Inspired by Spring

I am writing this blog on a very blustery day when there is still a remnant of snow on the lawn.  Despite that, I can see that spring is determined to arrive. With the lingering snow, I have also spotted one of my very hardy red tulip plants starting to make its way above ground.  That little plant was a gift for a Mother’s Day long ago from my awesome son, and its reappearance surprises me and makes me smile every year about this time.

tulip, spring, winter, snow, garden

As I look out the window,  I also see one of the bushes in my backyard with the slightest sign of new light green leaves.  All that new life makes me happy, and gives me a feeling of joy and hope.  Spring is such a good reminder that no matter how hard or cold the winter has been, literally or figuratively, spring will always reappear in its full glory.  Spring seems to be nature’s way of telling us “hang in there, it’s all going to be OK!”, and I love that feeling of renewal that the new season carries with it.

spring, nature, reflection

Spring usually has a way of getting me motivated to walk more, eat healthier, take time to enjoy the outdoors, and maybe even do some spring cleaning. What is spring telling you? If life has brought some challenges recently, what would you like the spring season to bring your way? I love the change of seasons. It always feels like we get a bit of a clean slate when the weather changes, and I take advantage of that and try to do some personal self-assessment. I ask myself, where am I right now, and what would l like to do, be, and feel in this new season that is about to start?

spring, nature, reflection, quote

I’ll encourage you to take a little time to mediate on that for yourself and think about all you are grateful for from this past winter.  Let the challenges teach you what they may, and then make the commitment to spring forward and visualize what could be next for you! Just imagine, like my sweet little tulip plant, spring could surprise you in the most wonderful way!

Happy Spring Visualizing, Everyone!

Today’s blog was written by WWR Partner Coach, Donna Kettell.  Donna is a certified professional coach (CPC) and a master practitioner in energy leadership (ELI-MP). Her certifications were earned through The Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching (iPEC), which is accredited by the International Coaching Federation (ICF).

Be Energized

I’ve been thinking lately about the word energized and what that means to me.  It was my One Word in 2015 and one of its definitions that really resonates with me is “to cause a transformation”. 

I’m usually looking for a personal transformation of some sort on a daily basis.  You might say, “Really, daily?!”  Yes, honestly, I do look for at least a mini transformation every day. What exactly do I mean by that?  Well, it usually has to do with my desire to drastically change the way that I am thinking about something in the moment.  For example, there are days that I wake up and one of my first thoughts is, “Ugh, today is the day that I need to (fill in the activity/task) and that makes me feel (fill in the negative emotion).”  I have to admit, it’s not a good way to start the day.  But it does seem to be human nature to allow the negative thoughts in our heads to surface as we think about what’s ahead of us each day.  I’ve come to realize that it’s what I do after this thought pops up that really makes the difference for me.

Walking through your day with negative, demotivating thoughts is not productive or pleasant at all.  So I have learned to do a few things to immediately change my day’s trajectory, to transform or energize it. As soon as I catch myself having that first negative thought, I do a couple of quick things to turn this around. I often start with a morning meditation and say several things out loud that I am grateful for. It may be really simple things like: It’s Friday, I woke up on time, or I have something good in the refrigerator for breakfast.  Then I think about what I intend for my day.  If I have something to do that seems somewhat daunting or unpleasant, I visualize that going well or better than expected.  Finally, I create some positive affirmations that can help fuel that vision for the day. 

Let me give you a specific example of how this works for me.

I may wake up and think, “Oh no, I have to drive down to Virginia this morning for an early meeting and the traffic is going to be terrible because it’s raining.  That feels really stressful.” That isn’t a very motivating thought to wake up to.  It makes me feel like staying in bed and pulling the covers over my head. 

To get energized and drastically change that thought process, I immediately think of several things I am grateful for about this situation; for example, it’s rain rather than snow, I woke up a little earlier than planned, and I am meeting with a very nice group of people who are excited that I am joining them today.

Then I try to quiet my mind to visualize getting to the meeting easily and having a very positive outcome.  Positive affirmations are the key component to keeping that vision energized. In this example, I might say:

  • Everything I need today is coming to me easily and effortlessly.
  • I am now being given the perfect solution for this situation.
  • I am energized and enthusiastic about the day ahead.

