A little encouragement:

Some days are hard.

You might feel the tension of wanting to get past a certain obstacle, once-and-for-all.

You might feel like you just don’t have the energy.

You might feel like you’re.just.done.

You keep pressing forward, and put one foot in front of the other.

Then, the tides turn.

You realize that the things you have prayed, wished, hoped, and longed for- they are beginning to unfold.

All the things that didn’t make sense before are beginning to make sense, now.

Y’all know that I’m BIG on sharing what I’m going through in the hopes that it helps someone. That if someone else relates, or gets hope from it- than it’s important to share!

Today, I realized, that so many things I’ve prayed for over the last 10 years have begun to come to tuition- even if they didn’t look the way I intended- or according to my plan.

Today, I want to encourage you- if you are there, in the deep of it all.

If you can barely see what’s ahead of you.

If you are barely surviving- and holding on. . . Keep on keeping on.

Keep fighting.

Keep pushing forward- because- if you pursue the things that are on your heart.

Man, things will look different.

I can promise you the timeline. That’ll look different for each and every person. It’ll depend on how much of the work you put in- but, man. . .

Where you see darkness, now- you’ll see the light and beauty, later!

Keep holding on! Keep fighting. Keep making changes!

Growth in life

I’ve been contemplating lately on change and growth, and I have to keep reminding myself. . . So, naturally, I felt led to share.

Growth in your life, no matter the area, requires a few things:

* Getting out of your own way

* Overcoming obstacles

* Setting goals, yet being flexible on the time line- it’s also important to remember that it’s ok to set a goal down, and pick it back up later!

* Being honest with yourself

Growth takes change, and if you’re not ready to change- you’re not ready to grow.

So, if you’re feeling “stuck” in a certain area of your life- you might ask yourself a question!

Am I ok with staying where I’m at?! Or, do I want to do the work to change what is no longer benefiting me?!

For me, I know it’s time to start doing the work on some things I’ve been avoiding. Know that if you’re there, too- you’ve got this. It’ll be hard, but it’ll be worth it!

What’s Even the Point?

What’s even the point?

I find myself thinking this on a daily basis.

I’ve poured myself- given all that I can: mentally, physically, emotionally…I’m sure the list goes on..into a lot of aspects of my life over the years.

And, it currently feels like some of it was for nothing.

Don’t get me wrong- there have been a lot of positives, and a lot of growth.

And I probably need to do a journal to process through things…but I still can’t get the thought out of my head: What’s the point?

What was the point of x,y,z circumstance if x,y,z door was closed, or x, y, z growth didn’t happen. You get the picture.

Honestly, the only answer I have right now is that there is a season for everything. I may never know the reason why I’m feeling this way currently. Or maybe, I’m feeling this way and I just need to get out of my own head.

I also know that, if I’m feeling this way- there is probably somebody else out there feeling this way too.

I’ve always been a big believer in sharing what I have gone through, or am currently going through so others know they aren’t alone.

I know that things may seem hopeless or frustrating. But know, that you.are.not.alone.

In case this is just an: I need to get out of my own head moment. . . Here’s what I plan to do-

*Journal

*Talk about it- sometimes just talking through it helps me to process in a different way. And getting it off my chest helps me to let it go.

* Write to share (here)

*Pray about it and seek God

Feel free to join me! Or ask a friend, therapist/counselor/ professional or google and find your own ways to work through it!!

It’s all about creating your toolbox of resources!

One Thing: Education/self development

Background:

After exiting teaching full time, shifting to part-time teaching, and entering the Network Marketing business…I was immersed in self-development.right.when.I.needed.it.

My heart was vulnerable. I was open to change. I dove in.

There are road blocks, every now and again…but you take the time to do the heart work, and move forward.

So, what did the process look like?

*Again, this is an area I have yet to fully develop, or set a solid foundation for. So, it’s a growth area.

* I went to (physically and virtually) all the trainings. I read all the books. I took all the notes.

*I prayed, read my bible. And the funny thing is, all the self-development crossed over with my stages I was walking with Jesus.

* Do the heart work.

* take all the notes (usually in the book)

* Now that I have to rely on making myself step up to the plate, my two ways of diving in to education and self-development: reading and listening to podcasts. Because that’s easiest at the moment.

Why do I invest in self-development, you might ask?

Easy. Growth. If I don’t have a growth mindset, I’ll be stuck right where I am. I don’t want to always be stuck right where I am. I always want to be moving forward. Every now and again, I get in a comfy spot…but it doesn’t usually last long…and when I start getting restless…I dive back in!

Why do I invest my time in education and what do I mean by education?

