Faith

3 Ways to Take Care of Yourself

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Hey, how are you?  No really.  How are you?  In your crazy busy beautiful life it is easy to get over stressed, over tired, over faking it for everyone else.  I think you need to take care of you.  I know you know it, but you fight it.  Making this distinction might help you.  When I say take care of you, please don’t get this confused with focusing on you.  I truly believe that the secret to balanced living is to have your focus on your world, not yourself.  That is when things get unbalanced.  But taking care of you is different.  Let’s look at the differences.

 

Focusing on you means you can become obsessive over one area of your life.  This could be work, working out, or saving money.  All great, but when that becomes your sole focus at the cost of other things in your life…..you got problems.

 

Taking care of you means that you are in tune to what you need spiritually, physically, and emotionally and act accordingly.

 

It is possible to focus on you without taking care of you.

 

While it is easy to fall into the trap of focusing on ourselves, it is hard to take care of ourselves.  When we fail to do so, we get burnt out.  We get sick.  Our emotions can get the best of us.  So how do you do it?  Most importantly, how do you do it without guilt?  Just like anything else darling, one step at a time.

 

Let’s break this down.  Ask yourself these questions.

 

First, let’s take a look at taking care of yourself spiritually.  How close do I feel to God?  It is easy to put this off.  To pray, maybe listen to Christian music and think  that you are taking care of yourself.  God does not call us to works but to have a relationship with him.  Taking care of yourself in your spiritual walk should trump everything else in your life because it is the root of all things in your life.  Ask yourself these questions: What is keeping me from him?  When did I last read the Bible?  Take an inventory over this part of your life and take care of you.

 

Next, let’s look at your physical self.  How do you feel?  Are you tired?  It’s easy to keep pushing yourself but at some point, you will break.  That’s right, you are not actually super woman.  Sorry.  You do need to eat right, sleep enough, stay hydrated and get physical every once in a while.  We are always searching for the “secret” in this area of our life but you just gotta do it.  Sure there are special cases when this can be out of your control….meaning you have a sleeping disorder or something.  Everything else is a choice.  Stop over complicating it and just take care of you.

 

Lastly, let’s look at your emotional self.  How are you doing?  Need to talk about it?  Express yourself!  Maybe you need to have a good cry, take no shame in that!  Maybe you need to scream or laugh.  Let yourself feel how you feel.  Don’t attach anything to it.  No fear of judgement.  Just do you.  Find ways to build yourself up.  Guard your mindset.  Take care of you.

 

Keep your focus on all parts of your world, but just like they say on the airplane.  You have to put your air mask on first.  If you are broken you can’t fully be who God made you to be.  Take the steps to get healing and renewed…..spiritually, physically, emotionally.  Take care of you!

 

So here is your action item.  Print out your free Goal Setting for Balanced Living workbook.  There are 5 steps that are covered in the workbook.  Spend some time on step one.  Thinking about how you want to feel in life.  The true you will come out as you do this exercise.  Once you get a clear picture of how you want to feel, take the action to take care of you.

 

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God: Relationship Or Religion

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When you think about managing relationships in your life, you likely think about ways to make your marriage better or your next girls night out.  What about your number one relationship?  How are you taking care of your relationship with God?

I recently challenged myself with this same question.  It is my belief and experience, that I have a relationship with Jesus, not a religion around him.  Religion is about doing “things” because it is expected.  It is routine and empty without purpose.  This is my personal belief.  If you do rituals with full heart and intention, then awesome.  If I have a relationship with God, am I treating it like a relationship?  I wanted to invite you down this path to explore with me.  Wanna come?

OK, here we go!

So, I googled relationship tips to see if I could find like a top 10 list of ways to improve your relationship and wanted to test applying them to God.  Yikes!  The results were so all over the board!  After reviewing several sites, I found the tips that most had in common to share so we can compare!

 1.  Don’t hold onto grudges, forgive

  • Do you have grudges with God?  Maybe something has happened in your life that is tragic.  It’s just unfair.  Do you hold that against God?  What about unanswered prayers?  Just like in other relationships, we don’t always know their perspective.  That is where faith comes in.  Having faith that God has a greater plan can help move through some grudges.  Ultimately, you will need to move through forgiveness so those grudges don’t stand between you and Jesus.
  • Action Item:  Spend time in prayer and ask God to show you any areas that you might need to allow forgiveness in.  Maybe it is with God, maybe it is with someone else.  God does command us to forgive everyone.

