5 Things People Who Value Their Self-Worth Do Differently

As you drift off to sleep each night, you begin to dread the next day and it hasn’t even happened yet.  You wonder if anyone would even notice if you didn’t show up for work.  You are tired of going through the motions when it seems other people are out there living.  What are they doing differently??  You ask yourself this question for the hundredth time.  How are they making it look so damn easy when each and every day is a struggle just to get out of bed…

5 Things People Who Value Their Self-Worth Are Doing:

  1. Secure people are making time for their self-care routines.  That doesn’t mean they are ignoring everyone else, it just means they know how important it is to put the oxygen mask on first in order to help others.  This is a huge block for most people.  You feel selfish.  The opposite of that is actually caring.  you are caring for yourself like no one else will, and you better believe you have every right to feel good.
  2. Confident people set firm boundariesNo means no.  They don’t say things like “I’m sorry, but…” and then explain why because that might leave a hole for some wiggle room.  I said no to someone recently based on my own self-care and then got a but what if.  Umm.  No.  I said no, I mean no.  Don’t let the other person make you feel guilty for taking care of yourself.  If this were reversed surely they wouldn’t feel guilty, right?  So don’t feel the need to explain yourself.  Again, only you can set your limits.
  3. Courageous people accept responsibility for their own lives.  In my talk today, I used a quote from Brené Brown “Courage starts with showing up and letting ourselves be seen.”  When we stand in our own glorious mess, we don’t project or deflect the blame.  We step up and say here I am.  This is my life and I am entirely responsible for HOW I am being.  How I am showing up, and what I am throwing down.  Can I get an amen or a right on sister here?  This is such a vital lesson that many don’t learn their whole lives.
  4. Brave people let go of past guilt.  This is so hard.  Everything up until this moment has been a choice and just like I said today in my talk, if you could have done better back then, you really would have.  You were doing the best that you could, so let that shit go.  Yup (pooh doesn’t have the same effect).  Guilt is just another block on the path to accepting yourself so you can use it as a paver or stepping stone.  See it, acknowledge it, but lay it on down.
  5. Positive people don’t stay around negative influences.  They know when it’s time to move on.  This can be at work, avoiding those gossiping ladies, or even in a relationship that just isn’t working out for you anymore.  Whatever it is, know when it’s time to move on down the road.  Sing the song “Moving On Up” in your head as you get away from these situations.  Seriously.  The Jefferson’s approve.  Higher vibrations are much better for you anyway.

If you are interested in the whole FB Live chat, see this link here.  Next month, in the Head|Heart|Health Club we are going to be removing the blocks to worthiness, letting go of guilt, and working on replacing these old patterns of thought with new ones.  I am super excited about the content and can’t wait to have you join us!!  We will be diving really deep into the cycle of negative thoughts, setting up new boundaries and testing for weaknesses, and creating affirmations on self-love which will lead us to a more confident outlook on life.

Head|Heart|Health Club members area

7 Ways to Spend Less Money and Have More.

Over the weekend, I tried to clear out my junk mail folder, but more e-mails kept appearing with things I needed that were on sale.  I am going to be honest, what I like to spend money on now is not necessarily more clutter, it is less.  I am buying very introspective gifts, and I am loving it.

I am doing this because I have found in really thinking about the things I want more of, it’s not necessarily more items, it happens to be more of the feeling associated with the item.  Catch my drift?

Last year, I was worried about money.  Worry begets more worry.  This year, I am not worried about money, but I am learning to have a much better relationship with it…so it can last longer and perhaps do that thing in my bank account called multiply.  No matter where you are in your money journey, this lesson is for you.

