Renewal

Photography by Terri Pouliot

“There’s a big difference between empty fatigue and gratifying exhaustion. Know the difference. Life is too short. Invest in the activities (and relationships) you deeply care about. Value what you give your energy to. Focus on what matters and let go of what does not.”

–Marc Cheroff

I love this quote! Pause for a few moments and allow it to resonate deep within.

Redefine this Season of Spring. Go through each room of your spiritual ‘house’ and do some deep cleaning.

Liberate the mind, body and spirit by letting go of the things that are no longer meant to be. How do you know what these things are? If we spend any time at all getting quiet….and then really listening; we will know. Deep in our hearts, we will know.

Photography by Terri Pouliot

I live in a part of the world that fully undergoes four unique seasons. Some months, it may seem like all four of these changeable climates are rolled into one. With the seasons, our bodies and minds should naturally follow suit.

Many complain of feeling drained and tired after having gone through the harsh winter months. That’s when we truly need to re-evaluate our physical activities and the meals we are consuming. Get outdoors and breathe some fresh air. A brisk walk, especially in one of our beautiful parks; always soothes my spirit and energizes me.

The cold, dark winter months often mean dishes heavy on ‘comforting’ carbohydrates and not much in the way of vegetables. Now is the time to make that seasonal shift toward energizing and lighter foods.  Focus on creating meals that provide a wide array of colors and nourishment.  Exchange ’empty’ carbohydrates for satiating, complex carbohydrates. These keep us feeling full and provide energy needed for outdoor activities.

Photography by Terri Pouliot

And then there is the delicate issue of removing people and situations that may no longer be conducive for enjoying a positive and healthy way of living. It does not mean we don’t still love and care about those people or situations; just that it may be time to move on. It’s never an easy process. It can be downright painful.  Exchange activities that are draining for ones that promote feelings of excitement and growth.  No one feels energized while stagnant.

Our lives are a reflection of our interests.   Our physical design is an accessory that reflects our luxurious and delicious way of life.  We enjoy our lives most when we are energized by our surroundings.

Spring is the season of reawakening!

Finish Line Smiles

Finish Line Smiles

This is a story I intended to write a couple years ago. My memory was jarred this weekend while attending the Hale Farm and Village Music in the Valley Folk & Wine Festival. Inspirational words in a beautiful song titled, ‘Up on my Feet Again’ by Charlie Mosbrook, recreated a vivid scene in my mind.

The song itself deserves to be heard because it’s all about personal struggle. Charlie’s struggles resulted from a spinal cord injury. Pure grit, determination and gratitude pulled him through a dark valley. Charlie was a marathon runner prior to his injury and today he dreams of someday racing Boston from his hand cycle. I have no doubt he will do it.

A while back I ran a 5k for the first time. This was really out of my comfort zone. I’m certainly not what I would consider a ‘Runner’ in the truest sense of the word. Running is not my choice of exercise. But since this was a non-competitive race, and a fund raiser, I was willing to give it a go.

Race Day arrived and I was nervous and extremely apprehensive. I wasn’t sure I could ‘run’ the entire 3.10686 miles that were included in the route. But I was determined to try. This was something I had to prove to myself. I was here that day for many personal reasons. I never discussed these reasons with anyone. They were tucked securely away in the safest and most secretive parts of my heart.

 

 

The signal sounded for the Race to begin. There were so many people! The pathway couldn’t adequately hold them all. The experienced runners jutted out around the participants who were running a slower pace. My adrenaline kicked in and soon I was one of those moving ahead on the outer portion of the route. Having never participated in a 5k before; I was surprised at how many people were happy to simply be walking and a part of something special.

That’s the moment, or collection of moments, I want to talk about.

