Applying Mindfulness To Diet

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. Margaret Mead, American cultural anthropologist

In my last blog, I wrote about mindfulness, the process of purposely bringing one’s attention to experiences occurring in the moment. As I apply mindfulness to various aspects of my life, I’m committing to adding one more—eating with sustainability in mind. 

Animal agriculture is the number two contributor to climate change—slightly more than all transportation pollution combined. What I put on my plate matters enormously—not just to my health but to the state of the environment. When I commit to eating a single planet-based meal each day I will save tens of thousands of gallons of water every year and drastically reduce my carbon output. I think it’s worth it. 

Affirmation: I will eat with sustainability in mind.

Coaching questions: What do you want to be more mindful about? What difference will it make?

IMG_3538.JPGFat-free, sugar -free, gluten-free, animal product-free breakfast “cookies.”

Learn to Overcome Negative Thinking

You don’t have to believe everything you think. Why stay in a prison of self when the door is wide open? Let everything go. Let everything be. Dr. Bob Stahl and Steve Flowers, Mindful experts

According to Melody Wilding, Executive Coach for sensitive high-achievers, an effective way to work with negative thoughts is by following a simple mindfulness exercise including allowing negative thoughts to pass through your mind. As you do this, watch out for stories you’re telling yourself such as, “this always happens,” “I should have done….” or “I never do anything right.” Choose to use empowering rather than negative self-talk. 

Follow the advice of the mindfulness experts as you decide to let negative thinking go. When you practice releasing negative thoughts, be compassionate with yourself. Changing your mindset isn’t easy but being proactive about overcoming negative thinking can put you on a new, positive road.

Affirmation: I think positive thoughts.

Coaching questions: What can you do to help yourself think more positively? How will positive thinking benefit your life? What is a first step to letting go of negative self-talk? 

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The Surprising Benefits of Buying Flowers for Yourself

Flowers…are a proud assertion that a ray of beauty out values all the utilities in the world. Ralph Waldo Emerson

Many years ago, when I was a single mother, I read that putting flowers in your shopping cart was as important for your health as buying broccoli. I took the advice to heart and have been buying myself flowers ever since. Flowers bring me joy and feeling joyful helps me stay healthy in all ways.

Buying myself flowers also reminds me that I have the power to create positive feelings and beauty wherever I go. We attract what we believe we deserve. When we send out “love and flowers energy,” it returns to us in spades.

Affirmation: I can bring joy into my life.

Coaching questions: What brings you joy? What’s keeping you from getting it? 

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Photo by Tong Nguyen van on Unsplash

Going Beyond Awareness

I wouldn’t change you for the world, but I would change the world for you. Unknown parent of a child with Down syndrome 

October is Down Syndrome Awareness Month. Approximately one in every 700 babies in the United States is born with three copies of chromosome 21, instead of the usual two. Although children born with Down syndrome have an increased risk for certain medical conditions such as congenital heart defects, respiratory and hearing problems, Alzheimer’s disease, childhood leukemia and thyroid conditions, many of these conditions are now treatable, so most people with Down syndrome lead healthy lives. In fact, the life expectancy for people with Down syndrome has increased dramatically in recent decades from twenty five years in 1983 to sixty years today. People with Down syndrome attend school, work, participate in decisions that affect them, have meaningful relationships, vote, and contribute to society in many wonderful ways. 

All these facts help us become AWARE of Down syndrome. The broader goal, however, is ACCEPTANCE. How accepting are we of persons with differing abilities? As we champion quality educational programs, good health care, and give positive support to family members, people with Down syndrome have a greater opportunity to live healthy, fulfilling lives.  

Affirmation: I accept and champion persons with Down syndrome

Coaching question: When given the opportunity, what will you do to show awareness and acceptance of someone with Down syndrome? 

 

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Six Life Lessons From Dr. Seuss

Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind. Theodor Seuss Geisel, pen name Dr. Seuss, American writer and illustrator (1904-1991)

I grew up in the era of Dr. Seuss books and I still love the stories, the crazy characters, and the wisdom. In 1984 Geisel received a special Pulitzer Prize “for his contribution over nearly half a century to the education and enjoyment of America’s children and their parents.” The honor underscored the immense popularity of his works, which were perennial best sellers. According to various reports, by the early 21st century more than 600 million copies of Dr. Seuss books had been sold worldwide.

Here are a six important lessons imparted by Dr. Seuss: 

— Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.

—Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.

—A person’s a person, no matter how small.

— The more that you read, the more things you’ll know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.

—Today you are you, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is youer than you.

—You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself in any direction you choose. 

Affirmation: I can learn from a variety of sources.

Coaching questions: Which of these quotes speaks to you the most? Why? What’s your favorite Dr. Seuss book?

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How to Pull Through Even When You’ve Been Punched in the Face

Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the face. Mike Tyson, professional boxer

Even if you think you’re prepared for the worst, there are times when life throws you a curve ball that smacks you right in the face. Here are a few reminders to help you pull through when you’re at your lowest. 

  • Reach out for help. Sometimes it’s hard to admit just how hard life is right now but hiding from the world isn’t the answer. Talk to a friend, clergy, therapist, or coach. What do you have to lose?
  • Even small changes can make a difference. Set small goals so you can experience progress and gain momentum. This forward movement will give you a boost of confidence and optimism. Make your bed, go for a ten minute walk, schedule lunch with a friend (even if you don’t feel up to it).
  • Are you strong enough to be grateful when you’re at your lowest? Think of one thing you’re grateful for even while you’re in the “pit.” Gratitude shifts the focus.
  • Remember the setbacks/crisis/challenges you’ve overcome in the past. Pat yourself on the back for coming out strong. You’ve done it before and you can do it again!

Affirmation: I can make it through this!

Coaching questions: How have you overcome severe life challenges in the past? How can you use this experience to address what is happening now? What’s one step you’ll take today to move  forward? 

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Photo by Baylee Gramling on Unsplash

Are We No Better Than the Beasts?

This world of ours…must avoid becoming a community of dreadful fear and hate, and be, instead, a proud confederation of mutual trust and respect. Dwight D. Eisenhower, 34th President of the United States

Respect is the cornerstone of relationships; friend to friend, colleague to colleague, country to country. As we respect our ourselves and others, we are enriched in our journey. 

Respect is earned by standing up for what we believe, showing empathy for others, telling the truth, and demonstrating consideration for our differences. We must hold on to our mutual respect because, without it, Confucius says, “We are no better than the beasts.”

Affirmation: I respect myself and others.

Coaching question: In an age when disrespect has become the norm, what can you do to hold on to the power of respect in your life?

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