas were taken from Mindbodygreen.com

Read more at Mindbodygreen.com for more information on balancing your heart chakra. You will want to visit this page because I found the information to be most illuminating.

Here’s how to get your own calcite pendants:

The small calcite heart stone pendant is at the left near the hummingbird on the cover. Here is the link to Irene’s Etsy site where you can buy your own pendant: https://www.etsy.com/listing/480852170/black-silk-necklace-with-silver-wrapped

The large calcite heart stone pendant is pictured at the right just above my name. Here is the link: https://www.etsy.com/listing/480852682/black-silk-necklace-with-silver-wrapped

Here’s who joined us last week when we discussed The Benefits of Daily Walking:

Bernadette from Haddon Musings

Terri from Second Wind Leisure.com

Barbara from Create With Barb

If you would like to join me with your mindful goals, please do. The whole idea is to start thinking about ways that you can get in touch with your own mindfulness needs and how it pertains to your life. Write about it. We all learn from each other’s experiences.

If you’d like, you can link to my post with a ping back each week in a separate post on your own blog. I will add your blog to a list of Mindful Monday supporters that others can visit to gain motivation on each of my Mindful Monday post. I’m happy to have you along for the ride!

Namaste. I wish you much peace and joy this week. ❤

Mindful Monday – The Benefits of Daily Walking

Welcome to Mindful Monday. I can’t believe we are half way through January 2017. Where does the time go?

Each week I look at new or sometimes old things about myself on my journey to becoming more mindful. I have found that being mindful encompasses the act of being watchful, aware, wary, heedful, alert, careful, or attentive, in whatever area in my life I feel it applies to, as I try to live in the present. Come and join me on my journey. You never know what you will learn about yourself.

How are you coming on your mindful goals for 2017? Usually by the middle of January everyone has abandoned any goals or resolutions they have set for themselves. If you fall into that group, don’t fret. Instead, reassess your goals.

Did you set fitness goals that you can’t keep up with? Then, step back and shift your perspective on fitness. When you set fitness goals for yourself, decide if they are they realistic to who you are as a person. The number one problem with most of us is that we want to reach a state of fitness quickly, so we tend to set lofty goals that we can’t keep up with.

Does striving for the perfect fitness regime defeat our goals?

What does “fitness,” really mean to you? When you break down what you are hoping to gain from exercise, that result will change your perception of fitness. Ask yourself this question: Fitness for what?

Here is what I am talking about. My exercise goals are aimed at helping me feel better. I want to feel strong again with no achiness in my back or hips. Because I spend so much time sitting at the computer writing, this has become an issue. I live in the mountains of Colorado where the winter winds howl over the eastern facing slopes. This makes walking outside on a regular basis hard to do.

The solution for me was a treadmill. I added a board across the handles and placed my laptop on top so that I could walk and read emails, etc. I walk at 2 mph which is perfect for typing and reading messages. I started out slowly, walking only 15 minutes a day. Little by little, I have increased the time to an hour per day.

The results have been incredible. I feel better and sleep better since beginning this exercise journey. I have been able to eat some things (cookies) that I couldn’t before without gaining weight. In fact, I am losing weight and feeling stronger.

15 Minutes

Family Circle magazine, the November 2016 edition, page 187 shares:

“15 minutes – that’s the amount of time you need to exercise in order to curb your desire to stress eat after a mentally challenging day. Talk yourself into a quick treadmill workout instead of diving onto the couch, and your waistline may thank you. -AC”

However, there is scientific evidence that even just 10 minutes of movement can increase your confidence, clarity, creativity, decision-making, and emotional well-being. Read this article from the Daily Mail.

Image credit: Pinterest.com

Now… let me ask you a question. If you could exercise for fifteen minutes a day would you? Look at those benefits! You could have a better relationship. What if after you’ve accomplished that fifteen minutes of exercise you were able to come up with a brilliant idea for a book or poem?

When your exercise plan becomes fun and good for you is when the best benefit of all is met – you feel good about yourself. And, that is the best gift you could give to yourself. Self-care becomes fitness for life.

If you would like to join me with your goals, please do. The whole idea is to start thinking about ways that you can get in touch with your own mindfulness needs and how it pertains to your life. Write about it. We all learn from each other’s experiences.

