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M: mastery living

Sunday, September 26, 2010

This phrase harks back to a book I've referenced in a couple of blogs before: The Solution, by Laurel Mellin, M.A., R.D. In this book, the author discusses six causes of weight problems, and six cures (one per cause - go figure). emoticon

The sixth cause: "Stalled Living"
Its cure: "Mastery Living"

So, just what IS Mastery Living? It is a cycle of daily living that includes:

1. Exercise
2. Meaningful Activities
3. Time to Restore

Mastery living sets its focus on each day, seeking completeness. Ever notice how (once you've got used to it) missing any of these elements leaves your day feeling unbalanced? If I don't get my steps in, I feel incomplete... by the end of the day, I'm restless. If I don't take some time to breathe and sleep or even take a mental break from work? I feel worn down, possibly anxious, like something is missing.

"Meaningful activities" can be whatever you define them as. This acknowledges of our human need for purpose... we need to feel useful and as though what we are doing with this day matters. If I see what I do TODAY as having value... I feel complete. If I'm NOT doing something that means something to ME, maybe I need to change what I choose to do with my days.

If my day includes all three elements, I am living a life of mastery, one day at a time.

May today be a day of Mastery Living for all. emoticon

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SAMI199 10/20/2010 9:23PM

    Thanks for sharing-this makes perfect sense.

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CHRISTURTLE 9/27/2010 3:39PM

    What a great blog! I know exactly how you feel- one element missing and the whole day seems wrong somehow. Loving this series of blogs, they always give me a little added insight. I read what you write and suddenly find myself thinking 'Yes, that's right!' Thank you.

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VALERIEMAHA 9/27/2010 12:29PM

    Your blogs are always SO full of wisdom. Don't know how I got unsubscribed! KaliGirl got me over today...such substantive stuff, Barb. One of the great Yoga teachers, Master Sivananda, uses a similar term to Mastery Living (with a slightly different emphasis), which gives it special power for me!

Thanks for shakin' me up! I needed that.
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Maha

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MSLZZY 9/26/2010 10:23PM

    Awesome-thank you!

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KALIGIRL 9/26/2010 9:19PM

    This was perfect for me today - I've been out of 'routine' since returning from Seattle and restless as a result.
emoticonfor getting me back on track!

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ANONALEE 9/26/2010 5:15PM

    Laudable goal well worth achieving. I know that when I live my life "on purpose" I include all these things naturally and I feel better. And, of course, practice makes progress, right?
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STEPHIEKNITS 9/26/2010 3:39PM

    emoticon

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KASEYCOFF 9/26/2010 3:27PM

    When I make a note of a book, I figure it's a blog worth reading, lol - thanx for the recommendation, kiddo! :-D

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LIBRATAH 9/26/2010 1:49PM

    I liked this! emoticon

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CAROLJEAN64 9/26/2010 1:36PM

    I love when profound ideas are phrased simply and succinctly. Exercise ( keeping this body I have been given healthy and erergized is vital). Meaningful Activities (my life has purpose and I find my gifts and share them). Time to Restore (balance in all things.)
Thanks.

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WALKINGANNIE 9/26/2010 1:31PM

    What a perfect summary of how Sparklife should be.

Here's to Mastery living!

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SUNNY332 9/26/2010 1:13PM

    Good one. I am enjoying my Mastery Living today also. Just got home from Church, feel so blessed, almost packed for our trip this week, and off to ride my bike. Life is good!

Hugs, Sunny



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REJ7777 9/26/2010 10:43AM

    This goes well with what I'm reflecting on today. emoticon

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JWADDELL2 9/26/2010 10:42AM

    Sounds like good advice - thanks! emoticon

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L: listen and learn

Saturday, September 25, 2010

... as in "listen to your body" and "learn to identify what its real needs are"!

This is a vital skill for those of us who have a history of not being in touch with the true physical needs of the body. For whatever reason, we have suppressed the natural signals and replaced them with willful or mistaken responses and reactions. Even the weird clues (as in sugar makes me hungrier and gives me cravings) are worth listening to and observing.

This has to be one of the greatest lessons in getting healthy... and it can be a slow and repetitive process. At least that has been my own experience.

In my teens and twenties, I just wanted a slim body, and had NO clue there were other things going on between my ears. In my thirties, I wanted to be healthy for the child I was growing in my womb and I just followed directions handed to me from someone else. As I approached 40, I was fearful for my own health (as were loved ones close to me). At fifty plus, my effectiveness as a parent for my upper teen son was a motivation. And now getting ever closer to 60, it is quality of life, not just longevity that is motivating. Each passing decade has had things to teach me, and with each iteration of the cycle of losing weight and trying to keep it off, I have got a little better at discerning what's really going on.

