What is it you dream about?

What is it you dream about? What is one thing you wish, with all your might, you dream of doing, achieving, or experiencing? As I type this, I can wholeheartedly…

I’ve seen this trend in parenting – it’s over-indulgence.  I’m not talking from a giving standpoint.  No, it’s even more detrimental than that.  It’s the idea that if we protect our kids to the point where they never have to deal with emotional pain/disappointment/sadness – that we are better parents for it.

Let us first get on the same page before I explain further.

Can we agree that emotional pain/disappointment/sadness is a natural occurrence in life?  I say “natural” because, despite thinking others inflict pain upon us, it’s really ourselves that allow such things to interfere with our psyche.

Based on our own human needs, expectations, etc., disappointments and pain in life are inevitable.  Agree?  Don’t agree?

Let me share an example of how this idea of keeping our children happy at every turn is doing more damage than good.

You are a school teacher and decide to incentivise reading.  The reward for students achieving their reading points is a rootbeer float.  The day arrives where the children who earned their rootbeer float, get to enjoy their reward.  However, a few children didn’t put in the work to receive the same reward.

Should those children still be rewarded?  Is it inappropriate for the teacher to celebrate the effort of the rewarded students in front of the other children?

Although, as the teacher you would feel bad for the other students;  however, you get that it’s even more important to raise the bar for the entire class.

Why is it today that there is this idea that happy kids are better off kids?

We LEARN from the disappointments, failures, and sadness in our lives – regardless of age.  I’m reminded of a slogan on the back of a wrestling team’s t-shirts that which my son competed against:  “There’s no such thing as failure, only learning.”

I feel that parenting/teaching today is harder than ever.  I equally feel that growing up today is even more challenging than when I was a kid.

So, how do we, as parents, help each other out?

We teach our children how to deal with the disappointments, failures, and sadness that are inevitably a part of life, by example.  We stop the parenting over-indulgence in order to keep our kids happy.

Why?

Because LIFE IS NOT FAIR.

The unfairness of life is what reaps us the greatest lessons.

This is the lesson to teach our children.  The world does not revolve around us or our immediate needs or desires.  We must learn to adapt in order to not just survive…..but thrive.

Otherwise,  what do you think our society will be made up of in fifteen years?  I’ll tell you:  entitled, unmotivated, bratty 20-somethings living with us, the parents.  And as I’m getting older and thinking about my children’s generation wiping my ass when I’m old….well, I’m thinking we’ll all be screwed because we’ll be left to our own devices as there won’t be much of an empathetic, compassionate, hard-working workforce out there.

We’re raising the next generation, people.  We need to raise the bar – for our own asses sake.

 

The leaves slowly sway to and fro as they fall to the ground below.  I count them, one by one, as I sit watching from my window.  I shift my gaze to the wintery clouds in the sky above.  Soon, every day will look this way – dreary, brown, and far from warm.

An inner angst takes hold as I am reminded time is running out (for no reason in particular, other than this feeling of the changing season robbing me of joy).  My body is following the ebb and flow of mother nature and I don’t like it.  Here we go again…..

I’ve never been officially diagnosed with Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD for short);  however, after having my second child, I knew something was different.  It would take me another eight years and several doctors trying to pump me with anti-depressants before I would figure out the cyclic pattern of my own emotional rollercoaster.

Every October, as the weather starts to turn and the days get shorter, I begin to notice a shift in my mood, posture, sleep, and overall well-being.

Fast-forward to now, I have been better able to recognize when this shift in my body begins.

Does this sound like you?

  • mood swings
  • restlessness [in life, in general]
  • insomnia or needing more sleep
  • changes in appetite
  • lack of interest to be in social situations
  • difficulty concentrating
  • similar temporary symptoms during the same time of year, every year

What you may be suffering from is what I feel I have been dealing with for several years – Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).

So, what do you do about it?

