Mental Rehearsal

Yesterday, I wrote about the fact that my personal mountain to climb is healthy eating habits and avoiding fast food. The encouragement I received was so special. Thank you so much to those that reached out!

On the way to school, when often we would drive thru for breakfast, I asked my daughter to help me. I told her that I wanted to be more healthy and there was something that only she could do for me – Tell me No to Drive Thru. If anyone else were to tell me what to do, I’d get mad – but not my 8 year old who loves me and wants to help me be healthy. So I told her my struggles and asked for her help.

There’s two reasons I’m sharing this today. The first reason is because I believe it’s so important to share our struggles with our kids. They need to know that we fail too. If we hide our struggles and pretend we are all good, all the time, we become unrelatable. Our kids fail sometimes. They struggle. Will they come to a parent that, in their eyes, never struggles? Will they even think we understand? I think not. They can not relate to us.

By sharing our struggles with our kids, we let them know that we are not perfect either. That failure and struggle are a part of life and how we handle it is what is most important. By sharing our weaknesses, we show that we are still valuable and worthy of help and change… And we have the opportunity to model the right behavior and the right way to handle struggles and failures. We can show that we do not give up, we do not accept failure, we get up and try again. Then, when they need that advice, it’s not just words. They have seen it in action. So important.

The second reason I’m sharing is because of how my daughter reacted. We have both been in counseling for, let’s see, five years! Wow. During these five years, we have both learned so many strategies for coping, for thriving, for growing… and my 8 year old punkin fell back on one immediately. It made me laugh as much as it made me so incredibly proud.

She said, “Ok, Mommy. Let’s practice. Do you want to go to McDonalds?”

Slightly confused, I hesitated before asking, “Do you want me to say no?”

“Yes! We are going to practice this now. Say No,” she explained.

“Ooook. No, I do not want to go to McDonalds.”

The conversation continued with “Do you want to go to Wendys? Do you want some Burger King?”

I kept saying “No. Nope, Don’t want it.” Even though, to be honest, it all sounded good.

“Do you want a Chick Fil A Chicken Biscuit?” She asked last. That’s my favorite. Stinker.

“OOoooh that’s a hard one. No! No! I don’t want it. It’s not healthy!” I replied.

“Oh Mommy,” Rae said. “See? You are getting better at this already.”

I love my kid. 🙂

She knows that mental rehearsal is so important. Practicing what you WANT to be, pretending to be what you want to be, acting as if… these are powerful tools. They have the power to change your whole mindset. When you say what you want, even if you don’t believe it at the time, things shift in your brain… and if you say it enough, you even start to believe it.

This is similar to I ams. Speak what you WANT in your life – even if it doesn’t exist yet. Persist. Don’t give up… Keep saying it. You will change your life, beginning with your thoughts. This is your superpower.

I am healthy. I make healthy choices. I do not want fast food. I crave healthy real food to fuel my body. I feel good. I am healthy.

What I ams/mental rehearsal do you need to speak over yourself today?

Wake Up Call

Today is another day I don’t want to write. I do want to blog but the words that are at the tip of my tongue wanting to come out… the only thing I’ll be able to write about… I don’t want to say.

This weekend I was given a wake up call.

I had a migraine so severe and that lasted so long I ended up in the ER for IV meds. I get migraines every month, but never this bad and never for days at a time.

So what’s the wake up call? I know that PART of the problem is that I am at my heaviest weight ever and I am eating more crap than ever before. Fast Food all the time, chips, cookies, junk… I am seriously on a path of self destruct… and I don’t even know why.

Usually I can point to anxiety, depression, events, stress… but right now my life is pretty good – and yet here I am, trying to slowly kill myself. I’m really angry at myself for it too – which is not productive.

If there’s one thing I’ve learned from meditation it’s to notice what is going on, without judgement, let it go, and move on. So this is my attempt at noticing that I am out of control and that I want to do better.

It’s not the first time I’ve wanted to better. (That’s the judgement part coming in.) I’ve failed before. (That’s self doubt.) I don’t think I can do it. I just can’t. (Very negative affirmations and lies. LIES.)

My mind is a roller coaster. So why am I sharing? Heck if I even know. It’s the words that are here, ready to be said, so I’m saying them. I’ve mentioned before I don’t know what I’m going to write until I sit down, pray for guidance and start writing. And then I follow through because someone, if even that someone is only me today, needs to hear it.

