Attitude of Gratitude

It’s very easy to lose track of our days and start to take things for granted.  I don’t about you, but it certainly feels like time is just speeding away.  Of late, I’ve felt the need to slow down and give thanks.  Maybe it’s the change in weather, maybe it’s the approach of the holidays, maybe it’s because of all the eye opening life events that I’ve experienced recently.  I don’t know exactly why, but many times  recently, I have had the need to give my thanks and humble myself before God.

I have been practicing having an attitude of gratitude for a few years.  This is one of those practices that I’ve found that has helped me get a better perspective on life.  Practicing thankfulness makes me slow down and take notice of all the people, events, and things that surround me.  Finding the blessings hidden within my sometimes chaotic life helps to ground, stabilize, and center me.   Being thankful helps to lessen my worries especially in times such as these, when not only are the hours and days
flying by at warp speed, but especially when it is feeling like many people I care about is also under extreme pressure.

By finding and acknowledging the blessings that I have in my life–my problems seem less ominous.  It keeps my worries at bay because being thankful makes me take notice of what is truly important in life.

I highly recommend you try this.

Take a few minutes to step back from your schedule and reflect back on all the things you can be thankful for.  Find 10 things to be thankful for.  These can be small things.  What is important is that there is significance in the subject for you.  For example, I am so thankful to hear my children’s laughter every day.  The innocence and pure joy that I hear from their laugh makes me smile and reassures me that life is good.  Or, I am thankful that I found a nice picture to include in this blog.  LOL!

Thank you for giving the Attitude of Gratitude practice a chance.  Keep at it.  Find something to be thankful for each and every day.  You will find that the more you do this, the more your blessings list will grow.  Positive thoughts bring positive outcome.  Life is too short not to take notice of all the gifts we’ve been given.

I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought; and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder. 

~G.K. Chesterton

Many thanks to you and I wish you bliss in your life.  Till the next time…

Don’t be a headless chicken. Part 2

The last time we were together, I talked about taking time for you and finding that special something that will make you feel fresh and renewed.  While I truly hope that you did take some time to pamper yourself, I do know that the ‘after glow’ of the renewal only lasts temporarily.  After some time, it is inevitable that our mom-life takes over and we are again running around like headless chickens.

So, I started thinking…How can we maintain that positive energy we gain?  Is there a pay to prevent going into headless-chicken-mode?

The first question is easy.  We can maintain that state of renewal by making it a point to schedule time for ourselves.  Taking time out for ourselves could feel selfish, but it is the farthest thing from it.  By taking time out for yourself, you enable yourself to be a better wife or partner, a better mom, a better friend, a better everything.  A worn out, used up you is no good to anyone including yourself.  Let’s think of our cars for example.  It’s not enough to simply just fill it up with gas and expect it to keep going and have it keep going in good condition.  Eventually, the car will need an oil change, a tune up, the brakes replaced, not to mention the regular car washing to keep the inside and outside clean.  And isn’t it true that cars run better and is more reliable when regular maintenance is done?  The same is true for us moms.  If our cars can have a spa day, why not us?

Go ahead, schedule time for that mani-pedi once every 2-3 weeks.  If a mani-pedi is not your thing, make an appointment for a facial or a massage once a month.  If you get your recharge by being out in nature– schedule time for yourself to walk around your favorite park—make it a leisurely walk.  Take your time and really take in the scenery.  Is there a public garden you can visit?  Do you like to journal?  Wouldn’t it be wonderful to journal while sitting in a luscious garden?   Spend time with your girlfriends having fun and laughing—no drama talk allowed.   It’s not about how much time or money you spend on the activity.   It’s about the positive energy you gain from the activity.  Here’s an example–a five minute belly laugh with friends is one of the best things you can do to recharge yourself…and the best part?  It’s free, it doesn’t take much time at all, and the connection you build with your friends gets stronger.

So, what about preventing headless-chicken-mode?  Yes, we’re going to do our best to replace the positive energy by making sure we take time for ourselves, but what about the in between time?  Depending on the demands you have in your life, your time away from those demands maybe spaced further apart.  In addition and again depending on the various responsibilities you have, your energy maybe getting spent faster than you can replenish.

None of us wants to be in headless-chicken-mode.  It is stressful to our entire being as well as our loved ones and it really does put us in a downward cycle of chronic bad-moodiness and who wants that?  But, it’s not a lost cause.  There is a way to keep the chicken beast at bay or in my case, the “Mama-Hulk” from coming out.  It’s through prevention.  I will admit that prevention in this case is not as easy as maintenance.  Prevention could mean changing some core habits and attitudes and that takes work.

Go through these series of questions and be honest with yourself.  The only person that needs to hear and know the answers is you.  Most importantly, don’t judge yourself as you answer these.  Listen to yourself with an open heart and an open mind.

•    Do you feel like you have to take care of everything yourself?  Why?
•    Are you afraid to ask for help?  Why?
•    Do you feel valued for the things you do?  Why or why not?
•    Do you have expectations of your family, spouse/partner, or friends?  Why?
•    What happens when your expectations are not met?  Why?
•    Do your loved ones know of your expectations?  Do they understand those expectations in the same way you do?
•    When you start feeling fed up and short-tempered, what is causing that negative feeling to come out?  Why is that?  Dig deeper.

