Dec 29, 2011


The happiest people may not necessarily have the best of everything, but they do make the most of everything.

Take time for yourself today.

You work... You care-take... You parent... You counsel... You give....
But when is the last time you took time for yourself?

.......A day?
............An hour?
...................10 minutes?

Do you take care of you?

I hope so, because you deserve to.  You need to.  You have to take time to recharge, renew, reinvigorate your soul. By exercising self-care, you're in a better position to serve others.  It helps
you center yourself, get grounded, avoid stress headaches, insomnia, irritability, stomach-aches, depression, high blood pressure.  It helps you become a better, stronger, happier, more efficient person.

And your brains need down-time too!  Think about it - when are you  your best, most creative self?  When do your best ideas come?  I'll bet you'll tell me; in the shower, driving to work, right before you fall asleep.  Why do you think that is?  Because our minds work best when we are relaxed - when we allow our thoughts to flow.

Although you make think you can't afford to take the time away from your responsibilities, the truth is, you can't afford not to. It may be hard to carve out time, but it's worth finding a way and making the effort.    Maybe you could wake up an hour earlier - before your household is up and buzzing about.  There's nothing quite as peaceful as dawn - a warm cup of coffee, the rising sun, a new day filled with possibility.

Or maybe you could steal away a moment in the afternoon?  When I worked in an office, I would schedule time-slots with myself and insert my own private moments of calm into an otherwise frenzied pace.

Or at night?  Set an official "goodnight" time when the TV goes off,  and your household settles into quiet time.  Relaxation mode.  I've set an alarm on my iphone to chime every evening at the same time as a  reminder that it is officially time to unplug, unwind, and relax.  ~To disconnect the devices and reconnect to me!

Ok, I've convinced you to take some time for yourself.  So now what exactly are you going to do during that time?   Sometimes when the moment comes, I'll draw a blank.   So, here's a few ideas to get us started....  We could................
  • Read a good book
  • Watch a good movie
  • Write down our thoughts
  • Take a walk, take in some fresh air
  • Cook a hot meal
  • Visit a local coffee shop
  • Relax in a soothing bath
  • Take a NAP!
  • Cook a hot meal, relax in a soothing bath,
  • Do some gentle stretching
  • Focus on breathing
  • Listen to the sounds or silence around us
  • Take a dance class, yoga class, swim class
  • Make art
  • Color!
  • Read the paper
  • Beach-comb 
  • Listen to music
  • Paint our nails
  • Take a hike in the woods
  • Grab a camera and take some pictures of things around us
  • Hang out in an art museum
  • Call a loved one 
  • Get a massage
  • Buy or make something small for someone we love
  • Give thanks to the universe
  • Say a prayer
  • Meditate

So, tell me - what are 5 things that you love to do?  Let's brainstorm together...

Dec 20, 2011

"Energy and persistence conquer all things."

Stumbling block or stepping stone?

In equal parts jest and seriousness I often refer to myself as a "fragile flower".   Am I too delicate?  Too quick to give up?  Too easily overwhelmed?   And if so, how can I "toughen up" and persist?
I've been thinking about it allot lately.  Why is that two people can experience trauma and one will bounce back with a smile on their face, while the other will be paralyzed and miserable. Are we born with innate persistence?  Can we develop it?
Nothing in the world can take the place of Persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan “Press On” has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race.
- Calvin Coolidge
I think that like most things it's a combination of the two - both natural temperament and skill.  And while our nature is clearly a done deal, the latter is within our control - I think we can take steps to strengthen our ability to endure.   Do you?

Dec 13, 2011

Thinking "Out-of-the-giftbox" this Holiday Season

Presents. The heart of the holiday?

When I was but a wee lass, all my friends and I would gather up at recess and compare notes about who got what for Christmas.  They'd rattle off long impressive lists of cool toys, the latest gadgets and stockings stuffed to the rim.  I half listened while I scrambled to find  something as equally awesome to contribute to the pile.


Falling short mostly. I even found myself seizing up the impressiveness of the presents on Xmas day itself in anticipation of that fateful recess.  How awful!  Not because I didn't get the biggest, best presents - but that my worldview was so distorted in the first place.  That ALL of our worldviews were so distorted - and dominated by STUFF and THINGS.   Was that the spirit of the season?   Our final takeaway? Ugh!

And that was a billion years ago.  Now, couple that materialistic sensibility with an economic downturn, and we are in serious trouble!  While we are being pummeled by corporate messages to buy, buy, buy, our pocketbooks are empty, empty, empty - and I can hardly fathom the pressure and stress that this creates for families.  That's allot to endure.  People are struggling.  Unemployed.  Afraid.  And yet they don't want to disappoint their loved ones, or let anyone down.  But this is a construct that we created and it is a construct that we can disassemble.  Let's mute those commercials! Toss out those ads. Avert our eyes from the aisles of holiday knickknacks - because if ever there was a time to be prudent, and downsize the "STUFF" - this is the time.  If ever there was a time to impart our values of togetherness, and love, and family as opposed to STUFF, this is the time.  So let's let's take this point in history to step on the breaks, regroup, and recapture and embody the true spirit of the season!

