Is This A Good Time for Me to Share?

This is my first article in improving our communications!

How do you respond to this question?  To me it is so good to be able for my brain to go to a place of having to think about this.  It is an honoring thing to do.  So often, when I have something to say, I have been thinking about it awhile and boom as soon as I see someone, I download all my thoughts onto them.  They on the other hand have not been thinking about this and have had their other thoughts on their brain.  So it  takes awhile for them to shift into what I am saying and go there.

After learning this and trying to apply, I will ask my husband when he comes in the door, “Is this a good time to talk about my amazingly, transformational ideas?” or just what happened in my day or what the repairman had to say about the oven?  Each of these might have a different response but my asking allows him to think about it.  Usually the response will be, “Let me change me clothes, or eat dinner.”  or even “Let’s talk in the morning, I have had a rough afternoon.”   Even if the answer is “Yes, this is a good time”  He still has had a chance to get his brain into listening mode and prepared to hear what I have to say.

With my son, I usually text and ask for an appointment. “When can we talk about the lawn?”  This usually works better than just barging into his life proclaiming that the yard is a jungle and I fear for the life of the dog.  He can be prepared and is more open to making the change I am requesting. Especially on the phone, asking this question is amazing.  We never know what is going on on the other side of the line.

As a receiver I have to allow myself this space too.  When someone begins a conversation, I can ask myself, “Is this a good time for me to listen to this?”  Sometimes just that honoring thought allows the space for me to attentively listen and other times, I have to say, “This sounds really important, can we set a time for me to listen?”

Have you ever been asked a question out of the blue and you feel compelled to give a quick answer?  This frequently freaks me out and makes me panic to respond.  I love allowing myself to say, “Let me think about that and get back to you?” (I usually add to call or email me if I haven’t gotten back in a reasonable amount of time, because if I have multiple thoughts running through my brain at that moment I just might forget.)

To sum it up:

Ask for time to speak.    This shows respect and care for others as well as yourself.  It can make a world of difference in how you are received.

Try it and let me know what you experience.

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Best Way out of A Funk

The other day I was in one of those crazy funks.  You know, when everything is annoying.  I was so annoyed, I was annoyed at myself.  I worked out, lit a candle and tried various other methods to shift myself into a more enjoyable mood, but it persisted.  Finally, I stopped and sat outside trying to do a breathing exercise.  I was so grateful for the breeze blowing on my skin.  Then I shifted my mind into other things I could be grateful for in this moment, if I allowed myself.  The shift was dramatic.  My new philosophy is:

“You can’t be in a funk and be in gratitude at the same moment!”

Seriously, try it. While I might sustain sadness or anger if there is a reason for it, the general funky dissatisfaction of life cannot coexist with gratitude.

November is a great month to  develop a habit if gratitude, thankfulness, and rejoicing!!

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Who wants to join in???

5 Life Lessons We Can Learn From A 100 year Flood

Thankful for those flood plains as water reaches new highs!
Thankful for those flood plains as water reaches new highs!

1) In order to end a drought, we have to have a flood:

One rain storm, even a heavy one will not erase years of drought conditions.  We have to have a deluge and more than we need. If we neglect caring for our solves, one healthy meal or sleeping in will not bring us back.  If you find yourself in a place of burnout, you get into a crisis care situation and really need to spend lots of time regrouping.  Self care is not selfish.  It is essential to living.

2) Those Flood Plains are There for a Reason:

WE get used the the drought  conditions and all these vast areas of land around rivers seem so odd.  Thankfully city planners and civil engineers know what can happen and plan accordingly.  It is not a good idea to build too close to the river or lake.  In life we must plan with margin.  When we fill our schedule too full with no down time, we put ourselves at risk. It might be great in the short term, but situations beyond our control are inevitable and can overwhelm if we don’t have emotional reserves to deal with them.

3) Respect the Boundaries:

The stories of people who notice a barricade and choose to go around it, only to get stuck in high water and have to be

I don't think this guy is worrying today! Happy to go exploring.
I don’t think this guy is worrying today! Happy to go exploring.

rescued are puzzling.  While I am so about expanding yourself and going beyond our internal limits, it is foolhardy to disrespect others boundaries and try to change or control them.  Lack of boundaries  also encourages us to take on others expectations for us rather than being ok with he person we are.

