Do overs and turning the clock back…How to heal.

Some times I make mistakes.  For example, yesterday I printed out something for my daughter with an error.  This morning I had to reprint it, except I had to change the computer time clock/date back to datetime changeyesterday so that yesterday’s date printed out.  As I’m changing the date on my computer clock, I thought how wonderful it would be if we could simply turn the clock back on our lives and have a do over.

I would do things so differently.

Except we can’t turn the clock back.  I can’t change choices I made in the past.  I can’t go back and heal wounds from my past.  Or can I?

How do we heal?

  1.  Calendar Healing
    For me the quickest way to heal is to allow the calendar to carry  some of the burden.  What does that mean?  It means that time does heal.  Thirty years ago I was in the midst of a messy and complicated relationship. I experienced great pain.  I felt like I was damaged.  I felt like I would never heal.  The hurt and pain blurred my vision of my future.  Now that time has passed, I can’t even see the scars.  I really don’t think I could have experienced healing in a short period of time.  Mainly, I need to allow God the time to show me how good He is and how faithful He is.  I needed time to allow God to perfect me into who He wanted me to be.  I had to have adequate time to experience God’s love and God’s truth.
  2. Choose to forgive.
    I had to choose to forgive.  I had to say it out loud…to God.  Daily.  For a very long time.  I had to pray for the person who caused me damage.  It took me thirty years, but when I finally was able to speak to the person who I believed wronged me, all I felt was love.  And that love didn’t come from me.  It was a God-thing-kinda-love.  And it really feels good.
  3. Anchor yourself in the future.
    Some of us have gone through really bad times and we feel justified to linger in that pain. We nurture the bad memories.  But we can’t let the past hurts keep us hostage.  We can’t anchor ourselves to our past.  Instead we have to push on into the future and anchor ourselves there. Otherwise, we will start to use those moments of betrayal or hurt, those failures or losses to detain us in the past and it will start to define us.
  4. Allow the past to create something new and good. 
    We need to define our past, not let our past define us. Let’s redefine it and work on it until our past starts to work for us instead of against us. When we can examine what happened in our past, we can begin to learn from it and let it mold our future for the better.  It will humble us, and make us wiser and smarter. It will teach us to take a better read on people, maybe not to be so lenient in this area or not so undisciplined in that area. Or maybe just not to take anything for granted. We shouldn’t let the things that are pulling us or tethering us backwards restrain us, but, rather work at letting these things push us forward to a better place.

My high school youth pastor once said, “Never despise anything that takes you to your knees, never despise anything that makes you better, and never despise anything that drives you closer to God.”

6 Things You Can Start Today to Boost Your Happiness

Here’s my top 6 things you can start doing today to boost your happiness:

Accumulate Memories1.  Accumulate memories not things.

What memory will you create today?  Huge challenge for most, since I myself work all week long and by the time the weekend comes, I’m tired.  But sometimes I’m really not that tired, I’m just stuck in a habit of thinking I need to rest and I plop myself down on the couch.  There are no memories being made with your kids watching you watch the latest DIY show.  Or dragging your kids to Walmart to buy the latest toy or gadget.  Okay…these are memories,  but not a worthwhile memories!  Here’s a blog post that tells you why you are happier when you spend money on experiences rather than things.  Here’s my favorite book on simplifying your life.  

 


 

sinai2. Stop Comparing yourself to others.

When we compare ourselves to others, we are measuring our life against things and people who don’t have the same calling on their life as yours.  I strongly believe that God has a unique purpose for my life.  If I compare my life against someone else, my focus gets lost on someone else’s purpose instead of mine.  Other great reasons can be found here:  3 Reasons to Stop Comparing Yourself to Others  Here’s my favorite book on finding your sweet spot.

 


 

Journaling3.  Write in a journal.

It’s surprising to me how fast I feel better about anything thats’ worrying me or stressing me out, when I start journaling about it.  I hadn’t journaled in weeks.  I was increasing becoming more anxious.  I sat down Saturday morning and started to journal.  Old fashioned pen and paper.  And now my anxiety is gone.  Feels like a miracle!  I believe relief comes from voicing things that are inside of you.  Especially if you don’t have a friend or spouse who will listen to your ramblings.  My husband is a good listener, but some things I just don’t feel like sharing.  When I journal, I can get out those things I’m thinking without the fear of of sounding stupid, or having someone fix what I’m thinking.  (Men are built to fix.  Many times I just want to share without being fixed.)  Journaling allows me that.   Here’s a great post on why to Journal and how to get started.    Here’s my favorite book on journaling.


Unforgiveness4. Forgive.

When we walk around with unforgiveness in our heart, it drags us down. It takes up residence where peace and love should be in our hearts and minds.  It uses up energy.  I remember the first time I was wronged by someone, I mean life shattering “wronged.”  I went to a pastor for help.  He said forgive this person.  I said I can’t forgive because this person isn’t sorry.  My pastor said forgiveness has nothing to do with the other person’s repentance.  It has everything to do with our heart’s desire.  Since that time, I’ve had many opportunities to practice forgiveness.  I’ve even given other’s the opportunity to forgive me.  Ever got a splinter in your foot?  When it’s finally removed, there is such relief.  It’s the same with forgiveness.    Here’s a post on How To Forgive the Unforgivable.  Here’s My Favorite Book on Forgiveness


get outdoors5. Get outside and do something healthy.

