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Seeds

It happened again.  I was at my local body shop store the other day with my husband (rare treat for him to accompany me there, so it was like a date…not really) and asked the cashier for the location of the products that I couldn’t find. She responded with hesitation then asked me what my name was.  I told her and she smiled while she led me to the shelf that I had already examined. Her suggestive expression piqued my interest, which led me to study her face more intently. I did not recognize her initially, but upon close examination, I thought I might have a hunch.  Several competing thoughts were running through my mind: 1) I guess the memory really does start to go after 40 because she caught me completely off guard; 2) I have no idea who she is; and 3) who is she?

It took me a minute, but I eventually blurted out the first name of the individual that we both have in common.  She said “yes” and I felt my lips and cheeks expand with a huge smile because I was proud of myself for remembering.  I was also happy that she remembered me.  She was his girlfriend. He was my client.

Moments like this fill my heart with joy.  And it was literally was just a moment…long enough for me to find my products, catch up, and check out.  It turns out they are doing well.  Their family has expanded and she even noted that he finally “got his stuff together”.  I’ve written in an older post located here about running into a previous client and how one of my goals when I entered direct practice in mental health was to plant seeds of hope.

I can’t take credit for whatever progress my clients make.  They are the ones who put in the work, but I firmly believe that when people feel supported, loved, cared for, and important, that they can do things that they never thought possible.  Believing in these things yourself may not come naturally in the beginning, but eventually you learn. For example, children’s sense of themselves (self-esteem) come from what they see about themselves through their parent’s eyes. I am a mirror to my own children.

I also plant seeds all the time, all over the place and they flourish when they’re ready.  Sometimes on an unassuming day, I’m fortunate enough to see the fruit.

 

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I love green SMOOTHIES

It all started two years ago, when I completed my first green smoothie 10-day detox.  I have since fallen in love with green smoothies. I’ve graduated to different smoothie recipe books such as Simple Green Smoothies and Breast Cancer Smoothies.  I think it’s ingenious to get several servings of fruits and vegetables including all of the wonderful nutrition in a drinkable smoothie. Depending on the greens, you don’t even taste them in the smoothie.  My favorite smoothies include mostly tropical flavors such as mangoes, pineapples, peaches, bananas, but I’m also willing to experiment with produce such as beets, pumpkin, and different lettuces besides spinach and kale. I made a pumpkin smoothie the other day with pumpkin, bananas, pineapple, spinach and arugula along with a nut milk and spices and the arugula added a spicy kick to it that made it special.

My go-to liquids are either plain filtered water, coconut water, almond milk, coconut milk or a combination of either.  My favorite spices to add are ginger, cinnamon, and/or turmeric. I add hemp seeds, chia seeds, and/or flax seeds for omega 3’s, omega 6’s, fiber and protein.  Per the physician’s assistant, I do have to avoid flax seeds during the week prior and after my next surgery because it can cause excess bleeding (Bummer…I had no idea…learn something new every day).

I enjoy at least one smoothie daily, but sometimes have more. I’ve been known to make them for work potlucks and even had a special request for our last party (Halloween).

I’ve purchased my mason jars very inexpensively from places like World Market.  I’ve ordered accessories such as reusable straws and straw brushes from Amazon.com.  I’ve purchased lids from Target.

Here are pictures of some of my favorites. Cheers!

 

 

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Inaction is a decision

I’m not going to lie (to myself).  My life has been turned upside down to a degree with this breast cancer diagnosis. I haven’t wanted to read my favorite random sites/blogs. I haven’t wanted to write. Exercise is literally out of the question in this phase of my treatment.  I’ve intentionally filled my brain with all things breast cancer related because I believe that knowledge is power. However, I’ve told myself from the beginning that I am not breast cancer.  Breast cancer does not have me…I am a person living with breast cancer. Although it feels like a lifetime since I’ve been living with this, this is just the beginning.  The thing about me is that I’ve been here before, so with time and reflection, and I eventually come back to me.  I like to redirect the energy from often awkward, uncomfortable, painful, and enlightening experiences into lessons that I share with others. So here I am.

One of the best feelings in the world is looking back on a decision you struggled to make and realizing that you made the right decision. Because I am a practical, smart, and insightful person, I don’t usually have difficulty with making decisions. My work requires me to be a problem solver and I’m a problem solver at home. Making decisions is a part of solving problems. Decisions need to be made on what the problem is, how to go about solving it, who needs to be involved, and what the outcome will be.  I am comfortable with making decisions.  However, there is the rare situation that stumps me and I’m not quite sure how to move forward.  Usually, this pertains to making personal decisions.

As I’ve gotten older and wiser, I realize that I do have my own methodical, decision-making process.  I weigh the pros and cons, I think about the impact on myself and my family, I think about how interested I am in it, I assess how passionate I am about it, and I visualize myself in the outcome (not in any particular order).  When I’m down to the wire and still can’t decide, meaning that I also haven’t heard God’s voice on the matter, my strategy has been to simply do nothing.  I simply don’t act.  I love how I get these epiphanies, but I admit that while I’m in the experience, I usually don’t realize that inaction is THE decision. And I’m not referring to the period where you hold off on making a decision because you want to weigh all the points noted above. This is well beyond that point.  I can now see that inaction can be a decision because it indicates that I really am not “that interested”, “that passionate”, “that willing” to make room for whatever “this is” in my life, at this time. Inaction has served me well in certain circumstances. The times that it didn’t serve me well was when I did not listen to my inaction.  I can be hard-headed (more accurately, doubt myself).

In recent years, there was a situation where I didn’t listen to my inaction and it caused me a lot of pain in my professional career. However, the pain was necessary because it verified two things: 1) my inaction was my initial decision and 2) that I let other people pressure me to make a decision that was not only NOT right for me, but one that I did NOT want.  The funny thing about life is that lessons that you don’t learn present themselves to you again and again.  I was fortunate enough to have an opportunity to play my cards again and I did right this time.

Even deeper, the most important lesson from this is that I get into a bit of trouble (with myself) when I doubt myself.  And in all fairness, there is real pressure in certain environments. However, I cause myself undue anguish when I doubt myself and I truly despise that. As someone who aspires to be more kind in general, especially to myself, it doesn’t serve me well, so I will continue to work on it and have already made great gains.