Tag Archives: encourage

Time Is Valuable, Use It Wisely

Your time is valuable… Its one of my favorite sayings…  And I have to remind myself of this because it is valuable.  You will never get that time back…

As I was talking to my friend the other day, she was mentioning how she had just met her friend Ryan.  It took me a few minutes to remember who Ryan was and then it hit me… I said, “ Isn’t he the guy that you went on a few dates with and then never returned your texts or phone calls, why are you meeting him for drinks”.    I still shake my head, but I have been guilty of it too…

Do not fill your time with emptiness.   It took me a long time to figure out that I could choose my time. I could choose who I spent it with.  I could choose what I did.

By emptiness, I mean do not fill your time with activities and people just to fill your time.  Be choosy about the dates and friends that you keep in your life.  Your time is valuable and it does not need to be given to those that do not appreciate you.  It does not need to be given to events that you really do not want to attend.  Or people that do not encourage you in your life.

I used to say yes to people and gatherings, just because I did not know how to say no.  I was many times let down due to the group of people that I was with.  Or I did not really have any interest in attending the event.  I had to really start thinking about what I got out of it for me.  It might sound selfish but its true.

Do I want to attend a party with 20 people that I do not know well and would end up making small talk?  Or would I rather go for a long walk and watch a good movie…  I had to start thinking about what I wanted in those times. Was I talking myself into going or was I excited about it…

About 6 years ago, I was completely committed to a weight loss program.  I was 100% focused and was working my butt off to reach a goal.  When I first started, I had to decline going to a lot of events or going out to dinner with friends.  I wanted to succeed.  I knew I was not strong enough to say no to all the temptations.  Unfortunately, I had friends that did not understand and would try and talk me into still going out to get my favorite nachos or drinks.  The “ohh come on its only one night”… It was incredibly hard to resist.  I had to say no and some friends did not understand.  The ones that did, offered other suggestions, like going for a hike or a walk.   Those are the friends that I want.  The friends that stuck with me and supported me to the end.

You should want to spend time with people that give you the encouragement and confidence that you crave.  The ones that back you up when you need it and support you throughout life.

Its hard to get to that point in your life, where you are ok choosing what you want.  Think about what you really want to do in your time.  Think about who you want to spend your valuable time with.  I am totally good saying “no” to something and in return doing something by myself that I really love.

Are you saying “Yes” just to fill the emptiness?

Do you really enjoy being with that person or are you just saying “yes” to be polite?

Does that person make you feel good about yourself?

Are you talking yourself into attending that event?

Do you want to go to a movie with Tony from accounting that has a huge crush on you? Or are you just doing it because you have no other plans on a Friday night?

I have to continuously ask myself these questions from time to time…because I know my time is valuable.

 

-snarky

 

www.snarkydivorcedgal.com

We Are All Enough

We are all enough….

Those of us that grew up in the 1970’s remember what a treat it was for certain classic favorite movies and television specials to play once every year.  Remember, there were no video tapes, dvds, or recording devices for our televisions, so we relied solely on what the big three networks, NBC, CBS, and ABC were going to air for our viewing pleasure.

My all time three favorite annual movies were The Sound of Music, The Wizard of Oz, and Gone With the Wind.  There was a lot of build up and fanfare including popcorn popped on the stove top and if we were really lucky, we’d get some Pepsi instead of the normal drink…Kool Aid. I still could belt out every tune Julie Andrews meticulously sang including the yodeling from The Lonely Goatherd, “yo Lay ee odl lay ee odl lay hee hoo.”  You can trust that I’m singing it right now.

Animated specials were especially exciting.  Most of the time, cartoons were only available on Saturday mornings, but around every major holiday, prime time rolled out dozens of half-hour classics.

About a year and a half ago, I started delving into the world of healing my inner child.  I had finally come to the conclusion that it was time to face the pains of my past in order to heal and grow and to stop self destructing through unhealthy behaviors as a means of escape.  I started to realize that even though I had considered myself a successful business woman and a pretty good mother, that deep down, I didn’t feel worthy, and I didn’t feel like I deserved good things in my life. That’s a hard pill to swallow, and I needed to put some kind of reminder in place to help me affirm that I am not indebted to a life a shame.  I contacted a local artisan jeweler and had a ring made that simply states “I AM ENOUGH.” I have worn the ring religiously every day as a visual affirmation. Every morning when I slip it on my finger, I read it aloud and proud.  It is a necessary start to my day. I rank it up there with my trip to the bathroom and my first drink of water.

About a month ago, while having my monthly full body massage (a reward that I have been indulging in as a means of self care), I showed it to my massage therapist, Krissy, as she and I were having a meaningful conversation and I was opening up about the shame that I had been carrying for so many years. She and I have become friends through our professional association as we talk about everything from our aspirations, our shared love of writing, the importance of spreading light in the world, to our similar childhood experiences.  We have deemed ourselves soul sisters, and the connection has been very rewarding as we encourage each other on our respective journeys.