Right now I feel as good as or better than I ever have. No, I'm not 20-something any more. But I'm as healthy as I can be right where I am. And that is enough. I LOVE the concept of enough!

Life is worth living. Our bodies are deserving of respect and dignity. And amazingly, underneath it all, those bodies DO know what's good for them, if we get the marketing and the mind-speak out of the way, and listen.

Here's to listening, learning to listen better, and loving who we are! We are worth it. We deserve lives of dignity and purpose, health and the pursuit of happiness.

Blessings to all.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SAMI199 10/20/2010 9:19PM

    emoticon emoticon

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ANONALEE 9/26/2010 5:16PM

    If I could go back and do it all again I would Listen to my body and my feelings with a lot more trust as I've learned through the years that the result of that listening is far superior to my attempts to follow some crafted idea of what should be.

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PENNYAN45 9/26/2010 4:50AM

    I love the concept of enough too. That's a good one.
Listening to and learning what the body needs is crucial to long-term success here.

Thanks for your good insights.

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KASEYCOFF 9/26/2010 3:37AM

    The concept of 'enough'... There's a line in the original 'True Grit' (I say 'original' as I understand there's a remake on the way) wherein Mattie says 'no thanks' to a second helping, adding 'Enough is as good as a feast.' I don't keep that lesson in front of me as often as I should (!) but I think it's as applicable to most things in life as it is to the table, lol. I like your perspective, kiddo!

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PEGGYJEAN13 9/26/2010 12:29AM

    I only wish I had listened to my body years sooner or listened to those who told me take your calciun, use mosturizer, and stay out of the sun.

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MSLZZY 9/25/2010 11:32PM

    emoticon

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REJ7777 9/25/2010 8:15PM

    It's so important to listen to our body! I used to be unbelievable sedentary. I didn't realize my body craved movement and needed it. As I get fitter, I can read my body's needs better. I can now feel my body asking for movement if I sit too long. I can FEEL the need to move now, whereas I didn't before. I'm learning to listen to my body, and I like what I hear! emoticon

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WALKINGANNIE 9/25/2010 3:35PM

    This is so well put Barb - as is this whole series. I love the way that you write about feelings that many us recognise.

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LOVE_2_LAUGH 9/25/2010 1:23PM

    I love this blog and can totally relate. I especially liked your comment about when you were in your 20s. I was SO there!

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STEPHIEKNITS 9/25/2010 12:12PM

    Elegant post and very thought provoking. Thanks!

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THIAGRAM 9/25/2010 12:09PM

  This is so true and you said it well! Stop and listen! I like what Mary Poppins said "Enough is as good as a feast!"
Thanks for sharing!



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SUNNY332 9/25/2010 11:23AM

    Me too, Barb, healthier and happier than I have been in years - even in my early 20's when I was skinny.

Life is good.

Sunny

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KALIGIRL 9/25/2010 10:59AM

    Another great blog, Barb.
I find myself not listening enough, being mindless most of the day.
Ego? emoticon
Thank goodness for the moments of awareness and the potential for them to grow.


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K: "kit"

Friday, September 24, 2010

Strange word, huh? It's a movie reference. The movie is Chariots of Fire. Remember the scene where Eric Liddle is handing out the trophies at an athletic meet, and the speaker offers to get him some "kit" so that he will run in the main event?

"Kit", in this case, meant running clothes: the right equipment. The right equipment is vital, even for beginners. A good, supportive pair of shoes for walking, for example. A swimsuit that fits and does not bind for water aerobics or lap swimming. A good supportive sports bra for us ladies!

All these things are ways of preparing ourselves for an active life, and for some of us, buying new "kit" is a reward and incentive in our programs. A cute new outfit, shiny new workout shoes, another piece of equipment - bands, or weights, or a balance board... can all keep my interest alive.

Is there any "kit" that you use as reward / incentive to keep your fitness program alive.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SAMI199 10/19/2010 4:17PM

    Besides the essentials-walking shoes-DVD's-books/magazines/SP
I have found that "Dressing the Part" really helps me-do I need a running suit to walk my street-no-but it makes me feel very athletic & " cool"-lol. I get a kick out of Nike teeshirts,ect.



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ANONALEE 9/25/2010 9:20AM

    If I add anything to my kit it will be another fitness DVD -- I'm lucky enough to live in a building with a full gym and all the great equipment (including a pilates machine!), so I only have hand weights, stretchy bands and DVDs in the home.

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CHRISTURTLE 9/25/2010 12:50AM

    I've promised myself a mini-tramp for my birthday next month. I know I'll use that, cos I can do what I do with Charlie (cardio twister) - turn the music up LOUD and keep moving to the beat of the music. I alternate slow and fast songs - more fast now than slow. Used to be the other way round a few months back.

