10-10-1

I want to not like her. After reading her first book (that I really liked) I decided to follow her on social media. I couldn’t take it. I unfollowed her within the week. Why is it some of us are turned off by highly motivated-have it all together-living their dreams-women? (I feel super shallow admitting that) Maybe it is an insight into why we resist in ourselves, or maybe that’s just me. HA! Regardless, I want to change this in myself. Anyway, her new book GIRL STOP APOLOGIZING came out last week, I had a credit on audible and downloaded it. I am over half way through Rachel Hollis’s new book. Chapter 12 especially got my attention. I took it seriously and began.

10 YEARS: envision who I will be in 10 years…what will I wear, what will I drive…how will I spend my days…who do I love…how do I love them, etc…

10 DREAMS: what 10 dreams, when I accomplish them, will get me to who I want to be in 10 years

1 GOAL: this is a tough one, pick ONE goal that will help you toward a dream or dreams. Just ONE. She explains this much better in her book. I had never thought of it this way, but I love it and I am all in for trying it.

EVERYDAY: write your 10 dreams down every single day. I am writing my goal too. A friend gave me this darling journal for my birthday and this is my first dream journal.

WHY: another idea she discusses in the book, if you aren’t sticking to your goal your why isn’t strong enough or clear enough. SO in my daily dream writing, I am adding my goal AND it’s “why

I am going to share my ten dreams:

  1. I am a covenant keeping woman of faith
  2. I create>consume: writing, photography, music, art & exercise
  3. I am strong, flexible & energetic in a body that weighs 118 lbs (which is ideal for my 5’2″ frame)
  4. I am an exceptional wife-in love with my husband
  5. I am an amazing mom that has a strong connection with her children
  6. I am a certified life coach
  7. I am a life documenting expert
  8. I live in a paid off home
  9. I am a cheerleader for women in their 40s-50
  10. I travel the world with Danny and close friends

Rachel teaches that it is important to be specific and write your dreams as they have already happened…no “I will” or “I am going to”

Tomorrow I will write about how we did this as a family. I will also REfollow Rachel Hollis again on IG, and practice celebrating the success and accomplishments of other women!  Have you read this book? I would love to know what you loved, or didn’t love!

thoughts from my yoga teacher

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At yoga yesterday, the teacher began with a thought she offered that we could meditate on for a few years…

perfection- take away perfection = perfection

I have been thinking about it since then. She also stopped in the middle of our class, muscles straining…focus sharpened, trying to learn side planks and the most efficient safest form…

“you know this is FUN right, that’s why we come, or one of the reasons.”

I do love yoga, but FUN isn’t the first word that would come to mind when I think of yoga. But it is FUN. And maybe I could focus on FUN a bit more…and do things not because I should, or out of duty, but because it’s FUN.

And maybe if I took perfection, out of perfection, that would leave a lot more space for FUN. Maybe I could talk Sophie into believing homework is FUN! 🙂

GNOME GNOTEBOOK

I was asked to give a talk at church Sunday. My assignment was to speak about THIS talk given in General Conference October 18, 2018. This was my talk:

Organizing storage recently, I ran across this book.  It is a gift that was given to me when I was 9 years old, from my Great Aunt Dot (she is from the East so it is “aunt” not “ant”).  The inscription says, 

“A…diary-or place to write little stories of things that happen-or for autographs of your friends”

As I looked at the cover, I was flooded with memories of brilliant fictional stories that I had written through its pages.  I loved writing then, even into my teen years.  I wanted to be a writer.  I remember loving this book with my stories, and the feedback others gave me.

Opening the book after many years of it being stored in a box, I was surprised by what I actually found.  Instead of the brilliance I remembered, there were:

  • shallow storylines
  • misspellings 
  • grammatical errors

As a child, as shy as I was, I would share my stories with anyone who would listen…NOW only the flaws in my work stand out to me. 

In her book GRIT, Angela Duckworth reminds her readers,

“infants and toddlers spend most of their time trying to do things they can’t, again and again—and yet they don’t seem especially embarrassed or anxious. No pain, no gain is a rule that doesn’t seem to apply to the preschool set…Watch a baby struggle to sit up, or a toddler learn to walk; you’ll see one error after another, failure after failure, a lot of challenge exceeding skill.”

What if as we age…we decide that is still noble to do something…just because we don’t know how, or it’s fun, or we want the experience.  Just think of how we would grow…and really how much fun we would have.  