If you’d like, you can link to my post with a ping back each week in a separate post on your own blog. I will add your blog to a list of Mindful Monday supporters that others can visit to gain motivation on each of my Mindful Monday post. I’m happy to have you along for the ride!

Here’s who peeked in last week when we took a personality test from 16personalities.com. If you haven’t checked your personality type, you might want to check it out. These tests give you insight into how you think and function. I find it refreshing to understand the way I think.

Barbara from Create with Barb

Terri from Second Wind Leisure.com

Stop by and let me know how your fitness goals are going for 2017. I love hearing from you! Namaste. I hope much peace and joy for you this week. ❤

Mindful Monday – What Personality Type Are YOU?

122516_2038_MindfulMond1.jpg

Hi! Happy Monday. I thought I would share another useful tool in the journey to becoming more mindful. I believe the more we understand about ourselves, the more empowered we become to make positive changes in our lives. What do you think?

This time we have a personality test to take from 16personalities.com. I have included “my results” in their entirety more for myself than my readers. However, it does give you an idea of how complete the test is. Make sure to click on the link above to find our your own results. Get your own and let me know in the comments what personality type you are!

YOUR PERSONALITY TYPE IS:

ADVOCATE (INFJ-T)

Here, let me show you the right path…

MIND: This trait determines how we interact with our environment.

36% EXTRAVERTED

64% INTROVERTED

ENERGY: This trait shows where we direct our mental energy.

72% INTUITIVE

28% OBSERVANT

NATURE: This trait determines how we make decisions and cope with emotions.

31% THINKING

69% FEELING

TACTICS: This trait reflects our approach to work, planning, and decision-making.

84% JUDGING

16% IDENTITY

This trait underpins all others, showing how confident we are in our abilities and decisions.

42% ASSERTIVE

58% TURBULENT

ADVOCATE PERSONALITY (INFJ, -A/-T)

The Advocate personality type is very rare, making up less than one percent of the population, but they nonetheless leave their mark on the world. As members of the Diplomat Role group, Advocates have an inborn sense of idealism and morality, but what sets them apart is that they are not idle dreamers, but people capable of taking concrete steps to realize their goals and make a lasting positive impact.

Advocates tend to see helping others as their purpose in life, but while people with this personality type can be found engaging rescue efforts and doing charity work, their real passion is to get to the heart of the issue so that people need not be rescued at all.

Help Me Help You

Advocates indeed share a unique combination of traits: though soft-spoken, they have very strong opinions and will fight tirelessly for an idea they believe in. They are decisive and strong-willed, but will rarely use that energy for personal gain – Advocates will act with creativity, imagination, conviction and sensitivity not to create an advantage, but to create balance. Egalitarianism and karma are very attractive ideas to Advocates, and they tend to believe that nothing would help the world so much as using love and compassion to soften the hearts of tyrants.

Every man must decide whether he will walk in the light of creative altruism or in the darkness of destructive selfishness.

~ Martin Luther King

Advocates find it easy to make connections with others, and have a talent for warm, sensitive language, speaking in human terms, rather than with pure logic and fact. It makes sense that their friends and colleagues will come to think of them as quiet Extraverted types, but they would all do well to remember that Advocates need time alone to decompress and recharge and to not become too alarmed when they suddenly withdraw. Advocates take great care of other’s feelings, and they expect the favor to be returned – sometimes that means giving them the space they need for a few days.

Live to Fight Another Day

Really, though, it is most important for Advocates to remember to take care of themselves. The passion of their convictions is perfectly capable of carrying them past their breaking point, and if their zeal gets out of hand, they can find themselves exhausted, unhealthy and stressed. This becomes especially apparent when Advocates find themselves up against conflict and criticism – their sensitivity forces them to do everything they can to evade these seemingly personal attacks, but when the circumstances are unavoidable, they can fight back in highly irrational unhelpful ways.

To Advocates, the world is a place full of inequity – but it doesn’t have to be. No other personality type is better suited to create a movement to right a wrong, no matter how big or small. Advocates just need to remember that while they’re busy taking care of the world, they need to take care of themselves, too.

