Archives for September 2011

“Prudence is the proficiency of grasping reality correctly”


Prudence is the proficiency
of grasping reality correctly
and of deciding and acting accordingly:
both aspects are part of prudence
(the first is easily overlooked).

~ Christoph Schonborn

My 4 year old has a flair for the dramatic (understatement). She has picked up the habit of using clarifying statements to create apocalyptic outcomes. Take this actual, recent conversation for instance.

“Momma, can we have macaroni and cheese with dinner?” I reply, “No honey, I am making mashed potatoes.”
Her clarifying statement is, “You mean you are never going to feed me ever again!?”

Um, not what I said. At all.

Interestingly enough, we adults do this all the time, with the humor factor usually left wanting. A situation occurs and we immediately assume the worst in the intention, meaning and position of the involved party. Challenges arise and we find the failures, pitfalls and deal breakers that must obviously accompany the unforeseen hiccup.

The truth is that all situations depend heavily on perception and accurate assessment. And when I say “heavily”, I mean nearly exclusively. Think about road accidents in areas you were supposed to have been had it not been for a flat tire, busted shoe or sick child. Think of the chance encounter with an old friend that only happened because you had to divert off schedule because of a mistake, omission or plan change. I remember being able to stand with those around me and applaud a group of tired soldiers coming home from defending my freedom. I was only there because of a delayed flight.

Today, I encourage you to love them mashed potatoes – at least at first. Those moments in our lives deserve the benefit of the doubt. They deserve the opportunity to blossom into unforeseen blessing. Many times our missteps are not products of tough situations or mistakes. Instead they are the result of our inability to correctly judge the journey to begin with. Whether you curse the rain because your suit is getting ruined or you dance in the puddles, flowers are still going to bloom – it is up to us on if we enjoy the moment or overlook the beauty.

Thanks for the coffee,

Vitamins & Supplements to Live by Guide to Your Health

Immune Health – ECHINACEA – The Immune Herb

Seasonal Change Got You Down? Try Echinacea.

Known as the #1 herb for helping to maintain healthy immune function, Echinacea promotes the body’s natural defense system. This centuries-old herb can be used for immune system support throughout the year, but is especially popular during times of seasonal change.

In a study, Echinacea was found to support immune system health and overall wellness more effectively than placebo.

Throughout the treatment period, the positive response rate for a healthy immune system was greater in the Echinacea group.

  •  #1 herb for helping to maintain healthy immune function
  • Promotes the body’s natural defense system
  • Contains beneficial polysaccharides and phytosterols
  • Popular during times of seasonal change
Yours in Health,
Nikki Palmer

 

If I Duct Tape You to a Chair, Will You Read my Book?

So, as some of you may know, I am going to do it. I am going to write a book. It has been a long time coming. I am blessed to have a few people who have encouraged me to this decision – some for years. I hope they don’t expect to get the book for free. It would be nice to sell at least 5 copies.

I am amazingly blessed to have Lisa Dalton as my writing coach. Actually, she would be better dubbed “The Book Midwife.” I have been writing blog posts at roughly 600 words for so long, the chapters seem endlessly long.

Lisa asked me an interesting question.

Why is your book valuable? Why would anyone care what you have to say?

Ummmm. Because I am mostly cute and have a shining personality? Yeah, she didn’t let that answer fly either.

There has to be an answer to the questions. When the labor pains get tough or the naysayers get loud, you have to know what the answers are.

The answers feel amazingly narcissistic. Makes the whole process seem narcissistic. There is a mood of boastfulness that makes me uncomfortable and I can’t shake it.

Do you intend to be narcissistic and boastful? Seriously, are you writing this book because you want to show the world that you are a Grade A ass who really just wants to sit around and focus on herself?

HUH? Of course that isn’t my intention.

Then what is your intention?

I intend to enjoy my God-given talent of putting nouns and verbs together in such a way that will make one woman, one, wife, one mommy feel not quite so alone. I want to put on paper all that is eff’d up in my brain so that one person will know they are not crazy – or at least not crazy by themselves. I want to honor all that is good in me so that one tired soul will be reminded of the same good in them and they can get some rest. I want to talk about it honestly so that maybe one woman will have the words and maybe one man will too.

Everyone has a story. The ones that get told the loudest are usually not those of folks just like you or just like me. I am the paycheck to paycheck family. I am the 4 kids, no nanny mom. I am the big dreamer who still feels wide ass awake. I am the giver who often feels like she has nothing to give and takes too much. I am the parent who can manage to follow exactly none of the “perfect mommy” rules in the “your precious child” handbook. I am the sister, daughter, friend who feels closeness and emptiness all at the same time because I think you deserve so much more than what you got in me. I am the fighter who knows, at least at some level, I am a great warrior, full of goodness and possibility – I just wish I could remember that all the times when I forget.

