Hope Wissel

A Birthday Milestone

Another year, a BIG milestone….. believe it or not, today is my 65th birthday!

Do I feel 65?  Not on most days but I will admit, MS has kicked my butt a little bit more this year.

I have been doing an annual reflection since I started blogging… and this year is no different filled with lots of gratitude!

As the world returns to “normal” (whatever that is) I struggle with stepping out of my comfort zone.  This introvert is content to be home with hubby.  I am grateful NA meetings have opened up and hugs are shared again.  This year, I have continued to learn so much about me. But mostly, I learned I am okay being with me which is HUGE!

I am blessed to have woken up this morning.  No matter what the day may bring, I know it will be WONDERFUL!  Am I always this optimistic – NOPE!   I’m determined to be positive and make the most of each day.  I no longer live in negativity or want to be surrounded by drama.  Thankfully, brain fog mornings have been few and far between.  I have accepted using my brace when I leave the house and will be doing some walking.  The scale hasn’t really changed much but the inches are slowly melting away.  I will take that any day, what about you???

The “birthdays” of the past where they were just another day are gone.  The days of low self-esteem, a lack of confidence and nasty inner gremlins who made me feel like I didn’t deserve a celebration have been let go. Today, I was blessed to wake up without expectations.  Expectations lead to hurt feelings and resentments so why have them, right?  Just for today, I like myself.   I am grateful for whatever the day may bring.  Birthdays are milestones in our lives.  As children, they are a day (or sometimes a week or even a month) where the focus is on us.  Filled with presents, parties, family, friends and of course cake and ice cream.  As the years go by, life “happens” and things change.  Whatever the celebration is like today – it will be okay!

I stepped down as a Director with Thirty One this year.  I will always be a Thirty One girl.  I am happy to share my love of the products without the stress of hitting numbers.  Yup, I can easily get wrapped up in the shoulda, coulda woulda as well as the comparison game which steals my joy.  As a result, I am still a walking billboard happy to help anyone solve their gift giving or organizational challenge. I can’t believe it has been 11 1/2 years with this amazing company.

Angels by Hope has a busy Etsy store which I do take on the road locally for some craft shows.  I love sharing my angels with everyone.  Gifting my angels has been the greatest blessing to me this year… it allows me to bring a smile to the face of others as they heal through their latest struggle.  Allowing the creative juices to flow has been exciting and actually has been a form of therapy.  It helps with processing thoughts the same as working my puzzles help with eye hand coordination.  Puzzles are my jam (do they still say that?) and I average about one a week.

Because of my new love for cooking and trying new recipes, I have joined Epicure. Good food, fast and easy in 30 minutes or less including prep!   We are eating cleaner – much less processed, more organic, and definitely gluten free.  Hubby has even jumped on the bandwagon – willingly. LOL.  Check it out if you are looking for healthy meal solutions (allergen free).

I hold fast to my mantra “every day is a gift from God with a blessing to be found.”  It seems like this is turning into one of those “holiday letters” you get from people you only hear from once a year…. LOL. Or maybe the makings of a Hallmark movie.

I have to admit the tears are starting to flow and I am okay with feeling the feelings.  With the help of my NA family, a new home group and a new sponsor, I am learning to live life on life’s terms.  Working on steps and sharing at meetings has definitely helped this “old lady” to heal and grow.  I’m grateful and blessed to say God willing, we will have four years on the 22nd!

There are many people I could (and probably should) thank or talk about from this past year.  Please don’t feel slighted… you have all been a blessing in my life.  This has been a great year and I am looking forward to the blessings God has for me in this new year.  I can’t believe I am actually 65 years old – okay, so it is only a number, right? Now, I am really “over the hill” and not like I was when I turned 40 (that is a story for another day! LOL)

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Have a blessed day!

Hope Wissel, Tasty Tuesday Recipes

Tasty Tuesday: Chocolaty Temptation Petites

Happy Tuesday!

Today, I am thinking about a yummy treat for Valentine’s Day.  I know it is a little early BUT why not be prepared, right?  LOL.

I found this while I was hunting for other ways to use my cupcake mix.  The requirements – tasty, sweet, point worthy AND something hubby would like.  I know it is a lot of pressure for one recipe but I have faith it will pass the test.

Time: 30 min  Servings: 30 petites   Cost: $0.17/serving

WW PP BEFORE icing: 1 point

Recovery, Relax, Reflect, Recharge, Unclutter Your Life

Do You Believe?

I dedicate today’s blog to all of those who doubt themselves, who beat themselves up over past mistakes, who think they are inferior, or who think they will never succeed.  

January has been an interesting month for me…. trying to find my passion again, setting goals than changing them, doubting myself, waiting for answers to prayers, and working on my 4th & 5th steps….Living life on life’s terms can be rough.

