Sunday, December 9, 2012

See Yourself CLEARLY

Mirror Mirror on the Wall Fine Art Print - Jeff Kolker
I love the innocent thought-processes of children.

My 2-yr-old, who had just finished getting her hair done, ran downstairs and said, "Look, Daddy!" Daddy told her that she was the most beautiful little girl in the whole world! My 4-yr-old said, "But Daddy, I thought I was the most beautiful!"

My husband explained that just because her sister was beautiful too didn't make her any LESS beautiful, and that she was his VERY SPECIAL girl.

She said, "But Daddy - sometimes you get mad at me, like yesterday, and give me spankings." He said that sometimes she makes bad choices, so she does get in trouble.

She looked at him and said, "But I thought I was your special girl." He said she was. She said, "But Daddy! That just doesn't make any sense!"

I love how confident she is, that she expects everyone else to see her as only the best, the greatest, and to treat her that way ALWAYS!  Sometimes I don't love it so much - but mostly I wouldn't change it for anything in the world!

I remember when she was born, looking at her and wondering how in the world anyone in her life could ever look at her and see anything BUT beauty and goodness.  I thought about the hard times she would face growing up, the cruel jokes and comments kids make, the struggles and challenges of mortality.  And I shuddered at the thought that she would EVER buy into any of the lies and believe she was anything less than the VERY best, the MOST beautiful.

In some ways, that may reflect more on my struggles than hers - and me wanting to protect her from them.  But somehow we have managed, up to this point at least, to flood her with confidence - which, to her credit, she has received with elegance and grace.

What do you see in yourself?  What comes to mind when you envision YOU?

I am reminded of a scripture passage in 1 Corinthians 13:11-12 ---
"When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a [wo]man, I put away childish things.  For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known."

See yourself CLEARLY today!  Not through a glass, darkly, but in full light!  See yourself as the amazing, beautiful, special, talented, dynamic person that you are! As you move towards making resolutions for the next year, include a tradition of making resolutions of CELEBRATION and GRATITUDE. Truly you deserve NOTHING less!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Sleep? What's the BIG DEAL, Anyway?

We have all heard that sleep is important to our health - whatever our goals.  But do you know WHY it is so important/what essential things happen when you sleep?  I didn't!  I just heard an interview with Dr. Paul Anderson - a medical doctor in both Canada and the U.S. who specializes in natural remedies/cures to ailments instead of medical ones.  All I can say is - I DEFINITELY need to work on the sleep factor! :-)  Now if someone could give me the magic pills to make my KIDS perfect the sleep factor . . . .
10 Things You Probably Don't Know About Sleep But Need To:
1) A good night's sleep means you don't wake up more than once during the night.
2) A good night's sleep is at least 7 hours of natural, deep sleep.
3) During deep sleep, you release your growth hormone (fat-burning hormone).
4) Deep sleep between 12 a.m. and 2 a.m. gives you maximum hormone production, rebuilds neurotransmitters in your brain, and turns off body inflammation. SO GET TO BED EARLY, in other words!
5) Sleeping pills don't allow you to get to deep sleep. They are unnatural. So, though you are technically sleeping, you are never really rested and don't reap the benefits of deep sleep.
6) Not sleeping enough can make you GAIN WEIGHT. The University of Washington took identical twins - one they let sleep more than 7 hours, the other less than 7 hours. The one that didn't get enough sleep put on 5 lbs of FAT (not water retention or inflammation - FAT) in four weeks.
7) If you get adequate sleep, you can reduce your body fat by 33%.
8) Neurotransmitters are our anti-stress system in our brain - they are enhanced/rebuilt when we sleep. So sleep reduces stress/cortisol levels from our brains to our entire system.
9) You can't make up sleep. No sleeping 5 hours one night and 10 hours another and reaping the same benefits. You need 7-12 hours every single night.
10) Increased stress, unhealthy weight gain, disconnected neurotransmitters, etc. all shorten our DNA.  Shortened DNA=Shortened Lifespan.  So getting adequate sleep actually increases your lifespan!

"Early to bed, early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise."

Maybe there's more truth to that than I realized! :-)