Thursday Thought: Maybe it’s supposed to be challenging.

Life is challenging. Can I get an ‘Amen’? I feel like there’s a lot of marketing telling us that it doesn’t need to be challenging. That we deserve to have it easy and fun.

This really feeds into how our brains naturally function. Two of its main goals are to expend the least amount of energy and seek pleasure.

I’m all for trying to make things easier and more enjoyable. But the biggest problem I see is when things in our lives feel really hard, heavy, and uncomfortable we think something has gone wrong, or we’re doing something wrong.

We think, “This isn’t fair.” or “If I could just be better, this wouldn’t be so hard.”

What if those thoughts just weren’t true? What if “this” situation, whatever it is for you or me, IS supposed to be challenging for YOU or ME.

What if it was okay that it was challenging? What if we were like a soccer player, who was used to being the best player on her team, but now she’s been moved to a better team? Now is supposed to be challenging, and it’s okay.

Don’t listen to your brain when it tells you there’s something wrong because it’s difficult. For sure, don’t listen to the lie that if you were somehow better or different that “this” wouldn’t be challenging.

Maybe it’s okay if “this” is challenging.

P.S. If you like these posts and are interested in getting some more personal help with your struggles or seeing your amazingness. I’d love for you to sign-up for a free coaching session. You don’t have to come prepared or have anything necessarily to say. I will ask you questions and guide you the whole time. I’d love to meet you!

One Thought Does Not Fit All

Thoughts are like clothes. They fit differently for different people. You know that friend that dresses so cute, and then you try on her clothes, and even if they fit your body, you don’t feel very good in them?

Thoughts are like that. I may share a thought here that sounds so nice, and really works for me, or for one of my clients. You may try it on, but every time you think it you feel not quite right.

I want you to know that doesn’t mean you’re doing something wrong. It just means that thought isn’t for you. That doesn’t mean thought work isn’t for you; it just means it’s not a helpful thought…for you.

So how do you know if a thought fits? Notice how it makes you feel. Remember: circumstances trigger thoughts, which create feelings that drive our actions, which give us our results.

You know a thought is helpful when it creates a feeling in you that drives actions or behaviours that get you the results that you want.

P.S. If you like these posts and are interested in getting some more personal help with your struggles or seeing your amazingness. I’d love for you to sign-up for a free coaching session. You don’t have to come prepared or have anything necessarily to say. I will ask you questions and guide you the whole time. I’d love to meet you!

How To Mess Up

Have you ever watched professional basketball and wondered how the players could miss a free-throw? I mean, how many times do you think a professional basketball player has made a basket? I would say probably in the thousands, if not hundreds of thousands. And yet, even when they’re standing at the line, with nobody even guarding them, they still miss it sometimes.

So…you’re working on something…let’s say not losing your cool with your kids. How many times have you felt like losing your cool, but you haven’t? Hundreds, maybe? And then you lose your cool and you think, “I’m such a failure. I’ll never get this. I shouldn’t have been a mom.”

Do you think when a professional basketball player misses a free throw that they think, “I’ll never be able to make a basket 100% of the time. I’m such a failure.” Of course, not! Are they disappointed? Maybe even a little frustrated with themselves? Probably. But they don’t stay there. They expect they’ll miss sometimes. EVEN after all of their practice.

When you’re working on something, losing weight, getting into shape, loving someone, using kinder language, expect that you’ll make progress, and then you’ll mess up. Expect that you’ll get it wrong, even when you “know better”. Even when you’ve been working at it for years. Even when you’re really good at it. That’s just part of being a human.

P.S. If you like these posts and are interested in getting some more personal help working on your goals. I’d love for you to sign-up for a free coaching session. You don’t have to come prepared or have anything necessarily to say. I will ask you questions and guide you the whole time. I’d love to meet you!

Thursday Thoughts: We don’t obey commandments, we obey The Commander

How many times have you heard or said the phrase, “Obey the commandments,”? How do you feel when you think that thought? For some people it’s not a problem, but for some of us, it feels very restrictive, and almost like we’re in trouble.

I was watching an episode of Don’t Miss This (check it out if you want help on how to teach your family from the New Testament) and Dave Butler said, “We don’t obey the commandments; we obey The Commander.”

Have you ever had a really big goal like running a marathon? Or for some of us…running a 5k? Obviously, we all KNOW how to run a marathon. You put on your running shoes and you run 26.2 miles.

We also know that if you’ve never run, it’s pretty much impossible to just go run a marathon. You have to start small. Run a little bit. Maybe even walk a little bit, then jog, then run. It looks different for all of us, depending on what you’ve already been doing. It also looks different at different times in our lives. Ten years ago, I was running 5 miles. Right now, I can run down the street.

