Thursday Thought: I have plenty of time to do what I need to, and there’s time left over for fun

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about my relationship with concepts, such as money and time. If time were a person, what would my relationship with Time be like? How do I think about this person TIME?

Some of my thoughts I’ve had about Time are: she’s never enough; I never have fun with her; I never get to take a break with her; She is controlling me; I need to control her. If I thought these things about a friend, I wouldn’t feel like we were very good friends.

I try to think these thoughts about Time: She’s always enough; I make sure I have fun with her sometimes; I plan with her so that I can work, play, relax, learn, and do all of the things I want to do with her.

I came up with this thought with a client I was working with: I have plenty of time to do what I need to, and there’s time left over for fun. If you feel like it’s really true that you don’t have enough time, try It’s possible, I have plenty of time to do what I need to, and there’s time left over for fun.

Sign-up for a free coaching session, and I will help you create a more relaxed relationship with time.

Thursday Thought: What in my life is exactly how it should be?

Have you ever had the thought, “This isn’t the way my life was supposed to be?” I was swimming deep in this thought last weekend. I was actually doing thought work on it, but didn’t seem to be making much headway. I was writing down all of the thoughts that came to me about how my life SHOULD be different. Then I was going through and disproving each one. I was feeling pretty miserable, as you can imagine with all of those negative thoughts swimming around. Steve suggested that maybe it was making it worse thinking of all that was going wrong, that maybe I should write things I was grateful for.

I started a page and wrote, “What in my life is exactly how it should be?” Then I started answering that question. Sometimes we can look individually at each negative thought to disprove it, and sometimes we can just turn around the negative question and see that it’s still 50/50. Nothing is all bad. Nothing is all good. It’s always somewhere in the middle.

I give you a challenge to get out some paper and write this question on the top and answer it. What did you experience?

I’d love to hear about your experience! Sign-up for a free mini-session of coaching with me.

I Have Some Bad News for You

I love to give you good news, but today I feel I need to share some news with you that you might not like so much. Mental hygiene is just like dental hygiene. It is an ongoing daily practice. You can’t just brush you teeth once and be done with it. It’s recommended that you brush your teeth twice a day, and then once or twice a year go to see a dentist. A professional that can look even deeper into your dental health.

What is mental hygiene? It’s taking all of the thoughts out of your head and putting them on paper. Looking at them and deciding, on purpose, which thoughts you want to keep. You can’t just do this once and be done. It’s an ongoing daily process. Just like dental hygiene, it’s a good idea to have a professional help you every now and then, too.

Send me a message if you’d like some help looking at your mental hygiene.

 

Thursday Thought: I don’t have to make it all better

Why do we feel the need to make everyone feel good all of the time? Not everyone feels this, but I think it’s pretty prevalent. What would it be like for you if you were okay with someone not feeling okay? What if you were okay with someone not liking you? What if you just listened to others’ complaints, to your own complaints, and not try to fix it? What would that be like?

The next time someone is upset, or your upset, what if you decided you would just listen to their upset, or feel your own upset? What if you told yourself, “I don’t have to make it all better,”?

How to Improve Any Relationship

I’ve talked about The Manual before and the gist is that we all have detailed instructions for how we think other people in our lives should act and be and feel. The problem is the people in our lives don’t have copies of these manuals, and even if they did, they wouldn’t follow them because it’s like trying to get a refrigerator to be a microwave. It could probably do a few of the same things, but it’s a refrigerator not a microwave.

Today when I was writing down my manual for someone else, so I could take a look at it, I realized that the main problem in that relationship was my manual for myself in that relationship. Did you know we also have manuals for ourselves? What? Well, of course we would follow our own manuals, right?

If we’ve never really sat down and written out our manuals, we don’t really know what’s in them. I had things in my manual like, “I should be calm all of the time.” “I should want to hang out with everyone who wants to hang out with me.” “I should never disappoint my husband.”

Obviously, those instructions aren’t helpful, realistic, or even healthy. What’s in your manual? Write down 10 things right now. Then for each one ask yourself how it makes you feel. Is it useful?

