There is a Good all around us

This week has been a good one.  I’m not on vacation, I’m sitting on my couch strewn with markers, going on about 5 hours of sleep due to a terrible tummy issue of one very cute toddler, just finishing up reviewing emails to plan actions tomorrow at work when it’s nearing midnight, and I decided rather than sleep – I need to get out that this has been a pretty damn good week…

A kind woman let me go ahead of her in line when her cart was full and I had only a few items and that super cute toddler mentioned above with me again <3.  I had the pleasure of sitting with some colleagues today and engaged in a very open and respectful conversation, determined I could be helpful in another meeting today with a group that’s in need of a listening ear, and I giggled tonight with my daughter in a way I haven’t in quite awhile. And that was just today :).

There has been good every day so far this week, as I am noticing more, there is good in EACH and EVERY DAY…if we open our eyes and see it.

I am gratefully having an easier time seeing the various good all around me this week.

I, for good reason, need to close this rather short blog… as that super cute toddler is waking up in need of his Mama.   Until I type again… go out, see the good waiting for you!

 

 

 

 

A beautiful life cut short 

Have you ever known someone for a short time that had a profound effect on you? Someone who radiated warmth, care, and a comforting smile?  I was fortunate enough to know someone like that, he was a kind soul who looked out for others before himself.

I first met him at a new job, he came over to introduce himself and welcome me to the company.  I saw him here and there and met his sons and sister that also worked with us.  After some time we worked on a project together and daily jokes and check ins became the norm.  And after some time later when I decided the place was just not for me, he was overjoyed for me to find somewhere new that was a better fit for my needs. He was one of the people I would miss, my daily dose of people sunshine.

In my last two weeks before I was leaving that job, I was arriving later to work one day due to a doctors appointment I couldn’t reschedule.  I remember exactly where I was when I heard my phone beep.  Sitting at a red light in the downtown area of my hometown, a text came through letting me know that my friend had passed on.  He was 54 and had suffered a massive heart attack that morning.  A deep sadness took over and I screamed out an involuntary NO! How could such a positive light go out too early? What about his kids? Grandkids? His beloved wife?

When I got to work that day shortly thereafter, the mood was dark to say the least.  Grief counselors were being brought in, you see he wasn’t just my light… he brightened many people’s worlds.   Over the next few days many stories and pictures surfaced.  I learned more about my friend and his impact on so many others.

At his viewing, when I gave his son a hug with my apologies, do you know what he said? “My dad told me about your new job, he was so happy for you and so am I.” That moment will always be with me, when I realized his memory would live on through the kindness he had passed to his kids.  The ease in which even in a moment of his deepest grief, he could pass on a positive, warm thought to another.

I will always remember my friend C.G., and every time I stop at that same stop light where I first learned he left this world for another, I will feel the sad weight knowing he is gone… and then smile feeling better to have known him.


How your hobbies can free you

I mentioned a class I attended a few weeks ago in my last post The Family Mission Statement.  In that same class, a discussion about hobbies was a main focal point.  In particular, that best part about a hobby is that it can be nurtured when you are in the mood, or could be left aside for when you just aren’t feeling it.  And there in lies the appeal of having a hobby, the freedom of choice.

So during our class discussion on hobbies, our instructor gave us a tip on handling our  emotions.  She noted that if we decide to make people our hobby, you can shift your mindset.

I gotta say, I was blown away by this concept.  If I could adopt this practice, my general tendency toward feistiness might just diminish.  As someone seeking peace and calm vs. pandemonium, it was worth a shot.

Now by no means am I in a zen-like state over this change in my thinking, but I have seen a vast improvement in my general reactions to others, especially at work… at home it’s a bit difficult to regard little beings who rely on you for survival as a hobby 😊.

Why not give it a try?

Adopt as your hobby and add some cues around to remind yourself to let go….put that hobby down when you need to and pick it when you are ready to enjoy it again.

