Intention

It’s a simple word. It’s not hard to say or even define. In fact the dictionary defines intention as:

noun

  1. an act or instance of determining mentally upon some action or result.
  2. the end or object intended; purpose.
  3. intentions.
    1. purpose or attitude toward the effectof one’s actions or conduct: abungler with good intentions.
    2. purpose or attitude with respect to marriage: Our friends are beginningto ask what our intentions are.
  4. the act or fact of intending.

So what does that have to do with anything? Well I’ve been pondering doing things with intention. Thinking about, planning and moving forward with intent in a meaningful way that will cause or drive positive change in my life and those things and people around me.

See there is the age old saying that the pathway to hell is paved with good intentions.

In my case living an intentional life means that I and I alone chose what impacts and how my environment affects me. To me living intentionally means that I will get up and start each day with my Isagenix shake and 3 of those days will include gym days. That is preplanned intention. Once you chose what you are going to do and set forth the purpose the intent becomes actions, the actions become habits and habits become lifestyles and lifestyles become intentional living.

I want to change my lifestyle. I want to be healthy. If I shed inches and pounds along the way than better for me.

When I was running half marathons each days decisions were intentional choices. Once I got hurt and sick and stopped training and eating right and moving everyday my goals and intentions were dropped.

I have a new team. An Isagenix team that keeps me going. I’m finally getting the nutrition my body needs and finally putting all the pieces together.

Here’s to intentional living in 2018.

LB 1/1/18

Find your bliss, follow your arrow, do good things everyday.

Sunday my husband and I said goodbye to a very dear friend of ours. We have known here since she was 12 years old. I was her Girls Camp Director her very first year at church sleep away camp.

She has always been her own person, from the people she includes in her life to the music she writes to the youtube videos she creates. In summation, she is awesome!

J’s life hasn’t been all cookies and jam. She has had some bumps and bruises and wounds caused by people that were supposed to love and protect her.  Along the way she has gotten older and wiser, she has stayed open and loving of others and herself.  She is becoming an awesome woman. I look up to her and she knows it.

The reason I share a micro bit of her tale is because she has opened me up. She has encouraged me to be a better person and to find my bliss, follow my arrow and do good things every day.

So how do you find your bliss?

Believe me it’s not easy. You have to quiet all the voices around you that tell you what you should be and what you should do. Then you have to quiet your own voice and listen because in that silence you will be able to figure out what you love to do and what makes you happy doing it. See life is too short to do something you hate, dislike or really don’t care about.

It may take years for you to find the thing or things that make you happy when you do them. You should totally and completely be in love with what you do to pay your bills.  I know it is an odd concept isn’t it?

I have found that it’s a good mental health strategy. If you love what you do then you don’t mind doing it every day, all day long, 5-7 days a week, 52 weeks a year.  It can feel like an eternity when your job is not something you care about or love doing. Sometimes we have to take those jobs so that we can find our bliss so that we can pay the bills. But along the way, once you find your bliss you have to do it, EVEN if you have to do the thing you hate to get to the point where you can do the thing you love to do full time.

How do you follow your arrow? 

This is not going to be easy either because again you have to step away from where society says you should go. You have to step out of the mainstream and look around at what is available. Finding your bliss and following your arrow go hand in hand. If you figure out what you love to do then it is easy to follow the path to doing that in your life.

I spent much of my life headed in the direction that I thought other people wanted me to go. I joined several churches because I saw those around me doing so. I tried so many jobs that I can’t count on two hands and all my toes the different things I have done.  I even dropped out of society and intentionally homeless for a period of time. This was my first encounter with stepping away from what I thought everyone else wanted me to be.

When you grow up in an abusive home, you are constantly trying to do good things to avoid being abused, you become a people pleaser, it comes with the territory. Like I said I spent the majority of my life trying to please others.
The first thing I did to please myself was allow myself to fall in love with my husband. That was the first step. In the ensuing 11 years, I tried many jobs and have done many things. I’ve worked with non-profits attempted to be a stay at home wife, and now I have a job I really like, and I’m in college to get a degree in my chosen field of study so that I can follow my arrow.

Many people spend their entire lives doing what they think they should do instead of doing and going where they want to go, in the end they look back on their lives with regret, I for one do not want to do that.

Do good things every day

This comes from Kid President If you haven’t seen his videos go now, yes you have my permission to leave this page and go visit his page. This kid is so freaking positive he can turn any bad day instantly good.

