Tuesday, December 3, 2019

9. How To Be Gentle with Yourself - "Living in Light" Series

We all know we can run ourselves ragged, especially around the holidays. We already had a million things to do, and now we have a million more. One thing I've learned is that you have to go easy on yourself. It's easy to want to be a people pleaser and even a self-pleaser, feeling like if we don't finish our to-do lists, goals, dreams, we're less than and we don't measure up.

But here's the thing, the more we beat ourselves up over these things, isn't going to get us any faster towards our goals! If anything it can cause more self-doubt, disappointment, mental exhaustion, and worse, us just giving up. We have to be more gentle with ourselves, take off the pressure and just do the best we can (not more than our best) so we can fully enjoy life and just be happier!

Who doesn't want more happiness?

One thing is to set realistic goals. Ask yourself, what can I realistically get done today? And even if you can't finish that list, don't beat yourself up over it~ embrace the fact that there is only so much time during each day. Only so much energy you have.

Tell yourself constantly that you're doing your best. This will reinforce your positive attitude toward yourself.

Tell yourself, just because I couldn't finish this today, doesn't mean I won't ever finish it. You will start to feel the weight on your shoulders lift, I promise you.

Next is the importance of boundaries. You can have a ton of people pulling you in different directions, from family to bosses. Their demands may be too demanding and their expectations of you may be too high. I'm telling you that's their problem and not yours.

If you're truly doing your best then that's all you can do. Make it clear to yourself and everyone else that you're doing what you can. It doesn't mean you don't love your family or your job, but you can't give other people control over your life.

Your happiness is going to be because of your choices, not theirs. 

Thirdly, give yourself a break. I highly recommend daily breaks, weekly breaks, and even doing something just for yourself once a month. Taking time to just be with yourself doing something that you love. Something that helps restore your mind, body, and soul.

It could be something like taking frequent 5-minute mental breaks when you're at work. Taking a bubble bath once a week. Even getting a spa treatment once a month to get away for a bit. (You can so tell I'm a girl! Men, I'm sure you can think of some things that would help you restore too!)

Whatever it is, take some time for yourself. You deserve it. 

Most importantly, we need to be easier on ourselves. It's no wonder stress is the number one reason for all our health problems. We need to learn how to downgrade. Shift into neutral and coast sometimes. Never lose sight of your goals and dreams, but remember life is about the journey.

If we're not happy when we're chasing our dreams, then what's the point of having dreams at all?

We all have these ideal visions of ourselves. Our "perfect self" finishes all to-do lists with ease and grace. We look "perfect" all the time. We can "please" every family member, every friend, our boss, effortlessly, and all without struggle. Does this sound familiar? Constantly comparing ourselves to our "perfect self" will only cause more unhappiness.

Don't judge yourself. We live in a society that thrives on the criticism of others. Don't fall prey to that way of thinking. Especially when it comes to judging yourself! The more we over-analyze ourselves and others, the more we create distance and negativity. Just as one should try to find the good in others, we should be constantly searching for the good in ourselves.

Embrace who you are right now, imperfections and all. Set realistic goals. Know your boundaries and limits. And take regular breaks from the hustle and bustle!

Be gentle with yourself. I promise you, you'll have a happier journey & you'll truly begin living in light!

Like this blog? Make sure to subscribe at https://www.joannmears.com/jo-knows-better to get notifications on every new blog! It's free and your email is fully protected. Thanks so much for reading & have a wonderful day!

And remember, Jo may know better, but God knows best! Ask Him for guidance and He will never lead you astray. Amen.

Friday, November 22, 2019

8. The Power of Baby Steps - "Living in Light" Series

Most people want to make positive changes in their lives, but the truth is, change is hard. Most of the times it's uncomfortable and it makes us step out of our comfort zone. I've learned that the body hates change and that the mind resists change. We have our work cut out for us...

So what can we do to make change easier? Take it little by little. Small changes that are sustainable and repeatable. The secret is consistency. Consistency is the only way to achieve true success. The building blocks to get to the top of your mountain, whatever that mountain may be.

Some have a tendency to have an all or none attitude. (I know I used to be one.) We can work ourselves up, trying to convince ourselves we can do anything and we can do it now. We can feel so empowered, that we want to go full-bore. Then we can go full-bore off a cliff. I've thrown myself off that edge so many times, hoping to grow wings on the way down, but guess what? Never happened.

Recovering from falls, the disappointments, the self-loathing of our grand plans not going through, gets harder and harder. We can become more and more discouraged, leading us further away from our goals than we originally were.

So first, we have to change our mindset. If we acknowledge the fact that full-bore can sound exciting and tempting, but in most cases, it simply doesn't work in the long run. You don't want something that's just going to work for a day, a week, a month. You want these positive changes to take root in your life, your whole life, so you can compound your progress and live to your fullest potential.

The secret is making small changes that you can do again and again without taking yourself so far out of your comfort zone that you'll quit. Set some more easily attainable goals.

It's the little things that add up to big results.

One example that I'll use that most of us can relate to is "dieting". If your body is used to consuming 3,000 calories a day and being mostly sedentary, chances are abruptly changing to a 1,500 calorie diet and working out 6 days a week will be a big shock. You'll be hungry, if not starving, and probably exhausted by doing a lot with so little than your body's used to. There's probably no denying that the latter diet is healthier, but is it sustainable? Are you going to stick with it, no matter what, no matter how bad you feel and tired you get? Chances are you're not.

