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My Dream Job

In July of 2008, I landed my dream job. I was making more money than I had ever made, more prestigious than I had ever had, and the job played on so many of my strengths. I love to help other women figure out what they want to be and do with their lives, and this job gave me some opportunity to do so. I was so EXCITED and threw myself wholeheartedly into my work.

I was responsible for 800 company representatives and more than $1 million in sales a year. My job was to recruit, train, mentor, support, encourage and motivate my team.

The rest of this post can be found at my new blog Living the Balanced Life.
Living the Balanced Life
I will still be posting more personal ramblings on this blog, just not as frequently. I encourage you to hop on over and read and subscribe!


I had written a couple of posts concerning the American Dream a couple of months ago, and when I saw this article on the internet, I knew I wanted to share with my readers as a sequel!

My 1st post about the Ahh, the American Dream
My follow up post on  The Cure for the American Dream

The article below takes into account how other countries are viewing Americans and our recession.  I’d love to hear your feedback!

How to Restore the American Dream

The American dream for me, growing up in India in the 1970s, looked something like the opening credits of Dallas. The blockbuster TV series began with a kaleidoscope of big, brassy, sexy images — tracts of open land, shiny skyscrapers, fancy cars, cowboy businessmen and the very dreamy Victoria Principal.

Read more at Time.

Don’t forget! My new blog, Living the Balanced Life is launching on Monday, November 8th! If you have ever felt overwhelmed and pulled in multiple directions, you need to come check it out!



Well, I have been rambling here for a little over 5 months now. It is interesting that when I began, I thought I was just learning about ‘how to blog’. What I didn’t realize was that I was about to embark on one of the most difficult, yet most important times of my life, and blogging was there to help me through it.

I appreciate all the readers who have followed my journey and provided encouragement to me and I know that many have benefited from my writing as they have told me so.

When I began my blog, I was already on the verge of a mental breakdown, although I wouldn’t admit it, which eventually happened in July. I tried so hard to be strong, and to hide what was inside, but you see,

what is true in our hearts will eventually shine through.

I was absolutely falling apart on the inside and eventually it had to come out. While this has been a significant trial for me, it is also helping me to dig deep inside and determine WHO I truly am, what I LOVE to do, and WHAT I want to spend the rest of my life doing.

Who I Am

I already knew that I liked to help women. As a matter of fact, I have defined a major mission in my life is to help YOU, to be the best YOU that YOU can be. Many people are just wandering through life letting it happen to them, and not making any major decisions about their direction. I feel passionately about helping you determine what your path is supposed to be.

My hope and prayer is, that as my healing process allows, I will eventually offer success and accountability coaching, as well as online workshops, and e-books.

For now however, my more immediate goal is to reach out to others who are in the same boat I am in, or may be headed in that direction. Women specifically, need to stop hiding behind their Superwoman cape and admit that, 

 “Yes, maybe I can have it all, but at what cost?” 

Announcing the Launch of Living the Balanced Life!

Living the Balanced Life will be launching on

Monday, November 8th

The content will be pertinent to both male and female (most of the time!) and will be geared toward helping you find the balance you so desperately need. I encourage you to go right now to http://livingthebalancedlife.com and join our email list. The form is on the left side of the page. The site is functional, there is just very little there yet!

All subscribers who sign up will receive a FREE download of Leo Babauta’s latest e-book, Focus. We all could use a little help on learning how to focus!

Please also consider becoming a fan on Facebook, and following me on Twitter!

In the meantime, I have an awesome video for you to watch with an important message for EVERYONE! Listen to the words as they sing!

I would love to hear from my readers! Could you use balance in your life? Are you tired of hiding behind your Superwoman cape?


The Birth of a Blog

When I began my blog back in late May 2010, it was a trial run. I knew nothing about blogging, design, traffic, RSS, commenting, memes or carnivals. I didn’t know that there was such a thing as a mommy blogger.

I wanted to learn about blogging because I had an idea for a business and I had read that blogging would be a good way to promote it. Boy, did I jump into something so much bigger than I ever imagined! And I was headed into a very interesting period in my life, a period af enormous change.

Just Under the Surface

My life, at the time, was completely out of balance, although I had no idea JUST how unbalanced I was. You see, I was pretty good at hiding behind a mask and stuffing my emotions inside. My body was starting to rebel, but I wasn’t listening.

