Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Mastering the Stairs


Yesterday, we had a little BBQ at the house. It was the most beautiful day. The sun was shining, the weather was warm. We set up the kiddie pool on the deck for my little niece, Gabriella, and filled it with water. She sat in it splashing and laughing for a good portion of the afternoon.  Eventually, the air grew cool and we emptied the pool and that was that. Gabriella didn't really mind. There were plenty of other things for her to do. She spent the rest of the day exploring the yard.

Gabriella is two years old and is enjoying her independence. She is able to walk about and because our yard is completely fenced in and very safe, she has the freedom to push her little doll stroller all over the lawn. We have a large deck with five steps leading out on to the lawn. There is no other way. One must use the stairs to enjoy the lush, green grass and the pretty flower gardens below.

Gabriella is a great communicater. She talks in small sentences but the majority of her requests are made by facial expressions and hand gestures. Usually, she just stands on the deck near the stairs, looks at me, waves her little hand and gently says "Ti-Ti". I am Ti-Ti and I know this is Gabriella's way of telling me to take her hand and lead her down the stairs. Over and over we did this. She just loved walking up and down those steps, her little hand in mine.

Eventually, my niece grew more and more secure. She decided that she no longer needed to hold my hand. She was going to attempt it alone. She held on to the railing and carefully walked down each step. Then she turned around and walked back up them again. I stood watch, heartily applauding each time she did this. She was so proud of herself.

And then.......she lost her footing and fell. 

 I rescued her and held her in my arms as she cried. She had scrapped her little hand and I kissed it for her and told her that was enough stairs for the day. She seemed to be agreeable to this and sat on my lap at the table for a long time, happily enjoying cookies and milk. After awhile, she climbed off my lap and played with her toys on the deck. Then, before I knew it, there she was, attempting to master those stairs again. 

I offered my hand to help her, but she refused. She wanted to hold onto the railing and do it herself.  Again, I stood there watching her, ready to catch her if she fell.  Each time she did this, she became more confident and decided she wanted to walk up and down the middle of the stairs without holding onto to anything.  

My precious little niece has been walking for less than a year. She is still not completely stable on her feet. She loses her balance and falls every once in awhile because she is not an experience walker. Sometimes, she looks like a drunken sailor. This is part of being a child. Children should be free to explore and overcome obstacles like stairs, but under careful watch and supervision of an older person. I did not feel confident in her ability to walk up and down my deck steps without holding on to something. I was afraid she would fall again and perhaps suffer more than a tiny scrape on her hand the next time. So I firmly told her, unless she clutched my hand or the railing- NO MORE STAIRS.

She screamed and cried. I made a little blockade out of chaise lounges and tables so she no longer access to the steps. This just added to her frustration as she tried to manuever over, under and around. After several unsucessful attempts, she threw herself down on the deck and threw a full-blown temper tantrum.  I ignored her. Eventually, she wore herself out and we went inside for the rest of the evening.

Later on, as I sat reflecting on the beautiful day spent with people I love, I thought of Gabriella.  I was amazed at her drive and her persistence. She had it in her mind that she was going to master those stairs, no matter what. The fact that she had fallen, did not frighten her in the least. Yes, it stopped her for a short time but the desire to explore the world beyond the steps was stronger than the little bit of pain she might have to experience trying to get there. In her little two-year old mind, she knew she would need to become an expert at walking up and down steps, by herself. This is the only way she can truly be free. If she falls a few times, so what? It will be worth it.

I am not saying that we should allow small children to run all over without supervision. It is our job to stear them away from danger. It's quite possible that another child, after hurting themselves, would have given up and been completely terrified to attempt the stairs again for a very long time. But not Gabriella!  She has a spirit of adventure and she wants to go places and do things. A little slip down the steps and a scrape on her hand is not about to stop her from getting where she wants to go.

I fell in love with this child all over again yesterday. I was amazed at her determination. I learned a lesson:

We all must master the stairs.

Every single person learns to walk up and down a flight of stairs as a child. It is a process of trial and error. First they climb a few steps, firmly clutching the hand of a more experienced master.  Later on, they try it alone while holding on to some kind of railing or banister. Over time they conquer the stairs completely unassisted. Some children fall. Some don't.  Most children never give up because the desire for independence and growth is stronger than the fear of falling. Confidence begins to build. Belief in their own stabilty and ability takes over. Eventually, they are able to run up and down a flight of stairs, without thinking, without fear, and without falling.  

Such is life. Before us is flight of stairs we must learn to master.  It's the only way to achieve what is above, below and beyond. 

The staircase leads to a better life,  hopes, dreams, the promise of joy, happiness, peace and freedom.

Don't give up. Don't let any one stop you. Trust those who are willing to extend a hand to help you until you know you can do it alone. Never allow anyone to hold on for too long, however. You must get the point where you let go and trust in your own ability. The desire to move ahead must be stronger than the fear of staying in the same place. If you fall or trip up and down a few steps, so what? Brush yourself and try again and keep going until you master the stairs......

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

Monday, May 30, 2011

With Honor, With Love, With Gratitude



 We remember the brave men and women who have served and continue to serve and protect our country, our freedom and the freedom of others.













God Bless You........



God Bless America!




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

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Forget Weight Loss - How to Take Those Excess Pounds and Set Them Free!

Are you sick and tired of diets and the up-a-size, down-a-size, skinny jeans, fat jeans, feel good, feel bad, continuous roller coaster of emotions? It's frustrating, aggravating, confusing and so unhealthy for your body, mind and spirit.

I really dislike the term: Weight Loss. Loss signifies something has been misplaced, has disappeared or it's been take away and you miss it. You want to find it again. Or you hope it will find you!

