What Are You Worth?

what are you worthHow is your worth determined?  We live in a society today that tells us what we have, not who we are determines our worth.  Do you have a good job? The right title?  Are you making a certain amount of money?  Are you married?  Do you have kids?

I see this often in my counseling practice.  I used to work at a school in a poor community, where most of the kids would come in hungry because they didn’t have breakfast in the house.  Out of all of the young men on my caseload, all but one wanted to be one of three things when they finished school:  a professional athlete, a rapper or a drug dealer.  They were constantly being fed this message from the media, their peers, their families that this was all they could amount to.  Why could they not be doctors, lawyers or business owners?  Whenever I would pose that question to them they would always respond the same, “I’m not good enough or smart enough to do that.”

I currently work in a more affluent community.  These kids come into my office extremely stressed, anxious and depressed because they got B’s on their report card or might not make it into the college their parents want them to get into.  They may have enough food in their bellies, but the underlying theme is the same…Am I good enough?  Am I worthy?

The problem is that if our worth is determined by outward things, we will forever be a victim of our circumstances.  And guess what?  Circumstances change.  We lose our jobs, go bankrupt, get a divorce, get cut from the team.  Now what?  Our entire world falls apart because that is how we determined our worth. Every time something bad happens, it has the power to set us on this downward spiral to self-pity, anxiety and depression.

Here’s a good example.  A little boy wants to play football.  (Or maybe mom and dad want their son to play football).  The boy does really well all through high school and ends up with a scholarship to a good university.  He plays through college, devoting all of his time and energy to his craft, but he doesn’t end up making it pro (surprise, surprise not many do).  Who is he now?  His entire identity was his football career and now that’s gone.  Major quarter-life crisis!

I think the conversation needs to change.  We need to start teaching our children, nieces, nephews and friends that their worth begins inside. Because when your worth comes from within, you will finally have freedom, you will finally feel at peace.  Instead of focusing on grades, jobs, money, titles, maybe the questions we should be asking are:

Are you kind?
Are you generous?
Are you a good friend?
Are you loving?
Are you forgiving?
What can you do to help others?
Did you make a positive difference in someone’s life today?

Shouldn’t that be what our worth is really based on?  My father used to always say that you should leave a place better than how you found it.  Maybe our worth should be based on that.  Maybe that’s how we begin to make the world a better place.

Wake Up, Drink Up!

waterAfter a long (hopefully) night’s sleep, the first thing you should do in the morning is drink water. Your body needs to be fully hydrated in order for it to work properly. While plain water is a good choice, H2O with an added kick can help you reap some pretty impressive benefits. Here are my five favorite water add-ins to jump-start your morning:

Drink each of these on an empty stomach, at least one hour before eating breakfast for greatest benefits.

Lemon

If you haven’t heard already, drinking lemon water is amazing for your body! It helps jump start your digestion in the morning and aids in the detoxification process. Lemon water is a great source of vitamins and minerals, especially Calcium, Potassium and vitamin C. The vitamin C in lemons helps keep your immune system and you illness free!

Lemon water also helps you maintain a proper pH in your body. Lemons are naturally acidic, but when ingested actually help alkalinize your body. A more alkaline than acidic body has been shown to lower your changes of illness and disease.

Want beautiful skin? This drink will make your skin glow, clearing up your acne and keeping skin supple and wrinkle free.

How-To: Squeeze the juice of half a lemon into a cup of warm or room temperature water. Drink this one with a straw to avoid acid damage to your teeth.

Apple Cider Vinegar

This one is definitely not for the faint of heart. I have gotten used to the taste over time, but it can be a bit much for some people to get down.  The benefits are totally worth it though.

Apple cider vinegar is rich in malic acid, which has anti-bacterial, anti-viral and anti-fungal properties. It can break up mucus in your body and clean out the lymph system. Feel like you may be getting sick? If you have the sniffles, sore throat or a cough, this stuff can literally knock it out, getting you back on the fast-track to wellness.

Just like the lemon water, this ACV has an alkalinizing effect on the body. It can also help regulate glucose levels, blood pressure and even reduce bad cholesterol.

ACV is great for digestion. It helps to clean out your intestines, reduces gas, bloating and acid reflux.

This power drink may also have the potential to aid in weight loss! Helping your body use fats more efficiently for energy, instead of storing them.

How-To: Be sure to use an unfiltered Apple Cider Vinegar, such as Braggs. It should contain “the mother,” which is the cloudy bits floating at the bottom. Use 1 teaspoon to 1 tablespoon ACV in a cup of warm or room temperature water.

