Week 7: Mindful Monday – Healthy Living

Week 7:  INTENTIONS

Thank you Silver Threading for hosting Mindful Monday – Healthy Living.  My INTENTIONS for Week 7:

  • Prepare three healthy dishes from new cookbook.
  • Neighborhood mindfulness walk and capture nature photos x 1 day.
  • Fitness workout (cardio and circuit weights) x 3 days.
  • Indoor mall walk x 2 days
  • Walk through local botanical garden and capture nature photos x 1 day.
  • Color one page in a mindfulness coloring books

Week 6: 

CHOICE 

Last week, I made the CHOICE to live by the CREATION Health principles in the following ways:

REST

Sleep

I met my goal of sleeping 7-8 hours nightly.  According to my Fitbit, the 7-day average was 8 hours and 50 minutes.

ENVIRONMENT

At-home access to a stress reducing and spiritual uplifting ENVIRONMENT is a blessing..  When I am unable to get out and about, my  Healing Container Garden is always there.

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ACTIVITY

Early Morning, at-home exercises for the:

  • Body – physical therapy home exercises x 2 days for 15 mins.
  • Mind and Spirit – three guided meditation practices.

I did get in three days of additional exercise for the Body;

  • 30-minute LA Fitness walk on the treadmill;
  • 60-minute mall walk; and
  • 40-minute mindfulness walk through the neighborhood.

TRUST

When it comes to TRUST and SELF-TRUST, I admit to being a work-in-progress.  Through self-education, I hope to find answers.

This week, I read the first three chapters of, “The Courage to Trust: A Guide to Building Deep and Lasting Relationships.” I completed two Self-Discovery Questionnaires:

  • How Much Do You Trust Yourself – Based on my responses, the answer:  “Distrust of yourself is destroying your self-confidence.
  • How Much Do You Really Trust Others – Based on my responses, the answer:Your distrust of others is very high, limiting the depth of intimacy.”  This was quite revealing given my 0=none response to the question, “Do you believe you don’t know how to have truly intimate relationships.”

I no longer wish to live as a “a naked person” who distrusts self and others.  Before my space opens up to Trust and Self-Trust, I must first learn to discover, embrace and express love of self.  I am working on it.

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INTERPERSONAL

To uplift the mind, body and spirit, I decided to take part in the 8-Week Palouse Mindfulness online training program.  Organized and coordinated on Facebook by Sister Blogger, Elizabeth, over at My Eyes Are Up Here.”

Last week, the focus was on communication.  The reading materials and videos provided a lot of helpful information to improve both our listening skills and managing anger.

Going through this training on communication was an eye-opening learning experience.

 

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OUTLOOK

Daily, I worked at maintaining a positive OUTLOOK  by:

  • practicing daily morning meditations; and
  • sharing inspiring quotes with friends and family on Facebook and Instagram.

 

NUTRITION

Instead of drinking diet sodas daily, my 24-year-old granddaughter challenged me to change to lemon water. I found a number of articles in support of this and was surprised to learn of the many benefits.  Now, a glass of lemon water is always close by.

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Week 5: Mindful Monday – Healthy Living

INTENTIONS – Week 5

CHOICE

I am pleased with the healthy lifestyles changes made to improve the quality of my life since beginning Mindful Monday-Healthy Living.  My INTENTION for Week 5 is to stay positive, committed and focused on making healthy choices to uplift my mind, body and spirit.

 REST

Last week, I used my Fitbit device to track my nightly sleep patterns.

  • Sunday, 02/07 – 8 hrs 27 min
  • Monday, 02/08 – 7 hrs 43 min
  • Tuesday, 02/09 – 4 hrs 54 min
  • Wednesday, 02/10 – 5 hrs 45 min
  • Thursday, 02/11 – 7 hrs 36 min
  • Friday, 02/12 – 10 hrs
  • Saturday, 02/13 – 10 hrs 12 min

Tuesday and Wednesday night I didn’t sleep well.  Hubby wanted to watch TV in bed.  When I woke up, the TV was on, he was sleeping soundly, and I tossed and turned all night.  In a kind way, I told Hubby how much the TV had disrupted my sleep.  He understood and agreed that watching TV in the bedroom was not a good idea.

