Saturday, December 31, 2016

New Year's Eve Reflections


I am seeing so many posts on social media of people being so "done" with 2016. I've even said it myself, it felt like it was the year that everyone died. There seemed to be so much upheaval, tragedy, tumultuous activity (the election, oy). There was so much. But of course, those are the things that get the most attention on the news and social media. There was goodness, love, kindness, giving, and miracles happening too, there always is. And by now, you know where I choose to put my focus on (even if I stray for a moment or two).

If you are into numerology at all, you know 2016 is a 9 year (add up the numbers 2+1+6=9). It's a year of completion, of endings. It doesn't have to be a bad thing, it can be a time of forgiving and letting go. It also means that the cycle begins again and 2017 (2+1+7=10, 1+0= 1) is a year of 1. This is a year of beginnings, and I can already feel that it is going to be a fantastic year ahead.

Our year, our life can be whatever we choose it to be, depending on how we view it. I choose to see the good in it, no matter the circumstances. I have come to realize in what seems like the worst of times (I have had plenty of them), there is good in it. There is a lesson, there is a knowing that better times are ahead, there is an extreme gratitude in the knowledge that I am being taught and loved by a team of divine guides who have always been there, even when I didn't know it.

For me, this year brought incredible blessings, I met authors and beautiful souls don Miguel Ruiz, don Miguel Ruiz Jr., and Eben Alexander author of Proof of Heaven. I connected with Karen Kubicko, read her beautiful book Life Is Just Another Class about her past lives and had an incredible reading from her about my guides and past lives. I spoke with Hay House authors Liana Werner-Gray and Denise Linn, received wonderful advice and received a book The Earth Diet from Liana, and a course from Denise. Denise also tapped into a past life of mine where I acquired my foot pain. The course she gifted me, is going to help me resolve it. Skye Dyer noticed and acknowledged my #WayneDyerWednesday posts on Instagram that I started to honor her dad Dr. Wayne Dyer. From there, I connected with Skye, Serena and Saje Dyer and was able to thank them, and share with them how grateful I am to their dad. I got to know Kate Mackinnon and learned a new healing modality CST (cranial sacral therapy) through her amazing book From My Hands and Heart. I became friends with the most beautiful soul sisters and brothers on Instagram who are on a similar path, are kind, supportive, enthusiastic, humorous, and genuine. I reunited with three soul sisters I met at an I Can Do It! event in Austin in 2013. I met two of them in Austin for dinner, and one came to my town for the week. It was wonderful to catch up, I feel like we have known each other forever (we probably have!) I became even closer with my friends from my youth, even though we live so far away. One of them even visited this year for a week, and three of my other friends and I are planning a long weekend together next year. 




I took another step into public view with my business and participated in events to showcase my products. Sales doubled again this year. I learned more, worked on my website, blogged more, and wrote from my heart without fear of what other people would think. I worked with the amazing healer & Hay House author Abby Wynne (her latest book is How To Be Well) to create a special collection of her quotes on the products I sell. I also participated in a wonderful contest she created with her latest book and items from the collection. 

I worked more on the Kindness...Pass It On mission to provide intentional acts of kindness. I created Kindness tags to support the mission, and received more requests from all over the world for Kindness Cards. 


I really learned to take care of myself this year.  I started my diet with Nutrisystem and have lost 17 1/2 pounds so far. I plan to have the rest of the excessive poundage lost by this coming summer. I have learned to cook better food, do yoga, meditate and exercise. This will be a lifelong process not just a quick fix. I learned to take time for myself to do the things that bring me joy, help me to relax, and nourish my soul. By giving to myself, I am much more energized and joyful to give to those I love.

I received an amazing job offer through a beautiful friend I have known for years. It came when I wasn't looking for it, and it was the nicest surprise. The company has a group of fun, kind, hard working, and appreciative people that makes it a pleasure to be a part of. I work remotely, yet I feel so close to this group that are scattered around the country.

One of the toughest moments this year was losing my sweet kitty Pepper. We had her since she was a kitten, and she was such a love. She would hop on my desk while I was working, purr and snuggle up next to my laptop. She is a beautiful soul. I miss her sweet face and her adorable personality. It's not the same, but she's still here. Yes, I have had signs from Pepper. This may have to be another blog, she's pretty clever in how she shows me her presence. Pepper is a beautiful sign of our eternal nature.




