About Face For Life
After much reflection and hours, days, weeks, and months of quiet time, when I thought carefully about the aspects of life that helped me to change and renew myself, the aspects that helped to empower me and literally transform me, these 6 Pillars came to mind – Mindset, Breath, Movement, Nutrition, Heart and Soul. I wanted to share something special and completely transparent and authentic with you.
My life and my business has always been about helping others and adding value. My goal in business has been to exceed people’s expectations and my clients are constantly telling me I have done that. My intention in life has been to leave each relationship better than what it was after engaging with people.
I know there are many souls out there that desperately need to move inwards and need more quiet time and self reflection. They are seeking peace of mind and a renewed energy to love their life. They are too consumed with what is going on outside of themselves. The greatest joys in life come from doing the inner work. “This above all: To thine own self be true.” The peace of mind and a gentle up turning of the corners of your mouth come from going inward. I give you the 6 Pillars of Transformation and Wellness for Powerful Living.
My Greatest Blessing
Life has some pretty interesting twists and turns. In September 2011 I was diagnosed with Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia (CLL). Who would have thought? I went for my annual physical and had my routine blood tests. When I viewed my blood reports online I noticed that the White Blood cells and the Lymphocytes were slightly above the normal range. I was curious and searched on line for more information about Lymphocytes. There were multiple causes listed which would result in a high reading and, being diligent, I followed up the next morning with a call to the doctor's office and made a follow up appointment.
He wasn't too concerned so I shared with him what I read on line. My next comment was, "There must be a test I can take to confirm whether I have cancer or not". He said "Yes, it's a Flow Cytometry". I insisted on getting one done.
Here's my point. It's important that we not bury our head in the sand when it comes to our own wellbeing. We have to take responsibility for our own health. The results came back as being positive.
This is one of the slowest growing cancers. The prognosis was 15 - 30 years. I'm going for 40 plus! I am not on any treatment or medication, but do have my blood monitored every 6 months. The diagnosis has certainly given me food for thought and forced me to revisit my life and what I was doing.
Being in control of your life is important. Then there is the aspect of "letting go and letting God take over." It made me rethink about my life purpose. I equate it to a massive jigsaw puzzle, now complete, but suddenly tossed into the air. Now I had to start all over again with defining my Life Purpose and Life Plans. With time and deep reflection, everything became much clearer.
I view the diagnosis as my Greatest Blessing! Yup...you heard me - My Greatest Blessing! My husband asked me if I was afraid. I said, "No...I'm fascinated. Fascinated that my body would do this and I want to know Why." Then I went into research mode instead of burying my head in the sand.
Oddly enough, I have always been a loyal follower of Dr. Wayne Dyer over the years. I had recently co-authored a book with him called Wake Up Live the Life You Love: Living in Clarity. He was diagnosed with the same form of cancer. And as fate would have it, we both consulted with Author Pam MacDonald, who wrote The APO E Gene Diet. Two of his genetic markers have returned to normal.
My life has changed. I ensure there is less stress and plenty of rest and sleep. I have been focusing on the things I love to do, like reading, playing the piano and painting. I have shifted to a vegetarian diet and completed a 200 hour Yoga Teacher Certification. I'm working on my 500 hours right now. I have more energy, vitality and joy in my life because of the changes I have made.
In my business, I am focusing on what I have always loved the most - helping people to be more successful and fulfilled in their lives. I have always loved Keynote Speaking and delivering Seminars, along with Executive Makeovers, and these will continue. And, my heart and soul have lead me to create another division to About Face Image Consulting... a Wellness Component. It’s to help you Change, Renew, Empower, Transform So it’s official – my new division has launched.
About Face For Life... with 6 Pillars of Transformation and Wellness for Powerful Living...
These 6 Pillars include Mindset, Breath, Movement, Nutrition, Heart, and Soul. Life is marvelous! Love it… every single moment!
6 Pillars of Transformation and Wellness for Powerful Living
The Mind: A Truly Powerful Concept
To enjoy life one must be able to distinguish between seeing the beauty of life or the ugliness of life. To choose to see the beauty in life and within allows us to be fully ourselves and experience all that life has to offer. How we use our mind, how we think and what we focus our attention on will determine how powerfully we live our life and what is attracted to us.
