Sunday Healthy Reflection

Sleep is a generous thief; he gives to vigor what he takes from time.

– Elizabeth, Queen of Romania

Is lack of sleep robbing you of your goals?

If you surveyed the millions of us who don’t get much sleep, chances are they’ll say that the #1 reason they don’t is “lack of time.” In other words, people have too much to do to sleep. Late hours and frantic mornings are the rule. Who has time for more sleep? What this tired group doesn’t realize is that a sleep debt is probably keeping them from acting and thinking at full strength, making even the easiest tasks harder to do. And take longer. Believe it or not, you can probably get more done in your day by getting more sleep. The mental and physical pick-up more than make up for that extra hour or two in bed.

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Oh boy, does this strike a chord with me or what? I can’t remember when I decided going to bed at midnight and waking up at six am was a good idea, and totally enough sleep. I think it was somewhere around November 2007, when my step dad, so generously gave me a laptop as an early Christmas gift.

Yeah, I think that was it. Suddenly, the world of no cable, no internet from the previous seven months, was greatly widened. The beckoning beam of the computer screen sucked me in, I haven’t been able to shut it off since.

That’s my excuse anyway, “It’s a gift. What? Am I not supposed to use it? Phsss.”

Once the obsession newness wore off, I had met Jason by then. My new time killer was him. With work, kids, and living apart – we squeeze in time when we can. That means driving home 11-12 at night after watching TV and catching up on Survivor, Flash Forward, and Grey’s Anatomy.

If that wasn’t enough, THEN, I got an iPhone. The newness obsession was mind boggling. Please don’t ask Jason about it. It is embarrassing how much I love my iPhone, I think he is a little jealous.

Despite all that, if I am too look at my health, I have to admit. I could use more sleep. I could turn off the Look! Something shiny! call of the computers and get some more shut-eye. It is easier said than done.

I don’t have a problem sleeping either. That is not it. I sleep very soundly. I go to sleep instantly. You’re jealous right? Pssst. Melatonin. Works wonders, alleviates stress. It’s been a lifesaver for me – I hate laying awake at night – now I never do. Enlyten has dissolvable strips, works instantly. Instantly. Heaven. Simply Heaven.

I guess what it boils down to, I need to slow down for my health. I don’t feel lacking but, possibly, I could perform better. This reflection resonates in my life. I hope it did yours too.

*I pre-blogged this Saturday, so I could sleep in this morning AND it was time change night. Cha-ching! Extra, extra sleep. I feel like I could jump from rooftop to rooftop singing and I haven’t even have coffee yet. Yahoo!*

Sunday’s Healthy Reflection

Life is not a ‘brief candle.’ It is a splendid torch that must be made to burn as brightly as possible before it is handed on to the next generation.

George Bernard Shaw, Irish critic and playwright

How Can You Share Your Spark with Others?

Light is meant to be shared. If you try to hoard it or keep it covered, out of everyone’s sight, you’ll just end up smothering it. Try to close it in your fist so it doesn’t get away, and it burns you. You can’t possess light. All you can do is appreciate it, use it and help others use it, too. In the same way, your life is also meant to be shared. Many people look upon their lives as something that must be jealously protected and stowed away. They block out others and are afraid to share their time. What happens? Their spark suffocates. But there are others who have an abundance mentality. They believe, correctly so, that there’s plenty of life to go around, that all flames get brighter when we share them. They know that when we invest energy in others, we get even more in return. Don’t sacrifice your chance at a bonfire because you’re too busy trying to keep a tiny match from going out.

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Originally when I started this blog, I was an out of control forest fire – jumping from here to there – threatening houses. Angry with no direction but to consume. Then a funny thing happened, I saw torches all around me. Torches lit to share life and lessons. Torches showing truth, greatness, and a better way of dealing with anger. Torches leading to a bonfire.

A bonfire where everyone could dip their torch in for flame, or they could stand and appreciate the glow as it got brighter. The greater the number the bigger the light. The bigger the light, the better the stories – to learn, to grow, to be, to share.

This week, I have realized my sly jabs, in my blog, here and there were directed intentionally at someone I was angry with. That was my issue, not theirs. It only hurt me. Instead of getting revenge, I hoarded bitterness. In the midst, I got a new insight. I found a place where everyone is navigating life, passing their torches, offering a brighter place to be.

