Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Impossible Things Are Happening Every Day...

Two weeks ago, I had the great fortune to see the Broadway production of Cinderella.  The show was completely enchanting, but one particular scene totally captivated me.  Preparing for a second visit to the palace, the Fairy Godmother transforms Cinderella’s frumpy work clothes into a lovely gold ball gown, and off she goes to meet the prince.  The song tells us that “Impossible things are happening every day…”  Why did this scene in particular resonate with me? 

Well, once upon a time…

I needed to attend a conference in San Diego.  I was quite heavy, not very happy about it, and definitely feeling frumpy.  However, since I wasn’t going to lose 75 pounds overnight – it was time to focus on my assets, my curves, and my face.  Weight does not define a person – a person defines a person. 

Shopping at Macy’s, I found a dress, or should I say – the dress found me.    It wasn’t a big fancy designer item, rather, it was just hanging in the INC area, and it literally leapt out at me.  It gleamed.  Long sleeved, knee length with an interesting zigzag pattern woven throughout.  Resembling something very hip and retro that Goldie Hawn would have danced in on Laugh-In (whoa – did I just date myself or what?), it shimmered with just enough glitz to make it fascinating but not distasteful.    I named the dress “Goldie”, grabbed it and made the purchase, subduing all the negative thoughts of “how will this look on my rather large backside” and “is this really appropriate” as best I could.  In that moment – I just delighted at the thought of how I would feel to walk into a room of people wearing “Goldie” and imagining the reactions.  Isn’t that really the magic in a nutshell?  The vision of the feeling?  The possibilities of that moment?  The joy of the arrival?

Fast forward to the conference, and to the night of the dress debut.  Getting ready for evening - I began doubting my wardrobe selection.  Having a “fatter than normal” day, I was filled with trepidation that perhaps “Goldie” was too much for the event.  Would it draw too much attention (meaning would I)?  Would it cause whispers about my weight?    I had loads of curves, and this dress hugged each and every one of them.  Did I “deserve” to wear such a, dare I say “sexy” dress at my size? 
I was so self-conscious about my looks that I was not able to embrace the powerful person that I am.  It was not about the dress.  That was merely a cover for the insecurity boiling under the surface.  After a few minutes reflection, the real question dawned on me - was I too much?  I was in a new job that I didn’t know well, in a new situation that didn’t fit quite right, and in a body that wasn’t to my liking.  It felt like the clock had just struck midnight, and I just wanted to run into the woods and go back to hiding in my own little corner. 

As the story turns out, I don’t hide well…
Emerging from my room in Goldie – I really emerged as myself.  The minute the hotel room door shut, I mentally shut the door on all the nasty voices of insecurity.  I had to or I would have run right back in, stripped off that dress, and frumped myself back down to something that I am not.  I’m part Italian – and as such, we just inherently know we are magnificent the way we are here and now – period.  So – it was time to go big or go home.  Since I was already big, it didn’t make any sense to go home!

The elevator doors opened on the bustling lobby.  One last second of trepidation and I shut that book for good.  Stepping out, I had to make a quick stop at the front desk.  As coincidence would have it, the president of my company was standing there checking in.  Of all people to see first!  I took a deep breath and walked over to say hello.  The next thing I heard was a very audible gasp, followed by several rather surprised exclamations about how I looked.  I smiled, said thank you, likely blushed a little, and then said I’d see him later and walked away.  As I turned – I remember thinking “YES”!  I know I’m intelligent, strategic, business minded and all that, but now, let’s add attractive, and dare I say - sexy to that list!  Oh – I like this “Goldie” thing!   I don’t remember once thinking “I’m fat” or “I need to lose a million pounds before I’m attractive” – quite the contrary. 
“It’s possible, for a plain yellow pumpkin to become a golden carriage…”

The rest of that evening continued on the same trajectory – only better.  I had a raucous and rollicking dinner with three great longtime male friends, and I could tell that even they were impressed with the dress, or rather with me in the dress.  After dinner, “Goldie” and I went around to various bars and parties – all the while feeling very much like a lovely goddess of knowledge and confidence, and a bit of hotness.  My excess weight?  Nary a thought about it. 

So the next time you question yourself and what you deserve or how wonderful and gorgeous you are here and now – be it your weight, your look, your mind, your confidence – my suggestion is to dump that slump.  Get yourself your own version of “Goldie”, feel awesome now, and know that impossible things are truly happening every day.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Renewal and Brewing - Stay Tuned....