My book is valuable because I am valuable. And so are you. My book is important because I am important. And so are you. I care and you care because for a minute we have been wondering if we really are the only ones that think this way. And now we know we are not.

I go to fashion my “you are the last person on the planet who doesn’t get it” shield. I offer to you as well. As Spartans we will be able to weather the valleys in the shade of togetherness.

And I have duct tape and first hand knowledge of its effectiveness in adhering some one to a chair. So there is that.

Invincible Summer Within

In the depth of winter,
I finally learned that
within me there lay
an invincible summer.

~Albert Camus

I almost hesitate to mention again what you already know. Times, they are a’changing – and these are some bumpy roads. You know it, I know it. It goes on all around us and regardless of what the ominous “they” try to tell us, we don’t know what is really going to happen next.

I hesitate because honestly, who needs world wide circumstances to make for a difficult situation? Even in the best of times, we each experience challenges and heart break. There is little to be gained by blaming a circumstance or cycle. It takes nothing more than being human to guarantee the occurrence of strife and difficulty. We are not challenged because we live in these times. We are challenged because we live at all.

And we love to look at these challenges and tout, “Now we will see what we are made of!” And that is wonderful. A formed blade spends a great bit of time in the fire. And we take these obstacles and declare triumph at their conquering. The flag in the mountain peak. Thumb our nose at the valley. And our pride swells because we have been tested and found capable.

But in the throes of fear and anxiety, we forget the adrenaline of the start and the satisfaction of the finish. When the battle has waged longer than planned and the difficulties more than anticipated, the excitement of the sport wanes and our fragility becomes more apparent. It is in that exposure of our frailty that we experience doubt of success.

Today I encourage you know that regardless of the sensitivity of the fragility, the warrior within you is still invincible. Invincible. It cannot be broken – only sacrificed or abandoned. We have within each of us the perseverance to maintain, thrive even, in the most destitute of circumstances. Easy? Probably not. But possible. The way is often shrouded in overgrown brush and is hard to find and navigate. But it is there. The summer, the fire, that passion, is indeed invincible. Get your dancing shoes ready. We are going to need them.

Thanks for the coffee,

Photo Credit to Dar’ya Sipyeykina

Vitamins & Supplements to Live by Guide to Your Health

Heart Health – POLICOSANOL – Cardio Support from a Natural Source

The Science of Healthy Blood Flow

Heart health and blood flow go hand in hand, and Policosanol is a natural way to support both. Policosanol is generally derived from sugar cane, rice wax, and/or wheat germ sources in a process that provides the naturally occurring compounds octacosanol and hexacosonal, long-chain alcohols that promote circulatory health through their positive effects on cholesterol in the blood stream.

Two separate studies point to Policosanol’s positive effects on cardiovascular health. In the first clinical trial, 70 subjects with heart concerns took either 10 mg of Policosanol or a placebo once daily for 8 weeks. Results of the study show Policosanol may support heart health based on its positive effects on cholesterol when compared to placebo. A second study of 110 subjects with heart concerns reported a significant benefit for cholesterol levels when compared to the subject’s baseline scores.

  • Provides cholesterol support by helping to maintain cholesterol levels that are already within a normal range
  • Promotes healthy blood flow
Yours in Health,
Nikki Palmer

 

I Want to Be Friends…

I am feeling differently about my social media. I am very careful the way I word that. I do not mean that I have outgrown, matured past, moved to a different level, grown tired, gotten better, become worse or any other judgemental idea. I have always believed, and continue to believe, that social media behavior is a lot like parenting – there are some things that are obviously tacky, others that are wrong, some that are downright criminal, but outside of that, we all raise our kids our own way since we know them best.

In my area, I was a very early adopter of social media. I enjoy it and it suits me. Professionally it is a fantastic tool and personally it is a great outlet. I am fairly open and relational. I met a lot of people. A lot of great people. I have a bunch of folks from my local community, childhood in my circles. I have over 2000 emails in my personal email cache, over 2100 Facebook friends, and over 700 Facebook followers.

I do not want to do this anymore.

Now before Todd Carpenter gets all excited that he has won, let me explain. I do not think I have been handling my social media incorrectly. If there are those who still choose to deal in high volume, that is wonderful. I understand the stance. I support it. I think it can be very effective when appropriate.