I started a course by Sonia Choquette called Ask Your Guides. I am learning to connect and understand how spirit communicates with us. It's a four week course and I'm halfway through. I experienced a miracle in the second week. It was really for two people in my life who I love very much, and I won't give details because I honor their privacy. But it was something that wasn't right for years, and through the course I was praying for help. I learned to write to my helper guides, and I learned how to do automatic writing for a response back. The writing showed me not to panic, and not to interfere in the way I thought I should. I needed to relax, and know that it was going to be ok. I listened and I followed the guidance I received.  I learned to write an invocation to ask for help. Two days after the invocation, the situation was resolved. All is well, in fact all is better than well. There is so much help around us at all times, all we need to do is ask. We may not get the answer we expect, it may not be the way we wanted to do it, but the help we receive is for our greater good. We just need to let go, and trust.

I learned that what we put our attention on is what we draw towards us. The more I wanted to learn about spirituality, past lives, art, health, and abundance, the more it appeared. Books, authors, teachers, courses all arrived. This is happening for all of us, all the time, we just need to start noticing it. I learned how important it is to catch myself in negative thinking, and let it go. I also learned through keeping a gratitude journal, how the things there are to be grateful for double, triple, quadruple when you take the time to notice the good things that are happening. I write them down, I say thank you aloud when it happens. Celebrate all that goes right, it is far better than blaming the divine when something goes wrong. Life isn't happening to us, it's happening for us.

I am extremely grateful to all of my friends and family who have supported my business by purchasing items, sharing my social media posts, reading my blogs, and commenting. My business and my blog has been the deepest expression of what I want to share with the world, and your support has meant more than I can express. I am so thankful to all of you for your friendships, love and for being a part of my journey and for allowing me to be a part of yours. I know our paths have crossed before, and I am certain they will cross again as we all continue to learn, grow, live, and love. 

I have so many plans for the year ahead. I'm very excited for continued spiritual growth, business growth, joy and fun with my family & friends. I will expand upon it in my New Year's Day blog!

Much love to you all! Wishing you peace, love, joy, perfect wellness, abundance and all you intend for the New Year!




In Love & Gratitude,

Kerri Mulhern
www.suitablegifts.com

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Peace Begins With Me (and you too!)


It has been a tumultous year and a half in the United States. There has been racism, sexism, xenophobia, homophobia, and more. And today we wake up to the culmination of all of the hatred and divisiveness to reveal that Donald Trump is our president elect. 

I kept the election on TV last night and would wake periodically in horror at how it was all going. I felt my heart pounding in my chest in disbelief that someone who spewed such hatred could actually be voted for. I prayed for the best outcome for our country and the world. I woke up feeling sick and full of fear. I cried. I felt embarrassed for our country.

And then I turned back to what has helped me overcome any fears and anxieties that I have ever had. I prayed and I meditated. And I was calm again. The truth is, at least my truth, is that Donald Trump is a reflection of the collective unconscious. He is a projection of the state of our country. Deepak Chopra stated it on Facebook yesterday: "When we can’t face our own shadow, it gets embodied in figures like Trump who gleefully let the dark side of human nature romp in public." So let's face it and use this an opportunity for change. Fear doesn't change anything, it keeps us stuck. 

I know so many (including myself) who have pointed out all of the horrible things Donald Trump has said and done, and I agree. But after some reflection, I also have to admit, Hillary Clinton's team and the media kept repeating it over and over again. Are they not responsible for spreading fear too? Her commercial with all of Trump's rants of hatred and disrespect while child actors sat there watching the TV, were also witnessed by our children. It affected my household, I'm sure it affected many others. 

I think Hillary would have been the best choice for our country, I think her passion is for the public good. I believe she is all inclusive. But I also thought of what would have happened this morning if she were elected. What kind of rebellion would have taken place? What violence could have ensued? Perhaps in some way, we are saved from ourselves right now.

This was a fear based campaign on both sides. Trump wanted us to fear Muslims, Mexicans, and anyone different from him. Clinton wanted us to fear any possibility of Trump being in the White House and in charge of the nuclear codes. How do you sleep thinking Trump could cause a nuclear war? Both sides scared us.

What we see in others exists in us. Whichever candidate we favored, and as much as we think the "other side" is so wrong, if we react with the same anger, fear, and hatred, then aren't we exactly the same? I choose to continue to see the oneness in all of us, I do not support any forms of hatred, I choose love.