Failure once does not mean failure always. Failure multiple times STILL does not mean failure always. Whatever mountain you are facing, I believe that you can climb it. I need to apply that same belief to myself right now. My first thought is, of course YOU can climb it, but not me… but that’s just more lies. We can both do whatever we put our minds to, no matter how hard it seems, how difficult the climb, I believe we can make it.

Maybe not in a straight shot. We may struggle through it. I’m quite sure there will be ups and downs, but shall we start? Shall we begin?

I joined weight watchers and I know that my first step is to cut out drive-throughs. So that’s what I’m starting with. My first steps.

What’s your mountain? And what will be your first step to climb it? I’d love for you to share. Let’s climb together.

Rest is Coming

It’s Friday, a beautiful day for many. It means we reached our goal for the week. We made it through, hopefully did some amazing things, added to other human’s piles of good things, laughed at ourselves, and built up ours and other’s precious confidence.

For many of us, it’s the last day of the work week. We can breathe a little easier knowing that rest is up ahead. We face the day with a lighter step knowing that it’s the last reading block, the last center rotation, the last math lesson of the week. #teacherlife

We have worked hard, very hard, and will continue to do so today. But then. Yes, then, we have two days off. As much as we may love our jobs and know the importance of what we do, especially as teachers, we need these days off.

Days to recharge, to not hear our name called 507 times in one hour, to pee when we want to, and dare I say it? Maybe even take a nap? Ok, Mommy friends, I hear you laughing. We still got mommin to do. But even that – we get to focus on just our babies for the next two days and that’s beautiful too.

Fridays are just a little easier because we know rest is coming.

It’s a little like life. There are times we walk through dark valleys. Deep darkness, sadness, tragedy, loss, trauma. It’s hard during those times. Bone shaking, heart dread, barely breathing, hard. But there is rest coming. There is always rest coming. If we can just keep moving forward, sometimes one breath at a time, one step at a time, we are moving towards the rest.

Dark valleys don’t last forever. The sun will shine again. One day it will be easier to breathe and you won’t have to think about every step you take. One day, you will smile again and realize the tide is turning. It won’t happen over night, but every day that you push through, you are closer and closer to the rest. The reprieve. The beginning of something new.

I believe that often the worst things that happen in our life eventually lead to the best things in our life. It’s been my experience, anyway. When we can get through the darkness, we able to look back and realize it was meant for good. If we can trust that God knows what He is doing in our lives, then we know that good, sweet, rest is coming.

I wrote about a time in my life when terrible things happened. I prayed in anguish for help and God didn’t respond the way I wanted him too. In fact, He said NO. My best friend used this story in her blog and I feel led to send you to her post – my story and her thoughts on how God is always working out what is best in our life.

You can read it here: https://braveblessedandbeautiful.com/2019/08/07/grace-wins-protecting-grace/

Today’s post took a sharp turn to a place I wasn’t expecting… but I’m running with it because it most likely means someone needs to hear it.

Thank you for those that read and like my blog! It’s such an encouragement to me every day! Happy Fri-Yay! Enjoy your weekend!

Worth My Time

To my students:

Your smiles are worth my time. That’s why I dance, use silly voices, and do ridiculous things in the classroom sometimes. I like to see you smile.

Your tears are worth my time. Tears because you are going through so much at home, more than I know, and more than any kid should have to face.

Your fears are worth my time. Fears over school and tests and FSA. Fears that an 8 or 9 year shouldn’t have but do, because of the pressure you feel from others. Not from me, though. I won’t add to that.

Your I’m nervous about this test, anxious about the bus, not feeling well, head hurts, foot fell asleep, tooth just fell out, something is stuck in my ear is worth my time. You’re doing the best you can, little human.

Your adoration, Ms. Knight you’re beautiful, Teacher you’re the best, I love this, I love you, here’s a picture I drew for you, is worth my time. In fact, it’s the best part.

Your frustration with things that are too hard for you, main idea, subtracting across a zero, phonics, comprehension, inferencing, handwriting, thinking outside the box, is worth my time. Too much is being asked of you, but I’ll do my best to help. Learning differences are not disabilities. We will attack this from a different angle and I will help you.

Your quirkiness, the interesting things that make you – you, is worth my time. Look, I’m a macaw, Did you know I got a chicken and named her pecker? I’d rather work on the floor, I’m going to try to sit in your lap even though you’re my teacher, how did you know it was me after I got my haircut? Yes, I see you. I like the quirkiness, actually. You are interesting and unique and no one else is just like you.

