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There are so many wonderful and inspiring things going on right now that I want to share with you guys, but I have to decide for ME what has the highest priority in this moment. When I take the time to make a mindful decision, it’s easy to choose.
As faithful followers of Apozitude, you know my mission is to raise awareness, because as I’ve quoted Peter Matthiessen in the past, “The purpose of our life is to help others through it” and with Apozitude my mission is to help others through life by shining a light on the fact that we are empowered with the ability to choose. We can’t always control the circumstances of our lives, but we certainly can control our reaction to those circumstances. Even in what seems like a horrible situation, we can look for the good and focus our attention there.
A wonderful example of this is my friend Nikki who has been struggling with a decline in her health over the last 6 years. I realize you may be scratching your head with bewilderment as to why I’d refer to my friend’s declining health as a wonderful thing, so let me clarify the wonderful thing she’s doing with her discovery. As her symptoms increased, she was desperately trying to figure out what the hell was happening with her body and without the help from the various doctor’s appointments she’s attended over the last year, she discovered through her own research that she is suffering from Breast Implant Illness. She has decided to take action and an explant surgery has been scheduled. Nikki is bravely taking action for others as well by sharing her story, the stories of others and articles on her Facebook page to raise awareness of this toxic and totally preventable illness. She has an amazing positive attitude regarding her return to health after her surgery and though the situation is very serious she’s finding her own way to bring levity to her life, “Moving forward, I’m gonna join the itty bitty titty committee😂explanting April 13th👍🏻💪🏻💞 thank you for your love and support.“
“The list of illnesses goes on unfortunately and there are many, including autoimmune diseases that have affected thousands and thousands of women… “YES there is proof and we’ve got it. Remove your hand from OUR mouth and let OUR VOICE speak out!”-Nikki Sattler💞
In the spirit of Apozitude, please take a moment to raise your awareness by reading Nikki’s story and consider supporting her cause. You may know someone who’s struggling in the dark with their health and this could be the light that sets them free. All positive energy and donations are greatly appreciated. I believe with Nikki that she will resume her healthy life because I see her positive attitude even during some of her toughest moments of dealing with the pain of Breast Implant Illness (BII). Nikki believes in her health despite what the medical professionals report and I support her in her efforts to raise awareness regarding the dangers of these toxic and horrible implants. Don’t get me wrong, I love 😍 boobs, just not toxic fake ones and not at the cost of my friends health or any other persons health for that matter.
Thank you for your following and sharing Apozitude.
I just want to be clear about this girlie side of myself that I have been exploring. I do love it. I really do, but I have to say it can be really frustrating sometimes, because at 44, it sorta’ feels like I should be more practiced at styling my hair and applying make up, which by the way I don’t do yet. I bought some make up and I’ve tried it a couple of times, but it feels very awkward. I don’t wanna walk out of the house looking like a three-year old who’s been playing with her mommy’s make up.
So, I try, every now and again with the eye shadow and then I shake my head at myself in the mirror and remove it. I feel I am doing well to fix my hair and wear a little lipstick. Even that frustrates me sometimes, because my hair,… Ugh, my hair. It’s getting longer and I just don’t know what I am going to do. Honestly, on the weekend I mostly wear a ball-cap. I’ve been trying scarves and pins and it just gets to be too much sometimes.
I appreciate the space Keri provides for me to explore. I appreciate her support and her efforts to help me come up with solutions to my hair troubles. She’s even purchased some girlie t-shirts for me. She’s very sweet. I appreciate her sense of humor when I come home with a 90’s hip hop hairdo. I appreciate my best friend, Shanna, helping me transform my awful 70’s feathered hair style into a 90’s hip hop look. I appreciate her encouraging me to get little flowers painted on my toe nails, which I wouldn’t have even thought to do and resisted at first, but now I love it.
What I appreciate most is the love I have around me and the fact that I am loved just the way I am whether I decide make-up is for me or not, I am who I am and no outward appearance is going to change that little factoid.
I find it interesting that as I am writing this and listening to my iTunes on shuffle that, Just the Way You Are by Billy Joel comes on. It is so fitting that I have placed it on repeat, but I think it’s important to emphasize that I didn’t choose it to begin with, it just came on in a random shuffle. Every single thing happens on purpose. I totally believe it.
I just want someone that I can talk to,
I want you just the way you are.
I said, I love you, and that’s forever.
This I promise from the heart.
I couldn’t love you any better,
I love you just the way you are.
Thank you. Love abounds.
I hardly know where to begin,… It would be impossible for me to accurately convey to you all the growth I’ve encountered in the last couple of months, if it even has only been a couple of months,… I am not sure where this growth started. I guess it has been an ongoing thing all my life, but the last several weeks, upon reflection, have been VERY powerful.
It has been challenging and I have definitely been on the edge. It has felt like standing on the very edge of a HUGE drop off and I have amazing support in my life. This support has said to me: you are safe, I understand it looks like you’re standing on the edge of a cliff, but that is only your perception. Trust me, the ground to stand upon is out there. Breathe deep and take a step out there, one step at a time. Look at me. Do you trust me? Do you know that you are loved? Do you know that you will not be lead astray? You are brave. Take the next step.