If I had just one wish for you, I would ask that you please, please refrain from overspending, overextending yourself, and going into debt for Christmas. Please don't get caught up in a buying frenzy.   It's not what your loved ones would want for you.  Be straightforward and honest about your limitations.  Exercise restraint.  There is no shame in setting boundaries.  You can make another choice!   Show your  appreciation and love through togetherness, not things. Take it as an opportunity to impart a deeper more meaningful lesson to the young folks.    I'm not saying eliminate ALL gifts ENTIRELY!  (Come on' now, I'm not a Grinch!)  I'm just saying, we can approach it in a different way.  We can be creative about the way we do it.  We can think out of the gift-box!

For example, how about:
  • Handmade gifts
  • Crafts from farmer's markets
  • Treasures from second hand stores, Craiglist
  • Volunteering as a family in a soup kitchen, giving back to the community
  • Collecting cans together, or helping the homeless
  • How about forgoing gifts completely and making a decision as a family about which deserving charity you will donate to. Together.  (Talk about teachable moment!)
  • Making family time - a walk, a trip to a park, watching a slide show of old family photos, telling stories around a fire...
  • Singing holiday songs 
  • Making tasty holiday treats together
  • Read stories out loud together
  • Coloring or making arts & crafts together (talk about making great memories)
  • Strengthen your community by opting to spend your dollars at local Mom & Pop shops instead of multinational corporations
  • Spend some time at a local nursing home, talking, listening, being (there's nothing like the gift of time and appreciation)  
  • Make holiday cookies and give them to a neighbor  (maybe someone you've even never spoken to before?!)
  • .................what else???
There's so many awesome things that we could do!  Have any other ideas?  I'd love to hear all of them!

Wishing you a beautiful holiday season filled with love, kindness and gratitude.


Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it.
--William Arthur Ward

Dec 4, 2011

Q&A With Chris Brogan

As I continue this fuzzy, confusing, wonderful path, I'm gathering information, learning, looking for role-models and inspiration.  Mentors.  So many great minds have gone before us - how did they do it? What was the key(s) to their success?  How did they get to where they are?  Where did they begin and what kept them going?  And while I believe in creativity and authenticity, I also believe in being wise enough to know when not to reinvent the wheel.  

Tonight i was fortunate enough to catch a tweet from media guru @chrisbrogan inviting folks to join him at his google+ page where he would answer questions.  Perfect!  Because I have so many questions!  And apparently, I'm not the only one. Immediately he was inundated with all sorts of great requests for advice.  I eagerly read every one, most of which left me wanting to know more.  Luckily, he types 100+ words per minute...

Some of my favorites;

David Crandall's profile photoDavid Crandall  -  What is your recommended course of action for someone who just got laid off and would like to make a living outside of the standard template of employment?
Connie Brand's profile photoConnie Brand  -  Is it better to stay a solo act entrepreneur/freelancer or build a team
Rob Wormley's profile photoRob Wormley  -  If I'm interested in authoring a book, is it best to publish and sell a few small e-books first to 'test the waters' and create a sense of legitimacy/credibility? Or should I just jump right in and get started with my book idea(s)?
 Ben Loeb's profile photo Ben Loeb  -  What advice do you have for a young marketing student? (Yes I asked you a more lighthearted question above)
Kellie Brooks's profile photoKellie Brooks  -  How do you fit someone who's multi-passionate into one website successfully? (Writer, futurist, hospitality consultant)  
Tim Burrows's profile photoTim Burrows  -  Hi Chris! If you could only use one social platform, what would it be? And if I could ask a part b...Why?

Michael Hiles's profile photoMichael Hiles  -  +Chris Brogan would you say that in 2011, getting published through a traditional publisher is relevant vs. self-pub and leveraging internet marketing/PR? The context is to not make money off the book, per se, but use it as a promotional platform/calling card. 

And his answers, 

Chris Brogan's profile photo
Read Escape from Cubicle Nation by +Pamela Slim , The Barefoot Executive by +Carrie Wilkerson , and all of +Chris Guillebeau 's books and take action. 

depends what you want to do. If you stay solo, you're good at building a cash flow business. If you want the next stage in business, it's building something that can be sold so you can bank the cash. If you get sick of disabled, your business stops when you do.

