The Importance of Contemplation and Gratitude

“Gratitude is not a passive response to something we have been given, gratitude arises from paying attention, from being awake in the presence of everything that lives within and without us!”

I was going to write about this later in the month of December but after the events of my weekend, I knew I had to write it today!  

Saturday night was pretty normal, I went to sleep around 12:30am, and at around 1:30am Brandon woke me up because he was having severe pains in his abdomen and chest.  After I saw how panicked he was, and how much pain he was in we decided to head to the E.R.  They were amazing and got us straight in…and immediately ruled out his heart as causing the pain – which was a huge relief!

We were taken back to a room where then took blood for some further testing, put him on monitors etc. etc. and kept checking in with us about every 1/2 hour.  After they had ascertained that it wasn’t a heart issue, they ruled out gallbladder and gave him a G.I. cocktail.  It is basically Lidocaine and Maalox, and after about 1 hour his pain was almost gone.  

It took hours to get the labs back, and when they did they thought he could be suffering from pancreatitis, so to rule that out they had him eat some crackers.  Because there was no pain from that, and the fact that the cocktail made him feel better, they thought it was very likely to be acid reflux with esophageal spasm.  

OK, so I know that was a very detailed story, and the reason I wanted to share all of that with you was because that is kind of what kept me going.  I immediately went into the role of helping him, being there for him and not even thinking about the fact that I hadn’t had any sleep.  

As I contemplate my life with Brandon, I realize that I haven’t always been the most amazing wife, I sometimes let my needs be all consuming, and because of my past life and relationship experiences I have, at times, not allowed myself to be completely vulnerable and present with him.  Going through something like we did on Saturday night, even though it turned out that it wasn’t life threatening, we didn’t know that when we were in it.  It certainly made me pause to be grateful for having him in my life.

Adding a pop of color to this fabulous leopard dress – shop my post by clicking the links below

Do you ever find yourself being so caught up in living your life that you don’t have time to appreciate how amazing your life is?  I was talking to a friend who also has kids that are getting older now, and we both agreed that having young kids was one of the best times in our lives…but when I was raising a house full of boys, the chaos, the mess, the tantrums, and the lack of freedom sometimes caused me to wish away those years to the day that I would be able to leave them at home alone!  Now that my boys are getting older, I have less and less control, I hate that they are not the snuggly little boys that they used to be and I wish I could bring back all the wonder and excitement they had around learning new things.

Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love my life, and I love this stage of my kids too – I have definitely learned not to wish away the time, but I am also grateful for all the younger years too.  The years that both they were and I was younger…the years that they were excited to go to the movies with their parents and hanging out with us was always a first choice 😉

There are so many things that I feel gratitude for, especially at this time of year, because I allow myself enough time to slow down and notice the things that are important in our lives.  Having a family I love, working side by side with my husband helping people improve their lives, having a home I love, friends I couldn’t live without, sharing my experiences and hopefully helping others know that they are capable of anything they set their mind to via my blog and so much more.

I choose to pause and feel gratitude every day so that when I contemplate what I have in my life I don’t have any regrets…and that I am able to share my appreciation and love with others!

What would you answer if you asked yourself every day “what do I have to be thankful for RIGHT NOW”…even when things are going wrong, there is always something to feel gratitude for!

Create Your Own Day

 

“Ask yourself – what’s really important and then have the courage and wisdom to build your life around the answer!”

 

I recently came across this concept and I absolutely fell in love with it…

It’s the concept of creating your own day.  What I mean is, other than your birthday, what day do you use to celebrate YOU?  I have found that my birthday, as enjoyable as it is, is never really just about me – not in a bad way, but it involves celebrations, dinners, and very often I have to work.  So when I came across this concept I immediately latched onto it.

Here’s the thought…Make a day your own.  Create a celebration of you and spend time doing whatever it is that sets your soul on fire.  If it’s being alone, then do that, if you prefer to be with friends or family, do that.  Ultimately the goal is to take a day to reflect on where you are in your life, what you’ve accomplished, how you feel about yourself, what you are grateful for and so on.  My theory (I haven’t actually tried it yet) is that I will feel rejuvenated, I will find it easier to handle stresses, challenges, disappointments and it will reaffirm why I love my life.  I know, no matter what, there are always things that aren’t the best that are happening in our lives, but when you start to look at how things are happening FOR you and not TO you, it can change your perspective.