I certainly don't want all ugly excess pounds to find me. I want to get rid of them FOREVER. Don't you?



 I am introducing a whole new way of looking at Weight Management. I call it my WEIGHT RELEASE PROGRAM.


That being said, would you like to release weight forever? 

Of course you do! 


First of all you need to know:

I don't have any quick-fix miracle pills, potions or powders to sell. I can't recommend any special combinations of foods to make you burn fat faster. All those books, DVDs and diet plans you've spend a small fortune on over the years--they are useless. Diet is big business in our country. We should be a nation of thin, healthy people but instead- we are still fat!

Why is this? Because- plain and simple-  it is a trick!

The diet and weight loss industry wants us to stay fat. If we resolve our issues with weight and keep it off forever, guess what happens? 

No one makes any money!

Here's How to Release Weight Once and For All:

1. Eat REAL food everyday:

Forget low-fat, low-carb, sugar-free, tasteless, unsatisfying foods and diet plans. Eat REAL food! Lean protein, whole grains, lots of fresh vegetables, fresh fruit and healthy, natural fats like those found in fish, olive oil, avocados, and nuts and seeds should be the FOUNDATION of your diet every single day- FOREVER! Avoid pre-packaged processed foods as much as possible. If you eat meat, make it a condiment rather than the main focus of your meal. Consider eliminating meat from your diet altogether or incorporate several meatless meals into your menu every week.  If you eat like this every day- when special occasions, holidays and vacation-time rolls around you can enjoy a piece of pie, lasagna, french fries, an ice cream sundae or whatever else you want and never worry about gaining weight.

2. Exercise:

There is no way around it. To release weight, you must keep moving. Your daily activity MUST be more than the amount of calories you eat.  Walk, dance, join a gym, practice yoga, do aerobics, have sex, play sports, walk up a flight of stairs several times a day. Do anything to keep your body moving and to build and retain muscle. Muscle burns fat! Muscle takes up less room than fat. Muscle looks better than fat and if you are firm and fit, your scale might say one thing but you can wear the smaller dress size!

3. Rest:

Sleep. Chill. Allow yourself some 'down-time'. Stress is the number one cause of weight-gain.  We are so stressed and our bodies keep producing more and more adrenaline to help us keep up the pace. We are exhausted and we just keep eating. Not to mention, because we are always so stressed and on-the-go, we make poor food choices. Fast food and convenience meals become the staples of our existence. We are always eating on the run and never take time to actually sit down and enjoy a meal.  Slow down. Eat dinner at the table, with candles, soft music, and the company of the people you care about.  Make sleep a priority. Turn off the TV and GO TO BED!

4.  Feed your heart and soul:

The ways you nourish your heart and soul are just as important as what you feed your body. Do you have a spiritual practice? Do you pray, meditate, take time to clear your mind, or think about your dreams and goals? What kind of books do you read? Do you ever read for fun, pleasure of self-improvement?  Are a TV addict, a news junkie? When was the last time you watched something that truly enriched your life, made you think, act, or change? Treat your body, heart and soul like they are precious- because they are! Only allow good, nourishing things to enter and quickly dump all the bad things that ovewhelm you every day.



5. Find a Support System:

Join a group dedicated to health and wellness, get your friends together and enourage each other, hire a consultant, health or life coach to help you overcome any obstacles you might be facing. Are you are emotional eater? Do you pig out when you are stressed, tired, upset, broken-hearted or you look to food as your source of comfort? You need to find out why and learn how replace food with what you are really craving.  Surround yourself with active, positive people who share the similar values. Walk away from emotional vampires- the ones who suck the life out of you and do nothing but discourage you.




6.  Love Yourself:

Focus on your good qualities. Speak kindly and lovingly to yourself. Negative self-talk is the hardest thing to overcome. We are experts at putting ourselves down, pointing out our faults, and sabotaging our own efforts. Start treating yourself the way you treat others. Respectfully. How do you treat your children? You are kind, loving, accepting, forgiving. You watch how you and others speak in front of them, you protect them from harm, you build them up and encourage them. Don't you deserve to give yourself the same consideration? Don't you deserve the same treatment from others? Demand it! If you don't love and respect yourself  or accept yourself as you are, that perfect dress size will mean nothing.  Guess what will happen? You will eventually gain all your weight back and more! When you truly love yourself, you will overcome obstacles, your attitudes will change and all your relationships, including your relationship with food, will change.

You will start living the life you have always dreamed of.

Do you want to learn more about my Weight Release Program?


You can chat with me anytime. I am at your service: to answer questions, offer support, and to be your partner in success.  Visit my website to find out more about me and what I do:

True Metamorphosis

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

Saturday, May 28, 2011

YOU CAN'T HIDE LOVE



You can't hide love.

So......DON'T!



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

Friday, May 27, 2011

Time....



“An inch of time is an inch of gold, but you can't buy that inch of time with an inch of gold” ~ Chinese Proverbs

Time.......

That familar line from the song Fly Like An Eagle goes like this:

"Time keeps on slippin' slippin' slippin' into the future."



The Rolling Stones sang about time, too.:

 "Time is on my side, yes it is."

Here's are two truths about time:

Time marches on....it keeps moving, slipping into the future.....

Time is never really on our side.......






Time is an unpredictable, ever-changing, unstoppable force. 
 
One moment, our world is perfect and a second later-- turned completely upside down.  The sands of time keep flowing, moving. There is nothing we can do to stop it or change it.....
 
Time will change us.....but we can't change time.....
 
We cannot hold time in our hands. There is no controlling or owning time. We can't ever reverse time.
 
 
There are all kinds of catchy little phrases about time:
Time is precious.
This is YOUR time.
NOW is the time.
Time waits for no man.
And, when TIME comes to usher us from this world to the next or steals away the ones we love-- the most heartbreaking statement of all:

"I wish I had more time....."
 
