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 lists, Sunday quotes

Sunday Reflections (22): 5 tips to shake off a “no reason” for a bad mood.

Do you ever wake up and feel overwhelmed by all the things left to do before going back to work for the week?  Or just feeling a bit cranky but you don’t know why?  That is how I am feeling today.  Most of the time I wake up refreshed and ready to tackle the day.  I am more inclined to be an optimist and focus on the good, or at least try, but today I am a finding that to be more of a challenge.

Somedays are just like that right?! There may be now reason for the off mood.  There may be nothing wrong in your home or relationships or job.  But for whatever reason you have a more negative attitude.  Do you work on changing those feelings when you have them or do you wallow in them?

Truth be told, sometimes I wallow.  Not for long, but sometimes I just mire in the bad mood.  This happens more when I am not sure why I am even feeling off.  But I do not like to stay cranky.  I have a partner, children and a life I love that I do not like to waste much of my time feeling negative.  When days like today creep in, I have a few tricks I use to work myself out of a mood.  Perhaps some of these will help you as well.

5 tips to shake off a “no reason” for a bad mood: 

  1. Write a list.  Write down all the tasks you feel like you have to get done today or this week.  I find that writing down the tasks that I feel are overwhelming me helps me get clear and focused.  Often times the list is much smaller than I think it is.  Like today; I am feeling that my house needs to be cleaned and picked up more.  But when I made my list; I really only have a couple things to complete.  My house is not near as messy as I was thinking in my head.
  2. Breathe.  Meditate.  I learned the a few years ago the value of meditation.  It is not an easy task for me at all!  It seems as if my thoughts are never quiet and I have a tough time calming my mind.  When I practice this it is best for me to just stand tall in my living room, taking a few deep breaths with my eyes closed.  I start with the yoga tree pose most often.  Then I may move into child’s pose and cat and cow poses.  I usually try to end with the warrior pose, making me end on a strong note.  Practicing some yoga and meditation in the morning has helped me stay centered and calm throughout the day.
  3. Take a walk.  This tip is one that I see so very often, but it is one of the best ones.  There is something refreshing about getting outside and breathing in the fresh air.  Getting our bodies moving is also a way to release feel good hormones.  Any exercise will help but I think there is something special in taking a walk.  It is usually not too difficult nor strenuous and can just be a quiet moment in the chaos of our days.
  4. Listen to music.  As I was starting my chores (from that list I made) I put on music.  Find musicians that speak to your for different reasons.  Today I needed calm, relaxing music.  Even though I was working and that would usually be a time for upbeat, fast, maybe loud styles, today I needed something different.  Music can be a great distraction and sometimes you just need to sing it out.
  5. Watch a funny video.  I am not a watcher of youtube much.  I do not have funny memes on my phone.  But I have teenagers.  They are always a great resource for funny videos and finding things that will make me laugh.  Often times these are so random, it’s impossible not to laugh.  Sometimes to redirect your thoughts, you need something random to distract you.  I find that laughter has always worked for me when I can’t seem to shake a bad mood.

No matter what mood you might be in, these tricks can help keep you calm and centered.  These are not just for a bad mood.  Often times these work best when practiced often.  I hope if you are starting your day slightly off, you try a few of these and see if they work for you.

Think I will head out for a walk now.

And just needed another pretty picture to remind myself of the beauty in this world.

 

Posted in Sunday quotes

Sunday reflections (21)

In thinking about what to write this Sunday, I want to be transparent as always.  As I discuss this journey to live your best self and life, I often shy away from discussing my children.  It is a piece of life I tend keep more private.  But in order to be my best self I have to (at times) share this part of me as well.  I have been in a new season in this motherhood journey I have enjoyed for the last 18years.  Having a young adult home from college for the first time, is a bringing new unexpected challenges.

Learning how to mother a young adult is new and hard!  It brings lots of joys and proud moments as I watch her reach goals and try new things.  To see her successful fills my heart.  But there are also lots of trying, difficult moments as we try to navigate this new environment.  Knowing how to parent a young adult child is just like the rest of parenthood; it comes without any guide book.

For some reason when these moments of struggle hit, I hear the words of this song below.  I thought I would share it with you today.  As I have shared before, modern Christian music will always be a genre that calms me, centers me and helps soothe some rough or thorny parts of my heart.  I can be demanding not only of myself but also of my children and partner.  It can be challenging for me to know what is the right advice to give or how to listen instead of speak.

I’m thankful for the scars.”   

In struggling how to move through these new changes I keep hearing that line.  I know my connection with these words may not be the meaning behind the song, but this is how these words speak to me.  For some reason this line in this song eases my pain and sadness that come when my daughter and I struggle.  When we have difficult conversations or can’t seem to understand each other.

I can physically see the scars on my body that bringing children into this world have left.  I can see the scar on my back where the weight of life struggles broke me down.  I can feel the scars on my heart from where I have loved, hurt and healed.  All these scars remind me that I am human.  That I am always learning.  Hopefully growing.  And we have these scars to share with others; they are our offerings to our children.  When I look at my scars as a way to help my children through life’s tough moments, they bring a sense of worthiness to all the pains of this life.  Through my scars I can show them; we may get down, we may feel broken, we may cry and writhe in pain, but we do not remain there.  Scars are pain healed over.  I get to share mine with my lover, children and friends.  Don’t hide your scars, they are part of your story.

I AM THEY -Scars
Waking up to a new sunrise
Looking back from the other side
I can see now with open eyes

Darkest water and deepest pain
I wouldn’t trade it for anything
‘Cause my brokenness brought me to you
And these wounds are a story you’ll use

So I’m thankful for the scars
‘Cause without them I wouldn’t know your heart
And I know they’ll always tell of who you are
So forever I am thankful for the scars

Now I’m sending in confidence
With the strength of your faithfulness
And I’m not who I was before
No, I don’t have to fear anymore

So I’m thankful for the scars
‘Cause without them I wouldn’t know your heart
And I know they’ll always tell of who you are
So forever I am thankful for the scars

I can see, I can see
How you delivered me
In your hands, in your feet
I found my victory

I can see, I can see
How you delivered me
In your hands, in your feet
I found my victory

I’m thankful for your scars
‘Cause without them I wouldn’t know your heart
And with my life, I’ll tell of who you are
So forever I am thankful

I’m thankful for the scars
‘Cause without them I wouldn’t know your heart
And I know they’ll always tell of who you are
So forever I am thankful for the scars
So forever I am thankful for the scars

I recommend listening to this song and finding your own interpretation.  I encourage you to find songs that you relate to, music is a great balm.  I hope you see the scars in your life as your gifts to others.  You do not have to show someone physical scars but you can use them to tell your story.  Each of us have a great story.  Each one of us are worthy to be loved.  Sharing yourself, your true authentic self, is our greatest way to give to our loved ones and others.

I hope you are able to be thankful for the road you have traveled.  For the scars you have acquired; you are living!

Do you have a song or lyrics that speak to you in difficult moments?  Do you have tips for parenting in the young adult stage of motherhood?  I would love to hear your thoughts; drop a comment or send me a message.  I love to hear your feedback.