Week 15 -2016 Tracking: Plan Wins Over Resolutions

It used to be an annual habit for me to set a resolution to lose weight.  Didn’t work, but I finally found a way to make goals happen, whatever they may be.

I took some time in 2015 to set up my written purpose.  What did I want to accomplish?  What did I want to have in my life?  And I began to read it to myself 3 times a day, with emotion and feeling, realizing that I only have this one life time to be Day Boswell.  What is that going to look like?

I heard the words loud and clear, multiple times a day, “I have abundant energy and drive to complete …”  One night I recognized the conflict I had created for myself.  I didn’t have any energy and my goals weren’t manifesting.  It was all I could do to feed myself after work, then crawl into bed before getting up way too early to start all over again.  My weekly review of goals and objectives was sorely behind, and I was getting discouraged.

As Mark J explained in the Master Key class, consider what’s getting in the way of you having the life you want.  Get rid of it — get some support or gain some knowledge to get you over that obstacle.

My lack of energy was getting in my way!  The countless number of doctors I had seen over the years meant well, but their advice wasn’t working.  At 5’2″, you can imagine that being as heavy as 180 pounds was not healthy (at my heaviest), and wasn’t contributing to a higher energy level.  Exercise and diet, exercise and diet.  Easy to say, easy to do — yeah, whatever.  I DID get more fit, but it took a very long time to get down to 160, then 150, where I hovered for years, not being able to make any further progress.

So I sought a different solution.  I let “God”, the “Universe”, whatever you want to call it, guide me to a solution.  I stumbled across  this website, Screen Shot 2016-01-07 at 11.08.48 PM

and decided to give the good doctor a call.  First of all, I was amazed that Dr. Rues was quickly available for a phone conversation in person.  Then, I was impressed with her different approach, the deep questions she was asking me about my health, about where I wanted to be.  She asked me to begin keeping an eating diary that I would bring to our first visit to review.  After the first day of that, I was already embarrassed.  “I’m not showing her a whole week of junk food and sugar.”

So I immediately starting adding vegetables, healthy grains and lower fat meats.  And I cut back desserts and snacks to be more occasional, not daily.

Our first visit was not the lecture I expected, but a joint game plan on how to make improvements, what alternatives and replacement foods, and how much, might work better for me.  I left with a new eating plan that was designed for ME, not the general public, and a blood test order that included pages of tests to be done (they took 6 vials of blood at the lab).  She even suggested some very simple “movement” additions to my day, a 7-minute workout and and when I could fit it in during the day, adding a 15 to 20-minute walk.  I was already doing 2-3 workouts a week lasting about 45 minutes. I just needed to add more.

Changed my eating so I could show her (and me) that I was really ready for change and made sure to get at least 80% of the other tasks done while I waited for my next visit when we would review test results.

Then, CHANGE.  Three weeks later at the next visit, 5 pounds had dropped off, and yes, I HAD noticed a bit more energy in my day.  Then the test results gave me the truth I had really needed to improve my health.

“You don’t eat an extraordinary amount of sugar compared to the rest of the population, but for you, it’s enough that I would think you might have low level diabetes — but you don’t.  I thought you might have blood sugar issues — but you don’t.  But if you don’t stop eating sugar NOW, you might very well lose the function of your kidneys,” she said.

yikes

Well, she certainly got MY attention.

She made some additional changes to my eating plan and recommended a series of supplements, suggesting we would try this first, then consider medication if any more serious issues wouldn’t disappear.  I graphed out the plan so I could track it every day and record how I felt and how my body was functioning each day.  She specified 3 servings of cruciferous vegetables every day as part of the 7-9 servings of vegetables I need to eat every day; reduced meat to one serving a day and added more plant protein; more water; more tea; and the big kicker – no more than 2 grams of sugar a day — SUPER challenge.  No more than a handful of berries, basically.

In just a few weeks, the weight starting dropping off, and it kept going.  I found I wasn’t hungry, and I wasn’t needing snacks to tie me over until I could have a meal.  I couldn’t eat all the food on the plan in a day – I just got too full!

And today — YAY!  I am hovering at around 130, and the weight is still disappearing at a nice healthy rate.  None of my clothes fit (hooray).  Mom took me to pick out some pants for Christmas and I was SHOCKED to find out that the size 6 was too baggy (I had been used to size 12 forever), so I got a nice pair of slacks in a SIZE 4!!!!!!  My energy levels have almost doubled, and 90% of my blood test results have improved in a major way.

My kidneys are no longer in trouble, and I never suffered any symptoms that would have let me know they needed attention.  I am so grateful that I found a way to make not only my health better before there were issues, but to use the same amazing tools to make my entire life better.

