Relationships Need A Boost?

How are your relationships doing? Some people we’ve been around A LOT more than usual, and a lot of people we’ve been away from A LOT more than usual.

How has this affected your relationships?

What does having a good relationship mean to you? Maybe it changes a bit depending on who you’re thinking of.

Today I wanted to give you a couple of things to ask yourself to understand how you’re viewing your relationships, and hopefully help soften those relationships that may have become a little prickly over the last couple of months (or years…let’s be honest).

Does your definition of a good relationship depend on how the other person feels, or how the other person feels about you? 

We often think that relationships are good if we get along, if we like each other, if we treat each other well, etc…

Very often our focus is very much on the other person. We’re gauging how they feel, or how they feel about us to decide whether the relationship is going well.

We think we have control over how other people feel, even how they feel about us. We also think other people make us feel a certain way, that they can control our feelings.

Have you ever had someone try to make you feel better, and you think, “That’s not helping. In fact, it’s making it worse,”?

Have you ever done something that you thought would make someone feel happy, but they didn’t feel happy about it? 

I’m the youngest of my 7 siblings. I was pretty young when my first sibling got married. My mom seemed stressed about the reception, and I knew she needed to make some cookies for it. I really wanted her to feel less stressed, so I decided to bake some of the cookies for her. 

To my shock, when she saw the cookies she was not grateful and relieved like I had imagined.

She was upset and more stressed. You see, I hadn’t made the cookies the way she was planning, and I had used all of the ingredients she had reserved for those cookies.

I was crushed. Why? Was it because my mom was upset with me? I thought it was, but actually it was because I had thoughts that I had failed, that she shouldn’t be mad at me, that I had done something wrong. 

I didn’t feel the way I did because of her reaction. I felt the way I did because of my thoughts about her reaction. 

Of course, when she saw how upset I was, she thanked me for making the cookies because she saw my intentions were good, but the point of the story is I was trying to make her feel something, and when she didn’t feel it, I had crushing thoughts.

On the other hand, she was upset and stressed, not because I had made cookies, but because of her thoughts about the cookies and the ingredients being used up. 

It’s the same in all of our relationships. We think we MAKE people feel a certain way…whether positive or negative. We think other people MAKE us feel a certain way…positive or negative.

The only reason we or anyone else feels anything is because of our thoughts. It’s not because of what others say or do, and vice versa.

Your brain may resist this. I just encourage you to be open to the possibility that it’s true.

So, what are we to do? How can we improve our relationships if we can’t make other people feel good, or feel positive about us?

The answer is to see the relationship in terms of what you have control over.

The way I like to define a relationship is this: how I feel about me, and how I feel about the other person. 

That’s all I have control over. 

It’s all you have control over.

Let your focus be on how you feel about them, and how you feel about you and your behaviour. This also means if you don’t appreciate someone’s behaviour then the loving thing for yourself is to tell them, and remove yourself if they don’t comply.

It’s so much more freeing to only take responsibility over the things you have control over. Try it. Let me know how it goes.

P.S. Want a neutral place to talk about your relationship with someone else? Want to talk to someone who will love you AND the other person? I specialize in making that safe place for you to explore any relationship so you can use your inner wisdom to decide what to do. Sign-up for a free 45-minute session today!

When You’re Afraid You’ve Messed Up Your Kids

What are you afraid of today? Can you pinpoint one thing?

A lot of my fears have to do with how my kids will be in the future. Sometimes we put this huge pressure on ourselves to do everything right as parents, so that our kids won’t have to suffer in the future. 

As I was contemplating this one day, I had the thought, “Heavenly Father has an individual relationship with each of my kids, just like he does with me.” 

This may not seem earth-shattering, but I’ll tell you why it was for me.

I unintentionally decided that I was in between God and my kids. I thought He would talk to me, then I would tell my kids. That’s a lot of pressure to not mess it up, to not miss anything. Heck, I was having a hard time hearing what God was telling ME, let alone my kids.

When I had the thought that He has an individual relationship with each of them, the pressure dropped. 

