WHEN ROLE MODELS “FAIL” US

I have experienced my share of disappointment when someone you have looked to as a mentor is no longer someone to look up to. Recently I have seen people dealing with their role models “fall from grace” and I felt the need to address this.

I remember many co-workers I had looked up to and then after working side by side with them started to wonder why I had ever looked at them as a mentor. It was hard for me at first and then it turned to a feeling of superiority over them.  As time has worn on I have finally grasped the lessons that they were here to give me.

Nobody (and I mean NOBODY) is perfect. We are all just doing the best that we know how in every moment.  However you may feel that you have been slighted is more than likely through no malice from the person you looked up to.  Just because someone is no longer living up to your expectations, doesn’t mean they weren’t a good role model for you before. It is important to remember that the stronger your expectations, the higher likelihood of being disappointed. The source of ALL disappointment is your expectation of how something should transpire.

When we have people that we look up to for whatever reason, be grateful in that moment that they are showing you what you want in life, whether it’s how to succeed in a career, relationships or just how they live their life in general. What draws you is the yearning for something they have obtained or the way that person lives. It is great that you have someone to show you what you didn’t know was possible prior. In this same thinking, once you realize the potential, this person may no longer need to be a mentor for you.

When you get close to your mentor, it is easy to notice their lives are not perfect and we begin to judge. The judgment believe it or not comes out of subconscious fear. This person I looked up to doesn’t have it all together, how will I?

We never fully know anyone. We don’t know their past or struggles. We know the stories they may tell us, but not the full picture. People can go through similar things and have completely different attitudes. I used to judge the people that turned destructive knowing that a different choice would give them different results. But their journey is not mine, nor is it yours. You didn’t live their life.


So when someone you look up to “falls” in your eyes, remember they are just human. Perfect in their imperfections. And be doubly grateful because not only did they show you what you wanted, they showed you what you don’t want. For this reason, they should be respected and shown compassion, because when someone who looks up to you realizes you aren’t perfect, that is what you would want from them.  

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Rescue Me! The story of my Mastiff, Elvis

Rescue Me! The story of my Mastiff, Elvis

This is a little different from most of my posts, but my new dog is a big part of my life, especially since I am home everyday with him. I realized today after a stressful couple of days, that he was acting out my emotions. He had been nuts for a few days and I was getting frustrated by the way he was acting. Pacing, barking, not settling down. I wasn’t settled either and started blaming him for some of my stress, but in reality, he was showing me stress that I hadn’t registered. I don’t notice my stress which is one of the reasons my adrenals got as bad as they did. Stress is like background noise for me. The kind of noise you don’t notice until it is gone. This is the story of my “rescue” dogs and how I have come to realize what they bring to us and how they actually rescue us right back. You don’t always get the dog you want, but you ALWAYS get the one you need! I have had the same experience with cats, but that is for another day! So, if you are an animal lover, read on! If not, well, maybe read it anyway!

My family recently adopted a dog from the shelter I volunteer at. A sweet, loving, playful Mastiff mix aptly named Elvis. We did not name him, he was surrendered by a family that had him for 5 years. I am not sure if the name was given to him before or after his singing ability and lip curl was discovered, but he lives up to the name nonetheless. This is my 3rd rescue dog, but I never fully understood the impact we have on these animals or the impact they have on us.

Our first rescue, Bighead Fred adopted my husband immediately, but I didn’t see that. I saw my husband fall in love with him and we brought him home. The second dog we adopted from a shelter was Xena, a sweet German Shepherd that adopted me, but I didn’t see that either. I saw us giving a wonderful animal a home. Their pasts were unknown, both were taken into the shelter as strays and had clearly had some hardships in life. Isn’t is nice we were able to rescue them? I see know how they rescued us too. How they actually adopted us and not the other way around.

In the beginning of the year I began walking dogs at our local animal shelter. My Shepherd had passed away about a year prior and we weren’t ready for another dog yet, but I missed being around them. I made it about 4 months falling in love with dogs, but happily helping them to find their homes elsewhere. Then I met Rosie, a Chesapeake Bay Retriever mix. She was the best dog and I had no doubt she would get adopted immediately! I called her “my dog” at the shelter and would often take her out first so I could be the one to walk her. I still wasn’t giving in to the urge to get another dog. Then, a husky mix named Harlow came to the shelter with another husky/shepherd mix and I fell in love and knew I needed a dog. I thought it was this sweet husky mix, and that’s when I broached the subject with my husband and kids about getting a dog again. The funny thing is, after I got approval, I realized that as much as I loved Harlow, she wasn’t my dog.

