Things You Wish You Knew @ 17 #5

Everything you learn(ed) from your parent(s) is not necessarily healthy or accurate information.

Bountiful research exists on how “We” become the individuals we become. Science is readily available which provides evidence around how your personality develops, your habits

Everything you thought you knew is wrong

Courtesy of Tom Stoppard

and behavior traits, and how you develop our belief systems. You may be reluctant to believe that most, if not all, of your personality was developed by the age of 18 via nature or nurture theories (does your personality form as a result of your genes or is it your upbringing). Some research indicates both play a role in your development, and after thoughtful introspection on my personality traits, beliefs, traditions, and strengths I buy into this theory. You may notice about yourself that you have certain gestures or thought processes as your parent(s); these characteristics are nature; and you may notice that you’ve taken on some, or many, of their behaviors such as how to socialize, how to express anger, how to dress appropriately, different manners and values; these are examples of nurture.

Let’s dive deeper. You may notice that you have a strong tendency, or need, to control others or have the last word. Perhaps your form of communication leads you towards always getting into an argument with people. Maybe you’re never satisfied with the performance of others and you always think it would be easier if you did it yourself (it’s actually not – that’s another topic). Maybe you’re always anxious or nervous, or have the highest expectations of yourself. Maybe your tone of voice is often sarcastic when you really don’t intend to be. Perhaps you never exercise or you always exercise to the extreme. Maybe you eat out every day, spend a lot of money, shop all the time and have way too much “stuff.” All of these pieces make up who you are and they are all most often learned behaviors that have been mirrored from some social influence in your life; or you learned them as a protective mechanism for your internal beliefs?  Let me share the reality that simply because you learned these behaviors from your parents it doesn’t make the acceptable, appropriate, or healthy. In any event – you’ve learned them and whatever ones you don’t like, you can unlearn them.- staring today! #Choices #Youownit

For me, stated previously, guidance was not a gift I received, and even at the age of 17-when I joined the military, I had no idea “who I was,” (I bet you can relate to that). I Didn’t know I was suppose to have an identity. Sure, I walked around throwing my false confidence around and perception was that I had high self esteem and self confidence; on the inside I was an empty person going through the motions of life, the motions that I learned through my upbringing. Don’t get close to men, cower to authority, say yes when someone asks you something, don’t have a unique thought, etc. I also possessed other skills such as the ability to keep things clean and organized. How to cook, do laundry and follow rules. That was my skill set and I fit perfectly in the military.

What I did not learn was how to communicate effectively (or even remotely effectively). The only way I knew  how to communicate was through sarcasm and anger. It took me a foolish amount of time, nearly half my life, to recognize that my tone was sharp and people often perceived me as always angry. That certainly was not the person I felt like inside, or that I wanted to be.

Finally, I did not know how to care authentically about myself, or others. Sure, I loved my friends and family – on the surface, what I didn’t know was what love was #1. (Please note, when  I refer to my family in this instance I am referring to my aunts and uncles and cousins – not my children). What layed underneath was the fact that I had really high self-confidence, yet NO self-worth. I would/could achieve anything for anyone else – never for myself, yet, I lived under the impression that I was a respected, capable, loving person.

It was a dark lonely place that I didn’t know I was in, and I always seemed to be searching for something – . In reflection, it was my own identity. I grew up not knowing what love was, not having anyone to cheer me on for grades or sports or pursuing my dreams, and therefore I didn’t know who I was or believe in myself. I didn’t know how to figure that out either. This was a shock when I learned it because I had lived under the false notion that I knew exactly who I was, what I wanted and where I was going.

When I got out of the Army, I floundered around searching for a meaning, a purpose. From job to job – I floundered. Finally, I secured a job with Marriott Corp at a position I seemed to shine in – there were rules and it was challenging, AND people were happy. Perfect fit for me.

I’m here to share with you that even if it seems no one believes in you you can believe in yourself. If you don’t like the way ideas, rituals, and beliefs that you were raised with that you can change them. Your journey starts today. What are you waiting for to make your life a life full of becoming you and making every day the best day it can be.

When the lights go out do you believe in yourself? Do you believe in your friends, children, family members? Can you look inside of you and be happy with your outward behaviors?

Life is short. You Can create your Past and You are defined by your choices. #Be your own authority #Be your own advocate

#Choices – You decide the life you want to live

#Perception – Open your mind to other possibilities-often times we are so unaware of the lies we live with, even the one’s we tell ourselves.

