Category Archives: wellness

“Invest” in 2023…Health and Wealth

What one word will inspire your 2023? I am choosing to focus on the word “invest” as my foundation and motivation to carry me throughout the year.  My goal is mainly for gaining intangible returns over all things that I value – whether its spiritually, emotionally, physically, or financially.  

I am beyond grateful and blessed for the opportunities that have presented themselves to me in the past few years.  I honor my higher self-conscious and awareness of God and the universe by investing in me and specifically in my health and wealth.

I honor my higher self-conscious by investing in me…my wellness, my health, my wealth. ~ N. Ann Hall circa 2023

Health is Wealth

Age ain’t nothing but a number. I say 57 looks great on me…(01.03.23 Scottsdale, AZ)

I had a hysterectomy in late 2022 and I feel great, almost like a rebirth of my body. I was struggling with growing fibroids even in menopause and after fighting it for several years, decided that the procedure was the best choice for me. What I resisted, persisted and all the other dietary and organic things I tried, were not netting any results for me.  Well turns out that after my hysterectomy, my digestive system became calmer, my stomach began to reduce in size, and I didn’t feel pain or monthly discomfort anymore.  I felt more energized and calmer, too. This has been motivating to revisit my fitness goal made at 50 that eventually escaped me, but now at 57, I am recommitting myself. Especially as I am the older auntie now, my overall physical wellness (energy, strength, flexibility) and diet are utmost priorities. One of my goals toward investing in my physical wellness is the elimination of all processed sugar (which I believe contributed to the ongoing growth of the fibroids and increased my blood sugar).

Retirement and Wealth

Secondly, I am eight years shy of 65 – the retirement age.  Am I prepared? Of course not, but it IS very important for me to use those remaining working years to invest in my financial health by contributing more towards my 401k, and dabble more in the stock market (buying fractional shares make it very easy) or creating lasting experiences for myself that money just can’t buy.  While it may appear it’s late in the game for this financial strategy, I am aware that abundance and overflow has no timeframe or age limit.  The beauty of social media has shown so many legitimate techniques and tools that people have used to enrich themselves with basic skill sets and knowledge.  Wealth is all around us, we must know what we are looking for to tap into manifesting its value and power.

So how can you invest in yourself this year in a way that really matters in your life? Please feel free to share. In closing, I wish and bid myself and anyone I encounter well in 2023. May we prosper abundantly in all good things with a focus to take some time out to invest in ourselves and elevate our lives.

Turning Fifty-ish: Surefire Way for Thriving and Living Well

Fiftyish is a quarterly perspective on health, wellness, beauty and graceful living.

The acceptance of aging is a process that had to mentally unfold before I began to appreciate wellness, health, fitness and anti-aging products.  I’ve maintained good health, always enjoyed clear skin – nary a pimple as a teen or young adult — and my 105-pound young adult and post-pregnancy self really believed I would be Olive Oyl skinny my entire life.

All lies, I say!!!! 

“Age is just a number, and agelessness means not buying into the idea that a number determines everything from your state of health to your attractiveness to your value.” 

― Christiane Northrup, Goddesses Never Age: The Secret Prescription for Radiance, Vitality, and Well-Being

My Body is Broken

My brain says I’m 33 but that morning backache and knee pain suggests more my real age of 53.  While internally I feel youthful exuberance, and gratefully, my God-blessed melanin keeps me wrinkle-free, my physical reality is that my body has aged, and it is broken with weight gain, high blood pressure, aches/pains, skin hyperpigmentation, and other effects of menopause.

Okay, “broken” is a stretch…but I have come to terms that my body needs regimented self-care, self-love and some healing during this naturally-progressing stage of my life’s journey.

Pioneering women’s author, health and wellness expert, and board-certified ob-gyn Christiane Northrup, M.D., wrote in her New York Times best-selling book, Women’s Bodies, Women’s Wisdom: Creating Physical and Emotional Health and Healing, that “the secret to thriving is the knowledge that we are never simply victims of our bodies. It’s very reassuring to know that we all have within us the ability to heal from anything and go on to live joy-filled lives.” 

Me on my 53rd birthday sans makeup.

