Wholehearted

Keepin’ the dream alive

Posted by on Aug 9, 2015 in Challenges, Inspiration, Liveaboard, Sailing, Virtual Assistance, Wholehearted | 1 comment

A decade ago my hubby and I envisioned a different life. A life that represented freedom and as off the grid as we could imagine: we wanted to live on a boat and travel. I solved the income challenge almost immediately. I discovered the ideal mobile business and have successfully worked from different states and Canada, even from a sailboat for a short period, as a Virtual Assistant—and I love what I do! So why hasn’t the dream become a reality I ask myself? Life happened. Unexpected major events that we’ve handled surprisingly well and bounced back from—wiser but not deterred from our dream. And that’s okay. I get that we’ve only hit the snooze button. But some days I feel unmoored. Are we on the right course? Do we need to adjust the sails? Doubt for our North Star seeps in. We recently found a fixer upper sailboat that met 90% of our must-have-list on the hard (out of the water) in a marina near Tarpon Springs (a doable two hours away instead of in Oregon!) It had been the owner’s dad’s project boat but his dad had died before seeing it complete (sadly this is a common tale). Fixed up this boat would sell for five times the asking price. We enthusiastically set out the next day with our cash deposit in hand. I climbed a wobbly aluminum ladder (my faith in hubby’s hold on said ladder complete) to step on board into almost shin deep rain water in the cockpit! I waded to the companion way and braced myself as I slid the hatch cover back and pulled the slats out. I could hear water running inside like a faucet in a bathtub— she was full to the bottom of the galley cabinet doors. Oh, NO! I was able to clear the cockpit drain obstructions and get the water flowing out. From the algae and gunk build up it was apparent this had not happened recently. The boat was already a big project for our experience but we were game—but this—this changed everything! Fresh water rots and mildews wood faster and more effectively than saltwater—any water inside a boat is undesirable but long standing fresh water is a deal breaker. I snapped photos for the unsuspecting owner and for Jeff, my heart sinking. Once again—this was not our boat. And I was saddened from the high spirits of expecting to have found and made an offer on a boat—finally! But also for the boat herself.  I grieved for her, for the loving work undone, for her obvious neglect, that I couldn’t help her beyond alerting the owner and marina staff. Sad. That. How do you determine if the obstacles between you and your dream are the Universe’s way of steering you clear of a rocky shore or only mighty storms to be weathered to prove your passion and commitment to your dream?  We brainstormed to see if there was something else we’d rather do—a third option we’d overlooked. Or was it only our ideal boat was still waiting for us to ready for her? What do we need to let go of to make room for her? For me I think its attachment to an extremely comfortable and privileged life: I’m deeply attached to electricity, hot water, indoor plumbing, and air-conditioning! Detaching from these comforts seems a small price for the freedom and adventure inherent in the live-aboard lifestyle! It took a few days but we buoyed ourselves up and we’ve reached out to a sailboat seller again on the Gulf coast and he offered us...

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I’m in print!

Posted by on Sep 3, 2012 in Books, Celebration, Connections, Inspiration, Web/Tech, Weblogs, Wholehearted, Writing | 2 comments

When you post something on any type of social media you never know who might read it or where it might end up. In April I shared this review on Hungry for Life and I was contacted in May by Jennifer an Assistant Senior Managing Editor at Artful Blogging asking if they might quote part of my post in their upcoming autumn issue. Heck yeah! I BIG shout out to Honoré for sending me a copy when she heard my bookstore didn't carry...

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losing AND winning

Posted by on Aug 27, 2012 in Celebration, Community, Connections, Conscious eating, Food and Drink, Intention, Weight Watchers, Wholehearted | 1 comment

