Callused?

Posted in i live life now blog

For over ten months now I have dealt with a lot, perhaps I should let on more than I do the severity of it but I don't. Sympathy and pity aren't something I relish much and generally that's what I get when anyone finds out my situation. I also receive an overwhelming amount of support, which I cherish deeply.

Some around me whom think they know me consider me callused which I find quite amusing. Callused? By whose judgment? Am I callused when I cry myself to sleep, callused when I workout to release frustration, callused when I meditate to calm all inner thoughts that threaten to close my throat off with pain? Please explain to me exactly when I am callused because I don't walk around crying to everyone I see.

I do not consider crying to be weakness at all but I do consider holding it together to support others of utmost importance and how can I support someone else when I am a puddle on the floor? No, my time to be a mess is when I am away from the situation, usually alone or with very close friends and family. When your heart feels like it is literally being squeezed to death from sadness is when you become stronger. When one day breaks me I come back with a resolve and calmness for the following day to do better after all it is a new day.

I crawl back home after a ten or twelve-hour day at the hospital absolutely drained of life but guess what I do? Honestly, I workout, exercise, sweat, grunt and scream away pain by inducing pain to my muscles. Sometimes the intensity is not near what I would normally do but it is still my best on that day at that moment with the supply of energy I have. When I feel like an emotional mess the reprieve given to me from a workout simply fuels me to go farther for the next moment of difficult times ahead.

The time for healing myself will be farther down the road of life. I still firmly believe that you cannot grasp or process a situation until a year later minimum. This is when you begin to deal with what has transpired and this is not just with medical situations but also with clients that I have trained who have lost a large amount of weight, it only starts to sink in with regards to what has been accomplished a year or two later if you manage to keep it off.

Sometimes we are our own worst enemy because we create what we fear and can't enjoy or recognize what we have accomplished. Hence why many people gain the weight back, they stop celebrating the victory and become scared of what could happen instead of getting out and living life. Myself, I plan to continue to live life in the future as it would be a huge disgrace to those who have suffered unnecessarily for me to stop living my life now.

Feeling helpless should not mean you are hopeless when you become hopeless you are far worse off than a person with a terminal illness still living with hope. Helpless means you can't change the situation which is very difficult to watch when you are a person who can help many but not the one you would give anything to.

When you are not in a crisis situation is when you should be training to get through one. If you think that fitness has nothing to do with real life you are so wrong, if you think it is just up/down and repeat you are mistaken. Fitness is building armor for you to get through the war that is life and until you realize there will be very hard times in life and you need to be stronger than them you will simply fall victim to the atrocities of war. But, after every war you wish for peace and that is what I focus on. Peace.

Until there is true peace within your own heart and life you get to live a kind of hell on Earth you have created for yourself unknowingly. I woke up this morning with such an overwhelming feeling of abundance and gratitude it was weird. Good weird. There is something switching deep down inside me other than losing something very important to me I am gaining something in it's place that can never replace it but they say you experience situations in life to learn from them and I hope I am a diligent student that doesn't have to repeat this lesson again.

 

Look for light in the dark and hope in the hopeless.

I Live Life Now,

Lisa Stocking

CSEP-CPT 

 

 

 

 

 

Dousing The Fire

Posted in i live life now blog

Smoky The Bear says make sure it's out to prevent wildfires...

Camping is a love of mine and not with fancy holiday trailers although I don't mind that either but whether with a backpacking tent, wood heated tent, cabin or holiday trailer I enjoy any and all ways of being outside camping. I don't need hookups, showers or fancy paved parking pads. Just plain old nature preferably without any neighbors is ideal.

It's not really fair to call it plain old nature when it is nothing short of spectacular when you stop long enough to be in it and see all the beauty it has to offer making the bright lights of Las Vegas pale in comparison. 

The best part about camping is the campfire without a doubt it is the heart of all operations at least for our camping experience. We cook all of our meals on it, campfire coffee, boil water for washing, drinking and the general ambiance provided by a campfire is essential for a great weekend. Without a fire you might as well not go.

We usually camp for at least 5 days straight at a time minimum if we can and that fire gets so hot and burns so deep down into the Earth the coals last for days and weeks at a time. Making it always easy to start a new fire in the morning you just stir up the coals.

