Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Buying With Good Intentions

The annual decluttering begins. Right after Christmas I always feel a great need to dejunk my home and my life. I know it has a lot to do with the excess of Christmas and the start of a new year and wanting to get a fresh new start. As I decided to start with my kitchen and getting rid of and reorganizing, I was looking at my collection of cookbooks that have gradually diminished from my past dejunking pursuits and realized it is time to really clear out. I must accept the fact that I buy and save recipe books with good intentions. I must think, if I buy it I will cook it. No. Now is the time to really face the truth and realize that instead of just cooking, I keep distracting myself with the good intention of buying, accumulating, and saving. Besides, instead of distracting myself with cookbooks, I can now distract myself with pinning recipes.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011


I have given up the goal of trying to have things perfect, and an interesting thing has happened. I now just work hard and find that in the end, things just seem like they were perfect. Take for example, this last Christmas Day. I worked hard but gave up the idea that it had to be perfect; but when the day was over, it felt like it had been perfect. Same thing happened with my daughter's wedding. I now get it that nothing will ever be perfect in this world and giving up on that quest allows for it to seem perfect in its imperfection. The goal that is achievable is just being creative, working hard, and enjoying the process. Doing all of that makes it seem perfect even if it isn't. Goodbye perfectionism, hello satisfaction.

Monday, December 26, 2011


Some things are just so much easier than I have realized. I use to think that it would take so much work trying to "fix" someone when all I need to do is pray for them. Is all I have to do is love and be a good example and then pray that Heavenly Father will fix things. Some lessons come late and I am reminded that I have been in the spiritual remedial class, but then it helps me know how truly patient my Father is with me and helps me remember how patient I need to be with others. We are here to learn from our experiences and for someone as clueless and slow as me, the experiences have to be all the more dramatic to get my attention. At this Christmas time I am even more appreciative of my Savior and His loving, patient example.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

A Town Like Alice

Every once in awhile I am reminded of lessons I learned from good books. One of those lessons was from this book, A Town Like Alice. What had the biggest impact on me was how the main character couldn't actually live in the town called Alice, and so she worked hard at creating her own town to be like Alice. Often I look at someone's circumstances and wish I could live like that. This book reminds me that I can make my own circumstances more of what I want them to be. It really is up to me. I have to keep reminding myself.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Pray for a Miracle

I was talking with a good friend and she was sharing how important it is that we sometimes just pray for a miracle. I know that miracles can change everything, so I prayed for one and realized that the miracle I need is to change me. I am asking that I can have the kind of unconditional love, understanding, and compassion that my Savior has. Now that's would be a much needed miracle.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Church Cancelled

One of the most interesting blessings of the storm came a couple of days later when church was cancelled and neighbors were encouraged to help each other clean up before the next scheduled storm that was suppose to come later that night. The blessing wasn't in the fact that we didn't have to go to church but in the benefit of giving and receiving service that was shared in the next week's church service.

I have to say that I missed out on all the work because I was attending my granddaughter's blessing and dinner celebration in an area that wasn't so affected by the storms so their church wasn't cancelled. I know I was where I should have been and wanted to be and loved hearing my son give his daughter a beautiful blessing and enjoyed socializing at the dinner in their home, and in my imagination I could also feel the emotional experience and fun my home ward was having as they helped each other clean up from the storm. I felt the double blessing of being with my family and then feeling the emotions of my ward family as they experienced a unique opportunity.

I find it interesting that the scheduled storm that was suppose to come later that Sunday never came. Something to think about...

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Benefit of the Storm

For those that don't live on the Wasatch Front, you are probably unaware of the big storm that we had more than a week ago that created a lot of damage and left us without power for an entire day. I now want to reflect on the good that came out of that terrible storm.

1. I have new appreciation for electricity. How many times I would keep trying to switch on a light during that day only to have to remember, "Oh yea, we don't have power" or longed to use an appliance and realized how much I have taken it for granted.

2. I have new appreciation for firemen. At just the moment I was lamenting that I would be stranded for at least 24 hours before our lawn care could come and remove the downed tree that blocked our entire driveway, a fire truck pulled up and came to the door to ask if I wanted them to cut it up and move it. I didn't know they offered that service and I was so grateful that they showed up so quickly.

3. I have new appreciation for my lawn care serviceman, Dan. I appreciate how quickly he came to our rescue and spent an entire day and night here cleaning up the mess of several trees that fell, and his thoughtful concern of wanting to be fair and honest with us. I am thankful that I can completely trust him and for his hard work in servicing us so well.