By education, I just mean that I take the time to read or find another way to learn about something I am passionate about.

My favorite college professor taught me what it means to be a lifelong learner. So, that love of learning has spilled over into my life after college. So, I’m trying to always learn about something:

-parenting

-how to be a follower of Jesus

-what I want my role as a mom and wife to look like

-what kind of friend I want to be

-anything science

-history, too

-teaching and education

-health and wellness/ exercise and nutrition

-photography

-Psychology and Mental Health

So, I find books, podcasts and articles over these topics and learn what I can about them.

Again…just one thing at a time.

You kind of just naturally learn about the things you are currently interested in. If you don’t have an interest in something, today, that you did yesterday, put that book down. You’ll come back to it, and if you don’t that’s ok! Pick a book (or article, or documentary, or podcast…you get the picture) that you’re excited to learn about today.

One Thing: Connect

Social Anxiety.

The fear of being nervous or uncomfortable in social settings” (webmd.com)

Connecting with other people is so hard for me. And, although I was “diagnosed” with social anxiety. I’ve come to the point where I’m not claiming it. I’m not going to let that define who I am, in the sense that it stops me from living the life I want to live, and it stops me from being the person I was designed to be. It’s not happening.

What is happening, is I’m using that to help me grow. I’m using that to connect with other people who have walked the same or similar path.

I’m thankful for Network Marketing. There’s one company in particular that threw me into Personal Development like no other. If it weren’t for that company, at that time, I wouldn’t have made the progress I’ve made.

I’m thankful for my mom. She helped me say “no” to solutions that were not beneficial for me, and frankly that sent me on a path of creative solutions- teaching me to be resourceful.

I’m thankful for my loving God. For the healing He provides.

Let me set the record straight. Healing comes from many different ways, and healing is different for each person. And for many, if not most, healing is a daily habit- not a once and for all.

Side note: 3 years ago, I made a vision board. One of my areas of growth, that I wanted was deeper friendship. I have a very similar picture to the one in this post pasted on my vision board. 3 years later, I’ve seen how that vision has come to pass in many different ways.

Background:

Let’s just paint the picture, real quick, and get a little vulnerable.

I was the little girl who was afraid of light switches. The kid/teenager who timed it right, on most occasions, that other girls/women didn’t see the stall I walked into in public restrooms. I waited in the public restroom for the other girls and women to finish their business, wash their hands, and walk out of the bathroom before I exited the stall. (I’m sure more people saw me than I realized, but I tried really hard to time it just right). Don’t ask me why I did these things. I have no idea. Haha. I’m sure it relates to the fear of social settings, and a need for control of that fear?

I was the teenager who had panic attacks in places like the fair and IKEA. Sweaty, itchy, swelling hands. Heart racing. Hard to catch your breath, panic attacks.

Got the picture?

It affected me in one way or another on a daily basis.

It wasn’t until I started talking about most of these things with my husband (then boyfriend), that I realized these things are not “normal” to all people. (Yikes).

Side note: Normal is a relative term. I’m thoroughly aware that most people have something they struggle with. Anxiety and social anxiety are common. When the anxiety is high, and affects your daily functional level- is not typical of people functioning in their healthy state.

To this day, I still have a hard time looking people in the eye when I am mad, frustrated, angry, or uncomfortable.

Most of the struggles that I have had due to “social anxiety”, I have overcome or at least improved upon.

I’ve gotten much better in many of these areas. I’ve grown so much, and am proud of that growth. I’ve worked hard and overcome a lot for it.

Yet, connecting with people, is still an area that I have to continually work at, process, and improve on, and it feels hard and uncomfortable most days.

So what has the process been for this?

* I don’t think that I really did much growing in my high school and early college years. I just survived the anxiety and avoided uncomfortable situations to the best of my ability.

* Taking classes in college that pushed my limits, helped.

* After I hit my “rock bottom” with anxiety and depression, I started going to therapy. This helped me a ton.

*Pray. Read my Bible. Pray. Bible study. Pray. Go to Church. Pray. Read more in my bible. Pray. Go to all on the conferences at church available, the classes too. Did I mention pray?

* Shortly and also overlapping this time, I was with a network marketing company that valued personal development. All the time spent in personal development, giving my life to Jesus, classes at church, and discipleship school….my friends and family…all contributed to me moving past the debilitating part of social anxiety- into growth and standing firm into who I was made to be.

* I went through a time where answering phone calls, text messages, and emails, immediately, was too much. So, I answered when I could…and sometimes not at all- mainly because the notifications drove me crazy, so I would open, read, and then forget to respond until days/weeks later…or I would just not remember at all.