We cannot stop aging or turn back the clock, so the goal for us fifty-ish age women should be looking and feeling good no matter what age we are.  Northrup has widely used terms such as “gracefully aging” and “ageless” beauty to describe an overall mindset for women to embrace and own their body’s changes, and she has written extensively in books and on her blog about the subject.

These are themes that have also become more commonplace in my friend groups and amongst peers as we embrace graceful aging and laugh about being the old ladies in the room. However, we don’t sit idly by as if we have no say in the matter.  My belief is that if there is breath in our bodies and we can move, we can – no we MUST — adapt and modify our lifestyles to embrace and love our matured, beautiful selves with intentional focus and some lifestyle, dietary and skincare changes.  Oh yes, and some inspiration and motivation, too.

Finding Inspiration

My fitness inspiration comes from my Goddaughter’s mom and friend, Lorna. For pretty much the 15 years I’ve known her, she has always gone to the gym. And in the last five years, she considered training for a fitness competition.  I didn’t think she was serious because at that time, she was married with four kids, worked full time, active in church ministry, working on a master’s degree, started a storefront retail cake bakery, got a divorce, then later earned a doctorate. 

Dr. Lorna, 51, a natural body pro fitness competitor.

But in the past several years, each time I saw Lorna, I exclaimed “girl, look at your arms and legs.” She was transforming right before my eyes.  And then last year, I attended one of her first natural body fitness competitions, and I was in awe and shock (in a good way) about the whole experience and what I saw.  She was 51 but looked 25.

It also gave me pause to really think about my priorities and why I could not commit to ANY type of fitness routine for the betterment of my health and overall wellness. I do want to be healthy and keep my blood pressure in check, feel good about myself, and look comfortable and toned in my clothes. I recognize that stress, mindless eating, and bad habits took over as life happened, but it’s never too late to regain control and make conscious, healthy lifestyle choices.

Yes, I got all of that from attending one of Lorna’s competitions. Here’s her story:

From Step Class to Fitness Pro

Lorna S. Deshay, Ph.D., (Mom, Marketing Expert, Cake Decorator, and Pro Fitness Competitor)

When did you begin your fitness journey?

Dr. Lorna, July 2018

I began working out in 1998 in a step class that was offered at a Rehabilitation Medical Center. In 1999 I began working out at Australian Body Works who later was bought out by LA Fitness. I have been working out consistently since 1999. At times I would work out two times a day, five days a week. My current regimen is working out one time a day, six days a week.

What was your initial motivation for beginning a workout regimen?

My initial motivation in 1998 was just to do something during my lunch hour. Who knew that the lunch time filler would be become an activity that I became so passionate about. I began to enjoy working out and didn’t feel complete if I missed a day or two.

How did that morph into fitness competition? 

As I was working out at the gym, you begin to see the same people all the time. Especially if you are consistent with the times that you may go. There was a guy who asked me if I “competed.” I know I looked at him side eyed because that isn’t anything I ever considered. I worked out consistently and hard just because I enjoyed it. From that point, he began to train me. I still did not make a commitment to compete, I just thought maybe I would consider it. Well, as of May 2018 I competed in my first show as a Figure competitor. Before stepping on stage, I thought I would do one show and be done. The following day after the show, I was looking up other shows that I could compete in. Since May 2018 I’ve competed in six shows and have obtained my Pro Figure status with three natural bodybuilding organizations (SNBF, ANBF, and One World Alliance). My current goal is to compete in a World Championship show and the Natural Olympia.

Throughout your 20-year fitness journey, how have you balanced being a wife, mother, friend, employee, business owner, doctoral student and all the other things you’ve had going on in your life?

All In The Family
Both Dr. Lorna (51) and her oldest son, Sadik (26) have successfully competed and placed in fitness competitions.

Regardless of my responsibilities, I had to keep up with my workout regimen. I specifically designated time at lunch to go to the gym and when I was working out twice a day, I would go to the gym again before I had to pick up my younger kids from after school care. When I knew that I wouldn’t be able to make it to the gym at lunch time, due to a meeting or other work-related obligation, I would get up early and go to the gym at 5am and be there when they opened. When I had to travel for work, one of my hotel requirements was the fitness center. If there was a LA Fitness in the area, I would map out how far was the hotel to the gym. I remember traveling to Columbus, OH and there was at least a foot of snow on the ground. I layered up and went to the gym. I prevented myself from having excuses for not going.  My friends laughed at me one time because Atlanta had an ice storm and we were stuck indoors for a few days. They couldn’t believe I was calling the gym to see if they were open.