I haven’t decided the date I am going to celebrate my day, but I’ll give you some ideas of what I love to do so that maybe you can come up with some of your own or use some of mine:

  1. I will workout in the morning, that way I know no matter what happens during the day, I feel good about me knowing I am taking care of my body.
  2. I will get a massage, a pedicure or a facial.  Just a few things that are focused on self-care and love.
  3. I will have a lunch at one of my favorite lunch spots with a friend that I know will lift me up.
  4. I will do a little shopping – it actually relaxes me.
  5. I will find the best bakery in town and get myself the most decadent dessert (I have to because there’s no birthday cake 😉 ) And I won’t feel guilty because I worked out already.
  6. I will go for a drive up the canyon and take in all the beauty.  I love to drive different ways, see different things and feel appreciation.  If the weather is warm enough I will trade the drive for a bike ride.  I love taking my mountain bike into the foothills and getting dusty while I am enjoying the view.
  7. I will go to dinner with my lovely husband, because he’s the one that can make me feel the most amazing of all.

 

 

 

It may seem silly, but if there is something I can do to help in the self care department or something that will help me remember that I am important and that ME taking care of ME doesn’t have to mean neglecting anyone else.  in fact, it is necessary to take care of me, so that I CAN take care of others.

What do you think about this concept?  Are you on board?

My birthday is February and I hate that I can’t do a lot of the things I love because the weather is usually cold, so I will probably plan MICHELLE DAY for a day in the spring or summer…stay tuned!  I’ll post some pics 🙂

you can shop some coats similar to the one I’m wearing by clicking the links below…

 

 

Living in a Masculine World

“In a world where masculinity is respected and femininity is regularly dismissed.  It takes an enormous amount of strength and confidence for any person to embrace their feminine self!”

You’ve probably heard me talk about how I have 4 boys…but I’m not sure if I mentioned that when we bought my dog my ONLY request (because I really didn’t want a dog) was that it would be a female.  I am sure you can guess where this is going – my dog’s name is Rooney (after Wayne Rooney who used to play for Manchester United my favorite football/soccer team) and he is a male dog.

I live in a house where there is more testosterone than most people would know how to handle, but let me explain why I am equipped.  I grew up the oldest of 3 kids, and you’ve guessed it, I have 2 younger brothers – no sisters.  I have never known the likes of the drama that can come from living in a home with girls, nor have I ever had the pleasure to have a sister to share my deepest thoughts and secrets with.  I know this is why I take my friendships so seriously – they are an escape for me from my current environment and I consider them the sisters I chose.

Even though I live surrounded by all this masculinity, I have never lost my love for my feminine side, in fact, I think I am able to embrace it even more because of what I see around me.  I love sports, I love cars, I am not a pushover (and those of you that know me, know this is quite an understatement), I am handy and love to do home projects and fix things, but I also love to shop, cook and make the most of how I look.  I don’t think I am an anomaly, I just think I am not afraid to be who I want to be without worrying about what I think I SHOULD be.

 

 

Unfortunately we still live in a time where, as a woman, we have to prove ourselves over and over, where we are not always given opportunities to rise to the top in careers, and sometimes we are even blatantly discriminated against.  Guess what, however someone else treats us doesn’t have to determine how successful we are.  Rising to top in anything requires tenacity, persistence, patience as well as confidence, and these things only come when we are not bitter, resentful or frustrated.  Believe me, in my career I tried pretty much every angle to achieve my goals and quite honestly the only thing that did work for me was just being ME and not giving up no matter what.  I found that when I embraced my femininity and inner confidence that I felt when I did that, I was able to attract more positivity to my life which also brought more success, fulfillment and happiness.

I found that when I became too aggressive (which I know I have a tendency to do) I intimidated people, which actually gave me negative results.  At the time I didn’t realize that my aggression and frustration was causing people to want to move away from me, which included clients, my husband, my kids, my friends, and so on.  It’s a weird thing when you feel that people don’t want to be around you, especially when you sit down and think about why that might be and take accountability for your actions in the whole equation.

Life is filled with things we can’t change, and the only way we can work through those things is if we accept that we have no control over them.  Letting go is the most freeing feeling, but it requires practice.  It doesn’t mean that you are always going to like it, but it means you are able to move on despite how you feel.

