Chris’s Credentials

I’m 54 years old. I was born in 1965 in the first year of the Generation X cohort.

When I was 52 I started menopause. I haven’t gained weight or had hot flashes. My thinking is still sharp as a tack.

I was 50 years old when my father died. The cancer killed him. He has Stage 3 colon cancer that spread to his liver.

This was the deciding factor in my desire to continue to exercise and eat healthfully.

In 2011 when I turned 46 I started lifting weights. Before then I hadn’t lifted one 5 pound weight. In January 2014 three years later I could dead lift 205 pounds.

This is how I know it’s possible to make positive changes at any time in your life.

I believe in the beauty of making fitness the number-one priority.

Living in health harmony and happiness is predicated on having fitness of body, mind, spirit, career, finances, and relationships.

Over the years through a series of events happening to me I’ve come to figure out what my life’s purpose is.

I’m here to advance my vision of recovery from whatever it is a person is in recovery from.

My mantra for the blogs is: “No Judgments.”

When I was 22 I was diagnosed with a medical condition. I’ve been in remission for over 27 years so far.

What happened to me I wouldn’t want to strike any other person.

After I recovered fully, my goal was to aid in healing society of stigma.

It’s my belief that healing is possible when each of us honors, accepts, and embraces our individuality and that of others.

I’m a Girl on the Left. My favorite color is Green. I have 12 books I want to publish before my time here on earth ends.

And I think the world needs less judging and more compassion.

I’m going to record my journey to get fitter and remain healthy.

First before I detail the changes I’ve started to make I want to relay in the coming blog entry a scary event I witnessed in New York City.

I want to talk about what happened to dramatize the truth that no human being living on earth has anything to be ashamed of.

Wanting to better yourself is not a sin.

What I’ve learned is that sometimes you can’t make it on your own.

My goal in wanting to help others live full and robust lives springs from the fact that I had no help in my own life. I pulled myself up by my bootstraps at a time when it was thought recovery wasn’t possible.

What I know to be true: choosing to make fitness the number-one priority in my life has made all the difference.

Who are you? Stand up straight and tall and tell the world.

Upcoming Blog Carnival

I want to talk about the Mind-Body Connection in this blog.

Again, I’m in the vanguard in writing about things no one else is covering.

The idea to publish this blog carnival came to me this week.

In a departure, I want to give more detail about my own journey to get fitter and remain active for the rest of my life.

In today’s publishing climate the more sensational your claim is you’ll be called an “expert” and get a book contract.

What I write about is common sense. I give readers this information in the hope of empowering you to live your own version of a full and robust life.

From Beyonce from a fashion magazine interview:

“The beauty of social media is it’s completely democratic…Everyone’s voice counts, and everyone has a chance to paint the world from their own perspective.”

In the next blog entry I’ll give you my autobiography.

Then I’ll start to take you on my journey to get fitter and remain active for the rest of my life.

I firmly believe that if you want to have a better life this is under your control.

You can “Go confidently in the direction of your dreams” at any age.

My greatest goal is to use the blogs to spread joy, love, peace, and understanding in the world.

You shouldn’t feel ashamed because you want to better yourself.

Forget the jealous people. Forget the critics, naysayers, and haters in society whose sole purpose in life appears to take other people down.

Hold your head high. You are a person of worth equal to others in society.

Perhaps in sharing my journey you’ll be empowered to make positive changes as well.

Getting Support for Your Goals

The one small act of scrambling eggs and veggies for breakfast has whirled into action other goals in a snowball roll.

The health coach services end in two weeks. This 2-month health coach service was well worth the money.

This is why I tell readers to get the support you need to plan and prepare for the new goals you want to take on.

One of my ideas is to go back to school for a writing degree.

It can be scary to make changes even though the changes might be positive.

That’s why I say: create a support team of individuals you can talk with.

Lastly: to remember that with health you have everything you need.

What I write I would like to educate, empower, and entertain readers.

To give followers the idea that it’s not as hard as you think to make changes.

I’ve been scrambling culinary sunshine for 6 weeks so far.

I say Go for It: risk change.

You don’t know until you try what’s possible.

Choosing a Job for Love or Money

Choosing a Job for Love or Money shouldn’t be a toss-up.

Ideally, the job you love will pay a livable salary. When it doesn’t you can drum up a “side hustle.”

The book The Economy of You by Kimberly Palmer talks about how to create a second income stream or else create your own full-time business.

Again, using the book Changeology: 5 Steps to Realizing Your Goals and Resolutions can also help.

The Small Business Administration website can give you information too.

Going into business for yourself or working at an established company is possible.

Clearing hurdles will make it possible to do this.

