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April 25, 2020

I’ve Always Been a Bit of a Rebel

I’ve always been a bit of a rebel. It was something that gave my parents a gray hair or two. I call myself the black sheep of the family although my sister says that she is. So, we do what twins do – we share the title of black sheep! But, let’s be real, my sheep would actually be blue. I’ve always said I’d paint myself blue if I could because I love the color blue so much.

I know, you wish I would just get to the point. That is another thing you will learn about me. I like to take a meandering walk to the point. Hopefully, I keep you engaged along the way!

I tapped into my rebel side.

So, when I was creating my business and deciding on a logo, I tapped into my rebel side and went against the grain. Instead of choosing the butterfly which is the mascot for Fibromyalgia, I chose the bee. Initially, it may seem strange – of all the logos I could have chosen why a bee.
Let me give you the 411 on the symbolism of the bee. This way you will understand the relevance of this mighty insect to Positively Powerful.

Here are a couple things to buzz about:

  •  Miracles

    • When a bee buzzes around you, it’s a reminder to trust in miracles.
  • Peace and love

    • A bee’s wish is for all living things to live in peace and love.
  • Abundance

    • A bee manifests abundance.
  • Productivity

    • The most common message it carries has to do with your levels of productivity.
    • Maybe you’re doing too much or maybe at other times not enough. The bee’s spirit has a strong work ethic but also knows the        importance of stopping and smelling the flowers.
  • Bees are not meant to fly.

    • Technically speaking, a bee should not be able to fly because of how it is aerodynamically designed.
    • What’s fascinating about this is that it speaks to our limitations and how to move past them successfully.  Ahh-Blocker!
    • A bee doesn’t know it is not supposed to fly – it just flies, and so can YOU!
    • Where there is a will, there is a way!
  • Bees are a necessity to life.

    • An interesting fact is that Einstein believed so deeply in the importance of bees to the ecosystem he predicted that if bees disappeared humans would not survive for more than four years afterward.
  • Mindful Service

    • The pollination process symbolizes our social nature.  Bees live and work as a community. They enrich the world as they pollinate from flower to flower.By working together, they teach us about networking and community service. Bee people often become teachers, motivational speakers and healers – Mindful Service
  • Warmth

    • The bee has a strong tie to the sun, light and warmth – something people say about me all the time. I’m just a ray of sunshine! Hehe!
    • The bee gives you clarity about your path in life.
  • Protector

    •  The bee spirit is a strong protector.
    • Bees represent those defending the underdog as well as those they love with fierceness. Hmm…I always thought that was the           mamma bear in me. I guess it’s the sting of the bee instead!

We can fly even when we are not supposed to.

As you can see, the bee carries a lot of symbolism – symbolism that resonates with me and with my journey from Fibromyalgia to Fibro-DREAM-gia and yours with COVID-My-Dream Life.  Just like the bee, we can fly even when we’re not supposed to. And, as the bee pollinates the flowers bringing beauty to the world around us, we too can bring beauty and joy to lives of others.

Be sure to watch my Facebook page this week where I will be posting additional fun facts about bees. You can also find this information and more great things on my Pinterest page.

April 23, 2020

What Are Your Values, Passions, and Strengths?

What core value words seem to fit together?

Now that you have done some heavy-duty thinking about core values and activities related to core values, we are going to do one more exercise. You will want the last two completed assignments handy.

Click here to access first activity regarding core values

Click here to access the second activity regarding core values

First, look at all the words you circled on the core values sheet. Look at each one and start to categorize them. Which words seem to fit together? For example, maybe accountability and consistency go together for you. Your goal is to pare down all the words into five categories. If it’s less, great. If it’s more, try to stay under seven.

Try using 5 different-colored pens when grouping.

A helpful hint: I actually used five different-colored pens when I went back to circle the words that felt similar to me. Then, I wrote them down in five lists to make sure I didn’t feel I needed to move any words to a different group. Trust your gut. It is your wise inner voice guiding you.