4) The World is an Abundant Place:

When we have severe water rationing we have to  conserve and be aware of lack. It is also so disproportionately spread.  Even now California needs some of our abundance. This month 35,000,000,000,000 gallons have fallen in the state of Texas.  This is enough to supply the entire worlds population with 10,000 days of water for everyone to have eight 8-oz glasses a day. We know 85% of the worlds diseases are caused by lack of pure drinking water.  While I can’t completely fathom this or hope to change this gruesome statistic by myself, I can be informed and contribute to organizations working to make this change through education, relief and drilling water wells.  Emotionally,I can be in a good place where I share hope and grace rather than fear with those I encounter on a daily basis.  Loving words, kind gestures or even a smile to a stranger at the grocery store can spread abundant life.  As we encourage our family members and coworkers we create strong emotional waves to spread and renew life and love.

5) Life is fragile and the Future Uncertain:

While the loss of life has been small considering how extensive this has been, each story is so sad. Makes me aware of the fact that we cannot control so many events.  We can spend quality time with loved ones, building them up and not letting hurts and wounds cause rifts and bitterness.  Deal with your issues and move past.  Don’t allow fear and worry or insecurities to rule life.  I want to enjoy each moment.  This year my motto has been Peace with the Past, Present in the Now and excited for the Future.  While I may not always stay in this place, this season of crazy weather has helped reminder me this is my goal and where I want intentionally to live my life.

Here is our favorite spring fed waterfall just a few weeks apart.  Funny on the left, the fun was from climbing on top and on the right, from hiking in the creek and under the falls. Ahhhh Life !

May 8 Waterfall
May 8 Waterfall
May 29, 2015
May 29, 2015

Pomp And Circumstance and New Challenges!

HOORAY,  It is that time again.  Time for graduations.  Admittedly, I love graduations.  Just the song playing gives me goosebumps and makes me misty- eyed.  To come together for the purpose of honoring these people who have stepped forward, worked hard and achieved their goal is very gratifying to me.  Whether it is Kindergarten, High School or University, it is important to stand with them and celebrate this huge accomplishment  and stand with them in support in going forward in their next steps.

For those of us long past these years of graduations ourselves it is fun to be the encouragers, cheerleaders, supporters.  But then think about this. How long has it been since you have set a challenge for yourself, worked hard and celebrated the achievement?.  We often just let days slide by, doing what needs to be done, caught up in just getting by or paying the bills, feeding ourselves and cleaning etc. We may have do- do lists or checklists, but if we are honest, these things don’t really challenge us or push the  boundaries of our abilities.  We often procrastinate because we really don’t care about these activities and then when the deadline looms, we engage and meet the deadline.  You may balk at the idea of taking on one more thing, because face it life is busy and often already overwhelming.   What I am suggesting here is rising above the mundane idea of what everyone else wants you to do with your life or what is expected.   Setting a real challenge in your life, something that you choose because of a drive within your self.  Choose a challenge that makes you feel alive and engaged in the process.  Choose something that required your full attention, both physical and mental focus.

For some of you it could be taking a class in something that interests you or just learning something new.  A new language, learning to knit or just a new stitch or pattern, teaching a class or painting a room are just a few possibilities that come to mind.  Of course learning to blog is a great new endeavor!  Choose something that allows you t stretch a little more than the skills you already have.  Go beyond what is comfortable and stretch into it.  note the word slightly.  If you are a couch potato, you should not expect your self to run a marathon this year.  You can work up to it.  One mile, then a 5K ect.

Set your goal and then a plan realistic time for it to be completed. If you just make it someday, then you never will do it.  Will it be one month, a quarter of a year (3 months) or a year.  Short goals are good because they provide faster gratification and give you momentum in your life.

Then of course Celebrate!!!   Invite others to join you in some meaningful way!   Have them celebrate with you.  It might just me to say, “Come look at my new room.”  Of course you can always post here and I will rejoice with you!

Then set a new goal for the next month and use the momentum to keep you going.    Hooray for new challenges!  I like to set a challenge for each month of the year to be completed in this month.  It keeps me feeling alive and moving forward in my days.

 

What will be your next challenge to take on in your life? 

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Good Grief Part Two!

Last month I wrote about he losses we have from friends and family who have left this world.  How important it is to grieve and accept the emotions as part of the process of life.  