I had a moment this morning where I wanted to give up my spiritually-based business and my writing. But after prayer and meditation I realized that giving in to fear is not what is needed. As Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. so beautifully stated: "I have decided to stick with love…Hate is too great a burden to bear." This country and this world need more love. The quote above from Mother Teresa is another clear explanation of what is needed now. We need to begin at home, we need to begin with ourselves. It is also expressed beautifully in the Prayer of Saint Francis:

Lord, make me an instrument of Your peace. 
Where there is hatred, let me sow love; 
where there is injury, pardon; 
where there is doubt, faith; 
where there is despair, hope; 
where there is darkness, light; 
where there is sadness, joy.


O, Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
to be consoled as to console; 

to be understood as to understand; 
to be loved as to love; 
For it is in giving that we receive; 
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned; 
it is in dying that we are born again to eternal life.

This is how we change the world, this is how we make a difference. So for me, I will begin in my home, and I will continue the Kindness...Pass It On Mission to encourage kindness to others, I will continue to create products that promote love, kindness, and peace, and I will write about all of the beauty in life and in each other. I will do my part, and as each of us chooses peace, it will create a ripple effect that will change the world. Sending love and peace to you all.

In Gratitude and Love,

Kerri Mulhern
www.suitablegifts.com



Thursday, November 3, 2016

21 Days of Joy


The more I meditate, the more in touch I become with my soul's voice and my spiritual team that I pray to. What I have been hearing lately is to bring more joy into my life. The voice I hear doesn't just speak to me through my thoughts, it also repeats itself over and over again through things that are brought into my awareness such as books, articles, radio shows, conversations with others and more. The same theme repeats itself until I take notice and do something about it.

I work six days a week, run two small businesses, maintain a blog, and run the Kindness...Pass It On mission. I love everything I do, but my weekdays and weekends became so jam packed that I forgot to play. It was taking a toll on me. I realized I wasn't smiling or laughing as much as I used to. I was feeling drained and I needed to have fun again. 

For the last three weeks, I followed my joy. I spent time reading, meditating, making jewelry, going for walks, visiting the San Antonio Missions, going to the park, taking day trips, exploring nature, recognizing the kindness in others, and being present with my family. I also created future joy by getting tickets to see Eben Alexander author of Proof of Heaven in December, a holiday symphony, and a comedy show next year.




When I bought my new car, I decided to name her after Archangel Jophiel who is all about joy. She helps manifest joy and happiness, and brings beauty to all aspects of our lives. The car makes me feel happy and I wanted the name to be a reflection and reminder of that. Through the 21 Days of Joy, I rediscovered my joy of driving. I used to love going for long drives when I was younger. I would drive to the Jersey shore by myself frequently, and the journey was as peaceful as the ocean itself, Over these past three weeks, my husband and I would take long weekend drives through the Texas Hill Country and visit towns and shops together. It was relaxing and fun at the same time. It was so nice to get out, away from my office, breathe in the fresh air, enjoy the sky, the beautiful trees, and time with my love. I could feel the huge benefits in shaking up the routine I was trapping myself in.




In one of the towns we visited, I spotted a beautiful dog sitting under a bench. I wanted to go up and pet him. I just love animals. At the end of his leash was a man with his face painted in black and red. He said "For $5 you can get a picture of a real Comanche and a real Timberwolf." It actually took me aback for a moment with his gruff voice and the darkness of the paint hiding his face. For a moment I felt I was in another time and space. I said no thanks and walked past. I began reflecting on what is happening at the Standing Rock Indian Reservation in North Dakota because of the Dakota Pipeline Project. I kept thinking about the man and his wolf, and as we turned back to walk that way again, the Comanche and his companion were gone. I joked to my husband that they were spirits, since we couldn't find them anywhere, but my husband insisted that a spirit wouldn't need cash. I could definitely see the logic in that, but it was still a bit mysterious, and I really wanted to just give him some money if he needed it. 




My birthday coincided with my 21 Days of Joy, so I spent that day treating myself. I haven't shopped for myself in ages, primarily because of my weight gain. Now that I'm losing weight again, I am beginning to find the joy again in fashion, jewelry, and taking better care of myself. I bought myself a "goal" blouse as inspiration for my diet. I bought some Clinique skin care and blush. When I was checking out, the salesperson asked if I wanted to sign up for the Macy's rewards program. I said yes, and had to fill in my birth date. When she realized it was my birthday, she threw some free samples into my bag. When I got home, I realized she gave me "Happy" perfume and lotion! It was just too perfect for my joy mission!



What happens when you spend time focusing on what you want to bring into your life, is that the universe conspires to flood you with it. It is the same thing that happens when you focus on what you don't want. The universe doesn't see the difference, it's just giving you what you put your attention on. So, why not pick happy, joy, abundance, perfect wellness, healthy relationships, being on purpose, connecting with spirit, seeing the beauty in your children? It's all there, it always is. 