ADVOCATE STRENGTHS AND WEAKNESSES

Advocate Strengths

  • Creative – Combining a vivid imagination with a strong sense of compassion, Advocates use their creativity to resolve not technical challenges, but human ones. People with the Advocate personality type enjoy finding the perfect solution for someone they care about, and this strength makes them excellent counselors and advisors.
  • Insightful – Seeing through dishonesty and disingenuous motives, Advocates step past manipulation and sales tactics and into a more honest discussion. Advocates see how people and events are connected and are able to use that insight to get to the heart of the matter.
  • Inspiring and Convincing – Speaking in human terms, not technical, Advocates have a fluid, inspirational writing style that appeals to the inner idealist in their audience. Advocates can even be astonishingly good orators, speaking with warmth and passion, if they are proud of what they are speaking for.
  • Decisive – Their creativity, insight, and inspiration are able to have a real impact on the world, as Advocates are able to follow through on their ideas with conviction, willpower, and the planning necessary to see complex projects through to the end. Advocates don’t just see the way things ought to be, they act on those insights.
  • Determined and Passionate – When Advocates come to believe that something is important, they pursue that goal with a conviction and energy that can catch even their friends and loved ones off guard. Advocates will rock the boat if they have to, something not everyone likes to see, but their passion for their chosen cause is an inseparable part of their personality.
  • Altruistic – These strengths are used for good. Advocates have strong beliefs and take the actions that they do not because they are trying to advance themselves, but because they are trying to advance an idea that they truly believe will make the world a better place.

Advocate Weaknesses

  • Sensitive – When someone challenges or criticizes Advocates’ principles or values, they are likely to receive an alarmingly strong response. People with the Advocate personality type are highly vulnerable to criticism and conflict, and questioning their motives is the quickest way to their bad side.
  • Extremely Private – Advocates tend to present themselves as the culmination of an idea. This is partly because they believe in this idea, but also because Advocates are extremely private when it comes to their personal lives, using this image to keep themselves from having to truly open up, even to close friends. Trusting a new friend can be even more challenging for Advocates.
  • Perfectionistic – Advocates are all but defined by their pursuit of ideals. While this is a wonderful quality in many ways, an ideal situation is not always possible – in politics, in business, in romance – and Advocates too often drop or ignore healthy and productive situations and relationships, always believing there might be a better option down the road.
  • Always Need to Have a Cause – Advocates get so caught up in the passion of their pursuits that any of the cumbersome administrative or maintenance work that comes between them and the ideal they see on the horizon is deeply unwelcome. Advocates like to know that they are taking concrete steps towards their goals, and if routine tasks feel like they are getting in the way, or worse yet, there is no goal at all, they will feel restless and disappointed.
  • Can Burn Out Easily – Their passion, poor patience for routine maintenance, tendency to present themselves as an ideal, and extreme privacy tend to leave Advocates with few options for letting off steam. People with this personality type are likely to exhaust themselves in short order if they don’t find a way to balance their ideals with the realities of day-to-day living.

ADVOCATE RELATIONSHIPS

When it comes to romantic relationships, Advocates take the process of finding a partner seriously. Not ones for casual encounters, people with the Advocate personality type instead look for depth and meaning in their relationships. Advocates will take the time necessary to find someone they truly connect with – once they’ve found that someone, their relationships will reach a level of depth and sincerity that most people can only dream of.

Getting to that point can sometimes be a challenge for potential partners, especially if they are the impatient type, as Advocates are often perfectionistic and picky. People with this personality type aren’t easily talked into something they don’t want, and if someone doesn’t pick up on that, it’s a trespass that is unlikely to be forgiven, particularly in the early stages of dating. Even worse is if a suitor tries to resort to manipulation or lying, as Advocates will see right through it, and if there’s anything they have a poor tolerance for in a relationship, it is inauthenticity.

Is This for Real?

One of the things Advocates find most important is establishing genuine, deep connections with the people they care about.

Advocates will go out of their way to seek out people who share their desire for authenticity, and out of their way to avoid those who don’t, especially when looking for a partner. All that being said, Advocates often have the advantage of desirability – they are warm, friendly, caring and insightful, seeing past facades and the obvious to understand others’ thoughts and emotions.

Advocates are enthusiastic in their relationships, and there is a sense of wisdom behind their spontaneity, allowing them to pleasantly surprise their partners again and again. Advocates aren’t afraid to show their love, and they feel it unconditionally, creating a depth to the relationship that can hardly be described in conventional terms. Relationships with Advocates are not for the uncommitted or the shallow.

