Posts Tagged ‘nurture’

Celebrate Small Steps

Thursday, February 7th, 2013

Celebrate and focus on the small steps you take each day as you move forward. Minimize the setbacks.

Stepping Outside Your Comfort Zone

Tuesday, January 17th, 2012

Your current comfort zone might not be all that comfortable but it is familiar. How do you get outside it?

Do one thing different each day. It can be something simple like taking a different route to work, the store, to school—wherever you go daily. If you park in the same spot every day, try a different one. The next day change something else. Try a new cereal for breakfast or try a different place for lunch. If you pack a lunch or eat lunch at home choose something you’ve always wanted to try but still haven’t. If you usually eat lunch alone try eating with a friend occasionally.

Do you write in a journal? If not, why not start one? Each day write a sentence. When you feel ready expand to a second sentence and then another and keep adding to the number you write. Write your sentences about anything.

When you discipline yourself to think creatively about doing one thing differently each day you open up new possibilities.

Is there anything you’ve been mulling over? Why not take the next step in the process? Get more information, make a phone call, request information. Take an action.

Say for example, you want to buy a new camera. I mention a camera because I’ve had conversations with several women who have talked about how much they want to buy one but haven’t yet. I asked each of them why and they all said they’re afraid of choosing the wrong one. They also fear that even if they got the right one they wouldn’t be able to figure out how to use it.

So if you want to buy a new camera you could take these action steps:

1.) Go to an electronics store and view the selection.

2.) Find three brands your curious about.

3.) Investigate these brands. Ask the salesperson for information about each one. You might also check out each brand online or ask a trusted friend or relative what they think.

4.) Give yourself a deadline to make the purchase—a close deadline, preferably within 48 hours. It’s easy to talk ourselves out of buying something we want and have planned for.

5.) Once you’ve bought the camera practice using it over and over. If you have trouble understanding how to get started ask for help. Go back to the store for assistance or ask a technically savvy friend. Don’t be afraid to ask for what you need. There are often classes or tutorials online. The camera will likely come with instructions and a website or number to call for assistance.

There is always a learning curve when trying new things. It may take a day, week, month, or more but if you stick with it you will gain new knowledge and feel great about yourself as well as the new skill.

When it comes to developing skills as they relate to new relationships it’s the same way. Some of us have been out of touch socially and so can’t expect to just jump into social situations like a pro. Start slowly as you would with learning any new skill. Circulate. The more you incorporate new people and situations into your life the easier it will be.

Be patient with you no matter what change you want to make in your life. Do something small each day to build up to the change. Set target dates. Scan the newspaper, internet, and local community resources. If you find yourself faltering or putting what you want on the back burner—start again. What you need and want is attainable with conscious effort.

Go Lightly…

Thursday, April 8th, 2010

I think we all have days where we beat ourselves up and tear ourselves down.  We forget to think of life as a playground and instead think of it as a battlefield. I read a quote recently that made me think differently:

Angels fly because they take themselves lightly.     Gilbert K. Chesterton

Surprise & Fear

Wednesday, April 7th, 2010

Have you ever had someone you trusted catch you off guard with something they’ve said or done and your heart sinks? If so you’ve probably been caught by surprise and then fear. The surprise first and the fear second but it feels like it’s instantaneous. It’s a disturbing feeling, one that I never attached a name to until recently.

Joyful surprises are a good thing–we love them. Maybe your child picks you a bouquet of dandelions or a friend you haven’t heard from in a long time calls just to say hi. Maybe you get a compliment from a friend and it feels great. These are joyful moments.

Surprise and then fear may come in the form of an inappropriate remark directed at you from a relationship partner or a date shows up hours later than planned, shows up intoxicated, or not at all. Maybe a trusted friend says something untrue about you to others and you don’t understand why it was said and especially not by that particular person.

It could be anything and it may not even come from a person. Not too long ago I was surprised by my bedroom smoke alarm going off in the middle of the night not one night but two nights in a row. There was no fire but the first alarm triggered the rest of the alarms to go off throughout the house and I was definitely caught off guard. I felt the surprise and fear pretty much at the same time. After that second night I knew for sure it was time to change the batteries…

I’ve been told that once you acknowledge that surprise and fear can exist together, you’ll know what you’re dealing with the next time around.  It’s the type of thing where you’ll know it when you see it.

What do you think?

Our Thoughts

Thursday, March 25th, 2010

Our thoughts are powerful tools.  Luckily, many times we can use them to our great advantage. —Unknown

Trust Your Thinking

Tuesday, March 23rd, 2010

There are times when we don’t think we are thinking clearly about a variety of things. This may be a result of not making enough choices early in life or because others have regularly questioned the choices we have made.

Our decision making process is unique to us and our situation. It doesn’t make our decision a bad one if another person or ten people wouldn’t make the same choice–it just means our decision is different from what someone else might choose based on multiple factors.

