Hurrah! And, Keep Following Me To See If Dr. Brogman’s Vital Mind Reset Program Really Works

This blog post is in response to Natalie’s 10 Day Freedom Plan Blog Challenge Day 10

Day 10 Challenge: For the last day, Natalie wants us to reflect back upon the last 10 days. She suggests we read our previous posts and write about:

  • What you enjoyed most about your experience of taking part in the blog challenge
  • Your favorite challenge day and why
  • The biggest takeaway you had from it
  • The next step you’re going to take to make your freedom plan a reality

First a little celebration! I DID IT! I DID IT! YAY!!! Some confetti! Some champagne corks popping! Balloons are floating skyward!

The part I enjoyed most about the challenge was seeing how much I could accomplish with a schedule and routine. I always thought I didn’t have time to write or blog, but over the past 10 days I experienced that by scheduling the writing into my life, I could do it. And, it was a treat, something to look forward. Something I could ruminate about during the day and write at night when I thought I had enough insight to share.

My favorite day in particular was writing about creating a vision for my life. At first, it was difficult getting started because I didn’t know exactly what I wanted or how to create it. But, then once I let go of my limitations and realized that there is no “correct” answer, the writing became easier. And, it became fun. I felt a shift in my energy….from a stuck situation to one of flow and possibility. It made me realize that we all can make plans and goals for our lives no matter where we are in life.  We can always create plans for change.

My favorite part of the challenge, in general,  was being creative with my writing. I learned that some days I was more creative than others. But,  instead of not writing, I went ahead and put something on the screen. Some days the writing flowed easily and others I was just happy to fulfill the assignment. Since I went to law school years ago, my writing hasn’t been as creative. These blog posts helped me ease up so I’m exploring and learning how to find my writing “voice.”

Moving forward, I want to continue my momentum with writing every day. The blog I started focuses on health and wellness. I believe that more people could be healthy by changing their diet and what they eat. I’ve experienced this first hand, and was inspired to became a holistic health counselor through the Institute of Integration Nutrition (IIN) in New York and a certified raw food chef. Initially, the purpose of my blog is to share information and resources for others to live a healthy life, starting with food and their diet.

Over the past few months, I have experienced a series of stressful events in my life which has influenced me to eat foods that I normally don’t – like dairy, gluten and more red meat than I’m used to. And, I have noticed a significant decrease in my health. Eight years I was diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue and Adrenal Fatigue, and now the symptoms have returned.

So, to continue my writing and build my blog, as well as improve my health, I have signed up for Dr. Kelly Brogan, MD, 44-day Vital Mind Reset Program. Dr. Brogan is a Manhattan-based holistic women’s health psychiatrist, author of the New York TimesBestselling book, A Mind of Your Own.

She completed her psychiatric training and fellowship at NYU Medical Center after graduating from Cornell University Medical College, and has a B.S. from MIT in Systems Neuroscience. She is board certified in psychiatry, psychosomatic medicine, and integrative holistic medicine, and is specialized in a root-cause resolution approach to psychiatric syndromes and symptoms.

I’ve read Dr. Brogan’s book, and am interested to see if what she suggests works. I am always skeptical of books that proclaim type one type of diet is best for everyone. I am a believer of bio-individuality – where diets should be based on each individual person’s biology and situation. I’m curious to see if her diet/approach can help me. If you follow my blog, you will find out as well.

Let the journey continue!!

Balancing Work While On An Adventure

This blog post is in response to Natalie’s 10 Day Freedom Plan Blog Challenge Day 9

Day 9 Challenge: Imagine you are on a long holiday in Portugal (or wherever your dream destination is). There are castles to explore, secret bars to discover, and sunny beaches to laze around on. In today’s post, I want you to write about how you will balance your adventure and work while you are away on this holiday.

One holiday we’d like to take is going to Canada in the summer – either Vancouver, Calgary or Toronto or even Sweden.  My son plays hockey and all those cities and country have great hockey camps in the summer. For us to be able to work and spend the summer would be beneficial for our family. Also, there are wonderful things to see in or near all those cities.

While my son is at hockey camp, I can work. Depending on when camp starts, we can always fit in sightseeing before or after camp.   Also, the camps usually do not take place during the weekend.

Another place we’d like to go is Colorado. There is a clinic that has a special dyslexia remediation program that lasts from 2- 4months. While my son goes to his classes which are only about 3-6 hours a day, I can work. And then when he is finished we can go sightseeing.