These questions are the very same questions I’ve learned to ask myself when I’ve found myself falling into the grip of life’s demands.  These questions have made me more aware of why I behave or react the way I do in certain situations.  Understanding yourself and knowing where you’re coming from is the first step to prevention.  You can’t stop something from happening, if you don’t know what’s causing it right?

Next step?  Do things that will make your day-to-day just a little bit easier.  Isn’t being overwhelmed part of what brings out the headless chicken beast?  Here are some tips you might want to try.  These have helped me out and I hope these tips will take some pressure of off you too.

•    Do the little things first and get these out of the way.  When the bigger stuff comes along, it won’t seem too daunting.
•    When the big stuff does come along, break it down into manageable bits.  It’s like what that saying or joke says—“How do you eat an elephant?  One bite at a time.”  Basically the lesson here is that even the biggest project, task, or goal, can be accomplished if you do it a little bit at a time.
•    Keep a list to help you remember things.  With so much so do at times, it’s a wonder, that we remember to put on our heads!  Another tip for remembering—and I learned this from a friend–is to leave voicemail messages to myself.  I felt kind of odd the first time I left myself a message, but it worked.
•    Ask for help.  For some of you this might be difficult, but trust me, there’s nothing to be afraid of.  I’ve found that friends and family WANT to help and are often just waiting to be asked.  They understand the demands and are often happy to lend a helping hand or a helping mind, whatever you might need.
•    Vent.  Release the pressure and talk with your friends.  Girlfriends are great for this and if you’ve got that friend with a wicked sense of humor—use that humor.  Laugh therapy is priceless.  Often times your friends can get you laughing at your situation and then it doesn’t seem so burdensome.
•    Pick your battles.  Everything you put your focus into requires energy.  Energy is like time or money.  You only have so much to spend in any given moment and you have to replenish to keep going.  Make sure you’re spending your energy on things that feel good to you.  If cooking dinner after you get home feels good because you have a new recipe you want to try, then pour that energy and love into the family dinner tonight.  I bet you and your family will have an incredible dinner.  But say tomorrow, just the mere thought of cooking dinner, makes you feel tired, then take the pressure of yourself and order out.  You and your family will still have a great dinner and the time you spend together will still be great quality because you’re not completely spent.
•    This is probably the most important—be flexible and forgiving, not only with the people that surround you and interact with you on a day-to-day basis, but most importantly be flexible and forgiving with yourself.  It’s totally ok not to be perfect and sometimes things won’t work out the way we plan.  Be open to change because the results could surprise you.

Thank you for visiting and come again soon.

Wishing you bliss in your life.  Till the next time. . .

Don’t be a headless chicken

Wow!  I am so excited!  This is my very first post on my very first website! I hope you enjoy this and keep coming back.

Lesson I want to share:  DON’T BE A HEADLESS CHICKEN

It must be a standard issue for us moms to tell our kids to keep trying and to do their best.  Does this same mantra work for us too?  At times with the pressures and demands placed on us from running a household, to holding down a job, and keeping up with our family’s activities…the “try” is exhausted out of us.

Yes, every mom out there wants to be the Super-Mom, who can leap from one task to another in a single bound.  All the while keeping a perfectly plastered smile on her face as she gallantly accepts one more “project” from the kids’ school or work or some other activity.  We don’t say no and we keep trying to hold it all together.

My point is we moms stretch ourselves so thin that there’s often not much left of us–for ourselves.  Doesn’t it feel like when you take a break, you feel like you’re doing something wrong?  Doesn’t it feel like in order for you to be recognized as a “good mom” that your calendar has to be completely filled in?

Running around like a headless chicken will not do you or your family any good.  Headless chickens are scary and have no direction.   Headless chickens are able to move purely because of ‘left overs’ from the nervous system.  When the nervous system finally releases all of its information, that’s when the chicken stops in its tracks–dead.

The headless chicken analogy is much like us moms who make it a habit of running on empty.  We go, go, go until there’s nothing left.  We start going on auto-pilot and really have no sense of what is going on anymore.    We are not engaged in the activities we’re involved in, but rather we’re just there and just trying to get by.

Who says that we have to be so busy that we don’t even have time to think?  If you ask me I think this is a standard that we moms have put on ourselves unnecessarily.  So let’s stop it!  Let’s stop being headless chickens.

Instead let’s find a happy, healthy balance where we have time for our family and ourselves.  A refreshed, rested, and relaxed you is going to be a much better mom and wife (or partner) than the crazy headless-chicken mom.

Let’s think about this.  When you are at your wit’s end, aren’t you short-tempered and snippy?  Admit, don’t you start posturing like a chicken too?  You know, you probably start sticking out your neck while you do that mama-head-roll-with-an-attitude move, while you  got one hand poised up on your hip.  The other arm might be too busy waving around pointing out all the mistakes and messes that you’ve been left to deal with.  LOL!   Let’s face it, being a chicken head isn’t any fun.  It’s very stressful–physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually.

So, go on.  Take a deep breath and release the stress.  Go take that leisurely bath you’ve been wanting to take.  Go shopping–retail therapy, my friends!  Go gardening.  Go to the movies.  Do whatever you feel will nourish you and will put a smile back on your face and when you are done re-energizing yourself, come back to your family renewed.

Wishing you bliss in your life.  Till the next time. . .

Welcome to my iggylife! A friendly place to share, learn, and enjoy positivity. Sit back and relax.