Relax, Reflect, Recharge

Real-Time Relationship

Thank you Elisa Pulliam for today’s message.

Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Make allowance for each other’s faults and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony – Colossians 3:12-14, NLT

I expected my usually happy teenage daughter to bounce into my office singing VBS songs from her morning spent serving at church. Instead, her sullen face conveyed another story. She was battling feelings of betrayal, insecurity, and jealousy after receiving a message from a friend about something that was happening in a completely different place.

Let’s just say this mama llama wanted to spew more than a few unpleasantries about social media and towards the adult involved behind the scenes. Yet I could feel God urging me to not be so easily offended. I’d been down this road enough times before to recognize what was happening.

Satan was busy writing the story in my head according to his own agenda.

Can you relate?

The Holy Spirit prompted me to take hold of my thought life before doing or saying something I might regret. While I’ve been practicing taking my thoughts captive (2 Corinthians 10:5) and asking God to align them with His truth (Romans 12:2) for the last decade, I’ve come to see that I have a harder time doing this when a relationship is at stake. It’s hard to find your voice when you’re already wounded and fear more rejection. Yet, avoiding conflict never leads to relationship restoration.

So I skipped the easy-out texting approach and took the risk with an old-fashioned phone call. I put into action the best communication tactics anytime conflict is brewing. I prayed for God to speak through me and asked the open-ended questions I’ve been trained to use as a life coach. It worked! As I listened and affirmed my commitment to our friendship, her voice softened. Her defenses dropped. And the truth rose beautifully out of it all.

Turns out that there was no reason to be offended. There was no intention to hurt my girl or betray us. There was no ill will. There was a perfectly good explanation that social media failed to capture. I should have known!

Satan is the King of Drama ready to destroy every relationship God created for His glory and kingdom purposes.

Maybe that’s why Paul urges the Colossians and us to clothe ourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience, making allowance for each other’s faults. Yes, it’s always beneficial when we choose to seek forgiveness and extend it. It’s God honoring when we put on love in the pursuit of unity.

When we live according to God’s design, we get to experience a whole lot less drama, along with the blessings that come from real-time relationships restored by His love and extravagant grace.

Have a blessed day!

Unclutter Your Life

Are You a Happy Person?

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It’s Friday…for some it is another long weekend because Monday is Martin Luther King Day.  For me it is the first Friday I am off – the first weekend of no part time job. There are a lot of mixed feelings but I have faith it was the right decision at the right time.

So, let me ask you – were you born a happy person?  I mean the person who always has a smile on their face, and never seems to let things bother them?  Did you know half of your happiness is genetic, attributable to your personality and temperament while about 10% is due to circumstances. The rest is about YOUR intentional choices.  The ones you make every day. You all know I LOVE Valerie Burton, right?  She shared in one of her books about the habits happy people have in common.  The best part is, if you practice these habits, chances are you will see a boost in how you feel every day.

Here are five things happy people do daily:

1. Spend time with people they enjoy.

Did you know you are as happy as your relationships?  We need people to be happy because we were made for connection and love – and it happens through relationships. When you serve people, connect authentically and allow others to impact you, your life is richer and more meaningful. Let’s practice being  intentional by having a conversation, look the friend or co-worker in the eye and really listen. Are your relationships filled with turmoil? Make a plan to calm the drama. The stress is a threat to your health and your happiness.

2. Focus on what’s right in front of them.

Are you a multi-tasker?  Are you always on your cell phone – Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram, or texting?  Chances are you are NOT living in the present moment. Happy people don’t dwell on the past or get overly focused on the future. They value the power of the present, which means they have fun. When working on a task, they get into the “flow,” and time seems to fly by because they are engaged in what they are doing. It is no wonder people who love their jobs are twice as likely to be happy than those who don’t, according to a Gallup poll. Are you doing what you love or do you love your job?

3. Do something to help someone other than themselves.

Doing a random act of kindness isn’t just a trendy suggestion, it is a way to be happier. Serving others is a happiness trigger. Whether you believe it or not, it is the core of what we are all here to do – love. When we focus on helping others, it redirects our focus from our own problems or challenges, and helps put our lives into perspective.  Check out our Give Back with Me page.

4. Express gratitude.

Gratitude is powerful. It keeps you from taking things for granted. Let’s be honest, we all take something for granted even if we don’t mean to.  Gratitude strengthens relationships. It feels good. So say thank you and mean it. Why not add to your “thank you” why the other person’s gesture was meaningful to you. When you count your blessings, write them down or share them with a loved one. And reflect on why you are grateful. It expands the positive emotion you feel when you are grateful.  I have started a gratitude journal.  Every night before bed, I write one specific thing I am grateful for so I go to bed with happy positive thoughts.  It has made a difference on how I feel when I wake up in the morning.