7 Ways to Spend Less (and really have more):

  1. If money was no object, make a list of things you’d really want.  Seriously.  Now look at that list, and think about what you really need.  Go back and circle those items.  Of the ones circled is there a pattern you can identify?  Like clothes?  Food?  Things to keep you warm?  Do you have lots of things on your list that are far-fetched or is there a feeling behind them that you are trying to reproduce?  Write down the feeling if the word comes to you.  Just let it sit there and marinate for a while.
  2. Look around your house.  What is truly enough for you? Do you have plenty of food in the refrigerator?  Do you have plenty of clothes?  I read the other day that we, in the United States, have so many clothes donated that yearly clothes are being thrown away in landfills…and they don’t magically go away.  It’s not like they are biodegradable.  I know that I am a clothes hoarder, so I listened to what it said about maybe just buying the higher quality items that last a while longer instead of the cheaply made things.  I also thought about all the ways you can reuse items.  If you are crafty, you know those pins where you magically turn your shirt into a vest or a scarf?  I love those ideas in theory, but I am just sticking to buying less.
  3. Save the dough.  There are a few theories about paying for things in cash.  I personally have been paying off credit cards, and trying to get my husband on board with this no credit card thing.  Sadly, he isn’t as on board with this idea, so I make him turn around and pay it right off.  He never looked at the interest really…he was a minimum monthly payment guy.  I said look, there is no point in couponing the heck out of everything when you can save money just by actually using cash.  Seriously.  I mean if you have mad couponing skills, go ahead with your bad self.  I am lucky if they take the one off the package that I buy specifically because it had that coupon attached.  And that’s okay.  Don’t feel guilty, just shop smarter on big purchases if you can.
  4. Bargain hunt…your gyms, yoga, exercise classes.  I admit that it’s probably easier to stay at one place, but how often do you buy a contract for ohhh say $60 a month and not go?  I stopped doing that after I realized I was wasting money.  I even stopped my $10 gym contract.  I now only buy what I need.  Groupon for a month on my local yoga studio is half the price.  Special offers, I will take that.  New people get a week free, oh sign me up.  But the best kept secret is the places that offer 10 class passes as they are cheaper and you are sure to use the number of classes.  Read all the fine print and the expiration date.  Let’s be honest.  In January you are going to think you “need” to join a gym.  Ask for a 10 pack of classes somewhere for your Christmas gift or birthday.  Also, ask for your friend to ask for the same thing so you have an accountability partner.
  5. Create mostly free night outs with your friends.  Do you like to journal, color, or just chat after a long week over some wine?  Well, invite everyone to your house and make it half the price as going out.  Likewise, get your friends in on the deal.  It really can be a nice way to spend time without paying lots of money.  Set up monthly rotations if you want to, but it really does save money!
  6. Circle back around to your list from up top.  Identify where you spend money to feel better.  I used to shop mindlessly because new clothes made me feel better.  Now, I buy a few online courses for around $10 and work on quiet practices.  I buy my friends books off of Kindle when they go for sale for like .99 cents.  If I am feeling restless, I head out the door on a walk or I do yoga outside or at a studio.  I have identified the problems that were making me want to spend money on things I didn’t need.  One of the first things I notice is have I been on the computer too much?  Why is this a problem?  That brings me to my last point.
  7. You are enough.  Your friend is posting about her new car, clothes, expensive bag, trip, hat <<< whatever.  What feelings rise to the surface as soon as you see it?  Observe these feelings for a minute and then be happy for your friend, but know that you are enough.  You have enough.  There is no one out there like you, and that is true.  Comparison, in my opinion, is the root of many woes.  We see the glossy surface of the person…the trips…the selfies they upload every single day, but in reality, it tells you nothing about what is going on underneath it all.  It is just the highs and trust me, everyone equally has their fair share of lows.

In the end, you know that money doesn’t truly make you happy…okay, fine.  It does help.  However, paying it forward to someone in need, donating gently used clothes to a family, collecting food, donating your time to the soup kitchens and making the homeless blessing bags.

Let Alone

5 Signs You’re Living Authentically

Why is it so difficult now to spot the real deal?  In a world full of people who are not genuine, how can you channel your inner light?  We all know what kinds of friends we have at a glance, but what about the people who we do business with, or are “friends” with only over the internet, but yet you don’t really know in real life?  The kinds of people who bail on something if it doesn’t serve them, take credit for work they didn’t create or downplay the good points of someone because they want to somehow seem “more than”.

The truth is, there have always been these kinds of people.  However, with the rise of the internet and the social media spotlight, these kinds of people are coming out of the woodwork to build a platform for themselves.  As a friend of mine said recently, it’s kind of like the Wild West.  They are out there selling their snake oil and buyers are lining up.  Instead of worrying about what they are doing, take a closer look at what living authentically really means.