Have you ever been leaving the campsite and poured water on those coals? You can use two, three, four, five....as many buckets as you want and the coals simply turn the water into a boiling hot tub it is very hard to put the fire completely out especially when you have had a fire for so long. This is how I view my life right now...passionate and firey is how I lived life until this point and although I have been nearly drowned with water trying to be put out I can assure you it won't happen.

Those coals will be sitting there waiting for the right wind and conditions to start up a spark again and it will be a wildfire!

Our lives are lived through perception and even when it seems impossible it's not; you have to keep pushing forward and looking ahead. Even if you yourself are faced with death how are we to know that there isn't something even greater than this journey we are on right now? 

Camping season will return next year and I can't wait, I love exploring new trails to run on (yes, even with grizzly bears), mountain ranges to see and rivers to play in. For now I will enjoy the snow because when life gives you snow make memories not misery.

If you feel like your spark has been stolen and dampened remember have a down day and then wake up to do better, laugh out loud and revel in the joy that is around you waiting to be enjoyed. I am thankful for another day and the abundance in my life.

I Live Life Now,

Lisa Stocking

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There's No Place Like Home

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Home

The new song that is stuck in my head, it's funny how certain songs can get there for no particular reason other than a catchy beat but then you listen to the words and resonate with them as though it was written for you. 

"Trouble it might drag you down, you get lost you can always be found, just know you're not alone...cause I'm going to make this place your home."

I have always believed myself to be a home body in the sense of no matter where you go home always feels so good to come back to and be in. What makes a home though? Is it your bed and comfort of it? The familiarity of your stuff? 

Sure. But when you really stop to think about it home is wherever you're at with the people you love. You could take all of your stuff including your bed and if you don't have the important people in your life with you it's not home. So in the end home is where you sleep with your loved ones.

This was my home when we hiked as a family....picture four of us in here it was a little too cozy of a home in a downpour but we survived albeit not the most comfortable night of sleep ever! 

We have been lulled into a sense of security believing that the new couch will make your house a home and don't get me wrong nice things are great to have but many a lonely person sits in the house on the hill alone with nice things. Moments in our life that we remember clearly I'm pretty sure you can't remember exactly the type of furniture it involved but you remember sitting around the kitchen table playing cards with your Grandpa or family. No story starts outs as: I was sitting around this really expensive dining room table set playing cards with my Grandpa, you know how he always like to cheat to make the rules to suit him!. 

As we continue to indulge in more stuff our life becomes more removed from moments, memories and life. If you woke up tomorrow and could go anywhere and do anything with anyone what would it be? Travel? Stay home? Go shopping? Hike? Bike? Run? What?

Ideally, I would wake up and take my family on a grand adventure of travel and seeing some of this great world and not in a resort in Mexico either but a real life experience of culture and the world.  Where? I don't know. Got any ideas? There are so many choices in life and so little time!

Take a step back and evaluate what you are working so hard for is it a new ___________ to boost your ego to others? That is a hard line to draw and realize for yourself that some of the things we work so hard for in life are truly pointless.

So what's the point? Create, dream and set a goal. I finally have my daughter convinced to save money to go on a trip somewhere instead of the latest t-shirt at Ardene's she saw with a witty saying. We have enough clothes for twenty orphans she doesn't need any more! Slowly but surely I hope now I can teach my children that experiences are more important that stuff.

Keeping fit and healthy to enjoy anything in this world in the end is my grand and glorious goal each time I workout. I think about what if I want to surf in Australia, paddle board in Hawaii or kayak around Vancouver Island how strong do I need to be to do these well and enjoy them? 

Build armour for your body and life through fitness and the payback physically and mentally will be overwhelming. It's like creating a home for your soul, one that feels comfortable and safe!

Think about it....

I Live Life Now,

Lisa Stocking

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Silence Isn't Golden

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Silence for many is golden perhaps; I enjoy silence as much as the next person but I am also a person that can write or articulate quite easily what or how I think. If you noticed this week got really silent. I had a few columns ready to publish that got wiped out after a technical error and after Tuesday I literally didn't have enough energy to want to get out of bed let alone write. 

If you can imagine how it feels to be so numb your whole body kind of hums in a sense of dullness and pain. That was my week.

