Tuesday, December 20, 2011

The Most Meaningful Gifts



In the midst of the hustle and bustle of the season, the shopping, the wrapping, the exchanging of gifts and all the time and money spent making this the best Christmas ever.....



The most meaningful gifts don't cost a thing..............

encouragement for a shaky soul,


friendship for a lonely person,

kindness to the disheartened,

understanding for someone troubled,

compassion for the neglected,

comfort for the bereaved,

respect for the dignity of others,

defense of the rights of individuals,

and love to heal a broken heart.


And this is my Daily Cyn......

Monday, December 19, 2011

You are an Artist



"If you can see yourself as an artist, and you can see that your life is your own creation, then why not create the most beautiful story for yourself?" -- Don Miguel Ruiz

I can't draw or paint to save my life. My ability never evolved beyond drawing stick figures and even those are pretty pathetic. I got a Paint-by Number kit as a kid one year for Christmas. Those are virtually fool-proof yet I managed to mess mine up. It looked so awful, I threw it away. I was the one who always failed art class in school. I am the least artistic person in the world and I slightly envy those  blessed with such a gift.

Recently, I painted my bathroom. What a big production that was! I had never painted a wall or a piece of trim in my life. but I because I had a big hair-dye mishap (Nice and Easy Natural Dark Brown #121A  spatters on the wall over the sink) I had to cover it up. I didn't want to spend the money to hire someone to paint my tiny bathroom so I marched down to local hardware store, talked to paint guy, and came home armed with brushes, rollers, drop cloths, a gallon of eco-friendly paint and a free paint stirrer.

Despite the fact that I needed two whole days to complete what would take an ordinary person about an hour, my first real attempt at painting turned out well and I am pretty darn proud of myself. I can see only one spot along the tub that I completely missed and one of these days I will take out my can of paint and fix it. Since I managed to pull off painting the bathroom, I am now ready to tackle the bedroom. 

My whole apartment is in desperate need of painting. Every wall is a boring, dingy white. This was supposed to be temporary resting place but it looks like I will be staying here a little longer.   A few coats of paint on the walls will make it look and feel more like home. Because I am so inexperienced in the painting department I figured I'd attempt the bathroom first, then the bedroom.  If I make mistakes, I can always repaint because those two rooms are so small.  Eventually my technique will improve and so will my confidence. I will be ready to take on bigger challenges: the kitchen and living room.

I can hire a professional to do the painting for me. It would certainly look better and take a lot less time. But then, I will miss out on the sheer satisfaction of sitting back and admiring my work- paint drips, missed spots and all. Every time I go into my bathroom now, I think how beautiful it looks. I bring everyone in there to show them what I did. I tell them how terrified I was to even attempt the job, how the cat accidentally stepped in the paint tray and tracked paint all through the house, and the clever ways I figured out how to paint around the sink, electrical outlets and plumbing fixtures. If someone else had done the job for me, I don't know how often I would take notice or if I would be as proud to show it off. There would be no stories to tell.......

All this might sound crazy to you. Big deal. I painted a bathroom. But, you must understand, I am a spoiled, slightly clumsy, girlie-girl who always had a man around to do everything for me. Growing up, my father wouldn't dream of asking his daughter to get her hands dirty with so-called men's work. If he wasn't sick right now, he would insist on doing the work himself. When I was married, my husband did everything. One year, I offered to help him paint trim on the house and I spilled an entire can of oil-based paint all over myself and the side of the house. I had white paint stuck in my hair for weeks and that was the last time my ex-husband ever asked for my assistance with anything. I can't help but feel proud that I painted a whole room all by myself.  I created a warm and beautiful bathroom with a brush, a can of paint and my own two hands. I am now an artist and the bathroom walls, though slightly imperfect, are my masterpiece!

You are an artist. Life is a blank canvas on which to create your very own work of art. It won't ever be as magnificent if you sit back and let someone else create it for you.  Just pick up the brush and start painting. The more you practice, the better you'll get at it.  If you really don't like it, start over again and create something new. And don't worry too much about the imperfections. Those are just the ups and downs, trials, tribulations, heartache, joys and triumphs that tell the most beautiful story and make your life a true masterpiece.



And this is Daily Cyn......





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Saturday, December 17, 2011

The Truth Will Not Be Withheld IF.......


In the end, I've come to believe in something I call "The Physics of the Quest." A force in nature governed by laws as real as the laws of gravity. The rule of Quest Physics goes something like this: If you're brave enough to leave behind everything familiar and comforting, which can be anything from your house to bitter, old resentments, and set out on a truth-seeking journey, either externally or internally, and if you are truly willing to regard everything that happens to you on that journey as a clue and if you accept everyone you meet along the way as a teacher and if you are prepared, most of all, to face and forgive some very difficult realities about yourself, then the truth will not be withheld from you. -Elizabeth Gilbert: Eat, Pray, Love.

And this is my Daily Cyn......

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Thursday, December 1, 2011

The Tell-Tale Signs of Unhealthy Eating!


What the heck happened to my face?
 It takes a very brave woman to post a photo like this on the internet. Without a stitch of make up or the beauty of photo-shop or airbrushing of some kind. Yet, I am doing it. This is me. Actually one side of me- the bad side.

 I woke up this morning with three HUGE zits on my face.  And here they are- in living color! 





You may break out in pimples often. I never do. My skin is usually radiant, smooth and blemish-free. I am almost fifty years old for goodness sake. I am in menopause. My days of occassional aggravating zits are long gone. But yet, I have them now--three unsightly eruptions on my face. And I have so much to do today: clients to meet, appointments to keep, shopping to do. I don't exactly look like the picture of health, do I?

It took every ounce of self-control to not pick and squeeze these god-awful things on my face. Cover-up just made them look worse. Instead, in a desperate attempt to draw attention away from the big, reg, ugly pimples, I applied a bit more eye makeup than usual and removed my hair from its pony tail holder and let it fall wild and free.

As I got dressed and ready to go, I racked my brains trying to figure out what caused my skin to become so angry. I haven't changed my skin care or makeup or laundry detergent. And then, it dawned on me. The only thing that's been different is my diet. Thanksgiving and all the high, calorie, fat-laden, unhealthy foods I am not accustomed to eating.

I indulged this year and one week later, my body (mainly my face) is showing all the signs.  First of all, I am a vegan. I don't eat meat and I don't do dairy- no milk, no eggs, no cheese. I didn't eat any meat but I did let the whole dairy thing slide a little for the holiday. I couldn't refuse the pumpkin pie with vanilla ice cream, caulliflower in cheese sauce, and my mom's famous corn pudding. I rarely drink alcohol either, but I helped myself to several glasses of wine.  And it wasn't just on Thanskgiving that I went a little crazy--there were leftovers so I kept on eating and drinking a few days after. Now I have three big zits to show for it! I am tired and bloated, too, but that's another story.........

When we allow impurities and toxins into our bodies (in my case- too much fat, dairy, processed foods and alcohol), they look for a way out. This is when we become sluggish and bloated and our skin is less than glowing. My face literally erupted with all the tell-tale signs of unhealthy eating. And this is only the result of a few days of bad choices. What would happen if I ate that way all the time? I would look and feel awful!

