Thursday, August 25, 2011

Tune into Your Own Truth

Sometimes we get so caught up in our busy work and what we feel we “should” be doing that we lose sight of our truth. I have spent several years, it seems like, in this mode.

Thanks to the advice of a wise coach I am working with, (thanks Beth!) I took a step back from my business and took all the pressure off myself with everything I have been working so hard toward this year.

Ironically, even though I have been devoting myself to these new endeavors, and I have accomplished quite a lot, at times it’s been slow going. Often it's difficult to fully focus on my business when my primary role is being my mother's full-time caregiver. But I love what I do, I love my clients and I love the new projects I'm working on. Even so, sometimes you need to take a step back to find out what your truth is and what might be holding you back before you can move forward.

This can also be challenging when you have well-meaning people around you telling you what they think you should be doing, asking why things aren’t done or happening yet or pointing out a time frame that they feel is appropriate for you. All this pressure and outside influence can often get you off track and make you doubt yourself.

When I pulled back from my regular coaching business to focus on my projects this year, many people came forward with advice to voice their opinions, coming from their truth  – all well-meaning, mind you, but distracting nonetheless.

You have to learn to disconnect from outside influences. Just say, "Thank you for sharing" to the well-meaning folks, then connect with your inner voice and guidance. This is where your truth is and this is where you will receive the inspiration and ideas to motivate you and move you forward in a way that is right for you.

I love the radio station analogy – if you are vibrating at 105.1 and those telling you what you should be doing are vibrating at 92.3, it won’t feel good to you and it won’t work for you. They can operate from their own frequency and it will work very well for them. You need to tune into your specific frequency so you’ll know what works best for you.

The best way for me to get back in alignment with my higher vibration is to retreat to my second office - my hammock. When I have been at the computer too long and I feel my body tensing up and my energy lagging, I go outside and lay in my hammock, connecting with nature and hearing my inner voice much more clearly. There, I am relaxed, replenished and inspiration comes easily to me. There, I am definitely vibrating at my highest frequency! Then I can resume my work with new ideas, refreshed with renewed energy.

Make time to connect with your inner truth and find out where your own frequency is. This quote from Wayne Dyer says it all: "Become independent of the good opinion of others." Amen!

The next time you feel off or others are trying to sway you from their perspective, opinions and ideas, make time to step away and tune yourself to your individual frequency and you will be more firmly established in the flow of your Truth.

To your high frequency!
With love,
Tanna

Living Peacefully ™ is written by Tanna Marshall, Author, Holistic Consultant and Personal Coach. If you have any questions or would like more information about Living Peacefully, please contact:
Tanna@living-peacefully.com
www.living-peacefully.com
To purchase your copy of Living Peacefully in a Big City, please visit
Amazon.com
If you’d like to share this article with people you feel may enjoy it, you are most welcome! When doing so, please forward in its entirety, including our contact and copyright information. Thanks and enjoy!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Aging Gracefully and with Dignity

Eight years ago as my father was dying, he asked me to move in with my mother and help take care of her. She didn’t need much caring for at the time, but I believe he was thinking long term, probably thinking forward to the point where we are now. I’m happy to do it – my parents have done everything for me and spoiled me rotten my entire life so this is the least I can do.


Taking care of my mom is not always easy, but I consider it an honor and an adventure in making her life as happy as possible. As I have learned in my caregiver support group, I have two jobs when it comes to Mom – make sure she feels loved and that she feels safe.

Mom is 83, blind in one eye, has early stage Alzheimer’s (or “Old Timers” as she calls it),
dementia, diabetes, high blood pressure, congestive heart failure and arthritis.
I know. All things considered she’s doing really well, in my opinion, and I like to think that I’ve helped her maintain a quality life. We get along really well and enjoy each other’s company. I have assumed the authority role as the mother figure and she is more like my child now and that works just fine. We have developed a daily routine that flows very nicely, always concluding with a Shirley Temple movie before she goes to bed. She's relaxed, knowing that I’m there to take care of her needs and trusting my decisions.

However, there are well-meaning friends and relatives who panic every time she says something odd (which is all the time) and they feel the need to “fix it”. I hear the weird things she says all day every day and it’s nothing to get worked up about. Mom picks up on the vibes of everyone around her and my aim is to make sure she feels relaxed and happy, so I just point out what’s real and correct her without getting upset over something she’s said or done. (OK sometimes I get impatient and frustrated when I’m tired and my tolerance level is very low…but I’m entitled once in a while, right?)

At this stage, I see no point in stressing over what she’s saying. She just needs to be happy, not feeling the need to “perform” to appear OK to everyone. Her only job at this point is to be a sweet old lady, enjoy her knitting, and visit with friends. She goes to senior day care twice a week and has become the welcoming committee and advisor to new participants who are feeling unsure about the situation. This particular day care is paired with a children’s day care, so Mom gets a dose of the little ones (she was a pre-school teacher for 33 years and suffers from child withdrawl, to which I say, “Don’t look at me!”) so this satisfies her innate desire to teach. Kids love her. I know, I used to be one. She is incredibly loving and generous (to a fault – good thing I handle the finances now…)

I like to make sure she still feels like “Mom” as often as possible. I ask her to mend my clothes, make her special tuna salad, kiss my boo-boos and I ask her for her opinion and advice when I need some motherly guidance. She’s still there in her heart, it just doesn’t always make it from her brain to her mouth.

And oh yes – and I am married. I only see my husband on the weekends. I see your raised eyebrows at our unconventional situation….and then I see the thoughtful look come across your face as you think…”Hmmm, that sounds like it might work well…” It does. We have our “golden time” on the weekends while neighbors and family check on Mom while I'm away. In our marriage, we never get sick of each other, that’s for sure! He is so good to my mom and totally supportive of me in my role of caring for her.

