Thoughts On Life

Fullness + Abundance

Two words that I would not choose to describe 2021 right now. When life seems to be full of so many uncertain things. A sense of lack, a feeling of ‘less then’ , a desperate clutching to what we think we need, a deep grief for injustice, a longing grief for loved ones gone, a swirl of differing opinions and a fear of what could be all seem to dominate our thinking.

Instead of living from a place of abundance, we live from a place of ‘what if’ and a place of scarcity. We clamp down on our supplies and hone our skills and fear that we won’t have what it takes to manage the unknown.

It’s wise to be prepared as much as we can right now, take precautions we have not even considered before, set up our homes for learning and work in new ways, and get fresh air and sunshine to our bodies and souls.

In this shift and truly alarming economic reality around us, there’s a lifeline.

There is ABUNDANCE and FULLNESS. There is peace and safety. Life and circumstances may not change. In fact, they can hurt brutally and shake you to the bones. But there can still be a steady source of fullness , goodness and peace that remain strong, deep in our core.

You have permission to lay down the defense position of being right. Of getting it right. The deep clutch of self preservation.

There’s a relationship with God that is totally vulnerable to the goodness waiting to fill you. It’s birthed out of that fullness of the love of the Son who is held from the lap of the Father (referred to in John 1:18) It’s a fullness that totally fulfills us.

There is no lack in this fullness. A deep satisfaction. Sweet vulnerability to the Divine relationship waiting for us. Completely whole,profusely blessed and cared for.

Check out Ephesians 1:23 in simpler words…we are completed by Christ. We also complete him. Isn’t that mind blowing?! When we allow that abundant fullness to fill us, we are like his body bringing abundance to the earth. We don’t have to be living in fear, small, hidden, scared, fearful that we are not living enough, constantly guessing, questioning, judging. Always on the defense. Wall up. We will never run out of abundant fullness when we are vulnerable to the Divine.

You are wide open to the grace of God. It’s always available. There is no reason to clamp down tighter on your beliefs, your view points, or your actions. Allow the fullness of God to abundantly fill you and your whole inner world will change. It will spill over to others in ways we can’t imagine. Simple practical ways and heart changing ways and big amazing ways and that’s what I believe changing the world is all about.

Here’s my prayer for you taken from The Book of Ephesians

You will be empowered to discover…the Great Magnitude of the astonishing love of Christ in all its dimensions. How deeply intimate and far reaching is his love! How enduring and inclusive it is! Endless love beyond measurement that transcends our understanding. This extravagant love pours into you until you are filled to overflowing with the fullness of God! Never doubt God’s mighty power to work in you and accomplish this. He will achieve infinitely more than your greatest request, your most unbelievable dream, and exceed your wildest imagination! He will outdo them all. His miraculous power constantly energizes you!

Fullness and abundance to you today, brave heart!

Finding Yourself

Rise

They cannot extinguish

The deep in me

That rises like a Phoenix.

That sacred core assigned

Me from creation.

.

It will find its freedom.

Roll on the wind

Escape over mountains

Dance in the sun

Laugh down the stream

.

The energy and words that are released.

Do not return empty.

They take up space.

Gather energy.

Increase frequency.

Awaken. Affirm. Applaud.

.

They cannot take a mind that is truly free.

They can torture with mental anguish-

For freedom does not come lightly.

But I will not remain under heavy hands.

I will rise.

Find My voice.

Find My brave.

It has always been in me.

The core of who I am all along.

.

I will never forget

That a dove with clipped wings

Will one day learn to fly again.

That things are usually not as they seem.

.

That spark will never be taken from my heart.

Although it may lie

Silent and dormant

For a season.

.

You have glory in the core

Of who you are.

Release it and let it shine.

Transformations only happen

When we allow them.

Do not be afraid of your own

Beautiful light.

The Divine has all the resources

Stock piled for you.

You only need to

Open.

Ask.

Believe.

Thoughts On Life

Holiday Like It’s Your Last

I’m afraid to write this post. Mostly I’m afraid because it could be taken in the very opposite way of what I would ever want it to be taken. But aren’t most things in life that way? Two sided?

