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For those of you wondering if a CSA is right for you I am going to "Blog Log" my first season as a CSA subscriber. I will be your guinea pig. :) My friend Whitney, with whom I have shared my share this season, will also be joining me on this little adventure. So some of the posts will be from me and some will be from her. 

We plan to show you what we get in each share and what we do with it. Worried that you'll be up to your ears in corn? Well, we'll see. It will be fun! We will show you the boxes as we get them as well as share our recipes. We plan to bring you along as we have to get creative when we get something we've never cooked before. 

I thought that a CSA would add a bit of culinary whimsey, and simplicity to my cooking experience. I'll be stretched to try new foods, explore new recipes, learn more food storing techniques and cook beyond my usual routine. Between my produce CSA and my meat CSA I plan to be a much less frequent shopper at my local supermarket. That makes me happy!


What is a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture)?

The benefits of participating in a CSA are many. As a member you will not only enjoy all of the food but you will also know exactly where your food is grown and who grows it. All produce is organically grown, which means no pesticides and no herbicides. In a time of increasingly industrialized food production and the environmental problems that accompany it, won't it be good to know where your food is coming from? 

There are usually two sizes of shares available; a full share and a half share. Both the full share and half share is an overfilled half bushel box filled with organic vegetables grown on a local farm. In joining the CSA program you will be eating seasonally. Meaning they only put in the box vegetables that are grown locally on their farm. Early spring boxes will include lettuce, kale, onions, strawberries. Summer boxes get into the tomatoes, peppers, squash, corn, melons, okra, beans, eggplant, blackberries. The late summer/fall finishes out with cabbages, sweet potatoes, butternuts, winter squashes, lettuces, chards, tomatoes. Over the course of the season they will grow 50-60 different vegetable varieties, including many heirlooms, to include in the CSA. Week to week, there are 8-12 different items in your box. 

This year strawberries came a little early. I received an email from the Farm that the strawberries were ready so they would be dropped off early. It was so fun to see it later in the day on the news that the strawberries were in early. That is how quickly you get a new crop. And what a difference it makes!

Being my first CSA I was so excited to taste one of these strawberries. Would there really be a difference? OH YES! I am ruined for supermarket strawberries. They had a wonderful flavor but the part I loved the most was the burst of juice you got in EVERY bite. Each one was like that gum I loved as a kid that had the gooey filling that burst in your mouth, only a healthy, more delicious version. That photo is of my strawberries and they tasted as good as they looked. 

We have also subscribed to a meat CSA this season so you can expect updates on that too. Both officially start in May. After those strawberries I can't wait to get the rest!


So if you're curious and you'd like to get a sneak peak at what subscribing to a CSA would be like, subscribe to the blog and follow our journey this season. 

Jen


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A while back my world felt like it was rocked. I began to question everything I knew. I began to wonder if everything I believed I actually believed or I believed it just because that was what I was taught. Had I really taken on a faith of my own or was I just full of enough knowledge that I could fake it...really well. Trust me, you can only fake it so long.  

So as I watched my faith in church crumble, marriages implode and sensed a dispersion on the horizon, my heart broke. A close friend suggested I see someone for Spiritual Direction. I had no idea what it was at the time, a "Jesus Counselor" is what I had assumed.  But after waiting several months to respond to her urging I gave in and made an appointment. I had nothing to lose because at the time I felt like I was losing it all anyway.

I am usually not at a loss for words, and this time is no different, but I am at a loss at how to put them into some sort of story that makes sense so I am going to just make a list. I also don't want to assume it would be the same for anyone else, it would not. This is just my personal experience.

Why Spiritual Direction?

Because when everything else I knew about God and Church got fuzzy, Spiritual Direction led me to the throne of Grace, and that was exactly what I found...Grace. 

Because I had too much God and not enough Jesus. (Some of you will get that, others will want to Jesus Juke me, or would that be a God Juke...just doesn't sound as good.)

Because the guy at the movie theater is right, silence is golden. But you won't find it at the movie theater, the gym, the mall, church, Bible study or even home. Sometimes you need to go to where the silence is and it was at Spiritual Direction.

