What Are You Waiting For? 3 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Plan.

Some mornings or evenings I pray and meditate. The value of both is immeasurable but the awareness has yet to steer me to consistently practice both each day.

In this new season, I realize my lack of consistency is because I have not made either a priority.  On the mornings that I do not make time to pray or meditate, I make excuses.  

I wake up early but my husband sleeps late.  Because he is asleep, I don’t want to wake him (there are other options).

I enjoy prayer and meditation with a diffuser (lavender oil) or scented lighted candles.  I lay on a yoga mat or sit on my meditation pillow. All of my tools sit in a designated corner of our bedroom, which is supposed to be my meditation and prayer space.  

The area is pretty and ideal for its intended purpose.  Two plants, a beautiful bronze meditation statue, stones, candles rest atop a wooded foot high table, and a backdrop of beautiful wall art.

The wall display is in my meditation corner of our bedroom.

Visually, my spot is ideal.  Although it is functional during the evening, it isn’t functional for most mornings. During my routine, I listen to soft music and don’t want to be bothered in the morning by having to use earphones.  

The new year has prompted an intentional shift in my thinking so I decided to scrutinize my excuses.  

Five months ago, my daughter moved out of the house. I readily planned to make the bedroom a bohemian themed prayer/meditation space. Saved on my Pinterest page are pretty images that inspire my future decor. No TV! No computer!   

My thinking?   

“Once the room is completely decorated, I can start using it.”

The hard truth is, I thought to myself, girlfriend,  why do you need to wait until the room is completely decorated?  That’s silly.  Start where you are.

Beautiful and new truffle dark hardwood covers the floor surface. Freshly painted light gray colored walls, a chocolate ceiling fan, covered windows, and even a bathroom is set to go.  The room is distraction-free, which is what I need to calm my busy mind. It is a clean slate. 

A clean slate, I realized is my goal. Executing plans often go astray with many of us but tomorrow always clears the way for a second, third, fourth, or however many chances we need. 

We are 13 days into the new year. I know that many of you made resolutions, some of you are participating in the Daniel Fast, a new fitness or health goal, a career change, or something else. 

Or, you may be the person (like me) who awaits ideal conditions. You know, once I get (fill in the blank), I will be ready to start. Are you the Type A personality (I still struggle) who has to get everything perfect first or maybe you are afraid. Perhaps the wait is to get the money to buy a new pair of sneakers or purchase a gym membership, a grocery overhaul to start cooking healthier, or maybe you are waiting to find an accountability partner to jump-start your new regime. Be honest with yourself.

Instead of waiting for my plants, rugs, pillows, and chairs, I decided to stop bullshitting around and to takeoff where I stood. Consider this post the fire under your butt to get you moving… go ahead. Get on with it and take off!

The night before, I moved my oversized meditation pillow, my yoga mat, three candle jars, a devotional book, and a lighter into the empty room. 

My clean slate.
Gifted to me from my aunt.

Morning came. After my son left for school, I lit the candles because I wanted to smell the scented candles while praying and meditating. Fifteen minutes later I re-entered the room to the heavenly scent of amber and musk. I smiled. The sun had not yet risen, so the darkness from outdoors maintained the nighttime feel, permitting the flame’s reflections to dance around the room.  

My first experience using the empty room was superb!  Once I closed my eyes, I could not see anything; therefore, the missing material items were insignificant.  It did not matter that a fluffy area rug was missing. The absence of tropical plants had no bearing on my ability to focus. All that mattered was me, my comfort, my thoughts, my breathing, and God.

The same mindset that delayed me from fulfilling my goals, maybe preventing you in a similar way from accomplishing yours. Use the three steps below to get started:

