A Lesson At The Gas Pump

A couple of years ago two men were arguing at the Costco gas pump, about 3 feet away from me, because one man had supposedly cut in front of the other. There were raised voices and threats which made me feel physically unsafe. I asked myself, “instead of feeling vulnerable, what can I do now to improve the situation for myself”? I decided that I would not be perceived as a threat so I went over and stood between them. I gently suggested that what occurred was not worth fighting over and what would result from that. My choice left me feeling better, my heart was peaceful.

Why did I choose the action that I did? It was because I felt compassion for these two angry young men. I knew that anger of this magnitude for a “small” event came from the past in each of them, where they had been harmed. I realize this particular situation is an unusual and rare occurrence but I use it to illustrate that….

“If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.”  -Wayne Dyer

I changed the way I looked at these men who were acting aggressively toward one another, and then my choice changed. Instead of judging them as making a poor decision or as “immature”, I chose to look at what was behind their behavior. It was my choice. My choice came from years of attempting to cultivate compassion in many smaller arenas. Then, when I needed it for a larger issue, it was there for me to use without hesitation. For this I am extremely grateful because this is not the way it used to be.

In the past, compassion was never my first choice, judgement was. A constant diatribe of (negative) judgement was going on in my head aimed at myself as well as others. I didn’t know I could change it. I never asked myself if I wanted to change it. And even if I would have wanted to change it, I didn’t know how. I didn’t have the tools. But I do now, and learning to use them leaves me feeling calm, gives me an increasing sense of freedom and opens my heart. Instead of the old “sign on my heart” which read “All who come near will be judged“, the sign now reads, “All are welcome and accepted without judgement.”

As I write this I cannot help but shake my head in wonder at the shifts that have taken place inside of me. If there is some type of change you are wanting, you can have it too. It happens as a result of your desire, your invitation to change your heart. Then allow life to gently guide you, put your focus there and watch what happens!

With love, Jackie

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I’ll Feel Better When………

One of the things I recommend as I work with clients desiring permanent weight loss is a steady diet of kindness toward ourselves. In this blog I wanted to share one idea for treating yourself with added kindness.

Let go of the thought that you will feel better when your conditions change. Your well-being won’t be found in some future time or occurrence as conditions are continually changing. One thing you can do NOW is to guide your thoughts toward something that feels better to you at this moment.  Every time you make that choice you empower yourself. When you wait for conditions to change to feel better, you disempower yourself. Here is a question that can help you begin to guide your thoughts, “what is the kindest choice I can make toward myself right now?” What would your answer be, now?

With love, Jackie

Delicious Kale Smoothie Recipie!

A client of mine sent me a smoothie recipe from Kris Carr. I have adapted that recipe to be higher in fiber and lower in carbs for my own purposes. It is packed with good nutrients and tastes great. I find this smoothie to be a great hunger killer mid afternoon. It can also be a quick substitute for any meal. Should you find yourself hungry in the evening, just cut the amount of avocado and raspberries in half and skip the honey or agave, or substitute it with a tiny bit of artificial sweetener. It takes about 10 minutes to make and that includes cleaning up!

INGREDIENTS

1 CUP FRESH SPINACH OR CURLEY LEAF KALE (I find curly leaf kale tastes better than the other types, but any type is fine)

1 CUP FRESH OR FROZEN RASPBERRIES

1 CUP UNSWEETENED ALMOND MILK

1/4-1/2 AVOCADO (ALTERNATIVE-1-2 TBSP UNSWEETENED PEANUT BUTTER)

JUICE FROM 1/2 FRESH LEMON (ALTERNATIVE-1 TBSP LEMON JUICE)

1-3 TSP AGAVE, HONEY OR STEVIA

1/2-1 CUP COLD WATER

1 CUP ICE (OPTIONAL-ADDS THICKNESS & VOLUME)

Put it all in a blender except for the ice, and blend until well mixed. Add ice and blend until smooth. I put it in a giant glass and it looks like a milkshake. YUM! (From my personal experience, the lemon and a little bit of sweetener are critical to the “deliciousness” of this smoothie)

*Approximate nutritional information- Calories– 250, Carbohydrates–24 g, Protein–4 g, Fat–12.5 g, Fiber–14 g

With Love, Jackie

Do You Feel Powerless Over Your “Addiction“?