Because when I didn't know how to approach God it was good to know someone was doing it for me.

Because there my burden actually became light.

Because sometimes you need someone to listen so badly you'll pay them!

Because Jesus did not lie when he said seek and you will find. 

Because she did not care one bit if I was mad at the Church. My anger was embraced and encircled with acceptance and wisdom, never judgement.

Because I believe honesty is the best policy and this was a place to be honest with God...and myself.

Because doubters are welcome...of which I am the worst.

Because it changed my day, my life, and all of my relationships for the better.

And last...

Because ultimately I realized that the mountain that God had to move in my life was me. 

Through this experience God showed me that the world may be crazy, the Church may even be crazier, and I am most certainly the craziest of all, but He loves us all with a love that does not have limits or stipulations.  

If you have ever wrestled with any of these same feelings and are interested in seeing what Spiritual Direction could add to your life of faith I want to introduce you to two wonderful ladies:

Kasey Hitt: Kasey is my Spiritual Director. I just love Kasey's peaceful spirit. Her guidance led me on the greatest trip with Jesus I think a person can take. When I meet him face to face I am pretty sure that I will fall flat on my face. But I also know this, when he picks me up we are going to dance. Not some boring slow dance, we are going to dance! It may surprise you to know that Jesus has rhythm! I know, because we dance all the time now. When I met Kasey I had a God that was no fun at all and on day one He introduced me to His Son, whom I had known all my life and not known. Now we dance. 

And...

Whitney Simpson: Whitney is the best listener that I've ever known. And I don't mean she listens to me well, which she does, but I mean that she listens to God. Her ear is always attentive to His voice and her heart is always willing to follow. Whitney is not allowed to be my Spiritual Director for the same reasons your sister should not be your therapist. Not to mention I could not afford the hours that she has listened to me if I had to pay her for them. 

I am painfully aware that the Church today is a bunch of walking wounded, me included. Why wouldn't we be? We are still doing this thing called life. Sometimes it hurts, sometimes it's beyond joyful. But I think if we become a people who are willing to seek God on these deeper levels, risk taking a good look in the mirror, step outside the Church as our only way to hear, see and serve God we would be a blessed people and the world around us would be blessed as well. 

Want to know more? Check out their websites or drop me a comment or email if you'd like it to be private. Every question is worth asking and as usual doubters are always welcome here. 
Love, Jen
 
 
Yesterday I had the opportunity to deliver the message at Donelson Heights UMC with Ablaze. It was a great morning. I talked about Thomas in John 20 where he says he wants to see the nail scarred hands of Jesus for himself or else he will not believe,  and how I have realized that with many people the place of greatest doubt comes just before the place of greatest belief. How wonderful that in the life of Thomas (and many more in the Bible) we see Jesus not do what we would expect. He welcomes the doubt, he goes out of his way to reveal himself to the doubter, whether it's Thomas, John the Baptist stuck in prison, Jesus' brother James, or us. Why? Because as far as I can see, through the Bible, through history and through experience, some of the greatest doubters make the greatest disciples. 

But as I had pondered this scripture something that stuck me over and over was the very beginning of this story where we find the disciples locked up behind closed doors out of fear. Where was Thomas? We dont know. We just know that he was not with them. While many of my commentaries wanted to chastise Thomas for his actions I was more apt to think that maybe, just maybe, Thomas was not locked up behind closed doors because he wasn't scared. 

If you've ever known a doubter you'll know that they often have an odd lack of fear. Maybe it's that they just dont care...who knows, but they seem to be ok with being the person putting themselves 'out there' and taking the heat for the consequences. 

But something changed as I stood before this congregation. As I looked out and tried as best I could to search for youth, few were to be seen. And God did something really scary while I was speaking...He changed my message! Yikes! It's an odd thing to be in front of a congregation and have words exiting your mouth while the inner dialogue begins to change. One voice is saying "Stick to the script, it's safe!" while the other voice, the one that feels it has much more authority simply says, "Speak truth and let me worry about the reception!" Dangerous! 

So I listened to the truth. And I spoke the words he gave me to a room full of people, for the most part, two generations my elders. 

