Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Goals To Live By-#7 Be Authentic

“You become. It takes a long time. That’s why it doesn’t happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in your joints and very shabby.
But these things don’t matter at all, because once you are Real you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand.”   Margery Williams

Being authentic is one of the hardest things to do.  Most everyone of us seeks approval of some kind.   I grew up as a "people pleaser"and just when I began to recover I married a pastor and I suddenly became "too good or not good enough: had too much money or not enough;  drove too nice a car, wore too nice of clothes,  exercised too much," and the list goes on and on!  Just ask a pastor's wife sometime.  To make matters even worse I took full responsibility when people got angry and decided to leave the church!  I remember writing letters of apology and feeling like somehow I could have stopped their departures if only I had tried harder..  Wow!  I'm so glad I survived those years.
 Life and it's choices are tough but knowing who you are,  what you stand for, and ultimately who you belong to is important for your overall health;  emotionally, spiritually, and physically.   I like the saying, "if you don't stand for something you will fall for anything."

As I write this I admit there are days I struggle with my greying hair, my aging skin and body.  I color my hair to keep it blonde, wear a bit of make-up, and aim to exercise at least five days a week. I want to wear stylish clothes and I try to keep up with some of the latest trends.
 I grew-up in a society that rewards beauty and youth, especially here in Orange County California which is also geographically close to Hollywood.  In addition my mother was a professional model and when I was very young she got me involved in modeling too.  When I was a teenager I was a homecoming princess and I was entered in and won two beauty pageants a couple of years later.  I've spent plenty of hours in front of cameras and/or on "stage."  Needless to say there was a lot of attention placed on looks for as long as I can remember. 
 Fortunately I'm working on maturing into a person who (on most days) knows that I am a child of God and since He doesn't care about outside appearances,  or what people think about me, neither should I.  Being a grandmother has helped me with this too.  My purpose and focus in life has changed and it's awesome!

To "Be Authentic" here is what I strive to be:
Some days I fail miserably but I set my goals and execute a "personal inventory check-up" when I am missing the mark. I am also quick to admit when I am wrong and I don't have trouble apologizing, remembering that it is not always my fault (the pastor's wife guilt stuff rearing it's ugly head).

“All people are like grass,
and all their faithfulness is like the flowers of the field.

The grass withers and the flowers fall,
because the breath of the Lord blows on them.
Surely the people are grass.

The grass withers and the flowers fall,
but the word of our God endures forever.”       Isaiah 40:6-8 

 Being authentic and real means you are willing to take some risks and step-out in faith and trust that being true to who you are won't always be well-received by others.
 What do you struggle with or want to be?  I would love to read your comments. 

Need help or do you want to contact me?  You can email me at Donna@DonnaSchuller.com

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Goals To Live By-#6, "Be Intentional"

 For an update on my father-in-law Dr. Robert H. Schuller click here

This is a body, mind, and soul health site and as such I try to balance my writings as they focus on each part of our being.   My philosophy for living is to encourage people to do the best they can to balance all three aspects of health because they are all interconnected.     In order to stay healthy it's important to schedule and make time for the people you love and the things you want to do.

Today's goal to live by is to "be intentional."  It's surprising how many people I talk to say something like, "oh I would do (----fill-in the blank---) if I had enough time in the day."  In some ways I think that this is just a "cop-out."   We all have just twenty four hours or 1440 minutes in one day.  That's 168 hours or 10,080 minutes a week.  It's tough figuring out what to do with that time, especially since most of us are pulled in this way and that and it's not easy to schedule things that we want to do because there is so much we have to do!   As I write I can't help but think about the fantastic song from the Broadway musical "Rent" titled  "Seasons Of Love."  Following are a few of the lyrics. If you don't know the tune it's worth Googling them and you can also hear the rest of the song.

 "525,600 minutes, 525,000 moments so dear.
525,600 minutes - how do you measure, measure a year?
In daylights, in sunsets, in midnights, in cups of coffee.
In inches, in miles, in laughter, in strife.
In 525,600 minutes - how do you measure a year in the life?
How about love? How about love? How
about love? Measure in love.
Seasons of love....."

In my last post I talked about "Being Present" 
I hope that today's short message will keep you thinking about the last one as well.

Today is the second week of Lent and I am trying to meditate each day on the goodness of God and on all of my blessings.  It takes some discipline to read a short devotional first thing each morning as I allow a message of faith, hope,  and love to penetrate my heart and my whole being.  I have had to be intentional with this morning routine and it has paid off in so many ways.

