Wrenches in the Trenches are not your average, every day kind of hiccups in life. It’s when you’re on a streak of them that they become wrenches in the trenches. The last couple weeks of mine have been definite wrenches in the trenches and it’s not ready to stop just yet. I’m going to share some of this with you only as example, not to be hugely negative. (I promise to end on a positive note!)
My husband and I own a business and while I’ve stepped mostly away to build up Lauri’s Lemonade Stand, I’m still pretty involved. Nothing at that business happens at a convenient time. For example, let’s have our production manager quit without notice and then all of a sudden all of our clients need their orders yesterday. Then two days later your part-timer calls in sick and the day after that your other one does as well. Because this business pays ALL of our bills right now, that means that not only do my husband and I drop everything to keep it going, but my daughter as well. Talk about a family business! And it hasn’t stopped.
My daughter has finished high school, finished a vocational school and only has two mock state board finals to complete before graduating and then taking the state boards on April 3rd. She called the school admin and set up two dates, but that admin didn’t tell the other admin and her dates got taken. Even though we had set up everything with everyone to be there so now we are scrambling to get her a new model (thermolysis – permanent hair removal – have to bring your own model) on the only two dates they have left and one is the day before state boards meaning that if she doesn’t pass, can’t take state boards.
And then there’s the rain. I love rain! But not when it has the possibility of bringing flash floods to recent burn areas or cancels our mountain bike race for the weekend for our local high school mountain bike team and we are scrambling for practices or possible spin classes. That also means canceling hotels, changing plans, re-booking hotels for the next race, etc. I got most of my money back, but others refused a refund.
Last one…then there’s my dumb thyroid and the needle biopsy that hurt like the dickens and bruised my neck only to have the results come back inconclusive and being sent out for genetic testing that will take weeks to get those results. Not freaking out, but definitely a wrench psychologically to have to wait.
When life throws more than little hiccups your direction and there seems to be a steady stream, those are your wrenches in the trenches moments. Here’s what I do to combat feeling despair during these crazy life wrenches:
Wrenches in the Trenches are inevitable, but they do pass. If you’re in one now, I feel ya. The struggle is real. Take heart, this too shall pass.
Please leave your comments below on this article. I would love to hear from you!
“1 A Week” is an honest to goodness force of nature out there challenging everyone to to reach out. Together, we can make a difference. We have to. And kindness is the answer…simple, yet profound.
“If someone had smiled and said, ‘Are you okay?’ I know I would have begged them to help me. I would have told them everything and asked for help. I would not have jumped. I just was unable to ask for help myself.” These are the words of suicide survivor, Kevin Hines.
Hines, like many people who attempt suicide, feel as though they are alone in this world. With no sense of purpose and a feeling of loneliness, it can be hard for anyone to believe that their life is important. When hitting this point, a simple smile or, “hello,” could be enough to make someone feel like life is worth living.
What if you were to do even more than smile? What if you could do something that not only helped someone else, but made you feel good about yourself too? Even get reciprocated for your good deeds?
“1 a Week,” is an organization that raises mental health awareness and spreads positivity, through random acts of kindness. Encouraging everyone to share their acts, with a participant receiving a gift for their gesture each week.
The name, “1 a Week,” came about with the thought that while one good deed a week is very manageable to complete, you can still have a positive impact on many lives. It all starts with just one! The ripple effect that can occur starting with just one person, one random act of kindness, is limitless. Say you complete your 52 acts throughout the year, for 52 different people. Of those people, twenty of them take on the challenge themselves and complete another 52 deeds. Each of those twenty people, get another twenty, and so on, and so on. Do you know how many people that is, spreading the love? A whole lot, thats how many!
“But I don’t have a lot of spare money to perform any acts of kindness! I don’t have much spare time either and to top it all off, I don’t have any good ideas of what to do.”
These are some of the most common reasons people have for not getting in on the fun of giving. Here is the thing, to be kind doesn’t have to take any money, much time, or a lot of creativity. You can leave encouraging notes around town, give up your seat on a bus, pick up litter, shovel your neighbors walkway. There are endless possibilities! You do what you are capable of and as Kevin Hines pointed out, the impact doesn’t necessarily correlate with how big you go.
So how about those gifts you can receive?
“1 a Week,” teamed up with a few sponsor companies that want to do their part in spreading positivity giving. A month of online personal training? Top quality t-shirt or hat? Positive social interaction card game? A watch?? All gifts that are being sent out to the participants of the challenge.
So let’s get to the details of how to participate. There are two ways to share your acts. You can share it to the Facebook page, www.facebook.com/1aweekchallenge, and if you wish to remain anonymous, just send a private message, and it will be shared for you. You can also post it to your Instagram, tag @_1aweek in the post, and/or use the hashtag #1aweek. A recipient for that weeks gift is selected every Sunday night, announced on Monday.
