#88 Get up for the Sunrise

There’s something about the energy of the sun peeking over the horizon and blooming fully into the morning sky that offers hope.

Sharing 365 life lessons, tips, or hacks; the things that make life easier, happier, and more productive. I hope you’ll follow along and find them helpful too.

#88

Get up for the Sunrise

Some of you may do this on a regular basis but many of us do not and by staying in bed until after the sun is high in the sky, we are missing one of nature’s most magnificent moments. Without the sun, Earth would be an ice covered rock; it is the life force of our existence. If you are one of those who are routinely awake for the sunrise – do you watch? Are you present for the experience?

Good Mood

Watching the sunset – truly savoring the experience of it – can help you be in a good mood. There’s something about the energy of the sun peeking over the horizon and blooming fully into the morning sky that offers hope. The colors that are created each morning – completely dependent on that particular morning – are challenged to be created with paint, chalk, or pencil. Again, color has a way of inspiring us to feel better and increase our mood.

Consistency

The sun rises each day regardless of what is happening in the world and it’s a wonderful reminder that life keeps moving forward in spite of everything else. It can be a wonderful reminder that we too, can move forward and go on. It’s also one of the things that promotes hope in our spirit.

Gratitude

The sunrise can inspire gratitude. There’s something spectacular about this automatic event that produces intense beauty, incites promise, and comes to us free of charge that we tend to be thankful for. It may be typical to think “wow”, “man”, or “geez” with a sense of awe as we notice it’s characteristics.

If you can’t bring yourself to get out of bed that early in the morning, there is always the sunset but it generates a different spirit altogether so do yourself a favor and…

Get up for the sunrise.

I love hearing your thoughts and ideas. Please share in the comments below.

#149 Try a Cleanse

While there are a ton of products on the market that claim to ‘cleanse’ there are dangers to riding your body of too many of the nutrients that aid in the proper digestion of good things we eat.

Sharing 365 life lessons, tips, or hacks; the things that make life easier, happier, and more productive. I hope you’ll follow along and find them helpful too.

#149

Try a Cleanse

Yesterday, I offered the tip of fasting for a day and touted the potential benefits of doing so. One of them is cleaning the body of toxins. If denying yourself a meal isn’t your cup of tea, then perhaps a cleanse would accomplish much of the same objective.

Get the Bad Stuff Out

A cleanse is intentionally ingesting something that is designed to rid your body of the chemicals and bacteria that should not be there and/or is hazardous to your overall lifespan. There are a number of foods that purport to detoxify your body primarily by flushing fluids; very similar to the process we use in our home piping system.

Ideally, a cleanse is designed to encourage your liver, kidneys, and colon to do their job. THEY are the organs in our bodies that are perfectly designed to naturally keep the good things in and the bad things out. Eating foods that help them process more effectively and work better is the key here.

The Liver

Your liver filters toxins from your blood at the rate of 1.4 liters per minute. It breaks down alcohol, drugs, and chemicals we ingest. Dark berries and hot peppers (caspian) will help it work more effectively. The best advice however is to eat cleanly and avoid alcohol of any kind for the best liver function. The liver is divinely designed to heal itself naturally and will do so if there aren’t any deterrents

The Colon

The colon accumulates waste and prepares it for elimination. In order to do so, material needs to move freely and so hydration and fiber are critical components. Dr. Oz says whole grains and fermented food are key elements in this process.

The Kidneys

The kidneys filter toxins from the blood as well and are responsible in maintaining electrolyte balance and blood pressure. Hydration is a primary consideration here – a state that most human bodies today fail to balance. When properly hydrated, kidneys don’t need to be cleansed. Cauliflower, broccoli, and Soy products will support kidney function naturally.

Dr. Oz Recommends

While there are a ton of products on the market that claim to ‘cleanse’ there are dangers to riding your body of too many of the nutrients that aid in the proper digestion of good things we eat. A diet with only the foods listed here may be the only cleanse you need (not medical advice) says Dr. Oz who recommends eating the recommended foods over a 48 hour period to assist the natural efforts of your body.

When your body works the way it was designed, your energy level, your mood, and your spirit are likely to be organically balanced. If you don’t want to fast, you can …

Try a cleanse.

I love hearing your thoughts and ideas. Please share in the comments below

 

Letting Go

The sense of him was so strong. I knew in my heart that he was just outside my door.

Life as a widow was exceptionally awkward. I was still very much in the “we” mode. I was hesitant to make plans before I checked with Rocky. I would wonder what he wanted for dinner. I would buy his favorite cookies without thinking. Each time I remembered he wasn’t there I would quickly inhale and stop breathing for just a minute. I was just 24 years old with an 18 mo. old baby, learning to navigate widowhood.

