Summer’s on it’s way

How to have a bikini body:
Buy a bikini, put it on 👙

Haha, that’s funny, but it’s no joke that the first day of summer is only three weeks away. In preparation (and because I am determined to wear a bathing suit in public this summer) I signed up for a June fitness challenge.

It’s a little surprising when a nationally recognized fitness coach calls you IN PERSON to ask if you are familiar with how intense her program is because she noticed your age combined with your height to weight ratio 😳 and you have to tell her that you have not been doing any intense exercise lately 😩

After I assured her that I was familiar with her programs (a close family member does them) and the level of hot water I was jumping off into. She finally agreed to let me participate if I promised to work at my own pace and not try to keep up with her. I agreed. 😁

🏃🏼‍♀️🏋🏼‍♀️👙So bring on the oxygen and the smelling salts and the achy-joint salve…. 🔥 the intensity begins tomorrow 💥

E.A.Fussell

05.31.2021

Decades of memories in a scent

Isn’t it amazing how scents can bring memories rushing in? Sometimes good ones sometimes not so good. Aging and memory loss go hand-in-hand so exercises to help lessen the effect are always good. Remembering things tied to scents can help with recall. A few scents that I can imagine as if they were happening right now and bringing with them multitudes of good memories include:

FRIED CHICKEN:

In my childhood I can see my granny standing in the kitchen over one of her favorite cast iron skillets filled with hot Crisco oil, cooking up a fresh chicken from her brood out in the back yard, and when it was cooked we enjoyed a great family dinner filled with love and laughter.

Then later as an adult I can see me, my best friend Sherry, who was taken from us far too soon, and her man Robert Griffin sitting at their kitchen table as we shared a bucket of KFC and had some very entertaining conversations. I always told them they could be the stars of a show called:

The Adventures of Big Daddy and Little Mama

FRESHLY BAKED PECAN PIE:

My mama made the best pecan pies. She doesn’t cook anymore and when i try to make her recipe it never tastes the same. But I remember the times, long ago, when I was a child and mama would make a batch of pecan pies. Usually she made them after a family member had gone on a trip to Georgia and brought back a bag of Georgia pecans. The house would feel with the sweet smell of Karo corn syrup and roasting pecans. Then mama would take them out of the oven and set them to cool. The anticipation of the first delicious bite still comes to mind and makes my mouth water to this day.

GARDENIAS:

My granny & grandpa had a large gardenia bush near the front door of their house. When it was blooming granny would share the blooms with others. We lived next door to her and she often took me and my sister Cindy Fussell Cindy Fussell Whitfield to the bus stop. When the gardenia bush was blooming she would cut a flower, wrap it in a moist paper towel and tell us to give one to the school bus driver or our teacher. Granny was always gifting things to others like flowers from her garden, fresh baked sweets, home made buttermilk biscuits,(there’s a great scent), or handmade crafts.

LAVENDER OIL:

When the housing market crashed in the early 2000’s i had to find a new way of making a living. I am so thankful that I was able to enter the realm of alternative healing through massage therapy, energy healing, and other types of bodywork. Lavender can be found throughout various bodywork modalities. It has been used since ancient times to relax and calm the body and mind. The scent reminds me of all the healers I have been honored to work with as well as the Individuals I have been blessed to serve in a healing capacity.

CAMPFIRE-SMOKE:

When i was a child I remember that my daddy and grandpa spent every moment they could in the woods. During hunting season they would be gone for several days and return smelling like pine and campfire smoke. Once they had unpacked the trucks and buggies we would all gather around in the living room, or front yard, and listen to their stories filled with adventure and funny antics.

Then later in my lifer there are memories of wonderful conversations around a campfire, sometimes blazing, sometimes smoldering. Sometimes with a bunch of family, sometimes only a few friends, and of course those unforgettable times with a lover.

E.A. Fussell

05.01.2021

Energy source

It’s safe to say most of us have been spending more time at home in recent months. In so doing my appreciation has grown toward the little drink station in my kitchen. I visit it throughout the day for pour-over-coffee, Nespresso, hot tea, and cold smoothies. It provides me with numerous bursts of energy.

Have you found something in your home you now have a greater appreciation for than you did several months ago?

E.A. Fussell

04.30.2021

Spread your sparkle

What is currently sparkling in your life?

If it feels like nothing is, think about the sunshine bouncing off everything it touches, or how the surface of water sparkles, or go light a candle and watch the flame sparkle and dance.

We all have rough times and really bad days but life goes on and we all deserve a little sparkle in our existence.

Wherever you are,
I’m praying blessings for you,


E.A. Fussell

04.29.2021

Where is kindness going?

Kindness and common courtesy, are they being lost?  I seem to find less and less of it in my daily life.  From the common curtesy of a man holding a door open for a woman, to a younger person giving up their seat on an airport shuttle to an older person.  Often, I am left to open a door for myself as the strapping young man ahead of me leaves it to close in my face.  Recently while traveling my seat was offered to someone older than me while someone many decades younger sat comfortably, absorbed in their phone, oblivious to their surroundings. And what’s up with checkout clerks? They seem to smile less, of course all we can see is their eyes, so maybe their smile just isn’t big enough to shine through.  

The combination of the social distance drum beating a background mantra as the latest digital device magnetizes our minds is allowing our base nature to be more acceptably prominent.  Kindness is a choice.  The distractions of today seem to be causing the ability and desire to be kind to slowly slip away. 

What might happen if each of us realized we are not the center of the universe, it is far more vast than our little minds can imagine, we are not separate from the universe we are a speck of dust contained in it, and we are not permanent, our time as we exist today is limited. What might happen if we went out today and treated each person we dealt with as if they were our brother or sister?  And even if they are behaving like they aren’t, we pretend that they’re just confused, and treat them like they are any way.  What if we insist through our mannerisms and our tone that we see each person we interact with in their highest self, their best self?  What if, just for today we decided to be kind, instead of right? How might doing these things change us?

