Healthy Steps …. Part 2

The first part focused on removing an unhealthy ingredient from our favorite foods or beverages. A small step that with time can add up to a healthier life.

Now for the fun part …. The addition

Explore ones that are healthy for you and pick a new favorite. For me one example is coconut water. It’s my new favorite drink (other than my morning coffee). And drinking it frequently is actually good for my health. One choice, one item at a time. It becomes a treat you can really feel good about.

There are abundance of choices, from a vegetable pasta, to a tropical fruit. You are the one who gets to pick based on what works for both your taste buds and the needs of your body. Add a simple ingredient such as cinnamon to your coffee, tea or cereal. That one step can even lead to more. Each needs to be enjoyable, to create a lasting habit of health.

Start checking out herbal teas and see which ones address your health issues and that you like the taste of. Even with that there are an abundance of of options, with several trustworthy brands. Elderberry makes a great tea for the immune system and Red Clover addresses bone issues. I have come to love both, with a dab of honey, and even that, is a healthy addition.

Neem supplements have eliminated my need for antibiotics. It is my go-to for infection prevention. Nature has some of the best medicines to heal with. It simply takes doing your own research for your specific needs and an honest conversation with your doctor. You are in a partnership of your health. Treat the relationship that way and you will teach each other valuable things.

Now that you’ve read this (thank you), what comes to mind for you? Start looking and you might surprise yourself, and add a little joy and health in the process.

Written by Melody Belliveau

The Sins of Our Forefathers

I watched the movie The Help recently and the movie gave me some intense feelings – first of anger that made me want to step back in time and make a stand myself. It was soul-wrenching to watch. But as a white woman myself, it also brought me a sense of shame. How could someone treat other people that way?! How could they see themselves as a superior race?! I don’t understand how anyone could look into the eyes of someone else, hear what they have to say, and decide what you think of them based solely on the color of their skin. It truly boggles my mind!

How could their heart, their character, and their integrity not matter?! So many incredible people were surely lost without the opportunity to shine their light for others. No one has the right to take away someone’s personal power based on the color of their skin.

The wounds of a bully

Upon reflection I wonder about who the first person was, that decided (yes, it was a decision) that another’s skin color made them less of a soul. The wound they must have been carrying that made them feel inferior to the character of the person standing in front of them, led to the words of a bully.

Contempt for oneself brings it spilling onto others. If only they understood the evil their pain was giving birth to – and it would never truly make them feel superior, no matter how much they tried. Healing doesn’t come from the outside – it can only be done from looking within.

To those who truly believe their value is above another’s, you need to look inside. It is a sore that needs attention – even if it was seeded generations ago. For no matter what cruelty your words and actions dish out – it will not erase what’s searing on the inside. It only serves to intensify it.

Look, listen and reflect

Those who trigger that emotion in you are the ones you need to understand. Listen…and then reflect on your why. Perhaps you will learn something about yourself; if you have the courage to look and be honestly vulnerable with yourself.

I can’t change what injustices have been done. I can only attempt to understand and help shed a light on the chain that still has a hold on a portion of our humanity.

For the beautiful souls

For those whose futures were challenged because of it, you have my respect for the strength and courage your ancestors had in order to survive and stand up and be heard. For those who still face that mindset from others, you have my deepest apologies. Be the best you that you can be because there are many who see your character, integrity and strength. Those with bad behavior reflect on themselves, not you. Don’t give them the power to dim your light. Shine it bright for all to see.

Your decision

For those of you who identify with being white, you cannot be indifferent to it. At some point in your life you will need to decide whether to speak up against it. When that time happens – you will be deciding whether you are okay with your silence being the voice of condoning it. It would be wiser to examine your thoughts and decide now if you have that wound, even if it’s not fresh enough to acknowledge it’s even there. I urge you to watch the movie or read the book. It cannot help but impact your soul.

The healing world

The world is healing, despite all the anguish and anger spilling out from those who haven’t. Are you going to be on the side of the light or the darkness?

We are all in this together and we are each responsible for our part. It is up to us how much we value character and integrity – both from inside ourselves and those around us.

Where do you stand? Do you have the courage to shine your light? Only you can decide.

Compassion not contempt.

Written by Melody Belliveau

Continue reading “The Sins of Our Forefathers”

Life’s Reflections ….

I came across this writing I did three years ago. Life has been a gift day after day, and the older I get, the more I am aware of that. This is what I wrote that I would like to share with you:

I’m 60 years old and life has given me more experiences, both good and bad, and they’ve all had messages to them. As a child I always saw 60 as old, of course I don’t anymore. The “old” bar keeps moving forward. At this point in time 85-90 is old. But I’m sure if I’m Blessed with more time the bar will continue to move forward.

