To Be or Not To Be....

Shakespeare had it right when he wrote this line in The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark in 1602.

To be or not to be…that is the question.

To exercise or not exercise…

To eat healthy or not eat healthy…

To organize or not to organize…

To clean or not to clean…

To buy or not to buy…

And the list goes on and on….

My Shakespeare moment came over the Thanksgiving holiday. The question was: To eat gluten or not eat gluten. Two weeks prior I had started a quest to see if gluten was affecting my thyroid as I am one of the many who have been diagnosed with Hashimoto’s Autoimmune Disorder. As with most things I have received conflicting opinions on the effectiveness of changing diet to combat this illness. As a vegan who works toward a whole food plant based, unprocessed, oil free diet I feel like I make wise choices when it comes to the foods I eat. I began researching how my food choices could affect my thyroid and decided based upon what I learned to try to remove gluten from my diet along with continuing my current *WFPB lifestyle for one year and see if I can help or correct my Hashimoto’s.

At home for the first two weeks of this experiment things were going great. I love to cook and the adjustment wasn’t too difficult. I was sad to lose out on some of my favorite meals (I don’t like gluten free bread) but it was going to be just fine.

Then our annual Thanksgiving trek to Florida happened. My amazing sister in law brought me my daily breakfast of gluten free oats, almond milk, berries, apples, raisins, turmeric, cinnamon and bananas. She even brought me lemons and ginger for my morning water ritual. I could do lunch at the hotel because they had the Impossible Burger (very high in fat and oil - so not a great choice) but I could have it on a lettuce wrap and it was delicious. Because of the high fat it was definitely not a daily choice so lunch proved to be slightly difficult and then there was dinner….There are lots of gluten free options on menus these days and you can find vegan options. But…whole food plant based, no oil, nuts, avocado gluten free options, let’s just say your choices become very limited. Dry potatoes and stemmed broccoli just didn’t seem to cut it for my dinner for a week. This realization brought me to a cross roads.
Not choosing vegan would never be an option for me, so I decided to go back to gluten for the week. And honestly, it lifted a weight. I felt burdened by adding one more step to an already frustrating situation and I know that the 15 other people at the breakfast, lunch and dinner table felt either frustrated or discouraged for me.

I learned a lot from this experience. The first is that next year we are having Thanksgiving at my house in Colorado. The next was that I was able to jump back on the bandwagon when I returned home. This is a proud moment for me because it can be difficult to muster up the excitement you originally had for a new endeavor once you’ve been sidelined. But on my first day back in Colorado I went immediately back to my WFPB - *GF diet. I must say I contemplated eating some Ezekiel toast with vegan butter and peanut butter but I took a minute to think about it, a true moment to contemplate the bigger picture and decided that I am more interested in my health then I am in a moment of food enjoyment laced with guilt and disappointment in myself.

I also learned that you really need to be deep into your change before you step out into the world. It was foolish of me to think that I could navigate this additional choice having only just started. I needed to get comfortable with my options, do some research before going somewhere new and make the necessary arrangements for all my meals like I did with breakfast. And when making these arrangements I need to remember the trade off can be not going to meals with my family, which is not a choice I want to make. So, I have to set aside time to eat beforehand with foods that fit my agenda by going to the grocery store and selecting items that are easy to put together in a hotel room and then enjoy some fruit or salad at the table. I once heard Lindsay Nixon “The Happy Herbivore” speak. She said when she became vegan friends stopped inviting her to events because they didn’t know what she would eat. She finally told them “I don’t come for the food, I come to be with you”. I think that is a wonderful statement. The connection over food is strong, so we all have to remember that the food may bring us together but the people and conversation make us want to stay.

Do you have a To Be or Not To Be that you want to accomplish? Have you thought it through to figure out the obstacles? Where can you be wiser? What do you need to do to be successful? And most importantly WHY do you want to do it? Your WHY is the most important piece to keep you strong when it’s hard to say no or yes depending upon the goal or intention.

I’d love to hear from you - let me know your WHAT and WHY. Writing it down may be the difference between accomplishing your desire or giving up on what you truly want.

Wishing you Grace, Peace & Healthy Living,

Lorraine

WFPB = Whole Food Plant Based. GF = Gluten Free.

Do you Plan?

