Lessons from my puppies.

When I look at my puppies, I cannot help but to smile. They are always so happy — full of energy and full of life. Just being around them, I sense a feeling of comfort, like everything is right in their world.

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They are satisfied with their surroundings and content with being in the present moment. (As far as I know) They do not worry about the past and they do not anticipate the future. They just live their life as it unfolds, knowing that everything is going to be okay, just the way it is.

Imagine what it would be like to:

  • Always be happy
  • Be able to get over a confrontation with ease and just move on with your day
  • Have no worries about the world around you
  • Trust that your natural instincts will keep you healthy and in balance
  • Love unconditionally, every single day
  • Etc.

Dexter Selfie IMG_2740[1] Dack Attack LaughIMG_2699[1]
(Pics 1-2 are of Dexter and Pics 3-4 are of Dack)

It is hard not to envy that mentality. Sure, they may be dogs — but I think people could learn a lot from them if they took a moment to truly think about that.

I’ve written about dwelling on the past, and being preoccupied with what the future holds. As frequently as I have these thoughts, I find myself wondering WHY?!

  • Why do I let the past dictate the present?
  • Why do I worry about what may (or may not) come in the future?

I know it is cliché, but I love to think about the American Proverb:
“Today is the first day of the rest of your life.”

First Day

Well I think I need to take those words into consideration. I need to see the present – every single moment – as a new opportunity to begin a new chapter and to embrace change.

I am starting to realize more and more each day, that I am in charge of my own life. I hold the pen to my life story, and whatever unfolds is ultimately up to me.

So  here is a dedication to myself. To remain present in the moment, to not fear the future and to not dwell on the past.
After all, right now really is the first opportunity to start something new and wonderful.

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Living in the Present Moment

I LOVE yoga. I love the beauty of the practice, I love the serenity in the meditation, I just love everything about it! Anyone who practices, knows that there are a couple of things that are highly emphasized…

1. The Breath
2. Being present in the moment

There is something to be said about the feeling of “being truly present in the moment”. In today’s world, people always seem to be preoccupied with “WHAT’S NEXT?!” in their lives. Whether it be projects at work, things going on at home, never ending to-do lists, etc. people easily lose sight of what is happening at the current moment in order to be more focused on what’s to come… I am [VERY] guilty of this too.

I often find myself thinking about the future (future meaning any time beyond right now, haha). If I am getting ready for work, I am thinking about my evening plans. If I am relaxing at home at night, I am thinking about the weekend. I think about the summer during the winter months, I think about my life in 1, 2, 5, 10, 20 years from now… you get the point.

What I am beginning to wonder is WHY? What is the rush to get to “WHAT’S NEXT” in life?
Call it goofy, corny, cliché, whatever… but I am starting to realize that being more focused, and present in the moment may really change my outlook on things. Life is so short, and all of this time spent thinking about what is going to happen in the future is time wasted on what is happening right NOW.

I am blessed in so many ways, and I hate to admit it, but I think these everyday blessings are often overlooked because I am too focused on what is going to happen next. Although my daily tasks might not be all that exciting, I need to start looking at the simple pleasures that come along with my routine and enjoying each and every day for what it is.

I am thankful for…

  • Finding my true faith and having a wholesome relationship with God
  • Being blessed to have Joe in my life to love
  • Rescuing two healthy, happy puppies and knowing that we are giving them a great life
  • My wonderful, loving family and great friends
  • My career with PTI
  • My healthy body, that allows me to enjoy life and can help me accomplish any goals/dreams
  • Owning my own house
  • Etc….

Taking a moment to sit back and realize how much I have to be thankful for, makes me realize that there is no rush to get into the “next best thing”.  Whether it be enjoying a walk with my puppies, my commute to work, my “homemade” dinners with Joe, visiting with my loved ones, etc. I am going to make a conscious effort to take each day and look at the beauty in whatever it is that I am doing.
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(Please note, I understand that it is important to plan and think about the future. I am simply suggesting that it is equally important to look at the life you are currently living, and enjoying it to its full potential. You don’t want to miss the great things going on around you right now!)

New Found Freedom – Challenges & Changes

This winter has been tough. The weather has been unbearable and the changes in my life have brought on a lot of stress… Good stress. I have yet to write about it, but in the past few months I have bought a house, moved in with my boyfriend, adopted two puppies, leased a new car (ok, so the car factor isn’t much to stress about) and endured multiple “polar vortexes”.

Without going into details about what a pain in the ASS the house buying process is, I will say that I am a homeowner! I put an offer in on a house back in October, went through the closing process throughout October and November, and was officially a homeowner as of November 22, 2013. The initial plan was for the original owners, now my tenants, to have 90 days occupancy of the house prior to me moving in (around February 7, 2014 was when I’d take possession). I was ok with this because it gave me time to get some things purchased for my new home, and still be able to spend the holidays with my family at their house.

Anybody who knows me well enough knows that I am a person who likes to not only have a plan, but also likes to stick to that plan! It was bittersweet for me when the sellers called me less than 12 hours after closing on the house, to tell me that I could have possession of it in less than 2 weeks. Don’t get me wrong, I was very excited to own my first home, and start in the next new exciting phase of my life. But another part of me was terrified to leave the place that I have called home for 23 years, to start this new adventure.