I am so grateful for this unconditional love and support in my life. This is not just one person. This support comes from many people because I am mindful in my choices of who is allowed in my circle. If you are close to me it is on purpose.
When I face challenges in my life I know I can boldly take the next scary step because of the army I have backing me. Thank you. Each and every one of you.
Overcoming challenges creates fuel and I am a rocket. Count down to blast off!
There is NO question in my mind where I will land.
Christmas day 2015, Keri, Marbles and I went for a walk at Gabriel Park. Not an uncommon activity, we take walks everyday and all over the place. This boy of ours is such a blessing in our lives. He’s full of love, sweetness, goofiness and LOTS (did I say TONS?) of energy. He always gets 2 walks/runs a day and we get bored going to the same places every time. So, we have many favorite spots and we can take off either on foot or in the car and temper his energy. It’s great for him to get so much exercise and we do it for him, but we also do it for ourselves. It gives us a bit of peace in our home.
We are creatures of habit and I’ve noticed a pattern with us. It goes a little something like this: Keri says, “We need to get this boy on a walk”. Then there’s me,… I’m almost 100% of the time on my computer working on a blog, a drawing for a blog or research for,… guess what… you’re right if you guessed, a blog. I usually groan a little and say something like, “Ok, just let me finish this thought, paragraph or drawing”. She always complies, because she’s wonderfully supportive of me and my passions. I think I’ll keep her. 🙂
Why do I always resist the walks??? I. don’t. know….
Actually, that’s not entirely true, I do know, but the clarity to express it just occurred to me. I usually resist the walks because it feels like an interruption in my creative process. I have a full time job Monday through Thursday. I know that doesn’t sound like a lot because most people work 5 or more days a week. I’m very grateful for the time I have to dedicate to my passion. However, the current reality is that I have 3 days to be my “writer/artist/blogger creative self”. I cherish this this time, therefore I do what I can to get the most I can out of it. How do I do that? Well, I get up early on the weekends, like real early, (anywhere from 3am – 6am) to work on my blog. I do it because I LOVE it!!! It doesn’t feel like work to me, ya know? Apozitude.com is my passion and my passion is expanding. I’m very grateful for expansion.
Why am I telling you all of this? I’m telling you because I wanted to share an “Ah-Ha” moment I had on this particular walk. We were nearing the end and as we walked along the water was trickling by (one of my ALL TIME favorite sounds) I took a deep breathe and I gazed up at the trees and sky and it was in that moment it occurred to me, I LOVE these walks.
I thought to myself, we’ve been walking trails like these for 17 years and I still love it. I love the simple pleasures of these walks. I love the smell of the dirt, the feel the moss that covers the trees, the myriad of contrasting colors that nature provides, the peaceful sound of the water mindlessly meandering by and many other wonderful things. I decided in that moment I’d let go of the resistance to the walks.
Yes, it’s true the walks interrupt my creative process, but the nourishment to my soul is worth it. I love spending time with my baby and our goofy energetic boy. To be completely honest, I find the nourishment these walks provide to my soul contributes greatly to my creative process.
There’s a grocery store within walking distance of my house and I’ve lived in this house for 13 years.
Why does this matter? I’ll tell you why.
About six months ago that grocery store changed from an Albertson’s grocery store into a Haggen grocery store. The significance of that is relevant to this blog because it proves a point in the telling of this story. You see my wife and I walk our sweet little (big) puppy, Marbles, past that grocery store fairly regularly because there’s a park on the other side of it and even though it has been a Haggen store for the last 6 months, we STILL call it Albertson’s.
What’s my point? My point is change takes time. Sure, that store seemingly changed from an Albertson’s to a Haggen over night, but what is it in my mind? It’s still an Albertson’s.
Why am I so concerned about calling that grocery store by the proper name? I’m not really. The whole reason I’m writing about this is to prove a point.
It takes time, consistency and patience to create change. It takes unbending faith in a dream to make it come true. It has taken me two and a half years of writing this blog for you and your friends to know about Apozitude. Do you think I started out with over 15,000 views? No, but I wrote every day regardless of the fact that there were only one or two of you out there reading my blog. Now, I have multiple subscribers and even more followers, because I believe in this message I’m willing to do the work it takes to get it out into the world.
My dream is alive and people are positively affected by the blog I’ve created. I’m infusing the world with Apozitude and thanks to all of you who read it, follow it and share it, you’re supporting my dream. Thank you for being part of making this dream come true.
There are a million excuses not to exercise. I know because I’ve used many of them. What I can tell you about making and using excuses not to exercise is this, it makes me feel like crap!!! I don’t know about you, but personally, I don’t like to feel like crap.
I don’t particularly like exercising, but what I do like is feeling fit. I like that I can still wear the same size jeans I wore in high school. I like that I can be faced with a flight of 70 stairs to get down to the beach and I don’t think twice about taking them an extra 3 times just for the exercise. I like that when a vacation to Hawaii arrives, I try on a bikini, I look at myself in the mirror and don’t think, “Oh HELL NO!!!” That makes me feel good.