I’m going to write it I though because I think it needs to be said. Cue the deep breathing.

What would you do if you knew this was your last holiday on earth? Who would you go see? How would you celebrate?

There’s no reason to panic here. No reason to buy exorbitant gifts or frantically try to send out cards or burn your old journals. Just a quiet reflection on what really matters most in your life right now and a refocus on being intentional with it.

Ever since Covid hit, I’ve been rumbling with deep questions and thoughts. I keep seeing two sides of extreme opinions and I honestly feel like I waffle back and forth between the two.

Obviously, the thing most people want to do is to love others well. Love. Love . Love.

Some people show love well by quarantine. Some people show love by working in hospitals. Some people show love by running the trash trucks. Some people show love by sharing their provisions. Some people show love by showing up at their sick parents houses and sitting with them and making them laugh. There So much love everywhere when we look for it!

In a world that speaks so much of hate and hurt, all everyone wants, deep in their heart is to be loved. It just looks different from a variety of glasses.

There are all kinds of opinions and mandatory restrictions over this holiday season. I’m not writing this to tell you what to do or add to the confusion but I have a message burning in me and so I write.

All through this year, while people were speaking of the pandemic and how best to show love, I would remember our daughter Kierra. She was definitely a high risk child. Winters were often spent either at home or in the hospital because the risk of her getting sick or actually being sick was frankly was quite high. Every cold could lead to pneumonia. Every pneumonia could lead to kidney failure and every kidney failure could lead to respiratory failure. Which would lead to death.

There was no cure for her condition. No tidy answer. Just managing the symptoms and trying to keep her immune system strong. Sound familiar?

Now I know that Covid is a pandemic. I am not for a moment saying it’s made up or related to my daughter’s disorder. My heart hurts for all the lives that have been forever changed through this illness. So in some ways, we aren’t even dealing with the same issues.

In other ways, we are. Kierra was high risk for any illness. We kept her home during cold and flu season. We never fully expected to go anywhere unless we actually got there. Our plans could change at a moments notice.

We didn’t ask others to accommodate our daughter’s health needs. We didn’t normally demand extra precautions. It was our responsibility to care for her and do what we could to protect her from viruses. It became our own personal normal.

We also took a trip I will never regret. A road trip from Pennsylvania to Montana with our daughter. It was one of those trips where the whole time you were packing, you thought you were totally 💯 crazy, but the feeling of doing the right thing was so strong, that it outweighed the ‘what if’s’.

What if she would get sick in Montana and we wouldn’t have our pediatric hospital? What if she got sick on the way and we were stranded in a strange hospital? What if she contacted a virus on the trip and came home sick? What if the altitude made her breathing worse? What if we were irresponsible to go so far with a special needs child? What if she died?

Kierra’s grandparents had been missionaries in Central America since she was a baby and they had never had a good chance to connect with her. I felt a certain urgency to take the trip and enjoy some time with them and also get to visit our old home state.

We went on that trip. It wasn’t all easy. I mean just hauling the stuff into the motel room was like a marathon chore. Oh the memories!

And this was just one load.
My spot was right there beside her among all those blankets and stuff for about 30 hours. One way.

But we enjoyed our time so much. Kierra seemed to love Montana and although she needed more oxygen then normal, she thrived. She ‘talked’ and waved her little hands and smiled and giggled. She relaxed more then I thought she would.

It was such a gift to all our hearts. It was healing and special and connecting.

A month later, when Christmas came, we once again decided to make a trip to my family for the day. They lived only 4 hours away instead of 30 but it was still a big deal to pack everything up. Kierra didn’t feel well on Christmas Day.

But the love poured on her and the support given to us was so special and priceless.

Those two holidays were the last times Kierra was at her Grandparent’s house.

She passed away in January. Two months after being in Montana and one month after being in Maryland.

I will never regret taking the risk. Love beat death. Spending that time with family can never be replaced. I will always be grateful we had that opportunity. Her disorder prevented us from doing many things, but they did not define her.

