Tag Archives: healthy choices

At the Chinese Restaurant: Declaring Peace

So I am not typically floored by fortunes, but hey, sometimes what you seek is also seeking you right?chinese-food  So there I was… eating my dinner being entertained by a boy using his chopsticks as both walrus teeth and drumsticks and also trying to teach my kids how to use the chopsticks when those amazing and oh so profound fortune cookies come around. Anyone notice that they aren’t really fortunes anymore?

Well, my daughter’s said “You have a photographic Memory – did you use film or digital?” So I realize just now that that fortune must be for me because I DID remember it, but I have NO idea what it means. However, mine said: “Declare Peace, every day.” and my wife handed me hers which read: “No person is important enough to make you angry.”

Hmm OK so these little pieces of folded sweet crumbliness may just be on to something… I really like the part about Declaring Peace. There is something poetic about the act of Declaring Peace. It is probably even heroic to declare peace.

So play on Walrus imitating, drum-sticking, chopstick lad, play on! Because I am declaring Peace!

www.samgaryjohnson.com
http://www.samgaryjohnson.com

Choice

I think Choice is going to be my word of the year. Dictionaries get to do it right so why cant I? choices_webAnyway its time to make choices and in the process its time to let go of being upset about them and for that matter being overwhelmed by them too.  Every single day and every single hour is full of them. The choice to say something kind, the choice not to argue. The choice to move forward, remain the same or to revert. It is all right there.

Interestingly, I once heard a friend say if you only have one option, you are a victim and if you only have two choices you are “forced” to chose, it is only when you have at least three choices are you really choosing freely.  I would add that if you are given too many choices then it can be just as debilitating as having none. To ponder this a moment makes me consider our modern fast paced consumer driven world with 100s of television channels and still nothing worth watching. And grocery stores carrying on average 35,000 items and still we do not know what we want for dinner. I equally don’t want to be a prisoner to too MUCH choice.

So I need to make some choices here. Turn off the TV and maybe stop surfing that web so much. Maybe ask some friends — real in the flesh friends, not the facebook or twitter variety– and gain some sound wisdom from some people I trust. I could also turn back to taking a moment and listen to that still voice in my mind and listen to what it is saying and not the countless messages that are bombarding me every moment.

Because the word of the year is Choice.

powerful results

http://www.samgaryjohnson.com

A heartfelt blog on depression

 

I am copying a post I put on Facebook. By the way it is one of the posts that I have got the most hits on and it makes me wonder just how many people out there are suffering from depression / anxiety and suffering silently or are at least to me unknown. It reminds me as well to remain humble and respectful of others as I do not know what they facing on a daily basis.

Anyway, here is the post:   No one ever should have to Suffer with depression. This just hits so close to home. To see the outpouring of support. I just feel so utterly helpless – to know that people are suffering. I do not know, nor can I pretend to know what Tommy was facing. But I can say boldly that I have had depression and I am trying to find my way through it daily. I am absolutely 100% not ashamed of my depression and it hurts my heart to think that others feel this pain and some feel that it is something they must face alone. I want no one to ever have to suffer this way. I hope people can be kind and understanding and if you have never been depressed then I am sorry but you have no place to say what a person should or shouldn’t do. God bless anyone suffering with any form of mental health concern, but especially to my brothers and sisters winning the battle with depression. (I am adding this ending) And I am terribly heartbroken and will mourn for those who have lost the fight.

That being said. Depression is a terrible monster but it is not “untame able”  I had a great therapist once who told me that until I know why my depression is there, that I should not get rid of it. Well trust me. I did not like what he said AT ALL. But after a while I got it, and I do know why it is here. My “buddy” depression has helped me help countless people. It has made me more human and it has grounded me and kept me aware of other’s pain and suffering and as much as I wish I never had it. I am equally glad in other ways for the experience for Depression has shaped who I am today.

TBB_blue

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T.S. Eliot and other Heady Stuff

April is the cruelest month, breeding
lilacs out of the dead land, mixing
memory and desire, stirring
dull roots with spring rain.”

― T.S. Eliot, The Waste Land

Dear Mr. Eliot   I think you are brilliant. I love Murder in a Cathedral and  Four Quartets and Lovesong For J Alfred and all that. I think you are so brilliant that I don’t understand you half the time. But one thing I can relate to fully is your dread of the long winter and the hope you have for Spring. I too long for Spring and think about your Cruel month when I see the first crocus pop through the earth. My guess is you often feared utter annihilation while you spoke of cruel winters, but a cruel winter can at times feel like an annihilation of sorts for me.

This winter in the United Stats has been cruel to say the least. However, it is not even the middle of March so I do hope your brilliant prediction of of a Cruel April was off by a month.

