Setting healthy boundaries.

This is a great video about setting healthy boundaries and dealing with toxic relationships or “emotional vampires” in your life. These are people who with high frequency are set on their own issues and problems and who continuously pull you into the drama that is their life. They will very seldom take advice or guidance if you offer it and seem just to repeatedly complain, gripe or fixate on their issue or issues.

It is easy to be manipulated or trapped in these relationships, especially if you are a compassionate or caring individual. But it is healthy to set boundaries and it is your human right to do so, especially if a situation is negatively affecting your emotional, spiritual or mental health.

In this video, Margie Warrell, a life coach and author, talks about ways to set healthy boundaries and to avoid becoming a victim of emotional abuse and emotional vampires.

“True humility is intelligent self-respect which keeps us from thinking too highly

or too meanly of ourselves. It makes us modest by reminding us how far

we have come short of what we can be.”

– Ralph W. Stockman –


Habit-forming behaviors.

“Excellence is an art won by training and habituation.

We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence,

but we rather have those because we have acted rightly.

We are what we repeatedly do.

Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit.”

– Aristotle –

Everything we do and are has come as the product of conditioning and repetition – from how we form friendships, to our morning routine and even the simple act of brushing our teeth or getting dressed. Without exemption, we have habits that accompany us throughout our lifetime. Some habits we form willingly. Others may seem forced due to a difficult childhood or other traumatic events that inhibit healthy development and functioning. Some habits we may battle with. Many habits we strive to create, enhance or improve. But habit is always there. And my oh my habit energy can be strong. And stubborn. Isn’t that why they say you can’t teach an old dog new tricks? The older we become, the more difficult it becomes to change our habits from inert, ineffective acts to productive, healthy behaviors and that’s because the plasticity of our brain synapses begins to decrease the more our age increases.

“Everything we do (and think, for that matter) is governed by impulses firing across synapses, or spaces between certain cells that guide communication in the brain. When any behavior or pattern is repeated enough, the synaptic pathways associated with that pattern get used to being accessed. As a result, it becomes easier for impulses to travel along those pathways, and the behavior seems “natural.” In other words, to the brain, wake-coffee-cigarette, in that order, is practically instinctive. One action triggers the next.” Source:


Brain synapses making connections.

(courtesy of google images.)

So the theory outlined in this linked article here is purely empirical, in other words, not rooted in clinical research and study. (Empirical: depending upon experience or observation alone, without using scientific method or theory, especially as in medicine.) Introduce yourself to a new habit and stick with this habit for 21 days straight and see what starts happening. Pay attention to your motives, behaviors and feelings during the shift. Notice that changing a deeply ingrained habit can feel awkward or foreign at first. But when striving to attain healthier habits, your body and mind will soon begin to adapt to the positive changes and the actions will become more natural. Before changing an unhealthy habit or beginning a new exercise or nutrition routine, it is wise to consult your healthcare professionals.

Slowly, surely… Walking away from broken love.

I was inspired by a Jill Scott tune last night and it got me thinking about all the good women in my life with such beautiful voices, hearts and spirits who have been survivors of broken relationships, harmful histories and hurtful connections on so many different levels. I wanted to write something to empower women today to tell them that love does not hurt. Love heals. Love strives to protect and to build you up, not bring you down.

I often struggle with how much personal life history to reveal in my blog. Since I felt called to write this today, I will say that I struggled with a co-dependent mindset for many years as a teenager into my early 20’s. (It is actually still a part of me, but now I know I am only fully responsible for my choices, my life and my health and personal well-being. I can help others only after, I, myself, am properly cared for, loved, and nurtured.) I truly believed, as many women and some men, of course, also now believe, that they are capable of changing another person. Their heart may be in the right place, but what usually happens is their spiritual, mental, emotional and perhaps even physical resources are depleted in an effort to “help fix” or “heal” a broken person struggling with an issue such as drug and alcohol addiction, an incorrectly treated mental health diagnosis, or explosive or violent behaviors. It is impossible to change another person. What happens with a co-dependent mindset is that you place a lower priority on your own needs and treat the other specific individual or number of individuals above yourself. You begin to harbor guilt, hurt, and low self-esteem when you find (ultimately) that you have no control over another’s addiction or diagnosis.

Codependency affects people in a variety of ways. Common characteristics of Codependents include:

  • Excessive Care-taking: Codependents feel responsible for others’ actions, feelings, choices and emotional well-being. They try to anticipate loved one’s needs and often wonder why others do not do the same for them.
  • Low self-esteem: Codependents are people who need to be needed. They will only feel important and valuable when they are helping others, and blame themselves for anything that goes wrong.
  • Denial: Codependents typically ignore, minimize or rationalize problems in the relationship, believing that “things will get better when…” They stay busy to avoid thinking about their feelings.
  • Fear of anger: Codependents are afraid of both their own and their loved one’s anger, because they fear it will destroy the relationship.
  • Health problems: The stress of Codependency can lead to headaches, ulcers, asthma and high blood pressure.
  • Addictive behavior: Codependents may themselves develop addictions in an attempt to deal with their pain and frustration

