I checked out.

I checked out.
Somewhere in March, I let stress take over and I checked out. 

I’ve been checked out for about 6 weeks or more and I’ve learned stress can reek havoc in that amount of time.  The kicker is, I started out telling myself it was "me time".  But……Ooooo….was I lying to myself.  

Work got stressful, finances tight, my daughter was in a rush to visit and choose a college, daughters were fighting, and our normal go, go, go, go was heavy.  I couldn’t fall asleep. I was exhausted, emotionally and physically. I did the minimum in the evenings and binge watched TV when I couldn’t fall asleep.  We ate rushed meals out, my water intake went down and I gained weight.  Next, my mood went low along with my motivation and energy.  

And then in April, I started another new book and realized I was setting the foundation for depression to make its way back in.  Now that Mother’s Day has passed, part of me wonders if part of the stress was subconscious grief as we were approaching mother’s day. Either way, about 1 to 2 weeks ago, I had asked myself, “when was the last time I felt like this?” And the answer was easy.  "After my mom died.”  

I’m thankful, I asked myself that question.  My realization has been the motivation I needed to do a few things different and get on a better path.  I started with my emotional oil regimen and talking with my sisters.  Last week I went live in our Facebook group, Joy for Everyday Women, talking about some of the reasons why I had checked out and shared the names of a couple books I’ve read this year.  I posted in our members only group, Bloom, that I’m ready to revise and commit to new wellness goals.  

It’s time to check back in! I think I have a new theme song too.  Michael Buble’s Feeling Good has been ringing in my ears. I'm back to real self-care and my mood is lifting just in time for the festivities of prom and graduation for my oldest girls.

I made appointments with my counselor and I meet with a functional medical doctor this week.  I’m looking forward to working with these wellness partners to help me set goals, to hold me accountable, and help me see what I can’t for myself.  

Joysisters, it’s time for some self reflection.  Are you checked out? Have you let stress reek havoc?  When was the last time you felt this way?  What are you going to do different today.  Let’s start a conversation.

Feeling like you are living on autopilot? Check out my 3 tips to stop living on autopilot HERE.  Spring has sprung.  There is no time like the present to break out of the mundane!

Scarcity and Abundance Mindset

Scarcity and Abundance Mindset
We’ve entered the season of Lent on the Christian. calendar.  It's a time where people give something up, their vices, and fast from it to turn their attention towards a closer relationship with God.  

This year, I'm fasting from my scarcity mindset.  I know that our creator provides everything we need for an abundant life to sustain ourselves in joy and purpose.  I also know that my own thoughts and distance from God can squander it.  

Do you know what a scarcity mindset is is?

It might sound familiar if you’ve ever read 7 Habits of Highly Successful People by Steven Covey.

Scarcity mindset is  idea or worldview that opportunities, resources, and successes are finite.  As a result people are tight fisted and guarded. I heard someone use the analogy of a pie.  People with scarcity mindset view opportunities and resources like a pie.  When some one takes a piece it leaves less for the rest of us.  

A scarcity mindset grows from the feeling that there will never be enough. People with a scarcity mindset are hyper aware of the unfulfilled areas of their lives. This is a breading ground for unproductive and self-defeating thoughts, 

Scarcity mindset holds us back.  And so we want to move toward an abundance mindset.  This is the idea that there will never be a shortage of opportunities and successes or of ways to accomplish your goals.  Stephen Covey says abundance mindset “flows out of a deep inner sense of personal worth and security.”  It is the knowledge of know there is plenty for everyone.  Abundance mindset feels safe and joyful.

If scarcity mindset holds us back then an abundant mindset will propel us forward. 

What we focus on grows.  If you want an abundance mindset you need to focus on it.  Some things that can help shift your mindset to an abundance mindset is to (1) recognize your thoughts for what they are and then flip the script.  

I love Disney World so let’s use that as an example.  If you see a a friend’s post about their trip to Disney and you think, “I’ll never get to go to Disney”, well then you won’t. But if you think, “I’ll be riding on that Peter Pan ride in no time at all”, then you will start to believe it and work towards it. Be present with your thoughts so that you can identify the thoughts that are holding you back and rephrase them.  Then say the new phrase out loud (or in your head if it makes you sound weird in present company).

