Category: Uncategorized

Health & WellnessUncategorized

Part 1: How I Became Committed to this Health and Wellness Journey

file-sep-06-10-01-36-pmMy weight has yo-yoed, up and down, and it doesn’t help that workouts have not been consistent. When I’ve enjoyed junk food days, I slumber into food comas. I have not welcomed the proper mindset but rather have fallen to temptations of cupcakes, office cookies, wine and martinis. My weight journey has been a roller coaster ride and I have now spiraled down. I am at my all-time highest weight, experiencing not only food comas, but unexplainable itching under the skin, body inflammation, and bouts of low energy.

I finally reached a point where I realized it’s time to make a lifestyle change, not just for me but also for my sons. The change did not come because of the queasiness of the roller coaster ride or the I-will-not–buy-a-larger-size-of-blue-jeans thought. The change was gradual and I didn’t realize it until now that God had been working on me like a coach who guides an athlete.

Now I’m starting on a health and wellness journey, transforming my mind, body, and soul to fulfill the purpose God has for me. I am feeding my mind spiritually, taking care of my temple to see my sons grow up, and nourishing my soul with a balanced life. This journey is not without its challenges and obstacles. With God-inspired words, I am pressing toward the goal.

Feeding My Mind Spiritually

1Over the past year I have been volunteering in religious education classes teaching first graders. I had an opportunity to also attend faith formation classes to become a certified religious education teacher so I decided to enroll. What better way to serve God than to water the seeds he planted in the little ones. Saturday morning classes bring so much joy; I’m wrapped in complete joy when I see their faces, the sparkle in their eyes, and the smiles when they learn about God and his love for all of us. The first lesson is on creation. One day I read Genesis 1:29, “God also said: See, I give you every seed-bearing plant on all the earth and every tree that has seed-bearing fruit on it to be your food…” This scripture resonated with me in a way it never had before. I paused to reflect on this and it has stayed with me. Wholesome raw food is available for us to nourish our body. I found myself shopping along the perimeter of the store where the produce and meats are placed, avoiding the processed and GMO foods, which are man made.

An assignment I had during faith formation classes was to answer a few questions on prayer and spirituality. What caught my attention were the three elements of prayer: a sense of familiarity with God, persistence, and assurance. Knowing these three aspects of effective prayer provide me with added confidence I need to continue praying in silence the way I do and be more open as well. At the same time, I am encouraged to continue knocking until the doors are opened with God’s will. Our prayers will be answered in one way or another and always with God’s will in effect. “Let it be with me according to your word.” (Luke 1:38)

1I also read in a book, The Ignatian Workout for Lent, that a spiritual athlete has the same preparation, discipline, and artful mastery of his skills as an Olympic athlete or other super athlete. He presses toward the goal in times of obstacles. For me this is my journey of a healthy lifestyle, recognizing that health and wellness is important in all aspects of life whether it’s personal or professional. I must be like the spiritual athlete that daily is mindful of the presence of God and all the good that he shows us in the world. And in times of difficulty, press on and be grateful for the abundance, joy and love that surrounds me while I journey prayerfully to lead a God-inspired life so I may be present for my sons.

So how does feeding my mind spiritually play a role in my health and wellness journey? Scripture was planted on my mind when I realized I was at my all-time highest weight on July 24, 2016. “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” (Philippians 4:13) I realized that with my determination, GRACE (God Reveals As Coach Eternal) and a strong support network, I was capable of living a healthy lifestyle. This time would be different. God had been watering the seeds he planted long ago and I was soaking it in.

Continue the journey and read Part 2: Taking care of my temple and Part 3: Nourishing my soul with a balanced life.

Follow Marisol Barrios, also known as “Eve,” on Instagram and on Facebook @MissGuidedMom. I will be sharing my weightloss journey, reflecting on what I’m learning and how #fitbyGRACE (God Reveals As Coach Eternal) is working in my life.

 

FamilyUncategorized

10 Daily Routines to Produce Good Habits

2Summer is a casual season for many families. As parents we become lax to the traditional school year rules. Kids stay up late. The hours on electronics are in excess. Some don’t shower daily. At the same time, certain challenges may also arise for working parents: daycare costs increase, additional expenses of meals, and finding ways to occupy their children’s time. By the time the school year begins, we welcome the routines. Not only are routines important for children but they also provide structure for adults.

When we have structure in our lives and set goals to do a little at a time each day, we create the space for more productivity, positive habits, and rewarding outcomes. Having routines in place is a great way to establish daily goals and encourage children to focus on achieving certain daily tasks. With set schedules, children can predict what the activities will be and a sense of control is owned. When this happens, we begin to automate certain daily tasks and hone our skills as well. These are wonderful habits to show our children and to keep us on task as well.

Here are 10 daily activities for children and families.