Disclaimer: I am not an expert in addiction medicine. I’m a registered nurse that has been working in the field of permanent weight loss for the last six years. The work I do now is the result of my own personal experience. I was addicted to food, and as a result, I was overweight since my teens. For decades, with temporary success, I had tried everything I knew to try to turn my weight issue around but I was unsuccessful. I felt trapped and depressed. In my late 40s and early 50s I finally figured out a permanent and peaceful way to lose and maintain a healthy weight. I found a way out of my addiction to food.

Having a more fit and slender body was certainly wonderful, just as I thought it would be, but one other thing I lost was just as meaningful and I had no idea it even existed. This may sound dramatic but it is truly the way I felt. Being released from the compulsion to eat was just as remarkable as finally being at a healthy weight. I had previously felt enslaved to a food habit that I was unable to break for decades. The word “enslaved” is aptly defined as losing your freedom of choice. I mean really, would I ever have freely chosen to be overweight?

So now, I find myself wanting very much to help others who are struggling. Below is a powerful little practice that I would offer to anyone who is addicted as I was.

When a craving hits

-Stop for a moment

-Put your full attention on the feeling the craving is creating in your body. 

            -Where do you feel it? 

            -What does it feel like? (Details please)

-Take two or three deep breath‘s while allowing yourself to feel the powerful pull of the craving

-Observe the craving and its power over you

-Go ahead and make your choice without judgment or criticism. You may choose the object of your addiction or you may chose differently, but you will now be choosing consciously. 

-How does that feel?

-Repeat as needed whenever the craving returns

It is your conscious choice that can begin to turn things around. You are taking your power back no matter how small, and that is what matters.

It is my heartfelt wish for you to live a life full of love in all of its forms, i.e. fun, friendships, abundance, kindness etc… This was not possible for me as long as I was dealing with an addiction. You are a worthy and lovable human being. How do you want to live your life, trapped or free?

With love, Jackie

Anyday Wisdom

It is not always possible to change our situation (quickly) once we realize we would like it to change. Our job is to create an improved feeling NOW by changing our thoughts to something that feels better. Any thought that feels better will do, even if it isn’t related to the current situation. Just look around  in your physical surroundings or in your mind for something that you like or something that makes you smile and put your focus on that. That is how we create well-being. That is how we offer support to ourself. That is how we treat ourself with kindness and compassion!

With love, Jackie

Anxiety Equals Not Feeling Safe

From an evolutionary point of view, we are born into this world vulnerable and completely dependent upon others to keep us safe and to provide for all of our survival needs. As we grow up, we begin to learn how to do these things for ourselves. And as adults, we may or may not have acquired the tools we need to keep ourselves feeling safe and to care for ourselves.

Most of us have not been given all the tools we need or the right tools for us. This is not because anyone withheld these tools from us. It is because they did not have them to give. Whatever the situation we find ourselves in, if we are experiencing anxiety, it is a “red flag” showing us that we do not have the tools in this area to create our own feeling of emotional safety. Anxiety is a normal human emotion to be accepted without judgment or criticism, like all emotions.

If we would like to be able to create our own feeling of emotional safety inside of ourselves, we need to acquire new tools. That is because whatever we are doing now is not bringing us the feeling we desire, which is usually something like calmness or peace of mind.

So, how might we acquire these new tools if we want them? There are many wonderful books written (or audiobook versions) regarding personal development, there are podcasts, YouTube videos, and there are people like me who teach them and more…

There is also a private and personal way for you to begin to do this on your own. That of course would entail something I talk about in almost every blog I write, making a new choice. The idea is to experiment with making a new choice in an area of your life that is causing you anxiety and see how you feel about the outcome of that new choice. If you like the new outcome resulting from your new choice, you may want to repeat it. If you don’t like the outcome, because it increases or doesn’t help with the anxiety you are experiencing, it is not the right choice for you. This moment may be looked at as your opportunity to rehearse in your mind what new choice you might want to make before the situation presents itself again. I can guarantee your “next time” is coming in some way.

This “trial and error” method will spark your personal development and get you moving in your own “best” direction. Once you set an intention to learn YOUR healthiest way to deal with any anxiety that comes your way, (and as you continue to take steps toward changing it) life will support you in new and unexpected ways.

In the meantime, just being aware of and changing your choice when you are feeling anxious will give you information that will help you make your next decision. It can be a new choice in how you perceive the situation or the things you tell yourself once the situation has presented itself. With your underlying intention to do something different this time, you take your first tiny step into a new, more loving place for your mind and soul to rest. Don’t we all deserve that?
I know we do.