Thanks for reading!

 

The Family Mission Statement

The concept of creating a Family Mission Statement was something I learned about recently at a training.  It came back to me last night in a particularly rough parenting moment where all my patience was lost.  My husband, my rock, gave me a hug in our dark hallway while our eldest child continued to scream.   His actions were enough to give me some resolve.

Image result for power of a hug

When re-entering the room,  I was direct with our child and she reached a state of calm.  While she then proceeded to read to us, my mind flashed back to that training a few weeks back.  The instructor’s demeanor and outlook on life were admirable.   And she noted one very important thing that aided in a positive turning point in her life; the creation of the family mission statement.  I had never thought of doing that with my family.  I find now a simple google search on the idea will provide you with many ideas on how to create one and show you different examples.

In the class I attended, our instructor was very open about how it helped strengthen a bond in her own family that needed repair.  As I laid in my daughter’s bed last night, I knew the points I wanted to bring to our family meeting when creating this statement.  A vow to not cause each other stress.  And with a positive twist, to encourage joy, love,  being yourself, and appreciating each other.  And throw in there… forgiving and accepting, as that’s always needed!

flowers

So it’s a new day and I’m next to a bouquet of roses my husband sent me.  They were timely, and the note simply stated he wanted them to put a smile on my face.  Mission accomplished 😘.  As I sit here admiring them I can’t help but notice the wonderful thing about them is not only their different vibrant colors… but also their similarities.  Each rose while unique shares some characteristics; a lot like family.

The yellow rose: joy

The red rose: love

The white rose: new starts

The pink rose: gratitude

These roses and their meaning could be our family mission statement with no words needing to be said, and perhaps they will be if my family feels the same.

Because alone they are beautiful; but together they are glorious.   Embrace togetherness.  Embrace the love.  Embrace family.

Happy Mother’s Day ❤️

Demons Demons Everywhere 

We all have them, in our complaining episodes, during gossipy moments, when frustration or cattiness takes over.  The worst demon I have is my ability to yell and run my mouth off, in particular with my daughter.  She has the ability to push every button and laugh while doing it.  Surely it’s amusing to a little girl to see an adult woman turn into a lunatic in front of her innocent eyes 👀, but not so amusing for me.

And sometimes later when the fight has calmed and I see myself I think, what happened to you? Where did your calm go dealing with a child?   This is when the inner judge-y demon rears its ugly head.  The one that makes you feel lower than low.  The one who allows every other bad thought about anything to invade your present moment and make it ten times worse.  The demon that makes you feel isolated and uniquely horrible.  And all you come up with at that moment is another judgment… how could I possibly have lost my cool like that?

What’s amazes me is that I don’t flip out with people I don’t know like that.  People who are flat out rude and disrespectful… and all of sudden, I’ve lost my voice.  And then where does that feeling go? The one of embarrassment, hurt, loss of pride… it feeds that damn Demon again!  So who gets the brunt of it…my most precious little loves ❤ <3.  They can stir up every emotion, and when their actions are not what I was hoping for or needed at the moment of weakness, watch out! The Demon is released!    So how exactly can such little beings evoke so much feeling out a grown adult?

My (at the moment) calm and rational self, thinks it has to be due to all this pent up negativity.  Not caused so much by others, but by my own outlook.   What if I were to change my lens?  Would I be able to squash those mean demons and prevent them from gaining any more power? Would I be able to remove them forever… or at the very least diminish their power of my own well-being?

d quote

Lucky for me, I have attended multiple training and speaking engagements lately.  All of them touched upon or even centered on goals.  So, that’s led me to set a goal to be more patient with my children.  So, I have to smarten this goal up!  Let’s start with the Specifics:

S – Staying calm with my kids (even after a long day at work, even after a dispute, even after traffic, even with little sleep… and so on… phew)

Onto Measure! Well, this one is on me – keeping myself honest.   I think to start with counting the times a day I raise my voice and lowering it will be my easiest way to measure.  Perhaps using a visual measure on my phone or in my home will aid me in my quest to reach this intangible goal.  (more on what I used later!)

