Tag Archives: progress

No One Has It Together

I have a big fat, mind blowing, earth shattering, life changing reality check for you. It’s something that took me a long time to realize and even longer to embrace. It’s also something I have to remind myself of on a regular basis!

Are you ready for it?

Really ready?

No one has their shit together. Not me, not you. Not your pastor, banker, mayor, doctor, librarian or hair dresser. Not your neighbor across the street whose entire yard and house make the homes from the latest edition of Home and Garden look sad and pathetic. Not the president of the PTA who is on every committee, and at every bake sale. Not your college roommate who just landed their dream job. And not even your brother’s, girlfriend’s, cousin’s, neighbor’s uncle that just won the lottery.

Newsflash! Everyone has something in their lives they want to be different. Just because their lives look great on the surface, doesn’t mean they have it all figured out! That neighbor with the perfect house may be struggling with overwhelming anxiety and OCD, and their spotless home and yard are how they cope. (Or may be a sign they AREN’T coping!) The PTA mom might be throwing herself into volunteer work because her marriage is falling apart. Your college roommate may have gotten their dream job, but also just got diagnosed with cancer. And let’s be real here, when has winning the lottery EVER actually solved all of someone’s problems?

It has taken me YEARS to get to the point where I no longer have to fight the urge to laugh in someone’s face, when they tell me that I inspire them or that they look up to me. My internal reaction is still “Oh honey, if only you knew!” Now, however I am able to step back and see what they see. A strong, capable, single mom with special needs kids, who works full time, finds time to volunteer, goes to church (albeit irregularly), gets to the gym (also irregularly) and manages some semblance of a social life. What they don’t see are the days that my anxiety is overwhelming, the times I lose my temper on my kids, the fact that my housekeeping style is best described as “there appears to have been a struggle” or the fact that I quite literally live on caffeine and carbs most days because I honestly can’t remember the last time I woke up feeling rested.

The more you start really connecting with other people, the more you realize that their lives aren’t as perfect as they appear on the surface. The stronger the person appears the rockier their past usually is. What you see is someone strong, and brave. What they feel is broken and defeated. Every time someone tells me they finally feel like they have their ducks in a row, they get hit with a life changing curve-ball. Heck, the entirety of my last few years has been one huge curve-ball after another!

Don’t get me wrong, by no means am I saying not to try! What I am saying, is cut yourself some slack. Stop comparing your journey to other people’s, and start appreciating the life you have. Stop striving for perfection and start being proud of your progress. If you aren’t satisfied with a certain aspect of your life, find a way to change it.

So, go out there. Grow. Heal. Learn. Embrace your beautiful disaster of a self. And most importantly, remember no one really has their shit together. We are all just winging it.

Embrace your perfectly imperfect self,



Every Action Has An Equal And Opposite Reaction

Every action has an equal and opposite reaction. I say this because recently some people whom haven’t out grown their high school behaviors had came into my life.With these people in my life I noticed myself second guessing my decisions and goal, my stress level was at an all time high and I have been completely distracted. I let these people affect my peace, an old habit that I’m still not 100% better at. The difference from this time and others is that I haven’t been excusing or dismissing red flags, being constantly on high alert is why my stress level has been so high.

One of these individuals has been involved or on the receiving end of some gossip about me. Instead of talking to me this person decided that what ever they have been told is true and decided to end our friendship. Which is fine, I let them know that the drama level had been getting to me and that I was already taking a step back, I wished them the best and went on my way.

The level of growth I see in my self for responding this way is astronomical. Just a few years ago, I would have been bending over backwards to save this friendship, trying to prove that I didn’t do whatever it is that was said I did. Now, I don’t see the point, If anyone wants to walk out of my I will let them. My peace progress and happiness are more sacred than any single person in my life.

I’ve noticed that these people are not happy with my non reactive approach and are trying to get a response from me. Which is fine, I know if I let it be they will eventually get bored and leave me alone. I refuse to allow anyone to pull my focus in other directions. I am very blessed for the amount of growth I have experienced these last few years and I am excited to keep growing.


Always be unapologetically true too yourself,


My Stretch Year

November is my birthday month, and as I come close to turning another year older, I feel like it’s a good time to reflect on the past year.

Have you ever had a period of time in your life where you tried different things that just didn’t work out? I have and as I look back on 2017, it feels like the whole year has been that way and it’s been a real struggle for me.

Earlier this year, I was feeling extremely anxious with the thought that something needed to change in my life but I wasn’t sure what that was – was it my personal life or my job or something else? So, after 2 ½ years of being divorced, I decided to join the online dating journey, even though I had many reservations about it. I also decided to see if it meant making a change with my job. Around the same time this anxiety started, a couple of jobs in the communications field opened up in the local area and friends at those companies reached out to me. If you know me well, you know I’m a type A personality and like to be in control of things. But, I decided to try something new and take an alternative approach; I was just going to see what happened in both scenarios and live by the mantra, “Whatever is meant to be, will be.”

