Tag: Huffington Post

Don’t Worry: Be Happy!

Great advise, if you ask me. But it is much easier said than done! In my latest Huff Post blog, I explore why worrying incessantly is futile.

In Matthew’s Gospel, Jesus says: ‘Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own’ (Matt. 6: 34).

And if that is not convincing enough, some experts believe that 85 per cent of what we worry about never happens. And the percentage that does happen is far less stressful than we could ever have imagined. Seventy-nine per cent of those surveyed were either able to handle the matter or learned a lesson from it. Go figure … we cope.

Worse yet, worry does not improve the situation. It does just the opposite, often leading to anxiety, which can cause mental and physical health problems. Who needs worry? None of us, right? Read more in my latest Huff Post blog, Worrying for Nothing: Unreal! 

A Taste Of Travel For Teens

Nothing like travel to get us moving, thinking, living. And summertime is the perfect backdrop for it for anyone but especially for teens. With many schools already out for summer in the US and those in the UK letting out soon, teens are on the move and rightly so.

During this crucial time in their lives, there is nothing like travel to get them intuitively growing. But there is one suggestion to really spark this growth, let them leave home without you. Really! Yes, read more in my latest Huffington Post blog.

Roll on summertime for a taste of travel for teens.


New Podcast for Teenage Girls Coming Soon!

A new project is a bit like a new relationship in that it is top priority. It comes first and all too often other things that matter equally as much happen last or they don’t happen at all.

At least that it is the it way has been for me lately, having been silent on the blogging, writing front for a few months now, not to mention other bits of life that takeover one’s world.

Still today, I return with the announcement of a new development: a podcast, of all things, for teenage girls! And though it doesn’t come to life fully until mid-April, not that long from now, need I remind myself, it has sort of been the apple of my eye. No offence to my dear husband but UIO, You Inside Out, the new podcast for teenage girls, has been all I have managed to string a decent sentence together about over the last several months. Worse yet, it is pretty much what I have talked about, thought about, even dreamt about. And might I add, tossed and turned about, too.

Heck I have just about roped everyone in that I know to help me get this thing out there, but there is still plenty of roping to do. You haven’t escaped yet – my lovely connections. Though it all sounds a bit obsessive, I find it of extreme importance and a bit urgent, too.

I say this because as the world turns, youth in particular, are on the firing lines of what I call a new world disorder. And to my mind corroborated by a few stats, girls are feeling the pressure in certain areas of life at a disproportionate rate to boys. No I haven’t quite gotten my head around Brexit, or the outcome of the US Presidential election, and the smudges such events have imprinted in history (I don’t have to go into detail here – all you have to do is read the papers, watch the news, go on Twitter to see what I mean).

But here is the thing, history is history and we are meant to learn from it, make lemonade out of lemons and so on, rather than wasting time wallowing in it and worrying about it. Admittedly, I haven’t whacked the worry yet and but I’m pressing on all the same.

But why a podcast for girls: It all started long before the two big events mention with a desire to be a part of my niece’s upbringing, who was then just shy of a teen. The idea was just to serve her in any way I could and that I did successfully, quite frankly sometimes overbearingly I am sure she would agree, as reported in my Huff Post blog.  And having worked with plenty of girl orgs, I kind of think girls really are my business, like it or not. Hey, I owe it to you. Don’t we all.

Anyhow, I toyed with the idea of a blog, a book, a business and then one morning on a slow run by the river, the words you I owe, a play on I owe you, appeared to me as bright as the morning sunshine. And as I soaked it up, I forgot I was even running and by the time I made it home, I had it, UIO, You Inside Out, the podcast for teenage girls.

For months I told people about the idea and recruited women for interviews but it was only after the two aforementioned events that I knew UIO was relevant and timely. So there you have it, UIO, the new podcast for teenage girls.

What more can I say? Listen to the podcast in mid-April. In the meantime, for more information, check out the webpage right here and do have a listen to the Intro Episode, posted there.

And if you think you can help don’t wait for me to call you, though I might. Do connect with me via social media or email info@sonjalewis.com. Oh and yes, if you have a teenage daughter, or you are a teenage girl reading this, complete the UIO survey on the UIO webpage and also on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. If nothing else, you’ll get to have your say.

Well, that’s a wrap, at least for now. Back to the grindstone, anticipating stellar results.


Gems of Wisdom Handed Down

If you do everything now, you will have nothing to look forward to.