So what shall I leave as a legacy for the payment of this life? Making someone else’s life a little bit better for them. Leave the world a little bit of a better place before you came into it. “Take life in the pieces it’s given.” We live our lives minute to minute, day by day even though we plan it year by year. But life happens when we are making other plans.

So go ahead and make those goals – they are an asset – but then always turn your attention to today. For today, take care of yourself both physically and spiritually and do what you are guided to do and be kind while you are doing it. If you do that, and stay present in the moments, you will see Blessings you otherwise would have overlooked.

“Be the best you can possibly be and the rest will take care of itself.” Do not allow negative things to put a chip on your shoulders because left unchecked, it will change who you are inside. Pause if you must but always be true to yourself and who you most desire to be as a person without regard to success or wealth.

I hope you’ve found some wisdom in what you’ve read (thank you) and perhaps it will remind you to live your life in the joy of the moments you are Blessed with – each day.

Written by Melody Belliveau

Healthy Steps ….Part 1

Everything we do is based on steps, whether it be career, health, or even our habits. What you are reading right now (thank you), will be about health.

We all want to be healthy – no one aspires to have health issues, but despite medical ‘advances’, we have more issues now than some remote villages. One of the keys is an easy step – it’s our choices, the ones we don’t even notice.

“Eating healthy” is too broad a term to see the smaller steps, the ones that add up that anyone can take to eat just a little bit healthier. Everything successful starts with 1%. We all have favorite foods or ways of drinking our coffee. Do you love barbecue sauce and use it frequently? Checking the label for an unhealthy ingredient such as high fructose corn syrup can be your first step. It has been linked to a variety of health issues. Look for a brand that doesn’t contain it, or at least that isn’t the most prominent ingredient listed. Then follow that step for other favorites you consume regularly. Eliminating that one ingredient can be your successful way of eating healthier.

Like half & Half in your coffee? It contains milk and cream right? For some brands yes – but for others – there are ingredients that are healthier to do without, especially if it is consumed often.

Pick an ingredient you know or believe to be unhealthy and eliminate it from your most used products, not by going without, but by choosing brands that choose not to include it. It’s a step in the right direction, and if enough of us do it, it sends a message to the brands you eliminate. It could be how they learn too.

Written by Melody Belliveau

Three Steps Forward, Two Steps Back

This is the time of year we see it in our lives the most. We start the year off with internal pep talks and New Year’s Resolutions (or goals, depending on your perspectives) and when we start to slide backwards after our progress, we look hard on ourselves. We doubt we’ve really made any progress, especially when we’ve struggled to overcome challenges and life throws us another curve ball that knocks us back off our feet.

The journey of life is not always easy, and sometimes we carry forward our battle scars of wounds to our mind, body and spirit. Often we work hard at “getting ahead” and find the road difficult and long. We persevere with all our strength through the struggle. Those steps back can get us discouraged and we wonder “what’s the point when you’re always knocked back down?”.

The One Step Forward….

Those are the moments we need to see that one step. The one step we still moved forward. You are more than you were before those three steps. That one step is part of who you are now with what you’ve seen. You are one step higher than you were and you need to see that success now more than ever before. It didn’t come without effort from you.

The Two Steps Back….

They hold their own value. They contain insights you could not have been given by any other way. Experience is a powerful teacher if we’re willing to really look at the lesson it has for you. You’ve seen what doesn’t work – are you willing to open up to new possibilities of what could? Sometimes the answers lie outside the box.

Reflection is a lens that, when colored by compassion for ourselves, can show us the opening of another path. Can you give that to yourself? The more we give it to ourselves, the more we are able to give it to others.

Where You Are….

We’ve still gained that one step forward and with it we’ve gained experience in the other two. So don’t sit down and give up…. You’re further ahead than you give yourself credit for. Look inside and see what you’ve learned from the challenges. That’s where your personal growth is. It’s where the seeds of wisdom are planted, and if carefully cultivated, can serve others.

You matter more than you know.

Written by Melody Belliveau

The Light of Hope

“Anything is Possible”

That’s the absolute definition of Hope. Are there things that you believe are not possible? Then you are right – they are not. But if you can believe they are …. then you expand the possibilities beyond the limitations.

So if that’s true – what is the one thing you would wish to spread in the world?

Personally I like to stretch the limits of the mind. To those who know me, I embrace the term “colorful” to describe who I am and what I am about. I believe in intent. You can spread any sense of energy around with your presence. So the one I choose to spread is Hope. I truly believe anything is possible. I’ve seen some of the miracles. Can you heal your body and your mind? Some of you reading this have shown me yourselves.

We are all are the Beacons of Light that brings Hope into view. Spread that light – and if the majority did, anything would be possible.

For me, I’m going to spread it around like touching powdered sugar and tracking it everywhere. Anywhere we are, we share the energy of light we believe in. Thoughts become things – I want to produce the light of Hope.