Time to Yourself

Sunday, March 21st, 2010

Purposefully spend time by yourself. Our days are filled with noise. Noise creates stress that keeps our bodies in a constant state of alert. It is difficult to escape sound however you can make a point taking time out and getting away from it as best you can. Your mind needs the stillness and a break from television, radio, voices etc. Try a nature sounds cd.

Red Flags From Our Kids

Saturday, December 26th, 2009

Have you ever had a comment directed toward you from your son or daughter and thought—if my partner or spouse talked to me like that I’d never stand for it!

Yet sometimes we do stand for it from our children. Recently I had to take action regarding comments made to me by my son. I knew as soon as he made them I wouldn’t let those comments go. I knew because the sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach told me not to.

I suppose I could have ignored my gut reaction but knew if I did I wouldn’t be doing him or me any favors so instead decided to attack those comments. I confronted my son and there were consequences not because I wanted to wield my power over him but because I knew without consequences, both he and I would have felt there should have been. As parents there are things we let go of because after all we need to choose our battles wisely; this wasn’t one of them. Some day he will be a relationship partner to someone and part of my job is to teach him how to be a respectful individual.

So, I didn’t ignore this red flag from my son. It might have been easier in the short run to overlook it but definitely not in the long run. I thought what if a partner or spouse talked to me like that? What would I do? Would I disregard the sinking feeling? Pretend it didn’t matter? Not the choice to make with a partner nor with my son.

Definitely better to pay attention to those red flags…no matter where they come from.

Words to Live By

Saturday, September 26th, 2009

I pass by a farm going to and coming home from work each day. The interesting thing about this farm is the reader board next to the road. This board has two sides. On my way to work side there are farm specials like hay, feed, vegetables, eggs, etc. advertised. On my way home side is what I think of as words to live by. Every week this farmer faithfully puts up various words of wisdom. I have no idea where he or she comes up with these but each week there’s a different message.

One I remember from about a year ago was: “You’ll never get what you’ve never had until you’re willing to do what you’ve never done.” That one had a strong impact on me. I immediately grabbed onto it and haven’t let go. I felt so encouraged by that quote. I thought that’s it! If I keep doing the same thing I’ll just keep getting the same results. If I want change I’ve got to step out of the box and I have to say it’s been a work in progress.

Another week it was simply: “Preparation is the mother of opportunity.” What great words these were to reflect on for a week. I couldn’t deny that in terms of goals/ long range plans’ being prepared for each step definitely has its advantages.

This week is: “The mind is like a television, when it goes blank, it’s better to turn off the sound.” Hmmm. I guess we can all figure that one out.

The thing is, each time I pass by, I can’t help but look. I’ve formed an attachment to that board and look forward to reading those words. I don’t necessarily think all these weekly messages are profound but I want to read them anyway. If the words weren’t there I’d miss them. If the same words were up two weeks instead of one, I’d wonder why and hope the farmer wasn’t sick. If they disappeared altogether that would be too bad as I appreciate his or her effort and am willing to bet I’m not the only one paying attention.

Guitar in a Box

Saturday, September 19th, 2009

A couple of years ago in September I signed up for group guitar lessons. I really wanted to take those lessons as I had played guitar years ago as part of teacher training and wanted to get back into it. So I went out and bought a brand new guitar. After buying it the salesperson asked me if I wanted a guitar case. I looked at the prices for a new one and the least expensive was $80. I decided buying the case was too much so said no.  This helpful salesperson then told me if I didn’t want to buy a case he could give me a cardboard guitar case for free. I said sure!

The first lesson was later that night. I was late getting to the class which turned out to be a room full of mostly guys ranging in age from 30’s to 50’s. Chances are if I would have arrived early or on time it’s unlikely my guitar in a box would have even been noticed. As it was, arriving late with a guitar in a box, didn’t go unnoticed. Never-the-less, I came in got my guitar out and sat down for the lesson but secretly wished I had a case  instead of a cardboard box by my side. In a way it’s like buying a brand new car and throwing a tarp over it.

Has anyone else ever done this type of thing? Have you ever told yourself, no I can’t have it, don’t think I should get it, its better not to, next month….maybe? Why do we do this? We’re just as deserving as anyone else.

If I had gone out and bought a guitar for one of my children there is no doubt I’d have bought them a case. If I had bought one for a friend, my brother, or anyone else, most likely I would have purchased the case to go with the guitar. Yet since I bought it for myself, I decided to go without.

It can just be so darn hard to “treat” ourselves OR treat ourselves with respect but we definitely need to. If we don’t do it, who will? Even when I bought the guitar I did so at the last minute. It was such a struggle to break down and get myself something I really wanted and because I was taking a class, had to have! I had signed up for the lessons in advance, why not just get the guitar early and spend a little time looking for a more affordable case?

So, if you’re like me and have trouble being nice to you, make yourself a promise. Next time there is something you would like to have buy it. If it comes as a package deal and you really want that package, get it. Of course I’m not talking extravagance here. We know what is and isn’t beyond our budget limitations. The point is, we deserve the consideration we give to others; we owe ourselves that.