How are you doing on your 2016 plan?  Keep track.  Keep focused.  And if you run out of steam, call Dr. Rues for an appointment, or I can refer you to the Master Key System class for awesome advice in multiple areas.

Blessings Be!

 

 

Week 14 – Resolve to Drop Resolutions

resolution beach

Just as the tide pulls sand sculpture off the beach, most of our New Year resolutions disappear.  Statistic Brain Research Institute found that only 8% of people who make resolutions are successful in achieving them.  49% have infrequent success, most of those rarely going past 2 months, and 24% never succeed with resolutions.

I used to make resolutions religiously and I almost never got past February before they fell apart.  The one year my family all had success was the year we spent some time New Year’s Day making a plan for the new year.  A plan!  Yep, with details (what we wanted to achieve, where we wanted to go for vacation, how much it might cost, etc.) and deadlines (we locked down dates on when we wanted to go on vacation, when we wanted to complete our individual achievements) and the support we felt we needed from each other in order to make our dreams come true.  It was an incredible experience, hearing my children share their desires — sports goals, scouting badge goals, and school goals they really wanted to accomplish.  It was lovely to have my husband share what he wanted in his life with all of us, and to have the kids get excited about opportunities to help and support their parents’ goals, even if it was just applauding milestones being met.

The kids agreed to pitch in coins toward our vacation to Disney World and helped set up a giant collection jar.  My husband and I agreed that we would not spend coins whenever we got change, we’d dump our coin purses into the jar at the end of every day.  And once a week, we would have a family meeting to review progress on each of our goals to see how we were progressing and what support the rest of the family could provide.

We DID make it to Disney World that year for Christmas, and each of were able to achieve our Scouting goals, sports goals, and professional goals that year.

So, this year, I’m back to making a PLAN to help my 2016 be fabulous and memorable.  And I’m adding new tools to my planning process, thanks to the Master Key Master Mind Alliance class.

There are basically four key elements to help you succeed.  And you can see them in action in movies like Rudy, Door to Door, October Sky, and others.  1.  A written Definite Major Purpose — knowing what you want to achieve, and a burning desire to fulfill it.  2.  A positive mental attitude – blocking negativity, distractions, and words like can’t, impossible, etc.  3.  A plan of action – determine the steps to take, recognize what you need to do to gain traction, then follow through, and 4.  a Mastermind Alliance – build a support force – coach, mentor, partners, and people who care about you, who will keep you on track, challenge you, and help you succeed.

There’s a classic tutorial that’s been around for many years to help you, and challenge you, to gain success with your planning process.  I highly recommend reviewing it … often.  Somewhat like a resolution, challenge yourself to complete the first 30-day challenge mentioned in this recording, then go for another and another.

Wishing you a most joyous, loving and successful 2016.

 

 

Week 13 – Gifts of Christmas Present

On this Christmas Eve night, such a sacred night for so many, I am with my daughter as she recovers from surgery, watching every holiday movie we can get our hands on — and celebrating Love – for life, for each other, for the gifts Life / God / the Universe has given so generously.  Yep, White Christmas was on our viewing list — it’s been one of our favorites for years.

The Master Key Master Mind Alliance class is one of those gifts I have been fortunate enough to receive this year.  In our class assignment for this month, we are writing index cards, each one a gift, an accomplishment, a moment of joy from our lives, and peppering the pile with affirmations for future gifts and talents that I ask the Infinite to provide.  We divide the stack of cards (I’m well over 100 at this point) and at least 2-3 times a day, we read one of the stacks, then shuffle the cards for another read.  Each day for the 30 days, we create 3 new cards at the end of each day, recognizing the gifts we’ve observed that came to us during the day.  What a great exercise in Gratitude!

Today, I will add a card about the holiday movie time I’m spending with my daughter, one describing the joy I felt today decorating her small apartment, and one for the gratitude I have for her progress in healing, her feeling well enough to want to get up and decorate.

Another class exercise in gratitude involves practicing the Law of Giving and Receiving.  “I promise to be a grateful receiver of the gifts that surround me, pausing often and noticing nature, kindnesses, smiles and compliments; which I gladly receive with a thank you.”  The cards exercise gives me a very effective method to put this into practice.

I now use this Law to instantly replace a negative thought with a positive one, as a new habit.  “I promise I will give something to every person I encounter.”  That can include compliments, prayers, hope for joy, affluence, kindness and love in the lives of others.  And to give without expectation.