Of course my husband and I will mess things up. We’re humans. Guess what, God is sending His children to imperfect humans to be raised. I don’t think this was an accident. 

I realized that even when terrible, horrible things happen, God can make it good, meaning He can work with it to make it good for us…when we turn to Him. 

So, yes, we will do things that will cause our kids to suffer, unknowingly, inadvertently, and maybe even sometimes on purpose because we’re imperfect humans.

But when they turn to God, He will make it create goodness for them. 

How has God created goodness in your life from your parents’ mistakes or inadequacies? 

P.S. If you’d like more help creating the life you want to have, sign-up for a free 45-minute coaching session. Coaching helps you create the feelings you want to have in your life. Try it out today!

Something I Found In My Journal

I have a notebook that’s not exactly like a journal. It’s more of a place where I download my thoughts to sort through them.

Today I was going through it to rip out pages that I had used, but don’t need to keep. I found a page that I had titled, “Positive On Purpose”. Then I had written down feel-good experiences I have had in our current home.

I had written things like: finding my toddler asleep on the rocking chair, shoveling snow along with my husband (a rare occurrence because he usually does it by himself), watching TV while waiting for my baby to go to sleep, listening to my 8 year old practice piano, dancing with my husband in the kitchen and then seeing my kids dance with each other in the living room, my 3 year old seeing me bake and asking, “Do you have anything for me to lick?”.

The list went on and on down the page. Reading this list may not do the same thing for you as it does for me because these memories flood me with emotions of love and joy. 

I was so grateful to my past self for writing this list so that my current self could easily feel these emotions today. 

Do something nice for your current self AND your future self by writing a list of feel-good experiences you’ve had. Remember to be honest. You may have experiences you think SHOULD feel positive, but really they don’t. Write the ones you already feel good about. 

It’s okay if this is hard. Just be open to remembering them as you go about your day, and write them down as they come. Your future self will thank you!

P.S. If you’re really struggling to love your life and your relationships, coaching is here for you. The love is already inside of you. As a coach, I create a safe place for you to explore what’s inside until you find that love. Sign-up for a free 45 minute coaching session today!

 

You See What You Look For

Have you ever learned a new word that you’re pretty sure you’ve never heard before, but then you start seeing it everywhere? You realize it has been in your sight all of this time, but you’ve never noticed it.

Recently my coach challenged me to write down 5 things I want my children to believe about me as a mom. At first, my brain wanted to dismiss them. It told me I don’t do all of them all of the time. 

But after time, I started noticing how those 5 things are true. They were there all of the time, but I didn’t notice them.

What would you like to notice more about you. I challenge you to write it down, or write several things down. Read them often. You’ll be surprised how often they are already there but you just hadn’t noticed.

P.S. Are you ready to take your confidence to the next level and really believe in yourself? Sign-up for a free 45-minute coaching session. See the power of coaching in your life!

When Will It Get Better?

This is a question that my brain keeps asking me. Is your brain asking you, too? 

I want to offer to you that it is not better there than here. What I mean by that is there is just as much joy available now as there will be in the future. 

Our brains do not believe this. That’s because our brains naturally look for the problems. 

If you are feeling low on joy now, but the far distant future seems like it’s going to be so much better, try asking yourself, “What’s good and right, right now?” 

At first, it might be really hard to see it. But just keep the question in your mind.

Your brain wants to solve a problem, so give it this problem to solve. What’s good and right, right now? 

I love to think of a time when I was so tired of cloud cover, so I asked my brain what was great about cloud cover. Eventually, I started to imagine the clouds like a blanket over the sky, just there to give me comfort. It was so, well, comforting.

I don’t always feel this way about the clouds, but when I have times I’m so tired of cloud cover, it’s pretty easy for me to bring up that imagery of the clouds being a blanket of comfort, there just for me. 

What can you focus on now to fill you with joy?

The thing is, there’s always going to be something to enjoy and something to dislike or fear. But we can give our brain the job to find what there is to enjoy. 

Don’t think I’m telling you that you SHOULD do this. I’m totally good with you just wanting to be sad, depressed, or scared. Sometimes that’s what I want to choose, too.