You can prepare for it, pretend you will handle it but until you are faced with the actual words coming out of someone's mouth that predetermines the amount of time left you have on this Earth you just can't imagine.

Hope. Never give up hope. There is a time when hope is just a whisper in the wind and well it is nearly silent. Any hope that is left is for good days over bad. Less pain than more and laughter instead of tears. I read on the wall in the Cross Cancer Institute while I was there: I want to live right until I die instead of waiting to die. True.

The ironic part is you don't always have the health or strength to continue to live right until you die. I sat looking around at the "sick" people in the clinic and realized they didn't even look slightly sick and then when they talk about taking a Tylenol if you have pain I knew our life was way over the edge of what they have even begun to face. We have all of our toes hanging off the cliff and they haven't even started the hike down the trail to the cliff.

I feel like I am drowning but I'm not anywhere near the water as though the air is so heavy I can't get out of it. Like a wave has taken me down into the undertow and I keep tossing about in it.

So life continues forward as much as you want to put the brakes on and dig your heels in you can't. Tick tock tick tock. Time is moving on. With so much snow lately you can sit and complain about it or head out to have fun in it. It's all a choice. Life is a choice. 

The strength that I will garner from this will be invaluable but similar to lifting weights, the actual process of getting stronger involves tearing the muscles and inflicting pain. Only when you recover and rest do you become stronger and so only when I am passed this situation will I be stronger for now I will be torn and that is okay. It is what it is...did I mention I bought a shirt that said that in Maui it really is my mantra. 

For myself like anyone having to watch someone in pain that I can't fix is hard. And so it is for my friends and family to watch me go through this, I similarly would be heartbroke for them if I had to watch it but somehow when you are in the middle of the storm it is much calmer than you think. 

I am thankful for the generosity, kindness and compassion of people in my life and I hope you remember to do that for others as well. Life is not what you can buy someone and in these situations you truly realize there isn't anything you can buy that can make it better. So in the end we can post witty sayings but to truly live a life fulfilled requires being there, truly there for someone and in the moment. And thankfully I know I have a large group of "there for me". 

Life will be okay again. It is still good. I Live Life Now...just on pause for the moment. But, I am headed outside to enjoy the snow it's more fun that staying in the warm dry bubble of life!

I Live Life Now,

Lisa Stocking

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Making Mountains Out Of Molehills

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It's funny how one thing can set off a cascade of events, well not really funny sometimes you find yourself alone on the top of a mountain instead of kicking dirt off the top of the molehill. Up high can be a lonely place to be, it is the small stuff that gets you there, day after day, moment after moment adds up to make you feel segregated and alone.

Arguments usually start this way, one comment about something completely unrelated start a war. One moment that seems innocuous sends someone into a fit of tears. It becomes increasingly hard as we age to let our egos and pride go of what we think we've built up for ourselves or our beliefs. We drown under these thoughts thinking we can't do it any other way. There is another way but it involves change which is the six letter word no one wants to talk about, the four letter f word is far easier to throw out there.

It amazes me the power the fear of change can hold over us, it paralyzes us in situations that we continue to stay in even if we are unhappy. What would you do if you knew you could succeed and skip the hardships and judgement attached to change? 

Write them down and then see if your life is being aligned with your dreams and goals. Maybe we are afraid to even dream or have goals anymore because when we do that it might not involve the people in our life right now and that's even more scary to think about. 

I heard a song the other day that had a great statement in it: The grass isn't greener anywhere else it is greener where you water it! 

So, the question is are you investing and caring for the grass you're on right now? I myself have to stop thinking that there is a better life if I just do this or get this or start that. Goals are great but I also have to utilize what I have that is right in front of me! What can I provide to clients with the tools I have right now? With the time and limited availability right now? 

It is going to take some ingenious ideas that are hard to generate when you feel trapped under a really heavy cloud. But, I will push forward it is the only choice. Get in the boat and row, cry going downstream without a paddle or hope in hell isn't going to fix anything.

Not Smarter Than A 5th Grader

Posted in i live life now blog

Oh Dear,

You know you are in trouble when you start helping your child with their homework and they are studying the provinces of Canada and need to know the capital cities....um yeah let me just check something on my phone like the answers. 