I am a planner.  One of my favorite phrases is "Plan your Work, Work your Plan".  So, you can imagine my struggle when I started taking a class based upon the book "A Course in Miracles" from Foundation For Inner Peace and transcribed by Helen Schucman and William Thetford.  A Course in Miracles includes statements such as "A healed mind is relieved of the belief that it must plan, although it cannot know the outcome which is best, the means by which it is achieved, nor how to recognize the problem that the plan is made to solve." and "Try not to shape this day as you believe would benefit you most. For you cannot conceive of all the happiness that comes to you without your planning."  

Happiness without planning, this is crazy talk, right?  While I'm taking this class I am also a part of a 60 day challenge at the gym.  I'm using exercise, good food choices and visualization techniques to be successful.  I am reading Louise L. Hay's book "You Can Heal Your Life" which uses Affirmation and Visualization to find success with your overall health.  I am a life coach that uses goal setting as a part of my work. And yet...here I am reading and taking a class that says "You will also recognize that many of your goals are contradictory, that you have no unified outcome in mind, and that you must experience disappointment in connection with some of your goals, however the situation turns out".

This leaves me at a crossroads...How does a planner move forward without a plan?  Of course, I began researching and found some good information and then by happenstance I was listening to a Deepak Chopra meditation and he said "Set your intention, take whatever action is inspired and relinquish your attachment to the result". Now, this may be just the road to consider.  I can still set a plan or intention, I can find my inspiration in that intention and then I need to release the idea of my ideal outcome. The visualization can come in the form of the journey.  As it has been said, Life is in the journey not in the destination.

Are you a planner? Can you imagine not visualizing the result of those plans? Do you ever notice that most plans change and evolve without your input?

One of my plans was to wait to volunteer at our new church.  I wanted to give myself a year to acclimate and after a lifetime of volunteering I wanted to catch my breath and see what was the best fit.  That was the plan, but the plan was about to change.

One Saturday night I had a dream. I was in a Sunday school classroom teaching middle schoolers, it was a very specific dream and I woke up knowing this dream as if it had happened in my life. I couldn't shake the dream and wrote about it in my morning pages, I reviewed it in my mind while on the treadmill, in Pilates class and in the pool at the gym. After the gym my husband and I headed to church.  The dream remained with me.  Then I sat down, opened the bulletin and as you have probably already guessed, I read: "Needed 6th grade Sunday School Teacher." All of the pieces of the dream were coming true in front of me.  So, needless to say I am now a Middle School Sunday School Teacher.  Having always taught young children this is a new experience for me - one that I believe God set before me for a reason.  My plans didn't matter.  It didn't matter that I was more comfortable with young children or that I don't have kids in the youth program. It didn't matter that I wanted to wait. The plan was set.  

So, as I move into this new territory of setting only an intention, I need to release the need for the result that I am expecting and that I have determined in my mind to be the best possible conclusion.  I am reminded of another quote from Deepak Chopra "When you hold onto your desire with limited awareness of who you really are, you prevent the infinite organizing powers of the universe of bringing it to fruition. It is like wanting to use the wind to fly a kite but being unwilling to let go of the string?"

For me, it is time to let go of the string gently and slowly, until I have allowed my true self to emerge.  By doing so, opportunities will come my way naturally. 

What about you? Are you ready to allow yourself the freedom in your life to release the tension on the string?  

Wishing you Grace, Peace & Healthy Living,

Lorraine

What's your Word?

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Who are you?  This topic keeps coming up in my life, everywhere I turn.  So, I am giving the idea real thought.  There are the obvious answers for all of us;  wife/husband, parent, friend, daughter/son, brother/sister, employee/employer, runner, hiker, dancer.....

You can be all or some of these things and truly identify with them but Who Are You Really? If all those descriptions went away would you still be here.  If suddenly you were divorced would you cease to exist because you are no longer married? Of course not, so the question remains...Who are you?

In her book "Eat, Pray, Love" author Elizabeth Gilbert is given this question and after contemplation she guesses that she is a writer.  She is told that is what she does, not who she is.  She is then given the option that maybe she just doesn't have a word yet for who she is.

When these titles fade away because of divorce, empty nest, injury, death of a loved one, retirement or a job change then where are you - the real you.  Can you define the person you once connected with or wanted to be?

Do you have the word for who you are, yet?

