Unclutter Your Life

Will This Matter A Year From Now?

Yup, it is Monday morning.  Even worse is the fact for some it is after a LONG 4-day holiday weekend filled with food, family & friends and lots of shopping.  Time to get back to work as we start to juggle the holidays with work.

Black Friday has passed.  Small Business Saturday is done.  Cyber Monday is in full swing.  But the question I have for you this morning is…

Will This Matter A Year From Now?

The countless hours spent rushing around for gifts?  The baking? The decorating?  The non-stop whirlwind of activity?  Some would say yes because despite the craziness, they are enjoying the moments.  For others, you are so busy racing around, you don’t even remember the moments.

Life is constantly changing…. just when you think you got what you were looking for, doubt starts to creep in.  Maybe this year you have more money (or less) for gifts.  Maybe you are working countless hours missing out on time with family and friends.  Maybe you have lost who you are as you spend time pleasing the rest of the world.

If you answer to the question above is a resounding NO!  Then “let it go”…. (here the music for Frozen playing in the background)

Why do we spend time worrying about things we can’t control or fighting for things which don’t deserve our energy?

Did holiday celebrations with family trigger a button inside?  You know the one of self-doubt, fear, or anger.  Did the inner gremlins rear their heads because you allowed someone to push your button? Now you are spending your time on things which are insignificant in the big picture of things…

Maybe it was fussing with a rude store clerk during holiday shopping, or making a point with a trouble-making co-worker, or nitpicking over every mistake your child might make. The reality is some things simply are not worth it.

Fighting every battle leaves you little energy for the ones which really matter. In the process, you can damage relationships and stress yourself out. When you are intentional about which battles to engage in, you are more effective in resolving those challenges. After all, if you let go of the small stuff, it becomes clear the battles you choose are important. As a result, the people in your life or more likely to take notice and listen.

As we head into what is probably the craziest time of the year, I challenge you to let go of at least one battle this week. Enjoy the drop in your stress level.

What battle(s) did you engage in over the long weekend? Will it matter a year from now?  If it won’t matter a year from now, are you willing to drop similar battles when they arise?

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Hope Wissel

Let It Go!

This post is NOT all about the movie “Frozen“.  Although, I did see the movie and loved it.  This phrase has been coming up a lot lately for me.  It was the topic at a recent Weight Watcher meeting which of course sent me into emotional tailspin.  WHY? Because “letting go” is not something I do easily.  Then it came up in conversations with friends about business and personal lives.  Do you think God is trying to send me a message?

Do your emotions lead to food?  Whether we are happy, sad, stressed or angry – food seems to be solace for many of us.  We probably aren’t physically hungry but we find ourselves eating mindlessly and then wondering why the scale is not moving.  GUILTY!

Did you know between 35-60 percent of people who struggle with their weight claim to be emotional eaters.  It becomes a habit.  The two become so closely linked, we have a hard time separating them.  Yes, eating can provide temporary relief but then we never learn how to handle the emotion without eating.  Lately, it has become just the opposite for me – I don’t eat at all when I am upset.  Not good either since my body then goes into starvation mode and the end result is the scale doesn’t move.  Learning how to “let it go” is key to having balance in life (or at least in mine).  

Here are some steps to use when emotions trigger an urge to eat or when you need to let go of things in your life:

  1. Sit comfortably with feet on the floor and back straight but not rigid.  Let your gaze fall onto a spot which won’t distract you or gently close your eyes
  2. Settle yourself and focus on your breath moving in and out of your body.
  3. Imagine a blue sky with fluffy clouds lightly drifting across it (or actually watch them enjoying God’s beauty). Imagine each cloud passing by is a thought, image or feeling.
  4. Mentally step back to observe and label each cloud.  Maybe it’s a thought about work, a feeling of frustration, an urge to eat, or feeling alone.  You are not trying to change or stop the clouds, just watching, describing and letting feelings and thoughts pass by.
  5. Continue for two minutes.  Gently bring your attention back to your breath, slowly inhaling and exhaling three times and back to the present.