Fear is not what I want to spread so I refuse to let it control my actions. The most amazing Blessings are right outside our comfort zones ….

Especially when we believe anything is possible.

Take this with you today …. and just maybe, again tomorrow you’ll feel it.

Written by Melody Belliveau

Casting a Vote for Our Future

The past few elections have been votes based on who people hated less. It wasn’t about belief in the candidate we chose, it was about how much we detested the opponent. We chose by colors and waves for red or blue with contempt for the other side. All that does is bring greater divides. It doesn’t have to be that way.

For our voting system to matter in its true spirit, it needs to be about who shows us the best character, the one with outstanding integrity that you see. One who will do their best for the country as a whole – not just one side of the divide. Are they looking for power, or do they genuinely care about those on every street? American Pride must include us all.

Do they place their votes while in office based on what’s good for our country, or is it based on party lines? We cannot say that either side has not been right or come up with good ideas at least part of the time. Both have value and need to work together. Votes in office on party lines is a failure to work together. Does that make them blind to what the other side can do that’s good?

Ballots received by mail

Getting ballots in the mail can be a great opportunity if we look at the benefit it gives the voter. We can research who they really are before choosing. The majority of people don’t know ahead of time all of the candidates listed on the ballot before choosing. This gives you the chance to know with the time to choose wisely, with open eyes.

Then you have a choice of how you want to deliver it, either by mail or town hall or drop box. If you bring it in, remember to show kindness to the workers. They have taken on a job that we as a nation, have turned into a dangerous position. What does that say about us? Don’t be part of that. Use your own character and integrity to show them support and kindness. Show gratitude that they are willing to serve us. Being in service to others does not mean they lack value that’s worthy of respect – on the contrary. Sometimes it requires an an admirable amount of patience to serve through the disrespect, and that’s a reflection on the public they serve. Let’s change that together and in the words of Peter Clarke, “Just be kind out there”.

So go out there and vote with character and integrity, and spread the energy of hope, rather than an energy of hate. Our country really needs that more than ever now.

Written by Melody Belliveau

Second Letter To Vladimir Putin…

You are living in your pain and anguish and your actions show that to the world. You are feeling like life is closing in on you. We need you to face your humanity. To deny it only hurts you more. The only view you see is that you will defend yourself at the cost of all others, and you are not bluffing.

The truth of the matter…

But there is a truth you are refusing to see. One that needs to be pointed out to you and to the world. You have the power to stop it all. With one declaration from you of a cease war, it will end all of what is going on. Your very own words would end the threat you see for yourself. And it would be the bravest thing that you’ve ever done in your life.

You may never become a hero to those you have already hurt, but to the parent who stays up through the night worrying that their children will be the next to be sacrificed – they will be grateful for your strength to have the guts to stop this. Once we admit we were wrong – we aren’t wrong anymore.

Make no mistake – all this is on you because you are the aggressor and peace is literally in your hands. But you can’t feel it because you haven’t had it in your heart. Even with the power you have, happiness still alludes you. Stop and think of the possibilities of what peace can accomplish if that were your focus. Destroying others will never lead to peace of the soul it only feeds the ego that can never be satisfied. Why is it better to create destruction instead?

The why of it all ….

Your why is very important – facing it will require integrity because the answer is inside, not in the possession you seek of other land. You are not the man and leader you still have the ability to become. Do you have the courage it takes to serve your soul instead? Hitler did not – and only those who live in their wounds admire his legacy. The rest of the world sees him as a monster in human form to this day.

We understand that you are powerful – but can you really see what your power has created? Death and destruction to both sides. You can’t ignore that. It will take much more courage to stop this, than it does to escalate the destruction.

He who wishes to fight must first count the cost” Sun Tzu

Your actions are hurting those you lead, you must see that. What is the best course of action for the greater good of your own people? The true measure of a leader can be seen by the answer to this question: “Is your legacy one that evil benefits from?” If it is, it is your responsibility to change that. While you are still here, you still can. Now is the time for you to change course and you will have sent a powerful message of true courage.

Hope ….

Do you have that? I pray you have the strength to become a true legend. The world needs you to find it inside yourself. Oh how I wish your own eyes could see and your ears could hear the message in the words I’ve written here! But I have hope like the depth of the seas that you will find the strength to do this and start to heal your soul. I have hope that the ripples of light energy here will have an impact – no matter how they get to you or by whom. Words touching a soul will touch others and the ripple widens. Perhaps someone who reads this will carry it forward even if only in their thoughts at first. Maybe then into seeds of a brighter future filled with peace. Who knows? Maybe prayers will come out of this for you from the world that reach your soul. What will you do when it does?

Written by Melody Belliveau

Labor Day 2022

As a society, America tends to look at holidays as simply a day off of work to celebrate. Cookouts are a common way to spend Labor Day. Tuesday it’s back to the grind and nothing was gained by the day before. But can there be more to it than that?