There’s a reason why I like to exercise in the morning.  When I get out first thing in the morning, it sets the day in the right way.  And it’s more than mental for me.  Sure I feel accomplished and good that I’ve done something so important to my health.  But it’s more than a accomplished.  It gets my blood pumping.  And I just feel better.  Period.  Waiting until after work hasn’t worked for me.  I drag all day long…and then I get my pick me up.  That doesn’t make much sense to me.  And getting on  a treadmill doesn’t have the same affect either.  I need outside air and sunshine.  Even though there’s not much sunshine in the early morning, I still feel like I’m getting some vitamin D.  Here’s Why Exercise can Make you Happy.  Here’s my favorite fitness book (written by my coach.)


 

Instant Happiness6. Help Someone Else.  Sometimes it’s just a matter of forgetting your own sorrows.  Sometimes it’s gaining perspective.  Every morning on my way to work I call a friend who is struggling.  I don’t care how rough I’m feeling at the moment…when I call to give her encouragement, it makes me feel better.  One thanksgiving I was feeling pretty down about not having any family coming for dinner.  My husband and I were spending it alone.  That morning, we went and bought several family dinners from Cracker Barrel and took them down to the south side of San Antonio, where poverty is an epidemic. The joy on their faces brought me such peace.  It’s hard to feel down after lifting someone else up.   Here’s why Helping Someone Else Improves Your Mood.  Here’s my favorite book on Serving.


Please share or pin this post!  If you have more ideas on how to increase your happiness, share them in the contents.

Moving Outside your Comfort Zone

newpottychairI’m in the throws of potty training.  My other kids were all trained before three.  But with my latest and greatest Garrison…well, he’s a little bit more stubborn.  He’s already three.   And he knows how to go peep in the potty, he just doesn’t want to.  I even bought him a pretty cool potty chair that he can sit on and play on the ipad.  His pre-school teacher bribes him with stickers.  I resorted to skittles bribery.  Yesterday I finally put him in big boy underwear and let whatever happens happen.

Garrison has all kinds of excuses to not sit on the potty.  But basically it’s just easier to peep and poop in his diaper.  He’s lived his whole life sitting in peep and poop…why would it start bothering him now?  Why should I force the potty training?  We all know the answer to that…

We all have stages of maturity and growing up that is basically forced upon us.  As adults, do any of us regret being potty trained?  No….

comfortzoneBut what happens as adults as we cultivate our comfort zone and we act like a 3 year old and refuse to leave that zone.

There’s many reasons why I don’t leave the comfort zone.  For me, the comfort zone represents a safe place.  It’s familiar.  It’s secure.  There are very few risks in the comfort zone.  I don’t have to adapt to change.

But just as a stubborn 3 year old sits in a dirty diaper, there are things I’ve experienced as well as I linger in the comfort zone.  I start feeling:  fearful, depressed, mediocre, average, in survival mode, and an absence of joy and happiness.

Here’s the thing….I think God created me with a mish mash of gifts & talents that can’t be utilized in the comfort zone.  They’re pretty much wasted there.  They’re hidden.  It’s not until I step out of the comfort zone that those gifts and talents can be perfected, refined, and used.

Ephesians 2:10 NIV  10 For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

I don’t believe God created any of us to be ordinary.  Can you picture God with a paint brush creating a masterpiece and saying…I think I’ll make this one ordinary…?  Nope.  But I do believe by staying in the comfort zone, we stay ordinary.

So how do I force myself out of my comfort zone?  When I was a kid, I remember the fear I had of jumping off the high dive.  I wasn’t the type to close my eyes and jump.  I needed convincing or pushing.  Mostly convincing….

Here’s what works for me:

  1. Decide to move beyond my comfort zone.
  2. Recognize that if I’m not being challenged, I’m not growing.
  3. Make a list of all talents God has given you.  Once your list is done, identify which ones you are using regularly.  Then highlight the ones you haven’t used recently.  This will help you determine where or what to do next.
  4. Make a list of the talents you haven’t used and then schedule on your calendar when you will do something that will utilize those talents.
  5. Start journaling or blogging about your experience.

My brother recently paid me a visit.  He lives in Oregon.  I live in Texas.  He drove down to Texas to help our cousin build a house.  Talk about moving out of his comfort zone!  He retired a few years back.  He says he loves retirement, but I’m guessing he must have been getting a little bored.  He confessed to me that he doesn’t handle change very well.  I laughed.  That is such an understatement! Here’s what I really admire about my brother. He has catapulted of his comfort zone. He had the courage to pack up his car, leave his sweet wife and dogs and travel 2500 miles to do something he’s never done before. (I can picture him shaking his head as he loads his nail gun into his trunk) Since retiring he’s become quite the handyman.  But building a house?  This is a first.  He is using the talents God gave him.  He’s moved beyond fear, depression, mediocrity….and moved into success, happiness, purpose, passion, and growth.  He’s even blogging about it here.

