My morning routine.

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Recently in conversation with friends I was reminded of how powerful my morning routine is and how impactful it is for my life and how grateful I am for the habits I have created.  I couldn’t imagine starting my day without each part of my morning routine.  It sets me up for success each day.  I’m grateful for the calm, peace and grounding it brings me so I can attack whatever it is I have to do.

It took me awhile to get my routine just right and it’s still a work of art, but I thought I’d share the things that have to happen, everyday for me and sets me up for great success and giving me a feeling of power, gratitude and focus.  Maybe you will find a few that you can add and maybe you’ll just find yourself asking how does this crazy girl keep this all up.  Answer:  It was a process of adding 1 by 1, patiently.:

Daily devotional.  Before my feet hit the ground.  I pick up a word that inspires me, teaches me, reminds me why I am here.  I move back and forth between the youversion bible app devotionals, first 5 app and/or a devotion book I might have picked up like, What Happens When Women Say Yes to God by Lysa Terkhurst.

Prayer.  I have a time of prayer and gratitude with God.  Every morning. Thanking him for what He has given me and talking with Him about my day and the things on my heart.  Also, praying for others in my life.  Praying for others is so powerful and brings such joy.

Breakfast.  It’s funny to me now that my Mom made such a BIG deal about breakfast when I was younger, yet I made fun of her and often left the food behind when heading to school.  Now, skipping breakfast is a no-go.  My blood type is O, my blood sugar is a high maintenance swinging pendulum that you don’t want to make cranky and I know how important it is to break the fast from the nights sleep.  My go-to is protein and veggies, usually eggs or chicken sausage and some sautéed spinach, broccoli or cauliflower (pre-steamed earlier).  I cook it all in coconut oil.  Yum!  Green tea for me too and, of course, this cancer surviving, thyroid managing gal, I slug my vitamins to keep me ticking.

Daily intentions.  Daily I send an email of intentions of what I want to happen in my day.  I call is my daily design.  Its fun to co-create and set up for success.  I check in on goals I am working on/promises to myself, like working out 5 days a week, writing 15 minutes a day, calling my Mom once a week (at least), and cheering on my teammates at least once a month.  I have LOTS of promises to myself, that’s just some of them.  When I break them, I have clean up rules too.  It’s a fun game that keeps me aware and in it.

Workout!  I work out at least 5 days a week.  Its been a shorter workout over the last 9 months as I recoup from the thyroid and abdominal reconstruction.  I run/bike/roll on the foam roller, stretch and sweat.  I also do weight training twice a week and some body resistance.  My body needs to move in the a.m.  Type O blood type means I love to move.  It is also moving meditation for me and gets my mind straight.

Shower.  Clean up.  Get ready to go.

It feels quite odd to not start my day this way.  It’s slightly different on the weekends, just different times for the things, but I typically don’t miss one step!  It took me awhile to get here, but I am so grateful for the routine.  Its healing, its grounding and so spiritual – aligning me with God and my best self.

How do you start you day?

In health and healing,

Sera Fiana

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Patience and Gratitude. Gratitude and Patience.

My life, it seems, has been a series of lessons on patience and gratitude, gratitude and patience the past few years. I don’t always pass with flying colors, actually, I might venture to say I fail a lot more than I pass.  What I am grateful to say, though, it that I keep getting back up and forging forward when I fail.

I stopped writing for a while because healing was not happening as I desired it to.  I gained weight, I was physically exhausted and my emotions were a roller coaster.  I was, and continue to, eat a very clean diet of protein and veggies, I take my load of vitamins, I workout, as my body lets me, I pray, I do deep, dirty, forgiveness and living for love work with my coach, and I felt I physically just continued to spiral downward.

Welcome to this new world of an imbalanced thyroid.

Somewhere between surgery 1, 2 and 3 my thyroid said enough. I’m tired. I can’t keep up. What is going on here?!?

Unfortunately for me, this little butterflied shaped love in my throat regulates my metabolism, energy and hormones! Note to all: you do not want one or any of these to be off.