I love the fact that I get to be the only girl in my house – sometimes the smells, the disorganization, the untidiness, the laziness, and the constant meal making can be a little much, but quite honestly, I wouldn’t change it for anything.  I feel blessed that I can come home and one or more of the “boys” in my house will give me a 20 second hug which is exactly what I need to ease away the stress from my workday.

Staying feminine when all around you is masculine is an art, its a habit, and it is a path to success in business.  In any relationship (whether personal or professional) there needs to be a masculine and feminine energy, and most men like to take the masculine lead.  If they take that lead the best way for you to have success and create a connection in that relationship is by being the feminine you.  I feel very fortunate as a woman to be able to be strong and confident and I don’t have to give up my femininity to do it.

 


The Act of Giving

“You are not required to set yourself on fire to keep other people warm!”

 

Yesterday was a snow day in Salt Lake, it snowed pretty much the entire day, which made Christmas tree shopping last night chilly, but also beautiful.  The boys raced around the lot, hiding, throwing snowballs and having fun.  It was exactly what I needed to fill my cup!

As we have been spending time with our boys this week we have been asking for them to tell us what they each want for Christmas. With only one boy that still believes in Santa we are almost to the point where we don’t need to hide anything anymore, which is kind of sad as well as relief. It seems like I have been doing this for a long time – well, I guess I have because Dalton is 24! It’s so funny that they don’t seem to have a hard time telling us what THEY want, but when it comes to giving gifts themselves it’s a little harder.

It’s a hard thing to teach kids to know that giving is so much more important than receiving gifts – in fact I believe that the only way they truly learn is by watching what we do. I remember there was one Christmas when I was really naughty and I went searching for what my parents had bought me. I was old enough to know better…but still I found the closet that my mum had hidden the gifts. I saw what they had bought and I felt so guilty that it pretty much ruined my Christmas. Since then, I have always loved more giving than receiving. Not to the point where I don’t love getting gifts, I just absolutely LOVE finding unique, meaningful and personal gifts for people and watching their faces when they open the gift.

Christmas can be such a hard time to spend time on things like this, because it becomes a mad frenzy of finding the “right” thing – I swear that toy companies and some other stores only produce a limited amount of things to feed this frenzy and make the season so overwhelming. If you have every been that parent that couldn’t find that ONE THING on your child’s Christmas list because the stores were all sold out, then you know the level of disappointment that comes with it. I remember one year one of the boys wanted a remote controlled car which we bought but what we didn’t realize was that it needed a special battery that it didn’t come with. We were out at Walgreens at 11pm on Christmas eve trying to find one, but of course we couldn’t/. Even though we had bought the gift, the fact that he wasn’t going to be able to play with it until we went to Toys R Us the day after Christmas was enough to cause mass disappointment 🙁

One thing I have really been guilty of is neglecting myself and running around like a crazy person, so when Christmas morning comes and the kids are so excited to get up and open gifts, I am totally exhausted and partly checked out. Seems kind of crazy to do this to myself, especially when Christmas morning is the reward for all the hard work…but it has definitely been done by this girl!

This year I have resolved to get this more organized, but most importantly to take care of myself while I am taking care of others. Any of you guilty of this? You know when the flight attendants tell you to put on YOUR oxygen mask BEFORE helping anyone else…well that applies. In fact, Brandon was talking to a pilot who told him that if you don’t put on the mask first, there is a really good chance that you will pass out and unless someone puts a mask on you, then you’ll probably die. Crazy – I know this is a metaphor, but this goes way beyond self care. It can be so detrimental to our wellbeing to not take care of ourselves because we are too busy taking care of others.

 

 

Over recent years I have become much better at this, and I am able to set boundaries for certain things so that I am not neglecting myself. I started small, just picking one thing that was a “non-negotiable” thing that I was going to do. What I mean by that is, I found one thing that was so important to me, that no matter what, I was going to make sure that I did it. The one thing that I do almost every day is take a relaxing soak in my bath. It probably only takes around 20 minutes, but after those 20 minutes, I feel different. I feel important, I feel loved (by myself) and I am able to tackle so much more. Meditation could be your thing, it could be having lunch with a friend…whatever it is, I promise if you find something and start small, you will enjoy the holidays so much more!