In July, I took a vacation hoping that would help me relax and move beyond my stress. About 5 days into my 7 day vacation I started to feel a little relief, however, within 2 days of returning home it hit me full force. As I was preparing to do a midyear review with my boss, I knew that I was in trouble. I had difficulty preparing my reports, I could not think clearly, and I was staying at home only when I did not have a very specific meeting scheduled.

get out of my box

The review was a disaster and it became apparent to me and to my boss that I could no longer do my job in my current state of mind. I took a personal leave and made an appointment to see my doctor. I have been on medical leave ever since. I am on medication, see a psychologist weekly, and have been doing much prayer and soul-searching during this time.

Our bodies are not meant to hold the kind of stress I was dealing with. I was overloaded beyond belief. I had work issues and personal issues I was dealing with. 

Part of it was external circumstances, however, part of it was due to how I handled and processed stressors in my life. I have had to learn with both sides of this issue.

As I began to write about my journey, I heard from more and more people about how they are dealing with the same thing on some level. They are stressed, overwhelmed and feel completely stuck in their lives. As I was working on my healing process, I realized I wanted to help those who were also feeling the same. This is where the change comes in!

The Balanced Life, Perfectly Imbalanced

I currently am working on another blog specifically geared towards helping women and men work out the balance in their lives. To put their stressors in perspective. To learn what to say yes to and when to say “No”.

My new blog is titled “Living the Balanced Life”. It will encompass 8 different areas of our lives:

Faith, Prayer and Worship
Connecting to Those Around You
Finding Joy in Life
Learning to Just BE
Live Healthy
Being Productive
Renew and Refresh
Manage Your Home and Time

Living the Balanced Life will have regular posts in each of these areas to help you in your quest for balance. I will also eventually be offering, for sale, resources to help you on your journey. 

My hope is to have Living the Balanced Life launch sometime early November, and to be in full swing by the time the New Year rolls around!  Please note that my plan is to continue to ramble my more emotional thoughts at THIS blog, while LTBL will be practical and action oriented (or NON-action!)
 

NEWS FLASH!newpaper-boy

To be sure you don’t miss out on when the new blog will be launching and when updates are made to THIS blog, be sure to subscribe via EMAIL by clicking HERE. I promise, I don’t share or sell your info, and I won’t hit you with spam!

Those who sign up via email will also receive for FREE the report “40 Ways to Live and Not Merely Exist!

In the meantime, for your education and encouragement…

As I am preparing to launch the new blog, my ramblings here will be on hold, unless I just can’t keep my mouth shut, lol!  I need to practice what I am preaching and balance my time and resources on what is priority at the moment, which is getting my other blog live.

So… if you are visiting during my hiatus, I have reorganized my ramblings (as much as one CAN organize ramblings!) for you to pick and choose the topics that might best help you where you are at. You can choose from my most popular posts below, or from the list of Posts by Category in the upper right-hand column.

I do enourage you to leave comments as I will still be reading those!

Some of my most popular posts:

So…Who IS This Rambling Woman?

10 Ways to Avoid a Mental Meltdown

Is Your Brain on Overload?

This is Your Brain, This is Your Brain on Overload

Someday is a Dangerous Word

Ahh, the American Dream

The Cure for the American Dream

If there are specific issues that you would like to see me address on my new blog, please feel free to send me an email to–

bernicemwood at gmail dot com! 

Also, if you believe a friend would benefit from my writings, please share by clicking the appropriate button below!

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Why do we not do the things we want to,

and do the things we don’t?

The apostle Paul even wrote about it in Romans 7:15 I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate, I do.

Many times there are habits we want to stop, or habits we want to implement in our lives, yet we are consistently unsuccessful.  We tend to beat ourselves up that we are lazy, or maybe even sinful. Unfortunately, this is just part of human nature. The good news is, you can train yourself to implement change in your life.

I am going to use an example that I got from Leo Babauta’s Zen Habits. He is talking mainly about exercise, but the steps are good and can work for ANY habit.

eat_the_elephant

The Main Problems

 

In a nutshell, “It’s just too much to do, it’s overwhelming!”

So why do most people have trouble making exercise a regular habit? Well, there are probably a number of factors, but here are the main ones as I see it:

  1. Too difficult. People set out with a lot of ambition and enthusiasm, and start out with a big goal. “I’m going to go to the gym for an hour a day!” or “I’m going to run 30 minutes every day!” The problem is that the goal is too difficult to sustain for very long. You can do it for a few days, but you soon run out of energy, and it becomes a drag to do it.
  2. Too many goals. Often we set out to do too much. We want to run, and lift weights, and eat healthy, and quit sweets, and stop drinking soda. Well, those are multiple goals, and you cannot focus on the exercise habit if you’re trying to do all the others at the same time. Or we might start with one goal, but then get caught up in another goal (to stop procrastinating, for example), and lose our focus on the first one.
  3. Not enough motivation. It’s not a lack of discipline, it’s a lack of motivation. The most powerful motivators, in my experience, are logging your habit and public pressure. There are many others that help as well.