Your self worth is very much worth my time. If you don’t leave my class with more confidence than you came in, then I didn’t reach my goal. I will teach you that I ams and believing in yourself are a superpower. They are your power and I hope you take it with you for the rest of your life.

To my students: I became a teacher because your life is worth my time.

Laugh at Yourself

I’m going to piggy back off of yesterday’s post where I said not to take yourself too seriously. Life is fun and tricky and silly and sad and runs the gamut of emotions, we all know that. The big things in life… we do need to handle those with care. But many of the little things in life… we put too much energy into those things. We let little things upset us, get us off our game, cause frustration, anger, and even temper tantrums. Yes, with adults too. Just doesn’t always look like lying down on the floor kicking and screaming. Thank Goodness.

Does it really matter if you are stuck in traffic? Or can you put on some of our favorite music and dance like no one is watching? Even though they sometimes are… hey, give them a show. They are stuck in traffic too!

Here’s one for me… does it REALLY matter if the person in front of you is driving 10 miles BELOW the speed limit? I can feel the pressure building in me thinking about that one, gotta work on that!

Does it really matter if you forgot to spray the new brownie divider with cooking spray and the brownies come out in a crumbled mess? Or can you take a picture, laugh about it, and eat brownie bites instead?

Is it really the end of the world if you spill your coffee, coke, or favorite drink? I mean, I get it, it’s upsetting… but you have a choice to make in these situations. Allow it to ruin the rest of your hour, morning, or day… or roll with it, laugh, and choose happy instead.

Happy is a choice. We will always have annoying little things happen in our day. Just is. You can tally up them up, complain about them to everyone, forcing your brain to then really watch for all of the things that go wrong, just to add to your list, and be miserable.

Or.

You can laugh it off. Chalk it up to normal every day life. Make a meme out of it. Share it with a friend in a way that makes them laugh. That 1 inch binder you ordered off of Amazon for your daughter for school that was smaller than your hand when it showed up? Seriously, it’s funny.

Post your brownie fail on Facebook – make others laugh over the ridiculousness. Really, turn it into something funny, laugh at it yourself, and use it to make others laugh and BOOM, your day will be a million times better.

AND by focusing on the happy, you will be training your brain to look for more things to be happy about. Your brain will be learning to take little annoying situations and make them funny.

Life is better that way.

Don’t take it too seriously

A funny, lighthearted story for you today.

Once upon a time, my bestie and I took our families out of Florida to escape the path of Hurricane Irma. We ended up in South Carolina where we all (9 of us) crammed into one crummy hotel room. I froze them out because I’m a polar bear and they are summer (but they love me anyway, thank goodness) and we had a few adventures.

One such adventure was to visit the Beef Jerky Outlet at the request of her oldest son. I’m game for anything, literally, so off we went. We enter the store and immediately notice that there are free samples. Yum!

My punkin and I head to the free sample bin. I read the names around the edges (there were like 6 – 8 different samples in there) and all of them sounded fiery hot. Names with words such as hot, flaming, torch, etc. I go for the only one that doesn’t have a synonym for hot in it’s name, but also not really paying attention to the name. I grab two small pieces – Rae takes one and I take the other. She was six at the time.

I pop the piece in my mouth and she basically licks hers, being slightly cautious, as many kids are. Immediately, we die.

No, for real, it was the hottest, most spiciest thing I have ever tasted. Our eyes are watering, we are gagging. The heat level from one tiny bite is just dumb. I spin back to the bin of samples and realize, nice and big over the whole bin, it says HOT ZONE. I look down at the name of the jerky I just ate and fed to my daughter… it’s name is… The Reaper. Dun, Dun, Dun.

We rush to the water fountain and take turns trying to get the fire out. Not that it’s helping much.

Meanwhile, my bestie? Laughing. Her. Butt. Off.

Oh, isn’t that what best friends are for? I’m laughing right now just thinking about that moment. Even though our mouths were burning, Rae and I were both laughing too. What had we done? What will it take for me to be a bit more observant? Wanna know what else was all around the store? Many, many other bins of free samples… none of which were HOT.

Out of curiosity, I asked the store cashier which was the hottest jerky they sold in the store? You know it. The Reaper. Still laughing and shaking my head at myself. Memories are the best things.

Moral of the story today? Laugh at yourself. Laugh at your silly mistakes. Show your kids that even adults make mistakes and it’s OK. Learn from it. In some cases, be just a bit more observant. Please.