I have been studying the mind since 1978. It was more than just a hobby. It was a true passion and my massive personal library is a testament to my love of learning. It seems so natural now to be sharing what I have been diligently studying for so many years.
Like many other Speakers and Entrepreneurs, I have studied Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill, The Science of Getting Rich by Wallace Wattles and many other classics, along with many contemporary works.
The mind is a truly powerful concept. It is much more than your brain. It is universal energy with unlimited potential and it permeates every cell of your body. I’ll be sharing many articles on the mind, how we come to shape our beliefs, our attitude, how we see the world and how our behaviors and outlook determine the decisions we make and ultimately, our destiny.
When we open our mind and suddenly understand the limitations we have imposed on ourselves, we now have the potential to change and renew our perspective. Our behaviors gently shift and miraculously the doors open for massive empowerment.
We most want love, happiness, and peace of mind in our lives. As creative spirits we desire beautiful relationships, an ability to fully express ourselves and to be content in happiness. Loneliness, feeling unloved and an inability to love, an unfulfilled life and unrealized dreams, and insufficient money lead to misery. Changing your mindset can give you everything you desire and so much more.
Imagine all the inner resistance, mental confusion, doubts and fears disintegrating and disappearing entirely! Suddenly you are transformed and energized and you can focus solely on your strengths and inner wisdom. Your focus is exponentially sharper. You are suddenly clear about who you are, what you want and what your life purpose is all about, and how to attract it into your life. You can speak up and be heard. Asking for what you need and want comes gracefully, with so much ease, and you receive it.
You stand in integrity and you know where you are going in life and you have a greater understanding of what is required of you to achieve your goals and be who you were meant to be – all powerful. You are absolutely ready to step into your greatness. You stand tall, confident and have huge self respect.
If this intrigues you, then say tuned! You are about to be enlightened and your life will change forever!
When I gave full attention to my breath, it was always shallow. When my husband used to head out on the back patio for a cigarette, he would walk back into the kitchen and I could instantly smell the smoke. It was horrible and I would quickly direct him outside – “Out! Outside! Breathe out 10 times!” I had said it so often that I’m confident it made him healthier. He was expelling the toxins, and I was continuing to breathe shallowly. Thankfully he has been smoke free for over nine years.
Not only was my breath shallow, but I was living a shallow life, so I later discovered. I wasn’t fully expressing the fullness of who I really am. I was living small. My courageous soul was tired of living small and being held back. It wasn’t allowed to fully express its greatness and power. I, unknowingly, was holding it back and imposing so many limitations.
It wasn’t until after my diagnosis that I finally decided to listen to the many souls who had suggested Yoga. Most importantly, I learned to really listen to what my Spirit, my Soul was craving. When I immersed myself into a 200 hour Yoga Teacher Training program that was when I understood the breath and its vital importance for energy, wellness, warmth, and relaxation. It was exhilarating.
Years earlier I had reflected upon and understood the meaning of being inspired by life and people. I have been teaching motivational seminars for years, and they included Team Motivation. The dictionary definition of “Inspire” is to breathe in, to breathe life in. God breathes life into each Soul. We are inspired with glorious ideas and energy, and limitless power. The breath changes us, it renews us, it empowers us and it transforms us. Change the breath and how we breathe, and we experience something new.
Taking time to allow our dreams to come forward and top of mind, and to take time to plan and put them in writing is actually breathing life into them. To breathe life into our dreams allows us to engage in the opportunities, take the first step of action, to make a choice about how we want to live life. We are suddenly empowered. We can now transform ourselves and our lives.
I am relieved and sigh out a big breath. I am able to breathe life into this project – About Face For Life – and you and I are about to have a great lasting connection. We are more alike than you think. We only have so many heart beats and breaths in our lifetime. Make each breath count, like each moment.
Something Has To Move
To live a transformed life, a well life, a powerful life, we are required to move. Movement takes place as an active mind, an active body, and taking action.
