How Losing Narcissistic Friends Opens Up Space for Good Energy.

I know the title might be shocking.  We never want to willingly lose a friend.  Not really.  But sometimes these things can’t be helped and we need to see them for what they really are.  A blessing in disguise.

As someone who wants to heal others, I naturally attract people who need healing.  This can come in all forms, from past relationships, family members, strangers, yes, and then friends.

What I have come to realize now, is that it is completely normal and even healthy, to lose friends as I grow and wake up to what I am meant to do with my abilities.  I know that I need healthy boundaries, and in the past, was not aware that I was constantly being drained by allowing these friends so much of my time.  Whew.  It was honestly a cycle I didn’t know how to get out of.

Empaths are tuned into feelings at an unnaturally high state.  We have been living this way for our whole lives, so the truth is, we really aren’t aware others don’t notice the same things we do…for a while.  The worst part of it for me personally, was hearing the lie almost before it was said.

Time and time again, I was told things that were simply not true.  I knew it immediately, yet, I truly loved this friend, so I let it pass because I thought there must be a good reason for it.  <<< note, there isn’t.

Narcissists have convinced themselves that the world is truly a bad place and they are the only ones who can be trusted.  They desire to be desired, admired, and sought after.  They rarely question their own logic because they have lied to themselves and others so much, that whatever story they project they actually start to believe.

If you have a problem, theirs is 10 times bigger and the worst so naturally, you end up spending the most time speaking of their issues.  And forget it if you do something that deserves praise.  They won’t be clicking like on that post.

As the narcissist comes in for the win, they find a highly sensitive person/empath who can help them with their problems time and time and time and time again.  If this sounds familiar, it’s time to free yourself from this cycle.

How to open yourself up to good energy:

  1. Start setting up clear boundaries.  If it is your dinner time, and the person really has a need, they can wait.  If they appear agitated, mad, or won’t speak to you for a while because you have to go, that might be a sign.
  2. Take charge of what is your “stuff” and do not absorb theirs.  I try not to type cuss words, but in your head, you know what I mean.  It is very important that you stay level-headed and know that the energy you might feel after talking to them is not your own.  I once described a situation I went through to another sensitive friend, and she said she was grumpy afterward…but recognized it wasn’t my stuff or hers.  It was the residual feelings of what I went through.  Do you ever feel drained, mad, upset at your spouse after talking to a friend?  Yup.  It might have been their stuff.
  3. Find and cultivate a space for high energy and gratitude.  I know that people are often not aware of this, but replacing old patterns of thoughts with higher ones, actually helps us.  It really protects us from that draining feeling and improves our health!  Gratitude opens us up to attract more abundance into our lives.
  4. Forgive yourself and know when it is time to walk away from things that do not lift you up!  I read every night before bed and I write in my journal.  In a nutshell, last night I was thinking about uplifting others and how that feels compared to the energy of being dragged down and trampled.  I don’t know why I never saw it before, but I am so happy I can recognize it now, and steer clear from it.  My intuition always tells me way ahead of time, but sometimes I tamp it down because I truly want to believe the person can change…but the truth is, they have to want that change and many don’t.  Recognize this pattern in your friendships now so you can start to create that space you need for good energy.

Thank you so much for reading, and if you are looking for more gratitude in your life, feel free to find my closed group.

True Health

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Why You Must Stop Comparing Yourself to Others.

Today happens to be Monday.  If you have been following for a long while, you know I used to write these “Motivational Monday” posts…but if you search that term, I have quite a few.  So instead of using the broad term now, I come up with something that all of my readers happen to be struggling with based off something that I am working on as well.  Today is no different.

I am changing how I do “Mondays” in my life.  Before I even sit down to look at my fan page, before I even respond to anyone, I am walking with my friend every Monday now.  This is not how everyone else in Social Media Land does their Mondays…I know.  But the thing is, I don’t have to be like everyone else.

Aimee loves writing.

So here’s a funny little story about me.  I have written things since I was tiny.  I have spiral notebooks of the worst poetry you can ever imagine from my teen years.  I have epic papers saved on every literature topic known to man, somewhere in my filing cabinet.  I have children’s stories written and saved and not shown or read to anyone…except my own children.  And then I have the blog.  The blog that I started writing under a drawing of an elf…under a fake name.  Until one day someone said, hey, is this yours?  And I finally said yes.

The cat was out of the bag.

