This week starts my first “official week” at the gym. Last week was all about talking to people about my goals, setting up a personal trainer and getting a schedule in place….. I actually put it in my planner so I don’t blow it off.
Despite my best efforts those inner gremlins have been trying to rear their nasty heads. They still seem to hang around but are becoming weaker as I spend more time in recovery working the steps….
Let’s face it, we all have inner gremlins. Have you ever wondered how you can prevent the “inner gremlin” of low self-esteem from creeping in and setting up camp? Have you ever felt like “I’m not good enough”? Have you ever thought “I can’t do that”? Tidbits of negative beliefs creep in every day even when we least expect it. Let me tell you, when the personal trainer said “one week we will be working in the pool”, I was ready to jump ship! I was all of a sudden self-conscious about my “jiggle thighs”. I was worried what people would think. I wanted to shout “do you know the last time I was in a pool or even put on a bathing suit????” She saw the look I gave her. She asked what my greatest fear was. Then she suggested shorts with a tank top to get over my “fear” of being seen in a bathing suit. Yup, in 3 weeks I will be doing exercises in the pool….
For some, they could quickly slam the door on those inner gremlins. Others let the negative thought simmer for a moment before kicking it to the curb. Then there are some of us who let the negative thought of “I’m not good enough” ruin their entire day. So where do you fall in the spectrum of stomping out this inner gremlin? I will admit, I can fall into anyone of those places on any given day.
When self-doubt creeps in here are some tips which might help:
1. Remember “Life is perfectly imperfect”.
Strive for personal excellence instead of perfection. I know, I should practice what I preach, right? When we try to be perfect, we set ourself up for failure and Negative Nelly starts to creep in. Look for YOUR personal best and when you reach it – CELEBRATE! Recovery and MS has taught me so much about this. I do my best – I don’t (or at least try not to most days) compare myself to others. Yes, I am going to celebrate the fact I even getting in the pool. I actually had a dream where the pool was one of my favorite things to do at the gym. Don’t worry I will keep you posted.
2. Positive thinking is your decision.
Yes, you get to decide if you want to allow positive thinking to come to your rescue when negativity is banging on the door. To turn things around… you must have faith, release the fear (let it go…. yes, you can sing the Frozen song if it helps), and focus on the solution. Positive thinking can improve any situation, no matter how awful it may appear. The positive aspect of the pool (my focus) and going to the gym is to help my muscles stay strong to fight the MS AND drop a few pounds or at least tone up some.
3. Everyone makes mistakes!
Yes, EVERYONE! The real truth is mistakes teach us and allow us to grow. Mistakes are evidence we are trying and doing the best we can. As we learn and grow from our mistakes, we begin to see more success in our life. Success takes work and mistakes are part of it. There is a sign I pass every day in front of a local shop which says “We learn from our failures not our successes”. Focusing on my relapse and what I “coulda, shoulda, woulda” had is not going to help. I have learned MANY lessons, gotten a little older (okay a lot) and accept my mistakes. Do you accept your mistakes or do you beat yourself up?
4. Be kind and gentle with yourself.
This has been one of the toughest things for me to learn! I have to believe I am doing the best I can and so are you. Your light is shining, no matter how small the flame. Think of a flower garden – every flower blooms at it’s own pace and shows it’s unique beauty. Continue reaching for the light, and much like the flower, your life will come into bloom as well. It may not happen as quickly as you (or I) want it but it will happen.
5. You deserve your own unconditional love and forgiveness.
“Be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here.”- Max Ehrmann
Letting go is not easy. Some days it is easier for me because I can’t remember. Hubby has always said it is God’s way of helping me forget some of the pain. By letting go of bitterness, resentment and negative feelings; you can move to forgiving yourself for past mistakes. Forgiveness allows you to “love YOU no matter what”. It will lead you to more positive feelings of understanding, compassion and empathy, allowing you to embrace the experience. On the days I LOVE me, all is right with the world.
6. You can’t always change things, but you can ALWAYS change the way you look at things.
This moment, this negative thought was created by a collection of past thoughts, words and actions. The bottom line is times can get tough – but you need to believe you’re tougher. When I struggle to remember The Serenity Prayer helps to keep me in check:
When you believe you ARE good enough to create the life you desire, and you believe YOU ARE good enough to make it through any situation…….AMAZING things happen. The way you look at things suddenly change, and before you know it, your reality positively changes with it.
Now, who said you’re not good enough? Have a blessed day!
The kids are out of school and what better time to clear out the clutter and make some money. You have the kids to help and what better enticement for them then the chance to earn some money, right? The trick is getting it done right.
I know you are already stressing about the amount of work, right? I have several piles going in the garage with stuff I would like to sell BUT the reality is, it never happens. Then it gets donated to church rummage sale or to the local thrift store. The thing is, I didn’t get rid of the clutter, I simply moved it to another part of the house. Not making any money and creating more of a mess in the garage. I have finally faced the facts – I don’t have the time nor the energy to do a yard sale, sell on ebay (been there done it and it was a pain!) so I just donate to a good local cause. If this is you, it is okay for admit it – it is the first step to getting rid of the clutter.
If you are going to have sale – pick a date (several months from now) how about just before the kids go back to school. This way they will have some of their own money to shop with, sound good? This gives you a goal.