Next, (2)practice gratitude.  Practicing gratitude for things in your life brings attention to the good and positive and shows you that there is already some abundance in your life. Designate a journal and a time to do this each day.  Then periodically go back and read what you’ve given thanks for.

We all desire abundant joy!  If we work on our abundance mindset it will help. 

We have an Abundance challenge going on in our Joy for Everyday Women Facebook Group.  And that challenge is to work on building an abundance mindset through the month of March.  There is a post that goes up each day.  The first few explain the process and then starting March 5th there are daily affirmations and steps to follow to focus on building that abundance mindset.  

The month is going to be broken up into focusing on bringing abundance mindset to 4 categories:  Confidence and Mindfulness, Health, Relationships and Finances.  

So I'll fast from my scarcity mindset, work to build up an abundance mindset, and I will lean on God to help me.  Here is my 40 day commitment.  I will work everyday to identify thoughts that don't support an abundance mindset and rephrase them in a way that does.  I will use aromatherapy and a gratitude journal as tools to support this journey.

Focusing on an abundant mindset in these areas will help us to grow in each area.  When we grow in each area we open up to more abundant peace and joy.  As the Dalai Lama says, "the source of happiness is within us."


Intimacy: the opposite of lonely.

Intimacy: the opposite of lonely.
We’ve all been there before.  We are sitting in a room full of people, yet still feel alone. 

Loneliness causes significant health risk for older adults, especially those with dementia.  Why am I bringing this up? I mean, I know that hardly any of our #joysisters tribe is experiencing dementia.  It’s because loneliness doesn’t set in overnight like an infection.  It’s the result of years of neglect.   You see we have to attend our social networks now and build relationships so that as we age we have a reserve of people to engage with.  

Here is the thing.  The quality of those relationships matter.  They can’t be acquaintances.  If you are going to combat loneliness its gonna work best with deeper, intimate relationships.   It’s important to remember that intimacy reaches far beyond the bedroom.  I’m not speaking of the physical intimacy we have with our significant others right now - although we have some fun oily recipes for that if like (wink, wink).  Right now, I’m speaking of relational and emotional intimacy. We need to build strong intimate relationships with friends and family now to sustain us as we age.  

Here is how you measure the intimacy of a relationship.  Ask yourself if you or both of you are comfortable being emotionally vulnerable and raw with each other.  Ask yourself, do you share closeness and affection for each other? Do you have a shared history and/or experiences that bring you to a closeness.  

These intimate relationships are built on shared life experience, vulnerability, and trust.  How many of those relationships do you have?  Not enough? The good thing is that you can continue to build these strong relationships over a lifetime.  So put yourself out there and go make deeper more intimate relationships. Your lifetime of joy depends on it.  

We have a community of #joysisters waiting to welcome you in our Facebook Group Joy for Everyday Women.  Hope on over there and join.  And if you want some of those oily recipes to enhance physical intimacy for you and your significant other then just DM or email us and we will send it right on over.

It started with a bath.

It started with a bath.
Why is practicing self-care so hard to make a priority?

It took me 35 years and the weight from four babies to start thinking about how to eat better and to care for my body better.  It took the death of my mother and a pandemic to start real holistic self-care.  

Somehow, I trained myself to think that being busy caring for others and supporting my family’s needs and wants was the highest priority setting.  My faith teaches me to be selfless and loving and kind and that is were my heart lies.  For me, it also means that its hard for me to say no when people ask and I give a lot of emotional energy to others.  I put my life into autopilot to keep up with that priority setting and ended up losing my joy.  I know some of you understand this feeling.  My ability to genuinely and authentically be there for my family in the meaningful and joyous ways I wanted to dwindled fast. 