Maybe it’s my age, but I miss those good ole days, when people were compelled to be polite and kind, even if they didn’t feel like it.   

E.A. Fussell

04.29.2021

3 Breaths Meditation

This meditation takes less than three minutes and if done frequently can have a profound impact on your life. Using the word “may” sends two messages to your subconscious:

(1) it expresses the possibility of the statement

(2) it expresses permission, both in asking and receiving (may I, yes you may).

Let’s try it.

Sit quietly. Start with three deep breaths then say each statement one at a time and follow each statement with three deep breaths before saying the next statement:

3 breaths

May I be happy

3 breaths 

May I be well

3 breaths

May I be kind toward my suffering

3 breaths 

May I cultivate more kindness within my heart

3 breaths

May I continue to develop and grow spiritually, emotionally, mentally

3 breaths

That’s how simple it is. How do you feel? You can modify the statements or add to them and create your own personalized meditation. But why not try these for a week and see what they lead you to?

Blessings,

E.A. Fussell

04.24.2021

Ok now try this

Try this:

1. Make a list of the things that make you happy (especially the small simple things)

2. Make a list of the things you do every day

3. Compare the list

4. Adjust accordingly

5. Live your life in a way that makes you happier

Note: a person is about as happy as they make up their mind to be, so go ahead, make up your mind, choose to be happier…..or not, it’s really only up to you

E.A. Fussell

12.21.2020

The last 30

Starting again

Trying to understand

Why

I keep making progress

Then sliding backwards

Losing

Gaining

Losing

So tired of this yo-yo-ing

Ready to be at goal

Feeling on the cusp

Of that place where I either

Sit on another endless plateau

Or worse

Start gaining

Determined

To move further

Downward

On the infernal scale

I will make goal next year

I will see more positive results

I will change up my plans of

Eating and exercise

And kick my own butt

Over this depressing hill

Thankfully

I will end 2020 with

Significantly less body mass

Than when the year started

Twenty pounds gone

Is a good thing

But I still have

Another thirty to go

So as the new year begins

A new goal is set

A new plan envisioned

And yes, I am holding onto hope

This battle will finally be won

Holding fast as I push forward

Starting again

E.A. Fussell

12.28.2020

Taking Others beliefs as your own

It takes courage to admit we don’t know the answers to certain questions. It takes even more courage to admit we don’t even know the right questions. But if we ask the wrong question we are guaranteed to get the wrong answer.

Ponder this for a moment: Think of a current problem you are facing. How did you come to define this problem? Did it magically appear in front of you with no influence from outside forces? Or were you heavily influenced by the media, or your family, or friends, or your employer, or your teacher, or multiple sources?

Do you have time to analyze the problem, really analyze it? Or are you relying on what other people are saying without doing your own research? And if you have done your own research have you looked at all sides of the question? Or just the side that bothers you most?

Looking at all sides of a question allows a problem to be solved in various ways. Deeper questioning allows for the most effective answer. Most of us don’t have the time, inclination, or self-discipline to research and analyze questions the way they should be deciphered. We simply pick which story sounds most plausible to our belief system and agree with what others are saying, adapting their words as our stance.

I challenge you to take one problem in your life and look at it from all sides. For a moment, set aside your emotions, beliefs, and pre-conceived notions. Ask a question related to the problem, gather information from various sources, ask another question, gather more information if needed, continue asking and gathering until you get to an answer that you believe is the correct one. Going five “why’s” deep is an effective way to get to the root cause of a problem

Refuse to accept what other people say as your truth. Research, analyze, ask, repeat. Until you have an answer that is your own. If it aligns with your original position that’s okay, at least you know it to be true for you. But you may find that you come up with a completely new position or approach.

In order to get to the root of a big problem you will need courage to face your own truth. Asking and answering the right questions can be unsettling and frightening as you stare the root cause of a problem in the eye. Sometimes we find it’s our own eye we are staring into. Sometimes it’s the eye of a family member or close friend. Sometimes it’s the eye of the dregs of society.

But would you rather be fighting the real problem by answering the right questions or would you rather continue boxing with shadows?

E.A. Fussell

11.15.2020

Body & Mind aging challenges

Mind and mobility, we sure do take them for granted and aging sure does bring to light how much we take them for granted. The body doesn’t recover as quickly as it did in younger years which can be very frustrating. It needs slow consistent therapy and lots of rest. Slow and rest, two words I am involuntarily learning more about as I age.

Then there is the mind. It is a mystery. Yes, I know that memory issues are common as we age but I really didn’t expect to be experiencing them (so obviously) just shy of sixty. And then there is the jumbling of words that has gotten noticeably worse over the past few months. Thinking one thing but saying something else can be quite alarming. Examples: thinking rent saying mortgage; thinking bank saying post office; thinking garden hose saying rope. These episodes freak me out a little and when I foolishly Googled my symptoms I felt even more concerned. Dr. Google indicates that I have had a stroke, maybe a few! What?!

No, I haven’t had a stroke. There is definitely something neurological happening but it’s a mystery as to what. I started a series of Chinese and alternative medicine treatments about a month ago to improve cognition and memory and so far it seems to be working. Word jumble has decreased from once a day to once a week.

Another month or two of slow and consistent treatment, rest, and prayer should have me well again. One thing is for sure, these experiences have given me perspective of how I would like to live my final years. I have started studying about the brain to help myself and maybe someone else. And when I can move freely again exercise will not be taken for granted, I will consistently workout even if it’s slow.

E.A. Fussell

11.13.2020