Ordinary Self Care…Joyful Self Esteem!

Joy in the Ordinary

Self care…really!  What does that have to do with money, honey?  And this is meant for men and women for good self care is the foundation of good self esteem.  I have just finished my Monday-Wednesday-Friday 9 am Empower Excellence “It’s Your Money” LIVE Facebook moments, and today’s topic was self care.


And while I try to keep personal stories out of the LIVE segment because it is usually only 2-3 minutes, today was full of real personal examples covering self-care:  skin cancer screening (I am ok but experienced cryotherapy for the first time yesterday!), good sleep habits(8-9 hours per night), good nutrition ( have all of my daily 8-10 fruits and vegetables at breakfast), socialization (lunch with a friend today), exercise (6000 steps to go to and from lunch in Oberlin), and a haircut (self love!) this afternoon.  Family will be covered on Sunday, and now I am off to work (here at home, which I am very disciplined about.  This evening and tomorrow, I have two new books from the library to read when I am not on Trulia scoping out the Aurora area for my next planned move within 4 years from now (Having a Dream!).  This is all self care and balance.

And for a true R-Evolution with Money, I have to be balanced, well rested, well fed, in good physical shape, and emotionally ready for whatever comes my way.  Meditation morning and evening helps with that, too!

So, men and women, take care of yourselves and each other because self care is foundational for good self esteem, and believe me all issues in our lives find their way back to self esteem, take care of yours and the self esteem of those you love!  And find JOY in doing these ordinary things in life!

How Valuable are You?

Organic Produce

you are important…and you need to take care of you!  Not only nutrition but GMOs, pesticides have been shown to harm the human being, and you are a human being!  Why would you choose anything but organic when it is available?  A simple replacement is locally grown when you get to know the local farmers and their growing practices.  We will talk about farmers markets and more, but the question for the day is:  how valuable are you?

Labor Day, 2017, and I Lovingly Labor!

Jan 2017 Headshot 2

Yes, this is Labor Day.  It used to be as a single parent, that this was the Last Hurrah Day of Summer with two little boys off to the YMCA Perry Recreation Center in Lake County, Ohio, where we had a total membership being one of the most economical ways to entertain the boys throughout the year.  We also had over time season memberships for Sea World and other fun, healthy places.  As a parent, and I know all parents would agree, Labor Day was a day to nurture and care for your children.  There were Labor Days when it rained all day, but we still tried to make it to the pool one last time!

Do I miss those days?  Not really.  I have two grown sons, one of whom lives near the Gulf of Mexico in Florida and one who is in Chicago with his family for the weekend.  Now, my Labor Day, at least this year, is one in which I am feeling damn lucky and damn good.  I moved to the city I wanted to live in — Oberlin, Ohio–a place of freedom and diversity to be who you are, no matter what that might be.  It is a town that is small enough to know lots of people and large enough, especially with Oberlin College, that you can be solitary and anonymous when you want that.  Today culminates in one way six months of realigning me and my company Empower Excellence into The Empower Excellence Experience.  I have hinted at many pieces of that over the months, and I am trying to be very focused with the blog and its relationship to that reality of what it all represents:  Personal Sustainability.  There will be more and more coming through in the days ahead.

But, above all, all of this is to be of service to people who really want to find their life, their joy, and their freedom in their lives.  They want to be authentic, they want to be genuine, they want to be happy, they want to be joyful, they want to be healthy in all parts of their life:  spiritual, nutritional in all ways, chemical free in their homes, in their personal lives, and in their choices in living.  This all started with the desire to help everyone who wants help in this area to be financially well with their money.  This is the foundation that allows all to be Personally Sustainable.  You have to be at peace with the money in your life–no matter the amount as this is a personal choice, not everyone wants to be rich–in order to be at peace with any other area.  This is important because all pieces of our lives are connected.  More than that, we are connected to each other. So, it is important, you see, to begin with the smallest component, and that is each one of us.  That is YOU!

