40 Days: Week 1

40 days week 1
We just finished week 1 of 40 Days to a Personal Revolution and keeping with my promise of sharing this experience with you here are my thoughts from this past week..

Law 2 says: Be willing to come apart- the big part of this law for me is letting go. Letting go of the control. Letting go of constantly being on point. Letting go of having it all together. Letting go of constantly filling up others wells while mine runs completely dry. This week we were traveling as a family, and I experienced this in its fullness. I laid down in bed, around 12:30 pm, and I took a nap! Usually when I attempt to do something like this thoughts of everything else flood my mind. Ways I could be spending my time being more productive usually involving laundry, cleaning, or attending to my kids. But that day this law and a gentle reminder popped in my head telling me to give up control, and to give into what my body needed and I napped for 1 whole hour! Hallelujah!

We also have excavation questions to answer each week. Here are my questions and answers from week 1…

1. How much am I taking responsibility to learn and grow from the experiences, both easy and difficult, that I have in my life? I am taking more responsibility than ever before to learn from experiences. Now rather than looking at an experience and saying “why me?” I am looking at it and saying “what is this experience teaching me? What have I learned from going through this?” I am realizing this is my life and time spent asking “why me”, time spent people pleasing, and validating others opinions of me is exhausted and time wasted. When I do those thing I’m not being responsible of my time or my views. 

2. What are my beliefs about:

My body– while I believe my body is strong and sturdy I am also very frustrated with my body for not allowing me to always do what I want to do. My body gives me a lot of limitations. Limitations that cannot be helped, avoided, or cured. 

My relationships– I am realizing the relationships I have need to have purpose. They need to serve me and they need to serve others. And I would love it if they served us both really, really well. I’m also realizing that it is okay to have surface relationships, because not every relationship is meant to go below the surface. This just makes my solid, below the surface relationships mean that much more to me.

My work– I am starting to develop and maintain more self-worth which is turning into more worth for my profession and my position in that profession. I’m realizing that while everyone may no agree with my opinion, I am allowed to have an opinion and I am becoming more comfortable with sharing those opinions with others.  

My spirituality– I believe we serve an almighty God. One who is forgiving, gracious, patient, and who knows our every desire. I know who I serve and what I stand for. 

Money– I believe that, for me, money is extremely stressful. It can turn my mood upside in a second. I find the more I “crunch the numbers” and the more I focus my attention and energy on money the more I stress. It’s no secret that money makes the world go round. We literally need it for survival. Food, clothing, and shelter wouldn’t be possible without money. This is a constant battle I have, internally with myself. Sometimes it is a daily internal struggle that I am trying to look at from a different angle.

3. When do I feel most present? I feel most present on my yoga mat. When I come into my yoga studio, lay down my yoga mat, and set an intention for my practice. 

4. Where in my life am I hiding? I feel like I am hiding in my relationship with my husband. I don’t always maintain open communication, but rather I maintain the expectation that he knows what I am feeling, thinking, or wanting. This is not the case. He isn’t able to read minds. I am working on being more mindful of this.

5. Where in my life am I flirting with disaster? I am flirting with disaster when I:
-over schedule myself and my family ( currently reading a book about being less busy!)
-having the mindset of having to do it all, by myself.
-thinking that I can push my body to extremes, rather than finding middle ground.
-when I don’t fill up my well in order to fill up others wells.
-when I don’t eat healthy, light, nourishing foods and my body becomes heavy, sluggish and foggy. 
 
Now we are onto week 2: Vitality

Law 3: Step out of your comfort zone

Law 4: Commit to growth



Stay tuned for this weeks experiences, and questions!

  

A Piece of my Heart.

This week was a struggle. Looking back I was over scheduled, over tired, and over everything by Friday at 4:30.  Although I did have moments of Joy shine through and brighten moments of my week, my week overall wasn’t very joy-filled.  Since making this realization I’m starting to go back and go through my motions, my emotions, my schedule, and my past week to figure out what the  major differences between Week 1 and Week 2 were because I did feel such a huge difference.

In the meantime, while I am trying to figure all of that out, I came across an article in a book I am reading by Brene Brown called I thought It was Just Me (but it isn’t). Making the journey from “What will people think?” to “I am enough.” First of all, WOAH!! This book has been an incredible eye opener, for me. It has allowed me to know that I truly thought I was alone in my struggle and I am not.  I don’t think me reading this book should come to any of you as a shock. This is a year of me working through all.of.my.feelings. Even the not-so-great ones in order to better myself. In order to live more authentically. So, in my latest reading of her book I came across this incredibly powerful passage that related to my current life in almost every way possible. I had one of those, “this is everything I’ve been wanting to say, but don’t know how to say it” moments!!  And it felt so good, even if they aren’t my own words. They are still a stepping stone. A catapult into healing. A friend of Brene’s was working through infertility and decided to write a letter/pamphlet to those in her life who didn’t necessarily know or understand how to help her work through her feelings while on her journey. I am currently in the same position, not with infertility, but with my life post stroke. I am in a place of vulnerability, confusion, shame, discrimination, of being misunderstood, of being unrelatable, of being the minority. So for me, and for the sake of ridding my heart and mind of some of the shame that is associated with a life changing brain injury, along with taking back the power and progress in my life, I have decided to type the letter.  The only difference will be I am changing the word “infertility” with the word “condition.” Here it goes…