Enjoy life, even the crazy, spicy bits. Hang out with people that will laugh with you. Try new things. Don’t let setbacks make you hide from life. If one thing doesn’t turn out the way you expected, try another.

Life is fun. Roll with the punches and do your best to enjoy it.

And don’t eat the Reaper.

Add to the Piles of Good Things

That is Princess Elena. One of our fav princesses when my punkin, Rae, was little. Another thing you shall learn about us is that we are huge Disney Addicts and we don’t apologize one bit for it. We love Disney World!

This particular day was the first day we met Princess Elena. We heard her tell another family that she likes jokes and since punky loves to tell jokes, I encouraged her to tell Princess Elena one. So she did. My favorite, most favorite, of this picture is how pleased Rae looks that Elena is cracking up at her joke. Princess Elena was all in, as far as jobs go. She was going to make every person feel special – and she did it very, very well. She added to my daughter’s pile of good things that day. I love her for it.

Last night, I was watching Doctor Who (of course), and one of my favorite quotes from the show came up. It’s the eleventh doctor talking to his companion, Amy, when she felt like she hadn’t made a difference. She was sad.

“The way I see it, every life is a pile of good things and… bad things. The good things don’t always soften the bad things, but vice versa, the bad things don’t necessarily spoil the good things or make them unimportant. And we definitely added to his pile of good things.” – Matt Smith, 11th Doctor

I love this description of life in general. It’s all a pile of good things and bad things… and every day we have the opportunity to add to other human’s piles of good things. So do it. Just go ahead and do it. All Day.

How do you add to piles of good things? It’s. So. Easy.

  • Be kind, kindness is everything
  • Smile at people, even if it feels weird
  • Let your face light up when you see your children or students or spouse.
  • Help someone. With anything.
  • Hold the door. Hold the elevator. Hold someone’s hand.
  • Look people in the eye and listen to them. For Real.
  • Give your humans your undivided attention for a conversation.
  • Send a little treat to your co-workers.
  • Donate to something.
  • Mail someone a letter. Or an email. Or a text. Send a video!
  • Hug someone. Kiss someone (if appropriate of course, haha).
  • Snuggle. Watch a movie with your kid. Eat popcorn with M&Ms.
  • Let someone go ahead of you in line.
  • Compliment people. Everyone. As much as you can.
  • Believe in people. Let them know you believe in them.
  • Be kind, kindness is everything.

Go ahead, do it.

#momstronglife

Confidence

Ahhh this girl. My love-girl. She started third grade last Monday and has somehow transformed. She has bloomed. Lessons I’ve been trying to teach her, thoughts I’ve been trying to share… all of sudden, they are there.

She cleaned her room by herself today. Without prompting. What?! (Seriously, never has happened before.)

I’m not sure how to explain this, what I’m feeling and thinking. My punkin has always been a good girl. I work hard at raising a good human. So it’s not like we went from crazy awful behavior to suddenly good… it’s something different.

There is something in her that is shining out right now and it’s a beautiful sight. I think it might be confidence.

Just as I work hard on I ams within myself, my daughter does too. We work on it together. As much as I work on loving myself, I work to show her how to love herself. As much as I work on believing in myself, I’m working to show her how to do it too. When I struggle, I share my struggles with her and show her how I am working through them. When she is struggling, I try to link it back to something in my life because she needs to know she is not alone.

She struggles with some anxiety too. She, also, has been through some trauma. She, too, has overcome. We still deal with the effects of what we have gone through, though. It’s not a quick fix.. It’s more like a life sentence. Ok, that’s a little doom and gloom, but really recovering from trauma takes time and willingness to grow. As adults, we can choose what we do with our darkness. My daughter, she hasn’t had a choice. I wasn’t going to let her fail. We have stumbled our way through tricky waters but always moving on and up.

And this year, I see something I’ve wanted to see for so long. That beautiful blessed confidence.

She walked into 3rd grade knowing it was going to be a good year. Expecting it. She reads her books now, without hesitation. She took a test, had a couple minutes of nerves, then just decided to do it, no matter how long it took or what anyone else was doing. She started back at gymnastics and having never been able to do a cartwheel, learned it in one week. Practices it every day now. She got a Yo-Yo from the store this weekend, and now can yo-yo better than me! Never once showing frustration that it was hard, rather just doing it until she got it right. Cleaning her room – there was no more “I can’t do this” or “I need help.” She just set her mind to do it and did it well.

There is a confidence in her, showing through her actions, that says “I’ve got this. I can do it. I am capable.” Do you know how many times last year I had her say those affirmations? More times than I can count. But it was worth it. We… She is beginning to reap the benefits of the mental work she’s been putting in for a long time now.