 

You can shop my look (and more) by clicking the links below

 

 


Boost your Confidence – Wear Fur

 

“She always stood out from the crowd so she decided to embrace it and just be exactly who she was!”

 

I don’t own a “real” fur, but I have to admit I have quite a few fur coats, jackets and then some with fur accents like the Leather one in this post.  I love it because no matter what I am wearing, when I add fur it just elevates the whole look and makes me look and feel classy (not to mention the fact that it also keeps me warm).

Wearing fur can be a little intimidating for a lot of people, because it’s definitely one of those things that really makes you stand out.  In today’s post I am showing just a few of the fur coats and a jacket with fur detail so you can see the many ways to wear it.  I do realize that not everyone is going to want to wear things exactly like I like, so as well as posting links to shop the coats I am wearing, I have also included some links that are not quite so bold (see the bottom of the page).

 

 

Over this Thanksgiving weekend I was speaking with Dalton, my oldest son, and asking what he wanted for Christmas.  He said that he pretty much just wanted cologne, shoes and clothes.  Right after he had finished telling me, he paused and said “I don’t want all STYLEQUEENIE clothes though!”  When I asked him what he meant he said that he’s OK with some things that are flashy but he didn’t want me to buy everything according to what I like, which apparently he thinks is too “flashy”.  I had a choice, to get offended or just take it for what it is and realize that not everyone is going to like the same things as me, and just move on.  I chose to move on and take it as a compliment – I like being flashy, I like to stand out – there’s nothing wrong with that, I’m just being ME.  It’s also OK that he doesn’t want to do that…it’s OK that he is who he is supposed to be as well.

I have always encouraged my kids to be themselves and express themselves how they want to in their style – but this also means that I sometimes have to take them out wherever we are going looking a little less put together than I would like.  The good news is that now they are all a little older, there are very few times that they are not presentable, and they feel validated.  They feel like they are free to be themselves! This was a lesson I was taught by my dad.  I have always enjoyed dressing differently than others, and as I was growing up, my dad always told me “if you look good, feel good and it makes you happy, then you shouldn’t worry about how others view you.”  I 100% agree with that statement and it has definitely guided me many times in my life – especially the part about not worrying what others think.  I have found that when I like the way I look and I don’t judge myself, then that also is how others see me and there is no way that their view can negatively impact me.

So does fur make you flashy?  Well, it can, it just depends on how you wear it, and how much confidence you have in yourself.  There is one thing for sure though, it is definitely going to get cold and fur can keep you warm.

Why not add a little fur into your life – and increase your wow factor?

Shop my looks and more by clicking the links below (the best part, it’s Cyber Monday so there are some steals!)…

 

 


Stress Less for the Holidays

“Our greatest weapon against stress is our ability to choose one thought over another!”

 

Have you ever noticed that the Holidays are not always a time of relaxation?  That sometimes we over-commit ourselves, that we create unrealistic expectations about how things are going to look or just push ourselves too hard?

I used to end up exhausted and almost depressed after a holiday.  All that went into creating the “perfect” meal, planning, cooking & setting up, seemed to drain me to the point of not wanting to do anything the days following other than sit & read or watch TV.  I know what happened to me, and it’s been a process of overcoming and dealing with it over the years, and now I am at the point where I can actually enjoy my time.

Here’s what I did – I created an image in my mind about how I thought the meal was going to look.  Sometimes even going far enough to contemplate the conversations we would have, the games we would play, the movies we would watch and so on.  As you can imagine, especially when you have a large group of people to have something so orchestrated is impossible – which would leave me frustrated and feeling down.  It’s not something that I did consciously but I had some thoughts and memories from my childhood and beyond that I wanted to recreate.  The problem with that is that my brain was making those memories look far more amazing than they probably were, and certainly more amazing than it was going to be possible for me to force people to recreate.

Do you ever find yourself trying to control things to the point of creating such unrealistic expectations that no matter what happens because it doesn’t look exactly right, you feel defeated because it’s not perfect?  Saying this out loud and writing it today makes me even more aware how ridiculous it is to do this, but that doesn’t mean that while it was happening it didn’t feel 100% real.

