Aha Moment

You know when you’re doing something and suddenly you realize something that you never really thought of before, but it’s so obvious you’re not sure why you never thought of it? That’s an “Aha moment.” I recently had one of those and I have to share!

This week has been incredible. We’re vacationing in sunny (partly cloudy, actually but who cares) Florida with some amazing friends as our tour guides. They say ocean air makes you happier, and if you’ve never experienced it, let me tell you it’s true! It’s been a couple years since I’ve been at sea level so this trip was long overdue. I knew I wanted to go to the beach, but I didn’t realize how much I really needed to be here.

I’ve spent a lot of time working on myself in recent years. I wouldn’t change any of that because I have really grown a lot, but this week I realized something. In this place with these people it dawned on me that there actually is nothing wrong with me. I was just surrounded by negative energy. Some people are more affected by the energy around them than others, but we’re all affected by it to some degree.

This was my aha moment. I’m negatively affected by the negative energy that is around me. I need to be around positive energy and find ways to block negative energy from other people. Your energy is contagious so make it positive! I will forever be grateful for this vacation because of what I now know.

Remember to surround yourself with people you want to be like. Rise up and bloom.

All Alone

You can’t have trust without truth. You may be wondering “who is this girl talking about mindset, anxiety, and spiritual growth?” I have allowed you small glimpses into my life with some of my previous blogs, but today I want to share a little more of my truth. I’m a very private person, so this isn’t easy for me. As an influencer and spiritual life coach, I want my followers to know and trust me. Here’s my truth.

I’ve felt alone most of my life. Those of you who know me personally may wonder how I could feel alone. I grew up in a big family with plenty of people who cared about me. I’ve never met a true enemy. I have an incredible husband and two very loving children. I’ve wondered myself how I could feel so alone. That’s the power of persuasion.

You see, at a very young age I began to separate myself from everyone around me. I can’t pinpoint the exact moment when I began this separation, but I know without a doubt that it was my way of protecting myself from the hurt I felt. I don’t recall the exact moment when I realized that losing someone or something didn’t feel good. Perhaps it was a pet dying or running away. Maybe it was a friend choosing another friend over me. I’m not sure. All I know is that it hurt and I began to build walls to protect myself from that hurt. Every time there was an actual or perceived separation, I added another brick to my wall. It was subconscious and habitual. I didn’t even realize I was doing it.

I had trained myself to believe that separation meant protection. If I could just keep that layer of cushion between me and everyone else, then I would be safe from the hurt. Well, things don’t really work that way, do they? Eventually it all catches up to you.

Just months ago, I hit rock bottom. My sister had died and for a while I was okay, or so I thought. I tried to hide behind my wall, tried to distance myself from what had happened, but you can’t ignore pain like that. I found myself in a state of grief I had never allowed myself to feel before. It was as if all the pain I had tried to avoid for all those years created a tidal wave that completely destroyed my wall. I no longer had the layer of protection. So, I instinctively went into defense mode and started pushing away everyone that was close to me. I wasn’t going to allow myself to ever be hurt like that again.

See the pattern? It took a little while, but I realized that as I was pushing these people away, I was effectively causing the pain I was trying to avoid. By pushing them away I was losing them. Something in my brain clicked and I was like “What am I doing? If I keep this up I’m going to lose everything!” That was my wake up call.

The good news is, we can retrain our brains! Just like I had trained myself to build the layers of protection and believe that made me safe, I could retrain my brain to believe that love and closeness are good. The question I began asking myself is “Am I willing to see this differently?” It’s a profound question and if I allow myself to answer “YES!” then my life changes. I need to be able to see things differently. So I answer “yes” and look for a better way to see the situation.

Sometimes it takes a struggle to make us stronger. Today I am able to look at my struggles and see them as stepping stones. I can allow myself to be thankful for all the hurt I’ve experienced because I know I’m stronger now. That doesn’t mean I’m thankful my sister died. I’m thankful for the love and lessons she has given me. As I write and the tears fall, I know I still have work to do.

