Review of “Rise Sister Rise: A Guide to Unleashing the Wise, Wild, Woman Within” by Rebecca Campbell

I have always been interested in books on spirituality, that didn’t drone on about Christianity. This is the first book by Rebecca that I’ve read (I’m just now starting “Light is the New Black”)—so I’m doing things a little backwards. This is a book that had me looking inwards more with the insightful questions that were spaced throughout the book. As I was reading, I could feel thoughts shifting and falling away. I am at a crossroads right now, and this book reminded me that I should take things slow, because if what I jump for isn’t meant for me, it too will soon fall away and I’ll just find myself back at the crossroads (or a similar location). It is time to let our selves heal, and find our way back to our natural internal rhyme of life.

 

This book opened my eyes to several issues that I’d been letting lie dormant for way to long. Actually issues, that I’d totally forgot about before a passage in the book would bring it to mind—I have several areas bookmarked for the questions to go back and answer, or the exercise to complete, or the mantra to repeat to myself when I need the reminded.

 

One such passage was on calling back my power from people I’d unknowingly given it away to. This is an exercise that I’m going to be completing in the next few days—this is something we all do—strive to meet the expectations of others (our parents, siblings, friends, coworkers, bosses, significant others), but at the same time we lose a piece of ourselves in the process. This is something I’d realized a couple of years ago, and thought I’d curtailed—but never thought of calling back all the power that I’d given away over the years.

 

Several other passages dealt with being in the here and now, and not worrying about yesterday or tomorrow. I’ve realized that this is an area that I need to work on (especially since I’m currently unemployed and job searching), but at the same time am wondering with the way the past couple of jobs have ended—is the universe trying to tell me that my path lays in some other direction that is away from research? I need to look into this possibility, and determine what path is the one I need to be on—but at the same time, enjoy each day as it comes—as I keep reminding myself—there is beauty everywhere, we just have to slow down and open our eyes and heart to see it.

 

Another passage that spoke to me was the one where our lives are a book, and each day/year is a page/chapter in that book. We are the sole authors of our book, but we do allow other to contribute to the book—we need to take control and make each chapter the best possible chapter (and not allow others to write huge portions of it). This includes the possibility of having to make a leap and not knowing how it will end. For me that means, potentially going back to school, switching fields totally, and starting over when I’m just a few years shy of turning 40.

 

For as Rebecca Campbell has said “Rise Sister Rise”

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Reflections on August

Well there goes the month (it doesn’t seem like its been that long since June turned into July). It is a day of reflection on how the goals set for the month, how I did with them, and to plan for the coming seasons.

I basically made it through Shift Shop (I say basically because I had week 3 spread out basically over two and half weeks). I enjoyed the program, though when it comes to short programs, I do like a little more variety in the workouts (I have a love/hate relationship with Autumn’s 21 Day Fix and 21 Day Fix Extreme programs [also from beachbody]. This isn’t to say that I won’t do another round of the Shift Shop, because I will—just not right now. I’m thinking for September I want a little different pace so it will be a coin flip between Yoga Booty Ballet on BOD (beachbody on demand) and Country Heat (Autumn’s 30 day dance program). I enjoy both programs and both are a little more low impact than Shift Shop was. I also managed to lose four pounds this month as well—which is exciting since I wasn’t following the meal plan for Shift Shop, and I have been letting my sweet tooth have a little more control than what it should (maybe the weight lose is due to not having my caramel high rise latte every day at work??? Probably has a little something to do with it).

I came close to my goal of 310,000 steps (basically 10,000/day) this month. The final tally will probably be about 306,000 by bed (so I manage to come pretty damn close). There were several off days this month—the half a week I had to recover from the bruised little toe, and then trying to get back into a routine of going into the lab to do work. I think coming to the conclusion that I need to move on, helped me to get past some of the problems yesterday and I managed to get a good number of steps in. I did have this big goal for the year of reaching 5 million steps for the year (which was basically a little over 14,000 steps/day); but when the mild bout of depression hit in early spring (due to a combination of not being happy on the job and the way this country was going), the daily steps went down and I fell behind on the goal—technically I’m a little over 2.6 million steps for the year (I’d basically have to do almost 20,000 steps/day for the rest of the year to get up to 5 million), so I may fall short of this yearly goal again.