5 Signs You’re Living an Authentic Life:

  1. Upon meeting someone new for the very first time, you try hard to focus on the meaning behind their words.  You want to get to the heart and soul of the matter.  Riches, job titles, clothes and the like are of little interest in who they really are, and you can see past the image they are trying to project.
  2. Your purpose is pure.  Okay, we all have sinned.  Not one of us is perfect, but you know your purpose and it’s coming from a good place.  You work hard to be true around other people, and you honestly expect others to do the same.  You expect a genuine dialog with your friends and even if it’s not always what you want to hear, you are glad you surround yourself with honest people.
  3. As with being true to your word, you expect more than surface level conversations.  If the topics get really into the heart of the matter, you shine best there.  Even if it’s something you would prefer not to discuss, as long as everyone is okay with having a different view on it, you really try to listen.  If you have a strong sense of self-worth as well, then these conversations can be illuminating.  You don’t doubt yourself or your thoughts, you just listen to the other side with interest.  It doesn’t mean it’s going to sway your opinion of the subject matter, but you can still listen without negativity.
  4. You check to make sure you are staying in alignment with your mission.  I was recently asked to do a side job for a pretty decent sum.  It is actually the second time this has happened to me, and I again said no.  Not because I like saying no to money…but because I say no to anything that isn’t going to propel me in the direction of my dreams.  Having more money doing something that is not in alignment with who I am actually just doesn’t feel right for me.  I know what I am meant to do and I choose only to work on projects that align with that.
  5. You aren’t out to please everyone.  Again, this goes with the above reference.  You can say no to something that doesn’t work for you, and realize that it’s okay.  I said no in the nicest possible way even though the person was using his connections as a carrot dangling over me.  At the end of the day, you have be okay with your decisions.  Not the other person.  You can take responsibility for your life.

As you think about the contacts in your life, I hope this helps you to continue to stay true to your mission and live as authentically as you can.  Feel free to share with a friend or comment on other ways you live an authentic life!

IntegrityWant daily guidance on staying true to who you are?  Check out the Head|Heart|Health Club. <<< 

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On Speaking Your Truth (and how to release the outcome)

Dear friends,

How difficult is it for you to stand up for yourself in a way that honors your spirit and soul and yet allows you to release the outcome?  If you are like me, this might be difficult.  As I write from the heart about my experiences, I have had many days where after I hit the publish on a post I want to take it back.  One such day was the day I poured out my heart and soul on my empath post.

I was getting messages, friend requests and more.  The Facebook fan page always welcomes my fans and I appreciate your many messages of support.  What I did not expect was outright plagiarism of my work.  This did not come my fans, but other sites claiming to work from the heart.  Working from the heart, using my experiences.  Interesting.

So as I work through speaking the truth without fear of my voice being stolen, I would like to offer you some advice. <<< By the way, I feel like Ariel and the Sea-witch Ursula.  Sites trying to lure people in…using other voices.

On Speaking Your Truth:

  1. Live by being authentic.  If I would advise you on something, I better be ready to do the same thing.  I want to give you genuine advice that I would want given to me.  That is pretty simple to follow.
  2. Live by example.  If you tell the world that you wouldn’t do something, but you do it anyway, well, there really is no truth in that.  My for example is that now the site of my stolen work has a disclaimer saying I can nicely ask them to take it down.  I tried that, but then they just re-wrote it slightly different, still using my experiences.  Interesting.
  3. Have the courage to speak up…without fear that you are doing something wrong.  You know the old saying, two wrongs don’t make a right?  Well, if you speak up about an issue that is important to you, and you do so in a manner that is true to you, as nice as you think you can be in this situation just stating plain facts, you are doing what you felt called to do.  You can still walk away with your head high because you tried to do the right thing.
  4. Only take care of you.  This one is hard because you really want the other person to do the right thing and understand how you feel in this situation, but the bottom line is, they might not care.  You can’t micromanage the feelings that the other person should have.  This is very difficult if you are someone who feels very deeply.  The other person might be emotionally detached from the situation and therefore, just not be invested in the outcome like you are.
  5. Let. It. Go.  How many of you get to this point, but just stay in the driver seat like Thelma and Louise going over the cliff?  Yup.  You are not sure what to do.  I get it because I am just like you.  Letting go requires that we have a greater faith in the universe and God (or whatever you believe), and that we are being supported as we go through the hard things in life.  Trust me.  You guys have read my about me.  I honestly believe that I am being supported as I navigate life and that each step is to show me something I might not have considered before.