  • Prepare for the work and school day and have backpacks ready the night before
  • Set clothes out the night before
  • Have a regular wake-up time; one for you before the children get up and one for them
  • Practice some form of self-care daily (ex: exercise, meditate, read inspirational material, breathing exercises during your commute, pray)
  • Give the children and yourself 15 minutes of space when you get home
  • Plan and make meals
  • Help with homework and review it daily
  • Enjoy family time
  • Do chores
  • Sleep early and at the same time every day

Grab some organizational chart tools to help you and the kids. We’ve selected a few new apps and some old-school, tried-and-true planners.

http://247moms.com/2009/08/back-to-school-organization-charts-for/

http://momstoolbelt.com/moms-home-journal

http://www.cozi.com/

CareerUncategorized

Top 6 posts to celebrate 6 years

Top 6 posts (1)We’re excited to be celebrating six years of MissGuidedMom.com since we launched it in August 2010. As much as I’d like to celebrate with a glass of Merlot and cupcakes, this time around I’ll be joining Grace with a cup of tea. I’m on a fitness and nutrition journey and you’ll learn more about this on the online magazine. So while I incorporate the ideas of the Whole30 into my nutrition, I’ll be holding off on drinking a well-deserved glass of wine or even a martini.

Here’s to six years and our top six posts:
1. Making a List of Negotiation Topics (I’m not surprised; this list was the basis of my divorce decree.)

2. About MissGuidedMom (This made it to the top and thought, “Why not share it? Some of you may not know what we’re all about. You might think I’m just a bit misguided with no direction. To the contrary, I have my very own guardian angel, Grace, to offer guiding lessons.

3. Creators/Authors (Well, is this even fair to post the creators and authors of MissGuidedMom.com? You clicked and we paid attention. Want to know more about us? Follow the Instagram or Facebook account to learn more about my fitness and nutrition transformation. I reached my all-time highest weight and now shedding inches. With support from God, I’m building a reservoir of spiritual guidance and muscle along the way. :::wink, wink:::)

4. 5 must-haves for keeping a healthy marriage on the right track (I’m divorced and so how could I possibly know about a healthy marriage, right? I’ve learned a few things: my heart is warm, my spirit is eager, and my love is in abundance.)

5. How Letting Go and Letting God Channeled my Divorce (I’m grateful to be working with Caterina Clarke, who’s spiritual insight has guided me. I’m certain her article will resonate with you if you have been in her shoes. If not, I’m confident you will get a guiding lesson, as she always provides me to lift my spirits.)

6.  Party of Three: Two Handsome Young Men and Me (I remember days like these. For those like me who have persevered through family challenges, ultimately, everything I do is for my sons. And these two handsome young men remind me to be the best mom I can be: strong, courageous, and loving. Everything is possible with God by my side.)

Grab a glass of wine, martini, coffee or tea. Whatever is your preference to sip and savor, discover the stories of Eve and the pearls of grace by our beloved guardian angel.

shared interest, marriage, common values,
MarriageUncategorized

5 must-haves for keeping a healthy marriage on the right track

By Marisol Barrios, MSPA

When I got divorced I reflected on what went wrong, what was right, how I could have improved the relationship, and what I would do differently if I was in another one. Reading books and talking to my therapist taught me a few things about marriage and what I should have done to keep it on the right track in a healthy way. I have summed up what I have learned from this failure in the hopes that my current relationship will reap the fruit of my labor.

Be committed to the relationship

Although my ex and I went to therapy for an extended period of time on several occasions, I never was truly committed to the relationship. What do I mean? In the back of my mind, I would hear my mother’s voice telling me to “always be prepared to divorce. You are a professional now and you can leave at any time. You don’t have to put up with anything.”

Rachel Howard, a licensed psychologist who specializes in marriage counseling and Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing, says for a mother, who perhaps was not happy in her marriage especially “if she was dependent on someone for basic living expenses, that would be the best advice from her life experience she could offer her daughter.”

Now I realize she transferred her experience of marriage and a hidden desire to escape to her daughters. Her voice was my reason to not fully be committed to any relationship, to not change my last name, and to have a backup plan should “things” not work out. I chose to listen to my mother, to see the experiences of couples around me, and to be externally influenced.

“When someone mentions the D word or has it in their thoughts, it changes the perception of marriage and weakens it,” says Tora Massey, a licensed marriage and family therapist, who has counseled many couples in her private practice in Whittier, CA.

Being fully committed to the relationship and making the decision to be in it, loving unconditionally, is a challenging one, yet one that we must work on daily. In today’s relationship, I recognize the strengths and weaknesses we each have. With each partner’s gifts, the flaws demand more attention on days that trigger our feelings from past experiences. Recognizing that we all have negative deficits, we have a choice to make: to support each other through thick and thin, in sickness and in health, embracing our strengths and weaknesses to become resilient together.

Tora says, “Being fully committed to whomever you’re married means you don’t have one foot out that door.” She cautions couples that anything can come through it­– temptation, bitterness, anger, blame–and infiltrate your marriage.

What helps my partner and I stay connected is the commitment we have for each other, for our families, for God—for love. Now I seek for the truth within, with God’s help and guided by grace.

Have common values and interests

When I interviewed a couple about their philanthropic giving, conversation began with how they met. The wife was 50 years old when she enrolled in a matchmaker workshop. I was stunned! I guess it’s not any different than eHarmony or Match.com nowadays. She told me one of the first things the matchmaker told her students was to write a list of what they wanted in a partner.

