Posted in Self Help

Unseen Signs

Ever feel like you were just sent a sign?

Something was revealed to you. You read a story, a quote or a message.

Ever feel like you discovered something and it just clicked in your head and resonated with everything you’ve been questioning in your mind?

Me, too.

I often feel my life is a BIG puzzle, and I am just scrambling around trying to find all the missing pieces. And, sometimes there’s a piece that looks exact but doesn’t fit quite right.

Sometimes I find myself staring, searching then realizing it’s all right there in front of me. I just didn’t see it.

And, I realize maybe, it wasn’t time.

I feel I have spent much of the last two and a half years being scared, worrying, grieving. After my son’s accident last fall I began this regression. I spent all my time worrying, stressing and taking care of my son and husband. I was stuck in this fear mode that began to consume me.

I found my heart battling with my brain, one bringing me down and the other fighting to keep me afloat. At the time I didn’t know it. I didn’t know what was happening, but the signs, the pieces…they were there.

Thanksgiving brought my three older children home from college and back to the nest. For the next two months I spent the most time with my youngest daughter. Almost daily, day after day, was filled with moments with her.

I’m not certain what happened during those days, but I do know my children comfort my soul. They enliven me, they motivate me, they encourage me, and they inspire me. They make me want to be better in so many ways. The strength I see in them makes me want to be in undiluted joy.

After two months I dreaded the day she left, but what I don’t think she realized was what she gave me while she was here.

So many signs. So much resilience. So much peace.

I have sought strength daily and prayed for my children, because I didn’t know what else to do. At the same time, I have struggled, stumbled and grasped for something to hold onto, and I have fought for some kind of control within myself.

It has been like treading water, and I tired a long time ago. I kept fighting when there wasn’t a fight left. I believe in times of despair it is hard to see the signs, hard to find the pieces, hard to accept what is right in front of us.

Hard to trust what we cannot see.

But, never give up. It will present itself.

How does it happen?

For me, I got to the point of exhaustion. It’s a long, confusing and mentally draining road to take. My faith was the only place I could find strength, the only being who could get me through the darkness, the only power that could calm my heart. In the midst of my unknown, I was lost. I wasn’t strong enough by myself. I simply had to believe in what I could not see.

Trust

When we are struggling with things out of our control, struggling to change, struggling to be better or do better, or struggling with chaos or despair or heartbreak, we sometimes have to trust what we cannot see. We are on a path, unknowing to where it leads. Trust the journey.

Peace

Make peace in your heart. Take time out to rest and quiet the noise. In the silence, a higher power will speak to you and calm your soul. Simply finding some sort of peace, taking time out, quieting all the chaos and finding that solitude does the soul good.

Patience

Don’t lose patience. Have patience with yourself and in your faith. Things do not always come to us simply when we want them. We are not always on our own time. Simply, our path is set. Our journey will reveal itself to us when it is meant to happen. Be patient and have faith. Love yourself and give yourself the time you need.

hope

Never lose hope. Hope is all we have at times, and it has more power than we will ever know. Hope has saved souls, been the guiding light, and restored peace. Hope is a feeling of trust. Never lose it.

Posted in Self Help

Happy People

Have you ever met anyone that just exudes happiness?

I think about the people I know who are always smiling, laughing, full of life, and I think to myself that is what happiness looks like.

Maybe it’s not a care in the world or such a thing as a bad day. Maybe it’s living life to the beat of my own drum. Maybe it’s about ridding life of stress or worry. Or just maybe, it’s a decision.

This year, I am determined to not get weighed down by all the obstacles and chaos. To smile, laugh, stress and worry less, and get some of the old me back. She is in there…and I’m dusting her off.

Perhaps, being happier is having less rather than more. Less of some things and more of what I already have. Maybe being happy is nothing more than a feeling and a state of mind. I do know happiness isn’t things or people or money or popularity or perhaps anything tangible. It’s not complex or demanding or cluttered.

Happiness is unpretentious.

I am convinced happiness is a choice.

Straightforward.

A peaceful place.

A spot, somewhere in the mind, that tickles the soul and makes a consistent, conscious effort to push on without hesistation. Without worry or doubt. Without negativity or overthinking.

Peace, positivity, faith.

I’m fairly certain that’s happiness.

What happy people do…

1. they smile and laugh a lot

It’s hard to smile and laugh and not be happy. Even in times I feel like crying, there is something to be said about laughter. Laughter releases endorphins and reduces stress. It’s amazing how a little laughter can help show the positive side of any situation. I am convinced laughter will make us all live longer. Smile…someone may be watching!

2. they take care of themselves mentally and physically

I have always heard how can we take care of anyone else or make them happy if we don’t do the same for ourselves? There are no truer words. Since being a caregiver for my husband, I have realized if I’m not taking care of myself, it’s harder to take care of him.