As I walked into Krissy’s house, I handed her the book and told her “Big Magic will give you the kick in the butt you need to keep writing.” As I was finishing my sentence, Krissy is simultaneously slipping something into my hand, and as I looked down, I felt warmth, a little leap from my heart, and the most special feeling that included joy, my eyes welling up with tears, and a chill that came right up the back of my neck.  It was a simple, painted flat rock that says “You Are Enough.”

Krissy explained that she had been given a box full of hand-painted rocks, and as she sifted through them, she came upon this particular message and knew exactly who it was meant for…it was meant for me. 

This moment was sweetly serendipitous, at the very least.  Anyone who doesn’t believe that the simplest of gestures like a smile, a gentle touch to the hand, a kind word, or even a painted rock, doesn’t matter is probably someone who has never been shown such a kindness.  

The story became even sweeter as Krissy explained that a dear friend of hers hand-colors each rock with inspirational messages and gives these beautiful mementos to others.  Sometimes they are hidden so others can delightfully find them just when they need a sign from the universe, and others are stored away in a box waiting for the perfect moment to make someone smile.  Krissy explained that the creativity and passion behind these rocks belongs to a woman who has many health issues and just finds joy in spreading the love. I was so inspired, I wanted to meet this amazing woman and find a way to share her story here, but unfortunately, after asking, the artist wishes to continue to quietly reap the reward of joy in the therapy of creating them, and I have to respect that boundary. 

As I’ve been trying to find the best way to tell this story, I kept coming back to a famous line from one of those annual animated specials that aired on tv when I was a child.  If you haven’t guessed it by now, from Peanuts It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown, comes the most famous line from the show when Charlie Brown sadly exclaims “I got a rock” as the children compare their trick-or-treat goodies. 

Charlie Brown never really catches a break, and we are always left feeling sorry for poor “Chuck”. I did some research on this episode before I wrote this blog, and I found that Charles Schulz may have created Charlie Brown as an extension of his own feelings of low self worth and maybe as a means of expressing his sadness and lack of belonging.  

It’s the Great Pumpkin was first aired in 1966, but in 1975, the Peanuts comic strip depicted a version of the story in which Peppermint Patty was convinced by Linus to sit in the pumpkin patch and wait for The Great Pumpkin.  Of course, she was upset that The Great Pumpkin never appears, and she said “ I sat in a pumpkin patch for a week and I didn’t get ANYTHING!” Charlie Brown then said “Do you want my rock?”

I interpret this as sort of a redemptive message in that Charlie Brown is trying to show Peppermint Patty some empathy and to show that he can relate to the disappointment, and maybe it even fosters the belonging he felt when Peppermint Patty was equally as unlucky.  

Imagine if the rock that Charlie Brown had received was not just a rock but instead a beautifully hand-painted sign from the universe that he mattered.  If Charlie Brown had received a rock with a message of hope, love, and inspiration, the disappointment would have instead been joy, a heart that seemed to leap from his chest, and a chill that went right up the base of his neck into his bald head.  And if serendipity was as sweet as it is said, when good old Charlie Brown would have offered that rock to Peppermint Patty, she would not have needed to say, “Do you like me more than I like you, Chuck?” She would have already known.

You are enough.

 

~Blanche Bouvier 

tenderlovingsoulcare.com

 

How Are You Doing?

When I was in marriage counseling, my counselor asked how I was doing and and I would always respond with “good”. And she would ask what was good about it? It was really hard to think about what was actually good at that time. And the question made me feel quite uneasy…

During that time period, I was going to marriage counseling separately and with my husband. There were so many emotions that I was experiencing, so It was hard to think, how I was really doing. Good seemed like such an easy response and I did not need to go into detail. It was a fast answer, which I was hoping would get me through it.

I did not enjoy this at all… because she would make me really think about how I was doing, was I doing good or not….At that time in my life, I kept a lot of my feelings and emotions buried within myself. This meant that I actually had to say out loud about how I was doing.. I am not the kind of person that likes to talk about myself with others. I had to learn to actually think about how I was doing. Was I having a hard week? Was I have a good week? Did I feel happy about something? Sometimes I honestly didn’t even know how I was doing.

I have thought about how many times I would just use the phrase “good” without even thinking about it. It would just sort of flow out of my mouth without even thinking am I really good or what is good about it…How am I really doing this week… am I sad, happy, content, do I feel like I accomplished something.. The list goes on.

So when I recently started reading the book “ Get out of my head” by Jennie Allen and there’s a chapter that references how we are doing, I realized that I had gone back to being the person to answer things as “good” instead of really being truthful in my answer. Sometimes I feel its just easier to answer good instead of really thinking about how I am doing. And it takes time to really think about how we are doing..

