If You’re Worried About Your Child’s Choices, Read On

When I think about being a parent, or a leader, or having responsibility over another human being, I have this image in my mind of a circus stadium. We’re all on tightropes holding onto those long poles tightrope walkers use to help with balance.

I imagine my child, or anyone else I’m concerned about, on the tightrope behind me. When I’m worried, I keep looking over my shoulder to see how they’re doing. I want so badly to grab ahold of them and keep them from falling.

The problem is, I can’t balance myself AND hold onto them. When I do try to reach back, we both fall.

However, there’s always a net underneath us to catch us. It’s actually kind of hard to get out of the net and back up, but the more you do it, the easier it is.

There’s another tightrope walker above all of the rest of us. He is Jesus Christ. He knows how to walk and balance perfectly. He is always showing us. And when we ask him, he can give us individual advice.

The way I imagine this, is the best way to show my child or anyone else how to tightrope walk, is to be doing it myself. I realize I don’t do it perfectly, and I don’t have all of the answers for them to do it perfectly. But I can tell them what I learn AS I’m doing it.

Most importantly, I can ask Heavenly Father and Jesus for help, and I can point my child to them, too.

I never have to be afraid of my child falling. In fact, I expect them to fall over and over. But I know it’s not a problem because there is always a safety net. And Heavenly Father is always watching and available to help.

When I really trust Him, I can trust myself more, and I can trust my child and others more.

It’s exhausting and distracting to always be trying to change other people. When we’re focused on our own growth, then we can share what we learn with others, AND we can let go of them learning it. Maybe they’ll listen. Maybe they won’t. But we’ll be doing it out of love, not out of fear.

Our children are going to mess up. Maybe the most growth comes from them and us figuring out how to get back up.

P.S. If you’d like help letting go and trusting more in ANY relationship, please sign-up for a FREE 45-minute Consultation. We can go over your specific concerns, and you’ll go away with an individualized plan of action. I believe you have the answers inside of you. I just help you pull them out. Sign-up now!

How to defuse the tension of family holidays

The holidays are upon us. Raise your hand if you or your family feel any tension around the holidays.

My husband says that the way to a happy marriage is not having any expectations. I say, the reason he’s so happy isn’t because he doesn’t have expectations, but because I’m just everything he ever expected. 😉

Kidding aside, though, there IS some truth to our expectations causing us some grief. One of the biggest reasons holidays can bring up tension is because we think people (including ourselves) should act and feel certain ways.

Have you ever heard yourself say, “It’s Christmas, everyone should be happy.” “It’s Thanksgiving, we should all want to be together.” “It’s Halloween, we should all have fun!” Is that really true?

Is everyone happy on Christmas? Does everyone get together, or WANT to get together on Thanksgiving? Should everyone have fun on Halloween?

All of these thoughts put a lot of pressure on ourselves and others to feel or do something that we may not feel or really want to do.

Let’s take Thanksgiving. What if everyone doesn’t WANT to get together this year? How do you think you’d feel if everyone DID want to get together? Is it connected? Love? Security?

Why do you think you’d feel those things? Sometimes we think we automatically feel connected to someone because they’re spending time with us. But have you ever spent time with someone and not felt connected?

The feeling of connection comes from our thoughts like, “We want to be together.” “I love them.” “They love me.” “We agree.” “We’re so much alike.” The other person doesn’t have to be thinking them, for you to. You can feel connected without the other person feeling connected.

Did you know these thoughts are true whether you’re together or not together? In fact, sometimes they’re even easier to believe when you’re not together.

If you’re starting to feel tension about other people’s choices or feelings around the holidays, take a step back and ask yourself how you think you’d feel if they behaved or felt the way you want them to. What would you believe? Then skip the part where you try to get them to do or feel the way you want them to, and believe the thoughts despite what they do or feel.

Choose to love them even if they’re unhappy, or don’t want to come to dinner. It’s always an option.

P.S. Want some help with a difficult relationship? I would love to help you get some relief and start to show up and feel the way you really want to. Sign up for a FREE 45-minute Consultation. I will give you personalized help for your situation.

When you feel like you’re drowning, here’s step 1…

I think most of us have felt this way, or perhaps are in the thick of it. The thing with feeling like you’re drowning, is that it’s hard to trust that you’re not going to actually drown. You’re not like, “Oh, I know I feel this way now, but I won’t feel this way forever.” You’re like, “I feel like I’m drowning, and I’m either going to feel this way forever, OR I’m actually going to drown.”