Go on….take one step and do something a little uncomfortable.  I’d love to hear how it turns out…

Making Decisions. What’s Behind Door Number 3?

When I was a kid…I watched a show called “Let’s Make a Deal.”  Contestants would be given options of which grand prize they wanted.  Door number 1, 2, or 3.   One particular episode the contestant actually got to see behind two of the doors to decide which prize he wanted.  Door One was a dumpster full of garbage and Door Two was a shiny new car.  I remember staring at the screen wondering why the guy took so long to decide.

I mean really, you can’t decide between garbage and a new car?

A couple of weeks ago I had to make a decision on what type of procedure to be done at my gynecologist’s office.  The two options:  Pain or No Pain.  Well duh….I picked “no pain.”

Who would pick garbage?  Who would pick pain?

I have a  friend who is experiencing many challenges in her life and it’s as if she’s trying to carry 20 cartons of eggs into the house, and one by one she keeps dropping the cartons before she gets through the door.  She trembles as she looks into each carton, perplexed that there’s so many eggs broken.  She recently moved her mother with alzheimers into her home.  She started a new job in a new city.  And she’s cultivating an out of state relationship.  She sat in front of me in tears, because Eggs in boxshe felt like she was failing at all three.  All of her eggs had cracks.  Without getting too personal, she basically had the decision before her of door number 1 (garbage) and door number 2 (a shiny new car.)  It sure looked obvious to me….(PICK THE CAR!!)  When I asked her why she was hesitating with  a decision in the right direction, she had a number of issues that were clouding her ability to choose.

1.  The Past

2.  Self Doubt

3. Judgement from Others

4. Fear of the Future

THE PAST:  We tend to bump into a lot of things when we walk looking backwards.  Let’s face it…we’ve all made mistakes.  Anchor yourself in your future not in your past.  Jeremiah 19:11 says,“I know the plans I have for you, plans for a future and a hope.” God is focused on your future; you should be too.  If your anchor is on your past, it will be a weight that will pull you back.  If you anchor yourself in the future, you will believe in the vision God has for you.  It will act like an engine with a thrust that will move you forward.  Anchor your life in your future.

SELF DOUBT: Do you want to be the person who walks around whining over what could have been, or the person who jumps in with both feet and goes all in?  Take your focus off yourself and focus on chasing after God’s best.  Self-doubt is like putting on blinders, which doesn’t allow you to see your options clearly.

JUDGEMENT FROM OTHERS: Thinking about what others may say or think can be very crippling.  Choose several God-seeking friends and seek their discernment and leave everything else behind.

FEAR OF THE FUTURE:  God is a God who can take a mistake and turn it into a miracle.  He can take your dead end and start a new beginning.  He can take you from what seems like a sunset and make it into a sunrise.  God understands what’s going on and He has an ultimate purpose for your life.

Pain or no pain?  No brainer.

 

 

 

 

 

New Year’s Resolution(s) Success Tips

2015 resolutions

When ever I’ve made new year resolutions, I’ve created this really great list of all the things that I desperately need to change or improve. But after three months, if even that long, I’ve failed at every single thing on my new year’s resolution list.  Like the picture, I’m jumping across a huge gorge.  What if, I can somehow, make the gorge not such a huge distance to jump over?  Would that increase my chance of success?

The end of 2014 brought many unexpected changes.  I started working full time outside the home.  This is a first for me in over 20 years.  The last 20 years I’ve run my own business from my home.  Now I’m back in Corporate America.  This has been a major life change, and with that a few adjustments had to be made.

When the decision was made to go back into the work force, my husband said I had to promise that I would figure out how to continue with Crossfit.  That was my only lifestyle goal.

And so as I started my new job on October 13th, I also started getting up at 4:30 am to participate in the 5:15 am Crossfit class.  I didn’t have much faith in my ability to succeed at an early morning workout.  I’d tried the class once before and never went back.  Until now.  And now it’s become second nature to me.  And I really really like working out at 5:15 am!! No really…I do!  It’s as big a shock to me as is for those who know me.

I’m almost three months in.  I’ve had a few ups and downs (getting to bed on time for an early morning wake up) but I think my success in surviving this transition was to have only one goal and work hard at reaching that goal. (Besides going to work every day!)

I think success for me comes when I can focus on one thing at a time, until it becomes a habit.  Once it’s a habit, then I can start on the next “resolution.”

I made Crossfit a habit 2.5 years ago.  Then August 1st I started Whole30 (which was only supposed to be 30 days….)and I’m on day 153!

One thing that has taken a back seat though is my writing.  I haven’t posted one blog since starting back to work.

So that’s going to be my first resolution for 2015.  I want to spend my lunch hour either journaling or blogging.  Daily writing.  And publishing a blog post weekly.

There…that’s it.  What’s your ONE New Year’s resolution?  Come on…only pick one and share it!