Thursday, February 28, 2013

Keeping Technology in Balance

Before I had even gotten out of bed the other day, my son was begging to watch something or play with someone's phone/ipad/kindle/ipod.  As of late, we had given into that request more often than not mostly because he did learn things from it (most of it) and it helped me focus on other things.  But the more we allowed, the more he wanted to consume! And the more he consumed the worse EVERYTHING got! He's 2, so of course he struggles with listening, obeying, throwing fits over the slightest no, etc., but whining and flat out ignoring had started!  It was just out of control.

So, yesterday I had decided that he would have an unplugged day.  No games, no tv, nothing.  He asked about it first thing and I made the proclamation! He slumped his shoulders, I changed the subject and we had a much better day.  He asked every few hours, but no fits about it.  And his listening and joy levels were through the roof!  This child was by far my favorite of the two days.

So, what?  Am I here to shame people who let their kids watch tv and vow to never let it enter the house again? Not at all.  I'd be a hypocrite if I even suggested such a notion.  I just want people (not just parents about their kids) to consider anything like tv or media and it's effect on your mood, thought patterns and energy level.  It effects what we do, how we think and how we feel.  Some is okay for most things, but taken over the edge and you find destruction.  We have to eat, but binging and lack of restraint make people unhealthy, fat and miserable.  Media is not much different.  We all have to use it, but too often we let it make us mentally fat!

For me (and apparently my offspring!) finding a balance means I have to set limits before I even start.  Here are some things that help us.

-Require certain tasks before indulging. I hate cleaning so for me personally I require myself to clean the kitchen and whatever large daily task (floors, dusting, etc.)

-Limit how long.  Duh, but it's hard when you don't plan it out before hand.  Just 5 more minutes can be the most alluring words on the planet sometimes.

-Pare down WHAT is being watched.  Pick your absolute favorite(s) or most beneficial (educational, cleanest, inspiring, encouraging) shows and don't fill time with fillers! We all watch just to watch if we're not careful.

-Start and end your day with God.  Whether it's in prayer, silence or reading scripture, your day will be more balanced and solid if you don't allow facebook, cartoons, or anything electronic to set your pace for the day/night.

We struggle being consistent with these, but when we are, there are never regrets!  There is an amazing world, full of amazing brains and creatures and life that we pass over so quickly if we're not careful.  As spring is on it's way, encourage your household to live in it fully!  I expect you'll find (like we do) that the tv and internet is so much easier to keep in perspective that way!

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

The Purpose for Living on Purpose

I love this quote and picture so much that I have it hanging in my entry way.  Living on purpose is a concept I've thought about and tried to accomplish in a lot of areas of my life (failing a whole lot, but still trying).  So, I'm familiar with it, but sometimes you need a refresher as to why.  Why would 'living on purpose' be important or even any different than what most people do.  We all make choices, right?  Aren't they on purpose?

I can't speak for the world, but as far as my life goes, my temporary desires rarely achieve my long-term goals.  What feels good right now often brings regret later. Another way to say it is always feeling good now isn't going to make me feel good later, contrary to popular thought.

It feels good to sit my son in front of the tv every time I want to get something done.  But that practice won't produce a man who engages the world around him, works through difficulties and who learned from his mom's daily life, rather than being sent in the other room all the time.

It feels oh so good to eat delicious cookies or flavor of the day ice cream at every snack and sometimes for breakfast! But that practice will not produce a self-diciplined, energized woman at a healthy weight.

Eating out every night or buying new stuff every day feels awesome! No cooking and new new new!  But it will not produce adequate college funds for my children or the financial ability to give where the need arises.

And we all know that any one of those examples isn't bad, certainly not every now and again.  But the practice of such - daily, regularly, more often than not - doesn't give us what we really want.

It's our habits that build or break us.  And, I don't know about you, but I have to pick myself back up regularly.  Purposeful, disciplined choices are HARD!  But, the payoff is worth every struggling moment.  Living on purpose transitions us from being 'victims' in our life events to orchestrator.  Consider where you really want to be.  If this is it - share how you've gotten here!  If not, let's start a conversation about how we can really be the people we wish.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

A Foggy Day Solution: Lymph Gland Cleanse-Hy

This past week here in Oklahoma City, it was foggy and misty - it felt like it was several days in a row. Since we live in the city, we certainly felt the smog-like conditions.  It seems silly that it should affect much of anything, but in our house it seemed to affect everything!  I really believe the culprit was in the air.  With recent allergy flair ups on top of usual city air pollution trapped by the fog and such, it makes it harder to breathe freer.  Anyway, it seemed to mess everything up from how we felt physically to our moods and mental clarity in general!

I didn't realize the correlation until it was mostly gone, but the effect seemed to be lingering.  And the reason I'm sharing any of this is because there is an herbal combination that I've used (for years) that helps so much with circumstances like this.  Once we started it, the symptoms began to diminish significantly!

What's in it: Parthenium root, yarrow aerial parts, myrrh gum and capsicum fruit.
Lymph Gland Cleanse-Hy

Why it's helpful: This herbal formula helps meet the nutritional needs of a stressed immune system and is particularly helpful to the circulatory system, which benefits the lymphatic system.  When the body encounters harmful contaminants (think lawn chemicals, car exhaust, pesticides, etc.) in any form, it can stress the immune system.  This combination is a great immune booster, giving the body what it needs to eliminate the problem with few physical effects.