The cure: filtered water with freshly squeezed organic lemons. Lemons are cleansing. Soup, plenty of fresh vegetables and fruit. I need to flush this stuff out of my system and lots of liquid and foods that are high in water-content are crucial.  No salt, no sugar, no preservatives, no oil. Good oils are okay- avocados, nuts (unsalted). A few days of eating like this and I should look and feel fantastic again!

Why am I telling you this? To prove a point. If you don't think the foods you eat have a direct result on how you look, think again. How does your skin look? Is it dry and flaky? Do you battle with constant blemishes that seem to appear out of nowhere?  You might be so accustomed to your rebellious skin that you might not even be aware of it anymore. There are reasons why your skin reacts in those ways. These are signs of impurities. It might be time to evaluate your diet and switch to a more wholesome way of eating.

Not sure where to start? Comment here, send me an email, or contact me at True Metamorphosis. Together we'll take a look at what you're eating and see if we can make a few improvements here and there. That way, when the holidays roll around, you'll be glowing from the inside out.

And this is my Daily Cyn.......

Monday, November 28, 2011

A Simple Holiday

When I was about ten years old, I recall asking a girl in my neighborhood what she got for Christmas.


"A tape recorder and a book," she said.

"And what else?" I asked.

"That's it."

"What about dinner?" I asked. "What did you have for Christmas dinner?"

"My mother cooked chicken, potatoes, peas. Apple pie for dessert." she replied.

"That's it?" I was in shock.

I went home and cried my eyes out. "She must be very poor." I told my mom. "She only got two gifts for Christmas. Who only gets two gifts? And for dinner-- a chicken? One pie?"

I didn't know this girl very well. She was older than me.  I knew where she lived because we traveled to school on the same bus. I was so upset over her meager Christmas, that nothing would bring me peace. We had to do something for her and her family. What if they didn't have enough food to eat? Or lights and heat? I cried and cried until my mother finally told me to get in the car and show her where this poor family lived. A few minutes later we parked in front a well kept, two-story home. The house was tastefully decorated with Christmas lights.  A plastic Frosty-the-Snowman stood guard on the front lawn, broom in hand.  Two nice cars were parked in the paved driveway.

 "Are you sure this is it?" my mom asked.

I nodded. "This is the house she comes out of every morning to catch the bus."

My mom smiled. "Honey, this looks like a very nice, comfortable home. The lights are on inside, so they have electricity. I believe this family is okay."

"But they had such an awful Christmas!" I cried. "You have to go knock on the door. They might be starving!"

My mother refused. "This is a very close community," she said. "We would know if there was a poor and starving family in this neighborhood. Maybe they're just happier with a simple Christmas."

"Or maybe her parents don't really love her," I mumbled to myself as we drove away.

It's so funny now when I look back on that experience and how I measured love and affluence with lots Christmas gifts and tables overflowing with food.

My parents didn't often buy toys or gifts for me and my brother but at Christmas-time, they pulled out all the stops! Each year the gifts got better and better and the piles of beautifully wrapped boxes grew bigger and bigger. My mother shopped, wrapped, and cooked. She cooked up a storm for weeks before the big day: lasagna, turkey, fish, potatoes, vegetables, cookies, cake, pies. It's a wonder our table didn't collapse with all that food. And every Christmas, she was exhausted, aggravated, and in a sour mood. This is the way it was with just about all my friends and family. And as kids, we couldn't figure out why our mothers were not as thrilled as we were about the holidays.

I didn't figure it out until I grew up. This was when I realized what really is involved in pulling off a Happy Holiday.  I dragged myself through store after store, spending ridiculous amounts of money on gifts. Every year the gifts got bigger and better and the piles of presents beneath the tree grew higher and higher. I battled crowds, sleet, snow and ice. I decorated. I wrapped. I cooked. I began to despise Christmas. I didn't want it to come and when it did, I wanted it to end. Christmas was just one big chore and the responsibility of making it happen rested on me. I hated who I became during the holidays- a nagging, unhappy, tired person. I was making everyone around me miserable and robbing them of the joy of the season.

Over the years, I've learned to simplify Christmas.  Everything doesn't have to be so elaborate. It's not necessary to go into debt buying dozens and dozens of gifts. One really nice present per person is more than enough. Something from the heart, made with love is perfect. Gifts from the kitchen are alway nice. I've ditched all the expensive wrapping paper, ribbons and bows in exchange for recycled brown paper, raffia, pinecones and a few sprigs of fresh pine. It's not unforgiveable to buy holiday cookies instead of making them from scratch or to serve a spiral ham and packaged dinner rolls for Christmas dinner instead of all that cooking, baking and frying.

Piles of presents beneath the tree and an abundance of food and treats have nothing to do with love or wealth.  If you're wearing yourself out trying to keep up with everything, if you'd rather sleep through the holidays or can't wait for them to be over, if your angry and nagging and less than joyful--you are doing too much. And you probably don't realize it, but you are making everyone around you stressed and miserable as well.  Simplify! Simplify! Simplify! 

"I am a better person when I have less on my plate.” ― Elizabeth Gilbert.


I will never forget my mother's words to me on that day so long ago. "Maybe they're just happier with a simple Christmas."  I am  beginning to think perhaps that particular family had the right idea and were very, very rich indeed.

Simple is always best.  We sometimes have a tendency to over-give and over-do to make up for what we can't give.  And that is more of OURSELVES.

Take a good look at everything on your plate this holiday season and then remove a few of those stressful things- all that shopping, cooking, cleaning. Not necessary! Really. It isn't.  What really matters is your love, time, tenderness. First for yourself and then poured out on others......

And this is my Daily Cyn......




Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving From My Table to Yours!


Yes....I am a vegan posting a picture of a turkey. Turkey is a Thanksgiving tradition. And, I happen to love this painting.


My mom cooks a turkey every Thanksgiving.  I won't eat it, but I can't resist opening the oven door several times to take a peek as it's roasting.  The aroma is intoxicating. It smells like home. I snap photos of the finished product as it sits on a big white platter in the center of the dining room table. Every one claps and oohs and aahs. The turkey is glorious. Let the carving begin! The whirring of the electric knife as dad cuts into the bird brings our whole Norman Rockwell experience to a screeching halt.  It looks and sounds more like The Texas Chain Saw Massacre. It's so funny, we all laugh 'til we cry!  Thanksgiving wouldn't be the same without dad wielding his electric knife.

I've cooked a turkey only once in my life. Everyone says it was delicious but the experience was so traumatic, I swore to never do it again. I say this now, but someday mom will be gone and someone has to take over. That would be me. Until then, I will continue to contribute my favorite foods to the Thanksgiving table.

So, what am I cooking up for Thanksgiving?

Green Bean Casserole:

Instead of cream of mushroom soup made with milk, I use Vegan Creamy Portabello Mushroom Soup. It comes in a carton, not a can.  I do add the french-fried onions, however. From the can. And I add more than recipe calls for. My son would never forgive me if I omitted them. Green Bean Casserole is his favorite Thanksgiving dish.

Roasted Sweet Potatoes:

I cut up fresh sweet potatoes (skins on), toss them in olive oil, add salt, pepper, a few sprigs of fresh rosemary, and a handful of chopped walnuts. I roast them in the oven and about five minutes before they're done, I drizzle my potatoes with a touch of organic maple syrup. DELICIOUS and so much healthier than those sticky-sweet candied yams.