The two great commandments are to Love God and Love Your Neighbour As Yourself. Are we trying to obey these commandments, or are we turning to the Commander and asking for specific instructions on who to love and how to love them, or how to love Him?

The two great commandments are like running a marathon. Heavenly Father is our personal trainer. He’s not going to take us out to the road and say, “See you in 26.2 miles.” He’s not even going to take us out to the road and say, “I’ll see you at mile 5, 10, 15, and 26.” He takes us to the road and says, “Today we’re going to walk around the block together.” Maybe that looks like, “Today we’re going to say ‘hi’ to that person that is hard for you to love right now.”

P.S. If you like these posts and are interested in getting some more personal help on how to feel better. I’d love for you to sign-up for a free coaching session. You don’t have to come prepared or have anything necessarily to say. I will ask you questions and guide you the whole time. I’d love to meet you!

Free House Cleaning Anyone?

Very often, people equate positive thinking with mental wellness. Positive thinking is a very important aspect of mental wellness, but they are not synonymous.

I like to think of a house that has a lot of rooms with closets and furnishings. Positive thinking is like decorating these rooms and straightening them up so they look pretty. It’s making the bed, closing the closet doors, opening the blinds, putting up a nice picture or putting a pretty plant on the table. It really makes the room pleasant to look at and be in.

On the other hand, thought work pulls everything out of the closets, from under the bed, the piles of papers on the desk and the countertop and puts them in the middle of the room. Has anyone seen Marie Kondo? Then it goes through each item and decides if that item needs to go into garbage, recycling, donated, or if you want to keep it and put it back in the closet, or put it on display. It decides whether an item is useful or not useful.

All of the things in our proverbial house are thoughts. Learning to have positive thoughts is really helpful and nice. But it’s not enough if you never go through everything stuffed into closets and under beds. A room can be beautifully decorated, and still not pleasant to be in if there is stuff all over the floor, or spilling out from under the bed or out of the closet.

A coach is like a house cleaner or home organizer who comes in and helps you go through everything. She tells you all of her tips and tricks to getting things cleaned and organized. She doesn’t decide which things you should keep. She just listens and helps you recognize what is useful and what isn’t. You know what you want the environment of your home and mind to be like.

You can do it yourself. But it’s more fun, efficient, and sometimes more effective with a coach. Above all, though, mental wellness isn’t a one-time job. It’s a continuous work. You don’t do the whole house in one day. You work on it little-by-little. Along the way you’ll create some lasting and helpful routines that help you keep up on it.

P.S. If you’re curious what it would be like to work with a coach, be sure to sign-up for a free coaching session with me. It’s like having a house cleaner come to your house for free! It can feel very vulnerable at first, but know that I do this all of the time. There’s nothing in your house I haven’t seen. And I LOVE when it’s a mess.

Thursday Thought: Christ performed the Atonement NOT to free us from our sufferings, but to BE WITH us in our sufferings.

A woman in our ward said this thought in her talk the other week. It has been so profound to me, especially in thinking about empathy. Sometimes we go to people, or to God and ask them to take away our pain. That’s like going to the doctor and asking her to cut off our broken arm because it hurts. Sometimes that’s the answer, but most often the answer is to set it and let it heal.

It’s okay to suffer. In fact, suffering helps us become stronger, someone who can more easily have empathy for someone else, someone who appreciates happiness and peace more. It’s not comfortable. But it’s okay.

Nothing in life is about the end result. It’s about the growing we go through to get there. It’s not about having the pain of the broken arm go away; it’s about the broken arm healing. The pain going away is just a by-product.

How is Christ with us in our sufferings even when He doesn’t fully take it away?

How can we be with others in their sufferings without having to take it away?

 

P.S. If you like what you’re reading, you’d love being coached. Just one session can open your eyes to your life in a totally new way, and it’s free! Sign-up for a free session of coaching and see how it will change your life.

Long Baths And Cold Water

The other day, my son was taking a bath….for a long time. I asked him if the water had gotten cold, and he said, “It was getting cold, but then I got out to go potty, and it warmed up while I was out of the water, because when I got back in it was warm again.”

I realized it was only the contrast of the cold outside of the water, that made the water feel warmer. It hadn’t changed temperatures in the 30 seconds he was out of the water.

It made me wonder, “Are people who have had greater sadness, more able to feel greater happiness because of the greater contrast?” “Are people who have been in greater turmoil able to feel greater peace because of the contrast?”

So often we think we want to feel positive emotion all of the time, but if we did, it wouldn’t really even feel that good because we have nothing to compare it to. Maybe the next time we’re feeling frustrated, sad, despair instead of wishing we felt good instead, we could remind ourselves that when we feel uncomfortable sometimes, the positive emotions will feel that much better because of the contrast.