However, let's say you only cut out 300 calories a day and start doing some walking for 30 minutes twice a week? Do it for a month straight. Is this more sustainable and easily repeatable? You know the answer. If we use this mindset for all the positive changes we want to make in our life, we will have a higher rate of success. And once you see yourself making progress it's more likely that you'll want to continue and advance that progress.

Smaller changes are easier to make than big ones. 

With this method, there is tremendous importance on patience. I'm not a naturally patient person. I have to work to be patient. When I make a change, I want the benefits instantly. But I've learned it doesn't really work that way. When I have a hard time being patient, I remind myself of all the ways I think and feel when I'm not patient. I'll ask myself, "Do you want to feel anxious, frustrated, angry? Or do you want to feel at peace with your choices and decisions? Is slower progress, but progress nonetheless, going to be better than no progress at all?"

This is the power of baby steps. Setting small goals that are easily attainable and sustainable. Stick with your new goals until they become your new comfort zone, then make new goals. Go slowly and be gentle with yourself. I've made major changes to my life using this method and I know it can work for you! Consistency is key! Give it a shot, what do you have to lose?

And what does this have to do with living in light? Most of us want to have a life full of joy, peace, and progress. This takes time, energy and effort. So if we can make positive changes that are sustainable and consistent, we are more likely to have and keep a life of fulfillment, contentment, and overall well-being. Living in light is about living life to the fullest and doing our best, not more than our best. All we can do is keep striving for light so the darkness doesn't stand a chance!

Want email notifications on the newest post? Make sure to subscribe at https://www.joannmears.com/jo-knows-better ! It's absolutely free! Thank you for reading & have a wonderful day!


Friday, November 8, 2019

7. Are You What You Eat? Part 2." Living in Light" Series

Part 1. which you can read here: https://joknowsbetter.blogspot.com/2019/09/5-are-you-what-you-eat-part-1-living-in.html, delved into a few tried and true basics of what you consume. But this post will be about my food journey and its evolution. For me, it's been a slow process of really trying to figure out what's best for me. I'm sharing this story so that it may enlighten others to dig deeper and truly discover what's best for them.

There is no one size fits all when it comes to "diet". That word has a huge stigma, but for all intents and purposes, let's simply define "diet" as it is what you eat. Eating cheeseburgers, fried chicken and potato chips all day is a diet. Hopefully, it's not your diet, but you know what I mean. My main point is everyone is different and everyone has different needs. We may all have different medical issues, activities, lifestyles, and I think there's even a greater not talked about much of what our bodies have been used to for many years. You have to discover for yourself what makes you feel your best.

So let's start at the beginning! I give my parents a lot of credit. I was a very healthy baby and young child. They really did their best to give me proper nutrition and a lot of what I ate was a whole foods, plant-based diet, how ironic! They did limit my sugar intake and it wasn't until I was a little older did I start eating sugary cereals for breakfast. Probably something I begged my parents for rather than them wanting to give me those!

My dad was the one who taught me about balance. I especially remember when he made dinners, there would be a starch, a vegetable, and an animal protein. Considering the times and where the science was at this time, this was probably considered a very healthy diet. The important point is balance, which I believe, is the most crucial thing to any diet. I'm glad this was something I learned in my early childhood.

Now let's delve into when I got off track! I would say it was when I was about 10 years old and my family and I moved to Oklahoma. I'm not saying it's impossible to eat healthy in Oklahoma, this was just my personal experience. My parents were working a lot and I found myself eating a lot more fast food, t.v. dinners, or eating whatever at the babysitter's, whatever was convenient and cheap. I don't think I started drinking soda until I was about 11 or 12, and I, like most people got hooked.

It was at this same time that I started actively pursuing the life of a classical ballerina. I went to ballet school multiple times a week. I also went to a magnet school where I was a Dance Major, and was probably dancing nearly 10 hours a week. I can only imagine if I ate as healthy as I do now, how much more energy I would have had. But I can remember my usual lunch was pizza and a coke, then Wendy's was down the street from ballet school, so that was my usual dinner. To sum up, not very healthy.

And then it got much worse! When I moved away from home at the tender age of 19, I started working full time, living on nothing more than cokes, candy bars, caffeine and maybe some ramen noodles for dinner. Anything to just keep me going until I dropped. It wasn't until I met my husband and stopped running the rat race, did I have the time to learn about a healthy diet.

Confession: When I was in my 20's, the major reason why I was interested in a healthy diet was purely for vanity, superficial reasons, weight loss, etc. So the large part of what I studied was simply calorie restriction and low-calorie options.

Acknowledging that this wasn't the best motive, I really didn't delve deeper into nutrition at this time. It was more about cutting out sugars, especially High Fructose Corn Syrup, switching to artificial sweeteners (which is whole other messy ball of wax), cutting out fast food, junk food, etc. And I was probably working out 6-7 days a week, more than 10 hours a week of physical activity with all that 20-year-old energy I had. Long story short, it did work! I lost weight and was in great shape. But I will say, this diet lifestyle was very challenging hard work and it was easy to fall in and out of it from month to month with weight fluctuations galore.