Over time, I thought financial wellness was my mission, but I soon learned that there is more for me in this life purpose and mission.  Getting the money in line is important, BUT…

  • People, once ok with their money relationship may still be lost in other areas of their lives.  I cannot be all things to all people, but I can help in some basic matters.
  • Over the years, I knew I had a passion for healthy eating beginning with my children and then helping local food entrepreneurs and then it went on and on for me to become as knowledgeable as I could about eating, cooking, and growing healthy food.
  • But it went on, as I learned about chemical free living…personal care products, home care products, and cosmetics, fragrances, and other personal grooming choices that may not be healthy for any of us.
  • How can people wisely spend their money while enjoying their lives in all of these areas.
  • How can local investment dollars be placed into the growth of local entrepreneurs and local companies wisely.
  • While there is more, I am more focused than I have been, and Financial wellness
  • expertiserefer people to experts when I cannot solve their individual situation.
  • But, more than anything, money is what allows us to make the best choices in all of the above areas, and that is where I start. 

While I have been doing this blog for several years, I do not think I have ever thought of placing my photograph on it to identify me, the talking head behind all of this craziness and some wisdom that all of you have seen over that time.  And today, being Labor Day, I wanted to say “Hello” in person in the form of a photo.  Thank you for reading my pieces, and please do feel free to comment, for the ego went away a long time ago–maybe when I was still that younger single parent.  I would love to see each of you, and I do try to keep up with following those who follow me.  

And a few words, I do not pretend to know everything I write about, but I am definitely an expert through education and life experience in Personal Sustainability.  I love my life, my family, my spirituality, my health, and my environment all the way from my belief in good government to the beauty of being able to work in my office looking out on a treed backyard, hearing the wind rustle through the trees, and seeing the light of the sun and the moon play in the shadows  of my life.

Spirituality is Energy, Oh, yes, it is!

spirituality energy 4

Energy is so overwhelming and peaceful at the same time.  When it first comes to visit us in a spiritual sense, it is overwhelming because we have not yet experienced this phenomenon.  But as we begin to understand it and live with it to our full advantage, energy becomes our friend.  It is more than just the electrical current flowing through our bodies, it provides the spark of Spirit.  It is what connects the Soul with the mind and the body.  When our energies are lagging, everything slows down.  It is so basic that energy be maintained and built to be with us when we need it.  It is up to us to nourish the Mind, the Body, and the Soul; and then the Spirit is maintained.  But how do we nourish our energy?  Personal Sustainability is that nourishment:  feeling good with our financial resources, good enough to feed not only the body but the soul through healthy eating and living, which includes good sleep–sleep is out regeneration time!  Spiritual nourishment also is needed.  Healthy living without chemicals also contributes greatly to our energy.  This is all personal sustainability!  Energy is a foundation for Spiritual Living.  Healthy relationships with money, food, and living are all a part of our Energy and, thus, a part of our Spirituality!

To Borrow a Phrase “Hippie Thoughts”

Hippie Thoughts Sustainability

Thinking bold thoughts brings to mind all of the words that defined me many years ago and define me today with my Core Values of Personal Sustainability.  Yes, I may be as dated as the VW Bus, but I lie it that way!  Over the years, readers of this blog have seen me move through varying phases covering financial transformation, healthy eating, and chemical free living.  I am sure there is more, but it ballpoints to Personal Sustainability.  And that is where I rest….

One of the areas as a want-to-be hippie in the 70’s that we did not dwell on was money. But today, when I think about money, I do think of other health factors such as food, chemicals, and sleep among others.  Why?  Because wealth is health and health is wealth.  To have your health is everything has been said for centuries, but more than that to have your health can make you wealthier.  

A full night’s sleep has been linked to 5% higher pay per an article on this topic in July 2016 MONEY Magazine.  The same article, authored by Katherine Hobson, Ismat Sarah Mangla, and Elizabeth O’Brien, states that regular exercise “fattens paychecks by 7% to 12%.  More than that, take care of your body and you take care of health care costs as well by reducing medical bills and allowing you to work further into retirement.

Being healthy is also of interest to employers in order to save on medical insurance premiums, and many are providing wellness programs not only for that reason but also to make employees happier which makes them more productive, and employers are happier as a result.  