Those of you who know me well know that I am a big believer in a practice of visualization and positive affirmations. There’s a great deal of scientific research that has been done in the field of neuroscience that shows a direct correlation between our thoughts and words and the outcomes we experience in our lives.

Neuroscientists have shown that our brains focus on what we think most about. If we are constantly thinking and worrying about how we might be stressed or unsuccessful during the day, then our brains get geared up for that inevitability.

Conversely, if we tell our brain that today is going to be a good day and positive experiences are coming our way, then the brain starts scouting out opportunities to make that happen.  What does that mean?  We can change the way our day evolves with the thoughts that we feed our brains.

Imagine for a moment that you allowed yourself to eat only candy bars, potato chips, and ice cream all day long every day for a year, and ate nothing else. That doesn’t sound all together bad when you first think of it, right?  But you realize that your body wouldn’t function well physically if the only thing you fed it was junk food.  In fact, you might get very sick if you made that your diet for a long period of time.

Now consider what you may be feeding your mind all day long.  Whether we do it intentionally or unconsciously, we all allow our minds to be filled with some negative self chatter.  When we allow ourselves to listen to this negative chatter in our head, I think it’s fair to say that this is junk food for our minds.  And that can’t have a healthy impact on us either.

What is the negative chatter? Well, it’s that demotivating internal self talk that tells you that you will never realize your vision for your life, or even for this day, because you just aren’t enough – you aren’t young enough, smart enough, deserving enough.  Whatever it tells you, that unkind chatter in your head holds you back from realizing the life you desire to live.  It limits you, drags you down, and starts to convince you that others could pull that off (whatever THAT is) but YOU can’t.  And a steady daily diet of these negative thoughts can weigh you down and make you feel mentally exhausted.

Hmm, that sounds like the complete opposite of being energized, right?   

Of course, there are a lot of things we can do for ourselves to feel more energized – get proper rest, eat healthy foods, exercise, laugh, be social, pray.  However, one of the most impactful ways for me to get energized is to pay attention to the messages I am sending myself throughout the day.  When I use positive affirmations to infuse my personal visualization for a great day, it’s amazing how much more energized I feel. 

Quote: Affirmations can change your life

Would you like to explore what the personal thoughts are that are draining your energy and then transform them into inspiring thoughts that empower and energize your intentions? 

If so, join us for the Be Energized Evening Retreat on June 28th.  I will be facilitating the discussion and will help you create energizing, customized, positive affirmations that will infuse your vision for your life. This is a simple process and when applied regularly can make some immediate positive changes. I look forward to sharing more with you. Hope to see you on the 28th!

Click here for event information and to register. Reserve your spot today!

Today’s blog was written by WWR Partner Coach, Donna Kettell.  Donna is a certified professional coach (CPC) and a master practitioner in energy leadership (ELI-MP). Her certifications were earned through The Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching (iPEC), which is accredited by the International Coaching Federation (ICF).

Frolicking Into My Fifties Spring Tour

Frolicking Into My Fifties Spring Tour

I am turning fifty in May. What’s the big deal? So are dozens of my close friends, thank god. Well, it is a big deal for us. We ponder what this next decade and life are going to look like for us.

My spring tour includes the following 10 destinations for sure:

Daytona, Boston, Newport RI, Sedona, Santé Fe, Chicago, Houston, Texas Hill Country, Jamaica, and San Diego

What are your favorite places to travel?

Most of you that are close to me know I travel for business and my business is in airports, namely Dallas Fort Worth Airport. But the cities on my Frolicking Fifty list have very little to do with business travel. In fact, only two cities have business conferences that will turn into days of frolicking.

