Saturday, November 26, 2011

Tells it like it is!

Please excuse the language...but this woman is PISSED...and right on the money!

Alan Simpson, Senator from Wyoming , Co-Chair of Obama's deficit commission, calls senior citizens the Greediest Generation as he compared "Social Security" to a Milk Cow with 310 million teats.

Here's a response in a letter from PATTY MYERS in Montana ... I think she is a little ticked off! She also tells it like it is!


"Hey Alan, let's get a few things straight..

1. As a career politician, you have been on the public dole for FIFTY YEARS.

2. I have been paying Social Security taxes for 48 YEARS (since I was 15 years old. I am now 63).

3 My Social Security payments, and those of millions of other Americans, were safely tucked away in an interest bearing account for decades until you political pukes decided to raid the account and give OUR money to a bunch of zero ambition losers in return for votes, thus bankrupting the system and turning Social Security into a Ponzi scheme that would have made Bernie Madoff proud..

4. Recently, just like Lucy & Charlie Brown, you and your ilk pulled the proverbial football away from millions of American seniors nearing retirement and moved the goalposts for full retirement from age 65 to age 67. NOW, you and your shill commission is proposing to move the goalposts YET AGAIN.

5. I, and millions of other Americans, have been paying into Medicare from Day One, and now you morons propose to change the rules of the game. Why? Because you idiots mismanaged other parts of the economy to such an extent that you need to steal money from Medicare to pay the bills.

6. I, and millions of other Americans, have been paying income taxes our entire lives, and now you propose to increase our taxes yet again. Why? Because you incompetent bastards spent our money so profligately that you just kept on spending even after you ran out of money. Now, you come to the American taxpayers and say you need more to pay off YOUR debt. To add insult to injury, you label us "greedy" for calling "bullshit" on your incompetence. Well, Captain Bullshit, I have a few questions for YOU.

1. How much money have you earned from the American taxpayers during your pathetic 50-year political career?

2. At what age did you retire from your pathetic political career, and how much are you receiving in annual retirement benefits from the American taxpayers?

3. How much do you pay for YOUR government provided health insurance?

4. What cuts in YOUR retirement and health care benefits are you proposing in your disgusting deficit reduction proposal, or, as usual, have you exempted yourself and your political cronies?

It is you, Captain Bullshit, and your political co-conspirators called Congress who are the "greedy" ones. It is you and your fellow nutcases who have bankrupted America and stolen the American dream from millions of loyal, patriotic taxpayers. And for what? Votes. That's right, sir. You and yours have bankrupted America for the sole purpose of advancing your pathetic political careers. You know it, we know it, and you know that we know it.

And you can take that to the bank, you miserable son of a bitch.

Frankly some politicians need to remember that they work for the people. We are not here to serve them, it is supposed to be the other way around. 

The people... not the million... or billion dollar clients of the lobbyists...   I am not saying to shut down the companies... I am saying DO YOUR BLOODY JOBS! To the people that are supposed to be representing us. 

Disgusted in Wyoming!
Mary E. Robbins

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Human Facade

I awoke this morning to find that my human facade had slipped during my time of rest. Blue skin, pale yellow eyes, lovely fangs ... all were showing. Frankly it was a relief to not have that pasty human skin stretched across my true identity.

Alas I am still in this realm, my time in this life is not yet complete. I enjoyed a moment of freedom, chuckled at the thought of how the human population would react if they saw what was actually here. I wonder how many others are stifled behind a human mask.

I stretched allowing my wings a full extension before tucking them tightly against my back. Snapped my tail too and fro, thinking of how I would like to tear this human suit to shreds and fly away.

Blast I tore the arm skin a bit, sliding back into it. Not too bad just a bit of blood and scarring. For being as fragile as it is, this skin is actually remarkable in it's resilience. Oh bother, the face is on crooked. One eyebrow is higher, ah, no that's where I tore it before and it gathered up a bit upon healing.

I am going to have to be more careful of this human skin. It does pretty well when fully on, but tearing out of it during rest times is taking it's toll.

Fangs are tucked away, human teeth in evidence. I've been grinding those down as well. Arrgh, truth be told I would love to use my fangs at times. Hehehehe...

Now for my tail, coil it up and tuck it away, and people wonder how I came to have that rounded bum.

Human facade restored...

Time for some coffee.

Author: Mary E.Robbins
Written November 19, 2011

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Forgiveness Is About Taking Care of Your Heart...

I wrote this a few days ago... and decided to go ahead and post it. 

November 12th 2011: I woke up angry and sad this morning.

Brokenhearted mourning what was lost, which may have never have actually been.

Trying to sort out what was real, and what was just another manipulation, upon manipulation.

So much pointless pain, destruction, loss, agony, over the years. A lifetime of lies and created crises. To what end?

I wonder was there any joy in this person's life at all?

Becoming sadder, angrier, and more frustrated as I struggled with the myriad tangle of emotions and deceptions coming to the conclusion that it is actually impossible to sort.

I thought about confronting this person. Not screaming (when that is truly what I feel like doing) but trying to have a conversation regarding such behaviors. Craving to hear just once, responsibility taken for one's own behaviors.

I've tried before to no avail. Said person is either unwilling or unable to accept responsibility for the words spoken, manipulations promoted, nor actions undertaken. Always there are proclamations of innocence, with showers of blame to be passed around. Never ever an acceptance of self responsibility.

I've come to realize such confrontation is pointless, leading only to more denial, manipulation, and outright lies. It is almost impossible for me to be around this person without rage boiling up from the very center of my being. Rage and love swirling around each other in a storm of conflicting boiling emotions.

When I was a child I believed every word that was said by this person. Ironically, after all that has been said and done over the years my first impulse is still to do so. The impulse to to jump in and take up this person's cause, to defend to the end still runs strong in my very soul.

Sadly, I now know (knowledge is not always a blessing) to step back and evaluate the situations as they arise. To check facts and try to stay out of the created crises and ensuing dramas. Note the try.

I have been told to cut off all association with this person, but that is not acceptable to me. This person has been in my life and me hers since my inception, and birth into this life.

There has been some joy, although even that is overshadowed by grief at this point. I do not understand the way she is, I hope she has had some joy in this life.

Her body is aged and nearing the end of it's time of functioning in this life. May she have peace as she passes on to the other side.

I am not responsible for her thoughts, words, and/or choices. Nor am I responsible for the consequences she brings upon herself.

I am, however, responsible for my own thoughts, words, and choices.

I have not now, nor have I ever, abandoned this person. I have however, had to learn some hard lessons. One being which, I can not "fix" her life. It is impossible for me to make her happy. The responsibility for her life and choices rests with her. Only she is capable of allowing happiness into her life.

This being said, she is not responsible for the rage and grief boiling within me. Only I am.

So, how do I release this typhoon of rage and grief that is tearing at my soul?

Forgive her.

How do I do that?!

Forgiveness is not an emotion, a feeling. It is a choice, a decision.

Yeah, ok... so what do I do?

Just do it! Forgiveness frees your heart from the rage and grief you have been clutching to your heart so tightly.

You mean I don't have to say or write to her to forgive her.

No, you do not. Forgiveness is not actually for the other person. It is for you. To set you free. To allow you to heal.

Ok, here goes.

I forgive you. I forgive you for intentionally and/or unintentionally hurting me.

Does this make me a great person?
No It does not... It just makes me a free person.
My heart is free to heal.

Forgiveness is about Taking care of Your Heart...

May you have peace and joy within you.

Thursday, November 03, 2011

"Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't be trapped by dogma - which is living with the results of other people's thinking. Don't let the noise of other's opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary."

— Steve Jobs

Life is a journey, make sure your journey is by your choosing!
Mary E. Robbins
Robbins Run Ranch

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

This is It!

This is it
Take a breath
Take a Step

This is your life live it!

Life is a journey, enjoy the trip!
Mary E. Robbins
Robbins Run Ranch

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

First of November...

Happy November 1st!
Halloween is done and gone.

Autumn is in full swing
The trees leaves dancing in colorful splendor

Nights are growing longer
The morning has a brisk bite of cold in the air

Winter's waiting round the corner.
Celebrate the moment...

An Autumn Leaf swirls to the ground
Bright in it's golds, reds, yellows...
A short life ... long remembered.