So, if time offers no guarantee, no security, no promise......what are we supposed to do?
 
 Savour every single precious moment of time.......
 
Something so precious, so fragile, so un-predictable must be treasured. It must never, ever be wasted. Every single second of time should be treated as if it is your first and your last......
 
Sobering, isn't it?
 


 :


And this is my Daily Cyn.....

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

It's Okay To Cry.....

Ming and her son, Chicken-Boo
This past Monday, my son, David,  had his first real experience with death. His little cat, Ming, died and he was with her at the end.  I could feel his sorrow over the phone. His voice cracked as he went over, in detail, everything that happened. My heart broke for him.

Ming used to be my cat, but when I left my marriage, I left her behind as well. I wanted to take her with me but I thought it would be best for her to remain in the home and the yard that she loved so much. I knew she would be okay without me and would always have the company of her son, a big fat black cat named Chicken-Boo. I couldn't take both cats with me and I couldn't bear to separate them. Ming and Chicken-Boo remained with my ex and he loved and cared for them in my absence. Both cats have been a part of my son's life since he was a little boy. They slept with him in his bed, followed him around the yard, and snuggled beside him on the floor as he watched TV. Chicken-Boo is independent and loves to be out in the yard hunting and exploring. Ming was a sweet, loving, dainty little creature. She thrived on love and affection and many years ago, was instrumental in helping me get over a deep depresssion. She was a gift to me. She simply arrived on my doorstep one day- homeless, starving and pregnant. Caring for Ming and her kittens was the greatest therapy in the world for me at the time. I am eternally grateful to her.

Even though I left her behind, each time I stopped by the house, Ming would come rushing to me, jump into my arms and purr contentedly. In some strange way, I think she understood why I had to leave and why I couldn't take her with me.  She loved me regardless. She truly was an amazing cat.

As I patiently listened to my son share the experience of Ming's death, I shed tears of sorrow for her and for him.  I will miss her greatly but I am thankful she did not suffer. I am also glad David was with her at the end. He sat with her in her favorite spot on the stairs beneath the skylight as the sun poured in and warmed them.  He pet her and spoke lovingly to her as took her last breaths of life. She knew in the end, that she was loved. I am thankful Ming and David shared this experience together.

David sounded so sad as he talked on the phone with me and of course, ever the mommy, I asked him if he was going to be okay. He snorted and said, "Ma, come on! I am a little sad but she was a cat!" I reassured him that it is okay to cry, that it's perfectly acceptable to feel sad, to express his emotions, and to talk about how much he is going to miss her.

 "Don't hold back, son, and don't bury your emotions." I said. " I know Ming was just a cat, but she has been part of your life for years and you will miss her. You will see her when she is not there and you need to give yourself permission to feel sad and to cry about it if you need to."

Yes, I know Ming was only a cat,  but there is a method to my madness.  I am preparing my child for the next great loss......

We are conditioned to believe that crying is a sign of weakness. "Boys Don't Cry." "Big Girls Don't Cry."  There are even songs about keeping it together and not crying.  Years ago, after shedding many tears over my failing, painful marriage, I made a personal vow to never, ever cry again over a man. I built a wall around myself  that was impossible to climb. I would never let anyone close enough to hurt me or make me cry.  This was difficult to do, because I happen to be, by nature, a big boo-hooer. In order to protect myself, I remained alone for many years.  It took a long time and a lot of therapy to break the stone that encased my heart.  

It's okay to cry. Tears are cleansing. Tears come from the heart when it overflows with emotion.  Tears are healing. They bind people together like nothing else can. Have you ever had some cry with you? Something magical happens. You are connected for that moment. Sometimes forever after.  When there are no words, crying is an expression of love and compassion. It separates us from all the other animals. Only humans have the ability to cry and shed tears.

I happen to think people are beautiful when they cry......

We cry for so many different reasons: pain, loss, heart ache, death, fear, frustration, and even joy. Never deny yourself a good cry.  Never discourage another person from crying, no matter how trivial the reason. Crying means our hearts are open, to give and to receive.

Crying is dying to self- a shedding of pride. When we cry we are at our most vulnerable.  When we cry, not only do we express how very human we are-- we are an expression of God. 

To my son: As you journey through life with all its twists and turns; keep your heart open. I cannot shelter you from pain, death and loss. These things are inevitable. In your life you will experience great joy and great sorrow.  Never be afraid, ashamed, or too proud to cry.

To Ming: thank you for being a gentle, loving little creature who brought such joy to our lives. You helped me to heal.  You were a wonderful, faithful companion to my son.  You will be missed.

And this is my Daily Cyn.....

Monday, May 23, 2011

Touching but Separate.......


"Most people are on the world, not in it--have no conscious sympathy or relationship to anything about them--undiffused, separate, and rigidly alone like marbles of polished stone, touching but separate."

-John Muir

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

Sunday, May 22, 2011

The Lotus Blossom


 I am the being, who in spite of my miry surroundings, have remained untouched and stood up to be the exemplar of beauty and purity.


Ahhh.....the lotus. A beautiful flower, yes, but there is a deep and powerful meaning behind this gorgeous and fragrant blossom.

The Lotus as a symbol is used throughout history and in many cultures.  The Buddhist teaching explains that although the lotus blooms in mud and its roots grow in mud, the flower blossoms above. The stem of the flower projects upwards and the sweet scented flower blooms in the sunlight. This theory is used to explain the pathway of purification of the soul. The materialistic human mind is compared with the root that grows in mud while the pathway that the stem follows is connected with the progression of the soul through experience and finally it receives sunlight like the flower, i.e. the soul is enlightened.


