Saturday, December 31, 2011

New Year/New Look

Welcome to the fresh, new look of It Is What It Is. I am excited about the changes and I am looking forward to bringing you fresh, new insights. I will also be adding some fun applications along the way to help you utilize this website better. So for now, take a look around and reacquaint or acquaint yourself with what's happening on It is What It Is.
Refreshing Orange Slice photo courtesy of D. Sharon Pruitt

Thursday, December 22, 2011

One Year Ends: Roller Coaster in Review

This past year has led me in several directions as I strived to get on top of my health issues. Many times I felt as if I was riding an out of control roller coaster. I started the year with the word theme of momentum. Even though I began with a slow, progressive roll, soon I seemed to be in a vertical drop with no vision in sight. I leveled off and made changes in the tracks ahead. I was rocked from side-to-side and looped-de-looped, but I kept moving forward with the power of one word.

The year of momentum in review:
The focus on momentum guided me throughout the year as I explored ways to help us all feel better and embrace the life we have. As I end the year with new medication protocols and a fresh sense of peace, I look to next year to continue my forward progress. I am optimistic that I will have less of a roller coaster existence and more of a full steam ahead approach to whatever tracks are before me.

Join me in the new year with a new look to It Is What It Is...

Olympia Looping photo courtesy of Oliver Mallich
© Copyright 2011 Michelle Clark

Monday, December 19, 2011

Now, Where Did I Put God?

How does one go about losing God? Do you misplace God like a set of keys? Is God rolling around somewhere inside your car or perhaps your purse? Can you lose God with a bet at a poker game? Is God with a sock you haven't been able to find since you did the laundry?

I've always known where I lost God. For me it was while I was attending Catholic school back in the 1960’s. I know, ironic isn't it? I was hung up on why being Catholic was the only way to God. Other religions believe theirs is the one true path. So who is right? Over the years I found many correlations with various forms of religion. Could we all be on the same path but singing different songs? I stepped away from what it meant to be Catholic and never really looked back. This left a void in my life, something I failed to realize. My negative views of religion had blocked my spiritual growth. I was confusing religion with spirituality.

Interestingly enough, I found God a few years ago. And no, God wasn’t wearing my long lost sock. I no longer think of God as a religion, but as an essence of who we all are. I believe God exists for everyone and is always there for you 24/7. God is held deep within our hearts, but you need to allow space in your life to hear what is being said. That God-space has become an important part of my knowing who I am and what is best for me. Whatever God means or may have meant to you⎯perhaps it is time to get acquainted or reacquaint yourself! If you allow the space, answers do come…

During this holiday season, I wish you peace, love and light.

Photo courtesy of Alex Holzknecht
© Copyright 2011 Michelle Clark

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Embracing Stress

I am learning to explore stress in my life and attempting to understand how I handle it. I realize it takes constant awareness on my part; otherwise, I may be looking at a crazy-eyed person in the mirror. That is a sure sign I have been off my guard.

Any kind of stress requires our bodies to release bursts of energy hormones. In small doses, stress usually does not wear you down, but over long periods of time, this type of constant push can cause many health complications. These health issues are not good anytime of the year, but can be particularly problematic during the holidays.

We generally know what negative stressors exist in our lives, but good stressors exist too. I think of good stress as what feels positive, but still requires the same burst of energy your negative stressors require. It’s like an energy checking account⎯you cannot keep withdrawing forever. So good stress isn’t necessarily a bad thing⎯unless your energy checking account is depleted⎯then it is just as bad as the negative stressors.

Have you ever thought about actually embracing stress? I am⎯the good, the bad and the ugly kind. It’s all in how I manage it. Stress is a fact of life, and it will creep in when I least expect it. Here are a few things I am considering:
  • Attitude⎯I must look calmly at problems. Giving myself the space to figure out each issue gives rise to solutions.
  • Balance⎯I know I cannot possibly do everything I want to do and have to do. The answer here is understanding the priorities.
  • Limitations⎯I must know my limitations. Understanding what these are will help me use the best of my time and energy, not to mention help me prioritize.
  • Breathing⎯I need to take a deep breath more often. Most of us have the tendency to take shallow breaths or hold their breath, so taking a deep breath will not only give me a space to think clearly, it helps me relax.
If you are facing stressful times in the weeks ahead, consider embracing stress⎯the good, the bad and the ugly; it is up to you to know the difference. Deal with those things you MUST and let go of everything else. I’m working on it. How about you?

Oh, and how does one build-up their energy checking account? By doing what you love silly! Here would be a good point to mention what my friend, Vivian, would say:

STRESSED spelled backwards⎯DESSERTS!

Photo courtesy of cinnamon_girl
© Copyright 2011 Michelle Clark

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Escape to The Night Circus

I recently read an absolutely delightful book, The Night Circus, by Erin Morgenstern. It is one of those stories that titillate the brain and sends your senses into overdrive. The smells, sights, sounds and textures are vivid. It is a rather dark novel, but you will find yourself smiling all the way through as it casts a spell of enchantment over you. It is a clever, well-written and magical escape.
Celia, one of the main characters, calls their circus, “a wonder and comfort and mystery all together.”
WARNING: This is one of those books you never want to end⎯you will wish you could escape to The Night Circus.

Give yourself a break this holiday season⎯create some space and tap into the joy of reading. Give yourself permission⎯you owe it to yourself and happier holidays ahead.

Photo courtesy of D. Sharon Pruitt
© Copyright 2011 Michelle Clark