Have you ever put any real thought into what makes up YOU? What's underneath the facade?

I enjoy the work of the Enneagram.  The Enneagram is a psychological system that helps you understand yourself and how you are seen in the world.  Once you begin to uncover the realities of your personality type the question then becomes, how do you use this information to better yourself and the world that surrounds you.  The Enneagram uses one word to describe each of the nine personality types.  Depending on which version of the Enneagram you follow the one word could be different but the meaning is the same.  I follow the Narrative Tradition of the Enneagram. If you follow this system you would describe yourself as The Perfectionist, Giver, Performer, Romantic, Observer, Loyal Skeptic, Epicure, Protector or Mediator. With each "Title" you will find a much larger description.  You will also peel back the next layer to determine your wing and subtype.  With that said, I ask the question, Is one word ever enough to describe who we are?

As much as I connect with and agree with the wisdom of the Enneagram it is only one tool and it isn't the only way to uncover the truth about who you are.  

What are your deepest desires and what holds you back from obtaining them? Are there practical reasons or is it fear that stops you from moving toward your goals? Has someone made you feel your desires are silly or that you are not up for the task, or is it that you have pushed down your desires over the years so much that you are starting to forget what they are and why you wanted them in the first place? 

What holds some of us back from our dreams, while others reach for the stars?

Generally, we can trace back through our lives and find the culprits.  Even with the best of intentions it could have been a parent, friend or teacher. It could be ourself through a lack of confidence or shyness....The possibilities can be endless. When you begin to remove the veil that we slowly slipped into over years of living, often times we will find that the hopes and dreams are still there hiding from us. And because they are so hidden underneath, the lack of moving forward can be what is hurting us.  We need to express our wants in order to find freedom within.  This process can be scary, depressing, or so difficult to think about that we try to stuff it back down to the place it's been hiding for years.  But....what if you let it go, allow yourself the opportunity to look at your past choices and explore what made you do the things you did. What if you allow feelings to manifest that you have been able to keep pushed down within yourself by staying super busy, or oblivious to your own needs and wants. The things that you did because you had to for survival or necessity. What if you opened up yourself to your true authentic self not the face you wear for everyone else and most times the face you wear in the mirror?  Take the past and explore it, remember your dreams of creativity and adventure and start opening yourself up to the possibilities of a life not yet lived. 

As you explore your past, I continue to bring up the questions - Who Am I, What's My Word?  In Michael A. Singer's book "the untethered soul" he also asks the question "Who Am I?" he details through all the typical answers but drills down to this "I am the one who sees. From back in here somewhere, I look out, and I am aware of the events, thoughts, and emotions that pass before me." He finishes chapter 3 with these words of wisdom "The great mystery begins once you take that seat deep within." I call them words of wisdom because you can't just read it and change your way of being, just like you can't just ask the big questions like Who Am I? and What's My Word?  These are ideas that need time to marinate within you.  You need to start taking apart yourself and break out of the shell that you know as your security, delving deep within for the answers.  And once you've gone there, is there ever an opportunity to come back to the way you once were.  The person that was oblivious to your needs, wants, desires, completeness.  This is a scary place and a difficult path.  One that can be unnerving and shake your outer beliefs to reveal your inner beliefs and knowledge.  

This process can be difficult and you may need help along the way from a professional therapist or coach.  You may receive negative feedback from the people surrounding you because they don't know this person that is emerging and that can be scary and uncomfortable for them.  Many times they are uncomfortable because they are envious of your courage to move beyond the mask and fearful of removing their own mask. But, as you begin this journey keep in mind, the road may be rocky at times but the road will eventually lead to YOU. The you, you always wanted to know and be, and that my friends can be the most rewarding, liberating, exciting experience of a lifetime.

Wishing you Grace, Peace & Healthy Living,

Lorraine

Happy 2018!

It's January 2, therefore, I think it is a requirement to write about New Years Resolutions.  I have not made any this year, I actually just took a moment to look at myself and jott down the things that are important to me and my growth.  So, if anything my resolution is to stay focused on the things that matter.  Family, Health (which for me is mind, body and spiritual health), friends and community service.  My MBS or Mind, Body, Spiritual Health include things like exercise (I am enjoying Pilates and running at the moment), meditation, MindPT, writing, painting, reading, cleaning & organizing my home, eating a whole food plant based diet, journaling and praying.