2. Be honest and admit when you are wrong or made a mistake

  • God already knows!  Why try to hide it or cover it up!  He will give you grace and love when you turn to him.  That is why we have the word repent!
  • Action item:  Search your heart, what do you need to repent?  Make a clean slate with you and God today.  

3.  Communicate: Talk freely and listen abundantly

  • This is something that I take pure joy in!  God is always with us!  That means you can talk to him all the time.  Just like any relationship, always remember this:  God gave you two ears and one mouth.  We should listen more than we speak.  I am guilty of coming to God in prayer with my needs and not listening to him.  Can you imagine if you treated other relationships like that?  Just one-sided communication?  Wouldn’t work, right?
  • Action item:  Practice listening.  Take some time to imagine Jesus sitting in front of you.  Speaking out loud, ask him if there is something that he is trying to tell you.  Listen.  God speaks to us in so many ways.  Scripture and through experiences.  There is no reason to limit him.  Just be always listening.

4.  Show love in the small ways

  • How do you love God?  Staying true to his word.  Be obedient.  Be grateful.  Love people.
  • Action item:  Find something small that you can do to be obedient.  It might be something that you are already doing, but dedicate it to him.  Keep it between you and God.

5.  Trust

  • Trust is necessary in any relationship and it can be one of the hardest things to give.  Easy to say, hard to do.  
  • Action item: Spend some time thinking about what you struggle to trust God with.  Brainstorm ways that you can give trust to God in the situation.  This is going to be different for everyone.  Maybe it is in your finances, your health, or a relationship.  Give God space to do his thing and trust that he got you covered.

6.  Accept, don’t force expectations on people.

  • Accepting people for how they are and not how you think they should be can be hard.  What about God?  What are your expectations on him?  Show you mercy during a trial?  Answer a prayer that has been unanswered?  Sometimes I feel like we treat God like a genie and then get upset when our wish isn’t granted.  Or worse, we don’t accept commandment or laws that don’t always feel good.  We can’t pick and choose the truths.  Truth is truth.
  • Action Item:  Are you fully accepting of God?  If there is anything that you struggle to accept, talk openly about it with him.  If you still struggle, bring in an advisor that can help answer questions and guide you through your struggles.

7.  Show appreciation

  • How true is this?  Don’t you like to be appreciated?  I know I do.  I know my husband does too.  God doesn’t need our appreciation the same way that we “need” it.  God doesn’t need anything from us.  But he wants to be close to us.  Worship.  Thank God for your blessings.  Acknowledge him for what he has done.  It will move you closer to him
  • Action item:  List your blessings.  How long of a list can you make of things you appreciate about God?  Make it as long as you can, and thank him.  I think I might open a note on my phone so I can always be adding to it.

8.  Make time for each other

  • Time is love in relationships.  You don’t have to do anything fancy, just be together.  God wants your time.  He wants you attention.  Spending time with him will feed your soul!
  • Action Item:  Look at your calendar for the next week.  Do you have time scheduled for him?  Can you add one more time slot for him?  What if you scheduled a lunch break and read scripture or bought a bible study book?  Maybe go to bible study at church?  Schedule in 5 minutes of prayer time each morning or before bed?

9.  Try to get their perspective

  • This is a challenge in every relationship.  I am really.  You ask questions to try to get the other person to explain, but we are always interpreting what we think they mean.  It’s human nature!  Best way is to dive into the word, pray for clarity, and keep your mind open.
  • Action Item:  Is there anything that you have been closed-minded about?  Challenge your automatic assumptions to see if they are rooted in truth or filtered by your perspective.

10.   Do things together.

  • Doing everyday things with someone always deepens my relationship with them.  I love it!  Even if it is just running an errand, doing chores around the house-it doesn’t matter what-I love doing it with my husband or a friend.  Of course it is more fun when it is something you both enjoy.  Have you ever invited God along or done something with him?  What do both you and God enjoy?
  • Action Item:  I am sure this one is not hard to figure out…..Do something with God!  Invite him along.  Be mindful.  Maybe do something out of love for someone else and pray for God to be with you.  Just like if it was a friend with you, talk to him while you are doing it!  Include him.

After looking at these 10 things, I see that there is more that I can do to deepen my relationship with God.  Just like every relationship, you can always go deeper.  The point is that you show up and try with all your heart.  That is what God wants.  A real life relationship with you.  Try some of these actions steps!  I would love to hear how it goes!