+Rob Wormley - the difference between mainstream and self-publishing is more about whether you want credibility or revenue. If A, then mainstream is the clearer route. If B, then self-publish. What publishers look for is that you have a platform to distribute the book. If not, it doesn't matter whether the idea was good. Trust Agents isn't a great book. I have a big platform. That's the difference. 

+Ben Loeb - learn more about analytics and the tech side of marketing. Too many people are thinking that 
good copy is all one needs.  

I asked him to elaborate, and he answered:  
+Hamsasya annie - I mean learning tools like Google Analytics, a strong email marketing platform, enterprise listening tools like Radian6 and Sysomos, and more. I mean mobile marketing tech and the like.)

+Kellie Brooks - I'm multipassionate. Try to find the blanket theme that covers all those passions. Writer is the most mutable. Futurist is a lot of fun. If you wrote about the future of hospitality and beyond, you'd have the trifecta. : ) 

+Tim Burrows - my blog, and because it's my own real estate and can effect the most value. 

+Michael Hiles - it depends what you want. If you want credibility, traditional publishing rules. If you want revenue or idea spreading, self is perfectly reasonable. If you want CEOs to pick up your book at airports, it's a little harder to get there with self publishing. Plus, for whatever stupid reason, people still think that "vanity press" means that your ideas are lackluster to a publisher (which is bullshit).

And finally, my favorite of course,

Hamsasya annie's profile photo
Hamsasya annie  -  How do you measure success? Are you there? How long did it take you to arrive? How clear was your path?
Chris Brogan's profile photo
Chris Brogan  -  +Hamsasya annie - I measure success by being able to choose how I spend my time. I'm there more often than not. It took me several years to figure it all out. My path wasn't clear at all. My biggest breakthrough was learning how to be helpful. The trinity of making money is having skills, then having skills that others can use to advance their own worlds, and then being able to marry those two things usefully.

Pretty awesome stuff.   And great tidbits that I will most definitely use as I forge my path.  It's nice to know there are such good people willing to share.

Thanks Chris!

Dec 1, 2011

Instapaper & TechyTalk

I've been totally techin out lately.  (I make words up).  Little antenna buds are startin' to sprout out the top of my head.  I've started muttering in robot when I think real hard. Today I checked out icloud for the first time &  downloa? uplo?  dow-  moved a bunch of pictures from my iphone to my computer.


And so handy! Why didn't Apple release that feature before?  They're so stingy with their goodies.

And with help from my friends, I've discovered SO many other things this week - apps, programs, concepts; like PinterestDelicious, Hootsuite, (thx @geekinhard & @theBLblog) Disqus, Posterous, Googleplus, Slideshare, AmazonAssociates, Spreadshirt, Canvaspop (thx @chrispugh), Pulse (thx @comicbookdave) .... Holy crap!  That's allot! And there was even more! I had no idea how much I've been learning until checking back at my notes.  (I've also started a new system to keep track of things which is working well! Ironically, it's a non-techy, oldschool system. Another post maybe?)

Anyway, Andrea (@holzinger3) asked about an app that I just installed and raved about at Twitter, so I thought I'd just explain here!   So with no further ado...

My new favorite App
By annie

Why yes Andrea (@holzinger3)!  Yes it is!  I'm glad you asked!  Instapaper helps you keep things for later.  Which rocks!  Let me explain;

Today @skinnyemmie tweeted a link to an article that she wrote which sounded really interesting! 

But I was doing other things.

"What am I going to do?"  I wondered.  

"I want to read it.....but......"

  No problem!  My new Instapaper account is here to save the day!  
Now I can just click this here paperclip;
Select "READ LATER"..........................


Now I can just log on to Instapaper's website and I'll be able find @skinnyemmie's article along with the others anytime I want!  

This awesome app allows you to grab things that catch your interest, save them, and read them later!
Freakin genius I tell ya, GENIUS!

And that's the end of my story. 

The End. 


Nov 30, 2011

How Does Your State Stackup?

20 yrs of Unemployment Rates in Video

Pretty amazing stuff from Google.

They've accumulated data from the past 20 years, which you can play-back via a state-by-state graph. Starting from January 1990, you can watch our unemployment rates ebb and flow right before your very eyes, and skyrocket to the current state of less-than-awesome affairs. 

It appears that Puerto Rico currently has the dubious distinction of having the highest unemployment at a whopping 16.1%   (whoa :0/ ) followed by Nevada, at 13.4%.

The lowest in the country is.......(drumroll please).... North Dakota! at 3.5%!   They must be doing something right!  I wonder what it is??? We need to replicate it pronto!

[Data from: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics]

Nov 28, 2011

Say it loud! "I'M SAD & I'M PROUD!"