Realigning with joy in my life has re-energized me. It has helped me pour even more love, passion, and focus into all of the work I do. It has reconnected me with the most important relationships in my life, including myself. 

My next 21 days will be a revisit of 21 Days of Art. I had started it, but didn't follow through. Honestly, it scared me, which is why I need to do it again. Instead of enjoying something that I love to do, I put pressure on myself. I felt that what I was doing wasn't good enough or creative enough. That isn't what art is about, is it? One of the latest repetitive messages coming to me has been about the book The Artist's Way: A Spiritual Path To Higher Creativity by Julia Cameron. I ordered it, and it came in the mail yesterday. Of course it is exactly on point with what has been holding me back. This is yet another example to keep an eye, an ear, and an open mind to what the universe is providing. Everything is happening for us, not to us. I am now ready for 21 Days of Art, because I have joy on my side.

For more information on the books, authors and information mentioned in the blog, click on the links throughout to visit their sites!

In Gratitude & Love,

Kerri Mulhern
www.suitablegifts.com


Monday, October 24, 2016

Book Review: From My Hands and Heart by Kate Mackinnon


From My Hands and Heart: Achieving Health and Balance with Craniosacral Therapy by Kate Mackinnon published by Hay Houseis a beautiful journey through the world of cranialsacral therapy (CST). This gentle healing modality is brought to light through Kate's brilliant writing, fascinating case studies, and even includes instruction on how to perform CST ourselves.

I am still amazed how life flows and the things we need in our life comes to us when we remain open to it. I just "happened" upon Kate Mackinnon's Instagram page one afternoon, and noticed a beautiful picture of Dr. Wayne Dyer and Amma. I love them both and commented on the picture. Kate responded and I soon realized that I had just listened to her on Anita Moorjani's Hayhouse Radio Show. Kate is not only a Hay House author, she was Wayne Dyer's cranialsacral therapist.

I remember Wayne speaking of Kate Mackinnon on his radio show as well, including the work she did, and how she helped him. Prior to Wayne, I had not heard of CST. But Wayne was always introducing us to authors, ideas, healing modalities, and ways of being that were always positive and transformative. After hearing about Kate and her work, I knew I wanted to learn more. 




From My Hands and Heart includes a wonderful forward from Dr. Wayne Dyer. The book is also lovingly peppered with some of the treatment Wayne went through, how it impacted him, and more. There is also a beautiful poem from Nancy Levin, inspired by her experience with CST.

What also drew me to this book was hearing that CST could help TMJ. I have struggled with teeth grinding and jaw clenching since I was a child. As an adult, I am still clenching my jaw, even throughout the day, leaving it feeling tight and tense. This has even caused bone growth on the inside of my lower jaw, due to the stress put on it from clenching. I was eager to read how CST could help me.

Kate Mackinnon's intelligence is palpable in how she explains the different structures of the body and how she is able to use this low-impact healing method to decrease and even eliminate pain in her clients. Initially trained in physical therapy, she leads us through her path to CST. She has such a thorough understanding of the human body, and even works on animals!

Kate also has a deep connection with the energy of the human body. She provides a powerful combination of mind, body, and spiritual healing to her clients, and explains it all to us easily and succinctly in this book. She tenderly works with the cranialsacral fluid in her clients bodies as well as their fascia. To get an overview of CST and what it looks like, check out her website for her video explaining her practice.




I marvel at the fact that she is able to ease pain and restore wellness with the physical pressure comparable to the weight of a nickel. This sounds like such a calm and relaxing method to participate in. Cranialsacral therapy works complimentary with many other healing modalities. She has worked on adults, children, teens, and babies (even in utero!).  CST is used for headaches, asthma, dental pain, easing symptoms in cerebral palsy, Bell's palsy, knee pain, sports injuries and so much more. It is fascinating to read what her sessions bring up emotionally for her clients that need to be released, along with their physical symptoms being alleviated. 

I have enormous respect and appreciation for the fact that Kate undergoes CST on herself for the benefit of herself and her clients. She is very conscious of keeping herself grounded and neutral in order to best serve her clients. 

Kate even shows us how to get a feel for cranialsacral therapy at home. I was thrilled to find an exercise to relax my jaw! Kate also includes resources to find additional information and CST's to work with nearby.

I highly recommend From My Hands and Heart. Thank you Kate Mackinnon for writing about this fascinating therapy in a way that everyone can understand. There is so much packed into this book, that I can't possibly cover it all here. I definitely recommend picking up a copy and learning more!

