the whole you project

Finding Your Balance: Mind, Body and Spirit


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Exit Stage Right

th[1]I once heard an actor say “Knowing how to exit the stage is just as important as entering the stage.”  I never fully understood that statement until I had to make an exit myself.

Case in point: After nearly two decades in radio broadcasting, I found myself unemployed during the Recession of 2009.  My replacement: an automated jukebox and a syndicated talk show.

Needless to say, I was pissed.  More than that, I was hurt by how all those years of service (not to mention blood, sweat and tears) were so easily cast aside by people I considered to be friends. My invitation to leave the company was sent via email.  So much for friendship.

As I walked into my former employer’s office for my exit interview, I had my game face on and was ready to do battle if necessary. I listened as he explained the company’s financial woes and how wonderful an employee I was and how he just knew I would find a better job (which I did), and that I was to vacate my office by the end of the week.

I sat there thinking how best to respond to this back-handed compliment. Should I clown, curse, cry or scream?  Should I calmly leave all while plotting my revenge to blow up the place?  Both seemed like good ideas at the time, but thank God I knew better.

In the midst of it all, I remembered that how you leave a job can have a huge impact on your future. Sure, I could have caused a major scene but in the end, I’d still be unemployed or even worse, thrown in a jail cell with somebody named Big Sal. Also, news of workplace drama travels fast so you have to consider how your retaliation might keep you from landing another job.

It’s important to remember that we have a choice to play the victim or the victor, and I chose to be victorious. It wasn’t easy though.  My co-workers whispered and questioned; my bosses were cautious, especially when I thanked them for the opportunity to work with them (there were some good times). But I was determined to redeemed my time by being the consummate professional. My goal had always been to leave the place in a better state than when I found it, and I was determined to walk away with a good reputation. Besides, you never know when you’ll cross paths with these  people again.

So if you find yourself in a similar situation, remember the actor on stage: when it’s time for your final curtain, take a bow, thank the audience and exit the stage with your head held high. But don’t go far. Your next act is about to begin.

Love to you, and enjoy the balance of your day.

Andrea


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More Than Enough

more_more_more_main_a2“You’re not smart enough. You’re not talented enough. You’re not cute enough.”  These are often the words you hear from that little nagging voice in the back of your mind– just as you are about to take a step of faith in a new direction.  They try to make you think that you don’t have what it takes to succeed.

This method of self-sabotage has stunted the personal and professional growth of so many people, and it always seems to come at a time when you are preparing to move outside your comfort zone.  While many people take heed to these thoughts, many others have been able to stop them dead in their tracks before they ever take root.

How do they do it?  What makes them so special, or what Super Power do they possess that you don’t?

News Flash:  They are no different than you.

Romans 8:37 tells us that “… in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.”

For those who believe, the answer is just that simple.  You either CHOOSE to believe it or you don’t.

THERE IS NO MIDDLE GROUND.

You will never move forward in life on a “maybe” and you can’t have both faith and fear.  One has got to take hold in you mind, and your life will show which thought won.

So my Sisters…whether you think YOU CAN or whether you think YOU CAN’T….You’re right.  It’s all matter of what you believe.

I will tell you that any new thing takes practice, and to truly make something a habit, you need to do it for several days.  If this is new thinking for you then I suggest repeating this to yourself as often as you can:

I AM MORE THAN A CONQUEROR BECAUSE GOD LOVES ME.  GOD MADE ME MORE THAN ENOUGH.

You have it within you to do, be or overcome that thing– whatever it is.  Just don’t stop believing that you are more than enough.

Love to you always, and enjoy the balance of your day!

Andrea


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1st and 10

8934804-largeIf you like football, you know that when a team makes a first down, they”re at least ten yards closer to reaching the goal line . This is called “1st and 10.” Well, for the past five weeks, I’ve been on a committed journey toward my personal goal to shed 30 pounds, and I’m happy to report that I have lost ten of those pounds- or my “1st and 10.”

Now for those of you who are new to this blog, this is HUGE.  Losing 10 ounces was hard for me let alone ten pounds, and I was working out all the time.  How did I finally do it, you ask?  With prayer, determination and the help of the CHOICE Weight Loss System created by Dr. Latefa Terry.  The key to this plan was learning to pair the right foods to help jump start my metabolism, and the results have been great. But more than that, this plan gave me back something I thought I’d lost: control over my appetite. If you’ve ever eaten an entire meal and a few minutes later, feel like you can eat the whole meal over again, you know what I mean.  My eating habits were so predictable that my husband used to call me The Nibbler because I was always snacking in the kitchen between meals LOL!