Time seemed to -s-l-o-w- down as I whooshed past people. The backs of T-Shirts had sayings on them, photos of loved ones, and some of the racers had mementos with them. Then, it hit me… like a ton of bricks. Their stories. I could sense all that energy present. Not in a hooey-whooey kind of way, but a deep in your gut kind of way. As I approached each person, I could sense it. They each were present that day because they had their own struggle to overcome. Their own illness or the illness of someone they loved, was their motivation. So many of the racers had something to prove, to prove to themselves, as an advocate for someone who no longer had a voice, against cancer, or for unspoken tears. Yes. We each had our own race to run. Different reasons, same race.

Then my tears began to flow. And I could not stop them. I ran and cried, cried and ran. For the first time ever, the saying, “It’s the journey, not the destination,” made sense. It wasn’t about the race. It was never about the race. It was always about the journey and story that was represented that day.

I finished that race. Yes. I wore a huge ‘finish line smile’ when I crossed that final destination. But the reason was multi-layered. I learned so much that day. I never felt more alive. Maybe because I could feel the energy of so many other humans. Connection in the purest and most beautiful form.

Did I run the entire race? No. Did I complete it? Yes. Prior to the race, all I could think about was that finish line. The final destination. Could I run the whole thing? Did I have what it takes? Oh, I got there all right. But that was not the best part. The most meaningful part was the journey itself.

I will always remember that day. I can still feel the ‘stories’ and energy of so many of those people. People that I will never know but forever be connected to. There were many ‘finish line smiles’ that day. Finishing a race was only a small reason behind those smiles.

Finish Line Smiles. Dedicated to Leslie Ann (far right) who passed away recently. I am third on the right.

Welcome Spring

Photography by Tracy Sheppard

“We do not grow absolutely, chronologically. We grow sometimes in one dimension, and not in another; unevenly. We grow partially. We are relative. We are mature in one realm, childish in another. The past, present, and future mingle and pull us backward, forward, or fix us in the present. We are made up of layers, cells, constellations.”
― Anaïs Nin

Welcome Spring!

I’ve missed you so.

A season filled with renewal and beginnings. Beauty and bloom. Spread your arms wide and welcome new beginnings.

A season of growth, renewal, hope, and rebirth.

Photography by Tracy Sheppard

 

The Thoughtfully Designed Life © must carefully attend to all areas of living.

To focus primarily on the physical while ignoring the spiritual creates discord.  To feed the mind while disregarding the physical leaves us unhealthy

Tending to only one area of life creates uneven growth and a life without harmony. Balance is essential.

Spring is a wonderful time to intentionally clean up areas of life that have become stagnant and unyielding.  Purging those areas that are unproductive or unhealthy.  Getting rid of old thoughts, habits and activities that no longer serve us.

Photography by Tracy Sheppard

Welcome!

Welcome!

If this is your first visit to this page;  I am so pleased to have you here!

Here is what you can expect:

My mission is to provide you with evidence-based and scientifically backed resources to help achieve optimal health and vitality.

This will include nutritional education, as well as exercise information. Anti-Aging strategies (aging gracefully!), in addition to self-care essentials, will also be showcased.

I am working on several exciting projects currently and this is the spot where those ventures will be announced. Stay tuned!

If you have been following my work over the years, you have  witnessed subtle growth and transformation.  That is exactly as it should be.  Personal growth is about adapting and flowing.  Always learning.  Recreating.   The opposite of growth, is of course, stagnation.  Not a pretty picture.

All one needs to do is look to nature.  The seasons each have their unique beauty and distinct characteristics.  Winter is always followed by Spring.  And so, goes our lives.  Being mindful of those subtle changes provides joy and fullness.  Never forcing.  Ever embracing.  Respecting.

It’s a beautiful work in progress. Discovering practical ways to embrace those changes that are inevitable.  Aging with gracefulness and living an inspired life.

As always; I am very transparent and open. I hope you will feel free to open up conversation or pose any questions you may have.

My life is dedicated to serving others and influencing and educating in how we can live a life of vitality and fullness.

I’m listening!

Terri