Overall pacing my activities went well.  However pacing while blogging is a problem.  When blogging, I become so self-absorbed pacing is the farthest thing from my mind.

ENVIRONMENT

I went on two mindful walks through my neighborhood.  One of the benefits of mindful walking is the opportunity to  connect with the ENVIRONMENT.  As a mindful walker, I totally agree with the  “9 Reasons to Try Mindful Walking,” by Adam Brady.

Sharing a few photos captured on the mindful walks.

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ACTIVITY

Very surprised to receive this email report from Fitbit on the number of steps I walked in 2015:

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Can’t believe my step and mile counts in 2015 exceeded the average total distance in miles and steps for Americans as well as globally.

These numbers did not include other daily ACTIVITIES  (yoga, plank poses, physical therapy home exercises, and circuit weights).  I plan to convert those ACTIVITIES into steps, in 2016, using one or more of the following charts:

TRUST

I found two new resources and TRUST they will address some of my SELF-TRUST issues.

  1. I am reading  (Kindle version) and listening to the (Audio version) of  “True Refuge, Finding Peace in Your Own Awakened Heart,” by Tara Brach, Ph.D.
  2. I am practicing a new 11-minute podcast meditation guided by Tara Brach, “The RAIN of Self-Compassion.”

I TRUST that SELF-TRUST is evolving as I begin to look within non-judgmentally and in a self-compassionate way.

INTERPERSONAL

I am not the best communicator.  So, while on this journey to build a healthy, mind and spirit , I wanted to address self-identified INTERPERSONAL weaknesses.  Using Hubby as the INTERPERSONAL relationship guinea pig, I tried a few of the steps recommended in “How to Develop Interpersonal Skills: 13 Steps.” 

Throughout the week, I made an effort to:

  • notice my facial expressions and body language
  • listen attentively
  • avoid presuming or assuming things

Though I still have work to do, I feel good about the progress made.

OUTLOOK

I strive everyday to have a positive OUTLOOK.  Allowing the negative energy of others to diminish or destroy my positive OUTLOOK is unhealthy.   I walked away from negativity remembering the tips shared in “Have A Good Outlook On Life”   I  added the article to my Self-Management-Healthy Living Toolbox for future reference.

NUTRITION

I knew there would be NUTRITION challenges because of Valentine’s Day.  But, I made the CHOICE, without guilt, to enjoy more than one piece of the turtle candy gifted by Hubby as well as one slice of lemon meringue pie that I gifted to myself.  Both are my favorites.

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Week 4: Mindful Monday – Healthy Living

INTENTIONS

I start Week 4 of Mindful Monday – Healthy Living with the INTENTION to, daily, embrace and follow the eight CREATION principles of living life to the fullest.

 The 8 Principles – Week 3

CHOICE

Though still a work-in-progress, I feel good about the Mindful Choices made during the week.

REST

Six of seven nights were restful and met the good sleep hygiene standards of 7-8 hours.  One sleepless night led to a pain flare-up the next day; and, I made a Mindful Choice to let go of DOING and spend the entire day BEING.  In other words, DOING nothing and BEING still.

I was Mindful of Pacing my activities.  Instead of, continuously, walking for 45 minutes on the treadmill, I put the machine on a 1-minute pause every 5-10 minutes to rest. stretch and breathe.  I left the fitness center refreshed rather than exhausted.

ENVIRONMENT

I went on a MINDFUL 45-minute walk through my neighborhood.  From time-to-time, I walked at a slower pace and paused to connect with nature’s beauty:

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A Mindful Walk with Just ME and My Shadow

ACTIVITY

Exercised the body on six of the seven days for 45-60 minutes, I:

  • walked on the treadmill and/or glided on the elliptical machine for three days at the fitness center;
  • walked through my neighborhood one day; and
  • followed my early-morning exercise routine of leg stretches with the Yoga Belt, home physical therapy exercises, and/or plank poses.

I made the Mindful Choice to heed the advice of my massage therapist who is a practitioner of yoga and pilates.  She encouraged me to do plank poses every other day and not daily to give my muscles a day of rest.