If you feel like you’ve been in the dark feelings too long, and want some help feeling the contrasting positive emotions, let me help you in a one-on-one coaching session! Sign-up here.

Life is Just Creating With A Toddler

I feel like my brain is expanding more and more about how we create EVERYTHING in our lives. Most often we don’t get to choose the materials we create with. I’m imagining sitting in a the living room with a toddler. We’ve been given the same materials to create with. The toddler is mostly making a mess, and every now and then gets something simple that looks alright.

I’m next to the toddler trying to create what I “should”. Sometimes I look at the mess the toddler is making and kind of give up working on my creation. What’s the use? I can’t get the toddler under control, and her stuff is making my stuff not look the way it “should”.

Sometimes I scold the toddler about how bad of a job she’s doing. When people come to see what I’m creating, I try to hide the mess the toddler is making. I try to keep it short and not let them get too close to see all of the mess.

I think that I should be able to control the toddler. I think there shouldn’t be a mess. It should just be my creation.

Sometimes I look at the materials someone else was given and think, “If I had the materials they were given I could do a better job.”

Sometimes it looks like their toddler isn’t making any mess. Some people have really rambunctious toddlers and I judge them, thinking, “You should really keep your toddler under control, then you wouldn’t have such a big mess.” I think I could handle their toddler better than they are, or that I could do better than they are with the materials they have.

The materials we are given are our circumstances. The toddler is our primitive brain. We are our higher brain.

We spend SO much time just wishing we could have different materials, circumstances. We spend so much time wishing we didn’t have a toddler, primitive brain, to work with. We spend so much energy judging our mess, judging our neighbour’s mess.

How much better would we feel, how much more would we create, if we stopped focusing on the mess and focused on the creation in front of us? How much better would we feel if we stopped wishing we had different circumstances to work with and just got to creating with what we had? What if we stopped asking outside of us what we “should” create, and thought about what we WANT to create?

I have this strong belief that if we all just created what we could with what we had our lives would be amazing, and we would all enrich each other. But sometimes we’re just so focused on the mess, or we’re so afraid of what others will think of our creation, that we create small, or we don’t create what we love.

What do you want to create? Sign-up for a free mini-session with me, and I’ll give you a powerful tool to help you on your way.

 

Have you heard the scraping in the wall?

We heard the scraping in the wall, and saw the pellets on the ground, so we set up some mousetraps in our basement. It has been a couple of weeks, and nothing. Then this morning, Xander yells, “Mom! We caught a mouse!” I could hardly walk into the room where he was. My heart was pounding. I felt frozen. I stood there for a good minute before I peaked around the corner at the trap to see the mouse. I seriously peaked and closed my eyes, so I had to look again. I looked so fast the next time that I had to look AGAIN! I couldn’t see the mouse, but I couldn’t quite tell what was going on with the trap, so I had to look closer. When I really examined it, I realized there was no mouse! Xander had just been mistaken. He was out of the room by now and I told him there was no mouse, and he said, “I saw a claw!” No, my dear, it was all made up in your mind, just like all of the fear I felt was made up from my thoughts.

I would say I was afraid of the mouse, but since there was no mouse, that’s not even possible! I was afraid THINKING about the mouse. My thoughts created all of the emotion.

What other thoughts are creating debilitating fear of things that aren’t even there?

Want me to help you find them? Sign-up for a free mini-session to get started on feeling more of the way you want to feel.

What is Emotional Pain?

When I was in high school, I joined the track team….for two whole weeks. I dropped out because my body was not used to working out like that and I was so sore I couldn’t take a baby step without immense pain. I wasn’t injured, I was just VERY sore. What do you think would have happened if I had continued? Of course, it would have gotten easier. The pain would have gone away after awhile, and I would have been stronger. I didn’t have anyone to tell me that’s all that was going on (or maybe they did and I didn’t listen), I thought I was going to feel that way forever, and I was like, “I’m out!”

Mental Health is kind of like Physical Health. When you work out and you’re pushing yourself to get stronger, you feel physical pain. You don’t freak out about it, if you’re expecting it, because you know that’s part of getting stronger. Sometimes it even feels good because you know it means you’ve worked hard and that it’s going to lead to a result you want. It’s kind of a sign that you’re on the right track.

When something unexpected happens in our lives, we have a big change, or if we start working towards a goal, that is like working out emotionally. We are going to feel emotional pain in the form of “negative” emotions. I’m here to tell you it’s just fine. This emotional pain is to be expected. You don’t have to let it stop you. It just means you’re living life.

If it feels like too much, or you’re not sure what to do with it, sign-up for a free mini-session with me, and I’m happy to show you what’s going on and why it feels so terrible, and how to get a little relief.