We chose to live like there was no tomorrow. Because really, there was no promise of even one more day.

I know. It’s not going to look the same for you as it did for us. It could very well be that loving well this year means staying at home. You may not be able to take the risk of sickness. You may not have sufficient finances. You may have no family to visit. You may be in mandatory lockdown.

I’m sorry. I know this is hard. I know this is lonely and often there are no ideal options.

Hear my heart though? Please don’t allow the fact of dying or suffering to scare you into isolation. Please don’t allow the fear of others to shame you into not taking that meal or inviting that lonely person. Or hugging those grandparents.

Please love yourself well. Do what you know you need to do. There is no reason for shaming over this season. And that starts with you. Give yourself grace. Pass it out freely to others. Your decision is honorable.

My daughter died from respiratory failure but she died well loved.

At her funeral, her Grandpa said he had asked God for One Chance to connect with her while he was a missionary so far away.

When we went to Montana, his prayer was answered. She looked into his eyes (which was rare). They connected.

I had no idea he prayed that prayer. I did know that we needed to go on that trip. I did know, that after that trip, Kierra seemed satisfied. Like she had accomplished a mission that was hers to do.

Two months later, it was her time to go on. To enter the Knowing – the Fullness. The Complete Wholeness that is Hers. The arms of Jesus caught her up.

Pure Joy

Whatever your holiday plans are this year, love deeply. Freely. Fully. You never know when it is your last.

Peace my friend. Peace and love.

Finding Yourself

When 2020 Overwhelms

So many voices

Clamoring.

So many people standing firmly

In their truth.

So many ears that totally miss the heart

That’s risking to be heard.

We are so quick to throw people into boxes.

Chain link fences of phrases and photos

Dividing people onto sides.

My heart weeps with the immensity of it all.

It feels like a shouting match and no one is listening.

Like the air is so full of static that

The true sound waves can never break through.

And meanwhile, the truth is hovering in

The stillness of timeless space.

Waiting to be embraced.

I invite you to

Ride above the commotion and ammunition.

Above the bombs of emotion.

Find that quiet retreat of your own beating Heart.

Know that you are more then this.

Grace and love have already won.

Our hearts can rest on the timeless truth of who God is.

“Divine Love in all its forms.

Joy that overflows.

Peace that subdues.

Patience that endures.

Kindness in action.

A life full of virtue- goodness.

Faith that prevails.

Gentleness of heart.

Strength of spirit.

Never set the law above these qualities.

They are meant to be limitless.

Never be arrogant or look down on another

For Each of Us is an Original.”

From the Book of Galatians

It is not simple and naive to draw closer to the Creator of our hearts.

Bury your head in the truth of who Jesus is. Stay there.

Allow it to fill you so completely that you can remain deeply at peace through all the confusion and emotionally charged barrages.

It is not naive to believe that Our Divine is constantly working and always speaking. Listen and look for the peace that is continually flowing from the heart of our Creator for you. You will find it.

Relax in the One who enfolds you in grace.

The One who sets us free to become servants of each other, expressing love in everything we do.

Own the truth of you but even more importantly own the truth of who you have been created to be in the realms of the Divine.

Peace.

Nature Awakens You

Waning Moon Muse

The moon is waning.

One bright star

Pierces dusky black of midnight sky.

I lay beneath the dome of space

And give my heart permission

To simply breathe

Deep in the embrace of letting go

Things that do not serve me any longer.

To hold secure a space for change

To hug with warmth the fullness of my life

And know that in the sweet release

I will create a space

For newer thoughts to rise.

I ask for purpose and for clarity.

I know that they will come

Flow free in spaces that I clear

When I take time to breathe

And lay in silent muse.

Sometimes the message comes to me

Not in the stillness carved for contemplation.

But in the After.

When time and Presence whispers Now.

And like a Gentle brush of feather

I remember once again

That stillness is not wasted.

For it creates and clears a room for wonder.

Uncategorized

Finding Alive and Powerful

I am powerful. I am Alive.