Mindfully, I made the Choice to uplift the mind and spirit, daily, with a 20-30 minute meditation practice.

TRUST

My INTENTION this week was building Self-Trust.  I made the Mindful Choice to begin the 21-day Chopra meditation practice, “Become What You Believe.”  

“to seek our true nature and discover our path to health and happiness.  You will discover your soul’s purpose and create a life in which things are within reach.”

I am hopeful that as I grow in the belief of ME, Self-Trust will follow.

INTERPERSONAL

I love going to the car wash with Hubby.  It gives me the opportunity to buy my favorite line of greeting cards.

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This week, I thought about girlfriends that I have bonded with over the years.  I made the Mindful Choice to send cards to three of them:

  • DJ, lives in Illinois.  Girlfriends since the womb and we stay connected via telephone. I last saw her at my youngest daughter wedding in 1998.
  • VB, lives in Milwaukee.  Girlfriends since 1996. We come together twice a year when I visit Wisconsin.  In turn, she sets aside one day to spend with us during her annual Florida vacation.
  • JL lives in Wisconsin. Friends for many years and Girlfriends for the past five.  We connect regularly via social media and always get together when I visit Wisconsin.

OUTLOOK

I re-affirm a positive attitude by reading motivational and inspirational quotes.  I share uplifting words via social media. Both serve to improve my  OUTLOOK on life.

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NUTRITION

I made the Mindful Choices to:

Snack on pistachio nuts and kosher dill pickles as opposed to a 220 calorie piece of cake.

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Read the nutritional label on this container of coleslaw before putting it on my dinner plate.

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Grateful for making the Mindful Choice to change the way I live my life to improve the quality of my life!!!

Week 3: Mindful Monday – Healthy Living

It’s Week 3 of Mindful Monday – Healthy Living, I feel self-motivated, self-inspired, and self-directed to uplift the body, mind and spirit.  The CREATION Health program, I chose to follow on this Healthy Living journey allows self-guidance and self-direction through the eight principles of living life to the fullest.  I am enjoying the journey.

THE 8 PRINCIPLES 

CHOICE

After looking at this video, “STOP: A Short Mindfulness Practice,”    Potential stressful  situations, last week, were avoided and/or reduced because I didn’t immediately react to them.  As recommended in the video, I took time to:

  • S = STOP
  • T = THINK
  • O = OBSERVE
  • P = PROCEED

I made the CHOICE to add STOP to my Healthy Living Self-Management Tool Box.

REST

Sleep hygiene is excellent, I get 7-8 hours nightly. Pacing my activities throughout the day is my biggest problem.  To address this issue, I went to Google and found a 12-page publication by the University of Michigan, “Improve Your Functioning through Effective Pacing.”  The first few lines grabbed my attention:

“One of the most effective forms of therapy for increasing physical functioning and improving your quality of life is NOT a pill and it’s not an exercise.  It’s changing how you do your routine daily tasks by Pacing.”

Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to add a link to this publication.  You can, however, google — Improve Your Functioning Through Effective Pacing — to access the  PDF document.  Once accessed you can download it to your computer, Kindle or IBook.

When I blog, I over-extend.  When I exercise, I over-exert.   Honestly, I tend to over-extend and/or over-extend while doing most things.  Oftentimes, I fail to stop or slow down until the body crashes and the mind boggles.

I added this document to my Healthy Living – Self Management Toolkit.

ENVIRONMENT

Florida’s rain and chilly weather kept me indoors for most of the week.  On the gloomiest day, I brought sunshine into my space.  In the quietness of our bedroom with drapes drawn, I connected with nature’s beauty by looking through my computer photo album.  I took these photos last summer when my daughters and I went on our annual Mother-Daughter vacation in Martha’s Vineyard.

Ninety-nine percent of the, approximately, 12,000 photos stored in my computer photo album are memorable and cherished moments that bring peace, happiness and love into my space.

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My Computer Photo Album is one of the most important tools in my Healthy Living – Self-Management Tool Chest.

ACTIVITY

I lived up to my INTENTION to, daily, exercise the body, mind and spirit.