  1. Assess your REAL needs. Let’s say your sneakers are run down and you want to do a couch to 5k run. Your current budget does not allow for new sneakers and you know that jogging on rundown footwear is not good. Brainstorm and ponder over what can you do in the meantime? Just walk instead. Walking is underrated and has many benefits. Walking can help to reduce blood pressure, increase circulation, lower cholesterol and more. WALK on your lunch break at work. WALK at the mall. WALK in your neighborhood (if it’s lit and safe). WALK up steps instead of using escalators. By the time you buy your new sneakers, your body will be conditioned to start running.
  2. Explore your GOALS. What are you trying to accomplish? Weight loss, eating healthy, career change, relocating, enrolling in college, or something else? Break your goals down into bite-size pieces. Tackle your list one item at a time and stay consistent. No matter how small the steps, you CAN take ACTION today. Do what you can today and you will move forward toward your goal. If your goal is to lose weight and cannot afford a personal trainer, go to YouTube, search exercises at home, and START at home TODAY. There are literally thousands of “how-to” videos online. Select one that resonates with you.
  3. Use your RESOURCES and NETWORK. What if you want to start a business and are waiting until you save “X” amount of money? WHY WAIT? Start now! Create a file and begin your research. Learn everything you can about the topic. Look for FREE workshops and mixers for entrepreneurs. Visit the U.S. Small Business Administration’s webpage for resources to plan, launch, manage, and grow your business.

Something is tugging at your heart to make a change, but you keep waiting. Why are you waiting? The longer you wait, the greater the chances that you will not act on your plan. What are you waiting for? I waited needlessly and so are you. Now is the perfect time to start. Quit making excuses and stop procrastinating. Start now. YOU’VE GOT THIS! I believe in YOU!

By the way, Happy New Year!


Warning: Why Your Expectations Of Others May Lead To Conflict

Teachers sometimes label students based on demographics, gender, appearance, family name, and more. Potential employers mark applicants with facial piercings, tattoos, locs, size, hair color, and communication style.

More labels we use to describe people are a parent, educator, athlete, Christian, attorney, wife, coach, or something else.

Then there is…Vegan, Vegetarian, Pescatarian, Lacto-Ovo-Vegetarian, Macrobiotic, and more.

The words are labels. Based on your understanding of a name and the people attached to them, you develop perceptions. Your perceptions motivate your thoughts and your actions.

Your perception may also influence your expectations of the behavior and actions of others.

I am not much for labels to describe myself and pride myself on being an eclectic woman. Having said that, I self-identify with Veganism.

I do not eat meat, dairy products, or seafood. Occasionally I “cheat” with shrimp, lobster, or crab.

Recently, I was dining at a restaurant. I ordered shrimp. I was casually called out for posting my “Vegan” dishes on social media but eating shrimp at the restaurant. Someone at the table had a belief about their understanding of Veganism, and I did not fit the model, so they questioned me.

I was surprised but choose to explain. I know I did not have to explain, but, as an educator, I felt compelled to expound. I want to teach others on any topic, concept, or idea I am versed in.

And so, here is the lesson.

I do not take life too seriously and avoid placing restrictions on myself that create unnecessary tension or stress.

From the time we are born, our days on earth are numbered. God is the only one who knows when we will be called home. Life is short, so I pursue joy.

November 2019, marked my second year anniversary as a Vegan. I have no desire to ever eat meat, dairy, or fish again. I am cool with a plant-based lifestyle. My weekly grocery list never includes lobster, crab, or shrimp.

When dining out with family or friends, occasionally, a restaurant will have a limited menu. So limited that, when I need a protein source, I will order lobster, crab, or shrimp. And you know what? I order it without guilt and with a big ass smile on my face. Lol!

Okay, honestly, a part of me hopes to someday eliminate this choice; however, I lift weights, and I need to continue to develop muscle mass. Never mind, 55 is creeping up on me.

I am not, and don’t want to be that one person in a party of six that insists everyone change restaurants because of a limited vegan/vegetarian menu. No shade to the person(s) who stand up and do so. It is not that important to me. I accept and forgive myself instead of berating myself for not being as I want to be.

What is more important to me is nurturing relationships with those who matter most to me. I consciously choose to experience love, joy, and laughter with people who matter.

I am imperfect.

“For we all stumble in many ways if anyone does not stumble in what he says, he is a perfect man, able to bridle the whole body.

– James 3:2

“Indeed, there is not a righteous man on earth who continually does good and who never sins.

-Ecclesiastes 7:20

The purpose of this post is to encourage you to resist expecting others to behave a certain way based on a label (self-titled or other). I will be the first to admit it; it takes practice, but trust me, I know you can do it.

As it applies to your wellness when you set expectations for the behaviors of others based on your perception of how you think they should act, you create an environment conducive to experience disappointment and possible conflict. I learned this the hard way.