4. I have new appreciation for a home that I can feel safe and secure in and for the comforts that I feel even when the winds were blowing so intensely outside.

5. I have a new appreciation for a ward family and for a good Bishop who reached out to his flock to offer support and direction, and for other ward members who were reaching out. It is nice to have such a great support system that is right in the neighborhood.

5. I have new appreciation for the crews of our power company and their hard work and diligence in restoring power. I appreciate the families of those employees that sacrificed for the good of the community.

6. I have greater commitment to get better prepared in case a real tragedy occurs. I am going to buy that generator that in times of calm, I am not motivated to acquire. This has been a great reminder of how important preparation is.

Lately I have been given great opportunity for increased appreciation for the little things that I can so easily take for granted. I will always look at a "storm" as being a reminder of being grateful and being prepared.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Get Real!

I was just indulging in my new addiction--looking at pinterest, and something hit me hard. I need to get real. I am looking at the instructions to make snowflake marshmallows and realized, "Tanya, you need to get real--you are never going to make those!"

I need to accept the fact that there are some many wonderful ideas out there that I want to do but won't. It started years ago when I would see a dress pattern and fabric (this was in the dark ages when i use to sew) and actually think I was going to make it. No, I would get as far as cutting it out and then lose motivation and interest. The story of my life.

So now, I am going to see great ideas and say, "Get Real," and just enjoy it and don't even expect that I will do it. There's a lot less guilt that way.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Traditions Revisited

Today I took most of my grandchildren to do something that I would always take their parents to do. We went to the Dickens Festival and had their pictures taken with this real Santa Claus. He is the same Santa that we had the pictures taken with so long ago. He is absolutely adorable and so cute with the kids. They also made the candles just like their parents made when they were little. It makes me realize that special times are never really over; they just get recycled.

P.S.When my one grandson said that he was a different Santa than the one that came to his preschool (bright kid), we just told him the same thing I would tell my kids. The other Santas are just helpers, but this is the real Santa.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Limiting Beliefs

I have been doing a lot of swimming. At one time I had this belief that I could never swim without nose plugs. I am sure glad I got over the need for that unattractive apparatus. I mean a cap and goggles are unflattering enough without adding little pinchers on my nose.

I also had this belief that I couldn't swim long distances doing the American Crawl because it was hard to reach up over my head for too long, and I preferred to swim the breast stroke. Now I have overcome that limiting belief. It sure feels good to overcome some stupid belief that I have let hold me back. Is it possible to get rid of the limiting belief that I can't sing? I better not push my luck.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

I'm in Charge

I have finally learned that if I am not happy then I can't blame anyone but me. I now know that I am in charge of my own happiness and if I really want to be happy, then I can choose to be happy. The choice is easy but it will take effort on my part to make choices and to do the work I need to do to be happy. I know that I must accept the fact that at some deep level I can always choose what I want to feel, and honestly realize that if I keep choosing misery then there is some unconscious reason I feel comfortable with living with that kind of sadness. Sometimes it is as simple as truly believing I deserve to be happy and then focusing on all the reasons why I can be happy. My beliefs are powerful and I now believe that my happiness is up to me and that I deserve it. I am choosing to be happy.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Public Exposure Not So Bad

It is now interesting to me how easily ashamed people are of their difficulties and mistakes and how they want to hide their imperfections and troubles. Take it from someone who has been completely exposed that it isn't so bad. In fact, it is quite the relief to know that I don't have to worry about what people know about me or those I love. Now I know they know and it is interesting to realize how compassionate and kind people can be, and how they seem to feel a new connection with me knowing that my life isn't perfect.

I now say to people who are afraid of what other people will think if they knew what they struggle with, chill out and realize that a lot of good can be had in being found out that we are all weak and infallible. Adam and Eve were told to run and hide when they had done something they were ashamed of. Hiding keeps us apart and that is just what the adversary wants. Exposure has brought me support and connections in a whole new way, and I have discovered how kind and good people can be. I have found that if life isn't perfect, I can still hold my head up and keep on connecting with people. In fact, maybe it is the trials that creates a better connection. I know it sure does with my Heavenly Father.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Enjoy the Moment

I have realized that I have lived so much of my life thinking about the past and what I wish I would have done differently or anticipating the future in either worrying about it or falsely thinking I will be so much better then. I have become more aware of is how much tenseness I experience in the present because I am too hung up on being perfect either looking back or forward. I often don't enjoy the moment because I keep thinking of what I SHOULD be doing and not what I AM doing. What I now know is that peace and joy resides in the present moment and the better I get in relishing and enjoying what I am doing and experiencing right now and seeing the moment as perfect just the way it is, is what will make me more relaxed and happy.