I have been doing a lot of personal development reading for the month; I’ve finished:

Declutter your mind: how to stop worrying, relieve anxiety, and eliminate negative thinking by S.J. Scott and Barrie Davenport

23 Anti-Procrastination Habits: How to stop being lazy and overcome your procrastination by S.J. Scott

52 Small Changes: One Year to a Happier, Healthier You by Brett Blumenthal

I’m currently reading the following three books (the titles of two should explain why I’m reading multiple books):

Rise Sister Rise: A guide to unleashing the wise wild woman within by Rebecca Campbell

Self Discovery Questions: 155 Breakthrough Questions to Accelerate Massive Action by Barrie Davenport

The 52 week Life Passion Project: The Path to uncover your Life Passion by Barrie Davenport

All three are great books (I’m probably further along in Rise Sister Rise, because I’m only answering every few questions; which means I will need to go back and answer all the other questions that I read through [mentally answered], but actually write the answers out and see how they’ve potentially changed since I started the book).

I like Rise Sister Rise, mainly because it talks about spirituality in terms of connecting to nature, the planet, the four major elements, and the old ways. I’ve never really been a follower of the major western religions (though I have nothing against them—I just don’t agree with how they’re taught or how people cherry pick the parts they want to follow that go with how they act). I am glad that the founding fathers put in the freedom of religion and worship how one chooses into the Constitution as part of the First Amendment (okay, off my little history/religion box).

I’ve also decided that I need to learn how to program—so I bought a couple of e-course bundles, and will slowly start working my way through those as well over the next couple of months (so that I can add those to my CV as additional skills).

I’m slowly working on accepting and welcoming my anxiety to where I can function without the potential anxiety/panic attacks that could leave me feeling nauseous for a week or so. I’m also job searching still, but realize that for every job there are probably 50+ applications in addition to mine, and that many of them are also younger than I am as well (plus probably have a few more skills). So in the coming months, I will be heading to career fairs, to see what could be out there, plus get an idea from recruiters there if going back to school for an MBA would be feasible or not.

I do have a Skype interview coming up next week for a potential postdoc position in Florida. I’ve never been to Florida, so I think it would be interesting to go there—learn some more skills, but also try to keep the balance of work with having a life (I’d like to explore a little bit of the state [at least around where I could potentially be living], and may a little of the surround states).

I’ve also realized that it will take awhile to work on breaking old habits and incorporating new ones from some of the books I’ve read into my day to day life. It is hard at times trying to silence your inner critic, especially when you realize that you are your own worse enemy at times. I’ll be the first to admit that at times I can have an overactive imagination and probably dwell on the worse case scenario a lot of the times—these are things that I’m working with—I’m not going to try to quiet my imagination (but I will try to tone it down at times), and instead of dwelling on how things could go bad (after meetings, etc)—I will imagine that things went wonderful and everyone got something out if.

Another big thing I’ve done this past month–was that I launched this blog. Right now there aren’t many followers and that is perfectly fine as I’m learning as I go (as with anything in life). Some days will always be better than others, and I know that some days no one may visit, and other days numerous people may visit–its the cyclic nature of life.

September’s goals are going to be:
(1) At least 300,000 steps (10,000 steps/day)
(2) Make it through the 30 day squat challenge
(3) Make it through another round of Country Heat
(4) Finish Rise Sister Rise, write and post reviews
(5) Determine next book to work into personal development reading list
(6) Work on the programming course bundles
(7) Determine which job fairs/expos to potentially go to
(8)—Potential move????

So until the next post–remember that there is beauty and kindness all around us–if we only open both our eyes and our hearts to see it. Smile, laugh, live, and love.

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Mental setbacks and knowing it is time to move on……..

Well I decided that I would start volunteering a few hours a day in my dad’s lab, mainly to get out of the house for awhile.  It’s only Tuesday and I’m already looking forward to the weekend again.  Why, you might ask?  The overall atmosphere of where I use to work really hasn’t changed; but a few weeks away and now going back I can see exactly how mentally draining the job was.  I love research, don’t get me wrong there; I also love what I’m volunteering to do (it’s a project that I’d been trying to finish up before the end of summer; and now I just might be able to)–I just don’t care for the overall disheartening atmosphere of the department anymore.