And then bam, they found a life-threatening diaphragmatic hernia! You can read more about that story here: https://joknowsbetter.blogspot.com/2010/07/life-after-death.html, but I basically went from a very healthy 25-year-old to someone with a chronic pain disability. I was on heavy medications which destroyed my health over a 10 year period. Referring to my diet, because I was in constant pain, I was wanting comfort food, wine, and whatever would bring me a little joy here and there. This did not do me any favors.

In 2017, I was diagnosed with prediabetes. So I cut out absolutely all sugars, even fruit and went Low Carb High Fat/Atkins/Keto, and in four short weeks, I had reversed my prediabetes. Going from a 5.6% A1C to 5.1%. But let me sum up how I felt during those diets: I felt horrible. I had absolutely no energy, it never felt like I could never get enough sleep and my mood was irritable and unpleasant, to say the least. Some people do very well on these types of diets, but I was not one of them.

So I started reintroducing low-glycemic carbs back into my diet. A lot of quinoa, sweet potatoes, and lower glycemic whole grains. My energy started to increase once again and my prediabetes numbers pretty much stayed the same.

Then a major lifestyle change! I moved to California and decided I was going to get off all my medications, and I did! This was an excruciating process, but I was determined to get healthier and go all-natural. And then another bam happened. I was hit with horrible abdominal pain. And even though I couldn't exactly pinpoint the cause, I really thought it was digestion based.

So then, I started Food Combining. Basically, it's a diet that focuses on what foods you eat together. For some examples, you can only eat fruit on its own. Only Carbs and Fats can be eaten at the same time, and only Proteins and greens can be eaten at the same time. There's more rules than just this, but the fact was, I started feeling better. I started learning that different foods digest at different rates and the importance of only combining certain foods for optimal digestion.

And then I learned what I was allergic to, to see if this was causing any of my abdominal pain. For more on this read here: https://joknowsbetter.blogspot.com/2019/09/3-are-you-allergic-living-in-light.html, so I cut out all that I was allergic to and started feeling much better as well.

And then another chronic diagnosis hits, Interstitial Cystitis, a.k.a. Painful Bladder Syndrome and now I had to go on a very restrictive diet with no bladder irritants allowed. It's a huge list and unfortunately, I'm not allowed to eat some foods that are extremely healthy for me. Major bummer.

My diet became so limited! Now I had become a Gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free, bladder irritant-free, alcohol-free, caffeine-free, (seemed like everything free) type of person, something I never would have thought possible.

Before I knew it, I was actually 95% Vegan now. I was only eating a small amount of animal protein a day, less than 4 oz. at dinner, and I found myself not craving meat anymore. It was the strangest feeling! I had eaten meat my whole life and loved it, but now something was changing.

A major part of Living in Light has been reading the Bible and something very interesting that I learned was that Adam and Eve when they were first living in the Garden of Eden of complete and utter paradise, were vegetarians. Not only the humans were, but the animals were too! Isn't that amazing? It wasn't until after the fall did they begin eating animals. This part of the story really resonated with me. Because it's when they were most optimal, living in complete harmony with themselves and nature, they weren't eating meat. So I started thinking maybe there's something to this. Something much deeper and even spiritual to what we choose to consume.   

Since then, I decided to go full bore Vegan. I can't eat dairy or eggs anyway, so really all I had to cut out was animal protein. (I don't eat honey because of its high sugar content either.) This really was a slow and natural progression to my diet. Now I don't crave meat at all and I track all my macro and micronutrients to make sure I cover all my bases. It's been going so well! I can honestly say I feel better when I don't eat meat.

I think a major reason for this, is when I started doing food combining I learned that animal protein takes sometimes up to 4 hours just to digest out of your stomach, that doesn't even include how long it takes to go through your whole system! That's a lot of work and takes a toll on your system! No wonder I used to feel so bogged down and exhausted after dinners and had no idea why. I don't feel that way anymore.

I really hope I can stay a Vegan for the rest of my life. Time and my blood work will tell, but I feel like I'm getting younger every day. Another reason why I went Vegan was from hearing testimonials about people with Interstitial Cystitis and how after only 6 months, all their horrible symptoms are gone! I hope it can also work for me!

I know this was a long post, but I really hope it provides some insight as you delve deeper into your own food journey so you can feel healthier, happier and Live in Light! Please remember to subscribe here for notifications on the latest posts: https://www.joannmears.com/jo-knows-better Thanks so much for reading and have a wonderful day!

Disclaimer: This is not medical advice. This is for educational purposes only. Always seek the opinion of a medical professional before making any dietary changes.

Thursday, October 17, 2019

6. Let Go of the Past - Living in Light Series


This is a hard one. And I think the reason why it's so hard is that we have had 1. very happy memories and 2. powerful lessons that we've learned. We all have memories that can bring a smile to our faces instantly! And yes, we've all been through a lot that has taught us very valuable things about life.

Just like one of my favorite quotes says:


I think the danger lies very discreetly in the way we think about our pasts. I believe there is a tendency to compare our present moments to our pasts, especially as we get older. The stories we tell ourselves of "I remember when..." or "I looked so good when I was (this age)" can actually cause harm to our present-day outlook.