I want you to know you are not alone, we are in this journey together.  I’m back to sharing my strengths, hopes and experiences a few times per month.  I want you to remember together we can heal and become the AMAZING women God wants us to be.  It won’t always be easy.  It probably won’t be in our time – God works on his schedule not ours.  But the important thing is – we do heal!

I am grateful for the struggles because from them I grow.  I am grateful for my faith which keeps me grounded even on the toughest days.  I am learning so much about myself lately and I have to admit – it can be pretty scary!  It has mw wondering (and sometimes doubting) all kinds of things.  I know the road may be bumpy but the end result is to be a better person tomorrow than I am today.  You don’t have to have lofty goals or dreams.  You don’t have to make changes immediately.  Remember slow and steady wins the race.  The key is to listen to those God nudges (or smacks on the head for me sometimes).  Trust and believe.  

This is a repost from gobigcoach:

I believe in you,

Even when you don’t.

I know you are a miracle,

Even when you forget.

I am thankful for YOUR extraordinary,

Even when you feel like you’re not enough.

Whatever you struggle with,

I know you can survive…

And prevail!

Whatever you resist,

I know you can allow…

Harmoniously.

Whatever you dream,

I know you can experience…

And expand into even more.

Whenever you fall and wonder if you

can get up again…

Remember, I believe in you – even when you don’t.

Don’t let fear and doubt steal the joys of each day.  You are an amazing individual with gifts and talents to share with the world! You ARE extraordinary!

Have an Epic day!

 

Business Tips and Tricks, Hope Wissel, Relax, Reflect, Recharge

What is Your Passion?

The New Year triggers LOTS of talk about setting BIG goals, and following your passion.  So, what are you passionate about?

Passion is defined as: a strong feeling of enthusiasm or excitement for something or about doing something.

 

Sadly, for me……I feel like my MS has stolen this from me.  😦  I have always kicked off January excited about what the year would bring…. Over the years, my passion for things has changed – I have to admit I don’t think I was really passionate about anything (or at least I don’t remember) until I started volunteering with the South Jersey AIDS Alliance.  That is when I started to understand what the word passion was all about.  My passion for those infected and affected by HIV/AIDS continues even 25+ years later.  It may not be as evident now but there was a time when everyone knew it was my passion. Then my passion became a larger group of underserved populations (the homeless, the underemployed, etc.) when I began working for Bethel, a non-profit with a soup kitchen, food pantry and many other programs.  Making a difference in the lives of people was what I wanted to do……

Then Thirty One entered my life.  In the beginning it was just a hobby then it became a passion. Sparks are flamed by my hostesses, my customers and my team.  it brought in a steady income and allowed me to make a difference in the lives of others.  Now, 10+ years later, my passion seems to be smoldering.  As I kick off the new year…..I can’t seem to latch on to a goal or get excited.  I still LOVE ❤ ThirtyOne and the life it has given me yet I am struggling.  I know I can still make a difference, but I need to figure out how.

Did I let Satan steal my passion?  Or is God leading me towards another path?  You may know what I mean – those days when nothing feels right, no excitement or joy in what you are doing, just kind of going through the motions.  These days I always wonder…….is this an MS thing, or a recovery issue?  I ask for guidance and yet nothing comes, WAIT, right?  God’s time, not mine.  Can I stamp my feet & throw a tantrum?  Will it get me the answers?  LOL. Probably not.  I feel like it would take longer to hear them.

I’m enjoying cooking again – the new bigger kitchen combined with trying new recipes created the spark.  I don’t always understand how you can be creative when you have to cook dinners every night?  I never knew how good I had it.  When Belinda was growing up, it could be the same thing multiple nights since there was always a practice (gymnastics, field hockey or cheering) to rush off to.  When I moved in with hubby, he worked night shift so I only needed to cook 2 meals per week.  Yes, I was spoiled and didn’t even know it.  LOL.  Fast forward to retirement and a BIG (okay big for me) kitchen and I am enjoying trying new things and sharing about them.  Is it a passion?  Who knows – some days it seems like it and then some days it seems like a chore?

Creating angels and sewing has become another new escape.  I am exploring.  I have the Etsy store which does okay and I am booking craft shows on a limited basis for the spring.  Creating sparks another part of my brain which helps with my MS issues too.  I also love hearing the stories of why people pick certain angels as they talk about family and friends.

Working through the steps in my recovery, and learning about me is an ongoing journey.  I’m reading again too – light things which don’t take much thought.  I’m learning MS has stolen many of my emotions and feelings while in my addiction I stuffed the feelings.

I came across an old link from John Maxwell’s word of the day which was PASSION.  Click the link to hear him talk about this AWESOME word. it will definitely trigger some thoughts…

Whether it is your business or something in your life……. I ask you again – what are YOU passionate about?  I would love to hear about it.  Share your passion with us.

Have an Epic  day!

Recovery, Unclutter Your Life

How Honest Are You?

 The “Just for Today” reading this morning was about growing honest.  Think about how honest  you really are.  Do you return extra change to the cashier? Would you admit if you hit a parked car? 