* Eventually, I came out of all of that, began enjoying hanging out, calling and texting, again.

* Creating a weekly, and then a daily habit of building relationships with my family and friends. If I’m not careful, I could accidentally go weeks to months, before I see the people closest to me, outside of my husband and kids. I can very easily get stuck in a routine of dropping kids and hubby off at work, being at home, and daily pick ups. So, I make a habit out of connecting with other people, in some way. Making connections and building relationships has easily gone from something I dread (you know the part where you have to make yourself go be around people) to something I thoroughly enjoy.

My process most likely won’t work the same for you as it did for me. All the same, if I did exactly what you did..it won’t work for me.

We were all designed differently.

The most important part, is I took One Thing at a time. Slow steps. When I took on too much, I had set backs and started over again.

The best thing you can do is figure out what One Thing you can do.

Is there anything you can do to connect with other people right now?

Make a list of the areas within relationships that you want to grow. Start with one.

What’s the One Thing you can do? Write it down. Add it to your daily list. Check it off once a week. Once a week will become 2,3,4,5,6x…and then a daily habit. Sometimes, it’ll take months just to make that one thing a daily habit.

Seriously.

Growth doesn’t happen over night. You may not even see it until years later…

It takes a lot of work to get past any struggles related to connecting with people, but once you do….you meet some pretty amazing people.

One thing: Cleaning and organizing

Cleaning and Organizing.

This has been an area that has been hard to come back from.

Background:

I love cleaning. When I am stressed (you know..the good kind), getting everything into order feels great. I love it. I love everything looking nice and neat and having its place….it gives me peace.

When I moved out of my parent’s house at 20…21…I didn’t have much. I had some paper stuff I needed to go through, but I always had the mindset that I’ll do it later when I have time. (Insert shocked face emoji). Newsflash….you will never just have the time…you have to MAKE the time. Remember how I said that in my early to mid twenties I woke up, ate, went to work, school, and slept. There were life events thrown in there, too. Getting married, having kids, spending time with family, friends. Doing things to be busy. All the things, and avoiding all the papers I had to go through. We kept so busy that while I lived in my apartment by myself, my house was a constant mess, and I didn’t make the time to create habits early on. Yikes. That’s ok, though. I’ve learned since then….

Jump ahead to that time of deep anxiety and some depression. All that paper stuff I didn’t take the time to go through and organize and get rid of when I was living by myself got combined with my husband’s stuff when we got married. When we first got married, we lived in a tiiiny one bedroom apartment, and all of the stuff that needed to be organized got stuffed in this one tiny area. We were both still in school. Newly married, and becoming new parents. So, guess what happened? Yup, all our high school and childhood stuff got combined together, and now we were adding more stuff when we welcomed our new sweet baby. Because I never made myself create the habit of going through it….it all just kept growing. And growing. As we moved into our house, and added another kid…it kept growing. I would start organizing it, and that’s when I started working full time as a teacher. My husband was in his second or third year teaching, I was beginning my first year teaching. We were also having our 2nd baby. Now we had two kids 2 and under. With that followed my husband breaking his leg, and it made the perfect storm for a tough year. It’s when all of the things started falling apart. And that meant I didn’t have the energy anymore to do all the things. Including the house work.

Up until that part, I was basically doing all the house work on my own. Not all, but a big majority of it. That’s because while I was working part time, I had the ability and the space to do a lot of the work myself. It was annoying at times, but I had the time and energy, so I did it.

Side note: My husband has said on occasion, that he feels like he is doing all the work. He has felt just as I have. In reality, it’s all about perspective. Each one of our perspectives have felt true to us. The most important part is communicating that and then finding a common ground, leaving each other room and space to grow.

When I started working full time, I just couldn’t handle it anymore with all of the other added stress, so I slowly started letting things go. I didn’t have the energy to care about things being cleaned to my extremely high standards. So, a lot didn’t get done. And things just piled up. And I didn’t realize how bad it had gotten until my husband broke his leg. While we were in the hospital my family came over and cleaned the house for us, and that’s when I realized I need to get back to where I was. I just didn’t realize how long it would take.

The one thing that was the key….I had to let go of control. As my husband healed from his surgery, I had to allows myself to break down. All of the anxiety and depression from other circumstances had taken a toll, and I needed to deal with it. I had to learn how to take care of myself, and allow my husband space to do things around the house without my nagging. Granted, maybe I shouldn’t have to ask over and over again….but I also could have handled it differently.