Butternut Squash Soup:

Time is limited so this year, I am cheating. I don't have the patience to peel, chop, cook and blend butternut squash. I am using Imagine Butternut Squash Soup, heating it up and dumping it into a big soup tureen. I'll doctor it up with freshly ground pepper and parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme (sing it with me!). I will toss in homemade croutons and no one will know I didn't make it from scratch. I just have to hide the empty cartons in the bottom of the trash can.

'Nana Pudding:

A luscious dessert. Literally, sin in a bowl!  There is no way to skimp on this dish or make it healthy. I've tried and it just doesn't work. I just have to roll with it. If you're from the South, you know what this is. If not, I'll explain. 'Nana Pudding is layers upon layers of Nilla Wafer cookies, sliced bananas and custard made from eggs, milk, flour, sugar and pure vanilla extract. It's topped with a gorgeous meringue made from egg whites, more sugar and then browned to perfection. It's a big production and a real pain in the ass to prepare. You have to make it early so it has time to set. It's in my fridge right now. This is my father's favorite dessert (he's from the South) and he always begs me to make it.  I always refuse because it's so damn fattening. This year, what Daddy wants, Daddy gets.

In a few hours, our table will be overflowing with an abundance of all our favorite foods. My contributions, the turkey (a veggie burger for me), gravy, two kinds of stuffing (one vegetarian style), homemade mashed potatoes (my sister makes the best), corn pudding (mom's specialty), cranberry relish with oranges and pecans, peas with pearl onions, tossed green salad, homemade biscuits and rolls, apple, pumpkin, pecan and coconut custard pies, cheese cake, my evil banana pudding, sparkling cider, fruit, nuts.......

We will  pray, laugh, sing, cry and eat until we cannot move. We'll disagree about politics and religion. I am the only Democrat in the family and therefore always the victim.  I really don't mind. Someone will try to force-feed me a slice of turkey. Dad will quote scripture and share his favorite stories. Despite our differences, we'll express our love and appreciation for one another. Eventually, the men will collapse into tryptophan-enhanced comas in the livingroom while the women gather in the kitchen for gossip and clean-up. The kids will tear the house apart.

This is my favorite holiday!

I have so much to be thankful for. A wonderful family. My beautiful son. My amazing father who never complains. Even now, as he battles cancer, he remains a tower of strength for his family. Terrific friends--most of whom I've met in the darkest, most un-godly of places.  A roof over my head, money in the bank, and an abundance of food to eat. I am thankful for my health, my determination and drive, my sense of humor and the ability to laugh even in times of sorrow. I am grateful for the gifts God gave me and the pleasure of sharing them with others. For finding love and losing it.  For trials and hard times that make me stronger. For the mistakes I've made and the lessons I've learned. I give thanks for the promise of hope and the faith to believe in the promise of hope. I give thanks to God for His love, mercy and forgiveness. And I am thankful for you, dear readers. You are my inspiration to keep going and to keep sharing my heart.

Enjoy your family, friends and loved ones today.  Cook, eat and indulge in all your favorite foods and treats. Bask in the glory of love, life, and togetherness. Tomorrow, just get right back on the path of healthy eating.

I wish you all a very Happy Thanksgiving!

And this is my Daily Cyn......

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

There's an App for That! Five Steps to Converting Life's Problems!

Wouldn't it be totally awesome if we could really do this?

I would love to convert or transfer all my problems. With the a push of button, just send them all to another person. Let them deal with dad's cancer and chemo therapy, my dwindling bank account, my lack of funds, and my rapidly approaching, much dreaded fiftieth birthday.  I'll gladly hand over all that plus the seven pounds I've gained recently because we are all stress-eating over here (my dad is withering away by the minute while the rest of us pack on the pounds) and the sheer panic I feel because this coming January, I am going back to school. I'll probably be the oldest student in the class. I shouldn't be thinking about enhancing or furthering my career at this point. I should be planning my retirement! Let someone else take on the exhaustion, the mood swings, the crying spells, and my sagging ass. My yoga mat is collecting dust because I haven't had the energy to roll it out in months. At my age, if I don't work it, I lose it.  Let's not forget that I haven't been wined and dined, kissed or held by a gentleman in over six months! This explains my chocolate cravings. I am almost freakin' fifty, for God's sake! I should be married or at least settled in a healthy relationship by now, shouldn't I? The older I get, the less of a chance that's gonna happen. Oh! And did I mention menopause? Somebody, take my problems! PLEASE! 

If only there were an APP for that........

 Oh, but there is. Well, it's not a simple as downloading an application on phone, but there are a few ways to 'convert our problems'......

The first step: Stop Thinking About Them!


Dwelling on problems and issues only exacerbates them. They appear more insurmountable in our minds than they actually are in reality. The more we think, the more stressed, aggravated and exhausted we become.  The sure-fire way to stop dwelling our problems: to always remember that someone else has it much worse!

Step Two: Change of Perspective.


Cancer. This is something I can't change no matter how hard I pray or try to wish it away.  So I might as well roll with it, look for the lessons along the way, and be a supportive, loving daughter. Cherish every moment I have with my dad. Menopause? Can't make it go away. It's part of the cycle of life and I am blessed to not suffer from the majority of common symptoms that usually occur with "the change".  I have my healthy, VEGAN diet to thank for that.

As for the things we can change, we just need to change them.. And, perhaps cut ourselves a little slack now and then. Try to see things differently. Deconstruct problems one by one. Tackle and change the things we can. Accept what we can't change. Learn the difference between the two. The good old Serenity Prayer. Works every time.

Step Three: Build a Support System.

I am not the first person in the world to deal with a sick, elderly parent. And I am not the only middle-aged woman going back to school or trying to advance her career. There are plenty of fifty-somethings out there who don't have mates, lovers, or a special someone to snuggle beside at night. Yet they lead happy, fulfilling lives. How do they do it?

There are groups, clubs, organizations, mentors, networking meetings and plenty of loving, caring, supportive people out there ready, willing and able to offer advice and assistance. We can learn how others got through it and came out on the other side successfully. Ask questions. Lean on friends for help and support. That's what friends are for. Make new friends, too. Stick close to positive, encouraging people. Ditch the naysayers and the negative people. We're never alone and now is not the time to be alone. We need to resist the temptation to isolate ourselves during difficult times. Get out and have fun. 

Step Four: Focus on other people.

I said it earlier and I will say it again: someone else always has it much worse! Sometimes I become so consumed, I actually forget those around me who are suffering. I have a house, heat, food in my fridge and my health. Some people aren't so lucky.

When we think about others and their problems, ours become less significant. Volunteering our time, donating to charities, taking a neighbor grocery shopping, participating in causes we believe in, reading to an elderly person, or delivering a container of homemade soup to a sick friend--this is what life should be about. When we give of our time, love and resources, we get so much back in return. When we give when we don't have, we get even more. I am not saying we should give with ulterior motives. It's just a simple law of nature: when we take the focus off ourselves and put it on someone else, things have a tendency to fall into place.  

Number Five: Develop a Spiritual Practice.