When it comes to intimacy, Advocates look for a connection that goes beyond the physical, embracing the emotional and even spiritual connection they have with their partner. People with the Advocate personality type are passionate partners, and see intimacy as a way to express their love and to make their partners happy. Advocates cherish not just the act of being in a relationship, but what it means to become one with another person, in mind, body and soul.

ADVOCATE FRIENDS

There is a running theme with Advocates, and that is a yearning for authenticity and sincerity – in their activities, their romantic relationships, and their friendships. People with the Advocate personality type are unlikely to go for friendships of circumstance, like workplace social circles or chatting up their local baristas, where the only thing they really have in common is a day-to-day familiarity. Rather, Advocates seek out people who share their passions, interests, and ideologies, people with whom they can explore philosophies and subjects that they believe are truly meaningful.

Closed Book and Speed Reader

From the start, it can be a challenge to get to know Advocates, as they are very private, even enigmatic. Advocates don’t readily share their thoughts and feelings, not unless they are comfortable, and since those thoughts and feelings are the basis for Advocate friendships, it can take time and persistence to get to know them. Meanwhile, Advocates are very insightful and have a particular knack for seeing beyond others’ facades, interpreting intent and compatibility quickly and easily, and weeding out those who don’t share the depth of their idealism.

In friendship, it is as though Advocates are searching for a soul mate, someone who shares every facet of their passions and imagination.

Advocates are often perfectionistic, looking for ultimate compatibility, and yet also look for someone with whom they can grow and improve in tandem. Needless to say, this is a tall order, and Advocates should try to remember that they are a particularly rare personality type, and even if they find someone compatible in that sense, the odds that they will also share every interest are slim. If they don’t learn to meet others halfway and recognize that the kind of self-improvement and depth they demand is simply exhausting for many types, Advocates are likely to end up abandoning healthy friendships in their infancy, in search of more perfect compatibilities.

Like Finding a Needle in a Haystack

Further complicating things are Advocates’ eloquence and persuasiveness, which lead to a lot of (unwanted) attention and popularity. Their quiet, determined idealism and imaginative expression naturally draw influence, and if there is anything Advocates avoid, it’s the accumulation of power over others – and the people who are drawn to that type of power. Advocates will find themselves more sought after than they’d ever care to be, making it even more difficult for them to find someone they truly have an affinity with. Really the only way to be counted among Advocates’ true friends is to be authentic and to have that authenticity naturally reflect their own.

Once a common thread is found, though, people with the Advocate personality type make loyal and supportive companions, encouraging growth and life-enriching experiences with warmth, excitement, and care. As trust grows, Advocates will share more of what lies beneath the surface, and if those ideas and motives are mutual, it’s the sort of friendship that will transcend time and distance, lasting a lifetime. Advocates don’t require a great deal of day-to-day attention – for them, quality trumps quantity every time, and over the years they will likely end up with just a few true friendships, built on a richness of mutual understanding that forges an indelible link between them.

ADVOCATE PARENTS

As parents, Advocates, much as in their friendships will tend to look at their relationships with their children as opportunities to learn and grow with someone they care about while working to achieve a distinctly separate but important goal – raising someone to be an independent, responsible and principled adult. People with the Advocate personality type are unflinching in their devotion to their children, willing to grin and bear any burden without hesitation. While warm and compassionate throughout the parenting relationship, what Advocates are really looking forward to is being able to communicate and relate to the person they helped to raise, as equals.

Be Unique, Just Like Me

As their children grow, Advocates will likely try to project a great deal of their own qualities onto them, demanding the same sort of idealism and honesty that they demand from themselves, and maybe even manipulating them into this in their weaker moments. Despite this, Advocates will also push their children to think independently, make their own choices and establish their own beliefs.

The highest goal for Advocate parents is for their child’s choices and beliefs to culminate in a cause that they are able to act on, contributing to the world around them.

If all this independence is taken to heart, it can cause some trouble for Advocate parents, though, as their children move into the naturally rebellious phase of adolescence. If Advocates’ children take a contrarian approach, adopting beliefs that violate their parents’ own well-developed principles, Advocates are likely to feel like their children are pointing out their flaws by following another path, a hurtful thing to such a sensitive personality type.