Spring is here (in the Northern Hemisphere) to renew the world, and it certainly has taken a hold of me.  I am inspired and energized by:
  • My March 2013 awesome and awe inspiring trip through parts of the United Arab Emirates and Oman
  • The international contingent of passengers on my cruise ship
  • Danielle LaPorte and her endless pearls of wisdom.  She is it!
  • My enrollment in Marie Forleo's Rich, Happy and Hot B-School (Hallelujah!)  She is also it and amazing!
  • Brene Brown's work - anyone who is inspired by the same Theodore Roosevelt quote that was my original 2001 inspiration when I was first diagnosed with fibromyalgia is a guru and kindred spirit
  • Gabrielle Bernstein and her May Cause Miracles and And More Ing to Your Life books (priceless reflections, meditations, and insights)
  • The copious amounts of Robitussin I have been ingesting to calm my cold and sinus infection.  The dreams have been intense and creative!
  • The lovely people who are following me on Twitter (thank you!)
  • A booked speaking engagement in Kona, Hawaii - paradise!
My mind is swirling with ideas and thoughts to share.  Nothing like spring to clear the cobwebs and dump a slump.  Stay tuned!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Rip Up Those Checklists - Life In This Moment Only

I have always wanted to see, read, and know everything.  This feeling has only intensified as I write the draft of this entry while cruising on a ship in the middle of the Persian Gulf. 

As always, a good control freak has lists upon lists, and I spent most of this particular morning clearing mine, crossing them off, and making new ones.  Once I realized where I am and what I get to see and experience – my lists seem small and quite distance (get milk, pick up mail, etc.)
I know a secret though.  As I begin to plan the last few days of this mind blowing vacation with mosque visits, city tours, and desert dune adventures, I again realize that as much as I want to cram in every possible wonder, every grain of every single experience – populating every second from sunrise to sunset –something will be missed.  I drafted this entry while in the pool (literally), watching the fascinating parade of mostly European humanity go by.  To observe this – I missed a presentation on how the ship works, the afternoon bingo jackpot, and a myriad of other activities.  The older I become, the more I realize that there is only the moment one is in, and that my best option is to enjoy that one – and not worry about the one that I am not in.  I can no more see all the sights of Muscat, Oman in two hours than I can live in ancient Abu Dhabi.  So –absolutely relish the richness of the cultural feast before me, rather than fuss about that which I might (emphasis on might) be missing.  If I were not in my exact spot right here and now – I would be missing the sensible British lady reading 50 Shades of Grey, and the robust German women embracing their bodies with bikinis, which in the U.S. might be the subject of potential ridicule, but here are completely accepted and embraced.  No one appears to care that people are not a size 2 with perfect bodies – how very refreshing.  If I had been worried about elsewhere this morning (i.e. perfume shopping in the gift shop) and not on my deck reading, I would have missed seeing a gigantic pod of my beloved dolphins frolicking and the interesting three time flyby of the foreign aircraft – so close I could see the co-pilot and the tail number.  All this happening somewhere near the Straits of Hormuz – talk about being present in a moment…
My lessons to be sure – allowing myself to fully invest and concentrate on what is in front of me, what is present in this second – because, nothing is ever really missing.  I have and continue to amass such abundant experiences and memories, it sometimes makes me cry with gratitude and delight (often at rather inconvenient moments).  My life is overflowing with moments of the extraordinary, and the day to day – and I never really miss a thing.  It took a long time to recognize that truth – and now that I have, it makes life far less agitating (what am I missing) and far more interesting (oh look – this is now, how cool is that?). 

On the way back to the ship yesterday, I briefly met a lovely Omani couple who asked me to take their picture with the world's third largest private yacht in the background.  We giggled that I pushed the wrong button on his cell phone.  New acquaintances half a world and a diverse culture away – all three of us enjoying a priceless moment of laughter and smiles.  Only by ripping up my checklist of what I needed to see before returning to the ship did that moment present itself and that is one of my favorite moments from that day.  I’m glad I missed out on whatever it was…
What I know is that life is short, and I now do more of what I like and follow my instincts.  If it feels right – it is right.  If it doesn’t – don’t do it.  Over the course of this trip, I danced with the other interesting passengers at an Arabian themed 70’s music  party late into the night, ate tomatoes and cucumbers for breakfast and goulash and spaetzle for lunch, and if I’d had a bikini – I’d have worn it (no size 2 at the moment).  I started the holiday with a lot of checklists and ended up throwing the majority out the window (figuratively).  Instead – it became an open invitation to wonder and to experience a whole bunch of different things that were not listed anywhere.  This time – I did everything from go to a high tea at a seven star hotel (don’t like tea or finger sandwiches – but what the heck), held two falcons, and went off-roading through sand dunes. 