This victory is great but the journey is far from over. I made it through Thanksgiving without losing my mind or self- respect but now the Christmas holiday parties are coming hard and fast and I have to stay strong. If this sounds familiar to you, here are a few tips to keep you from crossing over to the Dark Side:

Be prepared. Having your own meals or snacks prepared a head of time will keep you from being hungry and overeating at social events.

Assemble your team.  Surround yourself with others who are also watching their weight, even if its just one other person.  There is definitely safety in numbers, and working with a group made a big difference for me because I didn’t want to let the team down.

Encourage your team. Offer positive reinforcement to others. Trust me, it will come back to you when you need it .

Always remember your WHY.  Your reason for wanting to lose weight has got to be bigger than the temptation to eat yourself into oblivion.

I’m always looking for tips to try and share along this weight loss journey.

So what tricks work for you?  Share your comments on this blog post to help encourage others.  I look forward to hearing from you!

Love to you, and as always, enjoy the balance of your day.

Andrea


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A Piece of Your Mind

From the time you wake up until the time you go to bed at night, somebody somewhere is trying to get a piece of your mind.  You know: get you to do something for them that you really don’t have to do.  Companies, advertisers and even politicians spend millions of dollars to get that coveted ‘piece of your mind’ because they can then influence your actions, whether spending, voting, etc.  The same concept holds true for relationships.  “Let me get that phone number.” “I just need a place to crash for a day or two.” “Baby, can you loan me some money?”  “Let me hit that tonight.” As life coach and motivational speaker Iyanla Vanzant once said, “Where the mind goes, the behind will follow.”

So, who’s leading your behind around?

We’ve all fallen victim at some point, and found ourselves doing the “walk of shame” because we got played by someone who didn’t deserve the privilege of our company or consideration.  There’s no point in beating yourself up over it if it’s already happened. But you can make the decision not to let it happen again.  It’s as simple as asking yourself three questions before you respond to them:

1)  What does this other person get out of it?

2)  What do I get out of it?

3)  How will this decision affect me in the future?

When it comes to you and your personal life, you have to think long-term.  That piece of your mind (or piece of anything else) you’re about to give up could cause you major problems down the road.

How well do you know this person?  How much do you trust this person? If you’re a parent, how will your child be affected by this decision?  It goes deeper than you think.

Since we all know that a mind is a terrible thing to waste, be careful of who you give a piece to.   If you’re doing all the giving and getting little in return, it’s time to cut them off and get your mind whole again.

I know from experience that this is not always easy because your feelings are deeply involved.  But once you get your piece of mind back, you’ll also have your peace of mind again.

Love to you, and as always, enjoy the balance of your day.


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F.E.A.R.

2 Timothy 1:7- “For God has not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind…”

We all deal with fear from time to time.  But if God didn’t give us this fear, where did it come from?

When we believe a thing to be true, our minds suddenly make that thing real to us.  That’s where our fears get their power- in our minds and from the thoughts we entertain.

So how do we fight fear?  We first have to recognize it for what it really is.

F.E.A.R. stands for False Evidence Appearing Real.  Our natural minds have a way of magnifying circumstances based on a simple thought.  We have to stop and ask ourselves, “Where did that thought come from?”  Was the thought based on an actual threat or just one you perceived to be a threat?  Let’s face it:  perception becomes reality whether it’s true or not.

Any thought that brings you into a state of fear, anxiety or worry is not of God.  This same God that gave us His Son doesn’t want us to worry, be fearful or be over-concerned about anything.

The word of God often tells us, “Fear not,” “Let not your heart be troubled,” or “Fret not thyself,” but we too easily allow False Evidence Appearing Real to steal our joy.  From now on, let’s agree to call it for what it is– a LIE carefully crafted by Satan to throw us off.  And here’s your weapon: the Sword of the Spirit, which is God’s word.  The next time one of those lies has you feeling crazy, pull out your sword and start swinging!  Speak every scripture that comes to mind to fit your situation until that fearful thought is gone.  Slice that fear into nothing and watch it blow away like the wind.  Remember, the battle is the Lord’s- we just have to show up.