What really made me realize what a bad habit I have created in my perfectionistic state of dissatisfaction with the past is what I experience with my daughter's wedding day. As any mother of the bride can confirm, there is a lot of planning and preparation that goes into that big day trying so hard to make it perfect. At the end of the actual wedding day, I really could joyfully say that it was a perfect day and I enjoyed every minute of it. Several days later, I felt myself get into that bad habit of dwelling on the past glorious event in that regretful, dissatisfied way. I knew that at the moment I had already claimed it was perfect so why would I have a need to create regret? I immediately knew that it was because of that bad habit that I spent years cultivating.

My new commitment is to love and enjoy each moment more fully. I can still enjoy the memories from the past and anticipate wonderful memories in the future but I will only look back with gratitude and look forward with hope. I truly have so much good in my life and I will be more focused on celebrating the good. Every moment can be perfect if I choose to see it that way.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Brother in the Bathtub

No this isn't a picture that I took, just a random picture I found on google images.

I was thinking about a talk I heard years ago that inspired me to be more committed to journal writing. The speaker talked about all the blessings and benefits of writing in a journal but then she ended by saying that it is like the time when her young son was taking a bath alone. His little brother wanted to get in the tub with him but the older son thought it would take away some of his own warmth. The mother said she wanted to explain that actually he would feel warmer with his brother in because his brother's body would raise the level of the water and thus the warm water would cover more of his body resulting in more warmth not less. She realized, however, that just plopping his brother in without explanation would result in her older son just learning by experiencing it.

She then said the same is true about journal writing. She could go on and on about the benefits but it is better for us to just start writing and discovering for ourselves how really therapeutic it is. That is how I feel. I am grateful that I was inspired to write and that I have learned for myself the miraculous blessings. Just do it!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Fight for Connections and Purpose

I've said this before, but I feel like it is much better to say yes to positive changes rather than trying to just say no to the negative. The more I learn about attachment theory and how susceptible people are to becoming addicted to negative things when they haven't had healthy, secure attachments with loved ones, then I say instead of saying no to drugs lets say yes to positive connections and purpose in life. Drugs or any other substance abuse can often be traced to either a lack of a healthy secure attachment as a child or to a lack of real purpose and meaning in life. Let's focus more on a positive fight for connection and purpose and thereby reduce the need to fight against the negative.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Out of Work

Today my career as a full-time mother is officially over. My baby girl is getting married today and it is a bitter-sweet time. Bitter because I am going to miss her living here. I am even going to miss her messes. Sweet because I have had such a great time with her and so many wonderful memories, and I am so happy for her and the wonderful man she is marrying. I couldn't have picked a better guy for her. Thank you Garrett for being so sweet to my daughter.

For all of you young moms out there. Cherish the time when your children are growing up. It might seem like it is going to be forever before they do but believe me, as I sit here with tears running down my face, that the time goes by so much faster than you ever think. Before you know it your youngest child will be falling in love with someone that will become more important to them than you are and leaving home with them. As it should be. They will untie those apron strings that at so many moments, I used to get frustrated with the constant tugging.

Thank heavens for a continued relationship with adult children who become our peers and friends and especially for grandchildren. So I guess I am not really out of work, it just looks a little different. To Taylee and all of my children. I love you. Thank you so much for a lifetime of memories, now and forever.

Monday, November 14, 2011


The older I get the smarter I get. By now, I'm brilliant.

I am realizing it is the little things in life that make such a profound difference. I am still working on making a habit to breath deeper and relax on the exhale. When I do my closet yoga, I am more focused on breathing slowing and deeply. Up until lately, I would just take shallow breaths and count to seven in each stance. Now I take three deep, long breaths inhaling deeply and slowly and exhaling completely. Wow, what a difference it makes. I am also working at tuning into my breath throughout the day and noticing when I am feeling uptight and letting go of the tension through my breath. It takes focus and commitment because I have been doing it wrong for so many years. This old dog is learning new tricks.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Mindful Eating

A little something I learned watching The Biggest Loser the other day that I wanted to share. A doctor that studies the brain and obesity found while doing a scan of overweight people's brains that while they are viewing something tempting to eat, there is a portion of the brain that registers pleasure that lights up significantly in a large area, but unfortunately while they are actually eating the foods, the area of light is much smaller. On the other hand, when a lean person's brain is scanned it shows the opposite results. Their brain lights up just a little while viewing the food but while eating it, there is a bigger area, showing greater pleasure.