Happiness, peace, and some badge of completion (who exactly issues those anyway?) do not lie necessarily in the “I have to see and do all this stuff in order to check it off” category.  I’d rather experience things fully, and that means being present for that moment.  I’d rather do one thing memorably than five things quickly to get them off the list.  From moment to moment, you never know what you may see, discover, learn or experience.  I won’t be giving up all my checklists, but I will give up some of them for the greater good of experiencing moments of grace and splendor.  Life shows me startling serendipity, and I am beyond grateful. 

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Treasure Hunt and Treasure Found

Joseph Campbell wrote "The cave you fear to enter holds the treasure you seek". 

So  - a little modern story on that phrase would be in Star Wars V - The Empire Strikes Back.   Luke Skywalker (the at this point inexperienced, daring, and egotistical hero), completely ignores the warnings of his wise mentors Yoda and Obi Wan Kenobi about entering a dark cave (his psyche - and I didn't have to study Carl Jung to know that) before fully completing his training. 

Leaving Yoda and barreling into the dim, stank, moldy cave - Luke finds what he believes to be his nemesis, Darth Vader, and they conduct an epic battle of clashing light sabers.  Battling mightily, Luke finally appears to prevail, and slices off Vader's head.  Luke - frightened by his own power and unsure of what he had done gingerly approaches the masked disembodied head only to find his own face therein.  This causes him great fear, a premature exit to his training, reckless behaviour,  the temporary loss of his best friend (Han Solo), the destruction of the good forces of the rebellion, and his own near death experience at the hands of the real Darth Vader. 

In other words - he got his butt kicked, but good. 

As most of us know, Luke goes on to encounter more troubles, but he also then learned - he learned the ways of the Jedi, he did more soul searching, he saved his friends, he saved his team, he saved his father, and most importantly - he saved himself.   The cave he feared to enter, led him to the treasure he sought. 

Let us now bring this to 2013 - March 6th, 2013 to be specific:

2012 was a butt kicking year for me (so was '10 and '11 but that is another story...)  I definitely went into more than one cave before I was ready, armed with only my life experience and my ego.  I went through some unpleasant circumstances, was given difficult criticisms,  and failed to meet certain personal objectives.  Of course, these moments created angry and defensive postures, and my ego didn't want to have anything to do with accepting responsibility for creating these situations.  I spent a lot of time telling myself about why things weren't good - that it was because of this, that, or the other thing.  Some valid, some excuses.  All - choices.  All butt kicking, and after awhile, I tire of the kicking.  It hurts, it's boring, and it must be stopped. 

So - this time when I went into the cave, I was knowledgeable and ready to face the fears and look for the treasure.  Among the many lessons, one was to step away from what I knew in order to learn what I didn't.  My ego wanted me to believe that I knew so much because "this wasn't my first rodeo".  Instead - when I put that ego aside and allowed myself to be taught
 (instead of being little Miss Know-It-All"), a new world of wonder and possibilities arrived.  Instead of saying "I already know that", I started asking myself "what can I learn from this?"  The answer maybe nothing, but then again, it may create a breakthrough piece of knowledge that I had never considered.  Also - I learned that tough criticism is part of being in any business.  There are many ways to approach any issue.  Not everyone will like what you do, and you won't like what they do.  You need to set the ego aside, and look for the best solutions, and when someone yells - don't take it personally.  They are the ones having the bad day...

I am pleased with my evolution, and plan for it to continue.  2013 challenges me, inspires me, sparks me,  and delights me.  It will kick my butt as well - but this time, in the more positive sense of the words.  That cave I went to - it really doesn't smell very good, and I'm allergic to mold.  I went there, got my treasure, and now it's time to get out and use it.  In 2013 - with arms wide open, giving it my all and borrowing again from Mr. Campbell - I am going to "follow my bliss". 

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

It Takes Passion To Turn A Tide...

Deep down, where no one but you is looking, what are your passions? Is it to start your own business?  Write a book?  Learn a new language?  Bake the best cupcakes?  Start from scratch?  Open your mind?  Stop worrying about what someone else thinks? 

If this is a hard question – here are some thought provoking ways to start cracking that code.  Write down the first thing that comes to mind, and then see how the patterns develop.  Send me your comments on your answers.  Inquiring minds want to know...
Happy discovering…be forewarned. These answers may lead to the dumping of any possible frump slumps…
·         Barnes and Noble called.  They want you to select the only genre of books they will carry for sale.  What is it and why?

·         You have a chance to teach a large audience three things – what are they?

·         You can pick three unique and interesting jobs to have in the next year (money is no object and specific skills are not required).  What are they, why do you want them, and how will they change you in one year’s time?

·         What is the biggest personal challenge you have overcome?  How would you help others overcome the same or similar challenge? 

·         If you could make only one major positive change in the world – name it.  Why that change?

Monday, February 25, 2013

Waxing Poetic to Really Turn the Tide...