As I stared at my work being taken, a feeling of sadness overtook me.  What am I supposed to learn from this?  How can I protect myself and my readers? 

If you read through a blog article and you get to the bottom of the article, look to see if the source is there, really hidden away.  If it was taken from another blog without that person knowing, go directly to the blog and say something like “Hey, I just read this on this site called Steal All Your Stuff (fake name).”  Here is where I found it, and copy the link.  These sites have no photos usually of the owner and appear to have fake names as well.  Why are they hiding?

Usually, if permission was given, the source will be credited right at the beginning saying guest post from X.  Or used with author’s permission from X source.  It will be boldly at the top…not hidden away, with another author’s name at the top like they wrote it.  Also, what I have found is that sites who work correctly also give a nice author’s bio at the bottom.  This benefits both sites.  It shows that the author has in fact, given his/her blessing.

It’s sometimes difficult to be an advocate for yourself, but hopefully if you advocate for others, it will get easier to tell your truth as well. 

breathe

5 Signs You are Being Treated Like a Doormat

You always say yes.  Even when it’s inconvenient timing or you are about to eat dinner.  Your friend “needs” you yet again or your partner asks you to do this one little thing he or she just doesn’t have time to do.  You might even be the go-to person at work…working long after hours, because the boss just knows that you will say yes.  Yes, sure I will do this.

What are the signs?

  1. You try to have a good nature about everything…so it gets used.  Because you naturally want something great to happen for your friend, they ask you to do more things like that.  Plan an outing, sure.  Keep their kids all day?  Why not.  You were only going to relax from exhaustion.  Pay for everything because they always forget their money <<< wait.  Big sign.  Big.  Let’s split this bill?  But they ordered lobster, 2 martinis and a flaming desert brought to the table by a monkey wearing a fez.  You ordered water and a salad.  Say no to splitting the bill.
  2. What you do is clearly not appreciated...in fact, they act surprised if you mention they asked you to do x, y, z for them last weekend so you can’t right now.  They do not reciprocate at all, nor will they ever.  Never.  Be honest with yourself.  How is this making you feel right now?  Are you beating yourself up for being so nice…and feeling used right now?  Write down your thoughts about the last time someone used you.
  3. One set of rules for them…another for you.  This one is huge.  I had an acquaintance, I thought she was a friend actually, but I know better now, who said that a few things I did were not okay.  If I made an observation for example, I was automatically judging OR gossiping.  But she could turn around and say “Oh look at so and so.  Umm.  I just don’t like them….what do you think <<<” At that time, and that time only, I could answer.  This borders on “policing” your behavior.  Being told what you can and can’t do.  It would be okay for her to act this way, but not me.  Snapping at you in front of adults, yet had you done the same thing, you would have heard about it.  This is setting limitations on what you can do, but they think it doesn’t apply to them.  This is manipulation in a friendship or relationship and it is wrong.
  4. Being treated this way makes you feel isolated and alone.  How you feel about this treatment is often ignored as well…but you are not alone.  You should not feel ashamed to speak out on someone who likes to use double standards in a relationship or friendship.  They have the do as I say not as I do attitude, but clearly you are starting to see this.  Get out now.  Go to counseling, therapy, write about it, but leave and don’t feel bad.  This is NOT about you.  It’s about them.  All about them.  They will continue to manipulate your feelings and try to turn it around so it is your fault.  It isn’t.
  5. They rarely contact you first…unless they need something.  In any type of relationship, whether it is home, friendship, relationship, work, or family, the only contact you get is when they need something.  I am learning to put up better barriers against this, but this is a big sign to me that I am not important.  They are too busy to listen to you, contact you, etc, but the moment they need something, the story changes.  My ex-sister-in-law comes to mind right now as well as a few others who are no longer in my life.  But I wouldn’t hear from that girl unless she wanted to bash my brother or have me babysit.  Period.  That was it for our entire “friendship”.  When I was really ill, she called me.  To ask me for a favor.  Didn’t know I was bad off.  Didn’t ever ask.  Not once.  That was the last time she called because I finally told her that I knew she only called me for 2 reasons and never once in 7 years asked me how I was doing.