Christianity is a movement! It cannot move if we have become a people locked up behind our closed doors out of fear! I see, and have seen for a long time, a bold determination for right in our youth. They may doubt at times, and honestly we have more to do with that than Jesus, but like Thomas they too are just not scared. Maybe some of that can be chalked up to inexperience. But, I think a lot of it is the would they are living in. And they think they can do something to change it. Either we as the church can support them and give them the resources to make those changes or they will go into the world and find a way. It's already happening. Seems like a no-brainer to me.

We need to listen, we need to encourage them, and when they have an unconventional idea we need to not tell them why they cannot do it (especially if that reason is just because it's different from the way we've been doing it). We need to say, "That sounds nuts! What can we do to make this happen?" What do we have to lose? Will we keep doing it the same old way, that is not working? Will we stay locked up in fear of doing a new thing

I dont know about you but I don't ever want Jesus to show up and have to come through the wall to find me because fear has me locked up. 

A couple fun things happened after the service (a lot did but these were my favorites). 

First...

A man walked up to me and said, "Guessing you're a doubter?" And he is so right. I have had my doubts, I have my doubts, they just seem to pop up uninvited on a daily basis. But God has never shown himself to me more than in my doubt. Never be afraid to doubt with God. 

And second...

A couple of little girls passed me in the hall, they must have been about 7-10 years old. And one of them said, "You did a great job!" as the other chimed in "Yea, we really liked it!"  As I thanked them I immediately saw myself at their age, sitting in the pew of my old church and thought, what if I had seen me! What if I had known that a woman could preach? Anyone who knows me knows that it would not have hastened my calling...I was a mess...still am. But I just thought for a while, what would it have changed in me to know that it was possible? And I quickly thanked God for these girls (all of them) getting to see women (not just me of course) who feel the call of God on their life share it openly. These girls will never think it not possible. My heart smiles over that. 

Now off to run! Sitting at this computer is therapeutic for my mind and soul but doesn't do much for the body. :)

Jen


"See I am doing a new thing!

Now it springs up, do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the desert
and streams in the wasteland."
Isaiah 43:18:19
 







 
 
A couple years ago I was challenged by a book to take a good look at the story I was telling with my life. Was my life telling a compelling story? Was it even worth telling? And if not, what could I do, what would I do, to change my story? 

What I concluded is that my story had become boring. I was bored with the safety of my life. I wanted a better story, a story worth telling. If someone who was not a Christian had looked at my life, I dont know for the life of me why they would have wanted what I had. I was well on my way to looking and living a life that was as cookie cutter as the house I live in. Who wants that? Maybe a lot of us...but not me. I don't mean to sound ungrateful for the gifts God has given me, in fact it's just the opposite, I felt that I was doing nothing with the gifts He had given me. How can I look at Jesus in the Gospels and think that all this time He was just leading me to a life of safety. 

I realized I had spent endless amounts of energy and time becoming something I didn't even want to be...the typical American Christian. Have you seen the joy on the faces of Christians around the world, in places where life is not safe, it's a beautiful thing. I wanted that. But as a speaker I made sure that every word was carefully chosen as to not offend, I made sure my outfit was appropriate and not a distraction, I said all the churchy words and learned all the big words that I felt I needed to know but I can't ever actually use them or else everyone thinks you're just a show off...And I probably am. 

So how does a mom in the suburbs find a better story? I was not unhappy with my husband, he is the bomb! I also know that while God may give me a mission here and there, for now my 'calling' is being the mother of my two children, no doubt about that. And I love that job! So leaving my life was not an option and not one I even wanted. The change was not external...it needed to be internal, but the means was probably going to be external. So the how becomes complicated when I need to find an exciting life inside my very ordinary everyday existence? 

What happened were some very fun, scary, wonderful things. Things I will share here with you as I go. Things that are still happening. What I have learned I could never have been taught in a Bible Study or even by spending a lifetime in a pew. 

My guess is that there are many of us out there. Grown-up girls like me who have been blessed into boring and we want a better story. We dont want to leave the life we have but we are tired of being so stinking safe! We long to stand on the edge of doing something crazy and see God do His thing when we jump. 