What I have found that has helped me the most is my Sunbox SAD light.  I got it last year – using it every day in the morning for about twenty minutes.  It greatly helped in lifting my mood as well as improve my sleep cycle.  I have not used it consistently yet this month;  however, will start this coming week as I can feel it’s time to.

Other ways I have managed my symptoms is maintaining physical activity in the winter – often trying a new workout program, which both challenges me physically but also keeps me interested through the cold months .

Re-framing (in my mind) what the colder months mean for me  has also greatly improved my attitude towards the changing seasons.

Think about it – look at winter as a time to slow down, reflect, and having the ability to devote more time to reading, crochet, or other activities you don’t necessarily have the time for during the summer and busier school months vs  being cooped up, bitter cold, and dreary days…..big difference in mindset, right?

The one thing that I’ve done for years that has always helped me through the hardest of days is journaling.

Writing out what you’re feeling – releasing and setting it free, is the cheapest therapy you’ll ever get.

I hope by sharing my story, it may help someone out there realize that 1.  you’re not alone and 2.  you don’t have to be a victim to the changing seasons.

There is nothing wrong with being an advocate for your own health.  Even if it may seem unconventional or maybe even a bit “woo-woo” to some – who cares?  Find what works for you and stick with it.

I have found that using my sunbox light, exercise, journaling, incorporating essential oils into my daily life (which I talk about more in my post here), and stimulating my mind by doing the things that challenge me or bring me joy (guitar, reading, crochet/knitting, crafts) have been better than any pill I could be prescribed, in my humble opinion.  Granted, I’m not a physician and understand that modern medicine does have its place in our society.  I just refuse to believe that pills are the end-all and be-all solution to every problem out there.

No one will ever care more about you (or your well-being) more than you.  And no one knows you better than you know you.  Use that knowledge to your advantage – whether it be Spring, Summer, or Fall.

Flow with the seasons…..this too shall pass.

 

A Google Search for Hope

One has to nearly stay in bed in order to evade the negativity all around us today. You can’t turn on the news, go on the internet, pick up the…

Never place your expectation hat on the heads of others.  You will be disappointed ninety-nine percent of the time.  Rather, look down your arm to your own hand.

– Victoria Volk

The past week has been life-changing.  Forgive me for being vague but the timing is just not right to fully share at this time.  What has occurred though, has gotten me to think a lot about expectations and how damaging they can be in our lives.

To give a better understanding of what I mean, I will start with an every-day example.  Take, for instance, you walk into a department store with the intention of going in and out.  You know exactly what you’re going in for and are expecting your shopping experience to go as such – in and out.  However, you are surprised to find out that there is a one-day extravaganza where with X amount of purchase you get X for free.  The place is a freaking mad-house.  People are flocking to this promotion like a fly on shit.  Immediately you’re frustrated because your expectation of going in and out just went down the toilet.  But, you need that one thing today because it’s only your dear friend’s birthday for one day – today….of all freaking days.

You grudgingly shuffle your feet through the crowd and proceed to get your item and head to the checkout, when, the woman in front of you insists on trying her chip card fifteen times in a row, continually getting the same result, even though you notice a fifty-dollar bill is right there for all to see.  In your mind, you plead for her to just use her cash.  UGH!!  The frustration of expectation!!  Yeah, sorry lady – trying fifteen times doesn’t change the freaking result!! 

We’ve all been there;  your in and out, get on with your day with a smile on your face has now turned into a cuss match against the world in your mind and you’ve allowed circumstance to interfere and steal your joy.  Instead, you leave pissed and your day totally freaking ruined by a damn promotion and a lady who can’t accept defeat the first damn time.

Why?  It all comes down to expectation.

What we expect will happen and how things will go doesn’t always pan out.  In fact, more often than not, shit just doesn’t go as we think it should.

We tell ourselves every single day how we think things should go, how others should behave, react, do, think.  We should all over ourselves every damn day.

The truth of the matter is:  no one can read your mind.  Ahh….you’ve said that before too, haven’t you?  I’m not a mind-reader.  And yet, there you find yourself – daily placing your expectations on others and likewise, others placing theirs on you.  What a conundrum!