Your Value

There can be, if we use it for reflection of our labors. To acknowledge your value in the workforce – no matter what your station is. The view of essential workers was spotlighted during the pandemic and included those that many take for granted.

But you matter

And Labor Day is a day for reflection of that. Know that you are valuable and take the time to recognize that you are. With the struggles of today, you need that for yourself or work is just another stressor of your life. Let the truth of your value energize you, and find a way to love what you do so it doesn’t drain you instead.

Whether it be raising children, corporate or Foundation work, or the minimum wage service industry, you have value. Know it, feel it, and let that empower your soul. We are all in this together and you are an important part of community, even when others overlook that fact. So when you go in to work tomorrow, keep that in mind if you start doubting yourself. We need you, so thank you for being there to do the job you do.

Melody Belliveau

Just Once More…

Drug addiction can come from 2 different places

The medical profession

It can come from the trust in a prescription that leads to a physical addiction. Someone who “would never!” finds themselves facing a fight from their own body when the usage stops. It is not limited to pain medications. That’s just the ones we watch for, and when they happen, we look down on the patient. Sometimes with pity, other times with disgust.

You doubt their word if they insist “this is not who I am! I didn’t think it could happen to me.” The damage has been done and carries on. They don’t want help because they fight it in their mind without acceptance of the truth. To be given help requires vulnerability and the acceptance that they are powerless to stop it on their own. That requires trust in others and it’s hard to have a rational mind in the middle of it. The further into it, the harder it is to see from the inside. Sometimes the very doctor that got you there won’t admit it, never mind be able to help you. It is beyond their ability to give you a corrective course of action.

Escape from the wounds

The second side of it is experimentation for escape. What they often don’t realize is who they are trying to escape from – it is themselves. The voices inside one’s head can be relentlessly cruel. If they were a person in the room, they would need to leave it. But no matter where they go, this one follows. Sometimes it’s started as echoes from others. It replayed in their head until their own inner voice started repeating it. It becomes their agreement with themselves and their actions become proof of it’s truth to them.

They search for self medication that will dull the senses and quiet the voice. If they use it enough, get inebriated enough, they don’t have to care what it says anymore. By the time they realize they’ve made the words come true, they have no idea how to climb back up out of the darkness. And their body fights against even trying.

Thoughts become things

To deny an addiction is to deny the wound – whether physical or emotional. Just once more is to delay an action your soul is asking you to take. Healing starts with the thoughts of wanting better than this life. Healing starts with the courage to decide to walk the tough road of recovery for what could be waiting on the other side. Knowing they don’t want anymore of this life. It’s a fight that requires everything from you. It requires mind, body and spirit.

The mind because mindset is everything. Without a belief that you have what it takes, you are heavily disadvantaged. Thoughts become things. Feed your mind with what it needs to succeed. “You can do this!” is one of them. Be painfully honest about everything you need to heal.

The body will fight you tooth and nail. It doesn’t know how to cope on it’s own anymore. It will take all it has to readjust and become fully functional once more. Be kind, treat it gentle and believe it can do it with your help. Withdrawal is a journey through hell, often at a level of pain that is inhumane. If you don’t give up, time is on your side. Do what you can for your immune system to show your support for your body.

The spirit will be the hardest work. You will need to really look up and within. The scars on your soul and the raw open wounds that have never healed will need to be examined and understood. You’ll never fully heal the body if you can’t heal your soul. But it is work you can and must do. It becomes part of your strength and your character. Faith can take you through the impossible. Courage grows each day you do. You can win the fight – but it’s all up to you and no one can do it for you, no matter how much they want to.

To understand

Understanding doesn’t come from pity or coddling. Understanding comes from the human side. Compassion comes from seeing it and looking for an answer. We’ve got to change our minds about about demonizing them, because right now, with what people are going through, more and more people are trying to escape. There are those, including some of the most incredible people, that are choosing to give up and leave this world. Our homeless and suffering population is growing.

Can you honestly say, if you were forced to live on the street, you would never try to dull the pain? If you can jump to say you would not, then you truly don’t understand the pain of living on the streets. It hits all three parts of you – body, mind and soul, and you feel alone in it. Asking for help doesn’t always mean it’s there to receive.

Judgement of them

But these are the people we look down on. We don’t want to see or hear from them. We don’t trust them or want them in our neighborhoods. We decide that before we even know their story. If we are to judge them (and we do), how do we do that without knowing their story? And when you hear it, could you be sure you wouldn’t have landed there too? Remember, we can’t cast the stone if we can relate.

Asking the question “what did they go through?” is important and necessary. Not to excuse, but to understand and stop it from continuing on for them and others that otherwise will come next. The why of everything is key. You cannot solve a problem without understanding the why of it first. Compassion not contempt.