Lotus Necklace

I have this beautiful lotus pendant that I wear very often.  It is so lovely.  Most of the time I receive compliments on it. There are also occasions when I am actually reprimanded for wearing it or frowned upon and quickly dismissed as 'one of them'. Those who understand the meaning of the lotus admire it.  Others see it as a symbol of something wrong or evil, i.e. I am involved in some kind of New Age Buddhist practice that is a long way off from my traditional Christian roots.

I see beauty and truth in everything. I look for God in everything. I believe He leaves messages, clues and proof of His existence and love for me. I just have to be willing to open my eyes and my ears.  I wasn't always this way. It took some soul searching and a bit of  de-programming to be this way. I am, after all, the daughter of an Assembly of God minister. In my own quest for truth and God, I studied Christianity, Hinduism, and Buddhism extensively. While my foundation is Christian and I believe in God, it is impossible for me to adhere to a list of rules and regulations or deny or reject another person's faith or truth just because it is different from mine. If others believe I am wrong for this, so be it.

I don't think God really cares about religion or which church, temple or mosque you attend.  It makes no difference if you are sitting in church every Sunday morning or setting aside private time to pray, meditate or to reflect on His marvelous love for you and for mankind.  Even if you are not sure of God's existence, taking a moment to admire the trees, the flowers in bloom, or a beautiful sunny day with gratitude is a spiritual act.


When anything is done in faith, love and appreciation, I believe it is a spiritual form of worship- a gift offered to something or someone greater than who we are.









I believe what truly matters is the heart of a person. In my heart, I want to be a lotus:  a gorgeous fragrant flower in the midst of a smelly, murky mire of mud. I want my fragrance to be so strong and so beautiful that others cannot help but be drawn to it. I do not want them to be attracted to me, but to the force that gives me the strength and the power to bloom in such undesirable surroundings.


That can't be wrong.......








The lotus is a symbol of mankind. We live in a smelly, messy, chaotic world. It is said the smellier the pond, the better the lotus. What an analogy for human life.  As the lotus flower emerges pristine and beautiful from the muck of the pond, so human potential and true self emerges. Some call this enlightenment. I think of enlightenment as the complete surrender of SELF : the "I am, I feel, I want, I deserve" attitude. This is when God is finally able to flow in us and through us.

As far as I am concerned, if one cannot see God in the lotus flower or a message in it, they are on the wrong path and do not know God at all.

My prayer is that you find God for yourself--not man's interpretation of God, but who God is in you and through you.

 Elizabeth Gilbert (Eat Pray Love) discovered the truth when she took her her own personal journey in search for God. This is what she learned:

"God dwells in me, as me."
.
Rise up from the mud and be beautiful.  Be fragrant. Be different.  Be a symbol of purity and peace in a confused and hectic world.

Be a lotus blossom......

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

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Website is up and ready!


It's finally ready! Took a few days but here it is: my new website.
Check it out here and let me know what you think!

Metamorphosis Website

I will be adding and updating regularly as I go along. And I will still be doing my daily blogs right here, as well.

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

Friday, May 20, 2011

How to Condition the Circumstances of Your Day



“To get up each morning with the resolve to be happy... is to set our own conditions to the events of each day. To do this is to condition circumstances instead of being conditioned by them.” - Ralph Waldo Trine


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

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

You Get to Choose......

How you feel, is more important than anything else.
 And this is something you get to choose, moment by moment......

This quote jumped out at me this morning.  It was posted on my friend, Bill's Facebook profile. He s always posts thought-provoking stuff, and today is no different.

It's all about me and how I feel...... YUP!

I want to feel good. I want to feel happy.  I want to feel satisfied.  I want to feel secure.  I want to feel loved.

Well.....The all about me part:  that sounds kind of selfish.....

But.....I do want to feel those things, 24/7.

Don't you?

So....why don't I?

Why don't you?

I have a very bad habit.  I make other people and other things responsible for how I feel !

If I feel a certain way (good or bad) it's his fault, her fault....

I blame it on the weather, lack of funds, boredom- anything and everything other than ME!

When I argue with my guy, I am often guilty of saying, " You make me feel............"

Here are the facts. Nothing and no one can make you feel anything.  It's up to you, baby! You get to choose how you feel, moment by moment.

Know yourself.
Love yourself.
Take care of yourself.

This way, you will always be in control.  Insults, upsets, accusations can't touch you. They can't hurt you or make you feel anything other than what you already believe is true about yourself.  

If you don't know who you are, don't love yourself or fail to take care of yourself- you are open to all kinds of suggestions and feelings.

Bad feelings.


Today, my situation is uncertain. But I choose to feel hopeful.

Today, it's raining. It's overcast, chilly and gray. I choose to feel sunny and bright,.

Today, life is chaotic.  I choose to feel peaceful.

Today, I am not sure who loves me.  I choose to feel loved.

Knowing I get to choose.....makes me feel so much better.

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

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

These Words Could Change Your Life


Always on a mission to be inspired and to inspire, I am sharing something wonderful I read today in Elephant Journal.

Sometimes, our lives are so complicated because we make them complicated.

These words could and should change your life.

27 Words that Might Change Your Life

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

Monday, May 16, 2011

The Joy Formula


When I was a little girl, there was a song we used to sing at church. It went something like this:

Song Leader: I've got the joy, joy, joy, joy down in my heart
Congregation: Where?
Song Leader: Down in my heart
Congregation: Where?
Song Leader: Down in my heart
Everyone: I've got the joy, joy, joy, joy down in my heart. Down in my heart to stay!!

This silly song was so much fun to sing and so effective that after several loud repititions even the most uptight Scrooge or Grinch sitting in the church pews could not help but crack a smile. When the song was finally over, everyone was cheering and laughing . 