When I began my weight loss journey I never envisioned myself as a Weight Watchers employee. I was focused on me and it never occurred to me that my leaders and receptionist had once walked in my shoes. I began as a substitute receptionist at the end of 2009 and I was thrilled to be able to give back to others ready to step boldly into health and fitness. Working on a team was good for me; adapting to working for a coorporation was challenging after being an entrprenuer for more than the past decade. The passionate people I work with and the members I support made the difference and created a smooth transition and a worthwhile endeavor for me. Last year I began as a part time receptionist and was responsible for several meetings each week. Our members say I inspire them but truly they keep me accountable and on track and motivate me to excel at staying on plan and active. Working for Weight Watchers is more than a job—its a calling. A call to action I am proud to step up for.   Weigh in pods   This month we closed two meeting room locations in our town and opened a brand new full time Weight Watchers Store—we will be open seven days a week. The store model is gorgeous—filled with bright colors and innovative modern-style private weigh in pods. The corporate team elicited and implemented feedback on design and services from members and staff to make these new facilities meet our present needs fabulously with room to grow into future possibilities. Our staff member's synergy and hard work during the move and set up have been contagious not only for current members but potential or returning members. The buzz is true: we're not your grandma's Weight Watchers! We're innovative,resourceful, educated, and stand behind our slogan: Believe. Because it works. My part-time postion now includes an honored role in the events coordianting team and we're kicking off our first event in only two weeks! The national Lose For Good® campaign runs from September 2 through October 12 as you lose weight you can help Weight Watchers donate up to one million dollars to Share Our Strength® and Action Against Hunger. Nationwide Weight Watchers Stores will be hosting an Open House on Saturday, September 15th, noon-2pm to receive donations of non-perishable food items to help fight hunger—our Ocala store donations will support Interfaith Emergency Services.  If you're local I invite you to stop in and see our amazing store! We'll have prizes, a special offer, and free refreshments. Bring a friend and a few cans or boxes from your pantry and meet our awesome staff—which I am privleged to belong to. Look for a Weight Watchers Store near you and make a difference on September 15th by joining in the possibilities which are win-win for us all when we Lose for Good!...

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on the shelf

Posted by on Aug 7, 2012 in Family, Learning, Wholehearted, Writing | 0 comments

The prompt for this poem was to show sadness… A patina of dustdulls the lace of my shawland fringe of my mob-cap.My bare feet poke outfrom faded yellowhand sewn cotton.Where are my shoes!Doesn’t she think howcoldmy feet must be?No—she doesn’t. I stare and see herpass by myline of sight.Let’s play, I cry.Her grown up earsno longer registerthe pitch of my voice.She walks by.Tears wellin mymoss green eyes.I long to blinkand let themtrail a streak ofgrime down myporcelain cheeks.Would she noticethen?Perhaps pick meup inonce miniaturemother practicinghands?Wipe my faceand smile downat mewith those samemoss green eyes?Cradle me on hershoulderand pat the dustfrom my dress? Months after her birth her mother saw my head—only that, in a display window. She told us she froze in place— the face on the head, (my head!) was the spitting image of her baby girl’s. Her mother said she waved her baby’s photo wildly —the clerk gasped. The cost was steep and so she chose a plaster body that would fit. My head. I was whole wrapped naked in a box. I was a giftshe longed to earn.I yearned for hertouch and watchedher grow fromafaron a similar shelf.When pudgy armsand legsshot into skinnycoltish limbsthe day came thatI was birthed,wrapped in swaddlingand laid in the armsof my newly bornMother.She christened meTammybut pretended I wasBaby Jesus.My lacy bonnetdoes not hideclose cropped hairfrom a scissorexperiment  gone awry.My bald china pate sportsa spiderwebof cracks frommany breaks.Fallswe took together.Elmer’s was awell used tooland Ibear the scarsof being loved. Years I waited.Watching from on high.And was rewardedwithnew dresses andhats and slippers.Tea parties,carriage rides, thentwirlingto loud music.Secrets. Stories.Shy smiles.Even lies andtears.And some daysyellinginterspersed withcurses.Peace prevailedbut our time togetherdwindled. Until now.I sit.Barefooted.Measuring thedustwith unblinking eyes.Achingly anticipatingthe moment her handswill lift me downlike a broken birdand swipe a softrag over my body.Erasing my pain.Her humming will falter,her voice willcrack likemy head—Oh baby, look atyou.Let’s clean you up!I’ve endured the ache ofbeingforgottenfor this moment.In her handsI...