What this means is that since the actual pleasure of eating is decreased in the heavier person, they are tempted to eat more and more to get the same amount of pleasure that a leaner person gets right away.

The moral of this story is that it is important to eat slowly and mindfully so that the pleasure area is activated completely, so I don't have to eat the whole cake to get the same amount of enjoyment.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Perfectionism is debilitating

Once upon a time someone was talking about a mother who had a lot of boys in her family, they spoke of how remarkable she was because her home and garage was always perfect. Having struggled with tendencies of perfectionism and knowing what a curse it can be, I said that they shouldn't be too quick in their admiration because it might be more of a problem than a positive attribute. I wasn't really making a judgment of that women but just admitting my own struggle.

In an age of always striving for 4.0 grade-point average, it is easy to get caught up with trying to achieve perfection and being hard on ourselves when we don't. I am glad that at least I grew up in an era that just doing my best and settling for good enough grades was all I was expected to do. I can't imagine how neurotic I would be now if I would have thought I had to have perfect grades back then. It is bad enough that I expect to have a perfectly cleaned kitchen and cupboards. Yes, I probably would be out trimming my grass by hand.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

I am willing to sacrifice

It is Sunday and I should have a more spiritual thought but no, I found this on Pinterest (the addiction that replaced Angry Birds) and I had to share. It is what I have been sacrificing myself to do. Talk about selflessness. ;)

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Overs and Unders

I'm still thinking of balance. I remember years ago after I had given several organization classes, it finally dawned on me that there would be people in the audience that were already sufficiently organized and that some of my ideas might push them over the edge into neurotic over organizing (kind of like that crazy realm where I am tempted to live). I thus changed my approach and first talked about recognizing where they are on the scale and if they are already organizing too much, they might need to relax and let go a little; and if they aren't organized and frustrated because of it, that they need to step it up and use some of the organization ideas. It is a matter of tuning into or own mind, body, and spirit to properly access how we are feeling and functioning and make the necessary adjustments in either direction. Either doing more or doing less. That means that I don't compare what I am doing or not doing to anyone else, but I hold it up to my own sense of being to know what is right for me. I know that I have that gauge in my mind, body, and spirit that will let me know if I take the time to quietly listen.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Happy Balance

Life is a balancing act (I think I am the first person that has said that). It seems like I am either a kind of slug where I don't get much accomplished or I go to the other extreme and get somewhat neurotic about my check list and using my time wisely. is only when I find that happy medium when I am happily engaged and just busy enough to keep life interesting but not stressed and certainly not bored, that I feel peace and contentment. I know that I am in that place when I feel relaxed and excited at the same time. For me it always requires tuning in and tuning up to check myself because it is so easy to get carried away in either direction.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Strengthen the Core

For those who have recently joined reading this blog,I had previously mentioned how the star can represent all dimensions of myself. The top point represents the spiritual side, the next point, the physical, then mental, on to emotional, and finally social. Just as each line traverses to the other points, each part of myself is affected and affects the other parts (just making sure you don't assume that I have multiple personalities).

This morning I was doing my P90X core workout and realized that strengthening my physical core is very symbolic of how important it is to strengthen all the other cores. For my mental core, I have to have positive thoughts; I can strengthen my emotional self with feelings of gratitude, the core of my social self is unconditional love, and my spiritual strength is rooted in faith, hope, and charity.

Monday, October 31, 2011


I've been working on my posture lately. The interesting (well, for me anyway) thing is that I have also found this need to stand up for myself. It really does make me realize how much my physical well-being is affected by my emotional and social self, and how my emotional and social self literally affects how I stand. Who would have thought that as I learn to stand straighter that I also learn to stand up for myself and what I know to be true at a whole new level.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Exercise Should Be Fun

I say that exercise has to be fun or I won't do it for long. I love to dance and Zumba is a fun way to exercise. Talking with friends is also fun so I love to walk and talk for my exercise. There are also TV shows that are fun to watch and so I tape them and then exercise while I watch. I am glad that there are many fun ways to exercise.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Being Vulnerable

I know that I always have a tremendous amount of strength available to me but I also know that there are times that I feel so vulnerable. I have been hit with a tremendous amount of pain realizing that life can be hard and that things don't turn out the way I would like them to be, and it can be just so sad and difficult.