More tragic though, is when you place all of your expectation cards in the hands of another and they fold.  Or, in turn, they place all of their expectation cards in your hand and you fold too, it’s then a cat’s game.  No one wins, therefore everyone loses.

Think of the relationships in your life that have fallen to the waste-side.  I would wager the reason that happens, in most circumstances, comes down to unmet expectations.  I know for me personally, this has been the case.

I have learned the tragic lesson, as maybe you have, that you never get time back.  And the sad truth is – it never had to be a cat’s game.  If one person would have just stood up and said, you know what – regardless of what I think you or you or you should do, I am choosing to do this.  Do something.  Take action.  Take that first step forward.

Let go of expectation and fully accept that what will be will be.

There is a certain inner-peace that comes with letting go of expectation, and, from personal experience, an even greater reward.

We allow expectations to steal so much time, joy, and inner-peace from our lives.  We do.  Every damn one of us.  How tragic that is.

It’s difficult to acknowledge (and accept) our own responsibility in how we choose to respond or react when things just don’t go how, in our minds, how we tell ourselves they should go.

This all weaves in to the human connection.  How differently the world would be if we could each let go of expectations, not place our own expectations on others, and take responsibility for how we respond/react to any given situation that puts a kink in our day?

Look around to your inner circle, which really, is a sliver of an even bigger circle.  Just as a rock creates ripples in the water, so do each of us – both positive….and negative.

 

love and light

Fear or Love & Light – Which Do You Prefer?

I’ve stared at the blank screen several times over the past couple days, only to shut it down – unable to form the words. My day typically starts around 6:30. …

The following is an excerpt (prayer) from Marianne Williamson’s book, Tears to Triumph.

Dear God,

I surrender to you the pain that is in my heart.  I give to you my failure, my shame, my loss, my devistation.

I know that in you, Dear God, all darkness is turned to light.

Pour forth your spirit upon my mind and help me to forgive my past.  Make my life begin again.

Restore my soul and bring me peace.  Comfort me in this painful hour – that I might see again my innocense and good.

I have fallen, Dear God, and I feel I cannot rise.

Please lift me up and give me strength.  Set my feet upon the path to peace and help me not to stray again.

I pray for forgiveness.

I am crushed by my failure.  Please show me who I am to you – that self-hate shall not defeat me.

Help me remember and reclaim my good.

Help me become who you would have me become and live the life you would have me live – that my tears shall be no more

Amen.

– Marianne Williamson

Grief and sadness are not a disease but rather a part of life.

Today, I came across this Marie Forleo episode.  Powerful, powerful (relatable) stuff.  I just had to share it here.  In case you don’t want to read Marie’s blog post where this video is also shared, click HERE to view it on YouTube.

Have you experienced or are currently experiencing depression, suffering, emotional pain?  If so, I believe this will be worth 30 minutes of your time to watch the video.  You may or may not agree.  It may or may not help you – I don’t know.  That being said, if you follow what I write or are yearning for another perspective on grief/pain/suffering, this just might be exactly what you need to hear today.  For me, it is a message of hope because not all pain and suffering or depression is permanent.  In many cases, it doesn’t have to be.

Sometimes, you just gotta take life by the horns – be the buffalo and face the storm head on rather than run from it.  

Please share your thoughts in the comments below if you do take the time to watch this!

 

 

A penny is money, too.

As I near my 40’s, it seems quite late to finally start to personally save for retirement.  I would say that not starting early and saving up to this point…

This has been a week where I think the universe couldn’t have hit me on the head hard enough.  Today’s post is a perfect example of how, every single day, we are given signs…of all kinds and how being open to receiving can help guide your life.

Before personal awareness and self-growth became a part of my life, I was not nearly as open-minded as I am now.  I mean, I believe I was, but not in the sense of being open to “listening” to what the universe/higher power (or whatever you want to call it) was telling me.  More so, I was open-minded in an idea sense – processes, ways of thinking, logic, etc….not in a spiritual sense.