One hurdle is overcoming resistance to getting any kind of job:

Either countering your own internal roadblocks or that of naysayers who claim it’s not in the cards for you to do what you want.

In the next blog entry I’m going to document a better way.

If any social workers are reading this I would like you to take note.

Learning from Green in BKLYN

I want to talk about not giving up. About going after your goal(s) with gusto.

One scenario from the business world should convince you that taking a risk is well-worth the fear of having it not work out.

What’s the worst that could happen?

Not being successful is no cause for being upset. It’s better to try and have something not work out. Then to not try and wonder what might have been.

In 2009 Elissa Olin opened her business Green in BKLYN in the Clinton Hill neighborhood.

A mentor whose advice she valued told her not to do it because nobody wants anything to do with Brooklyn. That there’s no market for eco-friendly products. That in 10 years the business isn’t going to work.

Fast-forward to today: Olin signed a second 10-year lease on the shop. Her business is booming.

She was able to open up her shop in part because she won Brooklyn Public Library’s PowerUP! competition.

You submit to the yearly contest your business plan. The top business plans selected win cash prizes for the owner to start up their business.

You can go on Brooklyn Public Library’s website and type in PowerUP! in the search box to learn about the competition.

The moral of this story is:

Go after your goal(s) with gusto.

You don’t know unless you risk doing something what is possible.

If you don’t believe me take it from a sports great I’ll quote here to end the blog entry with:

Don’t be afraid to fail.

Be afraid not to try.

— Michael Jordan

Having 5 Commitments

Easily over five years ago I read a Leo Babauta book where he told readers to list their 5 Commitments in life.

This approach made great sense to me. In the spirit of talking about recovery I want to riff on choosing and committing to 5 areas.

Do this for the sake of your mental health and physical well-being first of all.

As I head into my fifties and go through changes at mid-life the benefit of having 5 Commitments resonates with me more than ever.

It’s called a routine: adopting healthy habits that you engage in every day or every week.

This isn’t to say that the focus of your life won’t ever change. As you get older, you’ll need to improvise as you go along.

I find myself at 53 engaging in a form of woodshedding, which I talked about in one of the first blog entries in this Flourish blog.

While isolating inside because you’re afraid to go out your front door isn’t healthy I say:

Enjoying your own company when you’re alone in your apartment or house is imperative.

As I’ve started journeying through mid-life I can vouch for the positive health benefit of needing more time for yourself to rest and engage in recreation.

You need to rest after going out socially or having a long, hard day at your job.

The key to maximum productivity in your personal life lies in the beauty of honoring your 5 Commitments.

My 5 Commitments are art, music, fashion, books and writing, and exercise.

Making time each week to do something involving these 5 things I love has been the way to feel healthy and be happy at mid-life.

What are your 5 Commitments?

In coming blog entries I will continue with the focus on careers.

Yet I will apply this wisdom to everyday life.

Living in recovery doesn’t have to be so hard. Even if you’re in pain that’s when doing the things you love can help you feel better.

That’s it exactly: focusing on the 5 Commitments that bring you joy.

 

Making Changes for the Better

Leo Babauta on his Zen Habits website invokes readers to see:

“The uncertainty and discomfort are a necessary component for us to do anything meaningful.”

Making changes–even when they’re for the better–isn’t always easy. It can be downright hard to try doing something new that has the potential to transform your life and elevate your confidence.

I say: Just Do It. The more you take action the easier it will get to keep taking action.

“A body in motion stays in motion” is the old cliche.

There’s a great lyric in a Vampire Weekend song that is so generic I dare repeat it here because it’s not the exact lyric.

The idea is that a person doesn’t want to live the way they’re living yet they don’t want to die either.

It can be scary to change in any kind of way. Yet I urge you to consider that there’s a way out of the pain by going through it and figuring out what the pain has to teach you.

You can use your pain as the catalyst to figure out your life’s purpose.

My contention is that I was able to heal in part because I placed Service Above Self.

After you have a setback and you’re in recovery from whatever happened you have the choice: to roll over and passively accept a life of pain. Or to do what it takes to heal and be well.

For some of us it will take longer to get to where we want to be. Recovery is not a race nor is it a competition.

Yet the point is you can change for the better at any point along the road of recovery.

To change the world you first have to change yourself–as Michael Jackson so beautifully sang in his song “Man in the Mirror.”

In a coming blog entry I’m going to talk about something Leo Babauta wrote in one of his books years ago.

His theory of focusing on your 5 Commitments I want to apply to recovery.

As hard as it can be living in recovery there’s always hope that you can change your life for the better.

I maintain that focusing on your 5 Commitments in life can be a way to heal and be well.