"A hero is an ordinary person who finds the strength to
persevere and endure in spite of overwhelming obstacles."  ~Christopher Reeve

     So, you may have noticed -  it's been a little while since I've posted, and I feel bad.   It's not that I haven't thought about it - or wanted to - or wished I would.  I just COULDN'T seem to eke a word out, let alone a paragraph.   

"Why," I ask myself.

     I guess it just seemed TOO. HARD.  Well, now that I think about it, EVERYTHING seemed too hard; cooking, cleaning, getting up. I think I've been in a funk.  A bad funk....  And.....  Well...... Some might even say.....I was...... Well, that I was..... depressed.

There!  I said it! 

     And to tell you the truth I've been completely embarrassed to admit it to me and to you.  I'm Miss Positive after-all!  The inspirational tweeter!  The person changing her life and helping others!   And worse, what if someone who knows me - a family member , a former student, even a potential employer finds out?!  Then what?!  Would they think less of me?  Would they lose respect?  Would I not get "the job?"  
     These questions kept me concealed in the dark, retreating into myself, getting less and less involved and more and more bummed out - the OPPOSITE of what I needed.  And thus the self-perpetuating shame cycle began, a cascading waterfall that continued picking up steam and pulling in additional destructive qualities; less exercise, less laughter, less self-care, less hope.

Well, I've been thinking about it allot lately, and I've decided I'm gonna go ahead and turn that "WHAT IF?"  into a "SO WHAT?!"    
                           Let's talk about it!

I mean, why SHOULDN'T we?!  Depression is NOT a moral failing. Folks who are depressed are not "broken."  They are not weak. They are not to blame. Losing someone you love, health problems, job separation, relationship stress are all potential triggers that most of us will experience in our lives.  Any one of those things could make us depressed. And when I think about objectively, (not under a shroud of self-blame & recrimination) I've experienced several of those things lately.  (I lost my job, my Dad and partner are seriously ill, my Grandma died, a friend recently committed suicide).  When putting the pieces together, I guess it makes sense.  Of COURSE it makes sense!  It's human. (Although, even if it didn't "make sense" it would still be valid).   Lots of us feel like this - with or without knowing why.

         In fact, did you know that the National Institute of Mental Health estimates that about 14.8 MILLION Americans are clinically depressed in any given year?!  What tha?! And the World Health Organization estimates that 121 MILLION people worldwide are depressed!  Translation: a heck of allota people!  Translation: there are people in your life right now who are, have been, or are going to be depressed.    And you may not know it.  Sadly, shame often prevents folks from admitting it, talking about it, and seeking help.  And that is tragic.  

"It is an odd paradox that society, which can no speak openly 
and unabashedly about topics that were once unspeakable,
still remains largely silent when it comes to mental illness."    ~Glenn Close

     We talk about everything else - why not something so big, so common, and so important?  Remaining silent only serves to further alienate ourselves and those who need us most.  What's more important as a society than addressing the state of our individual and collective mental health? 

     As for me?  I'm doing much better thank you!  I've been sleeping better, thinking better, moving better, feeling better, and ready to do a bunch of posts!  I have allot of hope.   My only wish I didn't have to wait to get better before being comfortable enough to talk about it.

      Nov 27, 2011

      A Call To Action

      I want to remember this.....

      "A great way to give thanks...

      for the privileges we've got is to do important work.
      Your job, your internet access, your education, your role in a civilized society... all of them are a platform, a chance to do art, a way for you to give back and to honor those that enabled you to get to this point.

      For every person reading this there are a thousand people (literally a thousand) in underprivileged nations and situations that would love to have your slot. Don't waste it."

      Nov 16, 2011

      Save The Date Postcard Ideas

      Did I ever tell you that I'm engaged?  I don't think I have.  Probably because it's not something I think about TOO often.  And that's probably because it doesn't feel TOO real.  And THAT'S probably because it's been quite a while since he popped the question on Christmas (in front of my entire family!)  How long?  Gosh, I'm not even too sure at this point (he's the one that's good with dates, not me)...  Let's just say a good 5 plus years.  So, you can see why the rush of excitement isn't quite what it used to be.   That's not to say that I don't dream about a future ceremony.  We've talked about it countless times.  It just seems a bit daunting for a number of reasons.

      Aug 18, 2011

      You can’t change what happened to you in the past, but you can change your future.
      You can’t change other people, but you can change yourself.
      You can’t control what people think, but you can control the way you look at things!
      You can’t control what life throws at you, but you can change how you respond!


      It’s what you do next that counts. Every moment is a chance to start over!  An opportunity to reinvent yourself.   What are you going to choose?

      Jul 20, 2011

      Today I Choose to Embrace my Imperfection

      “There’s no point! I messed everything up!”
      Are you an all-or-nothing kinda person? Perfectionism can cause procrastination, underachievement, paralyzing fear and workaholism.