It is times like these that it is okay for me to feel vulnerable and pained because then I realize how much I need to be loved and taken care of. First by my Father in Heaven and secondly by those around me. I know that in my strength I can give off the attitude that I don't need people's loving care, but at times when I feel this kind of pain, it is essential that I open myself up and let others know I need to be nurtured. I am weak and I am vulnerable but I know where to look for more strength. I will look to God and I will allow others to take care of me. I don't always have to be the strong one, and I don't have to always be the one taking care of everyone else. I am doing others a favor by letting them know I can be vulnerable and let them take care of me. I like chocolate covered cinnamon bears in case you're wondering.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Say Yes to Healthy Relationships

Research has found that the "Just Say No" drug program doesn't work. Other research says that teenagers that engage in service does more to prevent teenage pregnancy than education alone. This tells me how important it is to establish healthy relationships and do meaningful work. More evidence of the importance of developing and sustaining healthy attachments with people that counteracts the need for unhealthy substitutes.

One way that I learned from a professor at a California University to make better connections is to look at people left eye to left eye. It was found that this simple practice helps establish a more emotional, left brain connections; which develops a more secure attachment. A focus on healthy relationships and service can be our greatest weapon in the war on drugs.

Saturday, October 22, 2011


At just the time I was writing about addiction to unhealthy habits as opposed to developing genuine relationships and engaging in socially redeeming activities, I was drinking my herbal tea. On each tea bag of the brand that I drink is a thought which that day went along perfectly with what I was writing about. (It is interesting how miraculously it happens that I read something that I need at that very moment.)

The message was, "You will feel fulfilled when you do the impossible for someone else." I knew at that moment that if I can help lift someone out of their addiction and help them find the joy and happiness in healthy relationships, especially with their Heavenly Father and Savior because that is the only way out of addiction, that that is the greatest fulfillment I can have. I know that to be true.

Life is about finding fulfillment and I know that genuine fulfillment isn't found at the mall, it isn't found in a bottle, and it certainly isn't found moving on to the next level in a game (although at the moment, it falsely seems so). I want to continually pray that I will be open to knowing when those opportunities for fulfillment are there.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Age of Addiction

It is no longer the "Age of Aquarius" as the group, The 5th Dimension, sang years ago. (Am I dating myself here?) It now seems to be the "Age of Addiction." Although I am watching other people struggle with various forms of addictions, I am not pointing fingers because I am not immune.

This is what I have learned from studying human development and especially attachment theory. People are the most vulnerable to unhealthy addictions when there is a struggle with attachments issues that can start as early as 6 months of age and are most critical until 3 years old. If the attachment isn't adequately formed especially with the mother and father at those critical years, then other healthy attachments are harder to develop. Thus when something comes along such as alcohol, drugs, pornography, gambling, etc. that tries to mimic the euphoria that a healthy attachment naturally produces, a person is susceptible to being drawn to it. Because those subsititutes don't really produce the genuine good feelings that healthy attachments with loved ones create; there becomes a pattern of engaging more and more in the unhealthy habits because we can't get enough of that which we don't really need, so the craving becomes more intense until we are addicted and have lost power over it.

We really don't need what drugs and all the other habits give us. What we need are close and loving relationships and genuine accomplishments that have socially redeeming value. In fact, all of these habits, especially when they get to the point of addiction, actually get in the way of healthy relationships and other altruistic accomplishments, and thus the pattern becomes a negative cycle because the opportunity for healthy attachments with loved ones becomes even more and more difficult and thus we become even more needy and susceptible.

I want to stay away or be careful of those habits and activities in which there is an anonymous group that has formed. I have have even heard there are treatment centers for facebook addictions and I have to assume that somewhere there is a group that meets and someone introduces themselves as, "Hi, my name is ... and I am an angry bird aholic. Sign me up.

P.S. I thought I came up with the term "age of addiction" until I actually googled it and found this book by someone who is a local psychologist.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

What I Don't Like

I just watched another episode of Biggest Loser, and I have to say there is something that I don't like and that is when they have to vote someone off. I realize that friendly competition can be a great motivator; but it is sad to see that amongst the team members that have built up such a camaraderie, that they then might have to turn on a fellow member and get rid of them.

Gratefully in real life we really don't have to compete against anyone else; only ourselves and our own frailties. And we especially don't have to throw someone on our team out to get ahead. Fear of elimination can be and is a great motivator, but gratefully in THE plan our family and friends aren't rejected, in fact, we work hard to keep everyone in the fold. I am the only one that can reject the plan of happiness and remove myself; no one can do that for me.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Biggest Loser

I love watching the biggest loser; especially while I am exercising--it makes me work harder. One of the aspects I love about the program is how they connect emotional issues with the weight problem. I have to admire these people that are willing to go on TV and bare their souls and help the rest of us realize that there is usually some kind of pain behind our weaknesses, and that the emotional pain needs to be addressed before we can move forward and make long-term behavioral changes.