But if you want to have more joy right now, it IS available to you.

P.S. Why not talk to me virtually in person? Sign-up for a free one-on-one coaching session to see how coaching could be just the thing to help you right now. 

Am I Doing It Right?

A good friend sent me a text that said, “‘Having kids home is kicking my trash!’ My most common thought right now.” haha

She asked if I had a thought to replace it with. 

I told her how I had noticed the day before that I was looking to people all around me to tell me I was doing a good job. 

Guess what I found out…other people aren’t very good at validating me, AND those who do, I don’t believe, or my brain tells me they’re patronizing me. 

So, I decided I needed to validate me. As I thought about all I was doing: homeschooling my kids (I use the term homeschooling loosely), following some working hours, making meals, shopping for groceries even when I was super nervous about doing it, buying clothes for the kids online (which was also super uncomfortable for me), teaching an online class, and more…I told myself thank you for keeping going, even when I’m feeling unsure, uncomfortable, slightly anxious, and slightly depressed. Honestly, I was pretty impressed with myself. 

You know what I didn’t spend time dwelling on? All of the times I ate instead of felt my feelings, when I was super impatient with my son while teaching him something he’d never done before, or the intense irritation I feel sometimes when my kids just want to tell me a joke.

I want to tell YOU something, and ME something: you’re doing so well, and you’re making a mess of things. We all are.

It’s okay. Just breathe. Then show yourself what you’re doing well, JUST as much or more than what you’re not doing well. 

You’ll have to be INTENTIONAL about this. Our brains automatically show us what we’re doing wrong, because our brains like to solve problems.

It’s each of our individual JOBS to CONSCIOUSLY tell ourselves what we’re doing well. Don’t make stuff up, but also don’t discount things that aren’t perfect. 

You’re doing better than you think you are. 

P.S. I would love to help you see what’s so amazing about you. If you’re struggling with this, sign-up for a FREE coaching session. I’d love to meet you!

The Gift of Endurance

How are you doing? We’re going on week 4 of physical distancing and staying at home. Where are you? 

My sister sent me a video of an author, Caroline Myss, talking about the concept of endurance being a gift that we can ask for. 

Moroni 7:48, in the Book of Mormon, implores us to pray for the gift of charity.

At this time, perhaps we can pray for the gift of endurance. 

Most of us have lived in a way that we’ve never had to endure something hard for very long. We’ve been so blessed to be able to change our circumstances often.

However, I offer to each of us, that perhaps having to endure something that stretches us, or is hard, can be a gift because it gives us the opportunity to increase our endurance for hard things.

Think of running. There are sprints, and there are long-distance runs. How are these different? How do the runners train differently?

Way back when I used to run…it was totally a frame of mind for me. If I was on a long run, I knew I had to find some way to pace myself. I couldn’t sprint the whole way. 

When you started staying home for physical distancing, did you have in your mind that it was going to just be 2 weeks, and then back to normal, and now it feels like it’s dragging on?

Now’s the time to re-frame our experience into a long-distance run. This isn’t a sprint. 

But that’s okay, right? Just because it’s not a sprint, doesn’t mean it won’t ever end. It will. It’s just going to be longer than we thought in the beginning. 

So, slow down if you need to, find ways to make it more enjoyable, but don’t give up hope. 

Pray for the gift of endurance.

P.S. Remember if you or someone you know could really use someone to talk to during this time, set up a free 45-minute session with me. I can help you see what’s going on in your mind, and how to get some relief, and perhaps even find a way to thrive during this time.

Why Do You Get Up In The Morning?

Many years ago, I had someone ask me, “Why do you get up and get ready in the morning?” 

She told me that morning she had been sitting on the shower floor shaving her legs. She had gotten one leg done and had kind of “woken up” and asked herself what she was doing. Why was she sitting on the shower floor? Why was she shaving? 

She told me she realized she was sitting on the shower floor shaving her legs because that’s what she thought her husband would want her to do. When she realized this, she couldn’t bring herself to do the other leg because somewhere inside she knew it wasn’t going to get the reaction from her husband that she was hoping for. 