      I have a RIGHT to make mistakes! It is OK to experiment along the journey of life. With practice, patience, kindness & persistence I strive to EMBRACE IMPERFECTION.

      Instead of black and white, I soak up all the lovely shades in-between and all their delicate beauty. I strive for moderation, balance, the middle-path. I EMBRACE IMPERFECTION

      Cultivating compassion for others is great practice for learning to also have compassion for myself. I am gentle and kind - regardless of the situation, I have genuine compassion for me. I EMBRACE IMPERFECTION

      I don't fight with my nasty inner-critic! Instead, I give it hugs and kisses. I measure my success not by awards or accolades, but rather, how I persist in spite of fear. I EMBRACE IMPERFECTION

      BABYSTEPS. Every moment is a brand new fresh opportunity to begin again. I Show Up. I do my best. Because something good always comes of it. I EMBRACE MY IMPERFECTION

      Jul 15, 2011


      There is now, officially, a new sheet posted for this week's #ProjectAwesome goals & progress.  So sorry for the delay.  My two weeks away with Grandma was a little more all-consuming then I'd anticipated! ...... And cool news!  There is also a  new shared space for our VISIONBOARDS So, put your creative visionary thinking caps on, and post-it-up!  It will be be SO AMAZING to create and share our digital dreams.   (Thanks for the inspiration @MissAshleyyLaLa).



      Healthy Substitutions for Food Cravings

      Found this table at a naturopathic website.  So interesting!  Might be worth experimenting with! 

      If you crave this... What you really need is. And here are healthy foods that have it:
      Chocolate Magnesium Raw nuts and seeds, legumes, fruits
      Sweets Chromium Broccoli, grapes, cheese, dried beans, calves liver, chicken

      Carbon Fresh fruits

      Phosphorus Chicken, beef, liver, poultry, fish, eggs, dairy, nuts, legumes, grains

      Sulfur Cranberries, horseradish, cruciferous vegetables, kale, cabbage

      Tryptophan Cheese, liver, lamb, raisins, sweet potato, spinach
      Bread, toast Nitrogen High protein foods: fish, meat, nuts, beans
      Oily snacks, fatty foods Calcium Mustard and turnip greens, broccoli, kale, legumes, cheese, sesame
      Coffee or tea Phosphorous Chicken, beef, liver, poultry, fish, eggs, dairy, nuts, legumes

      Sulfur Egg yolks, red peppers, muscle protein, garlic, onion, cruciferous vegetables

      NaCl (salt) Sea salt, apple cider vinegar (on salad)

      Iron Meat, fish and poultry, seaweed, greens, black cherries
      Alcohol, recreational drugs Protein Meat, poultry, seafood, dairy, nuts

      Avenin Granola, oatmeal

      Calcium Mustard and turnip greens, broccoli, kale, legumes, cheese, sesame

      Glutamine Supplement glutamine powder for withdrawal, raw cabbage juice

      Potassium Sun-dried black olives, potato peel broth, seaweed, bitter greens
      Chewing ice Iron Meat, fish, poultry, seaweed, greens, black cherries
      Burned food Carbon Fresh fruits
      Soda and other carbonated drinks Calcium Mustard and turnip greens, broccoli, kale, legumes, cheese, sesame
      Salty foods Chloride Raw goat milk, fish, unrefined sea salt
      Acid foods Magnesium Raw nuts and seeds, legumes, fruits
      Preference for liquids rather than solids Water Flavor water with lemon or lime. You need 8 to 10 glasses per day.
      Preference for solids rather than liquids Water You have been so dehydrated for so long that you have lost your thirst. Flavor water with lemon or lime. You need 8 to 10 glasses per day.
      Cool drinks Manganese Walnuts, almonds, pecans, pineapple, blueberries
      Pre-menstrual cravings Zinc Red meats (especially organ meats), seafood, leafy vegetables, root vegetables
      General overeating Silicon Nuts, seeds; avoid refined starches

      Tryptophan Cheese, liver, lamb, raisins, sweet potato, spinach

      Tyrosine Vitamin C supplements or orange, green, red fruits and vegetables
      Lack of appetite Vitamin B1 Nuts, seeds, beans, liver and other organ meats

      Vitamin B3 Tuna, halibut, beef, chicken, turkey, pork, seeds and legumes

      Manganese Walnuts, almonds, pecans, pineapple, blueberries

      Chloride Raw goat milk, unrefined sea salt
      Tobacco Silicon Nuts, seeds; avoid refined starches

      Tyrosine Vitamin C supplements or orange, green and red fruits and vegetables
      1. Lectures, Cheryl M. Deroin, NMD, Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine, Spring 2003 (healthy food recommendations)
      2. Benard Jenson, PhD, The Chemistry of Man B. Jensen Publisher, 1983 (deficiencies linked to specific cravings and some food recommendations)