My spirit is renewed. My part is to always shine – brighter, stronger, and smarter. I may not be perfect. I may not always get it right. I may stumble, snuff out my flame, and have to start again. But I will try. I will try to lift my torch higher, to light your path, or to combine it with yours in a brilliant hue – so bright – we have to squint our eyes to see through it.

Don’t let your flame go out. Don’t get burned like I did. Share your light. Share your hope. Share your story. It could be exactly what someone needs to find their direction. Invest your energy, and be invested in return, abundantly.

Sunday Healthy Reflection

We should consider every day lost in which we have not danced at least once.

– Nietzsche, philosopher

Finding and celebrating the joy in life

Each day is a new chance to find joy and to dance. If you let it pass or think it useless, the chance is gone and you’ll never get it back. When was the last time you played? Or just did something for the sheer fun of it? Joy is not found in the world around you, it’s within yourself. You can make your own joy, especially during those dark times when you need to really feel alive again. Fun and play are healthy antidotes to taking life–and ourselves–too seriously. They’re proven boosters of immune systems and mental health and make life worth the trouble. So do the twist. Sing in the shower. Learn a magic trick. Watch a cartoon. Challenge some kids to a game. Don’t let a single day go to waste.

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Last Monday was the first one that Jason and I did not have dance class together. The week before we had arrived at class ten minutes early. The class before us, country dance, was learning a line dance to Cupid Shuffle. The instructor insists we learn this one too. We jumped right in. It was great! We really enjoyed it. The best part was seeing Jason let loose and get into it, in front of a classroom full of people. I had to add the song to my itunes afterwards, that’s how fun it was.

The next Monday, the Monday after, I go to Jason’s after work to see the girls. He has them until seven pm. I see them for maybe half an hour. We are playing and having a good old time. I decide to bust out my song. Holding iPhone in hand, playing the Cupid Shuffle, I do the dance we learned right in Jason’s living room. Six pairs of eyes watching me. I danced.

Well, Jason jumped in. The girls started clapping with glee, their eyes bright with excitement. The oldest almost picked up the steps (a few more times she’ll have it). There was much hooting, hollering, and laughter – oh, the joyous sound of laughter. We had a blast. We danced. We could have focused on the fact it was Monday. That he only saw the girls til seven. That we had a stressful day. We could have, but we didn’t.

That is not how I believe. In the worst of times, I will FIND a speck of light and I will celebrate it for all it’s worth. If you sit and stew in the bad situation you are in because it’s not what you want, or where you want to be. You are going to be miserable. Life will be miserable and you are going to miss those opportunities to dance. Those opportunities to be grateful for what you do have.

We all make our own happiness. We all have the same chances. There is joy in the simple things, if you just stop to see it, celebrate it, and love it. Don’t ever stop dancing. Don’t miss it. Don’t lose the joy in life.

Sunday Healthy Reflection

Our lives are a sum total of the choices we have made.

– Wayne Dyer

    Own all of your choices

The choices you make today will determine the path that your life will take. When you sit back and look at the decisions you’ve made in your life, are you happy with the route you’ve paved? If you’re not, make a change today. The next time you make a choice, ask yourself if this decision will lead you to the path you want to travel along. Set some new goals that will lead you to your dreams and then plan your course.

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There have been many times, when I painfully recounted my choices, and what they had done in my life. Normally, in anguish over them, I wanted say “It’s not my fault, everything is against me!”

The struggles I faced, the losses, from all my choices. When I stopped trying to blame other people, the universe, my parents, is when I realized – I AM the sum total. What I CHOOSE to do with it, is up to me.

It was a relief to finally look at myself and own up. I chose this path. Me and no one else. I can point, scream, cry and CHARGE someone else or some thing else. The truth is? It’s not their fault. It’s all mine.

So, I choose to live happy. I choose to use ill circumstances to learn and to grow. I won’t blame anyone else for what I did or did not accomplish. I’ve actually become friends with it and made it a part of who I am. My choices.

My life changed, when I took responsibilty for myself. My life became better.

Does that mean bad things won’t happen to me? No. But what I CHOOSE to do with them has.

Live proud. Live true. Live you.