Daytona Beach

Joanne, Lileigh, Sabrina, Steve, David and Kelye in Daytona Beach

In April, I visited Daytona Beach, Florida to celebrate one of my oldest best friends turning 50, Joanne. We go back to the 4th grade, so we have known each other for 40 years! Growing up, her family invited me on many trips, like Daytona (where we just were), and Arizona where I fell in love with Sedona. When I reflect on those four decades together, we were in and out of each other’s lives because we only went to elementary school together for two years. We were in different middle schools, high schools, and colleges. But we were each other’s maid of honor and I am the godparent of her daughter, Lileigh. We also consider her youngest daughter, Sabrina, as my godchild. Joanne and I think that in some cosmic way, she is a part of me, not just in looks but personality too. Our life is such an amazing love story.

What’s your favorite old friend love story?

Godchild Stephanie

In early May, I head to Boston and Newport, RI with my niece/godchild, Brittany, my sister-in-law, Robin and oldest friend Susie. I love that my niece wants to spend time with her aunt/godmother. We are going to an Orioles/Red Sox game at Fenway ballpark. We will surely be “hitting” some fun pubs and making more travel memories together. After Boston with family, Susie (kindergarten and up) is picking me up and we are heading to Newport to celebrate both of our fiftieth birthdays. When we were growing up, Susie and her family adopted me as well on family trips, mostly camping. My husband Steve and I are the godparents to Susie’s daughter, Stephanie.

In the middle of May will be plenty of local celebrating with family and friends nearby. Carol, founder of Wholistic Woman Retreats, is putting together a fun patio party downtown Frederick – celebrating is a key component of our community and we do it so well!

At the end of May, I head to Sedona and Santé Fe, where I will be turning and celebrating my 50th birthday with my husband, Joanne, and family. Steve is taking me to my favorite destination, Sedona, for a few days where I always get and feel centered. It’s the vortexes, I am telling you, and maybe a spa treatment! Then we drive to Santé Fe for Lileigh’s graduation and may head to Colorado for Memorial Day weekend. Sabrina and I will celebrate our birthdays together, as she is turning 16 the day after me, my mini-me cosmic daughter. Who knows, some frolicking might even include a hot air balloon ride. We are still mapping out our adventure for the big milestone weekend.

Texas Hill Country

Debbie Hill frolicking in Texas Hill Country

What are your favorite adventures?

The frolicking tour continues as we head to Chicago in early June. This time it’s a U2 concert, on my bucket list for sure by age fifty, and I will be FIFTY! Joanne bought me tickets for my birthday, so we are meeting up for more play time.  Later in June and July, I head to Houston for an airport conference and then off to Texas Hill Country. Red wine will certainly be involved. Texas Hill Country wine region is making a pretty big statement. Of course, everything in Texas is big! It’s not just the wine, it’s the rolling hills – combine that with Debbie Hill and you are packed with fun.

What’s on your life bucket list?

The finale of my frolicking days for the sake of my fiftieth celebration will be in Jamaica and San Diego with my best college girlfriends and more time with my best girl Jenny! All my college roommates, including Natalie, Christy and Erin and close sorority sisters like Barb and Jenn will be in Jamaica. It doesn’t get better than that, yeah man! California dreaming will be the last stop with a hospitality conference in San Diego and off to finish with best friends Jenn and Todd in Orange County California, where they live. We are entertaining enough for each other, so anything else that happens will just be extra in our world. We are such a compatible travel team, as we have been to Jamaica, Mexico, Italy,  Austria, and Germany, to name a few places. It just makes sense to wrap up this fiftieth celebration with our peas in a pod.  

                                                                 Who are your peas in a pod?

Celebrating with my godchildren, oldest friends, college friends, family, and husband is such a blessing – I truly value growing from my roots. I have heard the fifties are the best and I already see that frolicking into my fifties will be the BEST of friends, family, beaches, ballgames, milestone celebrations, red rocks, red wine, rolling hills, spas, concerts, and best of all, travel – my take away in life is TRAVEL OFTEN! We are always traveling and on a path – fifty feels a little like a fork in the road. What I know is, traveling is better when frolicking with family and friends, no matter what age you are. I thank everyone that makes this a happy, lifelong adventure, including my mom, who I know is always with me for the ride.

What do you look forward to celebrating in your life?