5. Redirect their happiness-sabotaging thoughts.eva-meme-jpg

How often do you beat yourself up for something you did – not sticking to the diet, forgetting to do something or maybe you broke something?  Negative thoughts bring more negative things.  The reality is happy people don’t dwell long on unhappy things.  Yes, they do acknowledge their negative feelings but they are also less likely to dwell on them, wallow in self-pity or blame others for their misery. They slam the door on Negative Nellie and Doubtful Debbie. Instead, they ask, “What’s within my control to change?” They change what they can and do their best to work around the things they can’t change.

Do you do these things every day?  Why not pick one of the habits you don’t do every day, and try it every day for a week.  It takes 21 days to form a habit so if you can do it for a week, them keep going.  I know you can do it….

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

 

 

Unclutter Your Life

What Kind of Friend Are You?

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I recently read a blog by Valorie Burton which touched a nerve with me since I shared my MS status last week.  I have gotten encouragement from people that I never expected or haven’t talked to in years.  I have met new people as I (and they) share our strengths, hopes and experiences.  My tribe is growing every day… personally and professionally.

I want you to think about the women that you are friends with – the ones you are closest to.

Do you have one really good friend that you rely on?  You know the one that you can call at all hours of the day and night.  Do you rely on her for everything?

Do you have another group (or tribe) of women that you turn to for certain things like business, spiritual support, parenting, etc?

Did you know that there are actually six specific types of friends that every woman should have?  Be sure to check out Valerie’s book for the full 411!

I am learning that not just one or two friends can meet all of our emotional or spiritual needs.  I always had a VERY small circle of girlfriends which hasn’t changed much as an adult.  I tend to be introverted – imagine that!  I was surprised to read that statistically, a relationship with your girlfriend will likely outlast your marriage, your parents and your co-workers.  I can see that.  WHY?  Because I have a bestie that I met 25 years ago.  We have been through a lot together (and apart) BUT no matter what, we are there for each other.  No matter the distance or the span of not talking/seeing each other, when we get together, the time just melts away.

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So, here is Valerie’s list of the six types of friends every woman needs:

  • The Wise Friend.

You can count on them to talk you out of doing something you’d regret, help you solve your latest dilemma, and give all-around sound advice about just about anything.

  • The Fun Friend.

Want to have a good time, be adventurous, or laugh ’til your stomach hurts? You can always count on this one.

  • The Travel Buddy.

Drama-free, this friend is adaptable, maybe even adventurous, and loves to see the world.

  • The Relationship Coach.

Transparent, real and willing to listen, this friend has figured a few things out in the love department and genuinely wants to see you happy when it comes to romance.

  • The Career Comrade.

You share a similar background and goals in your work life, and encourage each other to higher professional success.

  • The Accountability Partner.

To maximize your potential, this is your go-to pal to help keep you on track.

So, do you have a friend in each of those categories?  Or, do you seem to have more friends in just one category?

Now, think of your four closest friends.  Which one are YOU to each of them? Do you fill the same “category” with everyone or do you float between categories depending on the relationship with that friend?

I probably fall into TWO categories: the “Wise Friend” and the “Career Comrade”. Okay, so maybe I am stuck or type cast but that is okay with me.  I do have a little bit of each of the different “types” in me but I would never want to commit to them.

What category do you fall into?  Share it with us…

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Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

 

 

Celebrate and Connect

Is Your Cup Empty?

 

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Happy Monday… I have to be honest, I am kind of feeling like this today.  Not my usual self.

I had an AWESOME “Better Together” event yesterday with some inspiring Thirty One consultants.  My cup is always filled when I get to CELEBRATE – ENCOURAGE – REWARD other women who are reaching for the stars.  It inspires me to kick my business into gear.

The “dragging” me is thinking about the JOB! Yes, that part-time job that has become full-time over the last 2 months.  It looks like it is going to go on for another month – UGH!  I know that the extra money is great but money is not a carrot for me.  Crazy, right?  I realize every day how much I miss working my own business and seeing the smiles on the face of others.  So, in addition to some really important doctors’ appointments this week, I am juggling  my business, my JOB and non-profit work.

I can see how my cup will be emptied this week with little hope of getting filled if I don’t have a plan.  So, my calendar will include some time dedicated to filling my cup.