You can apply this same technique to other parts of your life as well.  Anger at a friend or family member.  Frustration with your business.  Feeling alone.  Hurt by someone’s unkind words.  Letting go of emotions is not easy but when we hold on to them, we feed those nasty inner gremlins.  As a result, the negative feelings build up and the inner gremlins grow causing a downward spiral which effects all aspects of your life, including the scale.

What unhelpful (or negative) thought have you had when emotions trigger the urge to eat?  Do a reality check?  You do not have to own those feelings, you can let them go and STOMP out those inner gremlins.  

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Hope Wissel, Relax, Reflect, Recharge

Grace In Your Marriage

Sunday – a day to reflect, relax and recharge.  The first day of the February, a day to press the reset button on January and start fresh.

Grace is defined as “God’s unmerited favor. It is kindness from God we don’t deserve.  It is a gift from God.”

This blog contains excerpts of a blog from Women Living Well entitled “5 Ways to Embrace Grace in Our Marriages“.

1.) Grace sees with fresh eyes and a new perspective.

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. ~ 2 Corinthians 5:17

How often do we give grace to our children, our friends and even strangers but when it comes to our husbands we have EXPECTATIONS.  As I am growing and learning, I realize that everyone, especially hubby needs grace.  We talk about ‘random acts of kindness” to others, why not a random act of kindness for our husbands?

2.)  Grace does not focus on failed expectations and the shortcomings of our husband.

Okay, tell me that I am not alone in this are.  We tend to focus on the negatives being a Negative Nellie.  Why?  Because I was not happy inside. I didn’t like me very much.  It had nothing to do with hubby.  The one word that I HATE is “expect” and when someone says it, the hair on the back of my neck stands up.  Yet, I have expectations of my hubby.  I expect him to know what I need without saying.  I expect him to understand when things are wrong.  The list of expectations can grow on any given day.  As I focus more on my relationship with God, I found those expectations leaving and I was becoming more accepting.  I can now take into account his personality, the home he was raised in and his current walk with God.  I have expected hubby to meet the needs that only God could meet. Grace has released my hubby from a wife who criticizes his shortcomings or whines about her unmet needs and replaces her disappointment with the joy of the Lord.

3.) Grace Forgives.

Then Peter came up and said to him, “Lord, how often will my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? As many as seven times?” Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you seven times, but seventy-seven times. ~Matthew 18:21-22

I feel like I should be singing “Let It Go” from Frozen.  I have seen the movie and the song plays in my head as a constant reminder to “let things go”.  So, are you holding on to a hurt that your husband cannot heal for you? YUP!  It is time to let go of my old baggage.  It is time to let go of the old hurts. It is time to let go and let God.  For when I forgive myself, and place things at His feet AND leave them, I can find peace and joy in my marriage.

4.) Grace puts on compassion and gentleness.

Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. ~Ephesians 4:32

SMACK! Having been an “independent woman”, I tend to forget the heavy burden that my husband carries.  I figure I know what he is going through, I mean I was a single mom, right?  The truth is I never really had anyone “carry the load” for me as an adult.  I am always amazed at how hubby’s thought process works and how his is forever putting me (and Belinda) first.  I am learning about the broad shoulders that God gave men.  It is so they can carry the weight of the family every day.  I need to remember that he has worries too.  That he needs compassion so that he can be built up to continue to carry that heavy load.

5.) Grace prays.

The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective. ~ James 5;16

It’s easy to nag, criticize, or try to control your husband.  It’s hard to sit back and pray.  Truer words have never been spoken.  I am learning to PAUSE and pray before I find fault and criticize hubby.  It has made a world of difference in our marriage.

I am blessed to be married to an AMAZING man.  I am learning each day to be the wife that God wants me to be.  Do you need to extend a wee bit more grace in your marriage?  God has given us grace and now it is time to extend that grace to our husbands.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

#grace #contentment #marriage #compassion #letgoandletGod