A Job Well Done

Ultimately, though, Advocate parents will realize that these conflicting beliefs aren’t a sign of their failure, but of their success in raising someone who did indeed learn to form their own ideals. As they mature, Advocates’ children will also come to appreciate the combination of independence and personal responsibility they were raised with. So long as their child grows up with a firm understanding of the difference between right and wrong and is able to fight for a cause they believe in, striving to be the best they can be, Advocate parents will be satisfied with what they’ve accomplished together with their child.

I know… you probably think that this is all TMI! So, don’t read my results! Get your own and let me know in the comments what personality type you are! Don’t forget to use this information in a way that helps you grow as a person.

Namaste. I wish you much peace and joy today.

READ MORE ON COLLEEN’S FAIRY WHISPERS

Sign up for my monthly newsletter where you will find interesting reads from across the web plus a few creations of my own. Written, just for you, with fairy love, each month. Just fly over to my SIGN UP PAGE and enter your email. ❤

CONNECT WITH ME – I love hearing from you!

5-things-thankful-fb

A Mindful Journey has it’s own Facebook Page: My Mindful Journey Join in each night where I share my FIVE THINGS THANKFUL for that day. Share your own!

Amindfuljourneysite.wordpress.com  Amazon  Twitter  Facebook  Google+  Instagram

Mindful Monday – A New Year, A New YOU!

Welcome to Mindful Monday and my first post of the new year. Each week I try to look at new or sometimes old things about myself on my journey to becoming healthier. I have found that being mindful encompasses the act of being watchful, aware, wary, heedful, alert, careful, or attentive, in whatever area in my life I feel it applies to, as I try to live in the present. Come and join me on my journey. You never know what you will learn about yourself.

Happy New Year everyone! Now, that we have the holiday’s behind us it’s time to make a few decisions on planning our mindful journey for this year. Have you done that yet?

Image credit: visual.ly

No… Well, the first question I ask myself when I start planning is what do I hope to achieve? Do I want to lose weight? If so, how much? Do I want to eat better? Do I want to exercise more? Do I want to find more time for learning meditation?

Do I want it all?


Yes, I do want it all. I want to immerse myself into the idea of becoming more mindful of my life choices – mentally and physically. However, I want to do it in such a way that the change is not too overpowering. It is human nature to resist change, so I must play a mind game with myself…

So, I Start Small!

You know how at the beginning of each new year you start making a bunch of rash and outlandish resolutions that you never keep anyway? Don’t do that! You never follow through on those resolutions and forget them as soon as they are made.

Instead, get a notebook and write what you really want. I called mine: Mindful Monday 2017. I started with ideas that I knew I could achieve. This trick always helps me to build confidence in myself. It also helps me finish what I start.

I start with a list of five things. This is my list for this year to begin my mindful journey:

  1. Lose 5 pounds and create a daily walking program with the dogs. (My goal is to lose 15 pounds during 2017)
  2. Meditate once a day.
  3. Write in my food journal daily, and list the five things you are grateful for each day.
  4. Continue writing and working on your second book. Pace yourself.
  5. Stop writing each day no later than 4 pm. Spend more time with Ron.

When I start small, I don’t feel so intimidated. I feel in control and know that with some due diligence on my part, I can do these simple goals.

Lose 5 Pounds

Notice how I didn’t say that I wanted to lose 15 pounds? That sounds so daunting! If I say I want to lose 5 pounds, I know I can do that.

Once I have achieved the goal of losing 5 pounds, I will cross it off and change the target to read another 5 pounds! In this way, I trick myself into following through on small goals. These all add up toward reaching my goal, so I get what I was after anyway – losing 15-pounds! 

Daily Walking

A daily walking plan is just what I need. I know I am sitting too much and that is never a good thing. I have begun walking on my treadmill when I check email and read blogs. I have added it to my “TO DO” list on my date planner. I like to see my list crossed off with all the things I have completed. This is another mind game I play with myself to meet my goals. At the end of the day, I am happy if my list is completed. I feel like I carried out my goals for that day.

