Sunday, May 25, 2014


I have some other (happier) things I've been wanting to write about but I think that'll have to wait a bit.  The end of the school year gets so busy with kids!

Anyway... in light of the trending of the #YesAllWomen that I was just reading about , I wanted to chime in real quick.  I'm not on twitter and I feel like it's a bit much for just a facebook post.

I am shocked at how many of the hashtags I relate to and can understand and empathize with.
I don't know why it shocks me anymore.

I find the timing particularly of note as I have been working through owning my stories of rape these last few weeks.

That's right.

The R word.

My experiences and responses to the #YesAllWomen would be something along these lines....

- Because pornography viewing at a friends' home at a very early age put into my mind that rape and violence were a normal part of a relationship between a man and a woman and even something to fantasize about.

- Because a close family member, whose opinion was of high value to me, told me that it was the woman's fault if she was sexually assaulted or taken advantage of and that a husband deserved whatever he wanted from his wife.

- Because when the 8th grader put his hands under my clothes he said it was what I wanted, and I believed him even though I didn't feel that way.
And then when the 11th grader (me in 10th) grabbed me and tried to force things further, he said that I was asking for it because of how I was dressed (a flesh colored shirt).  I believed him too.  I didn't speak up and someone thankfully showed up just in the nick of time, but I showered and threw that shirt away and haven't been able to wear a similarly colored shirt since.
Because the 11th grader said I asked for it by simply showing up, being me, when he tried to rape me- with his friend watching and laughing.  I will still never understand how I got away, but feel grateful that I did.  Because the shame of these things and the belief that I had brought them upon myself, not that these boys were fully responsible for their own actions, shut my mouth and closed off a part of me for far too long.

- Because the trap of pornography teaches men (and women for that matter), good men, that this is what women want.... to be dominated or abused or even just plain used.  They may be so wrapped up in the web of lies that are being fed them and reinforced through chemical responses in our brain, that they don't even recognize the inherit lie being sold.... That we are all individuals.  That each person is a person.  Male or female.   Each deserves to be treated as a human being, not as an object.  Not as a thing to be used.  A marriage does not provide opportunity because it does not mean that the other person is your property.  Marital relationships are not grounds for 'anything goes'.  The idea that a woman must service her husband to fulfill his need for sex or that she must do something she feels uncomfortable with because that is the way to show love, is a falsehood.

- Because people can change and patterns passed through generations can be stopped and changed.  There must be a communication.  There must be a conversation had about these unhealthy attitudes we have been taught, fed, or have been propagating ourselves.  There must be victims and perpetrators alike, willing to be brave and courageous and share their stories.  So many people think their stories are so far beyond hope and so unique to them.  So many stories, when shared, are found to have so many similar patterns to them.

- Because even rereading this I know (or maybe just fear) that some will say that it was my fault....that I was asking for whatever came to me because I'd had that reel playing through my mind from the age of six from that video I was made to watch.  And the part of me that hears the voices of society and struggles with Satan's tricky words wonders if maybe they are right....maybe I secretly wanted it and put myself in those situations for some sick and twisted reasons.  Because even if that was the case, I deserved and still deserve better.  My victimization from a young age at the hands of someone else may have led to further victimization of myself by myself, but that doesn't make me a bad person or an object nor does it justify those boys' actions.

- The first time I went to a therapist she asked me why I was there and what I hoped to get out of being there.  My answer was "I have realized that there is a pattern among the women in my family of being abused by men in their lives and I do not want to pass that on to my daughter.  It stops with me."

Read some of those hashtags and tell me you don't see it too.

This is my story that I own.  I won't let shame own it any longer.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014


I've been working on writing out and owning my story.  Not just the events of my life and things that have happened to me, but how I have felt about those things.  Realize that I had to turn off the faucet of emotions for a lot of my life simply to cope with some of the traumatic events and stress that I felt.  I didn't know better.  That was just the only way to deal.  Now I am experiencing those events in a new way.

There have been some unintended side effects.