We must learn to accept people for who they are and remember, the only person we can change is ourselves. Focus on you. What do you want out of your life? What are your goals? Are you holding back on something because you are worried about what others will think or say?

Consider this post a challenge. A challenge to break from your discernment of how you think you should act based on an archaic notion from the past.

In 22 days, the ball in Times Square will drop. With the New Year come new goals and resolutions. Instead of randomly setting another New Year’s resolution that will fade faster than the ink on a paper receipt, set an intentional and realistic goal to do something you have always wanted to do. Like something that will set your soul on fire! Go BIG. Make it worth the time and effort.


9 Secrets To Wellness During Difficult Times

Living your best life, is a common phrase often used in 2019.  Look anywhere on social media. As a matter of fact, do a hashtag (#) search on Instagram or other social media.  Pictures of smiling faces, adventure shots, weddings, graduations, and more are everywhere! In the comments, you are likely to see a “living your best life” comment. 

When you are living your best life, wellness is easy to incorporate into your lifestyle.  During these highs, your job/career is, at the least, satisfactory. Finances are flexible.  Relationships are rewarding. Family life is well. You feel good with no major health concerns. And, you can even carve in some me time to do the things that matter most to you. During these periods, God is good to you.  Amen!  

But what happens when the wind shifts and the pendulum swings too far to the right or too far to the left and shit gets off balance?

How do you live your best life then?  How do you then show up with a smile? How do you respond when your company down-sizes and your job is eliminated? What gets you out of bed when the bill collectors’ call you before you plant your feet on the floor?  Hmm…. When that one person you thought was your ride or die drops the ball and bails….now what and who do you turn to? Worse yet, the doctor informs you that you have a major health issue?

Now what?

Where is wellness in the mix of chaos and disaster?  Did the wrecking ball smash your sense of wellness into unrecognizable pieces?  During a recent sermon, the pastor reminded his members that, God did not promise us that life would be easy.  

I believe life is a journey of peaks and valleys.  At some point in time, everyone is blessed with the joy of winning and the feeling of being on top (the peak). 

Likewise, no one is lucky enough to to avoid nesting on the bottom in the valley.

When you are in either spot, you tend to forget about the “other” place. In a sense, you are either climbing, falling, or performing a balancing act somewhere in the middle.

When you are on top, everything is great. If you are not careful, the memories of the nightmare of the last valley you crawled out of can fade quickly.  But you must remember and live humble. When you fall deep, you might not even recall how you got there because your fall was so fast. 

Then how do you embody wellness during difficult times? You embody wellness the same as you during good and bad times.

1. Begin each day with gratitude.  No matter what your situation, begin each day with a few moments to think about all that is good in your life.  You will experience hard times but you still have goodness in your life. Everything is not bad. If you are reading this, your heart is beating.  You woke up this morning. You can read. You have a device to access this blog. You have electricity. You are of sound mind. Enlist in a gratitude journal. Write three things you are grateful for each day.  Write in the morning or at night; whichever works for you.

2. Focus on the present.  Yesterday was either good, a day you would like to forget, or somewhere in the centre. One thing for sure, yesterday is gone. Pastor Dharius Daniels, says, “Don’t visit what you cannot revise!”  Did you get that? You cannot fix yesterday, so let it be. Yesterday may have delivered hurt, pain, sorrow, grief, or anger, but what you chose to feel today is your choice. By no means am I suggesting that you will get over hurt in one day, because the heart and the mind does not function that way. What  I am saying is that reliving the moments will not make you feel better. You will feel worse. Consider how you will move forward. What do you want to do? What goals have you set for yourself? Go about chipping away at your long-term goals one bite at a time. No matter how small, each step will move you to a better place. Your mind will focus on the task at hand and keep you moving forward. 

3. Submerge yourself in positive words. I am talking about fully drowning yourself in encouraging and uplifting words.  Beginning with your bedside. Place an inspiring book next to your bed. Read it in the morning and at bedtime. In the series, Being Mary Jane, Gabrielle Union stuck post it notes all over her bathroom mirror. Hang inspirational messages throughout your home.

Seeing positive words daily will uplift you.  When you hear or read words that reverberate with you, write them down. Post them in your bathroom, in your car, at work, at your desk, in the kitchen, on the walls, wherever you will see them. Listen to an inspiring podcast like Tiffany F. Southerland. Watch an inspiring message on youtube such as Dharius Daniels or an encouraging message about Hasty Faith//Crazy Faith. Music is a simple way to change your mood. Create a playlist of music that makes you smile, dance, laugh, or happy. Any of these activities will lift your spirit or keep you juiced up.

