For a better life, Inspiration

Happiness Hack #3

Do what you love to do.

Even if you feel like you have no time or money, find a way to include what you enjoy into your days.

Sometimes you may have seasons of more busyness. And sometimes your season will include more margin. Regardless, find a way– even some tiny thing– to do something you love every day.

What you love to do is often what you were meant to do. What is better than spending your time doing what you were meant to do?

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After blogging every day for a month, I went on hiatus for a week. It wasn’t on purpose, but I was out of town, visiting and helping a friend with some projects. We had friend time, we got a lot accomplished and we worked from morning until night. I thought I would have time to blog, but I didn’t. But I loved it. I loved being of service and I loved visiting with my friend. It fueled my soul so I can keep going with the big goals I have.

I encourage you to do the same. Life is so much better doing what you love.

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For a better life, Inspiration

How shame, arrogance and confidence are related

I recently learned something that has really shifted my mindset about shame.

If shame is a feeling of not being good enough, then the opposite is a feeling of being better than everyone else. We would call this arrogance.

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But right in the middle between these two, is confidence. Confidence is the feeling of being good enough, even if you aren’t perfect. I would never have made that connection between shame and confidence if someone else hadn’t made it for me.

These three feelings are on a continuum. There is a fine line between confidence and arrogance, but there is also a fine line on the other side bordering shame.

And to bring love into it, shame is not loving yourself enough. Perhaps is it also only noticing what is flawed in yourself. Arrogance is loving yourself too much or seeing only what is positive about yourself. And confidence is recognizing all that is positive¬†and flawed in you- and loving yourself anyway. It’s a more wholistic view of yourself.

IMG_1553This idea of the continuum has helped me see that confidence is an ever developing process. Just like life. We don’t want to tip too far to arrogance or shame, and it’s a balancing act that is probably never permanently perfect. Thinking of shame in this way has also helped me not feel stuck when I find myself in a shame spiral. I shoot for confidence in all areas of my life now.

 

Does this help you at all? Do you err more on the side of shame or arrogance? In what areas of your life do you feel confident?

Inspiration

The antidote to shame

Parenting is hard.

It’s a statement we hear often, either from ourselves or others. But it’s not a fact, it’s just a thought.

Parenting is rewarding. Parenting teaches us what we need to learn. These are also thoughts that are available to us.

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I’m going through some heavy parenting moments and shame attacks related to them. I have to remind myself that I am doing the best I can. That I am a good mom. I remind myself that I turned out ok, so my kids probably will too.

I find it difficult to go to those more comforting thoughts when I am in the moment of a tough parenting situation though.

But, love. Love is my motivation. Love is a force to be reckoned with. I do it all for love. I love my kids. So very much.

When I remind myself of that, then everything seems to fall into place.

For a better life, Inspiration, parenthood

One tip for better relationships

I want to talk about a concept that will help us in our relationships. Jody Moore and Brooke Castillo call this The Manual.

We all have a so-call Manual about how we think other people in our lives SHOULD act. (Remember, should is a red flag!) When these people don’t act in accordance with our Manuals for them, we feel frustrated, angry, or any number of emotions that don’t feel good.

I have a teenaged daughter. I think she should be kind to her siblings and respectful even if she disagrees with something. I think a teenager is old enough to have learned at least those basic human courtesies.

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But alas, it is not so. My daughter is often rude, mean, and disrespectful. To say the least, this rubs me the wrong way. It sometimes creates so much frustration that I want to take every convenience away from her. I want her to feel as miserable as she makes everyone else in the family feel.

And it’s because of how I think she SHOULD act. If I thought being rude, mean and disrespectful were positive traits, I would be praising and rewarding her and I wouldn’t have “negative” feelings toward her. It’s all about the meaning I place on her actions.

I need to burn the Manual I have for my daughter, because it is only causing me problems. She doesn’t get frustrated or angry; only me. (She doesn’t place the same meaning on her own actions as I do.)

This is how she SHOULD act, because this is how she IS acting, because there is no should for how people are. I know it’s a tough one to wrap your mind around.

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It’s in the trying to control and the dwelling on how it might be changed that we run into trouble. What if I just accept her the way she is instead of resisting the way she is? It is what it is, so now what? How do I move forward?

[And by the way, I am not saying I should let disrespectful behavior go unchecked. I am only saying that I can drop all the drama I have in my mind about her behavior. There can certainly be consequences for her, but I don’t need to stress and worry about it. She acts a certain way, consequences follow. No drama.]

This is true in all our relationships. We have an idea of how a husband, father, mother, sister-in-law, etc. SHOULD be. If we just let go of our preconceived (sometimes subconscious) expectations, and responded in love toward our people I think we would be much happier in our relationships.

What “Manual” have you been carrying around for your child/spouse/parent/in-law/friend? Can you burn your manual and leave the mind-drama behind?

For a better life, Inspiration

Do you have “enough?”

I used to believe that God had a limited number of blessings to bestow upon us, his children. If I was being blessed, then someone else was not getting a blessing. I am not sure where this idea came from, but it was knocking around in my mind, without me even realizing it.

This kind of thinking is scarcity based. It centers around not enough of something. It could relate to blessings, love, money, time, attention, or even our stuff. It’s a default type of thinking that generally pervades every aspect of our lives. Usually, if we always feel like there isn’t enough time for example, then we probably also feel like we don’t have enough money or we aren’t getting enough attention from our spouse and so on. It is rare to feel scarcity in one area and abundance in another.

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The problem with scarcity thinking is that it affects how we show up in the world. If we feel like there is never enough money, then we won’t be as generous with our fast offerings or donating to good causes. Our children fight with each other often because they feel like they have to compete for something: maybe our attention or time, or maybe the last helping at dinner.

When we practice thinking in terms of abundance we are happier and calmer. If you think there is plenty of time, you are not as rushed and are a more careful driver. If you feel like you are loved abundantly, you want to share that love with others. If you have more than enough money for your needs, you are generous with others and worry less about financial troubles.

So pay attention to your mindset. Do you think things are generally scarce or abundant? Do you have enough? or are you always fighting for more?