And here lies the real challenge...keeping a simple spirit in the midst of all of this. I am a Simple Girl at heart. I get overwhelmed easily. Seriously, selecting Peanut Butter is a complexity for me, why so many choices! It's Peanut Butter! Who cares! It's not odd for me to get overwhelmed at Target and just have to leave. We can go without toilet paper one more day...I have no mind space left for decisions like double or triple ply today. So I have no intention of being your 'leader' here. I just want to create a space where we can talk it out honestly.  A place of encouragement and hopefully some fun. I have some friends that are as big a mess as I am, and they are hilarious, and they love Jesus...and I know he loves them too! I bet He laughs at all of us on a regular basis. I'm hoping to rope them into this as well...You know who you are! Don't look away!

I have just begun to dip my toe in the pool of where I think God wants us to go with this. But I would love for you to come along with me. Tell me your stories. What are the extra-ordinary things you're doing within you're very ordinary life that make your story exciting. Or what are the very ordinary things you're doing that when you string them all together will make up one extra-ordinary life. This blog is not just for this Simple Girl, it's for you too. And I would love to post your story. We are all encouraged to be courageous when we see what God does when we decide to live outside our safety zone. 

Happy Friday!

Jen

If you were being honest, would you say that you are at least a little bored? Are you longing to get outside your comfort zone and see what God does when you take a risk?
 
 
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My friend Whitney and I completed our first Triathlon last Sunday. The Alpha Delta Pi-athlon at MTSU, Whitney's old stomping grounds. 

We trained for months for this event. For Whitney, a stroke survivor, this was a major milestone and an accomplishment that she had in mind for years. I am so proud of her! And I cannot tell you how much it takes to get me in the pool, not a fan. Let me just say that I have such motion sickness that I have to take Dramamine to train in the pool and of course the day of the event. This is no small deal.

So the day of the event we are ready! Months of planning and the day is here. This is my first Triathlon but not my first race. I have done several half-marathons and waiting for this to start is not much different. It would be clear to even the untrained eye who the Newbies are and who the Pros are. We saw everything from Full Make-up Girl to At Least I Know I Can Beat That Guy (hey, it's not nice but you all do it so no judging!). The Pros are standing around very serious waiting for the start because clearly they need to get this over with, because they have 5 more hours of training to do today. The Newbies are all standing around telling on themselves. The Newbie is very quick to tell you how slow, clueless and nervous they are. I actually like that approach, it's my M.O. also, it just says to the others, "Hey we both know I'm a Newbie, let's just not pretend." 

My favorite quote of the day came from a girl at the start line. She said that this day was "the first step in her plan to becoming a bad-ass." She was quite hilarious. It also took her all of 5 seconds to tell me she was, "terrified." :) Newbie move.  

Anyway, like it or not I survived the swim, I will not tell you how, it's too embarrassing...moving on.  

The bike started of great, well with the exception of Pro Guy who passes me and says, "Mountain bike? Really?" To this I say the word I have practiced over and over from the time I was 12 and at which I am now a Pro at expressing..."Whatever!" At the end of the day I am less scared of Pro Guy than I am the little Dave Ramsey that sits on my shoulder that told me to not invest in a road bike until I decided that I would do more than one race. Little Dave Ramsey on my shoulder is pushy little guy...Always getting in my business! 

Ahh, now back on land. I was just glad not to be in the pool, or at the bottom of the pool.   

We made it about 2 miles before we hit our first crucial turn in the road. Whitney is an MTSU Alumni who knows her way around so she was in the lead as we headed for the intersection where we thought we were to take a left turn. It was chaos. There was a police car in the center of the road directing traffic for the racers to pass through, horns beeping in all directions (I believe the race was making everyone in Murfreesboro late to church), and a girl placed there to tell us where to go. Her hand gestures looked like she was telling us to go right. Whitney asked her which way we were to go and she replied as she pointed, "Go right." Confused, Whitney asked her again and she confidently told us to go right, so we did.  

Within minutes we were back to where we started, and I am being told to head into the dismount area. I looked at the girl and said, "Why?" No answer. Then I realize what had happened, so is everyone else who was around us. The girl back at the intersection cut about 6 miles off of our bike ride by sending us the wrong direction. And I am about to lose it! 

