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Perhaps Today is Your Day

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Welcome Back,

Recently, I came across this genius list, I don’t know who wrote it but, I would love to give them the credit they deserve. It’s amazing how God can work through people, and help them come up with, lets call it “heart medicine” for someone else without even knowing it. Seriously, each person on this earth is amazing and has some sort of “heart medicine” to give. In Esther 4:14 God says “Perhaps THIS is the moment for which you have been created” and its true you really never know when the moment comes for you to fulfill your purpose. Its something to keep on your heart all the time, will today be the day that you serve your great purpose. Am I being kind to myself, and to others or am I missing my moment?

This list sparked something deep inside me, maybe it’s my passion for children, and learning but, I needed to share and add a few things to it. I thought if this list gave me such a profound reaction, it was worth Sharing

Note to Self:

Treat yourself the way you would treat a small child.

  • Feed yourself with healthy food
  • Make sure you spend time outside
  • Put yourself to bed early
  • Let yourself take naps
  • Don’t say hurtful things to yourself
  • Don’t put yourself in danger

(Your skull, and your heart are still as fragile as eggshells.)

My Additions

  • Let yourself be creative without worry of being judged
  • Give yourself opportunities to learn new things.
  • Let yourself play

Sitting here beating myself up because I have gained weight, not blogged, and have abandoned the majority of goals I set for myself at the start, I realized that I started this blog for the wrong reasons. I wanted a new me, and to change who I was. Here is the ultimate truth, each one of us is already amazing. Sometimes we need to be reminded, that no matter what you look like, how you act, or what is going on in your life you are one of God’s amazing creations. We have been placed here on this earth with purpose, and we are important. To me, that alone is amazing. Knowing this is one thing but, using it is another, I don’t always talk to myself or others, as I would a small child through love and respect. I say terrible things to myself everyday. So terrible, in fact when I read the list above, I broke down. Saying things like, “Wow, you really ruined yourself”, “You’re not as pretty as her”, “Lose some weight you look gross” “People will stop loving you if you don’t start losing weight soon”, “Your smart but, not as smart as they are”, “You are lazy”, and “You’d be prettier if you were skinnier, more tan, and had longer hair,” really isn’t what you would say to a child. It’s time we as humans start realising what we are and the opportunity we have. How many times do we have to hear the phrase “love yourself” until we finally do?

YOU are FEARFULLY & WONDERFULLY made ! Psalm 139:14

I have created a new plan for myself and those of you who read this are welcome to apply and adapt in your own life. The moment you feel unworthy, unloved, ugly, or simply bad do what is listed below to remind yourself who you are and why you are really here.

Stop, put your phone down, step outside and take a deep breath. Take in the earth we live in, the earth God made for us, this beautiful, creation for us to live, learn and share. Lastly, look at yourself and say “Wow, God made me, this beautiful creation to live here with a purpose to do something great.”

“Perhaps THIS is the moment for which you have been created.”

–Esther 4:14

Here is to living each day as if it may be the moment in which you have been created for. My day may not always be perfect, and though at times I may fall I have a plan to get back up. Here is to treating myself the way I would treat a small child, and allowing myself to explore and create without fear. Here is to loving one another, as God has loved and loves us.

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Cover Photo retrieved from Kaylie Jay Designs @ https://kayliejaydesigns.com/2015/12/30/january-desktop-wallpaper/
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A New Beginning

“Shame resilience is key to embracing our vulnerability. We can’t let ourselves be seen if we’re terrified by what people might think. Often ‘not being good at vulnerability’ means that we’re damn good at shame. ‘We all have shame. We all have good and bad, dark and light, inside of us. But if we don’t come to terms with our shame, our struggles, we start believing that there’s something wrong with us – that we’re bad, flawed, not good enough – and even worse, we start acting on those beliefs. If we want to be fully engaged, to be connected, we have to be vulnerable. In order to be vulnerable, we need to develop resilience to shame.”

– Brene Brown

 

What happened?