Winter for someone who has Seasonal Affective is a Slog through a personal wasteland. I often feel like two different people. I am my summer self and my winter self. I dont usually like my winter self and I wait expectantly for spring. The wait can sometimes be very cruel indeed.

“And I will show you something different from either
Your shadow at morning striding behind you
Or your shadow at evening rising to meet you;

Anyway, I am not one to lie down and take it!  I have been learning how to fight my FRIEND depression for about ten years now.  Some of my weapons, which are certainly less globally destructive than what Mr. Eliot was afraid of, but suit my purpose are: Exercise, Using a Light Box, Good healthy food, Good Sleep, Being around positive people, Practicing gratitude, patience, love, acceptance, forgiveness, and grace.  Being a giving person, and Im not going to rule out my Fish Oil either.

You will notice I did not mention antidepressants. I know that they work for some people. Sadly they did not work for me. I tried about three or four different ones until I decided that they are not working for me. Is it possible I did not try them long enough? Sure. But I needed relief now, not a year from now, and so did my family so I started trying a bunch of other things.

Self help, and therapy helped too! I will say that I have learned some cues and some triggers as well. When I am feeling ignored (comes from being the baby in the family), and when I am aware that I am being self critical that I am in a danger area for me and old Mr Saggy Pants himself, also known as Seasonal Depression, can strike up a foothold.

Anyone with depression needs to learn from their ” friend” depression to see what he or she is trying to tell you about how and why he or she is there. Im sure I have more to learn but I think I have a decent start.

So I will leave you with more of winter from Mr. Eliot and here is to an Inspiring Spring when we can muse about Walt Whitman and think of some Leaves of Grass  instead 🙂

“Winter kept us warm, covering
Earth in forgetful snow”

TBB_blue

beachbodycoach.com/jemattern

We are all in this together.

Everyone needs compassion
Love that’s never failing
Let mercy fall on me
Everyone needs forgiveness
The kindness of a Savior
The hope of nations

I posted the picture on Facebook. It got a lot of likes and comments. We live in a hard society. Im a hard person at times. I need desperately to work on this every single day.

TBB_blue

http://www.beachbodycoach.com/jemattern

Courage and vulnerability or that which I seek is seeking me (part two)

This Is Brene Brown:

This is amazing:  http://www.ted.com/talks/brene_brown_on_vulnerability

We live in the most addictive, overweight, and indebted nation on earth notes Dr. Brown. She suggests that it is because we numb.

A consequence of numbing the bad is that we also numb all of the good. Joy gratitude, happiness. So we fill the void with “otherness and the need to find absolute certainty” which sounds like religion, and politics, and research/the university, and perfectionism and lastly the media…….. This may, or may not, make sense to all of you. I sure hope that it does, but this person really really sums up what I feel and what I think about being healthy. It is not what you look like and it is not the image you portray to the world. It is, however, absolutely what is not only on the inside but what is going on on the inside.

Dr. Brown also said that vulnerability is the birthplace of innovation, creativity and change. YES YES YES Dr. Brown!!!!  Perfection is not the answer. Trying and doing your best and giving it your very 100% all is the heart of it all.

To be deeply seen, to love with our whole hearts, to practice gratitude and joy… THIS …. THIS is the heart of health. I am Far from perfect with all of this, but thanks to Dr. Brown’s comments. I know I am exactly where I am supposed to be.

TBB_blue

http://www.beachbodycoach.com/jemattern

 

 

 

What is Healthy?

So you can be a healthy 300 lbs or you can be an unhealthy 125…. I’m hoping that that makes sense… That is not EXACTLY what I want to mention here. I want to talk about what and who is in our lives is also a part of health.  So if you are always around angry or complaining people, you will likely become more unhealthy just like if you eat junk you will eventually become more unhealthy. The outside may not change very much, but the inside could be full of disease.

We can also bring in thoughts, and sights and sounds that are unhealthy for us. I feel adamantly about what we put into our body, from whatever source: food, TV, Internet, friends can be nourishing to our bodies or it can be toxic. We can additionally feed our own selves a constant stream of internal dialogue that is negative and corrosive, or life giving and fertile. All of this of course, requires work and practice to become increasingly good at it, but I would like to paraphrase a concept from the book The No Complaining Rule.

A person was getting their lawn treated. They paid a bit more for an organic treatment instead of the typical chemicals used to kill weeds. This organic method instead placed rich material specifically for grass to grow on the lawn and once the grass was growing really really well, it was much harder for the weeds to creep in. I am working on applying this concept to my life.

So what is healthy? For me it is creating the conditions for healthy green grass (the thing that I want) to have the room to grow.

TBB_blue

 

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