I pray that this has been a help to you.  Let’s keep fighting together, in Jesus’s name!

Until next time, enjoy the balance of your day!

Andrea


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The Elusive Prince Charming

Cinderella.  Snow White.  Sleeping Beauty.  We’ve all heard the fairytales about these princesses, and the how they all lived happily ever after with their respective Prince Charming.  This guy became the standard that most little girls dreamed of when it came to love and romance.   I, like many other single young women, found myself waiting for my prince to come along.  I even kissed a few frogs along the way hoping they’d turn into that handsome, sensitive, well-built, perfect man who would be the answer to my prayers.

After a series of disappointments that left me questioning my own self-worth, it finally occured to me that I couldn’t find Prince Charming because I didn’t even know what he looked like.  Has ANYBODY ever seen this man before?  I then realized that this ideal man of mine simply didn’t exist. He was just a figment of my imagination; a character in a story that I’d been telling myself over and over again. Then came the harsh truth:  Any relationship built around a fictional character is nothing more than a work of fiction itself.

I didn’t want the fantasy; I wanted what was real.  I sized up my two-dimensional version of Prince Charming and pictured that pretty face, those sparkling straight teeth, a chistled body, and a man who just magically knew what I wanted without me asking, and delivered it all the time….

YUCK!  This fool was totally boring.  He was so NOT the guy I really wanted.  And truth be told, my Single Sisters, he’s not the guy you really want either.

Here’s what I like to call MR. REAL:   He’s the guy who makes you laugh when you feel like crying.  He may not hang on your every word, but he hears what is most important.  He doesn’t have the perfect body and may not even be pretty, but there’s something about his swagger that makes you look every time he comes around.  He loves God; he loves his mother, and he appreciates a woman’s worth.  He may not KNOW everything you want, but he CARES enough to find out.  This guy is not the man of your dreams; he’s the guy who wants to be there when you wake up- seeing you in your doo rag, dragon breath and all.

Since every woman has her own version of Mr. Real, the rest of the description is for you to fill in.  But remember, he’s got to be real- no more fairytales, okay?

Love to you, and as always, enjoy the balance of your day!

Andrea


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Nobody wakes up in the morning saying, “You know what? I’m gonna fail today”.  But sometimes, even our best laid plans are not always full-proof.  Case in point:  I recently started a plan to exercise regularly, eat right and lose weight.  My resolve was clear, focused, and on point.  I lost 3 pounds in 14 days and was on a roll.  Then came sinful temptation in the form a  red velvet cake.  I choked…I caved in…I ate.  There I was, stumbling back toward that abyss of sugary madness that once held me captive– followed by a dramatic Florida Evans moment:  “Damn, damn, damn!”

The damage was done. I had once again failed at my attempt to stick to the plan.

As I began to pick up the pieces of my latest weight loss debacle, I had what drug addicts and alcoholics refer to as ‘a moment of clarity’.  I began to take a closer look at not only WHY I failed this time, but HOW I failed.  I started out so strong. What happened?

1)  I realized that the temptation was offered after a stressful day at work.

2)  I didn’t have one of my healthier alternatives to snack on instead.

3)  My husband went back for more, so I did too–twice.

4)  I put too much pressure on myself to go cold turkey.

As the pattern emerged, I also noticed that after not eating sweets for two weeks that I got a major sugar rush followed by a major energy crash.  I guess I had grown accustom to that lethargic feeling, but the 14-day sugar hiatus made me aware of what I was actually doing to my body.  That’s when the light bulb came on.  Could it be that in the midst of my failure, I have found the seeds for  my success?   In that instant, I not only sized up my opponent, but found a few tricks to shut it down the next time it rears its ugly head:

  • I know now  that junk food is not a stress reliever– in the end, I felt worse.
  • It’s important to keep a variety healthy snacks in my purse, in my desk and at the house for those weak moments.
  • Moderation trumps deprivation.  Knowing that I can have a taste now and then is better than lusting after someone else’s portion and over-indulging.

I feel like I’ve taken a step forward even in this failed attempt.  But a lesson learned from failure is a lesson toward success.  Funny how things work sometimes, isn’t it?

Thanks for letting me share with you, and as always, enjoy the balance of your day.

Andrea