I have used various techniques to put me in touch with my body and what I am feeling, and some work better than others.  I wanted to share one with you today that I have found works pretty well for me:

Name your feelings

Close your eyes.  Let your mind wander into the different parts of your body and check in to see how it feels right now.  What thoughts are going on in your head?  Observe, don’t analyze.  When you are connected to how your body feels, ask yourself:  what is this feeling called?
Observe the feeling in peace and name it.  You can also ask yourself if there is something causing that feeling.
By recognizing and naming your feelings you will start to feel ease from the lump of stress you might have had in your body.  

According to the Mayo clinic, stress is the Number one cause of cancer in the US today – and if we subject ourselves to levels of stress during times when things are meant to be spent appreciating what we’re grateful for, then it kind of defeats the purpose.

I am planning on making a lovely meal for my family, spending time and doing “whatever we feel like” rather than trying to control the entire weekend.

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!  What do you have planned?

 

 

 

That Vogue Feeling

“Life is a mirror – what you see from your outside comes from your inside!”

 

Whether you’re like I was when I started this blog and hate having your picture taken, or even if you don’t mind at all, there are definitely some pictures that you HATE and those that you LOVE!

Thankfully in this digital age and with fast shutter speeds a lot of the pictures I have taken manage to capture me without my eyes closed, and some even make me have that “Vogue” feeling – where I feel like I could actually be a model.  Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t ACTUALLY think I could be in Vogue magazine, but I have learned to appreciate my beauty and definitely love finding good pictures of me.

The reason I am telling you this is that it is so important for us to see our own beauty, and like the quote says, true beauty comes from being beautiful on the inside too.  I have known a lot of people in my life that may not have had the most attractive features but once I got to know them, I realized that they were the most beautiful of all people…because they radiated that inner beauty.  The same can be said for those people that have the perfect features, and are pleasing to the eye, if they are not beautiful on the inside, that will eventually show and they won’t be seen as beautiful people.  Do you remember that movie “Shallow Hal” with Jack Black and it had a cameo from Tony Robbins who actually taught him to see the inside and not just the outside.  Once he did that he started overlooking people’s outside flaws and saw them for who they really are.

OK, so I know that Tony Robbins is not going to actually do that for each of us, but here’s a great way we can start:  We can see ourselves as beautiful, recognize beauty in others (and not just appearance beauty but the real stuff) and the more that we look for it, the more we will see it (including in ourselves).  I know a lot of people that can truly see beauty in others but have a hard time seeing it in themselves.  For whatever reason they don’t like to look for it.  Here’s what I’ll tell you, just like the lack of inner beauty eventually shows, so does the real beauty and no matter what, even if you kid yourself that you aren’t actually beautiful or deserve love, guess what, it’s going to come out in the end.  You may as well see it for yourself because it’s not something that can be permanently hidden.

 

Shop my outfit & more by clicking the links below

 

 

Perhaps it’s a worthiness, where because of something in your past you don’t feel worthy of love or anyone’s praise?  Perhaps you have heard your entire life that you aren’t beautiful from someone you trusted or loved?  Or it could even be that you have faced some type of bullying or abuse?  The only way you can change your past is by changing your future.  If you’re still believing what someone told you, how you felt, and you’re ultimately agreeing with what they said or did, then you are still allowing that person or situation to control you.  Maybe i’m the only one that has a problem with control, but I can tell you, something like that wouldn’t sit well with me – I definitely wouldn’t want to feel that someone or something else had power over me.

Don’t get me wrong, there have been times in my life when I have felt “less than” because of someone’s behavior, because of not meeting unrealistic expectations I put on myself, and many more reasons.  So, when I did eventually come to my senses and realize that in order to move through something I had to just let go, that’s when everything changed.  I have been known to have a hard time letting things go, i’m not going to lie, so when I tell you that I did it, just know that it didn’t happen overnight.  In fact it took years, and during that time when I didn’t let go I was absolutely miserable.  I had this notion that everyone should know what an injustice had been done to me, that it just wasn’t fair, and honestly I thought I was fighting back, but what I realized is that what I was doing was perpetuating the situation.

So how do we move through something so that we can start to see our beauty (and not just the mirror reflection kind of beauty)?  The easy answer is just change your thoughts, but that’s easier said than done.  So honestly, here’s what it will take…repetition, telling ourself that we are beautiful, so that eventually we start to see what others see.  And here’s the best news, as you start to see beauty in yourself, the beauty around you becomes so much more pronounced and life just starts to seem rosier!

I don’t about you but I don’t think there’s anything wrong with looking at the world through rose colored glasses – who knows we might actually start to find things and people we didn’t even know existed.