Poor Whitney spent our entire transition trying to calm me down. She is reminding me that we are there to have fun, blah, blah, blah. I'm not hearing any of it. So I take of running...steamed!  

Maybe a little mad is what I needed because I had my best 5k time ever. And the run gave me enough time to calm down and gain a little perspective (as running always does). It really was about having fun and accomplishing something new and challenging. The benefits that I gained came in all the days of training not the event itself.  

So I decide to put it behind me and went on to have a beautiful day.  

Later that day everyone who took part in the race was sent an apology email. 

The next morning I awake to a text from Whitney, "You got first place in your age group!!!" 

After I got over the shock of seeing my name in the 40-44 group for the first time I began to think about how mad I was the day before. When I showed up the day before all I wanted to do was finish. I had trained to finish. I had not trained to win...but someone had. There was a woman out there, my age, who had earned, earned first place, maybe for her first time, to wake up to my name there.  

I am guessing that my 8 minute time for a 10 mile bike would tip them off that I had been in the group that had been routed the wrong way. But just in case I sent an email the race director, who I am sure had a very rotten day in front of her, and told her that I needed to be disqualified from the race. I hated to have worked hard for the race and then take a DQ but I would hate it more if I had raced to win and got bumped out by some Newbie on her mountain bike. Hey, maybe it was the girl who was on her way to being a bad-ass. If so, I'd say she is closer to her goal!  

Either way, it goes down in my personal memoirs like this... 

On April 1st, 2012, April Fools Day, I placed 1st in my age group in my 1st Triathlon. I even have proof! 
You know I kept the original race results. :)

"Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize." And look out for the Newbie who is lost on her mountain bike!


Jen

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The post below was written exactly one month and three days ago. Please see the update at the bottom after you read...

Ok, it's confession time. I've had a great run of this wellness thing. I've been exercising very regularly and eating wonderful foods that make my body feel like a million bucks even though I'm still on my way to it looking that way. Over the last 4 months I've lost 16 pounds. That always get a big "Whooohooo!" out of me. But last weekend I had a little more fun than should be allowed if you know what I mean. 

Anyway, since it had been so long since I had had that sort of "carb-load." It's been a rough week. Once you rid your body of certain foods you are all too aware of what they do to you when you do eat them. Honestly I have no idea how I functioned before I went to clean eating...actually I really didn't function well if I'm being honest. Anywho...add to it that this was a short week for the kids at school so they were home Monday and then I had one come down with walking pneumonia mid-week. Life happens sometimes. 

So lets just say I was not in the mood to run today. Last weekend started it off, lack of exercise this week kept it rolling and eating out last night was about to put a nail in it. But I saw a pattern that I had seen before. It doesn't take much for me to head on a downward spiral. But I have learned that I do not have to let lack of food and exercise have the last word. No...what gets the last word now is my mental health run. 

My mental health run is the run I do even though I know it's really going to suck. I know I'm am not breaking any personal records here. In fact on the outside this run may look like the worst run ever. It may even look worse than my worst run ever. Today I had to stop and walk 4 times! And I only ran 2 miles! What?! 

But half way through my 'run' I decided that today would not be the day I kept on the downward spiral. It would be the day I did it anyway and began to spiral back up. It may take me a few days but so what. It did not stop me. And if you need any proof that a mental health run (or workout, whatever floats your boat) works, well the proof is on this post. 

I went into the run feeling like I was starting to fail. That I had probably, in 4 days (eye roll), gained the whole 16 pounds back, was going to be unfit the rest of my life and why the heck did I sign up for this Nutrition School! But instead my mental health run inspired me to hopefully inspire you. We will have days that trip us up. Those days may even be like mine...life just being too darn awesome. But know this; we all have them. Today my choice was to stop the spiral and not start gaining and giving up.Two weeks from now when I have lost 2 more pounds I will be so glad I did not give up on myself this time and this 4 days won't matter a bit. 

Give yourself the gift of a metal health workout. Let's call it "Exer-Grace." Ok, that was lame but it stands and I'll just promise to keep working on it. In fact if you can make up a better name for it please drop it below. 
That could get fun. 