He often talks about doing good things every day.  J and I have taken on the motto and both try to do good things every day.  It’s a simple mantra and ideal to follow, it’s so easy that well a kid can do it.

We see so much bad in the world around us that we can forget there are good things as well. We can be part of that good. We can do simple things every day that are easy and need no elaborate planning.  It is as simple as letting someone merge into traffic during rush hour, hold the elevator even when you are in a hurry, saying hello to everyone you meet as you go about your day. Life can be hard and really suck sometimes and when you work hard to do good things every day, it sucks a little bit less until you have formed a habit. Until doing good things. becomes like a 5th appendage. You will find yourself less stressed and letting the little stuff stay little and the big stuff getting smaller.

So simple yet so profound.

Find your bliss, follow your arrow and do good things every day. So simple, so easy, just try it

40 Years and 40 Random Acts

I am turning 40 on December 14th. Yup can’t hardly believe it but that’s the truth.

Besides hosting my first birthday party since I turned 8 years old I have decided to do 40 random acts of kindness. One act for each year that I have been so blessed to be a part of this amazing world.

Sure there have been not so great times and really amazing times but in the end all the good stuff is what matters.

I have been so blessed to have some amazing people in my life. My husband and family to just name a few but there have been others that were only there for a brief moment.

Someone who bought me a plane ticket to get back to California. The couple at the airport that found me a place to hang out while I waiting for 48 hours for a flight. The tow truck driver that accidently left his phone in my car then bought a full tank of gas for me when giving his phone back to him. The numerous people that have paid for my meal in a drive thru and didn’t even know me. The lady on the plane that held my hand as I cried all the way back to Nashville after my grandmother died. The countless people that make me smile and make my day.

There is so much good in this world, so much positive and bright and shiny. I need to share that, I need to make someone elses day.

So if you’re up for the challenge join me in 40 Acts of Random Kindness between December 1-14, 2013. Lets do something nice just because.

Retail Pet Peeves.

I have re-entered the retail world after almost 20 years of leaving working retail. Now mind you I was just and guilty of some of the following rules for shopping that I am going to share with you.

See part of my job is to clean up the store at the end of the night, to return stock to the shelves where it belongs. Yeah that means that I spend an hour putting those 18 packets of merchandise you decided you didn’t want right when you checked out. Now multiply that by 800 customers all day long and that’s a TON of merchandise to return each night, and I don’t get to go home until it’s done. Not to mention the ton of trash customers bring into the store. We have to clean up your Starbucks cups, your french fries and yes even your dirty diapers you can’t seem to throw in the trash. Not to mention the horror of the bathrooms. Really we are all grown ups here clean up after yourself. There is no need to smear your poop around. (Yes this really happened and yes we know it was an adult because it was spelled correctly and up too high to be a small child)

1. I am a person please speak to me in a civil tone.  I am not your punching bag. I will do the best I can to help you find what you want but if we don’t have it you do not have the right to cuss me out, yell at me or treat me like crap.

2. If you are shopping in a big chain store know that just because the ad says we carry something doesn’t mean that our specific store carries it. The way it works is as follows: Stores 1-30 sell a  ton of product A. Product A sells great on the West Coast and Mid West, it does not sell at all in the South so it is not stocked in Southern stores. The company only prints ONE ad for the entire nation. So read the fine print where it says may not be available in all stores.

3. Those little people with you are most likely your children or children you are responsible for. Please do your job and parent them. Letting them pull things off the shelves and throw it on the floor is not good manners. Nor is letting them drop kick balls across the store. Leaving poop filled dirty diapers in your shopping cart is just lazy. We have bathrooms USE them.

4. Love Starbucks Hot Chocolate and their Steamers as much as the next person but I do not love picking up your nasty cup you left on a shelf in the empty spot you made when you moved the merchandise off the shelf and placed it on the floor.

5. Yes we have a markers, NO the white shelves are not there for you to write on to test out the markers, so unless you are Banksy stop tearing open marker packages and “testing” out the color on the shelves.

6. If the store you’re in has a number system in order to help you, USE it. It’s there so that everyone can be helped so that you don’t have to wait in line. In fact most places that have number systems will use their PA system to call your number. So I promise you will not lose your spot, we will not forget you.

7. When we tell you your card was declined the first time it is possible that it was a bad swype or a wrong button press. Anything after two or three just accept that there is a problem with your card. No need to say “I swear there is money in my account I just made a deposit”. or “I know it works I just used it”. To be honest most of us could care less why your card does or does not work.