This is the process I went through to build back up. And honestly, I am still climbing out of that hole. I have gotten back to cleaning specific areas daily, weekly, and monthly. But, I’m also having to go through 10+ years of junk that I didn’t have the energy or time to go through. Here’s the process:

*Let go of control. Allow my husband and kids the space to contribute on their time and terms. This one is hard. I struggle with it every day, still. It also means learning how to be ok with your home not looking to your standards daily, and learning to know when to say enough is enough. Eventually, your family will feel it, too and they will know that they love your home to look peaceful.

*Pick one chore that I can do. Likely, the first one will be one that has to be done. My mind says…I don’t know about alll of those other things, but this one has to be done and I can do it.

* Day in, day out. Make that chore a habit. Until it becomes something you just do. Now, look up. Look around. Look up. That’s when I tend to notice the next thing that causes the most tension, and then get to work on adding in that chore into the routine. Day in, day out.

*Repeat. There have been times where energy is low. I get used to doing most everything, again. Or just because I have time, I do it all myself. I just have to remind myself to go through the process of allowing and encouraging my family that this is a team effort, and adding new projects to my routine.

If you’re thinking “how can I ever do this?” Trust me. You can. Take it moment by moment. Breathe by breathe. Day by Day. Eventually, you will be able to see past your current storm. You’re building perseverance and resilience. You’ve got this.

Much Love.

Rooted Mama.

Helping Our Kids Find Their Calm

Today, my kids are cranky and fighting like crazy.

On days like these, their emotions tend to run high.

Recently, we’ve talked about them creating healthy boundaries with each other. When one of them is upset or bothered by something one of the others did, they need to be able to communicate without blowing up at each other.

So, we decided that we are going to read a book about healthy boundaries, together .

I’m confident, that this will be a helpful resource for them to find their journey to calm and peace.

Some other things we have practiced are:

*Me working on being a better example for them. First, they need to see their parents setting a good example of having healthy boundaries and communicating well.

* When they can’t be around each other without arguing, or if they are needing to calm down: we go to natural lights only. We turn as many lights off as possible, open up windows, and playing calming music. Give them their own space to calm down in.

*Calming smells- we use calming essential oils to help them with their emotions and to relax.

*Talk it through- sometimes, they just need to talk through what’s been bothering them. So, we talk one-on-one, and then as a group to work through the problem. This has really helped them to lighten the mood, resolve, and move on from whatever was bothering them.

*One-on-one time: sometimes, they act out and fight with each other, simply because they need some one-on-one time.

Helping our kids with their own mental health and emotions is important. How do you help your kids with their calm?!

“One Thing” Let’s set the background…

Let me set the background for you on the 8 topics that I chose for this “One Thing” series…..

Over the past 10 years, I’ve gone from living life with no passion, purpose, or reason to hitting what I call my “Rock Bottom” period, to coming out the other side, to beginning to thrive. In all of these areas, I have great passion. In all of these areas, I have hit a stage of tension, realizing that what I’m looking for is growth in that particular area. I wouldn’t consider myself an expert, but I would say that I have gained some wisdom.

As I share tips and tricks, I have three groups of people in mind.

Group 1- You are in a season of “Rock Bottom”. You look around and you can barely breathe, your head is barely above water…and you don’t see a way out. Friend. I want you to know, that you are not alone. This season does not last forever. And you can slowly climb out of it, and you don’t have to do it alone. You can do it with loving people surrounding you. There are actions you will have to make. Do. Not. Give. Up. Keep going.

My prayer is that by sharing these following posts, that they can be one of many resources to you. Resources that will act like a hand reaching out and pulling you up. We can not get out of these situations alone. Use these posts as one starting place to begin climbing UP. You will likely have many starting places. View these posts as hope. Hope that this season will not be forever. You will see that other people have been where you are, and they go before you-sharing how they got to where they are now.

Group 2- You are right where I currently am sitting. You are in the season of beginning to thrive. You were in a dark place. The fog has cleared. You are beginning to see how the things you have been hoping and praying for are slowly coming together. You’ve worked through a lot of stuff. You still have a lot of growth to do (little secret…you have a lot of growth to do at every season of life), and you are likely no longer beating yourself up over every.little.thing.

My prayer is that by sharing these following posts, you will know that you are not in this season alone. You have someone walking in this current season with you.

Group 3- You are in a season of thriving, in a TON of areas in your life. It is unlikely that you will cross this page. And if you do, that moment will be incredibly humbling. You have figured out things that most of us are still trying to figure out. You have incredible wisdom, and you got there by hustling, working smart, and letting other people pour into you. Now, you are pouring into other people. You know that in reality, every stage and season of life you have to dig deep, learn, fail, and re-learn. You have a growth mindset.