Elder Richard G Scott said,

“Attempt to be creative even if the results are modest…creativity can engender a spirit of gratitude for life and for what the Lord has woven into your being”

“attempting to be creative, even if the results are modest…” requires a childlike spirit…

A spirit that…

  • -finds joy in creativity, regardless of the outcome
  • -takes pleasure in the simple joys of life

And especially a spirit that…

  • -trusts our Lord and Savior

Elder Gong shared an experience this last General Conference.  Elder Richard G Scott, an apostle and an artist, invited him to watercolor with him.  Elder Scott was experienced and Elder Gong was a novice.  Although he describes feeling apprehensive, he focused on what he could learn instead of what he lacked.  Elder Gong found joy in trying something new, in fact, he was really touched by the opportunity, enough to base his general conference talk around the experience.

What can finding joy in creativity…without concern for ability or outcome change for you in your life?

A childlike spirit finds it easy to take pleasure in the simple joys of life.  

Last weekend my youngest daughter, Sophie had a friend over.  They decided to play hide & seek.  The rules were laid down:

outside + garages were a no hide zone,

Ellie’s room too (her oldest sister)

everything else was free game.

After one round…Kate, my 14 year old, asked if she could play too.  As I stood at the sink, doing dishes, I knew exactly where I would hide if I were playing.  I was thrilled that my 9th grader was playing, as social stress & teenage-hood had been weighing on her lately.  Their laughter and joy lightened the whole atmosphere of our home.  I loved it.

So that night before bed, as we gathered for prayer and scriptures, Sophie asked if WE wanted to play HIDE & SEEK, I quickly said YES….and the rest of the family agreed.  So 4 of us hid in crevices, closets, and bathtubs while one searched.  

Now before you get the wrong idea, that I am a fun mom, let me confess that In the almost 17 years that I have been a parent…this week was the first time I had played HIDE & SEEK with my children…or at all.  And now this week we have played several nights before bed.  And guess what!  Every time I hid I was the last one found.  Who knew I would be so good at hide & seek!?

I had forgotten a lot about the game since I played as a child… 

  • -the thrill and anticipation of trying not to be found
  • -the strategy required to play the game
  • -the suspense of searching

(it’s SO scary to pull back a curtain, unsure if someone will jump out at you!)

As an adult, I realize that I have let the distractions of the world pull me from some of the JOYS of the simple things in life and the gospel.  

Yesterday, I was privileged to attend the Stake Activity Day meeting.  To begin the activity, we sang in unison, I AM A CHILD OF GOD.  Those beautiful primary girls filled the chapel with faith as we sang.  When was the last time I really appreciated the JOY of knowing that I am a child of a divine, all knowing, all loving, eternal Father…that knows me, that loves me?  And that pleads with us,

“Be still and know that I am God” Psalm 46:10

A childlike spirit allows our hearts to be filled with more trust in our Father in Heaven and our Savior. 

Elder Gong teaches,

“There is joy in imagining, learning, and doing worthwhile new things.  This is especially true as we deepen faith and trust in Heavenly Father and His Son, Jesus Christ.  We cannot love ourselves enough to save ourselves. But Heavenly Father loves us more and knows us better than we love or know ourselves.  We can trust the Lord and lean not unto our own understanding.”

One of my very favorite scripture stories teaches this principle in a beautiful way.   In Matthew 14 we read,

“…when he had sent the multitudes away, he went up into a mountain apart to pray: and when the evening was come, he was there alone.  But the ship was now in the midst of the sea, tossed with waves: for the wind was contrary.  And in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went unto them, walking on the sea.

…when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, It is a spirit; and they cried out for fear. But straightway Jesus spake unto them, saying, Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid.  And Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water.  And he said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus.”

But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me.  And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?”

This story causes me to reflect each time I read or hear it-  Where is my focus…? Is it on the boisterous wind? On my fears? Or is my focus on the invitation of our Savior, “Come…”

It is my hope that as children of God…we will remember, regardless of our age…we are children, we are ALL children.  We are all children of a Father in Heaven…and that is a gift.  Especially when we take time and effort to soften our hearts and:

  • find joy in creativity, regardless of the outcome
  • take pleasure in the simple joys of life & the gospel
  • And especially, trust our Lord and Savior with our focus on Him

2019!!!!!!!!

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The first day in 2019 began in CA! Any year that begins by the ocean has to be a good one! In my first yoga class in 2019, the instructor talked about goals: 17% of the population have goals. 14% of those have a plan in mind but are unwritten. 3% of those people write down their goals. The study stated that those with goals are 10x more successful than those without. And those that write their goals down are 3x more successful beyond that 10x. The study she was quoting wasn’t referenced in class—but it definitely worth putting to our own test!

some NEW YEAR goal inspiration I have found:

  • These books: THE LIST by Yuval Abramovitz (the idea is a fun one…an more than anything got me in a mindset of thinking up dreams and possibilities) THE SELF DRIVEN CHILD by William Stixrud (totally changed my parenting approach in 2019)
  • episode #76 from the RISE podcast by Rachel Hollis
  • this checklist
  • this planner
  • I can’t stop thinking about this podcast- training ourselves to think! I LOVED IT!
  • another podcast…but really! I think I am going to have this episode on repeat for awhile.
  • The challenges given in this talk. As the year 2018 was drawing to a close I felt spiritually disconnected. Doing my best to keep the challenges suggested in President Nelson’s talk, I have felt a shift in my heart. A shift from cynicism to faith. A greater desire to seek spiritual sources. My heart drifted from some distractions that were pulling me, not in a necessarily bad place, just away from my goals.

