Wednesday, November 27, 2013



Right about this time every year, I start to think about kindness. The news and media is filled with crazy Black Friday shoppers and their stories of greed.   The stories are endless of who ran over who, to get the most popular toy this year. Every year it seems that the stores are opening up earlier and earlier. In return, people are leaving their families and Thanksgiving dinners early to make sure they are standing in the line of their favorite stores. I shake my head in confusion. What is out there to buy that important that you are willing to sacrifice time with the people you love? Time is the only thing you can't get back. You can't go back to last Thanksgiving and instead of leaving early to shop, spend it with your grandpa, who died this year. For many people, it's one of the only days of the year that everyone even gets together. Yet, as a society we find it more important to save a buck on an item we probably don't need anyway. 

Not only do we leave our gatherings early to stand in line, but then we get there amongst shoppers just like we and we are not kind. We run over each other, take things from people's carts, yell, push, shove and raise hell because we want an item for our kid. 
Here are a few examples:
 1.  Two people were shot on Black Friday in the parking lot of a Florida Walmart after an argument over a parking space in 2012.

2. A man in a San Antonio Sears pulled out a concealed gun on a line-cutter.

3. On Black Friday in 2008, a temporary Walmart employee was trampled to death after a large crowd poured through the store's doors. And Walmart, a company with sales of $466 billion last year, is still fighting the $7,000 fine that resulted from the 2008 trampling.

4. A 61-year-old man collapsed in 2011, fellow Target shoppers stepped over his body and continued searching for deals. The man later died at the hospital.

Here is an idea. Instead of those angry behaviors, let’s replace it with kindness for each other.  As consumers, if we went to the stores on Thanksgiving night with love and kindness, I can guarantee it would be a much better experience for everyone. Traffic will run smoother and we won't become frustrated if we drive knowing we are going to be moving slow and that we are going to have to walk a mile to a parking spot. Standing in lines might be more enjoyable if we start up a conversation about how grateful we are for being able to buy everything in our cart. Smile and be kind to the holiday workers who are just trying to make a living. More than likely, they rather be at home with their families, instead of working, so being kind to those people working very hard on Thanksgiving night. 

Kindness is the key to this holiday season. When we decide to go out shopping, expect all the people, traffic, and delays, no matter when you venture out. Don't be shocked when it takes you an hour longer to run your errands. Embrace the holiday shopping with kindness and love. Stop being rude. If you can't go out shopping in love, then don't go. Stay home and enjoy your family and friends. Wait till you are going for the right reasons. We are going shopping to buy gifts for people, gifts for the important people in your lives. Shouldn't they be bought with love, not through frustration and anger? 

This holiday season:
Think about if shopping is more important than spending the time with family.

Be happy, no matter what you decide.

Show respect for the people around you in the stores.

Go shopping with love.

Enjoy the moments. 


Happy Thanksgiving. I will be spending my holiday with many people I love. I will eat, laugh, play games and just enjoy the company. What will you be doing? 

Monday, November 18, 2013



There is a trend developing quickly in our computer, cell phone, lack of human to human communication driven world and it’s very annoying. When did we get so caught up in our technology that we forgot that there are real human beings on the other end? Yes, human beings with feelings, exciting events, sad times, and birthdays, to name a few. 

I have always been one that thinks birthdays are important. You were born into this world on a certain date, given a special name, and every year, that day should be celebrated. You are unique and bring so many wonderful attributes to this world and the people in your life. We should celebrate life every day, but if you choose not to, at least go all out on your birthday! In saying that, the people that love you the most, should also make an effort to celebrate your birthday. I am not saying, you should spends lots of money to buy a big gift, or maybe you can't even see the person on their day because of distance or circumstances, (unless you want to) but PLEASE at least acknowledge the person you love. 

Now here is the part where I get extremely ANNOYED!  I say acknowledge them and I mean it, but a text message or facebook message to say Happy Birthday is very lazy, selfish and in my eyes inappropriate. To me, a facebook message is simply saying, "Oh yes, facebook reminded me of your birthday and because I spend WAY too much time on facebook, I'll send you a quick message just like 50 other people." Or, facebook reminds you that it’s your sibling’s birthday and you send a text message that simply states "Happy Birthday." What that really says is, "Yes, it’s your birthday and you are my sister, I love you, but I don't have the time to pick up the phone and tell you in person, because my life is so important."