Now, how about being honest with yourself.  Do you honor the person you are on the inside by honestly sharing with those are around you?  Maybe you are like me and don’t always know who the person is on the inside.  Maybe you have “white lied” or left out parts for so long, you have honestly lost the person inside….

We all say we want “the truth” but are we always ready to hear the “truth”???

I remember telling Belinda when she was growing up  “if she was honest with me, she wouldn’t get in trouble.”  I know you are probably thinking  “she’s CRAZY”, right?  Who is crazy enough to tell a child they wouldn’t get punished?  Was I scared of what she would tell me?  YES!  I wanted her to know I would always be there for her.   I stuck to my guns. When she did something wrong or thought I wouldn’t approve of some thing, she told me and she didn’t get punished.  I’m not foolish enough to think she admitted everything but I do know there were times when she did and I was grateful.  I think it helped us in building a strong relationship.

My first time in recovery, I was honest to myself.  I wanted the values I was learning (re-learning from my childhood) to be instilled in my daughter.  Sadly, as I made my way down the spiral to a relapse, those things were lost.  My “white lies” or not whole truths kept me from being the honest person I wanted to be.  It sent mixed messages when there should have been complete trust.  I chose pride over honesty until things were such a mess, I had not choice but to get “honest” with myself and others.

As I entered recovery for the second time, the phrase “honesty is the best policy” haunted me.  Doubt and fear had me convinced those I loved would walk away, never speaking to me again.  They trusted me.  They believed what they saw on the outside while I was trying to close the door on the inner gremlins seeking to get out on the inside.  How could I be honest with them?  I feared the pain I would cause.  I feared the outcome.  I feared the losing the people I cared about the most.  But we are only as sick as our secrets.  It was time to get honest and take the good with the bad….

With 22+ months clean, I am learning honesty is more about having faith.  It is trusting my Higher Power will be there to guide and protect me.  Do I still struggle with being honest about my feelings?  YUP!  I play through how I think the other person will react.  I play through all of the “what ifs”.  Then I turn it over (or at least try to) and trust in the process.

After losing a sponsor, I looked for another.  I valued this person’s honesty at meetings. In a conversation, they told me “you worry too much about what the result will be, just share your feelings.  Be honest because it is about YOU getting better”.  I tried their suggestion and it backfired. Because when stating my feelings, I lost all compassion for the person I was speaking to. I realized their honesty was often self-centered, without a caring and compassionate concern for others. NOT the person I wanted to be.  I learned compassion and honesty had to work hand in hand for me.  I’m learning there is a time and a place to be honest.  What I mean is maybe sharing my feelings is NOT appropriate at this moment and may be better done at another time….the feelings still get shared BUT it is done with compassion towards the other person.

”Honesty is the cornerstone of all success, without which confidence and ability to perform shall cease to exist.”~Mary Kay Ash

This quote was in an early blog I wrote about honesty in business.  It can be applied to any aspect of your life.  Do we have self-confidence when we tell those “little lies” to hide our feelings?  Do we let doubt and fear take hold, so honesty goes out the door?  If you are lacking confidence, maybe you should look at how honest you are being to yourself and others.

For some honesty is the only way they have lived.  For others, being honest is something they have to re-learn because of past experiences.  How often have we thought we were being honest yet we were not sharing “everything”.  

When we are NOT 100% honest, we weave a tangled web.  We are being deceptive.  Believe it or not, after awhile we start to believe our own tales.  One small tale leads to another sort of like digging a ditch (one shovel full at a time).  Before long you are confused and lost in your own stories.  Reflecting, every time I lied or left out details (the times I remember) I was usually convincing myself I wasn’t good enough.  I was afraid of not living up to the expectations of others (which probably wasn’t there to begin with) or I just wanted to fit in.

Honesty cuts through the red tape, the distractions, the frustration and the indecision. Honesty gets you where you want to go faster because you live how you really feel. Believe it or not your intuition will give you a feel for what is in harmony with your heart.

Start by being honest with yourself. Be honest about your thoughts, words, actions and wants. Then think about your interaction with others and your personal relationships. Do people know your true self? If not, what are you afraid of?  Tough as it may be, own your feelings when you talk.  Don’t blame others!  I will admit this takes some practice.  I’m still learning!  Isn’t our immediate response to defend when we are hurt or angry?  I know mine is.  I easily react to something someone says instead of expressing my feelings honestly and openly.

Be honest with your friends, family and co-workers.  If you mess up – ADMIT it!  They will appreciate the honesty.  If we are viewed as “perfect”, others may hesitate to approach us.  The way you present yourself to others, being true to yourself and your values will shine through.

Honesty can lead to better health….. “Telling the truth when tempted to lie can significantly improve a person’s mental and physical health, according to a “Science of Honesty” study.  Makes sense, right?  Less stress.

Have a blessed day!