I would love to know what is inspiring you at the start of this year! I am ready for 2019 to be the best year yet!


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illuminating the fog

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I have been in a fog of:

I can’t, I don’t follow through, there isn’t enough time, who do I think I am?, I don’t know how, it’s too much, too hard, not important

Are you exhausted just reading that mess?  These thoughts that run through my mind repetitively create feelings of discouragement and weakness…and they are a total lie.  They are a deception.  They propel me to inaction and distraction.  

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In the past, I have tried to fight the inaction and distraction with checklists, schedules, and guilt.  I haven’t seen much any change or benefit from that strategy.  It’s time to change my way of thinking.  I read today, 

“Derive happiness in oneself from a good day’s work, from illuminating the fog that surrounds us.”

Henri Matisse

My new thoughts to illuminate the fog:

  • I follow through
  • I have gifts to offer the world
  • I know what to do

The feelings these new thoughts will create are confidence, success, and focus.  The actions that follow these thoughts will be a desire to rise early and hit the ground running, to keep the schedule I have made for myself, work with intention and make and keep BIG goals. 

stand your sacred ground

I happened upon Brooke Castillo’s 5-minute emotional makeover last week.  I listen to her podcast regularly but had never heard this podcast.  I decided to give it a try.  I had been feeling a lot of anxiousness lately and thought it would be great to get a handle on it. or understand it. or get to the bottom of it.  or something.

As I went through her steps, I noticed quickly that it wasn’t anxiousness at all, it was fear.  That seemed really clear to me- but what am I afraid of!?  I had done this in the evening.  The next morning, I still recognized the fear-but had no idea what I am actually afraid of.  What is the sentence that I am telling myself that is causing the fear that I am feeling?  I said my prayers, like usual, and pleaded, “please tell me the thought I am holding that is causing my fear.”  I began to journal and the thought came immediately-

IMG_2216

Memories became clear.  Instances, especially growing up, where I was given a strong message…be small, be quiet, blend in, don’t stand out, don’t disrupt.  be small.  I think society, especially in my era, was  IS a strong teacher of this to girls…and some of us are really sensitive to it…and jump in…believing every lie it has to offer.  be small.

I thought about it for a few days.  What do I want to replace that thought with?  What is it’s opposite?  BE LARGE?  BE BIG?  BE BOLD?  maybe.

I ran across a thought (from Brene Brown) that I loved…here (who I didn’t follow by the way, and I am not sure how I got to her page. I follow her now!)IMG_2215

I thought of this photo I took of Kate and Ellie in Southern, CA.  I love their stances against the powerful waves coming their way.  It’s my new phone screen saver.

I look at it over and over again.  Every time I open my phone.  DON’T SHRINK!  Don’t make myself smaller than I am.  Don’t diminish who I am or what I want.  DONT’ PUFF UP!  I am not better than anyone else.  I don’t have anything to prove.  Give and love so that we are all standing together…being us-  STANDING OUR SACRED GROUND.

10 day social media fast

 

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President Russell M Nelson, President and Prophet of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, invited the women of the world, (8 years old and up) to participate in a 10-day social media fast.  He said, “I invite you to participate in a 10-day fast from social media and from any other media that bring negative and impure thoughts to your mind. Pray to know which influences to remove during your fast. The effect of your 10-day fast may surprise you. What do you notice after taking a break from perspectives of the world that have been wounding your spirit? Is there a change in where you now want to spend your time and energy? Have any of your priorities shifted—even just a little? I urge you to record and follow through with each impression.”

Although the talk was given Saturday, October 6th, I heard it on October 7th and began my fast on October 8th.  It was meant to interpret individually.  I had already discontinued my use of TWITTER.  I was receiving no benefits from it personally and found that my feed was at least 80% negative, so I quit.  Or actually, attempted to.  As my inactivity requirement was approaching, allowing my account to terminate, I received a notice that there had been activity on my account that re-activated it.  That was not done by me.  (suspicious) I need to go through the process again.

FACEBOOK was another platform that I had been off for quite a while.  Recently I participated in a social media course that taught me a lot of benefits of FACEBOOK.  I am still skeptical but can see how, if used properly, it could be a great resource for me.  It was also really helpful when trying to contact family and friends after my father’s passing.