SERIOUSLY?  We are really going to send a text or a facebook message to say Happy Birthday to someone we love instead of calling them? Our lives are that important that we can't take five minutes from our day to wish someone we love a happy birthday? I feel like it would terrify people to ask them, take one more step and send a card in the mail to someone that you love. It seems to me, that the simple act of signing your name to a card would just put people over the edge of their self-indulged life. I mean, they would have to go to the store, buy a card, sign it, get a stamp and mail it. That would take them away from the countless hours they spend surfing the net or playing on their phone. We couldn't have that, now can we?

As much as it is scary, it's also so sad to me that this is the world we are now living in every day. This is what we are teaching our children. We think OUR lives are just SO important, that we can't stop and take the time to spend it with someone we love on the day they were born, or simply picking up the phone to wish them a good day. 

 I know for me, I will make an effort to speak to someone that I love when it’s their birthday. If they do not answer the telephone, that's ok, I will leave an obnoxious singing message. But, no matter what, they will hear my voice on their birthday, because their life is just as important as mine. What will you do? 

Monday, November 11, 2013



I am living my day to day in more stress than I have in my 12 years of teaching. When I am at school, I feel like every ounce of happiness and energy is sucked out of me in this long tube, which then is being spewed it out in somewhere in the universe. To refill the happiness tank, I look to drink a Pepsi. The taste of Pepsi has always been on my tongue since I was born. I know this because, according to my mom, Pepsi was my second word after ball. Pepsi is my stress reliever. I can totally understand now how someone becomes addicted to substances. People feel bad about their lives, so they find something to make them feel better. I do that, but fortunately, on a less harmful scale. 

I could see from a distance that I needed to figure out a way to break the connection from stress and Pepsi. I was beginning to gain weight. I would get wicked headaches if I didn't drink a Pepsi early enough in the day, plus its expensive. More importantly than all of those was the fact that Pepsi no longer even tasted good. I wasn't drinking it because I loved the taste. I was drinking it because in my mind, it took the stress away. Let's be real, the Pepsi didn't take my stress away. What it did was create a story I told myself every time I became stressed. 

That story became one I got tired of telling. I got tired of focusing my day on stress and having that drink. It was as if the Pepsi controlled me. I decided that I was going to go on a 24 day cleanse. I chose the 24 day cleanse because its long enough to form good habits. They say that 21 days forms a habit, and now I had 3 more days to just make sure. I know there are people reading this thinking, I can't drink my meals, I can't give up coffee or carbs. The thing is, you can, but the even better thing is, you don't have to on this cleanse.

I eat every meal, with snacks in between. Each meal consists of proteins, veggies, grains and fruits. Yes, the first couple days were rough, but I am on my 12th day now and I feel great! It has been 12 days since I have had a Pepsi by the way :) Not only am I feeling better but I am learning a great deal about myself.

My stress hasn't gone away. It still shows up in various places in my life, but instead of listening to my mind and medicating that stress with Pepsi, I am now listening to my body and stopping to breathe more. I am acknowledging that if I don't like a situation, I ask if there is a solution. If there is no solution, then I accept what is, and move on. I have been doing more yoga, which is also helping me reduce stress and helping fill the happiness tank. I am taking care of me physically and emotionally every day by being in the moments and realizing when my mind is trying to take control. 

This cleanse has shown me how to have a tremendous amount of discipline. We are social beings and when we go out, it is usually centered around food. It is very easy in our culture to eat the fried foods. I am learning on this cleanse, that with some effort, you can eat very healthy. I have realized that we don't listen to our bodies enough. Realistically, there aren't many times when we ask ourselves if we are really hungry, but instead we let our mind control our eating. I have been more aware of what my mind says, especially in times of high stress. When my mind says I am craving something that I really don't want, I stop and ask the reason for wanting that food or drink. Is it because I am hungry or thirsty? Most of the time its because its habit, or Friday, or whatever excuse I am telling myself.  I am learning to listen to my mind's chatter and realize I have control. 

Through this process I am becoming aware of when I am hungry, the connections I make with food, and my mind's self talk. I have broken the link between my stress and Pepsi. I am working very hard on listening to my body and intuition, instead of my mind. I also remember that this is a process and I am not perfect, but I really like the changes I am making and the new story I am telling. What is your story? What small changes can you do every day to make your life more healthy? 

If you are interested in the cleanse check out Advocare 24 day challenge.