I promise not to "get all religious" but who hasn't whispered a prayer to something or someone out there during difficult times? Pray, meditate, do yoga, go to church, listen to music that feeds your soul, read inspirational books like the Bible, The Bhagavad Gita, The Essential Rumi, or just sit in silence in the woods or by the ocean. Set aside time to stop, look, and listen. These are spiritual practices- the time when we turn everything off and tap into something greater: God, Spirit, the Universe. I call it God but what ever it is to you--just do it! A spiritual practice calms us and brings peace. A spiritual practice can help us find solutions our problems, lessons in our trials, even joy in the midst of pain.


In the end, do I really want to give someone else my problems? No. You might be wishing to take mine over yours any day.  I will keep them, thank you very much. And practicing these five steps won't necessarily convert or take away my problems. But they will convert me.

And this is my Daily Cyn.....

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Release


Release.................

Set it free. Share what you have and it will all come back to you.......in beautiful, wonderful, unexpected ways.
And this is my Daily Cyn......

Thursday, October 27, 2011

To Have A Friend, You Must Be A Friend

I was scrolling through friend's Face Book profile this morning. She's really not personal friend- meaning I've never actually met her.  We just correspond back and forth regularly because we have much in common.
 
I wanted to post an encouraging word on her Face Book profile because the over the past couple of months she's had some real struggles.  She recently lost her career, her dog became ill and died, and last month, she buried her husband of thirty years. His death was tragic.  He'd never been sick a day in his life. One morning, he didn't feel quite right. A few days later, he was dead. I can't even imagine!

How does one find the strength to keep going after all that?

I came upon a post another friend of hers had recently posted on her Face Book profile. This is a REAL friend--one who knows her personally, lives in the same town, and actually knows her phone number. I happen to know this friend personally, as well. Here is what that "friend" posted:

"Thinking of you during your difficult time, but I am beginning to doubt our friendship. It would be nice if you picked up the phone once in awhile and called me!"

Is it just me, or does anyone else see anything wrong with that?










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If you're thinking of someone and know they are having a tough time, it is your responsibility as a human being to reach out to that person. You don't sit around waiting on them! Call, write, stop by the house, invite them out to dinner or drinks. If they are not up to company, drop off a basket of fruit or freshly baked muffins and then go home. If a long time has gone by and you haven't heard from her, that's a big sign right there that she needs a little moral support or a hand to hold. Don't make it personal. The last thing on her mind is reassuring you of her friendship. She's wondering how to make through the day without falling apart!

Some people wonder why they have no friends. To have a friend, you must be a friend.

Be a true friend. Pick up the phone. Show her how much you care. Go the extra mile-- especially when she's hurting. You might not have the right words to say, but a little effort goes a long way and means everything.

If you are not a friend, you will have no friends. You get what you give. Eventually, sorrow will come knocking at your door. When it does, you're gonna need a friend.......

And this is my Daily Cyn.......

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

How a Simple Soup Changed My Life!




Way back in 1999, I took a trip into New York City to check out a school. It was an Open House/Meet and Greet sort of thing. I really didn't want to go at all, but after several lengthy telephone conversations with the Admissions Coordinator of the school, I felt I owed it to her to at least show up.

I was filled with mixed emotions about all of it.

First of all, I couldn't believe I was actually entertaining the idea of handing over a large chunk of my savings to this school or considering a career in a field I knew absolutely nothing about. This was certainly the most ridiculous idea I'd ever had but yet a voice inside kept telling me this was something I needed. I just couldn't ignore it.

Secondly, the school was in the city! This meant if I decided to attend (which I probably wouldn't) I was going to have commute back and forth. ALONE! AT NIGHT!

Basically, I was going to visit the school to find everything wrong with it and hopefully silence that voice within forever.

Now I'd been to the city before, but never alone. It was always with a group and usually our purpose in being in such an awful, sinful place like New York City was to attend some kind of Christian function- like a Billy Graham Crusade or a Gospel Music show. I had no idea how to get around. I know now it's pretty much impossible to get lost in there because of the way it's all laid out ( it's basically one big grid with streets running one way, avenues the other--in numerical order). I knew nothing about train schedules or subways and it just so happened this was at the same time some wacko was walking around the streets of mid-town killing folks by hitting them over the head with a cinder block. It was all over the news and my family and friends were convinced that I would become his next victim.  And if I decided to really go this route and travel to the city regularly for school, I would be putting myself in harm's way too often and would end up being raped, murdered, drugged, mugged, beaten or kidnapped by some evil person lurking in the shadows.

The power of suggestion, folks. It really is a powerful thing. I was scared.....

Crazy, huh?

I was determined to do this anyway so I convinced a girl friend to take the trip in with me. I bribed her with the promise of dinner and drinks on me (even though I had no idea where to actually go for dinner and drinks) right after we checked out the school. So there we were, two Long Island girls in the big city, tightly clutching our handbags for fear someone would come along and steal them. As we walked, the sky opened up and it began to rain- a torrential downpour. In my handbag, I had a cell phone, a map of the city, train schedules, makeup, hairspray, gum, candy, mints, an extra pair of pantyhose, notebooks, pens, pencils. I also had a stun-gun (YEP!) and a spray container of government issue mace--just in case we came in contact with Cinder block Guy. The one thing I didn't have was an umbrella. Word to the wise: always toss an umbrella in your bag when traveling to the city!

When we finally did arrive at our destination (we were about 45 minutes late and the president of the school was already giving his spiel), we were completely soaked and chilled to the bone. We were warmly received despite being so tardy.  No one seemed to care that we both looked like drowned rats. A very pretty girl with a lovely smile handed us each a paper cup filled with a hot, thick, orange liquid and said, "Drink this. It will take away the chill and make you feel amazing!"

I was somewhat hesitant to drink it. After all, this was the city, I didn't know these people, and it could've been laced with drugs for all I knew. I had a fleeting vision of being dragged, stoned and stupid, into a dark alley behind the building. I quickly glanced around the room and noticed other people were drinking from the same cups and they all seemed fine. I fumbled through my over-flowing handbag for a tiny piece of paper in which to discard my big wad of sugar-free gum and then I took a sip. It was the most wonderful, warming, delicious soup I had ever tasted. It instantly heated me through and through and all my tension, fear, and doubt seemed to melt away with each sip of that glorious concotion.

If this was soup on drugs, give me more!

I turned to the girl who had given it to me. "Oh, my God, what is this?" I asked.

"It's carrot soup," she whispered. "I'll give you the recipe after."

My girlfriend was loving the soup, too. "This is the best stuff I've ever tasted," she said. "I think I could live off it."

I'd never heard of carrot soup and I detested cooked carrots. Growing up, my mother often made carrots for dinner but they were always from a can and they tasted awful. I never served them in my house. I would eat raw carrot sticks from time to time because I knew they were good for me but that's where I drew the line. It just never dawned on me that I could take a raw carrot, cook it or turn it into soup and actually like it!

Boy, have I come a long way!

Later on, I found the soup girl and asked for the recipe. I took out my note book and pen to write it all down and she laughed. "All you need are carrots and water," she said. "This is REAL food at it's best."

What? No chicken stock, no spices, no cream? No artificial flavors or colors? What kind of magical, mystical carrots did they use in this soup?