 

Today’s author: Kelye Rouse-Brown, CHA, CHT is a business owner, joint venture partner, HR expert, certified coach, and training professional. Her 3 components: Educate, Motivate, and Cultivate help her clients develop, spark action, and grow a successful career/business and life from the core. Kelye can be reached at 301-371-9300 or by visiting her website: krbtrainingsolutions.com

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6 Tips for Holiday Bliss and Not Stress!

The holidays are officially here with Thanksgiving behind us and Christmas music on the radio. I love this time of year and the opportunity to connect with friends and loved ones! There are more parties and celebrations with tons of good and delicious food.

The only problem is that with all this great food, there is the temptation to over eat and indulge. If you are like me, over indulgence may leave you feeling sluggish and not feeling your best. There may also be the concern with all the delicious food, the fear of putting on a few extra pounds contributing to feeling less than your best. The good news is that recent research shows that most people only gain a pound over the holidays. In years past, that number was more like a 5 to 8 pounds gained once January was here, so, we are either getting better about controlling our indulgence or what we eat at the holidays is not that different then what we eat normally.

Either way, for me the main focus is to move through the holidays feeling my best and experiencing more bliss with love, peace, joy and little stress. If this is important to you as well, here are a few strategies that I have used when attending holiday parties to avoid over indulgence that will leave you feeling less than your best

  1. Don’t obsess about it. When our mind is trying not to do something, it causes us to do the very thing we don’t want. For example, if I say, don’t think about the color red. Well, there we are trying to think about every color but red, but it is still obsessed with the color red. Same with food, when we try to “avoid” something, we obsess about it until we give in and usually over eat the very thing we are avoiding. So have a little and move on to eating something healthy. This is called intuitive eating.
  2. Eat a small meal before a party. There are usually a ton of choices at a party and most likely we want to try it all, so even taking very small bites can really add up the calories. When we go to a party hungry, we often take larger portion sizes than we need and end up over eating. Especially, if raised being conditioned to “clean” our plates. But when we are nutritionally satisfied, we are in greater control of portion sizes and better with cues to stop. Another strategy is to leave a little food on your plate, so your host does not feel the need to offer you more.
  3. Balance rich foods with something healthy. There are usually plenty of decadent desserts available at holiday parties. Try to take a smaller portion than normal by connecting with someone to share. Then before you give in to your mind screaming for more, balance it out with some fresh fruits and vegetables. Fresh fruits and vegetables are packed with water, fiber, and nutrients which will not only add beneficial nutrients but will help wash away the taste that causes your mouth to be hungry for more.  The fresh fruits and vegetables will also help fill you up and keep your intake with fewer calories.
  4. Drink water instead of your calories. Many holiday beverages are packed with calories, sugar and fat! Some popular favorites; Eggnog = 390 calories for 1 cup, Hot cocoa = 320 calories for 12 oz,  a better option is a glass of wine = 125 – 150 calories. If you want to have a beverage and keep the calories to a minimum, “double fist” it. One hand has a glass of wine and the other holds your water; for every sip of wine you take, then take a drink of water. This also keeps your hands busy from grabbing extra food you may not need. Another idea is to mix the wine with sparkling or carbonated water for a spritzer. Water is always a great idea. It keeps you hydrated and keeps your digestive system moving which can become slow when eating rich foods.
  5. Keep moving for more muscle! Often during the holidays, our normal exercise regimen goes out the window. As the schedule gets hectic, the last thing you want to give up is movement. Not only does this help keep the stress hormones lower, but it keeps your muscles engaged to burn the extra calories. Even if you do over eat and gain weight, when challenging the muscles you may gain more muscle instead of fat. If so, this will aid in losing the weight faster when the eating patterns go back to normal. When we have more muscle or lean body mass, the body is more efficient in using our calories for energy instead of storing them somewhere we don’t want.
  6. Get plenty of rest: Rest is essential to keep our stress low, our hunger in check, and our mood more positive, exactly what we all need during the hectic pace during the holidays. Therefore, set your day up for success by planning what time you need to be in bed to wake up refreshed, renewed, and ready to make your holiday everything you want!

May you be blessed with love, joy, and peace this Holiday Season! Be Well, and Be Whole!

Would love to hear your tips for breezing through the holidays with ease!