Recently I had a dream that brought to mind a particular point in my life that I was struggling to face and move through.  Deeply personal.  It involved another person and we are at a completely different point in our relationship now so it felt wrong to disturb that.  However, it became clear that owning my story needed to included owning all the parts of it, all the feelings with it, and how I feel about it still.  So I approached the loved one about it.  I don't know if I was expecting validation or pleas of forgiveness or just an acknowledgment that I wasn't crazy.  I don't know.  What I know is that when they told me they didn't remember or that they didn't see it the same way, my heart sunk.  It was like being that child all over again,  being told that I was over-dramatizing something serious that had happened.  I began to question and hear that voice again.  I have struggled with just not feeling right since.  I feel sad.  Evidently I was looking for something in that conversation that I did not get.  When someone hurts you and doesn't acknowledge that hurt, or admit to the depth of it, it can be terribly disrupting.  You can question whether what happened really happened.  You might tell yourself it wasn't really a big deal after all, even when it probably was.  I found myself seeking out the name of the first offender in my life and looking for some validation that they had some sort of criminal record or something after what they did to me.  I believe I was looking for some validation that I wasn't crazy.

What do you do when you've been abused and mistreated by people over the years whom you will never get the acknowledgment and validation from on their end?  What do you do when that involves loved ones still in your life?  What about when it involves people long since out of your life?  I suppose you own your story.  You choose to love yourself enough to say this happened even if there is no other side of the story to back you up and even if the other person, the person who hurt you, doesn't seem to think they did something so bad.  When you forgive them anyway, you tell yourself that it really did happen and they really did need that forgiveness even if they didn't ask for it.  You are true to yourself in that way.

Still, I've been sad.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

How Shakeology changed my life for the better, and why I'm no longer drinking it- Part Two

For a more complete picture, please read Part One first.

Why would I stop drinking something so great, something I loves, something that has truly changed my health for the better?  Well, that part is much harder to share.  I hope that those who don't share my same understanding will read with an open mind and respect.  I pray that hearts will be softened and non-judgmental.  I need to share what I have learned for the sake of my own integrity and because I believe that we have a duty to share light and truth within our sphere, on matter how difficult or uncomfortable.  

My reasons for discontinuing Shakeology have nothing to do with the cost or the company or some other disillusionment.  On the contrary, I have great feelings about Beachbody as a whole and the financial structure as a Beachbody coach make the cost of little concern to me.  

It has everything to do with being a Mormon.  

Now, hold up.... I know the vast majority of the Beachbody coaches in my circle are also LDS.  Yes, I also know that some chief officers in the company are Mormon.  I realize all of these people drink and swear by Shakeology.  Ok, if not all then certainly seems like all.  Why do you think this is so hard to write?  I know it will not be easily accepted by many.  I'm not going to try and tell you other members of my faith that you shouldn't drink Shakeology either.  That's your decision to make.  I do ask that you keep an open mind and heart as you read my explanation and that, if you find you are able, you pray with a sincere and humble heart to know for yourself.  Your answer may be different than mine.  It may not.  You have to be open to either possibility.  

It started a few months ago.  I was slowly coming to grips with acknowledging I had not involved my Heavenly Father in my weight loss journey as I knew I needed to and that the times I had seen the most success were the times I did involve Him.  I felt a continual push that I needed to search the Word of Wisdom for answers and clues as to how I should be feeding my body.  I had this feeling that if I would just follow the Word of Wisdom then the Lord would bless my body to function properly (and thus lose the weight it should have by now).  So I began to study talks and lessons in addition to D&C 89.  I developed an idea that I should create an eating plan based on this (more on that later) and I realized the clear emphasis to really add more fruits and vegetables and reduce overall meat consumption.  I had ideas and understandings like all these and more.  I was still struggling to cohesively put it all together and to implement it.  I felt a little like I was missing something in it.  Something I just wasn't quite catching.  I started praying for humility and guidance to know what to do.  I knew I needed to submit my will to His more anyway, but it was scary nonetheless.  

Fast forward a bit to Ward Conference.  We have a phenomenal Stake President whom I greatly admire and respect.  We had one of those amazing Sacrament meetings that just seemed to touch my soul and hit on things that had been on my mind.  In Relief Society, our Stake President held a Q&A session.  We'd had the opportunity to anonymously write him questions on a piece of paper prior to his visit.  Someone had asked a question about caffeine, such as Coca-Cola, and thus the discussion on the Word of Wisdom began.  

Now, before you get all up in arms or start debating different points of the Word of Wisdom and interpretations of it, just hear me out.  This was the first I'd heard it explained this way and the spirit was so strong in that room, there could have been a light shining directly down.  My friend who was sitting next to me is someone whom I consider a very spiritual person and even she sat agape saying "I never thought of it that way! It makes total sense!"  I couldn't agree more and there was no questioning of the authority felt in that room.  Trust me, I have tried to question and doubt it many times since as I wasn't sure I liked what it meant for me or how it felt with the beliefs I had at the time.  I simply cannot.  