“I want to share my feeling of my condition with you, because I want you to understand my struggle.   I know that understanding my condition is difficult; there are times when it seems even I don’t understand.  This struggle has provoked intense and unfamiliar feelings in me and I fear that my reactions to these feelings might be misunderstood.  I hope my ability to cope and your ability to understand will improve as I share my feelings with you. I want you to understand.

 

You may describe me this way: obsessed, moody, helpless,envious, too serious, obnoxious, aggressive, antagonistic, and cynical. They aren’t very admirable traits; no wonder your understanding of my condition is difficult.  I prefer to describe myself this way: confused, rushed and impatient, afraid, isolated and alone, guilty and ashamed, angry, sad and hopeless, and unsettled.

 

My condition makes me feel confused. I always assumed I was strong. I spent years avoiding being “weak.”

 

My condition makes me feel rushed and impatient.   My condition came on 3 years ago. My life plan is suddenly halted. I worked so hard to be the very best I could be and now I feel I am at the bottom.  

 

My condition makes me feel afraid.  My condition is full of unknowns and I’m frightened because I need some definite answers. How long will this last?

 

My condition makes me feel isolated and alone. Reminders of unaffected people are everywhere.  I must be the only one enduring this invisible curse.  I don’t share with others, because they can’t relate. 

 

My condition makes me feel guilty and ashamed.  Frequently I forget that my condition is a medical problem and should be treated as one.  My condition destroys my self-esteem and I feel like a failure. Why am I being punished?  What did I do to deserve this?  Am I not worthy of a normal life?

 

My condition makes me feel angry.  Everything makes me feel angry, and I know much of my anger is misdirected.  I’m angry at my body because it was betrayed me even though I’ve always taken care of it.  I’m angry at my partner because a part of me feels like he will never understand my feelings of inadequacy.

My financial resources may determine the amount of answers I have surrounding my condition, and the amount of rehabilitation I am able to achieve.  I can’t miss any more work, or I’ll lose my job. I can’t go to a specialist because it means more travel time, more missed work, and greater expenses.  Finally, I’m angry at everyone else.  Everyone has opinions on my inability to overcome my condition.  Everyone has easy solutions.  Everyone seems to know too little and say too much.

 

My condition makes me feel sad and hopeless.  My condition feels like I’ve lost my future, and no one knows of my sadness.  I feel hopeless; my condition robs me of my energy.  I’ve never cried so much or so easily.  

 

My condition makes me feel unsettled.  My life is on hold. Making decision abut my immediate and long-term future seems impossible.  I can’t decide about education, career, purchasing a home, pursuing a hobby, getting a pet, vacations, business trips, and house guests.  The more I struggle with my condition, the less control I have.  

 

Occasionally I feel my panic subside. I’m learning some helpful ways to cope; I’m now convinced that I’m not crazy, and I believe I’ll survive.  I’m learning to listen to my body and to be assertive, not aggressive, about my needs. I’m realizing that good medical care and good emotional care are not necessarily found in the same place.  I’m trying to be more than my condition while gaining enthusiasm, joyfulness, and zest for life.

 

You can help me. I know you care about me and I know my condition affects our relationship. My sadness causes you sadness; what hurts me, hurts you, too.  I believe we can help each other through this sadness.  Individually we both seem quite powerless but together we can be stronger.  Maybe some of these hints will help us to better understand my condition.  

 

I need you to be a listener.  Talking about my struggle helps me to make decisions.  Let me know you are available for me.  It’s difficult for me to expose my private thoughts if you are rushed or have a deadline for the end of our conversation.   Please don’t tell me all of the worse things that have happened to others or how easily someone else’s condition was solved.

 

I need you to be supportive. Understand that may decisions aren’t made casually.  I’ve agonized over them. Remind me that you respect these decisions even if you disagree with them, because you know they are made carefully.

 

I need you to be comfortable with me, and then I also will feel more comfortable.  Talking about my condition sometimes feels awkward.  Are you worried you might say the wrong thing? Share those feelings with me.   Ask me if I want tot talk. Sometimes I will want to, and sometimes I wont, but it will remind me that you care.

