Disconnecting to Reconnect!

Happy Thursday, everyone! Hope you’re all doing well! It definitely has been an exciting and extremely busy time lately. So much going on with writing, working, scheduling a couple of upcoming events…… and getting my younger son prepared to go off to college in less than two weeks!!! That last part….. ripping my heart out!! LOL…. I feel the “empty nest syndrome” seriously coming on! But all is good. My son is moving onto a wonderful new chapter in his life! The waterworks have been well underway these past few days as we are getting the last minute details taken care of. He laughs at my reminiscing of the past eighteen years as I tell him how proud of him that me and my husband are and how inspiring of a young man that he is to us. With his kindhearted smile he says, “Oh, Mom…” …. I can’t help but to smile even more when he says things like that. Moments like that are sweet and precious to me. *sigh*  🙂

And since there is a lot going on right now, I’ve recently taken a hiatus from a few things including social media. I uninstalled all social media apps from my phone. I still have my profiles and can access them from the computer whenever I am on it and am very happy to do so. I will always love talking with everyone!

But I am taking this hiatus to focus on family time as my son goes off to college. Also, I’m taking this time as a “recharging time”, and let me tell ya, it has been absolutely wonderful!!! Not just on a “family level”, but also on a “personal level”. I’ve started meditating daily, learning new breathing techniques to help purify the body and channel positive energy, and making sure to go outside and walk barefoot to feel the beautiful Earth below my feet. As I’ve been doing that, I have brought my towel outside, got into a comfortable meditative position to become one with Nature. To feel the breeze gently blow around me, feel the sun’s rays on my skin and hear the birds. On Sunday there was even some thunder rolling off in the distance as the sun shined high in the sky with billowy clouds floating by…. pure serenity! I’ve also started listening to pan flute music while meditating, which is AMAZING!!! Highly recommend! Here are a few songs on YouTube that are beautiful!! I have to share with ya! If you meditate, incorporate them into your sessions. One word…. Relaxing!”

 

 

 

However, uninstalling from my phone certain apps to “disconnect”, I have discovered one app that I have fallen absolutely in love with! Here’s the link….

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=org.deeprelax.deepmeditation&hl=en_US

Just like the description says, “Deep Meditation: Relaxation & Sleep Meditation App”, and it’s FREE!!! I’ve had it since Monday and use it literally every single day. It’s extremely easy to navigate, and thank goodness because I am so technologically challenged. It does run very few adds, but not enough to be bothersome at all, and the adds never run during any meditation session. Only briefly for like a quick second when selecting a meditation option and no sound accompanies any of the adds. As soon as I see one, I just simply click it off. There is an option to pay for the app if one wants to remove the adds, but like I said, the adds are so few (hardly do I see one) that they aren’t a bother at all.

I love that the app has different types of meditation to choose from. Here are the ones in their selection: “Breathe”, Mindfulness Sessions”, “Deep Muscle Relaxation”, “Escapes”, “Classical Sessions”, and “Sleep Series”. The app also has awesome music to help relax one’s spirit, and throughout the day it sends little reminders of positive affirmation (that I love!). For example one will say, “If you want to relax, watch the clouds pass by if you’re laying on the grass, or sit in front of the creek, just doing nothing and having those still moments is what really rejuvenates the body.” or here’s another one… “There is a calmness to a life lived in gratitude, a quiet joy.”.

At night, I’ve been using the “Sleep Series” before going to bed and it really does work. It helps greatly in calming my mind and relaxing my body which helps me to feel so much more rested. Honestly, I fell asleep during last night’s session because it worked so well. With the “Deep Muscle Relaxation” category, there are the different timed body scans that last five minutes, or twenty minutes, or thirty minutes, or forty-five minutes, depending on how long the individual wants the session to last. The body scans peacefully target different parts of the body, focusing on sending breath to each location, helping the mind, body and spirit to become aware of our breathing. Phenomenal techniques!

Since I’ve started “disconnecting to reconnect”, I have felt so much more at one and at peace with my surroundings. There is such a beautiful calmness that I’m discovering during this time of transition. Even though my baby, the grown man that he has become, is going off to college, I am also taking this time to reawaken myself.

So, definitely beautiful and fantastic things are happening! I hope for you all as well!

Remember to stay positive, pay it forward and always know that you rock!!! Wake up each and every single day knowing how truly amazing you are! Take a deep look in the mirror and see your inner light emerge, allowing it to shine so brightly that it illuminates any and everyone that you encounter! Let your smile be what makes someone else’s day all the more enjoyable! Stay blessed!!!

 

Much Love & Light!! ~ Sheila

 

 

 

 

CSParkerJewelry on Etsy! https://www.etsy.com/shop/CSParkerJewelry  (Handmade Jewelry. Natural Stones. Glass Beads.)

Get a copy of my novel, The Spirit Within on Amazon!

~ Sheila Renee Parker on Twitter: @sheilarparker.

~ Sheila Renee Parker on Facebook: Sheila Renee Parker – Author

~ Sheila Renee Parker on Instagram: @sheilareneeparker

~ Art by Sheila Renee Parker available at: https://fineartamerica.com/profiles/sheilarenee-parker.html

~ Sheila Renee Parker on YouTube: Sheila Renee Parker

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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“You’re Looking Too Thin”

“You’re looking too thin.” Is what some people have been telling me lately. And even though I know they care, their comments are becoming a tad much.