I made the soup myself the very next day and it was exactly the same. I also experienced all those warming, healing, peaceful feelings the moment I tasted it. I felt alive! There was something to all this and I needed to learn more about the healing power of REAL FOOD so I could share it with everyone!

I immediately hopped back on the train to the city, signed my name on the dotted line, and started attending classes the following fall.  It was the best decision I ever made and I've never looked back!

It's hard believe this was only a little over a decade ago. I was thirty-seven years old when I took that trip into the city and decided I wanted to study health, healing and nutrition. I was different person back then. I was socially inept, shy, uneducated, frightened, narrow-minded, depressed, and completely dependent on others to make most of my decisions for me. I had no idea who I was, what I wanted, or what I was capable of in life. All I knew is that I was looking for something different and wanted to find my purpose and my passion.

I don't even know who that is person is any longer. I marvel at the things I've accomplished since then. I've changed so much, I can't even begin to describe it. I am strong, independent, fearless. The road has not always been easy and I've hit a few speed bumps, steered off course for a couple of years, and made some mistakes along the way but I am exactly where I am supposed to be right now. I have a rewarding career I love, friends I adore, and a life that is rich and full. And here's something really funny-- I loved the city so much I accepted a job offer there. I am in NewYork so often now, I am referred to as the City Girl! And the ones who tried to fill me with fear? Some are completely out of my life. The others admire and respect me for being independent and determined.  How's that for a change?

A simple cup of carrot soup changed my life and launched my career. It is the foundation of my belief in the healing power of REAL FOOD. I live it, I teach it, I preach it. This is my purpose and my passion. This is where I am supposed to be............

As for that delicious carrot soup recipe,  Contact me and I will send it to you.......


Eat REAL FOOD to live a REAL LIFE. A life that is simple, uncomplicated, passionate, fearless, joyful, peaceful.


That's my recipe.......  


And this is my Daily Cyn.....

Monday, October 24, 2011

Is Your Food "Addiction" Making You Fat?



I am accustomed to dealing with skeptics in my line of work, but one particular client always stands out in my mind.  Donna was a pretty, hard working, middle-aged woman. She was about thirty pounds overweight. At our first appointment, she told me she already knew she was wasting her time. I would never be able to help her. She had tried every single diet on the planet over the past few years and never lost a pound.  She was angry, fed up and "destined to be fat for the rest of her life". She was gonna be a tough one. I took a deep, cleansing breath and inquired as to why she believed she was 'destined to be fat'.

 "I am a bread addict!" she confessed.

"Why do you think you are addicted to bread?"

"I can't stop eating it," she responded. "I must have bread at every meal. I can eat a whole loaf all by myself. My husband and I eat out alot and when that bread basket arrives to the table, I just keep eating and eating until it's all gone.  It's like I am possessed!"

"Have you always been so obsessed with bread?"

"No, that's the funny part," she said. " It's something that just sort of happened over the past two years and I've put so much weight! LOOK AT ME!"

I asked her to share what had been going on in her life over the past few years. Here is what she told me:

In the course of two years, she lost both of her parents.
Her husband lost his job.
They were forced to sell their home because they could no longer afford the mortgage.
They were currently renting an apartment with a very small kitchen and no dining room.
She was currently working two jobs while her husband continued to look for work.
Family dinners and gathering at her house came to a screeching halt after her parents passed away.
Her husband couldn't even boil water, so they ate the majority of their meals and even holiday dinners at restaurants because she was too tired, too stressed, and too depressed to cook.

She went on to say how important family dinners and gatherings always were to her. She recalled all the great meals they used to have together.  She loved getting up early on Sunday mornings to put on a big pot of tomato sauce for pasta.

"My dad went to the bakery every Sunday to pick up loaves of fresh Italian bread. We would gather in the kitchen and dip the bread into the sauce as it simmered. We put some in oven with butter and chopped garlic, " she said. "We would pile bread in a big basket and pass it around the table. Oh, that bread was so good. I have such memories of laughter and love."

Donna just didn't have the time and energy, the finances, or the extra space in her home to host those dinners any more. She missed her parents and now that they were both gone, nothing was the same. She was sad because everyone seemed to be going their separate ways and she felt like she was disconnected from everything and everyone.  The tough skeptic who sat across from me with arms folded across her chest, began to cry.

"Donna," I said. "I don't believe you're addicted to bread. You're addicted to the feeling that the bread gives you! Every time you see a basket filled with bread you eat too much of it because you are trying to fill a void in your life. You miss a family ritual that's obviously a very important part of who you are. Eating all the bread is a temporary fix to replace all those good feelings you had during  your family dinners!"

I knew this was going to go one of two ways. She would either write me off a total crack-pot or sit up and pay attention.

She sat up and paid attention so I went right on talking.

"Why don't you try to get the family together for dinner at your place? Have everyone bring something so the whole burden and expense doesn't rest on you. If you don't have the time to make homemade sauce, buy a few jars of the best tomato sauce you can find instead.  Nobody cares if  you cooked it yourself or not. What really matters is that you are all together eating Sunday pasta, passing the breadbasket around the table, remembering your parents and making some new memories!"

"That's it?" she asked when I indicated our session was over. "No diet plan or list of forbidden foods?"

"Eat what you want," I said. "Your only assignment is to have a family dinner within the next two weeks, call me when you have it all set, and then come back and tell me about it after."

A few days later, Donna called to tell me she had arranged a family dinner at her apartment that Sunday. But now she was in a bit of panic because she had no idea where to put everyone.

"You'll figure it out!" I told her.

Two weeks later, Donna returned to my office with a different attitude. She had Sunday dinner at her home since I'd seen her last. She moved some of her furniture out of the living room and set up a big folding table so everyone could sit and eat together. She really didn't want to use sauce from a jar, so she set time aside the day before to prepare it.  Not only that, but she also had the whole family over again on a Friday night for fried fish and green bean casserole, just like they used to do when her folks were still alive. Everyone had contributed something: salad, appetizers, fresh bread from the bakery, dessert.

"How are you doing with your bread addiction?" I asked.

"I still love my bread. I went out to my favorite restaurant right before our appointment tonight and had two big slices of bread with butter while waiting for the waitress to take my order." she said. "But I ordered a salad instead of an appetizer and I took one more piece of bread to eat with it.  When my dinner arrived, I told the waitress to take the bread basket away."

"That' s great!" I told her. "You've made some very positive changes in a very short time. Keep going and come back to see me in two weeks."

"You're not gonna yell at me about the bread I ate at dinner?" she asked. "What about the butter? Isn't butter bad for me?"

"Donna, you're a big girl. If you want to eat bread with butter, go ahead! Eat it and enjoy!"

She arrived to her next appointment proudly announcing that she had hosted two Sunday dinners, another Friday night fish-fry, and was certain she lost some weight but was afraid to actually step on a scale and possibly "jinx it".

 "I don't understand this," she said. "I'm not really doing anything different but yet my clothes are starting to feel loose! And my sister thinks she is losing weight, too!"

"And your bread addiction?" I asked.