Constantly comparing our current situations to how we were or how things are now can steal our current happiness and peace. There's nothing wrong with remembering the good 'ol days. But whether or not we choose to admit it, we can become the stories we tell ourselves, either good or bad. So we have to be very careful! More on this in a future post*

Another reason why it's so hard to let go of the past is PAIN. Yes, it is a four-letter word. We have all been hurt by other people, by experiences, and even ourselves. We can tell ourselves the same stories in our heads over and over again. "This happened to me. It hurt like hell. I can't believe they would treat me that way." I used to do this all the time.

But finally, I had to say ENOUGH.

That broken record of everything that's happened to you is an album that needs to get retired and thrown in the trash! Those stories only make you a victim. Not a hero or heroine. That is the past dragging you back to where it wants you to be. Misery loves company and that includes the past!

If you truly want to be happy in the here and now, it's time to let go.

How do you do it? I know how! Let me tell you how to!

I'm going to say this loud and clear: The only way to let things go is through FORGIVENESS.

Think I'm joking? I'm really, really not. I have had to tattoo that word onto my brain. Permanently scar it into my psyche. Etch it into my conscience!

It's the only way, my friends. You have to forgive that person. That thing. And yourself. Over and over, and over, and over again. These are the tips 1, 2, & 3!

Does that person deserve forgiveness? Maybe not. But that doesn't matter. Do you really think by forgiving someone it gives them the power? It doesn't. Forgiving someone means "I'm taking back my power. I will no longer let you have any control of my thoughts, feelings and actions any longer. I forgive you. You are in my past. I'm letting it go."

This is so important. Nothing others do is because of you. It's because of them. Don't get caught up in their drama, their pain, their behavior. It has nothing to do with you.

Now, this is no way means that you have to let that person back into your life, especially if they are abusive. You do not deserve abuse and there is no way you should allow it in your life. By simply forgiving someone, you are taking back your power by no longer even giving them, or the situation, another thought or moment of your precious, short life.

There's the famous quote or some variation of it: “In fact, not forgiving is like drinking rat poison and then waiting for the rat to die.” - Anne Lamott

Not forgiving someone is only going to continue to hurt you.

Secondly, can you forgive an experience? This is a little trickier. Unfair things happen. Life goes wrong, sometimes it seems like for no apparent reason. Maybe you have chronic pain, like me. Maybe you even have cancer. Maybe you just got smashed into by a car this morning. Sometimes things don't make sense.

I've learned that you have to forgive your experiences just like you would forgive another person. One way to do this is to acknowledge that we shouldn't take anything personally. Nothing others do is because of us and the tragedies that befall us are not punishment for our behavior either. This knowledge comes from Don Miguel Ruiz and "The Four Agreements" something I highly recommend.

For a long time, I thought that I had done something wrong to deserve chronic pain. Now I can't believe I ever thought that. Did a baby born with brain cancer do something wrong? Did a man walking across the street that got hit with a car, do something wrong? No... and neither did I.

Forgive every bad thing that has ever happened to you. If you have to, write it down. There is something magical that happens when you do this. All of a sudden your past will start losing its grip, its power. You can take back your story. You are not what has happened to you. You are so much more powerful than that.

Now thirdly, there are times when we DO have to forgive ourselves. We have all made mistakes. Said things we shouldn't of. We have hurt other people. It doesn't mean that we did this on purpose. Most of the times we didn't. That's why forgiveness is so important. Just like most of the time, other people didn't hurt you on purpose either. It was just a by-product of their actions and perspective.

When we don't forgive ourselves, we can't let go of the past.

Guilt is an extremely dangerous emotion. It can lead to alcoholism, overeating, and even suicide among many other harmful things. The lessons that we learn throughout our lives are very important, yes! But does that mean we are supposed to rake ourselves over the coals again and again for it? Are we supposed to torture ourselves with the would've, should've, could've for the rest of our lives? No.

The past is gone. Let's learn the lessons but then, move on!

Maybe you think you've done something unforgivable and that's a very unfortunate way to think. What has helped me so much is picturing Jesus Christ, on the cross, in unbelievable pain, and still finding the strength to say, "Forgive them for they know not what they do." This is so true. Everyone and everything can be forgiven, all you have to do is ask for forgiveness and in your heart of hearts, strive to do better next time.

To live in light, we must forgive others, our experiences and ourselves. It's the only way we will find true peace and happiness in the present moment. And the present moment is all we have.

Thank you so much for reading & make sure to subscribe at: https://www.joannmears.com/jo-knows-better for notifications on the latest posts! Have a wonderful day!



Monday, September 30, 2019

5. Are You What You Eat? Part 1. "Living in Light" Series

I was a meat and potatoes type of girl. If you asked me my favorite pizza, I would always go for the meat lovers. And I loved chocolate, couldn't get enough. So what's changed?

My process of figuring out my diet has been a slow one and at times painful. It was an evolution that was prompted by one health issue after another. In 2016 I was diagnosed with pre-diabetes. In 2018 I was diagnosed with interstitial cystitis and around that same time I found out I was allergic to so many things I used to eat every day. If you're interested, make sure to read my "Are You Allergic?" post on insight to discover what you're allergic to here: https://joknowsbetter.blogspot.com/2019/09/3-are-you-allergic-living-in-light.html

So let's just say I was forced to make some big changes. At first, it was really hard to give up what I loved so much. And don't get me wrong, I still have my moments. My diet is so strict now that most would be amazed at the small list of things I actually can eat.