Thursday Thought: I’m here. I’ll listen.

I found myself searching the cupboards for anything to eat. For a second I paused and asked myself, “What is going on?” I wasn’t hungry, and I realized for the past two days I had been scouring the cupboards for something to eat when I wasn’t hungry almost constantly. I asked myself, “Am I trying to stuff something down?”

You know when one of your kids (or all of them) come and talk and talk and talk to you, but you’re not really listening? You’re trying to make dinner, read a book, or pay the bills. You know that moment when you finally stop what you’re doing and look at them and give them your full attention and really hear what they’re saying? This was like one of those moments.

At first, I started to listen and didn’t like what I heard, so I almost tuned out again. But then I thought, “I’m here. I’ll listen.” I decided I wasn’t going to try to make it all better. I just listened. The interesting thing was my inner self wasn’t trying to say a lot, she was just saying the same thing over and over. Maybe that’s why I tuned her out. But when I just decided to listen without making it all better, she calmed down a bit. Mostly she just wanted to be heard. Are you listening? Take a minute right now and tell yourself, “I’m here. I’ll listen.” What is your inner voice saying? You don’t have to make it all better, just listen.

Thursday Thought: What empathy and advice would I give my best friend in this exact situation?

Sometimes I’ll go back and read something I wrote and think, “Wow! That’s so helpful!”

When I’m writing blog posts, I’m not thinking of me. I’m thinking of my clients. The ones who feel so lost and are struggling. I don’t feel that way nearly as much as I used to, but I still do sometimes.

I had some time today when I was really struggling. I thought, “I think I wrote a post about this.” I went and read it, and it was really helpful.

I believe we all have wisdom inside of us. Sometimes our brains on auto-pilot get in the way because they are in survival mode. To tap into our wisdom, we have to be very conscious. That’s when we’re using our pre-frontal cortex, or what I like to call our higher brain.

I encourage you to choose an area in your life where you are struggling. Imagine your best friend, whom you love, is going through what you are, instead of you. Have her tell you why everything is so hard. What would you tell her? What empathy would you give, and what advice would you give? You may be amazed at what comes out of your own brain. The answers to your problems are inside of you.

Ask yourself, “What empathy and advice would I give to my best friend in this exact situation?”

What is Mental Health?

We are hearing more and more about mental illness, which I think is so great that it’s much less of a taboo subject. Do you ever wonder if you have mental illness? Do you know what it means to be mentally healthy? When this question was posed to me, I thought, “I’m not sure. Sometimes I’m happy. Sometimes I feel really upset, even despair. Does that mean I’m mentally ill?” You guys, I have questioned my mental health since I was a teenager. I remember cutting an article out of the Ensign about depression and telling my dad that I thought I might be depressed, but I wasn’t sure. I was happy sometimes, but sometimes I just couldn’t kick this feeling of sadness, awkwardness, not-fitting-in-ness, there’s-something-wrong-with-me-ness. I thought I was good if I was happy and peaceful, and bad if I was mad, embarrassed, ashamed, depressed. I was okay if I was sad. That was an acceptable “negative” emotion. Or frustrated, that was another acceptable “negative” emotion.

I remember once a friend asking me if I ever got mad, like it was good that I never got mad. I honestly felt like I didn’t get mad, I just got frustrated. It’s very probable I did get mad, but it wasn’t acceptable to me so I pushed it away. Do you think that about people? “They’re so good, they’re just so happy all of the time.” I’m not saying it’s bad to be happy either, just that that’s not the definition of goodness or mental wellness.

So, what does it mean to be mentally healthy, or emotionally well? I’m just barely exploring this as I write this, but I don’t think it means to be happy all of the time. I don’t think it means to have certain emotions that are “okay” to feel and that you don’t feel the rest if you’re mentally well. I think it means you are aware of your emotions. You’re aware of how they affect you. You realize that your thoughts create your emotions, not anything or anyone outside of you. You know that your thoughts are not YOU. They’re just thoughts. But if you don’t take time to slow it all down, you think they’re facts. “This is just how my world is.” But really they’re just thoughts that are just as much true as they are untrue.