 

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The One Thing That Will Balance To Your Day

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Often times we focus on productivity.  We try to figure out how we can get more things done in a day.  How we can make the most of our time.  While on the surface there is nothing wrong with this, I believe that it is a huge reason why our lives are so out of balance.  There is no white space in our lives.

 

Having white space in your day allows God an opportunity to have a relationship with you.  When you leave space in your day to pray, to be quiet, to listen...that is where it is no longer a religion of things you do, but a relationship with your God.  In this time you can find comfort, peace, inspiration.  You just have to slow down to receive it.  There are so many other things that you can find!

Not scheduling every second of your day allows for detours in your day.  This last week I have been very mindful of leaving white space in my day.  Just yesterday there were three opportunities that I would have missed had I not allowed time for what the day had for me.  Before I share them with you, let me just say something in full disclaimer.  Applying the theory of leaving white space in my day is new to me.  I usually jam is much into my day as possible.  I felt inspired to change my schedule up a bit to allow for more flexibility and I want to share my experience with you.  Ok, so these three examples are from yesterday alone.  There have been examples just like this everyday that I have put this into practice.

 

  1. I made quiet time in the morning.  This is something that I use to do habitually.  But as things get busy, it’s easy to just get up earlier and get more things done.  Yesterday, in our exclusive Your Life Rocks community we challenged each other to find quiet time with God throughout the day.  (You can join this group-Free!  Click here)  I took some time in the morning.  It was just a couple of minutes while the shower was warming up.  Usually I would fill this time with picking up the house or some other “doing”.  I did nothing but ask God what he would have for me that day.  Inspiration began to pour in.  I had to go and find a notebook to write stuff down.  Thank you God!  Plus it fueled my tired spirit.  It put passion back into my heart.
  2. I took a lunch during my work day.  Now, some people take lunch breaks everyday.  Good for you.  I usually eat lunch at my desk while working.  Not healthy.  But yesterday I decided to leave the office.  While I did schedule the time into my day, I left the specifics open.  White space.  Not until I was in my car in the parking lot did I decide where I was going.  I decided to go to Target.  I got some shopping done that I had in the back of my mind that I wanted to do, but more than that, I fueled my sense of freedom.
  3. Usually after my work day, another work day is just beginning.  Between taking care of the kids, dinner, and working on my passion (Your Life Rocks) there is not a lot of time for anything else.  Yesterday when I got home, my husband was in full project mode with something that he was building in the house.  He had a bunch of stuff to talk to me about and I had things to talk to him about.  Usually, there would be no time to connect with him.  I decided to clear the evening and make white space for whatever came up.  We decided to take the whole family to Home Depot to get the things he needed to complete the project, and get dinner while we were out.  I got to connect with my husband and play with my kids in the store.  I didn’t get some things done, but you know what?  It filled me with love.

 

Look, I totally get it.  It is hard to fit everything into a day let alone leave white space.  If you don’t get to everything you will just have more to do tomorrow, right?  Or will you?  Just speaking for myself, I found in doing this that sometimes I just fill my day with stuff.  Not important stuff.  Yes, I get things done, but I miss out on the things that really matter.  Yesterday there were tons of things that I didn’t get to.  Only two things were pushed onto today.  The rest I let go of.  To give up the things that I let go of to gain passion, freedom and love is a pretty good trade off for me.

Do you find yourself.....

Overwhelmed?

Stressed?

Feelings of guilt?

Do you long to find more balance in your life?  Gain traction toward your goals?  Grow in all areas of your life?

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I have spent years with my life out of balance and it had destructive affects on those around me.  I found ways to create balance and clarity for myself and I am now on a mission to help other woman do the same.

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The Secret Cost of an Unbalanced Life

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Today I feel raw.  This will probably be the most transparent post that I ever write.  Please read it till the end.

There is a reason that life balance is so important to me.  I have spent many years out of balance and I have seen the toll that it has taken on my life and the people who I love.  I spent years with blinders on.  Consumed by work and my career.  I only looked up long enough to take care of the immediate needs of my immediate family.  It was not the life that God called me to live, but I was living it.  Escaping the rest of the world.   It cost me more than I have the stomach to think about.