I ask not from whence these words came (how Brit Lit), I just know that they appeared on a page, and that they are to be shared. 

All tides eventually turn, and that what falls must go up.  On this night of a full moon - illumination...and so it is...

Into the dark night is plunged the devils of the past storms.  Into the absence of light is cast the complex insecurity of a drained moat and a crumbled castle.  Into the abyss is the final descent - the muck and mire of that which is no longer, and most likely - never was...The mind vexes and hexes, self contained spells, walls of concrete...It is, at last, over...Surrender, release, peace...

It is now the time of the sunrise.  The gift of light, the illumination, the sight of the whole again. 
The gratitude for all which has occurred for without it - the castle could not be re-forged with the steel and strength of a million Excalibers - taller and with greater fortitude than ever before...
The promise of spring
The grateful anticipation and magnificence to come...
The blazing brilliant truth of authenticity...
That time is this moment, and that time is now...

Monday, February 11, 2013

Rejection, Thick Skin, and Remember Winston Churchill...

Winston Churchill?  What?  Standby - it will make sense in a minute...

Whenever you "put yourself out there" - someone will appreciate your work, and someone will not.  Rejection may (and typically) does happen.  The concept to be understood is that YOU personally are not being rejected, the work is.  That is not an easy concept, since many of us personify the work (whatever it may be).  It may be a written piece, a monologue, an audition, a look, a song, a board presentation, cookies for the church bake sale, a dinner party, or a painting.  All pieces of one's soul - offered up in a way to another person or persons for view, critique, audition, acceptance, and judgment. 

The "work" may be embraced, lauded, accepted, and praised.  Hurray!  The fireworks fly!  A trophy is awarded!  All is well with the Universe!  However - the "work" may be dismissed, distained, judged to be awful, and summarily rejected.  Thank you for playing - there are some lovely parting gifts at the door...Now - get out...Hard to dump a slump when you get a sometimes gentle, sometimes not, kick in the teeth (or other body part) when the rejection fairy comes to visit. 

For me - lately I have been facing more rejection than acceptance.  I know it is part of transforming and trying new things, but some days, it is a challenge to have a thick skin. 

One of my recent projects is retooling my nonfiction book with a goal of publishing for an upcoming event where I may actually be able to (gasp) sell books to the participants (what a concept).  To do that, I must finish the work, obtain representation, go through the process, etc. etc. etc.  I reached out to some agent contacts including information on how I am building my platform and many other positive developments.  And then it came - the email:

"thanks for touching base. I recall meeting you and being impressed with your story. I do think this is a hard category, and even though you have established a platform, I think I would need for it to be even stronger to be interested. Perhaps as the blog gets rooted and you have more TV appearances, etc., it will the right time for me to review your work."

There it was.  Rejection - gentle, constructive, and very nice, but rejection nonetheless.  Apparently in order to be an author, I must have more TV appearances - which is fine because I would like that anyway and it would fit my goal of inspiring people.  Tough one to swallow that was, but I took it in the best stride I could.  It actually helped me let go of needing to be accepted so hard by another person, and to seek out and learn more about the new world order of self publishing.  A win by way of a loss. 

There have been a lot of tales of great rejections that led to great success and have inspired many (like me) to keep going, not only in the publishing world but also in other genres. 
  • Tim Ferriss, author of The 4-Hour Workweek which has spent months on The New York Times Bestseller list had 26 publishing rejections.
  • Jack Canfeld and Mark Victor Hansen, responsible for the wildly successful Chicken Soup for the Soul series of books were initially rejected 140 times
  • Stephenie Meyer, author of the Twilight series had 9 rejections from literary agents, and then…well, there were a few book deals, and a couple of movies...
  • J.K. Rowling, author of all those Harry Potter books, was rejected 9 times for the first book, and finally
  • Oprah was fired from one of her early anchor positions after being labelled “unfit for TV” (can you imagine the endless dripping egg on the face of that TV executive?)
And as for Winston Churchill (told you I'd get there) - I offer two quotes to consider about thick skin, rejection, and carrying on (how British...)

1.  "Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm".
2.  "If you're going through hell, keep going".

My modification on that last quote - if you keep getting rejected, keep working at it, or turn it on its head and figure out a better way! 

Someone will love your work, and /or you will love it enough to self-publish!  (Amanda Hocking's story about self publishing and selling her 1 millionth book for Amazon Kindle has definately caught my attention).  Marilyn Monroe was dismissed from 20th Century -Fox because producers there declared her "unattractive".  She did alright after that...

Keep on keeping on.  Difficult though it may be some days, let nary a rejection keep you from the slump dumping destiny that is yours today and every day.  You are fabulous, creative, amazing.  Not everyone will think so, but what matters is that you think so of yourself.