So why was I afraid to be known for something I loved?  Good question.  I think it started because I was afraid to be criticized…and I was writing about very personal things at first.  My health.  My teaching career.  And having a mid-life crisis…except it wasn’t mid-life.  I was just 35 at the time.  Everyone else seemed to have their shit together and I had been falling apart since the start of my career…at 23 years old.  But then something glorious happened.  People started being honest.  They started being real.

People were faking it as well.

People started telling me about different things they went through.  Health scares, and anger.  Depression, anxiety and wondering what was next for them as well.  Living with invisible diseases was like trying to pretend I was “normal”, but I didn’t know what normal was anymore…and apparently, neither did most people.  I was…get this…normal.  So as I looked around at my friends, we dropped the masks.  Yup.  Took them off about 5 years ago, like really took them off.

We got deep and real and said guess what?  Sometimes I wish I had a clean house like so and so.  Or sometimes I wish I was more laid back like you.  And of course my secret, after developing autoimmune, I hate cooking.  So I would look at these moms with their meals and their shit together photos and be like damn.  I don’t even want to think about it.

So how does all this help you?

  1. No one is you.  Repeat it.  Accept the fact that no matter who is out there on social media, in your circle, or in the carpool line, they don’t have the same story as you.  They weren’t raised the same, don’t have the same values, morals and even ethics as you, and whatever they are doing now, might not even make you happy.  You don’t know what they had to do to get where they are.
  2. They might actually be jealous of you.  A friend once stopped speaking to me because I have a supportive husband.  Yes, that was it.  I didn’t know why, and we didn’t speak for months.  Even deleted me off social media.  A mutual friend let it slip.  Wow.  I felt bad for her actually.  She was so unhappy in her life that she couldn’t actually look at my life?  Dude.  That was harsh.  I had no idea.  Hilarious post on beating envy can be read here…after this!
  3. It is okay to have success.  There is not a cap on success.  You can be successful and so can other people.  What if you covet the success of other people because you don’t feel as successful?  Start to think of all the things you do well.  Seriously.  You have accomplished lots and it’s time to be proud.  If your success is that you are taking care of your family, your bills and getting up and going to work without complaining, that is something to be proud of.  Maybe you make the best school lunch in town.  Maybe you do your kid’s hair just so.  Maybe you make what little you have stretch and stretch.  That is still success.
  4. Comparing yourself to others breeds resentment.  I once knew someone so green with envy, she seriously could have turned into the Wicked Witch of the West.  The funny thing was, everyone, and I do mean everyone, appeared to think she was Glenda the Good Witch.  But underneath it all she would murmur, my stuff is as good as theirs.  I don’t see why they’re getting noticed.  She would whisper I can’t stand her.  And then be like heyyyy girl.  Love your hair.  Love what you’re doing right now.  So happy for you.  And start mumbling again.  Whew.  Bye Felicia.  I don’t want to turn green as well.
  5. In the end, focus only on what you can change…about yourself.  Ruminating doesn’t help us break the cycle.  Get over it, get it out, and move on.  Compare yourself to where you were last month…that’s fine.  Compare yourself to where you were years ago.  That’s also fine.  But don’t worry about what others are doing…because if they are smart, they aren’t worried about what you are doing.  It’s a losing battle and one that ultimately is a time-suck.  You are far better off journaling your intentions, your affirmations and your goals.  That’s time well spent.

Start today with a few of these articles to help you move forward.

6 Things No One Else Controls Except You!

I still really love this:  Tiny Continuous Improvements.

And this Motivational Monday on new habits.

Water your own garden

Stop Approval Seeking Behavior With These 5 Steps

Take 3 deep breaths.  Think back on your childhood and things you did to get attention.  Were they good behaviors to be seen as the good child or were they naughty actions to be seen as someone who needed to be scolded and constantly reminded to try better?  No matter which route you took, or even a combination, you were probably trying to win approval from the adults around you.  Depending on the reactions you got, it further reinforced this behavior.

I am going to be honest, as a child, I don’t know if I just liked the bad route or if I got used to being told “Stop that Aimee.  Go to your room.”  But I probably thought that was my name for a while.  Gotoyourroom.  <<< my name.  So I got used to lots of alone time and introspection.  Not a bad thing, really, but I did want to fit in as I got older.

Apparently, we have been wired since before time, seriously, to be a “pack” or a group.  It used to be linked to survival just like in animals, but times have changed.  We aren’t trying to forage in the cold wilderness and seek shelter.  We have evolved; however, someone forgot to tell us that.  We are still seeking that pack acceptance…the need to fit in.