Jen


Update: 
This post makes me smile to read today. Because this morning I sit here just as I had projected. Those 4 bad days don't matter at all. This morning I had my annual OB checkup and I actually have lost that 2 pounds I mentioned. The point...The Mental Health run works. It stops the spiral. Yesterday I had my longest run EVER...8 miles! I has taken me 3 years to get to that point. That is no small accomplishment.

When you decide to do this for the rest of your life some days of eating right and exercise will be just like other days in life...so so. But the key is not focusing on that day or even that week, the key to success is to keep a life long focus so you can live a long healthy life. :) Big Smiles Today!!
 
 
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I had the wonderful opportunity today to sit in on a Lunch & Learn at The Next Door. I'm a Spiritual Emphasis Volunteer for The Next Door, a transition home for women who are re-entering society from incarceration, rehabilitation, or homelessness. Today they invited the volunteers to join them and I am so thankful that they did. The session today was called: The Experience of Grief and Loss. 

While I sat and listened to the incredible stories and clinical information from the speaker I could not help but think that what she was describing was exactly why I became a Health Coach. At The Next Door the clinicians, staff and volunteers primarily serve women who are seeking freedom from addiction to drugs and alcohol. We learned how those addictions when traced back usually started with a certain loss, or perceived loss, in the life of the woman. In addition, we as those supporting them and listening to them, need to recognize that every loss comes with a series of losses. It's never about losing one thing. 

And that was when the light bulb went on. Our inability to achieve an attainable and sustainable healthy lifestyle is also never about one thing and for those who find themselves gravely overweight, as with any addiction, it usually begins with a loss. 

She used the illustration of a Hot Wheels track to show us what it's like to experience loss and then decide to begin the grief process, and yes that is what it is, a decision. Lets see if I can make a correlation here with how most of us, myself included, at times attempt to deal with weight-loss after a real life loss.

The first place we start is denial. Choosing not to get on the track and choosing instead to self-medicate with food (my favorite medication is Oreos). And we think that is working for us...for a while. But then somewhere along the way we do decide to get on the track. We start working out, we take up some rediculous quick-fix diet and start to head up the track. But then traveling up is hard, life gets in the way and more seriously if you have put on this weight as a way to not deal with a loss you hit a point where you must deal with it...and it gets harder. Much harder.

Traveling up that track is hard and it's painful and so most of us will loose momentum and fall off the track just before we reach the top. We come down with a crash and drive our little cars back into the drive through at McDonalds to numb the pain...again. And for some of us, if our life were told in these Hot Wheels tracks, would have enough loops to make us dizzy just thinking about it. 

BUT, hang with me here, there is a beautiful thing waiting for us at the pinnacle of that track if we just keep our momentum and press through that last little upward travel. Make no mistake that last push toward the top is the most painful. It's where you'll finally look this thing in the face and once and FOR ALL deal with it. Then...and only then...will you reach the sweet spot at the top. Our leader today told us that this is where your heart and your brain finally become one, agree to work together and with you, and you are on your way to a new life. A different life, and that can be scary but anything that scares us this much, that we know is good for us, just has to be worth it. 

You know the great thing about traveling down the other side of the track? Gravity and momentum become your best friend. It's where you begin to re-organize your life. For us that means that maybe we no longer feel the need to hide in our home watching endless hours of TV because life is calling us up off the couch and out into the world to live. Maybe on the way up we made a new friend or two who are after the same abundance in simplicity we are and they are going to do something crazy today like zip-line and we dont just want to go...we go. Maybe we spend the afternoon planning our week...you know, getting ready to live our own real lives instead of watching others live fake lives on that box on the wall...it goes on. But whatever it is, somehow we are finding the confidence to get up and do this life we have been given...and not tomorrow because tomorrow never comes, we do it today!

Then before we know it we are flying off that track, wind in our hair (because we have to be in a Hot Wheels convertible!), hands in the air like we are on the greatest ride of our lives. Because you know what, you are. You just have to choose to get on the track and when it gets hard hang on for dear life and press through the pain of facing the loss or the pain of the change. That ride down the other side, flying off that track, is so worth it. 