What makes me feel like I am doing good.. What is that magical thing that makes us feel like we are doing good? Thinking about how I answer the question, “How am I doing” has gotten me back into the habit of thinking about all the things that happen in a day or week. Am I feeling nervous, stressed, or anxious about what going on in my life. Did something happen that made me feel happy, accomplished, or contentment… Am I being open with others about how I am really doing…

Once you think about it… how do you answer the question… It is still hard for me to be comfortable with giving people the raw unedited answer of how I am doing. However, I have realized that the more I open up about how I am doing or elaborating on my answer…its easier.

If I am having a hard week, I get a lot more support and encouragement from my friends then I would have received, if I just answered “good”. Most of the time, we are experiencing many of the same things. When you hear someone else is experiencing your life, it can help so much. You do not feel like you are the only one, like you are on an island alone… I have also learned by opening up more about myself, it got others to open up about how they were doing…

But I still struggle with telling the good of how I am doing.. I am not sure why its hard to brag about yourself, but it should be done more. I am pushing myself to brag about the good more and more… If I am doing great, I should just say it right…I am working on just telling all those accomplishments…little or big.

So, “How you doin”… just give the real unedited version…

-Snarky

https://www.snarkydivorcedgirl.com/

A Letter To The Future Me

Dear Future Me,

No matter how much you think you want what your friends have. Stay focused on what you are working for.  Don’t worry one day you will have what they have and so much more.

Stay focused.

Take those steps.

Stop making excuses.

Stop wishing.

Go for it.

One day you’ll have that white picket fence family picture. But right now, you are working on YOUR goals. Your goals to make your life meaningful. Not only for yourself but for your family. Who says you need to have a man right now to have the white picket fence picture? No one. You can do it regardless of your relationship status.

Stop focusing on everyone else’s happy family moments and create your own. Stop wondering and wishing. Remember what you want to do and take those steps. Stop day dreaming unless you plan on taking actions to make it come true. Stop pretending everything is ok. And make it great-not just ok- but great!

You got this.

Make a plan.

Make goals.

And start striving towards them.

You are more than you think you are! You’re still young. You got this! Stop second guessing yourself and do something! Make memories. Not only with your child(ren) but take time and do something you want.

You only live one life. Let’s make it worth it. Pain comes and goes. Let’s move forward and make this life worth living.

Let’s make yourself proud. Let’s make your child(ren) proud. And let’s make people feel like “damn she’s really doing well.” Day by day we will smile and make it a great day. Bad days come and go but being happy can be an everyday thing. Let go of the things that don’t mean anything. Just keep moving forward. We got this.

Remember you can do anything you set your mind too. You can be as happy as any of your friends. You can have it all. You just have to work for it. Stop making those excuses and roll with it.

Go out.

Be adventurous.

Have stories to tell.

Stop being so scared of life and go live it!

Now go!

~Shelly

Empower Each Other is Empowering

“Empowered Women, Empower Women.”

One of my favorite lines….for myself, friends, my daughters.

em·pow·er
verb
give (someone) the authority or power to do something
make someone stronger and more confident, especially in controlling their life and claiming their rights
All too often I see women tearing each other down, their looks, their choices, their jobs, their children,  things they can’t control. I wonder why? If we don’t have each other to look up to, to hold us accountable and to appreciate all our faults and all our positives, who do we have? No one can relate to your individual story but all women can relate to each other in one way or another!
I do believe that we empower each other, I also believe that we can do a better job of empowering each other and ourselves, myself included. It’s just as important if not more important to empower yourself FIRST. I have never once in my life thought I couldn’t do something or be that something. And I choose to tell everyone I have in my life the same thing. I want my daughters to know that with enough work and dedication you can be anything you want, as can anyone, ANYONE! Everyone faces road blocks throughout their lives to certain degrees, but that’s just a “bump” in the road. It’s certainly not an end all.
Empower each other, encourage each other, love each other, respect each other!
Love to All-Kim

Mood MATTERS!

What is your mood today???

I have for you the best answer to the most asked question on the planet.

What you are experiencing right now is what’s called intellectually confounding.

You want to know the answer because its the best, yet you’re not even sure what the question is.

The most asked question on Planet Earth is….

“How are you”?

I’m sorry to report the most asked question on planet earth is given the least amount of attention. The least amount of care. The least consideration.

But not me. I won’t give in to mediocrity.

Average is the best of the worst and the worst of the best.

And easy is the enemy of progress.

I have taken an oath, a challenge to disrupt the world.

You only control one thing in your life. ONE. Your mood.

Everything else is out of your control.

Yes, I don’t smoke, I don’t drink or drug, I eat right and exercise-but that’s no guarantee that I’ll live another day. I could get hit by a bus tomorrow. I could get a lousy call from the Dr.

ANYTHING is possible.