Troubles and cares were forgotten and replaced with good feelings. I was always amazed at how such a child-like song could help people feel better.  The act of singing caused a supernatural act of believing, which eventually changed attitudes.  Sorrow, anger, fear and other negative emotions were replaced with joy. Something changed in their spirits.

Hmmmm... Very interesting.....

Sometimes, you have to convince your spirit to be happy, despite how you actually feel.  This can be accomplished by singing, by dancing, by doing something that brings you pleasure.  You need to distract your mind from the sad or depressing thoughts that occupy it and focus on something else.

I would never dare suggest that you just need to sing a simple, silly song to miraculously cure your depressing, negative, sad emotions.  That would be awfully juvenile of me.  Our burdens, our cares, our troubles run so much deeper than that and for most people it's going to take a whole lot more than a funny chorus to find and feel joy.

On that note, I read a great article in Elephant Journal this morning about joy.

I would like to share it with you.

The Joy Formula

I hope you enJOY it as much as I did.

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

Sunday, May 15, 2011

101 Ways to Live Your Live to the Fullest


Forget the Sunday paper. It's mostly bad news anyway.
Here is the Perfect Sunday Morning Reading.

 Enjoy.............

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

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Shaken.....Not Stirred


"Vodka Martini. Shaken. Not Stirred" - James Bond


Back when I was a drinking gal, my absolute favorite libation was a Grey Goose Dirty Martini. For those of you who don't know,  it is simply chilled vodka combined with some salty brine from a jar of olives. There is certain technique to preparing this drink and if it's not done perfectly, it can taste pretty awful.


Over the years I have ordered this drink in many places- glamorous night clubs, fancy restaurants, and friendly little neighborhood bars. Most of the time this drink was served to me stirred, not shaken.

A real martini (gin and vermouth) is usually stirred. A vodka martini should be shaken.  The vodka is mixed with ice in a shaker to chill it completely.  A stirred vodka martini tastes like lighter fluid.  A dirty vodka martini absolutely must be shaken.  If not, all that olive juice simply settles to the bottom of the glass, so now you have lighter fluid with a hint of salt. It might take a bit more time and effort, but when a dirty vodka martini is shaken, not stirred, it's perfect. Eventually I learned to just insist it be made the way I wanted it.

This is not going to be a blog about drinking. I have not had a dirty martini in a few years. I love the drink but the drink does not love me.  I am a much better person without it.  I have decided to abstain because one dirty martini leads to two, two leads to three and so on.  Then I do stupid things.  It's a personal choice, but it took a bit of shaking to get me to that point.

I've been reflecting on the phrase "shaken, not stirred" all week--not in relation to drinking but how applies to life. My life. Your life.

Lately my life has been pretty tumultuous. I have experienced one disappointment after the next and sadly, some real tragedies. I have shared some things with you-- others things I choose to keep private.

 Let's just say, "there's been a whole lotta shakin' goin' on"!

For the past ten years, my life has been pretty peaceful. I have experienced ordinary ups and downs mixed with some occasional drama- usually caused by yours truly.  But the last year or two, I feel as if I am living in a snow globe.  Some giant pair of hands is constantly shaking it, just for fun.  Everything is in disarray, everything is coming unglued. Even the things I thought were firmly bolted down and secure are being tossed about. I am simply hanging on for dear life.


There is something to be said for this shaking. There are things I need to pay attention to, things I have been avoiding or sweeping under the carpet for the longest time. I have been coasting through life for awhile now, with nothing more than a sporadic stirring or two.  Stirring temporarily mixes things up, but eventually it all settles down again. Then you have to keep stirring and stirring but you never quite get it exactly the way you want it.

That's when you gotta start shakin' it a bit..........



When you want to wake someone from a deep sleep you can whisper and gently stir them all you want. Their eyes might open for a moment or two but then they will fall right back to sleep. You have to shake them awake: once, twice, sometimes three times. What happens when you do this to a sleeping person? At first, they are angry or  nasty. They resist and fight. But you got what you wanted. They are now awake and paying attention.

Shaking gets your attention.  It wakes you up and you have to do something.  You have no choice. 

Shaking is terrifying.  The solid ground you once stood upon is now sinking sand.  You are forced to move and move quickly.

Shaking makes every piece of you come apart.

Shaking forces you to change because everything around you is changing......

I have finally come to point where I no longer fear the shaking- I just hold on and let it happen. Stirring made me complacent and tasteless. It allowed me to remain in a twilight state, with my eyes half-opened. Like an unchilled drink with just a hint of salt, I was less than satisfying.  I was not satisfied.  I needed to be shaken, not stirred.

Don't fear the shaking. Just hold on. Someone or something is trying to get your attention. When the shaking is finally over, you will be a perfectly blended,  glorious combination of something wonderful.

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

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

A Vitamin D Dilemma


I am amazed at the amount of people being diagnosed with Vitamin D deficiencies. Almost everyone I talk to lately has been told by a doctor or health professional they are lacking in this nutrient and need to take Vitamin D supplements.

Make no mistake about it: Vitamin D is absolutely essential. We need it to build strong bones and teeth. It helps keep our weight down, elevates our mood, and keeps cancer at bay. In recent research, Vitamin D has been shown to reduce the possibility of ovarian, breast, colon, and prostate cancer.

Scientists have proved that Vitamin D protects healthy cells and prevents the growth of cancerous cells.

Vitamin D sounds pretty essential to me........and we are deficient in it?

 Why?  And what does deficiency actually mean?

deficiency - lack: the state of needing something that is absent or unavailable.

Vitamin D is absent or unavailable? REALLY?!

