Does the moon get lonely?

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Traveling alone is one of the greatest experiences I’ve ever had the opportunity to do. Over 25k miles across the United States in the past year…  through the backroads and big cities to see the most beautiful sunrises and sunsets from lighthouses, beaches, colorful waters, the highest mountains, and everywhere in between.


It is rare when I miss my goal of having an intentional conversation with a stranger. I pass out a few business cards every day too. I’m often surrounded by masses of people.
Yet, one thing drifts into my life many nights.


Loneliness.


Often it is comforted by the aloneness I feel from the inside. I am very lucky to have a solid and positive relationship with myself.
There are however, a few times here and there, when loneliness strikes hard.
It does make sense, I don’t really fit in anywhere with many people. I live an adventurous life but I don’t follow many cultural norms.

I often feel very boring and left out…
I don’t drink or smoke.
I rarely eat out as I still struggle with my relationship with food.
I don’t have a partner to call or friends who can come along. 


I spend my days listening to the stories of the people I meet along the way, knowing the relationship will end soon and I will be back to my own little world without much of a fanfare.


I have spent the last month without physically seeing anyone that I know. 30 days without real contact with a friend or family member. I spend 20+ hours everyday alone with only the thoughts in my head, feelings in my heart, and the feet that carry me along the way…


Tonight, as I wandered off on an Adventure, I’m sitting here watching the full moon rise over the Atlantic Ocean… no stars… no clouds… just a brisk wind carry the sound of the waves across my heart while I sit here and wonder…


Do you think the moon gets lonely?


My personal experiment of 30 days is nothing compared to what many people have had to go through the past year… a year of being forced to be alone without energetic contact, or physical touch, or emotional connection with someone close.
As the next step unfolds and the beginning of the aftershock begins to hit, I can’t help but wonder what the lasting effects are going to be of the massive isolation movement hidden behind masks and fear and reintegration into the future of society.
What I see on the road is much different than what I see on social media and the news. I wish I could say one is better or right or more predictable… but I can’t.


What I do know is that there is going to be some difficulties ahead.


All humans want love and attention communicated in a way they understand. People want to be seen, heard, and affirmed.
Here is a simple formula to give positive attention to anyone so we can work to improve the positive energy and reduce the destructive behaviors that follow when people begin to seek validation l through unhealthy means.


3 steps to Positive Attention


Seen

1. Focused Attention: Give the person you’re with your full attention.

Heard

2. Listen to Understand: Become passionately curious about them and what they’re saying (and what they’re not saying) without judgment and ridicule.

Affirmed

3. Leave a Profit: People don’t always need a response or guidance, they just need/want to verbally process what is in their head. Keep your ears open and mouth shut… it will go a long way to healing and providing a positive step in a better direction.


I encourage you to reach out to a friend or family member. Maybe you need an ear or maybe they need an smile.


Share some positivity today.

Give some kindness today.

Fill your heart with Joy today.


And no matter how lonely you are, remember the moon shines it’s brightest all alone.

Slow Down…

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Slow down?

Really Gary? That’s your advice for me?… I thought you were here to help me do more, get more, accomplish more?… What kind of advice is SLOW DOWN?

Slow down…

Just for a few minutes, slow down. Even better, slow down and give yourself some positive focused attention… for just a moment. When you STOP you will find out exactly where you are.

Where is your head going?

Where is your mouth running?

Where is your heart longing?

Where are your feet standing?

Are you aligned and heading in the same direction of productivity?… or are you moving 100 different directions which takes you into a circle and spiral of busy?

So often we are ‘busy’ because it “feels” good rather than ‘productive’ because it “feels” slow… yet what ‘feels’ good now is probably going to hurt later and what is uncomfortable now is more likely to provide more Joy in the future.

I ask you once again to slow down and even STOP for just a moment. Let your head, mouth, heart, and feet realign so you can take the best step forward in the NOW rather than continuing the spiraling effect of busy always running to the next urgency or emergency rather than taking a moment to organize your priorities that will move you forward in the best way for YOU.

If you are looking for a Jump Start, Kick Start, or Fresh Start and want a little guidance and community please check out the upcoming events and sign up today. Some are free and some are a small fee.

Self Care is the Best Care

I challenge you to 100 days of Growth!

See you soon!

Just Think! about what you eat…

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One of my favorite parts of sharing my journey is how many questions I get about how I started eating better and exercising. Most people think I started running to lose weight. I wish I could say I did, but at 400 pounds there was no way my body was going to let me run at all. (I had enough pain just performing daily tasks) I started with small changes in my eating habits. After a couple months I noticed my eating habits were giving me more energy. My wife and I started walking together and over the course of about a year we finally were able to start “running”. As much as I love to run, I would not be where I am now without changing the way I ate. I believe the way we eat is the #1 factor in the way we feel.

Here are ten simple steps toward a healthier lifestyle.