      Jul 5, 2011

      "Learning Days" & Food Journals

      There are NO "mistakes", there are ONLY "LEARNING DAYS".  When we attempt to make a change to our disordered eating patterns, it's like initiating a break-up.  There will be resistance.  Mixed emotions. Messiness. Tears.  Don't forget, we've been using food for lots of GOOD reasons.  It's been our buddy.  Our confidant. Our true and trusted friend.  It's been there for us , comforted us in our times of sorrow, soothed us when we were afraid.  So why would breaking up with food would be easy?   It won't be! We can't expect "perfection".   We can't expect immediate change.   In fact, expecting a simple, easy, pain-free process will set us up for failure.  And to be clear, by "failure", I do NOT mean days of overeating, slip-ups or weight gain.    In fact, with the RIGHT mind-frame, all of those aforementioned "failures" could in fact, potentially serve as pathways to SUCCESS - to liberation.  What do I mean?   I mean that the journey to weight-loss, and/or freedom from weight OBSESSION will NOT be a linear process.  We are GOING TO mess up,  fall off the wagon. PLAN ON IT!  Because it's part of the process buddy.  And guess what - it is NOT a "failure".  It is instead, an OPPORTUNITY to learn, make new connections, put together pieces of the puzzle.

      The key is - DO NOT PANIC!  Do NOT berate yourself, feel bad, call yourself a failure, or otherwise attach any sort of unnecessary negativity to the event.   Most importantly, DO NOT GIVE UP!   It is quite simply an OPPORTUNITY FOR GROWTH.  A learning day.  An opening for self-reflection. 

      Ask yourself - what happened?  How were you feeling?  What was going on in your heart, in your mind?  How did you react?  How did food assist you through it?   How did food get in your way?   What was the meaning of your hunger?  Where did you feel it in your body?  Often, we have such anger and frustration surrounding food, we forget to notice and acknowledge what it has done for us  - how it has assisted us - how it has helped us through the ups and downs of life.  When we acknowledge this and accept it and respect and appreciate the role food has played in our life -  in turn, we become better equipped to, finally, LET IT GO.  To make room for a new, improved HEALTHIER relationship.   To replace it with new, improved healthier habits, coping mechanisms, and constructive proactive life changes.


      The BEST, POSSIBLE tool for changing a disordered relationship with food, THE BEST POSSIBLE tool for "success", and for eventual weight loss is most DEFINITELY keeping a full-on comprehensive FOOD JOURNAL - a journal that includes not only EVERYTHING that you consume - but also your thoughts/feelings/activities and hunger levels before and after eating.

      There is ONE rule when keeping these journals - and that is to SUSPEND JUDGEMENT!  QUIET THE INNER CRITIC IN YOUR HEAD.  This journal is meant to SAFE PLACE.  A SANCTUARY.  A SHAME-FREE SPACE where you are free to express your innermost thoughts and feelings without fear.


      It is purely a TOOL for INQUIRY.  Reflection.  Growth.
      And thus,


      So, what do you think?  Are you interested?  Have you used a journal in this way before?   Did you find it to be helpful?  I've been thinking about creating a journal template online - shared or private - perhaps even as a part of #PROJECTAWESOME.   If you're interested, plz let me know.  I would love to hear your thoughts & reflections...

      With love & light,


      Jul 3, 2011

      When Food Is Love

      So often we unconsciously use food to soothe ourselves.  But we can become CONSCIOUS and CHOOSE to soothe ourselves in other, new healthy ways.  How do you nourish yourself in ways other than food?

      Devin Watson

      Jun 22, 2011

      Cooking is POWER!

      Mice droppings, insects, dirty counters, improper food temps, dirty hands. Do you KNOW your fast food is safe?  When you cook, you’re in a position to exercise self-care. Calories, fat, portions, cleanliness are all within your control.  When you go out to eat, you effectively forfeit your power into the hands of someone who may, or may not, have your best interest in mind.

      Case in point:
      Dateline NBC – Consumer Alert on “Dirty Dining:

      Jun 19, 2011

      Little Victories Add Up

      Little Choices Make BIG Transformation, and over time, it's "little things" that come together to create the most AMAZING impacts.  Every time we choose an apple over a bagel, stairs over an elevator, baked over fried, for example, we make micro-shifts. Each time we make these choices, it is a VICTORY.  Over time, these victories transform into habits that transform our lives.

      EVERY time you make a proactive life-affirming healthy choice, take a moment, soak it in, feel a sense of PRIDE, acknowledge that in making that choice, you just made a positive step towards wellness and an INVESTMENT in YOU.  Pat yourself on the back.  And most importantly, CELEBRATE YOUR EFFORTS. 