You can’t buy class.

 It’s better to buy one good thing that will last instead of several cheap things that will fall apart.

These are things that one friend’s momma, grandma and great grandma used to say. Such priceless words of wisdom often come in handy when we are in a pinch. But sometimes they’re just words we live by or not. In any case, some of the things that our ancestors say to us stay in the alcoves of our minds from generation to generation and in a round about way keeps them, even after they are gone, alive and fresh in our hearts and minds.

Read more in the Huffington Post: Elders Leave Traces Behind. Now for that cup of coffee to access more of those gems! Why don’t you grab one too and share your favourite gems of wisdom right here  or on the Huff Post.


When Your Body Talks, Best To Listen

From day one we are told to eat right for good health, by our parents, our food administrators, doctors and so on. Oddly, however, it is not always clear what is right. Most recently, Dr Mark Hyman in his Eat Fat Get Thin challenges the long held belief that fat is not right and to prove his point says, in so many many words, let your body do the talking. It will tell you what’s right.

Usually not one for such fad diets, I  jumped on board and recently completed the  21-day challenge, which is actually a total body reset. Whose idea was this anyhow? Actually it was Paul’s, having read about it in The Sunday Times, his holy grail of newspapers.

Kicking and screaming he came along for the exercise, too, and I think he’s glad he did. As for me, not sure where I got the wherewithal to do it, considering the speed of life nowadays, but yahoo, I did it, and am seven pounds lighter and a couple of inches thinner, too, and much wiser about the food chain.

On the matter of the former, my father, bless, worried that I didn’t have any weight to lose. Nothing to speak of, I admitted, but I had gained a few toxins that were seriously weighing me down. The truth, however, I confessed, was that weight was the last thing that attracted me to the diet, it was the body reset that got my attention.

Having indulged in comfort foods, containing gluten, which I’m intolerant of, while spending more time than usual in the US, I had begun to feel a bit foggy again. Who can resist Sara Lee coffee cake, Pillsbury cinnamon rolls and anybody’s honey buns and… you get the picture.

Thus, the 21-day plan was just what I needed to tune up, so to speak. Like any regime that proposes a certain outcome, there were food restrictions but not what you think—no calorie counting to speak of, no starvation at all. Thank Goodness. But off the menu were most of the normal culprits: refined carbohydrates, gluten, dairy, processed food and sugar. But fat, normally, their associate, was the star of the menu, good fat that is.

Dr Hyman’s book is about eating more good fat to not only get thin but also to feel better and prevent wretched illness, including heart diseases, cancer, dementia and diabetes. Make no mistake about it, I’m not in a position to endorse EFGT, it’s far too involved for that after one short stint with the programme, but I can say this: it worked for us. Also, it blows some of the food myths out of the kitchen such as that fruit juices are as healthy as the fruit they come from and that nuts (pecan, brazils, almonds, walnuts, etc.) are fattening. Not so, on either account. Fruit juice is liquid sugar and nuts are just naturally good. But of course, if you are a nut allergen, nuts are off the menu, too.

And fortunately for me, I am not. So within a week’s time I had eaten all of my Georgia pecans—all of them. And as much avocado and olive oil as I jolly well pleased, along with vegetables galore, and reasonable portions of poultry, oily fish, and grass fed meat. The options for recipes were endless, one of the reasons the plan worked for me.

But it does come with its cons, if you will. Planning is absolutely necessary. It is not for the willy-nilly. And aside from not having any access to fresh Georgia pecans for the last two weeks of the diet, I felt like Superman without my kryptonite for longer than I thought I should have. So I had a visit with my GP and found out that all was well, but quickly ascertained that my kryptonite was likely added sugar, not just from all those coffee cakes but other processed foods, too, and was doing more damage than good. So it was just as well that I ran empty on it.  And another dislike about EFGT was taking loads of  food supplements but admittedly, this was crucial.

Would I take the EFGT challenge again? Let’s hope I don’t have to because the book is a great resource for learning more about what is really good for the body and what is not. And as the author writes, there is no better doctor than your own body—it tells you what you need to know. It is up to you to listen to it.

Right… mine is calling for a coffee break and a gluten free, fine chocolate. Off I go.


