Are You Good Enough?

Self-Awareness, Confidence, Self-Image

Image Credit: Pixaby

At some point in everyone’s life, you may ask yourself the question, “Am I Good Enough?” All too often we are whisked away into the great vortex of ”Should.” Who we SHOULD be, how we SHOULD look, what we SHOULD have, how we SHOULD think, what we SHOULD do, or whatever superficial SHOULD falls under society’s definition, entraps our spirit and sends us into some very dark places of inadequacy.

I am cheerfully reminded of the fictional character, Stuart Smalley from the television show Saturday Night Live that was created and performed by comedian, satirist and now U.S. Senator, Al Franken. His mock self-help show called “Daily Affirmations with Stuart Smalley” spawned the affirmational anthem “I’m Good Enough, I’m Smart Enough, and Doggone It, People Like Me!” 

Unknowingly, we beat ourselves up trying desperately to turn the dreams of someone else into an unachievable reality for ourselves. Unfortunately, if they are not your true, authentic dreams and aspirations you are literally fighting an uphill battle that could leave you feeling defeated. This in no way negates self-improvement, it just reminds us to make our goals conducive to our life and not that of someone else.

Take a look in the mirror…a good look. What is unique about your features and overall persona? How can you positively transform yourself without trying to become someone else? “Mirror, mirror on the wall, I am good enough, imperfections and all.”

Affirmations, Kym Gordon Moore, Self-Awareness

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You Are Getting Sleeeeeeppppppy!

Health, Sleeping, Sleep Deprivation

Can’t think? Can’t sleep? Can’t remember?

Do you suffer from mood swings, disorientation, impaired performance, paranoia, clumsiness, hallucinations or somatic pain? Did you know that sleep deprivation can impair alertness when driving and is just as dangerous as driving under the influence of a controlled substance?

Although I’ve written about this topic a few times before, now, more than ever, we are seeing and reading about so many cases where the lack of proper sleep is becoming more problematic. Sleep deprivation affects your Circadian rhythm, decays the body and mind, causes depression, and could very well shave years off of your life.  Get to the root of your sleeping problem and solve it, because losing sleep could very well be a matter of life and death.

The Weight of Worry

Anxious, Fear, Worry, Depression, Health, Mind, Spirit, Body

The weight of worry is too heavy of a burden to carry.

Anxiousness and worry seem to be constant daily companions that won’t let us rest. It can leave you feeling cornered, worn out and depressed. It can exhaust your mind, body, and spirit.

This is a new day, beginning a new week and month. Be present in this moment and this time, for yesterday is gone and tomorrow is not promised. For that which you can do nothing about, you have to dig deep within your spirit and try hard not to worry about it. Easier said than done? Yes, it is, but still try anyway.

Can You Hear Me?

Deaf Awareness Week, Hearing Impaired, Hard of Hearing

Image Credit: pqmonthly.com

You know, it’s interesting to watch people who meet someone who is deaf suddenly get the urge to speak loud, almost shouting in some cases. Sadly, more often than not, we find that people tend to be uneasy around someone who is different from them, thus creating an atmosphere of awkwardness, exclusion, alienation, and marginalization.

I remember a community event I, along with another co-worker were assigned to do for a Springfest event in the mid-80’s. I worked for a cosmetics company in a major department store at that time and no one else in the department wanted to leave the store to participate in this assignment. The Buyer decided to “make” me and another counter manager attend the event…end of discussion. When my coworker and I found out that this presentation was for a statewide festival for deaf students, we were scared to death because we had no idea how we were going to communicate with them.

After we arrived at the location and checked in, we were taken to our area to set up for our presentation. As God would have it, there was an interpreter there for us, but we were not told that prior to our arrival. We felt a sigh of relief and commenced with our demonstrations. As it would be, these students were not any different from us. These attendees were able-bodied, normal and happy individuals, just with the inability to hear. That was it. Period.

Those students and interpreters have no idea how much they touched “our” lives, not vice versa. After we returned to work, of course, everyone wanted to know how disappointed we probably were and what a failure our presentation was. They were about as surprised as a deer in headlights when we told them we had an amazing time, plus we were invited to stay and eat lunch with the students.

Thank You in Sign Language, Deaf, Hearing Impaired

Image Source: http://worldartsme.com

Before we left, the one thing I asked them to show me how to sign were the words, “Thank you!” Their level of communication was far more advanced than mine. They “heard” and “listened” attentively with their hands. As I was sifting through tons of paper stored in a box one day not long ago, I found a few hand-written thank you letters from students we met that day. I sat on the floor, reread those letters and cried like a baby. It’s amazing how a simple handwritten thank you note can make you happy and humble!

This week, September 24-30, 2017 we are observing Deaf Awareness Week. Observed annually during the last full week in September, this observance is designed to focus on promoting the positive aspects of the deaf and hard of hearing (HOH) community. This commemoration helps to raise awareness about those organizations who support the deaf and to encourage social inclusion of the deaf and hard of hearing (HOH) communities.