 

Spending Time Alone Was The Best Adventure I’ve Had In A Long Time

This blog post is in response to Natalie’s 10 Day Freedom Plan Blog Challenge Day 8

Day 8 Challenge: Today Natalie said it was a “fun” day. She wanted us to go out and do something that we’ve wanted to do for a long time.  She suggested we “go out play, enjoy, and come back and write about what you did.” Then we are supposed to share how we can make such adventures part of our lifestyle.

HAHAHAHAHA! What a treat!!  An adventure!?!? I felt I already did this earlier this week. I celebrated a birthday and had an adventure at the Salamander Resort in Middleburg, Virginia where I had a glorious pedicure, deep tissue massage and sat in a mystical steam room with lights glowing from the ceiling like stars in an evening sky. Even better, because I was “local” I got a 20% discount! I hadn’t had time to do something like this for a very, very long time.

What made it even more interesting was the woman I met who gave me my Moroccan hot oil pedicure treatment. I learned she is from Nepal. She is, actually, the first person I ever met from Nepal. Her voice was calm, and the cadence of her accent hypnotic. We talked about her country. And, the earthquake that devastated the area a year ago.

She asked me if I knew where Buddha was born because she said people always get it wrong. When I admitted my ignorance, she told me that Buddha was actually born in Nepal, but found Enlightenment in India. We discussed that “peace” is the central theme of Buddhism. We talked about the possibility of passing out free Buddha t-shirts to everyone and that if more people wore Buddha t-shirts maybe more people would be reminded to live in peace.  Being in that post-pedicure ultra-relaxed state, this idea made complete sense to me, so when I got home I purchased a few Buddha t-shirts for me and my family to wear. Note to husband: take away credit cards from me after I  spend time at a spa….my purchasing defenses are crushed.

For today, I already had plans that were different from –  and opposite of – our suggested daily challenge to go “out” and do something. I had planned on doing something very different from my usual schedule…something that I haven’t had the opportunity to do in a very long time. And, it’s not something extravagant or outrageous. And, it had nothing to do with  going out.

My adventure for today was to have a “spend-time-alone” day since my husband and son were going out of town for a hockey tournament. I haven’t had the opportunity to do this because I homeschooled my son for a few years and rarely, if ever, have I gotten or do I get the house to myself.  So, my adventure for today was simply to spend time alone, with no schedules, no to-dos  so that I could read what I want, watch I want, eat what I want, when I want – with no one to take care of….but myself. I cannot remember the last time I had that much control over my schedule with no responsibility.

Today I meditated. I read magazines and books. I made green juices and salads. I NAPPED!!! I watched a documentary about Orrly Kelly, the fashion designer. I went for a walk through my neighborhood. I was alone with my  own thoughts. For me, this is an adventure!

I think it’s important to schedule in unscheduled time to explore and play……and sometimes to have no plans. I realize after today, I do not do this enough, and it doesn’t have to be this way.  Doing things that bring us joy is good for us physiologically. It creates oxytocin in our bodies that is good for our health and mental well-being. It recharges us and can supercharge our creativity. I’m going to modify my routine that I developed a few days ago to add in time – maybe one day a week where I have the time – for play and for no-responsibilities. And unstructured, spontaneous day is good for our entire family. As the day comes to a close, and as my adventure winds  down, I feel rested, restored and centered.

Imperfect Action to Keep Momentum

This blog post is in response to Natalie’s 10 Day Freedom Plan Blog Challenge Day 7

Day 7 Challenge: Pick one imperfect action you can take every day that will move you closer to the life you have envisioned. It could be 5 minutes of walking or meditation, or even just continuing the momentum of this challenge and keep writing 200 words a day on your blog. Pick that one imperfect action and write a post about why you chose the particular action and what you imagine it will be like if you do it every day for the next 30 days.

I am one of those self-admitted perfectionists that will keep working on a project, which could very well prolong or prevent the launch of it. In the past I have over-read, over-investigated, over-interviewed a subject. I never realized that is was a procrastination technique.

Beliefs from my consulting days have impacted me.  I was taught and trained to provide more than the client wanted – to exceed their expectations. To turn in a project that didn’t feel complete felt like I was short-changing my customer – ripping them off.  I knew that software companies typically have this business practice where they launch incomplete versions of their products and it always ticked me off a bit because I’d have to buy another version. Or, sometimes I thought  it was a way for software designers and product/project managers to ensure they had jobs.