 Sole

Sole is essentially a solution of concentrated salt water. Salt has been villainized by the medical field, but it is actually really important to help your body run properly. Use a high quality salt such as Pink Himalayan or Celtic Sea Salt.

Sole helps to re-hydrate your body, balancing out your electrolytes. It actually helps your cells absorb more water into your system then drinking plain H2O.

Just like the others, this drink helps to detoxify your body. Good sea salt actually has antibacterial properties, flushing out the bad bacteria.

This works great as a natural anti-histamine for your allergies.

Natural salts have several essential minerals in them that keep your bones strong and helps prevent muscle cramps.  It can also balance out your blood pressure and blood sugar levels

How-To: Use a glass jar. Fill with water (filtered preferred). Pour is a handful of Pink Himalayan or Celtic Sea Salt. (DO NOT use regular table salt!) Let water absorb salt. Check on water. If there is no salt settled at the bottom add more salt and let sit. Continue to check.   When salt is left at the bottom of the jar, the water is fully saturated and cannot absorb any more salt. Mix 1-1½ teaspoon of the salt solution in a cup of warm or room temperature water.   Water should be slightly salty, but not overly so. Note: Some people say using metal with this solution makes it less potent. Use plastic utensils to be safe.

Bentonite Clay

I know what you’re thinking, “You want me to drink clay?” Clay has amazing detoxifying properties. It has the ability to draw out toxins and heavy metals from your body. If you are feeling sick, achy or especially toxic in the morning, use this drink. It is said that bentonite clay has a naturally negative charge and most toxins and metals have a positive charge, thus pulling them to the clay to be safely removed from the body, as your body does not absorb the clay.

This drink can also relieve digestive complaints such as bloating, constipation, diarrhea, IBS and nausea.

How-To: Use ½-2 teaspoons clay mixed in a cup of warm or room temperature water (start with a small amount and work your way up). I use this clay, that has already been mixed with water. I would not recommend taking this every day. Use for up to a week, then take a break for awhile before using again. Note: because of its ability to absorb metal, do not mix with metal spoon, instead use plastic. Also, do not take 2 hours before or after taking medications as it could render them useless or less effective.

Ginger

Ginger tea is great for relieving nausea or other digestive complaints. This is my go-to whenever I have a stomachache. Ginger actually helps to improve digestion and helps your body absorb nutrients from food better.

Ginger is an anti-inflammatory. It can relieve muscle and joint pain throughout the body.

This spice also has the ability to increase circulation throughout the body. It has even been said to prevent fats from sticking to and clogging your arteries.

Ginger is full of antioxidants, keeping your immune system in tip-top shape and preventing free radicals from running havoc on your body. It may even be able to prevent cancer.

How-To: Cut a couple of slices of ginger root and let steep in a cup of hot water for 5+ minutes, you can also use a tea bag that contains only ginger (such as traditional medicinals) if you prefer.

Start your morning off right by getting hydrated. Let me know what benefits you have seen from trying these powerful elixirs.

You Are Enough

you are enoughIn honor of women’s day that just passed, I’m sending a little love to all my ladies out there.

Dear Beautiful Soul,

The world has tried to put you in a box. Tried to tell you who you must be and how you must act. Instilled in you impossible standards that can never be met. Stop listening to the madness. You are enough.  Right here, right now, flaws and all, you are enough.

 You are more than your weight, your complexion, your sexuality, your job or your boyfriend.

 You are not broken or imperfect. You are not too sensitive or weak. You are beautiful.

 The world needs you to be completely and entirely you. If you don’t know who the “true you” is yet, start exploring, dig deeper. Tear off the mask.

 The world needs all of your unique gifts, talents and abilities. You are on this earth at exactly this very moment to fulfill a purpose.

 You are but one piece of a giant jigsaw puzzle. If you are not living your purpose, the puzzle is left with a hole, and your place cannot be filled by anyone else. The world loses out on what you have to offer.

 Get out of your mind and leave the I must’s, I should’s and I have to’s at the door.  Start following your heart. Live from a place of love and not fear. Be courageous. Take risks. Believe in yourself. Live a life you can be proud of.

 There is no contribution too small. It is time we start building each other up, instead of tearing each other down.  Encourage the ladies in your life to reach their highest potential. To follow their dreams. Be an inspiration.

You have one life to live. Enjoy the adventure. Make it count. Be extraordinary!

-Megan