It is amazing what we fill our brains with as we age and then we can't remember basic information that a 5th grader knows. I will not be on the show anytime soon.

This is why we have the Internet for a wealth of information at our fingertips, wasn't it supposed to make life easier, better and faster? In one sense it has and in another it hasn't. We have new problems created by anonymity such as predators, bully's and other online scams occurring daily and at a high cost to our health.

 

My mom has a theory which I believe whole hearted: Garbage in, garbage out. What we put in our minds and bodies has a direct reflection on our life and how we live. So what are you putting in?

I specifically do not watch shows that do not enrich my mind, yes there are movies for entertainment and fantasy but if they are over the top it's not going into this brain. I watched ET at the age of 8 and never slept for two months so that should give you an idea of how quickly my mind is captivated by shows. 

The Internet is another plethora of junk, it's like opening your pantry and filling it with good food to eat for yourself or stacking it full of chips and pop. You decide what you look up on the Internet. It doesn't magically pop up there by itself. There are the odd times you type in an innocuous word and something totally unrelated pops up but not very often, hence why you have a delete button on your keyboard.

People are so full of opinions in black and white yet never stand up for themselves in voice and person. Anything I write I would say. However many people are now using the Internet and writing as a platform for their rants. Or use it for bullying, stalking and creeping. Hence, the Amanda Todd story of last week. 

Yes, she made a few bad choices but who doesn't as a teenager? If you don't as a teenager I will show you a 50 year old having a midlife crisis because they didn't get it out of their system when they were young. The problem with making bad choices now is it is instantly seen, shared, watched and judged. I cannot imagine if my teen years were played out on social media, I wasn't even a "bad" child just did the usual dumb growing up right of passage life lessons.

The problem now is we are so free to judge openly, rant, disagree, scream, CAPITALIZE our words to impact others in ways you are unaware of for life. I'm sure you can list off for me five negative comments someone made to you growing up, now list ten positive ones...not so easy is it? We are programmed now to remember only negativity and the theory is it takes twice as many if not more positive comments to even to begin to undo one negative.

Keep a journal, write down your thoughts instead of posting them for everyone to read all the time. Yes, we all have moments of writing something haphazardly but it shouldn't be the norm. Calm yourself down enough and take charge of your reaction to a situation and try to form an action instead. This I am still learning but I am dedicated to practice until I get it.

Life always comes back to basic principles of love, kindness and compassion. Seek these and to serve others with them and your life will be infinitely rich.

I Live Life Now,

Lisa Stocking

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Exert Yourself

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It was a great ride! Riding our bikes along different paths and trails to the bar...yes bar. It was a birthday celebration. Bike 28 km and stop halfway to cheers a great girl and bike home.

We had the chance to make our quads burn and exert ourselves into oblivion. It was awesome! Every year is a different route, path and destination but the premise is always the same. Celebrate another year with exercise, adventure and a drink. We have biked/ran to another town, my house, the local arena and back to my house again. The idea all started when my friend wanted to run a half marathon for her 30th birthday but none were available for that weekend. Instead I said why don't we just run to town? So with her birthday shirt on that said "It's my birthday and I'll run if I want to." we set off. 

Now over the years we have had some interesting detours, namely through wheat fields, ditches and rough trails but it has always had a great story attached. But the premise has remained the same two good friends running together and whoever wants to join in is welcome! Sometimes it's just two of us and one year there was twenty-two of us, you just never know.

This is what I love about life, creating new customs and traditions to celebrate life and all that comes with it. Find ways to make your life full of fun traditions you share with everyone. Our own family hosts a pumpkin carving party every year and the kids look so forward to it and the planning of it!

Keeping your own customs and traditions alive is important also. I still try to make cabbage rolls and nalysnyky every holiday to honor my Ukrainian heritage and I have taught my daughter now as well. We sometimes view these traditions as dying but it is only if we allow it to. 

If you feel as though you have no traditions left create them and they will become part of memories to last a lifetime! When we are stripped of our health, money and homes all we are left is memories to keep close to our hearts and reflect fondly back on every day. What will you reflect back on when life ends? 