 

Written by Sandie Lynch MS, RDN, LDN, Registered Dietitian, Personal Trainer, and Wholistic Wellbeing Coach. Owner and CEO of ATP Consultants, LLC. Sharing 5 Key Principles to Attain Top Performance in living your best life at any age!

Check out ATP Fitness to “Maximize” your 2016. Learn, practice, and embrace the strategies that will build Wholistic Wellbeing for life! Contact Sandie via email at sandie@atphealthandfitness.com

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Let Your Heart Lead on the River of Life

What does heart-centered leadership mean?  I discovered 5 insights while on a recent outing on the river with friends.

A group of my closest friends ventured on a tubing trip on the Shenandoah River as a Birthday celebration for our friend Linda.  It was a picturesque day with low humidity, big fluffy clouds and a cool breeze.  It was a perfect day to take a leisurely ride down the slow, calm river.  The company advertisement stated this was a great event for 18 to 30 year olds looking for a relaxing ride.  Our group consisted of eight women between the ages of the mid 40’s to late 50’s.  It felt great to do something so youthful!  It didn’t faze us a bit when all the individuals doing the event along with us were a good 20 to 30 years younger, because each of us believes fun, challenging activity and self-care are essential for growing agelessly older.

We were energized for our fun day celebrating our friend!  We rented our “luxury” tubes; equipped with a bottom, back rest, and essential drink holder, closely watched our safety video, and rode the crowded bus to our drop off point for entering the river.  It was a day to let go of any professional expectations, and just go with the flow of the river and life.

When first entering the water, we got separated as the river briskly took us down-stream, but with paddling aggressively and the birthday girl jumping in the shallow water to pull us all together, we reconnected and formed a “tube circle” and our party began as we floated down river together.  The fun began with a burping contest, and then synchronized “tube” dancing!  It was liberating to be in this group of accepting women.  I found it so easy to let my guard down and be completely silly and open to what life and the river had to offer.  We relaxed, laughed, told stories, and enjoyed the beautiful scenery as we purposefully guided our “tube-circle” around the obstacles on the river.

At one point, we floated by a huge group of younger individuals and encouraged them to join us in a rendition of “Happy Birthday” to our friend Linda.  We had the whole river singing with us!  Along the way we encountered Lor-I. (We called her that since we already had a Lori in our group and wanted everyone to have a unique identity.)  She had gotten separated from her friends and was isolated on the river.  We invited her to join us for a while and join in the fun.  After enjoying some great conversation and a cool beverage she decided to make the “effort” to catch up with her friends and we all said our “good-byes.”

A little further down river we slowly moved past another individual who appeared lifeless in his tube.  Our Lori, noticed she had dropped something in the water and got out of her tube to walk back to retrieve it, she decided to investigate the lifeless individual and nudged him to make sure he was ok.  He was only sleeping but realized he also had been separated from his group.  So again we invited this isolated individual named Chris to join our group.  Chris, appeared to be an unlikely pairing for our group, since he was only 28 and was covered in tattoos.  Some of us felt apprehensive not knowing what to expect.  Soon, we discovered he was a soft hearted soul venturing on a new path in life.  He confessed with tear filled eyes that he was a veteran and found himself lost in life; drinking and drugging way too much.  He decided to turn his life around and follow his heart; starting a landscaping business and a “Not for profit” company for disabled veterans who needed simple toiletries and groceries when being released from the hospital.  The whole group felt touched and inspired by this man’s story and courage to make his dream come true.

Our group came to our exit point in the river and said “so long” to Chris, our new found friend and inspiration.  We ended our trip on the river with great laughs as our birthday girl, Linda received hugs from a 26 year old hunk, name Hollywood.  The celebration continued with dinner, gifts, and lots of laughs from our trip on the river.

Reflecting back on this amazing day, I can’t help but to think how this short 2 hour trip on the river is a perfect “snap shot” of what life could be like if we allowed ourselves to live everyday being led by our heart.

