To Push Through The Pain? Or Not


It’s 2:20 am and the biffy is calling my name.  Sadly. . . I can’t get out of bed. Every muscle in my body hurts; abs, thighs, arms, neck, you name it.  I was not in a serious car accident, no.  I did not run a triathlon.  Nor, did I do hard physical labor all day.

I worked out this week. . . not once, but TWICE!

About every other month, I decide I need to get in better shape, ummmm. . . I mean, in shape.  I usually only walk a few of times a week during the school year otherwise, so when these urgent calls from my body tell me to pay attention and strengthen up, I tend to jump right in and try to fix it.  Too much, too soon, too much pain.  Then, what do you think finishes off the cycle?  Yep, I rest and kinda quit.  And, the cycle continues.  Been goin on fer years now.

I wasn’t always this way.  Throughout my first 40 some years of life, I was obsessed with exercise, my eating, weight, and perfection.  Then,  a surgery that put me down.  I softened.  In a good way.  And, I started liking who I was becoming.

So, now, almost 50, I’m listening more to my body and she’s telling me I have zero core strength, I’m pretty weak and my flexibility is nadda.  But, keep up the walking – daily, Lady.  Oh and by the way, your arms are starting to look pasty and, well. . . whatever, you are almost 50.

Well, that kind of talk gets me riled.  I become driven to fight back, so I pop in those DVD’s and do everything that perky young thing tells me to do.  Push-ups? Sure.  Squats?  You got it.

Here’s the rub.  Now, my body is cuuuuu-rying!  First, she wants it, then she doesn’t.  She says to push through it and then she says to rest, it’s too much.

My daughter Lauren, who is 25 and a wellness coach, scolds me, “No pain, no gain, Mom. Push through it.  You gotta keep it up or you won’t see any results.”

“Yeah, yeah,” I tell her.  I’m her worst client.  But, I can be that way to her.  I’m her mother.  She rolls her eyes.  I’m sure I frustrate her. She says these words with love, but it’s my own voice that I hear in the background. Yes, that’s her in the photo above.

My friend who is my age consoles me, “Shar, we aren’t 25.  We’ve been down that road.  Accept who you are.  We are ok.”

I love my friend because she understands me and where I’ve been, and my daughter IS only 25.  I should rest.

But, the whole world screams, “NO EXCUSES! YOU ARE ONLY AS OLD AS YOU FEEL.”

It bothers me that I even spend time thinking about this when I could be doing something constructive, like writing or reading.  It all seems so ego-driven.

Bernice. (said like Seinfield says Newman)

I’ve grown wiser with age and have learned to not strive for the perfect anything anymore.  I just want to feel good; mind, body, heart and soul.  If any of these “friends” is left out, the others suffer.  It’s a constant state of mindfulness I need to be in, always checking in with each.  Wait, I hear a small voice of reason. . .

“Just move your body, Shar.  It doesn’t matter what you do.  Move.”

Aw, somebody with sense.  Heart and Soul are speaking up for Joy, my body.

I think I’ll just go for a walk today and do a little yoga. 🙂

Who do you listen to?  Do you push through and work through the pain?  Or, do you rest – and forget what you started?

(And, this doesn’t just pertain to exercise, you know. . . )

Shari 🙂

Savory Summer Zucchini Cashew Soup


Miraculously, I’ve been able to continue to eat clean since this summer when I completed the Ultimate Reset with my daughter Lauren.  I just can’t seem to imagine any other way to make and eat food now.  My body craves natural food from the earth without additives and preservatives.  I can not even begin to tell you how my entire being has been transformed since all of this all of this has taken place.  I think back to the day I posted about how my body was so out of synch with my mind and soul back in July and I know that I am blessed.  Truly, Lauren has changed my life by coaching me to wellness.  You can read this post here.

Well, I’m a regular at the farmers’ markets now.  I planted my own garden this summer, but neglected to water it. . . so, um. . . everything kinda died.  I’ve decided to support our local gardeners now. 🙂

Zucchini is in abundance right now.  My generous neighbor, Linda, brings us her overflow and it’s the cheapest vegetable at the market.  This recipe is an alteration of one from the Reset.  I have a lot of trouble following a recipe as I have to change it by adding what I like.  Maybe that’s part of my creative soul working at it’s best.

Anyhow, this soup is so fabulous.  You would never think it was so good for you.  It’s filling and just warms you up inside.  What’s better is you can add whatever you’d like to make it “yours”.  Zucchini loves other flavors! There will also be plenty left over for lunches throughout the week.  Ya gotta love a quick, healthy lunch!

Here is the recipe, but be brave and tweak it to your whatever your heart desires (or with what you have on hand):

Savory Summer Zucchini Cashew Soup


1 mega giant zucchini (or a few medium-sized OR several small ones)

1 – 2 cups of unsalted cashews

1-2 cups of vegetable broth (made from scratch or try Rapunzel brand soup base)

1 or 2 red onions

garlic (fresh cloves or use chopped garlic from a jar – fresh is better)

Himalayan salt and any other herbal seasoning you like

fresh basil

fresh corn and Italian parsley for topping


Roast cashews on a cookie sheet in 350 degree oven for 10 minutes.  Then soak cashews in water for 30 – 60 minutes.  This softens them for blending.

Wash and dry zucchini.  Seed and cut into one inch chunks leaving the skin on.  Cut onion into chunks.

Steam the zucchini and onions until easy to pierce with a fork.  (I had to do this in shifts as it all does not fit in the steamer at one time.)