Life is a journey, enjoy the trip.
Mary E. Robbins
Robbins Run Ranch
Health & Fitness

Monday, September 26, 2011

Live the Journey... Appreciate the Moments

 When I read Daylle's blog post. I thought, this is so very very true.  So many of us get caught up in the wait until I do this or that... or reach this milestone, or lose that pound, or make this much money... then I'll allow myself to be happy that we miss out on the juice and joy of life. Live now... appreciate the moments.

Life is a journey, enjoy the trip.
Mary E. Robbins

Below you will fine Daylle's writing and a link to her blog as well... enjoy...

 Make the Journey Your Goal

I do believe in setting goals. They help guide you to achieving what you’d like. Having them can keep you focused. But too often we make the end results the only thing that matters. That limits your pleasure and discounts what happens on the path to reaching them. Every little thing you do on the way to making your goals a reality is valuable and could be enjoyed if you pay attention.

The journey is actually the most important part of your accomplishments!

Enjoy the process of what you go through to get what you want. I had a long journey out of DoorMatville. Some of it was tough; most of it rewarding. All of it was necessary to get where I am today. With each new little milestone—each time I said “no” to what I didn’t want or each toxic person I permanently walked away from or each little loving thing I did for me—my joy increased.
Quite frankly, I was in awe of myself at times. After thinking so poorly of who I was, it was amazing to actually almost watch myself taking empowering steps. I refer to my growth as my journey into self. As I looked inside and decided I was worth making happy, change began. I had to give myself pep talks and sometimes use all my energy to maintain the patience needed to wait for the bigger changes. I’m grateful that I realized from the beginning the importance of enjoying the journey.
Have fun as you go!
Don’t wait till the end of journey to appreciate what you did. All the steps you put into making a goal happen should be relished. I often hear people say versions of “I won’t be happy until I finish____.” They see getting to goals as a struggle and are so focused on getting the brass ring that they don’t enjoy riding the carousel. Life goes on and on. Reaching a goal doesn’t stop that.
If you see life as a journey and each milestone and goal achieved as highlights of the journey—instead of the whole enchilada—you can enjoy your whole life more.
I have wonderful things going on. I’m writing a book I believe in. But I’m not waiting until it’s finished to revel in it. I love every second of the writing and actually feel let down when a book is done. That can happen when a goal is accomplished. Knowing you can continue on the lovely journey of your life helps make every day special. I’ll keep writing books! The thrill of going after what you want can be even better than getting it. You don’t need to go after an end to feel satisfied. Every day is part of your process and should be enjoyed!
When you focus on enjoying every minute of every day, life feels better every day. Enjoy your whole journey and life will take on a much better tone.

Make the Journey Your Goal - Lessons from a Recovering Doormat

I strongly recommend reading more of Dayelle's writing...

Monday, September 19, 2011

Who is Forgiveness Really For?

I used to think forgiving someone meant that you had to embrace that person. It doesn’t mean that at all. I don’t think it’s an emotional thing at all… I think it’s a decision. I used to think that it was saying… Oh it’s ok… to whatever nasty thing someone said of did… I don’t believe that any more either. It’s not saying the words or behavior are ok at all. I used to think that it was for the other person… I no longer believe that either. It’s for you. It’s to release you from the toxic situation. It releases you from anger. Forgiveness releases you from whatever hateful cyclical situation that is going on, or has gone on.

This is a bit different than when someone asks you to forgive them. The forgiveness I am speaking about is when you forgive someone without them asking. It’s not anything the other person needs to know about at all. This is something within yourself, releasing you from the situation. It also removes whatever power they have over you. Because when you refuse to forgive, you empower the person/persons/situation. You give them power over you.

Forgiving them Frees You!

Life is a Journey... Enjoy the trip.
Mary E. Robbins

Friday, September 16, 2011

September is Still one of my Favorite Months

 Even with all the drama of this month. Actually the month started out pretty good. In spite of the dramatic shenanigans occurring near the end of August. Managed to make it to September 8th before the next emergency call to the hospital came in.

Major drama on August 30th. At least I think that was the night. I received the proverbial emergency end of life phone call. Both from mom's friend Iona and Golden Living. Mom was in dire straits with chest pain on her way to the emergency room. As usual trying to keep calm... not knowing whether this was my mother's last breaths or yet another panic attack or manipulation... or gas for that matter. I jumped into my truck and headed to the hospital.

Once I got there I found out that it actually was a good thing she ended up in the emergency room because she had put herself in danger with her contrary shenanigans. She is on some heavy duty diuretics and had been telling the nurses at Golden Living that she had been taking her potassium, but had in actuality been stashing most of it in some kind of a cup in her room. As a result of her nonsensical behavior she was dangerously low on potassium. The ER put her on a potassium/magnesium iv drip and got her levels back up to a safe level.

As for the complaint of chest pain which is what took her to the ER in the first place. The blood test showed no damage to her heart. This is a good thing.

Once I found that out I said good-by and headed to Wal-Mart to get supplies. I thought I had handled the stress of her threatening to die once again fairly well. Unfortunately it manifested itself in a full on gastric attack while I was in Wal-Mart. In between abdominal cramping and dashing to the restroom to keep from defecating in my clothing, I managed to get my supplies picked up climbed back into my 4 wheel drive pickup truck and headed back out to the ranch. I was massively relieved to be home when I drove down that last hillside to park my truck. Relieved and exhausted. Mom seemed to be ok, and I had managed to get home without messing in my clothing. So charming the way stress overload shows it’s self.

Mom was released back to Golden Living and life went on from there. We visited on the phone and all was supposedly well. I started to relax once again. Well sort of. Along the same time frame my cousin and I started finding our way to a speaking relationship... working towards friendship. Both of us have been caught up in the drama surrounding my mother for so long for a time it was better for both of us to have limited to no contact for a time. Sometimes it takes space and time for folks to regain balance after being caught up in continual stress overloads and adrenaline dumps. We have been sorting through some of the wreckage in our lives from over the past years trying to make some semblance of sense of it. This is a good thing but it is also a very emotional and highly stressful thing.

Meanwhile I was experimenting with limiting carbs in my food intake and starting the second month of workout goals. I had workout goals for August as well and had fallen short of where I wanted to be. There was some progress however. Not dramatic progress, but progress just the same.

September I started on another month long goal set. Walking on the incline trainer and doing turbo jam. I did pretty good the first week. Then pandemonium broke out once again. 2:39 in the morning of the 8th of September another emergency call from Golden Living came in. Once again it was chest pain, heart attack and threatened death. I love my mother so I got up trying to stay calm enough to drive to the hospital, 30 or so miles from my ranch. Deep breathing, and reciting the Serenity Prayer got me to the emergency room without a full on panic attack or truck wreck.

Mom looked pretty wretched when I got there. She was obviously afraid she was dying. The emergency room doctor turned out to be the same one that had treated her 10 days before. He drew blood to test for the enzymes indicating heart damage. There were none. He got in contact with her other doctors and they admmited her to the cardiac unit. I stayed with her for hours visiting, and she seem to improve dramatically. She was exhausted, but then she had been awake all night as well. Once she was ensconced in the cardiac unit they did a series of 3 tests to check for heart damage. All three came back negative. This is a good thing. It is also a very frustrating thing.

I'd managed to stay calm all the while I was in the ER waiting to see what was actually going on. When I found out she was in the clear I lost it. On the way out of the hospital the tears started and so did yet another gastric attack. There has got to be a better way to handle stress than what I am doing.... hence writing it out.

This cycle of behavior with my mother is not new. As I was trying to get home from the hospital with my guts churning, I was thinking about all the "medical emergencies" over the years. Wondering how many were actual medical emergencies, how many were panic attacks, and how many were outright manipulation. By the time I got home I was a combination of, relieved, tired, sad, and angry.

How many times has mom's own behavior put her health in jeopardy? Years back, 1978 actually, mom ended up partially paralyzed from a potassium deficiency. She was in the hospital and they were giving her heparin to dissolve a large blood clot in her thigh. All this time I thought it was the doctor's fault for not giving her potassium. Now I wonder, I remember her talking about sticking pills in a plant that was sitting on her night stand rather than taking them. I didn't think anything of it at the time, as she said they were pain pills. But, what if they were the potassium her body needed to continue functioning.

