Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Where have I been?

Image: Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Where have I been for the past couple of weeks? Why haven't I posted any new blogs? Well, three weeks ago, I took on a project that apparently created a whole lot of stress in my life.

What's funny is that this project wasn't big. In fact, it was quite small. I thought I would just fit it in, and everything would be fine. I was excited to do a good job with it. I think the project itself went fine, but I've had a rough couple of weeks and have found myself not feeling as happy and excited about life as usual.

This morning while I was journaling about it, I realized I have been in a great, big learning experience.

Here's what I discovered by taking just a few minutes to sit down and reflect:

This was a test from the Divine Broadcast System. I think this was a test to see if I am really wanting to go forward with how God wants me to use my gifts, or if I will fall into old, "comfortable" habits. I feel like by accepting the project, I failed the test, but I understand I had to receive this experience to know better. The project seemed to be a good fit, but it wasn't, and I knew that deep down from the start. I should have said, "No, thank you."

Mental stress causes physical stress. It has been scientifically proven that mental stress causes physical dis-ease. The day after I accepted the project, I hurt my neck and had to go to the chiropractor. She sent me for x-rays and found I have an injury in my cervical spine, most likely from a car accident 20 years ago, that never healed properly. Although my recovery will be an uphill trek, I am grateful this problem was caught now, instead of later. Can you say blessing in disguise?

Stress is draining. Over the past three weeks, I have felt exhausted, stressed, tired, overwhelmed, forgetful, and less than present in my moments. I have found it more difficult to connect with the important people in my life. It's not that I didn't experience any joy during this time, it was just more difficult to manifest with the stress of a new project, the energy my body needed to begin to heal my neck, and the multitude of other obligations I had going on at the time.

Taking on projects outside my passion keeps me from doing what I love best. Over the past few weeks, I have not had the time or energy to devote to writing my blog or updating my Facebook status to motivate my life coaching clients. These are activities I look forward to and that feed my soul.

I believe in making the most out of every day -- and every experience. Now that I am through it, I see this experience for what it was worth and I am grateful and ready to move on!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Do you know how to apologize?

I am so excited! I heard a FANTASTIC radio segment on Focus on the Family this week. It was about the book, The Five Languages of Apology, by Dr. Gary Chapman and Dr. Jennifer Thomas.

Image: nuttakit / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Before this week, I thought forgiveness was simply about saying "I'm sorry," and being forgiven, but it turns out there are five different ways to say "I'm sorry." The amazing thing about this is that if someone offers you an apology that omits your apology language, you won't fully accept it or even recognize it as an apology.

The five languages of apology are:
1. Expressing regret -- saying, "I'm sorry for the hurt I caused."
2. Accepting responsibility -- saying, "I was wrong."
3. Making restitution -- asking, "What can I do to make things right?"
4. Genuinely repenting -- saying, "I will try not to do it again."
5. Requesting forgiveness -- asking, "Will you please forgive me?"

Some people just need to hear you are sorry, while others need you to ask for forgiveness. If you've really done something wrong, you might need to use all five languages in your apology.

Apologizing is one of the most important tools for building and maintaining relationships in life. I think this is one of those books everyone should read. Can you imagine a world where every human being knows how to properly apologize for hurting others?

If you're interested, check out the online quiz to find out your apology language. The quiz itself is very interesting.

You can also learn more by reading the book, The Five Languages of Apology. I ordered my copy today, and I can't wait to delve into it more!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

I should be on the cover of a magazine

I realized this morning I should be on the cover of a magazine -- the cover story for why moms need to take care of themselves.

Image: sixninepixels / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
I have been ignoring some issues in my back and neck for a couple of months now -- knowing I needed to get to a chiropractor to be seen. But I put it off for all of the same reasons moms put off taking care of themselves. Unfortunately, I put it off long enough to let it literally snap me into crisis mode yesterday.

I made one quick move at 5:30 in the morning -- that my body was not awake enough to compensate for -- and wham. Instant pain. Pain that causes eyes to well up with tears and stomachs to turn over. Pain that causes a mom to think, "How am I going to take care of my kids today?"

As a result of putting off something that should have been looked into ages ago, I spent the better part of the day at the chiropractor's office and getting x-rays. Not to mention in pain. I feel like a lost an entire day. If only I would have taken care of this sooner.

So, as I sit here writing this with an ice pack on my neck, I'm still thinking on the positive side. Although painful, this experience has been a great learning lesson for me. I need to take care of myself. No matter what else is going on. When I know something is amiss, I will do myself and my family a great deal of good to have it taken care of right away. I hope you will do the same!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

My musings about the use of animals for entertainment in the circus

Yesterday I went on a field trip to the circus with Alyssa's class. I was not very excited about going, honestly.

Somewhere along the line of my life I have lost my fondness for the circus, so yesterday I decided to pay attention to why that might be. I don't mean to bash the circus, only to share my thoughts.

First of all, I just don't get the point of a circus. Obviously entertainment, but it's not that entertaining for me. What I really discovered is that I don't like the animal "performances."

The tigers looked fat and unfit. And they appeared terrified of the trainer. They kept hissing at him too. It was very weird and uncomfortable. I felt bad for them.

Then they brought out two different types of horses and several zebras. They were beautiful. I can sort of see why horses...they're pretty domesticated...but zebras? I think they belong in the wild.

Then the elephants. I am amazed by elephants, but it pained me to watch them be paraded around and forced to perform tricks like standing on their heads. I especially cringed when they made them lay down...that appears to take a lot of effort for an elephant.

So why do I feel this way? Am I being too analytical? Am I having trouble shutting off my adult mind? Do I need to try to look at the circus through the eyes of a child? I don't exactly know.

I do know this. I have a huge appreciation for nature and God's creatures. I love marveling at them in the wild -- their natural setting. That's amazing enough for me. I'm just not sure we should be forcing them to do tricks for our entertainment.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Airing my dirty laundry publicly

As many moms do, I struggle with how to get everything done, but I've had a recent epiphany that is making my life easier and more enjoyable, so I wanted to share.

For the record, I realize it's highly possible I'm the last one to jump on board this train, but just in case I'm not, I wanted to share with you.

I'm 3 weeks into doing a load of laundry every day instead of waiting until Sunday to do it all, and I'm liking it! It's working!

Why on earth was I waiting until Sunday to do all of the laundry? Well, for starters, I didn't like doing laundry, so I didn't want to do it any more often than necessary. Plus, I am a "check it off the list" kind of a girl, and I thought if I did all of the laundry on one day, then I could check it off my list, and it was done for the week.

But that left drudgery to look forward to every Sunday -- not only was the weekend ending, but now I had 7 large loads of laundry to wash, dry, fold and put away in one night. Sometimes it rolled over into Monday morning, which I really hated.

So, why the switch? Well, I have some friends who do laundry this way, and I recently read about it as a tip in Darla Shine's Happy Housewives book.

What I have discovered is that by doing one load each day I can still satisfy my need to check something off the list. One load of laundry each day. Check. Done! As an added bonus, each load is smaller since I'm doing it more frequently. Yippee!

The only negative thing I have noticed is that it's more difficult to complete on the days I am not working from home. But when that has happened, I just did two loads the next day. No big deal.

I'm so excited about this change and how it's making my life easier. Even though I have added one more item to my daily to-do list, I actually feel more productive because of it!

So, there you have it. Now the whole world knows about my dirty laundry!