Now, set up several boxes to collect items for the sale. Plastic tubs are the best because they keep the bugs out while you are decluttering. I prefer boxes so whatever doesn’t sell can just go to a local cause. BUT if you are going to save things to sell at the next one……..plastic is the way to go.
Okay, you have decided to have a sale, gathered your items and now comes the tough party – PRICING! We have heard the tales of those who make thousands while most of us scrape by with a hundred or so (more if we are lucky), the key is finding way to price which works for you.
I like the color dot idea because you can grab them at the dollar store and it takes the stress of out individually pricing things. Create a poster with a key showing what each dot means, price wise, such as a green dots equal one quarter, yellow dots are fifty cents, blue dots are a dollar, etc. The advantage of this method is, it is easy to slash prices at the end of the day, since you can just change the key for what the dots mean. If you want, you can add these sticker to the item as you go through your home decluttering, so you don’t have to have a marathon session for pricing right before the sale.
The key to a successful sale or event is advertising. I can’t tell you how many “garage sale” signs I pass and the information is so small you can hardly read it. Either make bigger signs OR use arrows. I actually found an amazing sale with just arrows pointing at every corner on the “garage sale” sign. It was tucked away but people were finding it because of the signs. Okay, enough of my soap box. LOL
Try to coordinate with other families in your neighborhood, if possible, to all have your sales on the same day. The more sales, the more people will come to all of them. This will also help you commit to a deadline for your sale, since others are also participating, which can be a good motivation factor.
Now, spread the word far and wide. Some of my favorite inexpensive methods include ads on Craigslist, large colorful signs on major roadways, and notices on community noticeboards, such as in your local grocery store. If you do a community yard sale, maybe invest in a classified ad in the newspaper. Social media is huge so they will get you some customers too BUT don’t rely on just it for your foot traffic. .
The key to keeping your sanity during all of this is be organized about the process. I know it sounds crazy because if you were organized – you wouldn’t need to de-clutter and have a sale, right?
During the whole process keep your two goals in mind as you prepare: #1 – make some money, and #2 – get rid of clutter.
You won’t be able to do a sale on your own and it is more fun, if you enlist helpers for the day. Give each helper a specific task, including directing crowds, answering questions, making sales, and taking payments. You may also want someone to help with entertainment, such as keeping nice music going, passing out (or selling) refreshments, etc. Having some cold water or cookies are always a good way to make some quick sales AND get the kids involved.Make sure you have lots of small bills and change.
Part of the fun of garage sales for those buying is scoring a deal and bargaining. Be ready to haggle and cut deals, since your goal is to get this stuff out of your home. Throw in freebies, or buy one get one half of deals, anything to get the stuff out of your home. Don’t wait till the end of the day to haggle – be willing to do it all day long.
The truth is, you won’t sell everything. Make arrangements for a charity to come pick up the rest, or drop it off yourself directly from your lawn at the end of the sale to the charity of your choice. Remember we are clearing clutter!
A long post but hopefully a helpful one! Share your best garage/yard sale tips with us. Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!
Thank you Kathi Lipp for today’s message.
Sell your possessions and give to the needy. Provide yourselves with moneybags that do not grow old, with a treasure in the heavens that does not fail, where no thief approaches and no moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. (Luke 12:33-34, ESV).
When I was a young adult, I would often tell myself, “When I become really successful, I will give away so much money! I will support orphans and the needy. I need to work hard so that in my later years, I can do a lot of good in the world and for God’s kingdom.”
At the same time, I was in a constant battle: me versus my stuff. My home was stuffed to the brim with things I bought and used (or not). I would try and try to declutter, but everything in my house, to me, was completely essential. Maybe not right now; I couldn’t get rid of anything that I might need, someday. It seemed wasteful to have bought the heart-shaped muffin pan, use it once, and then give it away. (What if, five years later, I had another child who wanted little heart shaped cakes for Valentine’s Day?) My entire house was brimming with “what ifs.”
So as my house kept bursting at the seams, my plans I had to care for the poor never magically happened. I knew the next step was to earn more money so I could serve the poor and buy a bigger house so that we weren’t always so crowded, and I could concentrate on loving others well. Right? Isn’t this what the world tells us?
All of this was faulty, future thinking. Instead of doing what I could, in the moment, to serve those right in front of me, I kept saying “someday.”
- About my clutter.
- About my helping the poor.
When it came to clutter, “What if I need it someday?” is the cry of the fearful heart. Because for the fearful heart, what we once decided would be “enough” to start helping the poor, “enough” to have in our homes, will never be enough.
The only way we will have enough in our homes, enough to help those who need the help, is to get to the place where we trust the God who has already given us so much.
It took me well into my forties to believe — really believe — that I could get rid of the “extra” in my house, the “just in case” in my house, without fear. Have I given away a few things I needed again? Occasionally. In those instances, I’ve had the peace of knowing that my extra was being used by someone else who needed it, and I could, if I really needed it, buy or borrow those items again.
But the most exciting part of this journey has been the ability to help people — not “someday” but right now.
Instead of selling our couch that was still in wonderful shape and people had offered to buy from us, we were able to give it to a single mom who just moved to our community.
And when our friend was raising funds for clean water in Africa, I had a piece of jewelry (given to me by someone who was no longer in my life) that I was able to sell for money to help build a well.
I would rather carry these acts in my heart than extra stuff in my house.
Don’t let your abundance be what you put your trust in. Instead, trust your abundance to God.
Have a blessed day!