Perhaps that is the biggest breakthrough I have had in 2020.

To be honest, I never wanted power. Partly because I thought power was wrong and partly because I didn’t understand power. I looked at power as a dictatorship. A way to hold authority over someone. A higher level of being and living. Now I look at it through different eyes.

I’ve been silent on this blog again, mostly because I’ve been rumbling so deeply with inner longings and questions. I asked God awhile back if I’m wrong to be asking so many questions…searching in so many places for answers and insights and points of view. I felt God tell me that I should keep asking. Keep searching. Staying open.

While I love learning new things and following new bunny trails, I do not enjoy the loss of control and certainty it leads me to. I want things down pat. I want an answer key and a gold star so I can effortlessly float along on others thinking and be a grade A woman.

Except I don’t. Fitting into a mold has never gone well for me. The quote ‘Not all who wander are lost’ is a very fitting one for my life. Wandering is my specialty and I can delve into different subjects and walk all around in them and lose myself in inspiration and information. I can pop back to earth just as fast.

I’m forever changed by my wandering. I’m learning to embrace it and view it as a good thing!

I’ve been asking a LOT of questions in 2020. Haven’t we all?

My theme word for this year was Alive.

I wanted to become the flame. The burning pulsing throb of heat and life and radiance.

I didn’t know what the year would bring. Who could have guessed?

Sometimes we need to walk through seasons of numbness in order to find the flame.

I wrote my aliveness in moments. Expecting little but knowing that staying present was a gift to myself as well as others. It wasn’t the way I thought it would be. This aliveness. I learned a bit more about letting go of expectations and letting the ALIVE find its own waterway through my heart.

Recently, I dreamed that I was weeping alone in a dewy lawn of grass when a figure approached me. I immediately knew it was Jesus. He didn’t say anything and I had no idea how to address Him. I did know I had a whole long list of questions for Him though!

He didn’t ask me for an explanation for my tears. He just stood there with me. Present in my wondering. I was awaken at that exact moment by my three year old. I couldn’t ask Him my long list, but His Presence stayed with me.

I know now that The Presence is always with me. There is no rush to find my Aliveness. There is nothing wrong with sitting in the discomfort and the growing pains. I know that every time I open my heart to the Divine and follow the nudge I feel, more knowing will come to me.

I am not a disappointment to God. I am not a broken fragment of His plan for my life.

Neither are you.

There is no rush to this discovery of Life. When we trust Christ, we are viewed through eyes of love and peace. We are seen whole. Unbroken. Powerful. Alive.

The ALIVE is already inside us.

It’s OURS to embrace.

We have so much Power. We have so much LIFE.

Nature Awakens You

It’s OK To Cry Right Now

She cried because all the chairs were stacked and her favorite coffee house looked stark and unfriendly.

She cried because the tables that held friendship and hand holds and side hugs and steaming cups of coffee were silent and empty.

She cried because her shopping consisted of running in and out and extra hand sanitizer and constant awareness of what she touched and choosing the minimal amount of products with the minimal amount of money but at the same time wondered if this was enough food for the possible shut down coming.

She cried at the empty park and the silent soccer fields.

She cried because they needed kitchen chairs but new ones were too expensive and used ones were too risky to pick up.

She cried because she felt helpless and that made her feel needy and that made her feel tired.

She cried because her already tired mind had to weigh so many new choices. To sanitize the door handle or not? To hit the drive through or go into the store for food? To wash her hands religiously and often even if she hadn’t left the house for 48 hours? To sanitize all mail and groceries or to be careful and call it good? Was her shopping list legit or should she try to make something out of tomato paste and frozen blueberries and a cup of flour?

She cried because her sons birthday gift would not come for a month because it wasn’t considered essential online.

She cried because some people were paranoid and some people were naive and some people were stupid.

She cried because the church buildings were empty. The school grounds silent. The storefronts posted with covid_19 closure papers.

She cried because the lady in the drive through was so kind and sweet and cheerful that it made her feel loved and seen and heard.