Expectations – Let go of them

Beliefs – Question their validity and reality

Energy – Choose the type of energy you want to absorb and prespire



Stuck – Don’t even want to hear yourself talk

You’ve heard the saying, “If you don’t have anything good to say, don’t say anything at all”?

Over the past few years, I have tried hard to keep negative talk and criticism from coming out of my mouth; or even entering into my mind #energy. Recently, I find myself engaging in it. In a matter of 20 minutes I managed to offer a better way and reason why the what my boyfriend was doing was not the way I would have done it.

Taking life too seriously – lighten up. At the end of the day does it matter where the soap dish goes in the shower? Is it permanent? How much does it really effect me if it doesn’t go where I would have put it? Time for a gratitude list.

#Choice Challenge – can you identify where you are not living and let living. Can you hear where you’re imposing your ideas and beliefs on someone else and working hard to get them to see it your way? Do you have those moments where you wish you didn’t say anything at all? Your choice challenge is to let go of the control today. The world will still revolve if things are done your way, or if someone makes a mistake – that’s how we grow. Be kind, keep your mouth close (unless safety is an issue) and spread love.

Your comments are welcome, always!
Thank you for powering up today


P.S., This type of energy is generally learned. You can unlearn it with simple mindfulness and cognitive (conscious) turning it around, or simply keeping your mouth closed.


Choice Wheel by Ginger Ross

Things you wish you knew @ 17 #2 ~ Choices

Figuring life out, hmmmm. Is it possible? Who among us has all the answers, or thinks they have all the answers? My perception (reality) is that no one person does. Each and every single moment in life has the potential to create a dramatic change in one’s life from the previous moment. One incident or opportunity can change one’s entire track at any given moment in life.

Where shall I fit my hanger story in this blog post – maybe right here will work.

When I was 17, I joined the Army, in 1980. Why? Because my mother told me to AND I had no idea what else to do. Mother wanted me out of the house and really didn’t know how to guide me, or any of her children really. Throughout my adolescence I received no guidance. In fact, I had no idea what that was. I didn’t know that was what Guidance Counselors were for at school. “How come I didn’t know that?” I wonder today. Max nix relative to my life today at age 55 – but not irrelevant to yours if you are still in school and reading this, or you are a young adult – heck anyone at any age can benefit from this info. The #2 TIWIK@17 is that every single seemingly unimportant choice I made from the second I turned 18 was my choice alone, and every single one of those seemingly minuscule decisions would play a role in who I became (or have become). The reason why I am who I am and where I am at this point in my life is because of my choices…period. There’s no one else to blame.

The most colossal misapplications of my god given rights to own my own life (and all the outcomes) I made were those when I allowed others opinions, absent of all personal consideration, to influence my decisions. I was a people-pleaser. In fact, I was the last person I thought about when making decisions (belief #lowselfesteem). My consideration was always focused on how my action would help or benefit another person, and the reward for myself was recognition from others. What I didn’t learn @ 17 (or 18) was that I was legally authorized to make decisions to benefit myself; not in a selfish – self serving – self righteous way, rather, in a manner to achieve desired outcomes for my life, my dreams, my passions.

How do I share with you the vast scope of how your choices belong to you and how they impact your life? Picture it…in a walk in closet in a condo I was renting, while trying to recover from very traumatizing divorce, which often times left me numb…I had moved into this place about a month prior so not everything was put away yet; including a bunch of hangers that laid in the middle of this walk in closet. For weeks I was angry at the hangers for being in my way every day – I was angry at the hangers. Suddenly, one day, I had an epiphany that would move me towards changing the rest of my life…I recognized that all’s that needed to be done was that I had to bend over and pick the hangers up. Phew – mind blown right! This realization truly prompted me to look at the rest of my daily actions, or lack thereof, and put it all into perspective. I can moan and groan about the dishes, or the car needed repairs, or the errands (you get it), and that is my choice to complain about that stuff and consume my energy on the complaining rather than the moving forward piece and simply just doing the stuff that needs to get done and consumes my energy; or I can choose to transfer that complaining energy into productivity. A similar example…I made a big pot of chili yesterday. As I was dividing it up into Tupperware I set the pot down on the counter and it was half off the counter. In the past, I would have let it stay there; inevitably it would have fallen off and chili would have splattered everywhere. Then…I would have given myself a reason to complain and be angry at the rest of the world. I knew full well that pot had the potential to drop – and yet I chose to leave it that way – taking a risk that maybe it wouldn’t. I paused, and thought to myself, “how much energy is it going to take for me to push that pot on the counter vs. how much energy is it going to take me to clean up that wicked mess?” I moved the pot. You see, every single choice we make on a daily basis influences every other part of our lives. You get to choose – you own it.