A lot of women just may not feel motivated to work out because they don’t feel they have the time or don’t feel they can commit.  What would you suggest?

Dr. Lorna and her Fam.

I think women should consider how they want to see themselves one year, five years, or even 10 years from now. A healthy body will not just happen or sprinkle over you. To prevent medical conditions as you get older, live longer and healthy, and even look better, women must set realistic goals. I suggest that if women need to lose weight, they should hire a trainer so that they can learn the correct way to eat and how to incorporate a workout regimen. Dieting is never the answer, eating correctly to be part of a healthy lifestyle is the answer. Most women may not be motivated to work out so finding a friend who will commit to work out, is the ideal solution. Accountability will help. It doesn’t matter what age women are, deciding to begin working out would be advantageous to a healthy lifestyle. Please remember that if you are having medical complications, on medication, or have had any surgeries, discuss with your physician before you begin any workout program.

Thanks Lorna. You are very disciplined and make good points about nutrition, dieting and accountability. What about women who may not have the financial resources to join a gym or hire a trainer or nutritionist? 

I would suggest looking up beginner at-home workout programs on YouTube. Here is a link I found for a 15-minute beginners at-home cardio workout (  Please remember to take it slow and work at your own pace if you are just starting a workout routine. Over time you will build up endurance to keep up with the instructor. Also, here’s a basic eating plan that is very easy to follow.

Keeping Perspective

Maybe fitness competitions or intense workouts may not be a motivator or even a realistic expectation for most women to consider or pursue, especially in middle age, but a few things can be learned from Lorna’s competitive fitness journey, like discipline, attitude and commitment. She is focused and balances her family life by incorporating wellness, fitness, and health into activities, the types of natural products she has in the home, and preparing well-balanced, nutritious meals.

It also comes down to a matter of perspective and how one can translate lessons from another’s experience and journey into their own personal goals. Age really is only a number and for my fellow fifty-ish aged women challenged with their own wellness and mid-life aging concerns, recognize that feeling and looking good is possible and doable with the right mindset. Free your mind and rest your soul. You can look youthful and vibrant by creating your own style and finding your path for taking better care of yourself.

My #Thrive2019 Lifestyle Goals

In addition to visiting my doctor(s) for a physical and wellness checkup, I continue to seek out natural remedies for improving my sense of physical and mental wellbeing. I now primarily use items like castile soap, shea butter, coconut oil and honey regularly for my facial and skincare regimens.

I am also now more conscious about what I eat, making sure to include salads and raw and cooked vegetables in my daily diet, whether at home or at a restaurant.  I drink primarily water as a beverage, either alone, infused with fruits and vegetables, as an herbal or green tea.

I move more, too.  Either I’m walking at lunch, doing a Zumba class, punching and jabbing in a kickboxing class, periodically doing yoga, meditation and mindfulness activities, or taking advantage of the equipment in my complimentary workplace gym facility. My routine rotates weekly because I adjust based on my schedule and how I am feeling that day. But one thing is constant is that I am committed to doing something every day to actively move my body, even if it’s as simple as stretching to improve flexibility and balance. 

How are you inspired and motivated to be an ageless beauty? What are you committed to doing to improve your health and wellness? Self-care is self-love and involves making actively conscious decisions about one’s wellness. Share your thoughts below.

Three Life Lessons from Taraji P. Henson’s “Proud Mary” (Click image for trailer link.)

I am a Taraji P. Henson fan.  I love every character she has played, especially as Cookie in Fox’s Empire.  She always exhibits a level of sincerity, grit and tenacity as an actress. For me, her characters are always very relatable and multi-dimensional.  She’s like your favorite cousin, keeping it real auntie, friend that has your back. When I saw Sony/Screen Gems’ thriller action Proud Mary last weekend, I was again impressed with Taraji. But not because the film was great.

I did enjoy the movie, but Proud Mary was not a box office hit, grossing about $14 million by its second weekend amidst projections of $20 million in its opening weekend, and debuting in eighth place as a box opener. The movie, however, broke even so that’s always a good thing, especially since Taraji has executive producer credits.