Yes there are times when it’s very difficult but as I appreciate my role more and more, I just focus on Mom and the fact that I think she’s got a pretty good life. I feel like I've made a difference.

I never thought this is what I would be doing in my life at this point, but it all works out the way it's supposed to and I'm happy. This is a great example of going with the flow of where life takes you, making the most of what comes your way and enjoying the journey. I am enjoying my journey with Mom, knowing my Daddy is watching over saying, “Thank you, Little Girl. You’re doing a good job.”

May we all age gracefully and have a nice, cushy life where we are well cared for every step of the way.
With love,
Tanna

Living Peacefully ™ is written by Tanna Marshall, Author, Holistic Consultant and Personal Coach.
If you have any questions or would like more information about Living Peacefully, please contact: Tanna@living-peacefully.com 
www.living-peacefully.com
To purchase your copy of Living Peacefully in a Big City,
please visit Amazon.com
If you’d like to share this article with people you feel may enjoy it, you are most welcome! When doing so, please forward in its entirety, including our contact and copyright information. Thanks and enjoy!

Monday, August 1, 2011

I'm Too Tired to Write This Post...

Have you ever been so exhausted that you can’t seem to function? You read your emails and none of it registers? You leave your cell phone in the refrigerator and don’t remember doing it? Your body feels like it weighs a ton and you have to drag it around? You just want to sit and do nothing because you don’t have the energy to do anything else?

Today is one of those days…and I worked out this morning in spite of being extremely tired. Now I'm really exhausted. 

Let me preface – my husband and I had a busy weekend, cleaning out a property for sale that needed to be vacated by yesterday. It was a mad dash to clean out every nook and cranny. Fortunately, we had the help of the people who had been living there so it progressed nicely, but everyone was exhausted.

I cannot even imagine how tired my husband must be feeling today. This was his schedule for the past week – up early in the morning (he is normally a night owl who sleeps from approximately 4am to noon), working all day, clearing out this house of 19 years of stuff, having the emotional devastation of discovering important documents and sentimental valuables have been destroyed by termites and rats in the garage, not eating enough, and to top it off, the night before the last day of packing, having a bad fall that resulted in what is most likely cracked ribs. He needs to sleep for a few days. Or a month.

So my point with today’s post is this: Listen to your body. I am finally back into a regular workout routine and wanted to stick with that, in spite of my body begging me to take a break today and resume tomorrow. Now I can barely function. In my husband's case, was rushing and slipped and fell as a result.

If you don’t listen to these messages, you will get a whisper (exhaustion). If you still don’t listen, you will get a tap on the shoulder (body breaks down and gets sick). If you are still not listening, a brick wall will fall on you to get your attention (injury severe enough to physically make you stop and rest). None of us wants the brick wall, but often, that’s what happens when we don’t listen to and honor the requests made by our bodies.

Let me give you another example – last summer I was dealing with some extremely stressful family issues. It was causing me constant, ongoing anxiety, I wasn’t sleeping well, I was reaching for the Kahlua every night to relax and help me cope, and I wasn’t eating well. I became extremely fatigued. I was out of it for a week with severe exhaustion, so I rested, but the stress and anxiety were still there.

Then I got sick – another week shot. I finally got back on track, continued to deal with the situation as best I could and manage my stress, although the anxiety was still there. I visited a friend whose three-year-old had a runny nose and BAM – I was laid out sick for almost a month. My immune system was shot.

Still doing my best to maintain my daily activities, I was a bit better but then shortly after, I got food poisoning. Laid out for two days. *Sigh* Not feeling great about the example I’m setting for my clients :/ How often do I preach to everyone, “You have to take care of yourself and let your body rest!” Although, I do tell people to just do your best, and at the time, that was my best.

But apparently, I still wasn’t getting the message because a week later, the day before Thanksgiving, I had plans that I really wanted to postpone because I was tired, had so much to do and just wasn’t really up for it. But I went anyway. And I fell. Hard, on my butt. I wound up spraining my sacrum. It was the most painful thing I ever experienced. And I finally got the message…”STOP ALREADY! REST! TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF!!!” That was my brick wall. So I made a point of resting and doing as little as possible during the holidays. I didn’t have much choice, anyway, with an injured back.

And during that time, I got some great inspired ideas and actually decided to take my business in a new direction, which I have spent this year implementing. Which further proves my belief that quiet time is essential to our well-being at all times, regardless of what is going on…or not.

Now I take my time, manage my stress and nip things in the bud so they don’t get out of hand and cause anxiety. I've learned to be a non-reactive observer in most circumstances, and I make sure I have time to rest – often – even if it feels like I’m not getting enough done. Ironically, the more I take care of myself (i.e. take breaks to meditate, relax, read a magazine, have lunch with a friend…) the more productive I am.

So please take care of yourself, listen to your body, give yourself quiet time every day and stop when you are tired or stressed. Believe me, you do not want the brick wall. Everything flows better when you make your well-being a priority.

And now, I am getting off the computer and going out to my hammock to relax.
Have a great day!
With love,
Tanna

Living Peacefully ™ is written by Tanna Marshall, Author, Holistic Consultant and Personal Coach. If you have any questions or would like more information about Living Peacefully, please contact:
Tanna@living-peacefully.com
www.living-peacefully.com
To purchase your copy of Living Peacefully in a Big City, please visit
Amazon.com
If you’d like to share this article with people you feel may enjoy it, you are most welcome! When doing so, please forward in its entirety, including our contact and copyright information. Thanks and enjoy!