How's the check engine light affect you?

Me and Dr. Jim Bob Haggerton popping in again this week! As you know by now, mindset and emotions are two of my passions, so hold on!
Everything in your body starts with your mind. Those thoughts you allow to run rampant in your mind create changes in your body… Lao Tzu, a mystic philosopher of ancient China, said, 

“Watch your thoughts, they become your words; 
watch your words, they become your actions; 
watch your actions, they become your habits;
watch your habits, they become your character;
watch your character, it becomes your destiny.”
Your thoughts become the hard-wired part of your brain that you run off every day – your reflexes, your go to mannerisms, whether you reach for water or Diet Coke, it all started as a thought.

Let’s compare symptoms in your body to the check engine light in your car. They are basically the same thing. The check engine light is just telling you that something isn’t working great…just like a symptom in your body.

Picture yourself driving down the interstate, 70+ mph, listening to your favorite music, singing along, life is good. The check engine light comes on. What do you do??
Do you think, “Oh, my gosh!” then you pull the car over, jump out, run around the car panicking two or three times like a Chinese fire drill, throw open the hood, take a hammer or an axe to it, start pulling stuff out, or dumping oil or gas in, because you need to take something out or put something in, rip that belt off, whatever it takes right now because something is wrong and you need to fix it, no matter what. 
Or do you put a little duct tape over the light or even unplug it and think, “Phew! That’s better…I can’t see the check engine light, so it must be good…”? Instead of freaking out about the possibilities, you just cover it up and don’t acknowledge it, and just keep on driving.  In either case, you might have a sickness mindset…
A wellness mindset would think, “Oh, the check engine light is on. I wonder why.” That simple. It doesn’t mean you don’t pay attention, you just trace it back to its possible cause. 
Only two things cause symptoms in the body – toxicity or deficiency. Too much of something you don’t need, or not enough of something you do, and it creates change in some part of your body.

Rob Wolf, author of Wired to Eat, writes about all the things (paleo, keto, intermittent fasting, history of diet, genetics…) but he also adds that you can do all the things, the diet, the oils, everything you want, but if you don’t have community that  you do life with on a consistent basis, you can’t be fully well.
We are created for community, connection, togetherness. Have you found your people? Your community? 
Do you journal??  It can be a notebook, filler paper, a pretty leather journal, whatever works for you. Vent your brain on paper. Get your thoughts out. Review how the day went, allowing you to wrap your brain around situations so you can see if you are falling into sickness mindset or to see lies you are believing so you can get into that wellness mindset. 
I have been keeping a gratitude journal for almost about 3 years now. I started out with jotting down 3 things I am grateful for each morning, and now I am writing out 10. Some days are definitely easier…and some days you may or may not see things listed like “I am grateful the day is only 24 hours long…” LOL

A wellness (or growth) mindset is acknowledging where you are, and simply choosing to see the potential, the truth, or the steps to get you or your family to a better place, to move past where you are, to get to where you are called to be. 
It is not “everything’s fine” (we all know what that really means, right? LOL) Acknowledge it, but don’t get lost in it. Focus on change, movement, or progress out of the pain or situation.
One of the most effective ways to help the brain not get stuck in this one mindset is to introduce a different sensation while you are in the middle of stress – a smell, vibration, or movement.  Pull out that Peace and Calming, Valor, Lavender,  Stress Away, Palo Santo, Believe, Tranquil…find one you really love. Dance it out. Crank the music and sing along. Go for a walk. Bake. Find something that works for you.

Remember…anything going on in the body always goes back to the brain.

Taking pre-orders for my next batch of elderberry syrup available in pint jars. Ready for your next bottle? Never tried it before? What's the best that could happen? 

Fights infection. Calms nausea. Eases arthritis symptoms. Lowers blood sugar. Eases menstrual pain. Offers digestive support. Pain relief. Improved brain health. Protects against heart disease. Reduces inflammation. Anxiety reduction. Liver support. Antifungal. Boosts immune system. Provides energy. Cleansing and detoxifying. And more.

Simple ingredients like ginger, cinnamon, clove, honey and elderberry provide this type of powerful support. It is so much easier to live above that wellness line than to continually fight your way back up like a yo-yo. Message or reply to reserve yours.

A friend of mine shared this, quality of life is worth fighting for. You, your life, your kids. Every moment should feel better. Health comes from making the changes. There is no magic bullet. Digestive health. Emotional health – stress impacts cortisol, hormones, weight… Movement. Sleep. Lifestyle. It’s not too late. It’s not too hard. It doesn’t have to stay the same.” She said she’s no miracle, but she’s worth the work, and so are you.
Be well,

by: Vicki  Lyn Merrill©, CRTS, LSH
Licensed Holistic Practitioner
Licensed Spiritual Healer
207 480 0356

All Rights Reserved
Without Prejudice

Need a little positivity??

