Self-Care

Self-sacrifice is a concept that is reinforced so strongly that women, in particular, sometimes give from a place of lack. Dr. Christiane Northrup, author of Goddesses Never Age, uses the imagery of the nursing mother to encourage women to take care of themselves. She points out that a nursing mother who hasn’t slept or eaten properly is less likely to be able to produce milk.

I shared the wisdom with a group of women and one woman expanded the vision to include the expectations that sometimes accompany our giving, especially when we’re giving from a space of lack or depletion…
Giving from a place of lack is like breast-feeding your child and expecting a thank you.” ~ Clarissa Lester Kenty

Inhale Self-Awareness, Exhale Other Focused …
Inhale Self-Esteem, Exhale Self-Sabotage …
Inhale Self-Care, Exhale Neglect …
Just Breathe…

#JustBreathe

Oxygen Mask

The safety briefing prior to a flight always includes the reminder to put YOUR mask on before helping others in an emergency. And while we wouldn’t question the wisdom of that directive, in our lives we are constantly flying from one family crisis to another, flailing and sometime failing because we are operating without oxygen.

We are trying to help others when we can’t breathe…

Who will give me wings,” I ask—“wings like a dove?” Get me out of here on dove wings; I want some peace and quiet.” Psalm 55: 6-7, MSG

Inhale Rest, Exhale Exhaust…
Inhale Revive, Exhale Weaken…
Inhale Renew, Exhale Deplete…
JustBreathe

#JustBreathe
#Impact

Emotions

Our emotions are there to tell us something about the way we’re processing our experience. How we respond to our emotions says a lot about who we are…we get to choose.

Positivity is one of my strengths and I usually choose to be positive. Not always, but I work on it. I do things that fill me up, like getting still to pray and meditate and getting physical through exercise and eating healthy. I try to limit my exposure to negativity…be it people, experiences, or lies masquerading as news.

And when I do experience negative emotions, I process them. I cry, I read favorite passages…I get still to feel what I’m feeling. I go to my favorite healing places, like Lake Michigan or when it’s winter in Chicago, I listen to the sounds of the ocean and imagine I’m on a cruise ship or lying on a beach. I let the emotions flow through me like water…and then I focus on the blessings in my life.

We cannot selectively numb emotions, when we numb the painful emotions, we also numb the positive emotions.” ~ Brené Brown, The Gifts of Imperfection

Inhale Emotion, Exhale Stoicism…
Inhale Feelings, Exhale Repression…
Inhale Awareness, Exhale Numbness…
#JustBreathe…

Reflections With Renita

Model Behavior

I’m a fitness enthusiast and a firm believer that our magnificently complex bodies can stay healthier if we stay active and monitor what we ingest.

But that’s not just theory for me…I’ve got role models for graceful aging in my 80+plus-year-old parents!

My father is still an enthusiastic golfer, talking smack and taking names of golfers half his age!

My mother managed to stave off diabetes by upping her activity and lowering her caloric intake.

And their great physical health positively impacts them mentally, spiritually and emotionally.

At its deepest level, your body is ageless, your mind timeless.” ~ Deepak Chopra

Inhale Stamina, Exhale Sluggishness…
Inhale Strength, Exhale Stiffness…
Inhale Steadfastness, Exhale Stagnation…
Just Breathe…

#JustBreathe
#Health

Mature Connections

At 80, my Dad is blessed to still have friends and family in his life that he’s known since his earliest memories. Though they might be separated occasionally by distance or disagreements, they never disconnect emotionally.

Our true self never fears or feels threatened by heartfelt connections. It only knows how to connect and how to love.” Deepak Chopra

Inhale Connection, Exhale Disconnection…
Inhale Friendship, Exhale Anger…
Inhale Love, Exhale Fear…
Just Breathe…

#JustBreathe
Reflections With Renita

New Connections

One of the speakers offering tribute during my parents joint 80th birthday party was Gloria Cobb, who my Mom refers to as her “claimed child”.

Gloria has gleaned wisdom from my Mom’s experience raising five children and my Mom has acquired an adopted daughter who loves and looks after her in her adopted Orlando home.

Embracing change, changing relationship patterns, being open to new people and activities are some of the ways my parents stay engaged in life. And engaging in life is how to keep enjoying life.

Life gets sweeter when you open up from a place of peace and continue to expand your circle.” Oprah Winfrey

Inhale Change, Exhale Stagnation…
Inhale Newness, Exhale Sameness…
Inhale Connecting, Exhale Rebuffing…
Just Breathe

#JustBreathe
Reflections With Renita

Acceptance

I believe our God given gifts and talents and personality are to be used to achieve our purpose. But whether or not we use those gifts, apply our personalities or achieve our purpose is up to each of us based on our personal beliefs. It’s no one else’s business

Grace says you have nothing to give, nothing to earn nothing to pay.” Charles R. Swindoll

Inhale Acceptance, Exhale Rejection…
Inhale Embrace, Exhale Tolerate…
Inhale Grace, Exhale Judgment…
Just Breathe…

#JustBreathe
#Strengths

To Be Known

We say we want to be known but then make those closest to us guess our inner thoughts and feelings. But if we tell those we say we love exactly what we are thinking and how we are feeling, they wouldn’t have to guess; they would know and could react accordingly.

And we would get what we want.

And they would know us better.

I’m just saying…

Love is the essential existential fact. It is our ultimate reality and our purpose on earth. To be consciously aware of it, to experience love in ourselves and others, is the meaning of life.” ~ Marianne Williamson, A Return to Love: Reflections on the Principles of A Course in Miracles

Inhale Love, Exhale Frustration…
Inhale Love, Exhale Impatience…
Inhale Love, Exhale Fear…
Just Breathe…

#JustBreathe
#Relationships

Wiser

What we ingest, consume, or absorb either helps us stretch and grow or keeps us stuck and stunted…guides us to wisdom or leads us to death.

What are you taking in?

Eat honey, dear child—it’s good for you—and delicacies that melt in your mouth. Likewise knowledge, and wisdom for your soul—get that and your future’s secured, your hope is on solid rock.” Proverbs 24: 13-14 MSG

Inhale Wisdom, Exhale Stagnation…
Inhale Growth, Exhale Stalled…
Inhale Maturity, Exhale Stunted…
Just Breathe…

#JustBreathe
#Wisdom

Older

I was accused of being set in my ways because I chose not to do something I didn’t want to do.

While it may be true that some people get “set” or stagnant as we age, I believe many of us get wise…we know more about who we are, we better understand what works for us, and we avoid what gives us gas.

We learn how and when to say no.

Blessed are those who find wisdom, those who gain understanding,” Proverbs 3:13 NIV

Inhale Wisdom, Exhale Wavering…
Inhale Understanding, Exhale Uncertainty…
Inhale Confidence, Exhale Confusion…
Just Breathe…

#JustBreathe
#Wisdom