I no longer feel appropriate.

We are losing our battle with all that is personal and real about our business. Every day I can look at a list of phone calls only partially returned. Driving home, I think of what was not accomplished, instead of what was accomplished. The gnawing feeling continues. That families are sitting waiting for a call from us, waiting to hear the word on a contract, or a General Manager’s thoughts on an upcoming season. We are pushing numbers around, doing our best, but is there any real satisfaction in success without pride? Is there any real satisfaction in a success that exists only when we push the messiness of real human contact from our lives and minds? When we learn not to care enough about the very guy we promised the world to, just to get him to sign. Or to let it bother us that a hockey player’s son is worried about his dad getting that fifth concussion. – Jerry Maguire

So today during a particularly introspective time of prayer and contemplation, it occurred to me that deep sixing the social media profiles was a good idea. Nix it all – Facebook, linked in, (choke) twitter (choke). Keep the email, blogs, phone and text. Why? Those things foster real relationship, real community.

This idea has been floating around. Clint, Mike and the like will tell you – twitter follow suggestions should come with a reason. Connections should come with a purpose. Relationships should be, well, relational.

So, I don’t leave without warning. That isn’t the purpose. I am trying to enrich relation – not destroy it. An amazing thing happened – there was connection. And there was confirmation. I had someone say it was sad to reconnect after 20 years and then I am gone – when the truth is we had not “connected” – we had simply “friended.” Would I like to connect with her – you bet your britches. She was a wonderful person then and I am certain she is wonderful now.

In closing, I have been vetoed. I will not lie – the coax to stay will boast my ego for at least the next five minutes. I am not unreasonable. I understand that I may be behaving over zealously (It wouldn’t be the first time). So, I will adjust my thoughts.

I am taking a play from Todd’s book. Sometimes in that there are mistakes made. I was momentarily worried about that. But then I realized…my friends, should they fall victim to my minor mistake of social media faux pas, will forgive me 🙂

There are Days When Spelling Simply Doesn’t Count

You can’t help respecting anybody
who can spell TUESDAY,
even if he doesn’t spell it right;
but spelling isn’t everything.
There are days when spelling Tuesday simply doesn’t count.
~A. A. Milne
The House at Pooh Corner

I will be honest. I get excited when folks let me know they enjoy my writing. It is a nice thing to hear. I am especially thrilled when they use words like “transparent” and phrases like “I can hear you saying it.”

I enjoy that most because it is what I strive to do. I want to be honest. I want to be open. I am not interested in rose colored. Fake is illusion. Real is progress.

But not everything is suitable for public knowledge. Not all laundry needs to be be out in the open. Every good Southern girl knows that the intimates are hung on the inside line between the linens – hidden, out of view.

Is this because we are ashamed or guilty? While those things may be true, that is typically not the reason. Some things remain private because there are certain situations that are nearly too much to process. The wires are already so tangled, the extra voices already so loud, the self conscious advice already so judgmental and so bad that it just would not do to open that platform to anybody else.

Do I mind that you know I am horrid speller? Nah. I am not even concerned that regular readers know some of my biggest challenges, deepest fears and awkward moments. In fact, these frank discussions have enriched my life in countless ways. Amazingly enough, I heard from many that there are others that have had the same experience and that is breath taking for me.

But there are still things about folks that we come into contact with everyday that we just have no idea.

Today I encourage you appreciate the idea that everyone is some where. While that sounds superfluous, it isn’t. We see where we think another person is coming from. We have information that we know and even more that we think we know. Trust me – there is still more. There are untold and unnumbered fears, hopes, dreams, challenges, living in each soul that crosses our path. I encourage each of us to be kind to ourselves and each other – even when it isn’t spelled just quite right. There are many days when spelling isn’t everything. When spelling just doesn’t count. Those are the moments when it is so important for us to remember to try to focus on the things that do.

Thanks for the coffee,

Vitamins & Supplements to Live by Guide to Your Health

Heart Health – NIACIN – Circulation is a Full Body Proposition

The Head-to-Toe, Inside & Out B Vitamin

 Niacin is important enough to warrant a name and a number! As part of the Vitamin B family, Niacin is known as Vitamin B-3 and is related to the other B vitamins through their shared support of the nervous system. On its own, however, Niacin is prized for its ability to promote healthy circulation. This healthy movement of the blood throughout the body supports a variety of systems including the heart and skin, as well as cell growth and metabolic function.