It is not always necessary to start something new, sometimes you just need to invigorate yourself and the things that you are already doing.  Change things up, try reading a different type of book, a new form of exercise, or go pick up a new cookbook and spice things up a bit in the kitchen.

I have been enjoying the work of Julia Cameron over the years.  She has written a wonderful book called "The Artist's Way". I use this book with groups both in person and through on-line group and private classes to help people find their creative, spiritual soul.  One of the many stellar quotes from the book is:

Whatever you think you can do or believe you can do, begin it.  Action has magic, grace, and power in it.
— Goethe

 So, what is it you are doing that you can do better or differently? Or what is it you are not doing and want to do? Don't you think it's time to begin?  The calendar has a magical way of giving us permission to restart.  Whether it is the new year, your birthday or springtime.  Take a moment, write down what's important to you and make it happen.  

To Do List....

  1. Join a gym

  2. Take an art/writing class

  3. Walk/Run Daily

  4. Eat Healthier

  5. Drink more water

  6. Dance

  7. Get a Life Coach (Ha! Subtle Hint...)

Do something new, do more of these things that you love or do them better -  but most importantly BEGIN, begin at the start or in the middle of what you are already doing, just BEGIN - again and again and again.

Let's start today and find our place of excitement, peace, contentment, happiness, joy and any other adjective that describes where you want to be.

Happy 2018 Everyone!  

Wishing you all Grace, Peace & Healthy Living,

Lorraine

Feng Shui

What is Feng Shui?  

Just like anything else there are different viewpoints on Feng Shui, such as why it is important and how you actually do it.  I am not an expert but I can say that I have dabbled in the ancient art in the past.  As I prepare to purchase a new home in Colorado I have started to take note of this way of being and living.The more authors I read one thing is becoming apparent, Feng Shui in my humble opinion is about listening to ourselves from a deeper place.  Yes, it is organizing furniture, not having beams and ceiling fans over your bed, bringing the five elements (fire, water, earth, metal, air) into your home for balance and keeping our foyers inviting but it is also about knowing what feelings arise when you enter a room and does the room reflect your inner longings and desires. 

When I think about bringing the art of Feng Shui into my home I think about what items bring me joy, which items have no significance and need to find a new home and how can I declutter and organize myself.

It appears to me no matter what you think or believe about Feng Shui wouldn't it feel good to be in a decluttered home with items you love.  If you believe in the benefits and you choose to add compass points, furniture placement etc. then you will see even more significant change in your life. That change comes from belief and belief brings energy and surrounding ourself with positive energy can only be reflected in our actions to others and ourselves.  

If you get a chance today, take a moment, look in each room in your home, look at your "stuff" and decide does this bring me joy.  If the answer is yes, you are there.  If the answer is no, grab a box and start filling it - you may be donating joy to someone else and that's got to feel good.

Wishing you Grace, Peace & Healthy Living,

Lorraine

Back in the saddle again...

A view of the mountains through the trees in Colorado.

A view of the mountains through the trees in Colorado.

Wow!  After blogging for 40 days straight I decided to take a break and recharge.  I didn't realize at the time that it would be almost four months later that I would start writing again.  Now that I am back in the saddle I am refreshed, recharged and ready to reconnect.  

I spend two of those weeks off in Menlo Park, California doing an intensive and spiritual study on the Enneagram.  I am excited to say I learned a lot and enjoyed the company of some absolutely wonderful people.  If you are not familiar with the Enneagram, no worries, keep reading my blogs. I will be sharing the benefits of this ancient wisdom and explaining what it is and why it is important in our lives.  

I also moved from the Atlanta, Georgia area to Denver, Colorado.  It is beautiful here and I am looking forward to experiencing all Denver has to offer.  

On Monday, I will begin posting on Instagram what I eat each day.  I have a few reasons for doing this. 

#1. Of all the things that people ask me the #1 question is always about my diet as a vegan/whole food plant based eater.  Many people consider changing over to this lifestyle in one form or another but don't know where to start and how to prepare a variety of meals.  There is no doubt that this lifestyle can at first seem difficult, but with knowledge and a few small changes it can be beyond rewarding for your health, the environment and the animals that coincide with us on this beautiful planet.  In addition to these rewards, cooking can be a release as well as a calming factor and a way to flourish creatively.  Food with all its colors and textures can be a work of art.  All our senses can be awakened through a good healthy meal.  