First.... a little history lesson:

In the 1930s, a vitamin D deficiency disease called rickets was a major public health problem in the United States so a milk fortification program was implemented nearly eliminating this disorder. Currently, about 98% of the milk supply in the US is fortified with 400 International Units (IU) of vitamin D per quart. So.....if you drink milk every day, you're getting Vitamin D. whether you want it or not! Almost all the foods you eat are fortified with Vitamin D. Don't believe me? Check your labels.

Let's consider what life was like back in the 1930's.

The 1930’s were the years of the Depression. During these Depression years, many people were unemployed and poor. Kitchen appliances were few. Store bought bread was popular, especially Wonder Bread. (YUCK!!!!) However, Pepperidge Farm bread was better, but cost almost three times more. Wonder Bread to rescue! It was cheap and loaded with preservatives so it stayed fresher longer than homemade bread.

What was the typical American diet like back in the 1930's?


I thought people ate much healthier back then compared to how we eat now. But then I did a little research. Our country was in a depression but convenience and junk foods were at an all-time high!

Take a look at some American food brands introduced in the 1930s:

[1930]

Birds Eye Frosted Foods
Wonder Bread (sliced)
Hostess Twinkies
Mott's Apple Sauce
Snickers candy bars (Mars, Inc.)

[1931]

Beech-Nut Baby Foods
Bisquick (General Mills)
Ballard Biscuits (cardboard tube packed refrigerator dough)
Wyler's Bouillon Cubes
Hotel Bar Butter
Tootsie Pops

[1932]

Frito Corn Chips
Skippy Peanut Butter
3 Musketeers (candy bar)
Heath bar (candy bar)

[1933]

Nestle Toll House Chocolate Chip Cookies
Campbell's Chicken Noodle and Cream of Mushroom soups
Kraft Miracle Whip
Tree-Sweet canned orange juice

[1934]

Pet Evaporated Milk
Wild Cherry flavor Life Savers
Royal Crown Cola
Carvel (ice cream restaurants)
Ritz Crackers [Nabisco]

[1935]

Adolph's Meat Tenderizer
Kit Kat bar
Five Flavors Life Savers
ReaLemon Lemon Juice

[1936]

Goya brand foods
Betty Crocker (General Mills)
Hungry Jack pancake mix (Pillsbury)
Chunky Chocolate bar
Mars Almond Bar
Fifth Avenue (candy bar)
Orangina (soft drink)

[1937]

Pepperidge Farm Bread
Kix cereal (General Mills)
Spam (Hormel)
Kraft Macaroni & Cheese Dinner
Ragu Spaghetti Sauce
Sky Bar (New England Confectionery Co.)
Rolo (candy)
Smarties (Rowntree candy)

[1938]

Lawry's Seasoned Salt
Mott's Apple Juice
Nescafe (instant coffee)

[1939]

Lay's Potato Chips
Cream of Wheat (5 minute)
Dairy Queen (ice cream stores)

---SOURCES: The Food Chronology, James Trager [Owl Books:New York] 1995 & The Century in Food, Beverly Bundy [Collector's Press:Portland OR] 2002

YIKES!!!

Vitamin D deficiencies and rickets were first recognized back in the 1700's. In the 1930's, however, it was a major problem. How to solve the problem? Add Vitamin D to milk and make sure everyone drinks it!.

This is just a hunch but I can't help but wonder if all those canned, boxed, processed foods, factory made white bread, candy bars, soda, and snack foods had something to do with Vitamin D deficiencies. Back in the 1930's, unless you lived on a farm, grew your own food and raised your own animals, you were probably eating lots of canned and pre-packaged foods. They were cheap and a had long shelf life. How about now? Why bake brownies from scratch or cook a big pot of homemade pasta sauce when it's much easier to open boxes, bags and jars?

Today's Typical American Diet: Fast food, frozen meals, canned soup.....

How many of these convenience foods do you eat? Many of these foods are fortified with Vitamin D, by the way. We are all told that milk does a body good, so we drink it.

So how come some of us are still Vitamin D deficient?

Could it be that a diet of pre-packaged, processed JUNK food has something to do with our absorption of Vitamin D? Soda, candy, boxed macaroni and cheese?

I am no doctor but I'm just sayin.....

Can we get Vitamin D naturally? ABSOLUTELY!!

Do you know what the #1 Source of Vitamin D is? SUNLIGHT!!

I do believe the sun was around back in the 1930's!

Here are some other natural sources of Vitamin D:

Fatty fish, such as salmon, are the most common natural sources of vitamin D. There are also concentrated forms of olive oil that provide high levels of Vitamin D.

Here's a list of some natural fish sources:

o Catfish, (3 oz) provides 425 IU
o Salmon, cooked, (3.5 oz) provides 360 IU
o Mackerel, cooked, (3.5 oz), 345 IU
o Sardines, canned in oil, drained, (1.75 oz), 250 IU
o Tuna, canned in oil, (3.5 oz), 235 IU
o Eel, cooked, (3.5 oz), 200 IU

Wait!  There's more!

•A whole egg provides 20 IU
•Beef liver, cooked, (3.5 oz), provides 15 IU

Okay....Liver? YUCK!!!

Also.....
•Fish liver oils, such as cod liver oil, 1 Tbs. (15 ml) provides 1360 IU

And......for those of us who are Vegans:

•Mushrooms are the only vegan source of vitamin D

Good thing I love mushrooms!!!

When was the last time you ate any of these foods?

Before you rush to the drug store to buy your bottle of Vitamin D, why not examine your diet and your lifestyle? Perhaps an unhealthy diet combined with a lack of good old fashioned sunshine is the real problem?

How do we solve this?