M – number of times I yell reduced from (yikes) 10 / day and reduce to  0 / day

Ok… action is next.  Well, this is where is can get crazy, so let’s keep it real.  I think I will take two to start:

A – Wake up grateful for the day and pursue a calm approach by: 1- not touching my phone first thing and 2- taking 5 minutes to meditate/ stretch and concentrate on 3 happy thoughts.

Realistic? If I can’t find 5 minutes in the morning, I’m kidding myself. Relevant?

R – So yes… suck it up and don’t hit snooze again! Ummm … if you don’t change your ways you’ll get more upset and unhappy… so yes again, your well-being will thank you.

Lastly… timebound. Here goes.. do you think I can stop yelling in a month?

T- Start 5/6/17, Finish – adopt new behavior by 6/6/17

This post (along with my mentor who pushed me to post it!) will keep me accountable.  Thanks for reading 🙂

impossible pic.jpg

 

 

 

 

The intangible

So, some weeks are more inspiring than others… and last week I was fortunate enough to sit in on a goal setting presentation.  Truth be told, I was not expecting to get much out of it, there has been a lot of gibber gabber about goals (including on this blog) and conflicting opinions and theories on the value of goals. If you set goals too high, you are bound to fail and feel like crap.  If you set them too low, the euphoric feeling of accomplishment is short lived.  *Sigh* how to win at this goal setting business?

And to add to the confusion, how to determine progress towards an intangible goal?  I am analytical by nature and profession, so while at times I feel metrics are a bit of smoke and mirrors in the business world to make things appear better (or worse) than they are… I conversely feel they are quite valuable in personal goal setting.  The easiest example that comes to mind is losing weight, if you set a goal to lose a few pounds, particularly with a date in mind pertaining to some reward or reason, monitoring that goal and the likelihood of achieving it is greater.  There are facts abound to support this theory.  The tangible results of fitting into clothes that were previously too tight is an amazing boost.  You can FEEL it, physically. It’s real, no doubt about it.

Continually reevaluating, trying to find different techniques to ultimately conquer my striving goal of more patience, is where I struggle.  Before the presentation last week I tried meditation, visualization, empathy, and a bunch of other stuff.  And while I feel all of those techniques mentioned have their place and value in the world, they were not helping me get the results I desired.  What I realized is that a goal of more patience wasn’t clear enough, solid enough, or tangible.  So what to do?

The quest and frustration has continued, but I now see a hint of hope.  The presenter last week was inspiring and used a simple trick that I think may just help me on my journey to patience.  He stated that there can always be some sort of metric that will lend itself to improving what you are after.  He talked about different examples, such as, documenting smiles in a day to be kinder or counting the swear words you use and writing the amount down with the goal to reduce anger outbursts.  And he even addressed the allusive goal of more patience, citing examples he has tried and succeeded with to achieve that sought after patience with his own kids.

And through all the motivational speakers I have seen, through all the techniques I have tried, this one simple trick of adding a metric to an intangible goal really clicked for me.  Such a simple, free, easy to implement practice.  Notice I did not say solution, because I do not kid myself that I will ever have the patience of a saint.  But that does not mean I will not continuously improve.  That does not mean my journey will not be gratifying.

Perseverance, the will to try, to show up and mean it, to take a good look at yourself, your actions and stop blaming external factors on your well being… to accept… life. Your life, and make the best of it one goal at a time.

Life is not a hashtag, a “like” or instant text reply.  Instant gratification is not real, it’s a moment in time that passes just as quickly as it appeared.   Not everything will be peachy, Facebook perfect or Instagram worthy… if it was it wouldn’t be real.  If it was, you wouldn’t feel the good parts either.   Accept and persevere! 

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