Once you have the words grouped together choose the one word you feel encompasses each category the best. Then, you will write those five words in the Values circle of the diagram.

Click here for your core value, passion, and strengths activity.

What are you passionate about?

Next, fill in the Passions circle. What do you love to do? What gets you excited? When you fill in your Passions, the words you use may also be one of the words you circled on the core values table. For example, one of my Passions is Learning. In the Values circle, I wrote Knowledge. I could have chosen to write Knowledge in both circles, but my gut told me a better fit for what I was after was using the two different words.

What are your strengths?

Finally, fill in the Strengths circle. What are you good at? It is not uncommon for each of the three categories to have a similar word. Here’s an example: Passions – Creating, Strengths – Being Creative, and Values – Creativity. In this case, creativity is important to this person and they will want to find activities that allow their creative juices to flow.

What dreams are you ready to focus on now?

I hope this quick explanation proved helpful to you. Once you have completed all three exercises (determining your core values, rating your activities and categorizing your core values), you will want to take time to brainstorm – to dream – about your life going forward. What will you let go of in order to free up your time and energy? What activities will you focus on now? What will you become passionate about? These exercises were designed to get you excited about your Fibro-my-DREAM-gia Life or COVID-My-Dream Life.

When you are done with this activity, I would love to hear what you found out. Give me a shoutout in the Private Facebook Group: Positively Powerful Oola Life.

 

April 23, 2020

What is Important to You Now

What activities continue to be important to you now with all the changes going on.

The purpose of this exercise is to see what activities and hobbies continue to be important to you in your Fibro-my-DREAM-gia Life or COVID-My-Dream Life. For this exercise, you will reflect on your life prior to and after your life changing event.. Please don’t get discouraged. This is meant to be an insightful exercise that allows you to rethink your life and your priorities.

Your intentions and what you value in life may look different than they did prior to the life changing event.

That is ok. No judgements! As you are doing this exercise, you may want to journal why something has changed. Taking the extra step of journaling, especially if it was something you enjoyed prior to the changes, helps you accept the loss, bless the time you had with the activity, and open you up to embracing a new activity in its place. Evaluating your activities will help you with the next exercise I have planned for you so take the time you need. When you’re ready, we’ll take the next step together.

Journaling helps you give gratitude and accept the loss of activities and opens you up to embracing new adventures.

In this exercise, you will be asked about activities you can no longer do and if these activities are blockers for you. What this means is, are you having a difficult time letting go of this activity.

*Note if you are doing this activity and do not have Fibromyalgia, simply take out Fibro and replace it with your word(s).

Click here for list of Core Values

Click here for the activity.

April 23, 2020

Determine Your Core Values

Determine Your Core Values

Note: I wrote this blog prior to the COVID-19 outbreak. However, the information is even more necessary now for ALL people, not just those who are living with a chronic illness. Even though I speak in terms of Fibromyalgia, you can relate it to the pain points you are experiencing now. Your pain points may be the loss of a job, worry about finances, feelings of being overwhelmed with added duties such as teaching your children, loss of personal connections, loss of faith, or loss of a marriage to name a few. 

 The aftermath of your pain points is different for everyone. 

The aftermath of Fibromyalgia is as different for everyone as what works for them and their pain levels. However, YOU are now ready to tackle this new life with a feeling of purpose, and you are ready to get back to activities and hobbies that are important to you.

Not everything prior to your life changing event is going to be as important as it once was.

Remember, though, not everything that was important prior to Fibro or COVID-19 will be as important now, and that is ok! Here’s a perfect example: I used to deep clean my house every week. I say deep clean because I tried hiring a cleaning person to do it, and I became frustrated because I’d always find stuff not done. Why was I paying for something that wasn’t to my standards? Well, after talking with the woman she stated, ”Oh, you want a DEEP clean every week.” What?? Isn’t that the BASIC cleaning? Anyway, my point is I deep cleaned (eye roll) my house every week. Now, after Fibro, I’m lucky to get it done every 6-8 weeks (no eye roll, not even a little pink in the cheeks!). Meaning, I only DEEP clean once in that amount of time; I do a basic cleaning in the interim. Before, I would have been appalled by this. Now, not so much! In fact, I am perfectly ok with it. Instead of spending the time and energy to deep clean, I spend my time and energy on activities that are more important to me.

