Fresh Start

Starting over isn’t that hard. It’s all the stuff that usually calls for a “start over” that’s hard. It’s usually pretty easy to walk away. Cut ties. I’ve done it. Too many times to share… and in big ways and small.

You don’t have to move, break up, cut your hair or change jobs to start over.

I grew up to believe you did. I thought – if you get mad, or frustrated or bored or tired or WHATEVER you feel…change something and change it BIG. Move, quit, sell all your stuff….

Thankfully, I have evolved out of that disruptive process of living. As a kid moving from place to place seemed like adventure…11 schools…taught me how to adapt and make friends, sort of. It also taught me to not be able to trust others, not become too attached, and not be open with people about how I truly feel. I never allowed myself to be vulnerable “be tough” “suck it up”, and that I did.

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Occasionally the knee-jerk monster of change starts to rumble around in my belly, telling me I’m not content or I’m not being effective enough or that I just need some new faces. About 3 1/2 years ago I made some big changes and really believed they were well thought out. They didn’t disrupt anyone but me, and my lovely husband who has to listen to me hash out all the highs and lows every day. Until they did. I got myself into situations that weren’t healthy for me. I was having anxiety that made my heart race. So, I made a another change. this one had much more promise and then it was like I had never changed. Unstable environments and bad decisions seem to be quite alluring, apparently.

I’m still processing the changes and trying to really reflect on what causes me to flee or hide. I have settled on a few things.
What makes me run:
1. Not feeling accepted.
2. Being unappreciated.
3. Poor behavior by others I cannot control.
4. Stretching myself too thin (burnout).
5. When my life is making the life of my family more stressful or difficult.

So, as you can see, these are not bad reasons necessarily. What they are is things I need to learn to process BEFORE I hot the high road. To evaluate each thing and not make assumptions of others. In Brene’ Brown’s book Rising Strong she asks us to reflect on the behavior of those we meet in a more gracious leaning and as ourselves “what if they are doing the best they can?” Then, if that ‘best’ isn’t that good look for ways to help and not hinder…or in my case, run away and hide.

As I move forward, I’m focusing on being intentional. I’m saying ‘no’ to things when necessary, staying home when I feel like I need to, setting boundaries for relationships and shutting my mouth. I often draw people into my personal drama, which doesn’t help anyone. My hope is that my life will become more of a flow. While change is ok, I’d rather it be a easy adjustment than an abrupt right turn to something else.

Excuse me while I go get my flow-y clothes on.

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Slivers of Light

Today TODAY! my lovely Emma will load up and head out for her 5th semester of college. This departure is especially daunting. I’m somewhat used to her leaving, after 2 years away, but this time she’s heading to Ireland. Yes, THAT IRELAND. The one 5000 miles away. You know the old adage…’you never know what you’ve got ’til it’s gone’? I’ve spent the summer enjoying what I have-all my kids living under my roof.

I know these days are short lived. At some point they will move out once and for all (I think). Until then, I will cling to the little moments we have. The days we get to go to lunch together, or grab an ice cream on the way home from somewhere are my favorites. When I get to listen to them make silly jokes that I don’t often get but they try to get me up to speed. These are the sort of everyday things we did when they were little but, didn’t seem to hold so much, and now have become these slivers of light I cling to. These are little pieces of them that remind me of when they were little and had so much ahead of them still. I know I must let go. I must trust that they have the tools to do whatever they choose to do in life. I have to allow the world to see what I see in them and their true purpose to be played out on whatever path they take. My job description as mom has changed dramatically. Where once I was sole source of food, clothing, home and one of the main people pouring into in their lives, now I am a guest and cheering audience member, perhaps an occasional ‘phone a friend’.
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The slivers of light are comforting to me. I know that whatever comes along, anything that might try to detract from who they were created to be is only a distraction, a momentary shadow. I am confident that the strength they have will shine around the shadows and eventually they will come out of that place and into the full light of their true and whole selves.

My final prayer is that they find “their people”- their tribe. Having at least one or two people you can count on, call upon or who will be there without even asking is my hope for them.

Now, go my little ones, and take on the world. You’ve got this!

Whole Life Fricken’ Challenge

Update:

39 days left…so if I hang in there it will be like winning Survivor but without the 1 million at the end. More like $20.
Today the scale is up and my measurements are the same this is day 18. I feel like I should see more progress than this. Hopefully it’s internal and the body fat measurement will be amazing. I am really sticking to the eating plan and it’s not that fun.

I’m not giving up though. Jeff, go snuff someone else’s torch.

Looking Back: Take Care of Yourself

Join hands and hearts and voices…

(Anyone get the reference of the title?)
holding hands

Your Facebook shares and mine, aren’t changing anyone’s mind. Or heart.

On Facebook I have 1049 “friends”. This is weird because often I feel very lonely in the way I think and feel about things.

In this over 1000 people, there are some from the US, some from Africa, Europe, South America, Canada. There are Christians, Jews, Atheists and Agnostics. Some are straight, some are gay. There are a few transgender folks. I know some who are anti-everything but, wouldn’t ever agree with me about that. See there…even anti-my-opinion.

As a challenge I’m only allowed to look at Facebook 1 time per day and I decided to use my blog as a place to land when I want to log on to mindlessly scroll. I realized I was reading a lot of posts, mostly shares from folks who have very strong feelings, passions, ideas about some things and I often was becoming confused and frustrated. I wondered, who is changing their minds by reading this? Even more importantly who is changing their heart because of this meme, or graphic or article?