Are you willing to see things differently in your own life? When a negative thought comes up, acknowledge it and then ask “Am I willing to see this differently?” Try it for a day, a week, or a month and notice how you feel. You’ll be surprised how much it will change!

Rise up and bloom.

WIN = What’s Important Now

If you’re focused on the past, it can contribute to feeling depressed. If you’re worried about the future, you experience feelings of anxiety. If you’re focused on this moment right now, then you are at peace.

It’s not hocus pocus, it’s science. Multiple studies have shown a correlation between focusing on the now and being happy. While it’s not fully understood exactly how or why this happens, we do know that people are happier when they are fully present in the moment.

Take a moment to focus your thoughts on what is most important to you right now. Write your thoughts down in a journal to help you figure out what the most important thing is right now. Once you have it, decide what you’re going to do about it. And then do it!

Go back to last week’s post about goal setting. Start to formulate a good solid short term goal based on what’s important now. Every day focus on that. The more you focus on what you want right now, the less you’ll be thinking about the past or worrying about the future. You can still be “forward focused,” because as you accomplish goals for what you want now you are molding your future. You are also sending vibrations out into the universe, showing it what you want so it can send you more if it!

Why Goals are Important

Do you have goals? Is your life all planned out in steps to reach your goals? Are you consistently working through those steps, realigning with what you really want, and setting new steps? If not, you need to read this!

I’ve never been a goal setter. I like to go with the flow and see where life takes me. I’ve tried setting goals, but inevitably something throws me off track and I don’t achieve the goals I set. Does that sound like you?

Here’s what I’ve learned: Goals are an essential part of living a fulfilling and prosperous life. If you have no goals, you have nothing to push you to do better and be better. You’re just being tossed around, bouncing around from this to that with no real direction. What are you doing? You have no clue! This can be the biggest contributor to feeling like you’re a failure. If there’s one thing you change in your life, make it goal setting. Trust me, you won’t be disappointed.

If you’re new to goal setting or need some help fine tuning your goals, follow these tips. In nursing school I learned the S.M.A.R.T. goal method. There are other methods, but they all have the same basic principles. Goals should be specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time-based. You need to know exactly what you’re trying to achieve, be specific. Then you need a way to know if your steps are helping you reach your goal, make it measurable. Your goal has to be something that pushes you and is also attainable. It should be something you can realistically work towards and commit to. Finally you have to set a timeframe in which you will achieve the goal.

Write your goal down in this format (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timed). Try it out. Journal about your experience and achievements. If something isn’t working quite the way you want it to, review your goal and make changes as needed. Stick with it and you’ll be making strides towards your goals in no time!

Rise up and bloom.

The Great Habit Switch

What is a habit? Habits are the things we do repeatedly without having to think about doing them. Some habits are good, others not so much.

A lot of the time we think of habits as being those bad things that we want to stop doing, like smoking for instance. Habits can actually take on a lot of faces. You might be in the habit of eating healthy foods or getting up early to exercise. You could have a habit of going to bed at a decent time to get a good nights sleep. Maybe you have a habit of getting a pedicure every 6 weeks because you know self care is important. These are all physical examples of positive habits, but have you ever thought about the mental habits we have?

I’ve always been good at math, not excellent, but good. When I was younger I developed a habit of finding relationships with sequential numbers. Like if I saw 549, I’d automatically think “5+4=9.” It was just something that came naturally and was fun for me to do. Can you think of anything mental that you do automatically? Here’s another example: self talk. We all talk to ourselves. Our minds are constantly saying things to us. I’m sure I’ve said it before, but you must pay attention to your self talk. Are you nice or mean? What kinds of things do you say to yourself?

The point I want to make here is that no matter what your habits are, you can change them. Going back to the example of smoking, you probably know someone who has been able to change that habit by either cutting back or quitting. If not smoking, then maybe you know someone who changed their diet or exercise to lose weight. You may even know someone that changed their way of thinking and has turned their life around. Whatever habit you have that you want to change, you can change it. You just have to decide you’re going to change it.