Meditate Once a Day

I stumbled upon the Chopra Center and this great article about meditation for beginners: Learn to Meditate in 6 Easy Steps. Meditation is all about relaxation and counting your breaths. It makes you live in that simple moment – listening to your own breath going in and out… The best part is that you choose your own mantra to repeat. Here’s mine:

Write in My Food/Gratitude Journal Daily

Part of pursuing a healthy lifestyle is taking the time to do the things that keep you in line. When I keep track of my daily food intake by writing in a notebook, I lose weight. When food journaling becomes a priority, losing weight happens. As a bonus, I like to list five things I am grateful for each day. That way, I can’t have a pity party because I chose not to eat something that wasn’t right for me. My friend, Annette Rochelle Aben, asks her friends every day what we are grateful for on a Facebook post. It feels good to share what you are most thankful for that day.

Continue My Daily Writing Goal (The Meadow Fairy)

I discovered that if I write for two hours each day on my novel that I get more done that way. I’m talking about a first draft here, so it is a stream of consciousness writing. Later I will go back and edit and rewrite. This is just to get the story out of my head and on paper. This is a huge goal for me because I hope to have the second book in The Heart Stone Chronicles finished and published by late autumn. By making this goal a priority, I know I must stay on track to reach my goal.

Find an End to My Day

Find time to spend with those you love most. Step away from the computer. Get off social media. Put your phone down. Let your brain decompress. Relax and get ready for a bedtime ritual. READ A BOOK. This will make sure that you have a fabulous night’s sleep to begin your new day tomorrow!

My favorite guy

Sugar and Spice

Image credit: TFLguide.com

The bottom line is to set some goals for yourself for 2017. Figure out what you want to do and how you want to meet those objectives. As you can see, being mindful is all about becoming aware of your own needs.

If you would like to join me with your goals, please do. The whole idea is to start thinking about ways that you can get in touch with your own mindfulness needs and how it pertains to your life. Write about it. We all learn from each other’s experiences.

If you’d like, you can link to my post with a ping back each week in a separate post on your own blog. I will add your blog to a list of Mindful Monday supporters that others can visit to gain motivation on each of my weekly Mindful Monday posts. I’m happy to have you along for the journey! ❤

Image credit: JingaJuice.ph

Remember, this is not a challenge.  Each of us has different goals that we want to reach. This is an offering of support and a place where my online community can come to talk about mindfulness. If you would like to join in with your own Mindful Monday post, you can do so in the comments, or on a separate post of your own making.  If you want to link back to my post, please feel free to do so, however, it is not necessary.

Thanks for being part of my journey into mindfulness. Don’t forget to share your goals for 2017. ❤ Happy New Year Blessings to you all. Namaste.

Mindful Monday – How to Start a Weight Loss Journey

Welcome to Mindful Monday. Each week I try to examine new or sometimes old things about myself on my journey to becoming more mindful. I have found that being mindful encompasses the act of being watchful, aware, wary, heedful, alert, careful, or attentive, in whatever area in my life I feel it applies to, as I try to live in the present. Come and join me on my journey. You never know what you will learn about yourself.

Another Christmas has come and gone. How do you feel after the holiday? Do you feel like you gained ten pounds from all the holiday sweets and heavier than normal foods you consumed to celebrate the season? Me, too!

As I wander through the last days of 2016, my mind always returns to what I carried out or didn’t carry out in the past year. I did well maintaining my weight for the first half of the year. The second half of the year was a disaster. I quit eating correctly and have paid the price with weight gain. Besides that, I don’t feel as healthy as I did at a lower weight.

So… it is time to renegotiate my diet and assume control over a situation that I let get out of control. Some people like to create an actual contract with themselves. I am going to create a personal mantra.

The December 2016 Family Circle Magazine had a little article on page 126 that caught my attention. It’s called: “Facing Your Fears,” and I am quoting the piece:

“Think about one of your most positive, life-changing experiences. What did it teach you about your own power – that you’re resourceful? Strong? Creative? Use those impactful traits to create a mantra for your next life challenge: “I can and will do __________ because I’m __________.” (Fill in the blanks with your own words).”

Here are a couple of my accomplishments from years past. In 1999, I quit smoking after I had smoked for more than twenty + years, and in 2012, I lost a total of 55 pounds. Each of these accomplishments took dedication and strength. Oh, and fortitude. I didn’t give up even when it was hard. This is crucial. I can use these past experiences to create my personal mantra for 2017:

If you’d like to join me in making your personal mantra for the new year, please do. I wrote mine on a sticky note which I have placed on the front of my refrigerator. That way I must see my words every time I open the door.