8. I am glad to help you, in fact I get paid to do it but I do not get paid to be your personal shopper. I don’t know what color blue will match your 30 year old sofa unless you bring me a sample.

9. I love Pinterest, we all love pinterest but unless you come in with the instructions I will not know how to make the cute picture you are showing me.

10. It would be great if when you come up to have fabric cut, check out or ask me for help if you would take your headphones off and put your conversation on hold.  I can’t help you if you can’t hear what I’m saying. On that same note the rest of the world does not need to hear your conversation. Remember you are in a public place no need to yell.

These are just some of the things that have rumbling around my brain the last few months.

What are your retail pet peeves?

Stigma This

There are days when getting out of bed is overwhelming.

There are days when the thought of going out the front door is paralyzing.

There are days when getting out of the house is an itch that can’t be scratched fast enough.

There are days when everyone around you laughs and you join them.

There are days when moving fast isn’t fast enough.

These are the days of my life. I am bi-polar with hypomania. Each person with this defect presents differently. I just happen to function and create on a higher level than others. I can have insanely organized and creative periods and times where being organized is not a priority to me.

Bi-Polar Disorder can be defined as the follow:

Bipolar disorder, also known as manic-depressive illness, is a brain disorder that causes unusual shifts in mood, energy, activity levels, and the ability to carry out day-to-day tasks. Symptoms of bipolar disorder are more severe than the normal ups-and-downs that everyone goes through from time to time. Bipolar disorder symptoms can result in damaged relationships, poor job or school performance, and even suicide. But bipolar disorder can be treated. A combination of professional counseling and medication helps most people live productive and fulfilling lives.

Bipolar symptoms are sometimes not recognized as parts of a larger problem, so it can be years before a person is properly diagnosed and treated. While some experience symptoms during childhood, bipolar disorder often develops in a person’s late teens or early adult years. It has been reported that at least half of all cases start before age 25. Like diabetes or heart disease, bipolar disorder is a long-term illness that must be carefully managed throughout a person’s life.

Bipolar mood changes are called episodes, and people usually shift from manic to depressive episodes.

For many generations the word bi-polar has been taboo. Telling people that you have depression or anxiety or a mental health diagnosis was social disaster. Many patients have been told not to tell anyone for fear of being denied jobs, being considered a social outcast. It can be intimidating to tell people about your illness. You fret and worry about whether or not you will have friends left. You worry about keeping your job, getting a new job. You worry about being shunned by friends and loved ones because you are “unstable”. Due to the stigma many with mental health illnesses will forgo treatment and self-medicate with illegal drugs, alcohol, food or other reckless behaviors. These things can seem to help for some time but are not directly treating the illness especially bi-polar disorder.

Facts v. Fiction of Mental Illness BringChange2mind.org

FICTION: People living with a mental illness are often violent.

FACT: Actually, the vast majority of people living with mental health conditions are no more violent than anyone else. People with mental illness are much more likely to be the victims of crime.

FICTION: Mental illness is a sign of weakness.

FACT: A mental illness is not caused by personal weakness — nor can it be cured by positive thinking or willpower — proper treatment is needed.

FICTION: Only military personnel who have been in combat can be diagnosed with PTSD.

FACT: While PTSD is prevalent in men and women who have seen combat, experiencing or witnessing a traumatic event can trigger PTSD, including violent personal assaults such as rape or robbery, natural or human-caused disasters, or accidents.

FICTION: People with a mental illness will never get better.

FACT: For some people, a mental illness may be a lifelong condition, like diabetes. But as with diabetes, proper treatment enables many people with a mental illness to lead fulfilling and productive lives.

FICTION: Children aren’t diagnosed with mental illness.

FACT: Millions of children are affected by depression, anxiety and other mental illnesses. As a matter of fact, 1 in 10 children live with a diagnosable mental illness. Getting treatment is essential.

FICTION: “Mental illness can’t affect me!”

FACT: Mental illness can affect anyone. While some illnesses have a genetic risk, mental illness can affect people of all ages, races and income levels, whether or not there is a family history.

There has been some amazing and ground-breaking research in the last 5 years regarding mental illnesses especially bi-polar disorders. Quite a few studies have linking bi-polar disorder to a defect in DNA. The Medical News Today article explains the new research being done across the nation into what exactly causes or can cause bi-polar disorder.

The facts are that 1 in 6 adults are living with a brain-related illness including depression, bipolar disorder, PTSD and schizophrenia.