We also have other losses in our life, while not as obvious, they never the less effect our life if not acknowledged and resolved.  Throughout our lives we have moves, we change jobs, we lose relationships- sometimes through hurt and sometimes just circumstances. Even good things in life- graduation, getting married- mean ending something else- being a student, being single.Even growing up and changing our outlook and opinions can produce a sense of loss. often overlook this truth.   What happens is when we go through life these losses add up, then a seemingly tiny loss (or a big one)  happens and we find ourselves overwhelmed in grief, and not understanding why.  This one loss has triggered feelings from all the other times we have glossed over and not acknowledged the pain.

What suggestions do I have here?  Glad you asked!

You don’t need to get bogged down in the mire with it.  Acknowledge the grief.  Start from a place of thankfulness.  What are you thankful for in this old situation/relationship etc.  Then,what can you be thankful for in the new situation. Sometimes writing these out or saying them outloud is better than just thinking them in your head over and over.  

Beware your identity- So often our identity is defined by where we  live, the job we have or even our relationships.  If our identity is being the daughter, then what do we do when our parent dies or even when we must change our role to being the caregiver and do the parenting to them.  We are not defined by our roles or location.  Even when you move and lose your support, you are still the same person.  Even if you have to adapt your outlook in your new life situation, you can do this without questioning who you are deep down.  Love yourself in the process and give yourself grace in this crazy journey of life!

Today is the day!!

“Each morning when I open my eyes I say to myself: I, not events, have the power to make me happy or unhappy today. I can choose which it shall be. Yesterday is dead, tomorrow hasn’t arrived yet. I have just one day, today, and I’m going to be happy in it.” >> Groucho Marx395549_261699080561387_146189222112374_736403_1165990731_n[1]

Questions Are the Answer!

This month, we have worked on our evening routine and establishing motivating questions to ask ourselves, I wanted to write a little more specific on why these questions are so very valuable.  Whenever we ask a question, our brain seeks to find an answer.  It will search experiences and memories and countless data banks to find an answer.  If we ask, “Why am I so stupid?”, in response to a mistake, it  will find reasons for why you are stupid.  I always do this or I am just not smart enough etc.  Do I really want my brain looking for evidence of my stupidity?   Is this motivating me to learn or grow from the experience??  HMM not really.     If I ask, ” How can I learn or grow this?”  I come up with a completely different set of responses. Or I could ask, ” How can I use this  mistake to help others?”    Since, I know we are all so imperfect yet feel the need to pretend we are perfect, part of my purpose is to model imperfection and to be real about it.   We all make mistakes, fall short of who we think we want to be and really mess up.  It is called humanity.   It is how we respond to it that develops our character and quality of life and relationships.  OOps sorry for the rabbit trail.  Back to questions.

Catching those disempowering questions and changing them to a question with an empowering answer is the key.  It works in every area of our lives.

Relationships:   “Why is this person so annoying?” could be  “What is marvelous about this person?”  Or if that is too difficult “What characteristics attracted me to this person?”

Motivation:  Instead of “Why do I have to do this?”  make it ” How can I make this fun?”

Feelings:  Instead of “Why does my life suck?”  make it “What is good about today?

You see, if you want to change the answer, you just change the question!!

What changes do you want to make in your thoughts and feelings today??

I am off to the pool to do some heavy-duty studying that I have put off.  Yes I asked how can i make it fun?  and this is my solution!!

The 10

My first time to reblog here! Haley has some great ideas to get us moving with a 10 minute workout! Adapt to fit your body needs, but set a timer, put the music on and got going! A great start to the day!

Praying For Pullups

Here is a workout I did this past morning when I woke up late but wanted to earn my morning shower. I have this weird issue where if I haven’t sweated, I feel like I haven’t earned a shower. It also helps me stay accountable with working out. A shower is something you earn in my book!

So here is a 10 minute workout I came up with. It takes some preparation and is completely modifiable. Try not to do it as your workout for the day unless you have a crazy busy day. Add it at the end of a run or do 2 sets for a total of 20 minutes.

Pick 10 workouts, set a timer for 10 minutes and do 10 reps each. Once you finish all 10 workouts, start over and keep going till the timer runs out. Do body weight or light weighted workouts and…

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