Now, select the eating style that works best for you. I am going to stick with my Weight Watchers Points Plus because that has worked for me in the past. The key to the success of this program is writing down what you eat in a food journal. I’ve talked about this before and use a notebook with a page per day. I also write down five things a day I am grateful for on each page. This helps to keep me in check.

CHECK OUT this cool body weight simulator. You type in your current weight and height and then add your target weight and height. You get an image of what you look like now compared to how you will look when you lose the weight! You can even make the model look more like you. Have fun and discover some Instant inspiration!!

I have a friend who has lost weight by photographing her healthy and not so healthy meals every day and putting them on Instagram. What a great way to make yourself accountable. If it worked for her, it might work for you.

Have you ever heard of the 80/20 RULE?

I found this article on Popsugar and was really interested in this concept. Popsugar shares:

“The 80/20 principle is no diet — it’s a lifestyle change that can lead to sustainable weight loss. Folks who have suffered on rigid, limiting diets in the past find that this new rule teaches them about balance and moderation, a concept that never exists in a fad diet. When you practice 80/20, you have the space to go out socially and enjoy a meal (or a cocktail!) with friends, but most importantly, it makes the whole clean-living thing feel doable for the long run.”

“The breakdown is simple: 80 percent of the time you focus on eating clean, good-for-you foods, and 20 percent of the time you have the freedom to indulge as you please. Don’t be concerned about the math, but it’s simple: if you eat three square meals a day, three of those meals every week are your 20 percent cheat meals; if you eat five small meals a day, then seven of those small meals are up for grabs.”

I really like the idea of eating correctly 80% of the time and having a 20% period each week that I could splurge a little. In fact, I must tell you I have tried this theory in the past, and it does work. If you are looking for a way to start a weight loss journey this might be the one for you.

It is worth a try I would say if you are struggling with the confinements of most diets. Check out Livestrong.com for more on the 80/20 eating style.

Image credit: Mynaturalfamily.com

Here is another healthy living lifestyle diet:

Image credit: Evalinda George on Pinterest

Here is a shopping list to get you started and the link to the PDF you can print out yourself: oldwayspt.org

The Mediterranean diet is one of the healthiest ways to live. For me, Weight Watchers is the closest version of this eating style. Watchfit.com is a great place to get started on learning the basics of this eating style.

In addition, you must figure out a way to get more exercise. I have a treadmill, so that really helps to keep me moving during the winter months. Walking is a safe way to start an exercise program. Make sure to check with your doctor if you have any health issues before starting an exercise program or diet. Remember, I am only sharing ideas and my own personal journey. What works for me might not work for you.

I have a beginning walking goal of one mile a day for five days. I want to stagger the two days off in between the other days. I do this because it is too easy for me to take two days off and then not want to walk again. Consistency is key to sticking with your goals. It seems that I have to play mind games with myself to succeed.

How about you? What are your healthy living goals for the week?

Image credit: Quotesgram.com

Have a wonderful week! If you would like to join me in your own healthy living journey, please do. Use whatever program works for you. You do not even have to follow a plan if you don’t want to. The whole idea is to start thinking about ways that you can become healthier and fit. This includes going gluten-free, fat-free, lactose-free, starting an exercise program, or even a new way of eating such as becoming a vegetarian. If it has to do with becoming healthy, write about it!

Link to my post with a ping back each week in a separate post on your own blog. I will add your blog to a list of healthy living supporters that others can visit to gain motivation on each of my Mindful Monday posts. Together we can become healthier!

Remember, this is not a challenge.  Each of us has different goals that we wish to reach. This is an offering of support and a place where my online community can come to take part in achieving a healthy lifestyle.  If you would like to join in with your own Mindful Monday goals, you can do so in the comments, or on a separate post of your own making.  If you want to link back to my post, please feel free to do so, however, it is not necessary.  My main aim here is to give and get support to become more mindful of my journey to healthy living.

Thanks for being part of my fabulous journey to a healthy lifestyle. Don’t forget to share your journey. ❤ No matter what your goals are in becoming healthier, together we can do it!

I wish you much peace and joy in the week ahead. ❤