There have been many times in the last year that I said, I’m done, I can’t do this anymore.  I fail.  Its enough.  There were so many times that I’ve gone into my victim, pity pool of why me.  Haven’t I been through enough health stuff? I have completely changed my diet, my lifestyle, my habits – all of them.  I got really ugly, really mean, really sad, really selfish a lot.  I am so far from perfect or patient.

I have also had days where I have been patient and so very grateful for this journey.  I could see how getting a tumor, having a hernia, and having surgeries for both have majorly shaped who I am today.  I could see that by getting cut so deep I soared so high and found out so much about myself.  I could see that I am in such a better place spiritually and how I have grown so incredibly.  I have hope for all to come.  I can be grateful for my journey and have patience for my body to physically, get there – to where I want it to be.  Sometimes.

I want my actions to equal fair results.  I want my input of healthy choices to equal an output of a toned body, good health, a clear mind, loads of energy and steady emotions.

Somewhere along the line I believed that if I could just control life, life would give me what I wanted.  If I could just control my body, my body would give me what I want (or think I want).  I am so grateful God is in control and not me. His love is teaching me so much about my false control theories in this.

I believe that God will keep giving me lessons until I spiritually evolve, until I’m done with this – and then continue even after that to ensure I’ve got it.  Only because he’s a good, good father that wants his children to get better, grow and evolve.  I want that too.  I want to end this vicious cycle with my challenged health, body hatred and emotional torture for my lineage and that of others.

I am not the first in my family to go through health and body issue challenges like this, but my hope is to change this challenge more than just physically, but spiritually for those little beautiful girls that run around that I get to now call nieces and cousins….and the ones that come after them.

I know God knows that.  In fact, I believe its one of the reasons He sent me here.  He knows that I know and so I feel like He keeps asking me – are you sure, are you sure you want to be the one to end this?  I think He is reminding me, this didn’t stick around for generations and effect millions of women like it is effecting me because it is easy to push through.

And then I have patience, when I remember Him telling me these words.  And gratitude that He would choose me. And then I solider on and do the work I need to do again, just one more day.

I didn’t think I could come back and write until I was where I wanted to be  – healthy, happy, at the weight I desired, without the thyroid or hormone issues, singing from mountain tops.  I thought this blog would always be an incredible story of victory and overcoming – and maybe it is – because sitting here, writing this post, showing up in the imperfect, sharing the real, that is winning, that is victory.  That is doing Gods work and that is absolutely, perfectly, why I am here.

In health and healing,

Sera Fiana

Sunday Night Calls.

I thought I would share an important story of healing in my life that is much different than what I have shared before on this blog.  Healing is so powerful and it amazes me how it comes in such different ways.  I am so grateful for this healing.  Its changed my life in so many ways…

In Health and Healing,

Sera

Sunday Night Calls

My life has changed a lot due to a phone call. Usually, not for the good. I have had my heart-broken with a phone call, told it was cancer on a phone call, told that loved ones have died via a phone call.  This story though, this time, this phone call, this change, was for the good, a big good and I didn’t even know.  For years, I didn’t even know.  I still do not know that I can, today, fully know how powerful that phone call was.  The call, this one to my Dad, it was a chance, a risk, a  challenge I leaned into that has changed my life.

You would not think this call was so changing because it was just Dad.  My Dad the patient, kind, loving man who thinks the world of me and my sisters.  The man that would do anything for me.  He would answer the phone every time I’d call.   If I would just call.

I did not always see my Dad’s patience, kindness, humbleness and love for me the way I can today.  Thanks to that phone call.  It’s not that my Dad did not embody or show me these character traits of patience, kindness, love.  It was that I was too distracted to see them.

For most of my life, until the time of the phone call, I was so caught up in evaluating the man who left me when I was a small girl.  Maybe not on his own terms, but he was my Dad, the man in my life, and he left my comfortable, yet maybe chaotic, safe home.  Although he emphasized throughout my childhood that he wished and prayed more than anything that he could be back in that home.  I couldn’t see how it could happen and I knew my Mom would have none of it.