She cried because children were suffering with no one to hear them. Lives were being taken out of desperate loss of hope.

She cried because her kids were fighting again and it felt like a reflection on her motherhood.

She cried because the sunshine illuminated her succulent with golden pink and it made her feel poetic

Friends, we all break sometimes. No matter if we trust God or not. And that’s ok. We don’t have to be brave every second of every day.

I hear your cry. I see your pain.

I took a drive beside the river on a frosty morning when nature was at peace with hoarfrost and sunshine. A deep understanding stirred inside me.

All of nature was simply LIVING. Inviting humans to do the same. Reaching out beauty and grace. Inviting . Come play with me. Sit with me. Feel the connection of earth and matter and sunshine and wind. Reflect on water and listen to the wild goose quest.

We are more related then you know. Cut from the same dust. Returning to the same dust. Living RIGHT now. In this reality.

Friend, hold this moment in time gentle and holy. This beautiful moment as a light in your hands.

That’s what matters most.

Perhaps what felt like death to normal was actually life stirring in dormant places. Bringing collective love and strength to individuals. Showing up in texts and online chats and coffee dates in the back of vans. In food drops and recipe swaps and care snail mail. In face masks and empathy and acceptance. In prayers to Heaven. In Children being rescued.

In realizing the vulnerable, weak, ugly parts of our own hearts. In finding grace. Acceptance. Forgiveness. Hope .

In finding beauty in loving well and living intentionally.

In seeing that mankind is not all corrupt and that truth and justice will win. Even after hundreds of years.

In knowing. That the best is yet to come.

Finding Yourself

When Comparison and Covid Strike

I feel like I’m floundering right now. Not only has our world turned into a germ house of fear but life in general has me wondering what in Creation I’m doing and where I’m headed.

I don’t know what all you’ve been facing personally over the past few weeks but I’m sure it’s not at all what you thought your March would look like.

I’m struggling to make sense of it all just the same as everyone else.

I’m also realizing that as an introvert, my life has not been totally turned upside down AND I have a legitimate excuse for staying home and doing things I love. I also realize how much it means to be included in other’s lives and how we need each other!

At the same time, my family and I are moving into a fixer upper that is not totally finished. One we’ve been working on for months. I feel like I’ve lived in dust and painted hair and hands and work clothes all 2020. Through a series of events, we have had a rather unusual and often crazy past year in life and just this weekend, when everyone was posting pictures of home creations and quality time and toilet paper, I was trying to find my way through piles of boxes, weary to the bone form hauling totes and belongings and keeping up with a two year old, misplacing everything and making sure no one in our small family starved but DID take their probiotics.

It feels so very very good to have a house again after selling ours last spring and living in a camper and house sitting for the past (almost) year. While both those options were valuable experiences and a good fit for the present, there is nothing quite like having your own spaces and rooms and knowing that your kids won’t wake the neighbors at 4:30 AM or spill food on carpets or break things that aren’t yours.

Change can make anybody feel vulnerable and the threat of sickness and financial issues and unknown futures can cause stress to shoot through the roof!

If you are feeling alone or distant or just plain lonely right now, please know that you really truly are not alone no matter how trite that may sound.

You’re value is not based on your performance or how smoothly you’re homeschooling is going or how brave a face you are putting on. Life is just plain HARD sometimes and comparing yourself with others …nope! Don’t go there.

I don’t know if you are anything like me…but I love to surround myself with people who are better at things then I am. Ladies I admire. Powerful strong ladies who know who they are and what they have to share with the world. Ladies who have a voice and use it to build others up and bring awareness and peace and empowerment to others.

Here’s the deal though. I can feel super intimidated by people I admire. I can pull out my comparison cards in two blinks of an eye and before I know it, I’m wallowing in self thoughts that are literally tearing me down.

It’s what I call self sabotaging at its finest.

Part of my journey has been learning to accept my past and present and embracing the fact that I have self worth.

Being flexible is important in life. Being a puppet is not. I have danced to others ideas in so many ways but even more destructive is the inner critic that is my own voice, tearing myself down.