Thank you Valerie Burton for these tips on self-love and things I can do this week to fill my cup:

#1 – Let go of energy-draining situations and friendships.

The best thing I can do in your life is to fill it with loving, peaceful relationships and situations.  I have leaned this the hard way of the years.  No drama for me this week!

#2 – Give yourself permission to pursue your passion.

I am scheduling time to do work that brings me joy!  I give myself permission to follow my dream.   I am going to give myself joy as I bring a smile to the face of someone else.

#3 Know what nourishes your spirit and make sure you get plenty.

This is HUGE for me right now as I adjust to some health issues.  Since I don’t think I ever learned how to rest, I am going to spend time in prayer and with a good book. This will help to add some pep in my step.

#4 Acknowledge yourself for a job well done.

Given the crazy week that I will have, I am sure that I will forget to do this.  So, my goal is to fill my “good things that happened” block in my planner with kudos of a job well-done by ME!

#5 Talk back to your negative inner critic.

I was recently called a “gremlin slayer” and that title is more precious to me than many I have received over the years.  It means that I am ready to STOMP out the negatives and embrace the positives so that I can live abundantly.  What about you?

#6 Be patient and kind.

Patience is not one of my strong points.  I have those traits when it comes to others but rarely with myself.  I am practicing patience with myself as I change and grow.  I am learning to be kind to myself as I persevere

Join me in keeping our cups full as well give to others so freely, let’s give to ourselves FIRST.

I challenge to you this week (I’m going to do it too)

Do something loving for yourself. Practice a random act of kindness and love towards someone else.

Don’t let yourself go until there’s nothing left. Pouring out for others is great, but don’t forget to fill the cup for you.

Let’s make this our Monday:

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Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

 

Unclutter Your Life

Do You Have Drama in Your Life?

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DRAMA!  We have all had some kind of drama in our life, right?  And not the kind that we like to watch on the television.  We all have or have had money drama, emotional drama, relationship drama, work drama, health drama and the list goes on, right?

Here are some wise words from the AMAZING Eryka Peskin:

We create drama in our lives when we’re unclear about our desires OR when we know our desires but don’t feel like we have the power to make them happen.:

I started working with Eryka about 6 months ago and I have to admit, there was DRAMA!  The drama was because I was unclear about what I wanted in my personal and business life.  Don’t get me wrong, I am happily married and wouldn’t change that.  My business seemed to be a roller coaster.  And we won’t even talk about health issues…

Financial drama:  Are you in debt and just living paycheck to paycheck?  That is STRESSFUL and it drains your energy.  When your energy is drained it is hard to focus on other things like creating and awesome future.

Relationship drama:  This goes from constant fighting with family and friends to cheating on your partner to having secrets like an addition whether it is drugs, alcohol, sex or shopping.  Have you built a wall because of past bad relationships and won’t let anyone in?  Relationship drama is stress that keeps you from seeing past the moment and into the future.

Work drama:  Okay, it is Monday – did you dread coming to work?  Have you not finished a project that was due?  Have you been stealing from the company – maybe it is just spending too much time on social media or maybe it is taking office supplies.  Maybe it is talking about your coworkers. Whatever the drama, it is draining the LIFE out of you.  I mean we spend about 1/3 of our life at work right?

There is a lot more things that cause drama or stress but it would take more than 1 blog to talk about it, right?  Erkya is always reminding me of this:

Because the problem with living a draining-drama filled life is that when we uselessly expend our energy on stuff that doesn’t serve us, it means that we’re not spending it on things that do.

With her help (and a few others) I have found the desires and dreams that I want to GO FOR and a result the draining drama in my life has decreased, in favor of the magical drama of exploring new things and living up to my highest potential.

Here are the three majorly important keys for ending the draining drama that Eryka taught me:

1. Know your desires.  If you don’t know what you want and need at your core, how can you go after them?  ONLY YOU know your desires – NO ONE else!!!

2. Know you are worthy of going after them.

3. Take action.

Not sure what your desires are, try this simple exercise:

Take 15 minutes out of your life and contemplate.  Get a journal or some paper and answer some questions and do some deep thinking

  1. What are you passionate about?
  2. What you would do if you had no limits, if you had all the money and time in the world? Where would you go? What would you do? Who would you spend time with?
  3. Think about yourself when you’re nice and old.  What are 5 major things things in life you are really, really proud of yourself for having done…or what will you regret if you don’t do?

Thank  you Eryka for helping me to find my passion!

Giving of myself so others smile!!

Share your passion with us.  Let’s CELEBRATE together the end of draining drama.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!