Exercise: On Saturday, Hubby and I went for an early-morning walk in our city’s largest indoor mall.  I love the accessible amenities available during non-mall hours for walkers —

  • Comfortable Seating
  • Accessible Bathroom Facilities
  • Coffee and Water

I also got in two days at the Fitness Center and four days of early-morning home exercises.

Mind and Spirit – After an almost two-year absence, I revisited the meditation practice that started me on my daily meditation journey.  The Meditation Podcast offers thirty, free, 8-20 minute meditation practices.

I brought The Meditation Podcast out of retirement.  It is now in my  Healthy Living – Self-Management Toolkit.

TRUST  –

This week I set as an  INTENTION to build SELF-TRUST.  I begin this new journey motivated by five inspirational quotes:

“As soon as you trust yourself, you will know how to live.” (Johann Wolfgang von Goethe)

Trust yourself and try not to get lured off course by conflicting opinions that don’t seem to sit right with you.” (Auliq Ice)

‘Never let the thoughts of self-unworthiness re-arrange your prepared passion for failure.  You can do it even if others say you can’t.  But you cannot do it if you tell yourself you can’t.” (Israelmore Ayivor)

“Believe in yourself! Have faith in your abilities! Without a humble but reasonable confidence in your own powers you cannot be successful or happy.”  (Norman Vincent Peele)

“You can have all the tools in the world but if you don’t genuinely believe in yourself, it’s useless.” (Ken Jeong)

I added these quotes to my Healthy Living – Self-Management Toolkit

INTERPERSONAL 

On Tuesday, I spent a lively and enjoyable three hours in my photography class.  Talking and laughing through most of the class as we struggled to take our first Water Splash Photo.

This is my first attempt.  It took a few tries before I figured out how to keep my hand out of the photo,

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I managed to keep the hand out.  But it took many, many, more tries to capture a half-way decent photo.

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I added my photography class to the Healthy-Living Self-Management Toolkit.

OUTLOOK 

I listen to Depaak Chopra’s, “Souls of Healing Affirmations.” Uplifted by these positive affirmation upon waking every morning is the building block needed to get through the day with a positive OUTLOOK.  It’s a gift to myself.  (paraphrased CREATION Health)

The Souls of Healing Affirmation is a key tool in my Healthy Living Self-Management Toolkit.

NUTRITION

Encouraged by my eldest daughter, I bought a set of Portion Control Containers to manage and track my food intake. It didn’t work out well.

PURCHASED THE CONTAINERS

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CREATED DAILY COLOR-CODED CALORIE TARGET SHEETS

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I used the two smallest containers to manage my intake of nuts and ignored the others.  I allowed myself only one container of nuts per day.  A lover of pecans, walnuts, peanuts, cashews, etc., I always buy the largest bag, jar, or can of nuts.  Throughout the day, I visit the pantry and grab a handful.  I hope these little, bitty containers, will help to break this serious nut-eating addiction.

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Next week, I will assess the Portion Control Containers and decide whether they are a worthy addition to my Healthy Living-Self-Management Toolkit.

Week 2: Mindful Monday – Healthy Living

First, thanks to SilverThreading for hosting Mindful Monday – Healthy Living.

Second, I met most of my Week 2 Intentions, which were to live life to the fullest by following the eight CREATION Health principles.

Third, this is how my week went.

CHOICE

Making the CHOICE to BE STILL and BREATHE before REACTING throughout the day.  I did just that and experienced less stress, doubt and conflict during the week.

REST

Sleeping through the night is healthy.  I went to bed between 8:00 and 9:00 p.m. and arose between 4:00 a.m. and 5:00 a.m.  Seven to eight hours of sleep is good sleep hygiene according to the National Sleep Foundation.  I, also, paced my activities during the day and stopped to rest and breathe,  if for no more than five minutes.

ENVIRONMENT

Being in the presence of nature brings happiness and peace into my space.  I did not fulfill my Intention to visit a local park or botanical garden. However, I spent time on our lanai, which backs up to a conservation area.  Sitting, in silence , I enjoyed the beauty of the lush green trees and my self-created Healing Container Garden.

