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The Story of the Butterfly

Chrysalis \’kris-ә-lәs\ n.1: a pupa of a butterfly  2: a protective covering; a sheltered state or stage of being or growth.

A woman found the chrysalis of a butterfly.  One day a small opening appeared. She sat and watched the butterfly for several hours as it struggled to squeeze its body through the tiny hole.  Then it stopped, as if it couldn’t go further.

The woman decided to help the butterfly. She took a pair of scissors and snipped off the remaining pieces of the chrysalis. The butterfly emerged easily but it had a swollen body and shriveled wings. The woman continued to watch it, expecting that any minute the wings would enlarge and expand enough to support the body . . . but it never happened!!

In fact the butterfly spent the rest of its life crawling around. It was never able to fly.  What the woman in her kindness and haste did not understand was that the restricting chrysalis and the struggle required by the butterfly to get through the opening was a way of forcing the fluid from the body into the wings so that it would be ready for flight once that was achieved.

Sometimes struggles are exactly what we need in our lives. Going through life with no obstacles would cripple us. We would not be as strong as we could have been and we would never fly.

~Author Unknown

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Happy New Year

new year new beginning

What are your health and fitness goals for 2016?

One often-quoted statistic about new year resolutions indicates that approximately 75% of the resolutions made by American adults are not kept beyond the first two weeks of the new year! Conventional wisdom says that it may be helpful to enlist the assistance of an accountability partner if you want to be successful in making lasting change. Partners work together to encourage and support one another as they work on their resolutions. Partners also help one another to stay on track, or get back on track, when necessary.

Another reason people may not be successful keeping resolutions is that they become overwhelmed or disillusioned trying to keep resolutions that seem unattainable. The best way to overcome that is to turn your resolutions into attainable goals, and write them down. Research shows that written goals with objectives and benchmarks have a higher success rate than annual resolutions.

Here’s to your new year and a new you!

The Myth of Super Mom

Can you have it all?  Do you really need to have it all?  What is “it” anyway?  The myth of the superwoman who can do and have it all creates frustration in the lives of women on a daily basis.  We are asked to live up to the expectations of our significant others, children, extended families, co-workers, friends and society in general.  The media bombards us with images of women who are pencil thin, who look flawless 24 hours a day, and who manage all of their myriad responsibilities without ever breaking a sweat!

The key to having “it” is defining what “it” means to you. If your expectations are set too high, you may become dissatisfied with your current life situation.  If they are set too low, you may never achieve goals that you have the potential to reach.  So, how do you strike a balance?  I suggest the following:

Prioritize.  Make a list of the things that are most important to you.  If you have a significant other, next make a list of the things that are most important to the two of you together.  Then, add to those lists what is important to your children.  Compare the lists and find common ground.  Come up with a final list that prioritizes those things that are most important to your family.  Arrange your family life accordingly—the things that are not really important will move to the bottom of the list or won’t be on the list at all.

Create realistic expectations. For example, it is not realistic to expect to keep a spotless house when you have children.  Better to have a clean house with some clutter, than a spotless house with no time or energy to spend with your family.  Being a perfectionist can rob you of time and energy to devote to other activities.  And, it is unrealistic to expect that you can do everything on your own, all of the time, without some assistance.  Don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it.

Sometimes it is not important what other people think. Many times we try to live up to the expectations of others and their beliefs about how we should conduct our lives, with disastrous consequences.  Trying to “keep up with the Joneses” is another deadly trap.  Focus on prioritizing and creating realistic expectations—it’s your life—know what you want, create a plan to get there, and work your plan!

Walking–Best Kept Beauty Secret?

We have all probably heard that walking is one of the best whole-body exercises–it provides a cardio workout and works every major muscle group in the body. Here are some “beauty secrets” that you may not be aware of:

1. Blasts belly fat = no more muffin top.

2. Increases your circulation = glowing skin, healthy hair and nails.

3. Shapes, tones and firms = look better in (or out) of your clothes.

4. Boosts memory = nothing is sexier than a confident woman!

5. Increases energy = puts pep in your step.

6. Boosts mood = nothing is less beautiful than a cranky woman!

Don’t be ashamed if you aren’t prepared to jog, run or do Zumba. You have got to start somewhere, and as the saying goes, “you have to walk before you can run!” Walk your way to better health!

Food for Thought

Do you carefully “feed” all of the important aspects of your self, so that you are making progress toward healing, health, and maximum wellness? As women, we are natural caregivers and nurturers. Many of us take care of everyone else first, and by default, we end of being last on the list.

Healing can be defined as restoring balance to the whole being, so that a person is returned to a state of wholeness. When one aspect of your being is out of balance, the others will also be. Are you giving the same amount of time and attention toward your body, mind, spirit and emotions, so that you can achieve optimal health?

Total Self-Care + Self Love = Healing, Health & Maximum Wellness.