Well, what do you think I did? I came home and wrote a list of values and interests that I wanted my partner to have: faith, intellectual stimulation, enjoyment in hiking and camping, a fondness for wine, a willingness to dance, to name a few.

Shared values and interests are so important, says Rachel. “You have to be friends or you will drift apart.” In so many ways this is true: the couple that plays together, stays together.

I have found enjoyment with my partner by taking long morning hikes, riding bikes around town, going wine tasting and grape stomping, as well as sitting around the dining table enjoying a homemade meal and talking.

Tora also knows about divorce and not just because she has counseled many stepfamilies. As a therapist who is also divorced, there is so much more wisdom she has about marriage now. “I’ve learned so much through [the divorce] process,” Tora adds. “If I knew back then what I know now, would I want to go back? Absolutely not,” Tora answers. “My life now is so much better. My husband and I now are more compatible. I love my life.”

conflict resolution, therapist, grievance, marriage, empathy, healthy relationshipResolve conflict efficiently

Communication is a key skill we can all agree is critical in marriage. Exercising attentive listening to understand and be empathetic rather than just responding to defend a position or action will go a long way. I’ve learned these tools and can even apply them in any relationship, personal or professional. Recently, I have learned that we must also have the ability to resolve conflicts. According to Tora, the lack of this skill is the biggest predictor of divorce. Communication is not just for getting along or listening, she explains. “When there is conflict, can a couple communicate and resolve it?”

If a couple has the ability to work through their problems, they reduce the chances of being part of the 40 percent who end up in divorce yearly in America.

Rachel agrees. “If you don’t have the ability to air and resolve grievances, you are really in trouble.” So often, Rachel says, they swallow their feelings and don’t say anything and then suddenly there’s an explosion. What’s the takeaway? Create a space to resolve the problems in a safe manner.

“Be efficient, not dramatic. Fight fair and stick to the issue that’s in front of you,” says Rachel. “See your partner’s goodness. This person has a positive motivation.” We must tell ourselves this person loves me and I can come to that person safely with my feelings. I understand that person does not want to hurt me.

Forgive to repair

Having a commitment to listening, taking in the feedback and feelings, and repairing what is the underlying concern will help nurture a healthy relationship, suggests Rachel. Taking these actions, one grievance at a time, will get your relationship further along on the right track. By doing this, we are creating a viewpoint of understanding, compassion, empathy, and sympathy. It creates the space to forgive our partners and repair the hurt.

To forgive means to stop feeling angry or resentful toward someone for an offense, flaw, or mistake. The act of forgiveness is a change in feelings and attitude toward an offense taken by someone who has hurt you. So how can we look at forgiveness?

Each partner in the relationship is a caretaker of the family and a nurturer to the children and each other. When a partner offends us, we can try to understand what happened by asking why and what was their intention or motivation. We express empathy and sympathy for their experience. Our partner has a need and we’re filling it by being sensitive to his or her feelings and validating and acknowledging them. Looking at the situation or the offense from a perspective of what they are going through or struggling with at that moment can help in understanding what happened so we can forgive them and repair the hurt feelings.

Show and express gratitude

I’ve learned to be grateful for the small things in a relationship: the opening of doors, the kiss upon coming home from work, a tender smile while watching television, a flower picked from a garden. Showing appreciation and expressing gratitude by always believing the best about your partner extends your healthy relationship. In marriage we sometimes fail to appreciate the person we’re with, taking for granted their goodness and generosity.

Using phrases like, “I appreciate you” and “I love you,” Rachel says, makes people feel welcomed and most of us didn’t get that growing up. Valuing the other person and treating them like a treasure connects couples to what it was that brought them together to begin with.

Both Rachel and Tora suggest creating a greeting ritual. Find your partner when you come home from work, give them a kiss, and greet them.

 

We are always evolving and changing. A relationship goes through the same journey; it evolves and changes over time. As we grow older we change because we’re wiser. Our perspective changes—it’s a natural part of a journey. And sometimes we get to a point in our marriage where we want things to be the way they were doing the honeymoon stage.

“I often hear people say ‘We just want to go back to how it was at the beginning.’ You can’t, can you?” says Tora. “Now we have additional years, children, mortgages, and stressors. It’s just not the same as before. Our expectations at 24 years old are outdated. They are not reasonable anymore. Our expectations need to change.”

When you get into a relationship it’s like getting a degree, says Tora. An educational journey is exciting. At first you get a general education, earning an associate’s degree in two years, which is like getting to know a person through all seasons. Then, you move on to your bachelor’s degree, focusing on the details. Thereafter, you pursue a master’s and a doctorate degree, a process that takes years.

You never stop learning and a relationship is the same. Even after my divorce, I learned so much about my marriage. You must stay interested in one another, exploring and learning about each other and from each other. And when times get torrential, choosing to stay committed to the relationship and following a few of these must-have ingredients will help weather the storm.

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Mother of two sons, Marisol Barrios, a communications strategist, grace changer, and content creator, is still on a journey of self-discovery and learns many life lessons, primarily how wine and cupcakes can soothe her soul during challenging times.