Happy Wednesday – you’ve made it to the middle of the week, there’s definitely beauty in that!

 

 

 

 

Remember the 5th of November

“If you don’t do wild things when you’re young, you’ll have nothing to smile about when you’re old!”

For those of you that know anything about the history of England you will know that today, the 5th of November, is when we celebrate Bonfire Night.  Guys Fawkes was the reason Bonfire Night started, and his story is pretty gruesome.  He tried and failed to blow up the Houses of Parliament, was held as a prisoner in the Tower of London until he was executed.  So, being a country strong on tradition, ever since then we have celebrated his failed gunpowder plot by putting a stuffed Guy Fawkes on top of a bonfire and burning it to the ground.  Kind of crazy when you think about the history, but as I was growing up I didn’t realize all that history (as I am sure many of the youth now don’t either) I just enjoyed a time to hang out with friends and family, with treacle toffee, parched peas, parkin (to name just a few of the foods we ate) along with some fireworks.

Since obviously we don’t celebrate the 4th of July in England, this was when we got to let off our fireworks and have a good time.  I must admit, I do much prefer fireworks in the summer than in November when the nights can be very cold and quite often rainy.

You might be wondering why I am telling you about this good old English tradition – well obviously the first reason is that today is the 5th November, but secondly it’s because as I sit over the other side of the Atlantic from my home country I realize that there are a lot of things, whether the reason behind them are great or not, that I miss about England.  I have traveled back there now twice in the past 2 years, and the more I go the more I realize that I had an amazing upbringing and I am very happy for the life my parents gave me over there.

There is a lot to be said about tradition and nostalgia.  There are a great many traditions that I brought over with me and I share with my family.  Remembering where we came from is a huge part in recognizing and being grateful for where we are today.  I have no plans to move back to England, however, I miss my friends, and I definitely miss a lot of the history that is everywhere over there.  It has made me feel like I want to take my kids (now that they are older) to see some of the sights, to walk down memory lane with me, and to see where I grew up.  My youngest two boys have never been over there, and I think they would love some of the places – who doesn’t love a castle or two?!

There have been times in my life when I have gone through hard things, one of which was moving over here to the US as a single mum…but now as I look back I can be grateful for that trying experience because it shaped me into who I am today.  So as I sit and think about my life and the things that have made me stronger, I feel nothing but gratitude and appreciation.  There are rewards from trials but only if we let ourselves surrender to the good that came from it.  I know in some things it is harder to find something good that came from it – and it may be something as simple as meeting someone that helped you through or admitting to yourself that you need help (a challenge for me)…

Wherever you’re from, whatever you have been through, looking back at your life with fondness and love is the only way that you can move through today into the rest of your life.  After all, nothing can drag you down if you’re not holding on to it!!

Have a fabulous Monday…

You can shop my outfit and similar pieces by clicking the links below…

 

Celebrate YOU

 

“Celebrate how far you have come & who you have become.  Today, celebrate YOU!”

 

One of the things I have realized as I have been on my career and life journey is that it is 100% OK for me to celebrate ME!  It’s important for me to recognize the good things that I do, to allow myself grace and most importantly to set clear boundaries where I allow time to take care of myself and my needs.

As a working mother, wife, friend, daughter & sister to name just a few hats I wear, I used to feel guilty if I took time for me – and I bet I’m not the only one!  Taking time for you, allowing yourself to be you and spending time appreciating the amazing qualities you have is honestly the only way you’re going to get through this life unscathed.

 

Shop my outfit by clicking any of these links – I use feeling good about how I look to strengthen my relationship with myself.

 

So how do you truly celebrate you?  Here are some of my ideas, you may have others and I would love to hear about them:

