Facing Your Fears

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I have faced the feeling of not being good enough for most of my life.  Sometimes the feeling is more intense than others.  Through introspection I think I may have nailed down the reasons behind my intense feelings of not being good enough.  These feelings were a protective shield that prevented me from facing my fears.  They were, in essence preventing me from being happy.

When I come to this point of realization, then I start to contemplate what will make me happy.  This can be a very scary place to go.  It requires doing things outside of my comfort zone.  I know that getting a job and being around more people will boost my spirits as well as my finances.  I would love to pursue writing, as it has always been a love of mine, but just an elusive dream.  I know this is not an easy dream to pursue, and there will be a lot of rejection ahead.

I came up with a million excuses to not be able to do these things that I knew would make me happier.  I can’t get a job because I haven’t worked in 10 years.  I can’t get a job because I don’t have any one to help watch the kids during breaks and the summer.  I can’t pursue the writing because it’s such a crapshoot.  There are so many people with something to say, who would want to read what I have to say?  There is so much rejection in the writing world.  I can sense the failure already.  And the biggest reason that will make me feel “not good enough” is failure.

Yet if I am real with myself I realize that past failures give me the strength to know that I can go on.  The gift of failure is that it helps us to grow.  Failing is NOT the worst thing that can happen to me.  Never having tried what my heart yearns to do is the worst thing that can happen!

So, I have taken the plunge.  Faced my fears.  Applied for the job. Got the job!  WooHoo.  That’s a real boost to the self-confidence.  I have registered for a writing course to start next week.jumping joypossible

So, what is holding you back?  What are your fears?  Be honest with yourself.  Open yourself up to the possibilities.  Grab life by the horns.  We only have one life to live.  Who wants to live with the “what ifs”?

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Priorities

wallkingNow that the kids are back in school, I feel like I can get into some form of a routine. My first mission is to establish regular daily exercise. (#1 on the “Tips for a Beautiful Life” list) My exercise of choice is walking. I love being outdoors feeling the sun recharge my tired spirit as the breeze caresses my body. As I move on, I begin to feel my blood flow as my muscles engage, helping to wake up my entire being.

It really is amazing how just a bit of exercise can have such a huge impact on your day. My otherwise sluggish mind feels rejuvenated and ready to go. From past experience I know that I will have more energy as the day progresses. My motivation to get things done will be magnified. Since I get more done, I will feel a greater sense of accomplishment which will make me happier.  I will sleep better, which will provide more energy for tomorrow.

So, why do I fall out of this routine if I know it will have such a huge impact on my day-to-day performance as well as on my health? Life gets in the way. I don’t make myself a priority. I have so many other things that need to get done. There are so many excuses in my arsenal, it is shameful. From today on, no more excuses! I am worth the time. There is nothing else more important than my walk. This will be my mantra whenever one of those nasty excuses pops up in my brain. My daily walk will be #1 on my priority list..

Tips for a Beautiful Life

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I recently came across a quotation that is very inspirational and motivational to me.  I believe that I need to work on many of these issues on a constant, daily basis.  I plan to print this out and read it every day in order to empower myself in all areas of my life.

I find that maintaining balance in my life is one of the most difficult things to maintain.  I am hoping that this will help me focus and work on the issues consistently.

The following is a copy of the quotation I found:

AWESOME TIPS FOR BEAUTIFUL LIFE!!!canary-2

1    Take a 10-30 minute walk every day. While you walk, SMILE.
It is the ultimate antidepressant.
2     Sit in silence for at least 10 minutes each day.
3     When you wake up in the morning, pray to ask God’s
guidance for your purpose, today.
4     Eat more foods that grow on trees and plants and eat less food
5     Drink green tea and plenty of water.

6     Eat blueberries, broccoli, and almonds.
7     Try to make at least three people smile each day.
8     Don’t waste your precious energy on gossip, energy vampires, issues of the past,
negative thoughts or things you cannot control.  Instead invest your energy in the present moment.
9     Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a
college kid with a maxed out charge card.
10    Life isn’t fair, but it’s still good.
11    Life is too short to waste time hating anyone. Forgive them for
everything!
12    Don’t take yourself so seriously. No one else does.
13    You don’t have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.
14    Make peace with your past so it won’t spoil the present.
15    Don’t compare your life to others. You have no idea what
their journey is all about.
16    No one is in charge of your happiness except you.
17    Frame every so-called disaster with these words: ‘In five years,
will this matter?’indian_peafowl
18    Help the needy, be generous! Be a ‘Giver’ not a ‘Taker’
19    What other people think of you is none of your business.
20    Time heals everything.
21    However good or bad a situation is it will change.
22    Your job won’t take care of you when you are sick. Your
friends will. Stay in touch.
23    Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.
24    Each night before you go to bed, pray to God and be thankful
for what you’ll accomplish, today!
25    Remember that you are too blessed to be stressed.                                                                                 

 I will try to implement one of these tips each day over the next month, and blog my thoughts on the individual tip and how it applies to me.  Any input from anyone else out there would be greatly appreciated.  Maybe someone would care to join me and share thoughts/actions that occur…

Mom with Control Issues

I’d like to know how I became the personal servant of everyone in my family.

