“I’ve Fallen and I Can’t Get Up!”


helpYes, it was a bad television commercial for some kind of medical alert bracelet, but how many times have you found yourself getting caught up in one mistake and either a)letting it suck you dry and giving up entirely on whatever it was you were attempting or b)focusing so much on the mistake you just made that you make another because you’re so stuck mentally on a past error you can’t see what’s right in front of you?

I have lost weeks of my life and productivity and happiness and peace because I could not see past my own mistakes.  Whether I sacrificed my mood, my attention, or my own perception of myself,  I have made Mt. Everest out of problems that started out the size of mouse poop…that seriously ended up the size of two mountains and a mini-van because I didn’t deal with them in a healthy way.

(And don’t ask me how I know what the size of a mouse poop is. I just know.)

When you make a mistake, do you find yourself doing any of the following?

  1. Generalizing – “Well, I guess I’ll just add that to my long list of things I’ve screwed up” and then look back over your metal inventory of errors;
  2. Freezing – Getting so stuck in thinking through every dire and terrible thing that will surely come as a consequence of your mistake that you can do nothing else;
  3. Negative Self-Talk – I’m such an idiot, I’m a failure, and then of course calling your friends/associates not for help solving the problem but to talk negatively about yourself to them as a sort of self-punishment;
  4. Ruminating – where you literally can’t think straight or notice what is going on around you because your brain is so focused on what you had done wrong that you’re in a mental and emotional tailspin;
  5. Blaming – hoping like hell there is someone else you can pin the error on to take the heat off yourself in any way possible so you don’t have to own what you did;
  6. Hiding – Making great efforts to cover up your mistake  or praying simply that no one else notices and trying to convince yourself you hadn’t noticed either

Take it from someone who knows and has been there: if you’re looking for a way to waste your life, breath, and energy and potentially endanger your health, job, self-worth and friendships, then feel free to continue, but it’s not something I’d recommend.

Here’s the difficult thing: whatever it is – it’s done.  The only safe way to handle a mistake is to look it straight in the face, own it, take responsibility for it and whatever that entails.  You then try to find a solution for it, make reparations, and problem-solve as effectively and as completely as possible and move on, trying not to repeat the mistake.

Moving on, by the way, means *really* moving on.  Leave it in the sand.  Drop it.  Forgive yourself.  I once heard it said like this: your body doesn’t ask if you are worthy when it knows there has been damage done.  It just starts work on healing what’s there without judgement.   Do that for yourself.  Take the next best steps whatever those are, one at a time.

How many years of your life could we get back if we treated ourselves with the same objectivity when we messed up, and worked to fix our issues and mistakes without the judgment, shame, or mental mess that so often trips us up?  What if we treated others the same way?  Oh what a world we could create!

Get Back Up.  Brush Yourself Off.  Rub some dirt on it.  Life is a giant adventure and you’ve got better things ahead and no time to waste!   Get up and get at them today!

 

 

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My Life-Changing Reads of 2015


2015 was an amazing year for me in many ways.  It was, as all years are, imperfect.  But the most life-changing and best parts of this last year all really stem from the changes in my mind and my perspective.  

To put it simply, my whole world has changed for the better, and it had nothing to do with external circumstance though I believe it is changing them too. 

Some of the credit for this goes to falling into some of the following books at some of the most-needed times.  They honestly just showed up when I needed to read them most!  

 If you are going through a tough time, maybe find the world to be more negative than positive, or maybe even just find yourself wanting desperately for your life to be better or even just to believe that it can, here are a few suggestions. 

Some of these I listened to as audio books so I could re-listen on my drive to work or while I was doing other things.  Others I read first and then downloaded audio.  I make it a point to keep listening. 

Keep in mind, I have had a strong history of skepticism, negativity, and a tendency to cringe at what seems hokey or overly optimistic. I suggest you adopt an attitude of suspension of belief. Just listen. Be open.  Take in what you can and leave the rest.  

  1. You Are a Badass by Jen Sincero.  Non-religious, easy read.   

The Secret by Rhonda Byrne  – A little cheesy via audio but worth it.

 

  1. The Power of I Am by Joel Osteen .  This was a stretch for me: I am particularly suspicious of good-looking, perfect-haired individuals.  But this one called to me.  It continues to do so and have started listening to the podcasts too. 

It is my goal in life to share anything that I find good and helpful for me: the world is filled with amazing people that don’t realize they are amazing.  The world is filled with broken spirits.  I am imperfect but healing.  I want to share that.  So if you find this useful, please feel free to pass it on.

May your 2016 be far more than anything you can possibly imagine and beyond.  I wish you healing, contentment and a renewed sense of who you are and what you have to give!

The path of life is sometimes soggy… Walk it anyway.