I hope that I can explain this similar to how he did so that you can follow along and understand....
First the why.... 
Now this is the part that really got to me.  
Consider the very last verse of the Word of Wisdom:
"And I, the Lord, give unto them a promise, that theadestroying angel shall bpass by them, as the children of Israel, and not slay them."

Now this from Exodus 12:
For the Lord will apass through to smite the Egyptians; and when he seeth the blood upon the lintel, and on the two side posts, the Lord will bpass over the door, and will not csuffer theddestroyer to come in unto your houses to smite you. 

 Anyone who has seen the classic movie The Ten Commandments probably has a good visual of the 'destroying angel'.  Think of this... what was significant about this?  What did they do but place a mark above their doors to differentiate themselves from the others?  They merely distinguished themselves as followers of the God that Moses was trying to preach about.

Now, consider this...
When you travel or go somewhere new or meet a new person and ask them what they know about Mormons, what answer do you get 9 times out of 10?  Something along the lines of "they don't smoke...they don't drink... they don't drink coffee...".  All these things are ways that we stand out and are identified and differentiated.  All these things are because of the Word of Wisdom.  Do you see what I'm getting at?  No, it's not like these people never die or suffer.  But they were a marked people and set apart as being choice and different, just as we.
Does this change how you view the Word of Wisdom?  Because it sure did for me.

As for the what and Shakeology...
So of course the tea question came up.  We have had it revealed and clarified that the term 'hot drink' refers to coffee and tea (you have to remember the time at which the revelation was given and the customs and verbage of the day).  In fact, I really love this quote from Elder Packer from this talk:
"I found in the Word of Wisdom a principle with a promise. The principle: Care for your body; avoid habit-forming stimulants, tea, coffee, tobacco, liquor, and drugs (see D&C 89:3–9). Such addictive things do little more than relieve a craving which they caused in the first place."

Tea is sometimes misleading because it is also a method of preparation for herbs and such.  When you steep herbs to make a tea, that is different than the tea that has been referred to in the scripture.  What we are to avoid consumption of is tea in the tea plant (as well as those other items listed above).  We are not taught to avoid them only in certain preparations or quantities.  You do not have coffee whether it is iced, an ingredient in something (I confess I love mocha ice cream but now I've got to double check those ingredients), or brewed.  The same is true of tea.... of the tea plant.

Did you know that green tea and black tea are from the exact same plant?  They are the same!  The difference is only in the preparation of the leaf.  Seriously.  Check out this wikipedia article about the plant.  I do not access the internet during church, but I confess I looked this one up right then and there because I could scarcely believe it when he said they were from the same plant.

So here's the thing.... Green tea is definitely full of many health properties.  I'm certainly not going to argue that.  I will, however, point out that the same can be said of many of those other substances we choose to avoid when we follow the Word of Wisdom.  Have you read a recent study touting the heart benefits of a daily glass of wine?  So are you going to start drinking it?  It seems to me that any statements about it being okay because of the health benefits or because of the difference in preparation would be rationalizing against something we have been taught.  That is how it feels to me anyway.  This is the battle I have waged within myself.  'But just look at all the health benefits I've received.'  'But look at how all those other people who are drinking it are being blessed.  They must be living their lives righteously.'  'Why would God have led me to this if it wasn't okay?'  Oh yah, that one was a doozy.

What I've come to the conclusion of is this...  When we know better we do better.  We learn line upon line and precept on precept.  I can accept that I needed to experience the health benefits of Shakeology (which contains green tea if you haven't figured that one out yet) so that I could see and learn for myself how food can impact my body and how I have the power to affect it for good.  Like the milk before the meat, this was how I needed to move forward in my journey.  A loving Heavenly Father saw that and led me there.  Sure, it's also possible that I talked myself into it because I was desperate for that challenge group (that He most definitely gave me answer that I needed to be a part of).  Honestly, it doesn't really matter.  What matters is that I need my Savior's help to overcome my food addiction.  I need His help to live authentically and whole.  I need to have my very nature changed, and only He can do that.  He can only do that when I am willing to submit my will to His.  I simply cannot go back on what I learned and how I felt.  Believe me, I wanted to.  When other Beachbody coaches got up in arms about not being able to be a successful coach if you aren't drinking Shakeology yourself (because you aren't being a product of the product then), I saw my dreams of financial freedom and having my husband solely working from home floating away.  At that very same instance, however, I felt that the Lord would bless me with what it was that I really needed and sufficient for the life I desired.  Maybe it won't happen in the way that I imagined and could see, but it will happen.  Thing is, I do still absolutely love Shakeology.  If they ever come out with a version that doesn't contain green tea, then you bet your dollar I'll be first in line for it.  I'm not telling you whether you should or shouldn't consume it yourself.  If you aren't LDS and don't share the beliefs that I do, then absolutely have it!  That is definitely not a choice I can and should make for you.  My job is to give information and tools so that you can decide for yourself.  For all I know, you'll be given a different answer than I.... and I do still fully support the product.  If you are LDS and do continue to use Shakeology, be assured that I most definitely won't judge you.  I, too, plan to continually be prayerful about it.
Besides, Beachbody is so much more than just Shakeology.  It is phenomenal fitness programs and a commitment to overall healthy living that I can absolutely stand by and promote.  It is also (and you probably didn't even know this) a really fabulous skin care line that I love and am so grateful to have found, since I'm not allergic to it!  So I'll be darned if someone says I can't be successful because I choose to not consume a product containing green tea.  Maybe my definition of success is different.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