I don’t remember much from my youngest son from the age of 2-4.  Lost years.  I traveled every week for work and on the weekend I was so tired.  My visits with grandparents and other family became less and less and then non-existent.  Same with friends.  If I didn’t work with you, I didn’t have time for you.  Forget about being involved in the church or anything else.  I wanted relationships with people, but I didn’t know how to have balance and still feel successful.  

I told lies to myself.  I convinced myself that my work was good and that I was giving to people who needed me.  Truth is, it wasn’t a lie.  They did need me but so did those that I loved…..and I needed them.

Over the course of the last couple of years, I was able to find balance.  God intervened in my situation.  He was always there.  Through him I found personal development that strengthened me.  I learned techniques to pull myself out of work and build a bigger world to live in.  I gained skills  to still find success at work and not feel guilty at home.  It is still a work in progress but we all will be till the day we go to heaven.  I now help other women find that balance.  

Balance is not just a word.  It’s a feeling.  You feel on top of the world, loved, energized, confident, empowered and in control of the life you have been given by God!  When you have balance you are more patient with your kids.  That gives them a safe place to learn to be themselves and feel loved.  It’s the best gift you can give your kids.  When you have balance you are loving and engaged with your husband.  That gives you strength in the strongest relationship you should have on this earth.  When you have balance you are able to be proactive at work and lead others in a way that enriches their lives.  It gives you time to connect with God.  This one thing, having time to connect with God, can change everything!

So why I am telling you all this?  Why do I want this for you?

This week I got a message that one of the most precious women in my life died.  My grandmother.  She practically raised me.  She was my safety net when I was growing up.  She was one person that I drew away from when my life was out of balance.  I know it hurt her and that hurt me.  Today is a reminder of what I lost during those years of being out of balance and why I am so passionate about life balance not just for me but for all others.  When you have life balance, it doesn’t just affect you.  It affects everyone around you.  It is a domino effect that you will never know it’s reach.

After I got the message I broke down.  I had to go for a walk to get some air, clarity, God, space….anything.  I got a mission.  Over the last few years, I found balance.  I am on a mission to help as many other women as I can do the same.  Can I help 500 women start on their path of balance by the end of the year?  I am sure going to try.

So what about you?  Can you use some more balance in your life?  Let’s work together to impact all the people around you.

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The Sum of What You Become- A 5 Step Challenge

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I am sure that you have heard that you are the sum of the 5 people that you spend the most amount of time with.  They say to choose wisely.  

I have been thinking a lot about this over the last few days.  It made me reflect on the people in my life that I spend the most amount of time with and if I was satisfied being the sum of them.  Some of them yes, and honestly, some not so much.  But do I really have a choice to whom I spend the most amount of time with?  I think that the choice might be something different and there are some big life lessons that I learned in this and I want to break it down for you here.

I believe that what you focus on you find.  Every person (yes, every person) has greatness in them.  It just depends on if you focus on it or their flaws.  Find the attributes you admire in the people around you and focus only on those.

I also believe that what you focus on grows.  Have you ever thought about getting a particular type of car and then you start to see it everywhere?  When you start to identify the greatness in others and focus on that, you will see more of it in that person and possibly in others.  You will likely find it within yourself as well.

So if you can find greatness in everyone and when you focus on that greatness it becomes more visible to you, the same can be said about the not so great parts of people.  Look, we live in a broken world.  Everyone of us has not so great parts to us.  What parts of you do you want people to find in you?  The greatness or the ugly stuff?  Do onto others as you would have them do onto you.  Choose what you see and you choose what you become.  We are not called to cast out people.  We are called to love them.  

So here is a challenge for you.  Ready?

  1. Make a list of the 5 people that you spend the most time with.
  2. Make a list of all of the things that you admire about them.
  3. Think about your goals that you have for yourself, and look at the list you wrote for what you admire.  Circle the things that if you had those same skills or attributes it would make it easier for you to reach your goals. (Think about it, if you focus on those things specifically they will rub off on you.  When you become great in those same things, it will just let them shine even brighter because they are also around you-that is like talking in a circle but I hope you get what I mean)
  4. How can you allow them to shine?  Be intentional!  Everyone likes to be in an environment that allows them to use their greatness.  Ask questions that would stimulate their greatness.  Maybe ask them for help with something.  This will allow you to really see their greatness in a brighter light and they will feel good about it to!
  5. When you see the ugly part of people, give them grace.  Guess what, they are human just like you.  Forgive yourself for your ugly parts and do the same for others.

So, choose to become the sum of the greatness of the 5 people that you spend the most amount of time with!