Posted in Sunday quotes

Sunday reflections; thinking about love in the time of Covid.

I am having a hard day.  I miss my kids.  I miss going to meet friends.  I miss just being able to walk around a book store (one of my favorite things).  And I am finding the longer this quarantine and stay home order lasts, the toll it can take on our relationships.

As we are home, all together, all hours of all the days, some of us may find this harder than others.  For those that are like me, who need alone time, this time could feel claustrophobic, caged in, overwhelming and these feelings are not very conducive to creating a loving atmosphere.

So this has me thinking about the ease of love.  How easy it is to love one another when we have some space, other activities and things to take up our time.  When we have escapes if you will with our friends or colleagues.  When we see new and different things out in the world that we can bring home and share.  When we seem or our partners seem more interesting. And while there are tough times in all relationships, I think this moment in time has magnified ALL things.  And some of these are tough, not so great.

We are not getting breaks.  We are not seeing other faces.  We do not have a random story to share when we come from work as we work from home all week.  We are stuck together with those we may choose or not choose to be with.  How do you keep loving in the midst of this time?  How do you let this moment bind you together and strengthen you rather than weaken?

As I struggle today, have a headache from too many tears, I am reminded of the love we have in our faith.  I have been listening on repeat to songs that bring me hope, encouragement and strength.  I am reminded that Love casts out Fear.  We have this time to build rather than tear down.  We are getting a gift; although it does not feel like it every day.

Love as an emotion is easy.  It says all the “right’ things, makes you smile and feel good.  It doesn’t take any real strength or action to tell someone you love them.  But I have always viewed love as a verb.  It is more than an emotion.  It has to be tough.  It has to weather storms, battles and disease.  It has to speak truth when your feelings are hurt.  It has to share more than a kiss and hug.  It has to accept sad and happy moments.  It pushes through pain and sorrow and fear.  It has to act in a way of honesty and integrity. If it has the power to cast out fear; then it has the power to bring us strength; to build, to render hope. And in this current season, it has an opportunity to shine through some hard moments.

Loving your family in an all day, everyday, feeling way is easy.  But in this unexpected time we are living in across the world right now, it has required us to get very real with our actions.  It has shown me how much harder this is to do when we are all together all the time.  When each one is processing loss and sadness.  When at times there are just too many people and meals and needs.

Each one of us is handling this time differently and we all have different ways we need to receive love.  Today for me that meant pouring my grief, frustrations, pain all out on this man I share my life with.  And him trying very hard to show me love back when I can imagine I was not that lovable.  But that is what love does; it accepts all.  All the ugly moments.  All the good.  And in this time of uncertainty and loss; we can choose to see the moments “stuck at home” as an opportunity to grow in our love.  Love can handle the honesty, it can handle the sorrow and the pain.  It can handle being quarantined if we let it.

I hope that wherever you are you are loved.  I hope you have someone who holds you even when your eyes hurt to stay open because they have cried too many tears.  I hope this time strengthens your relationships.   And if alone, know that none of us are ever truly alone.  We are all going through this human experience; we are in this together.

Keep holding onto love.

 

 

Posted in Monday Musings

Monday Musings–Do you struggle with staying committed to goals?

I didn’t want to get out of bed this morning.  I was not feeling that 430 am wake up alarm!  My first thought was “not already!”  There just did not seem to be enough down time this weekend.  Too many activities, hours in the car and late nights, I was not feeling as rested heading into a Monday morning as I prefer.  And to top if off, the team I wanted to win the Super Bowl lost (this is an American football tradition for those not familiar).  To say the least I was less than excited to the day.

But I got up anyway! See I committed to making my health a priority this year.  I decided to be active Every Single Day.  Not when it was convenient.  Not only when I want to or feel like it.  I made a deliberate commitment to myself.  So even on mornings I do not want to workout.  Or the mornings I do not want to get out of bed.  I do not always want to read or journal.  BUT, I always feel better once I follow through on that commitment. I always feel accomplished when I see those minutes rack up on my Fit Bit.  Or when I see the string of entries without any missed days.

Commitment is tough at times. It requires sacrifice often.  Today it was a struggle to not just be lazy and fall back to sleep on the sofa.  And once I completed that workout and the rest of my morning rituals, the better I felt about facing the day.  I had more energy. I was in a more positive frame of mind.

What commitments have you made to yourself this year?  How are you working on them after the first month of the new year?  Did you set a resolution without a plan for follow through?  I think many of us know that if we “fail to plan our plans will fail“~Churchill quote.

Because this commitment to my health is my number one priority this year; I made a plan to execute.  Here is what I do daily:

  1. Get up between 430-500 am.  This took some gradual adjustment.  I was already getting up consistently at 5, so each work day in January I moved the alarm back by 5-10 minutes.  Now waking up at 430 is not that challenging.  But I do head to sleep between 9-10 pm.  Sleep is vital to health and knowing your optimum amount of rest needed will help you if waking up early is a goal.
  2. Be active every day.  I started the first week with a set amount of squats each day for a week.  Then I added in walking a specific amount of steps.  Then push-ups.  Now at 6 weeks into the new year, I am up to about 20-25 minutes each day, lots of weight training activities and 8-10K steps per day.  This was a change from setting a weight loss goal, this was about being intentional with activity every day.
  3. Read and journal every day.  I have done both of these for the past couple of years.  Reading has always been something I love so this is pretty easy of a commitment.  Writing everyday is a bit tougher to follow through on.  But I want to see the progress.  I want to see the string of dates without a break.  So after my daily workout, I read and write.
  4. I write my goals (5 of them) everyday.  The main one I am focusing on, I write multiple times a day.  I am thinking about that one thing all day, everyday.  I am  jotting down what I want to do each week to work toward that goal.

Keeping our commitments to ourselves seems really easy to give up on.  Making changes is tough! For some reason, it seems easier to keep when we make a commitment to someone else.  But you are just as important!  In fact if you don’t make yourself a priority you do not have as much to give to anyone else.

So this month, renew (or keep going) your focus to keeping those promises you make to yourself.  Make a plan.  Write it down.  And mark it off when you complete those tasks.  You are not alone! Keep going. Even on those Monday mornings when you want to sleep in, just keep at it!

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 Sunday quotes

Sunday reflections (7)

Good morning world!  It’s attempting to snow this early morning in the northwest.  It’s pretty to watch and I hope it sticks around long enough to get some play time.  A rare event here in the northwest.

As I am thinking of all I need to finish up today before the work week begins again, I am reflecting on this quote:

This is important to me because I am wanting to make significant progress on my goals this year.  I am a great talker, a great starter but somewhere in the middle I falter and find I often do not follow through enough to complete what I started.  This year I have set some big intentions that I am committed to tackling.  So I am reflecting this morning on how important the Actions are! Stating intent is great!  Necessary!  But it’s in the doing where we find the fruit and growth.  I do not want to be just a talker!  I want to be a doer!  I want to experience all the great things that accomplishing goals brings!

Today is about the actions!  Not the words.  I challenge you if this is an area you struggle with, be intentional today! Write down one or two things you can do today, the next few hours to move forward in your pursuit of your best life.  Join me as I tackle my own list.  Together we will start to see the changes and that actions do speak louder than words!

Have a fabulous Sunday wherever you are!  Live with intention to be the best you!