For more information click the links in the blog or below:
From My Hands and Heart: click here to check out or buy the book
Kate Mackinnon's website: http://www.kmackinnon.com/
Kate's video on CST: http://www.kmackinnon.com/craniosacral-therapy
Dr. Wayne Dyer's website: http://www.waynedyer.com
Hay House website: http://www.hayhouse.com

In Gratitude & Love,

Kerri Mulhern
www.suitablegifts.com




Thursday, October 13, 2016

Book Review: Memories of Heaven by Dr. Wayne W. Dyer and Dee Garnes


I think you already know how I feel about Dr. Wayne Dyer, so ordering this book was a no-brainer. Memories of Heaven is written by Dr. Wayne Dyer and Dee Garnes. It is a compilation of stories from moms, dads, aunts, nannies and more who have witnessed the divine in children. The stories are beautiful, magical, and oftentimes mind-blowing. These children have recalled being in heaven, past lives, choosing their families, reincarnation, precognition, angels, and more.

Dee Garnes and her son Marcus were mentioned many times on Dr. Wayne Dyer's Hayhouse Radio show. While serving as personal assistant to Dr. Dyer, the love he felt for her and her son was palpable. He often talked of meditating with Marcus, which always took me back to when my kids were toddlers and running all over the house, unable to sit still. What a gift to share meditation with a child. It is such a testament to this young child, his parents and the calming, overwhelming love of Wayne to have those moments together of peace and connection to God. Wayne talked quite frequently of his connection to Marcus, and it was beautiful.




The book began as a conversation Dee had with Marcus. This is a stunning confirmation of how close to God children are. There is more to the story that Dee shares, but you should read it through the book. Here is a part of it: Marcus was only 18 months at the time. She asked "What is God like," to which he replied "Light." This beautiful and honest reply prompted Wayne to ask Dee to write it down, and he later posted it on his Facebook page for others to comment with their stories. Thus the book began.




The chapters are filled with beautiful recollections from children, with each chapter sandwiched by Wayne's boundless wisdom and personal stories from his own divine experiences with his children. The stories are grouped in categories including memories of heaven, past lives, choosing parents, angels and more. Many of the stories are similar to each other, in the same way that adult near death experiences are. There are also stories that are so specific to the family they are in, including picking their parents for a specific reason, visitations from loved ones who have passed and meeting grandparents as well as other family members before they were born.




I felt a moment of sadness when I read the the description of Wayne in the "About the Authors" section at the end of the book. It was all in the past tense. For me, I know he is still around. His physical body is really the only thing that left. This whole book is about our eternal beingness, so to me he is not past tense. He is fully present, even more so than ever.

Memories of Heaven is a beautiful book. It can serve to gently open up discussion with young children to discuss what they might recall before they joined us on Earth, or what they still may be experiencing now. It is a gentle, inspiring read and I highly recommend it. Thank you Wayne, Dee, all of the wonderful contributors, and most of all the children. 

You can click on the links in the blog, or click below to access the book and the authors:
Memories of Heaven: click here
Dr. Wayne Dyer: click here
Dee Garnes: click here

In Gratitude & Love,

Kerri Mulhern
www.suitablegifts.com

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Diet Week 3: Now We're Getting Somewhere!


At the end of week 2, I received the frozen portion of my Nutrisystem order for the month. I didn't realize I was getting a free week of Turbo10 along with it. The Turbo Takeoff kit includes a week of breakfast, lunch, and dinner, along with a week of chocolate Nutricrush shakes and Turboshakes. This was supposed to be a kickstart for my first week of dieting.


I am incredibly glad that I didn't start out my weight loss plan with Turbo10, because I would have been a lunatic. I was already in sugar, carb, and calorie withdrawal on the regular plan's 1,500 calories a day. Having two weeks to prepare for this new twist, was very helpful, as I was already feeling adjusted to the plan. It's not something I "had" to do, but I felt better physically and mentally to give it a try.

The idea of Turbo10 is to help you lose up to 10 pounds in your first month. Ideally, a 1-2 pound per week goal is a healthy goal, but having a little extra push in the right direction appealed to me. After week 2, I was already down 5.5 pounds. I started Turbo10 on Sunday. I had breakfast, shake for snack, lunch, shake for snack, and dinner. I also added in vegetables and of course tons and tons of water. 



