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Mindset Monday – Love Yourself Like You Mean It

Oscar Wilde once said, “To love oneself is the beginning of a lifelong romance.”

Love yourself like you’re in it for keeps.

Lifelong romance kind of love – that’s the good stuff. Work toward that.Photo courtesy of Pixabay published on strong-woman.com

Make it nurturing, forgiving, patient, respectful, humble, and kind.

Be nurturing. Take care of yourself – body, mind, and spirit.

Be forgiving. We all make mistakes and being able to forgive means forgetting pride and getting past the mistake, error, or wrong. Even the big ones.

Be kind. We can be our own worst and most unkind critic. Turn it around and work to be your own best and kindest supporter.

Be patient. We’re all a work in progress. And wherever you are in the process of being the best you possible, understand that you may not “get it” right away. Keep at it. Don’t give up.Weight loss photo courtesy of pixabay published on strong-woman.com

Be respectful. Actions speak louder than words, but words speak pretty loudly. You’re worthy of respect from yourself as well as from others .

Accept yourself as you are. Accept where you are and believe your’e worthy of love from others. Instead of looking at what you can’t do or what you don’t have, take stock in what you do have. Stop tripping over what’s behind you. Accept where you are and move forward.

Be humble. Build others up. Let your actions and work speak for themselves.

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Oscar Wilde is on to something.

Because no matter what, in the end, there you are.

Better to love yourself than not.

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Gain Perspective by Seeing Blessings in Disguise

The other day I was super excited about my first meeting with a bloggers Meet Up I had joined. I still consider myself a baby blogger and I couldn’t wait to hear about their blogging experience, to share ideas, and learn from them.

Anticipation

I showed up at the designated time and location ready to meet these fellow bloggers and realized I didn’t know what they looked like. How would I recognize them? I asked a few people if they were there for the bloggers Meet Up. Nope. Not them.

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Ready to meet fellow bloggers at a coffee shop

Never mind, I thought. I found a table and decided to open my laptop and get ready to work while I waited for my fellow bloggers. It was then that I saw the messages that had come in as I was en-route to the meeting. People were sick or couldn’t make it, so the meeting was cancelled 5 minutes after I arrived.

Disappointment

I felt crushed. I thought, man, I was so looking forward to this! Come on! I’m not sick! I’m here! What the heck?

I’d been looking forward to this meeting for weeks and built up my expectations for this awesome chance to connect with these people. I was totally bummed.

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I felt so disappointed.

After calling my husband to commiserate, having my pity party, and feeling downright sad that the meeting was cancelled, it hit me.

Blessings

How blessed am I that I have the luxury of being upset about this meeting being cancelled? I considered the things that got me to that moment, including waking up healthy, having a car, a phone, food, and an opportunity to blog in the first place.

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Count your blessings.

Instead of focusing on the dozens of things that went right that day, I focused on the one thing that had gone wrong.

That put things in perspective.

Miracle of the moment

When we look at what’s wrong, we can’t see what’s right. We miss the miracle of the moment.

Sometimes things don’t go our way and we feel disappointed and discouraged. We struggle to maintain good spirits, happiness, gratitude, and hope.

Our frustration prevents us from seeing what an amazing gift it is to be disappointed over some small thing, some minor setback – an anticipated meeting being cancelled, a slow internet connection, a traffic jam, our team losing a big game, or a gazillion other things.

All we can ever be sure of is right now. Tomorrow is not guaranteed for any of us.

Photo credit Ruby Montalvo published on strong-woman.com
Each day is a blessing.

We get caught up in the daily busy-ness of life. Sometimes we’re pulled in so many different directions that things get complicated. With everything we need to do, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed.

We struggle to live in the moment and pay attention to the miracle of today, to act with a spirit of gratitude for love of family and friends, food on the table, and basic needs met. We forget how blessed we are to have the luxury of feeling frustrated over small things.

Do these 4 things to help you shift your perspective when you’re feeling frustrated, discouraged, or disappointed:

Stop.
Take a deep breath.
Count your blessings.
Choose to focus on what’s right in your world.

So many things are out of our control. The best we can hope to do is control our attitude, emotions and actions every day. Looking through a lens of gratitude doesn’t change anything except how you see things.

The choice is yours.

3 Songs and a Message

The other day on my way to work I had an unexpected reaction to a string of songs playing on the radio. The songs were “When I Was Your Man” by Bruno Mars, “Fight Song” by Rachel Platten, and “The Heart of the Matter by Don Henley.

When I heard “When I Was Your Man” that morning, I’m not sure what it was, but it’sBrunoMars as if I listened to that song for the first time, even though I’d heard it before. I was touched by the powerful sense of regret and anguish in Bruno Mars’ voice. Even though the song is about a lost love, it got me thinking about regret in my life and brought to mind something I’ve thought about a lot lately. For years, I didn’t listen to something inside that told me, “You want to write. So write.” It made me sad to think that it may be too late for me.

The next song started with the quiet opening line, “Like a small boat on the ocean, sending big waves into motion…” and I knew it was “Fight Song” with Rachel Platten’s amazing message of resilience and belief. I felt encouraged. I cranked up the volume and sang along at the top of my lungs. Yes, I got it! I feel like she does when she says, “I still got a lot of fight left in me.” There’s no time for regret. I have to believe and it’s not too late. Yay! I felt better.