Keep going....and thank you Mr. Churchill.



Friday, February 8, 2013

Feeling Is Believing

Over the past two weeks, I have been recovering from surgery.  Not the most splendid time for dumping my slump - there has been more time spent frumpy than fabulous.  Oh, there have been glimmers here and there, but over all  - more pajama time than glamour time.  Bottom line - I just haven't felt like getting after it (any of it...).  I also haven't been able to do much either, which is frustrating.  Putting on mascara has become a 20 minute project.  Driving - fuggetaboutit...
To be sure - there are blessings in recovery time.  It is peaceful, quiet, and healing.  It may cause miracles - according to the book of the same name I have been reading by Gabrielle Bernstein.  It may cause business and spiritual fires to burn, according to another awesome book called The Firestarter Sessions by Danielle LaPorte.  Inspired by all I have been reading - I am ready for this recovery business to be done.  Time to take some action to dump some slump. 
A few days ago, I shopped (on-line of course)!  Today the prize arrived and here is how the story goes.   Generally I am an advocate of seeing is believing.  I sometimes wonder if I am a secret native of Missouri - The Show Me state.  Today I saw, but really felt and believed again.
Part of my weight release journey and dealing with my fibromyalgia included to date the completion of eleven half marathons and four full marathons.  Each event gave me a fantastic medal that I treasure dearly, and I clearly recall the feeling of it placed around my neck just past the finish line.  Each medal has it's own unique story - starting from the dream that chose that event, to the path taken to accomplish it, to the feelings I had during that race, to the moment the medal was placed around my neck, and the time afterward knowing all it took to achieve it. 
What arrived today was a medal holder where I can display all half and full medals in one place.  It looked great - and I was thrilled!  I lined up all my medals in date order and put them on the holder.  As I was doing this, and strange as it sounds, I began to feel those races.  I smiled, laughed, and indulged in many a memory.  I felt the rain of the last mile of my first major half marathon in Disneyworld, and the intense heat and salty air of the Kona Half Marathon in 2012.  I felt the surprising icy cold of a December Las Vegas morning in 2006 and remember laughing aloud at strippers running a water stop.  As an Achilles International guide to a disabled athlete in the 2010 NYC Marathon, I felt my arm wrapped around my athlete companion to assist her the last 1.1 miles because together, we were determined that she was going to finish.  I then felt myself push her toward the Finish Line alone because she earned it.  Finally and most sweetly, I felt the tears rolling down my cheeks when a volunteer placed my 2009 NYC Marathon medal around my neck, hugged me tight, and said "you did it, and I love you for it". 
Yes - it's true that seeing is believing.  
But in addition -  Feeling Is Believing. 
My mantra - you must feel that you can.  You must think that you can.  There is no better way to dump any kind of slump than to feel that there are possibilities.  After being in recovery mode, today helped to catapult me into feeling that all things are once again possible.  I can feel it again.  There is a time for rebirth, regeneration, and overcoming what some have said is impossible.  Define that for yourself, and remember, feeling is believing. 


Monday, January 28, 2013

Continuous Forward Motion - Quotes for Monday, January 28th, 2013

Monday, Monday - not everyone's favorite day, but as good a day as any to keep the slump dumping fires burning.  Here are a few quick tidbits to lift the fog and shine the light...

Remember - Continuous Forward Motion.  Release the brakes...

  • "In the moments that you want to give up, you find out what you're really made of..." Unknown
  • "Turn a set back into a comeback" Billy Brewer
  • "Learn to trust that still small voice that says, "This might work and I'll try it" Diane Mariechild
  • "The moment you commit and quit holding back, all sorts of unforeseen incidents, meetings, and material assistance will rise up to help you."  Napoleon Hill

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Hidden Talents? Hide Them No More...

Sharing a great article from two of my favorite authors, Seth Godin and Guy Kawasaki: Tips for Mining Your Hidden Talents. 

My favorite part:
There’s perhaps no greater mental prison than the one we create when we crave the approval of others, when we worry about what others might think of us if we fail. Nothing was ever accomplished in history without someone stepping up front and risking vulnerability. What have you left untried because of fears? What is the cost to you, to your organization, or your business when you let your talents rust? Take an inspiration from Marianne Williamson, who says, “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be?”

Indeed - who are you not to be?  Go on, get out there.  Risk something, create something, put something out there.  So what if someone laughs at your first short film effort?  So what if your first screenplay doesn't receive an immediate Academy Award nomination?  Keep at it and keep uncovering those hidden talents.  As part of dumping any slump, take a deep breath, and kickstart your dreams, today. 
Read More:

Friday, January 25, 2013

Fabulous is Where You Find It - But At Doctor's Offices and Surgery Centers?