My prayer is that you keep pouring. You go before us, and we are learning. As we learn, we are also pouring into others. Your platform is bringing light to those who need it. It has a greater impact than you imagine.

The 8 topics that follow are my “Daily 5” and 3 other topics I am currently working on creating healthy habits for growth.

* Time with Jesus

* Cleaning and Organization

* Health and Wellness

* Education of my interests

* Self-development

* Exercise

* Connecting

If you’d like to learn more about creating your daily 5- follow John Maxwell’s website. He has a book that addresses this concept.

**This is not an ad, I do not get compensation from sharing John Maxwell’s website. He is one of many resources I’ve had the opportunity to learn from.

Anxiety and self care

Wow. When I wrote this…it was back around Thanksgiving. I remember this one-two week period, distinctively. It was the moment I realized that I really and truly have to shut down, all of the things, so that I may feel all the feels and sort through all of the thoughts. Now that we are 3 months into Corona time, with all of the things that are currently going on in our world. I’ve realized that there are some amazing people out there who don’t know that what they are going through is ok. What you are feeling is ok. You are not alone. If you are someone who lacks the support you need, I’m working on creating a resources page. If your situation is urgent, I implore you…find and seek help in your local community. In the meantime, I hope this reflection of what I wrote back in November is helpful and brings you hope.

Anxiety and Self-care:

Over these last couple of weeks, I felt myself winding up…anxiety wise. I couldn’t figure out what was going on…but I felt like I needed to slow down. So, I did.

I allowed myself to not go full steam ahead.

I allowed myself to slow down and tune in.

If I didn’t feel like writing, I didn’t. In fact, I slowed down to pretty much only my 30 Days of Thankfulness that I was 100% committed to.

I slowed down on house work—to what needed immediate attention…

You know, I have talked about my “5 Daily Things” I started making progress towards, after hearing John Maxwell speak this summer…and for 2 weeks…I didn’t focus on those at all.

And that’s fine. I needed to slow down and figure out what was triggering me.

It took a couple of weeks, and one good night of crying…but I finally figured it out and got all of that anxiety tension released.

I love this article about anxiety and self-care.

We really need to make ourselves, and listening to our bodies a priority.

When we are taking care of ourselves, we are better able to take care of others.

There is room and grace for survival mode.

There is room and grace for missing out on taking care of ourselves. It happens.

But, once we cue in…we can slow down to figure out what’s going on. And what we need to do.

Check out the article. Tell me what you think. I’ve tried all of these tips and agree.

It’s funny, because I used to hate yoga for exercise. It felt slow and awkward. But last year, I tried it for a season and loved it. It was just what I needed..and I’ve been missing it, since I gave it up last summer.

When you think about self care, don’t be surprised if something you used to hate or would never think about doing for you turns into a something you like.

If something crosses your mind to try…try it.

If you’re a mama-or someone who needs self care, but doesn’t have a budget to spend on yourself…don’t worry.

When I started my self-care journey I had to get creative, because we didn’t have the budget for me to go get massages, pedicures, and the like every week.

I’ll share resources on some budget friendly and simple ways to find self-care. As well as, things that are self-care that you may not have thought about. I certainly didn’t.

One Thing.

I am a dreamer.

I get an idea- and I dream it up, bigger and bigger, until its this massive idea that is overwhelming.

And then. I freeze.

I freeze from being overwhelmed.

I freeze out of fear.

Have you been there?

It’s…frustrating. It’s terrifying.

My family can not live off of dreams.

I also have faith and hope. I have faith and hope that these big dreams are going to work out. And little by little, they do. But, that BIG, MASSIVE, breakthrough that I am searching for. It hasn’t come to fruition, YET.

I say yet, because my God is big.

He is bigger than I can ever imagine.

I keep putting Him in a box.

And He keeps reminding me that…

1. He doesn’t belong in a box

2. And even if He did- He’s much bigger than a box

I believe that God moves in BIG ways. But, He can’t move, if we don’t have action.

So, when we are overwhelmed with “God, I don’t even know what I am supposed to do anymore?” “What do I do?”

Just do one thing.

What is the ONE thing you can do right now?

What’s the one thing you can do right now- it’s that little thing that will help you breathe easier.

You got it?

Wait, wait, wait. Don’t make it complicated. Quit overthinking it. Don’t let your thoughts run wild…go back to it.

What’s that one thing? Hold on to it. Focus on it. Start it. Complete it. That’s it.

Ready?

Great. Let’s go get it done.