February 11th, 2016 I drove home with good intentions and the want to get my work done. A great weekend spent with friends left me a hefty workload ahead of me. I had Mon-Thurs to complete two weeks worth of homework that I had been putting off with feelings of inadequacy flowing through my veins. This feeling of “not good enough” has had me captive for a long time it’s rooted in shame, and the belief that I am not capable. I don’t add anything onto the end of that sentence because I feel it everywhere. Most of the accomplishes in my life seem to feel like “I got lucky”, “I scraped by”, and those feelings turned into “I don’t deserve this.”. The undeserving  feelings, foster shame. Margaret Paul describes that “The feeling of shame comes from the belief that, “I am basically flawed, inadequate, wrong, bad, unimportant, undeserving or not good enough.”. These terms have been flying through my mind for the last three weeks and these thoughts put me in a place of darkness. To numb the pain of shame and vulnerability I focused on other things, Pinterest, Facebook, and things that were not productive. I left that two weeks of homework till late Wednesday afternoon, to late to save myself and so far into my procrastination that I freaked out. Truth is, this is something that I do to myself OFTEN.

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Why did this Happen?

I believe this journey made this break down different. I could feel the problem, the shame, guilt, inadequacies, and undeserving thoughts crack. I lost it. It took me several days of darkness for those I love to say “Stop, you are worthy, you have a great life, a great family, people that love you, people who believe you can do this, you have to believe in yourself.”. It clicked, it isn’t my professors, my loved ones, my peers, or anyone else who believed that I couldn’t do it, it was me. After a few rounds of defeat I lost hope in myself, and the quality of my work. This didn’t just pause last Wednesday. Last Thursday I handed in an assignment sure “it wouldn’t be good enough.” in fact I had anxiety within me for the last four days dreading it’s return. When my professor didn’t email me I wasn’t relieved, I panicked. I questioned if she received the assignment, or had a chance to look at it yet. Imagine my surprise when she handed it back to me saying “this is good to go, well done.”. Instead being astonished by her remarks I reflected on my anxiety, it wasn’t the quality of my work that was the problem it’s my feeling of inadequacy.

This blog isn’t designed as a place for me to air my sad thoughts but to bring light to the darkness and emerge from this rubble. This is place where I can air my thoughts, sort them out, and create an action plan for something better. The reason I have it public is because I know how bad you can feel even when everything around you looks so good to others. Some people don’t get it, I am here to tell you I get it. This is my life and here is how I chose to discover ways to free myself from the self destructing path that I came from. I want to inspire others to start their own journey, and to use my experiences, findings, and tips to help free themselves from these things that I too struggle with.  Brene Brown, is a researcher on shame, recently I have discovered her work through Pinterest, and Ted Talks. After looking into her teachings and reading some of her book “The Gift of Imperfections” I was able to acknowledge and recognize that what I have been feeling is shame. Instead of sharing my feelings and being vulnerable I have numbed myself to this anxiety of vulnerability and hiding it through eating, procrastination, shopping, and social media. Yes my feelings of shame foster this vulnerability but, it’s my turn to make a change. I am at a point in my life where if I don’t make a change, I will lose almost everything I love.

Brene Brown describes what happens when people feel shame.

Most of us rely on one or more of these strategies to deal with shame:

  1. We move away by withdrawing, hiding, silencing ourselves and secret-keeping.
    • This is huge for me. This is my main strategy….
  1. We move toward by appeasing and pleasing.
  2. We move against by using shame and aggression to fight shame and aggression.

 

What will I do to make a change?

Studying the work of Brene Brown I have come up with a new action plan that will serve me better than the goals I have laid out before. Being resilient and spiritual will allow me to lean into the discomfort of vulnerability allowing me to find joy, and freedom from shame.

Joyful = Practised Gratitude

Brene Brown describes that women with high levels of shame resilience share these four things.

  1. Recognize shame and their triggers
  2. Practice critical awareness
  3. Reach out and share their stories
  4. Speak shame

Three suggestions to help us follow their lead.