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starting…again

Posted by on Jul 27, 2012 in Conscious eating, Family, Food and Drink, Learning, Moving your body, Wholehearted | 1 comment

A week before my forty-eighth birthday I removed my rose colored glasses and looked myself in the eye. My upbeat and positive attitudes are a natural extension of the way I see the world and choose to live my life. Most of the time. I met my reflection in the mirror with a sigh. My journey to self-love would not have been possible without a conscious effort to release negative habits of self-sabotage or beating up on myself. Yet, as I squinted at myself in the glare of the overhead bathroom light I admitted that some of those old habits had slipped back into my life. Sigh. Once an emotional overeater always an emotional overeater. Releasing pounds and incorporating exercise didn’t magically erase that tendency in me. There’s no cure only free will. It’s a choice I make every day. Every meal. Every hour. Every minute.  And as my commitment to myself slipped so did my decisions. They were apparent in the scale and my lethargy and apathy—I was going through the motions of fitness. That’s all. I’ve been a CrossFit athlete for a year as of April and I gave myself permission to eat more and move less because I had worked so hard and I deserved a break and my muscles were so sore I could hardly squat to sit on the couch without being a drama queen—ooooowwww! And forget getting up and using my quads or glutes until I was direly close to peeing my pants! I never combined my CrossFit workouts with healthy eating and balanced activity the rest of the week. I did the workouts. I did not quit. I am stronger. I did not gain twenty pounds because I was doing CrossFit three times a week. I did gain ten, and no they are not muscles. I’d have to grow Mr. Universe type muscles to account for a weight gain from muscle mass! A pound of muscle and a pound of fat weigh the same but muscles take up less space, a lot less space under your skin. This is why muscles make your body look toned and firm instead of jiggly. I'm stronger but I'm still jiggly! The decision I made staring at my hopeful face was that I was done with being stuck; stuck in the cycle of feeling negative and eating to feel better and feeling worse and eating some more to feel better. It. Doesn’t. Work. I was done with being stuck and choosing to move forward. Again. Yes, again. And instead of seeing the negative aspects of starting again I chose to celebrate any step forward I was willing to make to get out of the quagmire. Serendipitously the timing of my self-talk coincided with the release a week later of ActiveLink from Weight Watchers. I don’t depend entirely on external motivators to nudge or lead me back on course because internal data is more vital to me: how I feel, my happiness quota, an increased energy level, craving protein instead of carbs! But I was excited by the challenge this tool represented and intrigued to see if it tracked as lauded. (We’ve been employee guinea pigs, reporting our experiences before it becomes available to our members.) After an eight day assessment Active Link labeled me an ‘occasional athlete’ and encouraged me to move more consistently throughout my day. I don’t earn activity points only for ‘workouts’ but for all my activity combined all day by using a technology similar to that used in a Wii controller to track movement. Cool, eh? The ActiveLink graphs show my activity...

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one word…three perspectives

Posted by on Jul 9, 2012 in Creativity, Inspiration, Wholehearted, Writing | 0 comments

If you've been following my writing prompts I've written from the perspective of a bird, a cloud, and a snake. Then I wrote about my neighborhood—a lesson in seeing. This next prompt encorporated all my pieces and seemed daunting at first. We were to choose one word from our neighborhood piece and write from 3 perspectives: bird, cloud, snake. The word I chose was 'dandelions' and the form of a poem surprised me but it literally wrote itself: Nature Returns The weeds are tightly condensedlike a New York City block.Overhead the Ravenwatches intently, wings stretchedbut still.She circles like a kitesans string.People with theirdogs and machinesare long goneshe notes.The once verdant lawn lies abandoned.Nature returns.The dandelions swaynext to a few of their more colorfulcousinswho flit and flirtwith the breeze.The Raven aloft hasno interestin flowers.Her gaze seeks other. The cloud passingbyrecalls the once lush lawnshe happily shared herbounty with.Where once was new-shoot-greennow only burnt brownand grass turned to straw.The dandelions swayand smile in her shadow.She floats onseeking a hope seeded plotto receive her precious gifts. The serpent cannot navigatethe weed junglestealthily.The withered grass and weed trunkscrackle and whisperunder long belly.Mice feet freeze while the tiniestheart accelerates—Mice feet DASH.Serpent strikes,weeds settle.Nature returns. The dandelions swayas she passes.Only the Raven notes her...

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