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ACTIVITY

Beginning the day with a 20-30 minute Mindfulness/Meditation practice is how I choose to set the course for the rest of the day.  Building upon this foundation, four times a week, I did thirty minutes of either home physical therapy exercises or YouTube yoga practices as well as three plank poses for five minutes – two for two minutes and one for one minute.  Walked the treadmill and glided on the precor machines at my fitness center for forty minutes, three times per week.  This completed my exercise routine.

TRUST

Holding on to anger and frustration exacerbates stress.  For several months, Hubby ignored repeated requests to hang four pictures in my meditation room.  I relied on Trust.  Married to this man for more than fifty-five years: I know he is reliable, good, honest, and, most of all a loving and caring husband.  At 74-years-old, he has earned the right to move at his own pace.  After all, I am an independent SeasonedSistah capable of doing many things and Trust that I will be able to hang pictures.  If not, I have the number to a handyman service.

INTERPERSONAL RELATIONSHIPS

Going beyond self and opening up to improve INTERPERSONAL RELATIONSHIPS is healthy. So, I reached out and connected, by phone, with a long-time friend, attended a photography class at the local senior center, and signed up to attend a Breast Cancer support group meeting in February.

OUTLOOK

Expressing thankfulness opens the door to a positive OUTLOOK.  Daily, I expressed gratitude, verbally as well as in writing, for the five things I was grateful for in my Gratitude Journal.

NUTRITION

Moving away from traditional soul food and toward healthier food options makes sense.  However, my southern heritage and African-American roots keeps me tied to these traditional dishes. Fulfilling my INTENTION, I went to one of my cookbooks and prepared three healthy soul food dishes:

  • Field Peas with Okra
  • Cabbage
  • Southern Corn Bread

Field peas with okra and cabbage are traditionally cooked with ham hocks, bacon salt pork or a ham bone.  Several years ago, in pursuit of a healthier option, I replaced the pork with smoked turkey.  Hubby and I enjoyed the vegetarian versions of these dishes and enjoyed a healthy and tasty Sunday soul food dinner.

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Incorporating the eight CREATION Health principles into my life over the last seven days helped to uplift my mind, body and spirit.

 Healthy Living is How I Choose to Live.

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Week One: Mindful Monday – Healthy Living

Thanks to Colleen over at Silver Threading for hosting Mindful Monday – Healthy Living.  Joining her and other bloggers on this life changing journey is the incentive I need to start the new year.

I am in desperate need of a comeback following a healthy living setback from Thanksgiving through the Christmas holidays.

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My Healthy Lifestyle Plan

Preparing for a healthier new year, I explored a number of options.  Finally, I chose to re-start a program I had tried back in 2010.  Even though I completed the eight-week Creation Health seminar, “God’s Eight Principles for Living Life to the Fullest,” I never fully lived up to the eight principles:

  1. C = Choice
  2. R = Rest
  3. E = Environment
  4. A = Activity
  5. T = Trust
  6. I = Interpersonal
  7. O = Outlook
  8. N = Nutrition

Setting weekly INTENTIONS for each CREATION principles is the path I choose to follow on this journey to live a healthy lifestyle.

WEEK ONE  – INTENTIONS

  • CHOICE – take time to stop and breathe deeply throughout the day  to improve decision-making skills.
  • REST – between 7-8 hours nightly and pace my daily activities.
  • ENVIRONMENT – visit a local park or botanical garden.
  • ACTIVITY exercise the mind, body and spirit by taking time for mindfulness/meditation practices, workout at my fitness center, yoga, photography, adult coloring and painting projects.
  • TRUST – through stillness and silence there will be a resolution to conflicts that may enter my space..
  • INTERPERSONAL – reconnect with a friend and/or extended family member.
  • OUTLOOK – daily record five things that I am grateful for in my online Gratitude Journal App.

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  • NUTRITION – follow a healthy diet and prepare a meal using a recipe from one of the healthy eating cookbooks gathering dust in a closet under the stairs.
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Journeying Toward a Healthy New Year

I look forward to this healthy living journey and the opportunity to share both my challenges and successes in a weekly post. 

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