At home we want our parents, siblings, and relatives to like us.  We genuinely want to have love and with love, we feel like we have to have that approval.  That doting grandma beaming at our accomplishments creating the shrine to how great we are.  Saving that last bite of special cake for us.  This does not always happen.  Ha.  Sometimes, we are the black sheep.  Baaaa.

At work we want our co-workers to give us high-fives in the hallway.  Our boss to nod at us in respect and say things like “You saved the x account today.  Single handed.  It was all you.”  You want that Elle Woods moment in the court room where everyone thought you weren’t paying attention, but you were smarter than you looked.  But the truth is, sometimes your life is more like Friends where Chandler has worked at his office for years and not a soul knows what he does.

You ask yourself questions each and every night like:

  • Will I still be liked if I am 15 pounds heavier?
  • What if I don’t wear the exact right outfit to work tomorrow?  Will they laugh at me?
  • What if I stand up and say no to something that is wrong with this policy at work?  Will I get fired?
  • What if I answer truthfully because I am really tired of how I have been treated…will I still have love/respect/a place in this world?
  • What if I was honest?

You, my friend, are creating the pressure for yourself.

5 Steps to Stop Seeking the Approval of Others:

  1. Firstly, what is it you actually want out of the relationship?  Ask yourself what the end goal is and if you seeking approval is going to produce that or help you in any way.  The answer might even surprise you.  Journal it right now.  You can do this in a variety of ways.  Put the desired result in the middle of a bubble and your actions all around it that will produce the result, or just write about it.
  2. Identify what emotion or result you were seeking from the above exercise.  If the answer is acceptance, ask yourself if you fully accept yourself right now as you are.  Faults and all.  If the answer is love, take a good hard look in the mirror.  Are you worthy of love?  Of course you are.  No past mistakes are bad enough that you are not worthy of loving yourself.  Your subconscious is likely remembering language from your childhood.  “Why are you always bad?”  “You aren’t good enough…”  “Why can’t you be more like so and so.”  <<< So and so is now in jail.  Or has had a rough life because everyone thought they were so great.  It’s time we move our inner child past these experiences with some loving kindness to ourselves.  You can heal these wounds by noticing every time you think these thoughts and allowing yourself to replace them with the mantra “I am worthy of love.  I am enough.”  Write this in your journal.
  3. Take baby steps.  In any good program they say things like “Well, it took you 9 months to gain that weight…” or whatever, but we forget the months and expect immediate results.  When I deal with clients who are in a rush, I watch their language.  What they are willing to change and work on right now without expecting to change over night always tells me more about themselves than they realize.  Are they being honest with themselves?  Are they willing to do the work?  <<< 2 great questions to ask yourself.  Don’t attach yourself to a certain place, friend, job, promotion etc. without seeing all the steps it takes to make it work.  Your self-worth is also not tied up in the fact that sometimes things simply don’t work out.  Not trying to throw anyone under the bus, but take teacher of the year.  It was not ever based on merit in my school district.  One lady won because she was not actually at work all year.  True story.  She was ill, and people were glad she was better.  While I get this, truly I do, other people were so wrapped up in winning that they talked about this for months.  It was never in your control.  Period.  Let. It. Go. Be like Elsa.
  4. On that note, learn to take rejection.  Things happen.  Let’s think back to the first time you faced rejection.  Hmmm.  I got it.  My school team (back then it was called Olympics of the Mind), came really close to winning the top prize and going to state, which was a big deal to my 5th grade self.  Sadly, we lost.  But we all had a great deal of fun and our performance was very unique.  We got to work together on the props and I made new friends.  I still talk to those people today…some x number of years I won’t name later.  Fast forward to being observed as a teacher.  UGH.  I could not stand it because there were so many factors out of my control.  Would x kid act like his lost his mind today?  Definitely.  Would such and such say something embarrassing?  Yes.  Always.  But what could I control?  Me.  Myself.  And I.  I would visualize the lesson going perfectly, having the correct responses, and being prepared.  Sometimes it worked…sometimes I had to say you know what?  I will try again tomorrow.  <<< always remember you can try again.  Something better might be coming from that rejection and you never even saw it coming.
  5. Lastly, remember you are always learning.  Focus on you and only you.  Learn to be like the cool new Michael Phelps meme out there.  It looks like this:Micheal_phelpsBut it says winners focus on winning.  Losers focus on winners.  Or something like that:)  I know many, many people who are constantly checking on what others are doing.  Do you think the people out there doing things are thinking about them?  Nope.  Have a “growth mindset” where you know you have some things to learn, but looking at other people and where they are is not going to help you.  Only focus on you and your path.

powerWant to work with me on changing yourself in a self-guided course?  More on that here.  Also see Head|Heart|Health for more.