      What's ONE proactive life-affirming healthy choice that you made today?  It doesn't matter what it is - there's nothing "too small" - nothing too "insignificant".  It can even be a split-second moment where you simply made A BETTER CHOICE.  A choice that reflected a belief in yourself.  That brought you CLOSER to your goals and dreams.  It could be ANYTHING!    Just leave it here so we can support eachother and CELEBRATE OUR LITTLE VICTORIES TOGETHER.   EACH and EVERY one of your "little victories" matters.  And you deserve to celebrate ALL of them!


      Jun 18, 2011

      Project Awesome Gets AWESOMER???!!

      ProjectAwesome: Supporting Our Friends in Wellness  

      Guess what!  Project Awesome is now not only viewable and accessible, but can also be updated by each of the participants by going 

      Meaning - now EVERYONE can go to this page, enter their goals for the week, adjust them,  enter their progress, and so on.  How cool is this?!  When you have a moment, would you please take a look and let me know what you think?  To enter data, you just need to click on a cell (to the right of your name) and type.  As soon as you enter your goals and results, it will be viewable by all.  And we can all make updates to the same sheet at the same time!  

      More kewl stuff around the corner.... But, this will be a nice stepping stone for the moment, I think.



      PS: If you're not allready a member of #PROJECTAWESOME and would be interested in joinin up!  Please leave me a comment!  We're recruiting!  And the more awesome the better.

      Jun 13, 2011

      Teams and Purpose

      Janet McClearen"@SarahCole00 @AskMarianne @Deritho @writerchickmc Didn't want to let #TEAMSTRONG down. ;) Thanks for motivation."    ~@JanetMcClearan, June 13, 2011 

      Janet McClearen

      Writer, reader, learner, hunter-gatherer (hunt and gather wisdom from a variety of sources) :-) wife, mother, grandma, care-giver

      This is what it's all about.  It fills me with happiness. It's everything I could hope #TEAMAWESOME would be be. Support, encouragement, camaraderie, hope.   Isn't it amazing what can happen when we just come together?  It's that simple. We need each other.  We want to be together.  To give.  We are meant to be in connection.  Our spirits crave it. It seems that often the only this missing is the vehicle.  A place to connect.   Thank you Janet, you motivate me to keep going, to do more!   ♥

      A New Week of Awesome!

      Jun 12, 2011

      Your BeYouTeeMuse ♥: Commit 2 Awesome

      Your BeYouTeeMuse ♥: Commit 2 Awesome: "Getting fit isn't just about body image. It's about re-newing your vows to yourself: mentally and physically. Fitness doesn't have to be a..."

      Jun 9, 2011

      Committing To #AWESOME


      Did you know that AWESOME SPREADS LIKE WILDFIRE??!  Tonight my Twitterbuddies showed that it's true!  We are all COMMITTING to get out there and to MOVE tomorrow.  It doesn't matter how far, how fast, how pretty -  just that we made a goal and are doin it!  One step at a time. One foot in front of the other -all while supporting each other, because support and camaraderie is the name of the game!

      So how about you?  Care to join up too?  Lemme know!  I would LOVE to add you too!!!  Because #WEROCK and will not allow each other to give up. 



      Jun 1, 2011

      Backsliding: The post I’d rather not write (Inevitable, but sucky nonetheless).

      The growing SantyKlaus belly I’d prefer not to notice.  Averting eye contact with the scale on the bathroom floor.  Rationalizing why I can skip “just this one more work-out.”    The signs are all around me.  People may not see it, they may be generous, but when it comes down to it,  I know it’s true.   I’m in a backslide.  I don’t know how bad the “damage” is, (the weight gain), but the longer I put off finding out,  the worse it’s going to get.  And we can’t have that.  I’ve come too far!  I’ve come too far and know too much to allow that now.  I will not give up! I will not give in.  I can do better.  I am better! “I’ll start tomorrow” is who I used to be.  “I am change today!” is the person I am now.  Every moment is a new opportunity to transform, to realize the greatness that we are meant to be.
      How did this happen?   Am I afraid of success? Am I complacent?   Am I slipping into avoidance mode?  Do I just not care?  I’ve been feeling tired.  Foggy.  Not at my best.  A haphazard sleep schedule has left me discombobulated.  But, I will not give up.  So, the question is, where to go from here?

      Step 1.  I think I have to Get Honest.
      I have to get on the scale and confront my fear.  It’s only a number.  Yes, the number may be higher, but it doesn’t define me.  Its simply a landmark.  A place where I begin.  And then I need to wipe my memory clean.   Yesterday doesn’t matter.  There is only today, this moment.  I am not in relation to yesterday, I am today.  I am moving on.