I’d been doing pretty good for the past couple of weeks of making sure that I at least get about 60oz of water in (the past two days its barely been hitting 50oz). I’ve got tension headaches again–to the degree that I had a few months ago.  I’d also been good about making sure that I at least got 80-90% of my steps in (if not 100%, plus another workout)–last two days–nope; once I got home I basically sat out in the backyard trying to find my mental center again.  My jaw is slightly sore from gritting my teeth (mainly in hopes that I don’t have to cross paths with that particular individual).

I’m hoping that maybe once I find an additional lab (that is in a different department) to also start volunteering in, some of the bad vibes will disappear since I won’t be in the same area quite so much. I know that additional skills are needed to be able to get into industry (which is why I need to start working on the e-course bundles that I just bought as well–but those are another blog post to come).

It is starting to look like a move is more than necessary for both my mental and physical health; it is also necessary for the job–will that job still be in science; will it be due to me starting school for yet another advanced degree (MS/MBA/???); that is part of the adventure.

We all need to remember that we are living our own “choose your own adventures” (remember those books–or have I just aged myself?). I’ve realized that I’ve picked fairly safe adventures since the end of high school (stayed in the same town for college [both undergrad & grad; though I did apply to some other programs out of state for grad]; and came back when the first job ended to try to recover financially (instead of trying to find another job in the city where I was living). Now it is the time for me to look at the slightly more riskier adventures and decided which one will hopefully work out.  While you can live a full life on with safe adventures–I’ve realized that person isn’t me any longer.  I’m finding it harder to stay civil with people that I don’t like and lets not even get into the politics in this country right now.

But let us remember that there is beauty all around us.  We just need to open our eyes and our hearts to see it.  Tomorrow take a look around you and notice something beautiful–maybe it is a butterfly flying by; or the color of a flower.  Beauty and love are there for all.  Let us start seeing it daily and maybe, just maybe we can start to heal the wounds of the planet.

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Fitness Challenge coming in September

September Squat Challenge

 

Decided to get this posted a little early–starting in September I’m going to try to do different 30 day challenges (some will be fitness, and some will be personal development). But to start it off–I decided to go with squats.  I’m going to start easy on myself (and anyone who wants to join in) with basic and sumo squats (since there were numerous others I could have added–and they may make it to their own 30 day squat challenge). The challenge starts off easy–5 squats–but by the end of the month it is 100 squats.  As I mentioned in the photo–unless you have ample time in the evening or the morning to try to do 45+ squats, break them up into smaller amounts (keep track–unless you want to be doing extra).

Also as I stated–you should consult with your doctor if you have issues with your knees, stop doing them if it hurts to squat, and talk with your doctor. While I am referred to as “Dr”–I’m not that type of Doctor (I have my PhD, not my MD).

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Starting another week……..

As I sit here, I realize that tomorrow would be marking a month since my last day at work.  I’ve been enjoying the time off doing a lot of personal development/discovery. But I’ve also realized that I miss doing science at times–do I want to be doing 40+ hour weeks again, right away—not unless the project is something that totally interests me and has me looking forward to each day. Volunteering to work in a lab to either learn new skills, or to have my name on a paper–yeah, I can do that right now. The reason–it’s on my terms–I can determine my hours (for the most part), and decide if I want to work everyday or not. Plus it will still leave time for personal development and fitness as well.  I’m determined to use this time between jobs a little more wisely than I’ve used previous times and try to figure out exactly who I am meant to be, and what I am meant to be doing.

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Starting Fresh…..

Well decided to see if I could handle shoes and socks today–I could.  Therefore I logged into beachbody on demand and tried out Sculpt 45 from the Shift Shop.  This is the resistance training program for the third week (which I had to postpone due to the bruised toe last week and the severe anxiety attack the week before).  I made through 40 minutes (with only a few mini-breaks for water), before I called it good.  I know that I’m getting stronger–I’m getting better at the pushups (even though they are done on my knees), and I can do several of the exercises with the 8 pound weights instead of the 2 pound weights.  I also managed to get a little over 12,000 steps in for the day (and if I manage that many for next 5 days I’ll meet my monthly goal of at least 310,000 steps).