I made it through the first 3 days on an average of 900 calories a day. It certainly wouldn't be sustainable or healthy in the long term, but through the hunger, I remained determined. It became a bit of a personal quest for me to continue. Maybe the hunger was affecting my sense of reasoning, however, I carried on. 

By Wednesday, I was unhinged. Thank goodness for a dear friend at work who I shared this with. She's working a challenging diet program and could feel my pain. I was so cranky and I had a nagging headache that Tylenol couldn't remedy. As I've mentioned in prior blogs, support is the biggest change for me in my quest to be healthy again. Having someone to reach out to, helped me through the day. 

I realized later in the evening what had actually caused the headache and it wasn't Turbo10.  I took a relaxing salt bath the night before and tossed in about 2 cups of epsom salt. I overdid it, as I had done once before with a Himalayan salt bath. I don't know if it was the detoxing effect from the salt or dehydration, but after I guzzled more water, I felt better.

On Thursday I worked the Turbo10 plan through lunch. My family was taking me to dinner for a pre-birthday celebration, so I put the plan on hold for the evening. I had a salad, and a yummy panko-battered stuffed chicken, homestyle mashed potatoes, and asparagus. I only ate about half of what was on the plate. And I didn't take the rest home either. I am getting used to what "just enough" feels like, and I didn't want to overdue it just because it was there. Feeling better is overriding the yummy factor, and I'm grateful for that. I also don't want to work so hard all week at dieting, only to ruin it on a huge meal.

Friday was my birthday, but I stuck to the plan all day, even through dinner. But then there was cake... I had a small piece, and that was enough. The cravings have subsided so much. As long as I don't get back into the snacking routine, my body doesn't crave it. 

Saturday I went out to breakfast with family and again didn't overeat. I shared some of my struggle and again received wonderful ideas, support, and encouragement. There really isn't anything we need to go through alone. I ordered the healthiest breakfast available and ate a small portion of the plate, similar to what I have been eating for breakfast on the plan. I drank black coffee and water since they have zero calories. For the rest of the day, I stuck to the plan.

Sunday hubby and I went out for breakfast at Denny's and I ordered the Fit Slam breakfast. It was the lowest calorie breakfast on the menu but it was still around 390 calories. That's double what I've been eating. It had egg whites, spinach, tomatoes, a fruit cup, turkey bacon, and an English muffin. I ate it all! Oh well, it really was good! We spent the day in a beautiful town about an hour and a half from our home. We had lunch out and I ordered the veggie burger. There was no burger too it, as it was just vegetables on a bun. I ate just the veggies and the bottom of the bun, plus a few homemade potato chips. I drank unsweetened iced tea, another zero calorie beverage.

So with only three days of being completely devoted to Turbo10, I wasn't sure what my weigh-in would look like on Monday. But I knew overall I did really well. Even eating out, I kept my diet in mind and didn't go overboard.

Drumroll please...I lost 4.5 pounds! Wow! That was quite a bit to lose in a week! I don't have any plans to ever do that again, but it did give me a boost. I am down 10 pounds in 3 weeks! I can't imagine what would have happened had I followed it perfectly for the whole week. But honestly, it was a bit much. I think it gave me a lift psychologically, but the regular plan itself is working, and I know I will get to my goal just by following it.

I can get a bit obsessive, I can obsessively overeat, and I can also obsessively focus on my diet. I am striving for balance. Writing, posting on social media, and talking to friends and family is what is keeping me balanced. I want this to be a healthy, lasting change. I would like to lose 10 pounds a month, but as long as the numbers on the scale are heading down, and I'm feeling well, I'll be happy.

I am also celebrating each 10 pound milestone with a non-food treat. Being overweight, I really stopped pampering myself. I didn't feel well or look well, and I just wanted to hide. I can already feel my personality coming back, and I know it will get better and better. So my plan is for every 10 pounds, I'm putting $30 away in savings. I am also celebrating in this way:

10 Pounds = mani/Pedi
20 Pounds = new walking/workout shoes
30 Pounds = double-piercing my ears (the 2nd closed up a long time ago)
40 Pounds = hair cut/color (a good salon visit hasn't happened in ages)
50 Pounds = facial (it's been years)
60 Pounds = massage (haven't gone because of my weight)
70 Pounds = new boots
80 Pounds = new makeup/makeover
90 Pounds = spa day
100 Pounds = shopping spree! I'm taking all the savings I put away for each 10 pounds, and going shopping!

I'm not sure if I will go for the ultimate 100 pound weight loss, it really depends on how I look and feel. I will be healthy with less of a weight loss than that. I will see when to stop as I continue to go through this. And if I do lose that much, I won't be underweight, I will be within normal guidelines for my height. Time will tell!