I know many people who have struggled with this, but since this blog is mine I don’t feel comfortable writing about their stories. My first relationship and my dive into the world of “love” was with a person who struggled against his own drug and alcohol addiction. I was young, naive and hopeful. There were several people around me who nudged me and told me truths, which I chose to ignore in my co-dependent mindset. The relationship lasted four years until I knew nothing would change and that all I could do was done. Feeling broken, lost and confused, I turned from faith and began living a kind of numb, shallow life on the inside, though on the outside I was still pursuing education, bettering myself, travels and learning. I was blessed with the support of great friends and family members, which I know many women stuck in wrong relationships may not have access to. I believe all along the spark was still inside of me to come through my pain, although I did not fully recognize it. I stumbled through other empty relationships and unsafe behaviors with men until I began dating my husband, who has been on the journey of healing with me. I was blessed by our relationship, as we were friends long before we began a romance. He knew me in my “co-dependent days” and he knew me as I grew out of them. I never thought I’d be one of those girls to marry her best friend, but I have. I count myself truly blessed.

It was put on my heart to write this today –  if you feel you are being abused emotionally, psychologically, verbally or physically you must reach out to a trusted friend or relative. If you are struggling with a co-dependent mindset and you put your own health and and worth below another’s, you must reach out for help and begin to see how truly special you are. Look up resources in your community, whether it be a church, women’s organization or a domestic violence hotline. Talk with someone.

When women thrive, the world thrives.

In 1 Corinthians 13:4-13 it is written… 

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part,10 but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. 11 When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. 12 For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

“Slowly Surely” by Jill Scott

Slowly surely,

I walk away from 

that old desperate and dazed love 
caught up in the maze of love
the crazy craze of love
thought it was good
thought it was real
thought it was
but it wasn’t love I just don’t know
Where i should go
Slowly surely
I walk away from
constantly hurting me love 
deserting me love
you said, I said, we said
butSlowly surely
I walk away from 
confusing love 
misusing love 
abusing love
this can’t be

Slowly surely
I walk away from
self serving
constantly hurting me love

I just don’t know
where I should go
I just don’t know
know, know, know
Where I should go

Slowly surely
I walk away from
that old desperate and dazed love
caught up in the maze of love
the crazy craze of love

thought it was good
thought it was real
thought it was
but it wasn’t love

I just don’t know where to go

Slowly surely
I walk away from
I walk away from
Slowly surely
I walk away from love
slowly, surely one step at a time
but surely
I will pass the old love aside
and love me
surely I walk away from
slowly surely I walk away from desperating love
caught up in the maze love
crazy crazy craze of love
slowly surely, I walk away from [repeat 5 times]
Slooooooowly Suuuuuuurely, slowly surely

“Man has not invented God; he has developed faith, to meet a God already there.” Edna St. Vincent Millay

The 100th Post on Simply Enjoy!

It’s the 100th post on Simply Enjoy! Are you enjoying it yet? Or just stopping in? Welcome. Want to see more? What do you want to see? What have been some of your favorite posts and topics? Be a part of the conversation!

fireworks(Courtesy of Google images.)

And thanks to LauriesNotes I was nominated for a “Sunshine Award” yesterday. It’s the perfect segue into blog 101. Check out her site for some inspiring photos, poetry and musings on life. Thanks, Laurie!

sunshine award

The rules for this award are as follows:

* Make sure to post this award on your blog site
* Nominate ten fellow bloggers
* Please answer the ten questions

I am nominating the following inspiring blogs (among many that I follow and that inspire me on the daily):

Peter D. Mallet Professional advice for the writer and blogger.

Jump for joy Exhilarating photographs of leaps, jumps, skips and hops all for the happiness of it. Quotes, too.

Undead Dad Thoughtful musings on fatherhood in a technological age and a society full of choice, distraction and challenge.

Johncoyote Poetry, thoughts on life.

iwanttobelieveinGod For spiritual seekers and those interested in Christian life and theology.

A spiritual journey through illness and Autism A path through life’s difficulties exploring beliefs, signs, nature, synchronicity and dreams.

Parenting and Stuff Parenting and child-rearing with a flair, humor and domestic notes.

sense of sensibility Recipes, psychology and ways to stay fit.

Cast Light Choosing light and love. Inspiring photos, quotes and musings.

CultFit A little of this and a little of that. Fitting fitness into real-life.

These are the 10 questions that go with the award:

1. What inspired you to start blogging?

I hear so many people on the daily talking about not having enough time, energy or money to do what they really want to do. Simplifying life and creating space for what we really want is a lifestyle. I love sharing, connecting with other artistic and thoughtful folks and combining my love of mental, spiritual, emotional and physical health into one platform. Behavioral health is a major focus in this blog as we cannot change any aspect of our health without changing our behaviors or actions. Actions, not words, take us closer to our goals and dreams.

2. How did you come up with a name for your blog?

Enjoy means to embody Joy. Joy is my middle name. That’s it, quite simply.