Then Don Henley – “The Heart of the Matter” flashed on my radio info screen and I heard the opening chords and something happened to me at that moment. Now let me say that I know this song very well because when I was going through a particularly rough patch many years ago, this song helped me through it and the message has stayed with me ever since. So when I heard the opening chords and saw the title, something inside me snapped. Suddenly, tears came to my eyes as I drove down a very busy road on a Tuesday morning before sunrise. The tears came and I couldn’t stop them. It was as if a floodgate opened and I could not go on driving.

I pulled into a parking lot and parked under a lamppost as the song played and I cried more. He sings, “I’ve been trying to get down to the heart of the matter but my will gets weak and my thoughts seem to scatter but I think it’s about forgiveness.” There it is. My message for the day. My gift that morning. My truth. My comfort. My spiritual hug.

When I was finally able to get myself together, I took a deep breath and got back on the road. The sun had started to light up the sky, making the clouds a fiery red. What a beautiful picture. It looked something like this.Sunrise

I smiled and thanked God for all that had just occurred. I accepted that string of songs as a gift that gave me the message that I needed that day: Forgive myself (and others) for words not said and things not done. Move on. I’m on the right track. It’s only too late when I’m gone, so keep going, stay strong, and believe. 

I’m telling you this story because I thought you might need to hear the message too. I know it’s not easy, but whatever it is you have in your heart, go after it. It can be scary, I know, but that dream, idea, or passion is there for a reason. It’s not too late, and no one else can do it for you. It has to come from you.

It's a wonderful life photo published on strong-woman.com

Lessons for Living Well

I was at the grocery store for a quick run-in and had gotten through most of my short list when a woman who had been standing in front of the exact case I needed said to me, “Do you know what some one just told me?” I said I didn’t. She said, “He told me, ‘Can you move so I can look too?” I said, “He could have said, ‘Excuse me.’” and I told her not to worry about it. She started looking around and pointed out a guy and said, “I think it was him.”

My husband says I must have a sign on my forehead that says, “Please come talk to me” because it’s really not unusual for a stranger to start telling me all about themselves in great detail. It’s happened on the subway in LA, at restaurants, and many other places. But that’s another story.

Back to this woman at the grocery store. I didn’t get her name, but…

Here’s a summary of what she told me in the span of about 10 minutes:
  • She’s 83 years old.
  • Lives in a senior center where the residents meet weekly to talk about all the ways that people take advantage of them.
  • She has a really bad cancer all over her body, which she says doesn’t bother her.
  • She has problems with the cable company and the assisted living agency which has sent her 3 different care-givers: a woman who washes dishes without soap, a woman who had rotten teeth and breath, an 86 year-old woman who was more frail than she is.
  • And much more.

Then she told me that her daughter isn’t speaking to her and why.

I told her, “Now this is something you need to take care of.”

You can’t tell by looking at some one what they’re going through. And even though she may have had some issues that caused her to be so negative, that 10-minute conversation in the grocery store aisle reminded me of some important life lessons and how they relate to living a healthy lifestyle.

Lesson #1

Have a heart of gratitude. If you hear, see, and think about everything that’s going wrong, the things that are going right won’t get any attention.

Keeping the Body HealthyRelated to a healthy lifestyle:
I have such admiration for the amazing human body. I am grateful for all my body does and am grateful to have food every day. Those things together help me stay on track by making choices that are good for my body, like exercising regularly and eating nutritious food most of the time. Keep a gratitude journal and write something you are grateful for every day.

Lesson #2

Be accountable. Things happen to us, of course, but do what you can and don’t worry about the things you can’t change. Stop looking at what others are doing to you and start looking at what you’re doing for you.

Related to a healthy lifestyle: How do your lifestyle choicesyou-can-do-it affect you? I’ve known people who’ve had weight-loss surgery and lost a lot of weight. But because they never
made lifestyle changes, they’ve ended up gaining it all back. Look at your circumstances and have the courage to do what you can to improve your health. Start slow by changing one thing at a time. It won’t happen overnight, so be patient. You can do it!

Lesson # 3

Take care of the big things. This 83 year-old woman with cancer put in hours a day tending to the small things, like her cable services, and neglecting the big things, like nurturing her relationship with her daughter. That’s just sad.

Related to a healthy lifestyle: Take action so that you can take WonderfulLifecare of the big things in life. Decide what’s important to you and then act accordingly. If you want to be active and be able to enjoy your children and grandchildren, move more, eat vegetables every day, laugh often, practice deep breathing to de-stress, stretch, connect with people, volunteer, be kind. Probably the biggest thing: take care of yourself so that you are better able to care for others.

When I finally left this woman, I started to say good luck but then I said, “God bless you.” I believe she is already abundantly blessed, but what I believe doesn’t matter at all if she doesn’t believe it too.

The body achieves what the mind believes. Decide what’s important to you, believe you can have or do it, and then take action to make it happen.

What do you value? Do you spend your time and energy on those things? We all let the small things get us down sometimes. What do you do to brush those things off?