There have been so very many trips to the Emergency room, over the years, many with stays in the hospital afterwards. Mom called it a "silent" heart attack. I wonder now, how many of those emergencies were heart related, how many were panic attacks, and how many were abject manipulation. I wonder was she caught up in it unaware of what she was doing, or were her actions and words a cruel manipulation? Could my mother actually be capable of such cruelty? Are her cruel actions and words just happenstance, or are they deliberate.

There seems to be a crisis pattern related to behaviors or conflicts with others. But then again that could be circumstance, or it could be an actual linked pattern. I wonder just how much actual damage she has done to her body over the years with her various machinations. I wonder how many of her physical health issues are directly or indirectly related to her mental, emotional, and spiritual issues. Mind body and spirit are all interconnected what effects one tends to have a ripple effect across all three.

I started seeing these patterns years ago but refused to believe it. Onus on me for that one. It is true, I am very good at denial. There has been a pattern in my life as well, coinciding with the patterns running through mom's life. One of denial, frustration, capitulation, resentment, sadness, and rage. Intermixed with self destructive behaviors and long stretches of no emotions at all. Then Wham here come a tsunami of emotions, overrunning and overwhelming everything in their path.

This is not a good way to live. It is erratic, emotionally painful, extremely frustrating, and physically detrimental to my body's health. Not to mention mentally, and spiritually devastating. I choose to no longer live this way. However, I do choose to live. I seek balance, peace, and health in my life. I choose to get off the roller coaster of false responsibility and unrelenting guilt.

I am putting up the closed sign. I am no longer an emotional dumping ground for those that refuse take the responsibility for their own choices. By the way, refusing to make a choice is still a choice and you are still responsible for it; as well as being responsible for the consequences of said choices.

It's amazing to me how many people go through their lives blaming others for their own choices and the circumstances they have created themselves. Squirming, this way and that way trying to avoid the responsibility that is theirs.

Am I blaming my mother for the choices I've made in my life. I did for a while, but that is pointless. She may have been pulling shenanigans but I am still responsible for the choices I made. What is done is done, there is nothing I can do about that. What I can do is go on from here. I choose life. I choose to actually live the rest of my life rather than endure it.

Just as September is the end of a season where I live, from summer into cool crisp autumn, this is the end of a season in my life. I am moving on to the next, excited at the prospect. Is this the autumn of my life, perhaps, I am 51 years of age closing fast on 52. But then Autumn has always been my favorite season.

Life is a journey, how you travel is your choice.
Mary E. Robbins

May you have peace and joy in your soul.

Thursday, September 01, 2011

What are you saying to yourself?

Are you saying things to yourself that you would never say to another? There is a scripture verse that says to love others as you love yourself. I used to really stumble over that one. What if you don't love yourself? Does this mean you are supposed to love yourself?

Self love does not mean being selfish. These are two totally different things.

It is ok to actually love yourself.

I came across an article in that has some good things to say along these lines. I wanted to share it with you.  It follows below.

31 days of Self-Love

Learn to Love Yourself
While self-help books all advise building self-love in order tobe happy, a surprisingly low number of people truly love themselves. The good news is it's never too late to begin to love you. No matter how old you are or how low you feel about you, it's never too late! No matter how many people have made you feel like you don't deserve to love yourself, it's never too late!

An excellent way to begin to love yourself is to do something loving for you. When you treat yourself with kindness, it makes you feel good. The more you feel good, the more you want to treat yourself with kindness. Each loving act, however big or small, is a brick in the foundation of self-love.

Day 1: Raise Your Consciousness

Pay attention to how you treat yourself compared to how you treat your friends. Most self-love busters are habits that you can break when you become conscious of them. Habits are those automatic responses you use to respond to situations. You have the power to hurt yourself or make yourself feel better. Which do you prefer?

· To beat yourself up for a mistake or be forgiving.
· To take nasty things that people say personally or refuse to give their words credence.
· To stay in an unhappy relationship because you’re scared of being alone or to walk away because you deserve better.
· To be a DoorMat and ignore your own needs or to set boundaries so that your needs are met.

Etc! Self-love helps you go for the latter choices—the ones that are in your own best interests. Often your choice is the automatic one that you’ve always taken. Pay attention and start to think before you react in a negative situation. Try to take the more loving path, at least sometimes. If you keep your consciousness high you’ll eventually create healthier habits.

Day 2: Look for Love in the Right Places

We look for love from a romantic partner, friends, and family and then complain when we don’t feel loved. We chase love in many directions yet rarely feel fulfilled. Accept that being loved begins and ends with you! It’s hard to receive love if you don’t love yourself! People can say, “I love you,” and do nice things for you. But, if you don’t love yourself, it still won’t make you feel content inside on a long-term basis.

If you want love in your life, go to the mirror RIGHT NOW and say, “I will make the effort to be more loving to you, starting today!” Even if you don’t love yourself, say it with feeling. Do it whenever you can. It will start your consciousness raising about doing loving things for you. Find the love inside you. It’s there, even if it been beaten down by self-criticism and ignoring your needs to please others.

Day 3: Change to Loving Responses

Slowly make an effort to find new ways to respond to situations that bring you down. If someone comments negatively about your body, tell them you’d appreciate their keeping those kind of comments to themselves and affirm to yourself, “I love and accept myself as I am.” Responding from a place of self-love instead of feeling deeply wounded takes some of the sting out of their words. The more you do this, the more it will be your primary reaction to negatives, and the less people will take target practice on you.
Don’t rush to break lifetime habits. For now, raise your self-awareness. Just become more vigilant of the things you say or do out of habit that keep you feeling low about yourself. Don’t get angry or disgusted with yourself. We all do things that aren’t in our own best interest because we’re insecure and want people to like us. Pay attention gently, lovingly, without any criticism.

Day 4: Accept Compliments Graciously

Were you taught that modesty makes you liked more? When you don’t love yourself if can be hard to receive a compliment and enjoy it. Modesty can make you deflect kind words or even deny your assets. “No I didn’t lose weight. It must be the light.” When you don’t love yourself, it’s hard to accept kind words.

Even if you have to consciously force yourself at first, practice receiving graciously. When you get praise, practice saying thank you,” close your mouth, and allow yourself to feel pride. You deserve it!

Day 5: Buy a Brand Name Product

Do you tend to buy the store brand of products to save money? There’s nothing wrong with that but buying the one you really like can shout a big “I love me” for a few dollars more. Think about a product that you buy the cheap version of but you’d enjoy the better one more. The good coffee, lotion, jam or better wine. Buy the better one if it’s something that brings you pleasure!

Every time you use the product you’ll feel good. Each cup of good coffee or special jam on your bread is a reminder that you’re making an effort to love yourself and feel more worthy of self-love. Find your splurge—a product that says, “I love me!’ and enjoy it! Each time you eat, drink or use it, affirm, “I bought this because I love me!”

Day 6: Be Your Real Best Friend

Discover Joy_celebrate positive changes

Think about what you’d say to your friend who broke something or said the wrong thing or made a big mistake? You’d probably do your best to give reassurance. Next time you do something that you regret, think about what you’d say to a friend who did the same thing.

Would you scold or console? Call her names or be kind? Carry a grudge for a long time or forgive him? You know you’d do the latter choice in most cases. Get into the habit of stopping yourself from reacting negatively and treat yourself the way you’d treat your friend.

Day 7: Redefine Your Self-Image

Don’t focus on what you’re not. Pay attention to the beautiful person you are. Instead of looking for what’s wrong with you, find your good qualities and appreciate them. Let them define you, instead of what you don’t have.

Not being thin doesn’t mean you’re fat!
Not being the smartest in your class doesn’t make you dumb.
Not being the fastest doesn’t make you slow.

Accepting this will increase your self-love and confidence. Comparing yourself to others will block self-love since you can always find someone who makes you fall short and feel like you’re lacking. What you’re not doesn’t make you what you are. Love yourself for who you really are!

Day 8: Say "I Love Me" As Often As Possible

We’re not brought up to say “I love me.” It can feel funny at first. And continue to feel funny for a while. Even so, go to a mirror, look into it, and say, “I love you” to your reflection. If you have to close your eyes when you get to the mirror, that’s okay. You can force yourself to do it at first. The more you say it, the more you remind yourself that you want to feel self-love. The more you say it the more it will sink in.