Right now, when there is extra stress and all the world is thrown a bit off balance, it’s even easier to find ourselves, as humans, groping for a normal and questioning everything including who we are and what we are doing right this moment and for what purpose. It’s easy to judge ourselves harshly, judge our kids and those we love most, and allow the whole tide of comparison to rush in and take our breathe away.

Ground yourself friend.

Know that you are an incredible human with incredible strength.

Your life. Your quarantine. Your kids. None of these will look like every one else’s . It may, in fact look like no one you know. But that doesn’t mean you are weak or weird or less then.

Embrace the hard and the easy and know that nothing lasts forever. That change is good. That growth happens and that you don’t have to look or act or do like everyone else in order to have worth or be accepted.

It’s ok to feel confused and a little teary and emotionally off balance. It’s ok to need to sleep a bit more or eat some comfort food and wrap yourself in a big hug.

Stay home and love your family. Love the Divine. But don’t forget to love yourself also. Love who you are becoming. Love that you get to live in this story that will become history. Love that you can make a difference simply in being a good human. Love the YOU that is living and breathing and moving right now. And let that acceptance and love overflow into those right beside you today!

We won’t let coronavirus take our confidence. We are not in control of anything in life except ourselves and that’s the part that we can do well…no matter what comes our way!!

Finding Yourself

Hostage Heart

Sometimes our heart’s held hostage.

Our own brain telling us

We are alone.

Unworthy of the ransom

Of human acceptance

Compassion and love.

Like no one can understand

The depth of our wrestling.

Fear keeps us tethered with

The thought of labels slapped on us.

Less then.

Inefficient.

Unworthy.

A failure.

Too sensitive.

Faithless.

A fraud.

So we cry into the night

Scrub tears furiously in the car

Plaster a smile on our face

And plow on with life.

We slowly die inside.

Morph into an island.

Our inner dialogue

Isolating us from what we need the most.

It’s when we take the plunge.

Reach for the lifeline.

Open our hearts

Let truth filter in.

No matter how fractured the light.

Allow the hug of grace.

The words, “I believe in you.”

The nodding of,”Me too.”

That’s when we realize

that all along

we were our own captors.

Locked in bars of our own making.

We held the key from the beginning.

We just needed to find the courage

And risk the chance of being seen.

To turn the lock.

The freedom waiting for us.

It was there all along.

We were not made to live our story alone.

Finding Yourself

Finding Calm in Chaos

Have you felt out of control of your emotions or reactions to situations? Do you think “if only they would __________ I could handle this so much better.”

Do you wish you could stop the thoughts parading through your mind or change the knee jerk instinctive reactions to situations out of your control?

It’s not impossible my friend! I’ve been a mom for nearly a decade. If anything brings you to the end of your patience and self control it’s working with humans 24/7. That’s mom life. Beautiful, exhausting, messy, life.

I’ve struggled more then I want to admit with my reactions. I think we all have our own unique way of responding to stress or discomfort in our lives.

Yelling, being overly critical, self hatred, shaming, being passive aggressive, hitting, leaving, shutting down. We all have ways our body automatically WANTS to respond.

We CAN have control over these reactions. We CAN’T normally control the circumstances we find ourselves in. It’s not my kid’s responsibility to stop crying because it’s uncomfortable for me or my husbands responsibility to help me more because I feel alone.

Let’s just STOP 🛑 laying blame on our circumstances and hoping for better outcomes.

Hear my heart. I’m NOT saying to stay in abusive or dangerous circumstances.

I AM asking if I may challenge you to start working on the deep roots and the core issues that are triggering these helpless, hopeless feeling that explode in reactions in our bodies and often onto those we love the most.

Before I go farther, I want to credit Dr. Caroline Leaf for decades of research in the brain and the empowerment and knowledge she has shared with countless people!

I’ve been doing her 21 Day Brain Detox and am on my 3rd cycle of 21 days. My life is literally changing because of it.