You might be asking how is cleaning your house a Core Value?  Well, when I thought about the ACT of cleaning house and looked at it in Core Value terms, this is what I found out. The cleaning of the house was the action I did for the following Core Values:

  • Accountability (to family)
  • Achievement (for myself)
  • Attractiveness (house)
  • Contribution (to family)
  • Health (keeping a healthy environment for my family)
  • Responsibility (to my family)
  • Useful (to my family)
  • Traditionalism (that engrained belief of a clean house makes you a good mother and wife)
  • Service (to my family)

So, you are going to do some soul searching to get started on this journey of Fibro-my-DREAM-algia or ­­COVID-my-Dream Life.

Determine Your Core Values: 

From the list attached, circle and write down all the words that resonate with you. You will know if you chose a core value that isn’t true to yourself, because you will feel stuck. It’s important to get quiet with yourself and chose your core values with care. Make sure they speak to who YOU are right now. NO JUDGEMENTS! We are our own worst critics.

Click here to download your core value activity.

Thoughts as you begin this activity 

  • Stop overthinking! Gotcha, didn’t I?
  • Simply circle and write down the words that FEEL like a core value to you.
  • Make sure you are thinking of your off-the-job self. If you happen to continue to have a job, I don’t want your work values to come into play here. Your job values are a separate activity.
  • If you think of one not listed, write it down.

Would you have picked different values prior to the changes in your life?

Identifying your core values changes over time due to the experiences you have gone through. This is not an exercise you do once, and then, you are done. In fact, you will want to revisit your core values after we start living our “new normal”. Think of it as resetting the clock. This helps us keep in tune with what is most important to us at the time. It keeps us balanced.

Once you are finished, I want you to reflect on the words you circled. Take time to think about them. Are you surprised by your choices? Would you have picked different words prior to Fibromyalgia or prior to the Corona outbreak?

In the next few weeks, I will have other activities where these words will come into play. Together, these activities will help you move forward into the world of Fibro-my-DREAM-gia or COVID-my-Dream Life So, stay tuned, and in the meantime, I would love to connect with you. nicole@positivelypowerfullife.com

https://app.acuityscheduling.com/schedule.php?owner=18838389

 

 

How Fibromyalgia Heisted My Core Values

I lost my sense of self.

In my last blog, I referred to Lori Chance’s comparison of core values to a car engine. (Click here to read my previous blog.) Her explanation gave me so much insight. If that comparison doesn’t sound like what Fibromyalgia did to my life and yours, I don’t know what else does? I know I lost my sense of Self. My core value was Get. This. Pain. To. STOP!! (No clapping in between the words, because I was in too much pain. And, I probably said one-word statements because of how lethargic I was at the time). Plus, let’s be honest, those five words are not a core value.

Core value became wisdom.

However, the core value could be learning or wisdom because I had to educate myself. I had to find out what was wrong with me, and then, find things that would help my symptoms so I could start living life again. Truthfully, that was all I had time for and all I had the energy for.

Yes, family has always been important to me, but as I was in the throws of life with Fibromyalgia, I know I wasn’t there for my family like I wanted to be. All I could do was sleep, go to the next doctor’s appointment, and cry from the pain and feelings of despair. I didn’t know when this was going to end so I could be there for my family again. In an upcoming blog, I will talk more about this specific issue.

Living a life of utter unbalance.