Falling in love with yourself takes time and patience. Your closed eyes may open a little as you get more comfortable. Then a little more. As you continue to do it, it will begin to feel more natural. You’ll get more comfortable with it. Think of it as practice for real love one day and keep it up, every time you pass a mirror. It’s a lovely day when you say “I love me” and realize that it’s true! Practice does turn into real loving!

Day 9: Buy Yourself Flowers

Girl Smelling Flower

Do you wait for a romantic partner to buy you flowers? Having them in your living space brightens it and makes you feel good. That’s why buying yourself flowers says “I love me!”

If appropriate, get some to keep on your desk at work too. You can even send them to yourself. When people ask who they’re from, say from someone who loves you. It’s true isn’t it? Or it will be true as you consistently do loving things for you.

Day 10: Accept Your Body

woman relaxing on a couch

You don’t have to be happy with every inch of your body to love and accept it. Stressing out over how your body looks sends a message that you disapprove of you. That isn’t loving to you! Few people say they’re happy with how they look. Yet they all have wonderful qualities they overlook because of their disdain for something about their bodies. All the plastic surgery and body tweaking going on for celebrities sets standards that the average person can’t attain.

Instead of accepting it, we lament over the flaws we see or the weight we can’t seem to lose. This is negative energy! Unconditional self-love means loving all of you, despite your flaws. It’s fine to want to do what you can to look your best. But, try to be as fit and healthy as possible, not to look perfect. It’s loving to want to feel as good as possible. It’s not loving to postpone self-acceptance until your body is as perfect as you imagine it could be. You may never love yourself if you do.

Day 11: Schedule a "ME Day"

People who with little self-love rarely have time for themselves and the activities they enjoy because they’re so fixed on doing what others want. This is very unloving! “ME time” is important for your happiness! Every time you make a little time to do something just for you is a lovely act of self-love. Try taking ME time to the next level!

Schedule a “ME day”—a whole day that’s ALL about YOU—to say a big loud “I love me!” Go to your calendar and choose a day that will work for you. A whole day! Weekends can be easier but it’s also fun to take a day off from work to play. No chores or errands. Just for things you’d enjoy. Plan your day ahead of time. Think about what you’d like to do. Write it down and look forward to it. Don’t tell anyone your plans, unless it’s someone you trust to be happy for you.
Make plans with YOU as important as those with other people to say “I love me!”

Day 12: Send Yourself a Love Message

Love letters are nice to get. Words of love feel good, so why wait for someone to give them to you when you can give them to yourself. With all the electronics, it’s easy to do. Send yourself words of love and encouragement. Leave a message on your home answering machine.

· Darn you’re good!
· You can do anything you choose!
· I love you!
· Keep up the good work!
· I will take care of you!
Send similar messages in an email. Have a fun, loving line in the subject. It can make you smile to see it. And smile! Leave a loving post-it-note on your mirror before leaving for work. “I’m so happy that I love me!” “YOU’RE the BEST!” Be loving to you in writing or verbally. Send yourself a loving email. Leave yourself a loving phone message. Write yourself a love letter. It’s fun and might just bring a smile to your face and warm your heart.

Day 13: Say "Yes" to Spontaneity

Look for ways to be more spontaneous. If you’re doing chores and look out the window longingly at the sunshine, go for a long walk or call a friend to do something outdoors. If you have extra time off from work, see if there are last minute deals for a quick vacation. Everything you do will enrich your life in some way, whether you have fun or learn a lesson and get to know someone better or try something you want to do again.

Spontaneity loosens you up, so to speak, by making you more flexible about how you live. Being flexible allows you to go with the flow of life more and that flow can take you to great places. It allows you to try new things and take more risks, since spontaneous actions can be a risk sometimes. Do something last minute, spur of the moment, that you’d normally say no to or make excuses for why you can’t. Leave the laundry for another time. Tape the TV show you planned to watch. Get out and have fun. Open up your life to new dimensions. It says, “I love me!”

Day 14: Stop Feeling Like a Victim

Girl comforting a sad friend

Do you blame others for being unhappy? Do you complain that you hate being a victim? Playing a victim is your choice. Nobody can force you to give up your power to choose what you want. People Pleasers complain about who did them wrong. It’s YOUR choice to accept behavior you don’t like, or to love yourself enough to change your response to it.
Relinquish self-pity and change your situation! Why stay a victim? Taking a stand makes people less likely to take advantage. YOU control how folks treat you. Complaining is a cop-out. Nobody uses someone who won't allow it. And nobody is a victim unless they choose to be. Victims feel helpless, which brings self-esteem down and down and down. But you’re not helpless.
You always have spiritual support in uplifting yourself from living as a victim to setting boundaries and being happier. It’s all in your court. Think about what makes you feel like a victim and how you can change the dynamic. The more you nurture self-love, the less you’ll allow people to treat you poorly, and the less you’ll feel like a victim. Taking responsibility for how people treat you and loving yourself much better!

Day 15: Give Yourself Hugs

Self-love, Self-esteem, Self Worth, Simple Abundance

Hugs are therapeutic, even when you give them to yourself. Studies have shown that the more hugs you get, the stronger your well-being. Touch is therapeutic for your emotional health. Hugs, caressing, massages, etc. all do more than just feel good at the moment. They have lingering results. While it’s nice to get hugs and caresses from others, you can provide it to you at any time! Hugging yourself says, “I love me,” and helps you to feel good.

Wrap your arms around yourself for a minute when no one is around. It may feel funny the first few times but eventually you’ll get used to it and then enjoy the benefits. Hold yourself yourself. Rub your arms and any other parts your hands touch. Close your eyes and appreciate how good touch feels, even if it's from you. While they’re not a substitute for being hugged by someone else, they’re a separate feel-good action. Have you hugged yourself yet? Give yourself one as you read this if you can.

Day 16: Try Meditating

Meditation helps you get into a state of relaxation. With the world going so fast, most people feel the stress of trying to keep up. Closing your eyes and breathing to a rhythm as you meditate can create space for you and build inner peace. Pushing yourself to keep up with life at the expense of your stress levels is very unloving. Meditation can bring you back to peace.

Try mediation on your own or with a group. You don’t have to spend a lot of time doing it. You might not be able to sit still at first but keep going. The more you do it the easier it is to do. Try it for a few minutes. Work your way to fifteen minutes a day. As you get more in touch with your inner self, self-love will grow.

Day 17: Set Boundaries

white picket fence

Happiness is the best barometer of whether you should do things differently. It's tough to be happy when giving is a one-way street and you're going the wrong way. You might feel happy momentarily because of someone's gratitude. But that's not inner happiness. It’s superficial and won’t keep you smiling. Bill Cosby said, “I don't know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everybody."

Set clear boundaries—lines drawn that people recognize. Dancing around requests you want to turn down invites other requests. If you consider agreeing to something you don’t want to do, look in the mirror and say “Hello!” Then ask why you should do it? If you become conscious of what you do or don’t’ want to do, it’s easier to set boundaries to do less of what you don’t want. Each boundary says “I love me!”

Day 18: Make Being NICE an Asset, Not a Hindrance

Too often I hear people say they don’t want to be nice anymore. They see being nice as a hindrance, and complain they get less, feel used and taken advantage of and passed over for what they want when they’re nice. Leo Durocher coined the well-known expression—“Nice guys finish last.” The truth is: Nice people don’t finish last. DoorMats do!

Recognize that nice doesn’t mean pleasing everyone. It means being friendly, caring, respectful, courteous and helpful when it works for you. Redefine NICE and make it work for you. People like true nice people. As long as you learn to handle yourself in ways that show you take yourself seriously, you can be as nice as you’d like and enjoy the fruits it bring! It’s easier to love yourself when you feel like a true nice person, not taken for granted or used.

Day 19: Clear Out Old Stuff

Cleaning makes room for new and better things. The Law of Attraction responds to your clearing out what you don’t need to help you attract what’s more likely to make you happy. Cleaning also can help you feel more in control of you. When you control your environment, it improves self esteem.
Affirm, “I’m giving this away to make room for new and better things in my life.” Stuff is stuff. Keeping things you don’t need can reinforce a mindset of lack—that you’re keeping it just in case you need it some day. I had to face that and accept that if I need something down the road, I’ll purchase a new one, since chances are I won’t need it. That helped me to clear out even more stuff. Say “I love me” to clear what you don’t need in order to attract new and better goodies!