Drain water from cashews.  In blender, puree cashews, zucchini, onions, garlic, basil and broth until smooth.  I had 3 blender loads of ingredients, so know that this makes a nice amount of soup.

Pour into large soup pan and cook on low.  Add salt and herbal seasonings (if you wish) to taste.

We like to add freshly cut corn off the cob and chopped Italian parsley once our bowls are full.  It just looks so dang pretty that you hate to dig in.  Presentation is always key!

Way yummy.  You will be hoarding zucchini from now on.

I promise.

Shari :-))

Re-Setting My Body

In an earlier post, I write about my frustration with how I feel at a good place in spirit and mind, but my body won’t cooperate and join the team.  I vowed to ask my daughter, Lauren (she’s a personal trainer), for help. . . and to actually listen to her this time.

My body, with its years and years of toxicity due to stress, eating and drinking the wrong stuff, inconsistant exercise has finally screamed so loud at my mind and spirit that it’s time to take serious action or I will never achieve balance.

The first thing Lauren is having me do is  The Beachbody Ultimate Reset.  This is a 21 day, no-starvation, life-changing, cutting-edge, cleansing and detoxing inner-body tune-up.  You can read all about it here.

I am on Day 4 and am feeling amazing, I have to say.  The food is fabulous!  Except for one recipe that contains this nori seaweed, but we substituted romain lettuce leaves.

Lauren and I are making a You-Tube video of our journey, as the sweetheart is doing it right along with me.  Talk about support.  I am excited to share this experience with others and if one person can take something away that helps them, I’ll be happy. 🙂

If you’d love to follow my journey, click here for Lauren’s You-Tube videos or you can find them on Lauren’s facebook page, which is here!

This morning, I choose one of my Soul Coaching Oracle Cards to give me guidance for the day and the card I randomly choose said, “Commitment”.  Hmmm. . . go figure. 🙂


Shari 🙂

Listening to My Vulnerability

I am lacking some pretty serious direction today. Kinda feeling heavy, stuck, and frustrated. So, I grab my jug of coffee and trudge up to my studio to see what whispers I might receive about what avenue to take next.

I turn on my Pandora Helen Jane Long Radio station, burn some sage (for cleansing all that junk in my mind) and just sit.  Breathe.  Breathe again.  One more time.

I am anxious.  I can’t listen to the message if I’m anxious.  Well, I usually get this way towards the middle end of July.  I am a literacy coach and the summer is over half gone.  My todo list has, ummmmm, well. . . one thing crossed off.  That would be my 2 week vacation of solitude.

And, of course, I’ve started some new things that have to do with writing and art.  My soul craves to keep that creative part of me growing, yet my rational mind is thinking about the things that need to be done around the house yet, and planning New Teacher Training in  August.  Work is creeping into my creative brain.

But, more than any of these things causing anxiety today, is my body.

K – I’m sorry for complaining here, but, I feel like crap.  Getting carried away writing and painting and reading cause me to retreat inward and then I lack of consistent, vigorous exercise.  I’m talking more than the half hour walk with the dog.  I’m drinking way too much coffee lately and not enough water.  Meals?  Not telling.  It’s summer!  Grilling and an evening drink so hand in hand with summer, right?

Well, maybe not hand in hand with this body.

This body is screaming for attention.  My joints ache, my skin hurts even, my back feels out of whack and my stomach is acting up, not liking the garlic and onions I put in my food last night.

Why is it that it seems like when you finally feel at a good place with your mind and spirit, the body cries.  I’m afraid that if I get all hooked on exercise and the health track, my mind and time will be consumed with this and peaceful mind and spirit with suffer.  I’ve been obsessed with exercise and every bite of  food I put in my mouth before and I just am so not there anymore.  So much of it was vanity and my ego – so I let it all go when I figured that out.

So, how do I get back to a healthy balance?

I have lacked balance my whole life.

So, I check my emails before I write this morning.  I should not do that, I know.  Write first.  And then. . . worse than that, I check face book.  Another no-no if you are trying to write every  morning, first thing.

But, the message came through face book this morning.  A friend had posted this picture on their wall:

Thank you, Debbie May, for finding this for me today from Jenny’s blog.

Vulnerability.  This word described me to the T this morning.  I clicked on it and soaked up Jenny’s words.

And cried.

Do you do that when someone’s post touches your soul so deeply?  I often think I’m a pathetic mush, but, I’ve realized that when I cry, it’s my soul either crying is sadness or gladness.  This was gladness.  Because Jenny gave me the direction I needed today.

Jenny wrote about her transformation through fitness and how it’s guiding her creativity and her life.

My soul was screaming, “I wanna be fit! Your entire being will align if you feel better physically, Shari! Do something!  Do it today!”

Well, I didn’t have to concentrate to hard to get that message.   And, I don’t have to go too far for help.  My daughter, Lauren, is a personal trainer.  She is the epitome of commitment and strength.  I have never seen someone so dedicated to fitness and health.

She doesn’t live far from me either.   She still lives at home with me.  In my house.  Who is blessed enough to have a personal trainer live with them??????

Lauren is constantly giving me advice as to what I should eat, how I should eat, what exercise would help me the most.  I listen to her sometimes.  She doesn’t hound me.  She often tells me, “It’s a good thing you don’t pay me!”  I’ve told her I should get her services for free since she lives here, but. . .I’m her worst client.

Maybe I need to start paying her.

Maybe it’s time I’m serious about my health.

If I pay her, I’ll feel guilty if I DON’T listen to her.  So, today, I’m asking her for help.  And, I’m paying for it.

Sometimes, asking for help is a sign of strength, not weakness, right?