My second thought to Lori’s comments was Oola. I was no longer living a life of balance.  Chronic illness steamrolls right over ALL 7 areas of Oola. Here is what it took from my 7 areas:

  • Finances: Depleting finances because of all the medical bills piling up and loss of time at work.
  • Fitness: Kind of obvious,
    • Body – Hurting and fatigued to the point that exercise was like climbing Mt. Everest. At that time, anyone who told me I had to move to lessen the pain – Well, let’s just say, if looks could kill, anyone in a ten-mile radius would have been gone!
    • Mind
      • Confused by what was happening to my body
      • Depressed because I couldn’t do the things I normally could do and knew I was not there for my family
      • Anxious because I did not know how long this was going to last before there would be relief and when the weight gain would stop. I always wondered when the next shoe was going to drop.
    • Field: Knowing I had to reinvent myself for a different job. I knew I was not going to make it to retirement age teaching elementary children due to the rigor the job entails. A job, though stressful, was something I LOVED to do.
    • Family: I did not feel I was there for them.
    • Friends: Definitely not there for them. I lost friendships over this because they did not understand what I was going through. (No judgements here.)
    • Faith: Even for those of us with strong faith, Fibromyalgia will test it. I definitely didn’t have the energy to go to church consistently.
    • Fun: What? That DEFINITELY was bye-bye.

Oola wheel was FLAT!

As you can see, my Oola wheel was FLAT! Once, I had energy reserves to start living life with Fibromyalgia, I had a lot of hard work pumping up all those areas. I had to pick one at a time to inflate so I wouldn’t get so overwhelmed. In the end, the journey was worth it, because now I am enjoying and contributing to life again.

Just as I had to relook at the 7 areas of an Oola life, I also had re-analyze my core values. This is something we all need to do throughout our life. As we go through the different stages of life, what area(s) of Oola you decide to work on and the core values that are meaningful to you change a little due to the experiences we have had. If you are not fine-tuning your core values, and Oola Wheel, life becomes a difficult road. You may find yourself at a standstill, just like a car that does not get its maintenance done in order to keep moving forward.

I choose to embrace Fibromyalgia for giving me clarity.

In my next blog, I will kick off an activity for you in the area of core values. I will be taking it a step further. I found for myself that to start loving this person with Fibromyalgia, I had to take time to look at activities and core values that were important to me before Fibromyalgia. For me, this helped to grieve and give gratitude for the time I had them in my life. As I did this, there were some activities and core values that were not as important anymore. More interesting, were the core values that stayed the same. The activities I do for those same core values may look different but the core values are the same. It made me realize who I really am and to celebrate it. Hmmm…without Fibromyalgia, would I really have uncovered my true Self? I’m going to choose to embrace Fibromyalgia for giving me clarity on this point.  My hope is it will give you the clarity you need too.

Are You Living Life with Your True Core Values?


Are you living your life with your true values?

Core Values. Is this just a term to trip you up? No, core values are actually what drives your life. People talk about core values and core belief systems interchangeably which can make them confusing so for the sake of simplifying, I will use the term core values.

Core values are emotionally-charged.

Core values are emotionally-charged, one-word statements that engage your heart and mind to help define your real Self. The most important ones are as unique to us as our fingerprints. No two people have the same exact combination or wording for their core values.

Just as there is no right or wrong answer to what is the best make of car, the same is true for what you decide for your core values. Sure, we all have strong opinions as to which is the better make of car or which core values are the best; but no one’s opinion is wrong.

Some examples of core values include, but are not limited to:

  • Justice
  • Freedom
  • Safety
  • Family
  • Integrity
  • Accomplishments

Lori Chance’s view of core values.

I like how author Lori Chance from selfgrowth.com describes core values and beliefs. She uses the analogy of a car engine.

The core values are the engine that drives your life forward. Your many different values and beliefs are the many individual parts of the car. This is what keeps moving you forward and keeps your engine in tune. You need all these moving parts to provide the necessary energy and direction.

Cars need regular, planned maintenance so that they are able to run well and reliably. The same is true for core values. Just like cars can easily get out of alignment, so can your Self. One broken part will cause your emotional motor to seize up and stop your engine dead in its tracks. 

Ponder that for a moment. What is your take on her analogy? Lori Chance’s analogy really spoke to me and really made me think about my own core values. Stay tuned for my next post to hear what her words sparked for me.

Is your Self in alignment?  Or do you need a guide – Life Coach – to help you navigate?

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