Studies show: Not one person. (un-scientific, but, if you have a different experience I’d love to hear about it.)

You and I can “say” it’s in the interest of education or entertainment, but it’s not. It’s self serving and passive aggressive.
I have posted articles and quotes many times with certain people in mind. You know what?

Not ONE of those people have reached out to me saying, “oh hey. you’re right. I’m changing my life because of your insensitive political, religious, or otherwise ‘thought provoking’ post”. Never a one.

The thing that changes minds, hearts and lives? Compassion. Concern. Care. Conversation. Love.
We must commit to these things to see change, deepen relationships with those we may not see eye to eye with. Nothing posted on Facebook in the name of “education” is going to build a bridge to the other. If you’ve been paying attention at all, it’s doing quite the opposite. I’m guilty of this and making a pledge to stop posting and start acting.

Will you make that pledge?
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Super Coffee!!

I love my coffee. I’m a 1 cup a day girl…most days. But, it’s a serious cup.
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Here’s how it goes down…

4 Tablespoons coconut Cream
1 Tablespoon coconut Oil
2 teaspoons chia seeds (optional)
Heat these three up in the microwave
Add this mixture and brewed coffee to a blender
Add 1/2 scoop vanilla protein powder

Blend, pour, & enjoy!

This keeps me full for hours.

Try it out, or this more fancy version from Healthful Persuit.

Lent: Day 2 (I’m lagging)

Today is International Women’s Day.

I’m thankful that I am a part of a chosen family that has depth of meaning, especially my Wine & Wisdom Girls. I was reluctant to join a women’s group, but now I don’t know what I would do without you.

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Ladies, I honor you and you are loved. Thank you for being so genuine. <3

Lent: Day 1

I thank myself for:

Spending time with a friend who moved away, walking at the beach.
Making room in my schedule for friends and those we care about enriches all of us. It’s never time wasted when we connect with one another in a simple, yet meaningful way.

Thank you, Rene’ for hanging out with me!

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Where was I March of 2007? Click here

Lent

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I’m doing something for Lent.

WHAT IS LENT:
‘Lent is a time of repentance, fasting and preparation for the coming of Easter. It is a time of self-examination and reflection. In the early church, Lent was a time to prepare new converts for baptism. Today, Christians focus on their relationship with God, often choosing to give up something or volunteering and giving of themselves for others. The forty days represents the time Jesus spent in the wilderness, enduring the temptation of Satan. (source: umc.org)

Starting Wednesday 3/1 I’ll be posting everyday for 40 days – until Easter.

I heard someone the other day who thanked their fitness coach for showing them the way and he replied “Thank yourself, for taking the steps.”

So I’m going to “thank myself” and what I mean is…I’m going to find a way to encourage, motivate, excite someone elver day to appreciate who they are. Too many times we are so wrapped up in how we don’t live up to expectations – which are usually our own unreasonable ones. So, at the end of the day, I’ll report about what I saw and who I attempted to encourage to “thank themselves”.

Follow along if you like. join me. Share if you see something share worthy. Let’s do this together!

stopping time.

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You can’t ok. I just wish you could.

When the kids were little and they wanted to take a break while playing or something they would yell “PAUSE” as if they were holding the remote to the universe.

I agree, little ones! I call ‘PAUSE’.

This year has been such a crazy roller coaster, eye opening, wild ride.

I left Crossfit coaching for about 9 months and got a regular clock in type of job. I had become unsure of who I was in the position, doubting myself and whether I was really meant to be there. It was just what my soul needed. I worked out on my own and ate a bunch of crap food for about 6 of those months and gained weight I really shouldn’t have, but…I found my confidence again. I began to teach fitness classes and feel my worth again. Hopefully in a month or so I will start coaching some Crossfit again. Fresh, clean slate. I’m ready to press play.

My children have grown and matured in ways I had nothing to do with. What a satisfying place to be as a parent. By no means are they perfect, they make mistakes, behave like assholes (don’t we all) but in the end they know it’s up to them to see their decisions through. suffering or enjoying the consequences. I’m still available as sounding board or a shoulder to cry on and they know that. But, the best part is the transformation to ‘friend’. It’s tricky sometimes, just closing my mouth and not going into “mom mode” but alas, I’m doing it. This part of parenting is really, really weird. Nothing is really cut and dried like when they are little but I think I’m getting the hang of it. I still picture them as babies and my heart melts a little every step they take to independence, but I hope I can always be an anchor for them. Something consistent in their lives, through whatver they may go through. I’m ready to press play. On to the sequel of ‘The Bangs Family’.

The political disaster of 2016 is something I don’t have the control over the remote. All I can do is watch it play out and maybe express my concern occasionally. My hope is that we can regroup in the next 4 years and come up with a better candidate to really unite – at least a little bit – our country. The things I’ve watched, read and heard this year have been shocking. I don’t have any wise words for the future. Just hang on tight to what you believe in, and measure your words. We must be careful to preserve relationships, even in disagreement. I’m not ready to press play on this but, I think it’s one of those videos that plays on it’s own. you don’t get to stop it.

So here we go, 2017. Let’s see it play out.

Coming soon: Gotta Have Faith: Thoughts on George Michael

10 Minute Guided Stretch Video

I love getting to guide a stretch class for my work. What a privilege. Try it out and tell me how it goes. What would you like to see added?