Posted in General

Stillness–the joy in being quiet

Sometimes I struggle with all the noise. Ok, most of the time. I have tried to figure out why noise is so tough for me to deal with. One, I have an inner ear disorder that affects my hearing. Two I lived alone for a long time so I was surrounded by quiet. But I think I long for number three which is it brings a stillness to my mind.

In the quiet morning like today when no one but the dog is awake, I can just be still. My mind isn’t racing yet with all the days tasks. The kids aren’t asking for anything yet. I’m free to wake up, meditate and prepare for the day.

When I get these moments I’m much more at peace. It is easier for me to handle the needs and requests of everyone in my home. The quiet is necessary for me to have Joy.

These quotes remind me of why it’s important:

Do you find quiet places in your day? Do you take time to meditate? To just breathe and relax and quiet your mind for even just a few minutes?

I hope you try this practice. I’m getting back into it as I’ve found when I don’t, I struggle with patience and feeling my best. To sit in quiet, to just breathe and center my mind, creates room for calmness and peace to enter in.

I’m a talker by nature and enjoy being around those I care about. It’s often loud and chaotic. But the chatter of everyone, including myself can overwhelm me if there’s not a break. If there are no moments of silence.

Perhaps your recharge from the loud. From being around others more often than not. For me stillness is necessary to bring joy into my world. If you are similar, I hope you find those quiet moments.

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Posted in Sunday quotes

Sunday reflections (27)

Waking up to a foggy fall morning with my house all decorated and smelling like fall. I love this time of year. This is when I want to be home more, bake, create and just enjoy the coziness and warmth of family time.

In the quiet this morning I’m thinking about how beautiful fall is and what it represents. These quotes below sum it up well.

There is a purpose, I believe to everything we experience in this life. Sometimes we have to look harder to find the reasons but each season of our life brings new or different things to teach us, cleanse us, create a new path for us.

I love the thought above about fall, learning to let things go seems to be a struggle for many, definitely for me. My mind wants to hold on to things that I’m sometimes not even aware of, but they come out in my dreams at night.

So I’m taking this morning to look at the areas in my life that still need cleansing, still need me to let go more and creating a plan to be like the trees in autumn. Letting my old ways fall away to create room for new. Just like the trees changing colors, watching people grow and create new, better habits for themselves, is beautiful to watch.

I hope you are embracing this change of season. I encourage you to see what things you may need to let fall away and allow new to come in.

Happy Sunday everyone.

Posted in Wordy Wednesday

Wordy girl Wednesday (6) -Are you a morning person or not?

Good morning to you all.   It is early here in the Pacific Northwest.  Fall is definitely in full swing here with the weather much colder this week, the trees changing colors and everyone wearing their coats.  It is a beautiful time of the year, fall is my favorite season.  I love to see the trees in full colors of orange, red and yellow.   I have a few tree lined streets I love to drive down, just to see how magnificent they are.

When the season changes, I tend to evaluate where I am at.  At least every few months, I am busy checking in with my goals and dreams and seeing what progress if any I have made.  And today I was a bit startled to realize that I am not anywhere near where I desire to be.  Now this isn’t a surprise really, but I think the fact that we are now into October and my personal achievements do not look much different than they did in March, was a disappointment. And it has me thinking about the culprits; the reasons for this. And I realized that one of the them has to do with how I begin each day.

How do you start your days?  Are you a jump out of bed, ready to tackle the day kind of person?  Are you happy and excited for the day?  Or do you hit the snooze and drag yourself out of bed, with dread, worried about what the day will bring?   I like to think I am the kind that bounces out of bed, eager to see what the day will bring.  I would call myself a “morning person” as I am the most productive and creative at this time of day.  I tend to feel I am at my best early in the morning.

For a long time now I have awoken early; now that I am no longer working a night shift, I am definitely more rested and feel ready to greet the day.  My usual state is to be excited for a new day.  It is a new opportunity each day to make it better than the day before.   And I love new challenges, ideas, beginnings, etc.  I love setting goals, making lists, marking things off and seeing progress.  But lately I have been struggling with some things and I can see the evidence by my lack of personal achievement.

I am still that early riser, 5am comes quick.  But I find I hit the snooze lately rather then just putting my feet on the floor.  I have not been meditating or stretching.  I can’t recall the last time I wrote in my journal or made a list of tasks for the day. When I don’t rise quick, when I delay and lay in bed, hoping for more sleep I do not start with the most positive mindset.  And I find this is creating a cycle that is impacting my motivation and attitude.  This one tiny thing for some folks, has the power to derail the whole day.