On the job front, I went through multiple rounds of interviews for two different jobs, but at the end of the day, neither one of the jobs panned out. Although it was somewhat disappointing, I reminded myself that maybe they weren’t the right fit for me. Honestly, I love my job and the people I work with; if I got an offer for a new job, it would have to be a great one and closer to home for me to even consider leaving my current role.

On the dating side, I joined a few different dating sites and it was definitely interesting. I was married for almost 18 years and I met my ex-husband when I was a junior in high school, so I didn’t date at all growing up and obviously, the dating world has changed a lot since that time. I wasn’t sure what I was getting myself into and I was extremely nervous. I may have to cover this in another post, but at a high level, I came across guys who told me all these sweet nothings from the minute we started chatting and one man who told me he loved me after a week. I also came across a few guys who were trying to scam me for money and one amazing man whose wife left him but later decided to come back and try to reconcile; he did what any loyal husband would do and exactly what I would expect him to do – he went back with his family and is trying to work things out with his wife. Needless to say, after the last guy I talked to for over a month ended up trying to scam me for money, I decided that I needed a break from the emotional toll and blow to my self-esteem that online dating was taking on me and quit all the dating sites.

When I look back over this year, I can’t say it’s been a bad year because it hasn’t really, but I can say it’s been a challenging year. I feel like many of the things I have tried haven’t really worked out, but I have to give myself credit for the fact that after each disappointment, I kept going and tried again and remained hopeful that something would work out in the end.

So, instead of looking at the year in a negative light, I’m calling this past year my “stretch year”. I may not have materially accomplished a lot over the year, but I have done a lot of growing. Every experience we have teaches us a lesson in life and I have to keep remembering that.

In the midst of all of these lessons, I still managed to get my Zumba certification, start a blog, complete a large extra project at work on top of my day job and keep my kids thriving (for the most part). So, all is not lost. The job search helped me to use my interview skills again and network with some new people and the online dating journey gave me some great stories to tell and I did meet one great guy out of it, even if he may be unavailable. At least I have a better idea of what I want and don’t want and during all of it, I am very aware that I put my whole self out there and didn’t try to play any games or be something I’m not.

So, at the end of the day, I guess you can still call that progress, right?


You can follow Laxmi at her blog, https://onedesigirlsjourney.wordpress.com/.

Be the Leading Lady

Last night amidst my incredibly chaotic life with two kids, a husband that requires my attention sometimes more than the kids and a dog needier than any of them, I was finally able to fall into bed with a cup of tea and read a little. This particular night I chose a blog about a mom whose toddler son gave up on her (awesome choice, I know). By the end I was crying … audibly … and wondering, “Will my son give up on me?” She did it; she nailed it. She left me in tears, questioning what kind of mother I was and having to explain to my husband why I chose to co-sleep with my three-and-a-half-year-old year old that night. That writer moved me.
I have always loved to write. I have written stories and songs as far back as I can remember. I thought one day I would write books about enchanting love stories with brave women who ended up with everything they’d always wanted–a life they dreamed of. I would imagine myself as one of these leading ladies, with all of the wisdom and poise to save the day at the end of the story. But somewhere on my journey to becoming a writer, I stopped being the leading lady. I got scared. I became afraid to risk anything when it came to putting my stories, my songs, my writing, out there.
These mommy bloggers today are so incredibly funny, captivating, and so well written. But I sit down to try and do the same thing they’re doing and immediately feel like I’m on the JV squad and all the real athletes made Varsity. Call it the devil, call it lack of talent but I can’t seem to move myself, let alone the mommy sitting at the other end of the country. But today God gently spoke to me these words …”Write what you feel, write what you know.” So I’ll make a deal with you. I will be completely vulnerable and risk you thinking what I am writing is crap, if you promise to dig deeper with me during these next few minutes in the hopes you will be able to become honest with yourself.
Are you willing to risk being exposed to finally become the leading lady?
So here it is. My heart. My soul. Written down with words, posed in paragraphs, in the hopes that something I say will move you, my friends and sisters to act–to become the leading lady in your story.
What I FEEL is this: My heart longs to be able to show every single one of you what you are truly capable of. I want you to know that as dark as your situation, your addiction or dependency on that destructive thing that makes you feel whole, you are just one brave step away from being exposed. I want to look you in the eye, and tell you that it’s ok to shed light on your inner struggle because that one courageous move might heal you forever. I want to tell you without one ounce of doubt that your best life is yet to come. Will it take a willingness on your part to uncover your best? YES! But I will tell you that I feel you can do it. It starts with one step.
What I KNOW is this: I’ve been there, girls. I have been to the deepest depths of depravity and experienced a darkness that swallowed up my soul. But even in my darkest days, God never left. He reminded me quietly but consistently that I was his and he would see me through the worst. Just. Keep. Going. Just keep risking leaving the old behind. Just keep loving. For me, one day it finally happened.
God showed me through the many books I clung to and highlighted in that I needed to live with the power of NOW, with intention. I needed to live in this current moment, fully present. He showed me that I could do nothing about my past nor wait for my future to be better. I had to use the knowledge I had that second to make the best decisions for myself and my family. And if I did that, slowly, my life would start looking like what I imagined as a little girl it would be. I had to be brave. I had to risk feeling uncomfortable, to eventually feel alive and free.
Freedom is available to everyone. Peace is a gift we can all partake in. TRUE PEACE. It does exist. I have experienced it; I am living in it now. But I fought like hell to have it. I looked the devil in the face and risked feeling out of control by being exposed to capture my life back.
Let’s do this ladies. Let’s risk. Let’s be brave. Let’s be the leading lady.