Day 20: Value YOU

How much are you worth? If you don’t value yourself, it’s hard to attract self-love, or confidence, or success. One of the best ways to show that you value yourself is to be kind to you. Every time you treat yourself with love, you reinforce being worthy. Self-love translates into having greater value since the more love you have, the more you believe you DESERVE.

Make sure you get paid for your skills. Break any habits of giving them away to anyone who asks for a favor. The more you value you, the more other people will value you and the more confidence you’ll build. Throughout the day say, "Darn I'm good!" Do it in the mirror when possible. Convince yourself that you have a high value! You’ll love yourself for doing it!

Day 21: Let Faith Support You


Self-Love is a process that builds over time. Small loving acts are like little steps that stimulate self-love. I consider faith to be the glue—the power tool for building self-love and becoming an empowered person. Become more conscious of where you thoughts go when you have a problem. Try using faith for small issues and as you see it works, try more. The more you see faith work, the more you’ll trust it. The more you try and have a positive outcome, the more you’ll be motivated to use faith as a tool for getting through life in a happier and relaxed way.

You get as much as your mind allows. If you believe you can, you can. The contrary is true too. Be careful not to attract negatives. Faith is a solid gift of love to you. I implore you to use it if you want a happier life!

Day 22: Take a Break from Stress

Meditating against an orange sky.

It doesn’t matter what the world throws at you. Things at work may be frenetic. Your romantic partner is driving you crazy. Your kids are getting into trouble. The weather is miserable. Your mother is demanding your attention and calling you all day long. Do you LET all these things affect your mood and perspective of how good life is? Unless you consciously choose a different direction, stress will beat you up!

Allowing stress to go unchecked is VERY unloving to you! Doing something to relieve it, even temporarily, says, “I love me!” When you feel stressed, stop and do some deep breathing, even for just a minute. It can calm you down Find things that make you happy and focus on them instead of on problems. Enjoy just looking at the sunshine or watching the rain fall. Visualize a place that makes you happy. Find something that reduces your stress and do it regularly. Give yourself the gift of a more relaxed you. It’s YOUR choice—let stress control you or YOU take control of the stress so it doesn’t take over your life. Less stress leaves more room to be happy, and feel self-love.

Day 23: List Your Blessings

You’ve probably heard it many times but that’s because it’s true. If you want to love yourself, focus on your blessings. Write down the things that make you smile or that you feel good about having. Then read each out loud, starting with, “I’m grateful for______.” The more you appreciate your blessings, the better you feel. The better you feel, the more you’ll fall in love with you.

Count your blessings every day. Add to your list whenever you can. Look for things to be grateful for. It will help you appreciate your life more!

Day 24: Tune in to What You Want
Asian woman reading under a tree.

We all have desires, cravings, and things we think we should do. Choosing what to do, or not do, should take some thought so you can determine what's truly in your best interest. Often we want to do something for the wrong reasons. DoorMats make choices that will please others but might not please themselves!! That is not loving! Nor is it healthy. Nor does it bring happiness.

Whenever you’re about to make a decision, or take an action or agree to something someone else wants, ask yourself, “Who am I doing this for?” Is it something YOU want, or are you doing it to avoid taking risks, to soothe a negative emotion, or to make someone else happy? If it’s not about what YOU want, do you best to reconsider your choice. Doing what's in YOUR own best interest says, “I love me” because in the long run these choices will increase your happiness!

Day 25: Stamp Out Jealousy
Two women not speaking to each other

Most of us have felt jealousy at least once. It’s a normal response to seeing something you want that you don’t have and someone else does. Jealousy can be blatant, like envying someone who has what you want badly or more subtle, like having a little niggling feeling when you want to be happy for a friend who lost weight when you wish you could be thinner or when someone gets a fantastic job when you hate  yours. It can be hard to watch others who are thrilled with having things you want too!

Feeling Jealous is not loving, since it reflects dissatisfaction about what you don’t have, instead of joy for what you do have. Be happy for others! What someone else has takes nothing away from you. When you can replace jealousy with blessings for the person who has what you want, your chances of attracting it increase as your mood and outlook get more positive. The more you’re happy for what others attract, the more you can attract too! And since it feels good, it increased self-love.

Day 26: Get Exercise

Moving is healthy. Aerobics helps your heart and burns calories. Weight training makes your body stronger. Instead of dieting to look good for someone else, exercise for YOU. Staying fit helps you live longer, increases energy, reduces stress, slows the effects of aging, maintains the immune system, and improves self-esteem. Looking better is just a bonus!

Take control! Find an exercise buddy or class. Be creative on busy days. Walk! It burns calories and strengthens the heart. Get a jump rope. Use stairs instead of elevators when possible. I go up and down stairs when time is tight. Do calisthenics at home. Use dumbbells. Find ways to get movin’ and groovin’. Dance! Take pride in any effort to improve your body. It’s hard for some of us. When you actually do something, enjoy having control over old habits. Don’t berate yourself if you don’t do “enough.” Even a little helps! That’s love!

Day 27: Let Go of Striving for Perfection
Businessman smiling

We’re often our own worst enemies when we judge ourselves more harshly than others would. We see ourselves through the distorted vision of blowing up our perceived flaws. Consistent perfection is impossible. A perfect rose is perfect until its petals wilt. A perfect romantic partner loses his or her pedestal when he or she gets moody, demanding, or critical. Perfection can change quickly.

Striving for perfection reinforces low self-esteem. There will always be a flaw that needs work, a pound to be lost, or a skill to be improved. But you can goof up or have a down day and still love yourself. Affirm, “I accept myself exactly the way I am” often during the day. Eventually you’ll believe it!

Day 28: Redefine Love Life

It’s common to make a romantic partner more important than yourself, but that doesn’t make it right. YOU should be the most important love of your life. That doesn’t take away from loving others too but does assure your place of honor in how you prioritize your needs and make sure you get enough happiness boosters. And, it assures that’s you’ll always be loved. Many people sacrifice their happiness to please someone else to feel loved. But, does that give you a real love life?

The more love you give yourself, the more you have to give and the more you attract, since self-love is attractive. Redefine the concept of love life to include self-love. Let self-love motivate you to only need approval from yourself. A love life based on self-love feels great! Build yours and watch it grow!

Day 29: Consciously Make An Effort To Eat Healthier

Holiday Weight Loss Tips

Eating a balanced diet with consciousness about getting good nutrition is a wonderful act of self-love. In the long run, eating healthy will make you feel better physically, which improves your life even more. Even if you don’t eat healthy consistently, every nutritious effort you make builds self-love. When you make a conscious choice to eat more veggies or not finish dessert or get the grilled instead of the fried chicken, say, “I’m making this choice to say ‘I love me!’”

Small efforts add up. As you eat a little healthier, you might find it easier to do and keep going. By doing so, you may drop a pound without trying or notice your digestion is better or have more energy. Those are some of the benefits of eating healthier. This act of self-love has many rewards that will improve your quality of life. As you feel better and your happiness increases from changes in diet, self-love blossoms.

Day 30: Give Yourself Permission to Do What Makes You Happy

Stepping out of your comfort zone to do something different or behave in a way you’re not used to can seem scary. If someone you want to please tells you to do something, it might feel more secure, since they’re letting you know it’s okay. You may believe you need permission to do what you want or to step into happiness. Give yourself permission to do what would make you happy, even if some people might not approve. If necessary,write down:

“I give me permission to spend the afternoon in the park because I love me.”

Make a few copies, sign each, and hang them up in different places where you see them. Let the message permeate your consciousness until you can’t resist the need to buy it. When you enjoy what you do, take another step to giving yourself more permission to do something else, like take some time off for relaxing.
Loving yourself should include giving yourself pleasure, over and over and over. Make a more permanent note to self and read it often:

“I give me permission to be happy because I love me.”

Day 31: Follow the 10 Commandments of Self-Love
Woman Relaxes on Grass

I created my 10 Commandments of Self-Love to create even more awareness of how you might be hurting your ability to love yourself as much as you could, and to help you increase awareness of stopping self-love busters. Print them out, hang them up, and read them aloud whenever you can. Eventually you’ll find yourself applying them more and more.

1. I shall lovingly accept myself as I am right now.
2. I shall appreciate all the beauty that makes me who I am.
3. I shall regularly give thanks for all of my blessings.
4. I shall trust in my ability to take care of myself.
5. I shall not criticize myself.
6. I shall not criticize others.
7. I shall forgive myself when I make a mistake.
8. I shall be kind to others, without sacrificing my own needs.
9. I shall take responsibility for my life.
10. I shall love myself to the best of my ability.