How to handle it now.

  1. Talk to them first.  If you don’t you only have yourself to blame.
  2. If talking doesn’t improve anything at all, use distance.
  3. If distance doesn’t work as well as you’d like, make yourself completely unavailable to them for a very long time.
  4. If all else fails, leave the relationship or friendship so that you can make room for new people in your life who truly value you, your gifts and what you have to offer others.
  5. Start your own self-care routines that truly focus on your wellnessreserves

Want more help?  See the Work With Me tab as my Closed Group frequently does lots of work around setting up safe boundaries.

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3 Reasons You Don’t Trust.

 “Every time I’ve trusted people in the past I’ve been let down, so now it’s easier and less painful to just rely on myself.”  as this thought floats across your subconscious, you begin to feel lonely again, and then angry.  It shouldn’t have to be this hard in relationships, any relationship which includes friendship, to let your guard down without getting hurt.  Sadly, it is a work in progress and you’re about to give up.

hope_despair

Why is it difficult to trust?

Sometimes, we hold onto anger like a hot coal.  Yes, I got that from Buddha, but he goes on to say that you are the one who gets burned.  You.  Think about it.  You are mad at your spouse.  You have been mad at your spouse for years.  He/she probably doesn’t even know why you are angry anymore.  All you do is constantly talk about it with your friends.  You have not left the spouse yet, instead you stay behind your wall of resentment letting it spill out into all others areas of your life.  Work.  Friendships.  Children.  And finally, your mind.  It’s all-consuming to the point that no matter what anyone does to help you, you cling to that grievance and bitterness until you look up one day and you are all alone.

You have to decide how to get your life back and ask yourself some hard questions.

  1. Is the past holding you back?  I know that people in pain lash out.  But sometimes, enough is enough.  Are you trapped in a victim mentality?  Do you lash out at others and operate on low self-esteem all the time?  Your past experience with broken trust might stem as far back as childhood and you are dragging it around daily.  It is weighing you down.  You have become almost unrecognizable to your friends and they are desperately trying to lighten the load you carry, but you won’t let them.  You are the victim here and unfortunately, your past hurts are now dictating your present and maybe even your future.  Only you can control what is happening within you.  No one else.
  2. Are you harboring unrealistic expectations?  Here’s an interesting thought…do you have unclear expectations and perhaps have not ever voiced them?  Unspoken expectations in any relationship will likely not be heard.  Hmmm.  Think about that.  Trust is huge in a relationship whether or not you realize it and it has to be addressed openly and calmly.  However, oftentimes people don’t try to address it until it is way too late.  For example, I would have rather have had an awkward conversation than be at the front desk checking in when someone said “Sorry I missed your party last night.  We couldn’t make it over.”  And yet my friend had told me she was going to bed when I asked her what she was doing that night as I was trying to make plans with her.  I felt shame wash over me in that moment…my face actually got hot.  She was standing right beside me and lied to me.  I was not worthy of the truth?  That hurts.
  3. Are you defensive instead of honest?  Do you still harbor some resentment from childhood that makes you feel you have to come up with elaborate stories?  Look back at your role models, the people around you, your beliefs…were you lied to as a norm and so have come to accept that you can’t trust people?  If you constantly think you can’t trust people, anyone actually, and are always holding part of you back for fear of getting hurt, you will not experience fulfillment in any of your relationships.  They will feel slightly empty and the only thing to do about it is to finally trust someone with your biggest fears no matter how scary they are.  We can only love someone we trust and trust is actually one of the building blocks to any relationship.  All your interactions with people in life use trust as a foundation.  Think about your performance at work.  If you don’t trust your boss and you think he’s got dirty unethical business practices, are you more likely to work harder?  No you’re not.  You are going to leave work every chance you get.

The people who cannot trust are architects of their own misery.  They begin to see fault where there is none…even if they know you are an honest person.  Part of that is because they don’t know how to be truly honest with themselves.  It is very difficult, but not impossible, to rebuild a relationship after trust is broken; however, one thing is clear.  It takes both parties and you cannot continue to go down the same path.  You have to reign in your old actions, your old ways, your old responses that might be vague.  You have to be clear and have honest expectations.  You have to build your friendship or relationship up, and use good energy because trust me when I say this, the other person knows when you are lying or hiding something from them and it starts to wear down any good relationship.  For more help, see the tab Head|Heart|Health Club for a supportive group.