From participating in this challenge over the past few days, I have learned that doing a little everyday has helped me stick to a routine/schedule and I can actually see my progress. I was also hesitant to participate in this challenge because my blog on WordPress didn’t appear to be complete. I just got it up and running and started blogging.  There are  still widgets I need to set up and modifications I need to add to the blog. I am rather impressed that I moved forward without letting the condition of my WordPress site stop me. So, I am curious to see if I just keep going, just keep writing a little everyday what I will accomplish…..to  focus on the task at hand and the momentum that it creates.

So, my imperfect action is to continue writing on my blog everyday for the next 30 days. I’m hoping by doing this, I will overcome my perfectionist tendencies as well as get over my fear of what people think .

Finding My Tribe

This blog post is in response to Natalie’s 10 Day Freedom Plan Blog Challenge Day 6

Day 6 Challenge – Find 1 or 2 people who are living the kind of life you want to live, and whose tribe you’d love to be part of. Then write a short post about why you find them inspiring and the one question you would ask them if you met in real life.

I’m selecting people whose work I admire, however, I’m not sure if I know how they live their entire lives. I’m only familiar with the career part and maybe not their family or personal lives as much. And, Natalie,  I  understand why you’d want us to ask only one question – to make sure we wouldn’t monopolize our business crush’s time and also to make sure we ask an important question. But, there are so many things I’d want to know!

Kris Carr. One person that I respect and would want their kind of life is Kris Carr who produced and starred in the documentary, “Crazy, Sexy Cancer” about her journey to heal herself from cancer in a holistic way. I liked how she is authentic and true to herself. She branched out and wrote a book and then started a blog site based on the documentary and then in proliferated into a variety of media products with a strong, positive, healthy message.

If I met her in real life and I could only ask her one question it would be if she ever feels ill and what she does to counter act that. Or what else does she do during her day, besides eat healthy, to stay healthy. And, if I could ask her business related questions like how many people does she have on staff? What types of things does she outsource? What does she find the most challenging in running her business? What is her favorite thing to do running her business? What is one thing she would have done differently if she could start again?

See, it is hard just to ask one question

Any working mother. Another person I admire is any working mother. I know some professional and celebrity moms get offended when asked how they manage working and having a family…..they wonder why people don’t ask fathers the same question. Well, the reality is, is that mothers still do a majority of the work, so it makes sense that a working mom would want to learn from another working mom. We are only trying to learn from you!

I also wish these professional and celebrity moms would be honest about the amount of help they do have – with nannies, assistants, personal chefs, etc. Or if they have flexible schedules….or does the work schedule revolve around them? Then it would help other mom’s realize that maybe they shouldn’t expect themselves to do everything when other successful working moms really don’t do all the work anyway.

But, one working mom I would like to meet and ask questions of is Kimberly Snyder, another  healthy eating Internet sensation. She has a juice store, written books, has a great Internet presence and earned credibility by has coaching celebrities to eat healthier. Kimberly recently had a child, and what I want to know is how much time she spends on her business and how much time she allocates to her new son. I know this may be a touchy subject because mom’s are afraid to appear that they spend more time on their  work than with their child or vice versa. But, I it would be great to know. Or, what things in her business did she have to alter or change when her son arrived? Or, what are the things she delegates to others? How many people does she have working for her? What is the most profitable part of her business?

I  know, too many questions!

Natalie Sisson. And, lastly, but not least in any sense, I admire Natalie Sisson, because of the lifestyle business she created based on freedom….and, I’m not just writing this to “kiss up” to her in any fashion. I wouldn’t take the time to participate in this challenge if I didn’t respect her work, or want to learn from her to create a freedom lifestyle.

Here is what I respect –  I think it’s really difficult for people to be honest about what they do and don’t like when it comes to work. We are so programmed and conditioned by society to what we should like and do. And, yet, she had to courage to be honest with herself and take risks to be true to herself. I also like the fact that to reach her current position it didn’t happen overnight. That is was a journey – a process – where she honed in more precisely on what she wanted. It was a form of trial and error – an internal checking-in of what felt right. I would like to do the same thing: to be honest about my life and create a freedom lifestyle. I believe in my heart it is the next step I must take in life, and I want to find the courage to do so.

Now, if I got the chance to ask Natalie only one question – which for me would be impossible. But, here is a small group of questions that are inter-related. My question would be: How did she find the confidence to put herself – her true self – out into the world and what would she advise someone who feels more self-conscious in doing so? Was she ever nervous or self-conscious? If so, how did she get over it?