"Well, the other day I ordered a huge salad for dinner at my favorite restaurant. It was loaded with lot of fresh veggies, sliced turkey breast, cubed cheese. It came with soup and two bread sticks. I ate the bread sticks." She paused for a moment. "I never touched the bread in the breadbasket! Oh. My.God! I didn't eat the bread!"

I smiled. "You didn't need the bread, Donna."

Donna continued on as my client for six months. In that time, she lost over thirty pounds. Sunday dinner at her house became a weekly ritual. One Friday night a month, she and her family gathered together for a fish-fry and a movie. She joined a gym for $20 a month. She still ate out at restaurants very often and occasionally enjoyed a piece of bread or two with butter. Sometimes, she didn't reach into the bread basket at all. I never told Donna that she couldn't or shouldn't eat bread. She simply didn''t need to have it any more.

I helped Donna with a lifestyle change. It never included a particular diet plan or list of forbidden foods. We simply identified her cravings and replaced them with food for the soul. In her case, she lost so much in a very short period of time: her parents, her home, her husband's income, the safety net of family and loved ones at all those big dinners. Once she realized she was relying on bread to provide of those loving, secure feelings and replaced the bread with what she really needed,  she was "cured" of her addiction. End result: weight loss!



Are family dinners the answer to your weight issues? I don't know. Maybe. You could be packing on the pounds for different reasons. Stress. Boredom.  Menopause. The typical American Diet!

If you are frustrated, depressed and tired of the diet roller coaster ride, contact me and let's chat.


 One chat could change your life.

And this is my Daily Cyn.......

Friday, October 21, 2011

Lose Weight to Reduce or Eliminate Aches, Pains and Fatigue!



"My back hurts!"
My knees ache!"
My feet are killing me!"
I'm so tired!"

Many people I know suffer from one or all of these aches and pain.  They're tired all the time. They pop Advil or pain pills to mask the pain. They suck down energy drinks or several cups of coffee to keep going.

Does this sound like you?



.
Did you know the majority of your aches,  pains and fatigue can be greatly reduced or even eliminated?**

Want to know how?

LOSE WEIGHT!!!

That's right! Excess weight causes stress, pain and fatigue in your body. Don't believe me?

Take this test:

Find an item that weighs about ten pounds. Carry it with you all day long. Take it everywhere: to school, work, to the grocery store.  Don't put it down, not even for a minute. How do you feel at the end of the day?  I am pretty sure you're tired and your body aches. If you feel this way after just one day, imagine how your body feels carrying an extra ten pounds all the time? What if you're carrying an additional twenty, thirty, or even forty pounds of excess weight?

Do you think your aches, pains, fatigue and other complaints are because of excess weight**?

Could be...........

So what can you do?

First you need to determine whether or not you actually are overweight. If your pants don't fit or you're more comfortable in the larger size, you've probably gained a few pounds. The best tip I can give you is, no matter how tempting to go out and buy the larger size, DON'T! Cut back on what you're eating immediately. If you fail to address your weight gain from the very beginning, it will be that much easier to keep moving up a size for "comfort's sake" and before you know it, you'll be buying all your clothes from the Large Lady section or The Big and Tall Man department. And you'll have no idea how it ever got so out of hand!

What if you are way beyond that point? You've gone up two or three sizes in the past couple of years. Yep, you're overweight and you know it!

What now?

I am not a big fan of Weight Charts. You'll drive yourself crazy trying to fit into a category dictated by National Standards and sometimes that's just not possible. Some folks just look and feel better with a little more or a little less weight. You might be ten pounds overweight (according to the standard weight charts) but still look great and feel great with no complaints in the aches, pains or fatigue department.  It's not about numbers, it's about how you feel! For the rest of you, I suggest you get an idea what you should weigh and how much excess weight you are carrying.

Here's a chart to determine this. Remember, this is only a guide but your ideal weight should fall somewhere in line with this chart (give or take a few pounds) based on your height and your build (small, medium, or large frame).

Weight/Height Chart

Once you have an idea of what you should weigh, step on a scale. How far off are you? Twenty pounds? Thirty? Forty? More? Whatever it is, you need to lose it. Forget crash diets, pills and potions. They never work, at least not long-term. You want to take off the pounds and keep them off- FOREVER!

The best way permanently take off weight is to eat a diet rich in lean protein, whole grains, and lots of fresh fruit and vegetables. Eliminate most sugary treats and fatty snacks and stop eating at fast food restaurants. Avoid packaged, processed foods. I promise, the weight will come off. You will not drop ten pounds in a week but losing a pound or two in seven days is reasonable and healthy.

Here's a rule when it comes to weight loss:

OUTPUT MUST BE GREATER THAN INPUT!

This means, your level of activity must be more than what you are eating. That's right--exercise! You MUST MOVE YOUR BODY!

I never promote or suggest calorie counting, but if you want to lose weight, you must reduce the amount of food you eat.  You shouldn't have to carry a pocket calorie counter for the rest of your life to remain a healthy size. That's just crazy. You are much smarter than you realize when it comes how much you should or shouldn't be eating.  An Egg McMuffin and a hot chocolate with whipped cream for breakfast, a bacon double cheese burger, fries and milk shake at lunch, and fried chicken with mashed potatoes and gravy at dinner is too much food! You will never lose weight eating that way. However, it's a good idea to determine how many calories you actually need to function and the number of calories you will need to reduce daily if you want to lose those extra pounds. Here's a formula:

How Many Calories Do I Need a Day?

For example, my body requires 1500 calories a day. If I want to lose a pound or two a week, I need to reduce that number daily by 500 calories. That's really not difficult, especially if my daily diet is wholesome, healthy and I am mindful of what I am eating and drinking. I don't have to count calories. I just need to cut back on a few things: the cheese on my eggs at breakfast, the bottle of soda with my lunch, the second glass of wine with dinner, that extra slice of garlic bread, cookies with my evening tea...... That's about 500 calories right there!
See how easy it is?

Losing weight really isn't all that difficult! It's not rocket science, folks.

When you get rid of that excess weight not only will you look better-- your aches, pains and fatigue might just disappear!

Do you need a little help or a push in the right direction?  Let's schedule an appointment to chat about your lifestyle and your goals. Together we will come up with a personal plan that works for YOU!  I am at your service.

And this is my Daily Cyn.......

**Disclaimer: This is NOT medical advice. I am not a physician nor do I claim to have the cure for pain. Sports injuries, accidents, carrying children, standing all day at work, lifting heavy items on the job, years of squeezing your feet into cheap, ill-fitting shoes--these can all cause great pain. Stress or depression can
make you feel tired all the time. These are legitimate reasons for aches, pains and fatigue.  If you are under a doctor's care for any of these complaints or ailments,  please do not discontinue your prescribed method of treatment.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Setting Boundaries, Saying No, and Dealing with the Drama

Do you have trouble saying no or being upfront and honest for fear of hurting or insulting others?  Sometimes, I do. I am usually a friendly, sensitive, caring person, which is good, but sometimes it's bad. Why is it bad? There are times I put the feelings, opinions, and values of others before my own. I don''t want to ever hurt any body or give them a reason to think I am selfish.  It might be easier to keep silent about it and avoid making waves or hurting others, but it only adds to the stress and drama of my life.