Now obviously I'm not recommending that you need to be as strict as me, because chances are you don't need to. I can't even eat TOMATOES! Can you believe it, tomatoes! But there are some tried and true things that I have learned. Things most people could try and see amazing benefits.

1. Cut Out the Sugar - And no not necessarily sugars from fruit! I'm talking about that powdery white stuff that's just as addicting as cocaine.

When I was first diagnosed with pre-diabetes, I started looking at sugar in a whole new light. I could not believe how many grams of sugar were in one Chai Latte Frapp. And here I thought I was drinking something healthy while I ran my errands. I might as well have had a Snickers bar!

Yes, there is so much sugar now in things these days. And it's so sneaky and hidden! I know it can be a pain in the butt, but you got to start reading those labels. If something has more than 5 grams, I don't even touch it. And now the ironic thing is... I actually found out I'm allergic to sugarcane so this allergy did me a huge favor.

What are the benefits? Less pain, less inflammation, weight loss! And yes, you can even reverse your Type 2 diabetes/pre-diabetes, something I did in less than 4 weeks! There are so many health issues that can arise from eating sugar. Don't wait until it's too late.

2. Eat Less Processed Foods - Does it come in a box? Does it seem to have a thousand ingredients? Did you receive it through a drive-thru window?

The things is, they can sneak in so many things into processed foods. The sugar, the preservatives, the chemicals. Also, when things are processed, it actually breaks down the nutrition that was in those ingredients in the first place. If the list of ingredients takes up the entire side of the box, just put it back on the shelf.

So! I'm not even gonna give a lecture on fast food. I know that you know. You already know, you do! It's common sense. It's that little voice inside yourself (sometimes really deep inside) that says, "Uh uh... don't do it. You know it's not good for you." And that's all I've got to say about that!

And that brings us to how foods should really be... (queue dramatic crescendo music)...

3. Eat More Whole Foods - You guessed it! Fruits and vegetables! To eat foods exactly the way God intended for us to eat! What a thought...

And yes, if you can, eat organic. I know it's more expensive but it is so worth it. I'm spoiled because I live in Southern California, but it was possible to find in the South, some natural grocery stores that weren't that much higher than non-organic.

Eat what's in season. Look for sales. How about putting back that bag of chips so you can buy the organic apples? How about 3 less over-priced coffees a week to get those potatoes?

Listen, you have to want to do this. If you want to be healthier and live longer, you know deep down what it is you should be doing. You don't need me or anyone else to tell you what to do. You already know.

So let's answer the question: Are You What You Eat? Are you unhealthy, "processed" and unwhole? If so, try the 3 things above. I can say from experience, it really does work and will improve every part of your life. Yes, every single part.

And if we are what we eat, let's be whole, organic, clean and healthier than we ever thought we could be!

Stay up to date on Part 2 by subscribing at https://www.JoAnnMears.com/Jo-Knows-Better for new post notifications! Thanks so much for reading and have a wonderful day!


Monday, September 23, 2019

4. What Steals Your Peace? "Living in Light" Series

I wish I could say I came up with this idea, but I didn't! Joyce Meyer has been a guiding light throughout my transformation. I love how practical her advice is and she has a beautiful spiritual perspective to boot!

She recommends writing down every little thing that "Steals Your Peace". Whether it's a person, place or thing, it's all very important. When we can clearly identify our triggers we can nip them in the bud.

Sometimes we can be completely unaware of these things. Sometimes we think we're just having a bad day, going through the motions, absorbing whatever is thrown at us. But when you have awareness, you can identify all those little things that can equal a very bad mood.

Maybe you woke up late because you forgot to set your alarm. Maybe you couldn't find your keys. Maybe you got a disheartening text from a friend. These little things can set us off, especially when sometimes it seems like they just snowball.

The truth is there are a ton of things that can steal our peace. For me, one thing for sure, is usually watching the news, something I don't do anymore. It puts me in a mental state of anger, frustration or depression. For you, it could be something else. A friend that always seems to bring you down. A place that brings up painful memories. Even that creaky floorboard that gives an annoying screech!

The trick is to write down everything in your daily life so you can improve these situations. Try setting your alarm 15 minutes earlier. Organize your things the night before. Changing the channel when something begins to irritate you! It doesn't matter if it seems small. If it steals your peace at all, it's affecting you, therefore it is important!

Unfortunately, certain people can be more than irritating. You don't get to pick your family, but you do get to pick your friends. Be careful who you choose to spend time with. There will be a later post that delves deeper into this subject. But if you have a friend that constantly steals your peace, it might be time to start examining this relationship. What are they adding to your life? And moreover, what are you adding to theirs? Remember, misery loves company!

A major part of being aware is being resensitized. You can read the post "Are You Desensitized?" here: https://joknowsbetter.blogspot.com/2019/09/2-are-you-desensitized-living-in-light.html We can be dealing with something for so long that it just seems "normal" to us now. We've gotten used to being angry, depressed, bitter, or even numb about something that we accept it as "it is what it is". But the fact is, happiness is really a choice. Don't settle with a whatever attitude. This isn't whatever, this is your life! You have choices, you make decisions, you have control of your destiny!