4. Eat Well.  According to the Stress Management Society, there are three stages of stress.   1. Alarm – When an event occurs, the body’s initial response is the alarm. At this time, your body produces adrenaline.  You either respond or hold back (fight or flight). 2. Resistance Stage – Your body goes into resistance stage, which occurs if there is no response.  The body forms a mechanism that learns to cope with the event. Resources are gradually being drained, eventually the body’s ability to resist will fade.  3. Exhaustion Stage – Your body has used up all of its resources from coping with the stress. If not resolved, this is when you begin to see the first symptoms of stress such as:  muscle tension, edgy personality, increased heart rate, headaches, loss of appetite, a short temper, or loss of focus/concentration. Prolonged symptoms can result in ulcers, depression, other mental/health problems, heart/cardiovascular problems, diabetes, bowel/digestive problems, or another illness.  

When stressed, loss of appetite is normal for some people.  It is you body’s response to pressure but can also lead to unhealthy eating habits. Furthermore, “stress can cause the body to crave foods that are high in fats and sugars.” People tend to eat badly when they are stressed.  Being aware of your body’s natural response is key to surviving difficult times. So wallowing away in a bag of chips, cookies, or overindulging in alcohol will only cause you to feel worse.

This is the time when it is most important for you to nourish yourself properly.  Drink more water, eat more fruits and vegetables, and consume a calming tea like chamomile, peppermint, lemon balm, or rose tea. Avoid skipping meals, excessive alcohol, sugar, fast-foods, and refined carbs. Eat well, feel better!

5. Incorporate essential oils into your daily routine. Essential oils are derived from plants. Oils are concentrated natural compounds that come from the roots, seeds, and flowers of plants. They have been in existence since the earliest readings of mankind.  Some essential oil solutions for tension, stress, anxiety, and sleep aid are Lavender, Serenity,  Pasttense, Frankincense, Placing a diffuser in your bedroom and using it before bedtime and during sleep will assist to promote calmness and relaxation, which can help you to sleep better. To learn more usage for your essential oils, contact me at Lexa’s Wellness.

6. Include meditation and prayer in your daily practice.  Both will ground you emotionally, mentally, and spiritually.  If your belief is in a higher being, the universe, or elsewhere, that’s fantastic.  Go to your source in meditation. Sit in silence with your source and gain hope, clarity, and inspiration to continue to live each day with peace and gratitude in your heart. If you need help with meditation, there are my apps  to help you. Try the app Relax and Rest , which has guided meditations. Another favorite is Calm. And finally, Insight Timer The apps will guide you through each step. Your mind will wander but do not give up. Use the apps at work, in your car, or anywhere you feel stressed.

7. Maintain mental health. Seek professional help. The National Alliance on Mental Illness reported 19.1% of U.S. adults experienced mental illness in 2018 (47.6 million people). This represents 1 in 5 adults. 4.6% of U.S. adults experienced serious mental illness in 2018 (11.4 million people). This represents 1 in 25 adults.

We are living in a period where access to mental health service is more available than any other time.  Yet, men are told to suck it up, man up… no tears. At a young age, women are taught to bury their feelings and to put their emotions on pause, be strong and take care of your family first.   Both notions are misguided. Lack of treatment will create an environment of suffering for you, suffering for your spouse, and suffering for your children. Lack of treatment may cause job loss and other financial consequences.   Feelings of hopelessness, sadness, anger, and grief are normal. But the right trained professional for you can help you to sort through these feelings, and not necessarily with medication. If you prefer to avoid medication, search for a holistic practitioner who meets your needs. 

8. Play.  See a movie. Ride a bike. Walk in a park. Go to the theatre. Zip line. Take a cooking class.  Enroll in a belly dancing course. See a comedy show. Learn a new skill. Partake in an activity that brings you joy…that makes you smile…that makes you laugh.  Laughter is good for you. 