Einstein said, “If you want something to happen, something has to move.” How profound, simple yet profound. If we stay in the mind, think and dream without any sort of action or implementation, we remain trapped. The soul begins to stir and we are anxious. We are unfulfilled spirits. And no doubt the Universe or God, our Spirit or Soul, will somehow get our attention. If we don’t move our bodies and keep it strong and flexible, then it atrophies. If we don’t take action on our ideas and our dreams, keep them in the small and insignificant state as a “wish”, they atrophy. A feeling of disappointment, inadequacy creeps in. We then think, “Is this all there is? Is this all life has to offer?”
As spiritual beings within our bodies, we are designed to create. That is the essence and purpose of spiritual beings. I AM... we are...defines how we show up at a given moment in time. We are ever evolving and growing to be more. Yet something keeps pulling us back and holding us down.
As spiritual beings we are housed in our bodies – it is our home, our shelter. We are magnificently created and can magnificently create. As Jim Rohn said, sometimes we treat our bodies as an outhouse. That is shameful when we are fully aware of what our temple, our body, can offer us and the world.
When we think of an athlete at their physical peak they have a physically strong body and are well disciplined and focused. The mind directs a movement and body obeys with perfect execution. We are given a beautiful body but all too often we don’t treat that gift as a gift, with great respect and care. Many of us abuse our bodies and expect it to heal and recover. For a while it does, and then over time it becomes more difficult.
Without a healthy body, we can still execute and make things happen. But we need people around us.
Therefore we need an ability to persuade and influence others to do things for us. That is Leadership. We learn to create things together. That is Teamwork.
Take a look around you at everything you can see and can touch. Everything we acquire in life is with and through other people. There are literally millions of souls who have created the many things we enjoy and take for granted each day, like our clothes, our beds, the sheets, the home and roof over our heads, the running water, the technology, the cars we drive, the infrastructure of our cities and roads. The list is endless and we will never ever meet those souls in our lifetime.
We can’t do it alone. We live in a world which requires unity. Movement is a vital part of transformation and wellness and is required to live powerfully. It requires taking an idea, and moving to action to create all that is possible for us to enjoy. It requires great respect for our minds, our bodies and keeping them healthy, so the soul can be fully expressed.
My Body Speaks
I put out a bowl of cereal for my grandson this morning and popped an Apple Cinnamon Cheerio in my mouth. I spit it out and put in the garbage. Perhaps five years ago I would have poured myself a bowl of cereal without thinking. Today is another matter. Instead, I made myself a pot of Old Fashioned Oats with cinnamon, raisins and chopped up apple. It’s the “stick-to-the-ribs” kind of breakfast that Dad used to eat before heading outside for yard work. My body wants a lot less sugar and lots of micronutrients.
As we age I think it might be natural for many of us to modify our diets, though certainly not natural for all of us. When I met husband over 20 years ago, our grocery cart looked much different. It was loaded with a lot of processed foods, really heavy and rich foods. There is no question that our digestive systems have changed and our bodies have rebelled. My body was screaming and sometimes shrieking for better nutrition.
I was running into more and more people who were Vegetarian. Some of the recipes were downright gross. And not really understanding the benefits, I stuck with the favorite animal products and richer foods like pasta and Fettuccine Alfredo. And yes, I would wolf down a loaf of fresh bread loaded with butter.
I remember my first colonoscopy. Afterwards I asked the doctor what I was allowed to eat and she said, “Anything you want!” I told my husband I was craving Lasagne, my all time favorite comfort food. I was clearly in heaven.
But with the marketplace and media talking about health, nutrition, and Oprah bringing on Dr. Oz as a regular, the population has been taking more of an interest in improving their health. I found myself spending more time in health food stores and gradually added more health books to my personal library.
Today I scan the other carts as I move through the checkout at the grocery store and I am so proud of myself. Both my husband and I have radically transformed what we eat and how the food is prepared. I still sneak in a bit of dairy and YES, I absolutely love my dark chocolate and have the occasional cup of coffee with cream. But I’m predominantly vegetarian and feel good about it.
I follow Dr. Neal Bernard, Dr. Joel Fuhrman and other healthcare professionals cook my food in my Saladmaster cookware – under 187 degrees Fahrenheit to preserve the micronutrients, juice and drink regular smoothies with spinach and kale.
I focus on anti-inflammatory foods. The breads and pastas, though I love them, create inflammation and puffiness on my face and I now feel it in my hands.