#2  The Holidays.  This tends to be a time when we overeat or eat foods that are truly decadent.  I would like to show how we can still eat right and enjoy the special foods the holidays bring.

# 3  Lastly, as said earlier, I've just moved.  This has been a stressful time and I have allowed myself to make some poor choices.  I've continued to eat a vegan diet but have not been as dedicated to my whole food plant based lifestyle.  I'm excited to back on the saddle and start eating and feeling healthy and vibrant. 

With all of this said, I hope you will follow me on Instagram @graceful_vegan over the next 30 days.  And please know I am back to blogging every Tuesday. You can expect blogs about food, Somatic Awareness, The Enneagram, Lifestyle Organization and an overall look at our world as I see it.  

Of course, I would love to work with anyone that is interested in using a Life Coach, a Spiritual Coach &/or a Whole Food Plant Based Eating Coach. You can reach me at 404-933-6524 or at gracefullivingcoach@gmail.com

Wishing you Grace, Peace & Healthy Living,

Lorraine

10 of 40 Day 40 Body

Connecting the Dots...

These past 10 days have been the most difficult blogs to write.  Difficult because I have a lot to learn about the body and mental hurdles to overcome in an effort to keep my body in the best shape it can be. I've talked about weight training, massage, body image, yoga, running, consistency, putting yourself first, sleep, and being 50 years old.

These dots are all connected into one important factor, we need to pay attention and love our bodies.  They do not need to be a certain size, shape or weight, they just need to be healthy.  

We know that a healthy body is a combination of things:

Exercise - it doesn't matter what you do, but just moving your body every day.

Food - eating good non-processed foods that come from the earth and fill our bodies with vitamins and minerals.

Sleep - which becomes harder and harder the older you get.  Changing our habits to find a good nights sleep can completely change our outlook on daily life and keep us healthy and happier.

Attitude - the way we look at the world can make a significant change in how we age and how healthy we are. Letting go of resentments and anger, flexing our forgiveness muscles and taking time to forgive ourselves.  Knowing that we are loved and taking the time to love the world back.

Our bodies can only thrive if we give them the tools to succeed.

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Not only am I connecting the dots for body but as this is my last day of 10 of 40 I need to connect the food, mind, spiritual and body dots.  There is an AirB&B in Georgia that is on the top of everyones wish list.  It is a tree house.  It was developed by a former environmental activist in his backyard for himself but he has now opened it up as a rental for everyone to enjoy.  When he developed it he called the three sections mind, body, spirit.  The mind is a living area filled with books and comfort, the body is a bedroom, where the bed rolls out into the trees and the spirit is a tree that is 165 year old short leaf pine.  How appropriate, to look at nature and see all that we are. I agree with the builder that all three (mind, body, spirit) can be found in nature, but it can also be found within ourselves or out in our daily lives. We can meditate, exercise, go to church or synagogue with others in bustling places and be completely connected as easily as we can in the quiet serenity of the woods or at the beach or behind the closed doors of our home. In this blog experiment I also added food, because I believe food is part of our connection to the earth, ourselves and others. And just as mind, body & spirit can be appreciated everywhere and anywhere so can the enjoyment of good healthy food.  

As I move beyond this daily blog I am struck by one lesson.  To be whole is to connect to all aspects of our lives and live them fully and with exuberance.  We are all here for a purpose and we are driven to find that purpose consciously &/or unconsciously. When we recognize that need to find our purpose we become more focused, calm and connected to the earth and everything around us. I would be remise if I didn't say that I believe that receiving life coaching is a door that can open you up to yourself.  By pushing past the surface and exploring the deeper parts of you, the mind, body and spirit release themselves to become one and to feel calmer, more connected and less burdened by thoughts of the past and worries for the future.  If you have received any comfort or connection to these blogs over the past 40 days, I would hope that you would contact me. Life coaching in not just face to face, it is done over the phone or through FaceTime or on-line meeting rooms.  I hope you consider the possibilities because I truly believe that the world is a better place when we are able to be our authentic selves.  

Thanks for reading!