3. What is your favorite blog to read?

There are so many! I am currently uber-interested in Raw Milk Marathon. Check it out for great tips on health, fitness, home and garden. I’m also enjoying the principle-based and always inspiring Mustard Seed Budget.

4. Tell me about your dream job.

I have it. My job allows me to work closely with people, help them to grow in their personal goals, manage their healthcare and focus on healthy habits and behaviors. My job also gives me time and flexibility in my schedule to write a blog, have hobbies I enjoy, keep my communications degree in good use and allows me to help support my husband in his career goals as well. But, I will say my dreams right now are to pursue a Masters program in Behavior Analysis and/or Mental health and grow my writing.

5. Is your glass half-full or half-empty?

My cup is over-flowing!

6. If you could go anywhere for a week’s vacation, where would you go?

My husband and I want to save up money to return to Costa Rica. We’ve both been there separately, but never together. I left much of my heart in Costa Rica. I lived there for a year in 2009 and returned there in 2012 for a visit.

7. What food can you absolutely not eat?

Corned beef.

8. Dark chocolate or milk chocolate?

Dark chocolate with sea salt, please.

9. How much time do you spend blogging?

Lately, on the daily. Maybe an hour or two per day.

10. Do you watch TV? If so, what are your favorite shows?

I’m a big fan of transformation reality TV. I enjoy The Biggest Loser and Chris Powell’s Extreme Makeover Weight-loss Edition. I’m also a sucker for this season of The Bachelor. It’s kind of like the modern-day courtship ritual.

Ode to Journalists
December 14, 2012, 4:35 pm
Filed under: Mind, News, Uncategorized, Writing | Tags: , ,

There was a reason I switched my career early on from journalism to the mental health field. When you are so wrapped up in reporting, grasping for news, details and sniffing out stories, it is easy to lose your balance, to veer toward negativity, to be attracted to drama. I lasted a year and a half at a small-town newspaper before feeling burnt out, confused about my purpose there, needing space and time to digest what my life had been and what it could be in the future. It just wasn’t for me.

Today I’m very content with my life changes and even more appreciative of journalism professionals who daily gather the news and hustle to inform the public. Because it’s a difficult job. And the higher you climb, the more difficult it gets. But the job still strikes me. Hits that place in my heart that loves truth and justice. I’m in awe of the brave men and women who gather the news.

This week I was watching the coverage of conflicts in Syria and learned of this journalist’s death. Ironically, this man died of an asthma attack in the field and not as the result of violence. From the linked piece: “Anthony died as he lived — determined to bear witness to the transformation sweeping the Middle East and to testify to the suffering of people caught between government oppression and opposition forces,” wrote Jill Abramson, executive editor of the Times, in an email to the newspaper’s staff.

Besides the escalating violence abroad, national news coverage of isolated acts of violent shootings seemed to spike this week. There has been a mall shooting in Oregon, an execution-style street shooting in New York and I’m currently watching coverage of breaking news of reports from an alleged elementary school shooting in Connecticut today.

It’s so easy for viewers to just turn off the TV. It’s easy for readers to put down the newspaper or the magazine. To just walk away. To disengage. But for reporters in the field disengagement is not an option.

Disengagement really shouldn’t be an option for civilians, either.

For those reporting, for those who simply must find out the truth, this reality doesn’t exist. Or should not exist.

“I keep telling myself to calm down, to take less of an interest in things and not to get so excited, but I still care a lot about liberty, freedom of speech and expression, and fairness in journalism.” ~Kate Adie~

Sometimes all you need is…

A fresh perspective.

An uplifting word in the trenches.

Someone to tell you everything’s going to be OK.

A reminder.

– to stay focused.

– to keep swimming.




of what doesn’t serve God.

Of what doesn’t serve to heal.

To help.

To decrease your own suffering…

or the suffering of another.

We need reminders.

To hold on to the important.

Embrace the present.

Honor the past. Be grateful for your lessons.

Live for today.

Create your future.



The blessed work of helping the world forward happily does not wait to be done by perfect men. ~George Eliot~

Or women, George. Men or women.

Words Do Matter
December 21, 2011, 4:07 pm
Filed under: Mind, News

Pennsylvania is adopting a new bill “Words Do Matter” that would eliminate use of the word “retardation” from state statutes on mental disabilities.

Senate Bill 458, spearheaded by State Sen. Andrew Dinniman, amends the Mental Health and Mental Retardation Act of 1966, renaming it the Mental Health and Intellectual Disability Act.

For Pennsylvania mental health law this is a great achievement, bringing to light the importance of words and the influence they have not only on the individual with diagnosis, but also on the family of the individual. The words we choose to speak with clients and family carry much weight.

I can imagine people responding to the bill hatefully, railing against it as just another label in an overly “politically correct” society.  To this I would say that the term “retardation” is dehumanizing and unnecessary to use. We must consider how our words are able to bolster dignity in individuals with diagnosis.

This article is one example of how the “r” word is used in derogatory ways. Such loaded assaults should have no connection to mental health law that works to instill good health and dignity to individuals and families seeking services.

Words really do matter.

Valerie Rumfelt

An on mission writer with winning ways to follow Jesus

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