How Shakeology changed my life for the better, and why I'm no longer drinking it- Part One

It was a year ago exactly that I first tried Shakeology.  I became interested in it after seeing friends' posts about it helping with their migraines, inflammation, mood, weight loss and more.  I was desperate for weight loss, yes, but I knew the accountability of a challenge group was what I needed for that.  Sure, the challenge group had a requirement of needing to drink the Shakeology each day so that may have nudged me a bit more toward the commitment to it.  Ultimately though, it was different reasons that really led me to try Shakeology.

Reason numero uno:  My allergies were out of control.  Seriously, it was terrible.  I park in our driveway and it isn't far from the front door to my car in the driveway.  Even still, I found myself completely unable to function during allergy season if I so much as drove my kids to school.  In that short distance to the car, I found myself gobsmacked by a roaring headache and completely wiped out for the rest of the day.  Then there were the times I couldn't see much through my watery eyes or that I found myself wheezing just standing outside.  Yah, it was BAD.  I mean, I knew that I was about as allergic as you can get to every pollen in the area (that was a fun test to take) and I'd heard that allergies generally get worse as you get older, so I guess it only stood to reason.  I reached a point that I finally broke down and asked my doctor for those allergy shots he had mentioned two years prior.  Guess what?  I was denied.  That's right.  He said NO.  Apparently, having to use Epi Pens on two separate occasions and the severity of my most recent anaphylaxis disqualified me for immunotherapy.  It was just too risky.  So I was left to my own devices, some nasal spray, and Mucinex D (because I'm allergic to all the other allergy meds).  Yah, that's real.  Point being, I was desperate.  It stood to reason (in my mind at least) that if Shakeology helped reduce inflammation and allergies were and inflammatory response, then Shakeology should help me with my allergies.
Result:  A year later I can unequivocally say that nothing has helped my allergies more than Shakeology.  I have been through two allergy seasons with barely a flinch while friends are 'dying' from their allergies.  I haven't had a sinus infection either.  Well, maybe one.  I think.  After a race it seems like.  Or maybe it was right when I started eating clean and my body was getting rid of junk.  I can't tell you how freeing it has been to live my life during my favorite weather seasons- fall and spring.

Reason numero dos:  Girl problems.  Guys, if this is TMI for you then just skip past this section.  Ladies, imagine having your period twice a month.  Cravings, mood swings, and all.  Yep.  That's what was happening to me.  It had been for about a year but I was too embarrassed by the fact that I looked pregnant when I was not to get myself to the OB/GYN.  I finally worked up the courage to as part of this new found commitment to my health.  Test results revealed multiple ovarian cysts disrupting my cycle and confusing my hormones as well as other endometrial abnormalities.  This was particularly shocking for me as prior to all this I was so regular from the day I started at 11 years old that I never even got a break after having each kid of mine.  The doctor tried to convince me to go back on birth control (never my friend) or to consider discussing hysterectomy.  We had to follow up in a couple of months anyway to see how they changed and determine what types of cysts they were as the reports gave varied guesses.  Remember, a year I'd had mid-cycle bleeding, cramping, and a crazy obsession for chocolate.
Result: By 6 weeks into drinking Shakeology I had no more irregular periods.  No more mid-cycle bleeding.  No PMS cravings at all.  It became such a back part of my mind that I even found myself completely unprepared at a theme park even though it was the right time of the month.  I just didn't even notice it approaching.  Follow-up testing after 2 months of Shakeology showed a 100% completely normal uterus.  No more ovarian cysts at all.  I thought it was just a fluke but it continued.  During the holidays and another time, I became inconsistent in drinking Shakeology- having it maybe 3x a week instead of every day.  Sure as night and day, those mid-cycle problems came right back!