According to the Institute of Medicine, Niacin, a water-soluble B-vitamin, is rapidly absorbed in the stomach and intestines and is metabolized by all body tissues. Dietary sources include proteins, particularly meat, fish and poultry as well as enriched bread products and fortified cereals. Low intakes of this vitamin may cause skin and digestive concerns.

  •  Supports heart health
  • Helps maintain healthy hair and skin
  • Is essential to nervous system health
  • Promotes energy metabolism
  • Is important for cell growth and metabolic function
  • Supports carbohydrate and protein metabolism
Yours in Health,
Nikki Palmer

Why I Pray

I spent a good deal of time yesterday thinking about prayer.

It was my first Sunday back at Mass in too long. As a converting Catholic, Mass is not the thing to miss. But the family was so warmly received. Father said, “Welcome home.” A dear friend said she knew she would see us soon.

It was the 10th anniversary of 9-11. This churns up a whole bunch of thoughts on hate, love, trespass, forgiveness, religion, prayer – at least to does for me.

It has been no secret that my journey with God and all that encompasses has been an interesting one. We have found ourselves in many different places. However, I have found comfort in the fact that most of the figures in biblical history have some things in common – they experienced fear, doubt, love, dishonor, courage – either all at once or at multiple times. I am not so different.

Even when my doubts are at their pinnacle, one thing that is always staring me in my face is prayer. All my life, I can remember times when I prayed.

  • Spending the night under a flipped couch with my newborn sister during a hurricane
  • Starting my new kindergarten (after a move which I hated)
  • Watching my parents give my baby sister mouth to mouth
  • The first time I missed curfew
  • The day I enlisted in the Navy
  • Joey died
  • Bootcamp
  • The night Momma made that phone call
  • The day I found out I was in labor – 12 weeks early
  • When I sent her to kindergarten
  • The night of her emergency surgery
  • Every single day of my deployment during OEF/OIF
  • My miscarriage
  • My discharge from active service
  • That other time
  • Right now as I write this

There are a ton of wonderfully happy times when I pray. And I enjoy the feeling of gratitude. But when I am fearful or scared, prayer is amazingly powerful. Not quite sure what I would do without it. Even now, conversations with The Blessed Mother is one of my favorite things.

I have heard prayer described as a crutch. I am ok with that. I would never fault someone with a broken leg for using a crutch – they need it. I need it. I am not flawed in my weakness. I am human.

I have heard God described as a fictious creation designed for our own need of comfort. I have also heard Him described as the Creator and Lover of all. I prefer the latter and as it takes equal amounts of faith to believe either, I will believe what I prefer.

I have heard religion described as a violent manipulation designed by those seeking power to control the masses. I have also seen religion deliver aid to the needy, food to the hungry, clothes to the naked, medicine to the sick, and comfort to the broken. Misuse of a thing is not the fault of the thing. Knowing that someone has had their head bashed in with a bat does not make the seventh inning stretch any less beautiful.

I don’t have all the answers, neither can I control the opposition or defense. But, that is the beautiful thing about freedom…I can ask my questions, I can search for my answers and I can pray.

Accident

I have never felt like an accident. Even from my unplanned birth. I can’t think of any point in my 35 years that I have ever pondered whether or not I was intended.

I know that is a blessed thing. I realize there are many who have had to struggle with being unwanted, unintended – an accident. I appreciate that is not a burden I have to bear.

However, at the risk of sounding ungrateful (which I am not) a more specific instruction guide would be nice. Yes, I am aware the Bible is considered the ultimate instructional guide. I have read it and I find its lessons on character completely accurate. And at the risk of sounding blasphemous (which I am not), I have also found it lacking the chapter of my life – should I have gone to college or the Navy, when do I get married, when do I have children, how many, do I work full time, what do I do, what are my hobbies, where should I live, which choices really have only one answer, which can I just do whatever and be ok…yeah, none of that is in there.

While this may not be a glaring omission for some, it is to me. I am a checklist girl. I like processes and formula. I like maps, plans, directions, reciepes, instruction manuals. I like pretending I am flying by the seat of pants, knowing all the while I have a Hollywood style harness that is keeping me right where I am supposed to be.

Don’t get me wrong, I am not talking rigid. I understand and expect processes to need case by case finesse. I know not all the boxes need to be checked all the time and some need to be added occassionally. I am a fabulous cook but only an ok baker – I like to use recipes more as a guideline than absolutes.

But a little more obvious direction would be nice. I am not an accident. I like not feeling like an accident. I would love to know that I am not participating in a whole lot of them too…

*Inspired by Day 2, The Purpose Driven Life