 

I need you to be sensitive.  Although I may joke about my condition to help myself cope, it doesn’t seem as funny when others joke about it.  Please don’t tease me with remarks like “they were in such an uproar, I thought they were going to have a stroke” It’s no comfort to hear empty jokes.

 

I need you to be honest with me. Let me know that you may need time to adjust to some of my decisions. I also need adjustment time. If there are things you don’t understand, say so.  I need you to be informed.  Your advice and suggestions are only frustrating to me if they aren’t based on fact.  Be well informed so you can educate others when they make remarks based on myths.  Please don’t think that my condition will be cured if I relax more and stress less.  Don’t tell me this is God’s will.  Don’t ask me my need to justify my need to live life as I once did prior to my condition. 

 

I need you to be patient.  Remember that working through my condition is a process. It takes time. There are no guarantee’s, no package deals, no complete kits, no one right answer, and no “quickie choices.”

 

I need you to be strengthening and boosting my self-esteem.  My sense of worthlessness hampers my ability to take charge.

 

Encourage me to maintain my sense of humor; guide me to find joys.  Celebrate with me my successes, even ones as small as making it through a medical appointment without crying.  Remind me that I am more than a person with a condition.  Help me by sharing your strength.

 

Eventually I will be beyond my struggle with my condition.  I know my condition will never completely go away because it will change my life.  I won’t be able to return to the person I was before my condition, but I also will no longer by controlled by this struggle.  I will leave the struggle behind me, and from that I will have improved my skills for empathy, patience, resilience, forgiveness, decision making, and self-assessment.  I feel grateful that you are trying to ease my journey through this condition struggle by giving me your understanding.”    ~Jody Earle

 

My sincerest and most authentic hope in posting these words is that you can see that people who are suffering out loud, or in silence, are trying their very best every single day to overcome their obstacles.  We are people too. We just happen to be on this journey that has changed our lives. And we hope that you continue to support and understand us.

  

  
 
 

 

 

2016-The Year of my Rebirth

2 Corinthians 5:17 says “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!”

How amazing is that verse? And the timing is perfect too!  It’s probably the most cleansing of all verses I have read lately and it speaks to me. In fact I think it is going to be my motto for 2016. The second part of 2015 showed me ( actually most time it felt like it was SCREAMING to me) that I don’t have to be who I’ve always been. If I want to be someone new, who believes in something new and that makes me happy than I am able to be that. That is allowed. I don’t need someone’s permission. This is my life and if it’s going to be the best one then I’ve got to start doing something different.

I’m realizing I am worthy of happiness. I am worthy of self care. People actually love the lives they lead. Say what?! Yes, it’s true and I want me some of dat! {no that’s not a typo!} They feel whole. Satisfaction. Complete. Energized. Uplifted. Supported. I’m tired of being tired. I’m tired of constantly feeling drained. I want to live in the moment, heck I want to seize the moment… Every single moment of every day. No regrets. No I wish I would haves. None of that. Intentional, authentic, life breathing living is what 2016 is going to be all about. I want to develop deep, meaningful, life breathing relationships. And those which no longer serve me? I want to let those go. I want to enjoy and appreciate all this life has to offer.

I’m hoping to become better assimilated to this lifestyle by reading Brene Browns The Gifts of Imperfections- I’ll let you know how that goes. Part of me is scared to death to even open the first page… The other part of me feels like a 4 year old on Christmas morning. Ever since I was a little girl I remember trying my hardest to cover any imperfections that others may see. Any jagged edges that don’t allow me to fit in. My entire life that is all I have wanted- to fit in. To feel like I have a strong belonging to a supportive and uplifting community. I wanted to create the perfect life. The perfect scenery. The perfect backdrop. Well guess what? 30 years later I am realizing that doesn’t exist. Now that I’m realizing this I feel like it is time for me to figure out how to live with and embrace my imperfections because those imperfections have brought me to where I am and who I have become.

I am realizing…everyone’s path is unique including mine, and that is what makes us so special.

I am realizing…the world would be a pretty boring place if we all had the same stories. Can you imagine? How could we create any connections with others if every single one of us was the same? Sound pretty lame to me.

I am realizing that my community and my people are out there. And when I find them they will accept all of me. I won’t have to hide or cover up or pretend.

These are just a few of the realizations I have come to and want to continue to develop in the coming year. I hope you stick around and join me on this journey!

 

Welcoming in the New!