There are plenty of statistics you can find throughout the internet about the positive mental effect an act of kindness has on the person performing it, not just the one on the receiving end. So if for no other reason, do it for your own health!
THIS IS YOUR CALL TO ACTION! This is your call to help make a change in not only your life, but the life of many others. Check out the, “1 a Week,” pages, get inspired, and get going!
It seems a bit funny to me to be writing an article on reading, expecting you to read it, because I love to read and want to inspire you to read more.
I am addicted to books and love to read. I will admit however that I’m as picky about what I read as I am with just about everything else in my life. I like certain books, certain types of writing, certain authors. I devour Louis L’amour, Nancy Campbell Allen, Josi Kilpack all of which write novels. (Western, Steampunk Romance, and Proper Romance respectively) But I also like Kristi Ling’s, Operation Happiness and Sharlene Hawkes, Kissing A Frog, or Dr. Julie Hanks, The Assertive Guide for Women just to improve myself.
If you’ve been following me on Facebook you’ve heard me talk about Ms. Penelope Pickwick and my weekly bookworm report that’s on FB Live on Lauri’s Lemonade Stand. My goal was to read 10 particular books this year and it needed to have an element of fun. Ms. Pickwick is my bookworm. Made out of colorful circles and each time I finish a book, she grows by another circle. She is beautiful and growing at an alarming rate! I most definitely love to read!
This love of reading has brought me to loving libraries more, learning about book events and the best part? Finding out about organizations like “Books on The Underground” in London, “Books On The Subway” in New York, and “I Believe in Book Fairies” which is now worldwide and will be featured later this summer on the podcast.
Do you like to read? It’s time for summer reading picks and I would love to hear about yours! Share your favorites and some that you might be interested in grabbing for those days on the beach or if you aren’t close to the beach, by the pool, or to my Arizona or Texas friends…inside a lovely air-conditioned home. Enjoy your summer reading!
Hint: If you click on the authors above it will take you directly to their links to buy those books! Happy reading!
Vegans run the gamut from strictly raw, only eating eggs or fish oil supplements, SOS-free (salt, oil, sugar), paleo-type vegans to those who do this crazy vegan thing for health, the planet, or the love and welfare of animals. There is so much debate out there on what the right thing is from the science to the popularity. And there is so much shaming going on!!
The vegan who is earth-loving, tree-hugging, no-leather, won’t eat at a restaurant that even serves meat, never drinks from a plastic bottle…you get the idea who is shaming the vegan who is trying to just go meatless on Meatless Mondays. Today’s blog is to declare my stance on veganism from what I eat to what I wear and tell you that wherever you are in your journey, you are loved and you should be proud of the steps you take daily to do the best you can by you and your family, period.
I did not become vegan to save the planet or rescue animals…at first. I was in it for purely selfish reasons…I wanted to be the healthiest version of myself. Looking back, it was a small step by small step journey. It started with cutting our red meat and pork. I then learned that chicken was just as bad or even worse so it was back to being a vegetarian which I had dabbled in before coming pregnant with my last child a million and a half years ago.
Vegetarian was pretty easy. I was what they called lacto-ovo-vegetarian. I didn’t miss the meat a bit, but I was still eating dairy products and using eggs. It wasn’t until I read Brendan Brazier’s book, Thrive that I began to believe that it was possible to eat only plants and do what the book suggested…THRIVE! I’ve told this story before and remember lying in bed reading and leaning over to my husband and saying, “I think I need to do this” and him replying, “I don’t think I can go there with you” and I couldn’t blame him!
The thought of going vegan was scary! I could cook and I mean COOK! Chicken-fried steak with incredible gravy, white chocolate cheesecake with macadamia nuts and a pastry crust, key lime pie, quiche, pancakes…you name it! I later learned that this was the SAD diet (Standard American Diet) and it was killing us and most of the US population at large. What would I feed my family? How would I cook without dairy and eggs?
But Brendan Brazier wasn’t just an ordinary Joe like you or me, he was a professional Ironman Triathlete who was quite literally THRIVING on a plant-based diet without any animal products whatsoever. I continued to learn and found Scott Jurek, author of Eat & Run who was thriving on a plant-based diet and running ultra-marathons and 24-hour races – crazy! If those men could do it with the expectations they had on their bodies, I could most definitely do it!
The research began. Trust me when I say that I flubbed up A LOT! Some nights were disastrous and some were big hits, but I kept plugging away and never looked back. That was 5 years ago. I’ve learned a lot since then! I was certified in The Starch Solution by Dr. John McDougall and started teaching vegan cooking classes along with the science to back it up. I received a certificate in Plant-based Nutrition from eCornell University, and became a Certified Holistic Health Coach through the Institute of Integrative Nutrition in New York.