Wondering about the wisdom of using a skipping rope, which was considered a good idea according to a SP article. Not sure if I'd use it though.

Thinking of a really good pedometer for myself for Christmas, cos my cheap nasty one is both of those things - will suddenly turn itself on/of/switch from mode to mode, you name it, its versatile in what havoc it creates. Thanks to a friend's vlog, I know iphone have an app, a Nike GPS app., I think it is. Just wondering if I can get something similar for mine, or whether in fact that would do for my Android type phone.

I have a balance ball and resistance bands, but they were both 3 minute wonders unfortunately.

Comment edited on: 9/25/2010 12:51:42 AM

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MSLZZY 9/24/2010 10:21PM

    I can always a new pair of shoes. But after this morning, gloves would be appropriate LOL!

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STEPHIEKNITS 9/24/2010 3:10PM

    I use things I want to add to my 'Kit' as rewards for reaching milestones or goals. Yesterday it was a new hat for walking as I reach over 100 miles walked. On my list is new walking shoes, swiss ball, resistance bands, hand weights. I think it is a great idea to build a kit. emoticon

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DEBRITA01 9/24/2010 2:17PM

    I have the necessary kit, I just need to work on staying motivating and using those tools. Thanks for the reminder...

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REJ7777 9/24/2010 1:53PM

    Since my favorite activities are walking and hiking, my kit includes high quality walking and hiking shoes and sandals, hiking poles and a daypack, as well as a basic pedometer. I plan to keep adding to my kit with time.

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KALIGIRL 9/24/2010 1:04PM

    My 'kit' has served as a reward and disincentive. New biking clothes - definite reward. Changing out pedals to fit clip shoes - a little scary - having to relearn taking corners and opportunities are dwindling as days get shorter...

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WALKINGANNIE 9/24/2010 12:12PM

    Uh-oh.... This is where I still have to admit that I still have no 'kit' at all! (Unless a pedometer and 2 D-shaped hand weights count.)
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This does't mean that I'm not active though - just not in the same league as most of my Spark friends.

Way to go on your example!
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TURTLETALK 9/24/2010 10:59AM

    My kit is a gigantic treadmill that sets right in front of my tv. I leave my walking shoes and socks right on the tread so if I try to sit on the couch and watch tv I have to look through the treadmill to see. It certainly would not win me any decorating awards but it works to get me off my duff. I hope you are having the beautiful day in NB that we are enjoying in KS today.

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SUNNY332 9/24/2010 8:01AM

    I love adding new things to my "kit". Right now, I have my mind set on a new Elliptical.
It will be my reward when I reach my goal weight of 160 - 12 more #'s to go.

Sunny

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J: just

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Oh, you think - there she goes again! Neither noun nor verb. "just" can be an adjective or an adverb. Don't you love quirky little words with multiple meanings? "Just" is just such a word. emoticon

I'm going to highlight two of those meanings. One of them is the sense of the minimal nature of whatever it is modifying. That's the adverb meaning:

"Just ten minutes of activity..."
"Just do it!"
"Just wait a minute here!"
"Just one cookie, thank you..."

All these little, precise, "just one thing" decisions add up to a healthier life-style.

But then there is the adjective side: right or fair; equitable; impartial

Think about what is "just" or fair treatment of your body, mind and spirit. What is right? Most of us know. Many of us bend over backwards to treat others fairly. Question for today: are you treating yourself in a "just" manner?

Speaking of "just"... there are just 99 days left in 2010! My aim is to make the most of them.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SAMI199 10/19/2010 4:10PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

I just love your blogs!!!

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WALKINGANNIE 9/23/2010 3:23PM

    Just splendid Barb!

I think that we are being much more just to our bodies these days.

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KALIGIRL 9/23/2010 1:21PM

    Wonderful question and one we should ask often. I'm off to have some lunch, so I'd say
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LOVE_2_LAUGH 9/23/2010 10:29AM

    Hmmm, I never thought about the concept of being just to my body. You make a very important point.

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SUNNY332 9/23/2010 8:47AM

    3 months left for me to reach my goals this year!

Thanks for being such a GREAT inspiration for me and thanks for you ongoing encouragement.

Hugs, Sunny

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STEPHIEKNITS 9/23/2010 8:43AM

    Once again you have me thinking early in the morning. Reminds me of the Nike ad. So I better Just Do it!

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SLENDERELLA61 9/23/2010 8:34AM

    Great blog! Just wonderful ideas, well articulated!!