It simply blows my mind how much those who are categorized as deaf or hearing impaired, listen far more intuitively than many of us who are categorized as normal “hearing” beings. They celebrate and have heartaches just like anybody else. They are not aliens, they are our brothers and sisters with unique skills and gifts. Instead of judging or ignoring them, we must exercise more compassion and a willingness to learn so we can better understand and discover how more alike we are than different. Do you hear me now?

Staying on Track

Fitbit Alta, activity trackers, wireless-enabled wearable technology devices

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After going in for my annual checkup a few years ago, it only took the sudden shock of hearing how much I weighed to say “Whoaaaaaaa Nellie!” I believe that news alone made my blood pressure go up, which the nurse took afterward mind you. Now while my weight was not out of control, it was more than I have ever weighed in my life. For several years I used a pedometer to get at least 10,000 steps in a day to stay active, a little bit anyway. Last year, one of my best friends, who is an exercise buff wanted me to use the same type of activity tracker that she used so that we could be each other’s accountability partner. 

Exercising, activity trackers, wireless-enabled wearable technology devices

Image Credit: axelle b

Ahhhhh….so I lost the pedometer and started using my Fitbit Alta activity tracker. I didn’t need anything ultra sophisticated, but this Fitbit Alta helps me track so much stuff like my daily steps, the number of miles walked, calories burned, active minutes performed and how many hours I slept! Yep, you won’t believe how much vital information it provided that only got me hyped up even more.

activity trackers, wireless-enabled wearable technology devices, Fitbit Alta

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Did you know that walking 10,000 steps per day can help to reduce the rate of type 2 diabetes by 50% and can reduce stroke rates by 70%? The older we get sometimes makes staying focused, active and proactive about our health and wellness a little challenging. All too often, poor eating habits, the lack of consistent exercising along with a little-added stress on top of that can affect our motivation.

Fitbit Alta, Exercising, cycling, activity trackers, wireless-enabled wearable technology devices

Image Credit: Jean Beaufort

Improve your health, energy, attitude, and productivity by walking, running, swimming, cycling, yoga, or Zumba. Don’t allow inactivity, excessive weight gain, and lifestyle traps make you sink into the evils of health related issues. Take charge and do something. Don’t just sit there and allow time to rob you of your good health and wellness.

Improve your health, energy, attitude and productivity, Fitbit Alta

Image Credit: imore.com

Fitbit is my new hassle free way of turning health and wellness into an entertaining and accountable mission. If you don’t have an activity tracker or pedometer, at least make a commitment to do some type of physical activity each day for at least for ten minutes and drink plenty of water, especially right after you get up in the morning. You can’t imagine how energized and focused you will feel, just by making a few simple changes in your life, like eating better.

Reading, Relaxation and Mental Health

Reading, Sleep, Mental Health, Books

If I ever had a problem sleeping, all I had to do, aside from drinking a cup of hot tea or taking a nice warm bath was to read. Did you know that reading is a great antidote to sleeplessness and great for mental health? According to research conducted by the University of Sussex, reading can reduce stress levels by 68%. Further research went on to note that reading works faster and better to calm frazzled nerves than drinking a cup of tea, going for a walk or listening to music.

Cognitive Neuropsychologist Dr. David Lewis who conducted this test stated: “Losing yourself in a book is the ultimate relaxation.” He goes on to say, “This is more than merely a distraction but an active engaging of the imagination as the words on the printed page stimulate your creativity and cause you to enter what is essentially an altered state of consciousness.”

Wow, there you have it! Another benefit and reason to grab a book, sit down and read. It is also suggested that we read from a hardcopy book versus that of a tablet for relaxation, due to the stimulating illumination from the screen of a computer, tablet or e-reader. As we continue to celebrate Mental Health Awareness Month along with Better Sleep Month, let’s take this bit of advice and do more reading, because it is indeed good for our mental health, as well as a great sleeping aid.

Now, I understand the real reason why people read in bed. They had the right idea all along!

Fun in the Sun Awareness

Skin Cancer, Melanoma, Skin Cancer Awareness Month

The hot weather is in full swing and with that also comes great caution when we are in the great outdoors. May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month, Melanoma/Skin Cancer Detection and Prevention Month. According to the office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion (ODPHP),

Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer in the United States. Ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun is the main cause of skin cancer. UV radiation can also come from tanning booths or sunlamps. The most dangerous kind of skin cancer is called melanoma.

Let’s be mindful about raising awareness regarding skin cancer and how you can take action to prevent or detect it. Skin cancer can affect anyone regardless of skin tone or ethnicity.

Although the sun can be a natural source of vitamin D it is imperative that we be Sun-Smart! For more information about the precautions you can take in the fight against skin cancer, check out these helpful tips from Healthfinder.gov (ODPHP) or the Skin Cancer Foundation.