We have the opportunity to live this one life but within it create a thousand lifetimes of memories to hold near to our hearts. What are you leaving behind? Or are you not able to exert yourself right now to create them? I had a great bike ride and made memories I will look back on in the future.

Think about it....

I Live Life Now,

Lisa Stocking 

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The Last Thing To Die

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Hope. The last frontier, the final scene and the last thing to die. When all else falls around your head there is always hope. I had a friend recently say to me it's not over until it's over never give up.

I don't feel as though I have given up on anything, life has been put on hold for a while but perhaps the lessons learned from this will spur forward new and great ideas. Life seems a blur right now, I can't focus, think or concentrate for very long periods of time. Getting lost in mundane activities is the easiest such as cooking or cleaning. Instant rewards that require not much thought.

Future plans perhaps as a cop out on failure have been put on hold. Retreats I wanted to host, inspiration I wanted to share and ideas that ran wild and rampant are now silent and stunned. Even scarier is the thought that I don't want to succeed at any of those plans now and simply retreat into a simpler and simpler life. If I could wake up to the sound of the ocean every morning and worry about what I was going to do to occupy my time during the day would be great in the future. On the flip side I feel like I could dive into the harried business world and try to create an enterprise of my own. Hopeful but torn is how I feel. Floating and unfulfilled yet content and completely fulfilled.

Jim Rohn speaks about how your wage is based on your value to the marketplace. What you have to offer. What you have to contribute to society and the betterment of the world as a whole. I'm not sure I have anything to offer that is of value in a monetary sense. Too easily I give things away for free that others charge a mint for you to be privy to use. Blogs are free advice and non-sense for fun but it is just a whisper in the wind in the real world. I write what I write whole hearted and without reservation. 

I do not have the killer instinct to sell products that need to be hyped up as value to others and therefore I watch and give away advice for free, used sometimes for what I know and I allow this. Perhaps simply because life is in limbo right now I am allowing myself to believe I can't be successful even in chaotic times I don't know. The thought of finding a 9-5 job is appealing right now once this whole situation is over, become a projection of someone else's reality and ideas. Answer simple questions and go home at night without thinking another thought about any of it. 

Feeling like a failure right now is hard, perhaps because I am used to providing so much all the time to others. Now, I am providing for one person that I can't fix or help and it is so hard to watch when you can't take away pain or suffering. So this is the pity party for the  week or month. Just a venting session to get out of my head what is weighing my whole body down. Stuck in quick sand not hopelessly but just annoyed the harder I fight the farther I go down.

Perhaps I will join the millions that sell just to sell to make money to make my life better without moral conscience or thought to who it hurts after. It seems that is how the world is set up to succeed. 

Life a few months ago seemed so assured and planned not so much anymore. But out of the chaos will come calm eventually and I look forward to it. For now I am content being where I am it is just frustrating if I try to look into the future because the future is fluctuating so quickly I can't even wrap my head around it let alone make a plan for it. 

Thank goodness I have discovered meditation and other techniques to help me cope. If it weren't for exercise and meditation it would be a slippery slope. Working out is not just a superficial activity it is a deep soulful longing that can calm the ocean inside when life becomes too much. I wish for you the same tools in life to make peace with yours.

I Live Life Now,

Lisa Stocking

CSEP-CPT

 

Are You A QTIP?

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Value? Do you have any? Do you need some? How do you define your value?

Is your value defined by the vehicle you drive or the way your clothes look? Or is your value defined by how you treat others and honesty?

It is always amazing to me how diverse we are and what order of importance we hold values in our life. No, I'm not consumed with looking like I walked off the page of a fashion magazine, that is not what I hold near and dear to my heart. Yet, others assume that if I do not carry this same desire I am not of as much value as them. Funny, I don't assume you are of less value if you cannot do as many pushups as me. We are all different and important in life for many different reasons.

After reading the Mastery Of Love numerous times and if I could find my copy I lent out I would read it again...but I assume someone needs it more than me is why it hasn't found it's way back home yet! I started to realize the importance of self gratification but not instant gratification. 

When you are content and pleased with your own self be it work related, appearance related or emotionally related you do not need outside praise to confirm what you already know and you do not take it personally either way. Meaning if I think I am doing a good job at my job and doing my very best, whether someone continually praises me or I receive no feedback at all I can still be content. In my own heart I am okay with where it is all at. 