Wishing you Grace, Peace & Healthy Living,

Lorraine

10 of 40 Day 39 Body

Strength Training

On Day 32, I wrote about what I like to do when working out.  I mentioned running, yoga and weight training.  Today I'd like to concentrate on weight or strength training. Strength training  is the number-one way to build more muscle. By doing strength training you are actually helping your body in numerous ways.  You will burn more calories throughout the day, have better posture, help fight against Diabetes, Heart Disease and Osteoporosis (Trust me, it's NOT milk that does a body good, it is exercise)

In an article for Everyday Health, Chris Iliades, MD explains the benefits. To read the article in its entirety click on this link:  http://www.everydayhealth.com/fitness/add-strength-training-to-your-workout.aspx

"Strength training translates to more calories burned.

Those who think they have no time for exercise will sooner or later have to find time for illness.
— Edward Stanley

You burn calories during strength training, and your body continues to burn calories after strength training, a process called "physiologic homework." More calories are used to make and maintain muscle than fat, and in fact strength training can boost your metabolism by 15 percent — that can really jumpstart a weight loss plan."

Of course, I believe that any strength training plan should include a certified trainer. Your trainer will be able to give you a routine that works your muscles properly in a specific order that is best for body function and your trainer will be able to show you the proper form for each exercise. Ensuring that you will not injure yourself.  They will be able to support you not only as you do the workouts physically but they will be able to encourage and support you emotionally pushing you when needed pulling you back if necessary. 

Trainer Zachary Miller at https://www.lifestylefitnessandmassagetherapy.com states "when I program a workout routine my main goal is to offset gravity and muscle imbalances and to improve strength levels. In life we work generally on the front (anterior) side of our body. By working the back side of our body more frequently we will offset the negative effects of gravity and poor posture. Additionally, when working your back (posterior) you can help ease neck, back and shoulder pain. By adding massage bi-montly you can alleviate tension patterns in your muscles, allow for further range of motion in your daily activities, calm your central nervous system and reduce stress levels. Overall the best lifestyle for good health will include strength training, massage, cardio and a diet filled with colorful fruits and vegetables."

I think it is clear that our bodies need to be moving our entire lifetime. As I conclude "body" tomorrow I will talk more about that, but for today I will finish up with this quote from FitWomenover40.com "I will not let age change me, I will change the way I age"

Wishing you Grace, Peace & Healthy Living,

Lorraine

 

10 of 40 Day 38 Body

Global Warming/Climate Change

 

 What does global warming or climate change mean?

Climate Change is defined as: a change in global or regional climate patterns, in particular a change apparent from the mid to late 20th century onwards and attributed largely to the increased levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide produced by the use of fossil fuels.

It is explained for kids at nasa.gov as:

What Is Climate? How Is It Different From Weather?
"You might know what weather is. Weather is the changes we see and feel outside from day to day. It might rain one day and be sunny the next. Sometimes it is cold. Sometimes it is hot. Weather also changes from place to place. People in one place might be wearing shorts and playing outside. At the same time, people far away might be shoveling snow.

Climate is the usual weather of a place. Climate can be different for different seasons. A place might be mostly warm and dry in the summer. The same place may be cool and wet in the winter. Different places can have different climates. You might live where it snows all the time. And some people live where it is always warm enough to swim outside!

There's also Earth's climate. Earth's climate is what you get when you combine all the climates around the world together."

To read the entire article go to: https://www.nasa.gov/audience/forstudents/k-4/stories/nasa-knows/what-is-climate-change-k4.html

Although, this article is for kids I found it to be a great simple way to explain what is going on and what the differences are between our daily weather, local climates and the earth's climate. The article goes on to say:

"People who study Earth see that Earth's climate is getting warmer. Earth's temperature has gone up about one degree Fahrenheit in the last 100 years. This may not seem like much. But small changes in Earth's temperature can have big effects."

Do you believe in it?

I believe it is happening and I am concerned. It has been scientifically proven that the earths temperature is changing.  And that we are a part of the issue - the energy we use makes a difference, from our cars and lights to the water we use excessively to the massive amounts of animal farming and the toxic waste that is adding carbon dioxide to the air. And of course the destruction of our rain forest to open up land for cattle food farms.

How are we treating each other?

Not everyone believes in Climate Change.  As much as I wish we collectively agreed that this is a important issue, it does not inspire change in others the way it does for me. I feel this issue can cause us to be righteous and judgmental to the point of excess. And for this I am worried.  We still need to allow people to have there own opinions.  Just as I have said about politics and other topics, it is important to have a dialogue between all sides and to share what we know to be better informed all around. 