This week I witnessed some fabulous people that inspired me to continue my own frump slump dumping.  And fabulous is wherever you find it - and in this case, it was in the medical world. 

I had to have surgery this week - and in preparation, there was a pre-op exam.  Not wanting to take part in this rather onerous activity, I was delighted to find some fantastic ladies and nurses at Park Nicollet Family Practice in Burnsville.  Walking in with a yucky migraine - I just wanted to get in and out.  What I found were lovely, energetic people who welcomed me (yes, welcomed me) to the office, and took fantastic care of me.  More than that - one of the ladies walked into the waiting room wearing a fabulous leopard print skirt and awesome patterned hose.  She was clearly happy with her look and this energized me to not only compliment her, but to engage in conversation with the group.  They were all awesome and they bolstered my mood.  Now these ladies were not super models in the Cindy Crawford sense of the word - they were even better!  They were at home in their bodies, and at home in their looks.  They embodied the absence of a slump and I loved being around them.  They made the onerous more than tolerable and I left them feeling better and ready to face the surgery with a more positive outlook.

Then I met a few more new fabulous friends at the Minnesota Valley Surgery Center (and got a really cool water bottle as a surgical parting gift).  I loved talking to all these interesting people - all with great stories, all dumping slumps of minor and major magnitudes.  On that note, I decided to rock that surgical gown (it was a nice shade of purple which is one of my favorite colors), and though this one was more difficult, the hair net encasing my mane at least let my cheekbones shine through...

Despite the fact that this was not a great week for me, and one mired in migraines and surgical procedures - I was grateful to see the fabulous in others and to have that inspiration resonate in me for my next week, and the week after that, and the week after that...

Sometimes - the best thing to do to dump a slump is to know that today is not your day, but your day is just around the corner.  It may be someone else's day and just celebrate them.  In the meantime, rock what you got when you got it, from leopard print skirts to hair nets to giant casts and slings.  I will be keeping that hair net thing to the bare minimum though...

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Resolutions Resolved for Fitness, the Rest Resolved Soon...

I have been deeply consumed setting my fitness goals for 2013, which are a major part of my frump slump dumping campaign.  Challenged by a seemingly endless fibromyalgia flare-up, I finally settled on at least the number of major distance events, and the specific location of two of them.  If all goes according to plan - by the end of 2013, I will have completed 20 major distance events.  Get it?  20, in clever I (think) am...

My 2013 Fitness Resolution List (drumroll please...)
  • 1 Half Marathon - May 5th, 2013
  • 4 Marathons - June 23rd, 2013 is the first one, the remaining three to be scheduled
  • 1 PurpleStride Event - September 21st, 2013 (more on that soon!)
  • Yoga - once a week
  • Racquetball - resume play in mid February
From this moment forward - those goals are done, set forth, placed in the Universe, and now, to be executed.  How?  By putting one foot in front of the other...And in the case of yoga, one downward dog in front of the other...

What are your fitness goals for 2013?  Let me know - I'd love to support you in any of them.  Make them now, make them in a week from now, but be sure to make them.  Imagine how you will feel in a month from now if you start dumping your lack of fitness frump slump today?  You will already be feeling great! 

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Breath - Taking and Catching...

In terms of dumping my frump slump - the last seven days have been truly breathtaking.  I did things I NEVER in my wildest dreams thought I would EVER do.  I was accorded three awards that helped redefined (in a good way) some of my old, tired, and destructive thought patterns - and Anne Hathaway said it perfectly at the Golden Globes when she mentioned (and I paraphrase) that she now has a blunt object that can forever be used as defense against self doubt.  

So, today has been breath catching.  Today was a day relaxation, and rejuvenation. A day of pajamas and red carpet shows.  A day of leisurely breakfasts, coffee, fireplaces, and reading.  A day of warm afghans, and sweet afternoon naps.  A day to regroup and a day to consider next steps. 

Necessary and welcome, a day of rest is a lovely gift, and one gratefully accepted.  Because starting again tomorrow - it is certain that there is more breathtaking to come...

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Put One Foot In Front of the Other...Day Two

Lots of "un-frumping" today, and not just about diet and exercise.  I had a couple of comments including one that the person took a long hot bath and finally took some well needed self care time.  She said it was small but...Small, nothing...   A step is a step...and soon you'll be walking (or in this case taking some self time) out the door!

For me, the non diet/exercise part is a long but wonderful story.  Next post!  However, my committed one foot in front of the other did indeed include some exercise - 30 minutes on an elliptical machine, and better food choices.  Those choices included a cheeseburger, but also the choice was no roll (or bun depending on your region), having it for a late lunch, and just having a small dinner.  You can have fun food, you just need to chose wisely and make compromises when dumping pounds and frump slumps!