I have taken classes from Chef AJ and began a Facebook page called VeganMormon that has almost 1000 followers that get posts from me daily. I joke that I should have named it VeganMormonRepublican because then I could offend just about everyone. Let’s face it…when it comes to conversations that ignite a defense mechanism almost immediately…let it start around food, religion, or politics! Right??
My actual diet has been refined and after speaking with leading experts in the field of nutrition realize that I am not alone. We are all constantly changing our minds on what we want to tweak next, but I do stand behind ZERO animal products. My diet is pretty simple these days. Delicious, but simple. No oil, no sugar, no processed food of any kind. I limit my flour to almost nothing to help with brain fog and my hypothyroidism. I just eat food…real food. Rice, potatoes, beans, greens, veggies, fruits, nuts, avocadoes, seeds…all amazing and wonderfully yummy foods.
Since becoming vegan I have watched powerfully moving films and documentaries like Forks Over Knives, Cowspiracy, and What the Health? I have subscribed to nutritionfacts.org with Dr. Michael Greger (even had the pleasure of speaking with him at a conference here in California..he is awesome!) and continue to read books and articles that will help not only me, but my audience on their journey. Try out the 21-Day Kickstart program with PCRM – uh-mazing!
I don’t buy leather products, but I didn’t throw out what I already owned because that just seemed silly to me. I know there are those out there that will judge me for that, but that’s on you. I don’t buy down pillows because I have seen how the down is “collected” and it’s gruesome. I don’t buy anything wool because despite what you may think about it not harming the sheep…guess what? It does.
I am not perfect as I still buy plastic containers or water bottles sometimes, but by me not eating meat or animal products I truly feel like a super-hero and that I’m saving the planet! Not to mention, saving a crazy amount of water! Where I was once vegan for purely selfish reasons, I am now out to save the world! By not consuming anything from an animal, I am more healthy for sure, I am not harming any animals, and I am quite literally helping to save our dear planet earth. Will you join me?
Wherever you are on your journey, I encourage you to soldier on. Keep up the good work and know that you have a safe place here to talk about it. If you are further along in your journey, DO NOT SHAME OTHERS because of where they are on their journey. Only reach out to help them with love, compassion, and kindness. If I had been shamed by others in the beginning there is no way I would have made it this far. Be encouraging. Be loving. Be careful with your words. Do your best and then help others to do their best.
Have questions for me about my vegan journey? Send me a message and I would be happy to answer, but please be kind! Bringing others down is not my goal and I don’t want to fight about it. You’re either in and curious, or you’re not and you stay silent. Don’t argue for argues sake. I will answer any questions that are respectful, curious, and can be helpful. Good luck wherever you find yourself on this crazy vegan path!!
“Life is busy.” It’s the unmistakably counted on answer when you ask someone the dreaded socially correct question now known as a greeting in our fair culture of “How are you?”. Is your response different? A “fine, how are you?” perhaps? I’m just as guilty as the next person and it has become habit to say either “fine, how are you?” or if I know them a bit better, “I’m busy”. And if I hesitate (usually trying to think of how I really am so I can answer honestly) the person asking the question immediately thinks that something must be wrong in my life and jumps to conclusions that who knows what that has formed in their minds from sour milk to my dog dying.
Now that I’ve formed this little rant on the “how are you” question…I HAVE BEEN BUSY! Haha! I can honestly answer that my life has been busy. You have to understand that I am crazy OCD and an organizational freakazoid who has dialed in my “to-do list” and my “must-do” list so I’m practically scheduled out every day of the week. Throw in a trip to Oakland for a family affair, my women’s conference where I was in charge of the almost 50 women volunteers, a couple of relatives popping in to say hello for a few days, and a planned trip coming up for four days the end of this week, and I pretty much throw my perfectly laid out plan out the window. Well, not all of it…but it does get a bit more stressful and trying to shove 6 days of work into 3 days of time available.
After some recuperating and catching up I realized that sometimes I consider my life boring. Not bad boring, but routine boring. The same old things week after week. The same chores, the same workouts, the same type of work. Wearing my retainers every night, praying, meditating, daily reading, meals…all of it! And then I remember my younger adult self. Scattered, not settled into a career or a happy marriage. When the dust settled on the last two weeks and as I look forward to this coming weekend trip, I realize that I LOVE the BORING BLISS OF MY ROUTINE.
I love that I’m the first one up every morning because my hubby and puppies are not morning beings. I love going downstairs and getting a glass of water first thing and putting away the dishes from the night before and laying out my breakfast utensils. I love writing my morning pages, saying my morning prayers, and doing my daily reading and journaling all before the rest of my household awakes. I absolutely LOVE everything about Lauri’s Lemonade Stand…from the podcast, to the weekly blog, to Ms Penelope Pickwick’s Bookworm Report every Tuesday (See the latest one HERE). I love the routine of cooking dinner or just going out if it’s been a long day and that I watch documentaries on Monday nights with my hubby (If you haven’t seen the movie Embrace…I highly recommend it!).