I'm so thankful that I have such an arsenal of resources in herbs, vitamins, homeopathics, essential oils and home remedies to assist with the complicated landscape our bodies have to deal with.  As with anything you put in your body, it's important to remember that everyone is different, with different circumstances and needs.  I hope to share many of the things that work for my family, but please be be wise and knowledgeable just the same in determining what is best for yours.  What works for one, may not work for another.  

Information on this site is provided for educational purposes only.  Information and statements regarding dietary supplements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

The Questions We Should Ask, But Don't

In a 10 year span, most people encounter several head swirling events, any of which can really mess a person up if they let it.  The thing is, we often don't talk about these kind of events like that.  We talk about graduating college as the gateway to the future.  Marriage is easily characterized as the happiest day of our lives.  Then pregnancy and parenthood are spoken of in magical terms where the world is wafted with sunshine and rainbows.  And if we're all honest about it, deep down we want to believe it will all be true for us.  We are different.  The cool part is that there are days like that.  Days where I know I'm the luckiest girl in the world with amazing opportunities and joy beyond measure because of my husband, my work and my children.  But the other days - when I don't feel those things - well, we don't talk about those much, do we?

The other day I had a day that I just wouldn't want to share with anybody.  I didn't feel well physically. I was short-tempered with my son.  I was hateful to my husband.  And I accomplished nothing of note - as in no housework, no better attitude, barely getting the dogs fed kind of a day.  Granted, I'm pregnant and have been suffering from mood swings a lot lately, but it was still one of those 'I must be the worst person on the planet' days.  And the hardest part about it?  The next day I didn't feel any better.  It's like hitting a brick wall twice.  Ain't nobody got time for that!

In life, we experience things that we hope to never talk about with anyone - or at least as few as possible.  But I think we should.  Mostly, to know that we're not the only one who's ever faced such a thing.  Marriage problems, addictions, depression, feelings of failure because of layoffs, parenting problems, resentment, overwhelming pessimism, etc.  Just fill in whatever issue you struggle with right now.  We all know of people who have surprising problems. "I had no idea!" always follows the discussion.  So often, if we would talk about it, these problems can be ridden out before permanent destruction occurs.

We all have circumstances, health issues, weaknesses and a whole lot of faults.  And that's not really the problem.  The destruction really begins when we start thinking we're alone or no one else has to deal with anything like this.  Sure, it's not a good idea to tell anyone who will listen to all your dirty laundry, but find at least one or two friends to be honest with.  Whether you're at a crossroads of decisions, drowning in silence or just about to jump into something big (like college, marriage or kids), ask questions of those in the throws.  Ask the weird, maybe hard questions.

  • What do you wish someone had told you before you went to college/took your first job/got married/had kids/bought a house?
  • Did you ever completely regret getting married/that degree/having children?
  • Have you ever taken anti-depressants?
  • Have you ever had an addiction problem?
  • Did you ever feel like you just couldn't do it anymore?
  • How do people deal with feeling ashamed of where their life is?
  • Have you ever had a lot of debt?
  • Did you ever have suicidal thoughts?
  • Do you ever resent your kids?
  • Have you ever found out your spouse lied to you? 

This is the stuff that turning points are made of.  There are ways out, but all too often it's really hard to see them by yourself.  What do you wish someone had told you before now?

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

A Different Kind of Valentine

Hearts.  Candy.  Flowers.  Cards.  Dinner reservations.  Stuffed animals.  I {heart} you.  Disappointment.  Comparison.  Reminders that you're alone.  Or with a crummy 'valentine'.  Or that you're just not special enough for anyone to bother noticing, let alone sending you a valentine.

Yeah, isn't Valentine's Day awesome for the majority of the world?  Like most other holidays, it's a perfect opportunity to either spend more money than you should and/or feel incredibly bad about your current relationship status.  I'm very blessed to married to a great guy, but contrary to popular belief, having a significant other doesn't always mean a perfect holiday.   Once there is a valentine, in walks expectations and comparisons and pressure.  All ingredients of an ugly, hurtful fight.  Trust me - a warm body isn't a solution.

Whether cynical or dreamy-eyed about the upcoming Love holiday, I think we all could use a different approach.  Love is much more than candy and flowers.  And showering a significant other is only a small part of what love means in the world.

Honor the INsignificant.  Love the UNimportant.  Put your heart loving energy into brightening anyone and everyone's day.  Show love to strangers.  Buy somebody's Starbucks.  Show up early or stay late to help - especially if it isn't your job.  Use whatever you have - extra time, money, kind words - to love others.  And by all means, show those important people in your life love.  But make it meaningful to them - think love language.  Since most of us are going to be surrounded by this holiday anyway, make it really about love.  Not things.  Not appearances.  Not obligations.  

"Love is patient, love is kind.  It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.  It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.  Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.  It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.  Love never fails."  I Corinthians 13:4-8

"This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us.  And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters."  I John 3:16