Thank you all for listening and supporting. I'm here for you too!

In Gratitude & Love,

Kerri Mulhern
www.suitablegifts.com

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Diet Week 2: The Edge Is Off


The second week was smoother than the first, and I'm happy to say I've lost five and a half pounds so far! It's an inspiring start for me, because I was really worried I wouldn't be able to lose weight. I had been trying on my own for quite awhile and every time I stepped on the scale it was higher. It has been wonderful to see it go down again!

I am already feeling better with increased energy, clearer thinking, and diminished food cravings. I am not as hungry as I used to be, even though I'm consuming less. My face and belly feels less puffy from letting go of sugary snacks and fast food. I've had couple of anxious and cranky moments, but meditation has helped me get back  on track. 

I am also keeping up with my weight loss gratitude journal. As I've mentioned before, gratitude has been essential to everything that I have manifested in my life. This journal acknowledges all of the moments that are supporting my weight loss goal, including support from friends, helpful books and articles coming my way, divine support, and all of the positive changes I'm noticing. As with anything, the more you put your attention on something, the more you draw it towards you. I focus on what I want in my life now, not what I don't want.The changes in my life have been dramatic because of my attitude of gratitude.



I have started adding exercise into my weight loss plan, and went for a mile walk outdoors last week. I will continue to add in strength training, yoga, and more bit by bit. I'm not putting any pressure on myself, I don't want this to be stressful, I want it to be a healthy life change. Through meditation and prayer I am very tuned in to what my body is saying to me. I'm just listening to it and following it through. This isn't a race for me to get to the end, although I'm pretty excited about the results! I am enjoying the journey and am very happy I am finally taking good care of myself.

I am in a really great mindset for this. I can see myself thin again, I can feel it. I have a knowing that I can and will do this. It's unshakeable. That feeling is what had been missing on all of my other dieting attempts. 

On Week 3 I'm trying something different. When I received my Nutrisystem frozen meals, they included a free week of Turbo10, it was something I was supposed to follow for my first week. It's supposed to kickstart the weight loss plan to help lose up to 10 pounds in the first month. But I don't see any reason why I can't do it now! Well see what happens!

In Gratitude & Love,

Kerri Mulhern
www.suitablegifts.com

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Diet Week 1: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly


Over 15 years ago, after I gave birth to my second son, I wanted to lose the baby weight plus some extra weight I had been carrying. Going it alone had not helped me before, so I decided to try Nutrisystem. The food was bland compared to the fat-laden, sugar-infused junk I had previously been shoving down my pie hole, but after about a week, I adjusted to it. What I liked about it was that it helped me curb my carb and sugar cravings (it's low-glycemic, high in fiber), and in about a week I was used to the food. I also added in fruit, veggies, salads, nuts, skim milk, and tons of other healthy options along with the meals. I lost all of the weight I wanted to and felt amazing! 

So years later after putting on quite a bit of weight (I've discussed the why's in my recent blog), and trying to diet many times on my own, I decided I needed Nutrisystem again. For me, it keeps me in control and on track. They even have a NuMi app to log in all of my meals, water, and exercise. They also have frozen meals now and they are tastier. No, I'm not doing a commercial for Nutrisystem, I'm just sharing what I'm going through right now, because that's part of what this blog is about! I am eating about every 2-3 hours. I also drink a bucket load of water every day (64 ounces or more) and green tea.



I ordered a month of meals online, and I was already getting my mind motivated to trim down. I didn't want to wait the week for the meals to arrive, so I went to Wal-Mart to get their 5-day starter kit. I was pretty sure I would start feeling hungry and cranky after day 3, but this time the first day was a struggle! I'm starting out at 1,500 calories a day. In my last diet, I was only eating 1,200 calories a day, yet it was harder this time. It made me realize how much I really had been eating. But I feel determined, and I know I will get through this until I reach my goal weight.

I really wanted to stay off the scale all week, but I just couldn't do it. I had to see if I could actually lose weight again. When I was trying on my own, every time I would get on the scale it would go up. This time, by Saturday I was down 3 pounds. I was so excited! I thought that by my first official weigh-in on Monday, I would be down 4. I wasn't. Cue sad face. But I knew I was being ridiculous. A 1-2 pound weight loss per week is healthy, and 3 is more than enough, especially since it had been going in the other direction for so long. So I got over myself, and will keep going. I am also going to try not to get on the scale every day. I know how it works, our weight fluctuates all the time. The weekly read is a much better judge of how I am doing overall. 