And that, in short, :) is why I am a Health Coach. I want to help you make it to the top this time. Long ago I realized it's not about finding the right diet, right supplement, right surgery, right time to start. It's about having someone traveling up that track with you so that when you start to feel like you're going to fall off they can give you a little push. I'm not interested in you losing weight I'm interested in you breaking free. You'll lose the weight but when you make a list later of the benefits of facing your giant I promise weight loss will not be the most important thing on your list. The relationships built, life re-gained and confidence to face each day will be above the weight loss I guarantee. The way you look in the mirror will just be a well earned bonus.


Wishing you much success at the track!
Jen

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I heard this phrase this past week while listening to an audio book by Shawn Achor called The Happiness Advantage. The Happiness Advantage is a great book by the way. While most of us are hardwired to think that happiness lies in success Shawn goes to great lengths to bring the reader research after research that proves that the opposite is actually more true. That successful people are not necessarily happy but that inherently happy people (which you can learn to be) are successful people. I'm sure I will have much more on this subject to come but for now I want to get back to the phrase that I thought was so deeply profound. 

He said this, "Common sense is not always common action." It really got me thinking how sadly true that statement was. After running it over and over in my mind for a couple of days it hit me, turning common sense into common action is actually the heart of Simple Girl Wellness. I cannot stay true to the Simple Girl in me if I am bombarding my clients with mounds of information. In fact, I think everything you need to know about health and fitness, mental well-being and spiritual wholeness have already been written. If you need more information than you can stand you can find it on a million blogs out there in cyber-space. You really dont need me.

But while all of this information exists and is put in front of us on a daily basis, even those of us not looking for it, we still, as a whole, do not DO it. Why? 

Because, common sense is not always common action. 

We don't lack information, what we lack is motivation. I want to be your motivation to put your common sense into common action in your life. I have always believed that there was a book deep inside me. That somehow I had a story to tell that others needed to hear desperately (awfully big headed of me I know, I'm just being honest here). Well this little bit of information helped me to write that book and I did it all in about 10 minutes. 

Here it goes. 

My Book, by Jen Mulford
1. Write down 5 things that you know you should be doing right now to improve your mind, body, and/or soul. 
2. Do them!
The End

Really, I'm not trying to be funny this is terribly serious. I dont know anyone who could not write down 5 things. I believe that if we filtered out the noise of every thing we should be doing and just did some thing, consistently, we would be healthier (and happier) people a year from now. You're a smart girl and your common sense, if acted upon, would change your own life. 

This leads me to Simple Girl Rule Number 2 (I guess Simple Girl Rule Number One was, Make Your Common Sense Your Common Action). 

Rule number two is this, Seek the Abundance in Simplicity

Oh, that rule number two is the one that would truly take an entire book to explain to some. But to those who truly live simplified lives, they would see the gem in that statement. More will be to come on this subject but for now to explain it would be best described by using the words, margin and freedom. Gaining simplicity in our lives will leave margin in our lives, margin is freedom. Simplicity is freedom. There is great Abundance in a free life. Room to move, breathe, give, and just be. 

So my goal is not to bring information but to bring motivation to help us all accomplish these two rules. I still need the motivation myself (why do you think I listen to books like The Happiness Advantage). This world works against both of these rules on a massive scale. If you are not taking action to swim against the culture current on this you will find yourself just going with the flow. YOU MUST ROW! 

As far as I can see that river ends at a waterfall. A tragic place where a drastic decision now MUST be made. Diabetes, obesity, depression, schedules too full for meaningful relationships. Will we wait until we hear the words heart attack (which ladies happens to us more than cancer) to make a change? The truth is most of us will live to be eighty-something years old. And that is great news if our plan is to get active, stay active and live life to the fullest during that time. Or will we make decisions now that relegate us to doctors visits and broken hips for our last 10 to 20 years? 

You know what to do. 5 Simple steps, you pick them, and DO them! It's really that simple. It may take de-cluttering your life a bit but remember there truly is abundance in simplicity. 

Want to share your 5 things we would love to hear. You may spark some inspiration in someone else.

Wishing you a healthy future, 
Jen