Doing More

I’m reading Brene Brown’s book Rising Strong. I highly recommend it. In the chapter Easy Mark, she’s talking about her reckoning with her struggle of being privileged and being uncomfortable connecting with others in real need. She says, “My rumbles with shame, judgment, privilege, connection, need, fear, and self-worth taught me that it wasn’t the pain or the hurt that made me look away. It was my own need…Helping and giving are comfortable for me. I wanted to solve this issue by doing more of what I already do. When I look back at this rising strong example now, I think about how often we all try to solve problems by doing more of what’s not working–just doing it harder, grinding it out longer. We’ll do anything to avoid the lowest of the low–self-examination.”

What’s the difference between perseverance and avoiding self-examination?

I haven’t exactly figured this one out, yet. Comment and let me know if you have!

Money Philosophy Carried Over to Food

Ever since I wrote some thoughts on money, it has been coming to my mind how I might apply that same philosophy to food. I know not everyone feels the same way about food as I do. I remember going to my mother-in-law’s one day after she had gone grocery shopping. She had all of her groceries spread out on her table and counter and she said to me, “I just love looking at everything I could buy. I feel so grateful that I could buy all of this.” It was inspiring to me that she was so grateful!

When my fridge is packed, though, I feel overwhelmed. I worry about if things are going to go bad, and I kind of have this urge to eat it all really quickly so it’s just taken care of. Does that sound weird, or have you had that urge before? I’m not sure why I have the urge to eat it rather than throw it out, but there it is.

I went shopping recently, and bought quite a bit of produce hoping that I wouldn’t need to go shopping again for 2 weeks. However, once I put it all in the fridge, I had that urge again to eat it as quickly as possible so that my fridge wasn’t so full. That reminded me of my thought on money, “I buy what I need, and a few extras, and then save the rest, or give it to others.” I know this doesn’t translate exactly, but I like the thought, “I eat what I need, with a few treats, and then leave the rest.”

What do you think? I think I’m liking this thought.

Being Your Own Cheerleader

I don’t know if you’ve had this thought, but I definitely have had it a lot. “I just wish someone would believe in me.” I’ve always looked to authority to believe in me, but I’ve often been disappointed. Now I’m learning how to be my own cheerleader and believe in myself.

I started piano lessons…again…last September. The other day I was practicing one of my songs that I had been playing for a couple of weeks. At my last lesson, I almost wanted to just tell my piano teacher I was done with it because frankly, I was tired of playing it and feeling like I just wasn’t getting it. I decided to trust my teacher, though, and took it on another week. I am glad I did, because I played it really well. I played it the way I wanted to. I may not be able to play it like that for my lesson, but I was so proud of myself that I kept with it. When I finished, I blurted out, “Good job, Betsy! You played that so well!” My son laughed and asked, “Why did you say that, Mom?” I told him that I was really proud of myself and no one else was saying it, so I decided to tell myself. He said, “We’ll tell you. Good job, Mom!” I hope he’ll feel free to tell himself a good job when he’s proud of something he’s done, too. It felt good to be free to tell myself I did a good job sticking with something when I sincerely felt I had.

What are you wishing someone would say to you?

Thursday Thought: Just Go

Hi Peeps, I thought I’d start a series called Thursday Thought where I’ll give you some thoughts that have been helpful to me.

I have always preferred exercising in the morning. Then I have less time to talk myself out of it. However, I still do have lots of thoughts right when I wake up about how this is a bad idea, and I should just stay in bed. I know in the big picture that’s not what I really want, but at that moment, it’s so convincing. I’ve been struggling with this for a few weeks as I’ve been trying to start a new habit of doing a 20 minute workout 3 times a week. I would still get it done, but it would be later, when my kids were awake, which pushes everything else behind, besides I don’t always get my 5 minute solitude (I just lay on my back for 5 minutes in silence and solitude) at the end, which is a huge motivator for me. Try it! It doesn’t sound like much, but I love it.

So, as I was contemplating what to do about this, I remembered my University experience. I would stay up later and get up earlier those days, and sometimes would try to talk myself out of going to class. At some point, I realized if I got in the shower, it was very unlikely that I would get back in bed. So when the alarm would go off, and all of those thoughts would start flooding me with reasons to stay in bed, I would redirect to this thought, “Just go. Just get in the shower.” I just focused on the one thing I needed to do to get going, and then I could get to the rest of my day. I just couldn’t handle the whole day at once. I decided to try this out with my new dilemma.

Now when I wake up and my mind starts thinking about how I’d rather lay in bed than workout, even if it is only 20 minutes, I redirect my thoughts to “Just go. Just get in your workout clothes.” Once I’m that far, it’s not hard to just do the workout, because then I realize, “Oh ya, it’s only 20 minutes, then I can get in a nice warm shower.” I also love to just lay on my back on the ground for 5 minutes of solitude at the end of my workout. Doesn’t sound like much, but I love it. Try it!

What helpful thoughts do you use to help you get out of bed in the morning?

Fulfilling Your Own Need for Appreciation and Validation

One of my frequented hang-outs is self pity. I don’t love this place. It’s just one of those well worn paths in my brain. It actually feels terrible. Something that has helped me stay out of self pity is giving myself appreciation. Whenever I hear myself say, or see my thoughts go to the phrase, “I just wish he/she would say…”, I remind myself that I can solve that! Often that phrase ends with, “…you’re doing such a good job!” or “Thank you!” So, I say those things to myself. And you know what? Because I’m saying them, I know I mean them.

