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!

Thursday Thought: I’m always just a little wrinkly

I was clothes shopping with a friend, and I asked her how she would keep a jumper I was trying on non-wrinkly. Would she really iron it all of the time? She said, “Oh no, I’m just always a little wrinkly.”

A few days later, I was noticing myself feeling so down about all of my perceived short-comings, and this thought came to me, “I’m just always a little wrinkly.” It came to me in her tone of voice that said, “I love your wrinkles. You are just fine. You aren’t meant to be pristine and perfectly ironed. This life is all about having wrinkles and loving them, and loving other people’s wrinkles too. We’re all just a little bit wrinkly.”

I hope you can love your wrinkles today.

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!

When You Need a Cheerleader

One time I was in a marriage seminar where they said, “You should be your spouse’s cheerleader. There are enough critics out there; you don’t need to be that for your spouse.” Which I think is super great advice IF you’re using it for you and how you want to be. However, on this particular occasion, I thought, “Yes, I just need Steve to be my cheerleader.”

I remember talking to him so many times, trying to explain to him how I needed him to be my cheerleader and how to do it. Guess what, it never worked. This is not because he is inept at being a cheerleader. It’s because I didn’t believe the positive things he said about me, so I hardly even heard them. AND I became very critical of him and his efforts. Ironic.

Then one day I decided to be my own cheerleader. Since, apparently Steve couldn’t do it right (or so I thought), I would have to do it myself. Guess what, I always knew exactly what I wanted to hear. I didn’t believe it at first, but I kept at it, and eventually, I started believing the things I told myself. 

THEN I noticed that Steve WAS cheering me on. He had been cheering me on all along. I just couldn’t hear it because my self-doubt in my head was louder.

Be your own cheerleader first. Then if others happen to be cheering you on, you can enjoy that. But it always starts with you.
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!

Thursday Thought: He won’t let me miss the warning

On Monday I posted about an experience I had about wondering whether a “warning” was the Spirit speaking to me, or if it was my thoughts. Check it out if you’re interested. My go-to thought in this situation is, “He won’t let me miss the warning.”

I believe that if there is anything that would change my life, or anyone I have responsibility for, in an irreparable way, Heavenly Father will make sure I know He is talking to me. He is in charge. We are like children who think we’re doing all of the work of making dinner when we pour the water into the rice pot.

If my kids were in danger that day, and if I was supposed to go pick them up early, I believe Heavenly Father would have made sure I knew He was talking to me, especially as I was trying to be in-tune. This puts my mind at ease, and helps me trust the impressions I get, and gives me space to learn how to recognize the Spirit more clearly. What thoughts help you recognize the Spirit in your life?

P.S. If you like these posts and are interested in getting some more personal help. 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!

When Is It My Thoughts, And When Is It The Spirit?

Have you ever heard someone say, “That was my depression talking,” or “That’s my anxiety talking,”? These phrases can be really helpful if we’re feeling like there’s something wrong with us because we feel depression or anxiety.

The other day, when the boys were in school, I was driving home from shopping, and I had the thought, “Something terrible is going to happen at 2pm. I need to go pick up the boys early from school.”

Have you ever had a thought like this and wondered if it was just your thoughts, or if it was the Spirit warning you to take action? This day, the more and more I thought this thought, the more frightened I felt. I could feel my heart racing, and my palms even started to get sweaty. I prayed, wondering if I was just freaking myself out, or if this was something I really needed to pay attention to.

The thought came to me, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace“. That’s not how I was feeling. I was feeling very afraid and urgent.

Of course, we all figure out how the Spirit speaks to us for ourselves. But I’ve had this question myself, and I’ve had others ask me, “How do I know when it’s my anxiety or depression speaking, and when it’s the Spirit?” I would ask you, “How does it make you feel?” Watch for this coming Thursday’s post for my go-to thought in this situation.

P.S. If you like these posts and are interested in getting some more personal help. 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 Thought: I’m the best one to take care of me

On Monday I shared how sometimes we want to blame others for our suffering.

If they would just say they loved me.

If they would just accept me the way I am.

If they would just support me in the things I want to do.

If they would just clean up after themselves.

When my brain gives me these thoughts and tells me I would feel better if someone else would change, I remind myself, “I’m the best one to take care of me.”

If I want someone to love me…I’m the best one to love me.

If I want someone to accept me…I’m the best one to accept me.

If I want someone to support me in the things I’m doing…I’m the best one to do that.

I’m also the best one to clean up after myself.

Think about what you wish someone else would say or do. Then you do or say it. Then thank yourself for being that one.

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 Way We Add to Our Suffering

During my darkest days, I remember distinctly an evening when I was having an argument with my husband and he said to me, “I’m not going to talk to you if you keep talking the way you are. You’re being disrespectful.” I honestly was shocked by what he had said. I didn’t think I was being disrespectful at all. I felt like I was just stating the facts. I thought and thought on this for a few days. Finally, I tried to see it from his point of view. It was quite humbling. I realized, I thought that because I had thoughts and feelings, it was fine for me to tell them all to him without editing.