A few principles to consider;

  1. Move for Fun.  By choosing to engage in fun and enjoyable activities it increases our energy and our body’s ability to stay strong and more resilient to stress which may lead to a high quality, long and ageless life doing the things we love.
  2. Stay Connected.  Our group had a great time because each person made the effort to stay connected floating down the river in our “tube circle.”  When we choose to stay connected to loving, supportive individuals in life it makes for a much more enjoyable journey.
  3. Live Authentically without Judgment.  We attract what we live!  It is a true blessing to have friends who are “real” and offer no judgment.  This created an environment for everyone we encountered to feel safe and permission to be genuine.  Authenticity is a chicken or the egg scenario; by being authentic we attract individuals who truly accept us for who we really are, and it gives them the freedom to be just as “real.”  This creates an environment to live without fear of rejection and a greater confidence to live boldly for what matters most.
  4. Be Open. The strangers we met and included in our “circle” became new friends.  When we remain open to truly know more about the people we meet along our journey we may discover opportunities that may have been missed such a finding a new friend, offering encouragement to someone who has lost their way, and may even find ourselves the one who is inspired. The individuals we meet may be in our life for a moment, a season, or a lifetime, but trust that each encounter, no matter how long, has a greater purpose.
  5. Lead From Your Heart!  Our intention for the day was to celebrate our friend, to have fun; and to share love.  By starting the day with this intention, it seemed that each encounter seemed effortless and rewarding; not only did we share love but our “circle” of love expanded as we received much more love as well.

It was truly one of the most memorable, fulfilling days in my life.  It was a day of true joy and gratitude that keeps on giving every time I think about the events of that day.  It makes me wonder, what life would be like, if I pursued each day letting my heart lead on the river of life.

Do you have a similar experience?  We would love for you to share it with our community along with any thoughts you may have on how you will make leading from your heart a daily a habit.

Please join Wholistic Woman Retreats for our Fall Retreat where you learn more principles on how to “Lead From The Heart!”  Click Here for more information

 

Today’s author: Sandie Lynch MS, RDN, LDN, Registered Dietitian, Personal Trainer, Personal Development Coach and CEO of ATP Consultants, LLC.   Sandie provides private coaching and group fitness classes sharing 5 Principles to Attain Top Performance in living your best life at any age!

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Grow Your Energy and Confidence!

Enjoy these tips from Coach Sandie’s BYOB: Get the “Skinny” on a Sassy, Sexy Summer.

Sassy is defined as pert, boldly smart, and/or saucy.  Looking deeper, one of the definitions for Pert is Lively; sprightly (full of energy): and in good health.

Isn’t being healthy, full of energy and lively what we all want?  When we feel like this, confidence exudes from us and confidence is what the polls say is considered sexy!  So when we are feeling “Sassy” we can’t help but be “Sexy!”

I know it is not everyone intention or desire to strive to be what our culture considers “sexy” but what would you say to being able to “turn heads” from both men and women?  It is not about attracting a mate but radiating an energy people can’t help but notice!

When we are healthy, full of energy, lively and confident, people want to meet and get to know us better. They want to know our secret!   So, what are some strategies to create this type of captivating energy?

The first step is belief.  Believing that this is possible and then visualize and dress the part of already being there…feel it, and breathe your confidence; being full of energy, health and liveliness!

Second, create and say out loud daily what you want to create using an “I AM” statement such as, “I AM confident” or I AM strong!”  Make it your own and assume the feeling of living life exuding this declaration!

And third, think of the things that will manifest health, fun, and joy in your life and then sow these habits into your life consistently!  Replace the things that rob energy and the health you wish to create.  Make sure the activities and habits you select create fun, and grow your energy.  Our heart, mind, body and spirit want to keep doing things that feel good and bring happiness in life and will avoid things that bring pain.  So by doing fun things that create health in your life will make it easy to live a lifestyle that will manifest the vision you want.

Therefore, find your joy and live it every day and you will have a “Sassy, Sexy Summer every year!

For more tips and strategies on creating a healthy body and spirit of joy, please feel free to contact me for more events and programs to start your ATP journey today!  240-439-9927.

 

ATP Consultants, LLC (Attain Top Performance)

Sandie Lynch, MS, RDN, LDN, CPT

Registered Dietitian/Nutritionist and Certified Personal Fitness Trainer.

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