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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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Why You Need to Create Distance from These 5 Types of People

Ahhh. Spring. It is a time of re-birth. Growth. Friends coming out of winter hibernation looking to re-connect after being “on a break”. Say what? Yes. You know the old Friends episode. It might be funny on a sitcom, but let’s look at a few of these in real life and see how funny we think these are when these things happen to us.

Why You Need to Create Distance from These 5 Types of People

1. People who can’t be happy for you…at all. Like ever. I realize that there are people who have moments of jealousy. I’m not talking about that. I am talking about when your friend has a win, you feel like she just got one for the whole team. Not like that moment where in the Super Bowl, Peyton Manning’s brother looked really pissed as his brother got a touchdown. I mean come on Eli, it made for a great meme, and I don’t care what you say. That’s what it feels like to have those people around you when you do something great…if you know, the camera was on them all the time.
2. People who call you up all the time with what’s wrong in their life…but forget you have one when you go to speak. My brother had this girlfriend…who would later become his ex-wife, but anyway, none of us wanted to answer the phone when she called. Seriously. No one. She always had the worst day, the worst thing happened ever, or needed us right that minute for whatever she was going through. All. The. Time. She never ended it with “So how was your day?” And she never ever started it with “Is this a good time?” If you tried to talk about anything at all you might have going on, she had to go. At first, you might not notice these people do this to you because you think you’ve told them about something in your life. I mean surely you have had at least one mutual conversation, right? Nope. Think again. They fooled you.
3. The co-worker who talks crap about everyone you know. There was this acquaintance of mine…ohhhh boy. She would see me walking down the work hallway and flag me down for some gossip…even as I was trying to pretend I had to be another place. She had to tell me this about so and so. Oh did I see the latest Facebook post by x,y, and z. Why was she stalking these people? She never EVER clicked like on a damn thing, but knew all about these people’s personal business like it was her J-O-B. Oh wait. She had one. It was…a teacher. Hahahaha. I personally thought she was like a court stenographer for Facebook Land. Now presiding. Judge Judy. What the world. Deleted stalking co-worker off my FB list.
4. The friend who can only hang out with you if they can invite someone else…or their significant other. Oh, I made a reservation for us at that restaurant you like. Great!! I can’t wait to have some time for just me and you. And Bob. What, wait…Bob is coming??? Didn’t he come to ladies night? And knitting circle? And try to follow us in the bathroom that one time? Oh it’s okay. You know how we are. I need my squad. Um no. Actually you don’t. We need some boundaries for a strong friendship to thrive and we need to be able to respect the fact that sometimes, 3 is actually a crowd. If you have tried to have this conversation with them multiple times and they insist on putting you in the middle, it’s time to create that space for a while and re-visit this friendship.
5. The friend who is secretly mad about something…but you have no idea what.  Imagine the life of your friendship.  I read recently that if you make it past 7 years, it’s a pretty good foundation for a friendship.  However, let’s say that every other month for the last 6 years, this friend has seemed mad at you, and you don’t actually know what you did wrong. You say things like “Is everything okay?” and it starts to feel like a relationship because you get YES. WHY WOULDN’T IT BE? But the vibe is like they used all caps as they “spoke” to you. Your gut is usually right and why do you want to put yourself through this every other month…for however long this “friendship” lasts. You asking and the friend not telling you what’s really going on. So the trust has never actually been there at all when you look back at the friendship. Don’t keep dragging this one out. Sometimes, confrontations are necessary to grow and evolve as friends, but it can’t be one-sided.

Start your new habits today.  Remember, just like an overgrown flower bed, pluck a few weeds as necessary so it doesn’t smother the beautiful flowers that are actually trying to grow.

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5 Reasons You Need Supportive People.

Plans were broken yet again.  Didn’t come through when you needed them.  You actually feel drained physically and emotionally after being around someone.  You start to make excuses in your head why your friend leaves you hanging…and the excuses start piling up.  Does any of this sound familiar to you?  There is nothing worse than a promise broken.  It leaves you feeling unsupported, unloved, unwanted and unappreciated.  I have been there many times.