1. Write down one thing that steals your peace. I'm sure you can think of just one. The beauty of this is that most of us have a phone or a tablet nearby, it's easy! Write it down!

2. Make a little list of ideas to make it better. All it takes is a little common sense.

3. Try one. You'll never know if it works until you try it. If at first, you don't succeed, try, try, again.

If you're so inclined, leave a comment below of what steals your peace and brainstorm an idea that could make it better. You never know if someone else has the same peace stealer. To have constant peace, live in light, we need to identify what steals it from us. This can take time, but I know for sure that it works!

Don't forget to subscribe at https://www.joannmears.com/jo-knows-better for the latest posts notifications! Thanks so much for reading & have a wonderful day!


Monday, September 16, 2019

3. Are You Allergic? "Living in Light" Series

So what does this have to do with Living in Light? Your physical health is just as important as your mental health. If your body isn't functioning properly, then your mind won't either.

I didn't know how important it was to find out what I was allergic to until now. If you're constantly feeding your body things that aren't good for it, you won't live with optimal health!

When my mom had been vacationing in Newport Beach, she had met a doctor that highly recommended naturopathy. Basically, that means doctors who practice holistic healing. So my mom went to one and they had highly recommended a blood allergy test to find out what foods she was allergic to.

She took the test and boy was she stunned! And so was I!

Her list was so long that I had to get tested myself. I thought that if my own mother was soooo allergic than I must be to, and I was right.

I found out I was allergic to wheat, gluten, dairy, eggs, sugarcane, even blueberries, and green beans! So many foods that I have loved all my life and that were consistently a part of my everyday diet.

I had no idea I was eating all these things that were bad for me. So I went hardcore and cut everything out! I will admit it was hard, especially at first. But thank God I live in California where there is no shortage of Vegan groceries and a huge variety of healthy alternative options.

The payoff though has been really life-changing! I have never felt this good, at least not since my early youth. I had gotten so used to feeling bloated, with stomach cramps after meals, that a part of me had accepted that the way I was feeling was normal. Well, it's not.

If you're having consistent stomach problems you got to dig deeper to fix the problems. A huge percentage of all our cells lie in our gut and that's why it's so important to get it working right! Even if you don't "feel" any discomfort, I would get tested to make sure you're being as healthy as possible.

There is so much going on inside our bodies that we can't see. Eating things you're allergic to causes inflammation and studies are showing just how harmful inflammation can be. If you have chronic pain like me or any health conditions, inflammation will only make it worse. It can also cause health conditions, problems, and issues that you might not have yet. Don't wait any longer...

I highly recommend getting a Blood Food Allergy and Sensitivity Test. Don't do the skin one, it's pointless to show what really is going to affect you. Unfortunately, this test isn't usually covered by insurance, but it really should be. However, it wasn't that expensive to pay out of pocket for and it was so, so worth it!

To fully Live in Light, one needs to cut out all that's bad for you in every area of your life. Unfortunately this can include some yummy foods, but in the end, it will make you feel so much better. I have truly never felt better in my adulthood and I know you will too!

Disclaimer: I am not and medical doctor and this is not medical advice.

Please don't forget to SUBSCRIBE at https://www.joannmears.com/jo-knows-better for notifications on the newest posts for the Living in Light Series! Thanks so much for reading & have a wonderful day! 

Monday, September 9, 2019

2. Are You Desensitized? "Living in Light" Series

I highly recommend reading the Living in Light Introduction & Part 1 of this series before continuing on.

Are you desensitized? I know I was. And it's not that I would watch just anything on t.v. I did have some standards of what I would expose myself to. But the majority of what I was watching wasn't good. This was a gradual process. It didn't just happen overnight. I was experiencing a slow descent and the worse thing was, I didn't even realize it was happening.

I think these days with so much technology, constantly bombarding us with so much content, it's easy to get lost in the fray. We may watch something just because it's the "top show", "top movie" or watch something simply because it's on! But are we really watching things that help us improve as human beings and add positive things to our lives?

There is so much darkness and negativity in the entertainment industry. It seems like almost every show keeps on raising the bar on how much we are exposed to. More violence, graphicness, sexual explicitness, human deceptions, harmful behavior, are at an all-time high and it doesn't show signs of slowing down anytime soon.

The thing with being constantly exposed to darkness, negativity and the horrors of this world, is that we can start accepting these energies as our own. Our thought processes and emotional being can turn towards the negative as our hearts and minds become desensitized.

I think it's important that we investigate our thoughts and feelings as we're watching something. Pay attention to what your thoughts are as your watching t.v. Ask yourself questions like, "As I'm watching this, are my thoughts mostly negative or positive?"

If your thoughts are leading towards judgment, anger, aggression, a pure fight or flight mentality, chances are you're watching something not good for you. If you start feeling depressed, anxious, nervous, or scared, start realizing that the darkness and negativity of these energies are becoming your own.

Being desensitized to things is extremely harmful on every level. When we become numb and hard-hearted, we can start to ignore the beautiful things about our lives just as we become accustomed to ignoring the bad things. It's as if we become blind in every area of our lives.

