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.