I have to say New Years is quickly growing to be my most favorite time of the year. Do you feel the same? Or maybe it’s just me getting older… Either way I love the feeling of a new start, which is ironic because I don’t do well with change- go figure. I love the breath of fresh air that comes with the new year. A clean slate. A fresh start. A do-over for all that has gone wrong or undone in the past year. A time for reflection. Quiet. Calm and stillness always come over me. No matter what happened in the past year it doesn’t matter. Because it’s a New year. A New you. A fresh start. A new beginning. It feels like the perfect opportunity to start something new…Paul says, “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!” (2 Corinthians 5:17 NIV
For me that newness looks like completely turning my life upside down. Taking inventory. Getting rid of the garbage. All things tangible and intangible. Letting go of the good to make room for the great! Making room. Creating space. Letting in the love, light, and most of all joy! Lots of it! 
Oh I will be so thankful to say goodbye and good riddens to 2015. It certainly was a year of hurt, heartache, despair, health scares, and heaviness. With all the bad there was some good. And the good is what got me through. The good is what led me right to where I am. Right here. Right now. Would I have chosen this path? Never in a million years. Pain and heartache is terrible, but from it comes growth. From heart heavy experiences newness is birthed. Right before our eyes. I learned this year that heartache is a part of life. It’s real, and we are all going to experience it at some point. I am beginning to realize this. It’s a terrible thing to walk through, but for me it has made me truly appreciate all that remains. Heartache and pain force us to look back on the wonderful, happy memories we were fortunate enough to experience. These brief moments help to fill in those cracks, sometimes craters, we have experienced. They give way to new found connection and friendships. Authentic connection. Deep life breathing relationships.

  

On Being Present

For far too long I have been living life on auto pilot. I haven’t been feeling, experiencing, seeing, or being with what’s around me. I haven’t been present in my life. And worst of all I haven’t been growing. I’ve become stagnant. Stuck. Nowhere to go and no path in sight. I’ve been chained to this life and all that surrounds it. I’ve been on the bitterness express and I’ve been the conductor. No more. No more excuses. No more unhappy. No more next time. The time is now. The moment is now. If I want to laugh I’m going to laugh. If I want to give someone a hug, I’m going to give that hug. I want to become a person who actually enjoys living the life I lead. I have been given so many things I wished for since I was a little girl, and I want to make the most of this journey I have been blessed with. I want to have a smile on my face, and I want to share that smile with other and maybe make them smile too. I want to impact others. I want to uplift. I want to go with the flow, and let go of the overthinking. I want to experience. I don’t want to be afraid. I want to get messy. I want to be present. But most of all I want to feel. I want to be present. All the time. Always. I want to feel this life I have been given. The good, the happy, and everything in between. I want to feel my heart beating every single day and I want to be overflowing with thankfulness that it is. I want to feel grace, as well as give it. I want to feel worthy, and let someone else know how worthy they are. I want to feel loved and appreciated and let others know how much I love and appreciate them. I want to be me. I want to be the exact person I was meant to be and I don’t wanna be ashamed for it. I want to be present and feel this life. Every single damn day!  ​

  

An Update

Life has been crazy.

I feel like I start the majority of my posts that way-but the truth is life is CRAZY-with 3 kids (and all boys) there is really no other way to describe it.

I cannot believe Christmas is almost here…I feel like I am FINALLY just recovering from Back to school-anyone else?

Time is flying by, and I certainly cannot get a handle on it.

Our youngest turned 4.  FOUR!

How did that happen?

Our boys are now officially 4, 6, and 8…

We’ve celebrated birthdays, Thanksgiving, attended a wedding (which our big 4 year old was in), and have really been spending A LOT of time together as a family.

Hubby got that promotion at work he had been busting his back for and while I am so, so thankful and thrilled I must admit it is a little bit scary.

While it finally feels like we are “real” adults with two “real” incomes and that is what we have been working so  incredibly hard for these past few years-I must admit this new lifestyle comes with its own challenges.

I posted a few weeks ago about meal planning and putting our family on a budget.

Its been great. Don’t get me wrong-its been very, very hard and challenging, but great all at the same time.

And if there’s one thing I am always up for-its a challenge!

Our family’s lifestyle has been completely changed. Like turned upside down, shaken, and then turned right side up again.

I like to think of myself as more of a “modern day” housewife where I prefer my house to be cleaned for me, and my meals to be ordered for me, or at the very least picked up by me.

Our new lifestyle means I now do the cooking and cleaning-every.single.night

Its funny because all of those years my husband and I spent bartending we really had a disposable income-and didn’t even know it!

 One where if we needed extra cash we just picked up an extra shift.

Or sometimes we had a really, really busy night at work-one that would allow us to make up for a slower night and then some.

Now we have one set income coming in and going out and that is it. No extras.

So, to say it is taking some getting used to is definitely a good way to put it.

Its great, it really is and trust me it comes with A LOT more stability than the ebbs and flows that come along with being a bartender-not to mention the great benefits we now have thanks to his promotion.

We are still getting our feet wet, and trying out different budgets to see what works best for our family.

Some days are great and out of this world, and some days I am thankful that tomorrow means a new day and a fresh start.

What has been going on in your life lately?

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