My Daily Success Plan

This blog post is in response to Natalie’s 10 Day Freedom Plan Blog Challenge Day 5

Today’s challenge is providing some structure to how to build your freedom lifestyle. Natalie has asked that we develop a step-by-step plan for getting our work done every day. Developing a plan helps establish the routine and then habit to get our goals accomplished. If I do this daily, I will move forward toward my goals….and building my business. I don’t mind having a schedule or routine. I find that when I do, I don’t waste as much time and I do get things accomplished.

What I especially loved about today’s challenge, was that it allowed me to carve out time for my own personal well-being. I realize I have time to meditate and do yoga. I also have time to network. By writing out my schedule, it showed me a more efficient use of my time. Without a schedule time can slip away one distraction at a time.

I see two strategies for myself.

The first one allows me to focus on my business in the morning, and the second allows me to focus on my business work in the afternoon. I want to have options, just in case personal responsibility obligations arise.

Moring work schedule:

7 AM – Get up/eat and get son off to school

7:35 – 8 AM – Meditate

8 – 8:30 AM –  Go to home office. Check e-mails. Send/respond to e-mails. Organize goals to focus on.

8:30 – 12:30 – Using Natalie’s suggestion, focus on my three most important actions for my business. Using the Pomodoro technique, I can break each of the actions into two 25 sessions, with 5 minute breaks in between.

12:30 – 1 PM – Eat

1-2 PM – Focus on personal/family obligations. Make appointments.

2-3 PM – Do yoga/personal growth activity

3-5 PM – Family time/prepare dinner

6-8 PM– networking event, depending on day

Afternoon Work Schedule:

7 AM – Get up/eat and get son off to school

7:35 – 8 AM – Meditate

8 – 8:30 AM – Get organized, get ready for the day.

8:30 – 12:30 – Personal/Family obligations (doctor/dentist appointments, grocery shopping, errands)

12:30 – 1 PM – Eat

1 – 3:30 PM – Work on business. – Using Natalie’s suggestion, focus on my three most important actions for my business. Using the Pomodoro technique, I can break each of the actions into two 25 sessions, with 5 minute breaks in between.

3:30 – 5:30 PM – Family time/dinner

6 – 7 PM – Yoga

7 – 9 PM – Reading/learning

To be accountable I will have a notebook with my Most Important Actions for the day for my business and for my personal life written down.  I can make a chart/calendar, and just cross them off when I finish them, so I can see my progress.

I’m going to try abiding by one of these routines tomorrow to see how it goes.

 

Day – 4 – Unlocking Your Superpowers: What Am I Good At?

This blog post is in response to Natalie’s 10 Day Freedom Plan Blog Challenge Day 4

Today we are supposed to identify our superpowers and explain how they will help us realize our dream of living the freedom lifestyle.  One way Natalie suggested to learn about our superpowers was to think what we are good at – what may come easy for us – or ask friends and family what they thought we are good at.

My son said I made good peanut butter sandwiches, and that I am good at annoying him (especially when I tell him to shut off computer games). My husband said that I was very intuitive (I could tell when he did something wrong), had good analytical skills (that I over-analyze everything),  and had good organizational skills (I could organize everyone else’s life, but not those piles of papers in my office).  It was a bit of a let down that they didn’t say that I was good at “having fun” or “loving”.

Hmmmm. This wasn’t helping. So, I made a quick list of things that I do every day. Things that come easy to me. Things that I do quickly and efficiently. So, here they are:

  1. I am an excellent researcher, fast reader and writer. I like to find information that answers questions and solves problems. I write up little blurbs of my findings and share them with friends or family who may need the information or I apply the information to my own life. I think being a finder of information is an extension of my love of learning. And, I am pretty fast writer. This skill will help me gather whatever information I may need to build a business and build my lifestyle in whatever area I chose.  And, it could also involve writing…blogging.
  2. I am an analytical, critical, strategic thinker. I have the ability to pull information from a variety of resources to identify trends and develop plans. I’m an information synthesizer. This can help me think through and develop my business.
  3. I am also a good networker (okay, my husband did say, “excellent networker”). I am outgoing and congenial. I’m not afraid to meet or speak to people. And, I’m not afraid to speak up when things don’t feel right. I’m not afraid of conflict. This will help me because I will be able to meet people who can help me get my business going or give me advice about how to make my lifestyle happen. But I know from experience that I have to be careful as I am also an introvert and need to monitor/manage my energy levels.

The most rewarding part of doing this exercise today was the answers my friends and family sent to me.  They saw so many other parts of me that I didn’t realize or pay attention to – that I’m good at making family a priority, that I’m authentic, that I am tenacious. It was touching to be seen in a positive light – that they had faith in my abilities and talents. It was all affirming, empowering and validating.