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IF-THEN Thinking: Waiting for happiness

Have you noticed yourself thinking that something "needs to happen" before you can be happy?  If you are in relationship, you might have thought, "If he could just clean up after himself, then I'd be happy" or "If I could just have someone clean my house, then I'll be happy."  How about this one, "when I have more money, I'll by happier."  Do any of these sound familiar?  This is called conditional or IF-THEN thinking.

Most of us have had some version of conditional thinking in our minds.  When we are stuck in this waiting period, we are not enjoying the present moment and this can cause depression and anxiety. When I catch myself thinking these IF-THEN thoughts, it is usually because I have neglected my gratitude journal or have not had alone time to recharge.  Gratitude for the present moment and for whatever the future may bring is the cure to conditional thinking.  Make gratitude a daily occurrence.  Write down what you are thankful for.  Voice your gratitude aloud to your family and friends.  Every time you feel gratitude, you are helping yourself attract more things to be grateful for and you are not sitting in that endless waiting room for your number to be called.

Don't postpone your happiness for some future moment that may never happen and if it does happen, it will change, because nothing stays the same.   Change is always going to happen.  Nothing is permanent. 

Take some time today to notice your thoughts.  What is occupying your mind?  Do you want those thoughts there?  You have the power to change them!

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It's Supposed to be Simple, but not for those that have ADHD

  Today we had to drive to Temple for Justin's great aunt Alma's funeral.  She lived to be 105 years old!  I met her once, on her 100th birthday, and I remember her being very sweet and amazingly energetic.

No matter what the family event is, Justin gets worked up about it.  He starts fretting about it as soon as he hears that he has to be somewhere on a certain day and at a certain time.  He doesn't want to engage in small talk and he doesn't want to be on anyone's schedule but his own.  Justin's mom and I decided we should go to lunch first.  It seems logical since we will need to eat at some point and it is a day of a funeral.  Shouldn't you eat with your family? When I told Justin of the plans, he gets heated up.  You can see his muscles start to tense.  In his mind I know he is thinking, "but that wasn't the plan!"  He says ,"That's fine, but I am not okay with it."  My heart sinks.  I know what is coming.   I forgot to mention that I told him this in the morning, a few minutes after he woke up and before he has had a heavy meal in his tummy.  Beware of this hangry man! This is the worst time to talk to him, but I really had no choice, because we had to leave the house at a certain time and he needed to be aware of that.  "I was just planning to drive to the funeral and right back home.  That's what I planned." He says with irritation in his voice.  I say, "Well this is a family day and the rest of us want to eat together.  If you do not want to, then you can drive separately,"  I reply.  It has taken me years to get to this point of accepting his anxieties and being okay with giving him another choice.  He proceeds to bash the place we picked for lunch because it will be crowded and we will never eat.  In his mind, he is setting himself up for a horrible day that hasn't even happened.  There are still some days that his negativity will get to me and bring me down with irritation and resentment, but most of the time, like today, I stand firm in my optimistic ways.  I explained to him that he is throwing himself into fight or flight mode by just thinking of a future experience of torment that is not real in this moment and may never be real in any moment.  He is creating stress about a situation that isn't happening.  His brain doesn't know the difference between a real situation and something being visualized.  I think he is understanding, but it's clear his anxiety is taking over.  We proceed with the plan to eat on the way to the funeral.  It starts to pour down rain as we are getting ready to leave.  Oh boy.  This is another hiccup in the day for him to use to create more anxiety.  He is really starting to stress now.  "We are definitely going to be late and there is no way we will have time to eat."  It is 11:00 am and the funeral is at 3:00 pm.  I remind him that we have time.  Once the rain slows down we get in the car and go.  There is no traffic and we get to the restaurant only fifteen minutes later than planned. Hallelujah! We only had to wait a few minutes for a table. Phew!  I really feel that me keeping my positive vibe about everything, despite all of his anxiety has brought us here without a glitch. 

During lunch Millie said something that was really meaningful to all of this.  As she was eating her pancakes she said, "This is the best day ever!"  She was really happy to be with her parents and grandparents and eating her favorite food.  Most of all, I think she was feeling the joy coming from her Dad as he became less stressed. 

We made it to the funeral thirty minutes early.  The service was over quickly and we left.  That night Justin said he was extremely exhausted.  I told him that all that anxiety he had during the first part of the day has drained him.  His body was tensing up just thinking about a situation that never happened.  The day went smoothly and there was no reason for all the stress!  He seemed to see my point.

According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America about 50 percent of adults with ADHD have an anxiety disorder and this can cause an impaired ability to function.  People with ADHD get overwhelmed easily and I see this very often with Justin.  I have to remind myself everyday that he has a disorder and to be patient with him.  It is a constant struggle.  At the end of the day, I do truly feel that I am here to teach him to look at the world with more light and positivity and he is here to help me develop more patience and understanding. I hope that my way of living life and controlling my own anxiety will eventually make a difference for him.  All I can do is continue being that positive voice for him so that he is reminded that everyday life events can be simpler than he is making them.   Life is here for us to enjoy, grow and learn in whatever situation God has given us.  I pray for him to experience the light and simplicity of this amazing life.