Rosie was still at the shelter for some unknown reason; dogs like her usually fly out the door; so I started to think she really was my dog and called my husband and kids to come down and meet her one afternoon I was walking dogs. A few days before, Elvis had been surrendered and I had a little bit of contact with him but not too much. When I walked him that day my family was coming, I had this fleeting thought that my son would LOVE him! BUT – Rosie was my dog! So the family came and my son went right to Elvis’ kennel. Hmmm – interesting. I think I knew then who we would go home with. So we met Rosie and she came over to me and then sniffed around the meet and greet room and ignored my husband and kids. They liked her, she took treats nice (the only time she interacted with them) but was just aloof. So I asked to bring the big guy in – Elvis. That is when I REALLY got it. He adopted my family immediately. Within a couple minutes he was on his back getting belly rubs and licking everyone. It is also when I realized how our other dogs adopted us, not the other way around. Rosie wasn’t my dog. She ended up being another volunteers dog and was adopted by her a couple days after I passed her up; and when I see pics of them, I know we all got the right dog for us.

Elvis isn’t perfect, he was not taken care of properly and not made a priority in his previous family, but that is how he got to me and I accept that I needed a dog like him. He teaches me patience, he makes me go outside and enjoy nature, he shows me how and when I need to relax. When he is “acting crazy” and exhibiting anxious behaviors, I know that it is me who needs to calm down and re-center myself. Every dog we had that we let “adopt us” has been the perfect dog for us at that exact time.  The one time we took in a dog just to get it out of the situation it was in, it was kind of a disaster, but luckily he adopted one of our friends!

This is true in all facets of our lives. The people (and animals) around us are constantly mirroring our inner state to us. Kids are the perfect mirrors. Ever notice how your pets and kids act out the most when you “just don’t need this right now!”? It is just a reminder for us to calm down and become present again. I need a reminder a lot and Elvis is that reminder for me. He brings a balance to my life I didn’t have before.

 

As an animal shelter volunteer I feel the need to say “ADOPT, DON’T SHOP!”  🙂

Elvis telling me to get off the computer!

Elvis telling me to get off the computer!

Smile Elvis!

Smile Elvis!

 

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What is a health counselor??

People ask what I do and I used to tell them about my previous full-time job as bookkeeper/office manager/HR manager at my uncle’s company or I would tell them about helping out at my kid’s karate school. And now, with no paying job, my answer is I’m a volunteer dog-walker at the animal shelter. This is my business, but I avoid telling people what I do. Part of the issue is that I am an overweight health counselor, so I feel like they will judge me right away (my issue, not theirs by the way!). The other is I have some trouble describing what I do. I make the mistake of using nutrition in my description. After all, my certification is from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. Once I say this, people want to know what to eat, meal plans, recipes…. UGH!  I have recipes I like to share, but I really don’t like telling people what to eat! I know this is odd for my profession. I have issues with food for health. The first being that everyone is different. I am mostly a Vegan. I hate the label and I’m not 100% and yes I eat honey. We are not having a protein discussion here either!  Just because I am mostly Vegan doesn’t mean my clients should be.  Food is a very individual thing. We have different tastes and our bodies will react differently to the same foods. My other issue, is that our health and body weight is about a lot more than just food. It’s about our entire lifestyle and how we are interacting with others and ourselves. And that is where my strength and the crux of my health counseling practice lies.

My job with clients is to shake up their perspective in life. We repeat the same patterns over and over again in our lives which cause health, weight, financial and emotional issues.  In my opinion, health counseling is getting to the root of these patterns and issues in our lives and re-writing the story we tell ourselves. When we address our problems from the root, we initiate true and lasting healing in every area of our lives. That is what I endeavor to do for my clients. It is what I am doing for myself. If you need a butt-kicking and to be shaken out of your current state, you need me!  A health counselor is a listening ear, a coach, a cheerleader, that annoying friend who calls you out when you are lying to yourself and yes, I will help you upgrade your food choices and guide you towards what is right for you!

Yes, this blog is a shameless plug for my services! If you or someone you know has health and weight issues, contact me at dawnofwellness@gmail.com for a free session. Check out my entire website for more information about how I approach wellness!

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New Year, New You??

Well, it’s the time of year for resolutions and change and blah, blah, blah!! While I understand the obsession with a new year, the fact remains, we are generally not ready to change on January 1st.  I gave up New Year’s resolutions about 15 years ago, yet I am still tempted every year to “change” when the new year comes. We can change in a day, when it’s the right time; however, the seeds of change need to be planted and cultivated and are not necessarily ready to go on January 1st.  Following the seasons, winter is a time for reflection and probably a good time to set your intentions for the future, with spring being when you start to see evidence of your efforts.