Joe and I officially moved in on December 14, 2013… Naturally, this would be the day that the first BIG snow storm would hit Michigan (I swear I haven’t seen the grass in my yard since we moved in).

It’s March, and things are now really starting to feel like home. It took me a couple months to get used to being on my own, with Joe, and taking on all sorts of new responsibilities. I would be lying if I said that it wasn’t (emotionally) difficult for me at first. I missed my family, I missed Riley and I was somewhat overwhelmed with the idea of stepping away from my “norms” and creating new routines.

Throughout the past couple months, Joe has really been there for me. He has moved several different times over the course of the past few years, so it didn’t wear on him as much as it did for me. The one mutual thing that was new and different for both of us, was living with our “significant other”. We went from seeing each other several times a week, to always being with one another. I can honestly say that I am really enjoying living with him. We both understand and respect each other’s time, yet still love hanging out when we are home.

Back in January, we adopted two Black Lab Mix puppies from a rescue organization called “Home Fur-Ever”. We named them, Dack and Dexter (they’re brothers). They are about 4 1/2 months now, and truly are great dogs. Joe and I have been working very hard to maintain a strict training plan with them, and I can honestly say it is going very well. They boys were potty trained very quickly, and know their boundaries within the house. Obviously, there is an occasional accident, but that comes with the nature of puppies… they are still babies!

Dexter & Dack

We love our pups, and knew what kind of responsibility and time commitment they were going to be. I would be lying if I did not get stressed out on occasion, but the joy that they bring to our lives is well worth it. We just can’t wait for this damn cold weather to go away, so we can enjoy the outdoors with them…

Which brings me to my next topic… weather. I’m sorry, but FUCK this winter. If anyone is reading this, and is from Michigan or any part of the Midwest/Eastern part of the country, you know that this winter has been the worst in years. The unbearable cold, obnoxious amounts of snow, etc. etc. have put a lot of people into a state of depression. I usually do not hate the winter, but I am not too proud to admit that I have a severe case of the winter blues. I am going to just vent for a second, but I honestly do not remember a winter where I have been more sad, angry and just pissed off about the weather. It is amazing how this awful weather plays into my overall attitude about everything. I have been doing my best to stay busy and positive, but it is hard when it is flat-out miserable to be outdoors. I know I should be positive and happy… I have a new house and new puppies, and a lot of other great things going on… but jeeze, give me some sunshine and a straight week above 40 degrees… ok… that’s enough bitching about the weather!
MichiganSnowThis post kind of goes against my traditional “inspirational” update… but it’s been awhile since I have written about anything going on my life! This was kind of a way to catch up on the past few months… more to come soon 🙂

Stay warm!

TRUST your Team

The biggest challenge (initially) in recovery, or overcoming any obstacle is TRUST.

Often times, we find ourselves listening to a negative influence, and  playing by its rules for so long. SO long that these destructive behaviors became routine.  Restrictive eating, over exercising, social isolation, crabby, feeling cold, tired, etc. etc. sounds fun right?… NO!

When I made the decision to seek help- I was scared to death. How was a supposed to completely change my mindset, my lifestyle that I have known for the past 5+ years… TRUST

It was not easy. Opening up and recognizing that I needed help took a lot of courage, strength and tears. It took awhile before I was ok with the idea of letting go of life as I knew it, and putting my fate into the hands of my support team.

I had a clinical psychiatrist, registered dietitian, family and (close) friends all on my team. People who genuinely cared about me,  my health and my future- yet it still took time to let them in.

Despite the fact that I was uncomfortable, irritable and pissed off for a long time, I had to TRUST that the changes I was going through, mentally and physically, were good for me. This group of dedicated individuals had my best interest in mind, and were always there for me regardless of how difficult things got.

The more I TRUSTED, and followed the “game plan” of the team, my body began to respond. Days got easier, my mind became clearer, and eating became enjoyable again.

How do you deal with discomfort? Who do you reach out to when you need a little extra support?

Hello World, Goodbye Routine.

It has been awhile since I last wrote…all I can really say is “life is good”.  My absence from my blog, means that I have been present in the wonderful world we live in. I feel like this summer is the first time I have actually “lived” in a long time. My mind and my heart have been open to new adventures and experiences.

For so long (about 5 years, to be exact), I thought that recovery was an unattainable goal. I look back on the past several years, and remember how I just settled with the way things were… I thought it was ok to be unhappy, that is was ok to live sheltered from the experiences that  life had to offer. For so long I was listening to a tainted voice, which was not my own. This voice told me day in and day out to stick to my routines, to settle for less than I deserve, and to live a less than satisfying life, just going through the motions.

Over the past couple months, I have broken my routine in more ways than one. I have travelled, tried new activities, tasted new foods, made new friends, etc. The feeling is liberating, and I wouldn’t have been able to experience it in the same ways if I didn’t push myself through recovery. It’s amazing how showing appreciation to yourself , and treating your body how it deserves to be treated brings a new outlook on life. A clear outlook full of endless opportunities.

It’s natural for people to get accustom to routine. Whether the routines are healthy or not, I have learned that breaking routines once in awhile can be good for everyone.  I challenge whoever is reading this to do something different today. See how you feel.