  • Talk to yourself like you talk to someone you love.
  • Reach out to someone you trust.
  • Tell your story. “Shame cannot survive being spoken,” Brown says.

“The antidote? Empathy. [Shame] cannot survive being spoken and being met with empathy,” Brown says.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/10/08/brene-brown-shame-oprah_n_4059675.html

 

New Goals:

Gratitude Journal – Pick One Everyday

  • Write about things I am grateful for.
  • Write a Thank You note to somebody.
  • Show appreciation for someone in my life.

Exercise – Once I am finished school I will choose one everyday.

  • I will get active every chance I get by:
    • Ride Horse
    • Bike Ride
    • Run
    • Workout Video
    • Weight Circuit
    • Cardio
    • Go for a walk
    • etc.

Talk to myself like someone I love.

  • Be kind to myself everyday.
  • Believe in myself and know that I can do the things I set my mind to.
  • Nourish my mind and body with good thoughts and healthy food.

Share my stories, passions, and inspiration.

  • Blog at least once a week.

 

 

Walking away with desire for a better tomorrow.

– Brooke

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Week Four – Wednesday

How are you finding the good, and rejoicing in every day?

My day today started off a bit rough, I wasn’t feeling the best, and honestly had a pretty horrible attitude to match.

Was this a part of my goal, no. It was bizarre how clearly I could think, okay, is this how I want my day to go? Did I want to choose to parade around in negativity, absolutely not. I CHOSE to change my attitude. Since beginning this project I have been so aware of the choices I have. Truth is, we all have these choices! Once I started taking control of my happiness the choices have been much clearer, and 100% easier to choose. The fact of the matter is I feel better. As I just relax, and drink my tea I can reflect on how I want tomorrow to be. I can choose to wake up with a desire to make it great, and with a purpose to be in charge of my day and reactions. All in all, you have a choice.

 
Workout Report!

I am still at it my friends! Can’t believe it, but I’m still doing it! Today, I rode the recumbent and it was great! I rode it for 30 min and went over 10km. I don’t have a good workout report because, when I went to get my distance report I hit the wrong button and cleared the screen.. I died a little inside. It was a great workout and I really pushed myself through the resistance. I have slowly been making my tough intervals longer and the easier intervals shorter. I am amazed at the ability I am working up! You can do it, and so can I! It’s still all about choices!

Post workout reaction to clearing the screen.. It was rough.. 
Brooke

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Week Four – Tuesday 

Love life.

Today was a busy but rewarding day! Between classes, and homework I really had to make time to go to the gym! Did I give in and not go, definitely not! In fact today I went twice. I attempted to do a workout at the gym after class but ran out of time I used the rowing machine for 20 minutes and then had to leave. At the end of the day I decided 20 minutes wasn’t enough. I went back to the gym and did a 20 min bike interval workout. It not only gave me a break from my homework I felt energized after and doing homework suddenly wasn’t so bad!

To wrap up my day and relax I had a Epson bath to look after my muscles and unwind.

Stay motivated and make time!!

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Week Four – Monday

Week four is underway, wow!  I never ever thought that I would say that doing my 17th workout in roughly 21 days! Honestly, I am so proud of myself! For some relaxation in the midst of homework I had an awesome phone chat with a balcony person and it was exactly what I needed!

Stay Motivated

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Week Three – Thursday

Who are you aside from what is consuming your life right now?