      Step 2Forgive Myself. 
      Love myself.  Applaud myself for not giving in.  Celebrate that I am BACK on the treadmill. Believing in me.  And remind myself that this is all to be expected.  This is normal.  This is ok.  RELAPSE IS JUST PART OF THE PROCESS.   I choose to forgive myself because forgiveness & letting go & and unconditional positive self-regard are my tickets to liberation.   I will pick myself up TODAY, and moveon.  I will NOT give up.  I will wage relentless love for my body, my spirit, my soul.    I will reparent myself with tenderness, and kindness and compassion. And while I’ll be gentle, I’ll also exercise tough love, and will hold myself accountable for my behavior. I’ll set boundaries, and continue working to stay honest about my feelings and progress.

      Step 3. Create Some Structure
      Unemployment has brought a whirlwind of thoughts and emotions, fears and hopes.  I vacillate from feeling nervousness to confidence, forlorn to blessed.  It has also brought a new sense of freedom which, like most things, can be both a blessing and a curse.   For example, how do I spend my time?   I can do anything I want at any moment.  I can stay up all night into the morning.  I can stay up for days on end, I can sleep for days on end.   But none of that is really making me feel good about myself or happy.
      I’ve always been someone who felt confined and trapped in a 9 to 5 set schedule job.  For as long as I could remember, I used to hate waking up.  As a kid, when my Mom woke me up for school, I would BEG her to let me sleep “just a few more minutes” and would have gladly fallen back asleep for hours.   I thought it was all so oppressive.   So imagine my surprise to find myself actually now missing  a morning alarm!  Lately, in the absence of a schedule, I’ve really come to accept that there is something to be said for the structure and stability of routine.   In fact, I never thought I’d be saying this, but lately I have LOVED experiencing DAWN – the chirping morning birds, the crisp fresh feeling of a new day.  It’s such good energy! It’s a burst of excitement and hope.   It makes me wonder, COULD I become one of those crazy “morning people”?!   I don’t know for sure, but I do know, I NEED SOME STRUCTURE!  I want to know when to eat, when to workout, when I should sleep for godsake!  Right now, everything is all just crazy jumble.  All mushed together.  I don’t know up from down.

      Step 4. Just Start Moving.  Every Day.
      When I was losing the first half of my weight, I would hit the treadmill FIRST thing, before work, and then once again when I got home.  At first, the morning runs were the hardest. It felt BAD.  Like hell-on-earth-BAD.  Like nearly impossible.  But it didn’t take long until I realized that afterwards, I FELT SO FREAKIN GOOD, and the benefits were so amazing, it overshadowed any discomfort.  In fact, the discomfort made me feel all the MORE POWERFUL because I HAD CONQUERED it!  And it was SUCH a GREAT feeling to know that I had done something so pro-active, so life affirming, so AWESOME before most other people had even opened their eyes!  WOW.  It made me feel UNSTOPPABLE!  And I used this sense of pride and achievement to carry me through the rest of the day.   I walked with my head just a little bit higher.  I felt just a little bit stronger.  I had a just little bit more hope.
      And no matter what the rest of the day would throw at me after that, I carried with the knowledge that I had already demonstrated THAT I WAS A PERSON MADE-OF-AWESOME so the world had just better watch out!

      Steps 5 – 10   And the Rest Will Follow
      There’s something so powerful about MOVING physically that seems to set EVERYTHING in motion.  Before, once I started moving every day, like magic everything seemed to fall into place.  I started with small, gentle goals – “just put your tennis shoes on every day and stand on the treadmill”.  Which turned into, “Well, I’m on the treadmill, the hardest part is done now.  I might as well just walk a few minutes since I’m here.”  Which turned into, “Ok, I can handle walking 15 minutes a day”.  Which turned into 30, to 45, to 60.   Which turned into 30 seconds of jogging, into 45 seconds, to 60.  And then 1 mile and so on.  I had just hit the 10 mile mark and 60lbs.  Then I lost my job, and my downward weight loss trajectory screeched to a halt.   Now, I will likely have to “start over” and rebuild that running base.  If this is what I have to do, I will do it!  I will not beat myself up.  I will not give up. I will start from where I am today.   
      Gradually, I’ll start reincorporating all my other tools & routines: 1200 calorie allowance using LoseIt, logging miles at DailyMile, drinking water, eating non-processed organic food, cooking, using constructive positive coping mechanisms, feeling my feelings, journaling, tracking my daily burn using my Bodybug or Heart Rate Monitor and so-on
      But, for today, my goals are 1 through 4.  That is where I will begin.

      The rest will follow….
      I’ll get there…

      How about you?  Have you experienced set-backs?  Relapse?  Have you been afraid to confront where you are?   Are you getting back on course?  I would love to hear about your journey.   Rarely are they a straight line.  But don’t worry!  It’s the twist and turns that build character and make us interesting!  Your comments are greatly appreciated.