I was so mad at him for leaving and making me so different, yet, I didn’t even know I felt this.

I was angry at the separation of my parents.  I was angry at how it made me feel different from other kids.  Most of my friends had a Mom and Dad at home.  They did not have to pack their bags every other weekend to go spend time with their Dads.  They did not have to listen to the negativity about their parents from loved ones.  They did not have to make decisions of who to spend time with, who to stick up for, Mom or Dad, and who to be nice to regularly.  I did and it was hard.  It made me feel different and I hated that.

The leaving, the being different, the separation, it felt like rejection and so I gave rejection to Dad, the easiest target.

Even so, Dad would show up every week, at every game that I played field hockey, basketball, it didn’t matter where, how far, what time.  Dad was there. He would always slowly, peacefully walk up to the court, the field and sit calmly, lovingly by himself.  He would cheer for me.  He’s always cheered for me.  He’d patiently wait for me after each game even if I talked to everyone else before him.  He’d wait on me to embrace and share with my Mom, my Mom’s family, my boyfriend, my friends.  Then him. He’d wait for me.  He always waited for me.

Dad always showed up to pick my sister and I up on our “weekends.”  He was consistent.  He showed up.  No matter what.  He never left me.  He never scolded me for my coldness.  He never punished me for my anger and the distant I build between us.  Instead he kept showing up.

I never thought about what this was like for him.

Until that day of the phone call.

By this point I was in my twenties, I had been working for years on bettering myself.  Growing up.  Cleaning up relationships in my life and bad boyfriend relationships of my past.  I really wanted great health, happiness, a great career, I was on the search for love, when a coach that had mentored me for years asked (again), “Sera, how is your relationship with your Dad?”  After a sigh, a “its fine,” we talk every few months and I see him at holidays, she suggested I start a regular call with him and just consider hearing his story.  What did I need to do that for?  I was trying no heal me here, get me better – not him.  Selfishness and anger creeped in, but luckily for me, a small, still voice inside encouraged me to make the call.

It was a bit awkward, considering we were not used to talking that much.  Dad was very grateful for my outreach and suggestion that we talk more.  I thought I was grateful too, but as soon as my Dad started to say things I didn’t like and make me “feel different” again, I got angry, I lashed out and I yelled at him.  And just as quickly as it started, I decided the calls would stop.

Some how they didn’t.

Some how I called again and we talked about the frustration of the previous call.  I shared with him how he made me feel different and it made me angry and just want to stay away.  I shared with him how I thought some of his views of the world were so different and they angered me and made no sense to me.  He shared with me how he had no idea that I felt this way.  He shared about the pain he felt leaving my childhood home and how that broke his heart.  He shared about how he desired more with me and I pushed him away.

Like matured adults we talked and we shared.  And I started to listen.  I started to hear my Dads story.

That was 4 years ago.

4 years later, what started as a simple phone call has become a healing space for 2 people who dearly wanted love from each other, but did not know where to start.

I slowly began to see this man who loved me so dearly.  I slowly began to hear the life of this man who created me.  I slowly started to hear his story, the pain, the loneliness, the rejection.  I recognized my own pain in that pain.  I saw those childhood memories with new eyes and somehow they healed me.  Some how just by hearing, I healed.  Just by witnessing, we grew.

He’d share, I’d listen.

I’d share, He’d listen.

Our conversations became  longer and longer, deeper,  more spiritual and profound.  I learned so much from and about my Dad.

We became great friends, we shared life.

 

 

As if this wasn’t enough, several months after these calls started, I was re-aquanited with another man in my life.  A wonderful, patient, kind, loving man who I had pushed away before.  Yet, he kept showing up and patiently waited.  We started talking on the phone.  Night by night we talked about our lives and what our relationship was like before.  Night by night we grew, we healed, until 3 years later we remained magically, in love, deeply committed.

And he knows, that each Sunday, he can’t be with me, because I have a phone call date.

With my Dad.

 

 

Write Sweet Child.

God says to me,

Write Sweet Child.

Use the gift I have given you.

Tell the story.

Free the pain.

Expose the truth.

Share freedom.