I was desperate for joy and grieving when I finally decided to do some intentional self-care. The therapist I went to (because she doesn’t push meds) told me after two sessions that she recommended an antidepressant. I would have gone that route if I needed to but I wanted to exhaust non-pharmacological options first.  I remember telling her, thanks but no thanks.  Right now for my family its better for me to deal with the devil (depression) I know rather than the devil (medication side effects) I didn’t know. I could operate on autopilot and that will work for now.

That is no longer my life! I’m in a season of regeneration now and you can be too.  For me, it started with a bath. 
I decided that I needed the bathroom that I had been waiting 13 years for and used some of my mom’s life insurance money to renovate my bathroom.  I got a bathtub that I could actually lay in without feeling crunched up.  Really, I went almost 13 years without taking a bath in my own house.! Then I decided I needed to enhance my bath to a spa experience and began researching essential oils.  I took time to decide which ones to order because I wanted high quality ones.  I figured it was cheaper than extra therapy or prescriptions.  I am glad that I put in all that time researching and then investing essential oils because that was the door I needed to open to realize that self-care is not a luxury, it is not a hobby, it is not something to do IF I have time.  That was the door I needed to open to learn and practice other forms of self-care.  that was the door I needed to open to realize that self-care is a necessity. 

The more I care for myself, the greater capacity I have to help others.  So if you are busy, overwhelmed, or sitting on autopilot,  take another look at your priorities and change up your routine.  Give yourself time for self-care EVERYDAY and see what happens.  I don’t take my lovely spa baths everyday or even every week.  My face wash and skincare  routine has become intentional self-care. Studying the Bible, meditating, reading for personal development, sleeping in, herbal tea and supplements, coffee with a friend are all other ways I’m leaning into more self-care.  

What are you doing to intentionally take care of yourself?

Let's keep this conversation going!  Join our group on Facebook: Joy for Everyday Women.
Ready to use essential oils as part of your self-care routine.  We provide a 1:1 consult and education and can help you get started.  Get in touch.  Email us at joybyoils@gmail.com or find us  (Ila Schepisi and Deanna Walton) on Facebook.

Food is Medicine!

Food is Medicine!

You have chocolate cake leftover from a family member's birthday and it’s all you can think about all day at work. You know exactly what you are gonna do when you get home! You are gonna dive face first into that oooeeeyyy gooooeeeyy goodness. Death by chocolate right?!?! You probably even close your eyes as you take that first bite…… mmmmm. 


What are you eating the cake for? Nutrition? Fuel? Or is it pleasure? 


See this is where we get in trouble when it comes to food. We were not made to eat for pleasure, we were made to eat to survive, using food as fuel to keep our bodies going. That cake ……. It’s only for your pleasure. There is nothing good about the “fuel” your body is gonna get from that chocolate cake. It goes straight to your belly, butt or thighs! 


Wanna lose weight? Boost your immune system? Reduce inflammation? Feeling fatigued? Stressed? Anxiety? Depression? Auto-immune disorder? Don’t go for that chocolate cake!! It might make you say Mmmmm but the only thing it is fueling is the bad bacteria in your gut! Did you know that your gut contains more bacteria than your body has cells?? Yep, almost 10 to 1!! 


Your gut is one of the most powerful systems in your body. Not only does it get rid of waste, your gut is where you absorb your nutrients from your food, where over 70% of your immune system is and it is also where the greatest concentration of serotonin is found! Serotonin is that happy hormone. The more of that we have the better our mood and the more Joy we can find!!! 


So what can we do to help our gut? 


Take a probiotic.

Eat more fermented foods.

Eat yogurt that contains cultures.

Stay away from refined sugar.

Stay away from processed foods. 

Decrease your stress (use mindfulness!!)


Overall food is medicine! You can choose foods that support your immune system like garlic, onions, turmeric, cinnamon, spinach and citrus fruits, and incorporate them into your diet more often. Let’s try our best to eat foods that help fuel our bodies the way it was meant to do. 

xoxo, 
Deanna

If you are not in our Facebook group Joy for Everyday Women yet.... What are you waiting for?!?! In this group we share our moments of Joy and encourage each other to live our best in this crazy stressful life. Join us here!!


 
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