What does it mean to drown? It’s important that you know what your brain is telling you. For me, to drown means that I’ll fall into a deep depression and not be able to get out of bed, and become a burden to my family. For some of my clients, to drown means taking their own lives, or hurting their children. For others of my clients, to drown means to fail at their goals, or their purpose in life.

No matter what to drown means to you, it feels very scary when your brain is telling you that your only options are to feel like you’re drowning, or to actually drown.

What I want to offer to you is that drowning is an emotion. It’s a feeling. Feelings are sensations in our bodies created by thoughts in our brains. When we feel like we’re drowning, it’s because we are believing thoughts in our brains, which then sends sensations to parts of our bodies. It’s NOT created by our circumstances.

Don’t think I’m saying, “It’s not real, this feeling of drowning.” It’s for sure real. But the good news is that it’s created by thoughts. The thoughts may feel true, but they’re actually optional.

What are some of these thoughts? I’m failing at everything. I’m ruining my kids. I’ll never measure up. No one is helping me. I’m all alone. I have to do everything. I can’t do this.

The thoughts may be different for each of us, but the first step is to notice where we feel the emotion of drowning. Is it in your chest, arms, stomach, feet? Is it heavy or light? Is it fast or slow? Is it open or closed?

For example, I feel drowning as a heavy weight on my chest. I also feel a constriction in the top of my throat. It’s slow and closed. I also feel it in the top part of my arms as a sensation that’s in between burning and super cold. You know when you touch some metal and for a split second you’re not sure if it’s hot or cold? It also feels like a clenching throughout my whole body.

When I figure out where it is, I relax into it. I relax my shoulders. I take deep breaths. I like to close my eyes. I like to welcome the feeling as if I was just wearing a really tight body suit.

Right about now, my brain wants to freak out and say I’m going to die. I remind myself that it can’t kill me. It’s just an emotion created by sentences in my brain.

When you feel like you’re drowning imagine when you’re trying to teach a toddler to float. You have them lie on their back and you hold their head above the water, and maybe even their back. Some toddlers hate this and they’ll squirm and turn over and flail their arms. But when they really trust you and hold still and relax, they will start to float.

This is what we’re doing with feeling the emotion. Relax into it. Breathe deeply. Shut off your brain that’s telling you you’re going to drown. Trust that this emotion can’t kill you. As long as you are flailing your arms and saying you don’t want to feel it, you will continue to feel it. As the saying goes, “What you resist, persists.”

P.S. If you want help with this exercise, set up a Free 45-minute Consultation. I would be happy to walk you through it. Relax my friend. I’ve got you!

Why You Should Celebrate Failure

Have you ever been working toward a goal, and then you come to that point where the newness and excitement wear off, and it feels a little bit more like drudgery? Maybe you’ve slipped up a few times, or even just given up.

Our first inclination at this time is to chalk it up to one more failed try. Or maybe you do what I do, and you just put your head down, and keep plowing through, but with no real feeling of accomplishment.

At these times, we can get really down. We can think things like, “What am I doing? Why am I even trying? I should just give up.” These are not very motivating, and it makes it harder to try again, or try something new.

I want to suggest that what you do instead is notice what you DID do. If you’ve failed, it means you tried. Really let that sink in. If you FAILED, that means you TRIED.

You tried! You were willing to be vulnerable. You were willing to mess up.

You may say, “What’s the point of trying if you’re just going to fail?” What do YOU think? What’s the alternative?

Just two reasons I’ll give you are: 1) when you try something new you are increasing neural pathways, and your brain is actually growing. EVEN IF you’re terrible at it! 2) You never know how this experience will help you later on in life. For sure something you learn from this experience will help you in another experience in life, if only to empathize with someone else.

So, if getting down on yourself is demotivating you, notice what you have learned, and appreciate your efforts, and see what you HAVE done and CELEBRATE it!

Who doesn’t love to be praised? And the most powerful praise comes from yourself, because you always know what you want to hear.

Sometimes it can be hard to find any good in your failure. If you want some help, please sign-up for a FREE one-on-one Consultation Session/Coaching Session with me. It can be scary sharing what you view as a failure, but I create a safe space and environment for you to do just that. I will help you see what you can celebrate about your failure, and how it can then motivate you to either keep going, or to try something new. Sign-up today!

Do you feel overwhelmed after General Conference?