Reason numero tres: Energy and weight loss.  Okay, what mom doesn't want this?  I have 4 kids close in age and I have hypothyroidism and low Vitamin D levels.  Seriously, some days it's like a miracle that I function at all!
Result: After just a week of drinking Shakeology, I had the weirdest thing happen.  It felt like a fog had been lifted from my brain.  A fog I didn't even know I was in.  Feeling that clarity gave me joy and excitement, which translated to more energy.  Did the Shakeology help with weight loss?  Well, yes and no.  It's still a huge struggle for me.  What it did help with was cravings and mood swings by giving my body such a dense dose of nutrition it desperately needed- things that could easily turn to uncontrolled and unhealthy eating.  Getting a handle on those definitely helps with weight loss.  It also provided a daily reminder of a commitment to health, which in turn led to better behaviors.  Plus, having it be so convenient and the same cost as some Lean Cuisine or fast food, meant I would regularly forego the temptation to eat that stuff in favor of the Shakeology.... with so many more nutrients, it isn't even comparable.

All of these are just some of the reasons I have been drinking Shakeology for the past year.  I'm not kidding or exaggerating.  I really mean it when I say I love it and I noticed a real difference in how I feel with it (sidenote: my vision and thyroid have also improved over the last year).  My kids love it as well and beg me for it.  It serves as a nice bribery tool.  My kindergartner hates to eat lunch but would never complain if I offered Shakeology.  It is such a convenient meal when on the road or on vacation.  It's a great pre-race meal for me and keeps my blood sugar steady through the long triathlons.

So why would I stop drinking something so great, something I love, something that has truly changed my health for the better?  Well, that part is much harder to share and I will in Part Two.

to the voice in my head

Hey voice.  I need you to be quiet.  I need to be brave.  Owning a story is hard work.  It is worthy and therapeutic work.  It is scary work.  I have some important things to share and I need to clear my head to share them in the right way.  So I need you to be quiet.  Yes, you...that voice telling me I'm going to be shunned or that there will be huge fallout like the last time I spoke up to a group of what I thought were like-minded people.  That voice telling me it's okay, maybe even better, to just keep mum.  Why stir the pot after all?  Yah, I know you... I recognize you.  There is good in taking a stand.  There is good in having integrity.  There is good in choosing something hard, when it is on the Lord's side.  There may be fallout.  There will be blessings.  They may not be immediate but they will come eventually.  He has shown me that.  So voice, go away.  I need to think and it's not going to be about you.


I've been on a bit of a spiritual journey as of late.  I've been writing a lot in my journal and doing a lot of praying.  It started out like this:

I was stuck.

Back up.... I was doing well and then I hit a wall.  This great big wall in front of me.  Gradually the sun rose over it and little by little some light crept in.  As it was illuminated, I began to see how I had allowed some old behaviors and thought patterns into my life.  I began to recognize the merry-go-round that I was on and that I wasn't really progressing anymore.

That's when it hit me.  "I need help."

When you work your butt off and then your butt doesn't go away, you begin to think you might be broken.  Even if I had been eating terribly for the past year I should have more to physically show for all of the hard work I've put in with exercise.  And I haven't been eating terribly over the past year!  At first the thoughts were so subtle I barely noticed them.  "Well, you've had a mental change and you've been pretty consistent so that's good enough."  "It must be my thyroid.  Nevermind that I have no symptoms of the thyroid being off."  "Maybe you should just do surgery.  It would be easier and now you know you can be consistent at being good so it'll be fine."  Then they became a bit more blatant.  "You're broken."  "You just don't fit in with anyone."  "You're not good enough to be around these other Beachbody coaches.  You're not good enough to be around anyone now because now you're a hypocrite."  "You're a hypocrite for promoting health and wellness and saying people can lose weight and break their bad habits when you haven't done it yourself."  "You just keep trying because you want to prove something and that's not a good reason."  "It's all your fault."  "You must not be 'good' enough or God would be helping you."  "You did something wrong and that's why your coach isn't really helping you anymore."  "Nobody likes you.  Just your husband.  Maybe even only him just because he's stuck with you."

And then I saw it.

So I reached out.