Okay, there has been something on my heart for a long time. Feedback from others can make or break you if you let it. Up until now I have been carrying all of the hurtful feedback I have received in my life and put it on like a coat. Let me tell you, that under all of these coats there is a very small exhausted human. Those coats way you down and even worse, they have voices. These voices repeating that feedback over and over. Yes, I have just sounded a bit crazy there, but I am ready for something big. Recently I read an article from Dylan Wiliam called Feedback a Part of a System there was a section of this article really hit home for me and my pile of coats. 
“Students often adopt a performance orientation because of their views of the nature of ability. As the work of Carol Dweck (2006) has shown, many students believe that academic ability is more or less fixed—that there are smart kids and not­so­smart kids. When students with this view of learning are given a task in the classroom, they rapidly make a judgment about their chances of success. If they think there is a danger that they’ll fail while many others in the class succeed, they are likely to disengage from the task. After all, it’s better to be thought lazy than dumb. Students with an incremental view of ability, on the other hand, see challenging tasks as opportunities to get smarter. (p. 33)”
From a young age I wore those coats and one of them was “the notsosmart kid” was my performance in school great, absolutely not. Did I believe that even if I applied myself, I would fail, yes, so did I apply myself, no. Though I have grown the coat has stayed and it has continued to affect my effort and progress. That is a pretty small coat. It feels as though I have been suffocating wearing it around for so long. It’s time to take these coats off and let myself breathe easy, find happiness, and be the best person I can be.
So, going forward I am making the choice to remove these coats. This is not one of those choices where just say “There, that’s better, they are gone!” not many of things in life are that simple. Something I can do to begin to take them off is compile some verses to help me be reminded of who I am under the coats, the person God says I am. God says these things about you too, they are not just directed to one person His words touch the entire earth. 
Believe it or not I am a person, aside from university, work, and my stressors. I have great qualities, things that make me amazing. I am a creative and caring being, I am a teacher, I am a photographer, I am friend, I am a daughter, I am a girlfriend, I am a sister, I am a role model, I am a lover of beautiful landscapes, I am a home decor and DIY enthusiast, I can make people laugh and feel better, I am a smile and a hug giver. The bottom line here is we all have qualities that makes us wonderful and amazing! Who are you? What are your coats saying to you?
Sometimes in life we make mistakes, things happen, we fail, and we fall down. What or who picks you up? 
Get up and show the world who you are, show them your awesome!

  

Workout Report!

In my pic collage you can see my workout summary from the bike! Cant believe I have been actually keeping up with my workouts! It feels phenomenal and the results are so, so rewarding!!

Here is my Coat List I will refer to this when I am feeling a coat trying to consume me

  
 

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Week Three – Wednesday 

Choose to spend time with people who motivate you. 

In my life I have chosen to surround myself with a specific type of person. These special people are called balcony people. I choose to spend time with them because they raise me up and cheer me on especially on journeys like this. Below I have shared a quote that describes balcony people as well as basement people. I would like to encourage you all to think about who you choose to surround yourself with are they the balcony type or the basement type. Next I want you to think of yourself, what kind of person are you? How do you treat others?

Some people are in the “balconies” of our lives, cheering us on, encouraging and energizing us with their warm affirmations. Others live down in our “basements,” coldly tearing away at our souls with their unfair and critical judgements. – Joyce Landorf Heatherley

I would like to think that I choose to be a balcony person in others lives but, I am not perfect I often find myself making judgments or condemning others for their choices. Is this who I want to be? No. 

 One month ago I sat down with a life long friend confiding in her my thoughts on my health. She stood strong beside me, listened, encouraged, and shared her own wishes. We decided that day we were going to make a change. So the journey began. Not easy or perfect, but we chose to start. Today she texted me looking for a workout buddy and though i had completed mine for the day I agreed to come over and participate. This is what you do when you want to see the people in your life succeed! When I walked through the door she immediately congratulated me on my progress and told me how proud she was of me. Wow. There you go two balcony people affirming, and cheering each other on! I am so thankful for balcony people and their gifts. I am so thankful to have friends that want to see you win, succeed, and find happiness! Lastly, I am so thankful that I can cheer friends on and encourage them on their own journeys. Today was such a great mental health boost!

As far as eating and working out went I killed it! Yesterday’s tips and research made up for today and I beat my late night snacking urge. My workout was so rewarding I completed my 14.5 km in 35 minutes on the bike and pushed through with strength and determination. 
 

Have a blessed and awesome day! Make sure to take time to send a shout out to one of your balcony people today!

Brooke