Exercising, eating healthier, and sleeping is all a part of taking care of me. All of it affects my mental and physical health and how I feel in general.

People used to say to me sleep, take a nap, rest when you can. And, I do. At times, the best sleep I’ve gotten has been between 7 and 9 am, and I’m not ashamed of it. Doing a 7-minute workout, treating myself to a healthy protein shake, or taking a long trip to the grocery can all count for something.

3. they are not materialistic

We all know searching for happiness in “things” is a dead end road, but yet, we have all been guilty of it. Treat yourself to a new pair of shoes or buy the dress. Just don’t use it as a crutch to make yourself happy because we all know it won’t last. The closet will be overflowing with items never worn, and happiness will still be in limbo.

Repeat after me…Happiness is not found in things!

4. they spend time with people they love

I would say happiness IS found in times. Times we spend with family, times we spend with friends, intimate times, fun times, grateful times, unforgettable times.

The time I spend with my family and close friends are the most memorable and the times that give me the love and support I need. Monthly game night with friends produces a mountain of laughs that I would never take for granted. (Thanks Girl Gang) The mother-daughter visits with my mom I will cherish forever, and the ones with my own girls fill my heart. πŸ’œ Family dinners, holidays, trips…I wouldn’t trade them for all the things in the world.

5. they practice kindness and gratitude

Happiness comes from within. I love for someone to do special things for me, but I love giving to others. Buying a coffee for the person behind me in the drive thru makes me feel good inside. I think about how it made me smile when someone did it for me, so I want to pass it on. Good deeds go a long way when seeking happiness.

Being grateful for what I do have rather than focusing on what I don’t has made a huge difference in dealing with everything going on in my life. Look at the glass as half full instead of half empty.

Perception! Everything is how you perceive it. Don’t let your mind lose sight of that.

6. they don’t compare their life to others

Happy people don’t worry about what everyone else is doing. They don’t compare themselves to anyone else. Their life resides in the mold they make, and they shape it to fit into what makes them feel good. If we worry about what everyone else is doing then we are surely missing out on what we ourselves want.

Don’t compare your life to others, that’s not where you live!

7. THey take time out for themselves

Happy people go off the grid when they need to recharge. They focus on their inner world and keeping their stars aligned.

And, that is not found in someone else’s universe.

Feeling burned out or overwhelmed means we need to detox. Spend Saturday night at home, off your phone, with some relaxing music and a bubble bath. Or stay in for an intimate dinner and go to bed early.

8. they keep their circle small

We can be kind to everyone whether or not they are part of our tribe. Some people won’t like us just because of the color of our hair, but that’s their problem. Everyone has that one or two or few friends they just connect with in life. Make that your crew. It’s much easier to fit in a small circle than it is a crowd. It doesn’t mean we can’t be social with everyone, it just means we don’t need to be surrounded by a flock to be happy.

Surround yourself with “a few good men,” who are positive, good people.

9. they are self-disciplined

I’m pretty certain the people I know who have their mind focused on the prize are the most cheerful. And, the prize is what they want out of life which transforms to their happiness. Whether it’s a job, a lifestyle or a hobby, I believe when we set goals for ourselves, strive for those goals, and ultimatley achieve them is when we realize we are happy doing exactly what it is WE want.

Don’t get distracted by shiny things. Don’t let others deter you from the path you set out on to achieve your goals.

10. they realize happiness comes from within

At no point in life should we ever rely on somone else to make us happy. People can contribute to our happiness, but they don’t make us happy. Only our soul knows what it needs. We do have priorities and responsibilities to our spouse, children, family, but we also have a responsibility to ourself.

We can’t do what makes everyone else content all the time and expect to have all of the happy we want or need. And, we can’t ask anyone else to do it either. Happiness isn’t found in that equation.

It is only when we search within our particular mind and soul that our path to our own happiness will reveal itself.

Posted in Self Help

#goals

How many people made resolutions for 2021?

No resolutions for this girl.

This is my first post of the new year, and one I’m writing after a long break. A much needed break!

I never make resolutions. I hate them, and honestly I’m not a big fan of celebrating the new year. I’m a night owl, and even I went to bed before midnight. I think it’s crazy to make a big deal about turning the calendar to a new month, a new day, or even a made up new year.

It’s tomorrow…and that’s all I’ll say about it.

I did use my hiatus for some much needed time with my kids and some searching. Searching for peace, positivity, good vibes, and whatever other blessings I can find.

Needless to say, that wasn’t on the TV, social media, or even in other people. It was simply where it has always been…inside my heart and soul.

It’s 2021 people. Nothing much has changed except my thought process.

Cheers to another year…

10 Ways to Find Inner Peace in the New Year

1. meditate

There are many types of meditation including focused mediation, spiritual meditation and movement meditation.