Dreaming up a Good Nightlife

I am dreamer, always have been. According to psychologists we all are. Dreaming is a natural part of our sleeping life, the mechanism the subconscious minds uses to offer feedback, resolve problems, etc… But here is the thing, the subconscious doesn’t know the difference between a dream and real life. That’s why nightmares can be chest pounding, heart racing and so on.

And that can make for a restless night. But what about if we dream well, can this make the difference in having a good night? It does, at least, for this one writer. Read more in my recent  Huffington Post blog: ‘Dreaming up a Good Nightlife’.



Reflecting and Projecting Because I Can

Off to a slow start this year? Me too. When my alarm sounded at seven this morning, I thought it was a mistake, surely. Only when I realised that Paul had been up for a while yet was I convinced that someone had not played a first Monday in January practical joke on me.

Even so, I kept my space, feeling comatose for another thirty minutes, okay nearly an hour, contemplating what to do next—roll over and go back to sleep, pray and meditate on life in general or get up and go for a run. In the end, I settled for a combination of the latter two and thank goodness I did. Otherwise, I wouldn’t be sitting at my desk, beavering away.

For a while now my mantra of sorts, which has kept me moving, is to just do it, whatever it is because I can. Sadly, there are people who want to run, to walk, to write, etc., who can’t.

With that said, already, I have done some serious reflecting on 2015. More went wrong and less went right. Never mind that I didn’t promote my books at all, didn’t even begin the Jana Project, working title for an effort to help girls ages 8 to 12 stay in tip-top shape in their in between years and enjoy doing so, and that I dropped more blogs on my website than I care to admit, I am going to focus on what went right. I delivered more on the Huff Post than I dropped, and also, I introduce the game: What City Is This, even if it did fizzle out after a hyped couple of days.

Not bad, not really. Okay, it wasn’t my best performance. But that’s all behind me now, doors closed. In front of me, however, are alluring doors that mostly have not been opened. Even though some are slightly ajar.

It is up to me to make some projections of sorts, starting today, and then walk or run through those attractive doors, even if I move a bit slowly like I did this morning. Then, a young woman, sauntering took a short cut apparently and came out just before me at the main road/path. So ashamed, I had no choice but to dig deep and shoot past her.

There, though several runners, some of them pros of sorts, others novices, left me behind, I felt better for making an effort because I could. That’s it: off now to make some more projections and get on with delivering them, all because I can.

Such fun anticipating a can do year and wishing you one, too. Happy New Year!


Looking for Peace?

It’s New Year’s Eve, a day of bidding farewell to 2015 and preparing for 2016, the anticipated year ahead. So what you are hoping to resolve next year?

One acquaintance is going to do bit of saving and another a bit of exercising. As for me, I don’t make New Year’s resolutions as such but I will take this opportunity  as I did around my birthday in September, to reflect and project.

And in doing so, I  have hope to resolve a few things. One thing I am I am hoping for is a bit more peace in 2016, not only on a personal note but on a public one, too.

Peace, the topic of my last 2015 Huff Post blog, is one of those concepts that seems elusive. Still we strive for it and hope for it, but sometimes perhaps we look in the wrong place. Perhaps it is time to look in what is likely the only place that peace can be found: within. Read more in the Huff Post.

In the meantime, wishing you a Peaceful and Happy New Year.


Is It Time To Redefine A Relationship?

We all need relationships, whether they are familiar or romantic. Without them, we feel unhappy and unhealthy. But even with them, specifically when they go wrong, we can feel deprived of a basic need, not to mention when a relationship breaks down altogether.

In my most recent Huff Post blog, I explore the question: Why Relationships Break Down, looking more at familiar relations. Of course, there are a number of reasons that parents and children stop speaking and so on. But could there be something at the crux of such fall outs, something as simple or as complicated as definition or lack thereof?

Read more in the Huffington Post.


Tough Love: Easier Said Than Done

Some things are easier said than done, most of them have to do with kicking a bad habit, such as swearing, overeating, smoking or enabling. Yes enabling – contributing continuously to an unhealthy/dysfunctional situation in the name of love, religion, support, family secrecy, and so on.

Guilty as charged for enabling, that is. Never have I been guilty of any of the other vices – okay, so I might have indulged in at least one of them. Never mind.

Anyhow, since enabling can be as counterproductive as the addiction or dysfunction in question, it is time to toughen up and practise tough love. I know, I know. That’s easier said than done.

Read more in my September Huffington Post blog, Getting Tough On Enabling. And do have your say on the matter, too.