Hey There, Good Looking

Don’t take this the wrong way, but how often do you look in the mirror and tell yourself, “Man, you’re looking good today!” Okay, maybe not verbatim of that last sentence, but when was the last time you thought, “I’m finally starting to look on the outside how I feel on the inside.” (Which could be a good thing or a bad thing…)

This isn’t about vanity or conceitedness. This is about appreciating yourself and your body in a way that only you can do. Sure, you can listen to people tell you all day what they like and don’t like about you. They can list all of your flaws and imperfections, making you feel about the size of a kitchen mouse. Or they can go on and on and on about the sheer beauty you radiate every day just getting out of bed in the morning. (I’m pretty sure no one gets out of bed “glowing” like they do in the movies anyway. I’m just saying…)

What I’m trying to get at here is that if you don’t believe in yourself, no one else is going to do that for you. Sure, other people can believe in you and know that you’ll be alright in the long run, but what good does that do anyone if you don’t believe it yourself?

I know we all go through seasons of high and lows in life, but when you look in the mirror do you recognize the person staring back at you? If you answered “Yes”, then great! Ignore everything I’ve just said and move on. But if you answered “No”, what can you do to remedy this situation? Can you get in better shape? Can you start dressing better, even if you’re only going to be at home all day? (I’m guilty of wearing too many pony tails, no makeup, sweatpants, and baseball caps!) Can you get more sleep? (Is there a store where we can buy more sleep?) Could you use some more energy? (I can always use more energy!)

There are numerous ways in which we can be working towards a better version of ourselves, but if we can’t even recognize the our own image in the mirror then that’s definitely where we need to start.

So take a look in the mirror today. Do you like what you see?

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How Many Times Have You Wanted to Quit?

People quit everyday. They quit their jobs. They quit their marriages. They quit their families. They walk away from their dreams right when they’re on the cusp of something amazing. Some people start new things everyday just to quit them before the day ends. Quitting is easy, in some cases. I guess I should say, “Giving up is easy.” 

It’s easy to give up on yourself, your family, and your life when you think there is nothing there to salvage. It’s easy to tell yourself, “Yeah, you probably weren’t going to be successful anyway. Just go ahead and give up now.” But I say, “NO MORE,” to all of that!

Yes, life is hard. It even sucks at times. Life can be completely overwhelming and crappy…if you let it be that way. You may not have control over every circumstance in your life, but you do have control over your mindset and perspective. You can choose to see a “crappy life,” or you can choose to see a life filled with opportunities to make it all better.

I know I don’t have all of the answers, but I do know that quitting or giving up on the important things in your life doesn’t lead to happiness and prosperity. Try sticking things out and see if those possibilities turn into even better ones.

Back to School Once Again

We don’t officially “go back to school” until next week, but this week is more of a practice run. We went to bed earlier last night, or should I say on time, so we can make sure next week’s shock of getting up before sunrise isn’t too terribly devastating. We are getting everything organized (clothes, pantry, etc.) so next week runs smoothly.

But what does all of that really mean? It means I’ve already set up expectations on how next week is going to go because that’s what happens when I go into auto-pilot mode. It’s hard for me not to have expectations in my life and to just accept God’s will. I still have this incessant need to try to control everything and it might make me go insane!

Thankfully, that’s where you fine people come in. You help me realize when I’m doing it. You remind me that I only have control over myself today. I shouldn’t worry about what other people are doing or how things will pan out in the end. I can be grateful. I can be content. I have a purpose to be the best version of myself.

So whether your kids are going back to school, you’re starting a new job, or you’re just simply starting a new season of your life, try to look at it with the lens of no expectation. No expectation means no disappointment when things don’t turn out the way you planned. Instead focus on what you can do today, how you can accomplish your goals today, and be intentional about the life you have today.

We All Need Some Grace

Ever since I got back to every day life and reality has had time to set back in from vacation mode, I realize I’m already starting to get down on myself. “School is right around the corner and there is so much that needs to be done. Meal planning, school clothes shopping, organize the kids’ clothes, organize the pantry, get the garage in order, and I’m sure tons of other things that need to happen!” Yes, these were all of the thoughts running through me head about 5:30 this morning. That would make anyone go crazy, right?

Well I’m glad I can realize when old habits creep in and I have the power to not let those old things take over my life. I’m not in control of everything around me, but I am in control of myself and how I choose to go into the new school year. I’m in control of how I spend my time each day and whether I should spend time worrying or spend my time in a more productive manner.