There were elements of the film that were lacking (production quality could have been better, writing could have been tighter, would have liked a better build up in beginning and more action in the middle, maybe her face off with another female — something her Cookie character does flawlessly), and several character’s acting were not up to par (what was up with Danny Glover and Billy Brown).  But looking beyond all of that to focus on Taraji’s character, Mary, she performs entertainingly (albeit stereotypical) as a fearless, bad-ass, gun-toting female assassin showing maternal instinct, empathy, and survival skills in protecting Jahi Wilson’s character, Danny, the son of one of her victims.

As a sparse movie goer but avid supporter of black women-led roles, I always look beyond the entertainment aspect of films and focus my understanding on the character’s backstory and its reflection of societal norms, values and beliefs.  Mary’s backstory was not fully developed, but the storyline was clear enough to ascertain that she was an orphan taken in by a crime family who had an encounter that woke her up.  She decided to reclaim her life, her goals and dreams while also giving Danny a chance to experience maternal love, hope and stability. Trying to regain control from a patriarchal environment is a familiar script that many women face in navigating their lives, but just like a bad movie, there are always some take-aways worthy of any experience.

  • Trust your gut. Mary’s career choice was more about survival that desensitized her actions and ruled her life. But when she saw the kid in her mark’s home obliviously playing video games, her instincts told her it was time to move on, but not without curiosity or concern of who she was leaving behind.  She thought about the kid often and checked up on him.  She recognized that a change in life was due. As women, we have a unique gift and often know when we are in a bad job, have toxic relationships, and make unhealthy life choices.  We must remember that it is our divine nature to trust our gut and know when it’s time to make change to do the right thing, not only for ourselves, but often for others. Let’s not ignore that nagging feeling or sign that we know is meant to get our attention.
  • Be willing to start over. The organized crime family decided Mary’s destiny was assassinating folks. It took her orphaning a child to realize her life was more valuable than that, so she decided on a re-do, to live life differently, and on her own terms. A re-do can happen at any time, age or stage in life but a person must be willing to let go of the past and anything negative weighing them down.  Unlike in the movie, I am NOT suggesting being extreme and taking out an entire family, lol, but there is no shame in distancing yourself from people who keep you in a bad place because of their lifestyle, actions, dysfunction, and/or attitudes. It is possible to outgrow people and move on, especially after we’ve learned the lesson they were in our life to teach.
  • You can always make a difference. Danny needed Mary in his life as much as she needed him. She learned that his mother left him and he felt abandoned, and that his father was not a good guy. Just the little bit of compassion she showed to him softened him to know that he mattered to someone. We never know someone’s story and the impact that life has had on them. Kids do become the adults we interact with and it’s the sincerity and small kindnesses that can make a difference, like a smile, holding the door for the person behind you, a quick email, text or phone call to let someone know you were thinking about them, an authentic compliment, or just paying it forward in your own unique way with the expectation of only good karma from the Universe.

I Believed. Now For Love.


That was my primary focus for 2016.  As I went to remove my 2016 wall calendar, I couldn’t help but smile when I read December’s message: “Believe you can and you’re halfway there.” A reminder that the journey is mostly mental.

The word “believe” served me well throughout the year. I learned to believe that I could trust myself again and I watched as incredible opportunities surfaced. Even when I wavered, deep inside, I understood that waiting, impatiently, was just a manifestation of not being able to control the Universe’s timing.  Like clockwork, an inanimate reminder of the word, on a pillow or wall plaque at Home Goods, or a quote on social media would draw my attention back. Believe. One word. A simple idea with boundless application.

But alas, it’s time is almost up.  A new year, a new beginning. I tuck the word away in my memory portal as the new arrival gently beckons for my attention. I curate a new word, just four letters, and I welcome its debut.

“Hello 2017; you look so inviting. This year will be all about ‘LOVE.’”

Living Purposefully and Achieving Personal Mastery

Personal mastery is the result of setting goals and achieving success and is rooted in continuous self-improvement, especially towards gaining a competency in skill or knowledge.  Some people have large lofty goals like surpassing Bill Gates’ net worth of $79.2 billion or creating an Oprah-sized media empire. Others may have specific target goals like losing five pounds, getting into shape or having a peaceful home life.