It’s more than balance and moderation. We need to change how we feed our bodies and sometimes it requires eliminating some things from our diet and what we put on our skin.
Every day my body speaks to me. I have learned to listen very carefully. Yoga has taught me to go inwards and focus on my body and to quiet the mind. I pay attention to my body, what is asking for and needing in the moment. If it is stressed, I give it quiet time. I have created a few quiet relaxing corners in my home where I can retreat to pray, meditate, read and relax.
I am careful with my mind and how I speak to myself and my body. I have chosen my friends carefully and each beautiful soul is precious to me. I am constantly reminded to speak kindly to myself and to treat myself well.
Find a picture of yourself as a child laughing and having fun. Frame it and place it on your desk where you can see it every day. My photograph is a joyful reminder to nurture the loving child within, to laugh often and to create great moments.
Express a Full Heart
My husband and I were chatting about the last 20 years of marriage. “Have I mellowed?”, he asks. “Of course! And so have I.”Our hearts have softened and opened. There is so much more love able to flow out today than 25 years ago. I am more patient, more tolerant, quieter, more loving, and more open to receiving love. I am less judgmental, hence more accepting of people, of life, of experiences, whoever and whatever they may be. I said less judgmental ... not necessarily eliminated. I am still aware that I am a “work in progress” and have much to learn, and the universe seems to get a kick out of reminding me that I have much yet to master. And I know that discipline in certain areas of my life need to be developed before I can ever hope to become a master.
To ensure I develop and express a full heart, I am aware that I must be interested in life and in people. I remain always curious, always fascinated. We don’t sweat the small stuff nearly as much. Is there still more to learn? Can we still exercise even more patience? Absolutely. It is without question a journey, an evolutionary process.
I express gratitude daily, throughout the day, for the many small and wondrous things, and experiences. I am so much more present than I used to be. My heart feels whole and rich. And by loving and appreciating life with a whole heart, my eyes see different and more beautiful things. My ears hear more beautiful things. My food that passes my lips tasting better and I am enjoying the textures and smells much more than in the past. I hug more. I laugh more. I smile more at all the little things.
I am not afraid to open my heart because I’m not afraid to feel pain. It makes me appreciate all that I have and am capable of creating, giving and receiving.
A Committed Inner Journey
Finding your Soul and being able to fully express it, requires a deep and committed inner journey. It whispers ceaselessly. And no, it’s not the constant chatter in my head that contradicts and argues with itself. It is a much larger essence, full of endless wisdom and love. Wrapped in peace, and beautifully calm.
I can remember praying in my early teens after being introduced to Jesus. I asked him to come into my life. We were a church going family but not particularly religious. We didn’t say grace at every meal.
My father spent a lot of time in the wilderness, and when I get the chance to retreat into nature, far away from civilization, I am in awe. Who wouldn’t find God in such beauty and peacefulness?
Dad was a Mason and introduced me as a young teen to Job’s Daughters. Several years ago I was invited by a gentleman, a business colleague, to visit a Bethel and observe his daughter get installed as the Honoured Queen. I was shocked as the ceremony proceeded and amazed by much the teachings from the Book of Job in the Bible had positively influenced my life.
For much of my early years I thought of God as something outside of myself. A separate entity. I know differently now. I know that God is within. That Spirit or Soul is housed deep inside and yearns to express itself in all that I think and do. I am God expressed. I am part of a much greater spiritual energy that is flowing throughout the universe and through everybody and everything.
God is omnipresent – always present, in all places at all times. He is everywhere, continuously and simultaneously present throughout the whole of creation, present all the time and everywhere. Therefore God is within me. I am a child, a speck of God.
The more I dig deep to discover and reveal Who I Am, the more I am surprised and delighted. I yearn to connect with other Souls on a much deeper level. No more of that superficial stuff. I yearn to connect on a deeper level with Spirit, with God.
Real authenticity is what is fascinating and truly magnificent. When I connect, it is without a doubt the best day ever. I am in awe when Prayers are answered. I am in awe when He speaks to me. I am in awe when my meditation quiets my heart and anxious thoughts, and stills my mind. I find my center and strength. I am renewed.