Remember what the winter wizard says:

"If I want to change the reflection
I see in the mirror each morn
You mean that it's just my election
To vote for a chance to be reborn"

We make those elections and decisions all day, ever day.  Make them the fabulous elections and choices for you! 

Monday, January 7, 2013

Put One Foot In Front of the Other...Day One


"If I want to change the reflection
I see in the mirror each morn
You mean that it's just my election
To vote for a chance to be reborn"

Although the holidays are over - Santa and this song are timelessly correct.  Changing from dumpy, frumpy and in a slump to self defined fabulous may start with just taking your first step, whatever that may be for you.

For me, today was Day One of kicking my challenges to the curb.  Day One (again) of putting one foot in front of the other.  I got in 2.47 mile walk with some incline and a minute of jogging!  Later on, I chose to bypass a taxi and walk 6 looonnnggg blocks with about 10 pounds of baggage - humming the song the whole way.

What did you do today to get started for the first time, or again?  Just remember - put one foot in front of the other, and soon you'll be walking out the door! 

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Let's Face the Music, and Dance? Sure, Why Not?

Yesterday - I chose to face the music, and eventually, I chose to dance.  I wanted to buy some new jeans that would fit my (currently) larger frame.  The black leggings in which I have living (hiding) needed to be given a break.  I had some larger size jeans tucked away in the guest room closet on the off chance that I might gain a few pounds back (which goes to show you that if you want to take the island, burn the boats).  However, those jeans represented all I left behind, and although convenient and free, it made my skin crawl to even think about putting those frumpy things back on.  So, off I went, knowing full well that the size of the jeans I would purchase would be disheartening, upsetting, and downright disgusting.  Time to face the music...

Two years ago, when I had lost the majority of my weight, I needed new jeans.  Up till that point, I had favored Ralph Lauren jeans - safe, high waisted, stretchy, and what the kids today describe as "Mom" jeans.  I kept buying them in small sizes because they were a sure thing, boring and less than stylish, but sure.  I didn't have the confidence at that point to go out on any limb and show off my new form in anything less than jeans that seemed to sit somewhere near my chin. 

One day, a friend told me about Lucky jeans.  He extolled their virtues, and said that my new body deserved some new jeans.  On his advice, I set out on a pilgrimage to the store, and I can clearly recall my first visit.  I circled outside for some time thinking I did not belong anywhere near this hip and trendy establishment.  Where were the over sized people pants?  Mustering my courage, I walked in and an hour later walked out a delighted customer - wearing a very small size jean that hugged every new curve in all the right new places.  These new jeans sat right on my hips, miles below where my old mom jeans sat, and much to my surprise, the dozen muffins top I once had was gone, and those jeans were a testimony to fat's labor lost.  To say I loved them is an understatement.  And the sizes?  Well, they were is a wonderfully small size  that I never thought I could wear, and I was truly proud of my accomplishments each and every time I slipped them over my hips. 

So yesterday - I arrived at the mall, and headed to the "safe" jeans.  I had a renewed feeling of irritation at myself for having to shop for larger sizes, and that lead to a feeling that I didn't deserve nice jeans.  I wandered around looking at various styles, trying to talk myself into one boring thing after the other, and then it struck me.  I am dumping my frump slump!  No matter what size, fabulous is what it is all about.  Anything less than that is completely unacceptable!  Out one door I walked, and I knew exactly where I had to go. 

Walking in the door, I had a moment of doubt and fear.  What size would I be?  Would they laugh at an older lady trying to squeeze into their styles?  Was I too large to deserve such hip clothing?  Blah blah blah...enough.  Deep breath - "time to face the music".  I walked up to a young man and introduced myself.  He shook my hand and told me his name was Brandon.  I stated my purpose, and told him no matter what, I wanted to look great and feel even better.  With that, the quest began.  Midway through trying on the first style, it happened. 

"There may be teardrops to shed..."  Oh and there were.  I sat in that dressing room and shed more than a few teardrops.  I have to meltdown to re-form and grow stronger.  Brandon was so helpful - and quickly came to my aid with darker wash jeans, a suede jacket and truthful words of what looked good and what didn't.  45 minutes later, I left the Lucky Store feeling more fabulous than I have in months.  Why?  Because, now I know, and even though I am not where I will be soon, I deserve to be fabulous right here and right now.  I dumped some of my frump slump and it felt awesome! 

I faced a major hurdle yesterday.  I know where I stand.  I am no longer hiding, or telling myself any lies about my current state.  I faced the music.  Have you faced yours yet?  If not, I highly recommend doing it.  It is the truth that will set you free to dump your frump slump.

Now - let's dance!