What happens when you slow down your mind, develop a little faith –  answers come to you so much more easily.  And the more in-tune you are to the world around you (including the workings of your internal world), the more frequent these “ah-ha” moments occur.  At least, that’s been my experience.

This week became “life busy” and therefore, items on my joy list (which, I highly suggest creating) were not made a priority (i.e. guitar practice, journaling – which is when I also read my “Living Faith” book, yoga, writing for this blog).  I did continue with my normal exercise routine though.  Although I feel I accomplished something this week that serves my well-being, my joy list was neglected.

What typical exercise doesn’t give me is exactly what is on my joy list – moments of reflection, time to slow my mind, focus of creating, and joy in the process.  I must enjoy something about exercise in order to continue doing it;  likely the feeling I get afterwards, a physical release of tension.  In the moment of doing sit-up’s though, I’m cursing.  lol!

It’s the “in-the-moment” soul-serving joy that I didn’t make time for earlier this week and what I realized is necessary for my well-being.  The universe had a funny way to tell me that I better get to that soul-serving joy list.

The night before last I had a dream my husband and I were at the neighbor’s house and they were butchering chickens.  Side note – I despise the smell of butchering chickens but in my dream I didn’t mind it.  Maybe because in my dream, I was shaving their cat.  lol!

Anyway, the next day (yesterday) I saw chickens on TV, I read chicken on TV [side note:  commercial with the Holstein cow as a little girl’s friend in her bedroom leaving messages for mom to eat more chicken is pretty cute], read about chicken in email, and even saw chick’s hatching on Instagram.  Seriously, it does not get more chicken in one day than that.  Yesterday, “chicken” was my clear sign.

So this morning I got to thinking….all this chicken stuff must mean something.  The universe is clearly trying to tell me something.  So I looked up “chicken symbolism” and this is what I found:

Continuous effort is the key to unlocking your potential.  It takes desire and passion to continue to move forward to your goals.

Spooky, right?  Especially, since this very week I finally decided to let go of the past in order to truly move forward by listing and selling my photography gear and by setting up my FB page for deletion.  This week I’ve also neglected to write – journal or otherwise, did not read my “Living Faith,” have mentioned my book ambitions to a complete stranger, and have let thoughts of doubt/fear creep in when I even think about my book goals.  True story.

Then I read this today (because I’m playing catch-up in my “Living Faith:”

Doubt is another barrier that keeps us from closeness to God.  Saying we place our trust in Him, we give Him our needs one minute, and the very next we take them back and begin to meddle again.  Can we truly let go and let God, praying in expectant hope?  Today, leap over the barriers and draw near to him.  He is waiting for you.    – Jennifer Christ

And this:

“God willing.”  I seldom hear people saying that today.  It is an expression of faith, acknowledging that we don’t have total control of our lives, we don’t know what the future will hold.  We certainly need to make plans, yet we know they may not become reality.  – Fr. James McKarns

This week has been an “ah-ha” week of reflection.  I wanted to share my personal experience in order for you to see that, in your life, you too are likely receiving messages/signs in ways you may not even realize.

I heard you, universe, loud and clear.  I shall keep pushing forward, writing for this blog, even if only one person reads it.  I will keep my book goal on my heart and mind ;  trusting that this blog is somehow a part of the process – which, I truly have faith it is.  I will maintain faith, that whatever the future may hold, is part of God’s greater plan for me.  I just need to remain open to receiving, continue to pray for wisdom rather than results, and use my freedom of will for a greater good.

This week has been about a revelation of moving forward, a crossing of paths (which I will likely blog about in the future), and spiritual openness….and of course, chicken.

The lesson:  when the universe speaks in chicken – listen.

A letter to my 18-year-old self.

I have slowly started going through the selling process of some of my photography business gear/props/backdrops, etc..  Doing so has made me go back into the archives of my work…