  1. When you do a good job allow yourself to receive praise.  I used to be one of those women that was uncomfortable with people complimenting me – in fact whenever someone would say something nice about me I would find myself feeling a weird sensation so I would change the subject or turn the compliment to the person that had just taken the time to say something nice to me.  Do you ever do that?  When someone says “I love your dress” or “you look cute” do you find yourself saying “YOU look cute” or “your dress or outfit is way cuter?”  I have found that it is only hard to take a compliment when you don’t feel that good about yourself.
  2. Giving yourself grace to make mistakes can be the difference between a positive self appreciation and a negative one.  We are all human, we are not always going to get things right, so why do we expect ourselves to?  I would never put the level of expectation I have for myself onto another person – it wouldn’t be fair because it’s a level that is not humanly possible to achieve, so why do I do it?  I am working on recognizing that I am not the most patient person, and I expect myself to be the best (or at least so I can see that I am working my way toward that), but when I feel like I have a setback, I tend to get frustrated with myself and don’t always think the best things.  Just the fact that I am writing this and putting it out there lets you know that I realize that it’s OK and that I am cutting myself some slack!
  3. Feed yourself emotionally.  We all have different things that make us feel good, and whatever that is, we should do more of it.  I love to spend time with my family (especially when not everyone is fighting), read, hike, shop, ride my bike, take a really hot bath at night, exercise regularly, hang out with friends, and every once in a while a good pedicure or massage is just what I need.  Your list is going to be completely different than mine, so work from your list.  If you love to cook or bake then that is where you’re going to want to spend more time.  The point is, we are fed by doing things we love, so why do we not do more of them?
  4. Connection is something that we are humans were meant to do.  Whether you are married or not, my guess is that you have at least one relationship in your life that makes you feel good.  We weren’t made to be alone.  I do realize that for some people even when they are surrounded by people that love them there can still be that feeling of being alone.  Even if it’s not something you feel all the time, there have probably been times that this is true.  I have found that when I focus on the love that I have for myself and nurture my relationship with ME, the loneliness will very often subside.

Celebrate who you are, celebrate the amazing person that this world needs.  No matter who you are there is a reason you’re here and there is something you can do to make this world a better place.  Just believe in YOU!

The weekend is almost here – find something to do for yourself!

 

 

Make No Excuses – Just Goals

 

“Discipline is the bridge between goals and accomplishment!”

 

Do you have goals?  Even if you think you don’t, I am sure there are some things that you want to achieve.  It could be as simple as decorating your home, raising your kids to be respectful, or even just about eating healthy.  What one thing do all these goals have in common?  They require WORK to get there!

Have you ever found yourself imaging your future, the home you’ll live in, the career you’ll have, standing at your kids’ weddings next to the bride or groom with pride all over your face?  To imagine is completely normal, but the only way you will actually get there is by doing at least some work.

In order to stand next to your kids on their wedding day requires you having a good relationship with them (WORK), to have the career you want (EFFORT), to move homes (WORK, TO BE ABLE TO AFFORD IT).  The thing that I have noticed in my 20 year career in sales is that unfortunately a lot of people want the reward without the effort.  The problem with that is that our imaginations can create AMAZING realities, but when we are in our actual reality it looks bleak in comparison.

It is only my second day in my new career, and I can tell you that it has its challenges, the grass is not always going to be greener, but the one thing that I have going for me is that no matter what I am not afraid to put in the effort.  Working hard is not the most important thing, working smart needs to be part of it as well.  I have found myself having to think a lot more about structuring my day to include tasks I want to accomplish, the things I need to do, along with things that I know will distract me if I don’t schedule time for them.

We have so many distractions in our life that if we don’t schedule time for those distractions we will become swept away, and when the option of doing a harder task versus something that is more fun, we will always welcome the fun one if we haven’t planned ahead.  For example, as I sit writing this blog I have probably had 20 emails, 3 texts, not to mention the phone call from one of my boys.  Obviously some distractions can’t be avoided (I try to never miss a call from my kids, even though most of the time it’s about drama or something I wish I didn’t have to deal with), but the big question is…do we welcome those distractions.  I will definitely admit that when I am doing mundane tasks I tend to become more easily distracted and tend to stay that way for longer.

So, now we know what we have to deal with on a daily basis..how do we  handle it effectively?  I have found that I allocate myself a certain amount of time on a task, and once that time is up I switch to another task.  If I haven’t completed the first task I can always go back to it.  This helps me with my focus,  my boredom and most importantly I allow myself a little break (even if it’s just a bathroom break) so I don’t become burned out!

 

 

I don’t always do work outdoors like I am in this post, but there are definitely times when a little fresh air can be exactly what the doctor ordered – maybe you can give it a try (although it’s been pretty cold here in Utah, so I won’t be able to do it soon!)

Today is Wednesday – what have you accomplished this week already and what do you still want to achieve?  Comment below…