With love, Jackie

Run Around In Circles Or Make A Different Choice? 🤷🏻‍♀️ 🤷🏻‍♂️

If there is an area of your life where you are not feeling comfortable or that is not going well, here are just a few questions for your own gentle consideration.

What do I want? (My friend Lynne’s powerful question)
Am I willing to see this differently?
Am I willing to consider the possibility that there could be another possibility, even if I don’t know what it is right now?
What is the smallest, kindest thing I can do to take loving care of myself right now?

“Until we make a choice to do “it” differently, we will continue to go around in circles.”
-Marianne Williamson

My translation of the above quote is: Unless and until we make a new choice, in an area of our lives that is causing us pain or discomfort, we will continue to create the same outcome, an outcome we don’t want.

I did this. For decades I created the same painful outcomes I didn’t like in many areas of my life. Why did I do this? It happened because I didn’t make the connection between my choices and their results or consequences. At the time, I didn’t have the awareness or tools to do it differently. I do now and instead of my choices causing me more emotional pain, they now bring me more peace. This doesn’t mean I don’t experience emotional pain in my life, I do. The difference is I have learned how to recognize and respond to the pain so that I can get back to feeling peaceful. You can too if you want to. Begin to look at the things that are causing you pain or discomfort and make a new choice (preferably chosen in kindness toward yourself). It doesn’t need to be the “right” choice, or the “perfect” choice, any new choice will do.

With love, Jackie

        Thoughts Worth Thinking (About) 🤔

 

When you believe in yourself, you will not care if anyone else does or not.

When you forgive yourself, it won’t matter if other people do or not.

When you are comfortable with yourself, it won’t matter what other people say. You will treat yourself and others with kindness and respect whether they love you, blame you, forgive you or not.

When you value yourself and believe in your own self-worth, you will stop looking for other people’s approval.

It is an inside job. No one has the power to make you feel guilty, embarrassed, defensive or angry unless you give it to them. The reason we feel that other people can make us feel a certain way is because they are just confirming what we are already feeling inside about ourselves. We have given our power (of choice) away. We have allowed someone else to determine how we feel. If we want to feel better we can take our power back and make a new choice. Thinking a new thought that is more in line with what we desire is a first step. 👣

With love, Jackie

A Dose of Kindness 🌷

NEWS FLASH!!! You are enough, you are good enough just as you are, regardless of what other people, or your own mind, keeps telling you! The truth is that you are a human being who is always good enough! And yes, I am talking to YOU without even knowing you.

Listen to your internal critic disagree with that statement when you read it. It’s probably taking your inventory, listing all your self criticisms, to tell you why that statement is so not true. Please acknowledge and disregard this voice in your head. It usually comes from a part of our past experience or “past programming” from our youth, and it prevents us from blossoming into the lovely human being we truly are. How do I know that’s true? Just ask yourself this question: “If I didn’t believe that negative thought, what new choice(s) would I make?”

So today, as an act of kindness to yourself, why not experiment with taking one new tiny step, a new thought, a new choice of words, or a new action, that is distinctly in opposition to any one of your self criticisms? What do you have to lose, how about an old belief that you have held for a long time that was never true to begin with? 🤔

With love, Jackie

A “Game Changing” Quote

” When you make the connection between your choices and your experiences, you don’t have to create the same experience again.” – Gary Zukav

 
I love this quote. It has empowered me. Using it guides my personal growth. Through my experience I have learned that knowing something, like the above quote, is not the same as incorporating it into my life. Sometimes I can feel the moment a concept becomes a part of me. It feels like a tiny, little “download” which then leads to a small feeling of excitement, for which I am thankful.

For me this quote meant I no longer had to create pain for myself by telling myself I was a big fat failure at weight-loss, or that life wasn’t worth living because I had a severely autistic son. I was the one who (unconsciously) created those thoughts that caused me great pain. For most of my life I didn’t know I could change my thoughts. When I learned I could change them, I started to experiment with improving my thoughts. It took time, kindness and gentleness directed at myself, but eventually my life flipped. It became full of love.

I offer my experience only to say, that if you are experiencing emotional pain in any part of your life, you can change it. Put words to any thoughts that are causing you pain and ask yourself, “what other choices do I have?” Give one of those choices a try and see how you like it. If it still doesn’t feel quite right, try again. Keep going until one of your choices makes you feel better. Then, when the old thought comes, and it will, replace it with your new thought/choice, the one that feels better. You do deserve to feel good. Did you know that your feelings matter? I didn’t, but I do now, and that little thought changed everything.

With love, Jackie

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