My nine-year old daughter was doing homework last night.  When she made a mistake which needed correcting she turned to me and asked,  “Mom can you get me an eraser?” She was convinced that this was my job. I proceeded to tell her that God gave her two feet, and she was perfectly capable to use them to walk over to go get an eraser herself.  She actually got upset with me!

This is just one example of many that I have been noticing lately.  “Mom, can you get the ketchup?  Mom can I have a drink? (which means mom has to get it) Where is my knife/fork/spoon?   The list goes on and on and on.

I have to face reality.  I have been an enabler.  I have let this go on.  I have to step back and allow my kids to be more independent.  I need  them to be more independent.  I find myself getting frustrated with the constant demands.

I guess I am still stuck in the toddler era, even though my kids are well past that stage.  Granted, sometimes it is just easier for Mom to take care of things, so I won’t have to listen to the complaining, won’t have to nag them to do things right (aka Mom’s way), wont have to deal with the mess that is almost inevitable to ensue.  But, with four people constantly relying on me (hubby equals kid number 4 at home) it does get tiring.

Sigh.  I confess.  I have control issues.  I must let go so my kids can grow up.  Otherwise they won’t see the need to be independent and won’t experience the self-confidence that comes along with independence. 

Simple Pleasures

Some of the simplest things in life can provide immense enjoyment and memories that cannot be duplicated.

Ever since I was a kid, one of my favourite places to be was at the beach.  There is something peaceful and serene that touches my spirit when I am near water.  Thankfully, I am blessed to live within walking distance from one of the great lakes in Southern Ontario.

Over the summer I have accomplished several walks to the lake.  One day in August, my two youngest children joined me.  I had taken my camera along, since I love to capture nature and my children.  I did get a few nice shots along the way.IMG_0333

I had a wonderful time on this hike with my kids.  We stopped at the beach for a while so they could play near the water and in the sand.

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The trail home provides spectacular nature scenery. Part of the trail is a pedestrian bridge that crosses over the highway. I took a photo of my son crossing this bridge.  When my husband saw the photo he fell in love with it, and decided to send it in to our local newspaper.  They accept photos depicting things around our city.  We did not know if they would post the picture, or when, if they did.

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Last Saturday morning my husband opened the newspaper, and lo and behold:  there was the photo!  My 6-year-old son was ecstatic to have “his” picture in the paper. (Even though it only showed him from behind)  This made him feel like a celebrity. The neighbours asked where “the star” was.  I swear his chest puffed up to twice its size in pride when he was asked about the picture!

This will be a memory I am sure my son will cherish forever.  Spending time walking with my kids and having them enjoy the same things I did as a kid was already deeply satisfying.  That picture getting in the paper was just icing on the cake.

Nourishing the Soul

So much of my life has been running a race towards health and happiness.  Always running, but never winning the gold.   The ultimate marathon.

I’ve always been an all or nothing type of girl, but recently have been trying to become the turtle in the race.  Slow, but steady.  Focused on the end, but not in a hurry to get there.  One excruciating baby step at a time.  Accepting falls as the learning curve.  Not an excuse to give up.

Why is it that as parents of young children, we tend to put everyone else first, and then wonder why we don’t have energy left to take care of ourselves?  Why is it so hard to put ourselves first?  If we don’t put gas in our cars, we know they won’t run.  We need to properly fuel ourselves in order to function fully for our family.

I noticed this past week that my energy was waning again.  My desire to do anything was next to nonexistent.  A few years ago I would have just fallen into this downward spiral and sunk lower and lower.  My mood would plummet;  I would be angry at everything and everyone—myself most of all.

Now, as soon as I feel my mood sinking, I do a self-evaluation.  How have I been eating?  Have I been engaging in physical activity on a regular basis?  Have I had “me” time?  My answers at the end of this week are that I have been sliding to “fast food” (boxed meals or breads/pastas) and not including those nutritious, energizing fruits and veggies.  I also haven’t been engaging my body in regular physical activity, which amazingly, is the best way I now know to boost my energy.

So, today I focused on the healthy eating and getting the whole family active and moving.  It’s the perfect weather here in Southern Ontario for hiking, so that’s what we did today.

 lookout trail

Two hours of braving a narrow path that had tree roots, rocks, hills and valleys along a precarious edge of the escarpment had my heart pumping out of my chest—not because of physical exertion, but more for concern that one of my three children would slip and fall over the edge.  All this, so that we could reach a look-out point over the town and capture the magnificent view below.  Yes, the view was amazing, enthralling even, but oh so short-lived with three kids.

the Lookout
the Lookout

I did let nature soothe my soul.  Deep breaths of (hopefully) fresh air.  Managing to block out any whining, complaining, or bickering, I thoroughly absorbed the serene feeling of being in the forest, away from the hustle and bustle of the city.  Everything was blocked out but the feel of my feet pounding the packed dirt path and the sound of the wind whispering through the leaves in the canopy of trees overhead. Further on, the gentle swooshing of water cascading over a cliff in the distance further soothed my senses.  Rays of sunlight flickered on the path in front of me, as the  breeze cooled my warm skin.

 the waterfall

It was a great outing.  I feel great today.  I have taken care of myself, both body and soul.  Who would have thought that a simple hike could be so “nourishing”?