The fact is, your child’s teacher, the bus driver, the next door neighbor, husband, wife, best friend, police officer, fire fighter, pilot, soliders and just about everyone knows someone with mental illness.

We can all agree that bullying is wrong that making fun of people is cruel and mean. Why is it then that when someone is acting differently than expected they are describe as being “bipolar” or you hear “The weather is totally bipolar” We expect our parents and Military to be strong and brave. So much so that men and women in our armed services are committing suicide at a rate of 17.5 suicides per 100,000 in 2010. That is 17.5 to many. Many are afraid that asking for help and getting counseling will undermine their career. As of September of 2011 there was an estimated 1,468,364 active duty service personnel. This number does not include reserves on active duty for training.

Now I’m not great with math but let’s take a look at the numbers. 1 in 6 adults are living with a brain related illness so that means out of the approximately 1.5 million activity duty military personnel approximately 250,000 of those men and women are living with a mental health issue. Now don’t quote my math. Some of you know I married my husband to do the math and well he’s sleeping while I write the post……..but back on topic.

There are so many false stigmas about those of us with mental health illness. Why? Why do people automatically assume that you are dysfunctional if you share your mental health status?

One of the websites I’ve quoted above www.bringchange2mind.org is one of the best resources on the internet.

Another voice in the dark stigma of mental health is Logan Noone here is his story Bipolar Disorder Recovery.

I’ve read it and heard it said “Be the change you want to see in the world.”

I draw the line in the sand and I refuse to hide. I have bipolar disorder and I am not a stigma.

Domestic Goddess: Not so much

Okay so I have a confession…………..I am NOT a Domestic Goddess on the level that some obtain. I’m like a Demi Domestic Goddess. I love to cook, I have a decorated house with a theme and most often my kitchen is clean

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I may need to change my laundry schedule (much cooler said with a British accent). Waiting until neither of us have clothes to wear is NOT a good plan. See when you wait that long you end up with a ton of laundry. There is no reason that a family of two should have 6 loads of laundry. I know families of six that don’t have that many loads. I’m not exactly sure why it is I dislike doing laundry. Maybe the next time I go for a counseling session I can discuss my hatred of laundry. That would throw Dr. Y off don’tca think?

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I’m sorry I do not find joy in laundry. I have tried to find joy in having a house that is completely put together not a smidge out of place. Sure it’s nice to know where things are and to be organized don’t get me wrong.  I just find that it’s not fun, I do not enjoy the process of “constant vigilance” when it comes to housekeeping.

I’d much rather watch a good movie, read a book, chat with friends on the phone or internet. Discover the newest silly video. Or blog and avoid watching my next two hours of lectures and take the test and write the paper that is looming on the sidelines.

I keep telling my husband that when he graduates and we finally buy a house that I am hiring a housekeeper. He thinks I’m joking. I have no problem paying someone to do the things I dislike.

This issue goes much deeper in our society. As I see it we have three different sides of this issue. We have the OAHW’s (Over Achieving Housewives) that just make the rest of us look like dropouts from the Martha Stewart School of Housewifery. Then you have the media and society telling us that there is no way we can be leading a fulfilling meaningful life if we stay at home, then we have those of us that want to stay home yet do not find joy in dirty underwear or museum like home. Don’t get me wrong I would love to be the type of Domestic Goddess that could have her home be on the cover of Better Homes and Gardens. I am sure that I could be that OAHW but I’m just not willing to spend 8 hours a day scrubbing toilets and floors and laundry and, and and.

I want to have time to do nothing, and everything and to never have to say “Sorry I can’t come to lunch today I have to clean my carpets.”

So how do I solve this problem? I work a bit at a time on the guilt of not being an OAHW. I say okay my living-room will always be put together. I find small and easy ways to achieve these things.

Sure life barges it’s way into the state of my home, we are lived in not dirty. Sure the coffee table top hasn’t seen daylight in a few months but hey I know where everything is.

We need to STOP feeling guilty if the sink if full of dishes or the laundry doesn’t get done like clockwork. We need to ignore the dust on the lamps and feed our souls.

When I die no one is going to remember how clean my house was, unless I end up on “Hoarders”. People will remember me for the time I spent with them, the laughs we shared and the love I gave.

So I say let the dishes soak another day and go play in the rain, snow, sun or at your favorite local spot with the favorite people in your life. The dishes and laundry will be there later.

LB.