That’s the broad view of choices. The narrower view looks like this: I get to decide what I want to think about today and how I want to think about it. Do you want to criticize someone today and let that consume your day prompting yourself to believe a false truth – a) about the person you’re judging and b) that this way of thinking is healthy? Do you want to eat that candy bar or drink that soda because one more won’t matter; you’ll start your diet tomorrow? Do you want to get pissed off at the person on the other end of the phone because you think you’re the only person that matters? Do you want to talk to your children in a condescending, insulting way because that’s the way you were spoken to by your parents, or because things didn’t go your way today? Maybe you want to blame others for where your life is today and you want to continue to use the past as an excuse.

The choice is yours. You Own It. You get to decide to generate positivity, productivity, love and kindness in  your life each and every second you breathe.

Just for today – can you remain positive in every encounter? Just for today – can you think through your decisions and consider the outcomes before you make your choices?


The Combination:

#Beliefs create your #expectations – you can change them

#Choices allow you to generate positive energy around love and live a happier, healthier life – you own them

Your perception of how others communicate love is likely misinterpreted and also none of your business ~ you get to decide

You have the choice to spend your #energy in a #positive manner, creating more #positive energy and being a power of example.

You decide! How you make every day count is up to you. You own from this day forward.

The combination – Beliefs, Perceptions, Expectations, Energy, Choices, Energy

Things I wish I learned @ 17 #1

The #1 thing I wish I learned @ 17 is what love is.

No one ever explained to me what love was. My parents divorced when I was 5, I think. I was young. My mother hated my father and vise versa – and they weren’t big enough to get beyond that for the sake of the children. So, my father was almost entirely absent in my life. My mother bad-mouthed him every chance she got. She worked 3 jobs to support 3 kids and a home, thus was never home. I had a brother and a sister, both older – who seemed to get away with everything. It was explained to me that I was a mistake and the reason for my parents break up. I’d bet you can see the picture I’m painting here, there was an absence of connection in my home. No one ever said I love you, no one every hugged, no one ever really even said a nice word to each other. It was constant tension. The outcome, for me, was developing my own concept of what love was and that turned out to be a person who goes to work, works hard, and orders others around to maintain the house. My mom was big on giving Christmas gifts to us kids. She got an adrenaline rush when she would see lots of gifts under the tree – and I became a big gift giver also.

I remember one Christmas, my mother called my father and insisted he see his kids for Xmas. She dropped us off at his blended family with five other children and gave us each a plain baseball jacket (mine was red) and a $50 bill. Turns out the neighbor ran a printing company and he went over and grabbed three blank jackets from him just before picking us up. That same day, his new wife fed us liver and onions and wouldn’t give us anything to drink until we finished our meal. Feeling wanted and loved was not the outcome of that day.

My mother always barked orders at me and I was groomed to please others. That’s what I thought love was. I entered into a marriage that provided the same behaviors I had grown up with – authoritative, lacking of emotion – compliments – kindness – love. It certainly was a material world, big house, expensive vehicles, the whole theatrical production what mattered most was what everyone thought of us. Picture perfect on the outside – empty on the inside (at least between my ex and myself).

Fortunately, the one thing I learned from my mother was what type of a mother I didn’t want to be, and I did show my kids love, constantly say I love you, read with them, played with them, nurtured them, etc…I won’t go into the demise of the marriage because that’s not the point. The point is I collapsed from extreme unhappiness (which I didn’t know I had) and at the end of the day it was because I was treated like an object – the object that was responsible for portraying the picture perfect family.

Today, now separated from that life, and with the love and support of a small village that nurtured me back to health, I learned what love is. Webster dictionary definition includes the term, “a strong affection for another.” In my opinion, the dictionary does the word ‘love’ no justice, maybe because enough words to explain what love is simply don’t exist? My dear friend, Tin Foil, explained it to me best – “unconditional acceptance.” I accept everyone and everything as the imperfect people, places, and things that they are. Most importantly, I must possess unconditional acceptance for myself. I have learned that I must truly learn to accept myself as I am before I can live a judgement free life with a message of “one love” which is the Rastafari concept of way of living – we are all cut from the same cloth.