Depending on what your goals are will depend on what type of meditation you use. I use all three of these depending on my mood and what I want to accomplish. If I’m stressed I focus on my breathing, even if it’s just for two minutes, to try and calm my mind and relax.

For me, spiritual meditation is reading a devotion and spending some quiet time talking to God. I usually play some calming music and use some dōTERRA essential oils. (If you want to learn more about dōTERRA let me know.)

Movement meditation can be yoga, exercise or just a walk. I can always do a lot of thinking and clearing my mind just by walking around the loop.

2. turn off the outside world

Social media and cell phones have made it so easy to get caught up in what everybody else is doing. Take a break and spend less time with your nose buried in an electronic device. Limit your time texting or scrolling and choose to have a conversation with your spouse or kids. Read a book, find a hobby and turn off the news.

Trust me. The less you know about what’s going on with the world and everyone else, the happier you will be.

3. leave the past behind

It’s sometimes hard to do, but the more time you spend in the present the better. Forgive those that have hurt you, get rid of the negativity it created and look to the future. Learn from mistakes, try harder next time and move on. As much as we would like a “do over” sometimes, it’s not always possible. Don’t focus on what you cannot control, or what is said and done.

Sometimes this is hard for me, but I have found it’s not always me who needs the help. I have learned it’s not about letting someone off the hook, but rather letting myself find peace in the situation. I’m not forgetting what happened, but I am using it in order to not let it happen again. Forgive and hand it over to God.

4. disconnect with anything or anyone that makes you unhappy. tighten your circle

We cannot choose our family, but we can decide who and what we surround ourselves with. Choose friends and family that support you, make you feel good, and bring positivity to your life. Distance yourself from everything else. If someone or something makes you unhappy, unhealthy, or brings negativity to your life, rid yourself now.

Tighten your circle! Contrary to the beliefs of those with thousands of followers, not everyone is meant to be your friend. And, when it comes down to it, most of them really aren’t. In times of crisis you will find out soon enough who is there for you and who is meant to be.

If life starts to overwhelm you press pause.

5. do what you want

As my youngest daughter always says, “I do what I want.” It’s kind of a joke, but the more I think about it, the more I say good for her. Do what makes YOU happy. We are all adults, and we don’t need anyone’s approval. Be nice, be considerate and do good, but don’t do something just because of someone else. Other people’s opinions are just that…opinions. We are all entitled to our own. Just because someone says it doesn’t make it true. Focus on the positive and stay true to yourself.

6. live in the moment

Since my husband’s illness, people are always telling me to take it one day at a time. I get sick of hearing it sometimes because that is much easier said than done; however, I do believe we need to enjoy life today and not ALWAYS worry about tomorrow. It may never come.

Be conscious of today’s consequences, but don’t forget to stop and smell the roses every now and then. Some days we just need to do what makes us happy, even if that’s not possible every day.

7. count your blessings

I have learned no matter what we are going through, someone else is going through something worse. In the midst of storms in our life, we sometimes forget to stop and think about all the blessings we have. No matter how big or small, they are there if we simply choose to look for them. Our children, our loved ones, a roof over our head, food on the table, a warm bed, a trip to the beach, a phone call from a friend…we take for granted many of the simple blessings we have every day. Even in hard times make peace with the path you are on.

8. Simplify your life

If there’s one thing COVID has done for us, it’s forced us to slow down and spend more time at home and with our families. In the midst of it all, I’ve realized how much I crave a simple life. I don’t care if I get invited to the party or if people think I’m unsocialable or if I’ve got a new house or a trip planned to the tropics. And, I don’t care what people think I have or don’t have. I’m thankful for my family, and I get to spend time with them. All the materialism in the world, all the friends, all the stuff won’t make me happy, and it surely won’t make life simple.

9. spend more time with yourself

I value time with myself when I get it, but I’m not one to choose to be alone. I wouldn’t choose to go out to lunch by myself or on a vacation or be single; however, there is something said about a person who is comfortable always spending time with their own self.

Get to know yourself, build your confidence, seek your inner soul to find what it is you truly want out of life. We are responsible for our own happiness, our own success, our own doing. When you can be comfortable with who you are, find exactly what you want out of life, it is then you can be happy. Don’t seek that from someone else or you will spend the rest of your days on an endless search.

Don’t be afraid of being alone, be afraid of doing the wrong things and spending time with the wrong people.

10. write it down

If I have learned nothing else, I have learned that words make me feel better. I write down my thoughts. I journal. I blog. I take notes. Simply by writing things down, it helps me work through my mind, my worries, my troubles, my fears, my journey. I won’t say I always find a solution, but I will say more often than not I feel better. And, if nothing else, I can say I did it on my own, with myself.