I hope you enjoyed General Conference. If you have no idea what I’m talking about, you can find out more here.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed, instead of energized by conference, may I suggest that you remember that the fruits of the Spirit are love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance. (Galatians 5:22-23) Not overwhelm, guilt, defeat.

Sometimes in an effort to keep on improving, we can start to think of all of the places we’re lacking. Our brains see this as useful. If we feel really bad, we’ll start improving right?

Sometimes we do, but it’s not very long-lasting (longsuffering?). More motivating is seeing where we’re doing well and seeking personal revelation on where to improve.

Another thing I like to remind myself is that I’m receiving personal revelation for ME, not for everyone else at church, or in my family.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed by conference, try asking Heavenly Father where you personally need to focus, instead of just gathering information from every good thing you heard.

Hope this helps!

P.S. If you enjoy these blog posts, you’ll love coming on an Intro Call and seeing the power of one-on-one coaching. Sign-up here when you’re ready!

How to Tell the Story of You

My kids love it when my husband makes up a story for them at night. He even lets them choose characters, and their names, and tell some of the things they do.

I love to listen to stories. The thought of making one up, seriously makes my stomach churn.

You know what I found out? I’m always making up stories about real life. We all are. We tell ourselves who we are in this world.

Sometimes we make ourselves the villain. Some days we’re the victim.Sometimes we’re the hero that saves the day. And some days we’re fairy that spreads sprinkles of good wherever we go.

Did you know that we’re just making it up?

When you feel like the victim in your story, how might you see yourself as the hero instead?

When you feel like the villain in your story, how might you see yourself as the fairy spreading good instead?

It’s all there. You just have to show your brain. Your brain is just looking for evidence that your story is true. So why not tell it to find evidence for a story you like?

We all play all of the roles in our stories and different times. Which parts do you want to focus on?

P.S. If you like these posts and would like to explore them in your specific situation. Sign-up for a FREE Intro Coaching Call with me. It’s super convenient over the internet. And I’ll help you apply all of this to your situation so you can be more of the mom, wife, and person you want to be

How to Stop the Overwhelm

Today I have a free course for you on how to stop feeling so overwhelmed. Sometimes there is something big going on in our lives, so we think it makes sense to feel overwhelmed. Other times, it seems like from the outside looking in, we “shouldn’t” be overwhelmed, so we’re confused or upset about it. Either way, the information I share with you in this video will help you!

After watching the video, sign-up for a FREE Intro Session with me. We can go over any questions you have, if you’re not sure how to apply it to yourself. Or I can just go through the steps with you, if you just don’t want to do it on your own.

Click here to get the video and companion worksheet.

Thursday Thought: I’m not the only one.

Recently, when I was going through a transition, I noticed how I wanted to be angry with everyone around me.

I wanted to blame everyone for how I was feeling.

I wanted them to see how badly I was hurting inside, and tell me it was okay.

I didn’t act or talk the way I wanted to act and talk.

For a little while I believed I was just stating the facts about how the people around me were just not getting it, were being selfish, weren’t helpful or thoughtful or kind.

Then the thought came to me, “I’m not the only one going through a transition.”

When we’re not in the midst of feeling despair and anxiety and even depression, it’s easier to see that others aren’t responsible for how we feel.

But when we’re in it, it’s really hard to see past our own pain.

In the moment that this thought came to me, “I’m not the only one….struggling….going through a transition…in pain.” I wrote it down.

I knew I’d forget. But for a moment, it was clear that no one was trying to hurt me.

No one wanted me to be in pain, or was trying to cause my pain.

We’re all just a little caught up in what’s going on inside ourselves. And that’s okay.

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: 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: Maybe Happiness Isn’t the Goal

There’s this song that has always made me feel a little uneasy. It says, “Choose the right way, and be happy, I must always choose the right.” As I type this, I realize there are many ways to interpret that thought. But this is an example of what I was talking about on Monday when I said that one thought does not fit everyone.

The way my brain interprets this song is that if you do what is “right”, you will feel happy. This is a dangerous thought for a lot of us, because then if we don’t feel happy, we tell ourselves we must be doing something wrong.

The problem is that happiness doesn’t come from our actions. Happiness comes from our thoughts. You can do everything “right” and still feel unhappy because of your thoughts about it.

What if happiness isn’t the goal? What if we stopped using how happy we are as an indicator of how moral we are, or how well we’re doing at life? What if the goal were actually to feel all ranges of emotion….happy, sad, anxious, depressed, loving, dislike, emotional, excited? What if you’re doing it “right” when you feel all of these things?

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!