If you want help figuring out what thoughts are causing your emotional pain, or figuring out how the circumstances in your life aren’t causing your emotional pain, sign-up for a free mini-session with me where I can help you with ANYthing that’s “causing” you pain.

I’ll Tell You What I Want, What I Really Really Want

I totally hope you’re singing that song right now in your head. If you don’t know the song, Don’t go look it up, just sayin’. It’s one of those I loved as a teen, now that I have kids, not sure it’s that great. haha Anyway, so many times we get caught up in feeling sorry for ourselves, and feeling like there’s nothing we can do to change our situation. For example, for a long time I had this thought that I wanted a bigger house. I felt so sorry for myself that I couldn’t have one because we didn’t have enough money for one in the area we lived. As I did thought work around it, I realized I did want a bigger house, and there were a lot of ways to get it. I could get a bigger mortgage. I could just move into an empty one and see how long it took before I went to jail. I could move out to the middle of nowhere and buy one for the same price we paid for our current house. I’m sure there are some other options, too. So there’s what I want: a bigger house. And there’s what I REALLY want: to have what I think is a manageable mortgage, stay out of jail, live closer to Steve’s job.

You may think, “Well, of course, you want those more, but you still don’t get your big house.” But it’s true, we make choices, and it’s important to tell ourselves the truth that we’re making the choice. It’s not just happening to us. This happens in every area of our lives where we feel like we don’t have a choice. Where do you feel like you have no choice? You CAN’T have something you want, or you HAVE to do something you don’t want to do. What are the alternatives? Is someone going to be mad? Would you have to do something against your moral values?

Be sure to tell yourself the truth. I ALWAYS have a choice. Not to be mean to yourself, but because this exercise also shows us that there are other ways, and you just might find one that you like. But as soon as you tell yourself you have no choice, you stop looking for other options. Besides it feels terrible.

Comment and let me know how you found an option you didn’t know was there because you reminded yourself you always have a choice.

Thursday Thought: Enough Is A Decision, Not An Amount

My brain has been feeding me the thought lately of, “I’m not good enough.” This thought seems to be pretty universal. But the cool thing about thought work is knowing that it’s JUST a thought. It’s not true or false. Usually, if it’s a thought that comes to you a lot, it’s because it’s a thought that you believe is somewhat true. Usually the thoughts we don’t believe at all just pass on by.

So, I’ve been thinking this thought a lot, and it makes me feel insecure. Well, my friend told me this thought, “Enough is a decision, not an amount.” When she first told me, I was thinking of it in terms of doing things. Which is still really helpful. But then I applied it to just who I am. I get to decide that I’m enough.

Running a 10k, or starting a business, or weighing a certain amount, or having 10 kids, or having kids that are smart, or being pretty doesn’t make me enough. I just decide I’m enough.

Sometimes when things turn out the way we want to, then we give ourselves permission to believe we’re enough. But those things didn’t make us enough, our thoughts make us feel like we’re enough. No matter if we make money, our kids are smart or struggle, we have no kids or 25 kids, we weigh 100 pounds or 500 pounds. We get to believe we’re enough whenever we want. And no one has to agree with us.

How many times have you heard your friend say, “I’m just not good enough,” and you’re like, “What?! You who are skinny and nice and pretty and talented and don’t yell at your kids. Tell me what makes you not good enough.” Their brains will focus on some evidence of how they’re not perfect in some way, just like your brain is focusing on evidence of why you’re not perfect. Good enough doesn’t mean perfect. It also doesn’t mean you won’t improve. In fact, good enough means you’re not perfect. It means you’re enough, imperfections and all.

So, just decide you’re good enough, right now, before you reach your goal, while your kids are struggling, while you’re struggling.

Comment and tell me how you’re good enough right now, even though you’re not perfect.