The most important thing is to have awareness. The slow descent into becoming desensitized is a step by step process that requires our choices. When I say this, I mean for the majority of us, obviously some people are exposed to things without their choice, which is a horrific injustice. But most of us do have a choice. Only when we start acknowledging our negative thoughts and feelings, can we start making positive changes. This is how we resensitize ourselves.

The beauty of resensitizing ourselves is that we start to feel things on a deeper level, the way we are supposed to. We can experience love, joy, and gratitude so fully because our hearts and minds are open to positivity. When we live more tenderhearted, we can care for other people with compassion and empathy, including ourselves. We need to take better care of ourselves in every way.

Your thoughts and feelings determine your reality. 

I can truly say I've never been happier because I resensitized myself. I realized I needed to make some drastic changes because no matter what I seemed to do, I wasn't really happy. My heart and mind had become so numb that I couldn't really feel anything anymore on a deeper level. I had too much of a "whatever" attitude and that was hurting me much more than it was helping me.

I hope this will inspire you to make some positive changes in your life. Again, pay attention to what you pay attention to. Drama only increases drama. Cut out the darkness and negative energies and just wait for positivity to flow into you! You won't be sorry.

Please remember to subscribe at https://www.joannmears.com/jo-knows-better for notifications on the newest posts! Thanks so much for reading and have a wonderful day!

"Finally, all of you, have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind." - 1 Peter 3:8

Friday, September 6, 2019

1. Cut Out the Darkness - "Living in Light" Series

The first way to live in light is to cut out the darkness. This first became known to me when I had heard the phrase, "You're never going to have peace if there is a war going on in your mind." I wish I could remember who said that. But the saying rang so true to me, that I'm never going to forget it!

I started to realize that maybe the reason my mind would never stop fighting with itself, was because I was constantly feeding it conflict, annoyances, injustices, just negative stuff, all the time. That's when I learned that what you focus on becomes your life.

I thought I was a positive person before I made these changes. And maybe I was more than most people, but that still didn't mean I was truly happy and radiating positivity. Some people from the outside that know me would have never have guessed that. I always tried to put on a happy face no matter what. But the war in my mind would never let me have peace.

I knew it was time to make some drastic changes. I was going to examine every facet of my life. Especially what I watched, read and listened to.

If you're constantly focusing on the negative, your mind will only become more negative. 

Also, I had realized how desensitized I had become. Things that used to really bother me on t.v. and movies started not to bother me anymore. My heart was getting harder and I felt numb to the horrors of this world. After following these steps, my heart has started to resensitize and now I feel things more deeply and with greater satisfaction, especially the good feelings like joy, love, and happiness. There will be more to explore on this subject at a later post.

1. Stop Watching the News - Okay, okay, I know some will fight me on this. I'm not saying to become completely oblivious and unaware of what's going on. But who can honestly say that 98% of what the news talks about will have some direct effect on you? My point is the news is so negative. Its focus is conflict and injustice. When was the last time you heard something positive on the news? We know that it is few and far between. The news counts on our attention to the negative to make money. That's how they stay in business. And unfortunately, the news has become so divisive, that it's constantly pinning us against each other. It thrives on conflict.

Try cutting out the news for just one week and see how you feel. I don't watch the news anymore, unless I know it may have some direct effect on me, like weather. But that's about it. I've never felt more at peace with the world. I've realized that other people's battles are not my own. Especially because so much of it is out of my control. When you learn to let go of what you cannot control, you feel weightlessness like never before. Side note: This includes getting your news on social media. More on this later.

2. Cut Out Violence and Graphic T.V. and Movies - Is it just me or have t.v. and movies gotten more violent and graphic than ever? Every top t.v. show or movie seems to be raising the bar on how much they show us. And here's the thing, you can't unsee things. If you're watching violence and horrific graphic depictions of the lowest of the low of human behavior, how do you think these will affect you? Whether you realize it or not, this does have an effect on your emotional, mental, and also your physical state as well. And the thing is, I didn't realize this. I was so desensitized to things, I could watch just about anything and eat at the same time. Something that I would've considered unfathomable just 10 years ago. It's only now that I have resensitized myself that I've realized how horrible the entertainment industry has sunk.

Try cutting out everything above a PG-rating for a week and see how you feel. I have completely and have never felt better. I will admit that this has cut down on what there is to watch, but this is a good thing! Less time sitting in front of the t.v. absorbing negativity. I feel less negative, anxious, depressed, worn down, deflated, angry, torn and just less helpless about all human existence.

3. Cut Out Social Media - Oooh, a hard one for most of us. We've become so reliant on it for entertainment, news, hot topic debates, and even good things like connecting with friends and family. But here's the thing, studies have shown that social media increases anxiety and depression, and with teenage suicides at an all-time high, this is no coincidence. A lot on social media can be very negative. It seems like the top stories amongst "friends" are always concerning political debates, racism, gun control, etc. And although it can feel noble to want to fix the injustices of this world, most discussions on these topics only lead to fighting, more divisiveness, and emotional separation between friends and family members. No wonder it's causing more anxiety and depression. We joined social media to connect, but it has created distance between us like no other. This is the power of negativity. This is why you need to cut it out of your life.