I feel that some people think the more stressed out you are (and the more public you are about it!) means you are more productive. I believe the contrary to be true. When you are busy getting things done, you don’t have time to complain about how busy you are!

None of us are perfect here! We all need a little patience and a whole lotta grace!

Waves of Insecurity

One of the best things about being human is that most of experience the same exact emotions throughout the day, it’s just a matter of how we respond to those emotions.

Do we automatically retreat when we start feeling inadequate? Do we fight through the exhaustion and feeling of wanting to give up? Do we combat the urge to spew word vomit on the people who are really irritating us?

Personally, I go through waves of self-doubt and insecurity. I believe this is a perfectly natural response to trying something new or being in an unfamiliar situation, but once I started voicing these feelings to a few close friends I realized I wasn’t the only one.

When we keep these feelings bottled up inside, we suffer alone in silence. If we could find someone reliable to share these insecurities with, we begin to find that we aren’t alone after-all. Most people feel this way, and often. It’s simply that we are too afraid to talk about these feelings of inadequacy.

I started feeling overwhelmed yesterday (with a very ridiculous “problem”), but instead of wasting my day in worry and angst about not knowing the answer I simply called one of my “people” and told her all about my feelings. She was empathetic telling me it was completely understandable to feel overwhelmed. She also said something that helped to activate some portion of my brain triggering a solution to my problem.

Yes, I probably would have came to this same conclusion on my own, but it was so much faster and easier (and might I add less frustrating) to let someone help me through these feelings.

Please find someone to share these feelings with today. It doesn’t have to be a large group where you formally sit down to have coffee with on a regular basis. I’m talking about 1-2 people whom you can feel free to share your inner demons with that will no judge how you’re feeling but will simply listen and bounce around ideas.

You’ll be surprised how quickly this small change can have a HUGE impact on your life!

Knowing When It’s Time to Change It Up

Summertime in our household is definitely not one that is completely on schedule with everything running smoothly. No. Not at all. Some days we are up and out of bed ready to start the day and others we linger in our PJs until lunch time and then realize we all forgot to brush our teeth. (Except for my husband who works outside the home. He brushes his teeth on time every day!)

Lately, as we start getting closer to the dog days of summer, I’ve really been struggling to stay on a schedule with my daily writings. There is personal writing, blogging, motivational writing, and poetry I work on every day, but the struggle has been extra difficult when we stay up later than usual and I still try to get up at the break of dawn.

With all of the being said, I’m waving the white flag on the schedule this summer! I give up. No more trying to be perfect. (Progress not perfection, right?) I’m not going to fight the reality that is these next few weeks leading up to the start of school again. Yes, I could try to make it all work and stress myself out trying to be perfect (how fun does that sound?), or I can switch up the schedule and only work on things that are most important.

So I skipped a few days on my poetry; I’ll be more diligent in the Fall. So I wasn’t able to do practically any writing when we were out of town visiting family; I know other people will understand. So we weren’t able to do all of the fun and exciting things I had planned this summer; we are surviving and will all be okay.

If you’re struggling with your same ‘ole routine today, switch it up! Who says what you do daily has to be written in stone? Try to do something different and see how it works out. It may be a terrible change, or it could free up your entire day for something new and exciting. You’ll never know until you try.

How Do You Heal a Broken Heart?

This is one of those questions that will never have a clear cut answer. Your broken heart may be a completely different experience than mine. Yours may involve a significant other, while mine may involve a bratty teenager who said mean things. Your broken heart may consist of fighting and bickering, while mine was a slow death by a thousand cuts from someone continuously ignoring me.

There are endless possibilities on how to have your heart broken, but how do you put it back to together? How do you heal a broken heart? How can you make yourself whole again?

I believe the first step is to believe that you deserve to be happy again. Period…the end. No magical formulas to the equation. No tricks behind a curtain. No “fake it ’til you make it” when it comes to healing. You simply have to believe that you deserve to be happy.

Everything may not fall directly into place once you decide your worth in this world, but it definitely gets easier to arrange the pieces of your heart into new shapes. Maybe we aren’t meant to put the pieces back exactly how they used to be. Maybe we are meant to mold, stretch, shrink, knead, weave, and to create new pieces from the old ones that were shattered.

I’m not a therapist and I don’t claim to be an expert in the psychology of the human mind, but I know that when I feel that I deserve to be happy, life seems easier. Things figure themselves out. People are nicer to me (probably because I’m nicer to them). Not all of the odds are stacked against me.

If you’re suffering from a broken heart today, I hope you can find a way to fit your pieces (old and new) back together again.