Which also means anything IS possible.

So, I choose to control what I CAN control.

My Attitude.

Yup, its the six inches between my ears.

But it’s my call.

That’s on ME!

So each and everyday I pick a mood from my Choose a Mood Box.

It’s my choice so I stacked the deck.

For the last 6 months each and every time someone asked me how I was I answered “AMAZING”, “AWESOME”, “FANTASTIC”. And I say it with enthusiasm; SELL IT!

These last 3 weeks I have chosen “MAGNIFICENT”! It has a little more formality to it….like I’m wearing a suit and tie. Maybe a top hat and spectacle.

Why, you ask? WHY NOT? If you get to choose, why not choose great?

And when people ask me why I’m Magnificent, my current reply is; “We live in the greatest country in the world, during the most advanced time in human history. My job isn’t so difficult that I need the intellect of splitting atoms, nor so physically demanding that I’m shoveling coal. So what could I possibly complain about? Seriously?! I GET TO WAKE UP.”

Do I need to be stressed if things don’t go well at work? Can they survive without me? I pass a graveyard everyday on my morning commute; it’s loaded with people who thought they were irreplaceable. The world keeps turning. Sun keeps rising and with any luck, in the morning so will I. And when I do, I’ll greet it with the best good morning you ever saw.

I’m Jay Cummings and you’ve just been Moodivated. Try it for 3 weeks, then pay it forward and do to someone else what I just did to you. It’s a great life if you choose it. Changing the world one smile at a time.

you can visit jay at www.imoodivate.com

 

Negativity Does Not Serve The Future

LOL…maybe we should be calling this the bi-weekly discussion…I have got to do better with this posting new content…so much negativity out there right now, seems like a good time to talk about serving the future…so here we go…

Gurdjieff ([1877-1949], priest, physician, teacher, author of ‘Meetings With Remarkable Men’) tells us that to live in a truly creative and dynamic way; we would have to think in a completely new way.  He encourages that to be completely fulfilled, we must engage in our own conscious evolution. In his work he also speaks about conscious labor and intentional suffering and about the importance of undertaking the burden of responsibility for serving the future…

Gurdjieff’s student J.G. Bennett “…adopted as a major theme of his life and work the teaching known as “The Fourth Way”. This is very simply that in the face of a threat, whether environmental disaster, war and conquest, or economic collapse, those persons who are able to do so must accept the responsibility of guiding and supporting the less resourceful, but not through the conventional institutions of government or religion, but rather on the level of new ideas and attitudes, inspiration and spiritual regeneration. As many Sufi teachers have done, he hinted at a world of experience in which the laws are quite other than those governing the material world – in some cases, the reverse. Those who are able to decipher this riddle must inevitably dedicate themselves to serving humanity, and the future of our world.” (www.jgbennett.net)

Those of us that understand that there is far more to life than what we can physically “see”, understand also that we have a responsibility to encourage other people not to be limited by their own thinking.  I speak often of the fact that you should never, ever judge or evaluate a situation by the way that it looks in any given moment—you should only ever operate from your intention about what the outcome will be.  So many people are stopped in their tracks because they think that the obstacles they encounter are “real”…they fail to understand that what makes obstacles “real” is believing that they exist.  There are people that are never stopped, people that never quit…if one way gets blocked up they find another…these are the people that succeed and know how to live ‘outside the box’…these are the kind of people you want to know.

I mostly live in a conversation called ‘what’s next…what else needs doing’, the past few weeks I have been living in a question called, “What is your Legacy?”

It is interesting that when you begin to engage in this discussion your life and what you have done or not done shows up in a whole different light…complaints and grievances don’t hold much water in the Legacy conversation…25 years after you’re dead nobody is going to care that your back hurt or you had a cold or a headache or that you were too tired to do the laundry.   Some people have told me that their children are their legacy and that is certainly true for all of us that are parents, however, for me that isn’t enough.

I want to leave something that breathes on long after I checked out…something that is dedicated to making people’s lives better, something that educates people and teaches them how to succeed…something that helps those that need helping… something that makes a difference…

My life will change from living in the question, “What is your Legacy?”…do me a favor and take a moment to answer that question for yourself…honestly.  How are you giving back, who are you helping, and what are you serving besides yourself?  How do you serve the future?

I have a theory that if people lived in these questions life would take on a whole new meaning…if people lived for a purpose bigger than themselves the small annoyances they suffer would become much less significant.

Certainly not the average conversation, but average conversations never create much growth or much action—they also don’t cause you to think much.  I leave you with my favorite quote by George Bernard Shaw:

This is the true joy in life, the being used for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one; the being thoroughly worn out before you are thrown on the scrap heap; the being a force of Nature instead of a feverish selfish little clod of ailments and grievances complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy.

 

George Bernard Shaw, Man and Superman, Epistle Dedicatory