When we do things to try to get approval from others, at some point, we’ll “wake up” and realize it’s not worth it. 

The only reason we want approval from others is so we can give ourselves permission to approve of ourselves. 

And you know what? Most of the time, other people aren’t very good at approving of us, and even when they do, we have a hard time internalizing it. 

Are there things you’re doing just to get the approval of someone else? 

When you do something nice, is it because you want the other person to like you? Or do you do it because you like to do things you think are nice, and they can like it or not?

Why do YOU get up and get ready in the morning? Do it for you. You’re worth it!

P.S. As a coach, I don’t have an agenda about what you should or shouldn’t do. I just help you see what you’re doing and why you’re doing it, and see what your true and sometimes hidden desires are inside. I am your safe place to explore whatever it is you want to. Sign-up for a FREE 45-minute consultation today to see what it’s like to talk to someone who cares for you no matter what you decide. 

What to Do in Stressful Times

How are you feeling? 

As our worlds have been changing rapidly, I want to offer you some thoughts that have been helpful for me.

When times are stressful, zoom in, just like with a camera lens. How am I in this moment? How are my kids, my family, in this very moment and just for this moment? 

Your brain will want to run to the future. Gently bring it back to the moment. In this moment, everything is okay. You might feel upset. Your kids might feel upset, but, in this moment you know exactly what to do. You may not know what the future holds, or how you’ll handle the future, but you can do this moment.

When times are stressful, it’s also helpful to take time to zoom way out. Get the big picture of this life. Remember that we lived before this life. We will live after this life. We have loving Heavenly Parents.

I like to think about times when my kids are really mad that I expect them to go to bed, or don’t let them eat candy as a meal. They are genuinely upset, and they’re not really capable of understanding why I’m making the decisions I am.

I believe this is the same with us. We are genuinely upset when this life doesn’t go the way we expect. We don’t like the unknown. We don’t like most changes. We don’t like when things or hard, or watching other people suffer. But it’s possible we’re upset about something we can’t fully understand and see is in our best interest and has a higher purpose. 

We will make it through this. Everyone in history always has made it through hard times. Every.time. 

A lot of it won’t be comfortable. But that’s okay. We may feel worried, scared, angry. We may react badly to those emotions. We may not show up as who we want to be in different situations and different relationships. That is going to be okay, too.

We have everything we need to get through this moment and this life. We have repentance, the Atonement, prayer, the Spirit. 

It may not be easy, but we can do it.

P.S. If you are struggling and want to talk to someone, sign-up here for a free one-on-one consult. I would love to help you through this. 

 

You Have A Good Reason

I want you to know that you have a good reason for doing what you’re doing. 

So often we want to be mad at ourselves for doing things that are perhaps giving us negative results in our lives.

I overate again. I slept in again. I lied about how I really felt.again. I yelled at my kids.again.

If you are telling yourself that you’re stupid, or lack will-power, or there’s something wrong with you, then you’re shutting yourself off from the creativity necessary to find a solution for change. 

But when you can have compassion for yourself and see that you had a good reason for doing what you did, THEN you can look at it in curiosity about how you might change it. 

You overeat because there are uncomfortable feelings in your body, and when you eat you get a rush of dopamine that feels pleasurable.

You sleep in because you have thoughts that make you not look forward to your day, and when you’re sleeping, you don’t have to feel those things.

You lie about how you really feel because you think the other person won’t like what you say, and it feels good to think people like you. 

You yell because your kids react when you do.

You’re not stupid. You’re actually really smart. You don’t lack will-power, you’d just rather feel good than bad. It makes perfect sense. There’s nothing wrong with you. 

Now what? How could you have fun solving this problem? How could you feel love while solving this problem? 

You have the answers IN you. They’re just being blocked when you tell yourself you’re stupid. 

P.S. I help women UN-block their wisdom and find their creative solutions. I believe in you, when you don’t believe in yourself. Schedule a free 45-minute consultation today!