Try cutting out social media for just one week and see how you feel. I usually only use social media now for my career and very seldom use it for personal reasons. I am also super selective about who I am "friends" with and who I choose to follow. Another positive that I have garnered from this change is that I don't feel like I have to take on the weight of everyone else's problems. When people used to complain about things publically, my first emotional response was to either want to help them or want to push them away because their problems seemed so painful. I'm not saying that you shouldn't care about what you're friends are going through, but they can become overwhelming, especially if you have a lot of friends. If you do have a close personal friend that's going through a hard time, why not try sending them a personal text or even a phone call? This is a much better way to connect on a personal emotional and mental level.

What you watch, read and listen to does affect you. Pay attention to everything you pay attention to. Have an awareness of negativity. Cut out the darkness wherever you can. I urge you to try the things above as they have brought me a kind of peace I have never known before.

You can read Part II. of Cut Out the Darkness next to see how the Word of God supports this!

Please subscribe at https://www.joannmears.com/jo-knows-better for the latest posts updates on the "Living in Light" Series. Thank you so much for reading & have a wonderful day!

Thursday, September 5, 2019

"Living in Light" Series - Introduction.

It always amazed me how people completely changed their lives after they've been diagnosed with cancer. They changed what they watched. They changed what they ate. They even changed who they spent time with. It's because your odds of beating cancer greatly increase when you make positive changes to your life.

How about making some changes before you get cancer?

I've been through a lot over the past ten years dealing with chronic pain. 24 surgeries and procedures. More chronic diagnoses. Doctors telling me I will never get better.

Through being cut down at my knees, time and time again, I have finally found some answers that have helped me in every single area of my life. I want to share these answers with you in the hope that you can get helped too.

If you want more peace, less pain, and more happiness, I urge you to follow this series. You can try whatever you want to see what works for you. And if it doesn't work for you, then it simply may not be meant for you. But is it not worth a try? You have nothing to lose.

It has taken me more than 10 years to discover some truly life-changing answers. Most came through with just having common sense. Some took a lot of research. Some were divinely inspired. I can honestly say I have never had more peace and happiness than I do now. Especially even though my health hasn't drastically changed, I have changed and now my health is going to have to catch up with me!

I invite you to embark on a journey where some simple changes can make huge results. Please follow this blog or visit https://www.joannmears.com/jo-knows-better to start living in light!

Friday, August 2, 2019

10 Years Ago, God Saved My Life... Seriously


When I look back now, I see it all differently.

First, it was... "God, why God? Why me? Why now? What did I DO to deserve this?"

I know now, that was the victim talking.

It's easy to fall into "victim status" when things get hard. It's even easier to fall into that mindset when things get very, very, very, very... hard.

24 surgeries and procedures later - over a 10 year period. Each one a little harder than the last.

"Why God? Why me? Why now?"

Then every surgery exposed a much bigger mess. A deeper problem. Another chronic diagnosis.

I've gotten more chronic diagnoses than I choose to remember. (Thank God my memory is more short term these days.)

The doctors would always say, "It's not going to be that bad." I still say, "You ain't seen nothin' yet!"

After the surgery, I wake up (every time), "Oh, you know, Jo. You were right. It was far worse than it seemed."

"Told ya."

I've had an operation on my spinal cord while I was awake. I've been bedridden for 7 months and had to relearn HOW TO WALK. Every time was a mountain to climb, of pain, more pain, and oh you thought that was it? Really?? The worst is over??? NO. Now it's about to become Hell. Something far worse than your worst nightmare.

So now let's change the perspective.

Instead of  "Why me?" Now it's "Why not me? What makes me so special that I shouldn't have to go through this. They found a giant HOLE in my diaphragm that was 2 weeks away from killing me.

This is a BLESSING. What if they had never found it? What if I would have just died? No one would have known why... right away that is.

When you're born with a birth defect, it's easy to get angry with God. No one else did this to me. I wasn't in a car accident that was someone else's fault. There was no one else to blame.

But let me tell you what's not easy. Not easy is... being bitter, angry, jealous, suffering, heartache, judgment, self-ridicule, pity, more pity. Picturing a life without the Divine Master, and thinking this is my life, and it sucks. This mindset DOES NOT make life easier. 

What makes life easy? Being a Heroine.

God thank you for saving my life. Yes, God, I know I have chronic pain, every day, every hour, every year, after year, after year. But I'm still here. I know you have a plan for my life far better than the one I THOUGHT I WANTED. Amen, sisters.

We think we know what we want. We think we know what will make us happy. What we want our lives to be. Can I tell you something... We don't know nothin'.

Now I say... God, I trust in you. Whatever you want me to do, you just let me know. I will do it.

No matter how hard it gets. No matter how many years it takes. No matter how many surgeries I have left. I will NEVER GIVE UP. Because I have Him.

I am a Heroine. I am a Queen with a Crown sitting right next to Jesus on His throne. I'm covered in his blood so I will suffer no longer. I will do all the things my doctors say I can't do right now. I will run again. I will climb that mountain. I will hike that advanced trail.

I will make this world my Heaven.

Don't believe me? Just watch.

#JoKnowsBetter

www.JoAnnMears.com