So I tried that at the store yesterday.  I could have quickly developed a negative attitude about the crowds, standing in line at the store, but I chose to practice Giving instead.  Being around people who are “in the spirit” helps keep things positive too.  While I was waiting to get to the cash register, I began looking for behaviors, attributes, anything I could compliment the store clerks on.  I let the clerk at the register know that I thought he was very good at keeping good spirits through the heavy crowds.  His face relaxed, he smiled and expressed real gratitude for the compliment.  The woman who bagged my purchase was wearing a pair of reindeer antlers on her head and a Christmas tree pin on her blouse collar.  I could see she was tired and just a little annoyed with the crowds of the day.  I told her she got my vote for the best-dressed “elf” of the day.  She gave me a huge smile and started to walk my bag toward the door, and probably would have taken it to the car for me if I hadn’t stopped her to thank her, letting her know I could manage the bag fine on my own. Then a security guard was patrolling just outside the store.  I thanked him for the service he was providing and saw his serious armor crack a hint of a smile.  My heart grew and glowed!

In the book How to Survive Spiritually in our Times, author Harold Klemp points out that a heart full of gratitude is a heart that recognizes a gift of love from the most high (p.171)  It was easy to come home from that shopping episode and write many more cards in gratitude for gifts that had buried into my memory, but hadn’t really been appreciated, even those from God.

On a night so sacred and full of spirituality for so many, I am now pulling up the NORAD Santa Tracker so my daughter and I can follow the great Gift-Giver on his journey around the planet.  I will drift off to sleep not anticipating the gifts that tomorrow will bring, but being grateful for those I’ve received, counting my blessings.  I wish you gratitude — it’s an awesome gift.  Merry Christmas!

 

Week 12 – Tis the Season … of Family

family tattooThis week for me has been about family, close and extended, and focusing on what’s so important about them.  At the beginning of the week, my dear aunt passed away, the same day I caught a plane to be with my daughter, who had surgery the next day.  And as I am writing this (yes, later than my deadline), my niece is in the hospital, in labor, about to deliver her 2nd child.  My mother and I spoke today about the spiritual significance of a week like this in our lives, and especially at this time of year.  There is no coincidence.  Family and the holidays, for us, fit.

I miss my aunt, one of the most witty, brilliant, loving people I have ever known, and I regret that I could not be at her service and at my daughter’s side at the same time, but my heart was there and I know my cousins realize that.

My daughter’s surgery went well, so now we wrestle with the healing and recovery process, trying to keep her on schedule for meds, water, eventually food, and fighting boredom when she’s awake.  Keeping phones off or quiet in between naps, preparing ice packs and food (in the blender), running for more apple juice or vitamin water, these are the chores that fill my days this week, and into next week.  But I absolutely love that I can, and am so grateful for the time available to provide this service and be with her.

Christmas will be slim, if existent at all.  First, there isn’t much energy or time for the preparation.  Second, she most likely won’t be able to partake, and third, since I don’t yet have enough work to cover my essentials, the means to do much about gifts are out of reach this week.

But while I watch her peacefully sleeping after a particularly rough night, none of that matters.  I love this girl.  I love her brother, my parents, my aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces, nephews, in-laws, all those souls that make up my family, and friends who have become as dear as these people to me.  And THAT’s what the holidays are really about.

And while my heart is open, I want to express appreciation for the friendship of classmates, the guidance of coaches and staff, the tools and methods given me through the Master Key Master Mind Alliance class.  My 2016 is already looking marvelous!  I have great hope, promise, and strength to move forward – finally understanding what changes I want in order to meet my life’s purpose and to be truly happy.  I have contracts for work in place and more in negotiation.  I am already working on projects that are taking me down paths toward my true desires.  And I better understand how building desire, love, courage and faith can take me where I need to go, anywhere I want to go – finally.

 

Week 11 – Giving Does Give Back

Kauffman-Center-for-blog 1

Five lovely years giving of my time, love and energy as a volunteer paid me back this week, literally.  I received my first check as a team captain at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts.  I started that part-time role early this month, and I am ecstatic with the opportunity.  My role involves supporting and directing groups of volunteers and helping resolve patron issues so guests can have a memorable experience.

There is nothing quite like being part of a phenomenal, encouraging organization, and helping to bring so much joy and celebration into people’s lives.  If you’ve never been to Kansas City, this place is reason to come!

kauffman in     MKT

The building contains two halls – the Muriel Kauffman Theater and Helzberg Hall.  MKT is home for the Kansas City Ballet and the Lyric Opera.  Helzberg Hall is home for the Kansas City Symphony.  All splendidly talented groups.