Do you ever feel like you are stuck in a “negativity rut''? Your thoughts travel to the worst case scenario almost immediately, your anger is quick to bubble to the surface, your outlook on life’s daily activities is a wee bit miserable, and the smallest problems can seem catastrophic...
My friend, you don't have to stay in that place. You can break that cycle and walk through that valley to the other side. It will take some practice. It will take some concentrated effort and re-training of your brain, but you can do it.
A more positive you is possible. Let’s look at a few new habits that will help you on the journey...
1) Identify negative thoughts and self-talk. 

Most likely you don’t even realize you are living with a fixed mindset - it’s how you’ve always reacted; it’s how you’ve always viewed XYZ. When this negative, fixed mindset clouds your view, you are unable to even see the opportunities and blessings that life sends your way. 
Awareness is the key. You won’t be able to move forward in becoming more positive without first identifying what needs to go. 
Stop and think about how you respond to difficult situations, or circumstances. Grab a journal or notebook and write them down as they happen throughout the day.
Maybe your kiddos or spouse make a mess in the bathroom or leave crumbs all over the table. Write down how that makes you feel. Do you walk past a mirror and see your belly drooping over your pants? Maybe that coworker got the promotion you’ve been working for. 
What thoughts cross your mind? Write them down. 
Keep this journal with you and jot down your thoughts and reactions as you go about your day. Before bed, review them. Notice any patterns?

We have talked about this before…you get what you think about whether you want it or not...
2) Practice positive thinking.


After a few days you will start to see how you generally react or respond to life’s, how you can change that thinking??
Get out that journal or notebook and pick out a few phrases you caught yourself muttering over and over. Write those down on a new page, but leave room for a re-work. 
Perhaps you heard yourself say, “There’s no way this will work.” Now take a moment to think about how you can turn this into a positive statement. How about, “I love a good challenge; I am going to approach this from a different angle.” See or feel the shift?
Let’s try another. Maybe you often think to yourself as you walk past the mirror, “I will never lose this weight. Who would love this?” Yikes - what a punch to your inner self! How can you stop this negative talk in its tracks? Try → “I can make small changes that will lead to healthy results. I am beautiful no matter the size of my pants.”
This exercise will challenge you to have a new perspective. Attack those negative thoughts and take them captive. 
3) Start the day with gratitude and affirmations.
We have so many things to be thankful for, but we often overlook them or take them for granted. That soft bed you sleep in - blessing. Those clothes you wear every day - blessing. That car you drive - blessing. That paycheck you receive - blessing. That air you’re breathing in - blessing. See how the simple things in life, the ones we often consider as just “part of life”... we can count them all as blessings! 
Starting the day off with a heart full of gratitude can really make an enormous impact on your attitude. According to a study done by The University of California and Washington University, expressing gratitude increases joy. Joy, in turn, increases gratitude. What a great cycle to be stuck in! 
You can also set your intentions for the day by repeating affirmations aloud. Start telling yourself the story you want to be a part of. Use positive language; speak truth over yourself. Try these…


4) Utilize those oils to release negative emotions.
We know fragrances can have quite a powerful impact on your emotional state. As soon as you take a whiff, those molecules travel up your nose to your olfactory receptors, that then relay messages to other parts of your brain. Your sense of smell is the only one of the five senses that is directly linked to the limbic lobe of the brain, the emotional control center.
Did you know? Sesquiterpenes can increase blood oxygen levels in the brain. Guess where those are found? You guessed it - those essential oils sitting on your shelf.

So grab those oils and inhale or diffuse them! Find what works for you and use them consistently! 
5) Invite in positivity through friends and humor. 
Take a few moments today to reflect on the things you surround yourself with - your friends, family, coworkers, music, tv, social media, podcasts, books, etc. Are they positive? 
Do you remember that old saying, “Garbage in, garbage out”? Same is true today. If you are surrounding yourself with negative influences, your inner thoughts and attitude will most certainly be negative.
Sift out the bad and start focusing on what positive influences you can begin implementing. If it’s a toxic relationship, take the steps required to set proper boundaries. If it’s something toxic on social media or perhaps gloomy, depressing music… change that! Remove it. Delete it. Do what it takes to set yourself up for success in this area. 
Foster the positive relationships you do have. Play upbeat, uplifting music. Read books and listen to podcasts that inspire you, not give you nightmares. Watch comedy shows and laugh! Bring in so much positivity that there’s no room for negativity

6) Turn failures into lessons. 

Maybe one of the most important things you take away from this is to turn failures into lessons.
You are not always going to get this “positivity thing” right. You will have “off” days, moments where you lose your cool, situations that put you in a funk. Don’t let them derail you…even when someone reminds you that you messed up…because they will…I promise...LOL
Take what happened and learn from it. Figure out how to avoid those situations or how to handle them more effectively the next time you encounter them. Break the cycle. Stay the course. Become the change you want to see. 

