Monday, September 7, 2009

Healthy Relationships-Guest Blogger-Dale W. Hill

Please welcome marathon runner and Marriage Coach-Dale W. Hill as our guest blogger this month!

Healthy Relationships are Important Too

During my morning walk today (written on August 8, 2009), a woman was approaching me who looked extremely focused about what she was doing. She was running, and then she slowed down to a fast walk as if she were pacing herself. What a great stride, I remember thinking. She looked a little familiar as we approached each other, but she wore sunglasses and a cap on so it was hard to be sure if I knew her or not. Besides, it was 7am on a Saturday morning! I too felt focused and strong; arms pumping, fast pace, strong stride, legs feeling good...approaching my third mile. We passed each other and said the gracious 'Good Morning' that most people exchange as they pass each other working out in the mornings; whether they know each other or not; it’s an unspoken rule. As soon as we said 'Good morning' and passed each other she called out my name and turned around to face me! As soon as I heard her say my name, I knew who she was. I too called her name and turned around to face her! We couldn't believe it! We hugged! We hadn't seen each other or talked in a while, and of all places to meet!! "Oh my goodness!” she said, "....we were both so focused..." I cut her off, "….we were both so focused that we almost didn't even recognize each other!” She said, "You're a long way from home!" We exchanged very little chit-chat as our bodies never seemed to stop moving because it was obvious to both of us that we were both on a personal fitness mission! We were in a groove. We both understood our unspoken body language that said, 'Good to see you. Let's talk soon. But I've got to go!' And we went our separate ways assuring each other that we would call the each other. As I picked up my pace, and regained my focus and once again took hold of my goal of getting to my Weight Watchers meeting by 8am, I thought to myself, why hadn't either of us contacted the other before our paths crossed at 7am on a Saturday morning on Rodeo Road?! When we think about friends that we haven't seen in a while, why don't we just pick up the phone and call them? I've thought about her over the past months and I bet it is safe to say that she has thought about me, so what has kept us from reaching out to each other, to catch up and see how the other one is doing? Well, that's easy, you say. Everyone is busy. Life happens. She's doing her thing and your doing yours. You know you love and respect each other and when you see each other like you did on this particular morning, it's all good. No big deal. Everyone understands. Get over it. Hmmm....That is the reality of it, isn't it? We are so busy 'doing' life, that just 'being' a friend or just 'being' a wife, or just 'being' a mother, or just 'being' a sister, or just 'being' an Auntie, or just 'being' a Grandmother, becomes less important and less valued than the ‘doing’ of those various roles. ‘Producing’ has become more important than ‘listening’. ‘Multi-tasking’ has become more valuable than ‘laughter’. ‘Accomplishing’ has become revered over ‘resting’. I'm guilty! How about you?! One time two sisters found themselves preparing for a guest who would be the most important guest that they ever had in their home. One sister did all the grocery shopping to buy the best food to serve. She did the cooking. She did the cleaning. She made sure that everything was perfect in their home for their guest. The other sister prepared her spot where she would sit to listen to the guest when he arrived. After the guest shared wisdom and truth, the busy bee sister was indignant with lazy sister. Proud of her accomplishments, busy Bea publically accused lazy Liza to their esteemed guest of not doing her share to prepare for him. "The Master said, Martha, dear Martha, you're fussing far too much and getting yourself worked up over nothing. One thing only is essential, and Mary has chosen it - " (Luke 10:41-42a The Message) Since I believe my steps are ordered, as it tells us in Psalm 37:23, I believe this morning's 'meeting' with my friend, has reminded me that I need to spend more time ‘choosing’ what is essential in life. I need to 'be' more and 'do' less. The kitchen sink will only be empty for a little while so why spend more time washing dishes than catching up with a friend? The laundry basket will only be empty for a few hours so why spend more hours washing clothes than spending time with my husband? The agendas and lesson plans can wait, but in the wink of an eye my 15 year old son will be going away to college. Good, sound, fulfilling relationships just don't ‘happen’; they take work; and investing our time and our full attention; and it’s always worth it in the end. As we choose to have things in our lives done decently and in order, with a healthy balance, let's help each other 'do' less and 'be' more.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Taking care of yourself-Part IV

I have heard people often say and I have said as well that this person or that person has not yet found himself. Think about that statement what does it really mean to you?

If you think you haven't "found yourself" yet, may I make a few suggestions?
1. Begin with the "end in mind"-Stephen Covey. How do you want to be remembered? What do you want others to think of when they think of you?
2. Make a vision statement for your life. A statement about you in the future. Where do you plan to be in the future?
3. Develop a mission statement. It is the steps that you will need to take to get to your personal vision. Take some time and contemplate your purpose and values to develop your mission statement.

If you feel like you've found yourself, are you feeling fulfilled as you take the steps necessary to reach your personal vision? If not, do the three steps above again. Maybe it's time to refresh your vision and mission statements.

To thine own self, be true.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Taking care of yourself-Part III

Is there some fairly small thing that is keeping you from being as healthy as you could be? For example, in the hypertension/high blood pressure category-are you still salting all your foods because you don't like the taste of the food otherwise? Or eating lots of frozen dinners, chips, canned meals, or soups with high sodium/salt content? Or drinking coffee, tea, or other beverages with two or more teaspoons of sugar? Or eating items with high sugar content ie donuts, candies, cookies, pastries, pies when you have a challenge with high blood sugar levels? Or eating three or more eggs, bacon, sausages, etc when your cholesterol levels are high? I could go on but I think you get the picture. :)

The point of this is not to make you feel bad but to challenge you to be more aware of your diet. Sometimes it is the little things that can make the most difference. So why not start today and keep a food diary. A written account of what you're eating everyday for one week. You can take it and share it with your doctor and receive recommendations. You can also decide on your own to tackle one food challenge area that you need to change and work on it.

Here's my example-I trained myself to drink hot tea without any type of sugar or sweetener. Therefore when I drink three or more cups I don't have to worry about the sugar content.

So change something in your daily food content for your health. Let me know how it goes.

Let's be as well as we can be.

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Taking Care of Your Self-Part II

With all the talk about the economy and jobs, I thought it would be fitting to talk about taking care of your self career-wise. Are you taking care of your self in the marketplace? For 2009, have you taken an inventory of your marketable skills? Do you need to take classes to sharpen your skills or gain a certification in a different area? Have you sat down and taken time to think about how you can make yourself more valuable to your company or to your business? Are you avoiding technology or using it to your advantage? Are you changing and adjusting to the Information Age? Now is the time to take an inventory of your life, sharpen your skill set, and plan for a fine 2009! Don't just sit and wait for something to happen. Go make it happen for you and your family!