Helzberg Hall is made almost completely of wood … as I understand it, the same wood from which musical instruments are made.  The sound quality and vibration in this place is unmatched.  Yo-Yo Ma, the great cellist, was extremely impressed when he performed here, as other artists have been.

HH

Right now, the holiday festivities are in full gear, and for me, that triggers so many positive emotions and memories, all spilling into the work we’re doing in our Master Key class.  I’m so grateful to have the class, my classmates and friends encouraging me on my journey to a new life, and I’m grateful to have the Kauffman Center as a giant step forward on this new life.

Week 10 – New Choices on Trial

court gavel

Yes – in the court room!  Our appearance was scheduled for Monday.  I had wanted to give a young man a break to help him make something of his life.  He wanted to rent the apartment and had two jobs in order to qualify.  Something went wrong after he moved in.  He lost both jobs and started falling in with a bad crowd.  Empty promises of being able to pay were common.  After three months of patience, phone calls, letters and texts, I could no longer afford to pay the mortgage on the property or the mounting utilities that he never bothered to transfer.  And I couldn’t afford the stress any longer.  This situation wasn’t fitting #5 of our Blueprint Builder, my DMP, or any measure.  This transaction was of benefit to no one, not even the neighbors.  So the eviction request was filed.

As I walked toward the court house that morning, I pondered the situation against my new self I am building.  How would my future self like to approach this?  With great love, for one.  The young man was a personable and likable guy.  I really would like to see him do well – especially coming from such a rough background.  “I greet this day with love in my heart,” I repeated to myself.  “I greet this day with love and I succeed.”

Inside the court room, the crowd was clearly divided.  Landlords and tenants were physically separated in the waiting area and everyone seemed to have a grumpy look on their faces and in their attitudes.  I saw my tenant and his brother, and smiled at them.  I sat near them and said I hoped they’d had a good Thanksgiving holiday.  They smiled, shook my hand, and we had friendly interface.  The rest of the crowd looked at us as though we had already lost our minds.

“All rise,” the bailiff announced as the judge took his seat.  The judge asked those who were represented to stand and come forward.  My attorney had not yet arrived, but I went up in line to let the judge know he was not there yet.  He noted my case, told me would wait for my attorney for my case, then proceeded.  Case after case — and generally two outcomes.

“Do you agree that you owe this landlord money?”

“Yes, sir, but …”

“Judgement found against you.  Landlord, you may seek the owed money and take possession of the property.  Next.”

If the defendant said no, then the judge would issue a trial date to settle the dispute, then move on to the next case.

The court room was cleared in about an hour.  Each case only took about 5 minutes.  I watched my tenant’s face begin to sadden, then turn to fear as the court went on.  He had a rude awakening at how serious the situation was.  I really hated to do this before Christmas, and I was hoping he had more family members that might take him in, but this ball was on a roll and there appeared no way to stop it.

The judge was finally done.  “Can you please call your attorney and see when he might arrive?  I’ll have my assistant do the same.”  “Yes, sir.” I could not reach him, but I appreciated stepping outside for a moment for another reason.  I pulled out my movie poster, flipped through the copy of Og I carry in my purse for a little inspiration, then went back in.  The judge had stepped out to get a coffee.

“Ma’am, is there anything my brother can do to keep his apartment?” the brother asked.  “He just needs to pay the rent, but at this point, you two have to convince the judge that he can.”

“Well, if I move in with him and help, can we pay you back quickly for everything owed?  I’ll get the utilities changed over today.”

The judge walked back in before I could say anything.

“You may return on Wednesday.  We have notified your attorney,” he said.

The principles we have been learning seemed to bounce back at me like from a mirror.  “Here’s the payment plan we want to work out with you, we both start new jobs today, the utility company is right across the street, we’ll take care of that today.  We’re actually going to DO IT NOW!”  And they DID!

On Wednesday, my attorney met with all of us before seeing the judge.  The guys had proof of their new employment, the utility bill change-over, and had drafted a payment plan that would work for all of us.  We all went up to the judge, explaining what we wanted to do.  My attorney asked that my interests be protected.  Judgement for the money was awarded, and the judge agreed that if the payment plan or the rent were missed by one day, the possession would be immediately granted.

The young men are now on their way to building a new life, a good life.  They were very happy.  I was happy to be able to get the money without having to go through another rental screening.  My attorney was happy that I was happy.  And for the first time in the two days of encounter, I saw the judge smile.  He was encouraging the young men to appreciate the landlord they were doing business with and to make sure they held their end of the agreement.  I think he was pleased to have been a part of turning a situation into something far more positive than it started out.  So was I.  The Gal in the Glass smiled broadly that night.