The 4 Simple Steps


So how do we solve those problems? Keep it simple. Here are the 4 simple steps to start the exercise habit (and keep it going). I should note that you can use these 4 steps to start any habit.

  1. Set one easy, specific, measurable goal. There are several keys to setting this crucial goal:
    • Written: Write this down. Post it up. If you don’t write it down, it’s not important.
    • Easy: Don’t — DO NOT — set a difficult goal. Set one that is super, super easy. Five minutes of exercise a day. You can do that. Work your way to 10 minutes after a month. Then go to 15 after 2 months. You can see what I mean: make it easy to start with, so you can build your habit, then gradually increase.
    • Specific: By specific, I mean what activity are you going to do, at what time of day, and where? Don’t just say “exercise” or “I’m going to walk”. You have to set a time and place. Make it an appointment you can’t miss.
    • Trigger: I recommend that you have a “trigger” right before you do your habit. For example, you might always brush your teeth right after you shower. The shower is the trigger for brushing your teeth, and because of that, you never forget to brush your teeth. Well, what will you do right before you exercise? Is it right after you wake up? Right after your coffee? Right when you get home? As soon as you take off for lunch? A trigger that you do every single day is important.
    • Measurable: By measurable, I mean that you should be able to say, definitely, whether you hit or miss your goal today. Examples: run for 10 minutes. Walk 1/2 a mile. Do 3 sets of 5 pushups. Each of those has a number that you can shoot for.
    • One goal: Stick to this one goal for at least a month. Two months if you can bear it. Don’t start up a second goal during that 30-day period. If you do, you are scrapping this goal.
  2. Log it daily. This is the key habit. If you can log your workout, you will start to see your progress, and it will motivate you to keep going. And you have to make it a habit to log it right away. Don’t put it off, and say you’ll do it before you go to bed. As soon as you’re done working out, log it. No exceptions. And don’t make the log complicated — that will only make you resist doing the log. Just the date, time, and what you did.
  3. Report to others. I think this is key. You can do it on your blog, on an online forum, with your spouse, or friends or family, or a workout partner, or a coach, or a group, or a class. However you set it up, make it part of the process that you have to report your daily workout to other people. It could be using an online log, or on a forum, or through email, or the phone, or just by telling your co-workers what you did this morning. But be sure that they know your goal, and that you are going to report to them, and be sure that they are expecting it every day.
  4. Add motivation as needed. The first three steps might be enough for you to get the habit going. But if not, don’t just give up. If you miss two consecutive workouts, you need to look at why, and add a new motivation. Rewards, more public pressure, inspiration, whatever it takes. Read this article for more on this. You can add one additional motivator, and then see if it works. If you miss two more consecutive workouts at any time, add another motivator. And so on, until the exercise habit sticks.

Again, while Leo is basically talking about exercise in general here, these steps will work for ANY HABIT. I encourage you, if there is something you are trying to stop doing or something you want to implement in your life, work through each of these steps to see how it would play out.

One of My Elephants

My regular readers know that I have been dealing with depression and anxiety since this summer. I actually have a difficult time leaving the house. I need to go to the Y to exercise, but have not been making it there. I tend to make it  a lot harder on myself than I should. I realized that I don’t want to go through the trouble of getting dressed and getting my shoes on, etc. So, my very first goal for me to work on really isn’t about exercise, but about me getting myself presentable and dressed AS IF I WERE gonna go to the gym. In my mind I feel that is half the battle. And I will probably use my Google calendar to track it. And my trigger? Have my workout clothes easily accessible, and instead of throwing on my old house grubbiesfirst thing in the morning, dress in gym clothes and put my shoes on.

To many of you, that may seem so simplistic, and say “I need to change something bigger than that, this won’t work for me! That is the issue with me and with many people. We take the whole leg of the elephant and try to carm it in our mouth and don’t see that it is possible. We just have to take that one little bite, and once we do that, it tastes SO GOOD, we take one more bite. It will take time, but eventually you can eat the elephant, one little bite at a time!

Eating The Elephant

What about you? What is your elephant in YOUR life that you would like to be eating right now?