9. Spend 30 minutes taking a 5-minute walk. Yeah, you right. This exercise is taken from a book on mindfulness that I love. Depending on where you live, this one can be challenging. But give it a try anyway. The pace of life on the sidewalks is fast. It feels good. We are often driven that way internal, too. Some of us even want our walks to count as training. Which is why “slow down” is a ubiquitous counter-mantra. How slow? How about as slow as can be. Think of it as walking meditation, what Zen Buddhists call Kinhin. Take a step, breathe, look. Study the bark on a tree. Examine something in a store window. Explore the cracks in the sidewalk, or the ants crawling along the pavement. Allow yourself to be completely distracted from the goal of reaching your destination. You will fight it, but if and when you are able to let go of the tug to “hurry up,”you might just discover a new experience.

“If the sight of the blue skies fills you with joy, if a blade of grass springing up in the fields has power to move you, if the simple things of nature have a message that you understand, rejoice, for your soul is alive.”   – Eleanor’s Duse


96 Years Young and He Keeps It Movin’!

Vic! 🙂

Vic’s metal cane sways from right to left when he walks. Slightly hunched over, he creates a rhythm with a periodic pause but confidently steps forward along the busy paved trail. There is no doubt in my mind that Vic is enjoying his morning stroll.

Although I walked passed Vic once, I could not bring myself to move past him a second time without talking to him. When I first got to the park, I had something on my mind. Vic changed that. I was blown away by his perseverance and enthusiasm for life.

Vic is a 96 year-young, U.S. Marine Corps, WWII, and Vietnam Veteran. His cap is a badge of honor. Whoop! Whoop! Vic has arthritis and moving hurts, but he says, “you gotta keep it movin’!” Those are his words. He also said that “movement helps to maintain cognition.” Walking keeps him mobile and independent, the way he likes it because he doesn’t want to have to rely on his children to care for him. I walked with Vic for a bit, we high fived and talked.

Vic agreed to a selfie because I told him I wanted my mom to see him. Although physically able, she is less mobile and Vic instructed me to bring mom to the park so he could talk to her. I love this man!

Vic should serve as an inspiration to all of us. If he can move, so can you! As a WWII and Vietnam Veteran, this warrior probably has more physical, mental, and emotional scars then I will ever know; yet he took the time to inspire me and to brighten my day. I thanked Vic for his service and the uplifting conversation.

The image of Vic is yet another face of wellness. While his story is incomplete to me, he projects positivity and fervor. I hope to see him again soon. Changing your lifestyle for the better does not cost large sums of money. More than anything else, it takes a desire, commitment, consistency, and a supportive community of people around you.

By the way, I was so into my walk this morning, that I covered 6.2 miles!

Wanna talk about it? Got something on your mind? Email me today at tanyafcain@gmail.com.

“Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world. Today I am wise, so I am changing myself.” 
― Rumi



I Listened To My Body: It Warned Me About A Health Issue

For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid,

but gives us power, love, and self-discipline.

(2 Timothy 1:7)

Photo taken (by me) at the Gaylord Hotel, Grapevine Texas

Eat well. √

Exercise daily. √ 

Get enough sleep. √

Minimize stress… Well I am pretty sure that I have my stress levels in check but to be perfectly honest with you, sometimes we think we are doing a good enough job of managing stress when in actuality we are not. We package and shelf it nice and neatly on the inside, and that is where it (the pressure) quietly does its dirty work. I’ll get back to the stress in a minute.

For about two months, maybe longer, I had experienced occasional headaches. Something I rarely get. The headaches were random, so I wasn’t too concerned. We have two blood pressures devices at home, so I started to occasionally take my pressure. First thing in the morning, before you start moving around is the best time to check your pressure; so that is what I did.

My average reading has always been in the area of 117/72.

  • My readings were in the area of 180/99 and sometimes higher!!

Long story short, the diagnosis is hypertension.  

Anyone who knows me will corroborate, I am a health, wellness and fitness devotee. Wellness is a way of life that I take pride in. I do all the right things–not to perfection–but enough to look and feel vibrant and to have excellent physical health.

So when the doctor confirmed my suspicion, I was crushed. Honestly, I think it was an ego thing. You know–

How is the wellness professional gonna tell somebody how to prevent hypertension, when she has it?

It comes down to pride. The fact is, I am genetically predisposed to hypertension. Family history prevails over my lifestyle.

Know your body. Be aware of what your normal is and be prepared to take immediate action (see a doctor) when your ordinary is out of sorts.

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