No matter what you want to accomplish in this year, this month, this week, this day, this hour, or this minute...it takes intention and commitment.

 Maybe you need to eat better, exercise more, call your kids or your parents more, be more helpful to others, check-in with friends more often, pray and meditate more, or just take better care of your own body, mind, and soul.    In order to do this you will need to make a plan and then stick to it.  Just as you schedule (and hopefully keep) most of your appointments at work, for getting your hair cut or you nails done, seeing your doctor, or going out to lunch.  Things typically don't just "fall into place" unless you spend some time and energy making them happen.  

We measure our life in love so do all you can to help yourself and help others. Walk in love... intentionally with perseverance.  

"And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.  
Let the peace of God rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful."
Collosians 3:14, 15

** Join me for "The Call" on March 15th at 6pm Pacific Time.  Dial 530-881-1300 and key-in 642848#  We will interview former U.S. Congressman and U.N. Representative Mark Siljander about his book, "A Deadly Misunderstanding" which addresses the Christian-Islam global conflicts.  

To contact me you can email:  Donna@DonnaSchuller.com

Monday, February 16, 2015

8 Goals To Live By---#5 Be Present

I am presently babysitting my nine month old grandson and I would not be writing if he were not taking his nap right now.  When he is awake I get on the floor and play with him.  We read books, play with his various toys, or he walks around the room with me while being safely secured between my knees, his soft little hands grasping mine.   When I was here two days ago I took him for a walk in his stroller.  We ended up sitting on the grass for almost thirty minutes.  No toys, just the texture and the scent of the grass and the various sounds all around us.  Together we enjoyed looking up at the trees as their leaves rustled in the gentle breeze.  

I didn't have one of these when my children were small!

I babysit my grandson because I love him and I love my daughter and her husband.  I do something for them but they in turn do so much more for me.  If we let them, grand babies can teach us how to be present, without any distractions or interruptions.  It's totally different than when my children were small because at that time I still had to do my laundry, keep the house clean, prepare meals, and try to keep caught up on my other work.  Thank God I didn't have a cell phone or a laptop back then or who knows what other responsibilities would have beckoned!  Grandchildren are a different story.  When I am with Christian I do nothing else but be with him.  I don't answer my telephone, I don't check my emails, or my Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, etc, etc.  I am fully present with him and this is the gift he gives to me.  I'm convinced that our times together are even better for me than they are for him.  Being in the present moment with someone allows a connection that some of us are missing.  It is a time when we can concentrate on what is real and what is lasting.  Love, shown in time spent with someone is a special gift which creates memories that outlive any other gift you can give.  I am so thankful that I have been given this opportunity to show love in this way.

We can all practice living in the present. Wouldn't it be nice if the next time you are with a friend or a family member you put down your telephone (everyone will survive if you don't answer that text in the next hour or so), turn off the t.v., stop all of your business, and just sit and try to really hear what the other is trying to say to you.  I'm talking about being truly present

A friend of mine passed away a couple of years ago yet I will always remember him as the one who carried a little poem with him 24/7.  You could always count on Tom Harken taking out his little card and reading it to someone in the room.  He often gave away a copy and I have one that he gave to me. The poem goes like this:

I have only just a minute,
Only sixty seconds in it.
Forced upon me, can't refuse it.
Didn't seek it, didn't choose it.
But it's up to me
to use it.
I must suffer if I lose it.
Give account if I abuse it.
Just a tiny little minute,
but eternity is in it.
         Dr. Benjamin E. Mays

As a goal for this year make it a point to be totally present for your friends, family, and anyone you come in contact with .  When you are sitting across the table at lunch with a friend please don't take your cell phone out of your purse, or your pocket-- not even for a minute.   The message to the other person is that the one calling or trying to get in touch with you is more important than they are.  If someone needs to reach you it won't matter if it's thirty minutes or an hour later when they do.

If you don't have a grandchild then find someone to help once in while.  Spending time focusing on the needs of another will get you out of your ruts and help you be a more grateful person.  There are plenty of people who need your minutes to help them get through some really tough hours, days, weeks, and years.  If you need advice knowing where you might be needed please contact me and I will try to help.   I have network of amazing friends who run some awesome non-profits and they are always looking for volunteers.    ...Or it could be as simple as helping the person who lives nearby who can no longer go to the grocery store by themselves.

Gotta run....time to be with Christian!