A good, well balanced diet with lean protein, lots of fresh fruits and vegetables and a daily dose of sunshine is key. Also, look for foods that are fortified with Vitamin D:. breads, cereal, etc. Try to avoid pre-packaged, processed convenience foods as much as possible.

I am a vegan so I don't eat any animal products and I don't drink milk. I do eat some packaged foods like veggies burgers. I drink soy milk now and then. I just checked the ingredients listed on a container of soy milk. Vitamin D is in there!



I recently had my annual physical.  My Vitamin D levels are just fine!

Get outside and enjoy the sunshine! That's the best way to get plenty of Vitamin D. Be sure to use sun-block, of course. Take a walk, do some gardening, do yoga stretches on the lawn, or sit on the porch and sip your morning coffee. Side benefit: an end to those moody blues. You will feel fantastic!

Turn off the TV, the computer, the video games and insist your kids get outside, too. Play with them if you can: baseball, basketball, tag, hide and seek. Remember those games? Great fun and great exercise, too! I am always shocked at the number of kids who are perfectly content to exist for days without ever seeing the light of day! And shame on the parents who let this happen!





Okay.....I must say this, for your protection and mine:

If you have been diagnosed with a Vitamin D deficiency and your doctor has recommended that you take supplements; don't stop taking them. I would never, ever advise anyone to stop taking any kind of medication or supplements that your doctor considers essential to your well-being.

If you are a brand-new Vegan or Vegetarian and are afraid you are not getting enough of this important nutrient or you have been existing on a plant-based diet for years, you hate mushrooms, and you stay awake nights wondering if you are getting enough Vitamin D....relax - and take your Vitamin D.

If you live on remote site in Alaska and your job requires that you sit in front of a computer 24/7, eat only food from jars and cans, and you never, ever venture outdoors, by all means, take a Vitamin D supplement.

For the rest of us...... a healthy diet and a daily dose of sun is probably all we really need!

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

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Does My Shoe-Obsession Mean I'm Not Spiritual?

I recently took an inventory of all my summer shoes and sandals. I have boots, shoes, and sandals everywhere- in closets, on shelves, under my bed and some still in boxes stacked neatly against the wall of my bedroom.  I am a bit of a 'shoe-whore'.  I admit it. I am obsessed with shoes.  I just love them!

The reason I had to take inventory is because times are tough, finances are not what they were last year and sadly there is no room in my current budget to buy new shoes. I must resort to wearing what I already have: LAST YEAR'S STYLES! For a girl like me, that's pretty painful. I am not a foolish person. I know I can't spend money I don't have so I did the next best thing.  I went through all the shoes I own and decided which ones I want to keep, which are still in great condition, which ones need to be sent out for repair, and which shoes I should donate to a worthy cause.









This whole experience got me to thinking.........Does my shoe obsession make me any less spiritual? 



I think of myself as spiritual. I am deep, creative, reflective and aware. I understand that I am a small part of something greater and every thought, action, and word has a positive or negative effect on the world around me. I care for all living things and honor and respect the beliefs and spiritual practice of others; even if they are different than mine.  I pray, I meditate, I nourish my spirit. I practice yoga, I do my part to recycle and help save the planet.  I don't eat meat.  I don't wear fur or leather. I see God in everything: the sunrise, the sea, the flowers, the trees and I can feel His presence in the wind, in a temple, a mosque, a cathedral and even at a rock concert. I try to live my life as God's hand extended to the world, trying to offer words of encouragment, a smile, small acts of kindness on a daily basis- even when kindness is not offered to me. I have faith in things I cannot see, I know things will get better if I just hold on and keep going. I believe this for myself and for others.

That sounds pretty spiritual, don't you think?

But wave a pair of sexy, strappy, five-inch heels in front of me and I am weak at the knees.  I want to add them to my already enormous collection.

I do not buy every single gorgeous pair of shoes I see.  If I did, I would most certainly be homeless.  I would be pushing a shopping cart filled with all my shoes up and down the streets of the city. I've never spent the equivalent of one's month rent on a single pair of shoes. If given the choice between buying shoes or buying groceries, I certainly would spring for the groceries. My shoe collection is not harming or hurting anyone and I certainly have never gone into debt over it. There have been times that my credit card bill arrived and in order to pay it I ate nothing but soup and sandwiches for a week or two.  I live alone.  No one else is depending on me so I can make sacrifices like that every once in awhile. When I was married and brought home a new pair of shoes, I would drag the bottom of each shoe across the drive-way a few times. This way, if my ex complained about another new pair of shoes, I would proudly turn them over and expose the slightly worn soles. Deceptive? Oh yes, but it worked! 

Not very spiritual of me though, was it?

Why I am so shoe-obsessed? It probably stems from my childhood. We lived comfortably but there wasn't a whole lot of money to spend on frivilous things like dozens of shoes. I had a pair of shoes for school, a pair for church and a pair of sneakers for play. That was it. Most of the shoes I had were hand-me-downs from my older cousins. That's the way it was done back then.  Waste not, want not.  I didn't want second-hand shoes. They weren't even shoes I liked. I hated them!  I wanted lots of really nice new shoes like my girlfriend, Jeannie, next door. Her mother worked and was always buying her the coolest shoes. Sadly, her feet were much smaller than mine so she couldn't share. I whined and complained to my parents. My father would say the same thing every time. " I complained I had no shoes until I met a man who had no feet!"

Talk about GUILT with a capital 'G' !

I swore that some day I would have my own money and then I would buy as many pairs of shoes as my little heart desired.  And that is exactly what I did. The best therapy in the world for me? A day spent shoe shopping!









So I arrive to yoga studios, health and wellness events, vegan cooking classes, and local reiki circles in my sexy, strappy five-inch heels. Each time, I am wearing a different pair. I introduce myself as a holistic health and wellness professional with a focus on healing the body, mind and spirit.  In my field, most people have a certain look and style.  They live more of simple life which doesn't include a house overflowing with high-heeled shoes.  I know people are thinking, "Is she for real?" 