My personal fast would be centered on INSTAGRAM.  As I said, I began my fast on October 8th.  I fasted from IG for a full 7 days until my father passed away on October 15th.  I was grateful not to have that distraction that week before my dad died.  I was more present with him and all of my family those days.  Although I was 3 days short of the 10-day fast, I began using it again to post about his passing and connect with family.  I felt that I had done enough to re-set my social media outlook.  About a week later I read a post that my friend had written about her experience.  I realized that I had missed the point.

I had neglected to pray much about it…or really reflect on my experience.  I decided to try again, this time observing what the fast was changing for me.  Were my priorities different? Is there a change I want to make? And then record and follow through my impressions (which I am doing now).

MY PERSPECTIVE:

1.) SOCIAL MEDIA IS GOOD.  I believe in the goodness of social media. It is a resource that allows us to connect with people all over the world.  It is a wealth of knowledge, information, friendship, and inspiration.  It is AMAZING!  In church meetings I have attended that have approached the subject recently, the negative sides of these platforms have been the main focus.  I really do have some understanding of the downsides.  I really dislike the manipulation built into each platform, for example.  There is a lot of negative content (which is in my control to follow or not).  Those downsides, for example, have motivated me to discontinue TWITTER use.  They have motivated me to completely restructure how I use FACEBOOK and have also caused me to modify how I use INSTAGRAM as well.  But I really do see many more upsides for me in INSTAGRAM, than I do down. I can reach out to friends quickly.  I can connect with them, learning about what is going on in their lives without occupying too much time like a phone call or personal visit would.  (That does not mean btw that it replaces personal interaction by any means. But can you imagine if you tried to personally connect with every friend you have on social media via phone or in person?)  I believe strongly in documenting and sharing our lives with others…and INSTAGRAM is a great method for that.  I am choosing to focus on the goodness found there.

2.) SOCIAL MEDIA IS SOCIAL.  I was awakened to this by Rowe Timson in her class SERIOUSLY SOCIAL.  Imagine you have been invited to a party at your friend’s home.  Would you stand on the periphery just observing…watching conversations, observing the other invitees without any engagement or not saying a word?  Now I am a bit of an introvert, but I wouldn’t do that.  It’s creepy right?  How many of us behave that way on social media platforms?  Do we scroll through mindlessly observing…pressing a few likes…and then check in minutes later to see if anything had changed?  That is typical and perfectly acceptable in our society…but is it good for us?  I know it isn’t good for me.  I have committed myself to follow people that I would be willing to correspond with and to only go on if I can give my time and attention to actually socializing on social media.  I will be more engaged with the people I follow and those who follow me.   I browsed past IG posts before I took Rowe’s course, and there were several instances when people reached out and commented and I didn’t respond in turn.  I regret that I was distracted and didn’t go back to engage with them…give them the respect they deserve.  I will be more social on these platforms…not for better numbers or to improve algorithms, but to treat people the way I want to be treated.

3.) SOCIAL MEDIA IS A POTENTIAL BUFFER.  This isn’t true for everyone but is very true for me.  I love Jody Moore’s recent description of a buffer (found here).  If you have an extra 45 minutes, I highly recommend listening to that episode!  Basically, I use INSTAGRAM, ice cream, chocolate and eating out to buffer the negative emotions in my life, which is why I have 20 lbs to lose…and have spent too much time mindlessly on my phone.  Mindlessly is the key word there.  There is PLENTY of productivity and creativity that the phone has allowed me to accomplish, but overall my habit was to use it for mindlessness and distraction, unfortunately.

To combat the mindlessness and use social media with intention I have decided to implement new strategies:

  • only log in if I have time to be there with intention– the intention to be SOCIAL
  • notice if I have a purpose to be there…or if I am checking in on social media in order to check out of my real life.
  • participate-posting and adding content that will benefit those who see it and myself
  • being real…by real I don’t mean only talking about my failings, I mean sharing struggle (and triumph!).  I really like pretty pictures, but I don’t want to create an image of perfection and filters. I won’t use “filters” to change my face…but I will definitely continue to use photo editing software to enhance my photography.  (I edited the street sign and electrical wires out of the photo on this post for example)  I will also share methods and information that can benefit others to improve their photography too.  I will be more open and sharing…but NOT dumping all of my problems on the world of IG.  This is a tough balance and one I will keep trying to work on being authentic.

I am really grateful for the invitation to complete this fast.  I am grateful for the time it gave me to look into the faces of those I love.  I am grateful for the new perspective I have and how it will benefit my life.  I will also observe with compassion anyone doing anything different (my children for example), then I am choosing to do.  These changes are what I NEEDED and not necessarily for anyone else.  Have you participated in this fast?   Please post your thoughts or link in the comments.  I would love to learn more from your experience.