Category Archives: Life Lessons

Motivational Monday: Love, Life, Balance

“I learned again and again in my life, until you get your own act together, you’re not ready for Big Love.  What you are ready for is one of those codependent relationships where you desperately need a partner.”  ~ Bruce H. Lipton

It’s not officially February, but it will be this week.  Seeing it’s a short month, I thought we could get started.  I will be focused on Love, Life, Balance for a monthly wellness theme.

Bruce H. Lipton, PhD, possibly most known for authoring The Biology of Belief:  Unleashing the Power of Consciousness, Matter, & Miracles, is actually a biologist by trade, but has proved to be both scientific and inspirational in reminding us to place emphasis on the role beliefs and perceptions have with respect to our overall physiological health.

One of his subtle reminders (or perhaps not that subtle…) seemed like a great place to start to intertwine the role of “love” into our daily lives, perspective, balance of our many priorities, and our overall health.  Keep following this month for further wellness motivation, insight, and sometimes a little fun centered around this theme.


“Live, Teach, Relish”

Naturally the start of a new year brings about thoughts about the future and perhaps a little planning.  This year my planning brought about three core themes;

Live – perhaps my version of “walk the walk”.  For me this is the continued practice of living healthful and conscientious while remaining most considerate of others.

Teach – part of my personal and professional goals are to always remain scientific and rely on this principle to develop tools that help others implement simple, action-oriented lifestyle solutions centered on their health and well-being.

Relish – in consideration of positive psychology, this concept may best be described as an intention.  It is a great synthesizing term for taking in all the aspects daily life provides while finding the places to experience joy and gratefulness.

This year I had a little help to visualize my goals and objectives.  Last year I had the fortune to meet the amazing team behind ALV Coaching.  Representing a mission driven for-profit business, the talent behind ALV is certainly visionary embracing the meaning of Ama La Vida; “love life”.  Be sure to check them out this year.  Below is my Manifesto, a tool they implemented for 2017.


“Be kind whenever possible.  It is always possible.” ~Dalai Lama

This last week has been trying in the US with the conclusion of a very difficult, discerning national election.  Sunday, we also received news of a major earthquake followed by tsunami in New Zealand.  It also seems as if, in the mess of things, Haiti has been nearly forgotten.  It’s safe to say people have been given a few reasons for stress and not all have taken the high road for a response.

The current Dalai Lama is one of the most influential world leaders to date.  Despite experiencing the aggressive take over of Tibet in his lifetime, he remained steadfast, peaceful, and true.  He has always continued to upheld the values of his community and stressed kindness for all people whether they be “insiders” or not.

For this week’s Motivational Monday, I think we need a stroke of his wisdom.  To me, he represents grace and, through action, defines compassion.  Although the reminder of one quote, may be small.  I hope it helps to calm and recenter some.

Motivational Monday: Marathons & Life’s Journeys

Yesterday was the Chicago marathon.  Since moving to Chicago in 2011, it has become an annual tradition to cheer the thousands of runners and wheel chair racers.

The event is quite motivational to observe and many people come out to watch one of Chicago’s best “parades”.  For many spectators, it turns into quite the social affair with outrageous signs, creative outfits, various noise makers, and planned brunches at places along the course.  The positive energy can be infectious!

Each year has demonstrated its own sense of character.  One year, I had three out of town friends who traveled in order to run it and my cell phone was signed up for the tracking notifications..  (Talk about an added boost to the exhilaration from watching the event!)  This year, one sign that became the hit of social media for the day read “I complete Netflix marathons”.

As the sign implies, the theme of “marathon” can take on multiple meanings and purpose.  It can indicate a literal showing of athletic sportsmanship or it can be a figurative representation for various journeys throughout life; each with time committed and a respective end goal.  I have come to hold particular appreciation for the term marathon used as an analogy for one’s health journey.  This can be significantly relatable for one who is working very hard to send a chronic condition into remission.

Training for a marathon requires intent, commitment, and following a plan.  However, it also requires key aspects of resilience.  Beyond having the ability to get back up when one falls, it is the self-awareness to know when to take slower steps toward the end goal.  As the photo below reveals, there may be a few storm clouds along the way, but further down the path, the sun will shine.

For this week’s Motivational Monday, it is only suiting to focus on life’s journeys and many accomplishments.  Whether they are health related or not, each deserves its own form of “hurrah” for completion.

Congratulations Chicago Marathon entries and for all of you completing your own versions of marathons throughout your daily lives!


Wide Open Spaces

As I sit this evening taking an Amtrak train line from downstate Illinois to Chicago I am also catching glimpses of one of the most beautiful sunsets spanning over central Illinois farmland.  I only wish I had sat on the other side and could capture the right photograph to share!

The last two days have been filled with down pours and thunderstorms creating delicate, impeding moments on the bulk of my personal travel plans.  Yet, now, the light behind the clouds is revealed.  It has presented a bit of a re-centering moment and reminded me to take subtle moments of reflection.

Sunday nights, at least bi-weekly, is reserved for my blog activity.  Although each Sunday I work on it may not equal a publish, as blogging is a compilation of research, experiences, photography, and, of course, writing, the time is strategically carved out on my weekly rituals.  The time allows me to wind down before another work week begins.

Blogging, in general, provides me the opportunity to provide information, stories, and perspectives, but also allows me to process, reflect, engage, and refine my communication skills.  Tonight, I also feel fortunate to be graced with a spectacular view.

My daily life consists of hustle and bustle of city life.  Admittedly, there is a part of me that thrives on it.  I love catching transit to buzz up-down, back-forth through the city while making observations of people and surroundings along the way.  At times, I forget that I was once a country girl.

I walked through pastures and picked raw asparagus to nibble on.  In school, I made flower head dresses and bracelets from dandelions and clover.  As I got older, I knew state park trail systems across Southern Illinois and Central Indiana as if I was some sort of junior ranger.  All the while, being associated as “from a farming family” and quite familiar with orchards and fields.  I had many opportunity to take in wide open spaces.

It is subtle reminders, such as tonight’s sunset, that remind me to not just consider all the adventures I have taken since leaving “the country life”, but to pair those experiences with my roots, my foundation, my grounded principles

Somehow this upbringing as always allowed me to find small comical simple moments, despite the favor-ability (or lack there for) of specific circumstances.  It has kept me steadfast, determined, and hard-working, yet smiling and focused on maintaining healthy, positive, and productive work-life balance.  Finally, it has taught me that sometimes life is messy, unplanned, and informal yet there is always beauty within.

In a nutshell, finding those opportunities to absorb the feel, look, and sensation of nature’s wide open spaces is in part therapeutic.  I invite you to take the time to find these opportunities.  Pay attention to daily rituals, yet also take opportunities to step out of them from time to time.  Just like tonight’s unexpectedly beautiful sunset, you never know what you might see