Monday, January 20, 2020

11. Cut Out the Darkness Part 2. "Living in Light" Series

If you read 1. Cut Out the Darkness you already know some simple steps to having more peace in your life. But now I'd like to talk about cutting out the darkness on a deeper, spiritual level. The reason why I have so much more peace and happiness now is because I've learned to turn away from certain things. My focus has turned toward the positive and by virtue, my life has become so much more positive!

I wish I could say I came up with this, but I did not. Turns out that thousands of years ago people were talking about the same things. The more I study the Bible the more I realize all the common sense, logical and practical things we can do now to make our lives better!

In Matthew 3:8 the Amplified Bible teaches, "Produce fruit that is consistent with repentance (demonstrating new behavior that proves a change of heart, and a conscious decision to turn away from sin). And even before that in Psalm 34:14, "Turn away from evil and do good; Seek peace and pursue it."

So not only are we supposed to turn away, remove our focus from all the negative, evil things of this world, but we are supposed to actively pursue peace. That means you got to work to have peace!

I used to believe that peace was just an overly idealistic theory that some people claimed to have. I never thought it was attainable for me. I never understood that it was something you actually had to work for. There were times when I felt peace, but it was usually when I took myself out of my normal, routine environment, like hiking through the forests or sitting by a lake. It was not something I could have at work, at home, or in my day-to-day rat race. 

But now I know it is a conscious decision to have peace, just like it is to have happiness!

It was an amazing feeling when I realized I did not "have to" watch every hit show there was on television or hit movie. I know that may sound silly. But I used to think I was "missing out" on something if I did not watch what everyone else was watching.

Freedom feels amazing! You get to choose what you are exposed to! You can cut out all the negativity, the sins, the evil of what you watch and turn your focus toward the positive and life actually gets better.

My anxiety has plummeted. I have nowhere near the amount that I used to have. Removing the news, graphic t.v. and movies, and listening to certain negative people has released my spirit to be joyful, at peace and with a new deep calm that I have never known before. 

My depression has left me. I feel weightless. And it's not that I stopped caring about other people. Actually, I have a newfound compassion for all people since I was born again. But I refuse to let myself drown in hopelessness. The majority of the news is extremely negative. If it focused on all the miracles, and goodness, and virtues of human existence it would be a different story, but unfortunately, that's not the way our world works.

We have no idea how deep our brains actually go. What we watch can show up in our dreams, nightmares, subconscious minds to levels we can't understand. The scariest thing is that we can actually start believing in the lies of the entertainment industry, negative people's perceptions and start applying those lies into our real lives.   

Happiness and peace are attainable things in this world. When we start focusing on the goodness of human nature and God, our minds become full of positivity, love, and compassion. We can feel happy and at peace with ourselves in the world. Let's start feeding our souls good news, virtues, blessings, favor, miracles, compassion, love and divine acceptance. For these are the things that will bring us true joy and peace.

"Finally, believers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable and worthy of respect, whatever is right and confirmed by God's word, whatever is pure and wholesome, whatever is lovely and brings peace, whatever is admirable and of good repute; if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think continually on these things (center your mind on them, and implant them in your heart). Philippians 4:8.

And remember Jo may know better, but God knows best. Follow Him and He will never lead you astray. If you enjoyed this please remember to subscribe here: https://www.joannmears.com/jo-knows-better

Thanks for reading & have a wonderful day!


Wednesday, January 8, 2020

10. How I Became Born Again - "Living in Light" Series

Let's just start by saying I've tried it all. From positive psychology to meditating, to any new-age fad, to "The Secret" and so on. I'm not saying these things "can't work" because they do serve some purpose and did get me through some things.

But... (this is a big but...) when the going got rough, and then got rougher, and ever rougher than that, all those things literally got going.

They couldn't stand up to all the tests, tribulations, pain, suffering and sometimes what felt like pure torture that I was going through. It didn't hold up when I was going through hell, hitting rock bottom or nearly six feet under that.

When my family and I had decided to move halfway across the country mainly for my medical reasons, I thought the move was going to be the answers to all my prayers. I was finally going to get the help I needed from the best of the best.

But after we moved something interesting happened. My medical issues got worse, then worse, then worse than that. I found myself at a complete loss of how to handle it. My physical, mental, emotional and spiritual life was crumbling and there was no amount of "positive thinking" I could do to stop it.

I had always considered myself a Christian. What that meant back then or how I defined that wasn't always so clear. Let's just say I had believed in God and Jesus as the Messiah. Basically, I tried to do my best to be a good person based on my own standards and tried not to hurt others. But it's only until now, I realize that I didn't have a clue about what it meant to be a true Christian and live the life God had meant for me.

It was only until I was at the lowest point of my life that I came to fully surrender. Surrender every old way of thinking, surrender my perceived notions of the world and myself, surrender myself wholly and irrefutably to God in every way, shape and form. That is when He fully came into my heart and I finally began to heal.

Healing is a "dangerous word" when it comes to someone like me who has multiple chronic diseases. You don't hear it often and you'll never hear it come out of a doctor's mouth either. My old way of thinking told myself that I would never heal...

Chronic means forever. There is no way out. It will only get worse.

That is until God showed up, the ultimate Healer. After I fully let Him into my heart, I actually started to get better. What a thought! I was able to get off of highly addictive medications. My pain started to lessen day by day. I've started to actually reverse the damage that had been done to me physically over the course of ten years.

Every day I am truly getting better and better. I am the healthiest that I have ever been before.

It is truly a miracle.

And here's the thing, this is free to anyone. There is an open invitation to be healed. His hand is extended welcoming you to pure and otherworldly joy. First, we have to believe we can be healed by the Almighty, we have to receive Him and simply do His will. This may seem like a lot and we all can feel the desire to be skeptical, but we first have to believe and then we will begin to see. It's not the other way around.

I can honestly say I am finally being healed. Something I thought was completely impossible. But nothing, I repeat nothing, is impossible with God. He has opened my eyes and now I perceive myself, the world and everything in it in a way I never have before. I finally know I have found the path that was there for me all along. I simply had to start walking it.

There will be much more on this subject in future posts! Please subscribe at https://www.joannmears.com/jo-knows-better to get notifications on upcoming posts. Thanks so much for reading & have a wonderful day!

And remember Jo may know better, but God knows best! Listen to Him and He will never lead you astray.

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!