A Guest Post from Lauren Rainey Tenney, she would love to hear from you…email her at




Making REAL Change is Like Picking Up Blueberries…one at a time…

making change one blueberry at a time…

An addiction is when you continue to let things damage you even though you know the destructive nature of what you are doing…Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.  Insane behavior supports an addiction or addictive behavior because it helps you tell yourself that things will turn out differently this time, it helps you mask the obvious and live in the hope that ‘this’ is different than the time before.  Insane behavior is just that– INSANE.  If you are stuck in a pattern or a circumstance that isn’t changing, as long as you STAY STUCK THERE it WILL NOT CHANGE.  You will see the same wheel turn round and round and you will keep telling yourself that the result will be different….it won’t.

In order to change the turn of the wheel we need to change ourselves and our circumstances.  We lose hope when we feel like we have lost the power to enact change, the truth is we never lose the power to enact change…the God-part of our nature is always lying there waiting to be called upon…if we give power to that and ask God for help we can enact whatever changes we wish.  Consequently, if we give power to the darker sides of our nature we will continue down the road of insane behavior. 

There is never a convenient time to push ourselves to give up a behavior that no longer serves us; these behaviors wear all kinds of names: drug addiction, alcohol addiction, food addictions, being overweight, staying in relationships that have long been over, guilt, gambling, sex addictions, over-spending, involving ourselves in relationships with unavailable people, etc etc.  Whatever costume your behavior wears it is stealing your aliveness and it has you in such a state of reactivity that you cannot even see your REAL life because all you are doing is riding the crazy train. 

Some of us have been riding for so long now that we actually think we are making progress…REALITY CHECK- you only make progress when you get OFF the train and realize that you have been riding on it, at this point you get to choose a different course.  A fish that lives in a fishbowl has no idea that he lives in there as all he knows is the limited conditions of the bowl.  A human being stuck in a behavior shares the same limited understanding of their life, they think what they are living in is all there is…

Enacting change starts with recognizing that we have something that needs to be changed, the 12 step programs call it admitting that we have a problem and that works too.  Use whatever method or program you need to use to recognize the behavior that doesn’t work.  The important thing is to recognize it because of course you cannot change something that you cannot even SEE.

Making major behavioral shifts is like picking up blueberries that have fallen on the floor.  If you have ever dropped a container of blueberries on the floor you will fully appreciate this comparison. 

When you drop a container of blueberries they roll EVERYWHERE…first you swear and become angry that you were stupid enough to drop the container in the first place and then you quickly resolve yourself to the fact that you have to pick them up.  You can’t pick them up in handfuls because you will crush them, so you have to pick them up one by one and as you do that some of them roll away under things and you have to peer under there and roll them out.  The blueberries also NEVER fit back into the container the way that they were before you dropped them, so you have to artfully maneuver them back into the container to try and get it to close again.  When you are picking up the blueberries they sometimes fall out of your hands again and you end up grabbing the same blueberry several times…all in all, a tedious process that causes one to gasp in horror when a container is dropped…

A shift in behavior is like this as it is one small change at a time and sometimes you drop another blueberry and you have to pick it up again and again.  You can’t scoop all the blueberries back into the container at once or you will crush them, you can’t change a behavior in a day or it won’t stick.  REAL change, REAL behavioral shifts come over time, in stages, one blueberry at a time and eventually you have them all and you can reclose the container.  Eventually your small changes become a big shift and one day along the way you wake up and realize that you are free from your insanity and that you have clarity you never had before.

Important to remember that when you drop a blueberry in the ‘picking up’ process all is not lost, just reach down and pick it up again.  When you are making changes and you go back and repeat a behavior that doesn’t work, it’s okay…just remember that you are shifting and next time make a different choice…change can be embodied one blueberry at a time…