Escape PlanLike this post?  Feel free to tell me how you have handled a similar experience in a positive way.  ~Aimee

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The 6 things you need to know today.

Every once in a while, we get in a “rut”.  We feel as if we are not going anywhere and that our situation will never change.  I’m here to tell you it can and it will.  Just by implementing a few strategies, your life can change drastically…for the better.  We are works in progress and our job here is not done…yet.

The 6 things you need to know today.

  1. Money will not make you happy.  Okay, I know you are thinking “I’d be really happy if I won the lottery!!”  I would be happy too, but I’m not going to arrange my life around money.  I’m going to arrange my life around my passion, and once I am doing something I love, the money will come.  It will.  I am actually doing what I love right now.
  2. Be you. The choices others make in no way shape or form define who you are.  So they think you are making a mistake doing x,y and z.  That’s on them, not you.  Be around people who lift you up not bring you down.  Be true to you.
  3. Live in the present.  If this was your only take-away from this post, I would be happy.  Put the damn phone DOWN.  Step away.  I know that I am working on this one too…so you can comment if you have solved this, but I love the post that is on Facebook about the group of people out to dinner and the phones are in the middle.  The first one to reach for their phone pays for the meal.  Ta-dah.  Being present and accountable!  It’s a win-win.  Even if the conversation around you is not something you can contribute to, being fully aware of the moment is important to us all. 
  4. Take risks.  Never apologize for taking a chance.  A risk.  For stepping out on that limb even if you hear a crack.  Because the bottom line is…you would have always wondered “what if” and now you don’t have to live with that.  There is a chance your choice could be just what you were looking for.  It might even be life-changing.
  5. Happiness depends on you.  There is no magical castle where they give out happiness wands just for visiting…or magic beans.  You have to work hard at deciding what you will let in and what you want to keep out.  For me, this is always a work in progress as I do pick up on the moods of others, but it’s my choice what I let in.  Mine and mine alone.  Choosing another way takes practice.  Focusing on the good I have in my life works wonders.
  6. Love.  You know, as a child, I don’t remember random people telling me that they loved me.  I don’t remember friends telling me that either…until I became an adult.  Why is it so hard to think in terms of love?  We are humans doing the best we can.  We make mistakes.  We fail.  We cry.  We hurt.  We get hurt by other people.  We are simply trying to navigate some pretty hard storms at times and it’s okay to say “I love you.  I made a mistake.  I am here for you.”  If you haven’t said this someone today, try it and see what happens.  P.S.  I love you for being here today and truly taking the time to read this.

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Motivational Monday…Jackasses.

Sometimes, people grow apart.  It happens.  Sometimes, jealous people sabotage friendships.  It happens.  And sometimes, people do dumb things for no apparent reason.

You aren’t the jackass whisperer.

I saw a friend post about someone blocking her…and she had no idea why.  Why not simply tell the person what’s going on?  Isn’t that easier?  I guess not.  It’s like peek a boo as a kid.  If you put on your blinders then the other person clearly doesn’t exist anymore, right?  Hmm.

Let’s try this one on for size, you comment, like, say congrats, I am thinking about you, praying for you or whatever, and the person never ever says diddly squat back.  You message them, and the message obviously got lost in between the interwebs black hole, even though it says seen.  Or read.  Or they pretended to read it and clicked that thing where it appears they didn’t but you know they did.  Hmm.

Lastly, the person who must be a stalker.  They know what you are doing, but don’t click like on anything you ever post, convincing you they must have just hidden you.  One day, out of the blue you announce something great and all of a sudden, they start noticing you again.  What’s this all about?  I don’t know.  Sometimes I wonder about people. Their motives. Their hate. Their spite. The fake book, and the un-following…which is worse than un-friending. At least if they are gone, that’s one less negative energy in your life. But go ahead and let them look. Live your life.

I propose we stop living in the virtual friendship land, and remember that the person behind the computer screen has real feelings.  They are flesh and blood, and do in fact, have feelings.  In the event we need encouragement to move on though, here you go:

Haters gonna hate

Why can’t be people be real?  I guess Taylor sings it best.  Warning, scary movie advertisement before video.  Haha, but for real.