You can commit to building self-love by signing the pledge to take the 31 Days of Self-Love Challenge.

Daylle Deanna Schwartz is a speaker, self-empowerment counselor, and best-selling author of 13 books, including Nice Girls Can Finish First. Daylle has been on over 400 TV and radio shows, including Oprah, Good Morning America and Howard Stern and quoted in dozens of publications, including The New York Times. She launched in January, where she has a 31 Days of Self-Love Challenge and is giving her book, How Do I Love Me? Let Me Count the Ways, away for free. Daylle writes the blog, Lessons from a Recovering DoorMat.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

We can be our own worst enemy...

How many times have you gotten in your own way?  As for me over the years it has been countless times.  The article below by Jim Rohn touches on this phenomena. Spoke to me... enjoy...

Mary E.Robbins

“Facing the Enemies Within” by Jim Rohn

Fears, even the most basic ones, can totally destroy our ambitions. Fear can destroy fortunes. Fear can destroy relationships. Fear, if left unchecked, can destroy our lives. Fear is one of the many enemies lurking inside us.

Let me tell you about five of the other enemies we face from within. The first enemy that you’ve got to destroy before it destroys you is indifference. What a tragic disease this is. “Ho-hum, let it slide. I’ll just drift along.” Here’s one problem with drifting: you can’t drift your way to the top of the mountain.

The second enemy we face is indecision. Indecision is the thief of opportunity and enterprise. It will steal your chances for a better future. Take a sword to this enemy.

The third enemy inside is doubt. Sure, there’s room for healthy skepticism. You can’t believe everything. But you also can’t let doubt take over. Many people doubt the past, doubt the future, doubt each other, doubt the government, doubt the possibilities and doubt the opportunities. Worst of all, they doubt themselves. I’m telling you, doubt will destroy your life and your chances of success. It will empty both your bank account and your heart. Doubt is an enemy. Go after it. Get rid of it.

The fourth enemy within is worry. We’ve all got to worry some. Just don’t let it conquer you. Instead, let it alarm you. Worry can be useful. If you step off the curb in New York City and a taxi is coming, you’ve got to worry. But you can’t let worry loose like a mad dog that drives you into a small corner. Here’s what you’ve got to do with your worries: drive them into a small corner. Whatever is out to get you, you’ve got to get it. Whatever is pushing on you, you’ve got to push back.

The fifth interior enemy is over-caution. It is the timid approach to life. Timidity is not a virtue; it’s an illness. If you let it go, it’ll conquer you. Timid people don’t get promoted. They don’t advance and grow and become powerful in the marketplace. You’ve got to avoid over-caution.

Do battle with the enemy. Do battle with your fears. Build your courage to fight what’s holding you back, what’s keeping you from your goals and dreams. Be courageous in your life and in your pursuit of the things you want and the person you want to become.

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Beginnings again...

August first 2011, just a date on a calender. Yet another date, a number on a piece of paper. So many times I've started some health and fitness goal only to crash and burn with depression and a monster binge.

I'm not sure how to explain or describe what is different this time around but something is. Perhaps it's the extreme stress over the past few years. Perhaps it's watching my husband shrink into a rocking recliner watching non stop tv after retirement.

He is only 60 yet he acts as if he is just done. I am only 51 and I do not want to live the rest of my life in a depressed limbo. I am far enough along now from the hernia surgery in January that I should be able to start rebuilding my abdominal muscles.

It seems like I've been angry ever since I came home from surgery in January. I'm not sure why.

I think I am more angry at myself than at anyone else. Angry for letting myself get sucked in over and over. I shortcircuited so badly that the panic attacks flared to the point of being indistinguishable from a heart attack or bad asthma attacks.

I could say that I am done allowing others to push my buttons, to draw me into whatever drama they are creating in their existences... but that would be bullsh*t. There is always going to be some created human drama going on. Whether its something with a friend or relative; or drama on a world or national level, like this debt ceiling nightmare. Unbelievable hubris on the part of our congress/senate.

From time to time I will more than likely get caught up in it. Until I realize what is happening yet again and walk away.

There is absolutely nothing I can do about the "drama" others create. Nada, zip, zilch, nothing. Does that mean I am giving up? No it doesn't, it means I am stopping the process of taking responsibility for the actions of others. Doesn't mean that I don't care. Just that you are responsible for your own drama. I am no longer available to carry that load, carry it yourself.

God grant me the serenity to accept the things I can not change, courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference.

Life is a journey, the trip is more enjoyable when carrying less baggage.
Mary E. Robbins

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

May 2011 is gone, stepping on to June...

WoW, May is dead and gone.  So are my goals for that month. For some reason I seemed to get stuck in place.  Jet ski without it's rider circling around the same patch of water until it's fuel ran out.

That was me this past month. I started out great guns, rock n roll... then phttttt...  Circling for days, then completely ran out of fuel. So what happened?!  Feel like I'm digging around in the decomposing carcass of last month.  What happened, and what can I do to change the outcome for this month?

I lost focus, lost control of my time, and frankly hid in farmville. I allowed the changes in living arrangements to overwhelm me.  It's been a challenging adjustment having David at home all the time.

Even more so trying to regulate his blood sugar. When it get's high it triggers outbursts of uncontrollable rages. I had to decide this month whether I was going to stay here and subject myself to his rages or walk away.  His rage triggered a panic attack, and depression in me.  When his sugar is not spinning out of control he is a good guy. But when he has a piss fit and does not regulate his sugar he is a monster to be around.

It took me most of the month to decide what to do. Tough decision, we have been together since 1990. There have been fits of rage throughout the time we have been together; however the were more positive times than awful.  But then he was gone 3/4 of the time working on the train. So who actually knows how much of the time he spent spinning out of control.  I only know what he was like around me. He seems to lose all cognizant function when he is caught up on the rages.

The challenge is to sort out how much of it is temper tantrum, and how much of it is directly related to blood sugar that is too high.  His behavior has been reminiscent of my Uncle Gene's behavior.  Never knew which person you were going to be with and he could switch without a second's notice.  When he was nice he was wonderful, when he was raging it was like Freddie Kruger on acid. Made life around him like walking through a live mine field. Never knew when you would step on a mine.  I wonder now if he had blood sugar problems as well, because he acted as if he didn't remember his "episodes".  David is the same way.  I thought he was just trying to not take responsibility for his crap actions to start with; but I have come to the conclusion he has no clear memory of his actions when he is in rage.

Dealing with my Uncle growing up nearly pushed me over the edge into a complete psychotic break.  It took me years of work to stabilize; and it's a tenuous stability at that. (anyone that has been through that kind of on going abuse can tell you that)  David's episodes triggered some pretty destabilizing reactions within myself this past month.

I made the decision to work with him a bit longer and try to help him stabilize his blood sugar.  He is going to have to take responsibility for himself at some point... time will tell what happens.

I acted out and ate too much food, and crawled into my shell and hid.  For some reason it seems like the fatter I get the safer I feel.  Looks like I've been hiding in a fat suit.

So; what am I going to do to change my situation.

1. I am researching diabetes, looking into healthful alternatives. Reading, researching.

2. Made a weight loss goal for myself. I would love to lose 20 lbs of fat this month. That works out to an average deficit of 2,334 calories per day. I am not going to starve myself, I am going to keep track, eat healthful, and increase physical activity.

3. How am I going to accomplish the calorie deficit: gardening, hip hop abs, oxycise, turbo jam, house cleaning, walking, incline trainer.

4. Structuring my time. Not set in stone but a daily plan; with my to do list.

5. Accept the fact that there are some things I can not change. Realize that I am not responsible for the things I can not change.  I am however, responsible for those things I can change.

Yes the Serenity Prayer is a Litany in my life.

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference.

So be it!

Life is a journey... new discoveries around each twist in the path...
Mary E. Robbins

Thursday, May 19, 2011

You can't do that! Dream stealers...masquerading as friends

I just reconnected with a friend of mine (on the phone) that I hadn't visited with for quite some time. There had been no falling out, just passage of time and an overload of life events.