One of the first times I did this was last Summer after I mowed the lawn. I love it when the lawn gets mowed. I love just looking out the window and seeing it mowed. I like the way it looks, and I feel a sense of relief that it’s done, because when it’s not done I keep thinking about how it needs to be done. (I know there’s a better way to just plan it out, but I think I keep hoping someone else will do it. haha) Anyway, I’m the only one in the house that feels this love of having the lawn mowed. I had just learned about thanking yourself from Jody Moore at Bold New Mom. So, I told myself out loud in my friend voice, “Thanks for mowing the lawn, Betsy! It looks so great, and I feel so relieved that it’s done. You’re the best!” I totally felt appreciated.

I know this might sound weird and it might feel weird the first few times you do it, but give it a try if you also hear yourself saying or thinking, “I just wish they’d say…”

Look for my follow-up post of How to Be Your Own Cheerleader.

Let me know how you appreciate yourself.

Thoughts on Money

I kept having the thought, “I do not want to make a million dollars.” I know this probably sounds so foreign. I would love for someone to give me a million dollars. I have a lot of fun ways I could think of how to spend it. However, the thought of making a million dollars was really stressing me out. I felt like it would just be all of this money, and I’d have to figure out how to spend it wisely. Just another thing I have to do!

As I talked to my hubby about it, he shared his thought about money, “I never really worry about how much money is in my bank account. I just buy what I need, and  a couple of things I want, and there’s always enough and leftover.” I can attest to this! I have always been a strict budgeter. It was almost a competition to me to see how close I could stick to my budget, and then buy myself a treat with anything leftover. However, it was stressful.

When we got married, we had two accounts where we each got a certain amount of money each month that we could spend on whatever we wanted. You know what? He always stayed under budget. ALWAYS. Here I was stressing, feeling like there was never enough money, and he seemed to have everything he wanted without any stress, and lots of money leftover.

Finally, I gave in. We stopped keeping track of each penny. My stress level over money went way down. Until I felt like we were overspending, or we’d get a certain amount of money in our account and I’d have this itch to spend it on something.

After having this conversation with Steve, I felt so much peace with his philosophy on money. We could have a $40,000 salary or a million dollars, and we could still just buy what we need (including taking care of our future), a couple of things we want, and then donate money to help others. I think this really can apply to any income. You hear stories of people donating money to others in need, when they themselves seem to be in need. It’s all in the way you think about it.

What do you think? Do you think it’s possible to have an abundance mindset no matter how much money you make?

The TROUBLE with Trouble

Do you have those games that you or your kids “think” they love to play, but ALWAYS end up in a fight and someone storming off? My sister used to call Phase 10 “the contention game”.

Someone gave my kids the game Trouble for Christmas. They were so excited, but inside I cringed. Trouble is one of THOSE games that has seriously caused trouble in the past.

Rewind to a couple of weeks earlier when I had listened to Hank Smith on VidAngel’s Dry Comedy. He told a story about his sister and golfing, which you can read here. The lesson I got from it is that when you don’t help others do their best, you can’t be your best either. I decided to see if I could make this play out with the game Trouble.

I would tell the boys when I saw a good move for them to make, even if it was bad for my chances of winning. I would say to them, “You do your best, and help everyone else do their best.” It was amazing. Now it’s such a fun game to play. No one gets upset when they get put back to start over and over and over again. To be honest, it wasn’t just the kids that got mad or annoyed in the past. I tend to be competitive when it comes to games. So whenever I was tempted to not say something that I saw would be a good move for them, but not good for me I would repeat my own mantra, “You do your best, and help everyone else do their best.” I enjoyed it so much better. Winning totally has a lot to do with chance, and let’s be real, it’s ONLY a board game. But I know there are those of you out there that hear me! We don’t have the angry/annoyed problem over this game anymore. It’s a good game. It’s not players just “being nice”. Everyone is really playing their best, and it’s a good competition (as far as board games go), and everyone has fun.

This is such a great lesson in life. And brings up the very famous quote from Marianne Williamson again:

“Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us.”

When have you helped someone do their best when it seemed counter-intuitive?

Until later…

 

Glorious

And you will know how
To let it ring out
As you discover
Who you are
Others around you
Will start to wake up
To the sounds that are
In their hearts
-Glorious by David Archuleta

Ever since the first time I heard this song, this verse has stood out to me. I believe it. I believe as we each live true to the voice inside of us, that we will inspire others to also live true to the voice inside of them. If we each do what we feel inspired to do, the world will be taken care of.

Have you ever noticed that when you’re around someone that is genuine, you feel free to be genuine yourself?

Marianne Williamson said it in her very famous quote:

“We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

This is how I want to be. I want to allow others to be who they want to be whether I agree with it or not. I know I can do this by being brave enough to act in the ways that feel true to me, without worrying how others are going to judge me. The truth is, we all judge each other for good or bad. But someone’s judgement doesn’t make us good or bad. We are worthwhile whether someone judges us worthwhile or not. This is so amazing.

Comment and tell me about someone you have met with whom you felt you could be yourself.