When I reach the point that my presence feels like a burden on a person or even a business establishment, I decide that I don’t need them in my life anymore.  I am not a burden to be passed off and treated as if I could be discarded at any time.  No.  In fact, I am a gift to the world and so are you.  So are you my friend. 

Friends

5 Reasons You Need Supportive People in Your Life

  1. They LIFT you up.  LIFT.  Higher and higher.  They actually help raise your vibrational energy to a higher level which then supports you physically and mentally.  This feeling leaves you feeling full as if they were sharing some positive energy with you.  You know people like this in your life and you need to make time for them to be around you more.
  2. They keep their promises. They understand the value of saying you are going to be there for someone or something and they live up to the integrity of their word.  It’s the old school “My word is my bond.” thing and I love it.  Your word SHOULD be your bond.  Think about it.  If not, who is going to believe you anymore?  It’s like the whole boy who cried wolf scenario.  People got tired of listening to his ass too.  <<< Truth.
  3. They make time for you.  My friends started showing up at my yoga classes.  Secretly, it’s not like I didn’t want them there, it meant the world to me.  But I didn’t want to let them down at first because I was nervous.  I then realized, HEY.  Wait a minute.  They are making time for me!!!  Yes.  This is what it is about.  It’s about support.  If I suck, they will honestly give me some feedback on what I can do to make this class better.  And I will be okay.  <<<< I was okay and we went for beverages after.
  4. They talk to you…FACE to face.  I worry about the “Next Generation” and not in a Star Trek kind of way.  I worry because my daughter’s text are like this “WYD”.  “IDK, WYD.”  For real.  That is garbage and you need to talk on the phone.  Tonight is the night before her first day of high school.  I SPENT HOURS talking to me BFF, who I am still friends with to this day, on the phone.  In person.  At her house, and knew every family member.  You need to know your people.  Your tribe.  Your community.  You need to feel welcome with their people.  If you don’t, it might be time to move on.
  5. You feel loved and supported.  This one is really important.  If you had to count on someone to be there for you, do you have a list of people who would drop anything and everything to be by your side and do whatever it is you need them to do?  I do have a small list.  It’s okay if it’s at least 1 person, but find that one person.  Find them and don’t you know, stalk them or anything, but let them know you feel supported and truly appreciate they have done for you.  Sometimes supporting people means telling them things they might not want to hear, but you have to be able to speak your truth to them.  If you can’t, they aren’t the right people.

So your task, beautiful gift to the world, is to go out and find those who support you and give back to you.  Filling your cup, your bucket, your pool up to brimming.  Make time for these people.  Make time.  For these are the people who will be there for you when you need them and they will stand in their truth beside you and support you as you live your truth.  Go forth and lift up a friend today. 

SupportiveIf you are in need of a supportive online group of friends, all working towards the same goals, please click Head|Heart|Health Club.

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Are You a Lift or Drag Force?

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Are You a Lift or Drag Force?

By Leo Babauta

In our lives, the people around us lift us up, or they drag us down.

I see this in my life: my life contains many people, and I’m lucky enough to have surrounded myself with people who mostly provide lift. They inspire me, hold me accountable, find happiness for my successes, lend a hand when I need it, give me advice, and root me on.

I wouldn’t be where I am without these people. I have been lifted by them, and that fills me with joy.

But I’ve seen others who provide drag on the people around them. They criticize, have a negative attitude, complain, and in a thousand small ways show you that you shouldn’t do what you’re doing. They mean well, and they don’t even realize they’re providing friction and making things difficult.

Which are you? The lift or the drag force on people around you?

You might not actually know, so pay attention today to how you interact with everyone. For some, you might be positive, but for others you might be negative. See if you can find it in you to provide lift instead.

Be the force that lifts everyone around you.

Lift up

My first link-up!

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Hey friends!! I am stepping out of my comfort zone and trying something new in place of my Motivational Monday.  I have done that for a long time and would like a fresh start.  I am linking up with two bloggers and I really love what they are doing.  They are setting 3 main goals for the week and I think it helps you get a look into the lives of the bloggers who are doing this.  Oftentimes I write about how I overcome things, but rarely do I speak to the present moment goals I am accomplishing and I think that’s a very important thing to do.