I'm thinking, how to word this. Guess I'll just jump in. Splashing words about. After we finished visiting I stepped outside and took a long look at my mastiffs. We'd had quite the "discussion" about those 2 dogs, as well as some others that have their lifetime home here. Diesel and Sara are my friends and yard guards. They take protecting me very very seriously. My "friend" was adamant that I should have them destroyed. I said no.

Either dog would do anything for me. Before my husband retired I was here alone 3/4 of the time. I also ran a business from home, with clients coming in to pick up their Pom puppies. Periodically stray humans would show up without interviews, or appointments. Frankly I felt, and still do feel, a lot safer with my yard guards around. I remember one psycho emailing me and threatening to cut my head off. I thought, humph bring it dirt bag, soon to be fertilizer. Happily, dirt bag, once discovering he was not able to intimidate went away. But that is another story.

The actual topic of my little note is not my dogs. They just happen to be what was focused on in the tirade I just heard. Come to think of it over the years there's been a whole list of tirades, from chickens, to politics, dogs again and again, working out, business, my mother, as well as various and sundry other choices I've made in my life.

Truth be told it's not even about the choices that I have made, or make; or about his particular person not being able to accept choices, actions, views, beliefs, or whatever that are different than those she holds to be true. It's the couched in, life limiting, concerned  advice. The dream stealing, life stifling, unsought opinions, that we allow to infiltrate our dreams and goals destroying them from the inside out; is actually what this is about.

I don't know that this particular person is deliberately toxic.  I do consider her a friend, although sometimes I wonder. I realized today that so many times after I'd visited with her I'd come away from the conversation doubting myself and my decisions. I don't know that this is her intent, I just know that this is how said conversations have effected me.  Perhaps I should say that this is how I'd allowed said conversations to effect me.

So if you find yourself stuck in a rut, doubting your goals, choices, decisions, dreams, whatever. Take a look at conversations with friends, family, acquaintances. Some folks are deliberately discouraging, others fear change, others can not accept anything that is different than what they believe. Relationships with these folks do not have to be adversarial; just be aware of what is happening.  Whether it's deliberate or not... don't let them steal your dreams.

Dream on

Life is a journey, enjoy the trip.
Mary E. Robbins

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

So... It's the End of the World?!

I was visiting with a friend of mine the other day and she was afraid. A fear mongering preacher (preacher of his own gospel more like) had terrified her with his rhetoric. She told me what he said. I said ... So... why are you so afraid? She said what of all the other people? I said each of us has free will, we all have choices to make, and are responsible for said choices.

There are no guarantees of tomorrow, live today.

For some the world will end today, for others most likely not.

How we live our lives, or don't live our lives for that matter, doesn't depend so much on circumstances but on perspective. 

We have this gift (or curse depending on your perspective)  this spark of life. We also have free will, again a blessing or a curse, depending on perspective. It's up to each of us how we live; or if we live. Some are here for a while and never live.

When I say, choice in how we live, I am not talking about what car you drive, or the house you live in. Whether you are in a billion dollar mansion, or a mud hut in the jungle, driving a 3 legged ox with a broken cart, or a Bentley.  I am not talking about the circumstances you live in, but how you live.

Sometimes we don't have control, or choice over the circumstance we are in; we do however, have choice in how we live.

Mary E. Robbins
Robbins Run Ranch

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

So... What's Different This Time?

There's the question. What is different this time around?  I have started and given up, or fallen flat on my rather round face innumerable times over my 51 year lifespan. Started on a fitness goal, or race training, or diet. 

I did accomplish some goals as well. Ran the Tulsa Run (15 kilometers / 9.3 miles) , the Pepsi Challenge ( 10 kilometers/ 6.2 miles). Backpacked over 20 miles. Graduated University with my Degree, did some post grad work in selected subjects. Got married, still married going on 20 years, bought a ranch, paid off the mortgages. Yes we are living mortgage free! YaY!  Did some traveling. Got to know my Dad after being isolated from him as a child. Had the pleasure of a great relationship with him. Ran my own business. Took some time out due to physical issues. Looking at ramping up again.

So there have been some accomplishments. Actually quite a few.  The thing is, how to word this. I never thought of myself as successful. I was always punishing myself for falling short of some imagined guideline. It is amazing how a mindset like that can strip the joy out of life.

I would have to say that is the difference.  I actually have been quite successful, if you compare my accomplishments to my bucket list. Amazing how a simple change in perspective can completely alter your life.

I no longer feel like a fake. Like I am going to be found out for the failure or fake that I felt I was.  I am who I am. Amazingly enough, I actually like myself. Yes, that is amazing to me; because I did not feel worthy of being liked or loved for many years.  I was always stumped by the love your neighbor as you love yourself turn of phrase; because I didn't feel love for myself. 

I loved my horses, I loved my dogs, humans I had problems with.  I always felt like I had been judged, and found to be lacking in worth. The dogs and horses were honest and didn't play vicious games. There was no trying to sort out what their intent was.

With my childhood family there was no sorting out intent. Not for me anyway. I learned at a very early age that I had caused pain, that I was less than, that I was there to do "chores" and that my completion of said chores was lacking no matter what I did.

Ever since I was a small child I have always been rather direct with a highly logical mind. As a result the passive aggressive, round about methods of my family members were somewhat frustrating to me to say the least.  Their behaviors never made any sense to me, but they certainly imprinted. I got the message loud and clear, I did not deserve to be happy, I deserved to be punished.  (Side note: my father was not a part of this situation. He was excluded from my life until I was an adult- I found out after we got to know each other that both of us were direct logical people)

I am not saying my family was deliberately cruel. Well, yeah, sometimes some of them were. However, I remember decorated Christmas trees, long summer days on my horse, and first days of school. 

I listen to my mom now and I hear the same thought patterns coming out in her speech.  She has never broken the pattern, perhaps she does not want to. I don't know. What I do know is that the only person that can change those ingrained patterns is the individual. It's all over the place. People who have nothing to say unless they are making fun of, or denigrating another person. Miserable people feeding on the misery of others.  As well as those laid waste by the venom of others continually repeating the litany in their subconscious.  It's a sad destructive cycle.

I learned early on that if I loved something, or wanted something, didn't matter what it was, that it was leverage against me.  That it would be taken away at a whim, because I didn't deserve it.  The more I wanted something, the quicker it would be taken away. If I lost interest or just gave up, then here it is, let me give you this. Aren't I great because I gave you this. Don't you want it, Oh you do, let me take it away.

I moved 800 miles away when I finished high school.  Little did I know that I was taking it all with me. It's amazing how we carry with us the torture we are trying to leave behind.  

It took years and a lot of work to discover what was behind my self destructive behavior. I saw myself as obese when I wasn't. I punished myself by binging and binging, and gained weight uncontrollably.  I gained until I was over 300 pounds and just kept gaining.

Then through the pain and anguish, a discovery was made. I was continuing the punishments from childhood. Rather than a horse halter or tree switch, I was beating myself with food. Actually it was dual purpose. The binging was self punishment- as well as subduing my emotions.  I was eating my emotions. 

When I made the connection, the "discovery", of what was behind my binging; it was as if a light switch flipped on.  Illuminating the root cause behind years of struggle and pain. It's amazing, I am actually free.  Just makes me giggle with glee. That's not to say that I don't have down times, I do. But now they are not compounded by compulsive binging. I am actually feeling my emotions in the moment rather than subduing them with food (or whatever else I could ingest). 

There are days I would just as soon not feel my emotions. When the grief hits over my Father's death, or Min Min's passing. However I am feeling those emotions, I am also feeling joy at remembering conversations with my dad, and snuggles with my Min Min.  I miss them both, and would have liked some more time with them. However that was not to be. So I am dealing with it.

Note the "dealing with it" as in allowing myself to feel the emotion and letting myself work through the grief. I am also feeling joy as I hear a meadowlark sing, or see the full moon crest the horizon.

I am living my life in each moment. Appreciating the crisp morning air, and a hot cup of strong coffee. I finally see life as a gift rather than as a curse.  I now understand love your neighbor as you love yourself. 

I am free to be. I see what was behind the weight gain, and now I am free to do what I need to do to take care of my body.  I am free to lose fat. I am free to get physically fit. I am free to enjoy the process of becoming healthy. I am free to be. Free to live. Its an amazing feeling.

I look around and I see so many people living in bondage. Misery painted across their faces.  Some show it by their obesity, some by anexoria, others by a variety of compulsive behaviors. 