My brain can be my worst enemy, and has a tendency to go to the dark side (in a less than comic Star Wars sense) and fills itself negative thoughts faster than I can deal with them.  I feel emotions strongly, and I am a bit of an empath to boot which means I tend to suck in the emotions of others on top of my own.  While I will refrain from labels, it is a struggle to be fighting your own head all of the time while trying to be a career girl, a wife, a mother and a friend.  I’ve done everything I can think of through the years to try to deal with it, medically and otherwise, but recently one of my best coping mechanisms has become walking.

While part of my motivation is health – losing weight is a giant struggle.  I can eat well, but it take me as long to lose 5 pounds as others can lose 20.  My body does not give up its comfy coat readily, and I hypothesize (because the doctors look at me and shrug) this may be because my brain, in dark places, spends a lot of time in panic/anxiety mode.   Maybe nature is trying to protect me from the dangers my brain tells it to expect – or hibernate until it all goes away – I don’t know.  But what I have decided is that if I am going to be built like a short, boxy bear, I am going to be a healthy one with strong muscles and an ability to walk for miles without rest…and one who is at more peace with herself and her place in life.

This morning I was restless.  I was trying to work and I was getting things done but my brain wasn’t cooperating.  I decided to check out a nature trail close by for a quick walk…only to find the entrance flooded.

While I stood looking at it – I decided to hell with it and went right through.  And yes, my feet are soggy.  And I walked over 2 miles through grasses and wildflowers listening to the squish squish on the gravel.  I felt insanely proud that I didn’t let it stop me.

Life is hard.  Life is messy, and sometimes soggy.  But we are tough, and we own towels, and nothing should ever stop us from doing something that will ultimately make us better and bring us peace.  God gave us legs and put us in a world with puddles and rain for a reason, and that link with nature should we embrace it, is a powerful antidote to all the stuff that doesn’t really matter – even if it makes your Nikes smell like swamp it is really the smell of victory.

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“What Went Well…


“What Went Well?” Three little words.  Three very simple words.  And they have become a part of my vocabulary over the past month. I know about Gratitude lists; I have kept gratitude journals, I have gone through phases of writing … Continue reading

Keeping it Real


It is sooo easy to get caught up in wanting what you don’t have. The high-end baby couture, the money,the boats,  the vacations, the careers. I find myself wishing I had a different shape, a more exciting job, and a cabin with a giant hammock.

When it comes to “thou shalt not covet thy neighbors’ goods” – I need to go to confession more.  At this rate, I’m likely to be struck by lightning.

Jealousy just doesn’t make you feel good inside: it cripples and blinds you to the awesome things you do have. It steals your contentment. It makes you anxious. It makes you bitchy and resentful. You are not fun to be around (I speak from personal experience and the testimony of friends who have called me on it when guilty of being “that girl”).

Comparing yourself to others creates an internal dialogue that somehow you are better or worse than someone else. Neither is healthy. Telling yourself you are better keeps you from working on your defects, and telling yourself you are worse becomes an excuse.

Here are a few things I’ve been taught over the years:

  • Don’t assume. The stories we tell ourselves about the would-be happiness of others based on the cool things they have and do are usually pure fiction. That chick carrying a Prada bag with the fab social calendar may not actually like any of the people she is with, but utterly terrified to be alone.
  • Skinny people (apparently) need love too. My size six friends want to be twos, and the size twos want to be zeros. They don’t eat much food, and are just as self-conscious – if not more stressed – about their own appearance as I am.   There is fierce competition in the set.  They also break easily and fall through grates routinely. (Have I mentioned most of my dearest friends are skinny? And gorgeous?)  Give them many hugs…gentle ones.
  • The more you put your focus on giving to others and work to make others’ lives happier, the less you focus on yourself or what you don’t have. Try volunteering. Shock your mother by showing up and doing something for her. Go clean your sister’s house.
  • Focus on what you have. Lay on the floor in your house. Look at the ceiling and be grateful you have a roof. Imagine not having one. Put your hand on your belly. Is it full? Are you hungry? Even being able to ask that question is luxury. Are you wearing clothes? Do you have a car to take you to work? Do you get to have a job? If you have what you need, even if it isn’t what you want, you’re luckier than many, many people.
  • If there is something you want, work for it.  If you want the trip to Disney, start saving now.  Put in more time at work, or get creative and figure out a way to increase your income if you can.  You are the only one who can really do anything to improve your situation, regardless of how you got there.  Take responsibility for making your life better.

Occasionally, when I remember to do these things, I find I feel an awful lot better about life and people in general. I’m still sarcastic, yes,  but I enjoy life more.

The reality is unless we can learn to be happy In our own skins and content with what we have, chances are we won’t know what to do with more anyway.

That said, you people with the awesome boats and sweet swimming pools? I’m a great cook and would love to visit…

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Have I mentioned my beautiful, skinny friends occasionally take me to amazingly gorgeous islands with pools? I am blessed.

Panic attack at 1am


Huh? What? I am awake – why am I awake?

My right arm is tingling and numb – am I having a heart attack or was I just laying on it funny? Which arm is it that you have to worry about? I should download WebMD so I don’t look stupid if I have to call someone. Continue reading