After a couple of days on the diet I started feeling larger than I have ever felt. It's kind of interesting that overeating gave me a warped perspective on my appearance. It's not that I didn't know I was overweight, but something was kind of masking reality. My eyes had apparently been clouded over with glazed donuts and frosting. All of a sudden I saw my size and it wasn't a good feeling. I feel better now. I know how much I need to lose, so it wasn't a shock, it was just an uncomfortable feeling for a bit. I also started feeling nervous for a couple of days. My anxiety was heightened. I thought back to when I lost weight in the past and I remember feeling more anxious thinner. Which of course indicates that a big part of my overeating was to push away those feelings. However, this time I have more tools than I did in the past, and meditation, prayer, and exercise should help quell those feelings. They did subside towards the end of the week.


One of the best parts of the diet this time around is that I'm not trying to do it by myself. Not just having the structure of Nutrisystem, but I have such a strong support system right now. My husband has always been a kind support. He has never said anything negative about my weight ever, except in terms of my health. That has been an enormous gift. It is difficult enough to feel embarrassed about myself, but if I didn't have that kind of unconditional love, I would probably be 500 pounds. I am very grateful. 

My other major support are my friends. I have one forever friend who has lifted me up since we were little. We are both on this journey now with different weight plans and she came up with a beautiful way to inspire each other. She suggested we text each other positive things we do for ourselves regarding our weight loss. This is such a great way to celebrate what we are doing right, instead of beating ourselves up.  I have another friend who has shared in my struggle and is pretty much my long distance coach. She checks in and is always so positive even when I've fallen (as I said before, I've tried losing this without a program and it just wasn't working). 

When I came out of the spiritual closet a few years ago, what I was met with was not what I expected. I didn't share my journey initially because of fear. I didn't know what people would think. I ended up finding that more people felt the way that I did. Being my authentic self and speaking my truth brought far more beauty into my life than what exited. And I am finding the same here with my weight loss journey. Speaking about what I am going through has brought more support, love, and kindness than I ever could have hoped for. It is much easier to live who we are, then what we think others expect. We are here to be ourselves.

Thank you so much for everyone who has been positive and supportive in my journey, it helps more than I can say!

In Gratitude & Love,

Kerri Mulhern
www.suitablegifts.com

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Things Are Getting Sticky Around Here!



I have been following My Sticky Quotes on Instagram for awhile now. Businesses and individuals who bring positivity to the planet always inspire me. The founder of MyStickyQuotes is a recent college graduate and started the company while still in college. Quite an inspiring feat! Michael Russo was a Philosophy and Business Management major and wanted to "make the world a happier place." He began by writing inspirational messages on sticky notes and leaving them everywhere. He ended up teaming up with some friends, won a college business plan competition and was able to start his business.



A few months ago Michael posted a reach out to bloggers who might want to test his products. I immediately sent him a message and soon I received three sets of My Sticky Quotes in the mail. They are fantastic! I have Love Letters, Words of Wisdom and Motivational sticky quotes. Each pack of 50 sheets contains 25 unique quotes. They include motivational and inspirational phrases such as "Be who you are," "Whatever you are, be a good one," "It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it," and so many more.

As you know, I have been running the Kindness...Pass It On Mission for the past two years. I am always looking for new ideas to spread kindness. And I also believe that you don't have to spend very much money (or any!) to be kind. My Sticky Quotes are an inexpensive and easy way to spread kindness everywhere. I had so much fun leaving these all over town. My first stop was at Walmart. I left one on the Redbox and another on a bag of Skinny Pop popcorn:





A few days later I stopped to fill up my car, and left My Sticky Quotes on the gas pump.





On my visit to the dentist, I left one there:



And I left quite a few at my son's college too:



After I left my stickys, I took a picture and tagged @mystickyquotes on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook with the hashtags #TheMotivationMovement to spread more kindness and help their mission grow.

One of the great aspects of My Sticky Quotes is its portability. I can pop a pack in my bag and take them along with me. They are easy and quick to use, plus I can leave them anywhere. Now I leave kindness and inspiration wherever I go. These are great for teachers, churches, clubs, organizations and just about everyone who likes spreading love and kindness. 

You can visit My Sticky Quotes at: https://mystickyquotes.com or click on the links in the blog. Use code: SUITABLEGIFTS for 30% off your purchase. Suitable Gifts is not receiving a part of the sales, this is just another beautiful kindness from My Sticky Quotes!


In Gratitude & Love,

Kerri Mulhern


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