So please, be gentle with yourself this time of year. We are bombarded with advertisements of how we should be losing weight and giving up all our bad habits.  How about instead we sit in awareness of where we are and look towards where we want to be. It isn’t until we truly accept where we are that we can make true and lasting change. We are perfect where we are at. That does not mean we cannot better ourselves, it just means that wherever we are in our journey is where we are supposed to be. Be grateful for even difficult times teach us and prepare us. Honor this time for reflection without being caught up in what “needs” to change to make you happy. If you cannot be happy in the here and now, you are not ready for change and that is okay.

My wish for all of you this season is acceptance and love of where you are on your journey and who you are as a person.

Speaking of change…. I would like to change my blog format during this year more to a question and answer format. Kind of “Dear Dawny” as one of my best friends calls me whenever she has an issue. So, if you have any issues (emotional, physical, spiritua)l, please feel free to write me at dawnofwellness@gmail.com (please put “Dear Dawn” in the subject line) or send me a message on my FaceBook page – Dawn of Wellness.

Here’s to a wonderful 2014!

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Quick and Easy Avocado Black Bean Salad!

The following recipe is a household favorite.  So easy to make and can be made a day or two before hand.  We often eat is as a meal, but you can use it as a side dish as well.  This gives you a nice balance of good fats, protein and carbs!

 

AVOCADO BLACK BEAN SALAD

1-2 Ripened Avocados (diced)

1pt Grape Tomatoes  – halved (or fresh diced tomatoes)

1 – 14 oz can Black Beans

¼ c Favorite Vinaigrette Dressing

Works well with  Red Wine Vinaigrette, Raspberry/Walnut Vinaigrette or even just olive oil and Balsamic Vinegar

 

  • Drain and rinse black beans until all the bubbles are gone (gets rid of excess sodium and excess gas!).

  • Mix Black Beans, Avocados and Tomatoes together

  • Pour vinaigrette over and mix in.

  • Cool in refrigerator for 1-2 hours (even better overnight!)

Hope you enjoy!! I am working on soup recipes – any suggestions or requests are welcome!

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Listening to the Tribe

I have spent some time away from my business and my writing trying to find my voice. Funny though, because working with clients and writing is where my voice is. I think many times we let everyone else’s voices come in and tell us what they think we should be doing. Even when they don’t directly say it, we feel it. Oftentimes because of this we start to believe it and lose focus on what our individual purpose is. One size does not fit all. We are all unique and should be able to express ourselves and not worry what other people think. Their judgments are none of your business and reflect on their lives, not yours.

I wrote the following while walking today and thinking about how we tend to conform to the group (or tribe) we are with. I hope it speaks to you, but honestly, it only needs to speak to me 😉

The Tribe

 

I used to talk with the trees

And they gave me guidance

But I listened to the tribe instead

 

I used to feel the earth

And the earth sent me messages

But I listened to the tribe instead

 

I used to hear the birds

And they sang wisdom to me

But I listened to the tribe instead

 

I used to see the flowers

And they showed me beauty

But I listened to the tribe instead

 

I used to talk to the whispering leaves

I used to feel the earth’s vibrations

I used to hear the bird’s song

I used to see the beauty

Until I listened to the tribe

-Dawn Moro

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Negative Self Talk

“Evict the critical tenant sitting inside your head.”

–Alan Gettis (The Happiness Solution)

 

“To be clear…there is a big difference between pursuing health and verbally bashing yourself.  Fat talk serves no purpose even when we have weight to lose.  Action and positive affirmation are critical when it comes to lasting life improvements.”

–Jillian Michaels

 

 

Wow!  You look fat today!  How much weight have you gained?  Lord, look at that cellulite!  Are you waving or is that just your upper arms?  Boy, you really sound stupid today!

Would you be friends with someone who greeted you like that?  I certainly hope not, yet a vast majority of us greet ourselves like that on a daily basis.  What do you think when you wander into the bathroom and look in the mirror first thing in the morning?  It’s no wonder we have such issues with weight and self-esteem.

So, how do you change this pattern of self-depreciation?  Awareness!!  Becoming aware of your negative self talk will take you a long way in changing this destructive habit.  Once you become aware of your negative self talk, then you can begin the process of changing those negative thoughts.

One of the most powerful things you can do is to stand in front of that mirror in the morning (and in the evening) and say what you LOVE about yourself out loud.  Start where it is comfortable for you, such as “I love that I am wonderful and loyal friend.”  “I love that I am good at…”  As you become more comfortable you can begin to embrace your “flaws.”  You cannot “hate” your weight away and you cannot “shame” yourself into a healthier body or better way of thinking or acting.  You may have short-term results from this self-depreciating behavior, but if you don’t fix the underlying issues, long-term health and an ideal weight will not be maintained.

Love where you are at and the rest can follow.  Train yourself to speak lovingly to yourself and see the inner transformation start reflecting on the outside as well.  If you wouldn’t treat your friends the way you are treating yourself, it is time for a change!

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