A little over a year ago I was getting a check up and was told that my weight was slightly more than what it should be. Well, that did hit home because at the time, I had been feeling rather sluggish and unmotivated. But when the nurse practitioner said that, I did listen. So, I started eliminating certain foods that I knew weren’t of the right choice. I began eating healthier, choosing fresh produce rather than processed. Incorporating more fruits and veggies into what I eat on a daily basis. No more pop tarts, chips and things like that. Now, I do still like to eat the occasional cookie (or two… lol). Just a few days ago I baked some homemade peanut butter cookies that were out of this world! YUM!!! And yes, I still eat pizza every once in a while, indulge in a milkshake here and there…. but…. everything in moderation… even Hershey Kisses (which I will always love!)!!

I’ve gotten wiser on how I make my food choices and I couldn’t be happier! Before I made my lifestyle change, my energy level felt drained and my arthritis gave me fits. For anyone who has arthritis, you know exactly what I’m talking about. I would wake up in the morning feeling stiff as a board. My lower back would hurt so much that it would bring tears to my eyes. Not to mention the random hip pains that would often cause me to limp some. My hands would lock up and ache… my knees would, on rare occasions, literally give out on me. I was diagnosed with arthritis when I was 34, but knew I had it for a lot longer than that. As I got closer to 40, my pain and discomfort gradually got worse. Actually, to the point where it was starting to limit certain levels of mobility. I hid the pain, dealing with it the best way I could. In the beginning I tried pain medication, but quickly stopped because after reading all the ridiculous side effects, I decided that was not how I was going to live my life, taking pills on a daily basis. That may be for others, but definitely not me!

Then, last year when the nurse practitioner said that about my weight it made me start thinking, plus with my arthritis…. my body was controlling me, making me feel horrible and I wasn’t going to let that happen any longer. I finally woke up, listening to the things that my body had been trying to tell me for so long. That’s when I started taking control by eating healthier and incorporating exercise into my daily routine. Yes, I exercise every single day and I absolutely love it! Guess what?! That arthritis pain….. I kicked its ass!!! Yep, I said it! By me constantly being active, my arthritis pain has become extremely minimal. Every great once in a while it will remind me that it’s still there, but nothing in comparison to how it used to be!

I exercise in the comfort of my own home. I don’t have a gym membership. I have a core flex machine, some light weights, an ab wheel, an exercise stretch band and an exercise ball. I do a lot of sit-ups, push-ups, crunches, etc… I even incorporate isometric exercises along with yoga, and I also jog.

By eating healthier and being active, I feel soooooo much better now! Honestly, I feel better than I did even when I was in my twenties! I haven’t felt this great in decades!! And yes, I have lost 40 lbs., but I’m healthier and I continue to maintain my yearly check-up. My only regret about all this is that I didn’t do it years ago. But can’t dwell on that because everything happens for a reason. Carpe diem!!! 😉

I also minimized my diet soda intake. I used to drink 3 – 4 of those every day. I know they say “no calories”, but seriously… since I am down to only having one a day, I honestly believe that has helped my weight achieve a healthier goal as well. I have become addicted to fruit infused flavored water. I love going to the local markets and picking out fresh fruits and veggies so I can make my own infused water. Totally delicious with soooo many health benefits!! So far, one of my faves is a water that I add green apple, cucumber, mint leaves and lemon to. It’s so refreshing and smells divine!!

Ok, here’s the question… since I’m a vegetarian (and have been for 15 yrs), how do I get my protein? Well, a few years ago I used to be a plasma donor. Every time a person donates plasma, their protein and iron levels get checked. My levels were often higher than those of meat eaters. Why? Because I’ve always known the importance of that so I make sure to eat protein enriched foods. Peanut butter, beans… dairy… and I am also a huge fan of Morning Star products, which are low in fat, but are awesome with maintaining a great protein level. Also, protein shakes… yogurt…. (I’m getting hungry just thinking about it all!) You get the picture. lol

Together, my husband and I are both eating better so we can hopefully live long, healthier lives. So, for anyone who says, “It gets harder as you get older.” I say to that… Bullsnart! I was 41 when I made my lifestyle change and trust me, I’m extremely grateful I did it!

It’s up to us, people…. it only gets harder if we allow it!

 

Eat healthy, be active and stay motivated, my friends! Remember, life is meant to be enjoyed!!!

 

 

 

 

Get a copy of my novel, The Spirit Within on Amazon!

~ Sheila Renee Parker on Twitter: @sheilarparker.

~ Sheila Renee Parker on Facebook: Sheila Renee Parker – Author

~ Sheila Renee Parker on Instagram: @sheilareneeparker

~ Art by Sheila Renee Parker available at: https://fineartamerica.com/profiles/sheilarenee-parker.html

~ Sheila Renee Parker on YouTube: Sheila Renee Parker

 

 

 

 

Here I am with a serious face because I am serious about staying motivated! Wearing absolutely no make-up and just finished working out, feeling awesome day by day! We can all make a difference in our lives, all we have to do is just do it! ❤