The reason I am bringing this up  is because I feel really awful about something that occurred this past weekend.  I blasted two people with my big mouth and now neither of them wants to speak to me ever again. I didn't mean to lash out in such a harsh way, but I did. Blame it on stress, blame on lack of sleep, blame it on concern for a couple of my loved ones, but these two individuals frustrated me until I finally reached my breaking point and exploded.  Couple all this with the fact my dad was rushed to the hospital with chest pain on Saturday right smack in the middle of everything else he's going through. I was on edge, to say the least.  It didn't take much to push me right off the cliff.

The sad part is, this all could have been avoided had I not put their feelings ahead of mine.  My resentment and anger toward them had been brewing for a long, long time. I should have nipped it all in the bud from the very beginning. This means, the first time I realized I was irritated by them or their actions, it was my responsibility to lovingly, but firmly, say something. Because they were adding more stress and drama to my life, I needed them to give me time and space for a little while. In the end, I did get what I wanted, but not quite the way I wanted.

You have to let others know how you feel and what you need.  If there are people adding to the stress in your life rather than helping to alleviate it, you owe it to yourself (and them) to let them know. It's perfectly acceptable to tell your ex-boyfriend to lose your phone number or to stop texting you all hours of the night.  Deleting someone from your Facebook friends' list who keeps sending insulting messages because you're not on-line as often as you used to be does not mean you are heartless or selfish.  You are not a poor excuse for a friend if you decline an invitation for dinner or drinks.  It's okay to let someone know you're just not in the mood for another long, drawn-out conversation about love and relationships. And, just because someone asks for your phone number doesn't mean you have to give it. I gave my number recently to some guy whom I had absolutely no interest in and now he won't stop calling me! What was I thinking? I didn't want to hurt his feelings and say no when he asked. That's crazy! So what if he walked away thinking I am a bitch? I know I'm not a bitch. That's all that really matters. Saying no once in awhile or being totally honest about what you want (or don't want) doesn't make you a bad person.

In fact, people will like and respect you a whole lot more when you're upfront, honest and do choose to say no now and then.










If you don't say no or set some boundaries with people they will misunderstand your intentions and build false hopes concerning you, think it's okay to stalk you on Social Networking sites, suck up all your time, or harass you with constant phone calls and nasty text messages on the first free night you've had in months to go out with your girlfriends. Allowing stuff like this to continue causes resentment and anger to build inside. Mix it all together with extreme stress and when you least expect it, all hell breaks loose. That's what happened to me this past weekend. If you allow it to get that point, the damage will be so bad that you might not be able to repair it.

Speak your mind. Set boundaries, be honest.  Don't say yes to every request or invitation because you feel obligated or you're afraid if you say no, someone is going to be angry or hurt.  They'll get over it. Listen to what your body, mind and spirit are telling you. If you're stressed and agitated, identify the source and eliminate it. Walk away if you have to, even if it's only for a short season. If people do not understand or become insulted because you are taking care of YOU, it's their problem, not yours. Move on.

I am under tremendous stress and my life is crazy now but it's no excuse for the way I acted this weekend. I am ashamed of myself for hurting two people I care about, but I really have no one to blame but myself.  Yes, they are both insensitive and selfish but I allowed my hostility to fester and spread until I had enough and completely annihilated them. This is never a good thing. NEVER!  I might be a Nutritional Consultant and Lifestyle Coach, but I am not perfect. I am sharing my experience with the hope that it will keep you from making the same mistakes.

This all reminds me of an article I wrote over a year ago. It was all about saying no.  Evidently, I am not heeding my own advice lately, so I needed to read it again. Here it is, should you wish to read it, as well.

And this is my Daily Cyn............

Thursday, October 13, 2011

The Best Things in Life


The best things in life aren’t things. --Art Buchwald

And this is my Daily Cyn..............

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

If You Want To Know Where Your Heart Is...............


Here is where my mind keeps wandering today.......

 

My son, who went back to work today after being sick for the past two days...............
 
 
 

My dad.  Chemotherapy is kicking his butt right now :(



Lunch! I'm hungry.....  
 
 
Finding new clients............
 
 
 
Where is your mind wandering today?

Where does it wander most of the time?

Be honest.

That's where your heart is.

I hope it's some place wonderful.........


And this is my Daily Cyn.............

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Super Size Me..............



Remember when a small-sized bag of McDonald's french fries was more than enough? When we were satisfied with a single scoop ice cream cone?  What happened?

Now we have to have the big bag, the super-combo, the jumbo portion, the triple dip, the generous helping,  the economy size.

A family style restauarant?  OH, YEAH! Let's go there. Bigger portions. Who cares if we each order an appetizer that's really meant to be shared by four people? And they don't skimp on the drinks there, either. Free refills! We walk out of that restaurant feeling so full. We think we are content but we can hardly walk, talk, breathe, or keep our eyes opened. The whole rest of the night is total waste because all we want to do now is sleep.  So what? At least we got our hard-earned money's worth. 

Better yet, let's go to the Buffet!  All the crab legs, fried chicken and mashed potatoes we can eat! And we can have three or four different desserts instead of just one!

Go out dancing now? After dinner? Forget it! We can't move!

And we keep getting bigger and bigger and don't understand why.............

Big companies spend big money on advertising. Advertising that tells us we need to eat this way!

We are duped into believing a little is never enough! That we need more! It's sensible or more economical to buy the bigger size!

Maybe when it comes to laundry detergent or toilet paper. But not when it comes to food! The more we have, the more we're gonna eat!

Why go with the regular size when we can Biggie Size it? Only a few cents more. That makes sense, doesn't it? Yes...... if we're planning to share that Biggie Size sack of fries with two or three other people! Yeah, sure! Like that's gonna happen!

The commercial says we can't just eat one potato chip, we need to eat whole bag. So we buy and eat biggest bag of chips we can find!

But we don't need it. We really don't........... They just need us to think we do!

That way we keep them in business. And we keep the multi-billion dollar diet industry in business, too.

One hand washes the other...........

It's a ploy to make us fat and keep us fat. So everyone is happy, except.....US! 

Don't fall for it! Say no!

Everything is okay.....in moderation. Just keep it small. Keep it simple. 

Less is more............

And this is my Daily Cyn............

Monday, October 10, 2011

He's Just Not That Into You!!



"If he's not moving hell or high water to get to you, if he doesn't call to let you know not to wait for him because he can't make it, if he's not banging your door down the next day to make it up to you because he didn't or couldn't show up the night before- DO NOT MAKE EXCUSES FOR HIM! Unless he's dead, in a coma, bleeding out, or all his bones are broken -HE'S JUST NOT THAT INTO YOU!!!" -Cynthia
 
I want to share a little personal story with you for two reasons:
 
1. I need to vent because I am a little pissed off  (at myself)
2. I KNOW I am not the only one guilty of making excuses for other people--especially when it comes to men.
 
Girls--this is for you. Guys--don't stop reading. You might learn something.............
 
This past weekend, I got stood up! 
 
Never, in all my years of dating has that ever happened to me. It wasn't a blind date or anything like that. It was an opportunity, an extending of the proverbial olive branch, an attempt to give someone I love and who claims to love me another chance............
 
Let me explain......
 