While we cannot  go back to being hippies and living their values, we can do many things that will help us be more sustainable and help the financial piece of our life as well:

Slim Down, Sleep More, Work out, Stop Smoking, Stay Mentally Sharp through Nutrition, Exercise, and Learn How to Stress Less About MONEY!   

That is why today, and yesterday, and into the future, I will be writing about health,, food, chemicals, and MONEY!  Stay tuned, we all will learn something today just like we did from the hippies in bygone years!

More Bad News About “Good” Cereals!


In the past month or so I have been doing a lot of reading about “Cancer”, and this is an article by Deborah Oke that has been included in the “Truth About Cancer” website. It is a powerful piece that I was not going to try to summarize.  Thank you Ty Hollinger and Deborah Oke…

• Cheerios boast that they are made from heart healthy whole grains with no added dyes. Therefore it would be easy to assume that Cheerios are a safe, nutritious choice for breakfast − but are they?
• Unfortunately, what’s NOT listed or listed accurately on the Cheerios nutrition label is of bigger concern than what’s shown on the label:
• Acrylamide
• Sugar sources
• Emulsifiers
• Flavor enhancers
• Inorganic salts
• Tocopherols
• The process of toasting the otherwise healthy wholegrain oats produces high levels of the toxic acrylamide. Acrylamide is a carcinogen that is formed when foods containing carbohydrates and sugar are cooked at high temperatures or for an extended period of time.
• Monoglycerides and diglycerides are used as cheap emulsifiers and for extending the shelf-life of a product. They are hydrogenated oils made up of fatty acids similar to triglycerides (aka trans fats).
• You may have used Trisodium Phosphate (aka TSP) to wash your walls before painting them, but did you know that this industrial cleaner is also an ingredient in Cheerios? Unbelievably, the FDA permits food manufacturers to use small amounts of TSP in processed foods as a “flavor enhancer.”
• Most people eat cereal along with milk. Unfortunately, unless it’s organic milk from grass-fed cows, commercial cow’s milk can be tainted with toxic metals, growth hormone, antibiotics, pus from mastitis, GMOs from animal feed, and many more contaminants unfit for human consumption. You’re far better off using nut milks instead.
• If you don’t know how to pronounce an ingredient on the label it’s likely the product is better left on the shelf. Choose organic whole foods to get the most nutrients for your body and consume them in their natural organic state whenever possible.

My New Most Favorite Book! Food, Cleveland Food, Heinen’s…


OMG, I love this book…It is so full of  wonderfulness!  Michael Ruhlman is a local Cleveland guy!  Michael Ruhlman writes and writes about food!  But this book is so perfectly on target as I have found my way to Oberlin and am finding my way to being Healthy with local food and sustainability.  Please do not get tired of my references to the book.  It is well worth reading and owning if you care about the food you eat and the food you feed your family!  

As a Consultant with Pampered Chef and my quote of “I am Pampered Chef “Healthy”,  I really believe the path to health for all of us is taking matters into our own hands and “COOKING”.  It is the only way to control what you put into your body.  But you need quality in your cooking tools, and Pampered Chef does that as well as giving you reasonable recipes, not all that require the microwave.  I am a believer, and I will be a believer as a cook.  Understand my children grew up with THE SUPERMARKET HANDBOOK being read to them in the grocery store!  Cooking is not stressful for me, it is a stress reducer, it is creative, it is right brain!

Michael Ruhlman shares a poignant line in his book when people tell him that they do not have time to cook.  He agrees with me that the only way for us to be healthy is to cook healthy.  There are “long-term benefits of carving out the time to cook.  That’s all it really is: being organized and making time.  You never hear people say “You know I would really love to shower more, but I just don’t have the time.”



Off to See the Farmers!


Fresh Produce

Fresh organic produce on sale at the local farmers market. ** Note: Soft Focus at 100%, best at smaller sizes

If it is Saturday, it is the day to walk to the Farm Market in Oberlin!