So today I am contemplating how can I get back to that positive attitude I was having.  How can I be excited to get up and start a new day again?  When I embrace the day with joy and excitement I tend to be more patient, receptive, creative and productive.  As I have many ideas and goals that I want to accomplish, I need to get back to this way of living. 

How do start your day?  Do you have a full proof plan that helps you?  Do you set the alarm across the room which requires you to get out of bed to turn it off?  How hot or cold is your room? Is it conducive to staying under the covers or one that is easy to get up?

Here are a few ideas of how to become more of a morning person:

  • Set the temperature to a level that you are comfortable to sleep in (colder is best they say) but have that heat kick on a bit before the alarm goes off so your room is comfortable to get out of the covers.
  • Make a list the night before of the tasks that are needed to be done the next day.  I am not very good at this, but plan to do this tonight. (I will let you all know in a month or so how this goes for me; if it really helps.)
  • Read something inspiring before closing your eyes.  Feed your brain positive, good things before sleeping.   My belief is this helps create happy thoughts and dreams during the night.
  • Stretch before getting out of bed.  When the alarm goes off, do not hit snooze but do take a moment to stretch; arms far above your head and legs as far as they will reach.  Really feel your body.   When I was recovering from back surgery, I was advised to do some yoga moves before getting up, Cat and Cow, Child’s Pose.   All are a good way to help you wake up.
  • Wash your face with some cold water and drink a glass of water.  I find this helps to wake me up and jump start my brain to work.  I do this Before my first cup of coffee.
  • Read, meditate, journal.   I will be getting back to following the SAVERS (thank you Hal Elrod) plan as I have seen this work.  Have a step by step routine that you follow that gives you direction and focus.

When you have a plan to follow in the morning, be it any of these above or your own created routine, you will be more productive than just laying around.  If it is important to you to be someone who embraces each new day and desires to start the day feeling refreshed and renewed and positive, try some of these things.  Or let me know what you do to start each day ready for living your best life. As always I love to hear your ideas too.

 

Posted in quotes

Do you have the courage?

I have this quote below on my wall page as it’s a favorite of mine. We so often let fear dictate our choices; often without realizing that it is a driving force.

I made a decision a few years ago that I would not let fear guide me. Sometimes it’s a daily commitment; depending on the topic or the decision I might be facing. Other times it’s just a quiet voice I don’t really hear but it’s still there.

I am possibly a bit of a control freak. By that I mean I am usually the one in charge and have all my ducks in a row. But the downside to that is there is no risk. There is no courage.

If I’m always in charge, avoiding conflict or making mistakes, I’m not actually moving forward. It’s like sitting in the boat anchored to the same spot again and again.

Being afraid to never make a mistake. Or have your feelings hurt. Or admitting you’re wrong or need assistance; all keeps you stuck.

This quote has a new meaning for me today as I’m looking at it through eyes of relationship conflicts. Whether it be with your partner or children or coworkers. If you’re afraid to have difficult conversations; fearful to speak your mind, don’t want to rock the boat; you might not get to see the beauty that you could be heading towards. You could miss out on whatever is right behind the next bend.

I’ve often only thought of this quote in terms of adventures. Travels. New job ventures. But re-framing this to apply to the context of relationships; it’s also very true. We have to be willing to risk, to push fear aside with those we love. We must get vulnerable and honest. When we do, when we let go of control, lose sight of the shore; we open ourselves up to an ocean of beauty. To Joy.

I hope you find your courage today to take risks. Push past fear. Have a difficult conversation. Try something new. Let this quote speak to you. Whatever your “shore” is; may you be willing to go beyond it.

 

Posted in Wordy Wednesday

Wordy girl Wednesday (5) – Quotes to remind you to pursue your dreams.

Thinking about these quotes this morning.  I have been letting myself get derailed from my dreams and goals and today as I was doing my daily reading I was reminded that the life I get, the life I live, is a direct result of my choices.  I may not be responsible for every single thing in my life, but I am the one in charge of who I spend time with, what I spend my time doing and how I behave, feel, react, etc.

And I was reminded that I am not making the choices that are taking me in the direction I desire to go.  Oh, I have the right partner to take this life journey with and I love many parts of my life but I also have some major personal goals that I have not been staying committed to very well.