Inspire.

To be inspired.

Accept.

Share.

Give.

Get.

You will never be finished.

Walk in the journey.

Shine in the journey.

Write, sweet child.

 

Healthy Travel Tips

My life is offering me the opportunity to travel a lot these summer months….again.

While I used to love the idea of flying all over the world and seeing lots of places, right now, home seems like the only place I want to be.  I love VA.  I love spending time with Steve.  I love going to the farmers market.  I love runs around inspiring monuments. And I love making it to church each week.

However, if I do travel.  I know I need to maintain an even higher level of self care than when home.  It has to be at the top of my life.  It is red self-care alert time for me and I honor that.

I’ve spent time in an ER doing travel escapades before because of dehydration and, well, basically running myself ragged.  I’ve travelled week after week for my job in the past only stopping in to change clothes in my bag.  While I never want to do that again, I’ll always be an adventurer, so I will always travel.

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As I prepare for 3 weeks on the road, I thought I’d let you into how I pack, prepare and enjoy my adventures while keeping myself healthy:

1. I block off time in my calendar to pack.  I need to focus and not forget a thing.  I make a list, grab my suitcase, turn on some great music and prepare (usually two days in advance).

2. I find the local whole foods.  I put the address in my calendar and I block off time to go and get the food I need as soon as I get where I’m going.  I need healthy food, lots of water and WF is familiar, which feels good to me when I’m in new places.

3. I pack my food for my flight/train/ect.  I pack snacks and meals that I need until I get there.  I hate the feeling of being stuck with airport food.  No go for me.

4. I buy water, BIG water bottles, as soon as I get to the airport/train station.

5. I bring my journal, several books and new music.  Love to write. Love to read.  Love to listen to inspiring music.  I download new music before I go and, new for me, download onto my kindle app.  Sad for my paper books to go good-bye, but I can take so much more reading with me.

6. I block on my workouts on my calendar.  Keeping my running and workouts steady (sometimes even more) makes me feel better, shake out the travel gook and refresh me.  (I often ask hotels for running maps.  Many times they have them and if not, they love to share)

7. NEW:  Recently, I ‘ve been buying candles and taking them with me to refresh the hotel room.

8.  I map out my time.  This is for long trips (note: I did it for the coming weeks).  I create a spread sheet of time zones, where I’ll be, when and when I can sleep, workout, shop for food, ect.

9.  I ask others how they do it.  My friends tell me and I get tips from leaders I follow.  Like these:

Kris Karr Quick & Easy Travel Tips

Danielle Laporte Travel Tips

10.  I enjoy, I get present, I take in the local scene, take lots of pictures and enjoy.

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You can be healthy, at your best self-care and travel.  I promise.  It just takes some prep and promise to yourself.

I hope your summer adventures are fun, fabulous and leave you feeling better than ever.  Its possible, I promise.

In love and healing,

Sera Fiana

Sunshine in the midst.

I have been waking up at least once a week and watching the sunrise the past few weeks.  I was prompted to do it a lot this year, but finally just following the call.

Its early.   Its beautiful.   It gives me great inspiration.

Today was my day to go, but I almost didn’t.

It rained a lot last night.   It was  cloudy.   The sun was not popping up or peeking out when I headed to my spot.

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But I went and I’m glad I did. Here is what I realized in going….and what I wrote while poised there (sans sunrise):

Just keep showing up.
Even when the sun isn’t rising or shining, even when you think it’s going to be cloudy and uncomfortable and you’re not going to see a “show”….keep showing up and see the beauty around.  Focusing, in this case, on the sunrise, as the sole and only beauty of why I show up, made me miss the water, the flocks of birds, the beauty and wisdom of the trees all around, just the everyday, every moment of this place.
Don’t miss the everyday beauty.
Show up.
Be Present.
Listen.
Watch.

Admire.

I hope this finds you where you are today.  In your everyday.  And lets you see the beauty in the moment.  Whether its at your desk, in your kitchen, in your regular commute.  Find the beauty.  I did and look whatI found!

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In love and healing,

Sera Fiana