Dealing with emotional pain doesn't mean I blame and get angry with those that might have contributed to that heartache, but that I acknowledge that pain and realize that I must now take responsibility for healing from it so that I don't engage in dysfunctional behavior to try and cope (like overeating, overshopping, and a whole other list of ways I can indulge or escape).

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Lesson from Depression

I had an acquaintance years ago that struggled with depression. I had lost touch with her and happen to run into her years later, and she shared something about her experience that was interesting to me and has been valuable not only for depression but for any difficult experience.

She told me that for years she prayed that her depression would be taken away but she only found relief when she changed her prayers. She said that when she started to pray to know what she was suppose to learn from the depression, that it was how she finally was able to overcome it.

I often think of that lesson and realize that there are many trials I might struggle with, and now instead of just praying for relief, I want to follow this women's example and pray about what I need to learn from it. This is how the most difficult circumstances and experiences can turn into a blessing. But I just want to keep going to school and learn there instead of from challenges. A master's degree seems easier than the school of hard knocks.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Commitment and Reporting

A few weeks ago a friend and I made a commitment to each other that we would do certain things every day and week and then report to each other by text at the end of the day. It was amazing what that little practice did for me. Knowing that I would need to report to her gave me extra incentive and focus to engage in activities such as daily service, scripture study and journal writing, exercise, eathing healthy, and having a good laugh. The other wonderful benefit is that all the activities that I have found aren't really that satisfying or redeeming such as shopping or angry birds just seemed to melt away and I had no desire or interest in them as my focus was on more worthwhile goals.

Then...we both went on vacation and stopped reporting to each other, and it was sad how quickly all those unproductive and meaningless activities seemed so much more tempting. But then I ONCE AGAIN learned how really empty those other pursuits are, and now I am texting my out-of-state friend and committing to reporting each day to her once again. I guess I could just report in prayer but sometimes it is nice to have someone with skin on. (This is in reference to a cute story I heard years ago about a little boy who was frightened in the night. When his dad comforted him and said that Heavenly Father is always there for him, the boy replied, "But sometimes I want someone with skin on." Of course, I do believe Heavenly Father has a body with skin, but it is still a cute story and reference.)

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Spiritual Tuneup

Every morning I require a spiritual tuneup. It is scary how easily I can drift away from "feeling the love" when I miss a few days reading and pondering inspiring words from scriptures. Then when I haven't felt the love, it is harder to feel and adequately express love to others. This is a lot like everything else I experience. After I neglect doing something that does so much good for me, I realize how desperately I really need it. It is easy to roll along and start to take those habits and their benefits for granted, and it is only when I haven't done it that I realize how significantly crucial it is to my overall spiritual, physical, mental, emotional, and social life.

Now I will step forward again. My life is like that. Three steps forward, one maybe two sometimes five steps back, but then I will move forward again (kind of like doing the polka). The good news is that even when I take those steps backwards, I can still learn from it as long as I repent and keep moving ahead. Thanks heaven for repentance (literally).

PS I am not endorsing this book, I just found the picture on google images when I searched for "spiritual tuneup"

Saturday, October 15, 2011

The Lights Turn Off

The other day I was reminded of something that happened to me years ago. Three of my sons entered a comedy competition and all of our family, some friends and relatives went to support them. I have to say that my sons were clean but there were others that weren't so much. Since I had our youngest daughter with us and I didn't especially like her exposed to some of the crude humor, I took her out into the lobby after our boys were finished. (I really wanted to take the whole family out but didn't have a cattle prod). Since we could still hear everything and when I saw this knob just like the ones in the church foyers that turn down the volume, I turned it all the way off.

Quickly some people in charge came running out and wondered why all the lights had gone off in the auditorium. I realized I had turned off the lights and not the volume and explained to them that I didn't want to hear or let my daughter hear the crude humor and thought it was a volume switch. The interesting thing is that one of the resident comedians apologized to me and said he didn't usually resort to that kind of humor and he was sorry he did.

What was kind of symbolic about that incident is that I literally turned the lights off but figuratively they had already turned off the lights. We can either let our light shine or be in darkness.

Thursday, October 13, 2011


So this morning I decided to start doing the P90X exercises. At the beginning of the first DVD it says, "Never exercise beyond the level at which you feel comfortable." Do they realize what comfortable means to me? My definition of comfortable is lounging on the couch with my feet up on the ottoman. So does that mean I should just sit and watch the DVD and not go beyond that level? I hope they have a good money-back guarantee.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Medical Report

In case you are dying to know how my shoulder is feeling....That and you get some free medical advice...