As the season progresses, there are more and more choices to make…nutritionally and financially.  It is the marketplace where you get to really choose where you are putting your money, and that is putting your money locally!  Keeping your dollars where you live, supporting your community while they support your needs nutritionally.  It is not only the far market, it is a fair market!

What I Am is the Plan…

Ghandi Be the change

Poignant words seen time after time, but this is my plan…

Change in the world is my plan.  Change in the world is what I am here for.  Change in the world is all I have experienced moving forward in a very positive way.  There is no time nor room for viciousness, violence, unkindness, racism, misogyny, sexism, or materialism or many of the other faces of the world…  It is a time to be thoughtful, to be kind, to be the change we want to see.  Energy spent elsewhere dilutes the energy of the globe, and we are all a part of the natural world–the globe.

So, as I move forward with the Empower Excellence Experience, all effort is being directed towards peace, calm, love, and change.  And money is what makes the world go round–not in a greedy way but in the original thought as forms of money were created–it is a form of barter.  Beginning with helping folks to develop a good relationship with money, the focus will remain on this, but it will expand to nutritional needs, aging needs, health needs, and spiritual needs.  God and the Universe has provided me with a fantastically diverse array of skills and talents, and it is up to me to take these skills and talents and put them into the world in my own way.  Money is a basic foundational need to be nutritionally sound, healthy throughout our decades, and to alleviate the worry that takes away from our spiritual exploration, discovery, and peace.  Amen.

So, here I stand as a humble being moving throughout this life exemplifying, I hope, the change I want to see in this world.  I want to be a blazing example of what can be done when all else that is distracting us from creating change is put aside…quietly and deliberately.

why do i blog?

Butterfly Each Day a Separate Life

i am in all respects a simple being.  always have been and always will be.  several years ago i began blogging in a haphazard way, and then i began blogging almost every day.  it is addictive, and it is my personal meditation which is reflected in the graphic above:  begin at once to live, and count each day as a separate life.”  for me, that is the simplicity of it all.  when i began blogging, the meaning of it all was unclear.  today, it is how i live my life.  yes, i know what is happening for months and weeks ahead, but the act of living is anew each day.  and it begins with a conscious effort at wonderful sleep.  i learned many years ago that sleep was my foundation, but i never ever got all the sleep i needed.  today, it does not matter why any more; it just is a major priority now.  i know what i need.  i attempt to provide my body with what it needs every day.  i eat very well, most days.  when i do not, it is because i have a personal rebellion occurring that day but i get back on track and continue.  yes, i meditate besides writing the blog.  and that, too, provides the foundation for my mental and spiritual life.  it all adds up to seeking happiness in every moment.  it does not just happen; i have to work at it.  but the work has paid off over the last 20 years.  it has been one learning step after another, and i know i still have much to do to continue living in a state of happiness.  it now takes quite a bit to throw me off course.  and it is rare that happens.  

so, why do i blog?  first, it is to keep me on track, to clear my head in the morning, to get rid of anything that might be out of kilter on my path to happiness.  it may also be a way to celebrate good things; and happiness is a good thing, a god thing.  yes, i am very spiritual following being very Catholic, then very nondenominational.  but the god thing is only a building block, my spirituality has developed as i have developed a firm sense of understanding who i am and what i am here to do.  that is why i blog.  yes, i have clients and i have many women i reach out to through networking groups, but i cannot talk with everyone personally.  i cannot share how hard and yet how simple it has been to become happy; and yet i see so many men and women today who are not happy and do not have a sense of what makes them happy.  that is why i blog.  i am a human being, a simple human being, who arrived on this earth like everyone else and then became disenchanted through a dysfunctional family life.  i wanted to have a different life.  i wanted to be happy.

so, now i am happy and becoming happier each day along with the sadness that can still occur.  i am constantly learning through wise folks who have come before me and are also my peers today.  i learn from all and i hope they learn a little something from me.  that is why i blog.  yes, i watch my numbers in blogging, but it is not my main goal.  i am always interested in an anonymous way to know what makes people push the “follow” button.  but it ends there and i am glad i touched someone.  i blog because it appears to be a part of my journey.  a journey that still has a long way to go.  i blog because i blog.