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Being terribly real…

On the journey to motherhood, I didn’t pause to consider what it was going to be like after I had my daughters.  I never thought for a second about play dates, getting out of the house with two babies, or how I would live in pajamas…for a long time.  The only things I thought of were the sweet baby smell, and the adorable girl clothes all ready to put on my first baby.  It was easy for a while.  I know that sounds crazy, but it was.  She was a good baby after I got over the initial “How the heck do you breast feed right?” phase.  I was constantly tired, but it was a good tired.  One I could live with.  Until the day I found out I was pregnant with baby number 2.  The first one was only 9 months old.  Wow.  Was not expecting that.Real

So fast forward to having 2 baby girls.  The struggle was real as they say.  I came up with the idea of play dates to get out of the house.  With moms I had never met before in my life.  It was wonderful, and I could reflect on that bonding experience for a long time, but what I want to get across is this point.  When we finally got past the pleasantries and being “real” with each other, it was a much better experience.  If you look past the cleaning like a mad woman before anyone came over for a play date (dumb thinking).  Making sure I had the right snacks out, and everything was prepped and ready so it appeared things were effortless.  Again, how dumb was that?  Not being embarrassed when my girls wanted to just sit and eat snacks instead of playing.  Like you can control your kids.  Hahaha.  When they are toddlers (new mom thinking is warped).

So as I have gotten older, and I visit my friends with kids, guess what y’all??  We don’t clean before anyone comes over.  We don’t.  It’s liberating.  I might be in something nice-ish, or I might be in yoga pants.  We don’t pretend that our lives are perfect.  And that the snacks float out to the table magically.  Although that would be pretty cool.  Heck, we don’t even know what we’re having for dinner half the time.  Or if there really is food in the house.  Some nights, it’s every human for themselves.  But why did it take so long to learn this?

When you meet someone, I know it takes a long time to get “real”.  Unless you quickly peel back the layers and say, “Oh there you are.  I like this you.  The real you.”  So if you are hurting and in pain because you think no one understands you, I want to ask you this, have you given them a chance yet?  Are you still the clean house, perfect food, immaculate outfits, and everything is nice and shiny, because believe me sister, life isn’t always nice and shiny.  Find the friends who are going to be there with you in the trenches and scream “Go for cover!” when the next life crisis is thrown at you.  Those are the ones who matter the most.  The ones who lift you up when life gets real.

Read more about heart-centered living here.

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What is programming?

Sometimes, you do the hard things first just to get them out-of-the-way.  Other times, you do them last…putting them off until you can wait no longer.  Many people have been broken by the “hard things” as they carry them around.  Yesterday in my yoga teacher training, we talked about a burden I still carry.  I have gone through a different sort of spiritual awakening and not everyone is going to be there when I am done.  I know this.  That being said, it doesn’t matter how much you know, how much you prepare yourself mentally for making the hard choices, it still hurts when people closest to you don’t understand, or worse, decide they know what’s best for you in your life and how you should handle a situation. 

What is programming anyway?

Because let’s say that the roles were reversed.  Would you know how to handle their pain?  Their righteousness?  Their “programming” as it appears?  Chances are, you would not.  It never fails to amaze me how many ugly things I see out there on the internet or social media platforms.  One in particular happened just last week.  An old friend from high school posted something he found funny…in defense of being gay.  You know where this is going.  He is openly gay…some people from our old way of life were programmed to think differently.  It ended up being rather sad…for the hater.  Not my friend.  He handled it well.

No matter what you think about another person’s way of life or beliefs, I want you to stop for a moment and think about what they have to carry through life.  Then think about what you are carrying.  Are you helping carry this person’s burden and do you genuinely care about them or are you just trying to persuade them that your beliefs are better than theirs thus adding to their burden??  Getting into an argument on social media and trying to persuade the masses about your way of thinking and how it’s been handed down from the mouth of God Himself helps absolutely no one.  What it does instead is send your ego forward.  You are no longer thinking with your heart…because if you were, you would understand that this person is carrying their own stuff the best they can and you pointing out their faults is clearly trying to break them down.  And honestly, I don’t think God instructs this way.  It’s time we stop doing that to each other my friends.

Carry

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