Here are some of the things that are working for me that are specific to her coaching as well as things that I’ve discovered over the years through other research. I don’t take credit for them. I do love to share what’s working for me!

• Get enough sleep. If you can’t sleep, then at least rest. Resting your body is vital to managing your brain and emotions. I’m talking a MINIMUM of 8 hours a night.

• Drink water. Eat well. You don’t have to go extreme. Just make good, healthy choices and take well researched clean supplements.

• Become an observer. Observe yourself in hard situations. Pretend you are viewing yourself from a distance. You will be amazed at what you see when you remove your emotions from a situation and observe yourself as an onlooker. Of course you don’t want to stay up on that observation deck forever! Just get far enough away to took at your reactions logically then come back and give yourself and hug and make some changes.

• Ask yourself questions. A lot of questions.

Why? Why am I angry at my toddler?

Because he won’t stop yelling.

(Note that this is YOUR inquisition…not your toddlers)

Why does that bother me? Because it’s loud and it makes me uncomfortable.

Why? Because I didn’t get much sleep last night and I’m tired and hungry and I’m bending over backwards here to fix things and they won’t be fixed and isn’t yelling bad behavior?

Tada!! Now I’m getting somewhere! I’ve learned some things about myself.

I’m tired and hungry.

I feel unappreciated.

I feel like yelling is not acceptable and reflects that I am a bad mom.

Onward girl!!!

Now comes the crunch.

What are you going to do about it?

That’s up to you.

For myself?

Get a drink. Eat something with protein and hopefully something flavorful and fresh.

Remember that my child is not here to please me or perform for me. I am here for them. I am here to help them navigate big feelings and support them in using their voice in respectful, healthy ways.

I am a loving, powerful, good mom!

It’s not always easy to ask these questions in the moment so I like to take note of when I feel upset and then go back later and break it down a bit and try to find a solution to the problem. I need to find the core of the issue in my own life before I can hope to successfully manage my own emotions.

• Contemplate instead of ruminate. When we let negative or stressful thoughts run through our head all day like a steady back ground sound track, we are destroying our brains!

The thoughts we give energy to will create strong patterns in our brains. It’s much more helpful to plan a time to sit or walk or run and give your mind specific permission to think (contemplate) on the issue that is bothering you. Then set it aside and go on with positive thinking.

• Feel the pain. Feel the hurt. Then release it and find a new way of thinking of it.

• Give yourself a lot of affirmation and hugs. Tell yourself how strong you are. How powerful your mind is and how you are changing generations through your own change.

• Take note of when you are extra anxious or triggered and find the warning signals that you are on a downward spiral. Decide right then and there to change the outcome. Being aware of your physical and mental feelings is HUGE in gaining control of your mind and reactions.

•Take it slowly. This is a marathon. Not a sprint. It has taken us years to build our mind patterns and it will take a lot of hard work and dedication and the desire to change in order to succeed. Every day you work on your own issues is a step forward!! You don’t need to get it perfect. You just need to keep making positive , thoughtful choices.

• Take time for soul care. Having time to write, think, read, be in nature, worship, or do a fun project are vital for me. Unplug and reset.

•Take a hot shower or bath. Wash your hair. Or put on your makeup. Go work out at the gym. Walk around the block. Whatever it takes to make you feel fresh again. I personally go for a quick shower and hair wash. I try to let my ugly feelings go down the drain and start all over. There’s no shame in making repairs and moving on.

I’ve found that working on myself is vital to changing the whole way my life goes down around me. I can’t change my circumstances or the people around me but I can change my own inner world. I can change my mind and my brain and that changes my biology. It changes my attitude, my health, my immune system and my DNA.

Yes! Our Creator made us THAT powerful. He also didn’t abandon us to try to do this on our own. He sent His Spirit to live in us. Hold us. Teach us. Lead us. Empower us. Comfort us.

We are not hopeless and we are not alone. We are not a diagnose. We are not a number.

Our stories matter. Our life matters.

Step into your power and LIVE!

If you have a favorite thing to calm yourself down or even reset your day, I’d love to hear about it!!!