 

Thank you to the above bloggers for inviting me!  This week’s goals:
  1. Continue to grow my wellness business Vitalize You.  I have a closed FB group for this page that helps women focus on eating habits, losing weight, and learning new tips without losing sight of the fact that they are beautiful in every size, shape and form.  I started this because of the reasons listed on the top tab that says Vitalize You:)
  2. Practice my yoga class for this Friday.  I am teaching and graduating from my Yoga Teacher Training this weekend and time has gotten away from me due to end of the school year things with my girls.  They are first, but I take commitments very seriously.  Probably too seriously…but there it is.  I have a strong work ethic and I am goal oriented.
  3. Relax would be a great goal for me…I work really late into the evening on a variety of projects.  As many of you know, I run my page The Burned Hand without help…and now ridiculous Facebook is telling me to answer messages faster…ummm they are spam on that page mostly.  However, that being said, I always, always answer every comment!!!  Do you know how hard that is to monitor that by myself???  One day I had a ginormous amount of comments and I read each one personally.  So if you are from over there, thank you for commenting!!  Please share these blog posts too.  I would love for you to follow the blog here with your e-mail:)  Facebook is hiding posts and the reach is becoming quite ridiculous.  You can check out all my button on this page to follow me in various places.

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Motivational Monday…for the UNbroken

Hey friends…you know how last week on the Facebook fan page for my blog, I asked you a question?  I asked you to tell me what kind of “invisible disease” you had.  Many times, we feel so alone with these diseases, because they are in fact, not visible to people looking in at our lives.  But this statistic came from the link I posted: 96% of people with chronic medical conditions live with an illness that is invisible. 

I don’t really think we are alone.  So let’s say you didn’t get your disability and you have 5, maybe 6 illnesses on that list.  Guess what?  It happens.  I decided it meant something different.  I decided it meant that I was supposed to find a flexible job working from home and helping others.  Don’t be discouraged.  You have a few options.  You can continue the fight without a lawyer.  I have been told that’s why I never got anywhere.  You can get a lawyer.  Or you can move on.  Moving on is not giving up.  I just want to give you permission in case you needed to hear that.  I know all the excuses in your head.  I know all the what ifs.  But do not stay in that place of despair.  Make a plan.  Work on it.  Move on.

So now I am in yoga teacher training, and it’s hard.  Very, very hard emotionally and physically.  I doubt my path at times.  I do.  But as my friend said yesterday, okay really paraphrasing, if we didn’t have emotions or feelings we’d be like Data from Star Trek.  He was an android who was unable to feel emotion or understand certain human responses.  We don’t want to live like that.  So acknowledge the feelings you are having, and work the plan.  Whatever the plan is.  If you don’t have plan, write something down.  Just a few things.  It can be as simple as get out of bed, and get dressed.  Get to the store today.  Fibro friends, this is an important plan.  You know this.  Get out of your pajamas…says the blogger still in pajamas.  But you know what I’m talking about!!!  You do.

Next on your list, make a new friend.  Okay, this one is hard.  Why is this hard?  It is hard for people who feel alone, because opening ourselves up and getting vulnerable with new people is like going to a new doctor for us.  We hate having to start at the beginning and tell our story.  I know this.  You know this.  Stop ignoring this one.  So here’s how you can go about doing this.  Re-evaluate who is in your life right now.  Who checks in on you…who checked out on you.  Those people who checked out of your life during your hardest times, they have left you space for new people.  I know it sucks, believe me I do.  But it’s time to be honest.  Those people didn’t understand anyway.

So start a new practice.  Get your list out.  What did you like to do before all the bumps?  For me, I already liked yoga, so I looked into restorative, which was low-key.  I researched other types of exercises for fibromyalgia, and decided I didn’t feel like going to water aerobics, but if you like that, put that down.  if you liked gardening put it down.  Don’t think about the pain, I know you automatically went to “I can’t get down there and bend.” Stop.  So here’s a neat idea, look up community free classes or workshops in your area.  You can also container garden and not have to bend.  See how I did that?  Put it at eye level.  Flower arranging?  Do it.  Whatever it is that old you did, write it down.

So guess what’s going to happen during this process of thinking about other things that you now have room for in your life…you are going to make new friends.  You are going to feel better, and you are going to feel less alone.  Anytime you have a negative thought, push it away and back to the things you are doing that are positive.  That are a step in the right direction.  So when you get that letter in the mail from social security…don’t be afraid to open it.  Make a plan.

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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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