Hints for Happier living

Hey, hey, my friend!! If things in your world are as chaotic as things in mine, thought you might appreciate a few hints on living happier. If you don't  need them now, I'm so glad to hear it! But, keep these handy. Life is 50/50, good and bad, incredible and devastating. You will need the reminders at some point... ;)

These hints are taken from A Letter to My Daughter, 40 Things I Learned About Living Happier by Nataly Kogan, author of Happier Now...and I've tweaked and personalized a few of them for you... 

One sweater you really like is better than five sweaters you kinda sorta like and bought because they were on sale. You'll know the one's the one your daughter continually asks to borrow... ;)

Don't wait for one person to give you all the love and care you crave. No one can be your all, but some people can be your a lot. Cherish them.

Stop trying to be fearless. If you are trying or learning, you will face fear. It's okay. Remember why you are on the journey and hang onto will guide you through the fear. Remember, everything you want is on the other side of that fear.

Read the whole recipe before you start cooking...

Be grateful, even for the tiniest of things. They all matter. Find something to appreciate. It will lift you up.

Treat yourself as you would treat your best friend.

Most things are better after a good night's sleep...

Don't save the good dishes or the nice clothes for a special occasion. Every day is a special occasion.

You can only change yourself - not other people, not relationships - just you. If you want to change anything - even the world - start with you.

Be.Here.Now. Don't rob yourself of living today because you are lost in yesterday or already leaning into tomorrow.
One spoonful of the real stuff is better than a whole cup of the low-fat stuff...always...

Hiding your unique gifts from others isn't humility. It's stealing. There may be someone whose life will be changed by them.

There's no such thing as a wrong emotion. Feel what you feel, even if it's hard. The less you try to fight or avoid a feeling you don't want to have, the easier it will be to move through it. Stop trying to hold that beach ball under the water...

You are enough. You are lovable, amazing and deserving exactly as you are. You were born worthy. Own it.

People care a lot less about what you do or how you look than you think. We are all mostly focused on ourselves, so stop worrying about them. And remember...what others think of you is none of your business. ;)

It's okay to have a mess of a day. Sometimes you need to eat too much, binge Netflix or hide away under the covers.

Be more honest. Being vulnerable doesn't make you weak - it makes you real. Be real. It's a gift - not only to you but to those around you.

Be creative. Cook, paint, plant, play an instrument, anything. Take a break from living in your head.
Give up ideas of how life should be. Stop shoulding yourself. Nothing has gone wrong. 

Most things taste better right out of the cream, milk, cookie dough, frosting...

Break your own rules as often as possible. Try spicy food even if you're "not into spicy food". Wear something bright if you are like me and love wearing black. Read something you normally wouldn't. Give yourself freedom to explore.

Take care of you. It's not selfish. It's your responsibility to the people you love. There's no glory in being a martyr...

Never be too busy for a hug...or too grumpy...or too proud...

Just because you can't see it right now doesn't mean the path isn't there. Keep taking those steps.

If you have to force it - an idea, a piece of writing, a job, a relationship, a shoe - it's not meant to be. Working hard and forcing something are two different things. Learn the difference.

It's all really about love. Not romantic love, not any specific kind of love, just love. It's within you. Find it. Nurture it. Share it. Grow it. Swim in it. It's always the right answer, although sometimes you'll have a hard time seeing it. Keep looking.

I hope you found one thing on this list to make today easier, brighter, less restrictive...

Live your best life today, my friend.

12,000 to 60,000 a day?? For real??

You have 12,000 to 60,000 of these a day...any guesses what they are?


And guess what?

80% of those thoughts are negative...and 95% play on repeat over and over and over...

This might just be why you can't stop thinking about that one critical comment sandwiched in among all the praise, or that one driver who cut you off out of the hundreds you encountered.

Dr. Rick Hanson says, "In effect, the brain is like Velcro for negative experiences but Teflon for positive ones...Most positive experiences flow through the brain like water through a sieve, while negative ones are caught every time."

Can you relate, too?? I thought you might...

There is good news though! You can create the new habit of being more positive. You always have a choice about how you look at something and how you think about it. What if you practiced more gratitude or started expecting the good to happen instead of always the negative?? One of my favorite lines is, "What's the BEST that could happen?"  That's a change, isn't it??

"Some people grumble that roses have thorns; I am grateful that thorns have roses."  - Alphonse Karr

"When every day seems the same, it is because we have stopped noticing the good things that appear in our lives." Paulo Coehlo

How about a few things to be grateful for to get you started? Family; friends; sight; hearing; touch; smell; taste; the ability to talk; your heart; lungs; immune system; hands; legs; mind; health; tears to help express your deepest emotions; fear so you know where to grow; sadness to appreciate happiness; rain; technology for making our vast world a little closer and communication easier; books; music to help you dance or sing it out when those emotions are running high; enemies who help you uncover those things you want to sweep under the rug; laughter; love...and how about you. Can you be grateful for you and what you bring to this wild and crazy world?

So, tell me, my friend, how will you choose to cultivate positivity today?? What are you going to let go through that sieve or slide off that Teflon?