 Check out this video I made Justin take on the drive to lunch before the funeral.

Check out this video I made Justin take on the drive to lunch before the funeral.

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Home Alone

I am in my home ALONE.  Ahhhhh It feels so good!  I love my house.  It is quiet and immensely relaxing.  I clean a little, organize a little, meditate a little and just sit.  It feels so good to just sit!  I can stay on this couch for more than a few minutes without having to get up to help someone.  No one needs me right now.  I don't hear "I'm hungry" over and over.  I don't have to come up with creative and healthy snacks all day.   No one is having a meltdown that will lead me to heartache and frustration.  I can leave the door open for the dogs to go in and out as they please!  I can watch my favorite t.v. show or read a book without any interruptions or anyone asking me "Why are you watching that?" It feels good to just worry about myself right now.  The silence and space is golden. This is rejuvenating and soul nourishing.  This is recharging me so that I can approach those meltdowns and constant needs from my family with love and patience.  I will become a happier mom and wife from these moments of alone time in my home. Alone time is IMPORTANT!  I hope you take the time to nourish yourself this week and find that moment of alone time to recharge your soul and spread the happiness to all of your loved ones. 

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Turning 40: A Letter to My 20-year-old Self

Dear 20-year-old self,

I know you have many fears about the future.  Instead of pursuing your dream job, you have decided to settle for something that is a sure thing.  You are scared of failure. Soon you will find out it is not a sure thing, because you were never meant to do it.  You will change your mind many times before you graduate college and that is okay.  Every decision you make is the right decision for you at that time.  Every failure is there for you to learn from your mistakes and become more aligned with your true self.  Stop being scared of what people will think of you.  That fear will slowly dissipate over the next twenty years.  You have a lot to look forward to.  Turning 40 is not so bad.

Being 40-years-old isn't at all what you are expecting.  You are not old and wrinkly...okay maybe just a few....well actually you get many wrinkles after Millie comes along and you actually start considering botox.   You don't live a boring domesticated life at 40 like you are thinking.   In fact, there is never a dull moment in your house; especially because you have a husband with ADHD and a 4-year-old daughter that can have a melt down at any minute.  Waking up to a husband that dances in the morning, dresses up in a T-Rex costume and says weird things is a daily occurrence for you at 40.  Your daughter teaches you to be more patient, loving and to let loose and have fun every day.  You are a better person because of them.  You are thinking that at 40 you will never go out and have fun with your friends, but that has not happened yet!  Yes, the nights out do not last very long (because we are old) and not as often, but when the fun nights occur, they are of high quality with insightful conversations.  You do not have the same best friends at 40 that you have at 20.  Your 20-year-old best friends will always be in your heart and you in theirs.  You will always be able to pick up where you left off with them, but life has lead you in a different direction.    When you get here to age 40, you will see, it is like a breath of fresh air.  You will feel a sense of freedom from knowing yourself so well.  You can say no when you want to and yes when it feels right.  Your intuition has become your guide for decision making.  You become fearless and start following your dreams.  Your passions for helping animals and the youth of our nation continue to grow and are blooming into something magnificent.  So please don't worry, my younger self, because you are on an exciting journey.  Live each day knowing that every day is important and leading you to this place of freedom.  Smile, sit back and enjoy the next 20 years!

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Stepping out of the Comfort Zone

     When you have a dream and you receive a strong intuition to pursue that dream, you should listen and do not give up!  Do not let fear keep you in your comfort zone.  Sometimes fear can be just as strong as your intuition.  Take some time to meditate and become clear on what you are being guided to do.  Fear can mask who you are.  Courage is given to you when you need it and should not be ignored.  It is such an exhilarating feeling to let go of the fear and step out of your comfort zone.  

     If you fear people's reactions to your dream, don't tell them.   Let them see for themselves when you get there.  Some people can put more fear and doubt in your mind than you already have and that can be strong enough to stop you on your path to where your soul yearns to be. You, and only you, know what to do.  Stay strong in your beliefs.  If you let fear and doubt take over, then you will never feel the freedom of living your life for you. 

     Many of us change pathways throughout life.   It can be confusing when your dreams change on you.  You were lead to an amazing opportunity that you really wanted and felt lucky to have, but then you start getting messages that there is another place you need to be.    Another vision and desire is being spoken to you and there is something even better waiting for you!  The hurt, frustrations, and failures you have with each life event along your path are meant to help you grow and prepare you for your next step.   Eventually, the Divine will guide you to the perfect place, the perfect family and the perfect job for you.  Everything happens as it should.  Do not have any regrets.  Build on life lessons and be the amazing and perfect you!

     There have been many synchronicities that have lead me to where I am headed. I know that there is more than Dream Beautiful.  I feel this is leading me to something even grander. I am listening to my higher self and moving forward to what awaits me.  This gives me pure joy.   Join me on my journey as I reflect on my insights and inspirations from living this life in this moment.

“Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.”

--Neal Donald Walsch