There's this guy who says he loves me. He continuously sends text messages affirming his love for me. He misses me. He wants me back. He tells me he's changed and I owe it to US to give him another chance! Now mind you, he knows where I live. He's been to my house hundreds of times. Not once, since we broke up,  has he shown up at my door asking to see me. I haven't received any love notes or cards in the mail. No deliveries from the local florist. All the different occasions when he knew I was going to be at such and such a place at such and such a time (we have the same friends), he's never shown up. Not that I am looking for all that. I'm just sayin'.....! He's never called to hear my voice. He just keeps sending me text messages.
 
Are you getting the picture?
 
Last Tuesday, he made a little extra effort and asked if I would consider meeting him for a drink.  I texted back that I really didn't have much free time. This is the truth. I don't have much time. However,  if he really wanted to see me, he could "come down to the comedy club on Saturday night around 9:30 because that's where I'll be".  
 
I was meeting friends down there--my friends. Friends who don't know the details of our relationship. I thought it might be nice if we could all have a drink or two in a casual setting, share a few laughs, some conversation, and then go home. I figured this was safe spot to meet. We certainly wouldn't argue in a public place.  I had arranged for my friends to pick me up and drive me home so there would be no temptation to 'stop at his place' on the way home.   It would be like a real date. We never really actually dated. We started hanging out in a bar and it kind of evolved into a committed relationship. There was no chasing or courting or winning my affection.  That was a MISTAKE I will never make again!
 
I thought he would jump at the opportunity to spend some time with me. Why? Because he claims to love and miss me so much! He has not seen or actually spoken to me in almost five months! The tickets to the show were free with a two drink minimum. So for the low, low price of around twelve bucks, he could have a nice evening out with me.  I am a modern gal.  I don't need a man to pay for my drinks, especially when I know he doesn't have much money. Not a bad deal, huh?

He rattled off a list of excuses:
 
1. he would feel stupid showing up there in front of my friends
2. he wanted to be alone so we could "talk" (in other words: let's get drunk and have sex)
3. he had transportation problems

Honestly, I think he expected me to change my plans to accomodate him on my first night off in several months. I wasn't about to do that!  I'm not that foolish.
 
I questioned his transportation issue.
 
"If you have no car, how were you planning to meet me for a drink this week?"
 
He said if he had to, he would walk.
 
"If you really want to see me, meet me around 9:30 on Saturday night." 
 
 He said he would try.
 
TRY? Either you will or you won't. There is no try.
 
That's how I left it with him. I never heard another word until Saturday around 7PM.
 
Another text message and more excuses............
 
He was uncomfortable with the idea of just showing up. He had no car. He was waiting for a family member to come home so he could borrow that car.  He was trying to make it happen. I responded with a simple "OKAY".   I went on to the club with my friends and  just in case,  left word at the front desk that another guest might be arriving late. I wasn't holding my breath, though. I knew he wasn't going to show. I knew because he has disappointed me several times before. There's a pattern. And each time, I made excuses for him. It was time to put the love he claimed to have for me to the test, once and for all.
 
He never did show up. He didn't even bother to text me to let me know he wasn't showing up. Trust me, I didn't wait for him, either. I didn't sit there checking my phone every five seconds. I purposely sat with my back to door so I couldn't see whether he arrived or not. I didn't continuously gaze around the room just in case he couldn't get to our table and was sitting someplace else until the show ended. I enjoyed the company of good friends and laughed until my sides hurt. I had a great night.
 
I eventually did receive a text message as I was climbing into bed later around 2AM.  "Sorry I missed the opportunity to see you."  I never responded. This guy is no fool. He knows he blew it big time. There's no getting into my good graces now. The sad part is--he doesn't care.
 
Perhaps I am a romantic dreamer, but I think if you love someone, you will move heaven and hell to make it happen. Who cares if you feel stupid?  I always do stupid things when I am in love because I not thinking about myself--I am thinking about the other person!
 
This guy had five days to plan, beg, borrow or steal a car to come and meet me. Instead, he waited until the last minute and couldn't make arrangements. No phone call? No text to let me know he couldn't make it?  "I'm so sorry, baby, I can't get there but I will make it up to you tomorrow or the next day." That might have worked. Things happen. Cars break down. People won't lend you their car because they have plans. I get it. I am not that heartless. How about taking the train or a cab? Hey! Where's there's a will, there's a way. I took two different trains and the subway just to spend one weekend a month with a guy I cared about a few years ago. My high school sweetheart used to walk five miles to my house to spend time with me. When some one is important, you make it happen. And if you can't for whatever reason, you let them know. And you make it up to them. ALWAYS. If your guy or girl or even your best friend is NOT doing this is for you, perhaps it's time to re-evaluate the relationship.
 
The point of my story is this- Don't make excuses for people! The old me would have thought of a hundred different reasons why this guy didn't show. When I love someone and they let me down, it's easier to make excuses for them. Why? Because it makes me feel like less of an idiot.  And, it's a whole lot easier to lie to myself than it is to face the truth:  HE'S JUST NOT THAT INTO ME!
 
I am not hurt. I am relieved. I know now, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that it's time to let go of any hopes that one day he and I would find a way to work this thing out. He let me know exactly where his heart is and it certainly isn't with me.  I am a bit angry with myself for letting it drag on this long. That's what happens when you love someone.  You don't want to give up. You want to keep believing the best.
 
So...... you keep making excuses!
 
STOP!!!
 
Put love to the test.  The person who claims to love you might shout it from the roof-tops but if they aren't willing to walk through heaven and hell for you, they don't love you. And if you are not willing to do the same for them, it's time for a reality check. You are wasting your time. Let go and move on!  Forgive. Forgive them and forgive yourself.   And don't settle until you get the love you want!
 
Carrie Bradshaw (Sex and The City) said it best:
 
"I'm looking for love. Real love. Ridiculous, inconvenient, consuming, can't-live-without-each-other love!"
 
That's what I want and I am not about to make any excuses!
 
And this is my Daily Cyn.......

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Acne at My Age?


I am quickly approaching the big FIVE-O! I really don't mind joining the ranks of other Quinquagenarians as long as I don't look my age. This is why taking good care of my skin is essential.  Healthy, nourishing food, plenty of water and a daily skin care routine with pure and natural products is my formula for young, healthy-looking skin.



My skin still looks pretty darn good but lately I am breaking out with pimples! This was never an issue when I was younger. Blame it on menopause and all my hormones running amok.  My wacky hormones are causing my sebaceous glands to produce excess oil. Bacteria feed on the oil and multiply. My pores are getting clogged with all that bacteria.  A war is going on beneath my skin as white blood cells rush in to attack the invading bacteria. The end result: an eruption of pimples!

What do I do now?

There are all kinds of acne treatments available but I don't want to use expensive creams or potions that might cause irritation, flakiness, or additional dryness. I began to research alternatives and stumbled upon acne light treatment.  Blue LED light has been proven to kill acne-causing bacteria, clear up existing blemishes, and prevent further break-outs. This sounds great, but I don't have the funds or the time for frequent trips to a dermatologist for this kind of treatment.

I found a wonderful company that provides hand-held light therapy treatment devices I can use at home: Tanda Skincare. Check out their website for all their acne treatments and anti-aging skin care products.

And this is my Daily Cyn............