It’s so beautiful.

My message to you today is don’t stop. Don’t give up. Whatever you are trying to change in your life, just keep going. The results don’t often show up in the first week, month, or even the first year. But if you keep going, you will get there. That affirmation you’ve been holding onto? It will come true. Keep believing in yourself. Forget the timeline, and just keep going. You’ve got this.

What do you see?

I am going to take this post in a totally different direction than you might be thinking based on the photo. I totally believe that how you see yourself is the most important… however, sometimes being given a glimpse into how others see you can actually really help a person out.

I struggle with my self worth. The reason I talk about affirmations and I ams and positive thinking so much? I freakin need it. It isn’t coming from someone with rose colored glasses living the easy life. I struggle. A lot. I have learned to use these tools to grow, glow, and sometimes just to survive.

When I was 27 years old, an abusive, narcissistic sociopath, aka ex-husband, easily picked me out of a crowd because I was an easy target. Low self-worth, afraid to be myself, too timid to speak up and out, feelings of inadequacy, the belief that no man could ever love me… yes, I was an easy target. (For clarity, through divine intervention, supportive friends and family, I left that relationship in 2011.)

I’ve been sitting here, hesitating to finish this post, because it’s not easy. It’s yucky. Do you know that when I sit down to blog, I have no idea what I’m going to write about? I do my meditation and end with prayer and a request for God to give me the topic and words for the day. So, at the moment, I’m feeling like I’m not ready for this. But if it didn’t need to be said, then the words wouldn’t be here.

The core of my struggles with self worth stem from being overweight. It’s the one key point in my life, that for some reason, whispers to me every day, “you are not worthy of love. No one actually likes you. Nobody CAN like you, not when you look like that.”

It’s ridiculous. Stupid. I KNOW it isn’t true. But there it is. The darkness in me that started when I was eight years old-ish. I use my tools to fight it. I am beautiful. I am strong. I am worthy. I am loved. And I do believe those things too. The two sides struggle. I know the truth but fight the lies that try to pull me back into darkness.

Yes, how we see ourselves is everything. What we think about ourselves is vital to our happiness and our ability to love ourselves and others… to live a good life. So, I use the I ams and work to be the person I want to be.

Something very interesting happened this week though. Yesterday I wrote about a student who drew this picture of me and for me.

That’s me, in her eyes. Same clothes, hair, desk, carpet… Do you see it? Apart from the amazing details and artistry, do you see it? I’m not fat in this picture. No, no, please don’t roll your eyes just yet.

It’s just that, I don’t think it would have even occurred to her to draw me as overweight, because I don’t think she even realizes it. She doesn’t see that. When she looks at me, she doesn’t even see it. My daughter? She doesn’t see that either. The other day I was talking about an actress on TV. I was saying how stunning and beautiful she was. My punkin agreed… she was beautiful, just like Mommy. A coworker commented on how pretty I looked in a dress this week too. I smile, and other people smile back. Naturally.

Other humans do not see what I see. It doesn’t matter to them. So maybe, if I tried to see myself as they do, it actually would help me in this case. It doesn’t matter what other people think of us, it really doesn’t. But when I think about the fact that my weight is literally a non-issue in their eyes… why do I make it a mountain in mine? Why is it a colossal volcanic Mount Everest that I cannot overcome when to others, it. is. nothing.

It’s eye opening. Literally my biggest struggle to self worth and self love… and others don’t even see it. It doesn’t matter to them. It’s all in me, only me.

What do you struggle with, my friend? When you look in the mirror, when you think of yourself, what do you see? What struggles do you have that feel monumental but may, in fact, be non-issues to others around you? What do you allow to beat you down that has nothing to do with your worth and value?

No one actually cares if you think your hair is too frizzy, your nose is too big, your hips too wide, your feet too large. No one cares if you are too tall, too short, have funny shaped toes, or a big badonkadonk. No one cares because, well actually, they never even noticed. Those things do not define who you are. They do not dictate your worth and value on this Earth. They don’t matter to anyone but you.

It’s time for me to let this go. My weight does not define me. I am not my weight. I am a beautiful human, full of love, doing my best to make a difference in this world.

Who are you? And what are you willing to let go of today?

Side note: In my case, being overweight is a health issue that needs to be addressed and improved on physically… but I feel it’s time to work on letting go of the emotional handicap it has caused me for so long.

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