What is The Paris Agreement?

Most of us are aware that there was a "Paris Agreement" brought forth from the concerns of the United Nations. This quote from the NY Times explains the agreement in a sentence. To read the entire article, see the link below.  “holding the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels and to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels, recognizing that this would significantly reduce the risks and impacts of climate change.”

https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/projects/cp/climate/2015-paris-climate-talks

This agreement was made in 2015 and then in 2017 President Donald Trump declared that the United States would be backing out of The Paris Agreement. But, to my joy at least 10 states have said they will support the agreement: California, New York, Washington, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Vermont, Virginia, Oregon and Hawaii. Nine other states plus Washington, D.C.  have said they will abide by it.  Unfortunately, my state of Georgia has not been added to the list "yet". 

Body Blog?

You may be wondering why I would be talking about climate change when I am suppose to be talking about the "body" this week. It is because it is something I am passionate about and needed to share my thoughts.  I could find some reason like climate change effects our bodies because we may loose our earth to live upon but that is a little drastic.  So, it's just here because I needed and wanted to write about it today. 

A society is defined not only by what it creates, but by what it refuses to destroy.
— John Sawhill

It is my belief that global warming is happening and that it is a pivotal moment in our worlds history.  It is time for us to pay attention to what we are doing and to really think about why we are doing it. As our federal government makes decisions regarding our role, our local voices began to be heard and our states and cities took on the challenge.  This is good news, because we are seeing a part of government listening. And most importantly, no matter where you stand on this issue, please try to listen with an open heart and mind.  Knowing that ultimately, we are all one and our opinion being expressed through conversation is the most effective way to connect. Fighting will not solve any issues. Let's find solutions and let's find ways to work together somewhere in the middle. Our earth depends upon it. 

Wishing you Grace, Peace & Healthy Living,

Lorraine

 

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Central Park 

Central Park is a perfect example of allowing nature to thrive in a place overwhelmed by an industrial nation.  750 acres was set aside in 1853 to preserve nature in a place that was fast becoming populated by business and people.  The park has gone through 4 transformations including a time with the help of Robert Moses then the NYC Parks Commissioner. Without innovative nature loving people we would be in a far greater crisis. This park and the beaches on Long Island are reminders to each of us that nature is something that can easily be lost if we don't make it a priority. 

10 of 40 Day 37 Body

This is 50 - Phase 2 of Life

LIFE - Phase I & Phase II .  Each with a blank canvas. One starting new and the other going back to find where we started and discovering who we are. 

LIFE - Phase I & Phase II.  Each with a blank canvas. One starting new and the other going back to find where we started and discovering who we are. 

I think it is interesting that people go through a mid life crisis at 50.  I wonder if it was more common for our parents generation to go through this crisis than for our generation.  For me, I love 50.  Yes, my youth is gone and my body doesn't respond the way it used to, but my mind and emotions are better than ever.  

Richard Rohr in his book "Falling Upward" talks about the two stages in life.  During the first stage you are trying to develop a career, get married, have a family, buy a house etc... During the next stage you have settled in and are able to learn about who you are and determine if you like what you've become or if you want to change to your more authentic self.  A time when you seek out your purpose.

We shall not cease from exploration and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started ... and know the place for the first time.

- T. S. Eliot

I am there, in the second stage of life. But,  I do not believe I have gone through a mid life crisis, I believe I have gone through what author Brene Brown calls a mid life awakening.   A few years ago, suddenly I started to take account of my life. I went into the depths and came up excited and energetic for the next phase.  I changed the things that were holding me back and really started to notice myself again.  Its been a wonderful metamorphosis. One that could be scary to the people around me that are not sure who I have become.  But in the end, what I know for sure is that this journey has taken me to who I really am, my true self.  

I am grateful that I have had two parts to life.  One of nurturing and building a family and a committed life and this new phase filled with new growth and wonder and a desire to find my purpose.  I don't know where it will take me but I am open and ready.

I hope each of you have the same experience as you prepare for phase two, which could be the best phase of your life yet.

The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.
— Mark Twain

Wishing you Grace, Peace & Healthy Living,

Lorraine