In the middle of the night when my shoulder was killing me and I couldn't find a comfortable position to sleep in, I got up and had to work on it to get it to move and decided to do some research on the internet since I couldn't sleep. Now mind you, I am a gifted and sound sleeper and usually NOTHING I mean NOTHING interrupts my sleep. Because I had a friend tell me that when she developed frozen shoulder she had to have surgery on it, I was determined to find a natural way to heal it quickly. I have learned to try the natural way first and the internet is a good place to start.

I learned that people had had success working out trigger points and taking cayenne pepper and cleansing. I took a cayenne and cleansing capsule and it was extremely painful but I work on those trigger points suggested and kept moving my shoulder even though it was difficult. Well every day it keeps getting better and better. No doctor, no pain pills, and no surgery.

On the internet I learned that trigger points are thought to be the cause of a lot of pain. I learned from Kev's experience when he had a certain condition in his foot that a doctor told him would require surgery, that he had a quick solution to the problem when his trainer worked out some trigger points. Although it is excruciatingly painful to work out trigger points it helped him and now it worked miracles for me.

The interested thing is (I guess I think it is interesting anyway in my mundane world) that when I read about trigger point therapy, the medical profession doesn't necessarily believe that it has value. But for me, I believe otherwise. I wonder how many other cheap therapies could cut down health care costs. But for now I have a renewed appreciation for good health and painless living.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Speaking the Truth

As I've mentioned over and over again, I have been seeking for the truth; and what I have realized that not only is it important for me to know what is true, I have also got to have the courage to speak the truth with confidence and conviction. I have learned that sometimes it is hard to hear the truth and so that truth should be delivered with love and consideration, but there are even times that it has to be delivered in a direct and forceful way when I feel impressed to do so even if it might be painful.

I know that my meager opinion doesn't really matter and really shouldn't give me the confidence to speak up, but the truth does; and so when I know something isn't just according to my opinion but truth, then I can declare it with confidence.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Sugar Experiment

Okay, every so often I need to remember why it is that sugar is not good for me so I experiment and eat lots of sweet things. It is a painful sacrifice but someone has to do it! While I was eating too much sugar, my body felt sore all over and so this last week while on vacation I decided to avoid eating any desserts and voila, the soreness went away. Until...

I was at the airport with an unusual waiting time due to the fact that my traveling companion has a neurotic need to get there WAY too early (just ask our kids), and I spotted a Pink Berry frozen yogurt place and had a free pop machine in the lounge. So I had the yogurt and drank some root beer to kill some time. Then...Immediately my shoulder froze and I had this excruciating pain that has now lasted a couple of days. Now I am back off eating or drinking too much sugar. That stuff does weird things to my body.

Sunday, October 9, 2011


I was walking on one of my favorite paths and while passing a couple of women talking, I couldn't help but over hear something they said as I shuffled by. One said to the other, "I don't think he is educated."

Hmmm? I think is what she meant is that whoever they were talking about didn't receive a formal education. Even though I am in the midst of "formal education" (by that it means I spend quite a bit of money to have someone give me information to read and then give me a deadline to make sure I have understood it and made it somewhat useful, and get a piece of paper and a title at the end), I know that that isn't the only way to gain an education.

I can gain a great education just reading on my own and especially when i record my thoughts and insight.

I can gain a great education watching people and truly listening to what they feel and think.

I can gain a great education spending time in nature. Nature is a fabulous teacher.

I can gain a great education attending church or other free seminars.

I can gain a great education from my mistakes, even more than my successes.

I can gain a great education surfing the internet.

And yes I can even gain a great education from TV or reading tabloid covers while in line at the grocery store. (It is nice to keep updated on the Jen and Brad drama!!)

Education comes in many ways and is all that is necessary is a thirst for learning. (and a natural curiosity of what the stars are doing:-))

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Capturing and Recording Thoughts

I haven't written in this blog for several days and it is a great reminder of how important this little habit is to me. When I know that I will want to record something, I pay more attention to my thoughts. Later, after I have written those thoughts, their awareness is more solidified and I feel like those thoughts I have a greater impact. They are not as likely to fly off into the great blue yonder in the sky but seem to take a little better residence in my mind and hopefully behavior. That is what I am hoping anyway.
PS I finally figured out how to include a picture when I am posting on my ipad. Unfortunately I haven't learned how to make it smaller.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Get Organized First

If I ever have some sort of intense project to work on, I have to get myself and my home somewhat organized before I dive into the project. There is something about order and cleanliness that sets a foundation for more calm and directed thinking and creativity. It seems like my mind is divided if I know there is too much disorder, even when it is out of sight. I do, however, have to fight the urge to want to make sure the spices are alphabetized correctly before working on a project. I can get sort of neurotic that way but at least I realize it.