I’m slowly remembering that it doesn’t matter how many little breaks I have to take throughout the workout–if I’m sweaty and out of breath I’m doing it right. Trying to get healthy and fit is a lifestyle change that requires a lot of baby steps going forward (and acknowledging that there will also be steps backwards as well). No one is perfect, all we can do is strive to be the best that we can, and listen to our bodies, nature, and the universe when it comes to shedding the old to find the new.

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Going into the weekend……..

 

 

As I sit here drinking my tea, I’m reflecting back on how this week went in terms of my goals–somethings have been a little easier than others (for the most part I’ve remembered to do my food journal–can safely say that I still love homemade cookies and my sweet tooth is still running around free), but making sure that I’m not just sitting around doing nothing (though I wouldn’t call job searching and applying nothing), I still have a difficult time getting up and doing something.  But as the author said–some tasks are a little easier to incorporate than others–change is just trying everyday to do something a little better than yesterday.  Though the bruised toe hasn’t helped my mood any either.  But as the picture states–there is new opportunities in each day, we just have to open our eyes and see the opportunities and be willing to start fresh. Meaning, we have to also be willing to let go of what has been holding us back and hindering our progress.

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Updating the site

Well, I decided to change the name of the site to something a little more fitting. It use to be ramblingsofgettingfit and now it is becomingjessi.  The reason is simple–this blog/site is one of the ways that I’m finding myself. While I know not everyone is into personal development and fitness, those are two of my main focuses right now–in order to find the “dream job”, first I have to understand who I am. I know that I’m evolving as a individual–trying the shed the layers that are holding me back and blossoming into the person I am meant to be (no matter how late in life the blossoming has occurred).

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Living within my values and with integrity

So how can I get back to living within my values and with integrity again? One, I need to place priority back on my health and fitness. This means getting in some workout daily (right now I’ll include marching in place to get the steps in), eating better (less processed meats and carbs; more fruits and veggies), and putting more effort into my own personal development. I also need to put in the time for professional development as well.  I need to read more (both personal and professional), take a few courses online to gain new skills, and determine the best way to control the anxiety induced indigestion.

Work wise I need to listen to my intuition when it comes to how I feel about jobs that I’m offered. Right now I’ll probably just be volunteering to learn new skills to put on my CV, but when it comes time for the paycheck-I need to listen to the voices if they think something is off.  Life shouldn’t be all work and no play, but that is how my life has been lately (mini-vacations aside).

I need to try to figure out how to enjoy life, while still surviving the scientific rat race, or decide which other rat race I may want to slowly ease into.

My health is slowly improving since the job ended, but there are still issues that need to be addressed (anxiety-induced indigestion for one), and I now know that leaving the state again will be for the best, as there are too many bad childhood memories (being picked on in school) that seem to always dampen my resolve when I least expect them.

A new avenue, a new job, a new me looks to be required.

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How am I living outside my integrity?

So this is question number 4 from “155 breakthrough questions to accelerate massive action” by Barrie Davenport.

So how have/am I living outside my integrity? Having to deal with a boss, who didn’t value everyone within the workforce. I know I should have spoken out several times and called him out on various things, but I also try to avoid drama (especially work drama) whenever possible. Having gained weight back and probably being at my heaviest since I was an undergraduate studying at OSU. Having a job, where you are expected to generate results for students in intro classes (though they think they are doing the work; at least during the semester–they realize the following semester that they didn’t do the work).

I would like to get a job where everyone is appreciated and respected for their jobs, and the higher-ups realize that everyone has off days and are only human.  Also would like the job to be in a different region of the country–I’m getting a little tired of having to “hide” things from other members of the family. This isn’t fun, because the item is really “hidden”, the other member knows where it is, but can’t sneak it like they could when it was in other parts of the house. Stress isn’t fun, but ways have to be found that don’t include indulging in bad habits (and I’m putting myself in this statement as well).

So basically, I’ve been working at a job that I felt underappreciated, not respected, only little room for learning and evolving skills and didn’t have a good balance of work and home. And I allowed those problems to affect my health, fitness, relaxation, creativity, and intuition.  Everything was being sacrificed for a job that didn’t pay me what I was worth (I was barely earning a paycheck that would go to someone with a BS–and I have my PhD), and left me feeling unfilled and stressed.

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