This works both ways. You see when we leave our life in the balance of good or bad to be judged by others only we set ourselves up for failure. If we do a good job and expect reward, when we don't get it we are upset. If we do a bad job and someone says something we are again upset.

Here is how I have started to change my thinking. Praise is wonderful, positive feedback is wonderful but it is not what I depend on for my self esteem or gratification. If I have had a great workout, session or boot-camp I do not always need someone to come up to me and say "good job", I already know. I appreciate feedback positive or negative but it is not what I hang by a thread waiting for.

Same goes for criticism, I enjoy hearing it and most times I will try to remedy what I believe is wrong if I agree with the criticism. Perhaps I already knew deep down inside the problem and I agreed with the person now who shared the comments with me but...I don't take it personally! And if I don't agree with the criticism I do not rush to change it.

QTIP: quit taking it personally!

Thanks Kelly, I love it! So avoid being a QTIP if possible. Realize that people's opinions are just their realities coming out of their mouths formed by their own judgement. We are all our own thought bubbles walking around above our heads. Our own perceptions, our own beliefs and our own realities. It just whether you agree with what that other person said or not in the end that matters!

Love yourself first, for sure someone supporting you can help you discover that but if you don't have that support then slowly but surely we must discover and protect it on our own. 

When someone praises you take it for what it is: their need to express their thoughts and sometimes make themselves feel better because they believe they are being a good person! Win, win but don't expect it to be happy.

And when someone tries to take you down realize that it is also just their thoughts and maybe even jealousy because they couldn't stand to see you happy...be a QTIP!

On an interesting note I have noticed over the years the worse I feel the harder I try with makeup or clothes to externally look better, so if you see me looking fab maybe it's been a really hard day or week or year or life. Think about it; often times we try to cover up pain with external band-aids!

I Live Life Now, (on my own terms)

Lisa Stocking

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When You Wish Upon A Star

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When you see a falling star what do you wish for? I can tell you right now and it has always been the same; lifelong health for me and my family. When you wake up on your birthday what do you wish for? Is it that maybe you'll see another year, fear that this may be your last birthday or does this cross you mind? We have to realize at all times that life is here momentarily and if you think about really what a blip in time we have on this Earth there should be a sense of urgency to your life.
 

Urgency to do all those things you want. I honestly can say that I have enough ideas and plans that if I had no need to work for money I would do them ALL! It saddens me to hear people are bored or lost. I remember this feeling clearly before waking up. Floating, wishing, hoping. Then I realized that it wasn't the answer, instead slow steady changes of one thing at a time turned my life around over a ten year period to where I am now. Ten years you're thinking to yourself...who has time for that? Who doesn't? Why stay unhappy, miserable or lost for the rest of your life when over a slow period of time you could change so much?

Standing in the supermarket line I glanced just for fun at the latest magazine. Top headlines: Better sex, more money, flat abs and lose 10 lbs in two weeks. Wow! How thought provoking. What earth shattering ideas. Wonder what makes the world spin around? Read those headlines again.

Are You Smarter Than A 2 Year Old?

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Want to see a perfect squat? Watch a two year old; there are no overused muscles, too tight muscles, they are flexible and they don't care if you are watching. 

Want to see love? Watch a two year old hug their mom, their friends, their dog, their cat anything that needs a hug.

Want to see beauty? Look at a two year old. They are not shy about who they are, what they look like or why they are awesome.

The sad part is we depart from this pureness as we age and have opinions, realities and rules imposed on us. Don't do that, don't pick your nose, don't walk there, don't look at that stranger, girls don't do that, boys don't do this blah blah blah. Have you ever thought about the values and lessons that you have learned simply from ideas imposed on you from a very young age? Simply to conform to society?

Now don't get me wrong, we need some basic rules and etiquette there is nothing worse than sitting next to someone without manners (yes, Mom you were right about the elbow and shovelling food in the mouth thing). It makes for a civilized society? Okay, maybe not completely but a semblance of civilized. There are wolves in sheep's clothing that pretend to have it all together but hide their true agendas that is a fact but something we cannot control. We just have to listen to that deep whisper again with regards to people and their intent.

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