In today’s blog I just want to publicly acknowledge the boring bliss of my routine. I absolutely love it. I love the busy moments and the quiet moments. I love the growth moments and the bliss moments that happen after the growth moments and I realize that I’ve learned something new. I love the boring bliss of my routine! The next time someone asks “how are you?” what will you say?
Holiatry (hoh lee a tree) or holism or wholism is engenders the case of the ENTIRE patient from all aspects including social, psychological, and physical. Basically, our insides, our outsides, and then how our little person that we created (us) shows up in the world. Let’s start by defining each of these three subjects, shall we?
Let’s start with physical because that is the easiest to define. It has everything to do with nourishment and movement. Basically, diet and exercise…but that sounds boring, right? I like nourishment and movement much better. Nourishment is anything you stick in your mouth, breathe in, or otherwise put on your skin. I believe that a whole food, plant-based diet is the best not only for our physical well-being and it makes me feel like a super-hero, but it also makes me a hero in saving animals and saving the planet. In other words, I’m out to save the world! Choosing to eat a whole foods, plant-based diet truly makes me feel like a superhero! Movement is defined differently for all of us. Mine is a bit on the aggressive side, but not as aggressive as kickboxers and the martial arts! Who knows? Maybe someday…but in the meantime I am a mountain bike enthusiast, a dabbler in running and spend a couple of short bursts in the gym and doing yoga. What do you do? It’s different for everyone and THERE IS NO WRONG WAY! Are you a walker, hiker, swimmer, surfer, cyclist, skier? I don’t care what it is…dance! But do something in the movement department!
Next comes psychological which to me sounds much more pleasant when you think of it as your mind and spirit. Your mind because of knowledge…any kind of knowledge. Formal education, life experiences, you name it. Everything having to do with learning and as you saw from my last post, I am a student 4 life! I don’t want to ever stop learning and becoming. The other is our precious spirits. You have a spiritual side of you whether you are in organized religion or not. Who or what is your higher power? I believe in God and those who know me or have been on my podcast know that, but I know we are not all in that cookie-cutter life. Whatever your religious practice…embrace it! Live it! Love it! Spirit also includes things like meditation, self-care, your soul, spending time with yourself to learn of your greatest desires. Sometimes your spiritual self just wants to let go and have some fun! Let yourself have recess!
That brings us to our third and last part of our whole – Social. Once you have yourself on a pretty even keel of physical and psychological, it’s time to share your love, knowledge, and service with the world! It’s time to show up in your companionships and relationships outside of yourself. A little bit of you given away creates lasting impressions and forges friendships that can change you for the better (or sometimes for the worst)…either way, they are learning experiences to teach you more about yourself and how to be a healthy contributor to your relationships. How do you show up in the world?
At Lauri’s Lemonade Stand, we are embarking on a journey to explore these three aspects of holiatry and how I can help you in the discovery of self and charging up to that next chapter of our lives with conviction and truth, confidence and love, and kick some serious ass! Bring it on! We’ll be ready!
Are we there yet? One of the things I talk about is not believing in Happy Endings. I don’t believe in happy endings. While you may be aghast at the thought…let me shed some light on my thinking.
First, fairytale happy endings are not happy endings at all. All fairytale happy endings just stop when the going got good or hit a high point. It’s a happy moment, but not a happy ending. Life goes on and it will not always be a picturesque scene with the perfectly cued music in the background. Cinderella had to learn how to live with Prince Charming and manage a castle.
Second, I believe that our spirit goes on forever…therefore there is no ending. I am an eternal being that will never reach the end so therefore I’m not waiting for my happy ending…I better figure it out right now. If I can’t be happy right now then what’s the point? This fosters the belief that it’s ok to be happy today and not save it for a tomorrow that might not ever come.
Third and last, I always want to be becoming or arriving. I don’t want to become or arrive because that denotes an ending. I don’t want to ask the question, “are we there yet?” because I want to enjoy the journey not just the destination. Tim Ferris talks about mini-retirements in his book, The 4-Hour WorkWeek because he doesn’t want to arrive at retirement. He wants to enjoy life in the here and now. I like that idea.
If yesterday is gone and can only be used as a learning tool and you can’t touch a tomorrow, what does that leave us? TODAY!! If you aren’t happy today, then what’s the point? There is something to be grateful for and happy about every single day, period. Even when going through hard times, there is ALWAYS something to be grateful for and happy about.
Because of all of this I would like to dub myself a Student 4 Life. I always want to be striving for and learning new things. I want to be in a constant state of becoming. At this point in my life I believe I’ve shed the caterpillar part of me and become a butterfly, but my journey doesn’t stop there. I want to add more color to my wings.