My focus on fitness and healthy eating helps me to feel young. Who doesn’t like feeling young? I like having the cardiovascular health to dance all night long if I wanted. I like being strong enough to be able to pick up my 70 lb dog if I need to.
Fitness feels good to me.
So, when I don’t feel like working out, I remind myself how good it feels to be fit. When doughnuts, french fries and any number of other things smell tempting I remind myself how I feel when I eat those things. I’ve convinced myself on a number of occasions that those temptations are poison.
Do I ALWAYS resist? Hell no! I love french fries, but the majority of the time I’m making healthy choices. Sometimes, when I want french fries, I go to a grocery store deli and order 3 jojos. The clerk often gives me a weird look, but they always comply with my request. It’s always under a dollar and usually right around .50 cents. Anyway, it satisfies my french fry craving and is not a huge indiscretion.
Healthy living is a challenge for most people, myself included. What I’ve found to be integral to my success is making a decision to do it for myself, for my own sense of satisfaction and health and having a support system in place.
I admit I’m super lucky because my wife is an amazing source of support, plus she cooks yummy healthy meals. However, if you’re on a road to health and fitness and you feel you’re on your own there is no need to worry. There are lots of resources for support and encouragement. No one has to be alone on their journey to be fit or maintain health. If you’re new to fitness or have been at it for awhile and find yourself needing support, I encourage you to check out beachbody.com
I’ve found some amazing work out buddies in a couple of beach body challenges and even though Keri and I have each other to encourage and push each other along on our fitness journeys, I’ve found the support and camaraderie of my challenge group to be that little extra push I need sometimes. Thank you work out buddies.
There have been some huge leaps in societal growth in the last couple weeks. Same sex marriage became legal in all 50 of the Untied States of America. WOW!!! Caitlyn Jenner received the Espy Award of Courage. WOW!!!
As these bits of news came out (no pun intended) and I had the luxury of being able to observe how people responded via social media, I noticed the majority of people were supportive. Which shouldn’t be surprising to me since I’ve been reading in the news and seeing signs all around that acceptance of GLBT people is on the rise, however I did find myself feeling overwhelmed with joy to see just how many people were advocating for equality.
There’s no doubt we have miles to go yet before we are able to drop the clarifying prefix “same-sex” relating to marriage, but the fact that marriage equality for all is now federally recognized in the U.S. is a huge step. Caitlyn Jenner being acknowledged for her courage by ESPN? That’s amazing to me. I’m so over joyed to hear the respect for her growing by leaps and bounds. Every time she’s acknowledged for the woman she has always been, but has felt she’s had to keep a secret, acceptance grows.
If you’ve never experienced the feelings associated with being a minority, I’m sure it’s very difficult to imagine how amazing it feels to be recognized and as an equal, but I am here to tell you it is life affirming.
Seeing my straight friends taking stands and speaking out against ignorance is so heartwarming and very much appreciated. Perhaps there’s an inkling of hope living inside me that believes the possibility exists that in my lifetime the idea of being GLBT is a choice will shrivel up and die.
To all of those who choose to stand up and shine a light on ignorance when you could sit in silence, I thank you from the bottom of my heart. It’s so comforting to know we are all in this together.
What do you do when you see someone you love is hurting? When you see them struggle?
The very best thing you can do is to maintain a consistent message of love and understanding. Listen when they are ready to share and respect their choices. Their choices may not line up with what you think or feel is best, but the #1 thing to remember is, it’s their life not yours and that means it’s not your choice.
Tend to your own happiness and be an example. Look at your own self and ask yourself if you’ve always made the “right” decision the first go round. Grant the same compassion you’d like to receive when you’re dealing with one of your challenges.
Allow space for loved ones to feel their vulnerabilities and offer words of acceptance, encouragement and support. Provide fertile ground for massive growth and watch the world change right before your eyes.
I was talking with a friend of mine the other day about challenges and delights of growing out my hair. He understood as he said he once was trying to grow out his hair. He spoke of wearing a little plastic head band to keep this hair out of his face and how trendy it made him feel. My friend mentioned during the process of growing out his hair he thought many times it would be a great idea to start a support group for people that were sharing this arduous task. It’s a great idea.
Growing out your hair can be so frustrating. There are days when you simply do not have the energy or the time to style your hair. When you have had a very simple, short, wash and go hair style for as long as I did, growing out your hair can be very tiresome. I just want to chop it off sometimes. Besides the fact that it can be challenging to have the patience to do it, you also have to take into consideration that you’ll need a certain ability to be able to style your new longer hair.
A support group would be nice. We could meet and share our challenges. We could teach each other tips and tricks to styling longer, BUT not quite long enough hair. We could encourage each other to hold true to our desire to want longer hair. I read on Facebook the other day a quote that read, Patience is not the ability to wait, but the ability to remain calm while you wait. A support group would be very helpful.
In the last several weeks I’ve purchased scarves to tie up my hair, bobby pins, head bands, a brush, a comb, hair products and unpacked all the hats I can find. I decided to start letting my hair grow last June. It’s getting there.