Friday, January 4, 2013

Step One - Resolve the Past. Step Two - Make New Resolutions

This past Tuesday, many a New Year's resolution was made.  You know the words, sing along...2013 is the year I am going to:
  • Lose weight
  • Shape up
  • Quit smoking
  • Stop drinking
  • Get organized
  • Spend more time with family
  • Etc.
New Year's resolutions are typically made with the best of intentions (and the health clubs are certainly full this week), however, statistically most resolutions fall by the wayside within three weeks.  Why?  Motivations are individual, and I would never presume to generalize.  Personally, I find that unless I resolve the past, I cannot firmly commit to my New Year's resolutions for the future.  To fully dump my frump slump (which is my primary 2013 resolution), I needed to identify what I was "dumping". 

So here goes - an abbreviated list of  that with which I am done (the whole list might turn into a "War and Peace" blog that no one would have time to read).
  • Doubting myself
  • "Shoulding" myself
  • Undervaluing myself
Everything else falls into those main categories.  So - there you have it.  That is my list.  What do you need to resolve to move forward?  What do you need to "dump"?  What do you need to conclude before your 2013 resolutions can become committed, meaningful, and long lasting?  Leave a comment and let this group know.

Dumping your frump slump is an inside job. It's a big wake-up call and an invitation to do something different.  Something different starts with dumping the past and getting ready to embrace the wonders of the future.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

On the second day of 2013, My Frump Slump Gave To Me...

My frump slump has given me a myriad of insights and gifts.  I haven't liked many of those gifts, and have wanted to return them, but absent a gift receipt, I have come to appreciate them.  It's like the sweater someone gave you with the gigantic orange snowman on the front in a stunning shade of neon green.  We don't always like every gift that we receive, but remember, it is the thought that counts...

Some of my gifts?  Well - let's see, the gift of wallowing, the gift of poor preparation, and the gift of self-doubt to name a few.  How are these presents exactly?  Each of them (and several others) showed me that although I spent a time there, I no longer allow myself to succumb to those negative thoughts that speak of mediocrity and failure.  Finally (finally...) I know and believe better than that.  And to quote Maya Angelou, "When you know better you do better".

I now believe it is possible to maintain a significant weight loss, and that there is no rule that it must be regained because of age, peer pressure, or any other reason.  The gift is the truth - the weight I regained was because I ate more than I burned.  Period.  I now believe it is possible to successfully recover from a layoff in this economy.  The gift is the vision to create new opportunities, seen and unseen.  I now believe it is possible to complete half and full marathons, and that there is no rule that disease or excuses must prevent that.  The gift is determination, and the blessings of being able to walk on from wherever I start again. 

Facing issues transforms them into gifts.  Gifts of insight into how it got this bad.  Gifts of intentions to resolve to do something different, something better.  Gifts of perseverance, and the gift of being grateful for the ability to try again tomorrow. 

What are the gifts given you by your slump?  Which of those gifts are you dumping in order to get the gifts you really want?  What do you intend to do with those gifts?  Remember - it is your thoughts that count...


Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Ready, Set, Go and Dump Your Frump Slump!

Frumpy, Dumpy and In A Slump...

That is where I found myself by the end of 2012.  Oh, this didn't happen overnight.  Forty pounds didn't appear as if from nowhere.  Listlessness and absence of curiosity didn't suddenly occur.  Fear of aging less than gracefully didn't crop up from nowhere.  Projects started with great zeal and enthusiasm didn't shelve themselves.

Sound familiar? 
Are you in a slump?  Relationship? Mind?  Career?  Spirit? Body?  
Not sure where to begin to turn things around?  I wasn't either, but I just knew I need to start somewhere and sometime, and that somewhere and sometime is now. 

2013 is here.  Time to dump your frump slump

Time to be who YOU want to be, and define your life as you want it to be! 

Forget the past...
Forgive yourself...
Begin again...

Time to dump your frump slump

Starting something new can be a challenge.  It's too many pounds...I'm too old...I'm too's a's a tragically outdated's a stalled's any number of issues, problems, and frankly, excuses.

Re frame it.  Rethink it.  Positive thoughts become positive reality. 

Time to dump your frump slump

The Mission:
For the next 364 days, my mission is dumping my frump slump and inspiring others to do the same.  What that means to you is self-defined, and I invite you to share your goals with me and this blog group.  We are in this together - so lets help each other get up, get out, and get better! 

How will the slump dumping unfold?  One day it may be putting on lipstick before leaving the house, and the next day - setting a goal of sending out ten resumes in a week.   Stay tuned for more on my goals and the goals of the blog followers! 

Commit to your inner strength, commit yourself.  Commit to dumping your frump slump, one moment at a time! 

Today is that day.  The day, the moment that it turns around.  Time to dump your frump slump