Furthermore, I learned people have their own concepts of love. Some show love by showering others with gifts. Some think they are showing love by name calling and sarcasam. The aforementioned examples are examples of power and control, not love. Love is not calling someone stupid or an idiot, or telling them they can’t do anything right. Love does not let anger, frustration and resentment rule the day.

Love finds the strengths in others. Love is kindness. Love is gentle.

Choice Challenge – Love is a skill that we can all work on. Just for today, don’t judge anyone. Can you do it? Tell me how you did at thecombination97 at gmail dot com

#Beliefs create your #expectations

#Choices allow you to generate positive energy around love and live a happier, healthier life

Your perception of how others communicate love is likely misinterpreted and also none of your business.

You have the choice to spend your #energy in a #positive manner, creating more #positive energy and being a power of example.

Let your love shine!

The combination – Beliefs, Perceptions, Expectations, Energy, Choices, Energy



Ginger’s Wellness Wheel

Has anyone ever heard of someone that has life theories, has become a life coach, or a self hep guru that hasn’t gone through and prevailed from hard times? I’m just curious. I was watching Idol last night, I admit it, and it inspired ME greatly to hear the stories. Although I consider myself an inspirer and I do work diligently at my daily practice of achieving my goals there are some days when I am simply exhausted, lazy, and ready to throw in the towel. When I take a day off from my positive thinking, and my goals, self doubt spreads like the plague.

Ginger Ross Personal Life Coach

My first “Classical Headstand” Eva!

This morning, Monday morning, I usually go to my favorite yoga class at 9AM. This morning, I worked very hard at talking myself out of going (#energy consuming), thinking of any excuse to satisfy my conscience. Battling with the voices in my head…you need to go, you should go, I don’t want to go – I picked my head up and went. It was one of the top 10 best yoga sessions I’ve ever had. Turned out I was the only one who attended the class and I received personal instructions (and some venting time). I tried a few things I had never tried before stretching out of my comfort zone experiencing some less than perfect success.

If I hadn’t picked myself up and begrudgingly rolled over to the studio I wouldn’t have reached new heights. I likely would still be sitting here at the computer wondering what today’s blog would be about. Moral of the story, in conjunction with what I took away from those stories of strength last night was something I already know…that success and healthy living requires daily diligence; and that can be exhausting for anyone. Take your breaks and your pity parties but get right back up and aim for the target, whatever that may be for you. Take small bites, moment by moment and  your dreams and goals will be reached.

Thanks Lisa Burner from Soleil Yoga – for one of my top ten yoga days and exactly what I needed. The universe will not give you what you need if you are sitting still (#expectations). It will always give you what you need if you are taking action (#choices).


The beauty of life


Compromise It can be really difficult for some to exercise this word, BUT compromise is a prevalent fact of life. If you’re one of those among us who simply cannot compromise challenge yourself to search within and uncover why not? There are underlying reasons and through the awareness of these reasons you can begin to awaken your cognitive (mental mindfulness) functions and make significant changes in your behavior to improve your overall health and mental well being. Your comments are always welcome by email at or on #Positivelife @thecombinationliife

Power up my friend.

Ginger Ross

What is “Ritual”


Is this a word you tend to stay away from because it has an eerie/religous association or perhaps because the word itself implies commitment? Two starkly contrasting ideas associated with this word. Like all concepts discussed on my platform of The Combination – you have a choice on how to interpret this word, Ritual. For today’s message I’d like to share the definition of the word as I heard it today on a Youtube Ted X Talk by Baya Voce; she describes ritual as Repeated Action + Intention = Desired Outcome.

Deepak Chopra states that we are made up of two ingredients, energy and awareness. I say if you want to make changes in your daily life you must develop a ritual to heighten your awareness of your energy. Try something for me, give someone a compliment and take a moment to reeeeallly identify the energy in your body after. Some time later, I want you to criticize someone – cuss and swear or piss and moan; then take a moment to feel how you feel. Do you feel any difference?

That’s energy.  If you don’t like how the latter part of this exercise made you feel, I ask you to create a ritual to identify how often each day you generate negative energy, and did you receive the desired outcome you were looking for? Once you’ve done this for a few days and are determined you want to change – you have the choice to make a new ritual, or habit, of pausing and reframing your delivery, your energy, your outcomes.

As always, I welcome your feedback by email at or on facebook at

Healthy Choices – Healthy Life

Ginger Ross