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ANONALEE 9/23/2010 8:20AM

    Just do it! is both an encouragement and a minimization of the amount of effort involved, depending on how one looks at it. I feel much more charitable toward "just do it" when I'm being successful, kind of angry and resentful toward it when I'm not.

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MSLZZY 9/23/2010 7:25AM

    I'm aiming for the same goal. Good luck! HUGS!

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I: Inspiration

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

We all need inspiration. No matter what phase in life's journey, we need inspiration to get up in the morning, to keep going when the going gets tough, and to keep going after set backs AND after successes!

So I keep on finding goals and things to work for. I keep on reading success stories and blogs, participate in my spark teams and play those alphabet and number games in posts. And I share with others because it becomes an inspiration. My spark friends inspire me a lot.

Last night I put a stake in the ground: I sent in my registration fee for my target 5K.

For those of you who might not be regular followers of my blog, my son's unit was among those that took casualties last November, in the shooting at Fort Hood. When I found out they were going to do a memorial run to honor the fallen, I knew it was the perfect inspiration for me. My couch to 5K program that I keep writing status about was to get serious about being in shape for this event.

I still don't know how I'm going to pull off the logistics and fit it into the budget (the travel part), but signing up for it adds to my determination and makes it more likely to really happen. See the Spark philosophy? Do one thing!

What inspires YOU to keep on keepin' on?

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SAMI199 10/19/2010 4:06PM

    Today YOU are my inspiration!!!! I was so upset about Fort Hood-I do not know if there is anything I can do to help-but
please let me know...Good Luck!!!!!!

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God Bless our Troops

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REJ7777 9/22/2010 10:51PM

    emoticon on doing that one thing!
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ANG_LA 9/22/2010 8:12PM

    PERFECT! Nothing more to say kiddo. emoticon

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WALKINGANNIE 9/22/2010 3:32PM

    Wow! Congrats for sending the registration fee in and committing to the event. That is awwesome - and you are a great Inspiration with a capital I.

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MSLZZY 9/22/2010 3:30PM

    I think my inspiration comes from other SP members who share their stories and their struggles. They make me count my blessings and realize I have it pretty good in comparison.
So I keep on trucking and keep on tracking. HUGS!

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STEPHIEKNITS 9/22/2010 11:30AM

    That is awesome. The people at sparkpeople keep me inspired.

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ANONALEE 9/22/2010 10:41AM

    That's fantastic, Barb -- not only do you have a great program to follow but a wonderful way of expressing it at the end. Very inspirational! I get 99% of my inspiration from ideas I run across while reading things like this!

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LOVE_2_LAUGH 9/22/2010 10:40AM

    Just like you, other sparkers insprie me -- and you're right up there at the top of the list! Congratulations on sending in the registration fee. Now that you've made the commitment, I bet you'll be surprised at how you find a way to make it happen. Good luck as you continue your training!

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THIAGRAM 9/22/2010 10:17AM

  You inspire me! Thanks for a great blog! Bless you and your son!
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DHENDLER 9/22/2010 8:57AM

    Not only LIKE THIS ... love this. You are the inspiration for many Barb. Thanks once again.

Many like myself might like to donate funds for your run if you have an address that can be used for that purpose.

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SUNNY332 9/22/2010 8:46AM

    Awesome. Have faith that the $$ will be there.

You Inspire me, Barb and I will be praying about the logistics.

Hugs, Sunny
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PATRISNA 9/22/2010 8:20AM

    Barb,
You inspire me to keep on keepin' on! Everything you mentioned about Spark People keeps me going. People like you, Jeannie and Just-Tri-It that work for a goal and then blog when they succeed.

I am glad you decided to go for the Memorial 5K. I know it has been on your mind ever since you said you couldn't do it. I was hoping you would change your mind.

Hugs,
Pat

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KALIGIRL 9/22/2010 8:17AM

    So wonderful you decided to travel there. You are an inspiration to us all!

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CHRISTURTLE 9/22/2010 8:14AM

    What a wonderful reason to begin Couch 25K! There is no better way to honor the fallen of your son's unit and the other units than to work so hard towards completing that run. I'm sure your son must be so very proud of all you've achieved so far, but this must just be the icing on the cake to him.

You asked what keeps me keeping on? When I talk with my grandchildren and hear them say the words 'I love you Gran'. That's what keeps me on my journey to better health and physical condition. I want to be round for a long time yet to see the wonderful milestones my family reach, to cheer them on in the good times, to cry with them in the not so good times. What helps me believe I can do all I hope to? Reading blogs such as this one of your's, and knowing other people can push themselves to achieve things that once seemed impossible.

Thank you for the inspiration you constantly provide me, and many many others, I'm sure, with in your blogs.
Hugs,
Chris.

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