So these quotes are here to remind myself and to offer thought and encouragement to anyone that may read them as well.  If you find yourself in a great place but wanting more and better, than I hope you find a way to get back on track.  That you feel that you can keep moving forward toward those goals and dreams of what you want this life to be.  Only you can make your best life!

LOVE Love love this!  Have I been doing this?!   If so I must stop!  Keep that dream elevated!

This! This is what I am lacking.  Discipline!

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This too!  Time to get out of my own way and work at it!

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Do not limit your dreams!  Set them high and then work hard to reach them.  Will you join me in a reset?  Let’s help encourage one another.  Lift each other up.  May you feel energized today to restart if you have stalled.  I am.

Posted in Wordy Wednesday

Wordy Girl Wednesday (4) — Tips for staying positive during this time

The new season of juggling work, school, and sports is upon me!  I imagine it is for you too!  I find at times trying to keep all the balls in the air is more of a struggle than I care to admit.  Lately that has been the case.  I long for time to relax and rest more, but I also want to accomplish my goals and create memories with my partner and all our kids.  So in this season, one thing that helps is to find ways to stay positive when often I am exhausted.

Here are the ways I try to practice positivity in this season:

  1. I stay focused on the end goal.  This season of raising children will end and I want them to have some good memories of their childhood as well as become healthy, successful adults.  When I am overwhelmed with all the running around we must do and the endless tasks, I try to keep that in mind.  We are raising adults, not children. We are teaching the habits they will carry into adulthood.  It is important to teach all these kids how to juggle life with a good attitude as much as possible.
  2. We take a date night; every single week. Even if it is just a couple hours together.  My partner and I made a commitment to each other from the start that we would prioritize our partnership.  We would make sure the children understood we are committed to each other and creating a solid foundation.  It can tough between work, school functions and soccer games for us to find the time and energy but we are always better for it and it keeps us connected. And it shows our children how to have a healthy relationship.
  3. I make time for exercise.  Sometimes that 30 minutes alone going for a walk or riding my bike or doing an exercise video is the only alone time I can get.  Take advantage of doing something for your physical health as well as your mental health.  Working out is vital to staying healthy and calm throughout the chaos of life in my opinion.  And it releases all the feel good, happy endorphins so it’s a win in trying to staying positive.
  4. I use the calendar.  We have a large calendar on the wall in the kitchen near the garage door.  It is seen daily by every one of us.  With all the activities we could have going on at one time, keeping track with colors and names is important for helping us to not forget things.  And it allows me to know what we can say yes to based on prior commitments.
  5. We communicate. With a family of 6, you have lots of opportunities for misses.  And many more opportunities for connections.  When I get home from work (as I work the latest) everyone is usually coming around to share their day with me.  Asking about school, homework, activities, life in general, is my way of staying in touch with what is going on with each of them.  They all have lots to say and keeping that end goal in mind; I want to hear from them.  I want them to share with me.  Because we have built an environment where the kids feel they can share, we have a home with lots of conversation.

Staying connected and positive can be tough when you are juggling all the demands of partnership, parenthood and employment.  Finding ways to keep your sanity is vital. Learning to communicate what you feel and think is necessary in all relationships but especially in the seasons of change where there can be so much noise from the chaos you forget to keep focused on what truly matters.

I am not always positive and happy.  I struggle with overwhelm and unhappy days just like anyone else.  But I desire to have a healthy life and home more than almost anything.  Giving my partner and our children the best me is often at the forefront of my mind.  I fail I am sure as much as I succeed, but each day I tackle anew.

I hope you find encouragement in these posts. These are just my thoughts; please share ways that you stay calm and focused during seasons of change and chaos.  As always I hope you are living your best life as much as possible.

Posted in General, Wordy Wednesday

Wordy Girl Wednesday (3) –Quick Encouragement is all I have today

This has been a crazy couple of weeks with getting back into the grove of school and sports for all our children.  Truth; I am exhausted most days.  The weather is changing and I am ready to curl up and head to bed much earlier these days.

In light of that; I thought I would post some encouraging words for those that may be in the same boat.   I hope this is how your day has been today and is everyday.  Even in the midst of chaos, exhaustion, kids fighting or ANY thing that may come your way, I hope you find pockets of joy.

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And this too as I think this is an important reminder; make these days count.  They pass too quickly.

“Don’t count the days. Make the days count” –Muhammed Ali