My goal is to help as many people as possible with these issues we all deal with! Be sure to subscribe via email or RSS so you don’t miss any posts! If you know of someone who would benefit from the info in this post and in my blog and you would like to share with them, please click on the appropriate link below!

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I have been struggling with writing the past few days. Definitely not feeling it. This morning I was reading through some older stuff on my computer and came across this essay that was written by my now 17 year old daughter. She wrote this a little over 2 years ago. Be sure to read thru to the end as there is amazing insight there.

 

Where I’m From….

By L Wood

 I’m from the same place still that I came from,lyz and snow

Lived in the same house my whole life,

I’m from memories that always flow through me,

Every time I’m home I remember happiness and strife,

I’m from dancing in the mirror and singing in the hairbrush

To playing with momma’s hair and daddy’s big bear hugs

 

Lyz and butterflyI was the little girl next door that couldn’t come out and play

And the girl who thought she was a boy until about 13,

I’m from the bridge over our favorite creek

That’s surrounded by pretty flowers in the spring

I’m from the top of my horse, lyz and geronimo

Who is my best friend and keeps all my secrets,

I can trust him

 If you fast forward a little you’ll see,

I’m still from the same cute, little house,

But no longer a little girl walks out the front door,

But a young lady trying so hard to make her parents proud

 

elevate I’m from The Church at Covington and Elevate Youth Group,

I’m from frustration coming out of my Algebra 2 classroom,

I’m from a place that gets confusing,

But in this place God is able to use me

 

I’m from a small town,lyz dance (2)

Where it’s impossible not to see to see someone you know when you go out,

I’m from a dance studio were I’ve thought through so many problems,

As I let my feelings through in the way my body moves

 

lyz I’m from a place were most people don’t go,

That’s deep in my mind,

A place that I don’t ever really show,

I’m from trying so hard to be myself,

To learning it’s always possible… If you’re brave enough*.

*This is such a sweet line for me to remember. She loved the Chronicles of Narnia and Aslan says this to Lucy in the movie, which had come out some time before she wrote this

Such insight from a 15 year old!

There is a place in all of us, a place that we never really show, the place that we keep hidden because we are sure that people could not possibly like us if they knew ‘that’ person.

I know that she is still working on this herself, but I hope she is able to find some success while she is young. It sucks to be 45 and not be comfortable in being who I am, of not even being 100% sure of who that is yet. I know that I am getting closer to discovering me, that I am becoming more and more brave and digging deeper and deeper within to those areas within that I have locked away for so long.

So, even now, at 45, I am trying so hard to be myself,

as

     I

        discover,

                          one

                                 step

                                         at

                                              a

                                                 time,

                                                          who

                                                                  I

                                                                     really

                                                                                am. 

What about you? Are you comfortable with who you are? Do you know who that person is? Did you always know or did it take some time to figure it out?

My goal is to help as many people as possible with these issues we all deal with! Be sure to subscribe via email or RSS so you don’t miss any posts! If you know of someone who would benefit from the info in this post and in my blog and you would like to share with them, please click on the appropriate link below!
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There are always areas of our lives that we want to work on or improve. We all don’t necessarily have the same things to work on, but we all something we want to improve. And we usually complain about those areas in our lives quite a bit, but don’t end up doing much about it anyway.

As I am preparing for some major changes to my blog in near future, I came across some great 31 day programs! There are 8 different areas of focus, I encourage you to take a peak at each and see which ones reach deep in your heart and go for those! Do NOT try to read and implement these 8 blogs over the next 31 days! You cannot effectively change that much at one time. Good news is, they will be archived, and once you work through one or two areas, you can come back to a different one to work on next!

I appreciate the time and effort these talented women are putting into these projects!

31-Days-550x344

Emily is the hostess for 31 days of Grace :: Chatting at the Sky

Kendra is hostess for 31 Days to an Inspired Table :: My First Kitchen

The ‘Nester’ is hostess for 31 Days to a Less Messy Nest :: Nesting Place

Emily is hostess for 31 Days of Living Simply :: Remodeling This Life
31-Days-1

Melissa is the hostess for 31 Days of Autumn Bliss :: The Inspired Room

Jennifer is the hostess for 31 Days to More. . .With Less :: Beauty and Bedlam

Darcy is the hostess for the 31 Days to a Better Photo :: My 3 Boybarians

Sandy is the hostess for the 31 Days to Stress Free Entertaining :: Reluctant Entertainer
31-Days-2

Once you decide which programs you are going to follow this month, leave me a comment here so I know who I will see and where!

I have written quite a bit about several of these subjects as well. Feel free to check out my archives to read more about my journey!

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