This makes me feel very unspiritual at times........

The one thing about me is that I refuse to fit into a pre-fabricated mold.  I can't be anything other than who I am. I refuse to be what or who people think I should be. I happen to love shoes. I can't buy every single glorious pair I see so I take some of my passion for shoes and share it with others. I post my shoe of the day on Facebook for everyone to see. It's fun, it's harmless and it's possible that one of you out there is searching for the perfect pair of shoes for a special event and you happen to love the ones I post. That's my gift to you.

Spirituality is many things and different things to different people.  To me, it's acceptance: accepting myself and others as they are.  It's being who I am,  even if I am completely different from anyone else.  It's letting others be who they are. God made each and every one of us so unique and different- with individual gifts, talents, passions and obsessions.  Spirituality is sharing all those things God gave us with others.

Does my obsession with shoes make me less than spiritual? NOPE! It makes me.....ME!

Do you want to be spiritual? Start by embracing who you are....exactly as you are!

Not sure how to start? Come and visit me. Share a cup of tea, a few laughs and a discussion of all things spiritual. Or we can talk about diet, diease prevention, or healthy eating.  What ever you want to talk about is fine with me. I am willing to share my ideas, suggestions, my success and my failures. And if it's a pair of shoes you need or want, I will share those, too. I wear a size 8 1/2!

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

Monday, May 9, 2011

Before you get what you want...you must decide what you want......


"The indispensable first step to getting the things you want out of life is this: decide what you want."

- Ben Stein

What do you want?

Do you want to catch a fish? Grab a pole and go to the place where you know the fish are biting........





You can take this literally or figuratively.  You might not really want to catch an actual live fish.....but I think you know what I mean.  Go where you know you can get what you want. Make sure you take along the tools you will need in order to get what you want.
 
Do you want to look great at the beach this summer? Wishing and hoping and dreaming will not make it happen.  You must do this:
 
Often.............
Decide and then make it happen.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Perhaps you want peace. Our lives are so stressful. We work, we shop, we care for others. We are pulled in a thousand different directions every day.  If you decide it is peace that you want, it will not drop into your lap.  Make room for peace and invite it to come......
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Do you want friendship?  You must be a friend to have a friend....
.
....and be willing to stick your neck out once in awhile and carry that friend when times get tough......
 
Decide that no matter what.....you are going to be a friend. You will have more friends than you know what to do with......
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
It's a sad thing when you go through life not getting what you want.....
It's an even greater tragedy when you never know what you want..........
 
Decide what you want and then go get it............
 
The world is your oyster.......
so.....if you decide it's a pearl that you want.....
 
......put on your diving gear and don't stop until you find it!
 
 
 
 
And never settle for anything less.
 
And this is my Daily Cyn........

Sunday, May 8, 2011

We are All Mothers

HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY!

Today is the day we set aside to honor our Mothers. Those selfless, sacrificing, amazing women who raised us, loved us, healed us, fed us and hopefully instilled in us some good qualities that only a mother can give.

I am grateful for my mom. She is an incredible woman and I have grown to respect and admire her even more over the past few months as I watch her lovingly and patiently care for my father.  She never complains. She is a tower of strength.  Her love for her husband, her family and her trust in God motivates her to keep going, despite the odds. Today I will spend honoring her and letting her know how much I love her.

I am honored to be a mother. I have the most wonderful son.  He is a good boy:  a responsible young man who has become more than I could ever hope for.  He has a mind of his own, he doesn't let anyone push him around and he is hard working, loving, and kind. He has made some mistakes but he is never too proud to come to his mama and ask for help. He knows I love him unconditionally and there is nothing he could ever do or say to change how I feel about him.  He knows beyond a shadow of a doubt that his mother is always wishing the very best, believing the very best and praying for God's very best for him.

There is no love in the world like a mother's love.........

Some of us have not been fortunate enough to experience this kind of love. Some of our mothers have been terrible examples as they struggled with their own issues, trials, and disappointments.  My heart weeps for those who did not have good mothers.  Forgive her for her mistakes and her failures.  It is in this act of forgiveness that you will be healed from the hurt and pain you endured.  You will then be free to find another mother-figure to love you, believe in you,  and to help point you in the right direction. It is never too late to find or be a mother.

Some of us are sad today because our moms are no longer with us. I am sad for you as well.  I know you are reflecting on all the wonderful things about her and honoring her in a way that would make her proud. Perhaps you can spend time today with a mother who has lost her child, and make her feel special on a day that is usually very painful as she remembers the child she once held in her arms.

As I went about wishing all my friends and loved ones a Happy Mother's Day, I realized that we are all mothers......

You don't need to give birth to be a mother.  You don't need to raise a child to be a mother. 

I am not Catholic, but I thought about Mother Teresa. She never had a child of her own, but she was a mother to us all. Her life and her love touched everyone around the world, despite religious or political beliefs. She poured her love into everything she did.  She adopted the poor, the sick and the needy as her children and cared for them until the day she died.

Although most of us will never reach or help the multitudes that she did in her life time...we are all mothers.......

When you  nuture, nourish or love another person- you are a mother.  Each time you put the needs of another above your own- you are a mother.  When you feed the poor, heal the sick, or extended a helping hand- you are a mother. When you teach or share a talent, a gift or an idea- you are a mother.  When you care for our earth- you are a mother. When you adopt a cause and spend your time, energy and effort promoting it- you are a mother. When you treat others with respect, honor and forgiveness- you are a mother.

I admire and honor every single one of you!

Happy Mother's Day to all!

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