I wonder how to help them be free as well. I know they have to do the work, to make the discoveries themselves. My hope is that perhaps, just perhaps, my story can help others on their journey to freedom.

Life is a journey, enjoy the trip.
Mary E. Robbins

Sunday, April 03, 2011

Enough Already!

Well I've decided! Grand isn't it to actually make a decision. Yup, I decided, enough already! Grand little announcement isn't it!?  I have a tendency to be a caretaker. Perhaps another word for it would be enabler. Now that doesn't sound so charming and nurturing does it? No perhaps not.

I am actually very good at it, being an enabler that is.  I've tons of experience from early childhood on.  Someone's not happy, what can I do to make it better, how can I help you, it MUST be my fault that you are a miserable ---- hmmm, should I use the word I actually thought.  I think I'll let you fill in the blank.

How did I get this way; that's actually another story entirely. Short version, it was strongly reinforced from very early childhood on. Displease someone, anyone, and the result was a tree switch, horse halter, or whatever else was handy. Usually a snapping tree branch. You know those feel much like a horse whip. Well perhaps you don't know, but I can tell you from personal experience that they do. They also raise the same kind of welts, and cut skin the same way. So I suppose I could say that enabling behavior was whipped into me, literally. The spare the rod spoil the child bit was a well chanted litany in our home.

There was nothing, that I knew of, that I could do about things then.  However; I can do something about this self-destructive enabling behavior now. Taking responsibility for other people's behavior sets you up as the recipient for all sorts of, less than desirable behaviors and situations. It tends to sneak in when you actually believe you are "only helping".  Often there is a fine line between "helping" and "enabling".

So here we are, back to what brought me to this decision. Actually it's a decision long time in coming, that has waxed and waned for years. Truthfully I am not sure just how it's going to stand now. At any rate, this is where I am now. Digging through the years of emotion buried in the fat that I've packed onto my 5 ft 7 inch frame.

Back on point, the series of events that brought me strongly to this decision came to a head yesterday.  An absolutely miserable day it was too. The irony of yesterday being an absolutely miserable day is not lost on me, I've been looking forward to nice warm weather for months.  It was a lovely spring day, no wind, mid 70's wonderful day outside. Even though it was totally marred by a totally crap attitude by my life partner.

He has been acting out like a monstrous two year old brat, no change that, his behavior has been more devious than that. More like a spoiled bratty teenager that didn't get his own way; ever since the doctor told him to cut his food intake down to 1800 calories, cut back on his alcohol, develop a regular sleep pattern, and get some exercise. She told him his A1C was totally out of line.

Hence the creation of a nasty attitude, looking for someone to blame for his own irresponsibility. Three guesses who jumped into the fray to "help"; more the fool I. I have been cooking only meals that are in that calorie range. Got him a journal to use to count his calories; and have been including him in food prep decisions.  Asking him what he thought; if he liked the meals had any ideas and so on. Only to hear snide depreciating comments. I get it that he's frustrated. No surprise there, I am too. I get it that he's looking for someone to blame for the situation he is in. So sorry I am no longer accepting that position. Want someone to hold accountable for, or blame for, the mess you've allowed your body to become. Look in the mirror. It's all on you.  Just like the 161 lbs I have to lose is all on me.

So how is this "Enough Already" decision going to play out?  Well, I'm  not sure. I am going to continue to plan out meals that are in the 1800 daily calorie range. I told the doctor I would, and I need to do this for myself as well. I am not however, going to fawn after my life partner asking him what he would like; or to even help plan. If he wants any input he will have to step up and make the effort to become involved. Nor am I cooking separate meals, if he doesn't like what I've prepped.

I am no longer going to be asking him if he has his journal, insulin, vitamins, etc.  How he handles taking care of his body is up to him. Perhaps, I am hoping anyway, he will step up and do what his body requires him to do to be healthy. I hope so because I actually do love my husband, and would like to have some quality time with him. I wish I could just "fix it" but I can't, it's up to him. That's been a very hard realization to come to.

I suppose the final comment that was a reality check for me was. When I asked him if  he was ok, and did he like the meal. After I'd spent considerable time sorting out the calorie counts and remaking the recipes, as well as prepping the meal.  He snapped at me, and when I asked him what was wrong he said: I am miserable, and you may as well be too. I had already done everything I could think of to try to help him and this was a bit of an eye opener. It was also the last straw after another day full of petty nastiness.

He is miserable because he is choosing to be miserable!

Hence the journey to Enough Already!  I am done. I love him, but this behavior is not acceptable.  I am no longer taking responsibility nor blame for his, nor for anyone's, choices other than my own.

Today is a new day.
I am thankful for peace in my heart and mind.

My husband is in God's hands, and responsible for his own choices.

Perhaps, now that I will no longer be treating him like a bratty child he will no longer act like one. No I am not blaming myself for his behavior, only accepting responsibility for my culpability in said situation.

Life is a journey, sometimes there are boulders in the road. It's up to you how you respond to them.
Mary E. Robbins

The End of March 2011

Ok this is the third time I tried to start writing this post.  So here goes. March 31st 2011, and I got on the scale this morning to a charming weight of 306 pounds. Kinda disgusted with that. But it is what it is; going on from here.

I suppose I could make all kinds of excuses, but truth be told there aren't really any.  I knew I was eating too much but did it anyway. I will say things seemed pretty pointless and I developed an attitude of "what's the point".  It's crazy frustrating when you are trying to change your lifestyle and those you live with are acting out over it.  It's seemed like every time I worked out or lost a pound he would go and get ice-cream or pie. Oh yes, I know I am fully responsible for my own actions. I crashed and burned in a nasty depression.

So here I am, 306 lbs.  There has been an interesting development. The hubs had a doctor's appointment and she chewed him up and spat him out.  I knew he was eating himself to death, but his sugar reading was really bad.  Doc told him to reduce his consumption to 1800 calories a day. She also increased his long acting insulin.

The first day was full of temper tantrums and whining. Today has been better about the eating. Both of us are doing the 1800 cal.  It is such a relief to not have him stuffing three meals down his throat at one sitting.  Really helps to actually be making these changes with someone rather than going against the tide.

He wanted some new bib overalls and thought he wore a 38.  Surprise, surprise, he ended up with size 44 before they fit right. That was a bit of an eye opener too.  I haven't done any better since I had surgery either. Very limited activity and yes some emotional eating too.  I've gained 3.5 inches on my bust putting it at a resounding 51.5 inches.

Truth be told I kinda freaked out over 1800 cal a day too, but there is actually plenty to eat depending on how you choose your food.

I've been really worried about the hubs. He has been home since the first of the year and really packing it in. This visit to the doctor was a good thing. Maybe we will have some more years to enjoy... rather than just existing sliding into an unhealthy demise.

I am really looking forward to no longer carrying around 161 extra pounds.  Rather than looking at the total weight to lose, I am looking at one day at a time, changing lifestyle, and 5 to 10 percent of my weight. They say losing 10 % of your weight can make a huge difference in your health. I hope they are right.  So here we go... looking at 10 % of my weight; that would be 30.6 lbs. When that is off I'll look at the next 10%. That first 10% lost will take my weight down to 275.4 lbs. Still seems like a lot but it's under 300 lbs. That is something to celebrate as far as I'm concerned.

When I got on the scale this morning I was afraid I was over 310.  I was very relieved that I wasn't . That in itself was a victory today.

Finally got wifi set up so I can use the interactive trainer in my treadmill.  Started on that today too. Kicked my behind. WoW, it's amazing the difference the incline makes. That was quite the workout, huge difference from walking or running on a relatively level trail.  This training program jumped up to 26% incline. I lasted 15 minutes. May not be very long, but I'm going back at it again. I have Ifit for a year before I need to renew it. I am determined to make good use of it.

Slowly working on de-cluttering my home as well. Wish I could instantly have that done, but its a process to be sure. I read an article that said clutter had a negative effect on weight loss. I can believe it. Get frustrated over the mess and just go eat. Look at the whole thing and become overwhelmed and go sit in the corner of the couch and hide. Been there done that. There is so much friggen mail. Good grief. It's not just mail though.  Making changes, one day one trash can at a time...

Life is a journey, sometimes the trail is twisty
Mary E. Robbins

'Daily Affirmation' Video