Regardless of one’s goal, an important fundamental task for achieving personal mastery is purposeful living.  Or establishing clarity around what you are doing, why you are doing it, and understanding the greater benefit of what you are doing. The best way to get that type of clarity is through a personal vision.

Creating A Personal Vision

A personal vision is basically big picture thinking.  It’s the concept behind your goal setting because it shows you where you are headed and can provide all of the possibilities of many directions that you can travel.  If you don’t already have a vision for your life, the best way to identify one is connect with yourself, your inner being, and began to picture an image of the future that you would like to have.

Here’s a very quick mindfulness exercise to try: Try closing your eyes and actually seeing yourself as the person you want to be. What are you doing?  What can you see? How do you feel? Are you alone or with others? How are people relating to you?  Embrace this image and when you are ready, open your eyes. Now back in the present moment is where the real work begins.  This is often the hardest thing for many people to do, but write down what you saw.  Doesn’t have to be fancy words, just describe it in your own words, and this is the beginning of crafting a vision for your life.

If you ask anyone you admire how they accomplished their level of success, and they will emphatically tell you they set a goal for themselves, created a plan, and worked hard at mastering specific tasks. At the core of their goal was a personal vision with an anticipated outcome. Yes, there may have been some life detours, but the vision remained constant, and this is a person who is living on purpose.

Committing to Self-Discipline

Another key element of personal mastery is self-discipline. Just like a runner preparing for a marathon, one must be disciplined enough to follow an exercise and running regimen to ensure their body is trained and prepared to endure the rigors of the race.  That’s the same type of motivation required for mastering personal success.

I recall sharing my vision of running as an example of goal setting in a study skills class of high school students. I told them that in my mind I see myself running, but I never take action. I have the vision and can see me running but I lack the self-discipline to commit to running. I explained that self-discipline is holding yourself accountable to do what is right to meet your goals and objectives in life.  It motivates the action that is necessary to fulfill your personal vision and stay the course.

On a personal note, I still hold steadfast to the vision of running, and have begun small steps to motivate myself towards that end. Your approach towards achieving self-discipline may be to just jump in and just do it, as the Nike slogan suggests.  But always do what works best for you.  No one else is the best indicator of your heart’s desire, capabilities or personal circumstances. It’s better to feel good about your vision, goals and progress than set up false expectations and later abandon the vision forever. When you stay the course, no matter how long it takes, that’s personal mastery.  And in time, you will also have a great story to share about overcoming obstacles to achieve personal mastery that will be a motivator for someone else.  That’s real purposeful living when your experiences positively impact change in someone else.

personal masteryIn Summary

The desire for personal mastery begins with awareness of purposeful living.  Next, a personal vision is the roadmap to guide your living.  And lastly, self-discipline promotes the action that is necessary to achieve success.  Wishing you all the best towards your own discovery of personal mastery.

Enjoy (And Visualize)!

Just What is An “Odd” Emotion?

embrace your emotionsWhile performing social media consulting work for a child psychologist, my eyes were drawn to a Psychology Today magazine sitting in the office lobby.  The headline for the cover story read “Odd Emotions:  Master The Feelings You Can’t Name.” The title alone was intriguing enough to stoke my interest because, well, I’m a “highly sensitive person” and I often experience emotions that I can’t quite name or explain.

There Are Just No Adequate Words, Or Are There?

So-o-o…not too long ago, I struggled with understanding some emotions that I can best describe as a ball of intertwined feelings occurring simultaneously. It felt like an explosive double roundhouse kick to the gut from mixed martial artist Ronda Rousey that left me dazed, confused, hurt, angry, scared, humiliated, and traumatized.  And those are just a few of the emotions that converged upon my spirit in one fell swoop. But the worst part was not being able to explain or comprehend the emotions, nor that no one else seemed to understand it, either.

Fast forward to the other side of my multifarious emotions, I discover that these “odd” feelings really don’t have one name.  When artist and writer John Koenig was not able to label his emotions of pending death, he just invented one, “moriturism,” and says “it [his emotions] felt somehow okay.” He then created a website that serves as a dictionary describing emotions that have no name using a combination of creativity, linguistic research, and etymology to assign a name and meaning. For instance, “exulansis,” he has determined is a noun which means

“the tendency to give up trying to talk about an experience because people are unable to relate to it—whether through envy or pity or simple foreignness—which allows it to drift away from the rest of your life story, until the memory itself feels out of place, almost mythical, wandering restlessly in the fog, no longer even looking for a place to land.”