We live in a “couple’s culture”. From a very early age we are exposed to the idea that we will eventually become ‘a couple’. We are led to find someone and share our life. Valentine’s Day, wedding season, two-parent family focus, date night reminders and the like are constant in our society – reminding us of the ultimate goal. When you ARE a couple you are part of the club and when you are NOT it’s painfully obvious that you no longer belong.  Married people we used to hang out with stopped inviting me to events (they didn’t want me to feel bad). When someone did invite me to a party or something, they were generally attempting to set me up with someone.

I was living in a Navy Mecca – Tidewater Virginia. Sailors were everywhere; in cars on the freeway, at 7-11 getting coffee, in grocery stores and banks. Every time I saw a tall blonde with broad shoulders wearing Navy whites I would experience tightness in my chest and feel my stomach begin to turn inside out. For that first six months I was in denial, choosing to believe that perhaps he was just doing another tour of duty, that he had somehow escaped the hospital and had amnesia. No matter what I did, there were triggers everywhere. Even doing something s simple as laundry could move me to an exhaustive crying fit as I realized (again) that there were no men’s briefs in the basket.  I tried to move on. I tried to ‘get over it’. I tried to be how everyone thought I should be. I didn’t know what grief was supposed to look like or how long it should last so I went with what others suggested was appropriate.

I attended a widow’s group at the urging of a neighbor. It was held her church and she offered to go with me although she was not yet widowed. I have to assume that the people in that room were well intended. I realize they were experiencing their own losses. They listened as I described my circumstances, my pain, and my fears. And then they dismissed it all. They told me that I should be glad to be young. They said that I had plenty of time to remarry, that I would find someone else. Another person suggested that I replace all of my underwear because ‘single’ ladies should have pretty panties. Some part of me knew these people meant well. I wanted to spit at them.

In MY mind, it didn’t matter if I had been married 4 years or 40. Perhaps we hadn’t yet accumulated the history but we HAD developed the dreams and anticipation of them. Every aspect of my future – every vision I had about it – included him.  He was automatically built into the mental picture of everything I had hoped for going forward. It was a constant ‘head shaking’ to realign or reconfigure day to day living. In terms of visualizing a future – it was as if someone had built a cinder block wall in front of me. I couldn’t see around it, over it, or through it, I had NO idea what was ahead of me and I had no energy to keep going.

On a particularly difficult night as I lay in bed, deeply feeling my loss and experiencing intense sorrow – I contemplated taking my own life. I didn’t want to be in a world without him. I wanted to be WITH him- no matter how that had to happen. I thought about how I could die without feeling pain. I thought about it a long time. Of course my first thought was Francis…. Who would take care of him? My mom and step dad lived close and my twin (half) sisters were only 7 … they would take excellent care of him; they would love him. He would really never remember us… would he be ok? I wondered if he would hate me. I wondered if Rocky would be happy to see me or mad that I had left Francis? And then… I remembered. I remembered the Catholic upbringing that taught me about suicide; they say it is the ONLY sin committed that one cannot ask forgiveness for… without forgiveness, I would go to hell. That’s what I thought about.

If I was in hell, and Rocky was in heaven – then the entire objective of dying to be with him didn’t make sense. It wouldn’t serve any purpose.

………..

During these months there were a number of incidents that pointed to the idea that Rock was with us…

One evening I went to pick Francis up from the sitter – he’s about 20 mos. old. She explained that she was sitting on the couch folding clothes while Francis played with his truck on the floor. He started chatting and then suddenly got up, ran to the corner of the room and held his arms up chanting “Dadadadada…” then, went back to the center of his room, picked up the truck he had been playing with and took it over to the corner – lifting it high as if to show it off.

The babysitter was freaked out.

On another occasion a few months later after I had moved into a new place I heard Francis in his room playing and talking away… my housemate and I stood in the doorway as we watched and listened to him talk to his dad about his toys.

I was sitting in bed one evening reading. It was quiet in the house and I felt settled for a change. Suddenly I felt something – he was there – in the house. The sense of him was so strong. I knew in my heart that he was just outside my door. “Stop” I whispered. “Please, please don’t come in here.”  I knew that if by being ‘here’ – he could be ‘there’ – I would never be able to leave the ‘here’ space. I’d never be able to live in the world – to have a life.

My heart was beating so fast and hard that I could hear it and tears were building in my eyes. “I have to let you go and I can’t do it if I know that you are here with me.”

I was so very sad.

“Go see Francis – he needs you. I will never teach him that you aren’t really there – be with him but let me be babe.”  I sank into my pillows, eyes tightly closed, and refused him.

That night, I let go and made a conscious decision to keep moving.