I contacted the therapist who had helped my husband overcome his pornography addiction.  We had also seen him as a couple a few times so I had a relationship already established.  I sent him an email and this is what I said: " I'm looking just for some help with myself.  I've been trying and trying to take care of it on my own but I feel like I must be missing a piece of the puzzle or something.  Billy and I are doing quite well and I am amazed at the change I see in him, even though he still insists he doesn't feel different.  I am realizing that there is a small piece of trust issue that needs to be dealt with and it has to do with having my own food addiction...if I can't seem to conquer mine and keep failing then how can I trust his change?  That kind of thing."

It is hard to accept that you are no more perfect than the next guy.  Years of faulty thinking and behaviors do not go away as you replace them.  You have to dig into why they are there in the first place.  You have to be willing to go through the muck.  I thought I had.  Honestly.  I had.  But I'd only gone through some of it.  What I realized when we very first met again, and several times since, is that in all of my self-work that I have done over the years, I have made tremendous growth and change and had a lot of healing.  Having more to do doesn't discount that.  What it means, though, is that those wounds and mindsets run deep.  I've cleaned out the outer and even middle layers.  Now it's time for what is left of it.  The core-limiting beliefs that still remain.  Having any remain does not invalidate what I've said or done before.  It simply is there.  That's okay.  It's a journey.  It will continue to be a journey.

I have been praying regularly for humility and I find myself humbled by the blessings I receive and the 'in your face' way that God lets me know He knows me and loves what I am doing.  The talks in church, the articles friends post on FB, the direction conversation leads with my therapist (who, btw, is LDS and I love that we can include that as part of our discussion).... all of these things give me inspiration or serve as confirmation to things on my mind or answers to prayers.  I have made some changes in the direction of some things in my life (more on that later) and I have made some hard decisions in conjunction with that.  Yet, I feel very at peace with it because of these things leading to it.  I have rediscovered my desire to serve and my trust in God.  I am rediscovering my trust in my own self as well.  It's a beautiful thing.  We moved recently and my world was consumed with the chaos of that amidst running our business and a family death.  I can't tell you how good it feels to get back into those things that should have always been there (but to not beat myself up about momentarily going into 'just survive' mode)- the self-care and scripture study, the prayer and healthy foods and journaling every morning.

I feel grateful and blessed.  I am releasing things so that I can get out of my own way.  I am owning my story.  I am owning my weight.  Only when I own it can I let it go, and that is what I am doing.  I definitely believe that our bodies have memories and associate certain events with certain weights (if that's important to you) and circumstances.  I've believed that for many years.   I'm just now remembering and being willing to face that.  Liberating.  Scary.  Healing.  I'm lighter already. ;)

Sunday, April 27, 2014

back to blogging

I've been away from Blogger for so long it seems.  I got so busy with Hobbyholica that it simply went by the wayside... reading other recovery blogs and writing on my own blog.  I have missed it though.  I have missed the network of sisterhood (but I'm SO happy to have connected with some of you on Facebook), and I have missed the sharing of my writing.  I'm going to make more of an effort to get up earlier so that I have time for writing.  It soothes my soul.  I recently met in person a woman who I had gotten to know online and helped with some weight loss and recovery issues.  We were at a party together and someone went to introduce us when she explained that we already knew each other and went on to describe me as a gifted writer who had missed her calling in life.  Wow!  What a compliment!  A part of me always wanted to be a writer but it has been a part of me that has been 'blocked up' for quite some time.  I've felt the itch lately.  A lot. I am  not sure where it is going to take me, but I do believe I am tiptoeing toward it.  "Run confidently in the direction of your dreams."  Ok, maybe not yet.  Maybe.  In any case, I have been sharing a lot of my thoughts and such on Facebook over the last several months.  Since I am somewhat OCD when it comes to these things, I think that I will copy and paste onto here many of my thoughts and things I have shared on FB and then backdate it to the appropriate date.  I have also been keeping a journal better.  I have found it incredibly helpful to my day to simply get up and write 3 pages of just whatever comes to my mind first thing in the morning.  I haven't been perfect in this, of course, but I have most definitely found my days to go better when I start them off this way.  It is a good thing to clear your mind first thing in the morning this way and to prepare yourself through eating something good for you, saying a prayer, and reading your scriptures and personal development.  I look forward to reconnecting with this part of me and to reconnecting with so many of you beautiful spirits who are making an effort to change the world.  I have some big plans in the future and a new way of where I want to take my health and wellness coaching.  Something that I feel like aligns best with my passions and what God would have me do.  So watch for that. ;)