Even God started His creation with getting organized but He was able to do it with a little randomization, so I can still get organized but lighten up a little. Maybe I can even let the oregano come before the basil.

Friday, September 23, 2011

A Birth and a Funeral

It has been an eventful week. We were able to greet a new girl grand baby and I attended a funeral for my Dad's oldest sister. It was especially touching as I realized my new granddaughter was given my name for her middle name. It made me think of the heritage that I pass on, and attending the funeral of my Aunt made me realize the heritage I inherited. What a emotional gift it was for me to be able to look in both directions in the same week and feel the gratitude and responsibility of the family we are born into and the family that we help create.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Choose Easy

I use to do a lot of organization classes and one of the main things that I taught that has helped me in being a homemaker is my mantra, "How can I make this work better?" You see, instead of calling myself lazy, I like to say I just try and choose the easiest and most efficient way to do something. Anytime I noticed that something was inconvenient or frustrating, I would wonder how I could make it work better? Asking the question gives opportunity for the creative answers to come. That is what is done in any business organization, and I always like to think I am running a business. The business of homemaking, and I am the CEO of our home (even though all my little employees have grown up and moved on to other organizations).

For example, having a lot of children close in age meant that I use to put on a lot of shoes. Instead of lace shoes, I would choose easy and have boots, pull on shoes, Velcro, etc. It was one of the ways I made it easier on myself.

I still need to remember that I can choose easy and instead of being frustrated by and complaining about something, I can do more problem solving because it is empowering and we CEOs need the power to become a Fortune 500 company even if now I am only a one-woman operation!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011


I have realized that a lot of what I do or don't do use to be based on fear from past experience. For example, because my east-side window broke in an East wind when I was I young girl; out of fear of that happening again, I didn't want to put big windows in the East side of our home. As a result of a choice based on that fear, I don't have as good a view of our glorious mountains as I could have had.

I realize that faith and fear cannot coexist, and now I want to be more careful that I don't let my fear block out the faith and thus the view I could have based on that faith.

I have noticed that faith can be the foundation of a lot of great intentions. Like the intention we have to make our wedding plans joyous instead of stressful. Fear seems to evoke stress, but faith grows optimism and joy. Fear creates worry about people and their choices, but faith creates a belief that their journey will take them just where they need to be for their own growth. It just feels so much better to live in faith instead of fear.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Wedding Plans

From 8:30 am until 7:30 pm my little bride to be and I spent the day making wedding plans and running errands for the big day. We are having such fun. We have decided that we are not going to allow stress to get in the way but are determined to make the journey as fun as the big day.

It makes me remember a lesson I learned from my brother years ago right before I got married. Our family was taking an extended vacation into Canada and down the East Coast in a motor home. We tried to see so much and seemed like we were hurrying from one stop to the next when my brother jokingly said, "Let's hurry and get this fun over with!"

Planning this wedding is so much fun, and we don't want to hurry and get this fun over with. We are going to enjoy the journey!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Young Women

At first glance, it would seem that I am doing so much good being willing to teach and serve in the young women's program, but no... I honestly get so much more from it that I could ever possibly give. I get to be with and love and be loved by 10 amazing young women and laugh and have amazing experiences together. It is crazy how I think I am doing something so good when in reality I benefit so much more from it than they ever could. It really becomes a selfish benefit to serve.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Touch and Go Landing Strip

The other day while I was hiking and then relaxing in the tub (two places where I feel inspired) and had some incredible epiphanies. Since I neglected to write them down, those thoughts have now left me. Darn it, I remember them being pretty awesome (trust me).

My mind works like a touch and go landing strip. Thoughts come and then they take off really quickly. Just like when I walk downstairs to do or get something and then think, "Why in the heck am I down here?" Now I have to write this random thought because I forgot some of the other good ones. From now on, I will write my thoughts down while they are still on the runway.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011


I find that when I blame other people for my heartache and unhappiness, I also tend to allow them to blame me for theirs. Either way, it just doesn't solve any problems and tends to make the problems worse. I am so much happier and find greater peace when I take responsibility for me and what I have done wrong or what I can do better, and allow other people to be responsible for their own. I have more power that way. Blame just gives away any power I can have to change because I can't change anyone else. Doesn't mean I haven't tried.