So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom.  Psalm 90:12

To contact me: Donna@DonnaSchuller.com

Friday, February 13, 2015

Goal #4-Be Healthy

For updates re: my father-in-law, Dr. Robert H. Schuller please go to: www.RobertSchullerMinistries.org

The Employee Health Promotion program

 Health Definition
n. noun
  1. The overall condition of an organism at a given time.
  2. Soundness, especially of body or mind; freedom from disease or abnormality. (Hmmm? Where’s the spiritual?!)<note by me!
  3. A condition of optimal well-being.

 A lot of my formal schooling is in nutrition so people can instinctively think my main goal in coaching is to critique diets and assign strict exercise regimes.  Although physical health is an important aspect of overall health, truly being vigorous and strong involves so much more than just eating right and exercising.  I have met many people are in great shape physically while on the inside they are dying emotionally and spiritually.   The reverse can also be true.  One can be in a great place mentally or spiritually but they neglect their bodies, thus are out of sink with life in many other ways.  There are those who are “so spiritually minded that they do no earthly good.” 
 In my book,   "Healthy Family, Happy Life: What Healthy Families Learn From Healthy Moms" I outline various characteristics of health which include specifics of spiritual and emotional well-being and their integral roles in helping you live as a whole and a healthy person.  Some of these would include:  being honest with others, having clear-cut goals, striving through hardship, forgiving and loving yourself and others, and knowing where you stand with your relationship with God.   I believe all of these, and more, play a very important role in how healthy you are and how peaceful you live your life as a result of the thoughts you think, the attitude you have towards others, and yes…what you put in your body and how much physical activity you get (certain hormones released as a result of exercise and choosing the right fuel for your body have a huge influence on your emotional and spiritual health) Everything we do effects every part of us since we are laced together and “created in the image of God,” body, mind, and soul.  

It’s the middle of February so by now you should have written down your goals: physical, emotional, and spiritual.  You should have a clear understanding of where you want to see your social and love life, your family and friendships, and whether or not your work is or will be satisfying.  If you need help with your 2015 goals please refer to my post on Goal Setting from last year.  You can read it here.  If you are feeling overwhelmed with this process or if you need help evaluating your life and the direction it’s going, you can always talk to me.  I can coach you for just one session or for as many as you need.  To reach me you can email me here.

Your life should burn brightly with passion and purpose.  You should embrace good health by giving your body everything it needs and your should be in touch with your emotions and your past, and be able to forgive all of your past mistakes.  Last but not least, you should have a clear understanding of being a “spiritual being on this physical journey” called life.

 “For I will restore health unto you.  I will heal your wounds.”   Jeremiah 30:17  

To reach me:  Donna@DonnaSchuller.com

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Goal #3-Living A LIfe Of Gratitude

Goal #3-Be Grateful

This is the day which the LORD has made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.  
Psalm 118:24

"Being happy does not mean having what you want, but wanting what you have."

 Thousands of years of literature talk about the benefits of cultivating gratefulness as a virtue and my intention today is to encourage you to be thankful even if you're going through a tough time.  There are multiple scientific studies that show how living with an attitude of gratitude really does improve your life.

In Robert Emmons book, "Thanks! How The New Science of Gratitude Can Make You Happier" he reports on several studies. In the first, he and his colleagues divided participants into three groups, each of which made weekly entries in a journal. One group wrote five things they were grateful for. Another group described five daily hassles and a control group listed five events that had affected them in some way. Those in the gratitude group felt better about their lives overall, were more optimistic about the future, and reported fewer health problems than the other participants. Results from a second study suggested that daily writing led to a greater increase in gratitude than weekly practice.

In another study he discovered how people using daily gratitude journals report more satisfaction with their lives and are more optimistic about the future than people who don't. Interestingly,  grateful people also report getting more sleep, spending less time awake before falling asleep and feeling more refreshed in the morning.

Researchers at the University of Connecticut found that gratitude can have a protective effect against heart attacks. Studying people who had experienced one heart attack, the researchers found that those patients who saw benefits and gains from their heart attack, such as becoming more appreciative of life, experienced a lower risk of having another heart attack.

Hopefully I've convinced you that living a life of gratitude is the only way to live.  There are so, so many reason to be thankful...always.  Oh...and don't forget to say "thank you" when someone does something nice for you or pays you a compliment!

For more specific ideas on how to set your goals you can read one of my posts from January 2014 here:
Goal Setting 101

"The Pilgrims made seven times more graves than huts. No Americans have been more impoverished than these who, nevertheless, set aside a day of thanksgiving."
H.U. Westermayer

Gratitude turns what we have into enough. ~Author Unknown

To reach me you may write me at:Donna@DonnaSchuller.com