  1. Food is Fuel. I heard this from a sales trainer of all places and it clicked. I had been eating for all the wrong reasons. The food tasted good or to meet with friends or just because it was there. Eating the right food to produce as much energy as possible to help you accomplish your goals was not a concept I was taught growing up. Remember that what you eat will propel you toward your goals or hold you back from taking the action necessary to accomplish them.
  2. Portion Control. When I first started my journey, I ate out of a salsa bowl for six months. I had to control my habit of overeating. I would start with less food and I noticed that I would feel full faster. I had been eating 4 to 10 times the amount of food I needed to be satisfied. This made an immediate impact on my attitude toward eating. I started finding it easier to control my urge for a second helping of food and dessert.
  3. Simplified Meals. When I started eating less, I noticed it was easier to eat more simplified meals. The fewer ingredients, the less I ate. Why? There have been studies showing that we look to eat an “even” amount of food we’re presented. If we have two options, we’ll eat about the same of each option. When we’re presented 10 options, we’ll eat about the same of each option. Think about the last time you were at a buffet. I’ll have a little of this and that and the other thing. Next thing you know you’re headed for another plate because you couldn’t get everything you wanted the first time.
  4. Don’t eat out. I used to love eating out. When I was growing up, every Friday was family night and we’d go out somewhere special. What I didn’t realize is we were eating out a couple times a week as a family and I was eating out every day during the week for lunch. Not only is the food processed and full of chemicals, but it’s nearly impossible to portion control when you’re at a restaurant for many reasons. Don’t forget about dessert! And did I mention I used to love “All you can eat” restaurants? I look back and think to myself, no wonder I had gotten so big…
  5. Cut out added sugar. This has been one of the most difficult steps for me. I grew up not knowing how bad sugar was for me. I thought a Coke was good for you because there was no fat in it… It’s ok, you can laugh- I really deserve it. I had no idea the process our body goes through when sugar is ingested. I could go on and on about my distain for sugar, but I’ll make it simple. I believe added sugar is killing us. I get a majority of my sugar and carbs from fruits and veggies. Since I have made a conscious effort to cut out added sugar, I have seen positive changes in my body and mind I can’t explain. Yes, I still have some ice cream or a “mini” candy bar every now and then. But, I you better believe I read the labels to know what I’m eating. You’d be surprised how many products have added sugar. If it’s packaged, there’s a good chance it has added sugar…
  6. Read the label. This has been huge for me. Read the label before you buy the product. There is nothing worse than starting dinner and seeing what you’re about to cook for the first time… It makes me sick to see some of the ingredients that are in “healthy” foods… A couple rules I follow- if sugar is in the top 3 ingredients, it’s probably not good for you. The few ingredients the better (and you should be able to pronounce all of them). If you can eat food without a label, you’re probably better off. I can’t remember the last time I bought a piece of natural fruit and had to the read the ingredients.
  7. Be flexible and try new things. Let’s face it, if we eat the same thing every day we’re going to get tired of it and we’ll go back to the same unhealthy habits we’ve always had. We live in the age of “unlimited information”. There is absolutely no reason for you to get bored with healthy food. There are thousands of people who have taken the time to make healthy food taste good and they’ve put their recipes online for free. And believe it or not, eating healthy is actually cheaper than eating unhealthy. Yes fruit, veggies and meat cost more upfront, but think about all the money you spend on snacks, candy, soda, eating out, over eating etc. Not to mention the extra doctor bills for living an unhealthy lifestyle.
  8. Develop a “diet” that you don’t have to cheat on. Don’t give up, replace. Pick your favorite recipe right now and find a healthier way to make it. If you feel deprived, you’ll go back to your old ways. But if you feel satisfied and don’t get bored because you’re trying something new all the time, you will stick to your new way of eating. I have bad eating days like everyone else, but I don’t plan a “cheat day” because I’m miserable with the next fad diet I’m trying this week.
  9. Don’t give up! Just because you had a bad day doesn’t mean all your progress is gone. If there is one thing I’m extremely good at, it’s persistence. I have had more bad eating days in the last three years than most people would believe. My rules for getting back on track. Don’t dwell on a bad eating day, don’t have two bad eating days in a row, and don’t have more than three bad eating days in a week. You can’t go forward if you’re looking in the rear view mirror. You also can’t out run a bad diet. (You can justify eating bad because you exercise!)
  10. Take a walk. “Motion creates emotion” Sometimes all you need is to get your blood flowing to change your mood. There are days that I want to sit at home and eat everything in the fridge and pantry. My best remedy is to get out of the house! It doesn’t matter what I do as long as I can get my mind off eating. You’d be surprised how many calories and how much guilt can be avoided by simply walking away from the kitchen!

The steps to eating better are fairly simple- eat less, eat healthier and take a walk. But as Jim Rohn says, “What’s easy to do is also easy not to do”. No one has control over what you put in your body except you. You are the only person who can hold yourself accountable. The best advice I can give you is to make up your mind you want to change and take action right now to move you in the direction you want to go. If you wait until tomorrow to start, you’ll never accomplish anything today.