Try it out by choosing something small that you’re fairly certain you can change. Maybe you have a bad habit of being late, so you decide to wake up 10 minutes earlier. This is what I like to call “The Great Habit Switch.” You’re taking the unwanted habit of being late and switching it out with the new habit of waking up earlier. Once you’ve mastered a few of these easy switches, step it up to something a little more difficult. Before long you’ll be switching all your unwanted habits for better more desirable ones.

The Power of Forgiveness

If you want to change your situation, you’ve got to stop living in the past! You’ll never ever be able to focus on improving your future until you forgive your past. As long as there’s something from your past that you are holding on to, this lame crappy life you love to hate will continue to be lame and crappy. So get over yourself already, and start forgiving!!

Follow these 3 simple steps to start forgiving yourself and others today.

1. Get real. In order to start forgiving, you have to become aware of what you’re holding on to. What negative thoughts do you have about yourself and others? Take out a piece of paper and write everything down that comes to mind. Maybe you never forgave your parents for not buying you a pony after you asked and begged for one. Perhaps you never really got over your first love leaving you for another. Dig deep and get real about your feelings.

2. Forgive the list. Now that you have a starting list, go down it one by one and actively forgive each one. Some of it may involve forgiving others, and some may be about forgiving yourself. As you read each item on your list, picture the person, say their name and what you are forgiving them for. If it’s you, look yourself in the eye using a mirror. It’s important to say the forgiveness out loud. If you feel comfortable you can actually speak to the person and forgive them. Another approach is to write letters of forgiveness, then read them out loud and throw them away. Throwing them away symbolizes letting go.

3. Rinse and repeat. Keep up your practice of forgiving by being proactive. When do you have negative feelings during the day? Who are they about? Notice when you are judging yourself or others. Often judgement is a residual product of something from your past that you need to forgive. Notice the judgement or negative feelings and actively choose to forgive and let it go. Pick a better, more positive thought. Keep your vibration high. Use a mantra like “I choose to see love instead of this.”

The act of forgiveness is not a one and done type of thing. It’s is constant and ongoing, just like the act of keeping your vibration at a higher level. Make it a point to practice forgiveness daily and soon it will become a habit you don’t even have to think about. As you forgive you will feel lighter and happier because you won’t have all of that junk bogging you down. Rise up and bloom.

Mindful Morning Practice

Are you feeling overwhelmed, anxious, worried, frustrated, stuck or hopeless? As a mom, it’s easy to let the little struggles in life take over and bring you down. If you’re trying to start a spiritual practice, those little struggles can make you feel like a complete failure. There is always something to think about, mull over, replay, worry about, blow out of proportion, etc. Sometimes you wish you could just turn off your brain and be at peace.

I know just how that feels! I used to struggle with endless worrying and anxiety. My brain would fixate on meaningless things that had happened or could happen. I couldn’t get a moment of peace. I was forgetful, my relationships suffered, and I was constantly tired. When your brain is always running on overdrive, it uses up a lot of energy. All that brain power wasted on worrying could be channeled into much better use!

Don’t worry (no pun intended)! There is hope! I was able to develop a simple spiritual practice that fits into my busy mom schedule and you can do it too! Before even getting out of bed, I start my morning with a silent prayer of thanks for the new day and all the amazing things it will bring. Then, I get up, make a pot of coffee and go to a quiet place to meditate. I choose a meditation for the day, usually 10-15 minutes long. I then follow that with some stretching and a quick 10-20 minutes of exercise. A healthy breakfast adds the nutrients to fuel me all day and boosts my vibe even higher! If you make it a routine to practice this every morning, I guarantee you will be more mindful throughout the day! It may be difficult at first because your brain is used to ruling your life, and it won’t give up that position easily. But stick with it and you will be less anxious! Less anxiety means more energy for the things you want to do. Plus your memory will improve because your brain will have more room to focus on what’s important.

For a more in-depth look at incorporating a daily spiritual practice into your busy mom life with modifications for every mom situation, click here.