The word is a present verb from its Latin root exulō, which means “to exile, banish.”

Fluff or For Real?

You may be wondering, if people really remember or use these words. Highly likely not, but psychologists suggest in the article that naming or labeling an emotion “might make it more manageable,” “allow us the opportunity to choose our response,” and “help to put a frame around more complex emotions.” I would agree with them, because I believe being able to name what I was previously feeling would have helped to redirect my energy because I spent a lot of time just processing my emotions and the experience.

Others may see it as a pointless exercise that probably won’t be useful, but Koenig believes it helps individuals to understand that the same indescribable emotions they are feeling have been felt by others. The experience may also encourage the practice of honoring one’s sensitivity and personal emotions in a constructive manner. That’s a lot less exhausting than the alternative, which is running from or suppressing emotions in hopes of an exulansis.

What do you think about “odd” emotions?  Are there inventive words you’ve heard or used to describe an emotion or even an experience, whether good or bad?  Would love to read your thoughts in the comments.

Be Happy in 2015

The first day of the year is always a good place of new beginnings and newfound or renewed commitment towards creating a healthy and prosperous life and being focused on what matters the most in life. That’s why it was no surprise to receive invitations to 1) participate in a bowl burning ceremony and to 2) a dinner celebrating the unity of friendship. While regretfully I was not able to make either event, I was truly appreciative of the thoughts and sentiments.

Image found at

Burning Bowl. Image source:

I was familiar with the burning bowl ceremony and believe that I participated in something very similar many years ago. If you are not familiar with the ritual, it is a fire ceremony that can take place indoors or outdoors in a ceramic bowl, fire pit, fireplace, anything that can safely contain the fire. It often takes place on New Year’s Eve or New Year’s Day. The purpose is to release negative thoughts, hurts, resentment, and anger from the past to focus on conscious awareness and clarity of love, life, health and prosperity. The concept is to write down on a piece of paper whatever negative thought that you want to leave in the past and to place the paper into the burning bowl. The symbolization of the activity is the smoke carrying away the negativity into the atmosphere to allow for clarity and awareness for the remaining 364 days. It’s a cleansing or releasing of everything you no longer wish to burden your heart and spirit with.

For many people, the intent is great but when real life challenges hit after the honeymoon of the Christmas holiday season and New Years Day, it’s easy to forget to stay in a place of peace and awareness. And we know that people just want to be happy or otherwise Pharrell’s catchy song, Happy, would not have sold over 12 million copies to become one of the best-selling singles of all times while inspiring videos from all over the world of people dancing in the street and feeling free to just be in the moment to the song.

So beyond the ritualistic moments of the first day of the year, there are some easy and simple ways to remember to stay in or return to the moment daily. The key isn’t necessarily what time of day you do it, but what works best for your schedule. The goal is to just be consistent, conscious and aware on a daily basis, even if only for 5 to 10 minutes. It has to be likened to nourishment like eating or drinking water.

So just commit to ONE thing because most of our lives tend to get full and busy.  So consider one of these if you don’t have ideas of your own.  But  mainly, whatever makes you feel happy and feel good inside.

Prayer…whether it’s reading scripture or speaking aloud your hopes, dreams and desires for the day, prayer is grounding and creates focus.

Meditation…allowing your mind to clear itself devoid of anything and just soak in the moment either silently, with music, or guided. Especially in the spring, I love to lay in the bed really quiet before I arise and just listen to sound of the birds chirping while I contemplate and visualize my day.

Music…inspirational, gospel, kid’s song, feel good, whatever makes you smile and be appreciative for the moment you are in, just hit play and listen to it while showering, getting dressed, driving, exercising or cooking.

Yoga/Exercise…stretching your body and releasing tension and sweating out any negative energy.

Signing onto Happify…a science based-approach to inspire happiness through quick fun-based activities, tools, and skills that can increase happiness on your pc or as in app on your phone.