I realized that I hadn’t even thought of how he was feeling. I was so engulfed and overwhelmed by my own thoughts and feelings, that I couldn’t even consider his.

I know I was just being human when I was so engulfed in my own problems, but I’m grateful that my husband was willing to say something to me. It must have taken great courage, as I know he loved me and was concerned for me.

I love this quote by the apostle, Elder David A. Bednar, when talking about the character of Christ:

Perhaps the greatest indicator of character is the capacity to recognize and appropriately respond to other people who are experiencing the very challenge or adversity that is most immediately and forcefully pressing upon us. Character is revealed, for example, in the power to discern the suffering of other people when we ourselves are suffering…

https://www2.byui.edu/Presentations/Transcripts/ReligionSymposium/2003_01_25_Bednar.htm

It can be tricky to know how to take care of ourselves while still recognizing we are not the only ones suffering. But I wanted to share this with you in case you are increasing your suffering by blaming others for not taking it away. When we blame others, we are disconnecting from them, which increases our own suffering.

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!

Love Is Not Blind

My friend shared this quote with me:

Love is not blind

It sees more, not less

But because it sees more

It is willing to see less

-Julius Gordon

Isn’t that how it is with people when we really feel love for them? Sometimes we don’t feel love with the people most important to us. We start to nit-pick. We see everything they’re doing wrong. We FOCUS on the 20% we don’t like, and DIMINISH the 80% we do like.

My mom told me another quote: Have your eyes fully open before marriage, and half-closed after marriage.

Of course, this can be applied to any important relationship. Just be sure when you’re eyes are half-closed that you direct your gaze at the positive. You can see it all and you know it’s all there, just choose to focus on what you do like. There are more steps to this. But this one step can make a huge difference.

P.S. If you like these posts and are interested in getting some more personal help. 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!

Struggling with a Transition? Read on…

This is a picture of my Grandma and me just before I left on a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. This was one of the times I remember really struggling with a transition to something new. The day I entered the Missionary Training Center, I thought I felt good, but looking back I realize I just didn’t feel bad. I actually didn’t feel anything. Feeling nothing was better than feeling scared, right?

That first night all of the new missionaries came together for a special meeting with the Mission President. The closing song was “Lord, I Would Follow Thee”. During the hymn I started crying, which was fine until I realized it was becoming uncontrollable. I was in the second row to the front, right where I felt like everyone sitting at the front of the meeting could see me. As we were dismissed, I hurried into the hall, but I wasn’t alone. The Mission President’s wife followed me and hurried me into the first door she could find, which happened to be the custodial closet. She put her arm around me and asked, “Is everything in your life in order?” I was mortified. She thought I was crying because I had done something that I needed to repent of. I don’t blame her. Why else would I be crying so uncontrollably in a public place?

What I didn’t know then, but that I know now, is that big transitions are really hard for me because I have a lot of practiced thoughts about doing new things. I think  thoughts such as: I should know how to do this; Mistakes are bad; Everyone else knows what they’re doing; Others won’t like me if I do this wrong; I’m the only one that doesn’t know what’s going on; I have to do this right.

I’ve never really even articulated those thoughts as what causes my pain. But when I write them down, I can see why they would create so much fear. Thoughts I’m practicing now during transitions are: I don’t need to know how to do this yet, that’s what I’m figuring out; If I already knew how to do this, I would have already done it; Everyone has to figure this out for themselves; No one is born knowing how to do this; I’m willing to do it wrong; There’s probably someone else who would benefit by me asking a question or getting clarification. If you’re struggling through something new, notice what you’re thinking, and try on some of these thoughts.

If you would like some one-on-one help, sign-up for a free coaching session with me. I’ll help you understand what’s so hard, and how to help yourself through it.

 

Thursday Thought: How do I choose to think about that time of my life?

I tend to think about my life in chunks of experiences. There were my childhood years, my teenage years, my years in university, my time on my mission, my working years, my time being married without kids, my time being married with kids at home. What chunks of time do you break your life into? What do you think about these different periods of time in your life?

Some ways I think about these different times in my life are: That was a really hard time in my life. I had a happy childhood. I was more spiritual then. I thought I was doing well, but really I didn’t realize what was really going on.

Did you know that everything you think about these times of your life are optional? AND the way you think about different experiences or times of your life can be helpful or hindering?

For example, if you think, “That was a really hard time in my life.” That could give you a feeling of accomplishment, or it could give you a feeling that something is wrong with you.

Think about how you want to think about different experiences you’ve had. Does it make you feel shame, broken, unaccomplished, unmotivated? Or does it make you feel proud, humble, grateful, empowered?

As always, if you want help exploring how you’re viewing your past, sign-up for a free coaching session. I will help you see how the way you view your past is helping your hindering you, and how frame it all so that it will help you get to where you want to be.