Have a Happy and Healthy New Year With $25,000

PP sweepstakesSo you promised yourself to start the new year on a healthy note.  One way you can do that is by purchasing quality name brand discounted vitamins and herbal supplements from online retailer Puritan’s Pride! Over the years, I have purchased all types of health and beauty products including liquid acidophilus, argan oil, vitamin e oil, essential oils, and crystal deodorant and body spray, to name a few. The products are always discounted with free shipping and are delivered generally within a few days. And as a bonus through January 31, 2015, you can also enter the Puritan’s Pride sweepstakes. Even if you don’t purchase anything, you can enter the sweepstakes by sharing your email address. It’s really that simple, the same way that 2015 should be for you.

Here’s to best wishes for happiness and good health everyday, and especially good luck in the sweepstakes.

Is There A Right Time To Forgive?

Cristina Bernhardsen | Dreamstime Stock Photos

© Cristina Bernhardsen | Dreamstime Stock Photos

Sometimes we have to accept that everything in life is not supposed to happen as quickly as taking a Selfie and instantly posting it to Instagram, Facebook and Twitter, or better yet, doing a Google Search on “finding easy ways to forgive.”  Just ask anyone still reeling from some type of betrayal; forgiveness can often be much more complicated.

Nonetheless, in a recent Huffington Post article on eight reasons forgiveness is good for your health, the author clearly outlined the spiritual, mental and relational reasons that forgiveness is good for overall wellbeing.  And I must admit, the reality is, the very act of forgiveness IS a good thing because it really is about YOU and not the other person.  Why?  Because it allows for forward movement in one’s life rather than being stuck in a place and time of pain and hurt.

Forgiving can hurt, too

But the problem often with articles on forgiveness is that it appears that the act should occur immediately suggesting that it’s not okay to feel the sting of betrayal or anger from a wrong.  Unless we are talking about some minor trivial infractions, the real truth is the severity of the situation can often dictate the forgiveness factor, and it can just take time, and that IS okay. After all, truly forgiving someone is a psychological and emotional process that is, described by the American Psychological Association, voluntary or intentional, and involves working through emotions such as feelings of betrayal, anger, sadness, hurt, pain, and just simply grieving. To suggest otherwise is challenging a person’s right to experience their own emotional complexities and denying their personal rite of passage into the dark side of real life human nature.

So just when is the right time?

There is no “right” time; no one wants to be or stay mad, angry or hurt. But the best time may be when the individual has the willingness to work through the process.  A lot of forgiveness deals with holding on to the actual act of feeling wronged and not wanting to give a pass to the person.  Ask any psychologist or therapist and they can share how painstakingly prevalent this belief system exists within one’s psyche. However, another Huffington Post author makes an argument against forgiveness and suggests saving it for those who have earned your forgiveness. And that could work, too, if emotionally not forgiving someone doesn’t keep you stuck.  We are all different so there is no magical one size fits all approach through life’s interesting journeys.

How About self-forgiveness instead?

© Yuryz | - Forgive Yourself Photo

© Yuryz | – Forgive Yourself Photo

However, if a person is really struggling with the when, why, where and how of forgiveness, maybe, just maybe, instead of the focus being on forgiving the other person, try forgiving yourself.  In a 2005 research study by Hall and Fincham, the authors describe aspects of self-forgiveness in a social science context as a show of self-love and respect, and from a psychological perspective as a set of motivational changes to decreasingly avoid feelings toward the offense and retaliate against self, while instead acting benevolently towards self).   Now, major aspects of this study suggest that self-forgiveness is cloaked in a self-perpetuated wrong-doing, but this is not always the case when someone feels legitimately wronged.

Even when you didn’t deserve the wrong treatment, forgive yourself for being blindsided by the other person’s behavior.  While it never feels good, “ish” just happens sometimes to us. When you forgive yourself, you own your emotions and decisions, and that allows you to determine when and how you move on from that moment in time.  Self forgiveness is also cathartic and self empowering because it shows courage and strength of one’s character, as quote-Mahatma-Gandhi-the-weak-can-never-forgive-forgiveness-is-337Mahatma Ghandi eloquently quoted when he said, “The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is an attribute of the strong.”

As in any process, self forgiveness will take time, too. But allow yourself that time because as you forgive yourself you also derive equal healthy benefits that enrich your life’s emotional and physical well-being as in forgiving someone else, only without the guilt and resentment of giving someone else a free pass.  You will feel better about yourself, your decision making, and gain the confidence needed to stay in the moment for making the choices that best define your life experiences. And that, my dear, is always the right time.